American blogger Logan Paul apologizes for YouTube video

American vlogger and actor Logan Paul. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 02 January 2018
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American blogger Logan Paul apologizes for YouTube video

TOKYO: American blogger Logan Paul apologized Tuesday after getting slammed for a video he shared on YouTube that appeared to show a body hanging in a Japanese forest known as a suicide spot.
Paul, who has millions of Twitter followers and YouTube subscribers, posted an apology on his Twitter site, saying, “Where do I begin. Let’s start with this. I’m sorry.”
Although the video has been taken down, segments were still online. Critics, who have also gone online, say what was offensive was Paul’s giggling and joking about the body.
The video shows Paul going on a trek with friends in the Aokigahara forest, near Mount Fuji. He seems aware that the site is sometimes chosen for suicides, but is surprised to come across what appears to be a body hanging from a tree.
He said he had wanted to raise awareness about suicide and possibly save lives, and denied his goal was to drive clicks.
“I thought I could make a positive ripple on the Internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity,” he said in his Twitter post.
Japan has a relatively high rate of suicides, with more than 21,000 a year, according to government data. Its per capita suicide rate is among the highest in the world.
Many blame the high suicide rate on the value placed on conformity, excelling and hard work in the country.
Suicide also does not suffer the religious stigma here it does in other cultures. Ritual suicide, known as seppuku or hara-kiri, has long been portrayed in movies and theater as an honorable way to take responsibility.
The Mount Fuji forest has been known for suicides for decades because people can easily get lost there, and know they won’t be found for a long time.
Although Japan has many suicide-prevention groups, the culture of shame has family members of convicted criminals, people who have racked up massive debt and youngsters bullied at school often turning to suicide.


Japan worker’s pay docked for taking lunch 3 minutes early

Updated 30 min 41 sec ago
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Japan worker’s pay docked for taking lunch 3 minutes early

TOKYO: A Japanese city official has been reprimanded and fined for repeatedly leaving his desk during work hours — but only for around three minutes to buy lunch.
The official, who works at the waterworks bureau in the western city of Kobe, began his designated lunch break early 26 times over the space of seven months, according to a city spokesman.
“The lunch break is from noon to 1 pm. He left his desk before the break,” the spokesman said on Thursday.
The official, 64, had half a day’s pay docked as punishment and the bosses called a news conference to apologize.
“It’s deeply regrettable that this misconduct took place. We’re sorry,” a bureau official told reporters, bowing deeply.
The worker was in violation of a public service law stating that officials have to concentrate on their jobs, according to the bureau.
The news sparked a heated debate on Japanese social media, with many defending the official.
“It’s sheer madness. It’s crazy. What about leaving your desk to smoke?” said one Twitter user.
“Is this a bad joke? Does this mean we cannot even go to the bathroom?” said another.
The city had previously suspended another official in February for a month after he had left his office numerous times to buy a ready-made lunch box during work hours.
The official was absent a total of 55 hours over six months, according to the city.