Dr. ARUDOU, Debito's Home Page

From Debito's doctoral research:

Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

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

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

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

    Speeches/presentations I’m giving in future, or links to materials I have used in speeches in the past.

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 18th June 2015

    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:

    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Articles & Publications, Bad Business Practices, Exclusionism, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Speech materials, 日本語 | 7 Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 2nd April 2015

    I presented 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.

    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.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Bad Business Practices, Cultural Issue, Gaiatsu, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, History, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Japanese Politics, Media, Racist Images in Media, Speech materials, United Nations, Unsustainable Japanese Society | No Comments »

    UH Manoa Center for Japanese Studies presents, “Japan’s Visible Minorities: Appearance and Prejudice in Japanese Society”, by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 7th November 2014

    Forgot to put this up: Speaking at University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus November 7, 2014, on my doctoral research.

    Posted in Speech materials | 5 Comments »

    I’m speaking in Tokyo September 24 (today)

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 23rd September 2013

    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
    Participation fee: 500 yen
    Sponsored by Amnesty International Tokyo English Network (AITEN)

    Posted in Speech materials | No Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 24th March 2012

    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

    Posted in Bad Social Science, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment, Speech materials | 9 Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 8th July 2011

    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!

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Child Abductions, Podcasts, Speech materials | 4 Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 11th June 2011

    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
    (The speech and Q & A will be in English)

    If you would like to attend and are not a FCCJ member, please let me know via (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.

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Speech materials | No Comments »

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

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

    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.

    Posted in Exclusionism, Human Rights, Japanese Government, Lawsuits, Otaru Onsen Lawsuit, Speech materials | 8 Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 5th December 2010

    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.

    Posted in Otaru Onsen Lawsuit, Speech materials | 2 Comments »

    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”

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 2nd December 2010

    PGL Conference 2010
    International Christian University, Tokyo
    The Conference: The 3 R’s: Resist Business as Usual, Reclaim Space for Peace, Revolutionise Public Consciousness
    Sat Dec 4, Session 3: Arudou Debito, Hokkaido Information University (60 mins)
    Talk Title: Propaganda in Japan’s Media: Manufacturing Consent for National Goals at the Expense of non-Japanese Residents

    Abstract: 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.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Education, Fingerprinting, Targeting, Tracking NJ, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Japanese Government, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Media, Speech materials | Comments Off on 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”

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

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

    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

    Posted in Lawsuits, Speech materials | Comments Off on Speaking Dec 2 at Sophia University on Liberal Democracy and Japanese Judiciary

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 7th April 2010


    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.

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Speech materials, United Nations | 5 Comments »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 27th March 2010

    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 as a space for Japan’s presenting NGOs to release their information to the general reading public. Read on.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Education, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Speech materials, United Nations | 12 Comments »

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

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

    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 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.

    Posted in Discussions, Immigration & Assimilation, Speech materials | 14 Comments »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    It’s a hefty packet of about 500 pages printed off or so, but I will keep a couple of pockets at the back for 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 by NOON JST Thursday March 18, so I can print it on my laser printer and slip it in the back.

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

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Articles & Publications, Exclusionism, Fingerprinting, Targeting, Tracking NJ, FRANCA, G7/G8 Summits, GAIJIN HANZAI mag, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Injustice, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Japanese Politics, Labor issues, Otaru Onsen Lawsuit, Speech materials, United Nations | 7 Comments »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 5th March 2010


    SUN MAR 28 free day as yet
    SAT APR 3 return to Sapporo

    If you are in the area and have time, do stop by or get in touch ( 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.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Speech materials | No Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 4th November 2009

    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。
    Flyer and Powerpoint included in this blog entry.

    Posted in Education, Exclusionism, Fingerprinting, Targeting, Tracking NJ, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, Japanese Politics, Labor issues, Media, Otaru Onsen Lawsuit, Practical advice, Speech materials, United Nations, 日本語 | No Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 25th October 2009

    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.

    A Practical Guide
    By Eric Johnston, Deputy Editor, The Japan Times, Osaka bureau …

    Posted in Media, Practical advice, Speech materials, Tangents | 3 Comments »

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

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

    Handout for my upcoming talk in Kyoto at the Japan Writer’s Conference. Introduction:

    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, 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…

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Education, Practical advice, Speech materials | 1 Comment »

    The Corbett Report interview on the new RFID Gaijin Cards

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 28th September 2009

    James Corbett: 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…

    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 homepage and the direct link is:…

    Posted in Fingerprinting, Targeting, Tracking NJ, Media, Speech materials | 4 Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 23rd September 2009

    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: There is also a complete transcript and English translation here:

    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.

    Posted in Bad Social Science, Cultural Issue, Exclusionism, History, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Media, Otaru Onsen Lawsuit, Speech materials, 日本語 | 1 Comment »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 22nd September 2009

    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). 50 minutes, six parts on embedded YouTube or download one mp4 file from to play on your iPod.

    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 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 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.

    Posted in Bad Business Practices, Bad Social Science, Cultural Issue, Exclusionism, History, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Media, Otaru Onsen Lawsuit, Speech materials, 日本語 | 3 Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 21st September 2009

    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 an educational purpose (contact me at

    Here’s an outline of the media I have when I first offered this as a study aid three years ago:

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Bad Social Science, Cultural Issue, Discussions, Education, Exclusionism, History, Media, Otaru Onsen Lawsuit, Speech materials | 2 Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 10th September 2009

    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!

    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.
    on Facebook

    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!

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Handbook for Newcomers, Immigration & Assimilation, Podcasts, Practical advice, Speech materials | No Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 27th August 2009

    Just to let you know, I’m leaving the keyboard starting August 28, heading south for a couple of weeks. I’ll be touring documentary 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.


    OKAYAMA: Sunday August 30, 2009, 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM, Okayama International Center (CONFIRMED) SPECIAL GUEST: DIRECTOR DANIEL KREMERS

    TOKYO SHIBUYA: Thursday September 10, 2009, evening, The Pink Cow restaurant, for Amnesty International AITEN (CONFIRMED) SPECIAL GUEST: DIRECTOR DANIEL KREMERS


    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

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Media, Speech materials | 9 Comments »

    Interview with the Berlin Institute for Population and Development

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 13th August 2009


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

    ARUDOU: 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…

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Speech materials | 8 Comments »

    Japanpodshow: Tokyo Podcast on Arudou Debito by Joseph Tame

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 15th June 2009

    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

    Posted in Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Otaru Onsen Lawsuit, Podcasts, Speech materials | 2 Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 9th June 2009

    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.

    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?…

    14:40 Debito Arudou, Hokkaido Information University, Documentary film: Sour Strawberries: Japan’s Hidden Guest Workers (2008, Tilman König and Daniel Kremers)

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Labor issues, Speech materials | 1 Comment »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 1st June 2009

    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.

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Immigration & Assimilation, Speech materials | No Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 28th May 2009

    The first Trans-Pacific Radio live edition of Seijigiri will take place at the Pink Cow in Shibuya on Thursday, June 4 from about 7:30 p.m.

    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.

    Posted in Discussions, Media, Speech materials | No Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 22nd May 2009

    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.

    June 5,6,7, 2009 at Our Space Theater:

    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. More information, map, links, and press releases here at

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Cultural Issue, Media, Speech materials | 1 Comment »

    Thoughts on May Day 2009 in Odori Park, Sapporo

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 3rd May 2009

    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. In addition to Hokkaido Governor Takahashi and Sapporo City Mayor Ueda, we got… wait for it… Suzuki Muneo and Ozawa Ichiro! Who hijacked May Day for their own purposes.

    Posted in Japanese Politics, Labor issues, Speech materials, Tangents | 5 Comments »

    Japan Times on Tokyo Takadanobaba SOUR STRAWBERRIES screening

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 18th April 2009

    Japan Times review: 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.”

    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.”…

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Media, Speech materials | 2 Comments »

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

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

    A quick positive review from Japan Visitor site on documentary SOUR STRAWBERRIES — Japan’s Hidden Guest Workers. Excerpt here.

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

    Next showing March 23, L-Plaza, Sapporo

    Posted in Labor issues, Speech materials | 2 Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 28th March 2009

    Some various and sundry thoughts on audience reactions to the excellent SOUR STRAWBERRIES documentary as we finish up the last screenings (thinking about another August-September tour, so book me if you’re interested), and consider what the movie may mean in the context of international labor migration. 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.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Discussions, Immigration & Assimilation, Labor issues, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment, Speech materials | 9 Comments »

    On the road: blog updated less often

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 20th March 2009

    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. And you’ll get another Japan Times article (not a 700-word JUST BE CAUSE column, but a 1500 word ZEIT GIST article) next Tuesday March 24 if you’re feeling lonely.

    Posted in blog and website biz, Speech materials | 1 Comment »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 18th January 2009


    So far, I will be screening and speaking on the film at the following dates:
    If you’d like me to screen in your neighborhood between March 20 and 31, please contact me at

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Immigration & Assimilation, Labor issues, Speech materials | 4 Comments »

    Interview with Debito on TkyoSam’s Vlog: Shizzle!

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 6th January 2009

    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.

    Posted in Cultural Issue, Humor, Podcasts, Speech materials | 6 Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 22nd November 2008

    Four speeches next weekend in Iwate. Do attend if you like. Speech with Japanese title is in Japanese. FYI, Debito


    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)
    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)
    Mon Dec 1, 2008, Iwate Prefectural University, 2:40-4:10PM, Kyoutsuu Kyougi Tou Classroom 101, “What is Internationalization in 21st Century Japan?” (CONFIRMED)

    Posted in Speech materials | No Comments »

    Speaking at JALT this Sunday: PALE Keynote Speech

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 30th October 2008

    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

    If you’d like to find out more about or join our PALE SIG Group, 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.

    Posted in Education, Labor issues, Speech materials | No Comments »

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

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

    I have a speech this Sunday at Tokyo University Komaba Campus, entitled:

    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

    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.”

    Posted in Japanese Government, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Media, Speech materials | No Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 2nd October 2008

    岩手日日新聞:「日本の国際化テーマに 北上 有道さんが講演」
    Iwate NichiNichi Shinbun has article on one of my recent speeches down south, complete with my new beard.

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Speech materials, 日本語 | 3 Comments »

    Linguapax Conference Symposium Univ of Tokyo Sun Oct 26

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 29th September 2008

    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.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Media, Speech materials | No Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 23rd September 2008

    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 on the Conference and how to get there within this blog entry.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Education, Human Rights, Speech materials | No Comments »

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

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on 30th August 2008

    Hi Blog.  Upcoming speeches, FYI.  Debito in transit 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 […]

    Posted in Speech materials | 1 Comment »

    Upcoming speeches in the Bay Area August 23-27

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

    Got some speeches coming up this weekend and early next week in the California Bay Area (Albany CA, Mountain View, and UC Berkeley). Attend if you like.

    Posted in Speech materials | 1 Comment »


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