In Japan, tattoos have long been associated with the Yakuza. Partly due to safety reasons, even today public places such as bathhouses and gyms have banned people bearing large tattoos from entering their premises. Now, tattooed city employees are also being subjected to new employment restrictions.
Osaka Major Toru Hashimoto, who has a long history of making controversial decisions, has ordered all public servants to fill out a form on which they must specify where in their bodies they have been tattooed. Employees with any visible marking could potentially be excluded from jobs where they will be in direct contact with the public.
Hashimoto claims that the new policy is part of strategy to safeguard the credibility of government services, but union officials are calling the move discriminatory. Some Japanese are concerned about the form being illegal and in violation of the employees’ human rights. About 38,000 city employees could be affected by the ordinance. We at SG, especially Rick Snee, call it A-OK.