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    Working for the man

    This Yomiuri article doesn’t seem to know how funny it is–unless the reporter who wrote it has the driest sense of humor in all of Japan. It’s about former employees of private companies who move to government work:

    Those who successfully make the leap from the private sector to the public sector are often troubled by a lack of coordination between ministries and agencies in implementing government policies. But they find their new jobs rewarding because of their public nature and the contributions to local communities.

    He was appointed section chief before the city had clearly determined what the responsibility of the new section would be. He decided to work on something that had interested him since his student days–involving the public in the creation of a town. He invited younger employees and residents to a meeting to discuss the future of the town. Discussions at the meeting bore fruit and resulted in the improvement of cable television network services and the launch of a local bus service that passengers can use for just 100 yen. [after they pay for the rest of the running cost with their taxes–SRK]

    Tanaka earns less than he did in the private sector and at times has felt at odds with the local government’s bureaucratic ways. For example, the workload of every section is strictly predetermined and no one wants to take on extra work.

    The article isn’t what you’d call a revelation, but it does raise the hope that people with experience working in more results-oriented environment can (slowly) influence things when they move to government work.

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