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okaycuckoo

Debt & Exploitation

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So in the most extreme circumstances this is what you can expect from the state:

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Tetsuya Hayashi went to Fukushima to take a job at ground zero of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. He lasted less than two weeks.

Hayashi, 41, says he was recruited for a job monitoring the radiation exposure of workers leaving the plant in the summer of 2012. Instead, when he turned up for work, he was handed off through a web of contractors and assigned, to his surprise, to one of Fukushima's hottest radiation zones.

He was told he would have to wear an oxygen tank and a double-layer protective suit. Even then, his handlers told him, the radiation would be so high it could burn through his annual exposure limit in just under an hour.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/25/us-fukushima-workers-specialreport-idUSBRE99O04320131025

It's a long article, raising lots of issues.

A few references to debt:

Raising wages could draw more workers but that has not happened, the data shows. Tepco is under pressure to post a profit in the year to March 2014 under a turnaround plan Japan's top banks recently financed with $5.9 billion in new loans and refinancing. In 2011, in the wake of the disaster, Tepco cut pay for its own workers by 20 percent.
In extreme cases, brokers have been known to "buy" workers by paying off their debts. The workers are then forced to work until they pay off their new bosses for sharply reduced wages and under conditions that make it hard for them to speak out against abuses, labor activists and workers in Fukushima said
.
Goshima said he himself had been working for the local chapter of Yamaguchi-gumi since the age of 14, extorting money and collecting debts. He quit at age 20 after spending some time in jail. He had to borrow money from a loan shark to pay off his gang, which demanded about $2,000 a month for several months to let him go.

Watch out - this is the future for the UK.

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So in the most extreme circumstances this is what you can expect from the state:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/25/us-fukushima-workers-specialreport-idUSBRE99O04320131025

It's a long article, raising lots of issues.

A few references to debt:

Watch out - this is the future for the UK.

Interesting article, perhaps better off in the main Fukushima thread in the current affairs forum. It has almost no relevance to the UK.

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Interesting article, perhaps better off in the main Fukushima thread in the current affairs forum. It has almost no relevance to the UK.

I disagree - Japan is as good a model as any for Britain's future and their employment practices seem similar to our own.

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I disagree - Japan is as good a model as any for Britain's future and their employment practices seem similar to our own.

Don't see why we need to follow someone else's "model". What happens in the future will be British and not akin to employment practices in Japan.

Culturally we are very different. Organised crime does not have the influence here that it does in Japan. The country is more democratic and our people and press more vocal in opposition. Yes, we have people who earn not very much money, but guess what, so does everywhere. Japan has always had a huge underbelly of people in transitory employment - the "job for life" has only ever been for the privileged few.

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Don't see why we need to follow someone else's "model". What happens in the future will be British and not akin to employment practices in Japan.

Culturally we are very different. Organised crime does not have the influence here that it does in Japan. The country is more democratic and our people and press more vocal in opposition. Yes, we have people who earn not very much money, but guess what, so does everywhere. Japan has always had a huge underbelly of people in transitory employment - the "job for life" has only ever been for the privileged few.

Britain already has a serious problem with gang masters, agency employment, zero hours, sub-contractors abusing workers while taking public money etc.

In terms of the model, I'm thinking insolvent banks, overpriced accommodation, ageing population, expensive energy. Not the same, but similar.

My original point is, if this is what the Japanese are permitting in response to a state-threatening disaster, then any state is likely to follow this trend to the bottom.

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Britain already has a serious problem with gang masters, agency employment, zero hours, sub-contractors abusing workers while taking public money etc.

In terms of the model, I'm thinking insolvent banks, overpriced accommodation, ageing population, expensive energy. Not the same, but similar.

My original point is, if this is what the Japanese are permitting in response to a state-threatening disaster, then any state is likely to follow this trend to the bottom.

In a remarkable bit of openness and clarity, the official report on the Fukushima disaster was described it asthus:

Its fundamental causes,are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to 'sticking with the programme'; our groupism; and our insularity.

What must be admitted – very painfully – is that this was a disaster 'Made in Japan'.

Had other Japanese been in the shoes of those who bear responsibility for this accident, the result may well have been the same.

The reaction to it is still today very "Japanese". The behaviours described in the article are exactly those that I would expect in Japan. While the UK shares some traits with Japan, I do not think that it follows that the UK would respond in the same way.

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In a remarkable bit of openness and clarity, the official report on the Fukushima disaster was described it asthus:

The reaction to it is still today very "Japanese". The behaviours described in the article are exactly those that I would expect in Japan. While the UK shares some traits with Japan, I do not think that it follows that the UK would respond in the same way.

Is there really a difference between Japanese and British? Or is it the sameness of two states?

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