Japanese company holds 'macho' competition

By News from Elsewhere...
...as found by BBC Monitoring

image copyrightCrassone.jp
image captionFormer paratrooper Yusuke Nagasaka was the eventual winner

A Japanese company is hoping to attract workers to the country's understaffed demolition industry through the medium of bulging muscles.

While it may have an unfashionable 1970s ring to it, the Nagoya-based Crassone company recently held a "macho" competition for demolition workers in order to raise public awareness of jobs in the sector, The Japan Times website reported.

According to the paper, which called the contest "unprecedented", some 68 workers submitted entries, ranging from rippling muscles in front of large wrecking equipment, to one man in a suit doing administrative work on a laptop. All the entrants were male, although one worker brought his daughter along to pose with him.

In the end, top prize went to Yusuke Nagasaka, who works for a demolition company in central Aichi Prefecture. Judges, including a manga artist and a magazine editor, praised the former paratrooper for his "striking body with his wide chest and thick neck". He, and the winners of other categories in the competition, won a professional photo shoot session.

The third generation of his family to work in the demolition industry, Nagasaka said "Now I can proudly show my one-year-old son that I am doing a cool job."

An industry spokesman said workers like Nagasaka are becoming increasingly rare in the male-dominated industry. "It is a physically demanding job, but they do not get a lot of money for it and young people soon quit. The current workers are aging and we're having difficulty getting enough manpower."

image copyrightCrassone.jp
image captionMasato Nakajima and daughter brought some humour to proceedings

Reporting by Alistair Coleman

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