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From Debito's doctoral research:

Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

  • Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination
  • (Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield HB 2015, PB 2016)

    Click on book cover for reviews, previews, and 30% discount direct from publisher. Available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle eBook on

  • Book IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan
  • “HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS” to be published March 2008

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on January 26th, 2007

    Hello Blog. Japan’s biggest human rights publisher Akashi Shoten will publish my third book (first two are here), coauthored with Akira Higuchi. Details follow after quick notice of the book tour:

    Arudou Debito will be traveling around Japan during the latter half of March 2008 to promote his co-authored new book. If you’d like him to drop by your area for a speech, please be in touch with him at (This way travel expenses are minimalized for everyone.)

    Tentative schedule follows, subject to change with notice on this blog entry.

    March 17-23, Tokyo/Tohoku area.
    Applied for speaking engagements at Good Day Books and the FCCJ.

    March 24-30, Kansai/Chubu area.
    March 27, Speech at Shiga University (FIXED)
    March 28-29 Speech in Kyoto and/or Kobe
    March 29, evening, Speech for JALT Osaka (FIXED)
    March 30, Speech at JALT Okayama (FIXED)

    Due back in Sapporo by April 2, so three weeks on the road. Interested? Please drop him a line at

    “HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS” (tentative title)

    Authors: HIGUCHI Akira and ARUDOU Debito
    Languages: English and Japanese
    Publisher: Akashi Shoten Inc., Tokyo
    Due out: March 2008

    Goal: To help non-Japanese entrants become residents and immigrants

    Topics: Securing stable visas, Establishing businesses and secure jobs, Resolving legal problems, Planning for the future through to death…

    To give you an idea of what this book is about and is trying to achieve, let me enclose a draft English Introduction and Table of Contents from the manuscript:


    Setting Down Roots in Japan

    (Draft Seven, dated September 25, 2006)

    Migration of labor is an unignorable reality in this globalizing world. Japan is no exception. In recent years, Japan has had record numbers of registered foreigners, international marriages, and people receiving permanent residency. This guidebook is designed to help non-Japanese settle in Japan, and become more secure residents and contributors to Japanese society.

    Japan is one of the richest societies in the world, with an extremely high standard of living. People will want to come here. They are doing so. Japan, by the way, wants foreigners too. Prime Ministerial cabinet reports, business federations, and the United Nations have advised more immigration to Japan to offset its aging society, low birthrate, labor shortages, and shrinking tax base. Unfortunately, the attitude of the Japanese government towards immigration has generally been one of neglect. Newcomers are not given sufficient guidance to help them settle down in Japan as residents with stable jobs and lifestyles. WORKING HANDBOOK wishes to fill that gap.

    Divided into seven chapters closely reflecting the stages of assimilation into any society, WORKING HANDBOOK takes the reader through 1) entry procedures, 2) securing employment, 3) establishing one’s own business, 4) addressing possible problems, 5) planning for the future and retirement, and 6) participating in the development of civil society. We offer the information in easy grammatical English (for readers of English as a second language) and furigana Japanese on opposing pages. We hope this will serve a wide readership.

    WORKING HANDBOOK is not an exhaustive fount of information. It is meant to be a concise and affordable reference book to help people find information efficiently. If there is more thorough data in other “Survival Manuals” or websites (such as lists of government phone numbers), we point you to them instead of duplicating the information here. We also assume that readers are not breaking any Japanese laws (if you are, then sorry, we cannot help you). We wish to provide everyone concise advice as veterans of the system, to save readers time and trouble, and help them find out their options for living in Japan.

    The 2007 edition is the first version of WORKING HANDBOOK. All advice within it is based on the opinions of the authors. We doubt we got everything right the first time, so we hope to have your input on how to make future editions more attuned to your needs. We welcome feedback, and hope that readers can assist us in creating future editions in other languages, including Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Hindi, and Urdu.

    May you make a good life for yourself in this fine country.

    HIGUCHI Akira, Administrative Solicitor
    ARUDOU Debito, author, JAPANESE ONLY
    Sapporo, Japan


    Chapter One: ARRIVING IN JAPAN
    1 – Understanding the structure of the Japanese Visa System (the difference between “Visa”, “Status of Residence” (SOR) and “Certificate of Eligibility” (COE)) (page ##)
    2 – Procedures for coming to Japan (from page ##)
    – Acquiring SOR from outside Japan
    – Changing or acquiring SOR from inside Japan
    – Chart summarizing Visa, COE, and SOR
    3 – Procedures after you came to Japan (from page ##)
    – Bringing your family over to Japan
    – Leaving Japan temporarily
    – Extending your stay in Japan
    – Changing jobs in Japan
    – Changing SOR so you can work
    – Chart summarizing Immigration procedures (page ##)
    4 – What kinds of Status of Residence are there? (from page ##)
    – Chart outlining all 27 possible SOR
    – Recommendations for specific jobs
    – Requirements for select Statuses of Residence (from page ##)
    5 – What if you overstay or work without proper status? (from page ##)
    – Recent changes to Immigration law
    – Examples of unintended violations (page ##)
    – Our advice if you overstay your SOR
    6 – Getting Permanent Residency and Japanese Nationality (page ##)
    – Chart summarizing the requirements and differences between the two
    7 – Conclusions and final advice on how to make your SOR stable

    1 – Characteristics of Japanese labor environment (see page ##)
    2 – Labor law (see page ##)
    3 – Labor contract (see page ##)
    4 – Salary system (see page ##)
    5 – Deduction and Taxes (see page ##)
    6 – Labor insurance and Social Insurance for workers (see page ##)
    7 – Summary (see page ##)
    8 – Labor related terminology (see page ##)

    Chapter Three: STARTING A BUSINESS
    1 – Why start a business? (page ##)
    2 — Sole Proprietorship (kojin jigyou) or Corporation (houjin jigyou)? (page ##)
    3 – Type of corporations (page ##)
    4 – Other forms of business (NPO, LLP) (page ##)
    5 – Procedures for starting a business by setting up a kabushiki gaisha (page ##)
    6 – Business license (page ##)
      7 – Periodical procedures to keep your business going (page ##)
      8 – Advice for a successful business (page ##)
      9 – Terminology (page ##)

    (These are frequently asked questions about overcoming obstacles and improving your lifestyle in Japan.)
    …if you want to study Japanese (pg ##)
    …if you want to open a bank account (and get an inkan seal) (pg ##)
    …if you want a credit card (pg ##)
    …if you want insurance (auto, life, property) (pg ##)
    …if you want a driver license (pg ##)
    …if you want to buy a car (pg ##)
    …if you are involved in a traffic accident (pg ##)
    …if you want Permanent Residency (eijuuken) (pg ##)
    …if you want to buy property (pg ##)
    …if you want to sell your property, apartment or house (pg ##)
    …if you want to start your own business (see Ch 3 pg ##)
    …if you need counseling or psychiatric help (pg ##)
    …if you want to take Japanese citizenship (kika) (pg ##)
    …if you want to run for public office (see Ch 7 pg ##)

    (For visa overstay and other Immigration issues, see Ch 1. pg ##)
    …if you are asked for a passport or ID (“Gaijin Card”) check by police (pg ##)
    …if you are asked for a passport or Gaijin Card check by anyone else (pg ##)
    …if you are arrested or taken into custody by the police (pg ##)
    …if you are a victim of a crime (pg ##)

    (What we mean by “discrimination”, pg ##)
    …if you are refused entry to a business (pg ##)
    …if you are refused entry to a hotel (pg ##)
    …if you are refused an apartment (pg ##)
    …if you have a problem with your landlord, or are threatened with eviction (pg ##)
    …if you are refused a loan (pg ##)
    …if you want to protest something you feel is discriminatory (pg ##)

    (Types of courts in Japan, pg ##)
    …if you want legal advice, or need to find a lawyer (pg ##)
    …if you want to go to court (pg ##)
    …if you want to go to small-claims court (for fraud, broken business contracts, etc.) (pg ##)

    (For labor laws, legal working conditions, and other workplace issues that are not specifically problems, see Ch 1 pg ##)
    …if you want government support for labor dispute negotiations (pg ##)
    …if you want to join or form a labor union (pg ##)
    …if you want to find another job (pg ##)

    …if you want to get married (pg ##)
    …if you want to register your children in Japanese schools (pg ##)
    …if you want to register your newborn Japanese children with non-Japanese names (pg ##)
    …if you have a problem (such as ijime bullying) in your children’s schools (pg ##)
    …if you want to change your children’s schools (pg ##)
    …if you suffer from Domestic Violence (pg ##)
    …if you want to get divorced (pg ##)
    …if you are having visitation, child custody, or child support problems (pg ##)
    …if you are a pregnant out of wedlock by a Japanese man (pg ##)

    – Corporate Retirement Benefits (taishokukin) (pg ##)
    – Pension (nenkin) (pg ##)
    – Private annuity (kojin nenkin) (pg ##)
    – Long-term investment (pg ##)
    – Elderly care and Nursing Care Insurance (kaigo hoken) (pg ##)
    – Medical care and Medical services for the aged (roujin hoken) (pg ##)
    – Guardian for adults (seinen kouken) (pg ##)
    – Inheritance (souzoku) and taxes (pg ##)
    – Last Will and Testament (yuigon, igon) (pg ##)
    – Japanese rules regarding family inheritance (pg ##)
    – Culturally-sensitive funerals (osoushiki) (pg ##)
    – Japanese cremation rules (pg ##)
    – Repatriating a body for ceremonies overseas (pg ##)
    – Maintaining a funeral plot in Japan (pg ##)

    1. How to find a group
    2. Starting your own group
    3. Formalizing your group (NGOs etc.)
    4. Making activism more than just a hobby.
    5. Running for elected office
    6. Staying positive when people claim “Japan will never change”
    7. Conclusions


    I hope you will consider getting a copy of this book when it comes out.
    Thanks for your support! Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    4 Responses to ““HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS” to be published March 2008”

    1. Gaijin on the Run Says:

      Put me on the notification list. I probably haven’t waded through a tenth of the information on your website, but it’s all incredibly useful.

    2. Will Jasprizza Says:


      i don’t know if you need any assistance with your book but I have experience in teaching Japanese to the children of immigrant to Japan, at both the elementary and JHS level, and running a volunteer programme which teaches these students and foreign trainees. Given that the integration of kids in Japanese schools will become more and more of an issue I wondered if perhaps I could be of help.



    3. Travis (Torabisu) Says:

      Great site! I had desires to live in Japan after a short three-month assignment in Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka, and Sapporo. I hated Tokyo because I was made to feel most unwelcome despite my respect of the customs and quiet and passive attitude. Osaka, I was nearly worshipped, Sapporo too (Odori Beer Festival, whee!). I’ve made a lifelong friend there about my age (a girl) and once my son is in college, I plan to retire in Japan as soon as I can.

      I’m looking forward to your book – please notify me of its publishing!

      Good luck to you,


    4. Ty Says:


      Sounds good!

      I guess it will be similar to “A Guide To Foreigners’ Rights in Japan”. It was blue and white but the new version is pink. Created by the “Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan”. It contains very useful information. I hope your book will be even more informative.

      Please post the ISBN when it’s available.



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