A Japanese fire fighter was once in the spotlight for what many would consider a normal thing—but not according to his boss.
An unnamed sergeant from the Wakayama fire department in western Japan lived what his superiors considered a double life. Though he was a firefighter by day, he was a dedicated streamer of multiplayer strategy games in his free time.
He started his content creator side job in 2020 and amassed over 15,000 subscribers in just a year. According to a local newspaper, he earned as much as ¥1 million JP (around $6,700 USD)
An anonymous tip-off alerted city officials to his modern hobby, something they considered against the rules of the team. They assigned an investigation team to uncover the validity of this accusation, watching 314 of his faceless videos to determine through voice alone that it was indeed the firefighter in question running the account.
After confirming with the man himself that it was his channel, they decreased his January 2021 salary by 10%. Instead of thinking it was an unjust punishment, he apologized for his actions.
My recognition of what would be considered a second job was naïve.
City official Hidetaka Amano told reporters that the man “betrayed the trust of residents in Wakayama” by running his YouTube account.
It’s the fact he was profiting from ads, some of which could be inappropriate in nature [that we do not support].
— Hidetaka Amano
To be specific, monetizing his channel was against Japan’s Local Public Service Act which states that public servants are not allowed to take a second job, firefighters included. Amano admitted that the punishment was regretful seeing as they “don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing that he was a YouTuber.” However, they still needed to follow the rules at the end of the day.