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Hi Blog. Happy New Year! As has happened at the Japan Times for more than a decade, here is my annual countdown of the top human rights issues for the past year in terms of their impact on NJ Residents in Japan.
I usually do a Top Ten, but since I only had 1000 words this year, it became a Top Five with a few “bubble unders” snuck in. Enjoy! Debito Arudou, Ph.D.
2020 was a watershed year for Japan’s foreign residents
By Debito Arudou, The Japan Times, Just Be Cause, Dec 31, 2020
“May you live in interesting times,” goes the famous curse. By that standard, 2020 was captivating. One thing affected everyone worldwide: COVID-19. And in Japan, our international community was hit particularly hard by public policy regarding its containment.
There were many other issues worth mentioning, however. For example, the Education Ministry announced an increased budget for language support in schools for non-Japanese children next year — a promising sign. However, Japan’s continued mistreatment of those kept in immigration detention centers, and an officially acknowledged incident of “hate speech” in Kitakyushu that went unpunished, were also steps backward from the goal of an inclusionary society.
We don’t have space for them all, so below are the top five issues I feel were of greatest impact to Japan’s non-Japanese residents in 2020, in ascending order.
5) Black Lives Matter in Japan…
The issues that bubbled under (with links to sources):
- Education Ministry increases budget for school language support for non-Japanese children.
- Amnesty International calls for Japan to set maximum time limits on non-Japanese in immigration detention centers.
- Kyoto City issues racist manga about foreign tourists, created by “international” Kyoto Seika University with an African-born Dean.
- Official judgment of “hate speech” by hate group in Kitakyushu nevertheless goes unpunished.
- PM Shinzo Abe steps down.
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