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  • Mainichi: Discrimination against NJ in housing rentals highlighted in Tokyo Govt survey; like “Tokyo Sharehouse” with its new Tokyo-wide system of Japanese-Only rentals?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on April 14th, 2014

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    Hi Blog.  A number of people sent me this article about the Tokyo Metropolitan government surveying NJ discrimination levels (I guess it takes an Olympics before people start caring about foreigners; watch this best behavior dry up afterwards).  It is indeed good to see people acknowledging that discrimination towards NJ exists, and that the media is covering it.  And that the most common answer by respondents chosen (since it is probably the most normalized and systemic NJ discrimination) is in residence rentals (not to mention the rise in awareness of hate speech; hurrah).  I’ll return to the subject of realtors again right after the articles.

    But one just has to love the methodology when it comes to the “how to improve things” section part of the survey:  The leading questions assuming that Japanese and foreigners are “different”.  After all, Japan is unique, therefore anyone who is not a Japanese is not a member of the unique J-culture club, therefore foreigners must be different because they aren’t, er, unique like us Japanese (as opposed to everyone being treated like a human being with similar interests and needs, such as, er, shelter and equal access to housing?).  And those “differences” must be explained (as opposed to legislated away with anti-discrimination laws?) to them and us, no matter how long that takes, and regardless of how vague a concept these “cultural differences” are.  Such a convenient patsy for differential treatment is “culture”, yes sir.

    Anyway, here is the article in E and J.  Further comment follows:

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

    Discrimination against foreigners in renting apartments highlighted in survey
    April 10, 2014 (Mainichi Japan), courtesy of JK
    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20140410p2a00m0na005000c.html

    Discrimination against foreigners in renting apartments or other residences was given as an ongoing violation of their human rights by almost half of respondents to a survey by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

    The survey was conducted in November and December last year with preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games in mind. The survey was offered to 3,000 randomly chosen Tokyo residents, with responses gathered from 1,573 people.

    A representative of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s human rights division said, “Violations of foreigners’ human rights continue, and we’d like to improve awareness of the issue within six years from now (when the Olympics are scheduled.)”

    In a multiple-answer question on human rights violations against foreigners, “the difficulty of renting apartments or other residences” was the most common answer chosen, with 45.6 percent of respondents selecting it. Next was “receiving disadvantageous treatment at work or during job hunting” at 34.5 percent, followed by “insufficient acceptance in community activities and places of communication” at 21.9 percent and “bullying or harassment at work or school” at 21.1 percent. With the repeated instances of hate speech directed at foreigners going on around the country, 19.9 percent of respondents chose “discriminatory speech and actions.”

    Regarding what is necessary to get along with foreigners, 60.1 percent answered “inform foreigners of the differences between traditions and habits in their country and Japan,” 44.3 percent answered, “create more opportunities for communication such as by encouraging participation in local society,” 41.1 percent replied, “inform Japanese of the differences between traditions and habits in Japan and foreigners’ countries,” and 24.3 percent responded, “improve foreign language support at help organizations.”
    ENDS

    Original Japanese:

    都民人権世論調査:外国人への人権侵害、「アパート入居困難」半数近く 「差別的な表現や言動ある」は2割 /東京
    毎日新聞 2014年04月10日 地方版
    http://mainichi.jp/area/tokyo/news/20140410ddlk13040128000c.html

    都は、2020年東京五輪の開催決定を受け、都民の人権意識に関する調査を行い、その結果を公表した。外国人に対してどのような人権侵害が起きているかという質問に、半数近くが「アパートなど住宅への入居が困難なこと」と回答した。都人権部の担当者は「外国人への人権侵害は依然として残っており、(五輪が開かれる)6年後を目標に人権意識を高める啓発を強めたい」としている。

    調査は昨年11〜12月、住民基本台帳から無作為に抽出した3000人の都民を対象に行い、1573人から回答を得た。

    「外国人への人権侵害」は、複数回答で「アパートなど住宅への入居が困難なこと」が最多の45・6%。「就職・職場で不利な扱いを受ける」34・5%▽「地域社会の活動や交流の場での受け入れが十分でない」21・9%▽「職場・学校等で嫌がらせやいじめを受ける」21・1%−−と続いた。また、ヘイトスピーチ(憎悪表現)が各地で相次いでいることなどを受け、19・9%が「差別的な表現や言動が行われること」を挙げた。

    また、外国人と共存するために必要と思う取り組みは、「外国人に日本の風習や習慣の違いを周知する」60・1%▽「地域社会の活動に参加を促すなど交流の機会を増やす」44・3%▽「日本人に外国の風習や習慣の違いを周知する」41・1%▽「各種の相談機関で外国語対応を充実させる」24・3%−−となった。【和田浩幸】

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

    COMMENT:  Now consider this recent email from John F.:

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

    April 10, 2014
    Dear Debito, First of all, I would like to thank you for your tireless efforts in fighting discrimination in Japan. I especially appreciate how you choose to try and educate those who engage in discrimination rather than simply expressing condemnation. As an American living in Tokyo, my personal experiences with discrimination have fortunately been few and far between. From time to time, though, I have felt as if my human dignity was violated. I wish I were more courageous in rationally approaching such incidents of discrimination rather than keeping my feelings bottled up.

    I would like to share with you a few specific examples of housing discrimination in Tokyo concerning share houses, and how a certain popular website advertises share house properties on the Internet. The link to the website I am referring to is tokyosharehouse.com

    I had a rather unfortunate experience visiting a property advertised on that website last August. The property is called ‘Share Vie Mizue’, located in the Edogawa Ward of Tokyo. Here is the link to the property’s description: http://tokyosharehouse.com/eng/house/detail/470/

    I discovered the property’s website while reading a review of it on Gaijinpot. As the property is advertised in English, I was very enthusiastic about checking it out. Naturally, I supposed it would be very welcoming towards international residents. To make a long story short, the representative who showed me the property reluctantly informed me that the owners did not welcome international residents. He did his best to dissuade me from attempting to rent a room there, and tried to offer me a place at another location. It seemed as if he was personally embarrassed that the owner of this particular property would discriminate against international guests. I wasn’t angry with him, but I was extremely upset that I took the time to visit the property on the assumption that I would be welcome due to the website being advertised in English. The website made no indication that international guests were not welcome at this property. Perhaps, hopefully, they have changed their policies since. However, the website still makes no indication that international guests are not welcome at that particular property.

    Having recently returned to Tokyo from five months back in New York, I am again searching for a share house to live in. I have come across tokyosharehouse.com again, and what I discovered while browsing other properties on their website still disturbs me.

    Please have a look at this link: http://tokyosharehouse.com/eng/house/detail/1324/

    tokyosharehouselafeliceikejiri041414

    Now I am not female, but I find it rather painful to see the requirements for the ‘La Felice Ikejiri’ property. The requirements for renting a room are listed as ‘Female / Foreigner_x’.

    tokyosharehouselafeliceikejiricrop041414

    At first I was a bit confused as to what this means. Is it a ‘Foreigner Only’ house for females? If you scroll down further to ‘Move-in Conditions and Managing Style’ section, you’ll notice that there is no category of requirements for foreigners. The description of the property is accompanied by a side bar on the right describing whom I assume to be the property owners, ‘Tokyo Sanku Monogatari Co., Ltd.’ or ‘Many Smile Co.’

    I am sorry to write you such a long email, but coming across these listings really makes my blood boil, especially after the personal experience I had. Although language is not specifically a problem, I find it rather unusual that a real estate website would choose to advertise properties in English where non-Japanese renters are not welcome. There are other properties on the site with similar discriminatory policies. This website has been advertised on Gaijinpot in the past as well. The owners of this website should be ashamed of themselves for advertising such properties, especially when they sheepishly use euphemistic descriptions like ‘Foreigner_x’ rather than what they really mean – ‘No Foreigners Allowed’.

    I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. As share houses become more mainstream, I am afraid more and more non-Japanese apartment seekers on low budgets will be met with housing discrimination. Thank you for taking the time to read my email, and thank you for helping to restore dignity to those who have been victimized by discrimination.  Best regards, John F

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

    COMMENT CONTINUES:  Y’know, that’s funny.  Why would this company go through all the trouble to put up a website in English and then use it to refuse NJ?  So they’d look international?  Or so they’d look exclusionary to an international audience?  Especially since there’s no room for misunderstanding (not to mention, no room, har har) when you look at the Japanese version of these websites:

    tokyosharehouselafeliceikejirijcrop041414
    (Complete tangent, but it’s also funny how the “foreigner” image is somehow redolent of Saturn…)

    Yep, that’s “Gaikokujin Taiou Fuka“.  Foreigners will not receive service.  Japanese Only.  No cutesy “Foreigner_x”.  Whole page, for context:

    tokyosharehouselafeliceikejirij041414

    Other places within this rental system with “No Foreigners” rules (gotta love how they pretentiously put the names in faux French, yet won’t take French people):

    1. Claris Sangenjaya (English) http://tokyosharehouse.com/eng/house/detail/1325/ (Japanese) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/1325/
    2. Domondo Sangenjaya (English) http://tokyosharehouse.com/eng/house/detail/1095/, (Japanese) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/1095/
    3. Aviril Shibuya (Japanese Only in both meanings):  http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/1431/
    4. Pleades Sakura Shin-machi  (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/847/
    5. La Vita Komazawa  (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/500/
    6. La Levre Sakura Shin-machi (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/846/
    7. Leviair Meguro (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/506/
    8. Flora Meguro (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/502/
    9. La Famille (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/503/
    10. Pechka Shimo-Kitazawa (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/507/
    11. Amitie Naka-Meguro (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/508/
    12. Cerisier Sakura Shin-machi  (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/504/
    13. Stella Naka-Meguro  (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/501/
    14. Solare Meguro  (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/509/

    So, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, thanks for those surveys saying how sad it is that NJ are being discriminated against in housing.  But what are they for, exactly?  Mere omphaloskepsis?  How about doing something to stop these bigots from discriminating?  ARUDOU, Debito

    UPDATE APRIL 26, 2014: HERE’S ANOTHER TOKYO EXAMPLE SUBMITTED BY DEBITO.ORG READER XY: NOTE HOW FOREIGNERS (HELPFULLY REFUSED IN ENGLISH) AND CATS ARE BANNED (BUT SMALL PETS ARE ALLOWED). MAYBE IF NJ ANNOYINGLY YIPPED A LITTLE MORE LIKE POMERANIANS OR OTHER PURSE DOGS…?
    rentalhaihoumuTokyoJapaneseOnly042614

    42 Responses to “Mainichi: Discrimination against NJ in housing rentals highlighted in Tokyo Govt survey; like “Tokyo Sharehouse” with its new Tokyo-wide system of Japanese-Only rentals?”

    1. Robert Says:

      I’ve discussed this issue in my sociology classes many times, and students keep repeating the same issue, that it’s a language issue, that landlords are worried about having to communicate with foreigners, cultural differences, blah blah blah. As if we have long and deep conversations with our landlords.

      It’s frustrating that people seem slow or reluctant to see this issue as one of human rights. And the language issue is such a farce, considering that non-Japanese who are fluent speakers of the language also face discrimination. Similarly, Zainichi Koreans get excluded as “foreigners.”

      As with the J-League “Japanese Only” sign and other recent issues, it seems the most effective path is public shaming. Japan’s not alone in this. The US moved on civil rights when TV sets around the world showed news footage of protestors being attacked. Not to equate the two situations, but rather to note the historical role that public pressure has played.

      Personally, I don’t care if landlords want to rent to me. I just care whether they can get away with not renting to me. Give me my rights and they can learn to like me later. The opposite approach, to show them how nice and friendly we are and to ask for their generosity in renting to us, is condescending and ineffective.

    2. Ian Rudd Says:

      Hello,

      I would like to introduce myself, my name is Ian Rudd and I have been an employee for Share Design, the company responsible for mediating Share Vie Mizue, for around 3 years.

      This article was brought to my attention after receiving an email (via Tokyo Sharehouse) accusing my company of discrimination. After reading the above, I am very sorry that John experienced such service but am extremely puzzled by it and obviously with such severe accusations, I am obliged I should clarify my company’s stance on such matters.

      As a non-Japanese employee for Share Design, who has also lived in three sharehouses owned by the company (all of which included both Japanese and non-Japanese residents), I can confirm firsthand that discrimination of any kind is not tolerated. In the last two years alone, we have introduced completely English contracts, a fully bi-lingual website (www.sharetown.jp) and have been widely praised for opening Japan’s first LGBT sharehouse (http://bit.ly/1il4quZ).

      We try extremely hard to ensure that our accommodation is accessible for anyone regardless of sex, age, race, creed, origin, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability or any other factor which acts against our non-discrimination policy so, as I am sure you can agree, to be accused of discrimination is extremely disconcerting and frustrating for us.

      As a foreigner living in Japan myself, I know that such practices highlighted above do occasionally exist, and how infuriating it is when witnessed, but feel a great sense of injustice at having my company linked to it, I simply would not be working here if it were the case.

      – Then please explain the “gaikokujin taiou fuka” on those websites? Looks like you’re going to have to try extremely harder not to feel so disconcerted and frustrated. Poor you, feeling so victimized by all this.

    3. dude Says:

      Robert: Have you tried reversing the situation?
      1) Invent an example where Japanese people cannot rent apartments in some western country, give examples of bad Japanese behavior (smoking in non-smoking apartments, doing damage, and leaving w/o paying for cleaning or repairs, etc.). Then ask your students if they think it is ok for landlords to discriminate against all Japanese people (based on difficulty to communicate, cultural differences, etc.), because of the bad behavior of a few. .
      2) Same as above, but don’t use Japanese people overseas, or foreigners in Japan. To solicit a potentially more honest opinion, invent an example with Pakistani people in New Zealand, and solicit their opinions.
      You may be surprised that most Japanese consider discriminating AGAINST Japanese people as a bad thing. Discriminating against others in Japan or elsewhere, not so much.

      Zainichi, according to the law, ARE foreigners. Wake up and smell the institutionalized racism. The playing field is not level in Japan. Why are so many people still so ignorant to Japan’s “apartheid” policies?

      The recent J-League thing was resolved harshly and quickly because people around the world were watching. Put the same sign on a restaurant, business, or even an apartment for rent, and as Debito has proven, usually, no punishment will follow.

    4. bob Says:

      Oh, but Robert! Forcing the issue on the poor Japanese landlords will only make the problem worse. According to the apologists, all we have to do is bend over, and take it with a smile. Eventually, they will see the error in their ways. I first heard that 17 years ago, so change must be right around the corner!

    5. Bob Says:

      I am firmly in the camp that promotes this as the biggest problem facing foreigners in daily life in Japan from a discrimination perspective. That said, I don’t think your tone here is constructive Debito. I’m very pleased that the 2020 Olympics are being used as an excuse to promote human rights for NJ. If this continues for 6 more years, I welcome that. There will doubtless be another international event held in Tokyo in the future, perhaps an IMF meeting or G-8 summit. I hope each of these events are exploited by well-intentioned Japanese bureaucrats to promote my rights. I ask that you refrain from mocking such efforts and suggest you should support them. They represent to me a rare light of hope for change in the terribly discriminatory rental market in Japan including central Tokyo.

      – I do support them, but acknowledge that human rights should not be a fad. Rays of light should illuminate permanently, not temporarily. When I do see signs that they actually do result in change (and by that I mean systemic change), Debito.org will be the loudest one cheering. Until then, I will say hurrah (as I did; read carefully) but with caveats.

    6. Loverilakkuma Says:

      I was snickering myself to the survey, too. Educating foreigners about cultural assumption and customs for what? Telling them, “it is sometimes (or quite often) ok for proprietors and employers to say no to foreigners about housing service in uniquely mono-cultural/mono-lingual Japan. So just suck it up???” I think it’s time for “no language-based excuse” policy for foreign segregation to Japanese public and private institutions.

    7. Anonymous Says:

      Logically, we can’t make excuses for their discrimination based on gender either. Or wait, can we? I sure hope no one here says internally, “Well, it’s OK to discriminate against men who want to rent a room, because some women renters feel uncomfortable around bigger stronger humans.”

      Anyway, I say shame the people doing the discrimination: I’m currently looking for review-style sites where we can post those 14 links as evidence that “Tokyo Sharehouse Practices Discrimination”. But as mentioned recently, I still don’t think anybody can claim they were damaged by this, except emotionally, so rationally the courts can’t punish this.

      – Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure about that. All you have to do is show that you were turned away from this place and had no choice but to take a more expensive, less convenient, less lifestyle-friendly apartment elsewhere. Those are concrete damages. It would need some documentation, but it could be done.

    8. FaithnoMore Says:

      A decade ago after I’d lost my expat package but decided to stay here anyway, my Japanese boss helped me find a place in Takadanobaba. I’d rented quite a cheap place (Takadanobaba is a student catchment area for Waseda University) but I was a “good gaijin” I suppose, because I paid my rent, sorted my garbage, was quiet to the neighbors and had never made nor received a complaint. The real estate agent head was always very nice to me and everything was fine.

      At the end of the summer my wife (Japanese) returned from her graduate degree in the U.S., things were a bit cramped, so we decided, as things were so good with the real estate agent, to see if we could get another good deal on a 2LDK instead of the 1LDK I’d been renting.

      We went in, you know I was casual, and so was my wife, to be met by a cocky new youngster at the fudosan that I’d never met before. I started explaining that I was looking for an 2LDK for us (my then-girlfriend, now wife, had long decided that because I was signing the contract, I’d do the talking). The cocky young guy obviously didn’t like the look of me from the beginning. After a few sentences, he started baby Japanesing me, despite the fact that I was speaking perfectly decent Japanese to him. Then he looked at my girlfriend, and ignoring me, started addressing her. She kept quiet and looked at me. So we had this sort of weird triangle thing going where the young guy was both disrespecting me personally and getting frustrated because he could not talk past me. I told him directly that I was the one dealing with him and he should deal with me.

      Waves of pain and anger seemed to wash over him in this situation. I said, you know, we are looking for a 2LDK, can you help us. I gave him the price range and how far from the station. He couldn’t ignore me, but he couldn’t deal with me. He blurted out, “We don’t deal with people like you,” rather angrily. I was stunned. I mean, as a mid-30s guy being treated like this, it sort of warped my mind.

      But not as stunned as him. Because about 10 seconds later the fudosan branch manager, whom I’d happily dealt with in finding my first place with them, and had several meetings then walked in the door and said, you know, very friendly “Long time no see X-San, how have you been keeping.”

      If the little asshole could have dug a hole and thrown himself in it, I’m sure he would have.

      Looking back, I guess as I was dressed casually and my girlfriend was dressed in non-Japanese fashions and does not look cute etc. and did not follow his discriminatory cultural clues, the young asshole fudosan guy may have decided she was Chinese or something. Not the sort of people he wanted to deal with. Dear no.

      We never went back.

    9. Anonymous Says:

      In this press release, the owner claims “Only those share houses that accommodate foreign visitors are featured here. All the information posted here at Tokyo Sharehouse are personally verified by the Tokyo Sharehouse employees.” So there the owner is caught lying. The owner, Tetsuro Moriyama, in his pursuit of money, when posting a press release trying to drum up sales, decided to publicly post his own cell phone number, so people have the right to call him and ask him why he is practicing discrimination based on race at those 14 locations: 080-5532-3922.

      http://www.1888pressrelease.com/tokyo-sharehouse-llc-140353-company-pr.html

    10. Anonymous Says:

      Or, for $1.67 a minute, the owner will call you: https://clarity.fm/tetsuromoriyama How convenient! https://clarity.fm/how-it-works

    11. XY Says:

      In a lecture to mark the publication of the book「なぜ、いまヘイト・スピーチなのか」 (Naze Ima Hate Speech Nanoka), Shin Sugok mentioned that the Sakura House chain of guesthouses had refused her accommodation on account of being Zainichi. Not foreign enough, apparently.

    12. Anonymous Says:

      Here’s his press-release http://emailwire.com/printPR.php?prID=77787, in which he claimed ““Only those share houses that accommodate foreign visitors are featured here. All the information posted here at Tokyo Sharehouse are personally verified by the Tokyo Sharehouse employees.”

      Tokyosharehouse.com Creates English Version Of The Website To Reach Out To The Non-Japanese Market
      (EMAILWIRE.COM, December 28, 2011 ) Tokyo, Japan  Tokyo Sharehouse LLC., is expanding the company痴 operations vigorously trying to reach the non-Japanese market for the share houses in Japan. As part of the expansion efforts Tokyo Sharehouse is in the process of creating English version of the website so that non-Japanese users will be able to access the services of the company easily without any language related glitches. There are various views prevailing regarding the concept of share house in Japan. This makes international visitors that are planning for Tokyo stay hesitate to use this accommodation option. Tokyo Sharehouse is trying to unveil the mysteries behind the share houses in Japan, making it easy for international visitors choose this option.

      Tokyo Sharehouse was founded by Tetsuro Moriyama who moved to Tokyo from the countryside. This made Tetsuro Moriyama experience the share houses in the city which spurred the thought to provide most reliable and the most up to date information on the share houses in Japan. Normally people travelling from abroad to Japan find it hard to get affordable accommodation option. Though share houses in Japan offers affordable housing options, lack of adequate information regarding such options make share houses virtually inaccessible to the visitors. To bridge this gap, Tokyo Sharehouse LLC., has created a website

      http://www.tokyosharehouse.com which features all the information required to find the best share houses in Japan. This website features only the most up to date information and all the outdated information is removed regularly to make the website a highly dependable resource on Japanese share houses.

      All the information posted here at Tokyo Sharehouse are personally verified by the Tokyo Sharehouse employees. Only those share houses that accommodate foreign visitors are featured here. Tokyo Sharehouse features all the crucial information required by the customers to make the right choices. This website features information such as the managers policies, photos of the share houses, monthly rent, connecting train line, accessibility from the important locations and the railway station, etc., to help the users make well informed decisions while selecting the share house.

      Not only foreigners that are planning for Tokyo stay look for share houses but share houses are even more popular among the locals especially among those in the age groups of twenties and thirties. Share houses in Japan have come a long way and today customers can find fully furnished share houses. Added to that share houses also host events conducted by share house management. Tokyo Sharehouse brings users the most up to date listing of share houses in Japan so that users find all the information required regarding this affordable accommodation option in Japan.
      Contact Information:
      TOKYO SHAREHOUSE LLC
      Tetsuro Moriyama
      Tel: 81-080-5532-3922
      Email us

    13. Anonymous Says:

      While taking screenshots for posterity http://imgur.com/a/n3hZN#3 I just now noticed that 7 of the “No Foreigners Allowed” signs have been removed, 8 “No Foreigners Allowed” signs remain.

    14. Anonymous Says:

      Aha, but look at the very bottom note, on all 15 of those screenshots: the “No Foreigners Allowed” evidence still appears, plain as day, even though they tried to clean up 7.

    15. Mariko Says:

      landlords should be allowed to chose their tenants up to a point and it’s ok if they only want people they can communicate with. when looking for an apartment, there were several landlords who said they wanted to meet first and see how my japanese is. when they realized that my japanese was good, they were fine with renting the apartments to me. that’s within “reasonable selection”.

      – The issue isn’t about selection. It’s about exclusion. 外国人対応不可 means there isn’t even a first meeting or a language test if you’re “foreign”. Your Japanese can’t be all that good if you don’t understand that!

      I smell a mole being sent over here to derail the discussion with red herrings. Nice try.

    16. Anonymous Says:

      Update: 43 “Japanese People Only, No Foreigners Allowed” locations on Tetsuro Moriyama’s homepage.

      Using Google to search within the site like this:
      site:tokyosharehouse.com “外国人対応不可”
      proves 43 locations that denied entry to Non-Japanese:
      Here is the evidence: http://imgur.com/a/IE39i#0

      As you can see here, they have 63 locations:
      http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/map/
      Click all the boxes, except the review box, then click search.
      Here’s a screen shot of the 63 locations, for posterity.
      http://imgur.com/a/rnUWa#0
      (They added 6 more right after I took that screenshot.)

      But if you are “not a Japanese person”, they only have 20:
      http://tokyosharehouse.com/eng/map/
      Click all the boxes, except the review box, then click search.
      Here’s a screen shot of the 21 (actually 20*) locations, for posterity.
      http://imgur.com/a/rnUWa#1
      (Actually 20: “Dormitory Nishimagome” doesn’t accept foreigners.)
      (So, subtracting that out, only 20 locations “allow” foreigners.)

      Here is a list of the 43 “Japanese People Only, No Foreigners Allowed” locations on Tetsuro Moriyama’s homepage.

      #1 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/127/
      #2 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/154/
      #3 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/310/
      #4 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/322/
      #5 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/719/
      #6 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/926/
      #7 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/1018/
      #8 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/1338/
      #9 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/1400/
      #10 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/1428/

      #11 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/470/ (originally discovered when the OP was rejected entry for being Non-Japanese)
      #12 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/507/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      #13 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/508/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      #14 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/500/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      #15 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/846/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      #16 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/847/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      #17 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/1095/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      #18 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/1324/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      #19 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/1325/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      #20 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/1431/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)

      #21 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/501/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      (upon seeing this thread, Tetsuro Moriyama tried to hide this evidence of discrimination, but forgot to delete the “note:” http://i.imgur.com/AmWT4dK.png – click in the center to see it)
      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:PN71_f2JmCQJ:tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/501/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk

      #22 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/502/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      (upon seeing this thread, Tetsuro Moriyama tried to hide this evidence of discrimination, but forgot to delete the “note:” http://i.imgur.com/TLwm69W.jpg – click in the center to see it)
      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WEm0BKtdhkcJ:tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/502/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk

      #23 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/503/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      (upon seeing this thread, Tetsuro Moriyama tried to hide this evidence of discrimination, but forgot to delete the “note:” http://i.imgur.com/bp9H7Ll.jpg – click in the center to see it)
      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:VpmzxI_8RlcJ:tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/503/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk

      #24 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/504/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      (upon seeing this thread, Tetsuro Moriyama tried to hide this evidence of discrimination, but forgot to delete the “note:” http://i.imgur.com/G2qVUUf.png – click in the center to see it)
      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WA1YPQYPdbUJ:tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/504/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk

      #25 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/505/
      (upon seeing this thread, Tetsuro Moriyama tried to hide this evidence of discrimination, but forgot to delete the “note:” http://i.imgur.com/oIhikvu.png – click in the center to see it)
      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:DMEXPy4lncAJ:tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/505/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk

      #26 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/506/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      (upon seeing this thread, Tetsuro Moriyama tried to hide this evidence of discrimination, but forgot to delete the “note:” http://i.imgur.com/zeEvfml.jpg – click in the center to see it)
      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:TVxeI_ARnV4J:tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/506/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk

      #27 http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/509/ (also discovered by OP, when subsequently searching the discriminatory site)
      (upon seeing this thread, Tetsuro Moriyama tried to hide this evidence of discrimination, but forgot to delete the “note:” http://i.imgur.com/J3E83EY.jpg – click in the center to see it)
      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:f_Y57-89OxcJ:tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/509/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk

      #28
      #29
      #30
      #31
      #32
      #33
      #34
      #34
      #35
      #36
      #37
      #38
      #39
      #40
      #41
      #42
      #43

      Readers here can find the remaining 17 themselves, if they really want to, I’ve spent enough time on this summary.
      Just go to the Japanese map, look at the 63 total, then go to the English map, look at the 21 (actually 20) figure.
      Make a list of the ones that don’t appear on the English map, then paste those into #28 through #43 above. Finished.

      Ironic Bonus Translation: Why even bother pretending?
      Here’s a nice Party report translated into English, wow:
      http://blog.tokyosharehouse.com/?p=12153&lang=en
      But it’s “Japanese People Only, No Foreigners Allowed”
      You have to go to the Japanese page to discover that:
      http://tokyosharehouse.com/house/detail/500/

      – Thanks very much for all the research!

    17. B Says:

      Thank you so, so much for covering this story Mainichi and thanks to Debito for putting this on his site and everyone who is involved. Companies like this are only one small example of course. The racial discrimination in Japan over housing is downright rampant, and sickens me.

      I’m glad this is finally getting more attention. I hope it continues to spread and maybe Japan will join the developed world and deal with discrimination a bit more responsibly through law and social attention.

    18. Jim Di Griz Says:

      Wow!
      Maybe I’m missing something, but why all the English language pages if the rule (hidden in Japanese) is ‘No Foreigners’?
      What’s the point in the charade? Why bother having all those English pages?

    19. Mariko Says:

      I’m sorry, my post maybe wasn’t clear, because I forget to put a final something like “anything beyond that is not reasonable and not ok”.

      – No, your post was definitely not clear on that point.

    20. Brooks Says:

      Eaxactly. Why would they advertise in English on Gaijinpot? Are they trying to be helpful by showing places that don`t rent to foreigners?
      How can such advertising be effective? It just turns off people.

    21. Jim di Griz Says:

      Not to derail any threads, but anyone read this?

      http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/04/16/national/community-bonds-not-seawalls-key-to-minimizing-deaths-311-study/#.U08m_4lhic0

      Apparently, being in a low crime community with greater ‘social cohesion’ saved more lives than sea walls on 3/11.
      Now, since NJ are seen as criminals, and widely believed by Japanese of being incapable (see ‘excluded from’) integrating into Japan’s ‘unique culture’, it seems to me that the next (il)logical step will be local communities rejecting NJ in order to increase their own chances of surviving a disaster!

      – Let’s wait until somebody actually makes that argument. Nobody has. So let’s not make an issue of something not there.

    22. Loverilakkuma Says:

      @JDG, #18

      I think Tokyosharehouse shows us an example of cultural regression through the ads. Their promotion of cultural elegance and progressiveness in modern, western style architecture—-which must be quite appealing to young, open-minded Japanese workers-— flies in the face of post-modern cultural contradiction. Funny the ad images make them look like progressive, internationally minded agent on one hand. But their language of exclusion sends a contradicting message to reveal their inability to provide assistance/service to non-Japanese visitors (using language as an excuse). I remember Michael Zielenziger discusses Japanese compulsive obsession with name brand products for his critique of ongoing social-cultural paralysis or shut-in(hikikomori) in one of the chapters in his book “Shutting Out the Sun.”

    23. Anonymous Says:

      @Jim – I think Tetsuro started with this thought, “I’ll profit from running “gaijin houses”: take a 4 bedroom apartment, stick 5 people in there who can’t afford a proper apartment which requires lots of deposit money and key money and guarantors, charge each person 30,000yen just for a room, instant profits in my pocket of about 100,000yen per apartment monthly. Wow, this is great, how many of these can I set up now.” So that’s where the whole “international” thing started, basically being a “gaijin ghetto” slumlord.

      But then he realized he could get even MORE profits by fixing up the places a little and charging 50,000yen each just for a room. And this is when he started to get some Japanese customers. And then he decided, “Hmmm, these foreigners were a nice cute start and all, I’ll always remember my roots (the 20 locations that accept foreigners currently are mainly his early-start-locations, as can be seen be the chronological numbers of the website page names) but the real money is in gouging Japanese folks, because Japanese folks simply have more cash, relatively. They pay on time more, without so many sad sack stories about why they don’t have the rent ready yet. They argue less about justice when they realize that I’m charging too much for each room. They simply cause me less stress, and they have higher steadier salaries, so I want a higher percentage of Japanese customers.”

      So from that point, the unwritten policy became, “Yeah, we want SOME foreigners, but not too many of them poor noisy strong renters, we want to start keeping a higher percentage of rich quiet weak Japanese renters.” And thus, the present reality, we get this “20 locations accept foreigners, 43 locations don’t accept foreigners” ratio we see now. And let’s remember that some of those locations might be, “Absolutely no foreigners in this location at all” and some of those locations might be “33% foreigners in this location, but we want 67% Japanese tenants (or more), so from now on put on the site that the current rooms we’re trying to fill are mainly ‘Japanese People Only’ rooms. No big deal right? Society doesn’t complain when we say “Females Only”, or “Old People Only”, so hopefully society isn’t going to complain about “Japanese People Only”.”

      Now, as to why Tatsuro continues to pay some staff member named Kagawa to waste time translating so much, well, it’s kind of like asking why Japanese culture likes English words on their T-shirts, music with English, foreign brand stuff, but please, not so many damn foreign PEOPLE. The English sprinkled around is like Jazz music in the background with meaningless words happening, it’s just for atmosphere.

      It helps the main customers, the Japanese folks, feel like they’re doing something cool, something international, when really they are just Japanese folks who don’t have enough money to buy their own privacy anymore, and yet this Tatsuro is charging them almost (almost) the amount that privacy would cost, but anyway since this is a little bit (a little bit) less expensive than renting-a-private-apartment-like-a-normal-person, the “International Vibe” helps sell the idea that “this is not a minus, living with a bunch of strangers because you can’t afford to get your own apartment, no no, this is a PLUS, because you’re doing something International (even if the location you are in has zero foreigners, or just 33% foreigners, but don’t worry, it definitely won’t be 80% foreigners (perish the thought, how scary) no no, this is just like the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, you get a little bit of excitement from the IDEA of meeting some foreigners, but you’re not actually going to be overwhelmed by them. Let’s be International, and Let’s have English site, but still let’s be rational here, 67% Japanese customers (or maybe even 80% Japanese customers) is the golden ration we want to keep here. Let’s NOT allow the free market to decide the ratio. We want to control the ratio.”

      “And if outside pressure forces us to take down the signs, we’ll simply control the ratio later using more quiet means. Like quietly looking and various applications, and quietly CHOOSING certain kinds of people (Japanese) more than others (non-Japanese).”

      Again, even though I emotionally don’t like what this company is doing, (like, uh, somebody stupidly doing cocaine instead of weed) I still think that we should simply shame them and in hope that the shaming will cause them less profits and then they will start making the right decision. I don’t think society should have the right to imprison these stupid, unfair, company owners. I don’t even think society should force business owners to sign contracts limiting their ability to do things their way (known as “business licenses”.) And I don’t think that somebody can really say in court, “This company refused to sell me a product or service, and so I had to go buy another product or service, and so the difference between the price of the two is somehow equivalent to DAMAGE to my body/property, so imprison (or financially penalize under threat of imprisonment) that person for discriminating.”

      So Yes, I want the free market to penalize this president, for the unfair thing he did (namely not letting the free market choose the ratio of Foreign-to-Japanese customers) yet at the same time I am against the idea of having the state start to choose ratios. The state should not be able to choose ratios, the free market can handle that. Society choosing to blacklist this guy can handle that. That’s just my opinion. Sorry it differs from most folks here.

      – I would love to see your reaction when you get denied housing because you’re NJ, and you’re told to accept it because it’s just how the free market works…

    24. Anonymous Says:

      My reaction would be, of course, utter sadness and indignant anger. Definitely. And I would get a lawyer and try to sue the guy who caused me this emotional pain. And I would try to use the court system, the U.N. treaty, even threat of NATO bombing (heh-heh), to try to punish the discrimination based on race which punched me in the heart.

      And yet, even while trying to get the perpetrator of denial-of-service-based-on-race punished financially and even imprisoned, I still would have conflict in my heart about whether this justice I’m seeking is ethically excusable. Because I still want the ability to, for example, choose only Non-Japanese students of English if I please, and I don’t think I am damaging any Japanese person’s body or property by them having to go find a different English teacher.

      I might actually do this, quietly only accept Non-Japanese students of English, because in my admittedly racist opinion, my Non-Japanese students of English tend to produce more enjoyable lessons for me the teacher, and I also feel that in comparison they actually study harder between each lesson, which also makes it easier for me to help them achieve my goal (improving their English) and I’m so sure that this racist generalization of mine happens to be an actual difference in culture between the two cultures, that I’m seriously thinking of quietly only accepting Non-Japanese students of English (like the Germans in the German community near me here in Japan) by taking applications from everybody and simply getting back to only the people I like (like casting calls for a movie, which also are totally discriminatory.)

      I want the bad guys in the world to be punished by courts, but in my heart I know that the courts should only do the punishing when the bad guys actually punch physically, steal, rape, or kill. Unless the bad guys do such physical damage, my opinion currently (and probably for the rest of my life) is that bad guys (like me) can not be forced by the courts to be nice to people’s feelings.

      I’ll summarize my current stance:

      I’m against laws punishing hateful speech, laws punishing hateful writing, and laws punishing hateful action (as long as the hateful action doesn’t hurt bodies or property.)

      I’m for STRONG laws punishing ALL actions which hurt bodies or property.

      Actually, when it comes to physical crimes, real crimes in my opinion, I suggest 100 times stronger penalties, much stronger than most: accidentally running someone over while changing the radio station? Death penalty, no excuses, death penalty for all deaths caused by you, serious Justice for the family who lost their child’s life. Maybe people will stop nonchalantly getting behind the wheel of a deadly weapon called a car. Steal $5 from somebody? Pay the victim (not the state, the victim) $500 through forced prison labor for a week. Steal $1M using your bank Mr. Bank President? Pay the victims (not the state, the victims) $100M through forced prison labor for the rest of your life Mr. Bank President.

      So please don’t think I’m advocating anarchy. I’m advocating simply one law: hurt people’s body or property, the state will hurt your body or property 100 times stronger. Beyond that, the state will not intervene in any emotional punches to the heart. Society can decide if society wants to punish to bad-guys-who-practice-racial-discrimination using shaming, naming, name-calling, calling on people to not become customers of that bad place, excluding the excluders when they come to your shop, etc, those techniques are all fine in my opinion.

      The problem I am warning against is when society tries to physically-punch (using courts) the emotion-punchers, because at that stage I think the penalty (fines, imprisonment) is not ethical since the “crime” being discussed is really simply hurting people’s emotions.

      And yes, my emotions would be utter sadness and indignant anger, when excluded from places. Wait a second, I have been excluded from many places when shopping for apartments in the past, I DID feel all of that. And yet, I still don’t think the courts should come help me punish the overly-discriminating discriminators who refused to take my money. They punched me emotionally, but not physically. I walked away with my money firmly in my hand.

      – You’re not getting it. You have yet to grasp the concept of dignity and emotional suffering (even Japan’s legal system gets it: seishin kutsuu). Just because you think you can deal with this emotionally (yet shouldn’t have to), you think it’s no big deal — at least not a big deal enough to be actionable in court. Put another way: Who cares whether you sit in the front or the back of the bus, as long as you get to your destination? Rosa, you should have walked to the back of the bus — it’s no big deal. By finding this logic to acquiesce to this unequal system, you’ll walk away with your money, yes. But what about all the others who have to face the same rejection? And all the others who will have to face copycat rejections from other renters and realtors because everyone else is doing it unchallenged? And what of the fact that your legal tender was not honored, your opportunity to live where you wanted was denied, and you will probably have to take a place that is of different price or quality (I think you’ll find that in markets with higher discrimination rates, the places that will rent to NJ will tend to be higher-cost and/or lower-quality, due to artificial restrictions on the market; there’s your “free” market forces at work). The point is, your leaving it unchallenged (nay, advocating we tolerate it) does a huge social disservice.

      Enough blather from you on this subject. Learn some concision. Better yet, establish your own blog for this kind of navel gazing. I think you’ve done enough of it here.

    25. Dean Says:

      @FaithnoMore:

      When I have an experience like that, I also make sure to see the manager-works everytime, as a matter of fact it seems like thats what I been doing allot lately. Any rude, obnoxious behavior just because Im foriegn, I get the name of the clerk and start my dial. I think I actually got one girl fired. I have been denied jobs at gaishikei companies when their website says they are hiring. I argue a bit with the gaijin hater, then I send off emails to the head office in the U.S. or Europe, whatever. Im not going to get the job anyway, might as well expose what they are doing. For rents, same thing, I just make a scene. I get the “treat him like a baby” talk all the time when visiting a shop or something. A line got crossed a long ago with me. I dont listen to any apologist or other nuts advice or question myself anymore. I do what works for me and brings results. This is the world we live in, you got to take care of yourself. I appreciate what Debito is doing here and bringing the pain to the gaijin haters.

    26. B Says:

      If it hasn’t been mentioned before, while those who are renting these places hold responsibility, the real estate companies connected with this hold even more responsibility for allowing this sort of racism/discrimination.

      I’m glad to see a company being taken to task a bit on this issue.

    27. Baudrillard Says:

      “Why would this company go through all the trouble to put up a website in English and then use it to refuse NJ? Excellent question, which i have been pondering since 1990 or so, when i first came to Japan and receiving quite a few negative responses-but in fluent English- for practically any idea out of the tiny narrow J -box being rejected for illogical reasons. In my case the real estate office in Kamata gallantly went thru the motions of trying to find an apartment for me, but only FOUR out of TWENTY EIGHT said “gaijin OK”. And guess what, these were all the overpriced ones far from any station, no aircond etc.

      Similarly countless times has a J apologist jumped in and “explained” in fluent English why my request or otherwise logical idea cannot work;

      “I am sorry but that person doesnt like or is not interested in (doing business with) gaijin”
      “That company doesnt need your product because they are Japanese (market) only” (wow,a dying luxury!)

      I really started to think in the 90s that a number of Japanese had learnt fluent English just to answer in the negative, or were simply powerless to make any difference to systems or rules perpetualy skewered against NJ participation. Even didnt want my money in some cases, but surely my money is as good as anyone else’s.

      I think it stems from the same mindset that produced “The Japan that can Say No” (because we can) and Whaling.It started with Mishima-who was actually respected by westerners- and then taken over by Ishihara (who didnt get the western recognition or respect so is more bloody minded)as a kind of figurehead Bin Laden type figure inspiring blatant assholery two fingers up at gaiatsu.

      Loverilakkuma #22 hits the nail on the head “Tokyosharehouse shows us an example of cultural regression through the ads. Their promotion of cultural elegance and progressiveness in modern, western style architecture—-which must be quite appealing to young, open-minded Japanese workers-— flies in the face of post-modern cultural contradiction. Funny the ad images make them look like progressive, internationally minded agent on one hand.”
      And Anonymous #23 “‘it’s kind of like asking why Japanese culture likes English words on their T-shirts, music with English, foreign brand stuff, but please, not so many damn foreign PEOPLE. The English sprinkled around is like Jazz music in the background with meaningless words happening, it’s just for atmosphere.

      It helps the main customers, the Japanese folks, feel like they’re doing something cool, something international”

      The sign is just a postmodern sign or simulacra, it doesnt reflect reality except the one Japanese would like to believe about themselves. Their self image as a tolerant westernized country. Same as e.g. ANA or JTB campaigns, the main customer is in fact the Japanese.

      But Japan has always just tinkered with bits of internationalism, Time or Newsweek did an article years back about how Sophia University’s international style education had backfired as then the women wanted to be promoted along with the men, and how Japan Inc wanted a kind of controlled internationalism, i.e. free thinking graduates but not TOO free thinking.

      Strikingly similar to China now (oh, the irony!)

      -foreign brand stuff, but please, not so many damn foreign PEOPLE.

      “They dont need Johnny Foreigner
      They just want the clothes and ideas….”

      Indeed.

    28. Michael Says:

      Hi, again I think this is a community-wide issue, and those in the community ignoring this issue makes the community complicit in the racism towards foreigners. Much like Japanese who eat at restaurants which hang signs saying “no foreigners”, Japanese who support soccer teams under signs “Japanese only” are, out of ignorance or due to their own racist views, complicit in racism. Japanese who rent properties with the same exclusionary practices are, racist. Those who work (NJ included) at rental companies are also complicit, as their policies reflect their values, and if they do not value human rights – they’re playing a game that is against everything I believe in and should be named and shamed.

    29. Daniel Burke Says:

      Two months ago I got to sit and watch the fudousan guy call up landlord after landlord and hear refusals to rent to my Chinese partner. She had put hours into researching good rooms available in the area only to have him end up bring out a little list of gaijin OK apartments. And that was only the second worst experience of our trip to Tokyo.

    30. Baud Says:

      Daniel Burke, can you tell us exactly how many said yes and no? I want to see if its got any better since 1991 when only FOUR out of 28 landlords said gaijin (westerner) OK.

      I suspect it hasnt but hope I am wrong. Its better to rent from a corporation (who care less who the tenant is) than from a private landlord.

      – Was this 4 out of 28 an official survey, or in your experience?

    31. XY Says:

      I was out walking in Tokyo today and saw this advertisement for tenants in the window of an apartment building. (http://imgur.com/qwz7hXl)

      The Japanese text in the bottom right literally says no cats or foreigners! (外国籍不可・猫は不可)

      Note too the helpful gloss in English, “Not for Foreigners.”

      I also liked the part in the upper right corner that says 小型犬ペット可.

      While dogs are allowed to live in these apartments if they’re small enough, all foreigners are presumably banned regardless of size.

      rentalhaihoumuTokyoJapaneseOnly042614

      (click on photo to expand in browser)

    32. Daniel Burke Says:

      @Baud

      Well the fudousan just plain ruled out even calling a large number of places because he new the reaction would be a refusal. Of the places he did call, it was a 50/50 refusal or there abouts.

    33. Dean Says:

      I have heard that Kawasaki has a zero discrimination policy toward foriegners and such “no foriegner allowed” is prohibited. Is this true?

      Technically. I think it’s a matter of how much those discriminated against want to have it enforced. Any Debito.org Readers out there that have had troubles renting in Kawasaki?

    34. Baud Says:

      ahhh, Kawasaki. I remember it well, the place where a bunch of freeters in “American style” clothes vandalized my property and wrote anti foreigner epithets. They stole my mail, and kept taping up the key hole (I dont know why). They were apparently jealous of my GF, but she also wasn’t even Japanese (oh, the irony). They just assumed she was and tried to “lay claim” to her.

      We had the police round, but they said there wasnt much they could do, though fortunately I think the same bunch dug their own grave by fighting in front of the police station a few weeks later.

      Yes, Kawasaki government has nice progressive policies and built some nice new shiny building, a wonderful facade and dedicated effort which unfortunately dwindled into the “projects” (think urban decay with garbage and neglected old public housing)once you go a few blocks and discover the “real” kawasaki further away from the station (any station)- dark, dodgy and controlled by the mob (whom I have seen fight and mete out justice on each other on a number of occasions).

      Once again, Japanese local government is powerless to change the people. Or felt they shouldnt. I was reminded of this during the local votes for foreign residents fiasco; Government with a mandate shouted down by a reactionary crowd.

      I got the hell out as soon as I could.

    35. Baud Says:

      p.s. to answer the question, the owner said he would have to “meet the foreigner” before he made a decision. The room was somewhat over-priced (8 man) and a little far from the station in an area I later found out taxi drivers feared to go to at night.

      It was new, but there was zero security (natch, read above) and he did nothing when the shat hit the fin. Actually at the time I was releived he didnt know or didnt get involved; it might have reinforced his prejudice that foreigners= trouble (by having an attractive foreign girlfriend they flaunt the nearby convenience store).

    36. Baud Says:

      @ Daniel, ok 50-50 aint too bad. @ Debito, 4/28 was my expeirence at that one office. He called 28 owners while we were there; he did try!

    37. Tetsuro Moriyama Says:

      Hello,

      I would like to introduce myself, My name is Tetsuro Moriyama, I am the CEO and founder of TOKYOSHAREHOUSE.COM

      This article was brought to my attention through my friends and I have just read how people felt by the website I am running.

      First and foremost, please accept my sincere apology for inappropriate expression showed on the website.
      Although, we (our company) do not operate any of the housing showed our website and the house information is edited or selected by each house owner.

      I do feel some certain responsibility. And without mentioning, I totally agree that the discrimination of any kind should not be tolerated as you all stated.

      You may not able to believe in me now, but the reason I have started TOKYOSHAREHOUSE.COM is I thought there is a lack of good renting apartment information for foreigners. It is important for me, because after high school graduation, I have also stayed some time outside of Japan (Australia, China and so on)

      It wasn’t always perfect, especially, I had faced the difficulty of renting apartments, but there are always people who supported me and when I back in Japan, I thought this is my turn to give something back. And my wish was that I would like to make my website to beneficial for foreigners as well.

      Regarding the phrase “gaikokujin taiou fuka”, Japanese tend to use this phrase as “No English support”, such as Landlords are unable to speak, read and write in English (or any other language) and worries that unable to providing the accommodation where residents feel at home, ant that makes them afraid of standing up before the first contact.

      I’m not only trying to protect ourselves, but please also note, that because of the nature of shared housing, each house owner is responsible to care other residents and for that reason, even some Japanese have turned down from time to time for their respective reasons.

      However, in any case, the issue is people here get frustrated or feel pain for the website I am running.
      Maybe it is not good enough, but, I have deleted the phrase of “gaikokujin taiou fuka” or add “No English support” right next to it.
      Since the house showed on the site are not owned by myself, please give me some time to get contact with each house owner as well.

      Once again, please excuse my absence and unprofessionalism, and I am sorry for any inconvenience or frustrations that this may have caused all of you. We will proceed differently in the future.

      Respectfully,

      Tetsuro Moriyama

    38. Anonymous Says:

      Tetsuro Moriyama, you personally receive profits each month, from owners who decided “Japanese People Only, No Foreigners Allowed.” “外国人対応不可”

      You profit from this nationality-based-exclusion / race-based-exclusion, which is illegal according to the U.N. ICERD Treaty which Japan already signed.

      You are an illegal criminal, Tetsuro Moriyama, and yet you come here with a bunch of lies and excuses trying to regain some business from 外国人.

      “Although, we (our company) do not operate any of the housing showed our website and the house information is edited or selected by each house owner.”

      That’s Lie #1, Tetsuro: YOU and YOUR employees wrote the exact phrase “外国人対応不可” about 43 locations on YOUR site, the landlords didn’t “edit” that phrase onto your site without your knowledge.

      You knew which landlords decided “外国人対応不可”, and you wrote that phrase on YOUR site about those 43 locations, because you decided profits are more important than obeying the law.

      You could have simply limited yourself to the 20 locations in which the landlords decided to obey the U.N. ICERD Treaty.

      You decided to help those landlords break the law: you decided to write “外国人対応不可” about 43 locations because such criminal action is profitable to you personally, Tetsuro Moriyama.

      “Regarding the phrase “gaikokujin taiou fuka”, Japanese tend to use this phrase as “No English support”

      That’s Lie #2, Tetsuro: “外国人対応不可” means “外国人対応不可” = “Japanese People Only, No Foreigners Allowed.” You did not write “日本語を話せない人対応不可”, you know exactly what you wrote, you can’t fool us about the fact you broke the U.N. ICERD Treaty, stop lying.

      “Since the house showed on the site are not owned by myself, please give me some time to get contact with each house owner as well.”

      That’s Lie #3, Tetsuro: You claim you need time to contact with each house owner, to check if they are willing to hide their earlier discrimination decision (which they made clear to your company, when they first signed up, when YOUR COMPANY wrote on YOUR SITE “外国人対応不可”).

      And yet, on April 14th (over 40 days ago) you already tried to hide the evidence of 7 of your illegal 43 “外国人対応不可” listings, but you didn’t hide the 7 cover-up attempts well enough, here is the proof:

      http://i.imgur.com/AmWT4dK.png – Click the screenshot to zoom in on cover-up attempt #1.
      The top “外国人対応不可” was deleted April 14th, the bottom note “外国人対応不可” remained as evidence.

      http://i.imgur.com/TLwm69W.jpg – Click the screenshot to zoom in on cover-up attempt #2.
      The top “外国人対応不可” was deleted April 14th, the bottom note “外国人対応不可” remained as evidence.

      http://i.imgur.com/bp9H7Ll.jpg – Click the screenshot to zoom in on cover-up attempt #3.
      The top “外国人対応不可” was deleted April 14th, the bottom note “外国人対応不可” remained as evidence.

      http://i.imgur.com/G2qVUUf.png – Click the screenshot to zoom in on cover-up attempt #4.
      The top “外国人対応不可” was deleted April 14th, the bottom note “外国人対応不可” remained as evidence.

      http://i.imgur.com/oIhikvu.png – Click the screenshot to zoom in on cover-up attempt #5.
      The top “外国人対応不可” was deleted April 14th, the bottom note “外国人対応不可” remained as evidence.

      http://i.imgur.com/zeEvfml.jpg – Click the screenshot to zoom in on cover-up attempt #6.
      The top “外国人対応不可” was deleted April 14th, the bottom note “外国人対応不可” remained as evidence.

      http://i.imgur.com/J3E83EY.jpg – Click the screenshot to zoom in on cover-up attempt #7.
      The top “外国人対応不可” was deleted April 14th, the bottom note “外国人対応不可” remained as evidence.

      “Maybe it is not good enough, but, I have deleted the phrase of ‘gaikokujin taiou fuka’ ”

      And this sentence directly above, written by you Tetsuro, is proof about your obvious Lie #3.

      “Since the house showed on the site are not owned by myself, please give me some time to get contact with each house owner as well.”

      You claim you deleted the phrase “外国人対応不可” and yet you claim you haven’t contacted those illegally discriminating house owners yet.

      Those illegally discriminating house owners signed up to your site as “外国人対応不可”, you (and the staff working under you, whose work actions are all actions you are legally responsible for as CEO) wrote that phrase on YOUR site about 43 locations, and yet you are trying to delete the phrase BEFORE actually speaking to the criminal house owners?

      You are attempting to hide their illegal action (which you already profited from, Tetsuro Moriyama, profits which went into your pocket, from introducing Japanese people to landlords who illegally told you to write “外国人対応不可” about 43 locations.)

      “Maybe it is not good enough, but, I have deleted the phrase of ‘gaikokujin taiou fuka’ ”

      Your letter above is not good enough, because you stupidly admitted to deleting the evidence before even speaking with the house owners, you blatantly lied about the nationality-based-exclusion / race-based-exclusion 外国人対応不可, and you naively gave excuses about WHY you committed those crimes.

      You attempted to imply that, “I didn’t choose that setting, the owners chose it” – yet you wrote it on your site, and you profited from introductions to those owners, so you will be penalized according to the law.

      You also attempted to imply that, “Those 43 location actually allow Foreigners, that phrase actually allows Foreigners with good Japanese language skills” – yet you can’t fool a Japanese judge who knows the U.N. ICERD Treaty. Your lies about your actions and about the actions of those criminal house owners have been entered into the public record (your IP address has been recorded, of course, and your letter time stamped, all of which can and will be read and verified by the Japanese court with jurisdiction over you.)

      The judge will penalize you for breaking the U.N. ICERD Treaty (which already Japanese judge recently officially ruled as being in effect in Japan, so you should go now and read about the law which people like you in Japan have already been found guilty of having violated http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Convention_on_the_Elimination_of_All_Forms_of_Racial_Discrimination) and also penalize you for helping many criminal house owners to break that same law (look up the legal definition of “conspiracy to commit a crime” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_(criminal) and “aiding and abetting” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aiding_and_abetting)

      Your letter is not good enough Tetsuro. You will be punished by a loss of business, and even by the Japanese court system, for posting “Japanese People Only, No Foreigners Allowed” on your site, the evidence of the 43 locations is already safely stored and ready for the court date, you will have to pay to the state those profits you collected illegally over the past few years, and you will be forced by the state to pay the victims whom you caused “Seishin Kutsuu”.

      Final summary: Tetsuro Moriyama is a criminal, who illegally profited for years by introducing “Japanese People Only” to criminal house owners who advertised on Tetsuro Moriyama’s site, with Tetsuro Moriyama’s knowledge and complicity, 43 documented rooms for “Japanese People Only, No Foreigners Allowed.”

    39. Anonymous Says:

      Tetsuro Moriyama clearly wrote “外国人NG” and even “外人NG” on his site (NG means No Good, not accepted)

      https://web.archive.org/web/20121003034022/http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/houses/detail/127

      http://i.imgur.com/49fSfGd.jpg – click the top to see “外人NG”, click the bottom to see “外国人NG”

      But when caught here on this thread, Tetsuro claimed that it’s a misunderstanding about language.
      Tetsuro tried to fool the public into thinking foreigners were allowed in the 43 illegal 外人NG locations.

      The judge will say, “If you are against discrimination, why did you profit from 43 illegal 外人NG listings?”

      The evidence above has been added to the lawsuit, by the multiple victims your company refused based on race.
      You had 20 OK legal listings, but you greedily added the 43 illegal 外人NG listings. Subpoena coming Tetsuro.

      You tried to fool the readers here, but the Judge will review the evidence and penalize you for your violations.

      You seriously should consider turning yourself in BEFORE the arrest, to admit your crime and beg for 執行猶予.
      Because currently, your “language” claims (proven false by the 外人NG evidence) is going to anger the Judge.

      ”この犯罪者は日本の加入しているの「あらゆる形態の人種差別の撤廃に関する国際条約法律」違反なのに、
      この人種差別的振る舞いが認められると締結国は制裁をすることが出来る、で、自国民に害を与えるなのに、
      全然謝っていない、いろんな言い訳を出して、うそでもしてみた。なので、しょうがない、一番厳しい罰にすます。”

      Please, dig yourself deeper, testify again here from your IP address about WHY you committed these crimes.
      Blame the crimes on the house owners, they edited your site without your knowledge right, or blame your staff.

      Please, tell us more lies about how “外人NG” somehow means “Every paying renter who speaks Japanese can live here.”

      The victims you illegally refused (for example John F.) are going to be compensated for the 精神的苦痛 you caused.

    40. Katie Says:

      I had similar experiences when trying to find a place in Kanagawa. Single teacher at an all-girls’ school for 10 years. Had to sit at the real estate agents desk as he called place after place and said “I’m sorry, are foreigners ok?” 60 % said no. Many of the times the question would be followed with a pause, and then “American”…….”white”…..”oh , I see. THat’s too bad….yes….hahahah…(nervous laughter) thank you” Hangs up, looks at me, “no, sorry”

      I finally found a building owned by a foreigner.

    41. Shawn Says:

      I hate to necro an old post, but I really wished I was reading this back in June.

      I’m an Asian living and studying in Japan and I got an old overpriced apartment back in 2012 from a really friendly rental company (apparently all the employees are Otakus rofl). I got together with my Japanese American girlfriend half a year later and she moved in. Of course that’s against the contract but they never found out and I had planned to move out since I hated the place (piping was terrible… Using the washing machine or bathing would fill the entire apartment with sewage gas due to displacement).

      In the end, I started looking for a new place this year as my 2 year contract was about to end. But this was the start of two months of headaches, extreme stress and terrible start to my autumn semester.

      During the two months, I went to at least 6 different rental companies, called up two Japanese websites, been offered old overpriced places, sat for hours as the poor rental company people made phone call after phone call after phone call… Actually, let’s detail roughly how it goes.

      Step 1: introduce their company to the other company, ask in regards to a particular place, state that they have two foreigners looking for an apartment.

      I’ve heard the rental company people rephrase step 1 so many times because this is where I get the first no… And it’s about 60-70% of the time. Variations include stating my university name first (turns out that helps… I noticed the success rates increase), skipping the nationalities or not doesn’t seem to help or decrease chances at all. I could be wrong but it yes, looks like all of us gaikokujin are in this together.
      And no… They never mentioned that my American gf is Japanese.

      Step 2: mention that we are university students.

      Well, the university name part only helps jumping past the first two steps… Not the first step to be honest.
      Being a student just drops your chances by a lot… And I can understand why… So any of you planning to come to Japan to study, good luck.

      Step 3: Do you have a Japanese blood related guarantor.

      THIS was the dumbest part of the entire thing and the number one reason for my being turned down.
      IF I am a foreigner (which I am), what are the odds of me having a BLOOD related Japanese guarantor?
      I mean seriously! I am certain that there are people who fall within this group, but for the vast majority of us unmarried foreigners, how can this apply? This essentially meant that my Japanese friend who offered to be my guarantor couldn’t be one.

      One of the more insulting things I noticed was that most of the places that did accept foreigners within my requested area (Shibuya) were old… Or overpriced… Or both. Some were so old that they had renovated it, offered no key money, allowed pets and foreigners. I’m sorry, don’t take this the wrong way but, essentially they were saying, “this place is so unwanted that we reduced the price, renovated it, don’t want the key money and are so desperate to rent this out that we are even willing to accept people with pets or foreigners”. I mean lawl… I sat there thinking, gee, I’ve been reduced to being as accepted as a dog by the landlord. ((For those who are unaware, landlords in Japan generally don’t allow pets unless they think it will help them get a tenant, and in Tokyo’s case, most landlords don’t have to worry about that unless there is something wrong with the place)).

      In the end after the two months, I finally found a place I liked. Price was right, building is only two years old, but I had to pay two years rent upfront (guarantor issue). Even so, I’m not complaining about this landlord. He interviews all potential rentees, even Japanese ones; and often doesn’t accept them either. Somehow he liked me and I passed the interview.

      There is an obvious discrimination issue. It’s one thing to say “we don’t accept this and that race”, which is already bad in itself… It’s worse when they just say no to all foreigners in general since that can’t even be explained away as a targeted race issue and is instead the result of even greater fundamental reasons.

      I would argue however, that we cannot blame the rental companies; unscrupulous marketing tactics isn’t racism or xenophobia, it’s merely unscrupulous. The issue lies with the owners who are the ones who decide on whether foreigners are accepted or not.

      To be more precise, noting the average age of these landlords and noting that many of them are in the same generation that jump when my gf and I are walking behind them and suddenly speak in English… It’s a matter of exposure and stereotypes; how many of us have ever met our landlords and had a chat with them? If most of us did, then perhaps there might be more weight to these stereotypes, but from what I know, we don’t.

      My current landlord however immediately struck me as a man who had been around the block a few times and he had a decent chat with me. (No, I’m turning 30 despite being in Uni and no, I’ve been around the block a few times myself, but I could immediately tell that he’s been around it a lot more than me!)

      On a side note, the government’s plan to change things might not be tied with the Olmypics as some have suggested but rather with the government’s plans to bring in more skilled workers as part of the Abenomics. There have been moves to entice more foreigners to come here to work, like higher salaries (which I think is stupid, it further alienates us) and this one is one of the better moves. Workers need housing after all.

    42. TJJ Says:

      “There have been moves to entice more foreigners to come here to work, like higher salaries”

      Can you disclose where these higher salaries are, or who has been proposing this move?

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