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Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

  • Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination
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  • Book IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan
  • KM on how only NJ suspects get named even when J perps also involved in crime

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on November 11th, 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
    Hi Blog. Here’s a letter from KM at The Community. Interesting read. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    Hi Community! Here’s something I thought I should share with you today. First, please have a look at the following article:


    Woman arrested for faking marriage to obtain Japanese citizenship for son

    A Chinese woman suspected of faking her marriage to a Japanese man just before she gave birth so her son could obtain Japanese citizenship has been arrested, it has been learned.

    Metropolitan police arrested Jiang Xinxin, 27, a resident of Tokyo’s Kita-ku, on suspicion of making a false declaration on an official document.

    It is the first time a fake marriage arranged to acquire Japanese citizenship for a child has come to light. It is believed that Jiang had been trying to obtain a long-term residence qualification for herself by having her son acquire Japanese citizenship.

    “I thought that if my child got Japanese citizenship, then I would be able to keep working in Japan,” police quoted the 27-year-old as saying.

    Investigators said that Jiang registered her marriage to a junk dealer from Okaya, Nagano Prefecture, at Okaya City Hall in September 2006, despite having no desire to marry him.

    At the time Jiang was eight months’ pregnant. She gave birth in November that year. The child was fathered by a 33-year-old Chinese man, who is now serving time over an immigration law violation. Jiang reportedly paid about 1 million yen to people including a 44-year-old Japanese female broker, who introduced her to a man who could fill the role of husband. The broker also faces charges for making false declarations on official documents.

    Jiang got divorced in May 2007. The child is currently being brought up by Jiang’s family in China. If the crime allegations against Jiang are confirmed, then the boy’s family register will be amended and he will lose his Japanese citizenship.

    (Mainichi Japan) October 27, 2008

    I’m wondering why the name of the Chinese woman has been published but not the name of her Japanese accomplice (that is, the man she had the fake wedding with).

    I first read this article in Japanese, in the paper version of the Asahi paper I get at my house. I found the same article on line:


    中国人同士の子に日本籍 出産直前、日本人と偽装結婚












    According to the Japanese article both the Chinese woman and the Japanese man are being prosecuted. Yet, only the name of the Chinese woman has been published. Well, that’s not exactly right — the name of her Chinese husband, the real father of the child, has also been published in the Asahi article. The Japanese Asahi article says that he is being prosecuted for violation of immigration laws. His occupation is listed rather matter-of-factly as “broker for the employment of illegal immigrants.” At any rate, the name of the father is also being dragged through the mud, though he is being prosecuted for an offense that is not directly related to the subject of the article.

    Finally, I thought it was interesting that the part of the Nerima police force that deals with organized crime was cited in the article. So, what kind of organized crime is this? Might not the Japanese man (who, again, is being prosecuted) have affiliations with organized crime?

    The English article includes the following: “Jiang reportedly paid about 1 million yen to people including a 44-year-old Japanese female broker, who introduced her to a man who could fill the role of husband. The broker also faces charges for making false declarations on official documents.”

    Hmmm. I think I see a pattern here. If a foreigner is involved, even tangentially, publish the name. If a Japanese person is involved, respect their privacy. Problematic coverage, don’t you think?


    8 Responses to “KM on how only NJ suspects get named even when J perps also involved in crime”

    1. PnetQ Says:

      The Mainichi Daily News article’s URL was moved. You can also reach the article via the original Japanese article. Here is the new URL.

    2. jim Says:

      i completely agree with you debito, and the newspapers are not the only one are guilty of doing this, because it also happens on this is indeed a strange and twisted pattern that has been going on for some time now..where i come from its called slander,,

    3. Andrew Smallacombe Says:

      Does anyone remember those “24 hour up-close” specials on the police, where one of the catch phrases was “foreign criminals”?
      I remember one from back in ’92 or ’93 where a group of Iranians were selling drugs to people on the street. The faces of the Iranian dealers were fully exposed. The faces of their Japanese customers (that’s right, drug users) were pixellated over.

    4. DR Says:

      Well, you’re going to love this, if you haven’t already seen it. Seems like Shizuoka Police have a handbook telling locals to keep an eye on foreigners. Even to have store staff go out and take their license plate numbers down!
      It happened to me at a Circle-K in Iwata-shi once, someone came out, stood in front of my car and wrote down my number. When I asked “WTF?” I was told it was in their crime prevention manual from the local gendarmes. I found a link on the police site a little later and verified it. (Not sure if it’s still there or not.) I fired off an e-mail to the Tokyo HQ of Circle-K threatening to sue Circle-K, and to launch a web campaign against them. The very next day a Snr. Management guy showed up, gift in hand and apologized. As did the staff at the store next time I visited. (Zero tolerance. That’s my attitude. Taking on SPP was a bit out of my scope of activity at the time, and now I’m outside Japan so it’s moot for me, but be my guest! Apparently senior officers have quashed an internal affairs investigation into a vast slush fund they’ve accumulated, said to be the biggest in the country. Not the folks I’d trust at all, the SPP)
      But having J-citizens monitor NJ residents IS the official Shizuoka Prefectural Police policy. They even counsel reporting on J-citizens if they are seen with NJ, or are heard speaking foreign languages to them. The kenpeitai are alive and well, it seems, in Shizuoka! Be warned!

      — Yep, I’ve already seen it. In fact, Zone81 is copying the report I wrote in its entirety without acknowledgment of Thanks for spreading the word, anyway, Zone81, I guess. And do you have any evidence for the claims in the last paragraph? We’d love to hear it! Debito

    5. PnetQ Says:

      It is inappropriate and unfair to make the Chinese father’s name public and to withhold the names of the Japanese perpetrators.

      The Chinese father’s name shouldn’t be publicized. Two points must be reminded.

      1) This fake marriage which involves an expected baby is unlikely to have been carried out without the Chinese father’s knowledge. That said, that didn’t have him prosecuted as an accomplice. Therefore, his name shouldn’t have been put in the article.

      2) Both (Japanese) Mainichi and the Mainichi Daily News, which don’t mention the Chinese father’s name, describe him as “now serving time over an immigration law violation.” In contrast, Asahi, the newspaper which mentions his name, also mentions him as a broker for the employment of illegal immigrants. Asahi also writes he is now being put on trial for violation of Immigration Law and other laws.
      It is not clear from the Asahi article for what reason he is on trial now. It may be due to his being “a broker for the employment of illegal immigrants.” Also, considering his connections due to his position as asserted “broker,” he may have played some role in making contact to the Japanese female broker who introduced the Chinese woman to the fake Japanese father in Okaya. All things considered, however, the Asahi article, lacking specific descriptions of his involvement in the fake marriage, shouldn’t have publicized his name.

      It is a serious defect of the articles that they didn’t write the names of the Japanese perpetrators.

      Marriage is a very personal thing. It is very hard for the third party to know whether a marriage is true or fake. In essence, the last bastion to prevent a fake marriage from happening would be the sense of morality and dignity of the people concerned. On the other hand, without the help of brokers who would have connections to crime organizations in many cases, it would be very hard for fake-marriage seekers to get their counterparts.

      Therefore, it is of critical importance to prevent such a kind of crime that those brokers, and Japanese fake husbands and wives as well, be punished properly. While these articles which publicized only foreigners’ names and withheld Japanese names should be criticized, as Debito argues, from the point of fairness and equal treatment, they are also defective for the very reason I have explained above.

      Lastly, I think it is worth mentioning that a fake marriage involving an expected baby is a serious violation of the baby’s human rights, using the nationality as means of gaining benefits of the parents.

      FYI, I have found two Mainichi articles (Nov. 1 and 8) which cover fake marriage cases involving Japanese and foreigners. They write all the names of arrested Japanese perpetrators, but withhold some names of the foreigners involved. Unfortunately, there seem to be no English translations. I put the links, anyway.

    6. DR Says:

      Debito, I thought this work, as I found it above, was written by you, but as you said, there’s no acknowledgment. On the last issue of the SPP using locals to “spy” as it were on NJ and J-citizens who associate with them, I recall (and it’s from about 2004 or 2005, an article I saw in the Daily Yomiuri) with fuzzy memory on my part, about how “we all need to work together to clamp down on foreign crime, and those who help them” type of piece. It was one of a series which prompted me to cancel my subscription in disgust. Sorry I can’t be more detailed, but I can assure you it’s not just a figment of my imagination.

    7. adamw Says:


      just goes to show the great work youre doing..
      i suppose you should be happy that this info is reaching a potentially wider audience..
      understand though that it must be annoying that they didnt even credit you…

      — Wellllll, it’s even more annoying that they’re trying to claim copyright over stuff on their site when they don’t even acknowledge that it was written by somebody else, and that allows for free use of information as long as the source is acknowledged…

      From Zone81:

      The contents of zone81 are intended for the personal, noncommercial use of its Users. All materials published on zone81 (including, but not limited to articles, photographs, images, illustrations, audio clips and video clips, also known as “The Content”) are protected by copyright, and owned or controlled by zone81, or the party credited as the provider of the content, software, or other materials. User shall abide by all additional copyright notices, information, or restrictions contained in any Content accessed through the Service. Spammers will have their accounts revoked immediately with no negotiation or explaination. is protected by copyright under Japanese copyright laws and other copyright laws. User can not modify, manipulate, transmit or sell the contents of

      I have written to them ( asking them to add an acknowledgment of source. No answer as yet. Debito

    8. Kirk Masden Says:

      I’m very glad to see all the interesting and informative discussion occasioned by Debito’s forwarding (with the addition of the text from the articles cited) of my e-mail message. Thanks Debito! One thought I had as I was putting it together was about how journalists get their information from the police. I wonder if it was a journalistic decision not to publish the names of the Japanese involved or a decision that was made by the police. I suspect that the police play the most important role in determining what does and does not find its way into the media. Does anyone out there have any insight into this aspect of the issue?

      KM in Kumamoto

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