Sankei columnist Sono Ayako advocates separation of NJ residential zones by race in Japan, cites Apartheid South Africa as example (UPDATED)

eBooks, Books, and more from Dr. ARUDOU, Debito (click on icon):
Guidebookcover.jpgjapaneseonlyebookcovertextHandbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)sourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumbFodorsJapan2014cover
UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free
“LIKE” US on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/debitoorg
http://www.facebook.com/handbookimmigrants
https://www.facebook.com/JapaneseOnlyTheBook
https://www.facebook.com/BookInAppropriate
If you like what you read and discuss on Debito.org, please consider helping us stop hackers and defray maintenance costs with a little donation via my webhoster:
Donate towards my web hosting bill!
All donations go towards website costs only. Thanks for your support!

Hi Blog.  Here’s another one for the Debito.org archives.  Sono Ayako, famous conservative novelist, has just had a ponderous opinion piece published in the reactionary right-wing Sankei Shinbun daily newspaper.  This is the same newspaper that last decade serialized professional bigot Ishihara Shintaro’sNihon Yo” columns (which, among other things, saw Chinese as criminal due to their “ethnic DNA” (minzokuteki DNA)).  This is what the Sankei is getting up to now:  Publishing opinion pieces advocating Japan institute an Apartheid system for foreign residents, separating their living areas by races.  Seriously:

SONO:  “I have come to believe, after 20-30 years knowing about the actual situation in Republic of South Africa, that when it comes to residential zones, the Whites, Asians, and Blacks should be separated and live in different areas [in Japan].”  

She describes how Black Africans have come to despoil the areas (particularly infrastructurally) that were reserved for Whites in the RSA, and feels that “immigrants” (imin) would do the same thing to Japan.  And there’s lots more to mine from a remarkable capsule of bigotry and ethnic overgeneralizations that only cantankerous eldsters, who live in intellectual sound chambers because they are too old to be criticized properly anymore, can spew.  Huffpost Japan and original article below, followed by one more quick comment:

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

曽野綾子さん「移民を受け入れ、人種で分けて居住させるべき」産経新聞で主張
The Huffington Post Japan, courtesy of SH
投稿日: 2015年02月11日 11時53分 JST 更新: 2015年02月11日 11時53分 JST SANKEI

2月11日付の産経新聞コラムで、作家の曽野綾子さんが、日本の労働人口が減少している問題について触れ、移民を受け入れた上で、人種で分けて居住させるべきだ、と主張した。

(Entire column; click on image to expand in browser)

sonoayakosankei021115

「近隣国の若い女性たちに来てもらえばいい」と今後需要の増える介護について移民を受け入れる一方、「移民としての法的身分は厳重に守るように制度を作らねばならない」とした上で、

もう20〜30年も前に南アフリカ共和国の実情を知って以来、私は、居住区だけは、白人、アジア人、黒人というふうに分けて住む方がいい、と思うようになった。

(産経新聞 2015/02/11付 7面)
と住居の隔離とも取られかねない主張を展開している。

さらに、南アフリカでアパルトヘイト(人種隔離政策)の撤廃後、白人専用だったマンションに黒人家族が一族を呼び寄せたため、水が足りなくなり共同生活が破綻し、白人が逃げ出したという例を出し、「人間は事業も研究も運動も何もかも一緒にやれる。しかし居住だけは別にした方がいい」と締めくくっている。

このコラムに、ツイッター上では批判が集中している。
Rest of article at

http://www.huffingtonpost.jp/2015/02/10/sankei_n_6657606.html

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

COMMENT:  While I hope (and I stress:  hope) that nobody is going to take seriously the rants of a octogenarian who has clearly lost touch with the modern world, it is distressing to see that this was not consigned to the regular netto-uyoku far-right internet denizens who regularly preach intolerance and spew xenophobic bile as a matter of reflex.  Shame on you, Sankei, for adding credibility to this article by publishing it.  Let’s hope (and I stress again:  hope) that it is not a bellwether of public policy to come.  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

PS: More on Sono Ayako’s hypocritically misogynistic (yes!) rantings here in a separate article in the Japan Times.

PPS:  This article just made it into The Japan Times, with more details on how Sono was appointed to a PM Abe panel on education reform in 2013, demonstrating how deep the rot goes.

UPDATE FEB 13:  A protest letter in Japanese and English from the Africa-Japan Forum hits the media.  Self-explanatory.  Let’s see if this results in a retraction of the article.

UPDATE FEB 14:  South African Ambassador to Japan protests Sono Ayako’s pro-Apartheid column <産経新聞>曽野氏コラム、南ア大使も抗議文 人種隔離許容(毎日新聞) – Yahoo!ニュース http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20150214-00000077-mai-soci

sonoayakoprotestletter021315

sonoayakoprotestletterj021315

Courtesy of the Mainichi Shinbun and MS.  http://mainichi.jp/graph/2015/02/14/20150214k0000e040192000c/001.html

UPDATE FEB 20: Gaijin Handlers intervene to rein in Japan-Studies intelligentsia by portraying Sono as somehow culturally-misunderstood:
http://www.debito.org/?p=13061#comment-831044

ENDS

61 comments on “Sankei columnist Sono Ayako advocates separation of NJ residential zones by race in Japan, cites Apartheid South Africa as example (UPDATED)

Comment navigation

  • Remember some time ago when Oishinbo went to Fukushima and got a bleeding nose? Everyone freaked out and many called it blatantly lying, discrimination against the people of Fukushima, dishonorable, and of course ‘regretable’ (the last one gets bandied about a lot, but it is totally meaningless). The magazine pulled the comic strip, and it got to the point where the artists involved were about to go into hiding and people were living in fear.

    Now take the reaction to Sono’s article. People say, ‘this is only an opinion, stop over reacting.’ ‘a variety of opinions is an important facet of society.’ ‘she may be a little extreme, but gosh, you know what, she does bring up some pretty important thoughts.’

    Is this type of imbalanced reaction is pretty common regarding justifying illogic as logic by Japanese media? I am asking because I am a dumbass who doesn’t really know anything. I mean, a comic book brings up some issues and opinions on Fukushima (it’s just my opinion but I think Fukushima is a pretty important topic, feel free to disagree with me, lolz) and the ravings of an old hag are less important. But if you look at how the Japanese media reacted to these two news events, could it be possibly used as an example of how some of the social justifications being made are processed by a large section of the social-psyche?

    — Or at least are processed by the ruling elite/media magnates and their editors in thrall.

  • Ah, so the reactions are controlled. And thusly Japanese people are permitted to react in whichever manner. Similar to the tarentos who are pictured in the corner of the TV screen, who are seen reacting to the event on the TV program. The tarento’s reaction to the event is arguably agreeably Japanese. So when a news event happens, the editors/managers will either say, “blatant lies!” or, “varied opinions are important!” and that reaction will be the agreeably, not regrettably, Japanese reaction. As a result, discrimination may persist, and critical thought is quashed into gross squash sauce with regrettable froth.

  • at Matty B, I think you are making an important but slightly incoherently expressed point about the post modern theater and media control we see in Japan.

    SO the tarentos are here to show people how to react? I would argue this is so, not unlike the professional dance leaders in clubs who show the clueless punters how to dance in in a “para para” line.

    I would say this is deeply engrained in J society, even going back to Awa Odori (a follow the leader dance) or how important point of sale store recommendations are important in J marketing. Ditto celeb endorsements and famous names.

    “The Japanese dont really trust their own feelings” (source-Powers, Working in Japan 1990- a bit dated and I hope this is changing, but there is still a tendency to follow top down examples in Japan, especially when forming or receiving opinions).

    J apologists may say I am stereotyping, but Hofstede does concluide from empirical data that Japanese, while more individual than certain other Asian societies, are still group oriented in decision making. Uncertainty avoidance is strikingly high, and thus the constant need for “approval” to voice certain opinions.

    http://geert-hofstede.com/japan.html

    This the default is conservative neo-fascism- it has been endorsed for so long it just isn’t seen as that extreme as the mainstream itself is moving right.

  • “News Show”. Its an oxymoron, but it exists in postmodern Japan. Think about it. The News as entertainment. Sadly, J consumers must choose between self censoring, biased NHK (“BBC” it aint, wheres the Japanese answer to Jeremy Paxman?) or game shows.

    Matty B is referring to a kind of game show with a news content, although I am not sure it can really be called “news”, more like disinformation or state sanctioned spin. Putin would doubtless approve, and indeed Russia and Japan share similar rankings in press freedom these days.

    it really is news as theater. And I liked Debito’s “editors in thrall” to the J govt. So apt, so pathetic, such a waste of time, energy and our youth. Almost beneath a democrat’s consideration (I suppose thats what “Japan passing” is all about-I mean, why bother? Like trying to avoid talking to that reactionary, senile old relative at family gatherings, other than safe banalities, which goes for conversation in Japan, I mean, in old people homes).

    Thats one of my fave “Japan is..” jokes. Even Tepido might laugh;

    “Japan is an old people’s home run by the yakuza, staffed by inflexible bureaucrats who “explain THE RULES” and what you cannot do upon visiting (you are a visitor, natch), and with hot young 18 year old nurses from Vietnam, no, Indonesia, no, I mean hot young ROBOTS, (work in progress)”.

    BTW, I ran Japan and Russia thru the Hofstede centers cultural comparison software http://geert-hofstede.com/japan.html

    They are shockingly similar in several key indicators, including individualism, uncertainty avoidance, and others. Japan is apparently more “masculine” though, which I take to mean more sexist.

    Sad that a wannabe democracy fails compared to a post communist state, but there you have it.

    “Japan is, the freedom to discriminate.”

  • Crackity Flakes says:

    @Baudrillard 55

    “Japan is an old people’s home run by the yakuza, staffed by inflexible bureaucrats who “explain THE RULES” and what you cannot do upon visiting (you are a visitor, natch), and with hot young 18 year old nurses from Vietnam, no, Indonesia, no, I mean hot young ROBOTS, (work in progress)”.

    I honestly have no idea what you are trying to say here. I know of no country with 18-year old nurses. To obtain a nursing qualification requires a number of year training/ education post high school. ‘Hot 18 year old Vietnamese nurses’… Maybe this is more reflective of a strange fantasy of yours than reality. Or maybe I am not sufficiently postmodern to get it.

    My experience with health care in Japan has been positive, and I suggest you may like to spend a week in a cardio ward- as I have done on a number of occasions- and see the dedication of staff there before making ridiculous claims.

    Anyone can write crap about something. The important thing is that people not take that crap to represent fact.

    BTW, ‘I ran Japan and Russia thru the Hofstede centers cultural comparison software’ actually means you selected Japan and Russia from drop down menus. Not quite as impressive as your original text would suggest.

  • @ Crackity Flakes #56

    I think you have to be a long-time debito.org reader to catch Baudrillard’s reference.

    I believe that Baudrillard is referencing a story that appeared here on Debito.org a couple of years ago regarding Indonesian/Filipino health care workers coming to Japan under a trainee system.
    Although said article was generally positive about NJ coming to Japan to work, I clearly remember (and I remember Dr. Debito commenting on this fact) that right at the end, an old Japanese guy in a care home was quoted as saying that he’d much rather have a cute non-Japanese Asian girl look after him, than a robot (with a ‘nudge-nudge, wink-wink’ attitude). It was dehumanizing and demeaning to NJ caregivers, who have been treated appallingly by the J-Gov, and are regarded as little more than ‘objects’ to fulfill old Japanese men’s sex-fantasies.

    I’m sure other Debito.org readers remember this article.

  • @ Crackity, first time here? My friends joke seems to have hit a nerve with you. The 18 year old vietnamese nurse is a reference to a real case where a local Japanese authority (actually one ojisan in power) personally sponsored an 18 year old to come over and study medicine. As it appeared at this site:

    http://www.debito.org/?p=10354

    He went on to say (in other media) that when he retired, he would prefer a cute young thing looking after him than a robot. Creepy much?

    As for the Hofstede site, yes, the software works via drop down menus. I am not trying to impress, merely include websites and sources. This isnt about ego, and it certainly isnt about money-what is there to gain by “impressing” the readers?

    But the Hofstede Center offers facts, or at least supportive data.

    Finally, I have spent time in Japanese hospitals (sigh, needless tangent), I am not knocking them and I have spent time in them, and other than the time when it took them ten visits to misdiagnose what I had, they have been pretty good. I am surprised Debito didnt say your comment was off topic.

    I am afraid you have missed the point. We were talking about the media and how info, the “news”, is processed by Japanese society which my friend’s joke compared to an old people’s home.

    I dont understand how you can leap from media/society to old people’s homes to an attack on Japanese health care.

    I conclude this is a sensitive issue for you and somehow it brings back literally painful memories of your time in the cardio ward, which was not my intention.

  • @Breaudrillard 54

    I agree that my points may have incorherent aspects to them. It is because I am not a very serious person. I am however curious, and believe that understanding subtextual patterns helps me to process the reasons why something happens around me. In this case, the pattern of having reactions controlled either through editors or tarentos was enlightening for me. The context of the situation (serious equals news, light-hearted equals tarentos) may change, but the dissemination of information is very much the same. Because of this conversation, I am now able to see how a certain A and B is connected to a C and my brain feels better. Now that I know this, I can tell people who try to control my brain in this manner to go jump off a cliff and play in traffic. Or now that their trick is exposed, the magician looks like a fool.
    It is true that follow the leader is pretty much a daily thing in Japan. The language has been designed to make communication specifically operate in such a manner. The formal structures kind of let everyone know who in which hierarchical position said what, so that everyone knows who to follow and who to henpeck.
    I don’t really have a dog in this fight. As a foreigner in Japan, I have to accept a lot of the rules even if I don’t like them, but getting angry and going on a mission takes a lot of time. I work and play music and I try to benefit from being in fringe society. However, one thing that we can all do is spread information to others which will hopefully add to our intellectual arsenals for future, similar events.

  • I don’t know which is worse. Ayako’s article or the so-called intellectuals trying to cover her butt. My favorite part is the first commenter trying to argue how NJ mentalities are so obviously different that we would misinterpret miss Ayakos comments as negative when she was clearly just making an observation. Oh, and can’t forget the pathetic attempt at comparing communities in the US that CHOSE to be ethnically diverse with apartheid in South Africa where people were forcibly segregated. Really, these guys just need to quit. Everyone knows what she meant so there’s really no point in trying to twist it.

Comment navigation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>