While plans for opening borders are now moving swiftly through Nagatacho, lawmakers have also made some broad outlines for the door to remain shut for certain types of people. Humans Rights groups, left-wing organizations, and other perpetual whining pains in the ass had been ready to crank up the outrage, but they called a halt to things when it was revealed that western youtubers were the targets of new government policy.
“We’re kind of sick of self-styled reporters coming here and then trying to tell everyone about the real Japan,” explained government spokesperson Jiko Nagusame. “Can people just come to Japan and enjoy it, without having to film themselves role playing as TV reporters?”
For reasons beyond the scope of this reporter, some youtube videos end up getting a lot of views, but most seem to become a kind of holiday slideshow for the 21st century. Phekel Mathir, an online content expert, argues that J-vloggers are performing a valuable role in informing potential travelers about what to expect in Japan.
“J-vloggers are either much-loved or much-loathed. The fact is that westerners asking young Japanese women on the likelihood of them performing fellatio on a white man who is in town for the week can make stimulating viewing,” says the 38 year old Mathir. “Reviews of vending machines and convenience store snacks can also be informative and entertaining. I don’t know how people can mock that and call the vloggers all kinds of names.
“The Japanese government appears to have condoned the ridicule by introducing this isolationist policy. The silence from the Human Rights groups is also deafening. I can’t believe that they have to be reminded that J-vloggers are real people with real dreams, and that they deserve to be supported.”
For the time being, the band of itinerant, enthusiastic reporters are facing an uncertain future. They will be allowed into Japan, but only on the proviso that they don’t film and report every single thing that they do. For some, that’s akin to being told not to breathe, and as a result many J-vloggers are not prepared to budge an inch. Some have even publicly stated that they will not compromise. However, if the new policy is anything to go by, neither will the Japanese government.