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  • Archive for April, 2007

    Fun Facts #4: Indicative Postwar “Child’s Play”

    Posted by arudou debito on 26th April 2007

    John Dower: Children’s games can provide a barometer of their times. With consumer of any sort still in the distant future, youngsters were thrown back on their imaginations, and their play became a lively measure of the obsessions of adult society. Not long before, boys in particular had played war with a chilling innocence of what they were being encouraged to become. They donned headbands and imagined themselves piloting the planes that would, in fact, never return. They played at being heroic sailors long after the imperial navy began to be decimated. Armed with wooden spears and bayonets, they threw themselves screaming at mock-ups of Roosevelt and Churchill and pretended they were saving the country from the foreign devils [48]. In defeat, there was no such clear indoctrination behind children’s games. Essentially, they played at doing what they saw grownups do. It was a sobering sight…

    Posted in Cultural Issue, Fun Facts, History | 1 Comment »

    Lucie Blackman’s alleged killer acquitted, given life for other crimes

    Posted by arudou debito on 24th April 2007

    The alleged killer of hostess Lucie Blackman, whose body was found a short walk from serial racist and killer Obara Jouji, was aquitted of murdering Blackman due to “circumstantial evidence”. This in a system where circumstantial evidence has gone a long way in other verdicts which turned out guilty, and why does it increasingly seem like the police do a half-assed job when crime is committed against non-Japanese…?

    Posted in Japanese police/Foreign crime, Lawsuits, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 1 Comment »

    Anthony Bianchi reelected to Inuyama Assembly

    Posted by arudou debito on 23rd April 2007

    Naturalized Japanese citizen Anthony Bianchi, originally from Brooklyn, New York, despite an unsuccessful mayoral bid last December, was reelected Sunday as an assembly member in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture.

    Posted in Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Politics | 1 Comment »

    Irish Times on Nagasaki Mayor Assassination and reemerging ultrarightism in Japan

    Posted by arudou debito on 23rd April 2007

    David McNeill forwards me his latest article for the Irish Times. Not exactly a NJ issue, but an interesting round-up of one symptom of Japan’s re-emerging ultrarightism (which will by its nature affect NJ in future). One thing that David did not bring up–how this case is depicted not as an “assassination” (ansatsu), but a […]

    Posted in Japanese Politics | 1 Comment »

    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APRIL 21, 2007

    Posted by arudou debito on 21st April 2007

    1) IMMIGRATION POLICY–KEIDANREN VS NATIVISTS: BOTH IGNORE NJ NEEDS
    2) ACCENTURE GETS SWEETHEART DEAL TO TRACK NJ AT BORDERS
    3) ECONOMIST: UNITED NATIONS “ADRIFT” ON HUMAN RIGHTS
    4) KYODO: LEE SOO-IM, ETHNIC KOREAN-JAPANESE ACTIVIST
    5) TIME: TOKYO HOUSING IN 1964 AND THE EMPOWERED KENSETSU ZOKU
    6) RESPONSES TO DEBITO.ORG RE GAIJIN HANZAI MAG, ALEX KERR,
    LEE’S ELECTORAL DEFEAT, AND TORUKO
    and finally…
    LUNCHTIME SPEECH AT ICU (MITAKA, TOKYO) ON MONDAY, APRIL 23

    Posted in Newsletters | No Comments »

    Gyaku Website: Accenture, JAPAN-VISIT, future Immig surveillance of NJ

    Posted by arudou debito on 20th April 2007

    The future of electronic surveillance of NJ first came to light on April 21, 2006, during questioning at the House of Representatives Committee on Judicial Affairs in the Japanese National Diet. Hosaka Nobuto of the Japan Social Democratic Party, a former journalist active in educational issues and one of the leaders in the fight against wiretapping laws in Japan, launched a barrage of questions at government officials over revelations that a contract for a new biometric immigration system had been awarded to Accenture Japan Ltd. The questions Hosaka put to the government on April 21st were undoubtedly some of the most important of his career, and yet, now nearly a year later, the story that he fought hard to publicize has barely made a ripple in the Japanese media, and remains virtually unknown to the outside world. GYAKU website aims to remedy that…

    Posted in Fingerprinting, Targeting, Tracking NJ, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, Japanese Politics, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 4 Comments »

    Lunchtime Speech Mon Apr 23 at ICU, Mitaka, Tokyo

    Posted by arudou debito on 19th April 2007

    I’m giving a speech at lunchtime at International Christian University (Mitaka, near Tokyo) Monday, April 23, 2007 Lunch Time (12:50 – 13:40), East Room, ICU Cafeteria, on racial discrimination in Japan. Open to the public.

    Posted in Human Rights, Speech materials | No Comments »

    Fun Facts #3: TIME: Japan’s postwar housing shortage and the aftermath

    Posted by arudou debito on 18th April 2007

    Fun Fact: “THE AVERAGE HEIGHT OF BUILDINGS IN TOKYO WAS 1.7 STORIES IN 1965″–and how I believe that has affected Japan’s housing quality to this day. Citing old TIME Magazine article as historical reference to how Japan’s high-growth had created a huge bubble economy and “rabbit hutch” housing market, and policy solutions shifted political power significantly towards the construction industry. And love the anecdote about the lack of space inhibiting conjugal relations…

    Posted in Fun Facts, History, Japanese Government | 2 Comments »

    Economist: UN Human Rights Council “adrift on human rights”

    Posted by arudou debito on 17th April 2007

    I’ve been wanting to present the indicative Otaru Onsens Case to the HRC for some years now, but bureaucratic snafus, and warnings from my activist friends that doing so would probably be a disappointment, have kept me at bay. Meanwhile, these articles from The Economist keep coming out and offering bad news about the meetings I’ve missed.

    Would be nice to believe that human rights, from the organization which has established some of the most important conventions and treaties in history, still matter in this day when rules seem grey, and even the most powerful country in the world dismisses long-standing international agreements as “outmoded” and “quaint”…

    Posted in Human Rights, United Nations | No Comments »

    Kyodo on LEE Soo Im, ethnic Korean-J activist and scholar

    Posted by arudou debito on 16th April 2007

    Lee Soo Im, professor at Ryukoku University, speaks at the Korea Society in New York about her life in Japan as a Zainichi Korean. ”I love Japan and fighting against the system is my way of showing patriotism to my country.” Lee, who recently co-edited ”Japan’s Diversity Dilemmas: Ethnicity, Citizenship, and Education” to highlight issues surrounding the country’s immigrant population, says there are no such thing as pure Japanese. A homogenous Japan is a myth built upon foreigners forced to live ”invisibly,” she says.

    Posted in Articles & Publications, History, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Problematic Foreign Treatment | No Comments »

    Asahi: SMJ protests proposed “compulsory reporting of foreign workers” bill

    Posted by arudou debito on 15th April 2007

    On April 10, 2007, civil rights groups including “Solidarity for Migrants Japan” (Imin Roudousha to Rentai suru Zenkoku Network) convened an assembly at the Diet’s Upper House Kaikan in Nagatacho, Tokyo, to protest a proposed revision to the labor laws requiring all companies to report their foreign workers to the authorities.

    Posted in Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Labor issues, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment | No Comments »

    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APRIL 14, 2007

    Posted by arudou debito on 14th April 2007

    1) ANSWER FROM ALEX KERR re HIS JAPAN TIMES COMMENTS
    2) TAKAHASHI SPEECH ON REMILITARIZING JAPAN AT U OF CHICAGO
    3) LATEST CRAZINESS FROM J JUDICIARY: SURROGATE MOTHERHOOD
    4) NATURALIZED KOREAN-J RUNS FOR OSAKA PREF ASSEMBLY
    5) PROTEST RE LABOR BILL: COMPANIES MUST REPORT THEIR FOREIGN WORKERS
    6) SUCCESSFUL PROTEST: CHANGING “TORUKO” TO “SOAPLAND”
    7) JAPAN TIMES: SHIGA GOVERNOR BACKS ANTI-DISCRIM LAW
    and finally…
    NORTHERN TERRITORIES DISPUTE… OVER A CASE OF BEER

    Posted in Newsletters | 1 Comment »

    朝日:外国人労働者の雇用報告義務化改正案に反対集会

    Posted by arudou debito on 14th April 2007

    朝日新聞:外国人労働者の雇用状況の報告を全企業に義務づける雇用対策法改正案について、外国人労働者へのプライバシー侵害や差別を助長するとして、市民団体「移住労働者と連帯する全国ネットワーク」などが10日、東京・永田町の参議院議員会館で、改正に反対する集会を開いた。

    Posted in Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Labor issues, 日本語 | No Comments »

    Takahashi speech at U of Chicago: “Militarism, Colonialism, Yasukuni Shrine”

    Posted by arudou debito on 12th April 2007

    Hi Blog. Great speech (available as a podcast from the link below) from the University of Chicago’s International and Area Studies Multimedia Outreach Service (CHIASMOS) (Thanks to Fiona for notifying me): ================================== “Postwar Japan on the Brink: Militarism, Colonialism, Yasukuni Shrine” by Professor Tetsuya Takahashi, University of Tokyo March 6, 2007 Professor Takahashi’s writings, including […]

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Education, History, Japanese Government, Japanese Politics | 2 Comments »

    Asahi: Naturalized Korean-J runs as minority for Osaka Pref Seat

    Posted by arudou debito on 11th April 2007

    Lee Kyung Jae obtained Japanese nationality to bring the voices of foreign residents to local and national politics. Running for a seat in the Osaka prefectural assembly election Sunday, he is the first candidate of foreign origin who has run in a local or national election on a campaign to represent the interests of an ethnic group, according to the Korean Residents’ Union in Japan (Mindan). Results blogged on Debito.org.

    Posted in Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Politics, Media | 3 Comments »

    TASS: Russian arrested in Nemuro on beer run

    Posted by arudou debito on 11th April 2007

    Humor: A Russian fisherman catching sea urchins decided to “drop into” Japan quickly to buy beer and was arrested on Saturday for illegally entering the country. The incident took place in Nemuro on the eastern coast of Hokkaido close to the Southern Kuriles–creating a potentially tense diplomatic situation due to the disputed territory between Japan and Russia.

    Posted in Humor | No Comments »

    JT: Shiga governor backs antidiscrimination law

    Posted by arudou debito on 11th April 2007

    Article uncovered from the archives: Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada said August 23, 2006, that she generally supports the creation of a national law to ban racial discrimination. However, many people in the central government and business who are pushing for more foreign labor oppose legislating against discrimination. Some say it would be better to change the attitude of society to be more tolerant of foreigners.

    Posted in Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Japanese Politics, Labor issues, Problematic Foreign Treatment | No Comments »

    DEBITO.ORG ELECTION SPECIAL APRIL 10 2007

    Posted by arudou debito on 10th April 2007

    THOUGHTS ON THE APRIL 8, 2007 ELECTION
    1) WHAT’S IT LIKE TO VOTE IN JAPAN?
    2) SOME UNOBVIOUS TRENDS THIS ELECTION
    3) RESULTS WE CARE ABOUT AT DEBITO.ORG

    Posted in Japanese Government, Japanese Politics | 5 Comments »

    デーブ・スペクター:「インチキ選挙」

    Posted by arudou debito on 10th April 2007

    スペクターさん本人からもらった新聞記事:2007年4月8日の選挙は「インチキ」

    Posted in Japanese Government, Japanese Politics, 日本語 | No Comments »

    Mainichi: Bio of the man who got “Toruko” off “special bathhouses”

    Posted by arudou debito on 8th April 2007

    Here’s a recent article from the Mainichi talking about a man who apparently single-handedly got the word “Toruko” (Turkish bath) signs removed from what are now “Soaplands” etc.–places which offer deluxe massages, if you will. I offer this up to show that once again, it is possible for one person to make a difference.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings | 1 Comment »

    外国人偏見廃止テンプレート:特殊浴場の名称からトルコ外させたヌスレット氏

    Posted by arudou debito on 8th April 2007

    ブログの皆様、これは「一人でも社会を変えられる」との証しとして載せます。問題点があれば、泣き寝入りをすべからず、国が好きなら声を挙げて改善すべきですね。有道 出人。 ======================= ひと:ヌスレットさん 特殊浴場の名称からトルコ外させた 毎日新聞 2007年4月7日 0時05分 http://www.mainichi-msn.co.jp/shakai/wadai/news/20070407k0000m070152000c.html  街並みを埋める看板やネオンに目をやる。23年ぶりの東京・新宿は晴れやかだった。桜の花びらが舞う。「鳥になった気分ですよ。もう、うつむいて歩かなくていい」  81年、地震の研究でトルコから日本に留学して半年余り。夕暮れの新宿で母国の名前を見つけ、店に飛び込んだ。「ガイジンが来た」の声とともに数人の肌着姿の女性が現れた。この問題で母国と大好きな日本がぎくしゃくするのはたまらない。一緒に日本に滞在中の当時19歳の妻、ハディエさんをおもんばかり、一人胸に抱え込んだ。  ある日、妻と地下鉄で帰宅する途中、老いた女性が「どこから来ましたか」と妻に尋ねた。日本語に不慣れの妻は「(彼と)トルコへ行きます」と答えた。女性は動揺して顔を赤らめた。その様子に妻も戸惑った。腹を決めて「トルコ(風呂)」を説明した。  「『うそよ』と繰り返す妻は、帰国すると言いました。私は『死ぬまでにこの呼び方は必ずなくす』と約束しました」  84年夏に再来日。政治家やメディアに訴える一方で本物のハマム(トルコの風呂)を伝えて行脚した。反響は瞬く間に広がり、数カ月後、街から「トルコ」の名称が消えた。  帰国後、日本への感謝の気持ちがふくらんだ。92年、地元の大学に日本語学科の開設を働きかけた。自ら作った3冊の教本で巣立った若者は1500人を超える。「この歴史を知らない人も増えましたが、私の心からの恩返しは続いています」【高尾具成】  【略歴】Nusret Sancakli(ヌスレット・サンジャクリ)さん 地震研究家。モンテネグロで生まれ、6歳で母国トルコへ。手織りじゅうたん会社の顧問も務める。53歳。 ENDS

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, 日本語 | No Comments »

    Alex Kerr falls into “Guestism” arguments with unresearched comments

    Posted by arudou debito on 7th April 2007

    Hi Blog. I covered some of this material in a previous post on the blog. However, for the newsletter I did a significant rewrite last night, describing how flippant and unresearched comments from a noteworthy person (Alex Kerr) can cause problems for others (particularly through unscrupulous anonymous editors on places like Wikipedia). I don’t want […]

    Posted in Cultural Issue, History, Human Rights, Ironies & Hypocrisies | 12 Comments »

    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APRIL 7, 2007

    Posted by arudou debito on 7th April 2007

    1) GAIJIN HANZAI PUBLISHER GOES BANKRUPT
    2) METROPOLIS ON POLICE TREATMENT OF CRIMES AGAINST NJ
    3) IRISH TIMES AND NYT ON J HISTORICAL REVISIONISM
    4) “GUESTISM” PLACED IN A HISTORICAL CONTEXT
    5) GET READY FOR A DIVORCE-RATE BOOM IN JAPAN
    6) U OF HYOGO AND IUHW ADDED TO UNIVERSITY BLACKLIST
    and finally… FUN FACTS! RE LOCAL GOVTS

    Posted in Newsletters | No Comments »

    Gaijin Hanzai publisher Eichi Shuppan goes bankrupt

    Posted by arudou debito on 6th April 2007

    Fukumimi reports that Eichi Shuppan, publisher of the infamous GAIJIN HANZAI magazine, has gone bankrupt. It is not, however, entirely due to the bath they took due to the successful boycott of the magazine–although it didn’t help. What was Eichi doing taking such a foolhardy risk–allegedly only for the sake of debate? Phooey. High risk, no return.

    Posted in GAIJIN HANZAI mag, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 2 Comments »

    嫌悪感を助長した「外人犯罪」ムックの出版社は倒産

    Posted by arudou debito on 6th April 2007

    『外人犯罪裏ファイル』『ビデオボーイ』『デラべっぴん』など男性用アダルト雑誌を発売していた英知出版(上野文明社長)が倒産していたことが5日、分かった。3月30日付で事業活動を停止し、今月中に自己破産を申請する予定という。負債総額は約23億円の見通し。出版不況やインターネットの普及など外部環境が悪化するなか、ヒット作に恵まれなかったことが経営を直撃したようだ。

    Posted in GAIJIN HANZAI mag, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment, 日本語 | No Comments »

    Joe Jones on surrogate mothers and J citizenship (UPDATED)

    Posted by arudou debito on 5th April 2007

    Japanese citizenship issue: According to a fascinating new blog by friend Joe Jones, we have yet another facet of Japanese citizenship up for dispute: If Japanese infertile couples seek Surrogate Motherhood overseas, the Supreme Court has ruled that citizenship is conferred not by DNA (after all, they didn’t have DNA tests back in the Meiji Era) but by whose womb the baby emerges. Better not outsource overseas. And because the parents refused to register their children on April 11, 2007, their kids are now foreigners.

    Posted in Japanese Government, Lawsuits, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 1 Comment »

    Fun Facts #2: Comparative govt “kokusaika”-friendliness by Prefecture

    Posted by arudou debito on 5th April 2007

    Fun Facts: Minami Nihon Shinbun of February 12, 2007 offers a color-coded chart of how each of Japan’s 47 municipal governments stack up in terms of “Multicultural Coexistence” (tabunka kyousei)–behind the two other pillars the national government determined in March 2006 to be the backbone of Japan’s internationalization: “International Communication” (kokusai kouryuu), and “International Cooperation” (kokusai kyouryoku). The results…

    Posted in Fun Facts, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, 日本語 | 1 Comment »

    Fun Facts #1: Comparative GDPs of J Prefectures

    Posted by arudou debito on 4th April 2007

    Kicking off my first installment of FUN FACTS–an occasional series of interesting articles blogged for posterity. Asahi Shinbun of Feb 7, 2007 talks about PM Abe’s vision of “doushuusei”, the consolidation of prefectures, to cut down on local government costs and maybe even devolve more power to self-sufficient local governments. If Japan’s 47 local governments were cut down to eleven regions, this would produce the following results…

    Posted in Fun Facts, Japanese Government, 日本語 | No Comments »

    Metropolis on police treatment of crime against NJ

    Posted by arudou debito on 3rd April 2007

    Here’s an article which will hopefully start the pendelum swinging backwards on the whole “foreigners are potential criminals” starting point whenever NJ interact which the police. Some advice follows from the US Embassy (gleaned after a recent email exchange over yet another case of post-assault police negligence) which would have made my closing comments a little more informative.
    Feature
    Crime Spree
    Foreigners who turn to Japan’s justice system for help find themselves ignored. Is incompetence to blame—or racism?
    METROPOLIS MAGAZINE #677 MARCH 16, 2007
    By Oscar Johnson

    Posted in Japanese police/Foreign crime, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 4 Comments »

    Irish Times: “Abe unleashes the deniers of history”, NYT on textbook revisionism

    Posted by arudou debito on 2nd April 2007

    It’s business as usual as Japan Inc. takes on the world’s political arenas with spin doctoring over “Comfort Women” etc., to feint with the left hand while fiddling with the right. Distract with snow jobs while whitewashing the historical record. Only this time I think we’ve got enough people on the ground over here who know what our government is doing for a change. David McNeill releases an excellent article for the Irish Times, while Norimitsu Onishi, on an incredible roll these days, continues unearthing for the New York Times.

    Posted in Education, History, Japanese Government, Japanese Politics | 3 Comments »

    日本語教科書「みんなの日本語」出版社への抗議文(アップデート:回答文いただき)

    Posted by arudou debito on 2nd April 2007

    「御社が出版している教科書「みんなの日本語」の件ですが、191ページにある会話のなか、図書館へ行く外国人は道の案内の途中、「外国人登録証を持って来て下さい」というセリフが載っています。既に様々な改善要請が御社に届いたと思いますが、ご存知の通り、図書館のスタッフは要求する立場にはありません。…」

    Posted in Education, Media, 日本語 | 1 Comment »

    BBC: Japan set for divorce rate boom

    Posted by arudou debito on 2nd April 2007

    Hi Blog. I’ve written a few essays on the problems with divorce in Japan in the past. (see artery site at http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#divorce Well, the BBC is projecting the same thing as I have: that yesterday’s pension reforms are going to bring about a few changes in the artificially low divorce rates in Japan. Wait and […]

    Posted in Cultural Issue | No Comments »