May 27, 2006: Police patrols, Diene, immigration and foreign workers

mytest

Hi All. Arudou Debito here. Updates:

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1) “POLICE PATROL CONTACT CARD” ASKS FOREIGNERS FOR PERSONAL DETAILS
2) SHUUKAN DIAMONDO ON “IMMIGRATION ARCHIPELAGO JAPAN”
3) ANOTHER TAKE ON THE UN RAPPORTEUR DIENE TRIP
4) THE RIGHT WING START GEARING UP AGAINST DIENE REPORT
5) LETTER TO YOMIURI RE FINGERPRINTING LAW
6) OTARU ONSENS MEDIA TAPE
7) YAMATO DAMACY’S CONCLUDING INTERVIEW
8) and finally… THE COMPLIMENT OF THE YEAR
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
May 27, 2006, freely forwardable

1) “POLICE PATROL CONTACT CARD” ASKS FOREIGNERS FOR PERSONAL DETAILS

I received this information earlier this week from a friend in Tokyo, who said cops patrolling her area came to her door asking for personal information about her and her wherewithal in Japan.

Entitled the “Junkan Renraku Caado” and issued by the police forces, this A4-sized paper reads, in English (as this form is clearly designed for English-reading foreigners):

———————————————
“This police officer is assigned to work in your area. His duties require him to establish rapport and maintain positive contact with community residents of his beat. As such he will occasionally call at your place of residence. These visits have a long history in the Japanese community and is [sic] not meant to be intrusive in nature. The activity is intended to provide the public with the best crime prevention and traffic awareness services the police can offer. We would also like to hear your difficulties, complaints, and opinions on community affairs, thereby helping us to serve our community better. On his first visit, the patrolman will be asking you to fill out this form. Information provided by you will be mainly used for communication purposes, should you suffer from crime, disaster, or traffic accident. Necessary precaution [sic] will be taken to maintain your privacy. Information provided by you will not be affected [sic] nor disclosed to third parties. We request your assistance in this matter. Thank you for your understanding.”
———————————————
See a scanned copy of it here
http://www.debito.org/junkairenrakucard.jpg

Above this section are boxes in Japanese only asking for “Head of Household” (setai nushi) and patrolman details.

Below it are boxes in English and Japanese for filling out Home Address (in Japan) with phone number, Nationality, and Period of Stay. There are several rows for FAMILY MAKE-UP, with Name in Full, Relationship, Sex, Occupation/School, Alien Registration Certificate Number.

The bottom half has:
a) POINTS OF EMERGENCY CONTACT (Name and address of Householder’s business, Name and address of Householder’s School, Name and address of close friend or next of kin)

b) TENANTS OTHER THAN FAMILY (with the same information required as the above FAMILY MAKE-UP SECTION

c) VEHICLE REGISTRATION NUMBER

Then finally,
d) COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS/REQUESTS TO THE POLICE.

Okay, here are some things I would write in this section:
———————————————
1) Why are you asking me for this information?
2) What bearing does this information have on the stated goals of public prevention of crime, disaster relief, and traffic awareness?
3) Is filling out this form optional?
4) Do you gather all of this information from Japanese residents too?
5) If foreigners were allowed to have juuminhyou residency certificates, like all other residents of Japan who happen to be citizens, would you police need to come around to my house and collect it yourself?
http://www.debito.org/activistspage.html#juuminhyou
———————————————

Actually, in the time period spanning twenty years I have had contact with the Japanese police, I never once have had them come to my door and ask for anything like this. Yet I have heard so far that this has happened to two foreigners residing in Tokyo Nakano-ku and Shinjuku-ku. Anyone else? Let me know at debito@debito.org.

I will pass this on to one of my lawyers and ask whether or not filling this out is mandatory. Given that answering the Japan Census Bureau is completely optional, I have a feeling that filling this out would be optional too, at least for Japanese. (Ask your cop directly yourself: “Kore o ki’nyuu suru no wa nin’i desu ka?”)

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

2) SHUUKAN DIAMONDO ON “IMMIGRATION ARCHIPELAGO JAPAN”

Since a major overseas magazine will soon be doing a large article on foreign labor in Japan, I finally sat down and webbed something I keep referring to in my Japanese writings on immigration and foreign labor in Japan: Fifteen pages of a special report in Shuukan Diamondo (Weekly Diamond) economics magazine, concerning the importance of Immigration to Japan, which ran on June 5, 2004. All scanned and now available at:
http://www.debito.org/shuukandiamondo060504.html

Highlights:

Cover: “Even with the Toyota Production style, it won’t work without foreigners. By 2050, Japan will need more than 33,500,000 immigrants!! Toyota’s castle town overflowing with Nikkei Brazilians. An explosion of Chinese women, working 22 hour days–the dark side of foreign labor”

Page 32: “If SARS [pneumonia] spreads, factories ‘dependent on Chinese’ in Shikoku will close down”.

Page 40-41: Keidanren leader Okuda Hiroshi offers “five policies”: 1) Create a “Foreigners Agency” (gaikokujin-chou), 2) Create bilateral agreements to receive “simple laborers” (tanjun roudousha), 3) Strengthen Immigration and reform labor oversight, 4) Create policy for public safety, and environments for foreigner lifestyles (gaikokujin no seikatsu kankyou seibi), 5) Create a “Green Card” system for Japan to encourage brain drains from overseas.

Remember that powerful business league Keidanren was the one lobbying in the late 80’s and early 90’s for cheap foreign workers (particularly Nikkei Brazilians) to come in on Trainee Visas, working for less than half wages and no social benefits, to save Japanese industry from “hollowing out”.

Now that Keidanren boss Okuda has stepped down in favor of Mitarai Fujio (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20060525a3.html), it’s time to see what Keidanren’s new tack on foreign labor, if any, will be. At 7:50 AM yesterday morning, NHK interviewed Mitarai, and made much of his 23 years living overseas with foreigners (and his comments were, sigh, directed towards “understanding foreign culture and traditions”; when will we outgrow that hackneyed and sloppy analytical paradigm?). The interview made no mention of foreigners within Japan, however. Do I hear the sound of hands washing?

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

3) ANOTHER TAKE ON THE UN RAPPORTEUR DIENE TRIP

Last update, I gave a synopsis of Doudou Diene’s trip last week to Tokyo, Osaka, and Okinawa, sponsored by IMADR (available at http://www.debito.org/rapporteur.html#May2006. I received a response from Trevor Bekolay, student at Kokugakuin University and University of Manitoba, who was at a meeting with Diene which I could not attend. Forwarding with permission:

——————————————————
Just to add to your email about meeting with UN Special Rapporteur
Diene, I as well had the opportunity to meet him at the public meeting
on May 13th at IMADR’s building. The meeting consisted of but 20
people [due to the short notice of the schedule]. Most of the points
that he made you already included in your email…

The three-hour meeting included statements from IMADR, the NGO
representative, Dr. Diene himself, then about half of the time was
allotted to questions from those who attended. Here are the notes I
made on what I heard:

“Dr. Diene received a fair amount of negative media coverage after the
initial UN report due to the possibility of omissions which are
believed to be added to Diene’s report. IMADR attempted to address
these problems in their open letter to Dr. Diene, but the purpose of
the meeting really, was for Diene to receive feedback on the report,
especially of issues that were omitted in the original report. He
stressed that one does not have to be in a group, any individual can
inform the Special Rapporteur of individual cases of racism and
discrimination which will immediately be acted upon. Basically, the
UN is starting to police Japan’s government more closely, to determine
if they should remain in Human Rights groups in the UN.

[Inform the Special Rapporteur via sr-racism@ohchr.org
(Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)]

“The report’s goal is to be the first step in starting social change,
not just a report on the current situation. The responsibility of
activist groups like IMADR is to inform Diene of new developments.
Give as much information as possible so he can give a good report to
the UN. Consider how the report can be used as part of the fight
against racism in Japan.

“Question Period: Mainly specific issues, such as pension issues for
disabled Zainichi Koreans. However, a representative for the Civil
Liberties Union seemed to be there to defend the Japanese right to be
racist. He mentioned the issue of freedom of expression vs. racial
discrimination. He claimed that freedom of expression isn’t well
protected in Japan, so only public servants are punished for making
racist remarks in public forums. He gave two examples of problems
with freedom of expression: one in which public servants who were
distributing political leaflets were arrested, and one in which
environmentalists were arrested by SD forces while distributing
political leaflets.”…
——————————————————

Well and good. Especially since the conservatives are now feeling threatened by Diene enough to start organizing and publishing: Witness this:

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

4) THE RIGHT WING START GEARING UP AGAINST DIENE REPORT

A friend who studies conservative politics in Japan called me up just before dinner tonight, to inform me of the “emergency publication” of a new book by “right-wing nutjobs” decrying the spread of human rights in Japan.

Entitled, “Abunai! Jinken Yougo Houan, Semari Kuru Senshinkoku kei Zentai Shugi no Kyoufu”
(“Warning! The Human Rights Protection Bill: The Imminent Terror of the Totalitarianism of the Developed Countries”, or somesuch), it was just published April 27 and is visible at:
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/4886562825/249-5993086-5621147?v=glance&n=465392

Complete, my friend notes, with manga (what else?) lots of Chinese living in an apartment on top of each other in violation of housing contract, being found out by the landlord, and taking action against him “to defend their own human rights”. Or of a “gaijin” picking a fight with a Japanese in a bar, getting turfed out, then taking action against the bar for “violating his human rights”. Hoo boy.

It zeroes in on the Diene report in specific. Not quite sure how (as I haven’t gotten a copy of the book yet), but will let you know. I ordered two copies today and will send one to Diene at the UN for his perusal.

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

5) LETTER TO YOMIURI RE FINGERPRINTING LAW

Last week I forwarded you an article from the Yomiuri entitled:
New ID card system eyed for foreigners
The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 14, 2006, still up temporarily at:
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20060514TDY01001.htm

Well, here’s a letter I sent to the Yomiuri shortly afterwards:

—————————————-
Sir, Your article, “New ID card system eyed for foreigners” (May. 14, 2006), makes an unfortunate omission and even an error.

In its haste to portray the change in the Alien Registration system as little more than a centralization and rationalization of power, your article neglects to mention the new “Gaijin Cards” will have imbedded IC computer chips.

These chips will be used, according to government proposals, to track even legal foreigners in Japan through swiping stations nationwide. [*1] This is an unomissible change.

Your article errs when it reports, “an increasing number of foreigners do not register themselves at municipalities after gaining admission at the bureau or fail to report an extension of their stay”. In fact, according to Immigration, the number of illegal foreigners has gone down every year uninterrupted since 1993. [*2] Even the figure cited within the article, “at least about 190,000 illegal aliens as of January”, is still lower than the 2003 figure of 220,000 overstays.

In this era of exaggeration of foreign crime, please endeavor to provide us with accurate reportage.
Arudou Debito
Sapporo, Japan

—————————-

[Note 1 for editors: Source, Japan Times, “Computer-chip card proposals for foreigners have big potential for abuse”, November 22, 2005.
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/member/member.html?appURL=fl20051122zg.html ]

[Note 2 for editors: Source: http://www.debito.org/crimestats.html , very bottom for an orange bar chart indicating the number of illegal aliens in Japan (courtesy of Immigration)]
—————————————-

Well, AFAIK it didn’t get published. Ah well. To be expected.

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

6) OTARU ONSENS MEDIA TAPE

For the Diene visit, I put together a tape of media (TV shows and news broadcasts) concerning the Ana Bortz Case, the Otaru Onsens Case, and NHK’s portrayal of foreign crime. (Synopsis of the tape’s contents at http://www.debito.org/rapporteur.html#video ).

If you would like a copy sent to you (for a nominal fee of, say, 1000 yen to cover tape, postage and handling, see http://www.debito.org/donations.html), please be in touch with me at debito@debito.org. Quite a few teachers are using this as classroom educational material on the subject of human rights. Be happy to help.

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

7) YAMATO DAMACY’S CONCLUDING INTERVIEW

What is shaping up to be the last and best bilingual interview of the bunch just came out yesterday on Yamato Damacy.
http://yamato.revecess.com/?lang=en&episode=23
Touching upon survival strategies in Japan, the future, and a special appearance of Tama-chan–probably the most successful issue we ever took up on The Community!

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

8) and finally… THE COMPLIMENT OF THE YEAR

When I was having dinner with M. Diene on May 17 in Osaka, in attendance was a former vice-rector of a major Japanese university who paid me a wonderful compliment:

“I am in fact a quarter French. When I was younger, I really disliked the three-quarters of the Japanese side of myself that ridiculed my foreign background. But now no longer ashamed of my French roots. I’m even proud to be a Japanese. Because we have Japanese now like Arudou Debito who say the things I could never say.”

That was a tearjerker. Here I am just doing my thing, and it somehow helped an elderly gentleman overcome longstanding hurts he’d had for decades…

Arudou Debito
Sapporo
debito@debito.org
www.debito.org
UPDATE DATED MAY 27, 2006 ENDS

Jul 4, 2006: MOJ’s new proposal for immigration. Feedback requested.

mytest

Hi All. Arudou Debito here. Something you should know about ASAP:

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
“ON HOW TO ALLOW FOREIGNERS ENTRY FROM NOW ON”
MOJ “PROJECT TEAM REPORT”
TRANSLATION FOLLOWS, YOUR FEEDBACK TO MOJ BY JULY
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
July 4, 2006. (revised slightly July 5) Freely forwardable

Last newsletter, I wrote you about how Dietmember and Senior Vice Minister of Justice Kouno Taro and folks at the Ministry of Justice have issued a statement regarding future policy regarding immigration and foreign workers. They are accepting feedback on this until Saturday, July 15, so time is of the essence here.

I sent you a blurb of three bullet points, but of course there are more. So before bed last night I pored over the document (available at http://www.moj.go.jp/NYUKAN/nyukan51-1.pdf ). At seven pages, it’s not a bad read. And it’s not all bad news. Allow me to summarize the recommendations immediately below.

(These are not direct translations. All errors, and there may be several in this hasty translation, are mine. Please see original document if you need to check or clarify any sections.):

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1. BASIC PREMISES
(1) Cap the foreign population at 3% (not including the Zainichis).
(2) Increase foreign tourism, exchange students, and working holidays.
(3) Increase foreign workers to fill the gaps in sectors where there are labor shortages, expanding the Japanese labor force to include women, the elderly, and part-timers. Change (henkou) policy regarding low-wage labor (particularly regarding systems to accept trainees, researchers, and Nikkei workers). [NB: Unclear what direction this “change” will take.]
(4) While expanding foreign labor, increase administration of their residency (zairyuu kanri).
(5) Require foreign laborers to have equal wages with Japanese unemployed (hikoyousha), along with equal social insurance. Punish noncomplying companies.
(6) Have compulsory education for the families of foreign workers.
(7) For a diversifying (tayouka) Japanese society, give due consideration to the nationalities of resident foreigners, without favor towards any one particular country.
(8) Make Immigration procedures rational and efficient.

2. SPECIFIC POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
(1) REGARDING TRAINEES AND RESEARCH LOW-WAGE WORKERS
— Require Japanese language ability and study for foreign trainees and researchers. Make continuation of employment contingent on improvement in language ability.
— Allow for exceptions under bilateral agreements with countries.
— Restrict these workers to specific economic sectors deemed to need them.
— Restrict this system to allow workers from countries with good guest worker programs (soushutsu taisei).
— Pay workers the equivalent of a Japanese worker if the level of skill is equivalent.
— Create a revolving-door system for foreign workers if they do not plan to stay in Japan.
— Create a system for resident foreign workers to bring over their families, and require a degree of Japanese language ability from them.

(2) REGARDING RESIDENCY FOR FOREIGNERS IN GENERAL
— Create a system for understanding their lifestyles and statuses of residency.
— Require them to advise the authorities whenever they change jobs. This requirement also includes employers to do the same, in order to avoid overstayers.
— Create a similar system for understanding the situations for overstayers.
— Punish offenders and organizations severely.
— Create an information bank between administrative organs overseeing foreigners, in order to serve them better.
— Create a super Gaijin Card which will service foreigners beyond just administrative registering.
— Increase awareness (haaku o okonau) that Zainichis are also residents. [NB: Does this mean they will get a Juuminhyou residency certificate at last?]
— Create a system for severe enforcement and policing of employers who employ foreign overstayers.

(3) REVISING THE NIKKEI WORKER SYSTEM
— Stop importing Nikkei just because they are blood related to Japanese. Increase the technical quality of Nikkei workers from the start.
— Acknowledge that Nikkei families (including those with Japanese citizens) who have been here long-term have increased qualifications to be here.
— Require language ability for their continued residency and employment.

(4) REVISING THE ENTERTAINER VISA SYSTEM
— Crack down on the water trade business expressly importing “entertainers” for prurient purposes.

(5) REGARDING GUEST WORKERS AND EXCHANGE STUDENTS
— Crack down on exchange students becoming overstayers by limiting schools whose population of foreign students gone AWOL is between 1 and 10% of foreign students.
— Make it easier for the real educational institutions to bring in foreign students.

(6) REGARDING PERMANENT RESIDENCY AND NATURALIZATION
— Encourage (sokushin) foreigners who are contributing to our economy to become established (teichakuka), and loosen restrictions for them to become Permanent Residents.
— Give due consideration those nationalities which will increase our country’s diversity (tayouka) [CODE: Probably this means there will be no particular preference given to Zainichi naturalization applicants].
— Make naturalization more difficult for those applicants who do not have Permanent Residency or Zainichi status.
— Even after granting Permanent Residency, check on their residential status (zairyuu joukyou) and punish offenders (i.e. those who have PR but aren’t living in Japan and/or working earnestly)

(7) REGARDING CREATING A MORE SECURE LIFESTYLE BASIS (seikatsu kibon)
— Accept foreigners as part of Japanese society, and guarantee their reasonable rights (gouriteki na kenri no hoshou) and make them pay taxes. [NB: Naturally, I’m wondering what kind of rights are involved and how they will be guaranteed.]
— Give foreigners the same social security (nenkin, shakai hoken etc) as unemployed Japanese. Also, take responsibility for their housing and living environment (juukyo tou seikatsu kankyou).
— Enforce compulsory education for families of foreigners, and shorten residency for noncompliers. [NB: I see lots of problems here–see comments below.]

(8) PROMOTING INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION AND COOPERATION
— Greatly (oohaba ni) increase the number of working holidayers and tourists.
— Increase scholarships, confer credits from international universities, and bring higher-quality students here.
— Increase the brain drain by bringing foreigners with educational qualifications higher than baccalaureate. [NB: Humph. Watch the universities and Monkashou shoot this down promptly by refusing to reform Japan’s academic apartheid. http://www.debito.org/activistspage.html#ninkisei ] Also allow those with overseas licences (such as doctors, lawyers, etc.) work in Japan as qualified in their field.
— Enliven Japan’s international business knowhow by allowing longer-term visas for business expats.
— Increase worker flow from the US and South Korea by considering making border controls more automatic.

(9) RATIONALIZING IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES
— Unify application and renewal procedures.
— Allow for Internet applications and announcements.
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
ENDS

COMMENTS
It’s surprisingly not all bad news. There are proposals and ethos that we have been saying repeatedly over the years (particularly about foreigners being taxpayers and contributors to society–bravo!). So let’s give praise where due and criticisms where not.

——————————————
GOOD POINTS:
I basically agree with compulsory education of immigrants. I think anyone who lives in Japan should become as fluent in the Japanese language as possible (as the alternative–functional illiteracy and a lifetime of limited communication ability with society–limits one’s world and severely impinges upon one’s ability to control their own fate). The emerging underclass of uneducated Nikkei youth gangs down south illustrates this quite well.

HOWEVER:
The requirement of improvement of language in order to continue employment, or compulsory education for minors with reduction in residency for noncompliers is definitely open to abuse.

a) Who controls the education of workers, and who assesses their ability and improvements? If it is the employer, any nasty boss could simply report that the level has improved insufficiently and use it as a means of sanction or firing (I personally have experience with this situation). Standards and qualifications should be made clear even at this stage. Nihongo Kentei Shiken at least.

b) What systems are in place for children of foreigners who face bullying and ostracization at school, and cannot for psychological reasons attend? Will they and their families be exiled back to their native country simply because their kids got a raw draw of classmates or teacher? I suggest the Ministry of Education offer ethnic alternatives (such as accrediting the ethnic schools found nationwide) for children who do not, for whatever reason, fit in.

——————————————
MORE GOOD POINTS
I herald increased enforcement of laws regarding overstayers as long as they zero in more on the employers which encourage the practice, by specifically employing foreign labor from a standpoint of weakness (confiscating passports, etc.), and threatening them with exposure if they complain about slave work conditions. Not all overstaying is deliberate, or avoidable, and there has been too much punishment of the victims in Japan. Consequently Japan, as the US State Dept. has famously pointed out, is an egregious human trafficker. Glad to see a crackdown on that at last.

However, this crackdown is also open to abuse with nascent policing (including Permanent Residents) all over again. Central control and notification of even change of employment is open to abuse, with people squealing on foreigners already (through Immigration Snitch Sites, see http://www.debito.org/immigrationsnitchsite.html), and opening them up to all manner of harassment. There has to be a check on police powers here or else there will be wanton raids and racial profiling.

——————————————
I also cheer the lowering of the bar for receiving Permanent Residency and citizenship, and hope that awareness raising campaigns (if any) will be successful in encouraging the popular view that citizenship and residency are not a matter of race. However, there is no clear sign that foreigners will yet get a “juuminhyou” residency certificate. When will Japan do away with the requirement of citizenship for formal registry registration? (http://www.debito.org/residentspage.html#checkpoints)

——————————————

I also am happy with the news that human rights (whatever “reasonable rights” is supposed to mean) should be guaranteed. However, given that Japan’s government recently applied to the newformed Human Rights Committee (and received a seat) without mentioning ONCE a single thing about guaranteeing foreigners’ rights in their application, I think I will take a “wait and see” attitude. More on this later in a Japan Times article.

——————————————
FINAL POINT–SIMPLIFY THINGS, PLEASE!
If Dietmember Kouno and the MOJ were really interested in getting feedback from the public, particularly the international residents whom it will affect, one would hope they would make the Japanese as easy as possible (with furigana as a minimum, and simplified Japanese as a nicety). Not to sound provincial, but an English translation would also have helped. Instead, the proposal starts out with flowery bureaucratic language (such as “honne to tatemae no kairi” (乖離), the last word I spent at least twenty minutes just trying to find!), completely unnecessary for public (not to mention international) consumption. If you want more feedback from the public, make the policy proposal easier for the public to understand!

Anyway, that’s enough for now. I’ve commented on the arbitrary and unreasonable 3% population cap, so others can point that sort of thing out themselves to the MOJ. I encourage you to do so. By July 15.

——————————————
Address: 100-8977 Houmushou Nyuukoku kanrikyoku Kanri Kikaku Kanshitsu
Fax: 03-3592-7940
Email: nyukan42@moj.go.jp
Questions to 03-3580-4111 ext 5685
It’s all up at http://www.moj.go.jp/NYUKAN/nyukan51.html in Japanese.
Or you can contact Dietmember Kouno Taro directly (he reads English)
at http://www.taro.org
——————————————

Thanks for reading. Back to work.
Arudou Debito in Sapporo
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
July 4, 2006 (revised slightly July 5)
ENDS

Jul 2, 2006: Immig feedback, MOFA, Kimigayo, El Barco

mytest

//////////////////////////////////////////////////
1) DIETMEMBER KOUNO TARO’S RECOMMENDATIONS ON IMMIGRATION.
GIVE YOUR FEEDBACK
2) MOFA HAS NEW HEARING ON FOREIGNERS’ RIGHTS JULY 28
3) “NO DANCING LICENCE”: POLICE RAID HIROSHIMA FOREIGNER PUB EL BARCO
4) ASAHI: WITCH HUNT FOR PARENTS WHO REFUSE TO SING “KIMIGAYO”
5) LINKS TO HANDOUTS FROM RECENT SPEECHES
6) JAPAN TIMES JUNE 27 ON UN REP DIENE VISIT AND AFTEREFFECTS
//////////////////////////////////////////////////
July 2, 2006 Freely forwardable

1) DIETMEMBER KOUNO TARO’S RECOMMENDATIONS ON IMMIGRATION
GIVE YOUR FEEDBACK

I reported on June 6 about Kouno Taro, Dietmember and Senior Vice Minister for the Ministry of Justice, and his suggestion to cap foreigners at 3 percent of the population. Backlogged at:
http://www.debito.org/?p=10

Well, there’s a full report available online, at
http://www.moj.go.jp/NYUKAN/nyukan51.html
http://www.moj.go.jp/NYUKAN/nyukan51-1.pdf

As a friend reported:
—————————–
The Ministry of Justice is currently seeking public comment on a proposal to revise Japan’s immigration laws. Among the ideas are

1. Cap foreigners at 3%.

2. Continue to monitor foreigners even after they are permanent residents, requiring continuing reports on their activities, employment, etc.

3. Intervene to change the mix of nationalities among resident foreigners, presumably by denying visas to some nationalities with large numbers in Japan.
—————————–

There’s more. You can send your thoughts about it directly to MOJ Immigration Bureau by July 15 by snailmail, email, or fax:

Address: 100-8977 Houmushou Nyuukoku kanrikyoku Kanri Kikaku Kanshitsu
Fax: 03-3592-7940
Email: nyukan42@moj.go.jp
Questions to 03-3580-4111 ext 5685
It’s all up at http://www.moj.go.jp/NYUKAN/nyukan51.html in Japanese.
Or you can contact Kouno Taro directly (he reads English) at http://www.taro.org

As I wrote before, my feelings about these sorts of immigration caps is that they are largely unworkable, as history has shown repeatedly, in variable migration policies in the US, Australia, Canada, etc. Examples of distortion in the labor markets, not to mention the often awful eugenics treatment of immigrants both present and potential, should send up a few flags. Moreover, not only are we going to have to police the birthrates of those foreigners already here (to somehow keep the total under 3%), but I also wonder how Toyota, Suzuki, Yamaha, Nissan, et al would feel about this proposed labor force cap. Close to two decades of “Foreign Trainee” workers, working for less than half wages, no social benefits, and no job security, are what’s keeping Japan’s labor costs down, stopping many of Japan’s major industries from relocating overseas. How about Toyota? In its national-pride push to finally overtake GM as the word’s leading automaker, it’ll need even more cheap labor for the foreseeable future. More on all that at
http://www.debito.org/shuukandiamondo060504.html

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

2) MOFA HAS NEW HEARING ON FOREIGNERS’ RIGHTS JULY 28

In an apparent follow-up to its hastily-patched-together hearing of NGOs and human-rights groups on March 7, 2006, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be holding another hearing between 3 and 5 PM in the Tokyo MOFA building on Friday, July 28. It’s open to the public, but you have to apply in advance, and it’s best if you have something to say (and optimal if you send MOFA a statement in advance). Deadline for application is 5PM July 13. Particulars follow:

Address: 100-8919 Gaimushou Daijin Kanbou Kokusai Shakai Kyouryokubu Jinken Jindou Ka
(Jinshu Sabetsu Teppai Jouyaku Iken Koukan Tantou), Subject: Iken/Youbo Soufu)
Email: cerd2@mofa.go.jp (put Iken/Youbo Soufu in the Subject line)
Questions to 03-3580-3311, but they don’t accept applications by phone.
It’s all up at http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/press/event/jinshu.html in Japanese.

I’ll also put in an application to be there.

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

3) “NO DANCING LICENCE”: POLICE RAID HIROSHIMA FOREIGNER PUB EL BARCO

Courtesy of Matt at The Community, the following appeared on the Get Hiroshima website:

===========================
El Barco raided by 50 officers, Proprietors arrested
http://www.gethiroshima.com/en/gethiroshima/Hype/2006/05/18/barcoraid

El Barco Ltd directors Richard And Hideko Nishiyama were arrested in a raid on the El Barco nightclub in the early hours of Sunday, May 14 for a permit violation under the Night Entertainment Business Control Act (Fuuzoku eigyou no kisei oyobi gyoumu no tekiseika tou ni kansuru houritsu). The raid, taking place on the club’s busiest night of the week, involved over 50 police officers, immigration officials and riot police.

Richard Nishiyama’s wife, Kiyomi, has posted an explanation of the situation and a plea for support on the company website. Her original Japanese post can be seen here and I have published a rough translation of the whole piece on the GetHiroshima Blog here. Here is an excerpt explaining the situation:

—————————–
The directors have been arrested for making/having customers dance without a night entertainment permit. There is in fact only one establishment in Hiroshima that actually holds all the licenses technically required under the Night Entertainment Business Control Act. Obtaining such a permit however places limits on the hours that a business can stay open. El Barco is registered as a late night business (mayonaka eigyou), however, that does not permit dancing. It is not possible to obtain both permits, meaning that under current Japanese law it is legally impossible to run an establishment where you can drink and dance late into the night. It thus follows that this is matter of concern for all late night dance clubs across Japan. We also have reservations about the manner in which the arrests were carried out, with over 50 police officers, immigration officials and riot police raiding El Barco late Saturday night to arrest only two people for a permit violation…
(continues at above website link)
—————————–
===========================

This might be defended as a routine raid by Immigration, but what happened next to Richard is more grist for a case of how the Japanese police target foreigners, and abuse their powers of interrogation:

===========================
El Barco co-owner speaks after being released from custody
http://www.gethiroshima.com/en/gethiroshima/Hype/2006/06/06/barcostatement

GetHiroshima spoke with proprietor Richard Nishiyama a couple of days after he was released from 10 days in custody at a holding center in Higashi-hiroshima. Anyone who knows the Peruvian-born Richard will know he is friendly, tolerant and non-confrontational… Taken into custody in the early hours of the morning, he was continually questioned and “asked” repeatedly to sign a prepared statement until three in the afternoon. Interrogation continued for several more days, but he remained composed, refusing to be provoked by insinuations made about his sister, who was also in custody, or threats against his family….
(continues at above website link).
===========================

More on the pub at
http://www.gethiroshima.com/en/Places/Nightlife/Bar/details?placeid=50345
Go there and offer Richard some moral support, if not some business. Just be careful not to dance.

Speaking of purposeful enforcement of “laws”:

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

4) ASAHI: WITCH HUNT FOR PARENTS WHO REFUSE TO SING “KIMIGAYO”

The Hinomaru and the “Kimigayo” were restablished as the national flag and anthem respectively during the Obuchi Administration in 1999. Fears of enforced patriotism (grading students on “love of country” in grade schools in Kyushu, for example) are steadily coming true.

Forwarding an article from the Asahi with comments from friend EH, who depicts a recent witchhunt in Toda, Saitama, as part of an emerging swing towards the right in Japan. The patriotism is no longer just being enforced upon the students. It is also being forced upon adult guests and parents.

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

“The city education board here is hunting down guests who did not stand up and sing.” The hunt is on. In fact, after Japan plays Brazil in the World Cup, I bet government officials will hunt down those who failed to stand and cheer loudly enough for the national side. You heard it here first. Seriously though, this news from Saitama is yet another horrible development:

—————————–
Board seeks guests who sat during ‘Kimigayo’
06/21/2006

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200606210153.html

TODA, Saitama Prefecture–The city education board here is hunting down guests who did not stand up and sing the “Kimigayo” anthem during spring graduation and enrollment ceremonies at public schools.

The board will question school staff members if they remember any of those guests at the 12 city-run elementary schools and six public junior high schools, the officials said.

The “investigation” will cover PTA officials, public welfare workers and city assembly members, but not the parents and guardians of the students, the officials said. The board will also ask principals of the 18 schools
about the results.

At a Toda assembly meeting on June 13, Ryoichi Ito, the head of the education board, was informed that some guests did not stand up and sing the anthem at the ceremonies.

“It makes me seethe with anger,” Ito replied. “It disrupts the order of ceremony. If it is true, then we must know (who did not stand).”

The education board has asked guests to stand up and sing “Kimigayo” since the education ministry’s curriculum guidelines made it practically mandatory to sing the anthem and hoist the Hinomaru rising-sun flag during school ceremonies.

But many view the song and the anthem as symbols of Japanese militarism in World War II. Some teachers, particularly in Tokyo, have refused to stand or sing “Kimigayo” during ceremonies, leading to reprimands and other punishments.

Some Toda assembly members have protested the investigation, saying that it infringes upon people’s freedom of thought.
(IHT/Asahi: June 21,2006)

(original article in Japanese at
http://www.asahi.com/edu/news/TKY200606200237.html )
—————————–

COMMENTS FROM EH:

1. The investigating officials say they aren’t hunting students’ parents. Like Koizumi’s assurance that nobody is being coerced, that claim is doublespeak.

2. The investigating officials say they are targeting the PTA, which of course by definition features students’ parents.

3. The investigating officials turn employees into informers–against anyone who is undemonstrative, lazy, uncooperative, un-genki, or dissenting; or indeed against anyone they care to finger. This is the worst part.
===========================

ONE MORE COMMENT: To cite friend Jens W., we always find mysterious how they will grade “patriotism” in the increasing number of children in Japan with foreign citizenships or international roots. Will they force children to choose which country to love more? Also, don’t people know that any type of “love”, including “love of country”, is something earned, not commanded? Anyone who’s experienced a relationship will know that. Perhaps this says something about the family backgrounds of the party kingpins who create such heartless policy…

Anyhoo, no follow-up article can I find in the Asahi on this. Eyes peeled. Still, the fact that the Asahi is making a big deal about this is good news (as long as they don’t drop the thread…).
Related articles at
http://makeashorterlink.com/?G35523B5D

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

5) LINKS TO HANDOUTS FROM RECENT SPEECHES

1) June 24, 2006: “The Need for a Racial Discrimination Law”, part of Workshop 5: “Basic Human Rights for Foreigners and Policy for the Prohibiting of Racial Discrimination”, with human rights lawyer Niwa Masao and Gaikiren Catholic NGO coordinator Satou Nobuyuki. Sponsored by Solidarity Network With Migrants Japan (Ijuuren, www.jca.apc.org/migrant-net), Sixth Annual Forum in Sapporo.

Powerpoint presentation (Japanese) at
http://www.debito.org/nazesabetsuteppaihou.ppt

2) June 25, 2006: “Working at University: Securing Our Future”. Forum with Louis Carlet of the National Union of General Workers (www.nugw.org), and Bob Tench of NOVA Union, June 25, 2006, 1PM-5PM, Tokyo Shigoto Center, Iidabashi, Tokyo. Sponsored by University Teachers Union (UTU, www.utu-japan.org).

Handout available in Word format at
http://www.debito.org/UTUSpeechHandout62506.doc

All presentations and publications available at
http://www.debito.org/publications.html

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

6) JAPAN TIMES JUNE 27 ON DOUDOU DIENE VISIT AND AFTEREFFECTS

My most recent article for the Japan Times Community page (excerpt):

===========================
In July 2005, Doudou Diene, a special representative of the United Nations’ Commission on Human Rights, came to Japan at the invitation of the Japanese government.

He visited Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hokkaido to see if Japan, an aspirant for a U.N. Security Council seat, was keeping its treaty promises regarding racial discrimination.

His trip caused quite a reaction. Although the regular domestic press largely ignored his reports, they inspired a vivid debate in the new media. This column will chart the arc of the issues, and demonstrate a potential sea change in how the U.N. holds countries accountable for human rights…
===========================

This newsletter is long enough already, so let me send the link to the website, which has the full text with links to substantiation for claims made in the article:
http://www.debito.org/japantimes062706.html

I’ll send the whole article to select lists in a few days.

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

All for now. Will be trying to finish a rough draft of our book over the next couple of weeks, so I’ll be going quiet for a little while. Thanks for reading!

Arudou Debito
Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org
www.debito.org
July 2, 2006 NEWSLETTER ENDS

Jun 1, 2006: ディエンと右翼派反応、「日本移民列島」、外国人200万人突破

mytest

Subject: Updates: ディエンと右翼派反応、「日本移民列島」、外国人200万人突破

皆様こんにちは。有道 出人です。いつもお世話になっとおります。きょうのアップデートは:

/////////////////////////
1)国連のディエン特別報告者の東京、大阪、沖縄訪問
2)右翼派の反発:単行本「危ない!人権擁護法案
  迫り来る先進国型値全体主義の恐怖」出版
3)毎日:在住外国人登録者は200万人突破
4)毎日:河野太郎議員:「外国人の日本人口の3%の比例に限度を」
  (法務省と毎日新聞も現在の在住外国人人口比例の統計を誤って報道)
5)週刊ダイヤモンド:「ニッポン移民列島」2004年特集
6)「巡回連絡カード」、警察官自宅訪問、職務質問の解答は任意?
7)移住連:全国フォーラム6月24日〜25日、札幌市
8)気分転換;二カ国語インタビュー(ポッドキャスト)
/////////////////////////

June 1, 2006  (転送歓迎)

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

1)国連のディエン特別報告者の東京、大阪、沖縄訪問

 2006年5月13日から18日まで、「現代的形態の人種主義、人種差別、外国人嫌悪/排斥および関連する不寛容に関する特別報告者」のドゥドゥ・ディエン氏は、昨年7月の訪問かつ本年1月の国連へ日本国内差別の現状の報告のフォローアップをしました。招待者の人権擁護団体「反差別国際運動日本委員会」(IMADR-JC) の案内サイトは
http://imadr.org/japan/index.html
 訪問のスケジュールは
http://imadr.org/japan/event/2006/dien.japanvisit.html

 デェエン氏は沖縄に訪問し、現地の新聞はこう報道した:
 沖縄タイムズ06年5月17日:ディエン国連特別報告者が講演:『基地の集中・騒音・環境破壊は沖縄に対する差別』」
 琉球新聞06年5月17日:「基地集中は差別 政府に是正再報告へ」
 (記事はここで読めます:)
http://www.debito.org/rapporteur.html#ryukyu051706

 東京と大阪訪問に関するニューズ報道(毎日、読売、共同通信のサイトではアーカイブを長期間的に検索する機能を設けてくれない)は持っていないので、すみません、英語のみの共同、Japan Times とVoice of Americaの記事は:
http://www.debito.org/rapporteur.html#relatedarticlesmay2006

 私も大阪と東京での集会と記者会見に出席させていただきました。私の報告をもっと詳しく英語で記録したが (http://www.debito.org/rapporteur.html#mayfollowup ) 、約言すると、ディエンのスピーチらのポイントは

ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
 ● 人種差別と排外主義は一回対処法を採って放置するものではない。絶えず対処しないといけないものである。差別はそもそも突然「変化」する現象である。
 ● 人種差別と排外主義は全世界に更に拡散している。「反テロ措置」として最新の変化の現しである。
 ● 最大の政府レベルからも適切な対処法は撤廃の法整備のみではなく、差別などを指摘、賠償かつ罰則する整備も不可欠。
 ● 差別の現しはそもそも氷山の一角である。よって潜在的な排外主義の原因、差別の由来を対処するも不可欠。例えば、差別意識と意図はよく歴史から由来する。解決するために国連は援助ができる。例えば、UNESCOは以前アフリカ、中央アジア、及び中途アメリカの各国の歴史専門家を集めて、各国が認められる地方の歴史の本を発行し、国家間の摩擦の緩和ともなったようだ。同様に日中韓などの外交にとって役に立つのと思う。国連にそう推薦する。
 ● 取りあえず、ディエン氏は国連特別報告者として世界中の差別の実情を報告する。日本のみではなく、他国数カ国にも訪問し各国の締約した条約などの通りをどれくらい守っているのかを調査して報告する。よって、今回日本にてフォローアップを。
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー

 ブラボー、ディエンさん!行っていらっしゃい!また報告のために調査をしにきて下さい。

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

2)右翼派の反発:単行本「危ない!人権擁護法案
  迫り来る先進国型値全体主義の恐怖」出版

表紙は
http://www.debito.org/abunaijinkenyougohouan.html

 本年4月27日、展転社(株)が出版して、アマゾンによると内容は:
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
「曖昧なメ人権モ概念によって不自由社会を招来する亡国法案をメッタ斬り!これまでの運動の全記録と法案の思想的背景を徹底批判した待望のブックレット。ある日突然、人権擁護委員会から出頭命令。礼状なしの立ち入り調査。「人権侵害」と決め付けられたら氏名を公表、文句あるなら裁判しろ& …こんな恐ろしい法律がつくられようとしている。迫り来る先進国型全体主義の恐怖。」
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー

 本のなか、様々ないわゆる問題を取りあげられながら、杞憂に基づいて極論が載っています。例えば、人権擁護委員会を作れば、こうなるだろうと推測する:
 ●怠慢な外国人社員をクビにできなくなる。
 ●アパートに大勢で住んでいる中国人は文句を言う大家さんを人権擁護委員会に訴える。
 ●バーで喧嘩腰の白人客は追い出されるとオーナーを委員会へ通報。
 ●銭湯は暴力団を追放できなくなる。
 ●中国人の店子の賃貸を断られなくなる。
  など。漫画ですごぶる分かりやすく説明されています。どうぞご覧下さい:

http://www.debito.org/abunaijinkenyougohouan.html#bassui

 ディエン氏(当本では『ディエヌ』が誤って載っている)の国連報告についてもコメントしています。アイリス・チャンの「捏造本『南京の強姦』」と比較して、「人権を口実にする対日敵対行為と(中略)侮日助長行為に対しても監視が必要がある」と。
http://www.debito.org/abunaijinkenyougohouan.html#diene

 よって人権擁護法を制定の回避を指示するプロパガンダです。きっと、ここまでこの本の「緊急出版」になった理由は右翼派は日本は実際にマイノリティの人権を重んじる社会になりうる将来が見えてきたのでは?この本はパニック状態で背水の陣だと感じます。

 但し、愚論は単行本化されると、ある程度信用性が与えられると思います。もし、この陣営が政治家にこの本を渡して「我々の議論はこのなか」と言ったら、どうすればいいでしょうか。
 それが、私たちも「この本もお読み下さい」と配布すること。その本は(例えば):

ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
1)日本の民族差別 人種差別撤廃条約からみた課題(明石商店)
http://www.debito.org/abunaijinkenyougohouan.html#minzokusabetsu

2)多国籍ジパングの主役たち 新開国考(共同通信/明石書店)
http://www.debito.org/abunaijinkenyougohouan.html#takokuseki

3)知の鎖国 外国人を排除する日本の知識人産業(毎日新聞社)
http://www.debito.org/abunaijinkenyougohouan.html#chinosakoku

4)「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」(明石書店)
http://www.debito.org/abunaijinkenyougohouan.html#jo
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー

 どうぞ、関わる政治家にこのリーディング・リストをお勧め下さい。火に火を。本に本を。

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

3)毎日:在住外国人登録者は200万人突破

ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
外国人登録者:200万人突破 昨年末現在
http://www.mainichi-msn.co.jp/shakai/wadai/news/20060527ddm012040087000c.html
 昨年末現在の外国人登録者数が201万1555人(前年比1・9%増)となり、初めて200万人を突破したことが26日、法務省入国管理局の統計で分かった。総人口に占める割合は対前年比0・02ポイント増の1・57%だった。出身地別では、韓国・朝鮮が59万8687人で最も多かった。その他は▽中国51万9561人▽ブラジル30万2080人▽フィリピン18万7261人▽ペルー5万7728人▽米国4万9390人の順だった。
毎日新聞 2006年5月27日 東京朝刊
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー

なのに、4日後、同新聞はこう報道しました:

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

4)毎日:河野太郎議員:「外国人の日本人口の3%の比例に限度を」
  (法務省と毎日新聞も現在の外国人人口比例の統計を誤って報道)

http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/news/20060531p2a00m0na009000c.html

 英語ですが(日本語の記事は見付けられません)、適当に和訳します:
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
 5月30日の記者会見で河野太朗国会議員は、入国管理局の見直しを検討している法務省審議会の提案について、在住外国人登録者数を日本人口の3%の比例まで制限するべきだと述べた。審議会は在住外国人が起こしている問題の検挙数が増加中のため、在住の資格(特に日系の場合、常勤在住資格と日本語が堪能)を強めるべきという。
 当局によると、在住外国人は2005年末日本人口1.2%を占めた。
毎日新聞 2006年5月31日
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー

 あのね、過去数年に渡り在住外国人の比例は1.5%以上でした。こういう間違いを報道してはいけません。
 毎日新聞さま、お上からの情報を鵜呑みしないで、自分の記事でも確かめて正して報道して下さい。

 とにもかくにも、河野議員はどうやって3%に的確に押さえますか。在住ブラジル人カップル、在日特別永住者の夫婦の避妊を強制させますか。現代の日本では逆戻りなのではないでしょうか。高齢化と少子化をめぐり、国連と大淵政権も「外国人住民を増加すべき」と2000年にも勧告したものの、逆に数を押さえるべきですかね。ポスト小泉の総理大臣になりたかった河野議員は、これで本当に将来を目を逸らしていると感じざるを得ません。

 尚、日本の国際化を差し押さえられない証拠を:

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

5)週刊ダイヤモンド:「ニッポン移民列島」2004年特集

 ようやくこの特集をウェブサイトに記載しました。お待たせしました。2004年6月5日付でここで全文(15ページ)をご覧になれます:

http://www.debito.org/shuukandiamondo060504.html

 ハイライト:
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
「トヨタ方式も外国人なしでは動かない」
「2050年までに必要な総移民数3350万人!!」
「最前線レポート 外国人に依存する地方都市の窮状」
「在日中国人女性が暴露!1日22時間働く 外国人就労の『暗部』」
「日系ブラジル人であふれるトヨタの城下町」
「インドから約50社進出!ソフトウエア業界の人材輸入も加速」
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー

 そして、前経団連会長の奥田碩氏は(40〜41ページ)「五つの政策提言」を述べました。
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
1)「外国人庁」を創設せよ(縦割り行政の弊害打破)
2)「二国間協定」の締結を急げ(単純労働者の受け入れ推進)
3)「就労管理」の仕組みを見直すべき(入国管理の体制強化)
4)「治安対策」の強化は焦眉の急(外国人の生活環境整備)
5)「日本製グリーンカード」も要検討(高度人材の定住促進)
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
http://www.debito.org/shuukandiamondo060504.html

 ちなみに、経団連の促進でいわゆる「低賃金社会保険なしてで日系ブラジル人等就労輸入政策」によって高賃金の国内企業は空洞化を避けて、ましてやトヨタが世界2位の自動車生産者となりました。奥田氏はつい最近辞任したので、新会長の御手洗氏は外国人労働者に対して、尋ねるべきではないでしょうか、記者の皆様。いまさら経団連は日本の国際化の責任は否認していませんよね。外国人が国内産業の地獄で仏だ。

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

6)「巡回連絡カード」、警察官自宅訪問、職務質問の解答は任意?

 先日、東京中野区と新宿区在住の外国人友人からこの件について聞きました。先週、警察官がアパートに訪れ、「巡回連絡カード」の記入を要求しました。説明は英語でした。スキャンは:
http://www.debito.org/junkairenrakucard.jpg

 非常に細かいことが書かれています。英語の説明によると、「これはプライバシーの侵害ではなく、この訪問は日本のコミュニティーので歴史が長い。」など。聞かれていることは:

ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
 世帯主、家族各人のフルネーム、続柄、生年月日、性別、職業/学校、外国人登録証番号、国籍、在留期間、転入年月日、非常の場合の連絡先、世帯主の連絡先、友人等の住所氏名、同居の方の同左の個人明細、自動車の番号、そして、警察に対する要望や質問。
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー

 なるほど。では、私なら警察に質問をしたいのは:
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
 あ)なぜこの職務質問を聞く必要がありますか。 
 い)英語の説明によると、このデータは「防犯、災害救済、「交通意識」(英語から逆直訳)」のために使用されるようです。が、どうやってそうなるのかを説明して下さい。
 う)これを記入することは任意ですか。
 え)日本人からもこの情報を要求しますか。
 お)もし在住外国人も住民票も発行してもらえる制度が存在すれば、警察庁はここまで無理矢理各自宅まで訪問することが必要となりますか。
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー

 実は、私は1986年からほぼ20年間渡って日本で生活の中、この「巡回訪問」は一度もありません。皆様、これは普通ですか。あなたにあったことはありますか。そして、国勢調査と同様に、記入するのは任意ですか。宜しくお願いします。

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

7)移住連:全国フォーラム6月24日〜25日、札幌市

移住労働者と連帯する全国ネットワーク
http://www.jca.apc.org/migrant-net/
は今月、第6回移住連全国フォーラムは北海道で開催します。

「多文化・多民族強制社会を目指して」
開催所:北星学園大学
(札幌市厚別区大谷地2丁目3−1地下鉄東西線大谷地駅)
詳しくは
http://www.ijurenkita2006.com/main.html
省略スケジュール:
2006/06/24(土)
13:00~15:00 全体会(基調報告ほか)
15:30~18:30 分科会
19:00~20:30 交流会

2006/06/25(日)
9:00~11:00  分科会
11:00~12:00 全体会(特別報告)

皆様ご傍聴、ご取材をご検討下さい。私も土曜日の分科会で発言します。よろしく。

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

8)気分転換:二カ国語インタビュー(ポッドキャスト)

 最後に、これは気軽いインタビューですが、日本のあるべき姿、人権活動、アザラシのタマーちゃんなどについて話しております。日本語字マークスーパーです。

http://yamato.revecess.com/?episode=13
http://yamato.revecess.com/?lang=en&episode=15
http://yamato.revecess.com/?lang=en&episode=20
http://yamato.revecess.com/?lang=en&episode=23

結構面白く感じました。どうぞ気分転換として!

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

以上です!宜しくお願い致します!有道 出人
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
June 1, 2006
ENDS

Jun 6 2006: 2 mil gaikokujin, foreign crime, Kouno Taro, Sorimachi Katsuo

mytest

Subject: Updates: 2 million gaikokujin, foreign crime, PM hopefuls speak out

Hi All. Arudou Debito here. Yet another set of updates:

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1) FOREIGN POPULATION TOPS 2 MILLION FOR FIRST TIME
2) PM CANDIDATE KOUNO TARO WANTS TO LIMIT FOREIGN POPULATION TO 3%
3) PUNDIT SORIMACHI KATSUO BLAMES FOREIGN CRIME ON A LENIENT JUDICIARY
4) EXCERPTS OF “DANGER! HUMAN RIGHTS BILL” BOOK ONLINE
5) NEW ALIEN REGISTRATION DETAILS
6) UPDATE ON TRAVEL AGENCIES: ESTIMATES NOW COST MONEY?
7) UPDATE ON POLICE HOME VISITS: ANSWERING QUESTIONS IS OPTIONAL
8) UPCOMING CONFERENCE ON MULTICULTURALISM BY IJUUREN, SAPPORO 6/24-5
9) UPCOMING CONFERENCE ON LABOR RIGHTS BY UTU, TOKYO JUNE 25
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////
June 6, 2006

1) FOREIGN POPULATION TOPS 2 MILLION FOR FIRST TIME

Well, guess what, it happened: Registered foreigners last year passed a benchmark. Pre-2000, this would have been heralded with media fireworks and ruminations on how international Japanese society is becoming. Nowadays however, since foreigners are constantly being portrayed as a source of social discord by the media and the profiting police forces, well… we’ll instead whisper the inevitable:

—————————————————————-
Mainichi Shinbun, Tokyo morning edition, May 27, 2006
(translation by Arudou Debito, not reported in English)
http://www.mainichi-msn.co.jp/shakai/wadai/news/20060527ddm012040087000c.html

According to Immigration statistics released on May 26, as of the end of 2005 the number of registered foreigners was 2,011,555 (a 1.9% rise over 2004), the first time it has broken 2 million. This was a rise of 0.02%, to 1.57% of the total Japanese population. By nationality, North and South Koreans were at the top, with 598,687 people. There are also 519,561 Chinese, 302,080 Brazilians, 187,261 Filipinos, 57,728 Peruvians, and 49,390 Americans.
—————————————————————-

COMMENT: Notice that the largest growth in the foreign community is Brazilian. Rising from 286,557 souls last year to break 300,000, this means close to half of last year’s net increase of foreigners (15,523 of the 37,808) were Brazilians. As this is largest increase of Brazilians since 2001, the trend is accelerating.

And I don’t see it stopping on its own. Reported a friend on another list, who heralds from near Nagoya:
—————————————————————-
[The foreign population] is already over 3% in at least 6 cities in Aichi, and Toyohashi (until the recent mergers,usually the 2nd largest city in Aichi) is pushing close to 5%. Okazaki’s population is growing at about 300 a month, very little of it from natural increase, and 20% of the growth from new foreign arrivals.
http://www.declan.tv/okazaki_notes/kokusekibetsu.html
The % of foreigners dropped below 3% due to a merger, but should be reached again well within 12 months. At least 4% by 2012.

Brazilian (and other foreign born) factory workers in Okazaki, Toyota and Toyohashi cities usually earn 33-380,000 a month including overtime, lower tier manufacturers simply cannot find native born workers willing to do these jobs in sufficient numbers.
—————————————————————-

Which makes a recent statement by one of the allegedly “more left-wing LDP members”, Kouno Taro, who is currently in the running to be then next Prime Minister, all the more ironic:

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

2) PM CANDIDATE KOUNO TARO WANTS TO LIMIT FOREIGN POPULATION TO 3%

—————————————————————-
Mainichi Daily News, May 31, 2006 (English original)
http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/news/20060531p2a00m0na009000c.html

A Justice Ministry panel studying an overhaul of Japan’s immigration administration is set to propose that the proportion of foreign residents to the nation’s population should be kept at 3 pct or below, Senior Vice Justice Minister Taro Kono said Tuesday.

The proposal will be included in a draft package of immigration policy reform measures to be drawn up shortly, Kono, who heads the panel, told a press conference.

According to the ministry, foreign residents accounted for 1.2 pct of Japan’s population at the end of 2005.

By contrast, the proportion stood at 8.9 pct in Germany in 2001, at 11.1 pct in the United States in the same year and at 5.6 pct in France in 1999.

The panel is also considering requiring foreign nationals of Japanese ancestry to be fluent in Japanese and have regular jobs as conditions for their residency in Japan, Kono said.

Such people are currently allowed to live in Japan if they have relatives in the country.

The panel now believes it necessary to toughen the criteria because the number of problems caused by such residents has been increasing. (Jiji Press)
—————————————————————-

I see. So I guess it begs the question how this is going to be enforced. Compulsory birth control for the increasing number of foreign worker couples who decide to have children? Just kidding. I’m sure Mr Kouno just wants to man the barricades, for whatever reason (though I would like to know what these “increasing problems by such residents” are).

Pity he (and his ministry, which should know better) gets the figure for the percentage of the foreign population wrong. It hasn’t been 1.2 percent since around 1998! Worse yet is that the Mainichi Shinbun (which should also know better, as it reported the accurate figures not four days before), just parrots the incorrect information all over again. Shame on them. I’ve already sent a scolding through my Japanese mailing lists.

You can make your feelings known to Dietmember Kouno in four languages (see how “progressive” he is?) through his flash website at http://www.taro.org . One would hope, though, that somebody aspiring for international leadership would at least make policy pronouncements grounded on accurate information.

Still, I wonder how Toyota, Suzuki, Yamaha, Nissan, et al would feel about this proposed labor force cap. Close to two decades of “Foreign Trainee” workers, working for less than less than half wages, no social benefits, and no job security, are what’s keeping Japan’s labor costs down, stopping many of Japan’s major industries from relocating overseas. How about Toyota? In its national-pride push to finally overtake GM as the word’s leading carmaker, it’ll need even more cheap labor for the foreseeable future…

Anyway, back to the “increasing problems” chestnut:

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

3) PUNDIT SORIMACHI KATSUO BLAMES FOREIGN CRIME ON A LENIENT JUDICIARY

Forwarded to me by a reporter friend, here is one of the most laughably fatheaded pieces on foreign crime I’ve ever read. Entitled “Sorimachi Speaks: Japan’s Criminal Justice System and Crimes Committed by Foreigners”, Sorimachi writes some pretty amazing social science (and in English too, perfect for forwarding to the UN). Some choice excerpts:

—————————————————————-
“The substantive and procedural laws of Japanese criminal justice presuppose a monolingual nation. It is axiomatic that this kind of nation will be very lenient towards offenders… However, Japan’s criminal justice system is on the verge of a crisis, faced with the internationalisation of crime and the underworld activities of foreign criminals resident in Japan brought about by globalisation…

“Examining the crime of theft, bold methods hitherto unimagined by Japanese offenders and not out of place in an action movie stand out. These include the widespread and systematic use of lock picking tools in theft following breaking and entering (so that access is gained in seconds), the use of cranes to steal automatic vending machines…”

[I guess that means the newly-imaginative Japanese also committing these crimes have been inspired by the more creative foreigners. How a rote-memorization education hitherto pacified an entire society!]

“It is not possible to get a grip on these cases using the investigative methods based on presumptions about fellow Japanese. New legislation has become necessary. It is desirable that the Wiretapping Law passed in August 1999 be made particular use of in the investigation of crimes committed by foreigners in Japan…”

[Yes, you read that right.]

“Japanese justice is said to be precise justice… It is doubtful whether this kind of process is entirely appropriate for the crimes of foreigners in Japan whose culture, code of conduct and standard of living are completely different… It is impossible to avoid the impression that, whilst in Japanese justice we see a model with a deep and rare lenient tinge, it is more and more the case that this precise justice is far removed from the prevention of recidivism in and rehabilitation of foreign offenders in Japan… Japan’s penalties are amongst the lightest in the world. This is because we have assumed offenders in Japan will be fellow Japanese.

“…The reality of crime committed by foreigners in Japan, which incurs waste in terms of time and money of Japan’s human and material capital is precisely that, activity interfering with the enjoyment of the nation. To put it in the extreme, it may be appropriate to classify all crime committed by foreigners in Japan as crime relating to the national legal interest.”
—————————————————————-

Grab a coffee and read the rest at:
http://www.lec-jp.com/speaks/info_013.html

Who is this guy? Some pundit in a policy thinktank/private-sector quasi-university, who according to a Google search seems to have the ear of quite a few people. Sorimachi’s profile in English:
http://www.lec-jp.com/corporation/english/greetings.html
http://www.lec-jp.com/corporation/english/profile/index.html

Giving Sorimachi’s thesis its due, he essentially maintains that Japan’s “precise” justice system is not suited to dealing with foreigners. He then proposes that the policing and incarceration of them be toughened up, and that repatriation for trial back in their home countries be required as an adequate deterrent (as Japan’s jails are too sweet on their inmates).

Yow. Where to start. Okay, here: The major blind spot of these types of people people who wish to single out foreign crime for special attention is, well, what do you also say about the corresponding (and far higher numerically) rises in Japanese crime? Are foreigners to blame for that too? Alas, Sorimachi offers no insight or comparison, except to say that Japanese can be rehabilitated (it’s axiomatic, remember), while foreigners are incorrigible, and thus a threat to the “enjoyment of the nation” at large.

I’ve seen to it that the UN’s Dr Diene gets a copy of this screed, of course.

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

4) EXCERPTS OF “DANGER! HUMAN RIGHTS BILL” BOOK ONLINE

Last update I wrote about the “emergency publication” (kinkyuu shuppan) of a book on why Japan should have no human rights law, or a human rights committee to enforce it. Well, I had a better look at it. The authors’ thesis is one of garden-variety alarmism, that giving foreigners and general malcontents any power would lead to abuse.

For example, according to a quite well-rendered manga within, if you create any means for people to enforce their constitutional rights, you will get:

a) foreigners getting kicked out for picking fights in bars and then siccing the Human Rights Committee on the barkeeps,
b) colored foreigners forcing companies to hire them, then lying down on the job and getting away with it because of the HRC,
c) yakuza forcing their way into bathhouses, extorting money in the name of the HRC,
d) bigoted landlords being forced to rent their apartments to Chinese [yes, you read that right],
e) politicians (quoting another PM hopeful Abe Shinzou) unable to criticize Kim Jong-Il anymore…

It even compares the UN Diene Report (pg 154-155) to Iris Chang’s RAPE OF NANKING, and calls upon the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to buck up and combat this insult to “our country” and “our people”.

I should have a translation of the pertinent bits (maybe even a parody of the manga, a la Chibi Kuro Sanbo) out relatively soon. But for now, for you Japanese readers, scanned pages with comments at:
http://www.debito.org/abunaijinkenyougohouan.html

I’ve already passed the information on to my Japanese lists, with a list of books they can present policymakers as a counterweight to this propaganda.

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

5) NEW ALIEN REGISTRATION REGULATIONS

I’ve written a number of articles in the past about the new proposed regulations for fingerprinting and registering foreigners (in the name of terrorism and disease prevention, natch). For example:
http://www.debito.org/japantimes062904.html
http://www.debito.org/japantimes052405.html
http://www.debito.org/japantimes112205.html

There’ll also be a pro-and-con article on this in today’s (Tuesday) Japan Times Community Page.

Well, now that the proposal has become law as of three weeks ago, here’s how things are starting to shape up. Forwarding from a friend who has Permanent Residency:

—————————————————————-
Check out these overviews of recently passed amendments to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. Apparently people like me and other registered aliens will be able to pass through automated gates on the basis of having complied with specific prior to departure. This is related to introduction of smart alien reg cards. Such automated gate passing has already been initiated in some other countries for nationals who apply and qualify.

第164回国会において成立した「出入国管理及び難民認定法の一部を改正する法
律(平成18年5月24日法律第43号)」について (Japanese)
http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/keiziban/happyou/20060524_law43.pdf
2006-06-01

Law for Partial Amendment of the Immigration Control and Refugee
Recognition Act (Law No. 43 of May 24, 2006) Enacted at the 164th Diet
Session
http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/keiziban/happyou/law43_20060524.pdf
2006-06-01
—————————————————————-

I haven’t given these documents a thorough going-over yet, but there’s the information out there for those who need it.

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

6) UPDATE ON TRAVEL AGENCIES: ESTIMATES NOW CHARGED?

Through March and April, friends exposed domestic travel agents (such as No.1 Travel and HIS) and their “Japanese Only” tickets and different pricing structures based upon nationality.
http://www.debito.org/HISpricing.html

One thing suggested by some Internet BBSes was to make reservations with them, then cancel out of protest of this policy.

I’m wondering if this hasn’t caused some sort of reaction within the industry. I just tried to get an official travel estimate from Twinkle Plaza in Sapporo Station (I think it’s a member of the JTB group). And they tried to charge me 2000 yen just to put something on paper. I took my business elsewhere, of course, but is this happening to anyone else?

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

7) UPDATE ON POLICE HOME VISITS: IT’S OPTIONAL

I wrote last time about the “Police Patrol Card” (junkai renraku caado), where cops visit your home and ask detailed questions about the occupants, their work and legal status, etc.
http://www.debito.org/junkairenrakucard.jpg

I got quite a few answers back from people who had experienced the same thing. Most, however, said they cooperated with the survey, seeing it as a valuable service (in case of emergency), or the mere expression of Japan as a “benign police state”. It tended to happen most often in the Kantou Area around Tokyo, less in the provinces. It’s never happened to me or any of my friends AFAIK up here in Sapporo.

However, the Japanese who responded, if they had been asked, refused to cooperate. Now, given my audience (mostly socially-conscious people) this is not a representative sample. Still, they found this procedure just as intrusive as I would, and said many of the details they would and should not be bound to divulge.

I talked to a lawyer. Responding to this police request for information is in fact optional. Which means: If the police show up at your door and you don’t feel like divulging this information, just take the card and say you’ll get back to them someday. Rinse and repeat. That’s what my Japanese respondents did, FYI.

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

8) UPCOMING CONFERENCE ON MULTICULTURALISM BY IJUUREN, SAPPORO
This series of talks on recreating and recognizing Japan as a multicultural society will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25, 2006, at Hokusei Gakuen University, Atsubetsu, Sapporo.

Information in their website in Japanese
http://www.ijurenkita2006.com/
How to get there (English)
http://www.hokusei.ac.jp/en/support/access/

Sponsored by Solidarity for Migrant Workers Japan (Ijuuren). More on them at:
http://www.jca.apc.org/migrant-net/English/English.html
Recommended. I’ve been asked to speak there as well.

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

9) UPCOMING CONFERENCE ON LABOR RIGHTS BY UTU, TOKYO JUNE 25

A University Teachers Union (UTU) Forum

“Working at University: Securing Our Future”

1.10 – 5.00 Sunday 25th June 2006
Tokyo Shigoto Center, Iidabashi 3-10-3, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

1.10 – 1.30 Registration
1.30 – 2.30 Forum and Discussion
“Rights and Wrongs – The Issues Teachers Face Today”

Guest speakers:
Arudou Debito
Louis Carlet
(Deputy General Secretary NUGW Tokyo Nambu)

The job security of college and university teachers is under increasing threat – from cuts in salary, the non-renewal of contracts, outsourcing and attacks on our right to organise to protect and improve our working conditions. In the face of such threats, what are our rights? What can we learn from past and present disputes? How can we stop the tide of outsourcing? How, as committed professionals and trade unionists, can we secure our future? Our two opening speakers will set the context, followed by questions and answers, and an open forum to discuss the issues.
_____________________________________________________

3.00 – 4.00 Workshops

*Power Harassment
*Challenging Conditions on Campus
*The NIC Strike – Learning From a Dispute

4.00 – 4.30 Reports and Final Comments
_____________________________________________________

All welcome! Admission: 500 yen voluntary contribution

To register in advance, further details of the event and information about UTU,
email: utu.forum@yahoo.com

Venue map:
http://map.yahoo.co.jp/pl?nl=35.41.49.133&el=139.45.10.929&la=1&fi=1&skey=%2
52&sc=3

More on UTU at http://www.utu-japan.org/

The University Teachers Union is a member union of the National Union of General Workers Tokyo Nambu
http://www.nugw.org

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

All for today. Thanks for reading!
Arudou Debito in Sapporo
debito@debito.org
www.debito.org
June 6, 2006
ENDS
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////