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Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

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  • SMJ Tokyo July 21 Tokyo Symposium on amnesty for visa overstayers

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on July 17th, 2008

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「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)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan


    Please forward information below to anyone interested in this issue.
    July 21 Symposium

    “Unqualified Foreign Residents (Overstaying Foreign Residents)”:

    Do we build a Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Cultural Society over the Elimination?

    Date: Monday July 21
    Time: 14:00〜17:00 (door opens at 13:30)
    Where: Korea YMCA 9th floor
    (2-5-5 Sarugaku-cyo Chiyoda-ku)
    JR “Suidobashi-station” (6 min walk)/ JR”Ochanomizu-station” (9 min walk) /Tokyo
    Subway “Jinboucyo-station”(7 min walk)
    Admission: 1000yen

    * English-Japanese simultaneous interpretation available

    It has past almost 20 years since the arrival of “new comers”. The number of the unqualified foreign residents who recorded its peak in 1993 started to decline and currently there are about 170,000 living in Japan. Until now, tens of thousands of unqualified foreign residents were amnestied by receiving “special permanent residents”. On the other hand, in Japan, people started to see unqualified residents as “Illegal residents” which is considered as a nest of crime. In this circumstance, the government has strengthened its regulation. In addition, from 2008, the new system to control residents was built and the government is trying to eliminate the unqualified foreign residents completely.

    Take place the background of declining birth rate; the argument on “acceptance” of immigrants is developing among various fields as using a keyword of “multi-cultural society”. However, that is the “society” over the elimination of unqualified foreign residents, and it differs from “multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society” that the NGOs and civil societies have been aiming to create.

    In this symposium, from the viewpoint of the unqualified residents, we will be discussing the current situation that the “multi-cultural society” and “elimination of unqualified residents” is preceding simultaneously.

    Program (tentative)
    ● Transformation of the surrounding circumstances of the unqualified residents in the
    past 20 years.
    ● Panel discussion
    「Amnesty Now!〜the unqualified residents -then and now-〜」
    Mr. Akira Hatate(Japan Civil Liberties Union: JCLU)/ Mr.Ippei Torii(Zentoitsu(All United)
    Workers Union, Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SMJ)/ others
    ● Mr. Rey Ventura and the film “DEKASEGI”screen
    Mr. Rey Ventura:born in Philippine Isabela. The author of books “I have always hidden-a
    diary of illegal work by a Filipino student” and “Yokohama Kotobuki Filipinos”.

    Comments from other foreign residents


    Contact: Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SMJ)
    Bunkyo-ku,Koishikawa 2-17-41, TCC 2-203, Tokyo, Japan
    tel: 03-5802-6033, fax: 03-5802-6034, mail:

    One Response to “SMJ Tokyo July 21 Tokyo Symposium on amnesty for visa overstayers”

    1. Carl Says:

      Just out of curiosity: what is meant by “unqualified” foreign residents? Are we talking “unqualified” for a certain job or just a visa overstayer or someone working illegally? I’m confused, here.

      –I think it’s a translation of a euphemism for what would otherwise be rendered as “illegal foreigner” (by, say, the police) or “visa overstayer” (by, say, Immigration). Anyway, English is as per original announcement; I didn’t translate it.

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