DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MARCH 19, 2007

mytest

Hi Blog. Got a couple of shockers for you this week:

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1) “JAPANESE ONLY” SIGNS: “PURE-BLOODED JAPANESE ONLY–NO WAR ORPHANS etc.”
2) GAIJIN HANZAI MAG UPDATE: WERE THE POLICE BEHIND IT?
I SPECULATE YES, IN BOTH JAPAN TIMES (TOMORROW) AND ON JAPAN FOCUS
3) 2-CHANNEL UPDATE: NOW 43 CASES OF LIBEL LEFT UNREQUITED
4) CONFUSED BY COMFORT WOMEN DEBATE? THE DEFINITIVE ARTICLE ON JAPAN FOCUS
5) TRANS-PACIFIC RADIO INTERVIEW RE KOKUSAIKA, POLITICS etc.
and finally…
6) NEW BATCH OF “JAPANESE ONLY” T-SHIRTS NOW ON SALE

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

By Arudou Debito (debito@debito.org, www.debito.org)
March 19, 2007, freely forwardable
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

1) “JAPANESE ONLY” SIGNS: “PURE-BLOODED JAPANESE ONLY”

Last week I was sent three more “Japanese Only” signs, two from Hiroshima, one from Koshigaya (Saitama).

The Koshigaya sign (Nightlife “Eden”, 2-3 Koshigaya, Koshigaya, Saitama, Phone: 048-964-8852) is the worst one I’ve ever seen:

=======================================
“Entry absolutely forbidden to Chinese and Naturalized Citizens, Chinese War Orphans (zanryuu koji), and people with Chinese blood mixed in. ONLY PURE-BLOODED JAPANESE MALES PERMITTED.”
=======================================
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Koshigaya
Only pure-bloods? Not even naturalized citizens? That deals me out too.

Fortunately, this sign has already made the Washington Times (March 9):
http://www.debito.org/?p=255
and will be going out to my Japanese lists presently.

=====================================

The other two signs are more garden-variety (I guess I’m getting inured):

BAR SUMATRA TIGER
Hiroshima-shi, Naka-ku, Yagenbori 7-9. Sanwa Bld 2F
http://www.sumatratiger.com/
=======================================
ATTENTION: US Military personnel will NOT BE ALLOWED to enter SUMATRA TIGER unless they are escorted by civilian friends, either Japanese or Foreign…
=======================================
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Hiroshima

COMMENT: I rather agree that a bar is not the best place to face drunk young military types, and can understand a certain degree of trepidation both from bar owner and client. However, a place restricting entry to non-Japanese falls under the purview of the Rogues’ Gallery. It is also important to see how this policy is actually enforced; are all “foreigners” to be treated as “military” on appearance alone? Anyone want to drop by this place and find out?

Case in point: witness what happened in the next club:

CLUB “SAMA SAMA”
Hiroshima-Shi Naka Tenchi 1-2, Hiroshima Dai Bldg 3F Ph 082-246-2320
=======================================
“Notice: We strictly refuse entry to organized crime and their affiliates, people in the water trades, overly-intoxicated people, minors under the age of 18, people who have caused trouble on the premises, foreigners, and ‘promoters’ [scouts for female talent]. If we find you on the premises, we will ask you to leave. You will not receive a refund.

We also reserve the right to refuse service to anyone we choose. –CLUB SAMA SAMA”
=======================================
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Hiroshima

Just so happened the person who reported this place to me happens is a naturalized Japanese citizen of Southeast Asian extraction. He was refused regardless (excerpt):

=======================================
“…I met with a guy friend (Japanese by birth), and went for dinner, then a night out on the town… We went inside SAMA SAMA and were shown to a table by the management. As soon as we had sat down, one of the male staff came up to us and said, ‘Excuse me, Gaijin are not allowed in here.’ I just happened to have my passport on me and explained that I am in fact a Japanese. However, he replied, ‘You look foreign, so kindly leave.’ After he kicked me out, he pointed to the sign outside with said exclusionary policy. When I tried to take a picture, the manager got in the way, so they’re a little shaky. Enclosed. What should I do now?”
=======================================

I recommended him a lawyer for the time being. The signs are getting more sophisticated, and exclusive.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

2) GAIJIN HANZAI MAGAZINE UPDATE: WERE THE POLICE BEHIND IT?
I SPECULATE YES, IN BOTH JAPAN TIMES (TOMORROW) AND ON JAPAN FOCUS

Quick rewind: At the end of last month, overworked Masami Ito at the Japan Times finally did an article on GAIJIN HANZAI. It was worth the wait. Excerpting most revelatory bit:

================================================
FAMILY MART CANS SALES
By MASAMI ITO Staff writer
The Japan Times: Friday, Feb. 23, 2007

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070223f1.html

…After receiving more than 10 complaints, Family Mart took a closer look at the magazine. “When we read it, we found some expressions to be discriminatory and decided to stop selling the book,” said the spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

On Feb. 5, the firm ordered all its 6,800 outlets nationwide to remove the magazine from the shelves and shipped them back to Eichi. It said that of the 15,000 copies in stock — of the 20,000 to 30,000 that had been printed — 1,000 were sold…
================================================
Full article also at http://www.debito.org/?p=235

COMMENT: Let’s do the math: The book listed for 690 yen. Assuming a profitable wholesale price of 500 yen, that means 30,000 mooks cost 15,000,000 yen or so to produce. (Given that there is no advertising whatsoever inside, and a lovely printing process to boot, I wonder if they were even that cheap.) Since they hardly sold any, somebody took a big, big bath.

Good. Hopefully whoever was behind it will think twice before doing something like this again. Still, there’s something fishy. And I spent a weekend fleshing that out for the record in a 6000-word essay for academic website JapanFocus.org. Then condensed it down to 1500 for the Japan Times Community Page.

Both articles should be coming out tomorrow (Tuesday March 20). Grab yourself a newsstand copy of the JT.

The headline is that I believe what happened is an historical event–the first time we’ve seen the “Newcomer” immigrants band together as an economic bloc.

But I also speculate on who the patron is. I believe it is the police.

Okay, before you think I’m wearing a tinfoil hat, give the articles a try and see if I make a convincing case. It got past three editors who are no pushovers…

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

3) 2-CHANNEL UPDATE: NOW 43 CASES OF LIBEL ETC. LEFT UNREQUITED

Now even the Yomiuri has done a roundup of the trouble that Internet BBS 2-Channel is making for Japan’s judiciary. One of those 43 unresolved lawsuits happens to be mine. More on that at
http://www.debito.org/?cat=21
http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html
Excerpt follows:

=================================
MESSAGE BOARD OWNER HAS LOST 43 LAWSUITS
The Yomiuri Shimbun Mar. 6, 2007

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20070306TDY03005.htm

Hiroyuki Nishimura, the operator of the nation’s largest Internet message board, 2channel, has lost at least 43 of more than 50 civil lawsuits filed against him in Tokyo and elsewhere over defamation and other charges, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey.

Nishimura, 30, has been ordered to pay a total of about 58 million yen in damages, but has defied court orders by failing to pay most of it, and as a result has been fined the equivalent of about 880,000 yen a day, or more than 434 million yen cumulatively.

It appears Nishimura has not complied with any orders for payment of damages, meaning most of the plaintiffs have not received compensation despite winning lawsuits.

Observers have pointed out that this illustrates the lawlessness on the Internet and the limits in terms of judicial action that can be taken against those who break the law online.

Since 2001, more than 50 lawsuits have been filed against Nishimura with the Tokyo District Court alone. Nishimura’s defeat in court was finalized in 40 of the cases, as well as in respect of lawsuits filed with the Sapporo, Osaka and Kobe district courts…

In a case filed [incorrect–it was filed in 2006] by a Hokkaido associate professor in January last year seeking damages over messages that denounced him as racist and psychotic [guess who], Nishimura was ordered to pay 1.1 million yen in damages…

In many of his trials, Nishimura neither employed a lawyer nor attended hearings, resulting in the court handing down decisions all in favor of the plaintiffs…

According to the Yomiuri survey, Nishimura complied with court orders for removing messages in 11 cases and disclosing information in three cases. But he has not paid up in any of the 21 cases in which he was ordered to pay damages…

The seizure of Nishimura’s assets did not prove successful because it has proved hard to trace his bank accounts, and even when his accounts were found, there was little money in them…
=================================
Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=252

COMMENT: My lawyer notified me on Friday that he had filed more paperwork. More on that in Japanese here:
http://www.debito.org/?p=249#comments

More math: 88 man in fines per day, or about one new lawsuit loss every 36 hours. Adds up after awhile. Clearly this is not sustainable. Matter of time before something gives. Will keep you posted.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

4) CONFUSED BY COMFORT WOMEN DEBATE? THE DEFINITIVE ARTICLE ON JAPAN FOCUS

Here’s a pretty much perfect article on the “Comfort Women” Issue, which ties together everything we need for this debate: The USG and GOJ’s reaction to the issue, the UN’s reports, the background of the primary agents in the process of denial, and all contextualized within a comparison of Nazi Germany’s and Imperial Japan’s wartime behavior and postwar follow-up.

JAPAN’S “COMFORT WOMEN”: IT’S TIME FOR THE TRUTH (IN THE ORDINARY, EVERYDAY SENSE OF THE WORD)
By Tessa Morris-Suzuki (Professor of Japanese History, Australian National University)

Japan Focus Article 780
http://japanfocus.org/products/details/2373

Some select quotes:
=================================
Reading these remarks [from Abe and Aso regarding “coercion” and “facts”], I found myself imagining the international reaction to a German government which proposed that it had no historical responsibility for Nazi forced labour, on the grounds that this had not been “forcible in the narrow sense of the word”. I also found myself in particular imagining how the world might react if one of the German ministers most actively engaged in this denial happened (for example) to be called Krupp, and to be a direct descendant of the industrial dynasty of that name.
=================================
=================================
Many people were involved in the recruitment of “comfort women” – not only soldiers but also members of the Korean colonial police (working, of course, under Japanese command) and civilian brokers, who frequently used techniques of deception identical to those used by human traffickers today. Forced labour for mines and factories was recruited with the same mixture of outright violence, threats and false promises…

To summarise, then, not all “comfort women” were rounded up at gunpoint, but some were. Some were paid for “services”, though many were not. Not all “comfort stations” were directly managed by the military. None of this, however, negates the fact that large numbers of women were violently forced, coerced or tricked into situations in which they suffered horrible sexual violence whose consequences affected their entire lives. I doubt if many of those who “suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds” have spent a great deal of time worrying whether these wounds were the result of coercion in the “broad” or the “narrow” sense of the word.

And none of this makes the Japanese system any different from the Nazi forced labour system…
=================================
=================================
In 1996, a Special Rapporteur appointed by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights issued a detailed report on the “comfort women” issue. Its conclusions are unequivocal:

“The Special Rapporteur is absolutely convinced that most of the women kept at the comfort stations were taken against their will, that the Japanese Imperial Army initiated, regulated and controlled the vast network of comfort stations, and that the Government of Japan is responsible for the comfort stations. In addition, the Government of Japan should be prepared to assume responsibility for what this implies under international law”.
=================================
=================================
This denial [from members of the LDP] goes hand-in-hand with an insistence that those demanding justice for the “comfort women” are just a bunch of biased and ill-informed “Japan-bashers”. An article by journalist Komori Yoshihisa in the conservative Sankei newspaper, for example, reports that the US Congress resolution is “based on a complaint which presumes that all the comfort women were directly conscripted by the Japanese army, and that the statements by Kono and Murayama were not clear apologies.”

Komori does not appear to have read the resolution with much attention…
=================================
=================================
What purpose do Abe’s and Aso’s denials serve? Certainly not the purpose of helping defeat the US Congressional resolution. Their statements have in fact seriously embarrassed those US Congress members who are opposed to the resolution. The main strategy of these US opponents of Resolution 121 was the argument that Japanese government had already apologized adequately for the sufferings of the “comfort women”, and that there was no need to take the matter further. By their retreat from remorse, Abe and Aso have succeeded in neatly cutting the ground from beneath the feet of their closest US allies.
=================================

Well done that researcher!

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

5) TRANS-PACIFIC RADIO INTERVIEW RE KOKUSAIKA, POLITICS etc.

Had a very pleasant and quite probing interview with Trans-Pacific Radio two weekends ago. Here’s the writeup and a link:
===================================
Seijigiri #19 – March 8, 2007: A conversation with Debito Arudou
Filed under: Seijigiri Releases, Trans-Pacific Radio, Interviews

Posted by Seijigiri at 7:29 pm on Thursday, March 8, 2007

Last Saturday, March 2, Garrett, Ken and Albrecht Stahmer sat down for a talk with social activist and naturalized Japanese citizen Arudou Debito. The talk actually lasted for hours, and as it stretched on, veered away from the initial interview structure that had been set up.

With this release, we have kept one hour of material in which Debito touches upon how he came to be a social activist, the cultural politics of Japanese identity, acceptance of him as a Japanese and his work in the Japanese and foreign communities, Japan’s educational system, the ‘Japanese Only’ phenomenon, Education Minister Ibuki Bunmei, human rights and butter, the state of the Democratic Party of Japan, what sort of law against discrimination he would like to see in Japan and his hopes for Japan’s future.
===================================
Hear it at:
http://www.transpacificradio.com/2007/03/08/seijigiri-19-march-8-2007-a-conversation-with-debito-arudou/

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

and finally…

6) SUPPORT THE CAUSE, RAISE AWARENESS OF THE ISSUE
BUY A “JAPANESE ONLY” T-SHIRT

Thanks to the quick sell-out of the first salvo (thanks everyone!), I just got a new batch of “JAPANESE ONLY” T-shirts in last week (thanks Todd):

They come in the following colors and sizes:
BLUE: American sizes (i.e. larger than corresponding Japanese sizes) M, L, XL, and XXL
BLACK: American sizes S, M, L, XL, and XXL
(NB: These are adult sizes. As an approximate guide, S and M will fit an average-build Japanese woman.)

PRICE: 2500 yen including postage anywhere in the world.
2000 yen if you buy one from me face-to-face (won’t need postage that way) during one of my speech tours etc.

SEE PHOTOS OF THE SHIRT AND HOW TO ORDER:
Visit my website at:
http://www.debito.org/tshirts.html

Most people would rather pretend these signs don’t exist. Too bad. They do.
Keep the issue alive in the public eye in the best of satirical traditions
by wearing your heart on your sleeve, and the sign on your chest!
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

All for this week. Thanks for reading!
Arudou Debito in Sapporo
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
March 19, 2007
ENDS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>