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  • DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APRIL 30, 2014

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on April 29th, 2014

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    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APRIL 30, 2014

    Table of Contents:
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    1) Hitler’s 125th birthday march in Tokyo Ikebukuro video: It’s only a few illogical dullards who can but question the nationality (thus loyalty) of dissenters

    2) IPC: Five female Japanese students reported twice raping a Peruvian classmate in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka

    3) New facial recognition systems at J border: Once again, testing out the next-gen loss of civil liberties on the “Gaijin Guinea Pigs”

    4) 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?

    5) “Japanese Only” exclusionary Tentake tempura restaurant in Asakusa, Tokyo, allegedly due to NJ “hygiene” issues

    6) Japan’s Right-wing swing taking on NJ media: Foreign correspondents ‘blindly swallowing’ anti-Japanese propaganda, writer alleges

    …and finally…

    7) My Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE Col 74, Apr 3, 2014: “Knowing your rights can protect against fake cops”, updating the NJ Spot ID Checkpoints issue
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    By Dr. ARUDOU, Debito
    Freely Forwardable

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    1) Hitler’s 125th birthday march in Tokyo Ikebukuro video: It’s only a few illogical dullards who can but question the nationality (thus loyalty) of dissenters

    On Sunday, April 20, there was a march in Tokyo Ikebukuro to celebrate the 125th birthday of Hitler. Yes, you read that right. And an article came out about it in Japan Today’s Kuchikomi column:

    JT: According to J-Cast News (April 23), Sunday’s demonstration was organized by an organization that calls itself the “Gokoku Shishi no Kai” (Group of Warriors Protecting the Nation). They assembled in a small park in East Ikebukuro, the location of the gallows in the former Sugamo Prison, where former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and six other Class A war criminals were executed by hanging in December 1948.

    “To keep the achievements of our illustrious predecessors from going to waste, we advocate the restoration of the Great East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, minus participation by China and the two Koreas,” one of the organizers told the assembled demonstrators. Referring to the date as coinciding with the 125th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birthday, he also noted that “The empire of Japan and Nazi Germany have been portrayed as villains, and in Germany glorifying the Nazis will get a person jailed. We would like to re-investigate the 1993 Kono Statement and Nazi Germany as well, to rehabilitate their good acts and restore their honor.” When asked to name the Nazis’ good acts, the speaker was able to come up with the autobahn, but not much else.

    COMMENT: I’m glad this was filmed (Leni Riefenstahl did a much better service portraying her Nazis!), because it reveals two things:

    1) The banality of evil. “Warriors Protecting the Nation”? All we really see are a small group of dorks playing at hate speech, trying to attract attention to themselves by saying things that they know will inflame historical passions of irrationality and prejudice. It’s kinda like high-schoolers listening to heavy metal music (or, okay, I’m dating myself: gangsta rap) really, really loud to annoy their parents. But who’s listening on, on either side? There are far more cops there keeping the peace than there are demonstrators waving their flags. Considering how much bigger their last demonstration was (which also included Nazi flags), is this all they could muster for Hitler’s momentous 125th? (Link here to compare.)

    2) Their inability to make a cogent argument. At minute 2:55 in the video, they face a dissenter, and the group’s counterattack is swift and hive-minded. Instead of engaging in any form of logical debate, all they do is swarm in at their critic and say over and over again, “Anta nani-jin? Nani-jin? Anta nihonjin? Chuugokujin? Kankokujin?” (What are you? Japanese? Chinese? Korean?) As if a true Japanese couldn’t possibly be dissenting. By minute 5:20, they aver that it musta been a Shina-jin (the historically-unflattering word for Chinese), as if that settles their hash.

    And if you watch to the end, it all just breaks down into a group of dullards who go out for a beer afterwards. Herr ringleader is not of the mettle to lead a beer hall putsch. Clearly these dwebes have nothing better to do with their weekend.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=12327

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    2) IPC: Five female Japanese students reported twice raping a Peruvian classmate in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka

    Debito.org Reader IA comments: This week I read about a horrific case of ijime in Shizuoka Ken, a Peruvian girl was raped by five [female] classmates. The worst part is the authorities just bow the head and said they could only offer money nothing else. I’ll give you more details if you want. I’m trying to find the news in English or Japanese and I also sent an e-mail to the Spanish newspaper where I read about it to get more information in your language. This is awful I want to vomit. If the case was from the opposite side I’m sure the reaction could be different.

    No doubt it would. I don’t know about the money part, but this apparently is the rumor circulating around the Peruvian community in Japan. Anyone else heard about this, especially in the J-media? If you haven’t, I bet you also haven’t heard about the Herculano Murder Case, either. I hope it won’t suffer the same fate. Machine-translated Spanish newspaper article from International Press on this case follows.

    UPDATE APRIL 23, 2014: The Peruvian Embassy is getting involved.
    UPDATE APRIL 24, 2014: The Peruvian Consul visits Fujinomiya, secures the cooperation of the authorities, but the family leaves town, having learned that the abuses allegedly took place on school grounds and were were filmed and photographed.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=12313

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    3) New facial recognition systems at J border: Once again, testing out the next-gen loss of civil liberties on the “Gaijin Guinea Pigs”

    Kyodo: The government plans to restart from August a test on a facial recognition system to speed up immigration checks at airports and prepare for an expected surge in visitors for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, officials said Saturday.

    COMMENT: Let’s survey the narratives of justification in this article. We have the argument that it’s allegedly for a looming event (NJ swarm from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, even though it’s more than six years away!), the convenience factor (faster processing of people, this time without even registering!), and the bandwagon argument that others are implementing it (Britain and Australia, whose civil societies have had more robust debates on the issues of privacy and civil liberties). All of these arguments were made during the reinstitution of NJ fingerprinting in 2007, and that time it wasn’t for a specific event, but rather for anti-terrorism [sic] in general. And as Debito.org has argued many times before, once you get the public softened up on the idea of taking away civil liberties by testing it on one sector of the population (in this case, the Gaijin Guinea Pigs, since foreigners in every society have fewer civil and political rights), it gets expanded on the rest of the population. Let’s enter the No-Brainer Zone: I anticipate the facial recognition software will be implemented nationwide more seamlessly than any other intrusive technology yet, since it is so convenient and doesn’t require individual registry or even much hardware installation. There’s even a profit motive. Consider this:

    JT Editorial: Over 100 supermarkets and convenience stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area have been recording images of shoppers’ faces as part of antishoplifting measures. Though the stores have posted signs stating cameras are in place, the stores have been sharing the biometric data of customers without their knowledge. [...] The problem is the lack of checks on the system. Seemingly whoever has access to the network could classify customers according to an arbitrary criterion. But what constitutes an “unreasonable” complaint is open to question. And whether an act of shoplifting is reported to the police and whether the suspect is convicted of the crime is a matter of the law. It should not be a matter of how an employee feels about it. Unfortunately with this technology, stores are now able to put people on a blacklist for any reason whatsoever.

    COMMENT FROM SJ AND PHU: What if this employee is inherently suspicious of all foreigners in general, or harbors racist feelings towards anyone who does not appear Japanese? Such an employee can end up blacklisting and tagging a foreign shopper not for anything specific that the customer has done, but rather out of the employee’s own paranoia against non-Japanese shoppers… Japan’s pronounced discrimination problem does make it hard to ignore the likelihood of abuse skewing towards minorities.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=12306

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    4) 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?

    Mainichi: 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.

    COMMENT: It is indeed good to see people acknowledging that discrimination towards NJ exists. And that the most common answer by respondents chosen (since it is probably the most normalized and systemic NJ discrimination) is in residence rentals. After all, take a look at this new system of guarantor-free housing by “Tokyo Sharehouse” — which has at least fifteen “sharehouses” advertised as “Japanese Only”:

    LaFelice Ikejiri (English) http://tokyosharehouse.com/eng/house/detail/1324/, (Japanese) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/1324/
    Claris Sangenjaya (English) http://tokyosharehouse.com/eng/house/detail/1325/ (Japanese) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/1325/
    Domondo Sangenjaya (English) http://tokyosharehouse.com/eng/house/detail/1095/, (Japanese) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/1095/
    Aviril Shibuya (Japanese Only in both meanings): http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/1431/
    Pleades Sakura Shin-machi (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/847/
    La Vita Komazawa (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/500/
    La Levre Sakura Shin-machi (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/846/
    Leviair Meguro (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/506/
    Flora Meguro (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/502/
    La Famille (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/503/
    Pechka Shimo-Kitazawa (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/507/
    Amitie Naka-Meguro (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/508/
    Cerisier Sakura Shin-machi (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/504/
    Stella Naka-Meguro (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/501/
    Solare Meguro (Japanese Only in both meanings) http://tokyosharehouse.com/jpn/house/detail/509/

    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? And you gotta love how they pretentiously put the names of the residences in faux French, yet won’t take French people…!

    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?

    http://www.debito.org/?p=12282

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    5) “Japanese Only” exclusionary Tentake tempura restaurant in Asakusa, Tokyo, allegedly due to NJ “hygiene” issues

    Another to add to the Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Establishments. This time, a restaurant, as submitter YT notified me via email and photographs:

    ====================================
    April 5, 2014, YT wrote:

    Please would you mind helping me? Today I went to a restaurant in Asakusa with my wife and some Japanese friends. They didn’t allow us to enter, because me and my wife are not Japanese. In the entrance there is a paper that says “Japanese only” in English, and other advertisement in Japanese. My Japanese friend, entered to the restaurant and kindly asked the manager if me and my wife could enter, too. The manager said they doesn’t allow foreigners, no matter if they speak Japanese nor have been living in Japan for long.

    I hope you can help me, and write some article about this discrimination. I think discrimination is one of the worst problem in our world, so we must stop it immediately. Thank you for your time!!!
    ====================================
    Photos of sign, storefront, and shopfront noren: (NB: The Japanese below the JAPANESE ONLY text on the sign reads, “The inside of this restaurant is very small. In order to avoid accidents, we are sorry, but we refuse entry to all children below the age of 5. We ask for our customers understanding and cooperation.”)

    Contact: “Ten-take” tempura restaurant, Tokyo-to Taitou-ku Asakusa 2-4-1, phone 03-3841-5519

    COMMENT: I called Tentake today to confirm with the management that yes, they do have a “Japanese Only” restriction. Their reasons given: 1) Hygiene (eiseimen), which were, when asked, issues of “foreigners” not taking off their shoes when entering, 2) NJ causing problems (meiwaku) to other customers, and 3) a language barrier, as in NJ not speaking Japanese. Basic Otaru Onsen exclusionary excuses. When asked if he didn’t think these were prejudicial generalizations about all NJ, he said repeatedly that he couldn’t deal with “foreigners” (tai’ou o shi kirenai). Then he hung up.

    That’s as much information as I could get out of the management regarding the reasons for the exclusionism. Readers who feel that this restaurant is behaving inappropriately for a business open to the general public are welcome to phone them at the number above, or drop by and say so directly. Douzo. ARUDOU, Debito

    UPDATE APRIL 18, 2014: The sign is down and the shop is open to NJ customers again.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=12256

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    6) Japan’s Right-wing swing taking on NJ media: Foreign correspondents ‘blindly swallowing’ anti-Japanese propaganda, writer alleges

    As Japan’s right-wing swing begins to be noticed and acknowledged overseas (I predicted this swing would happen quite a while ago), foreign media are increasingly taking off the kid gloves, and dealing forcefully with Japan’s perpetual historical amnesia. So much so that it’s making some Japanese opinion leaders uncomfortable, and, as the article below attests, they’re pushing back against the apparent gaiatsu by claiming the foreign correspondents are succumbing to “propaganda”. Have a read.

    Within, note how opportunist NJ panderer Henry Scott-Stokes is being tossed around like a ball in play as evidence of something (hey, revisionism has more credibility if someone, anyone, from the NJ side will parrot their views). Debito.org has already covered the profiteering that some NJ (particularly those who have no idea what has been written for them in Japanese) will engage in. Shame on them for becoming the monkey to the organ grinder.

    As a bracing counterpose, check out this other extremely angry article by Robert Fisk in the UK Independent on the Abe Administration and Japan’s burgeoning (and hypocritical) revisionism; he’s clearly commenting outside of his comfort zone, but this is what will increasingly come out as the mask of “peaceful Western ally” that Japan’s elites have shamelessly worn for two generations continues to slip. And this generation of elites, who have never known war (and will never have to serve even if there ever is one), will continue to extol the glory of it.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=12280

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    …and finally…

    7) My Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE Col 74, Apr 3, 2014: “Knowing your rights can protect against fake cops”, updating the NJ Spot ID Checkpoints issue

    Knowing your rights can protect against fake cops
    BY DEBITO ARUDOU, SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES, APR 2, 2014

    Long-time readers of The Japan Times will already be aware of some of the information in today’s column. But within is an important update, so press on.

    As you no doubt know (or should know), non-Japanese residents are required to carry ID 24/7 in the form of wallet-size “gaijin cards,” nowadays known as zairyū kādo (resident cards). (People without those cards — i.e., tourists here for less than three months — must instead always carry a passport.) Don’t leave home without yours, for you could face detention and a criminal penalty if a police officer suddenly demands it.

    Which they can do at any time — underscoring the weakened position of non-Japanese under domestic law and social policy. According to the former Foreign Registry Law, any public official empowered by the Ministry of Justice may demand ID from a non-Japanese person, whenever. Inevitably, this encourages racial profiling, as cops with systematic regularity target people who “look foreign” (including naturalized citizens, such as this writer) for public shakedowns that are intimidating, alienating and humiliating…

    Read the rest at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2014/04/02/issues/rights-can-protect-against-fake-cops/
    Version with comments and links to sources at http://www.debito.org/?p=12237

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    That’s all for this month. Thanks for reading!
    Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APRIL 30, 2014 ENDS

    One Response to “DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APRIL 30, 2014”

    1. RiazorBlue Says:

      Hi, I came across your site researching racism in Japan. I worked there back in the 90′s and saw it everywhere then. Folks back home and where I live now find it hard to believe. Keep up the good work naming and shaming, both here and in the JT.

      PS. I remember those ultra right wingers you speak about. In ’97 they parked a low-loader festooned with Japanese flags and slogans outside Yokohama railway station, back then nobody paid any attention to them at all, but still, they shouldn’t have been allowed there in the first place.

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