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Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

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  • Japan Times column on JET Programme goes viral: Most-read article for two days and counting

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on September 9th, 2010

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    Hi Blog. On Tuesday my latest Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE column came out on the JET Programme, where I argued that the program, under review for cuts or abolition, should not be abolished because it is doing something meaningful, moreover is getting a bad rap for Japan’s low language ability under an already psychotic Eigo Kyouiku system (read the article as yesterday’s blog entry or up at the Japan Times at

    Well, the news is that the article has gone viral.  According to the Japan Times’ top-ten ranking of most-read articles (updated every three hours for three-hour segments of the day, see it on any page of the JT, right-hand column, in a tab above the website poll), the article was #1 all day on Tuesday, #2 most of the day Wednesday, and it bounced back UP to #1 this morning.

    AFAIK this has never happened before to my JT articles, and I’ve been writing for the JT since 2002 with a monthly column since 2008.  Although I’ve hit #1 for stretches before, few articles authored by anyone stay at the top for this long.  I want to thank everyone who took the time to read it moreover passed it on to others.  Here’s hoping it adds constructively to the debate.  Arudou Debito in Tokyo

    6 Responses to “Japan Times column on JET Programme goes viral: Most-read article for two days and counting”

    1. Allen Says:

      I think it was one of your better pieces of writing. Its no wonder why it got viral. Good job.

    2. Level3 Says:

      Great article, but the popularity it is not surprising. In fact, it may be evidence to support the wide-reaching influence of the JET program. Practically every English-speaking expat in Japan knows what JET is, right?

      I suppose current JETs are reading it out of self-interest, and past JETs out of self-interest and nostalgia. And even non-JETs in eikaiwa-land (more than a few of whom are shall we say – envious – of the JET salary and conditions) might be watching this issue for the schadenfreude. That’s a huge proportion of the expat community in and out of Japan.

      Now, do you get royalties from clicks? :)

      — Nope.

    3. Hoofin Says:

      My blog hit counter has also been ticking up on that issue, from writing I did over the summer. Maybe your article has ’em talking all over Japan . . .

    4. Chuckie Says:

      Sterling work.

    5. snowman Says:

      You fully deserve all your success. An accomplished writer who tells it as it is. Waiting for your next book!

    6. Mark Says:

      What effect would cancelling JET have on wages for secondary school instructors?

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