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Table of Contents:

2) Another Gaijin Handler speaks at East-West Center: Dr. Nakayama Toshihiro, ahistorically snake-charming inter alia about how Japan’s warlike past led to Japan’s stability today (Sept. 15, 2015)
3) Tangent: Economist on “Japan’s Citizen Kane”: Shouriki Matsutaro; explains a lot about J-media’s interlocking relationship with J-politics
4) JK on emerging GOJ policies towards refugees & immigration, still not allowing them to stay in Japan: “tourists yes, refugees & immigrants no”

5) Nikkei interview with Japan’s most famous naturalized former Zainichi Korean: SoftBank’s Son Masayoshi
6) Honolulu Civil Beat: Cultural Exchange Program or a Ticket to Sweatshop Labor? Contrast US with J example of exploitative visa conditions
7) Yomiuri: More Japanese public baths OK tattooed visitors (particularly NJ) for 2020 Olympics: suddenly it’s all about showing “understanding of foreign cultures”

… and finally…
8 ) Japan Times JBC 91 Sept 7, 2015: Why Japan’s Right keeps leaving the Left in the dust

By Dr. ARUDOU, Debito (,, Twitter @arudoudebito)
Freely Forwardable



2) Another Gaijin Handler speaks at East-West Center: Dr. Nakayama Toshihiro, ahistorically snake-charming inter alia about how Japan’s warlike past led to Japan’s stability today (Sept. 15, 2015)

Nakayama: (From minute 1:02:00). But as shown in Prime Minister Abe’s statement commemorating the [unintelligible] end of World War II that was announced on the 14th of August, there were suspicion in Korea and in China that Prime Minister Abe changed totally the understanding of how we see history. But I think that we see if we actually read the text, I think it relates much more to [unintelligible]. He was sometimes being criticized as being a revisionist, trying to see the war in different terms. I don’t think that was his intention. In Japan, the governmental historical discourse is that everything started from 1945. Everything that happened before that is basically wrong. That’s not how things turned out. Yes, there was a disastrous four years. If you include China and The Occupation, it goes beyond that. But you have to remember that Japan was the first modern state in Asia which successed [sic] in modernizing itself, and became a player in the Great Power games. And that’s a success case. Yes, it ended up in a war, with the United States and China, but that doesn’t mean we have to negate everything that happened before 1945. An attempt by Prime Minister Abe was to see history in continuation, and there were some parts [unintelligible] that would make democracy stable after 1945, were established in the Prewar Period. So we have to see the history in continuance. I think that was the message.

COMMENT: Wow. Imagine the international reaction if a representative of Germany (or one of their academics lecturing overseas) were to argue today that “Nazi Germany did some good things for Germany too, including making the country the stable democracy it is now.” Fascinating tack (in its ahistoricality) in light of the fascist regimes that not only did their utmost to dismantle the trappings of stable democracy, but also led their countries to certain destruction (and were in fact rebuilt thanks to Postwar assistance from former enemies). No, what happened to Japan in the Prewar Era at its own hands was ultimately destructive, not stabilizing (and not only to Japan). Thus, Dr. Nakayama imparts an interesting mix of uncharacteristic historical ignorance, with an undercurrent of the ancestor worship that the Abe Administration ultimately grounds its ideology within.

Moreover, Dr. Nakayama is a fascinating case study of how the Japanese Government recognizes the Gaijin-Handling potential in its bilingual brightest (inserting them into, in Dr. Nakayama’s case, Japan’s diplomatic missions abroad), and manages to convince them to come back home and shill for Japan’s national interest even if it defies all of their liberal-arts training and mind-expanding world experiences. Meanwhile the USG kindly takes the lead of the Japanese Embassy to offer GOJ reps the forums they need to have maximum impact within American policymaking circles. Very smart of the GOJ, less so the USG.


3) Tangent: Economist on “Japan’s Citizen Kane”: Shouriki Matsutaro; explains a lot about J-media’s interlocking relationship with J-politics

A great little tangent from The Economist’s Christmas Special of 2012. This story is fantastic (in fact, it beggars belief), and it answers a number of questions I always had about the status quo in Japan (especially when it comes to the interlocking of politics and media). I thought Watanabe Tsuneo (of the same publishing empire; the Yomiuri) is one of Japan’s most morally-corrupt powerful men. This guy beats him.

Economist: THE ECONOMIST’S office in Tokyo is in the headquarters of the Yomiuri Shimbun, the world’s biggest-selling newspaper. Every day, as you walk past bowing guards and immaculate receptionists, set back in a corner you pass a bronze statue of an owlish man with a bald head and thick, round-rimmed glasses, poring over a paper. He is Matsutaro Shoriki, who acquired the paper in its left-wing adolescence in the 1920s, and turned it into a scrappy, sensational pugilist for right-wing politics. The statue is not flattering: with his potato-like head and beakish nose, he seems to be pecking at the newspaper rather than reading it.

Shoriki lurks in the background of much of 20th-century Japan, too. He created so much of what defines the nation today that it is a wonder he is not as well known as, say, William Randolph Hearst (one of his big Western admirers) is in America. Shoriki was as much the pugnacious, brooding, manipulative and visionary “Citizen Kane” as Hearst.

Before he took over the Yomiuri, Shoriki was head of Tokyo’s torturous secret police. Later, to help him sell papers, he introduced professional baseball to Japan. After the second world war he was jailed for alleged war crimes; upon his release he set up Japan’s first private television network. To cap it all, he was the “father of nuclear power”, using his cabinet position and media clout to transform an atom-bombed nation into one of the strongest advocates of atomic energy. That legacy now smoulders amid the ruins of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant…


4) JK on emerging GOJ policies towards refugees & immigration, still not allowing them to stay in Japan: “tourists yes, refugees & immigrants no” hasn’t talked as much as other topics about the Government of Japan (GOJ)’s attitude towards refugees (in that, the acceptance of refugees is one measure of international contributions by the club of rich, developed countries and UN treaty signatories). But it is safe to say that the GOJ has not been cooperative, accepting fewer people in total over the past sixty years than some countries do in a single year — as the United Nations is aware. So now the Abe Administration is trying a different tack: Accepting refugees as temporary students, and then sending them “home” someday. Reader JK parses that to bits by citing articles below.

Mainichi: “The idea is that by accepting refugees as students, Japan could aid in training personnel for the later reconstruction of Syria.” …and… “The plan represents the government’s efforts to think of a way to contribute to solving the Syria issue, without influencing the current refugee authorization system.”

JK: Translation: GOJ doesn’t want to look bad at the UN in front of the other nations who are actually doing something to help refugees, so what to do?…Ah! Accept refugees as students to make it look like Japan is making a difference — Japan trains the Syrians so that one day they can go ‘home’ and fix everything up, and as students, they’re not in a position to stay for good as would be the case if they were accepted as refugees. It’s a win-win!

Mainichi: “As an issue of demography, I would say that before accepting immigrants or refugees we need to have more activities by women, by elderly people and we must raise (the) birth rate. There are many things that we should do before accepting immigrants,” Abe told a news conference, according to the official translation of his comments.

JK: Translation: Accepting immigrants is the last thing we should do.



5) Nikkei interview with Japan’s most famous naturalized former Zainichi Korean: SoftBank’s Son Masayoshi

Son: I decided to go against the tide and become the first among my relatives to use Son as my family name. I won’t go into the reasons and the origin of this issue, but if you are born into one of those families of Korean descent, you are subject to groundless discrimination. There are many children who undergo such hardship. When I was in elementary and junior high school, I was in agony over my identity so much that I seriously contemplated taking my own life. I’d say discrimination against people is that tough.

Then you might ask why I decided to go against all my relatives, including uncles and aunts, and started to use the Korean family name, Son. I wanted to become a role model for ethnic Korean children and show them that a person of Korean descent like me, who publicly uses a Korean surname, can achieve success despite various challenges. If my doing so gives a sense of hope to even just one young person or 100 of them, I believe that is a million times more effective than raising a placard and shouting, “No discrimination.”

COMMENT: While I don’t really see Son’s sensitivity towards minorities in Japan translating into flexibility towards NJ residents in SoftBank’s business practices (SoftBank, like NTT DoCoMo, demands a deposit from its NJ customers (to the tune of 100,000 yen) in order to get an iPhone subscription (something not mentioned on its Japanese site). I also have a friend from overseas who, during his monthlong journeys around Japan, had his phone hacked into, and was saddled with a $1400 internet bill on his credit card when he went back; protests to the company were met with a, “You’re a foreigner, so you must have misunderstood how to use our phone; you’re just trying to skip out on paying your bill,” reception from SoftBank. This despite SoftBank having him on record renting the very same phone five times before and paying without incident.), Son is being interviewed by the Nikkei as a discrimination fighter. This is the first I’ve heard of him doing this (and I hope this article also came out in Japanese), so let’s hope he continues in this vein. And that SoftBank knocks off its hypocritically discriminatory business practices.


6) Honolulu Civil Beat: Cultural Exchange Program or a Ticket to Sweatshop Labor? Contrast US with J example of exploitative visa conditions

Contrast this situation with the situation of “Trainees” and other visa statuses in Japan:

HCB: It didn’t take long for the 30-year-old Japanese pastry chef to realize that she was getting the raw end of the deal. She had arrived in Hawaii only days before, lured by a promise of pastry training as part of a cultural exchange program run by the U.S. State Department. The terms of her stay, under a visa known as J-1, were to spend the next 18 months working in the kitchen of a Waikiki restaurant — six days a week on 8-hour shifts beginning at 6:30 a.m. But she found herself toiling inside the kitchen in a shift that began at 5:30 a.m. and stretched to 12 hours — without any breaks or overtime pay.

In 2012, a Japanese pastry chef arrived in Hawaii on a J-1 visa, only to find herself working at a Waikiki restaurant in sweatshop conditions. She requested her name and the name of the restaurant not be used. When she complained, she said no one lent a sympathetic ear. Initially, she said she was told that none of the restaurants in Hawaii offered any breaks. And, if she were to work on a shorter shift, her salary would have to be reduced accordingly. Unsatisfied, she went to her American sponsor organization and its Japanese contractors that had matched her up with the restaurant, but she said her pleas for their intervention were met with threats that her visa could be taken away. Soon, it dawned on her that she faced a Faustian choice: endure the grueling conditions at the restaurant or risk being deported for not showing up to work…


7) Yomiuri: More Japanese public baths OK tattooed visitors (particularly NJ) for 2020 Olympics: suddenly it’s all about showing “understanding of foreign cultures”

Yomiuri: Restrictions on tattooed customers at bathing facilities and resort swimming areas are being loosened around the country. A number of facilities allow people with tattoos to enter if the tattoos can be covered by stickers. This is aimed at treating foreign tourists, many of whom consider tattoos a fashion item, differently from gangsters, some of whom sport elaborate tattoos. With the Olympics and Paralympics scheduled for Tokyo in 2020, some facilities are calling for greater understanding of cultural differences.

COMMENT FROM JK: 1) Having a tattoo in Japan while being foreign AND not being a yakuza is an idea that is just now gaining traction?!
2) The (faulty) underlying assumption at work is that all yakuza have tattoos.
3) Despite the lack of a link to a Japanese translation, the idea being conveyed is that NJ with tattoos are outside of societal norms (read: betsuwaku), and so should not be treated as a yakuza since money can be made off them — this notion is beautifully illustrated by Mr. Toshiki Yamasaki who says, “The number of foreign tourists has increased, so I felt we needed to accept tattoos as a form of culture”. […]

COMMENT FROM DEBITO: During the Otaru Onsens Case, where “Japanese Only” bathhouses were excluding customers because they didn’t look “Japanese” enough, one issue that was raised was, “Well, what about tattoos, then?” — and then conflated the two issues to muddy the debate with relativity (not to mention conflate the treatment of “foreigners” with the treatment of organized crime in Japan). has always seen tattoos as a different issue from skin color and other features determined from birth, as tattoos are something a person decides to put on themselves. That said, this sudden “change of heart” (dressed up as a “respect for” and “understanding of” foreign cultures) is ahistorical and purely motivated by economics — i.e., the need for Japan to put on a good show for international events without the embarrassment of having bigots continue to cloak their exclusionary behavior with the specter of potential criminal activity (and there has been at least one case where “respect for foreign culture” involving tattoos didn’t matter one whit).

I conclude: What’s at play here isn’t fair-mindedness. It’s merely the phenomenon of “not in front of the foreigners”, especially since pretty soon there will be millions of them watching Japan. I bet that once the Olympics pass, those open-minded rules will be rescinded and managers will revert to banning customers (particularly NJ) at whim all over again.


… and finally…
8 ) Japan Times JBC 91 Sept 7, 2015: Why Japan’s Right keeps leaving the Left in the dust

JBC has talked about Japan’s right-wing swing before. The news is, it’s swung so far that Japan’s left is finally getting its act together.

For example, over the past year historians inside and outside Japan joined retired politicians to demand Prime Minister Shinzo Abe accurately portray Japan’s role in World War II during the 70th Anniversary commemorations last month. It didn’t work, but nice try.

Or how about the decimated Democratic Party of Japan submitting a bill to the Diet that would ban racial discrimination (yes!), hate speech and related harassment? Sadly, the bill has no hope of passing, or of being enforceable even if it does (what with loopholes for “justifiable discrimination” and no criminal penalties). But, again, nice try.

And we are seeing outdoor protest after protest, with ranks swelling to numbers not seen in decades.

That’s all fine — and about time, given that people repeatedly reelected these rightists in the first place. But let’s discuss why Japan’s left has basically always been out of power (leaving aside the geopolitical pressures from Japan’s sugar-daddy busybody — see “U.S. green lights Japan’s march back to militarism,” Just Be Cause, June 1). The left keeps losing, and much of it is their own damned fault…


That’s all for this month. I hope I have less glum tidings for next month.
Dr. ARUDOU, Debito (,, Twitter @arudoudebito)

25 comments on “DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 5, 2015

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Well, this is interesting…

    Abe is forcing militarism back onto the Japanese. He’s trying to force state-shinto ‘Japanese divine descent’ mumbo-jumbo onto them, and now, his government (despite telling the world that it wants to empower women as equals to men) is misrepresenting ‘foreign’ scientists to deliberately tell Japanese schoolgirls that they should have a baby (in wedlock, naturally) before they are 22! (ah, those blasted NJ scientists have been telling fibs to the J-Government again, have they?).

    Baby-making machines anyone?

  • Jim di Griz says:

    Whale meat restaurants in Tokyo hold whale meat festival and target feeding it to foreigners!
    Because, of course those gaijin would love to buy it and eat it too *if only* they could understand how unique Japanese culture is!
    Festival organizers mix up tradition mumbo-jumbo, with pseud-history, and literally (!) tell us that eating whales is a sign of respect for gaijin!

    This is about as likely to ‘Restore Japan’s international pride and honor’ as whining to UNESCO that the Nanking Massacre ‘is a Chinese lie’;

  • Baudrillard says:

    Whale meat? A practical joker in a class in Inaka I used to teach tried to feed me dolphin meat. A more sympathetic stuent talked him out of it. Neither of them expected me to actually understand Japanese. Boy, were they surprised.

    It is absolutely NOT a sign of respect to gaijin. Especially if you consider that whale meat was, historically, a poor person’s food in poverty stricken postwar Japan.

    Postmodern Rightist Japan has conveniently forgotten this and so whale meat and dolphin meat are repackaged as “traditional Japanese culture/cuisine” which they are not.

  • Baudrillard says:

    Whale meat-“This is a great idea to invite only nice foreigners to Japan” says Tina Watanabe in the comments of the above article. I do believe this is a sh*t test- i.e. if the foreigners dont make a fuss, the rightists are vindicated. If the foreigners do make a fuss, then the rightists can claim “traditional
    Japanese values” are being victimized by the UN, the NJs who dont understand, Kawaiso Japan yada yada.

    Another choice comment-
    “It’s stories like this that makes me think Japan exists in some kind of opposite universe. Given a choice, so often they choose the completely opposite way. It’s like there is a conspiracy to keep doing things that present Japan in a negative light to most of the modern world.”

    There IS a conspiracy-led by Abe and his ilk.

  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ Baudrillard #4

    Tinawatanabe is an interesting poster at Japan Today. The topics that she does or doesn’t comment on, and her extremely xenophobic ‘go home gaijin’ attitude make me wonder why she chooses the NJ name Tina for herself (even if this is a bad rendering of Chinatsu, why knowingly shorten it to sound like an NJ name, when she hates NJ so much?).
    It reminds me of the ‘French’ guy who was posting pro-Japanese nationalist comments on Abe’s Facebook page in English, who turned out to be Japanese, and made people wonder if he was being employed to post pro-Japanese right-wing rubbish to dupe people into thinking Abe had international appeal?

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    JDG, #5

    I haven’t visited Japan Today very often since it was bought out by the Fuji-Sankei group. Regardless of nationality or gender, a mean poster can make any kind of ridiculous stunt with malicious intent. That is pretty common among contrarians, apologists, privatizers, and any like-minded people. It’s the same level of absurdity I see in a whacky guy named “VirginiaSGR” who spews a lot of non-sense at the education blog written by nationally famous scholar/activist only to get sandbagged by her and the rest of commenters(many of those are public school teachers) for straw-man.

    I also saw one poster with Japanese name posting his comment in English. He accused Debito of Japan basher on the JT Facebook, and took swipe at other commenters in defense of Japan’s behavior on the past wartime and those who support pacifistic notion of peace and self-defense for not being aggressively critical of China. No doubt this kind of contrarian displays a similar kind of mockery with some NJ who think people(NJ and Japanese) raising voices against social justice are bunch of hooligans.

  • If this isn’t bad enough. I saw this article from Rocketnews24 about a Japanese women with impaired hearing with a service dog were turned away because some restaurants in Japan forbid dogs inside despite The Access Law for Service Dogs was passed in Japan in 2002, which protect access rights for people with assistance dogs:

    I mean this is getting not only bad but ridiculous and makes me question how many common Japanese citizen even know their own laws.

  • Jim di Griz says:

    There’s something afoot here; first BBC starts a Japanese language news service, and now BBC News is running English language ‘journalism’ about Japan’s wonderful anime culture, and (more relevantly) a story about a documentary featuring black NJ in Japan saying how much safer Japan is than their (unspecified) home country (literally saying that in Japan they ‘won’t get shot for being black’, which is setting the bar pretty low) and saying what a great place to live Japan is! Albeit Japan has racism, they admit; black woman got called ‘Beyonce’ just because of her skin color (oh, the horror).

    The whole BBC peice seems set up to make NJ who accuse Japan of racist discrimination look like they’re being hysterical.

    It makes me wonder….J-Gov increased budget for portraying Japan positively on the international stage to $500 million, and suddenly Japanese companies ate buying out English language magazines, which the proclaim ‘Tokyo most live able city in the world’ or ‘Kyoto most tourist friendly city in the world’ or ‘Abenomics is working miracles for Japan’s economy’ and now BBC? I want to know (and considering that like NHK, BBC is funded by law through compulsory payments by the British public);

    Has BBC accepted money directly or indirectly from the Japanese government to run stories that portray Japan on the international arena in the way that Abe wishes to falsely present it?

  • Jim di Griz says:

    Interestingly, BBC News’ other Japan story (the one about manga/anime) is about the author of Shingeki no kyoujin (Attack on Titan).

    As I have said before, like the Anime Macross, this is a vehicle for the expression of ‘us V’s them’ Japanese nationalism. Specifically in Shingeki, the ‘humans’ represent the Japanese, defending their concentrically walled city (a metaphor for Japan) against the ‘giants’ (playing the role of NJ) who are going to eat them and destroy their city (just, y’know, because! The movies and the manga can’t agree on a ‘why’).
    But BBC News fails to spot this often repeated theme of ‘us V’s them’ and ‘the threat of the total destruction of our (beautiful?) country/world’ that has been used so many times in Japanese manga and anime, and tells us that Shingeki is so revolutionary that the author has had ‘over a thousand death threats’;

    But BBC News gives us a link to the death threats claim, so I followed it. It goes here;

    An otaku website that does indeed claim that Shingeki no Kyoujin’s author got ‘over a thousand death threats’ BUT they were all from foreigners writing in Japanese!

    BBC News has become a tool of Japanese Uyoku right-wingers it seems.

  • Baudrillard says:

    Isnt “Titan” the moon of Saturn? Shouldnt it be “Attack on Titans?” Just saying. But a friend in J-advertising told me if its “English that all Japanese can understand” then mistakes are acceptable for the “domestic” market.

    I really think this manga was originally just for the domestic market, and I share Jim’s alarm at the imagery.

    e.g. (ウォール・シーナ Wōru Shīna, alt. “Wall Sina”) Sina tte. Wasnt that what Ishihara used to call China to annoy them?

    “憲兵団 Kenpeidan), who guards the royal family and live relatively relaxed lives.” For a sec there, I read it as “Kenpeitai”

    Despite the NJ/(Haafu?) tokenism of the characters” names (The story initially centers on Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and childhood friend Armin Arlert, ) this “world” portrayed is obviously Imperial Japan.

    And to answer Jim’s speculation, its all here at Wikipedia:

    However, the series also attracted criticism: the South Korean Electronic Times magazine accused Attack on Titan of having a militaristic message that serves Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s political leanings;[129]

    In 2013, after media linked to a 2010 blog post by Isayama indicating that the design of the character Dot Pixis was based on the Imperial Japanese General Akiyama Yoshifuru, an Internet flame war about the general’s war record ensued on his blog and included death threats to the author. ”

    Definitely an Abe Zeitgeist manga, even more so than MIyazaki’s Zero story. I mean, why now?

  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ Baudrillard #11

    I agree, the manga started as the most thinly veiled ‘us V’s them’ manga since Macross re-hashed WWII. But the success of the series, the anime and the films, have taken it far from its simple origin, and yes, now it is an allegory of Abe’s ‘proactive pacifism’ and re-imagining of the SDFs role.

    Apologists always try to say that Attack On Titan/Shingeki isn’t about right-wing racism because the lead characters originally all had foreign (or at least partly foreign) names. They conveniently overlook that all those non-Japanese names were German!

  • Jim di Griz says:

    BBC News continues its really odd pro-Japanese myths coverage of Japan with story about Japanese beef that repeats and reinforces many untrue myths that Japanese believe about themselves.

    I especially take offense at the idea that Kobe beef comes from Kobe (it doesn’t, the cows are raised in America), and that modern ‘Wagyu’ is (according to BBC, and transparently, therefore according to their J-handlers) is a type of cow (stop and get your head around that. ‘Wagyu’ doesn’t mean Japanese beef, they are actually telling you that there is a type of Japanese cow different to all the foreign cows!) descended from the ancient ‘Japanese cows’.

    But the real point of the article is to attack restaurants in London selling ‘wagyu’ burgers for less than 85 GBP because ‘real wagyu’ costs ‘hundreds of dollars’. These restaurants are (allegedly) using japanese cows raised in Australia, and this isn’t ‘real’ wagyu because only Japanese cows raised in Japan are ‘wagyu’ (presumably, being in Australia rather than Japan, affects the taste- or some such mumbo-jumbo racist non-sense).

    The whole thing stinks of J-Inc desperately trying to protect its brand image.

    — Well, yeah. It’s gone from Sushi Police to Wagyuu Police. If you can’t brand by quality, you brand by origin. Champagne follows the same example, albeit involving less mysticism.

  • #15 JDG

    The beeb has also just run this interesting article:

    “Japan’s hidden caste of untouchables…Slaughtermen, undertakers, those working with leather and in other “unclean” professions such as sanitation have long been marginalised in Japan. That prejudice continues to this day and especially for those working in the Shibaura abbatoir………….”I remember once when my wife and I were visiting with some of her father’s relatives. When I told them what I did, they stopped pouring me beer.”….”*

    With discrimination of their own citizens still riffle and the social injustice that follows, there is certainly no hope for NJs banging the drum of discrimination. If J society wont address these simple issues of their own history and citizens being discriminated merely by there employment background and family why would they consider another ostracised and even lesser part of J. society (in their eyes) any differently?…..there is no hope for any equality, not in the near term future at all.


    — Right. But don’t let that stop you agitating for equality.

  • Jim di Griz says:

    New Welfare Minister Kono wants to reduce welfare eligibility for long-term NJ residents because so many of them are (in his mind) fraudulent claimants;

    He also admits that this isn’t really about fraudulent claims, but rather that Japan’s welfare outlay has hit record highs, and will only set new records from now on, and money has to be saved.

    So, yeah, go after those NJ with no voting powers first! I guess the plan to attract 2000 ‘elite foreigners’ is officially over.

  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ John K #17

    Yeah, that BBC News story seems straight outta Nagatacho.
    It’s a list of ‘we Japanese’ myths.
    First paragraph;
    All Japanese are same race.
    All Japanese speak same language and have same culture.
    No immigrants.
    We Japanese are all middle-class….
    There is no discrimination in Japan!
    BUT, shock! BBC News ‘discovers’ that the Japanese are discriminating against themselves (the Burakumin). Only about 70 years late with that ‘discovery’, but still.

    The function of this story? Japanese only discriminate against other Japanese because of Japan’s ‘unique’ culture. Japanese don’t discriminate against anyone else. Ever.

    Shame on BBC for putting this rubbish out there. I dare them to follow my kids around for a day and report on the racism they are subjected to.

  • #19JDG

    “..Shame on BBC for putting this rubbish out there. I dare them to follow my kids around for a day and report on the racism they are subjected to…”

    Indeed. I hit the contact us icon and told them so. I also did the same about the “magical” beef story too. Living in the locations they cite…i do not see any cows or any farms/pastures cultivated for arable farming anywhere for literally hundreds of miles from me….hmmmm…funny that.

    If more hit the contact us about a story that is incorrect…may be the BBC will start to realise their mistakes….may be?

    D.A.D..agreed…..i don’t stop in my quest to highlight racism. It just highlights what a sad up-hill battle in the modern 21st century this is in a so called developed first nation country.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Re; Me @ #14

    Whilst Japanese NPO begs Japanese government to take measures to protect Japanese children from the NJ sex-abusers that they believe will come to exploit Japan’s children during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, UN calls Japan out for it’s culture of tolerance and lack of punishments for Japanese sex-abusers of children:

  • Jim di Griz says:

    I’m going back to the Rugby World Cup, but did anyone ever see any Japanese coverage that stated the number of foreign born players on the Japan team?
    I didn’t.
    I saw an article in JT (now untraceable) that said that 11 of the players (that’s one third of the team) are ‘foreign born’.
    As far as I know, that’s the only news story that clarified that number; I never saw a TV report that said that 11 of these guys are ‘foreign born’.
    All I’ve seen is myopic coverage of the one ‘Japan born’ player who has a nifty little pose that everyone (including Abe) has been copying. I guess it’s ‘cute’ to focus in that, and embarrassing to admit that Japan’s best ever rugby result was due to high numbers of ‘foreign born’ players?

  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    JDG #23,

    While I was trying to avoid watching any “news” during the whole event, I did see one report that actually spelled out that the captain of the Japanese team is a naturalized citizen. Even in this day and age, we still have to spell it out, each and every time.
    I also thought it odd that the media made sure a disproportionately high number of “Japanese-looking” players made it onto our screens.

    But of course, naturalized citizens are not real Japanese…

  • For once a more critical look at the hype of Japan being technologically advanced:

    “Why is hi-tech Japan using cassette tapes and faxes?…This is a country that uses people to do the work of traffic lights and where big-name companies running 10-year-old software is the norm….”


  • Baudrillard says:

    @ John K, simply OLD people run corporate Japan, and they dont do email much. It makes their eyes tired. I am not making this up, it is how it was at the company I used to work.

    Also I suppose paper is needed for everyone to put their “hanko” on things, but the old way of doing things persists.

    Also arguably, the tech developments are just in toys for the young (i.e. the men children under 40) and robots to look after the old.

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