Monday, September 26, 2011
Slot machines can kill
There is a seriously problem in Japan with Pachinko, or slot machines. They are in essence, a mind-numbing form of gambling, but gambling is technically illegal in this country. But that doesn't mean you can't split your entire paycheck into yakus (dollar coins) and spend every free moment of your life sitting like a loser in front of bright lights and flashy noises. The government may have put a ban on receiving any winnings from these machines, but the clever pachinko owners have found a loophole. If you do "win" you can cash out your plastic chips for, say, a box of peanuts. You then walk across the street where *gasp!* there just so HAPPENS to be a guy who REALLY wants to buy your box of peanuts for ¥10,000. Problem solved. All other forms of gambling seem to have essentially been muscled out by these Pachinko Parlors, so socialized gambling games such as poker, roulette and black jack (where you might have to communicate with another human being), are impossible to find.
Gambling is a serious addiction. One that can affect your personal and social responsibilities to the point of detrimental loss. Since 2004, there have been 12 pachinko-related deaths. And NONE of them were the dirt-bags that were playing the actual game. The deaths were all CHILDREN. That's right; 12 CHILDREN HAVE DIED because their parents locked them in cars in Pachinko parking lots while they play with shiny lights all day. The kids died of heat stroke or suffocation. This is clearly a national problem that no one seems to care about enough to do anything.
Here's the source from a translate news site;
I love Japan, don't get me wrong. But there are some MASSIVE social issues in this country that are not being addressed. Extreme child negligence is not a joke, and suffocation in a car is a terrible way to go. I truly hope the police do something about this.