Why We Love Japan

In today’s newspaper, there was something about a 35-year-old guy who complained about the excessive smoking in his office and was subsequently ostracized by his co-workers and then fired.  Can you imagining something like this happening in the States?!


4 thoughts on “Why We Love Japan

  1. Ha, while this is really sad, it also made me laugh because it’s so opposite of the situation in the United States. Though I am not a lawyer, I’d say that being exposed to second-hand smoke at work definitely falls under the category of unsafe work environment. And, “reporting” the condition and subsequently being fired (not to mention mocked) would be very suspect of retaliation, which is illegal. If he were in the USA, I’d say he would have a very good legal case against his corporation. (And, if I were Susan Dey from the old TV show L.A. Law — and Partridge Family, I’d represent him!)

  2. I really like Japan. I’m a smoker and feel fellow smokers in Japan can be a bit inconsiderate and inflexible

    No one should lose their job for complaining about smoke. Something could have been done to accomodate this person. That said I would like to know more about this case. Did the guy take the job knowing it was as smoking office. I hope our western passion for confrontation and suing does not flourish in Japan.

  3. This guy won a huge settlement in a lawsuit, which is a first for Japan. And his previous employer was compelled to establish a smoking area in the workplace. Things are changing slowly.

    I respect the rights of smokers when they don’t impinge upon my right, and my children’s right to breathe clean air. And I hope, too, that Japan doesn’t turn into an overly litiguous society.

  4. I agree mostly but I do think that there is some protection in knowing that you can take action if you need to. I work in a hostile environment where my co-workers (preschool teachers, mind you) are verbally abused regularly by my boss. The first time I worked in Japan, I felt relieved that the country was free from the “let’s-sue-’em” mindset. This time, I realize the benefits of that sort of safety net. As with anything in life, a balance is necessary. Also, I don’t think 7 million yen is that huge of a settlement considering the damages (i.e., chronic health problems and loss of employment during an economic crisis). Anyway, just my two yen.

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