Quote Japan

Interesting, odd, outrageous or informative quotes about Japan

Bureaucracy- Quotes about men in grey suits and other Japanese busybodies

“So far, the [Visit Japan] campaign has only had modest results. Visitors to Japan still pay exorbitantly high prices for their hotel rooms and dinners, but at the main airports those who do come are now treated to recorded messages from the prime minister himself, touting the wonders of the country they are about to see. Which doesn’t seem like the most effective advertising, since I presume everybody at the airport is already sold on the idea of coming” Getting Wet pg 104

“The Japanese political system is not known for engineering rapid change or fundamental transformations of existing systems. In fact it is renowned for precisely the opposite: for delivering ‘reform’ that represents ‘no change'” Japan’s Failed Revolution by Aurelia George Morgan

“When French ski manufacturers first tried to export skis to Japan… the Japanese government declared the skis unsuitable for the special and unique Japanese snow….when American beef producers were trying to open the Japanese market the agricultural ministry argued that only Japanese beef was suitable for the special and unique digestive system of the Japanese people.” Insight Guides Japan

“…any discussion of recreation and leisure pursuits must take account of the pleasure that some men get from running things or… persuading, manipulating, gently pressuring… making speeches, being the centre of attention” Ronald P Dore

“Whether the ancient image of Kannon actually exists inside [Senso-ji temple, Asakusa, Tokyo] is a secret”. Sounds like Japanese Buddhism has a need-to-know attitude that a bureaucract would be proud of! From Lonely Planet Tokyo Encounter

“The agriculture ministry is not in charge of robots,”spokesman Tsutomu Shimomura’s statement to the Associated Press on the story that bureaucrats were editing wikipedia manga entries during work time, according to this Guardian article.

“Every month the township Newsletter designates that month’s subject for family discussion… Let parents and children together discuss what TV programmes they wish to watch, and let us decide jointly and amicably…” An impressively Confucian piece of busybodyness, described by Ronald P Dore

“Tomorrow is the agreed day for spring cleaning, so will everybody please do their spring-cleaning. Don’t forget to take out your tatami mats and beat them, and the Health Committee reminds you to take particular care with your kitchen” One of several daily village loudspeaker announcements in a Japanese village (not North Korea!), described by Ronald P Dore

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