(What we are doing and what we have done so far. Recommended reading.)

"The Spirit of The Community"
(Also Recommended Reading.)

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It's really quite simple.

arrow.gifTo subscribe to The Community, send a blank message to: communityinjapan-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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The list owner's email is communityinjapan-owner@yahoogroups.com

There are no dues, no commitments, nothing but the opportunity to receive information that may benefit you as a resident and the group as a whole. And the potential avenue for you to help effect social change, if you are so inclined, on issues that you think deserve attention.

However, an important addendum:

"The Spirit of 'The Community'"
(Adopted Dec 20, 2002)

As Members of "The Community", we accept the concepts that:

a) non-Japanese (and foreign-looking peoples) are residents, not merely guests, in Japan,

b) non-Japanese (etc) make similar contributions to their communities as Japanese,

c) non-Japanese (etc) should have the same access to the fruits of Japanese society, with as few restrictions as possible,

d) non-Japanese (etc) should be treated with dignity and respect, and should likewise treat people in their community the same way,

e) non-Japanese (etc) have an obligation to show respect for the laws of Japan, and respect for and interest in the language, culture, and society of Japan,

f) non-Japanese (etc) have the right to ask for reasonable changes and improvements in their social status and surroundings in Japan in a calm, reasoned manner,

g) the actions of individuals do not and should not reflect upon a group of people as a whole,

h) people should be cordial, constructive, and civil in their discourse with one another,

i) all people are equal under Japanese law in the spirit of Article 14 of the Japanese Constitution and the UN Convention on Racial Discrimination.

We adopt the above as "The Spirit of The Community", and ask that Community Members abide by these concepts in their interactions with both Community Members and their Japanese communities at large. If the reader has trouble accepting these concepts, we respectfully ask them to form their own community elsewhere with similar beliefs to the reader's own. With these understandings in mind, The Community will seek to undertake projects and promote ideas to make Japan a better place for everyone to live.

(Originally drafted by Arudou Debito, incorporating amendments from Community Members, and passed by all voters unanimously in an open Community poll on December 20, 2002.)

What is the reason behind the above clarification of goals?

After three years in existence, The Community Mailing List by year-end 2002 reached a stage of growth and effervescence where some posts were showing lower signal-to-noise information ratios. Some have said that the List was being "Fukuzawa-ized" (The Dead Fukuzawa Society was a seminal unmoderated mailing list; it eventually collapsed due to internet trolls trashing it for sport).

This has been a special concern for The Community List because in future, "internet trolls" are being attracted here by the controversial Otaru Onsen Lawsuit (even though it is not a Community Project) merely to make trouble. Many active members quit the List due to (they say) the debate arena's concurrent unconstructive and overargumentativeness.

Don't get us wrong: Differences in opinion are fine, but apparent tendencies towards argumentation just for the sake of it--without attempts to draw conclusions--are not productive in the long run. There are plenty of other usenet lists for that sort of thing.

This is why we decided that it would be helpful to have Members on the same page "in spirit" (i.e. as per the above ideals).

We are all Community Members for a reason: to accomplish something.
Let's keep that in mind when we post.

IF YOU STILL NEED MORE INFORMATION ON THE COMMUNITY AND ITS ETHOS, please click here to read A MODEST PROPOSAL, which is an edited version of the original Community Proposal, delivered in Tokyo on September 28, 1999 by author and co-founder Arudou Debito/Dave Aldwinckle. You can also see an Asahi Evening News article, dated October 3, 1999, by clicking here.

The Community Site designed byI A Chaudhry