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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The "fat tax" was just a joke, eh?

You thought the idea of having to take "a short trip to the official Government Weighing Center" each year for the purposes of the fat tax and/or fat-rated gas tax was just an attempted humorous put-on.

Well, the NY Times reports...

Japan, Seeking Trim Waists, Measures Millions

Summoned by the city of Amagasaki one recent morning, Minoru Nogiri, 45, a flower shop owner, found himself lining up to have his waistline measured. With no visible paunch, he seemed to run little risk of being classified as overweight, or metabo, the preferred word in Japan these days.

But because the new state-prescribed limit for male waistlines is a strict 33.5 inches, he had anxiously measured himself at home a couple of days earlier. “I’m on the border,” he said.

Under a national law that came into effect two months ago, companies and local governments must now measure the waistlines of Japanese people between the ages of 40 and 74 ...

Those exceeding government limits — 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women ... — and having a weight-related ailment will be given dieting guidance if after three months they do not lose weight. If necessary, those people will be steered toward further re-education after six more months.

To reach its goals of shrinking the overweight population by 10 percent over the next four years and 25 percent over the next seven years, the government will impose financial penalties on companies and local governments that fail to meet specific targets....

We're almost there!

Keep reading this blog for more of today's absurdities on the way to becoming tomorrow's news.