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  • DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MARCH 11, 2010

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on March 12th, 2010

    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 All. Before I start the Newsletter, some urgent things to impart:

    a) NGO FRANCA (http://www.francajapan.org) and I will present for 20 minutes on “Japanese Only” issues to UN Special Rep Jorge Bustamante in Tokyo March 23. If there is anything you would like me to say, or if there is anything you would like me to present him, please send me at debito@debito.org. Please keep submissions concise, under 2 sides of A4 paper (meaning one sheet front and back) when printed.

    b) NGO FRANCA (as in Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Assoc.) will have two meetings (Sendai Sun Mar 21, Tokyo Sat Mar 27, more details below). Attend and join us if you like.

    c) I will otherwise be on tour (Sendai-Tokyo-Shiga) March 19 to April 3, as I wrote in my last brief missive to you. Revised schedule below.

    Now on to the

    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MARCH 11, 2010

    Table of Contents:
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    UNITED NATIONS REVIEWS JAPAN

    1) Kyodo: GOJ criticized by UN CERD (once again) for inaction towards racial discrim;
    GOJ stresses “discrim not rampant”
    2) UN: Transcript of the Japanese Government CERD Review (76th Session), Feb 24 & 25, Geneva.
    Point: Same GOJ session tactics as before.
    3) UNHCR CERD Recommendation 30 (2004): UN says non-citizens equally protected under treaty and domestic law as citizens
    4) UN Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights of Migrants Jorge Bustamante visiting Japan 3/21 – 4/1

    SOME ODD DEVELOPMENTS

    5) DPJ backs down from suffrage bill for NJ Permanent Residents, as “postponement”. Hah.
    6) Emily Homma on Filipina nurses in Japan being abused by GOJ EPA visa program
    7) MOJ removes “health insurance” as guideline for visa renewals

    SOME ODDER TANGENTS

    8 ) Newsweek column: “Toyota and the End of Japan”
    9) 2-Channel BBS downed by Korean cyberhackers
    10) China Daily publishes snotty anti-laowai article

    DEBITO’S MARCH TOUR:

    11) Tokyo-Sendai-Shiga Schedule March 19 to April 3

    … and finally …

    12) Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE column March 2, 2010 on Racist Sumo Kyoukai (full text)

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////
    By Arudou Debito (debito@debito.org) in Sapporo, Japan
    Daily Blog updates, RSS, Newsletter subs, and podcasts at http://www.debito.org
    Freely Forwardable

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

    UNITED NATIONS REVIEWS JAPAN

    1) Kyodo: GOJ criticized by UN CERD (once again) for inaction towards racial discrim; GOJ stresses “discrim not rampant”

    Here we have some preliminary reports coming out of Geneva regarding the UN CERD Committee’s review of Japan’s human rights record vis-a-vis racial discrimination. We have the GOJ claiming no “rampant discrimination”, and stressing that we still need no law against RD for the same old reasons. This despite the rampant discrimination that NGOs are pointing out in independent reports. Read on.

    Excerpts: (Kyodo) Japan does not need laws to combat racial discrimination, a Japanese official said Thursday as Japan’s racism record was examined by the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

    “Punitive legislation on racial discrimination may hamper legitimate discourse,” Mitsuko Shino of the Japanese Foreign Ministry told a session in Geneva. “And I don’t think the situation in Japan is one of rampant discrimination, so we will not be examining this now.”…

    [UN official] Thornberry particularly criticized Japan’s lack of laws to combat hate speech, saying “in international law, freedom of expression is not unlimited.”

    The convention commits states to fight racial discrimination by taking such steps as restricting racist speech and criminalizing membership in racist organizations. Japan has expressed reservations about some of the provisions, which it says go against its commitment to freedom of expression and assembly.

    Prior to the review, Japanese nongovernmental organizations presented various examples they say highlight the need for legislative action to fight racism in their country.

    “There seems to have been little progress since 2001,” when the last review was held, committee member Regis de Gouttes said. “There is no new legislation, even though in 2001 the committee said prohibiting hate speech is compatible with freedom of expression.”

    UPDATES: Correspondence with the UN reveals that the CERD Committee is doing a lot more than Kyodo reports.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6037

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

    2) UN: Transcript of the Japanese Government CERD Review (76th Session), Feb 24 & 25, Geneva.
    Point: Same GOJ session tactics as before.

    What follows is the full text of the GOJ’s meeting Feb 24-25, 2010, with the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, something it faces for review every two years.

    Although it was noteworthy for having 14 Japanese delegates from five different ministries (something the UN delegates remarked upon repeatedly), quite frankly, the 2010 session wasn’t much different from the previous two reviews. In that: The CERD Committee tells the GOJ to do something, and the GOJ gives reasons why things can’t change (or offers cosmetic changes as evidence that things are changing; it even cites numerous times the new Hatoyama Government as evidence of change, and as a reason why we can’t say anything conclusive yet about where human rights improvements will happen). The 2008 review was particularly laughable, as it said that Japan was making “every conceivable measure to fight against racial discrimination”. I guess an actual law against racial discrimination isn’t a conceivable measure. As the GOJ delegates say below, it still isn’t. But it is according to the CERD Committee below.

    In sum, the biannual to-and-fro has become Grand Kabuki. And while things got bogged down in the standard “minority” questions (Ainu, Ryukyuans, Burakumin, and Zainichis — all worthy causes in themselves, of course), very little time was spent on “Newcomer” minorities (sometimes rendered as “foreign migrants”), as in, the NJ (or former-NJ) immigrants who are now here long-term. People like me, as in racially-diverse Japanese, aren’t seen as a minority yet, even though we very definitely are by any UN definition. Plus, hardly any time was devoted at all to discussing the “Japanese Only” signs extant throughout Japan for many UN sessions now, the most simple and glaring violation of the CERD yet.

    I haven’t the time to critique the whole session text below, but you can look at the 2008 session here (which I did critique, at http://www.debito.org/?p=1927) and get much the same idea. I have put certain items of interest to Debito.org in boldface, and here are some pencil-dropping excerpted quotes:

    =======================
    UN: I listened attentively to the [Japanese] head of delegation’s speech, and I can’t remember whether he actually used the concept of racism or racial discrimination as such in his speech. [NB: He does not.] It seems that this is something that the state in question prefers to avoid as a term.

    =======================
    UN: [T]he law punishes attacks on the honor, intimidation, instigation, provocation and violence committed against anyone. While that is what we want too. That is what we are seeking, to punish perpetrators of such crimes and offenses under article 4. What is missing is the racial motivation. Otherwise, the crime is punished in the law. So would the government not be interested in knowing what is the motivation behind such a crime? Should the racial motivation not be taken account of by the Japanese judges? […] I’m really wondering about whether you really want to exclude racial motivation of crimes from all of the Japanese criminal justice system.

    =======================
    UN: [S]hould I take that Japan is uncomfortable in the international sphere, and it would like to have as little interaction as possible with the rest of the world? […] [D]o you just want to trade but not to interact with other people? That is my worry taken the way you have been dealing with international instruments.

    =======================
    UN: I’ve been struck by the fact that, and this is what Mr. Thornberry called “technical points,” but it seems that these technical points are still unchanged. There has been no real change between 2001 and today.

    =======================
    GOJ: With regard to the question of the establishment of a national human rights institution, […] there is no definite schedule in place.

    =======================
    GOJ: [T]o make a study for the possible punitive legislations for the dissemination of ideas of racial discrimination may unduly discourage legitimate discourse, […] we need to strike a balance between the effect of the punitive measures and the negative impact on freedom of expression. I don’t think that the situation in Japan right now has rampant dissemination of discriminatory ideas or incitement of discrimination. I don’t think that that warrants the study of such punitive measures right now. […] And if the present circumstances in Japan cannot effectively suppress the act of discrimination under the existing legal system, I don’t think that the current situation is as such therefore I do not see any necessity for legislating a law in particular for racial discrimination. [NB: The last sentence is practically verbatim from the 2008 session.]

    =======================
    GOJ: For those persons who would like to acquire Japanese nationality, there is no fact that they are being urged to change their names. For those people who have acquired the Japanese nationality on their own will they are able to change their name. But, as for the characters that can be used for the name, for the native Japanese as well as the naturalized Japanese, in order not to raise any inconveniences for their social life, it may be necessary for them to choose the easy to read and write characters used in common and Japanese society.

    =======================
    UN: I think it would be difficult to say that the views of CERD and of the Japanese government have converged in any substantial degree since the time when we last considered the Japanese periodic report that initial report. […] I would on behalf of CERD respectively urge that our suggestions and recommendations for changes in Japanese law and practice to bring it more into line with the international norms in this matter.

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

    Full transcript of the session follows. Notable bits in boldface.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6145

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    3) UNHCR CERD Recommendation 30 (2004): UN says non-citizens equally protected under treaty and domestic law as citizens

    Here’s a valuable document I unearthed when doing research yesterday. One of the major arguments put forth by nativists seeking to justify discrimination against minorities (or rather, against foreigners in any society) is the argument that foreigners, since they are not citizens, ipso facto don’t have the same rights as citizens, including domestic protections against discrimination. The GOJ has specifically argued this to the United Nations in the past, repeatedly (see for example GOJ 1999, page down to Introduction, section 3). However, the UN, in a clarification of the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, has made it clear that non-citizens are supposed to be afforded the same protections under the CERD as citizens. To quote the most clear and concise bit:

    ===========================
    II. Measures of a general nature

    7. Ensure that legislative guarantees against racial discrimination apply to non-citizens regardless of their immigration status, and that the implementation of legislation does not have a discriminatory effect on non-citizens;
    ===========================

    This was issued way back in 2004. I’m reading a transcript of the discussions between the GOJ and the CERD Committee review during their review Feb 24-25 2010 (in which it was referred, and even mentioned granting foreigners suffrage not beyond the pale of rights to be granted). I’ll have the full text of that up on Debito.org tomorrow with some highlighting. Meanwhile, enjoy this gem. Something else for the GOJ to ignore.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6133

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    4) UN Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights of Migrants Jorge Bustamante visiting Japan 3/21 – 4/1

    Who Mr Bustamante is:
    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=33806&Cr=migrant&Cr1=

    I only have a tentative schedule for Mr Bustamante’s trip, but I do know he’ll be meeting GOJ ministries and human rights groups just about every day of his stay, and visiting Tokyo, Nagoya, and Hamamatsu. If you as part of the media would like more information about the schedule, please contact organizer Mr Okamoto Masataka at okamotomasataka AT nifty DOT com. He is bilingual, so queries in English also OK.

    But I just heard yesterday from NGOs concerned with human rights in Japan that I will be part of a group meeting Mr Bustamante on March 23 in Tokyo, as chair of NGO FRANCA (http://www.francajapan.org).

    I will have twenty minutes to make a presentation regarding exclusions of NJ in Japan in violation of UN CERD treaty.

    Is there anything you’d like me to say? I already have some ideas here (see Chapter 2, http://www.debito.org/?p=6000). But I’m open to suggestions and feedback. If there is anything you would like me to present him, please send me at debito@debito.org. Please keep submissions concise, under 2 sides of A4 paper (meaning one sheet front and back) when formatted and printed.

    To give you some idea of format, I’ve given presentations to UN Rapporteurs before, particularly Dr Doudou Diene back in 2005 and 2006. The archive on that here.
    http://www.debito.org/rapporteur.html

    I will of course make the case that the GOJ is being intransigent and unreflective of reality when asserts, again and again, that Japan does not need a law against racial discrimination. And in violation of its international treaty promises.
    http://www.debito.org/?p=6145

    Thanks very much for your assistance.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6156

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

    SOME ODD DEVELOPMENTS

    5) DPJ backs down from suffrage bill for NJ Permanent Residents, as “postponement”. Hah.

    Mainichi: The government has abandoned proposing a bill to grant local voting rights to permanent foreign residents in Japan during the current Diet session, in the face of intense opposition from coalition partner People’s New Party (PNP).

    “It’s extremely difficult for the government to sponsor such a bill due to differences over the issue between the ruling coalition partners,” said Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Kazuhiro Haraguchi…

    PNP leader and Minister of State for Financial Services Shizuka Kamei stressed his strong opposition against the measure, saying his party would not allow the enactment of the suffrage bill.

    Moreover, the DPJ itself seems to be split over the issue. Although the foreign suffrage bill is an “important bill” that DPJ Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa has been promoting, a forceful submission of the bill could cause a rift within the party, and the discussion over the matter has stalled.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6077

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

    6) Emily Homma on Filipina nurses in Japan being abused by GOJ EPA visa program

    Emily Homma reports: “EPA Foreign Nurses and Caregivers Working in Japan Urgently Need Help

    The Economic Partnership Agreement of Japan (EPA) with other countries, especially with the Philippines (JPEPA), has placed many Filipino nurses and caregivers working in Japan in a miserable situation where they are subjected to unfair labor practices, extreme pressure to study kanji, and poor salaries.

    When they arrived in Japan in May 2009, the Filipino nurses and caregivers were glad to be finally given the opportunity to serve Japanese society as hospital workers. However, after only six months of Nihongo study and three months of hospital work in hospital, the Filipino nurses along with their Indonesian counterparts have been suffering from various hardships not only from unfair work policies, low salaries, and local workers’ rejection but also from strong pressure to master medical-nursing kanji and the Japan nursing system. It is a system that, unfortunately for the foreign workers, only those with high level-Grade 12 Japanese training or nursing graduates could understand.

    Specifically, the Filipino nurses find themselves in the following extremely frustrating situations that leave them no choice but contemplate leaving Japan soon:

    More at http://www.debito.org/?p=6056

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

    7) MOJ removes “health insurance” as guideline for visa renewals

    Time for some good news, for a change. After some negotiations, the MOJ has dropped the requirement that people be enrolled in Japanese health insurance programs. So sez Freechoice.jp below.

    Now, while I acknowledge that this source has a conflict of interest (being funded by the very overseas agencies that want to sell health insurance, meaning their motives are not altruistic; its claim that they are the only news source on this is a bit suss too, given the Japan Times reported this development last February), this requirement for visas would have forced many people, who hadn’t paid in due to negligent employers, to back pay a lot of money just for a visa renewal. That it is no longer a requirement is good news, and now that we have formal acknowledgment of such in writing from the GOJ is the final nail.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6100

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

    SOME ODDER TANGENTS

    8 ) Newsweek column: “Toyota and the End of Japan”

    Newsweek’s Devin Stewart: Japan was morbidly fascinated by the spectacle of Toyota president Akio Toyoda apologizing to the U.S. Congress for the deadly defects that led to the recall of 10 million of its cars worldwide. The appearance of the “de facto captain of this nation’s manufacturing industry,” as Japan’s largest newspaper referred to Toyoda, seemed to symbolize a new bottom for a nation in decline. Once feared and admired in the West, Japan has stumbled for decades through a series of lackluster leaders and dashed hopes of revival. This year, Japan will be overtaken by China as the world’s second-largest economy. Through it all, though, Japan could cling to one vestige of its former prestige: Toyota — the global gold standard for manufacturing quality.

    And now this. Toyota is getting lampooned all over the world in cartoons about runaway cars. Japan’s reputation for manufacturing excellence, nurtured for half a century, is now in question. Shielded by the U.S. defense umbrella after World War II, Japan focused its energy and money on building up only one aspect of national power: quality manufacturing. A foreign policy commensurate with Japan’s economic strength was subordinated to industrial policies aimed at creating the world’s best export factories. No matter how quickly Chinese and South Korean rivals grew, Japan could argue that its key competitive advantage was the quality of its brands. “Toyota was a symbol of recovery during our long recession,” says Ryo Sahashi, a public-policy expert at the University of Tokyo. Now Toyota’s trouble “has damaged confidence in Japanese business models and the economy at a time when China is surpassing us.”…

    COMMENT FROM DEBITO: I think the article is focussing overmuch on the symbolism of one company and one economic sector representing economic superpowerdom (imagine if people were to talk about the faltering of GM and make the case that America was coming to an end as we know it). Granted, I think Japan is in relative regional decline (as I think America is in relative world decline; but that was inevitable as other countries get rich and develop). Sorry to sound like a “State of the Union” speech, but I think Japan’s fundamentals are at the moment still relatively strong.

    Moreover, seeing the world from the view of capitalism’s obsessive need for perpetual growth is bound to cause a degree of disappointment, as economies mature (or in Japan’s case, age) and offer diminishing marginal returns, while growing economies appear ascendant. Whether that becomes “triumphalism” (if not a bit of schadenfreude, for those with long memories of having to eat crow during Japan’s seemingly-invulnerable Bubble Years) depends on your columnist.

    I do agree that Japan is retreating into a shell, however, but I’m not sure which is worse — the racially-based arrogance we saw in Japan during the bubble years, or the racially-based defensiveness we see now.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6127

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

    9) 2-Channel BBS downed by Korean cyberhackers

    As a Weekend Tangent, we have the lair of bullies and libelers, Internet BBS “2-Channel”, getting something back for their nastiness — a hack attack taking them down. Sometimes when legal channels are ineffective to stop illegal activity (such as libel), there is no choice but to use extralegal means, as the Koreans did below. Compare it with the Right-Wing J sound trucks that went after Brazilians at Homi Danchi, and got firebombed for their trouble. Couldn’t have happened to nicer people, even though the big, big fish, Nishimura, has long since jumped ship. Here’s hoping the Internet nits are stupid enough to attack some real domestic powers and finally have some laws against their activities created. More of my opinions about 2-Channel here. Debito.org’s complete archive here.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6091

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    10) China Daily publishes snotty anti-laowai article

    Debito.org Reader R writes: I found this article in China Daily online the other day and thought:

    - there is discrimination in Japan, but hopefully it won’t get as obvious as the tone of this article. Can you imagine this kind of article about “Gaijin” in Japan (FYI, Laowai means Gaijin in China) published in a serious english newspaper, like Japan Times for example ?

    - this article reminded me of your work. unfortunately we have nobody like you in China to prevent that kind of article from being published Because the truth is I was very shocked by the tone if this article and how it pictures white people living in China.

    Well, I know it doesn’t talk about Japan at all, but I thought you could be interested by what happens in our neighbour country…

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6060

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    DEBITO’S MARCH TOUR:

    11) Tokyo-Sendai-Shiga Schedule March 19 to April 3 (revised)

    MARCH-APRIL 2010 SCHEDULE

    FRI MAR 19 MORIOKA
    SAT MAR 20 MORIOKA
    SUN MAR 21 SENDAI FRANCA MEETING 1PM

    http://www.francajapan.org/index.php/Main_Page#Upcoming_Meetings

    MON MAR 22 TOKYO
    TUES MAR 23 TOKYO MEETING WITH UN SPECIAL REP BUSTAMANTE
    WED MAR 24 INTERNING INTERNING JPN IMMIGRATION POLICY INSTITUTE, MEETING 7PM

    http://www.jipi.gr.jp

    THURS MAR 25 SHIGA UNIVERSITY SPEECH 1PM-4PM
    FRI MAR 26 INTERNING JIPI
    SAT MAR 27 TOKYO FRANCA MEETING 6PM-9PM

    http://www.francajapan.org/index.php/Main_Page#Upcoming_Meetings

    SUN MAR 28 INTERVIEW, TRANS-PACIFIC RADIO
    MON MAR 29 INTERNING JIPI, JIPI SPEECH 7PM-9:30 PM TOKYO MITA
    TUES MAR 30 INTERNING JIPI
    WEDS MAR 31 INTERNING JIPI
    THURS APR 1 INTERNING JIPI
    FRI APR 2 INTERNING JIPI last day
    SAT APR 3 return to Sapporo

    If you are in the area and have time, do stop by or get in touch (debito@debito.org) for some beers etc. Still open for speeches (I’m doing all this at my own expense) if something can be thrown together at short notice.

    More meeting details at
    http://www.debito.org/?p=6106

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

    … and finally …

    12) Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE column March 2, 2010 on Racist Sumo Kyoukai (full text)

    JUST BE CAUSE COLUMN 25

    Sumo body deserves mawashi wedgie for racist wrestler ruling
    The Japan Times: Tuesday, March 2, 2010, corrected version with links to sources

    By DEBITO ARUDOU

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20100302ad.html

    I’ve noticed how highly Japan regards sports. We love investing taxes in games and facilities, hosting international events and Olympics. Sports are even part of a government ministry, the one in charge of Japan’s science, education and culture.

    There is a problem, however, with the concept of sportsmanship here. Sports in Japan only seem to be kosher if Japanese win.

    For example, national sports festivals (kokutai) have refused noncitizen high school students, erroneously claiming these events are qualifiers for Japan’s Olympic athletes (Zeit Gist, Sept. 30, 2003).

    http://www.debito.org/japantimes093003.html

    High school ekiden runs similarly bar foreign students from starting relays, claiming that non-Japanese (NJ) have an unfair advantage. NJ creating too much of a lead at the beginning allegedly makes things “dull” for Japanese fans. (Recall that old myth about Japanese legs being too short to run fast? Tell that to marathon gold medalist and world record-holder Naoko “Q-chan” Takahashi.)

    http://www.debito.org/?p=417

    Even sumo, the national sport (kokugi), has faced charges of racism, most famously from former grappler Konishiki, whom The New York Times in 1992 reported as saying his promotion to the top rank of yokozuna was denied because he isn’t Japanese.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1992/04/22/world/sumo-star-charges-racism-in-japan.html?pagewanted=1

    But sumo has enjoyed plausible deniability, having had four foreign-born yokozuna (Akebono, Musashimaru, Asashoryu and Hakuho). After Asashoryu’s retirement, there remain 42 foreign-born rikishi in the top ranks. Ergo sumo is internationalizing, right?

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100216i1.html

    Not any more. The Japan Sumo Association announced on Feb. 23 that it would [worsen the already strict limit on] sumo stables to one foreign wrestler each […]. Since there are only 52 stables, and only about 800 sumo wrestlers in total registered with the JSA, this funnels things down considerably.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6026

    The JSA will now define “foreign” as “foreign-born” (gaikoku shusshin), meaning even naturalized Japanese citizens will be counted as “foreign.” This, according to the Yomiuri, closes a “loophole” (nukemichi).

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6026#comment-191216

    http://japantoday.com/category/sports/view/sa-to-change-rule-on-foreign-sumo-wrestlers

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/sumo/news/20100223-OYT1T01095.htm

    Sorry folks, but this rule is unlawful under Japan’s Nationality Law, not to mention the Constitution. Neither allows distinctions between foreign-born and Japanese-born citizens. Under the law, a Japanese is a Japanese — otherwise, what is the point of naturalizing?

    http://www.moj.go.jp/ENGLISH/information/tnl-01.html

    So The New York Times was right after all: The JSA is racist. If you are born into a status that you can never escape, “Japaneseness” becomes not a matter legal status, but of birth. Of caste. Of race. Once a foreigner, always a foreigner.

    Put another way, if I were to apply to become a sumo wrestler (I certainly am in their weight class), I would have to become a foreigner again, despite being a naturalized Japanese citizen for almost 10 years. Somebody deserves a huge mawashi wedgie.

    JSA’s justification? One stable master expressed fears that sumo was being “overrun with foreign wrestlers.” Perhaps they’re afraid of being overrun by talented wrestlers who just happen to be foreign? That’s not supposed to be a concern when a sport has a level playing field.

    OK then, how about unleveling the playing field overseas for sports that Japanese are good at? Limit, say, American Major League Baseball teams to one Japanese player — even if they take American citizenship? If you really want to get pernickety, you can say that Americans of Japanese extraction are also “Japanese,” kinda like two governments famously did for Japanese- Americans and Japanese-Canadians during World War II when deciding whom to send to internment camps. No doubt that would occasion outcries of racism by the Japanese media, the watchdogs for how Japanese are treated overseas (yet significantly less so regarding how NJ are treated in Japan).

    But that wouldn’t be good for the sport. Talent in athletes spans borders. For example, baseball-reference.com notes (under the category of “frivolities”) that more than a quarter of all active baseball players in the U.S. (28.4 percent) were foreign-born in 2009.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/placeofbirth.cgi?TYPE=active&from=2009&to=0&DIV=countries&submit=Run+Query

    That’s a good thing. If you want to have a healthy sport, you get the best of the best competing in it. Everyone given a sporting chance, regardless of nationality or birth.

    But hey, that’s not the concern of now-bona-fide certified racist institutions like the JSA. All they want is for Japanese to win.

    Some might say the nativists have the right to decide who gets into their “club.” But that’s not how sportsmanship works. And it’s one reason why sumo will lose out to real international sports — like judo, for example, now an Olympic event. Sumo was denied that honor. Now we can see why: It’s run by bigots.

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ss20070612mb.html

    O Takanohana, superstar yokozuna recently elected to the JSA board with promises to reform this troubled organization, where art thou when we needed you most? How could you let this xenophobia come to pass? Or have you shown your true colors at last?

    Somebody take the JSA to court. These racist ignoramuses killing this world-famous sport need to be taught a lesson — that Japanese citizenship is not an inconvenient “loophole.” It is the law, and they too are beholden to it.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6085
    ENDS

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

    All for now. Thanks for reading!
    Arudou Debito (debito@debito.org) in Sapporo, Japan
    Daily Blog updates, RSS, Newsletter subs, and podcasts at http://www.debito.org
    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MARCH 11, 2010 ENDS

    2 Responses to “DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MARCH 11, 2010”

    1. Luke Says:

      Take the JSA to court Debito San!

    2. Tony In Saitama Says:

      More xenophobic scaremongering…

      does anybody out there have fifty children hidden away?

      http://www.j-cast.com/2010/03/11062112.html

    Leave a Reply