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


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Hi Blog.  Here’s another one for the 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:


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


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




(産経新聞 2015/02/11付 7面)


Rest of article at


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



Courtesy of the Mainichi Shinbun and MS.

UPDATE FEB 20: Gaijin Handlers intervene to rein in Japan-Studies intelligentsia by portraying Sono as somehow culturally-misunderstood:


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

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  • In recent months, the Asahi is being bludgeoned for missteps but the conservation media seems to get a free pass. I hope the reaction to this signals a change but it’s probably too early to get ones hopes up.

  • The problem is not that this woman exists, or holds these views.
    After all, every country has its far-right misanthropes, neo-Nazis, etc.

    The problem is that this woman holds these views while being somewhat revered, even decorated.

  • Gee, what’s she gonna do with the thousands of families that have both a Japanese and a NJ partners?
    What about their kids? Will there be another section for ‘half’s’?

    I imagine that she would say ‘yes’, since Japan has no problem labeling people as ‘Korean’ even if their parents and grandparents were born here.

    It just goes to show the insanity of the right-wings world-view, and the insanity of a society that doesn’t challenge it.

  • “the Asahi is being bludgeoned for missteps but the conservation media seems to get a free pass”

    Exactly. While hordes of nationalist activists keep pressuring newspapers and TV channels (with sometimes some kind of official support or approval), where are the condemnations following such vile opinion pieces? I don’t hear about Sankei Shinbun being inundated with protest phone calls…

  • And of course we’d need a good name for these places… hmm… well, people would assemble there, so we could use “shuu” and Western folk would live there so we could use “you” and it’s a place, so we could use “jo”, so…ya! Shuuyoujo! Hmm…集洋所…no wait…収容所?

  • Another talking point that needs to cross the borders of Japan and make news in the enlightened world. The more these bigots rear their ugly heads, the more exposed Japan’s dark underbelly will become. Spread the news, people.

    @Piglet There may or may not be some kind of reactions in the left-leaning press condemning these kind of statements, but the fact they are so few and far apart is, in a way, “all you need to know” about Japan.
    I’ve asked many Japanese who I thought were rational people why nobody seems to resist the Uyoku loonies, and most said, “the Japanese way is to ignore such people and not engage them”, but it always seemed illogical because any kind of left-leaning opinion that gets public traction will be shouted down and bullied into retraction. So if there is a silent majority of good people who disagree with the racists and nationalists, they are silent to an extent that they don’t exist. Maybe they are silent because Japan is still a dangerous country where going against the norm can get you killed – and people seem to be content with living in such a society rather than [take action]. Which is alienating to Western people.

  • You gotta love the fact that this woman misses all the international condemnation and sanctions that were placed on apartheid era S. Africa, and how it was an international pariah. After all, Abe still believes that Japan is an ‘export economy’, so maybe she’s grasped the fact that exports now only make up 15% of Japan’s GDP, or maybe she figures that since Japan is heading into irrelevancy the isolation won’t matter.

    Or maybe she is just clueless.

  • John (Yokohama) says:

    Author Sono calls for racial segregation in op-ed piece
    The Japan Times February 12, 2015

    A prominent Japanese author and columnist who advises the government has called for Japan to adopt a system to force immigrant workers to live in separate zones based on race.

    In a regular column published in the Feb. 11 edition of the conservative daily Sankei Shimbun, Ayako Sono said immigrants, especially those providing elderly care, would ease the difficulties in Japan’s nursing sector.

    She also said that, while it was fine for people of all races to work, do research, and socialize with each other, they should also live apart from each other. “Since learning about the situation in South Africa 20 or 30 years ago, I’ve come to think that whites, Asians, and blacks should live separately,” Sono wrote.

    Sono, who was appointed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to an education reform panel in 2013, cited an unspecified whites-only apartment complex in Johannesburg that black South Africans moved into after apartheid ended. She said there was a problem because black people tended to bring large families into small apartments.

    “Black people basically have a philosophy of large families. Therefore, they would bring their families into the apartment they bought. For whites and Asians, it was common sense for a couple and two children to live in one complex. But blacks ended up having 20 to 30 family members living there,” she wrote.

    Sono went on to say that with so many people in such a small space, the water quickly ran out and the white people were forced to leave.”People can work, research, and socialize together. But only in terms of residence should they be separated,” she concluded.

    At the same time, a system has to be made to respect their legal identity as immigrants, she said, adding that “making people who are dispatched to Japan for work honor a contract with acceptable conditions is not inhuman.”

    Sono’s comments sparked outrage, including on Twitter, where many called them distasteful and shameful, not to mention racist. The Japan Times reached Sono by phone Thursday, but she refused to be quoted for this story.

    The Sankei Shimbun, meanwhile, defended its decision to run the piece. “This is a regular column of Ayako Sono,” a spokesman for the daily said. “We carried it . . . as her own opinion. We believe it’s natural that various opinions exist.”

    Sono, long an advocate for various conservative causes, has extensive connections to Japanese and international conservative and right-wing politicians. In 2000, she welcomed into her home ex-Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, who fled the country during a corruption scandal. Fujimori was later impeached, and in 2009 was convicted of human rights violations and sentenced to 25 years in prison..

    More recently, Sono got into trouble over an August 2013 weekly magazine article in which she lambasted women who insisted on keeping their jobs after childbirth and urged them to stay home and raise their children instead of dropping them off at day care centers.

    Those remarks came about six months after Abe appointed her to an education reform panel, and despite government pledges to increase the number of women in leadership positions to 30 percent by 2020.

  • Haha, just another grumpy fuddy-duddy with irrelevant old-people opinions, this won’t matter much…. wait [“…Abe appointed her to an education reform panel…”] … thank you Japan, my day was going too well anyway.

    Reading the column, I’m actually most offended by the shallowness of the “argument”. Okay, so immigrants in Japan should be separated, beeecause… somewhere in South Africa some black people moved in a house and it really spoiled the plumbing quality, huh ? And this makes sense how ? I mean, if you really wanted to, you could construct a lot more convincing sounding (I dare not say reasonable, because they don’t really target reasoning) arguments for segregation (preferably something with lots of numbers and charts so you can appear scientific and objective) than this useless little anecdote from a different place decades ago. Which actually also ignores some major inconvenient facts about the reality of the South African situation, too – not the least that Whites were actually the immigrants and minority in that place, and oppressed the native blacks – to then turn around and complain that they don’t behave up to your fine standarts must be the height of hypocrisy.

    Somehow I get the feeling the author is either just really holding back from saying something more nasty, so it’s couched in a harmless “just being concerned about the neighborhood property values” type argument, or this is really the depth of their intellectual powers.

    [“At the same time, though, we must create a system that strictly maintains these people’s legal status as immigrants. “]
    Don’t you already have that ? What more do you want, a star on the jacket or something…
    [“There is nothing inhumane about insisting that people who come to Japan to make money abide by the terms of the contract that allows them to do so.”]
    Also making japanese employers uphold their end of the contracts would be nice too, for a start
    [“…it is next to impossible to attain an understanding of foreigners by living alongside them.”]
    I hope this is a mistranslation, otherwise wtf ? How else are you supposed to develop understanding if not by living with the people ? Reading about them (preferably through “mediators” like the author? Watching them from afar, or a nature-documentary on TV ?

    I mean, and it’s not like the rest of the article (that isn’t a treatise on the living habits of those inscrutable african savages) is any better at all. Right off the bat, nice link between the ISIS-situation in the middle east and the immigration to Japan, because that is totally a concern that makes sense, yes. Then it comes to nursing… well at least there was no mention of robots yet, thank god (I have to keep track for the official drinking game). Ok, so nursing is basically so easy that can be picked up by any iliterate FOB in a few days, no need for certifications or knowledge. The quality control department will love this. I’m not sure the author has ever worked in a infirmary or nursing home (I have) and I’m not sure the japanese workers would appreciate this denigration of their profession either, but let’s entertain the argument. I mean, there is a lot to criticize about the “revolving-door” byzantine recruitment program too which needs rework, but fundamentally it is a good thing to stand for language competency and career-building skill requirements, because the other way would be even worse. Someone who can’t speak the language and doesn’t get to learn skills is always guaranteed to be at the lowest social position, voiceless and powerless, gee it’s almost as if the author wants that to happen…

    Let’s just hope the robots will be ready when it’s Miss Sono’s time to get wiped.

  • After reading this article (which I was disgusted by Sono’s op-ed), I have to ask: Does she know (or even heard of) the Japanese American internment that happen back during WW2 when over 100,000 of Japanese Americans were interned in multiple camps? If she doesn’t, then she has no idea what she’s talking about. Also does she even know what apartheid was and how miserable that was to many non-white South Africans? I can’t believe she was allowed to write a op=ed piece like this.

    Debito, a little off topic, but I think you need to see this video and need you to confirm if this is true, are there more anti-Korean protests rising in Japan?? I got this from Arirang TV:

    Original source:

    Also I read something from KBS World Radio about Japan’s main opposition party to propose bill regulating hate speech, here’s the article:

    KBS World Radio: Japan’s Main Opposition Party to Propose Bill Regulating Hate Speech

    Japan’s main opposition party will propose a bill that regulates hate speech against ethnic minorities.

    Japan’s Kyodo News Agency said Wednesday that the Democratic Party of Japan will submit the bill in June during an ordinary session of the Diet.

    The bill aims to ban unreasonable acts based on racial discrimination but would not stipulate punishments.

    The bill will also likely call for the establishment of a committee within the Cabinet Office that would probe hate speech activities and enable the committee to give input to the prime minister.

  • Sankei News has always been a vile piece of racist paper, and I’m not surprised by this at all. Their main bogey man are the Koreans. On a daily basis, they print outrageous exaggerated and even falsified ‘news’ (they call them news, but more like unfounded rumours and propaganda) on South Korea. That no-one in Japan has spoken out against them, nor have a problem with them, for number of years, speaks volumes about the Japanese society. They really can’t hide behind their excuses anymore that only a small minority of people are acting like right wing lunatics and that they should be ignored. How is it that they are allowed to run the country without much opposition?

  • I don’t know what all the fuss is about since I think many Japanese, in one form or another, instinctively share Sono’s point of view.

    Get into a discussion about what rights should be afforded to the Japanese-Koreans and the most common opinion opined is that their present marginalized status should be maintained. Quite a few will also comment how those sneaky ‘Koreans’ will try to pass themselves off as Japanese by changing their names!!!

    Take a trip to any fudosan, find yourself a possible new apartment and see how long the issue of your ethnicity comes into play. If not immediately, definitely in any telephone exchange between the fudosan and the owner of the property????

    A year ago I was having a discussion with a neighbor of 20 years. Let me first explain that this neighbor is not your average Mrs. Japanese, she’s the president of her own company is well traveled around the world, speaks 4 languages and her eldest son is an international lawyer based in London. Anyway the discussion goes something like this.
    (Her to me) You do know that a Chinese person has just bought our apartment complex ? – look of concern on her face.
    (Me to her) So?
    (Her to me) It doesn’t trouble you?
    (Me) No and it shouldn’t bother you either – She hasn’t spoken to me since, obviously I had lost my honorary Japanese status by expressing such an opinion.
    I would like to add that unfortunately I had exactly the same exchange with my wife, when she too found out that our new landlord was Chinese; luckily the ending was not same and I’m still happily married.

    Anybody else remember that tweet a few years back from Japan’s most famous anchor baby, Hikaru Utada, the owner of 2 properties in New York, voicing her concern that the Chinese were buying up Tokyo?

    As a final footnote to my exchange with the neighbor, I would like to add that my apartment complex, which has never been that great with its gomi separation (before somebody comes out with the usual cliché, I am and have been the only foreigner who has ever lived there, and I sneaked in by marrying a Japanese who already lived there), has had, since the new Chinese landlord took over, constant problems with the local ku office, concerning the collection of rubbish, thus my recent forays into investigating a new place of residency.
    One mansion complex among many in the local area which is bad at waste separation…… new Chinese owner who is an absent landlord living in China…….only apartment among many where the local council periodically refuse to collect the rubbish…. coincidence?

    Anyway like I said I don’t know why people are getting themselves in such a tantrum over Sono’s comments? It’s part of the unspoken course in Japan and the only thing that Ayako did was give voice to existing practices. It doesn’t make me dislike Japan, I like it here, and if you can’t take the heat in the kitchen, and her ideas expressed are pretty much part of the heat in Japan, then you should get out.

    As for her kicking all non-Japanese in the teeth with such comments, she didn’t. She kicked a certain type of foreigner in the teeth, the apologists. For the not yet initiated future ‘guests’ of Japan, she has done them a favour because sometime or another they will be confronted – not every day but some day the longer the stay – with behavior which is a reflection of such opinions.

    Better to be warned, before. Thank you Ayako Sono.

  • @Jim ” this woman misses all the international condemnation”-well, she is a friend of convicted war criminal/murderer Alberto Fujimori and he stayed at her home so she is no stranger to this. (If I may make a personal comment, Fujimori’s wikipedia portrait picture looks strikingly like Blinky Ishihara but I digress).

    I think like Ishihara, another novelist, she partly makes these comments out of an ego driven sense of being above normal, accepted morals-its not offensive because its art, etc-not unlike Mishima with his “forbidden” discussion of how Hitler hid behind the veneer of democracy in his work “My friend HItler”, a work which seems poignant to the Abe situation.

    Now here is an odd, conspiratorial aside- Sono was was nominated as director of the Japan Post Holding Co.’s board under Hatoyama (DPJ) by Kamei Shizuka who In 1989, formed the Freedom Reform Alliance, criticizing the LDP’s system of factions and strongly supported Shintarō Ishihara.(wikipedia)

    whether an LDP or DPJ government, it doesnt seem to matter-this group of libertarian reactionaries will continue to voice their outdated and inappropriate views from the positions of power they get through cronyism.

    I can only conclude such loony views are an established part of the political mainstream in Japan, and in fat the norm, spoken or unspoken. The only difference is Ishihara and Sono cant keep their mouths shut due to their fame addictions.

  • The fact that she is in an advising role to the government right now is absolutely terrifying, and shows how serious this situation truly is. This isn’t just a right-wing nutjob, this is a major government adviser.

  • Well, this story made Reuters, and when questioned today about Sono’s article, Suga said;

    “Our immigration policy is predicated on equality, which is guaranteed in Japan.”

    Really? I thought Japan had an official ‘no immigration’ policy, which would explain why NJ in fact ARE discriminated against. Suga’s ‘logic’ must be that since there is no immigration, how can ‘immigrants’ be discriminated against, I guess…

    Japan PM ex-adviser praises apartheid in embarrassment for Abe
    Reuters Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:11am EST
    By Elaine Lies and Takashi Umekawa

    TOKYO (Reuters) – A former adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has praised apartheid as a model for how Japan could expand immigration, prompting the government’s top spokesman on Friday to emphasize that Japan’s immigration policy was based on equality.

    Author Ayako Sono, considered part of Abe’s informal brain trust, set off a wave of online fury this week when she wrote in the conservative Sankei newspaper that South Africa’s former policies of racial separation had been good for whites, Asians and Africans.

    Her comments could complicate Abe’s efforts to address a deepening labor shortage and his efforts to burnish the country’s image abroad, analysts say.

    In a column entitled “Let Them In – But Keep a Distance”, Sono said Japan should open its doors to more foreign workers, especially to care for the growing numbers of elderly, but should make them live separately from Japanese.

    “People can carry out business and research together, and socialize together, but they should live apart,” she wrote.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to comment on Sono’s remarks at a regular news conference, but added, “Our immigration policy is predicated on equality, which is guaranteed in Japan.”

    A labor shortage has pushed the government to take steps to boost the numbers of highly skilled foreigners and expand a “trainee” program for blue collar workers that has been widely criticized for human rights abuses, but authorities insist the steps are not part of an “immigration policy”.

    Sono served on a government educational panel in 2013 and has long advised Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

    Political analysts said her comments could well damage Japan at a time when Tokyo is ramping up its efforts to burnish the country’s image overseas.

    “There’s a trend for people close to Abe and his way of thinking to emphasize the concept of ‘Japaneseness’ too much, and this could well lead to wariness on the part of people overseas,” said well-known Japanese author Atsuo Ito, whose works include the “The Mathematics of Politics”.

    “The atmosphere in which Ms. Sono can make these remarks came about when Abe took power.”

    Sono’s comments prompted widespread outrage on social media, with some saying they were especially offensive given that Tokyo is set to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

    Sono has landed in trouble for her remarks in the past, including a August 2013 magazine article – written during her tenure as an Abe adviser – criticizing women who went back to work after giving birth.

    (Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Writing by Elaine Lies)

  • Onceagaijin,alwaysagaijin says:

    The Olympics should be taken away from Japan. What sort of society that is obviously bigoted and racist that one of its most famous authors in a major national newspaper can openly espouse apartheid. It’s like the third world.

    In a sort of perverse way, Sono Ayako has directly and indirectly potentially done Japan a public service. It has exposed Japan for real.

    This is, if we are being charitable, which [as an unsophisticated racist, she may honestly think she is being] opening up a debate. I honestly don’t know if this silly old idiot intended this, but possibly she did.

    One of the huge problems about racism and bigotry in Japan is that so obvious but often indirect. How do you explain someone not sitting next to you on a crowded train. This silly old trout may done us all a favor indirectly by directly exposing her bigotry and racism.

  • A Japanese person goes overseas. Stands in a special line at immigration at the airport. Gets fingerprinted. Must get a special ID card to have movements tracked. Can’t easily rent an apartment or buy a house, so stays in a “Japan House” with other Japanese. Can’t easily open a bank account or start a business. Can’t invest on the stock market. Can’t do a lot of things. Can’t vote. But can pay tax. Has to pay tax.

    Are they a victim of “Japartheid”

    Isn’t this who you are in Japan?

  • 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

    <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 2月14日(土)21時30分配信

    <産経新聞>曽野氏コラム、南ア大使も抗議文 人種隔離許容







  • @ Dr. Debito!

    Thanks for posting the updates!
    The anniversary of Mandelas release from jail? I’m sure Sankei didn’t know- its just another example of insular Japan’s cluelessness about the outside world- like Abe’s ‘731’ photo. Nothing that couldn’t have been fixed with 30 seconds of checking on the Internet?

    This case is interesting because Sono has upset someone other that ‘over-privileged white English teachers’- the apologists hang their heads in shame.

  • Sono and the Sankei are shameless. They just basically expect to ride out the minor storm created when the South African Ambassador here called what Sono said as shameful.

    Sono did the expected “Oh I never meant to recommend apartheid, ” which was, in effect precisely what she was precisely pointing to, while Kobayashi of the Sankei said that the Sankei is not racist. Perhaps it only supports the right of illustrious bigots and racists to consider some sort of special J-apartheid-lite so the Japanese who are exploiting the low paid lower races to wipe their asses, clear up their shit and bath them etc. don’t have to put up with the comfort of socializing or living with them.

    Of course it’s another terrible misunderstanding by gaijin who don’t understand the subtleties of Japanese thought, the desire for peace and harmony. It’s not the Japanese fault that gaijin don’t understand Japanese wa and the discomfort suffered by Japanese having to mix with people who are a bit different from them. It’s got nothing to do with not even paying token respect to cheap labor that should not be integrated into Japan, but excluded even when saving (and wiping) Japan’s ass.

    The sooner dinosaurs like Sono shuffle off the better. Utterly shameful. Not only is Sono racist but she’s also a petty snob.

    2015.2.14 19:50








     小林毅産経新聞執行役員東京編集局長 「当該記事は曽野綾子氏の常設コラムで、曽野氏ご本人の意見として掲載しました。コラムについてさまざまなご意見があるのは当然のことと考えております。産経新聞は、一貫してアパルトヘイトはもとより、人種差別などあらゆる差別は許されるものではないとの考えです」

  • Another response to Sono’s “insightful” analysis of history and the contribution of non Japanese to the future of Japan

    As a South African currently living in Japan, I’d like to remind you that in apartheid South Africa you would’ve been classified as non-white or, at best, “honorary white”.

    Japanese people were counted as honorary whites. Why this special status? When Yawata Iron & Steel Co purchased 5 million tons of iron from South Africa in the 1960s, worth more than $250 million, the South African government realized that it might not be a good idea to ban Japanese trade delegates to black townships. All Japanese people would henceforth be regarded as white, and they had almost the same rights as whites, except that they couldn’t vote, were exempt from conscription and couldn’t have sex with white people. If you’d like to read a complete report, I recommend this paper called “The Policy of Apartheid and the Japanese in the Republic of South Africa” by Seiro Kawasaki.

    Would you approve of your own secondary status in South Africa, Ms Sono, or does the very idea of living in the third-world country that you wish to emulate actually scare you to death? Oh, the dirt, the crime, the black people!…

    Rest at the above link.

  • Sono is advocating ghettoism, and thus arguably, more crime and terrorism, if one believes, as Weber did, that alienation leads to disaffection. Its hardly multiculturalism or giving NJs a stake in the system. Its just building future resentment.

    Maybe if she had her way the sons (and daughters) of ghettoized gaijin workers in Sono”s Japartheid would even be attracted to radical politics or some future J-Isis.

    As Jake Adelstein points out, “building ghettos won’t be the answer.”

    Or maybe it might lead to a civil rights movement, and a Japanese Malcolm X. Oh Ok then, bring it on. Maybe that is what it is going to take to force change in this country.

  • She’s a bit confused.

    On the one hand she applauds a system where races are grouped together – asian/white/black, and then on the other hand says that asians shouldn’t live with other asians (in Japan).

    She thinks ‘race’ means Japanese vs foreigner? But only in Japan? Outside Japan it means something different?

  • It strikes me that Sono’s thinking is what is behind Abe’s ‘Special Economic Zones’ idea he ‘launched’ 2 years ago.
    Remember that? Areas like Osaka were to have special regulation making it easier for NJ live there. I guess they took the idea of apartheid and are hoping for something more like Dubai or Singapore; lots of NJ laborers with virtually no legal rights, under very strict control to keep society uninfluenced by them.
    There has been next to zero progress on the issue of these ‘zones’ mainly due to a lack of clear policy direction beyond Abe’s ‘pledge’ (just as in the case of ‘womanomics’).

    I’d therefore suggest that in the same way the lack of concrete policy action to support ‘womanomics’ indicates the governments lack of real commitment to the idea, the government also has ultimately no real commitment to addressing the need for immigration, since they likely know that segregated ‘economic zones’ would be oppressive and dehumanizing, and the international response would be negative, rendering the whole plan (like Abe’s recent announcement to set up ‘Japan Houses’ to ‘correct’ the worlds misunderstanding of Japanese war-crimes) counter-productive.

    Maybe. Or maybe they are all not that smart.

    Anyway, I wonder how Sono’s efforts will go down with Michelle Obama who is due to visit Japan?
    Will she be allowed to ride the bus with the Japanese?

  • More information on Sono;

    The Nippon Foundation, headed by Ayako Sono, a Japanese novelist and personal friend of Fujimori, supported (Peru’s “Voluntary Surgical Contraception”). Nearly 300,000, mostly indigenous, women were coercively or forcefully sterilized during these years.

    And she’s been giving ‘Mr. Womanomics’ Abe advice? She seems like a real Nazi to me.

    Wikipedia Source:
    BBC News, Wednesday, 24 July, 2002, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
    Mass sterilisation scandal shocks Peru

    More than 200,000 people in rural Peru were pressured into being sterilised by the government of former President Alberto Fujimori, an official report has revealed.
    The Health Minister, Fernando Carbone, said the government gave misleading information, offered food incentives and threatened to fine men and women if they had more children.

    Poor indigenous people in rural areas were the main targets of the compulsive family planning programme until 2000, when Mr Fujimori left for Japan amid mounting corruption allegations against him.

    Mr Carbone said there was evidence that Mr Fujimori and a number of high-ranking ministers could be held responsible for “incorrect procedures” and “human rights violations”.

    He called for a deeper investigation and promised that action would be taken against those found responsible for the forced sterilisations.

    ‘Deceitful’ campaign

    Figures show that between 1996 and 2000, surgeons carried out 215,227 sterilising operations on women and 16,547 male vasectomies.

    This compared to 80,385 sterilisations and 2,795 vasectomies over the previous three years.

    The result has been a demographical drop in certain areas, leaving an older population and the economic disadvantages which will result from fewer people able to earn a living.

    The report, by the commission investigating “voluntary contraceptive surgery” activities, concluded that there had been numerous programmes during the Fujimori regime which threatened poor women in Peru.

    The operations were promoted in a “deceitful” publicity campaign of leaflets, posters and radio advertisements promising “happiness and well-being,” the report said.

    Investigations found that there was inadequate evaluation before surgery and little after-care.

    The procedures were also found to have been negligent, with less than half being carried out with a proper anaesthetist.

    The commission’s report said the inadequate family planning policy had a psychological and moral impact and harmed the dignity and physical integrity of men as well as women.


    Five hundred and seven people, from rural areas such as Cuzco and Ancash, gave testimonies to the commission.

    Only 10% of these admitted having voluntarily agreed to the sterilisation procedure after promises of economic and health incentives such as food, operations and medicines.

    Others said that if they refused they were told they would have to pay a fine and would not be able to seek medical help for their children.

    The report added that most of the women interviewed said they were scared of talking because of threats made against anyone who spoke out.

    The programme was found to have been designed, encouraged and monitored at the highest levels in Fujimori’s government, including the president’s office.

    The number of operations, and pressure from government, started to fall after increasing concerns from human rights organisations within Peru and the international community.



    — This is monstrous.

  • “The Nippon Foundation” is a very good example of Japan’s power elite hiding evil motives behind a serious appearance. They were founded and run for a long time by a self-declared fascist, Sasakawa:

    Reading up on them just for a couple of minutes is enough for me to induce vomit, given that this is a semi-official organisation that is allowed to represent Japan abroad.
    Then again they are clumsy enough in their approach that it is questionable people won’t see through their pose.

    In their own words (doesn’t it strike them as a bit of a showstopper that they have to justify their founder being a fascist and Class A war criminal? Oh, Japan…)

    Some interesting facts, such as, “The grants that The Nippon Foundation makes are overseen and coordinated by the Japanese government” here:

    To summarize: Japan has no qualms with being represented abroad by a shady organisation with a fascist founder and (my opinion) ulterior motives that resemble fascism.

  • What decade is this woman living in? Is she actually serious about adopting a system of segregation largely condemned by the rest of the of the world? You know what I’m glad Sankei ran this article. Now we get a window into the mindset of Abe’s cabinet in this case miss Ayako. We’ll happily accept your labor just so long as you stay in your own pens like good little foreigners.

    What’s really disconcerting though is that there may very well be people in Japan who share her view in this instance. Not very encouraging.

    @Scipio Just because a person is well traveled doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more enlightened as seemed to be the case with your former neighbor. In my opinion only when someone puts aside there preconceived notions and opens themselves up to new ideas can they gain wisdom. Your former friend didn’t seem interested in broadening her view of the Chinese beyond her petty prejudice so simply going abroad isn’t guaranteed to make a person wiser.

  • @ Markus #33

    Thank you for the links!

    So, rather than Sono simply being ‘a former member of Abe’s informal think tank’, she actually runs an fascist organization that the Japanese government has a history of using as a front for it’s own fascist international activities. A kind of ‘Japanese government fascism by proxy’.

    The whole thing makes me sick.

  • Sono was born in 1931, Ishihara 1932, Mishima 1925. Of course they were influenced by the fascist education system of the time, and they all had relatively privileged upbringings, so why would they rebel against it?

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    Update: Ayako Sono made a response to public criticism over her pro-Apartheid column this Tuesday morning.

    Quote(in Japanese):


    She broke off with the first sentence: “I have never served as an advisor to Prime Minister Abe before.” While it’s true she didn’t take a position within the PM Office (such as secretary to PM) or other related ministry organizations, she served as a member of Education Revitalization Executive Council since Abe’s re-take of office in December 2012. This council is subject to the PM Cabinet Office, and she was appointed by none other than Abe. The panel does function to provide a policy advice to the PM. She clearly deflected the attention to make people believe that this was a main issue over her Sankei article, by bringing this at the beginning.

    Nice try Sono. That is not the point people are angry at your article at all. It’s kind of like saying, “I have no connection with PM Abe whatsoever, so there’s no reason I am accused of exalting Apartheid.” Yes, 1)you were invited to the panel before; and 2) you made it clear that separating foreign residents based on nationality would be an ideal—which is segregation by nationality(and, hence, race) in Japan. Did you know that your statement was exactly the system that suffered so many people in South Africa, and you believe this is not Apartheid??? Your crude ignorance is flying high over the Mt. Fuji.

    The last two sentences illustrate the caveat on her understanding of media ethics. This time, her response is published in the Asahi Shinbun, an antagonized media slammed by PM Abe and right-wingers. It seems like she is desperate for saving her “face” by bribing them into publishing her article. Is that the reason why she chose Asahi instead of Sankei??? Kind of media ethics she is preaching.

    Speaking of hypocrisy.

    And there’s one more:

    “曽野綾子さんインタビュー “差別でなく区別です” 「荻上チキ・TBSラジオ Session-22」”

    This is the headline that dropped my eyes. Sono was contacted by Mr. Hashigami for the radio interview on the issue. Hope it will be pod-catsed in the Session-22 website pretty soon.

  • @ Loverilakkuma #37

    Thank you for posting that. Sono has belatedly decided to ‘apologize’ (well, it’s not really an apology, is it).
    It’s more along the lines of the standard;

    1. Deflection.
    2. Claim to be misunderstood, which itself ‘proves’,
    3. NJ can’t understand Japan’s ‘unique’ culture, since this ‘misunderstanding’ arose in the first place.

  • Isolation already begun in 2007 at Narita and other border crossing places in Japan. Line for Foreign Residents, daddies and moms treated as potential criminals and then line for “angels” Japanese who never commit any crime. 3rd Line for the rest of the world (non residents). The good thing is that if Japanese loved one chose to be with us as my wife does, she enter with me in line for re-entrants which is much faster for her after all. She is welcomed and wait for me while I have to go through “criminality procedure”. I wonder how it is going to be in EU where we enter together now as well.(she is resident in EU).
    US travellers set for EU biometric dragnet (not only US)

  • — Re: Japartheid: The relativists, apologists, and gaijin handlers have come out in force on NBR’s Japan Forum to rein in the foreign intelligentsia, and pass Sono Ayako off as somehow culturally misunderstood:

    差出人: Minoru Mochizuki
    件名: Re: [NBR’s_Japan_Forum] How to live with foreigners
    日時: February 20, 2015 10:04:58 AM GMT+09:00
    返信先: NBR’s Japan Forum

    I generally concur with the former Ambassador Togo’s opinion regarding this matter and am pleased to say so.

    Ms. Sono seems to be now regretting for causing such a broad misunderstanding judging from her more recent writing elsewhere.
    It is obvious that she was too careless and inconsiderate to use the word, Apartheid, to explain her point.
    It is rather difficult to explain the particular Japanese mentality she used in making her point more dramatic, but we must see that the intended readers of the particular newspaper article were Japanese, not people of other nations. She should have anticipated that the article can be translated into English and read by foreigners who have mentality and logical ways of thinking that are different from those of Japanese.

    Japanese writers sometimes pretend to be wrongdoers and anti-social in dramatizing the points that they are trying to make. In this case, she seems to have been trying to say that, in case the immigrant workers were introduced broadly into Japan, separation of groups may benefit both sides, immigrants and locals, by minimizing the chances of abrasions as a practical means rather than trying to achieve fairness across the board by a more orthodox frontal approach that the Westerners prefer. She meant to say a “tactical” well-meaning separation using the no-no word of Apartheid, which means degradation and unfair treatments as well. It was her fault.

    I see here a peculiarity of Japanese, a general lack of abstract thinking. Other people think that what is important is holding the basic principle, the teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islamic fundamental beliefs, rather than achieving bits and pieces of practical benefits by compromising here and there. Chinese also seems to prefer to stick to principles, e.g., Confucianism, a management philosophy rather than a religion, but still a fundamental abstract belief, now being applied to their current belief in practicing communism/socialism.

    Minoru Mochizuki

    From: Shige [mailto:jfmember@NBR.ORG]
    Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2015 11:30 PM
    Subject: Re: [NBR’s_Japan_Forum] How to live with foreigners

    Dear Mr.McGill,

    I will restate my points:

    I don’t think Ms.Sono had supported Apartheid as a tool of racial discrimination and segregation in her column of February 11. Therefore, it is simply unfair and wrong to criticize her as if she had supported Apartheid as a whole, as a racial discrimination tool and segregation.
    In Ms.Sono’s quote which Mr.McGill had stated in the February 15th postage, I think she rightly explain and define about racial minorities, standing on a strong criticism against racial segregation. 

    What she had raised in the Sankei column was the difficulty of domicile problem among different culture, different life style, which she had oversimplified as races. If I may allowed to refer to the expression of Mary M.McCarthy san posted on the February 16th, Ms.Sono support the rule of melting pot for all human activities, except salad bowl principle for domicile situation.

    Perhaps as a person who had engaged for so many years in the aid project, going by her own foot, to Asia, to Africa and to Middle East, again and again, seeing and talking to the grass roots people, volunteers, she could be more careful about the difference between “race” and “culture”. Perhaps the confidence that she knows what is going on, including deep backgrounds, and I think it is true that she is one of the person who has no comparable deep and wide experiences in this filed, she had oversimplified race and culture.
    It is regrettable.

    About the second question which Mr.McGill had raised this time, the reason why minorities often live in ghettoes is obvious. It is the result of racial discrimination policy of that country. If Mr.McGill’s interest is whether the Dai-kazoku-shugi, big family principle, which Ms.Sono had quoted in the Sankei article is the result of Apartheid, or characters of black people in that region, I would also want to know Ms. Sono’s view about this point. Not only to ask Ms.Sono’s view, I think all who are interested in this debate, including myself, should make some effort to know about 黒人の大家族主義 and Apartheid.

    My personal standing points about the domicile problem of people of different culture, sometimes oversimplified as race, is following:
    If people of different culture, different lifestyle, different race can share same rule, same lifestyle with same financial situation, then there would be no problem that people of different culture, different lifestyle, different race would live closely. But that is almost a dream and difficult to realize in the actual world. So, some kind of compromise is taken in many places of the world, as Mr.McGill writes in his “first points”.

    It also leads to my arguments about the situation in the U.S. I know that the situation in the U.S. is far more complicated to say that people of different race live according to their own race. For example, there are rich non Caucasian living closely with celebrities, adopting their lifestyle. I don’t want to assert that the American type of racial separated domicile of many (not “all” ) people is the role model of Japan. However, for many Japanese who are naïve, little experience to live together with other races, and also afraid to be criticized as racial discriminators, I think the actual situation in the U.S. may give some hint of spending together happily with different races.

    Contradictory to this argument, I think and hope Japan may be able to become a country where people of different races would live together, just like the dream which I had described above.
    Several reasons:
    First, we are still living in a relatively speaking, 総中流社会、So Churu Shakai, society where all people belong to the middle class. (I know the argument that the income disparity 格差is enlarging). Second, the warm attitude of Japanese symbolized by “omotenashi” vividly exist among us. Third, if foreigners in Japan would accept humble Japanese life style as long as they are here. If you see the attitude of foreign tourist nowadays in Japan, I think that hope is not unrealistic.
    So, if the dream of cohabitation of multi race would realize, I support that situation rather than living separately “with adequate distance”. If that situation would realize in Japan and people of many race would happily live together, I am hundred percent certain that Ms.Sono would be delighted and bless it.

    About the third question raised by Mr. McGill, the segregation of Islamic extremists, racial abuse of Koreans and Chinese in Japan and so on is not the subject which I want to discuss now. Therefore, I will not comment on these points.

    Just a word of how I am thinking about human rights. Mr. McGill may remember what I had contributed to the American newspaper which I used to work, about the discriminatory attitude of the Japanese to African American, including “Little Black Sambo” incident. My zest to the human right issue, including racial problem and criticism to oppressed situation of women in this country and many other subjects has not changed at all.

    What is written above is my personal view and has nothing to do with the organization which I used to belong and which I belong now.
    Shigehiko Togo

    Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 10:38:22 +0000
    From: jfmember@NBR.ORG
    Subject: Re: [NBR’s_Japan_Forum] How to live with foreigners

    Citing her experiences of South Africa, Sono-san wrote that ‘Caucasians, Asians and blacks should live separately.’ South Africa’s ambassador to Japan later lodged a protest over her column.

    Togo-san claimed in his post of 15th February that she was suggesting residential separation based on culture, not race. I find that hard to reconcile with ‘Caucasians, Asians and blacks’.

    Togo-san is correct that she did not state racial separation to be a matter of free choice. That was my interpretation of her argument. I could be mistaken. Others have read her remarks as indicating approval for compulsory segregation. Togo-san wrote that “she could have argued that separate lodging with adequate distance should fundamentally be the result of people’s choice and not the result of coercion.”

    I made several points in my post, most of which Togo-san has chosen to ignore.

    My first was that racial – and cultural – separation is a reality in many countries (including in Asia!) without the legal sanction of apartheid. Secondly, I questioned why minorities often live in ghettoes, and I suggested that Sono-san should canvas the opinions of their inhabitants. Thirdly, I pointed out that segregation is favoured by Islamic extremists, sometimes as a precursor to an Islamic state. I concluded by saying that Sono-san’s remarks were bound to cause controversy because of media attention on racial abuse of Koreans and Chinese in Japan.

    Can Togo-san clarify where he stands on this debate? Does he think that people of different race, or different culture, should live separately “with adequate distance” dividing them?

    On 16/02/2015 03:02, Shige wrote:

    Dear Mr. Peter McGill,

    Could you kindly tell us where Ms.Sono had written the following passage, because she is not making such argument in her column of February 11 in Sankei.

    — (Mr.McGill’s argument) Ayako Sono argues that racial minorities live in ghettoes purely out of free choice, to be with others who share their own language and culture, rather than from practical necessity, because the host society discriminates against them, and they lack the linguistic, educational and financial means to survive and prosper independently. —

    PS: As Mr.M.Mochizuki had suggested, I also start to use “Ms.” for Sono Ayako san. I had just addressed her as “Mrs.”, since she is a married women. But the definition of 『新英和』seems to be correct.

    Shigehiko Togo

    Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 12:40:09 +0000
    From: jfmember@NBR.ORG
    Subject: Re: [NBR’s_Japan_Forum] How to live with foreigners

    Apartheid is a red herring. There are now very few places in the world – offhand, I cannot think of any – where racial segregation is legally enforced, but de facto racial separation is commonplace, not least in the United States, much of Europe, and 20 years after the end of apartheid, in South Africa. Ayako Sono argues that racial minorities live in ghettoes purely out of free choice, to be with others who share their own language and culture, rather than from practical necessity, because the host society discriminates against them, and they lack the linguistic, educational and financial means to survive and prosper independently. To test which theory is correct, I suggest that she canvas opinion in our-modern day ghettoes, by asking the inhabitants where and how they would wish to live, if their lives were free from discrimination and prejudice. Of course, among Muslim communities, there are some who believe in separation, and within them a small number who wish to enforce Islamic theocracy based on mediaeval law, but thankfully they are still a fanatical minority.

    I am not surprised by the reaction to Sono-san’s article, given rising manifestations of hatred towards Koreans and Chinese evident in Japanese books, magazine and newspapers, and the recent prominence of the overtly racist Zaitokukai (Zainichi Tokken wo Yurusanai Shimin no Kai, or ‘Group of citizens that do not tolerate privileges for ethnic Korean residents in Japan’).

    Peter McGill

    On 15/02/2015 07:45, Shige wrote:

    Reading recent debate about Mrs. Ayako Sono’s op.ed in Sankei entitled “Accepting (foreign workers) with an “adequate distance,” I am surprised that Mrs. Sono’s arguments is been regarded as if she is supporting Apartheid, systematic segregation by race.

    In my reading, nothing in the article supports racial discrimination as defined as Aprtheid. In the second half of the op.ed, Mrs. Sono raise attention of the Japanese readers about the difficulty of co-habitation among the people of different cultural background. “Human beings can do together business, study, social movement and physical training” is what she has written right before her ending quote: “however, it is better that living quota would be different.”

    It was a pity that she had not made explicitly clear that her proposal to live separately is related to culture or life style differences and not by race. I understand that simplification, because sometimes race and culture come together. But as a professional writer, she could have expressed her view more clearly that the matter in question is related to cultural difference but not to racial one. Also, she could have argued that separate lodging with adequate distance should fundamentally be the result of people’s choice and not the result of coercion.

    In the U.S., many people of different race live separately and create their own racial “town”. But I have never heard any American arguing that all the races should live together and without doing so, it is a racial discrimination and that is Apartheid. Mrs.Sono is proposing such kind of way of life, which the Americans have long acquired as a country of racial melting-pot. If Japan is determined to become a more racially mixed country, such American practice of keeping separate living quarters could not give any hint?

    Lastly she may not have been wise to use South African experience. This run the risk to enter into unintended debate on Apartheid, as is happening now. She could have expressed exactly what she wanted to say simply using the state of affairs of the US in 2015.

    But these “weaknesses” in no way justify brushing out her article as an article of supporting Apartheid, and thus demeaning Abe’s position in the world. That does not seem to be fair.

    What is written above is my personal view and has nothing to do to the organization which I used to belong and which I belong now.
    Shigehiko Togo

    Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2015 14:05:44 +0900
    From: jfmember@NBR.ORG
    Subject: Re: [NBR’s_Japan_Forum] (from Michael Berger) How to live with foreigners

    Without wishing to make life easier for the now ultra-Right Sankei (they are the nice people whose columnist Komori Yoshihisa slandered NBR as a nest of Japan-hating liberals, and myself as someone who sees the entire abduction issue with North Korea as faked, while refusing those they slander any right to rebut) nevertheless the Sono Ayako article needs to be seen in perspective.

    Japan already has a form of apartheid in the way it operates its trainee system for overseas workers. They are required to live together with very little freedom to move from their place of work during the two-three years they are in Japan.

    In my area we have many Chinese working in fish factories as alleged ‘trainees’ (in fact there is no attempt to disguise they are here as cheap labor). I and a friend once invited one with good Japanese to go for a
    drive (we felt sorry for her because in two years she had lived with 20 others in a dormitory and had never gone beyond the confines of the fish market). She chose that moment to abscond. All hell broke upon us with the police searching all possible hideouts.

    The plight of south Indian workers in the Gulf states is fairly similar and no one makes much of issue about that.

    If foreign workers accept strict controls as the price to work in Japan so be it. Japan needs the labor and they need the money. To the extent they help sustain a parlous, de-populated rural economy we all gain. But Japan could be kinder to those who make a genuine effort to learn the language and adapt to Japan.

    Gregory Clark

    Gregory Clark
    S506 Ark Towers South
    1-3-38 Roppongi, Minato-ku,Tokyo

    On Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 10:05 PM, Japan Forum Member wrote:
    [This message was delayed a day due to a technical problem. Apologies to Mr. Berger. Moderator]

    Veteran Japan crime reporter and Daily Beast contributor Jake Adelstein posted a report today about a recent Sankei Shimbun column by Ayako Sono, a noted author and PM Abe advisor, advocating that Japan bring in more foreign workers to handle care of the elderly but “we must make a system which strictly keeps immigrants in their legal status. . .It may seem contradictory but it’s almost an impossible task to understand foreigners if you share living space with them.” She points out that 20 or 30 years previously, after learning about the “real state” of South Africa, she became convinced that white people, Asians, and blacks should all live separately.

    Adelstein reports that a Twitter aggregation web site had over 110,000 views on the story the day of publication, even though it was a holiday. Comments were primarily negative along the lines of: “At a loss for words. I have doubts about the good conscience of editors that would print up (this column) and scatter it around. . .”

    Adelstein wrote a commentary three months ago for Japan Times that shed light on why Sankei would be a likely place to read such an opinion. He referred to the paper’s former president, Nobutaka Shikanai, who served in the accounting division of the Imperial Japanese Army during the war, in charge of staffing and opening “comfort stations.”

    Shikanai wrote in his “The Secret History After the War”: “When we procured the girls, we had to look at their endurance, how used up they were, whether they were good or not. We had to calculate the alloted time for commissioned officers, commanding officers, grunts. . .We also had to fix prices according to rank. There was even a prospectus we learned in (military) accounting school.”

    Michael Berger

  • Once a gaijin always a gaijin says:

    Looking through this, it’s a case of “here we go again…”

    The apologist default mode is just playing the nativist card. The Japanese are different; how can they be racist? If it’s in the context of Japanese society, with its different – and impenetrable and misunderstood norms (by gaijin) – it’s not discriminatory. Japartheid is not apartheid. You non-Japanese don’t understand…oh dear…

    It’s like arguing logic with someone of faith. Pressure needs to be applied. When money is at stake, as you notice with the J-League racism and Urawa Reds, then suddenly there is recognition. But, then, if you really start taking these racists apart, you get the self-pity: We poor misunderstood Japanese are bullied, and the whole self-pity game plan comes out.

  • @ Dr. Debito, #43

    Thank you for posting the comments of apologists in denial.
    I was especially intrigued by this comment by Gregory Clark;
    ‘In my area we have many Chinese working in fish factories’

    Chinese? Working in fish factories? In Roppongi Hills?
    I think he’s making that up.

    — I think he may be talking about Chiba.

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    I’m scratching my head about apologists/relativists arguments to defend Sono and Sankei. Aparteid as tool of discrimination? Does that poster think it is some kind of ideological apparatus that doesn’t control human agent??? It’s instituitonal pratice that affected public perception on race and racial identity throughout generations.

    How can you say people of different culture and race can live together in a country by overlooking the materialistic consequence of its public policy in the first place?
    One size fits all policy? Well, he will be one of the top candidates to get admitted to Mike Petrilli school at Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.

    And the very top poster’s relativist argument is quite ironic. He doesn’t seem to be aware that it does not only beg the question but is also racially biased and offensive to the people(Japanese writers) he’s referring to.

  • I know this is a comments section and all, but are any of these comments helping anything? Many of your are venting and spinning your wheels but not contributing to a solution. In the US we just got a new Republican congress with an environmental committee head that wants to shut down the EPA. Conservatism is a poison wherever it lies in the world. If you guys want to block Tokyo from getting the Olympics then start a letter writing campaign or something.

    — Understood. The commenter about commenters is also welcome to initiate something.

  • Hey, Clark as Chinese indentured servant savior~”(we felt sorry for her because in two years she had lived with 20 others in a dormitory and had never gone beyond the confines of the fish market). She chose that moment to abscond. All hell broke upon us with the police searching all possible hideouts.”

    Guess he isnt all bad then(?), though later he seems to regret the inconvenience of her absconding (why cant she? what about freedom of movement of peoples?) and say people who come to Japan to work should accept “strict controls”.

    What, you mean, living under house arrest and other human rights violations? If so, then it seems that Japartheid is well under way already….

    He says the Chinese need the money.

    Nah. More like they were tricked here as “trainees” and then realized they were better off in China, with its burgeoning economy, rather as a virtual house servant propping up a decaying rotting countryside economy of Japan?

    — I’m sure Clark’s heart bleeds crocodile tears for his fellow foreigners, especially those underprivileged and exploited.

  • @ Baudrillard # 48

    I don’t want to derail the thread, but your comment made me realize something.
    The ‘Trainee’ system. Hmmm.

    1. What it’s called (trainee system) and what it really is (slave labor) are two different things.
    2. People are tricked into coming over to learn skills, but end up doing unskilled labor- a ‘bait ‘n switch’.
    3. The J-government isn’t responsible since the recruiting is all done through ‘middle-men’.
    4. The ‘trainees’ often have thier passports taken away, or are otherwise detained unlawfully by employers.
    5. They are subject to dodgy payment- it seems on paper that they receive a respectable salary, but in reality, a lot of it is kicked back to thier employer for ‘rent’ and ‘food’, meaning they receive almost nothing.

    Gee, where have I seen this pattern of J-behavior before….?
    Oh! That’s right, the Korean sex-slaves!

    — Back on topic.

  • I wonder whether it’s really appropriate for a website that routinely and appropriately attacks racist stereotypes and discrimination to be flogging the “” website. Isn’t this website subtly promoting stereotypes of submissive, sweet, sexy Asian femininity?

    [overlong analysis of the themes of website deleted]

    BTW, if the site moderator has a financial interest in this dating site, I hope it will be duly disclosed.

    — has no control over what you see through Google AdSense, the advertiser on this site. It is customizing the ads you see based upon your cookies and previous click history (independent of, meaning the Internet thinks you have a predilection for Asian women and is catering to your anticipated demands. Dismiss the ad as irrelevant (there should be an X box on it somewhere) and it should stop appearing, or change your clicking habits outside of Or make some donations to help pay for my server costs so I wouldn’t have to advertise. Now back on topic.


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