|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Companies and cops lumbered with bubble-era buffoons 2007,2,5
Shukan Post 2/16 By Ryann Connell
Workers hired when Japan seemed to be at its most powerful are proving to be painful for their employers now, according to Shukan Post (2/16).
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Japan's rampant economy appeared poised to surpass the United States to become the world's most powerful.
But, as we know now, the economy then was actually in the middle of a "bubble," when the value assigned to assets became over-inflated and made Japan's situation look much better than it really was.
It wasn't the only over-inflation going on at the time.
It seems those employed during the economy's bubble era have been given an estimated value far greater than their actual worth.
Bubble era hires, or those taken on by companies in the period form 1987 to 1992, are currently aged from 37 to 43 and forming the core of the organizations they're working for.
However, these people are causing problems at just about every place they work, with few suffering in the way the police are currently hurting.
"During the bubble era, private companies would flash huge sums of cash at students to get them to join their company and there were very few people who wanted to work for the government. Police work was seen at the time as '3K job' (3K comes from work seen as kiken, kitsui, kitanai - dangerous, tough, dirty)," police journalist Akio Kuroki tells Shukan Post.
"People who became police officers at the time tended to be lacking talent, ambition and only joined the force because they couldn't get a job in the private sector."
During the bubble, there was an average of 3.7 applicants for every available position on the police force.
Now, the rate is 23.8 applicants per opening.
But the bubble cops are getting more influence on the force.
"There was a sense when they were taken on that everybody was grateful for them 'deigning' to join the police force and they were spoiled," Kuroki says.
"The result is that they tend to be a bit weak at their jobs now."
Shukan Post points out that recently a spate of bubble era hire police officers have been arrested for a variety of offenses, ranging from molesting schoolgirls to dangerous driving.
But it adds that it's not just the cops who are bad.
Private companies are feeling the pinch from their bubble era hires, too.
During the bubble era, snaring decent staff was so hard, companies frequently lavished potential recruits with pricey dinners or even overseas trips to get them to sign on the dotted line, so to speak.
This practice created an over-indulged workforce, drastically lacking a sense of the worth of money and expecting to be permitted to use cash as though it flowed like water.
One distribution company tells the men's weekly about one of their bubble era hires, a 40-year-old man identified only as "K."
"He's in sales planning. He went off on a business trip, saying it was for an inspection, but took a woman with him and asked the company to pay for her expenses, too," an employee of the company tells Shukan Post.
"K never thinks twice about writing off money he's used for his own entertainment as a company cost. The most front I've ever seen him display was when he came in with a bunch of losing bets from the horse races. He said that he'd gone to the track because he wanted to see if there was any potential business there. He claimed for about 50,000 yen in losing tickets."
(By Ryann Connell)