5) School Bullying: Teacher Pests"Leave them kids alone!"
Umm, aren't schoolteachers supposed to prevent bullying and protect their students? Not in Japan, if the near-daily parade of news headlines is to be believed. "Teacher collared for kicking female student in stomach", "Teacher reprimanded for wrongly accusing boy of sneaking into girls' dressing room", "Ex-teacher sentenced for posting photos of dead children on Web site"... and this is from one newspaper's website over the past one week! Kids bullying kids has always been a problem in Japan's schools, but how do you find a solution when teachers are part of the problem? (image from Pink Floyd's "The Wall", headlines from Mainichi News)
4) Women's Rights... make that WrongsOffice Ladies Unite!
Women's rights in Japan have achieved historic heights of late, but they're rising from near-medieval lows. The "party line" on women in Japan seems to be, they can work - for a while - but by their mid-twenties it's time to quit, get married and start squeezing out puppies. Until then, workplace equality amounts to office ladies wiping every desk equally clean. At least they're allowed to drive... (image via boingboing )
3) Wasteful Packaging: Quantity = Quality?Coming soon to a landfill near you...
Far too many Japanese snacks, foodstuffs and consumer products are packed as if they need to survive a very bumpy ride to the store... lasting 50 years. What's surprising is that this is a country that takes great pains to reduce waste and recycle whenever possible. Why then, does a plastic package of crackers have each and every cracker individually wrapped? Trying to eat a few cookies reminds one of those Russian dolls that nest inside each other, over and over and over again. Is it a "quantity equals quality" thing? Who's benefiting here? Certainly not the planet. (image via Chase The Stars )
2) Whale: The Other White MeatWhale of a Lunch
Y'know, I'm not a radical animal rights activist and I can understand that some societies hunt whales as part of their culture. I can also deal with the need to study whales so that we may better understand their needs, and by doing so allow us to devise better ways of protecting them - and sometimes that entails killing them. All I ask is that we be honest about it. Japan, you're not being honest. In 2005, Japan killed 1,243 whales under the guise of "scientific research". This year, 50 Humpback whales will be added to the quota. Whatever Japan's scientists are looking for, they're going through a heck of a lot of whales in order to find it. Oh, and the meat from these whales? You'll find it on supermarket shelves and served in school lunches. "Waste not, want not", right? Scientists did make one notable discovery: whale meat is loaded with dangerously high levels of PCB, mercury, and dioxin. Yum!!! (image via able2know )
No fooling around
If you thought the whale thing was bad, how about finishing dead last in a sex survey - two years running! Sad but true, according to recently published results of the Durex Global Sex Survey. The survey quizzed 26,000 people from 26 countries pertinent (more like impertinent) questions about their sex lives: Who has sex the most times annually? The Greeks, at 164... Japan was last at a dismal 48. Who are the most satisfied with their sex lives? Nigerians, at 67 percent... Japanese were last at a miserable 15 percent. The percentage of Japanese who experience painful intercourse? About double the world average. Ouch! Betcha it's those toxins in the whale meat that are messing things up... hey, what goes around, comes around! (image via T-Shirt Humor, content via Mainichi News )
Our countdown of the Ten Ways The Japanese Do It Worse ends on a flaccid, unsatisfying note perhaps, but there may be a light at the end of the tunnel... uh oh, it's a train! Freudian imagery aside, sure Japan has its problems but who doesn't? It's just like being married: for better or for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, love the one you're with (thanks to CSNY).
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Japanese Innovations Writer
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