SIM on the text of the Ministry of Justice’s “Foreigner Re-Entry Ban”, on paper. Debito.org Readers are invited to offer their experiences in practice.

mytest

Books, eBooks, and more from Debito Arudou, Ph.D. (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

Hi Blog. Let me reproduce here some a comment that Debito.org Reader SIM made elsewhere:

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

SIM: I haven’t posted here in quite some time, but with the abhorrent situation as it is I must say something. The reprehensible circumstances for Chris above are something that nobody should face at any time in their life. The manner in which the government has taken this policy of banishing any legal resident with a foreign passport from returning to their livelihood, their family and any assets that they hold if they set one foot outside Japan because of a virus that cannot see the color of said passport is underhand to say the least.

Adding insult to injury is the law on which the MoJ is basing this discriminatory treatment. From a document called “Regarding refusal of landing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus)” on the MoJ website, I have found that the legislation relied upon is Article 5 of Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act which reads as follows:

==================================

“Article 5 (1) A foreign national who falls under any of the following items is denied permission to land in Japan:
“Paragraphs (i) to (xiii) (abbrev.)
“(xiv) Beyond those persons listed in items (i) through (xiii), a person whom the Minister of Justice has reasonable grounds to believe is likely to commit an act which could be detrimental to the interests or public security of Japan.
“(2) (abbrev.)”

==================================

Basically, this shows that the government of Japan believes that, with the outbreak of COVID-19, notwithstanding the fact that we may be legal residents and taxpayers, anybody with a foreign passport is a ‘danger’ to the nation and should be banished if they dare to venture outside of its borders.

This is literally the Government of Japan sticking their middle finger at us who have contributed so much to the nation. With one 3 page notice, the MoJ has arbitrarily revoked both our legal status here and the basic human rights to free movement and to domicile, not to mention the human rights of our spouses and children.

Frankly, with the government’s complete lack of abilities and policies for the current pandemic, and now this, the latest instance of their complete disregard for legal residents, I’ve had enough. After 36 years here, with nearly 30 years as a law abiding taxpayer, I’ve decided to get out while I still can. I am in the process of tying up all loose ends and returning to my country of birth, which I might add has not had any community trasmission of COVID-19 for over two and a half months.  Regards, SIM.

(The MOJ documentation of border re-entry rules for non-citizens, as of July 1, 2020, is at the bottom of this blog post.)

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

COMMENT:  Debito.org invites Readers to comment on their experiences with the Ministry of Justice at the border.  Whether it’s a) you left and re-entered without incident, b) you inquired about leaving in advance and received information that inspired or dispelled confidence in the process, c) you received an unexpected surprise at the border despite all the information you had, or d) you wound up in exile, etc., please let us know. Please use a pseudonym.  Debito Arudou, Ph.D.

What follows are some excerpts of some of what I’ve heard so far.  Click on the names to read the full comment.

==================================

Chris:  “I had to go to a separate counter and forced to sign documentation barring me from re-entry which I reluctantly signed because had I not signed, immigration officials probably wouldn’t have let me proceed or questioned me. Had I known that I was essentially forced to sign documentation barring me from re-entry, I would’ve considered not leaving. Now, I can no longer see my wife and children.”

==================================

Japan Times courtesy Rochelle Kopp:

“Japan was been unique among the G7 nations in treating its foreign residents differently from its citizens, who are allowed to enter the country as long as they submit to a PCR test at their port of entry and agree to isolate themselves for two weeks afterward… The government permits exceptions to the re-entry ban on humanitarian grounds, such as when someone needs to visit a critically ill relative or attend a funeral. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, however, which doesn’t allow for certainty or reliability… A recent survey conducted by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan of its members showed that 78 percent of them regard the entry ban as a significant burden to their businesses. In addition, 79 percent of the affected companies say their turnover is endangered because ongoing projects cannot be completed and new projects cannot be initiated.”

Amelie Le Boeuf: “I resent having all the obligations of a Japanese citizen when it comes to paying tax etc., but not the same protection. Seeing how my fellow foreign residents are being treated makes me feel like we’ll always just be ‘pawns,’ second-class residents, that can be discarded whenever Japan enters into a crisis period.”

Joe Van Alstyne:  “Many of us are committed to living here and do everything we can to positively contribute to Japanese society. But this situation feels like we’re being treated no differently than basic tourists, despite the work we’ve put in to live here.”

Law Professor Colin P.A. Jones: “The courts have always been clear that non-Japanese people have no constitutionally protected ‘right of sojourn’ to leave the country temporarily and freely return. What we are now seeing is just a manifestation of a basic legal question that has always been there for non-Japanese residents: How safe is it to invest in Japan — time, energy, capital — if you suddenly may be unable to enter (or re-enter) the country?”

==================================

Chottomat: “I’m going to leave Japan on 7th August for the UK for ‘medical reasons’ with my spouse visa. I phoned the immigration and they said it was a case of “on the day you return, you state your reason for leaving to the immigration clerk, and they decide on the spot whether to let you back in or not. Supporting documentation would help, he said. Still doesn’t get around the blatant racism, though.”

==================================

Realitycheck:  “A Japanese person I know had the audacity to shrug off members of his international company being refused entry to Japan. He said it wasn’t discrimination but I put him right about that. I also told him he had benefited greatly from the non Japanese system in his company and had he been a foreigner in a Japanese company, he would never have reached his current position of privilege. He probably won’t speak to me again but that’s fine. This and other attitudes from a Japanese who has lived abroad and been given equal treatment in non-Japanese societies and companies, are pretty normal.”

==================================

Ben:  “Australia ensured that its permanent residents could return, particular if they had immediate family in Australia. Why should Japan bar me from returning? It’s simply unfair!”

==================================

NiklasDid anyone see the press conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs? Basically this guy doesn‘t care at all that all foreign residents are barred from entering the country. Japan isn‘t even hiding it anymore, they just don‘t give a damn about foreign residents.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx-0he_oj20

Because of that Germany decided to ban Japanese travelers as long as German residents are not allowed in to Japan.
https://japan.diplo.de/ja-ja/service/-/2321032

Note how this only applies to travelers, since banning legal non German residents would be illegal according to German law of course.

出入国制限

ドイツへの渡航

疫学的状況が一部改善したことを受け、EU理事会は2020年6月30日にEU委員会による入国制限緩和に関する草案に基づく勧告を採択しました。この勧告に従って、加盟国では段階的に制限が緩和されていきます。理事会勧告では、制限緩和にあたって相互性も考慮されるべきであるとしています。

日本の長期滞在資格を持ったドイツ人が日本からドイツに渡航する場合、管理された枠組みの中で日本に再入国できる見通しが持てるようになることが、ドイツ連邦共和国にとって特に重要な懸案となっています。また、それ以外のドイツ人に関しても、特段の理由がある場合は管理された枠組みの中で日本への入国が認められるべきです。そのため、ドイツから日本への渡航者への入国制限緩和が合意に至るまで、当面、日本からドイツへの渡航者の入国制限は継続されます。

==================================

Jaocnanoni: “There are no regular direct connections between Japan and a country not on the ban list, and just changing planes at an airport in a country on the list makes you eligible for the ban. Under this circumstances it’s boiling down to a de facto blanket ban, and the few exceptions in place aren’t applicable for the vast majority of NJ residents.”

==================================

Sven Kramer: “– The number of foreign long-term residents, permanent residents and foreigners who live as relatives of Japanese citizens, is more than 2 million people.
– They are equal to Japanese citizens in regard of being part of Japanese society, and contributing daily to Japan as employees, teachers, business owners, or tax payers, to name a few of their contributions.
– Because of this, if they have to travel abroad for a very good or unavoidable reason, they must not be subject to the generic entry ban like short-term visitors and should be granted reentry into Japan under the same conditions that apply to Japanese citizens and special permanent residents immediately.
– One part of Japanese society must not be treated like random visitors even under the intention to prevent the international spread of COVID-19.
– Especially the reentry ban on foreign relatives of Japanese citizens is a huge problem, which is not only a human rights violation, but probably a violation of Japan’s constitution, too.”

==================================

John:  Latest iteration, courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as of July 22, 2020:

https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html

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

The MOJ documentation as of July 1, 2020, courtesy of SIM (click on image to expand):

(Originals on MOJ site here)

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 if you prefer something less complicated, just click on an advertisement below.

41 comments on “SIM on the text of the Ministry of Justice’s “Foreigner Re-Entry Ban”, on paper. Debito.org Readers are invited to offer their experiences in practice.

  • @Niklas (post above and your links). Here is my take on this (I pay alot of taxes here and have done so for more than 20 years)

    He obviously hates the foreign press being allowed to answer a question (after the softball from NHK).

     Watch is body language around 3:45 in the video

    Then watch this LIAR saying Japan is not being abnormal for Japan to ban Permanent Resident foreigners (every other G7 country allows this!!).

     Watch him blatantly lie starting around 7:05

    Japan is so selfish. He says they want to ensure Japan can have manpower (cheap labor to be exploit

     Watch him say this starting around 10:49 demonstrating Japan thinks foreigners are like cattle to be harvested for cheap labor.

    He then talks about Senkaku….who cares

    Germany has decided to ban people from Japan (GOOD!) – Even though this impacts me directly (I have business there) I still say good job Germany!!!

    https://japan.diplo.de/ja-ja/service/-/2321032

    The only message I receive from this guy is loudly and clearly that Japan hates foreigners.

    Finally it is interesting that Rochelle Kopp, an apologist and tool, wrote that article as she makes her living on telling us how “unique” Japan is

    • Jim Di Griz says:

      Dave, thanks for your post, it allowed me to skip parts (which is invaluable, if you have literally anything better to do).
      You are right- he lies outright. And plays the ‘whattabout’ game. And even though the whole thing is conducted in Japanese (with absurdly painful MOFA English voiceover), he seems to be unaware that;
      1. This is an issue that affects NJ, therefore,
      2. He should attempt to conceal his blatant contempt for NJ as he replies, since,
      3. NJ are bound to see this!

      Did he honestly think that he’s ‘amongst Japanese’ so he could be as dismissive and dishonest as he likes, and ‘foreigners’ would never see it?
      And also, his sour face after he realizes (and admits!) he thought he was going to get questions about ‘oil producing countries’!
      How does someone as unimaginative, lacking in perception, devoid of charisma and public speaking skills even win a local election, never mind become a cabinet minister?
      (I know, it’s a trick question. The answer in cronyism).

      I’m glad Germany is giving Japan a slap-down on this (let’s see if it wakes Japan up to the fact that modern Germany doesn’t continue to place value on having been on the same side in the war), but the fact that the rest of the international community hasn’t even noticed really tells you something about how Japan isn’t getting off the hook due to its power to influence, but rather that’s it’s just so irrelevant now.

    • Neverawajin says:

      The translators tone sounds even more disgusting to me. Reminds of all the middle-aged public and private employees who spend their entire professional lives as submissive and servile human floor mats for all the “eraihito”, but would not spare the slightest opportunity to revert to arrogance and tyranny when dealing with any non-Japanese.

    • Thank you for commenting and thanks to Debito for including my comment of course. I noticed the same things, which is why I decided to post the video in the first place. His arrogance and his change of body language when talking to representatives of the foreign press just made me angry. Then he lies about Japan not being abnormal, even though it‘s the only first world country that has done something like this. That‘s why I wrote that this time Japan isn‘t even hiding what they think about foreign workers. Usually when speaking to international press or representatives, Japanese politicians will claim that they respect the human rights of foreign workers and they‘ll try to hide between the language and culture excuse. Not this time though, this time the minister outright shows what he really thinks of foreign workers. Like you said „a cattle to be harvested for cheap labor“, that‘s all we are to him. And this cattle can be banned from the country wheneve a crisis hits of course. This reminds me of the 2008 economic crisis when Japan offered $3,000 to every Nikkei if they return to Brazil. Only this time Japan isn‘t even offering money and you don‘t even have a choice. You‘re automatically barred from reentry if you hold a foreign passport. It looks like Japan shows it‘s true face to the international community every time a global crisis occurs. This time the Japanese government forcefully divided thousands of families with their policy and the Minister of foreign Affairs doesn‘t even care. He most likely doesn‘t even understand that this is a violation of basic human rights. People are literally not able to return to their homes and families. Yet most of them still have to continue to pay rent, mortages and taxes. This whole thing is just disgusting and I really hope that Japan will get punished some way in the end. I‘m used to Japanese racism, nationalism and exclusionism, so I usually don‘t get surprised or angry at anything, but the current situation is just too horrible, even for Japanese standards.

      • Jim Di Griz says:

        I wouldn’t worry. With all the on-the-edge-of-the-seat speculation about the on-off-on 2020 Olympics for next year, and Tokyo almost reaching 50% ICU bed occupancy today (and even without continued exponential growth- seriously, look at the numbers. Even with prescriptive measures to reduce tests, Tokyo’s graph is going almost vertical), it’s got less than 14 days to max out the increased number of beds from before the state of emergency.
        This isn’t going to be over soon, it’ll be clear that acclimatization training camps for the olympians can’t be held, spectators won’t come, Tokyo’s ‘cluster-buster’ approach has failed.
        Somewhere in all that mess, maybe the international media will notice that Japan still won’t be letting resident NJ return from overseas.
        TBH, the political fallout from failing to contain Covid-19, and the fact that it’s pretty certain the Olympics isn’t going to happen must be sending seismic quakes through the Abe junta. Maybe LDP members are happy to see him flailing around with ill-conceived policies (masks, go to travel, financial handouts, NJ re-entry ban) because he owns it all, and when his popularity flatlines (and he’s getting close now) and he gets stabbed in the back by his own party, they can brush every member of his clique out?
        Most people haven’t noticed, but under his direction he has instituted an ‘imperial’ premiership and centralized all policy in the Cabinet Office, and many in the LDP and Kasumigaseki feel disempowered
        Disempower an self-entitled Oyaji at your peril.

        • Yes, this is kinda the only positive thing I can take away from all of this. It definitely looks like Abe is finally done for. The only problem is that I‘m not really sure if his successor will be any better. Japan and the LDP especially are so far on the right these days, it‘ll be almost impossible for a moderate candidate to take over and to undo the centralization of power that Abe pushed for all these years.

          • Jim Di Griz says:

            Well, if you listen to this guy, there are NO moderates in Japan;

            ‘ Another feature of gubernatorial elections in Tokyo is that the candidate field is often filled with attention-getters, meaning people who don’t expect to win but want to gain recognition for themselves or their causes. In that regard, the biggest winner this time was far-right provocateur Makoto Sakurai, who placed fifth in the final tally with 178,784 votes. As Koichi Yasuda, the co-host of web channel No Hate TV, put it, 1 out of every 63 Tokyo voters chose Sakurai, a statistic he finds significant since Sakurai openly advocates for the expulsion of resident Koreans and other non-Japanese. In the 2016 gubernatorial election, Sakurai garnered about 114,000 votes. Writer and activist Yasumichi Noma, Yasuda’s interlocutor on No Hate TV, said that he believes racism, be it latent or overt, underlies the entire Japanese political spectrum, from far right to far left.’

            https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/07/25/national/media-national/tokyo-gubernatorial-election-history/

          • Jim Di Griz says:

            That’s one in 63 Tokyo voters voting for the candidate who openly says he want to expel NJ (and not only zainichi Koreans).
            And then they want to host the Olympics…

          • Yep, this is the final nail in the coffin for me. Within the next 5 years I’ve moving myself, my Japanese wife and my Japanese/Australian son to Australia.

            I don’t want to live in a country or pay taxes to a government that doesn’t provide me any benefit whatsoever for being a permanent resident.

        • Thank you for the article you linked. I‘m aware of both Sakurai and No Hate TV. No Hate TV has a pretty good YouTube channel I like to check out sometimes. Sakurai getting over 100.000 votes is very saddening of course, but I don‘t think he has any chance of coming into a position of power. And he definitely has no chance of becoming the next prime minister. I‘m more worried about the other thing you mentioned, that there are no moderate candidates anymore. The entire LDP is basically just the right arm of Nippon Kaigi, so I don‘t think we will see much positive change, even when Abe is done for.

    • GaijinLivesMatter says:

      I’m not seeing a substantial difference in body language between his responding to the Radio France reporter and anywhere else in the video, except immediately after the 3:45 mark, where he appears to have difficulty hearing the reporter. If you watch the corresponding portion of the Japanese clip, you can see the reporter spoke with an accent and her pronunciation of 再入国 did indeed sound very much like 産油国, and since the press conference was not specifically about re-entry of foreign residents (remember, immigration policy is determined by the MOJ, not MOFA), the reporter suddenly talking about 再入国 in a manner that might as well be 産油国 would indeed likely cause confusion for those first few seconds.

      I am not saying his overall response was a good one, just that talking about “body language” and referencing only a specific portion of the clip where he misheard the reporter doesn’t seem reasonable.

    • Niklas and Dave, thanks for sharing. It’s just my two cents, but I didn’t find Motegi’s reaction to be particularly noteworthy.

      Yeah, he’s an arrogant, profoundly unpleasant rambling old Wajin man, but all senior LDP politicians are like that. Not a defense of any sort, but at the same time nothing particularly remarkable either.

      His repeated pleas about how there’s “nothing unusual” about Japan’s policy stinks of denialism, almost to the point that it’s kind of amusing. I PROMISE THERE’S NOTHING FUNNY GOING ON, NO SERIOUSLY.

      Typical entitled, self-absorbed Wajin elitist old man who hates to have anyone challenge him or try to hold him accountable, because he has no sense of responsibility or accountability in the first place.

      The unnecessary comment about “oil producing countries” was the highlight in my opinion. I imagine the thought process goes, “Here, let me find a ‘difficult word’ in ‘your language’ (even though the reporter is clearly French or of French roots) to throw at you to try and make it seem like I’m almost as linguistically capable as you, even though I’m obviously not.” To be fair, the reporter’s accent was indeed rather strong, but it was obvious that she wasn’t saying 産油国, especially given that the middle vowel was elongated. That’s to say nothing of the context, which apparently Motegi is either incapable of understanding, meaning he’s an idiot, or intentionally disregarded to make the above empty point, in which case he’s an idiot and a bigot. I’ll let everyone draw their own conclusions.

      • HJ and Gaijinlivesmatter – I can understand your point but I would respectfully disagree. After doing business in Japan for 25 years I found his body language telling (not only his “inability to hear”). His face color changed quickly…the wiping of the brow…and looking down. He was absolutely uncomfortable. I thought he was very disrespectful…..certainly lied

        • Eric Cartman says:

          HIs body language reminded me of the bad presentation example in this presentation course, at 8.10. “Hoping that no one has any questions”

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl4sWkDbKkk

          Probably wonders why commoners (must be a foreigner, so dont matter- Ishihara school of thought) have the gall to question their elders, after all he inherited his position and it was handed down from generation to generation of Erai hito.

          Respect My Authoriteh!

  • Sorry for posting two times in a row – please forgive me for this……

    But – I watched that video twice now. Remember in Japan the non verbal communication and body language is paramount.

    His body language when being asked the re-entry question by the French news organization SAYS EVERYTHING!!!

    The arrogance of these old fools running Japan is beyond belief.

    Debito-san – feel free to move my posts as they are not about my personal experience specifically…..but it is personal. I live here

  • Neverawajin says:

    BTW, I keep seeing references to the G7 or ” other developed countries” when comparing Japan’s re-entry ban policies, as if those country would be the only ones that mattered. I understand the sensitivity of their stance among the powerful western nations, but in this case it may dilute the abhorrent nature of Japan’s attitude in a more global context.
    It’s looking to me that most countries in the world do not have such a racist and inhumane law. Japan could be counted among the few pariah nations demonstrating such callous attitude towards their foreign residents.
    I’ve been looking at the information from Latin american countries embassies and Foreign Affairs sites, and there are virtually no entry bans applying to foreign residents, either permanent or temporary ( such as in Mexico, Peru, Chile & Colombia etc), in a few cases when there is an entry restriction in place afflicting foreigners residents, then it is most likely a blanket border closing that affects both foreigners and nationals equally, regardless of passport and status (i.e. Cuba, Honduras) . I’m guessing the situation might be similar when looking into policies from countries in other regions.
    So again, Japan doesn’t look bad compared to the developed nations only, their racism, xenophobia and despotism are more outstanding when compared to the rest of the world.

    – I think the reason why the baseline is G7/other developed countries because, a) there are around 200 countries out there, and reporters don’t have time or inclination to research each one; b) we expect more from developed countries, and they expect more from each other as an elite club (plus they are fellow signatories to international human-rights treaties); c) if we did have statistics for all countries, we might find some fellow Japanesque outliers out there, and that would be used by defenders (either in terms of population or simple country counts) to show that Japan is in good/bad company (as was done when people started focusing upon how many countries confer citizenship by blood or soil, and defenders used that as a justification for Japan’s ethnostatist policies).

    In short, it’s mendokusai if not a bit misleading to bring in every country. Just hold Japan up to comparison with the highest world standards, is the logic, since that’s what the GOJ expressly aspires to be, as Asia’s richest “civilized” flagship country.

    • I can‘t speak for others but the reason why I use the terms „developed countries“ and „first world countries“ is because I don‘t have the time to check the re-entry policies of over 200 countries. If I would write something like „Japan is the only country in the world with such a policy“, I wouldn‘t be able to verify that claim and that claim would probably be wrong because there‘s a high chance that somewhere out there some country has a similar policy. And to be honest, I wouldn‘t be surprised if Qatar, or Saudia Arabia had such policies for example. These countries are literally holding foreign workers as slaves, but Japan should be judged by different standards. In UN and EU meetings Japan always stresses how they‘re a developed country which respects human rights and which aims to be a partner of western nations. Therefore Japan should be judged by those standards when it comes to human rights. I‘m not saying that only western nations matter when it comes to human rights, but just like Debito said, it‘s misleading to bring up every country in the world, because there will always be countries which are doing much worse than Japan and those countries are usually non western and developing countries. If Japan claims that they‘re a first world country, we should hold them accountable according to first world standards and according to international treaties like the ICERD.

      • Neverawajin says:

        Thanks, Understand the points, and I do believe it is fair to compare them with developed nations when failing to meet the highest standards. I’m just saying though, that once some extra time is invested into looking at policies from a wider set of countries, then Japan could easily be placed among an only small group of countries with similar inhumane bans in place… What does a greater disservice to their cherished image: the fact that they are not exactly equal to the boys in an exclusive group, or that they are actually closer to countries with the lowest track record on human rights such as China or Saudi Arabia?

  • Anonymous says:

    I am not surprised by this at all.
    I am sure they would love to restrict entry of Japanese citizens too, but as they have the right of abode government literally can’t.

  • The most concerning aspect of the re-entry ban to me has been the reasons cited by ministry officials: to ensure there is adequate PCR testing available for returning Japanese. This sets a very dangerous precent of prioritizing a medical procedure on the basis of nationality/residency status. Below is a letter I sent to the Canadian ambassador in Japan.

    Copied message begins:

    Dear Ambassador Burney,

    As a Canadian living in Japan with business interests in both Canada and Japan, I would personally like to bring several matters to the attention of the Canadian mission that affect all Canadian residents of Japan doing business in both countries.

    For reference:
    http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13571689

    While the Japanese government amended its rules on July 22nd to allow foreign residents stranded abroad to return to Japan, it continues its discriminatory re-entry practices on the following points:

    1)Business people in Japan effectively cannot leave Japan regardless of visa status, as the re-entry criteria is vague, does not allow for business trips, and is granted only for humanitarian grounds on a case by case basis. Japanese citizens are not subject to any re-entry bans should they wish to leave for business or travel.

    2)Re-entry PCR testing is being prioritized for Japanese citizens, effectively “othering” Japanese permanent residents and visa holders by submitting them to less-than-equal status.

    These 2 points would be absolutely unthinkable in any other G7 nation, and all countries should be advising their citizens of these conditions should they wish to do business in Japan. What is Canada doing to advise its citizens of these risks of doing business in Japan?

    Additionally, point 2 above means that access to medical testing is being prioritized for Japanese citizens before foreign residents. It leads to 2 very troubling questions:

    1)Will Coronavirus vaccine access also be prioritized for Japanese citizens ahead of foreign residents, should limited vaccine doses be available?

    2)Could this set the precedent of Japan prioritizing Japanese citizens ahead of foreign residents for other medical procedures/access to care?

    It is absolutely unacceptable that any modern democracy would limit access to medical testing for its residents on the basis of visa status/nationality, however this is exactly Japan’s excuse for limiting foreign visa holder re-entry. Japan needs to be called out on these issues, as their response thus far has been farcical, insulting, and would be the subject of mass outrage should something similar even be attempted in Canada.

    As a Canadian living in Japan, the Canadian mission needs to take a strong public stance on these issues. All Canadians thinking of doing business in Japan need to be aware of these conditions, and the Japanese government needs to understand that in addition to affecting business relations these practices are highly discriminatory, and reduce all foreign residents to the status of less than human.

    What specifically is Canada doing, to ensure the equitable treatment of their citizens abroad?

    • Neverawajin says:

      Hi fellow Canadian, your initiative is commendable and worth imitating. I am willing to send a similar letter to the Canadian embassy (and to another country I am also a national of). If OK for you I’d use yours as template and tailor it to my circumstances as a long term resident and spouse of a Japanese. Did you email it?
      I’d also encourage anyone else in this community to take similar actions. Only when more countries retaliate to Japan’s disgusting abuse of humans rights towards their citizens ( as Germany did) and Japan starts feeling the gaiatsu, shaming and exposing them for what they really are, there might be a chance for this inhumane ban to be overturned.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Ever since this issue arose, I’ve been thinking of the lack of J-media attention it gets (beyond the official junta narrative of ‘protecting Japanese from dangerous foreign things’), and the deafening silence from NJ apologists with the notable exception of Rachel Kopp, who is ‘Shocked! Shocked I tell you!’ (Captain Louis voice) to find that there is racism and discrimination going on in Japan.

    Remember all the wide shows and news reports showing lines of NJ leaving in 2011 after the earthquake, tsunami, triple nuclear meltdown? Remember the outright accusations that NJ couldn’t be trusted because they aren’t loyal to Japan? That they only want to ‘take from Japan during the good times’, but don’t be there for Japan when things get tough? Remember ‘flyjin’?

    I’ve been thinking that now with NJ residents barred from entering Japan, despite still having tax and pension obligations and what not, there’s surely a counter-meme to be made here. Something scathing and incisive and totally disrespectful, but I can’t seem to form it in my mind, it won’t crystallize into a pithy one-liner…

    Any suggestions?

    • @Jim Di Griz

      Well, to be fair, it can’t be a play on the term “gaijin” because that implies we are coming from the standpoint of making a comment about gaijin, which we don’t want to do. We want to make a comment about the Japanese government, so I suggest:

      MOJ (Ministry of Just Us)

      – Like!

      • Jim Di Griz says:

        He he, that’s pretty good! The best I could manage was;
        The virus doesn’t discriminate but Japan does.
        Yours is better.

    • cynical.nj says:

      Not the best meme idea ever, but here it goes:

      Demotivational poster idea: IBJ (Immigration Bureau of Japan)
      header: “It’s Berii Japaniizu”
      (IBJ office pic)
      “To ban your fellow non-Japanese-passport holding neighbor of 20 years from coming back home”

      —-
      Unrelated to the meme, related to the topic of us foreigners being the target of contempt – a digest of some recent corona-related news / comments from Yahoo:

      NEWS#1:”13 new infections detected among people who arrived from overseas” –
      Comment: ‘Brazilians, Peruvians or other South Americans, perhaps Pakistanis? Shouldn’t they get stopped at the border?’ (although there are some sane people saying 1) you don’t know their nationality so STFU and 2) it can be Japanese as well..)
      src: https://news.yahoo.co.jp/profile/comments/15959274498226.c285.14702

      NEWS#2:”Japan to admit more foreigners” (it’s about some groups of people who left before the restrictions – already covered here on Debito.org)
      Comment: “There is no way Chinese would stick to the quarantine!”
      Re: “China has been and is a country of swindlers”
      “I guess I want to discriminate against foreigners. They won’t abide the rules unless we threaten them with high fines!”
      src: https://news.yahoo.co.jp/profile/comments/15960311227179.44a7.23336

    • Baudrillard says:

      “Stayjin” who now rue their decision to do so. “Antiflyjin” who ironically are excluded from entering Japan anyway.

      I think the meme or label you seek should also have a sense of naivety that the J Govt would serve them well if they toed the line and showed loyalty. These “Naivejin” are reminiscent of e.g. the Whte Russians who served in the Japanese Imperial Army and later executed by said Imperial Army. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvgBicIU9mo

      There is always weeaboo (plural weeaboos)
      -(slang, derogatory) A non-Japanese person (especially one of Caucasian ancestry) who is obsessed with Japanese culture and behaves in a stereotypically Japanese manner.

      Weeb returnee? Perhaps? Is this too insulting?

      J-apologists thrown under the bus when it suits Japan to revert full Dejima exclusionism.

      Actually I nominate the J Govt’s current re entry policy for a Dejima Award.

    • Baudrillard says:

      JIm, actually I am not sure if you mean insulting to those still believing they will be allowed to return (notthing wrong in that), those who are apologists now shocked at their treatment and exclusion, or are you trying to insult the J policy responsible?

      Its the same old J exclusionism, plain and simple.

  • Guys please check new re-entry requirements from today.

    https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001074.html

    A lot of hassle and the most important, Japanese don’t need to go through this, which means they can actually bring the virus with them. These are us to blame only as usual.
    After this announcement on Japanese media already is loud. Japan gets pressure from G7 countries. The problem is that PRs and Spouses of Japanese are not allowed without going through the new procedure.
    I’m stack in the Netherlands where they do 120,000 tests per week. We have TVCM here about corona and testing. They show a free phone number to call if you have a fever or feel bad. I saw drive through too. No idea about tests such as these without a real reason. Normally is free of charge.

    • Neverawajin says:

      It would be utterly cheeky and audacious of them since this new spike started way before those locked outside the country start arriving yet, but yes absolutely possible from Japan. Like I wrote in a JT comment thread a few days ago, “Where is all the Japanese cultural superiority now and Aso’s arrogantly trumpeted Mindo? Nothing more than nihonjinron navel-gazing, obvious for anyone who walks down the streets on a regular basis and witness the still crowded nightlife businesses, izakayas, restaurants, malls/supermarkets (i.e. Don Kijote ) trains etc. and the blatant poor social distancing just about everywhere. And now with their outrageous abuse of human rights by banning re-entry to all foreigners (including long term residents), they can’t even use us as scapegoats for the virus spread.

      Things will just get worst, unfortunately with us non-Japanese locked inside now ( and lets not even talk about what the real numbers would look like if more widespread testing were implemented, as in any other country where denial is not the standard operating procedure), and the suckers only have themselves to blame.

      Now, what would be an interesting turn of events is that with this exponential increase in cases in Japan, and other countries like Canada moving to phase 3 of easing restrictions due to a relative success in controlling the spread, they start banning either all incoming travelers from Japan (and/or Japanese nationals specifically, although this one unlikely, since this would be an… “abuse of human rights” ) and then see Japan’s hypocritical outcry and claims of discrimination, prejudice, etc…

    • There is more ridiculous news about re-entry for residents.
      If the country that someone is in do not do a test for people without symptoms, the J Gov requires them to travel to another country where it is possible. Are they sick? Who is going to pay for travel and probably for the test? In Germany, my friend paid 160 euros for the test, but only because he doesn’t have German insurance as an ex-pat and because he had contact with someone who was infected.

      So, in addition to travel to J Embassy, they also ask you to travel to wherever you can to get tested. And of course, pay for it.
      So, this is a kind of Go-To Travel campaign without compensation for foreign residents stuck abroad who want to come back home. Also, one can catch a virus while traveling anyway.
      They don’t want to give up on it, huh?. Stupidity. And I say again, Japanese nationals don’t need tests and can carry on the plane and everywhere. This is more than racism. This is a Human Rights violation, but Japan never gave a s** about HR.

  • ShaunInMiyagi says:

    Did anyone see today’s NHK 7 o’clock news? They’re complaining that overseas businessmen stationed in some countries overseas cannot leave because they cannot return to their posting. I couldn’t take memos of all of the countries they were talking about but I do remember USA, India (which has also shut out its own nationals), China and South Africa. Of course they didn’t mention that Japan is doing precisely the same to residents with foreign nationality. When the shoe is on the other foot, eh.

    • Neverawajin says:

      I’d bet that, unlike Japan, for most of those countries reentering is possible with permanent residency or spouse status or equivalent. Business people in principle are temporally stationed abroad, without significant investment or commitment, such a mortgages, social security (and sometimes taxes since many times they are paid directly from Japan) obligations, usually also no families, etc, in the host country. So not quite the same thing…

      — I’m sure plenty of overseas Japanese businesspeople would disagree with the characterization. Let’s be careful not to overgeneralize back.

      • ShaunInMiyagi says:

        Neverawajin, that’s exactly what I wanted to say. Businesspeople posted overseas from Japan are in quite a different position as compared to long term residents in Japan. For many businesspeople, their overseas posting was not something that they desired; it is an order from the company, so they don’t have the personal ties. Often they are posted without their family, so not being able to return does not split up families. Additionally, even if they cannot return, their companies still have them working at the home office in Japan, so there’s no possibility of loosing their livelihoods. As for taxes, as they would be tax residents overseas, they would be liable for taxes (and social security payments) but the company generally covers their liability for local taxes. The big problem for overseas businesspeople is a business problem for the company, not a personal problem preventing the continuation of daily life as it is for us if we dare to set one foot out of Japan, and that for no logical reason whatsoever. I will add that I spent several years working in personnel in the company where I currently work and my main duty then was overseas postings.

        • Neverawajin says:

          Thanks, totally agree. I also talk from personal experience. In a previous life I used to be on international trade back in Canada, catering to the major Japanese importing firms (Sogo Shosha) and their typical predatory practices. I understands how over-generalization can strike as unfair and turn backfiring, but the characterization I made fits ninety nine percent of the guys I used to deal with on a regular basis. Japanese “business” men are just the average salarymen who have been posted temporarily to one of the company foreign branches. They are on an constant rotation basis, never laying local roots, diligently and eagerly waiting for the next post, or even better to be returned closer to the central office so they can take part on the ladder claiming game of perverse servilism and blind obedience towards superiors and bulling and abuse towards subordinates (and paid kabakura outings for external business partners) – The mantra is to endure and achieve seniority, never adding actual value. Anyhow, with all their royalties towards and career prospects absolutely dependent upon the erai hito at the Honsha, never even socializing or fully engaging with their host communities (why would they after all?), many times they would just come on a tourist visa; the long termers probably would bother to apply for residenship, and get a better taste of what living in a truly free and rule of law country is, but again returning back to Japan would be at the end of the road inevitably. Completely castrated from any self initiative and social skills by rearing (let alone in a foreign environment and foreign language), they are by no means the entrepreneurial and international minded type. I mean the ones with the guts and ability to open new roads individually, set up personal business interest or joint-ventures, in a way that would allow them to get truly involved and have a stake on the local economies, unlike so many other foreign nationals I’ve seen. BTW, my actual history with Japan goes back more than 20 years, way before I moved to this beautifully sinking land of deception, obsession with power games and manga. Wearing many hats and in various capacities (businessman, honorable guest, student, academic, blue collar/3K laborer, “dangerous” immigrant, devoted househusband, etc), I’ve seen these people from all their shades and faces, and none is pretty.

      • Even Germany who ban Japanese (tit-for-tat) do not refuse legal residents and their families. There was a case and confusion in Germany couple of weeks ago when Japanese sightseeing was returned back to Japan. Only European Citizen was able to enter and those who have residency not only in Germany but other EU country.

  • I forgot to add to my previous post. Germany charges arrivals 70 euros for the test, which is still random.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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>