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What do you make of Isesaki City’s local government beard ban?

by Louisa Chan

Tom Wah, 42
Computer analyst (Hong Kong)
All companies have the right to set certain rules about the way employees look. However, a ban on beards is going too far. If a worker keeps it trimmed and tidy, then that should be enough.

Samantha Shitamichi, 38
Translator (Australian)
I understand that a scruffy couple of days’ growth should be discouraged to maintain workplace standards, but fully grown beards should not be considered a problem. They should offer full- or no-beard options to employees.

Rachael Joy, 9
Schoolgirl (Australian)
I think it’s ridiculous. If they are good workers, their appearance shouldn’t matter. My parents have taught me that everyone is different and we should accept people as they are, regardless of how they look.

Ryo Shitamichi, 35
Disability support worker (Japanese)
Public servants should be friendly and professional. They should be understanding and try to help customers. Beards shouldn’t be banned, but I suppose for some customers looks are more important than actual people skills.

Ikuno Ito, 32
Physiatrist (Japanese)
In Japan, appearance is very important to customers. Workers are often judged on how they look. I feel that government officers should look clean and tidy, but banning men from having beards is too extreme.

Damian Perry, 35
Teacher (Australian)
Companies can dictate neat dress and grooming to employees, but putting a ban on beards seems a bit harsh. They should focus more on the skills of the workers rather than how they look.