ASAHI SHINBUN ARTICLE
"JAPAN IN THE YEAR 20XX"
JANUARY 1, 2001
Original article in Japanese at http://www.debito.org/asahi010101.jpg
NB: This article was one of a series entitled "The Year 20XX", where the Asahi Shinbun made projections about Japan in the new century. Prodigiously headlined in the Jan 1 issue: "Walls fall between objects, people, and cultures, Asia's currencies unify, and the Yen disappears". Then came three articles. The first--cover--article talked about "Japan's breaking down walls to fuse with Asia" (kabe koe Ajia ni yuugou), with a photo of a multi-racial Tea Ceremony class. The third article talked about the "Japanese Dream" (sic, in katakana), with Japan's I.T. (information technology) policy drive bringing in Indian software designers, and other motions to bring in Nikkeijin laborers from places like Indonesia. The second article follows:)
January 1, 2001, page 2 (top, next to the Shasetsu Column)
(translation Arudou Debito/Dave Aldwinckle)
THE ORDEAL WITH BECOMING A MULTIRACIAL SOCIETY
(iminzoku shakai e shiren)
FRUSTRATION FROM JOB LOSSES TURNS INTO HATRED TOWARDS IMMIGRANTS
(shoku ni tsukenu fuman, imin e no zou-o ni)
THE SPECTRE OF THE "WHITE AUSTRALIA POLICY"
(hakugou shugi no bourei)
He buys his entry ticket from the vending machine. But the staff bar him as he enters the changing room:
"We don't allow foreigners here..."
"I am a Japanese," he says, showing his driver licence. The staff, although at first taken aback, refuse to give in, saying, "In the eyes of our Japanese customers, you are still a foreigner."
Otaru City, Hokkaido. At the entrance of a public bath facility it reads, "foreigners not allowed inside". After a frank exchange of views (oshimondou), American-born Japanese citizen Arudou Debito gave up trying to enter. His former name was Dave Aldwinckle.
It has been a full ten years since he came to Hokkaido. With a Japanese wife and two kids, he received Japanese citizenship last autumn. Accomplished in Japanese, he is also a taxpayer. Even still, he has a number of unpleasant experiences due to his physical appearance.
"Even though it is said that the number of foreigners will increase, as a Japanese citizen I worry about Japan's future when things like this happen."
She has been compared to Hitler. Awaiting a comeback, she continues her activities.
In the latter half of the 1990's, there was a brouhaha (soudou) in Australia which made many say, "the spectre of the White Australia Policy is rising again". That event was a woman.
In the east coast countryside near the Gold Coast, a fish-and-chip shop manager exploded into national politics. She did this through gaining support through a series discriminatory speeches against aborigines and Asian immigrants.
Her name is Pauline Hansen. Aged 47. Seven years ago she won a city council election, setting wheels in motion.
As a Liberal Party candidate in a bipartisan polity, in 1996 she stood for election for the federal House of Representatives. Her exclusivist rhetoric soon escalated:
"Immigrants are taking away our jobs."
"Those people are bringing in tuberculosis and Hepatitis B."
She was branded as "far right". The Liberal Party removed her name from their ranks, but her campaign continued and she was elected.
A book she put out after the election projected a multiracial and multicultural Australia in 2050:
"The result of taking in all races is that we must deal with a population of 1.8 billion, with a woman president of Indian and Chinese extract who is a lesbian cyborg."
[NB: I have no idea what the original English was. Japanese: "Arayuru imin ga ukeireteta kekka, zendo ni 18 oku no jinkou o kakae, indokei to chuugokukei no chi o hiita, rezubian de karada no ichibu ga kikai da to iu josei ga daitouryou ni natteiru."]
Exactly 100 years ago, on the first day of the 20th Century, Australia was born. The six provinces changed from British colonies into a republic. This was also the time when the inflow of colored peoples (yuushoku jinshu) was restricted in its "White Australia Policy".
In the face of rising criticism, Australia abandoned this program, transforming the nation over the past thirty years into a multiracial
immigration country. It brought in labor from abroad to create a coprosperous and amiable economic relationship with a geographically neighboring Asia.
Nowadays, one in four Australian residents was born overseas. Last year alone, 855 thousand people from 150 countries emigrated there.
"Australia is being engulfed by Asians." This so-called "Spectre of The White Australia Policy", fanned by Hansen, appealed to the baser aspects of human nature--preying upon the xenophobia arising from people left in the lurch of globalism. As the debate was taken up in the press, the "Pauline Hansen Phenomenon" took wing.
Gassan Haiji (sp?), a lecturer at the University of Sydney, undertook an informal survey of Hansen's supporters. An emigrant of Lebanon, Haiji said that she felt the strong White backlash against the rising middle class of diligently-working Asian immigrants. With White college dropouts unable to find jobs, they pointed fingers at the Asians.
"I'll tell you what I envy about those people: Their fancy cars. Their nice houses. The women that flock to them. I can't even find their country on a map, yet here they are stealing away my dreams."
Hansen lost the 1998 elections. However, she has announced in every district that her supporters will be standing in this year's Senate race. When if asked if she will be able to make a comeback, she answered smartly:
"There are lots of 'Pauline Hansens' in this country of ours. They are most of the regular citizens out there. I bet that after a few decades, when Japan becomes a multiracial society, you'll remember me and mark my words."
Is this an uncannily eerie prediction for Japan's future? (bukimi na yogen no toori ni naru no ka) If so, this will be an ordeal which Japanese society cannot avoid.
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