Debito’s SNA Visible Minorities 13: “Japan’s Cult of Miserable Happy”, Aug 24, 2020, questioning whether “omotenashi” Japan is actually all that hospitable to anyone, what with such a strong “culture of no”

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. Here’s my latest column. Enjoy the rest of your summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Debito Arudou, Ph.D.

/////////////////////////////////////
Visible Minorities: Japan’s Cult of Miserable Happy
Shingetsu News Agency, Column 13, AUG 24, 2020
By DEBITO ARUDOU
http://shingetsunewsagency.com/2020/08/24/visible-minorities-japans-cult-of-miserable-happy/

…These are sobering times for Japan fans. Thanks to the pandemic, even the most starry-eyed and enfranchised foreigners are having their bubbles burst, realizing that their status in Japan, no matter how hard-earned, matters not one whit to Japan’s policymakers.

As covered elsewhere, current immigration policy dictates that Japanese citizens can leave and re-enter the country at will, as long as they subject themselves to testing and quarantine upon return. But that doesn’t apply to Japan’s resident non-citizens.

Despite widespread protest (and some token revisions), they still generally get barred from re-entry, meaning thousands of foreign workers, spouses, and students are either stranded overseas, watching helplessly as their Japan livelihoods and investments dry up, or stranded in Japan unable to attend to family business or personal tragedy, at a time when thousands of people worldwide die of Covid daily.

Targeting all foreigners only as vessels of virus makes it clearer than ever that Japan’s requirements for membership are racist. It strips yet another layer of credibility from the “Cool Japan” trope, such as the overhyped “culture of hospitality” (omotenashi) during Japan’s buildup to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Since this is an opportune time to remove layers of lies from Japan’s narrative, let’s address another one: That Japan is an unusually hospitable place…

Read the rest at http://shingetsunewsagency.com/2020/08/24/visible-minorities-japans-cult-of-miserable-happy/

======================
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.

27 comments on “Debito’s SNA Visible Minorities 13: “Japan’s Cult of Miserable Happy”, Aug 24, 2020, questioning whether “omotenashi” Japan is actually all that hospitable to anyone, what with such a strong “culture of no”

  • “the default answer to a request is “no,” or some delaying tactic”- AT LAST, someone has written about this, thanks Dr. D. Basically my experiences over decades was if I ask permission for something, even from someone technically below me in the hierarchy, they will deny it “sore wa dekinai”. Finally I lost hope and became as jaded and cynical too and just stopped trying to do anything outside my job, but then this led to “why stay in Japan at all (if you can’t do anything to enjoy your life?)”
    Hierarchy…As the paying event producer/experienced oyaji/bringing in money and a source of customer database, I should be above the young, inexperienced whippersnapper “manager”. Ah, but wait. He was given the job solely because he was a fellow Japanese as the owner in a strange land.

    It didnt end well for them. So, “Predictability and peace of mind about my future in a changing world”- add to this the peace of mind that every visible “foreigner”, resident or not, customer or not, senior or not, is supposed to be below any Japanese in the hierarchy nowadays.

    There was a time NJ permanent residents were treated as guests. Now I feel we are on the bottom, and the re entry debacle proves that in times of trouble, the “guests” will not be re-admitted.

    Reply
  • Baudrillard says:

    Just a personal anecdote, but back in the 80s I was “sold” on going to Japan by the friendly, outgoing and polite Japanese I met at university overseas. They tended to give me a fantastic impression of Japanese people, kept their promises and appointments etc, the odd outlier aside though even then there were a couple of minor discordant signs ruining the hamronious illusion I was basking in, such as admitting “Japanese like guests, not residents” (yes I was warned of this before going to Japan, by Japanese people, in the 80s) and “foreign art/work/etc might be rejected by Japanese peoiple etc”
    Of course in my youthful naivety and positivity I wasnt going to let this rain on my parade, and thought I would just have to work harder to overcome these occasional hiccups.

    Little did I know that the exceptions, the outliers, were in fact those Japanese who had chosen to leave Japan and befriend me.

    I was in for a rude awakening. My point here is I am not sure if Japan has ever been particularly “omotenashi”, except the usual treatment tourists should get, which for some Japanese is seen as exceptionally nice treatment but is actually common sense if you want tourists to visit your country.

    What has actually happened is that the “gaijin as honored guest” (because I dont know where to put him in the hierarchy so I ll err on the polite side) has largely disappeared as metropolitan Japan at least has become more accustomed to NJs, or more to the point, has tired of or lost interest in the novelty value.

    The novelty value was definitely wearing off by the early 21st century- to be replaced by “gaijin are nothing special or mendokusai)” Again, just a personal anecdote but it feels about right.

    Reply
  • In the 90s, I videotaped my Brother-in-Law’s (a high-level policeman) wedding reception; then gave the new camera to my wife–who put it in the trunk of a taxi. However, she forget to retrieve it out of the trunk when we arrived at the hotel. She called her brother, and nearly every cop in that big city called/stopped nearly every taxi. Never found, and if the tape was ever played, they’d find a huge banquet hall filled with cops and firemen. Honest Japan–my arse.

    That “rare moment” in nearly 16 years came when I stopped at a street ramen joint with an outside counter. A lone, older businessman sat down next to me. looked up at the sky, and we started talking about how beautiful the moon and the stars were. Didn’t give a damn that he was talking to a gaijin–treated me just like anyone else. Well-written article. En haste–

    Reply
  • I agree that the government response towards foreigners during the pandemic has been terrible. I also agree that there is some racism towards foreigners and some Japanese minorities too, and that needs to change.
    On the other hand, I don`t agree with some other points. I am not sure what is this “culture of no” that you talked about, maybe cause I have been lucky enough not to get it through what is almost a decade in Japan. It could have been easier to understand what this culture is if you had given some examples.
    Also, comparing to my country of origin, I do feel that in general Japanese people “seem” more polite and omotenashi, even if it is on the surface. I am ok with that, what I am not ok with is being rude to someone without any parent reasons, like it happens in the country I was born.

    – I gave plenty of examples. Reread.

    Reply
    • Baudrillard says:

      There are many service staff in Tokyo who just want to say “no” to the gaijin- mustve read Ishihara’s book though actually I think he just tapped into an existing zeitgeist. And never mind business people, books have been written on why Japanese are evasive and csant decide blah blah and instead change the subject. It became quite an issue in the 80s with American execs flying in with contracts, having their time wasted with Tatemae, procrastination, and evasiveness, and then leaving with those contracts unsigned. Though perhaps they were treated to a sushi dinner and a demonstration of Japanese culture as a “guest”. A guest who was leaving soon.

      So one time a group of friends, some tourists, some Japanese, were visiting Meiji Jingu Shrine. The Japanese sat down for just one minute on the ground somewhere off to the side and immediately an old grumpy staff rushes over tells us off and to move. We werent bothering anyone, it was empty, we were not disturbing anyone. Except his dreamy day of “his” empty shrine all to himself, I guess.

      Now, my attitude is, you are staff here, so help us please, so I followed him asking in polite Japanese where we could sit.

      He was not interested in helping. Because he just wanted to say “no”, not yes. He has no “alternative solution” and just kept walking away.

      This is my most tourism damaging example, but I have hundreds of others.

      Just try and request anything, however minor, off the menu or outside the box, the procedure what the so called “service” people or public servants (ha! no such thing in Japan) want you to do, and in most cases they cannot, or will not.

      You are supposed to respect and obey their culture/rules/authoriteh. You can’t request any minor adjustments, flexibility is lacking for whatever reason, usually an illogical one or just not to disturb the Wa (harmony).

      Japan is… the Ultimate (more than my) Job’s Worth.

      Reply
      • Jim Di Griz says:

        Yeah this is true. Everyone has the story of asking McD’s to leave out the pickles in your Big Mac and watching staff get in a fluster and check with management that it is possible. Now imagine that through several layers of management on something more important than a burger…like trying to buy a car/house.

        Reply
      • Thank you for replying.
        Now I got what the article meant.
        I was thinking about bureaucracy/redtape only. So I was thinking of it like it is in France, where absolutely everything you try to do is “not possible” at first.

        Reply
        • Sure, any bureaucracy is a nuisance to deal with, but as always Japan takes it to the next level. As Jim says, “we all have stories” of this, when we ask why we have to do whatever, we are told it is just “because it is a rule”, or in the case of bureaucracy jumping through lots of hoops only to get the same result of “no”.
          Furthermore, this exists at all levels of Japanese society. Thus it will be a very rare thing for someone in a shop to let you off paying one yen, if you are one yen short. They’d rather break a 10,000 yen note or lose the sale.

          Japan is very rule abiding. the downside is the lack of flexibility. But it goes further. There was this club in Machida, with almost no customers on a Monday night. My friend held a party there and lots of people came. so then the owner says, great lets do it again. But my friend wants to charge a small entry fee because he is otherwise doing it for nothing. The conversation then degenerated into a vicious paradoxical circle of illogic that many long term residents of Japan may be familiar with

          Owner: ” I want you to do another party on Mondays to bring customers.
          NJ: Ok, but lets have a small entry fee so I also get something.
          Owner “No, that will scare away my regular customers”
          NJ: “Do you have any regular customers on Mondays?”
          Owner “actually, no”
          NJ: Ok, but lets have a small entry fee so I also get something.
          Owner “No, that will scare away my regular customers”

          No deal. Why bother trying?

          Reply
      • ROSS BURBIDGE says:

        Hi, your ‘off the menu’ reminded me of an anecdote I repeat on occasions. An Indonesian friend who was a Co-ordinator for International Relations in the city where I live told me this story. BTW, she now works as a Tour Escort for high-end Indonesian tourists visiting here. I mention that so you will understand her level of Japanese, etc. She likes ice-cream, so when ordering dessert at one of her favourite restaurants she politely asked for two scoops on the small dish instead of the listed one scoop. She countered the first ‘sumimasen ga….dekimasen’ with an offer to pay twice the price of the one scoop. She soon realised, this was clearly above the waitress’ pay grade, so a Supervisor was called in. After much discussion and teeth sucking the final excuse given for refusing the request was that the second scoop placed on top of the first may topple off! True story !

        Reply
  • I often read your articles and often don’t agree with a lot that you’ve written, but this was an excellent article. Insightful and intelligent, and an area of Japanese society / culture that needs to be researched a little more. Of course the variable that is missing is that some Japanese, by upbringing / education, are xenophobic and exclusionary by nature. Thus the treatment dished out to 2nd and 3rd generation Japanese-Koreans and Japanese-Chinese, who are, in everything but ‘nationality’, the same as their ‘waijin’ neighbors, yet are excluded from so many of the financial and civil rights afforded to their ‘waijin’ neighbors.

    Reply
  • realitycheck says:

    Let’s also see this very real problem in the context of what the Abe Prime Ministership did to stunt the development of a more educated in the real sense of the word society particularly the young generations.

    All the horse manure going around about how good he was for Japan, etc etc completely ignores the toxic effect of how his neo-right governments helped create ignorant younger generations through the education system.

    The censorship of Japanese history to the point where Japanese who are under the age of 40 – although older people here are noted for their gaps in their own country’s modern history as well – don’t even know about Taisho Emperor and his instability that affected his son and the Japanese Government, to the point where the Japanese militarists felt comfortable enough to assassinate politicians not with their fascistic aims. Which contributed significantly to the ‘Dark Tunnel’ of recent pre-WW2 and WW2 Japanese history.

    That is only one example. Abe’s Governments dismantled the modest attempts of previous govts including Jiminto ones to come to some limited honest appraisal of 20th century Japanese history.

    The young generations have been denied even the limited truths that the over-40s got in their school education and textbooks.
    Knowledgeable younger Japanese I know are completely unaware of the massacres of Koreans after the Great Kanto Earthquake and were surprised that the active-for-5months Governor of Tokyo Koike refused to let that community commemorate the tragedy unless they ‘promised’ not to have ‘conflicts’ with the fascist right wing bully boys that ride around in the vans screeching their hatred.

    What an absolute insult to the Korean and Korea-Japanese community – and from a woman who some Japanese are even saying should be Prime Minister. What a bad joke at the least.
    This is what Japan has come to in 2020 – a country run by neo-right wing Nippon Kaigi members, a government within the Government. A society in which many Japanese are completely ignorant of large swathes of their own country’s modern history.

    Japan is now around 60 years behind other developed countries in acknowledging and discussing truths from the recent past. More neo-right governments and politicians will keep the status quo and that includes relegating non-Japanese as well as those who are not of Japanese ethnicity on both sides of the family to a continued lower status without apology.

    It is no coincidence that the longer we non-Japanese stay especially in cities like Tokyo, the more visible the contempt of too many in this society for us. The fact is too many in Japanese society’s institutions and the population in general resent the presence of non Japanese even while they need us to pay their increasing taxes to overcome the emptying regions, lack of children and growing number of elderly, many of whom have difficult enough attitudes to Japanese younger than them let alone to foreigners.

    On the global business side, Japan is becoming increasingly irrelevant in terms of investment and entrepreneurship. Koike’s empty words about making Tokyo a ‘hub’ of such activity were just another pile of steaming horse manure. International companies have been downsizing in Japan and pulling their staff out for over a decade now. Japan’s nasty actions against non Japanese residents and treating them like tourists during this pandemic further opened eyes to what this society and its representatives really think.

    South Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong when it re-stabilises and the PR of China’s authorities akcnowledge they need it more than ever as an international hub of business, are the future for international business. Japan wants to have its sushi and eat it – and will find out that is not possible. Given most of the sushi consumed daily in Japan is full of heavy metals and toxins, the analogy is even more relevant.

    Reply
  • I would never have imagined in 1988 that in 2020 we would be discussing how miserable Japan is, while still trying to put a brave face on the tatemae of happiness.

    Japanese buzz words, “genki”, “gambatte” etc/

    I was criticised in the 90s for not being “genki” enough. Now it seems your average Japanese is anything but genki. And if they can fake it, then its either an incredible acting performance or they are simply in a happy go lucky denial syndrome, in an increasingly narrow world view.

    Similarly, it occurred to me that a culture that prides itself so much on its “gaman” spirit is so often unable to, at least in terms of the ease in which relationships end for being mendokusai, no longer useful, or a tiff about the air cond temperature. though I digress here into personal anecdotes.

    “Gambatte/gambaru”. Not sure, but was the Japanese soccer team at the last world cup really “playing their best” when they sought and played for a 0-1 loss? “They tried to lose on purpose.Japan holds on for a valuable loss” https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/world-cup-report-2018-japan-fair-play-points

    This is chronic risk aversion, not “gambaru” . I guess that comes under “safety Country”-another buzzword.

    “omotenashi” is just the latest in a long line of illusions for overseas propaganda purposes.

    They describe a Japan that hasnt existed for a long time, post modern signs of an outdated map;
    It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory — precession of simulacra — that engenders the territory, and if one must return to the fable, today it is the territory whose shreds slowly rot across the extent of the map. It is the real, and not the map, whose vestiges persist here and there in the deserts that are no longer those of the Empre, but ours. The desert of the real itself.

    [Translated by Sheila Faria Glaser in Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulations, published by the University of Michgan Press, 1994.]

    Reply
  • David Markle says:

    How To Get What You Need In The Land of NO.

    This is not a rebuttal to Debitos recent very good article about the foibles of life in Japan. It is meant to be a potential long-term residents suggestions for survival. Here goes. First of all; Get Over It! Japan is not what you expected it to be. Its not even what that Japanese you met in L.A, or that sweet Japanese teacher you had in High School said it was going to be. Disappointment! Oh golly gee, Japan was not what I expected, I guess Ill go home and eat worms. Fine. If that is what you want to do go ahead and leave. Nobody will blame you for it, and those natives you leave behind (that you thought were your friends but just turned out to be hangers-on wanting free English lessons) will not give you much of a second thought. They may even, in a sense, be relieved that the potentially troublesome “other” decided to turn tail and go back where they belong before something really mendokusai happened. Whew! That’s a relief. I don’t have any data to prove it but over the years I would guess that is how 95% of Japan Friendlies (that is what I would call them) end up doing. What happens to the other 5%? Well I wont go into all the characterizations and personal anecdotes, but I can say how I personally (I should say some of us) found ways around the culture of NO!

    The answer is; Don’t take NO for an answer. What I mean by this is make it in the person or people you are dealing with best interest to give you a YES for what you are wanting them to do. Granted this doesn’t work and there is really no need in regular day to day life, going to the store to buy food, mailing a letter, dealing with a teller at a bank, paying your taxes, not that level of potential micro aggression. There are enough of these, and the consequences for getting a NO are minor, or even non existent. I am talking about the really important stuff. Employment, housing, finding a place to stay for the night when there are no other choices, and yes even dealing with those in power such as government officials and even the police. The important stuff.

    Disclaimer: For those who still live life in a fairy tale and think that “Japan and Japanese are just so wonderful and kind to everybody, I just love it here” What I am about to say will not suit you. This is for mature adults who recognize reality for what it is, not what they think it is based on a rose colored glasses vision that they refuse to give up as it would be too traumatic. Some may say to themselves; “I just could never bring myself to do any of those terrible things to the wonderful Japanese people!” Fine. These suggestions are not for you, the faint-of-heart. These are only for those who recognize that dealing with those who neither like you, or respect you, are worthy of being treated in like manner.

    Real Estate

    Probably anyone who has spent more than a week in Japan has experienced being refused a place to live. It can be devastating. From being refused a room at a hotel/inn when you are dead on your feet from a long overseas flight and missed the last train home is more than enough to turn the most rabid Japanophile into a believer. Being refused a remodeling loan on that dilapidated old Japanese farm house you love because you are not a native, to just ignored at the door by real estate agents and refused by landlords of Shintaro Ishihara clone. Granted many NJ have negotiated and gotten mortgages from financial institutions for 30 plus years of servitude for the privilege. I don’t want to go off on a tangent, so here is the answer. Don t ask for it, take it. You can do this by bidding on foreclosed properties through the local court. I wont go into any great detail on how this is done, it has been discussed and examined many times over the years. I have done it several times. You may have to kick out the people occupying your property, but if I can do it, anybody can.

    If you go into a real estate agent and he/she denies giving you service because of your lack of the proper DNA, stick a camera in their face and ask them again to tell you why foreigners cant rent properties from this agency. If they still wont cooperate, threaten to blast their pictures and info all over social media, and DO IT! Then if they still wont comply threaten to take them and the landlord to court and sue them. Be serious and get ALL the information you can about the property, the landlords address, the agency location, anything and everything you can think of. There are plenty of lawyers who would be interested in these competitive times to take on cases even if they are not cut and dry.

    Job Issues

    Debito has done a Great job of documenting this and expounding on this so I wont go into it here but suffice is to say you can find everything you need to know here. If you get into trouble where you work, consider forming a union to protect yours and others rights.

    Problems at School

    If you suspect even the slightest problem with your child being bullied at school the key is act immediately. Don’t put it off and hope the problem will correct itself or go away on its own. Go immediately to the school officials and complain loud and long and MAKE them listen to you. If they still refuse to take action which is very likely, document everything and talk to a lawyer. In addition to this, contact your local newspaper or a social media representative who specializes in school abuse issues. There are several good ones which can easily be found.

    Marriage Issues

    This one is a bit trickier. Suppose you have found the love of your life but his/her parents wont agree to support your marriage to this wonderful but conflicted person? Believe me, you can go ahead and marry them if they are willing but don’t fall for the “well I think my parents will come around eventually when they see how wonderful and person you are” or worse, “My parents will change their minds when we have a child.” For heavens sake don’t fall for this! Better to find someone else than suffer through YEARS of hell for this person no matter what the good intentions are. For the sake of the potential children, don’t do it.

    The list of potential problems in Japan is long, however I think you get the idea. Give up the notion that being nice will get you anywhere, except to the bottom of the junk pile.

    Reply
    • Excellent post, should be a Japan Times article, except now theyve been bought out I doubt its cheery enough.

      The first paragraph aptly could have described my weird experience when I left Japan, and most of my “{friends”) vamoosed and were even miffed I then came back a couple of years later. A bit like I had betrayed the empire by leaving in the first place or something.

      “Nihonjin wa urusai”. was a commercial but also a reality described to me by other Japanese in the service industry “the most demanding customers in the world”. Even to the point of complaining that the Shanghai shipping company didnt include the character for zip code /yuubin bango before the number itself. I am sure that customer will use that as an excuse to say Chinese are slack or darashinai but I digress.

      Anyway, indeed you can be urusai too. Youre a tax payer so hell, yeah.

      Reply
  • Sadly, pacing faith in GOJ was his first mistake ““In our case, we decided to take a leap of faith and dedicate future years of our lives to a new Japan and want to contribute to this country’s economy. What I would like to see from the government is a plan for us.”

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2020/08/31/issues/japan-foreign-workers-coronavirus/

    Costly indeed. And we have talked here before about Japan taking the best years of young expats’ lives.
    So much for attracting the elite NJ, also. Seriously, the character in the article should just get another job with his speciality; he is wasted by Japan (not “in”, he cant even get there.)

    Reading between the lines the “frictions” seem to be directed at the Nj for not understanding Japanese, but I speculate.

    Reply
    • Oh, hang on, Kopp is back to giving NJ business elites advice about Japan…
      Still, I don’t think Japan Inc. gives a squat about IKEA, BMW etc not being able to get their NJ managers in.

      Reply
  • -the “Cool Japan” trope, such as the overhyped “culture of hospitality” got me thinking.

    Japan is a brand, the sum of its tropes and buzzwords. “A land where stereotypes are loved and chrished”. (Powers, Working in Japan, 1990)
    “Japan..there is no such place” (Oscar Wilde). Wilde meant “Japan” as such was a western invention. I was surprised he said this so early, as post WW2 Japan indeed was obviously re-branded as “Western Democracy” overnight as if by magic all the fascists had evaporated, when in reality war criminals like Kishi Nobusukebe (pun intended, google his sex addiction in China), the grandpa of a certain “sick note” were released as a bulwark against communism.

    After that, you have various dualities playing out, daily. 1. Paper democracy versus the reality of authoritarianism. Often but not always, the Old getting onto the Young, but the young themselves will become old and take on these values as Dr Debito et al have analyzed here before.
    2. We Japanese and Do as We say, not as We do.
    The helpful Japanese uncle/auntie type “helping” the Nj to follow the rules of J culture as defined by that one person. You will be confused by conflicting instructions.
    3. The continuation of Tatemae vs Honne
    My God. I guessed right.
    TATEMAE IS NOT TRADITIONAL JAPANESE CULTURE AT ALL;
    ” (建前, tatemae, “built in front”, “façade”). This distinction began to be made in the post-war era.[1]”
    Takeo Doi,The anatomy of self,1985,page35

    You see this? It was invented after WW2. LIke so many other myths of Japanese culture. My next research question is why, and how American is this? How imposed or self imposed was this?

    4. Back to my original thought from Dr Debito’s post. To what extent IS Japan composed of these tropes and buzzwords in daily life? Could one not just go through your day trotting out the cliches, following and indeed BEING the stereotypes and spouting the buzzwords?
    I would say to a large extent. Though it requires a selective filter, that nothing challenges this increasingly challenged and narrowing world view.

    At which point it strongly resembles the conditioning of Brave New World. Lines from the social conditioning recordings that different characters repeat

    “Till at last the child’s mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child’s mind. And not the child’s mind only. The adult’s mind too—all his life long. The mind that judges and desires and decides—made up of these suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions…Suggestions from the State!”
    https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/bravenew/quotes/theme/authority-and-control/

    Reply
  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    While we are awaiting to confirm who our next overload, err, Prime Minister, will be, let’s take a moment to consider what the GOJ has done to improve the lot of NJ over the last couple of decades.
    I can only think of one example since 1999, and that was the abolition of the ARC and the subsequent inclusion of NJ on juminhyo etc. (I am now the father of my children, not a tacked on addition)
    This change was brought about by a government that was in power for less than three years.

    Suga, the man whose job has mostly been trying not to smile when he reports that no Japanese were killed in accidents and disasters overseas will almost certainly get the job. Prepare for more of the same as under Abe.

    Reply
    • I think the survey of non-citizen residents in regards to discrimination was at the very least a slightly positive step. The decades long overdue formal recognition of the Ainu is another. The decision to disburse corona virus support funds to non-citizen residents is another. Getting Kyōto to withdraw their racist pamphlet is another that comes to mind.

      Let’s keep tirelessly pushing forward for our rights, but also remember to recognize the little victories along the way, even in these dark times. Suga will get the same hell we gave ol’ Abe!

      — The “little victories” tab on Debito.org is here.

      Reply
    • At least he isn’t descended from war criminal dynasty like Nobu-Sukebe Kishi aka Abe’s “beloved” GF. Ditto Ass’o Taro- still not apologizing to allied POWs they enslaved and enriched themselves on.

      His lowly origins make him more palatable to me, at least. I wouldnt live in Japan under any PM from a war criminal dynasty.

      -Suga was born to a family of strawberry farmers in Ogachi (now Yuzawa), a rural area in Akita Prefecture, and moved to Tokyo after graduation from Yuzawa High School. He attended night school to obtain a Bachelor of Laws from Hosei University in 1973.[6][7] Suga chose Hosei “because it was the cheapest option available” and he “worked in a cardboard factory in Tokyo to pay his tuition”.[8]wikipedia

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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>