Japan’s Annual Summer Telethon

Japanese television is once again airing its annual “24 hour television” (The Japanese still haven’t learned the word Telethon). It is the same every year, some entertainer, who wants to boost his or her dwindling career, runs – or rather walks – a marathon with more support staff than President Obama.

Around the country booths are set up, in shopping centers and the like, beguiling people to donate money to a cause that is not clearly defined. In the channel’s nationwide studios various forms of entertainment are on going – from inane dance/singing numbers to dramatized stories of success or sorrow. Indeed the studios are filled with Japan’s showbiz elite however unlike telethons in the western world where movie stars and musicians volunteer their time, these entertainers are paid.

Yes folks, Japan’s movie stars and crooner greats will only appear in this television extravaganza for a cause (usually sick children) if they are paid for their plastic smiles and fake concern. I would have thought that these people would contribute to the cause for nothing; waiving any form of remuneration.