[Update later 2013: No, it’s back! Well, spin me around.]
[Update 8/23/13: The extensive commentary at the markdevlin.com website is no longer up.]
[Update 5/18/13: Please check out the various updates at the bottom of this 2011 post. Per the Mark Devlin website, there is actually some serious matter. Negotiator John Bosnitch, who had defended Bobby Fischer in the well-reported extradition battle some years back, has been called in.]
One of my union friends from the days when I hung out with the Nambu group in Tokyo
sent me a link [Update 10/26/11: I have now removed this link, because I doubt the motives of the person behind that blog. It goes into the Tepido category.] that I found to be both disturbing and intriguing at the same time. He doesn’t know who this is, but they act like they have Terrie’s number.
You recall that I had blogged several weeks back about a company called IA Global, which still exists, and back in the 2000’s was a venture capitalist going in and buying (purportedly buying) internet-based Japanese expat companies. Terrie Lloyd has been associated with a number of Japan-side internet companies, as well as outsourcing or dispatch firms for expats in Japan.
What the [deleted reference] purports to do is magnify some accusations that someone, anonymously, wants to put out about Lloyd’s business dealings. In my view, it is a bit conclusory–and regular readers will remember that I had this happen to me at a slam blog called “Japan Blog Review”. That later site, written under pseudonyms, still exists, but virtually nobody reads it. It is simply there to deliver insults and slander to a specific audience.
The [deleted reference] seems a bit of that. Someone is saying that Lloyd avoids the required Japanese health and pension insurance on his employees. [Deleted.] They claim that he cannot [deleted]. They say he is blaming the March 11 disasters for whatever is currently amiss with his publishing business. They also wonder about the need to sell a beachfront house possibly valued at $3.4 million in New Zealand dollars (maybe $2 million US.)
Whoever is behind that site, they better be able to back some of that up. [Update 10/26/11: They have not backed the deleted items up.] Frankly, I was also surprised about the Kiwi Herald news item of the reasons why the Northland property was being sold. When I mentioned it, I suggested that it would be something that someone of means might mortgage to “raise liquidity”. Usually, when an entrepreneur has to start selling assets, it isn’t because there are new deals coming down the pike, it’s because they are tapped out and can’t get anyone to lend against assets. But I didn’t want to say that outright.
If the allegations about social insurance payments on the site are true, it’s very troubling. As you know, I have been advocating for U.S. citizen enrollment in the Japanese social insurances for some time now. To think that larger enterprises are skipping out on this as a part of their business strategy is really, really disturbing. That someone associated with ACCJ is doing this makes it worse.
Hopefully the site will come up with some more solid material or otherwise not waste anyone’s time, if it is just a person with a grudge against Lloyd.
[Update 8/6/11: The more I have casually followed this, the more it sounds like it’s someone who’s got a bee in his or her bonnet. Apparently, the slam website was the topic of conversation at [another website], the popular Japan-side BBS.
The problem is, whoever is behind the website keeps saying: watch for more! OK, fine. But if they know what the “more” is, then what is the purpose of telling people to just wait? That’s the same thing that people who don’t really have anything say, and based on their latest entry, I am more to the side of concluding that there isn’t any “more”.
I’ll keep following this one simply on the issue of Shakai Hoken/social insurance. It would be a shame if someone has made big money by not paying into social insurances to the Japanese system. That’s like a businessman here in America not paying the FICA and then calling that “profit” and not something more like tax evasion. I know that Japan doesn’t consider Shakai Hoken to be a tax per se, but it is a required payment according to the books.]
[Update 4/29/12: The beach house is said to have been sold in November 2011, and is now rented out as “Lloyds Beach House” for about $350 Kiwi dollars a night. The sale price was not anywhere near $3.4 million Kiwi.]
[Update 4/14/13: An update as against the trolls who troll my old posts. It’s well understood in the Japan-side expat community that Mr. Lloyd does not enroll people in Shakai Hoken. His stated reasoning is that other companies (Japanese-owned ones or otherwise) don’t, either. And that it’s expensive, adding at least 25% to costs. He’s said as much, himself. So the statement is not false.
Update 8/25/13: Terrie Lloyd responds:
l MOST (more than 90%) of my employees do and always have been covered by shakai hoken. So your statement is factually incorrect or is hearsay from someone who doesn’t have the facts, either..
l Those few employees (mostly foreigners) who are legally allowed to pay their own insurance, and who ask to be allowed to do so, are exempted. Generally these are people who are either part-timers or who are working for multiple employers and so meet the definition of being self-employed. This is legal.
l Many SME employers (foreign and Japanese) used to have a more cavalier attitude to Shakai hoken in the 1990’s, which is perhaps where your source got their information/impressions from, but the laws changed some years ago, and I am careful to follow the law.
l I have never said that shakai hoken costs a company 25%. I am quite knowledgeable about this subject and wouldn’t make such a basic mistake on the amount. If you have evidence that “I said as much myself” I’d like you to send it to me, so that I can correct it.
My note: I had it as 25% — the original text puts it even higher.
Of course, I am not going to debate in the sand trap of convenient legalisms, which in Japan usually go towards whether an employee is being considered a “consultant” or someone who is covered under employee and self-employed definitions. The General Union has written extensively about whether foreigners employed in Japan should be enrolled in Shakai Hoken, even if they work less than 30 hours a week, but along the same amount as others in the firm. Or if they also take self-employment work in addition to being an employee. The black-and-white answer is yes.
The analysis circled is really false, too, to nit pick a bit. There is a substantial “standard deduction” in Japan, which has people earning even the equivalent of $16,000 (USD) paying incredibly little in national tax and in resident’s tax. (You might be paying $450 total for both at that level of earnings.) It takes quite an income to get where one is paying over 40% to the Japanese government, in all forms of tax or social insurance.]
[Update 4/16/13: And, of course, there is this recent statement from Mark Devlin, co-developer of Metropolis, who apparently sold the magazine to Terrie Lloyd on an installment sale agreement.]