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  • Archive for the 'FRANCA' Category

    Activities of the “Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens” NGO, which Debito currently chairs. www.francajapan.org

    Meeting with US Embassy Tokyo Sept. 9, 2010 regarding State Dept. Country Reports on Human Rights

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 10th September 2010

    Yesterday three friends and I visited the US Embassy in Tokyo to discuss employment and other issues of discrimination in Japan. The consular official who received us, a Mr Thomas Whitney, kindly gave us 90 minutes to give as much information as we liked for consideration in the US State Department Country Reports on Human Rights, an annual report given by the USG on individual countries that has in past years included information on even the Otaru Onsens Case (thanks). What follows are the summaries provided in advance of what we would say. Here’s mine, since it’s shortest:

    The Japanese Government (GOJ) has a history of not abiding by its treaty obligations. With “Japanese Only” signs and rules in businesses nationwide (despite unlawfulness under both the Japanese Constitution and the UN CERD) and clear and present inequality towards non-Japanese in both the workplace and in protections under the law, Japan still has no national law with penalties against racial discrimination. The GOJ continues to make arguments to the UN against adopting one (i.e., freedom of speech and the efficacy of the Japanese judiciary for redress), while abuses towards non-Japanese and ethnically-diverse Japanese worsen (e.g., new and overt examples of hate speech and xenophobia, racist statements by politicians and media, even targeting of naturalized citizens for suspicion and exclusion). The GOJ has had more than a decade (having effected the CERD in 1996) to make legislative attempts to rectify this system, and its negligence presents ill precedent for abiding under future treaty signings (such as the Hague Convention on Child Abductions). Friends must help friends break bad habits, and gentle international pressure to assist the GOJ under a new reformist administration move in the right direction is a good thing for all concerned.

    Arudou Debito

    NB: Since our focus was on employment issues, I cited my experiences with TADD and Ambassador Mondale back in 1995 (See Ivan Hall CARTELS OF THE MIND), and the systematic full-time contracting of NJ in academia as witnessed through the Blacklist of Japanese Universities. I also mentioned that the GOJ has constantly refused attempts to release hard numbers on how many NJ academics in Japan have contracts vs tenure compared to Japanese academics getting contracts vs tenure (see more on this Academic Apartheid here). I also tied everyone’s presentations at the end with a request for USG visits to the Ministries of Education and Labor (following on Mondale’s precedent), to express awareness of the problem and the desire for proper enforcement of existing labor laws (if not the creation of a law against racial discrimination). Finally, I gave Mr Whitney the FRANCA handouts I gave the United Nations last March regarding general issues of discrimination in Japan (here and here).

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, FRANCA, Gaiatsu, Human Rights, Japanese Government, Labor issues | 9 Comments »

    March 29, 2010 JIPI speech on why Japan needs immigration: Download my powerpoint presentation here (Japanese)

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 30th March 2010

    My FRANCA speech yesterday for JIPI went very well, with me reading my slides in Japanese probably the most comfortably ever (I felt I was really “in the zone”). This blog entry is to make my powerpoint presentation public for download:

    http://www.debito.org/JIPI032910.ppt

    About 120 slides in Japanese (not all are visible, I hid about a third), making the case that Japan needs immigration, and presenting things in terms of “give and take” — what the GOJ must offer immigrants to make them come and stay, and what immigrants must do to make themselves assimilatable and contributing to this society.

    I’ll have some photos from the event up shortly; forgot my card reader today.

    I’ll also be at JIPI most of the time every day until Saturday. If you’d like to have a chat with Mr Sakanaka with an introduction from me, do be in touch (debito@debito.org) and drop by.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, FRANCA, Immigration & Assimilation, Practical advice, Speech materials, 日本語 | 3 Comments »

    Mar 27 2010 NGO FRANCA Tokyo meeting minutes

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 28th March 2010

    Here is an abridged version of the NGO FRANCA (Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association) minutes I sent out today, regarding our exceptional Tokyo meeting last night in International House, Roppongi. It was a full house, with fifteen attendees, four of whom became dues-paying members. People attending were from a variety of backgrounds, from corporate to techie to journalist to academic to relative newcomer.

    We got a lot discussed. We had so many voices describing their experiences in Japan (from employment issues to bike and passport checks to child abductions to domestic politics) that it was difficult to get through my powerpoint! (I did, and you can download it revised at http://www.debito.org/FRANCA.ppt.

    We added to the list of possible FRANCA future projects:

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, FRANCA | 2 Comments »

    Two upcoming speeches, Sat eve FRANCA, Mon eve JIPI, both Tokyo

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 26th March 2010

    I would like to invite you to two more speeches, one Saturday evening, one Monday evening, both in Tokyo. The Saturday evening one will be a FRANCA meeting in the newly-refurbished International House in Roppongi, while the Monday evening one will be a JIPI speech in Japanese on why Japan needs immigration. Details as follows:

    Posted in FRANCA, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Speech materials, 日本語 | 1 Comment »

    FRANCA meeting with UN Rep Bustamante yesterday: How it went, with photos

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

    As you know, as representative of NGO FRANCA I met with Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights of Migrants Dr Jorge A. Bustamante on March 23, 2010. Here’s a briefing:

    Starting from 9AM at one of the Diet Lower House meeting rooms, I sat in as Amnesty International Japan and Solidarity with Migrants Japan made their cases about how NJ are being treated badly by the media, the government, and labor policy. Dr Bustamante asked a lot of questions and wanted statistics, particularly about the death rates for migrant workers (we were all surprised; he said that in other developed countries those statistics were available at the government level, something inconceivable to us). After 45 minutes, he went off to meetings with GOJ officials.

    We were supposed to meet again for another 45 minutes from 1PM, but Dr Bustamante arrived more than twenty minutes late. (This is a typical GOJ trick so the NGOs get less time; if NGOs go overtime, they become the object of criticism, but if the GOJ goes overtime, nobody complains but the NGOs.) A representative from the Zainichi Koreans, an academic from Korea University (Kodaira, Tokyo) named Mr RYOM Munsong, kept his speech to 12 minutes, I kept mine to twelve as well (we had timers), and mixed our powerpoint with movie and speech.

    As far as I went, I was able to squeeze in my full introduction and two of my five bullet issues, then had to skip to the end with the entreaty to not see NJ as “temporary migrant workers” but “immigrants” (read entire speech here). But I was very disappointed that we had virtually no time for Q&A (Dr Bustamante looked tired), and that all that preparation was cut short because we were keeping our promises with the scheduling and the GOJ was not.

    Some photos from the proceedings:

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, FRANCA, Human Rights, Japanese Government, United Nations | 18 Comments »

    FRANCA Sendai Meeting Proceedings, Photos and Project Ideas

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 23rd March 2010

    We had a NGO FRANCA (Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association) meeting last Sunday in Sendai. We’ll be having another one this coming Saturday evening in Tokyo, so if you like what you read below, please consider coming to our meeting and joining our group. FRANCA Chair Arudou Debito gave a presentation on what FRANCA is and what it’s doing. (You can download that presentation at http://www.debito.org/FRANCA.ppt). What follows are some photos and minutes of the meeting.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, FRANCA, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation | 4 Comments »

    Rough draft text of my speech to UN Rep Bustamante Mar 23 in Tokyo

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

    Excerpt: I wish to focus on the situation of peoples of “foreign” origin and appearance, such as White and non-Asian peoples like me, and how we tend to be treated in Japanese society. Put simply, we are not officially registered or even counted sometimes as genuine residents. We are not treated as taxpayers, not protected as consumers, not seen as ethnicities even in the national census. We not even regarded as deserving of the same human rights as Japanese, according to government-sponsored opinion polls and human rights surveys (blue folder items I-1, I-6 and III-6). This view of “foreigner” as “only temporary in Japan” is a blind spot even the United Nations seems to share, but I’ll get that later.

    Here is a blue 500-page information folder I will give you after my talk, with primary source materials, articles, reference papers, and testimonials from other people in Japan who would like their voice heard. It will substantiate what I will be saying in summary below.

    […] [I]t is we “Newcomers” who really need the protections of a Japanese law against racial discrimination, because we, the people who are seen because of our skin color as “foreigners” in Japan, are often singled out and targeted for our own special variety of discriminatory treatment.

    Here are examples I will talk briefly about now:
    1) Discrimination in housing and accommodation
    2) Racial Profiling by Japanese Police, through policies officially depicting Non-Japanese as criminals, terrorists, and carriers of infectious disease
    3) Refusal to be registered or counted as residents by the Japanese Government
    4) “Japanese Only” exclusions in businesses open to the public
    5) Objects of unfettered hate speech…

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Fingerprinting, Targeting, Tracking NJ, FRANCA, GAIJIN HANZAI mag, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Otaru Onsen Lawsuit, Speech materials, United Nations | 25 Comments »

    Table of Contents of FRANCA information folder to UN Spec. Rapporteur Bustamante, Mar 23. Last call for submissions from Debito.org Readers.

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 15th March 2010

    What follows is the Table of Contents for an information packet I will be presenting Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights of Migrants Jorge A. Bustamante, who will be visiting Japan and holding hearings on the state of discrimination in Japan. Presented on behalf of our NGO FRANCA (Sendai and Tokyo meetings on Sun Mar 21 and Sat Mar 27 respectively).

    It’s a hefty packet of about 500 pages printed off or so, but I will keep a couple of pockets at the back for Debito.org Readers who would like to submit something about discrimination in Japan they think the UN should hear. It can be anonymous, but better would be people who provide contact details about themselves.

    Last call for that. Two pages A4 front and back, max (play with the fonts and margins if you like). Please send to debito@debito.org by NOON JST Thursday March 18, so I can print it on my laser printer and slip it in the back.

    Here’s what I’ll be giving as part of an information pack. I haven’t written my 20-minute presentation for March 23 yet, but thanks for all your feedback on that last week, everyone…

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Articles & Publications, Exclusionism, Fingerprinting, Targeting, Tracking NJ, FRANCA, GAIJIN HANZAI mag, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Hokkaido Toyako G8 Summit 2008, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Injustice, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Japanese Politics, Labor issues, Otaru Onsen Lawsuit, Speech materials, United Nations | 7 Comments »

    FRANCA MEETINGS SENDAI Sun Mar 21, TOKYO Sat Mar 27

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 14th March 2010

    FRANCA (Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association), an NGO founded last year and registered with the Japanese government to look out for the interests of long-term NJ and naturalized Japanese, will be having two meetings this month.

    FRANCA Sendai Meeting Sunday, March 21, 2010, 1:30-4:30PM. Place: AER Building next to Sendai station (El Solar Meeting Room 1, 28F), from 13:30 to 16:30. Please attend and bring a friend or the family! More details and contacts at FRANCA Sendai

    FRANCA Tokyo Meeting Saturday March 27, 2010; 6PM-9PM International House of Japan 5-11-16 Roppongi Minato-ku, Tokyo Meeting Name – FRANCA How to get there at http://www.i-house.or.jp/en/ihj/access.html

    Please consider attending and finding out more about what we can do for each other. I’ll be giving a presentation on what FRANCA is, what it’s done so far, and what we could have it do in future with your help.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, FRANCA, Immigration & Assimilation | No Comments »

    Just heard: NGO FRANCA and I will be meeting with UN Special Rapporteur Jorge Bustamante March 23, Tokyo. Anything you want me to say or give him?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 11th March 2010

    I just heard yesterday from NGOs concerned with human rights in Japan that I will be part of a group meeting with Mr Jorge Bustamante, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, on March 23 in Tokyo.

    I will have twenty minutes to make a presentation regarding exclusions of NJ in Japan in violation of UN CERD treaty.

    Is there anything you’d like me to say? I already have some ideas here (see Chapter 2). But I’m open to suggestions and feedback. If there is anything you would like me to present him, please send me at debito@debito.org. Please keep submissions concise, under 2 sides of A4 paper (meaning one sheet front and back) when formatted and printed.

    To give you some idea of format, I’ve given presentations to UN Rapporteurs before, particularly Dr Doudou Diene back in 2005 and 2006. The archive on that here.

    I will of course make the case that the GOJ is being intransigent and unreflective of reality when asserts, again and again, that Japan does not need a law against racial discrimination. And in violation of its international treaty promises.

    The floor is open, everyone. Thanks very much for your assistance.

    Arudou Debito, Chair, NGO Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association (FRANCA)

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Discussions, Exclusionism, FRANCA, Speech materials, United Nations | 34 Comments »

    FRANCA protest letter to McDonald’s USA HQ re “Mr James” Campaign

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 16th August 2009

    To McDonald’s USA corporate headquarters:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    We write to you on behalf of FRANCA, a human rights group concerned with the rights of non-Japanese residents in Japan. Our goals are: 1) To eliminate negative public images and stereotypes of non-Japanese and multi-cultural Japanese; 2) To eliminate discrimination by race, nationality, ethnicity, and national origin; 3) To highlight the benefits of immigration and a multi-cultural society. FRANCA works to achieve these goals through sustainable and effective lobbying, networking and public relations campaigns aimed at educating the public. More about us at www.francajapan.org.

    We wish to bring to your attention a sales campaign launched this month by McDonald’s Japan that we find extremely problematic.

    The “Mr. James” character, representing the “Nippon All Stars” hamburger campaign, features a spectacled Caucasian narrating his love for Japan and Japan’s version of McDonald’s’ hamburgers. Our association finds the following things problematic:

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Bad Business Practices, FRANCA, Human Rights, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 53 Comments »