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Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

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  • Weekend Tangent: NHK: GOJ enshrining more rights for handicapped. Hope for same for NJ?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on November 28th, 2010

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    Hi Blog. We might have the image of the DPJ being too bogged down in politics to get much done. But as NHK reports below (be sure to watch video too from the link), we have some pretty impressive lawmaking being done by a more liberal government for one underprivileged segment of Japanese society — the handicapped.

    The committee’s deliberations are saying the things we want guaranteed vis-a-vis human rights for human beings — including protections enshrined in law. With this precedent and degree of enlightenment, can we but hope that they could someday stretch it to include non-citizens? The linkage, however tenuous, is there. Have a read. Anyone espying these deliberations in English as well, please send link and article, thanks. Arudou Debito


    NHK News 2010年11月24日 4時21分 courtesy AK
    Video at



    4 Responses to “Weekend Tangent: NHK: GOJ enshrining more rights for handicapped. Hope for same for NJ?”

    1. James Says:

      Now if we can just get gaijin thought of as being human beings we will be in with a chance.

    2. Taro Says:

      I am a gaijin classified by the the Japanese government as an 1-kyu “profoundly disabled” person, and I find the Japanese government’s policies quite scattered.
      On one hand, the Japanese government provides FREE medical care, public transport, access to museums (THANKS!).
      On the the other hand, it totally legal for Japanese companies (like my former employer Hitachi) to NOT provide handicapped toilets. Likewise, top-10-in-Japan, transportation hubs like the Shibuya terminus of Marunouchi Line are NOT accessible to a person on crutches or wheelchair.

      — Keep going. Tell us more of what you’d like to see happen or covered, please.

    3. norik Says:

      They won’t discriminate, they will just say that the handicapped candidate isn’t qualified enough.

    4. Kimberly Says:

      We defintely need more handicapped access EVERYWHERE, especially in train stations. I believe there’s exactly ONE elevator leading to an exit in all of the JR Shinjuku Station, and most of the subway stations have nothing at all, or those wheelchair lifts that are fine for a wheelchair but still no help to someone on crutches, or the elderly, or someone like me stuck lugging a baby in on arm and a stroller in the other up four flights of stairs… you really don’t think about it until you’re there, and even then… at least I CAN pick up the baby, I don’t imagine many wheelchair-bound passengers are capable of just slinging the wheelchair over their shoulder and taking the stairs.

      Workplace discrimination issues are tough, because as #3 says, they can judge someone by disability, nationality, looks, age, or whatever else, and then just claim that someone else was more qualified or interviewed better, and it’s hard to prove something like that. But at least they’re trying, which is better than nothing.

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