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  • David McNeill interviews ultranationalist Sakurai Makoto, lays bare his illogical invective

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on May 22nd, 2010

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    Hi Blog.  The Japan Times Community Page put out an interview with an ultranationalist, Sakurai Makoto, who first came to my attention during his push to send Calderon Noriko “home” with her visa-overstaying parents last year.  He strikes me as one of those shy guys who compensates with a flamboyant public image.  Pity he’s using that image to promote ignorance and bigotry.  Excerpt follows focusing on the interview, laying bare how inconsistent the actual mindset is.  It’s good to know what the other side is thinking.  What doesn’t frustrate you beyond belief only makes your arguments stronger.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    ////////////////////////////////////////////
    THE ZEIT GIST
    Sakurai: a very dapper demagogue
    The man behind ‘Japan’s most dangerous hate group’
    By DAVID McNEILL
    Japan Times Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    Full article at http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20100518zg.html

    Excerpt: Why such relentless invective?

    “To tell you the truth, Japan is extremely bad at dealing with foreigners,” he says. “Until about 100 years ago, before the Meiji Restoration, there were almost no foreigners here. We’ve only been dealing with them for a little over a century. But with globalization we understand that a lot of Japanese people go abroad, and that naturally a lot of foreigners now come to Japan. We realize we can’t prevent that. But they should obey Japanese rules.”

    So he’s not actually against foreigners coming to Japan, just those who break the law?

    “No, we oppose immigration. The (ruling) Democratic Party of Japan has proposed allowing 10 million people to come here. According to the ministry of health, by 2050 there will be 80 million Japanese here — that’s a fall of over 40 million. By 2100 it will be 20 million. If it continues like this our working population will disappear. So people are wondering what we should do. Should be accept millions of foreigners? I don’t think so.”

    What about foreigners who have come here, married Japanese citizens, who pay taxes and have children. Would you send them all home?

    “That’s different. Those people weren’t invited to come here by the government. The government wants millions of people to come in and work like robots in industrial jobs. They can’t treat foreigners like robots. Are you going to treat them as citizens? The DPJ is not talking about this. They should be allowed in step by step. It should be deliberated.”

    Then you support a policy of phased, planned integration?

    “If we’re saying, ‘OK, let’s set up schools for these people to help them blend into our society,’ I can understand that a little. But that’s not happening. The government is simply saying, ‘Come to Japan as workers.’ There’s no debate.”

    OK, so let’s say there is a debate. Let’s say the government does deliberate this and create a policy that will allow phased mass emigration of 10 million people to come here. Would that be acceptable?

    “No, I oppose such a move. Look at the Scandinavian countries. They let immigrants in and it resulted in cultural friction. You can’t let people in who are from different religions and cultures. It creates too many problems.”

    Of course there are some problems, but many societies have successfully integrated large immigrant populations. What about Britain?

    “Britain is getting what it deserves (jigo jitoku) because it was a colonial power. All those people it colonized and suppressed are coming back.”

    Didn’t Japan do the same to Korea?

    “No, that wasn’t colonization; it was an annexation (heigo). The Koreans invited us to come to their country.”

    Rest of the article at http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20100518zg.html

    47 Responses to “David McNeill interviews ultranationalist Sakurai Makoto, lays bare his illogical invective”

    1. Laura Says:

      Wow. Just …. wow. I never knew that annexation = invitation. Reading this makes my brain hurt.

    2. Arin Says:

      “No, that wasn’t colonization; it was an annexation (heigo). The Koreans invited us to come to their country.”

      Made my day :)

      I do hope they weren’t talking about during the WW2, because I don’t think they were also invited to come over to the Philippines.

      – Or to China or to Hong Kong or to Singapore or to Micronesia or to…

    3. crazyGaijin Says:

      Japan’s “invitation” into the Korean peninsula ocurred well prior to WW2. One of the first instances was in the late 1870’s during the Meiji Restoration when Japan “invited” itself onto Korea to quell a possible uprising against Japanese people who were living there. Makes no difference that the the uprising and subsequent killing of Japanese nationals was in fact staged by the Japanese Black Ocean Society at the direct of Ito and Yamagata, two of then Emperor Mutsuhito’s advisors.

      Japan has a long history of “inviting” itself places and then providing BS excuses for its behavior. According to official government policy I think they still aren’t acknowledging the rape of Nanking.

    4. Allen Says:

      “If we’re saying, ‘OK, let’s set up schools for these people to help them blend into our society,’ I can understand that a little.

      “You can’t let people in who are from different religions and cultures. It creates too many problems.”

      That looks like a pretty big contradiction right there. “Lets teach the foreigners how to blend to our society, but we don’t want them to really be in our society”.

    5. DR Says:

      There are days, and I’m in earnest here, that, although weed is illegal in Japan, I can’t help but think that a large number of “case-by-case-self-exempted and omniscient–crowd-of special-elites” have cornered the market on the cultivation high grade BC-Bud, and are their own product’s biggest consumers. Inhale……..this is one case in point…..exhale….!!!! Yeahhh mannnn, heigo, that’s right, heigo!!!

    6. Rachel Says:

      In response to crazyGaijin’s comment, I do believe that certain political elements in Japan still don’t acknowledge what happened at Nanking, much less feel apologetic in any way.

      As for the interview itself, I find it sad that this ‘Zaitokukai’ is allowed to exist, really. When the man in charge insists that “standing outside the South Korean Embassy in Tokyo screaming “cockroach” and “kimchi” at the people inside” is not racist but “just letting off emotions”, it’s obvious that his cronies are going to stir up trouble. (I laughed when I read about going to war with Australia, by the way.)

      At any rate, it’s always interesting to read more about what makes people like Sakurai tick. It’s also revolting, of course, and a little sad that this guy’s movement has that many followers, but there you have it.

    7. Joe Says:

      Wow. This guy actually talks a fair bit of sense. He’s against foreigners being exploited like robots, he’s not opposed to foreigners settling here after marriage and raising their mixed-race (and therefore “impure” in some eyes) kids, and he recognises the need to help outsiders “blend into” society, and that that will require funding. Coming from the UK, home of the bile-spouting BNP with its”send them all back” policies, this guy is a breath of fresh air. If this is all the extreme right in Japan have got to offer, then we’ve not got too much to worry about. The Korean-related comments are bs, though. Idiot.

      – Point taken. However, I wonder how much of this was attuned to talking to David McNeill. The habit is telling people what they want to hear. But when pushed for a logical extension or conclusion, all that comes out is a contradiction. Not sure I find his hot air all that fresh, either.

    8. Matt Says:

      As I suspected.

      His logic is full of half truths. And I’m looking at this from the half full angle. All of his points have a hint, a smidgen of real concern. Unfortunate, the glass is still half empty.

      Point #1 about Japan and foreigners: Irrelevant. Quoting the number of years or lack of effort in immigration doesn’t mean anything. The whole “field” of immigration in political science is not much older than the Meiji restoration itself. Of course, no country is ever “good” at handling foreigners. Not even the US.

      Point #2: He’s trying to make a point that the foundational reasons to bring in immigration workers don’t necessarily fix the dropping birthrate. That’s… possibly a valid point. Over a long period of time. But in the short run, it can be a viable solution. And this is not intended, afterall, to fix the birthrate problem, but to fill in a gap left by a declining birthrate. Since economic stability/welfare and birthrate are likely to be related, they still seem correlated to an extent.

      Point #3: Deliberating and talking about the political science and economic value of bringing in foreigners… is exactly what governments should be doing. I’m not sure what he would propose other than just that. “Treating them like robots” is really more like “treating a difficult to grasp mass of 10 million people in terms of its value to the host society.” And “Step by step” is more like “drip by regretable drip.” This is just a sound bite.

      Point #4: Weakened by Point #5. He was obviously trying to avoid saying something controversial until he was backed into having to say…

      Point #5: Ah hah! So let’s be fair. There’s a hint of real concern and understand ring to what he’s saying. Let’s not kid ourselves; mass immigration of conflicting cultures into a host country can be problematic, and no one is really sure “how” to integrate those kinds of people in effectively in mass quantities. Most methods intended to ease this problem, such as culture schools and integration efforts, have not been shown to be effective on the scale most countries would like them to be.

      Of course, one missing point in all of this is… the more you do it, the better your country gets at it. The US probably has such a faster relative conversion rate because it already had so much success culturally integrating immigrants into everyday life. You turn on the TV in the US and you will already see West Europeans, East Europeans, South Americans, Africans, East Asians, Indians, and slowly more Muslim (though cautiously so, it’s happening) actors and celebrities who seem liked and connected to basic American life. It’s things like that that connect the cultures together in a wider web of cultural boiler plate.

      So yeah… its gonna be hard in the beginning. Let’s not lie. There /are/ real cultural concerns. But you won’t ever get better at it by avoiding it. The cost will just get higher as perception against ever doing it increases.

      Point #6: Not worth touching on.

    9. yosomono Says:

      Although it’s not the politically correct thing to say, immigrants from the middle-east and certain Islamic African countries do pose European civilizations with a great deal of problems so in that regard it would be wise for Japan to shun certain regions of the world when looking to replenish their quickly vanishing labor reserve. As Hiroshi Komai argues in his books and essays, if Japan would indiscriminately accept all foreigners like most European societies did, a new very hard to employ underclass with very different moral standards would arise. Since Japan can’t even bring itself to take measures that would allow Brazilians and Peruvians to integrate succesfully into the society (like making it easier for people who are born in the country to apply for citizenship; by forcing employers to bear some of the costs for social insurance; by making education mandatory for the children of foreigners legally in the country, and by providing resources to ensure that foreign residents learn Japanese), I don’t think Japan would be capable of handling even more difficult ethnic groups like Palestinian and Somalian refugees. Japan is becoming multicultural whether politicians like it or not. Unless they can transform Japan in into a new north-Korea, more and more foreigners will come and more and more Japanese will leave, many of them returning eventually with a foreign partner.
      Almost 7 percent of all marriages in 2008 were international marriages. In 1965 this was 0.4 percent of which 80 percent were marriages with Koreans. This number will rise and according to estimates of several scholars it will hit the 10 percent by 2015. So even without any additional legislation 10 percent with an average of 2 children per family would result in hundreds of thousands perhaps even millions of multietnic children. This doesn’t even included the guest workers and their offspring nor the kougijutsusha, the well educated immigrants Japan is actively attracting already, and their families. Multiculturalisation can be slowed down, it can be regulated but can not be stopped all together. Politicians should realize this and take steps that help to smooth and regulate the transition towards a multicultural society. The foremost important thing in this process is to keep some form of “selection at the gate”. Japan, nor any other society for that matter, prospers from loads of illiterate and uneducated people from third world countries who’s religious, cultural and moral values differ greatly from those of people in more developed parts in the world. Japan should clearly recognize the threats and benefits of (inevitably) becoming a multicultural society and act accordingly. There is a Japanese saying Shippai wa seikou no moto da (failure is the basis for success). Let Europe’s failure be Japan’s success.

      – Give us a source for the 10 percent by 2015, thanks.

    10. (株)飛日空 Says:

      He’ll concede a couple points here and there to give the appearance of not being all that bad. Just a couple points so as to be totally 面倒くさい to argue with him. Pretty common Japanese tactic. But I was a bit surprised to see that he would openly admit that the government wanted to invite millions of immigrants to work like robots for industry.

      And war with Australia. Over whaling. I suppose there have been other wars waged for far lesser reasons. And countries sometime invite other countries to come over and occupy them! Yes… like Japan invited the US over for tea and crumpets. Anyone who buys into this sincerely is dangerous.

      I’d be curious to hear an interview with a Japanese interviewer sympathetic to his views so we can all see what he really thinks. People like him usually let it all out in Japanese thinking arrogantly that foreigners will not be able to understand.

    11. ben doon Says:

      Why even bother to legitimize this sad case for a loser.
      By writing about this sad case he gets the press coverage.

      [invective deleted]

    12. Steve Says:

      yosomono wrote:

      “Although it’s not the politically correct thing to say, immigrants from the middle-east and certain Islamic African countries do pose European civilizations with a great deal of problems…”

      yosomono wrote:
      “I don’t think Japan would be capable of handling even more difficult ethnic groups like Palestinian and Somalian refugees.”

      yosomono wrote:
      “Let Europe’s failure be Japan’s success.”

      Yosomono Question #1: What actions have immigrants from the middle-east and certain Islamic African countries done that make them “pose a great deal of problems”?

      Yosomono Question #2: What actions have ethnic groups like Palestinian and Somalian refugees done that make them “difficult”?

      Yosomono Question #3: What races have caused “Europe’s failure”, and specifically what actions have those races done?

    13. Mark Hunter Says:

      Unfortunately, he represents the views of many people, and as such, is illuminating a certain kind of reality in Japan. The lack of hate laws has been especially well illuminated. Just as government tolerance of the black truck brigades has basically cut their legs off at the knees, perhaps a bit of light thrown on this group will expose them for the buffoons they appear to be.

    14. yosomono Says:

      About the 10% in 2015 statement. I am positive I read this specific claim in one of the many essays and books I have on the subject, but I can not seem to find it right now. I can however present you with enough other evidence to back this claim. I went over a few books that came to mind first and I can present you with similar projections from several other GO’s, scholars and NGO’s.

      First of all, the 2015 project team on future development from the Nomura Research Institute(野村総合研究所2015年プロジェクトチーム) projects in their study “Japan in 2015: Heading for a new “open country” era” (2015年の日本:新たな「開国」の時代へ) a continuing increase in international marriages (at the current pace of 0.5% a year). (p.265) Nomura Research Intsitute 2015 Project Team: 2015nen no Nihon: Aratana “Kaikoku”no jidai he (Japan in 2015: Heading for a new “open country” era). Tokyo: Tōyōkeizaishinpōsha, 2007

      Then there is professor Sakuma Kōsei (佐久間孝正) who projects a similar increase in his book “Non-attendance at School of Foreign Resident’s Children” (外国人の子どもの不就学). He writes in his paragraph on “progressing international marriages” (すすも国際結婚) that in 2003 the country average percentage of international marriages was already at 4.9 and rising. In 2004 this was 5.5% and in 2005 it was well over 6%. He projects that this increase rate (of 0.4-0.6% a year) will remain stable and continue for at least the nearby future. This suggests an even higher percentage than 10% by 2015.(p.14) Sakuma, Kōsei:Gaikokujin no Kodomo no Fushūgaku (Non-attendance at School of Foreign Residents’ Children), Tokyo: Keishobō, 2006

      Next there is the Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan who published a pamphlet called:”The Future of [Japan's] Multiethnic and Multicultural Society: Changes in Government Policies proposed by an NGO” (移住労働者と連帯する全国ネットワーク出版の「多民族・多文化共生社会のこれから」-NGOからの政策提言 ). In this book chapter 4 (p.69) it describes the same development in international marriages as the previous mentioned books, but it explicitly mentions that in 2008 1 in 17 couples was an international couple and that (because of the muraokoshi policy) in the near future 80% of the international couples will consist of a Japanese man and a foreign wife. On top of that, because before long more and more of the elderly jun nihonjindōshi couples will die of old age the percentage of (young) international couples will dramatically increase. So the 10% mentioned for 2015 is not so much a figure of absolute growth but of relative growth. Still 10% of 700.000 couples by 2015 (730.000 at the moment) would result very large number multietnic children. This pamflet urges the government to acknowledge this fact and give these muthiethic children the extra support they need especially since the number of broken marriages and foreign mom’s boshikatei are increasing as well.

      There are a few other scholars and NGO’s who have published articles and essays about this phenomenon that I have stored on my hard drive but at the moment I don’t have the time to go trough all of them to find one specific quote. As soon as I stumble on it I will post it here on your website. Cheers.

      – Thanks!

    15. cstaylor Says:

      Steve Question #1 – Do you mean the push for accepting Sharia law in England and other Western European countries? The burqa in France?

      Steve Question #2 – Shouldn’t rich middle eastern countries support their Muslim brothers in a time of need? Why should they come all the way to Japan?

      Steve Question #3 – The fact that France, England, and the Netherlands, three countries with a relatively liberal view of immigration and other countries, would see a surge of popularity for far-right anti-immigration political parties should be an excellent indicator. Where there is smoke…

    16. Steve Says:

      Whatever actions you want to make illegal: vote on making those actions illegal.

      You can’t simply say, “We don’t like the things ‘those people’ do, so we’re going to not allow ‘those people’ into our country.”

      Again, whatever ACTIONS you want to make illegal: vote on making those ACTIONS illegal.

    17. jon Says:

      As a Brit I am speechless with anger at this man’s presumptions about Britain. The population of Britain is due to rise to 70 million, which scaremongers say is overcrowding, but at least it means that unlike Japan Britain as a nation isnt going to disappear anytime in the next thousand years or so.

      Sakurai, I would say Japan is getting what it deserves by treating immigrants-even your Korean neighbours-so poorly.

      And the British Empire was a lot more successful and long lived at Japan’s belated copycat attempt to create one. Ex British colonies mostly joined the commonwealth; I don’t see Japan’s ex colonies or “annexations” as you call them flocking to join a Japan-led or inspired economic bloc.

    18. Jib Halyard Says:

      this sort of thing always makes me laugh:

      “Britain is getting what it deserves (jigo jitoku) because it was a colonial power. All those people it colonized and suppressed are coming back.”

      Britain has a far more vibrant, dynamic and livable society than Japan does, and has a far brighter future. If that is a country “getting what it deserves”, then we can only hope more countries become similiarly “cursed”.

    19. jon Says:

      CSTaylor-the BNP were roundly defeated in the election this month, so I d say “backlash” rather than surge.

      Sure, this trend highlights the problems and areas where integration has failed, specifically a minority of Islamic British youth.

      This is a red herring by Sakurai as it has little or nothing to do with the situation in Japan.

    20. Rob Says:

      cstaylor – “The fact that France, England, and the Netherlands, three countries with a relatively liberal view of immigration and other countries, would see a surge of popularity for far-right anti-immigration political parties should be an excellent indicator. Where there is smoke…”

      That’s a pretty simplistic argument. Aren’t you ignoring the complicated social circumstances that have traditionally caused far-right parties and scapegoating to become fashionable? Economic downturn, for example.

      You could easily modify your arguments here to align with those of the Japanese nationalists. To quote Sakurai Mokoto: “Look at the Scandinavian countries. They let immigrants in and it resulted in cultural friction. You can’t let people in who are from different religions and cultures. It creates too many problems.”

      Yosomono – It’s massively insulting to suggest that Europe’s immigration system has “failed”. Countries like Britain have integrated many immigrant groups successfully. The fact that a new immigrant population has arrived very quickly and the country has had little time to adjust only suggests to me that we need to give it more time, and put in more work. Personally, I’m glad that my country is so multicultural. After a while “cultural friction” gives way to cultural understanding, and eventually to a more diverse and resourceful society as a whole.

      That’s something I’d like to see in Japan.

    21. yosomono Says:

      @Steve,

      Please read European newspapers more often then you shouldn’t have to be asking these questions.
      But if you have been living under a rock for the past 15 years please read ‘The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent’ that sums it up quit well.

      If you read German too try these two books from Political scientist Stefan Luft:
      1) Mechanismen, Manipulation, Missbrauch. Ausländerpolitik und Ausländerintegration in Deutschland (2002)

      2) Abschied von Multikulti: Wege aus der Integrationskrise (2007)

      Finally your argument on voting is false because the masses of people from Islamic countries enjoy the same voting rights as we and are called upon by their Imam to vote politically correct left wing parties like Labor to ensure the benefits of political correctness they now enjoy.
      Those masses in combination with many ignorant voters that still believe the Labor Party is actually there for them, has lead to enormous tensions and even race riots in some countries.
      [long tangent unrelated to Japan or this blog entry topic deleted]

    22. cstaylor Says:

      Not to read too much into the English translation of Sakurai’s interview, but from what I understood, his point was “why should Japan take on these problems that even historically multicultural countries like England and France have found no solution for?”

      Japan isn’t the only country facing a shortfall of healthy workers to take the place of the boomers. China is facing a shortage of san-k workers, driving up the price of manual labor. The generation that will be retiring soon in China numbers more than the entire population of Japan, and coupled with the shortage of eligible young women in China, East Asia is in for a rough ride.

    23. yosomono Says:

      @Rob I too am glad I am living in a multicultural society. But unless you find race riots, Sharia courts and the likes of Anjem Choudary popping up all over Europe a welcome change, you can not suggest with a straight face that Europe’s unchecked immigration policies have been all for the better. Japan already had a taste of middle-east “multiculturalism” with the brutal stabbing of Hitoshi Igarashi, the translator of Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses”. In addition to translating Mr. Igarashi wrote books on Islam, including “The Islamic Renaissance” and “Medicine and Wisdom of the East.” Police suspect those publications were the reason he was murdered. If Japan wants to avoid Danish and Swedish situations, they better learn from Europe’s mistakes. To quote Pat Condell: “We are all one people, but we are not one culture and we are certainly not one religion.” Small groups from the middle-eastern of African countries will not pose any serious problems but if Japan decides to take in masses of immigrants to replenish the shrinking labor force it should take in Indian and South-east Asian immigrants. Why because they have proven to integrate smoothly into societies all over Europe. In the Netherlands at least Indians and Chinese are doing as well or even better in Universities than Dutch natives. In short, I’d like to see multiculturalism in Japan but rather no Sharia courts etc.

      – I’ll approve this comment, but that’s enough of the “Islamic threat” arguments. There are a lot of types of Islam, and there are Islamic countries in South-East Asia too.

    24. Charles Says:

      What people have to think about when they make statements about how Muslim immigraton is supposedly ‘destroying’ the culture of European countries are the following facts.
      When the UK had its first wave of Muslim newcomers from countries such as Pakistan some decades ago, any chance of some real integration was lost by brutal thug attacks on the homes of Muslim people in various cities. Some Muslim immigrants were virtual prisoners in their homes, threatened by white hate groups and as now the police tended to be hampered by the laws of the land.
      Look at the much publicised suicides and manslaughter of white English people who have been victimised and attacked by gangs of white thugs, some of them including local teenagers. Laws failed to protect these people so imagine what it was like for Muslims some decades ago.
      The original immigrants in countries while sometimes lacking the language and social skills for their new life, often tend to not be hostile to the new country as they realise it does offer them better economic opportunities and personal freedoms. Their grandchildren usually turn out to be the ones who develop hostility because of identity crises and other factors.
      And let’s not stigmatise Muslims because of a vocal, isolationist, anti western culture minority. It might be bigger than publicly acknowledged but one of the best means of creating a society where immigrants don’t turn on it is a society where they are not stereotyped, stigmatised and blamed for things that most of them have nothing to do with.
      Also we can’t deny that whites are not having children in the numbers required to create desirable population levels for economic growth etc in European countries and the UK.
      Why blame immigrants from non white backgrounds for this problem? It’s just the same as Japanese and Koreans watching their so called ‘pure blooded’ (what disgraceful fascist terminology)population falling because they also won’t have children in the numbers needed to sustain former levels of population growth.
      They won’t have decent immigration to check the problem because of their obsession. This is not a healthy way of thinking for any mature society in the 21st century.
      Having lived and worked in both Japan and Korea, whenever I travel to any western countries with their multi-racial populations I see a stark contrast – the dynamism of different races/ethnicities and their contributions and the stagnating, greying suspicious Japanese and Korean societies with their emptying towns and schools, and their 19th century suspicion of other peopl.
      It’s not any model we should be praising.

    25. Karl Says:

      I don’t know that this sort of thing makes me laugh as such:

      “Britain is getting what it deserves (jigo jitoku) because it was a colonial power. All those people it colonized and suppressed are coming back.”

      This is a very scary statement. It carries the idea that 1) immigrants are a blight upon the country they move to and that 2) they are heading to said country as some sort of synchronized horde bent on revenge. As if immigrants are saying ‘You know, I don’t care about the higher paying jobs and higher standard of living. I really just want move my family to a foreign country just to stick it to those jerks!’

      What I almost laugh at is the way this guy can’t see how Japan’s colonization of parts of Asia is similar to Britain’s colonization of other places (and I guess parts of Asia, too.) It would be funny if it wasn’t so dangerous.

      This Sakurai guy is smooth. He almost had me going at first with his ‘oh, we’re just opposed to how immigrants aren’t being integrated into society.’ Good job on the reporter pressing the point to get the truth out of this guy.

    26. EK Says:

      and on the same note the firebombing of tokyo was nothing more than jigou jitoku.

    27. (株)飛日空 Says:

      @Yosomono

      I don’t think that the troubles over the Salman Rushdie novels can really be used as an argument against the immigration of Muslims. The incidents surrounding “The Satanic Verses” etc. were not limited to Japan by location nor does it target Japan specifically. I’m sure that the person who did the translation knew full well the risks that were involved by associating with a known, targeted author. Isolated and extreme incidences like these are unavoidable regardless of location. I believe that Muslims have been made into the recent scapegoat of the world and are reacting in ways understandable of an oppressed and demonised group (and the more they react, the more it helps the people who use them as scapegoats), but I digress.

      Europe and other countries that have successfully integrated large numbers of immigrants have taken a general perspective to make reasonable compromises with underlying intention of cooperating with other countries. But in Japan, relations with foreigners has never been of cooperation, but of subjugation. Limited immigration is allowed for a tiny migrant worker minority that can be bullied into conformity with the best case being that they return home after their work terms are up and have spent all they earned domestically (eg. SE Asian medical staff).

      And Japan is far, far from being in a position to complain about damage due to unchecked immigration with the likes of Europe (but some do it anyway with the current trickle of immigration and with great gusto). By comparison, Japan isn’t even trying. Japan would rather close off immigration altogether if they could and only take in tourists and migrant workers both skilled (to teach tech then leave without settling) and unskilled (to do the dirty and dangerous work locals don’t want to do then leave without settling)? Brazilians and Nisei from halfway around the world were brought in only to fail spectacularly when exposed to a society that rejects them. Some of them cannot leave even if they wanted to after having wasted years of their life in a country toiling for those that wanted them only for their labour.

      You advocate the immigration of Chinese and Indians since they have been shown to be hard-working and have integrated well in European society. I’m sure no one here argues with this. However given Japan’s long sordid history with China and other Asian nations in general and their unapologetic and scornful attitude towards them, I’m sure that Japan would be more than hesitant to let in people who they believe would like to do them in if they had the chance (and with good reason, even before WW2). If even Brazilians and Nisei, people that had no bad history with Japan could not integrate I highly doubt that Japan will want to attempt mass immigration of those who do.

      Cooperation demands that both parties make compromises for mutual benefit but Japan has shown time and time again that they have no real intention of doing so. Until that attitude changes and sincere apologies are made, I believe no real, long-lasting progress can be achieved. We can preach about the wonders and real examples of successful immigration all over the world till we’re blue in the face and it won’t make a lick of difference to people who simply do not want to cooperate (and in the case of Asian countries, with good reason). Because of this prevalent attitude I think we should just stop wasting time and effort on actions that require their approval and cooperation and move on to other non-violent strategies such as those that will help speed up domestic economic collapse and force them to open up to foreign control or stagnate.

      – Yow, can’t agree with that conclusion. If you wish to undermine Japanese society maliciously like this, you are not welcome at Debito.org.

    28. (株)飛日空 Says:

      @Karl

      I’ve actually been told (by a self-proclaimed history buff) that “It’s the same as what Britain was doing” as a justification for the expansion of empire by Japan. Really.

      @EK

      Same could be said of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Instead they are now grand symbols of victimhood. “Potsdam” couldn’t be bothered to be mentioned anywhere in Japan.

    29. Steve Says:

      Wow, if you agree with the ideas espoused in “The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent”, “Mechanismen, Manipulation, Missbrauch. Ausländerpolitik und Ausländerintegration in Deutschland” and “Abschied von Multikulti: Wege aus der Integrationskrise” then you must read this book:

      “All the great events of history have a racial basis, the very ebb and flow of history is understood only when it is seen that all of history is the result of racial or sub-racial shifts in power, of tribes or nations conquering others, of lands being occupied by different races, and racial conflict.

      Once this common thread is understood, then history stops being a meaningless jumble of seemingly unconnected events, but welds into an obviously connected and predictable flow.

      With this knowledge, predicting the future on the basis of what is already known, is not that difficult.

      This is particularly so in the light of the facts which have been overviewed in the previous chapter: the increasing numbers of non-Whites flooding Europe, North America and Australia will, without any doubt, lead to a change in the nature of the societies on those continents, which in turn will bring about a change in the nature of the civilization on those continents.

      That this will happen is without doubt: it is not even a question of debate, it is a simple fact.

      What it means in practical terms is that Western European civilization – as it has been developing since the Late Paleolithic Age, some 27,000 years ago, will vanish and change into something else, a hybrid culture like that of present day India.

      THE END OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

      This prospect of a hybrid society may appear attractive to some people, although it will not mean the end of the concept of race (instead of sharp racial divisions, there will be a racial “continuum” sliding from light to dark, as is the case in India).

      However, there are others who do not think that this is a desirable end result of 30,000 years of history, and who do not relish themselves or their descendants living in countries which are at best Second World, and, as the demographic balance becomes ever more marked, which will slide into Third World status and then beyond.

      Already the effects of the change in the make-up of society can be seen everywhere in Europe, North America or Australia, where one cares to look: an overview of these already clear signs of social discordance is the subject of this final chapter.”

      http://tinyurl.com/2bkpfkb

      .
      .
      .

      Steve wrote:
      “Whatever actions you want to make illegal: vote on making those actions illegal.
      You can’t simply say, “We don’t like the things ‘those people’ do, so we’re going to not allow ‘those people’ into our country.”
      Again, whatever ACTIONS you want to make illegal: vote on making those ACTIONS illegal.”

      Yosomono wrote:
      “Your argument on voting is false because the masses of people from Islamic countries enjoy the same voting rights as we…”

      Wait, stop, you’re against allowing certain “foreigners” into a country, because if they then have the same voting rights as “we”, then there is a “danger” that democracy might be used by those “foreigners” to pass laws you personally don’t like?

      I’ve heard this kind of statement before… where was it? Oh yes, right here in Japan: racist people are saying the same thing about the “danger” of giving “foreigners” the right to vote here. Are you in that group?

      It’s really strange Yosomono, because over on the real estate thread you SEEMED to be concerned about the foreigners right to rent http://www.debito.org/?p=6733#comment-195886, but on this thread you admit that you think the following statement is FALSE:

      “You can’t simply say, “We don’t like the things ‘those people’ do, so we’re going to not allow ‘those people’ into our country.””

      So Sakaurai, I mean Yosomono, please admit your true feelings: do you think the following statement is TRUE?

      “You CAN simply say, “We don’t like the things ‘those people’ do, so we’re going to not allow ‘those people’ into our country.””

      Basically, you came to Debito’s Human rights blog battling racial discrimination, and you attempted to defend Sakurai’s (= Lee Kwan Yew’s) opinion that one SHOULD discriminate about which races to let in to a country, with the following intro, “Although it’s not the politically correct thing to say…”

      You tried to convince Debito’s readers that racial discrimination is justified when choosing which races to let in to a country, because blah-blah-blah.

      Listen: You can pass laws against ACTIONS, but you can’t pass laws against RACES.

    30. yosomono Says:

      @Charles
      You are making something into a racial issue that isn’t there. I’m not talking about race, I am talking about the ability to adapt socially and to some degree culturally to the host society. Some groups (even from the same country) have proven to be better at that than others although facing the same discrimination and the same difficulties upon arrival. Like Debito says there are a lot of types of Islam. For example the Alivi as well as the secular Turks have been doing exceptionally well in the Netherlands and in Germany (and lets not forget the Indonesians of which the majority has an Islamic background as well) but Sunni and Shiite groups seem to have much more difficulties with adopting western values and a western lifestyle. If your argument is that everybody who raises this issue has the same narrow minded view on race (which has absolutely nothing to do with it) as some Japanese (extreme) nationalists, than your dead wrong. Because of ethnic nationalism (the obsession with pure bloods)is at the core of Japan’s national identity, Japan can not even accept Koreans, Chinese and refugees from Indochina who have been living in Japan for decades now and are socially, culturally (and many even ethnically) indistinguishable from mainstream “Yamato” Japanese. Like professor Chris Burgess argues in his papers on nihonjinron, in Japan there is a binary opposition of those who have Japanese blood (and Japanese features, half-bloods usually don’t count except when they are famous) and those who don’t. This is not the case in Western multicultural societies. Apart from a relatively small group of ignorant bigots that you can find in any country, western societies on a whole accept people as one of their own as soon as these people adapt at least socially to the host society. In Japan and in Korea this is certainly not the case. If you can’t pass for Japanese then it doesn’t really matter how fluent you are at the language or how well acquainted you are with the local customs, you will always be an outsider. I have lived in Japan long enough to experience that at first hand.

      – Fine. But that doesn’t mean Lee Kwan Yew should recommend that as a model for immigration. Remember, that’s the point of this blog entry.

    31. yosomono Says:

      @Charles,

      Sorry, I forgot to mention that I do wholeheartedly agree that entire groups shouldn’t be stigmatized because of the wrongdoings of some members of that group. Everybody deserves to be judged on their individual merits and behavior and not as Paul de Vries and Gregory Clark suggest by some form of groupaccountability. The first even went so far as to suggest that refusing men from women carriages was the same as refusing foreigners at an onsen, although the two couldn’t be further apart. I also agree that Japans ethnic nationalism prevents Japan from even bringing itself to formulate an actual immigration policy. All in all I think are opinions aren’t so far apart, I just feel that in which Japan falls short Europe has went too far. I hope they’ll be able to come up with an immigration policy say two thirds as liberal of what we now have in Europe.

    32. mashu Says:

      Yosomono says “If you can’t pass for Japanese then it doesn’t really matter how fluent you are at the language or how well acquainted you are with the local customs, you will always be an outsider.”

      In what sense? As viewed by the government? As viewed by people in your community? As viewed by right wingers? Some clarification on such a sweeping statement is in order, I think.

      IMHO it is only the right wing or the the tragically uneducated and close-minded that think this way. Granted the GOJ has a long way to go but (and I think Debito would agree but I wont speak for him) most of us who have lived here for a long time, sent kids to school, buried relatives, etc.. find that we are not considered “outsiders” by the people that matter most.

    33. Steve Says:

      Yosomono previously wrote:
      “It would be wise for Japan to shun certain regions of the world.”

      Yosomono now suddenly has written:
      “Entire groups shouldn’t be stigmatized because of the wrongdoings of some members of that group. Everybody deserves to be judged on their individual merits and behavior and not by some form of groupaccountability.”

      The former statement was obviously race/religion/nationality based discrimination, but the latter statement is more logical.

      About the latter statement, does this new enlightened statement of yours INCLUDE the groups of which you previously said we should EXCLUDE using “selection at the gate”:

      “immigrants from the middle-east and certain Islamic African countries”

      “Palestinians, Somalians”

      “People from the middle-east with the same ethnicity and religion as the person who stabbed Hitoshi Igarashi”

      “People who favor Sharia courts”

      “Sunnis and Shiites”

      “Illiterate and uneducated people from third world countries whose religious, cultural and moral values differ greatly from those of people in more developed parts in the world.”

      Are you logically ready to state, “Every human, INCLUDING: people from the middle-east and certain Islamic African countries, Palestinians, Somalians, people from the middle-east with the same ethnicity and religion as the person who stabbed Hitoshi Igarashi, people who favor Sharia courts, Sunnis and Shiites, illiterate and uneducated people from third world countries whose religious, cultural and moral values differ greatly from those of people in more developed parts in the world, NO HUMAN should be stigmatized because of the wrongdoings of some members of that group. Everybody deserves to be judged on their individual merits and behavior and not by some form of groupaccountability.”

      If you are now ready to admit that all Humans have equal rights to come to Japan and pay taxes, just like everyone else, without any discriminatory-qualifications about their race or their religion or their nationality, then welcome Yosomono. Welcome to the group known as human beings against discrimination.

      If you still think you can rationalize some discriminatory-qualifications, if you still think some people should have less rights to come here and pay taxes than others, then you are still in the group known as human beings for discrimination.

      Perhaps, instead of the race/religion/nationality based discriminatory-qualification which you suggested before, maybe you should try convincing us that Japan should pass a law that requires all people who want to live in Japan to:

      – Pass a test proving a level of intelligence.

      – Prove that they have never committed a violent crime.

      – Prove that they have special skills that will help Japan.

      – Sign a contract promising to renounce their old strongly-held beliefs and promising to accept the beliefs of Japan and promising to really integrate with the community (ha, good luck getting Lee Kwan Yew’s favored “chosen people” to honestly agree to sign such a contract)

      But here’s the thing, if you think people who want to live in Japan should have to pass such a test, you should make ALL people who want to live in Japan have to pass such a test.

      Just Laws are applied to Everyone!

      All Japanese people who don’t have a high level of intelligence: deportation time!

      All Japanese people who have committed a violent crime: deportation time!

      All Japanese people who don’t have special skills that will help Japan: deportation time!

      See, if you wan’t to make a new law which determines who has a right to live here and who doesn’t, logically the new law should be applied to EVERYONE.

      :-)

    34. yosomono Says:

      @飛日空

      I actually agree on almost everything you say, accept your conclusion. I would however like to make a few additional comments on your statement that Muslims have become scapegoats. This is true to a certain extend but this has also a lot to do with the fact that they, the Shiite and Sunni majority, opposed to the more moderate Sufi and Alivi minority, have a hard time integrating into western society and accepting western values (like the equality of man and woman and acceptance of gay people). The bigger their peer group becomes in the host society the longer it takes for them to assimilate (this is true for all immigrant groups by the way). I do however strongly oppose your conclusion to use foreign pressure (外圧) to bring about Japan’s third kaikoku(開国). The other two kaikoku have each time resulted in a nihonjinron boom afterwards. I am writing an essay on this and I will ask Debito to post it here as soon as it is finished. When Japan was forced to open up by Commodore Perry’s “black ships” what followed after the Meiji Restoration was a surge in Nihonbunkaron (pre-war nihonjinron) which differs from post-war nihojinron but is based on many of the same principles. After the WOII and Japan’s occupation (i.e. the second kaikoku) a new form of nihojinron arose in which ethnic purity and homogeneity became its core principles. This differs from pre-war nihonjinron in which gaichijin (colonial subjects) were also regarded as Japanese. Japan’s current obsession with ethnicity is therefore a post war phenomenon. I strongly believe that a third kaiku has to come from within and not from external pressure, like the first two. Because if history repeats itself, another forced ‘opening up’ would lead to a new surge of extreme nationalism in Japan, something some scholars say is even happening today already due to the “foreign crime wave”, the nikkeijin and ‘trainees’ who have become more visible in the last 10 years and because many Japanese are now starting the realize that Japan is actually facing an enormous economic problem that can (probably) only be solved by letting in more foreigners.

    35. yosomono Says:

      @Steve Wow, judging books on their title instead of their content says more about you than it says about me. To quote Chris Rock: “Anybody who has made up his mind before even hearing the issue, is an idiot. There are some things I am liberal about, some things I am conservative about” Meaning that the world is more complicated than to be all for or all against something. You haven’t understood one word of my plea and you haven’t read my other posts either. For people like you Steve, there is only black and white, (extreme) left and (extreme) right, no gray area in between, nothing in the middle. Calling me a xenophobe like Sakurai proves this. A trick extreme left wing cultural apologists always use when they run out of valid arguments. Someone who doesn’t advocate uncontrolled immigration must be a xenophobe. How narrow minded is that?! I wholeheartedly oppose racial discrimination, always have and always will, but I am not blind for what’s happening in Europe. Some groups (as I mentioned in earlier post you should read before playing the racist card) have more difficulties adapting to western societies than others. This is a fact which has nothing to do with race and everything with cultural and religious convictions.

      @Debito
      “But that doesn’t mean Lee Kwan Yew should recommend that as a model for immigration. Remember, that’s the point of this blog entry”

      Your wrong with this comment, Debito. Lee Kwan Yew advocates an immigration policy on the basis of ethnic appearance. In his opinion Japan should only accept people who look Japanese. That is racial discrimination in its purist form. What I suggest is that Japan should look at Europe and take notice of the fact that groups with certain cultural and religious backgrounds have more trouble adapting to western societies than others. This has nothing to do with race or ethnicity. For example people from India (mainly Hindus) are ethnically the same as the people from (Pakistan) but the first are doing much better in our society than the latter. (Yes, that’s a fact too, Steve). Japan needs 10 million immigrants before 2025 to maintain its current economic model. Now let’s be totally frank with each other about this, would you recommend Japan to take in 10 million Somali refugees or would you rather see that Japan would choose 10 million Indonesians, Filipinos and Indians. Trust me choosing the latter is not a sign of racist or xenophobic tendencies, rather a sign of common sense. The problem is that Japan (at this moment) is reluctant to choose either solely on the basis of ethnicity while they should formulate their choice on sociocultural compatibility and on European experiences with the different groups of immigrants in the past.

      – I’m trying to figure out which “Yosomono” we’re talking to now. Meanwhile stop putting words in people’s mouths.

      For the record, as I’ve said numerous times before, I agree with a “points system” for selection of immigrants not by nationality but by individual qualifications. But that “points” scale has to be clear and public and applied universally and properly with a system of appeal. Japan is a long way from that. We don’t even have an Imin-cho. Or an immigration policy.

    36. yosomono Says:

      [blather deleted]

      @ Steve. I did say and do mean that entire groups shouldn’t be stigmatized because of the wrongdoings of some members of that group. But this thought has proven to be very hard to actually implement in immigration policy especially when we are talking about mass immigration which is the only form that could actually help Japan maintain its current economic system. I therefore believe that with the track record of Somalian and Palestinian refugees Japan should be very careful about who they are willing to take in. However if Japan would actually, as you recommend, formulate strict immigration rules (the selection at the gate) like:

      – Pass a test proving a level of intelligence.
      – Prove that they have never committed a violent crime.
      – Prove that they have special skills that will help Japan.
      – Sign a contract promising to renounce their old strongly-held beliefs (inequality between men and women, intolerance towards homosexuals, mutilation of their children by cutting of pieces of their genitals, honour killings etc.) and make the best efforts to integrate (not necessarily assimilate) into the Japanese society….

      then perhaps could “difficult groups” be considered as candidates as well. The problem is that the cost of this system would be astronomical [unsubstantiated assertion deleted]. Unless of course you would have these people pay for the expenses of these tests on forehand.

      [blather deleted]. All countries have the right to send back offenders of their immigration laws (i.e. people who reside in their country illegally) and so does Japan. This needs to be done humanely [blather and straw men deleted]

      @Mashu
      I have never had trouble with my family they accept my completely. My wife’s mom sees me more like a son than a son in law. Although many of my friends don’t share the same experience. Two wives of friends of mine have been disowned (勘当された) and another friend’s wife had all her family bonds cut off (縁切りになった) because she married a foreigner. But as you say inside my ingroup, my uchi, I have never experienced any discrimination. Outside my uchi it is another story. Usually small things like a barber who refused to cut or an izakaya owner that told me and my two Dutch friends in broken English that the place was full when we tried to enter although it was clearly empty. When I asked him in Japanese if all the empty seats were reserved he growled at me that the place was kashikiri that night. A blatant lie but anything goes to get rid of the annoying foreign crowd. Look I know there are a hundred other barbers I can go to and a hundred other Izakaya where I can get a drink and have a good time with friends but it is just so aggravating that even though I have attained a native like fluency in Japanese (I am more proficient in Japanese than in English) that I am still refused on the basis of my ethnic appearance. I never felt the urge to sue anyone for discrimination though, but I can tell you this, if my children would ever get refused anywhere because of their perceived gaijinness I will sue the place into bankruptcy.

    37. Steve Says:

      See folks?

      There are these people who say, “I’m not for racial discrimination, I’m against racial discriminiatoin, but: I simply think countries should discriminate by not allowing in “difficult groups with certain cultural and religious backgrounds who have more trouble adapting to western societies than others.””

      And these supposed “non-racists” then admit they have compiled a list of the various “difficult groups” we should not allow in: “people from the middle-east and certain Islamic African countries, Palestinians, Somalians, people from the middle-east with the same ‘culture’ as the person who stabbed Hitoshi Igarashi, people who favor Sharia courts, Sunnis and Shiites, illiterate and uneducated people from third world countries whose religious, cultural and moral values differ greatly from those of people in more developed parts in the world, groups who practice mutilation of their children by cutting of pieces of their genitals (oops, I guess this means the much-loved group that practices circumcision are hereby banned), and Pakistanis.” This is not racial discrimination at all see? It’s simply identifying which “groups” don’t integrate well.

      Now it just so happens this guy above is a white guy, either German or Dutch, and if his half-white half-japanese children were ever refused anywhere because of their perceived gaijinness he “will sue the place into bankruptcy.”

      What’s he going to do when the court says, “Well, we decided to use your wonderful logic here. We’re allowing this discrimination against your daughter because our experience has shown that whites simply don’t integrate well into Japanese culture. Whites have proven themselves to have trouble adapting to Japanese societies, and Japanese establishments, specifically Japanese public bathhouses. We can cite case after case of whites causing trouble, jumping into the bath with bubbles on their body, loudly singing non-Japanese songs. So, we simply can not allow your daughter in because there is a relatively high chance she won’t be able to integrate well. Sorry.”

      He’ll be like, “But, but, but, whites can integrate! It’s those pesky Palestinians and Somalians you should keep out, not the whiltes! It’s those Pakistanis, look I have proof, I have 15 years of European newspapers! You should only keep out “people who can’t integrate with western culture”! Don’t keep out MY daughter just because you think she can’t integrate with Japanese culture!”

    38. yosomono Says:

      [...]
      @Steve
      Too bad you disqualify your whole plea by ending with the statement that Japanese people should be deported if they aren’t able to pass tests meant to assess the skills and intelligence of foreign immigrants:

      All Japanese people who don’t have a high level of intelligence: deportation time!

      All Japanese people who have committed a violent crime: deportation time!

      All Japanese people who don’t have special skills that will help Japan: deportation time!

      Just to get your standpoint clear, do you really believe Japan is obligated to take in everybody even illiterate, uneducated criminals who will live off a state (i.e. Japanese taxpayers) funded welfare drip for the rest of their lives just because Japan has some unintelligent and criminal people too? You have got to be joking?! Also your comment that all laws should apply to everyone is just ridiculous. Why should immigration laws also need to apply to citizens? There are even laws for citizens which do not apply to everyone, but to only to certain (age) groups.

      – Why do I get the feeling this writer is a college undergraduate?

    39. yosomono Says:

      [...]
      @ Steve Please READ. I didn’t say they couldn’t come perse, I said Japan should be careful in choosing their new labor force. I think the measures you proposed and the point-system Debito referred to are (if practically applicable) very fair and non-discriminatory. You are the one however that says that you can’t bar criminals who have committed violent crimes from coming to Japan unless you apply the same standards for Japanese people, meaning Japanese criminals should be deported. How ridiculous is that? Furthermore, there are people who think it is normal and acceptable to refuse the kinds vaccination and blood transfers based on their religious believes (Jehovah witnesses) and there are others who circumcise boys (something I oppose) or even girls (which I object to even stronger). These are all religious and cultural convictions that have nothing to do with race. What is so hard to understand about that, and what is wrong with opposing such practices? These practices should by combated by the government. This goes for people who are already residing in the country and for people who would like to migrate there. Therefore your assimilation contract that has people promise to refrain from practices that do not belong in a modern society (like intolerance to homosexuals and inequality between men and women etc) sounds like the perfect solution to me.

      – We’re starting to go around in circles. Let’s draw this discussion to a close soon.

    40. mashu Says:

      @Yosomono–thanks for replying to my post. but your words kind of deflate what you said previously.

      Yosomono says “If you can’t pass for Japanese then it doesn’t really matter how fluent you are at the language or how well acquainted you are with the local customs, you will always be an outsider.”

      by your own admission this is not “really” the case.

      Yosomono says “I have never had trouble with my family they accept my completely. My wife’s mom sees me more like a son than a son in law. Although many of my friends don’t share the same experience. Two wives of friends of mine have been disowned (勘当された) and another friend’s wife had all her family bonds cut off (縁切りになった) because she married a foreigner. But as you say inside my ingroup, my uchi, I have never experienced any discrimination. Outside my uchi it is another story.”

      Seems you have run into a lot of acceptance and some anecdotal discrimination. It certainly paints a much different picture than your “you will always be an outsider” comment.

    41. cstaylor Says:

      I’m going to reach out on a limb here and make a sweeping generalization about business owners in Japan, especially those in the hospitality or service business. In the Otaru case, and in other instances of racial discrimination, I get the feeling that they don’t (or won’t) understand that a license to conduct business is a two way street: the local government authorizes them to lease rooms, serve drinks, let people bathe in exchange for money, as long as no laws are broken in the conduct of the business.

      National Immigration policies are a different matter altogether, which is what Sakurai is talking about. I didn’t read anything in the interview that stated he was against immigration for people who are generally interested in Japan and its culture. That may be the subtext of his organization, but it wasn’t clear from the interview.

    42. cstaylor Says:

      Also, in my circle of friends, any problems with the foreign son-in-law are usually gone by the time the first grandchild is born. Babies make outstanding diplomats.

    43. yosomono Says:

      @Mashu

      No don’t get me wrong as a Caucasian harsh discrimination is seldom (for Brazilians and East Asians this is quite a different story) you’ll rather receive positive discrimination which can become quit annoying as well, but you’ll always be an outsider because of your perceived gaijiness. The beauty of a real multicultural society like the Netherlands is that everybody addresses everybody in Dutch because they automatically assume you are Dutch or at least a permanent resident of the Netherlands, regardless of their appearance. because people with foreign roots are completely normal in our society. Japanese hasn’t reached this level of acceptance yet. The US for example has an inclusive form of cultural nationalism.
      Japan has an exclusive form of ethnic nationalism. Therefore it is almost impossible for immigrants to be accepted as “Japanese” when they do not have an ethnic Japanese appearance.

      – So says the person who neither lives in Japan nor has ever experienced Japan as a naturalized Japanese immigrant citizen. How arrogant and presumptuous of you. Fuck off.

    44. Steve Says:

      OK Debito, my closing words on this thread.

      Makoto Sakurai said “I oppose immigration.”

      Someone came here and said, “I think certain discrimination is justifiable.”

      So I relentlessly made make my opinion clear, “No, no, no. No discrimination is justifiable.”

      One can not logically justify a law which prevents certain groups (race/ethnicity/religion/region/nationality/culture/integration) from entering a building.

      One can not logically justify a law which prevents certain groups (race/ethnicity/religion/region/nationality/culture/integration) from entering a country.

      Discrimination based on race/ethnicity/religion/region/nationality/culture/integration is discrimination.

      The point above will be agreed upon by Debito and most readers here.

      The point below will be agreed upon by only DB Cooper and a few readers here:

      Discrimination based on race/ethnicity/religion/region/nationality/culture/integration/BIRTHPLACE is also discrimination.

      One can not logically justify a law which applies ONLY to “foreigners”, a law which does NOT apply to people born within a certain country.

      Meaning, logically if one creates a nationwide law against certain ACTIONS, the law must apply to all people who commit that ACTION within that country, regardless of where the guilty person happened to have been born.

      For example, if one creates a nationwide law against the following actions: ignorance/violence/non-productivity”, must apply to EVERYONE, regardless of whether the person is a “foreigner” or a citizen.

      If you think it is FAIR to deny “foreigners” who have been convicted of the following actions: ignorance/violence/non-productivity, than it is equally FAIR to deport citizens who have been convicted of the above actions.

      If you think it is UNFAIR to deport citizens who have been convicted of the following actions: ignorance/violence/non-productivity, than it is equally UNFAIR to deny entry to “foreigners” who have been convicted of the above actions.

      How can anyone logically say that a country should have 2 sets of rules, a strict set for the “foreigners”, and a not-strict set for the citizens?

      It would be illogical for a bathouse to create a rule which says, “Illegal action: Soap bubbles in the bathwater. All foreigners who have been personally convicted of this action will not be allowed into the bathhouse. This strict rule only applies to foreigners, this strict rule does not apply to citizens. Citizens who have been convicted of this action may still enter the bathhouse, because hey, you were born here right? This new rule is only to keep out foreigners who commit this action, this new rule is not to keep out citizens who commit this action.”

      One can not logically justify a law which discriminates between citizen and foreigner.

      Fair laws apply to the ACTIONS of each individual HUMAN, regardless of what DNA you were born into, regardless of what culture you were born into, regardless of what country you were born into.

      Discrimination based on race/ethnicity/religion/region/nationality/culture/integration/BIRTHPLACE is still discrimination.

      – Okay, thanks. Now, Yosomono, your closing statements, if you would please. Belay the blather, open-ended questions, and straw men.

    45. yosomono Says:

      “We’re starting to go around in circles. Let’s draw this discussion to a close soon.”
      Amen

      @Steve

      [offensive statement deleted]

      You can call me a xenophobic white supremacist and I call you a hypocrite left wing fascist but we both know that’s not the case. Lets forget all the previous post and focus on this one, perhaps we can reach an understanding. You are right by saying that all people deserve fair chances. But that doesn’t change the fact that Japan should have the right to bar violent criminals and uneducated/illiterate people from entering Japan, regardless of their country of origin, their race, culture or religion but purely on the fact that they would form a threat to society (in case of known violent criminals) or because they are likely to become a burden instead of an asset for the Japanese society (in case of uneducated/illiterate people). Can we agree on that?

      I personally liked the system you proposed. By have people take several admissions tests and require them to sign a legally binding assimilation contract in which they swear to accept homosexuality, to accept the equality between men and women and to refrain from polygamy and genital mutilation of their daughters (which is nothing like circumcision for boys and still a very much practiced custom is several African Islamic countries), you would create an extremely fair, unbiased and non-discriminatory immigration policy.

      If Japan would actually (which I highly doubt rendering this discussion even more meaningless but just for the sake of argument) would implement a system like that, would you favor it or would you oppose it?

      Lastly, if you live in the vicinity of London I’ll notify the next time I’m visiting the UK.
      Perhaps we can discuss it over a pint or two and we might both realize that we are hardly the malicious bastards we had taken each other for in the first place.

      Peace and may we meet and debate again on another subject.

      – Y’know, based upon the umpteen bizarro comments I’ve received offlist (and had to ignore) and the dozen or so meandering (and similarly bizarro) comments I’ve had to delete here, I think I’ve finally figured out who “Yosomono” is. Hashimori Iwato. Hi Hash! I was wondering when you’d come spamming again.

    46. cstaylor Says:

      I still don’t understand how Steve can confuse national immigration policy with anti-discrimination laws. Can you name one country that gives foreign nationals of every country the same fair shake at a visa? The U.S. does not.

    47. (株)飛日空 Says:

      @Debito

      – Yow, can’t agree with that conclusion. If you wish to undermine Japanese society maliciously like this, you are not welcome at Debito.org.

      When I said “help speed up the domestic economic collapse to force them to open up for foreign control or stagnate” I should have said “help speed up the IMPENDING domestic economic collapse”. What I advocated, the LDP, pork-barrelers, domestic lobbyists creating closed markets for the privileged few, the outright resistance to immigration and all the fun that contributes to it have all been doing splendid job in that regard for years. But sure, what I advocate is on principle, malicious. I could have just advocated that we do nothing except warn others to avoid getting dragged into Japan’s slow descent into meaninglessness. It’ll take longer with the results being the same and for what reason? How many more NJ will suffer in the process? This is why I advocated helping to move things along. But if stating this makes me unwelcome here I will refrain from mentioning it in future posts.

      @Yosomono

      The two gaiatsu events that you mentioned were both resulting from highly visible military force. What I advocate is purely economical and one in which the Japanese themselves will have to instigate themselves by selling off their own assets in order to survive (and we have the chance to help create conditions that will encourage them to do this). At least this time, Japanese will be complacent in handing control over to foreign interests who will then have the power to influence things domestically. Whether this method of gaiatsu (if it can be called that) will be seen as しようがない or cause yet another period of heightened nationalism will remain to be seen. In either case, the main thing is that foreign interests will be in the position of power and that it will have been done in a non-violent manner and without visible confrontation. If this doesn’t classify as “change from within” I don’t know what will short of brainwashing the general populace.

      I do see what you are saying in regards towards a balanced outlook towards immigration. but this precludes that the GOJ does not consider mass immigration to be out of the question. We can preach the wonders of immigration and integration till we’re blue in the face and it won’t make any difference to people who will not see foreigners as anything but outsiders worthy of ostracizing, as disposable labour, and as scapegoat pawns for political maneuvering.

      However I do find your point about pre-Showa Japanese perspectives regarding foreigners as equals and that the kind of nationalism we see now is only a relatively recent phenomenon interesting. If this is true, I’d be interested to see research into what caused that change.

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