(I’ve been informed that it’s not a law to get measured once a year – please scroll this forum to learn more – below is the original article)
So what exactly is this fat tax everyone is talking about from Japan? Is it real? Is it really illegal to be fat in Japan? Well, first off, yes it is real, there is a sort of ‘fat’ tax that is applied for those over a certain BMI/waistline in Japan (85 cm for men and 90 cm for women). But you’ll never see anyone actually arrested for being fat… Fined, absolutely, but not the individual themselves, companies are the ones who take the hit. Japan requires it’s citizens between 40 and 74 years of age to get their BMI/waistlines measured once a year, and if need be seek medical attention and counseling.
The law is actually called (get ready for it):
“Standard Concerning Implementation Special Health Examination
Special Public Health Guidance”
Otherwise known as ‘Metabo’ law, started in 2008 to combat ‘metabolic syndrome” and to curb the country’s overweight population by at least 25% by 2015. So with that said, has it worked? It has actually, it’s dropped the obese rate of Japanese people by 1% since it started. So Japan put out all the stops to help curb any excess fat that they can from society.
But already Japan has a few things going for them that Americans simply don’t. First Japanese people already eat a diet full of fish, vegetables and rice, whereas Americans literally are loading up on ultra-processed foods 50% of the time! Second is that Japanese people by default end up having to walk much more then Americans, and are encouraged to do so. Americans simply for the most part do not have the ability to leave their house and walk into a city as many Americans live on the out skirts of cities.
Then third the Japanese now have the Metabo law to help reinforce and help curb what they consider an epidemic of fatness! Americans, have nothing of the sort, and honestly it would be unconstitutional to do so. Instead America would be best to keep teaching individuals how to eat and what to avoid, because half of their food being eaten is absolutely trash.
So what do the stats looks like for overweight people in Japan, and did they really need to implement this law? Well the answer shouldn’t surprise you, but here are some numbers and a few facts regarding overweight people Japan vs America.
Only 3.6 percent of Japanese people have a body mass index (BMI) over 30 (which I now believe is 3.1 percent), which is the international standard for obesity, whereas 35.7 percent of Americans do. A total of 33.1 percent of Americans have a BMI over 25 (discounting those in the obese category), making them overweight, but only 21.1 percent of Japanese make the grade to be considered overweight (discounting those in the obese category)!
Lets look at this in the raw numbers to see how absolutely insane this really is:
Obese Japanese People: 4,500,000
Obese American People: 101,000,000!
Overweight Japanese People: 31,000,000
Overweight American People: 105,250,000
Total overweight and obese:
Total in Japan: 31,100,000
Total in America: 218,750,000
So I’d say Japan is doing something right when you compare it to America right? But let’s be fair and look at the numbers if they were to have the same amount of people, but let’s look at it if America had as many people as Japan.
Total in Japan: 31,100,000
Total in America (same pop. as Japan): 86,668,000
In this made up chart America would still have over 50,000,000 more people that are overweight. This would also mean that out of the 126,000,000 people only about 45,000,000 would be healthy which is about 1/3 of the population.
Japanese Population: 126,000,000
American Population: 318,000,000 – (Feb 9th 2017)
So as you know the law is not coming to take you to jail if you’re too fat in Japan, they’re not going to come slap handcuffs on you or force you into fat camp. Although you will be required to see a counselor and a dietician to help you curve that hefty waistline, that is if you even show up for your appointment.
So, is that it? You pretty much just get a slap on the wrist and a bit of mandatory counseling? Well, yes and no. The biggest effects from this law stem from companies who employee bigger people. The big punishments are really being felt by the companies of Japan. If they find ANY of their employees are big boned and over the limit they can be fined a fair sum of money until everyone has a come to Jesus meeting and gets a grip and slims down. Companies actually hand out ‘Metabo’ towels that have a measurement stitched into the towel so you can see if you’re gaining weight or if you’re losing it. Otherwise to basically help you remember that if you’re overweight your a burden on the companies well-being.
One fine a company was said to pay was upwards of $19,000,000 dollars! This is why you will see companies doing a set of work outs in the morning before they start work. 30 minutes of stretching they say help keep everyone a bit more fit, and they also found that it keeps their employees more focused on their tasks. But not everything is as it seems, this program that seems to have well intentions (which I agree to a point), doesn’t have everyone’s best interests. Because of this, people that are bigger are shunned and made fun of and verbally abused, and this attitude also leeches into the public and private lives as well, but besides the emotional and societal backlash, did Japan really need to enact this law?
A professor at Tokai college School of Medicine, Yoichi Ogushi said that there really is no need for Japanese people to lose weight. Yoichi Ogushi was noted saying that he does not think it will have any positive long lasting effect. He also said something like the Metabo law would work best in areas like the USA or Australia and other places that actually HAVE a weight problem. At this moment he said the Japanese people are too slender and they can’t afford to lose weight.
But on the other hand the president of the Health Policy Institute of Japan, James Kondo, believes that this law is a positive thing. He claims that the check up every years increases the public’s awareness of the health challenges that come with obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Okay well if you agree with it or not it’s something that Japan is really doing. But there are a few criticisms and flaws of this policy that should be pointed out:
So, there’s that…
But the more I researched this subject the more I ran into a lot of research showing that men, women but mostly girls are taking this to the next level and basically starving themselves. More and more eating disorders are taking place in Japan and Metabo law has certainly not helped curb this growing challenge that is taking place in Japan. There is even stories I’m reading about where children are indoctrinated into believing eating too much can turn you into a pig, and it’s seen as heroic to not eat!
Well, perhaps at one point in Japanese history when food was a scarce thing, these kind of stories came up, and then they just got pass on down from generation to generation. But these children stories are not doing anyone any good. So there could be much more research into how deep this really goes, because as already mentioned, why not tackle childhood obesity too? Well many believe and I tend to also bend towards the idea that big pharmaceutical companies have a play in this role in this Metabo law decision. Japan has the 2nd largest pharmaceutical market in the world.
With that said the profits between 2008 a year before Metabo and 2012 show a drastic increase.
To end this endless rabbit hole of questions and points of view about this Metabo law, there was a question I had about this. What about sumo wrestlers? Are they stuck with the same law as everyone else? And the answer is, YES! They are stuck with having to give up the gut as there time arrives when they turn 40. But it’s also interesting to note that the oldest wrestler to win a top division sumo championship was 37 years of age (Kyokutenho Masaru). So the vast majority of these wrestlers will never have to worry about it. But, I wonder though about those who have to work hard to get themselves below the thresholds of the Metabo law in time, when for most of their lives they’ve been commended for being a big fat wrestler.
lol -エルオーエル- / bye bye
So what is this seemingly odd title to a post about Japan have to do with anything, and can anyone legitimately say that water has the capability to grant a wish? Well through out history there has been one solid substance that has held a long life of belief in it’s magical powers, and of course that substance is water. The more that you may find yourself browsing this blog, the more you’ll see that my beliefs of magic is not an illogical attitude towards the mystical, I firmly hold my beliefs of magic and attraction to a level of science as well.
So how can I say that water has assisted me in attracting myself to Japan? Well the answer to that lies in vibrational resonance. What do I mean by that? To easily explain what I mean, it’s a feeling and if you believe it or not (right now), I can prove to you that feelings and beliefs can be harnessed into a physical geometrical shape and, I can prove it to you… With Science that it’s true!!! Woah!
So let me quickly introduce you to a man who studied this REAL scientifically proven research that feelings can be injected into water. His name is Masaru Emoto and he is the author of “Hidden Messages in Water” (which you can view a book that refines the research even further here in a book called “The Water Code”). This man found that water from certain dams and places around the world have different geometric shapes that come with them naturally, but more importantly he found that these geometrical shapes that can be seen in water can be changed. They can be changed by feelings.
This is a clip from “What the Bleep Do We Know?” but I find this is the best way to get a grasp of what I’m speaking about here. So how exactly is one to use this knowledge for their own benefit? Well consider this, if you were to tape a word say ‘love’ to a bottle of water it’s going to create a shape/feeling based around a true geometrical design, that is attuned to your feeling towards that specific word(s). So when you drink the water you are in sense drinking a vibrational resonance and just like a tuning fork, your own bodies water will begin to ring the same vibration outwards. For those who know the idea of what the ‘Laws of Attraction’ are you will quickly see you are priming your own pump to receive the vibrational energy you’ve put inside your body to come to you over time consistently.
I highly suggest learning more about the concept of Law of Attraction as it’s continuing to plow through conventional science and proving itself to be more and more a reality of those with consciousness (with a lot of teachings throughout history in major religions). Watch the video below for a brief explanation of what it is, as it will help you see how this energy turns into granting wishes. This is actually one of my mentors for spirituality and business, Bob Proctor!
So to carry on, how did I use water to attract myself to going to Japan? Easy! I simply wrote down words and taped it to my water bottle (of course that’s not all I still needed to act!). I added, health, love and Japan. I also added it to my tea pot. Although by the science it’s triggering the vibrational energy throughout my water, it also triggers my consciousness to think about it when I see those words, which also increases the magic/science behind this life hack. So if you’re looking for something in your life… be grateful, stay in love, know there is more to this life then just the black and white, the good and the bad. It’s all based off of you and what you believe. So knowing that there are ways to manipulate in a good way your reality take advantage of it, push forward, believe that magic is true (because science confirms it!) and don’t live a bland ordinary life based of what people say you can do or not!
Never stop believing in yourself, never stop pushing forward towards your dreams. The world is better off having you reach your dreams. If that dream is going to Japan, people depend on you to see that dreams do come true, no matter what the resistance! With that, this is my magic life hack that I can honestly say does make a difference, and it’s so easy to do… you can even be lazy and get a cool looking engraved water bottle from these guys “Blue Bottle Love“.
So to finish this off, start to watch your words, because they truly do affect your life. All religions have stated this as something be aware of. My mentor for the past Kevin Trudeau told me to read a few books based around this idea/fact.
These books are mostly Christian based but it couldn’t be clearer, believe in yourself as that’s where the first part of this comes from. You can read about how I came about wanting to go to Japan by reading this page which will then also lead to my acceptance to go to Japan in April of 2017 (confirmed).
Life is too fun, knowing how to play makes a difference for yourself and everyone around you. This is the best piece of advice I can give anyone entering into 2017 and beyond to accomplish their dreams and goals.
-Nihon Scope / Nathan Scheer
PS: There is a really amazing healing water located in the mountains of Colorado. I’ve actually drank this water before. It comes from a guy that bought a home in the back areas of Blackhawk Colorado. He ended up getting his water tested, and found that it’s the cleanest water possibly in the world! I had a infected tooth around the time I was first exposed to this water and when I drank his water it actually numbed my tooth making it feel 95% better for a short time (I’d swear it had drugs in it… it doesn’t just FYI)! I thought it was just water in general until I drank some well water from a friend and found it didn’t do the same thing, I spoke to him about this and he had the very same thing happen to him to confirm it was for real!
You can view more about his water at Uncle Charlies Ranch <- (you can actually buy some! – not affiliated)
Another interesting note is that after the Tsunami in 2011 I decided to change from going to school in Sendai to Kumamoto. We found that Kumamoto has some of the cleanest water in Japan being pumped through their shiritsu! (city). Although we ended up wanting to go to Fukuoka after thinking about it a bit further as we have some friends and clients in the city and Kumamoto is place better to go to after learning the language a bit further. They only had the YMCA there to teach Japanese and we wanted a few more option as well as an opportunity to gain our associates degree in Japanese! (SCORE!)
Discover what life is like and the dangers of being apart or disconnected of the Japanese work force.
As I continue my studies of Japanese lifestyles and culture the more I’m inclined to look behind the curtains and see what’s on the other side of the golden do no harm view of Japan. In this case I decided to do some digging on the homeless, the working poor and salarymen of Japan and what the dangers and connections are to these challenges.
The more I read and watch about these challenges of Japan the more I’m able to see what the personal and social truths are to these choices (or to some a forced hand) and with that I see a little bit more of what is really happening inside the heart of Japan. Besides the loss of jobs and the economic decline of Japan, we see the shame society coming to play. There seems to be almost a double edge sword when it comes to either being homeless, a working poor or a salaryman in Japan. On one hand having a stable job and wage to maintain your living standard is what most people hope for, there is also some of the culture who says that it’s not always the best thing to strive for. In fact many of the younger generation are looking at full time work as something to avoid and instead are grouping up together to take care of each other in numbers. This younger generation is still working as part-timers, but they are finding much more freedom to pursue their interests while still being able to live comfortably and securely.
Japan: A Story of Love and Hate
Song of the Salaryman
Youth Poverty And Death From Overwork In Japan
But on the other side of this we see those who want to maintain their honor by not burdening society, these people either fall one of two ways. They’re either greeted with an opportunity to work as a Salaryman or they will eventually slip through the cracks to part-time work or eventually homelessness. The more I dug through personal testimonies of people who were either salarymen, part-timers or homeless I couldn’t help see the disaster brewing behind all these options. The pressure to have full-time work from family and society is a rather heavy load to hold, but when one can not perform and gain themselves employment they feel shameful in front of these audiences. Eventually these people will fall into the part-timer, and many see these jobs as roads to no where. So more shame is felt because of this option in work, and with that becoming a part-timer quickly will lead to what is now called in Japan ‘The Working Poor’, because many times unless with help, these people are unable to pay for food, rent and essentials of living. Since these people shun asking for help because of honor, they’ll eventually lead themselves straight to living on the streets to avoid being a burden.
Many of these working poor will actually find themselves staying the night at manga cafe’s for a small fee for the night, only to wake up the next day to go search for work. Then you have your homeless, which mainly consist of the older generation, from before the economic bubble popped. Many of these people feel that once you’re laid off, taking a part-time job is basically signing your own occupational death, as it’s extremely hard to get back on your feet (so they say). So many of them fought for awhile but eventually resigned to be homeless as the fight for work in Japan raged on. But on the farthest side of this challenge we have those with work, and these people are also finding that they are sacrificing much for the opportunity to be a full-time worker. The day in and day out working between 12-18 hours or more a day is not uncommon in Japan. It’s been said that once hired in Japan that you’ll be taken care of as you join the company family, and that may be sort of true still today, but at what costs? As seen in this short film, one literally will give up their life for their work.
More often then not these salaryman never get to see their children born as they’ll be in another city or at work, then when these children grow up they hardly get to know their father as he’ll often be at work before the child wakes up and he’ll come home long after they’ve been asleep, but since he’s the primary breadwinner he can not stop otherwise he’ll risk hurting his families life style and more importantly he’s children’s future. There is great pride in maintaining a family in Japan, but with that comes a great amount of mental fatigue and stress that is put on these people to perform. With that the overworked people of Japan known as salaryman also have dangers that occur while working to the brink of collapse and it’s called karoshi and it means ‘death from over work’.
Karoshi is an ever growing challenge in Japan. Between those who commit suicide and accidentally die after over working are all people considered to have succumb to karoshi. It said that about 300 deaths occur every year from karoshi, but this number which has been supplied by the Ministry of Labor is completely wrong. The Japanese government says that it’s more into the 1000’s, but again they skew the numbers. It said that the main causes of karoshi (‘death from over work’) comes from heart attack, stroke and a starvation diet, but they lack to count the deaths that occur after overworking, such as falling down stairs, getting hit by cars and even at times stumbling on to train tracks, and of course the list goes on and on. So what would the real numbers be?
Of course the definition of karoshi is not seen as the same by all parties. It’s said that with all definition in place of what karoshi is, there is more then 10,000 deaths by karoshi every single year. But the Japanese government continues to keep that on the down low as they much rather take only %10 of this into account. Be it as it may, the challenges of the Japanese economy, specifically of their work force or lack there of has a lot of shaping up to do. On the lighter side of things, there are happy and successful people in all 3 of these categories, so it really comes down to attitude and the state of mind these people are in, and not all salaryman have it to these extremes, but it’s something you will certainly see if you ever visit Japan.
But as I further unravel the Japanese culture I can clearly see how drinking at izakaya’s (bars), pachinko parlors, manga cafes, religion and many other services found in Japan are used to decompress the stresses of every day life in Japan. You can even say that the stress that’s quite normal to an everyday salaryman is also a cause for the lack of sex inside relationships and many times having a relationship to begin with. So as population declines in Japan, we should not just blame the hikikomori’s we must also come to face a growing problem with people literally not getting it on in Japan because of the stressful work conditions. The sex scene throughout Japan is actually declining and many places in Japan which were only available for citizens of the area are now having to open their doors to foreigners… but that’s another story.
For those who thought Japan had no faults think again #brokenfantasy. I find those who really feel this way, are usually hardcore otaku who consume all parts of the entertainment industry of Japan without taking a second look at the people of Japan when considering their next anime fix. But, with that said, I’ll shine through some of my own otakuness and share with you an anime movie called ‘Tokyo Godfather’s” which is a story of a group of homeless that end up taking care of a baby.
You can watch Tokyo Godfather HERE. (coming soon).