We have a situation here I’ve been waiting to draw conclusions on for some days now. But here are some articles which substantiate what I’ve been fearing all along. The indication of differing judicial standards for similar crimes based upon nationality.
When a NJ killed a J in 1984 (see the Steve Bellamy Case, where a NJ defending a woman against a drunk and disorderly Japanese wound up killing him with his advanced martial arts skills), he was exonerated, then convicted, then exonerated again for, colloquially, “yarisugi” (and it became a case that changed jurisprudence for kajou bouei in Japan).
Now we have the opposite circumstance–a J killing a NJ–and according to the Japan Times, leniency is expected.
Historically, America had the expression, “he doesn’t have a Chinaman’s chance” (the modern-day equivalent of “a snowball’s chance in hell”), showing how bent the American judiciary was towards Asians a century or so ago. In Japan’s judiciary, are we to say, “he doesn’t have a gaijin’s chance”? Mr Yuyu Idubor, convicted for a rape he says he never committed, or Mr Valentine, crippled due to police medical negligence during interrogation, might.
In this edition of TPR spotlight, Debito Arudou joins TPR’s Garrett DeOrio and Ken Worsley to discuss the upcoming release of his new book, Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants, which is set to go on sale from March 15. In the interview, Debito speaks about why the book was written, what kinds of resources it offers for people moving to Japan, his relationship with co-author Akira Higuchi, the upcoming book tour, and what might be in store for the future of Japan’s increasing number of foreign residents who decide to stay in Japan long term, if not permanently.
1) New publications up on Debito.org:
First JUST BE CAUSE Japan Times Column, Journal of Intl Health, NY Intl Law Review
The government cracks down, is cracked down upon:
2) IHT: GOJ to “govern influential, widely read news-related websites”. Like 2-Channel.
3) UN’s Mr Ban calls for all nations to face UN Human Rights Council scrutiny
4) Rube Redfield on the GOJ banning use of dispatch teachers in J universities
Tripe and onions:
5) Mainichi: Official figures for NJ visa overstayers drop again in 2007, yet NPA stresses rise
6) NYT: Michelin rankings and the alleged inability for NJ to rate Japanese food
Travelogue and opinions:
7) Interview with Debito on KPIJ re activism, new book, the GOJ, and “The Japanese Way”
8) Quick Report on Debito’s recent Okinawa Trip: AmerAsian School, Kina Shoukichi
… and finally…
9) “WELCOME NON-JAPANESE CUSTOMERS” stickers for sale at Debito.org
10) LINKS TO PRESS RELEASE, PODCAST, BOOK TOUR, and ORDERING DETAILS (PAYPAL OK)
for “Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants”
AP: “utgoing Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui believes Japan ought to hold an in-depth discussion on immigration in the face of its aging and declining population. In a lecture late last month, Fukui, who is due to retire March 19, said the source of economic growth is an infusion of labor and the accumulation of capital but that manpower is decreasing in Japan because of the ongoing rise in the number of the elderly and fall in the number of newborns.”
For the record… released March 4, 2008: ////////////////// PRESS RELEASE ////////////////// NEW BOOK “HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN” ON SALE FROM MARCH 15, 2008 AUTHOR ARUDOU DEBITO’S NATIONWIDE BOOK TOUR MARCH 15 TO APRIL 1 ////////////// FREELY FORWARDABLE ////////////// Akashi Shoten Inc, Japan’s biggest human rights publisher, will sell “HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, …
MOJ Press Conference Feb 12, 2008, with Deputy Press Secretary Tomohiko Taniguchi, on Japanese Language requirement for NJ visas, and terrorism: “The Japanese Ministry of Justice already started to require bio ID when non-Japanese visitors enter Japan – you probably have gone through the same procedure, like fingerprinting or face photo. The idea of that initiative, of course, was to check the inflow of people so that any dubious potentially terrorist sort of people could not come into Japan. So that is more to do with preventing those people from entering Japan. But the linguistic part, the language initiative, is rather to incentivize people not only to come to Japan, but also to feel more relaxed in their working conditions and environment. The two initiatives are totally different from one another.” The Japan Foundation also stands to profiteer…
Advance word about the forthcoming HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN (Akashi Shoten, on sale March 15, 2008). Book cover, advance review, book tour schedule, and link to contents of the book on this blog entry.
GOJ Foreign Minister Komura floated a policy trial balloon to require language testing and improvement before granting NJ long-term visas in future. Problems abound, not the least the GOJ is resorting to sticks, not carrots, to make people learn Nihongo. The term “long term” is vague, and how many laborers would want to spend all this time learning a language which only matter within this archipelago (when they could learn English, French, Spanish, etc. and work in lots more places)? I agree that everyone should learn how to read, write, and speak Japanese if they want to live here. I just think the proposal as it stands is (as usual) half-baked and encouraging of more NJ workplace and visa abuses.
Just created a yahoogroup for the forming NPO “Foreign Residents And Naturalized Citizens Association (Japan)” (FRANCA). Join if you’re serious about pushing for the rights and interests of NJ in an official capacity.
SUMMARY: Toyoko Inn, a high-profile nationwide chain of hotels in Japan, have a clear policy of racial profiling at their hotels. They illegally demanded a passport from the author on the basis of his race alone last on November 30, 2007, reflecting their history of even illegally threatening to refuse accommodation to NJ residents unless they provide Gaijin Cards at check-in. This systematic harassment of NJ clientele is unnecessary and unlawful, especially in the face of hotels increasingly refusing all foreigners accommodation across “Yokoso” Japan. Toyoko Inn’s continuing refusal to abide by the laws, despite advisements from NJ customers in the past, forces this author to conclude that NJ residents and international Japanese citizens, not to mention supporters of human rights in Japan, should take their business to hotels other than Toyoko Inn–until the chain at the national level agrees in writing to improve their services.
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 28, 2007
SPECIAL ON FINGERPRINTING POLICY INAUGURATION NOV 20, 2009
FORWARD: ANGER IN THE BLOGOSPHERE
WHAT YOU HEARD:
1) YOUTUBED NHK: KEEP CRITICS AND PROTESTS OUT OF BROADCASTS
2) YOMIURI EDITORIAL: FP JUSTIFIED AS ANTI-FOREIGN-CRIME MEASURE
3) SANKEI ON FINGERPRINTING SNAFUS
4) YOMIURI & NIKKEI MISTAKENLY TRUMPET “FIVE CAUGHT IN NEW SYSTEM”,
WHAT GOT MUFFLED:
5) MAINICHI: REFUSERS TO BE INCARCERATED, FORCED TO BE FINGERPRINTED
6) ASAHI: 38% OF US-VISIT DATABASE IS MISTAKES
7) ASAHI: TOKYO & NARITA LOSE PERSONAL DATA FOR 432 NJ
8) YOMIURI: SDF & MOFA LOSE COMPUTER DATA IN JAPAN, BELGIUM
WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE HEARD:
9) MAINICHI ON AMNESTY/SMJ PUBLIC ACTION OUTSIDE MOJ
10) PROTESTS WITH PARODY POSTERS, T-SHIRTS, POSTCARDS, MULTILINGUAL BILLETS
11) FRANCE 24 TV INTERVIEW IN FRENCH AND ENGLISH: “JAPAN’S 1984”
12) NYT: FINGERPRINTING “A DISASTER FOR J BUSINESS”
13) ACCENTURE, MAKER OF THE FP MACHINES, NOW HIRING IN JAPAN,THRU TIGER WOODS!
CONCLUDING STATEMENT: PROGNOSTICATIONS FOR THE PRESENT COURSE:
A HASTENED ECONOMIC OBSCURITY FOR JAPAN
France 24 TV network offers its synopsis of the Fingerprinting issue: “Japan’s 1984”, plus link to Trans Pacific Radio Podcast and word on where I’m speaking this weekend at JALT Tokyo.
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…
Pretty good article rounding up what we’ve been saying so far about the issues of Japanese immigration, particularly that of guest workers-cum-immigrants from South America reaching double-digit percentages of the population of some Japanese towns. Courtesy of Steve at The Community.
The article says few things which readers of this and other mailing lists don’t already know. But I’m glad to see this issue receiving wider attention overseas. Quite often it takes “gaiatsu” (overseas pressure) from exposure before the GOJ is ever shamed into doing something about its own social problems. For what do the policymaking elites care about these people? They care more about how it tarnishes Japan’s reputation overseas.
Forwarding an excerpt from a friend who paid a visit to a Japanese prison to offer moral support to someone incarcerated. The tribulations he went through just to get a short audience are worth recording somewhere for the record. Is all this rigmarole necessary, and if so, what purpose could it possibly serve?