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From Debito's doctoral research:

Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

  • Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination
  • (Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield HB 2015, PB 2016)

    Click on book cover for reviews, previews, and 30% discount direct from publisher. Available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle eBook on

  • Book IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan
  • Archive for the 'Blog Polls' Category

    These are polls that have appeared on surveying Readership opinions

    DEBITO.ORG POLL: “For Readers married to a Japanese, how often on average do you have sex with your spouse?”

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 9th September 2011

    At the suggestion of one of our Readers, following my most recent Japan Times column on the subject of sexuality in Japan, I have created a DEBITO.ORG POLL (see right hand column under my book illustration) asking:

    “For Readers married to a Japanese, how often on average do you have sex with your spouse?”

    The options are:

    More than once a week.
    About once a week.
    Less than once a week but more than once a month.
    About once a month.
    Less than once a month.
    If this poll applies to you, please vote. Your answers strictly confidential, of course.

    Posted in Blog Polls | 6 Comments »

    DEBITO.ORG END-YEAR POLL: “What do you think are the top issues in 2010 that affected NJ in Japan?”

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 24th December 2010

    As part of the end-year roundup, here are a few issues I thought would be interesting for discussion. Looking back, what do you think are the most influential events that affected NJ in Japan? Here are some of ones I thought were noteworthy, in no particular order:

    What do you think are the top issues in 2010 that affected NJ in Japan?

    Far-rightists question credentials of DPJ reformists by claiming they have NJ roots
    Suraj Case of death during deportation
    Long-dead Centenarians still registered as alive (yet NJ remain unregistered)
    Nursing program only passes three NJ after two years
    Hunger strike at Ibaraki Prison
    GOJ apologizes to Korea for prewar annexation
    “My Darling is a Foreigner” becomes a movie
    Sumo Association decides to count naturalized wrestlers as still foreign
    UN Rapporteur Jorge Bustamante’s critical Japan visit
    NJ PR Suffrage Bill goes down in flames
    Zaitokukai far-rightists get arrested for property damage to Zainichis
    Child Abductions issue gathers steam with governments abroad, GOJ eyes Hague
    The Cove engenders protests, get limited screenings anyway
    Japan’s Kokusei Chousa pentennial census goes multilingual
    Tokyo Police spying on Muslims
    Futenma issue, with USG jerking GOJ’s chain
    Renho becomes first multiethnic Cabinet member
    Toyota’s mishandling of their runaway car recall, blaming foreign components and culture
    Oita court ultimately rules that NJ have no rights to J pensions
    Tourist visas eased for Chinese and Indians
    Health insurance requirement removed from visa renewals

    Something else
    (Please tell us what you think got left out in the Comments Section below)

    Posted in Blog Polls | 12 Comments »

    The Independent (UK) on Japan’s rising nationalism as Japan slips in world rankings

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 19th November 2010

    Independent: Most Tokyo districts will fortunately never experience Makoto Sakurai and his noisy flag-waving mob. But the city’s normally quiet Moto-Azabu area is home to the Chinese embassy and there are few countries Sakurai hates more than China. His group’s favourite insult – directed at the embassy via megaphone – is shina-jin roughly equivalent to “chink”.

    “The Chinese are making fools of us,” said Sakurai, a baby-faced 30-something and the unlikely ringleader of what one academic calls: “Japan’s fiercest and most dangerous hate group today.” Like many nationalists, he is infuriated by what he sees as Chinese expansionism.

    “If Japan had any guts, it would stand up to them,” he said.

    Two decades ago, Japan was the rising Asian upstart that was barging its way on to the world’s front pages. “We are virtually at the mercy of the Japanese,” The LA Times famously blared in 1989, after a slew of high-profile takeovers by Japanese companies. Now it’s faltering Japan’s turn to tremble at the power of foreign capital; Chinese capital.

    Japan’s conservative media have been sounding alarm bells all year as the rumblings from China’s economic juggernaut grow louder. In a 24-page feature in March, the right-wing Sapio magazine warned that China is set to “buy up Japan”, noting how Chinese conglomerates are gobbling up real estate and forests and even eyeing uninhabited islands around Japan’s coast. Another magazine ran a front-page story titled “Your next boss could be Chinese”.

    Japan’s insecurity at its reduced status has been hammered home this week in a dispute with another neighbour. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s decision to visit one of four islands off northern Japan, seized by Moscow after the Second World War, was called “regrettable” by Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Sakurai’s followers were more blunt – and bitter. “Russia and China are both taking advantage of Japan’s weakness,” said one. “China has a dagger pointed at Japan’s heart – what are we going to do about it?”

    The disputes could not have come at a worse time…

    Posted in Blog Polls, Gaiatsu, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Unsustainable Japanese Society | 24 Comments »

    “The Cove” Taiji Dolphin protesters cancel local demo due to potential Rightist violence

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 22nd August 2010

    To: Members in “The Cove” – Save Japan Dolphins
    UPDATE: Sept.1 Taiji events cancelled
    Received August 20, 2010

    For several important reasons, we have decided to cancel our plans in Taiji, Japan for Sept. 1st (the first day of the annual dolphin slaughter.)

    Most importantly, we received word that an extreme nationalist group known to be violent is set to confront us in Taiji. Our work in Japan has never been about physical confrontation. Since “The Cove” premiered in theaters earlier this Summer, we believe we are making progress by bringing the truth to the people of Japan about the dolphin slaughter and about mercury-poisoned dolphin meat in markets. We will not play the game that the nationalist groups want us to play – we will not have it become “us versus them.”… The militant nationalist groups may gather as they like in Taiji; we will be elsewhere in Japan, talking to the media, explaining the problem, and making sure the public understands that we are not there to fight, but to work together.

    COMMENT: The development above has stirred mixed feelings in me because: 1) The decision to cancel and move elsewhere the demonstration is understandable because we don’t want violence to mar the demos (and I think some of the groups will make good on their threat of violence — the police have a habit of not stopping public violence if it’s inflicted by the Right Wing. Only a violence-free demo will reassure an already tetchy Japanese public that not all demonstrators are extremists.

    Yet 2) In principle, giving in to bullies only makes them stronger, and if the Rightists are able to deter demos in Taiji by threatening violence, then what’s to stop them from threatening the same elsewhere? Whenever any group is able to successfully hold public safety hostage, violence (or the threat of it) will in fact be more encouraged. This is just an internal debate I have going on inside of me. What do others think? Blog poll also included.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Blog Polls, Cultural Issue, Discussions | 26 Comments » Blog Poll: What do you consider the TOP THREE NJ human rights events of 2009 in Japan? (More in Japan Times Jan 5)

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 1st January 2010

    Happy New Year, Blog. As a smaller post to start off 2010, let me ask readers what they think the most important NJ human rights events (I won’t say “advances”, as I consider 2009 to be pretty mixed) were last year? I’ve put them as a blog poll on the right so you can vote (choose three), but below are the ones that come to my mind, in no particular order (if you think I’ve missed any, Comments Section).

    I’ll be ranking them myself in my next Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE column out January 5, so have a read!

    Posted in Blog Polls | 2 Comments »

    New Poll: “What are the TOP THREE things you think the DPJ should do policywise for NJ in Japan? (choose up to 3)”

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 5th November 2009

    In part two of a series polling what the new DPJ Administration should do regarding making life in Japan better for NJ residents, I have offered a second poll at top right column, “What are the TOP THREE things you think the DPJ should do policywise for NJ in Japan? (choose up to 3)”, with some choices you might find delectable.

    It offers the same options in the same order as the previous poll (archived here, and you can still vote on that, too), except that one only wanted the polled to chose ONE option (since politicians have trouble working on more than one than one track at a time). Now with THREE choices, we should be able to see better overlaps and midpoints, and perhaps get a better sense of what concerned readers of think the GOJ should do for us. G’wan, let us know what you think!

    Posted in Blog Polls | 23 Comments »

    Terrie’s Take on Golden Week (2008 and 2009)

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 2nd May 2009

    Terrie’s Take: The central government is reportedly looking at modifying the dates of some public holidays, so as to ensure that they fall on days that allow 3-day weekends and thus encourage employees to take time off work and travel with their families. To ensure that Dads actually do take off their extra days of leave — which currently they don’t 50% of the time, the government is also considering changing accounting rules so that any unused employee leave will have to be accounted for as a liability, and be financially provisioned for in company accounts.

    And another historical time capsule pre-economic crash about holidaying habits of Japan last year from Terrie again included.

    Posted in Blog Polls, Cultural Issue, Japanese Government, Tangents | 6 Comments » Poll on most important human rights advancement in 2008

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 31st December 2008

    What do you think is the most significant human rights advancement in Japan in 2008? (all issues on this blog):

    The coveted Akutagawa Book Prize going to a non-native author.
    The U Hoden Case awarding damages to a bullied Chinese-Japanese schoolgirl.
    The successful Zainichi student complaint lodged against exclusionary Nihon U debate club.
    The successful lawsuit against Tochigi strawberry farms who underpaid and fired Chinese trainees.
    The GOJ declaring the Ainu an official indigenous people.
    The 12,000 yen “economic stimulus” bribe opened to all NJ taxpayers.
    The increasing international awareness of Japan as a haven for child abductions after divorce.
    The Supreme Court declaring unconstitutional the patrimony acknowledgment requirement for citizenship.
    Something else / None of the above.
    Can’t say / Don’t know etc.

    Vote early, vote often! Check out my next Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE column due out January 6 (Jan 7 outside the metropolises) when I rank them in order of importance.

    Posted in Blog Polls, Human Rights | No Comments »

    Tangent: Silly Beard Poll

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 20th October 2008

    We’ve had serious polls for a number of weeks now, people. Time for a silly one.

    I’ve grown a beard. Recent photo included in this blog entry. Do you like it?

    Let the world hear your voice on this incredibly important issue! Vote early, vote often! Click on the poll at the top right of this blog page! Debeardo in Sapporo

    Posted in Blog Polls, Humor, Tangents | 23 Comments »

    Quick commentary on Oct 1-10 08 poll on discriminatory language

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 12th October 2008

    [poll id=”9″ type=”result”]  BRIEF COMMENT:  I caution readers not to read too much into this poll.  It’s a select group of words to a (pretty) select readership.  But a point of clarification: People were allowed multiple entries, and the total number of voters was at poll closing 230 people.  This means that one person voting […]

    Posted in Blog Polls | 3 Comments »

    Query to readers: Items for next Poll (Oct 1)

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 24th September 2008

    I’m designing our next poll (due out Oct 1), thanks to a suggestion this afternoon from a commenter. Regarding problematic words…

    Here’s how I’ve phrased the question so far:

    “Terms describing people in any language can be controversial. In your opinion, which one, if any, of these words still in common use do you think are offensive and should be obsolesced out over time?”

    It’ll be a poll where people can choose multiple answers, and the answers so far I’ve come up with are:

    Shintai Shougaisha
    I don’t find any of these words offensive
    Can’t answer

    Any other options people feel I should include? Please leave suggestions. Thanks.

    Posted in Blog Polls | 17 Comments »

    Results of our fourth poll: Do you think the word “gaijin” should be avoided (in favor of other words, like, say, gaikokujin)?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 1st September 2008

    The result was still that most people (but not an absolute majority) thought the word “gaijin” should be avoided, due to unwelcome connotations. Perhaps par for the course for types of readers.

    It was an interesting poll to follow in real time. For the first few days, the first choice, “Yes”, had an absolute majority of over 50%. But as more voted, the “maybe, if derisive” and “no” responses whittled that down. I was surprised at how few chose “maybe, depends on listener”. Also interesting was how almost everyone had a clear opinion–almost nobody was neutral or unknowledgeable about the subject.

    Posted in Blog Polls | 6 Comments »

    Results of our third poll: Would you choose Japan as your permanent residence?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 20th August 2008

    [poll id=”4″ type=”result”]  COMMENT:  Completing the trilogy of “life in Japan” polls, our first talked how easy Japan is as a place to live; the second how easy a place Japan is to work.  Regarding living in Japan, a clear majority–62%–indicated Japan is an easy place.  However, asking the question about Japan as a workplace elicited […]

    Posted in Blog Polls | No Comments »

    Results of our second poll: In your opinion, is Japan an easy place to work?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 11th August 2008

    [poll id=”3″ type=”result”]  COMMENT:  As opposed to the previous poll, whether or not Japan is an easy place to live (a clear majority–62%–indicated it was), asking the question about Japan as a workplace elicited responses that were less clear.  Total 49% of 227 respondents leaned towards “difficult” or “very difficult”, whereas 31% leaned towards “easy” or […]

    Posted in Blog Polls | 2 Comments »

    Results of our first poll: In your opinion, is Japan an easy place to live?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 1st August 2008

    [poll id=”2″ type=”result”]  COMMENT:  Clearly, the majority (62%) felt that Japan was an easy or very easy place to live.  Well and good. Next poll:  Is Japan an easy place to WORK?  Vote early, vote often!  Debito

    Posted in Blog Polls | 6 Comments »


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