Hi Blog. This has come up on The Community Mailing List:
A friend of mine found this on a car in Ikunoku and said there were plenty of them around. Anyone in Osaka want to help me do something about this?
(NB: For those who find the flyer hard to read:
HELP US STOP ILLEGAL LABOR AND FOREIGN OVERSTAYERS!
(Images of Illegal overstayers, long-nosed fraudulent grooms, passport forgers, and illegal workers: All including blondies, of course.)
THESE DAYS WHERE FOREIGN CRIME IS RISING FAST [Even though, according to the Mainichi Feb 07, it’s dropping. So is, according to Immigration, foreign overstaying.]
CHECK THE STATUS OF RESIDENCE AND PERIOD OF STAY ON THEIR PASSPORTS, TO ENSURE YOU EMPLOY A FOREIGNER PROPERLY!!
THERE WILL BE PENALITIES FOR EMPLOYERS WHO EMPLOY FOREIGNERS NOT PERMITTED TO WORK, AS WELL AS THOSE WHO ACT AS INTERMEDIARIES.
WE ASK YOU TO COOPERATE IN ORDER TO GIVE US A SAFE AND LIVABLE TOWN ENVIRONMENT WITHIN IKUNO-KU.
IKUNO SANGYOU ROUDOUSHA KOKUSAIKA TAISAKU RENRAKU KYOUGIKAI
OSAKA FU IKUNO POLICE STATION, CONTACT 06-6712-1234)
I found at http://www.ikuno.or.jp/1_1.htm that this flyer is being distributed by the Ikuno Sangyoukai.
名称 社団法人 生野産業会
会長 三宅 一嘉
所在地 〒544-0004 大阪市生野区巽北1丁目21番23号
For what it is worth, practically every chamber of commerce in the
country had meetings this month with regards to foreign employees.
My chamber held a meeting June 8th
I didn’t attend because I was overseas at the time, but as far as I know
there were no harebrained schemes for leafletting cars on the streets.
I don’t see any point in counter leaflets. Perhaps a better approach
might just be to write a letter to the sangyoukai asking for them to
refrain from littering, and to suggest that instead of distributing
leaflets, that they ensure that all of the companies in their membership
are in fact checking the bona fides of any foreigners in their employment,
and that the hotels/accommodation sector of their membership
aren’t demanding passport copies from Japan residents etc. Something
conciliatory and practical is usually the best way to start a dialogue.
The clear first step in doing anything about this is to call the number
on the leaflet and get some information.
The main information to get is to find out who exactly within the
chamber of commerce is the project leader for this, who is their public
representative, and that sort of thing.
Then, if possible, initiate a meeting or a phone call where the matter
can be formally discussed. Find out why they are doing this now, what
their concerns are, how this all came about.
During that meeting or phone call, see if you can point out where
they’ve given into fears and departed from facts, and see how much they
can be swayed.
At all steps, record the conversations.
Whether or not anything further can or should be done will be very clear
once all those kinds of facts are in.
You’d be surprised at how far some dialogue can go. A lot of the people
behind these things aren’t deliberately rejecting facts about foreign
crime, they’re just blissfully ignorant. A polite discussion with a
foreigner who has his facts straight can make a big impression.
The ideal candidate for this task is someone who can communicate well in
Japanese and can be in Osaka to really talk to these people.
Readers of Debito.org who would like to try their hand at a little activism are encouraged to investigate this further. Tell us how things go in the Comments section of this Blog? Debito in Sapporo
ANDREW SMALLACOMBE AT THE COMMUNITY ADDS:
I know this will probably sound obvious, butsome of my concerns
regarding the leaflets are:
– They are directed at employers. Passport forgery and bogus
marriages, while illegal, are not something a potential employer can
or should police. Any revised posters should not mention the other
two offenses at all. They should merely remind employers that hiring
foreign workers with inappropriate visa status is illegal and to
check this status.
– The caricatures are racist and would be more appropriate in World
War II propeganda. It also implies that all foreign nationals are
physically distinguishable from the Japanese poplulation, and
furthermore hints that those with illegal status are readily
identifiable. Lose them in any reprints.
-Again, as the leaflets are aimed at employers, statements
of “rapidly rising foreigner crime” are irrelevant, not to mention
highly questionable. Lose them.
Essentially, if it is necessary to alert businesses to the fact that
hiring foreign workers without the correct visa status is a criminal
act, fine. Just don’t try to use perceptions of crime by foreign
nationals as justification.
UPDATE JULY 6: THERE HAS BEEN MOVEMENT ON THIS ISSUE, SEE COMMENTS SECTION FOR UPDATES…
DEBITO.ORG IN NO WAY SUPPORTS THE IMAGES BEING DISPLAYED ABOVE, BUT FEELS IT IS A USEFUL EXERCISE TO PUT THE SHOE ON THE OTHER FOOT. DO YOU THINK THE GOJ WOULD SIT IDLY BY IF THESE IMAGES WERE BEING PUT OUT BY POLICE FORCES IN OTHER COUNTRIES?