Zakzak headlines that NJ part-time staff flee Yoshinoya restaurant chain, and somehow threaten its profitability

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Hi Blog. More on the Open Season on NJ. Here is Internet news site Zakzak headlining that Yoshinoya, famous beef bowl chain restaurant, is being affected by the “big-volume escaping of NJ part-timers”.  It apparently has lost a quarter of its NJ staff (over 800 souls) fleeing from the fears of radiation from the Tohoku Disasters. Then Zakzak gives us the mixed news that Yoshinoya is still profitable compared to its losses the same period a year ago, but is expected to take a hit to its profits from the Disasters.

Not sure how that relates, but again, the headline is that NJ are fleeing and that it’s raising doubts about whether the company is still “okay”. Even though Zakzak notes that the company is filling in the gaps with Japanese employees (er, so no worries, right?  The Disasters, not the alleged NJ flight, are the bigger threat to solvency, no?).  So… journalistically, we’ll hang the newsworthiness of a company’s profitability on the peg of “escaping NJ”?

If we’re going to have this much NJ bashing, how about an acknowledgement of how much NJ labor has meant to Japan and how we’re thankful for it, so please don’t leave?

Nah, easier to bash them.  Takes the heat off the company for their own variably profitable business practices, and creates more attractive headlines for the media.  It’s a win-win situation against the bullied and disenfranchised minority.  Arudou Debito


2011.04.15, Courtesy YK

こんなところにも震災ショックが!! 傘下の牛丼チェーン「吉野家」で働く首都圏の外国人アルバイトが、福島第1原発事故後の約1週間で約200人も退職した。放射性物質への不安から帰国した人が多かったとみられる。



14 comments on “Zakzak headlines that NJ part-time staff flee Yoshinoya restaurant chain, and somehow threaten its profitability

  • Maybe I’m missing something, but how is this ‘bashing’ the NJ staff? Is there some sort of negative nuance in the article that I’m missing? As far as I can tell it is merely reporting a fact (that large numbers of the NJ workers on which Yoshinoya depends have left Japan, which might cause difficulties for the company).

    — I think you’re missing something.

  • “Nah, easier to bash them. Takes the heat off the company for their own variably profitable business practices, and creates more attractive headlines for the media. It’s a win-win situation against the bullied and disenfranchised minority”

    Exactly. I wonder how this has affected Lawson? They had perhaps the most foriegn work staff of any conbini here in Japan. On a good note, even if its temporary, I havent heard much from the uyouku trouble makers recently, seems they have toned down. Difficult to bash foriegners when they are doing so much to help you. The reinstallment of Ishihara is puzzeling, but I have recently noticed some “kindness” I normally dont expereince in Japan. Just wondering how much is real if it will still be around this time next year.

  • What, exactly, has Taurus missed? That article simply illustrates the phenomenon of turning basic observation into news.

    “Oh, a bunch of foreigner workers returned to their home countries in the wake of recent disaster? Let’s talk about that!”
    “Our favorite beef bowl restaurant is somehow related to that prior observation? Even better!”

    I see nothing in that article that could be considered NJ bashing.

  • james grey says:

    Please don’t worry about the uyoku right now. Rather than doing anything useful (like rushing up to Tohuku in the black vans to help the great race of Japan which is homogenous blah, blah, blah) I am sure that they are quietly sitting at home watching TV out of ‘respect’ and ‘self-restraint’. A kind of mourning period. They will be back soon enough.

  • Well, whether it’s just for grabbing headlines, or whether they’re actually abusing the good name of their NJ staff, it seems they are not alone. I stumbled across this today. It seems that the GOJ is also in the business of controlling what “truth” people get, to suit their purposes: Obviously, a little more digging needs to be done here to ascertain the facts. Folks closer to the sources might be able to shed more light?

  • I agree that I don’t see any NJ bashing here. The loss of 200 NJ part-timers logically raises the question of what impact that might have on the company, hence the headline, “大丈夫か.” The content of the article then goes on to say that the positions are filled, so it’s fine, though the earthquake as a whole has hurt business. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if losing 200 part-timers did in fact have an impact on business, the article doesn’t actually blame them.

  • james grey says:

    You are absolutely right. I mentioned on the thread Debito started, some reasons why the GOJ might want to limit information. I have an old friend who is a nuclear power station safety systems designer here (he is Japanese), and he has been the source of the most alarming information I have received about Fukushima. The things he has told me were all at least a week before Western media picked up on them, and more worrying. For example, the GOJ denying there was a national radiation monitoring network that could make fallout predictions like a weather forecast, then admitting that there was one, but it was broken for the first week of the Fukushima disaster, and then three weeks after the disaster, showing the out of date information, claiming that they didn’t release it at the time so as not to cause panic. Now all the forecast information is available (in Japanese only). Here are some links:

    Please note, even if you read Japanese, if you are not a scientist, the data they are now revealing (see last link) is next to useless with no explanation! Why aren’t experts being asked to analyse this on NHK?

  • Another point they could focus is that giving part-timers have shitty working conditions, they have no loyalty whatsoever to the company and rightly so. Of course they would rather go away than facing radioactivity and for what? We know how these people are treated. Maybe if they gave better working conditions and then these people would risk radioactivity to stay in such a good job. Luckily for foreigners, they have a way out, not like those poor miserable part-time bastards working in the nuclear plant right now.

  • I see in the news that disposal of used radiation protection suits seems to be by the side of the road…

    — This is not germane to this particular blog entry. Please repost it there.


    Radioactive suits improperly disposed
    The Yomiuri Shimbun

    FUKUSHIMA–Twelve protective suits and masks–including one suit on which a slight amount of radioactivity was detected–were found to have been improperly disposed of in Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, which is located near the 30-kilometer exclusion zone of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

    The Tamura city government received a report from a citizen on April 6 that the suits were abandoned at a site along National Highway Route 288.

    Government officials found 10 suits, masks and gloves discarded on the ground that day. Two more suits were found disposed of April 12 and on Friday, respectively, at the same location. The government checked the amount of radioactivity and detected radioactive emissions at a level of about 4,000 counts per minute from one of the suits.

    The level was lower than the 13,000 cpm level at which the local government considers it necessary to partially decontaminate the suit.

    “It’s extremely dangerous to dispose of these suits [in such a way]. It causes fear among citizens and evacuees,” said a spokesperson of the city government.

    (Apr. 20, 2011)

  • Thanks James. It gets worse! is reporting as follows:


    As America’s attention shifts more and more to the nuclear crisis in Japan, many readers who have been following this thread of information ask, “Where is the information? When will we see the effects of the radiation?”

    Oftentimes, reports coming out of the Fukushima Daiichi plant have been a cause for alarm for those following the story — reports have been delayed for no reason, and often, actions have been taken before the world could assess the full situation.

    The decision left to many informed observers remains:

    “Is this a display of supreme stupidity… or, are the misleading information and conflicting reports a part of a more calculated and controlled design?”

    Many experts and engineers worry about the chain of broken information being released by TEPCO.

    While monitoring the pressure inside of the reactors, one can easily see that the damage being reported is not accurate. Facts don’t lie. When people discuss Chernobyl, they remember a gripping fear and international concern.

    Where is that type of worry for Fukushima and Japan?

    When the water failed, the rods heated and caused a hydrogen (or, according to some reports, nuclear) explosion that blew the top of the fuel pool building off — releasing radioactive steam. Yet it was weeks before TEPCO even acknowledged the fact that this was a world-wide epidemic.


    The use of Boron tells us that there was plutonium present in the reactors, even while TEPCO had not released a formal statement. In a video earlier reported, reporters questioned TEPCO repeatedly about the information that was available when TEPCO was planning to dump radioactive waste into the ocean, the response from TEPCO officials proved that they were not willing to provide all of the facts before dumping began.

    TEPCO has worked since April 17th to move 10,00 tons (2.5 million gallons) of highly contaminated water from Reactor #2 to an on-site waste processing facility. The alarming fact is that the water levels inside of the turbine building are reported as still rising.
    The water is expected to rise to about one meter below the ground level soon. Water levels are also rising in Reactors #5 and #6. TEPCO says an estimated 67,500 tons (just under 17 million gallons) of contaminated water are now in the Number 1, 2 and 3 reactors alone, hampering efforts to restore the reactors’ cooling systems.


    The mass dumping of highly radioactive water (measured at 7.5 million times the normal allowed levels) into the Pacific Ocean is not just an environmental disaster; it’s also a violation of international law. The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, passed in 1972, forbids nations and companies from dumping toxic wastes into the ocean. (…)

    Japan, it turns out, gave the Fukushima complex special permission to release all this radiation despite the international law.


    As reported yesterday, since March 2011, the national laws that regulate the levels of radiation exposure that workers at Fukushima can be exposed to has been increased to 500 milliSieverts, a significant increase from the 100 milliSiervert allowance prior to the earthquake and tsunami.

    On April 12, the local farmers’ association held a meeting and decided to put a hold on all new planting. It was the eighth time they had met to measure levels of cesium since the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant started sending radioactive material their way.


    As I used to see printed in NJ letters to the Daily Yomiuri, and wince at the time, now I am asking, “With incompetents at TEPCO, Genden & GOJ, who needs terrorists?”

  • “When will we see the effects of the radiation?”

    The obvious answer is you won’t, because there won’t be any. At least, barely any. Perhaps some detailed statistical analysis will manage to tease out something interesting, a few years down the line. There simply aren’t significant human health implications for the general population. Apart from perhaps the stress and mental health implications of the sort of scaremongering in that article…

  • @DR

    I can’t see any good reason why you’re choosing to get your news from a website completely unconnected to the nuclear industry, written by someone with seemingly no background in nuclear physics, apparently based entirely on speculation. In the post you quoted he lists as his sources a newspaper interview with an obscure, retired nuclear engineer, and this website:

    An organization which describes itself as “a major news source on the New World Order”. There is no excuse for spreading information this poorly researched, based on sources so badly evaluated. Engage your critical thinking skills, and don’t just look for information that confirms your biases. It obscures the truth, whatever that may turn out to be.

    Debito, apologies for making another off-topic post, but if you’re going to let through what DR posted, I think it’s only fair to let through this criticism.

    — I agree. I think I’ll now stop the point-counterpoint here. Sorry. DR, choose your posting venues more carefully.

  • While slightly off topic, I am starting to see what I suspected might happen, the Kan administration begining to come apart. Jimento is using this as an opportunity to strong arm their way back in. Things will probably go from bad to worse, with the right wing back in full swing, manipulating the situation to their advantage and disqualifying the international communities efforts. With the talk of a new tax hike to pay for all of this without any new revenue to tax, things will get hot Im sure.

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