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!
As California goes, so goes the nation. Do you remember that quote? Should it be amended in our current era to, as the USA goes, so goes the world?
The statement from the police about "undesirable foreigners" made me think, if the citizens of Japan were able to vote about foreigners, how many would vote for foreigners being considered desirable vs. undesirable?
As to the Yakuza vs. the US military, do you think their are more similarities than differences? They both tend to come from poor and broken homes and they both tend to be considered outsiders.
If the JPG is part of the US empire, which I believe it is, what do you think that the JPG gets out of it? Do you think they are doing it out of the goodness of their heart? All I can write currently is that I've heard stories. As it used to be said in another time, "the walls have ears."
About the US military being confined on base because of the actions of a single person, do you agree with collective punishment?
Since the Yakuza only number ca. 100k, vs., NATO ca. 5m+, do you think this is a fair comparison to make? The British once said that the main point of the British military was so that the lower orders could destroy someone else's country instead of Britain. Do you think that a similar mindset exists in the USG?
Do you think that the police are clamping down to justify their existence, or could it be something more nefarious? Cui bono?
Finally, why do you think that so many Japanese have stopped having sex?
I don't think any small time criminal organization anywhere in the world (like the Yakuza) can hold a candle to the crimes of the biggest criminal organization the world has ever seen: the US government. I wrote about that here: "USA Attacks Yakuza. War Breaks Out!".
I am against collective punishment, but to think that this happened from the actions of one person is nonsense. Decades of US servicemen killing and raping the locals (Japan and Korea, and?) have lead to the situation that now exists. I can't count how many rapes and murders there have been. I wrote about a case or two at LRC: "Sorry Sods of Empire".
I KNOW the police are clamping down to justify their existence and try to prevent budget cuts...
"why do you think that so many Japanese have stopped having sex?" Hmmm... I think the phrase should be better understood as "why do you think that so many Japanese have stopped having penetration?" I think this is a more subtle thing that has to do with how love is perceived in the country. I don't think that there is any loss of "love." But, I'm not certain about these sorts of surveys.
Oh, and thanks Mr. N! Thanks for reading and thanks for writing. If you are in Japan, I owe you a beer.
I was thinking back to the days of the Java Jive and Juliana's London clubs that I used to frequent... I recall also that at around 1AM the booze would stop, but dancing was still allowed... it's why we used to load up on drinks just before 1AM.
Here in Toronto, we have bars allowed to see booze until 1AM... though establishments now stay open until 2AM. About 10 years ago or so, it was 12AM for drinks with bars closing at 1AM. Sucked, but we were used to it. And again, we loaded up on booze at midnight.
Here, there are plenty of after-hours clubs - underground - for those in the know where booze flows through the morning.
So... someone is losing out on some money... and others are illegally making money.
Sucks... but Toronto, like Tokyo can be a bit puritanical.
And, as far as sex goes... having too much booze will kill the ability to get it up... eventually... especially as one gets older.
Thanks for the advice re: older folks not getting any.... just in case, I better get as much as I can over the next few years I have left before 50. Hope you are in the good percentage, buddy!
I don't think the Yakuza can hold a candle to the USG either, but I was wondering about the aside to all of NATO, especially on a per capita basis. As to the USG being the biggest criminals the world has ever seen, I think that it is a bit of a stretch to say the least. For example, I've known people that have lived under the Austrian and Georgian men with the mustaches. Do you think that the USG is worse than those regimes?
In regards to the military clamp down, I believe that currently, yes the actions of one person pushed the public over the boiling point, but that the resentment and hate have been simmering for many decades. What do you think? I think that confining everyone to base is meant to turn down the heat. Do you agree or disagree? If you think that things are bad in JP in regards to the behavior of the US military, for example how do you think things are around Fayetteville (AKA "Fayettenam") NC, near Ft. Bragg, and in Kileen TX, near Ft. Hood? Because of anecdotal stories, I think that even in WRT all the horrible actions of members of the US military in JP, that it is most likely better behaved than in the US. Do you think that is possible?
As an aside, do you know if the US military still has declared "soaplands" off-limits? If so, do you think this is rather hypocritical? The idea that anything possibly involving sex might embarrass the brass, but dropping bombs gets them medals...
I just read your "Military Intelligence" article. It was very good and had many interesting points. There seems to be many parallels in empires, whether they are Roman, British, Japanese, or American. I also think that looking at WWII from 2011, that the Allies in WWII essentially lost, and the Axis won. What do you think? Just look at the cities and the quality of life in JP, DE, and IT, vs. the UK, US, and RU. Many cities in the Allied countries in 2011, currently look like the bombed out Axis cities in 1945. What is your opinion on this?
Finally, how do you think love is perceived in Japan Mike?
All the best!
Thanks Mr. Nobody!
As far as the biggest criminal organization the world has ever seen, I wonder if saying that the USA isn't as bad as Nazi germany or Stalinist Russia isn't excuse enough for any American to want to run and hide? Anyway, the USA is one of the world's biggest criminal organizations and, in many circles, the worst the world has ever seen. I truly believe that it is the worst. May I ask that you consider just a few?
"US Intervenes militarily overtly and covertly in 70 nations since 1945".
"US Bombs Over 60 nations between 1945 ~ 1994".
"Reuters: Iraq War Has Killed a million Iraqis".
"USA Bombing 5 Muslim Countries".
Not to mention extermination of civilians using nuclear weapons? Did the Nazi's do that? Did the Nazi's use White Phosphorous? Napalm? Cluster Bombs?
As far as confining people to bases, that collective punishment was meted out by the US authorities and not the Japanese. The US decided that they couldn't control their kids, so they grounded them. It is a world wide phenomenon. Japan and Korea are just 2 places. I have no idea about US military behavior in the USA. I know thought that military men in Japan have repeatedly murdered and raped locals. The raping os 12 year old girls is when people get really mad.
Is soapland off limits? Of course it is. It's supposedly illegal. Wink. Wink.
Yes, the first time I saw a Euro coin design I said to my friend, "Mein Gott Mein Fuhrer! Germany has finally von za var!"
I hope and think that love is (should be) perceived not as a physical thing but a more subtle emotion between people who have shared things in life. It is a sympathy for each other. They met when they were young, healthy and free. They grow old together and see how each start to become frail and weak. They feel sorry for each other and always remember the good times. I think this sympathy for each other is a true love in a very eastern sense. A buddhist priest told me this one time about true love and I think he's right. He told me that this is what my wife and I have. We never argue. We rarely have sex and neither of us care. We are very happy.
I am stating that the claim about the USG being the most criminal that the world has ever seen might be considered somewhat facetious. It may currently be one of the worst, but I think from a historical perspective, it isn't the worst in history... As to the horrible actions that the USG has done since WWII, unfortunately in many ways it tends to mirror other empires but IMHO especially the UK. I'm not denying that yes, it's rather horrible, but I am also saying it is rather unlikely to expect empires to act like anything other than empires.
About US citizens running and hiding, if they had the thought, how many would or could, actually do it? In the US, the savings rate went negative ca. 2005. Then only ca. 30% of US citizens have tertiary degrees, which are many times requirements to move to other countries. Finally, do you think there is a public that is more manipulated/propagandized anywhere else in the world than the US?
As to the Reuters article about over a million dead due to the Iraq war, I agree it is horrible. In the same token, by some estimates, sanctions against Iraq from 1990-2003 effectively killed over a million. The question I have, is why do so many people concentrate on the former as opposed to the latter?
As to the atomic weapon comment, again, why does the method of madness matter? One only has to look at similar aerial bombardments by conventional bombings to see equal or higher figures of death.
As to why the Nazis didn't use atom bombs, my first hunch is that Heisenberg and his ilk were better at being theoretical than practical. Plus, in hindsight, it appears rather doubtful with a multiple front war, that they would have had the money and material needed to produce them. Hypothetically if they had them there is little doubt in my mind that they would have used them.
As to the type of bombs that the Nazi regime had, I haven't really looked into it, but see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incendiary_device for a general overview WRT cluster bombs and the like. As to what the Nazi regime did, most people are still unaware as to how insane it became. Again, I've heard stories.
My main point WRT weapons is why should the type of weapons matter? Horrible is still horrible and dead is still dead. Whether someone uses a machete or a bomb, it still is only a change in the method of madness. Am I wrong?
In regards the alleged rape of a child in Japan, obviously people get angry. Why do you think people in general become more angry, no matter the country, when it's a foreigner who does it, as opposed to one of their "own?" It seems a rather strange aspect of the human condition, that when evil is done by someone, the level of anger can vary greatly by whom the person is who did it. Or am I completely off-base? It indeed is probably a worldwide phenomena, but it also asks interesting questions...
What do you think the level of crime would be of the US military personnel, if they were never in the military? Do you think they would be as criminally inclined, if they had never been in the military in the first place? My hunch is no. What is your take on it?
About the soaplands, the story I got was that in would somehow tarnish the reputation of the USAF. Is such a thing possible? :/ Are soaplands actually illegal in Japan?
Both from a social and economic perspective, I think that the case can actually be made that the Axis effectively won. As a gedankenexperiment, if one were given a magic wand, where one could choose where to be born, where would you want it to be? You may think it is almost a vestigial paranoia, but if you ever have a chance, ask an Eastern European citizen about my statement, especially an older one, and give my reasons. Please share the answer.
Someone once said of the European Union, "The whole point of the EU is so that one country can pretend that it isn't an empire, and also that another one can pretend it still is."
Again, from an Eastern European perspective, there are many, who are rather angry, and nervous, about the German economic and cultural influence that has grown in Eastern Europe since 1990. Are they crazy or paranoid?
Thanks Mr. N,
Yeah. OK. Maybe you're right. It isn't the worst in history, but as a son of that nation, the nation who claims freedom, waves of grain, blah, blah, blah.. I reserve the narcissist right to think that, due to my programming, we're supposed to be better, hence the crime seems worst. I'm not shocked when a lowlife rapes a kid but when a priest does it, it is horrendous. But then again, maybe a priest is a lowlife?
About the Iraq sanctions, you are right. No difference in the method of delivery of death. Ditto for A-Bomb.
It is, I'm sure, debatable (probable) that the Germans would have used it if they had it. But, if is the middle word in Life and they didn't have it. We did and we used it. We're no better and facts are proven that we worse in that respect.
No. The rape was not alleged. The accussed pleaded guilty to rape in court and the two other us servicemen pleaded guilty in court to conspiracy (several counts) See: "1995 Okinawa Rape of 12 year old girl".
I think the military doesn't make people criminally inclined. The poor US economy and judges pardoning criminals if they will join the services is where a big part of the problem lies.
Soapland is illegal in Japan.
Germany? Today's Germany has accomplished economically what Hitler's Germany could do militarily 70 years ago... Without one drop of blood.
Hi Mike, I'm hoping you can clear this up for me. I'm a little confused about the licensing issue here.
Tokyo is known to foreigners as a place where bars stay open very late, sometimes all night. You mentioned at the end of your post that it was about the difference between a "bar and dining establishment" license. Do you mean to say that a facility with a dining establishment license would have been able host dancing attendees after 1am?
Is it even legal to provide a venue that sells alcohol and provides space for dancing all night long in Tokyo? What license would they need? Or is something that has no legality on the books that is enforced at will like this?
I asked my second daughter who is a lighting director at one of the biggest, if not the biggest, dance halls in Japan. It's called Ageha.
She works there and says they've all talked about this problem and no one really seems sure what the rules are. It is so arbitrary. Ageha is, de facto, a rental space, so, even though they do serve drinks, they can allow dancing until morning. These other establishments serve drinks, and food, so they cannot have dancing... I'm sure there's much more to it than this, but, Japan has all sorts of confusing rules. Anyone else can help us out here?
Hey Mike, I just discovered your blog, and I feel like we're on the same side of many issues. I'm also a big Max Keiser fan.
I live in Osaka, and I've been trying to figure out why the police are shutting down clubs for some time. Amazingly, even though Osaka has a sizable population, dance clubs have always been pretty lame here. Most bars still only make money on Friday or Saturday. Police seem to be just targeting foreign clubs. I imagine the Yakuza have already paid off whoever they need to, and the police have no choice but to close down foreign hotspots. It's a crime. The clubs already suck. Now they really suck. As far as the entertainment license thing goes, how can unpaid dancers, the costumer, be considered the entertainment. Totally bonkers.
Yeah, it's disgusting that the police waste our tax money on shutting down businesses instead of chasing criminals. You know, they do this to justify budgets. They all need to have their budgets slashed and this nonsense needs to stop.
Thanks for writing.
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