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  • Archive for April, 2008

    Writing you from Matsuyama–Cycletrek GW 2008 going well

    Posted by arudou debito on 30th April 2008

    Brief word from Matsuyama–Golden Week Cycletrek 2008 going well…

    Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

    産經:「青い目の人形」に“市民権” 愛媛・西予市。Sankei: Old dolls get “City Citizenship”. Now how about NJ residents?

    Posted by arudou debito on 30th April 2008

    産經新聞  愛媛県西予市の市立狩江、俵津両小学校に保管されている「青い目の人形」3体が住民登録されることになり、18日、市役所の窓口で人形それぞれに特別住民票が交付される。日米友好の証として米国から日本に渡ってきた人形。昭和という激動の時代を経て約80年ぶりに“市民権”を得ることになった。

    Posted in Human Rights, Ironies & Hypocrisies, 日本語 | 11 Comments »

    Reuters: Study says immigrants and crime rate not linked

    Posted by arudou debito on 26th April 2008

    Reuters: Contrary to common beliefs, rising immigration levels do not drive up crime rates, particularly in poor communities, and Mexican-Americans are the least likely to commit crimes, according to a new study.

    Posted in Japanese police/Foreign crime, Tangents | 3 Comments »

    Japan Today: Shinjuku cops rough up Singaporean women during “passport check”

    Posted by arudou debito on 25th April 2008

    Japan Today: A few burning questions that arose from this incident:
    1) Are these police officers authorized to request our passports as they wish?
    2) Under what circumstances can these officers exercise this authority?
    3) Without any resistance in any way from us, other than just asking why they require our passports and trying to walk to the station control, where we feel safer, are they allowed to use physical restraint?
    4) Are these male officers allowed to use physical restraint on females like us? Should they not have waited for a female officer?
    5) In such a predominantly tourist area like Shinjuku, where these officers are checking for foreign passports, should they not have received some form of language training so that they can explain why they need to see my passport? I do not believe that expecting them to be achieve a basic level of communication skills in the English language which is spoken in most of the rest of the world is unreasonable in anyway. What kind of training DO these officers receive?
    6) What in the world did my friend and I do that warranted the passport check and the physical restraint?

    Posted in Japanese police/Foreign crime, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 18 Comments »

    Potential Olympic torch problems in Nagano? All the more reason to target NJ!

    Posted by arudou debito on 25th April 2008

    Kyodo: “The association of hotels and Japanese inns in the city of Nagano has requested that its members fully check the identifications of their foreign guests prior to the Beijing Olympic torch relay on Saturday as part of efforts to counter suspicious individuals, local officials said Tuesday.” Naturally, that follows–protesters must be foreigners…

    Posted in Japanese police/Foreign crime, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 2 Comments »

    Mainichi: MOJ overturns deportation order, allows NJ couple to stay with child in Japan.

    Posted by arudou debito on 25th April 2008

    Mainichi: The Justice Ministry has decided to grant special residence permission to a Kurdish man, his Filipino wife and their 7-year-old daughter, overturning its earlier decision to deport the couple for overstaying their visas. The ministry’s move came after the Tokyo High Court suggested a settlement in the case in which the family’s request to nullify the ministry’s order to deport them had been turned down by the Tokyo District Court.

    Posted in Good News, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government | 3 Comments »

    毎日:強制退去訴訟:ジランちゃん一家に在留特別許可 法務省

    Posted by arudou debito on 25th April 2008

    毎日新聞:埼玉県川口市に住むトルコ国籍のクルド人タスクンさん(32)とフィリピン国籍の妻ベルトランさん(41)、長女ジランちゃん(7)の一家3人が、強制退去処分の取り消しを求めた訴訟を巡り、法務省は一家に在留特別許可を与える方針を決めた。鳩山邦夫法相が25日、閣議後会見で明らかにした。同日中にも1年更新の定住資格を与える見通し。1審は一家の訴えを退けたが、控訴審で東京高裁の寺田逸郎裁判長が外国人の強制退去を巡る訴訟では異例の和解を打診し、法務省が処分見直しを含め対応を検討していた。

    Posted in Good News, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, 日本語 | No Comments »

    Japan Times ZEIT GIST: G8 Summit and the bad “security” habits brought out in Japan

    Posted by arudou debito on 22nd April 2008

    Japan Times column on the Hokkaido G8 Summit: The point is, international events bring out bad habits in Japan. And now we have Tokyo bidding for the 2016 Olympics? Cue yet another orgiastic official fear-and-crackdown campaign foisted on the public, with the thick blue line of the nanny state the biggest profiteer. Conclusion: I don’t think Japan as a polity is mature enough yet to host these events. Japan must develop suitable administrative checks and balances, not to mention a vetting media, to stop people scaring Japanese society about the rest of the world just because it’s coming to visit. We need to rein in Japan’s mandarins and prevent them from converting Japan into a police state, cracking down on its already stunted civil society.

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Hokkaido Toyako G8 Summit 2008, Japanese Government, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Media | 5 Comments »

    Donald Richie gives great review of HANDBOOK in Japan Times

    Posted by arudou debito on 21st April 2008

    Donald Richie on HANDBOOK: “In this important and necessary book the authors address migrants and immigrants to Japan in saying that “we believe that your life in Japan should be under as much of your control as legally possible.” That it sometimes seems not to be, is the reason for their having written this handbook… The wise newcomer, be he or she nascent migrant or not, is hereby counseled to acquire this valuable volume and render life in Japan not only possible but practical and pleasurable as well.”

    Posted in Good News, Handbook for Newcomers | 2 Comments »

    Tokyo Police apparently drop case of Peter Barakan’s assault

    Posted by arudou debito on 20th April 2008

    Update: Police seem to have dropped the case of TV tarento Peter Barakan getting assaulted by last December. In his words, they have done “absolutely zilch”, even though they found the car, they found somebody in the car, they found the mace. Yet the suspect didn’t get the regular 23-day interrogation one would expect if a NJ had assaulted by a Japanese. I guess a lack of “100% certainty” means police can drop the case completely.

    Posted in Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 5 Comments »

    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APR 17, 2008: NEW TOUR SCHEDULES

    Posted by arudou debito on 19th April 2008

    1) ADVANCE NOTICE OF POTENTIAL TOURS: WANT ME TO COME SPEAK?
    CALIFORNIA AUG 17-28, JAPAN SEPT 1-16, 2008

    2) REVIEW OF HANDBOOK BY DONALD RICHIE, IN JAPAN TIMES APR 20
    3) MY LATEST JAPAN TIMES COMMUNITY PAGE ARTICLE, ON WASTEFUL G8 SUMMIT, APR 22

    4) HIBA SPEECH IN SAPPORO NEXT TUES APRIL 22
    5) MIYAZAKI SPEECH NEXT THURS APRIL 24

    …and finally…
    6) HANDBOOK ADVERTISED IN ASAHI APR 13, SALES LEAP ON AMAZON JAPAN

    Posted in Newsletters | No Comments »

    Filipina allegedly killed by J man, one let out of jail despite killing another Filipina in past

    Posted by arudou debito on 19th April 2008

    We have (insufficient) news reports about a case earlier this month of a Filipina suspected of being killed by a Japanese man, and having her body parts stowed in a locker in Hamamatsu Station. Then it turns out this guy, Nozaki Hiroshi, had killed a Filipina some years before, and apparently tried to flush her body parts down a toilet. For that previous crime, Nozaki was convicted, but only sentenced to three years plus. It wasn’t even judged a murder. And he got out allegedly to kill again. Oddly enough, Nozaki’s jail sentence was only a bit more than Nigerian citizen Mr Idubor’s, and Idubor’s conviction was for alleged rape, not murder. Yet Nozaki was apparently caught red-handed, while there was no physical evidence and discrepant testimony in Idubor’s Case. Ironically, that means that under these judicial litmus tests, the women involved could have been killed and it would have made no difference in the sentencing. That is, if you’re a Japanese criminal victimizing a foreigner, it seems. It’s getting harder to argue that the J judiciary is color-blind towards judging criminals and victims.

    Posted in Injustice, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Lawsuits, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 5 Comments »

    「移民政策学会」設立記念大会 5月17日 東洋大学・白山キャンパス

    Posted by arudou debito on 19th April 2008

    「移民政策学会」設立記念大会
    日 時:5月17日(土)13:00〜17:30 (懇親会18:00〜20:00)
    場 所:東洋大学・白山キャンパス(東京都文京区白山5−28−20)

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

    Idubor’s next court date Apr 23, plus text of Statement to High Court

    Posted by arudou debito on 18th April 2008

    From Mr Idubor’s statement: “I was coerced to sign deposition documents prepared by the police who promised me that they would not prosecute me if I would sign. Furthermore, the police intentionally hid or lost critical evidence. For example, they erased the phone number of the complainant’s friend from my cell phone address book as well as the record of threatening e-mail messages from the same person. Also, because of their failure to investigate the surveillance tape of the camera in my bar, subsequent data overwrote the tape automatically and erased the record for the day in question. The police never documented detailed description of the relationship between the complainant and her friend, effectively hiding the intent of the accusation.”

    Posted in Injustice, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Lawsuits | 3 Comments »

    イドゥボ氏の 第2回公判4/23(水)14:30陳述書記載

    Posted by arudou debito on 18th April 2008

    イドゥボ氏の陳述書より:「控訴の趣意は弁護人から2008年2月25日に控訴趣意書を提出しました。私は次の事項を付け加えて述べたいと思います。警察官による供述調書は、署名すれば不起訴にするとの約束で、署名させられたものです。また、警察官は重要な証拠を隠したり、なくしたりしました。例えば、私の携帯電話のアドレス帳から告訴人の友人の電話番号が消され、彼女から私へ送られてきた脅迫メールの記録も消されていました。また、私の店の監視カメラの記録を調べなかったために、新しい内容が自動的に上書きされ、当日の記録は消されました。また、警察官は彼女たちの意図が分かるような告訴人とその友人の詳細な関係を調書に書きませんでした。」

    Posted in Injustice, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Lawsuits, 日本語 | No Comments »

    在日韓国・朝鮮人高齢者の年金訴訟を支える会: 4月25日判決傍聴と呼びかけ

    Posted by arudou debito on 18th April 2008

    在日韓国・朝鮮人高齢者の年金訴訟を支える会より判決傍聴と呼びかけご協力のお願い:4月25日(金)15時30分〜大阪高等裁判所202号法廷で、終了後、16時〜大阪弁護士会館で報告集会を行います。明細はこちら. Court decision due April 25 on elderly Korean Zainichis being denied their Japanese nenkin pension contributions due to being foreign.

    Posted in Exclusionism, Japanese Government, Lawsuits, Problematic Foreign Treatment, 日本語 | No Comments »

    Hiragana Times July 2006 on NJ police brutality by Osaka cops

    Posted by arudou debito on 17th April 2008

    Hi Blog. Another in the ongoing series re Japan’s judiciary. Retyping from document, sorry for any typos. Only time enough to render English version for now. (And yes, the comma-less sentences, poor syntax, and mediocre writing are in the original; no wonder many Japanese find English hard to read!). Arudou Debito in Sapporo ========================= SPEAK […]

    Posted in Japanese police/Foreign crime, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 27 Comments »

    US State Dept Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2007, Japan

    Posted by arudou debito on 16th April 2008

    Although the US is certainly no paragon of human rights worldwide (what with torture, renditions, abuses under SOFA, denial of Habeas Corpus to non-citizens, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and the largest arms sales worldwide, to name but a few caveats under this administration), here is their annual report on human rights in Japan in full. For what it’s worth. Note how the situation of “Japanese Only” signs nationwide is no longer mentioned, like it was in previous reports. I guess the US State Department considers the situation resolved. I beg to differ.

    Posted in Human Rights | No Comments »

    Rough Guide on what to do if and when arrested in Japan

    Posted by arudou debito on 15th April 2008

    Anonymous Guide: “In Japan, police can arrest anyone, any time. They do not come announced. There are no government leaflets that prepare you for the catastrophe. So, I wrote this one instead, compiled from my own painful experience and those of many other foreigners in Japan. The actual chances to be arrested in Japan are much higher than the chances to be hurt by an earthquake in Japan – especially if you are a foreigner. Don’t think that you will be able to deal with it just because “you know your rights” from back home or from Hollywood court movies. Japan is not about justice, it is about bustice. So prepare yourself for the real big bang – read this.”

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Human Rights, Injustice, Japanese police/Foreign crime | 37 Comments »

    Summary letters from Yuyu Idubor in prison, part six

    Posted by arudou debito on 14th April 2008

    Here are some more letters from Osayuwamen Idubor, written in jail. The Idubor Case is where a Nigerian was sentenced last December to three years for rape despite no physical evidence and flawed accuser testimony. He writes to tell about what happened in his view, in summary (part six).

    Posted in Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Lawsuits | 4 Comments »

    ハンドブック広告が朝日新聞に載った Advertisement for HANDBOOK appears in the Asahi

    Posted by arudou debito on 13th April 2008

    明石書店の広告のなか、私たちの本「ニューカマー定住ハンドブック」の宣伝が朝日新聞に載った。Advertisement for HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN appeared on Asahi book column April 13, 2008

    Posted in Good News, Handbook for Newcomers, Media, 日本語 | No Comments »

    More letters from Nigerian Yuyu Idubor in prison, part five

    Posted by arudou debito on 13th April 2008

    Here are some more letters from Osayuwamen Idubor, written in jail. The Idubor Case is where a Nigerian was sentenced last December to three years for rape despite no physical evidence and flawed accuser testimony. He writes to tell about what happened in his view, in his own words, and responds to critics who posted on Debito.org (part five).

    Posted in Injustice, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Lawsuits, Problematic Foreign Treatment | No Comments »

    無罪でも延々勾留 スイス人に裁判長「お気の毒」…また無罪

    Posted by arudou debito on 13th April 2008

    朝日:覚せい剤取締法違反などの罪に問われ、一審・千葉地裁で無罪判決を受けた後も勾留(こうりゅう)が続いていたスイス人女性(28)の控訴審で、東京高裁は9日、検察側の控訴を棄却する判決を言い渡した。女性の勾留は解かれたが、不法残留のため入国管理施設に収容されたとみられる。

    Posted in Human Rights, Injustice, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Problematic Foreign Treatment, 日本語 | No Comments »

    “Hostage Justice”: Swiss woman acquitted of a crime, but detained for eight months anyway during prosecution’s appeal

    Posted by arudou debito on 12th April 2008

    Here’s another oddity of the Japanese judiciary–”hostage justice”. The prosecution is so strong in this country that, in the extremely rare case (less than one percent of all cases that go to trial) they lose a criminal case judgment (and the accused goes free), they can appeal. But, as you can see in the article below, the rights of the accused differ by nationality. If you are a Non-Japanese, and even if you are judged innocent by a lower court, you are still incarcerated for however many months it takes for the higher court to deliver a verdict (in this case, innocent again). Because, you see, foreigners aren’t allowed bail in Japan. Unlike Japanese. When Japanese appeal guilty verdicts, they are not detained (see Horie Takafumi and Suzuki Muneo; the latter, now convicted of corruption twice over, is still on the streets, even re-elected to the Diet!).

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

    UN News recent articles on Human Rights Council

    Posted by arudou debito on 11th April 2008

    Hi Blog. Here are a gaggle of recent UN News articles on the Human Rights Council, the one which monitors countries (like Japan) on their human rights practices. Here’s hoping they’ll be coming down on Japan soon for it’s broken promises regarding establishing a law against racial discrimination. Arudou Debito in Sapporo ================================== UN HUMAN […]

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Human Rights, United Nations | No Comments »

    Yomiuri: 80% of hospitals interested in employing foreign nurses

    Posted by arudou debito on 10th April 2008

    Yomiuri: “More than 80 percent of medium- or large-sized hospitals have indicated an interest in accepting foreign nurses, while about 40 percent are actually considering hiring such nurses, according to a survey by a research team at the Kyushu University Asia Center. Following bilateral economic partnership agreements signed between Japan and the Philippines and Indonesia, Japan likely will start accepting nurses and caregivers from those countries as early as this summer. “There were more hospitals that showed interest in accepting foreign nurses than we’d expected,” said Sadachika Kawaguchi, professor at University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, who also was involved in the survey.”

    Posted in Immigration & Assimilation, Labor issues | 7 Comments »

    読売:病院の8割超、外国人看護師に関心…4割は受け入れ検討

    Posted by arudou debito on 10th April 2008

    読売:経済連携協定(EPA)により、今夏にもフィリピン、インドネシアから看護師・介護士が来日する見通しが強まる中、中規模以上の病院の8割以上が外国人看護師の導入に関心があり、4割近くは具体的に受け入れを検討していることが、九州大アジア総合政策センター研究班の調査で明らかになった。共同研究者の川口貞親・産業医科大教授は「想定よりも外国人受け入れへの関心が高かった。単なる人手不足の穴埋めでなく、病院活性化への期待も高いが、情報不足でちゅうちょする病院も多い」と分析している。

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

    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APRIL 9, 2008

    Posted by arudou debito on 10th April 2008

    1) BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK TOUR–A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE
    2) DEBITO.ORG PODCAST WITH ENTIRE FCCJ SPEECH ON HANDBOOK
    3) EXCERPT OF THE BOOK ON JAPAN FOCUS
    4) TERRIE LLOYD REVIEWS HANDBOOK POSITIVELY FOR DAIJOB.COM
    5) CHUUNICHI SHINBUN ON ONE OF MY NAGANO SPEECHES

    …and finally…
    6) JAPAN TIMES JUST BE CAUSE COLUMN 2
    …ON LOCAL KOKUSAIKA FORUMS AS WASTED OPPORTUNITIES

    Posted in Newsletters | No Comments »

    Japan Times: Critics deride future extra policing of NJ under new proposed registration policy

    Posted by arudou debito on 9th April 2008

    Japan Times: Foreigners living in Japan should be allowed five-year visas but kept under the eye of a new unified Justice Ministry-run nationwide identification system, a government panel on immigration control said in its report released Wednesday. The panel, made up of university professors and private-sector executives, said a new foreigner registration system and revision of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law should aim at creating “a symbiotic community” by providing a “pleasant environment for foreign residents in Japan.” While the report emphasizes that the proposed measures will enable the government to provide better services for foreign residents, critics view the new registry system as increased state control…

    Posted in Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Japanese police/Foreign crime | No Comments »

    Terrie Lloyd reviews HANDBOOK positively on Daijob.com

    Posted by arudou debito on 9th April 2008

    Terrie Lloyd reviewing HANDBOOK at Daijob.com: “Indeed, this is one of the outcomes of reading the Handbook – it prompts you to want to find out more. Although the book has 376 pages, half of it is written in Japanese so that someone who you might be seeking advice from (a lawyer or Japanese friend or “senpai”) can quickly grasp the nature of what you are asking, and give you a more specific answer. This means that the Handbook is not only a quick read, but also is intended to be a framework rather than an exhaustive reference manual. Arudou addresses this fact by providing copious notes on where to go to get follow up help. By the time you read this, you should be able to pick up the Handbook at your local bookstore. But just in case you can’t, Arudou maintains a pretty comprehensive website at www.debito.org, and right on the front page there is a link with instructions on how to order a copy. I checked Amazon.com, but obviously the book is still too early to have gone through their registration process yet. The retail price is JPY2,415, and my personal opinion is that it is worth every yen. A necessary read for newcomers, and useful “gap filling” information for longer-term residents.”

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Good News, Handbook for Newcomers | No Comments »

    Asahi on new “Gaijin Cards” with greater policing powers over “NJ overstayers”

    Posted by arudou debito on 8th April 2008

    Asahi: “An advisory group to Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama has proposed changes to the alien registration card system to crack down on people overstaying their visas. The new registration card would make it easier for the authorities to keep track of foreign nationals staying in Japan.”

    Posted in Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese police/Foreign crime | 8 Comments »

    Mainichi: MOJ delays decision on requiring Zainichi to carry ID, with abolition of old NJ Registry System

    Posted by arudou debito on 8th April 2008

    The Justice Ministry will postpone until next fiscal year a decision on whether to require special permanent residents such as Koreans to carry identification cards after the government abolishes the alien registration system, ministry sources said. Ministry officials have deemed that they need more time to carefully consider the matter as the human rights of permanent foreign residents are involved, according to the sources. An advisory council to the government on immigration policies will submit its final report to the justice minister by the end of this month, recommending that the alien registration system be abolished and a system similar to the basic resident register system for Japanese nationals be introduced for permanent residents.

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

    毎日:特別永住者:身分証携帯義務化の結論先送り 法務省

    Posted by arudou debito on 8th April 2008

    毎日:外国人登録法に基づく在留管理制度を撤廃することを決めている法務省が、今月末までにまとめる予定の新制度の骨子案に、在日韓国・朝鮮人など特別永住者に新たな身分証を発行し携帯を義務付けるかどうかについては盛り込まず、結論を来年度以降に先送りすることが分かった。特別永住者への対応は、来年の通常国会に提出予定の法案作成時までずれ込む可能性もある。

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

    Yomiuri: GOJ revising NJ registry and Gaijin Card system: More policing powers, yet no clear NJ “resident” status

    Posted by arudou debito on 7th April 2008

    Yomiuri reports the change in the old “Gaijin Card” system, extending its validity for up to five years and somehow registering NJ with their J families. The bad news is that this measure, despite claims that it will make life “more convenient” for NJ living in Japan, is mainly a further policing measure. Registration will be centralized in the police forces (not the local municipalities any more), the replacement Cards will have more biometric data and tracking capability (RFID, anyone?), and the “zairyuu” (not “zaijuu”) cards, as labelled, are rhetorically old wine in new bottles. We still have to get beyond seeing NJ in Japan as “not really residents”, and all our protestations thus far clearly have not sunk yet in with policymakers at the national level.

    Posted in Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Labor issues, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 8 Comments »

    読売:外国人在留を5年に延長、管理厳格化を機に…法務省方針

    Posted by arudou debito on 7th April 2008

    外国人在留を5年に延長、管理厳格化を機に…法務省方針 2008年3月21日03時03分 読売新聞 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/politics/news/20080320-OYT1T00662.htm  外国人の在留管理制度の改善を検討してきた法相の諮問機関「出入国管理政策懇談会」(座長・木村孟(つとむ)大学評価・学位授与機構長)が月内に鳩山法相に提出する「新たな在留管理制度に関する提言」の全容が20日、明らかになった。  身分証となる「在留カード」を入国管理局が発行し、不法滞在対策などを強化する一方で、「在留期間の上限の延長」を盛り込んだのが柱だ。提言を受け、法務省は、原則3年が上限の現在の外国人の在留期間を5年に延長する方針だ。来年の通常国会に出入国管理・難民認定法などを改正する関連法案を提出する。  提言は、不法滞在外国人の増加などを受けて対策を講じるもので、〈1〉市区町村が発行する外国人登録証明書を廃止し、入管が「在留カード」を発行する〈2〉外国人に、在留期間中の勤務先などの変更を入管に届け出ることを義務づける〈3〉外国人の留学、研修先などの所属機関に在籍状況などの報告を義務づける――ことなどが柱となっている。国が在留管理を一元化し、厳格化する一方で、適法に在留する外国人の利便性を向上させることを目指している。  日本国内では、昨年10月の改正雇用対策法の施行により、外国人を雇用する事業主には、氏名、在留資格などをハローワークへ報告することが義務づけられ、在留管理が厳格化された。提言を受け、法務省は、この報告義務を、大学など他の所属機関にも拡大する。  外国人の在留期間は在留資格ごとに決まっており、「日本人の配偶者等」「企業内転勤」などの在留資格では、「1年または3年」となっている。最初は1年で、問題などが起きなければ、3年に延長されるのが一般的だ。5年に延長されれば、日本人の配偶者などの長期滞在の外国人は、在留期間更新手続きなどの負担が軽減される。  現在、外国人登録をして日本に滞在している外国人は、約208万5000人(2006年12月31日現在)。このうち、新たな在留管理制度の対象となるのは、「永住者」をはじめ、「日本人の配偶者等」「企業内転勤」の外国人などだ。  今回の提言は、「外交・公用」が目的で滞在する外国人や、「特別永住者」と呼ばれる在日韓国・朝鮮人(約44万人)などは対象としていない。  出入国管理政策懇談会は不法滞在外国人の増加などを受け、昨年2月に「在留管理専門部会」を設置。新たな在留管理制度について検討してきた。 (2008年3月21日03時03分 読売新聞)

    Posted in Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Japanese police/Foreign crime, 日本語 | No Comments »

    Debito.org Podcast April 5, 2008: My March 18 FCCJ Speech in full on Trans Pacific Radio

    Posted by arudou debito on 6th April 2008

    In this edition of the Debito.org Podcast on Trans Pacific Radio, Arudou Debito has recorded his entire speech (a little more than an hour and a half), along with Q&A, given at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on March 18, 2008. This is the standard speech he gave during his recent three-week-long nationwide tour to promote HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN, so if you missed the tour, here’s your chance to see what he was on about. It’s not all about the book; he also talks about Japan’s lack of an immigration policy and issues of multiculturalization and Japan’s future.

    Posted in Podcasts, Speech materials | No Comments »

    Taste the irony: Japan proposes language requirement for foreign long-term visas, yet protests when Britain proposes the same

    Posted by arudou debito on 6th April 2008

    Yes, you read that right. The GOJ wants to issue Japanese language tests for long-term NJ visa renewals, yet protests when Great Britain proposes the same. Moral: We Japanese can treat our gaijin any way we like. But don’t you foreign countries dare do the same thing for members of Team Japan.

    Posted in Immigration & Assimilation, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, Shoe on the Other Foot Dept. | 10 Comments »

    Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE Column 2, “Public Forums, Spinning Wheels”

    Posted by arudou debito on 5th April 2008

    JUST BE CAUSE Column 2: “At that point in the speech I began woolgathering — recalling all the warm-fuzzy forums I’d seen turn into woolly-headed worry sessions — and arrived at a sad conclusion: “Kokusaika” forums like these are wasted opportunities. For even if these events are put on by people genuinely concerned about the welfare of non-Japanese residents (not by the local-government “internationalization Old Boys,” justifying budgets for parties and overseas trips), if one is not careful the agenda will go on autopilot, bogged down in banalities.”…

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Articles & Publications | 6 Comments »

    Two articles from The Economist on bent Japanese criminal justice system, death penalty

    Posted by arudou debito on 4th April 2008

    The Economist, two articles: “Article 34 of the Japanese Constitution guarantees the right to counsel and habeas corpus, but is systematically ignored. Police and prosecutors can detain suspects for 23 days. Interrogations are relentless and sometimes abusive. Prosecutors are reluctant to bring cases to trial without a confession. Indeed, it is considered a first step in a criminal’s rehabilitation. When asked about the country’s 99% conviction rate, Japan’s justice minister, Kunio Hatoyama, corrected your correspondent to state that it was actually 99.9%, because prosecutors only present cases that are watertight.”… “The notion of being innocent until proven guilty is not strong in Japan. Mr Hatoyama calls it “an idea which I want to constrain”. But confessions are important and the courts rely heavily upon them. Apart from helping secure convictions, they are widely interpreted as expressions of remorse. A defendant not only risks a longer sentence if he insists he is innocent, he is also much less likely to be granted bail before trial—often remaining isolated in police custody, without access to counsel, for long enough to confess. Toshiko Terada, a private lawyer, calls this hitojichi shiho—hostage justice. Perversely, where little supporting evidence exists, the system helps hardened criminals, who know that if they do not confess they are unlikely to be indicted. Innocents, on the other hand, may crack—as in the Kagoshima case, or in a notorious 2002 rape case when the accused confessed under pressure but was released last October after the real culprit came forward.”

    Posted in Injustice, Lawsuits | 3 Comments »

    中日新聞:千曲市で外国人差別など講演」ハンドブックツアー中で有道出人スピーチ報道 Chuunichi Shinbun article on speech during HANDBOOK Tour

    Posted by arudou debito on 4th April 2008

    中日新聞:千曲市で外国人差別など講演」ハンドブックツアー中で有道出人スピーチ報道。当日使ったパワーポイントをここでダウンロードできます。Chuunichi Shinbun article on speech during HANDBOOK Tour.

    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Otaru Onsen Lawsuit, Speech materials, 日本語 | 1 Comment »

    Humor: Sankei Sports Pure-Ai Keitai dating service advertisement

    Posted by arudou debito on 3rd April 2008

    I still don’t feel like writing anything serious at the moment, so until that feeling passes I’ll write for fun. Such as on this great advertisement from Sankei Sports depicting two “case studies” of young marriageable people in their twenties, and the lives they lead until they get hooked up through this keitai dating service. It’s hilarious Japanicana, contrasting an essentially lonely and hopeless otaku salaryman with an anime-cute single woman with a surprisingly rich and whimsical life.

    Posted in Cultural Issue, Humor, Tangents | 3 Comments »

    NEWCOMER HANDBOOK excerpt on JAPAN FOCUS website

    Posted by arudou debito on 3rd April 2008

    Want to peek inside HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS’ pages? Excerpt up at JAPAN FOCUS website, link from this blog entry.

    Posted in Articles & Publications, Handbook for Newcomers, Immigration & Assimilation | 1 Comment »

    No bank accounts allowed at Mitsui Sumitomo for NJ without minimum six-month stays. Okay at Japan Post Office, however.

    Posted by arudou debito on 2nd April 2008

    Situation where a J bank (Mitsui Sumitomo) suddenly refuses accounts to newcoming NJ due to potential money laundering problems. Solution: Open an account in the Postal Savings, screw unfriendly Japanese banks. More details from somebody who just went through this rigmarole…

    Posted in Exclusionism, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 23 Comments »