[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.
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!