DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JULY 16, 2018

mytest

Books, eBooks, and more from Dr. Debito Arudou (click on icon):
Guidebookcover.jpgjapaneseonlyebookcovertextHandbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)sourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumbFodorsJapan2014cover
UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free
“LIKE” US on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/debitoorg
https://www.facebook.com/embeddedrcsmJapan
http://www.facebook.com/handbookimmigrants
https://www.facebook.com/JapaneseOnlyTheBook
https://www.facebook.com/BookInAppropriate
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:
Donate towards my web hosting bill!
All donations go towards website costs only. Thanks for your support!

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JULY 16, 2018
Table of Contents:

////////////////////////////////////////////

CHANGES IN POLICY
1) Japan lowering age of adulthood to from age 20 to 18 in 2022: Also means Japan’s dual nationals now must declare by age 20, not 22.
2) Japan Times: Preferential visa system extended to foreign 4th-generation Japanese [sic]: Allowing even NJ minors to build Olympic facilities!
3) Reuters/Asahi: New “minpaku” law stifles homesharing with tourists, on grounds insinuating foreigners are “unsafe” for children walking to school! (or ISIS terrorists)
4) JT/JIJI: Japan plans new surveillance system to centralize NJ residents’ data. (Actually, it’s to justify police budgets as crime overall continues to drop.)

POLICY NEEDED
5) NHK World: Japan’s social media “rife” with fake rumors after recent Osaka quake, including foreigner “thefts and burglaries”, “looting convenience stores”. Again.

…and finally…
6) Tangent: What I Learned Today #1: Hitler showed a documentary to Scandinavia, and got them to surrender without a fight in 1940.

////////////////////////////////////////////

By Dr. Debito Arudou (debito@debito.org, www.debito.org, Twitter @arudoudebito)
Debito.org Newsletter is, as always, Freely Forwardable

////////////////////////////////////////////

CHANGES IN POLICY
1) Japan lowering age of adulthood to from age 20 to 18 in 2022: Also means Japan’s dual nationals now must declare by age 20, not 22.

In mid-April the Japanese Government did something rather landmark: For the first time in more than a century, it passed a bill lowering the age of adulthood by two years; meaning that by April 2022, people fresh out of high school (or some who haven’t graduated yet) can now vote and apply for credit cards/loans (although still they cannot drink, smoke or gamble; that permission stays the same at age 20). It also means that the criminals classified as “juvenile offenders” (with more lenient penalties) can now be tried as adults, and that both men and women can now equally marry at age 18. More in the Japan Times at https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/06/13/national/crime-legal/japan-enacts-law-lower-adulthood-age-18/

Where this matters to Debito.org is how Japan’s international citizens are to be treated. Before, legally Japanese with two citizenships (e.g., Japanese children of international marriages) would have to choose one (since Japan does not permit dual nationality) at age twenty, with a two-year grace period. Now that requirement has likewise been shifted down to 18 with a grace period up to age 20.

For those who are facing that choice, Debito.org, in its HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS AND IMMIGRANTS, recommends that dual nationals declare their citizenship as “Japanese” and keep quietly renewing their non-Japanese passport. There is no way for the Japanese Government to force you to surrender your foreign passport (as it is the property of the foreign government), or to get information on your citizenship status from foreign governments. Be advised. Nothing has changed in this regard except that youths have to make an identity choice at a more youthful age.

Speaking of that quiet option to choose both citizenships, let me steer Debito.org readers to an insightful Japan Times feature that came out a few months ago, including interviews of Japan’s international children and their reactions and strategies. http://features.japantimes.co.jp/dualcitizenship/

http://www.debito.org/?p=15032

////////////////////////////////////////////

2) Japan Times: Preferential visa system extended to foreign 4th-generation Japanese [sic]: Allowing even NJ minors to build Olympic facilities!

JT: Foreign fourth-generation descendants of Japanese will be able to work in Japan for up to five years under a preferential visa program to be introduced this summer, the Justice Ministry said Friday. The new program applies to ethnic Japanese between 18 and 30 who have basic Japanese skills equivalent to the N4 level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Applicants will also be required to have support from residents they know in Japan, such as family members or employers, who can get in touch with them at least once a month.

Among those planning to apply are people who spent their childhoods in Japan with their parents before losing their jobs during the 2008 global financial crisis. Some of their parents later returned to Japan, but their grown-up fourth-generation offspring could not because the visa system only grants preferential full-time working rights and semi-permanent status to second- and third-generation descendants. Under the new system, minors will be able to work. The new program begins on July 1, and the Justice Ministry expects around 4,000 descendants of Japanese emigrants from such places as Brazil and Peru to enter Japan each year. […]

Critics are skeptical. They say the new immigrants could be used as cheap labor at factories or construction sites in dire need of labor, especially ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “I believe one of the reasons behind the change has to do with the Olympics,” said Kiyoto Tanno, a professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University who is an expert on foreign labor issues. “But such demand could disappear. That’s why, I guess, the ministry placed a cap on the number of years.”

COMMENTS: As noted in the article, those getting this special visa are the children of the Nikkei South Americans who got sweetheart “Returnee Visas” due to racialized blood conceits (being Wajin, i.e., with Japanese roots) back in the day. However, Wajin status only counted as long as the economy was good. As soon as it wasn’t, they were bribed to return “home” no matter how many years or decades they’d contributed, and forfeit their pension contributions. While this is nice on the surface for reuniting Nikkei families (now that Japan has been courting the Nikkei to come back for renewed exploitation and disrespect), now they want these children, many of whom grew up as an illiterate underclass in Japan with no right (as foreigners) to compulsory education in Japan, to come back and work again starting July 1. Even work as minors!

The big picture is this: The GOJ will simply never learn that having a racialized labor policy (where Japanese bloodlines were theoretically a way to bring in low-impact “foreigners”, while Non-Wajin were expendable no matter what — in theory; turns out all foreigners are expendable) simply doesn’t work. It doesn’t keep a labor market young and vibrant, and in fact winds up exacerbating ethnic tensions because migrants who assimilate are not rewarded with immigrant status, with equal residency or civil/human rights. If there’s no incentive to learn about Japan well enough to “become Japanese”, then Japan demographically will simply continue to age. And as my book “Embedded Racism” concludes, that means, quite simply, Japan’s ultimate downfall as a society as we know it.

http://www.debito.org/?p=14970

////////////////////////////////////////////

3) Reuters/Asahi: New “minpaku” law stifles homesharing with tourists, on grounds insinuating foreigners are “unsafe” for children walking to school! (or ISIS terrorists)

Reuters/Asahi: Japan’s new home-sharing law was meant to ease a shortage of hotel rooms, bring order to an unregulated market and offer more lodging options for foreign visitors ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Instead, the law is likely to stifle Airbnb Inc. and other home-sharing businesses when it is enacted in June and force many homeowners to stop offering their services, renters and experts say…

Local governments, which have final authority to regulate services in their areas, are imposing even more severe restrictions, citing security or noise concerns. For example, Tokyo’s Chuo Ward, home to the tony Ginza shopping district, has banned weekday rentals on grounds that allowing strangers into apartment buildings during the week could be unsafe… 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… “Restricting home rental due to vague concerns that foreigners are unsafe or that it is a strange practice goes against the concept of the new law,” said Soichi Taguchi, an official at the government’s Tourism Agency.

COMMENT: Here’s a new twist to the “Blame Game” often played whenever there’s a foreigner involved with any economy in Japan. I started talking about this in earnest in my Japan Times column of August 28, 2007, where I pointed out how NJ were being falsely blamed for crime, SDF security breaches, unfair advantages in sports, education disruptions, shipping disruptions, and even labor shortages (!!). That soon expanded to false accusations of workplace desertion (remember the fictitious “flyjin” phenomenon of 2011?) and looting, despoiling sumo and fish markets, and even for crime committed by Japanese!

Now we have recycled claims of disruptive NJ tourism. But as submitter JDG points out, this time it’s getting mean. In the same vein of a World Cup 2002 Miyagi Prefectural Assemblyman’s claim that visiting foreigners would rape Japanese women and sire children, we have official insinuations at the local government level that renting your apartment or room out to NJ would be “unsafe” — not only for Japanese in the neighborhood, but for children walking to school in Shibuya! (Or, according to the JT update below, NJ might be ISIS terrorists.) At this point, this is hate speech.

http://www.debito.org/?p=15051

////////////////////////////////////////////

4) JT/JIJI: Japan plans new surveillance system to centralize NJ residents’ data. (Actually, it’s to justify police budgets as crime overall continues to drop.)

JIJI: Japan plans to set up a system to centrally manage information on foreign residents to prevent overstayers from growing as the national labor crunch worsens, officials said. The Justice Ministry will play a key role in handling the information, which will include records on employment, tax payments and marriage that is currently being separately managed by central and local government agencies. The system is intended to strengthen government surveillance of overstayers as the nation imports more foreign labor to ease a severe nationwide labor shortage. As part of the effort, a new organization might be set up within the ministry to collect and analyze information on foreign residents.

DEBITO.ORG READER JDG: Government plans to take responsibility for ‘managing’ NJ away from city halls and ‘centralize’ the management of all NJ by the Justice Ministry in order to ‘increase surveillance’. To this end, the police will have access to all NJ info; addresses, employment, tax, marital status, visa information, etc. Imagine that the police will now demand to see your residence card so that they can radio the office and check all your details. ‘Increased surveillance’? Why are NJ being surveilled at all to start with? Here’s a top tip for the police; detect crime, and then investigate it.

[Yet according to this Irish Times article, there may in fact be too many cops in Japan vis-a-vis the ever-decreasing amount of crime.] With fewer crimes, and more police than ever before, Japanese police are getting ‘inventive’ in order to look busy; investigating crimes way beyond the level of resources that the crime warrants, and setting up intensive sting operations for minor offenses. The police are looking to criminalize people in order to defend their budgets. I guess the Japanese won’t mind hundreds of officers and millions of yen being squandered in operations that end up with NJ being harassed until the police can charge them with any petty crimes. Given Japan’s huge national debt, not enough crime, too many police, should equal some lay offs. But TIJ!

Also, if they’re so overstaffed, how come it takes them six months to raid big companies like Kobe steel who admitted defrauding their customers for years with sub-standard product data manipulation? How come they didn’t send a truck load of cops straight round to the finance ministry to investigate dodgy land sales and public document falsification? Nah, got to collar that guy who overstayed his visa!

http://www.debito.org/?p=15046

////////////////////////////////////////////

POLICY NEEDED

5) NHK World: Japan’s social media “rife” with fake rumors after recent Osaka quake, including foreigner “thefts and burglaries”, “looting convenience stores”. Again.

NHK World: Osaka prefectural officials are urging people to keep calm and refrain from sharing unsubstantiated information on social media after Monday’s earthquake. […] Messages inciting discrimination against foreigners living in Japan are also spreading. One post advises people to watch out for thefts and burglaries by foreign residents. Another says foreigners are not accustomed to quakes, so they will start looting convenience stores or rushing to airports.

COMMENT: It seems like earthquakes in Japan (although depicted as orderly, stoic affairs in Western media) are for some internet denizens a call to create a live-action version of the movie “The Purge”. Debito.org has reported numerous times in the past on how false rumors of NJ residents have spread through Japan’s social media — to the point where even the generally “hands-off-because-it’s-free-speech-and-besides-it-only-affects-foreigners” Japanese government has had to intervene to tamp down on it (since, according to a 2017 Mainichi poll, 80% of people surveyed believed the rumors!). I’m glad to see the Osaka government is intervening here too.

By the way, if you think I’m exaggerating by making a connection to movie “The Purge” in this blog, recall your history: The massacre of Korean Residents in the wake of the 1923 Kantou Earthquake was precisely “The Purge”. And what happened in the aftermath of the Fukushima Multiple Disasters of March 11, 2011 (where foreigners were being blamed online for all manner of unconnected events, including the earthquake itself) was similarly redolent (albeit less deadly, thank heavens). As were mudslides in Hiroshima back in 2014. And that’s before we get to then-newly-elected racist Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro’s famous call in the year 2000 for a priori roundups of “evil foreigners committing heinous crimes” in the event of a natural disaster. So much for the stoicism.

http://www.debito.org/?p=15037

////////////////////////////////////////////

…and finally…

6) Tangent: What I Learned Today #1: Hitler showed a documentary to Scandinavia, and got them to surrender in 1940.

As has been my hobby whenever possible since 1989, I have been reading through LIFE Magazines from the stacks of libraries from the very first issue under TIME’s Henry Luce in 1936. Because for decades I was nowhere near a library that would have these issues available, I’ve still only read up to 1940. But it’s been a wonderful journey, watching the rise of Hitler and Mussolini, watching the Spanish Civil War grow ugly and destroy Iberia, watching Japan change from a curiosity to an enemy, and seeing the swirl of WWII develop in real time, with only me as the reader knowing where things would historically end up.

What I Learned Today from LIFE Magazine was that Hitler actually showed a documentary named Feuertaufe (“Baptism of Fire”) on April 5, 1940, simultaneously to the governments of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden via German embassies before invading them on April 9. The film depicted the destruction of Poland and its people for the cruelest purposes possible: As a warning of what would happen to them if they got in the way of the Blitzkrieg. The film had the intended effect: The Nazis walked in and seized capital cities, according to Leland Stowe, who filed a long dispatch from Oslo in the May 6, 1940 issue of LIFE. With the occupation of Scandinavia, Germany was poised to invade Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France only one month later. Believe it or not, you can see Feuertaufe in its entirety here.

http://www.debito.org/?p=15061

////////////////////////////////////////////

That’s all for this month. Thanks for reading! Debito Arudou
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JULY 16, 2018 ENDS

================
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.

11 comments on “DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JULY 16, 2018

  • 3) Reuters/Asahi: New “minpaku” law stifles homesharing with tourists, on grounds insinuating foreigners are “unsafe” for children walking to school! (or ISIS terrorists)

    And if things are not getting bad enough, Japanese rape victims are being accused of being trouble maker NJ. Read this documentary of BBC broadcast a documentary called Japan’s Secret Shame, its quite a tragic one. The first paragraph states that a Japanese rape victim is being accused of being a North Korean agent.
    https://apjjf.org/2018/15/McNeill.html

    So not only are NJ suspected of being terrorists, sexual predators, spies etc., even Japanese rape victims are now labeled as NJ. So in the Japanese mind all problems are NJ problems. Good conforming Taro Salaryman who knows his place and not complain or question society will then carry on with the dreamy day as if Japan is all perfect.

    With the minpaku law shutting down pretty much the whole airbnb industry overnight, I feel will set Japan’s economy back quite a bit. Less local businesses, and tourists who feel unfairly shafted may pass their Japan trip all together. I REALLY wish the airbnb owners would speak up since it affects the bottom line of the average Taro but hey, they too may be at risk being accused of being an NJ troublemaker or an enemy agent. Better on the streets then being wrongly accused of being NJ I guess. Now the nail that sticks out is considered NJ in Japan.

    “Commit Hara-Kiri, anyone left behind must be an NJ”, is how I am metaphorically seeing Japanese xenophobia now, especially with Japan under Abe and his Nippon Kaigi regime.

    Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      That’s an interesting comment. I don’t normally read the Japan Times anymore since (as I’ve said before), it’s not much of a paper (half Japan fluff press releases, half ‘international’ news I can get better from other sources).
      Since the let people like Cortazzi and Hoffman ‘go’, there’s little insight and analysis offered- it’s more a propaganda operation to mis-inform NJ who don’t actually live in Japan I feel.
      However, there are the occasional things worth reading like JBC, and anything by Brasor & Tsukubu.
      Take this for instance;
      https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/07/28/national/history/defining-heisei-era-part-3-introspection/

      Interesting article about Japan’s ‘Galapagos’ syndrome (especially how the mayor of a town in the Galapagos was offended by the Japanese appropriation of the word!). Also interesting was the (successful) effort by J-inc to associate ‘Galapagos’ products with nationalist pride. Worth a read.

      But the hidden diamond in the rough in this article is this;
      ‘social media use related to Japan’s Lower House election in December 2014. Schaefer found that of the 540,000 tweets about the election posted over a 22-day period that coincided with the election campaign and its aftermath, about 430,000 were retweets or slightly modified and duplicated versions of original tweets, and that an overwhelming portion of these were attacks on people who opposed the conservative Liberal Democratic Party and its president, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Schaefer estimated that 80 percent of these tweets were produced by bots, software programs that generate messages and automatically post them on websites.’

      It’s a long quote, but why hasn’t the mainstream media picked up on this? It’s election tampering, isn’t it? The article goes on to relate how these comments accused anti-LDP/Abe people as ‘anti-Japan’.

      It reminded me of Nippon Kaigi bussing in people from all over Japan to fill a Tokyo conference hall so that LDP speakers could be given the impression that the ‘radical’ right was bigger and more powerful than it is in actuality.

      (Since Abe threw Nippon Kaigi’s Moritomo Gakuen owners under the bus, who knows how that particular relationship will play out).

      Anyway, if I’d spent a fortune on flights to get to Japan on the basis that I could afford it since I could use AirBnB to bypass the daylight robbery of Japan’s hotel monopoly, I’d be less than impressed.

      In summary, J-inc continues to use every dirty trick in the book to keep its death grip on the throats of the Japanese economy.

      Reply
      • Jim Di Griz says:

        ‘Utopia-denial syndrome’ doesn’t quite capture that sense of fantasy for me (facile identification with Audrey Hepburn, being a ‘surfer’ or a ‘DJ’ because you dress like one), but hey, these guys are attempting to express the same concept, so it’s all good.

        Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Another ‘Japan/Tokyo #1 world ranking!’ fluff-piece in Japan Times;

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/08/11/business/tech/high-tech-tokyo-tops-list-worlds-innovative-cities/

    Tokyo? The ‘World’s most innovative city’?
    Well it is according to Hitachi customer 2thinknow because of Olympic facial recognition and self-driving/autonomous tech developed by….

    Hitachi!

    Fake news.

    How many of these ‘Japan/Tokyo as #1’ 30 years too late stories are we going to see? It’s right up there with the LDP’s living in the past mentality.
    Innovative? I’d go with ossified.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>