Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

Top government officials' uniforms 2011/3/24 16:33
On NHK World TV recently I have been seeing PM Kan and other high cabinet officials wearing what appear to be blue uniforms. What is the significance of these uniforms?
by wata geiru  

uniforms 2011/3/24 16:44
They are typical work uniforms that blue-collar worker wear in Japan. The bureaucrats wear them to give the image that they are "down in the trenches" and "identify with the everyman". Its all for show really, like the news anchors that wear hardhats while in the studio. Here's a similar article on the subject:

http://www.japanprobe.com/2011/03/21/why-do-japanese-politicians-dress...

by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

hardhats 2011/3/24 17:22
in the case of the news reporters wearing hardhats, i don't think it's just for show - the news anchors are the only people who are working directly under the stage lights. if a light fell on them during an earthquake a hard hat may save them from a head injury.
by winterwolf rate this post as useful

hard hats 2011/3/24 17:54
You're right, and I don't think the hardhats are entirely for show either (I meant to refer more to the work clothes). However, there does seem to be a certain amount of showmanship involved in that area as well.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

... 2011/3/24 18:04
The reality is, newscasters are trained to remain calm and remain focused on the camera.

I.e., they are the only people who can't look up during a disaster. If stage equipment fell they'd be the last to react.

Though yes, there is somewhat of a dramatic effect, I imagine it gives the announcers some piece of mind, which in turn helps calm the viewer audience.
by kyototrans rate this post as useful

down in the trenches 2011/3/25 01:55
Isn't it a universal thing for politicians to dress like they're "down in the trenches" when their people are? I mean, it would indeed upset me if the PM came out in a suit in this situation even though we all know he's not doing much trench work. Try a Google image search on "hurricane katrina bush."
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

hard hats 2011/3/25 03:17
By the way, you often have to wear hard hats due to regulations. I don't mean the regulations of the TV network, but I mean the regulations of the fields. At some places, they don't let people in unless you wear a hard hat. It's the responsibility of the people in charge of the field to put hard hats on visitors.

On a related note, at least in Japan, all people are encouraged to put on a hard hat or a bousai-zukin (soft hat) when evacuating from an earthquake. You are supposed to keep your own at home. I do.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

How about LDP? 2011/3/25 06:25
Did the previous administrations (Liberal Democratic, Jimintou) also wear these uniforms for public appearances? It just struck me that I had not seen these uniforms rather than "business suits" before, but then I probably haven't seen a lot of domestic (non-international) appearances.
by wata geiru rate this post as useful

work suits 2011/3/25 10:30
Isn't it a universal thing for politicians to dress like they're "down in the trenches" when their people are? I mean, it would indeed upset me if the PM came out in a suit in this situation even though we all know he's not doing much trench work.

Definitely, politics is theater no matter what country we're talking about. So to further answer the OP's question, the significance of the work uniforms is the image they represent, rather than the practical benefits a work uniform provides.

Did the previous administrations (Liberal Democratic, Jimintou) also wear these uniforms for public appearances?

You mean after the Kobe Earthquake? I'm not sure, but I'm not finding any pictures of Murayama Tomiichi (the PM at the time, and part of the Social Democratic Party) dressed in anything but a suit. Then again, the Murayama government was widely criticized for their slow response to the disaster, in stark contrast to what we've been seeing with the Kan government.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Working outfit 2011/3/25 11:38
Yes, they do and did wear that working outfit, also the previous "top folks"!

Whenever they can show that they are "with the people and for the people" they come up with that.
by kulachan (guest) rate this post as useful

Every smart guy wears them 2011/3/25 14:53
Of course, the LDP too. Do a Google image search on Vznk@{ (Niigata earthquake Abe)

http://www.google.co.jp/images?q=%E6%96%B0%E6%BD%9F%E7%9C%8C%E4%B8%AD%...
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

To be fair... 2011/3/25 15:03
yllwsmrf writes;
"You mean after the Kobe Earthquake? I'm not sure, but I'm not finding any pictures of Murayama Tomiichi (the PM at the time, and part of the Social Democratic Party) dressed in anything but a suit."

To be fair, you have to keep in mind that the Kobe earthquake was in 1995, in the pre-internet era. Very few digital photographs were circulated, and as suggested, since Murayama was unfortunately linked with a negative image as far as that earthquake is concerned, it's natural to assume that the information you see on the internet now is all made according to that image, hence the suit and all.

But again, you also have to be fair and remember that the earthquake was even a bigger shock than this Tohoku one, as it was the first time that modern Japan came face to face with something really unbelievable. I can't blame the government too much for not knowing what to do then. Well, I can, but I can understand the panic and the unreadyness.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

pre-internet 2011/3/25 16:05
To be fair, you have to keep in mind that the Kobe earthquake was in 1995, in the pre-internet era. Very few digital photographs were circulated, and as suggested, since Murayama was unfortunately linked with a negative image as far as that earthquake is concerned, it's natural to assume that the information you see on the internet now is all made according to that image, hence the suit and all.

Sorry , I didn't mean to infer that the government wasn't wearing work uniforms, just that I was unable to find pictures demonstrating that they did. Indeed, I fully expect that everyone was decked out in work uniforms just as they are today and with previous earthquakes and natural disasters.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

No problem 2011/3/25 18:56
Yllwsmrf, of course I know what you meant. I didn't mean that you meant otherwise either.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

reply to this thread