Japan: So, crime.

Me: I read a strange story the other week about a crime.

Japan: Really?

Me: Yeah. It was about a nightclub owner. He was beaten up really badly.

Japan: Was he ok?

Me: In the end he was and then he went back to work.

Japan: That’s not strange. Unfortunate, but not strange.

Me: Well, the police released photos of the suspected criminals but then did nothing. They just seemed to hope that somebody would tell them the names and addresses of the wanted men and do their job for them.

Japan: Sounds like police work to me. What happened next?

Me: Well, then they arrested the nightclub owner.

Japan: Why?

Me: Because people were dancing after midnight.

Japan: Ah, yeah, you can’t do that.

Me: …?!

Japan: What?

Me: A nightclub owner gets the shit kicked out of him. The police do nothing. The police arrest the nightclub owner because people were dancing. After midnight. In his nightclub. Like i said, it’s a strange story.

Japan: Yeah but the police were just doing their job.

Me: Which is?

Japan: Catching criminals.

Me: Well, what about the criminals who assaulted the nightclub owner?

Japan: Well, they were probably more difficult to catch. That would involve more work and actual detective skills whereas people dancing in a nightclub in the early hours of the morning is a clear violation of a law, no matter how archaic and stupid, that’s easy to see.

Me: And easier to police?

Japan: And easier to police, yes. You can’t catch all the criminals all the time.

Me: Right…

Japan: But some are easy to catch.

Me: Smaller fish?

Japan: Yeah, small fish get caught easily but bigger ones, like your nightclub owner assaulters, or your sexual predators or child molesters or murderers or armed robbers or people who bully their victims to suicide, they’re all much harder to find.

Me: You’d need a big rod.

Japan: And lots of fishing experience.

Me: And your police force has neither.

Japan: It seems so.

Me: And what about organised crime? Yakuza? That sort of thing?

Japan: Whoa, that’s a marlin right there. A load of marlin. You’d need a boat, some nets, maybe a couple of trawlers, a navy. No chance of catching that. Leave it alone.

Me: But they’re organised.

Japan: Exactly. Organised marlin.

Me: No, i mean, they’ve got an address and a phone number. They’re practically a registered business. Why don’t the police just go up to them and start asking questions?

Japan: You can’t just go up to a bunch of organised marlin and start “asking question”. All hell would break loose. All the illegal immigration, smuggling, contract killers, money laundering, prostitution, illegal gambling. It’d all be out in the open. Who wants that?

Me: The police?

Japan: Why? They’re quite happy to leave those guys in charge of all that behind closed doors. Less work for them.

Me: The politicians? It would be in their interests, wouldn’t it?

Japan: Well, er, the thing is, some of my politicians may well be knee deep with these marlin people anyway.

Me: Erm, right. And the assaulters?

Japan: Who knows? Maybe they’re working for the organised marlin. Perhaps they were tunas or river trout.

Me: And the nightclub owner?

Japan: Minnow.

Me: So the small fish might get easily picked up by the police who, by the way, are the only people you have who seem to buck the trend of working too hard for no reason. The tuna might get caught as long as they’re not working for the organised marlin who seem to act as a bona fide business operation which mainly keeps the serious crimes to themselves and out of sight.

Japan: And, therefore, out mind.

Me: Right.

Japan: Yeah, that’s about the size of it.

Me: Hmm.

Japan: By the way, are you hungry?

Me: Yeah, a little. What are you thinking?

Japan: Fish?

Me: …

Japan: What?

Me: Nah, i’m alright.


October 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.


Me: Shall we talk about earthquakes then?

Japan: Do we have to?

Me: Yes.

Japan: But why? They’re not normally a big deal.

Me: Not a big deal? It’s not a big deal to have the earth wobbling around beneath your feet?

Japan: No it isn’t. It’s an everyday occurrence.

Me: For you it is. For the rest of the world it’s mainly a once in a lifetime kind of thing.

Japan: So, some countries don’t have earthquakes? Ever?

Me: Right.

Japan: Not even little ones like a magnitude 3?

Me: In England, if there’s a magnitude 3 it’s headline news.

Japan: What a wonderfully safe country.

Me: Safe?

Japan: Yeah.

Me: Have you ever had a “knife amnesty”?

Japan: A what?

Me: Have you ever had an epidemic of “happy slapping”?

Japan: Who?

Me: Doesn’t matter. Anyway, an earthquake is an earthquake. It’s the ground moving.

Japan: Look, an earthquake for me is like rain for you. It’s all about scale and frequency. You start off with mist, then drizzle, a light shower, scattered showers, then a steady downpour, cats and dogs, monsoon, flash flood, Noah.

Me: So, Noah is a one-off, drizzle is every other week but they’re all rain?

Japan: Right. And that’s how it is for me and earthquakes.

Me: But in England nobody ever says that we’re overdue for a flood of Biblical proportions because we haven’t had one for ages. You have some scaremongering, fear peddling “scientists” crawl out of their office and tell everybody on breakfast TV that Tokyo is “due for a big one” pretty much every month.

Japan: It is. Along with everywhere else seismologists study. Yosemite? Due for a big one. San Andreas? Due for a big one. Istanbul? Due for a big one.

Me: So we’re all screwed?

Japan: Well, if it’s not the ground shaking around it’ll be the tsunami or the volcano or the typhoon or landslide that’ll take you out.

Me: Erm, yeah, my country doesn’t have those either.

Japan: Wow. So safe.

Me: Well…

Japan: What?

Me: Do the words “carjacking” or “joy-riding” mean anything to you?

Japan: Erm…

Me: Have your citizens ever used their footwear as weapons?

Japan: Wh..?

Me: Do your teenagers kill each other?

Japan: Only in movies. It would appear that your people are more dangerous than your nature.

Me: Yeah. And it would appear that your nature is more dangerous than your people.

Japan: Yeah. Shall we talk about crime then?

Me: Do we have to?

October 13, 2012. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.