Tokyo Sports Shinbun blames closure of Tokyo Disneyland not on power outages, but on NJ!


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Hi Blog. is pleased to announce another Official(TM) Japan Open Season on NJ. We get these fads occasionally, like “NJ have AIDS” (1986), “NJ have SARS” (2003), “NJ are criminals” (2000-4).

Now, with the advent of “Fly-jin” (or the variant “Bye-jin” — which is better, some might retort, than being “Die-jin”), it’s now “NJ are deserters”. And they can be conveniently blamed for various social ills. Here, I’ll anticipate a couple:

1) “Fly-jin” are responsible for Japan’s lack of English ability because they fled their posts as English teachers. (Not so far-fetched, since they have been blamed in the past for the same thing because conversely “NJ have been in Japan too long“)…

2) “Fly-jin” are responsible for our fruits and vegetables becoming more expensive, since NJ “Trainees” deserted their posts as slaves on Japanese farms and left things rotting on the vine…

3) “Fly-jin” are responsible for a further decrease in Japan’s population, since some of them took Japanese citizens with them when they deserted Japan…

4) “Fly-jin” are responsible for a downtick in Japan’s shipping industry, since NJ accounted for 90% of Japan’s maritime crews

5) “Fly-jin” are responsible for diplomatic snafus, since our NJ proofreaders at national government agencies did a runner…

(Here, here’s what NJ have been blamed for in the past. Join in on the game.)

Okay, that’s still fiction.  But who says people in Japan aren’t creative? I never anticipated NJ being blamed for the closure of Tokyo Disneyland, as the Tokyo Sports Shinbun does on April 14, 2011:

Courtesy MS

No, it’s not due to power outages or rolling blackouts or the need to save power to show solidarity with the Tohoku victims or anything like that.  They have to have NJ faces as dancers and people in parades, therefore no parade, no Tokyo Disneyland.  We’re closed, and it’s your fault, NJ.  Makes perfect sense, right?

Enjoy the Open Season on you, NJ, while it lasts.  I anticipate it’ll dissipate with the radiation levels someday.  Arudou Debito

15 comments on “Tokyo Sports Shinbun blames closure of Tokyo Disneyland not on power outages, but on NJ!

  • I see it, but I can hardly believe it! I guess your past musings that a population that previously voted Blinky into power three, now four times in a row, might be just like him, think just like him and speak just like him. This publication may be the confirmation of that idea. Sad to say.
    Speaking of radiation dissipating, this page seems to give better information than TEPCO & the GOJ:

    As I’ve said before, Gambatte & Prayers Japan. A poke in the eye with a stick to TEPCO and the madmen at Genden. Japanese people deserve better than this.

  • Well, if you follow Jerrod Lentz on Twitter,!/JarrodLentz , he is from Hershey, Pennsylvania, and worked for eight days at Tokyo Disneyland (March 3-11.) He left after the earthquake, but apparently went back to Japan this month.

    So is the matter one where Disneyland closed because the NJ left? Or is it that Disneyland shut down, and then the NJ left? I bet Lentz can give some of the answers.

    — Please, ask him.

  • I wonder what those journalists have to say about other countries which sent help and supplies, about NJ in Touhoku who decided to stay and help, and about NJ in other regions of Japan who organised fundraisers?

  • This is really starting to remind me of the Asian crisis in Korea. They blamed everyone from the English teachers to George Soros and other speculators for bringing down the economy even though for years they had their own people calling the banking system a house of cards.

    Tribal asian societies always turned on the outsider to make the tribe more cohesive but the day has come where they have to acknowledge the lack of leadership this country has and the incompetence TEPCO has shown in this crises. Its time to bloody well grow-up and come to terms with the failings of their society because this isn’t beneficial to anyone especially their selfs.

  • BobinChiba says:

    Not only is this headline malicious, I have to wonder about this misterious “employee of TDL”. I was in Urayasu a week after the quake volunteering. Almost the entire city was without water and gas for weeks (one reason to stay closed, Disney had also offered to pump out the water from the lake at Disney Sea for people to use to flush their home toilets!), and from the ground liquification, parts of the city were practically buried in mud- including the parking lot of the entire resort. I could see backhoes working to clear it out. obviously even without the rolling blackouts there is no way they could open back up quickly. Add to this, Ikispiri (not dependent on NJ cast members) is closed as well.

    So either their “source” is misguided, maliciously spreading rumors, or TSS is making it all up, or a mixture of all. Coming from a paper that gets a lot of advertising yen from fuuzoku, I find it hard to take anything from them seriously.

  • Who is saying NJ are “deserters” here, other than maybe some in the NJ community elsewhere? The article uses the term “evacuated,” (避難). Debito, I think your reading of this article (and the earlier WSJ one) is colored by an over-eagerness to shine light on cases of discrimination, such that you’ve caught an issue (so called fly-jin) that doesn’t really apply. If the article said that foreigners were leaving Japan because they are undependable or disloyal, then I would understand. Instead, they talked to a member of the Foreign Press Club (NJ we can assume) who suggests a reason why they, again, evacuated.

    The article is likely exaggerating when it calls the lack of foreign dancers the “biggest reason” Disneyland couldn’t open, but then, we don’t really know for sure either. More than that, it just doesn’t actually criticize the NJ dancers for leaving. It just says they evacuated, and here’s why we can’t open without them.

  • Hank, it’s not just an Asian thing. Plato said the Dictator will always start foreign wars (or blame foreigners) in order to deflect public opinion away from his own failings. Japan is doing the same thing, just more often and more ridiculously than many other countries. America has done it numerous times and so have most other countries in the world. Japan’s media plays on national ignorance and its inability to question authority.

  • TEPCO and Genden, with the complicity of the GOJ have just not risen to the circumstances they created. One hopes that this: will not be the legacy they bequeath to Japan and the world. Better to focus their energies on saving their land and its people from this than to foolishly call “Nyah, nyah, nyah!” at the international residents, who neither caused this nor would wish it on anyone.

  • Andrew Smallacombe says:

    I caught the tail end of some report on the early morning programs today about TDL opening today or this weekend. Can anyone confirm?
    Would certainly put paid to the sports paper article.

    See here.



  • I think I need to correct my post above about the article’s use of 避難, which I said meant “evacuated.” I forgot that you can evacuate buildings or places, but not people. So I’m afraid I said the foreign dancers took a dump. Tricky word.

    避難 in the article here means they “sought refuge.” Still nothing near “deserted” though.

  • >which is better, some might retort, than being “Die-jin”

    Debito, you owe me credit for that one! 🙂

    — Quite. Thanks Bucky!

  • Even if the employees are leaving, the problem’s not with THEM… seriously, I can KIND OF understand wanting specific characters to look like their animated counterparts, but why do all the dancers and singers have to be foreign-looking (while on the flipside, where both Disney parks in the US have workers from all over the world and display their diversity with their home countries and states on their nametags…I don’t think I’ve ever seen an NJ in a regular ride operator or shop clerk kind of position at Tokyo Disneyland either, and that’s always bothered me).

    Plenty of Japanese dancers out there, people….

  • The Twitter account of Jarrod Lentz that was suggested by Hoofin is a great resource. He made a YouTube video explaining the situation (found link in his Twitter stream: It sounds like the Tokyo Disneyland management company “OLC” made the decision to close the park and then gave foreign workers the option of leaving for good, leaving and coming back or just staying in Tokyo. Jarrod used the opportunity to return home to visit his family and then came back when Disneyland opened back up. Sounds like the author of the newspaper article is twisting the facts.


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