DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2, 2015

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DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2, 2015

Hello Newsletter Readers. The top story is that my book “Embedded Racism” hits bookshelves this week, and my Japan Times column that came out today summarizes it. Please see Item 1 below:

Table of Contents:

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1) Japan Times JBC 93 Nov 2, 2015: “Tackle embedded racism before it chokes Japan”, summarizing my new book out this week
2) Asahi TV: Police training drill in Tokyo on how to deal with jewelry thieves brandishing knives. Oh, and they’re “foreign” thieves.
3) “Foreign Driver” stickers appearing on Okinawan rental cars
4) Japan Times: Japan sanctioning mass ‘slave labor’ by duping foreign trainees, observers say
5) Japan moving on to the next sucker societies for cheap or slave labor: Cambodia and Vietnam
6) Paul Toland Case Update: Japan as a “black hole” for parental child abductions — Family Court lawsuit & press conference to raise awareness of issue
7) “Onsen-Ken Shinfuro Video”: Japan Synchro Swim Team promotes Oita Pref. Onsens — and breaks most bathhouse rules doing so. Historically insensitive.
8 ) My Japan Times JBC 92 Oct. 5, 2015: “Conveyor belt of death shudders back to live”, on how Abe’s new security policy will revive Prewar martial Japan

… and in case you thought I was being alarmist with JBC 92…

9) CSM: Reviving Shinto: Prime Minister Abe tends special place in Japan’s soul for mythology
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By Dr. ARUDOU, Debito (debito@debito.org, www.debito.org, twitter @arudoudebito)
Newsletter freely forwardable

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1) Japan Times JBC 93 Nov 2, 2015: “Tackle embedded racism before it chokes Japan”, summarizing my new book out this week

JBC: Japan has a dire problem it must address immediately: its embedded racism.

The country’s society and government are permeated by a narrative that says people must “look Japanese” before they can expect equal treatment in society.

That must stop. It’s a matter of Japan’s very survival.

We’ve talked about Japan’s overt racism in previous Just Be Cause columns: the “Japanese only” signs and rules that refuse entry and service to “foreigners” on sight (also excluding Japanese citizens who don’t “look Japanese”); the employers and landlords who refuse employment and apartments — necessities of life — to people they see as “foreign”; the legislators, administrators, police forces and other authorities and prominent figures that portray “foreigners” as a national security threat and call for their monitoring, segregation or expulsion.

But this exclusionism goes beyond a few isolated bigots in positions of power, who can be found in every society. It is so embedded that it becomes an indictment of the entire system. In fact, embedded racism is key to how the system “works.” Or rather, as we shall see below, how it doesn’t…

Read the rest at the Japan Times at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2015/11/01/issues/tackle-embedded-racism-chokes-japan/

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2) Asahi TV: Police training drill in Tokyo on how to deal with jewelry thieves brandishing knives. Oh, and they’re “foreign” thieves.

Apparently the Tokyo police believe that jewelry stores need training in how to fend off thieves. Foreign thieves, that is. Even though according to the NPA’s own statistics, theft (almost always committed by Japanese) is by far the most common crime in Japan — even more than traffic accidents!

And by “foreign thieves”, we don’t just mean the cat-burglar type of jewel thief (although even police also claim those as due to “foreigners” because of their “daring”. Seriously.) We mean the loud, violent type, with perps shouting “kane” while wielding knives, as foreigners do, right? Fortunately, they can be repulsed by shopkeepers wielding poles and by police brandishing batons.

TV Asahi was on the scene to record the event at a real jewelry store in public (in Okachimachi, Tokyo) to make the proceedings even more visible. Broadcast October 9, 2015. Check it out (video recording):

COMMENT: If you want an exercise to show how to repulse robbers, fine. But there is no need to depict them as foreigners. Depict them as thieves, regardless of nationality, and arrest them.

http://www.debito.org/?p=13598

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3) “Foreign Driver” stickers appearing on Okinawan rental cars

In another turn of logic in Japan, where differentiation between foreigners and Japanese is so normal that it’s standard operating procedure for a significant amount of public policy, we have a case where “Foreign Driver” stickers have been created in Okinawa to call public attention to rental cars rented by foreigners. (image) Of course, with this constant differentiation comes the facile logical conclusion by policymakers that foreigners get into accidents BECAUSE they are foreigners. And presto, more public policy that once again targets foreigners. All the heart marks and polite language below in the “Foreign Driver” sign can’t overcome that fact. Anyone want to find out if domestic NJ residents with Japanese driver licenses, who of course also become tourists if they travel within Japan, also get stuck with this sticker?

Fukuoka Now Magazine: The number of foreign visitors renting cars is on the rise. In fiscal 2014, the number of car rentals around Fukuoka Airport jumped 250% to 6,572. Meanwhile, the Kyushu District Transportation Bureau offers a ¥2,500 2-day “all-you-can-drive” expressway pass. In the three-month period of last October to December, about 2,000 foreign tourists used the service, and the bureau expects this year’s numbers to outstrip last year’s. In Okinawa, a spate of minor accidents has led car rental shops to put “Foreigner Driving” stickers on cars rented to foreign tourists.“I keep an eye out for rental cars with wa license plates now,” admits a local taxi driver, referring to the rental car license plates whose numbers are prefaced by the hiragana character wa (わ).

http://www.debito.org/?p=13610

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4) Japan Times: Japan sanctioning mass ‘slave labor’ by duping foreign trainees, observers say

Japan Times: The [Industrial Trainee and Technical Internship Program], however, has not been without its critics. Japan’s top ally, the U.S., has even singled it out, with the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report for years slamming the program’s “deceptive recruitment practices.” “The (Japanese) government did not prosecute or convict forced labor perpetrators despite allegations of labor trafficking in the TTIP,” it said this year, using the program’s acronym.

Past allegations include unpaid overtime work, karoshi (death from overwork), and all kinds of harassment, including company managers restricting the use of toilets or demanding sexual services. The government rejects claims the program is abusive, yet acknowledges there have been some upstream problems. “It is true that some involved in the system have exploited it, but the government has acted against that,” an immigration official said. “It is not a system of slave labor.” The official insisted it was not in authorities’ power to control the behavior of middlemen but insisted they were not allowed to charge deposit fees. “It is also banned for employers to take away trainees’ passports,” he added.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has unveiled a plan to expand the program that would allow foreign trainees to stay in Japan for five years instead of three, and says such labor will increasingly be needed, particularly in the construction boom ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Abe is also aware that the nation’s health care sector must increasingly look abroad to fill the shortage of workers. “It has been said that we will need 1 million caregivers for the elderly by 2025, which would be impossible to handle only with the Japanese population,” said Tatsumi Kenmochi, a manager at a care home near Tokyo that employs Indonesian nurses. For Kenmochi, foreign staff are a precious commodity and the sector must do as much as it can to make them feel welcome. “It must be hard to leave home and work overseas,” he said. “We make sure that they don’t get homesick, listening to them and sometimes going out to have a warm bowl of noodles with them.”

Torii of Solidarity Network With Migrants Japan said this is just the kind of attitude Japan needs to learn: “The issue is not whether we accept immigrants or not. They are already here, playing a vital role in our society.”

Japan Times: Japan sanctioning mass ‘slave labor’ by duping foreign trainees, observers say

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5) Japan moving on to the next sucker societies for cheap or slave labor: Cambodia and Vietnam

October 16, 2015 From XY:
Hi Debito. I am getting a LOT of messages these days from friends in Cambodia asking about the opportunities for their friends to work in Japan. I tell them the conditions are tough and the climates a killer (for them) but they say it’s better than the sweatshops in their homeland.

One of my Cambodian friends is in Kumamoto for a year and a half on a study program. He just got here. He is freezing his ass off already and wants me to send him clothes (he doesn’t have money to buy any, he needs his small allowance for food). Poor guy.

Anyhow, I had no idea Japanese companies are doing so much serious recruiting in Cambo and Vietnam these days… The impoverished Cambodians are coming here in droves.

Messaging a businessman in Cambo right now, he wants to provide labor to Japanese companies. Do you think they are treating these foreign workers better than in the past, or is it the same thing?

Debito responds: It’s the same thing. Japan’s reputation has run sour in Brazil/Peru, China, Philippines, and Indonesia. The Japanese Government is just moving on to another set of suckers. It would love to get their hands on Burmese too.

Japan moving on to the next sucker societies for cheap or slave labor: Cambodia and Vietnam

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6) Paul Toland Case Update: Japan as a “black hole” for parental child abductions — Family Court lawsuit & press conference to raise awareness of issue

Japan Times: A U.S. man seeking access to his daughter said Monday that the case is an opportunity for Japan to prove to the world it no longer tolerates parental child abduction. U.S. Navy Cmdr. Paul Toland is suing the mother of his Japanese ex-wife for denying access to his 13-year-old daughter. His former wife left with the child in 2003, at the age of 9 months, after their marriage failed. The woman committed suicide four years later.

Toland said his situation would amount to a “felony crime” in other countries with up-to-date family laws. “In Japan, this abduction by a nonparent is not only accepted, but it is condoned. I’m the only parent in the world to (my daughter),” Toland said, who is in Japan for the first time since the trial at the Tokyo Family Court kicked off in July. Toland said if the case is resolved it would demonstrate to the world that Japan is turning over a new leaf after years of notoriety as a “safe haven” for parental child abduction. If his daughter is not returned to him, he said, it will only alienate the nation further.

Paul Toland Case Update: Japan as a “black hole” for parental child abductions — Family Court lawsuit & press conference to raise awareness of issue

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7) “Onsen-Ken Shinfuro Video”: Japan Synchro Swim Team promotes Oita Pref. Onsens — and breaks most bathhouse rules doing so. Historically insensitive.

Here is an excellent video featuring the former Japan synchronized swimming team in various hot springs (onsen) around Oita Prefecture. I have been to some of these myself, and can attest to the magic of both the location and the waters. However, I hate to pee in the pool here, but there are several things happening here that are absolutely impermissible by Japanese standards (in fact, they were cited as reasons for excluding all “foreigners” entry to the baths during the Otaru Onsens etc. Case of 1993-2005):

Making noise in the bathing area.
Splashing about.
Wearing bathing suits in the pool.
Wearing towels in the pool.
Mixed bathing in a non-rotenburo area.
Not washing off one’s body completely before entering (note that they get in dry after only a cursory splash).

If anyone does any of these things in real life, they will probably get thrown out of the bathhouse. Worse yet, if anyone who DOESN’T LOOK JAPANESE did anything like this, everyone who doesn’t look Japanese (i.e., a “foreigner”) a priori would be denied entry at the door, merely by dint by phenotypical association. That’s why I have a hard time enjoying this video knowing the history of Japanese public bathing issues, where stone-headed onsen owners looked for any reason to enforce their bigotry on people they thought couldn’t learn Japanese bathhouse rules. Instead, without any irony whatsoever, we have the Japan synchro swim team breaking most of them. To raucous applause. Good thing they didn’t bring in a NJ synchro team to do this stunt — because then “cultural insensitivity” would creep into the mix.

“Onsen-Ken Shinfuro Video”: Japan Synchro Swim Team promotes Oita Pref. Onsens — and breaks most bathhouse rules doing so. Historically insensitive.

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8 ) My Japan Times JBC 92 Oct. 5, 2015: “Conveyor belt of death shudders back to live”, on how Abe’s new security policy will revive Prewar martial Japan

JBC: He’s done it.

As past JBCs predicted he would, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has gotten his way. Last month he closed a chapter on “pacifist Japan,” ramming through unpopular new security legislation that now allows Japanese military engagement in offensive maneuvers abroad.

That’s it then. The circle is complete. Japan is primed to march back to its pre-World War II systems of governance.

Now just to be clear: I don’t think there will be another world war based on this. However, I think in a generation or two (Japan’s militarists are patient – they’ve already waited two generations for this comeback), a re-armed (even quietly nuclear) Japan selling weapons and saber-rattling at neighbors will be quite normalized.

Alarmism? Won’t Japan’s affection for Article 9 forestall this? Or won’t the eventual failure of Abenomics lead to the end of his administration, perhaps a resurgence of the opposition left? I say probably not. We still have a couple more years of Prime Minister Abe himself (he regained the LDP leadership last month unopposed). But more importantly, he changed the laws.

So this is not a temporary aberration. This is legal interpretation and precedent, and it’s pretty hard to undo that (especially since the opposition left is even negotiating with the far-right these days). Moreover, Japan has never had a leftist government with as much power as this precedent-setting rightist government does. And it probably never will (not just because the US government would undermine it, a la the Hosokawa and Hatoyama Administrations).

But there’s something deeper at work beyond the Abe aberration. I believe that social dynamics encouraging a reverse course to remilitarization have always lain latent in Japanese society…

My next Japan Times JBC 92 Oct. 5, 2015: “Conveyor belt of death shudders back to live”, on how Abe’s new security policy will revive Prewar martial Japan

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… and in case you thought I was being alarmist with JBC 92…

9) CSM: Reviving Shinto: Prime Minister Abe tends special place in Japan’s soul for mythology

CSM: The decision to host the G-7 summit near Ise underscores Abe’s devout Shinto faith. Yet his commitment to Japan’s indigenous religion has led to far more than symbolic gestures. He and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have pursued a wide range of Shinto-inspired policies – from more openly embracing Japan’s imperial heritage to reforming aspects of Japanese education and even re-evaluating the country’s wartime record – with the explicit goal of renewing what they say are traditional values.

As old perhaps as Japan itself, Shinto has no explicit creed or major religious texts. Its adherents pray to “kami,” spirits found in objects both living and inanimate, and believe in a complex body of folklore that emphasizes ancestor worship. But as Japan modernized in the late 19th century, officials made Shinto the state religion, and Japanese were taught to view​ the emperor as having divine stature. The religion became closely associated with Japanese militarism, leading to its separation from state institutions after World War II.

Shinto struggled for decades to find a place in postwar Japan, and given the religion’s history, some critics see the country’s newfound interest in it as a sign of simmering nationalism at best. At worst, they describe it as a reprise of the official State Shinto of imperial Japan. But among conservatives it reflects a palpable fear that Japan has somehow gone adrift after two decades of economic stagnation, rampant materialism, and the rise of neighboring China. Many believe the time has come for the religion to regain its rightful place in the public sphere.

“Shinto is refusing to be restricted to the private and family life,” says Mark Mullins, a professor of Japanese studies at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. “There is this sense that Japan needs to get back what it lost after World War II and that this will be good for the nation.”

CSM: Reviving Shinto: Prime Minister Abe tends special place in Japan’s soul for mythology

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As always, thanks for reading! I hope you will consider reading my new book, “Embedded Racism: Japan’s Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination”, hitting the bookshelves this week. Perhaps get a copy for your local library too. Book flyers available at http://www.debito.org/embeddedracism.html.

Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2, 2015 ENDS

42 comments on “DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2, 2015

  • “Japan’s government wants a UN expert to retract a claim that 13% of Japanese schoolgirls engage in “compensated dating”, which can involve sex….The US state department warned last year that the practice, known as “enjo kosai” in Japanese, “continues to facilitate the prostitution of Japanese children”.” *

    Oh dear, GoJ coming under more spot light, despite protestations to the contrary of its “innocence”. Hmmm..funny that…

    * http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34774630

    Reply
  • @ John K #2

    I saw the story of the allegation by the UN yesterday, and the retraction today, both in the Japan Times.

    It’s interesting yesterday’s story of Suga’s outrage was followed by loads of apologist comments basically rationalizing statutory rape as Japan’s ‘unique culture’ that NJ don’t understand, which is parallels with one of the excuses for wartime sex-slaves, and that today’s retraction by the UN is based on nit-picking over the numbers and sources (again, an absolute parallel for the way the Abe government has dealt with the sex-slave issue).

    Sickening.

    Reply
  • I’ve mentioned here before that suddenly the BBC News website is running a lot of ‘feel good’ Japan puff pieces with information sourced from right-wing websites, so today, seeing this was no surprise;

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34775564

    The part that made me chuckle/sigh in despair, was when the guy in charge of making the 2020 Olympics happen (Nunomura, not Abe) tells the BBC why NJ go to Japan. I just thought, ‘Yep, this is why Omotenashi is a crock; you’re not asking people what they want, you’re telling them’, and he does! NJ go to Japan because they want ‘temples, the tea ceremony, culture.’, so I guess you are screwed if you come for the manga, anime, robots, fashion, and music, because Nunomura says ‘younger people who visit us are interested in these other things’ and ‘This current image we have is not a bad thing.’.

    I guess that aside from telling NJ what they came to Japan for, Nunomura also assumes that all NJ want to sit in seiza for hours while self-important snobs smile politely and hold back comments about how they’re doing everything the wrong way (oh, those baka gaijin) because (of course) no other country has an ‘ancient’ culture, and because (after all, this is octogenarian Japan) he doesn’t realize that compared to Japan, other societies are actually made up of ‘younger people’.

    He might actually know that ‘This current image we have’ is of a whiner who bullies the UN, has a child prostitution problem, and denies war time sex-slaves, but like NHK, he can’t actualy say so because he’ll upset the Supreme Leader Abe.

    Reply
  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    @ JDG #5

    “…We have to explain to them the importance of international visitors, and that if we welcome them with open arms, and get them to spend money then that will be of benefit to the whole country.”

    I chuckle at this, thinking of all the evening news reports and lunchtime whining sessions about how the rich Chinese tourists are causing problems by buying everything out. “How dare they come to our country and spend their money here!”

    Reply
  • J cliches BBC Top Down Hierarchy saying NJS are ok? CHECK”We have to explain to them the importance of international visitors”

    NJ as a temporary source of income via False Omotenashi? CHECK

    “and that if we welcome them with open arms, and get them to spend money”

    Appeal to Nationalism? CHECK
    “…then that will be of benefit to the whole country.”

    “WARE WARE NIHONJIN Cliche for the NJ audience? CHECK.
    “We [Japanese] are very good at taking action in a group,” Mr Suzuki says.

    Wow, it feels like we are back in the 1980s…

    Reply
  • @ Andrew, I think this echoes the former police chief who said “we want rich (western) foreigners to come and spend money here, then leave”.
    Not the Chinese (though these are the ones most likely to come).

    Reply
  • @ Andrew In Saitama #6, Baudrillard #7/8

    Yes, quite! It all rather reminds me of the end of Atlas Shrugged (not that I’m a big Rand fan), where they threaten to kill Galt if he doesn’t save them, and he fixes their execution machine for them; the Japanese need the shopping and spending of the Chinese so much, but they resent it so much more! They really hate making money from these people.

    I also noticed today that ‘Omotenashi’ has been dropped as the Olympic slogan, allegedly because ‘everyone’ is using it, even those with no connection to the Olympics, so they feel they need a new buzzword;

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/govt-looking-for-new-catchphrase-to-replace-omotenashi-for-olympics

    I was surprised! After all, what did they think was going to happen after they rammed it down everyone’s throats at every opportunity? Of course people were going to start using it themselves (it all rather reminded me of the 6 months after the iPod took off in Japan, and suddenly everything was ‘i’ something, from realtors to magazines).

    I’m proposing ‘Mottainai’ as a replacement, and also submitting ‘It’s all under control’.

    Reply
  • Japan Times has pompous article in which Japan can teach the west how to live peacefully with Islam;

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2014/06/23/issues/can-japan-show-west-live-peacefully-islam/

    Comments are closed, so I couldn’t point out the missing facts;
    Very few muslims in Japan compared to, say, France.
    Japan’s history of illegally profiling, wire-tapping, surveilling Muslim residents.
    Abe’s decision to ‘support countries fighting IS’ leading to two beheadings of Japanese citizens.
    Japan using cheque-book diplomacy to participate by proxy via the US in interfering in the middle-East.

    Reply
  • Hi Dr. Debito,

    I guess you already know, but next year Abe won the right to host the G7 summit near one of his favorite nationalist shrines (Ise, in Mie prefecture). For those of you who don’t know, the ‘Abe creation myth’ is that after his first unsuccessful stint as PM, he visited Ise shrine and had a vision that told him he was destined to lead Japan to greatness (I’m not joking. Whether the anecdote is true or not doesn’t matter, this is what Abe says happened).

    Anyway, I know that you Dr. Debito have first hand experience of the paranoia and xenophobia that hosting international events always brings out in the Japanese policy-makers, so I’m sure that you won’t be shocked to see that the Paris attacks by IS are not the rationale for cracking down on NJ next year;

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/11/18/national/politics-diplomacy/anti-terrorism-other-safety-measures-paramount-ahead-of-g-7-summit-says-mie-governor/

    I was particularly interested in this;
    ‘Mie Gov. Eikei Suzuki said Wednesday…that the terror attacks in Paris last week reminded him anew of the “serious problems facing Mie Prefecture as it will host the Ise-Shima G-7 summit.”’

    Really? I would say that France and Japan’s involvement in the War on Terror and therefore exposure to terror are totally different. But, if it’s going to be ‘a serious problem’ why don’t they consider going to another place or country?

    I was also interested in this;
    ‘A total of 41 organizations, including the Mie Prefectural Government, police and railroad companies, launched the Counterterrorism Mie Partnership Promotion Council in late October, with a view to sharing information on possible terrorism’

    And;
    ‘we need cooperation from the private sector,’

    Which basically means that Japan hasn’t got a clue about international terrorism, and isn’t this a great excuse to deputize without any training or experience, as many hotel workers, bus drivers, train station staff, and local busy-bodies as possible to ‘inform’ on suspicious looking people? And we all know that in Japan, not looking Japanese is the ultimate ‘suspicious look’.

    Message to NJ? Stay the hell away from Mie next year.

    Reply
  • I can’t find the thread about Japan Today being bought out by right-wing Sankei group, so I just wanted to ask;
    Has anyone else noticed that Japan Today is covering lots of stories (especially social problems) that are showing up later in the week (if they even show up) at Japan Times?
    In fact, some stories about Abe or the Imperial family are closed to comments at Japan Times from the get go.
    Has anyone noticed that the comments section debates on J Today are very critical of Japan, whilst at J Times the apologists ( many of whom by their own admission dont live in Japan) are setting the tone of the debate, and even just screaming about China and Korea whatever the story is?
    It’s the inverse of what we expected to happen when Japan Today was bought out.

    Reply
  • An ‘art dealer’ who serves on the Ibaraki Board of Education (how does that even make sense?) proves the old adage that ‘those who forget history are doomed to repeat it’;

    http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2015/11/385108.html

    BoE member wants to know if there is anything they can do to identify children with disabilities before they are born and have them aborted to prevent the becoming a burden on the state.
    With a surprising (after all, I thought Japanese children were generally well educated that ‘Hitler was bad’) lack of awareness of nazi eugenics, and why the world frowns on such things, this joker thinks that it might be a really handy idea.
    Disgusting.

    Interestingly, I had to get this direct from Kyodo. I first saw it at Japan Times, but as I feared in my comment #12, this story seems to have vanished from Japan times?

    — Please provide the full text of the article. It’s behind a firewall right now.

    Reply
  • @All #13 – When papers try to hide today, articles which they published online yesterday, here is a solution:

    Grab just the headline, or just a sentence, or just a phrase, and search for that:

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=%22Education+board+member+apologizes+over+comments+on+disabled+children%22

    Then, in the google results, find the link which is being hidden and instead of clicking it: click the downward-pointing triangle which is next to it. That will allow you to see the “cache” which google has of the page you want to see.

    And thus, you get this:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:XtpncNB7S0MJ:https://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2015/11/385108.html+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    🙂

    19:21 19 November 2015
    Education board member apologizes over comments on disabled children
    MITO, Japan, Nov. 19, Kyodo

    A member of an education board in a prefecture northeast of Tokyo apologized Thursday for telling a meeting on education issues that the local government should move ahead to reduce the number of births of disabled children.

    Chieko Hasegawa, a 71-year-old education board member and a well-known figure in art dealing, told the gathering Wednesday at the Ibaraki prefectural office building that she “wonders if there are ways to know (whether a baby will be born with disabilities) at an early stage of pregnancy” because abortion is not allowed after four months.

    “I hope we can move toward reducing the number of births of handicapped children in Ibaraki Prefecture,” she added, later admitting to reporters that the remarks were “inappropriate.” […]

    Reply
  • Hey, hello, long term site follower here. Anyhow, I think here is the link to JDG comment:

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/11/19/national/education-board-member-calls-prenatal-screening-reduce-burden-disabled-children/

    Education board member calls for more prenatal screening to reduce ‘burden’ of disabled children
    BY TOMOHIRO OSAKI STAFF WRITER NOV 19, 2015
    A newly appointed Ibaraki education board member has sparked online outrage after suggesting the prefecture back more prenatal screening to reduce the “burden” on parents of having a disabled child.

    Speaking at an education policy meeting Wednesday, Chieko Hasegawa, the 71-year-old vice president of Tokyo-based Gallery Nichido, said that the prefecture should set up a system to enable pregnant women to find out whether their unborn babies have any disabilities.

    “We need to drastically change our way of thinking. It’s best if technology can help us know whether our kids are disabled beforehand,” she said, according to a media report confirmed by the board to The Japan Times.

    “Once they’re born, it’s a huge burden.”

    She then expressed what many took as her hopes that Ibaraki will undertake a policy to “reduce” the number of such children.

    Hasegawa’s remark came as she recounted her recent experience inspecting special schools in the prefecture that catered to the needs of children with disabilities.

    She told The Japan Times on Thursday that during the trip she learned of a recent spike in enrollments of such children and a severe shortage of facilities to accommodate them.

    At the Wednesday meeting, she said the vast number of teachers needed to work at these schools would translate into “massive budgets.”

    However, on Thursday she said her remark was misunderstood.

    “I was merely pointing out (that) running more screening tests during the early stage of pregnancy will give mothers more choices,” she said.

    “What should be reduced is not the number of disabled children, but parents who feel burdened” by the decision to have the child, she continued.

    Her comment, however, sparked widespread online ire, with some going so far as to say it amounted to an open endorsement of eugenics.

    Author and sports journalist Hirotada Ototake, who was born without arms and legs, tweeted Thursday: “Hey Ms. Hasegawa. So do you mean I shouldn’t have been born?”
    ENDS

    Reply
  • @ Anon #14. & Hennagaijin #15

    Thank you both very much. That is indeed the story I was referring too.

    I have volunteered in Japan with people who suffer from impaired vision and/or hearing, as well as other disabilities, and I think that they more than pay back any alleged ‘burden’ they place upon the state. In addition, some of todays slack-jawed ‘shou ga nai’ youths, and entitled noisy O-yaji should spend an hour in their shoes and learn the real meaning of ‘ganbaru’!

    Reply
  • BBC News has an interesting story of a british guy who took a video of himself and his Taiwanese girlfriend being racially abused by a very persistent Taiwanese guy on the Taipei subway;

    http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-34882824

    Why is this relevant to debito.org?

    Well, I think most long-term visible minority NJ in Japan can relate to the experience of having some local pick you out for some racially abusive ‘venting’, by a persistent guy who will follow you if you try to move away (this is what happens when you live in a society with no laws against racist hate-speech, a climate of acceptability fostered by leading public figures, and the perpetrators assurance that the institutionally racist system will punish the victim if the victim feels the need to defend themselves).

    What’s interesting is that the BBC displays a textbook checklist of apologism and denial of the problem of racism, that seems to be taken straight from the Japanese Playbook of Deniability;

    ”people in Taiwan thought racism and prejudice didn’t exist in their society”, switch with ‘Japan’ and no one would bat an eye-lid.

    ”Taiwanese people who have lived in or travelled to Western countries, and they pointed out that people in the West frequently stereotype and discriminate against minorities. They also expressed resentment towards the perceived privileges Western men have in Taiwan, including their relationships with local women.”, ah, so, Taiwanese were discriminated against abroad, and it was horrible, so now they feel justified in dishing it out to foreigners back home. Oh, and let’s not forget how those white people get all of those benefits that ordinary Taiwanese people (not being in the minority and all) don’t get?

    ”Taiwan, an island that prides itself on having some of the friendliest people in the world”, ‘Omotenashi’, anyone?

    ”Violent attacks against foreigners are practically unheard of”, yeah, in Japan too; ‘I can’t believe I killed a foreigner’.

    ”Taiwanese people are uncomfortable around foreigners, for example, rarely addressing them in Chinese even when they speak fluent Mandarin.”, yeah, the Japanese often pretend that they can’t understand my English when I speak Japanese with them.

    ”One reason behind these attitudes is that Taiwan is largely homogeneous and it’s still unsure of how to assimilate foreigners into its society”, that old chestnut! ‘So sorry, we don’t have experience of how to treat you like human being’, excuse?

    ”Another reason for the negative attitudes is that Taiwanese used to feel inferior”, oh, so your ‘small man of Asia’ insecurity translates into permission to be a racist? Just like Japan.

    ”But many Westerners nowadays come here because they are interested in Taiwanese or Chinese culture.”, yep, just like Japan; the only NJ who come are the ones with a positive image, then you treat them like crap! way to cut your nose off to spite your face.

    ”Taiwan’s foreign ministry said the incident is “rare and isolated” and Taiwanese people “are best known for their friendliness, hospitality and willingness to help foreigners”, yes, Japan also denies it has a widespread, every day problem with racism, and believes that ball Japanese people are ever so helpful to all foreigners, all of the time.

    It appears to me, therefore, that 70 years of helping Japan, like an alcoholic, cover up it’s racism problem, the BBC is automatically transferring is contextual framework for apologizing for Japanese racism to other asian countries. Japan is a ‘world leader’ in one field at least.

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  • No worries JTG. Another thing that strikes me about these wa-jins ( and to be fair even the ones that are closest and loved) is their almost complete lack of sympathy/empathy to the poor, dispossessed, and in need. For instance the average homeless colleting cans in the street. As in, ( best case scenario they may rationalise) if there is anything to be done, this might not be their business; there is an all mighty government taking care of these “little” inconveniences after all.

    BTW reading you and Debito have helped me enduring life in this “special” society with this “unique” people, and most importantly to keep my sanity all these years. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Wow, this is for the Very Good News category!

    “We don’t need discrimination” anti-hate demonstration in Shinjuku, “Refugees welcome” too
    「差別いらない」反ヘイトデモ、新宿で 「難民歓迎」も Asahi Shimbun

    Great march in Tokyo: “We don’t need discrimination”… Plea in Shinjuku
    東京大行進:「差別いらない」…新宿でアピール Mainichi Shimbun

    Nov 22 2015

    http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASHCQ5VHJHCQUTIL00T.html
    http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20151123k0000m040030000c.html
    http://www.j-cast.com/2013/09/23184404.html
    http://www.jcp.or.jp/akahata/aik15/2015-11-23/2015112301_04_1.html
    Photo: https://twitter.com/asahi_photo/status/668448212689162240/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

    Surprise surprise, only the Mainichi and Asahi reported it 😉

    Considering how many few people participate in demonstations in Japan I think 600 to 2500 people is a very respectable number (figures are from the nay-sayers and organizers, respectively).

    I was about to comment here how sad it is that after the horrible attacks on Paris the anti-immigrants here and abroad feel vindicated. So I’m even more happy to see this.

    「差別いらない」反ヘイトデモ、新宿で 「難民歓迎」も
    ————————————
    朝日新聞 2015年11月22日22時27分

     「差別はいらない」「一緒に歩こう」。在日コリアンやLGBT(性的少数者)、障害者らあらゆる差別に反対するデモ「東京大行進」が22日にあり、約2500人(主催者発表)が東京・新宿の繁華街を練り歩いた。パリ同時多発テロ事件を受けて難民に対する排外的な感情が国内外で懸念されるなか、「難民歓迎」を訴える声もあった。

     デモは2013年、東京・新大久保で在日コリアンにヘイトスピーチを繰り返す団体に抗議してきた人たちを中心に企画。サッカースタジアムでの差別的横断幕など、これまでさまざまなテーマに広がりをみせてきた。

     3回目の今年は、難民が柱の一つになった。「REFUGEES WELCOME(難民歓迎)」などの横断幕を掲げたりした。デモの運営メンバー(30)は「根っこにあるのは、民主主義を肯定し、社会を良くしようという当たり前の気持ち」という。

     「難民歓迎 『テロに屈しない』はこれだ」と書いた手作りのプラカードを掲げて歩いた東京都世田谷区の会社員(42)は「『テロに屈しない』という威勢のいい言葉の裏で、難民は行き場をなくす。社会に広がる空気に対し、自分の気持ちを示した」と話した。

     スタッフの一人として参加した都内の大学生加藤大吉さん(25)は「差別はいらないという一点でまとまり、ポジティブな気持ちがあふれるデモになった」と話した。(市川美亜子)

    東京大行進:「差別いらない」…新宿でアピール
    ——————————–
    毎日新聞 2015年11月22日 19時45分(最終更新 11月22日 20時36分)

     ヘイトスピーチに抗議し、差別を許さない社会を呼びかけるパレード「東京大行進2015」が22日、東京・新宿で開かれ、約2500人(主催者発表)が「差別に反対する東京」をアピールしながら新宿駅周辺を行進した。

     ヘイトスピーチを繰り返すデモに路上で対峙(たいじ)してきた市民らを中心に2013年に始まり、今年で3回目。人種や民族、性的指向、障害などを理由とした差別に反対し、国会審議中の「人種差別撤廃施策推進法案」のすみやかな成立を訴えた。

     安保法制審議で民主主義の意味を問いかけた学生グループ「SEALDs」のメンバーも参加。内戦下のシリアから欧州に逃れてきた人々にドイツ市民が示した「難民歓迎」というプラカードを掲げる人の姿も目立った。

     実行委員会代表の西村直矢さん(35)は「私たちが生きる社会を守るため今後も声を上げていきたい」と話した。【小泉大士】

    Debito, any chance you could make this into a blog entry if you have time?

    Reply
  • John, BBC dont seem to have much of a grassroots presence in Japan, hence this colors their reporting and the fluff pieces? “Are you near the Yasukuni shrine? Have you been affected by the explosion? Let us know about your experiences. Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your stories.
    Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:”

    They even rang me up from the UK 15 years ago for third hand info on yakuza in Kabukicho,(as if I would know, but they knew even less) but I digress.

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  • Baudrillard

    The “are you near XX ..are you affected…” etc at the bottom of the posting occurs on their news articles these days no matter where in the world. Has been like that for a few years now.

    The BBC does have a presence in Japan, albeit not a strong one. And their reporting is still myopic and “kawaii” based. Yet contrast it with the BBCs reporting in Seoul, much more in depth and hard hitting journalism. Thus makes one wonder whether the BBC is too afraid to report what is seen daily here, or is persuaded by “others” from doing so.

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  • @John, yes “albeit not a strong one”. And I also believe the Beeb is guilty of too much PC, which they apply overseas as following local cultural norms as they perceive it (wrongly).
    Thus, its not the done thing to speak out in Japan? Where is Paxman when you need him? The Japan v China Senkakus debate hosted by him (in LONDON), was a big lose for Japan, as the Japanese spokesman (of course, a man) came across as distant, patronizing and entitled.

    I cant see that happening here- the Beeb would probably be harassed by rightists out of the country. I dont know how they get away with it in Korea, but arguably there is more public confrontation there, but like I say, arguably.

    Maybe you are right, someone is telling the Beeb to not speak out too much against Abe etc in the interests of the “Western Alliance” (though why Japan is seen as a member of this and Korea less so, I dont really get).

    Reply
  • @ Hennagaijin #18

    Sorry for my slow reply, I’ve been watching The Man in the High Castle.

    Thank you for your kind words. Although, I hesitate to take any credit for helping anyone, I was a long time reader of Debito.org before I had the courage to comment, and I was reassured that other NJ had similar experiences. That’s all thanks to Dr. Debito for his hard work on this site, and the valuable resource and forum it represents, without which, I’d have packed my bags long ago.

    Thank you Dr. Debito.

    — Quite welcome. I’m glad it’s been of help. And I too am watching Man in the High Castle. Only seen four episodes yet, but the pilot episode I’ve already watched three times.

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  • @ Baudrillard and John K,

    We’ve mentioned a couple of times around here recently that BBC News seems to have taken a ‘pro-Japanese’ stance lately, and today I noticed this;

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2015/11/25/entertainment-news/japanese-woman-wins-bbc-newcomer-comedy-award/

    A Japanese comedienne has received a cash prize from the BBc as the winner of a Radio comedy show competition. Sounds fair enough until you look at her material, which relies exclusively on reinforcing ‘us Japanese/those gaijin’ racist stereotype world-view. In fact, he routine relies on the fact that the audience believe that ‘Japan myths’ that we all know are untrue. But I guess it’s ok for her to be racist, because she’s doing it with a smile on her face, whilst I have heard pretty much all the same comments from Japanese people here in Japan with a straight face intended as a put put down.

    She must be laughing her butt off all the way to the bank that the BBC give her British tax-payers cash for essentially being racist to them.

    It’s extremely odd when you remember how extremely sensitive the Japanese government was over the BBC’s QI show segment on the man who was lucky (or unlucky?) to have survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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  • Interesting to see that next PM of Japan wannabe Ishiba has come out and stated what we all already knew about Japan’s need for immigration, what we already knew about why Japan will be lucky to attract the people, and what we already knew about what a ticking time-bomb this is;

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/11/25/national/politics-diplomacy/japans-immigration-policy-rift-widens-population-decline-forces-need-foreign-workers/

    Considering that Ishiba is a right-wing hawk with an army fetish, I was really surprised to see this (and predictably, Suga popped up straight away to explain why it was a bad idea for Japan to accept immigrants without collars and leashes, or shackles, or balls and chains).

    We know that Ishiba is telling simple truths, but what is his objective in making statements that effectively make him unelectable in Japan?

    Reply
  • Man in the High Castle.

    For those of you who haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it. Some big differences from Phillip K. Dick’s book, but excellent.

    There are a few points about it relevant to us here at Debito.org; namely, it shows Imperial Japan as being brutal in occupation. Now, ‘we’ know that this was a reality of Japanese occupation, but 70 years of reality dodging in Japan’s history classes have left modern Japanese largely clueless about this fact (and many others!). Now, we know how extremely sensitive the Abe regime is to ‘negative’ coverage of Japan, especially the wartime era, so I was thinking that in order to avoid an unscheduled visit from a couple of sketchy characters from the Japanese embassy on Amazon’s doorstep with threats and intimidation, and allegations of ‘being on the pay-roll of the Chinese’, that Amazon put out the first two episodes fairly quietly over the last 3 months, and then put the remaining 7 episodes on-line last week all together, and ramped up the promotion; it’s too late for the J-gov to complain and try to stop the show from airing- it’s all online?

    Anyway, saw this story today about how the promotion for this show back-fired when NY’s Kobe built Kawasaki subway trains decked out in the shows fake ‘Nazi-America’ and ‘Japanese-America’ flags caused offense;

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/11/25/business/de-blasio-beef-prompts-amazon-yank-nazi-imperial-japan-themed-tv-ads-n-y-subway/

    Now, I personally am not offended, because I understand the context, but if I didn’t, and I got on the train, yes, I understand how it could be seen to be in bad taste. However, what I found particularly gratifying about this story was that 70 years after the war, and despite all of Abe’s massive campaign to convince the Japanese and the world that the japanese weren’t as bad as the ‘victors justice’ makes them seen, for New Yorkers at least Imperial Japan is STILL just as toxic an idea as Nazi Germany.

    Quite frankly, that’s something Abe won’t overcome with some cutesy anime, and a girl-band.

    And this leads me to another point. I have often said that because the japanese don’t generally understand the brutality of the occupation they imposed on others, they seem to think that had they won the war, Japan would be the same as it is today, yet somehow ‘better’. What this incorrect understanding of Japanese wartime history fails to show is demonstrated very clearly in The Man in the High Castle; Japan won the war, but destroyed it’s export market. There are no ‘new’ TV’s, no blue jeans, no 50’s Cadillacs, and no Rock N’ Roll. There is no consumption culture (for better or for worse. For the Japanese, worse) because the export markets are stifled under Japanese brutal occupation. In fact, in the Japanese one, it’s 1962, but people have a depression era standard of living, with added terror.

    This fact alone, when the Japanese realize it, is pretty certain to draw the wrath of the Japanese government and Japan’s right-wingers. I expect Amazon to take some severe flak for showing Japanese occupation as racist and brutal. In fact, they also show Japanese workplaces to be misogynistic with rampant sexual harassment and forced ‘services’ (as in, echoes of ‘sex-slave’ issue) from ladies of the occupied America. This will not go down well in japan.

    But for those of you who could use a little light relief, I recommend Episode 7, in which sycophant Japanophile wannabe Mr. Childen (the antiques dealer) fawns desperately over the Japanese occupiers, and apologizes and rationalizes their racism towards Americans as justified because he has bought into all the myths of Japanese cultural superiority. since he thinks that he understands the Japanese and their culture, and can speak their language, he thinks that they will understand he is not like other Americans (can you see where this is going?). But his is totally destroyed when he realizes that they have no respect for him at all, and regard him as a disposable curiosity, and hold his in total contempt, and have no respect at all for his culture (in fact, they ‘play’ at being ‘gaijin’ in front of him).

    Childen is so embittered by this bubble-bursting experience that he starts to help the American resistance.

    I watched it and thought;
    ‘Ha! Just like every apologist! Just like every apologist! Just like every apologist! OOOH! Now he’s like Gregory Clark!’.

    Very good TV.

    — I’m now really looking forward to seeing the latter episodes.

    Reply
  • @ Dr. Debito #27 (and all other Debito.org readers)

    Yes. And aside from enjoying the story, take a look at the backdrop; have a look at the type of societies, standards of living, and the discrimination Americans suffer, and how those things are different when you compare the Japanese and Nazi zones.

    I think that there’ll be a lot to say about that. It’s very telling. After all, we now live in a Japan where Imperial Era ideology was not purged, but continued. So do the characters in the show.

    — Right now the storyline of MITHC where I’m at is about The Marshall in the Neutral Zone. I don’t give a hoot about that. I want them to get back to life in the occupied areas. Glad to hear from you that the story picks up in that direction soon.

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  • #26 JDG

    “..We know that Ishiba is telling simple truths, but what is his objective in making statements that effectively make him unelectable in Japan?..”

    It is classic Japanese misdirection. This assists in the creation of the predictable backlash so the next successor can point to the army of fans to prevent such from ever occurring supported by the general public.
    Stick a pin in one location, get the predictable…ouch..and the rest falls into place nicely. Perfect Kabuki….ask Ishihara.

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  • I really would advise viewers of TMITHC to scrutinize every detail very carefully.
    The opening theme to episode 1 was the US national anthem sung is a slow and ghostly child’s voice, but from episode 2 it switched to Eidelwiess, which is from the Oscar winning The Sound of Music, made in the year that the show is set.
    This is interesting because in the movie it’s sung by Anna who with the Von Trapps is supposed to be escaping from the Nazis, but as Slavoj Zizek points out in his analysis in his movie The Perverts Guide to Ideology, the reality of Sound of Music is that it’s characters are cleverly subverted and inverted; it is the Von Trapps that represent the pastoral Nazi ideal, and the Gestapo who represent the urbane, cosmopolitan Jews.

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  • It is time for everyone to send in their criticism to the ‘contact bbc’ to criticise the BBC’s bias.

    BBC Japan front page is here:

    http://www.bbc.com/japanese

    ..and yet does not run the story I posted above, that Japan is resuming whale hunting despite being banned, shown on their English news site.

    Reply
  • J-league backsliding on ‘no tolerance’ policy to racism instituted after Urawa Reds ‘Japanese only’ banners;

    http://www.japantoday.com/smartphone/view/sports/j-league-says-it-wont-punish-student-who-sent-racist-tweets-patric

    Gamba Osaka fan sends racist tweets about black player; J-league says ‘no punishment’.

    So there you go. As soon as the spotlight is off, back to business as usual for Japanese institutional racism. With the Tokyo Olympics coming, you’d think that they’d be more aware of the negative image this gives.

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

    SOCCER
    J.League says it won’t punish student who sent racist tweets to Patric
    Dec. 01, 2015 – 05:45PM JST

    TOKYO — Japan’s top soccer league will not punish a teenage student who has apologized for sending racist messages to Gamba Osaka striker Patric because the incident happened outside a stadium.

    The Brazilian was sent the messages on Twitter after scoring the third goal in Gamba’s 3-1 extra time win over Urawa Red Diamonds in the J.League championship semifinal on Saturday.

    The student, his guardian and the school’s vice principal apologised to Gamba and the player through the J.League, Kyodo News reported.

    The 28-year-old striker, who the league said had accepted the apology, was shocked by the abuse.

    “There were really disappointing and cruel, racially abusive posts. Anyone would be hurt by these,” he posted on Twitter.

    “I’m really proud to be black. My son is black and we are really happy. This is the first time I’ve faced racial discrimination and I never dreamt of being on the receiving end in this country.

    “I really like and respect this country. For me this is the most well-mannered and cultured country in the world.

    “I hope the matter will be properly dealt with. To the person who has posted this, you should not do these things as a human being.”

    The league says it is working to “stamp out racism” and last year forced Urawa to play one match behind closed doors after fans unveiled a sign that read, “Japanese Only” at their Saitama Stadium.

    The club, who were also fined 5 million yen ($40,700) in 2010 after fans taunted foreign players of Vegalta Sendai, banned the supporters that unveiled the banner indefinitely.

    Holders Gamba host Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the first leg of the J-League final on Wednesday.

    ENDS

    Reply
  • So, in defiance of a court ruling, the Japanese whaling fleet has set sail.
    There used to be two whaling fleets and two home ports, but one in Tohoku was destroyed by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and as you may remember, there was a scandal when it was discovered that ‘Tohoku reconstruction funds’ were being used for (amongst many other things) getting the whaling industry back on its feet.
    Now, this consisted primarily of using reconstruction money to move the whole operation to the second of the home ports, the one unaffected by the earthquake and the tsunami.
    Can anyone guess where that port is, and which politicians electoral district it is in?

    That’s right! Shimonoseki, represented in the Diet by one Shinzo Abe!
    All makes a lot more sense now, doesn’t it?

    http://www.japantoday.com/smartphone/view/national/japans-whaling-fleet-departs-for-hunt-despite-international-outrage

    Reply
  • @Jim #34 – It gets worse: the message itself could even be seen as a threat of murder since what was written in Japanese can be translated as “Die, black man!” or “Die, you n*gger!”

    Here is the screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/Gq5gcTN.png

    Here is a UK article about it: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/30/japanese-football-chiefs-investigate-racist-tweet-targeting-black-player

    And found within that UK article, here is a link to a Japanese article about it: https://web.archive.org/web/20151201162642/http://uragi.com/news/uraginews006509.html (That’s the Internet Archive cache of course, since the J-articles always disappear so quickly.)

    And here is the screenshot of the victim’s response: http://i.imgur.com/wYEBJ5J.jpg

    But what really gets me is that the media (both J-media [probably intentionally] and non-J-media [perhaps unintentionally]) and even the victim himself, while reprimanding the racism part, doesn’t mention the “Die!” part.

    I mean, yes, first off there should be a punishment for the sending of a message which negatively talks about a person’s race, since that is by definition a racist message.

    I just mean, isn’t there also an even worse crime which has been perpetrated here, isn’t there some kind of punishment in place for the sending of a message that says “You, Die!” ?

    This “Die!” (shinu) command is a common phrase used by a surprisingly high number of Japanese in modern Japanese culture, it unconsciously or consciously is ordering someone to kill themselves: not merely encouraging the death (that would be “You SHOULD commit suicide”) and not merely wishing for the person’s death (that would be “I wish you WOULD die”) but instead straight out commanding the person to die. And we wonder why Japan is the highest suicide nation of all the sunny nations. And these folks walking around giving these commands (mainly gyaru and yankii) are so assured that they can walk around telling people to “Die!” “Die!” without a punch response to the nose and without being arrested for making death threats.

    I mean, when it comes to death threats, this whole “Shinu!” command always reminds me of the young Japanese person (a gyaru yankii combo) with a microphone who announced in the town of Tsuruhashi, Osaka:
    “I want to kill you Koreans!”
    “Nevermind the Nanking Massacre, we will start a Tsuruhashi Massacre here!”
    “If the Japanese are angry we can do that!”
    “We will start a huge Massacre right here!”
    http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1923_Great_Kantō_earthquake#Postquake_violence
    “Go back to your country before we start a Massacre!”
    https://www.youtube.com/v/2pE2ms1P56I&rel=0&autoplay=0

    The SUPPOSED reason why the Japanese police standing right there guarding the speaker (the speaker making the death threats) didn’t arrest that young perpetrator for making those death threats to all Koreans living in earshot of her microphone SUPPOSEDLY goes like this, “Well, the death threat was to a group, you see, yeah, not to a specific individual. In Japan if you commit libel/slander (meiyokison) against an individual, it’s illegal and actionable in a civil suit of course (yet with no court enforcement of the penalty, as Debito learned with 2-chan’s meiyokison penalty judgement non-payment) but if you do that same action to a group, like say a whole race, it’s perfectly legal. Same thing with threats. Threatening an individual is illegal in Japan, but threatening a whole race is perfectly legal in Japan.”

    OK, Japan has a twisted loophole which allows people to broadcast with a microphone “We’re gonna kill all you Koreans in a huge group massacre if you all don’t move out of this neighborhood!” OK, I’m not even sure if the law actually allows it, but currently that is the answer legal pundits give for the ability of folks to slander GROUPS and threaten GROUPS here in Japan.

    So… in this recent case of the online “Die!” tweet, isn’t this a case of threatening a specific INDIVIDUAL?

    I know, I know, it’s a stretch to say that this is equal to the standard direct English death threat of “I’m gonna’ kill you!” per se, but c’mon, “Die you!” seems pretty close to a death threat. It’s what crazy people say right before the knife attack. It’s showing one’s will. The death of someone.

    Anyway, I just wanted to point out the screenshot of the “Die!” tweet, the meaning of which (commanding death) seems to be going unmentioned in the body of the articles about this.

    Sometimes I feel folks have the right to say whatever they want, and sometimes I don’t.

    I’m sure there should NOT be a penalty for one individual saying to another “I hate you.” Leave that freedom.

    Conversely, I’m sure there SHOULD be a penalty for one individual saying to another, “I’m gonna’ kill you!” That’s a threat.

    So, in this case, SHOULD there be a penalty for one individual saying to another, “Shinu!” = “Die!” ? I’m still not sure.

    But at the very least, one would think that: even if no criminal case nor no civil case can be made here, it sure is clear that the J-League doesn’t care enough to ban this guy as a little “shunning” penalty.

    When the world pressure (gai-atsu) is there, meaning enough foreign media showing the world Japan’s illegal and unlawful actions (and the subsequent illegal and unlawful non-prosecution of those initial actions), then Japan will occasionally be forced to give a tiny slap on the wrist to the offenders, always insufficient, always thousands of times LESS harsh than if a non-Japanese individual had done the same thing.

    Imagine what the court penalty would have been for three non-Japanese individuals to have put up a banner marking an area as being for “White People Only” in an obvious effort to deny entry to that part of the stadium to all non-whites? I think (but am not sure) that there must be some laws being broken here: very least the victims who felt emotionally damaged by the act of racially based entry denial should be able, after testifying at the criminal court hearing, to also sue for emotional damages afterwards in the civil court hearing, right?

    So, here as well, imagine what the court penalty would have been for a non-Japanese individual to have sent a message to a Japanese individual which said, “Die, you!” I think that there must be some laws being broken here: at the very least the victim who felt emotionally damaged by the act of this death command statement should be able, after testifying at the criminal court hearing, to also sue for emotional damages afterwards in the civil court hearing, right?

    The Japanese media reporters (who SAW the “Shinu!” “Die!” screenshot, yet strangely didn’t mention that sensational fact in their articles, thus chose to DOWNPLAY the death part, and merely call it a racist remark) failed to present this as an illegal act. Just as previously as well, they failed to present the “race based entry denial banner posting by three individuals” as an illegal act. It simply became bad manners. Japanese culture really does downgrade illegal acts to mere “bad manners” when the perpetrator is ethnically-Japanese and when the victim is ethnically-non-Japanese.

    Without sufficient world pressure, Japan does not and will not punish itself for continued race-based human-rights-violations, because such race-based acts are an inherent, intrinsic, beloved, essential part of Japanese culture, according to the way Japanese culture defines itself as having a strong barrier between ethnically-Japanese (the uchi, the insider race) and ethnically-Non-Japanese (the gai, the outsider races), a stance which thus unfortunately insists that Japanese culture be preserved through keeping out (physically) to the degree possible, and keeping DOWN (hierarchically) to the degree possible: all foreign races.

    It really is sad that the country which has the least chance of being physically attacked, has the HIGHEST chance of being emotionally attacked through racist acts. Racist acts (like entry denial based on race, and even death threats based on race) which in every other first world country the victim can take the perpetrator to court and see justice done. So here, I won’t get punched in the face, thank goodness, but I and my children do get punched in the heart, and have a very low chance of getting help from the courts for justice.

    So, I just have to tell myself and my children to be heart strong, and to be courageously ready to protect yourself from the attempts at heart attacks which come and which will continue to come.

    For example, one preventative measure, to minimize the chance of such heart attacks from happening in the first place, here in Japan, is walking with the internal strength in knowledge that I am a strong human who knows how to speak strongly the truth, especially about areas of justice, a person who does NOT easily allow himself to be trampled on, neither in the area of bad manners nor in the area of illegal actions, basically: I am not an easy target of heart attacks, and that strong internal self-knowledge can be seen by others exuding in my physical manifestation (basically, what I am trying to describe, is: when you walk around looking like a confident person ready to handle any situation, you get less [not zero, but less] folks trying to punk you specifically, they consciously or unconsciously choose another mark to mess with (mess with meaning, to attempt the “I am Japanese, you are not Japanese, so now I’m going to do something to you which I would not normally do a Japanese person, because since you are lower in the race-based hierarchy, you deserve lower treatment” actions chronicled here at this site.)

    So what I’m saying is, your internal strength level shows in your eyes, and the people walking around with weak looking scared sheep eyes get chosen as victims of race-based-punking much more than people whose eyes shine strength.

    And then, in addition to this “internal strength showing externally” prevention measure, which helps reduce the daily numbers of race-based attempts to attack my emotional state, meaning race-based attempts to make me feel like having less human rights and/or less human dignity, next comes: how to deal with those folks who DO attempt to punk me. I immediately call them out on whatever they are doing, and if illegal, announce that the action is illegal. Boom. Knowing various laws and being ready to state them with strength and conviction and righteous outrage that someone thought they could just commit an illegal act on this individual, shuts down their attempts at punking quite quickly usually. They usually try to escape without any further verbal reprimand. So be ready to instantly verbally smack down any attempts at race-based rudeness and most especially race-based illegal acts.

    And part three is (in addition to part one of being internally ready, and part two of strongly cutting off any attempts at race-based punking immediately and intensely) the third part of my style, which I choose for myself and which I recommend to my loved ones, is: while walking and talking so strong, like a mafia-boss/president/lawyer/prosecutor/judge/jury/verbal-executioner, the third part is to remember to stay gentle on the inside at the same time, gentle to myself, to gentle to my family, and gentle to every human I meet who does NOT attempt to punk me.

    So walk strong to prevent attacks, and talk strong to stop attacks with legal verbal reprimands ready to make would-be perps back down, these first two steps are necessary here in Japan to actively reduce the total amount of financial+time+energy+emotional damages which the ethnically-Japanese-majority attempt to perpetrate on the ethnically-non-Japanese-minority.

    And while doing all of that strong posturing, remember to remain calm and gentle at the same time, to all the folks who are NOT attempting any race-based rude/illegal actions. The strong-armor-eyes and strong-sword-sentences can makes one appear like a scary dangerous bad-ass: to the eyes of the would-be dignity/rights violator. So to them, I’m a mean boss, the wrong one to mess with, they wonder if they are going to get fired for the illegal actions which they were thinking about pulling on me. I either scare them out of even trying in the first place, or I scare them out of ever trying that with me a second time. But inside, I know I am merely dishing out justice, sweet beautiful justice. And that all of the rest of the time, when folks are NOT attempting to punk me, I’m a sweet altruistic generous giving kind praising gentle soul. So that’s the essential factor which must be remembered, in addition to the strong armor+sword, the essential balance comes from remembering to also at the same time continue to be a truly gentle soul. Yeah, I know, sounds corny, this whole summary I just typed, but the strong side minimizes cuts, and the gentle side maximizes healing. Meaning, even though folks do occasionally manage to get past my strong defense and manage to land a punch to the heart (mainly not individuals managing to punch my heart, but sometimes authorities like J-government and J-companies manage to punk me without my speech able to change their ways) when those heart punches do occasionally come, the fact that I know I am a just gentle soul helps to prevent and minimize and speed healing of… any emotional damage to the heart. And oh yeah, remain in good humor. Laugh with your children each day about today’s attempted attacks, and what sentences were used to avert the attack, and what sentences were used to make sure that individual doesn’t try to attempt any further such attacks on me, and then laugh about how they didn’t manage to cause much or any emotional damage at all. Laugh about how they failed to give me a bad day. So, this third part, the gentle soul part, helps one remember to laugh. To laugh at the idiotic racists who thought they could damage my heart. Ha! And again, the laughing helps to heal more quickly any slight emotional damage which may have occurred during the attack attempt.

    TL:DR – Be self-confident, look strong, talk strong, remain gentle, remain centered, remain heart healed, remain heart healthy, remain heart happy. Keep laughing at the losers. Keep loving family and all good humans. 🙂

    Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ Anonymous #36

    Yes, you are absolutely right; making death threats (especially against celebrities) usually results in a police investigation and arrest, then an appearance in court, but in this case (it turns out that the tweets were from a minor) there appears to be no recognition by the media, the police, or J-league that the crime of sending someone a death threat took place. In fact, that crime has already been white-washed out of the story, and the narrative has therefore become; ‘Kid sends racist tweet about soccer player’, and of course, he’s just a ‘kid’ so the benefit of the doubt is given to him (‘he doesn’t understand why it’s wrong’ mentality), and his school (for some reason this has become their responsibility. Where are the parents?) will give him a ‘stern talking to’. Case closed!

    Phew! Sigh of relief!

    J-league, the police, the media, and Japanese society has dodged the racism bullet once again, and can get back to normal pretending that the massive unaddressed elephant in J-society’s room isn’t there!
    That was a close call!

    Except that the international media has picked up the story, so let’s see.

    You are right in your other comments. You are more likely to be subjected to random street violence in maybe NY or London (although Japanese people and even J-cops have killed NJ as we have discussed here before), but there is a lot of Japanese who feel entitled to harass and abuse foreigners wherever and whenever they encounter them (and usually get away with it due to the lack of target’s language ability), and to avoid that constant trouble (which if it ever escalates will always end with you being seen as the criminal by the J-police), the sad fact is that in ‘harmony Japan’ NJ must learn to walk around with a ‘don’t f*ck with me’ look on their face, just as they would in NY or London.

    Japan can’t seem to control it’s contradictions at the moment; begging for the Australian submarine deal at the same time as rejecting an Australian court ruling that they pay a fine and stop whaling (which they won’t do). Two irreconcilable needs that the Japanese are attempting to satisfy in contradiction.

    Wanting to host the 2020 Olympics and show the world that Japan has ‘arrived’ and is a modern and developed country by attracting as many tourists as possible, yet at the same time staunchly defending their ‘entitlement’ to treat those visitors badly with racism, but contradicting it again with ‘Omotenashi’, but contradicting that with complaining about all the tourists blocking up the streets and shops.

    Japan is it’s own worst enemy, ‘cake and eat it’ mentality at astonishing levels.

    Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ John K #33

    Yes! And I also don’t see on the BBC News Japanese page any coverage of the racist Gamba Osaka tweets!

    Reply
  • Loverilakkuma says:

    @JDG, #34

    To be fair, it’s kind of tall order to the league commissioner to issue a penalty since there’s no perpetrator’s photo ID or any transaction record to indicate his attendance to the stadium. I think it’s all up to his school community to issue disciplinary action.

    Reply
  • “because the incident happened outside a stadium.” Honorary members of Team Japan, as I said, are only tolerated while being where they are supposed to be- in English school or in the stadium. They are not supposed to be walking around freely unaccompanied by a gaijin handler anywhere else in Japan. Or if they do, they are not protected. That is the takeaway from this incident- you are not protected outside your place of work.

    Abe’s Japan gets more like visiting North Korea as a foreign tourist every day. So Patric could live in the stadium 24/7?

    Reply
  • @anon,this only works for a while -“I recommend to my loved ones, is: while walking and talking so strong, like a mafia-boss/president/lawyer/prosecutor/judge/jury/verbal-executioner, the third part is to remember to stay gentle on the inside at the same time”

    I did this in Japan in the 90s, I changed completely and became this kind of hard, gym going, mafioso type. Alpha male in some ways, but a heartless b+stard in others. It was an act, a fake, and so postmodern. A Theater of Absurd in which I could never let my guard down.

    It really destroyed my sensitivity for a while. So I guess you would say that living in Japan is not for the faint-hearted or the sensitive (unless you are a Japanese sheltered hikkikomori).

    Is this what Japan has come to? An ordeal? So much for safety Japan, and it sucks even as a potential tourist destination if one has to steel oneself all the time. Very tiring, very fake, very stressful and not the kind of person I wanted to become in the end.

    “Most people feel they are at the mercy of the circumstances in which they live- this leads to the destruction of their inwardness”- Joseph Beuys. yeah, that sounds like life in Japan these days if you are an NJ.

    Beuys lived under the Nazis.

    Reply
  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ Loverilakkuma #39

    I disagree.
    J-league could have given him a lifetime ban from entering stadiums and J-league events and fan clubs.
    Whilst it may not have had much of an impact on this particular young man, it would have sent a very string message to Japan’s soccer community that racism will not be tolerated, and that in turn would have forced soccer clubs, fan clubs, and soccer fans to be much more strict in enforcing themselves and prevent their members from expressing racist comments, creating a ‘sea change’ in Japanese soccer culture.
    But I guess J-league doesn’t want an anti-racism sea change; they seem to want to keep racism in Japanese soccer.

    Reply

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