The Tokyo Reporter has the story:
TOKYO (TR) – The weekend bust of two popular nightclubs within the Gas Panic chain was due to the presence of undesirable foreigners, reports Nikkan Gendai (Nov. 30).
Well, hell, if you ask me, anyone who frequents Roppongi, foreign or Japanese, if "undesirable." I hate that place. Give me the neighborhood Moe's or local yakitori (chicken BBQ on sticks) anyday!
Moe's bar. That's me on the left in the red shirt.
Early Sunday morning, Tokyo Metropolitan Police entered clubs Gas Panic Bar and Club 99 in the Roppongi entertainment district and arrested managers Hidenori Wakita, 36, and Fumiki Nishihata, 35, for allowing dancing after 1 a.m. — a violation of the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses.
Dancing!? After 1 am? In a bar in Roppongi!? Never heard of such a thing. Weird, eh? People want to go to Roppongi to drink and dance on a Saturday night? Go figure, eh?
I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you to find dancing going on at this establishment!
A journalist who covers the adult entertainment industry says the chain of foreigner-frequented bars is popular for those on low budgets, but in recent times police have been taking notice of trouble. “Recently, poorly behaving foreigners from the Middle East and South-East Asia have started showing up,” says the source. “They make others not want to come around, and maybe some neighbors complained.”
“They make others not want to come around.." Well, maybe, maybe not. But they can't possibly be more misbehavin' than the US military who are now confined to bases for being naughty, raising hell and committing serious crimes.
"...and maybe some neighbors complained"? What do you mean, "maybe"? Anyone who lives in Roppongi near these types of establishments cannot possible complain about drunks, foreigners or loud noises (or even, perish the thought, dancing!)
The tabloid says that the raid of Gas Panic Bar occurred just before 2 a.m. “There were close to 200 customers in the place,” says a salaryman present at the time. “As the name says, it was a panic. At first, I thought they were targeting drugs or gangs. I was stunned that it was due to licensing problems since this sort of thing has been going on for 20 years.”
The salaryman is quoted, “As the name says, it was a panic." What!? An establishment does what they advertise that they are going to do and this is a problem, officer? And this has been going on for 20 years? Gee, who'd a thunk it? Just one more piece of evidence that this, like clamping down on the Yakuza for the horrendous crimes of ticket scalping, gambling, prostitution and, Mercy! Wining and dining TV producers!? What are we going to do? If I were prime minister, I think I'd declare martial law and do something stupid like bomb another country....Say? Isn't Pearl Harbor day right around the corner? Just asking.
Obviously vicious, dangerous and drunk.
Writer's rendition of drunk salarymen who may have been dancing!
The issue concerns the type of license. Establishments within the Gas Panic chain are licensed as bars, which under the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses are not allowed to provide entertainment, such as dancing, after 1 a.m. without special authorization. Only drinking, however, is permissible.
Oh? I see. I own a bar or club or whatever. And I need a license to serve drinks. I cannot provide entertainment without another license. So what is "entertainment"? pray tell. Isn't the BGM music that I hear when I walk into Denny's, for example, considered "entertainment"? Well, it sure is as the establishment owner must pay music publishing royalties to play music. And, I need a license for dancing? G*ddamn! This place is starting to sound like the United States! Now, if two people hear some music and start dancing, as a bar owner, is it my duty to stop them? What constitutes "dancing" may I ask?
Dirty Dancing? Footloose? Any Ho's in da house?
Not in this establishment you don't ladies. Not without a license!!!
As an aside, there's far too many stupid people, foreigners included, who are trying to make money off this "Yakuza criminal underworld" nonsense by writing and selling books about non-issues. Once again, let me state, I'm sure the Yakuza and the dirty dancing certainly doesn't kill nearly as many people as the USA and NATO do annually (sometimes with Japan's support).
This was the second arrest in two years for Wakita. In 2009, police found similar violations at Club 99 and GP Bar, which is also within the Gas Panic chain, and took the manager into custody. After that, Gas Panic Bar installed a security camera at the door to alert management to turn the music down if police appeared.
Smart guys. I'd set up a camera too. But this is the only place that I think the Gas Panic people screwed up big time. Head should roll. Better security against police raids, guys! Your customer base deserves to be able to have fun in the security of your establishment and NOT be hassled by a bunch of criminals or SS officers or gestapo who wish to eradicate things like dancing!
This nonsense is outrageous! The police are obstructing business. If it is too loud or people are dancing, the rational thing to do would be to go visit and ask them to turn it down. The last time this guy was hassled was 2009? Disgusting. (Oh, and by the way, notice the timing? In 2009, after the Lehman Brothers crisis, the economy was tanking and the government and police stepped up this kind of nonsense.)
"I won't dance! I won't! You can't make me!"
If there had been any recent problems at any establishment such as Gas Panic, the proper thing to do would be to contact the manager in a business-like manner and discuss the matter. Busting in and arresting the guy and causing a scene during business hours is Nazi State BS and a clear-obstruction of business issue.
And what of the customers dancing? They are having fun. Are they supposed to know the business license arrangements with the establishment? Is the establishment owner to post signs that say, "No Dancing" on premises? And, even if they did, would anyone think that a "No Dancing" sign was anything but a joke?
Wakita was eventually convicted.
Oh, what was I saying about the government and police needing money? So, the guy was convicted... For what? Not having a proper dancing license?
This latest bust sends a message, continues the adult-entertainment journalist. “The crackdown will expand,” the writer says. “There are tens of thousands of improperly licensed clubs. Gas Panic is a big name, and they have continued to ignore warnings. Perhaps the police are taking a step forward to show the serious consequences to everyone else.”
The true message this sends is that the licensing business is a farce. It also shows us that the powers that be are completely and totally arbitrary in enforcing the law. When government coiffures run low, you can bet they will find some boogie man for which to try to gain revenues or, at least, makes sure certain department's within the government are not forced to take budget cuts. That they make a big scene and use the media to force the issue shows that they want to instill fear in other establishment owners in order to get them to pay up and buy or renew licenses.
Business is bad enough as it is for establishment owners. Increasing their costs will not help. Using fear to get them to cooperate is proof that this is coercion and a taxation problem.
Recently, I have been seeing many road stops whereby the police are arbitrarily stopping drivers without due cause to look for some reason to fine them. The escalation against the Yakuza and the media BS is another indicator of this absurdness... Now, Gas Panic gets hit. For what?
For not having a license to allow dancing?*
If this is how things are going then, I say we bring back the 憲兵隊 (kenpeitai) thought police. Who knows what sorts of evil things people who dance are thinking about. They are dangerous...
Or maybe we can make money for requiring a license for any sort of body movement or even thinking about going to the toilet in a bar!
The possibility for new revenues are endless... Just thinking could be taxed.
NOTE: Oh, but I know what you are thinking: Taxing sex won't work as Japanese don't have sex.*
One-quarter of married couples in Japan have had no sex in the past year, a survey showed.
Sex is particularly elusive as people grow older, with the study finding that 37.3 percent of Japanese married couples in their 50s were not having sex.
There was no comparable data for other countries but earlier surveys by condom manufacturer Durex has put Japan among the world’s least sexually active nations.
See? Maybe they don't have sex, but they think about it. So that's where the revenue comes from.
* I know that the license is not specifically for dancing. It is the difference between a bar and dining establishment. But the point remains that this is a taxation issue. If the government were sincere, they wouldn't make these huge scenes and public mass media showcases. Proper business manners would call for mutually respectful discussions (not that I think the licensing is anything but coercion).
Thanks to Tokyo Reporter!