NJ topic du jour: Yomiuri, Mainichi, Nikkei pile on re free papers ads encouraging NJ “criminal behavior”, deemed “criminal infrastructure”

IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

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Hi Blog. Related to my FCCJ article posted here a couple of days ago, we have the J-media now piling on about “harmful ads in the free newspapers aimed at foreigners”, encouraging criminal behavior. This is a national issue of course (as I argued before, articles/campaigns about foreign crime take priority, even drown out good news (or any news) about NJ residents in Japan), and essentially the same article becomes common to the major papers (submitter JK sends the Yomiuri, Mainichi, and Nikkei).

When I said to JK: “Thanks for these, but not sure what angle to pursue. People will (groundfully) counterargue that these sorts of activities advertising ways for people to break the law should be rightfully reported and stamped out. What would you say to them?”, JK counterargued:


“Hi Debito: I would say that I find it odd that on the one hand, the NPA is focused on ads in free papers enticing foreigners to perform criminal acts, whereas on the other hand, the NPA has, to my knowledge, yet to report on the number of pachinko parlors that paid out tokens / goods to players which were converted into cash (read: gambling, a criminal act!).

“To me, it’s obvious that the NPA is being selective in investigating potential criminal acts because in the case of the ads in the free papers, NJ are specifically involved.

“Wouldn’t it be great if the NPA, instead of reporting that x% of ads offered illegal employment, and y% of ads offered brokerage services, etc., reported that x% cash paid out was converted from pachinko parlor tokens, and y% of cash winnings was from stuffed animals?”


Point taken. Finally, JK sends a positive article towards NJ (regarding something cultural), but like I said in my FCCJ article, that gets confined to local papers. Might be because it’s a local event/issue, but so does anything positive towards NJ seem. It’s the negative stuff that becomes part of NPA campaigns against “foreign crime”, not the positive stuff ever becoming, say, a national GOJ campaign for “up with people”. Not the best examples, but anyhoo, good timing for these mild cases in point to illustrate a phenomenon I brought up. Arudou Debito


Over 730 ads for overstayers, fake marriages uncovered
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 16, 2011)

Many ads encouraging criminal behavior such as working illegally and entering into fake marriages have been carried by free newspapers aimed at foreigners, according to a police survey.

The survey, conducted by the National Police Agency in May and June, said 736 harmful ads were found in papers distributed in commercial and entertainment districts around the nation.

The NPA will ask publishers of free papers not to run ads encouraging criminal activity. It also may pursue criminal charges against publishers allowing such ads to appear in their papers.

According to the survey, 58 free papers distributed in Tokyo and 24 other prefectures have carried such ads. Of them, 26 were aimed at Chinese and 22 at Koreans. Others were for Filipinos and Brazilians living in Japan.

The free papers carrying the ads also contain information on daily life services and restaurant information for foreigners.

Forty percent of the ads, or 291, offer illegal employment, with some recommending work in sex-related establishments.

Twenty-four percent of the ads, or 174, offer brokerage services to falsify residential qualifications or social status. They included such messages as: “We seek illegal overstayers who want to marry a Japanese” and “We can change your illegal entry status to a legal one.”

The Metropolitan Police Department has uncovered a number of cases involving illegal work and fake marriages, including some in which readers successfully asked specialists in administrative procedures and others who carried ads in the papers for residential status.

Ads promoting criminal acts found in free papers for foreigners
(Mainichi Japan) September 15, 2011

A number of advertisements encouraging crimes are carried in free papers for foreign residents in Japan, the National Police Agency (NPA) has found.

According to the NPA, a total of 736 ads promoting criminal acts were carried in 58 free papers providing living information to Chinese, South Korean, Brazilian and other foreign residents in Japan in their respective mother tongues between May and June. Many of the ads involved such wrongful acts as overstaying visas and illegal work.

The NPA has requested the publishers of those free papers not to carry such inappropriate ads.

By content, 39.5 percent of the ads were about job placement; 23.6 percent about disguised mediation of certificates and status; 20 percent about soliciting unauthorized sales; and 6 percent about introducing residences.

“International marriage: We welcome those whose visas will soon expire. Will introduce partners immediately,” one ad says, while another says: “Hostess immediately needed. With or without a visa.” Yet another ad reads, “(We will introduce) nominees or guarantors. All Japanese.” Some advertisers falsely identify themselves as administrative scriveners, while others suggest assisting fake marriages and overstaying visas.

The NPA has named the services and means of communication that promote crimes as “crime infrastructure.”

毎日新聞 2011年9月15日 東京朝刊


調査は5~6月に全国的に実施。中国人、韓国人、ブラジル人などを対象に、母国語で発行される58紙に計736件の問題広告が見つかった。文面は「国際結婚 ビザの期限がもうすぐの方歓迎 すぐに紹介」「ホステス急募 ビザ不問」「名義人・保証人(のあっせん) 全部日本人」などで、行政書士を名乗ったり、偽装結婚や不法残留の手助けを示唆するものもある。


外国人向けフリーペーパー 不正広告、58紙で736件
日本経済新聞 2011/9/15 0:29


「国際結婚 20~50歳の在日中国女性募集 ビザの期限がもうすぐの方歓迎」「証明書発行 日本全国3日でお届け」といった表現が並んでいたといい、警察当局は発行者に広告の掲載打ち切りなどを要請している。



Now for the positive one towards NJ, local paper only. Submitter JK comments, “Too bad stories like these are the exception and not the rule.”

母国の昔話:日本生まれの子に文化伝えたい 江南在留の外国人、紙芝居制作へ /愛知

毎日新聞 2011年9月15日 地方版







4 comments on “NJ topic du jour: Yomiuri, Mainichi, Nikkei pile on re free papers ads encouraging NJ “criminal behavior”, deemed “criminal infrastructure”

  • Police in any xenophobic society take disproportionate interest in foreigners.

    Foreigners cannot easily influence the political elite that control the police, and in a xenophobic society are easy to further stigmatise.

    Incidentally, in such societies, one generally sees evidence of police brutality and abuse towards foreign prisoners.

    Has this been on the rise in Japan?

    Moreover, the cycle is recursive, generally, in that the foreigners permitted will either be “acceptable” foreigners clustered in rather high skill jobs, and unacceptable foreigners clustered in marginalised professions, such as sex workers, and others. And, the the cycle intensifies.

    Moreover, it is also chilling whenever police speak to periodicals about the need to print anything, including ads, in activities that are illegal, especially when the police have so much discretion as to what activities to investigate and prosecute.

    One wonders whether the NPA will next ask the media to refrain from ads supporting the activity (still formally illegal in Japan) of sedition by foreigners.

    — “Has this been on the rise in Japan?” I can’t speak to a rise, but I can refer to existence. Read UN reports regarding torture by Japan’s judiciary here and here. Consider also the Suraj Case and the Valentine Case as well for specifics about police brutality towards NJ.

  • Eric Johnston says:

    I find it particularly striking, and hypocritical, given that the Gomiuri, the Mainichi, and the Sankei, at least, publish seperate sports tabloids that contain pages and pages of ads for sex shops where, presumably, some of the same foreign females who enter into fake marriages are (forcibly?) employed.

  • I’m curious, are you saying that the existence of an infrastructure (agencies to try to arrange false marriages or misleading work permission) is not newsworthy? Or that it should not be reported? Or that the fact that the police are (finally) doing something about it is not newsworthy?

    I know your thesis is the Japanese media is jumping on this because it involves foreign crime but this is exclusively (by definition) a foreign crime issue. I also noticed that the Japanese media were all over the story about the police doing background checks on the operators of booths at fairs to cut down on organized crime (and I did not see a single mention of NJ organized crime, which is also a problem, they focused entirely on the J organized criminals). So how is this somehow unbalanced?

    — Are you seriously arguing that this is “exclusively a foreign crime issue”? You think that no Japanese are involved in these deals? Anyway, I acknowledged the caveats you mentioned in my post. Furthermore, given the NPA’s atrocious record on racial profiling, I think it behooves the media to see through the bias of NPA campaigns by now and focus on the crime, not the nationality.

  • 2.Eric Johnston Says:
    September 18th, 2011 at 3:02 pm
    I find it particularly striking, and hypocritical, given that the Gomiuri, the Mainichi, and the Sankei, at least, publish seperate sports tabloids that contain pages and pages of ads for sex shops where, presumably, some of the same foreign females who enter into fake marriages are (forcibly?) employed.

    Really excellent point and something for Debito to remember when he does an article on this whole subject in one of hos Tuesday JT articles.

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