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  • DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JULY 11, 2009

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on July 11th, 2009

    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 JapansourstrawberriesavatarUPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito

    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JULY 11, 2009
    SPECIAL ANALYSIS ON URINALYSIS

    Table of Contents:
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    JAPAN TIMES TACKLES THE ISSUES OF NEW GAIJIN CARDS
    1) Japan Times updates on new IC Chip Gaijin Card bill in fact drafted by MOJ
    2) Japan Times IC Chip Gaijin Cards: View of Bureaucrats: Control of NJ at all costs
    3) Japan Times: JCLU’s Hatate opposes IC Chip Gaijin Cards
    4) Japan Times on critics of new IC Chip Gaijin Card bill from the Right: too lenient!
    5) New Immigration Law with IC Chip Gaijin Cards passes Diet: MOJ & NPA 1, NJ zero

    MORE BEEFING UP OF POLICING
    6) Tokyo police raiding Roppongi, stopping NJ on Tokyo streets for urine tests
    7) Roppongi cops confirm subjecting NJ to urine tests
    8 ) Japan Times: Suspected int’l drugs ring by Japanese students.
    How about urine tests for all students now?
    9) Japan Times et al: Four people snagged for fingerprints over 7 months.
    No longer an “anti-terrorism” measure. Of questionable effectiveness anyway.
    10) Osaka Nishi Yodogawa Police “Beware of Suspicious Foreigners” poster
    11) Japan Times: NPA to entrust neighborhood assoc. with more policing powers, spy cameras
    12) TIME Mag: 20 UC Davis students at Kyoudai quarantined after J tutors diagnosed with Swine Flu.
    Despite NJ showing no symptoms.

    FLECKS OF GOOD NEWS
    13) “Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants” featured in Legal Scriveners magazine
    14) Thoughts on DPJ rally Sat Jun 27, 2009, Sapporo Odori Park

    … and finally …
    15) Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE Col 17 July 7 2009 on Roppongi Urine Samples:
    “Cops crack down with ‘I pee’ checks” (full text)

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    By Arudou Debito, Sapporo, Japan
    debito@debito.org, www.debito.org, twitter arudoudebito
    Freely forwardable
    Previous Newsletters archived at http://www.debito.org/?cat=3

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    JAPAN TIMES TACKLES THE ISSUES OF NEW GAIJIN CARDS

    1) Japan Times updates on new IC Chip Gaijin Card bill in fact drafted by MOJ

    The Japan Times is following the story of the new deluxe Gaijin Cards, complete with IC Chip and more punitive policing of most foreigners. And it is now clear from the articles below that the bills were actually drafted by the Ministry of Justice. Meaning it’s all been created in favor of policing, not assimilating, NJ and under the all-consuming need to keep track of potential “illegal foreign overstayers” by policing everyone (anyone else smell a kind of a witch hunt?).

    Got a call from reporter Mr Matsutani this evening. He notes that there will be a series of articles on this over the next few days (below are the two camps within the LDP and the DPJ, then on successive days an opponent from the left, and then an opponent from the extreme right). So keep reading the Japan Times the only paper that cares to give you the straight poop, and do some investigative journalism on topics that matter to its NJ readers. Excerpts follow:

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3647

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    2) Japan Times IC Chip Gaijin Cards: View of Bureaucrats: Control of NJ at all costs

    The Japan Times scoops again. After two articles exposing approaches of the LDP (their slavish obeisance to the policing MOJ, who fed them the law) and the DPJ (who took the LDP’s nonsense evidence about policing of foreigners in other countries at face value), Matsutani-san now gets the viewpoint of those bureaucrats who designed the new Gaijin Cards and NJ policing regime. And it ain’t pretty. Strikes me as pretty paranoid. Sounds even like they’d police everyone if everyone were in such a weak position in society as foreigners; more on that tomorrow. Meanwhile, it also seems clear that the original proposal has been watered down a bit thanks to public outrage, but there is still no consciousness within the bureaucratic mien of how these laws, once put in the hands of the police, can further encourage racial profiling and targeting (current laws with more lax policing than now already do that, and there are no real safeguards to protect human rights as ever).

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3668

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    3) Japan Times: JCLU’s Hatate opposes IC Chip Gaijin Cards

    Japan Times: “What (the bills will) achieve is to tighten control of law-abiding foreigners, who have no need to be under tight control,” Hatate, director of the nongovernmental organization Japan Civil Liberties Union, told The Japan Times…

    “The bills are very unbalanced because the government will not be able to control the intended target: undocumented foreigners,” Hatate said. “Instead they will greatly tighten the leash on properly registered foreigners, who do not need monitoring.

    “To me, this is the government’s reinforcement of infrastructure to control foreigners. Fingerprinting at airports is to control entrants and the bills are to control residents. The government probably thinks it needs to do this because the number of foreigners will inevitably increase,” he said.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3722

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    4) Japan Times on critics of new IC Chip Gaijin Card bill from the Right: too lenient!

    The Japan Times is still at it, getting viewpoints regarding new legislation controlling NJ movements and visas and traceability (which looks like it will pass the Diet) from Dietmembers, bureaucrats, and left-wing opponents. Now we have the view of someone who thinks the laws, which will tighten things in directions Debito.org is not comfortable with, are too lenient! Excerpt follows:

    JT: …Arikado also takes issue with the humanitarian reasons often cited by the justice minister when granting an illegal foreigner special permission to stay in Japan.

    “Some foreigners claim to be political refugees. But in many cases, they just want to work,” he said. “Some Japanese died of hunger after they lost their jobs, so is it right to prioritize helping foreigners? Right now, everybody in Japan is losing their spirit as Japanese nationals.”…

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3756

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    5) New Immigration Law with IC Chip Gaijin Cards passes Diet: MOJ & NPA 1, NJ zero

    The new IC Chipped Gaijin Cards will be a reality. Gonna have to start looking on the bright side of things, like the fact that NJ will now have juuminhyou instead. Commentary and links from Anonymous:

    “As I’m sure that you’ve heard, today was a not a good day for NJ rights. The immigration revision formally passed the upper house today, July 8, 2009. With the various changes” Several news clippings in Japanese, more in English in Comments Section:

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3786

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    MORE BEEFING UP OF POLICING

    6) Tokyo police raiding Roppongi, stopping NJ on Tokyo streets for urine tests

    Debito.org is receiving reports that, following the Sumo scandals where wrestlers fingered Roppongi foreigners for selling them pot, that the police are cracking down on NJ on sight. Not only was a Roppongi Police raid conducted last Friday, NJ are apparently being stopped upon leaving bars and demanded a urine test. Is this sort of thing happening to other readers of Debito.org?

    UPDATE JULY 1: Asabu Police confirmed that they are bringing people in for urine tests. But they refused to elaborate further.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3709

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    7) Roppongi cops confirm subjecting NJ to urine tests

    As I reported to you last week in a News Flash, Debito.org has received a number of reports that police in Roppongi and Shibuya are rounding up Non-Japanese exiting bars, and bringing them in police wagons for drug testing.

    They are demanding urine tests from their detainees. This is an act of extremely questionable legality.

    This was confirmed at 3PM July 1, 2009, when I telephoned the Azabu Police Department (http://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/1/azabu/index.htm) phone 03-3479-0110 (dai) and talked to an Officer Teshima, who refused to give more details about his official rank in the police department, what sort of methods were used, their criteria for selecting their detainees, their actions if detainees do not cooperate, and if they have warrants. Our conversation in paraphrase below. Further links to sources also below.

    If true, this could be the dawn of new practices and extensions of police power in Japan. This author believes that racial profiling, already standard operating practice for bicycle checks and ID checks on the street (http://www.debito.org/?p=1802), is now involving more invasive methods bodily fluids.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3730

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    8 ) Japan Times: Suspected int’l drugs ring by Japanese students. How about urine tests for all students now?

    Just a little addendum pursuant to the whole Roppongi “random” NJ street searches for drugs involving urine tests without warrants.

    Japan Times reports that students in Japan aren’t just using drugs (like on rugby teams). They’re even possibly creating international drug rings! Kinda hard to blame foreigners in Roppongi for that like the sumo wrestlers did.

    However, are we going to see random searches for drugs on university campuses, bundling students off to police HQ in paddy wagons for a little urine sample without a warrant? Somehow I doubt it. Excerpt of JT article follows.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3765

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    9) Japan Times et al: Four people snagged for fingerprints over 7 months.
    No longer an “anti-terrorism” measure. Of questionable effectiveness anyway.

    Debito.org Reader AS comments:
    ===============================
    Apparently the biometric data system has resulted in a grand total of four people getting caught in the last seven months. To me that seems like a massive waste of national resources, especially since there are other ways of detecting illegal re-entrants.

    Also, an article in the Japan Times drops the pretense that fingerprinting is an anti-terrorism measure:

    “The authentication system is designed to detect foreign nationals with a history of deportation from Japan based on fingerprint data.”

    So now apparently the purpose of the system is cracking down on illegal entry and over-staying.
    ===============================

    Yet another reader sends in a thoughtful essay about the efficacy of the fingerprinting regime itself. Have a read.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3720

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    10) Osaka Nishi Yodogawa Police “Beware of Suspicious Foreigners” poster

    The NPA is once again ramping up its public calls for surveillance of “suspicious foreigners”.

    The previous wave of this basically started with Tokyo Gov. Ishihara’s now infamous “Sangokujin Speech” in 2000, when he called on the Nerima Self Defense Forces to round up suspicious foreigners “committing heinous crimes” in the event of a natural disaster. He made no distinction how one would determine “suspicious”, however, or how people would not resort to racial profiling.

    They never broke the mold. That wave continued through World Cup 2002 (although it mutated into “hooligans”) onto police nationwide (particularly the Kanto cops) putting up posters warning the public against “suspicious foreigners”, whatever that meant. After protests, some police amended their notices to focus on the crimes, not the nationalities, but still exceptions popped up from time to time in prefectures with beaches, warning people to “protect our shores” (complete with visual invasion motif).

    Now, according to Debito.org Reader JL, who found this notice up in his apartment, the Osaka Police are once again warning people about “suspicious foreigners” all over again, for they might be illegal laborers or overstayers. Here it is.

    Again, how will people distinguish without suspecting anyone who looks foreigner as “suspicious”? Will our boys in blue ever learn some sophistication?

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3740

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    11) Japan Times: NPA to entrust neighborhood assoc. with more policing powers, spy cameras

    Here’s something I find alarming: Not satisfied to plop spy cameras in places festered with foreigners, as Ishihara would put it (Roppongi and Kabukicho), the NPA is now planning to plop even more in cities nationwide, and turn the keys over to unprofessionals who are not officially entrusted with police powers: neighborhood associations.

    The very reason we have chounaikai was to help the kenpeitai and other devices of the Japanese police state keep watch on their neighbors. That the chounaikai still exists essentially as organizations to keep a semblance of volunteerism alive in principalities, I object to the revival of them as a policing agency. The NPA already spends enough of our taxes putting up posters exhorting people to “watch your neighbors they might be political extremists!” Now they’re getting cameras, with peeping and recording eyes? Yeah, I can imagine what sort of people those beady eyes will be gravitating towards. Anyone who looks “funny”, or “suspicious”. Guess who I mean.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3673

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    12) TIME Mag: 20 UC Davis students at Kyoudai quarantined after J tutors diagnosed with Swine Flu.
    Despite NJ showing no symptoms.

    AP/TIME Mag: A group of 20 students studying in Japan through the University of California Davis have been quarantined after two of their Japanese tutors were diagnosed with swine flu.

    UC Davis summer abroad coordinator Kathy Cunningham said Wednesday the students arrived in Kyoto, Japan, on June 27 and were quarantined to a dormitory on July 3.

    She says Japanese health officials are monitoring the group for symptoms and that no students have shown any sign of the disease so far. She also says the quarantine is set to end Friday.

    COMMENT FROM CONTRIBUTOR: I find it somewhat disturbing that the students had no symptoms, yet were still quarantined, as well as no mention about the treatment of the tutors who were diagnosed. Does anyone know the full story?

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3806

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    FLECKS OF GOOD NEWS

    13) “Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants” featured in Legal Scriveners magazine

    Just heard from Akira today. Our book (“our” meaning friend Akira Higuchi and myself) HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMER, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS (Akashi Shoten Inc.) has just been featured (well, listed, anyway) in this month’s “Nihon Gyousei”, a national magazine for legal scriveners.

    Great news. The book has really come into its own. If you don’t have a copy, you really oughta consider getting one. It deals with things you need to know to make a better life in Japan. Debito.org does its best, but the Handbook is one-stop shopping. And if you want to support Debito.org’s activities in some financial way, consider purchasing.

    More on what’s in Handbook and how to get a copy here.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3744

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    14) Thoughts on DPJ rally Sat Jun 27, 2009, Sapporo Odori Park

    What follows is a synopsis of a political rally for the opposition party, DPJ, which featured possible next PM Hatoyama Yukio as a speaker. Taking place in DPJ stronghold Hokkaido (which Hatoyama represents), I give a quick overview (with analysis, even pictures) of the speaking styles of Hatoyama, croaking Suzuki Muneo, Hokkaido political superman Yokomichi, and the far-Right Happiness Realization Party, who gave the best speeches of the day as they took DPJ left-of-centrism into Re-Arm Against North Korean Missiles territory.

    Opening paragraph: In case you haven’t heard (the J press has been making headlines of it), we’re amidst a “Hatoyama Boom”. Hatoyama (Yukio, aka Hatopoppo) being the current leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), replacing Ozawa Ichiro (whose old-school J politics still include accepting bribes, directly or indirectly). With the anticipated boost in PM Aso’s approval ratings (after a lot of hay was made of Ozawa’s associates’ corruption) petering out to nothing, and an election required by law by October at the latest, there are a number of rumors floating around that other contenders may rise to fill the soulless golem of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP the party essentially in power in Japan for more than five decades, whose policy platform is essentially just staying in power). A couple of prefectural governors (Osaka’s Hashimoto, Miyazaki’s Higashikokubaru) are rumored to have designs on future local and national governance. But so far, Hatoyama seems to be outdistancing them all, riding the crest of his “boom” on a nationwide whistle-stop tour with stern-faced posters and constant public speeches.

    All caught up now? Well, Hatoyama gave a speech at a DPJ rally last Saturday, June 27, in Sapporo’s Odori Kouen. I was there in the front row wearing a lot of sunscreen, enjoying a lot of old people’s company. Let me give you the scene:

    http://www.debito.org/?p=3680

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    … and finally …
    15) Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE Col 17 July 7 2009 on Roppongi Urine Samples:
    “Cops crack down with ‘I pee’ checks” (full text)

    JUST BE CAUSE
    The Japan Times: Tuesday, July 7, 2009
    Cops crack down with ‘I pee’ checks
    By ARUDOU DEBITO
    Column 49 for the Zeit Gist Community Page/Column 17 for the JBC column

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20090707ad.html
    Version with links to sources (online version with comments at http://www.debito.org/?p=3772

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    All for this fortnight! Hope everyone is gearing up for a pleasant Summer. I’ll have an essay on Sapporo Summers in my next Newsletter! Enjoy!

    Arudou Debito, Sapporo, Japan
    debito@debito.org, www.debito.org, twitter arudoudebito
    Previous Newsletters archived at http://www.debito.org/?cat=3
    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JULY 11, 2009 ENDS

    One Response to “DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JULY 11, 2009”

    1. Another John Says:

      A little old, but I don’t know where else to put this…
      Seems that urine tests are not done on NJ only, although there is probably a higher bar before asking a J to comply…and no chance of deportation.

      http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/son-of-missing-actress-sakai-found-safe-in-tokyo

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