Nov 6, 2000, page 29, All-Hokkaido version
(translation from the Japanese by Arudou Debito/Dave Aldwinckle)
(Original Japanese article in jpeg form here)
(Originally sent to Friends, Shakai, UMJ, and several other mailing lists Oct 7, 2000)

Male, Born in America, expresses outrage: "Discrimination by Appearance"
(gaiken de sabetsu)

OTARU--An American-born Hokkaido resident (35), having received his Japanese
nationality a little more than three weeks before, was told by an Otaru
onsen which bans entry to foreigners that, "If you have the appearance of a
foreigner, our Japanese customers will stay away (gaiken ga gaikokujin nara
nihonjin kyaku wa hanareru)", and was refused entry. The resident,
outraged, said, "I'm a Japanese the same as anyone else, so am I going to be
discriminated against solely on outward appearance?" (onaji nihonjin demo,
gaiken dake de sabetsu sareru no ka).

The resident went with two other Japanese friends, bought tickets, and tried
to enter, but was told by the person in charge: "We refuse entry to
foreigners." The resident showed his driver licence, which has his proof of
citizenship, and protested this, saying, "I'm a Japanese". However, he was
still not permitted entry.

The resident, who married a Japanese woman eleven years ago, applied last
autumn for Japanese citizenship. He has been a continuing activist against
bathing establishments and businesses which refuse service to foreigners.
This time he went to investigate how he would be received as a foreigner who
had naturalized.

Regarding his reception from the onsen, the resident stated, "I could really
see how deep the discriminatory feelings ran.(sabetsu kanjou no nefukasa o
tsuukan shita). With the progress in Japan's internationalization, Japanese
like me are going to increase. (kokusaika ga susumi, watashi no you na
nihonjin wa masumasu fueru) When I think about how it will be for my
children, I see just how serious this is." (watashi no kodomo tachi no koto
o omou to shinkoku). In future, he plans to put this issue up on a group's
homepage defending the human rights for foreigners, and demand that
something be done.

The onsen stated, "Even if he has gotten Japanese citizenship, our customers
will still think that by his appearance he is a foreigner. (nihon kokuseki o
totta to shite mo, nihonjin kyaku wa dansei o gaiken de gaikokujin to mite
shimau.) Many of our Japanese customers hate taking baths with foreigners,
so that's why we weren't able to allow him inside. (gaiikokujin no nyuuyoku
o kirau nihonjin kyaku ga ooi ijou, nyuujou o mitomerarenakatta) We would
like to take some time to consider how to receive naturalized people from
now on." (kika shita hito he no taiou wa kongou kentou shitai)


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