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  • Debito.org Dejima Award to Japan Rugby Football Union, blaming J losses on “too many foreign players”, including naturalized former NJ

    Posted by arudou debito on November 15th, 2011

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    Hi Blog.  Allow me to present a very rare and coveted award (this is only the fifth one in Debito.org’s history) that Debito.org only gives out to egregious racists and offenders of the sensibilities.  To people who are basically beyond any sort of appeal to logic or reason regarding treating other humans as equal and dignified human beings:  A Dejima Award.  And once again (this is the third time) it goes to that ever-encouraged admixture of bastion nationalism and Team-Japan-ism:  A Japanese sports league.  One that blames Japan’s apparently poor showing in rugby on the foreigners (apparently even those “foreigners” who are naturalized Japanese citizens). Read the article, then I’ll comment further:

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

    RUGBY UNION
    Kirwan under fire for using too many foreign-born players
    SPORTS OCT. 30, 2011, Courtesy of Yokohama John
    http://www.japantoday.com/category/sports/view/kirwan-under-fire-for-using-too-many-foreign-born-players

    TOKYO — All Blacks legend John Kirwan, due to quit as Japan coach after the Brave Blossoms’ disappointment at the rugby World Cup, came under fire Saturday for his use of foreign-born players.

    The criticism came at a board meeting of the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) which reviewed the World Cup in New Zealand, the union’s chairman Tatsuzo Yabe said.

    Japan finished bottom of Pool A with three defeats—by eventual World Cup winners New Zealand, runners-up France and Tonga—and a draw with Canada.

    “We talked about how our scrum went or how our breakdown went. We also talked about our mental side,” Yabe said. “Some argued that we had too many foreigners.”

    Kirwan picked a record 10 foreign-born players, half of whom have obtained Japanese nationality, for his World Cup squad. The previous highest was seven, also selected by Kirwan for the 2007 World Cup in France.

    He used seven of them in the starting line-up against Canada in an effort to break Japan’s World Cup winless streak, which dates back to their 52-8 victory over Zimbabwe 20 years ago. In 2007, Japan also drew with Canada.

    Kirwan has insisted Japan must use foreigners to improve their results before 2019 when they host the World Cup.

    “Rugby is a world sport, we accept everyone. It’s not political,” he said before the New Zealand tournament.

    Earlier this month, the 46-year-old said he would not seek a new contract with Japan when his current five-year deal expires in December.

    Former Australia coach Eddie Jones, who led the Wallabies to the 2003 World Cup final, which they lost to England, has been mentioned by some JRFU executives as a candidate to replace Kirwan, according to media reports.

    Jones now coaches Japan Top-14 side Suntory Sungoliath.

    Yabe said no specific name was named at the board meeting as Kirwan’s successor but they had set up a committee to choose the new coach and staff, hopefully by the end of this year.

    “We noted the good things JK (Kirwan) has done. But the results are what matter,” he said. “JK said he would keep watching Japanese rugby beyond December. We will appreciate that.”

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

    COMMENT: One comment from the Japan Today site that resonated with me in its succinct truthiness: “They needed a reason that they didn’t reach their highly unlikely expectations for the World Cup. Stating that their sights were set too high wouldn’t work, and neither would saying they just weren’t good enough. But blaming it about people who are not “pure” Japanese in the team… there’s an excuse all the people high up in the hierarchies can agree with.”

    Just so. But in any case, savor just how stoneheaded this is. Like a fine wine, the flavor of this incident of clear and public racist scapegoating keeps unfolding on the tongue and in the mind, leading to a lingering despair for the future social dynamic of Japanese society.  No doubt for many people this will become SITYS cannon fodder for justifying a negative disposition towards Japan, and an understanding why it’s in decline. Not for me. I just give the Japan Rugby Football Union a golden razzie in the form of The Debito.org Dejima Award. And create a permanent record for others to set their mental compasses by. Arudou Debito

    36 Responses to “Debito.org Dejima Award to Japan Rugby Football Union, blaming J losses on “too many foreign players”, including naturalized former NJ”

    1. Jim Di Griz Says:

      “JK said he would keep watching Japanese rugby beyond December. We will appreciate that.”

      Yeah, JK will be watching, but laughing his ass off as a (pure-blood) team of Japan’s most manly males seek to extend a twenty year winless streak into a twenty one year winless streak.

      As for this;
      “We talked about how our scrum went or how our breakdown went. We also talked about our mental side,” Yabe said. “Some argued that we had too many foreigners.”
      The really depressing thing (like so many times before), is the complete lack of any criticism following such a racist statement. No backlash. No calls to clarify the meaning. No demands for resignation. Nothing. Not even a squeak from all the foreign rugby players on Japanese teams, or their agents. Only apathy, and tacit endorsement by default. Shame on all those Japanese who ‘love (insert foreign country name here)’, but never show the slightest opposition to the discrimination against foreigners in Japan.

    2. Charuzu Says:

      It reminds me that for many Japanese is a mere legal formaility that is essentially irrelevant in considering whether one truly is Japanese.

      As such, it remonds a European of the ‘Blut und Boden’ movement of the 1930s and 1940s that declared that a German was a German, even if he had lived for centuries in a different country.

      This further reinforces the view that many in Japan implicitly or explicitly believe that there are two types of Japanese, 1) those who are Japanese citizens and of pure Japanese “blood”; and 2) those only possessing Japanese citizenship without the racial purity.

    3. Wymarshian Says:

      Cute that they don’t have enough confidence in their own home-grown coaches to lead the team even to the point that when this coach failed due to too many foreigners, the first coach mentioned is another foreigner. Sproing! There goes my irony meter.

    4. Aj Says:

      They suck because their university system has promising players cleaning mud off the boots of promising senior college players instead of getting quality game time between the ages of 18 and 20, when most Rugby players internationally mature from promising kids to superstars on the make. It’s outdated Japanese thinking and insistence by the powers that be that the system that produced them is just fine. It’s not.

      Sound familiar.

      Japanese Rugby, change or flounder. This is your choice. See if your competitors care. They’ll be happy to go on thrashing you because your player development system is crap, and you’ve got the superior Japanese way blinkers on. It’s time to grow up. John Kirwan knows what he’s talking about. You do not.

    5. Johnny Says:

      Rugby’s international eligibility rules mean that you need only be resident in a country for 3 years to qualify to represent that country. Given the number of people who come over to play here who have not played international rugby before (you can only play for one country), there are plenty of good players who become eligible to represent Japan. As the article says, a number of the team have actually naturalised (Shaun Webb, Ryan Nicholas, Luke Thompson, Koliniasi Ryu Holani, Touetsu Taufa).

      The foreign born players are an easy target for the JRFU, but the reality is that had it been a team of native born Japanese only, they would have been absolute cannon fodder. The JRFU continues to do a poor job of running the game domestically, and player development is a real weakpoint. Easier to point the finger than to address their own shortcomings.

    6. Bitter Valley Says:

      This is stunning, Debito and actually I am shocked. The people who will attack you for creating so much trouble (or the other criticisms I have read) will working quietly to make life better because you don’t get the “Japanese way” and the rest of the nonsense just don’t get it.

      Need to keep on confronting this racist and insulting rubbish, and don’t let up. This beggars belief. The reason why the Japanese team did not do worse was because of the quality and skills of the players, who were selected on their skills and talents.

      And then denigrating the citizenship of the players. You can’t really be Japanese unless you have “Japanese blood” – two absurd, one racist and the other scientifically impossible notions wrapped into one.

      Instead of supporting their national team, the JRFU have undermined and insulted not only their team but also the sport of rugby. This should be taken higher and made an international issue.

      – Thanks. See how this incident sinks in and unwraps itself in the mind to the point of beggaring belief? It’s very much Dejima Award fodder.

    7. Johnny Says:

      The other excuse often made is around the size of players, i.e. ‘we Japanese are smaller so that’s why we can’t compete with the big boys’.

      Where this falls down is that there have been plenty of rugby players of Asian ancestry who have achieved big things at the international level.

      Tony and Rory Underwood, Gareth Delve, Francois Trinh-Duc and Pat Lam are names that spring into my head, but there are many more.

    8. AJ Says:

      Unwrap it, stick in the the oven for thirty minutes, and what comes out is “We discussed the role of players skill level, training, and quality of decision making in pressure situations, and concluded that lack of racial purity must have played a central role in the ongoing poor performance of the ‘Japanese’ at the Rugby World Cup.”

      Well, (insert expletive here) you Japanese Rugby. I will be barracking strongly against your side on principle in the future.

      On a less fired up note, are these administrators really that brain dead to believe this drivel? Do they think they are the sumo association or what? This is a well established international sport far predating Japanese involvement. Their antiquated racial views really should be brought up as an issue at the IRB. This kind of racism, albeit more overt, had South Africa expelled from the International game for 20 years.

    9. crustpunker Says:

      But WILL there be any backlash to such an absurd and offensive statement? How might people go about making their voices heard if they were so inclined to do so? Any suggestions? Also, are we 110% sure that this isn’t a mistranslation or something? I almost find it too unbelievable that someone would actually say “Some argued that we had too many foreigners.”

      Is there a chance that this was taken out of context or cut off from the rest of what Yabe said?

      for example, “Some argued that we had too many foreigners, (but the reality is that we all played together as a team and lost together as a team) or something like that.

      IF this is ALL that was said then this is one of the most offensive statements I think I have ever heard said publicly in all my time here in this country.

      Imagine the fallout if a similar comment was said in many other countries. I’m not saying that it WOULDN’T be said, just that there would likely be repurcussions no?

      I can’t quite recall but just recently didn’t an American politican say something to the effect of “Stop trying to “Jew” us around? National headlines same day and follow up articles and said politican being demanded to apologize.

      Tiger Woods ex-caddy came out with a racial slur about Tiger and has been lambasted about the news recently as well.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2057888/Steve-Williams-racist-comment-Adam-Scott-refuses-sack-Tiger-Woods-ex-caddy.html

      Lebron James is in the shithouse at the moment for an alleged remark:

      http://www.wapt.com/sports/29759974/detail.html

      Why does Japan get a pass?

    10. Scipio Says:

      AJ Says:
      November 15th, 2011 at 10:54 am Their antiquated racial views really should be brought up as an issue at the IRB. This kind of racism, albeit more overt, had South Africa expelled from the International game for 20 years.

      Going by your posts over the recent weeks,you really need a break from Japan, before you explode. Either that or you’re a plant from the other stalking site, giving them a reason to ridicule this place. Calm down.

      You’ve completely lost the plot here. The Springboks were kicked out of international rugby because they actively practiced a color bar system against South African born players.
      The problem with international rugby at the moment is that the IRB takes a very liberal definition of who is or isn’t eligable to play for the national teams. The result is that NZ, Oz and England get to cherry pick the best of the pacific islanders, and the less presigious/rich countries get the rough end of the deal.
      Obviously Japan is not one of the poor cousins of rugby, but to supplement its lack of domestic talent, it uses those very liberal deinitions of nationality – criteria that would never be accepted by FIFA in international soccer – to skill up its national team by offering rich financial packages to players who have no physical or emotional connect to Japan.
      The problem is not Japan’s, but the IRB rulings on who or isn’t able to play for the national teams.
      In Japan’s case it has proved to be a cocktail for disaster because the ‘fly by night’ Japanese nationals, earn their Yen, then leave.
      This at present is strangling Japanese home grown talent and will only properly be resolved in the not too distant future by witnessing the international marriages of my rugby crazy Kiwi and Oz friends with their kids.
      Those children will never be excluded from playing for the Japanese national team because of their race – which is what the South African rugby authorities did – and therefore your example is a case of apples and oranges.
      Calm down and stop seeing racism in every corner. Yes, there is racism in Japan, unlike what our toyboys on the stalking site would have us believe, but the JRB are just addressing an issue which is proving a problem for many countries in international rugby.

    11. Aladair Says:

      Wish they had played all Japanese-born players. Canada would have thrashed them (even though they had a poor game) and would have finished third, receiving financing and an automatic berth in the next World Cup as a result. Damn!

    12. flyjin Says:

      Who cares about Japan, especially in Rugby? Especially now.

      Yet another area of J- marginalization. Maybe its best for us all not to get worked up about the rubbish these bigots spout, better to just ignore them, Japan and stop taking the country seriously.

      The non J-missus had an excellent point: “There was a big earthquake in Japan? So what! There were two far worse ones in China!”

      Why treat Japan like its special? (Ironic answer: because they themselves think it is, but I digress.)

      – Or maybe because we devoted our lives and love for decades to this society and care about what happens to it?

    13. adamu Says:

      this is an old chestnut-and a dismal excuse. they tried without the naturalized japanese players in the past on the tour in 2004 (only one nj mau was allowed to go ) and got beaten by over a 100 by scotland and 98-0 by wales(i think it is wales’biggest international win.
      they even lost to romania that time.
      after that they started picking foreign coaches for the first time,and results have definitely improved-they gave france a huge scare in the world cup recently.
      bottom line -they are nowhere near good enough.

    14. Jim Di Griz Says:

      @Flyjin
      You may have a point worth considering. If the Japan doesn’t want to change, maybe it should be left to disappear into historical irrelevancy, as the cracks in its demographics and economics are wall-papered over, rather than being addressed. I totally understand the frustration of taking hits from every side just for trying to make things better, not to mention ‘Mr. Tom’ NJ tossing hand grenades at me from the sidelines. You make a valid point. If the Japanese don’t want to be saved, why force them?

    15. flyjin Says:

      Great that you still care (Andy Warhol once said he “Still cared about people but it would be much easier not to”), but Japan is not “special”, or only as “special” as any other country has a “unique culture”. Isn’t that an underlying theme of your blogs? I.e. Why should Team Japan-in this case, literally a Team Japan (Rugby) get special treatment?

      I am so sorry you put your heart so into this place. Well, so did I. But there came a point where I just had to move on and stop feeling angry all the time. I appreciate you are a stronger individual than I and you have chosen to make your stand here and stick up for what you believe in.

      My moniker, however, is “flyjin”- which stands for someone who didn’t feel committed enough even after 15 years to stay in such a hopelessly xenophobic society, I hadn’t put down roots, nor was it in my interest to stay and they didn’t make me feel included. I was disconnected, so I dropped out. I also chose to feel sane and calm, elsewhere.

      “Those who come to Japan as supporters tend to leave as detractors”

      I hope I can help a few individuals who want to leave, study abroad, do a homestay at my house, an individual helping individuals.Thats how I can maintain a positive dialog with a select few Japanese individuals.

      But we should all do our best to ignore, exclude and thus marginalize any backward or racist thinking in those imprisoned isles. such as those who seek recognition from and inclusion in any international body, sport, or those trying to reap the benefits of, but without being held to the same international norms.

      Many cultural studies have said “international recognition” is a high priority for Japanese, be it individuals, celebrities from Mishima Yukio to Matsuda Seiko to Utada Hikaru (prime hypocritical example, that last one) to to the GOJ.

      Don’t give them any. Ignore and exclude. It’s less energy burn for you and it hits ‘em where it hurts- their J Pride.

      – Thanks. I wasn’t exceptionalizing institutionalized xenophobic thinking or justifying special treatment. I was just saying why some people might be concerned about clear and present expressions of racism in Japan.

      As a tangent (sorry, everyone), I’ll bite: How is Utada in particular hypocritical?

    16. 蜻蛉 Says:

      Utada may be considered hypocritical by some people for the following reasons:

      1. Made a comment on twitter where she said that she is concerned about foreigners buying up property in Japan.

      2. Has tried more than twice to break into the American market. She still has not succeeded.

      3. Utada doesn’t particularly like it when someone praises her English. (Welcome to the world of every gaijin in Japan!)

      – Okay, thanks. Not sure how #2 is hypocritical, but back on topic.

    17. AJ Says:

      Wow Scipio. Firstly, you don’t know me. I’m legit here. I’m an unequivocal supporter of Debito’s activism. I have strong views, so shoot me. You’re entitled to disagree, and Debito will print your counterarguments here. But if you want to make personal comments, do it elsewhere please. I don’t take the time to post here so I can get flamed or told what’s best for my psychological wellbeing. It’s thoroughly irrelovant. Moving on.

      I don’t see racism around every corner. People accuse Debito of the same without truly appreciating the cause he believes in. But I do see it. And I’ll put my hand up and call it out from the hilltops when I see it.

      This is a clear case where the IRB needs to change or continue to flounder. That they cite race as a reason for their ongoing failure to achieve long term goals is utterly unacceptable, feeds ignorance, and they should be brought to censure by the IRB board. No country should be allowed to even go close to making rules, in print or in mind, that place racial quotas on the make up of a national side. That’s what happened in South Africa for many years. Japan hasn’t gone down that road yet, but it should be made clear to the JRB in no uncertain terms that it’s not on. Period. You know that some people in that room are thinking it.

      Am I that far off base, Scipio. Really?

    18. Jim Di Griz Says:

      Utada Hikaru said on twitter in Japanese that she ‘had come to notice the problem of NJ buying land in Japan’. She owns two properties in the US.

      – That’s right! I remember that.

    19. Scipio Says:

      AJ Says:
      Am I that far off base, Scipio. Really?

      The likening of an apartheid-era Springboks rugby team with the present Brave Blossoms, this following on from your previous post (thankfully removed) that Japanese police were warning japanese children to stay clear of non-japanese because they (non-Japanese) have guns….

      I’d say not even within the stadium of common sense.

    20. Scipio Says:

      蜻蛉 Says:
      November 16th, 2011 at 5:45 am
      Utada may be considered hypocritical by some people for the following reasons:
      1. Made a comment on twitter where she said that she is concerned about foreigners buying up property in Japan.

      Especially considering that she herself owns two properties in New York city – the link to her saying so is on this site somewhere – and I’m sure that as a result of her anchor birth (her mother made sure Hikaru was born in the USA)s he still has her US passport stored safely away, even though it is illegal for japanese nationals to hold dual nationality.

    21. AJ Says:

      Now, Scipio, in response to your most recent on topic point;

      I’m not likening the current team of “Brave” blossoms to anything. I’m discussing the xenophobic beliefs of certain members of the Japanese Rugby board, now made public, to the xenophobic views of the South African Rugby Board of the 70s and 80s. I stated clearly that these views are not manifest on the same scale. Your misrepresentation of my comments and clarification thereof are starting to make me wonder if it is you who is a troll here.

      It seems clear to me that there are men inside the JRB who wish there were less or even no non pure blood Japanese in the national side, and that seemingly from the comments Debito cites, would prefer that it be capped. I don’t think it’s too much or stretch to believe that some of these men wish that cap was 0.

      Again, this is unacceptable, and not far removed from the ignorance of the member of the SARB in the bad old days of apartheid, and not in line with the principles of international sport, or those that I believe
      the IRB would like to represent.

      So, Scipio, is your criticism of my opinion on this matter based on the fact that you believe that no members of the Japanese Rugby Board would like to see the number of non pure blood Japanese restricted in the make up of the national team?

      If not, I’m afraid you don’t really have a point, have beem misrepresenting my comments, and might just be winding me up for your own amusement. Please stop. It’s really not adding to the quality of the discourse.

    22. Chuckie Says:

      Odd. I don’t remember hearing an outcry about foreign-born players in the Japanese rugby side in July during the Pacific Nations Championship (that also includes Tonga, Fiji, Samoa). Oh yeah, that’s because Japan won it for the first time.

      Here’s the number of players that each team at the Rugby World Cup had in their squads who were born outside of the country they played for. Squads comprised 30 players. Contrary to what the Japanese rugby bosses might think, it’s a big international world of mobile folk out there. Surely if guys want to play and are good enough, the bosses shouldn’t get hung up on inane xenophobic theories – just pick the best team available.

      15 overseas-born players: Samoa (all born in New Zealand )
      12: USA (most born in American Samoa)
      11: Italy
      10: Japan
      9: Tonga (most born in New Zealand)
      8: England
      7: Australia , Scotland
      5: Canada , Fiji , Namibia , Wales
      4: Ireland , New Zealand
      2: France , Russia
      1: South Africa
      0: Argentina , Georgia , Romania

      http://www.superrugbytips.com/2011/09/rugby-world-cup-2011-players-born-other.html

    23. Loverilakkuma Says:

      One question I ask is “why don’t JRFU change their policy on using foreign-born players in the professional league–if they really think these players are capable than Japanese counterparts?”

      The answer: they can’t. Why? Because they know losing foreign-born players in the league is counter-productive to Japan’s international competitiveness. I can’t give any words to them. I’m completely speechless. You’re right, Debito. They deserve the award.

    24. Andrew in Saitama Says:

      Chuckie, unfortunately there is a line of thought that it doesn’t matter if other teams have foreign players on them because the WHOLE TEAM is foreign.
      We will also no doubt hear yet again how the Japanese are smaller than everybody else (Notice how height is an automatic advantage in every sport in the world) even if they field the tallest player. Or that they had to travel so far to some foreign land to play, or that foreign food was not suitable for them. Or there were too many supporters of the other team (like the recent vs. N. Korea soccer match).

      And Debito, may I be so bold to suggest that there is some meat on the topic of Utada Hikaru in terms of Japanese showbiz celebraties going to the US to give birth. The dual-nationality-when-it’s-helpful-for-Team-Japan syndrome. I wonder if comedian-cum-marathon-runner Neko Hiroshi will be forced to give up his Japanese citizenship(he’s very publicly taken Cambodian citizenship so he can run in the London Olympics)

    25. 蜻蛉 Says:

      Growing up in right-wing Western Europe, I was used to hearing racial abuse but I would never expect that to happen in Japan.

      Mike Havenaar (his family naturalized) was called racial epithets. Take a look at the link below:

      http://s-pulseukultras.blogspot.com/2011/05/mike-havenaar-racially-abused-by.html

      I’ve seen him getting interviewed after games and whatnot and he doesn’t seem to get boos or anything like that.

    26. Jim Di Griz Says:

      @Debito
      Andrew in Saitama has an interesting point. Utada was never taken to task about the exact meaning of her comment, and should be confronted, don’t you think? I am sure that just like Lady Gaga, she has a person who writes her twitter for her, maybe she was not even aware of the comment? As for the dual nationality of Neko Hiroshi, shouldn’t we demand that he gives up one nationality in accordance with the law?
      Also worthy of consideration (but a little off topic) is the number of rich Japanese who are still absent from Tokyo following Fukushima. I am thinking of the family of Rakuten owner and president, Mikitani, whose family quietly slipped off to the US and remain there (so I have been told).

      – Okay, I knew I was going to regret asking about Utada, because we’re off track. Sorry, my bad. I’m happy to open a blog entry on the hypocrisy of Japan’s closet multicultural celebrities (who want Team-Japanism to apply in their favor only, not to the benefit for others in a comparable situation in Japan), but I need a news article or event to hang it on. Let’s keep an eye out.

    27. Jim Di Griz Says:

      @Debito
      ‘I need a news article or event to hang it on. Let’s keep an eye out.’
      A little old, but how about this?

      An article in the Sankei Shimbun notes that a committee has been set up by the LDP to review the Nationality Act with a view to amend Article 11 that states dual citizenship is unlawful.

      The impetus for the committee comes not from a sudden burst of altruism, but from the fact that Nobel Prize winner Yoichiro Namba has American citizenship.

      ノーベル賞が思わぬ余波! 国籍法改正を検討 自民法務部会 
      2008.10.10 18:25

      ノーベル物理学賞を受賞受賞した南部陽一郎米シカゴ大名誉教授が米国籍を取得していたことを機に、自民党法務部会の国籍問題プロジェクトチーム(座長・河野太郎衆院議員)は10日、二重国籍を認めない国籍法改正の検討を始めた。南部氏はすでに日本国籍を喪失しているが、ノーベル賞受賞が思わぬ波紋を広げたようだ。

      国籍法11条は二重国籍を原則認めておらず、出生地で国籍を決める「属地主義」の米国などで生まれた日本人は22歳までにどちらか一方の国籍を選択することになっている。

      外国籍を取得した人はその時点で日本国籍を自動的に失うが、地方法務局に届け出なければ、戸籍はそのまま残る。個人情報を外国政府に照会することはできないため、実態把握は難しいが、法務省では、外国籍取得者の約1割しか届け出ていないとみている。

      日本に戸籍が残っていれば、旅券取得や選挙の投票などが可能となり、犯罪に利用される懸念がある。一方、国際結婚などで政情不安な国の国籍を取得した人には日本国籍を残しておきたいとの思いも強い。

      法務省は法改正に慎重だが、PTでは「正直者と有名人がバカを見る制度だ」(河野氏)、「二重国籍を積極的に認めた方が日本人が世界に雄飛しやすい」(猪口邦子衆院議員)など改正論が根強い。PTは二重国籍の実態や問題点を洗い出していく方針だが、国籍は「誰が日本人か」という国家の根本問題だけに論争を呼びそうだ。

      – Thanks very much for digging this up. But we covered this topic before at the time.

    28. giles Says:

      This is new…
      Japanese authorities have decided to jail a 25 year old foreign student for 10 years simply because his friend stupidly sent him some pot cookies in the post. The student was at Tohoku university in Sendai and involved in the volunteer relief effort after the tsunami and earthquake …what a slap in the face for foreign students contributing towards our society…

      http://www.9news.com/news/article/230185/339/Mines-student-faces-10-years-in-jail-for-pot-cookies-

    29. Nogbad Says:

      The linked article is expired when I clicked, so going by your extract, this is just bizarre.
      Surely it isn’t being suggested that the low proportion of “Japanese” players is the reason for poor results?
      If the issue is that the best team of qualified players wasn’t picked, does it matter where they were born? – the problem is in the players.
      Maybe the issue is that Japanese don’t feel drawn to support a team that they don’t think represents their country – however I suspect this would evaporate if the team were more successful.
      Of course the biggest concern (other than that a senior figure can make these comments and seemingly not get called out on this) – is the continuing persistence of nationality being defined by ethnicity and blood line. It’s hard to believe this continues and I wonder really how genetically difference they think they are. I have posed the question before, not seriously, if a person of Japanese parents that has never visited Japan is as Japanese as a naturalised 3rd generation Korean, who has been through the full indoctrination brainwashing education of the Japanese school system – strangely how many Japanese feel Japaneseness is in the blood and but the culture and way of thinking and doing things.

      Off topic, but on a more positive note: not sure if you’ve mentioned it yet, but finally a year after it was raised here http://www.debito.org/?p=7639 it seems that NJ permanent residents are entitled to welfare payments after all http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/20111115_31.html

      – The article above is not an extract.

    30. Steve Says:

      For even more stupidity on racism in sports, how about the limit of four active foreign players on a Japanese pro baseball team active roster. For comparison, as of 2006, the New York Yankees had 11 foreign players, the Seattle Mariners had Ichiro and 13 other foreign players; while the Mets topped the list with 15 foreigners on their roster. (The active roster can only have 25 players.)

      http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2008-04-01-213859296_x.htm

    31. Scipio Says:

      Debito Wrote.
      Okay, I knew I was going to regret asking about Utada, because we’re off track. Sorry, my bad. I’m happy to open a blog entry on the hypocrisy of Japan’s closet multicultural celebrities (who want Team-Japanism to apply in their favor only, not to the benefit for others in a comparable situation in Japan), but I need a news article or event to hang it on. Let’s keep an eye out.

      Now this would make a great JT Tuesday article and light up a few fires on the domestic front. It would involve a large dose of investigative journalism, something alien to the main media in Japan, but what a story…

      It has always been a feature of this society, where only the Japanese elites have access to ‘proper’ non-Japanese language tuition, access to ‘authentic’ tertiery education and opportunities of possessing dual nationality/PR and property of/in a non-Japanese country.

      However it has taken on a large tinge of domestic hypocrisy in the last 10 years with those same elites, thru the media, trumpeting on about the Chinese/Korean property thieves and , thru the education system, insisting on a proper Japanese is made thru patriotic renditions of Kimigayo and standing for the Hinomaru.

      – I agree, it would make a good JT article. However, we need a few more instances to plot and triangulate from. Someday we’ll get to it.

    32. Charuzu Says:

      This latest news:

      http://www.ipss.go.jp/ps-doukou/j/doukou14_s/doukou14_s.asp

      reinforces the notion that at some point Japan will need more foreign workers and need to accept that fact.

      Fertility and fecundity will eventually affect matters.

    33. Jim Di Griz Says:

      @Debito,
      Back to the Utada thing again (sorry), but I think that there is a double standard going on. Ordinary citizens are expected to remain in Japan forever as some kind of ‘patriotic duty’, whilst at the same time, the rich and famous go at will. As I have said to you before, the president of a big and well known company sent his family from Tokyo to the US after Fukushima, where they still remain, and Hamasaki Ayumi has been tweeting for some time now that she has been living in London. Why is there the perception that NJ in ‘their natural habitat’ are safe, but NJ in Japan are dangerous NJ?

    34. Jim Di Griz Says:

      @Charuzu,

      Unfortunately (honest), I don’t agree. I really think the Japanese would rather die out through lack of breeding, than ‘dilute’ Japan’s ‘unique culture’, and perception of ‘racial purity’ (let’s face it, all Japanese are the result of successive waves of immigration from Korea and China; check the mitrochondrial DNA).

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15915118
      http://heritageofjapan.wordpress.com/yayoi-era-yields-up-rice/who-were-the-yayoi-people/making-sense-of-dna-data-and-origins-of-the-japanese/

    35. Johnny Says:

      Japan squad announced. Foreign players have been almost completely cleaned out as it were, including all nearly all the guys who naturalised.

      http://sakura.rugby-japan.jp/japan/2012/id13531.html

    36. Johnny Says:

      The losses start racking up and sure enough the non-indigenous players return.

      Just watching Japan vs Canada replay now, and there is all of a sudden no shortage of NJ players in the Japan side.

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