DEBITO.ORG
Arudou Debito/Dave Aldwinckle's Home Page

New ebooks by ARUDOU Debito

  • Book IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan
  • DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APRIL 24, 2010

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on April 27th, 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
    UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS now on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog. Forgot to blog this. Enjoy. Debito in Sapporo

    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APRIL 24, 2010

    Table of Contents
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    PROACTIVE POLICYMAKING TOWARDS NJ
    1) Tokyo Gov Ishihara encourages witch hunt for J politicians with naturalized ancestors
    2) Xenophobic rantings of the Far-Right still continue despite NJ Suffrage Bill’s suspension; scanned flyers enclosed
    3) Gaijin Card Checks expand to Tax Bureau, now required for filing household tax returns
    4) Mutantfrog on Death of Yokoso Japan, plus birth of Welcome to Tokyo
    5) Asahi: J companies abandoning old hiring and promotion practices, offering NJ employees equitable positions. Come again?
    6) Eurobiz Japan Magazine Jan 2010 Interview of JIPI’s Sakanaka Hidenori
    7) “Pinprick Protests” #1: GOJ authorities finally telling hotels correct enforcement procedures for NJ check-ins. Pity it only took five years.

    ISSUES RESPARKED
    8 ) Ghanian dies while being deported March 22, scant media on it
    9) FCCJ Press Conf on Ghanian death while being deported, 2 more deaths in Ibaraki Detention Ctr
    10) Japan Times on Suraj Case: Wife of Ghanian who died while being deported demands info on cause
    11) GhanaWeb: Suraj apparently a son of a Ghanian Prince
    12) Japan Times on “Little Black Sambo” controversy, cites Debito.org’s parody “Little Yellow J*p”
    13) Case study about university contract termination of NJ reversed due to getting a lawyer
    14) Kyodo: Japan’s depopulation accelerates in 2009

    TANGENTS
    15) Tokyo Shinbun: Fussa City bureaucrat blames NJ residents for more children’s cavities!
    16) Sumo Suits Controversy in Canada
    17) NJ and Abandoned Konketsuji Negishi Cemetery in Yokohama; photos included
    18) Congratulations to Oguri Saori for her successful opening of “Darling wa Gaikokujin” movie

    … and finally…
    19) Debito.org Poll: “Do you think ‘Little Black Sambo’ should be in print and in educational institutions in Japan?”
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    By Arudou Debito (debito@debito.org, www.debito.org) in Sapporo, Japan
    Freely Forwardable

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

    PROACTIVE POLICYMAKING TOWARDS NJ

    1) Tokyo Gov Ishihara encourages witch hunt for J politicians with naturalized ancestors

    Tokyo Governor Ishihara’s latest rant has him accusing the ruling parties of having naturalized citizens for ancestors, therefore they want NJ PR suffrage. This latest smear campaign has finally turned Ishihara from a committed politician into a politician who should be committed.

    It hardly bears fully iterating, but: Here we have this dangerous tendency of Ishihara solidifying into a fully-formed ideology, based upon the fundamental tenets that 1) foreigners cannot be trusted, 2) foreigners are always foreigners, even if they are Japanese citizens for generations, 3) foreigners think along blood lines and will work against Japanese interests if their blood is not Japanese. In other words, personal belief is a matter of genetics. But these blood-based arguments went out of fashion a few generations ago when we saw that they led to things such as pogroms and genocides. Yet some of the most powerful people in Japan (in this case the governor of one of the world’s major cities) not only fervently believe it, but also create political parties to rally others around it.

    This is beyond pathological racism. This is the febrile insanity of a mean old man who has long since lost control of himself and his grasp of reality after so many years in power. And as evidenced above, he will even encourage xenophobic witch hunts for people on allegations of blood and ethnicity to push a political agenda that has one horrible conclusion: hatred, exclusion, and silencing of others.

    Dietmember Fukushima is right to call it racial discrimination and call for a retraction (and threaten legal action). But she must also make it clear to the public that even if somebody was naturalized, it is not a problem: Naturalized Japanese are real Japanese too. Otherwise there’s no point to naturalization. But for people like Ishihara, that IS the point; as I’ve written before, it makes no difference to racists whether or not people become Japanese citizens, despite the protests of those opposing votes for NJ PRs. “If they want the right to vote, they should naturalize” has been and always will be a red herring to genuine xenophobes, so see it for what it is — a Trojan Horse of an argument camouflaging racism as reasonableness.

    These are the people who should be booted from power. Give NJ PRs the vote and we’re one step closer. Don’t, and these bigots only grow stronger.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6564

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

    2) Xenophobic rantings of the Far-Right still continue despite NJ Suffrage Bill’s suspension; scanned flyers enclosed

    For some people, anything is an excuse for a party. Especially if it’s a Political Party. For the Far-Right xenophobes in Japan, it’s their party and they’ll decry if they want to — as they continue their anti-NJ rantings, even when they’ve effectively shouted down the NJ Suffrage Bill the DPJ proposed after they came to power last August. Everyone has to have a hobby, it seems. Pity theirs is based upon hatred of NJ, particularly our geopolitical neighbors. Two submissions of primary source materials and posters enclosed below, one from Debito.org Reader AS, one from me that I picked up when I was in Tokyo last March, which led to a rally reported on in the Japan Times and Kyodo the other day. Drink in the invective and see how naked and bold Japan’s xenophobia is getting.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6509

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

    3) Gaijin Card Checks expand to Tax Bureau, now required for filing household tax returns

    As a natural extension of the strengthened policing of NJ by the GOJ (for we can only anticipate what scams NJ might get up to, untrustworthy lot), starting with fingerprinting them at the border every time as potential terrorists, criminals, and disease carriers, then tracking their money wherever they earn it, we now have the Tax Bureau doing the Immigration Bureau’s job of checking visa status if NJ were so good as to file their own tax forms. How dare they engage in such suspicious activities! It’s all part of expanding Gaijin Card Checks to unrelated agencies nationwide.

    KYA writes: Can someone help me shed some light on this situation? I’ve filed my taxes in Japan every year for the past 8 years. I can’t swear that I ws never asked for a gaijin card or other form of ID before, but I KNOW that last year I wasn’t, wasn’t even asked to fill out that form asking how many days you spent in and out of the country, etc (I was asked to do that one two or three times, definitely not every year). And I know that my refund has NEVER been delayed, I’ve always filed early and got my money back early.

    But this year, I filed my return in early March, and until today had heard nothing. Today, [I got a form in the mail requiring my Gaijin Card] (reproduced). I called immediately, asked why they needed it and if it was necessary, and got a big variety of non-answers in response. The first time I called, the person whose name was on the letter wasn’t there, so the guy who answered the phone said he’d answer my questions — I probably got more honest answers from him, although he was a bit of a jerk. He said that it’s always been like this, it’s not starting from this year, and that if I never had to do it before, it was because the person reviewing my return in the past decided that my name sounded Japanese enough, but that whoever did it this year thought it sounded foreign. I did challenge this, and asked him if it was okay to just judge people and choose who to question and delay based on their NAME, would he have done the same to one of the many Japanese people who don’t have any NJ heritage, but just have parents who gave them a katakana name? He basically said it just depended on the judgement of whoever got the return to review.

    I asked why this NEVER popped up when I was preparing my tax return on the tax department’s homepage. There were all kinds of lists of necessary documents, including some things that said “(when applicable)” etc beside them. Nowhere did it say Gaiijn Card (for those who have one) or something similar. He said “Well, the homepage is written with Japanese people in mind. If you’d asked for help at city hall they would have told you to submit it.” So… you are delaying my tax return BECAUSE I can read Japanese, look at the homepage and prepare my own tax return WITHOUT wasting the time of someone at city hall or at the tax office? That seems very counterprductive, and when I pointed out as much, again he had no reply.

    Then I told him I wanted to Google the law that made this necessary and asked him to tell me the name of the law requiring a gaijin card to get a tax refund. He said there was no law…

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6506

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

    4) Mutantfrog on Death of Yokoso Japan, plus birth of Welcome to Tokyo

    Japan has changed its approach to international tourism from “YOKOSO Japan” to “Japan. Endless Discovery”. Mutantfrog blog thinks its a step in the right direction. Less appraisable to me is Tokyo City’s new flash website welcoming tourism, with its cloying multilingual “Honey Anime” that makes everything just a little too clean-line. In sum, the campaign feels “terrarium in a fishbowl”, with little apparent knowhow of how to appeal to outsiders and what they want after a very expensive plane trip plus hotels (oooh, Tokyo’s got a ZOO!!). Like seeing the waxwork dish of lunch outside the restaurant, and coming in to see it’s not at all what it was advertised. But that’s only my impression. What do others think?

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6448

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

    5) Asahi: J companies abandoning old hiring and promotion practices, offering NJ employees equitable positions. Come again?

    Here’s something that goes against common experience and common sense: The Asahi claiming that more major Japanese companies are hiring NJ more equitably. As in, they’ll be leaders in a quarter-century or so. Yeah, I heard that back in the Eighties during the “Kokusaika Boom”, when I too was hired at Japanese companies to help with companies “internationalization”, and got out real quick when I realized it was fallacious. What do others think? Have things changed? I have included some posts below from The Commnity talking about this, and they seem to disagree with the Asahi.

    Asahi: With overseas markets increasingly seen as the key to their survival, Japanese companies are adopting a more “international” look at home involving changes that would have been unheard of years ago.

    Long-held practices in hiring have been scrapped, as have limits on positions available to non-Japanese at the companies’ head offices in Tokyo and other Japanese cities.

    Methods of communication have shifted as foreigners take on increasingly important roles in devising strategy for overseas sales.

    The employment of Lee Guanglin Samson, a 29-year-old Singaporean, is one example of how electronic appliance maker Toshiba Corp. is evolving.

    “Judging that a more global use of human personnel is necessary, we decided not to use Japanese-language abilities as a requirement for employment,” said Seiichiro Suzuki, head of Toshiba’s personnel center. “Those whom we want are people who will be able to become leaders of business divisions 25 years later.”

    Comment from a job interviewee: Had two interviews at two major Japanese companies about two months ago (Nitori, the “home fashion” store found throughout Japan, and Zensho, the company behind Sukiya and family restaurants, 3rd largest food company behind McDonalds and Skylark). I got “we don’t think a foreigner can handle the intense Japanese work environment” from both, Nitori in particular narrowed it down from “foreigner” to “Americans,” saying that it’s not likely I’d be able to keep up, and even if I did, I would just get burned out, because that’s just how Americans are.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6426

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

    6) Eurobiz Japan Magazine Jan 2010 Interview of JIPI’s Sakanaka Hidenori

    Here are some excerpts of the January 2010 issue of EUROBIZ JAPAN magazine, the publication of the European Business Council in Japan, edited by a journalist friend of mine. Another journalist friend of mine interviewed the person I was interning with last week, Japan Immigration Research Institute’s Sakanaka-san, the former Tokyo Immigration Bureau chief who retired and actually supports an immigration and assimilation policy for NJ in Japan. More on who he is and why in the interview below.Here are some excerpts of the January 2010 issue of EUROBIZ JAPAN magazine, the publication of the European Business Council in Japan, edited by a journalist friend of mine. Another journalist friend of mine interviewed the person I was interning with last week, Japan Immigration Research Institute’s Sakanaka-san, the former Tokyo Immigration Bureau chief who retired and actually supports an immigration and assimilation policy for NJ in Japan. More on who he is and why in the interview below.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6367

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

    7) “Pinprick Protests” #1: GOJ authorities finally telling hotels correct enforcement procedures for NJ check-ins. Pity it only took five years.

    I would like to launch a new type of campaign, something I will call “Pinprick Protests”, an activity done on the individual level to protest injustice and unfair treatment in Japan. Less visible than picketing and petitions, it is no less effective over time: Enough individual protests nationwide, and it becomes mendoukusai for the authorities to have to deal with the issue anymore, and things shift for the better as GOJ attitudes and enforcement mechanisms change.

    Case in point: I received a good news from a translator yesterday in Debito.org’s comments section:

    JayIII: I work as a translator and often get jobs from the local government and I thought I would share a little bit of good news.

    A request came across my desk today for updating the english phrasing recommended for hotels to display for foreign guests. The Japanese was changed from requiring “foreign visitors” and “display their passport or gaijin card” to Non-Japanese visitors without a permanent Japanese residence and display their passport.

    So it’s one little step in the right direction.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6579

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

    ISSUES RESPARKED

    8 ) Ghanian dies while being deported March 22, scant media on it

    Japan Times: The Japanese wife of a Ghanaian who died while being deported from Japan last month and some 50 supporters took to the streets Monday in Tokyo to demand a thorough investigation.

    Holding a banner that read, “Uncover the truth behind the death of Mr. Suraj during his deportation,” the protesters, including Ghanaians living in Japan, marched through Roppongi shouting “We want justice.”

    Although a police autopsy on Abubakar Awudu Suraj, 45, reportedly failed to pin down the cause of death and found no traces of violence, his wife and her supporters believe the death was probably caused by immigration officers…

    Asian People’s Friendship Society, a support group that organized Monday’s protest, said on its Web site that the immigration officers put a towel into Suraj’s mouth as they tried to subdue him, and he died shortly afterward.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6485

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

    9) FCCJ Press Conf on Ghanian death while being deported, 2 more deaths in Ibaraki Detention Ctr

    PRESS CONFERENCE
    Koichi Kodama and Mayumi Yoshida
    Another illegal immigrant in Japan, another death:
    The fatal journey of Mr. Suraj
    10:00-11:00 Tuesday, April 20, 2010, FCCJ TOKYO

    On March 22, Mr. Abubakar Awudu Suraj, an illegal immigrant who was in the process of being deported to his native country of Ghana, died in Narita.

    The circumstances surrounding Mr. Suraj’s death are unknown. What is clear is that the immigration officers used a towel and handcuff to restrain Mr. Suraj as he was boarding an Egypt Air flight. In February, a first attempt to send Mr. Suraj back to Ghana had failed. Since then, he had been subject to confinement. Married since 2006 to a Japanese national, he had spent the equivalent of 2 years in detention for no other crime than staying illegally.

    The death of Mr. Suraj follows the suicide by hanging of a South Korean man a week ago in the Ibaraki detention center. And the self-hanging of a young Brazilian man in Ibaraki again. And a hunger strike by 70 detainees at the Osaka detention center in March.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6511

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

    10) Japan Times on Suraj Case: Wife of Ghanian who died while being deported demands info on cause

    Japan Times: The Japanese wife of a Ghanaian who died last month while he was being deported for overstaying his visa called Tuesday on police and the Immigration Bureau to disclose exactly how he died…

    The wife’s lawyer, Koichi Kodama, questioned the police investigation, which has not resulted in any arrests.

    “If a man died after five or six civilians, not public servants, held his limbs, they would undoubtedly be arrested,” Kodama said, adding he told “exactly that to the prosecutors” he met with Monday in Chiba.

    The Chiba police are questioning about 10 immigration officers and crew of Egypt Air, Kodama quoted a Chiba prosecutor as saying. Police said March 25 the cause of death was unclear after an autopsy. Kodama said a more thorough autopsy is being performed.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6572

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

    11) GhanaWeb: Suraj apparently a son of a Ghanian Prince

    NB: I make no claims for the accuracy of this article. Spelling, tone, and the victim’s name (the wife’s name is the same, however) all detract from the lending of legitimacy. However, if true, we’re more likely to see action on this case than average:

    Ghanaian Prince Dies In Custody of Japanese Immigration
    Diasporian News of Tuesday, 30 March 2010 (excerpt)

    The family of a Ghanaian prince from a royal home up north, who died in the custody of Japanese Immigration, is calling for full investigations into how their son died, since they believe that he was killed by the authorities in Japan!

    Additionally they have called for a repatriation of the body to Ghana as well as full compensation for the killing, if it is established that he died unlawfully.

    In an interview with members of his family in Accra yesterday, March 29, 2010, they said that Awudu Samad Abubakar, popularly known as ‘Mac Barry’ was a resident of Japan, and died in the capital town of Japan; Tokyo, while under the detention of the Japanese immigration on Sunday, 21st March, 2010.

    According to the family, the corpse of Awudu Samad Abubakar was subsequently rejected by his Japanese wife, when the immigration called her to come for the corpse of her husband. The reason his wife gave was that she had been doing everything possible for the release of her husband but all her actions did not yield any positive results and that they should bare their own cross.

    http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/diaspora/artikel.php?ID=179482

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

    12) Japan Times on “Little Black Sambo” controversy, cites Debito.org’s parody “Little Yellow J*p”

    The Japan Times this week published a very nicely-considered article on something brought up on Debito.org in February: The Little Black Sambo controversy, and how it was being taught without any racial sensitivity or historical/cultural context, to Japanese pre-schoolers, regardless of concerns raised about its appropriateness.

    For the record, I believe LBS is a work of history and as such should not be “banned”. It should, however, whenever used always be placed in historical context, and seen as materiel to enlighten people about the prejudices of the day. I have never seen it done so in Japan. In fact, the republisher Zuiunsha — which appears to have just appropriated the book from the previous Japanese publisher and republished it for fun and profit — doesn’t even offer a disclaimer or a foreword in the book explaining why this book has been problematic; existentially, it’s just a book they can get rich off of. Who cares if some people might be adversely affected by it?

    Hence my attempt, mentioned below, of providing not historical context, but through parody putting the shoe on the other foot for empathy, as “Little Yellow J*p”. That has occasioned cries of “racism” by the noncognizant. But the Japan Times essayist below gets it. Excerpt of article follows.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6488

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

    13) Case study about university contract termination of NJ reversed due to getting a lawyer

    Guest writer: This past December, just before winter vacation, the owner of the college where I teach called me into his office and announced in no uncertain terms that in 3 months, at the end of March, I would be fired. After 24 years working for the school, with hardly any advanced warning, I was to be among the unemployed, and at an age (56) when it would be all but impossible to find a similar position in Japan.

    The owner, not so generously, said he would allow me to continue as a part-timer at the bottom of the pay scale, with a loss of health care benefits, at an income which, unless I came up with something to supplement it, would impossible to live on. In addition, he made it a point to explain, though I might have thought I was fulltime, for the first 5 years, (when I taught at both his high school and college) I actually was a part-timer, and that I could expect my retirement package to reflect it…

    As I believe that the circumstances I describe might apply to any number of foreign workers in Japan, I am writing in the hope you might gain from some of my mistakes. First of all, verbal agreements mean nothing. Insist on getting those promises in writing. When I interviewed for my job at the high school, there were three people in the room, but 24 years later, two of them are dead, and the only person who might verify my story is the man I had to take to court.

    If you believe in labor unions, better join up before you encounter any problems. Or if you do try joining a labor union, don’t let them know of your predicament, or else they will have nothing to do with you. (I couldn’t even get them to recommend a lawyer.) Basically labor union resources are reserved for members of long standing who have paid their dues…

    Finally, and most important of all, get a lawyer. I simply would have been a dead man without one. I was lucky enough to have a friend recommend one to me, and still luckier that he was willing to go to court. It never seemed to even occur to my boss that I would or could litigate. I had already received notice, the court date was set, and I was meeting with my lawyer. It was March 30th and one day from termination, when I got a fax from my school’s lawyer rescinding it. I’m back at work now as if nothing happened, though who is to say whether or not I won’t go through the same hell again next year.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6466

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

    14) Kyodo: Japan’s depopulation accelerates in 2009

    Kyodo: The proportion of Japan’s population aged 65 and over hit a record high of 22.7% last year — sign of its fast-aging society, the government reported Friday…

    Japan’s overall population as of Oct 2009 shrank to 127.51 million, down 183,000 people from a year earlier — the largest decline since the country’s population started shrinking five years ago, the ministry said. Some 29 million people are aged 65 or over, up from 28.2 million a year earlier.

    The results add to concerns over Japan’s labor shortage, declining tax income and overburdened public pension system…

    The ministry said a net decrease of 125,000 people living in Japan, also contributed to the population decrease last year. That includes 47,000 foreign nationals, many of them laborers who lost jobs at factories during the global economic slump.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6518

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

    TANGENTS

    15) Tokyo Shinbun: Fussa City bureaucrat blames NJ residents for more children’s cavities!

    It’s been pretty knee-jerk this past decade to blame NJ (or just plain multiculturalism) for anything that’s allegedly going askew in Japan. Things I’ve seen blamed on NJ and their “cultural differences” (no doubt you know most of these): Bathhouse altercations, crime, terrorism, infectious diseases, unemployment, neighborhood deterioration, bad smells in both neighborhoods and schools, divorces, DV, drugs, guns, prostitution, unpaid bills (including phone and restaurant), AIDs, youth crime, irregularly colored hair, improper garbage disposal, low J crews on Japanese ships, sports uncompetitiveness, lack of Olympic medals, uncertified sushi, Japan’s low English ability, national security in the SDF, and the potential carving up of Japan as a nation.

    But I gotta admit, I’ve never seen oral hygiene — as in more cavities — pinned on NJ before! Read on.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6579

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

    16) Sumo Suits Controversy in Canada

    The Queen’s University student government has declared the sumo suit an instrument of ‘oppression’, and cancelled a food-bank fundraiser that was to feature two sumo suits.

    Dear [Queen's Alma Mater Society] members and members of the Queen’s community,

    We are writing in regards to an event that was scheduled to take place on Tuesday March 30th, organized and run by a group in the AMS. This event was planned to have students don padded suits, coloured and designed to resemble Japanese sumo wrestlers. The Facebook event created to advertise this event, entitled “SUMO Showdown,” included a picture of two cartoon Japanese wrestlers grappling.

    We recognize racism as the systemic oppression, both intentional and unintentional, of individuals and groups based on racial or ethnic identities.

    Regrettably, those of us who were aware of the event did not critically consider the racist meaning behind it. Asking students to wear these suits and partake in the activity appropriates an aspect of Japanese culture. This is wrong because it turns a racial identity into a costume; the process of putting-on and taking-off a racial identity is problematic because it dehumanizes those who share that identity and fails to capture the deeply imbedded histories of violent and subversive oppression that a group has faced. The event also devalues an ancient and respected Japanese sport, which is rich in history and cultural tradition…

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6432

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

    17) NJ and Abandoned Konketsuji Negishi Cemetery in Yokohama; photos included

    Most of us long-termers have heard about (if not visited) Aoyama Gaijin Bochi (as still written on the signs) foreign cemetery in downtown Tokyo (see here and here). Debito.org Reader CF writes about a less-known pair of NY cemeteries in Yokohama — Negishi and Hodogaya — that might be worth a look for history preservers.

    Japan Times: Welcome to Yokohama Negishi Gaikokujin Bochi, also known as the Negishi Foreign Cemetery. Only a few hundred meters from Yokohama’s Yamate Station on the JR Keihin Tohoku Line, its obscure location and ambiguous past have helped keep it out of the spotlight.

    While its diminutive size and inconvenient location have relegated this burial ground to near anonymity, its simple appearance, scattered headstones and wooden crosses belie a complicated past.

    More than a 1,000 people are buried here and most are foreigners and infants.

    Negishi was the poor foreigner’s cemetery. “Those who died of infectious diseases, sailors and those without money were mostly buried here. Of course there are some famous people, but it is basically a cemetery for poor people,” said Yasuji Tamura, a local teacher who has studied the cemetery for more than 15 years.

    This continued until the end of World War II — when the graveyard’s most controversial residents were buried. After the war, Tamura and others believe that more than 800 infants were buried here…

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6446

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

    18) Congratulations to Oguri Saori for her successful opening of “Darling wa Gaikokujin” movie

    Just a word of congratulations on apparently one of the more important intercultural events of the year — the successful movie release of Oguri Saori’s hit manga series “Darling wa Gaikokujin” (My Darling is a Foreigner).

    Officially released yesterday with balloons and girly frills, the movie is feted to make a splash with all the Japanese women jonesing to date foreign men (even though about three-quarters of all J-NJ marriages are J men to NJ women).

    Good for Saori. I’ve known her for years (even stayed at the couple’s apartment for many days back in the ‘Nineties), and know her to be a person of great talent. Here are some photos from the grand opening party for you to feast your eyes upon:

    http://www.debito.org/?p=6468

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

    … and finally…

    19) Debito.org Poll: “Do you think ‘Little Black Sambo’ should be in print and in educational institutions in Japan?”

    Options:
    ===========================================

    • Naturally. Freedom of speech and press.
    • Of course. There’s nothing wrong with the book itself.
    • Not unless there is some grounding in historical context.
    • No, I don’t think race relations in Japan are sophisticated enough to understand the issues behind it.
    • Definitely not. This book should not be in print anywhere.
    • Something else.
    • Don’t know, don’t care, not sure etc.

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

    Vote on any blog page at www.debito.org

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

    That’s all for this month! Enjoy Golden Week! Let’s hope things finally warm up!
    Arudou Debito in Sapporo, Japan
    debito@debito.org, www.debito.org
    DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APRIL 24, 2010 ENDS

    One Response to “DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER APRIL 24, 2010”

    1. John (Yokohama) Says:

      “Cyber warnings on foreign suffrage deluge tiny isle”, Asahi, April 30
      http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201004290244.html

      Speaking of paranoid:

      “Yoichiro Amameishi, a 41-year-old member of the city assembly of Musashimurayama in western Tokyo, wrote in his blog last November what might happen if foreigners could vote on Aogashima.

      In such a situation, Chinese people would move to Aogashima in droves. The island would become independent of Japan and form an alliance with China, he wrote. With this island under its control, China would overpower the U.S. armed forces in Japan and then invade Taiwan and Okinawa Prefecture.”

    Leave a Reply