Quick note to readers: Book tour is going exceptionally well…

mytest

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Hi Blog. Been quiet the past couple of weeks as the HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS Book Tour reaches its home stretch. Just a quick word to tell everyone it’s been a life-changing experience, with boxes of books selling out, warm receptions, and good attendances everywhere. Quite simply, I’m not used to a book selling so quickly and reviews so universally positive. I enter the home stretch today, finishing up in Kansai tomorrow and heading due West to my final venues in Okayama and Fukuoka (see next post for full tour schedule). And if you want more information about the book, the reviews, feedback from readers, and bookstores I’ve personally visited nationwide to get the book stocked, please click here.

I anticipate the Debito.org blog will return to its regular schedule of daily updates by April 3. And my next Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE column will be out April 1. Thanks to everyone as always for reading! Arudou Debito in Osaka

Debito on tour March 15 to April 1, Blog will be updated less often

mytest

UPDATE: WHERE “HANDBOOK” IS CONFIRMED SELLING (see bottom of this blog entry)
HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpgwelcomesticker.jpgFranca-color.jpg

Hi Blog. Just a quick word to say that I’ll be on the road from now on, updating my blog (and approving comments) less often. Apologies. HANDBOOK Tour dates again, FYI:

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BOOK TOUR FOR “HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN”
Schedule follows:
March 15-23, Tokyo/Tohoku area.
Sat March 15 6PM-8PM Sendai FRANCA inaugural meeting, Sendai Fukushi Plaza Meeting Room 2 (10F), by Itsutsubashi subway station) (FIXED)
Sun March 16 5PM National Union of General Workers Tokyo Nambu HQ, Shinbashi, Tokyo (FIXED)
Mon March 17 Roppongi Bar Association, Century Court, Roppongi (FIXED)
Tues March 18 6:30-8:30 PM, Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, Tokyo BOOK BREAK (FIXED)
Weds March 19, 7PM-9PM Amnesty International Tokyo English Network (AITEN) Meeting at Ben’s Cafe, Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku (FIXED)
Fri March 21, 7PM, An evening with Debito, Kamesei Ryokan, Nagano (FIXED) See Kamesei Blog announcement here.
Sat March 22 10:30AM-Noon with Debito, Kamesei Ryokan, Nagano, Sponsored by 千曲(ちくま)市国際交流協会 (FIXED)
Sun March 23 6:30 PM Good Day Books Tokyo Ebisu (FIXED)

Sat March 15 6PM-8PM Sendai FRANCA inaugural meeting, ) (FIXED)Sun March 16 5PM (FIXED)Mon March 17 Roppongi Bar Association, (FIXED)Tues March 18 6:30-8:30 PM, (FIXED)Weds March 19, 7PM-9PM Meeting at (FIXED)Fri March 21, 7PM, An evening with Debito, (FIXED) Sat March 22 10:30AM-Noon with Debito, (FIXED)Sun March 23 6:30 PM (FIXED)March 24-April 1, Kansai/Chubu area.
Tues March 25, 7PM FRANCA Speech Osaka Shiritsu Shimin Gakushuu Center 4F (FIXED)
Thurs March 27, Speech at Shiga University (FIXED)
Fri March 28 Speech for JALT Kobe 5PM-7PM, Kobe International House (Kokusai Kaikan), Chuo-ku, Kobe (FIXED)
Sat March 29, 1PM-3PM, Speech for JALT Wakayama, Wakayama Int’l Exchange Assoc, Wakayama “Big Ai” Bldg 8F (FIXED)
Sat March 29, 6PM to 8:30PM, Speech for JALT Osaka, Osaka Ekimae Dai-2 Building’s Lifelong Learning Center 6F (FIXED)
Sun March 30, 2PM-4PM, Speech for JALT Okayama, Sankaku A Bldg 2F near Omotecho, Okayama (FIXED)
Tues April 1, 6PM-8:30PM, Speech in Fukuoka, Fukuoka General Union, Biotope NPO Office, Komori Bldg near Hakata Station (FIXED)

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

Book synopsis here.
See you around! Arudou Debito all over the place.

BOOKSTORES CONFIRMED SELLING “HANDBOOK” (Because Arudou Debito went there personally and asked them to stock it):

TOKYO: Good Day Books Ebisu, Tower Records Shibuya 7F, Aoyama Book Center near Roppongi Station, Aoi Bookstore near Roppongi Station, Aoyama Book Center Roppongi Hills, Tsutaya Roppongi Hills (gave me my biggest order–30 books!), Tokyo University Bookstore, Maruzen Honten Marunouchi, Yaesu Book Center 8F near Tokyo Station East Exit, Dan Books Hamamatsu-Cho, Kinokuniya Shinjuku Honten, Kinokuniya Shinjuku Minami-Ten, Junkudo Ikebukuro, Aoyama Book Center Honten Omotesando, Shibuya Book 1st, Blue Parrot Books Takadanobaba.

OSAKA: Namba Book 1st, OCAT Maruzen 5F, Sanseido Shinsaibashi Sogo Dept 12F, Kinokuniya Umeda by BIG MAN, Asahiya Books Umeda 7F.

KOBE: Foreign Buyers Club (FBC) Rokko Island

OKAYAMA: Ekimae “Happy” (formely Daiei) Dept. Store 5F Hon no Mori no Seruba

SENDAI: Maruzen, Junkudo (Loft 7F), Junkudo (I-Beans Bldg)

SAPPORO:  Sanseido (Daimaru Department Store 8F), Kinokuniya Sapporo Eki, Coach and Four Shinkawa, Coach and Four Munich Bridge, Asahiya Shoten Sapporo Eki, Atene Shoten Eki Mae Doori.

SHIN CHITOSE AIRPORT (the main Hokkaido airport): Bunkyodo 1F, Kinokuniya 2F

CORPORATE LINKS:
Tokyo’s top investment bank has just made HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS standard reading for all of its expatriate staff in or arriving in Japan, according to Ben Goodyear, head of IT there.

ENDS

“WELCOME NON-JAPANESE CUSTOMERS” stickers for businesses now on sale at Debito.org (Paypal OK)

mytest

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Hi Blog. Happy to announce, along with the sale of HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS, another new program on Debito.org to push back the night–and counteract the nationwide spread of JAPANESE ONLY signs on businesses: New signs that say “WE WELCOME NON-JAPANESE CUSTOMERS”:

welcomesticker.jpg
More details on how you can order these stickers through Paypal here:
http://www.debito.org/welcomestickers.html

I’ll have a list of businesses with the stickers up there as orders come in. Please patronize these establishments, and tell the management that you approve of the sticker!

Arudou Debito in Sapporo

(PS: I’ll be on tour from now until April with only sporadic Internet access. Sorry to keep commenters waiting…)

J Times et al on homicide of Scott Tucker: “likely to draw leniency”

mytest

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Hi Blog. We have a situation here I’ve been waiting to draw conclusions on for some days now. But here are some articles which substantiate what I’ve been fearing all along. The indication of differing judicial standards for similar crimes based upon nationality.

When a NJ killed a J in 1984 (see the Steve Bellamy Case, where a NJ defending a woman against a drunk and disorderly Japanese wound up killing him with his advanced martial arts skills), he was exonerated, then convicted, then exonerated again for, colloquially, “yarisugi” (and it became a case that changed jurisprudence for kajou bouei in Japan).

Now we have the opposite circumstance–a J killing a NJ–and according to the Japan Times, leniency is expected.

Historically, America had the expression, “he doesn’t have a Chinaman’s chance” (the modern-day equivalent of “a snowball’s chance in hell”), showing how bent the American judiciary was towards Asians a century or so ago. In Japan’s judiciary, are we to say, “he doesn’t have a gaijin’s chance”? Mr Yuyu Idubor, convicted for a rape he says he never committed, Mr Valentine, crippled due to police medical negligence during interrogation and completely ignored in court, or Mr Steve McGowan, barred from an Osaka eyeglass store express ‘cos the owner “doesn’t like black people”, again ignored in lower court (tho’ awarded a pittance in High Court), just might.

Here are two articles on the Scott Tucker homicide, one with conclusions, the other with details. The relative silence within the Japanese media on this case is pretty indicative. Contrast that with all the sawagi that would probably ensue if the opposite happened, where a NJ (especially a Beigun) killed a Japanese in this way. Arudou Debito in Sapporo.

(PS: If you want to comment on this case, please do so within the next 24 hours. After that, I’m going to be on the road with the book tour and unable to approve comments promptly.)

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Death of American in bar fight likely to draw leniency
Japan Times Thursday, March 13, 2008
By JUN HONGO Staff writer
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20080313a3.html
Courtesy of Colin

The death of an American resident in Tokyo in a fatal bar fight late last month is not likely to result in any severe punishment being meted out due to the circumstances of the case, legal experts say.

Richard “Scott” Tucker, 47, died at Tokyo Metropolitan Hiroo Hospital after being punched and choked at Bullets, a nightclub in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, on Feb. 29. Police arrested Atsushi Watanabe, a 29-year-old disc jockey at the club, for the fatal assault.

While some media reports have suggested the West Virginian visited the club to complain about the noise, a police official told The Japan Times on Tuesday that Tucker appeared “heavily drunk and acted violently toward other customers,” at times striking a boxer’s pose, on the night of the incident.

Watanabe has told investigators he attempted to halt the disturbance in his club “because (Tucker) was picking a quarrel with everyone,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Legal experts suggest such circumstances would likely result in Watanabe receiving relatively minor punishment.
ENDS
=================================

Tokyo killing of Charleston native ‘seeded in past events’
Tucker’s brother: Japanese bar’s noise led to fatal fight
The Charleston Gazette March 7, 2008
By Gary Harki Staff writer
http://sundaygazettemail.com/News/200803060766

A Charleston native killed in a Tokyo bar last weekend went there because he was angry about the noise, his brother said Thursday.

“Based on the information we have, Scott went into the bar with an attitude,” Chip Tucker said. “He was upset with the noise and commotion of what was going on, which was a routine. … He was not there for the party.”

Scott Tucker, 47, a Charleston native and West Virginia University graduate, died in a hospital after being choked and punched at a nightclub called Bullets in the Azabu section of Tokyo on Feb. 29, according to japantoday.com, an English-language news Web site.

Atsushi Watanabe, 29, a disc jockey at the club, is charged with killing Scott Tucker, according to the Web site.
“This was a specialized technique intended to do harm,” Chip Tucker said of how Watanabe allegedly killed his brother. “It’s a murder case. Everything points to that being the situation.”

The club was known for parties, noise and fights, Chip Tucker said. “His wife feels part of [Scott Tucker’s actions] were seeded in past events,” he said.

Tucker had been drinking and recently had developed a drinking problem, his brother said: “We are not sure if he had been home or was coming home when it happened.”

Chip Tucker said that based on Japanese law, the family will seek the maximum penalty for Watanabe. That won’t be determined until Watanabe is formally charged after the investigation has ended, he said.

“They determine punishment not only on a case-by-case basis but on the wishes of the family,” he said.
Some investigation records will be released in about 20 days, when police pull their records together and present the case to a judge, he said.

Tucker said it does not appear that Watanabe, who had no previous criminal record, intended to kill his brother. “It appears as though this was not premeditated, but he used force well beyond what he should have,” he said.

Scott Tucker lived in a building he had bought and – as is Japanese custom – named it after himself, said Chris Mathison, Scott’s former business partner.

Tucker had lived in the downtown Tokyo building, in an upscale section of the city, for at least 12 years, Mathison said. Two doors down was the jewelry studio of Tucker’s wife, Yumiko Yamazaki. Between the buildings was the Bullets club where Tucker was killed.

Mathison said he and Scott Tucker had traveled the world together in the early 1990s, working for various computer companies. The two still talked frequently, he said.

“He was rich. And not only did he do well, his wife is one of Japan’s leading jewelry designers,” Mathison said. “He had this career of closing enormous deals.”

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said he remembered the Tucker family when they lived in Charleston in the 1960s, particularly Jean Tucker, Scott and Chip’s mother. He remembered waiting on her when he worked at the Pure Oil station in South Hills, he said.

“They were very nice people. They lived on Oakmont Road,” he said. “I stayed friends with them until I was drafted in 1969.”

Scott Tucker moved to Japan about 24 years ago, shortly after graduating from WVU with a degree in foreign languages and linguistics.

Chip Tucker said he attended a private service for the family at a crematory in Japan on Thursday. He will bring part of his brother’s ashes back to the United States to be spread in San Diego.

On Thursday, he and Yamazaki went to a neighborhood bar frequented by his brother to pick up a picture of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards that he kept there.

“Scott loved music. He had a wide range of tastes,” he said.

There were a few regulars in the bar, Chip Tucker said.

“Everyone came over and showed their condolences to Scott’s wife. They couldn’t believe the situation. They had never seen Scott angry,” he said. “They all showed up at the funeral. They were overwhelmed.

“They had never seen Scott get in a fight. They couldn’t believe it.”
ENDS

Trans Pacific Radio Podcast on HANDBOOK

mytest

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Interview with Debito Arudou on the Publication of the Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants and Immigrants
Filed under: Trans-Pacific Radio, TPR Spotlight
Posted by Ken Worsley at 10:57 pm on Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In this edition of TPR spotlight, Debito Arudou joins TPR’s Garrett DeOrio and Ken Worsley to discuss the upcoming release of his new book, Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants, which is set to go on sale from March 15.

In the interview, Debito speaks about why the book was written, what kinds of resources it offers for people moving to Japan, his relationship with co-author Akira Higuchi, the upcoming book tour, and what might be in store for the future of Japan’s increasing number of foreign residents who decide to stay in Japan long term, if not permanently.

http://www.transpacificradio.com/2008/03/12/interview-with-debito-arudou-on-the-publication-of-the-handbook-for-newcomers-migrants-and-immigrants/
ENDS

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MARCH 12, 2008

mytest

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Hello all. This will be the last Newsletter for this month, as I’ll be touring around Japan between March 15 and April 2 to promote our new book, HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS (more details on the tour at the very bottom of this Newsletter, more on the book at http://www.debito.org/?page_id=582). Here goes:

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MARCH 12, 2008
Table of contents:
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1) New publications up on Debito.org:
First JUST BE CAUSE Japan Times Column, Journal of Intl Health, NY Intl Law Review

The government cracks down, is cracked down upon:
2) IHT: GOJ to “govern influential, widely read news-related websites”. Like 2-Channel.
3) UN’s Mr Ban calls for all nations to face UN Human Rights Council scrutiny
4) Rube Redfield on the GOJ banning use of dispatch teachers in J universities

Tripe and onions:
5) Mainichi: Official figures for NJ visa overstayers drop again in 2007, yet NPA stresses rise
6) NYT: Michelin rankings and the alleged inability for NJ to rate Japanese food

Travelogue and opinions:
7) Interview with Debito on KPIJ re activism, new book, the GOJ, and “The Japanese Way”
8) Quick Report on Debito’s recent Okinawa Trip: AmerAsian School, Kina Shoukichi

… and finally…
9) “WELCOME NON-JAPANESE CUSTOMERS” stickers for sale at Debito.org
10) LINKS TO PRESS RELEASE, PODCAST, BOOK TOUR, and ORDERING DETAILS (PAYPAL OK)
for “Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants”

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By Arudou Debito, Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org, http://www.debito.org
Freely Forwardable

1) Debito.org Updates: First JUST BE CAUSE Japan Times Column, Journal of Intl Health, NY Intl Law Review

Links to three new articles added to Debito.org’s regular website:

1) My new Japan Times Column JUST BE CAUSE (March 4, 2008),
2) an article in the Journal of International Health on flawed health care for NJ in Japan, and
3) an award-winning article written by Canon Pence on the Otaru Onsens Case etc. in the New York International Law Review.

Links to the last two at
http://www.debito.org/?p=1393

My first JUST BE CAUSE Column as follows:
================= COLUMN BEGINS ====================
“ON ACTIVISM IN JAPAN”
Published as “Dusting off the A-Word” in the Japan Times March 4, 2008
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20080304ad.html
Draft Twelve, “Director’s Cut”, as submitted to the editor, with links to sources at
http://www.debito.org/justbecause030408.html

Let’s start my first regular column by explaining the title, starting with the word “cause”.

As you know, causes are what activists take up as a matter of course. But in Japan, just doing that is a challenge–given the general aversion towards activism here.

I’ve been called an “akutibisuto” for many years. At first, I was leery of the label because of its negative ring in Japanese. Even its vernacular equivalents–“katsudouka”, “undouka”, even “puro shimin” (“professional citizen,” a negative term like “do-gooder”)–make “activist” sound like “extremist” (kageki ha).

No wonder. Civil society–meaning non-governmental/non-profit organizations, networks, and voluntary associations promoting “a common good”–is curiously underdeveloped in Japan.

Sure, volunteer groups have long existed in Japan, but the “father-knows-best” paternalism still found in our bureaucracy precluded much grassroots philanthropy. NGOs and NPOs weren’t even allowed official registration until a decade ago.

To most people, “acting in the public interest” wasn’t our job–it was the government’s. And our government, believe it or not, was once seen as practically infallible. From the 1950’s to the late 1980’s, the “best and brightest” were mandarins creating good industrial policy. Most people cashed in on the high-growth economy instead of helping those less fortunate in society–such as the homeless, the handicapped, and the discriminated against.

Even after the bubble burst and faith in the government dimmed, many still had difficulty believing that certain problems, such as racial discrimination towards the growing number of non-Japanese residents, even existed in Japan. After all, standardized education said that racial discrimination was an overseas phenomenon; the paragons were the American South under segregation and South Africa under apartheid.

The Ana Bortz and Otaru Onsens lawsuits, where our judiciary openly acknowledged that “Japanese Only” establishments were discriminating by race, removed a lot of plausible deniability. But even today, Japan officially claims to the United Nations that there are no real ethnic minorities in Japan, therefore no racial discrimination. Frictions and “gaijin allergies” are mainly due to misunderstandings by Johnny Foreigner, unable to grasp our unique culture.

Mandarin say, public do: In any public discussion on why exclusionary signs stay up on shop fronts, justifications turn to “culture” too automatically. Which means an activist has an uphill slog convincing people why they should care.

But I believe the biggest reason why activism in general is so frowned upon in Japan is because it has no history of resounding success.

In the West, the anti-Vietnam War movement of the late 1960s is held up as the epitome of a “successful” demonstration of “people power.” Speeches, public demos, and conscientious objectionism helped topple administrations (Lyndon Johnson and Charles de Gaulle, for example) and change political landscapes. People engaging in peaceful protest (for a cause now vindicated in popular culture) is part of the historical narrative. Activism isn’t even all that scary: the sky won’t fall because people picket. It’s even seen as a benign phase students go through.

Contrast that with Postwar Japan’s biggest street protests, against the revision of the US-Japan Security Treaty in the late 1950’s–early 1960’s. There were student riots, huge rifts in society, even violence and deaths.

However, those struggles didn’t amount to much. We are still under the Security Treaty. The perpetually-empowered big cheeses in the LDP have never been toppled by street demonstrations (yes, media exposes of political graft, such as Lockheed and Recruit, have done some in; but that’s not the same).

Instead, left-wing extremists cleaved into camps (most famously the Red Army), turned on themselves in murderous purges, and set off bombs and riots that maimed authority figures and bystanders alike. In doing so, they destroyed any possible image of civil disobedience.

So with no clear example of activism “working” in Japan, it’s difficult to argue that causes are worth the time and energy. Instead of being heroic, they’re associated with rioting extremists.

When I eventually took on the mantle of activist (my cause: establishing a law against racial discrimination in Japan), I found I must constantly dispel the image that I am doing anything extreme. I’m just doing what other fellow Japanese (however few), working within the law and the Constitution, do.

That means lobbying politicians, notifying ministries, “naming and shaming” discriminating businesses, and crafting essays and websites as a permanent record for future researchers. Even if it means my swimming against the current, perpetually gainsaid by naysayers because they’re apathetic, cynical, culturally relativistic, or debate dilettantes.

This monthly JUST BE CAUSE column will be part of that essaywriting effort, discussing things that matter to the ever-growing Non-Japanese communities in Japan.

I hope to spark debate about what should by now seem obvious in any developed society: That everyone regardless of nationality, national origin, or any immutable social status affixed at birth, should get a fair chance at reaching their potential in society.

That’s not obvious in Japan, because too few people actively push for it.

I’ll write because it’s a just cause. Or even just because.
================= COLUMN ENDS ====================
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2) IHT: GOJ to “govern influential, widely read news-related websites”. Like 2-Channel

IHT: “A Japanese government panel is proposing to govern “influential, widely read news-related sites as newspapers and broadcasting are now regulated.” The government is also seeking to rein in some of the more unsavory aspects of the Internet, leaving in its wake, critics say, the censoring hand of government interference.” Fools like the people who run 2-Channel BBS, who keep flaunting the law and ignoring court judgments against them for libel (such as my lawsuit more than two years ago), will wind up justifying these sorts of policy pushes to regulate freedom of expression. Read more
http://www.debito.org/?p=1376

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3) UN’s Mr Ban calls for all nations to face UN Human Rights Council scrutiny

UN News: “Opening the seventh session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 5, 2008, called on its members to ensure that all nations are held equally accountable for the protection of rights as the new body begins its first-ever universal review of their performance. “No country, however powerful, should escape scrutiny of its record, commitments and actions on human rights,” Mr. Ban said, hailing the start of the Universal Periodic Review, under which all UN Member States at the rate of 48 a year will be reviewed to assess whether they have fulfilled their human rights obligations.”

That includes you, Japan; you should have submitted your sixth 2-year report to the HRC by now. You haven’t even submitted your second. And you want a UN Security Council Seat? Read more
http://www.debito.org/?p=1391

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4) Rube Redfield on the GOJ banning use of dispatch teachers in J universities

Here’s one loophole that has just been closed by the GOJ–about the use of “dispatch teachers” (haken sha’in) in the place of full-time workers in universities. This creates problems not only with professionality (essentially putting in “temp” workers in place of qualified professionals), but also with labor standards, as you get part-timers filling in for full-timers, saving money on salaries and social insurance (which the educational institution must pay half of for all full-timers). And with dispatch agencies (such as the erstwhile NOVA and Berlitz) getting involved in this racket, you get businesses creaming off the top as well–sending in disposable labor for a fraction of the cost of hiring anyone with job security and training. The economic incentives are clear. So clear they were abused. Now the GOJ has banned it. Bravo. Read more
http://www.debito.org/?p=1396

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5) Mainichi: Official figures for NJ visa overstayers drop again in 2007

Mainichi: “Nearly 150,000 foreigners were illegally residing in Japan on expired visas as of the beginning of this year, the Justice Ministry said Friday. As of Jan. 1, there were 149,785 foreigners staying in Japan without valid visas, down 21,054 or 12.3 percent from the year earlier, according to the ministry’s Immigration Bureau.”

Which means the GOJ is probably not going to make its goal of halving NJ overstayers by 2008. Also, a bit about how many NJ have been caught, since fingerprinting at the border was instituted, was reported in Japanese, but not in the English version, mysteriously. Read more
http://www.debito.org/?p=1374

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6) NYT: Michelin rankings and the alleged inability for NJ to rate Japanese food

NYT: “But many Tokyoites grumbled that the guide gave high ratings to unremarkable restaurants, prompting wide speculation that the large number of stars was just a marketing ploy. “Anybody who knows restaurants in Tokyo knows that these stars are ridiculous,” said Toru Kenjo, president of Gentosha publishing house, whose men’s fashion magazine, Goethe, published a lengthy critique of the Tokyo guide last month. “Michelin has debased its brand. It won’t sell as well here in the future.” One chef, Toshiya Kadowaki, said his nouveau Japonais dishes, including a French-inspired rice with truffles, did not need a Gallic seal of approval. “Japanese food was created here, and only Japanese know it,” Mr. Kadowaki said in an interview. “How can a bunch of foreigners show up and tell us what is good or bad?” Read more
http://www.debito.org/?p=1362

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7) Interview (sound files) with Debito on KPIJ re activism, new book, the GOJ, and “The Japanese Way”

I had an interview last week with Turner, webmaster of “Keeping Pace in Japan”, regarding topics such as activism, the Japanese Government, “The Japanese Way”, and upcoming sale of HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS. Link to his site for clickable sound files and audible answers. Read more
http://www.debito.org/?p=1388

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8) Quick Report on Okinawa Trip: AmerAsian School, Kina Shoukichi

A brief report (with photos) about my Feb 28-March 1 trip to Okinawa, visiting the AmerAsian School for international children who fall through Japan’s educational cracks. Also a bit about meeting musician, activist, and Dietmember Kina Shoukichi, Kadena, and Kokusai Doori. Have to get down there again soon and for longer to let impressions sink in better. Read more
http://www.debito.org/?p=1378

…and finally…
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9) “WELCOME NON-JAPANESE CUSTOMERS” stickers for sale at Debito.org

Want to do something about the spread nationwide of exclusionary (and sadly, not illegal) JAPANESE ONLY signs?
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html
Put up a sign of your own–broadcasting your open-door policy!

WELCOME NON-JAPANESE CUSTOMERS will be a site on Debito.org selling stickers for shopkeeps to put up on their doors to encourage like-minded open-minded customers to patronize their institutions.
http://www.debito.org/welcomestickers.html

Cost of the stickers through Paypal is 500 yen each plus postage, proceeds to Debito.org. And if you ever see the sticker up on a business, please tell the management that you approve of the sentiment!

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10) PRESS RELEASE, PODCAST, BOOK TOUR, and ORDERING DETAILS
for “Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants”

Press Release (what the book is about, advance reviews, etc):
http://www.debito.org/?p=1390

Podcast on the book:
http://www.debito.org/?p=1377

How to order (Paypal OK):
http://www.debito.org/handbook.html

BOOK TOUR
(specific details on locales and times at
http://www.debito.org/?page_id=582)

Sat March 15 Sendai FRANCA
Sun March 16 NUGW Tokyo Nambu, Shinbashi
Mon March 17 Roppongi Bar Association
Tues March 18 Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, Tokyo
Weds March 19 Amnesty International Tokyo
Fri March 21 Kamesei Ryokan, Nagano
Sat March 22 Kamesei Ryokan, Nagano,
Sun March 23 Good Day Books Tokyo Ebisu
Tues March 25 Osaka FRANCA
Thurs March 27 Shiga University
Fri March 28 JALT Kobe
Sat March 29 JALT Wakayama
Sat March 29 JALT Osaka
Sun March 30 JALT Okayama
Tues April 1 Fukuoka General Union

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All for March. Hope to see you on the road!
Arudou Debito in Sapporo
debito@debito.org, http://www.debito.org
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MARCH 12, 2008 ENDS

Outgoing BOJ chief Fukui Toshihiko proposes debate on immigration

mytest

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Hi Blog. Here’s something getting buried with all the debate over who’s going to be the next Bank of Japan Governor (for the LDP, when in doubt, put the same guy up again). Surprise to all those who think immigration is meaningless for Japan’s future–even the most influential economist in Japan disagrees.

Bonus: Proof positive (see Nonaka comment below) that even J immigration policy, such as it was, was based on racial paradigms of analyzing “foreigners” (bring in Nikkei to “ease social frictions”; boy were you wrong). Debito in Sapporo

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ANALYSIS: BOJ chief Fukui proposes debate on immigration
Associated Press, Mar 7 2008 09:59 PM US/Eastern
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8V8V76O0&show_article=1
Courtesy of Adam Wallace

TOKYO, March 8 (AP) – (Kyodo)—Outgoing Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui believes Japan ought to hold an in-depth discussion on immigration in the face of its aging and declining population.

In a lecture late last month, Fukui, who is due to retire March 19, said the source of economic growth is an infusion of labor and the accumulation of capital but that manpower is decreasing in Japan because of the ongoing rise in the number of the elderly and fall in the number of newborns.

He said European countries and the United States face the same population problem but maintain higher economic growth than Japan, citing immigration as a primary reason for it.

“The time has come for Japan to thoroughly discuss whether it expects society to grow (by accepting immigrants) or hopes for a single-race society without much growth,” he said.

The number of Japanese aged 65 or older accounted for 21.0 percent of the population, the highest percentage in the world, according to a preliminary census in 2005. The rate of those aged 13 or younger was 13.6 percent, the lowest in the world.

The issue of the aging society with a falling birthrate has been discussed and various proposals made by business circles. Fukui’s comments appear to be a call for the issue to be taken up in the political arena.

But, in fact, the government of the late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi addressed the matter after it was inaugurated in July 1998. Taichi Sakaiya, a Cabinet minister and director general of the Economic Planning Agency, stressed the need for acceptance of immigrants.

The Economic Strategy Council, an advisory body to the prime minister, called for acceptance and expansion of immigrants in a report titled “Strategy for revitalization of the Japanese economy” that was submitted to Obuchi in 1999. The expert panel, working on devising a “concept of Japan in the 21st century” under the direct control of the prime minister, clearly stated the need for an immigration policy in its final report compiled in 2000. It reportedly reflected the intent of the prime minister’s office.

Hiromu Nonaka, then chief Cabinet secretary and a powerful political figure at the time, said in response to a question from Kyodo News that Japan should accept immigrants “in the future.” To begin with, he suggested that Japan start accepting descendants of Japanese immigrants abroad to help ease social frictions at home.

The Obuchi government, however, was up to its ears working out pump- priming measures for the economy and coping with a political power struggle. Obuchi died of a cerebral infarction at age 62 in May 2000 after suffering a stroke and falling into a coma.

Subsequently, Nonaka quit politics and the immigration issue never got off the ground for comprehensive discussion.

An awareness of belonging to a single race has been deeply rooted in Japan, generating a feeling of reluctance to accept immigrants. Furthermore, income disparities among people between big cities and local areas have become a big issue in the past few years, depriving society of any leeway to receive immigrants and creating circumstances that make it difficult for the immigration issue to become a topic for politicians to discuss.

The question of whether it is right or wrong to accept immigrants will inevitably become a political issue since Japan has entered the era of coping with an aging society with fewer children in the absence of any conspicuously effective measures to wrestle with a dwindling birthrate.

Hidenori Sakanaka, director of the Japan Immigration Policy Institute and a former Justice Ministry bureaucrat, said acceptance of immigrants by Japan would be a “social revolution.” His institute has proposed that the nation receive 10 million immigrants over a 50-year period to bolster its aging and declining population.

As Fukui is preparing his exit as central bank chief, his comments on Japan’s immigration policy are leaving Japanese politicians battling over his successor with a lot of food for thought.

Press Release: First NGO FRANCA meetings Sendai Mar 15, Osaka Mar 25

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
======= PRESS RELEASE =========

FORMING NGO FRANCA
(FOREIGN RESIDENTS AND NATURALIZED CITIZENS ASSOCIATION)
FIRST SENDAI AND OSAKA MEETINGS
SAT MARCH 15 AND TUES MARCH 25 RESPECTIVELY
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, ARUDOU DEBITO WILL SPEAK
Franca-color.jpg

BACKGROUND: FRANCA as an idea was first conceived last November, in the wake of the Japanese Government’s decision to fingerprint almost all Non-Japanese residents whenever they re-enter Japan. This caused great consternation amongst NJ residents and taxpayers, who disliked being officially associated with criminals, terrorists, and carriers of infectious diseases “There are many interest groups out there that support minority views, but none for long-term NJ residents and immigrants,” was the sentiment. So throughout December and January, FRANCA as a group was established, with the intention of formally registering as an NGO with the Japanese government by the end of 2008.
http://www.debito.org/?p=789
http://www.debito.org/?s=FRANCA

In the wake of our first FRANCA meeting in Tokyo last January, we decided to chair two more meetings around Japan, organized by local members, to spread the word. Arudou Debito will discuss the hows and whys of creating this NGO. Those dates are:

==============================
Sat March 15 6PM-8PM
Sendai FRANCA inaugural meeting
Sendai Fukushi Plaza Meeting Room 2 (10F), by Itsutsubashi subway station)
http://www1.neweb.ne.jp/wb/kenmin/sisetu/sisetu/01/01_12.htm

Tues March 25, 7PM-9PM
Osaka FRANCA inaugural meeting
Osaka Shiritsu Shimin Gakushuu Center 4F
http://www.ocat.jp/center.html

FRANCA’s information website is
http://www.francajapan.org
==============================

Open to the public. Admission free. More about what we stand for:

==============================
FRANCA’S MISSION STATEMENT:
The Foreign Residents’ And Naturalized Citizens Association (FRANCA) Japan commits itself to:

1. equal and nondiscriminatory treatment for all foreign residents and naturalized citizens in Japan;
2. their fair representation and inclusion in Japan’s economic and social processes;
3. the promotion of positive perceptions of non-Japanese peoples and multiple cultures in Japanese society.

FRANCA’S GOALS:
1. To eliminate negative public images and stereotypes of non-Japanese and multi-cultural Japanese.
2. To eliminate discrimination by race, nationality, ethnicity, and national origin.
3. To highlight the benefits of immigration and a multi-cultural society.

To this end, FRANCA works to achieve these goals through sustainable and effective lobbying, networking and public relations campaigns aimed at educating the public.
==============================

Thanks for reading. Hope to see you there!
Arudou Debito in Sapporo (debito@debito.org)

Our online discussion group may be found at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/francajapan/

======= PRESS RELEASE ENDS =========

“HANDBOOK for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants”: info site on how to buy (Paypal OK)

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Hi Blog. Just put up a new website on Debito.org with information on how you can buy our new book, HANDBOOK for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants, within Japan or internationally. Paypal possible.

Please see:
http://www.debito.org/handbook.html

More on the book and upcoming national book tour at http://www.debito.org/?page_id=582

Arudou Debito in Sapporo

UN’s Mr Ban calls for all nations to face UN Human Rights Council scrutiny

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Here are some news updates on the UN and the Human Rights Council. Put the magnifying glass on Japan, too. Given its past excuses re racial discrimination (and the fact that it’s only submitted one human rights report since it effected the UNCERD twelve years ago–it should have submitted one every two years, or by now its sixth report), the GOJ has been unbecomingly and grossly negligent. We still have no law against racial discrimination. And nothing really even in the pipeline. That should be known about. By anyone who seriously thinks that Japan should get its wish to become a UN Security Council member. Just say no until the GOJ shapes up. Debito

=========================
From: UNNews@un.org
Subject: BAN KI-MOON CALLS FOR EQUAL SCRUTINY OF ALL COUNTRIES BY UN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGAN
Date: March 5, 2008 12:00:52 AM JST

BAN KI-MOON CALLS FOR EQUAL SCRUTINY OF ALL COUNTRIES BY UN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGAN
New York, Mar 4 2008 10:00AM UN News

Opening the seventh session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on its members to ensure that all nations are held equally accountable for the protection of rights as the new body begins its first-ever universal review of their performance.

“No country, however powerful, should escape scrutiny of its record, commitments and actions on human rights,” Mr. Ban said, hailing the start of the Universal Periodic Review, under which all UN Member States – at the rate of 48 a year – will be reviewed to assess whether they have fulfilled their human rights obligations.

“The Review must reaffirm that just as human rights are universal, so is our collective respect for them and our commitment to them. It must help prevent the distrust that surrounded the work of the Commission on Human Rights in its final years,” he added, recalling the accusations of bias and politicization that dogged the predecessor body whose work was taken over by the new Council in 2006.

Looking back at progress since the issuance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which will celebrate its sixtieth anniversary in December, Mr. Ban said that it had become clear that commitments and accountability are crucial factors in the effort to make those rights a reality for all.

That accountability, in turn, depends on the collective scrutiny of international organizations, governments and civil society, he said, calling it “a duty of the highest order for each individual State, and the raison d’être of the Human Rights Council.”

As for the record of the Council itself, Mr. Ban said that the establishment of its mechanisms and procedures had been on the right track over the nearly two years of its existence.

But he posed the question to Council members of whether they were fully meeting the high expectations of the international community, which included the application of human rights values “without favour, without selectivity, without being impacted by any political machinations around the world.”

“If you meet this benchmark,” he said, “you can count on my fullest support and defence in the face of criticisms and attacks, wherever they may come from.”

The Council’s seventh session, including a high-level portion for the views of government representatives, as well as expert panels and presentations by Special Rapporteurs, will run through 28 March.
2008-03-03 00:00:00.000
ENDS

==========================
BAN KI-MOON PAYS TRIBUTE TO HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF, FOLLOWING EXIT ANNOUNCEMENT
New York, Mar 7 2008 3:00PM UN News

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed “great regret” at the decision of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights < " http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/HighCommissioner.aspx">Louise Arbour to step down at the end of her first four-year term, which she confirmed today in Geneva.

“I have been most impressed by her extraordinary courage, energy and integrity in speaking out forcefully on human rights, which is among the UN’s most important mandates,” Mr. Ban said, following the announcement Ms. Arbour made at the Human Rights Council – the UN body inaugurated under her tenure, which ends in June.

Mr. Ban said that she never hesitated to incur the criticism of States or other parties by highlighting the victims of abuses or pointing out the inadequacies of national legal systems, and she consistently represented the highest ideals of the Organization.

“Her legacy will be one of a strengthened and more wide-ranging United Nations human rights system, a stronger focus on justice and accountability, reformed protection mechanisms, and a more balanced approach to the full range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights,” he said.

Ms. Arbour, a Canadian Supreme Court Justice and ex-prosecutor of UN war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, assumed the post of High Commissioner in 2004, after her predecessor, Sergio Vieira de Mello, was killed in a terrorist attack in Baghdad.

Along with announcing her departure, Ms. Arbour today presented her final annual report to the Council, highlighting the distressing human rights implications of renewed conflict in West Darfur and Sri Lanka.

In regard to the Council itself, she said the report stressed the need to support the participation of the least-developed countries in the first-ever Universal Periodic Review, which will assess the rights situation in all UN Member States.

She promised to share reflections on her tenure as High Commissioner at the Council’s next session in June.
2008-03-07 00:00:00.000
ENDS
________________

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

「外国人との共生と治安の確保」フォーラム(警察大学校警察政策研究センター開催)

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Forum being put on by the Japan Police University involving experts from England, Germany, and Japan to discuss how to deal with crime and security with foreign immigration into Japan (due to, of course, not only foreign gangs, but also, paraphrasing, “troubles with language, customs, and juvenile delinquency”). March 11, all afternoon. Debito

     「外国人との共生と治安の確保」

1 開催趣旨
  我が国の外国人登録者数は200万人を超えており、北関東や中部地方には、住民の1割以上を外国人が占める地方自治体も見られます。こうした状況において、我が国の社会を安全で安定したものとするためには、慣れない異国の地で暮らす外国人と既存の社会の共生が不可欠ですが、言語や生活習慣の違いから生じるトラブルも発生しており、外国人犯罪組織だけでなく、一部外国人少年の不良化なども、治安にとって不安定要因となっています。
  そこで、今回は、移民問題等に詳しい英・独の専門家を招へいして、これらの国における外国人の既存社会との共生と治安への影響等について講演をしていただくとともに、我が国の抱える課題について、研究者、実務家等も交えて議論をし、今後の外国人政策のあるべき姿についての道筋を照らすことを試みます。

2 日時、場所等
  平成20年3月11日(火) 午後1時00分 〜 午後6時00分
  虎ノ門パストラルホテル 本館1階「葵の間」(東京都港区虎ノ門4−1−1)
    参加費:無料
    フォーラム詳細は、こちらをご覧ください。

3 申込方法
  参加ご希望の方は、次のいずれかの方法で、3月10日(月)午後1時までにお申し込みください。
  なお、申込み多数の場合、会場スペースの都合上、ご参加いただけない場合があることをあらかじめご承知おきください。
(1) E-mailによる申込み
   次の事項を入力の上、お申し込みください。
     会場名(「東京フォーラム参加」と入力) ※:
     氏名(ふりがな) ※:
     勤務先・役職 ※:
     電話番号(自宅又は勤務先等) ※:
     住所(自宅又は勤務先等):
     E-mailアドレス:
     FAX番号:               ※は必須事項
   申込みE-mailアドレス:MAILTO:hanforum@npa.go.jp

(2) FAXによる申込み
   別紙の参加申込書に必要事項を記入の上、
     警察政策研究センター(FAX:042−330−1308)
までお申し込み(参加申込書はこちら)ください。

  ※ お送りいただいた個人情報は、本フォーラムに必要な事務処理及び連絡以外の目的で使用することはございません。

お問い合わせ先   
〒183-8558
 東京都府中市朝日町3−12−1
  警察大学校警察政策研究センター(担当:黒川、深澤)
  TEL042-354-3550(内線3413・3416) FAX042-330-1308
ENDS

Rube Redfield on the GOJ banning use of dispatch teachers in J universities

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Hi Blog. Here’s one loophole that has just been closed by the GOJ–about the use of “dispatch teachers” (haken sha’in) in the place of full-time workers in universities.

Some background. My friend Joe Tomei defines “dispatch workers” as:

“A ‘dispatch teacher’ is one who is employed by a company which sends them (thus, ‘dispatches’ them) and bills the school. This was quite common for companies which wanted to have language lessons, but is a bit dubious when it is a university that is getting the teacher.”

This form of “outsourcing” creates problems not only with professionality (essentially putting in “temp” workers in place of qualified professionals), but also with labor standards, as you get disposable ersatz “part-timers” replacing all educators, full- or part-time, saving money on salaries and social insurance (which the educational institution must pay half of for all full-timers). You also have issues of employee relations; with a dispatch worker, management never even has to “meet” or associate with their worker; he or she just parachutes in without any oversight–except from the third-party dispatch company. And the contracting company can at a moment’s notice say, “get rid of this person”, and he’s replaced immediately–without even a contract term limit or “reasonable grounds” that could be taken before a Labor Standards agency. Thus job security and rights for dispatch workers are even less than that for regular part-timers.

Moreover, with big-name “dispatch agencies” (such as the erstwhile NOVA, Berlitz, and David English House) getting involved in this racket, you get businesses getting a percentage as well–sending in disposable labor for a fraction of the cost of hiring anyone with job security and training. The economic incentives are clear. So clear they were abused. Now the GOJ has banned it. Bravo.

As Rube Redfield writes below, the labor unions brought this one to the authorities’ attention, and got it redressed. Well done. Again, the power of protest and activism.

There are, however, universities (such as Ritsumeikan) ignoring these new GOJ guidelines. And there are still loopholes for people in primary and secondary education, with dispatch working still happening in non-university job markets. Maybe the GOJ will get to that, too (or maybe not, with the primacy of JET in this market). More on issues with employment in the Japanese educational job market at the Blacklist of Japanese Universities.

There is another loophole recently closed by the GOJ, that of universities putting age caps on employee job announcements (“candidates must be under 35 years”, for example). That was made illegal last October 2007. But I’ll let somebody who knows more about this write something up. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

============================
Kobe Shoin and the Use of Law
By Rube Redfield, IWW

In January of 2007, the EWA began negotiations with Kobe Shoin, concerning the replacement of EWA educators with dispatch teachers from the private companies ECC and OTC. Our Chairman (incho) Neo Yamashita pointed out that the use of dispatch personnel went contrary to MEXT guidelines, but was ignored. Shoin claimed that since the Metropolitan University of Tokyo used dispatch teachers, Shoin was free to do so as well.

In a further negotiating session, EWA declared willingness to go to the Kobe Labor Relations Board, disclosing the dubious practice of using dispatch personnel to replace qualified EWA members. We were begged not to carry out our threat, but since Shoin was unwilling to negotiate on this point (or any other), we went ahead and reported directly to the Labor Relations Board. Some of you may have seen the news clips of us doing so on TV.

MEXT changed their ‘guidance’ strategy later in the year, by passing “Article 19 of Daigaku Sechi Kijun,” making the use of dispatched teachers at the college and university level illegal. The new law comes in to effect April 1, 2008.

In negotiations with Shoin this past January (2008) we inquired if Shoin were now going to obey the new law and no longer bring in people from dispatch companies. The assured us that this was the case, and that no teachers from ECC or OTC (or any other jobber) would be employed at Shoin.

Kobe Shoin changed their employment practice as a direct result of EWA pressure. This once again shows the power of unionism. If any reader knows of cases where colleges or universities are still disobeying the law, please contact us. The new law should be a powerful tool in stopping the use of dispatch teachers in higher education in Japan.

—————————-
Rube Redfield may be reached at rube39 ATT iww DOT org
ends

Links to more information on the issue, courtesy of Glenski:

The General Union has a good description of 3 ways dispatch companies operate and their pitfalls.
http://www.generalunion.org/law/dispatch

This GU link (http://www.generalunion.org/News/68?lang=jp) talks about the illegality of outsourcing because of lack of licenses.

And another GU link (http://www.generalunion.org/News/67) citing an article in the Yomiuri which gives figures on how many dispatch ALTs are out there in Osaka prefecture.

And the NAMBU Foreign Workers Caucus has a bunch of info here.
http://nambufwc.org/issues/dispatch/
ENDS

出版発表:「ニューカマー定住ハンドブック」新発売

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
======== 出版・ブック・ツアー発表 ========

有道 出人です。ご無沙汰しております。しばらく連絡していない理由は単行本を共著したのです。明細(まえがき、書評、ブック・ツアー日程、目次)はこれから発表します。宜しくお願い致します。
HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg

========================================================
タイトル:「ニューカマー定住ハンドブック 日本で働き、暮らし、根付くために」
英語タイトル:Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan
ISBN: 978-4-7503-2741-9
著者:樋口 彰 と 有道 出人
言語:日英対訳
ページ数:372ページ
出版社:明石書店(株)http://www.akashi.co.jp
発売日:2008年3月15日
値段:2300円(本体)税込み2415円
ブック・カバーなど、もっと詳しくは:http://www.debito.org/?page_id=582
========================================================

書評:
========================================================
 樋口氏と有道氏によるこの「ハンドブック」は、日本に在住する外国人にとって「第2のパスポート」になるだろう。現代日本における、法律・経済・社会的な「迷路」を歩んでいく人々にとっての「案内図」となっている。この「ハンドブック」は実用的でわかりやすく、「ニューカマー」の生活向上だけではなく、日本の人道社会の発展にも大きく貢献する内容となっている。
ーージョン・リー博士
カリフォルニア大学バークレイ校社会学部教授国際・地域研究所長、「MULTIETHNIC JAPAN」著者
========================================================

まえがき

 労働者の移住はグローバル化する世界では無視できない現実だ。日本も例外ではなく、近年の日本の外国人登録者数、国際結婚数、永住権取得外国人は記録的な数となっている。本書は、日本人でない人たちが日本に定着し、安定した生活を送り、日本社会にも貢献できるようなるためのガイドブックである。

 日本は、世界有数の裕福国であるだけでなく、生活水準も非常に高い。日本に来たいと思う人はたくさんいる。実際に多くの人が日本にやって来ている。一方で日本でも外国人に来てもらいたいと考える人は多い。内閣府のレポート、経済団体、そして国連も日本が高齢化、少子化、納税者層の縮小に対応するには、さらに外国人が必要だと提言している。しかし、残念なことに移住に関する政府の対応は十分とはいえない。ニューカマーたちが、日本に定着し、住民として安定した仕事と生活を送るために必要となる施策・情報提供がまだ十分とはいえない。私たちは、この実用ガイドブックがその一助になれば良いと考えている。

 この実用ガイドブックは、どのような社会に溶け込むためにも必要となるそれぞれのステージに対応した7つの章から構成されており、1)入国の手続、2)雇用の確保・安定、3)起業、4)諸問題への対処、5)将来・定年への備え、6)シビルソサエティーの発展への寄与という流れになっている。多くの読者に読んでもらえるように、簡単な英語(英語を第二言語とする読者のため)とふりがなつきの日本語からなる見開き構成となっている。

 この実用ガイドブックは、全ての情報を網羅的に提供するものではない。むしろ、効率よく必要な情報を捜すことができる簡潔で気軽に買うことができる一冊としてつくられている。他に詳しい情報を載せた「生活マニュアル」やホームページ(役所の電話番号一覧などについて)がある場合には、情報の重複しないように参照先を記載するのみに留めてある。又、この本は日本の法令を遵守する読者向けのものである(そのつもりのない方はおことわり!)。この本が、日本の制度に精通した者からのアドバイスとして、皆さんの時間を節約し、無用のトラブルを避け、日本で生活していく上での選択肢を探す上で、役に立つことを願っている。

 この2007年度版は、実用ガイドブックの初版である。本書でのアドバイスは全て、著者の意見に基づくものであり、最初から全ての点について一番良いアドバイスをできるとは考えていない。将来の改訂にむけて、皆さんからの情報提供を頂き、より皆さんのニーズにあったないように改良を加えていければ幸いである。皆様のご意見・ご感想は大歓迎であり、さらに将来中国語、ポルトガル語、スペイン語、タガログ語、ヒンディー語、ウルドゥー語等の他言語への翻訳を協力して頂ける方がでてくることを期待している。

 皆さんが、この素晴らしい国で豊かな暮らしを送ることを願って。

— 樋口 彰、行政書士
(higuchi DOT akira AT gmail DOT com)
— 有道 出人、JAPANESE ONLY著者 
(www.debito.org, debito@debito.org)

有道 出人のブック・ツアー(3月15日から4月1日まで):
========================================================
3月15日(土) 仙台FRANCA 福祉プラザにて
3月16日(日) 東京新橋 NUGW本部にて
3月17日(月) Roppongi Bar Association, Century Courtにて
3月18日(火) 外国特派員協会(FCCJ) Book Break 有楽町にて
3月19日(水) アムネスティ インタナショナル 高田馬場にて
3月21日(金) 長野 亀清(かめせい)旅館にて
3月22日(土) 長野 亀清(かめせい)旅館にて
3月23日(日) Good Day Books 東京都恵比寿にて
3月25日(火) 大阪FRANCA 大阪市立市民学習センターにて
3月27日(木) 滋賀大学にて
3月28日(金) 日本全国語学学会(JALT) 神戸支部 国際会館にて
3月29日(土) 日本全国語学学会(JALT) 和歌山支部 ビッグアイにて
3月29日(土) 日本全国語学学会(JALT) 大阪支部 生涯教育センターにて
3月30日(日) 日本全国語学学会(JALT) 岡山支部 表町サンカクAビルにて
4月1日(火)  福岡 福岡ゼネラル・ユニオンにて
開催場所へのリンク先は http://www.debito.org/?page_id=582
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目  次
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第1章 来日のための手続
1 - 日本のビザ制度を理解する(ビザ、在留資格(SOR)、在留資格認定証明書(COE))の違い   
2 – 日本に来るための手続
  - 在留資格認定証明書を国外から取得する
  - 在留資格を日本国内で取得・変更する
  - ビザ、在留資格、在留資格認定証明書のまとめ
3 – 日本に来てからの手続
  - 家族を呼び寄せる
  - 一時出国する
  - 滞在期間を延長する
  - 転職する
  - 就職のため在留資格を変更する
  - 入国管理局での手続のまとめ
4 –  どんな在留資格があるのか?
  - 全27種類の在留資格の一覧
  - 職種にあわせた在留資格の例
  - 在留資格をとるための条件の例
5 -  オーバーステイや資格外の活動をすると?
 - 最近の入管法の改正
  - 知らずに違反してしまう例
  - オーバーステイした場合のアドバイス
6 – 永住許可と日本国籍
  - 違いと取得のための条件
7 –  まとめと安定した在留資格に向けてのアドバイス

第2章 安定した仕事と生活のために
1 - 日本の労働環境の特徴
2 – 労働に関する法律
3 - 労働契約
4 – 給料の制度
5 – 源泉徴収と税金
6 – 労働者のための労働保険と社会保険
7 - まとめ

第3章 事業を始める
1 – なぜ起業か
2 – 個人事業か法人事業か?
3 – 会社の種類
4 – その他の事業形態(NPO、LLP)
5 – 株式会社を設立して事業を開始する方法
6 – 事業の許可
  7 – 事業を続けていくために必要な定期的な手続
  8 – 事業を成功させるためのアドバイス
  9 – 用語集

第4章 こんなときはどうするか? トラブルへの対処法
警 察:
(オーバーステイ、外国人登録証やその他の入管に関することは第1章を参照)
   警察官からパスポートや身分証明書(「外国人カード」)のチェックを受けたとき
   警察官以外からパスポートや外国人カードのチェックを受けたとき
   警察に逮捕や拘留されたとき
   交通事故にあったとき
   犯罪の被害者になったとき

差 別:
(差別の定義については、 )
   商業施設への入場を断られたとき
   ホテルの利用を断られたとき
   アパートへの入居を断られたとき
   貸主と問題があったとき、退去するよういわれたとき
   ローン利用を拒否されたとき
   差別と感じることについて抗議したいとき

裁 判:
(日本の裁判制度については、 )
   法律的アドバイスが必要なとき、弁護士が必要なとき
   裁判を起こしたいとき
   少額訴訟(詐欺、契約違反等)を起こしたいとき

職場での問題:
(労働に関係する法律、労働条件その他の職場についての内容で、一般的なことは第2章参照)
   労使問題で行政機関からの支援が必要なとき
   労働組合に参加したり、労働組合を設立したいとき
   転職したいとき

家族に関する問題:
(家族について、結婚や子供の入学といった一般的なことは、  章参照)
   日本人の子に、外国人親の氏をつけるには
   子供が学校での問題(イジメ)にあったときは
   子供の学校をかえるには
   家庭内暴力(ドメスティックバイオレンス)にあったら
   離婚したいときは
   子供との面会、親権、監護に関する問題があるときは
   未婚で日本人男性の子を妊娠したら

生活一般:
(日本で生活するうえで障害克服や生活改善についてよくある質問。銀行口座開設などの一般的な内容は  章参照)
   日本語を勉強したいとき
   クレジットカードを取得したいとき
   保険に加入したいとき(自動車保険、生命保険、損害保険)
   運転免許証を取得したいとき
   永住権を取得したいとき
   家やマンションを購入したいとき
   自分で事業を始めたいとき
   カウンセリングや精神的な支援が必要なとき
   日本国籍を取得したいとき
   公職選挙にでたいとき

未来、定年、死に備える:
(年金、長期投資等については、第6章参照)
   遺言の書き方
   相続に関する日本のルール
   母国の文化にあわせた葬式をするには
   母国で葬式をするために遺体を送還するには
   墓地を確保するには

第5章 こんなときはどうするか? トラブルへの対処法
  1-経済的な備え
     -退職金制度
-年金制度
-民間の保険制度
-その他の長期的投資
  2-生活・医療についての備え
     -介護
     -老人保健
-成年後見
  3-遺言・相続について
     -相続と税金
-遺言書

第6章 社会へ還元する: シビルソサエティーの発展
1. 団体を探す
2. 新たに自分で団体を設立する
3. 団体を正式なものにする
4. 行動から主義・主張へ
5. 「日本は決して変わらない」という主張を前向きにとらえる
6. 結論

第7章 まとめとアドバイス
索引
以上

IHT: GOJ to “govern influential, widely read news-related websites”. Like 2-Channel

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Hi Blog. Here’s another development in the pipeline: the regulation of Internet speech, to stop “illegal and harmful content”. Libel, sure. But you know it’s just not going to stop there.

I have very mixed feelings about this issue. I am of course an advocate of freedom of speech. But I have also been the target of Internet libel myself, confirmed by a Japanese court victory more than two years ago, and never requited by the Defendant BBS 2-Channel. By exploiting the lack of Contempt of Court in this society (i.e. the means to change a Civil Case into a Criminal Case, including arrest and confiscation, if court verdicts are not followed), fools like the people who run 2-Channel will wind up empowering those who wish to justify these sorts of policy pushes to regulate freedom of expression.

And once it starts, it’s only a matter of time and degree. Wait and see. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

=============================
Japan seeking to govern top news Web sites
By Michael Fitzpatrick
International Herald Tribune Wednesday, February 27, 2008
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/27/technology/wireless28.php
Courtesy Jeff Korpa

TOKYO: A Japanese government panel is proposing to govern “influential, widely read news-related sites as newspapers and broadcasting are now regulated.”

The government is also seeking to rein in some of the more unsavory aspects of the Internet, leaving in its wake, critics say, the censoring hand of government interference.

The panel, set up by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, said Internet service providers (ISPs) should be answerable for breaches of vaguer “minimum regulations” to guard against “illegal and harmful content.”

The conservative government, led by the Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP, is seeking to have the new laws passed by Parliament in 2010.

“Japan’s Internet is increasing its clout, so naturally the government wants to control it,” said Kazuo Hizumi, a former journalist who is the Tokyo city lawyer.

To better understand why a country better known for its information-technology prowess would take such steps, it is vital to understand the establishment’s relationship with the media since the Americans ceded wartime power in the 1950s, Hizumi said.

“Soon after the war we followed the U.S. model with the government issuing licenses through the FCC,” Hizumi said. “As one party, the LDP, came to dominate politics, it sought more control of the media so the FCC was abolished. There is no ombudsman here, so the government controls the media directly. With this new bill, the LDP will seek to do the same for the Internet.”

Certainly, such a construct has benefited the LDP, which has enjoyed nearly unbroken rule in Japan since 1955. Since then, government’s cozy relationship with big media has become legendary, as has the media’s self-censorship, which, Hizumi said, had repeatedly restricted the spectrum of voices heard – until the arrival of the Internet started to open the field up to dissent.

“The Internet threatens the government, but the new law will put the government back in control by making the ISPs directly answerable to the government,” Hizumi said. “This is the untenable position we are facing in Japan.”

Tokyo, for its part, maintains it is merely seeking to bring some accountability to Japan’s often wild – and sometimes libelous – Internet.

“The criticism that the report amounts to a call for censoring the Japanese Web” is completely unfounded, the Communications Ministry said in a statement. “Furthermore, the report takes the position that Japan should abstain from adopting regulations aimed at promoting government censorship or restriction of Internet content, such as blogs, and calls for examining the creation of a framework for promoting voluntary action by ISP and others as a means of dealing with illegal and harmful material.”

Such “voluntary action” has already been felt this month by the country’s mobile-services providers, who have been requested to filter certain content to all phones registered to people under 18. Previously such filtering had to be switched on; now it will take a guardian to switch it off.

A commendable effort by government and service providers, any right-thinking citizen might think, to protect the young. However, Japanese bloggers, wary of future controls on the larger Internet, have been busy pointing to the less obvious material that is also being filtered out on the mobile Internet.

The existing filtering services in use by the leading Japanese provider, DoCoMo, for example, reveals that categories like “religion” and “political activity/party” are filtered by the software.

“We have also perhaps a taste with what’s to come by looking at the filtering software used by certain local governments up and down the country,” Hizumi said.

What really strikes Hizumi and others is that there is so little public opposition or debate on a bill that would bring enormous change.

Chris Salzberg, who monitors, comments on and translates some of the Japanese blogosphere for Global Voices, an international blog round-up, said: “It seems that the Web community in Japan is really pretty unaware of all of this, or else just in disbelief. It’s a strange situation. Maybe nothing will come of it, but it still seems like something people should at least be paying attention to.”

“I’m afraid ordinary citizens don’t care about these lack of rights, consequently the Internet in Japan is heading for the Dark Ages,” Hizumi said.
ENDS

Debito.org Updates: First JUST BE CAUSE Japan Times Column, Journal of Int’l Health, NY Int’l Law Review

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Hello Blog. Some articles I added to the Debito.org Publications Page recently:

1) “JUST BE CAUSE” COLUMN ONE FOR THE JAPAN TIMES
justbecauseicon.jpg
Very pleased with how this essay turned out–some good ground covered in 850 words. (And yes, that is THE onsen in the background of this picture). See “Director’s Cut” with links to sources at
http://www.debito.org/justbecause030408.html

2) ARTICLE IN THE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL HEALTH

I was invited to contribute a little something following my speech at the Japan Association for International Health last October 8 (see my Powerpoint presentation for it here). It’s a very brief summary of my talk, in simple English for non-native speakers.

“Medical Care for Non-Japanese Residents of Japan: Let’s look at Japanese Society’s General ‘Bedside Manner’ First”, Journal of International Health Vol.23, No.1, 2008, pgs 19-21.

3) AWARD-WINNING ARTICLE IN THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW

This article was written not by me, but by researcher Canon Pence. He says it won an award (congrats!), which certainly helped his career. Glad Debito.org was of some assistance.

Pence, Canon, “Japanese Only: Xenophobic Exclusion in Japan’s Private Sphere”. New York International Law Review, Summer, 2007, pages 1-73.

Enjoy! Arudou Debito in Sapporo

NYT: Michelin rankings and the alleged inability for NJ to rate Japanese food

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Hi Blog. Here’s something a bit rich, and I’m not talking about the food or the clientele. The fact that some Japanese chefs don’t like to be judged by foreigners (even if they are culinary experts)–as if their palettes apparently aren’t attuned properly to Japanese tastes. (Kinda in the same vein when Moody’s downgraded Japan’s financial rating some years ago, and the GOJ questioned their ranking abilities as well. How dare foreigners comment unfavorably about Japan?)

I also heard a rumor that one of the restaurants that received some stars refuses foreign customers entry. But that’s just a rumor.

Can’t comment further on the issue, as I’m not an expensive diner. But all the best meals I’ve ever had have been in Japan. And it was only two nights ago I actually had a bad meal in Japan (in Susukino, where even the drinks were like sex in a canoe) for the first time in many years–yes, it’s that rare. Debito in Sapporo

=========================
Michelin Gives Stars, but Tokyo Turns Up Nose
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/business/worldbusiness/24guide.html
New York Times February 24, 2008
By MARTIN FACKLER

TOKYO — The Michelin guide recently ventured into Asia for the first time in its 108-year history to research and publish a Japanese-language guide to Tokyo restaurants. To gain credibility, it hired Japanese restaurant judges to work with its European experts and adapted its standards to the nation’s special culinary culture.

It found much to like, even love, and showered the city’s restaurants with more of its coveted stars than those in New York and Paris combined.

Michelin, based in France, made the splash it had hoped for, and has sold more than 290,000 copies of its familiar red-colored guides since November.

Many prominent figures of the Tokyo food world, however, are saying to Michelin, in effect, thanks for all the attention (which we deserve), but you still do not know us or our cuisine.

Food critics, magazines and even the governor of Tokyo have questioned the guide’s choice of restaurants and ratings. A handful of chefs proudly proclaimed that they had turned down chances to be listed. One, Toshiya Kadowaki, said his nouveau Japonais dishes, including a French-inspired rice with truffles, did not need a Gallic seal of approval.

“Japanese food was created here, and only Japanese know it,” Mr. Kadowaki said in an interview. “How can a bunch of foreigners show up and tell us what is good or bad?”

The mixed welcome reflects the challenges Michelin faces as the guide and its star-based ranking system enter a gastronomical milieu as far removed from Paris as teriyaki is from tête de veau.

Michelin is expanding to new markets to compensate for its declining influence in Europe, where it has lost readership to the Internet and the shifting demands of consumers who no longer want their tastes dictated to them. Michelin says it sells about one million guides a year worldwide, of which a growing proportion has been outside Europe.

Michelin took its first step abroad two years ago with a guide to New York, and followed quickly with versions for Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Now, Michelin is looking for success in Tokyo before possibly venturing into other Asian cities to tap some of the world’s wealthiest consumers.

Michelin said it chose Tokyo because it was the largest and one of the most sophisticated restaurant markets in the world. The Tokyo metropolitan area, with some 30 million residents, has roughly 160,000 restaurants, versus about 25,000 in greater New York City and 13,000 in Paris, according to Michelin.

Michelin awarded 191 stars to 150 restaurants in Tokyo, most of them serving either French or Japanese cuisine. Eight received three stars, the Michelin guide’s highest rating. That compares with three three-star restaurants in New York, which received a total of just 54 stars. Paris, with 10 three-star eateries, received 97 stars.

But many Tokyoites grumbled that the guide gave high ratings to unremarkable restaurants, prompting wide speculation that the large number of stars was just a marketing ploy.

“Anybody who knows restaurants in Tokyo knows that these stars are ridiculous,” said Toru Kenjo, president of Gentosha publishing house, whose men’s fashion magazine, Goethe, published a lengthy critique of the Tokyo guide last month. “Michelin has debased its brand. It won’t sell as well here in the future.”

Mr. Kenjo said the magazine, which included alternative restaurant ratings and a skeptical opinion article by Tokyo’s nationalist governor, Shintaro Ishihara, sold out all 85,000 copies.

Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Michelin guides, dismissed such criticisms as unfair, saying Tokyo received more stars simply because it has more restaurants. He said Michelin’s five undercover judges in Tokyo, two Japanese and three Europeans, spent a year and a half sampling 1,500 restaurants.

Mr. Naret said the judges, who graded restaurants on criteria like presentation, originality and taste, were amazed by the perfectionism of Japanese chefs.

“In terms of quality, Tokyo is No. 1 in the world,” said Mr. Naret, who added that he visited Tokyo 15 times and sampled 100 of the starred restaurants himself. “We never expected that we’d find so many stars here.”

Mr. Naret said Michelin tried to adjust for differences in Tokyo’s restaurant culture, like the large number of tiny but excellent eateries tucked away in unlikely corners of this crowded city.

While Michelin usually reserves its highest rating of three stars for large elegant restaurants, in Tokyo it gave the top grade to a closet-size sushi bar, called Sukiyabashi Jiro, that sat in a basement and lacked a menu or even its own toilet, a first for the guide, Mr. Naret said.

Tokyo’s strong showing generated an initial wave of excitement here, helping Michelin sell more than twice as many copies than the first edition of its New York guide, which sold 125,000 copies. Many Tokyoites took Michelin’s praise as long-deserved recognition of Tokyo as a global gastronomical capital.

Food critics also say Michelin succeeded in tapping the enormous popularity here of French brands. Few countries are as passionate about French designers, whose handbags, dresses and watches are more common in Ginza than along the Champs-Élysées. Food critics and rival publishers say the French connection helped Michelin generate more buzz than the last international guide to land here, the New York-based Zagat Survey in 2000.

“Michelin made a splash here because of its association with brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel,” said Akihiko Takada, editor of Zagat’s Tokyo guide.

For their part, consumers here offer mixed reviews of Michelin. Yukihiro Nagatomi, a banker in his late 30s, said he recently spent about $200 to try a Japanese-style restaurant called Kanda because of its three-star rating in Michelin.

He said he was dismayed to find what he called egregious violations of Japanese cuisine’s minimalist tenets, like an overly large slice of eel sushi that disrupted the dish’s balance.

“You needed a knife and fork to eat that,” Mr. Nagatomi said. “I can see why it would appeal to Frenchmen who don’t use chopsticks.”

With all the doubts about Michelin’s understanding of Japanese tastes, some chefs say a rating in the guide has become a liability. Kunio Tokuoka, head chef at the high-end restaurant Kitcho, said the main Tokyo branch of his restaurant refused a listing in Michelin for fear of turning off customers seeking authentic Japanese cuisine.

Mr. Kadowaki, the nouveau Japonais chef, said he turned down a Michelin rating for his restaurant, Kadowaki, partly because the idea of ranking restaurants offended Japanese sensibility against bragging and putting others down.

Mr. Naret said a few places did turn down ratings, which they could do by refusing Michelin permission to take photographs for use in the guide.

But even among critics, there is a grudging recognition that Michelin did provide a service in one regard: giving younger Japanese chefs recognition that would otherwise be hard to get in this rigidly hierarchical society.

The only Japanese chef of French cuisine given three stars was Shuzo Kishida, a 33-year-old whose restaurant, Quintessence, opened less than two years ago. Since being listed in the guide, Mr. Kishida has suddenly received wide acclaim here as representing a new generation of Japanese chefs who show more personality in their cooking.

“Thanks to Michelin, originality is being recognized in Japan,” Mr. Kishida said.
ENDS

PRESS RELEASE for Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants

mytest

For the record… released March 4, 2008:
HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
////////////////// PRESS RELEASE //////////////////

NEW BOOK
“HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN”
ON SALE FROM MARCH 15, 2008
AUTHOR ARUDOU DEBITO’S NATIONWIDE BOOK TOUR MARCH 15 TO APRIL 1

////////////// FREELY FORWARDABLE //////////////

Akashi Shoten Inc, Japan’s biggest human rights publisher, will sell “HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN”, by Administrative Solicitor HIGUCHI Akira and author ARUDOU Debito from March 15. Details in brief:

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
“HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN”
ISBN: 978-4-7503-2741-9
Authors: HIGUCHI Akira and ARUDOU Debito
Languages: English and Japanese (on corresponding pages)
Publisher: Akashi Shoten Inc., Tokyo (http://www.akashi.co.jp)
372 Pages. Price: 2300 yen (2415 yen after tax)
Goal: To help non-Japanese entrants become residents and immigrants
Topics: Securing stable visas, Establishing businesses and secure jobs, Resolving legal problems, Planning for the future from entry into Japan to death.
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

BOOK SYNOPSIS:
Interested in living in Japan? Not visiting. Actually living here, perhaps permanently? In recent years, hundreds of thousands of Non-Japanese residents have come here for good. However, there is often insufficient information on how to make your life more secure. HANDBOOK will help–offering advice on topics like stabilizing your visa and employment, establishing your own business, dealing with frequent social problems, writing your Will, even working with Japan’s Civil Society. Buy this book and start planning your future in this wonderful country!

Ordering details at http://www.debito.org/?page_id=582

Further Information follows:
===================================
ADVANCE BOOK REVIEWS
BOOK TOUR FROM SENDAI TO FUKUOKA STARTING MARCH 15
(including the FCCJ, Good Day Books, and Amnesty International)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
===================================

Advance book reviews (excerpts):
===================================
“Higuchi and Arudou’s HANDBOOK promises to be the second passport for foreigners in Japan. It provides a map to navigate the legal, economic, and social mazes of contemporary Japanese life. Practical and affordable, clear and concise, the Handbook should contribute not only to a better life for newcomers to Japan but also to a more humane society in Japan.”

–Dr John Lie, Dean of International and Area Studies, University of California Berkeley, and author of MULTIETHNIC JAPAN.

“Finally, the book I always wished I had, explaining in clear and precise language the legal labyrinths that make life interesting and sometimes treacherous for non-Japanese trying to find their way in Japan. This is the A-Z what to watch out for and how to do it guide that will help all non-Japanese living in Japan… I can think of no other book that comes close in promoting mutual understanding, one that is grounded in the law and brimming with practical advice.”

–Dr Jeff Kingston, Director of Asian Studies, Temple University Japan, and author of JAPAN’S QUIET TRANSFORMATION

“If there weren’t an Arudou Debito, we would have had to invent one… Arudou and Higuchi’s Handbook is an indispensable reference for all outsiders who live here for any length of time.”

–Alex Kerr, author, DOGS AND DEMONS and LOST JAPAN
===================================

BOOK TOUR
(specific details on locales and times at http://www.debito.org/?page_id=582)

Sat March 15 Sendai FRANCA
Sun March 16 NUGW Tokyo Nambu, Shinbashi
Mon March 17 Roppongi Bar Association
Tues March 18 Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, Tokyo
Weds March 19 Amnesty International Tokyo
Fri March 21 Kamesei Ryokan, Nagano
Sat March 22 Kamesei Ryokan, Nagano,
Sun March 23 Good Day Books Tokyo Ebisu
Tues March 25 Osaka FRANCA
Thurs March 27 Shiga University
Fri March 28 JALT Kobe
Sat March 29 JALT Wakayama
Sat March 29 JALT Osaka
Sun March 30 JALT Okayama
Tues April 1 Fukuoka General Union

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

TABLE OF CONTENTS AND PREFACE (excerpts)

Migration of labor is an unignorable reality in this globalizing world. Japan is no exception. In recent years, Japan has had record numbers of registered foreigners, international marriages, and people receiving permanent residency. This guidebook is designed to help non-Japanese settle in Japan, and become more secure residents and contributors to Japanese society.

Japan is one of the richest societies in the world, with an extremely high standard of living. People will want to come here. They are doing so. Japan, by the way, wants foreigners too. Prime Ministerial cabinet reports, business federations, and the United Nations have advised more immigration to Japan to offset its aging society, low birthrate, labor shortages, and shrinking tax base. Unfortunately, the attitude of the Japanese government towards immigration has generally been one of neglect. Newcomers are not given sufficient guidance to help them settle down in Japan as residents with stable jobs and lifestyles. HANDBOOK wishes to fill that gap….

Chapter One: ARRIVING IN JAPAN
1 – Understanding the structure of the Japanese Visa System (the difference between “Visa”, “Status of Residence” (SOR) and “Certificate of Eligibility” (COE))
2 – Procedures for coming to Japan
– Acquiring SOR from outside Japan
– Changing or acquiring SOR from inside Japan
– Chart summarizing Visa, COE, and SOR
3 – Procedures after you came to Japan
– Bringing your family over to Japan
– Leaving Japan temporarily
– Extending your stay in Japan
– Changing jobs in Japan
– Changing SOR so you can work
– Chart summarizing Immigration procedures
4 – What kinds of Status of Residence are there?
– Chart outlining all 27 possible SOR
– Recommendations for specific jobs
– Requirements for select Statuses of Residence
5 – What if you overstay or work without proper status?
– Recent changes to Immigration law
– Examples of unintended violations
– Our advice if you overstay your SOR
6 – Getting Permanent Residency and Japanese Nationality
– Chart summarizing the requirements and differences between the two
7 – Conclusions and final advice on how to make your SOR stable

Chapter Two: STABILIZING EMPLOYMENT AND LIFESTYLES
1 – Characteristics of Japanese labor environment
2 – Labor law
3 – Labor contract
4 – Salary system
5 – Deduction and Taxes
6 – Labor insurance and Social Insurance for workers
7 – Summary

Chapter Three: STARTING A BUSINESS
1 Why start a business?
2 Sole Proprietorship (kojin jigyou) or Corporation (houjin jigyou)?
3 Type of corporations
4 Other forms of business (NPO, LLP)
5 Procedures for starting a business by setting up a kabushiki gaisha
6 Business license
7 Periodical procedures to keep your business going
8 Advice for a successful business
9 Terminology

Chapter Four: WHAT TO DO IF RESOLVING PROBLEMS
LIFESTYLE:
(These are frequently asked questions about overcoming obstacles and improving your lifestyle in Japan.)
if you want to study Japanese
if you want to open a bank account (and get an inkan seal)
if you want a credit card
if you want insurance (auto, life, property)
if you want a driver license
if you want to buy a car
if you are involved in a traffic accident
if you want Permanent Residency (eijuuken)
if you want to buy property
if you want to sell your property, apartment or house
if you need counseling or psychiatric help
if you want to take Japanese citizenship (kika)

POLICING:
if you are asked for a passport or ID (“Gaijin Card”) check by police
if you are asked for a passport or Gaijin Card check by anyone else
if you are arrested or taken into custody by the police
if you are a victim of a crime

DISCRIMINATION:
(What we mean by “discrimination”, pg ##)
if you are refused entry to a business
if you are refused entry to a hotel
if you are refused an apartment
if you have a problem with your landlord, or are threatened with eviction
if you are refused a loan
if you want to protest something you feel is discriminatory

GOING TO COURT:
if you want legal advice, or need to find a lawyer
if you want to go to court
if you want to go to small-claims court (for fraud, broken business contracts, etc.)

WORKPLACE DISPUTES:
if you want government support for labor dispute negotiations
if you want to join or form a labor union
if you want to find another job

FAMILY MATTERS:
if you want to get married
if you want to register your children in Japanese schools
if you want to register your newborn Japanese children with non-Japanese names
if you have a problem (such as ijime bullying) in your children’s schools
if you want to change your children’s schools
if you suffer from Domestic Violence
if you want to get divorced
if you are having visitation, child custody, or child support problems
if you are a pregnant out of wedlock by a Japanese man

Chapter Five: RETIREMENT AND PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
1 FINANCIALLY PREPARING FOR OLD AGE
– Corporate Retirement Benefits (taishokukin)
– Pension (nenkin)
– Private annuity (kojin nenkin)
– Long-term investment
2 LIFESTYLE AND HEALTHCARE
– Elderly care and Nursing Care Insurance (kaigo hoken)
– Medical care and Medical services for the aged (roujin hoken)
– Guardian for adults (seinen kouken)
3 INHERITANCE AND WILL
– Inheritance (souzoku) and taxes
– Last Will and Testament (yuigon, igon)
– Japanese rules regarding family inheritance
4- POSTHUMOUS CARE
– Culturally-sensitive funerals (osoushiki)
– Japanese cremation rules
– Repatriating a body for ceremonies overseas
– Maintaining a funeral plot in Japan

Chapter Six: GIVING SOMETHING BACK: DEVELOPING THE CIVIL SOCIETY
1. How to find a group
2. Starting your own group
3. Formalizing your group (NGOs etc.)
4. Making activism more than just a hobby.
5. Running for elected office
6. Staying positive when people claim “Japan will never change”
7. Conclusions

Chapter Seven: CONCLUSIONS: SUMMARIZING WHAT WE THINK YOU SHOULD DO TO CREATE STRONGER ROOTS IN JAPANESE SOCIETY

INDEX

////////////////// PRESS RELEASE ENDS //////////////////

DEBITO.ORG PODCAST FEBRUARY 26, 2008

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Hi Blog. One more outstanding bit of business. My most recent podcast, put up two days ago by TRANS PACIFIC RADIO, is now available for your listening consideration.

Writeup on their site as follows:

==============================
In this edition of the Debito.org Podcast, Arudou Debito talks about his upcoming book, HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN. Co-authored with Higuchi Akira and published by Akashi Shoten Inc., Debito tells us what’s in the book, what it’s trying to accomplish, and why he thinks you should consider buying it (Short answer= because it has lots of useful advice about how to secure your visa and job, how to start a business, what you should do if problems arise, how you can plan for your future, and how you can participate in Japan’s Civil Society; in other words, how to live better in Japan, from entry to death. Okay, maybe not such a short answer.)

TPR has already reviewed the book, saying, “Whether you’re a new ‘newcomer’ or an old ‘newcomer,’ the Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan is invaluable. The headaches and frustration saved by having accurate information on everything from establishing residency to setting up a business all in one handy volume are incalculable. Best of all, Higuchi and Arudou tackle sticky situations with sound advice that just isn’t available but through experience. Whether you’re new to Japan or looking for guidance on a newfound difficult situation, this book will help cut through the red tape and noise, ultimately helping to get one on a path to productive problem solving. A must-own book for anyone intending to call Japan ‘home’.”

There are also reviews by John Lie, Jeff Kingston, and Alex Kerr, and news of Debito’s nationwide book tour from Sendai to Fukuoka between March 15 and April 1.

HANDBOOK goes on sale from March 15, 2008. If you want to order a copy, see details at Debito’s website at http://www.debito.org/?page_id=582 And he closes out this podcast with a song by Duran Duran which has a distinct Japanese influence…
==============================

Mainichi: Official figures for NJ visa overstayers drop again in 2007 (UPDATED)

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Hi Blog. Here’s another bit of good news as far as the GOJ is concerned–their tabulations indicate that NJ overstayers have dropped for the fourteenth straight year. Comment follows article.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////
Nearly 150,000 visa overstayers in Japan as of Jan. 1: Justice Ministry
Mainichi Daily News February 29, 2008
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20080229p2a00m0na018000c.html
Courtesy of Jeff Korpa

Nearly 150,000 foreigners were illegally residing in Japan on expired visas as of the beginning of this year, the Justice Ministry said Friday.

As of Jan. 1, there were 149,785 foreigners staying in Japan without valid visas, down 21,054 or 12.3 percent from the year earlier, according to the ministry’s Immigration Bureau.

South Korean nationals account for the largest number at 31,758, followed by Chinese (25,057) and Filipinos (24,741), accounting for more than half of illegally residing foreign nationals in total.

The number of illegal residents in Japan has been declining since it peaked in 1993, bureau officials said.
(Mainichi Japan) February 29, 2008
/////////////////////////////////////////////////
ENDS

COMMENT: The stated goal in 2003 under Koizumi was to cut the number of overstayers by half.

But then again we could spin this development as bad news. There were an estimated 220,000 illegals in Japan back in 2003. It’s estimated at 150,000 now. That’s only a 32% drop. Oh oh. Looks like they won’t make their target by next year.

So here’s the spin: “The numbers have fallen, but they’re still much higher than they were twenty years ago. They’ve just plateaued at a high level.” Use this logic to justify another crackdown, like the NPA did a few days ago in the face of falling NJ crime rates?

Fortunately, the article below doesn’t get into that. Perhaps the Justice Ministry is a little less pandering to the fear factor than the NPA? In any case, I’m sure the NPA will somehow continue to say the number of visa overstayers is rising (they have insinuated as such during the past fourteen years even when both NJ crime and overstaying fell), or that the fall doesn’t matter.

NJ can’t win. If you follow GOJ pretzel logic, the only way they can “win” is if they aren’t here at all, I guess.
————————
Some more insights on overstaying (and the GOJ overdoing it policywise) in Japan:
Japan Times, June 29, 2004
http://www.debito.org/japantimes062904.html
and also
http://www.debito.org/immigrationsnitchsite.html
///////////////////////////////////
UPDATE
Oops, in my zeal to research past NPA and GOJ data spins, I neglected to mention a spin within the Mainichi Shinbun itself:

The Japanese version of the article mentions:
 また、昨年1年間で有効な査証の不所持などで上陸を拒否された外国人は前年比986人減の1万424人。このうち128人は、昨年11月20日以降の指紋・顔写真を提供させる入国審査で上陸が拒否された。
http://www.debito.org/?p=1375

My translation: “In addition, the number of people refused entry at the border for not having valid visas last year dropped from the the previous year by 986 people, to 10,424. Of that total, 128 of them were refused entry by Immigration through the new fingerprinting and photograph system, in effect since November 20 last year.”

Odd how this news on the fingerprinting stuff was left out of the English translation. Not of interest to English-language readers? Or just of more interest to Japanese readers ‘cos the media wants to show the Japanese public that their new tax boondoggle is actually somehow working?

But reporting this is a little premature (hard to say anything definitive about the system after only six weeks in operation)–unless you want to help the system out with some boosterism (as opposed to news).

Arudou Debito in Sapporo
ENDS

毎日新聞: 不法残留外国人:年頭で14万9785人 前年比2万人減

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg

不法残留外国人:年頭で14万9785人 前年比2万人減
毎日新聞 2008年2月29日 12時30分
http://mainichi.jp/select/world/news/20080229k0000e040061000c.html
Courtesy of Jeff Korpa

 法務省入国管理局は29日、不法残留する外国人が今年1月1日現在で14万9785人で、前年より2万1054人(12.3%)減ったと発表した。不法残留者は93年の29万8646人をピークに減り続けている。国別では▽韓国3万1758人▽中国2万5057人▽フィリピン2万4741人の順に多く、この3カ国で半数を超えている。

 また、昨年1年間で有効な査証の不所持などで上陸を拒否された外国人は前年比986人減の1万424人。このうち128人は、昨年11月20日以降の指紋・顔写真を提供させる入国審査で上陸が拒否された。

 一方、不法入国や不法残留など入管法違反に問われ強制退去させられた数は前年比1万908人減の4万5502人。国別では中国が最多で全体の26.3%を占めている。【坂本高志】
ENDS

My new Japan Times Column, “JUST BE CAUSE”, starts tomorrow

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Reprinting this as a separate blog post because I don’t want it to be buried at the bottom of my last newsletter…

NEW JAPAN TIMES MONTHLY COLUMN BY ARUDOU DEBITO:
“JUST BE CAUSE”, STARTS MARCH 4

That’s right–the Japan Times has kindly given me 800 words’ space for a regular column the first week of every month. Pleased as Punch about it.

Topic: On Activism in Japan

Get yourself a copy of the Japan Times on March 4 (i.e. tomorrow), March 5 in the provinces!

Debito in Sapporo

Interview (sound files) with Debito on KPIJ re activism, new book, the GOJ, and “The Japanese Way”

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Hi Blog. I had an interview a few days ago with Turner, webmaster of “Keeping Pace in Japan”, regarding the following topics. Go to his site for clickable sound files and audible answers.
http://www.keepingpaceinjapan.com/2008/03/newcomer-handbook-speaking-with-debito.html
Structure of the interview as follows:
===========================
KEEPING PACE IN JAPAN.COM
SUNDAY, MARCH 02, 2008

Newcomer Handbook: Speaking with Debito
From a phone interview, which took place on Thursday, February 21st over Skype.

I’m speaking tonight with Arudou Debito, formerly Dave Aldwinckle, naturalized Japanese citizen since 2000, human rights activist, and author of Japanese Only: The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan and most recently the Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan. Welcome, Arudou-san.

First of all, please tell us about your new book.

New book, answer

Would you recommend this book even to those who are just going to stay a year with the eikaiwa and then return home?

Eikaiwa, answer

Is there anything in the book we can’t find on the “what to do if…” section of your website?

What to do if, answer

How would you respond to people who say you don’t do things “the Japanese way”? More to the point, do you think there is such a thing?

Japanese way, answer

(Debito’s first experience in “thinking outside the box”)

Recently, there was a case involving a Pakistani girl being refused admission to a ballet school in Tokyo on what appeared to be racial discrimination. However, and correct me if I’m wrong, it turned out to be just a simple misunderstanding…

Ballet school, answer

Do you think you jumped the gun a little when you posted the story on your blog, without first contacting the school?

Jumping the gun, answer

Has there ever been a time in your activism work that you thought you acted overzealously? Were there any consequences to such actions?

Zealous, answer

There seems to a pattern among Japanese to be proud of being a monoethnic culture – do you think Japan is gradually starting to get a sense of pride from the growing diversity, or is there still this old school “closed-off island nation” mentality?

Monoethnic, answer

Ok, let me rephrase that – as far as the government is concerned, do you think there is an unspoken policy of trying to discourage immigration?

Government, answer

The basis of that question was really along the lines of your theory surrounding the police and the Gaijin Ura Hanzai File.

Police, answer

What’s your opinion about the new language requirement under consideration by the government – they haven’t really gone into specifics, but do you think a language requirement in general is a good idea for Japan?

Language requirement, answer

(Followup: Debito’s definition of a “gaijin”)

Do you think this policy is designed to – and I hate to put it this way – increase the “quality” of foreigners coming to Japan, the intelligence? In general, do you believe it’s intended to discourage or encourage immigration?

Quality of foreigners, answer

Anything else you’d like to get the word out about?

Debito’s book tour

All right, talking to Arudou Debito. Thank you very much.
————————

The book, “Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan” is now available for order by fax through Debito’s website.
HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Labels: crime in Japan, legal issues, politics in japan, racial discrimination in japan
ENDS
=========================
http://www.keepingpaceinjapan.com/2008/03/newcomer-handbook-speaking-with-debito.html
Have a listen! Debito in Sapporo

Quick Report on Okinawa Trip: AmerAsian School, Kina Shoukichi

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Hi Blog. Quick report about my recent trip to Okinawa, February 28-March 1, 2008:
debitonahaairport.JPG
I was invited by a troupe of academics (Dr Lee Setsuko of Seibold University, Nagasaki; Dr Kojima of Osaka Shukutoku University; and Dr Tanaka Hiroshi, of Ryuugoku University, and one of Japan’s foremost academics of NJ activism in Japan) down to Ginowan, Okinawa, to check out the local AmerAsian School.
amerasianschoolsign.JPG

(Ginowan-Shi Shimashi 1-15-22, phone 098-896-1215)
http://www.city.ginowan.okinawa.jp/2556/2552/2553/taiiku/2378.html
Some pertinent links:
http://naha.usconsulate.gov/wwwh-20061128.html
http://www.japanupdate.com/?id=4968
http://www.trackpads.com/forum/marine-corps/5254-marine-volunteers-make-kids-smile.html

The Amerasian School is a very worthwhile organization. amerasianschoolfront.JPG Located in a local city-run center and about to celebrate its tenth anniversary, it provides an education to children who fall through the cracks in Japan’s education system.

An estimated ninety percent of children there are from relationships from the US military bases, mostly single Japanese parents raising their children in Japan, but unable to fit into regular Japanese schools (due to bullying etc. issues). As the USG only allows those who are currently connected to US military to attend its free on-base schools (meaning children born out of wedlock, or left behind after divorce or desertion, are not entitled to on-base education), these are case of families that cannot afford the local Christian international school (with tuition fees of 80,000 yen a month; the AmerAsian School only charges 25,000 yen a month).

The AmerAsian School, which covers American elementary and junior high, lives on tuition, donations, and cheap perpetual lease agreements from Ginowan City. It was created to avoid embarrassment before the 2000 Nago Summit, when local activists offered to bring the subject of left-behind uneducated American-citizen children up with Hillary Clinton. However, as with most “ethnic schools” in Japan, it is in no way funded by the Education Ministry and enjoys no official “student discounts” etc. for transportation, food, etc.

From what your correspondent could see in a two-hour stay, the school is clean, orderly, and systematic. amerasianschoolclassJPG.JPGThe children are spritely, friendly, bilingual (for most of them, their first language is Japanese), with the majority a lovely blend of Japanese and African-American or Hispanic. The teachers, and principal Asano Makoto, are very dedicated folk indeed, and forgo a lot to make sure these children get at least a basic education.

What happens when the kids reach high-school age? Well… some of them there were many questions I would have liked to ask, but I wasn’t there to specifically interview them, so only got a few queries in edgewise. What I know I’ve written down for your information. If you want to know more, two books in Japanese (which alas I have not had time to read yet) you might consider tracking down:
————————-
Teramoto Hirotaka, ed. “Amerajian Suku-ru–Kyousei to Chihei o Okinawa Kara” (Fukinotou Shobou, 2001). ISBN 4-434-0958-3

Uezato Kazumi, “Amerajian–Mou Hitotsu no Okinawa” (Shin Nichi Purosesu KK, 1998). ISBN 4-87699-398-X
————————-
Suggest that anyone who can try to visit and contribute something.

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

By the way, we spent two evenings in Kina Shoukichi’s Live House “Chakra” on Kokusai Doori, Naha, taking in his brand of Okinawan music (guitars and jamisen combined masterfully, and incredibly hooky songs). Picture of his troupe in action:
kinachakura.JPG
http://www.champloose.co.jp/

His Wikipedia entry, for what it’s worth:
——————————-
Kina Shokichi (Kina Shōkichi, 喜納昌吉, born June 10, 1948 in Koza (now part of the city of Okinawa), Okinawa, is a Ryukyuan rock musician who, along with his band Champloose, played a large role in the Japanese home-grown “folk rock” scene in the 70s and 80s. His first big hit was “Haisai Ojisan” (Hey, old man) in 1972, which he wrote when he was in high school. (He was actually in prison on drug-related charges when the song became a hit.) He is now perhaps equally well-known for his ongoing activism in the name of peace.
He was elected a member of the House of Councillors in July 2004.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoukichi_Kina

——————————-

He performed on Friday night; forty minutes of masterful jams and danceable sets. Met him afterwards for a small chat and got a signed copy of his CD. He’ll get copies of my books later.

I was less than 48 hours on Okinawa, but saw a hell of a lot. Even took a quick taxi ride up to Kadena Gate Doori (where we were admonished by an automatic-weapon toting Beigun guard not to take pictures by the gate), where we saw the effects of the current “lock down”. debitokadena.JPGThe Japanese press that morning made a big deal about the shuttered shopfronts due to lack of business. It didn’t look all that bad to me, and it looked more prosperous (such as it was) than outside Misawa Air Base sans lock down.

kokusaidoorimarket.JPGdebitokokusaidoori.JPG

Hope to get down to Okinawa again someday soon. Was very impressed by the friendliness of the people and the relative responsiveness of even shopkeeps in the tourist traps. Should linger longer next time to let impressions sink in deeper.
okinawapighead.JPG

Arudou Debito back in Sapporo
ENDS

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MARCH 1, 2008

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Hi All. Been preparing for publication of our latest HANDBOOK (out March 15, more below) and book tour, so here’s a roundup of the past two weeks of Debito.org Blog:

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MARCH 1, 2008
Table of Contents:

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IT’S THE TIME OF THE SEASON, AGAIN: FOREIGN CRIME IN THE NEWS
1) Kyodo says foreign crime down again in 2007, yet NPA wants further crackdown
2) Reuters: Study says Immigrants commit less crime (in California)
3) “Foreign crime” in reverse: The Miura Kazuyoshi Case
4) Aly Rustom compares treatment of NJ as crime suspect with crime victim
5) LA Times: Okinawa, alleged rape, and “outrage for show”

GOJ’S RECENT MOVES:
6) Terrie’s Take on Immigration’s looming crackdown on NJ residents’ whereabouts
7) Terrie’s Take on GOJ crackdown on dual nationality
8) MOFA Feb 12, 2008 Press Conference on language requirement for NJ Visas
9) ABC News (USA) finally breaks the story about Japan as haven for child abductions
10) Yomiuri: Govt to help NJ primary- and secondary-ed students learn Japanese

NJ COMMUNITY’S RECENT MOVES:
11) NUGW Tokyo Nambu “March in March” Mar 9, 2008 Shibuya
12) SAYUKI, Japan’s first Occidental NJ certified Geisha, offers special party rate to large groups of NJ clients
13) Interesting forthcoming book: “Another Japan is Possible”; citing Tony Laszlo of long-defunct “Issho Kikaku”

SPEAKING OF BOOKS…
14) Advance reviews and ordering details for forthcoming HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS, by Akira Higuchi and Arudou Debito (due out March 15)

and finally…
15) NEW JAPAN TIMES REGULAR MONTHLY COLUMN BY ARUDOU DEBITO:
“JUST BE CAUSE”, STARTS MARCH 4
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

By Arudou Debito, Naha, Okinawa, Japan
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
Daily Blog updates with RSS at http://www.debito.org/index.php
Freely forwardable

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

1) Kyodo says foreign crime down in 2007, yet NPA stresses need for further crackdown

Check out the NPA’s latest wheeze to claim that even a drop in NJ crime is a rise: Shift the goalposts.

Kyodo February 28, 2008: “The number of crimes committed by foreigners visiting Japan dropped for the second straight year to 35,800 last year, down 10.8 percent from the previous year, after hitting a peak in 2005, the National Police Agency said Thursday. However, the number of crimes detected by police during the five-year period from 2003 to 2007 increased some 70 percent from the period of with an NPA official stressing the need for further crackdown on them…”

Wait, this conclusion doesn’t follow… And neither does the translation grammatically.

The original Japanese of the last sentence, retranslated by yours truly, reads, “On the other hand, when looking at the number of cases committed within five year periods, comparing the number of crimes committed between 2003-2007 and 1993-1997, there has been been a 70% rise. The NPA says, “Although there have been some rises and falls, in recent years it’s ‘been stopped at a high point’. From now on it’ll be necessary to for us to strengthen our crackdown even more.”

So how many more years are we going to back up and say crime has increased? Why not go back to a time when there were a lot fewer NJ and look at crime stats back then? Calculating this way will always give you a higher number now. Then you’ll always more justification for cracking down in the face of falling crime.

Under this method, when can the police say, “We’ve done enough, we don’t have crack down any more on foreign crime”? Answer: Never. Because even if foreign crime fell to zero, they could still say that their past crackdowns have brought that about, and we’ll have to continue cracking down.

This is no longer anything even approaching a scientific method. Or even a logical method. It’s clearly just a political method. And the Japanese press swallows it whole without analysis.

Shame on Kyodo. Get better translators and develop a critical eye. Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=1372

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2) Reuters: Study says Immigrants commit less crime (in California)

Reuters: “Immigrants are far less likely than the average U.S.-born citizen to commit crime in California, the most populous state in the United States, according to a report. The findings suggest that long-standing fears of immigration as a threat to public safety are unjustified. The report also noted that U.S.- born adult men are incarcerated at a rate more than 2 1/2 times greater than that of foreign-born men…

‘Our research indicates that limiting immigration, requiring higher educational levels to obtain visas, or spending more money to increase penalties against criminal immigrants will have little impact on public safety,’ said Kristin Butcher, co-author of the report and associate professor of economics at Wellesley College.”

Will Japan’s government, especially the NPA, ever be as fair and scientific? Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=1371

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3) “Foreign crime” in reverse: The Miura Kazuyoshi Case

Of tangential interest to Debito.org is the case of Miura Kazuyoshi, a person who was shot in LA with his wife 25 years ago, in what became an issue of “foreign crime” in America, allegedly country of random violence; the J press back then lapped it up. Funny thing is, he later was convicted of in fact killing his wife in a lower Japanese court. Even funnier, he was later vindicated by a higher court. Funniest of all, two weeks ago he got arrested in US territory (which avoids double jeopardy) for the same crime.

Wouldn’t it be yet another black eye for the Japanese judiciary if the US convicts him instead? We won’t know for a little while (but it will take definitely less time than the Japanese judiciary; hey, it took Miura four years for his High Court verdict, and Asahara has been on trial for more than a decade now…)

Is this guy the Japanese O.J. Simpson or what? Instead of using the race card, he uses the “foreign crime” card… Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=1364

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4) Aly Rustom compares treatment of NJ as crime suspect with crime victim

A crie du coeur from Aly Rustom, comparing the treatment of NJ as suspect and as victim of crime: “The most basic right- the right not to be murdered- and the most basic justice- punishing a killer, is denied to foreigners in Japan. The American military took some steps to try and avoid such instances in the future and the head of the armed forces in Japan bowed and apologized. For the murder of 3 young foreigners in Japan, cut down in their prime for absolutely no good reason, what have we got? We can’t even get justice for these people. Not even a conviction, let alone an apology. Is this a civilized government?” Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=1369

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5) LA Times: Okinawa, alleged rape, and “outrage for show”

LA Times: “In light of recent allegations of an indecent assault, Japanese officials privately acknowledge that their recent criticisms of US military conduct in Okinawa are motivated, in part, by the need to assuage Okinawa public opinion, especially at a time when Washington and Tokyo are seeking to relocate a major Marine air base in the face of strong local opposition. “It’s all a performance,” said Kantoku Teruya, an Okinawa lawmaker in the upper house of Japan’s parliament.” Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=1361

Then, as you might have heard, the accused (and convicted in the media) person was released yesterday, after the accuser dropped her charges. What a mess.
http://www.debito.org/?p=1369#comment-124504

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GOJ’S RECENT MOVES:

Two excellent articles by Terrie Lloyd these past two weeks:

6) Terrie’s Take on Immigration’s looming crackdown on NJ residents’ whereabouts

Terrie’s Take: “Over the last 2 years, there have been a number of legislatory submissions and trial PR balloons floated that indicate that the government is intending to significantly increase its control over foreigners living here. Given that many other countries also impose strict tracking and controls on foreign residents who are not migrants, this wouldn’t necessarily be such a bad thing providing that there was some upside offered such as by those other countries. In particular, Japan needs to make laws and apply the proper enforcement of UN human rights to foreign residents. Rights such as anti-discrimination, right to impartial justice, fair treatment of refugees, proper criminalization of human trafficking, and rights of children are all severely lacking. But these unfortunately don’t seem to be part of the agenda at this time.” Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=1222

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7) Terrie’s Take on GOJ crackdown on dual nationality

Terrie’s Take: “We end by saying that this is a crazy situation. On the one hand, we have a possible crack down on hundreds of thousands of people and a deliberate policy of alienating (pun intended) all these potential citizens. On the other hand, we have a government panel that advised back in December the government should spend up to JPY2.44trn (US$22bn) on measures to help counter the declining birth rate!

“Since the number of people likely to lose their citizenship amounts to 5%-10% of the birth rate, we suggest that part of that JPY2.44trn outlay be spent on making a phone call to the Justice Ministry to prepare legislation allowing Japanese to do what many have practiced for generations – become law-abiding citizens of the countries of both of their parents.”

Although Terrie concentrates more on J citizens abroad taking NJ citizenships, there is also good mention and argument about J children in international marriages and the pressures upon them to conform to single nationality. As Terrie rightfully points out, this is ludicrous in a country which needs citizens; it shouldn’t be taking this degree of trouble just to put people off possibly maintaining a J passport just in the name of some odd nationality purity.

And dual nationality in itself would resolve many problems… I personally know several long-term NJ (and even some Zainichi) who would be happy to become Japanese citizens if it didn’t mean the sacrifice of one’s identity to having to choose. If you are a product of two cultures, why not have the legal status to back that up? Not half, but double. That’s what I would call the real Yokoso Japan. Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=1363

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8) MOFA Feb 12, 2008 Press Conference on language requirement for NJ Visas

MOJ Press Conference Feb 12, 2008, with Deputy Press Secretary Tomohiko Taniguchi, on Japanese Language requirement for NJ visas, and terrorism:

“The Japanese Ministry of Justice already started to require bio ID when non-Japanese visitors enter Japan – you probably have gone through the same procedure, like fingerprinting or face photo. The idea of that initiative, of course, was to check the inflow of people so that any dubious potentially terrorist sort of people could not come into Japan. So that is more to do with preventing those people from entering Japan. But the linguistic part, the language initiative, is rather to incentivize people not only to come to Japan, but also to feel more relaxed in their working conditions and environment. The two initiatives are totally different from one another.”

The Japan Foundation also stands to profiteer… Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=1225

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9) ABC News (USA) finally breaks the story about Japan as haven for child abductions

Here’s a magnificent article from ABC News (USA) about how Japan remains a haven for child abduction after a Japanese-NJ marriage breaks up.

Long-overdue attention to one of Japan’s worst-kept secrets–how NJ have essentially no parental or custody rights in Japan, and how Japan refuses to take any measure to safeguard the access of both parents or the welfare of the child under the Hague Convention (which it refuses to sign).

Article: “Not a single American child kidnapped to Japan has ever been returned to the United States through legal or diplomatic means, according to the State Department.” Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=1370

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NJ COMMUNITY’S RECENT MOVES:

Starting with some good news:

10) Yomiuri: Govt to help NJ primary- and secondary-ed students learn Japanese

Yomiuri: The Education, Science and Technology Ministry will launch a program to help the increasing number of foreign students at public primary, middle and high schools to acquire Japanese language skills. Currently, local governments handle Japanese language education for foreign students at public schools. The ministry plans to provide financial and other support to the local governments to employ part-time instructors, who are proficient both in Japanese and a foreign language, with the goal of enhancing students’ understanding in classes and Japanese lessons. Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=699

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11) NUGW Tokyo Nambu “March in March” Mar 9, 2008 Shibuya

Word from Louis Carlet on the annual labor union March in March (being held March 9, Shibuya) to demonstrate that NJ workers have rights and needs too. And the will to petition for them. I’ve been to two of these events before, they are excellent and well worth your time. Do consider attending. You’ll be convinced that Japan is in fact a multicultural, multiethnic society and will stay that way. Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=1300

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12) SAYUKI, Japan’s first Occidental NJ certified Geisha, offers special party rate to large groups of NJ clients

SAYUKI, Japan’s first Occidental NJ certified Geisha, offers special party to large groups of NJ clientele. This is a special deal, so if you’d like a glimpse into the Geisha artisan circles (and want to see what the cultural fuss is all about), book a group rate at a very special discount. An email from Sayuki follows… Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=1301

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13) Interesting forthcoming book: “Another Japan is Possible”; citing Tony Laszlo of long-defunct “Issho Kikaku”

Stanford University Press is publishing a very serious (and long-overdue) study of minority voices in Japan. Entitled “Another Japan is Possible”, Dr. Jennifer Chan of the U of British Columbia offers chapters from many forces of change within Japan.

Except for one little thing–a chapter by “Tony Laszlo, Issho Kikaku”. IK has been moribund for more than two years, its archives offline and inaccessible, meaning there is nothing for Laszlo to represent. How did he wind up in the company of serious activists?

Dr Chan says she conducted the interviews two years ago, probably before Laszlo deep-sixed his organization and the work of hundreds of other activists. Pity. Perpetuates the image of the wrong job description. Anyway, seriously, get the book. Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?p=1223

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SPEAKING OF BOOKS…
14) Advance reviews for forthcoming HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS, by Akira Higuchi and Arudou Debito

Advance word about the forthcoming HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN (Akashi Shoten, on sale March 15, 2008). Book cover, four advance reviews, book tour schedule, ordering details, and link to contents of the book on this blog entry. Read more-
http://www.debito.org/?page_id=582

I’ll have a press release out on this book in two languages in a few days.

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and finally…

15) NEW JAPAN TIMES MONTHLY COLUMN BY ARUDOU DEBITO: “JUST BE CAUSE”, STARTS MARCH 4

That’s right–the Japan Times has kindly given me 800 words’ space for a regular column the first week of every month. Pleased as Punch about it. Get yourself a copy on March 4!

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All for today. Thanks for reading!
Arudou Debito in Naha, Okinawa, Japan
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MARCH 1, 2008 ENDS

Reuters: Study says Immigrants commit less crime (in California)

mytest

HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpg
Hi Blog. Let me just quote somebody else, since she put it so well on The Community List:

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Did anyone happen to catch this story on Yahoo today? I wonder if Japan will get a clue and follow with similar (i.e. realistic) statistics or if they will continue hyping “increase in foreign crime” for political purposes? Tina Koyama, Niigata
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Given how the J NPA is using completely unscientific methods to portray foreign crime (even calling another recent drop in foreign crime a “comparative increase”, as further justification for yet another crackdown), she has a very good point. Arudou Debito in Okinawa

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Study finds immigrants commit less California crime
Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:39 AM ET SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080226/us_nm/usa_immigration_crime_dc

Immigrants are far less likely than the average U.S.-born citizen to commit crime in California, the most populous state in the United States, according to a report issued late on Monday.

People born outside the United States make up about 35 percent of California’s adult population but account for about 17 percent of the adult prison population, the report by the Public Policy Institute of California showed.

According to the report’s authors the findings suggest that long-standing fears of immigration as a threat to public safety are unjustified. The report also noted that U.S.- born adult men are incarcerated at a rate more than 2 1/2 times greater than that of foreign-born men.

“Our research indicates that limiting immigration, requiring higher educational levels to obtain visas, or spending more money to increase penalties against criminal immigrants will have little impact on public safety,” said Kristin Butcher, co-author of the report and associate professor of economics at Wellesley College.

The study did not differentiate between documented immigrants and illegal immigrants.

The question of what to do about the millions of undocumented workers living in the United States has been one of the major issues in the U.S. presidential election. Mexico, which accounts for a high proportion of illegal immigrants in California, was deeply disappointed at the U.S. Congress’ failure to pass President George W. Bush’s overhaul of immigration laws last year.

When Butcher and her co-author, Anne Morrison Piehl, associate professor of economics at Rutgers University, considered all those committed to institutions including prison, jails, halfway houses and the like, they found an even greater disparity.

Among men 18 to 40, the population most likely to be in institutions because of criminal activity, the report found that in California, U.S.-born men were institutionalized 10 times more often than foreign-born men (4.2 percent vs. 0.42 percent).

Among other findings in the report, non-citizen men from Mexico 18 to 40 — a group disproportionately likely to have entered the United States illegally — are more than eight times less likely than U.S.-born men in the same age group to be in a correctional institution (0.48 percent vs. 4.2 percent).

“From a public safety standpoint, there would be little reason to further limit immigration, to favor entry by high-skilled immigrants, or to increase penalties against criminal immigrants,” the report said.

(Reporting by Duncan Martell; Editing by Adam Tanner and Bill Trott)
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