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Hi Blog. Dovetailing with last week’s blog entry about how Japan’s new “open door” visa programs violate basic human rights, here’s the old classic “closed door” policies aimed to punish bureaucratic transgressions by perpetually detaining people under conditions that don’t fall under standards for sufficient monitoring (because technically, they’re not “prisons”). Policywise, they’re meant to be a deterrent — part of a separate judicial track for foreigners in Japan with fewer human rights (full details on this in “Embedded Racism” Ch. 6). Separate and lethal. Particularly in Ushiku.
Again, given how Japan’s ethnostate policies are an inspiration for xenophobes and racial supremacists worldwide, I would argue that these longstanding inhumane “Gaijin Tanks” are a working model for the “concentration camps” (the political term of debate in the US these days) for detainees along the American southern border. Except politicians in Japan don’t have the cojones to call them anything but benign-sounding “detention centers” — after all, who in any position of power cares about the plight of foreigners in Japan?
So what term is a more appropriate depiction for awareness-raising? Gaijin Gulags? Internment Camps? Captivity Chambers? Perpetual Penitentiaries? Detention Dungeons? This is a situation where the label matters and the proper language escapes. Debito Arudou Ph.D.
Nigerian dies after hunger strike in Japan detention center
REUTERS/Asahi Shimbun AJW, June 27, 2019, courtesy of DM.
A Nigerian man died in a Japanese immigration detention center this week, an official said on Thursday, bringing to an end a hunger strike an activist group said was intended to protest his being held for more than three years.
It was the 15th death since 2006 in a system widely criticized over medical standards, the monitoring of detainees and how guards respond to a medical emergency.
The man, in his 40s, died on Monday in the southern city of Nagasaki after he lost consciousness and was taken to hospital, said a detention center official who declined to be identified.
He did not give a cause of death.
RINK, a group supporting detainees at the center, told Reuters the Nigerian had been on hunger strike to protest his lengthy detention.
Another 27 foreigners are on hunger strike at a detention center in Ushiku, northeast of Tokyo, said a separate group supporting detainees at that facility.
Some of them have gone without food for 47 days, said Kimiko Tanaka, a spokeswoman for the group.
She said a 23-year-old Iranian man who sought asylum more than two years ago has lost weight and is using a wheelchair.
Two other men at Ushiku have been detained for five years, she said.
“The reality of a lengthy detention is nothing but a human rights violation,” Tanaka said.
An official at the national immigration agency confirmed there are hunger strikers at the Ushiku center, but he did not say how many. Authorities are providing medical care and trying to persuade them to eat, he added.
Immigration is a contentious issue in Japan, where ethnic and cultural homogeneity are deeply rooted.
Japan held about 1,500 detainees as of June 2018, according to the latest public data, nearly half of them for more than six months.
Some 604 were asylum seekers whose applications were rejected, while the rest were held for various immigration infractions such as overstaying visas.
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