DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MAY 17, 2008

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HANDBOOKsemifinalcover.jpgwelcomesticker.jpgFranca-color.jpg
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MAY 17, 2008

Table of Contents:
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IRONIES AND HOW TO SWING THEM:
1) No bank accounts allowed at Mitsui Sumitomo for NJ without minimum six-month stays.
Okay at Japan Post Office, however.
2) Japan proposes language requirement for foreign long-term visas,
yet protests when Britain proposes the same.

GOOD NEWS:
3) Mainichi: MOJ overturns deportation order, allows NJ couple to stay with child in Japan.
4) Yomiuri: 80% of hospitals interested in employing foreign nurses.
5) Japan Times: Canada, U.S. nudge Japan to join child abduction resolution framework
(and it appears to have worked).

WORD GETS OUT:
6) US State Dept Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2007, Japan
7) UN News recent articles on Human Rights Council
8) UN News: first group of 16 nations reviewed by HRC

9) Debito.org Podcast April 5, 2008: My March 18 FCCJ Speech in full on Trans Pacific Radio
10) Japan Times Feb 16 Symposium, my question from the floor makes the paper
11) “WELCOME NON-JAPANESE CUSTOMERS” stickers for businesses
now on sale at Debito.org (Paypal OK)
12) Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE column 3: “Activism vs Academia”

And finally…
13) Humor: Sankei Sports Pure-Ai Keitai dating service advertisement
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By Arudou Debito, Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org, www.debito.org
Daily Blog at http://www.debito.org/index.php
Freely Forwardable

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IRONIES AND HOW TO SWING THEM:
1) No bank accounts allowed at Mitsui Sumitomo for NJ without minimum six-month stays.
Okay at Japan Post Office, however.

Situation where a J bank (Mitsui Sumitomo) suddenly refuses accounts to newcoming NJ due to potential money laundering problems. Solution: Open an account in the Postal Savings, pah! to unfriendly Japanese banks. More details from somebody who just went through this rigmarole…
http://www.debito.org/?p=1400

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2) Japan proposes language requirement for foreign long-term visas,
yet protests when Britain proposes the same.

Yes, you read that right. The GOJ wants to issue Japanese language tests for long-term NJ visa renewals, yet protests when Great Britain wants to do the same thing. Moral: We Japanese can treat our gaijin any way we like. But don’t you foreign countries dare do the same thing for members of Team Japan.
http://www.debito.org/?p=1433

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GOOD NEWS:
3) Mainichi: MOJ overturns deportation order, allows NJ couple to stay with child in Japan

Mainichi: “The Justice Ministry has decided to grant special residence permission to a Kurdish man, his Filipino wife and their 7-year-old daughter, overturning its earlier decision to deport the couple for overstaying their visas. The ministry’s move came after the Tokyo High Court suggested a settlement in the case in which the family’s request to nullify the ministry’s order to deport them had been turned down by the Tokyo District Court…”
http://www.debito.org/?p=1434

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4) Yomiuri: 80% of hospitals interested in employing foreign nurses

Yomiuri: “More than 80 percent of medium- or large-sized hospitals have indicated an interest in accepting foreign nurses, while about 40 percent are actually considering hiring such nurses, according to a survey by a research team at the Kyushu University Asia Center. Following bilateral economic partnership agreements signed between Japan and the Philippines and Indonesia, Japan likely will start accepting nurses and caregivers from those countries as early as this summer. “There were more hospitals that showed interest in accepting foreign nurses than we’d expected,” said Sadachika Kawaguchi, professor at University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, who also was involved in the survey.”…
http://www.debito.org/?p=1408

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5) Japan Times: Canada, U.S. nudge Japan to join child abduction resolution framework

Japan Times:  “Canadian and the U.S. government officials and a law expert Friday urged Japan to join an international legal framework to resolve cross-border cases of child abduction by parents and others… The U.S. currently has 40 cases of international child abduction involving Japan, the third-largest after Mexico and India, said Kathleen Ruckman, deputy director of the U.S. State Department’s Children’s Issues Office…” Read more
http://www.debito.org/?p=1440

It seems to have had an effect:

Japan to sign international parental abduction treaty
May 9, 2008 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200805090228.html
http://www.debito.org/?p=1440#comment-153054

“Japan will sign a treaty obliging the government to return to the rightful parent children of broken international marriages who are wrongfully taken and kept in Japan, sources said Friday. The Justice Ministry will begin work to review current laws with an eye on meeting requirements under the 1980 Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the sources said. The government plans to sign the treaty as early as in 2010…”

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WORD GETS OUT:
6) US State Dept Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2007, Japan

Although the US is certainly no paragon of human rights worldwide (what with torture, renditions, abuses under SOFA, denial of Habeas Corpus to non-citizens, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and the largest arms sales worldwide, to name but a few caveats under this administration), here is their annual report on human rights in Japan in full. For what it’s worth. Note how the situation of “Japanese Only” signs nationwide is no longer mentioned, like it was in previous reports. I guess the US State Department considers the situation resolved. I beg to differ. Read more…
http://www.debito.org/?p=1441

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7) UN News recent articles on Human Rights Council

Here are a gaggle of recent UN News articles on the Human Rights Council, the one which monitors countries (like Japan) on their human rights practices. Here’s hoping they’ll be coming down on Japan soon for it’s broken promises regarding establishing a law against racial discrimination…
http://www.debito.org/?p=1430

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8) UN News: First group of 16 nations reviewed by HRC

UN News: “The top United Nations human rights official warned that some States still do not recognize the existence of racism as a phenomenon. “National laws and measures to ensure its elimination in most countries are either inadequate or ineffective,” said High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour. “As a result, vulnerable groups continue to suffer aggression while abusers enjoy impunity.” Like in Japan… Read more
http://www.debito.org/?p=1634

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9) Debito.org Podcast April 5, 2008: My March 18 FCCJ Speech in full on Trans Pacific Radio

TPR News: “In this edition of the Debito.org Podcast on Trans Pacific Radio, Arudou Debito has recorded his entire speech (a little more than an hour and a half), along with Q&A, given at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on March 18, 2008. This is the standard speech he gave during his recent three-week-long nationwide tour to promote HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN, so if you missed the tour, here’s your chance to see what he was on about. It’s not all about the book; he also talks about Japan’s lack of an immigration policy and issues of multiculturalization and Japan’s future.”
http://www.debito.org/?p=1442

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10) Japan Times Feb 16 Symposium, my question from the floor makes the paper

I have offered my opinion on how the Japan Times could improve its readership in the past on my blog (the JT is uniquely poised to offer something more independently, as a newspaper not controlled as a vanity project by the other Japanese newspapers, such as the doctrinaire Yomiuri, or a union-busting, closed-circuit Asahi. I’m hoping that it finally sinks in that the JT can most easily turn on a dime, and offer information not only for English-language readers, but also the immigrants who want to make a life in Japan and need essential information even when there’s no emergency like the (cited) Great Hanshin Earthquake. Read more
http://www.debito.org/?p=1449

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11) “WELCOME NON-JAPANESE CUSTOMERS” stickers for businesses
now on sale at Debito.org (Paypal OK)

Happy to announce, along with the sale of HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS, another new program on Debito.org to push back the night–and counteract the nationwide spread of JAPANESE ONLY signs on businesses: New signs that say “WE WELCOME NON-JAPANESE CUSTOMERS”:

I am encouraging people to consider the fact that in many places in Japan, nationality (and physical appearance) does matter. That’s why they have exclusionary signs up, in violation of our constitution and international treaty. That deserves attention and action. One way is to demand the signs come down, by whatever means necessary. Another is to show that nationality is not a problem (which of course should be the default) by drawing attention to the issue at individual establishments–by showing that it is NOT a problem at this establishment.

When first made public last March, it became one of the most controversial proposals I’ve ever made. Clarification: The project is not intended to show anything about places that do not display the signs. It is a means to make people ask the question, “why do we need this sticker in the first place? are there places out there with say NJ are NOT okay?” And the answer is yes. These stickers are intended to draw attention to the issue of discrimination by race and nationality. It is another avenue where people who support the movement to eliminate discrimination can declare their support thusly in a positive manner.
http://www.debito.org/?p=1407

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12) Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE column 3: “Activism vs Academia”

JUST BE CAUSE Japan Times column 3: “So naturally, some academics have been rather skeptical when I claim racial discrimination here is growing in magnitude and scope. One even asserted at this forum that my online “naming and shaming” of discriminators (http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html) is counterproductive that too much “attacking Japan” alienates potential allies. Again, I understand why never the twain. The academic observer, particularly in the social sciences, is bound by a “prime directive” not to interfere with their object of study when collecting data; plus there is an incumbent resistance to making value judgments (think of “cultural imperialism” etc.; to an anthropologist, I’m probably the Antichrist). In sum, academics observe societal or global “standards.” Activists, however, try to create or adjust them.” Read more…
http://www.debito.org/?p=1649

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And finally…
13) Humor: Sankei Sports Pure-Ai Keitai dating service advertisement

At the beginning of April, having gotten a book and a book tour out of the way, I had a hard time feeling like writing anything serious. So, so until that feeling passed I wrote for fun. Such as on this great advertisement from Sankei Sports Shinbun depicting two “case studies” of young marriageable people in their twenties, and the lives they lead until they get hooked up through this keitai dating service. It’s hilarious Japanicana, contrasting an essentially lonely and hopeless otaku salaryman with an anime-cute single woman with a surprisingly rich and whimsical life…
http://www.debito.org/?p=1422

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All for today. Thanks for reading!
Arudou Debito, Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org, www.debito.org
Daily Blog at http://www.debito.org/index.php
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MAY 17, 2008 ENDS

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