Unknown news chyron of Govt panel that apparently blames foreigners for spreading Covid. However, FNN News tells a different story: one of assisting foreigners. Let’s be careful to avoid disinformation (UPDATED).


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Hi Blog.  Long-time readers of this venue know that I surrender to no-one in terms of criticizing the GOJ in its handling of NJ residents, especially in how they treat taxpaying long-term residents on par with (or even value less than) foreign tourists.

That said, an image sent to me by a number of people has been this:

Now, I’m not sure where this screenshot is coming from (Debito.org Reader MF has noted that it came from the Fuji TV network itself), but the chyron would indicate that this government panel is saying that “Foreigners have different languages and customs, so we can’t thoroughly enforce policies against the spread of [Covid] infections.”  By implication, this means that foreigners are being seen as an obstacle to the safety of Japanese society because of their differences.  This image is starting to multiply around the media sphere, for example https://www.facebook.com/memesugoi/posts/1032954460504017, which is why people are sending it to me.

However, news network FNN has a different take. Debito.org Reader JLO submitted the following video:

FNN says, at minute 1:30, “Bunkakai de wa, kurasutaa e no taiou ya, kotoba no chigai de soudan ya jushin ga okureru gaikokujin no tame ni ichigenteki na soudan madoguchi o setchi suru koto ni tsuite giron shiteimasu.”
Or (my translation):
“At this panel, they are debating about whether to set up a unified consultation center to deal with clusters and with foreigners and who face delayed medical consultations and treatments due to language differences.”  Screen capture:


“第3波”感染拡大止まらず クラスター・外国人支援など協議

2,864 views Nov 11, 2020

That’s quite a different take from that other chyron!  According to FNN, this panel seems to be trying to assist, not exclude or blame.

I welcome others who find more clarifying media about this event.  Meanwhile, my point is to be careful.  Foreigners have been so perpetually offset and treated as exceptions from the regular population that this could reflexively feel like a repeat performance.  But let’s be careful that this reflex does not lead to disinformation.  Debito Arudou, Ph.D.



Ph.D. Candidate Anoma van der Veere has kindly tweeted out his research indicating some media sensationalism is going on here.  Access the thread beginning at https://twitter.com/anomav/status/1327117586249568256?s=21&fbclid=IwAR0gIPlDs9K6X8tH87UWEuafZDYEM9XrgLobf7LI2luRRJgnStztEdka9n4

(Courtesy of JLO).  Screen captures follow, for the record.  Debito


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8 comments on “Unknown news chyron of Govt panel that apparently blames foreigners for spreading Covid. However, FNN News tells a different story: one of assisting foreigners. Let’s be careful to avoid disinformation (UPDATED).

  • So now Japanese policy makers are trying to balance a ‘NJ residents bad, NJ Olympics visitors good!’ message.
    Watch how this confuses some (and others don’t get the memo) as Japan’s defacto herd-immunity to ‘save’ the economy policy bears fruit that policy makers seek to avoid responsibility for.
    They’ve dug themselves a hole;
    Olympics brown envelopes of tax payers cash V’s managing a public health crisis, and of course, disenfranchised NJ residents without a voice are being scapegoated and the Japanese public will lap it up rather than accepting the personal responsibility for not demanding better of their elected officials since that would interfere with their daily ‘dreamy day’ fantasy.

    It’s the same old story; a clash of narratives. Japan desperately wants recognition as being internationally relevant and tries to host these events, whilst at the same time hates the guests it will have to host and hates the international norms it wants to be respected for pretending to share.
    Left hand, meet right hand.

  • Here comes a prooflink. Have fun. https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/a3027de2037c624529d8a354b22156f5a91ecb1c

    イベント緩和 2021年2月に先送り 映画館は12月“条件付き解禁”
    2020 11/12(木) 17:03配信






    • GaijinLivesMatter says:

      To be fair, it is definitely true that Americans and Europeans (not “foreigners”, mind you — most foreigners in Japan are not westerners) have a cultural tendency not to wear masks. That “culture” has changed somewhat in America and Europe over the last nine months or so, but there are definitely still more “anti-maskers” in those countries than in Japan. One is currently occupying the White House.

  • Well, this whole corona crisis has really shown what can happen in this country when things aren’t going well. Aka, an increase in anti-foreigner sentiment.

    I’m from Australia – more specifically Western Australia where out of a population of about 2.5 million there have so far despite rigorous testing, there have been fewer than 800 cases and only 9 deaths.

    Screw these “experts” and their Meji-esque “nihonjinron”.

  • This article explains it well.


    I couldn’t find an English translation, though.

    Non-paywall text:
    外国人に情報提供、多言語サイト整備 コロナ感染対策
    日本経済新聞 2020年11月13日 20:56 (2020年11月14日 6:04 更新) [有料会員限定記事]


  • CNN just ran a segment where a Japanese medical expert living the UK said that Japan wasn’t doing enough testing nor enough to stop Covid ‘crossing its borders’ for the Olympics to be safely held.
    Maybe Japan should build a wall?

  • Japanese government says ‘Not all foreign residents should be blamed’ for the rise in Covid infections recently, and then goes on to literally blame all NJ for their living conditions, cultures, and languages. Disgusting racist scapegoating by a government that carries out a domestic tourism incentive scheme during a once in a century pandemic. Angry mobs dispensing vigilante ‘justice’ next? (Like after the Great Kanto Earthquake?)
    Interesting that the article writer thinks the government was being ‘measured’ and ‘careful with its words’ to avoid discrimination, when that is exactly what they report the government as saying. Frightening.



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