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Hi Blog. My latest SNA column 3 is now up. Here’s an excerpt. And here is a link to sources for claims within the article. Enjoy. Debito Arudou Ph.D.
Visible Minorities Column 3
Racial Profiling at Japanese Hotel Check-Ins
Shingetsu News Agency OCT 23, 2019, by DEBITO ARUDOU
SNA (Tokyo) — It’s dehumanizing to be denied service somewhere, not for what you did, but for who you are, and to realize that discrimination is real.
In Japan, your first experience might be with your apartment search—realtors may deny you a home simply because “the landlord doesn’t like foreigners.”
Sadly, there’s little you can do: racial discrimination is not illegal in Japan, even in 2019. You could report what happened to the Ministry of Justice’s Human Rights Bureau (which will generally do nothing), or take them to court where you’re at the mercy of a judge susceptible to narratives of “foreigners are different/difficult, so refusing them is okay,” which is known legally as “rational discrimination.” Still, you will need a place right away to call home.
Eventually, after getting an interlocutor to negotiate or an employer to vouch for you, you find one. You’ll forget about what happened. Something like this doesn’t happen every day, right?
But it may occur the next time you want a hotel room. Given the tourism boom and hosted international sports events, racial profiling and discrimination have become widespread in Japan’s hoteling industry. This is particularly insidious because it’s not just the occasional bigoted landlord calling the shots; this time it’s the Japanese police…
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