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  • Happy New Year 2011! Japan Times on long-termer coping strategies

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on January 1st, 2011

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    Hi Blog. To kick the year off on an optimistic note, here we have a Zeit Gist column from the Japan Times, asking “three well-known, popular foreigners” (two of whom are, in fact, naturalized Japanese; therein lies the point of the article) how they get along in Japan. They say, in essence, that they still consider themselves foreigners, but they have come to terms with it. Let’s turn the mike over to three dai senpai (I’ve only been here 23 years; short compared to them) and let them tell us what’s what in their world.  Filtered through the lens of the long-termer writer, who also writes with a tone of reconcilement and resignation.  Perhaps that is my future attitude too, but I don’t see it quite yet.  Arudou Debito

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

    The Japan Times, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010
    THE ZEIT GIST
    Mind the gap, get over it: Japan hands
    Charles Lewis asks three wise men from afar for their take on some of the issues that vex long-term foreign residents
    By CHARLES LEWIS

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20101228zg.html

    The Japan Times talked to three well-known, popular foreigners who have made it to the top of their fields in Japan about their views on surviving and thriving as a foreigner in Japanese society.

    Peter Barakan is a British musicologist and commentator who arrived in 1974. Konishiki is a Hawaiian former sumo great who has spent 27 years in Japan. Tsurunen Marutei is the first foreign-born member of the Diet’s House of Councilors of European descent. Originally from Finland, he has lived here for 42 years.

    So how do these three Japan hands — who have racked up over a century in the country between them — stay sane under the barrage of compliments that can push even the greenest, most mild-mannered gaijin over the edge from time to time? What witty retorts do they have in their armory for when they are told they use chopsticks well?

    Tsurunen: “I say thank you.”

    It seems that while coming up against and confounding stereotypes — e.g. the awkward, Japanese-mangling foreigner — can make some foreigners feel they aren’t being taken seriously, seasoned veterans have learned to blow this off — or even revel in it.

    “I feel good,” Konishiki says when asked how he feels about being told he is good at speaking Japanese. It’s a phrase Japanese use when “they don’t know what to say,” he explains. “It’s a compliment. I deal with it every day. I try not to think about it.”

    Barakan, considered by many to be the best foreign speaker of Japanese on television and radio, says, ” ‘You speak Japanese well’ comments are a kind of greeting most of the time.” On the other hand, “People saying you are more Japanese than the Japanese is just flattery.”…

    Full article at:
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20101228zg.html

    25 Responses to “Happy New Year 2011! Japan Times on long-termer coping strategies”

    1. Nameless Says:

      A very disappointing article.

      “Even some of the problems perceived by many expats as “uniquely foreign” — finding housing, unequal employment conditions and unwarranted identification checks, for example — turn out, on closer inspection, to be shared by many of our Japanese neighbors.”

      – So it’s OK because there are some second-class Japanese citizens out there too? Hmm.

      “We are foreigners and we can’t change the fact. But still Japanese accept us into this society as foreigners,” says Tsurunen, who has Japanese citizenship.” / “It’s no problem for me to be a foreigner — it’s a fact,” he adds. “I always say I am Finn-born Japanese.”

      – Tsurunen needs to look up the definition of the word ‘foreigner’.

      It’s also interesting that nobody thought to mention the mace attack on Peter Barakan, but on closer inspection, finding the police don’t care about crime unless the perp was foreign could be a problem shared by many of our Japanese neighbors. I feel much better now!

    2. Eido Inoue Says:

      Nameless: I was surprised by that comment too, until I realized he was probably speaking in Japanese and it was probably a mis-interpretation/translation. I bet JT made a (bad) mistake with respect to the subject (“we”) or the phrase: for example, he may have used the word 外国出身 {gaikoku shusshin} and not 外国人 {gaikokujin}. Which would make more sense with his followup statement of being “Finn-born Japanese” (フィンランド出身日本人)

      For his sake, I hope Japan Times is at fault here, because it would be embarrassing for a member of the House of Councillors to make such a sloppy & inaccurate statement. Diet members of all people are required to be Japanese and are expected to understand the Constitution and its laws relating to nationality.

      I see that this quote by Tsurunen is getting a lot of traction on twitter. It would be good to confirm if that’s what he actually said or it was a mistranslation or misquote.

      Allso important to remember that if he was speaking in English that English is not his native language and he may have misspoke.

      // for those that don’t know, Tsurunen wrote a book entitled 「日本人になりたい」 {Nihonjin ni naritai} (“I want to become Japanese”)

      – Let’s hope there is a misinterpretation. However, I’m sure the article author has been here long enough to avoid a mistranslation from Japanese.

    3. Joe Jones Says:

      There are different definitions of the word “foreigner,” and it doesn’t necessarily imply a distinction of nationality, despite the fact that it is often used in that context. Anyone outside their native land can correctly be referred to as a foreigner.

      I think Tsurunen’s point is that naturalization affords equal treatment under the law, and a chance to fully participate in society, but is not some sort of magic switch that suddenly turns on a person’s “Japanese-ness.” If you are not from Japan, that fact makes you different in the eyes of the people around you, and it is not a fact which you can change even if you get a new passport and change your name.

      – So we’ll allow Japan a free agency to define “national” and “foreigner”? I think that would be insulting to some, who have J citizenship and wish to considered a Japanese like any other Japanese national.

      But think of how the flippant uses of “gaikokujin”, “foreigner” etc. here make things very blurry. Why does “nationality” come into it at all? “Ethnicity” would be the more accurate word to use, as unlike nationality you never lose it even if you get a new passport and change your name.

      But if we’re going to conflate ethnicity with nationality, we’re going to have a lot of children of differing ethnicities who call Japan their native land but will be allowed to be called “foreigners” and be treated like foreigners.

      I think an argument could be made that shortsightedness of this sort, by people that have lived here for a generation or more, have even taken out Japanese nationality and reached the top of their profession, but still let people call and treat them like foreigners (even call themselves foreigners), has knock-on effects that go beyond them as individuals who have earned a respected niche in Japanese society.

      These attitudes imperil the ethnic identities of international Japanese children — who unlike the spokespeople in this article had the advantage of coming here as fully-formed adults with the choice of keeping or subsuming their ethnic identity. These respected niche-holders should be promoting the same freedom of choice for international children to learn about also retaining their ethnic roots within Japan. But they don’t seem to be, and it’s not going to happen if children are left to their own devices in the J education system, where the choice is made for you at a more malleable age and often based upon physical appearance.

      A bit of a tangent, sorry, but people should see where attitudes of “once a foreigner, never a Japanese” are going to lead in the long run.

    4. Eido Inoue Says:

      Joe, amongst laymen, perhaps some people may confuse nationality/ethnicity/race and how it relates to the word “foreigner.” But the Honourable Marutei Tsurunen is a not only naturalized Japanese citizen and a Diet Councillor, but also participated in the controversial 在日韓国人をはじめとする永住外国人住民の法的地位向上を推進する議員連盟 (the association of [Diet] members who support the advancement of local voting rights to permanent residents beginning with South Korean residents of Japan), amongst other things.

      Thus, I expect an elected official of the Upper House who sees and uses the words 日本人, 永住者, 在日, and 外国人 in a strictly proper legislative context probably more often than all of us combined to be a little more careful with his use of words.

    5. jonholmes Says:

      A pointless article that just fills space because as everyone has known since the Beatles came to Japan, if you are a celebrity, you ll be treated well here, as long as, in the words of one of Debito’s favorite pop group “you leave when you are supposed to.”

      P Barakan is a bit closer to the average J-gaijin experience, but he was in the right place and the right time, hooking up with YMO and other J groups, so he was fortunate. He suggests there is no sempai/kohai thing going in music and so on, but a J-producer told me that he was surprised that younger DJs were still working in younger/older pairs, and he could not separate the two because the younger respected the slightly older one.

      Barakan does point out rightly that styles are still defined here by nationality, recently even more so if anything. i.e. “J pop”.

      I m sure everyone at some point has been asked which JAPANESE singer they like, as opposed to singers from the rest of the world (though why someone perceived as a “foreigner” would be expected to “like” or even be aware of a singer in Japanese is beyond logic or arguably an oxymoron).

      I think I ll answer by saying “I dont listen along national lines” from now on. (Before I used to say, “As a foreigner of course I don’t listen to it” but I think that just confirmed a stereotype and my irony was not detected).

    6. Mark Hunter Says:

      Debito, your response to post 3 made my day. You are exactly right and these 3 conveniently leave out the kiddies, who are expendable, I guess. Makes one sick.

    7. Eido Inoue Says:

      Jon: Did you mean to use the word “nationality” and not “ethnicity” when you said that “… [music] styles are still defined [in Japan] by nationality”? To give just one challenge that statement: when people listen to the enka performed by Jero, do you think they call it Japanese music or American music?

      Funny you should use this sentence in an comment mentioning the Beatles, who were part of the original “British invasion” to the U.S. (which was followed by the Australian pop wave in the 80s, and so on) Indeed, the U.S. and U.K. continue to differentiate between their music along both national and ethnic lines.

      With music, there is both an ethnic difference and a national legal separation: international licensing often restricts commercial music from being distributed outside set borders. This is the main reason why every country has their own Top Hits Chart, even if their cultures often intertwine (as is the case with the UK and the US). I’m sure Duran Duran fan Debito would agree. (⇦ pandering to the blog author)

      Anyway, my point is that people often confuse the terms ethnicity and nationality because statistically speaking, they’re often the same: you can be both ethnically Japanese and have Japanese nationality. But as the articles interviewees and this blog author and this comment writer show, you can be ethnically American yet have Japanese nationality. In some places in the world, your ethnicity does determine your nationality exclusively. But not in Japan, despite what many people think.

      If they were speaking in English, it is conceivable — although I still have a strong suspicion he was either misquoted, mistranslated, or misspoke in a foreign (English) language — that Tsurunen perhaps meant “foreigner” in an ethnic sense rather than a nationality sense as Joe suggests. The word “alien” is better in that it’s a very legal word that’s hard to apply to anything other than nationality, so the word 外国人 can be better translated to “alien” than to the word “foreigner,” which has ethnic connotations. It is true that some Japanese unintentionally (including perhaps — ironically — Japanese citizen Tsurunen himself) abuse the word 外国人 to mean “people who possess foreign ethnicity” rather than as a term referring to nationality, but like I said, I would expect more precision in the word choice from Tsurunen given his place in society and his official activities involving non-Japanese residents. Especially if he was speaking in Japanese and used the word 外国人 to refer to himself.

      To me, this is bigger than the Hiroshi KUME gaffe; Kume is a mere (albeit popular) television figure. Marutei Tsurunen, on the other hand, is a member of the upper echelon of Japanese democratic power and represents us.

      § This is why “non-Japanese” is a much better translation of 外国人 than “foreigner” or “alien”. As 外国人 is not used, in the living language — definitions be damned — relative to the country one is currently in. For example, Japanese call Americans in Hawaii, rightly or wrongly, “gai[koku]jin,” when vacationing in Hawaii or any other state. And “non-Japanese” sounds better than the very legal and harsh sounding and wrong image invoking term “alien”. And I can’t explain why, but the Latin prefix “non-” makes me think of the appended noun in a more formal, as in legal/nationality rather than fuzzy/ethnic, sense.

      It has nothing to do, as far as I’m concerned, with being ‘politically correct.’ It’s less ambiguous (I know it’s referring to nationality rather than ethnicity) and absolute rather than the location-relative “foreigner,” which is why I like it.

      Finally, there’s only one extra syllable pronunciation penalty in English compared to “foreigner” or “alien”. Plus, it’s easy to abbreviate (“NJ”/”nJ”: no overlap with “JP” or any other two letter ISO 3166 code — sorry, New Jersey), making it convenient for twitter and text messages, etc. If you need a three letter sequence to compliment or be orthogonal with the three letter ISO-3166 codes with no overlap, “NJP”/”nJP” also works.

      – Re Duran Duran reference: Well pandered, sir.

    8. Kimpatsu Says:

      These three interviewees never suffer the same levels of discrimination that we do because they are celebrities. Their faces are well-known. It’s the unknowns like we are that get the short end of the stick. The article should have mentioned that.

    9. Joe Jones Says:

      Debito, Eido and Mark: you all missed the point of my post, so please read it again. I am not arguing that “foreigner” is a racial or ethnic distinction. I don’t think Tsurunen is trying to say that either.

      There are two ways to define “foreigner” in English: either as a person outside their native country (“of foreign origin”), or as a person outside their country of citizenship (“of foreign nationality”). You can be 100% ethnically Japanese (a hazy distinction to begin with) and still be a “foreigner” from Japan’s perspective in either or both senses.

      If an American comes to Japan and has kids with a Japanese, the kids are certainly not “foreigners” in either sense. If two Americans have kids in Japan, the kids may or may not be considered “foreigners” depending on which definition you want to use — if they have Japanese citizenship, they are certainly not “foreigners” in either sense. If an American becomes a Japanese citizen, they become Japanese by nationality AND remain foreign by origin. “Origin” is not a racial or ethnic question; it’s a question of personal experience and upbringing.

      Note that I am not talking about the Japanese term at all, since it carries different connotations entirely (as Eido mentions above). Tsurunen is basically a native-level English speaker, from what I understand, so I don’t think he would be speaking Japanese to a JT reporter.

      The biggest problem with some of the responses above is that “foreign” is assumed to be pejorative, or exclusive of being “Japanese.” It isn’t necessarily either; it’s just a fact of life based on your own experiences. And again, kids who are raised in Japan should not be considered “foreign,” no matter what their ethnicity is, unless they are non-citizens (and even then only in certain legal contexts).

      – Thanks for the clarification. But I reread your post several times before I commented, and upon rereading it now I still come up with the same response: Your condoning of the fast and loose characterization of what defines a “foreigner” in Japan still comes down to a matter of conflation of ethnicity with nationality — something nobody should condone given the Nationality Law. Especially as the condoners are representatives of the law (you as a lawyer and Tsurunen and a Diet member). And your hope (I stress, hope; it’s certainly not assertable as fact in belief or practice) that “kids who are raised in Japan should not be considered ‘foreign,’ no matter what their ethnicity is, unless they are non-citizens” becomes sky pie under the conflation rubric and dynamic.

      Finally, Tsurunen is not a native-level English speaker. I’ve seen him give a speech in English and he can of course do it, but he’s not comfortable in it (he’s far more comfortable in Japanese, as he told me; I interviewed him in Japanese shortly after his election. The JT author of 30 years in Japan I assume is also bilingual.) Just a correction. Again, let’s not assume; we have to reconfirm what was said and how it was said to the JT author.

    10. Allen Says:

      I was thinking that when he said that he was a Finn-born Japanese, I thought it was just the same thing that Debito calls himself(American-born Japanese). I was thinking that by his statement, he was saying “Yes, I may be Finnish, but I am still Japanese”. But, who knows.

      – Yes. I am American by extraction/origin/ethnicity (if you accept American can be an ethnicity). But I am also a Japanese. But I would never call myself a gaikokujin/foreigner in Japan in either language.

    11. Steve Says:

      I encountered a subtle form of discrimination when I was looking for an apartment in Yokohama. It took some time to find a real estate agency that would deal with a “foreigner” and even some more time to find an owner who would rent to a “foreigner”. But, having overcome those hurdles, I found that the “standard” real estate contract required a guarantor, and that guarantor had to be “a close relative living in Japan”. At first blush, there is nothing discriminatory about it; but how many newly Japanese or nearly Japanese have close relatives living in Japan?

      My wife has close relatives living in Japan, but I would not have been able to rent on my own and I would have been forced to use an agency that caters to foreigners, usually for much higher priced properties. I was very happy to leave Yokohama and return to the sticks.

      – But don’t the sticks also require guarantors? They do up here in the northern sticks.

    12. Steve Says:

      In these sticks, guarantors are still required, but the guarantors don’t have to be close relatives who live in Japan. With my first rental here, the guarantor was a Japanese acquaintance who had no relationship to me other than being a friend. On another occasion, my Real Estate agent acted as my guarantor. I have no big objection to requiring a guarantor. The objection is to the fact that in Yokohama, you had to have relatives living in Japan who were willing to be the guarantor. No relatives living in Japan, no lease. How many close relatives do you have who are living in Japan who would be willing to guarantee a lease for you, Debito?

      – Methinks approximately zero.

    13. C Says:

      I’m getting a bad feeling from the criticism Mr Tsuruen is getting.

      I think it’s a valuable debate whether or not one should pick battles on words or definitions like “foreigner”. However, I dislike the rhetoric that “we” activists can’t accept such a blow to foreign rights and that Tsurunen is selling out/giving in/a fool etc. That’s not the case. Both sides are interested in foreign-rights, both sides are getting things done and both sides should be at the very least respected.

      In the article, Tsurunen seems to be saying that he will always be considered a foreigner in Japan (a socially constructed “fact”), and he wants to work within that framework as opposed to fighting that. If I understand people’s criticisms correctly, they’re saying that while he may always be considered a foreigner in Japan, he should fight that tooth and nail every chance he gets because it is wrong by definition and unjust on top of that. He didn’t fight it, has become a Diet member, and has the means to make a huge difference in Japanese society. It’s the old dilemma of conceding certain battles and working within the system or conceding nothing and fighting from the outside. I think both means of action are important. I also think they work best when both means aren’t fighting against each other, but playing their respective roles in changing society for the better.

      I also want to discuss the point that some Japanese people have to go through hassle “just like foreigners”. I think the point isn’t that some Japanese are second class citizens, it’s that Japan is a country of tons of rules, regulations and paperwork. In such a society, everyone- not just foreigners- are filling out lots of documents. It’s not an argument against foreigners in Japan who know the law about gaijin cards and ID checks and whatnot (perhaps the majority of readers of this site), it’s talking about people who say “back in America, we just give the first and last month’s rent! What’s with all this paperwork!” There’s people who want Japan’s bureaucracy-filled paperwork-heavy system free of institutionalized racism, and there’s people who wants Japan’s system to be more like their home country’s system. The former is great. The latter is annoying. In my experience, both types of foreigners exist in Japan in big numbers.

      Hope that makes sense.

      – The last paragraph doesn’t. It’s extremely presumptive of you to think that we’re taking these issues up merely because we think our “home country” (whatever that is supposed to mean) is to us comparatively better. It’s so facile as to be insulting. Bog off.

    14. Mark Hunter Says:

      Joe, since we are talking about Japan, isn’t the definition of “foreigner”, as Japanese people view it, the only consideration? This is what affects kids, especially in the elementary and junior high years and about which the three interviewees seem to have at best glossed over. The damage to a kid’s identity at being called a “gaijin” when he or she has been born and raised in Japan is often terrible.

    15. jonholmes Says:

      And correct me if I m wrong, none of the three interviewees were here as kids, thus not having to go through with the trauma of being raised here and still called a “gaijin”

      ON this point, the article hardly deserves being called “the Zeit Gist” at all. Dare I say it that the three elder male celebs being interviewed might be a tad out of touch on this point?

      They came here as gaijin, they were treated well, they became celebrities, they fit into their comfortable niches. Happy ever after.

      Seems hardly relevant to the case of a schoolgirl with a Filipina mother, committing suicide does it?

      The more I think of it, I’m actually getting angry at Japan Times for selling us this feel-good whitewash, when it could have been interviewing multi ethnic high school students about their experiences growing up in Japan instead.

      They are the future of Japan, so it’s more important to know if they’re “thriving” or not.

    16. Outlier Says:

      Not many here mentioned what Konoshiki had to say. I watched a Sumo documentary on the discovery channel with his comments on Japan. When asked about Japan, he defianetly said “Im not Japanese, I can turn it on and off” I know where he is coming from with that. What comes into Japan must be made uniquely Japanese, including humans, so your identity can get lost in the sauce if dont defend it. I dont think Konoshiki is sheltered like Barakan and Tsuruen. He came up through the ranks of a very national organization, Sumo, and very likely experienced racism.

      – Accounts differ whether or not Konishiki said he did, but the NYT intimates he probably did.

    17. James Annan Says:

      The “standard” guarantor request in Yokohama for a relative above sounds a bit fishy. I’m employed in Yokohama in a company with a number of foreign employees, their apartments are generally guaranteed by the company though in fact we also have a personal guarantee from a senior employee too (split contract, long story). Incidentally, Kamakura is a great place to live as a foreigner – people (and police!) are polite and friendly, the city office is wonderfully efficient, there is a wide range of restaurants (10 with Michelin stars) and shops. But I digress, sorry.

      As for the article, I understand the criticism of the “foreigner” term used by a Japanese citizen. However broadly speaking I found the article encouraging and positive without being too rose-tinted – there was no blind denial of the discrimination that exists, but some practical hints as to letting it wash over oneself. I don’t the subjects can be criticised for not campaigning every hour of the day or reacting to every slight (imagined or real) – just being here, successful, and visibly different, is a positive thing IMO.

    18. Steve Says:

      In the case of your company employees, did the employees rent the property or did the company rent the property for them? If the company’s name is on the contract, “the close relative living in Japan” obviously isn’t required.

      This was about ten years ago and things might have changed. If so, this is certainly a change for the better.

    19. Outlier Says:

      “The more I think of it, I’m actually getting angry at Japan Times for selling us this feel-good whitewash, when it could have been interviewing multi ethnic high school students about their experiences growing up in Japan instead. ”

      I think the JT is appealling to a foreign market as well as trying to keep domestic readers content. Everything I have ever read or viewed about Japan from a U.S. based media is whitewashed. If all the negativity came out about Japan, there would be hell to pay Im sure, thats one thing many Japanese dont want you to talk about or show. The Korean reporter that was in Japan could of easily went up to Aoigaoka forest and done a sensational story about the sucides that go on up there. She could of checked the capacity of train cars in Japan, and found that they are being overpacked every morning, violating many safety concerns. She could of went to hello work and seen the unemployed looking for work and visited the homeless park in Shinjuku. She could of interviewed a right wing nut in Shibuya. Instead we got, with some exceptions, a very white washed view of Japan, and the Japanese were very content with that. Youd piss off allot of people in Japan if CNN started to do real life reporting in Japan.

    20. James Annan Says:

      Steve, I realised after writing that in many cases, yes, the company is the renter…however I do have a personal contract which is guaranteed by a staff member here. And this was set up about 9 years ago. Ok, this is Kamakura, but it is next door to Yokohama.

    21. Arudou Debito Says:

      RE Tsurunen’s quotes in the JT:

      For the record. Article author Charles Lewis has told me offlist that his interview with Dietmember Tsurunen was conducted almost entirely in English.

      Hence those quotes are exact quotes (the interview was recorded) from original English statements.

      FYI. Debito

    22. Nevin Says:

      Although I was puzzled and disappointed by the use of the word “foreigner” etc., throughout the piece, much of what Tsurunen and Konishiki said really resonated with my own experiences in Japan, specifically mastering language skills.

      I found that once I had mastered basic competency (general-purpose polite speech, ability to read a newspaper), things seemed to get much easier. Some of it was based on mastering small details like body language, while more fundamental things like communication strategies.

      For the average NJ resident in Japan (and I’m conscious that naturalized citizens are not NJ; also, I’m just talking about day-to-day living and enjoying life, as oppposed to the bigger issue of institutionalized discrimination, because Japan is a wonderful place) I think a lot of what can make life difficult in Japan boils down to communication ability, which goes beyond basic survival Japanese.

      Of course, Japan, being a G7 country, should be more open and inclusive, etc., but it’s not, and the practice of creating an “other” is pretty common in the neighbourhood: Korea, Mainland China, Thailand and Russia all distinguish between people who belong and people who do not. While it’s not universal, it’s a common human behaviour, and the “outsider” often has to adapt, and in the process of adapting actually does change the “host” society.

    23. Nevin Says:

      They came here as gaijin, they were treated well, they became celebrities, they fit into their comfortable niches. Happy ever after.

      All three of them worked their asses off to get where they are. You don’t just become a sumo grand champion. You don’t just master a language. You don’t just get elected to the Diet.

    24. Jeremy Says:

      I live in a small city 30min from Yokohama and have been told that I must have an adult (possibly male, possibly also Japanese) relative living in Japan to be my guarantor before I can rent an apartment. Granted, this was about 5 years ago, but I was told the same thing at two different offices of Mini-mini.

      I was able to use a guarantor company (hoshou-gaisha) at the last two places I’ve rented through, and have Japanese friends who’ve gone through the same thing, so there are good places out there too.

      As to the article, this is a good reminder to re-evaluate my attitudes. I wonder if I haven’t become a bit bitter/frustrated/tired from certain comments (chopsticks!), and I should really put myself in the other person’s shoes, as I often ask Japanese friends to do for me. Hmm, something to think about.

    25. Tony in Saitama Says:

      Tsurunen has issued a comment (apology??) on the use of “foreigner”;
      https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1Yr-LsD3Srvzl5BUU_gGuPnxeEae1MtVkRTS95iglXpU

      from: ツルネン マルテイ事務室01
      date: Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 4:26 PM
      subject: ツルネン事務所より

      ツルネンマルテイの秘書の山本と申します。
      先日はツルネンのインタビュー記事についてのご意見をいただき、ありがとうございました。

      ご意見をいただいた件について、ツルネンから以下のような返事をことづかりました。

      =====================================================================================
      今回のご指摘、ありがたく受け止めます。
      ご指摘の通り、私の発言した英単語「foreigner」は不適切な言葉であったと反省しています。
      自分が「生まれながらの日本人」ではないことを表現するために「foreigner」と言いましたが、
      厳密に表現するためには「foreign-born person」、または記事でも使用している
      「finn-born Japanese」と表現すべきでした。
      誤解を生む表現をしてしまったことを反省し、お詫び申し上げます。
      =====================================================================================

      なお、ツルネン事務所には毎日大変多くのご意見を頂戴します。
      誠に残念ながら、それらすべてにツルネン本人がお返事することは時間的に難しい状況です。
      秘書が代理でお返事することにご理解いただければ幸いです。

      このたびは、貴重なご意見ありがとうございました。

      参議院議員ツルネンマルテイ
      秘書 山本綾子

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      参議院議員 ツルネンマルテイ
      秘書 山本綾子
      Ayako Yamamoto
      Secretary to Mr.Marutei Tsurunen,
      Member, House of Councilors, Japan
      Tel: +81-3-6550-0923
      Fax: +81-3-6551-0923
      E-mail: marutei_tsurunen01@sangiin.go.jp
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