World-famous company, Tohoku branch, refuses to employ Japanese kid expressly because he’s “half”–even retracts original job offer
Posted by debito on June 27th, 2008
Hello Blog. Got this yesterday. I’ve anonymized it for now because the family fears that the employer will refuse to employ the job candidate further if this article can be traced back to him. Summary: A world-famous company in northern Japan, with branches and products overseas for generations, refuses to employ a young Japanese (despite giving him a job offer)–expressly, despite being a citizen, because he’s “half”.
This could have major repercussions in Japan if other Japanese with international roots get discriminated against similarly. Read on. More details to reporters if they want a story. I have the feeling we have a major lawsuit here. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
Dear Debito San,
Thank you very much for your advice on the phone on Friday June 13th.
I will give you all the information that I have to date about my son’s problem.
My son, 21 years old, phoned a company in [Tohoku, Northern Japan] [Headhunters KK] to apply for a job advertised in “XXXXX” (a flyer with available jobs). The job he applied for was at the [World Famous Company] factory near [our town in Tohoku]. The job is a full time Syain job with bonus, Kousainenkin and Koyouhoken. Monday to Friday and 850 yen per hour plus 10,000 yen Koutsuhi per month. The return trip to [World Famous Company] is 13km from our home. The [World Famous Company] factory is new and nice with canteen. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays off.
He went for the interview on Tuesday June 10th at 10am. The interviewer a Mr. M of [Headhunters KK]. After the interview my son was told that he had the job at the [World Famous Company] factory and would start work on Monday June 16th.
(My son was very excited that he got the job because when he went for an interview at a different company one week earlier that interviewer told him that because he is half Japanese that he most likely wouldn’t be able to get a job locally and would probably have to go to Tokyo to work. Of course he didn’t get that job, but that interviewer asked him to go out with him for dinner or lunch. Also he has phoned him a few times to ask him to dinner. (My son has a girlfriend and is not gay) what this guy wants I don’t know but I think that it is inappropriate for any job interviewer to ask the applicant out for dinner).
At the interview on Tuesday June 10th my son was asked to get a medical check Kenkoushindan form 5 and to come back on Friday June 13th with it and bank book, mitomein, drivers license, syakensyo, jibaiseki hoken syoumeisyo, nini hoken syoumeisyo and nenkin techo. The medical check includes height, weight, blood pressure, urine check, sight and hearing check, blood check, chest xray and heart check. He passed all checks and cost 10,000 yen.
When he returned on Friday June 13th the same interviewer Mr. M took him away from the other 3 people which also passed for the jobs at [World Famous Company]. And told him that he would be working at a different factory and not at [World Famous Company]. My son knew that he was a victim of racial discrimination but couldn’t say anything for fear of not getting the other job. He was told that it has nothing to do with him being half Japanese. But it seems his katakana name is 面倒くさい、ハーフだからというわけでは無いけれども、[一流の会社]では[東北]の人しか働いていないし、あとあと面倒なことになると困るし、
But the interviewer knows from my son’s rirekisyo that my son was born in this area went to youchien, elementary school, junior high and high school here in [the town which contains this World Famous Company] so he is a Tohoku person and can speak the local dialect and has Japanese Koseki.
The interviewer was very uneasy telling my son this information and was also told that they no longer need the medical check form because that was only for the [World Famous Company] job. Also they never mentioned compensating him the 10,000 yen for that medical check which they asked for and then told him he didn’t need.
The other job which he started today Monday June 16th is only a two month contract, doesn’t include a bonus or any of the other things included in the [World Famous Company] job, the hourly rate is 50yen less than the [World Famous Company] job plus he has to work on some Saturdays with only Sunday off.
The factory is 20km return from out home as compared to 13km at the [World Famous Company] factory. There is no canteen and it is just not a full time position at [World Famous Company] that he was interviewed for and then promised.
My thinking is that Mr. M is a good man and didn’t discriminate against my son for not being 100% Japanese but [World Famous Company] did refuse my son on the grounds of racial discrimination and then Mr. M had to do as [World Famous Company] wished.
My son has been at the new job for just over a week now and doesn’t want to risk losing his job by causing any trouble to [World Famous Company] or [Headhunters KK]. Not for the moment anyway as he doesn’t know how permanent this job will be. The contract is only for two months.
My wife phoned a few government departments and was told that a verbal promise of a job is the same as a written promise, so we have good grounds to take action against [Headhunters KK] and maybe [World Famous Company].
My son’s friend who did get a job in [World Famous Company] said that he has heard my son’s name mentioned a few times in the [World Famous Company] factory and my son’s boss Mr. M also asked my son about a rumor at the [World Famous Company] factory that he was discriminated against for being half. My son said he knew nothing of that rumor.
This is all we have at the moment. I will keep you informed of any changes. If you have any other ideas then we would be very happy to hear them.
Again many thanks for your advice.
Keep up your good work.