SUPPORT THE CAUSE RAISE AWARENESS OF THE ISSUE BUY A “JAPANESE ONLY” T-SHIRT Hi Blog. Thanks to the quick sell-out of the first salvo (thanks everyone!), I just got a new batch of “JAPANESE ONLY” T-shirts in yesterday (thanks Todd): They come in the following colors and sizes: BLUE: American sizes (i.e. larger than corresponding …
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER MARCH 13, 2007: SPECIAL EDITION: THE “COMFORT WOMEN” ISSUE, PM ABE, AND THE MEDIA: SUPPORTING THE HOME TEAM AT ALL COSTS
I believe what happened in the GAIJIN HANZAI mag case is an historical event–the first time we’ve seen the “Newcomer” immigrants band together and show their muscle as an economic bloc. In an upcoming essay on this, I also speculate on who the publisher, “Joey H. Washington”, is. I believe it is the police. Hear me out…
Hello Blog. The Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Establishments in Japan, with signs and policies restricting or forbidding “foreigners” entry, has just been updated on Debito.org. One place refused a naturalized Japanese, another has a sign refusing all people without “pure Japanese blood”, including Chinese, War Orphans, people with Chinese blood mixed in, and naturalized citizens. That deals me out. It’s the worst sign I’ve ever seen, and naturally I’ve seen a lot.
Two nice Washington Times articles on issues we’re covering on this blog: UN Rep Doudou Diene’s recent Japan visit, and the forces working against Japan’s inevitable internationalization (including Ed Minister Ibuki’s comments, PM Abe’s support of Japan’s alleged homogeneity, and “Japanese Only” signs nationwide). Bravo.
Trans-Pacific Radio March 8, 2007 interviews Debito Arudou. Debito touches upon how he came to be a social activist, the cultural politics of Japanese identity, acceptance of him as a Japanese and his work in the Japanese and foreign communities, Japan’s educational system, the ‘Japanese Only’ phenomenon, Education Minister Ibuki Bunmei, human rights and butter, the state of the Democratic Party of Japan, what sort of law against discrimination he would like to see in Japan…and his hopes for Japan’s future.
Terrie’s Take of March 4, 2007, offers a good summary of the issues pertaining to the growing body of information regarding divorce in Japan and the horrible aftermath, particularly for international couples.
Hiroyuki Nishimura, the operator of the nation’s largest Internet message board, 2channel, has lost at least 43 of more than 50 civil lawsuits filed against him in Tokyo and elsewhere over defamation and other charges, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey.
ブロクの皆様、こんにちは。日本語でお久しぶりです。２ちゃんねるはここまで誹謗で被害を起していますが、責任者は責任を取らぬ。いつごろ日本は司法府をきちんと拘束力を与えられますか。 いきさつは http://www.debito.org/?cat=21 http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html 有道 出人 ＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝＝ ２ちゃんねる管理者、敗訴４３件も制裁金４億円不払い 読売新聞 2007年3月5日14時30分 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20070305it05.htm?from=top インターネット掲示板「２ちゃんねる」への誹謗（ひぼう）中傷の書き込みなどを巡り、管理者西村博之氏（３０）を相手取り、名誉棄損などを訴える民事訴訟が全国で５０件以上起こされ、少なくとも４３件で西村氏側の敗訴が確定していることが読売新聞の調べでわかった。 この結果、西村氏に命じられた賠償額は約５８００万円、仮処分命令などに従わないことによる「制裁金」が１日当たり約８８万円、累計約４億３４００万円に上るが、西村氏が自ら支払いに応じたケースはほとんどないと見られる。原告側は勝訴にもかかわらず賠償を得られない状態で、ネットの無法状態と司法の限界が露呈した形だ。 西村氏に対する訴訟は２００１年以降、東京地裁だけで５０件以上が起こされ、うち４０件の敗訴が確定。ほかにも札幌、大阪、神戸の各地裁で計３件の敗訴が確定している。 訴えの内容は、〈１〉書き込みの削除請求〈２〉プロバイダー責任法に基づく、書き込んだ人の発信者情報の開示請求〈３〉書き込みを放置した管理者責任を問う損害賠償請求——がほとんどだ。このうち、０１年７月に東京都内の動物病院経営者が「えげつない病院」などと書き込まれたとして提訴した訴訟では、４００万円の賠償命令が確定。昨年１月にも、北海道の大学助教授が「人種差別者」「精神異常者」などと書き込まれたとして賠償を求めた訴訟で、１１０万円の賠償を命じた判決が確定している。 西村氏は多くの裁判で弁護士を付けず、裁判を欠席しているため、原告側請求を認める判決がほとんど。また西村氏は控訴などを余りしないため、敗訴確定が相次いでいる。 読売新聞の調査によると西村氏は、書き込み削除請求のうち１１件、開示請求のうち３件には、裁判所の命令に応じた。 しかし賠償金支払いを命じられた２１件で自ら賠償金を支払ったケースはなかった。このため９件の原告側は、西村氏の財産を差し押さえようと強制執行の手続きを取った。しかし回収できたのは、４件計三百数十万円にとどまっている。 差し押さえがうまくいかないのは、西村氏名義の銀行口座を突き止めても残高が少なかったり、西村氏が取締役を務める会社から「役員報酬は払っていない」と回答されたりしたため。 書き込み削除や情報開示については、当事者が仮処分を申し立てることが多い。被告が判決や仮処分命令に従わない場合は、裁判所が原告側の請求に基づき、命令に従うまで１日当たり一定額の制裁金支払いを義務付ける「間接強制」を行うことがある。 西村氏に間接強制が適用されたケースは確認できただけで５件。現在、１日約８８万円の支払い義務が発生しており、３月１日現在の累計は４億３４００万円に膨らんでいる。 読売新聞は西村氏に対し２月下旬以降、電子メールで取材を申し込んでいるが、返答がない。 （2007年3月5日14時30分 読売新聞） ENDS
Passing this on from Louis Carlet, a close personal friend of mine and one of the most charismatic people I’ve ever met. I have attended the past two “March in March”es (they’re great fun), and recommend that you do too if you care about Immigration to Japan and your job security. Seriously. Bloggers, pass this information around!
Now the Western media has their peg to unzip the Abe Adminstration’s overt right-wing historical revisionist bent. Newsweek did a puff piece on Abe’s wife (comparing her to Jackie O) not too long ago, sigh. Now Abe undoes her image control with these revelations. NYT and Time Magazine aritcles follow. Remember that Abe tried this on NHK in 2001 before he was PM, forcing NHK to re-edit a historical piece involving the Comfort Women some years ago. J Times Sources included, as well as an update showing Abe backpedalling and containing links to statements before the US Congress on this issue. Go Mike Honda, go! More updates include March 7 Kyodo article as the GOJ continues to make a hash of the issue, and NYT interviews victims March 8. Then Abe blames the media for misconstruing him and clams up. NYT editorial and Kouno Statement of 1993 included. As well as lots more media debate and academic analysis.
LINKS TO RECENT SPEECHES AND HANDOUTS
along with FCCJ SPEECH WITH UN RAPPORTEUR DOUDOU DIENE TRANSCRIPT
2) BUTTER AND METABOLIC SYNDROME: IBUKI AND PM ABE DISS HUMAN RIGHTS
along with DIENE’S COUNTERCOMMENT: SCOOP FOR JAPAN TIMES
3) WHAT OTHER SOCIETIES DO ABOUT DISCRIMINATION: JAPAN, TAKE NOTE
4) JAPAN TIMES ON MYTH OF JAPAN’S CRIME WAVE. HOW THE POLICE AND MEDIA ABET
5) ASAHI: TOKYO JH SCHOOL REFUSES CHILD ADMISSION FOR BEING FOREIGN
6) ASAHI: NEED TO BROADEN DEFINITION OF “JAPANESE”
The first case is about hate speech in the US, where somebody wrote an essay for a prominent media outlet on why he hates black people. Look at how other media and the anti-defamation leagues (not to mention national politicians) immediately pounced on it.
You don’t see that happening often enough in Japan–and when human rights groups and activists like us do react (often successfully), we get accused of “Western moralizing” (a la Gregory Clark), cultural imperialism, or worse of all censorship or denial of freedom of speech.
The US, for one, has long progressed beyond that. They don’t necessarily arrest the perpetrator, but in the following case, the media and pundits came through to debate him down.
In a similar example in Japan, the GAIJIN HANZAI magazine, the Japanese press just about completely ignored it, and it was up to us domestic bloggers and activists to tell the distributors to disavow. Which they did, eventually. But it wouldn’t have happened otherwise, because civil society is not sufficiently developed here (not to mention is suppressed by “press club” media cartels, even more so than in the US) to set things right and make the debate arena a fair fight.
This is what prominent J politicians (even people like Education Minister Ibuki Bunmei–contrast with Nancy Pelosi below) would pooh-pooh as “human rights metabolic syndrome”? Phooey. I think it’s time, given Bunmei’s Butter comments, for people to realize that Japan’s suffering from too few human rights enforcement mechanisms, not too many. This is what people should be doing in any society.
Here’s another section on what other societies do regarding unfair or unequal treatment: The local government’s human rights protection organs investigate and make the issue public. Unlike Japan, where the similar human rights organ, the Bureau of Human Rights (jinken yougo bu) is all but utterly ineffectual. As is the expose press coverage.
“Currently, the most important law on education in Japan, as well as the very Constitution, does not guarantee the right to education for children with foreign nationalities. Our eldest daughter, who has only Brazilian nationality, was once denied entrance to a public junior high school in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, when trying to transfer from a school in Brazil at the age 15 in the ninth grade. Officials said our daughter was a year older than the proper age for obligatory education. They explained that exceptions cannot be made because the obligatory education system does not apply to a child without Japanese nationality.”
Ed Minister Ibuki Bunmei and PM Abe are joined at the hip on this issue, where Ibuki says that paying too much attention to human rights will be detrimental to Japanese society (comparing it to ingesting too much butter and getting Metabolic Syndrome). Oh, and some racial purity comments thrown in as well. Back to business at usual by the clowns in the LDP. Asahi, JT, Daily Telegraph, Kyodo report, with links to UN and Amnesty comments
Exclusive to the Japan Times: Quotes from UN Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene re Ibuki Bunmei’s dismissive remarks about human rights.
Transcript of Luncheon with UN Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene and Arudou Debito, Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, Feb 16, 2007. Now reformatted with links, addendum, and photo.
Tokyo Speech Details: Luncheon at FCCJ with UN Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene, “Racial Discrimination in Japan: Is Anything Changing?” Speech for Amnesty International Group 78 “2 Channel and Freedom of Speech”. Finally, Speech for Roppongi Bar Association: “Foreign Residents and the Japanese Legal System”.
After receiving more than 10 complaints, Family Mart took a closer look at the magazine. “When we read it, we found some expressions to be discriminatory and decided to stop selling the book,” said the spokesman, who spoke on condition oanonymity. On Feb. 5, the firm ordered all its 6,800 outlets nationwide to remove the
magazine from the shelves and shipped them back to Eichi. It said that of the 15,000 copies in stock — of the 20,000 to 30,000 that had been printed — 1,000 were sold.
Hi Blog. Updated a section of my “What do do if…” artery site, where people can troubleshoot for some problems which may arise for them while living in Japan. The most recent addition as follows: Debito http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#deposit ///////////////////////////////////////////////////// WHAT TO DO IF… …you want to get your deposit (shikikin) back from your landlord when moving …
“In March of 2005, after overstaying their visas, the family of VU VAN THANG applied for special permission to remain in Japan. Their applications are currently being reviewed by the Kobe branch of the Department of Immigration… I strongly urge you to grant visas to these fine people, and allow them to continue to dwell in Japan and contribute to a healthy multicultural society.”
Last week, The Japan Times ran a Bloomberg interview with Shintaro Ishihara in which the proudly provocative Tokyo governor followed up his contention that foreigners were behind the city’s rising crime rate. He challenged his interviewers to go to Roppongi and see for themselves. “Africans — and I don’t mean African-Americans — who don’t speak English are there doing who knows what,” he said.
You expect such careless bluster from Ishihara, but his statement deserves scrutiny. One explanation for the governor’s popularity is the way he is seen to reflect what his supporters think is common sense. What are non-American black people doing in Japan? It must be something bad…
Hi Blog. Side by side with the United Nations. It’s like a dream. Wish me luck. Hope I do well. Debito ============================ THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS CLUB OF JAPAN (FCCJ) PRESENTS: Professional Luncheon Debito Arudou & Doudou Diene Racism In Japan – Is Anything Changing? 12:00-14:00 Monday, February 26, 2007 (The speech and Q & A …
Hi Blog. I just put up my 34th column for the Japan Times on debito.org, as I mentioned I would in my last newsletter. ==================================== Japan Times Community Page Column: “UPPING THE FEAR FACTOR: There is a disturbing gap between actual crime in Japan and public worry over it” published February 20, 2007 and available …
Yet another article on what it’s like to cycle while foreign in Japan. Lightweight fare with a serious center, particularly when it comes to the cops’ apparent attitude. Courtesy of free local magazine FUKUOKA NOW.
Article: Japan should now create a society where people with various cultural backgrounds are accepted as Japanese, called “Chinese-Japanese,” for instance, without any discriminatory connotations and be treated fairly as equal and important members of society.
1) NEW JAPAN TIMES ARTICLE OUT TODAY ON “MYTH OF JAPAN’S CRIME WAVE”
2) UN’S DOUDOU DIENE BACK IN TOKYO NEXT WEEK
–ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE ME TO SUBMIT TO HIM? BY NOON FRIDAY
3) UPCOMING SPEECHES IN TOKYO, ONE WITH DIENE RE GAIJIN HANZAI MAGAZINE
4) ECONOMIST ON J POLICE INTERROGATIONS AND NEW SUO MOVIE
5) J TIMES: PREFECTURES RANKED RE SUPPORT FOR FOREIGN RESIDENTS
Here we have an interesting development: The editor of the GAIJIN HANZAI URA FILES responds to his critics. A fascinating and relatively rare glimpse into the mindset of a person with a “thing” about gaijin. I post his response below, then comment after each paragraph.
Large gaps exist in how well local governments provide useful information and linguistic and other assistance to non-Japanese residents, according to a recent study by a nongovernmental organization.
1) THE RISE AND FALL OF THE “GAIJIN HANZAI MOOK”
2) KYODO ON THE ACTUAL FALL OF FOREIGN CRIME
(WHILE MAINICHI IN JAPANESE PORTRAYS IT AS A RISE)
3) THE RISE AND RISE OF THE “BLOND BLUE-EYED” EIKAIWA JOB AD
“While Japan has one of the lowest victimization rates, the International Crime Victim Surveys (ICVS) indicate that it has among the highest levels of fear of crime. The Japanese moral panic about crime has been extremely durable in the new millennium. Some now claim that the panic perspective has become institutionalized in Japan and that there has been collapse of the pre-existing psychological boundary dividing experience of the ordinary personal world where crime is rare, and another hyper-real world where crime is common.”
Kyodo News/Japan Today: “An English-language school in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, had publicly posted a recruitment poster limiting instructors to those with “blond hair, blue or green eyes,” leading activists to file complaints, people involved said Sunday.” First reported on debito.org last November, hits press more than two months later.
Kyodo/Japan Times reports that despite all the punditry about the foreign crime rise, that foreign crime has actually gone DOWN. Nevertheless, the Mainichi reports (in the J version, at least) on the bits that have gone up (while cleaning it up for the E version). Foreigners can’t seem to avoid a bum rap in the J media.
Economist article on the new Suo film and police interrogations/confessions in Japan. Some links on what to do if arrested. DO NOT SIGN A CONFESSION IF YOU DID NOT DO IT, or you have sold yourself down the river.
Looks as though the threat of boycott worked. Letters from major distributors pulling the GAIJIN HANZAI mag off their shelves has led to publisher Eichi saying they will recall the issue; even Eichi’s website has “sold out”. Amazon remains the lone seller holdout… Used all this information very effectively in my speeches today…
Shigeki Saka, Eichi Shuppan’s editorial director denied the magazine has any xenophobic sentences, claimed he’s not a racist and refused to apologize: ” I know there are some people bothered but if you read the magazine, you’ll see there’s no single discriminatory phrase, so I don’t know why I should.”
To deflect the cultural relativists and naybobs who make a sport of poking holes in any argument or social movement, it’s probably a good idea to give a review of the “GAIJIN HANZAI UNDERGROUND FILES” publication. and why it’s symptomatic of so much of what is wrong about a media which has insufficient safeguards against hate speech and defamation of ethnic groups.
Repeating this, as it was buried in a newsletter: MY SPEECHES NEXT WEEK IN KANSAI… AND “JAPANESE ONLY” T-SHIRTS SELLING OUT. STOP ME AND BUY ONE I will be on the road next week for ten days, travelling between Nara, Hikone, Wakayama, Kurashiki, Okayama, and Miyazaki. I will be making speeches (schedule follows), so attend …
Foreign press takes this up, books get withdrawn by distributors with apologies, and publisher defends this because of the need for debate, and that the word “nigger” is not offensive in Japan. Huh?
Whenever you publish something in Japan, you must put down the publisher’s name. On the GAIJIN HANZAI Mag, it is listed as “Joey H. Washington”, which is clearly a pseudonym… which is apparently not allowed….
The Times (London) Weblog: “I’ll keep this brief because the tale is recounted in detail on other blogs – but there is an illuminating flap in progress over a magazine which appeared a few days ago in Japanese convenience stores. It is entitled Gaijin Hanzai Ura Fairu…”
Dear Family Mart Management:
I have always enjoyed being a customer of yours. However, I am gravely disappointed that you have decided to stock and sell a magazine entitled GAIJIN HANZAI URA FAIRU, which in my view offers discriminatory statements and images about non-Japanese residents of Japan.
Please remove this magazine from your shelves immediately and return them to the publisher. Please take care not to sell magazines of this type ever again in your stores.
Until you do, I will not shop in your store, and will tell my friends overseas and nationwide to boycott your stores. Non-Japanese are important customers too, and in this competitive market it will be no trouble for us to take our business elsewhere.
Human rights activists said the magazine was indicative of the climate of fear of foreigners created by conservative newspapers and politicians, notably the governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara.
“It goes beyond being puerile and into the realm of encouraging hatred of foreigners,” Debito Arudou, a naturalised Japanese citizen, told the Guardian. “The fact that this is available in major bookstores is a definite cause of concern. It would be tantamount to hate speech in some societies.”
One section is devoted to the alleged tricks foreign-run brothels use to fleece inebriated Japanese salarymen, while another features a comic strip retelling, in graphic detail, the murders of four members of a Japanese family by three Chinese men in 2003.
Mr Arudou accused the mainstream press of exploiting the supposed rise in foreign crime by failing to challenge official police figures. Although the actual number of crimes has risen, he said, so has the size of the foreign population.
“The portrayal [of foreign criminals] is not one of a neutral tone,” he said. “They don’t put any of the statistics into perspective and they don’t report drops in certain crimes.”
Family Mart replies to request to stop stocking problematic GAIJIN HANZAI magazine: “FamilyMart Japan will have this publication off their shelves within 7 days.”
Japan Probe: “The magazine is disgusting, and I don’t think it would be out of line to use the word racist when referring to it. We here at Japan Probe are not going to let a mainstream convenience store like Family Mart get away with selling such offensive material. We would like to call for an international boycott of FamilyMart-affiliated convenience stores.”
1) “GAIJIN CRIME” TABLOID MAGAZINE ON SALE IN CONVENIENCE STORES
2) UPDATE ON “WANTED: BLUE-EYED GAIJIN TEACHER” EIKAIWA WANT AD
3) TRIP TO TOKYO: NEW BOOKS, SABBATICAL, UNHCR MEETING, VICTIM OF VIOLENCE
4) UNIVERSITY GREENLIST UPDATE, AND BLOWBACK FROM BLACKLIST
MY SPEECHES NEXT WEEK IN KANSAI…
PLUS “JAPANESE ONLY” T-SHIRTS SELLING OUT. STOP ME AND BUY ONE
From Mark Smith at the Children’s Rights Network Japan–Debito There is another “Protest Against Japanese Abductions” coming up in Portland Oregon this Saturday, Sunday and the following week. (Feb 3,4,10,11). This is the FOURTH event so far, and promises to be the biggest yet. There are over 20 left behind parents, friends, and family known …