A firefighter in Japan punished after posting video game content on YouTube

[Update 2022/01/12 13:04 JST] Fixed the incomplete sentence in the second paragraph.

The Wakayama City Fire Department took disciplinary action against a firefighter for earning money by posting videos on YouTube, Mainichi Shimbun reports.

In Japan, local government employees like firefighters are not allowed to do side jobs without the approval of their appointer. Earning money by posting YouTube videos is considered a side job, and the firefighter’s salary was reduced to one-tenth of the regular amount for a month because of the violation.

According to Mainichi Shimbun, the firefighter posted 314 videos from December 2020 to October 2021, earning about 1.15 million yen in total (approx. $10,000) with around 2.27 million views. The city of Wakayama received a report that a firefighter was violating the Local Public Service Act by posting YouTube videos. The city conducted an investigation and identified the firefighter from the voice heard in the videos.

Although the fire department didn’t disclose the name of the YouTube channel or the details about the content of the videos, they did say the videos were about an online game where multiple players participated as crew members on a vehicle and engaged in a mind game. That sounds a whole lot like Among Us to me.

As mentioned above, it is possible for public servants in Japan to do side jobs if they are approved by the appointer. Apparently, the firefighter in question didn’t get approval. It’s quite astonishing that they were able to garner 2.27 million views as a rookie YouTuber, though.