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  • Quick update from Debito in Tokyo: Blacklist, Sanya, JT

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on July 31st, 2007

    Hi Blog. Quick update on what’s going on.

    Had a great speech last night regarding the BLACKLIST OF JAPANESE UNIVERSITIESat Tokyo University. Attended by several universities (Todai, Hitotsubashidai, Tohokudai, Nagoya, Aizu, some of whom wanted to know why they had been Blacklisted), and some educational institutions. Even the Ministry of Education was to show (informally–that spooked me; I was told to put my Powerpoint presentation in English, but as soon as I heard the MOE would attend, I put it all into Japanese. Wanted it to be taken seriously, after all.) You can download the Powerpoints here:

    ENGLISH
    http://www.debito.org/todaiblacklist073007.ppt
    JAPANESE
    http://www.debito.org/todaiblacklistj073007.ppt

    Anyway, I’ve extended my Tokyo trip one more day. A friend who is doing research on homeless in Japan and the US has invited me to spend a day in Sanya, where the unfortunates in society lead hand-to-mouth existences. Should be an eye-opener.

    I’ll have my thoughts on the election (yes, Abe proved me wrong–the gall!! :) ) after I get home to Sapporo tomorrow. Have to get to work on another Japan Times article next week as well. Hope you enjoyed hearing my voice on the podcasts!

    Arudou Debito
    FCCJ, Yurakucho, Tokyo
    July 31, 2007

    One Response to “Quick update from Debito in Tokyo: Blacklist, Sanya, JT”

    1. Alexander Says:

      Hey Debito,

      long time reader here. Just wanted to ask: I know you’re busy now, but when you get a free second, could you type up a bit more on your speech? I’m especially interested in the reactions of the schools in attendance and the Ministry. You said a few were interested as to why they were on the blacklist. Surely they must have known that they’re treating gaijin different then natives, right…?

      OH YES, THEY KNEW. BUT JUST BECAUSE THEY KNEW DOESN’T OFTEN MEAN THAT THEY DON’T LIKE THE BAD PUBLICITY. THIS WASN’T SAID THAT NIGHT, BUT OTHER PROFS WRITING ME HAVE CLAIMED THAT THE DATA WAS OUT OF DATE OR SIMPLY UNFLATTERING. NOT THAT IT WAS INCORRECT (THEY CAN’T CLAIM THAT IN THE FACE OF PRIMARY-SOURCE MATERIALS, NATCH).

      ONE PROF FROM NAGOYA U DID SOME HOMEWORK AND ACTUALLY PRESENTED ME WITH A PRINTOUT ON THE SITE: HOW MANY NJ FACULTY HAVE TENURE (36), AND SAID I COULD USE HIS NAME. GOOD. GREENLIST. I’LL GET TO IT. UNFORTUNATELY, WHEN IT COMES TO A TENURE-TRACK CONTRACT SYSTEM, ONLY 1 OUT OF THE 16 APPLICANTS HAVE EVER GRADUATED UP TO TENURE FROM CONTRACTS SO FAR. I SAID IN ORDER TO AVOID POSSIBLE TOKENISM, TENURE SOME MORE AND GET BACK TO ME.

      GENERALLY, THE PROFS FROM BLACKLISTED UNIS WERE SADDENED TO SEE THIS GOING ON, BUT UNDERSTOOD WHY THE BLACKLISTING. TO THEM, IT MAY BE A MATTER OF LEVERAGE WHEN ASKING FOR IMPROVEMENTS: “HEY, WE’RE ON THE BLACKLIST. HERE’S HOW WE CAN GET OFF.” NICE TO SEE PEOPLE TAKING THE BLACKLIST SERIOUSLY.

      THE MOE REP DIDN’T SHOW THAT NIGHT. MAYBE NEXT TIME. THANKS FOR READING. DEBITO IN TOKYO

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