Japanese Vigilante Group Picks Shitty Acronym 

[Image: Hiro Tanaka] Surely, there were better options available than "SHAT." You know, "shat" as in the past tense "to shit."

According to Asahi News and NetGeek, Japanese government employees in the city of Odawara donned these rogue jackets to protest alleged welfare cheaters. The acronym "SHAT" stands for "Seikatsu Hogo Akubometsu Team" (生活保護悪撲滅チーム) or the "Livelihood Protection Evil Extermination Team."

[Image via NetGeek] The back of the jacket read "SHAT" in large letters. Under that, in English, there was the following:

We are "the justice" and must be justice, so we have to work for odawara. Finding injustice of them, we chase them and Punish injustice to accomplish the proper execution. If they try to deceive us for gaining a profit by injustice, "WE DARE TO SAY, THEY ARE DREGS!"

In English letters, the jackets also stated the group's motto, "Hogo Namenna" (Don't take welfare like a fool).

[Image Nippon TV via NetGeek] Vigilante government employees had reportedly donned these jackets, which they bought themselves, since 2007. They even apparently wore them visiting the homes of people on welfare, which was certainly not part of the welfare office's official attire. Asahi News reports that welfare recipients were offended by the motto, which is certainly understandable.

(I'm assuming the past tense of "to shit" went unnoticed, as the Asahi News does not report that it caused offence. The reason is that while "shit" is a famous English cuss word in Japan, fewer Japanese people know "shat.")

The motto and acronym choice aren't the only bad thing. The group's crest looks like a knockoff of the Liverpool F.C. crest, one of the most recognisable logos in sports. 

[Images via NetGeek] See those flames? They're to memorialise the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, making this whole thing extra shitty.

Odawara's mayor has apologised to residents for the jackets, while the head of the city's welfare and health department has been disciplined.

Thanks, Hiro for the tip!


    I hate to say, as a Liverpool FC supporter, that with LFC's recent performance that new logo could be quite appropriately adopted...

    *guitar riffs*

    Who's the man that would risk his neck for his brother man?


    Who's the cat that won't cop out when there's danger all about?


      Not bad! I had the Flash theme in my head first time through, personally.

    An appropriate acronym for these government sanctioned cowards, now if there was a vigilante group that burst into the homes of rich and powerful tax dodgers that would require courage and also recover significant amounts of money but it's always easier to kick down than up.

      Tax evasion in Japan is at its lowest levels since the 70s, is there something particular about Japanese tax evasion that you're concerned about?

    I was in Japan when this news broke. There was a reason for deliberately choosing the word SHAT, as well as writing the slogan in english.
    The first was because it was known as a past-tense to s*it as in welfare users/dodgers are nothing but low-lives. There is also the resemblance to a SWAT jacket design which was also chosen to make out the the agents were are powerful as police (inciting fear/authority).

    The second part of the jacket was the english phrase, which was done as it is assumed people on welfare aren't educated and so cannot read english, again giving off the impression these folks are more official than their jobs entail, while also insulting the people on welfare for assuming there are all poor and dumb.

    This has a resemblance to the metro ticket inspectors (fare evader officers) we have in melbourne, or even night club bouncers. They aren't the police and don't have the same community powers (or training), however with some clever uniform choices and graphic design they give off the impression of authority. In turn (in some cases) this also gives the wearer of the uniform a power trip and makes them handle situations unlawfully as they abuse their position.
    This is how the news in Japan came to light, having been given the uniform and told you are above the people on welfare some employees took it too far and now the whole organization has to pay the penalty. Seeing as the uniforms were around since 2007 they would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those darn kids and their dog.

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