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Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

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  • Mainichi: Senior Immigration Bureau officer arrested on suspicion of corruption

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on December 8th, 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 Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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    Hi Blog.  Let’s look how deep the rot runs.  It’s not just human traffickers bringing in NJ on “Entertainer Visas” sponsored by the State.  It’s not just factories bringing in NJ on “Trainee and Researcher Visas” to exploit as sweatshop labor — again, sponsored by the State.  It’s even now according to the Mainichi article below the Immigration Bureau profiteering, using their power for rents-seeking (in the academic sense) to skim off money again from migrants.

    Although not an elixir for all these problems, an Immigration Ministry with clear immigration policies (and not mere policing powers, given how unaccountable the Japanese police are; even below an “internal investigation” has been promised; bah!) would in my view help matters.

    The big losers are of course the commodities in these exchanges — people, i.e. the NJ, who are here at the whim, pleasure, and profit of the powers that be.  Sickening.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    PS:  Note the stats of mizu shoubai workers, ahem, “Entertainers” included below.

    Senior immigration officer arrested on suspicion of corruption
    (Mainichi Japan) December 5, 2009,
    courtesy of JK, MS and others

    A senior immigration officer arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes is believed to have told his briber to set up an office in Kawasaki as a front.

    Arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes in return for favors in the screening of residence permits for female bar workers was Masashi Ogura, 54, a chief screening officer at the Narita Airport District Immigration Office. Also arrested on suspicion of bribery was Shingo Ito, 46, the president of a Shibuya company that accommodates overseas entertainers.

    Ogura is accused of accepting a total of about 6 million yen from Ito between July 2007 and November this year, while he served in positions at the Yokohama and Narita Airport district immigration offices. Both parties have reportedly admitted to the allegations against them.

    Police said that Ito’s company had mainly Filipino women come to Japan as dancers and singers and work at a pub that he operated in the Tokyo city of Fuchu. He also introduced them to other restaurants, investigators said. Ogura reportedly used immigration computer terminals to look up the criminal history and immigration logs of the foreign women that Ito was planning to bring to Japan, and leaked the information.

    “He (Ogura) silently accepted the fact that there were false details on application forms,” Ito was reported as telling investigators.

    On Friday police searched about 20 locations in connection with their investigation into the alleged bribery, including the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau.

    Investigators suspect that Ogura had Ito set up an office under the jurisdiction of the Yokohama District Immigration Office. They said Ito had earlier heard from a man involved in the same type of business that screening at the Yokohama immigration office was lenient, and approached Ogura, treating him to meals and a round of golf.

    Ito’s company did not have any business facilities under the jurisdiction of the Yokohama immigration office. To obtain residence permits at the office, the company applying must have a business facility under the office’s jurisdiction with at least five permanent employees. Ogura reportedly told Ito to get his “appearances in order” and set up an office in Kawasaki. The office had just one desk and no permanent manager.

    It’s believed that tightened immigration procedures played a part in the pair’s actions. In the past, there were many cases in which women entered Japan on entertainment visas but ended up working as bar hostesses, which promoted immigration authorities to tighten screening of the places where they were working in 2005. According to the Justice Ministry, some 135,000 people entered Japan in 2004 as entertainers, but in 2005 the figure dropped to about 100,000 and in 2008 the number sunk to about 35,000.

    Masahiro Tauchi, director-general of the Justice Ministry’s Immigration Bureau, expressed regret over Ogura’s arrest.

    “It is extremely disappointing that a worker has been arrested. We will thoroughly carry out an internal investigation and deal with the matter strictly,” he said.

    Original Japanese story follows:

    毎日新聞 2009年12月4日








    収賄容疑で東京入管職員を逮捕 在留資格認定で便宜、580万受領
    産經新聞 2009.12.4 11:52 Courtesy of MS

    3 Responses to “Mainichi: Senior Immigration Bureau officer arrested on suspicion of corruption”

    1. Maguro in Meguro Says:

      What would Japan be without the Chinese, Korean, and south-east Asian mizu shoubai workers and prostitutes? Isn’t it a very integral part of Japanese culture? So essentially most men want them here, but can’t say so explicitly in public. There really should be a mizu shoubai visa and residence status, along with proper labor unions and protection of workers’ rights etc. Now I’m dreaming.

    2. Level3 Says:

      When confronted with anything beyond basic rubber stamping of common forms, I always thought that Japanese Immigration officials behaved as if they are waiting for a bribe; but anyone actually sliding a 10,000 yen bill not an application folder to make an unusual request go through quickly would land one in jail on bribery charges – this being a civilized country and all.

      It seems I assumed wrong.

      {This coming from me, who had to visit Immigration SEVEN times to get a change of visa status. Asked to fill out various forms, come up with multiple copies of proof of this-and-that, write an essay about why I wanted my new visa status (not PR by the way), then told none of it was needed, but some other form was right, etc. etc. Long story.]

    3. HJH Says:

      mizu shoubai. I love that expression. like the tuna man said above me, we need a mizu shoubai taizaisho.

      anyways. This is a worldwide problem. In my home country, the Netherlands, prostitution was legalized a couple of years ago to improve the situation for the girls, but there’s still human trafficking, mostly girls from eastern Europe. These women are treated like a commodity, like cattle. It’s horrible. This guy at immigration is gonna loose his job, maybe go to jail or something, and the yakuza will find a decent replacement in weeks.

      I don’t think, whatever government policy, this is gonna get better for the victims. the girls. I used to live close to the red light district in Amsterdam, and I saw girls that were hot beyond belief, but with dead eyes. maguro eyes, and it always made me sad.

      — I don’t think it’s at all predetermined that this guy is gonna lose his job. We had three people at Customs and Immigration planting drugs in tourists’ bags about 160 times at Narita (to test the sniffer dogs) between 2007 and 2008 and they apparently didn’t lose their jobs.

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