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  • DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER OCT 13, 2007

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on October 13th, 2007

    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 13, 2007

    Hello All. This week’s contents:

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    1) FINGERPRINT LAW REVISIONS: CONFUSION, OUTRAGE, AND AMNESTY INT’L
    2) JAPAN’S ANTI-TERROR: GOVT PROFITEERING & USER-FRIENDLY SNITCH SITES
    3) LAWSUITS: ZAINICHI KOREAN VICTORY, VIETNAM WORKERS VS TOYOTA
    4) UPCOMING SPEECHES OCT 22-27 IN WASEDA, TOCHIGI & KYOTO
    5) IDUBOR CASE: HEARING OCT 18, BEERS AT THEIR YOKOHAMA BAR OCT 2O

    …and finally…

    6) METROPOLIS’S MARK DEVLIN: “JUST LET THE DAMN JAPAN TIMES DIE”
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    By Arudou Debito, Sapporo, Japan
    debito@debito.org, http://www.debito.org
    Daily blog updates at http://www.debto.org/index.php
    Freely Forwardable

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

    1) FINGERPRINT LAW REVISIONS: CONFUSION, OUTRAGE, AND AMNESTY INT’L

    “WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE? ME, OR YOUR LYING EYES?”
    –Groucho Marx

    If you haven’t heard about the new Immigration procedure coming into effect next month, it’s time you did. It will affect not only tourists and frequently-traveling businesspeople, but also long-term residents. You will be targeted by a useless and xenophobic system, treated as fresh off the boat no matter how long you’ve lived here.

    From November 20, 2007, all foreigners crossing the border into Japan will have their fingerprints and mug shots taken. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been asked a number of questions about some recent news articles, which indicate that “long-term” or Permanent Residents will not be fingerprinted at the border.

    ==========================
    “Permanent residents, including ethnic Koreans born in Japan, will be exempt from the law, along with state guests and diplomats.”
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071004/wl_afp/japanimmigrationterrorism_071004070723

    “Permanent residents will be exempt from the law, along with state guests and diplomats.”
    http://story.malaysiasun.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/b8de8e630faf3631/id/287938/cs/1/

    “Japanese permanent residency certificate holders, people under the age of 16, and guests of the country’s government chief administrators will not subject to the new measure, Sasaki [Seiko, head of Japan's immigration agency's intelligence management department], said.”
    http://www.taiwanheadlines.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=89606&CtNode=39
    ==========================

    Similar misportrayals of the law have appeared in the Japan Times, Iran TV, Kyodo, and other news agencies.

    What a mess. Sloppy, lazy journalism and interpretation, if not some careless statements by government officials. As reported on Debito.org as far back as last June, the new Immigration procedures, according to the Japanese Government, apply to (quoting English original):
    ==========================
    1. Persons under the age of 16
    2. Special status permanent residents
    3. Those performing actions which would be performed
    [sic] by those with a status of residence, “diplomat” or “official government business”
    ==========================
    http://nettv.gov-online.go.jp/prg/prg1203.html

    (This hammy ad has since been supplanted by an avuncular British-voiced production with a sterner measure of punishments denoted–as well as NJ residents also being portrayed as “visitors”.)
    http://nettv.gov-online.go.jp/prg/prg1431.html

    Let’s define our terms. “Special status permanent residents” (tokubetsu eijuusha) mean the Zainichi generational “foreigners”. This means regular-status permanent-resident immigrants (ippan eijuusha) or “long-term foreign residents” (teijuusha) are NOT exempt. They will be fingerprinted.

    This means you if you’re not a citizen, a Zainichi, or naturalized. Every time you enter the country. Don’t comply, you don’t get in. Be advised.

    Find this annoying, even offensive? Don’t take it lying down.
    Some suggestions on what you can do about it at
    http://www.debito.org/?p=627
    Also details on an Amnesty International public forum on this in Tokyo Oct 27.
    http://www.debito.org/?p=585
    Attend and get organized. Some letters of protest by Martin Issott in the Japan Times and Yomiuri at
    http://www.debito.org/?p=638

    Even more information in an article I wrote for Metropolis Magazine, out Friday, Oct 19. Eyes peeled.

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

    2) JAPAN’S ANTI-TERROR PROGRAMS AGAINST NON-JAPANESE
    GOJ PROFITEERING THROUGH PUBLIC EXHIBITIONS & USER-FRIENDLY SNITCH SITES

    Pretty fascinating stuff going on these days in the official putsch to treat all foreigners as terrorists, er, criminals, er, so what–we Japanese can treat non-Japanese any way we like in our own country…

    For example, get a load of this upcoming sales exhibition of anti-terrorism goods, coming up next week in Tokyo (English original):

    ==============================
    Now, Confronting Terrorism
    SPECIAL EQUIPMENT
    EXHIBITION & CONFERENCE FOR ANTI-TERRORISM
    2007.10.17-19 TOKYO BIG SIGHT, TOKYO, JAPAN
    Organizer Tokyo Big sight
    [sic] Inc.
    http://www.seecat.biz/
    ==============================

    SELECT LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS:
    (note how the Ministry of Education is also attending)
    ==============================
    DU PONT K.K.
    GENERAL ELECTRIC INTERNATIONAL INC.
    HITACHI HIGH-TECHNOLOGIES CORP.
    KAWASAKI KOGYO CO., LTD.
    Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
    MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORP.
    MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD. NAGASAKI SHIPYARD & MACHINERY WORKS
    NPO INSTITUTE FOR NUCLEAR AND BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL AND RADIATIONAL DEFENCE
    OSAKA UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL
    RHEINMETALL WAFFE MUNITION GMBH
    SAKURA RUBBER CO., LTD.
    SECURITY SANGYO SHINBUN, INC.
    SEIKO EG&G CO., LTD.
    SHIGEMATSU WORKS CO., LTD.
    SUMITOMO CORP.
    ========================

    What’s the point of this meeting? (English Original)
    ========================
    MERITS OF EXHIBITING

    It is the first presentation in Japan of assembled counterterrorism equipment and information. It is an original, and very important opportunity to exchange information, with the latest counter-terror products and services brought together under one roof. As a specialized exhibition, it has two major features; “Effective presentation targeting specific group of people”, and “Attendees coming with a purpose”.

    Attendance of important managers with purchasing authority is guaranteed by the connections with relevant authorities built through RISCON. This is the ideal chance to have direct contact with exhibited products and services and to discuss purchase and introduction.

    Attendance at the site is limited to people connected to terrorism countermeasures such as crisis management administrators from major facilities, and public servants from government administration offices and local government. It is planned that during the exhibition entry to the site will be limited to only about 3000 people. Because of this it will be possible to exhibit high level equipment and products with special specifications which cannot generally be shown in public.
    ====================
    http://www.seecat.biz/en/about/index.html

    All the spooks under one roof, and our bureaucrats attending. Now that’s convenience. Full files at
    http://www.debito.org/?p=638
    Sugges the journalists get digging on this.

    Speaking of that, look how user-friendly the GOJ, with their long history of UN-condemned “snitch sites” to rat on “illegal foreigners” for any reason whatsoever, is making things now. Weird on several levels…

    ====================
    (NOTICE) HOW TO SUBMIT INFORMATION ON ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS
    WHEN GOVERNMENT OFFICES ARE CLOSED

    By The Tokyo Immigration Bureau
    http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/keiziban/happyou/an%20informant_070921.html
    (Courtesy of JJ. Japanese original, translated by Arudou Debito)

    From October 6, 2007, we will be taking information on illegal foreigners on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays too. Phone 03-5796-7256

    In order to restore “Japan as the World’s Safest Country”, Immigration has the goal of reducing the number of illegal foreigners by half in the five years between 2003 and 2008. To this end, we need everyone’s cooperation.

    So from October 6, 2007, in addition to the regular business hours of government offices, we will be open to receiving information on illegal foreigners by phone on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays between 9 AM and 5PM (exceptions being holidays between December 29 and January 3).

    –Note that we will not be open for informants to visit in person on these Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays.

    –This avenue will only be open for those wishing to inform on illegal foreigners. Those with other needs should call us during regular business hours when our offices are open.
    ====================

    Positively Orwellian. More on other snitch sites in Japan, their history, and their abusable parameters at

    The Japan Times: March 30, 2004
    DOWNLOADABLE DISCRIMINATION
    THE IMMIGRATION BUREAU’S NEW SNITCHING WEB SITE IS BOTH SHORT-SIGHTED AND WIDE OPEN TO ALL MANNER OF ABUSES

    By Debito Arudou
    http://www.debito.org/japantimes033004.html

    Anyone want to snitch on me to Immigration and see what happens?

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

    3) LAWSUITS: ZAINICHI KOREAN VICTORY, VIETNAM WORKERS VS TOYOTA

    Another lawsuit against an employer for bad work practices. This time around, however, the plaintiffs are NJ. Let’s hope their efforts both make the labor laws more clearly enforceable, and highlight more of the problems created by treating NJ laborers as inferior.
    http://www.debito.org/?p=105

    ====================
    EXPLOITING VIETNAMESE
    Apocalypse now
    Japan Times Sunday, April 29, 2007

    By MARK SCHREIBER Shukan Kinyobi (April 20)
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fd20070429t2.html
    Courtesy of Steve Silver
    (excerpt)

    …On March 27, Shukan Kinyobi reports, Lien and five of her Vietnamese compatriots filed charges in the Nagoya District Court against the Japan International Training Cooperation Organization (JITCO) and TMC, a Toyoda City-based, vehicle manufacturer that produced components on a subcontractor basis to Toyota Motor Corporation. The six demanded unpaid wages and financial compensation of some 70 million yen…

    After having their personal seals, bank deposit books and passports taken away for “safekeeping,” the trainees were put to work at a monthly salary of 58,000 yen. They received a paltry 100 yen per hour for additional overtime work.

    The six plaintiffs allege that their “training” frequently involved verbal harassment by supervisory staff. Any complaints were met with the threat of deportation, and mistakes on the job brought curses like, “You people aren’t humans, you’re animals.”

    The greatest indignity, though, was that the employer posted a table outlining how many times and for how long its workers were permitted to utilize the toilets during work hours, and enforced the rule strictly. For each minute in the toilet in excess of the allotted times, they were docked 15 yen.

    Besides being fined for responding to the call of nature, the six women also allege they underwent sexual harassment. One of the bosses, they claim, would “visit” their dormitory rooms at night and even slip into their futons, where he offered certain financial incentives in exchange for sexual favors…
    ====================

    Rest of the article at
    http://www.debito.org/?p=619

    Thanks to Shuukan Kin’youbi and people at the Japan Times for bringing this to the fore. As opposed to all the rest of the J press, which according to Google News ignored this significant court victory:

    ====================
    KOREAN WOMAN WINS DISCRIMINATION DAMAGES IN JAPAN
    Chosun Ilbo, South Korea, October 5, 2007

    http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200710/200710050017.html
    Courtesy of Neil Marks

    A Kyoto court ruled partially in favor of a Korean woman who sued a Japanese landlord for refusing to rent a room to her. A Kyoto district court ruled that refusing to rent a room to a person due to her nationality is illegal and ordered the landlord to pay the woman W8.65 million (US$1=W916) [about 110 man yen, pretty much the average award in these lawsuits] in compensation.

    Courts have taken a dim view of refusal to let rooms to foreigners since an Osaka court in 1993 ruled this went against the constitutional stipulation of equality before the law. But in reality, Japanese homeowners often reject foreign tenants citing differences in the lifestyle and customs. Counsel for the plaintiff said the ruling was a “head-on attack on discrimination based on nationality” and predicted it would help eradicate unfair discrimination against foreigners.

    The woman signed a contract to rent a room through a real estate agency in January 2005. But after she paid the deposit to the landlord and commissions to the realtor, the landlord changed his mind since she was a foreigner.
    ====================

    Moral: Get refused for being a foreigner, sue. It’ll only take you a year or two and you had better have signed a contract.

    Next step necessary in the court precedent ladder: winning in court for getting refused a room for being a foreigner, before a contract was even signed. Any takers? No doubt there are plenty of readers out there who have experience…

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

    4) UPCOMING SPEECHES OCT 22-27 IN WASEDA, TOCHIGI & KYOTO

    Here are four speeches I’ve got coming up in about a week. Attend if you like, and contact me at debito@debito.org in advance if you want to buy a book or a T-shirt (so I can bring some down):
    http://www.debito.org/donations.html

    =====================================
    MONDAY OCT 22 WASEDA UNIVERSITY
    Speech in English on Japan’s new fingerprint laws for Non-Japanese

    2:40-4:20 PM, Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies, Waseda University
    Building 19, Room 315 For map see: http://www.wiaps.waseda.ac.jp/
    (essay on this topic coming up in Friday Oct 19’s Metropolis Magazine)

    =====================================
    WEDS OCT 24 WASEDA UNIVERSITY
    “Migration and Integration–Japan in a Comparative Perspective” international forum

    Speech in English and Panel Discussion:
    “Migration and Integration–Voices from the Grassroots” 2PM-4PM
    Chair: Andrew HORVAT (Tokyo Keizai University)

    Speakers:
    Debito ARUDOU (Hokkaido Information University)
    Iris BEDNARZ-BRAUN (German Youth Institute)
    Angelo ISHI (Musashi University)
    Mitsuo MAKINO (City of Iida, Mayor)
    Masami MATSUMOTO (Mundo de Alegria)
    Mariko TAMANOI (University of California at Los Angeles)
    Keiko YAMANAKA (University of California at Berkeley)
    Manami YANO (Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan)

    Sponsored by the German Institute for Japanese Studies
    http://www.dijtokyo.org
    and the Waseda University Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies (GSAPS)

    =====================================
    FRI OCT 26 TOCHIGI-KEN UTSUNOMIYA
    Speech in Japanese on Racial Discrimination in Japan

    Ninth Tochigi-Ken Human Rights Seminar, 1PM-4PM

    Speakers: Morihara Hideki of IMADR
    http://www.imadr.org/
    Arudou Debito of Debito.org
    Sponsored by the NPO Jinken Center Tochigi
    http://www.h2.dion.ne.jp/~hstochig/
    Tel 0285-23-2217

    =====================================
    SAT OCT 27 KYOTO SANGYOU DAI, KYOTO
    PEACE AS A GLOBAL LANGUAGE CONFERENCE

    http://pgljapan.org/
    15:30 to 16:20 Room 153
    “Japan’s imminent internationalization: Can Japan assimilate its immigrants?”

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

    5) IDUBOR CASE: HEARING OCT 18, BEERS AT THEIR YOKOHAMA BAR OCT 2O

    Turning the keyboard over to Chris Pitts, of Amnesty International Group 78:

    =====================================
    Please support Mr Osayuwamen Idubor (personal appeal)

    While this is not an official Amnesty International case, I feel that many of you, like me, will want to do something to help. Please read on…

    Osayuwamen IDUBOR, a Nigerian national and the owner of a cafe/bar in Yokohama was arrested by police in January, following an accusation that he had raped a customer 11 weeks earlier. Although there is no material evidence to justify holding him, he is still in police custody. The courts are treating him as guilty until proven innocent. Although his health is deteriorating, police have denied him access to a hospital.

    For the full story, see the account on Arudou’s Debito’s excellent website:
    http://www.debito.org/?p=537
    with an update on the case at:
    http://www.debito.org/?p=547

    The important issue in this case is the lack of a speedy trial. The man is languishing in prison on the basis of a groundless (there is not a shred of material evidence against him) accusation. It could happen to anyone.

    If you have time, please come and show your support for Mr Idubor by:

    1) attending his next hearing, Thursday Oct 18th at 13:30, or
    2) attending the special evening in Yokohama Saturday Oct 20 from 7 pm.

    See below for details.

    ———————————
    1) Next hearing:
    Yokohama District Court

    Nihon-odori 9, Naka-ku, Yokohama City
    This is one minute’s walk from JR Kannai station. Map in Japanese:

    http://www.courts.go.jp/yokohama/about/syozai/yokohamatisai.html

    ———————————
    2) Join us for a drink at Idubor’s cafe/bar

    Next Saturday, October 20th, Arudou Debito and I will be going to Mr Idubor’s bar, which is being run in his absence by his wife, to offer practical support and solidarity in the form of our custom. In other words, we’ll have a few drinks. Why don’t you join us?

    Big Ys Cafe
    Yokohama-shi Naka-ku Yamashita-cho 106-3
    Laport Motomachi 104 Tel. 045-662-2261

    Its open from 18:00 till morning. Map downloadable in Excel and htm format:
    http://www.debito.org/bigycafemap.xls
    http://www.debito.org/bigycafemap.htm

    If you can’t join us on Oct 20, go there some other time. You can also join Mrs Idubor when she visits her husband. See Arudou’s website for details. Thanks for reading. Hope to see you there. Regards, Chris Pitts, Amnesty International Japan Group 78
    http://www.aig78.org/
    =====================================

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

    …and finally…

    6) METROPOLIS’S MARK DEVLIN: “JUST LET THE DAMN JAPAN TIMES DIE”

    Nearly two weeks ago, I put out a special message to everyone about the financial plight of the Japan Times, having raised its newsstand prices by 30 yen, on how you might lend it some assistance.
    http://www.debito.org/?p=620

    It became one of the most commented pages on my blog, with even the President of the Japan Times, Yukiko Ogasawara, expressing her thanks online nearly immediately. Others commented with facts and figures about the newspaper’s sales figures, and some pretty harsh advice of their own.
    http://www.debito.org/?p=620#comments

    But the biggest piece of non-advice came from Mark Devlin, founder of Crisscross Inc, and publisher of JapanToday.com and Metropolis Magazine. He just sold Crisscross to company Japan Inc. for an undisclosed sum, and commented on my blog with no small measure of triumphalism and contumely that the Japan Times should just be allowed to die.

    I was once a former columnist at JapanToday.com, contributing 18 articles between 2000 and 2002. That is, until they bilked me out of some of my pay. Mark himself brought up I am “not due anything further”. From what I have heard from other contributors who also claim they were bilked, I am not alone in feeling that there is a business practice here.

    You can see his letter and my answer at
    http://www.debito.org/?p=620#comment-78636

    How I concluded my reply to Mark:
    =====================================
    But for this reason alone, I hope the Japan Times survives. They commendably treat their contributors better. Crisscross should definitely not be the template for success in your industry.

    Anyway, I’m glad Japan Inc. took your paper over. The new editor and owner of your publication have been in touch, and already paid me the balance your company owed me [for more than five years]. Plus 5% p.a. Interest. And I look forward to writing for them again, if they’ll have me back.

    They’re better businesspeople, because they’ve already demonstrated that goodwill also matters to the bottom line.
    =====================================

    Good news is Metropolis has already asked me back, thanks. My next article with them is next issue, due out next Friday. Have a read.

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

    Thanks for reading this as well, everyone.
    Arudou Debito
    Sapporo, Japan
    debito@debito.org, http://www.debito.org
    Daily blog updates at http://www.debto.org/index.php
    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 13, 2007 ENDS

    3 Responses to “DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER OCT 13, 2007”

    1. Robby Says:

      Wow, Debito, without any explanation offered on the snitch website, it appears that immigration has stopped taking information by Internet. Now snitches will actually have to talk to an immigration officer!

      Thank you for supporting the foreign community.

      –I’M NOT SURE THAT’S WHAT THE SITE SAYS…

    2. Robby Says:

      Sorry, I was mistaken. But, I still appreciate your support!

      –DE NADA! GANBAROU! DEBITO

    3. Trans-Pacific Radio » Debito.org Newsletter for October 13, 2007 :: Independent Podcasts from Tokyo, Japan - Japanese News, Politics, Business and Economy Says:

      [...] The full newsletter (and much, much more) is available at debito.org Listen Now: [...]

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