MY RECOLLECTIONS OF A SPEECH BY FORMER MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND EDUCATION, LOWER HOUSE DIETMEMBER MACHIMURA NOBUTAKA. Given at Hokkaido Information University, December 18, 2006: A wonderful study of elite Japanese society in action.
Table of Contents:
YET EVEN MORE ON CHILD ABDUCTIONS
1) 22 US Senators sign letter for Obama to address Child Abductions Issue during Japan visit
2) AOL on Child Abductions and child retriever Gus Zamora, letter to Debito.org from Gus
3) Open Letter to Pres. Obama re Nov 12 Japan Visit and Child Abductions from Left-Behind Parent
4) Sauce for the gander: Czech national abducts his child of J-NJ marriage; MOFA “powerless w/o Hague”
5) Ichihashi Tatsuya, suspect in Hawker murder, according to NPA has new face after plastic surgery
6) Japan Focus: Lawrence Repeta on DPJ and Ministry of Justice: fundamental reforms at last?
7) NYT on South Korea dealing with racism: Prosecutors spring into action. Contrast.
8 ) Greg Goodmacher’s EFL textbook on NJ issues: Why aren’t there more like these?
9) Asahi and Mainichi: J Supreme Court rules against Nationality Clause for employment in judiciary
10) NHK’s lingering bias favoring the opposition LDP. Anyone else noticing this?
11) Eyewitness report of Shinjuku’s overreaction to NJ Hallowe’en revelers on Yamanote
12) Fallout from “The Cove”: TV’s “South Park” takes on Japan’s dolphin slaughters and whale hunts
SOME STUFF I’M GETTING UP TO
13) DEBITO.ORG PODCAST OCTOBER 31, 2009
14) My Thurs Nov 5, Sapporo Gakuin Dai speech “Legal Equality for NJ Residents” (download Japanese Powerpoint)
15) “Lifer” Cartoon in SAPPORO SOURCE: “Things to do in Hokkaido”
16) New Debito.org Poll: “What are the TOP THREE things you think the DPJ should do policywise for NJ in Japan?”
… and finally …
17) Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE column: “Demography vs. Demagoguery” (full text)
Just a short essay for today. Has anyone noticed how NHK still reports as if the LDP is in power?
It’s been a month and a half since the DPJ assumed office, the first real bona fide party in Japan’s modern, developed, postwar history to actually offer a change of perspective and an alternative opposition. They keep surprising me with both their proposals and their competence so far.
But you wouldn’t get that impression from watching NHK. Yesterday morning’s 7AM news (Nov 2, 2009) had a smidge on the DPJ’s latest policy move, but then had a citation from former cabinet member (who nearly was booted out this election from my local electorate, Ebetsu, and had to be brought back in as a Proportional Representation “Zombie” Dietmember) Machimura Nobutaka, mentioned by name, offering a counterargument seemingly nearly as long as the airtime given the LDP. Who is he to comment and why should anyone, particularly NHK, care?
I’ve seen this time and time again on NHK, supposedly neutral — or at least pro-government. Which means it should be promoting the DPJ’s view now that it is the government. But that’s not happening. NHK, to me, seems to be treating our current government as if it’s an aberration, a lull or momentary lapse of reason before the LDP gets back in.
I’m not alone in this view…
THE RAW NUMBERS: According to two major newspapers (Asahi and Mainichi, the others had slightly different numbers when they went to press), opposition parties got a total of 322 seats including Proportional Representation (308 for elected seats), gaining 195. Incumbent ruling parties got 140 (119 elected seats), losing 192. This is a landslide for the opposition no matter how you slice it, and an absolute majority of the 480 total seats in the Lower House. In terms of PR (180 seats total), The LDP dropped from 77 to 55, while the DPJ rose from 61 to 86. It was a rout.
The government panel on Ainu policies held its first meeting Monday, aiming to look into the lives and discrimination the indigenous group faces and come up with remedial action.
The group, headed by Koji Sato, a professor emeritus of constitutional law at Kyoto University, will meet about once a month and submit proposals to the chief Cabinet secretary by next summer.
“There needs to be broad public understanding and cooperation,” Sato said. “The most important starting point is to have the public accurately understand the history and grasp the situation of the Ainu.”
The panel’s creation followed the Diet passage in June of a resolution to officially recognize for the first time the Ainu as an indigenous people.
Best news we’ll hear all year, I bet. Japan’s Supreme Court has just declared the insane system of “invalid nationality if postnatal paternity” (my term) unconstitutional, i.e. refusing to award Japanese citizenship to children born out of wedlock to NJ women if the J father acknowledges paternity AFTER the child is born. They awarded ten Japanese-Philippine children Japanese citizenship. Another very big step in favor of Japan’s internationalization and multiculturalization. Bravo!!
GOJ engaging in serious discussion of alien attack. No, not foreigners. Real space aliens. And this is the world’s second biggest economy still wanting to be taken seriously? I told you the legislative peerage was out of touch with reality. Somebody call a snap election and get these fools out.
1) DOCUMENTARY FILM ON CHILD ABDUCTION: TOKYO DEC 11 FUND RAISER
2) NJ FINGERPRINTING POLICY FOLLOW-UP:
a) EUROPEAN AND ANTIPODEAN BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS LODGE PROTESTS
b) US MILITARY SOFA EXCEPTED FROM FP LAWS
c) PROBABLE USG INVOLVEMENT IN FP POLICY INCEPTION
d) DIET DEBATES ON ANTI-TERROR POLICY NOT OVER YET
e) MOJ MINISTER HATOYAMA JUSTIFIES FP POLICY THRU HIS OWN AL-QAEDA LINKS
3) THE DRAGNET TIGHTENS: USG: PROVE NO CRIMINAL RECORD OVERSEAS FOR GOJ LONG-TERM VISAS
4) JAPAN FOCUS: “JAPAN’S MULTICULTURAL FUTURE OF MIGRANTS BECOMING IMMIGRANTS”
5) JAPAN TIMES: “JAPAN’S UNSCIENTIFIC HUMAN RIGHTS SURVEY”
6) WE ARE BEING LISTENED TO: ARTICLES ON SUMO AND EXCLUSIONARY SPORTS LEAGUES
1) GAIJIN HANZAI PUBLISHER GOES BANKRUPT
2) METROPOLIS ON POLICE TREATMENT OF CRIMES AGAINST NJ
3) IRISH TIMES AND NYT ON J HISTORICAL REVISIONISM
4) “GUESTISM” PLACED IN A HISTORICAL CONTEXT
5) GET READY FOR A DIVORCE-RATE BOOM IN JAPAN
6) U OF HYOGO AND IUHW ADDED TO UNIVERSITY BLACKLIST
and finally… FUN FACTS! RE LOCAL GOVTS
1) IMMIGRATION BUREAU VIOLATES PRIVACY OF MARRIAGE,
IN QUESTIONING J SPOUSES FOR LONGER-TERM VISAS
2) ECONOMIST ON THE BASIC EDUCATION LAW’S REFORM
3) BUSINESS CONSORTIUM INTRODUCING IC CHIP SHOPPING DEVICES
4) MORE LABOR ABUSES OF FOREIGN “TRAINEES” COMING TO LIGHT
DEBITO’S EXPANDED ITINERARY: UPDATED SCHEDULE WITH OPEN DAYS
GOING THROUGH TOKYO, KANSAI, AND KYUSHU, NEED ME TO SPEAK?
Launching a series on what I see as a very serious issue (training people to be “patriotic” at the early stages of education, with “love of country” tests already happening in Kyushu and Saitama grade schools), here is an introductory article from The Economist (London) on Japan’s reform of its Basic Education Law (Kyouiku Kihon Hou).
I don’t quite share its analytical framework or its rosy conclusions, but it’s a decent primer on the issue. Further links to this issue on debito.org included after the article. Further links to this issue on debito.org included after the article.
Below that follow two more Japan Times articles showing the most recent policy push in its genesis, back in 2002 and 2003.
I’m sure I’ll be saying this many times in the course of analysis and argument from now on, but what of the international community and mixed-roots children getting their education in Japan? Will they have to make a choice about their national identity (one, not both?), or just be excluded altogether?
1) DEBITO’S WINTER SCHEDULE–ANYONE WANT ME TO SPEAK SOMEWHERE?
2) US EMBASSY: RANDOM GAIJIN CHECKPOINTS NOW OFFICIAL TOKYO NPA POLICY
3) MAINICHI: FOREIGN CRIME FEARMONGERING AS OFFICIAL GOVT POLICY
4) ASAHI DULLS ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF “GAIJIN IC CARD” ARTICLE
5) FUTURE PM?: LDP KINGPIN MACHIMURA SPEAKS AT MY UNIVERSITY
6) KYODO: GIFU FIRMS EMPLOY FOREIGN CHILDREN “AT PARENTS’ REQUEST”
7) YOMIURI: IMMIG’S “GAIJIN TANKS” VIOLATE U.N. DETENTION GUIDELINES
8) ASIA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY ADDED TO UNIVERSITY BLACKLIST
9) JAPAN IRONICALLY KVETCHES ABOUT FOREIGN CRIME EXTRADITION PROBLEMS
10) ECONOMIST: ALBERTO FUJIMORI UPDATE
11) GREG CLARK IRONICALLY KVETCHES ABOUT IDEOLOGICAL BULLY PULPITING
12) 2 CHANNEL: MAINICHI DOES GANTAN TOKUSHUU
13) “JAPANESE ONLY” SIGN ON OKAZAKI INTERNET CAFE
and finally… I AM NOW OFFICIALLY “ARUDOU DEBITO