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Osaka: What do you think of Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s latest crackdowns on political activities by Osaka employees — and on those city workers with tattoos?

by Ray Franklin

Kim Mangialaschi, 47
English teacher (American)

It’s ironic that he’s cracking down on tattoos when a lot of his supporters probably have them! Who cares if people have tats? I guess he could refuse to hire new workers with tattoos if he wanted, but those already with them should not be punished. He should focus on more important business.

Chie Wasa, 60
Retired pharmacist (Japanese)
His way of doing things is too strong. He’s too pushy and needs to consider the feelings of others more. I don’t think city office workers have such tattoos, so it sounds like bullying. It seems he is always thinking about Tokyo Gov. (Shintaro) Ishihara, and trying to match his antics!

Hiroyuki Seki, 67
Retired civil engineer (Japanese)
People with tattoos may be gang members, so city workers shouldn’t have them. Normal Japanese don’t have tattoos, and those that do tend to be troublemakers. I remember when tattooed construction workers threw rocks at our office windows and broke them, and we had to fight them off!

Ben Smith, 28
Web designer (English)
City workers most likely live and vote in the city, so they should be able to have a say in the politics of their city. Banning political activities is a violation of rights, and sets a dangerous precedent — then where do you draw the line? There would be an uproar if this happened in the U.K. or U.S.

Mie Kaizan, 47
Housewife (Japanese)
He must have an image of tattoos as a sign of yakuza, but he is mistaken. If he wants to ban city workers with yakuza connections, that’s OK, but tattoos have nothing to do with it. Many young ladies even have butterfly or flower tattoos as body decoration nowadays.

Sone Manichanh, 36
Pizza cafe owner (Canadian)
His tattoo policy is BS, and an invasion of privacy and rights. It smacks of a violation of civil liberties. Tattoos don’t affect anyone’s ability to do their job. And Japan made tattooing a famous art form, so in a sense he’s attacking Japanese culture.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp