Recent Media from Arudou Debito: J Times, TPR, Metropolis, and Japan Focus


Hi Blog. Here are some links to a few articles that have come out recently, and notice of a few more in store this week:

Human rights survey stinks
Government effort riddled with bias, bad science
Special to The Japan Times, October 23, 2007

On Aug. 25, the Japanese government released findings from a Cabinet poll conducted every four years. Called the “Public Survey on the Defense of Human Rights” (, it sparked media attention with some apparently good news.

When respondents were asked, “Should foreigners have the same human rights protections as Japanese?” 59.3 percent said “yes.” This is a rebound from the steady decline from 1995 (68.3 percent), 1999 (65.5) and 2003 (54).

Back then, the Justice Ministry’s Human Rights Bureau publicly blamed the decline on “a sudden rise in foreign crime.” So I guess the news is foreigners are now regarded more highly as humans. Phew.

No thanks to the government, mind you. Past columns have already covered the figment of the foreign crime wave, and how the police stoked fear of it. If anything, this poll charted the damage wrought by anti-foreigner policy campaigns.

But that’s all the poll is good for. If the media had bothered to examine its methodology, they’d feel stupid for ever taking it seriously: Its questions are skewed and grounded in bad science….


Rest at
Or up at with an unpublished cartoon at

Next, my most recent podcast hosted by Trans Pacific Radio, reading my October 20, 2007 Newsletter (sandwiched by Duran Duran excerpted tracks):

Finally, Friday sees my next Metropolis article (on fingerprinting), and somewhere in the next few days an article on Japan’s immigration in Japan Focus (

I also got interviewed today for the Metropolis podcast, should be up by Thursday evening. I listened to their last one–it’s a really pro job, I hang my head in shame…

Speech tomorrow, off to bed. Arudou Debito in Shinagawa, Tokyo

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