I've railed repeatedly on the idiotic laws in this country concerning the Yazuka gangsters, prostitution, gambling, drug laws and other areas of wasteful public spending trying to control morality, and other victimless "crimes," but today I found one more law that just takes the cake.
Before, someone pointed out to me that the Yakuza are allegedly involved with human trafficking, and I think that the Japanese police might be useful in putting a stop to that. But, like in yesterday's article about arresting a restaurant owner because his girls (supposed waitresses) were sitting down at table and talking with customers, I think the laws on the books are absurd. Trying to stop Human Trafficking? Well, okay. Stopping victimless "crimes"? No.
Please refer to: Police Raid Clubs in Tokyo Hosted by Porn Stars ad Arrest Managers - More Nonsense From the Police and Wasting Tax Money - Yes, There are Photos. Why Do You Ask?
On February 24, officers took managers Yuji Isa, 51, and Hiroaki Kato, 30, and two other employees of club Pippi, located in the Roppongi and Shinjuku entertainment areas, into custody for allowing female staff members to sit and serve at the same table as customers — a violation of the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses.
I thought that must be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard of; arresting managers because waitresses are sitting down on the job and talking to customers!
Like I said, "I thought that must be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard of." Well, it's not. I was wrong. It's not even close to the stupidest thing. Today's topic is the stupidest thing...
"Arrest that woman and bring her to me for proper disciplining!"
The asinine laws that went into effect last October make "associating with Yakuza" a crime. Yes, yes, blah, blah... But what does, "associating with Yakuza" mean? I checked Merriam-Webster dictionary for "Associate" it said:
Associate: (transitive verb)
1) to join as partner or friend
2) to join or connect together
3) to bring together into a relationship in any of various intangible ways (as in memory or imagination)
Ah! Number 3 is the tricky one; intangible ways, eh? So, if you are living outside of Japan, and I live here and if you and I were to meet, you could associate me with the Yakuza because the Yakuza are from Japan too! See how this works?
Under these new laws, obviously written by people with the intelligence of chimpanzees, "associating with a Yakuza" is not limited to things like you being a card-holding gang member or their "friend" and hanging around with them at the billiard room; it's not limited to your driving in their getaway cars while they rob banks or standing around as look out while they have "a problem in communication" and wind up roughing up uncooperative, er, "customers." It means that if you suspect that someone is a Yakuza, yet you treat them like anyone else, you could be fined or sent to prison.
Here I am with Beat Takeshi, arguably Japan's most famous TV/movie star. Beat Takeshi played a Yakuza in a movie. That means, under the definition of
"associated" that he has "something to do" with the Yakuza, right? And, since, I took this photo with him, I am "associated" too!
No. I am not making that up. Think about that for a minute. What does that mean?
Let's say you run a, say, flower shop and you get a telephone order to deliver flowers to someone, if you know or suspect that the person is a Yakuza, and you fill that order, you could be in violation of the law and subject to arrest and penalties.
Don't believe me?
Testosterone Pit reports in, "No More Golf or Pizza for the Yakuza":
Tokyo's organized crime exclusionary laws went into effect in October—and they're already wreaking havoc. The laws criminalize doing business with bōryokudan ("violent group" or colloquially yakuza). In an ingenious twist, paying off the yakuza in an extortion racket is also a crime. Now restaurants have to stop paying protection money. Even victims of blackmail—hush money is an outright industry in Japan—commit a crime if they pay.
First, there's a warning. But if violations persist, authorities will add the business or person to a public list of perps who have a "close relationship" with the yakuza. Instant loss of face. And then the financial nightmare: customers flee, banks shut their doors, government agencies won't renew licenses, office leases get terminated—all based on the organized crime exclusionary clauses in their contracts. Individuals may lose their jobs, as comedian and TV host, Shimada Shinsuke, found out.
If contact with the yakuza continues despite all this, a person risks up to one year in the hoosegow and a fine of ¥500,000 ($6,400).
It hit the golf industry hard.
“If customers are yakuza, we ask them to leave even if they're in the middle of playing," said the general manager of Akabane Golf Club (Mainichi newspaper article in Japanese). He is also the chairman of the Council of Golf Clubs for the Expulsion of Organized Crime in Tokyo. How would he know if someone is a yakuza? "We refer the names of suspicious people to the police,” he said.
And the pizza delivery industry is in uproar.
"We don't know if the address we deliver to is the place of a yakuza," said the Delivery Business Safety Driving Council. But don't panic. "One or two pizzas are OK,” the Council said, “but delivering a huge amount of pizza, knowing that the customer is a yakuza is a no-no." They're planning to invite police officers to a study meeting with restaurant owners.
Jesus! Is this dumb, or what? Are we living in Nazi Germany or, even worse, the United States? The guy who said, "How would he know if someone is a Yakuza or not?" is completely correct. It's not like underworld organization members wear a uniform everywhere they go or dress on the field like baseball players do.
Also, since when is it the duty of the pizza delivery guy or a privately run business to determine if someone is a gangster or not? What if the Yakuza guy's wife or kids answer the door? I don't think most kids have a clue as to what daddy does at work, especially in this country.
Delivered to you in under 30 minutes or you're under arrest!
Have you ever seen the 2001 movie Traffic? That was the movie with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. She was the wife who had no idea that her husband was a drug trafficker and had gangland ties. Well, you know, it's not like people brag about being a Yakuza. Sure that was just a movie but that part is completely realistic. Most people who are involved with illegal activities don't advertise... Funny that. Whether those activities should be illegal or not is another story.
I'll bet many children, and some wives, of Yakuza might suspect but are not sure what "Daddy" does when he goes to work. I am pretty confident that when he comes home to relax he doesn't tell them, "Yeah, today was a tough day at gangster HQ. I had to break the knee-caps and elbows of three different people! Three! Can you believe it? Boy, I'm beat!"
These laws are idiocy. Total and complete idiocy.
I have also read somewhere else that this is actually a case of Japan's Amakudari whereby retired government officials, after retiring, take cushy jobs in the private sector. These new laws are actually designed to help those retired people (in this case retired formerly high ranking police officers) take jobs as a sort of "legal advisor" to privately run corporations to advise them as to how to handle the new laws. So they are, actually, a scam.
That makes sense to me. It makes sense because these laws are too stupid on their own to not have some sort of ulterior motive. There can be no other logical explanation for coercing the public and private businesses into supporting your local police department.
As government is wont to do, they will create a crisis where none exists and thee use that crisis as a way to get money. That's what government's do. In fact, it seems that is the only thing government is efficient at doing.
Ticket scalpers selling concert tickers! Heavens! How will we stop this crime wave?
(I know! Anyone who would buy a ticket to a Bon Jovi concert,
whether real or counterfeit, should be shot anyway!)
In the future I guess we'll have to show ID to prove that we're not gangsters in order to get a pizza or burger delivered to our door. Also to reinforce the point of how stupid this actually is, forget about deliveries; what happens if a gangster looking guys walks up to a counter at a McDonald's and orders a burger? Is the 18-year-old clerk to determine if he is a possible criminal or not?
God! his is so stupid on so many levels it makes me want to pull my hair out.
If the Japanese people and businesses put up with these asinine laws they'll be getting what they deserve in the near future. You can get a glimpse of that future by getting on an airplane and flying to the USA to see the lack of freedom those people have.
I'm going to do everything I can to fight this idiotic trend. I hope you will too. We don't need Japan to become like the United States more than it already has.