J Today Nov 30 06 Disabled Pakistani naturalized Japanese, barred from boarding Sendai bus, wins damages

mytest

Hi Blog. No comment for now, as I’m on the road. Anybody else find some articles on this? Have the Kyodo article in Japanese blogged before this. Debito

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Disabled Pakistani, barred from boarding Sendai bus, wins damages
http://www.japantoday.com/jp/news/391965
Thursday, November 30, 2006 at 15:11 EST

SENDAI — The Sendai District Court ordered the local city government
to pay 550,000 yen in compensation to a Pakistani-born physically
disabled man for a city-run bus’s refusal to board him in 2003,
recognizing the treatment as a form of racial and disability
discrimination. “The driver did treat him implicitly in a
discriminatory manner on the grounds of a difference in ethnicity and
the handicap,” Judge Yoshiko Hatanaka said.

The 60-year-old man, who has paralysis on the left side of his body,
tried to take the bus in Sendai in October 2003. The Sendai city
government had argued that the driver thought that the man was
checking the timetable at the bus stop when he started the bus and so
the move was not a discriminatory action, but the judge said, “The
driver’s testimonies have changed and cannot be trusted.”
ENDS

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JAPAN TIMES ARTICLE

Friday, Dec. 1, 2006
Disabled man left at bus stop wins bias suit
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20061201a7.html

SENDAI (Kyodo) The Sendai District Court ordered the city Thursday to pay 550,000 yen in redress to a Pakistani-born disabled man who was denied a ride on a city bus in 2003, ruling the snub constituted discrimination against his race and disability.

“The driver treated him implicitly in a discriminatory manner on the grounds of a difference in ethnicity and the handicap,” Judge Yoshiko Hatanaka said, ruling the treatment hence violates the Constitution, which stipulates equality under the law, and the international treaty against racial discrimination that Japan has ratified.

The Sendai government is considering appealing the decision, city officials said.

The plaintiff, 60, who is paralyzed on the left side, tried to take the bus to meet with a friend visiting from Pakistan in October 2003. He is now a Japanese national.

The bus stopped about 22 meters past the stop where he was waiting. He boarded once and asked the driver to wait so he could go back to the stop and retrieve his luggage, and the driver had reportedly agreed. But once the man left the bus, it drove off.

The Japan Times

人種、障害差別で乗車拒否 仙台市に55万円賠償命令(共同)

mytest

(師岡先生からの転送を感謝いたします。有道 出人)

人種、障害差別で乗車拒否 仙台市に55万円賠償命令(共同)
http://flash24.kyodo.co.jp/?MID=RANDOM&PG=STORY&NGID=soci&NWID=2006113001000247

 外国人で障害者であることを理由に、市営バスに乗車拒否されたとして、パキスタン出身の男性(60)=仙台市太白区=が同市に165万円の損害賠償を求めた訴訟の判決が30日、仙台地裁であった。

 畑中芳子裁判官は「運転手が人種、身体障害を理由に差別的取り扱いをした」と認定。法の下の平等を定めた憲法や人種差別撤廃条約などに違反したとして、市に55万円の賠償を命じた。

 判決などによると、男性は来日後に日本国籍を取得。左半身にまひがある。

 男性は2001年10月、パキスタンから来た友人に会うため、仙台市内でバスにいったん乗車。「荷物を取りにいく」と運転手に告げ、バス停まで戻ろうとしたところ、運転手はバスを発車させ乗車を拒否した。

 市側は「乗車拒否などの差別行為はない」と反論していた。

(共同)
(2006年11月30日 11時02分)

Yamanashi English school want ad: “blonde hair blue or green eyes and brightly character” (with updates)

mytest

Hi Blog. Just got this information from Alberto and David in Yamanashi. It’s a want ad for “E.R. English School” (motto: “Be All That You Can be” [sic]) in Kofu, Yamanashi-ken, saying, quote:

===================================
WANTED IMMEDIETLY [sic] NATIVE SPEAKER

E R English School needs a native speaker. Blonde hair
blue or green eyes and brightly character. [sic]
Please contact E R English School immedietly. [sic]

Ph: 055-241-4070
Yuji and Jocelyn Iwashita
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E.R. English School Sign

Photo courtesy David Markle. Thanks. Click on thumbnail for larger image.

It’s pretty clear that Jocelyn hadn’t proofread the ad, and I was intrigued as to why the Yamanashi International Assocation (Yamanashi Ken Kokusai Kouryuu Kyoukai, website http://www.yia.or.jp/, phone 055-228-5419) had approved of such a thing.

So I gave the ER English School a call this afternoon and talked to a Mr Sata, the person in charge of all of this.

We had a nice conversation and a frank exchange of views. His points were:

1) The person wanted for this ad would be hired to teach kids at a local kindergarten (youchien). The principal (enchou) specifically wanted to acclimatize their kids to people who speak English, and to the principal’s mind, that meant somebody that had blond hair and blue or green eyes.

2) Yes, Mr Sata was aware that not all squash is zucchini, and that not all English speakers have blond hair and blue and green eyes. His school, after all, even employs Thais and Indians as English-speaking staff. But this is what the school principal wanted, so as this is their school’s job, they have to oblige. He did not feel as though this was a matter of discrimination.

3) Yes, Mr Sata was aware that this is a similar argument that a realtor might make–that “no pets, no gaijin” rules are merely at the behest of landlords, and that shifting the blame to the customer and his needs doesn’t let either party off the hook vis-a-vis discrimination. But this is business, and this is what the customer needs.

4) Yes, Mr Sata was aware that educational institutions in particular have an obligation not to promote prejudices and stererotypes. However, This is Japan and Japanese culture, he said. This is the image that Japan has of foreigners, so shikata ga nai.

5) Yes, Mr Sata was aware that there are plenty of children out there with gaijinesque pigmentation, Japanese and non-Japanese, in Japanese schools. Yes, they might be adversely affected by this “eigojin” syndrome and get socially othered. He, after all, has “half” children (as he put it) of his own. But anyway.

6) No, Mr Sata didn’t feel as though my calling the Kindergarten principal and directly explaining the problems with promoting these stereotypes would do any good. No need to confront the principal. Better to give the customer what they want and work with them later to change their mind.

7) No, Mr Sata didn’t feel as though the job advertisement was discriminatory. Yes, people with other phenotypes would not be refused the job, regardless of what the ad might say. Yes, they would consider rewording the ad. But still, those are the job specifications as per what the customer wants, and we have to stay in business. Even if it means selling asbestos or other toxic, damaging elements into society (okay, so we didn’t really get into this argument…)

And that was that. I enjoyed the talk. We stayed friendly throughout. Dunno if I changed any minds, however, particularly his. As the Corelone family would say, this is just business.

Feel free express your opinion to E R English House yourself. It doesn’t seem to have a website or an email address, but it’s regular address according to the phone book is Yamanashi Ken Koufu Shi Ushiroya-chou 323-4

055-241-4070 山梨県甲府市後屋町323-4
http://phonebook.yahoo.co.jp/bin/search?p=055-241-4070

If I have time, let’s see what the Yamanashi International Association has to say about this. They approved this ad, after all. Debito in Sapporo

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UPDATE NOV 29

Just sent out a letter to the appropriate authorities and human rights lists in Japanese. See the text at
http://www.debito.org/?p=93

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UPDATE DEC 5

According to local human-rights sources, the Yamanashi International Association will be taking this issue up. More when I know more.

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UPDATE DEC 17

Got the following letter from the Yamanashi International Association, saying that they were sorry and would be more careful in future. No word from the local Bureau of Human Rights, of course. I guess this is the best we can hope for. Case closed?

yamanashiintlctr121206sm.jpg

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UPDATE FEB 3, 2007
from debito.org newsletter of the same date

I reported to you last November about that Eikaiwa “E R English School” in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture
http://www.debito.org/?p=92

which had a Want Ad posted on bulletin boards in the Yamanashi International Association (http://www.yia.or.jp) saying:
===================================
WANTED IMMEDIETLY [sic] NATIVE SPEAKER
E R English School needs a native speaker. Blonde hair
blue or green eyes and brightly character. [sic]
Please contact E R English School immedietly. [sic]
Ph: 055-241-4070
Yuji and Jocelyn Iwashita

===================================
http://www.debito.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/EREnglishsign.jpg

I reported then that I called the school, where a manager (a Mr. Sata) there tried to justify the policy as just giving the customer the service he wants (i.e. some Kindergarten boss wanted to “acclimatize” his young ‘uns to real bonafide “gaijin”–see Sata’s arguments at http://www.debito.org/?p=92). Thus their hands were tied.

I then sent a letter on November 30 to the Yamanashi International Association, and to the local Bureau of Human Rights (jinken yougobu–Japanese text of that letter at http://www.debito.org/?p=93), asking for some assistance in this matter.

I did get an answer from the YIA on December 12. Letter (Japanese) scanned at:
http://www.debito.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/yamanashiintlctr121206sm.jpg
They said sorry, and would be more careful to not let this happen again on their bulletin boards.

Okay, so I called it a day there. But the story doesn’t end yet.

Yesterday, I got a call from Kyodo Tsuushin (Japan’s powerful wire service) who wanted some quotes from me for an article about this issue. They also wanted to know if I had heard from the Bureau of Human Rights on this. I hadn’t, so the reporter said he would start making a few inquiries.

Hours later, I received a call from E R English School’s Mr Iwashita, who asked who I was, what I was after, and if I now understood the company’s true intention behind their advertisement. He hoped there would be no further misunderstandings.

I replied that I felt it interesting that more than two months had gone by before he felt the need to explain his company policies further, and that it seems very conveniently timed with him getting a call from a Kyodo reporter. He agreed that it was indeed so.

But it wasn’t just Kyodo. It turned out (I saw a draft of the article last night, should have gone out today–anyone find it?) that E R English School had also been contacted by the Bureau of Human Rights that very day too, after the latter had been phoned for some quotes by Kyodo.

Nothing like a little press attention to finally set some wheels in motion….

Mr Iwashita said that he understood my feelings about this. I then mentioned that as educators we have a responsibility not to perpetuate stereotypes and prejudices, particularly in this internationalizing society. He agreed and we left it at that.

This afternoon I got another call from E R’s Jocelyn this time, who left a message on my cellphone and didn’t call back… Wonder what’s cooking. Anyway, if anything more comes of this, I’ll let you know.

ENDS

GOJ requires fingerprints and criminal history for long-term visas, yet refuses domestic means to produce them.

mytest

Hello Blog. As of April 2006, Japan is now requiring fingerprints and criminal records for long-term visas, yet now refusing to provide police cooperation in getting the former. US citizens, for example, are now told to give their fingerprints to the FBI and get a Rap Sheet–and pay for the privilege. Nice little money spinner for the USG on the behest of the GOJ, which requires compliance without domestic assistance. This is what people pay taxes for? Glad to be exempt. One more comment at the very bottom:

Courtesy USG newsletter to US expats abroad (forwarded me from two sources):
http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-newsletter20061201.html

=========EXCERPT BEGINS=======================
——————————————————————————-
Fingerprints
——————————————————————————-

Every so often we, at the Embassy and Consulates, receive requests from people who need a copy of their fingerprints to apply for a specialized license in the U.S. Recently we started receiving similar requests in relation to the extension of the long-term resident permit in Japan.

We verified with the Immigration Bureau of the Ministry of Justice that as of April 2006, foreign long-term residents must provide the Japanese authorities with a copy of their criminal history record to extend their visa. In order to obtain such a record, Americans have to provide the FBI with a copy of their fingerprints.

We used to refer such requests for fingerprints to the local Japanese police, but in most cases the police have stopped offering this service. Since the Embassy does not provide this service, Americans needing a copy of their fingerprints should follow the guidance listed online here.
http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/fprequest.htm
=========EXCERPT ENDS=======================

==========USG LINK EXCERPT BEGINS==============
Introduction
An FBI Identification Record, often referred to as a Criminal History Record or Rap Sheet, is a listing of certain information taken from fingerprint submissions retained by the FBI in connection with arrests and, in some instances, federal employment, naturalization, or military service. If the fingerprints are related to an arrest, the Identification Record includes name of the agency that submitted the fingerprints to the FBI, the date of arrest, the arrest charge, and the disposition of the arrest, if known to the FBI. All arrest data included in an Identification Record is obtained from fingerprint submissions, disposition reports and other reports submitted by agencies having criminal justice responsibilities….

How to Request a Copy of Record

1. Complete cover letter. (click here)

If for a couple, family, etc., all persons must sign cover letter
Include your complete mailing address
If you have a deadline (e.g., an immigration deadline), please include the deadline in your cover letter and on the outside of the envelope.
2. Obtain proof of identity, which consists of a set of your fingerprints
(original card, no copies), with your name, date of birth and place of
birth. Fingerprints should be placed on a standard fingerprint form
(FD-258) commonly used for applicant or law enforcement purposes.

Include rolled impressions of all ten fingerprints and impressions of all ten fingerprints taken simultaneously (these are sometimes referred to as plain or flat impressions.)

If possible have your fingerprints taken by a fingerprinting technician (this service may be available at a Law Enforcement Agency.)

Previously processed fingerprint cards will not be accepted.
3. Include $ 18 – U.S. dollars in the form of a money order, certified check
made payable to the Treasury of the United States, or you may pay by
credit card

Be sure to sign where required
No personal checks or cash
Must be exact amount
If for a couple, family, etc., include $18 for each person
If paying by credit card you must include the completed credit card payment form
Credit cards will not be used for expedited mail services
4. Mail the items #1, #2, #3 (listed above) to the following address:

FBI CJIS Division – Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306
==========USG LINK EXCERPT ENDS==============

COMMENT: As I said, nice little money-spinner here. Really nice how governments are in the habit of requiring you have certain documentation and then charge you for it. Only this time, it’s technically being done at the behest of the Japanese Government because they can’t be bothered.

Also like how your behavior in Japan alone is no longer a factor in whether or not you can get a long-term visa. You must also have had your nose clean abroad too. You people who had bad childhoods–growing up and reforming yourself makes no difference. You still can’t become a Permanent Resident in Japan anymore. Presidents with colored pasts (Alberto Fujimori and Bush II) had better not emigrate either.

ENDS

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOV 27 2006

mytest

Good evening all. Recent articles on my blog have reached saturation point, so here’s a roundup:

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOV 27, 2006
This post is organized thusly:

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1) OTARU ONSENS CASE NOW TEACHING MATERIAL
2) GAIJIN CARD CHECKS OUTSIDE “SAKURA HOUSE”
3) UPDATE ON KITAKYUSHU EXCLUSIONARY RESTAURANT
4) J TIMES ON TOURISM PROMOTION, WITH LETTER TO THE ED
5) TBS: FUJIWARA NORIKA BUMPS ARUDOU DEBITO
6) KYODO: MOCK JURY TRIAL SPRINGS FOREIGN MANSLAUGHTERER
7) JALT PALE ROUNDTABLE ON ACADEMIC EMPLOYMENT
and finally…
8) WASH POST: GOJ CREATING SUSHI POLICE FOR OVERSEAS J FOOD
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This and future material available in real time by subscription at
http://www.debito.org/index.php

1) OTARU ONSENS CASE NOW TEACHING MATERIAL

The Otaru Onsens Case (http://www.debito.org/otarulawsuit.html) refuses to fade into obscurity, thank goodness. Still, the facts of the case are being increasingly bleached out as time goes on. Witness how in this English teaching book discussing the case for educational purposes:

From “Shift the Focus”, Lesson 4: “Discrimination, or Being Japanese…?” pp 18-21, on the Otaru Onsens Case. Sanshusha Pubilshing Co., Ltd. February, 2006. Written by Colin Sloss.

After developing the case to make it appear as if I was doing this all on my own, the dialog continues:

======== EXCERPT BEGINS ===================
Some foreigners who had been living in Japan for a long time, lets [sic] call them “old Japan hands,” objected to the claim that this was discrimination and should be stopped. Their argument, as I understand it, was that trying to make Japan like other countries would, in fact, make Japan less distinct and more ordinary. Japan, as it is now (regardless of any problems it may possess, such as discrimination and racism), should be appreciated because of its uniqueness. Ultimately, this argument is romantic, condescending and resistant to the globalization of Japan. Lafcadio Hearn could be said to represent an extreme of this kind of thinking. During the late Meiji Period, Hearn was strongly against the Westernization of Japan, which he feared would destroy the charms of old Japan. Such hopes, though understandable, tend to be disappointed with the changing times.
======== EXCERPT ENDS ===================
Entire dialog at http://www.debito.org/?p=88

COMMENT:
While I am happy that the issue has been condensed and replicated for future discussion in an educational setting, I wish the author could have gotten a little closer to the facts of the case. Perhaps included the fact that there was more than one Plaintiff in the case (Olaf and Ken), not just me alone.

I also think he should take less seriously the intellectual squirrelling afforded those postulating pundits he calls “old Japan hands”, found chattering away on places like NBR. They are hardly representative of the foreign resident community in Japan, the proprortionally-shrinking English-language community in Japan, or of anything at all, really. Except perhaps old grouches and bores.

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2) GAIJIN CARD CHECKS OUTSIDE “SAKURA HOUSE”

Received a mail (I get a lot of these, especially on weekends) from people wanting some advice. This time, a person named Alisa told me about how cops keep hanging out outside the “gaijin guesthouses” of Sakura House (http://www.sakura-house.com) essentially to snare foreigners (this is not the first time I’ve heard about this, by the way):

======== EXCERPT BEGINS ===================
Anyway this morning I was stopped by three men in black jackets (windbreakers) and one of them flashed me a badge. They asked me if I had my “card”. Even though I had read your article, I was running late for work and was extremely frazzled at being approached like that. I could feel my Japanese fumbling but did manage to ask “nan de desuka?”. They told me that they had heard that some sakura house people had overstayed their visa and were “just checking”. They went to far as to ask my room number and whether I lived alone. They made double sure to check the address on the back of my card and sent me on my way. I was very insulted and humiliated at being stopped like that…
======== EXCERPT ENDS ===================
Entire email at http://www.debito.org/?p=86

Alisa even took the trouble to print up copies of the law regarding these instant checkpoints for the benefit of fellow residents
(see http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#gaijincard)
and to contact Sakura House about the harassment.

Well, let the hand-washing preclude any hand-wringing. Response from Sakura House:

======== SAKURA HOUSE RESPONSE BEGINS ===============
Dear Ms. Alisa West
Thank you very much for your staying at Sakura House.

In fact, Japanese police officer or imigration [sic] officer has a right to check your passport, visa status and alien registration card. If they ask you to show your passport, you have to show it to them. This is a leagal [sic] action. They do that kind of inspection without informing.

With best regards,
Takuya Takahashi
======== SAKURA HOUSE RESPONSE ENDS ===============

Pity Mr Takahashi doesn’t know the law better. It’s not quite that simple. So much for helping out his renters.

As I’m sure I’ll get nitpickers with short memories or attention spans thinking this is much ado, a few reminders from the record accumulating on debito.org:

Re the developing tendency towards racial profiling in Japan:
“Here comes the fear: Antiterrorist law creates legal conundrums for foreign residents”
Japan Times May 24, 2005
http://www.debito.org/japantimes052405.html

“Justice system flawed by presumed guilt
Rights advocates slam interrogation without counsel, long detentions”
The Japan Times: Oct. 13, 2005
http://www.debito.org/japantimes102305detentions.html

An excellent summary from the Japan Times on what’s wrong with Japan’s criminal justice system: presumption of guilt, extreme police powers of detention, jurisprudential incentives for using them, lack of transparency, records or accountability during investigation, and a successful outcome of a case hinging on arrest and conviction, not necessarily on proving guilt or innocence. This has long since reached an extreme: almost anything that goes to trial in a Japanese criminal court results in a conviction.

Point: You do not want to get on the wrong side of the Japanese police, although riding a bicycle, walking outside, renting an apartment etc. while foreign seems more and more to incur police involvement.

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3) UPDATE ON KITAKYUSHU EXCLUSIONARY RESTAURANT

At the beginning of this month, I told you about a restaurant in Kitakyushu which refuses service to foreigners. I was tipped off by a victim at a JALT national conference, and sure enough, I too was initially refused service as well. More details at http://www.debito.org/?p=69

Well, after sending letters on November 9 to the Kitakyushu Mayor, the tourism board, the local Bureau of Human Rights, the local newspaper, and JALT Central, I am pleased to report that I have had official responses.

The City International Affairs Desk (kokusai kouryuu bu) called me on November 20 to tell me that they had called the restaurant in question and straightened things out. No longer, they were assured, would foreigners be refused there.

The Bureau of Human Rights also called me on November 19 to get some more facts of the case. They would also be looking into them. “Go give them some keihatsu,” I urged them. They said they would.

Now, all we need is a letter from the Mayor’s Office and/or from JALT Central and we have a hat trick. I appreciate the concern given this matter (I have known many Bureaus of Human Rights, such as Sapporo’s, which couldn’t give a damn–even if it’s something as clearly discriminatory as the Otaru Onsens Case). Probably should write this up as a website later on to give people templates on how to work through administrative channels to deal with discrimination. Sure would help if we had a law against this sort of thing, though…

On that note:

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4) JAPAN TIMES ON TOURISM PROMOTION, WITH LETTER TO THE EDITOR

On November 10, Kyodo reported that Japan is going to add to Koizumi’s “Yokoso Japan” campaign to bring over more tourists from Europe:

======== EXCERPT BEGINS ===================
Staff at the Japan National Tourist Organization are also hoping to attract spa-lovers by promoting Japanユs many “onsen” (hot springs) and Buddhist retreats.

The campaign “Cool Japan–Fusion with Tradition” officially kicked off at this week’s World Travel Market in London, an annual trade fair that attracts more than 5,000 exhibitors. This year, 202 countries will be there.

The latest promotion follows the successful “Visit Japan Campaign” in Europe in 2003, which helped boost number of tourists traveling to Japan. Britain currently sends the most visitors to Japan from Europe, followed by Germany and France.

As part of the “Cool Japan” campaign, staff are sending out brochures on “manga” (comic books) and animation-related attractions, along with information on Japan’s cutting-edge architectural sights…

This year, representatives from a ryokan are on hand to advise travel agents and tour operators on how to promote traditional forms of leisure. Many Europeans do not think of Japan as place to relax and staff at JNTO are keen to change that.
======== EXCERPT ENDS ===================
Rest of the article at http://www.debito.org/?p=87

That’s fine. But as a friend of mine pointed out in a letter he got published in the Japan Times:

============== LETTER BEGINS ====================
Obstacle to increased tourism
By HIDESATO SAKAKIBARA, Jamaica, New York
The Japan Times, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2006
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/rc20061119a6.html

Regarding the Nov 10 article “Japan works on a makeover to attract more Europeans”:

While it is admirable to see the the Japan National Tourist Organization making efforts to draw more foreign tourists, our government officials are omitting one important thing–the promulgation of a law making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race or nationality.

The article states that JNTO staff are “hoping to attract spa-lovers by promoting Japanユs many onsens (hot springs) and Buddhist retreats.” But what about the many onsen that refuse entry to those who don’t look Japanese (including Japanese citizens)? What impression will “young tourists” get when they seek to enter discriminatory bars, hotels, discos, pubs (izakaya) and other spots only to be greeted with the words “Japanese Only?”
============== LETTER ENDS =====================

Well done. We need more people pointing out this fact as often as possible. I keep on doing it, but I say it so often (and alone) that to some I probably sound like a health warning on a cigarette box. If others say it as well, it makes the message come from more quarters, and increases credibility (i.e. I’m not just a lonely voice in the wilderness).

I encourage everyone to keep pointing out the elephant in the room thusly. Thanks for doing so, Hidesato.

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5) TBS: FUJIWARA NORIKA BUMPS ARUDOU DEBITO

No, it’s not what you might think. I reported last newsletter that TBS noontime program “Pinpon” would be doing a segment on Nov 18, regarding Internet BBS and frequent host of libel “2-Channel” (http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html). Thought the issue had reached a saturation point. Hell, they even flew up a producer and hired a camera crew on a moment’s notice all the way up to Sapporo just for an interview.

Well, guess what–the story got bumped for extended segments on Clint Eastwood’s new movie on Iwo Jima and supermodel Fujiwara Norika’s on-again/off-again engagement to some dork, er, nice guy.

Anyhoo, I called up the producer again ten days later. She says that the network wants a response from 2-Channel’s Administrator Defendant Nishimura Hiroyuki before airing. They’re still waiting for a response, unsurprisingly.

Ah well, that’s it then. Nishimura communicates with the press only by blog, as a recent story in AERA (http://www.debito.org/?p=48) indicates. He’s not going to make a TV appearance on this.

Meanwhile, the story cools, by design. S o might as well assume the TV spot is cancelled. Sigh. Sorry to inflict lunchtime TV on you, everyone.

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6) KYODO: MOCK JURY TRIAL SPRINGS FOREIGN MANSLAUGHTERER

This was sent to me by a reporter friend which caused bewilderment in both him and me.

Japan will be reinstituting trial by jury (they had it before between 1928 and 1943, according to Wikipedia entry for 陪審制) in 2009. This will be for criminal cases, and there will be six laypeople and three judges on the jury (given the GOJ’s nannying instincts, you can’t trust the people with too much power, after all).

Kyodo reported extensively on Nov 23 about a mock trial to test the system. But what an intriguing test case to use:

======== EXCERPT BEGINS ===================
Citizen judges on Thursday came out with a mixed verdict on a Briton, who was indicted for bodily injury resulting in death, at a mock trial in Osaka.

Paul Lennon, 36-year-old English teacher, stood trial at the mimic court, sponsored by the Osaka Bar Association, on the assumption that he kicked a Japanese man because he thought the man had assaulted a woman, although the man was just caring for his drunken girlfriend. The man died after falling down on a street and hitting his head…

Some citizen judges argued the defendant’s act was excessive as he should have realized its danger as a karate master, while others said it was not excessive, based on testimony of the witness that the victim collapsed dizzily, arguing that he would have fallen fast if the karate grade-holder had kicked him hard.

While the citizen judges did not reach a consensus, Takashi Maruta, a professor at Kwansei Gakuin University law school, said after observing the conference, “The mock trial showed ordinary citizens can develop reasonable and persuasive debates.”
======== EXCERPT ENDS ===================
Rest of the article at http://www.debito.org/?p=83

I don’t know what the Osaka Bar Association is anticipating by putting a foreigner on mock trial like this, but there you have it. My reporter friend writes:

“Not sure what to make of this. Should I be disappointed that they chose a foreigner as the defendant in their mock trial or pleased that the jury didn’t necessarily lock him up and throw away the key just because he wasn’t Japanese?”

Quite. A real head scratcher. Anyway, what odd things make the news. With all the events jockeying for your attention, why so much space devoted to this highly-contrived fake court case? And I fail to see how this is any harbinger of the future of Japanユs upcoming jury system. Surely they could have come up with a more average case to test a jury with?

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

7) JALT PALE ROUNDTABLE ON ACADEMIC EMPLOYMENT

I mentioned the JALT meeting above. Our interest group PALE (http://www.debito.org/PALE) held a roundtable on Nov 3 to discuss future employment issues in Japan’s academia. Panelists were Jonathan Britten, Michael “Rube” Redfield, Pat O’Brien, Evan Heimlich, and Ivan Hall. Introduction to a collation I made of the event:

======== EXCERPT BEGINS ===================
Continuing the Roundtable forum that packed the hall at JALT 2005, five PALE members paneled a meeting to discuss a variety of issues relevant to the conference’s theme of “Community, Identity, and Motivation”. All presentations touched in some way upon employment issues, including issues of job security, union representation, the relationship of nationality to job description and employment terms, and the growing role of dispatch teaching arrangements in Japanese universities. They dealt explicitly or implicitly with the proper roles and responsibilities of PALE and JALT in managing these issues.
======== EXCERPT ENDS ===================
Full writeup at http://www.debito.org/?p=80

and finally…

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

8) WASH POST: GOJ CREATING SUSHI POLICE FOR OVERSEAS J FOOD

This article is making the rounds of the communities out there (at least three people have sent me the link), so I’ll forward this on to fill the gaps.

Yes, the Japanese Government will be establishing a bonafide committee to police the quality and authenticity of Japanese food restaurants overseas.

======== EXCERPT BEGINS ===================
TOKYO – On a recent business trip to Colorado, Japan’s agriculture minister popped into an inviting Japanese restaurant with a hankering for a taste of back home. What Toshikatsu Matsuoka found instead was something he considered a high culinary crime–sushi served on the same menu as Korean-style barbecued beef.

“Such a thing is unthinkable,” he said. “Call it what you will, but it is not a Japanese restaurant.”

A fast-growing list of gastronomic indignities–from sham sake in Paris to shoddy sashimi in Bangkok–has prompted Japanese authorities to launch a counterattack in defense of this nation’s celebrated food culture. With restaurants around the globe describing themselves as Japanese while actually serving food that is Asian fusion, or just plain bad, the government here announced a plan this month to offer official seals of approval to overseas eateries deemed to be “pure Japanese.”…

A trial run of sorts was launched this summer in France, where secret inspectors selected by a panel of food specialists were dispatched to 80 restaurants in Paris that claimed to serve Japanese cuisine. Some establishments invited the scrutiny, while others were targeted with surprise checks. About one-third fell short of standards–making them ineligible to display an official seal emblazoned with cherry blossoms in their windows or to be listed on a government-sponsored Web site of Japanese restaurants in Paris.
======== EXCERPT ENDS ===================
Rest of the article at http://www.debito.org/?p=84

I think you can imagine where I’ll be going with my comment on this, but anyway:

Certification as “real” and “pure Japanese”, hmmm? Sort of like the beauty contests in the Japanese community in Hawaii I read about a decade ago open only to people with “pure Japanese blood”?

Anyway, I know Japan is a nation of foodies, but fighting against overseas restaurants tendency towards “fusion food”? Especially since, as the article notes, so much of Japanese food is from overseas, anyway? Tenpura, castella, fried chicken (“zangi” where I come from), even ramen!

And what if J restaurants innovate, and want to offer something from another country on the menu (such a Chinese or a Vietnamese dish)? Will it have to be offered in J restaurants first in Japan before it can be offered in J restaurants overseas as “authentic Japanese cuisine”? Silly, silly, silly.

This culinary Balkanization seems to be yet another way to give some retired OBs some work after retirement. What better way than for them to take money from either the restaurants or the J taxpayer than by offering the good ol’ “certifications”?

Anyway, food for thought. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

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

That’ll do it for this newsletter. Thanks for reading.

Arudou Debito
Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOV 27 2006 ENDS

Otaru Onsens Case published as English teaching material

mytest

Hello Blog. The Otaru Onsens Case (http://www.debito.org/otarulawsuit.html) refuses to fade into obscurity, thank goodness. Still, the facts of the case are being increasingly bleached out as time goes on. Witness how in this English teaching book discussing the case for educational purposes. Thanks to Bert for sending me this. Comment at the bottom.

From: Sloss, Colin; Kawahara Toshiaki; Grassi, Richard: “Shift the Focus”, Lesson 4: “Discrimination, or Being Japanese…?” pp 18-21, on the Otaru Onsens Case. Sanshusha Pubilshing Co., Ltd. February, 2006. ISBN 4-384-33363-3.

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

Lesson 4
Discrimination, or Being Japanese…?

Having lived some twenty years in Japan, I have not often felt I was facing negative discrimination for being a foreigner. On the other hand, I have often felt conscious of positive discrimination and of being given special treatment because I am a foreigner. However, like everything else, there are advantages and disadvantages to being a foreigner in Japan.

This is why there are varying opinions regarding the Otaru Onsen Case amongst foreigners living in Japan. To explain the case, a few years ago a foreign university professor who had lived a long time in Japan and who spoke Japanese fluently was denied entry to a hot spring, because the hot spring had a “no foreigners” policy. The foreign professor then received Japanese citizenship and went back to the hot spring. Once again he was stopped for being a foreigner, but he showed the people at the hot spring proof that he was now a Japanese. However, he was still refused entry because the owner said that Japanese people at the hot spring would still think he was a foreigner because of his appearance. So, the professor filed a court suit against the owner of the hot spring for discrimination and he won the case. There is more to this story than this brief summary, but I was interested in the reaction of the English-language-speaking foreigners to this incident.

Some foreigners who had been living in Japan for a long time, lets [sic] call them “old Japan hands,” objected to the claim that this was discrimination and should be stopped. Their argument, as I understand it, was that trying to make Japan like other countries would, in fact, make Japan less distinct and more ordinary. Japan, as it is now (regardless of any problems it may possess, such as discrimination and racism), should be appreciated because of its uniqueness. Ultimately, this argument is romantic, condescending and resistant to the globalization of Japan. Lafcadio Hearn could be said to represent an extreme of this kind of thinking. During the late Meiji Period, Hearn was strongly against the Westernization of Japan, which he feared would destroy the charms of old Japan. Such hopes, though understandable, tend to be disappointed with the changing times.

Many foreigners, particularly those who have been hurt by real or perceived discrimination in Japan, supported the man’s case against the hot spring. They were interested in the legal implications of the incident and the need to establish that open discrimination should be illegal in Japan. To some extent, I agree with them.

Nevertheless, if you look hard enough it is possible to find, or to imagine, discrimination everywhere. Once, I was at my local station and some women were handing out leaflets to people. However, they did not give anything to me. Inside my head a voice shouted “discrimination against foreigners.” So I walked back to the people who were handing out the leaflets and demanded one for myself. Then I read the leaflet and I felt embarrassed. The leaflet was asking young women to step forward to enter a “Miss Hyakumangoku” competition. What I had assumed had been racial discrimination was, in fact, sexual discrimination!

C.S. (Colin Sloss, author).

=============================
COMMENT:
While I am happy that the issue has been condensed and replicated for future discussion in an educational setting, I wish the author could have gotten a little closer to the facts of the case. Perhaps included the fact that there was more than one Plaintiff in the case (Olaf and Ken), not just me alone.

I also think he should take less seriously the intellectual squirrelling afforded those postulating pundits he calls “old Japan hands”, found chattering away on places like NBR. They are hardly representative of the foreign resident community in Japan, the proprortionally-shrinking English-language community in Japan, or of anything at all, really. Except perhaps old grouches and bores.
ENDS

J Times Nov 10 06 on tourism promotion, with great Letter to the Ed Nov 19

mytest

Hi Blog. Here is an article about another promotion to bring more foreigners over to Japan to spend money as tourists (remember Koizumi’s “Yokoso Japan” campaign?), specifically mentioning onsen as one of the places they want more foreigners to frequent.

Funny they should mention onsens. Friend Hidesato Sakakibara makes a great rejoinder in a Letter to the Editor, questioning the effectiveness of such a campaign when there is no law to protect their rights from racial discrimination once tourists get here.

For the record, the article, Hidesato’s rejoinder, and a comment from me with some links follow.

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

Japan works on a makeover to attract more Europeans
The Japan Times, Friday, Nov. 10, 2006
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20061110b2.html
By WILLIAM HOLLINGWORTH

LONDON (Kyodo) In an effort to woo younger European travelers, Japanese tourism officials launched a campaign highlighting the country’s contribution to contemporary arts and culture.

Staff at the Japan National Tourist Organization are also hoping to attract spa-lovers by promoting Japan’s many “onsen” (hot springs) and Buddhist retreats.

The campaign “Cool Japan — Fusion with Tradition” officially kicked off at this week’s World Travel Market in London, an annual trade fair that attracts more than 5,000 exhibitors. This year, 202 countries will be there.

The latest promotion follows the successful “Visit Japan Campaign” in Europe in 2003, which helped boost number of tourists traveling to Japan. Britain currently sends the most visitors to Japan from Europe, followed by Germany and France.

As part of the “Cool Japan” campaign, staff are sending out brochures on “manga” (comic books) and animation-related attractions, along with information on Japan’s cutting-edge architectural sights.

This year’s exhibit also highlights the country’s fashion designers and high-tech gadgetry. The information has been compiled into a booklet in association with the Time Out magazine, which has a young readership.

With Japan, however, it’s not all about what’s new and trendy.

This year, representatives from a ryokan are on hand to advise travel agents and tour operators on how to promote traditional forms of leisure. Many Europeans do not think of Japan as place to relax and staff at JNTO are keen to change that.

Kylie Clark, public relations manager at JNTO in London, said the campaign was launched “to make people aware that Japan is much more than geisha, sumo, gardens, temples and Mount Fuji.”

“Through the campaign we wish to highlight that Tokyo, along with New York, Paris and London, is now one of the world’s leading cities when it comes to trends in foods, fashion and popular culture.”

Clark said the aim of the campaign was to “diversify” the types of travelers going to Japan. Currently, the main market is couples over 50 with an interest in Japanese traditional culture such as gardens and temples. JNTO hopes to attract more young couples, singles and families with this year’s promotion. It has already been running an “underground” ad campaign for several weeks.

And in an effort to attract the younger market, JNTO is also promoting the country’s ski resorts. After a series of good reviews by British journalists who tested Japan’s slopes, several tour operators are offering holidays to Japan next year.

JNTO is also keen to encourage more visits by British students and will soon be releasing a booklet they hope will make it easier to set up exchanges between educational institutions in the two countries. (The Japan Times)

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

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
READERS IN COUNCIL
Obstacle to increased tourism

By HIDESATO SAKAKIBARA
Jamaica, New York
The Japan Times, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2006
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/rc20061119a6.html

Regarding the Nov. 10 article “Japan works on a makeover to attract more Europeans”: While it is admirable to see the the Japan National Tourist Organization making efforts to draw more foreign tourists, our government officials are omitting one important thing — the promulgation of a law making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race or nationality.

The article states that JNTO staff are “hoping to attract spa-lovers by promoting Japan’s many onsens (hot springs) and Buddhist retreats.” But what about the many onsen that refuse entry to those who don’t look Japanese (including Japanese citizens)? What impression will “young tourists” get when they seek to enter discriminatory bars, hotels, discos, pubs (izakaya) and other spots only to be greeted with the words “Japanese Only?” (The Japan Times)

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

COMMENT FROM ARUDOU DEBITO

Well done, Hidesato. We need more people pointing this fact out as often as possible. I keep on doing it, but to some I say it so often (and alone) I probably sound like a warning about cancer on a cigarette box. If others say it as well, it makes the message come from more quarters, and increases credibility (i.e. I’m not just a lonely voice out in the wilderness).

I encourage everyone to keep pointing out the elephant in the room thusly. Thanks again, Hidesato! Debito

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

PERTINENT LINKS:

The “Yokoso Japan” Campaign, official site
http://www.japanwelcomesyou.com/cssweb/

Essay for Miyakodayori (May 23, 2003) on Japan’s nacent tourism drive
http://www.debito.org/miyakodayori70.html

Identical irony pointed out by The Guardian (Manchester):
“Suspicious minds: Japan is hoping to boost foreign investment and tourism by promoting the country as a land of hospitality. However, institutional racism and the media’s tendency to blame foreigners for rising crime means many visitors find themselves less than welcome?”
THE GUARDIAN By Justin McCurry Wednesday March 10, 2004
http://www.debito.org/immigrationsnitchsite.html#grauniad

Otaru Onsens Case
http://www.debito.org/otarulawsuit.html

Photo gallery of places which refuse foreigners entry:
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html
ENDS

Email on Gaijin Card Checks and Racial Profiling at Sakura House (with update)

mytest

Hello Blog. Received this email out of the blue from someone getting help from the information up at debito.org. Always pleased when somebody takes action to do something about their rights. Blogging with permission. Links to some pertinent info sites within the email and at the very bottom. Debito

///////////////////////////////////////////
From: Anonymous
Subject: Gaijin profiling at guesthouse
Date: November 25, 2006 12:55:39 AM JST
To: debito@debito.org

Hello Debito-san, Thank you for your article about random gaijin- card checks.
http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#gaijincard

What do think about this?

I live in Sakura House, which you may have heard of.
(http://www.sakura-house.com) It is a chain of
guesthouses in Tokyo exclusively for foreigners. The buildings are not
descreet. I live in Shitamachi and amidst the white tile and crumbling
brick buildings, mine is marked with a bright “Sakura House” sign, not
that the comings and goings of a few dozen foreigners would have gone
unnoticed otherwise.

Anyway this morning I was stopped by three men in black jackets
(windbreakers) and one of them flashed me a badge. They asked me if I had
my “card”. Even though I had read your article, I was running late for
work and was extremely frazzled at being approached like that. I could
feel my Japanese fumbling but did manage to ask “nan de desuka?”. They
told me that they had heard that some sakura house people had overstayed
their visa and were “just checking”. They went to far as to ask my room
number and whether I lived alone. They made double sure to check the
address on the back of my card and sent me on my way. I was very insulted
and humiliated at being stopped like that. And the more I thought about
it, and the angrier I became.

The part that gets me the most is that these men were just waiting outside
my apartment, waiting to trap the gaijin as they went outside. The fact
that they asked my room number makes me think that they’re just going to
keep patroling until they’ve accounted for everyone. Moreover, this sort
of thing should be really unneccessary, as Sakura house checks the
duration of everybody’s visa before allowing them to stay there.

I would like to ask you, if you don’t mind, a few questions to be sure of
my legal footing.

1) Who do you think these men were?

There were three of them, only one had a badge. None of them were in
uniform. Is it possible that they (or at least one of them) were
immigration detectives, assigned to check out my particular guesthouse
because they had some kind of lead? Were they plainclothes cops?
Vigilantees? (they did seem to be overly pleased with themselves)

2) Does checking everyone in a foreign dorm constitute “crime prevention”?

You had the bike example in your article, and it seemed that a cop
really does have the right to demand your gaijin card for rather flimsy
reasons. Is being foreign enough probable cause for suspicion, if the
crime in question is “overstay”? As you mention, Japanese are also
capable of theft, murder, and terrorist acts, but it would be pretty
difficult for them to overstay their visas. (Of course there is the
issue of Japanese who happen to look non-Japanese, of foreign- born
Japanese citizens such as yourself, and ethnic Japanese foreigners, but
I doubt that that issue would carry any weight with a cop on the
street.)

Also, if it is even true that they have some evidence of foreigners
overstaying their visas at my guesthouse, does that mean that any
special investigation they are conducting overrides my right not to show
my gaijin card when I am not doing anything suspicious?

Well, toriaezu, I emailed sakura house telling them what was going on and
how hurt I was by it. I told them I would appreciate it if they would do
something about it. I also posted a note on the front door of my
guesthouse and left a bunch of copies of “The law” in the entryway. I
don’t know if anyone will be interested in making waves, but there it is.

Anyway, I would appreciate any help or information you can give me. I’m
surprised at how much this bothers me. Good job with your site, I’m glad
that there’s information out there for us.

Thanks again, Anonymous

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

Thank you back!

A couple of links re the developing tendency towards racial profiling in Japan:

Here comes the fear: Antiterrorist law creates legal conundrums for foreign residents
Japan Times May 24, 2005
http://www.debito.org/japantimes052405.html

Justice system flawed by presumed guilt
Rights advocates slam interrogation without counsel, long detentions
The Japan Times: Oct. 13, 2005

http://www.debito.org/japantimes102305detentions.html
An excellent summary from the Japan Times on what’s wrong with Japan’s criminal justice system: presumption of guilt, extreme police powers of detention, jurisprudential incentives for using them, lack of transparency, records or accountability during investigation, and a successful outcome of a case hinging on arrest and conviction, not necessarily on proving guilt or innocence. This has long since reached an extreme: almost anything that goes to trial in a Japanese criminal court results in a conviction.

Point: You do not want to get on the wrong side of the Japanese police, although riding a bicycle, walking outside, renting an apartment etc. while foreign seems more and more to incur police involvement. Debito

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

UPDATE:
SAKURA HOUSE WASHES THEIR HANDS OF HELPING OUT THEIR FOREIGN GUESTS IN ANY WAY

From Anonymous:
Oh, and by the way, I got the expected response from sakura house.

———————————————–
Dear Anonymous

Thank you very much for your staying at Sakura House.

In fact, Japanese police officer or imigration officer has a right to
check your passport, visa status and alien registration card. If they ask
you to show your passport, you have to show it to them. This is a leagal
action. They do that kind of inspection without informing.

With best regards,
Takuya Takahashi
———————————————–

COMMENT: Pity Mr Takahashi doesn’t know the law better. It’s not quite that simple. So much for helping out his renters. Debito

/////////////////////////////////////
COMMENT NOV 29 FROM CYBERSPACE

This is outrageous and dangerous. The woman should NEVER have
cooperated. She should write newspapers. Rapists could easily use
this ruse to target their victims ahead of time. If cops want to check
IDs, they had better be in their proper uniforms with their own proper
identification.

ENDS

Wash Post/MSNBC on GOJ moves against fake J food abroad (with update)

mytest

Hello Blog. Fascinating article (thanks Ryan) on how Japan is instituting “quality control” in Japanese restaurants abroad–by certifying them as “real” and “pure Japanese”. Sort of like the beauty contests in the Japanese community in Hawaii I read about a decade ago open only to people with “pure Japanese blood”…?

Anyway, I know Japan is a nation of foodies, but fighting against overseas restaurants tendency towards “fusion food”? Especially since, as the article notes, so much of Japanese food is from overseas, anyway? Tenpura, castella, fried chicken (“zangi” where I come from), even ramen! And what if J restaurants innovate, and want to offer something from another country on the menu (such a Chinese or a Vietnamese dish)? Will it have to be offered in J restaurants first in Japan before it can be offered in J restaurants overseas as “authentic Japanese cuisine”? Silly, silly, silly.

This culinary Balkanization seems to be yet another way to give some retired OBs some work after retirement–what better way than for them to take money from either the restaurants or the J taxpayer than by offering “certifications”? Anyway, enjoy the article. Food for thought. Debito

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

Putting the bite on fake sushi and other insults
Japan plans to scrutinize restaurant offerings abroad

By Anthony Faiola, Washington Post. Courtesy of MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15871422/from/ET/
Updated: 5:18 a.m. ET Nov. 24, 2006

TOKYO – On a recent business trip to Colorado, Japan’s agriculture minister popped into an inviting Japanese restaurant with a hankering for a taste of back home. What Toshikatsu Matsuoka found instead was something he considered a high culinary crime — sushi served on the same menu as Korean-style barbecued beef.

“Such a thing is unthinkable,” he said. “Call it what you will, but it is not a Japanese restaurant.”

A fast-growing list of gastronomic indignities — from sham sake in Paris to shoddy sashimi in Bangkok — has prompted Japanese authorities to launch a counterattack in defense of this nation’s celebrated food culture. With restaurants around the globe describing themselves as Japanese while actually serving food that is Asian fusion, or just plain bad, the government here announced a plan this month to offer official seals of approval to overseas eateries deemed to be “pure Japanese.”

Some observers here have suggested that the government’s new push for food purity overseas is yet another expression of resurgent Japanese nationalism. But the mentality in Japan also echoes a similar movement by several nations — including Italy and Thailand — now offering guidelines and reward programs to restaurants abroad to regain a measure of control over their increasingly internationalized cuisines.

So beware, America, home of the California roll. The Sushi Police are on their way.

A trial run of sorts was launched this summer in France, where secret inspectors selected by a panel of food specialists were dispatched to 80 restaurants in Paris that claimed to serve Japanese cuisine. Some establishments invited the scrutiny, while others were targeted with surprise checks. About one-third fell short of standards — making them ineligible to display an official seal emblazoned with cherry blossoms in their windows or to be listed on a government-sponsored Web site of Japanese restaurants in Paris.

‘A highly developed art’

Matsuoka, who took over Japan’s top agricultural job in September, is the mastermind of the new “Japanese restaurant authentication plan.” He said it does not always take a culinary sleuth to spot an impostor. “Sometimes you can tell just by looking at their signs that these places are phony,” he said.

“What people need to understand is that real Japanese food is a highly developed art. It involves all the senses; it should be beautifully presented, use genuine ingredients and be made by a trained chef,” he continued. “What we are seeing now are restaurants that pretend to offer Japanese cooking but are really Korean, Chinese or Filipino. We must protect our food culture.”

In recent years, few culinary traditions have witnessed the kind of global boom, and distortion, of Japanese food.

In the United States alone, the number of restaurants claiming to serve Japanese food soared to 9,000 in 2005, or double the number a decade ago, according to Japanese government statistics. The government projects that the number of Japanese restaurants worldwide will leap to 48,000 by 2009, more than double the current level.

Some have gone all-out to ensure authenticity. Masa in New York City imports its fish from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market while Umu in London regularly flies in the soft water of Kyoto, Japan’s old capital, to make its bonito fish broths. But they are largely exceptions in a world where the Japanese fear their food is being lost in translation.

In the United States, the proliferation of counterfeit Japanese foods now includes seaweed rolls stuffed with smoked salmon and cream cheese. In Canada, Vera’s Burger Shack in Vancouver is offering tempura-battered onion rings. As the recent test in Paris showed, even such gastronomic bastions as France can be guilty of sushi sacrilege.

“You will find restaurants here that serve salmon sushi with a little yakitori [charcoaled chicken] on the side and call themselves Japanese,” said Tsuyoshi Nakai, the Paris head of JETRO, Japan’s overseas trade promotion arm. “Then there are the ones serving what they claim is Japanese sake, but of course, it isn’t. What is it? I don’t know. But it smells, and tastes, very strange.”

High demand for real Japanese chefs

With the demand for real Japanese chefs far greater than the global supply in a nation with a shrinking population and few modern-day emigrants, many foreign owners of Japanese restaurants have turned to cooks from other Asian countries to add a faux touch of authenticity to their establishments. Pan-Asian restaurants have also begun adding more healthful and light Japanese dishes to their menus to cater to new tastes, some of them going as far as changing their names to the inevitable “Mt. Fuji” or “Sakura” to lure broader clienteles.

That has infuriated Japanese sushi chefs overseas, leading some — including those who formed the D.C. Sushi Society in the 1990s — to unite into advocacy groups aimed at protecting an elaborate form of cooking that is tradition-bound and highly hierarchical.

Officials here emphasize that it is not the race of the cooks they are concerned about, but the fact that such chefs are rarely properly trained and know little about the culture behind the food.

In Japanese haute cuisine, for example, the aesthetics of a meal — from elegant ceramic serving bowls to suitable flower arrangements — are considered as important as the food itself. Quality quashes quantity; a single mouthful of otoro — fatty tuna sashimi sliced just right — can sell for $20 in Tokyo sushi houses. Japan’s famously elaborate kaiseki ryori can take days to prepare and must be presented in small courses on plates and in color combinations that delight and amuse.

Most importantly, such meals must be prepared by highly specialized chefs — some of whom apprentice for years before they are permitted to cook for paying customers.

Makoto Fukue, the head of the Tokyo Sushi Academy who trains about 75 Japanese chefs-for-export a year, insisted that the inexperience of some foreign sushi chefs may be driving customers away from more adventurous Japanese fare.

“Many Americans do not like the taste of conger eel sushi, but that is because the chefs are not preparing it right — and so it tastes fishy and has an odor,” he said. “If you had a trained chef preparing those same foods, you would find more openness to experiment with the same foods we eat in Japan.”

But some here have expressed caution about the launch of the government approval system, arguing that Japan is a country also notorious for adapting foreign foods to local tastes. Indeed, that rare talent gave birth to Japanese seafood and mayonnaise pizza.

In addition, many so-called Japanese foods have foreign influences or roots. Batter-coated and fried food known as tempura, for instance, was introduced to the Japanese by Portuguese missionaries during the 16th century.

“The question is, what can we really call ‘Japanese food’?” said Masuhiro Yamamoto, the Tokyo-based food guru. “Here in Japan, we believe that tonkatsu [fried pork cutlet] is essentially Japanese, but try and tell the French that isn’t porc paner.”

The government has appointed an advisory board of food luminaries and intellectuals to develop a workable method for the project ahead of its full launch in April. Matsuoka said the most likely scenario would be the creation of government-sanctioned food commissions in major countries to evaluate a restaurant’s “Japanese-ness” based on authentic ingredients, chef training, aesthetics and other criteria.

Such a method might also coincidentally increase Japanese food exports, given that restaurants using Japanese products are likely to score some brownie points.

“Of course using Japanese materials would be preferable,” Matsuoka said. “But our real purpose is to set benchmarks for how Japanese food is made overseas. We take our food very seriously.”
ARTICLE ENDS
////////////////////////////////////////////////

COMMENT FROM CYBERSPACE:
I think they should check the credentials of Japanese who go to the US, claim to be sushi masters and open their own shops–been to a few in Boston. Ironically, the best sushi master in Metro-West is a Chinese man who actually studied sushi for 8 years in Tokyo.

I wish I had the time to inspect the “American” restaurants here. Mos Burger and Mr. Bagu would be first on my list….CHAD

Kyodo Nov 23: Odd mock trial of foreigner to test new jury system (with updates)

mytest

Hello Blog. Forwarding from a reporter friend. Comment is his. Debito

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

Not sure what to make of this. Should I be dissapointed that they chose a
foreigner as the defendant in their mock trial or pleased that the jury
didn’t necessarily lock him up and throw away the key just because he
wasn’t Japanese….. Anyway, for your amusement and education:
==============================

Mock trial under lay judge system held in Osaka
by Keiji Hirano
OSAKA, Nov. 23 KYODO
http://asia.news.yahoo.com/061123/kyodo/d8lipja81.html

Citizen judges on Thursday came out with a mixed verdict on a Briton,
who was indicted for bodily injury resulting in death, at a mock trial in
Osaka.

Paul Lennon, 36-year-old English teacher, stood trial at the mimic
court, sponsored by the Osaka Bar Association, on the assumption that he
kicked a Japanese man because he thought the man had assaulted a woman,
although the man was just caring for his drunken girlfriend. The man died
after falling down on a street and hitting his head.

The mock trial was held prior to the introduction of the citizen judge
system in Japan by 2009, under which professional judges and lay judges
will try such serious crimes as murder, robbery resulting in death,
injuries leading to death and arson, in order to enable the public to
understand the planned system.

It will be the first attempt in Japan to enable ordinary citizens to
be involved in the judicial system.

During the mock trial, the prosecution side said Lennon, a muscled
grade-holder in karate, had kicked the victim, who was much smaller than
himself, without hearing what he had to say in order to chastise him and
that it was an excessive offense to target his face. The prosecutors
demanded a six-year prison term.

The defense lawyers argued that Lennon’s act was self-defense as the
drunken woman said to him ”help me” in English while the victim was
raising his arms in a fighting pose.

They also insisted he had kicked the man in a restrained manner. ”As
a result, the victim did not sustain any injuries to his face. It was
unfortunate the victim died but the defendant is not a criminal,” the
lawyers added.

After hearing the testimonies of the girlfriend and another witness of
the incident, six lay judges — actual ordinary citizens and students who
did not know the contents of the mock trial beforehand — discussed
together with three judges — actual lawyers of the association — about
whether the defendant was guilty.

A citizen judge said, ”I understand the principle of presumed
innocence, but I tend to be attracted to what the prosecutors argued,”
while another lay judge, commenting on the girlfriend’s remarks that the
victim did not raise his arms and the defendant kicked him suddenly, said
it was not trustworthy as she was drunk.

Some citizen judges argued the defendant’s act was excessive as he
should have realized its danger as a karate master, while others said it
was not excessive, based on testimony of the witness that the victim
collapsed dizzily, arguing that he would have fallen fast if the karate
grade-holder had kicked him hard.

While the citizen judges did not reach a consensus, Takashi Maruta, a
professor at Kwansei Gakuin University law school, said after observing the
conference, ”The mock trial showed ordinary citizens can develop
reasonable and persuasive debates.”

Under the citizen judge system, three professional judges plus six lay
judges would decide by a majority vote whether a defendant is guilty or
not, and pass sentence in a guilty verdict. At least one professional judge
and one lay judge must vote on the majority side.

Judicial circles — professional judges, prosecutors and lawyers —
are now holding such mock trials as part of their efforts to make the new
system functional and effective.

A symposium followed the mock trial on Thursday, in which a judge from
Hawaii and two people from Australia and France, who had once served as
jurors, shared their experiences with the audience.

Both Malcolm Knox from Sydney and Francoise de Vaulgrenant from Paris
said they had initially been reluctant to sit in courts as jurors but they
later found it a ”unique” and ”fascinating” experience.

While jurors must have been prejudiced initially, ”we became
impartial” after entering the jury room, said Knox. He said he had doubts
if he could work with others whom he did not know, but that he found it
wonderful to work with various kinds of people and he could foster trust in
other citizens after serving as a juror.

Vaulgrenant shared the view, calling the change in the jurors
”magic,” and told the Japanese audience ”don’t miss it” if selected to
be a citizen judge.

Lay judges in Japan would be chosen at random from lists of eligible
voters in a general election for the House of Representatives, regardless
of their views, faith or abilities.

Sabrina Shizue McKenna, a judge from Hawaii, said 99 percent of jurors
in her court said it was a great experience, although they too had been
hesitant about serving as jurors at first.

Speaking in Japanese, McKenna said, ”Life experiences of ordinary
people are much more important than professional knowledge of judges (in
discussing legal cases).”

Yuji Shiratori, a law professor at Hokkaido University who attended
the symposium, said that while introduction of a lay judge system has a
symbolic meaning of citizen’s participation in the judicial system, it is
also expected to improve overall criminal justice by exposing investigation
and defense processes to the public.

As lay judges will deliberate on serious crimes, which may lead to
capital punishment, Shiratori said, ”It is likely that not a few lay
judges will be hesitant to be involved in giving a death penalty, and the
introduction will be a good opportunity to stir national debate over
capital punishment.”

The lay judge system will be reviewed three years after its
introduction, and Shiratori said he expects the majority verdict to be
revised to a two-thirds or three-quarters decision in the future to ensure
more legitimacy during the review period or even before the 2009
introduction.
==November 23, 2006 21:49:55 Kyodo News
////////////////////////////////////////////////

COMMENT: What odd things make the news… With all the events jockeying for your attention, why so much of this highly-contrived fake court case? And I fail to see how this is any harbinger of the future of Japan’s upcoming jury system. Surely they could have come up with a better issue to put before a jury? Debito

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////
UPDATE NOV 27, 2006:
(from friend MS)

For your information, this would be a rerun of the actual trial of one Steve or Stephen Bellamy, who was indicted for manslaughter in Chiba around 1982 or thereabouts. His appeal went all the way to the Supreme Court.

He never spent any time in prison but had to pay whopping compensation to the dead man’s family. The whole thing was just a sad misunderstanding, the man was not assaulting the woman — she was just drunk and acting in an obnoxious manner, but Steve went galloping to her rescue like a knight in shining armor. I think he eventually moved to Hawaii. Back in the days of 300bps acoustic modems, Bellamy had one of the first computer bulletin boards in Japan, called Kanto Central.

Unfortunately there’s nothing in Google re this case. Anyone else here 25 years or so ago who remembers any details? MS

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

COURTESY OF REPORTER FRIEND MW

Debito,

Google might not have anything but Lexis Nexis does! Sorry for the caps….

Copyright 1984 Kyodo News Service
Japan Economic Newswire
NOVEMBER 22, 1984, THURSDAY
LENGTH: 311 words

DATELINE: TOKYO, NOV 22

BODY:
APPEAL COURT REVERSE TOKYO HIGH COURT FOUND A BRITISH BUSINESS CONSULTANT GUILTY OF ASSAULT RESULTING IN DEATH STEMMING FROM AN ALTERCATION ON A MATSUDO STREET THREE YEARS AGO.

JOHN STEVEN BELLAMY, 34, WAS SENTENCED TO 18 MONTHS IN PRISON, BUT SENTENCE WAS STAYED AND BELLAMY PUT ON THREE YEARS PROBATION DUE TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE INDICENT.

THE CHARGE AROSE AFTER BELLAMY, A THIRD-DAN (LEVEL) KARATE EXPERT, BECAME INVOLVED IN WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS A DOMESTIC QUARREL IN MATSUDO BETWEEN YASUTOSHI HARIMA, THEN 31, AND A DRUNKEN WOMAN.

DURING LOWER COURT TESTIMONY, THE COURT WAS TOLD BELLAMY APPROACHED THE PAIR AND TRIED TO MEDIATE IN THE SITUATION, BUT WHEN HARIMA ASSUMED A BOXING STANCE AND THREATENED TO STRIKE THE BRITON, BELLAMY STRUCK OUT WITH A KARATE KICK WHICH RESULTED IN HARIMA’S DEATH.

HARIMA APPARENTLY STRUCK HIS HEAD ON A CONCRETE CURB AFTER THE KICK AND DIED FROM HEAD INJURIES.

THE CHIBA COURT RULED BELLAMY INNOCENT BECAUSE THE KICK WAS EXECUTED IN SELF DEFENSE, BUT THE TOKYO HIGH COURT SAID THE DIFFERENCE IN SIZE BETWEEN THE TWO MEN, HARIMA WAS 160 CM TALL AND 60 KILOGRAMS WHILE BELLAMY IS 180 CM AND 80 KILOGRAMS, AND THE EXPERT NATURE OF BELLAMY’S ATTACK RENDERED A RULING OF SELF DEFENSE INVALID.

THE HIGH COURT ADDED THAT THE KARATE MOVE WAS OF SUCH A SKILLFUL NATURE THAT AN ORDINARY PERSON COULD NOT BE EXPECTED TO DEFEND HIMSELF FROM IT.

IRONICALLY, THE SITUATION WHICH PROMPTED THE ALTERCATION WAS NOT AS THE BRITON HAD ASSUMED.

HARIMA WAS ACTUALLY TRYING TO COMFORT A FRIEND’S WIFE WHO HAD BECOME DRUNK AND WAS NOT ATTACKING THE WOMAN AS BELLAMY BELIEVED AT THE TIME.

BELLANY, VISIBLY PALE AND SHAKEN BY THE VERDICT, SAID HE HAD DONE “JUSTICE” AT THE TIME AND FELT THE HIGH COURT RULING “CRAZY, JUST CRAZY.”

THE HIGH COURT DECISION WILL BE APPEALLED TO THE SUPREME COURT, BELLAMY’S LAWYER INDICATED.

LOAD-DATE: Load-Date=NOVEMBER 22, 1984
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Hi, Debito:

I’ve been following your postings and articles over the years since we last exchanged mail. Generally (though not always) I’ve been in agreement. Hats off to the wide scope of your concerns and the sheer energy you bring to bear on them.

As for the mock trial in Osaka — you may know it is based on one of the most famous cases in the region involving a defendant named Steve Bellamy. The incident took place about a quarter of a century ago and was widely publicized here. I don’t have the dates or other details locked in my memory and my clippings for that period are not sorted.

The Bellamy case raises the sort of issues that case study textbook writers love. In the US today (possibly even at the time), Bellamy would have won in criminal court then lost in civil court — like Peairs in the Hattori case. The mock trial, like the case it was based on, was not about nationality. The issues are precisely those addressed by the jurors. From a legal education point of view, the Osaka Bar Association knew what it were doing.

For what it’s worth. You have my permission to use what I have written here any way you wish.

Keep up the good fight.

Bill Wetherall
/////////////////////////////////////////////////
ENDS

Update to Kitakyushu Exclusionary Restaurant: Calls from City Int’l Affairs Desk and Bureau of Human Rights

mytest

Hello Blog.  Returning home tomorrow after a long four days on the road, with three days of eight-hour classes on Debate to about 65 students in Nagoya.  Gave a speech today at Japan Women’s University in Tokyo.  Nice crowd.  Writing you from an internet cafe in Shinjuku.

Updating the Kitakyushu exclusionary restaurant issue a few weekends ago (see http://www.debito.org/?p=69), I got a call this afternoon from the Kitakyushu City International Affairs Desk (kokusai kouryuu bu), who got the letter I sent to the tourism desk. 

They said that they called the restaurant in question and got an assurance from the manager that this sort of thing will not happen again.  Very good.  Thanks.  Glad they’re responding both to the problem and to the letter.

Bests, Debito in Shinjuku

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

UPDATE NOV 19 AND 27 2006

The Bureau of Human Rights at the Kitakyushu Ministry of Justice (093-561-3542) also phoned me to get details on exactly who was refused and to clarify details. I told them the exact name on Nov 27 after receiving permission from the victim. So there you go. All we need now is a letter from the Mayor’s office and we’ve got a hat trick. Debito in Sapporo

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

UPDATE DEC 11 2006

(Just sent this to the person who got refused at the restaurant.–Debito)

I just got a call from the Fukuoka Houmukyoku Jinken Yougobu Kitakyushu Shikyoku (Fukuoka Ministry of Justice Kitakyushu Division of the Bureau of Human Rights, and talked to a Mr Uehara.

He says he wants to talk to you directly about what happened. I told him I didn’t know your language level etc. or exactly where you live. But his contact details are 093-561-3542. Call him if you like and he will call you back.

In the course of our conversation, it became clear that he hadn’t talked to the restaurant yet, more than a month after this whole thing happened. He wanted to get our story straight before he approached them. I told them that I was too initially refused, so whether or not you talked to the Bureau directly should be irrelevant. He’s talking to me, and I was refused too, so talk to the restaurant to confirm our story already, it’s been a month. He said that he wanted to talk to you first too. This went on for about twenty minutes or so, so I at least said I would pass this information on to you. Here you go.

I hate dealing with bureaucrats who have no stomach for their job. They say they need to hear both sides. But then they say they won’t hear the other side until they are satisfied that they heard all of one side. I said I should suffice as one side, in any case. They disagree. So there you go. Please let me know whether or not you are amenable to talking to these bureaucrats?

Don’t worry–they’ll hold your name and information in confidence. Trust me–the BOHR has even refused to let me see my own file for a separate case cos they argued that I would violate my own privacy…

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

Absolutely useless organization, this. Debito

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

UPDATE DEC 22, 2006

I got yet another call from the Fukuoka BOHR this afternoon–yes, Mr Uehara again!

He says that he wants to talk to my contact, and wouldn’t I please contact him again? I said I would. And asked him to contact the goddamn restaurant. He won’t until he gets all the information from my contact. And if my contact doesn’t contact him by January 10? Then he’ll listen to my side of the story as evidence.

Soon be two months and counting. I’ll say it again–the BOHR is absolutely useless. Debito

JALT PALE Roundtable of Nov 3 06 Report re Japan’s future academic work

mytest

SUMMARY OF PALE ROUNDTABLE
PROFESSIONALISM, ADMINISTRATION, AND LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION (PALE) Special Interest Group
JAPAN ASSOCIATION FOR LANGUAGE TEACHING (JALT)
Friday, November 3, 2006, 1:15-2:50 PM, Room 21A, Kitakyushu International Hall
Full details on both organizations respectively at
http://www.debito.org/PALE and http://www.jalt.org
By PALE Members, collated by Arudou Debito

Continuing the Roundtable forum that packed the hall at JALT 2005, five PALE members paneled a meeting to discuss a variety of issues relevant to the conference’s theme of “Community, Identity, and Motivation”. All presentations touched in some way upon employment issues, including issues of job security, union representation, the relationship of nationality to job description and employment terms, and the growing role of dispatch teaching arrangements in Japanese universities. They dealt explicitly or implicitly with the proper roles and responsibilities of PALE and JALT in managing these issues.

PALE Program Chair JONATHAN B. BRITTEN (jbritten@cc.nakamura-u.ac.jp) moderated. He introduced the goals and current projects of PALE, and spoke briefly on the growing role of PALE as the primary means for JALT members to obtain advice and assistance with employment problems and other labor-related issues.

——————————

MICHAEL “RUBE” REDFIELD (rube39@mac.com) developed a history of the “academic ideas” behind the use of dispatch teachers, i.e., the idea that Japanese linguists teach the language, and non Japanese basically function as native-speaking “informants”. This shift away from content-based teaching for “native speakers” is an unwelcome trend. He surveyed the ‘foreign experts’ use in Meiji, went thru Harold Palmer and the Coleman Report (20’s), AS Hornsby and Structural Linguistics (30’s), Fries, Lado and the Ford Foundation (50’s) in bringing us up to the present. He showed how historically Japan has welcomed foreign ideas (when deemed relevant) but not foreign people. He finished up with a discussion on how the past has influenced the present, and then compared foreign academics to lab animals; when they have been sufficiently abused or have mastered the maze, it is time to bring in a “fresh specimen”.

——————————

PATRICK O’BRIEN (pobrien@hawaii.edu) echoed this with his case of academic substitution, where non-Japanese are being taken out of content courses. Despite having a PhD in American Studies, he has been deprived of any classes in his workplace (Hokkai Gakuen University) dealing with his field, and confined to teaching ESL only thanks to his “native speaker” status. His classes have instead been to Japanese instructors. The statistics bear this out: According to the Japan Association for American Studies, 98.5% of positions devoted to teaching US culture are taught by Japanese. When Pat brought this situation up with the American Studies Association, they showed a remarkable incuriousness.

Pat also had a situation where elements within his school launched a campaign to get him fired. Trumped-up sexual harassment charges against him, which even made the local newspapers, fortunately came to naught, but the question lingers: When communication breaks down within the department or university, to whom might the individual educator turn? Is a Japanese union the best choice? Is a professional association such as JALT tasked to represent members in such disputes? To what extent is pressure from outside Japan (gaiatsu) a realistic option? (The American Studies Association, for example refused to help.) What worked for Pat was standing his ground, getting a lawyer involved to negotiate on his behalf, and ultimately, joining a Japanese labor union.

Pat further summarized his speech as follows:
========================================================
As a foreign instructor in Japan, I’ve lately felt part of the PALE community, which now, I feel, includes Dr. Ivan Hall. Hall’s “Cartels” and “Bamboozled” provide the intellectual framework for our efforts on employment in higher education here. Due to the lack of interest in the academic credentials of Westerners, Japan ends up employing only a low number of content instructors, giving such classes to Japanese professors. Unfortunately, the identity politics so prevalent in today’s academic circles in America makes it difficult for me to appeal to them for support (the white male still being seen as a colonizer and hegemonist). Two additional challenges facing us here in Japan are 1) Brian McVeigh may be right that “daigaku” is not the equivalent of “university” and 2) thus far the Ministry of Education (Monkashou) has been absent from any discussions on foreign content instructors. Though PALE is part of JALT, foreign content teachers can turn to PALE for support.
========================================================
——————————

EVAN HEIMLICH, a Specially Appointed Foreign Associate Professor of Cross-Cultural Studies, was brought to Japan from the US by Kobe University in 1997, but whom–with its entire contingent of five foreign professors–the Faculty of Cross-Cultural Studies is now purging. He requested JALT support teachers, especially foreign language teachers, by defending their professional interests against such systemic abuses, which are becoming much too common.

Japan’s cultural nationalism, Heimlich argued, is unacceptedly disciplining Japan’s language teachers, whose professional interests have almost no collective defense politically, legally, diplomatically, nor even from the labor movement. While politically teachers in Japan no longer have a very powerful voice, foreign teachers, if noncitizens, do not have any political representation at all; and most faculty councils ban them. The embassies, Heimlich added, hardly regard teachers as a significant constituency. Legally, Heimlich claimed, many foreign teachers cannot retain legal representation either–partly because employers label about ninety percent of them as “temporary workers,” exploiting manifold loopholes to evade legal protections on language teachers’ employment.

Trade unions–the main shield of employment–Heimlich said must be joined and strengthened. Yet he argued that teachers’ professional interest as ‘intellectual workers’ tends to make a poor fit with the goals of the labor unions. Labor unions focus on retaining employment for all members, rather than on the tourniquets banning the promotion of foreigners from “special” or “ALT” status to the same status as their Japanese colleagues.

Meanwhile professional associations command some respect in Japan–and some, notably the dentists’ association, have dramatically advanced members’ professional interests—so Heimlich concluded that JALT can help protect its members against the worst, systemic abuses against language teachers. He identified these as follows: the revolving-door policies of employment; the tourniquet-policies blocking foreign language teachers from joining the main body of the teaching profession; and the periodic, categorical purges safeguarding professional segregation.

In answers to questions from the floor, Heimlich mentioned legal action against the national government, such as a civil lawsuit which Arudou Debito is organizing (http://www.debito.org/kunibengodan.html) to raise awareness; and international lobbying both through other professional associations, as well as through the ILO and the United Nations, which Stephanie Houghton and others have been researching. Finally, Heimlich pointed to a website, http://faqracismjapan.blogspot.com, an FAQ on criticism of Japan’s institutional racism.

——————————

Finally, IVAN P. HALL, invited guest speaker for PALE this year, and author of the influential book CARTELS OF THE MIND, rounded out the roundtable with concluding comments. He mentioned “the sixth cartel”, referring to the five “intellectual cartels” shutting out foreign ideas from the Japanese polity, particularly in the fields of journalism, academia, and law. The sixth cartel he called the “enfranchisement of the overseas cocktail circuit”, where embedded academics and policymakers overseas, often chairing institutions with Japan-sourced grants, themselves turn a blind eye to the problems on the ground over here, and with the help of US-Japan cultural-bridge associations (which Dr. Hall is a veteran of), do a very good job at keeping the US out of understanding Japan.

Dr Hall also gave a two-hour speech later on in the day on the issues he calls “Academic Apartheid” in Japan’s academia. We hope to make a transcript of that speech public in the near future.

SUMMARY OF NOV 3 JALT PALE ROUNDTABLE ENDS

Quick Update to Kitakyushu Exclusionary Restaurant Issue

mytest

Hello Blog. Just got word today (Nov 17) from the Kitakyushu Branch of the MOJ’s Bureau of Human Rights (Jinken Yougobu) by phone today, re the “No foreigners allowed inside because they make the manager feel linguistically inadequate” Restaurant “Jungle”, in response to my Nov 9 letter to them. (http://www.debito.org/?p=69).

They are looking into it, they say. Is all for now. More when I know more. Glad they at least contacted me. Doesn’t always happen, trust me. Bests, Debito in Nagoya

Potential Yarase on TV’s Tokudane next Weds Nov 22 re “Comedy About Japan” (with update)

mytest

Hello Blog. What follows is a post forwarded with the permission of the author from The Community, and Life In Japan mailing lists. About potential “yarase” (i.e. staging a story for journalistic sensationalism) in one of my favorite Japanese TV shows, “Tokudane”, on for two hours from 8AM every weekday. Read on. Comment from me follows:

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

From: martin@autotelic.com
Subject: [Community] Potentially annoying piece about comedy on Tokudane Wide
Date: November 15, 2006 12:16:53 PM JST

Community, Lifers In Japan,

As some already know, I organize and perform at some comedy shows around Tokyo with a group called “The Tokyo Comedy Store”. Last night our group did one of our regular stand up comedy shows at The Fiddler in Takadanobaba.

A film crew from Fuji TV came down to film us for a segment on the show “Tokudane Wide”. It will air at about 9:15 AM on Wednesday, November 22.

The reason they wanted to film us was because some Japanese researcher type person (didn’t catch the name), has written a book called “Sekai No Nihonjin Joke Syuu” (世界の日本人ジョーク集, “A collection of the world’s jokes about Japanese”). So for at least part of their segment, they wanted to see foreigners doing comedy on or about Japan, and talk
to us about what we find funny about Japanese culture and so on.

Up to that point, it’s no big deal. But, where it gets possibly annoying is where they clearly had an agenda for the piece. No surprise there, of course, as I’ve learned reporters always create their news as much as find it.

They specifically asked of our comedians before the show if we could bring our pieces that “made fun of Japan”. Afterwards, they came up and asked us if we could think up some new jokes about Japan. We were confused about why the entire hour and twenty minutes of material about Japan we had just done on stage was not enough for them to work with. But it became apparent that there were two reasons for this:

1. The woman they had on hand who was there to translate our jokes into Japanese was mediocre at best, and clearly did not understand most, if any, of the jokes. I mean, she probably understood the literal meanings, but not the humour. So they are probably unsure if anything we said matches the criteria of what they are looking for.

2. They wanted us to have jokes about things that Japanese people care about, like crimes against otaku in Akihabara, or about “Neets”, and other items of current interest within Japan. We tried to explain that what might be of interest for Japanese people within Japan is not necessarily of interest for foreigners observing Japan from their perspective. But that point may have been lost.

So instead of discovering what it is that we talk about when we do comedy about Japan, they were fishing for certain kinds of aspects.

What was really annoying was that they asked us to sit at a table after the show and do a bit of a jam session to come up with some jokes about Japan, and film the creative process. (Most stand ups don’t work collaboratively, but whatever). They kept asking us things like “well, what first surprised you when you first arrived?”, “What happens here that doesn’t happen anywhere else”, “What is difficult about living in Japan for a foreigner?”. You know, all the same tired old topics which are A) not funny at all after you’ve lived here any amount of time, and aren’t a wide eyed babe in the woods anymore, and B) all based on the premise that Japan is a super special unique place that is so totally different from anything anywhere else. Yes, it is different. Just as every place is different. So what?

Sorry, I’m starting to rant a bit. The point I fear most that will get perpetuated is this whole concept of “Japanese vs Western” humour, which I think is crap, and within that the idea that any joke about Japan is a criticism about all of Japan. There was a little talk about how “Western” humour is more cynical and relies on making fun of someone, and “Japanese” humour is always just childish silliness. Ugh.

One of our comedians does a few jokes about a magazine called “Ramen” magazine. And the whole bit is about how he can’t believe that there’s a whole magazine devoted to ramen. Back in his home country, it would be understood that he’s making fun of the readers and makers of such a magazine. But here it gets automatically interpreted as being a criticism of Japanese culture in general, as if “the Japanese” are crazy for having such a magazine.

Bottom line, I fear this segment is going to parade around some tired out old stereotypes about how foreigners find Japan so weird and unique, and we make fun of it, and Japanese and western humour don’t overlap, and at the end of the day “our” humour is basically kind of mean. Or hopefully not. We’ll see next Wednesday.

Oh, and last thing… maybe the most annoying thing was that after the show, they found two audience members who said everything the producer wanted to hear. I almost wanted to strangle them.

Dave M G

==============================
COMMENT FROM ARUDOU DEBITO

Fascinating post, Dave. Thanks for it. Comment:

On Nov 15, 2006, at 12:16 PM, Dave M G wrote:
> So instead of discovering what it is that we talk about when we do
> comedy about Japan, they were fishing for certain kinds of aspects.

Welcome to my world. Whenever I’ve dealt with reporters, especially those in TV, there has always been an angle, a preconception they were assigned to present before they even showed up–because the story had to be sold on a certain “peg” for it to be hung on for audience interest anyway. “Discovery” is very rare (unless you’re talking about those car crash and funny home video thingies) in essay media like what you see on Tokudane, unless you have the time to develop it like a real essay (in documentary format). These people are in a hurry to write an essay the show wants to show, not depict what actually goes on with any subtlety as a documentary.

Dave again:
> Oh, and last thing… maybe the most annoying thing was that after the
> show, they found two audience members who said everything the producer
> wanted to hear. I almost wanted to strangle them.

Yes, and that is a primary weakness in image control that people had better learn about fast if they’re being portrayed thusly. People who live under the magnifying glass constantly (as most non-Japanese do when they come and live in Japan) should know better. But few seem to learn (and like even less being advised about it), even when it clearly works to their disadvantage. I’ve found that very few people overseas have much awareness (aside from celebrities, diplomats, and those “trained” *specifically* in image self-control) about how they’re coming off in public, especially when asked pointed questions with a smile and no sarcasm.

You do that with people here, however, and voila, people wonder why you’re asking that, and look around carefully and measure how what they’re saying is being taken by the people around them. Image control here is pretty much second-nature. You’re not going to get nearly the same candor from an audience in this society. Especially if you’re talking in front of a television camera, for pete’s sake!

That phenomenon is going to give Tokudane plenty to work with, I bet, to fulfill every single fear you’re raising here. Or hopefully not, as you say. We’ll see next Wednesday.

I’ve given Dave Spector a heads-up about this, as Weds is his day on Tokudane. Maybe he can ground and temper the yarase. Debito in Sapporo

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

Debito,

>Dave, how did the Tokudane show turn out last Weds, re your Comedy
>Story portrayal of Japan in as humor and potential “yarase”?

Happily, it turned out not so bad. Basically harmless.

Actually, you can see it for yourself on YouTube. My friend Kevin, who
does a regular video blog thing, put it into one of his entries. He
chatters (a bit aimlessly) about it for a minute, and then you can see
the clip from the show:

For all my whining about the impression I got from when they filmed it,
I think it turned out to be kind of a non-issue. Dave M G
=============================
ends

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOV 15 2006

mytest

Hello All. Time for another
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER, NOVEMBER 15, 2006

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1) TBS INTERVIEW RE 2-CHANNEL BBS, THIS THURSDAY LUNCHTIME
2) NOOSE TIGHTENS: ZAKZAK AND MUTANTFROG ON NISHIMURA & WASEDA SPEECH
3) ASAHI: NORIGUCHI PONTIFICATING ON LANGUAGE TEACHING AGAIN
4) LETTER TO KITAKYUSHU AUTHORITIES RE EXCLUSIONARY RESTAURANT
5) EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF JAPANESE PRISON VISIT
6) FOREIGN MARRIAGES NOT ALLOWED FOR POLICE AND JSDF?
and finally
7) CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN TO HOKKAIDO NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS!
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

freely forwardable
blogged in real time at http://www.debito.org/index.php

1) TBS INTERVIEW ON 2-CHANNEL BBS THIS THURSDAY LUNCHTIME

I had an interview yesterday morning with one of Japan’s major networks, TBS (the network which brought you “Koko Ga Hen Da Yo Nihonjin”, and still brings sunlight and subliminal musical jokes to Sunday mornings with “Sunday Japon”).

It’ll be a brief segment on the 2-Channel libel lawsuit, with me speaking as one of the many victorious plaintiffs which BBS administrator Nishimura Hiroyuki refuses to pay, despite court rulings.

The attention this issue is getting in recent weeks is very welcome. The more the better, as it may prod the creation of some legislation. Japan should at least strengthen “contempt of court” punishments for court delinquents, making evasions of this type a criminal offense prosecutable by police.

As it stands right now, a thwarted Plaintiff in Japan has to chase down the Defendant for payment, at his or her own time and expense.

As I found out two weekends ago, you can’t even “serve papers” to a Defendant (notifying him of his legal obligations and eliminating plausible deniability) yourself, say, in a pizza box or at a public event. I refer to Nishimura’s blythe speech at Waseda (more on that in the next section), where my lawyer said I could approach the podium with papers, but it would be a publicity stunt, not a legally-binding action. “Serving” must go via the court through registered post; and all the deadbeat has to do is not retreive his mail!

But I digress. The show will be broadcast as follows:
=============================
SEGMENT ON BBS 2-CHANNEL, TBS show “PINPON”
http://www.tbs.co.jp/program/pinpon.html
Thursday, November 16, 2006 (as in tomorrow)
I’m told sometime between 12 noon and 1PM.
However, the show starts at 11AM, so set your VCRS.
TV network: TBS (HBC in Hokkaido)
=============================

Final thought: Quite honestly, I find appearing on TV terrifying. It’s like dancing (which I can’t do either–I think too much to have any rhythm). It takes all my brainpower just to manage my thoughts digestably, and then worrying about how to manage my face and eyes and all overloads the system… Anyway, tune in and see how I did.

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

2) THE NOOSE TIGHTENS:
ZAKZAK AND MUTANTFROG ON NISHIMURA & WASEDA SPEECH

Scandal paper Yuukan Fuji (and its online feed ZAKZAK) has been doing a series on Nishimura and 2-Channel, mentioning my case by name as well (which is what occasioned TBS coming up north to talk to me yesterday).

You can see two of the articles from last week translated into English by Adamu at Mutant Frog (thanks!) at
http://www.mutantfrog.com/2006/11/08/dont-mess-with-2ch-zakzak-sankei-sports-report/
The rupo on the Waseda speech deserves excerpting:

———————- EXCERPT BEGINS ——————————–
The focus was, as could be expected, the issue of Nishimura’s litigation-related disappearance. Last month, in a suit brought by a female professional golfer (age 24) alleging she was slandered and harmed by the bulletin board seeking deletion of the posts and damages etc, Nishimura was ordered to delete the posts and pay 1 million yen in compensation. However, he ignored the call from the court to appear in this case, and never showed up in court even once.

As to the reasons for that, Nishimura admitted, “Actually, there are similar cases going on from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south.” He bluntly explained, “Well, lawyer fees would cost more than 1 million yen. Hey, I’ll go if I get bored.”

He explained that “I deleted the problem section (from the site),” but added his horrifying assertion that “there is no law to make me pay compensation by force, so it doesn’t matter if I win or lose in court. It’s the same thing if I don’t pay (the compensation).” When asked about his annual income, he boasted “a little more than Japan’s population (127 million).” So he’s not having money issues.

In response to Nishimura’s assertion that “there is no law forcing me to pay compensation,” Nippon University professor of criminal law Hiroshi Itakura points out, “a court’s compulsory enforcement (kyousei shikkou) can be used to ‘collect’ compensation.” He says that running from compensation is impossible. Also, if someone hides assets etc. for the purposes of avoiding compulsory execution, then “that would constitute the crime of obstructing compulsory execution,” (kyousei shikkou bougai zai). Itabashi wonders, “It is strange that the courts that ordered the compensation have not implemented compulsory enforcement. It’s not like Nishimura doesn’t have any assets.”
———————- EXCERPT ENDS ———————————–

Originals in Japanese at

2ちゃんねるの西村ひろゆき:早稲田にて「強制的に(賠償金を)払わせる法律がない」(追加:ZAKZAK 記事)


Two more ZAKZAK articles in Japanese which came out this week at

TBSテレビ番組「ピンポン」で2ちゃんねるについてインタビュー(木16放送)及びZAKZAK記事連載


(Adamu, feel free to translate again, thanks!)

And an article photocopied (literally) and sent from Dave Spector while shinkansenning (thanks!), from Tokyo Sports, Nov 9, 2006. Headline notes how the police are starting to get involved:
http://www.debito.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/tokyosports110906.jpg

I wonder how long Nishimura thinks he’s going to be able to get away with this…

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

3) ASAHI: NORIGUCHI PONTIFICATING ON LANGUAGE TEACHING AGAIN

Professor Noriguchi at Kitakyushu University is becoming a regular pundit on English language education in Japan.

After saying not two months ago in the Asahi Shinbun’s prestigious “Watashi No Shiten” column, that one problem with non-Japanese teachers is that they stay in Japan too long (http://www.debito.org/?p=34), he’s back again with a response to his critics (or, as he puts it, his supporters).

Article is archived at

Kitakyudai’s Noriguchi again in Asahi on English teaching (Nov 4, 2006, with updates)

Let me rewrite a few of Noriguchi’s points and weave in comment and interpretation. He essentially asserts this time that:

So much energy devoted to the study of English (as opposed to other languages) is not only unneighborly, it is a reflection of a Japanese inferiority complex towards the West.

One consequence of this much focus on English is a lot of swindling and deception of the Japanese consumer, with bogus advertising about the merits and the effects of English language education.

In any case, English is hardly necessary for life in Japan, so why require it on entrance exams? Especially after all the trauma that Japanese go through learning it.

This is no mystery. Japanese have a natural barrier to learning English, given the “Japanese mentality”, the characteristics of the language, and the homogeneity of the country.

More so than other Asian countries, he mysteriously asserts. (Koreans, for example? And won’t the same barriers apply to other Asian languages if the Japanese are indeed so unique?)

Meanwhile, let’s keep the door revolving on foreign English-language educators by hiring retired teachers from overseas, who not only will bring in more expertise and maturity, but also by design (and by natural longevity) will not stay as long in Japan and have as much of an effect.

(NB: The last point is not his, but it’s symptomatic of Noriguchi’s throwing out of ideas which are not all that well thought through in practice. After all, nowhere in his essay does he retract his previous assertion that part of the problem is foreign teachers staying here too long.)

As before, Professor Noriguchi is reachable at
snori@kitakyu-u.ac.jp
He says that far more people support his views than not, so if you want to show him differently, write him.

Meanwhile, those two Watashi No Shiten articles seem to be having an effect on domestic debate. As a friend of mine (who is in academic admin) said earlier today on a different mailing list:

============== BEGINS ====================
[Noriguchi’s] articles are not merely “problematic”–they are DEVASTATING to the cause of foreigners here. I’ve had to discuss his crackpot ideas (given a kind of pseudo authority because they appeared in the Asahi and because the author is Japanese) on two occasions over just the LAST WEEK–once with a university president, and once with the head of this city’s board of education. Both see in these articles justifications for firing experienced foreign faculty and bringing in cheaper newbies. After all, as Noriguchi … [has] made clear, we are only language “polishers” and “cultural ambassadors,” not teachers.

Some unintentional humor from [The Ministry of Education]. On my desk right now is a document [entitled Gaikokujin Chomei Kenkyuusha Shouhei Jigyou].

The plan as described: Bring in NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS to accelerate (and elevate) the pacing and quality of academic research here. The catch? These stars will be on contracts capped on principle at 1-3 years!

Wouldn’t want these “cultural ambassadors” to become stale….
============== ENDS =====================

Concluding thoughts: There is a large confluence of events in recent weeks which makes me wonder whether the Ministry of Education is gearing up for another cleanout of foreign faculty in Japanese universities (as happened between 1992 and 1994, see Hall, CARTELS OF THE MIND). I’ll develop that theory a bit more if you want in my next newsletter.

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

4) LETTER TO KITAKYUSHU AUTHORITIES RE EXCLUSIONARY RESTAURANT

I mentioned last newsletter about an addition to the Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Enterprises: An exclusionary restaurant, discovered in Kitakyushu on November 3, had an owner so fearful of foreign languages that he turned people away that maychance speak them.
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Kokura
If he can’t greet customers because of his own complexes, perhaps he’s in the wrong line of work?

Well, I sent a letter on this dated November 9, in English and Japanese, to the Kitakyushu Mayor’s Office, the City Bureau of Tourism, the local Bureau of Human Rights, the local Nishi Nihon Shinbun newspaper, all my Japanese mailing lists, and JALT Central. Text available at

Letter to Kitakyushu authorities re exclusionary restaurant, Nov 9 06

No responses as of yet. Few things like these are taken care of overnight. Wait and see.

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

5) EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF JAPANESE PRISON VISIT

One of the advantages of doing what I do is that I get very interesting emails from friends. The other day, I got a report from a friend who paid a visit to a Japanese prison, to offer moral support to someone incarcerated. I don’t really know much about what the incarcerated has done to justify his imprisonment, but that’s not the point of the story. Interesting are the bureaucratic tribulations he (the author, not the prisoner) had to go through just to get a short audience (limited to 15 minutes), worth recording somewhere for the record. In the end, I couldn’t help thinking: Is all this rigmarole necessary? What purpose could it possibly serve?

Read the report at

Eyewitness account of a visit to a Japanese prison (with comment)

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

6) FOREIGN MARRIAGES NOT ALLOWED FOR POLICE AND JSDF?

A friend notified me of a blog entry (not exactly the most trustworthy source, I know) about German woman who wants to marry a Japanese man. The problem is, he’s a policeman, and apparently he was told by his bosses that Japanese police who want a future in the NPA cannot marry foreigners. There’s a security issue involved, it would seem.

Hm. Might be a hoax, but had the feeling it warranted further investigation. After I reported this to The Community mailing list (http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity), I got a couple of responses, one saying that international marriage is in fact not forbidden by the NPA (and this supervisor bullying should be reported to internal affairs).

But the other response said that somebody married to a former member of the Japanese Self Defense Forces also had to quit his job because of it. He was involved in a “sensitive” area, apparently.

Hm again. I know that certain jobs (such as Shinto Priests) are not open to foreigners, due to one of those “Yamato Race” thingies. (Buddhism, however, seems to be open, as I know of one German gentleman on my lists who has an administrative post within a major Japanese sect.)

But imagine the number of people in, for example, “sensitive” jobs in the US State Department who would have to make a choice between their job and a foreign spouse?

I’m blogging this issue for the time being at

Blog entry: J police cannot marry non-Japanese? (with update)


with comments and pings open for a change.

Any information? Let us know. Thanks.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

and finally:

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

7) CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN HOKKAIDO NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS!

For those of you under still under rocks: Our home team is unstoppable!

The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, after reaching the top in Japan last month, on Sunday won the Asian Series, 1-0, vs Taiwan.

This makes them the best team in Asia this year. Our first baseman Ogawawara was just made MVP for the Pacific League, too! (Pity it looks as though we’re going to lose him to the rich but insufferably arrogant Tokyo Giants…)

Now if only we’d create a REAL world series, so the North Americans can’t lay claim to the title of “World Champion” every year!

Some articles of interest:
On Hillman and Fighers’ team spirit
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/sp20061114se.html
On Ogasawara
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/sb20061114j1.html
Wrapping up the season
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/sp20061114el.html
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

As always, thanks for reading!
Arudou Debito
Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
November 15, 2006
NEWSLETTER ENDS

Interview Thurs on Thurs Nov 18 lunchtime on TBS show “Pinpon”, re 2-Channel (with updates)

mytest

Hello Blog. I had an interview this morning with one of Japan’s major networks, TBS (the network which brought you “Koko Ga Hen Da Yo Nihonjin”, and still brings sunlight and subliminal musical jokes to Sunday mornings with “Sunday Japon”).

It’ll be a brief segment on the 2-Channel libel lawsuit, speaking as one of the many victorious plaintiffs which BBS administrator Nishimura Hiroyuki refuses to pay despite court rulings.

Great. Thanks. The more attention this issue gets, the better, as it may prod the creation of some legislation.

Japan should at least strengthen “contempt of court” punishments for delinquents, making evasions of this type a criminal offense. As it stands right now, a thwarted Plaintiff in Japan has to chase down the Defendant for payment, at his or her own time and expense. You can’t even serve papers to the guy in a pizza box or a public event (such as Nishimura’s recent blythe speech at Waseda, see http://www.mutantfrog.com/2006/11/08/dont-mess-with-2ch-zakzak-sankei-sports-report/). “Serving” has to go through the court through registered post, and all the deadbeat has to do is not retreive his mail!

But I digress. The show will be broadcast as follows:

=============================
SEGMENT ON THE TIGHTENING DRAGNET AROUND BBS 2-CHANNEL
Thursday, November 16, 2006. I’m told sometime between 12 noon and 1PM.
However, the show starts at 11AM, so set your VCRS.
TV network: TBS (HBC in Hokkaido)
=============================
http://www.tbs.co.jp/program/pinpon.html
http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html

Quite honestly, I find appearing on TV terrifying–it’s like dancing (which I can’t do either–I think too much to have any rhythm). It takes all my brainpower just to manage my thoughts digestibly, and having to manage my face and eyes and all overloads the system… Anyway, let’s see how I did.

Meanwhile, here is a link to some blogged ZAKZAK articles, appearing as a series this week and last. At the bottom is a photocopied (literally) article courtesy Dave Spector, reading on the shinkansen. Thanks Dave!

TBSテレビ番組「ピンポン」で2ちゃんねるについてインタビュー(木16放送)及びZAKZAK記事連載

If Adamu at Mutantfrog wants to translate these too, most welcome! Too busy at the moment to get to it myself.
http://www.mutantfrog.com

Debito in Sapporo

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

UPDATES

Rats, got bumped by Fujiwara Norika on TBS
Posted by debito on November 16th, 2006

Hi Blog. The story on 2-Channel got bumped off TBS’s PINPON today. Rats. Supermodel Fujiwara Norika’s apparent marriage was the bigger story, then a huge advertisement for Clint Eastwood’s movie IWO JIMA filled the rest of the lunch hour.

Ah well, that’s probably the closest I’ll ever come to being bumped by Norika (smile).

The reporter on the story says she’s interviewing other people connected with the 2-Channel issue, and will let me know later if and when they’ll broadcast. I’ll pass the information on when I have it. Thanks for watching. Debito, on his way to Nagoya.

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

Update on TBS segment on 2-Channel: Probably cancelled
Posted by debito on November 25th, 2006

Hi Blog. Nearly two weeks ago, I wrote you to say that TBS would be featuring a segment on their weekday lunchtime program “PINPON” regarding the 2-Channel lawsuits (http://www.debito.org/?p=75). They interviewed me for a broadcast which got bumped last Friday by news on Fujiwara Norika.

Now it’s been a week. Just called the interviewer. She says that the network wants a response from 2-Channel’s Administrator Defendant Nishimura Hiroyuki before airing. They’re still waiting for a response, unsurprisingly.

Ah well, that’s it then. Nishimura communicates with the press only by blog, as a recent story in AERA (http://www.debito.org/?p=48) indicates. He’s not going to make a TV appearance on this. Meanwhile, the story cools, by design.

So might as well assume the TV spot is cancelled. Sigh. Debito
======================================
ENDS

TBSテレビ番組「ピンポン」で2ちゃんねるについてインタビュー(木16放送)及びZAKZAK記事連載

mytest

ブログの読者おばんでございます。
 今朝、テレビ局TBSは私を2ちゃんねるについてインタビューしました。原告として名誉毀損訴訟を勝訴したのに管理者西村ひろゆき氏は賠償金の未納の件について、私の立場を聞きました。
 正直って、テレビが非常にこわいものですが、どうなったのかを見てみましょう。
 番組「ピンポン」11月16日(木)番組表によると、午前11時スタートですが、今朝会ったスタフによると12時と12時50分の間に放送されるだろうと。
 どうぞご視聴下さい。 
http://www.tbs.co.jp/program/pinpon.html
http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html
========================
ちなみに、ZAKZAKは2ちゃんねるを連載してます。ありがとうございました。ブロクにも載せさせていただきます。宜しくお願い致します。
=========================
【追跡】(5)ひろゆき見たさに大行列
爆破予告に会場ピリピリ
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/2006_11/t2006111328.html
 ≪警告 メディア創研accessの諸君 11月4日(土)15号館302教室のイベントで2チャンネル管理人不法行為責任「西村博之」を呼んだら会場を爆破する! 脅しではない!≫
 早稲田大の学生サークルのホームページにある掲示板に先月29日、「民族派 右翼」を名乗る脅迫が書き込まれた。
 同サークルが学園祭で匿名掲示板「2ちゃんねる(2Ch)」管理人の西村博之氏(29)を招き、講演会を行うと発表後、同サークルの掲示板には脅迫以外にも西村氏を招くことへの批判が寄せられ、掲示板は閉鎖。サークル幹部の携帯電話にも直接抗議が来た。
 このところ西村氏は頻発する訴訟を無視して雲隠れ中。約4カ月ぶりに公の場に現れるとあって、「裁判所の関係者や被害者が押し寄せる」などの憶測が流れた。「本当に来るのか?」「爆破予告を言い訳にドタキャンするのでは」といった疑問の声も出ていた。
 講演会当日の4日、開演の2時間前には行列ができ始め、一番乗りの男子学生(20)は、「しばらく姿を見せていないと聞いたので、本当に来るのか楽しみ」と笑顔。
 主催サークルのスタッフは盛況の中でもピリピリムード。事前に取材申請していたマスコミに対して「撮影は一切禁止。スタッフへの取材不可」と土壇場で通達し、全入場者に手荷物検査。「当サークルは2Chを擁護しているわけではない」とアナウンスする厳戒態勢の学生スタッフと対照的に、会場には日ごろ2Chを利用する、物見遊山の学生の姿が目立った。
 「単純にひろゆき(=西村氏)に会いたかった。訴訟では彼の姿勢に共感する。ネット社会に即した法律が整備されていないほうが問題」(19歳男子学生)
 「ひろゆきを訴えても仕方ない。掲示板の管理人に責任を集約するのではなく、書き込み人を特定するシステムをつくってしまえばよいのではないか」(19歳女子学生)
 「掲示板をあれほど大きくしすぎたことの管理責任はある。賠償責任を負う必要はないが、書き込み人のIP公開には応じてもいいような気がする」(22歳男子学生)
 一方、「これまでひろゆきの講演会には3回参加している」という自動車メーカー広報の男性(56)は、「個人的に付き合いのある人物が、早大のスーパーフリー事件の関係者として個人情報をさらされた。直接犯罪に加担したわけではないのに、彼は社会的信用を失い、人生の歯車を完全に狂わせた」と明かす。
 この男性は「匿名性を第一義とする理念には共感するし、匿名性が守られた自由な言論空間は理想だが、かたくなに匿名にこだわる姿勢にも限界を感じる。個々のトラブルに対応できる運営体制の構築が必要」と話す。
 開場時間には約750人の長蛇の列ができ、結局100人余が入場できなかった。場内にいまだ「本当に来るの?」と半信半疑の囁きが聞かれる中、場内が暗転。映画「2001年宇宙の旅」でもおなじみの名曲「ツァラトゥストラはかく語りき」が仰々しく鳴り渡り、グレーの長袖シャツにカーゴパンツ姿の西村氏が登場した。(2Ch取材班)
ZAKZAK 2006/11/13
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/2006_11/t2006111328.html

====================
【追跡】(6)ひろゆき「賠償金ほしけりゃ法律つくれ」
年収は1億円超
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/2006_11/t2006111426.html
 「裁判には、まぁ、ヒマだったら行く」
 「(裁判に)勝とうが負けようが、(賠償金を)払わなければ一緒」
 匿名掲示板「2ちゃんねる(2Ch)」は悪質な書き込みで訴訟が絶えないため、管理人の西村博之氏(29)は面倒ごとを避けて失踪中。裁判所の出頭命令は無視しながら4日、自転車に乗って早稲田大の学園祭に現れ、講演会でアナーキーな持論を展開した。
 会場は20代男性を中心に、立ち見を含めて約650人の満員。西村氏の人を食ったような、ノラリクラリとした受け答えに喝采を送った。
 裁判逃れを続ける理由は、「北海道から沖縄まで似たような裁判に呼ばれているので、自腹で日本中を回るか、1件100万円以上払って弁護士をつけるか。でも『(裁判を)やらない』という選択肢をとったら、何も起きなかった」と説明。
 賠償金不払いに関しては、「子供の養育費の踏み倒しや消費者金融のグレー金利のように、ルールがあっても守ってないのが多いから、(賠償しなくても)いいんじゃねぇの、という感じ」と見解を語った。さらに「賠償金を強制的に払わせる方法はこれ以上ない。イヤなら国会議員に献金して、そういう法律をつくればいい」と挑発した。
 2Chの無法空間化も意に介さない。現実世界でもネット空間でも大人数が集まる場所で「全く犯罪が起こらないはずがない」。月1000万人が訪れる2Chで「完全に犯罪を抑えられたらノーベル賞もの」と語る一方、「2Chで起こる犯罪は犯罪予告、風説の流布、名誉棄損くらいで、たいしたことない」と述べた。
 悪質な書き込み人を特定するIPアドレスを公開すれば西村氏は訴えられずに済むとの指摘もあるが、「積極的に公開するほうが面倒」で、「効果がないと法律もルールもできない」と別の善後策も頭にない。さらには「窃盗の検挙率は5割を切っている。(どんな被害でも)それが必ず回復すると思わないほうがいい」と、やられ損もやむなしとの考えを示した。
 だが、責任を問う声に対して、「『東京では犯罪が多いけど、都民としてどう思いますか』というのと同じ感じ。僕自身から完全に離れてる」と語ると、さすがに会場も声を失った。言うまでもなく、この例えなら西村氏は一都民ではなく都知事。治安への無関心が許されるわけがない。
 むしろ西村氏が無法状態を望んでいる節もある。「健全なサイトは腐るほどあるが、危ないところはそんなにない。(新宿区)歌舞伎町のように怪しげなほうが好奇心のある人が集まる。胡散臭いほうがいい」。
 事実、歌舞伎町の法律スレスレの店を楽しむ人がいるように、2Chで出会い系サイトやクレジットカード現金化サービスなどアングラな広告に目を引かれる利用者も多いようだ。広告収入などにより、「今年、年収のケタが変わった。日本の人口より少し多いくらい」と西村氏は告白した。
 億単位を稼ぎながら、賠償金は一切払わず。この日、爆破予告をした“テロリスト”はおろか、西村氏に法の裁きを望む原告や弁護士、債権者、シカトを食らう裁判所関係者が、会場で動きを見せることはなかった。(2Ch取材班)
ZAKZAK 2006/11/14
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/2006_11/t2006111426.html

Tokyo Sports Nov 9, 2006 on 2-Channel BBS

Article courtesy Dave Spector. Thanks.

NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS WIN ASIAN SERIES!

mytest

Our home team is unstoppable!

Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, after reaching the top in Japan last month, just won the Asian Series, 1-0, vs Taiwan.

Now if only we’d create a REAL world series, where the North Americans can’t lay claim to the title of world champion every year…!

Thrilled Debito in Sapporo

Eyewitness account of a visit to a Japanese prison (with comment)

mytest

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Hi Blog. One of the advantages of doing what I do is that I get very interesting emails from friends. Forwarding an excerpt from a friend who paid a visit to a Japanese prison to offer moral support to someone incarcerated. The tribulations he (the author, not just the prisoner) went through just to get a short audience are worth recording somewhere for the record. I don’t really know much about what the incarcerated has done to justify his incarceration, but is all this rigmarole necessary? What purpose could it possibly serve? Debito in Sapporo

==============================
(excerpted for the purposes of this blog)

Hello, all. Would like to give you a brief report on my visit to a Mr YZ. Staff of XXXX consulate helped arrange my visit in Osaka Penitentiary.

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

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6

Classes finish and I get on the phone to XXXX Consulate to find out what day I am scheduled to visit the prison. I’m told tomorrow or Friday is OK — there will be an English speaking guard available on both days to monitor our conversation (somedays this service is not available, hence cannot visit a foreigner). Decide I’ll go tomorrow.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7

I watched a video of an NHK documentary on how authorities at Fuchu Prison in Tokyo are coping with the rapid rise in the number of foreigner prisoners. Great preparation. (As an aside, my feeling about the show is: I am not comfortable with anything that associates foreigners and prisons in the minds of the Japanese. I thought that the documentary did convey the high stress foreigners endure at Fuchu. It portrayed prison staff providing psychological counselling in prisoners’ native language — eg, we see a Japanese guard sitting down at a table with a prisoner, calming him down and speaking to him in Chinese. In my estimation the documentary implies a higher level of counselling service at Fuchu than I suspect exists in actuality. But I concluded, that perhaps it is good that NHK is at least addressing the problem which in the past has had very little exposure.)

2:00 I arrive at the prison. Confronted by a guard at front gate who begins to interview me right there on the sidewalk in the chilly wind. Phone call is made to the inside. Must be OK because I’m led into a waiting room and told to fill in a visit application form. When I complete this, the guard notes that I have not answered the question as to purpose of my visit! I’m momentarily dumbfounded. Haven’t they ever heard of the notion of humane feeling? I try to explain in my ever halting Japanese that his family in England has asked me to visit XY because they simply cannot.

I am now becoming apprehensive as to whether or not I will be allowed the visit (despite what the Consulate arranged) because I can only identify myself as, at best, a “friend”. Until recently, this would not have been acceptable.

The guard takes a piece of paper, writes a few “kanji” that are a bit unfamiliar to me and tells me to copy this onto the form.

ANPI UKAGAU

(When I get home, I check this out — it seems to be a rather archaic phrase that translates into “to enquire about a person’s health”. )

I’m told to take a seat and wait for further direction. And wait I do! I look about the waiting room — it is small and crowded — more than 20 other visitors waiting, and a cross-section of Japanese society it would seem — young women in too much make-up talking into their cell phones, a man on crutches, another man who is dressed like a gangster, an old woman in a wheel chair who has to be assisted by accompanying family member to use the toilet facilities, a baby crying (there’s even a crib provided in a corner of the room and, of course, there is a TV blaring out a daytime soap opera.)

Well, after about 15 minutes, I sigh and take out some papers — student essays. Great thing about visiting detention center or prison, it gives me a chance to get caught up on some of my marking! After one hour, I am finally approached by an officer who checks my identification and visit application form. He seems aghast at the

ANPI UTAGAU part, pulls out his pen, crosses this out, and substitutes

SHUSHOGO NO SEIKATSU NO HANASHI

as the purpose of the visit. I can immediately recognize this as

“talking about life plans after release from prison”

I quickly make a note of this for my next visit. I’m then told that I cannot bring in any cell phone, camera, or recording device. Note paper is allowed. I’m given a number badge to wear for the duration. I pass through a metal detection screening, taken outdoors, and pointed in the direction of the visitor lobby about 40 meters away.

On arrival there, I’m met by another guard who again checks my ID and application form which has been stamped HAJIME which means that I am a first time visitor. So, he tries to give me a bit of orientation, not the least of which is to inform me that I will have only 15 MINUTES to visit and that the visit won’t begin for another 30 to 45 minutes. I politely ask if I can’t possibly have 30 minutes. He responds, also politely, but speaks a little too fast for me to comprehend owing not only to limit of my Japanese proficiency but also my stresslevel at this point. He seems to be speaking to me at two different levels — first, if they gave everybody 30 minutes, he tells me, the staff who must moniter conversation between visitor and prisoner would be working up to 8 00 or 9 00 PM, but he also seems to hint that 30 minutes might be given to me in future at request of the Consulate. So, I sit down again to wait. I review what I want to cover since I have only 15 minutes. I also reflect upon how tightly even visitors are controlled in a Japanese prison — the stages of movement from front gate waiting room to visitor lobby to actual interview room to check out at front gate, all quite regimented. I also note that, despite the massive size of this institution, there are ONLY SIX interview rooms. I guess that is so family members can also share in the punishment? I also observe that this visitor operation seems to be rather “overstaffed” — my tax yen at work! I am surprised that this staff include women; I never encounter any female staff at Tokyo Detention Centre.

Finally, at approximately 3 35 PM, I am called to enter Room No. 6. It is empty. A minute or so later, XY is led into the room by a guard and, a bit to my surprise by a woman in her late 20s, who, come to think of it, didn’t seem to be in uniform. XY sat on a folding chair in front of the glass screen, the guard on a stool in the back corner of the room, and the woman who seemed rather friendly (BTW, all guards and staff treated me courteously.) sat next to XY at a raised lectern. It was obvious to me that she was the English speaker who was there to monitor the conversation. XY was dressed in a mint green two piece uniform on which were sown identifying badges, IIRC. His hair is close cropped and he appeared quite clean.

I thank Iris Baker for including me in her e-mail (NOV 3) before she left Japan in which she commented on Nick’s weight loss. (http://www.justicefornickbaker.org/) This helped prepare me for the inevitable. I had seen Nil’s photo at http://XYtaft.foreignprisoners.com and I would describe him as a bit stocky, but today he appears comparatively gaunt. In our conversation, XY did tell me that since his arrest (AUG, 2004 ?), he has lost 20 kilograms. The ANPI UKAGAU incident notwithstanding, I did ask XY directly about the state of his physical health. He answered that it was good.

I relayed messages specifically received from John and Johan Taft (father and brother) in recent e-mails. He acknowledged receipt of money recently from John via the Consulate.

When I told him that Johan had told me that a Zen Master, Rev Kobutsu MIGHT visit, his spirits seem to soar immediately. Now, I don’t know how this priest can get into see XY — I assume he, unlike myself, is not on the “approved visitors” list — but I think it would be very therapeutic if XY could meet him and I would ask the Consulate to help facilitate such a visit. Can somebody get back to me on this ? I’d be happy to help in any way I can.

What else? He is currently assigned to work on a sewing machine. He claims to have opportunity for recreation. I noticed he said “arigato” and bowed to guards and translators at beginning of our meeting, perhaps prompted by my having done same. So later, in interview, I asked him if he has acquired much Japanese language to which he said no, that his interactions are somewhat limited.

At one point I referred to his “cell” to which he corrected me, preferring to call it a “room” — it’s not all that bad? He is in the room alone.

As for English newspapers (earlier guard told me English newspapers are available in prison library) he seems to be not very interested in following events in outside world beyond his control. He prefers to meditate and read books.

Well, we couldn’t cover too much in this initial 15 minute visit but it was sufficient time to give me the impression that XY is a person who has come to regret some of his past experiences and behaviour and the values that propelled them. He has a sensitivity to others as exemplified by his profuse expression of appreciation for my coming, going so far as to say that he recognized that it is a time consuming and stressful undertaking for a person to make a prison visit. I, in turn, appreciated that sensitivity very much and told him that visiting him would probably be, for me, the most meaningful thing in my life today, or maybe all this week. I usually do not open up that much to a person whom I’ve just met 10 minutes ago.

The visit ended. We both bowed to thank guard and monitor lady. I walked back to front gate waiting room, turned in my application, thanked officers, and walked out the gate, quite stressed but feeling a bit emotionally richer for the experience. Called his father later and told him what transpired. He seemed relieved and appreciative.

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

I’ll try to visit XY again around the end of the month. My Amnesty International group meets this coming Sunday. I’ll tell them about this experience and ask interested and caring people to sign a card and I’ll mail it off to XY.

==============================
COMMENT FROM CYBERSPACE

Debito, I read your entry about visiting foreigners in prison.

I have been visiting people in detention since 1999 and was granted special permission to visit a woman prisoner in 2003. To get the special permission I was interviewed at my house for about 30 minutes. Then, every six months I was visited again to check if my situation had changed. Each visit took about 30 minutes. Prior to the change in the prison law this last spring I was initially allowed only one 30-minute visit per month and she could only send one letter per month. over time that increased to two visits per month and two letters per month. All of our meetings were recored by the officer on duty.

The main reason the officer records the meetings is to determine if the prisoner shows any sign of 反省 (hansei) for the crime. Lack of 反省will mean that the person will not be released early. This woman was involved in 冤罪事件 (a frame-up) and thus had nothing to say sorry for. She will be released next month after being imprisoned for over 9 years on an 8 year sentence.

When she gets out, she will have an incredible story to tell about life behind bars.

I currently live directly across the street from the Tokyo Detention Center. I see lots of interesting people come and go. If you have any questions about detention or prisons, let me know and I am happy to share my experience.

Charles E. McJilton
Tokyo, Japan

Blog entry: J police cannot marry non-Japanese? (with update)

mytest

Hello Blog. Something interesting here. Friend passed on a link to a blog post as follows:

===================================
Hello. I am really down so I hope to get some help here. My boyfriend is japanese and I am german. We met in Japan ( working holiday…)and want to merry next year, because we are really sure about our love. The big problem we have is his job. He is a policeman. Policemen in Japan have to report their girlfriends when they become serious about their partnership. So my boyfreind reported me. After that we really had a lot of problems, because his organisation said that he can not have a relation with a foreign women. If he will go on with me, he will never get a promotion again and they will bully him at work. Yeah, that’s what they told him. The reason they gave us is to protect the Japanese Police Organitation and that after our marrigae is will be difficult to stop other policemen to merry with foreign women. For me it is simply racism! How could I be dangerous to the Police? I mean I am just a young women who wants to merry with love. What can we do? Of course my boyfriend thougth about chaning his job, but in this case they will get what they want. And there will be the same stupid old mind and discrimination in the Japanese Police like always. It should not be like that. Can`t we do anything against it? Is racism and discrimination really tolerated in Japan?
===================================
Original post and more discussion at
http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0 30435

This of course might be a hoax (you have to be careful about non-verifiable postings like these, and if it turns out as such, I’ll delete this issue from my blog with apologies). Still, might be worth checking into. Not all that difficult. Place a call to the NPA and see. Or ask around. Anyone have any friends in the police forces in Japan or other countries? Anyone know if there is a problem with police marrying non-citizens here or elsewhere?

Watch this space. I will add to this blog entry directly if there is something blogworthy. Debito in Sapporo

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

REPLY: Nov 14, 2006, from The Community mailing list:

Apparently there is no bar whatsoever to police marrying foreigners. I have it on authority from a member of Tokyo Metropolitan Police who says there are 5 officers she knows of who are married to foreigners. If this girl’s boyfriend was threatened with bullying over a matter which is not a case of breaking rules, he should report whoever made the comments to an appropriate body.

==============================
ANOTHER REPLY FROM THE COMMUNITY MAILING LIST
Nov 14, 2006
I am married to a member of JASDF but he had to change his job when
we met because he was in a “sensitive” field at the time. It was
tough for him as he loved what he had been doing and had to switch to
something he does NOT love. He also has a friend who quit JASDF to
marry his Chinese girlfriend. I don`t think it`s policy for all jobs
within the Force but it definitely happens sometimes.
==============================

ENDS

UPDATE:  A few more related articles have come out since this blog entry was written:

J MSDF demoting military officers with NJ spouses (UPDATED)
http://www.debito.org/?p=460

Also related
The Japan Times Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007
THE ZEIT GIST
The blame game
Convenience, creativity seen in efforts to scapegoat Japan’s foreign community
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20070828zg.html

Letter to Kitakyushu authorities re exclusionary restaurant, Nov 9 06

mytest

Hi Blog. This is a slightly edited version of a letter I snailmailed today to the Kitakyushu Mayor’s Office, the local Bureau of Human Rights, the local Nishinihon Shinbun, and JALT Admin. It’s pretty self-explanatory, so read on. Debito in Sapporo

LETTER BEGINS
=============================
ARUDOU Debito, Associate Professor
(contact details deleted)
November 9, 2006
To JALT National, Steve Brown, President
JALT Central Office
Urban Edge Bldg 5F, 1-37-9 Taito
Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0016, Japan
Tel: 03-3837-1630 Fax: 03-3837-1631

Dear President Brown and JALT National Leadership,

First of all, let me express heartfelt gratitude for the most recent national conference in Kitakyushu. I consider it to be a great success, and look forward to more future conferences.

The reason I am writing is to notify you of an incident which occurred in Kitakyushu during the JALT conference to a JALT member.

On November 3, 2006, said JALT member was refused entry to a restaurant named “Jungle” (Kitakyushu-shi Kokura Kita-ku Kajimachi 1-7-4, Kajimachi Kaikan 3F, Ph: 093-512-7123, FAX 093-512-7124). The reason given was that the establishment was full, even though to the JALT member it visibly had open tables. Arudou Debito was then informed about this situation.

On November 4, at around 9PM, five friends and I went to Jungle. I first went in alone and the manager, a Mr. Matsubara Tatsuya, indeed tried to refuse me entry by claiming the restaurant was full. I then took a quick walk around the restaurant to confirm that the establishment, with at least eight large tables plus counter space, was in fact almost completely empty. When it was clear that Matsubara and I could communicate in Japanese, Matsubara then offered me counter space. I then brought in my friends and confirmed that we could have a table.

We then confirmed (after being seated and ordering drinks) that a) Matsubara did refuse foreigners entry, b) because he cannot communicate in English–he finds it his “nemesis” (nigate), c) and because he finds foreigners frightening (kowai). When asked if he had ever had any bad experiences or altercations with non-Japanese customers, Matsubara said no. He just (for reasons never made very clear) did not want to have to deal with them.

When we softly and calmly pointed out that a) non-Japanese are customers too, with money, not to mention language abilities (or at least forefingers to point to items on the menu), b) refusing them entry hurts their feelings, as it did the person refused the previous evening, c) that welcoming customers was part of Matsubara’s job description in his line of work (kyaku shoubai), he apologized and said he would try harder not to refuse non-Japanese customers in future.

The irony of the situation was that at the end of our drinks, one of the waiters who attended us (a student at the local technical college) talked to us in very good English. Why couldn’t Matsubara just have passed any customer with whom he was unable to communicate on to his staff?

I have since put “Jungle” up on a website cataloging the spread of exclusionary establishments around Japan.
Please refer to www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Kokura

We look forward to future reports from readers of this website who might wish to investigate this restaurant in future to see if Matsubara keeps his promise.

I would like to ask JALT to send a letter of concern to the appropriate offices within the City Kitakyushu, particularly Mayor Sueyoshi Kouichi, who wrote the kind message of welcome for this JALT Conference. I am also sending this message in Japanese to Mayor Sueyoshi’s office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bureau of Human Rights, and the Nishi Nippon Shinbun. I hope they also will look into this matter, and take sufficient measures so that something like this does not happen again.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely yours,

____________________________
Arudou Debito
LETTER ENDS

北九州市の「外国人拒否」するレストランについて市長、人権擁護部と西日本新聞に送った手紙

mytest

 ブログの皆様こんがんは。有道 出人です。いつもお読みいただいてありがとうございます。
 さて、夕べこの手紙を書いて郵送しました。念のためにアーカイブに入れます。
 宜しくお願い致します。
==========================
〒803-8501 北九州市小倉北区城内1番1号
電話:093-582-2127 FAX:093-562-0710 hisho@mail2.city.kitakyushu.jp
北九州市長 末吉興一秘書室 御中 市長 末吉 興一 殿
〒803-8513北九州市小倉北区城内5番3号(小倉地方合同庁舎)093(561)3542
法務省人権擁護部北九州支部 御中
(西日本新聞社及びJALT管理者にも送信)

市内「外国人お断り」のレストランの件、啓蒙のお願い

拝啓 晩秋の候、ますますご清栄のこととお喜び申し上げます。
 突然で失礼ですが、自己紹介させていただきたいと思います。私は北海道情報大学助教授の有道 出人(あるどう でびと)と申します。本年11月3日から3日間に渡り全国語学教育学会(JALT)の総会がきっかけで北九州市に訪れ、市民のホスピタリティを厚く御礼を申し上げます。
 しかし、標記の件ですが、11月3日の夜、JALTの外国出身メンバーがレストランに行きましたが、空席があったものの、支配人に「満席だから入らないで」と言われたようで、そのレストラン名は「ジャングル」(経営者は(有)ピー・ケイ・ティー)との事です。
北九州市小倉北区鍛冶町1-7-4 かじまち会館3F
Ph: 093-512-7123, FAX 093-512-7124
 断られた者が私に報告し4日の夜に再び、私と友人5名で「ジャングル」を尋ね、支配人の松原達也氏と話し合いました。彼は私にも(私は白人で帰化した日本人ですが)「満席です、入らないで」と言ったが、殆ど空席の状態が目立っていたので交渉し始めました。日本語で交渉してから入店できたが、松原氏が認めたことは:
 ①前日、その外国出身のJALTメンバーの入店お断りした
 ②その理由は「英語が苦手、外国人が怖い」
 ③以前、当店では外国人との問題が一切なかったので、個人的には外国人に対してトラウマは特にない
 ④「入店されたくない」のみで、ここまでの「外国人アレルギー」の原因は不明
しかし、これに対して私たちは松原支配人の意識高揚を行ってみました:
 ア)こうやって「ガイジンダメ」を言うのはお客に傷つけ、明らかに差別
 イ)言語の障壁があっても関わらず、メニューの注文はどうにかはなる
 ウ)出身を問わず、客商売とは全てのお客を持て成すことではないか
 よって店の対応の改善を求めてから、松原支配人が謝って下さいまして、これから改善しますとのことだったが、正直に言ってこれから門前払いが取り止められるかどうかは、私は若干自信がありません。なぜかは、飲み物を飲んでから勘定を支払った際、別のウェーターと話した際英語が達者だと分かりました。言語の障壁について心配した支配人は何故そのウェーターに応対させなかったのかは疑問です。
 お願いしたいのは、当店及びその付近の店舗にも差別撤廃のために啓蒙を行っていただければ幸いです。ある者にとってこの待遇は北九州市全体のイメージダウンとなります。私は既に「排斥する店舗のギャラリー」のウェブサイトに載せさせていただきました。
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Kokura

意識高揚の結果、ぜひ、ご連絡いただければと存じます。宜しくお願い致します。
書中をもってご挨拶申し上げます。敬具
平成18年11月7日
有道 出人(連絡先を省く)
==========================
ENDS

Zakzak and Sankei on 2-Channel libel (thanks Adamu)

mytest

Hi Blog. Found that fellow blogger Adamu at Mutantfrog has translated two articles on internet BBS 2-Channel, a hotbed for information, rumor, and (as court rulings have borne out) libel.

I have the original articles archived in Japanese

Meanwhile, let’s archive Adamu’s translations.

Tokyo Sports Nov 9, 2006 on 2-Channel BBS
Photocopy (literally) of article courtesy Dave Spector. Thanks. Click on it for a larger image.

More on the problems with 2-Channel

Thanks very much, Adamu! Debito in Sapporo

ADAMU’S TRANSLATIONS BEGIN
================================
2-Channel in a state of lawlessness – Attacks on individuals left on the site
ZAKZAK, quoting Sankei Shinbun, November 7, 2006
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/2006_11/t2006110728.html

A 30-year-old customer service worker recalls her painful memories:

“I went back to my parents’ house after my home address was revealed on the Internet, but harassing phone calls kept coming into my office. Even my customers started to distrust me, thinking that I had someone (harassing me).”

The woman took the brunt of insults such as “ex-prostitute,” “too much plastic surgery,” and threats including “I’ll kill you,” and “Just die.”

There were rumors that “an old acquaintence in the same business posted the offending material around the time when (the woman) opened her own store,” but the “culprit” could not be identified. The woman filed a civil law suit holding message board’s moderator Hiroyuki Nishimura (age 29, pictured) responsible.

The Tokyo Regional Court ordered deletion of the posts and 1 million yen in compensation, but the court victory spawed a second round of attacks. On 2ch, there were several posts including “don’t get bent out of shape over such things,” “I’ll beat you to death,” and “Hurry up and hang yourself.” Her workplace’s web site was also flooded with similar posts, shutting it down. The woman took leave from work for a while due to the stress.

Nishimura’s reaction at the time was, “Since it wasn’t just a demand to delete the posts, but litigation to take money from the message board’s moderator, I think it happened because it provoked protest from regular users.”

The woman explains, “As of now the person who gets posted about is the loser. The person who actually posts is never ultimately found, and even if you sue it doesn’t make you feel better. I don’t even want to hear the word ‘2ch.’”

Hokkaido Information University professor Debito Arudou (age 41), who became a naturalized Japanese citizen from the US in 2000, has sued to eliminate racial discrimination at public baths etc that are “Japanese only.” Meanwhile, at 2ch, posts made the rounds starting 2 years ago claiming that “American white David Aldwinckle” (the professor’s former name) made claims like the following:

“20,000 Iraqi citizens massacred due to invasion supported by Aldwinkle (American citizen)”

“For the profits of American whites, there is no problem with the massacre of a few hundred thousand nonwhites.”

Prof. Arudou is furious: “I said nothing of the kind. It’s a fabrication aimed to hurt my image and destroy my position as a human rights activist.” He was victorious in litigation seeking to have the posts deleted, but Nishimura is ignoring the decision. The false statements are still on the Internet in thousands of posts.

[NB: You can see for yourself by doing a Google search, by entering “アルドウィンクル” , “イラク” and “2ch”. Tried just now and got 1060 hits, up from 1050 three days ago, and from around 500 from when the libel court decision came down in my favor back in January. The situation is thus getting worse.)

A male business owner (age 40) of Chiba prefecture had his address, telephone number, the names of his family members, and even photos of his house and car registration documents exposed on 2ch. Phone calls asking for confirmation of orders he has no recollection of taking come constantly.

“I think I was targeted because I criticized the status of 2ch on the Internet. If you make an enemy of 2ch then terrible posts will be made [about you] and left there. I don’t know whether the people who push their way into my house are from inside 2ch or 2ch followers, or… I just give up because there’s nothing I can do.”

(From ZAKZAK’s 2ch reporting team)
========================

Now for Sankei Sports:
November 5, 2006

Original Article

Here’s Hiroyuki! 2-channel moderator gives lecture at Waseda University

Hiroyuki Nishimura, better known simply as “Hiroyuki,” moderator of enormous, anonymous bulletin board website 2-channel, who has been “missing” since last August, gave a lecture at Waseda University (located in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo)’s school festival on Nov. 4.

Nishimura has faced continual lawsuits over slanderous and hurtful posts on his website. Just last month, he was ordered to pay compensation of 1 million yen without ever setting foot in the courtroom, but he said “I’ll go to court if I’m bored.” He showed a consistent stance of having no intention of paying the damages.

He spoke freely of what he was thinking while “missing” at a lecture during the Waseda Festival. The theme was “the information society as seen from 2-channel.” 650 people, including standees, crammed the large classroom used for the event.

When Nishimura appeared in a black t-shirt over a gray long-sleeved shirt, the crowd oohed and ahhed. In response to the host’s comment that “It was reported you were missing…” Nishimura lazily played the stooge, saying “No no, you see, I’m a shadow warrior.” The crowd roared with laughter.

The focus was, as could be expected, the issue of Nishimura’s litigation-related disappearance. Last month, in a suit brought by a female professional golfer (age 24) alleging she was slandered and harmed by the bulletin board seeking deletion of the posts and damages etc, Nishimura was ordered to delete the posts and pay 1 million yen in compensation. However, he ignored the call from the court to appear in this case, and never showed up in court even once.

As to the reasons for that, Nishimura admitted, “Actually, there are similar cases going on from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south.” He bluntly explained, “Well, lawyer fees would cost more than 1 million yen… Hey, I’ll go if I get bored.”

He explained that “I deleted the problem section (from the site),” but added his horrifying assertion that “there is no law to make me pay compensation by force, so it doesn’t matter if I win or lose in court. It’s the same thing if I don’t pay (the compensation).” When asked about his annual income, he boasted “a little more than Japan’s population (127 million).” So he’s not having money issues…

Nishimura smiled when he received his favorite snack candy “Yummy sticks” (Umai bo) from the host. However, at the end an accident occurred. During a part of the program where Nishimura answered questions for him posted on his website and displayed on a large screen, there was a post saying “Die, Hiroyuki!”

Nishimura shook it off: “That’s a lazy greeting.” Finally, the lecture ended with a message to people looking at their PCs right now: “Go outside!”

In response to Nishimura’s assertion that “there is no law forcing me to pay compensation,” Nippon University professor of criminal law Hiroshi Itakura points out, “a court’s compulsory enforcement (kyousei shikkou) can be used to ‘collect’ compensation.” He says that running from compensation is impossible. Also, if someone hides assets etc for the purposes of avoiding compulsory execution, then “that would constitute the crime of obstructing compulsory execution,” the professor tells us. Itabashi wonders, “It is strange that the courts that ordered the compensation have not implemented compulsory enforcement. It’s not like Nishimura doesn’t have any assets…”

ARTICLES END

Kitakyudai’s Noriguchi again in Asahi on English teaching (Nov 4, 2006, with updates)

mytest

Professor Noriguchi at Kitakyushu University is becoming a regular
pundit on English language education in Japan. After saying not two
months ago that one problem with non-Japanese teachers is that they
stay in Japan too long (http://www.debito.org/?p=34),
he’s back again with a response to his critics (or, as he puts it,
his supporters).

Let me rewrite a few of Noriguchi’s points and weave in comment and
interpretation. He essentially asserts this time:

So much energy devoted to the study of English (as opposed to other
languages) is not only unneighborly, it is a reflection of a Japanese
inferiority complex towards the West.

One consequence of this much focus on English is a lot of swindling
and deception of the Japanese consumer, with bogus advertising about
the merits and the effects.

In any case, English is hardly necessary for life in Japan, so why
require it on entrance exams? Especially after all the trauma that
Japanese go through learning it.

No wonder–Japanese have a natural barrier to learning it, given the
“Japanese mentality”, the characteristics of the language, and the
homogeneity of the country.

More so than other Asian countries, he mysteriously asserts (Koreans,
for example?–and won’t the same barriers apply to other Asian
languages if the Japanese are indeed so unique?).

Meanwhile, let’s keep the door revolving on foreign English-language
educators by hiring retired teachers from overseas, who not only will
bring in more expertise and maturity, but also by design (and by
natural longevity) will not stay as long in Japan and have as much of
an effect.

(NB: The last point is not his, but it’s symptomatic of Noriguchi’s
essays which throw out ideas not all that well thought through in
practice. After all, nowhere in his essay does he retract his
previous assertion that part of the problem is foreign teachers
staying here too long…)

Professor Noriguchi is reachable at
snori@kitakyu-u.ac.jp
He says that most people support his views than not, so if you want
to show him differently, write him.

Now for the article:

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

POINT OF VIEW/ Shinichiro Noriguchi: Why the focus on English as a language skill?
11/04/2006
http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200611040140.html
SPECIAL TO THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

I unexpectedly received a number of responses to my Sept. 15 article in this column on English education in Japan. About seventy percent of the comments were favorable, 20 percent critical and 10 percent neutral. Thus emboldened, I wish to expand and clarify my views, focusing on three points: foreign language education in Japan, the English language and its relation to the Japanese people, and how I personally went about learning English.

As regards foreign language education in Japan, I wish to make two points. First, in addition to English, Japanese students should be learning Asian languages such as Chinese, Korean, Hindi, and Russian. It is imprudent as well as simply unneighborly for the Japanese government to neglect the teaching of these languages. Japan is a part of Asia, but it has devoted its teaching resources almost exclusively to English.

English is originally the language of a country that is geographically distant from Japan. The fact that we have made English the central focus of foreign language education is, I would suggest, a reflection of a Japanese inferiority complex toward Western cultures and, in particular, English-speaking cultures.

In this vein, I think the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology should offer Chinese, Korean and Russian as well as English as compulsory subject in the seventh grade. From the eighth grade onward, these classes would be electives depending on students’ talents and personal preferences. It is neither fair nor reasonable, given the political and economic changes which have occurred over the past decade, to expect students to learn only English as a foreign language for six years until they enter universities.

Second, I believe that English should be eliminated as a subject from entrance examinations for public high schools and national universities. According to scientific tests on human memory, people generally recall only 12 percent of what they were forced to painfully memorize. However, people remember 55 percent of what they did for the fun of it and 33 percent for curiosity. Very few students are really happy about taking examinations of any kind. For this reason, English education geared to preparing students for entrance examinations can never be effective and, indeed, it represents an enormous loss of time, money and energy for students and teachers alike.

In reality, most Japanese can live comfortably in this country without any knowledge of English. It is simply unreasonable to continue making English a central subject in entrance examinations, which remain key determinants of a student’s choice of university and ultimate career.

Because English has become not only a de facto official language for international transactions but also a global language, we should, of course, not ignore English, and Japan should continue to give thought to the most effective strategies to achieve the best possible results in English education. It is not necessarily bad for Japanese elementary school pupils to be exposed to English, but they should not be compelled to learn it.

Having said that, I would argue that perhaps about 15 percent of Japanese should be trained to become highly competent users of English, with skills approaching those of native speakers.

Fluency difficult to acquire

Without question, Japan must remain in a position where it interacts economically and politically with other nations. The need for communication in English will increase as economies and societies continue to internationalize, and indeed it will probably become more important as a world ruled by trade and finance replaces an order based on military force and weaponry.

I am frequently asked whether Japanese are by nature adept at becoming proficient speakers of English. My answer is no. It is very difficult for us to become fluent speakers of English. There are three reasons for this; the Japanese mentality, the characteristics of the Japanese language and the homogeneous nature of this nation.

In Japan, a man of few words is still considered to be the model gentleman. When I was in elementary school, my father once told me to look at myself in the mirror. He explained that heaven created me with two ears and two eyes, but only with one mouth, merely because heaven intends that I should listen to and observe others twice as much as I speak.

This sort of mentality has kept Japanese from believing that active participation in communication is a necessary social skill. Can we break through this barrier? It would seem easy, given the long process of modernization, but it is not because the Japanese mentality has changed little in spite of this country’s Westernization.

Another difficulty is the huge difference between the Japanese and English languages. The structure of the Japanese language, spelling, pronunciation and intonation are completely different from those of English. In this respect, compared with other Asians, we are handicapped. And yet, it is not impossible for any highly motivated Japanese to master English. It requires constant effort. There is no easy way to learn English in spite of what some advertisers of language learning methods, texts and devices suggest.

It is, in fact, simply a swindle for newspapers or magazines to insert such deceptive advertisements. In the case of canned foods, buyers can sue a company when the picture on a can and its content are different.

Why can such exaggerated advertisements be freely issued? We often fool ourselves that we are learning English. For eight years, I listened to the NHK radio English conversation program each morning without recording it. Why? Once we record the programs we tend to think that we can listen to it at any time. That is a common mistake, which simply leads to piles of recorded tapes which we never listen to. Once we make up our mind to listen to this program, we should do so when it is really broadcast. After the program we should read the textbook aloud, often and repeatedly, until we have completely memorized it. Finally, we should be able to write the texts and dialogues without errors. This, I believe, is an effective teaching aid.

But probably the most effective way of learning English is to practice the language with native speakers. The government should accept many more ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers), but it should change its policy and not employ so many young people fresh from universities and colleges in English speaking countries as it does today.

Let’s use retired teachers, too

Instead, retired teachers would be more beneficial for Japan due to their teaching experience and maturity. I have the impression that some young ALTs have actually made a mistake in deciding to come to Japan. They are reasonably well paid and treated with much respect, but in fact they are simply having fun and postponing important decisions regarding their lives and careers.

Let me summarize my suggestions as follows:

・Basic Asian language classes should be provided for all seventh graders, and after that these courses should be taught as electives.

・English should be eliminated as a required subject on entrance examinations for public high schools and national universities.

・About 15 percent of Japan’s population should be well trained to be highly competent in English, which is to say, approach native-speaker fluency.

・Businesses with deceptive English education materials should be reprimanded.

・More retired teachers from English speaking countries should be employed as ALTs for the benefit of Japan.

* * *

The author is professor of English at the University of Kitakyushu.(IHT/Asahi: November 4, 2006). Email him at snori@kitakyu-u.ac.jp
==============================

Agree or disagree with his opinion? Send him your view at
snori@kitakyu-u.ac.jp
He says that most people support his views than not, so if you want
to show him differently, write him.

Conclusion: I guess some people just don’t seem to get it, and think
that because people apparently agree with them they must be saying
the right thing. Alas, life is not quite so simple. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
ENDS

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

FEEDBACK FROM CYBERSPACE:
(From a major professor in academia, anonymized upon request)
November 15, 2006

Hi Debito-san, How time flies! Got your latest just as I lamenting to friend with a degree in language teaching. He agreed with my “common-sense” view that if there were a vastly more effective method for teaching or learning languages, someone would have found it a long time ago. Then coming back from buying ink for my printer, I saw along the way back up to this office a poster advertising a foreign lady who claims that she can improve English-learning skills with jazz rhythms. A female colleague in another department happened by and saw me looking at it. I went into a bit of a tirade and told her what fraud that is. Our abysmally ignorant students need remedial liberal arts (history, philosophy, literature…); they *don’t* need another scam…She listened with an air of politeness mixed with fear at being in the company of a lunatic.

Anyway, let me comment on this Noriguchi idiot with a little devil’s advocate playing:

The trouble with these guys is that there is often at least a kernel of truth in what they say. Much of what goes on the classroom in which English is supposedly being taught *is* a waste of time. The vast majority of students *never* learn to speak English with the kind of fluency that would allow them to carry on a genuinely meaningful conversation. Those who can “manage” typically sound so stereotypically Japanese (in what the say more than in how they say it) that no one takes them seriously anyway.

It would obviously be a disaster if English teaching were drastically reduced. But for whom? For the eikaiwa industry and those who work in it. But I suspect that those with sufficient interest and talent could learn English pretty much on their own. I myself am anti-eigo-suuhai, but it’s, of course, the *Japanese* not the “foreigners” who are promoting that silly cult. The depressing thought I often have is that the reason the Japanese as a whole are very bad at English is not that they are bad linguists but rather that anything [+foreign] triggers verbal gibberish – even in Japanese.

I’m a great admirer of Ivan Hall and was myself involved in the movement to protest the way the fascist Monbu-kagakushou treated foreign language teachers, but I think the weakest part of Cartels of the Mind is about education. Ivan himself was treated shabbily, but he also knows perfectly well that there is an enormous difference between himself, a fluent Japanese speaker with impressive scholarly knowledge, and the eikaiwa teacher who happens to land a job in a university. Many of them are not themselves terribly “knowledgeable” (let alone “scholarly”), and I always found it embarrassing to discover how many of them could not speak Japanese even after five or ten years here. I see nothing immoral or cruel about limited contracts for such people. American universities have *always* distinguished between language teachers and academics. Those who want to be treated in the latter category have to jump through the right hoops. Its’s a simple as that. Japan has *no* obligation to provide a meal-ticket for a person who back in his or her own country would be lucky to be a high-school teacher.

The problem with the Japanese system is not that it’s harsh but rather that it’s vague, wishy-washy, inefficient, and hypocritical. Furthermore, what *I* worry about is not the elimination of eikaiwa but rather a more plausible move toward eliminating foreigners who do anything else, the argument being that such should be performed by Japanese. I teach linguistics in Japanese. My non-native Japanese ability aside, I think I am better able and qualified to teach linguistics than *any* of my colleagues, including the so-called linguists. But what the Noriguchi types really want is grinning foreign flunkies for the “real” professors. *That* is what has to be resisted.

Well, anyway, stay in touch. It was great seeing you for the symposium. Your presentation was excellent. Hey, you could have been on TV! COMMENT ENDS
////////////////////////////////////////////

Japan Times column Nov 7 2006 on Japan’s half-truth claims to the UN

mytest

Hello Blog. I have just put up my most recent column (my 33rd) for the Japan Times Community Page on my regular website. Published today, November 7, 2006, this is the “Director’s Cut”, with sentences excised from the print version for space concerns, and links to sources for claims within the article.

Rather than having the same article twice at this domain–both at debito.org and on the blog–I’ll just send the blog a link.
http://www.debito.org/japantimes110706.html

In the article I talk about Japan’s pattern of half-truth claims and empty promises regarding the United Nations, and most recently its membership on the newformed (and stumbling) Human Rights Council. Enjoy. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
END

2ちゃんねるの西村ひろゆき:早稲田にて「強制的に(賠償金を)払わせる法律がない」(追加:ZAKZAK 記事)

mytest

有道 出人です。ブログの読者、こんにちは。いつもお世話になっております。

さて、2ちゃんねるの管理者西村ひろゆきは11月4日、早稲田にて講演をしました。(私の名誉毀損勝訴の経緯は http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html ) 。現場からレポートは以降にあります。

ひろゆきの話のなか、「強制的に(裁判の賠償金を)払わせる法律がない」と言い、「弁護士の費用で100万円以上もかかるし…。まぁ、ひまだったらいくということ」と”サラリと言ってのけた”ようです。しかし、賠償金逃れは不可能であると日大大学院教授が指摘しました。「強制執行妨害罪になる」と認め、「なぜ裁判所が、強制執行を行わないのか不思議」とも言いました。

そして、「問題の部分は(掲示板から)削除した」とも言いましたが、皆様どうぞgoogleで「アルドウィンクル」「イラク」と「2ch」、そのままで検索してみて下さい。本年1月、北海道岩見沢地裁の判決日、問題の部分が掲示板から削除せず、500サイト余りがありました。きょう検索すると、1050サイトまで増加しました。すなわちひろゆきの主張の現実と遥かに違いまして、更に悪化しています。

現場からレポートをどうぞお読み下さい。宜しくお願い致します。有道 出人
///////////////////////////////////////////

ひろゆきキターーー!「2ちゃんねる」管理人が早大で講演会
http://www.sanspo.com/shakai/top/sha200611/sha2006110500.html
November 5, 2006

西村氏は約2時間、早大生らの質問に答えた=4日、東京都新宿区=撮影・山内倫貴
 昨年8月から“失踪”状態にあった巨大匿名掲示板「2ちゃんねる」の管理運営者「ひろゆき」こと西村博之氏(29)が4日、早大(東京都新宿区)の学園祭で講演会を行った。同掲示板での誹謗(ひぼう)中傷の書き込みなどをめぐる訴訟が続く西村氏。先月も、1度も出廷することがないまま100万円の賠償命令を受けたが「裁判にはひまだったら行く」。賠償金も払う気ナシと強気の姿勢を貫いた。

 ひろゆきがキター! “雲隠れ”をしていた西村氏が約1年2カ月ぶりに公の場に姿を見せた。
 “失踪中”の思いを存分に語ったのは「早稲田祭」で行った講演会で、お題は「2ちゃんねるから見た情報社会」。会場の大教室は立ち見を含めて約650人の聴衆で埋め尽くされた。
 西村氏が黒のTシャツにグレーの長袖シャツを羽織った姿で登壇すると、会場から「お〜っ」とどよめきが。「失踪報道がありましたが…」との司会者の突っ込みに、西村氏は「いやぁ、影武者なんで」と軽〜い口調でボケを披露、会場は爆笑となった。
 話題の中心はやはり、裁判に絡んだ失踪問題。先月には女子プロゴルフファー(24)が、掲示板で誹謗中傷されたとして書き込みの削除や損害賠償などを求めた訴訟で、西村氏は東京地裁から書き込みの削除と100万円の支払いなどを言い渡された。しかし、この訴訟で裁判所からの呼び出しを無視し、1度も法廷に現れなかった。
 その理由をめぐり西村氏は「実は北は北海道から南は沖縄まで似たような裁判が行われている」と告白。「弁護士の費用で100万円以上もかかるし…。まぁ、ひまだったらいくということ」とサラリと言ってのけた。
 「問題の部分は(掲示板から)削除した」と説明したが、「賠償金を強制的に払わせる法律もないし、裁判に勝とうが負けようが関係ない。(賠償金を)払わなければ一緒」と仰天発言。年収について「日本の人口(約1億2700万人)より少し多いくらい」と豪語、おカネに困っていないはずだが…。
 司会者から好物のスナック菓子「うまい棒」を差し入れられ、笑顔を見せた西村氏。しかし、終盤にアクシデントが発生。掲示板に寄せられた西村氏への質問を大画面に写し、本人がそれに答えるコーナーで、「死ね! ひろゆき」と記された投稿があったのだ。
 「軽いあいさつでしょう」とかわした西村氏。最後に、今パソコンをのぞいている人へ「外に出ろ!」とのメッセージを送り、講演会を終えた。
■2ちゃんねる
 西村氏が米国留学中の1999年5月に開設した。1日1600万のヒット数を誇る巨大掲示板群で、約350以上の掲示板が存在。約450人のボランティアで運営。
★賠償金逃れは不可能…日大大学院教授が指摘
 「強制的に(賠償金を)払わせる法律がない」という西村氏の発言に、板倉宏日大大学院教授(刑法)は「裁判所の強制執行で賠償金を“集金”できる」と指摘する。賠償金逃れは不可能だという。また強制執行を回避するため、財産などを隠した場合は「強制執行妨害罪になる」とも。板倉教授は「なぜ、これまで損害賠償を命じてきた裁判所が、強制執行を行わないのか不思議だ。西村氏は財産がないわけではないのに…」と首をひねった。
ENDS
///////////////////////////////////////////////

2ちゃんねる、個人攻撃も放置“無法空間”状態
「書かれた者が負け」「敵に回すとひどいめに」
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/2006_11/t2006110728.html
November 7, 2006

 「自宅の住所をネットでさらされて実家に移ったが、勤務先にも嫌がらせの電話が相次いだ。お客の中にも(嫌がらせをしている人が)いるのかと人間不信になった」
 30代の接客業女性は苦い記憶を振り返る。女性は匿名掲示板「2ちゃんねる(2Ch)」で、「元風俗嬢」「整形しすぎ」などの事実無根の中傷や、「殺す」「死ね」といった脅迫を受けた。
 「(女性が)自分の店を開く前後から、旧知の同業者が嫉妬で書き込んだ」と噂になったが、“犯人”は特定できなかった。女性は掲示板を管理する西村博之氏(29)の責任を問い、民事訴訟を起こした。
 東京地裁は書き込み削除と100万円の損害賠償を命じたが、勝訴が二次被害を生んだ。判決後に2Chでは「そんなことで目くじら立てるな」「殴り殺す」「とっとと首を吊れ」などの書き込みが相次いだ。勤務先のホームページにも同様の書き込みが10万件も殺到し閉鎖に追い込まれた。女性は心労でしばらく仕事を休んだ。
 西村氏の当時の感想は「削除要求だけでなく、掲示板管理人から金を取ろうとした裁判なので、一般ユーザーから反感を買ったためだと思う」。
 女性は「現状では書かれた者が負け。書いた張本人は結局分からず、訴えても気晴らしにもならない。2Chという言葉も聞きたくない」と話す。
 北海道情報大の有道出人助教授(41)は平成12年に米国から日本に帰化し、「外国人お断り」の銭湯などに対し、人種差別撤廃を訴えてきた。一方で2Chでは、一昨年から≪アメリカ白人デビッド・アルドウィンクル≫(同助教授の旧名)が次のような主張をしたとする書き込みが横行した。
 ≪アルドウィンクル(米国籍)が支持している侵略戦争によるイラク市民2万人虐殺≫
 ≪アメリカ白人の利益のためには非白人の虐殺は数十万人までは何の問題も無い≫
 有道助教授は「こんなことは一切言ってない。人権活動家という私の立場を崩すため、イメージダウンを狙った捏造だ」と憤る。削除を求める裁判で勝訴したが西村氏は判決を無視。捏造発言はネット上に1000件以上も放置されたままだ。
 千葉県の自営業の男性(40)は2Chで住所や電話番号、家族の名前、自宅とマイカーの登録証の写真まで公開された。しばしば覚えのない注文を確認する電話も来る。
 「2Chのあり方をネット上で批判したので目を付けられたと思う。2Chを敵に回すとひどい書き込みも放置される。自宅まで押しかけて来るのは内部の人間か、2Ch信者なのか…。もう仕方ないとあきらめている」
(2Ch取材班)
◆ドラマ化もされたベストセラー「電車男」を生むなど、強い影響力を持つ巨大掲示板「2ちゃんねる」。しかし夕刊フジ既報の通り管理人の西村氏の賠償金の不払いや裁判逃れなど無責任な実態が明らかになってきた。この無法空間で自分を守る術はあるのか。
ZAKZAK 2006/11/07
ENDS

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 7, 2006

mytest

Hi All. Arudou Debito in Sapporo here. Lots been going on recently. Another newsletter to fire off to you:

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 7, 2006
Table of Contents:
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1) NEW JAPAN TIMES COLUMN TODAY (NOV 7) ON JAPAN’S BROKEN UN PROMISES
2) EXCLUSIONARY KITAKYUSHU RESTAURANT ADDED TO ROGUES’ GALLERY
3) ECONOMIST SOFTBALL OBIT: “TOKYO ROSE” DIES
4) PODCAST ON GOV. ISHIHARA
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
(freely forwardable)

1) NEW JAPAN TIMES COLUMN TODAY (NOV 7) ON JAPAN’S BROKEN UN PROMISES

Let me start with this since it’s the briefest entry:

My latest article in the Japan Times Community Page will be coming out today, as in a few hours. Teaser summary:

=================================
Now that the UN’s corrupt Human Rights’ Commission has been replaced with the “Human Rights Council”, with more accountability for its members vis-a-vis their own human rights record, the Japanese government got elected last June as its richest member. Interestingly, I was able to obtain a copy of Japan’s submission to the UN when it declared its HRC candidacy. In it, Japan pulls the wool over the UN’s eyes, with half-truth claims regarding Japan’s willingness to comply with international standards of human rights (with prominent treaties left unsigned and signed treaties left unfollowed). Moreover, nowhere mentioned in the sales pitch is any form of commitment towards improving the rights of Japan’s international residents.

Maybe this ability for unqualified candidates to get elected is what’s causing writers on the UN, such as James Traub (author, “The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power”) to call the Human Rights Council “a failure” (NPR Fresh Air, October 31, 2006) already, mere months after its birth…
=================================

Anyway, pick up a copy of the Japan Times today and have a look.

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

2) EXCLUSIONARY KITAKYUSHU RESTAURANT ADDED TO ROGUES’ GALLERY

These sorts of things just seem to keep on happening whenever I attend a JALT conference (http://www.jalt.org). Last year, it was me finding out how the Japanese police were bending newly-revised hotel laws, by misrepresenting the law to make it seem as though all foreigners (residents of Japan or not) must show their passports at check-in. (Wrong–it only applies to tourists.) See the Japan Times (“Checkpoint at Check In”, October 13, 2005) article that came out of that at
http://www.debito.org/japantimes101805.html

This year, the following happened:

===================================================
ROGUES’ GALLERY OF EXCLUSIONARY ESTABLISHMENTS NOW INCLUDES ITS 21ST CITY:

Kokura, Kitakyushu City (Fukuoka Pref)
Restaurant “Jungle”
Kitakyushu-shi Kokura Kita-ku Kajimachi 1-7-4, Kajimachi Kaikan 3F
Ph: 093-512-7123, FAX 093-512-7124
Photo of storefront available at
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Kokura

On November 3, 2006, during the JALT National Conference at Kitakyushu, a JALT member was refused entry to the above restaurant. Reason given was that the establishment was full, even though to the refusee it visibly had open tables. The person who was refused informed Rogues’ Gallery moderator Arudou Debito at the conference after one of his presentations, and volunteer Jessica tracked down the site.

On November 4, at around 9PM, Arudou Debito, Jessica, and four other friends (including Ivan Hall, author of CARTELS OF THE MIND) went to the restauant in question. Arudou first went in alone and the manager, a Mr Matsubara Tatsuya, indeed tried to refuse him entry by claiming the restaurant was full. A quick walk around the restaurant confirmed that the establishment, with at least eight large tables plus counter space, was in fact almost completely empty. When it was clear that Arudou and Matsubara could communicate in Japanese, Matsubara then switched tacks and offered him counter space. Arudou then brought in his friends and confirmed that they could now have a table.

Arudou and friends then confirmed (after being seated and ordering drinks) that a) Matsubara did refuse foreigners entry, b) because he cannot communicate in English–he finds it his “nemesis” (nigate), c) and because he finds foreigners frightening (kowai). When asked if he had ever had any bad experiences or altercations with non-Japanese customers, Matsubara said no. He just (for reasons never made very clear) did not want to have to deal with them.

When Arudou and friends softly and calmly pointed out that a) non-Japanese are customers too, with money, not to mention language abilities (or at least forefingers to point to items on the menu), b) refusing them entry hurts their feelings, as it did the person refused the previous evening, c) that welcoming customers was part of the job description of his line of work (kyaku shoubai), he apologized and said he would try harder not to refuse non-Japanese customers in future.

The irony of the situation was that at the end of our drinks, one of the waiters who attended us (a student at the local technical college) talked to us in very good English. Why couldn’t Matsubara just have passed any customer with whom he was unable to communicate on to his staff?

We look forward to future reports from readers of this website who might wish to investigate this restaurant in future to see if Matsubara keeps his promise.
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ROGUES’ GALLERY ENTRY ENDS

I should think that if I find some time, I should write a letter on this case to JALT, the Kitakyushu Mayor’s office (after all, he did officially welcome us in the JALT brochures), the local Bureau of Human Rights, and maybe the local newspaper, and let them know that this sort of thing happened and should not anymore. JALT is like a mountain in that it is big enough to influence the weather–with a couple thousand attendees surely a windfall for the local economy. Might as well ask to use the authority if we have it.

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3) ECONOMIST SOFTBALL OBIT: “TOKYO ROSE” DIES

Here’s an article I stumbled across while reading back issues of The Economist, left fallow on my desk due to all my travels:

OBITUARY: TOKYO ROSE
Iva Toguri, a victim of mistaken identity, died on September 26th, aged 90
From The Economist (London) print edition, Oct 5th 2006
Courtesy http://www.economist.com/obituary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_SJJSDST

=================== EXCERPT BEGINS =======================
MANY years after the end of the war in the Pacific, a former tail-gunner who had been stationed in New Guinea wrote a letter to a veterans’ magazine. He wished to share his memories of a voice. Every night in the spring of 1944, huddled in a tent with his comrades, he would hear a woman speaking behind the crackle and whistling of the Halicrafter radio. “Hi, boys!” she would say, or sometimes “Hi, enemies! This is your favourite playmate.” She would play swing and jazz, introduce “some swell new records from the States” and then, almost as an afterthought, mention that a Japanese attack was coming: “So listen while you are still alive.”

They listened happily, as did American troops all over the Pacific. It was rare and good to hear a female voice, even through several layers of interference and even with the sneer of death in it. Whether it was one woman, or many different women, did not matter. They could picture her: a full lipstick smile, ample curves, perfect skin, part Hedy Lamarr and part the sweetheart left at home. She was a temptress and a vixen, and her name was Tokyo Rose. For even myths must have names and addresses…
=================== EXCERPT ENDS =======================
Rest of the article also at

Economist Oct 5 Obit: “Tokyo Rose” dies (with replies)

COMMENT: I think the author of article tries a little too hard to let Ms Toguri off the hook. Unwilling or subversive participant perhaps, the fact that she still participated is something that should be discussed. The author should have dealt with her motivations a little more, and instead of merely dismissing “incriminate Tokyo Rose” campaigner Walter Winchell as a “populist ranter”, brought up more of his claims and counterargued them better. Her popularity with the troops and celebrity status does not in my view exonerate her participation in the propaganda, and she herself should have told us a bit more about what went on before she died. If there is any “mistaken identity”, as the article claims in the title, I feel it is in part because she did an insufficient amount to correct it herself.

The Economist has done this sort of thing before, by the way. In an article on the Emperor Hirohito death in 1989, there was a Leader (editorial) dismissing British newspaper claims that he was “truly evil”. The Economist instead made the case that “Hirohito was one of the people in the 20th Century who delivered us” (IIRC–it’s been 18 years). I had trouble buying it then, and, given the revelations of Shouwa Tennou’s wartime involvement (see Herbert BIX’s book on it), I buy it even less today.

Contrast these with what passed as an Obit in The Economist for Leni Riefenstahl, another woman with wartime complicity. Also available at

Economist Oct 5 Obit: “Tokyo Rose” dies (with replies)

Maybe this is just something The Economist does: Focus on the output and not on the motivations of the artist. Pity it means glossing over archetypal historical figures in retrospective. I say: Less gush for people with possible complicity in wartime, please. There are issues here which should be discussed.

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4) PODCAST ON GOV. ISHIHARA

Shortly before writing this newsletter, I was interviewed tonight by “Bicyclemark’s Communique”, an introduction through ResPublica’s Lee-Sean Huang, by Mark, a Portuguese-American activist blogger, podjournalist, and vlogger living in Amsterdam. He asked me about Governor Ishihara, a topic I have probably B-minus knowledge about, and the emerging right-wing shift in Japan’s internationalist future. I’m pretty tired, so I made a couple of goofs, but have a listen anyway. I think it came out quite alright:

http://bicyclemark.org/blog/2006/11/bm164-ishiharas-tokyo/

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Thanks as always for reading!
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 7, 2006 ENDS

Economist Oct 5 Obit: “Tokyo Rose” dies (with replies)

mytest

Hi Blog. Been reading back issues of The Economist left fallow during my recent trips, and stumbled across this. Comment at the very bottom follows:

Iva Toguri, a victim of mistaken identity, died on September 26th, aged 90


Oct 5th 2006
From The Economist (London) print edition
Courtesy http://www.economist.com/obituary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_SJJSDST

MANY years after the end of the war in the Pacific, a former tail-gunner who had been stationed in New Guinea wrote a letter to a veterans’ magazine. He wished to share his memories of a voice. Every night in the spring of 1944, huddled in a tent with his comrades, he would hear a woman speaking behind the crackle and whistling of the Halicrafter radio. “Hi, boys!” she would say, or sometimes “Hi, enemies! This is your favourite playmate.” She would play swing and jazz, introduce “some swell new records from the States” and then, almost as an afterthought, mention that a Japanese attack was coming: “So listen while you are still alive.”

They listened happily, as did American troops all over the Pacific. It was rare and good to hear a female voice, even through several layers of interference and even with the sneer of death in it. Whether it was one woman, or many different women, did not matter. They could picture her: a full lipstick smile, ample curves, perfect skin, part Hedy Lamarr and part the sweetheart left at home. She was a temptress and a vixen, and her name was Tokyo Rose. For even myths must have names and addresses.

After the war American pressmen descended on ruined Tokyo to search for the girl they had invented. The Hearst empire was offering $2,000 for an interview and, after a while, a slight, pale, smiling young woman came forward. She had worked for Radio Tokyo and, for two years, had part-hosted a programme called “The Zero Hour”. Her name was Iva Toguri: an American citizen, born and raised in California, and now in desperate need of money to get home. She had never called herself Tokyo Rose, on air or otherwise, but there seemed no harm in taking the identity when the Hearst men asked her. Yes, she was “the one and only”, the “original”.

For a while it was glamorous to be this person. Troops mobbed her for her “Tokyo Rose” autograph. She was photographed with them, a schoolgirl figure in white blouse and black slacks amid a sea of beige uniforms. But if she was Tokyo Rose, and an American, then she was also probably a traitor. So, after the fun, she was arrested.

For a year she was kept in a military brig while her broadcasts were investigated. The authorities, finding nothing against her, concluded she was not Tokyo Rose and set her free. Others were not so easily robbed of their chimeras. A populist ranter and broadcaster, Walter Winchell, started a campaign to get her rearrested and retried. In 1948 she was indicted on eight counts of treason, one of which stuck: that in October 1944 “she did speak into a microphone concerning the loss of ships.” She was sentenced to ten years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

In fact, Miss Toguri’s story was all innocence. She had gone to Japan for the first time in 1941 to visit a dying aunt; the outbreak of war had trapped her there, an “enemy alien” without money and almost without the language. She was forced, like many other Allied prisoners-of-war, to work in propaganda broadcasting. Unlike her mythical persona, however, she had delivered no threats and nothing to demoralise the troops. Her radio manner was jolly rather than sultry. She was “Orphan Ann”, after Little Orphan Annie, and her theme tune, “Strike up the Band”, had been the fight song of her alma mater, the University of California at Los Angeles.

An alien in Japan

Ostensibly she was working for the Japanese. But she and her mentor, Charles Cousens, a major in the Australian army, had found ways of undermining them. Odd pauses or silly asides (“You are liking, please?”) would make nonsense of chilling remarks. And the records Miss Toguri chose were often British rather than American, entertaining the troops without making them think miserably of home.

As a nisei, the daughter of first-generation Japanese immigrants, she looked thoroughly Japanese. Not so. She was American to her fingertips, a Girl Scout, keen on big-band music and a regular at her Methodist church. Her father, though he ran a Japanese-import store, had insisted on that identity, wanting his children to speak and write only English. Iva—the name she had embraced, casting off “Ikuko”—had set off for Japan in 1941 with her trunks full of American food, and her letters home wailed at the misery of three rice meals a day. Stuck in Tokyo, she was pestered by the military police to give up her American citizenship. She clung to it fiercely until in 1949, as part of her treason sentence, it was revoked by her own country.

The mistake was eventually acknowledged. Gerald Ford pardoned Miss Toguri on the last day of his presidency, in 1977: the first-ever pardon of any American convicted of treason. By then, she had been released early for good behaviour, had paid her fine and had moved to Chicago, to live obscurely and to help out sometimes in her father’s Japanese-goods shop, selling bags of the hated rice to midwesterners.

Her pardon seemed an admission that she was not Tokyo Rose. But the American government still considered she was, even if wrongfully convicted. Hollywood, and the public, still thought so. And for many old servicemen “her” voice, and their dream of “her” face, still fill their memories of war in the Pacific, as real as the kamikaze aircraft plunging into the sea.
OBIT ENDS

COMMENT: I think the author of article tries a little too hard to let Ms Toguri off the hook. Unwilling or subversive participant perhaps, the fact that she still participated is something that should be discussed. One should have dealt with her motivations a little more, and instead of merely dismissing Winchell as a “populist ranter”, brought up more of his claims and counterargued them better. Her popularity with the troops and celebrity status does not in my view exonerate her participation in the propaganda, and she herself should have told us a bit more about what went on before she died. If there is any “mistaken identity”, as the article claims in the title, I feel she did an insufficient amount to correct it herself.

The Economist has done this sort of thing before. In an article on the Emperor Hirohito death in 1989, there was a Leader (editorial) dismissing British newspaper claims that he was “truly evil”. The Economist instead made the case that “Hirohito was one of the people in the 20th Century who delivered us” (IIRC–it’s been 18 years). I had trouble buying it then, and, given the revelations of Shouwa Tennou’s wartime involvement (see Herbert BIX’s book on it), I buy it even less today.

Contrast these with what passed as an Obit in The Economist for Leni Riefenstahl, another woman with wartime complicity:

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

Leni Riefenstahl
Her cinema was unforgettable

Hand-held history
Sep 11th 2003
From The Economist print edition
Courtesy http://www.economist.com/books/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=2051630

WITH just two films, made when she was still in her early 30s, Leni Riefenstahl stamped on history the iconography of Nazi Germany. Not even Albert Speer, with all his grandiose architecture cast in marble, came as close to capturing the subconscious allure—at once both devilish and erotic—that represented power to many Germans in the early 1930s. And although being cast as Adolf Hitler’s favourite film-maker later killed off Ms Riefenstahl’s career for good, it is this early work, the first commissioned personally by Hitler, that sealed her reputation as the greatest female film-maker of the 20th century.

She was a dancer and actress, whose films for Arnold Fanck, steeped in the Nietzschean ideology of mountains, purity and a proximity to heaven, were among Hitler’s favourites. So it was perhaps inevitable that he should ask the 31-year-old Ms Riefenstahl, who had recently begun directing, to make a film of her own—not a newsreel but a piece of cinema—about the Nazi victory rally of 1934.

It was a moment that appealed to Ms Riefenstahl’s passion for the Busby Berkeley spectacle and she turned it into a political coronation. “Triumph of Will” opens with the Führer descending from the clouds, like Odin, in his aeroplane to celebrate the might of his troops. She used moving cameras, frequent close-ups of the wide-eyed party faithful and heroic shots of Hitler taken from ground level. “Triumph of Will” has no commentary, only real sound—the Führer exhorting and the crowd roaring approval.

The film won an array of German prizes and led directly to a commission to film the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936. To capture the spirit of the early Greek Olympics, she filmed nearly naked athletes in an array of heroic poses. And although the film was less parti pris than its predecessor—it showed Jesse Owens sprinting to victory in a race that enraged Hitler—the power of moving muscle as the pinnacle of human excellence portrayed in “Olympia” had as much to do with Nazi ambition as it did with sport.

As before, Ms Riefenstahl’s filming and editing techniques both broke new ground, and many shots that now seem commonplace had never been seen before. To capture the drama of the pole vault and long jump, she placed her cameras in holes beside the sandpit where the athletes landed. She used four cameras, including one underwater, to capture the movement of high divers from all angles. Then, in the editing room, she turned them into graceful birds that you almost never see hitting the water.

Leni Riefenstahl took up still photography after she stopped making films. A favourite subject was the Nuba of Sudan. Like her athletes, her portraits of the Nuba were far less about the individuals she photographed than what their sculpted, muscular bodies represented. The similarity makes you wonder, if her film-making had not been abruptly cut off in its youth, whether she would indeed have evolved much further as an artist. Although she was 101 when she died earlier this week, there was always something of the James Dean about her.
ENDS
========================

Maybe this is just something The Economist does: Focus on the output and not on the motivations of the artist. Pity it means glossing over archetypal historical figures in retrospective. I say: Less gush for people with possible complicity in wartime, please. There are issues here which should be discussed. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

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A READER REPLIES:

Hey Debito,
I think you need to read a bit more on Tokyo Rose. The trial was a travesty, with witnesses forced to committ perjury in order to get a conviction. Here are some urls

—————————————
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iva_Toguri_D’Aquino
Identified by the press, however erroneously, as Tokyo Rose after the war, she was detained for a year by the U.S. military before being released for lack of evidence. Regardless, upon return to the U.S., the Federal Bureau of Investigation charged her with eight counts of treason. Her 1949 trial resulted in a conviction on one count, making her the seventh American to be convicted on that charge. In 1974, investigative journalists found key witnesses had lied during testimony, among and other serious problems with the conduct of the trial. She was pardoned by U.S. President Gerald Ford, becoming the only U.S. citizen convicted of treason to be pardoned

http://www.fbi.gov/libref/historic/famcases/rose/rose.htm
The Department of Justice initiated further efforts to acquire additional evidence that might be sufficient to convict Aquino. It issued a press release asking all U.S. soldiers and sailors who had heard the Radio Tokyo propaganda broadcasts and who could identify the voice of the broadcaster to contact the FBI. Justice also sent one of its attorneys and reporter Harry Brundidge to Japan to search for other witnesses. Problematically, Brundidge enticed a former contact of his to perjure himself in the matter.

Neither Brundidge nor the witness testified at trial because of the taint of perjury. Nor was Brundidge prosecuted for subornation of perjury. According to FBI records available at the National Archives, the Department of Justice thought that the evidence came down to the witness’s word against that of Brundidge.

http://www.kensmen.com/tokyorosec.html
http://forejustice.org/wc/tr/tokyo_rose_040503.htm
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/28/db2802.xml

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6154827&ft=1&f=2
—————————————

MY FRIEND CONCLUDES: Equating a film director supplied with resources from the Nazi party and a single woman without documentation trapped in Japan is missing the point on a number of levels. I think you are going to get hammered on this point.

==========================
DEBITO REPLIES:
As I should be, then. The Obit to me just didn’t make a sufficiently powerful case to the contrary. Ah well. Live and learn. Thanks for the info. Debito

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Hi Debito-san,

…I always enjoy reading your news items through e-mail and in the Japan Times. I noticed this little notice about Tokyo Rose below. It reminded me of a radio show that I hear sometime earlier this year. I have found it on Internet and am sending the URL. If you have some time, have a listen.

ECHOES OF A CENTURY: Tokyo Rose
http://www.podcastdirectory.com/podshows/836561

Keep up the good work!
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ANOTHER REPLY:

Dave, Eva Toguri, the so called Tokyo Rose, was framed–a post-war scapegoat. See

http://www.justicedenied.org/issue/issue_28/jd_issue_28.pdf
scroll down to page 22. Likewise, see
The Hunt for “Tokyo Rose” (Softcover) ($14.95)
by Russell Warren Howe – $14.95 – 384 pgs. A study of one of World War II’s most hated personalities. One realizes from the evidence Howe presents that the case against Iva Toguri, falsely identified as Tokyo Rose, was contrived and that the furor over her wartime activities while trapped in Japan after the war broke out was a combination of journalists wanting to create news and government officials looking for revenge against the Japanese. Howe includes detailed information from F.B.I. files and the testimony of surviving principals involved in the situation. The book reveals that Toguri’s broadcasting was not in any way detrimental to U. S. troops; in fact, she was forced by the Japanese to broadcast a show with little more than chitchat and music. The book carries a strong message about the vindictiveness of people under the stress of war, the ability of people to use the U. S. justice system for their own profit, and the power of the press. The book will also make readers reflect on American racism, the constitutional rights of the accused, and the immorality of U. S. officials.

Iva Toguri’s story was featured in the Spring 2005 issue of Justice Denied magazine. See, “Iva Toguri Is Innocent! – Iva Toguri was not Tokyo Rose and she was wrongly convicted of treason.”,
http://www.justicedenied.org/issue/issue_28/jd_issue_28.pdf
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ENDS