By Poyen Ramos on February 2, 2016
When Japanese imperial couple, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko arrived last week (after 54 long years since their first visit) for their historic state visit to the Philippines, they were greeted with an astounding warm welcome from us—an evident indication that we have long since moved on and forgiven Japan for their contribution to the darkest 3-year episode of the Philippines—World War II.
The state visit marks the 60th year of Philippine-Japanese diplomatic relations. Japan has been our biggest partner on 3 fronts: trade, investment, and official development assistance. And while our relationship with "The Land of the Rising Sun" grow stronger and stronger year after year, perhaps it won't be long that we would also be adopting more from their culture—and I'm not talking about Japanese food here.
You know how the Japanese are intensely hard-working people who are just bursting with ideas? They live and breathe innovation, creation, and making our lives extra pretty and easy (insert Daiso and Japan Homes here), and not to mention having very unique jobs. But what if, by some insane, highly possible chance, the Philippines were to create jobs like what Japan has? Could the Philippine economy benefit from it?
Japan has the highest proportion of elderly and the lowest proportion of young people in the world, with seniors making up 23 percent of the population in the 2010 census and people under 15 with just 13.2 percent of the population. And as the senior population grows, this results to more Japanese living, and dying alone. Kodokushi, or “lonely death,” refers to a person who dies alone, and their absence goes unnoticed for weeks, months, even years until a neighbor notices. When they do get noticed, a squad of Kodukushi cleaners does the gruesome job of cleaning out the apartment of the deceased, with it's rotting body lying helplessly there. As if cleaning a dirty apartment wasn't morbid enough.
Getting married anytime soon but you don't have much friends to impress your in-laws? In Japan, they hire fake people to fill in the venue and make it seem like they have lots of friends. The services are not just weddings, but also fake lovers, stand-in secretaries, and… yes, funeral guests. For a hefty amount of Php8,000, your "fake friends" will learn all the basic personal stuff about you, pretends to like your wedding dress, and for a little extra, would even do a speech for the bride and groom.
If you've been to Japan, and have rode on their MRT, the only thing you'd probably think of is, "Sana may ganito sa Manila." True as it may seem, Japan still has a few challenges when it comes fitting in on the coach (sounds familiar, right?). During peak-hours in some popular stations, they have part-time station attendants called Oshiya, or "train pushers" that literally pushes passengers into the trains to make them fit. The Japs are very punctual people, so for them, it being pressed like sardines is better than getting to work seconds late.
Do we need Oshiya's in our MRT/LRT lines, too?
You're in queue waiting to get your hands on the latest iPhone 7 gadget, then suddenly you remember that you have to pick up your kid in school. What do you do? Call a narabiya. Narabiyas are freelancers who specialize in queuing in place of others. Be it for concert tickets, for long queue at a new restaurant or bar, or a spot at the picnic area. Whatever it agenda you may need to do, these part-timers would gladly trade their time for your money. I think this will come in handy for when we're lining up at the MRT and we need to use the comfort rooms.
International hand carrier
No, it job isn't about carrying human hands internationally, but rather the job of carrying things internationally by hand. This is for when you need to ship items ASAP, and perhaps when you don't trust local couriers enough to ship those documents. From boxes to briefcases, secret documents and prized possessions can be delivered door-to-door anywhere in the world. What's the best part of this service? Free international travel!
You think these jobs would be useful in the Philippines?