Books, eBooks, and more from Dr. Debito Arudou (click on icon):
UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free
“LIKE” US on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/debitoorg
If you like what you read and discuss on Debito.org, please consider helping us stop hackers and defray maintenance costs with a little donation via my webhoster:
All donations go towards website costs only. Thanks for your support!
Hi Blog. Good news. Another NJ wins in court against a “Japanese Only” establishment, this time a car dealer who wouldn’t send Osakan Plaintiff Ibrahim Yener information about their goods because he’s a foreigner.
The positive thing to note here is that Mr. Yener filed suit all by himself, without legal representation, and still won. He no doubt had the company dead to rights because he had their refusal in writing. That means that anyone else with a case as watertight as his can also take it to court and win, and I advise people to do so whenever possible.
The negative thing to note here is that once again the award amount has been reduced. In the Bortz Case, the award was 2 million yen, in the Otaru Case it was 1 million yen per plaintiff, and in the McGowan Case, after a ludicrous defeat in lower court, it was eventually only 350,000 yen on appeal, which didn’t even come close to covering his legal fees. In the Yener Case, it’s now been reduced to a paltry 200,000 yen, which means it’s a good thing he didn’t seek legal representation.
(And as the article notes, the discriminator is thinking of appealing, claiming this amount — essentially pocket change for a company — is too high. The idiots also try to make the common excuse that “Japanese Only” alludes to a language barrier, not a racial one; nice try, but didn’t hold up in court.)
Anyway, glad that Mr. Yener won. It’s just a pity that after all this time and effort, there isn’t any deterrent of punitive damages against racial discriminators. That’s why we need a criminal law against racial discrimination in Japan — because the excuse the Japanese government officially keeps making (that laws are unnecessary because there is a court system for redress) becomes less compelling with every lawsuit filed. Dr. Debito Arudou
Turkish man wins solo battle in fight against discrimination
By SATOKO ONUKI/ Staff Writer
Asahi Shinbun, September 4, 2017, courtesy lots of people
PHOTO: Ibrahim Yener, a 40-year-old Turkish national, in Osaka’s Kita Ward on Aug. 29. He successfully fought a court battle against a car dealer that declined to offer information about a used car on grounds Yener does not have Japanese citizenship. (Satoko Onuki)
OSAKA–Incensed at a car dealer’s refusal to send him literature on its range because he is not Japanese, Ibrahim Yener, a Turkish national, decided to wage a legal battle against the company for discriminating against a foreigner.
And Yener, who is 40 and a resident of Osaka, did it all alone–without a lawyer to represent him.
He said he opted out of hiring legal representation because he was confident his claim “is 100 percent legitimate.”
Yener went online to learn how to write a complaint to the court in Japanese and got friends to help him.
His complaint seeking 1 million yen ($9,090) in damages, filed with the Osaka District Court in March, reads: “I was informed by a company official that they will not serve foreigners.”
On Aug. 25, his efforts paid off.
The court ordered the company to pay Yener 200,000 yen in damages for “discriminating against him merely on grounds that he is a foreign national.”
Yener’s quest for equal treatment began when he made an online request last October for information on a second-hand car he was thinking of buying from the Osaka-based dealer.
The company replied: “We serve only those with Japanese nationality, and we do not meet requests for information from foreigners.”
Yener, a big fan of Japan and its culture, arrived in 2003.
His fascination with Japan began after he watched “Seven Samurai” by internationally-renowned filmmaker Akira Kurosawa while he was still back in his home country.
After his arrival in Japan, he studied the language in earnest and has worked for an information technology company and other businesses.
On occasion Yener had been distressed to hear people ridicule foreign nationals who cannot read kanji. He said there are times when he feels he is not treated “as an equal.”
“Regrettably, many people in Japan, not just the car dealer, think that they can discriminate against foreigners,” he said. “Since I admire Japan, I am very saddened by that.”
Many of Yener’s work colleagues sympathized with his plight and extended their assistance when he took the case to court.
“The lawsuit represents more than his personal battle as it raises an important question for everyone who lives in Japan,” said a colleague.
Preparing the documents was an enormous effort, and Yener was forced to take a day off from work so he could testify in court.
Nevertheless, Yener felt he was on a mission and prepared to fight to the end.
“Our world is certainly becoming a better place, compared with 100 years ago,” he said. “We can enjoy today’s world because people in the preceding era plucked up the courage and challenged (what was unreasonable). I, too, fought for people who will live in this society 100 years from now.”
The president of the car company said he is considering filing an appeal, adding that the sum ordered by the court is too high.
“Our original intention was to refuse to serve people who have difficulty understanding Japanese,” he said.
UPDATE: Ibrahim Yener writes to Debito.org directly to provide more details on his case.
Do you like what you read on Debito.org? Want to help keep the archive active and support Debito.org’s activities? Please consider donating a little something. More details here. Or even click on an ad below.