DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JANUARY 27, 2019

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DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JANUARY 27, 2019
Table of Contents:
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THE FAULTY DYNAMIC OF “NIPPON CLAIMING”
1) Japan Times JBC Col 113: “Warning to Naomi Osaka: Playing tennis for Japan can seriously shorten your career” (Sep. 19, 2018)
2) SCMP: “Tennis queen Naomi Osaka a role model, says ‘Indian’ Miss Japan Priyanka Yoshikawa”. A little more complex than that.
3) “Nippon Claimed” multiethnic tennis star Osaka Naomi gets “whitewashed” by her sponsor. Without consulting her. Compare with singer Crystal Kay.

SHENANIGANS
4) Fuji TV’s “Taikyo no Shunkan”: Reality TV targeting NJ as sport. Again.
5) Japan Times officially sanitizes WWII “comfort women” and “forced laborers”. Pressure on my JT Just Be Cause column too.
6) Excellent Japan Times feature on dual citizenship in Japan: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy leaves many in the dark

GOOD NEWS?
7) Nikkei: Japanese-Brazilians snub Tokyo’s diaspora residency program, attracting exactly ZERO applications after starting 3 months ago
8 ) BBC: Fukuoka Hilton Hotel refuses entry to Cuban Ambassador due to “US sanctions”. J authorities call action “illegal”. How quaint.

HOT DISCUSSIONS ON DEBITO.ORG
9) Nikkei Asian Review: “In rural Japan, immigrants spark a rebirth”. An optimistic antidote to the regular media Gaijin Bashing
10) Senaiho on criminal complaint against Jr High School “Hair Police” in Yamanashi
11) SendaiBen on “Anytime Fitness” Sports Gym Gaijin Carding him, and how he got them to stoppit
12) JT: GOJ Cabinet approves new NJ worker visa categories. Small print: Don’t bring your families. Or try to escape.
13) Surprising survey results from Pew Research Center: Japan supportive of “immigration”

… and finally…
14) Pop Matters.com: Interview with Activist and Writer Debito Arudou on Foreigners’ Rights in Japan
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By Debito Arudou, Ph.D.
debito@debito.org, www.debito.org, Twitter @arudoudebito
Debito.org Newsletter Freely Forwardable

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THE FAULTY DYNAMIC OF “NIPPON CLAIMING”

1) Japan Times JBC Col 113: “Warning to Naomi Osaka: Playing tennis for Japan can seriously shorten your career” (Sep. 19, 2018)

JBC 113: First, Just Be Cause congratulates Naomi Osaka on her outstanding win over tennis legend Serena Williams in the U.S. Open. Osaka’s grace under fire was world-class, and she deserves all the plaudits she can get.

And let’s just get this out of the way: I also agree that Williams had every right to protest her treatment by a heavy-handed umpire. The ump made the game about his ability to punish instead of defuse a situation, and penalized a woman more severely than men for similar infractions.

But that commentary is for the Sports pages. Here’s the JBC issue: Ms. Osaka, I don’t think you understand what you’ve gotten yourself into by choosing to play for Japan…

http://www.debito.org/?p=15156

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2) SCMP: “Tennis queen Naomi Osaka a role model, says ‘Indian’ Miss Japan Priyanka Yoshikawa”. A little more complex than that.

SCMP: Japanese tennis sensation Naomi Osaka not only hit the cash jackpot with her historic US Open victory – she struck a blow for racial equality, according to a former Miss Japan… Priyanka Yoshikawa, who two years ago was crowned Miss Japan, believes Osaka can also help break down cultural barriers in a country where multi-racial children make up just two per cent of those born annually.

“Japan should be proud of her – she can definitely break down walls, she will have a big impact.” Osaka, who has a Japanese mother, a Haitian father and was raised in the United States, is set to shine a light on what it means to be Japanese, predicts Yoshikawa. “The way she speaks, and her humbleness, are so Japanese,” said the 24-year-old… Unlike Yoshikawa and Miyamoto, Osaka speaks hardly any Japanese after moving to Florida with her family as a toddler. “It’s not about language,” insists the Tokyo-born Yoshikawa, who was bullied because of her skin colour as a child… “But she’s what she thinks she is. If you think you’re Japanese, you’re Japanese.”… “But it’s still going to take more time for people to think ‘haafu’ can be Japanese,” she warned. “We need more people like Naomi.”

COMMENT: Indeed. Japan needs more people like Naomi. And like Priyanka. And Ariana Miyamoto. And Murofushi. And Asuka Cambridge. And Bekki. And Jero. And Darvish. And Miyazawa Rie. And Umemiya Anna. And Hiroko Grace. And Kinugasa “Iron Man” Sachio. And any number of other “haafu” celebrities in Japan who have made history over generations, but barely made a dent in diversifying Japan’s racialized self-concept of “Japaneseness” being predominantly pure-blooded. I’m not sure what’s different this time. Again, Debito.org is very happy to cheer on Ms. Osaka as she navigates her way through Japan’s adult society and through the trappings and pitfalls of sports fame. But it’s far too soon to be this optimistic that any real change has happened or will happen. As we’ve seen from the world-class people above, it takes a lot more than one tennis star to undo this degree of “Embedded Racism”. Where’s the “tipping point”?

http://www.debito.org/?p=15160

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3) “Nippon Claimed” multiethnic tennis star Osaka Naomi gets “whitewashed” by her sponsor. Without consulting her. Compare with singer Crystal Kay.

Multiethnic tennis star Osaka Naomi, whom we’ve talked about on Debito.org before in the context of Japan’s “Nippon Claiming” (where a mudblood is “claimed” to be a “Japanese”, full stop, as long as she’s at the top of her game; otherwise her mixed-ethnicity becomes a millstone), has now been claimed to the point of “whitewashing”. Yes, her Haitian-American heritage has been washed away in the Japanese media. By one of her main sponsors, no less. And they did it without clearing it with her first.

Osaka herself commented: “”I don’t think they did it on purpose to be, like, whitewashing or anything, but I definitely think that the next time they try to portray me or something, I feel like they should talk to me about it.”

Well, yeah. But unless Osaka takes active measures to control her image (to look, as she puts it, “tan”), the default standard in the Japanese media (which hasn’t been able to accept other celebrities in Japan of mixed heritage as “Japanese” unless they “look like Japanese”) is to bleach their skin color. Doubt that? Consider what happened to singer Crystal Kay…

http://www.debito.org/?p=15506

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SHENANIGANS

4) Fuji TV’s “Taikyo no Shunkan”: Reality TV targeting NJ as sport. Again.

Thompson: As Japan predicts a rise in the number of immigrants and foreign tourists in the coming years, a new television show has turned migrant deportations into entertainment. The program provoked some outraged viewer reactions and insights about the plight faced by visa overstayers and undocumented migrants in Japan. Taikyo no Shunkan (タイキョの瞬間) (English translation: “At the Very Moment They Were Deported”) premiered on Fuji Television in a Saturday evening prime time slot on October 6, 2018.

Using a typical reality show format, the two-hour program follows a group of so-called “G-Men”, or immigration officers, employed by the Tokyo regional office of the National Immigration Bureau as they hunt down visa overstayers and so-called “illegal aliens” (fuhotaizaisha, 不法滞在者) and squatters (fuhosenshu, 不法占有) on camera. In one segment, the immigration officers stake out the apartment of a Vietnamese man suspected of violating the conditions of his trainee visa. He and two others are arrested and interrogated on camera before being deported 24 hours later.

COMMENT: Debito.org has focussed on this kind of programming before. Consider this segment from a larger archive of broadcast media bashing NJ as terrorists and criminals, a phenomenon that gained political traction as former Tokyo Gov. Ishihara fanned the flames of xenophobia starting from around 2000. Not to mention the racist and propagandistic “Gaijin Hanzai” magazine (2007) that also seemed to be made with the cooperation of the Japanese authorities.

In the end, will there be any retractions, apologies for stereotyping, or even acknowledgments and caveats that NJ do good things in Japan too? As book Embedded Racism points out in Ch. 7, not likely. After all, NJ have so little right-of-reply in Japan’s media that bashing and blaming NJ for just about anything has long been normalized in Japan’s media. It’s simply part of standard operating practice — at the level of entertainment. Even a sport. It’s a foxhunt for gaijin.

http://www.debito.org/?p=15176

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5) Japan Times officially sanitizes WWII “comfort women” and “forced laborers”. Pressure on my JT Just Be Cause column too.

Guardian: Japan’s oldest English-language newspaper has sparked anger among staff and readers after revising its description of wartime sex slaves and forced labourers from the Korean peninsula. In a decision that critics said aligned it with the conservative agenda of the prime minister, Shinzō Abe, the Japan Times said it had used terms “that could have been potentially misleading” when reporting on the contentious subjects…

The Japan Times, which marked its 120th anniversary last year, said in an editor’s note in Friday’s edition that it would ditch the commonly used term “forced labour” to describe Koreans who were made to work in Japanese mines and factories during its 1910-45 colonial rule over the Korean peninsula. The Japan Times said: “The term ‘forced labour’ has been used to refer to labourers who were recruited before and during world war two to work for Japanese companies. However, because the conditions they worked under or how these workers were recruited varied, we will henceforth refer to them as ‘wartime labourers.’”…

[The JT] said it would also alter its description of the comfort women – a euphemism for tens of thousands of girls and women, mainly from the Korean peninsula, who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels before and during the war.. “Because the experiences of comfort women in different areas throughout the course of the war varied widely, from today, we will refer to ‘comfort women’ as ‘women who worked in wartime brothels, including those who did so against their will, to provide sex to Japanese soldiers’.”

COMMENT: It’s sad that the JT, the last bastion of independent mainstream journalism in English in Japan, has knuckled under — the death of honest-history-based journalism due to PM Abe’s revisionist government pressure. I feel that pressure has even been put on me, as a columnist for the JT since 2002, because my new editor now wants me to water down my ninth-annual “Top 10 Human Rights Issues” of the year, writing me a few days ago: “I wonder if it might read better to take it out of the Top 10 format and write in detail on certain cases. I would like to see something along the lines of: What did Japan do right this year, What has the potential to move forward next year, and Which area is cause for concern.”

http://www.debito.org/?p=15227

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6) Excellent Japan Times feature on dual citizenship in Japan: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy leaves many in the dark

JT: The nationality law officially obliges those who have multiple citizenships by birthright to choose one by the age of 22. But in fact, possibly hundreds of thousands have maintained multiple nationalities and to date the government has never cracked down on any of them. In response to questions over the number of dual nationals, the Justice Ministry confirmed to The Japan Times that some 890,000 people were or are in a position to have dual nationality. This figure is based on official family registries maintained by local municipalities between 1985 and 2016, and includes people who have declared or forfeited Japanese citizenship, as well as people assumed to have multiple nationalities based on their birthright.

“If I were forced to decide which citizenship to retain and which citizenship to relinquish, I would view it as which culture and which nation am I to abandon.” According to a survey conducted by The Japan Times of 1,449 people with dual nationalities, 76.8 percent maintain dual citizenship while 23.2 percent decided to forfeit one of their passports. The same survey showed that 39.5 percent of multiple passport holders “always” switch passports depending on the country they enter, while 37.3 percent “sometimes” switch passports. With the government’s official position becoming more divorced from a globalizing society where a large number of people maintain dual nationalities, many have to rely on word-of-mouth for information on what they see as an important, life-changing decision regarding their citizenship.

COMMENT: This lengthy feature from The Japan Times conducts original research on dual nationality in Japan, and gives vital insights into the game of legal chicken played by the Japanese Government to get people to forfeit their dual nationality (and by extension, part of their identity), all for mere allegiance to the fiction that Japan is monocultural and homogeneous. This suppression of diversity must stop, but few are taking notice. That is, until recently, when it’s become clear that “Japan-Claiming” of diverse Japanese such as Osaka Naomi helps with the other thing the insecure Japanese Government craves: respect and recognition for excellence on the world stage.

That’s why it’s worth revisiting this older JT article. The takeaway is this: As the JT has also recently reported, there is no real penalty from the Japanese Government for not surrendering your non-Japanese nationality: “There have been no reported instances of dual nationals by birth having their citizenship revoked.” So as Debito.org has always advised: Declare Japanese nationality and quietly keep renewing your foreign passport. The foreign government will not tell the Japanese authorities (it’s none of their business), and the Japanese authorities cannot strip you of a foreign nationality (or even confiscate a foreign passport – it’s the property of the foreign government). Only you can give one up. So don’t.

http://www.debito.org/?p=14979

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GOOD NEWS?

7) Nikkei: Japanese-Brazilians snub Tokyo’s diaspora residency program, attracting exactly ZERO applications after starting 3 months ago

Nikkei: Japan’s new residency program for fourth-generation Japanese descendants living overseas did not attract a single Japanese-Brazilian applicant in its first three months. The program, launched in July, allows descendants ranging in age from 18 to 30 to stay in Japan for up to five years and perform specific types of work. The goal is to ease Japan’s labor shortage, and the Justice Ministry initially expected to accept 4,000 people a year. But the Japanese Embassy and consulates in Brazil had not received any applications as of the end of September… Despite the need for new sources of labor, Japan’s government has insisted participants in the program would not be considered immigrants. An organization representing Japanese descendants in Brazil blasted Japan for “treating Japanese-Brazilians, who are their compatriots, as unskilled workers for a limited period.”

COMMENT: Here’s the latest installment of what I like to call “the jig is up” phenomenon affecting Japan’s public policy, specifically the one that is trying to maintain Japan’s exploitative “revolving-door” NJ labor market. The Nihon Keizai Shinbun has given us an inadvertently amusing article about how the government’s latest policy U-turn towards the Nikkei Brazilian Community (whom they officially bribed to leave Japan a decade ago), and how this wheeze simply isn’t working. ZERO applicants applied for a special labor program in three months. Even though the NJ resident population is at an all-time postwar high, some people have learned their lesson: don’t come to Japan just to be exploited and then summarily sent home.

http://www.debito.org/?p=15191

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8 ) BBC: Fukuoka Hilton Hotel refuses entry to Cuban Ambassador due to “US sanctions”. J authorities call action “illegal”. How quaint.

BBC: A US-owned hotel in Japan has been criticized by Japanese authorities after it denied the Cuban ambassador a room over fears it would violate US sanctions on Cuba. The Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk told Ambassador Carlos Pereria he could not stay last month because it could not accommodate Cuban government guests. That prompted a Cuban complaint. Japanese officials in the city have since told the hotel it was illegal to refuse rooms based on nationality.

JT: Japan’s law regulating hotel operations states that guests cannot be refused unless they carry an infectious disease or are suspected of committing illegal activities. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry pointed out that denying accommodation based on nationality is against the law. “The hotels operating domestically must comply with the law,” the ministry said. A Hilton spokesperson said, “We refuse to provide service to officials of the government or state-owned enterprises of countries under U.S. economic sanctions such as North Korea, Iran and Syria. We would like to discuss about the matter internally in response to the guidance.”

COMMENT: Well, well, well. I guess it’s helpful to be foreign and connected in high places. As has been reported for decades on Debito.org, Japan’s hotel refusals by nationality are so normalized that hotels routinely ignore the law being cited, refusing “foreigners” entry due to “lack of facilities”, “discomfort on the part of the management or Japanese customers”, or just for being “customers while foreign” (or even the “wrong foreign customers”). Sometimes these refusals have the backing and encouragement of local police agencies and other authorities in their overzealous “anti-terrorism”/”anti-crime”/”anti-infectious disease” campaigns (because after all, only “foreigners” do all that in Japan). Now the Cuban Ambassador gets refused. And suddenly the law gets applied. Good. Now let’s apply it everywhere, for a change. That’s what laws are for.

http://www.debito.org/?p=15211

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HOT DISCUSSIONS ON DEBITO.ORG

9) Nikkei Asian Review: “In rural Japan, immigrants spark a rebirth”. An optimistic antidote to the regular media Gaijin Bashing

Nikkei: In roughly three decades, the number of foreign residents in Japan has grown to 2.47 million, from just 980,000 in 1989. So while this period will go down in history as the time the country’s population went into decline, it has also brought an unprecedented influx of newcomers from abroad. Tagalog, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Indonesian: The students at Keiwa Elementary School in the southwestern prefecture of Mie speak nine different languages at home. But at school they use Japanese…

Foreign nationals tend to gravitate to places where their children are likely to receive better education. Mie — home to Keiwa Elementary — is a testament to this. The prefecture is gaining a reputation for supporting students born to non-Japanese parents. “Mieko san no Nihongo,” a textbook for teaching classroom Japanese developed by the Mie International Exchange Foundation, has proved useful in this regard and is now used in elementary and junior high schools nationwide.

According to the Ministry of Education, the number of students requiring additional instruction in the Japanese language at public elementary and junior high schools topped 30,000 for the first time in the year ended March 2017. The central government, too, is looking to bring more foreign workers into the country. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last month said his government will design a reform plan for this purpose by the summer. Yet Abe is not exactly jumping in with both feet — the policy will not encourage permanent settlement, with a cap to be placed on the maximum stay and restrictions on bringing family members along. Even so, Japan is far more diverse than it was in 1950, when there were only 600,000 residents from overseas. From large cities to tiny villages, Japanese grow ever more accustomed to mingling with their fellow global citizens. And the newcomers are breathing life into communities that looked destined to fade.

COMMENT: As an antidote to the program talked about last blog entry, where hunting NJ for public sport and amusement became yet another TV show, here’s a relatively rare article showing the good that NJ do for Japanese society: revitalizing communities that are dying, as they age and endure an exodus of their young to more prosperous cities. The article is a bit too optimistic to be realistic (given that all this progress could be undone with a simple mass cancellation of visas and government repatriation bribes; the former has happened multiple times in Japan’s history), but I’d rather have the article than not. Have a look and tell us what you think.

http://www.debito.org/?p=14999

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10) Senaiho on criminal complaint against Jr High School “Hair Police” in Yamanashi

Senaiho: Since writing this article in the spring of last year, there have been several developments in our case. At the end of 2017, we submitted a petition to the Yamanashi board of education requesting they do an investigation into the bullying, and reasons for the trauma experienced by our daughter. As a result of this experience she has been absent for almost the entire last two years of her middle school education.

Over the course of 2017 with the help of our local Ombudsman, we managed to collect over 1500 signatures requesting that the school board do an internal investigation into the causes and responsibilities of the incidents regarding our daughter. The school board agreed to do an investigation. At the end of 2018 after reports of monthly meetings of the school board (in which we were not allowed to participate), we were informed that the results of this investigation completely exonerated the teachers and any public officials of any misdeeds or responsibility regarding the treatment of our daughter. It was all our fault as incompetent parents that our daughter was bullied and suffered such trauma that she was not able to attend school. Shame on us. We have requested to see a copy of this report, but have been informed that will not be allowed. The reason given is that it contains the names of private individuals involved whose privacy must be protected. Bullspit! We tried to be civil and it got us nowhere.

As of January 8, 2019, we have filed with the Yamanashi Pref. Police a criminal complaint naming the school principal and three teachers as defendants. Later that afternoon we also held a press conference. As of this writing articles regarding our case have appeared in several newspapers across the country. Since it is still early in the criminal case, I am sure there will be many developments over the next several weeks and months. I will strive to keep you informed as these occur.

http://www.debito.org/?p=15489

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11) SendaiBen on “Anytime Fitness” Sports Gym Gaijin Carding him, and how he got them to stoppit

Here’s an instructive post from Debito.org Reader and Contributor SendaiBen. He was told (like so many people are) that he had to surrender his Zairyuu “Gaijin Card” in order to register for service. But as he (and many other veterans of this silliness) know, you only have to present it when asked by a member of Japan’s policing or Immigration officials to do so. Otherwise, any form of ID (such as a Japanese driver license) that works for Japanese should work for NJ too.

But some companies don’t know or don’t care, so they push NJ around. Here’s how SendaiBen successfully pushed back, in the case of a sports gym (a notorious business sector towards NJ members) called Anytime Fitness. And so can you. Follow his footsteps.

SendaiBen: It seems more and more companies are becoming aware of the zairyu card, not just as another form of acceptable ID, but sometimes as the only form of ID they will accept from non-Japanese citizens. I personally believe that is unacceptable, so will continue to push back in this way to prevent it from spreading. I don’t want to be asked for my zairyu card by random companies as I go about my daily life… But then came Anytime Fitness, and I had to write in specially to confirm that they will also accept Japanese driver licenses…

http://www.debito.org/?p=15222

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12) JT: GOJ Cabinet approves new NJ worker visa categories. Small print: Don’t bring your families. Or try to escape.

JT: The Cabinet approved a bill Friday that would overhaul the nation’s immigration control law by introducing new visa categories for foreign workers, in an attempt to address the graying population and shrinking workforce. “Creating a new residence status to accept foreign workers is of utmost importance as the nation’s population declines and businesses suffer from lack of personnel,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference on the day.

Although details remain hazy, the new bill marks a departure from previous policy in allowing foreign individuals to work in blue-collar industries for a potentially indefinite amount of time if certain conditions, such as holding a valid employment contract, are met. Yet amid concerns over whether the nation has the infrastructure and environment to accommodate an inflow of foreign workers, the government has categorically denied that the overhaul will open the doors to immigrants. “We are not adopting a policy on people who will settle permanently in the country, or so-called immigrants,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the Lower House Budget Committee on Thursday. “The new system we are creating is based on the premise that the workers will work in sectors suffering labor shortages, for a limited time, in certain cases without bringing their families.”…

COMMENT: As the JT notes, the next wave of NJ temp labor has been officially approved by the Abe Cabinet. The new statuses mostly still have the caveat of being temp, unrooted labor (bringing over families is expressly verboten). And you can qualify for something better if you manage to last, oh, ten years — around one-fifth of a person’s total productive working life. Because, as the JT reported in a follow-up article days later, time spent working under these visa statuses in particular does NOT count towards their required “working period” when applying for Permanent Residency.

Another interesting part of this article is the bit about how many Indentured “Trainee” NJ workers had “gone missing” from their generally harsh modern-slavery working conditions (4,279) so far this year, and how it might even exceed last year’s record total of 7,089. Anyway, with the news above, the GOJ looks set to invite in even more people, in even more work sectors, and with the regular “revolving-door” work status (i.e., not make immigrants out of them). Some people have gotten wise to this practice and are staying away from Japan, but I bet many won’t. Unless we let them know in venues like Debito.org.

http://www.debito.org/?p=15203

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13) Surprising survey results from Pew Research Center: Japan supportive of “immigration”

Some weeks ago Debito.org Reader FB sent along a link to an article which noted: “Spain and Japan were among the most open to the idea of increased immigration, with 28% and 23% of their respective populations supporting more.” It cited a recent worldwide Pew Research Global Attitudes Survey of 27 countries on international migration of labor.

I was incredulous. I’ve written before how Japan’s policymakers, even its demographic scientists, view the word “immigration” (imin) as a taboo term and topic of discussion. So I wondered if there had been some finagling of the question’s translation. So I wrote to Pew directly and got this answer…

http://www.debito.org/?p=15465

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… and finally…

14) Pop Matters.com: Foreigners’ Rights in Japan: Interview with Activist and Writer Debito Arudou

Q: A recent immigration issue in Japan is controversy over the new immigration law due to take effect in April, which will bring in 345,000 foreigners over five years to work in certain occupations such as construction, food service, and home-visit care for the elderly. What do you see as the pros and cons of the law?

Debito: I’m going to take a wait-and-see attitude on it. The government of Prime Minister Abe, by introducing the new law, is acknowledging the fact that Japan needs to bring in foreign labor. There’s no other way to get around the current demographic crisis; the ageing population plus low birth rate means there aren’t enough people to pay the taxes and do the “dirty work” that most Japanese don’t want to do. But, as usual, it’s arranged so as not to allow these people to settle and invest in Japanese society. Over time, many entrants will surely gain a better understanding and appreciation of Japan, so they should be allowed to make a real contribution to Japanese society for their entire lives if they so choose.

Depriving them of that opportunity because they are essentially seen as temporary labor on revolving-door visas (if longer-term, this time) is basically the same mistake that has been made with the trainee / intern visa system Japan has had for more than two decades now. One wonders if Japan’s ruling elite is ever going to learn its lesson about giving quid pro quo to people who have made their investments into this society. If you stay here, learn the language, pay your taxes, and contribute to the workforce, sooner or later you should be allowed to stay permanently. But that’s not implicitly promised even in these new visas.

There has really never been a true “immigration policy”, one of making foreigners into Japanese, in Japan to this day. We don’t just need a temporary migrant labor policy. Bringing in more people in and of itself is not a viable solution to the demographic crisis. The solution is incentivizing them to stay and to become Japanese.

http://www.debito.org/?p=15492

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That’s all for now. Thanks as always for reading!

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JANUARY 27, 2019 ENDS

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12 comments on “DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JANUARY 27, 2019

  • This is interesting;
    https://japantoday.com/category/national/japanese-cities-worried-about-receiving-more-foreign-workers-survey#

    ‘Japanese cities worried about receiving more foreign workers: survey’. It’s called ‘xenophobia’.

    This;
    ’47 percent of them are worried about how to coexist with foreign workers, with some citing the government’s lack of specific measures as a major reason for their anxieties.’

    And this;
    “many companies have no know-how about accepting foreigners” .

    Yeah, I guess this is what happens when you spend over a century telling yourself how ‘special’ and ‘unique’ you are, and how all foreigners are ‘different’ to Japanese.

    Here’s a suggestion, try treating them like fellow human beings, pay them equally, and don’t force them into cliched molds you’ve already created to enable an over-simplified world-view? Oh! My mistake! This is where cognitive dissonance kicks in! The goal isn’t to ‘get along’ with the NJ, but to incorporate them into pre-existing structures and narratives that almost always define NJ as ‘bad’ and ‘inferior’, whilst stressing Japanese as ‘good’ and ‘superior’. Except that now Japan is literally begging for them to come…
    Ouch. That’s gotta hurt.

    Reply
    • Yeah, Jim, this kind of “How do we coexist omg I can’t even”-type of hogwash is all inherently based on the presupposition that “foreigners” are fundamentally different and also completely unchangeable. It is taken as a given that they will never become able to communicate meaningfully in Japanese, that they will never be able to adapt to small changes in lifestyle (taking off shoes, sorting garbage), and that “religious differences” (see: Islam) will make them unreconcilable to the people around them.

      This is the reason why Tokyo high schools offer a ‘special bracket’ for “foreign” students (read: local students who, due to a racist and discriminatory bureaucratic problem, have a hard time attending school) which is predicated on the idea that they have “strong academic skills, but cannot understand Japanese.” I guess the “foreign” students who just want to take the damn test like everyone else are without options?

      This is why we as minorities must make it abundantly clear that the number one reason “foreigners” have a hard time getting along in Japanese society is none other than Wajin racism.

      I hate to beat a dead horse, but the government is seriously setting this whole thing up to fail. Simultaneously repeating the mantra that “‘foreigners’ are incapable of communicating and incapable of learning to live successfully in Japan” thus demanding accomodations from Wajin, while telling Wajin that they ought to make those accomodations…it’s sure to backfire. Nobody wants to be put in that sort of situation. I guess it’s too late to backpedal and say, “Well, as long as we aren’t total racist POSs, they’ll probably figure things out in a few months after immigrating, then reach day-to-day fluency in a year or so”?

      Reply
  • Official interpreter for Marathon describes black American competitors;
    ‘the woman said she had difficulty communicating with the African athletes. She then described the situation, writing, “it was as if I was communicating with primitive people,” adding, “the chimpanzees were shy at first but began opening their minds gradually.” The entry carried a picture showing her and the athletes, whose caption billed them as “cute chimpanzees.’

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/02/15/national/interpreter-oita-marathon-closes-blog-calling-african-athletes-chimpanzees-post/

    The Tokyo Olympics are going to be hilarious!

    Reply
    • I feel this commentary from the Japanese interpreter really solidifies what I believe Japanese think of NJ. And this isn’t the only comment from the Japanese, lets not forget that the infamous Ishihara Shintaro once referred NJ as “beasts” during that previous Olympic contests.

      Its the idea that Japanese think of themselves as so unique that they cannot accept the idea of NJ being human. When you hear of Japanese praising NJ for small things like “ooh the NJ can use chopsticks!!!”, “wow the NJ can speak Japanese!!”, it almost sounds like as if someone is praising their pet dog for being able to stand on their hind legs and do tricks given the tone of how Japanese are genuinely surprised (and often repeatedly so) that NJ can do things that Japanese do.

      Japanese probably think that NJ are so fundamentally different that they are a different species altogether.

      It is probably why some Japanese take offense very personally when an NJ integrates very well into Japanese society. And somewhere in the insecure and paranoid minds of Japanese they are probably thinking “I can’t believe that I am being outdone by mere primates!! I must really suck!! and now they are copying me (speaking and writing Japanese) as if to intimidate me! damn them!!”

      I would not be surprised if the coup against Ghosn was a lot more personal then the media makes it out to be. If Japanese don’t think of NJ as fellow humans, could the J-executives have ousted Ghosn under an irrational belief that Nissan’s standing will be diminished because the company is being led by a non-human? And with this bizzare thinking, the J-executives thought that they are being made out to look like a fool. Of course its not the only reason for Ghosn’s ousting but a possible one of multiple reasons.

      I guess its probably why Japanese seem offended at the idea of working for NJ, they think it is an insult to their intelligence and human dignity if they are being surpassed by NJ. “HOW DARE YOU SPEAK AND WRITE BETTER THAN I CAN?!?! YOU ARE JUST A MONKEY!! ARE YOU INSULTING MY INTELLIGENCE?” is probably what some Japanese are thinking when NJ integrates well into J-Society.

      This may also explain why some oyajis may get VERY edgy with NJ when you try to speak fluent Japanese with them. And the better you write and speak, the more edgy they get. And given the harsh punishment that Ghosn got, I can’t help but to think part of it is a personal vendetta on the part of J-executives that ousted him.

      I know what I wrote does seem to make J-society sound very childish and stupid, but I believe it does explain in part at least of the bizarre behavior that NJ receive from J-society sometimes. When Japanese praise NJ for things like “wow you can use chopsticks!”, sometimes it does feel and sound as if the Japanese in question is praising a dog and not a human.

      Reply
      • @Bayfield

        Well said, strongly stated, and absolutely correct, thank you.

        Yes, Japanese culture currently defines “gaijin” as goyim animals who are far below the superior Yamato-race.

        Japanese culture currently sees “gaijin” as sub-human, or sees the Yamato-race as above-human, and either perspective is preventing Japan from joining the human team.

        That lady who called the runners “chimpanzees” is merely guilty of having had an overly honest direct zuboshi moment of publicly admitting the general consensus of the Japan group as a whole: Japan’s “Japanese=Yamato race is above all other races” opinion which Japan attempts to keep secret from the 7 billion “gaijins” surrounding Japan.

        Too bad for Japan one of the group dropped the mask of tatemae lies. Too bad for Japan she showed the honne truth. Now she will be ostracized, not for feeling those feelings, but for having let them SHOW so openly and thus embarrassing the Japan team.

        Japanese culture currently contains an overly strong “Yamato-race-is-superior-to-all-other-races” racial superiority complex, which it hides as much as possible by coyly claiming to instead have a racial inferiority complex.

        Or perhaps Japan’s racial inferiority complex arose first, due to relative shortness and/or relative weakness and/or relative lack of intelligence results in the form of inventions, this racial inferiority complex is actually the root cause of Japan’s racial superiority complex.

        Either way, chicken or egg, egg or chicken, whichever came first, the fact is Japan’s culture of “our race is different from the rest of humanity” racism currently prevents a person raised in Japanese culture to see other humans as equal humans.

        If Japan’s culture ever chooses to improve and heal this mental sickness of defining itself as separate from humanity, then our reality-describing sentences about Japanese culture can and will change to match that future reality, but until then, the uncomfortable truth remains: the current reality is Japanese culture is currently strongly embedded with racism, beginning with it’s very definition of what is a Japanese person and what is a gaijin.

        — I devote a chapter to the historical development of the concept of race, and of racialization processes in Japan, in book “Embedded Racism“.

        Reply
  • It’s interesting to read Baye McNeil’s Japan Times columns because any voice of diversity is a good thing, but, I think I’ve discovered why the JT regime like him (as opposed to marginalizing Dr. Debito).

    I was reading this column;
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2019/02/20/our-lives/onus-still-us-black-history/

    And I thought that it was interesting that Baye brings up Malcolm X, and then explains how Japan and black Americans are connected through him. Now, I don’t want to get into a huge discourse on the US Civil Rights movement, but I think it’s valid to point out the contrasts between Malcolm X and MLK.

    MLK was preaching inclusivity, togetherness and compassion. X was advocating violent revolution. (Of course, that’s a massive simplification on my part). But that relationship is so important that in the post-Obama era (when Wesley Snipes sold the rights to Black Panther because he thought it no longer has relevance), Black Panther plays out the contrasting approaches of MLK and X in the dynamic between the title character and Kill Monger.

    Why is this relevant?

    Well, Baye’s article requests Japanese to relate to the US Civil Rights movement by invoking Malcolm X. I suspect his Japanese editors read his article as identifying the Japanese and Malcolm X as being victims of white oppression, rather than (as I suspect Baye intended) making Japanese identity with white oppressors.

    Whoops.

    Reply
    • closure of Tsukiji fish market. Seems like all things that were good about Japan are coming to an end….with nowt much new or interesting to replace them.
      The slow decline continues.

      Reply
      • Yeah, of course.
        What really gets me about this is just how ‘sooo Japan’ it is;
        NJ visitors find a natural slice of Japanese life that is an interesting to experience.
        Japanese authorities become aware of said experiences popularity.
        Japanese authorities then decide how NJ should enjoy it, and turn it into an organized and scheduled ‘kabuki’ version of the original experience.
        NJ reject this commodified farce of a simulacrum, and go looking for some other ‘real/authentic’ experience.
        Japanese authorities double down on the belief that more interference and management is the solution.

        And again, Japan still had less visitors last year as a whole country than the city of Paris did. It can’t even manage that number without messing it up, and manages to pat itself on the back for all its ‘hard work’.

        Reply

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