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Japanese Youths Pressured To Remove Tattoos In Search For Jobs

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Job-seekers all over the world are finding that their tats may be costing them a job opportunity.

The Takasu Clinic, which has cosmetic surgery centers in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, Japan, reported a 20 percent boost in first-time tattoo removal patients between April and June from the same time last year, according to the Japan Times (h/t the Daily Mail). Recent graduates seeking their first jobs made up a large segment of the new patients, clinic officials told the paper.

The boost comes shortly after Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of one of the largest cities in Japan, Osaka, started cracking down on tattooed government workers. The city asked its employees about their body art following an incident in which a city employees tattoos scared children at a welfare center, according to a separate Japan Times article.

"If they want to have tattoos," Hashimoto said, "they should quit working for the city and go to the private sector."

In Japan, tattoos can be taken as a sign of membership in the Yakuza organized crime ring. Because of that, public baths, sports clubs and other venues often refuse entry to people with tattoos, according to the Guardian.

Yet Japan isn’t the only place where tattooed job-seekers may have trouble getting work. The New York-based Strive, a job-training organization, started giving its clients lessons in covering their tattoos with makeup because previous clients were often denied jobs based on their tattoos, according The New York Times.

And laser tattoo removal across the country has seen a 32 percent boost over the past year, according to data from the Patients Guide cited by ABC News. Like in Japan, many of the patients are recent college graduates looking for a job in a tight market, Jen Mundt of Delete Tattoo Removal in Phoenix told ABC.

But even workers with tattoos that already have a job can be at risk. A former Starbucks employee sued the coffee chain in 2010, claiming he was fired for having tattoos, even though he had tattoos when he was initially hired, according to AOL Daily Finance.

Of course, there are other, stranger things that can get someone fired. Below are just some of the ways:

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