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Comment from submitters:
“This notification was in my mailbox this morning… It says that there were a number of burglaries in my neighborhood the other day & it is believed that the criminal is a foreigner and to be careful about taking precautions…
“My first thought: how do they know it was a foreigner?!? My second thought was: what kind of message does this give to the children who live here?
“Is it only me that thinks this smacks of discrimination?”
The flyer reads (translation by Debito):
!BREAK-INS WHEN YOU’RE NOT HOME! (akisuu)
!!BE ON CLOSE GUARD!!
Today (January 29, 2016), there were several break-ins at our apartment complex.
It is thought that the culprits were foreigners, and there is a danger of them returning to commit more crimes.
Anti-crime measures by each family are a matter of course, but it is also very important for residents to watch out for each other and ask around.
Be on guard at all times.
COMMENT: I’m not sure which is worse: The thefts themselves, the anonymous warning, or the accusation that foreigners are behind it. Especially given that theft is the most common crime in Japan by far and it is almost always committed by Japanese. Again, these sorts of vigilante moves without anyone taking responsibility for spreading rumors are precisely what stir up passions and target people (sometimes with fatal consequences). This should be discouraged by the authorities, but unfortunately it isn’t. In fact, it’s precisely the same tactics the Japanese police use (see Arudou “Embedded Racism” Ch. 7). Dr. ARUDOU, Debito