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(The Mainichi (Japan))   In Japanese factory employing 120 employees, over half the workers are 60 or older. "Even if we wanted to employ young people, they aren't there, and it would be foolish not to make use of workers who are still healthy"   (mainichi.jp) divider line 44
    More: Scary, Japanese, youths, food processing, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan  
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2215 clicks; posted to Business » on 14 Jan 2013 at 2:34 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-14 12:51:15 AM
[snark about demographics tba]
 
2013-01-14 02:59:29 AM
They might want to reconsider that xenophobic immigration policy.  Or really get cracking on those robots.  Chop chop guys.
 
2013-01-14 03:16:52 AM
Note to self: Start looking for jobs in Japan.

/do they call white people gwailos too, or is that just the Chinese?
//been afraid to ask, and can't trust the internet for a reliable answer
 
2013-01-14 03:33:21 AM
In Japan, we're Gaijin, grinding_journalist. Thankfully, the Japanese I work for in the US are pretty respectful and have never once called me that.

It's worth noting that this elderly workforce are doing things like sorting chestnuts. I can't say for sure, but I bet it doesn't pay enough to really support a family or anything, so the younger workers probably aren't available because they're off doing, or trying to get, jobs that pay enough to have a life.

On the other hand, you probably never hear of "Karoshi Suicide Chestnut-Sorter" ... though if one of these folks drops dead on the job, how do you know if it was the job that killed them?
 
2013-01-14 05:01:37 AM
I'd rather work with a 60 y-o than a 20 y-o any day.

/GOMDL
//OK, scratch that for the receptionist.
 
2013-01-14 06:12:22 AM

grinding_journalist: Note to self: Start looking for jobs in Japan.

/do they call white people gwailos too, or is that just the Chinese?
//been afraid to ask, and can't trust the internet for a reliable answer


Gaikokujin = person from a foreign land

Gaijin = foreigner (fairly xenophobic in tone)
 
2013-01-14 06:19:58 AM
Bet they go through a lot of cheetahs and tape.
 
2013-01-14 06:20:31 AM

SoothinglyDeranged: Gaikokujin = person from a foreign land

Gaijin = foreigner (fairly xenophobic in tone)


Meh. Gaijin is much easier to say, and it's what everyone I know uses, regardless of where they're from.

Gaikokujin sounds stuffier than an English butler in Buckingham Palace serving the queen tea and marmite.
 
2013-01-14 06:32:14 AM

dbirchall: In Japan, we're Gaijin, grinding_journalist. Thankfully, the Japanese I work for in the US are pretty respectful and have never once called me that.


Wouldn't they be the Gaijin when in the US, considering what it means?
 
2013-01-14 06:43:08 AM
calling 74-year-olds "middle aged"

Are they giant tortoises?
 
2013-01-14 06:48:42 AM

dbirchall: In Japan, we're Gaijin, grinding_journalist. Thankfully, the Japanese I work for in the US are pretty respectful and have never once called me that.


At least half my friends are Japanese, and I've never heard any of them even utter that word.
 
2013-01-14 06:50:56 AM

dervish16108: dbirchall: In Japan, we're Gaijin, grinding_journalist. Thankfully, the Japanese I work for in the US are pretty respectful and have never once called me that.

At least half my friends are Japanese, and I've never heard any of them even utter that word.


Are they in Japan or America?
 
2013-01-14 06:57:52 AM

dbirchall: In Japan, we're Gaijin, grinding_journalist. Thankfully, the Japanese I work for in the US are pretty respectful and have never once called me that.


I really don't know where Americans got the idea that "gaijin" is derogatory.  It's just an abbreviated word for "foreigner", though most Japanese keep using it outside the country, making the nuance more "non-Japanese".  Yes, there are some Japanese who use it in a derogatory way, but that's because they think being foreign is the issue.  It's the person that's racist, not the word, and like attracts like so it'll only be used in a derogatory way if you're forced to work among a pack of bigots.  But it's just the same as some country club kunt whispering the word "black" in a hushed voice, as if the mere mention of the color wakens ancient evils from the deep.  It's the bigotry that's making the word into something it's not, and generally that'll happen when they're clustered together like roaches.

dbirchall: I can't say for sure, but I bet it doesn't pay enough to really support a family or anything, so the younger workers probably aren't available because they're off doing, or trying to get, jobs that pay enough to have a life.


That would be my guess as well, except this is a foreign correspondent, and Japanese media is half BS anyway.  Japan is an aging country, so it makes perfect sense the average age of workers will be older even if the young people weren't desperate to GTFO out of any town not named Tokyo.  It is kinda cool to hear the older workers are taking reduced wages to subsidize the younger shift.  Wish our own Baby Boomers could learn a thing or two from them.
 
2013-01-14 07:07:38 AM

dragonchild: Japanese media is half BS anyway.


Half?

That seems generous. Their news is as bad as CNN and Fox.
 
2013-01-14 07:15:52 AM

ongbok: Bet they go through a lot of cheetahs and tape.


I see you've thought about this before.
 
2013-01-14 07:16:22 AM

dragonchild: dbirchall: In Japan, we're Gaijin, grinding_journalist. Thankfully, the Japanese I work for in the US are pretty respectful and have never once called me that.

I really don't know where Americans got the idea that "gaijin" is derogatory.  It's just an abbreviated word for "foreigner", though most Japanese keep using it outside the country, making the nuance more "non-Japanese".


I wonder if its similar to Hawaii .. where "haole" by itself just means mainlander ... but "farkin' haole" means "run".
 
2013-01-14 07:16:36 AM

doglover: dragonchild: Japanese media is half BS anyway.

Half?

That seems generous. Their news is as bad as CNN and Fox.


Nah, their news has a healthy dose of WTF in it.

xria: Wouldn't they be the Gaijin when in the US, considering what it means?


Hm, good point there. :)

On the other hand, I sometimes go  toJapan and do some work, and I don't hear it there either - although that's in a fairly international organization, and there are people in the room from dozens of countries, so just about everyone would be Gaijin. ;)
 
2013-01-14 07:26:06 AM

dbirchall: Nah, their news has a healthy dose of WTF in it.


I never find that to be the case.
 
2013-01-14 07:38:38 AM
 On second thought I think "gaijin" winds up being derogatory when some Japanese refuse to make a distinction between foreigners.  The respectful ones will refer to nationalities as "American" or whatever; the bigots basically just use "gaijin" as if respecting other nations is more trouble than it's worth.  They may also use it instead of one's name, which is very derogatory.  However, when referring to foreigners in general conversation, it's a perfectly acceptable word.  So I maintain it's a matter of usage, and bigots can turn anything into an insult.

doglover: That seems generous. Their news is as bad as CNN and Fox.


I say "half" because unlike the U.S., at least they don't try to make spectacles out of everything.  They are revisionist like all get out, and they might use an on-site anchor for color commentary, but at least a typhoon is a typhoon.  In America you'd think an autumn rain is the end of effin' world.  After two years in Japan I picked up just how unnaturally American anchors speak.  They talk like they're the most important voice in the world and it's maddening.  I can't walk into an airport anymore without soundproof earphones.
 
2013-01-14 08:06:24 AM

dervish16108: dbirchall: In Japan, we're Gaijin, grinding_journalist. Thankfully, the Japanese I work for in the US are pretty respectful and have never once called me that.

At least half my friends are Japanese, and I've never heard any of them even utter that word.


Of course not. You're their white friend. As in, "I'm not racist. I have a white friend!"
 
2013-01-14 08:20:12 AM
Work 'til you croak
 
2013-01-14 08:24:34 AM

doglover: dragonchild: Japanese media is half BS anyway.

Half?

That seems generous. Their news is as bad as CNN and Fox.


Japanese news is not nearly as bad as American media. CNN and Fox do not routinely feature stuff like chimps on segways or bicycle-riding dogs in their hard-news lineup. We could learn a thing or two from our inscrutable Eastern journalistic colleagues.

And don't get me started on the game shows.
 
2013-01-14 08:30:48 AM

Parthenogenetic: doglover: dragonchild: Japanese media is half BS anyway.

Half?

That seems generous. Their news is as bad as CNN and Fox.

Japanese news is not nearly as bad as American media. CNN and Fox do not routinely feature stuff like chimps on segways or bicycle-riding dogs in their hard-news lineup. We could learn a thing or two from our inscrutable Eastern journalistic colleagues.

And don't get me started on the game shows.


Like gaki no tsukai?

/tanaka! thai kicku!!
 
2013-01-14 08:45:31 AM

dbirchall: In Japan, we're Gaijin, grinding_journalist. Thankfully, the Japanese I work for in the US are pretty respectful and have never once called me that.


Why would you care if they called you Gaijin?

People of European descent can't be insulted FYI.
 
2013-01-14 09:16:55 AM
My technical assistant is in his mid 60s. He's had about 40 years of experience in technology and knows pretty much everything. Best techy I've had working for me ever and I can tell you what if he goes away I'll be hiring another seasoned IT vet. He doesn't have hangovers because he quit drinking years ago. He doesn't make shiat up if he doesn't have an answer because he's come to the point in his life where he realized he didn't have to be cocky to be respected. + about 10 other reasons why I'll be looking for an older guy if I ever have to replace him.
 
2013-01-14 09:26:54 AM
Sounds like my current office. Come on gray beards retire already. I want some upwards mobility at work but there is little with y'all clogging the lanes.
 
2013-01-14 12:55:56 PM

xynix: My technical assistant is in his mid 60s. He's had about 40 years of experience in technology and knows pretty much everything. Best techy I've had working for me ever and I can tell you what if he goes away I'll be hiring another seasoned IT vet. He doesn't have hangovers because he quit drinking years ago. He doesn't make shiat up if he doesn't have an answer because he's come to the point in his life where he realized he didn't have to be cocky to be respected. + about 10 other reasons why I'll be looking for an older guy if I ever have to replace him.


please, tell us more about your plans to practice age discrimination in your company.
 
2013-01-14 01:51:03 PM

Saiga410: Sounds like my current office. Come on gray beards retire already. I want some upwards mobility at work but there is little with y'all clogging the lanes.


Fine. Ya willing to pay more into social security?

/crickets
 
2013-01-14 01:53:00 PM

xynix: My technical assistant is in his mid 60s. He's had about 40 years of experience in technology and knows pretty much everything. Best techy I've had working for me ever and I can tell you what if he goes away I'll be hiring another seasoned IT vet. He doesn't have hangovers because he quit drinking years ago. He doesn't make shiat up if he doesn't have an answer because he's come to the point in his life where he realized he didn't have to be cocky to be respected. + about 10 other reasons why I'll be looking for an older guy if I ever have to replace him.


Eventually you run out of old guys, and the young guys don't have the same experience because nobody bothered to hire and train them.
 
2013-01-14 03:04:10 PM

dumbobruni: please, tell us more about your plans to practice age discrimination in your company.


It's only unlawful to pass over a qualified old person in favor of somebody young, not vice versa.
 
2013-01-14 03:29:14 PM

poot_rootbeer: dumbobruni: please, tell us more about your plans to practice age discrimination in your company.

It's only unlawful to pass over a qualified old person in favor of somebody young, not vice versa.


Exactly. It's called hiring someone with experience. You're not discriminating if you hire a 50 year old Lawyer with 25 years of legal experience vs a guy right out of college. I believe the age point is 45 or 50 but anyone over that age can't be passed up for a younger person, etc. Anyone under that age has no recourse.
 
2013-01-14 04:32:35 PM

poot_rootbeer: dumbobruni: please, tell us more about your plans to practice age discrimination in your company.

It's only unlawful to pass over a qualified old person in favor of somebody young, not vice versa.


oh really now?

Employers, however, should be advised that although federal law might not protect younger workers, some states, for instance, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Oregon, have state laws which prohibit discrimination against younger employees.

Link
 
2013-01-14 04:33:30 PM

grinding_journalist: Note to self: Start looking for jobs in Japan.

/do they call white people gwailos too, or is that just the Chinese?
//been afraid to ask, and can't trust the internet for a reliable answer


There lots of jobs in Japan right now for people skilled in cleaning up radioactive waste, or who want to work on fixing the damaged plants that have been leaking radiation. They offer top dollar too for the position. Might want to look at that if you got the skills and don't mind the risk of a bit of cancer.
 
2013-01-14 05:02:08 PM

limeyfellow: grinding_journalist: Note to self: Start looking for jobs in Japan.

/do they call white people gwailos too, or is that just the Chinese?
//been afraid to ask, and can't trust the internet for a reliable answer

There lots of jobs in Japan right now for people skilled in cleaning up radioactive waste, or who want to work on fixing the damaged plants that have been leaking radiation. They offer top dollar too for the position. Might want to look at that if you got the skills and don't mind the risk of a bit of cancer.


Unfortunately, my family has a greater-than-average cancer risk, so that would likely rule me out. However, I'm actually fascinated by all things nuclear, and I was under the impression that there are very very strict limits on how long and for how long you're allowed to work one of those jobs. (iirc reading that they're 90-day stints, limited to 3 8-hour shifts per week, but you'll make about $10k a month. They even board you!) It would probably be a fascinating experience, and I cannot fathom that pressure washing the insides of contaminated facilities would require a whole lot of training, for I have no experience with it other than cleaning my deck and porch.

Also thanks to those who answered my "gwailo" question, this thread has been an interesting read. Though about a minute after I posted, I realized that they'd use a different word, since it was a different language. Derp.
 
2013-01-14 05:11:39 PM

Contents Under Pressure: Saiga410: Sounds like my current office. Come on gray beards retire already. I want some upwards mobility at work but there is little with y'all clogging the lanes.

Fine. Ya willing to pay more into social security?


Why would we have to pay more? Haven't these gray beards been paying in their entire lives?
 
2013-01-14 05:26:32 PM

grinding_journalist: Unfortunately, my family has a greater-than-average cancer risk, so that would likely rule me out. However, I'm actually fascinated by all things nuclear, and I was under the impression that there are very very strict limits on how long and for how long you're allowed to work one of those jobs. (iirc reading that they're 90-day stints, limited to 3 8-hour shifts per week, but you'll make about $10k a month. They even board you!) It would probably be a fascinating experience, and I cannot fathom that pressure washing the insides of contaminated facilities would require a whole lot of training, for I have no experience with it other than cleaning my deck and porch.


My grandfathers brother was a nuclear engineer on the Nautilus submarine for like 10 years and lived a long happy life until dying of old age at 89. That was a very early nuclear reactor so I would imagine things have only gotten safer.
 
2013-01-14 06:23:54 PM
Meh. I trained a 101 year old on scanner use two weeks ago. PBS was filming one day while i was at this place. Average age in the shop is 74. Oldest is 101, 94, and 89. In Needham, MA. (vitaneedle.com) Not an ad, I just love that they hire elderly on purpose, and you don't have to go all the way to japan.
 
2013-01-14 07:34:12 PM

sabreWulf07: Contents Under Pressure: Saiga410: Sounds like my current office. Come on gray beards retire already. I want some upwards mobility at work but there is little with y'all clogging the lanes.

Fine. Ya willing to pay more into social security?

Why would we have to pay more? Haven't these gray beards been paying in their entire lives?


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Classic.
 
2013-01-14 08:08:12 PM

doglover: SoothinglyDeranged: Gaikokujin = person from a foreign land

Gaijin = foreigner (fairly xenophobic in tone)

Meh. Gaijin is much easier to say, and it's what everyone I know uses, regardless of where they're from.

Gaikokujin sounds stuffier than an English butler in Buckingham Palace serving the queen tea and marmite.


Yeah, I know nobody really uses gaikokujin. A Japanese person calling someone Gaijin is still pretty inappropriate. That would be like an American calling them a Jap.
 
2013-01-15 12:49:05 AM
There's a certain subset of the foreign population in Japan that gets itself bent out of shape over the word 'gaijin', but IMO they're spoiled kids jumping at the chance to claim they're being oppressed for the first time in their over-privileged lives.

It's telling that every person I've encountered in Japan who thinks 'gaijin' is offensive (the derpiest of them wrote an article for the Japan Times claiming it was on par with the 'n-word') has been a white, affluent, college-educated westerner living the life of a pampered guest here. The Chinese, Burmese, Sri Lankans and Brazilians working underpaid factory jobs and 'trainee' farm and fishery jobs wish the harshest thing they encountered was being addressed as gaijin.
 
2013-01-15 02:59:57 AM

spawn73: dbirchall: In Japan, we're Gaijin, grinding_journalist. Thankfully, the Japanese I work for in the US are pretty respectful and have never once called me that.

Why would you care if they called you Gaijin?

People of European descent can't be insulted FYI.


Wouldn't really care, unless they called me that instead of my name, which would indicate they didn't know who I am.  Since my workplace isn't all that big, we mostly all know one another, with few exceptions.  I much prefer to be addressed as (English firstname)-san, since my last name is virtually unpronounceable.  (and it's amusing since I know firstname-san in Japanese is a little inappropriate).
 
2013-01-15 07:16:16 AM

SoothinglyDeranged: That would be like an American calling them a Jap.


Um, no. It would be like an American calling them a foreigner. And since they would be, in this country, they'd be stupid to take offense. Again, using it instead of a name is rude, but that goes both ways ("Hey, foreigner!"). Improper usage doesn't make a word offensive by itself.
 
2013-01-15 05:18:18 PM

dervish16108: At least half my friends are Japanese, and I've never heard any of them even utter that word.


I had some Japanese friends in school who used it affectionately on occasion when I did something boneheaded or asked a really obvious question. One of them also used to make reference to the other's being from Kansai along similar lines, and the Kansai would then crack a joke about the first's hometown whenever the first one messed up. Eventually, they switched from 'silly gaijin' for my mistakes to 'silly Pittsburgher,' because there was simply more humor to be found in my hometown once they'd visited it than my generic not-Japanese-ness, and once I learned the regional jokes for them, I went along with it, too. It was the same sort of thing you'd see in any geographically-diverse group of kids our age.

Also, every joke about Kansai is roughly analogous to our jokes about West Virginia, so the kid from Kansai Gaidai Daigaku wound up teaming with my Eastern Panhandler now-husband against us 'city' people at various video games and a couple of drinking contests.
 
2013-01-16 07:34:22 PM

doglover: dervish16108: dbirchall: In Japan, we're Gaijin, grinding_journalist. Thankfully, the Japanese I work for in the US are pretty respectful and have never once called me that.

At least half my friends are Japanese, and I've never heard any of them even utter that word.

Are they in Japan or America?


In America, but most of them were only there for a few short years, and then went back to Japan.

foo monkey: dervish16108: dbirchall: In Japan, we're Gaijin, grinding_journalist. Thankfully, the Japanese I work for in the US are pretty respectful and have never once called me that.

At least half my friends are Japanese, and I've never heard any of them even utter that word.

Of course not. You're their white friend. As in, "I'm not racist. I have a white friend!"


They had plenty of other white friends.
 
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