DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JUNE 10, 2018

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DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JUNE 10, 2018

Table of Contents:
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POLICY PAROXYSMS THAT HURT PEOPLE

1) JT and Nikkei: Japan to offer longer stays for “Trainees”, but with contract lengths that void qualifying for Permanent Residency
2) Kyoto City Govt. subway advert has Visible Minority as poster girl for free AIDS/STDs testing. Wrong on many levels, especially statistically.

GOOD NEWS, SOMETIMES TAMPED DOWN

3) Mainichi: Zainichi Korean’s hate speech lawsuit ends in her favor. Bravo. But Mainichi plays word games, mistranslates “racial discrimination” (jinshu sabetsu) into “ethnic discrimination” in English!
4) Japan Supreme Court enforces Hague Convention on Int’l Child Abductions (for Japanese claimants). Yet Sakura TV claims Hague is for “selfish White men” trying to entrap women from “uncivilized countries” as “babysitters”
5) Asahi: Setagaya Ward plans to battle inter alia racial, ethnic discrimination (in specific) in a local ordinance. Progressive steps!

MORE EXCLUSIONISM

6) Sapporo Consadole soccer player and former England Team striker Jay Bothroyd refused entry to Hokkaido Classic golf course for being “not Japanese”
7) “Japanese Only” sign on Izakaya Bar “100” (Momosaku 百作) in Asakusa, Tokyo
8 ) “Japanese Only” diving and hiking tour company in Tokashikimura, Okinawa: “Begin Diving Buddies”
9) “Japanese Only” tourist information booth in JR Beppu Station

… and finally…

10) My Japan Times column JBC 111: “White Supremacists and Japan: A Love Story” (March 8, 2018)
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By Debito Arudou, Ph.D. (debito@debito.org, www.debito.org, Twitter @arudoudebito)
The Debito.org Newsletter is, as always, freely forwardable

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POLICY PAROXYSMS THAT HURT PEOPLE

1) JT and Nikkei: Japan to offer longer stays for “Trainees”, but with contract lengths that void qualifying for Permanent Residency

JT: Japan is weighing the creation of a new status of residence that would allow technical interns from abroad to stay longer in the country, as part of efforts to tackle severe labor shortages, sources said Wednesday. But interns’ families would not be allowed to enter Japan — a provision meant to prevent the creation of the new status from leading to discussions on the sensitive issue of immigration, the sources said. The status would allow those who have completed a five-year technical intern training program and meet certain requirements to stay and work for up to five additional years, the sources said. […]

But according to a Nikkei business daily report, trainees will still have to return to their home after their programs end, and then apply for the new residence status that would allow them to work again in Japan for a further five years. This is apparently aimed at keeping trainees and interns from gaining eligibility to apply for permanent residency, for which one of the prerequisites is to be living in Japan for 10 years or more.

COMMENT: As is within character since the early 1990s, Japan wants NJ workers to make up for labor shortages in Japan’s workforce, but remains unwilling to allow NJ migrant workers to become immigrants: to access the benefits of their labors and years of investment in Japan’s economy and society by allowing them to live in Japan. No, once again, Japan would rather leach off the best years of NJs’ productive lives and then send them home. Except now GOJ policy explicitly wants them to stick around and be exploited ever longer (without their families, and with a built-in contract cut-off before they can qualify for Permanent Residency), again under the guise of the deadly “Trainee” slave-wage labor program.

http://www.debito.org/?p=14965

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2) Kyoto City Govt. subway advert has Visible Minority as poster girl for free AIDS/STDs testing. Wrong on many levels, especially statistically.

The Kyoto Government is advertising via subway posters free AIDS and STD testing. Good. But check out what image they’re using for the face of sexually-transmitted diseases:

Submitter XY: Please see the attached photo, snapped on a Kyoto metro yesterday afternoon. The only non-Japanese face visible in the metro car (other than mine) is on an advert for AIDS and STD testing by Kyoto City Government. I guess they could not imagine asking a Yamato nadeshiko to be the poster-girl for AIDS testing.

COMMENT: Why are we targeting a Visible-Minority demographic with this ad? As XY says, that’s the embedded racism of this campaign. My suspicion is that they are targeting Japan’s sex workers, and a frequent association is that any foreigner imported for this task has diseases. This poster merely fortifies that.

And it’s wrong. According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, in 2015, non-Japanese people accounted for the minority of 108 (88 male; 20 female) out of 1,006 AIDS cases in Japan (and homosexual men, not women, remain the largest affected demographic). Plus don’t forget that historically, a significant number of AIDS cases in Japan were the result not of sexual contact, but of HIV-tainted blood recklessly given to hemophiliacs *by the Japanese government* in the late 1980s. That’s why this poster is visually misrepresenting the issue on many levels.

http://www.debito.org/?p=14921

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GOOD NEWS, SOMETIMES TAMPED DOWN

3) Mainichi: Zainichi Korean’s hate speech lawsuit ends in her favor. Bravo. But Mainichi plays word games, mistranslates “racial discrimination” (jinshu sabetsu) into “ethnic discrimination” in English!

Mainichi:  Freelance writer Lee Sin Hae, 46, filed a lawsuit with the Osaka District Court in August 2014 against [officially-acknowledged hate group] “Zainichi tokken o yurusanai shimin no kai” (“Citizens’ group that does not forgive special rights for Korean residents of Japan,” or “Zaitokukai”) and its then chairman, Makoto Sakurai, demanding 5.5 million yen in compensation. Lee alleged that the group defamed her by calling her “an old Korean hag” during rallies in the Sannomiya district of Kobe and “a lawless Korean” on Twitter.

The district court ruled in September 2016 that Zaitokukai had made the statements with the intent to incite and intensify discrimination against Korean residents of Japan, and ordered the group to pay Lee 770,000 yen in damages. According to Lee’s attorney, in June 2017, the Osaka High Court became the first court to recognize that a plaintiff had been subjected to “composite discrimination” — in Lee’s case, ethnic and gender discrimination. However, the high court upheld the lower court’s compensation amount of 770,000 yen. Zaitokukai appealed, but the Supreme Court’s Second Petty Bench turned down the appeal late last year, finalizing the Osaka High Court’s decision.

Submitter JK comments: Now one of the things I find curious in the article is that we’re introduced to so-called “composite discrimination” (複合差別) which, in the Japanese version of the article is defined as racial discrimination (人種差別) plus “gender discrimination” (女性差別; I think ‘sexism’ would be a better choice of words). However, in the English version, “composite discrimination” is defined as “**ethnic** and gender discrimination”.

Debito comments: The mistranslation is very indicative. My take is that one of three things happened:

1) The mistranslation was accidental, because Japanese society is so blind to the problem of “racial discrimination” in Japan (as Debito.org has demonstrated, it’s taken decades for it to be explicitly called “jinshu sabetsu” in the Japanese) that editorial standards have reflexively reverse-engineered the language to make it “ethnic” all over again.
2) The mistranslation was deliberate, because Japan has no races, therefore “racial discrimination” cannot exist in Japan (after all, holds the liberal Japanese view, “Japanese and Koreans are the same race, therefore discrimination against Koreans isn’t racial; it’s ethnic”). More on that below. Or,
3) The mistranslation was subterfuge, because the translator at the Mainichi happened to be one of those White Samurai types, who personally doesn’t see “racism” as a problem in Japan (despite the original Japanese wording), and sneakily changed things to protect his Japan from the outside world.

http://www.debito.org/?p=14973

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4) Japan Supreme Court enforces Hague Convention on Int’l Child Abductions (for Japanese claimants). Yet Sakura TV claims Hague is for “selfish White men” trying to entrap women from “uncivilized countries” as “babysitters”

We had an important Supreme Court ruling come down earlier this month, where an international custody dispute between two Japanese divorcees living in different countries resulted in the custodial parent overseas being awarded custody of the child, as per the Hague Convention on International Child Abductions. (See Japan Times article excerpt at the link.)

Debito.org has commented at length on this issue (and I have even written a novel based upon true stories of Japan’s safe haven for international child abductions). Part of the issue is that due to the insanity of Japan’s Family Registry (koseki) System, after a divorce only ONE parent (as in, one family) gets total custody of the child, with no joint custody or legally-guaranteed visitation rights. This happens to EVERYONE who marries, has children, and divorces in Japan (regardless of nationality). It even happened to me.

But what makes this Supreme Court decision somewhat inapplicable to anyone but Wajin Japanese is the fact that other custody issues under the Hague (which Japan only signed kicking and screaming, and with enough caveats to lead to probable nonenforcement), which involved NON-Japanese parents, faced a great deal of racism and propaganda, even from the Japanese government.

As evidence, consider this TV segment (with English subtitles) on Japan’s ultraconservative (PM Abe Shinzo is a frequent contributor) Sakura Channel TV network (firmly established with the “present Japan positively no matter what” NHK World network). It contains enough bald-facedly anti-foreign hypotheticals (including the requisite stereotype that foreigners are violent, and Japanese are trying to escape DV) to inspire entire sociological articles, and the incredible claim that Japan’s court system is just appeasing White people and forcing a “selfish” alien system upon Japan.

The best bits were when banner commentator Takayama Masayuki claimed a) White men just marry women from “uncivilized” countries until they find better women (such as ex-girlfriends from high school) and then divorce them, capturing them as “babysitters” for once-a-week meet-ups with their kids (which Takayama overtly claims is the “premise” of the Hague Convention in the first place); and b) (which was not translated properly in the subtitles) where Takayama at the very end cites Mori Ohgai (poet, soldier, medical doctor and translator who wrote sexualized fiction about a liaison between a Japanese man and a German woman) to say, “play around with White WOMEN and then escape back home.” (Who’s being selfish, not to mention hypocritical, now?) Take yet another plunge into this racialized sexpit of debate, where the racism doesn’t even bother to embed itself.

http://www.debito.org/?p=14937

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5) Asahi: Setagaya Ward plans to battle inter alia racial, ethnic discrimination (in specific) in a local ordinance. Progressive steps!

Asahi: Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward has drafted an ordinance designed to protect racial, ethnic and sexual minorities from discriminatory practices, a move hailed by human rights experts as an “advanced measure.” The ward was one of the first local governments in Japan to recognize same-sex marriages, and the draft ordinance covers sexual minorities.

However, the draft specifically notes that its target also includes discrimination based on nationality and race. Under the plan, the ward will establish a committee that will handle public complaints about discrimination and advise the mayor on what measures to take. A standing committee of the Setagaya Ward assembly approved the draft on Feb. 26. The assembly is expected to adopt the ordinance at a plenary session on March 2, and it will likely take effect in April.

COMMENT: Setagaya-ku is trying to do what Tottori Prefecture tried to do in 2005 (which was, pass Japan’s first ordinance specifically against racial discrimination, which is still NOT illegal in Japan; alas, Tottori UNpassed it months later). To be sure, Setagaya-ku’s goals are obscured behind the typical slogans of “discrimination due to differences in culture”, and there isn’t even a mention of “racial discrimination” (rendered as jinshu sabetsu) in this Setagaya-ku pamphlet briefing on the issue from last September. But baby steps, and the issue of “racial discrimination” (which has long been denied even as existing in Japan) has had domestic media traction as an actual, existing problem because of Setagaya-ku. Let’s hope this serves as a template for other legislative bodies this time.

http://www.debito.org/?p=14902

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MORE EXCLUSIONISM

6) Sapporo Consadole soccer player and former England Team striker Jay Bothroyd refused entry to Hokkaido Classic golf course for being “not Japanese”

Here is some foreshadowing. Famous football player Jay Bothroyd, who played for the English national team, and now plays for Sapporo Consadole, has faced a “Japanese Only” golf course in Hokkaido: a famous one called the Hokkaido Classic. (The very course was even designed by a foreigner!)

Daily Express (UK): “The 36-year-old Arsenal academy graduate, who made his only appearance for England in 2010, joined J1 League club Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo last July. But the striker was left stunned after he was refused entry to his local golf course on the northernmost of Japan’s major islands – the Hokkaido Classic – which was designed by golf legend and 17 time major tournament winner Jack Nicklaus. The exclusive par-72 course charges £338 for a weekend round of golf between June and July, with its fees website page stating that non-Japanese players must be accompanied by a club member.”

COMMENT: This exclusionism is somewhat old hat for people who have been following the Otaru Onsens Case and the other “Japanese Only” places in Hokkaido and nationwide for all these decades. But when it starts happening to famous people (such as those playing for local Japanese teams), you know the bigots have lost their common sense from a public relations point of view. Bring on the 2020 Olympics! There will be lots more “foreign” athletes to target then! Not to mention their supporters.

http://www.debito.org/?p=15013

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7) “Japanese Only” sign on Izakaya Bar “100” (Momosaku 百作) in Asakusa, Tokyo

Japan’s sometimes inhospitable hospitality industry has yet another example of exclusionism. Will we legally have this stopped by the 2020 Olympics, or will Japan as a society allow these people to be an embarrassment?

KD: I spotted a Japanese only sign near our Air BNB in Asakusa: “SORRY, JAPANESE ONLY” (Japanese version: None of our staff at this establishment speak foreign languages, so we refuse entry to all people from overseas (kaigai no kata)). I took it down and they put a new one up the next day. Details: Name: 100 (izakaya) (Momosaku 百作)
Address: 4 Chome-7-12 Asakusa, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0032. Picture of sign and front attached. I was wondering what I could write in Japanese as a review on Google Maps to make potential visitors aware that the izakaya has a racially discriminatory policy.

http://www.debito.org/?p=14981

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8 ) “Japanese Only” diving and hiking tour company in Tokashikimura, Okinawa: “Begin Diving Buddies”

In addition to the hundreds of “Japanese Only” businesses found on the Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Establishments (the fieldwork for book “Embedded Racism”), here is an Okinawan diving and hiking tourist agency called “Begin Diving Buddies” on a remote southern island called Tokashiki (35 mins by boat from Naha, Okinawa Prefecture) that refuses all “foreign” divers or hikers.

Their excuse: “safety reason and regulation” (or more simply in the Japanese, just “safety” (anzenjou), since there are NO regulations which blanket refuse foreigners in specific for wanting to dive or walk in the mountains).

“Dear foreign customer, we don’t give you service due to safety reason and regulation.
We are appreciated your understanding.”(申し訳ありません。 安全上の理由により,外国の方はお受けしておりません)
Begin Diving Buddies’ contact details are included. Feel free to give them a piece of your mind. You can also also let officialdom know as well. Here is Tokashiki-mura’s official website, and Okinawa’s official tourism writeup on the place.

http://www.debito.org/?p=14989

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9) “Japanese Only” tourist information booth in JR Beppu Station

DB: Are you aware there is a “Japanese only” information booth at Beppu station? My partner and I walked in to get some information about a local onsen travel route. The woman sitting at the available desk basically refused to deal with us, and told us to go to the desk for foreigners. She initially pretended that the desk was for Japanese language help only. When we pointed out that we could speak Japanese (we had been the whole time) she shifted her excuse. The whole time she leant way back in her chair, and spoke in an extremely dismissively rude tone. In six years living in Japan I have never been treated as poorly.

After we gave up and walking out half in shock I noticed the signage. The ambiguity of “Japanese” here covers the apparent reality that they actually will refuse to serve anybody not visibly Japanese regardless of language ability. I’ll be sending a formal complaint later, but I thought I’d send you the story. Here’s some photos attached, taken April 6, 2016.

http://www.debito.org/?p=14954

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… and finally…

10) My Japan Times column JBC 111: “White Supremacists and Japan: A Love Story” (March 8, 2018)

The Washington Post reported something interesting on Feb. 14: A farm put up a sign saying “Resist White Supremacy.” And it incurred a surprising amount of online backlash. Calls for boycotts. Accusations and recriminations. One-star Facebook reviews that had nothing to do with their products.

The article pondered: Who, other than a White Supremacist, would object to a message rejecting white supremacy? But if you’ve ever protested racism in Japan, or read comments sections in Japanese media, you’ll know these reactions have been old hat for nearly two decades. In fact, this column will argue that online intolerance and attack have been Japan exports…

Read the rest in the JT at https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2018/03/07/issues/white-supremacists-japan-love-story/
Anchor site with comments at
http://www.debito.org/?p=14912

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That’s all for this month. Thanks for reading! Debito Arudou
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JUNE 10, 2018 ENDS

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9 comments on “DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JUNE 10, 2018

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Here’s an interesting story. I saw the video on TV today;
    https://japantoday.com/category/national/high-school-basketball-player-punches-ref-after-dispute-over-foul

    Seems the ref was ‘focusing’ shall we say, on this exchange student from Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is way taller than all the other (Japanese) players. The ref kept giving him foul after foul since his body checks were knocking over Japanese players. In the end, he smashed the ref in the face. I think I would have too. Basketball is a contact sport. What’s the point in bringing in taller NJ players if the other team is going to drop to their knees every time he gets near them and cry foul?
    This guy didn’t understand one critical aspect of Japanese sporting culture; the physical abuse comes down from above, not the other way round!

    Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    New law went into force this month to severely limit the operations of properties let via AirBNB.
    Whilst this is mainly to ensure that the J-Gov can stick its snout in and tax those who let, the law includes a peak season ban on AirBNB lettings (got to protect hotel industry vested interests! After all, the APA Hotel group is run by a right wing neo-revisionist).

    However, aside from all the usual J-Inc corruption and backscratching, there’s also been thinly veiled hysteria about ‘NJ in my neighborhood’. After all, how can NJ possibly understand Japan’s unique and special culture of separating trash and putting it out for collection on scheduled days? And just consider the devastating effect on Japan’s peaceful society of getting the trash wrong! Oh, the horror!

    Well, I missed this article from the Asahi when it first came out a couple of months ago, but Tokyo’s Shibuya has been ramping up the fear as to why it wants to limit AirBNB;

    “Similarly, Tokyo’s trendy Shibuya Ward will permit home-sharing services in residential areas only during school holidays, with certain exceptions, so children won’t meet strangers on their way to class.”

    http://www.asahi.com/sp/ajw/articles/AJ201804230010.html

    That’s not just racist, that plain mean. Shibuya officials putting it in people’s minds that ‘strangers’ using AirBNB (=NJ) are a danger to children. It’s this kind of word association games that prey on people’s already unjustified fears created by a false narrative that end with thousands being murdered out of fear after natural disasters.

    After all, how many child abductions/murders did you see in the Japanese news so far this year, and in how many cases was the perp a) Japanese, and b) committed the crime whilst resident at his usual home address? I can think of three cases right now.

    This blatant fear-mongering is targeting the wrong demographic, and the wrong modus operandi.

    A big thanks to Shibuya public servants for planting the idea that all NJ are a danger to children. Is this Japan’s ‘famous’ Omotenashi? ‘Please come to wonderful Japan foreigner-san. But you must stay in our overpriced hotels or we will label you a child molester.’
    Go screw yourselves.

    Reply
    • “so children won’t meet strangers on their way to class.” 1. What about Enjo kosai? and 2. Tokyo etc are cities full of strangers. There is no sense of community, in Shibuya? come on…

      Remember that Japanese woman arrested by police in Kawasaki for looking foreign? She would not talk to them (in Japanese) because, according to her family, “she was afraid of talking to strangers”

      You couldn’t make this up. More “unique cultural” material for my NJ business students to laugh at. And to avoid investing in.

      Reply
    • Why is a story that has nothing to do with Japan being reported on a site called “Japan Today”? Very troubling when even English-language media conflates “news stories unrelated to Japan but involving Wajin” with “Japan news.” But then again, Japan Today is owned by some right-wing Japanese corporation, as I recall? Just really can’t keep the lid on the ethnocentric Nihonjinron bullshit, I guess.

      Reply
      • Jim Di Griz says:

        I think it serves some inferiority complex, shoulder-chip narrative about ‘gaikoku’ not treating Japanese citizens with the ‘respect’ they deserve. After all you Great Powers, listen up; Japan also has four seasons!
        And if they didn’t treat the news as an exercise in ‘we Japanese around the world’ but rather as a ‘what happens in Japan’ reporting, they’d have to include injustices NJ receive in Japan?

        Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    This is interesting (in a scary way);

    https://japantoday.com/category/national/focus-japanese-man-woman-say-they-were-duped-by-anti-korean-blog

    Japanese ‘public worker’ (no name, no definition of position ( for example, teacher, city hall worker, government ministry etc), or location (Tokyo, Osaka, etc) became an avid reader of right-wing hate speech blog, which urged its readers to harass lawyers acting for Korean schools in Japan.
    So this ‘public worker’ (along with many others) sent thousands of hate-speech letters to lawyers all over the country in their own name.
    Lawyers group sues them for hate speech.
    ‘Public worker’ claims he is the victim of ‘brain washing’ by the right-wing blog.

    Interesting to see how his racist world view collapses in the face of a potentially costly court case. Like Abe and Moritomo Gakuen, it’s interesting how quickly these noisy right-wingers throw their buddies under the bus when the law is upon them.

    I would hazard that this guy wasn’t ‘brain washed’, but merely had his biases confirmed by the opinions on the right wing blog.

    I wonder who he is and what job he does for the ‘public’. Remember that next time you have to go to city hall, the tax office, or immigration. God forbid this fool is a cop.

    Let’s see if there is any attempt to close the blog, or charge the owner, or if ‘free-speech’ for hate-speech is permitted…

    Reply
    • Anonymous says:

      Well said AgentX: “Sadly, Japan is run by out of touch, privileged man-children.”

      Yep, as said here in 2013, “Out of touch, self-entitled, 50 something man-children politicians”

      Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Four Japanese companies forced NJ ‘trainees’ on the Trainee Scheme, to do radioactive clean up work at Fukushima;

    https://japantoday.com/category/national/japan-firms-used-foreign-trainees-at-fukushima-cleanup-reports

    We discussed on Debito.org a couple of years back that a company got a severe talking to over this exact same thing, but of course, no real meaningful penalties were in place. And they still aren’t, hence other companies decide to take advantage and do the same thing. This is not only just like the lack of penalties for racist ‘Japanese Only’ establishments, it is exactly the same thing!
    When NJ are the victims, the authorities and official channels only serve to encourage such behavior by demonstrating that there will be no penalties since victims are NJ.

    Reply

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