02 November 2012

Q&A Month! (2012): Question 1

Figured I should kick off this month by answering a question as thankfully people have already been leaving questions. Thank you for everyone who has already and I look forward to seeing more.

If you have a question you want me to try and answer you can leave it in the comments on this post.

The first question is from commenter JJ:

Hi! When Johnny's boys get into trouble (or when Johnny's men like Akasaka-san get into trouble), the general reaction is often to drop them entirely rather than to try to keep them in the organization and try to find them some help. Is that just an American reaction I am having that something more should be done, or is JE just really cruel? Or is it just part of Japanese culture? Thoughts, please.

It is something that is a part of Japanese culture, when it comes to drug usage Japan has a zero tolerance policy on that. And to be honest I am not even sure if there are any organizations in Japan to help with substance abuse, as treatment for such problems seems to be one of the issues that the Japanese media turns a blind eye to.

The reaction is more due to the idea that by doing something illegal it sheds bad light on the whole company and anything less than swift punishment, such as dropping them, will make the company look like it does not take the offense as serious as popular thought thinks it should be.

As an American I do agree that is does seem cruel to just drop someone who probably needs more support not less to help themselves out. But as I mentioned in Japan drug usage is severely frowned upon which is why it is considered a career ender and agencies want nothing to do with the talents caught using drugs.

Being a foreigner and being caught using drugs will expel you from the country and celebrities in the past have been prevented from entering Japan because they have been known to have taken drugs in the past. So the issue of severe punishment for drug use tends to affect pretty much anyone caught.

Of course with issues of drinking there is more lenacy, even with under age drinking, but that is more dependant of how popular a talent is. Uchi Hiroki would have been kicked out if he was caught when he was still a Junior most likely, but since he was a popular member in two debuted groups Johnny's was willing to give him a second chance. I believe Kusano Hironori benefitted from that as it would have looked bad for them to have kicked him out when there was not 100% confirmable proof of him drinking underage unlike Uchi.

Yet there is a massive drinking culture in Japan so the public opinion is more lenient to it. Unfortunately though if someone has a drinking problem there really is nowhere for them to go for help with it from what I can tell.

So in general substance abuse is one of those areas in Japan where they are embarrassingly behind other developed nations in.

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