Film record of Debito in action negotiating with a “Japanese Only” establishment in Shinjuku: excerpt from documentary “Sour Strawberries” (2009)

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Hi Blog. As a follow-up to the previous blog entry, where I cited somebody who (ironically) accused me of dealing with people by “launch[ing] immediately into angry, confrontational accusations“, here’s an actual movie record of me in action.

This is part of a documentary by Daniel Kremers and Tilman Koenig named “Sour Strawberries: Japan’s Hidden Guest Workers” (2009), talking about how Japan’s NJ, as a labor force and a resident population, are being treated in Japanese society. It is an excellent film that touches upon many important subjects, and it can be previewed and purchased here.

I appear for about five minutes within negotiating with a “Japanese Only” establishment, one of the dozens upon dozens I have talked with over the years, to confirm the facts of each case (recorded for posterity at the Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Establishments) and investigate the firmness of the exclusionary policy. See it for yourself:

Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

Spoke at Washington University at St. Louis Law School Colorism Conference April 3, on skin color stigmatism in Japan

eBooks, Books, and more from Dr. ARUDOU, Debito (click on icon):
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Donate towards my web hosting bill!
All donations go towards website costs only. Thanks for your support!

Hi Blog. I was invited to present at a very high-profile Global Perspectives on Colorism Conference at the Harris World Law Institute, University of Washington at St. Louis School of Law, joining some excellent speakers with impressive backgrounds. The first day had some really informative presentations (much more rigorous and thoughtful than the Ethnic Studies class I took at UH), and I hope to be just as rigorous and thoughtful tomorrow during my fifteen minutes.

wuls2015colorismconfflyer

Title:  Skin color stigmata in “homogeneous” Japanese society
Speaker:  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito, Scholar, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Abstract:  Japanese society is commonly known as a “homogeneous society”, without issues of “race” or skin color stigmata.  This is not the case.  The speaker, a bilingual naturalized Japanese of Caucasian descent, has lived for a quarter century in Japan researching issues of Japanese minorities.  He has found that biological markers, including facial shape, body type, and, of course, skin color, factor in to differentiate, “other”, and subordinate people not only into “Japanese” and “non-Japanese”, but also into “cleaner” and “dirtier” people (and thus higher and lower social classes) within the social category of “Japanese” itself.  This talk will provide concrete examples of the dynamic of skin-color stigmatization, and demonstrate how the methods of Critical Race Theory may also be applied to a non-White society.

Details on the conference at

http://law.wustl.edu/harris/pages.aspx?ID=10184

You can see me speak at

http://mediasite.law.wustl.edu/Mediasite/Play/154d49c8babe4e5ca11ab911dd6c97031d (minute 1:42)

Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

I’m speaking in Tokyo September 24 (today)

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Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Guest Speaker: Arudou Debito: What is “Racism?”

Rather like art or intelligence, everyone believes that they know what racism is, but many of us would have difficulty actually defining the concept. Based on his long experience campaigning for human rights and anti-racist legislation in Japan, and on the research for his recently-completed PhD thesis, Arudou Debito, a naturalised Japanese citizen, will introduce a definition of racism that is not based solely on biology.
Join us for what is certain to be a stimulating presentation and discussion.

Nishi Azabu / Roppongi, details at http://www.aiten.org/letter-writing-and-dinner-24-september/

Participation fee: 500 yen

For more information (incl. contact details):
———————-
Amnesty International Tokyo English Network (AITEN)
HP(English): http://www.aiten.org
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmnestyTokyoEng
Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=17073295569&ref=ts
HP(Japanese):http://www.amnesty.or.jp/
———————-

Powerpoint presentation on the J media-manufactured Myth of “Flyjin”; stats are in, lies are exposed

IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito
Novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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Hi Blog. This week I gave a couple of presentations on my campus, one that I will share with everyone:

It’s about the whole “Flyjin” phenomenon, where the Japanese media was outright accusing NJ of deserting their posts and fleeing Japan. I’ve already written a column on this for the Japan Times (where I argued that if true, so what? It’s not as if NJ have been made to feel welcome or settled in Japan). But this time, now that the data is in, I argue that the phenomenon was a myth to begin with. Statistics show that a) NJ populations dropped most in ethnic groups (the Brazilians) that are not clustered around Touhoku to begin with, and b) the accusations in the Shuukanshi that NJ criminals were banding together to commit crime were false, as NJ crime dropped even further in 2011 (to levels not seen since 1993 — NPA crime statistics have to go as far back now as 1982 now to somehow depict a “rise”). Also discussed are the unexamined hypocrisies of Ishihara scaring the public in 2000 about the probability of “foreigner riots” during a natural disaster (which never happened; the bigot still got re-elected a month after the disasters anyway), and the Japanese fleeing Bangkok during the flooding last October (taking their Thai workers with them; on special temporary visas of course). And other important information that got drowned out in the NJ blame game/scapegoating (such as other issues of discrimination, including hotel refusals of Japanese “flyjin” fleeing Touhoku, and more accurate facts from the ground).

Download my powerpoint presentation on this at http://www.debito.org/flyjin032012.pptx

Enjoy! Arudou Debito

DEBITO.ORG PODCAST JULY 1, 2011: FCCJ Book Break on IN APPROPRIATE, June 28, 2011

IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito
New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb

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debitopodcast

In this podcast:

Book Break at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan on my new book “IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan“.  June 28, 2011, Tokyo Yurakucho, with a large discussion on child abductions after divorce in Japan.

The presentation and Q&A in its entirety.  1 hour 20 minutes.  No cuts.  Enjoy!

If you would like to download the powerpoint I used and follow along, click here.

[display_podcast]

FCCJ Book Break June 28 Tokyo for IN APPROPRIATE, contact me if you’d like to attend

IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito
New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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Hi Blog. Let me tell today about a presentation coming up in Tokyo on June 28, talking about my latest book, “IN APPROPRIATE”, at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan.

If you would like to attend and are not a FCCJ member, please let me know via debito@debito.org (please put “Invitation to FCCJ Book Break” in subject line) and I will add you to the guest list. (Please be absolutely sure you can attend, because I have to pay for any no-shows out of my own pocket). Thanks.  Arudou Debito

===================================

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS CLUB OF JAPAN (FCCJ)
Book Break

“IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan”
By ARUDOU Debito

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 from 6.15 pm to 8.30 pm
FCCJ, Yurakucho, Tokyo (directions via www.fccj.or.jp)
(The speech and Q & A will be in English)

IN APPROPRIATE is the story of Gary Schmidt, a small-town American teen, who meets a Japanese girl in college and follows her to Japan to start a family. Little does he know that his wife’s conservative Japanese clan has hidden agendas and secret intentions. Gary eventually realizes that he must escape their clutches – and convince his family to do the same before it’s too late!

IN APPROPRIATE is a book about child abductions in Japan, where after a divorce, a non-Japanese man comes back to Japan to retrieve his children back to America. Although a work of fiction, it is an amalgam of several true stories of divorce and Left-Behind Parents in Japan.

The author adds, “IN APPROPRIATE is about more than just divorce: I wanted to describe how a person would find fascination in Japan and Japanese people, come over during Japan’s Bubble Era to find Japan ripe with opportunity, and watch as Japan’s economy goes sour over the past two decades. It was wonderful to recount this story as a Bubble-Era veteran — when in the late 1980’s Japan looked poised to take over the world — and see how, step-by-step, Japanese society would be squeezed and squeezed, waiting for a promised recovery that would never come. IN APPROPRIATE is thus a time capsule charting Japan’s descent into mediocrity and comparative international irrelevance.”

ARUDOU Debito, the Just Be Cause columnist for The Japan Times, notorious human rights activist for non-Japanese residents in Japan, and coordinator of award-winning information website Debito.org, has written other non-fiction books featured as FCCJ Book Breaks: “JAPANESE ONLY: The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan” (English and Japanese), and “Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants and Immigrants to Japan”. Although IN APPROPRIATE is his first foray into fiction, he notes, “The only way I could do justice to the complex issue of international child abduction was to combine several non-fiction cases I have heard over the years. Everything that happens in the book is based upon a true story.”

The library committee is now offering a cocktail party – “meet the author” – starting at 6:15 pm, followed by dinner at 6:45 pm. Drinks can be ordered on a pay basis from the bar in the room. Book Break charges 2,000 yen (including tax) for the event. Sign up now at the reception desk (3211-3161) or online at http://www.fccj.or.jp/node/6676. To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve in advance, preferably by noon of the day of the event. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled.

Reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full.

Library Committee, THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS’ CLUB OF JAPAN
ENDS

My speech at Otaru Shoudai Dec 6, 2010, “The Otaru Onsens Case 10 years on”, now on YouTube in six parts

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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Hi Blog. I gave a series of speeches over the past week, the latest one at Otaru University of Commerce, on “The Otaru Onsens Case Ten Years On”. It’s in English (as it is a lecture series in English sponsored by the university for language students and exchange students), and available for view in several parts at the Otaru Shoudai Channel on YouTube. Have a look. Links to parts one through six below.  Enjoy.  Arudou Debito

Part One:

Part Two:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKz1fm5GdN4

Part Three:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p15Vrg0X_y0

Part Four:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyP2JFlvDzI

Part Five:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw-MZ-8s7jI

Part Six:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1quOHWZUBE

ENDS

Speaking at Otaru Shoudai Mon Dec 6: “The Otaru Onsens Case, 10 Years On”

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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Hi Blog. In what has been a busy week (two speeches and some other public get-togethers), I’m capping it off with yet another speech back in Hokkaido this coming Monday. Then an article in the Japan Times on Tuesday, but I’ll let you more about that tomorrow. Here are the details on the Hokkaido speech. Arudou Debito

////////////////////////////////////////

English Lecture Series #3
The Otaru Onsens Case-Ten Years On
Arudou Debito
Monday December 6th, 2010
4:30 p.m. Room 370
Sponsored by Otaru Shoudai

Did you know that Otaru once had onsens that said “Japanese Only”? They not only refused entry to non-Japanese residents, but also Japanese people with foreign roots, and even a naturalized Japanese citizen. Ten years later, what has changed? Come hear Arudou Debito speak about it.

////////////////////////////////////////

UPDATE:  The entire speech in English (as it is a lecture series in English sponsored by the university for language students and exchange students) is now available for view in several parts at the Otaru Shoudai Channel on YouTube. Have a look. Links to parts one through five visible from http://www.debito.org/?p=8023.

ENDS

Speaking PGL 2010 Sat Dec 4 ICU on “Propaganda in Japan’s Media: Manufacturing Consent for National Goals at the Expense of non-Japanese Residents”

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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PGL Conference 2010
International Christian University, Tokyo

The Conference
The 3 R’s: Resist Business as Usual, Reclaim Space for Peace,
Revolutionise Public Consciousness

Room Number & General Theme
Media – Room 252
Saturday, December 4, Session 3 (3.15 – 4.45)

Paper Presentation Titles
Folake Abass, Kyoto Sangyo University (30 mins)
Exploring Injustice

Arudou Debito, Hokkaido Information University (60 mins)

Propaganda in Japan’s Media: Manufacturing Consent for National Goals at the Expense of non-Japanese Residents

https://sites.google.com/site/pgl2010/home/schedule

1. Paper title

PROPAGANDA IN JAPAN’S MEDIA
MANUFACTURING CONSENT FOR NATIONAL GOALS AT THE EXPENSE OF NJ RESIDENTS

2. Abstract in English

Japan has one of the most vibrant and pervasive domestic media environments in the world. This media environment can also be significantly manipulated by the Japanese government, mobilizing Japanese public opinion towards national goals even at the expense of domestic minorities — particularly non-citizens. The degree of underrepresentation and disenfranchisement of Non-Japanese residents in Japan is clear when one studies the “foreign crime wave of the 2000s”, promoted by the government in the name of “making Japan the world’s safest country again”, justifying public policy against “foreign terrorism, infectious diseases, and crime”. The domestic media’s complicity in publicizing anti-foreign sentiment without analysis has caused quantifiable social dehumanization; government polls indicate a near-majority of citizens surveyed do not agree that non-citizens should have the same human rights as citizens. This presentation studies how language and media have been used as a means for disseminating propaganda in Japan, fostering social stratification, alienation, and xenophobia.

ENDS

Speaking Dec 2 at Sophia University on Liberal Democracy and Japanese Judiciary

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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Liberal Democracy and the Japanese Judiciary System
Is Japan’s Judiciary System Befitting a Modern Democracy?

Chris Pitts (Kyoritsu Women’s University (共立女子学園)/ AITEN (Amnesty International Tokyo English Network)

Mr. Pitts will be examining the general framework of the criminal investigation procedure in Japan and the trial process; how these structures fail to protect the rights of the accused; and the extent that these shortcomings have been criticized by Japanese Federation of Bar Associations & the UN Committee on Torture.

Arudou Debito 有道 出人 (Hokkaido Information University (北海道情報大学)

The outspoken foreigners’ rights activist will then discuss the ways in which certain elements within a modern democratic judiciary system can work to undermine the civil liberties of the individuals within that democracy; and ask: Are there authoritarian elements within the Japanese judiciary system? And are they undermining the civil liberties of those living within Japanese society?

Sophia Political Society
Thursday, December 2, 2010
From 5:30-7:00 in Bldg 4 Rm 175

COMMENT FROM DEBITO: I offer the standard disclaimers of “I am not a lawyer or a legal expert, just someone with some interesting experiences in the Japanese judiciary offering his opinions”, so don’t come expecting necessarily definitive views!  Will give it a go.  Arudou Debito

Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE Column April 6, 2010 prints my speech to UN Rep Bustamante on “blind spot” re Japan immigrants

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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justbecauseicon.jpg
JUST BE CAUSE
Japan, U.N. share blind spot on ‘migrants’
By DEBITO ARUDOU
The Japan Times: Tuesday, April 6, 2010

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20100406ad.html
Original Version with links to sources at http://www.debito.org/?p=6233

On March 23, I gave a speech to Jorge Bustamante, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, for NGO FRANCA regarding racial discrimination in Japan. Text follows:

I wish to speak about the treatment of those of “foreign” origin and appearance in Japan, such as white and non-Asian people. Simply put, 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. According to government polls and surveys, we do not even deserve the same human rights as Japanese. The view of “foreigner” as “only temporary in Japan” is a blind spot even the United Nations seems to share, but I will get to that later.

First, an overview: The number of non-Japanese (NJ) on visas of three months or longer has increased since 1990 from about 1 million to over two. Permanent residents (PR) number over 1 million, meaning about half of all registered NJ can stay here forever. Given how hard PR is to get — about five years if married to a Japanese, 10 years if not — a million NJ permanent residents are clearly not a temporary part of Japanese society.

Moreover, this does not count the estimated half-million or so naturalized Japanese citizens (I am one of them). Nor does this count children of international marriages, about 40,000 annually. Mathematically, if each couple has two children, eventually that will mean 80,000 more ethnically diverse Japanese children; over a decade, 800,000 — almost a million again. Not all of these children of diverse backgrounds will “look Japanese.”

What’s more, we don’t know Japan’s true diversity because the Census Bureau only surveys for nationality. This means when I fill out the census, I write down “Japanese” for my nationality, but I cannot indicate my ethnicity as a “white Japanese,” or a “Japanese of American extraction” (amerikakei nihonjin). I believe this is by design — because the politics of identity in Japan are all about “monoculturality and monoethnicity.” Given modern Japan’s emerging immigration and assimilation, this is a fiction. The official conflation of Japanese nationality and ethnicity is incorrect, yet our government refuses to collect data that would correct that.

The point is we cannot tell who is “Japanese” just by looking at them. This means that whenever distinctions are made between “foreigner” and “Japanese,” be it police racial profiling or “Japanese only” signs, some Japanese citizens will also be affected. Thus we need a law against racial discrimination in Japan — not only because it will help noncitizens assimilate into Japan, but also because it will protect Japanese against xenophobia, bigotry and exclusionism, against the discrimination that is “deep and profound” and “practiced undisturbed in Japan,” according to U.N. Rapporteur Doudou Diene in 2005 and 2006.

There are some differences in viewpoint between my esteemed colleagues here today and the people I am trying to speak for. Japan’s minorities as definable under the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), including Ainu, Ryukyuans, zainichi special-permanent- resident ethnic Koreans and Chinese, and burakumin, will speak to you as people who have been here for a long time — much longer than people like me, of course. Their claims are based upon time-honored and genuine grievances that have never been properly redressed. For ease of understanding, I will call them the “oldcomers.”

I will try to speak on behalf of the “newcomers,” i.e., people who came here relatively recently to make a life in Japan. Of course both oldcomers and newcomers contribute to Japanese society, in terms of taxes, service and culture, for example. But it is we newcomers who really need a Japanese law against racial discrimination, because we, the people who are seen because of our skin color as “foreigners,” are often singled out for our own variant of discriminatory treatment. Examples in brief:

1. HOUSING, ACCOMMODATION

One barrier many newcomers face is finding an apartment. According to the Mainichi Shimbun (Jan. 8), on average in Tokyo it takes 15 visits to realtors for an NJ to find an apartment. Common experience — this is all we have because there is no government study of the problem — dictates that agents generally phrase the issue to landlords as, “The renter is a foreigner, is that OK?” This overt discrimination happens with impunity in Japan. One Osaka realtor even advertises apartments as “gaijin allowed,” a sales point at odds with the status quo. People who face discriminatory landlords can only take them to court. This means years, money for lawyers and court fees, and an uncertain outcome — when all you need is a place to live, now.

Another barrier is hotels. Lodgings are expressly forbidden by Hotel Management Law Article 5 to refuse customers unless rooms are full, there is a clear threat of contagious disease, or an issue of “public morals.” However, government surveys indicate that 27 percent of all Japanese hotels do not want foreign guests, period. Not to be outdone, Fukushima Prefecture Tourist Information advertised the fact that 318 of their member hotels refuse NJ. Thus even when a law technically forbids exclusionism, the government will not enforce it. On the contrary, official bodies will even promote excluders.

2. RACIAL PROFILING BY POLICE

Another rude awakening happens when NJ walk down the street. All NJ (but not citizens) must carry ID cards at all times or face possible criminal charges and incarceration. So Japanese police will target and stop people who “look foreign” in public, sometimes forcefully and rudely, and demand personal identification. This very alienating process of “carding” can happen when walking while white, cycling while foreign-looking, using public transportation while multiethnic, or waiting for arrivals at airports while colored. One person has apparently been “carded,” sometimes through physical force, more than 50 times in one year, and 125 times over 10 years.

Police justify this as a hunt for foreign criminals and visa over-stayers, or cite special security measures or campaigns. However, these “campaigns” are products of government policies depicting NJ as “terrorists, criminals and carriers of infectious diseases.” None of these things, of course, is contingent upon nationality. Moreover, since 2007, all noncitizens are fingerprinted every time they re-enter Japan. This includes newcomer PRs, going further than the US-VISIT program, which does not refingerprint Green Card holders. However, the worst example of bad social science is the National Research Institute of Police Science, which spends taxpayer money on researching “foreign DNA” for racial profiling at crime scenes.

In sum, Japan’s police see NJ as “foreign agents” in both senses of the word. They are systematically taking measures to deal with NJ as a social problem, not as fellow residents or immigrants.

3. EXCLUSION AS ‘RESIDENTS’

Japan’s registration system, meaning the current koseki family registry and juminhyo residency certificate systems, refuse to list NJ as “spouse” or “family member” because they are not citizens. Officially, NJ residing here are not registered as “residents” (jumin), even though they pay residency taxes (juminzei) like anyone else. Worse, some local governments (such as Tokyo’s Nerima Ward) do not even count NJ in their population tallies. This is the ultimate in invisibility, and it is government-sanctioned.

4. ‘JAPANESE ONLY’ EXCLUSION

With no law against racial discrimination, “No foreigners allowed” signs have appeared nationwide, at places such as stores, restaurants, hotels, public bathhouses, bars, discos, an eyeglass outlet, a ballet school, an Internet cafe, a billiards hall, a women’s boutique — even in publicity for a newspaper subscription service. Regardless, the government has said repeatedly to the U.N. that Japan does not need a racial discrimination law because of our effective judicial system. That is untrue.

For example, in the Otaru onsen case (1999-2005), where two NJ and one naturalized Japanese (myself) were excluded from a public bathhouse, judges refused to rule these exclusions were illegal due to racial discrimination. They called it “unrational discrimination.” Moreover, the judiciary refused to enforce relevant international treaty as law, or punish the negligent Otaru City government for ineffective measures against racial discrimination. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Furthermore, in 2006, an openly racist shopkeeper refused an African-American customer entry, yet the Osaka District Court ruled in favor of the owner! Japan needs a criminal law, with enforceable punishments, because the present judicial system will not fix this.

5. UNFETTERED HATE SPEECH

There is also the matter of the cyberbullying of minorities and prejudiced statements made by our politicians over the years. Other NGOs will talk more about the anti-Korean and anti-Chinese hate speech during the current debate about granting local suffrage rights to permanent residents.

I would instead like to briefly mention some media, such as the magazine “Underground Files of Crimes by Gaijin” (Gaijin Hanzai Ura Fairu (2007)) and “PR Suffrage will make Japan Disappear” (Gaikokujin Sanseiken de Nihon ga Nakunaru Hi (2010)). Both these books stretch their case to talk about an innate criminality or deviousness in the foreign element, and “Underground Files” even cites things that are not crimes, such as dating Japanese women. It also includes epithets like “nigger,” racist caricatures and ponderings on whether Korean pudenda smell like kimchi. This is hate speech. And it is not illegal in Japan. You could even find it on sale in convenience stores.

CONCLUSION

In light of all the above, the Japanese government’s stance towards the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is easily summarized: The Ainu, Ryukyuans and burakumin are citizens, therefore they don’t fall under the CERD because they are protected by the Japanese Constitution. However, the zainichis and newcomers are not citizens, therefore they don’t get protection from the CERD either. Thus, our government effectively argues, the CERD does not cover anyone in Japan.

Well, what about me? Or our children? Are there really no ethnic minorities with Japanese citizenship in Japan?

In conclusion, I would like to thank the U.N. for investigating our cases. On March 16, the CERD Committee issued some very welcome recommendations in its review. However, may I point out that the U.N. still made a glaring oversight.

During the committee’s questioning of Japan last Feb. 24 and 25, very little mention was made of the CERD’s “unenforcement” in Japan’s judiciary and criminal code. Furthermore, almost no mention was made of “Japanese only” signs, the most indefensible violations of the CERD.

Both Japan and the U.N. have a blind spot in how they perceive Japan’s minorities. Newcomers are never couched as residents of or immigrants to Japan, but rather as “foreign migrants.” The unconscious assumption seems to be that 1) foreign migrants have a temporary status in Japan, and 2) Japan has few ethnically diverse Japanese citizens.

Time for an update. Look at me. I am a Japanese. The government put me through a very rigorous and arbitrary test for naturalization, and I passed it. People like me are part of Japan’s future. When the U.N. makes their recommendations, please have them reflect how Japan must face up to its multicultural society. Please recognize us newcomers as a permanent part of the debate.

The Japanese government will not. It says little positive about us, and allows very nasty things to be said by our politicians, policymakers and police. It’s about time we all recognized the good that newcomers are doing for our home, Japan. Please help us.

=====================

Debito Arudou coauthored the “Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants and Immigrants.” Twitter arudoudebito. More on this meeting and photos at http://www.debito.org/?p=6256. Just Be Cause appears on the first Community Page of the month

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

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Hi Blog.  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.

Photos from the event:

Mr Sakanaka tells a joke about Debito.  Can’t remember what.

One of many, many slides, presenting irrefutable arguments…

Not a full house, but plenty of very attentive, earnest people.

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.

Arudou Debito in Tokyo

Assn of Korean Human Rights RYOM Munsong’s speech text to UN Rep Bustamante, March 23

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Hi Blog.  What follows is a speech by Mr RYOM Munsong, read and presented to UN Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights of Migrants, Dr. Jorge Bustamante, just before I did on March 23 (my speech here).  I have offered Debito.org as a space for Japan’s presenting NGOs to release their information to the general reading public.  Read on.  Arudou Debito in Tokyo.

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Association of Korean Human Rights in Japan

ブスタマンテ国連特別報告者との意見交換会

場所:衆議院第二議員会館第三会議室

日時:2010年3月23日

報告者:廉文成(RYOM Munsong)

Good afternoon, Dr. Bustamante, thank you very much for sparing us time to introduce human rights situation of Koreans in Japan. Today, I would like to talk about xenophobic movements against Korean school at grass-roots level and current Japanese government’s decision to exclude Korean school from new high school tuition-free measures.

Let me show you video picture.

This is the picture of assault against Korean primary school in Kyoto by one of the grass-roots right-wing organizations named “Citizen’s Group against Special Rights for Zainichi (foreigners in Japan)”, shortened to “Zaitokukai.” This group opposed what it calls ‘special rights’ for Koreans in Japan.

As you can watch, they shouted abusive words just in front of primary school. At that time, primary school students were studying in the school building. They might be frightened by their dirty words and violent behavior. They terrified Korean school children based on xenophobia. It is the violation of the rights of children to study without any physical and mental persecution.

Such kinds of assault should not be taken place. Furthermore, Japanese authorities should keep such human rights violations under strict control. What is more serious is that not a single member of this group was arrested by the Japanese police, which means that such assaults are not illegal in Japan under the pretext of freedom of speech or something. Xenophobia and human rights violations against foreigners can be observed at the grass-roots level.

By the way, let me briefly introduce the reason why Koreans are living in Japan. We, Koreans in Japan, are the offspring of those who came to Japan during the colonial period. Some were forcibly conscripted or taken as manual labour, others came to Japan to find the way to live. According to the statistics of the then Ministry of Home Affairs, about 30,000 Koreans lived in Japan in 1920, the number had increased by 300,000 in 1930. In 1945, the population of Koreans in Japan had reached around 2,400,000. On the whole, the first generation of Koreans in Japan originated from Japanese colonial rule.

Having such history, Koreans in Japan have established many Korean schools. Now, there are about 70 Korean schools; including one university and 10 high schools. The forerunner of Korean school was “training school for Korean language”, established just after the liberation all over Japan. The main purpose of this school was to teach Korean children their own language, culture and history so that their children could live when they went back to their country. They just wanted to get back Korean identities as Korean education was prohibited during colonial period. Although many Koreans went back to their fatherland after liberation, 600,000 to 800,000 Koreans remained in Japan. As time goes by, “training school for Korean language” developed into Korean school of today. Now, the main purpose of Korean school is to educate Korean students to live in Japan as Koreans with Korean identities.

However, Korean schools are still legally categorized as miscellaneous school like driving school. Despite the fact that they are socially recognized as schools with the same level of educational contents as average Japanese ones, they receive quite fewer amounts of educational assistance than that of Japanese private ones. The biggest factor should be absence of state subsidy from the government.

Furthermore, despite the fact that preferential treatments in the taxation system on donation to schools (reduction and exemption of tax for donors) are adopted not only to Japanese schools but also to international schools of western countries, this qualification is not granted to Korean schools. In addition, parents of Korean schools remain being excluded from the object in many scholarship systems.

On this issue, the UN Human Rights Committee issued several recommendations. I will introduce the latest recommendation of 2008. When the UN Human Rights Committee considered the fifth periodic report on International covenant on civil and political rights submitted by Japan (CCPR/C/JPN/5), the members of the committee expressed their concerns on the situation of Korean school students saying that “The Committee is concerned that state subsidies for schools that teach in the Korean language are significantly lower than those for ordinary schools, making them heavily dependent on private donations which are not exempted or deductible from taxes, unlike donations to private Japanese schools or international schools”. And the committee made recommendation saying that Japan “should ensure the adequate funding of Korean language schools, by increasing state subsidies and applying the same fiscal benefits to donors of Korean schools as to donors of other private schools, and recognize diplomas from Korean schools as direct university entrance qualifications.” (CCPR/C/JPN/CO/5)

To my regret, despite several efforts for the improvement of status of Korean school in Japan, they still suffer from economic difficulty.

Last year, when the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) came into power, it declared their tuition-free subsidy program of high schools. It was one of DPJ’s central campaign pledges during last August’s general election. The Diet is deliberating on a bill to make public high school tuition free and provide ¥120,000 yearly to those attending private schools or certified educational institutions. Schools for foreign students are considered eligible for the subsidy if they are deemed “the equivalent of Japanese high schools”. At the beginning, Korean schools were also included as beneficiary of this program. Last month, however, Hiroshi Nakai, minister in charge of the abduction issue, asked education minister to bar Korea schools from the planned tuition-free subsidy program saying that “If the government decided to designate Korean schools as beneficiaries of the subsidy program in addition to others, it would be tantamount to providing effective economic aid to North Korea, although Japan has applied its own sanctions to that country (in addition to U.N. sanctions)”. (The Japan Times, February 22, 2010)[1]

At last, the government of Japan decided to exclude Korean schools from high school tuition-free measures, and left the ultimate decision up to an assessment body to be established before long. This assessment body seems to examine whether the curriculum of Korean schools are comparable to the standard high school curriculum despite the fact that most of universities in Japan have received Korean school graduates. Furthermore, all of Korean schools are classified as the miscellaneous school under School Education Act, and other foreign schools of miscellaneous category are included in this program. Only Korean schools are excluded because of diplomatic situation between Tokyo and Pyongyang. Abduction issues or nuclear weapons have nothing to do with Korean school students in Japan. We cannot help regarding this decision as racial discrimination toward Korean people.

Given such a situation, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed concern about discriminatory policy towards Korean school students. In a report, issued on 16th of this month, the CERD committee expressed concern on “the continued incidence of explicit and crude statements and actions directed at groups including children attending Korean schools.” Moreover, the committee expressed concern not only on “the differential treatment of schools for foreigners and descendants of Korean and Chinese residing in Japan, with regard to public assistance, subsidies and tax exemptions” but also “the approach of some politicians suggesting the exclusion of North Korean schools from current proposals for legislative change in Japan to make high school education tuition free of charge in public and private high schools, technical colleges and various institutions with comparable high school curricula.” The panel recommended the government of Japan to “ensure that there is no discrimination in the provision of educational opportunities”.

As a country which has ratified several human rights conventions, the government of Japan should respect and ensure the rights of minorities. Korean schools which were established to restore ethnicity which was deprived during the colonial period and to succeed it to the next generation should be the subject for positive support.

In my opinion, government’s decision not to grant any substitute to Korean school is made based not only on diplomatic relation between two countries but also on their discriminatory idea towards Korea.

Finally, let me introduce media reports on this issue. Some Japanese newspapers also oppose government’s decision to exclude Korean school from this program. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper (on February 24 and March 8 ) and The Japan Times (on March 14) carried their editorials to oppose government’s decision. These are the copy of them. I think their opinions are not pro-Pyongyang (and still contain bias), but quite reasonable and common-sense views from the perspective of universal value of human rights.

Thank you very much for your attention.


[1] http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100222a2.html

ENDS

Another request for Debito.org Readers: What are merits/demerits of immigration?

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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Hi Blog.  I’m currently at work at JIPI on my presentation for next Monday evening on why Japan needs immigration, and what Japan must do to bring it about.

I’ve made a list of the Merits and Demerits of Immigration, and will deal with each one in turn in my powerpoint.  Plus I will talk about the issue in terms of a “give and take”, as in what the GOJ must give to Immigrants, and what Immigrants must be willing to give back to Japanese society in return.

I have plenty of ideas, of course.  But let me ask Debito.org Readers for feedback on the above issues:

  • What are the merits of immigration?
  • What are the demerits of immigration?
  • What should the GOJ give to make Japan more attractive for immigrants?
  • What should immigrants do to make themselves part of Japan?

It’s a very open question I’m asking, of course.  I just don’t want to think about this all alone and miss something important that we all should have said.  Fire away.  Arudou Debito in Tokyo

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

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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Hi Blog.  Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet recently (but I gave fair warning).  Spent five hours on the shinkansen yesterday getting to and from my annual guest lecture at Shiga Daigaku on Japan’s internationalization etc.  Nice young folks, had a good day, and a nice cheese fondue with Belgian beer in the evening.

Anyway, today’s entry is 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.  Details as follows:

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

Topics: Membership, Why FRANCA?, and perhaps what to do about the recent Sumo Association rules that say that naturalized sumo wrestlers are also to be counted as the one “foreign” wrestler allowed in sumo stables. More on that here: http://www.debito.org/?p=6085

Also, we’ll be asking for more input on topics discussed at the March 21, 2010 Sendai FRANCA meeting, which are outlined at http://www.debito.org/?p=6249

http://www.francajapan.org/index.php/Main_Page#Upcoming_Meetings

The Monday evening one will be me speaking for the Japan Immigration Policy Institute, headed by Sakanaka Hidenori, where I am currently interning.  I will be speaking to whomever will listen on why we need immigration to Japan.  It’s a brand new speech (I’m still writing up the powerpoint), and details on that follow in Japanese.

MON MAR 29 JIPI SPEECH IN JAPANESE

■日時: 2010年3月29日(月)19時~21時(予定)

■会場: 港区勤労福祉会館 第一集会室

■講師: 有道出人 (あるどう でびと)

■テーマ: 「移民の必要性―あるべき姿」

■アクセス: 都営地下鉄A7出口より徒歩1分/JR田町駅西口(三田口)より徒歩5分

主催:一般社団法人移民政策研究所所長(JIPI)

That’s from 7PM at the Minato-ku Roudou Fukushi Kaikan, five minutes from JR Tamachi Mita Guchi Station.  Don’t be deterred by the fact I’ll be speaking in Japanese.  Please come on by and have a listen.  There will of course be lots of visuals too with the powerpoint.

Hope to see you there!  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

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

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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Hi Blog. What follows is a rough draft of the text of the speech I’ll be giving on Tues, March 23, before a United Nations rep. I have twenty minutes tops. I read this at a normal pace aloud today and it came about sixteen minutes. Eight pages, 2500 words, written in a conversational style. FYI. Thanks for your support, and see you at the upcoming FRANCA meetings this Sunday and next Saturday. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

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Statements to Mr Bustamante, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, in Tokyo, March 23, 2010, by ARUDOU Debito, Chair, Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association (FRANCA, www.francajapan.org), regarding racial discrimination in Japan.

This document may be downloaded at http://www.debito.org/ArudouBustamantestatement032310.doc

The powerpoint accompanying this presentation may be downloaded at http://www.debito.org/FRANCABustamantepresentation032310.ppt

Table of contents for the belowmentioned “blue folder” with links to sources at http://www.debito.org/?p=6201


First, let me thank Mr. Bustamante and the United Nations for their attention to the situation of minorities and disenfranchised peoples in Japan.  There are very few effective forums in Japan for us to take our grievances, and we all very much appreciate the Special Rapporteur hearing as many sides of the story as possible.

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.

To start off, here is an overview of our presence in Japan.  According to official figures, the number of Non-Japanese on 3-month visas and up in Japan has grown since 1990 from about one million to over two million.  The number of Permanent Residents has reached record numbers, of over one million.  In other words, about half of all registered Non-Japanese in Japan can stay here permanently.  I would like to point out here how difficult it is to receive Permanent Residency in Japan.  It takes about five years if you are married to a Japanese, ten years if you are not.  The point is, a million Non-Japanese Permanent Residents are not a “temporary” segment of Japanese society.

Moreover, this does not count the estimated 300,000 to 500,000 naturalized Japanese citizens since the 1960’s.  I am one of those naturalized Japanese citizens.  Nor does this count the international families from Non-Japanese marrying Japanese.  We have about 40,000 international marriages every year, a significant increase from the 30,000 per year a decade ago.  If each couple has two children over their lifetime, which is not an unreasonable assumption, eventually that means 80,000 ethnically-diverse Japanese children.  Over ten years, that adds up to 800,000 – almost a million again.  However, not all of these children will “look Japanese”.

Sadly, we don’t know how many children, or people, of diverse backgrounds with Japanese citizenship are out there, because the Japanese Census does not survey for ethnicity.  The Japanese Census only surveys for nationality, despite our repeated requests for the census to reflect Japan’s diversity.  Meaning, when I fill out the Census, I write down “Japanese” for my nationality, but there is no way for me to indicate that I am a “Caucasian Japanese”, or an “Japanese of American extraction” (amerika kei nihonjin).  I believe this is by design, because the politics of identity in Japan are “monoculturality and monoethnicity”.  This is simply a fiction.  It wasn’t true in the past, and with modern Japan’s emerging immigration, assimilation, and ethnic diversity, it’s even less true now.  The official conflation of Japanese nationality and ethnicity is incorrect, and our government is willfully refusing to collect any data that would correct that.

The point is, the lines have blurred to the point where we cannot tell who is “Japanese” any more just by looking at them.  This means any time we have any distinctions made between “foreigner” and “Japanese”, be it police racial profiling or “Japanese Only” signs, it will also affect some Japanese citizens too.  This is why we need a law against racial discrimination in Japan – not only because it will help non-citizens assimilate into Japan, but also it will protect Japanese against xenophobia, bigotry, and exclusionism.  Discrimination that is “deep and profound”, and “practiced undisturbed in Japan”, according to UN Rapporteur Doudou Diene in 2005 and 2006[1].

At this point, I would like to show some differences in standpoint, between my esteemed colleagues and minorities being represented today, and the people I am trying to speak for.  The minorities in Japan as defined under the CERD, including the Ainu, the Ryūkyūans, the Zainichi Special Permanent Resident ethnic Koreans and Chinese, and the Burakumin, will be speaking to you this week and next as people who have been here for a long time, much longer than people like me, of course.  They make their claims based upon time-honored and genuine grievances that have never been properly redressed.  For ease of understanding, I will call some of them the “Oldcomers”.  I am here on behalf of what I will call the “Newcomers”, people who have come here from other countries relatively recently, to make a life in Japan.  Both “Oldcomers” and “Newcomers” contribute to Japanese society, including taxes, service, and culture.  But it 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

All of these examples are substantiated in the blue information folder, but again, words in brief about each item.

1) Discrimination in housing and accommodation

One of the first barriers many Newcomers face in Japan is the daunting prospect of finding an apartment.  According to the Mainichi Shimbun (Jan 8 2010[2]), on average in Tokyo it takes 15 visits to realtors for a Non-Japanese to find an apartment.   Common experience — and this is all we have because there is no government study of this problem — dictates that the agent generally phrases the issue to landlords as, “The renter is a foreigner, but is that okay?”  This overt discrimination happens with complete impunity in Japan.  One Osaka realtor[3] even advertises apartments as “gaijin allowed”, thus an option at odds with the status quo.  Again, there is no national government body collecting information on this problem, or hearing grievances.  The people who face discriminatory landlords can only take them to court.  This means years, money for lawyers and court fees, and an uncertain outcome, when all you need is a place to live, now.

Another issue is hotels.  They are expressly forbidden by the Hotel Management Law Article 5 to refuse customers unless rooms are full, there is a clear threat of contagious disease, or a clear threat to “public morals” (as in pornography).  However, government surveys, according to CNN et.al, (Oct 9, 2008[4]), indicate that 27% of all Japanese hotels don’t want foreign guests.  Not to be outdone, the Fukushima Prefecture Tourist Information website until last January advertised, as per their own preset options, that 318 of their member hotels were all refusing Non-Japanese[5], even though this is clearly illegal.  Thus even when a law technically forbids exclusionism, it is not enforced.  Excluders even get promoted by the authorities.

2) Racial Profiling by Japanese Police

Another rude awakening happens when you walk down the street.  Japanese police will stop you in public, sometimes rudely demand your ID card (which all foreigners – only — must carry at all times or face incarceration and criminal prosecution), and record your personal details.  This can be for walking while White, cycling while foreign-looking, using public transportation while multiethnic, or standing waiting for arrivals at airports while colored.  In one person’s case, he has been “carded”, sometimes through physical force, more than 50 times in one year, as of today exactly 125 times over ten years (blue folder item I-2).

The police claim they are hunting for foreign criminals and visa overstayers, or there are special security measures or campaigns in place, etc.  However, you can see in the blue folder, this is an extension of the depiction of Non-Japanese in official government policies as “terrorists, criminals, and carriers of infectious diseases” (items II-9 through 11).  None of these things are contingent on nationality.  Consequently, after 2007 all non-citizens must be fingerprinted every time they re-enter Japan.  This includes the “Newcomer” Permanent Residents, which goes farther than its model, the US-VISIT program this, which does not refingerprint Green Card holders.  The epitome of bad physical and social science must be the National Research Institute of Police Science, which has received years of government grants to research “foreign DNA”, for more effective racial profiling at crime scenes (see blue folder item II-2).

In sum, thanks to national policy justifying racial profiling, the Japanese police are seeing non-Japanese as “foreign agents” in both senses of the word.  They are systematically taking measures to deal with them as a social problem, not a fellow resident or immigrant.  Furthermore, it goes without saying that enforcement depends upon personal appearance, as I too have been racially profiled on several occasions by police in public.

3) Refusal to be counted as residents by the Japanese Government

It is too complicated to talk about fully here (see blue folder, item III-1), but Japan’s registration system, meaning the current Koseki Family Registry and the Jūminhyō Residency Certificate systems, refuse to list Non-Japanese as “spouse” — or even “family member”.  Because they are not citizens.  In sum, officially Non-Japanese residents are not “residents” (jūmin), even though they pay Residency Taxes (jūminzei) like anyone else.  Worse, some local governments (such as Tokyo Nerima Ward[6]) do not even count Non-Japanese in their population tallies.  This is the ultimate in invisibility, and it is government-sanctioned.

4) “Japanese Only” exclusions in businesses open to the public

Since Japan has no law against racial discrimination, there have been signs up nationwide at places open to the general public, saying “Japanese Only”, “No Foreigners allowed”, etc. (blue folder item III-1).  Places enforcing exclusionary rules include stores, restaurants, hotels, family public bathhouses, bars, discos, an eyeglass outlet, a ballet school, an internet café, a billiards hall, a women’s boutique, and a newspaper subscription service.  Nevertheless, the government has said repeatedly to the UN that we don’t a racial discrimination law because we have an effective judicial system.  That is untrue.  In the Otaru Onsens Case (1999-2005, blue folder items III-1 and III-7), where two Non-Japanese and one naturalized Japanese were excluded from a public bathhouse, judges refused to rule that this activity was illegal due to racial discrimination.  They called it “unrational discrimination”.  Moreover, they refused to enforce the CERD as law, or sanction the negligent Otaru City government for not taking effective measures against racial discrimination.  The Supreme Court even refused to hear the case.  Furthermore, in 2006, an African-American was refused entry into an eyeglass store by an openly racist owner, yet the Osaka District Court ruled in favor of the owner!   We need a criminal law, with enforceable punishments, because the present judicial system will not fix this.

5) Objects of unfettered hate speech

The blue folder talks more about cyberbullying of minorities and prejudiced statements made by our politicians over the years.  Other NGOs will talk more about the anti-Korean and anti-Chinese hate speech during the current debate about granting local suffrage rights to Permanent Residents.  I would instead like to briefly mention some media, such as magazine “Underground Files of Crimes by Gaijin [sic]” (Gaijin Hanzai Ura Fairu (2007), blue folder item III-2), or “PR Suffrage will make Japan Disappear” (Gaikokujin Sanseiken de Nihon ga Nakunaru Hi) (2010[7]).  Both of these books stretch their case to talk about an innate criminality or deviousness in the foreign element, and “Underground Files of  Crimes” even includes things that are not crimes, such as dating Japanese women.  It even includes epithets like “nigger”, racist caricatures, and ponderings on whether Korean pudenda smell like kimchi.  This is hate speech.  And it is not illegal in Japan.

=========================

To summarize, the Japanese government’s stance towards the CERD is simple (blue folder item VI-1).  The Ainu, Ryūkūans, and Burakumin are citizens, therefore they don’t need CERD protection because they are protected by the Japanese Constitution.  However, the Zainichis and “Newcomers” are not citizens, therefore they don’t get protection from the CERD.  Therefore, our government effectively argues, the CERD does not cover anyone in Japan.

Yeah, well what about me?  Or our children?  Are there really no ethnic minorities with Japanese citizenship in Japan?

In conclusion, I would like to thank the United Nations and their Rapporteurs for investigating our cases.  The CERD Committee on March 16, 2010 (CERD/C/JPN/CO/3-6), issued some very welcome recommendations.  However, and I would like to go back to something I said in the beginning, that the UN has a blind spot in these negotiations.

In the CERD Committee’s discussions with the Japanese government in Geneva on February 24 and 25, 2010, very little mention was made of the CERD’s non-enforcement in Japan’s judiciary and criminal code.   Almost no mention was made of Japan’s “Japanese Only” signs.  These are the most indefensible violation of the CERD.

The problem is, both sides, both Japan and the UN, have a blind spot in how they perceive Japan’s “minorities”.  Non-Japanese were never couched as residents of or immigrants to Japan, but rather as “foreign migrants”.  The unconscious assumption seems to be that 1) “foreign migrants” have a “temporary status” in Japan (particularly when Japan’s reps portrayed ethnic schools for Non-Japanese as for “foreign children in Japan only for the short stay”), and 2) Japan has few “ethnically diverse Japanese citizens”.

Look, it’s time for an update.  Look at me.  I am a Japanese.  Like any other.  Because the government put me through a very rigorous and arbitrary test for naturalization and I passed it.  People like me are part of Japan’s future.  Please, when you make your recommendations, have them reflect how Japan has changed, and how Japan must face up to its multicultural society already in place.  Please, recognize us “Newcomers” as a permanent part of the debate.  The Japanese government still will not.  They say little that is positive about us.  And they allow very nasty things to be said by our politicians, policymakers, and police.

It’s about time we all recognized the good things that we “Newcomers” too are doing for our home, Japan.  Please help us.

ENDS


[1] www.debito.org/rapporteur.html

[2] www.debito.org/?p=5703

[3] www.debito.org/?p=723

[4] www.debito.org/?p=1940

[5] www.debito.org/?p=5619

[6] www.debito.org/?p=1972

[7] www.debito.org/?p=6182

ENDS

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

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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Hi Blog.  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.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////

(FRANCA LETTERHEAD)

To Mr. Jorge Bustamante, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants:

Date: March 23, 2010  Tokyo, Japan

Thank you for coming to Japan and hearing our side of the story.  We have a lot to say and few domestic forums that will listen to us.  –ARUDOU Debito, Chair, FRANCA Japan (debito@debito.org, www.debito.org)

ANNOTATED CONTENTS OF THIS FOLDER:

Referential documents and articles appear in the following order:

I. On Government-sponsored Xenophobia and Official-level Resistance to Immigration

This section will seek to demonstrate that discrimination is not just a societal issue.  It is something promoted by the Japanese government as part of official policy.

  1. OVERVIEW:  Japan Times article:  “THE MYOPIC STATE WE’RE IN:  Fingerprint scheme exposes xenophobic, short-sighted trend in government” (December 18, 2007).  Point:  How government policy is hard-wiring the Japanese public into fearing and blaming Non-Japanese for Japan’s social ills. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20071218zg.html
  2. Japan Times article, “Beware the Foreigner as Guinea Pig“, on how denying rights to one segment of the population (NJ) affects everyone badly, as policies that damage civil liberties, once tested on Non-Japanese residents, eventually get applied to citizens too (July 8, 2008). http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20080708zg.html
  3. Japan Times article:  “THE BLAME GAME:  Convenience, creativity seen in efforts to scapegoat Japan’s foreign community” (August 28, 2007), depicting foreigners as criminal invaders, and thwarting their ability to assimilate properly. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20070828zg.html
  4. Japan Times article: “VISA VILLAINS: Japan’s new Immigration law overdoes enforcement and penalties” (June 29, 2004) http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20040629zg.html
  5. Japan Times article, “Demography vs. Demagoguery“, on how politics has pervaded Japanese demographic science, making “immigration” a taboo for discussion as a possible solution to Japan’s aging society. (November 3, 2009) http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20091103ad.html
  6. Japan Times article: “HUMAN RIGHTS SURVEY STINKS:  Government effort riddled with bias, bad science” (October 23, 2007), talking about how official government surveys render human rights “optional” for Non-Japanese, and downplays the discrimination against them. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20071023zg.html
  7. Japan Times article: “WATCHING THE DETECTIVES: Japan’s human rights bureau falls woefully short of meeting its own job specifications” (July 8, 2003), on how the oft-touted Ministry of Justice’s “Jinken Yōgobu” is in fact a Potemkin System, doing little to assist those with human rights issues in Japan. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20030708zg.html
  8. Japan Times article, “Unlike Humans, Swine Flu is Indiscriminate“, on the lessons to be learned from Japan’s public panic from the Swine Flu Pandemic, and how to avoid discrimination once again from arising (August 4, 2009). http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20090804ad.html
  9. Japan Times article, “Golden parachutes for Nikkei only mark failure of race-based policy“, on the downfall of Japan’s labor visa policies, e.g., the “April 2009 repatriation bribe” for the Nikkei Brazilians and Peruvians, sending them “home” with a pittance instead of treating them like laborers who made investments and contributions to Japan’s welfare and pension systems. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20090407ad.html

II. On Abuses of Police Power and Racial Profiling vis-à-vis Non-Japanese

This section will seek to demonstrate that one arm of the government, the National Police Agency, has had a free hand in generating a fictitious “Foreign Crime Wave of the 2000s”, by characterizing Non-Japanese in the media as criminals, exaggerating or falsifying foreign crime reportage, bending laws to target them, engaging in flagrant racial profiling of minorities, and otherwise “making Japan the world’s safest country again” by portraying the foreign element as unsafe.

  1. Japan Times article: “DOWNLOADABLE DISCRIMINATION: The Immigration Bureau’s new “snitching” Web site is both short-sighted and wide open to all manner of abuses.” (March 30, 2004), on how online submission sites (which still exist) run by the government are open to the general public, for anonymous reporting of anyone who “looks foreign and suspicious” to the police. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20040330zg.html
  2. Japan Times article: “FORENSIC SCIENCE FICTION: Bad science and racism underpin police policy” (January 13, 2004), how the National Research Institute for Police Science has received government grants to study “foreign DNA” (somehow seen as genetically different from all Japanese DNA) for crime scene investigation.   http://search.japantimes.co.jp/member/member.html?fl20040113zg.htm
  3. 3. Japan Times article:  “FOREIGN CRIME STATS COVER UP A REAL COP OUT:  Published figures are half the story” (Oct 4, 2002), indicating how the National Police Agency is falsifying and exaggerating foreign crime statistics to create the image of Non-Japanese residents as criminals. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20021004zg.html
  4. Japan Times article: “HERE COMES THE FEAR: Antiterrorist law creates legal conundrums for foreign residents” (May 24, 2005), showing nascent anti-terrorist policy introduced by the Koizumi Administration specifically targeting Non-Japanese as terrorists. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20050524zg.html
  5. Debito.org Website:  “Ibaraki Prefectural Police put up new and improved public posters portraying Non-Japanese as coastal invaders” (November 20, 2008), and “Ibaraki Police’s third new NJ-scare poster” (July 29, 2009), showing how the Japanese police are putting up public posters portraying the issue as defending Japanese shores from foreign invasion, complete with images of beach storming, riot gear and machine guns.  www.debito.org/?p=2057 and www.debito.org/?p=3996
  6. Japan Times article: “UPPING THE FEAR FACTOR:  There is a disturbing gap between actual crime in Japan and public worry over it” (February 20, 2007), showing the Koizumi policy in full bloom, plus the media’s complicity in abetting the National Police Agency’s generation of a “foreign crime wave”. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20070220zg.html
  7. Japan Times article: “MINISTRY MISSIVE WRECKS RECEPTION: MHLW asks hotels to enforce nonexistent law” (October 18, 2005), http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20051018zg.html and
  8. Japan Times article: “CREATING LAWS OUT OF THIN AIR: Revisions to hotel laws stretched by police to target foreigners” (March 8, 2005), both articles showing how the Japanese police use legal sleight-of-hand to convince hotels to target foreigners for visa and ID checks. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20050308zg.html
  9. Japan Times article: “‘GAIJIN CARD’ CHECKS SPREAD AS POLICE DEPUTIZE THE NATION” (November 13, 2007), showing how extralegal means are being used to expand the “visa dragnets” to people who are not Immigration Officers, or even police officers. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20071113zg.html
  10. Japan Times article, “IC You:  Bugging the Alien“, on the new IC Chip Gaijin Cards and national protests (May 19, 2009), how RFID-chipped ID cards (of which 24/7 carrying for Non-Japanese only is mandatory under criminal law) can be converted into remote tracking devices, for even better racial profiling as technology improves. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20090519zg.html
  11. Japan Times article, “Summit Wicked This Way Comes“, on the Japanese Government’s bad habits brought out by the Hokkaido Toyako 2008 G8 Summit (April 22, 2008) – namely, a clampdown on the peaceful activities of Japan’s civil society, with a focus on targeting people who “look foreign”. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20080422zg.html
  12. Japan Times article, “Forecast:  Rough with ID checks mainly to the north“, focusing on a protest against Hokkaido Police’s egregious racial profiling during the G8 Summit, and how the police dodged media scrutiny and public accountability (July 1, 2008). http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20080701ad.html
  13. Japan Times article, “Cops Crack Down with ‘I Pee’ Checks“, on the Japanese police stretching their authority to demand urine samples from Non-Japanese on the street without warrants (July 7, 2009). http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20090707ad.html
  14. Japan Times article, “PEDAL PUSHERS COP A LOAD ON YASUKUNI DORI: Japan’s low crime rate has many advantages, although harassment by bored cops certainly isn’t one of them” (June 20, 2002), demonstrating how arbitrarily Tokyo police will nab people at night ostensibly for “bicycle ownership checks”, but really for visa checks – if they are riding while “looking foreign”.

III. On Racism and Hate Speech in Japan

This section talks about other activities that are not state-sponsored or encouraged, but tolerated in society as “rational” or “reasonable” discrimination, or natural ascriptive social ordering.  These unfettered acts of discrimination towards minorities, decried by previous Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene as “deep and profound”, are examples of why we need a law against racial discrimination and hate speech in Japan.

1. OVERVIEWNGO Report Regarding the Rights of Non-Japanese Nationals, Minorities of Foreign Origins, and Refugees in Japan (33 pages).  Prepared for the 76th United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Japan, submitted to UNCERD February 2010.  Compiled by Solidarity with Migrants Japan.  Particularly germane to this information packet is Chapter 2 by Arudou Debito, entitled “Race and Nationality-Based Entrance Refusals at Private and Quasi-Public Establishments” (3 pages). http://www.debito.org/?p=6000

2. Japan Focus paper (14 pages):  “GAIJIN HANZAI MAGAZINE AND HATE SPEECH IN JAPAN:  The newfound power of Japan’s international residents” (March 20, 2007).  This academic paper talks about how a “Foreign Crime Magazine” deliberately distorted data (to the point of accusing Non-Japanese of criminal acts that were not actually crimes), and portrayed Chinese and other minorities as having criminality as part of their innate nature. http://www.japanfocus.org/-Arudou-Debito/2386

3. Japan Times article, “NJ Suffrage and the Racist Element” (February 2, 2010), on xenophobic Japan Dietmember Hiranuma’s racist statements towards fellow Dietmember Renho (who has Taiwanese roots), and how it lays bare the lie of the xenophobic Rightists demanding people take Japanese citizenship if they want the right to vote in local elections – when it clearly makes no difference to them if they do. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20100202ad.html

4. Japan Times article, “The Issue that dares not speak its name“, on the suppressed debate on racial discrimination in Japan (June 2, 2009), where the term “racial discrimination” itself is not part of the Japanese media’s vocabulary to describe even situations adjudged “racial discrimination” by Japanese courts. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20090602ad.html

5. Japan Times article:  “HOW TO KILL A BILL:  Tottori’s Human Rights Ordinance is a case study in alarmism” (May 2, 2006), on how Japan’s first prefectural-level ordinance against discrimination was actually unpassed months later, due to a hue and cry over the apparent dangers of giving foreigners too many rights. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20060502zg.html

6. Academic Paper (Linguapax Asia, forthcoming) (14 pages):  “Propaganda in Japan’s Media:  Manufacturing Consent for National Goals at the Expense of Non-Japanese Residents”, on how government policy, political opportunism, and the Japanese media fomented a fictitious “Foreign Crime Wave” in the 2000s, and how that caused quantifiable social damage to Non-Japanese residents.

7. Japan Focus paper (2 pages): “JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hotspring Case and Discrimination Against ‘Foreigners’ in Japan” (November 2005), a very brief summary explaining Japan’s first case of racial discrimination that made to the Supreme Court (where it was rejected for consideration), and what it means in terms of Japan’s blind-eying of discrimination. http://japanfocus.org/-Arudou-Debito/1743

8. Debito.org Website:  “Tokyo Edogawa-ku Liberal Democratic Party flyer, likens granting Permanent Residents the right to vote in local elections to an alien invasion”.  (February 24, 2010)  Seventeen local politicians of the formerly-ruling LDP lend their names against the ruling Democratic Party of Japan’s liberalizing policy, illustrated with a UFO targeting the Japanese archipelago. http://www.debito.org/?p=6182

9. Debito.org Website:  “More anti-foreigner scare posters and publications, linking Permanent Resident suffrage bill to foreign crime and Chinese invasion”. (March 15, 2010)  Anonymous internet billeters are putting propaganda in home post boxes in Nagoya and Narita, and bookstores are selling books capitalizing on the fear by saying that granting NJ the vote will make Japan “disappear” by turning into a foreign country. http://www.debito.org/?p=6182

10. Debito.org Website:  Anti-foreign suffrage protests in Shibuya Nov 28 2009. The invective in flyers and banners: “Japan is in danger!” (December 4, 2009).  An overview and summary translation of the invective and arguments being put forth by the xenophobic Far-Right in public demonstrations. http://www.debito.org/?p=5353

IV. On the Disenfranchisement of the Non-Japanese communities in Japan

This section touches upon how Non-Japanese minorities are shut out of Japan’s debate arenas, public events, even court rooms, making them largely unable to stand up for themselves and assimilate on their own terms.

1. Trans Pacific Radio:  “RUMBLE AT THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS – A hearing on human rights is disrupted by right wingers” (September 10, 2007), demonstrating how the government will not stop hate speech from Right-wingers even when it willfully disrupts their official fact-finding meetings. http://www.transpacificradio.com/2007/09/10/debito-rumble-at-moj/

2. Japan Times article, McDonald’s Japan’s “Mr James” campaign:  Why these stereotyping advertisements should be discontinued. (September 1, 2009), showing how McDonald’s, an otherwise racially-tolerant multinational corporation overseas, is able thanks to lax attitudes in Japan to stoop to racial stereotyping to sell product, moreover not engage in constructive public debate about the issues. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20090901ad.html

3. Japan Times article: “ABUSE, RACISM, LOST EVIDENCE DENY JUSTICE IN VALENTINE CASE: Nigerian’s ordeal shows that different judicial standards apply for foreigners in court” (August 14, 2007), where even foreigners’ testimony is overtly dismissed in court expressly because it is foreign. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20070814zg.html

4. Japan Times article: “TWISTED LEGAL LOGIC DEALS RIGHTS BLOW TO FOREIGNERS:  McGowan ruling has set a very dangerous precedent” (February 7, 2006), in that a store manager who barred an African-American customer entry, expressly because he dislikes black people, was exonerated in court on a semantic technicality. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20060207zg.html

5. Japan Times article: “SCHOOLS SINGLE OUT FOREIGN ROOTS: International kids suffer under archaic rules” (July 17, 2007). An article about the “Hair Police” in Japan’s schools, who force Non-Japanese and ethnically-diverse Japanese to dye their natural hair color black. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20070717zg.html

6. Japan Times article: “A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD?: National Sports Festival bars gaijin, and amateur leagues follow suit” (Sept 30, 2003), on Japan’s National Sports Meets (kokutai), and how Japan’s amateur sports leagues refuse Non-Japanese residents’ participation: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20030930zg.html

7. Asahi Shimbun English-language POINT OF VIEW column, “IF CARTOON KIDS HAVE IT, WHY NOT FOREIGNERS?” (Dec 29, 2003).  A translation of my Nov 8 2003 Asahi Watashi no Shiten column, wondering why cartoon characters and wild sealions (see #9 below) are allowed to be registered as “residents” in Japan under the government’s jūminhyō Residency Certificate system, but not Non-Japanese. http://www.debito.org/asahi122903.jpg

8. Japan Times article, “FREEDOM OF SPEECH: ‘Tainted blood’ sees ‘foreign’ students barred from English contests” (Jan 6, 2004), with several odd, blood-based rules indicating a belief that foreign ancestry gives people an advantage in terms of language ability – even if the foreign ethnicity is not Anglophone! http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20040106zg.html

9. Japan Times article on “SEALING THE DEAL ON PUBLIC MEETINGS: Outdoor gatherings are wrapped in red tape.” (March 4, 2003), on the sealion “Tama-chan” issue and demonstrations over the issue of family registry exclusionism (see #7 above).  Why is it so difficult to raise public awareness about minority issues in Japan?  Because police grant permission to public gatherings. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20030304zg.html

V. On What Japan should do to face its multicultural future

This section offers suggestions on what Japan ought to be doing:  Engaging immigration, instead of retreating further into a fortress mentality and defaming those who wish to emigrate here.

1. Japan Focus paper:  “JAPAN’S COMING INTERNATIONALIZATION:  Can Japan assimilate its immigrants?” (January 12, 2006) http://www.japanfocus.org/-Arudou-Debito/2078

2. Japan Times article, “A Level Playing Field for Immigrants” (December 1, 2009), offering policy proposals to the new DPJ ruling party on how to make Japan a more attractive place for immigration. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20091201ad.html

3. Japan Focus paper:  “JAPAN’S FUTURE AS AN INTERNATIONAL, MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY: From Migrants to Immigrants” (October 29, 2007) http://www.japanfocus.org/-Arudou-Debito/2559

4. “Medical Care for Non-Japanese Residents of Japan: Let’s look at Japanese Society’s General ‘Bedside Manner’ First“, Journal of International Health Vol.23, No.1 2008, pgs 19-21. http://www.debito.org/journalintlhealth2008.pdf

VI. Japan and the United Nations

1. Academic paper (forthcoming, draft, 21 pages):  “Racial Discrimination in Japan:  Arguments made by the Japanese government to justify the status quo in defiance of United Nations Treaty”.  This paper points out the blind spot in both United Nations and the Japanese government, which continues to overlook the plight of immigrants (viewing them more as temporary migrant workers), and their ethnically-diverse Japanese children, even in their February 2010 UNCERD Review of Japan (please skip to pages 18-19 in the paper).

2. Japan Times article: “PULLING THE WOOL:  Japan’s pitch for the UN Human Rights Council was disingenuous at best” (November 7, 2006), talking about the disinformation the government was giving the UN in its successful bid to have a leadership post on the newfound HRC. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20061107zg.html

3. Japan Times article: “RIGHTING A WRONG: United Nations representative Doudou Diene’s trip to Japan has caused a stir” (June 27, 2006). http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20060627zg.html

VII. OTHER REPORTS FROM CONCERNED PARTIES (emails)

Topics:  Daycare center teaching “Little Black Sambo” to preschoolers despite requests from international parents to desist, Anonymous statement regarding professional working conditions in Japan for professional and expatriate women (issues of CEDAW), Discriminatory hiring practices at English-language schools (2 cases), Racial profiling at Narita Airport, Harassment of foreign customers by Japanese credit agencies, Hunger strikers at Ibaraki Detention Center, Politician scaremongering regarding a hypothetical  “foreign Arab prince with 50 kids claiming child tax allowance”

ENDS

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?

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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Hi Blog.  Short entry for today.  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 in Sapporo

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

ENDS

DEBITO’S MARCH TOUR: Tokyo-Sendai-Shiga Schedule March 19 to April 3

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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Hi Blog. I will be on the road interning at the JAPAN IMMIGRATION POLICY INSTITUTE (JIPI — Sakanaka-san’s group), hosting/helping with NGO FRANCA (Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association) meetings, and doing speeches here and there. If you are in the area and have time, do stop by or get in touch (debito@debito.org) for some beers etc.  Still open for speeches (I’m doing all this at my own expense) if something can be thrown together at short notice.

Basic schedule as follows:

========================
MARCH-APRIL 2010 SCHEDULE

FRI MAR 19 MORIOKA
SAT MAR 20 MORIOKA
SUN MAR 21 SENDAI FRANCA MEETING 1PM
MON MAR 22 TOKYO
TUES MAR 23 TOKYO INTERNING JPN IMMIG POLICY INSTITUTE
WED MAR 24 INTERNING JIPI, MEETING 7PM
THURS MAR 25 SHIGA UNIVERSITY SPEECH 1:30PM-5PM
FRI MAR 26 INTERNING JIPI
SAT MAR 27 TOKYO FRANCA MEETING 6PM-9PM
SUN MAR 28 free day as yet
MON MAR 29 INTERNING JIPI, JIPI SPEECH 7PM-9:30 PM
TUES MAR 30 INTERNING JIPI
WEDS MAR 31 INTERNING JIPI
THURS APR 1 INTERNING JIPI
FRI APR 2 INTERNING JIPI last day
SAT APR 3 return to Sapporo
========================

This schedule may change, and I will update it here, so check back from time to time.  The UN Special Rapporteur Jorge Bustamante will be in town (dates TBD), so I may be making our case to him as well.

NOTES ON EVENTS:

SUNDAY MAR 21

Sendai FRANCA Third Meeting
Location: AER Building El Solar 28F Meeting Room 1
Sunday, 21 March 10 @ 13:30 Ends 16:30

Come along to our third meeting and talk about issues relevant to Sendai FRANCA. We will be looking at recent events and planning for the future, including the possibility of a lawsuit against the Sumo Association for its new rule counting naturalized citizens as “foreign wrestlers” for their stable limitations. Cost: FREE (suggested donation 200 yen)

SATURDAY MAR 27

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

Topics: Membership, Why FRANCA?, and perhaps what to do about the recent Sumo Association rules that say that naturalized sumo wrestlers are also to be counted as the one “foreign” wrestler allowed in sumo stables. More on that here:http://www.debito.org/?p=6085

THURS MAR 25 is my annual guest lecture at Shiga University on issues of discrimination and assimilation.  Starts 1PM.  More details Dr Robert Aspinall at aspinall_robert AT hotmail DOT com.

MON MAR 29 JIPI SPEECH IN JAPANESE

■日時: 2010年3月29日(月)19時~21時(予定)

■会場: 港区勤労福祉会館 第一集会室

■講師: 有道出人 (あるどう でびと)

■テーマ: 「移民の必要性―あるべき姿」

■アクセス: 都営地下鉄A7出口より徒歩1分/JR田町駅西口(三田口)より徒歩5分

主催:一般社団法人移民政策研究所所長(JIPI)

Again, I’m happy to give more speeches (I’m doing this entire trip on my own dime), so let me know (debito@debito.org) if there is anyone else out there who wants to hear what I have to say.  Thanks.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

Speaking tomorrow, Thurs Nov 5, Sapporo Gakuin Dai 「法の下の平等と在住外国人」

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
Hi Blog. Speaking in Japanese tomorrow, FYI, at Sapporo Gakuin.
Thursday November 5, 2009 1PM. 札幌学院大学法学部公開講座リレー講義「人権・共生・人間の尊重 あらためてその理念と現実を考える」第7回「法の下の平等と在住外国人」。札幌学院大学D202教室にて。
http://www.sgu.ac.jp/other/do050b0000000bdm-att/j09tjo0000000aes.pdf

Powerpoint here.
http://www.debito.org/sgu110509.ppt

Have a look! Or come see. Debito

Sunday Tangent: Eric Johnston on getting freelance reporting jobs in Japan

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
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Hi Blog.  Went out mountain cycling yesterday and became a cropper:  went over my handlebars on a steep trail (good thing I was wearing a helmet — my bike came down right on my head) and bent my fingers right back on my right hand.  Will go easy on the typing today.

I attended the Japan Writers’ Conference last weekend in Kyoto (even presented, handout here).  A very good time with some very good presentations, one of which was Eric Johnston’s excellent presentation on how to find freelance journalist jobs in Japan. There was so much information in his powerpoint that I asked if I could blog it here for wider consumption. Yeppers, he said, so here are some excerpts. Download the whole powerpoint below for the full story. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

===========================
REPORTING OPPORTUNITIES IN JAPAN:
A Practical Guide
By Eric Johnston
Deputy Editor
The Japan Times
Osaka bureau

Japan Writers Conference
October 18th, 2009

EXCERPT:

This presentation assumes. . .
You have an interest in straight reporting and writing news features on a wide variety of timely events, as opposed to writing a personal opinion column, doing book, music, art, or restaurant reviews, or writing up interview pieces.

You have a love of, and preference for, traditional print and broadcast media and appreciate the traditional editorial methods they embrace.

THE BASICS

Getting Started: What All Successful Freelance News Reporters in Japan Usually Have

1) Bilingual business cards
2) A Web page with their articles
3) A bilingual PC
4) A cell phone capable of international calls
5) Easy access to a host of basic facts and figures about Japan, including major on-line daily news stories
6) A decent digital camera
7) Receipt books and notebooks for accounting purposes
8) A local Japanese person who serves as your “fixer’’, either paid or volunteer

PART I
MAKING CONTACT WITH JAPAN-BASED NEWS MEDIA

How Much Experience Do I Need Before I Can Realistically Expect To Be Considered for a Job?

  • You Need To Have Been Published in a Similar Media Form Previously.
  • You Need To Demonstrate You Know How To Pitch A News Story To The News Editors, and Understand Their Concerns.
  • Personal References Are Helpful, But It’s No Substitute for a Decent Portfolio.

=========================

FULL PRESENTATION AT
http://www.debito.org/johnston101809.ppt
ends

Speaking at Japan Writer’s Conference Sat Oct 17, Doshisha Women’s Univ. On how to write quickly, concisely, & with panache

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito

Hi Blog.  This weekend I will be speaking in Kyoto at Doshisha Women’s University at the Japan Writer’s Conference.  Saturday afternoon, October 17, to be exact.

All the details you need for who’s speaking and how to get there here:

http://www.japanwritersconference.org/

My schedule and agenda:

16:00 ARUDOU Debito “Essaywriting: How I get something out quickly, concisely, and with panache” (short lecture with Q&A)

Summary: Want to write essays but suffer from “Writer’s Block”? No joy in writing exposition? Come listen to Arudou Debito, an essayist who writes a couple hundred per year, give some tips on how to become prolific.

Abstract: I’ve heard people say writing expository essays is a drag. Like the childhood injections that put us off needles for a lifetime, the first book reports for English class were likewise off-putting for many people. I will describe how I overcome that, to the point of becoming prolific. It’s not rocket science, but getting over a few bad habits will make your writing fun, not drudgery — because if you’re having fun writing, your reader will more likely have fun reading. This talk is geared towards more elementary-level nonfiction writers who experience “Writers’ Block” (I never do), but the seasoned writer is welcome to attend and share strategies as well.

Bio: ARUDOU Debito, 44, is a Japan Times columnist and an author of several books. He maintains a daily blog on life in Japan and human rights issues at www.debito.org. He cannot imagine a day without writing something.

Now, for those who cannot make it, here is my handout.  And for those who can, I will provide step-by-step writing procedures I used for three essays I wrote (outline, first draft, final draft), so you can see how the sausages are made.

If you prefer, download the following presentation handout as a 2-page formatted Word file here:

http://www.debito.org/debitoessaywritingtips.doc

This is how writing works for me, FYI.  Hope it helps other people too.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

=========================================

TIPS ON HOW TO WRITE ESSAYS QUICKLY, CONCISELY, AND WITH PANACHE

By ARUDOU Debito, Columnist, Japan Times and Sapporo Source

Japan Writers Conference Oct 17, 2009, Doshisha Women’s College Kyoto

I write a lot.  Five books, umpteen academic essays and chapters, a daily diary for more than a decade, and a blog entry basically every day for more than three years.  In addition to thousands of essays (all archived online at Debito.org), I write two columns a month for newspapers plus exposition for other venues upon request.  I pound out a good 1500 words every day, never suffering from “Writer’s Block”.

Howcum?  Here are my tricks for writing QUICKLY:

1) Allow yourself to sketch.  When I have an essay rolling around in my head (sometimes for years), I just jot down ideas in no particular order on a piece of paper (or a bound notebook).  You’ll find time for it:  stoplights, mass transit, boring meetings, standing in line, waking up first thing in the morning.  But before you start typing, always outline (I prefer longhand), because it will free up your mind (you won’t have to hold the points in your head).  Once down you can order your bullets in importance; you can also add additional thoughts to the list that occur to you when typing.

2) Cut yourself some slack.  Don’t expect perfection the first time:  All artists sketch before they paint.  Nobody has to see your essay until you’re good and ready to show it, so don’t worry about mistakes, grammar, structure, flow, or anything that would make you want to go back and reread what you’ve just written.  Revisions will come later.  Just get the skeleton of your essay down from beginning to end.  It’s a lot easier to snip out words than it is to create them anew when editing.

3) Have confidence in yourself that it’ll all work out in the edit.  Just pound it down.  Generally speaking, it takes me about an hour to type down a typical 800- to 1000-word column.  Why?  Because I’m all “damn the torpedoes full speed ahead” until I have converted my entire outline to a rough essay.  Don’t expect the flow or even the conclusion to click yet.  But have faith that it will click later.

Now for writing CONCISELY:

4) Print the first draft up and leave it alone for a little while.  You’ve earned a break, so take it and come back afresh (I recommend at least an hour off, and suggest you allow a total of three days from start to submission; plan ahead so you’ll have that much time).   Be your own third-person editor.  With new eyes, you’ll be surprised how sapient you were at the start, and what you forgot to add back then.  Moreover, you can relax:  with a hard copy fresh out of the printer, you have no matter what something concrete in case of a computer crash.

5) After your break, begin the revisions.  If everything you want to say is already down at least skeletally, you can add a bit here, subtract a bit there, and move things around as your essay’s tack becomes clearer.  (It’s not usually clear from the start, mind; very often I have no idea how the essay will come out until I finish it.)  In fact, the essaywriting process is an excellent way to firm up your future opinions.  Feel free to scribble all over the hard copy — mine usually gets covered with red ink as time goes by in boring meetings or breadlines.

6) Be prepared to go through several drafts over a few days.  A typical 1500-word Japan Times article for me goes through at least 17 drafts before I submit.  Save each one if you want (I don’t; I might print them, however).  If you’re in a bind about whether or not to drop a paragraph or go down a certain rhetorical avenue, save both alternative paths as separate files and come back to them later.  Know your word limit and find ways to shorten sentences (tricks:  active voice takes fewer words than passive; use a big one-word instead of five colloquials — your audience has access to a dictionary; use online thesauruses and dictionaries to save time (Google “define: (word)”).

As for PANACHE:

Panache is the spice that makes that article mine.  As frequent readers of my essays know, I have a rather “know-it-all”, slightly hectoring and scolding, tone (sorry:  I blame my US East-Coast college training and too much studying under Chalmers Johnson).  When I’m not pontificating on the state of the world, however, I take an avuncular, advisory tone.  Either way, panache comes through; people have picked my essays out as mine even when I write under a pseudonym.

But panache is the last thing I garnish the essay with, when I’m a good 95% done and I’m really “getting into” the points I’ve made.  I put a jibe here, bury a needle there, spray a whiff of sarcasm everywhere.  But matters of style (as opposed to structure or flow) come last for me, and I say don’t sweat them.  By Day Three or Draft Seventeen or so (especially after lots of breaks, meals, and online chat forums collecting potential counterarguments on the subject you’re writing), you’ll have the moxie to say, “Hey, this is what I think.  Dammit.  And it ain’t half-baked, neither!”

Finally, I suggest that writers maintain a number of good personal habits:  1) Avoid writing under the influence of anything (except maybe caffeine), or else you’ll feel dependent on it to write if, say, you were drunk and came out with a humdinger of an essay.  2) Allow enough time to write without undue stress (deadlines should help you organize, but work backwards schedulewise to allow for sufficient “cud-chewing” essaywriting over a few days).  And if possible, 3) try to write about something you’re interested in.  Tough, but steer yourself towards those subjects you enjoy.

And — I can’t stress this enough except through bigger fonts — ENJOY the act and the process of writing.  While typing and editing, don’t assume the character of your shredding sarky faculty advisor in high school or college (they’re very often stuck in their own cobwebby intellectual ruts and know-it-all Ivory Towerdom, defensively bashing you for not knowing as much, by definition, as they do):  Be the guy who likes reading what you wrote, amazed with how much you know and how clearly you said it (I very often go back and read what I wrote years ago — and, yes, enjoy it!)  In other words, during the editing process, try to make the conversation within yourself a partnership, not an adversarial relationship.  Because if you’re not enjoying your own writing, I bet that will also come across to the reader and reduce their enjoyment of reading. If writing is drudgery, it’s not sustainable.  And then Writer’s Block will set in and render your typing fingers immobile.

There you go.  Now go write something.  And have fun doing it, dammit.

RECOMMENDED READ:  Stephen King, On Writing, Pocket Books, 2002.  Now there’s a man who never has Writer’s Block! ENDS

The Corbett Report interview on the new RFID Gaijin Cards

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
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Hi Blog. Turning the keyboard over to James Corbett, with whom I interviewed on August 30, 2009.  Comment follows embedded video.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

===============================

September 19, 2009 1:15:41 PM JST
Debito, thank you once again for taking time out of your day in Okayama to talk with me about the fingerprinting and IC card issues. The documentary itself is of course still in production, but I have extracted a few minutes from our interview and put it on YouTube. You can watch the video directly here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sybH5MrjmoQ

Also, I’ve written an article that incorporates that video and some of your comments on the IC chip-enabled ID issue. That article is available from the “Articles” tab of the corbettreport.com homepage and the direct link is:

http://www.corbettreport.com/articles/20090918_debito_electronic_surveillance.htm

Thank you again for sharing your insights on these issues. As far as the documentary goes, I have been trying to get an interview with someone from the Immigration Bureau regarding this practice, but have had no luck whatsoever getting anyone from the Ministry. If you could be of any assistance at all in this regard it would be very much appreciated, whether you can help to set up an interview or even provide some contacts or suggestions for getting in touch with someone who might be able to arrange something like that.

Regards,
James Corbett
corbettreport.com
corbett AT corbettreport DOT com

(NB follows embedded video below:)

NB:  I’m not as articulate about the issue in this interview as I would have liked to have been; I wasn’t sufficiently aware in advance what we would be talking about, so my facts and figures are coming off the top of my head.  For my points articulated more clearly, see:

The Japan Times May 19, 2009, Zeit Gist column:
“IC you: bugging the alien”

http://www.debito.org/?p=3334

Updates as RFID technology develops and police avail themselves of it. Debito.org, July 30, 2009
http://www.debito.org/?p=4008

ENDS

Otaru Onsens Case 10th Anniv #3: “KokoGaHen” Feb 28 2001 and their critique of us plaintiffs

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
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OTARU ONSENS TAPE (1999-2003) PART THREE

By Arudou Debito (www.debito.org, debito@debito.org)

3) TV ASAHI tabloid show “KOKO GA HEN DA YO NIHONJIN”, on exclusionism in Wakkanai, Monbetsu, and Otaru (Nationally broadcast Feb 28, 2001) (16 minutes).  Complete with brickbats for the Plaintiffs for filing suit from the screaming foreign panelists.

If you would like to download and watch this broadcast in mp4 format on your iPod in one part, click here: http://www.debito.org/video/kokogahen022801.mp4. (NB: if you want it to download as a file, not open up in a different browser: right-click for Windows users, or Control + Click for Macs)

There is also a complete transcript and English translation at http://www.debito.org/KokoGaHen1.html
Comment follows video embed (part one):

COMMENT: I remember clearly three things about that evening:

1) That ALL the panelists (the half-baked comment from Terii Itoh notwithstanding) on the Japanese side of the fence were very supportive — in fact, they wished us luck and success in the lawsuit.

2) That ALMOST ALL of the panelists on the NJ side did the same. In fact, it looked in danger of becoming a boring debate because it seemed so cut and dried. It was a tiny minority who stood up to offer brickbats. They were there, at least two of the panelists told me later, because they were chosen precisely because they had strong views antipathetic towards the case. Hence the emphasis, on foreigners who would oppose the lawsuit, as it would make for better television.

3) That Konishiki, sitting next to me, was goddamn HUGE! His chair, custom-made, needed four people to carry it on stage. We had a few words. Nice guy.

Quite honestly, I miss the show. Nowhere else offers opinions from NJ, however raw and ill-conceived, in their own words on a regular basis. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

Otaru Onsens Case 10th Anniv #2: HBC award-winning broadcast Mar 27, 2001 creates contentious dichotomies

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
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OTARU ONSENS TAPE (1999-2003) PART TWO
All TV shows in Japanese (no subtitles or dubbing) with amateur editing
By Arudou Debito (www.debito.org, debito@debito.org)

CONTENTS WITH TEACHING NOTES

2) HBC TV award-winning documentary on OTARU ONSENS CASE (Locally broadcast March 27, 2001). Gives the most thorough rundown of the issue and expresses the issue from a more “Japanese point of view” (i.e. the issue less in terms of racism, more in terms of cultural differences).

Starts here, then has a playlist that goes to the next part. Six parts, runs about 50 minutes total.  If you would like to download and watch this broadcast in mp4 format on your iPod in one part, click here:  http://www.debito.org/video/HBC032701.mp4. (NB:  if you want it to download as a file, not open up in a different browser:  right-click for Windows users, or Control + Click for Macs)

Comment follows imbedded video:

COMMENT:  We have a decent establishment of the issue in part one, then in subsequent parts we have a whole bunch of pundits claiming this is a “cultural issue” (meaning misunderstandings of our unique J culture make refusals of NJ inevitable to some).  Or somehow that it’s a Hobson’s Choice between “human rights of the NJ” and “the survival rights of the business” (which was always a false dichotomy — borne out in retrospect that none of the onsens have gone bankrupt since taking their signs down; quite the opposite in the case of Defendant Onsen Yunohana).

What happens is that the show becomes a”Japanese vs Non-Japanese” thing, where we get lots of old J men and women etc. saying how much they dislike NJ, vs NJ bleating about their rights despite having allegedly different and disruptive bathing rules.  We even have Tarento Daniel Carr coming off all sycophantic — blaming NJ for their plight and pointing out their foibles.  Teeth begin to itch before long.

Nowhere in the show is there anyone J saying, “Look, all you have to do is kick out those who don’t follow the rules.  It’s not a matter of nationality at all.  Just a matter of ill-mannered people, which is an individual matter, not a cultural matter.”  But no.  That would remove the drama that TV news reports are such suckers for, alas.

Of course, HBC gave this a good, earnest try, the best of all the shows that would come out, but it still winds up convincing the viewer that “East is East” in the end.  I see this pattern constantly in J news reports — most resort to portraying Japanese as somehow victims, while few ever portray NJ as residents with as much right to life here in Japan as anyone else.  And never, but never, is the issue shown as something as simple as stubborn and bigoted people butting heads as individuals regardless of nationality.

Arudou Debito in Sapporo

OTARU ONSENS 10th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: Index of online study aids of media on the event

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UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito

Good morning Blog, and happy holidays to readers in Japan. This week I will continue a retrospective on the Otaru Onsens Case, with links to media I collected nearly a decade ago, charting the course of the debate, and how it went down a path that in fact ultimately encouraged people to discriminate. The full arc in my book JAPANESE ONLY, but here is a list of primary sources for your viewing pleasure.

If possible (my friend KM is also supposed to be on holiday, but he’s the one who has kindly converted my analog recordings into digital and YouTubed it), I will put up a link to each media every day, the first one this evening. There is also a DVD I can burn for those who wish to use this for educational purposes (contact me at debito@debito.org).

Here’s an outline of the media I have when I first offered this as a study aid three years ago.  After that, the playlist, courtesy KM, on YouTube.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

=============================================

OTARU ONSENS TAPE (1999-2003)

All TV shows in Japanese (no subtitles or dubbing) with amateur editing

By Arudou Debito (www.debito.org, debito@debito.org)

Total time:  2 hours 20 minutes.  Recorded on one VHS tape in 3X format.

CONTENTS WITH TEACHING NOTES

1) TV ASAHI NEWS STATION on ANA BORTZ DECISION (Nationally broadcast October 12, 1999) (10 minutes).  National broadcast.  Describes the first court decision regarding racial discrimination in Japan, citing the UN CERD Treaty, and the fact that Japan has no law against racial discrimination.

2) HBC TV award-winning documentary on OTARU ONSENS CASE (Locally broadcast March 27, 2001) (1 hour 2 minutes).  Gives the most thorough rundown of the issue and expresses the issue from a more Japanese point of view (i.e. the issue less in terms of racism, more in terms of cultural differences).

3) TV ASAHI tabloid show “KOKO GA HEN DA YO NIHONJIN”, on exclusionism in Wakkanai, Monbetsu, and Otaru (Nationally broadcast Feb 28, 2001) (16 minutes).  Complete with brickbats for the Plaintiffs for filing suit from the screaming foreign panelists.  NB:  Panelists were apparently chosen depending on whether they had strong views about the case.  A special emphasis, according to media sources, was given foreigners who would oppose the lawsuit, as it would make for better television.

4) HBC NEWS (Locally broadcast March 27, 2001) on the OTARU ONSENS LAWSUIT FIRST HEARING (3 minutes).  Otaru City claims impunity from CERD responsibilities due to local govt. status, while Yunohana Onsen tries to claim it was the victim in this case.

5) VARIOUS NEWS AGENCIES (Dosanko Wide, Hokkaido News, STV, and HBC) with various angles on OTARU ONSENS LAWSUIT FILING (Locally broadcast February 1, 2001) (15 minutes total).  NB:  HBC contains the only public interview given by Defendant Yunohana Onsen owner Hashimoto Hiromitsu.  This interview was given live (the only way Hashimoto would agree to be interviewed, so that his comments would not be edited, according to reporter sources), where he states that he has never met us (of course; he always refused to meet us; the only time we would ever cross paths would be November 11, 2002, in the courtroom, when the Sapporo District Court came down in Plaintiffs’ favor).

6) UHB SUPER NEWS Beginning of the new year special on THE YEAR 2001 (Locally broadcast January 3, 2002) (15 minutes).  Discourse on the nature of internationalization.  Also brings in the spectre of foreign crime and terrorism, first brought up from April 2000 with the “Ishihara Sangokujin Speech”, and later used to justify further exclusionism towards foreigners.

7) NHK CLOSE UP GENDAI on FOREIGN CRIME (Nationally broadcast November 7, 2003) (26 minutes).  The fix is in:  Foreigners and the crimes they bring is now publicly portrayable as fearful, with no comparison whatsoever made to stats of crimes by Japanese (except those connected again with foreigners).  A PSA posing as a news special, to warn Japanese about foreigners and their specific methods of crime.

Apologies that there is no footage of the actual District Court Decision of November 11, 2002.

All details and transcripts of many of these and other shows are available for students and scholars in books:

●   JAPANESE ONLY:  THE OTARU HOT SPRINGS CASE AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN JAPAN (Akashi Shoten Revised 2006, ISBN 4-7503-9018-6)

●   ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽温泉入浴拒否問題と人種差別(単行本 明石書店2004年改訂版 ISBN: 4-7503-9011-9)

Ordering details at www.debito.org/japaneseonly.html

Original documentation and articles in English and Japanese at www.debito.org/otarulawsuit.html

Other bilingual interviews and radio broadcasts/podcasts available at

www.debito.org/publications.html#INTERVIEWS

More Japan Times articles on issues connected with rights of non-Japanese residents at

www.debito.org/publications.html#JOURNALISTIC

Thank you for your interest in this case and in this issue!  Arudou Debito in Sapporo, Japan

Interview by JapanTechTalk on NJ rights, courtesy of Mondo Books Nagoya

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in JapansourstrawberriesavatarUPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito

Hi Blog.  My last night in Nagoya (as in last night) I had an immensely enjoyable interview with JapanTechTalk’s Robert Sanzalone over tebasaki.

Have a listen! http://twaud.io/tg

Amazing how six hours after an interview takes place it can be all over the Net.

Thanks to an introduction by Mike and Jose at Mondo Books Nagoya. http://www.mondo-books.com/
on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nagoya-Japan/Mondo-Books-/218012530513

Two autographed signed copies of HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS available at Mondo. First come, first purchased!  How to get there at above links!

Arudou Debito in Nagoya, off to Tokyo for a movie screening of SOUR STRAWBERRIES with Amnesty International tonight.

Starting tour screening SOUR STRAWBERRIES (Okayama, Tokyo, Yokohama, perhaps Nagoya) Aug 30-Sept 14, blog updated less often

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatartwitter: arudoudebito

Hi Blog.  Just to let you know, I’m leaving the keyboard starting August 28, heading south for a couple of weeks.  I’ll be touring movie SOUR STRAWBERRIES between Okayama, Yokohama, and Tokyo and giving speeches.  So I probably won’t be able to update the blog and approve comments more than once a day for the next couple of weeks.  FYI.  Debito

Here’s the schedule:

===================================
UPCOMING SPEECHES 2009
Hosting screenings of SOUR STRAWBERRIES: A documentary directed by Tilman Koenig and Daniel Kremers of Leipzig, Germany, anywhere in Japan in late August-Early September 2009. Please contact Debito at debito@debito.org to arrange a screening.

========= WHAT THE MOVIE IS ABOUT =========

The documentary “Sour Strawberries – Japan’s hidden guest workers” was shot in March 2008 by a German-Japanese film crew in Tokyo. The movie shows migrants fighting for their rights as workers and citizens. The persons concerned are always at the centre of interest. While describing their situation, they are the protagonists of the movie. Contains interviews with NJ workers on their treatment, with input from people like migration expert Dr Gabriele Vogt, Dietmember Kouno Taro, Keidanren policymaker Inoue Hiroshi, labor rights leader Torii Ippei, Dietmember Tsurunen Marutei, and activist Arudou Debito, who gives us an animated tour of “Japanese Only” signs in Kabukicho.

More information and stills from the movie at
http://www.debito.org/SOURSTRAWBERRIESpromo.pdf
A three-minute promo of the movie at
http://www.vimeo.com/2276295

If you can’t make the screenings but would like to order the movie directly from the directors, go to
http://www.cinemabstruso.de/strawberries/main.html

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL SCREENINGS WILL HAVE A VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTION OF 500 YEN PER PERSON. (The directors went to great time and expense to create this documentary; let’s do what we can to compensate them.) Debito will also have copies of the DVD available for purchase for 1500 yen.

SCHEDULE OF SCREENINGS:

  1. OKAYAMA: Sunday August 30, 2009, 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM, Okayama International Center (CONFIRMED)  SPECIAL GUEST:  DIRECTOR DANIEL KREMERS
  2. TOKYO SHIBUYA: Thursday September 10, 2009, evening, The Pink Cow restaurant, for Amnesty International AITEN (CONFIRMED)  SPECIAL GUEST:  DIRECTOR DANIEL KREMERS
  3. TOKYO AKIHABARA: Friday September 11, 2009, 7PM, Second Harvest Japan (CONFIRMED) SPECIAL GUEST:  DIRECTOR DANIEL KREMERS
  4. YOKOHAMA: Saturday September 12, 2009, 3-6PM for group “Drinking Liberally” at The Hub bar in Hiyoshi, Yokohama (CONFIRMED): Directions: Hiyoshi is on the Tokyu Toyoko line about 25 minutes out of Shibuya. Besides from Shibuya, Hiyoshi can also be reached from/connected to from Ebisu (Hibiya line), Meguro (Meguro line – continuation of the Namboku and Mita subway lines terminates at Hiyoshi) and Oimachi (Oimachi line connecting at Oookurayama to the Meguro line). The Hub is a 2 minute walk from the Hiyoshi station. Map here. Facebook entry here.  SPECIAL GUEST:  DIRECTOR DANIEL KREMERS

May I add that I have seen the movie, and it is excellent. We have sold out of three press runs of the DVD, and will be selling more at the venue.

If you can’t make the screenings but would like to order the movie directly from the directors, go to
http://www.cinemabstruso.de/strawberries/main.html

If you’d like to see my previous speeches, handouts, and powerpoints (so you can get an idea what I talk about), please click here.

ENDS

Interview with the Berlin Institute for Population and Development

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(title deleted since I fundamentally disagree with it, and it sounds like a quote from me when it isn’t)
INTERVIEW WITH THE BERLIN INSTITUTE FOR POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT
of Arudou Debito, Hokkaido Information University
http://www.berlin-institut.org/other-publications/as-a-foreigner-you-are-only-a-guest-in-japan.html
Interview by Sabine Sütterlin, August 3rd, 2009

Author and civil rights activist Debito Arudou was called David Christopher Aldwinckle originally and was born in 1965 as an American citizen. In 1991, he settled in Sapporo on Hokkaido Island. He regularly deals with xenophobia and exclusionism he finds in Japan. Since 1993, he has taught English and Debate at the private Hokkaido Information University. Since 2000, he is a Japanese citizen.

Only 1,7 per cent of Japan’s population – which in 2007 totalled 127,77 million people – are foreigners. This is one of the lowest percentages worldwide. Why are there so few? Where do they come from? And what has brought them to Japan?

After opening to the world now nearly 150 years ago, Japan has had a long history of bringing in foreigners. First as advisors to get Japan “caught up” technologically after centuries of isolation. Then as laborers from the Japanese empire at that time to man its war machine. Then as leftover former citizens of the empire, moreover educators, researchers, students and regular workers during its postwar reconstruction.

The most pronounced period of importing foreign labor began in 1990, when Japan inaugurated a new visa regime to bring in laborers from poorer countries, particularly China, South America, and South-East Asia. Japan had a huge labor shortage in the dirty, difficult, and dangerous industrial jobs which Japanese workers eschewed. Policymakers saw benefit in bringing in laborers who would be willing to work for less than those Japanese workers. Consequently, this visa regime has more than doubled the number of non-Japanese residents in Japan since 1990.

But why are there still so few?

Japan has no official immigration policy. In fact, its policy is for “revolving-door” employment. That means people have term-limited visas dependent on having a job in Japan, as in the factory “trainees” from China. Other example: Foreigners of Japanese ancestry can come here for as long as they like, work in factories and contribute to the national pension plans, but then have been offered bribes to go back home and forfeit all their investments as soon as economic conditions turn sour; this happened last April. There is little governmental preparation for assimilation or assistance in helping people settle in. And it is quite difficult to get Permanent Residency. The official attitude is: As a foreigner, you’re a guest. Enjoy your time here, make some money, then go back.

How did you manage to become a Japanese citizen?

It is a procedure like naturalization anywhere, with some arbitrary requirements about acculturation that I managed to overcome.

You reflect on some of these arbitrary requirements on your website: For example, you were asked to submit a form to indicate whether your relatives approved of your naturalization. According to other sources, officials would sometimes recommend applicants to change their names so that those sound more Japanese.

You have to show how Japanese you are, and that includes permission from family and neighbors. Other officials wanted to see how Japanese the contents of applicants’ refrigerators or their children’s toys were. These are basically means for inspectors to refuse you if they feel something “funny” about you, I guess. It didn’t happen to me, and I am pretty “funny”. And according to government naturalization statistics, they accept almost anyone who passes the initial screening interview and files the paperwork.

But if Japan decides it does not want or need immigrants – what is wrong with that?

Because it doesn’t reflect reality. We have had a UN report that stated, at least one Prime Minister who acknowledged, and several important domestic organizations who admitted, that Japan needs immigration. Now. Our society is aging and our tax base is decreasing. We are on the cusp of a demographic nightmare, a future with a society that cannot pay or take care of itself. Either way, people will come here, even if it means they find an enfeebled or empty island to live in. Might as well do it now while we have more energy and choices.

The people who represent us or make decisions for us are not necessarily that receptive to understand that people who appear to be different are not a threat. We cannot expect them to lead us to a world they cannot envision. It’s our country, too.

Japanese demographers emphasize that the shrinking of the population has also positive effects like having more space or more land for agriculture.

More land is great, but who will farm it? We are already seeing the depopulation of the countryside in Japan. Our farmers have so much trouble finding wives that many import them from abroad. Meanwhile, things are centralizing in the urban areas and becoming even more crowded. I do not think there is a move to “return to the garden” yet, like one sees when people retire to the country overseas. I think things will continue on the same steady decline for at least the next few years.

How does Japan manage to keep its productivity on the long term without enhancing its labor force with immigrants?

I do not think anyone knows. A society with the most elderly as a percentage of the population in modern history is an unprecedented development. Business federations and think tanks in Japan wanly talk about robotics and automation, employing women and old people more effectively. That is about all. But it seems that talking about “immigration” as a means to fixing the problem is taboo at the moment.

How do Japanese react when they hear about integration problems in Europe?

It is used to make the ramparts even firmer. Politicians here cite riots and intercultural strife overseas all the time. This stops our country from even considering an immigration policy. So we bring in unofficial labor force anyway and end up with much the same problems. Blinkered viewpoints and scare tactics all around. It is disappointing, and untoward for a society this educated and literate.

Interview by Sabine Sütterlin, August 3rd, 2009

The interview may be reprinted with indication of source (Sabine Sütterlin / Berlin-Institute).
ENDS

Japanpodshow: Tokyo Podcast on Arudou Debito by Joseph Tame

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
Hi Blog. Turning the keyboard over to Joseph Tame. Thanks Joseph! Debito

============================

Hi Debito,

It was a pleasure to meet you recently. 🙂

Your interview is now live online.

http://pokya.jp/japanpodshow/guests/arudou-debito/
I’ve made it available in a couple of formats, as:

– in its entirety as an MP3

– In its entirety as a streaming video on Vimeo.com

– In 6 parts as You Tube videos

– In six parts as downloadable mp4 video files.

In this interview Debito talks about:

The first few years of his life in Japan

    The Otaru Onsen Case
    The new Gaijin cards and associated human rights issues, and what you can do to stop their introduction
    Foreigners who defend discrimination against other foreigners claiming that ‘We are guests in Japan’
    Has the situation improved for foreigners in Japan in recent years?
    His public image, and new beard, Arthur.

I have also created a page just for you on my site, which should help get the interview to the first page when people do Google searches on you.

The page can be found at

http://pokya.jp/japanpodshow/guests/arudou-debito/
Joseph

ENDS

Next screening of documentary SOUR STRAWBERRIES Sun June 14, Tokyo Univ Komaba Campus

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar

Hi Blog.  In case you missed a chance to see documentary SOUR STRAWBERRIES, here’s your next chance.  Drop by Tokyo University Komaba Campus this coming Sunday afternoon and take in a screening.  It’s part of a Linguapax Asia Symposium this year.  Details and schedule as follows.  More on the documentary here.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

===============================

http://www.linguapax-asia.org/

2009 Linguapax Asia Symposium
Theme: Human Trafficking
June 14, 9:00 – 16:30
University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus, Bldg. 18,
4th Floor, Communication Room No 3

——————————————————————————————————————–
With an estimated 900,000 victims annually, human trafficking is perhaps the major human rights issue of the 21st century. The 2009 Working Session of Linguapax Asia will discuss the connection of language with human trafficking and will explore the following:

• How can language define the socio-political contexts of human trafficking?
• How has human trafficking (both labor and sexual) been described historically (e.g. biblical sources and slave narratives)?
• How have literary works described human trafficking?
• How has human trafficking been portrayed by visual media?
• How can the language of human experience explore human trafficking and the sex industry?

——————————————————————————————————————–
Program
9:00 Registration, Coffee

9:30 Opening of Session, Frances Fister Stoga, Director, and Jelisava Sethna, Vice-Director, Linguapax Asia

Morning Session. Chair: Jelisava Sethna

9:35 Daniel H. Garrett, US Embassy, An Introduction to TIP (Trafficking in Persons): Scale, Types, and Definitions

9:55 Olaudah Equiano: A reading from his narrative*

10:00 Patricia Aliperti & Jason Aliperti, The Role of Education to Prevent the Trafficking in Children for Forced and Bonded Labor in India
Q&A
—————————
10:35 – 11:00 Coffee
————————–

11:00 Harriet Jacobs: A reading from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl*

11:05 Stewart Dorward, Shumei High School, Slavery in the Bible

11:25 Frederick Douglass: A reading from his narrative*

11:30 Bill Gater, Rikkyo University, Proletarian Literature and Takiji Kobayashi’s Kanikosen”: Renewal of Interest in Times of Finacial Crisis

11:50 Charles Cabell, Toyo University, “Troubled Waters” Within the History of Edo/Meiji Prostitution
Q&A

12:20 Peace Boat
—————————-
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch
—————————-
Afternoon Session. Chair: Frances Fister Stoga

14:00 Marek Ignacy Kaminski, Swedish Writers’ Union, The Language of Human Experience: Human Trafficking and Diplomacy

14:30 Uncle Tom’s Cabin – A reading*

14:40 Debito Arudou, Hokkaido Information University, Documentary film: Sour Strawberries: Japan’s Hidden Guest Workers (2008, Tilman König and Daniel Kremers)
Q&A
—————————
15:50 – 16:30 Coffee
—————————
16:30 WAM: The activities of Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace

16:45 Closing of Session

* Readings by Ann Jenkins, Tokyo International Players

ENDS

Get Japan Times tomorrow (Tues), and I’m in Tokyo Tues-Friday

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar

Hi Blog.  Just to let you know, two things:

1) Please keep an eye out tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2 (Wednesday in the ruralities) for my next Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE column.

Topic: How the GOJ and media avoid the very term “racial discrimination” in public debates for political reasons.  Enjoy!

2) I’ll also be in Tokyo from Tuesday morning until Wednesday noon attending the German Institute for Japanese Studies three-day Tokyo symposium on Japan’s imploding population and demographic challenges. Not speaking or anything, however, so this will be a more relaxed trip.  More at
http://www.dijtokyo.org/?page=event_detail.php&p_id=565
Say hello if we bump into each other!  And if you’d like a beer Weds or Thurs evening, please let me know.  Sorry for short notice.

Not sure if this will make my blog updates slower in the interim, but I’ll try to keep up.

Arudou Debito in Sapporo

Trans-Pacific Radio’s Live Seijigiri June 4 7:30 PM Shibuya Pink Cow

Hi Blog.  Friends Ken and Garrett are organizing an event that is sure to inform if not entertain.  If you’ve ever listened to their podcasts (I do), you’ll know what I mean.  One week from now.  Come see them live.  I’ll try to attend myself.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

Seijigiri live near the Budokan! Thursday June 4th at 7:30pm!
Posted by Ken Worsley at 1:45 pm on Wednesday, May 27, 2009

http://www.transpacificradio.com/2009/05/27/seijigiri-live-near-the-budokan-thursday-june-4/

We are very excited to announce that the first live edition of Seijigiri will take place at the Pink Cow in Shibuya on Thursday, June 4 from about 7:30 p.m. This is part of the Pink Cow’s ongoing Pink Cow Connections, a series of networking events organized by Anthony Blick.

The event will open with a presentation on Trans-Pacific Radio, followed by the live Seijigiri. After that, there will be a special announcement and demonstration of TPR’s most recent project.

The live show itself will involve Garrett, Ken and the audience. The essential concept is that Seijigiri and the audience will have no barrier between them, and the show will be an interactive event.

We hope to see all of our listeners on Thursday June 4 and look forward to doing the show with you!  Bring your friends!

Thanks,
Ken and Garrett
Here’s the link for more info.

ENDS

Monty DiPietro’s new play “Honiefaith”, June 5, 6, 7, Tokyo Shinjuku

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
Monty DiPietro writes:

Good Day!  Press release attached for the upcoming Tokyo International Players production of “Honiefaith.”
 
“Honiefaith” a three-act drama, the action triggered by the death of a Filipino hostess. This is the premiere of the play, which is set in Tokyo and based on real events — the first production of its kind in TIP’s 112-year history.
 
I’m particularly excited that TIP is producing “Honiefaith” because I wrote it!
 
“Honiefaith” runs June 5-7, opening TIP’s “Second Stage” series at a cozy space not so far from Shinjuku Station.
 
Hoping you’ll help promote homegrown community theater. Contact me anytime!
Regards,
Monty DiPietro

Special to: MEDIA RELEASE / Free Use
“Honiefaith” Press Release
Attention: Arts & Entertainment Editor / Listings Calendar

TOKYO INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS PRESENTS “HONIEFAITH”

Written by Monty DiPietro
Directed by Jonah Hagans

With:
David Aranez as Victor Balmori
Arlene Dinglasan as Cora Diaz
Elena Yankova as Nadya Karsavina
Takuya Matsumoto as Daisuke Sakamoto
Ken Suzuki as Yutaro Mukaide

When a Filipino hostess’ dismembered body is discovered in a Tokyo coin locker, Manila newspaper reporter Victor Balmori is dispatched to Japan. Balmori is looking for a story, he finds a nightmare.

Written by long-time Tokyoite Monty DiPietro, “Honiefaith” is a three-act play about people pushed into extraordinary circumstances demanding difficult choices. The premiere of “Honiefaith” opens the Tokyo International Players’ new “Second Stage” series, and is being directed by TIP president Jonah Hagans.

Jonah Hagans (director): “I’m very excited to be working directly with the author on a production, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to build a piece up from the very beginning. ‘Honiefaith’ involves so much interpersonal dynamic — the challenge for me working with the actors has been developing the connection to the character and each other, and bringing out the genuine emotion and feeling to maximize the play’s impact.”

Monty DiPietro (playwright): “In the spring of 2008 I read a news report about the death of Honiefaith Ratilla Kamiosawa, and began imagining characters and their reactions to the tragedy. The ideas became notes and the notes became a script. I’m honored that TIP is producing ‘Honiefaith’, watching Jonah and the cast bringing the story to life has been thrilling, and a little terrifying.”

“Honiefaith” is based on real events. Some scenes contain violence that may not be suitable for small children.

June 5,6,7, 2009 at Our Space Theater:
Fri. June 5 @ 7 pm
Sat. June 6 @ 7 pm
Sun. June 7 @ 3 pm

The venue, Our Space, is located off the north side of Koshu Kaido street, a three-minute walk from Hatagaya Station, or a five-minute taxi from Shinjuku Station’s south exit.
Our Space
Toei Shopping Center 101
Hatagaya 2-1-1 #101
Shibuya-ku
Map: http://www.tokyoplayers.org/?lang=1&page=16

Our Space has a limited capacity, and so reservations are strongly recommended.

Tickets cost 2,000 yen, including one drink, and are available through the Tokyo International Players website:
www.tokyoplayers.org

Now in its 112th season, TIP is Japan’s oldest English-language community theater group.

***For more information, or to arrange photographs or interviews, the media contact is Andrew Martinez: 090-2643-5919; amartinez@tokyoplayers.org***
honiefaithflyer

ourspacetheatermap

Thoughts on May Day 2009 in Odori Park, Sapporo

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar

Hi Blog.  A little post for the holidays:

I was cycling on my way to work on May 1 and going through Odori Park, where the 80th Annual Hokkaido May Day labor union rallies were taking place.  They’re fun affairs (you get the pretentious lefties spouting off about protecting human rights, but then with no sense of irony whatsoever refuse to give me a flyer as I’m walking past…), and it’s always interesting to see who’s speaking.

I had just missed Hokkaido Governor Takahashi Harumi’s speech (but I saw her in the speaker gallery — she’s a tiny little person!), but Sapporo Mayor Ueda Fumio gave a short and well-tailored speech designed for the workers:  about how Hokkaido’s in the job market toilet and we have to keep it from getting worse; and we’d better make sure that no more companies go bankrupt (I raised an eyebrow at that; that doesn’t sound all that populist anymore).

But then came the rabbit out of the hat.  DPJ leader Ozawa Ichiro (yes, THAT Ozawa) gave a ten-minuter about how the LDP was about to lose power and how the DPJ and associated allies were going to kick butt in the next unavoidable election.  I snickered a bit, about how the worm had turned (given Ozawa’s history as a LDP kingpin dealing within the smoke-filled rooms of Kanemaru and PM Takeshita), and renewed my distrust of him.  He’ll say anything to get into power, which might indeed be the job description of any politician, but I still felt after he left the podium that he lacked any personal convictions except getting his own back on the LDP.

But he was soon overshadowed two speakers later.  After the vice-prez of Shamintou gave the proper address about unemployed workers, the Japanese Constitution, and various other leftie issues that I agreed with to the core but noticed how smoothly they were served up, out came the person that should be banished from any public event with crucifixes:  Suzuki Muneo.  Yes, another former LDP kingpin, now twice-convicted for corruption (and in office only because his case is on appeal in the Supreme Court, and because Hokkaido people can be pretty stupid), up at the podium protesting his innocence yet again.  Yes, no kidding, in between the pat statements that Hokkaido is underrepresented and kept poor by the mainland (I agree, but I wouldn’t want Muneo to be the representer), he talked about how the police are going after people like Ozawa and himself unfairly because the latter are challenging the ruling class.  And how he looked forward to being part of the new ruling DPJ even if his one-person party has only elected him (played that one for laughs; it worked).  The shikai who came on after that noted how suddenly May Day had taken on a different tone.  No wonder.  The politicians had hijacked it for their own purposes, not for the promotion of worker rights.

Anyway, back to Muneo.  He had clearly hitched his wagon to the left.  At about 150 decibels, he was the most attention-getting speaker of the day (I admit he’s an incredible speaker; even if you don’t trust him, you’ll be boxed about the ears by his high-volume convictions).  He walked off with more applause than anyone (Ozawa got some desultory claps; he’s a by-the-numbers speaker because he believes in very little fervently; Muneo, a performance artist like Iggy Pop, would cut his chest on stage if he got your support — he certainly shredded his vocal cords) and probably garnered a few more votes from desperate Dosanko.  Sigh.

I resumed my trek to work after that.  As always, I’m fascinated by Japanese politics, because I like to see what appeals.  Very little of it is as well-thought-out or as inspiring as a single Obama speech.  That’s one reason that Obama’s speeches are best-sellers in Japan.  The Japanese electorate is thirsting for someone to show some impressive leadership.  All the left got today in Sapporo, however, were Ichiro and Muneo.  And they are hardly leftists.  

Arudou Debito in Sapporo

Japan Times on Tokyo Takadanobaba SOUR STRAWBERRIES screening

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
Hi Blog.  Here’s an excerpt of another positive review of a screening of documentary SOUR STRAWBERRIES.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

==========================================

News photo
Debito Arudou

 Japan Times Tuesday, April 14, 2009

‘Sour Strawberries’ spotlights plight of non-Japanese ‘trainees’

Staff writer

The plight of foreign “trainees” in Japan, who often provide cheap labor at factories and in farm fields with no access to labor rights protection, is usually not something you discuss leisurely over a cup of coffee or a mug of beer. But people who showed up last month at Ben’s Cafe in Tokyo had an opportunity to do just that — at the screening of a German-Japanese collaboration, the documentary film “Sour Strawberries.”

News photo
Screening: Human-rights activist Debito Arudou leads a discussion in Tokyo’s Takadanobaba after the screening of “Sour Strawberries,” a documentary about the often exploitative working conditions of foreign “trainees” in Japan. SATOKO KAWASAKI PHOTOS

The night’s event, organized by Amnesty International Tokyo English Network (AITEN), started with a brief background briefing by Debito Arudou, a human-rights activist and Japan Times columnist who also appears in the hourlong documentary…

Tensions rise toward the end of the film, when Chinese trainees who sought help from a labor union are forcibly taken to Narita airport to be sent back to their countries.

The subsequent scuffle — between the workers and the private security guards hired by the employer — was videotaped by union officials — and provided to the filmmakers to be incorporated into the film. Another highlight is where Arudou takes the film crew to Kabukicho — Tokyo’s night-life mecca in Shinjuku — for a showdown with officials from a nightclub with a sign out front saying “Japanese only.”

Read the rest of the review at:

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20090414ev.html

Get yourself a copy of SOUR STRAWBERRIES by going to:

http://www.cinemabstruso.de/strawberries/main.html

ENDS

Review of documentary Sour Strawberries by an attendee, next showing Sapporo Apr 23

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
Hi Blog. A review from Japan Visitor Blog on documentary SOUR STRAWBERRIES.

http://japanvisitor.blogspot.com/2009/04/arudou-debito-and-sour-strawberries.html

Excerpt:

“…I attended a meeting in Tokyo at the end of last month, part of a 10-day tour of the Kanto and Kansai regions by Arudou Debito, where he promoted the documentary Sour Strawberries – Japan’s hidden guest workers. 

Sour Strawberries is a 60-minute film shot in Tokyo in March 2008 by a German-Japanese film crew that focuses on the issue of discrimination in Japan, mainly as it affects foreign workers from other Asian countries.

Numerous interviews in the film reveal the blatancy of discrimination in Japan, with foreign workers treated very much like slaves, most notably the workers who inspired the film’s title: strawberry pickers from China who worked days of at least 12 hours, 365 days a year, and whose passports were taken from them by their employer.

Union activism in defense of victims of discrimination in Japan is also liberally documented, the most startling example being the story told by a Japanese union activist, Torii Ippei of the Zentôitsu Workers Union, who, in response to his efforts in one case involving foreign workers, was doused in gasoline and set alight by the infuriated employer….”

 

 

 

 

Go check out the site. There’s even an awful picture of me. The things I do to show off “Japanese Only” T-shirts…

If you’d like a showing in your area like the one mentioned above, be in touch with me at debito@debito.org.  Planning another nationwide tour between late August and early September.

Next showing:

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

THURS APRIL 23, 2009.  7PM

Sapporo L-Plaza for Hokkaido International Business Association (HIBA)

Sapporo Chuo-ku Kita 8 Nishi 3

http://www.danjyo.sl-plaza.jp/information/index.html

(just off JR Sapporo Station’s North Exit (kitaguchi), follow the underground exits to the very end).  

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Arudou Debito in Sapporo

Audience reactions to documentary SOUR STRAWBERRIES roadshow March 21-April 1

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar

Hi Blog.  I was asked a few days ago in the Comments Section to give you an update on how the documentary SOUR STRAWBERRIES Spring Tour was going.  I’m in Okayama at the moment, fresh out of two screenings (one more to go, in Kumamoto), and a couple of hours in an internet cafe getting mentally prepared for an evening of partying, so here you go.   A quick summary:

First, the executive summary at the very top.  The response to this movie, about Japan’s hidden NJ migrant workers, has been remarkable.  I have never sold so many DVDs and books ever on a tour (we sold out so fast — you can buy your own copies by clicking on the avatars above — that I had to have my stocks replenished twice on the road by post).  Sixty DVDs and 40 books sold later, I think it’s prudent to plan yet another tour.  I’ll be working down at Nagoya University the second week of September, so that takes care of the airfare costs to and from Hokkaido.  For places that missed me this time, how about planning something late August/early September?  If you’d like to schedule an event, please contact me at debito@debito.org

Now for some tour highlights (directors Koenig and Kremers, please feel free to comment or answer questions if you’re reading this):

The first showing was at Second Harvest Japan, a very nice public service provided by Charles McJilton and company to provide homeless people with food that supermarkets decide not to sell.  A capacity crowd (eating, you guessed it, leftover strawberries beyond the supermarket sell-by date) asked poignant questions about why the film covered the Trainees and Nikkei workers so well but didn’t mention those being human trafficked on “Entertainer” visas.  I didn’t have the answer (I’m a promoter, Jim, not a producer or a director), but Patricia Aliperti, a scholar of human trafficking in Japan who serendipitously happened to be in attendance, gave us a firsthand account of how Japan was listed as a Tier-Two Human Trafficker by the US State Dept in 2004, promised to abolish its state-sponsored sexual slavery, reduced the number of NJ visa-ed women in the water trades on this visa by about 75%, then neglected to abolish the visa status completely.   Seems to me within character. 

One attendee of the first screening offered her thoughts here.  http://hinoai.livejournal.com/716510.html

Other screnings were equally well-attended, with Amnesty International at Ben’s Cafe Takadanobaba pulling in at least 50 viewers and the Blarney Stone in Osaka pulling in close to the same.  Smaller screenings in Tsukuba and Shiga had interested commentary from viewers asking about how the directors came to choose this subject, and why it took itinerant Germans to finally produce a movie of outstanding quality about this issue.  The Nagoya University Labor Union screening was so full of Nikkei (as was the Okayama screening) that we decided the lingua franca for the Q&A would be Japanese language, and everyone, however haltingly for some, put their thoughts into Japanese. 

Further sundry thoughts:  Two Nikkei participants in the Okayama screening had lost their jobs at the end of January, were on unemployment, and were thinking they would probably have to return to Brazil when the dole money ran out in three months.  I made sure they got a free copy of the DVD and of the HANDBOOK to show around, if that would help.  Participants were nearly unanimous in both the power and necessity of labor unions to inform and enforce labor rights.   The audience’s outrage was palpable over the GOJ’s negligence at inviting all these people here, neglecting the schooling of both them (the Okayama Nikkei, for example, worked 11 hours a day, six days a week, and had no time to study Japanese) and their children, and telling them to go home now that they “weren’t necessary”.  After all their time spent here paying taxes, living here for years if not decades, and saving Japanese industry from being priced out of the market.

Rumor has it the GOJ has advised Hello Work to consider three Japanese for every non-Japanese applicant.  It’s unconfirmed, but if true, that means nationality once again has become a job qualification, one should think in violation of Labor Standards Law.

Moreover, 2HJ’s Charles also told us that visa overstayers in Japan are actually being issued with Gaijin Cards from local governments (yes, stating that they are overstaying).  That’s why they’re centralizing the Gaijin Card system behind the new Zairyuu Cards, to remove the local government’s discretion in these matters (so much for chihou bunken, then!).  I’ll have more information later on in the blog after some confirmations.

In sum, SOUR STRAWBERRIES may be a testiment to the last days of Japan’s internationalized industrial prowess, as people are being turfed out because no matter how many years and how much contribution, they don’t belong.  Have to wait and see.  But to me it’s clear the GOJ is still not getting beyond seeing NJ as work units as opposed to workers and people.  Especially in these times of economic hardship.  I’m seeing it for myself as the movie tours. 

Call me out for another movie tour by the end of the summer.  I might by then be able to get FROM THE SHADOWS movie about child abductions after divorce as well.  Arudou Debito in Okayama

On the road: Debito.org blog updated less often

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
Hi Blog.  Writing you from Tokyo, just a quick post.

I’m on the road from now until April 1, stopping in Tokyo, Tsukuba, Nagoya, Shiga Hikone, Osaka, Okayama, and Kumamoto.  Showing an hourlong documentary on Japan’s hidden NJ labor force, SOUR STRAWBERRIES, in case you haven’t heard, at venues there.  Come and see it if you like.  Screening schedule here.

So in the interim I’m not sure when I’ll be online (every morning provided I have internet access, and probably most evenings after the movie and beers with friends), but I’ll try to approve posts as quickly as possible.  I also can’t guarantee a daily update with a new post and commentary, but I’ll try.  

If people have essays they want put up (Mark in Yayoi sent me a doozy today), please pass them by me at debito@debito.org.  And you’ll get another Japan Times article (not a 700-word JUST BE CAUSE column, but a full-blast 1500 word ZEIT GIST article) next Tuesday March 24 if you’re feeling lonely.

Meanwhile, thanks to everyone out there for the support and hospitality.  Arudou Debito in Tokyo.

Documentary SOUR STRAWBERRIES Japan Roadshow Feb and March 2009. Contact Debito for a screening.

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan
Hello All. Something to announce while there’s still two months’ lead time:

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
DOCUMENTARY “SOUR STRAWBERRIES”
“JAPAN’S HIDDEN GUEST WORKERS”
NATIONWIDE ROADSHOW FEBRUARY AND MARCH 2009
MAR 20-31 DEBITO ON TOUR, STOP BY YOUR AREA AND SCREEN?

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

I’m planning my annual round-robin tour for the end of March. I’m booking some dates for an important documentary on Japan’s labor markets and what kind of working conditions NJ are enduring under the current “Trainee”, “Researcher”, etc. visa regime.

It’s an hourlong film that came out in Germany in late 2008 by Daniel Kremers and Tilman Koenig of Leipzig. More information from the directors below, but a trailer for the movie may be seen in Japanese, English, and German at
http://www.vimeo.com/2276295

Promo in English with stills from the film at
http://www.debito.org/SOURSTRAWBERRIESpromo.pdf

There’s a scene where I’m taking a business operator in Kabukichou to task for his “Japanese Only” sign. I’m told it’s the funniest scene in the movie. You can see an excerpt and a still from it at the above links.

So far, I will be screening and speaking on the film at the following dates:
==============================================
MON MARCH 23 NUGW SHINBASHI TOKYO
TUES MARCH 24 AMNESTY INT’L AITEN TAKADANOBABA TOKYO
THURS MARCH 26 SHIGA UNIVERSITY

==============================================
If you’d like me to screen in your neighborhood between March 20 and 31, please contact me at debito@debito.org

Director Daniel Kremers will also be touring the movie in February and March, so if you wish to contact him for a screening please see the contact details below. Thanks for considering. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

///////////////////////////////////////////////////
FROM DIRECTOR DANIEL KREMERS:
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is Daniel from the documentary “Sour Strawberries – Japan’s hidden ‘guest workers'”. I am coming to Japan in March to present and promote our movie.
Mr. Arudou Debito was so kind to offer his help, and offer to show the movie[between March 20 and 31].

Unfortunately I cannot attend these screenings. So I would be really happy if someone could recommend some other places to show the movie before, so I could attend and answer questions from the audience. I will be in Japan from February 27th to March 20th. I would like to show the movie in as many places as possible to reach a more heterogenous audience. Please note that I am not free from the 9th to 13th of March, but anything before and after that is fine.

Attached to this email you will find an information sheet with pictures and an English synopsis.
http://www.debito.org/SOURSTRAWBERRIESpromo.pdf
With best regards and thanks to you all,

Daniel Kremers
http://www.myspace.com/saureerdbeeren
daniel.kremers AT gmx.de
///////////////////////////////////////////////////
ENDS

Interview with Debito on TkyoSam’s Vlog: Shizzle!

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan
Hi Blog.  Recently I sat down with Sam (a prolific vlogger, or video blogger), who turned his passport-sized camera on me for a bit of the young lingo and beer and chicken basket.  What you don’t see is how afterwards we repaired with a group of friends for a lot more beers and some fascinating conversation with a drunk that Sam handled admirably.  Sam grew up on manga and anime, and talks like those characters fluently (which is perfect for reducing any other pop-culture-immersed J-drunk into titters and tears).  Yoyoyo, word!  Feel the generation gap of the Bubble-Era-Older-Hand meets J-Pop Awsum Dude.  Shizzle!  And it’s a fun interview too.  

Start here:

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=BtPPWgKSjm4&feature=channel_page

Debito

Speaking in Iwate next weekend: four speeches in E and J

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan
Hi Blog.  Four speeches next weekend in Iwate.  Do attend if you like.  Speech with Japanese title is in Japanese.  FYI, Debito

===================================
REMAINING SPEECHES 2008

  1. Fri Nov 28, 2008, Iwate University, Speech 2:45 -3:45PM, 「『日本人』とは何だろう – アメリカ系日本人から見た過去・現在・未来」 , also 6:20 to 7:50 PM, ”What is Internationalization in 21st Century Japan?”  (CONFIRMED)
  2. Sun Nov 30, 2008, Iwate JALT, CORRECTED TIME 1:30 TO 4:30PM, “An Afternoon with Arudou Debito”, Aiina, the Iwate prefectural public building near Morioka Stn (CONFIRMED)
  3. Mon Dec 1, 2008, Iwate Prefectural University, 2:40-4:10PM, Kyoutsuu Kyougi Tou Classroom 101, “What is Internationalization in 21st Century Japan?” (CONFIRMED)

===================================

Speaking at JALT this Sunday: PALE Keynote Speech

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan
Hi Blog.  I’ll be speaking at the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT)‘s annual conference this weekend in Tokyo.  “The Professionalism, Administration, and Leadership in Education (PALE) JALT SIG — What’s Up, and What’s Next?”  

9:15 – 10:55 AM Sunday Nov 2 in Room 511 (I’m not too happy about the early hour, either).  

Download my powerpoint presentation here.

How to get there here.

If you’d like to find out more about or join our PALE SIG Group (more information on them here), please come to our Annual General Meeting on Saturday Nov 1 in Room 511, 5:25 – 6:25.  Otherwise, come down to the SIG tables in the general commons.  I’ll be there most of the time selling books and chatting (our table’s always the most fun, anyway).  

See you there!  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

Linguapax Speech on Media Propaganda Sun, Oct 26, Tokyo U Komaba Campus

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan

Hi Blog.  I’m on the road for the next couple of days (in Tokyo), so let me be brief today:  

I have a speech at this year’s Linguapax Asia Symposium at Tokyo University, Komaba Campus this weekend, entitled: 

PROPADANDA IN J MEDIA
Manufacturing consent for national goals at the expense of NJ residents

By ARUDOU Debito
Associate Professor, Hokkaido Information University
Linguapax Asia 2008 Fifth International Symposium
Tokyo University, Sunday, October 26, 2008

Download my Powerpoint Presentation at
http://www.debito.org/arudoudebito_linguapaxasia2008.ppt

My thesis:
“To manufacture consent around certain national goals, Japan’s media sometimes blurs the line between rumor, opinion, and substantiated fact. This ‘others’ those not always considered to be ‘part of Japan’: Non-Japanese residents.”

Just letting you know.  Attend if you like!

Information on how to get there at http://www.linguapax-asia.org/

Arudou Debito in transit

岩手日日:「日本の国際化テーマに」Iwate NichiNichi on recent speech

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan

Hi Blog.  Here’s an article from last month on the front page of the Iwate NichiNichi (must have been a slow news day!) on one of my recent speeches down south.  Yes, and that is my new beard.  Hope ya like it!  (It’s taken some getting used to, all around. Shall we have a blog poll on what to name it?)  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

(Click on article to expand image.)

Linguapax Conference Symposium Univ of Tokyo Sun Oct 26

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan
Hi Blog. Just to let you know that there’s a free conference at the University of Tokyo Komaba Campus at the end of October. Called Linguapax Asia, they’re an annual event on media, language, semantics, and their effects on society; well worth your time.  And yes, I’ll be speaking there, about propaganda in Japan’s media as concerns NJ in Japan. (I’ll be my second speech for them — Download the paper I did for them in Word format here, and the Powerpoint presentation here.)  Do consider attending if you have time that Sunday. Just register in advance at the links below. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

http://www.linguapax-asia.org/

Linguapax Asia

Symposium 2008, Oct. 26 (Sunday) 
University of Tokyo
Language & Propaganda
Program: Word  PDF

Working Session 2007
University of Tokyo
Language, Religion, and Ethnicity
Program:
 PDF  Word

Symposium 2006
University of Tokyo
Who Owns Language?

Symposium 2005
Embassy of Canada, Tokyo
Language in Society/Classroom
Proceedings (PDF)

Symposium 2004
United Nations University
Language Diversity/Language Ecology


Linguapax Asia works in partnership with the Linguapax Institute, a non-governmental organization affiliated with UNESCO and located in Barcelona, SpainIn its role as the Asian associate of the Linguapax Institute, Linguapax Asia carries out the objectives of both the Linguapax Institute and UNESCO’s Linguapax Project with a special focus on Asia and the Pacific Rim. These objectives are:

  • Promoting bilingual and multilingual education

  • Elaborating new approaches to language instruction that facilitate intercultural understanding

  • Fostering respect of linguistic diversity and linguistic heritage

  • Supporting initiatives to preserve and revitalize endangered languages

  • Raising awareness of the links between language, identity, human rights, and the quest for peace

Participation in Linguapax Asia activities is open to the general public as well as to those engaged in academic research. 

                                  Direct inquiries to info@linguapax-asia.org

 

Speaking this Saturday at Peace as a Global Language Conference, Seisen University, Tokyo

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan
Hi Blog.  Just wanted to call your attention to a conference this coming weekend at Seisen University, Tokyo.  The Peace as a Global Language Conference.  I’ve been to (and spoken at) more than half the conferences since they started earlier this decade, and I think they’ll be worth your time.

Sat Sep 27, 11AM-11:50, Peace as a Global Language Conference 2008:  Arudou Debito speaks on ”NJ:  From Visitor to Resident”, Seisen University, Tokyo.  More details:

7th Annual Conference

Peace as a Global Language
September 27-28, 2008

‘Imagining Ourselves in a World of Peace!

Seisen University,

Tokyo, Japan

Welcome to the website for the 7th Annual Peace as a Global Language Conference. We are delighted once again to be invited back to Seisen University – the third time that the conference has been held in this location.

PGL conferences began in 2002, and have quickly become an established part of the yearly calendar for students, teachers and activists. We encourage anyone interested in the following areas to join us as presenters, participants or conference volunteers.

  • peace
  • the environment
  • human rights
  • global issues
  • intercultural communication
  • values,
  • health
  • gender
  • media literacy,
  • foreign language education focusing on global issues.

The theme of this year’s conference will be:

Imagining Ourselves in a World of Peace!

平和な世界を想像/創造する

Please do join us in celebrating PGLVII and share in the joy of contributing to peace and the advancement of global studies.

Presentation Schedule 2008  

Sat. Sep.27

9:00-  Registration

9:30-9:45  Opening

10:00-10:50

  • Human Rights
    • Presenter: Matthew Sanders (Room.1)
  • Break through of that Critical Barrier…Peace Education
    • Presenters: Hanaoka, Kusube (English/Japanese) (Room.2)
  • Poetry and Pedagogy
    • Presenter: Hugh Nicoll (Room.3)

11:00-11:50

  • Presumptous Pronouns: Examining Our Way of Life
    • Presenter: Philip Adamek (Room.1)
  • From Visitor to Resident
    • Presenter: Arudou Debito (Room 2)
  • Hidden Language: Hatha Yoga (M Lounge)
    • Presenter: Moira Izatt (Room 3)

12:00-12:50 Lunch Break (with poster sessions) for both days

            Poster session I

  • “Perigo Minas!” – Taking a Stand at Our School Festival
    • Presenter: Kirk Johnson and students from Kanda University of International Studies

13.00-14.50: Keynote I

Peace Boat: Sailing for a New World
Tatsuya Yoshioka

15:00-15:50

  • Stereotypes Everywhere
    • Presenter: Nicholas Degrego (Room 1)
  • Gender and Japanese Language”
    • Presenter: Barry Kavanagh (English/Japanese) (Room 2)
  • EFL Topics with Tibet
    • Presenters: Itoi, Inose (English/Japanese) (Room 3)
  • Using Cross-Cultural Idioms and Literature to Introduce Peace Studies”
    • Presenter: Charles Montgomery (Room 4)
  • The Global Nine Campaign” (English/Japanese)
    • Presenters: Meri Joyce and others (Room 5)

16:00-16:50

  • Danger: Patriotism
    • Presenter: John Spiri (Room 1)
  • Combining Peace Education with Business English
    • Presenter: Anthony Torbert (Room 2)
  • Global Issues in EFL around the World”
    • Presenter: Kip Cates
  • Am I Japanese or American?
    • Presenter: Yujiro Shimogori (Room 4)
  • The PGL 2007 Conference: A Report on the PGL Committe-Student-University Staff Collaboration
    • Presenters: Craig Smith, Yuiki Takenoshita, Junichiro Kawaguchi, and Albie Sharpe

.

17:30-19:30 PARTY!

 

Sun. Sep.28 

9:00- Registration

10:00-10:50

  • Using Student Activation and Social Awareness
    • Presenter: Kirk Johnson (Room 1)
  • Rm.2 The Wiki As A Collaborative Tool for teaching Global Issues
    • Presenters: Daniel Douglas, Barbara Stein

11:00-11:50

  • Promoting International Understanding through Asian Youth Forum
    • Presenter: Kip Cates (Room 1)
  • Using Songs in Language Class for a Global Understanding
    • Presenter: Mercedes Castro Yague (Room 2)
  • Support freedom of speech on NORTH-WEST of the Russia
    • Presenter: Rebrov Alexei (Room 3)
  • Citizens Initiatives for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education with an ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) Perspective”
    • Presenters: Kazuya Asakawa / Motohiko Nagaoka (Room 4)

     

12:00-12:50 Lunch Break (with poster sessions) for both days

            Poster session II

  • War Violence in the Media
    • Presenter: Josef Messerkliger

13:00-14:50: Keynote II

“Yasukuni” Documentary
directed by Li Ying

15:00-15:50

  • Panel Discussion on Yasukuni (Room 1)
  • Daitobunka University Education Dept. Fujita (Room 2)
  • Peace Pilgrim (Video & talk)
    • Presenter: Charles Kowalski (Room 3)
  • Art, social responsibility and activism
    • Presenter: Jane Joritz-Nakagawa (Room 4)

16:00-16:50

  • Light from the Shadows, Hiroshima Nagasaki Film
    • Presenter: Robert Kowalczyk (Room 1)
  • Daitobunka University British & American Literature
    • 2 graduate students (Room 2)
  • Peace Pilgrim (Video & talk)
    • Presenter: Charles Kowalski (Room 3)
  • “Video message project building a bridge between the Philippines and Japan”
    • Presenter: Naoko Jin(BRIDGE FOR PEACE) (Room 4)

– CLOSE –

 

 

More details, including information on how to get there, at http://www.pgljapan.org/

ENDS

Upcoming speeches Sept in Hamamatsu, Nagoya, Osaka, Nagano, Sendai and Iwate

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan

Hi Blog.  Upcoming speeches, FYI.  Debito in transit

  1. Mon Sept 1, 7PM-9PM, Speech for JALT Hamamatsu, Shizuoka (CONFIRMED): Writeup: Hamamatsu- An evening with Debito. One of the leading human rights activists in Japan and co-author of the “Handbook for newcomers, migrants, and immigrants, to Japan” will present on various human rights issues relative to language teachers, working professionals, and members of the community. Following the presentation there will be an informal opportunity to discuss your burning issues with Debito one-to-one. Mon 1 September 19:00 – 21:00; Presentation at Hamamatsu, Machizukuri Center downtown across from Create Hamamatsu; one-day members ¥1000. 21:00 – 23:00 Dialog with Debito to follow at Hamamatsu, Mein Schloss, (see Hamamatsu Chapter website for location directions <http://www.hamamatsujalt.org/>
  2. Thurs Sept 4, 2008, 7PM, Lecture on “The Japanese Legal System–Cognitive Dissonances to Consider”, for Kansai Attorneys Registered Abroad, Osaka (CONFIRMED)
  3. Sat Sept 6, 2008, 6PM Speech for Osaka Forming NGO FRANCA, at Osaka OCAT Building (CONFIRMED)  When: Saturday, September 6th, 6 PM (NOTE EARLIER TIME)
    Where: Namba Shimin Gakushuu Center (難波市民学習センター) (〒556-0017 大阪市浪速区湊町1丁目4番1号  OCATビル4階, Osaka-shi, Namba-ku, Minato-cho 1-4-1, 4th Floor of OCATBldg.)
    Google Map: http://tinyurl.com/5z5sca
    HP: http://www.osakademanabu.com/namba/
    (This is the same place as the last FRANCA meeting in Kansai.)
    Who & What: Arudou Debito will be speaking first, after which we hope to discuss several of the issues that need to be taken care of to move FRANCA forward as a group.
  4. Mon Sept 8 to Weds Sept 10: Nagoya University Intensive Summer Course on Media Professionality 名古屋大学主宰 メディアプロフェッショナル論特殊研究Ⅲ 担当:有道 出人(あるどう でびと)(北海道情報大学 准教授)集中講義 9/8:2・3・4時限、9/9(火):2・3・4時限、9/10(水) (CONFIRMED)
  5. Sat Sept 13, 2008, 1:30-4:30PM, Workshop on Racial Discrimination for N2C2 group in Nagano in Japanese (CONFIRMED)
  6. Sun Sept 14, 2008, Speech for Sendai Forming NGO FRANCA, 2PM-4PM, at: Sendai Chuo Shimin Centre Kaigi Shitsu (CONFIRMED)
  7. Mon Sept 15, 2008, 2PM-4PM, Speech in Japanese, 「21世紀の日本の国際化とは?」in Kitakami, Iwate Pref. in Shougai Gakushuu Center 3F (west exit of Kitakami Stn), (CONFIRMED)

 

 

 

 

Upcoming speeches in the Bay Area August 23-27

Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan

Hi All.  Three speeches coming up, if you’re near the California Bay Area.  More speeches back in Japan in early September too, details here.  Debito in San Francisco

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  1. Sat Aug 23, 4PM-7PM, speech in the Bay Area, CA for local human rights group (CONFIRMED) Writeup: Japan-Pacific Resource Network (JPRN) and Trans-Pacific Research & Action Institute for the Hisabetsu Nikkei (TRAI) – US present, with Masataka Okamoto, Ph.D.: A speech presentation by Debito Arudo, who took Japanese businesses’ “Japanese Only/No Foreigners Allowed” practices to court (The Otaru Onsen Lawsuit), and garnered international attention and support for confronting Japan’s xenophobia. Followed by a light reception. Place: Four Corners Room, University Village Community Center, 1123 Jackson Street, Albany CA 94706 (entrance at intersection of San Pablo Ave. and Monroe Ave., one block south of Marin Ave.) Suggested Donation: $7 and up. This is a very special opportunity to welcome Debito Arudo in person and to hear his own account of his experience living as a Caucasian Japanese in Hokkaido. Please come and enjoy his talk and great company! Inquiry: info@hisabetsunikkei.org or (510) 823-9514
  2. Mon Aug 25, 6:30PM-8:30PM, speech in Mountain View, CA for Japan Exchange Society (CONFIRMED)
  3. Weds Aug 27, 2008, Noon, University of California Berkeley, Center for Japanese Studies (CONFIRMED)