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Hi Blog. Following up on some previous Debito.org posts (here, here, and here) on how the debate on NJ PR suffrage has devolved into hate speech, here is how bad it’s getting. We have anonymous flyers appearing in people’s snailmailboxes accusing NJ of being criminals (and linking it to not granting suffrage), fomenting anti-Chinese sentiment with threats of invasion and takeover, and even a book capitalizing on the fear by saying that granting NJ the vote will make Japan disappear. Read on:
First up is a notice I received world about on February 28, 2010, from a Nagoya resident. (click on image to expand in your browser)
As you can see from the headline, we have the “Beware of Foreign Crime” slogans, with the claim that foreign crime is rising (an outright lie — it’s been falling for years: sources here, here, and here)). It asks people to lock their doors properly and be careful of walking alone. Then it digresses to say that the DPJ is planning to bring in immigrants and grant them suffrage, and that more crimes are anticipated, so protect your family and property by linking your opposition to the NJ PR suffrage bill to crime prevention. It then asks people to do their own research, using search terms “NJ suffrage” and “danger”, plus “mass media” and “biased reporting”.
And who put this out? At the very bottom it just says that these are “internet users” who have woken up to the dangers out there, and are putting this flyer out at their own expense. They are not in any way affiliated with a group or religion. They’re just anonymous internet bullies. (Okay, the last sentence they didn’t the courage of conviction to say: never mind taking responsibility for their actions — such is the modus operandi of the anonymous bully.)
Next up: A flyer that appeared in a person’s snailmailbox in Narita, February 23, 2010: (click on image to expand in your browser)
Very well rendered in classic easily-understood manga illustration, it zeroes in on the dangers of NJ PR suffrage in terms of Chinese hordes. Once they get elected, tiny little carbon-copy slanty-eyed Maos all vote in a bloc in small towns and get elected. Just like, they claim, some Chinese did in Richmond, BC, Canada, and the candidate allegedly couldn’t even speak English! Then Chinese will take over public utilities and blackmail old, hardworking Japanese into paying user fees, and then we’ll have an invasion of Chinese voters, ballots in hand. Before you know it, we’ll be surrounded, thanks to immigrants’ higher birthrates, and we’ll see the same fear of foreigners here as we see in Europe, where the Dutch are being crowded out of their own country. Etc etc. In other words, it’s turning the positive arguments for immigration on their head, and making the issue into a zero-sum power game with Japan being lost in the process.
And finally for today, an actual published mook, found on newsstands in Tokyo and no doubt much elsewhere on March 7, 2010.
The title is “Emergency Publication” (aren’t they all?), “NJ PR suffrage will be the end of Japan”. Same thing in the subtitles: “China can now legally invade us!” “The Policy for 10 Million Immigrants will make Japan into a foreign country.” With flakey Zainichi Taiwanese commentator Kin Birei (who is all over the ideological map whenever she appears on Koko Made Itte Iinkai) saying “Naturalize if you want to vote”, etc.
What follows are the Table of Contents and a sample page, courtesy of MS. He comments that “The contents aren’t as bad as the cover.” Then like Miwa Locks “Foreigner-Proof Security” and “Gaijin Hanzai Mook“, once again we have businesses riding the anti-foreign scare wave to make a quick buck.
This is why we need laws against hate speech in Japan — to prevent the knock-on effects of fear by anonymous bullies being further fanned by the profit motive and marketing sharks. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
20 comments on “More anti-NJ scare posters & publications, linking PR suffrage to foreign crime and Chinese invasion”
It was only a matter of time before Tamagocchi went and authored more of the same tripe – he needs the money, no doubt.
Great article from the Washington Post yesterday indicating why these kind of negative attitudes towards immigration and NJ is crippling Japan. Interesting the views of some Japanese reported here too
“The Democratic Party of Japan, which won last summer’s elections, has plenty to say about population decline, but the word “immigration” appears nowhere in its manifesto. And the government has taken an enforcement-only approach toward immigrants and foreign workers, rounding up undocumented workers for deportation but making no attempt to develop a coherent vision of whom to admit and how to accommodate them. “The biggest crisis,” an official at the Japan Business Federation told me, “is that the government has no sense of crisis.””
” In Yokohama, Japan’s second-biggest city, I spoke to the director of a nursing home who recruited a pair of Indonesian nurses two years ago. The Indonesians — bright, able, outgoing and full of laughter — were among the most popular members of the facility’s caregiving staff and had set an example for what the director called their “standoffish” Japanese colleagues. The director shook her head in sorrow at the likelihood that the Indonesians would be unable to remain in the country unless they passed a tough licensing exam, given only in Japanese. “They have injected new life into this place,” she said.”
It’s racist crap, but I will never agree to “hate speech” being criminalized and such. The only requirement I’d like is that if you’re going to print racist crap, you should at least put your name (or the name of the funding body… ahem -right-wing LDP xenophobes who will do anything to discredit the DPJ and get back into power- ahem) on it. And that name should NOT be a fake nom de plume like “James Washington” the “publisher” of the Gaijin Hanzai mook.
A higher standard, speech inciting violence, or actual harassment or assault, should be (is?) used to start arresting these folks. It shouldn’t matter who you incite violence against, Japanese OR foreign, young or old, male or female, both should be equal crimes.
Racism can’t be solved by enacting laws that are racist by definition (judging things on the basis of race).
Of course, that doesn’t solve the media-police-government-societal bias problem. But once you start regulating speech like this, then what’s to stop right-wing Japanese from claiming debito.org is an “anti-Japanese hate speech” site, pursuing countless harassment lawsuits.
The silver lining of free speech is that racist assholes will make themselves known through their speech, rather than closetting themselves. I prefer to let people make fools of themselves.
Oh, and the proper response to these bullshit fliers should be our OWN fliers without cherry-picked “data”, or even parody fliers on the rising Japanese Hanzai Problem! 😉
It’s much more gratifying to WIN a debate than futile efforts to get the other side to shut up.
— Assuming, of course, that everyone has equal access to the debate arena. As I have been making a case for the past decade (and have just written up into a new paper), it’s not equal.
Yes, I like the idea of circulating fliers to contradict this propaganda. How about it, Debito. People who want to do their bit could print out a template and run it off to distribute. Of course, it would probably be better if you could print these up in bulk, then sell them at a rate that would be far less than running them off at the convenience store….
— People are welcome to create one. I’ll help distribute it here on Debito.org, of course.
Sometimes things are so obvious you don even see them—what a great idea to produce flyers with actual statistics and the truth about these issues. Why let the nutcases have the last word. (although book publishing might be difficult–)
However, a nice manga style flyer with the truth and web links might go a long way. I would gladly drop a few in my area.
What’s this thing about Richmond, BC? I can’t even find something close to their claim that a Chinese-born candidate was elected and couldn’t even speak English.
These are 2008 results. The winner was born in Hong Kong (oh no!), but apparently she teaches English as a Second Language, among other things, and is married to a man with the last name “Enoch”, which we all know is very clearly a Chinese name *wink*.
Of course, if a Japanese-born or second generation Japanese person gained some sort of political office in a foreign country, I suppose that would be a good thing, right? This sort of hate speech is exactly what was said about the Japanese when they emmigrated to Hawaii and the continental U.S. What nonsense.
— So it’s not only a lie, it’s a big fat fucking stripey lie!
Wow, there is so much hatred at work here in these flyers it is actually quite sad.
What underlies all of this is a greater problem: put simply, Japan’s persistent negative attitudes towards foreigners.
The type of thinking found in these flyers has existed before the current anti-suffrage maelstrom and will, no doubt, continue long after the suffrage bill dies its inevitable death. The Japanese media can’t be counted on for any kind of fair representation of NJ citizens, not unless the programming is, what it considers, ‘balanced out’ with a panel of right-wing bigots who usually deal in fear-mongering rather than actual fact. So, I think some form of balancing out of our own would be appropriate, keeping in mind the inevitable backlash.
How about a manga-style counter-flyer that says “Watch out for Japanese criminals! Japanese commit more crime in Japan than any other ethnic group or nationality.” Etc… 🙂
“What’s this thing about Richmond, BC?… – So it’s not only a lie, it’s a big fat fucking stripey lie!”
Almost certainly. White racists have been creating headlines for quite some time in BC and Toronto, which is only to say that racism is everywhere. The difference is when politicians say racist things in Canada, it’s a scandal and generally a political price is paid.
Or so I thought, until I went looking for links. Case in point: Rob Ford, Toronto Council Person.
“the Oriental people, they’re slowly taking over” -That should cost him his seat…
“apologies… Now, I’m definitely considering [running for mayor]!” -Oh.
He’s been at it since 2002. Reelected in the mean time too.
Apparently, the LDP also thinks this stuff builds political support in Japan with their base.
No excuses for any of these people. None.
I believe the Chinese-Canadian that the cartoon refers to is Raymond Chan. He lost his seat in Parliament to Alice Wong in 2008. Mrs. Wong’s husband, by the way, is Enoch Wong.
Here’s a clip of Mr. Chan. It’s misleading to say he can’t speak English but he clearly has an accent that makes it difficult to understand him at times.
“How about a manga-style counter-flyer”
Yes.Lets stop just talking (moaning) abut this and actually do something.Debito could do the manga and write the Japanese.
I for one would definitely hand it out. There are regularly loonies making speeches outside my local station, and while I m not sure what they are on about, one recently was definitely talking about foreign voting rights. Imagine then if some foreigner just starts handing out fliers “O Negai shimasu” to the watching people.
Dont be afraid of doing this; by the time the speaker knows whats happening, you ll have finished handing them out and moved on.
Free tissues with the handout?
Or even, a flier that advertises some of Debito’s publications on the bottom too.
Chinese, Brazilians, and Koreans oh my! Nice to see more propaganda from the Japanese right “leftests”. It is amusing considering that on average most foreigners need a flawless jail record and a B.A./B.S. degree with sponsorship from a company to to even think about truely immigrating to Japan. It would be funny to see these authors and propaganda-razzis undergo a DNA test to determine down to the chromosome that they are without a doubt Japanese.
[completely misunderstood point deleted]
Here, There, everywhere is the same. EU is scared that Muslims take over. Well, let`s look at France and Belgium who allowed many Africans to settle, now they are crying that crimes come from those people. Go to Paris and try to find blonde person or white. Recent local elections in Netherlands where populist PVV party got majority votes. Why? because he says, he hates Muslims, and first of all Moroccans. His party website shows pictures of young Moroccans stating that they are all criminals and we have to kick them out of country. There are districts with social housing in which most of populations are immigrants. PVV party Geert Wilders said that walking through there one don`t feel like being in own country, so we have to stop it. Japan does the same propaganda, but mostly towards Chinese, Koreans and Brazilians, and after all it all of us, foreigners.
See links below, which shows some reason for PVV action, while in japan there is no reason.
Now, think if half of foreign population would decide to leave Japan, what of course will never happen, wouldn`t be good for GoJ to face reality?
AWK, it is different in Japan. Immigration here hasnt reached the level it has in the aforementioned European countries, and “foreign” crime in Japan is falling.
So it is pure rightist scaremongering.
I had a flashback to a line that was regularly said to me in the late 80s; “We Japanese were closed off from the rest of the world until quite recently so thats why we (insert bizarre exclusionist example of behaviour)”
In recent years, people stopped saying this to me. I thought things were changing. Things like the abolition of fingerprinting seemed to suggest a more open-minded government attitude. But perhaps I was wrong.
One vision of a possible Japan is indeed one with less foreigners, and decreasing economic and political relevance. Hikikomori Japan.
I hope it doesnt come to that, but it looks like a distinct possibility.
After all the propaganda about how we non-Japanese are ruining Japan, and will even more so if suffrage is granted, I felt moved by this post in Japanese:
The author states that he does not support granting suffrage to NJ, but that fearmongering and rules like the one for the Sumo Association are nothing but discrimination, and that it will do Japan or Sumo no good.
He goes on to say that the reason many NJ feel it is very important to be able to vote is to defend our rights (of course), so people opposed to NJ suffrage like the rightists would better fight against discrimination and inequality to justify there is no need for granting suffrage.
You may like his arguments or not, but I for one feel relieved to see people talking about the issue without getting hysteric and giving false data.
@Jair—I too, have had discussions with people and it is especially effective around this time of year as I am about to pay a ton on money to japan for taxes. When I tell people that I pay this with no voice in government–they agree that that is wrong. In my area, at least, people seem to understand taxation without representation is unseemly.
Regarding taxes, contributions to Japan and the easiest identifiable and most profitable targets… courtesy of http://www.fuckedgaijin.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24663
The Tokyo Shimbun reports http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/national/news/CK2010030402000201.html that Minato ward in Tokyo is stepping up efforts to collect tax from foreign residents. . . Foreigners comprise a little over 10% of the population of 215,055 (as of last month) but, interestingly, they contribute about 20% of total tax revenues. Around 2,000 foreigners in Minato are late-payers (which is a little under 10% of the foreigners in the ward) and the outstanding amount per head is around 50% higher than that for Japanese non-payers.
“..EU is scared that Muslims take over..”
I think you and many others are missing the point on this issue, in relation to EU v Muslims.
Muslims and those that follow it do so as they believe the ideology that it preaches. This ideology is incompatible with the freedom of expression, thoughts and speech that is exercised throughout the EU. That is the reason for the stigma, not racial discrimination.
Although right-wing political parties do this debate no favour by dressing it up as such and labelling it “immigration”.
Hi Debito (& everybody):
Do you know of any page with statistics in Japanese about NJ and J crime? It would be great having somewhere to point people and debunk myths.
I’m getting sick hearing about the stereotypes.
The statistics in http://www.debito.org/crimestats.html are impressive but they stop at 2004.
I’ve looked in http://www.npa.go.jp, but lately they’re insisting a lot about 来日外国人 (visiting foreigners) crime. Thank you!
— The fundamental analytical processes outlined in crimestats.html are the same to debunk the same conclusions being made today. Use them whenever you analyze the current primary source data at npa.go.jp