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Hi Blog. September 19, 1999 was a watershed day in my life, when my family, friends, and I visited the “Japanese Only” Otaru public baths and exposed discrimination in Japan incontrovertibly as racial in nature.
It has been exactly twenty years to the day since then, and not enough has changed. People (including Japanese citizens) are still being refused services in Japan based upon whether they “look foreign”. The police still engage in racial profiling as standard operating procedure to ferret out “illegal foreigners”. There still is no law against racial discrimination in Japan’s Civil or Criminal Code.
Japan remains a signatory to the UN Convention on Racial Discrimination, where it promised (since 1995) to “undertake to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms“. Nearly a quarter-century later, this clearly has not happened.
All of this has been charted and cataloged in great detail in my book “Japanese Only: The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan“.
Well, nearly free. Amazon requires that I charge something, unfortunately. The minimum price is 99 cents US. So I’ve set that price for the book in all countries effective immediately.
Similarly, my book for how to cope with life in Japan and make a good living here, “Guidebook for Relocation and Assimilation into Japan”, is now also nearly free. 99 cents.
Go download and enjoy both. And may the lessons of the Otaru Onsens Case reverberate and help everyone in Japan have equal access to public goods and facilities. Debito Arudou, Ph.D.
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