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From Debito's doctoral research:

Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

  • Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination
  • (Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield 2015)

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    RocketNews: Automatic PR Status awarded to grads of Kyoto universities? Positive proposal by Kyoto Governor that will come to naught

    Posted on Sunday, April 21st, 2013

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    Hi Blog.  Here’s something interesting.  It will come to naught, of course, but it shows how local governments are much more responsive to the needs of NJ than the central government (which is dominated by the control-the-borders-and-police-foreigners-only mindset of the Ministry of Justice).  Although the central government occasionally deigns to listen to the locals (especially when they band together and say, “Our NJ residents need this!” as per the Hamamatsu Sengen of 2001), ultimately the regular blind spots prevail, and I think they will in this case too (as awarding Permanent Residency is the job of the MOJ, not local governments).  Arudou Debito


    Japanese Permanent Resident Status to be Awarded to Overseas Students? A New Appeal by the [Governor] of Kyoto
    RocketNews24, April 15, 2013 by Andrew Miller, courtesy of JK and others

    On April 10, the [Governor] of Kyoto Keiji Yamada made public his intentions to appeal to the government to award overseas students who graduate from Kyoto [universities] with the right to permanent residence. It is a proposal entitled ‘Kyoto University Special Ward’ and also incorporates other supportive measures for foreign students. With a decrease in student intake within Japan in recent years, it is hoped that by providing incentives for academically skilled overseas students, Kyoto will not only be able to compete with other cities like Tokyo but will also be able to add a new lease of life to its cultural city.

    The plan to introduce incentives for overseas students came to light after The Japanese Business Federation and Kyoto’s prefecture office held a panel discussion on how to revive the town. The same prefecture estimated that due to decrease in birth rates, the number of students enrolling in university was also likely to see a significant decrease in years to come. Looking at the birth rate statistics from 2011, it is predicted that the 160,000 students currently residing in Kyoto will see a 25,000 student decrease in the future.

    On the other hand, the number of overseas students currently residing in Kyoto is 6,000. According to research carried out by Kyoto Prefecture, several universities in Singapore have over a 60 percent foreign student uptake. What’s more, the same students are awarded the right to permanent residence upon graduating. Singapore is no doubt leading the way in attracting, and fostering, talent from abroad.

    At the same panel discussion, Kyoto’s [Governor] was enthusiastic about providing an environment like Singapore in which to support foreign students with finding employment after graduation, and nurturing talent through education.

    With air of conviction, Kyoto’s [Governor] put his proposition to the panel:

    “What I’d like to ask you to consider is whether overseas students who graduate from Kyoto [universities] and take part in the city’s job training program can be given permanent resident status. I’d like to work with everyone in producing an effective policy.”

    It is reported that at the end of the discussion all the parties were keen to provide a fertile ground in which to foster a “University utopia” and backed the mayor’s proposal. Kyoto Prefecture is set to cooperate with the parties concerned and appeal to the government to put this measure in place during the year.


    Original article linked from RocketNews:

    京の留学生に永住権を 府が「大学生特区」提案へ
    京都新聞 4月10日(水)







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    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Good News, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Unsustainable Japanese Society, 日本語 | 18 Comments »

    Interesting cases: naturalized Japanese sues city councilor fiance who jilted her for Korean ethnicity, Pakistani parents file criminal complaint for injurious school bullying, Hatoyama Yukio officially called “traitor” for not toeing official party line on Senkaku/Nanjing issues

    Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2013

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    Hi Blog. Here are a couple of interesting cases that have fallen through the cracks recently, what with all the higher-level geopolitical flurry and consequent hate speech garnering so much attention.  With not much to link them thematically except that these are complaints made into public disputes, let me combine them into one blog post and let them stand for themselves as bellwethers of the times.

    First up, we have a criminal complaint filed with the police for classroom bullying resulting in serious injury due to his Pakistani ethnicity.  This is one of a long line of cases of ethnic bullying in Japan, once again with insufficient intervention by authorities, and we’re lucky this time it hasn’t resulted yet in PTSD or a suicide.  Like it has in these cases here with an ethnic Chinese schoolgirlwith an Indian student in 2007, or a Filipina-Japanese student in 2010 (in the last case NHK neglected to mention ethnicity as an issue).  Of course, even here the Mainichi declines to give the name of the school involved.  Whatever happened to perennial promises of a “major bullying study” at the ministerial level a couple of years ago to prevent things like this?  Or of grassroots NGO actions way back when?


    Pakistani student’s parents file complaint against classmates over bullying

    TAKAMATSU — The parents of a 13-year-old Pakistani junior high school student here have filed a criminal complaint with police, accusing their son’s classmates of bullying and injuring him.

    A male Pakistani student at a public junior high school in a town in Kagawa Prefecture was bullied and seriously injured by his classmates, his parents alleged in a complaint filed on Feb. 18 with prefectural police.

    The parents requested on the same day that the town’s board of education investigate the case and take measures to prevent a recurrence as they claim the student has been racially abused by four of his classmates since last spring. However, the education board denies bullying took place at the school.

    According to the parents who held a news conference, the student was verbally bullied about the color of his skin by four of his classmates ever since he entered school last April. The parents claim that the students would make racist comments that their son’s skin was “dirty” and that they told him to “go back to his home country.”

    The student was also physically bullied repeatedly by his classmates. Last November, one of the four classmates tripped him over when he was running in the hallway, severely injuring his legs and face. Since that incident, the student reportedly has to use crutches to walk.

    The student’s 41-year-old father said, “We asked the homeroom teacher and vice principle multiple times to improve the situation but they failed to take any action.”

    February 19, 2013 (Mainichi Japan) 


    毎日新聞 2013年02月19日 00時37分(最終更新 02月19日 09時33分)



    婚約破棄:「在日差別意識に起因」 女性が市議を提訴
    毎日新聞 2013年01月28日 15時00分(最終更新 01月28日 16時11分)







    And finally, courtesy of japanCRUSH last January, we have this interesting titbit:

    Japanese defense minister Onodera Itsunori is the latest politician to enter the fray by calling former prime minister Hatoyama Yukio a ‘traitor’ on a television programme. Onodera’s remark came after Hatoyama commented to Chinese officials that the Senkaku Islands should be recognised as disputed territory, rather than Japanese territory, during his trip to China. Interestingly, Hatoyama caused further controversy this week when he apologised for the Nanjing massacre.

    Translations courtesy of japanCRUSH:

    Defense Minister Calls Hatoyama a ‘Traitor’ (kokuzoku)

    Sankei Shinbun:  On the evening of January 17, defense minister Onodera Itsunori gave a scathing criticism of Hatoyama Yukio, who met with Chinese officials in Beijing, for his acknowledgement of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture as being a disputed territory between Japan and China. Onodera stated, ‘This is a huge negative for Japan. At this, China will announce to the world that there is a dispute, and form international opinion. For the first time in a long while, the word ‘traitor’ came to mind’. Onodera spoke on a BS-Fuji news programme.


    産經新聞 2013.1.17 22:29 [鳩山氏の不思議な行動

    Defense Minister Onodera: Former Prime Minister Hatoyama is a ‘Traitor’

    JIJI/  On the evening of January 17, defense minister Onodera Itsunori appeared on a BS-Fuji television programme, and said that ‘This is a huge negative for Japan. I shouldn’t really say this, but for a moment the word ‘traitor’ came to mind,’ strongly criticising former prime minister Hatoyama Yukio’s remark that ‘It is important to recognise that the Senkaku islands are a disputed territory’.

    The defense minister showed his anxiety, saying ‘Although there is no dispute, and (Senkaku) is native Japanese territory, the Chinese will announce to the world that this is what a former Japanese prime minister thinks, and indeed world opinion will be formed as though there really is a dispute’.


    時事通信 1月17日(木)22時37分配信



    So this is what it’s coming to.  Dissent from prominent Japanese (who, in Hatoyama’s case, are no longer even political representatives) who act on their conscience, deviate from the saber-rattling party line, and show any efforts at reconciliation in this era of regional brinkmanship get decried as “traitors”.

    Check out this photo essay link from the Sankei showing Hatoyama and missus provocatively bowing and praying at Nanjing (text of article follows):


    鳩山元首相が「南京大虐殺記念館」訪問 中国、「安倍内閣牽制」に利用も
    産經新聞 2013年1月17日





    Doesn’t seem like there is much space for tolerance of moderate or diverse views (or people) anymore.  Arudou Debito

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    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Education, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Japanese Politics, Lawsuits, Media | 10 Comments »

    Amazing new Cabinet survey finds “81% welcome ‘foreigners’ of Japanese descent”. Festival of cognitive dissonance!

    Posted on Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

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    Hi Blog.  This has already been discussed better elsewhere, but it would be remiss of to not give a bit of space to this amazing Cabinet survey:

    From the Japan Times/Kyodo:

    Poll: 81% welcome foreigners of Japanese descent
    KYODO MAR 2, 2013

    More than 80 percent of respondents in a new poll said they are open to foreign nationals of Japanese descent living in the nation, the Cabinet Office reported.

    The office’s first survey of its kind, released Thursday, found 80.9 percent of respondents expressed openness to living alongside those with Japanese ancestry, including Brazilian and Peruvian descendents of Japanese immigrants. Only 12.9 percent opposed the idea.

    Of the 3,000 citizens canvassed in January for the poll, 59.7 percent were also in favor of the central government and municipalities assisting non-Japanese residents to a greater extent, for instance by providing Japanese-language classes for unemployed young people and recruiting interpreters at Hello Work job-placement offices.

    “With more opportunities to interact with foreigners, (Japanese people) are eventually no longer rejecting” the idea of accepting non-Japanese nationals in society, a Cabinet Office official remarked.

    As of the end of 2011, there were fewer than 300,000 foreigners of Japanese descent living in the country, of whom 210,000 were Brazilians and another 50,000 Peruvians, the Cabinet Office said.

    Now just sit back in your chair and let that sink in for a moment. We have the highest level of government in Japan conducting a slanted survey (available in Japanese here) asking not about public acceptance of NJ, but rather a breed of NJ, specifically “Nikkei Teijuu Gaikokujin” (non-citizen residents of Japan who are of Japanese lineage). Why would that be the question asked? What policy is retroactively being sought to be justified? And why is this angle newsworthy?

    Apropos of a few answers, here are some comments garnered from and elsewhere:

    AS: “Blood = Japanese v.2?”

    JDG: “It’s a brilliantly pointless piece of reporting, for the sake of massaging the egos of the Japanese readers, and assuring them that Japan is a ‘modern’ country… J-public are finally willing to accept foreigners… as long as they are ‘Japanese’ foreigners… I feel like I have gone back in time 5 years. The same politicians are back, the same old economic policies are back, and now Japan wants all those Nikkeijin they paid to go home, to come back too?”

    Puddintain: “Imagine a similar poll in a country mostly populated with folks of white European descent that found that 80% percent of them were willing to live with immigrants of white European descent! Wouldn’t that be something amazing?”

    Robert Moorehead’s JAPANsociology blog offers a more in-depth analysis of the Cabinet survey itself, so I won’t repeat. The most poignant parts of it for me was:

    Moorehead: The survey asked respondents if they knew that there were Nikkei living in Japan, and how they knew this. Nearly 53 percent the respondents either knew that Nikkei were living in Japan, or had heard about it. 46 percent answered that they did not know that this group was living in Japan… [!!!]

    On the one hand, I’m encouraged by the support for Nikkei in Japan. It’s certainly better than if they had said the opposite. But … I’m skeptical. South Americans in Japan, Nikkei and non-Nikkei alike, have told me very clearly that they do not feel included in Japanese society. Instead, borrowing some phrases from Eli Anderson’s The Cosmopolitan Canopy, they’re perpetually ‘on probation.’ In this provisional status, any misstep can be used against you as a sign of the fact that you’ll never fit in…

    Hopefully government officials will use this survey to promote further initiatives to empower the Nikkei (and hopefully other non-Japanese) in Japan. Publicly conducting the survey, posting it on the Cabinet Office website, and releasing it to the press, may indicate that the government is testing public support for such initiatives.

    COMMENT: Bingo! As has been noted before on, the Cabinet, in its sessions last summer on how to “accept” NJ into Japanese society for future economic vitality, only showed interest in the treatment of Nikkei. Nikkei, you see, are somehow part of “us” (due to Wajin blood conceits), and it looks like Japan’s policymakers are going to give the old failed Nikkei worker importation strategy another try, and cite this “shooting fish in a barrel” survey to support it.

    Anyway, if the Cabinet is so keen on taking surveys, how about its perpetually embarrassing (and, as I’ve reported in the Japan Times, very flawed) Cabinet Survey on Human Rights that it conducts every four years? I just found the 2012 version here, a year late, clearly made public with significantly less fanfare (I searched for it as late as last October).  Perhaps because the results in the past were far more revealing about Japan’s cognitive dissonance regarding human rights (over the past decade or so, only a bit more than half of respondents answered affirmatively to the survey question, “Should foreigners have the same human rights protections as Japanese?”), meaning a large proportion don’t support granting equal human rights to foreign humans!  You see, human rights for NJ, by the very nature of having to ask this kind of question, are optional in Japan.  Less so, it would seem based upon this new Cabinet survey, for the “foreigners” with the right bloodline.  Which is the conceit that this new Cabinet survey is pandering to.

    Ultimately, I believe the GOJ will once again fall into the same old shortsightedness (like so many other societies) of wanting “workers” only to discover later they brought in “people”.  And then, as before, society will seek to denigrate if not get rid of them as soon as they actually have needs (such as health care to provide, children to educate, lifestyles that reflect their backgrounds, retirement pensions to pay, political power to cede) that run counter to the original national plans…  Arudou Debito


    PS:  I will talk about the new 2012 Human Rights Survey shortly, (for the record, it’s archived at after my next Japan Times JBC column comes out next Tuesday JST.  Seems like the surveyers read my 2007 JT column criticizing it, and changed the survey questions regarding NJ discrimination this time.

    For the record:
    〔参考1〕 外国人の人権擁護についての考え方,,,,,

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    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", Bad Social Science, Cultural Issue, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, Labor issues, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment, Unsustainable Japanese Society | 9 Comments »

    Mainichi: NJ medical intern death from overwork finally officially recognized as karoushi after 2 years

    Posted on Thursday, February 14th, 2013

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    Hi Blog. In a sad precedent, we have a clear case of death through overwork being officially recognized as such for a NJ doctor.  It’s sadder that it has taken so long (more than two years) for that official recognition to come through.  I’ve long realized that Japan has at times some pretty crazy work ethics (and a peer group atmosphere that encourages people to give their all, even until they die), but it seems even more crazy for NJ to leave their societies to come to a place that will work them to death.  Especially as a NJ “trainee”, where they have even fewer labor-law rights than the locals who are in similar work circumstances.  This situation has to be known about, since Japan’s immigration laws aren’t allowing a labor market where enough doctors (even imported ones) can satiate the perpetual labor shortage being referred to below.  Only when GOJ authorities realize that the jig is up, because the international labor force is avoiding Japan as a harsh labor market to work within, will things change.  Arudou Debito


    Death of Chinese medical intern recognized as work-related
    December 26, 2012 (Mainichi Japan), courtesy of Yokohama John

    A regional labor standards inspection office in Aomori Prefecture has recognized that a Chinese trainee doctor who was working at a municipal hospital died from overwork, a lawyer representing the victim has disclosed.

    It is reportedly the country’s first case in which a foreign doctor working in Japan has been recognized by a labor standards office as having died from overwork.

    The Hirosaki Labor Standards Inspection Office in Aomori Prefecture acknowledged that the 2010 death of Lu Yongfu, a Chinese trainee doctor at a municipal hospital in Hirosaki, was work-related, in a decision on Dec. 20. Lu died at the age of 28 after working up to 121 hours overtime a month.

    Ayako Hiramoto, a lawyer representing the victim, revealed the labor office’s decision during a news conference on Dec. 25.

    According to the office, Lu had worked between 84 and 121 hours overtime per month before he died of an acute circulatory disorder in November 2010. His average monthly overtime hours surpassed 80 hours — the criteria for certifying death from overwork, or “karoshi” in Japanese.

    The trainee was on duty almost all weekends except for the summer break, and had two to four night shifts a month that left him working on day shifts the following day without enough sleep, according to the labor office.

    Lu had arrived in Japan in 2002 and graduated from the school of medicine at Hirosaki University in Aomori Prefecture before starting his internship at the hospital in April 2010.

    Hiramoto said there were at least six other cases in Japan in which trainee doctors had died from overwork in the past.

    “Regional areas are suffering from a serious shortage of doctors, while the management of their work hours is sloppy. Drastic measures need to be taken,” she said.

    Original Japanese story

    毎日新聞 2012年12月25日 19時01分





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    Posted in Bad Business Practices, Cultural Issue, Human Rights, Japanese Government, Labor issues, Unsustainable Japanese Society, 日本語 | 17 Comments »

    Sankei Sports etc: J soccer player Nakamura Yuuki quits Slovakian club, feels victimized by “racial discrimination”; my, how ironic!

    Posted on Friday, February 1st, 2013

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    Hi Blog.  We have an interesting case of a Japanese sports player quitting an overseas soccer team claiming “racial discrimination” (jinshu sabetsu).  Nakamura Yuuki, formerly of Slovak football club MSK Rimaska Sobota, has been reported in the Japanese press as returning to Japan last September, blogging about his treatment negatively.  But look closely at this case and some odd thoughts come up.  According to the press (English-language ones first, then Japanese, translated):


    Japanese soccer player Yuki Nakamura quits Slovakian club due to racial abuse
    By Ida Torres / January 31, 2013 /

    Japanese soccer striker Yuki Nakamura has quit his Slovakian club Rimavska Sobota saying his club and his teammates did nothing to support or protect him from the racial abuse targeted at him by supporters.

    “It’s a real shame but I have come home because I have been subjected to racism at Rimavska Sobota and I can’t carry on living there,” Nakamura posted on his blog. The 25 year old, on loan from Czech side Viktoria Zizkov, said that fans would hurl racial slurs at him before and after games. When he told the club about it, they said there was nothing they could do about it. He decided he couldn’t continue living there and decided to just come home to Japan. He has previously played in Romania and the Czech Republic.

    Other Japanese players have also experienced difficulties while playing overseas. Most recently in 2011, Lierse goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima was taunted by opposing fans with chants of “Fukushima, Fukushima” in reference to the nuclear disaster from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Racism in football is still a persistent, serious problem and FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes it is one of the biggest scourges in the sport. He believes points should be deducted from teams in cases of racial abuse. Kevin Prince Boateng of AC Milan, who also plays for the national team of Ghana, walked out of a friendly match against Pro Patria after fans didn’t stop their “monkey” chants, even after being called out by the stadium announcer. United State’s Jozy Altidore is also another recent victim of racist chants, during a Dutch Cup game for his club AZ. The referee wanted to halt the fixture after fans continued hurling abuse at him, but Altidore asked for the game to continue.



    Nakamura quits Slovakian club over racism
    JAPAN TODAY, SPORTS JAN. 31, 2013 – 07:00AM JST ( 24 )TOKYO —

    Japanese striker Yuki Nakamura says he has left Slovakian club Rimavska Sobota because he was a target of racist abuse.

    “It’s a real shame but I have come home because I have been subjected to racism at Rimavska Sobota and I can’t carry on living there,” the 25-year-old Nakamura wrote on his blog on Wednesday.

    Nakamura, who has also played in Romania and the Czech Republic, says supporters would hurl abuse at him before and after games and that none of his teammates would offer help.

    “This is not normal,” said Nakamura, who was on loan from Czech side Viktoria Zizkov. “Some type of threat was made to the club but they said there was nothing they could do about it, so I came home. I doubt there are many players that have experienced this.”

    Several Japanese players have encountered difficulties while playing overseas. In 2011, former Lierse goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima was taunted with chants of “Fukushima, Fukushima” by opposing fans in reference to the nuclear disaster following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

    FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently reiterated his belief in deducting points from teams in cases of racial abuse — which he believes is the one of the biggest scourges in soccer.


    Nakamura quits club over ‘racism’
    Agence France-Presse February 01, 2013

    TOKYO: Japanese striker Yuki Nakamura says he returned home over intolerable racism at Slovak club Rimavska Sobota, adding that the side had received threats over his appearances.

    The incident is the latest in a string of racially-linked incidents in European football, with Italian giants Lazio fined a total of 140,000 euros ($190,000) by UEFA on Wednesday after their Europa League clashes against Tottenham and Maribor were marred by racist chanting.

    In an online blog entry dated Wednesday, Nakamura, 25, said he returned to Japan because of racism that had even involved some of his own teammates.

    “Unfortunately, I have come home because I was subjected to racism at the club I belonged to, Rimavska Sobota, and could not live there any more,” the footballer wrote.

    Calling out his name before and after matches, some club supporters raised their middle finger to Nakamura “with a look of furious anger”.

    “No teammates helped me. There were even some players who joined in (the harassment),” he added.

    “It wasn’t normal anymore, and the team even received some sort of threats. They cannot be responsible (for my safety), so I came home,” he said.

    Nakamura played in Romania and the Czech Republic before joining Rimavska Sobota on loan in July last year.


    Even more at EIN World News Report.

    Compare these with the Japanese-language reports below (my translation, then originals)


    Japanese Soccer Forward quits club due to severe discrimination

    Sankei Sports, January 31, 2013 (translation by Arudou Debito; corrections welcome)

    Forward Nakamura Yuuki (25), of Slovak football club MSK Rimavska Sobota, wrote on his own blog on January 30 that “I received racially discriminatory treatment and could no longer live there, so I came back to Japan”, making clear that he had quit his team.

    According to his blog, Nakamura had already returned to Japan by last September.  The target of racial discrimination from soccer fans, he also made clear that teammates would side with them.  “Before and after games, soccer fans would say my name with an angry demonic look in their eyes (oni no gyousou de), give me the finger… and none of my teammates would help me.  It also seemed like some of the players would have a hand in it too,” Nakamura wrote in detail.

    In addition, Nakamura reported that the club explained to him, “We cannot take responsibility if threats come to the team.”

    Nakamura began playing for a Rumanian club after graduating from Kokushikan University.  In 2012 he switched to the Viktoria Zizkov team in the Czech League, and in August he was on loan to MSK Rimavska Sobota.

    Regarding incidents of racial discrimination towards Japanese players, in August 2011, Japan Team Goalie Kawashima Eiji, then a member of club Lierse in the Belgian League, was jeered at fans during a game where they said “Kawashima, Fukushima!” in reference to the nuclear accident.  This led to Kawashima protesting to the head referee and interrupting the game.

    The soccer world is thick with (habikoru) problems of racial discrimination, FIFA president Sepp Blatter (76) has is considering deducting winning points from any team which engages in racial discrimination.



    産経スポーツ 2013.1.31, courtesy of HS








    Japanese soccer player in overseas league confesses that “racial discrimination” made him “unable to live there anymore”

    RBB Today/Livedoor Sports, February 1, 2013 (translation by Arudou Debito; corrections welcome)

    Forward Nakamura Yuuki (25), of second-tier Slovak football club MSK Rimavska Sobota, blogged that he had been subject to racially discriminatory treatment and could no longer carry on living there.

    On January 30, in a blog entry entitled “The truth is…”, he wrote “This time I wanted to return to Japan sooner than usual.  So by the end of September I was back,” reporting that he had already come home.  “It’s a shame, but because I received racial discrimination at MSK I couldn’t live there anymore and so came home,” clarifying why he came home earlier than usual.

    The treatment that Nakamura called “racial discrimination” was, as reported, “There were many things that made me think ‘Would such a thing happen in this day and age?’  Before and after games, soccer fans would say my name with an angry demonic look in their eyes (oni no gyousou de), give me the finger… and none of my teammates would help me.  It also seemed like some of the players would have a hand in it too.”  Nakamura also added that “things that looked like threats” also happened to the team.  But since the team wouldn’t take responsibility (for Nakamura’s safety), it looks like he made the decision to leave.

    On Nakamura’s blog in August before he repatriated, Nakamura reported about recent play and living conditions, “Honestly, I’m tired.  I’m the only gaijin [sic] on this team and there are lots of communication problems;” “Well, it doesn’t matter where you go in this world, there’ll always be problems, right?’  Problems and adverse conditions.  It’s times like those when you really have to think about how to think about them,” showing the difficulties he was having with playing for overseas teams.  On his most recent blog entry, when he revealed how severe the bashing he was getting overseas, he said, “I think few other sportsperson have had this kind of experience,” concluding his blog entry with a positive feeling.

    [Last paragraph of the article details his former Japanside career as a soccer player.]




    RBB TODAY 2013年01月30日13時23分, courtesy of AS




    中村選手は帰国前の昨年8月のブログでも、現地でのプレーや近況について報告するとともに、「正直かなり疲れました!外人は自分1人だけなんでコミニュケーションの問題とか色々と」「まあどの世界でもどこでも何かしらの問題はありますよね? 問題であったり逆境であったり。そんな時にどう思えるかって凄く大切だと思います」と、海外チームでプレーする苦労をつづっていた。今回のブログで、現地で猛烈なバッシングを受けていたことを明かしたが、「こんな経験をした選手もなかなかいないんじゃないでしょうか?」と、前向きな気持ちをつづってブログを結んでいる。




    As Submitter AS notes:  Reading through the article and the blog quoted in the article, I can’t find anything that clearly shows racial discrimination.  People giving him the finger?  With no context, that could mean anything from racial discrimination to thinking he’s a useless player.

    As Submitter HS notes: I find it very interesting how low the bar is for Japanese to scream “racism” overseas. Someone yells “Kawashima Fukushima” during a soccer game and Kawashima stops the game to protest?? And the Japanese media consider this taunt to be “racism”?? Surely the jeer is not appropriate but racism???

    Try looking for an apartment – a place to live! – and being told “No!” simply because you are not Japanese. THAT’S racism. But why do I get the feeling that the Japanese media would make excuses, justify, and attempt to convince me that this is not racism but just a big misunderstanding on MY PART?

    COMMENT FROM DEBITO: I just find it interesting the difference in treatment in the media and public argument.  Nakamura essentially has a nervous breakdown due to the taunts, and then both the Japanese and overseas media report it as racial discrimination, put it in a larger context, and don’t question Nakamura’s claims.  Yet when we get the same kind of jeering in Japan of NJ (Shimizu S-Pulse’s Coach Ghotbi being accused in 2011 by supporters in a banner of being connected to Iranian nuclear weapons; or official-level jeers:  Japan’s Ekiden running leagues justifying extra hurdles for NJ athletes by claiming that sports are only interesting for Japanese fans if Japanese win them; or claims by Japan’s rugby union not winning because they have “too many foreign players” (including naturalized Japanese); and how about Tokyo Governor Ishihara’s 2012 remarks about NJ judo Olympians being “beasts” spoiling “Japan’s sport”?), nobody calls it “racial discrimination” in the Japanese press (if the foreign press pay any attention to it at all).  Racial discrimination only seems to happen overseas.

    Where is FIFA or any other international sports league to decry racism when this sort of thing happens in Japan?  Buried in cultural relativism.  You can see that even more strongly in the comments to the Japan Today article cited above, which are overwhelmingly sympathetic to Nakamura.  I don’t doubt that Nakamura had readjustment problems and decided not to stay because he wasn’t comfortable overseas.  But imagine the reaction if a NJ player in the J-League were to quit, justifying it by saying “fans gave me an angry look” or “people gave me the finger”.  He’d be told by commenters to grow a pair, and would have bloggers both in English and Japanese questioning not only the veracity of his claims (dollars to donuts they would dismiss his claim of “racial discrimination” as cultural misunderstandings or insensitivity) but also his mental stability.

    That’s not happening in Nakamura’s case.  Now why?  Are we that programmed to holding Japan to a different standard?  Arudou Debito


    Nakamura’s blog, cited in the articles above:


    2012-08-12 18:27:20













    UPDATE FEB 2, 2013:

    Debito here. Let me make a clarification to my post, since some people (off list) aren’t getting it:

    Here’s what I am and am not saying:

    • I am NOT saying that Nakamura has no standing to have a complaint about the way he was felt he was treated.
    • I am NOT saying that Nakamura should have stayed on if he felt that way.
    • I am NOT saying that because racial discrimination (RD) also exists in Japan that Nakamura has no standing to claim RD in Europe.
    • I AM saying that the standards for what is called RD in Europe and in Japan seem to be different.
    • I AM saying that it is ironic that unequal treatment towards NJ sportspeople in Japan is not similarly decried as RD.
    • I AM saying that if international sports authorities are willing to acknowledge Nakamura’s treatment in European sports leagues as RD, those same international sports authorities (not to mention pundits and media commentators) should also have something similarly critical to say about the way NJ sportspeople are treated in Japan as well.

    Thus, the irony I am pointing out is not that Nakamura claimed RD. The irony is that Japan’s unequal treatment of people by race/nationality/national origin is not held to the same standard as Europe’s unequal treatment of people by race/nationality/national origin.

    For Nakamura, the threshold (based upon the standards of proof that he offered) was much lower than what people claim (and find their claims discounted for “cultural reasons”). Again, if any NJ quit his Japanese team due to getting the “stink eye” and “the finger” from the stands, nobody would take him or her at all seriously. It’s sweet that people (both European and Japanese) did in Nakamura’s case. But let’s universalize the thresholds and standards, shall we?

    Capisce? Debito

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    Posted in Cultural Issue, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Problematic Foreign Treatment, Shoe on the Other Foot Dept., Sport, 日本語 | 49 Comments »

    NYT: Xenophobia in Environmental Ministry re exclusionary Fukushima decontam efforts: “Japanese soil is different”, “NJ assistance might scare local grandmas”

    Posted on Friday, January 11th, 2013

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    Hi Blog. As part of a continuing series of how the Post-Fukushima Debacles have laid bare just how irredeemably broken Japan’s system is (see related articles here (item #2), here, here, herehere, here, herehere, and here), the NYT has just reported the latest on the Fukushima radiation cleanup effort.  Within, we can witness a wonderful fusion of corruption, xenophobia, and unaccountable bureaucratic culture that have been symptomatic of why Japan as a society cannot not fix itself (see items #1-3).  And this time, it’s a wonderful capsule summary of why foreign technology and assistance will lose out to featherbedded domestic interests (the Kensetsu Zoku, who are making a right mess of things).  And how there’s no hope of it getting better since the corrupt corporatists who facilitated this system in the first place (LDP under Abe and co.) are back in power as of December with a fresh mandate.  A choice excerpt from the NYT, very, very germane to the purview of, follows:


    NYT:  Japanese officials said adapting overseas technologies presented a particular challenge.

    “Even if a method works overseas, the soil in Japan is different, for example,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director at the environment ministry, who is in charge of the Fukushima cleanup. “And if we have foreigners roaming around Fukushima, they might scare the old grandmas and granddads there.”

    (UPDATE:  Original Japanese question and answer, courtesy of Hiroko Tabuchi (thanks!):

    環境省福島除染推進チーム次長 西山 英彦:


    (Here’s a picture of Nishiyama Hidehiko to burn into your memory cells, courtesy of Reuters:)


    This is an incredibly racist insult to all the NJ who were both there and who went up there to help the victims of the disasters at great time, expense, and risk to their health — without scaring people.  I have two articles below the NYT from the WSJ which outline what a horrible little fellow this Nishiyama is, and how he keeps bouncing right back into power despite scandal within Japan’s unaccountable bureaucracy.

    After that, I have some links to previous comments on this article.  I originally put this up yesterday as an addendum to a previous blog entry, but the comments there (see most of them in context here) are worth archiving here because they express the appropriate amount of outrage.  About a system that is, in the end, betraying everyone.  Kudos to NYT reporter Hiroko Tabuchi for uncovering this.  Arudou Debito


    In Japan, a Painfully Slow Sweep
    The New York Times, January 7, 2013
    See photos at

    NARAHA, Japan — The decontamination crews at a deserted elementary school here are at the forefront of what Japan says is the most ambitious radiological cleanup the world has seen, one that promised to draw on cutting-edge technology from across the globe.

    But much of the work at the Naraha-Minami Elementary School, about 12 miles away from the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, tells another story. For eight hours a day, construction workers blast buildings with water, cut grass and shovel dirt and foliage into big black plastic bags — which, with nowhere to go, dot Naraha’s landscape like funeral mounds.

    More than a year and a half since the nuclear crisis, much of Japan’s post-Fukushima cleanup remains primitive, slapdash and bereft of the cleanup methods lauded by government scientists as effective in removing harmful radioactive cesium from the environment.

    Local businesses that responded to a government call to research and develop decontamination methods have found themselves largely left out. American and other foreign companies with proven expertise in environmental remediation, invited to Japan in June to show off their technologies, have similarly found little scope to participate.

    Recent reports in the local media of cleanup crews dumping contaminated soil and leaves into rivers has focused attention on the sloppiness of the cleanup.

    “What’s happening on the ground is a disgrace,” said Masafumi Shiga, president of Shiga Toso, a refurbishing company based in Iwaki, Fukushima. The company developed a more effective and safer way to remove cesium from concrete without using water, which could repollute the environment. “We’ve been ready to help for ages, but they say they’ve got their own way of cleaning up,” he said.

    Shiga Toso’s technology was tested and identified by government scientists as “fit to deploy immediately,” but it has been used only at two small locations, including a concrete drain at the Naraha-Minami school.

    Instead, both the central and local governments have handed over much of the 1 trillion yen decontamination effort to Japan’s largest construction companies. The politically connected companies have little radiological cleanup expertise and critics say they have cut corners to employ primitive — even potentially hazardous — techniques.

    The construction companies have the great advantage of available manpower. Here in Naraha, about 1,500 cleanup workers are deployed every day to power-spray buildings, scrape soil off fields, and remove fallen leaves and undergrowth from forests and mountains, according to an official at the Maeda Corporation, which is in charge of the cleanup.

    That number, the official said, will soon rise to 2,000, a large deployment rarely seen on even large-sale projects like dams and bridges.

    The construction companies suggest new technologies may work, but are not necessarily cost-effective.

    “In such a big undertaking, cost-effectiveness becomes very important,” said Takeshi Nishikawa, an executive based in Fukushima for the Kashima Corporation, Japan’s largest construction company. The company is in charge of the cleanup in the city of Tamura, a part of which lies within the 12-mile exclusion zone. “We bring skills and expertise to the project,” Mr. Nishikawa said.

    Kashima also built the reactor buildings for all six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, leading some critics to question why control of the cleanup effort has been left to companies with deep ties to the nuclear industry.

    Also worrying, industry experts say, are cleanup methods used by the construction companies that create loose contamination that can become airborne or enter the water.

    At many sites, contaminated runoff from cleanup projects is not fully recovered and is being released into the environment, multiple people involved in the decontamination work said.

    In addition, there are no concrete plans about storing the vast amounts of contaminated soil and foliage the cleanup is generating, which the environment ministry estimates will amount to at least 29 million cubic meters, or more than a billion cubic feet.

    The contaminated dirt lies in bags on roadsides, in abandoned fields and on the coastline, where experts say they are at risk from high waves or another tsunami.

    “This isn’t decontamination — it’s sweeping up dirt and leaves and absolutely irresponsible,” said Tomoya Yamauchi, an expert in radiation measurement at Kobe University who has been helping Fukushima communities test the effectiveness of various decontamination methods. “Japan has started up its big public works machine, and the cleanup has become an end in itself. It’s a way for the government to appear to be doing something for Fukushima.”

    In some of the more heavily contaminated parts of Fukushima, which covers about 100 square miles, the central government aims to reduce radiation exposure levels to below 20 millisieverts a year by 2014, a level the government says is safe for the general public. But experts doubt whether this is achievable, especially with current cleanup methods.

    After some recent bad press, the central government has promised to step up checks of the decontamination work. “We will not betray the trust of the local communities,” Shinji Inoue, the environment vice minister, said Monday.

    There had been high hopes about the government’s disaster reconstruction plan. It was announced four months after the March 2011 disaster, which declared Japan would draw on the most advanced decontamination know-how possible.

    But confusion over who would conduct and pay for the cleanup slowed the government response. It took nine months for the central government to decide that it would take charge of decontamination work in 11 of the heaviest-contaminated towns and cities in Fukushima, leaving the rest for local governments to handle.

    In October, the state-backed research organization, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, announced that it was soliciting new decontamination technology from across the country.

    By early November, the agency had identified 25 technologies that its own tests showed removed harmful cesium from the environment.

    A new system to trap, filter and recycle contaminated runoff, developed by the local machinery maker Fukushima Komatsu Forklift, was one of technologies. But since then, the company has not been called on to participate in the state-led cleanup.

    “For the big general contractors, it’s all about the bottom line,” said Masao Sakai, an executive at the company. “New technology is available to prevent harmful runoff, but they stick to the same old methods.”

    The Japanese government also made an initial effort to contact foreign companies for decontamination support. It invited 32 companies from the United States that specialize in remediation technologies like strip-painting and waste minimization, to show off their expertise to Japanese government officials, experts and companies involved in the cleanup.

    Opinions on the trip’s effectiveness vary among participants, but in the six months since, not a single foreign company has been employed in Japan’s cleanup, according to the trip’s participants and Japan’s Environment Ministry.

    “Japan has a rich history in nuclear energy, but as you know, the U.S. has a much more diverse experience in dealing with the cleanup of very complicated nuclear processing facilities. We’ve been cleaning it up since World War II,” said Casey Bunker, a director at RJ Lee, a scientific consulting company based in Pennsylvania that took part in the visit.

    “There was a little of, ‘Hey, bring your tools over and show us how it works.’ But they ultimately wanted to do it themselves, to fix things themselves,” Mr. Bunker said. “There didn’t seem to be a lot of interest in a consultative relationship moving forward.”

    Japanese officials said adapting overseas technologies presented a particular challenge.

    “Even if a method works overseas, the soil in Japan is different, for example,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director at the environment ministry, who is in charge of the Fukushima cleanup. “And if we have foreigners roaming around Fukushima, they might scare the old grandmas and granddads there.”

    Some local residents are losing faith in the decontamination effort.

    “I thought Japan was a technologically advanced country. I thought we’d be able to clean up better than this,” said Yoshiko Suganami, a legal worker who was forced to abandon her home and office over two miles from the Fukushima Daiichi plant. “It’s clear the decontamination drive isn’t really about us any more.”

    Most of the clients at Ms. Suganami’s new practice in Fukushima city are also nuclear refugees who have lost their jobs and homes and are trying to avert bankruptcy. She said few expect to ever return.


    In Japan Rarity, Nuclear Spokesman Replaced After Affair Allegations

    By Yuka Hayashi

    Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2011, courtesy of JE

    Over the past few months, the world has been rocked by revelations of powerful men caught in sex scandals: Arnold and Anthony Weiner, to name a few. Now Japan has its own version, which this week claimed the scalp of Hidehiko Nishiyama, Tokyo’s former chief nuclear spokesman.

    Hidehiko Nishiyama was demoted from his role as the government’s chief nuclear spokesman on June 29 after rumors about an alleged affair with a young female employee unfurled.

    Unlike the U.S., where online flirting costs politicians their jobs, the public in Japan is generally forgiving of powerful men involved in sex scandals. But not this time.

    Mr. Nishiyama, a successful career bureaucrat at the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry, was abruptly pushed out of his role Wednesday, less than a week after a news magazine reported an alleged affair between him and a younger female staffer at the ministry. While Mr. Nishiyama, 54, denied having a sexual relationship with the woman through a ministry spokesman, the colorful details reported in the article became a source of incessant  gossip among the city’s elites.

    Extra-marital affairs of politicians and business leaders are often viewed in Japan as they are in France – personal matters that should be left alone as long as they don’t interfere with their work — or dramatically offend people’s sensitivities. Some even consider such scandals as something the men should be proud of, as a sign of their power and personal charm.

    Take Prime Minister Naoto Kan. In 1998, a news magazine reported his affair with a newscaster. He was called “You idiot!” by his wife, as he himself admitted, but suffered no lasting damage to his career. Paparazzi captured Goshi Hosono, a rising star of Mr. Kan’s ruling party, in a moment of passion with a TV reporter in 2006, but the 39-year-old married politician quickly put his career back on track; he just got appointed as Japan’s new nuclear minister on Monday.

    Until recently, Mr. Nishiyama, who is married with two children, was known as a rising star within the ministry, but that hardly made him a public figure. That changed a few days after the March 11 disaster, when he was tapped to moderate the ministry’s daily briefings on the accident. With his articulate answers and knowledge of the power industry gained through his previous assignments, he became a familiar face on national television.

    Mr. Nishiyama will now return to his pre-March 11 job in the ministry’s trade bureau, where his primary responsibility is to move Japan toward participating in a controversial regional trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    “I apologize if (the report) gave the impression or invited concerns that I was not fully committed to my job” Mr. Nishiyama said last week. Yukio Edano, chief government spokesman, said Wednesday Mr. Nishiyama was relieved of his responsibility due to “concerns that (the scandal) would interfere with his duties.”



    Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2011

    Bureaucratic Fallout

    By Yoree Koh and Yuka Hayashi

    It has been a punishing day for Japan’s nuclear officials.

    Environment Minister Goshi Hosono said Friday he would forgo his monthly cabinet salary of Y1.5 million, or roughly $20,000, to take responsibility for an employee of his ministry dumping radioactive soil sent from Fukushima prefecture near his backyard in Tokyo’s suburbs.

    As the minister also overseeing the cleanup of the nuclear crisis, Mr. Hosono said the insensitive behavior exhibited by his staff ultimately falls on his shoulders. (He will continue to collect his Y1.3 million monthly income as a member of parliament).

    Penalties were also imposed on the environment vice ministers, who will face a 20% pay cut for two months. Others involved have been transferred to other positions and given stern warnings.

    The penalties come the day after Mr. Hosono revealed that an environment ministry employee threw soil with trace amounts of radiation away in a vacant lot near his home last week. The soil was sent to the ministry from a Fukushima resident, who had asked the ministry to get rid of the soil. Tests of the soil detected radiation of about 0.18 microsieverts per hour – a low level deemed safe.

    Looking ever more haggard since becoming the central government’s captain in charge of the Fukushima Daiichi accident soon after March 11,  Mr. Hosono said at a press conference Friday: “What is behind this is the feeling among Fukushima residents that the government has not been implementing its responsibility for handling contaminated soil and should be doing more. I do not think I will be able to gain understanding of people in Fukushima with something like this,” according to state broadcaster NHK.

    Separately, the environment ministry has taken in a familiar face to help oversee the soil decontamination effort. Hidehiko Nishiyama, a former government nuclear spokesman disgraced by a sex scandal,  has been named deputy chief of a special team for decontamination of Fukushima, set up within the ministry of environment, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday.

    Mr. Nishiyama, once a rising star at the METI, became a television star soon after the March accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant as a well-spoken, never-tiring spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the ministry’s nuclear regulatory body. But he lost the high-profile job in June after a weekly magazine carried a detailed account of his extramarital affair with a female staffer of the ministry. Mr. Nishiyama apologized at the time for the trouble the allegations had caused. On Sep. 30, the ministry formally suspended  the 54-year-old career bureaucrat for one month for having been engaged in “inappropriate” sexual conduct during working hours at the height of the nuclear crisis.

    Mr. Nishiyama still remains an employee of the METI but will now be on lease to the environment ministry.  The 54-year-old elite bureaucrat joined the ministry in 1980 after graduating from Tokyo University. Mr. Nishiyama wasn’t available for comment.




    AB: Like the classic “gaijin skis won’t work on Japanese snow” absurdity van Wolferen (?) wrote about 20 years ago. Unbelievable this crappola is still going on. Only gonna get worse with LDP back in the saddle. To paraphrase de Tocqueville “a people gets the government it deserves”


    CD: i wonder the extent to which this statement is a convenient misdirection. it’s much easier to spew out some xenophobic nonsense than to publicly admit that fukushima has been written off. i mean, the place was written off the moment they built the plants. but what japanese politician or bureaucrat is going to admit to that? much easier to say grandma and grandpa might get scared by gaijin.


    AB: No one — at least no one IN JAPAN — is EVER going to admit this (even though it’s true). It’s like the same-old same-old — everyone afraid of being tarred with the “Hikokumin brush” and being called “defeatist” or a “dream-destroyer” (yume wo kowasu hito).

    Same dynamic that kept everyone with half a brain enough to see what was going on otherwise silent as Imperial Japan lurched toward — then plunged into — a suicidal war in 1941.


    EF: This is private life, [Nishiyama] does with his tin-tin whenever he wants. What concerns us is his racist profile and he attacking foreigners this way again after all foreigners have done for the victims in Fukushima because, at the time of the hard cleaning up, many foreigners were there removing the corpses along with the Japanese and no one seemed scared by our presence.


    GH: [Nishiyama’s] comments are already noted on his Wikipedia page under 日本人論的・差別的発言.


    IJ: Pathological racism. Just like how they couldn’t use the U.S. military’s rescue helicopters in Kobe. The Japanese air is different so the pilots might not have been able to fly in Japanese airspace… and the U.S. and French doctors might have scared the earthquake victims to death. But it was really the swiss search dogs that would have been the biggest problem. Japanese dog food is so different. LOL … What a frigging mess Japan is in. Gladder and gladder I voted with my feet years ago.


    KL: So the local victims have to suffer because of the racism of the authorities?! But I guess the little people don’t matter…


    MN: I know the real reason foreign companies were not invited to take part. I have a relative who works for a major general contractor (maybe even one mentioned in the article). He tells me that ALL (not some, ALL) of their business is carried out in cash for the single purpose of ensuring bribes go smoothly. Foreign companies are not above this. They just don’t know how to play the game.


    JDG: Yet another microcosm for all that is wrong with Japan. If the J-public (especially the victims of the disaster) are going to persist in taking it lying down (and unlubricated!), then I can’t see much hope for the future.


    GP: Instead, there are now armies of cheap laborers washing down buildings with water and scraping topsoil off schoolyards and dumping it in local rivers – simply spreading the contamination even further while they toil to line the coffers of companies with the juicy cleanup contracts – companies that just conveniently are linked to the nuclear industry. And this is a first world country?

    The final comment from the environment ministry really said it all though. This almost reads like a sarcastic joke referencing the “Japan has different snow” tactics of yester-year, with a fine dash of xenophobia thrown in for good measure. Can’t have any nasty furriners scaring the oldies!! (Let’s conveniently ignore the fact that hundreds of foreigners if not thousands have already given their time, money and labor to cleanup and rebuild in Tohoku, and by all accounts their assistance was warmly welcomed).



    Since you obsessively check this site, please read Debito’s post #23 and explain to me;

    1. How this is simply one small isolated case of government and business collusion in corruption, and does by no means indicate that ‘Japan Inc.’ is broken?
    2. How does this prove that the Fukushima situation is fully safe and under control, and being managed in a transparent fashion?
    3. How does the following statement;’“Even if a method works overseas, the soil in Japan is different, for example,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director at the environment ministry, who is in charge of the Fukushima cleanup. “And if we have foreigners roaming around Fukushima, they might scare the old grandmas and granddads there.”’, prove that rather than racism being endemic in the heart of the Japanese state, I am simply an over sensitive moaner who can’t understand Japan’s unique culture?
    4. How does this article prove that all Japan reporting is shoddy in nature, and biased unfairly against Japan?
    5. How does this statement by a displaced Fukushima resident; ‘“It’s clear the decontamination drive isn’t really about us any more.”’ clearly reek of unfair and scientifically unsound anti-nuclear lobby alarmism?

    By all means, please take this opportunity to show us all where we have being getting it so wrong for all these years in our criticism of Japan.


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    Posted in Bad Business Practices, Bad Social Science, Exclusionism, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, NJ voices ignored, discounted & discredited, SITYS, Unsustainable Japanese Society | 98 Comments »

    Archiving Tottori’s 2005 Jinken Ordinance (the first and only one ever passed, then UNpassed, penalizing racial discrimination in Japan) to keep it in the historical record

    Posted on Saturday, November 17th, 2012

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    Hi Blog. Archiving something important today: The text of the first law explicitly against (inter alia) racial discrimination in Japan that was passed (and then subsequently UNpassed by a panicky public). Although I have already written about this subject before, let me give you the story in more detail, then finish with the text of the jōrei so it does not disappear from the historical record.

    On October 12, 2005, after nearly a year of deliberations and amendments, the Tottori Prefectural Assembly approved a human rights ordinance (tottori-ken jinken shingai kyūsai suishin oyobi tetsuzuki ni kansuru jōrei) that would not only financially penalize eight types of human rights violations (including physical abuse, sexual harassment, slander, and discrimination by “race” – including “blood race, ethnicity, creed, gender, social standing, family status, disability, illness, and sexual orientation”), but also set up an investigative panel for deliberations and provide for public exposure of offenders.  Going farther than the already-existing Ministry of Justice, Bureau of Human Rights (jinken yōgobu, which has no policing or punitive powers), it could launch investigations, require hearings and written explanations, issue private warnings (making them public if they went ignored), demand compensation for victims, remand cases to the courts, and even recommend cases to prosecutors if they thought there was a crime involved. It also had punitive powers, including fines up to 50,000 yen. Sponsored by Tottori Governor Katayama Yoshihiro, it was to be a trial measure — taking effect on June 1, 2006 and expiring on March 31, 2010.  It was a carefully-planned ordinance, created by a committee of 26 people over the course of two years, with input from a lawyer, several academics and human rights activists, and three non-citizen residents. It passed the Tottori Prefectural Assembly by a wide margin: 35-3.

    However, the counterattack was immediate.  The major local newspaper in the neighboring prefecture, the Chūgoku Shimbun (Hiroshima), claimed in its October 14 editorial entitled, “We must monitor this ordinance in practice,” that the ordinance would “in fact shackle (sokubaku) human rights.”  Accusations flew that assemblypersons had not read the bill properly, or had supported abstract ideals without thinking them through. Others said the governor had not explained to the people properly what he was binding them to.  Internet petitions blossomed to kill the bill.  Some sample complaints (with my counterarguments in parenthesis, for brevity):  a) The ordinance had only been deliberated upon in the Assembly for a week (though it was first brought up in 2003 and discussed in committees throughout 2005); b) The ordinance’s definitions of human rights violations were too vague, and could hinder the media in, for example, investigating politicians for corruption (even though the ordinance’s Clause 31 clearly states that freedom of the press must be respected); c) Since the investigative committee was not an independent body, reporting only to the Governor, this could encourage arbitrary decisions and cover-ups (similar to the Bureau of Human Rights, which reports only to the secretive Ministry of Justice); d) This invests judicial and policing powers in an administrative organ, a violation of the separation of powers (which means that no oversight committee in Japan is allowed to have enforcement power — but this calls into question the many other ordinances in Japan, such as those governing garbage disposal, mandating fines and incarceration).

    The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (Nichibenren) sounded the ordinance’s death knell in its official statement of November 2, 2005: Too much power had been given the governor, constricting the people and media under arbitrary guidelines, under a committee chief who could investigate by diktat, overseeing a bureaucracy that could refuse to be investigated.  This called into question the policymaking discretion of the committees that had originally drafted it, and the common sense of the 35 Assemblymembers who overwhelmingly passed it.  The government issued an official Q&A to allay public concern, and the Governor said problems would be dealt with as they arose, but the original supporters of the ordinance, feeling the media-sponsored and internet-fomented pressure, did not stand up to defend it.  In December and January 2006, the prefecture convoked informal discussion groups containing the Vice-Governor, two court counselors, four academics, and five lawyers (but no human rights activists), where arguments to rescind the bill included how appointed untrained public administrators ostensibly cannot act as judges.  On March 24, 2006, less than six months after passing the ordiance, the Tottori Prefectural Assembly voted unanimously to suspend it indefinitely.  “We should have brought up cases to illustrate specific human rights violations.  The public did not seem to understand what we were trying to prevent,” said Mr. Ishiba, a representative of the Tottori Governor’s office.  “They should have held town meetings to raise awareness about what discrimination is, and created separate ordinances for each type of discrimination,” said Assemblywoman Ozaki Kaoru, who voted against the bill both times.  Governor Katayama resigned his governorship in April 2007, saying that ten years in office was enough.  The ordinance was later resubmitted to committees in 2007, where it was voted down for the last time. As of this writing, the text of the ordinance, Japan’s first legislation explicitly penalizing racial discrimination, has been removed entirely from the Tottori Prefectural website.

    The fact that this former law has been removed entirely from the legislative record is a crime against history, and an unbefitting end to a template of human-rights legislation so needed in Japan.  So let me, for the purposes of keeping a record of the casualty of this catastrophic event, blog the entire text of the Ordinance on to keep it web searchable:


    とりネッ ト >  人権局 > 鳥取県人権 侵害救済推進及び手続に関する条例



    • 第1章  総則(第1条−第3条)
    • 第2章  人権侵害救済推進委員会(第4条−第15条)
    • 第3章  人権侵害に対する救済手続(第16条−第28条)
    • 第4章  適用上の配慮(第29条−第33条)
    • 附則

    第1章 総則

    • (目的)
      第1条  この条例は、人権の侵害により発生し、又は発生するおそれのある被害の適正かつ迅速な救済又はその実効的な予防に関する措 置を講ずることにより、人権が尊重される社会の実現に寄与することを目的とする。
    • (定義)
      第2条  この条例において「人権侵害」とは、次条の規定に違反する行為をいい、行政機関による同条の規定に違反する行為を含むもの とする。
      2  この条例において「虐待」とは、身体に外傷が生じ、若しくは生じるおそれのある暴行、心理的外傷を与える言動若しくは性的いや がらせをし、又は養育若しくは介護を著しく怠り、若しくは放棄することをいう。
      3  この条例において「人種等」とは、人種、民族、信条、性別、社会的身分、門地、障害、疾病又は性的指向をいう。
      4  この条例において「社会的身分」とは、出生により決定される社会的な地位をいう。
      5  この条例において「障害」とは、継続的に日常生活又は社会生活が相当な制限を受ける程度の身体障害、知的障害又は精神障害をい う。
      6  この条例において「疾病」とは、その発症により日常生活又は社会生活が制限を受ける状態となる感染症その他の疾患をいう。
    • (人権侵害の禁止)
      第3条  何人も、次に掲げる行為をしてはならない。
      (1) 人種等を理由として行う不当な差別的取扱い又は差別的言動
      (2) 特定の者に対して行う虐待
      (3) 特定の者に対し、その者の意に反して行う性的な言動又は性的な言動を受けた者の対応によりその者に不利益を与える行為
      (4) 特定の者の名誉又は社会的信用を低下させる目的で、その者を公然とひぼうし、若しくは中傷し、又はその者の私生活に関する事実、肖像そ の他の情報を公然と摘示する行為
      (5) 人の依頼を受け、報酬を得て、特定の者が有する人種等の属性に関する情報であって、その者の権利利益を不当に侵害するおそれがあるもの を収集する行為
      (6) 身体の安全又は生活の平穏が害される不安を覚えさせるような方法により行われる著しく粗野又は乱暴な言動を反復する行為
      (7) 人種等の共通の属性を有する不特定多数の者に対して当該属性を理由として不当な差別的取扱いをすることを助長し、又は誘発する目的で、 当該不特定多数の者が当該属性を有することを容易に識別することを可能とする情報を公然と摘示する行為
      (8) 人種等の共通の属性を有する不特定多数の者に対して当該属性を理由として不当な差別的取扱いをする意思を公然と表示する行為

    第2章 人権侵害救済推進委員会

    • (設置)
      第4条  第1条に規定する目的を達成するため、人権侵害救済推進委員会(以下「委員会」という。)を設置する。
    • (委員会の職務)
      第5条  委員会は、人権侵害による被害の救済及び予防に関する職務を行う。
    • (組織)
      第6条  委員会は、委員5人をもって組織する。
      2  委員は、非常勤とする。
      3  委員会に委員長を置き、委員の互選によりこれを定める。
      4  委員長は、委員会の会務を総理し、委員会を代表する。
      5  委員長に事故があるとき、又は欠けたときは、委員長があらかじめ指名する委員が、その職務を代理する。
    • (任命)
      第7条  委員は、人格が高潔で人権に関して高い識見及び豊かな経験を有する者のうちから、議会の同意を得て知事が任命する。
      2  委員のうち男女いずれか一方の数は、2人以上となるように努めなければならない。
      3  委員のうちには、弁護士となる資格を有する者が含まれるように努めなければならない。
    • (任期)
      第8条  委員の任期は2年とし、再任されることができる。
      2  委員の任期が満了したときは、当該委員は、後任者が任命されるまで引き続きその職務を行うものとする。
    • (身分保障)
      第9条  委員は、次の各号のいずれかに該当する場合を除いて、在任中その意に反して解任されない。
      (1) 禁錮以上の刑に処せられたとき。
      (2) 委員会により、心身の故障のため職務の遂行ができないと認められたとき、又は職務上の義務違反その他委員たるに適しない非行があると認 められたとき。
    • (解任)
      第10条  知事は、委員が前条第1号に該当するときは、その委員を解任しなければならない。
      2  知事は、委員が前条第2号に該当するときは、議会の同意を得てその委員を解任することができる。
    • (委員の責務)
      第11条  委員は、公平かつ適切にその職務を遂行しなければならない。
      2  委員は、職務上知ることができた秘密を漏らしてはならない。その職を退いた後も、同様とする。
      3  委員は、在任中、政党その他の政治的団体の役員となり、又は積極的に政治運動をしてはならない。
    • (委員会の会議)
      第12条  委員会の会議は、委員長が招集し、その議長となる。
      2  委員会の会議は、委員の3分の2以上の出席がなければ開くことができない。
      3  委員会の議事は、出席者の3分の2以上の多数により行う。
      4  委員会は、必要があると認めるときは、事案の当事者その他の関係者、学識経験者等の出席を求め、その意見を聴くことができる。
    • (委員の除斥)
      第13条  委員は、次に掲げる場合には、その職務の執行から除斥される。
      (1) 委員又はその配偶者若しくは配偶者であった者が、事案の当事者であるとき。
      (2) 委員が、事案の当事者の四親等内の血族、三親等内の姻族若しくは同居の親族であるとき、又はあったとき。
      (3) 委員又はその配偶者若しくは二親等内の血族が、その従事する業務について事案の当事者と直接の利害関係があるとき。
      2  前項に規定する除斥の原因があるときは、委員会は、職権又は申立てにより、除斥の決定をする。
      3  除斥の申立てがあったときは、その申立てについての決定が確定するまで当該事案に係る職務の執行を停止しなければならない。
    • (報告)
      第14条  委員会は、第21条若しくは第24条第1項の規定による措置を講じたとき、又は同条第3項の規定による公表を行ったとき は、当該措置又は公表の 内容を、知事を経由してその日以降の最初の議会に報告しなければならない。
      2  委員会は、毎年度、この条例に基づく事務の処理状況について報告書を作成し、知事を経由して議会に提出しなければならない。
      3  前項の報告書には、第24条第1項の規定により行った県の機関に対する勧告について、その具体的内容を明記するものとする。
    • (事務局)
      第15条  委員会の事務を処理させるため、委員会に事務局を置く。
      2  事務局に事務局長その他の職員(以下「事務局の職員」という。)を置く。
      3  第11条及び第13条の規定は、次条第2項の規定により同条第1項の相談を行う事務局の職員及び第18 条第4項の規定により同項の調査を行う事務局の 職員について準用する。

    第3章 人権侵害に対する救済手続

    • (相談)
      第16条  委員会は、人権侵害に関する問題について、相談に応ずるものとする。
      2  委員会は、委員又は事務局の職員に前項の相談を行わせることができる。
    • (救済の申立て等)
      第17条  何人も、本人が人権侵害の被害を受け、又は受けるおそれがあるときは、委員会に対し救済又は予防の申立てをすることがで きる。
      2  何人も、本人以外の者が人権侵害の被害を受け、又は受けるおそれがあることを知ったときは、委員会に対しその事実を通報するこ とができる。
      3  第1項の申立て又は前項の通報(以下「申立て又は通報」という。)は、当該申立て又は通報に係る事案が次のいずれかに該当する 場合は、行うことができ ない。
      (1) 裁判所による判決、公的な仲裁機関又は調停機関による裁決等により確定した権利関係に関するものであること。
      (2) 裁判所又は公的な仲裁機関若しくは調停機関において係争中の権利関係に関するものであること。
      (3) 行政庁の行う処分の取消し、撤廃又は変更を求めるものであること。
      (4) 申立て又は通報の原因となる事実のあった日(継続する行為にあっては、その終了した日)から1年を経過しているものであること(その間 に申立て又 は通報をしなかったことにつき正当な理由がある場合を除く。)。
      (5) 申立て又は通報の原因となる事実が本県以外で起こったものであること(人権侵害の被害を受け、又は受けるおそれのある者が県民である場 合を除 く。)。
      (6) 損害賠償その他金銭的補償を求めるものであること。
      (7) 現に犯罪の捜査の対象となっているものであること。
      (8) 関係者が不明であるものであること。
      (9) 前各号に掲げるもののほか、その性質上、申立て又は通報を行うのに適当でないものとして規則で定めるものであること。
      4  知事は、前項第9号の規則の制定又は改廃をしたときは、これを議会に報告しなければならない。
      5  申立て又は通報は、文書又は口頭ですることができる。
    • (調査)
      第18条  委員会は、前条第1項の申立てがあったときは、当該申立てに係る事案に関して必要な調査を行わなければならない。
      2  委員会は、前条第2項の通報があったときは、当該通報に係る事案に関して必要な調査を行うことができる。
      3  委員会は、人権侵害の被害の救済又は予防を図るため必要があると認めるときは、職権により調査を行うことができる。
      4  委員会は、委員又は事務局の職員に調査を行わせることができる。
      5  調査は、犯罪捜査のために認められたものと解してはならない。
    • (関係者の協力等)
      第19条  委員会は、前条に規定する調査に関し必要があると認めるときは、当該調査に係る事案に関係する者に対して、事情の聴取、 質問、説明、資料又は情 報の提供その他の必要な協力を求めることができる。
      2  前項の規定による協力の要請を受けた調査に係る事案の当事者は、法令で特段の定めがある場合その他正当な理由がある場合を除 き、当該調査に協力しなけ ればならない。
      3  第1項の規定による協力の要請を受けた関係行政機関は、当該協力の要請に応ずることが犯罪の予防、鎮圧又は捜査、公訴の維持、 刑の執行その他公共の安 全と秩序の維持(以下「公共の安全と秩序の維持」という。)に支障を及ぼすおそれがあることにつき相当の理由があると当該関係行政機関の長が認めるとき は、当該協力の要請を拒否することができる。
      4  第1項の規定による協力の要請を受けた関係行政機関は、当該協力の要請に対して事実が存在しているか否かを答えるだけで公共の 安全と秩序の維持に支障 を及ぼすおそれがあるときは、当該事実の存否を明らかにしないで、当該協力の要請を拒否することができる。
    • (調査結果の通知等)
      第20条  委員会は、第18条に規定する調査を行ったときは、当該調査に係る事案の当事者に対し、その調査結果の内容を書面により 通知するものとする。
      2  委員会は、前項の規定による通知をするときは、通知の相手方に対し、調査結果の内容について再調査を申し立てることができる旨 及び申立てをすることが できる期間を教示しなければならない。
      3  第1項の規定により通知を受けた者は、当該調査結果の内容について不服があるときは、当該通知を受けた日から2週間以内に、そ の理由を記載した書面に より、委員会に再調査を申し立てることができる。
      4  委員会は、前項の規定による申立てに理由があると認めるときは、再度第18条に規定する調査を行わなければならない。
    • (救済措置)
      第21条  委員会は、第18条に規定する調査の結果に基づき、人権侵害による被害を救済し、又は予防するため必要があると認めると きは、次に掲げる措置を 講ずるものとする。
      (1) 人権侵害の被害を受け、又は受けるおそれのある者及びその関係者(以下「被害者等」という。)に対し、必要な助言、関係公的機関又は関 係民間団体 等の紹介、あっせんその他の援助をすること。
      (2) 人権侵害を行い、若しくは行うおそれのある者又はこれを助長し、若しくは誘発する行為を行う者及びその関係者(以下「加害者等」とい う。)に対 し、当該行為に関する説示、人権尊重の理念に関する啓発その他の指導をすること。
      (3) 被害者等と加害者等の関係の調整を図ること。
      (4) 犯罪に該当すると思料される人権侵害について告発すること。
    • (調査及び救済手続に当たっての配慮)
      第22条  委員会は、第18条に規定する調査を行い、又は前条に規定する措置を講ずるに当たっては、当該調査に係る事案の当事者に よる自主的な解決に向け た取組が促進されるよう十分配慮しなければならない。
    • (調査及び救済手続の終了等)
      第23条  委員会は、調査を開始した後において、当該調査に係る事案が第17条第3項各号のいずれかに該当することが明らかになっ たときは、調査又は救済 措置を中止し、又は終了するものとする。
      2  委員会は、調査を開始した後において、人権侵害による被害が確認できず、又は生ずるおそれがないことが明らかであるときは、調 査又は救済措置を中止 し、又は終了することができる。
      3  委員会は、前2項の規定により調査又は救済措置を中止し、又は終了したときは、理由を記載した書面により、その旨を申立人又は 通報者に通知しなければ ならない。ただし、通報者の所在が匿名その他の理由により分からないときは、この限りでない。
    • (是正等の勧告等)
      第24条  委員会は、生命若しくは身体に危険を及ぼす行為、公然と繰り返される差別的言動、ひぼう若しくは中傷等の重大な人権侵害 が現に行われ、又は行わ れたと認める場合において、当該人権侵害による被害を救済し、又は予防するため必要があると認めるときは、第21条に規定する措置を講ずるほか、次に掲げ る措置を講ずるものとする。
      (1) 加害者等に対し当該人権侵害をやめ、又はこれと同様の行為を将来行わないよう勧告すること。
      (2) 加害者等に対し人権啓発に関する研修等への参加を勧奨すること。
      2  前項第1号に掲げる勧告を受けたときは、当該加害者等は、委員会に対し、当該勧告に関して行った措置を報告しなければならな い。
      3  委員会は、第1項第1号に掲げる勧告を行ったにもかかわらず、当該加害者等が正当な理由なく当該勧告に従わないときは、その旨 を公表することができ る。
      4  委員会は、第1号及び第2号に該当するときは申立人、通報者及び被害者等に、第3号に該当するときは申立人、通報者、被害者等 及び加害者等に通知する ものとする。ただし、通報者の所在が匿名その他の理由により分からないとき、その他正当な理由があるときは、この限りでない。
      (1) 第1項の規定により措置を講じたとき。
      (2) 第2項の規定により加害者等から報告があったとき。
      (3) 前項の規定により公表したとき。
    • (弁明の機会の付与等)
      第25条  委員会は、前条第1項第1号の規定による勧告又は同条第3項の規定による公表を行うときは、あらかじめ当該加害者等に対 し、弁明の機会を与えな ければならない。
      2  弁明は、委員会が口頭ですることを認めたときを除き、弁明を記載した書面(以下「弁明書」という。)を提出してするものとす る。
      3  弁明をするときは、証拠書類等を提出することができる。
    • (弁明の機会の付与の通知等)
      第26条  委員会は、弁明書の提出期限(口頭による弁明の機会の付与を行う場合は、その日時)までに相当な期間をおいて、当該加害 者等に対し、次に掲げる 事項を書面により通知するものとする。
      (1) 原因となる事実
      (2) 弁明書の提出先及び提出期限(口頭による弁明の機会の付与を行う場合には、その旨並びに出頭すべき日時及び場所)
    • (訴訟援助)
      第27条  委員会は、第18条に規定する調査に係る人権侵害の被害者等若しくはその法定代理人又はこれらの者から委託を受けた弁護 士から委員会が保有する 当該人権侵害に関する資料の閲覧又は写しの交付の申出を受けた場合において、当該人権侵害に関する請求に係る訴訟を遂行するために必要があると認めるとき は、申出をした者に当該資料(事案の当事者以外の者の権利利益を不当に侵害するおそれがある部分を除く。)の閲覧をさせ、又は写しを交付することができ る。
      2  委員会は、前項の規定により資料の閲覧をさせ、又は写しの交付をした場合において、当該被害者等が当事者となっている当該人権 侵害に関する請求に係る 訴訟の相手方若しくはその法定代理人又はこれらの者から委託を受けた弁護士から当該資料の閲覧又は写しの交付の申出を受けたときは、申出をした者にその閲 覧をさせ、又は写しを交付しなければならない。
      3  前2項の規定により資料の写しの交付を受ける者は、当該写しの作成及び送付に要する費用を負担しなければならない。
    • (罰則)
      第28条  第11条第2項(第15条第3項において準用する場合を含む。)の規定に違反して秘密を漏らした者は、1年以下の懲役又 は50万円以下の罰金に 処する。
      2  正当な理由なく第19条第2項の規定に違反して調査を拒み、妨げ、又は忌避した者は、5万円以下の過料に処する。

    第4章 適用上の配慮

    • (人権相互の関係に対する配慮)
      第29条  この条例の適用に当たっては、救済の対象となる者の人権と他の者の人権との関係に十分に配慮しなければならない。
    • (不利益取扱いの禁止)
      第30条  何人も、この条例の規定による措置を求める申立てをしたことを理由として、不利益な取扱いを受けない。
    • (報道の自由に対する配慮)
      第31条  この条例の適用に当たっては、報道機関の報道又は取材の自由その他の表現の自由を最大限に尊重し、これを妨げてはならな い。
    • (個人情報の保護)
      第32条  この条例の適用に当たっては、個人情報の保護について配慮しなければならない。
    • (委任)
      第33条  この条例に定めるもののほか、この条例の施行に関し必要な事項は、規則で定める。


    • (施行期日)
      1  この条例は、平成18年6月1日から施行する。ただし、次の各号に掲げる規定は、当該各号に定める日から施行する。
      (1) 第7条第1項中議会の同意を得ることに関する部分  公布の日
      (2) 第2章(第7条第1項中議会の同意を得ることに関する部分を除く。)及び第28条第1項の規定  平成18年4月 1日
      (3) 第28条第2項の規定  平成18年10月1日
    • (この条例の失効)
      2  この条例は、平成22年3月31日までに延長その他の所要の措置が講じられないときは、同日限り、その効力を失う。
    • (この条例の失効に伴う経過措置)
      3  この条例の失効の際現に第18条に規定する調査を行っている事案については、同条から第27条までの規定は、前項の規定にかか わらず、同項に規定する日 後も、なおその効力を有する。この場合においては、同日に在任する委員が、その任期にかかわらず、引き続きその職務を行うものとする。
    • 4  委員又は事務局の職員であった者が職務上知ることができた秘密については、第11条第2項及び第15 条第3項の規定は、附則第2項の規定にかかわら ず、同項に規定する日後も、なおその効力を有する。
    • 5  この条例の失効前にした行為及び前2項の規定によりなおその効力を有することとされる場合におけるこ の条例の失効後にした行為に対する罰則の適用につ いては、なお従前の例による。ENDS

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    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Bad Social Science, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, History, Human Rights, Japanese Government, Japanese Politics, Problematic Foreign Treatment, 日本語 | 6 Comments »

    ZakSPA!: “Laughable” stories about “Halfs” in Japan, complete with racialized illustration

    Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

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    Hi Blog. Reader CJ submits the following ZakSPA! page talking about Japan’s genetic internationalization in tabloid style: How “funny” it is to be a “half.”

    Reading through the articles (enclosed below), I’m of two minds about this. On one hand, it’s good to have the media acknowledging that there are Japanese kids of diverse roots and experiences out there, with some tone of saying how silly it all is that so many people get treated in stereotypical ways (with a “roundtable of halfs” at the end giving their own views on the situation). On the other hand, the level of discourse gets pretty low (“some foreigner talked to me in Narita Airport in English and it was so frightening I felt like crying”), and an opportunity to actually address a serious issue of how Japan has changed is wasted on parts laughing, parts crybabying, parts confirmation that treating people as “different” because they look “different” is a natural, if not inevitable, part of life in Japan. I’ll let Readers read for themselves and decide whether this important topic is being broached properly.

    Definitely not cool, however, is the topic page with the prototypical illustration of a “half”:

    We have not only some phenotypical “othering” going on here, but also the trope of “being foreign means you can’t use chopsticks”. One would think that most multiethnic Japanese (not to mention anyone regardless of nationality — it’s a skill) would have few problems with that. But it’s supposed to be funny, in a “microaggressive” sort of way. Har har. Arudou Debito



    ★[一般人ハーフ]のトホホな日常 ZAK X SPA! 2012.10.09







    「『ハーフなのに背が低いよね』ってよく言われます。ベッキーだって158cmで、 私と一緒。背の低い白人ハーフもいることを知ってほしい(笑)」(ロシアとのハーフ女性)



    「学生の頃はよく『金髪紹介しろよ』『妹いないの?』『姉さんいないの?』とか言われました(笑)」(ハンガリーとのハーフ男性)って、妹や姉がいたら何する気だ!?さらに「お母さんはキレイか?」とも聞かれたそうだが、いったい何を期待してるのやら。 ハーフにエロな妄想を抱く日本人は男女を問わないようで、「ガイジン顔(白人系)だからか、『エッチ好きなんでしょ』と言う人も。ルーマニアハーフの友達は『このおしり、本物?』と女性に触られたとか」(ドイツとのハーフ女性)とは、同性でもセクハラの域。


































































































    ■司会 サンドラ・ヘフェリンさん ドイツ育ちの日独ハーフ。日本在住歴15年。著書『浪費が止まるドイツ節約生活の楽しみ』(光文社)、『ハーフが美人なんて妄想ですから!!』(中公新書ラクレ)ほか。HP「ハーフを考えよう」

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    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", Bad Social Science, Cultural Issue, Discussions, Humor, Immigration & Assimilation, Media, 日本語 | 29 Comments »

    Mainichi: Japan’s only human rights museum likely closing after Osaka Gov Hashimoto defunds, says doesn’t teach Japan’s “hopes & dreams”

    Posted on Saturday, September 29th, 2012

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    Hi Blog.  Here’s something quite indicative about the conservatives in Japan.  As I will be alluding to in my next Japan Times column (due out October 2), there is an emphasis on making sure “hopes and dreams” are part of Japan’s future.  Fine, but for Japan’s conservatives, fostering “hopes and dreams” means obliterating things like the shameful bits of Japan’s past (which every country, doing an honest accounting of history, has).

    For Osaka Mayor Hashimoto (who just launched his ominously-named “Japan Restoration Party”), that means killing off Japan’s only human-rights museum (which, when I visited, had a corner devoted to the Otaru Onsens Case).  Because talking about how minorities in Japan combat discrimination against them is just too disruptive of Japan’s “dreamy” national narrative.  Read on.  Arudou Debito


    Out With Human Rights, In With Government-Authored History: The Comfort Women and the Hashimoto Prescription for a ‘New Japan’

    By Tessa Morris-Suzuki
    (Recommended citation: Tessa Morris-Suzuki, “Out With Human Rights, In With Government-Authored History: The Comfort Women and the Hashimoto Prescription for a ‘New Japan,’” The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 10, Issue 36, No. 1, September 3, 2012.)

    Hopes and Dreams
    They exist all over Japan, like tiny sparks of light, flickering and fragile, but somehow surviving against the odds: the peace museums, the reconciliation groups, the local history movements that work to address problems of historical responsibility neglected or denied by national politicians. As Kazuyo Yamane notes, according to a UN survey, Japan has the highest number of peace museums of any country in the world (Yamane 2009, xii). But the heritage created at the grassroots by ordinary Japanese people is constantly under threat from the hostility of nationalist politicians and sections of the media: and never more so than today (see Chan 2008; Morris-Suzuki, Low, Petrov and Tsu 2012).

    Among the sparks of light is Osaka’s Human Rights Museum, also known as Liberty Osaka.

    Founded in 1985, Liberty Osaka is Japan’s only human rights museum. It features displays on the history of hisabetsu buraku communities (groups subject to social discrimination), the struggle for women’s rights, and the stories of minority groups such as the indigenous Ainu community and the Korean minority in Japan. An important aspect of the museum is its depiction of these groups, not as helpless victims of discrimination, but rather as active subjects who have fought against discrimination, overcome adversity and helped to create a fairer and better Japanese society. By 2005 more than a million people had visited the Liberty Osaka. (See the museum’s website (Japanese) and (English).)

    Today, the museum faces the threat of closure. The Osaka city government has until now provided a crucial part of themuseum’s funding, but the current city government, headed by mayor Hashimoto Tōru, has decided to halt this funding from next year, on the grounds that the museum displays are ‘limited to discrimination and human rights’ and fail to present children with an image of the future full of ‘hopes and dreams’ (Mainichi Shinbun 25 July 2012)

    Rest of the article at:

    A message to that effect from Liberty Osaka, then the Mainichi Shimbun articles being referred to, follow for the record:







    大阪人権博物館:存続の危機 府市の補助金打ち切り 問題知る場なくせば差別は消える?
    毎日新聞 2012年07月25日 東京夕刊









    大阪人権博物館:存続の危機 府市の補助金打ち切り 問題知る場なくせば差別は消える?
    毎日新聞 2012年07月25日 東京夕刊




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    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", Bad Social Science, History, Human Rights, Japanese Politics, 日本語 | 22 Comments »

    Tokyo Gov Ishihara at it again, calls NJ judo Olympians “beasts” spoiling Japan’s sport

    Posted on Friday, August 10th, 2012

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    Hi Blog.  The Sanitizer-General I referred to in my last Japan Times JUST BE CAUSE column is at it again:


    (読売新聞 2012年8月4日06時03分 スポーツ報知)courtesy of MS




    Translation (by Debito):

    Yomiuri:  Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro (79) said at his regular press conference on August 3, regarding the difficulties the Japanese judo team is having at the London Olympics, “Watching Westerners do judo is like watching beasts fight.  An internationalized judo has lost its exquisite charm.”  He added, “In Brazil, it’s said that they eat chocolate in their norimaki, but I wouldn’t call that ‘sushi’.  It’s a shame that judo has also gone the same way.”

    That’s the entire article.  How sporting of him.  These are the type of people who, for example, seek to keep NJ out of Sumo by limiting stable to one “foreign wrestler”, and they include naturalized citizens as “foreign” as well (unlawful under the Nationality Law; still waiting for the lawsuit).  Judo will be the “Japanese sport that got away” since they “internationalized” it, I guess; but that’s why it’s an Olympic event and Sumo, run by racists (and sexists), will never be.

    Anyway, for the record.  This will be my penultimate post before vacationing for the summer.  Arudou Debito

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    Posted in Bad Social Science, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Sport, 日本語 | 66 Comments »

    Hurrah, the separate Alien Registration System is abolished after 60 years. Now let’s consider the GOJ give & take regarding tracking NJ under this policy

    Posted on Thursday, July 12th, 2012

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    Hi Blog. After many years of bureaucratic policy trial balloons and lots of advance warning, July 9, 2012 has finally come to pass, and the longstanding Alien Registration System, promulgated in 1952 to help the GOJ keep track of the pesky aliens (mostly former citizens of the Japanese Empire who were stripped of their Japanese citizenship) who wouldn’t go back to “their country” (staying on in Japan as Zainichi, generational “foreigners” born in Japan to this day), has been abolished sixty years later. In its place, NJ are now registered on Japan’s juuminhyou Residency Certificatesclosing up a ludicrous system where only citizens could be registered as “residents” (juumin) despite paying Residents’ Tax (yup, juuminzei), and teeth-grindlingly stupid moves such as local governments giving animals and fictional characters their own honorary “juuminhyou” despite untaxable status.  Now NJ can also now be listed with their Japanese (and non-Japanese) families properly as family members and heads of household (no longer excluded even from local population tallies for not being listed in the juumin kihon daicho). Finally, closure to that. Good riddance.

    That said, the new system also includes new Gaijin Cards (Zairyuu Kaado), which are higher-tech versions (I say remotely trackable due to the RFID technology inside, by design; see below) and still required under criminal law to be carried 24-7 under penalty of search, seizure, and possible incarceration for a week or three. That hasn’t changed. In fact I would now argue it’s gotten worse — since Japanese citizens (even if computer chip technology has also been introduced into J driver licenses and passports, which not all Japanese get anyway) are not required by law to carry any ID whatsoever at all times. Some historical links regarding the true intention of the ZRK (tracking and control of untrustworthy NJ, not convenience for them as is generally sold) follow.

    Japan Times IC Chip Gaijin Card Pt 3: View of Bureaucrats: Control of NJ at all costs

    Japan Times May 20, 2009: “IC you: Bugging the Alien” article on new Gaijin Cards

    Bus. consortium to track Ginza shoppers, then IC Gaijin Cards?

    Kyodo: GOJ proposes GPS tracking of criminals. SITYS.

    Mysterious Asahi translation: “IC cards planned to track ‘nikkeijin’”

    Japan Times on Japan’s emerging NJ policing laws. Nichibenren: “violation of human rights”

    Follow-up: More on fingerprinting, tracking people electronically, and RFID technology

    New Japanese driver licenses now have IC Chips, no honseki

    Alright, I’ll paste some articles below and let’s see what the media has made of this. Feel free to tell us how the changes have been affecting you as well. Arudou Debito


    Alien system ends; foreigners to be issued resident cards
    The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 10, 2012), courtesy of JT

    A new management system for foreign residents in Japan started Monday. As part of the changes, the previous alien registration system will be abolished and a new resident card will be issued to foreign residents in Japan.

    The new system is designed to reduce the number of foreign residents staying in Japan illegally and to be more convenient for bona fide foreign residents.

    In the previous alien registration system that began in 1952, local municipalities issued alien registration certificates to foreign residents without examining their resident status. This enabled foreigners staying in Japan illegally to obtain the certificates.

    Under the new system, the Justice Ministry will issue a resident card to foreign residents, excluding certain people such as diplomats, who have been granted a status of residence in Japan with a period of stay for more than three months. The card will hold information that includes the name, nationality, date of birth and address of the cardholder.

    For special permanent residents such as Korean residents in Japan, a special permanent resident certificate will be issued instead of a resident card.

    The period of stay limit for foreign residents has been extended from three years to five years. Under the new system, people leaving Japan will not be required in principle to obtain a re-entry permit if they hold a passport and a resident card and return to Japan within a year and before their period of stay expires.

    Foreigners with a resident card or a special permanent resident certificate are included in the national resident registry and they will be able to obtain a copy of their certificate of residence from their local municipality.

    On the other hand, those who stay in Japan illegally will not be included in the registry. This could prevent them from obtaining administrative services including education services and medical assistance because local municipalities will not be able to obtain necessary information, such as their address.

    The Japan Times Tuesday, July 10, 2012
    Re-entry permits soon consigned to history
    Foreigners flock for new residence IDs
    By MINORU MATSUTANI Staff writer

    A large number of foreign residents flocked to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau on Monday, the first day it is issuing new “zairyu,” or residence, cards to replace alien registration cards.

    At 8:30 a.m., more than 100 people had lined up for the applications to obtain a new card, an official at the center in Minato Ward said.

    Those who arrived at around 8 a.m. had to wait about two hours. People who didn’t bring a head shot measuring 4 cm by 3 cm also had to line up at the photo booths.

    Eight regional bureaus, six district immigration offices and 63 branch offices across the nation are now issuing the residence card. Applicants can go to a bureau or office, fill out the application form and receive the card the same day.

    “I feel like a part of society,” Yang Chunying, 52, a Chinese national, said after receiving her residence card at the Tokyo bureau. “I am glad to have the card because things will be more convenient.”

    The new immigration control system that began Monday has unified the administrative work on foreign residents under the Immigration Bureau.

    While some fear that controls on non-Japanese will be tightened, the government has made it more convenient for law-abiding foreigners by extending visa lengths to five years from the current three, and eliminating the requirement to obtain a re-entry permit before leaving Japan for any period less than a year.

    The system is designed to be tougher on illegal residents, however.

    Such people have been receiving various public services because municipalities usually don’t care about who is here legally or illegally, but this may not last under the Immigration Bureau’s watch.

    Some 130 people, mainly Asians, held a demonstration Monday against the new immigration control system at Hibiya Park in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, saying it is overly harsh on illegal residents.

    Rest of the article at


    First new residency cards for foreign nationals issued at Haneda
    July 09, 2012 (Mainichi Japan)

    Two people on a flight from the United States became the first to get Japan’s new foreign resident cards early on the morning of July 9, the first day of the Ministry of Justice’s new mid- to long-term residency management system for foreign nationals.

    Late on July 8, staff from the Immigration Bureau — administered by the justice ministry — stood by at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) in preparation for the switch to the new system. When the clock struck midnight, they changed the signs above the immigration counters, and those indicating card-issuance counters for mid- to long-term residents.

    Two passengers from a flight from Los Angeles, California, were the first to apply for the new resident cards at around 4:30 a.m. on July 9. The first recipient was Carlos Shaw, a 37-year-old Tennessee native who was coming to Japan for the first time. Shaw, who is here to teach English at an elementary and junior high school in Yamagata, said he felt lucky to be the first recipient of the new card.

    Because the alien registration certificates that had heretofore been issued are being replaced by the new resident cards, mid- to long-term residents already in Japan must exchange their old cards for new ones when they renew their visas. Foreign nationals residing in Japan illegally are not eligible for resident cards under the new system.
    Original Japanese

    在留管理:新制度スタート 「カード」を交付
    毎日新聞 2012年07月09日 10時14分(最終更新 07月09日 11時08分)





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    Posted in Fingerprinting, Targeting, Tracking NJ, Good News, Japanese Government, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 87 Comments »

    The Govinda (Mainali) miscarriage of justice murder case ruled for retrial after 15 years, so Immigration deports him. But there’s more intrigue.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

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    Hi Blog. Making headlines this past week has been the Govinda Mainali Murder Case, a cause celebre I’ve known about for years (thanks to a very active domestic support group with regular mailings in Japanese). It’s come to a head, where DNA evidence has finally cast enough doubt on the evidence behind the conviction (see Yomiuri article immediately below), and it’s come to light (see Japan Times editorial below) that the prosecution withheld (or didn’t bother to have tested) vital evidence from the court (yes, they can do that in Japan) that would have exonerated him. It also put him in double jeopardy, meaning trying him more than once for the same crime (technically illegal, but yes, they can do that in Japan), reversing a not-guilty decision in lower court. As if that wasn’t enough, note the date of the Yomiuri article below stating the negative DNA test (July 2011) — meaning it only took Japan’s criminal justice system about a year for him to finally get his retrial, on top of the 15 years he’s been incarcerated. And after all that, now that it looks like Govinda is going to have his name cleared, Immigration is just going to deport him. The police in Japan are sore losers.  (At least Sugaya Toshikazu, in a very similar situation to Govinda, got an apology in 2009 from public prosecutors, not deportation.)

    Now, check out the details in Terrie’s Take below, where the plot really thickens because the murder victim, a prostitute in her off-hours, was an employee with TEPCO (yes, that TEPCO) with names of some high-level clients in her address books…

    As Terrie Lloyd notes below (as have I in the Japan Times), the already prosecutor-heavy criminal justice system in Japan is even more so if the suspect is a NJ.  More and more it looks like Govinda Mainali was actually a patsy for the powerful because he was a convenient foreigner for the Japanese police to pin this on. I’ve already discussed in detail before how Japan’s criminal investigation system is fully stacked against NJ victims (start here with the Scott Kang and Matthew Lacey Cases, then progress to the Suraj Case, where the police have still gotten away with murder). The Govinda Case is yet another case study for everyone to remember for when the NJ are potential perps.  Can’t win either way once the Japanese police get their hands on you. Arudou Debito

    読売新聞 2011年7月21日(木)3時1分配信
    Courtesy of CJ








    The Japan Times Friday, June 8, 2012
    Mainali granted retrial, is let out of prison
    DNA evidence of another man looks set to clear Nepalese
    By MINORU MATSUTANI, Staff writer

    The Tokyo High Court said Thursday it will retry Govinda Prasad Mainali, 45, a Nepalese man serving life in prison for the 1997 robbery-murder of a 39-year-old woman, because a DNA test in July contradicted the justification for its guilty verdict.

    The high court also said Thursday Mainali’s sentence will be halted. He was later released from a Yokohama prison. He is expected to soon be placed in immigration custody for deportation, as he has been convicted of visa violations.

    “We would like to express respect to the high court’s prompt and appropriate decision even though there was no room for doing otherwise,” Mainali’s attorneys said in a prepared statement.

    “Prosecutors should comply with the decision, for doing so is in compliance with prosecutors’ philosophy: ‘Prosecutors must not regard guilty verdicts as their purpose and heavy punishments as their achievement.’ “

    The Tokyo High Public Prosecutor’s Office immediately filed an objection to the court’s decision, with deputy chief Toshihiko Itami saying the decision was “totally unacceptable.”

    One of his lawyers quoted Mainali as saying, “I am glad I found a judge who believes my innocence and truth.”

    His wife, Radha, 42, expressed her gratitude at a news conference in Tokyo. His daughter, Alisha, 19, said the past 15 years were “very long and dark.” They came to Japan with another of Govinda’s daughters, Mithila, 21.

    The victim, a Tokyo Electric Power Co. employee whose name was withheld and who engaged in prostitution at night, was found dead March 19, 1997, in a vacant apartment in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo. Mainali, who lived nearby, was arrested four days later on suspicion of overstaying his visa. He was later charged with murdering and robbing the woman, after police learned that Mainali was an acquaintance of hers, had a key to the flat and because a used condom found in the toilet at the scene contained semen that matched his DNA.

    The district court acquitted Mainali in April 2000 because prosecutors failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A urologist also testified that the semen in the condom greatly predated the day of the slaying. The court added there were several unclear points, including two strands of hair found on the victim that came from a third party.

    However, when prosecutors appealed his acquittal, the Tokyo High Court found Mainali guilty in December 2000 and sentenced him to life behind bars even though no new evidence was presented. The high court said “it is difficult to think someone other than” Mainali brought her to the vacant apartment where she was slain and called his testimony unreliable.

    The Supreme Court finalized the sentence three years later.

    Mainali’s coming retrial is based on DNA tests carried out on semen found in and on the victim. It was that of another man and matched the hair fibers.

    Prosecutors often appeal lower court-meted acquittals because they imply the case will be brought before a high or the Supreme Court, and thus do not violate the law against double jeopardy.

    Japan, like many nations, bans double jeopardy, but the judicial system considers district court, high court and Supreme Court trials of the same party for the same alleged offense to be separate trials, unlike in other countries where the verdict in the trial of first instance stands.

    Rest at


    The Japan Times Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Don’t delay justice any longer

    The Tokyo High Court on June 7 decided to retry a Nepalese man serving a life sentence for the 1997 robbery-murder of a 39-year-old woman in Tokyo on the strength of new evidence and he was released at the court’s order. But the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office immediately filed an objection. The prosecutors office should refrain from any further moves to delay the start of the retrial because the high court decision is based on DNA evidence that suggests that the perpetrator was not Mainali.

    A female employee of Tokyo Electric Power Co. was found dead in a vacant apartment in Maruyama-cho, Shibuya Ward, on March 19, 1997. Govinda Prasad Mainali, now 44, living nearby, was arrested four days later based on the fact that he had a key to the apartment and that semen left in a condom found in the apartment’ toilet matched his DNA. Mainali has consistently denied the charges.

    The Tokyo District Court in April 2000 found him innocent. It said that it was not clear whether the condom was used at the time the crime was committed and that two strands of hair found on the victim came from a third party. But the Tokyo High Court in December the same year found him guilty primarily on the grounds that a notebook owned by the woman, who meticulously kept records on men she had sexual intercourse with, contained no reference to the condom in question.

    Semen was also found inside the woman’s body. Its blood type matched that of another man, but the prosecution did not carry out a DNA test on the grounds that the amount was so small, and given the technological limits at the time, a DNA test was impossible.

    In hearings to request a retrial for Mainali, his defense counsel called for a DNA test on the semen. A DNA test in July 2011 found that it did not match Mainali’s DNA, but that it did match the DNA of a strand of hair left on the carpet at the scene and a blood stain on the victim’s coat. These findings suggest that a different man was in the apartment when the crime was committed. The high court said that the findings constitute enough new evidence for a court to overturn the original guilty ruling against Mainali and render a not-guilty ruling.

    Long after Mainali was found guilty, it was revealed that the prosecution had withheld critical evidence concerning the semen, the bloodstain and saliva found on the victim’s breast. A law should be enacted that requires the prosecution to reveal all its evidence to the court and the defense lawyers, and to punish all public prosecutors who do not comply. A system also should be devised to preserve evidence indefinitely for future testing if needed.



    Order issued to deport Nepalese man granted retrial over 1997 Tokyo murder
    TOKYO, June 11, 2012 Kyodo, courtesy of JK
    Order issued to deport Nepalese man granted retrial over 1997 Tokyo murder

    Immigration authorities on Monday issued an order to deport a Nepalese man who has been granted a retrial after the Tokyo High Court decided last Thursday to reopen the case of the murder of a Japanese woman in Tokyo in 1997.

    Godinda Prasad Mainali, 45, who arrived in Japan in 1994, was convicted of overstaying his visa in 1997. Ongoing deliberations for a retrial will continue even with his absence from Japan.

    On the order issued by the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau, Mainali is expected ot soon leave Japan along with his wife Radha, 42, and their two daughters Mithila, 20, and Alisha, 18, who came to Japan from Nepal last week.


    Mainali to be deported soon

    NHK World June 12, 2012, courtesy of JK

    A Nepalese man who was granted a retrial in the murder of a Japanese woman 15 years ago will leave for home soon.

    Japan’s Immigration Bureau issued a deportation order for Govinda Prasad Mainali on Monday.

    Mainali was released from prison and sent to an immigration facility in Yokohama after a Tokyo court granted his retrial. He had been serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder that took place in the capital.

    Sources say Mainali wants to return to Nepal at his expense together with his wife and 2 daughters. The three came to Japan last week.

    The Immigration Bureau plans to deport Mainali as soon as he is issued a passport by the Nepalese Embassy and his plane tickets are ready.


    Nepalese Man Granted Retrial Ordered to Leave Japan

    Tokyo, June 11 2012 (Jiji Press)–The Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau’s Yokohama branch issued a deportation order Monday to a Nepalese man who was granted a retrial and released Thursday after being jailed for the murder of a Japanese woman in 1997.
    Govinda Prasad Mainali, 45, has been in custody at the immigration office as his prison sentence for the killing of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> employee was halted. [sic]
    Mainali is expected to return to Nepal on Tuesday at the earliest.
    The office decided to deport Mainali, convicted of violating the immigration control law, as he wished to return home in an interview, officials said.
    He is to return to Nepal after the Nepalese embassy in Tokyo issues a passport which he has sought.


    Japan Times Monday, June 11, 2012

    Mainali faces difficult readjustment after 15 years in prison
    KATHMANDU — The elder brother of a Nepalese man granted a retrial in Japan after serving 15 years in prison for the 1997 murder of a Japanese woman expects his sibling’s rehabilitation to be a challenge.

    Indra Mainali, 54, who is waiting for Govinda Prasad Mainali’s return to Nepal, said while the Tokyo High Court’s decision on Thursday to grant a retrial has ended a chapter in Govinda’s suffering, another chapter of less tangible suffering is about to begin.

    Govinda’s daughters felt during conversations with their father last week that 15 years of imprisonment have inflicted heavy psychological and emotional damage on their father, Indra said.

    Mithila, 20, and Alisha, 18, met their father twice last week, the first time in prison and the second time at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau’s Yokohama office, where he is currently in custody awaiting deportation. Including these meetings, the daughters have met their father only three times over the past 15 years.

    After his long imprisonment, Govinda, 45, seemed very worried about how he will adjust to his family and social life, said Indra, who took over responsibility of Govinda’s family after his arrest and conviction in Japan.

    Indra said his brother had not expected that he would leave prison the day he was granted a retrial.

    According to Indra, prison security personnel suddenly told Mainali late afternoon on Thursday to pack his things and get ready.

    They did not allow him time to say goodbye to other inmates.

    They did not tell him that he was being released. Later, a police officer arrived at the prison and drove him to the immigration office.

    “We expect in him a number of psychological (problems) and problems related to his rehabilitation in family and society…We will just try our best to bring him back to normalcy,” Indra said.
    Rest at



    TT-665 — Govinda Mainali – Justice 15 Years Too Late, ebiz news from Japan–justice_15_years_too_late

    Last week something happened that we never expected to see:
    the release of Govinda Prasad Mainali, a Nepalese who has
    been in prison on and off since 1997. Mainali was released
    to Immigration authorities, who are going to deport him for
    overstaying his visa back in 1997, because the Tokyo High
    Court finally agreed to a retrial of Mainali after new DNA

    Japan has an extremely high conviction rate for many
    reasons, including some not to be proud of. One of these is
    the willingness of the courts to hear prosecution testimony
    with greater belief than anything the defense may say.
    Particularly problematic is the acceptance of “induced”
    confessions as if they were fact, even if the other
    evidence is not sufficiently supported by actual facts.

    Further, the conviction rate of foreigner suspects (you
    definitely don’t want to be one) is a foregone conclusion,
    with seemingly little or no interest by the courts about
    who actually committed the crime when a foreigner is offered
    up as the perp. There are a number of recorded cases where
    the courts have actually SAID there has been insufficient
    evidence for an ordinary conviction, but none-the-less
    have convicted the defendant anyway, simply because the
    prosecutors said they did it.

    Unfortunately the Japanese police, immigration, and
    prosecutors have the ability to “disappear” suspects for
    days or even months while they mercilessly interrogate them
    so as to extract a confession. This is not just a foreigner
    thing. The abuse of this system became so bad that several
    years ago new laws were pushed through that now require
    prosecutors to record their interrogation interviews.
    However, this doesn’t force them to treat the suspect
    humanely and there are still lots of ways for them to
    induce a confession outside of the actual interrogation.
    And, well, the recorder could always just run out of

    The case of Govinda Mainali is particularly distressing,
    and reminds all foreigners that through seemingly innocent
    circumstances we could just as easily be caught up in a
    similar situation. Reading about his case makes you feel
    like we’re living in an emerging economy in the Middle East
    rather than a first-world country like Japan. In
    particular, we feel that his is a case where his race and
    foreignness played a large part in how he was treated. At
    the same time we concede that Japan does not have a
    monopoly on unfair treatment by the courts. There are
    plenty of examples in the UK and USA to compare.

    The background to his case is that he was a restaurant
    worker in Shibuya and who shared an apartment with four
    others. Unfortunately for him, he started seeing a local
    hooker, Yasuko Watanabe, and struck up a relationship with
    her. By all accounts they didn’t see each other often, but
    at some point he helped her get access to a vacant
    apartment near his, and she used to take her customers
    there — four men a night, virtually every night. What is
    weird is that she was leading a double life and by day was
    a highly paid researcher for Tokyo Electric Power Co.
    (TEPCO). When she was found murdered in the vacant
    apartment, Mainali became the prime suspect by virtue of
    the fact that he had a key to the apartment and that his
    name was in her diary.

    The problem for Mainali is that he lied initially, saying
    he didn’t know her, which of course made the police
    suspicious. At some point he changed his story and agreed
    that he’d slept with her, but the damage was done. The fact
    that he lied wasn’t surprising, considering he was an
    overstayer and was no doubt fearful of what might happen to
    him, but once he started down that slippery slope, the
    prosecutors pieced together all the circumstantial evidence
    and decided they had their man.

    Mainali had good lawyers, however, who decided there was
    an injustice being done and made a crusade out of getting him
    freed. In 2000 his case was thrown out by the Tokyo
    District Court for lack of evidence. At that point, if he
    was a Japanese he would have been let go, but because the
    outstanding deportation order, the Prosecutor’s office
    successfully had him kept in jail while they appealed to a
    higher court. With the second trial he was found guilty and
    sentenced. A subsequent Supreme Court appeal also failed.

    It was only after 15 long years of appeals by Mainali’s
    lawyer and a change of judge, that the prosecutor’s office
    was forced to admit they had untested sperm samples in
    a freezer. Just recently they reluctantly and finally
    tested the DNA from the victim and they found — guess what
    — the DNA wasn’t his.

    What is interesting is that Yasuko Watanabe kept meticulous
    records of her customers, and on that list was one of her
    bosses at TEPCO, where she worked. Who else was she seeing?
    Was Mainali a fall-guy for something deeper and darker?
    There are various Japanese websites that speculate that
    Watanabe in her day job, having written a number of damning
    internal reports about nuclear power risks at TEPCO,
    coupled with an affair with one of her bosses (possibly the
    current Chairman of the company), meant that she was
    silenced by the Yakuza on the behalf of “someone”.

    Another key point, and the reason for Mainali’s release was
    the fact that the Prosecutor’s office seemingly never
    revealed to several appeal courts (the High Court and the
    Supreme Court) that they didn’t do a DNA test on sperm
    inside the victim’s body. Given how crucial it was to the
    case, how is that even possible?

    Anyway, Mainali is now going to be deported. No word yet on
    whether he is going to be allowed back to represent himself
    at the re-trial, and certainly if we were him, we wouldn’t
    be planning to come back to Japan, ever. However, at that
    hearing, if he is found not guilty through lack of
    evidence, as he was back in 2000, then there is the small
    issue of compensation. If he was in some other countries,
    he might be able to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars
    in mental anguish, physical hardship, and lost earnings.

    But this is Japan, and in one case a South American woman
    who was arrested by the Chiba Prefectural Police was
    illegally confined at a hotel for 10 days until they got an
    arrest warrant (god knows what actually went on at the
    hotel). She was awarded JPY2m in compensation for wrongful
    detention. It didn’t do her much good, though, as the court
    still imprisoned her on her hotel confession even though
    she retracted it once they properly charged her. She got 8
    years and has no doubt been deported by now…

    We wish Mainali the best of luck with the rest of his life,
    and hope that his case knocks some sense into the Japanese
    courts and the Prosecutor’s Office, since it’s apparent
    that they were highly embarrassed by the turn of events.
    But the fact is that a foreigner falling afoul of the
    Japanese legal system doesn’t have a hope in hell of
    getting a fair trial. In our opinion, the first step in
    getting Japan to address the obvious inequalities towards
    foreigners in the legal system is to pass a law making
    prosecutors who hide/withhold evidence open to legal
    charges themselves.

    Secondly, racial discrimination against non-Japanese should
    be illegal, especially by law enforcement bodies. According
    to a book from Mainali’s supporters, in 1997, 76.1% of
    Japanese suspects were held in custody, whereas for
    foreigners the number was 99%. Apart from being a overdue
    concession to human rights, equal treatment would also give
    overstayers a foothold to appeal on the grounds that they
    should get the same level of legal consideration that any
    Japanese would expect.

    Thirdly, Japan also needs to recant the death penalty.
    We’re not sure why Mainali wasn’t put on the death row, but
    he did get the second most harsh sentence — that of
    indefinite life imprisonment. If he had been on death row,
    it’s possible that after the 2003 Supreme Court appeal
    failed, that he would have been hanged. Too late, then, for
    apologies later.

    Lastly, it is also obvious that Japan needs stricter
    suspect detention rights rules, such as giving prisoners
    access to legal advice and protection from abusive law
    authorities, and habeus corpus procedures that require the
    police and immigration to prove that they actually have
    legal right to hold someone. These are obvious and simple
    rights that most first-world citizens and residents take
    for granted. Many people would be shocked if they knew just
    how primitive the system is in Japan, and how easy it is
    for foreigners in particular to fall into the legal
    system’s maw.


    * Background to the case —
    * Defense group’s indictment of the pathetic decision made
    by the Supreme Court in the face of fresh evidence —
    * Wikipedia account by Japanese —


    Read the rest of this post...

    Posted in Good News, Human Rights, Injustice, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese police/Foreign crime, 日本語 | 35 Comments »

    JT Editorial: Tokyo Metro Govt fuels “Flyjin” myth with flawed survey; yet other NJ who should know better buy into it

    Posted on Monday, May 7th, 2012

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    Hi Blog. The Japan Times came out with an editorial last Sunday, entitled “Flyjin rather few,” which talked about a recent Tokyo Metropolitan Government survey of NJ in Tokyo, carried out to ascertain how many stayed or left after the disasters of March 2011 and beyond. The survey was trying to see if the “Flyjin” phenomenon really happened, and in doing so, the JT notes, potentially resuscitated the invective of Japanese media and xenophobic pundits branding NJ as deserters.

    The JT editorial is a doozy. Not only does it demonstrate that “the vast majority of foreigners in Tokyo stayed right where they were — in Tokyo“, it also castigates the whole thought process behind it:

    The survey did little to focus on what can be done to ensure that all residents of Tokyo be given clear information about conditions and constructive advice about what to do in the event a similar disaster strikes in Tokyo in the near future.”

    “The ‘flyjin’ issue, besides being a derogatory term, was always a tempest in a teapot. Surveys that find information to help improve communications are important, but it is the actions that follow that really count. The metropolitan government should prepare a means to give all residents of Tokyo, whatever nationality they are, trustworthy information during emergencies so safe, sensible decisions can be made.”

    Thank you.  Read the full JT May 6, 2012 Editorial at

    In other words, the JT was easily able to see through the stupid science (e.g., the singling out of NJ, the small sample size, limiting it to Tokyo residents, the lack of clear aim or rigor in methodology, and ultimately its lack of conclusion: “The survey did little to better understand all Tokyoites’ complicated reactions to the crisis.”)

    Yet people who should know better, and who should be advocating for the needs of the NJ Communities in Japan, are already citing this survey as somehow indicative. Japan Probe, for example, states that this survey “confirms Post-3/11 “Flyjin” Phenomenon / 25 Percent of Tokyo’s Foreign Residents Fled“, and apparently “deals a major blow to certain bloggers who have claimed that the “flyjin” phenomenon was a myth.

    One of those certain bloggers indeedy would be me.  And I gave much harder and rigorous numbers from all of Japan and from the central government and for the entire year, clearly exposing the “Flyjin” phenomenon as myth in my April Japan Times column.  Hence, there’s no clearer interpretation of Japan Probe’s conclusion than the will to live in obtuse denial.

    But that’s what keeps hatenas hovering around my head.  Wouldn’t it be nicer if online resources like Japan Probe (which calls itself “The web’s no.1 source for Japan-related news and entertainment”) would work for the good of the NJ communities it purports to inform? It did do so once upon a time, for example, during the whole GAIJIN HANZAI mook debacle, where Japan Probe was instrumental in helping get the racist magazine on foreign crime off the shelves and the publisher bankrupted. But now, why try so hard, as the Japan Times Editorial above saliently notes, “to exaggerate the extent of foreigners leaving the country and impugn their motives for leaving“?

    What’s gained out of any of this, James at Japan Probe? The smug satisfaction that you’re somehow right? (Even though you’re not?) Or that you’re somehow “more dedicated to Japan” because you didn’t leave? (Assuming you are in Japan.  Who cares?  Moreover, what if, as I argued in my May 2011 JT column, people did leave Japan anyway?  It’s their life and their decision.  Why should you care anyway?)

    Why, in these days of seemingly-endless self-sacrifice in Japan, do people have to turn on themselves like this and just make things worse for everyone?  Especially themselves?  It’s a serious question.  So let me pose it.  Arudou Debito


    Referential J media:

    25 percent of foreigners living in Tokyo left Japan temporarily after March 11 quake
    May 01, 2012 (Mainichi Japan)

    Twenty five percent of foreigners living in Tokyo left the country temporarily following the March 11, 2011 disasters, according to a recent Tokyo Metropolitan Government survey.

    The survey was conducted between October and November 2011 as part of the metropolitan government’s efforts to re-examine the way information is delivered to foreigners residing in the capital in case of a disaster. It obtained responses from a total of 169 Tokyo-based foreigners.

    According to the survey, among those who had briefly returned to their home countries following the disasters, nearly half were foreigners who have lived in Japan for less than three years, hinting at the tendency that the shorter a foreigner had lived in Tokyo, the more likely they were to leave after the disasters.

    Among the most common reasons for those who had briefly left Japan were, “Strongly urged by families abroad,” and “Following embassies or employers’ instructions to leave temporarily.”

    Meanwhile, 56 percent of the respondents said they did not leave Tokyo following the disasters, while 5 percent had moved to the Kansai area in southern Japan or other places within the country.

    In terms of the means foreigners used to collect information related to the disasters, 75 percent said they relied on TV broadcasts, 37 percent used the Internet, and only 7 percent read newspapers at the time.

    Among the respondents, 44 percent said they used mobile phones and 28 percent used e-mail as a means to contact relatives and friends immediately after the disasters, though only 51 percent reported the attempt was successful.

    Among the free answer section of the survey, some opinions stressed the need for more accurate and faster information services for foreigners, one explicitly pointing at the fact that “A panic was caused at the time due to a lack of accurate information provided to foreigners overseas.”

    At the same time, the survey also hinted at the need for information provided in easy Japanese, based on the results that while 76 percent of the respondents said they could understand Japanese, when asked if they could understand the language if simple phrases are used, responses increased to 85 percent.

    The survey also showed that 41 percent of the respondents had never experienced earthquakes prior to moving to Japan.
    東日本大震災:都内外国人、25%が一時帰国 母国の家族ら心配−−都アンケ /東京
    毎日新聞 2012年05月01日 地方版


    UPDATE MAY 9, 2012:

    ‘Exodus’ of disaster-panicked foreigners from post-3.11 Japan doesn’t add up

    Mainichi Daily News May 9, 2012, courtesy of MS

    Where have all the foreigners gone?

    One year ago — less than two months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and with the Fukushima nuclear crisis in flux — anyone walking the streets of Tokyo might very well have asked that question. With Japan in the teeth of disaster, it seemed as though the country’s foreign population had evaporated, an image reinforced by news footage of gargantuan queues at Narita International Airport check-in counters.

    Some 531,000 foreigners left Japan in the four weeks after the March 11, 2011 disaster, according to a Ministry of Justice announcement of April 15 that year. It was mass panic, a rush for the last lifeboats on the Titanic. The expatriate community had left Japan for dead.

    Or had they?

    Of those 531,000 people who left in the first month, about 302,000 had obtained re-entry permits, suggesting most were at least considering coming back. Furthermore, a look at foreign resident numbers and the job market for foreign talent months after the disaster show that the exodus was in the end more a trickle than a flood, and perhaps only an acceleration of pre-existing trends.

    Certainly in the days after the quake, with a nuclear crisis and all its potential horrors brewing at the Fukushima nuclear plant — about 225 kilometers from the heart of Tokyo — the first reaction of many was to get somewhere else in a hurry. Canadian Jason Yu, a senior IT manager at the Tokyo offices of a European investment bank, says more than half his predominantly foreign staff disappeared soon after the disaster.

    “We had around 120 (workers), and I’d say about 70 left,” he says. “It was really something, because one day they were there, and then they weren’t.”

    According to Yu, amid the hysteric coverage of the nuclear disaster in the Western media and a general sense that the government wasn’t telling the whole story, his firm allowed employees to leave if they didn’t feel safe and return when they were ready. Eventually, of the some 70 who had left — many with families — about 50 returned to their posts. However, “a lot of them moved on” to jobs outside Japan when their contracts ended that summer.

    “That was typical,” says Christine Wright, managing director of Hays Specialist Recruitment Japan, a recruiting firm that also does broad research on employment trends. “There was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction,” where lots of people left, if not Japan, then the Kanto area, and then came back.

    The rush for the exits was not, however, entirely illusory. Hays Japan saw a wave of openings in the “professional contractors” area, which includes IT and other positions where Japanese language proficiency is not necessarily a requirement. With so many foreigners in certain fields having absconded, Wright says some of Hays’ client firms expressed a preference for Japanese candidates with good English skills, as they were seen as more likely to stay long-term. Furthermore, “a lot of roles that can be (filled) by a non-Japanese speaker have been off-shored” to places like Hong Kong and Singapore, she adds.

    So how great was the exodus?

    “When you look at the statistics, the losses weren’t all that huge,” Nana Oishi, associate professor of sociology at Tokyo’s Sophia University, told the Mainichi. According to Oishi, the Ministry of Justice — which administers Japan’s immigration system — has not released how many of the half a million-plus foreigners who left Japan from March 12 to April 8, 2011 have returned. However, what the ministry will say is that the total foreign population in the country fell from 2,134,151 in December 2010, to 2,078,480 by December 2011 — a loss of 55,671 people, or just 2.6 percent.

    Moreover, the loss was not disproportionately greater than those of preceding years. Japan’s foreign population peaked at 2,217,426 in 2008 — the year of the Lehman Shock — and has been in decline ever since, dropping by 31,305 from the end of 2008 to the end of 2009, and by 51,970 in the same period in 2009-2010.

    A closer look at the foreign population by resident status furthermore shows that the decline was far from an across-the-board phenomenon, with some categories even posting significant gains. The number of technical trainees, for example, jumped to 141,994 in December 2011 from 100,008 at the same time the previous year — a 42 percent rise. Permanent residents went from 964,195 to 987,519, up 2.4 percent; investor and business manager visa holders from 10,908 to 11,778, an 8 percent climb; and teacher numbers inched up 0.9 percent, from 10,012 to 10,106.

    Even in categories that saw declining numbers, the justice ministry statistics show a pattern of losses predating 3.11 by years. “Specialist in humanities and international services” visa holder numbers peaked in 2009, and have since been drifting downwards by several hundred annually. The number of foreign engineers, which dropped by 8.5 percent to 42,634 between December 2010 and December 2011, had already fallen from a high of 52,273 in 2008 to 46,592 by the end of 2010. Intra-company transferee numbers — those posted to Japan by their firms — have also been declining since 2008.

    What’s more, according to justice ministry statistics, the inflow of foreign workers has also been in annual decline since a 2004 peak of about 158,900, dropping to some 52,500 by 2010.

    In other words, not all the blame for even the modest drop in the foreign population can be put on disaster panic, as the overall numbers — and those in certain professional categories in particular — had been in decline for some time.

    What the earthquake and the nuclear crisis have done, according to Oishi, is accelerate pre-existing trends. First of all, Oishi and Wright point out, off-shoring of back-office and non-Japanese speaking jobs was already in progress when the disaster hit. Furthermore, there was already employee attrition in some sectors for reasons completely divorced from the disaster. As Jason Yu points out, there were already staff cuts and transfers going on at the investment bank where he works before 3.11 because “it was not a good year” financially, “so you can’t say people left just because of the earthquake.”

    Even the outflow of foreigners with children, which Yu says accounted for a significant portion of those who left his firm, was not all down to the disasters, according to Oishi.

    “When the earthquake happened, that trend accelerated because of the radiation issue,” she says, but she points out that the departure of skilled foreign workers with kids, too, was a pre-existing trend. In a paper published on April 13 in the journal American Behavioral Scientist, Oishi points out that concerns over the quality of Japanese public education and the high cost of international schools — which do not receive government funding — was already pushing skilled foreigners with families out of the country.

    The fear and the airport lines in the weeks after the earthquake and meltdowns were real. Over the long term, however, it can be said that there was no “exodus” of foreigners, but rather a smaller-scale reshuffle of certain types of foreign residents that was sped up by 3.11. “You can’t really say the quake chased away skilled workers,” says Oishi.

    In fact, asked if the disasters had impacted firms’ drive to internationalize their workforces, Hays’ Christine Wright said, “One year on, no.”

    According to Wright, Hays Japan’s business in foreign talent has jumped to “record levels. We’ve got record levels of vacancies, record levels of placements, so our business is performing at the best it’s performed” in the firm’s 11 years in Japan.

    Furthermore, Wright says that the initial post-quake preference for Japanese candidates has weakened and “the market for foreign talent in the future … will continue to increase,” with fluent bilinguals and those capable of filling leadership positions particularly in demand.

    The image of foreigners streaming out of Japan in March and April 2011 was a strong one. Wright says that she was thanked by Japanese associates for staying, and that her business relationships with some clients even improved when it became clear she would not be absconding.

    More than a year on, however, government statistics and employment trends show that the exodus was if not entirely imaginary then at least ephemeral. The reality is, the foreign population remains in the millions, job openings for foreigners and foreigners hoping to fill them remain plentiful, and Japan remains a major destination among the globally mobile. (By Robert Sakai-Irvine, Staff Writer)

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    Asahi: Tokyo District Court rules denying J citizenship to children born overseas with one J parent constitutional

    Posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito


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    Hi Blog. In an important decision regarding how Japanese nationality is granted, the Tokyo District Court ruled constitutional on March 23, 2012, that if a person with Japanese blood is born overseas and has another nationality, and if the parents have not registered the child with Japanese authorities within three months of birth, Japanese nationality will be denied.

    This fruity ruling is in contrast to the Supreme Court’s June 2008 landmark ruling regarding Japanese-Filipina plaintiffs in a similar situation, where their Japanese nationality would be recognized despite similar bureaucratic registry snafus (as in, Japanese paternity not being recognized within a certain time frame, and if the child was born out of wedlock). That ruling was justified in part by the judges candidly admitting that lack of Japanese nationality would mean clear and present discrimination in Japan towards these people.  (In a related note, the GOJ months later declared a “false paternity” panic, and declared countermeasures were necessary; wheels turn slowly within the Japanese judiciary — perhaps this ruling is a countermeasure to keep the Half riffraff out.)

    The possibility of discrimination seemed to make no difference in this ruling, as paternity and wedlock don’t seem to be an issue.  Place of birth is, meaning this ruling erodes the primacy of Japan’s jus sanguinis (citizenship by blood) conceits in favor somehow of jus soli (citizenship by birthplace).

    Granted, Japanese judges are a fruity lot, and District Court rulings are often overturned for their fruitiness (see the McGowan Case, where an African-American plaintiff was refused entry to an eyeglass store by a manager who expressly disliked black people, and the judge said it was unclear that refusal was due to him being black; and the Oita Zainichi Chinese Welfare Case, which tried to rule that foreigners were not eligible for social welfare, despite it being made legal by the Japanese Diet since 1981! — see here also under item six). Let’s hope there is an appeal and this gets taken before a less fruity court. Arudou Debito


    Court rules nationality law on foreign country-born children legal
    Asahi Shimbun March 25, 2012, courtesy of JK

    A Tokyo court ruled as constitutional March 23 a clause in the nationality law which stipulates that children of Japanese nationals born overseas who have acquired foreign nationality cannot get a Japanese passport unless their parents take steps to obtain nationality within three months of birth.

    The district court was ruling in a lawsuit filed against the Japanese government by 27 Philippine nationals who were fathered by Japanese between 1986 and 2007.

    They were unable to gain Japanese nationality because their parents were unaware of the requirements in the nationality law.

    The clause on stating intentions within three months of birth was added to Article 12 of the revised nationality law in 1985.

    The decision was the first concerning the law’s clause, according to the Justice Ministry.

    The plaintiffs argued that the stipulation was discriminatory because it amounted to reserving nationality based on birthplace, thereby going against the spirit of Article 14 of Japan’s Constitution, which guarantees equality for all.

    In the ruling, Presiding Judge Makoto Jozuka explained the legislative purpose of the clause was to prevent individuals from holding dual nationality without a legitimate reason to claim Japanese nationality.

    However, the court granted the request of one plaintiff on grounds that the individual had taken steps to acquire Japanese nationality.

    One of the plaintiffs, Hiroko Ishiyama, 21, broke down in tears at a news conference after the ruling.

    “My father is Japanese,” she said. “I have the right to become Japanese.”

    She said her father did not know of the provision in the nationality law and missed the three-month deadline to file for Japanese nationality by one week.

    Her younger sister has Japanese citizenship, as her parents filed the request within the prescribed period.

    “I want to work and live in Japan,” Ishiyama said. “If there is a chance to acquire Japanese nationality, even if it is 1 percent, I want to get it.”


    国籍確認訴訟:国籍法12条「合憲」 外国生まれ、留保3カ月以内に--東京地裁初判断

    毎日新聞 2012年3月24日 東京朝刊














    毎日新聞 2012年3月23日 20時56分(最終更新 3月23日 21時00分)




     ◇紛争避け重国籍排除 22歳までに選択、外国では例外も

    なるほドリ 父親が日本人なのに外国で生まれて3カ月以内に届けないと日本国籍を失うという規定を巡る判決があったけど、なぜそんな規定があるの?

    記者 日本と外国の国籍を両方同時に持つことを「重国籍」といいます。生地の外国で生活し、日本に戻るつもりもないのに日本国籍を持っていても意味がないですよね。そうした形だけの日本国籍を持っている人を増やさないようにすることが規定の目的の一つとされます。また、重国籍は、さまざまな弊害を起こす恐れがあるため、そうした人を増やしたくないという考え方もあるようです。

    Q 重国籍だとどんな弊害があるの?

    A 例えば国家間の紛争を招く恐れがあるとされます。重国籍者が一方の国で迫害を受けた際、もう一方の国が保護に乗り出そうとすれば国同士の争いに発展しかねないという指摘があります。また重国籍者が二つの国に異なる名前を登録することで、本名以外の偽名を用いるように、犯罪などの不正行為に悪用する恐れもあるとされます。

    Q 出生3カ月以内に届け出ずに日本国籍を失った場合、二度と取得できなくなるの?

    A いいえ、20歳未満で日本に住所があることを証明できれば、改めて日本国籍を取得できる制度があります。ただし、観光や親族を訪ねる目的で一時的に日本に滞在しただけでは住所があるとは認められません。再取得するためには「生活の本拠が日本にある」ことを証明する必要があります。

    Q 重国籍の状態になった人は一生そのままなの?

    A 日本の国籍法は原則として22歳までにどちらかの国籍を選択する義務があると定めています。正当な理由もなく期限までに選択せず、さらに法相による催告にも応じなければ、最終的に日本国籍を失います。ただし、外国には例外的に重国籍を認めている国もあります。

    Q 国籍取得の考え方って、日本と外国で違うの?

    A 日本は親の国籍が子の国籍になるという「血統主義」と呼ばれる考え方を基本とし、多くの国も血統主義を採用しています。一方、親の国籍にかかわらず生まれた国の国籍を取得する「生地主義」を採用している国もあります。ただ、どちらの主義の国で生まれても、一方の親が日本人、もう一方が外国人の場合、原則的にどちらかの国籍を選択しなければなりません。(社会部)









    毎日新聞 2012年3月24日 東京朝刊

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    Mainichi: 23 percent of Japan’s top firms eager to employ more NJ. Why this is not newsworthy.

    Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2012

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

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    Hi Blog.  Yet another survey (the last one put up on was featured in the Asahi back in April 2010) says that Japanese companies want to hire foreigners.  It’s just that, well, like last time, y’know, it’s one thing to say you want something to happen, but it’s another thing (i.e., actual news) when you make it happen.  But the lack of job-placement support for NJ graduates of Japanese universities, and the horrid treatment of Michael Woodford (who rose through the ranks to CEO over decades of dedication to the company, only to be sacked for “cultural reasons” in an Olympian sea of corruption), do not inspire hope for any real news on this front any time soon.  Arudou Debito

    Submitter JK comments:  “I would say this is good news, so long as the leadership of these 28 firms don’t conduct themselves like Olympus.  The companies cited (i.e. Fast Retailing and Aeon) seem to ‘get it’…for these two cases, would you say that, ‘Don’t work for a Japanese company as an NJ and expect equality and upward mobility’ is still applicable?”


    23 percent of Japan’s top firms eager to employ more foreigners: survey

    Mainichi Shimbun, January 4, 2012
    PHOTO CAPTION:  Foreign students studying in Japan listen as a company representative explains his firm’s recruitment plan during a recruitment seminar held at Pasona headquarters in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Oct. 16. (Mainichi)

    Some 23 percent of Japan’s top 122 companies are considering employing more foreigners starting from next year, citing plans for overseas expansion as their main incentive, a Mainichi survey has revealed.

    Sixty-two companies, some 50.8 percent of all firms surveyed, further answered that they are likely to hire more foreign employees in the next 10 years as well.

    Conversely, 45 companies, or 36.9 percent, answered that their foreign employee numbers will remain unchanged. There were no firms that plan to decrease foreign employment from current figures.

    The survey, conducted between mid-November and mid-December 2011, sought responses from top executives of leading firms including Fast Retailing Co., Aeon Co., Dai Nippon Printing Co., and Hitachi Ltd.

    A strong inclination for hiring foreign employees was observed mainly among companies with overseas expansion ambitions. Fast Retailing Co., the owner of casual wear chain Uniqlo, stated “more overseas shops” as the main reason for the increase, while Aeon Co., another retail giant, cited the necessity of increasing employees from other Asian countries due to the company’s plans for further expansion on the continent.

    Meanwhile, companies judged economic prospects in Japan as either declining or about the same as last year. Nearly 90 percent of all companies expressed concern over the rising yen as their prime economic anxiety.

    Asked to assess current economic conditions, 66 firms (54.1 percent) answered they had remained unchanged — a sharp increase from the total of 44 firms (37 percent), which gave the same answer in last year’s July-August survey.

    There were no companies that judged current economic conditions as “improved” and only 34 firms (27.9 percent) answered that the economy is gradually improving. The figures were higher during last year’s survey, when a total of 62 companies (52.1 percent) said the economy was improving.

    Meanwhile, 21 companies (17.2 percent) judged current economic conditions as either “deteriorating” or “gradually deteriorating,” yet another sharp increase from last year’s 13 companies (10.9 percent) that said so in the 2011 survey.

    Europe’s ongoing debt crisis, the yen’s appreciation, and the influence of Thailand’s floods are believed to be some of the reasons behind companies’ worsened economic outlook.

    The survey also found that nearly half of all companies (59 firms, or 48.4 percent) believe the economy will stay unchanged in the near future, while 43 firms (35.2 percent) said they expect it will improve.

    Furthermore, when asked what the future held for Japan’s employment system, 36 companies answered that they foresee an increase in mid-career recruitment ten years from now, while 20 firms chose “enforcement of merit-based salary” among the provided multiple-choice suggestions.

    Click here for the original Japanese story

    (Mainichi Japan) January 4, 2012




    2012年1月3日 19時48分 更新:1月3日 23時38分








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    Congratulations Donald Keene on getting Japanese citizenship. Now stop making yourself out to be somehow morally superior to NJ.

    Posted on Friday, March 9th, 2012

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

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    Hi Blog. Good news.  Congratulations to The Don for getting his Japanese citizenship, and on what looks to be an expedited schedule (of only four months, according to the Yomiuri below.  Of course; the guy is in his ninetieth year!)  I think it’s good that an old man can realize his twilight dreams, and take advantage of opportunities that he has clearly earned as a contributor to Japan in the world.

    Quoth Donald in the above press conference:  「日本人として犯罪を起こさないことを誓います」(As a Japanese, I swear not to commit any crimes.)  

    That said, I don’t believe that gives him license to continuously bad-mouth other NJ, whom he yet again essentially accuses of desertion, according to the Asahi article trumpeting the news of his successful application below (translation mine):

    “…[Keene] received Japanese Permanent Residency, but after the Great East Japan Earthquake, knowing about the large numbers of foreigners that distanced themselves from Japan, he said, ‘I came to Japan, where I will always stay. I believe in Japan, is what I wanted to broadcast.'”

    Well, if you really said this as reported (and you certainly seem to have done so in the past), then screw you, Donald. As I’ve said before here and here, not only are you buying into this whole J media-generated gaijin-bashing “Flyjin” phenomenon (in ways unbecoming a bona fide academic researcher), but your making yourself out to be more holier-than-thou than other foreigners is childish, pandering, and disrespectful of other people making their own life choices.

    And it shows a remarkable naiveté regarding Japan and life in general, since will you never have to face a life in Japan as a non-elite NJ laborer in Japan; moreover, as I’ve said before, as a nonagenarian you won’t be around for any denouement.  Just shut up and take your kudos with grace, already, without denigrating others.  Do something to lose that “mean-old-man” stink you’re repeatedly and needlessly airing in public.  Arudou Debito


    ドナルド・キーンさん、日本国籍取得 震災後永住を決意
    朝日新聞 2012年3月8日  Courtesy of Mark in Yayoi


    キーンさんは1974年から東京都北区に暮らし、同区の宣伝役「アンバサダー」を務める。戸籍名は「キーン ドナルド」、通称で「鬼怒鳴門(キーンドナルド)」という漢字名も使う。栃木県の鬼怒川と、徳島県の鳴門からとった。


    More trappings of The Don’s legacy:


    ドナルド・キーン記念館設立へ 新潟・柏崎で蔵書贈呈式
    朝日新聞 2011年12月4日








    朝日新聞 2011年9月2日






    Here’s the Yomiuri’s take, with The Don not only bashing NJ and coming here for the sake of “enduring hardships with the Japanese”, but also traipsing off to Africa and India next month, like most Japanese can to escape their hardships.

    Keene becomes Japanese citizen

    The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 9, 2012), courtesy of JK

    Donald Keene speaks to The Yomiuri Shimbun in Tokyo on Thursday morning after learning he has been granted Japanese citizenship.

    Donald Keene, a prominent scholar of Japanese literature and culture, has been granted Japanese citizenship, the Justice Ministry announced in a government gazette issued Thursday.

    Keene, 89, decided to permanently live in Japan following the Great East Japan Earthquake.

    A professor emeritus at Columbia University, Keene studied Japanese literature and culture after serving as an interpreter for U.S. forces during the Pacific War.

    Regarded as an authority in the field, he received the Order of Culture in 2008.

    He expressed his intention to obtain Japanese citizenship after the March 11 disaster.

    “I love Japan,” Keene said, while explaining his decision to move to Japan at a press conference following his last lecture at Columbia University. He now lives in Tokyo.


    Keene expresses gratitude

    Keene expressed his joy over the news that he has been granted the Japanese citizenship in an exclusive interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun at his home in Tokyo on Thursday.

    “I’m so glad to finally be able to become Japanese,” a smiling Keene said.

    “If my decision encourages the Japanese people, it’s a great joy.”

    Keene was informed of the decision by phone by a Justice Ministry official on Thursday morning. He said he expressed his appreciation to the official, repeatedly saying, “Thank you.”

    Right after the March 11 disaster, Keene saw the stoic suffering of people in the Tohoku region on TV.

    Worried over the news that an increasing number of foreigners were leaving the country, Keene made up his mind to permanently live in Japan. “I wanted to endure the hardships with the Japanese, who had taken good care of me, at a difficult time like this,” he said.

    Keene applied for Japanese citizenship in November last year.

    He wondered how long it would take to obtain citizenship, but officials only told him it would take some time. He sometimes expressed his anxiety to people around him, saying, “As I’m already 89 years old, I don’t have much time left.”

    In the end, he obtained his citizenship in only about four months.

    “Donald Keene” became his pen name, and his Japanese name is now Kiin Donarudo.

    Starting next month, he will travel by ship to India and Africa for vacation.

    “[After returning to Japan], I’ll continue to work more diligently in a suitably Japanese way. I also want to contribute to areas affected by the disaster,” he said with a smile.


    「待っていた知らせ」 日本国籍取得のキーン氏 漢字表記は「鬼怒鳴門」

    産經新聞 2012.3.8 20:22






    The Yomiuri gives a picture of a possible Messiah Complex:


    (2012年3月9日08時54分  読売新聞)





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    Mainichi/Kyodo: NJ crime down again, but once again only reported in English and apparently not in J Mainichi, Asahi, Yomiuri, or Sankei

    Posted on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

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    Hi Blog.  Here we have the biannual report on NJ crime, as always used to justify further prevention and crackdowns on NJ as potential criminals (justifying all manner of NPA budgets and racial profiling).  But the news this time is good, in that NJ crime is down.  Significantly so.  Check this out:


    No. of crimes by foreigners in Japan drops 12.7% in 2011
    Mainichi Daily News, February 23, 2012, Courtesy of JK

    TOKYO (Kyodo) — The number of crimes by foreigners uncovered by police across Japan in 2011 dropped 12.7 percent from a year earlier to 17,286, a preliminary National Police Agency survey showed Thursday.

    The number of foreign nationals the police questioned, arrested and sent papers on to prosecutors last year also fell 15.2 percent from 2010 to 10,061. Both numbers have been on a declining trend after peaking in 2005, according to the survey.

    Foreigners with permanent residence status are not included in the data.

    Among the crimes committed by foreigners, the number of fake marriage cases soared 26.1 percent in 2011 to 193, with the number of foreign nationals investigated by police in those cases also rising 17.6 percent to 554.

    Police have been clamping down on bogus marriages, believing they are creating the infrastructure for a host of other criminal activities, the survey said.

    Of the total number of crimes committed by foreigners, violations of the Penal Code in 2011 dipped 10.2 percent from the previous year to 12,590, while infringements of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act and other laws declined 18.8 percent to 4,696.

    By country of origin, China topped the list with Japanese police taking action against 4,012 Chinese nationals, accounting for 39.9 percent of the total, followed by South Korea and the Philippines.

    The number of foreign suspects who fled overseas in 2011 slipped 4.0 percent to 677, according to the survey.

    (Mainichi Japan) February 23, 2012


    Same article (but better proofread) also at The Japan Times at


    Good.  But here’s the thing:  If it’s bad news (i.e., foreign crime goes up), then it gets splashed all over the place and a media panic ensues about a reemergent foreign crime wave.  However, when is good news (i.e., foreign crime goes down), one of three things happen:

    1) The Japanese police find some way to portray it as a rise,

    2) The Japanese media find some way to headline it as a rise (while even, famously, depicting it as a fall in the English headline),

    3) They ignore it completely.  Foreigners can only ever be news if they’re criminals.

    To support this last assertion, look how the above article was featured in the Mainichi online only in English, as a copy of a Kyodo wire.  And doing a Google news search in Japanese, (search terms gaikokujin hanzai and the newspaper title), I could not find a similar article on this news on the Mainichi, Asahi, Yomiuri, or Sankei Shimbun sites (search as of February 23, 2012):

    Instead, you get Japanese sites, for example Zakzak News below, concurrently and ironically talking about how dangerous Japanese society has become due to foreign crime (despite it going down), and saying how having a “kokumin bangou” to identify all citizens by number is now indispensable (since, as Zakzak says below, foreigners now speak Japanese!!).  Fine, have that conversation if you want, but don’t blame it on foreign crime.

    This perpetual criminalization of foreigners in Japan is nothing short of hate speech.  On an official scale.  And you get a regular fit of it twice a year regardless of what NJ residents do (or don’t do).  Arudou Debito












    ■八幡和郎(やわた・かずお) 1951年、滋賀県生まれ。東大法学部卒業後、通産省入省。フランス国立行政学院(ENA)留学。大臣官房情報管理課長、国土庁長官官房参事官などを歴任し、退官。作家、評論家として新聞やテレビで活躍。徳島文理大学教授。著書に「本当はスゴい国? ダメな国? 日本の通信簿」(ソフトバンク新書)など。


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    Asahi: Registered NJ population drops again in 2010, GOJ to institute policy of “points system” for future NJ visas this Spring

    Posted on Monday, February 20th, 2012

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
    UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog. To kick off a salvo of blog entries on NJ migration/immigration to Japan, here are two articles from the vernacular press. The first one talks about the MOJ’s institution of a “points system” for future NJ visas, in order to encourage “foreign researchers, doctors, managers and people with specialized knowledge or skills” to come to Japan — with higher value accruing to those with good educational pedigrees, higher salaries, etc. “People with more than 70 points” will be considered “higher-degree people with capabilities” (koudo jinzai), with an annual quota of about 2000 souls. They’ll get special benefits like easier visa conditions for wives and children (something currently reserved for those here on foreign expat packages in the financial markets), and five-year waits for Permanent Residency (instead of the usual ten for those not married to Japanese), and no doubt more.  It’s scheduled to start from this Spring.

    Fine, let’s have an objective and reviewable system for immigration (or in Japan’s case, just plain old inward migration), but there are two assumptions here, 1) that people are still simply beating a path to Japan now as a matter of course (when by now there are plenty of other rich countries in the region that are better at, say, foreign languages and import infrastructure, not to mention without an irradiated food chain), and 2) a guarantee of things that are fundamental to making a life here without harassment for being different (such as, say, oh, a law against racial discrimination, and checks and balances against a police force that sees racial profiling, street harassment, and even home invasion as part of its mandate). Japan has had plenty of opportunity to take some safeguards against this, and the fact that it won’t yet still wants to get people to live here anyway to offset its demographic crisis is just plain ignorant of reality.

    The second article talks about the effects of a society with institutions that aren’t all that friendly or accountable for its excesses — the second drop of the registered NJ population in two years, after a rise over 48 straight years. I talked about this briefly in my January Japan Times column (as one of the Top Ten Human Rights Events for 2011), so for the record, here is a vernacular source.  I think, sadly, that people are starting to wise up, and realize that Japan isn’t all that open a place to settle.  Arudou Debito


    外国人の年収などを点数化 「高度人材」には優遇措置
    朝日新聞 2011年12月28日, Courtesy MS




    外国人登録者、2年連続減 法務省「長引く不況影響」
    朝日新聞 2011年6月3日20時30分



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    Posted in Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, Unsustainable Japanese Society, 日本語 | 37 Comments »

    Jeff Smith on Yahoo Japan auctioneer denying foreign bidders, and what he did about it

    Posted on Friday, February 17th, 2012

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
    UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
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    Hi Blog.  Here we have some naked xenophobia and related intolerance in interpersonal internet auctions.  I have heard of numerous cases like these on Japanese internet outlets, where sellers simply refuse to sell to somebody with money if the buyer happens to be bearing money while foreign (and nothing would come of it from moderators).  But here’s a report of what one person, Jeff Smith, decided to do about it.  As he says, auction forums in Japan need to step up with rules to honor bona fide transactions, because that’s the entire point of money as a means of transaction — it is not foreign currency even if the buyer is foreign.  Let’s wait and see what Yahoo Japan decides to do about it, if anything.  Arudou Debito

    RELATED:  The case for internet anonymity in Japan, defended with inter alia “Japanese culture” (yep, “Japanese are shy…”)


    Yahoo Auctioneer Denies Foreign Bidders
    Documented by Jeff Smith (Osaka, Japan) February 15th, 2012

    Something I came upon last night while looking for guitars on Yahoo Auctions, Japan. This individual ignoramus had the nerve to actually write in his or her auction that foreigners would be denied the right to buy said item once found to be foreign, NJ or otherwise:

    ○●○●○  商品詳細  ○●○●○





    ○●○●○  支払詳細  ○●○●○

    ○●○●○  発送詳細  ○●○●○

    ○●○●○  注意事項  ○●○●○

    The statement here is as follows in English:

    “Winners please be aware of the message I send upon auction close. I will not accept new bidders who do not reply, or people with bad manners. New bidders are to respond within 48 hours, and those that do so will be allowed to pay for the item. In addition, due to troubles that have occurred, I am not accepting any foreign bidders with a score under 30 rating. [This was actually changed this morning, Feb. 15, 2012: originally it said I will accept NO FOREIGN WINNERS, period.]  If I find that the winner is a foreigner after the auction ends, I shall void the auction at my convenience.”

    Amazed that this person could even have the gall to write in such a manner, I contacted the seller with a message as follows:

    English translation:
    Good evening. It’s a shame that you have claimed to have had some trouble with foreigners, but to say that you will do no business with them is prejudicial thinking on your part. There are people on this auction who are serious, and Japanese people have caused trouble on auctions as well. I myself have had problems, and have not blamed all Japanese people for it. I hope you find a good bidder.

    The auctioneer quickly replied with the following:

    “Because of lack of comprehension and inability to effectively communicate intentions on the part of the winners, I have decided not to do business with foreigners.” (意志疎通: ishisottsu; means this ability to communicate thoughts or intentions smoothly)

    He or she then responded with a nasty jab:


    “If you (or someone else) doesn’t like it, just don’t bid, please. Also, please don’t put comments like this (actually these, because いちいち(ichi-ichi) in Japanese implies a nagging complaint, therefore someone else called this person out.) This person’s Japanese language ability isn’t all that great, either.

    I reported this person to Yahoo Auction under 詐欺 (sagi:fraud), and possible trouble (トラブル可能性) which if you think about it, it is if someone is to deny someone their rights to buy an item if they are found to be foreign! The ridiculous comments from this person, such as the “inability to communicate intentions” just goes to show how xenophobes and racists use these lame excuses to cover up how they dropped the idiomatic “ball” and had bad experiences. Still, Yahoo Auction needs to have a clearer stance on their guidelines as to not tolerating this kind of behavior.

    Be on the lookout for these types of idiots who think they can run auctions with impunity: don’t be afraid to call people out on it!


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    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", Bad Business Practices, Exclusionism, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment, 日本語 | 38 Comments »

    J on how Japan’s Immigration Bureau uses unlegislated bureaucratic guidelines to trump the letter of the law, in this case re obtaining Permanent Residency

    Posted on Sunday, December 18th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
    UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog. Second in this series of arbitrary bureaucratic rule in Japan: Reader J sends me this post about the tribulations he’s had getting his Permanent Residency, and how Immigration Bureau bureaucrats feel they are within their mandate to ignore the letter of the law. According to J, even when you show them their guidelines are unlawful under the law, they have replied, “That’s just a law.” Which of course calls into question the rule of law in Japan, and bureaucrats’ attitudes towards being constrained by legislation meant to preserve the consent of the governed in a democracy.  Arudou Debito


    November 8, 2011

    Hi Debito, how’s it going? Who do you think is a good lawyer that has appealed a PR declination successfully before?

    I think I have an undeniable open-and-shut appeal case in which the courts will most likely overturn an immigration officer’s illegal decline of Permanent Residency.

    (Perhaps you remember, I had a car accident once 5 years ago in which I committed a crime – I received probation, since thankfully no people were hurt, only cars damaged.)

    What makes [my] PR decline obviously “illegal” is that the following Law was ignored:
    (1) 素行が善良であること
    (2) 独立の生計を営むに足りる資産又は技能を有すること
    (3) その者の永住が日本国の利益に合すると認められること
    #1 reason for declination is: having committed a crime.
    #2 reason for declination is: being financially too poor.
    #3 reason for declination is: not being a profit to Japan.
    The Law then nicely goes on to state that reason #1 and reason #2 can NOT be used to decline spouses of Japanese citizens.

    So, this means that if an immigration officer wants to legally decline Permanent Residency to a spouse of a Japanese citizen, he is REQUIRED to claim reason #3.

    My case is: I’m married to a Japanese citizen (7 years) and yet the immigration officer declined my Permanent Residence using reason #1, “previous conviction”.

    So again, who do you think is a good lawyer? I’m willing to pay his standard price, plus, a 500,000 yen bonus upon successfully overturning this illegal refusal of PR.
    Please let me know if you have any good ideas of who I should call. Sincerely, J 


    November 8, 2011

    Hi Debito. Turns out I don’t need a lawyer after all.

    Whoever wrote the original Law saying that reason #1 and reason #2 can NOT be used to decline spouses of Japanese citizens, their goal was clear: to let foreigners married to Japanese citizens become Permanent Residents, regardless of whether they were convicted criminals, or poor, or both.

    But then, some bureaucrats within immigration with the opposite goal (limiting PRs) decided to write some new “Guidelines” which say the exact opposite.

    These new “Guidelines” (which the Unelected bureaucrats proclaim “trumps” the Laws written by Elected Lawmakers) say that reason #3 includes convictions.

    Any rational person looking at the original Law would say that reason #1 refers to crime (素行が善良であること = 法律を遵守) and reason #3 refers to profit:

    But now, check out this crafty Heisei 15/16 “update” to the immigration Guidelines (added by unelected immigration bureaucrats) look at the ア、イ、ウ、オ additions:
    (1) 素行が善良であること
    (2) 独立生計を営むに足りる資産又は技能を有すること
    (3) その者の永住が日本国の利益に合すると認められること
    ア 原則として引き続き10年以上本邦に在留していること。ただし,この期間のうち,就労資格又は居住資格をもって引き続き5年以上在留していることを要する。
    イ 罰金刑や懲役刑などを受けていないこと。納税義務等公的義務を履行していること。
    ウ 現に有している在留資格について,出入国管理及び難民認定法施行規則別表第2に規定されている最長の在留期間をもって在留していること。
    エ 公衆衛生上の観点から有害となるおそれがないこと

    Cute. So since the door was opened “too wide” by the original Law, just type up some “Guidelines” that moves the “crime disqualification” from reason #1 into reason #3, et voila!

    Now, if I go to court, the court can simply say, “Well, according to this Heisei 15/16 update/addition to the immigration Guidelines (penned by Unelected bureaucrats) you lose. Boom.”

    But, your honor, “reason #1” means “didn’t follow the law” (and “reason #1” doesn’t apply to spouses of Japanese citizens) so how can “didn’t follow the law” be added to “reason #3”?

    Guidelines written by Unelected bureaucrats are REVERSING and TRUMPING the Laws written by Elected Lawmakers, plus let’s remember that these Guidelines are usually secret.

    For example: the LAW says that Passports only have to be shown to immigration officers, but new GUIDELINES say that every Gaikokujin (for example: your single foreigner cousin, living in your house, with a valid visa, NOT RECEIVING KODOMO TEATE [child allowance]) must come allow the Kodomo Teate Section to copy his Passport, or else the couple with kids are penalized.

    Perhaps your single foreigner cousin, living in your house, with a valid visa, NOT RECEIVING KODOMO TEATE, refuses to let some “Kodomo Teate city worker” to copy his Passport?

    According to the new Kodomo Teate Guidelines, if ANY Gaikokujin living in the house refuses to hand over his Passport, the Kodomo Teate will be taken away from the couple with kids.

    So now the couple with children must force any Gaikokujin roommates they are living with to submit to this unlawful new guideline, or else the couple with children will be penalized.

    The couple with children do NOT have to ask their Japanese roommates to submit anything, this unlawful new guideline doesn’t dare ask JAPANESE citizens to show their passport.

    The reasoning for this guideline is “foreigners spend Kodomo Teate money vacationing in Thailand, but Japanese citizens would never do that, so we don’t check Japanese passports.”

    Try asking the Kodomo Teate section for a copy of this new Guideline, they won’t give a copy of it, they won’t even show it to you, because, “Our Guidelines are secret.” Seriously. (!)

    Laws made by the Kokkaigin say that we DON’T have to show our Passport except to immigration officers and when getting our ARC, but: new Guidelines say Kodomo Teate as well.

    If you are a Japanese person receiving Kodomo Teate, with a non-Japanese living in your house, the new Guidelines say ALL Gaikokujin MUST come show their Passport – or else.

    Do the Elected Lawmakers know that their will has been reversed and trumped? Do the Elected Lawmakers know that these new guidelines are in direct conflict with national Laws?

    My conversation recently with an immigration official summed it up perfectly, when I read him the Law stating that reason #1 can’t be used against me, he said, “That’s just a law!”

    I couldn’t believe it, this officer actually said, in front of his co-workers, “それはただの法律だけ!” His tone was perfectly clear, “WE make the decisions around here, not laws.”

    So, nevermind my request for a lawyer, I can see that since the bureaucrats within immigration have craftily moved crime from reason #1 down to reason #3, I can’t get PR, oh well.

    Currently in Japan (in my opinion the best country relative to others) a sad state admittedly exists where Guidelines trump Laws: Unelected bureaucrats trump elected lawmakers.

    Thanks anyway for the good work you do. Sincerely, J :)

    PS – I wonder how the majority of Japanese citizens would feel about a Law that says,
    “From now, only Elected Lawmakers (and publicly-voted initiatives) can create Laws.
    And any Guidelines written by unelected bureaucrats CANNOT conflict with those Laws.
    Plus all Guidelines written by unelected bureaucrats must be Public: no Secret Guidelines.”


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    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", Fingerprinting, Targeting, Tracking NJ, Immigration & Assimilation, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, 日本語 | 31 Comments »

    Movie about Ichihashi Tatsuya, convicted killer of Lindsay Ann Hawker, already in the works — based upon his book. Ick.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE, on child abductions in Japan, by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb

    UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog. Here’s some ghoulish news. According to Yahoo News below in Japanese, there is a biopic in the works on Ichihashi Tatsuya, convicted killer of Lindsay Ann Hawker, coming out next year based upon his book (which we lambasted here on last January as publisher profiteering) about his 2 1/2 years on the lam as a fugitive from justice.

    Now, movies about killers are nothing new (including ones with overtones of hero worship; consider NATURAL BORN KILLERS), and biopics about Japanese killers (the very good VENGEANCE IS MINE, starring a lean and mean Ogata Ken, I saw back in college) are also out there (even though VENGEANCE, although it tries to analyze the killer’s motivations and mother complex, did not spare the audience of the horrific detail of his murderous activity).

    Maybe this movie will do the same (even though many of the details of what Ichihashi did to Hawker’s corpse have not been made public).  But the article below says that the contents will focus on his life as a fugitive and offer insights into Japan’s low life (such as the day-laborer sector of Airin Chiku; cue sympathy for the killer’s hardships?).

    In any case, I for one see this as just more profiteering.  It looks as though this story will be depicted through Ichihashi’s eyes, and there is apparently already quite an online hero cult out there for this creep that the studios would love to cash in upon.

    Again, this sort of media event has happened before, but this is altogether too soon — still seems like moviemakers trying to make a fast yen (and an unknown actor trying to make a directorial debut; he talks briefly below about his “feeling of responsibility” towards the victims, but mostly about how the killer’s account fascinates him, so methinks that’s what the flick will focus upon) before Ichihashi fades from public memory. Ick. Arudou Debito


    市橋被告逃亡記を映画化 初監督&主演にディーン・フジオカ大抜てき
    スポーツ報知 2011年11月23日(水)8時2分配信
    Courtesy of SL

    2007年、千葉県市川市で英会話講師の英国人リンゼイ・アン・ホーカーさん(当時22歳)が殺害された事件が初めて映画化されることが22日、分かった。殺人罪などで無期懲役の判決を受けた市橋達也被告(32)が逃亡生活の様子、心境をつづった手記「逮捕されるまで 空白の2年7カ月の記録」をもとに、香港、台湾で活躍する日本人俳優ディーン・フジオカ(31)が初監督、主演に抜てきされた。タイトルは「I am Ichihashi~逮捕されるまで~」で、来年公開。

    映画「I am Ichihashi―」は、市橋被告の手記「逮捕されるまで―」(幻冬舎刊)が原作。前例のない逃亡犯の手記として、公判前の1月に出版され話題になった。






    ◆リンゼイさん殺害事件 07年3月26日、千葉・市川市の市橋被告のマンションのベランダに置かれた浴槽から英会話講師リンゼイさんの遺体が見つかった。市橋被告は直前に、捜査員の職務質問を振り切り逃走。翌27日、県警に死体遺棄容疑で指名手配される。沖縄・オーハ島での自給自足の生活、顔の整形手術を受けるなどして2年7か月逃亡。09年11月10日、大阪市のフェリー乗り場で逮捕された。死体遺棄のほか、殺人と強姦致死の罪で起訴され、今年7月21日に無期懲役の判決。市橋被告は控訴している。

    ◆ディーン・フジオカ 1980年8月19日、福島県生まれ、千葉県育ち。31歳。高校卒業後、米シアトル留学。現地の大学を卒業後、香港でモデルとして活動。05年に映画「八月的故事」で俳優デビュー。06年から台湾を拠点にドラマ、映画に出演。12月2日に映画「The Road Less Traveled」、来年1月に「BLACK&WHITE」が台湾で封切られる。日本語、英語、中国語を話す。身長180センチ。体重60キロ。血液型A。


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    Posted in Cultural Issue, Injustice, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Media, 日本語 | 25 Comments »

    MOFA offers public comments on signing Hague Convention on Child Abductions; not much there

    Posted on Sunday, November 27th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE, on child abductions in Japan, by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb

    UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog. Related to Japan’s future signing of the Hague Convention on Child Abductions, here we have an official report about a public forum held on November 22, 2011 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (something I attended before and incidentally considered a very flawed and biased format).  Present were academics, lawyers, the Ministries of Justice, Health and Welfare, Education, Internal Affairs, plus the Cabinet and the National Police Agency.

    In the course of discussions about setting up a central agency to handle the enforcement of the Hague, 168 public comments were collected since the end of September and were brought up at this meeting.  That report follows in full below, courtesy of TS.  A few things I found noteworthy within it:

    1) The term LBP (Left-Behind Parent) is now part of the Japanese lexicon.

    2) In discussions about the right of both parents to have information about (if not access to) their children, the same old saws about DV (domestic violence, however unclearly defined, and in Japan that matters) came up, and the GOJ is as usual being called in to do something about it (apparently more than just mediate, which the GOJ gets all control-freaky and nanny-state about) — seesawing between the LBP’s right to know about their children and the custodian’s right to be safe from the violent boogeyman ex-spouse.  This seesawing was also visible in an even more vague discussion about the GOJ holding onto passports of potential abductors and abductees, except under exceptional circumstances that were mentioned but left undeveloped.

    3) The GOJ, regarding contact between LBP and child, plans to “support the respect of visitation rights”, but it also leaves measures vague and expresses caution about doing much of anything, really.

    All told, this level of discussion was pretty low. I found little concrete here to sink one’s teeth into regarding advising toward future policies guaranteeing the lynchpins to this discussion: joint custody and guaranteed visitation that goes beyond an hour a two a month.  Not to mention return of internationally abducted children to their habitual residence as per the Hague.  Others are welcome to read the text below and squeeze out whatever interpretations I may have missed.  But given how much duplicity has taken place regarding the rights of LBPs in Japan up until now, I sadly remain unhopeful.  Arudou Debito












    • 中央当局が得た情報がLBP側に渡らないことが明確であれば,たとえば民間の団体たる私立学校と公立学校の間で情報提供義務に差をつける必要はなく,また差が出ることによる問題が生ずるのではないか。その一方で,情報提供義務を負う機関が広がることとのバランスで慎重な検討も必要。いずれにせよ,民間機関への情報の提供を求める場合,その範囲,方法については,政省令やガイドライン等で明確に定めることが必要。
    • 関係機関が中央当局に対して情報提供する際にDV被害のおそれがあるか否かについても併せて中央当局に通知することに関し,現場が何をどこまでやらねばならないのか,どう責任を取るのかが不明確なままでは,現場が委縮するので,そうならないように情報の流れが確保される具体的な通知の在り方について,今後関係機関内での実務的な検討が必要。他方,この点は,相手方の同意があった場合に情報を外部に提供するとの前提であったので中央当局としてDVのおそれの有無の情報が必要であったが,その必要がなくなったのであればそもそも中央当局にその情報を通知しなくても差支えないのではないか。
    • 情報提供を行う機関等が,「現に子を監護すると思われる者」か否かを判断することは難しく,外観上判断しやすい文言がより適当ではないか。なお,法制審で議論されている相手方適格の要件とは必ずしも同じ用語である必要はない。実態上,関係機関が,子を監護している者であるかどうかの判断を行うことは非常に困難であることからも,「監護する者」を「同居している者」としてはどうか。
    • 相手方となるべき「子を現に監護する者」の氏名(祖父母も含む)を申請者に開示後,相手方にその旨を知らせるべきか否かについては,さらに子が隠避されるといった事態を惹起するおそれもある一方で,DV被害者の居所の判明につながりかねないため,通知が必要とも考えられる。この点については,法律に明記せずとも対応できるのではないか。
    • 中央当局が集めた情報につき,行政機関個人情報保護法第8条第1項の「法令に基づく場合」により目的外提供できるとすることでは,弁護士法に基づく照会も該当することにならないか。その範囲が広くなりすぎるおそれもある。目的外提供の範囲につき絞ることも検討すべきではないか。


    • 条約に定める友好的な解決の促進のために,外務省として仲裁等の任意解決を外部団体に委託したいと考えるが,そのような団体の発掘・育成が検討課題。
    • 友好的な解決のために双方の合意があった場合に,返還手続の前後に関わらず中央当局が旅券を保管することは問題ない。ただし,返還に係る裁判手続が始まったら,合意がなくなったものとして保管を中止して,当事者に返付するケースもあるだろう。いずれにせよ,当事者の合意に基づく措置に過ぎず,合意の撤回があれば返付するということかと思われる。
    • 返還手続における保全的な処分との関連で,出国を差し止めるためにいかなる手段が可能かは今後の法制審にて引き続き検討。


    • 当事者が自らの裁判に必要と判断する情報を提供されるべきとの観点から,我が国中央当局から他の条約締約国の中央当局に,子の社会的背景に関する情報の提供を求める際は,裁判所からの求めだけでなく,申立人及び相手方からの依頼による場合も認めるべきではないか。
    • 他方,上記については,我が国中央当局及び他の締約国中央当局の事務的負担との関係から困難がある他,我が国と他の締約国との間で片務的な関係とならざるを得ないこと,相手国中央当局がどこまで社会的背景に関する情報収集に協力するか不明であること,相手国中央当局の情報収集結果を待っていれば迅速な裁判を確保できないおそれがあること等,現実的な問題として限界があることも事実。


    • 中央当局による援助の対象となる事案の範囲,及び中央当局がとるべき措置の範囲については,論点ペーパーの整理とすることで特段の意見なし。特に,援助の対象となる事案の範囲としては,他の締約国で認められた接触の権利を我が国において尊重されることを支援する(その逆も然り)と整理。
    • ただ,接触の権利についての支援は,当事者の協力が前提となることから,接触の権利の実施体制の確立(中央当局から当事者に紹介する実施団体の発掘及び育成含む)は大きな課題。
    • 他の条約締約国は条約締結後20~30年の年月をかけ,接触の権利の実施体制を整えてきた経緯がある。我が国も締結後,直ちに十分な体制を確立するのは難しくとも,関係行政機関が連携しつつ,面会交流を支援する団体等の育成に努めて欲しい。




    1. (1)パブリックコメントのとりまとめ結果及び概要パブリックコメントで寄せられた意見(PDF)PDF
    2. (2)論点ペーパー(PDF)PDF
    3. (3)参考資料


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    Posted in Child Abductions, Japanese Government, 日本語 | 7 Comments »

    The tug of war continues: Fukuoka High Court overrules Oita District Court that doubted, then affirmed, Oita Prefectural Govt’s denial of welfare benefits to superannuated NJ Permanent Resident

    Posted on Friday, November 18th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE, on child abductions in Japan, by ARUDOU Debito

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    Hi Blog. Last November I mentioned in my Newsletter about this weird case of administrative exclusionism and atypical jurisprudence in Japan, thus:


    16) Kyodo: Court overrules Oita Pref who tried to deny a 78-year-old NJ welfare benefits

    Kyodo: A Japanese court repealed on Thursday a decision by Oita Prefecture in southwestern Japan not to examine a request from a 78-year-old Chinese woman to look into a decision by Oita City that rejected her application for welfare benefits.

    A three-judge panel at the Oita District Court acted on a suit filed by the woman, who has obtained permanent residency status in Japan, against the Oita prefectural government decision that turned away the woman’s request, filed in February last year, to examine the Oita municipal government decision not to provide welfare benefits to her.

    The prefectural government dismissed the woman’s request without examining it, saying she was not eligible to seek benefits because she does not have Japanese nationality.

    In Thursday’s ruling, the district court said the prefectural government must review the municipal government decision in line with the woman’s request, and decide whether she should be given benefits.

    Presiding Judge Kenji Kanamitsu brushed aside the prefectural government’s argument that the city’s decision not to provide her with benefits was a ”unilateral administrative action” against a foreigner who has no right to seek welfare benefits, and not an ”administrative decision” as she claimed, whose appropriateness can be reviewed under the administrative appeal law.

    Judge Kanamitsu said the woman is ”obviously” eligible to ask the prefectural government to review the municipal government decision.

    ”An application for welfare benefits has been rejected, and it means the same to the applicants, regardless of their nationalities,” the judge said…


    17) Mainichi: “NJ have no right to welfare payments”, rules Oita District Court two weeks later. Gee that was a quick kibosh.

    After a half-month interlude of light and reason (as in September 30 to October 18), where it actually looked like a Japanese courtroom was actually going to be nice to somebody and rule against The State, another court has come along and put things back to normal:

    Mainichi: The Oita District Court ruled on Oct. 18 that foreigners with the right to permanent residence but without Japanese citizenship are not entitled to welfare benefits, rejecting the claims of a 78-year-old Chinese woman who sued after being denied benefits by the Oita city government…

    According to the ruling, the woman has Chinese nationality but was born in Japan and holds the right to permanent residence. In December 2008, the woman applied to the welfare office in Oita city for welfare payments, but was turned down with the reason that she had “a comfortable amount of money” in her savings.

    The main issues of the trial became whether the woman held the right as a foreigner to receive welfare payments and whether her financial status justified her receiving aid…”

    COMMENT: Gee, that was quick by Japanese judicial standards! I guess they know the value of putting the kibosh on something before the floodgates open: Can’t have all the goddamn foreigners expecting to have rights to something like our social welfare benefits, especially at an advanced age.


    Then, as the clock continues to run out for this superannuated NJ, we now have another flip, fortunately in the more inclusive direction:


    Court rules noncitizens are eligible for welfare
    The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 17, 2011), courtesy of lots of people

    FUKUOKA–The Fukuoka High Court ruled Tuesday that permanent residents in in Japan with foreign nationalities are eligible to receive public welfare assistance, overturning a lower court ruling.

    The high court accepted an appeal by a 79-year-old woman who is a permanent resident in Japan with Chinese nationality. She filed the lawsuit, claiming that the Oita city government illegally rejected her request for public welfare assistance.

    Presiding Judge Hiroshi Koga said in the ruling, “Foreign citizens with permanent residency [in Japan] are legally guaranteed the same status as Japanese citizens who receive the same treatment.”

    The high court overturned the Oita District Court’s ruling and nullified the Oita city government’s decision not to grant the woman public welfare benefits.

    According to a lawyer for the plaintiff, it is the nation’s first court ruling to present a legal basis for foreign permanent residents in Japan to receive public welfare benefits.

    According to the ruling, the woman applied for the public welfare at the Oita city government in December 2008, but the city government rejected her request.

    The point at issue in the lawsuit was whether the Daily Life Protection Law can be applied to noncitizens.

    Article 1 of the law limits recipients to Japanese citizens. As for non-Japanese residents, each local government has made respective judgments based on a 1954 notice issued by the then Health and Welfare Ministry, which said the law would be applied with some modification.

    Though there are many foreign permanent residents in Japan who receive public welfare benefits, their eligibility has not been legally guaranteed.

    The high court ruling noted Diet deliberations in 1981 on ratifying the U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which stipulates that countries “shall accord to refugees within their territories treatment at least as favorable as that accorded to their nationals.”

    At the time, the Diet presented a view that Japan would not need to revise the Daily Life Protection Law to eliminate nationality clauses in it because the government has already been applying the law with necessary modifications.

    The high court judged that the Japanese government had at that moment become obliged under international law to provide public welfare assistance to foreign residents in the country.

    The high court also pointed out that the central government in 1990 limited the range of noncitizen recipients to those with permanent resident status in terms of management of the public welfare system.




    (2011年11月16日 読売新聞)







    大分・生活保護訴訟:永住外国人も対象 福岡高裁、法的根拠認める判決
    毎日新聞 2011年11月16日 東京朝刊







    COMMENT: Okay, that’s good news and a good precedent. Glad they took it away from the denizens of Oita, who clearly started saying “Chotto…” to the petty bureaucrats, then backtracked within two weeks as the wagons encircled to rule against the alleged foreigner (I would like to hear more about her, i.e., if she is in fact a Zainichi or not — there is a difference between ippan eijuusha and tokubetsu eijuusha, after all, and that will be noted by any legal exceptionalists who want to stop further positive precedent building). But the fact that she’s born here, raised here, speaks Japanese as her native language, and is approaching eighty years of age, yet STILL was denied benefits by heartless bureaucrats, backed up by the judiciary, is more than a bit scary. If this gets appealed to the Supreme Court (after all, the GOJ is a sore loser in court), I hope the judges are in a good mood when they start deliberating. Maybe we should send them sweets. Arudou Debito

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    Posted in Exclusionism, Good News, Human Rights, Japanese Government, Lawsuits, 日本語 | 10 Comments »

    Mainichi & Yomiuri: Japanese ex-wife arrested in Hawaii on suspicion of abducting child from custodial father

    Posted on Friday, October 28th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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    Hi Blog.  Here’s some good news for Left-Behind Parents.  The Americans are (unusually, according to the Mainichi and Yomiuri below) enforcing their arrest warrants against Japanese child abductors.  In this case, against a Japanese woman who reportedly absconded with the kid off to Japan and, despite a US court awarding the father custody, then used the time-honored tactic of abducting the kid anyway and getting a Japanese court to award her the kid instead regardless (with a gracious 30-day per year visitation allowed; thanks a heap).  Then she carelessly decided to have her cake and eat it too, by coming back to the US to renew her Green Card, whereupon the authorities honored the arrest warrant against her, leaving the kid in limbo with the grandparents in Japan.

    Not an unusual story (especially since the Japanese media once again refuses to use the word “abduction” in conjunction with any of this — just “taking without permission”; sounds much better), except that the Americans are now finally taking action regarding child abductions to Japan, honoring court decisions despite Japan’s vehemently guarding its safe-haven status for international child abduction.

    Let’s see how the Japanese media further spins this; I doubt it’ll run against Team-Japanism.  But already the editorial slant in the articles below is that signing the Hague Treaty will (somehow) prevent this, in defiance of all the Japanese safe-haveners that want to either not sign it, or caveat it with DV provisions into meaninglessness.

    Anyway, throw the book at her.  This sort of thing has gone on long enough.  Arudou Debito


    Japanese ex-wife arrested in U.S. on accusation of making off with child
    (Mainichi Japan) October 27, 2011, Courtesy EK

    A Japanese woman has been arrested in Hawaii on accusations she took her 9-year-old daughter with a Nicaraguan ex-husband back to Japan without permission, it has been learned.

    The 43-year-old Japanese mother and her 39-year-old ex-husband, who lives in the United States, have custody disputes over the child ongoing in both Japan and the U.S. The Foreign Ministry says that it is highly unusual for a Japanese national to be arrested abroad during a custody dispute with a foreign ex-partner.

    According to legal officials and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the woman married and bore the child in February 2002. She lived in the state of Wisconsin in the U.S., but in February 2008 she returned to Japan with the child. In June 2009 her divorce was finalized, but the father was given custody rights.

    The woman went to court in Japan to have the custody rights changed, and in March this year the court awarded them to the woman, giving the father just 30 visitation days a year in the U.S. Both sides immediately appealed the ruling, and the case is now being deliberated at the Osaka High Court.

    The woman flew to Honolulu on April 7, 2011 local time to renew her permanent U.S. resident status. However, an arrest warrant for the woman was on issue from Wisconsin authorities for violating the father’s custody rights by taking the child to Japan without permission, and the woman was arrested by Hawaii authorities. She remains in custody, and a trial is ongoing in Wisconsin. Prosecutors suggested a plea bargain where she would be given a suspended sentence in exchange for returning the child, who currently lives with the woman’s grandparents in Japan, but she has refused and maintains her innocence.

    The ex-husband has reportedly said that if the woman will return the child, he does not want her held further, and he wants the child to be able to meet both parents. A lawyer for the woman, however, says that she fears that if she returns the child once, the child will never be able to come back to Japan.

    According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, records of Japanese international marriages since 1992 show a peak in 2006 of around 44,700, after which they have been declining, with around 32,000 in 2010. On the other hand, Japanese international divorces have increased, peaking at about 19,400 in 2009. International divorces are accompanied by unique problems like differences in national law, children’s nationality and parental custody rights, and people leaving the relevant countries.

    Professor Takao Tanase of Chuo University’s law school says, “The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction’s primary objective is to get the child in such disputes returned to the country they were taken from, and therefore civil-level procedures to return the child are prioritized. If the child is returned, criminal legal action is often not pursued. If Japan joins the convention, I think that there will be fewer cases that lead to arrests.”



    The original Japanese story

    国際離婚:親権妨害容疑 米国で日本人女性逮捕
    毎日新聞 2011年10月27日 15時0分 更新:10月27日 17時0分








    中央大法科大学院の棚瀬孝雄教授(法社会学)の話 ハーグ条約は、原則として子供をとりあえず元の国に返すことが第一目的で、民事的な返還手続きが優先される。子が返りさえすれば刑事訴追しないことが多い。加盟すれば、逮捕まで発展するような事案は少なくなると思う。【岡奈津希】




    読売新聞 2011年10月27日(木)15時41分配信 Courtesy of Getchan









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    Posted in Child Abductions, Gaiatsu, Good News, Human Rights, 日本語 | 11 Comments »

    GOJ Ministry of Environment is dispersing Tohoku debris, including Fukushima nuclear debris, around Japan despite objections of prefectural govts

    Posted on Thursday, October 20th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE, on child abductions in Japan, by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb

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    Hi Blog.  Here we have some more GOJ mischief in the works regarding the Fukushima debacle.  What follows is a primary-source document from the Minister of the Environment, Division of Waste and Recycle Policy, dated October 7, 2011, addressed to all prefectural waste management department heads.

    It concerns disposing of debris from the Tohoku disaster areas in other prefectures, as a follow-up to their communication/”survey” of April 8, 2011, where they asked regional governments to pitch in in dispersing the rubble nationwide.  The Education Ministry acknowledges that several prefectures expressed trepidation at spreading radioactive refuse all over Japan.  Nevertheless, as Tokyo has started undertaking the disposal of the debris, it’s clear the GOJ considers it high time that others did their part (as per the “close cooperation” (genmitsu ni rentai shi) between the Minstry and the regional environmental agencies) to match that effort.  It is clear that by the fourth paragraph of the directive below, the Ministry will be moving forward with this policy full steam regardless of regional objections.

    The results of the abovementioned April communication/”survey” where local governments balked will not be made public.  That is to say, those prefectures who balked at taking radiation into their area will not be named [after all, we don’t want NIMBY citizens rallying behind their local representatives that are clearly antipathetic towards GOJ policy].

    COMMENT FROM DEBITO:  I had heard about this months ago (a rumor that toxic waste from Fukushima was being delivered to my nearby garbage incinerator in Hassamu, Sapporo), but lacked enough evidence to say much at the time.  Now we have documented proof that the Japanese government (the Environment Ministry, no less) is taking steps to pressure local governments nationwide into swallowing their fair share of the radiation.  Why does this debris have to be carted around the country?  Not only could it contaminate the entire nation, it will also shield the nuclear power industry from criticism and responsibility — as it will make it harder to link radiation to the cause of any future sickness or death if casualties are not limited to the Fukushima area.  Having the national government shove this down the local governments’ throats is one thing, but the sheer venality, nay, flat-out evil of this kind of policy is staggering.

    Just in case you think this may be a hoax, see the Chunichi Shinbun of October 15, 2011 (reprinted below) acknowledging this dispersal is exactly what’s happening, with the local governments (in this case, Aichi-ken) refusing to make public how much debris they’re disposing of.  Arudou Debito


    Courtesy with commentary in English at










    廃棄物対策課  担当:敷田、青竹、播磨
    TEL : 03-3581-3351(内線6857)
    E-mail :


    1. 調査方法
    2. 回答提出先
    3. 回答期限

    4. 記入上の留意点
    ① 検討状況
    ② 検討内容等
    ③ 受入れが想定される廃棄物
    ○ 可燃性混合廃棄物(木くずやプラスチック等が混合した状態の廃棄物)
    ○ 不燃ごみ(割れたガラス等、埋立処分が必要な廃棄物)
    ○ 粗大ごみ(家具等で粉砕処理を必要とする廃棄物)
    ○ 燃え殻等(火災により発生した燃え殻等、埋立処分が必要な廃棄物)
    ④ 処理施設名(処理内容)
    ⑤ 1日処理可能量
    ⑥ 年間最大受入可能量


    電話 011-299-1952
    FAX 011-736-1234

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    愛知県、がれき受け入れ市町村 公表せず

    中日新聞 2011年10月15日 09時03分






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    Posted in Bad Business Practices, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, Tangents, Unsustainable Japanese Society, 日本語 | 26 Comments »

    Health and Education Ministries issue directive to place controls on research going on in Tohoku tsunami disaster zones

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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    Hi Blog.  This is a very interesting development that has been uncovered and discussed on the H-Japan academic public listserv (which I include in full below to show the context).

    The Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare Ministry has issued a directive, written by the Education Ministry’s Department of Life Sciences, Bureau for the Promotion of Research, to all related research industries, universities, and tertiary-education associations regarding health surveys and research conducted within the Tohoku disaster area.

    Dated May 15, 2011, a little more than two months after the tsunami, the directive (full Japanese text below) essentially tells academic researchers 1) there are “ethical guidelines” (rinri shishin) for epidemiologists to follow, and that research guidelines must be passed by ethics committees and approved by their research institution’s head; 2) these health surveys and research must also sufficiently (juubun) be run by the local governments (jichitai) in the disaster areas beforehand, and afterwards the results of the research (if I’m reading this odd and rather vague sentence right) must “take into due consideration” (hairyo) the disaster victims and the appropriate systems providing them health and welfare (better translations welcome); 3) in order to not to cause any undue stress to the disaster victims, health surveys and research must avoid repetition by “not surveying and researching in more detail than necessary”, and with sufficient understanding of the situation on the ground.

    Well, it might sound sensible at first read.  But given the history of lack of accurate and timely information being issued by the Japanese authorities concerning the whole Fukushima debacle, there is another way to read this ministerial directive:  1) All research must be tracked and approved by somebody above you in the research workplace, 2) All research must be tracked by the local governments and health departments before and after, and 3) All research must not ask too many questions.

    The point is, in the name of “ethics”, the government is inserting veto gates into what might become research independent of the GOJ, and making sure that information tracked before and afterwards stays under central control.  Which means, in practice, that if there are research lines or inquiries or results unpalatable to the GOJ, they might not be seen by the public.

    My read of this document is that this is primary-source evidence of GOJ central control over the scientific method regarding a politically-sensitive issue.  And this will control the information flow out to the world regarding the effects and aftermath of Fukushima.  Arudou Debito


    Starts at

    From: H-Japan Editor (j-edit@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU)
    Editor’s Subject: H-JAPAN (E): Teaching the Crisis: some reflections
    Author’s Subject: H-JAPAN (E): Teaching the Crisis: some reflections
    Date Posted: Tue, 10 Oct 2011

    H-JAPAN (E)
    October 9, 2011

    From: JFMorris (

    Dear List Members

    I would like to thank David Slater for his open call to bring together
    people working on the disaster in Tohoku.

    However, reading his proposal, I cannot help but feel a certain disquiet
    about it. I think that this stems most directly from the fact that I
    cannot find Tohoku involved in this proposal in any but a passive way. If
    you want to reflect the voices of people from Tohoku, then why not get us
    involved from the outset? Tohoku University had set up one of the major
    world class interdiscipinary research projects on natural disasters some
    years before this current disaster (we all knew that a big one was coming,
    and were already gearing up for it): outside of Tohoku University,
    numerous scholars within Tohoku are involved in dealing with it a
    multitude of ways. One thing that has really bugged me watching reporting
    on this disaster unfold is that we of Tohoku are there to be talked about,
    but not to be seriously allowed to go much beyond eyewitness accounts, the
    more heart-rending the better. If you want to deal with topics such as
    trying to reframe Tohoku history (this requires you to reframe crucial
    junctures of “Japanese” history…), interdisciplinary approaches to
    studying disasters, experiences learnt from this disaster, then there is a
    wealth of academic experience here. Is the problem that the overwhelming
    portion of this is available in Japanese? This list was originally set up
    with the high ideal of bringing Japanese and non-Japanese scholars
    together in a truly bilingual list, where posting in 2 languages was meant
    to be the norm… How many years is it since I saw anything on this list
    written in Japanese, let alone any other language?

    While on my high horse, I would like to add a little word of caution about
    barging in and doing research here. I am as much aware of the need to do
    this as anyone else. As IKEDA Ken’ichi pointed out in his posting of 3rd
    October, (1) Japan does have ethical standards to be maintained in
    conducting research, and (2) the Ministry of Education and Science has put
    out effectively a blanket ban on doing research unless this is specifically
    at the request of the local government of the relevant area: there are that
    many people crawling through this area that this kind of restriction is
    necessary (well, up to a point…).

    I do not want to start a flame; that is furthest from my intention. From
    his postings to this net, I am seriously impressed with David’s commitment
    to acting both as a rank and file member of humanity, and as an academic,
    to reacting in a constructive way to this disaster. However, if you want
    to start some kind of a summing up, if you leave the major research
    centres of the region out, then I think that you are going to miss
    something very important. If I have misconstrued David’s posting, then I
    apologise in advance.

    John Morris
    Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University


    From: H-Japan Editor (j-edit@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU)
    Date: 12 October, 2011
    Subject: H-JAPAN (E): Research ban?
    Reply-To: H-NET/KIAPS List for Japanese History

    On-line editor: Janet R. Goodwin (

    H-JAPAN (E)
    October 12, 2011


    From John Morris’ post appearing on October 9th :”(2) the Ministry of Education and Science has put out effectively a blanket ban on doing research unless this is specifically at the request of the local government of the relevant area: there are that many people crawling through this area that this kind of restriction is necessary (well, up to a point…).”

    Could you provide more information about the research ban? Is it for certain designated districts or certain research subjects? I was surprised to read of a ban because the government has been encouraging tourism as a means of economic recovery. Recently, I caught a few seconds of an NHK clip showing students taking a boat on coastline tour of a tsunami hit area and snapping away with cameras. From what little I saw, this activity was being presented as an edifying experience. I hope that researchers do not interfere with recovery. However, it seems odd that the government would allow school children to visit an area from which it banned researchers.

    Greg Johnson



    From: H-Japan Editor (j-edit@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU)
    Author’s Subject: H-JAPAN (E/J): Ban on Research?
    Date Written: Wed, 12 Oct 2011 22
    On-line editor: Janet R. Goodwin

    H-JAPAN (E/J)
    October 12, 2011

    From: J.F.Morris

    Dear Greg and List Members,

    The directive issued jointly by the Ministry of Education and Science and is as
    follows. Please note that to display the rest of this mail on your screen, you
    will have to set your “View” settings to display in either Japanese or
    Universal font. It is not a total ban, but a very limiting one.

    John Morris
    Miyagi Gakuin




    大学等          御中






    1 「疫学研究に関する倫理指針(以下、疫学指針)」が適用される疫学研究を実施する場合等においては、疫学指針等にのっとり、当該研究計画について、倫理審査委員会の審査を受け、研究機関の長による許可を得るなど、適切な対応を行うこと。

    2 被災者を対象とする調査・研究は、当該被災地の自治体と十分調整した上で実施すること。また、調査・研究の結果、必要と考えられる被災者には、適切な保健医療福祉サービスが提供される体制を整備する等配慮すること。

    3 対象となる被災者に過度な負担とならないよう、対象地域において行われている調査・研究の状況を十分に把握した上で、重複を避け、必要以上に詳細な調査・研究が行われることのないように配慮すること。


    From: j-edit@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU
    Date: 13 October, 2011
    Subject: Re H-JAPAN (E/J): Ban on research?

    —————————- Original Message —————————-

    On-line editor: Janet R. Goodwin

    H-JAPAN (E/J)
    October 13, 2011


    Thanks. So the Health Ministry is restricting research on human subjects,

    not all research as I mistakenly assumed. The 対象となる被災者
    refers to people in the 被災地, but I wonder if the Ministry
    shouldn’t consider whether people displaced by the disasters and no longer
    in 被災地 require a clause in this memorandum, however difficult it
    would be to enforce. Even if the government is incapable of keeping tabs
    on extra-district research, in the end the scholarly community has to
    police its own research ethics.

    Needless to say, I hope the responsible agencies are also giving those
    被災者who do not become research subjects this consideration in
    sufficient measure!

    Greg Johnson

    —————–End H-Japan message———————-


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    Posted in Bad Social Science, Education, Japanese Government, Tangents, 日本語 | 11 Comments »

    NJ topic du jour: Yomiuri, Mainichi, Nikkei pile on re free papers ads encouraging NJ “criminal behavior”, deemed “criminal infrastructure”

    Posted on Sunday, September 18th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb

    Hi Blog. Related to my FCCJ article posted here a couple of days ago, we have the J-media now piling on about “harmful ads in the free newspapers aimed at foreigners”, encouraging criminal behavior. This is a national issue of course (as I argued before, articles/campaigns about foreign crime take priority, even drown out good news (or any news) about NJ residents in Japan), and essentially the same article becomes common to the major papers (submitter JK sends the Yomiuri, Mainichi, and Nikkei).

    When I said to JK: “Thanks for these, but not sure what angle to pursue. People will (groundfully) counterargue that these sorts of activities advertising ways for people to break the law should be rightfully reported and stamped out. What would you say to them?”, JK counterargued:


    “Hi Debito: I would say that I find it odd that on the one hand, the NPA is focused on ads in free papers enticing foreigners to perform criminal acts, whereas on the other hand, the NPA has, to my knowledge, yet to report on the number of pachinko parlors that paid out tokens / goods to players which were converted into cash (read: gambling, a criminal act!).

    “To me, it’s obvious that the NPA is being selective in investigating potential criminal acts because in the case of the ads in the free papers, NJ are specifically involved.

    “Wouldn’t it be great if the NPA, instead of reporting that x% of ads offered illegal employment, and y% of ads offered brokerage services, etc., reported that x% cash paid out was converted from pachinko parlor tokens, and y% of cash winnings was from stuffed animals?”


    Point taken. Finally, JK sends a positive article towards NJ (regarding something cultural), but like I said in my FCCJ article, that gets confined to local papers. Might be because it’s a local event/issue, but so does anything positive towards NJ seem. It’s the negative stuff that becomes part of NPA campaigns against “foreign crime”, not the positive stuff ever becoming, say, a national GOJ campaign for “up with people”. Not the best examples, but anyhoo, good timing for these mild cases in point to illustrate a phenomenon I brought up. Arudou Debito


    Over 730 ads for overstayers, fake marriages uncovered
    The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 16, 2011)

    Many ads encouraging criminal behavior such as working illegally and entering into fake marriages have been carried by free newspapers aimed at foreigners, according to a police survey.

    The survey, conducted by the National Police Agency in May and June, said 736 harmful ads were found in papers distributed in commercial and entertainment districts around the nation.

    The NPA will ask publishers of free papers not to run ads encouraging criminal activity. It also may pursue criminal charges against publishers allowing such ads to appear in their papers.

    According to the survey, 58 free papers distributed in Tokyo and 24 other prefectures have carried such ads. Of them, 26 were aimed at Chinese and 22 at Koreans. Others were for Filipinos and Brazilians living in Japan.

    The free papers carrying the ads also contain information on daily life services and restaurant information for foreigners.

    Forty percent of the ads, or 291, offer illegal employment, with some recommending work in sex-related establishments.

    Twenty-four percent of the ads, or 174, offer brokerage services to falsify residential qualifications or social status. They included such messages as: “We seek illegal overstayers who want to marry a Japanese” and “We can change your illegal entry status to a legal one.”

    The Metropolitan Police Department has uncovered a number of cases involving illegal work and fake marriages, including some in which readers successfully asked specialists in administrative procedures and others who carried ads in the papers for residential status.

    Ads promoting criminal acts found in free papers for foreigners
    (Mainichi Japan) September 15, 2011

    A number of advertisements encouraging crimes are carried in free papers for foreign residents in Japan, the National Police Agency (NPA) has found.

    According to the NPA, a total of 736 ads promoting criminal acts were carried in 58 free papers providing living information to Chinese, South Korean, Brazilian and other foreign residents in Japan in their respective mother tongues between May and June. Many of the ads involved such wrongful acts as overstaying visas and illegal work.

    The NPA has requested the publishers of those free papers not to carry such inappropriate ads.

    By content, 39.5 percent of the ads were about job placement; 23.6 percent about disguised mediation of certificates and status; 20 percent about soliciting unauthorized sales; and 6 percent about introducing residences.

    “International marriage: We welcome those whose visas will soon expire. Will introduce partners immediately,” one ad says, while another says: “Hostess immediately needed. With or without a visa.” Yet another ad reads, “(We will introduce) nominees or guarantors. All Japanese.” Some advertisers falsely identify themselves as administrative scriveners, while others suggest assisting fake marriages and overstaying visas.

    The NPA has named the services and means of communication that promote crimes as “crime infrastructure.”

    毎日新聞 2011年9月15日 東京朝刊


    調査は5~6月に全国的に実施。中国人、韓国人、ブラジル人などを対象に、母国語で発行される58紙に計736件の問題広告が見つかった。文面は「国際結婚 ビザの期限がもうすぐの方歓迎 すぐに紹介」「ホステス急募 ビザ不問」「名義人・保証人(のあっせん) 全部日本人」などで、行政書士を名乗ったり、偽装結婚や不法残留の手助けを示唆するものもある。


    外国人向けフリーペーパー 不正広告、58紙で736件
    日本経済新聞 2011/9/15 0:29;at=ALL


    「国際結婚 20~50歳の在日中国女性募集 ビザの期限がもうすぐの方歓迎」「証明書発行 日本全国3日でお届け」といった表現が並んでいたといい、警察当局は発行者に広告の掲載打ち切りなどを要請している。



    Now for the positive one towards NJ, local paper only. Submitter JK comments, “Too bad stories like these are the exception and not the rule.”

    母国の昔話:日本生まれの子に文化伝えたい 江南在留の外国人、紙芝居制作へ /愛知

    毎日新聞 2011年9月15日 地方版






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    Posted in Cultural Issue, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment | 4 Comments »

    Child Abductions Issue: How Japan’s debate on defining “Domestic Violence”, the loophole in enforcing the Hague Treaty, is heading in the wrong direction

    Posted on Saturday, June 18th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
    UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog.  Here is a report from a reader who translates how the debate on Domestic Violence in Japan (being cited as a reason to create loopholes in Japan’s enforcement of the upcoming signatory status with the Hague Treaty on Child Abductions) is being stretched to justify just about any negative behavior (including non-tactile acts) as “violent”.  And note how the checklist of “violent” acts below approaches the issue with the woman as perpetual victim and the man as perpetrator.  If accepted as the standard definition, imagine just how much further this will weaken the fathers’ position in any Japanese divorce negotiation.  Yet another example of how clueless Japanese social scientists are when dealing with issues of human rights.  Courtesy of Chris Savoie, used with permission.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo


    June 16, 2011

    Here is my cut of a translation that is being circulated by an influential NGO in Japan as the standard for recognizing Domestic Violence (“DV”) in Japan. Thanks CJ for finding and posting this!

    Note that these standards or substantially similar standards will likely be applied under the new Hague implementation law to deny access and/or return of children to foreign (and Japanese) parents who are victims of parental abduction to and within Japan. Similar standards are already applied in Japanese family courts at present.

    The original URL is below and this was a rushed translation, so if someone can clean it up or correct it, please do. Please feel free to forward this to folks involved with Congressional approval if HR1940.

    Please note for the avoidance of doubt that I am very much for the protection of both males and females from legitimate partner abuse and certain forms of behavior (like slapping) on this list are SERIOUS infractions, represent CRIMINAL acts and are to be condemned in the STRONGEST possible terms. However, certain of the conduct described below is a given even in otherwise healthy relationships and to include such conduct alongside actual physical violence or serious verbal abuse dilutes the very necessary efforts needed to protect actual abuse victims and for this reason, such ridiculous crap science does more to endanger domestic violence victims than to help them. For these reasons, such a list is highly contemptible. Best, CJS



    The DV Checklist

    “He is kind of scary. Is this even a ’DV’?” “’DV’ I mean, I often hear the term, but I do not know specifically what ‘DV’ is!”…

    Often we hear about DV in daily life. If you do too, try completing the following checklist.

    We have published this checklist by Dr. Numazaki Ichirou. The survey was designed for men and women, but for sexual minorities, please complete the exercise according to one’s role in the relationship.

    Checklist for Women

    Please check any of these if you have experienced them:

    He sulks if I deviate in any way from what he has requested of me.

    He quickly blames me whenever something goes wrong.

    When I go out alone, he calls my cell phone regularly.

    He is reluctant to associate with my friends and parents.

    He is angry if I come home late.

    He says I am “stupid” or “incompetent”.

    He cops an attitude so that I don’t refuse to comply with his whims.

    I do not want him to be angry so I reluctantly listen to him.

    I always try to wear clothes that he likes.

    He has not problem pointing out my shortcomings in front of other people.

    He ignores me when I want to talk with him.

    Also complains vocally about my idiosyncrasies.

    I am relieved when he is not around.

    If I have a temper tantrum, he responds by hitting walls, or throwing objects.

    I have been slapped by him.

    After he hits me, he is quickly kind and gentle to me and apologizes.

    In order not to offend him I have given up a lot.

    He insists on sex without taking care of my needs.

    Source: by Numazaki Ichirou “Why Do Men Choose Violence?”


    Checklist for Men

    Please check any of these if you have experienced them:

    I have yelled at her.

    I wish that she would only have eyes for me.

    Sometimes I don’t answer her when she wants to talk to me.

    While speaking with her, I have stood up and got close to her.

    She has thought that I made fun of her.

    I think a woman should look up to her man.

    I may have silently stared at her.

    I am concerned when she is speaking with other men.

    I have secretly checked her cell phone.

    I have cheated on her.

    I have told her “Don’t get smart with me.”

    I may have lifted a hand to her.

    I am annoyed when she talks back to me.

    I have cussed at her.

    I have called her a big mouth.

    I feel restless if I am not with her all the time.

    I feel hurt if she pushes back at me.

    She incurred a debt for me without my permission.

    Source: Dr. Numazaki Ichirou “Why Do men choose violence?”

    According to Professor Numazaki, the producer of this list, a check mark next to even ONE item indicates a DV event. (For women who checked off one item, they have been a victim of DV and, for men, any checks indicate that that man was a perpetrator of DV.)

    One of the items in the men’s list is “I wish that she would only have eyes for me.” One might question “How can ‘wishing’ or “thinking” something amount to violence?” Indeed, “just thinking” does not amount to violence. But if the thought “I think so” represents a strong belief, it is often followed by action. If one thinks “I want her only to have eyes for me” strongly, then the expression of power and domination (violence) is possible.

    According to the results of a survey in 2008 by the Cabinet, “33,2% of married women over the age of 20 have been victims of DV.”

    Defining DV:





    「なんだか彼といると恐い。でもこれって『DV』なの?」 「『DV』っていう言葉はよく聞くけど、具体的にどういうのが『DV』なのかわからない」・・・。





    □ 彼の注文に少しでも疑問を示すと、すぐに不機嫌になる。

    □ うまくいかないことがあると、すぐに私のせいにする。

    □ 私が1人で外出すると、しょっちゅう携帯に電話してくる。

    □ 私が友人や両親と交際するのを嫌がる。

    □ 私の帰宅が遅くなると怒る。

    □ 私に「バカ」とか「能無し」とか言う。

    □ いつも彼の機嫌をそこねないように気を配っている。

    □ 彼に怒られるのがいやで、言うことを聞いてしまう。

    □ ついつい彼好みの洋服を選んでしまう。

    □ 人前でも平気で私の欠点を指摘する。

    □ 彼と会話がしたくても、非難されたり、無視されたりする。

    □ 私のちょっとしたしぐさにもうるさく文句を言う。

    □ 彼がいないと、なぜかホッとする。

    □ 癇癪を起すと、壁をなぐったり、物を投げたりする。

    □ 彼に平手打ちにされたことがある。

    □ 私をたたいた後は、急に優しくなり、私に謝ってくる。

    □ 彼を怒らせないために、あきらめたことがいろいろある。

    □ 彼は、私の気分などおかまいなしにセックスを求める。





    □ 彼女に大声を上げたことがある。

    □ 彼女には自分だけを見ていて欲しいと思う。

    □ 彼女が話しかけても返事をしないことがある。

    □ 話の最中、立ち上がって彼女に近づいたことがある。

    □ 彼女にバカにされたと思ったことがある。

    □ 女は男を立てるべきだと思っている。

    □ 黙って彼女をにらんだことがある。

    □ 彼女が他の男と話していると気になる。

    □ 彼女の携帯をこっそりチェックしたことがある。

    □ 浮気をしたことがある。

    □ 彼女に「なまいき言うな」と言ったことがある。

    □ 彼女に手を上げたことがある。

    □ 彼女に何か言い返されると腹が立つ。

    □ 彼女をののしったことがある。

    □ 彼女は口うるさいと思ったことがある。

    □ いつも彼女と一緒でないとイライラする。

    □ 彼女に反発されると、とても傷つく。

    □ 彼女に無断で借金をしたことがある。









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    Posted in Bad Social Science, Child Abductions, Human Rights, Japanese Politics, 日本語 | 26 Comments »

    Sankei: MOJ proposes easier visas for importing “higher quality” NJ labor; neglects to offer NJ stronger civil or labor rights

    Posted on Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
    UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog.  The Sankei reports on May 25 that the Ministry of Justice will be loosening some of its strictures on NJ visas (the Sankei uses the word nohouzu in its headline; I’m not 100% sure of the nuance but it sounds like “a wild and endless expansion of favorable treatment regarding NJ entry visas”; rather snotty, but that’s the Sankei for ya).

    The new Immigration policy is directed at NJ with very high skills (koudo jinzai — a good idea) and their families (who will also be allowed to work; wow, that’s a change!), will have a points system for evaluation (another good idea), will offer longer visa periods (5 years), and will loosen the specificity between work visas.  It’s being touted as a means to make Japan more appealing to NJ labor (you had better!).

    Sounds like a step in the right direction.  But it’s still 中途半端.  What’s missing is GOJ guaranteeing some degree of protection of labor and civil rights after NJ get here.  And what about qualifications?  Just try practicing law, medicine, or most other licensed skills in Japan now without going through the rigmarole of domestic certification, with walls so high (cf. the NJ nurses from Indonesia and The Philippines over the past few years) that almost all NJ applicants fail (and, magically, have to return home as usual after three years, just like any other revolving-door “Trainee” or “Researcher” NJ laborer).

    This isn’t the first time a points system etc. has been floated (only to die the death of a thousand meddling bureaucrats) either.  I guess the mandarins are realizing what a fix Japan is in without NJ labor.  But if this kind of policy is going to happen at all, the almighty MOJ has to be the one proposing it.  Then perhaps the waters will part for Moses.  Let’s wait and see.

    But this is on balance “good” news.  But not “great” news unless the GOJ also does something to force domestic actors to treat NJ nicely.  Which is doubtful.  Arudou Debito


    産經新聞 2011.5.25 01:30, Courtesy of KG













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    Posted in Good News, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Labor issues, Unsustainable Japanese Society, 日本語 | 12 Comments »

    NCN: Stunning revelation from former prosecutor on the real situation of initial training, “We were taught that yakuza and foreigners have no rights”

    Posted on Thursday, May 26th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
    UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog.  Dovetailing with yesterday’s post regarding two Japanese who were finally declared innocent 44 years after being suspected, then convicted, of a crime (spending 30 years behind bars for it), here’s why Japan’s criminal justice system is particularly dangerous when it comes to non-Japanese.

    Niconico News cites a former prosecutor who said his training was to deny human rights to organized crime members and foreign suspects.

    Level3, Mark in Yayoi, and Sora amend an original translation, featured below.  More commentary follows the translation:


    Stunning revelation from former prosecutor on the real situation of initial training, “We were taught that yakuza and foreigners have no rights”

    Niconico News, May 23, 2011 (updated May 31, 2011)

    The chief prosecutor in the Saga City Agricultural Co-op case, now known to be a frame-up, spoke at a symposium held in Tokyo on May 23, 2011, offering a revealing discussion of the surprising reality of the training he received when he joined his department.  “We were taught that yakuza and foreigners have no human rights,” he disclosed, and “public prosecutors were taught to make up confessions and then have suspects sign them.” Describing how terrifying this warped training system is, he added that “after being trained in that way, [he] began to almost believe that this was natural.”

    The person making the statements about his erstwhile workplace was former public prosecutor Hiroshi Ichikawa.  Appointed to handle the 2000 Saga City Agricultural Co-op case, he coerced a confession from the former union leader that he was interrogating, using violent language such as “Bastard! I’ll kill you!” The union leader had been indicted on suspicion breach of trust.  His confession was deemed not to have been voluntary, and he was acquitted. As a result, Mr. Ichikawa was severely reprimanded and resigned his post as public prosecutor.

    Mr. Ichikawa took the podium as a panelist at the symposium
    “Prosecution, Public Opinion, and False Convictions,” sponsored by the Graduate School of Communications at Meiji University.  “I have done things that no public prosecutor should do,” he said.  “I want to tell the truth about how it is that a prosecutor could say such things.”  This was a shocking statement.

    Mr. Ichikawa was appointed to the Yokohama District Public Prosecutor’s Office in 1993.  He said that in his first year, a superior prosecutor taught him that “yakuza and foreigners have no human rights.” Describing his experiences, he mentioned that that superior said, “Foreigners don’t understand Japanese, so you can use whatever threatening language you like if it’s in Japanese.”  The same superior also said that when investigating one foreign suspect, he held a pointed awl in front of the suspect’s face and shouted abuse at the suspect in Japanese. “‘That’s how you get them to confess,’ the superior said.”

    In his third year, a superior taught him how to obtain a confession; this consisted of the prosecutor taking a document filled with whatever the prosecutor chose to say, threatening the suspect with it, and obtaining the suspect’s signature. What if the suspect refused to sign?  “If the suspect resisted, my boss said, I should say that the document was my [investigation], not his [confession form],” said Mr. Ichikawa.

    “As I continued to be educated this way, I began to think that these methods were natural.  By my eighth year, I was saying things I definitely shouldn’t have; the [Saga] case resulted in an acquittal, and I ended up quitting.”

    Mr. Ichikawa quit his post in 2005 and is currently practicing as an attorney. On May 22, the day before the symposium, he drew attention by offering a televised apology to the family of the union head that he had verbally mistreated, appearing on the TV Asahi program “The Scoop – Special”.  This Meiji University symposium was also broadcast on Nico Nico Douga, where Mr. Ichikawa explained why he made these statements in public: “I think it is my role now to tell about what I have seen and heard in order to atone for the terrible mistakes I have made.”


    COMMENT:  Good that this came out, and bravo for Mr. Ichikawa.  Mark in Yayoi offers the best comment by looking at the Twitter reactions to this article (also reproduced below), where a number of posters sought to justify the status quo.  In Mark’s words:

    “The Twitter comments that follow it are dispiriting — nobody seems to notice the fundamental incongruousness of discussing members of a criminal organization and people who happen to have different nationalities in the same breath. And then there are the other commenters who support the idea of certain people not having human rights. Others claim that foreign embassies should be the ones to guarantee the rights of immigrants. They miss the fundamental meaning of ‘human’ rights: rights are inherent aren’t handed down by the government! The government can restrict certain people’s rights, but the default state is not ‘zero rights’.”

    That is very insightful about the public awareness and understanding of human rights in Japan, including at the highest levels of law enforcement.  Bear this in mind in future discussions.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo.



    「ヤクザと外国人に人権はないと教えられた」 元検事が暴露した驚くべき「新人教育」の実態
    NCN 2011年5月23日(月), courtesy lots of people, but especially Fucked Gaijin

    市川寛氏(元検事) 冤罪事件として知られる佐賀市農協事件に関与した元主任検事が2011年5月23日、東京都内で開かれたシンポジウムに出演し、検察内部の驚くべき新人教育の実態を生々しく語った。「ヤクザと外国人に人権はないと教えられた」「検事が勝手に自白をしゃべって、それを被疑者に署名させるよう指導された」と過去の経験を暴露したうえで、「このような教育を受ける間にそれが当たり前だとなかば思うようになる」と、ゆがんだ教育の恐ろしさを語った。






    2005年に検事をやめ、現在は弁護士として活動している市川氏。シンポジウムの前日の22日には、テレビ朝日系の報道番組「ザ・スクープ スペシャル」で、かつて暴言を吐いた元組合長の家族に謝罪する様子が放映され、話題を呼んだ。ニコニコ動画でも中継された明大のシンポジウムでは「大変な過ちを犯したつぐないとして、私が見てきたことや聞いてきたことを伝えていくのが、私の役割ではないかと考えた」と、公の場で証言した理由を述べた。

    [ニコニコニュース]記事内の元検事・市川寛氏による発言 全文書き起こし(1)
    [ニコニコニュース]記事内の元検事・市川寛氏による発言 全文書き起こし(2)
    [ニコニコ生放送]元検事・市川寛氏の「新人教育」実態暴露から視聴 – 会員登録が必要




    • @Engravingkira02売国奴と糞チョンに人権はないの間違いじゃなくて?
    • @WH04HLいつの間にこんなフォーラムやってたんだ、と思ったら情コミか。法学部にもアナウンスしてくれたら見に行ったのに・・・
    • @lenawashこういうことが正々堂々と行われてる中でよく死刑を認められるんだね。
    • productまあヤクザに人権はいらないなw
    • @riagyoちから と かね が すべてです それ いがいは なんの いみも ありません
    • @wkwk2500今さら何しても免罪符にはならない。先輩がどうとか関係無いですから。
    • @help_99最初から色眼鏡か?
    • @rietmm「外国人って行っても特定の国だろうなwww」今はそうかもしれんが昔はなぁ
    • @than25先輩にこういう価値観を植え付けられたのでこうなりました?それでいいと思ってるの?元々そういう人間だとしか思えん…
    • @yuki_takamori正論ではどうにもならないことがある。この元検事の意見は正しいし間違いだ。
    • @hoshimorisubaru犯罪者の国籍見たら外国人にむかつくのは分かる。犯罪者の人権を擁護しようとする議論に持っていこうとするのはどうなんだろうか。
    • @babanred外国人って行っても特定の国だろうなwww
    • @hakutyuumu検察ってこわいな。
    • @kakusanheiki外国人犯罪が多いなか鵜呑みにする人間がいるの?そっちのほうが怖いんだけど。因みに日本で起きてる事件の8割が外人関与
    • @hirossann1行政の人に知り合いがいるんだが、その人によると行政から見れば警察は『たかり』だと言っていたのを思い出した。
    • @harudrr66他人に迷惑をかけていてそれに気が付いていない人間に人権を与える必要があるのか。
    • @Angelan_HKこの国の刑法や、他人の人権を守れない人間は、人権あるない以前に、普通に犯罪者だから。
    • @milk_mia極論過ぎるけどそういう認識も間違ってはいないでしょ、リスクの統計取れば、そう身構える割合高くなるだろうしね。
    • @lm767この手の記事が新聞に載る日は来るだろうか?
    • @akisugarはいはい。実際には外国人(の多くを占める東アジア出身者)の人権は過剰に保護されてるけどね。日本人よりもね。
    • @johan1414g893に人権なんて与えたくない、日本に害のある外人(日本人になりすましてる奴らも)にも日本国内での人権なんてやる必要ない。
    • @absent_mindedneやくざに人権が必要だっていうの?
    • @OPUSKENヤクザと外国人(シナ、朝鮮人)に人権が無いのは当たり前
    • @fullbocco_bokkoいや、その教えは正しい。ただし「冤罪でない」という一言が入る
    • @hibiiikagenいや、ヤクザに関しては本当に人権が無くていい
    • @samxxchihまぁ、人権以前に、日本語普通にできる外国人としてその先輩と上司が言ってることは喧嘩売ってるしか思えないなヽ(`⌒´♯)ノ
    • @alan_mai外国人は極論だと思うけど893に人権はないには大賛成!
    • @nagamatsu88市川さんの言ってることもわかるけど「ヤクザと外国人に人権はない」とまでは言わないがそれに近い考え方はありと思う!駄目?!
    • @yukianpanまあ外人だからって甘くみるのは間違っている
    • @ninjajournalistよくカミングアウトしたなー。それにしても検察は恐ろしい。
    • @SANNGATUUSAGINO昨日から、TLに検察の文字が並んでいたのはこのことなのね。RT@shinichiroinaba……。
    • @mo198112ヤクザにはなくていいな。 RT @shinichiroinaba: ……。
    • @shinichiroinaba……。
    • @syokenngorosiこの発言をする勇気はすごいと思うが、外人はともかくヤクザは罵倒してもいいとおもうが。
    • @Gabicyouワーオ!RT@unbalance_x @yuuzarmeiがリツイート「ヤクザと外国人に人権はないと教えられた」 元検事が暴露した驚くべき「新人教育」の実態 一般市民でもそう思ってる奴は多そうである。
    • @FPS5不法外国人と罪人の人権が著しく制限されるのは当然のことだろ
    • @gallu検察屋さんの面目躍如 B-p :
    • @tomystina日本国に属しない者(母国に利する者)や反社会的勢力に温情を持って対応しろと教育されてる方が逆に怖いだろ。基本はかくあるべし
    • @Meilin23外国人だからといって甘く見るような流れになるのはいかがなものか。犯罪をしに来日する輩もいないわけではないしな。
    • @Miki_Jonnyとりあえずこの人は電車で移動したり人の多いエスカレーターに乗らないほうが良いだろうな
    • @hottokokoa1027そういうのを暴露して改善していこうとする人がいるのがいいことだと思う。
    • @myossy5「犯罪を犯した」を最初に付けるのなら、それでいいじゃない。人権を盾に居直る連中だっているんだから。
    • @yao_tomi小佐古さん(元内閣官房参与)もそうだったけど、ドロップアウトした後の内部告発って威力あるよな。この方には期待してます。
    • @Trapiche何を今更といった印象。
    • @tolyicこいつは自衛の為に責任転嫁してるだけ。こんな事で検事が委縮して外人被疑者に配慮しなきゃいけない風潮になれば冤罪以上に恐い
    • @tolyicその上で行き過ぎや間違いがあれば今回のようにきちんと責任を取らされる社会にしていけば良い
    • @tolyicこういう仕事が何のために存在するのか、犯罪者を野放しにせず善良な市民を守る為。そこが何より優先されるべき
    • @nananananasi警察や政治家と深く繋がりがある代表例がヤクザと朝鮮系の在日なわけで。警察のバック=公明=創価=朝鮮
    • @solar_grass89人権の話はおいといて「検事が勝手に自白をしゃべって、それを被疑者に署名させるよう指導された」こっちの方が問題では?
    • @b7af213b非国民としてまとめて扱うのは正しい 人種差別は良くないからな
    • @UMAnoHONEnicoヤクザは、ともかく外人は極論だろ・・・、たしかに問題のある外国人も多いけどさ(‘A`)
    • @Bleed_Kagaだいたいの893は在日中国・朝鮮人。犯罪をする外国人は中国or朝鮮人。あとは・・・わかるな?
    • @taka_19682002俺も大した事を呟いていないが、ここはUstで見た呟きと大分色が異なる。
    • @drkinokoru家畜に神はいない!を連想する名セリフだな…。検察改革というか一度潰して作り直さなければだめなんじゃないかとすら思う。
    • @annwfn666893に人権がないのは当然だが、さすがに外国人と一括りにするのはどうかと
    • @Meisou_AKつぶやきの履歴も見れるんだけど、コメントの6割方を見てると程度の低さに頭が痛くなる。
    • @fuzita2003スパイ訓練されている特亜人に普通の事情聴取するほうがおかしいと思うけどね?暴露した理由が想像できる
    • @dd182…まあ、少なくとも『日本人』では無い事は確か。…別の見方をすれば、そのくらいの気迫で挑まないとだめという事だ。
    • @kakusanheikiなんか自分を解雇した検事に対する復讐にしか見えない。こいつの眼を見てまともだと思うならおかしい。蹴ったりしないよ。机蹴る
    • @kakusanheiki生放送見てきたが・・・こいつ程度で怖いとか言う人間はマルボウにであったら死んじゃうんだるな
    • @SENKICHI71これは生々しいし怖い話。市川氏の勇気ある発言を見よ。
    • @mushokuchuunenヤクザには当然人権はないでしょ?不良外国人も同様です。
    • @sunakuzira999こういう事もあるのか
    • @ilovejpn1941犯罪者の人権は法で保護されてるのに被害者の人権は保護されないのはおかしい。
    • @tomox_ht「こういうやつがいるから日本が差別の国に」って間違ってはいないが果たしてあっているのだろうか
    • @moritania2009そりゃヤクザは既に犯罪者だし(でもなぜか存在する)、人権はその国の政府が国民に保証してるものだから、外国人はまた別だしな。
    • @ossannzzヤメ検の言う事も当てにはならんけどな
    • @Death13Zaitsev悪い事してる奴はゆるせんがみんな同じ人間なんだけどな
    • @masaki_ntamパスポート見るといいよ。自分たちが外国で自分たちの安全を保障してくれているのは日本の外務省の圧力だよ
    • @masaki_ntam外国人の人権を日本人が守ってやる必要はない。その国の外務省が圧力で保障するべきモノ。
    • @kanenooto7248これも現実の話。
    • @RICHIPPOだろうね。一朝一夕で捜査機関のこんな体質が出来上がるわけがない。そういうことは思ってもいいが言ってはいけない。
    • @moringo1988なるほど、裁判官だけでなく検察官すら公正とは程遠かったわけか・・・。それを知るのに23年かかるとは思わなかったよ。
    • @Nmdmnヤクザと外国人に人権はない。正解
    • @kakusanheiki信じてる奴ってなんなの?自分こいつにすごまれてビビルと思う?気持ち悪くはあるがビビラないだろ人選ミス
    • @nullpo8NETの情報管制と検察叩きはリンクしてます。 何より怪しげな証言だけで弾圧する姿勢はおかしい。
    • @mattareコメント履歴とか見てて思うのは「裁判受ける権利」も人権だからな、と。
    • @jone_uytoいや当たり前なんだが・・・
    • @YoU_verTwまー。そんなもんやろ
    • @han_org変わってないなあ。70年代に警察の内部資料でそういうのが表面化したことがあったけど…。 /
    • @tazuna9これを聞いてもさして驚かない自分がいる。ネットが今ほど普及する以前なら「また左翼の妄言か」と一笑に付してたんだろうな・・・
    • @LIQUITEX2245こいつの言ってる事が本当かどうかは怪しいけどね
    • @kakusanheiki8年目のとき、自ら絶対にあってはならない暴言をはき、事件が無罪になり、辞職することになった。はい、ここ注目
    • @kakusanheikiよく考えナ。外国人がだよ。こいつに脅されて恐れると思う?どうせ馬鹿にされ発狂して解雇されたから復讐に検事潰そうとしてるだけ
    • @5hingo891外国人云々は取って付けたんだろう。てかこいつなんか変な宗教に染まってそうな顔つきだな
    • @yossikawこれが日本です
    • @kojiprohairitaiこんなのがホントにあるのか。アホすぎる。
    • @applebingo0710この教育ははたしてあっているのだろうか
    • @zako2kai検事「容疑者様本当の事をおっしゃって頂けませんか?」外国人はともかく犯罪の疑いがある人には、それなりの態度で臨むべきでは?
    • @cyber_omame思想が差別の多かった戦中と変わらないなと思ったら顔のタイプも古かった。
    • @anabisuよくやってる手口だよな、悪質な人権侵害だとTV等では言いつつも決して法的手段には出ないという本当に遭ったなら訴えろよ
    • @deltastyleその教育自体もはや「正義」じゃないどころか罪があるかないかも定かではない人間に脅迫染みた自白をさせる「悪」の組織だな。
    • @pomspomヤクザはともかく外国人には人権がある。ただし参政権は全く別の話しだけどね。
    • @anabisuこいつは謝罪をするのに何故TVで報道されながらやったんだ?本当に詫びるつもりだったならメディアなんか要らないはずだよな
    • @sayokusinjaこんな連中がいるから日本が差別国と叩かれるんだ、正しい国に戻るまで断固たたかう
    • @yuel_え?当たり前のことじゃない?
    • @phycho_break犯罪者の人権が被害者の人権より優遇されていいはずがない。 でも、歪んだ形での正義は冤罪を誘発するだろうね。
    • @whiteboxtest「韓国の国会議員3人北方領土入り」日本政府は何してるんだ?侵略行為受けて守りもできないとは。外国人保護法だ?ふざけるな
    • @unbalance_x「ヤクザと外国人に人権はないと教えられた」 元検事が暴露した驚くべき「新人教育」の実態 一般市民でもそう思ってる奴は多そうである。
    • @watanabe0221関連ツイートがまた極端だなあ・・・犯罪者にだって人権はある。ただ、被害者より加害者の権利が優先されて良い訳は無い。
    • @nyanyaaaaaaan犯罪者に人権が無いのは理解できなくないけどこんな教え方じゃそりゃ冤罪とかも発生するわ。
    • @furisker僕は10年前から公安警察に人権を踏みにじられています。「人権侵害日記」で検索
    • @bullz1213犯罪起こしたなら日本人だろうが外国人だろうが人権なんてあるわけない。至極もっともな意見だと思うけど、この人は何をいってるのENDS


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    Posted in Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Bad Social Science, Human Rights, Injustice, Japanese police/Foreign crime, 日本語 | 20 Comments »

    Mainichi: “Industries left short-handed after NJ workers flee Japan following nuke accident”

    Posted on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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    Hi Blog.  Here’s another article tying together more pinpoint data of NJ leaving Japan, with a focus on Chinese.  Spare a tear for those poor, poor Japanese industries who took advantage of so many cheap temporary NJ workers, and are now crying because the NJ aren’t sticking around to be potentially irradiated as well as exploited.  Arudou Debito


    Industries left short-handed after foreign workers flee Japan following nuke accident
    (Mainichi Japan) April 25, 2011, courtesy of MS

    Tens of thousands of worried foreign workers left Japan shortly after a crisis at the nuclear power plant that was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, causing serious labor shortages in some industries.

    After foreign governments lifted their temporary evacuation advisories issued in the wake of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, many Americans and Europeans started coming back to Japan, albeit gradually. But workers from neighboring countries such as China have yet to do so.

    Chinese people in particular — mostly students and trainees — had occupied key parts of the workforce in many Japanese industries, and therefore if they continue to stay out of Japan for an extended period of time, they could have a grave impact on the industries and force firms to review their business strategies or cut production.

    “We are closed for a while,” said a notice written in rather awkward Japanese pasted on the shutter door of a Chinese restaurant slightly away form the main street of Yokohama Chinatown, the biggest Chinese quarter in Japan.

    According to the cooperative association of shop owners in Chinatown, of the total of 2,500 people working there, about 300 of them, mainly part-time workers and students from China, returned to their country. As a result, about 10 out of some 320 stores, including souvenir shops, had to suspend their business operations.

    The number of visitors to Chinatown at present accounts for about 80 percent of figures before the disaster, according to Kensei Hayashi, head of the cooperative association. There are shops that have enough labor to conduct business now, but they are stretched. While Chinatown hopes to see more people visiting the quarter the way they used to, there are growing concerns that an acute labor shortage could hit the town hard.

    At Yoshinoya, a major beef bowl restaurant chain in Japan, about 200 foreign part-time workers including Chinese students, or about one-fourth of the total number of such workers in the Tokyo metropolitan area, quit their jobs in the first week after the March 11 disaster. The restaurant chain has managed to continue to operate by sending its employees to the shops from stores in other areas and hiring new workers.

    Lawson, a major convenience store chain in Japan, also saw a number of foreign students quitting their part-time jobs at its stores in central Tokyo, but it has managed to keep its stores open by dispatching employees from headquarters. One Chinese person who had been set to work for Lawson from spring turned down the job offer.

    A large number of foreign companies operating in Japan urged their employees to evacuate to areas outside Tokyo or abroad in the wake of the nuclear disaster. But some signs are emerging now that the situation is subsiding. Those companies that moved their offices to the Kansai region or elsewhere temporarily have started moving their offices back to Tokyo.

    At Berlitz, a major English conversation school in Japan, the number of foreign instructors dropped by 30 to 40 percent immediately after the earthquake, but it has come back to about 90 percent of the total workforce it had before the disaster.

    In the case of Chinese workers, many of them are students or trainees, and therefore it is often difficult for them to secure enough money to return to Japan. There are cases of “worrisome parents not letting them return to the country,” said a Chinese resident of Japan. Such being the case, it is unlikely that they will return to their workplaces in Japan anytime soon.

    Japan’s sewing industry, which had accepted more than 40,000 trainees from China, saw them returning to their country in droves in the wake of the nuclear crisis. The Japan Textile Federation says about 30,000 Chinese trainees remain in their home country. Each company in the industry is required to keep the number of Chinese trainees below about 20 percent of its total workforce, but if the current situation were to continue, the industry as a whole would likely be forced to cut production drastically.

    If the sewing industry were to fall into stagnation, the entire textile industry, including clothing, yarn and dyeing sectors, would suffer serious damage. “While production is being shifted abroad, the domestic industry in Japan has been able to survive by making high-quality and high-value-added products. But the industry could fall apart due to the earthquake disaster and the nuclear accident,” says the Japan Textile Federation.


    Original Japanese story
    原発事故:戻らぬ中国人労働者 縫製業は減産も









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    Posted in Ironies & Hypocrisies, Labor issues, Media, Unsustainable Japanese Society, 日本語 | 17 Comments »

    Nikkei reports on the effect of “nihon saru gaikokujin”, aka Fly-jin, with some pretty shaky journalistic practices

    Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
    UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog.  Here’s yet another article from a more reputable source, the Nihon Keizai Shinbun, talking about the phenomenon of NJ allegedly leaving Japan behind and having an adverse effect on Japan’s economy.

    For the record, I don’t doubt that NJ have left Japan due to the Tohoku Disasters.  I just have my doubts that a) it’s any more significant than the Japanese who also left, yet get less nasty media coverage (I have yet to see an article comparing both J and NJ “flight” in terms of numbers), b) it’s worth blaming NJ for leaving, since Japanese overseas would probably do much the same if advised to do so by their government in the face of a disaster, and c) the media is actually doing their job investigating sources to nail down the exact statistics.  Let’s see how the Nikkei does below:

    Some bogus journalistic practices unbecoming of something as trusted as the Nikkei, to wit:

    1. Providing a generic photo of people drinking at a Tokyo izakaya and claiming that they’re talking about repatriating NJ (that’s quite simply yarase).
    2. Providing a chart of annual numbers (where the total numbers of NJ dropped in 2009 in part due to the GOJ bribing unemployed Brazilian workers to leave), which is unrelated to the Tohoku Disasters.
    3. Relying on piecemeal sources (cobbling numbers together from Xinhua, some part-timer food chains, an eikaiwa, a prefectural employment agency for “Trainee” slave labor, and other pinpoint sources) that do not necessarily add up to a trend or a total.
    4. Finishing their sentences with the great linguistic hedgers, extrapolators, and speculators (in place of harder sources), including  “…to mirareru“, “… sou da“, “there are cases of…” etc.  All are great indicators that the article is running on fumes in terms of data.
    5. Portraying Japanese companies as victimized by deserting NJ workers, rather than observing that NJ thus far, to say the least, have helped Japan avoid its labor shortage (how about a more positive, grateful tone towards NJ labor?, is what I’m asking for).
    6. And as always, not comparing their numbers with numbers of Japanese exiting.  Although the article avoids the more hectoring tone of other sources I’ve listed on, it still makes it seems like the putative Great Flyjin Exodus is leaving Japan high and dry.  No mention of course in the article of how many of these NJ might also be leaving Japan because they have no stake in it, i.e. are stuck in a dead-end or part-time job with no hope of promotion, advancement, or leadership within their corporate sector.

    Once again, it’s pretty flawed social science.  The Nikkei could, and should, do better, and if even the Nikkei of all media venues can’t, that says something bad about Japanese journalism when dealing with ethnic issues.  Read the article for yourself.  Arudou Debito


    日本去る外国人労働者 原発事故を懸念
    人手不足が問題に 外食やITなど幅広い業種
    日本経済新聞 2011/4/9 22:39, courtesy of YK;at=DGXZZO0195164008122009000000 (free registry)















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    Posted in Bad Social Science, Labor issues, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment, Unsustainable Japanese Society, 日本語 | 16 Comments »

    Fukushima Japanese refused service at hotels etc., plus famous excluder/embezzler Toyoko Inn up to old tricks; requires guests unlawfully sign waivers just to stay

    Posted on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
    UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog.  Two articles of note for today.  One is from the Yomiuri about the Toyoko Inn, that hotel with a history of not only embezzling monies earmarked for Barrier-Free facilities for handicapped clients, but also wantonly racially profiling and unlawfully refusing entry to NJ clients.  Less than a week after the Tohoku Disasters, the Yomiuri reports, Toyoko Inns in Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, and Ibaraki Prefectures were requiring customers to sign waiver contracts, absolving Toyoko of any responsibility should disaster strike.  No signature means you couldn’t get accommodation, which is under the Hotel Management Law (and the Consumer Contract Law, mentioned below), unlawful.  What a piece of work Toyoko Inn is.  Again, hotels doing things like this deserve to be boycotted for bad business practices.

    (One more article after this one.)



    読売新聞2011年3月18日 Courtesy MS







    Then there are the knee-jerk hotels in Japan who go into spasm to deny service whenever possible.  If it’s the case of NJ guests (27% of Japanese hotels surveyed, according to a 2008 GOJ survey, indicated they want no NJ guests at all), things get even more spastic:  Either a) they Japanese hotels get deputized by the NPA to racially profile their clients, refusing foreign-looking people entry if they don’t show legally-unnecessary ID, or b) they put signs up to refuse NJ clients entry because they feel they “can’t offer sufficient service” (seriously), or c) they refuse NJ because of whatever “safety issue” they can dredge up, including the threat of theft and terrorism, or even d) they get promoted by government tourist agencies despite unlawfully having exclusionary policies.  What a mess Japan’s hotel industry is.

    As for Japanese guests?  Not always better.  Here’s the latest mutation:  The Yomiuri reports places are refusing Japanese people too from irradiated Fukushima Prefecture because they think they might be glowing:



    読売新聞2011年4月9日 Courtesy ADW





    (2011年4月9日09時14分 読売新聞)


    As the article lays out, it’s not just a hotel (although hotels have a particular responsibility, even under the law, to offer refuge and rest to the paying public).  A gas station reportedly had a sign up refusing Fukushima Kenmin (they must think Fukushimans spark!), while complaints came in to official soudan madoguchi that a restaurant refused Fukushimans entry and someone had his car defaced.  In all, 162 complaints reportedly came in regarding fuhyou higai, or roughly “damages due to disreputation” of being tarred by the disasters.  Now that’s an interesting word for a nasty phenomenon.

    Good news is that these problems are at least being reported in the media as a social problem, and Fukushima Prefecture is asking the national government to address them.  Let’s hope the GOJ takes measures to protect Fukushima from further exposure to “fuhyou” and discrimination.  Might be a template for getting the same for NJ.

    (Okay, probably not, but it’s still the right thing to do.)  Arudou Debito

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    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", Anti-discrimination templates/meetings, Bad Business Practices, Exclusionism, Human Rights, Japanese Government, Shoe on the Other Foot Dept., 日本語 | 12 Comments »

    More J media regarding NJ within earthquake-stricken Japan: Rumors of “Foreign Crime Gangs”; rapes and muggings, while tabloids headline “all NJ have flown Japan” etc.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in JapansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumbUPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog. As promised, here we have a record of how domestic media is either reporting on nasty rumors denigrating NJ, or circulating those nasty rumors themselves. The GOJ is taking measures to quell the clacking keyboards, but the tabloids (roundly decried for spreading exaggerated information overseas about the state of radioactivity from Fukushima) are still selling papers by targeting NJ regardless.

    (There’s a lot of text in Japanese below; keep paging down. Brief comments in English sandwiched between.)

    First, the Asahi and Sankei report “dema” swirling about saying that foreigners are forming criminal gangs (echoes of 1923’s rumored Korean well poisonings, which lead to massacres), and carrying out muggings and rapes. Yet Sankei (yes, even the Sankei) publishes that there hasn’t been a single reported case (glad they’re setting the record straight):


    朝日新聞 2011年3月26日9時21分
    All articles courtesy of MS



    「流言飛語」被災地で深刻化 デマがニュースで報じられる例も
    2011.4.1 22:03 産經新聞

    The GOJ is also playing a part in quelling and deleting internet rumors, thank goodness:

    総務省の「デマ削除要請」 「言論統制」というデマに? 2011/4/7





    ネット狙い撃ち? 総務省の「流言飛語」削除要請 2011年4月7日(木) 15時02分


    Still, that doesn’t stop other media from headlining other (and still nasty) rumors about how (bad) NJ are heading south towards Tokyo (soon rendering Ueno into a lawless zone).  Or that NJ are all just getting the hell out:

    (SPA Magazine Issue dated April 12, 2011)

    (Nikkan Gendai April 11, 2011)

    Despite the (uncriticizing) domestic reports of Japanese also leaving Tokyo?


    疎開家族でホテル満室 「休みたい」首都圏離れ

    産經新聞 2011.3.19 15:39, Courtesy MD






    Would NJ going to a hotel in another city have been okay then?  Or is the problem an assumption that NJ are allegedly more likely to flee, and fly overseas at that?

    Fellow Blogger Hoofin has made an attempt to mathematically debunk this alleged phenomenon of “Fly-Jin”, noting that the NJ to coin this phrase has since commented with a bit of regret at being the butterfly flapping his wings and setting this rhetorical shitstorm in motion (much like GOJ shill Robert Angel regretting ever coining the word “Japan bashing”).  We have enough anti-NJ rhetorical tendencies in Japan without the NJ community contributing, thank you very much.

    Besides (as other Readers have pointed out), if the shoe was on the other foot, do you think Japanese citizens living overseas would refuse to consider repatriating themselves out of a stricken disaster area (and do you think the media of that stricken country would zero in on them with the same nasty verve?).

    Meanwhile, xenophobic websites continue to rail and rant against NJ, since hate speech in Japan is not an illegal activity: Here’s but one example (which has escaped the notice of the GOJ as yet, calling for the execution of foreign criminals and throwing their bodies into the sea etc.); I’m sure Readers can find more and post them in the Comments Section below:

    2011/03/20, courtesy TG
    【S.O.S!!】 日本のマスメディアが故意に報道しない真実 “外国人犯罪” 『被災地でレイプ・強盗・窃盗が多発!!』 東日本大震災で何が起こっているのか?【被災者にとっては、生き残ってからが「本当のサバイバル」!!】 ええぇ?!『日本の国会議員なのに、93人が外人?!』 今こそ、すべての日本人は危機感を共有すべき!! 追記:「続々々 福島第一原発で何が起こっているのか?」


    People always need someone to blame or speak ill of, I guess.  I’ll talk more soon about how Japanese from Fukushima are also being targeted for exclusion.  However, it seems that hate speech directed towards NJ is less “discriminate”, so to speak — in that it doesn’t matter where you came from, how long you’ve been here, or what you’re doing or have done for Japan; if you’re foreign in Japan, you’re in a weakened position, suspect and potentially subversive.

    As long as one can anonymously bad-mouth other people in billets and online, one can get away with this.  Again, this is why we have laws against hate speech in other countries — to stem these nasty tendencies found in every society.  Arudou Debito

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    Posted in Bad Business Practices, Bad Social Science, Cultural Issue, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Human Rights, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Media, 日本語 | 19 Comments »

    Wall Street Journal joins in bashing alleged NJ “fly-jin exodus”: “Expatriates tiptoe back to the office”

    Posted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in JapansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumbUPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog.  Here we have the Wall Street Journal joining in the NJ bashfest, publicizing the word “flyjin” for the Japanese market too (making one question the claim that the pejorative is restricted to the English-language market).  Gotta love the Narita airport photo within that is deftly timed to make it seem as if it’s mostly NJ fleeing.   “Good-natured hazing” is how one investment banker puts it below, making one wonder if he knows what hazing means.  Anyway, here’s another non-good-natured article about how the aftershocks of the earthquake are affecting NJ.  Arudou Debito


    Wall Street Journal March 23, 2011

    Expatriates Tiptoe Back to the Office


    TOKYO—Life in Japan is showing tentative signs of returning to normal, but a fresh challenge may be facing the expatriates and Japanese who left and are now trickling back to their offices: how to cope with ostracism and anger from their colleagues who have worked through the crisis.

    One foreigner, a fluent Japanese speaker at a large Japanese company, said that his Japanese manager and colleagues were “furious” with him for moving to Osaka for three days last week and that he felt he was going to have to be very careful to avoid being ostracized upon returning to work in Tokyo.

    Survivors’ Stories

    Japan Quake’s Effects

    See a map of post-earthquake and tsunami events in Japan, Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast.

    The flight of the foreigners—known as gaijin in Japanese—has polarized some offices in Tokyo. Last week, departures from Japan reached a fever pitch after the U.S. Embassy unveiled a voluntary evacuation notice and sent in planes to ferry Americans to safe havens. In the exodus, a new term was coined for foreigners fleeing Japan: flyjin.

    The expat employees’ decision to leave is a sensitive cultural issue in a country known for its legions of “salarymen”: loyal Japanese employees whose lives revolve around the office, who regularly work overtime and who have strong, emotional ties to their corporations and their colleagues.

    “There is a split between [the Japanese and foreigners] on where their allegiances lie. In Japan, the company and family are almost one and the same, whereas foreigners place family first and company second,” said Mark Pink, the founder of financial recruitment firm, based in Tokyo.

    The head of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, at a news conference Tuesday, expressed his disappointment that so many foreigners—from the U.S., France, the U.K., China and Hong Kong, among others—had been urged to leave the country by their governments and by worried families. Their flight was at least in part due to the more alarmist tones the foreign media took in coverage of the disaster, compared with the local news that emphasized how problems were being addressed.

    “Many countries arranged for planes to bring their people back home. In some embassies, they sent messages to their nationals in Japan that the situation is very dangerous, while at some companies, top executives have come to Japan to provide reassurance,” said Atsushi Saito, head of the TSE. “It may be part of TSE’s role to put down rumors and to transmit to foreign nations what a great country Japan is.”

    One expat in Tokyo, who runs his own small business, decided to go to London last week with a business partner. “It has been the right thing to do from a work-productivity point of view, as we have a big deadline to meet at the end of the month,” he said. “That said, I don’t feel very good about leaving and I’m sure people will perceive it as cowardly, and I won’t object to that.”

    European Pressphoto AgencyPassengers, among them foreign nationals, checking in for flights departing from Narita International Airport, near Tokyo, on Sunday.



    Those foreigners who return will find life in Tokyo is largely back to normal, with trains crowded during rush hour and men in suits packing restaurants during lunchtime in the city’s main financial district. But signs of disruption linger: Many shops close at 6 p.m. to conserve electricity and many stores are still out of basics such as milk and toilet paper.

    One foreign investment banker in Tokyo says he wasn’t surprised that so many employees left. “We don’t hire people into the financial industry to risk their lives—this is investment banking and we hire investment-banker types,” he said. “We are trying to avoid ostracism for those who come back—there is no upside in that—but there is good-natured hazing.”

    To be sure, most foreign senior-level managers leading teams in Tokyo stayed in the capital or relocated their entire offices to other locations in Japan, according to several managers interviewed Tuesday. In most cases, the expats who left are stay-at-home mothers, their children and those workers who don’t have staff reporting to them and can work remotely from Hong Kong and Singapore. Some Japanese, of course, also left Tokyo, though mainly women and children going home to their families in other parts of Japan, while their husbands stay in behind to work.

    “If I had left as the president, my role as a leader would have been diminished,” said Gerry Dorizas, the president of Volkswagen AG’s operations in Japan, who has been in that role four years. “We’ve been very transparent.”

    VW Japan has moved all its staff, including 12 expats and 130 Japanese staff and their families, to Toyohashi in Aichi prefecture.

    Boeing Co., which has operated in Japan for more than 50 years, says the majority of its 30-strong staff in Tokyo have remained, despite an offer to work in Nagoya, or for expats to take a home leave.

    Christine Wright, managing director of Hays in Tokyo, one of the country’s leading recruitment firms, said: “I saw no reason to leave; if you have a commitment to your staff, you stay there.”

    Some said the expats would likely find local colleagues to be more understanding than expected. They say a decade of deflation and economic hardship has changed the Japanese mindset. “I think the Japanese had more of the group mentality decades ago, but not so much now,” said Shin Tanaka, head of PR firm Fleishman Hillard’s operations in Japan. “I think most [Japanese] people are staying because they think there is little risk.”

    A Japanese employee at a foreign investment bank said he wasn’t bothered by the fact that some of his colleagues left last week. He felt the gap was narrowed by technology, anyway, allowing some who left to do their share. “It hasn’t really been a problem,” he said. “They’re working remotely out of other countries in Asia.”

    Still, the return of the “flyjin” to Tokyo and other areas of Japan will likely be an issue for management to grapple with one way or another in the coming weeks.

    “Most companies are trying to give some space to people on both sides to adjust: the people who feel they were abandoned and the foreigners who are coming back and feeling some initial tension,” said Mr. Pink. “Within a week or so that may resolve itself.”

    —Alison Tudor and Kana Inagaki contributed to this article.


    • 2011年 3月 23日  10:45 JST



    Bloomberg News成田空港でチェックインを待つ人たち(17日)

    避難する外国人(「外人」)が目立ったのは東京のオフィスだ。先週、米国大使館が自国民間人を他の安全なアジア地域に航空機で退避させるための準備を進めていると発表した後、日本出国が最高潮に達した。出国する外国人を表す”flyjin”(fly + gaijin)なる言葉まで登場した。














    記者: Mariko Sanchanta


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    Posted in Bad Social Science, Cultural Issue, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment, 日本語 | 18 Comments »

    Asahi Tensei Jingo (Vox Populi) Mar 20 offers ponderous column with gratuitous alienation of NJ

    Posted on Saturday, April 9th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in JapansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumbUPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog. Check out this Asahi Shinbun editorial (Japanese, then English), which offers an assessment of the victimization of Japan by 3/11, and insinuates that NJ in Japan are deserting us in our time of need:


    2011年3月20日(日)朝日新聞 天声人語

    Official English translation:

    VOX POPULI: Japanese survivors have nowhere to flee to
    Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a daily column that runs on Page 1 of the vernacular Asahi Shimbun.

    This past weekend, there were fewer foreigners than usual to be seen in Tokyo’s typically busy Ginza and Omotesando districts. Not just tourists from abroad scrambled to leave Japan, but also business travelers, students and reportedly even diplomats.

    While I am deeply grateful to people around the world for their moral and material support, I understand too well that rebuilding our country is ultimately the task of none but the Japanese.

    We haven’t yet got a total picture of the extent of damage wrought by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Elderly people continue to die at evacuation centers and hospitals. At the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, four reactors are taking turns in acting up.

    The megaquake occurred 10 days ago, but it is still tormenting its victims, having unleashed twin monsters of a gigantic tsunami and a nuclear crisis.

    On March 11, normal life fell apart in many ways, big and small. Rolling power outages have become routine in the Kanto region, where supermarket shelves are noticeably bare. Even in the Kansai region, which suffered no damage, people are reportedly hoarding gasoline and batteries. All over Japan, people are scared.

    In towns that have been reduced to rubble, survivors mourn their lost loved ones, hanging on to what they remember of them before the muddy tsunami waves claimed them.

    “You want to cry, but you can’t,” said a head nurse at a hospital. A survivor herself, she is risking her own life to save others.

    Time is irreversible, and I feel the pain of these people. I will stand by them in spirit as they face further hardship in the days to come.

    One week after the earthquake and tsunami, the Tokyo Sky Tree, now under construction in the capital’s Sumida Ward, reached its full height of 634 meters. When it surpassed Tokyo Tower in height a year ago, I noted in this column, “From that height, I would like to see Japan outgrow its introverted mentality and start moving again.”

    The starting line will have to be moved back considerably. But just as people experience a sudden surge of superhuman power when their backs are against the wall, the deeper our country is steeped in crisis, the greater our ability will be to rebound.

    Let us all believe that, and let us stand by our fellow citizens who survived the catastrophe. We have nowhere to go back to, except this country of ours, which we must rebuild again out of the rubble.

    –The Asahi Shimbun, March 20, 2011.  ENDS


    COMMENT:  Now, some may excuse this as a strained column created by a tired journalist during a time of great national stress.  But my point is that it’s interesting what stress brings out in influential public forums — in this case, a knee-jerk belief that NJ in particular (with the assumption that Japanese are constrained from fleeing themselves) are fleeing, not helping, and have no investment in this society.  How insulting, especially in light of how many NJ are also pitching in.  Also, the clear and nasty assertion that it’s only the Japanese who can rebuild Japan (made also by PM Kan in his speeches) seems not only callously ethnocentric, but also in error in light all the assistance Japan has been gratefully accepting from the world.

    Funny isn’t it?  We want NJ to come here, pay taxes, live under a legal regime that does not guarantee equal protection for extranationals under the law or protect against racial discrimination and hate speech, have them pick our strawberries and shovel our pig sties, and keep our strained labor markets cheap (while insinuating that they’re only here to profit off our rich society).  Yet as soon as disaster strikes — be it a financial crisis or a devastating earthquake — NJ are suspected as poisoners of the well (1923) or involved in criminal gangs (I’ll get to that in a later blog post), even offered tax monies for plane tickets home. Or, now in this case, decried as apparent deserters when they do leave.  Can’t win, can we?  Arudou Debito

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    Posted in Bad Social Science, Exclusionism, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Media, Tourism, 日本語 | 35 Comments »

    Tokyo Governor Election April 10 posts “expel the barbarians, Japan for the Japanese” openly xenophobic candidate

    Posted on Friday, April 8th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in JapansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumbUPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog. Let’s now start looking at some aspects of what appears to be a Post 3-11 Backlash against NJ. Let’s start with the Tokyo Governor’s Election, due April 10.

    We already have one overtly racist incumbent, Ishihara Shintaro, whom I’ve heard is alas the favorite to win, again. But also on the bill is this noticeably nasty candidate Furukawa Keigo, who advocates by his very slogan the expulsion of foreigners from his jurisdictions (pedants might counter that he’s only referring to Chinese and Koreans, but a) that doesn’t make it any better, and b) you think he’s only stopping there?).

    Here’s Furukawa’s public campaign announcement, put in every Tokyoite’s mailbox through public monies:

    Furukawa’s Campaign Video here:古川圭吾

    His profile page:

    Platform (from Campaign Video page, translation courtesy MS):
    Safeguard the capital. Safeguard Japan. Japan belongs to the Japanese people.

    Now more than ever, we should resolutely expel the foreign barbarians

    Eject foreigners from Tokyo.
    (By foreigners, I mean mainly Chinese (the pejorative “Shinajin” used for this) and north and south Koreans. In other words, the foreigners who are thought to be causing harm to Japan.)

    1. Change the law so that foreigners cannot purchase land in Tokyo-to.
    2. Absolutely opposed to voting rights for foreigners!!
    3. Ban the the use of officially recognized Japanese aliases used by so-called “Zainichi” Koreans.
    4. Make conversion of pachinko shop premiums into cash illegal
    5. Do not relocate the Tsukiji fish market
    6. Permit opening of casinos in Toyosu
    7. Continue with tuition-free high schooling. Abolish the school district system.
    8. No need for Tokyo to host the Olympic Games
    9. Merge Tokyo’s two subway corporations. Run the trains round the clock.
    10. Revize Metropolitan Tokyo’s Ordinance No. 128 (law controlling public morals)
    11. Provide more public housing
    12. Revise construction safety regulations in Tokyo.

    2.外国人参政権 絶対反対!!

    COMMENT:  Although diverse elections will always contain crank candidates (after all, they have to represent their portion of the crank public), a question to be raised is what kind of people (and electoral system) would allow a campaign advocating the expulsion of taxpayers who have lived here for generations? Submitter MS says poignantly, “I’m royally pissed at having my tax money used on a document published and distributed by Met Tokyo that bears a prominent advertisement by a right-wing wacko candidate that advocates my expulsion.”

    MS provides the mailing address of the office that oversees the gubernatorial election, FYI.

    Secretariat to Election Administration Commission
    (Senkyo Kanri Iinkai Jimukyoku)
    39th Floor, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building No. 1
    8-1, Nishi Shinjuku 2-chome
    Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-8001

    This issue is admittedly a bit tangental; these campaign stumps were probably written and submitted before 3-11, so they are but riding sentiments that were already lying latent before they could surf the current wave of public opinion. How well Furukawa does on April 10 is quite possibly a bellwether of how sentiment is turning anti-NJ (or not) in the face of the “Fly-Jin” or “Bye-Jin” pejoratives.

    More on how the J media has been bashing NJ as pseudo-deserters tomorrow. Arudou Debito

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    Posted in Bad Social Science, Exclusionism, Hate Speech and Xenophobia, Japanese Politics, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment, 日本語 | 30 Comments »

    Helpful information sites for NJ regarding disaster information

    Posted on Friday, March 18th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to JapanForeign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in JapansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumbUPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog.  Here are some multilingual sites that might be helpful to NJ regarding disaster prevention and relief.  This is by no means exhaustive. Readers, please feel free to add more sites below that you think might be helpful.  Arudou Debito

    Japanese Cabinet site on policies towards NJ residents (includes disaster information) (multilingual).

    Live Streaming of NHK-World in English

    EARTHQUAKE INFO for ENGLISH SPEAKERS in Japan 日本語がわからない方々のための英語の地震情報

    WHO site for Fukushima radiation information

    Tepco (Tokyo Electric) Twitter feed in Japanese

    Live Geiger Counter for Chiba (not always on-air; 0.16 is a normal reading)

    Live Geiger Counter for Tokyo (not always on-air)

    Contact numbers for European embassies in Japan

    For North, Central, and South American Embassies in Japan

    For Middle-Eastern embassies in Japan

    For African embassies in Japan

    Science Media Centre of Japan on Fukushima disaster (updated)

    Mutantfrog’s outstanding reportage on various matters

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    Posted in Practical advice, 日本語 | No Comments »

    Tokyo Gov Ishihara calls the tsunami “divine punishment” to wipe out the “egoism” of Japan. Need more evidence of his senility? Yet he’s running for election again.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

    IN APPROPRIATE, A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan, By ARUDOU Debito

    New novel IN APPROPRIATE by ARUDOU Debito

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    Hi Blog.  If you needed further evidence of already preternaturally-bigoted Tokyo Governor Ishihara’s creeping senility, get a load of this:


    The Japan Times Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Ishihara sorry for quake gaffe

    Kyodo News

    Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara apologized Tuesday for his remark that the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami last week represented “divine punishment” of the Japanese people who have been tainted with egoism.

    “I will take back (the remark) and offer a deep apology,” Ishihara said, adding that he should have thought about the feelings of the victims.

    Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai showed displeasure with Ishihara, telling reporters he hopes the Tokyo governor will consider the people affected by the disaster.

    “Japanese politics is tainted with egoism and populism. We need to use tsunami to wipe out egoism, which has rusted onto the mentality of Japanese over a long period of time,” Ishihara, who is seeking re-election for a fourth term on April 10, told reporters Monday. “I think (the disaster) is ‘tembatsu’ (divine punishment), although I feel sorry for disaster victims.”






    (2011年3月15日06時18分  読売新聞)


    COMMENT: This from a man who claimed in public a decade ago that foreigners in Japan would riot in the event of a natural disaster (er, such as this one?) and that the SDF should be deployed to round them up — and also questioned the kokutai loyalties of citizens who have foreign roots.  It seems this time, by issuing an unusual retraction (you think he’ll ever retract the foreigner riots claim now that it hasn’t happened?), he realized that this particular Senior Moment was going too far.

    But this old fool has long lost the mental software governing prudence befitting a person in high office.  For a milder (but concrete) example, check out this video, where Ishihara gets all snitty because he was trying to make another speech about how the world was not going the way he wants it (when asked to offer a few seconds of encouragement to runners in this year’s Tokyo Marathon on February 27). Watch to the very end where you hear him characteristically grumbling about being cut off mid-rant:


    (click on the link above to open video, courtesy Dave Spector)

    Yet, as you read above, this 78-year-old is running once again for the Tokyo Governorship!

    Some societies have a built-in conservative bent, but if the Tokyo electorate puts this decrepit bigoted coot back in office for yet another term, I will fear for the sanity of the Tokyo public.  We have mandatory retirement ages for Japanese bureaucrats.  We’ve even enforced them on some politicians (cf. former PMs Miyazawa and Nakasone, who were eliminated in 2003 despite re-election thanks to the LDP introducing an age limit of 73).  I think we should have them enforced in this case as well.  We need people who not only do not live in the past, but also live on this plane of existence.  Arudou Debito

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    Posted in Bad Social Science, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese Government, Japanese Politics, Unsustainable Japanese Society, 日本語 | 8 Comments »

    Kyodo: MOFA Survey shows divided views on GOJ signing of child custody pact, despite best efforts to skew

    Posted on Friday, February 4th, 2011

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    Hi Blog. Here’s some news on a MOFA survey that was skewed (by dint, for one thing, of it being rendered in Japanese only, effectively shutting out many opinions of the NJ side of the marriage) linguistically to get results that were negative towards the signing of the Hague Convention on Child Abductions. Even then, MOFA got mixed results (as in, more people want the GOJ to sign the Hague than don’t, but it’s a pretty clean three-way split). Nice try, MOFA. Read the survey for yourself below and see what I mean.

    In any case, the bureaucrats, according to Jiji Press of Feb 1 (see bottom of this blog post), seem to be gearing up to join the Hague only if there is a domestic law in place for Japan to NOT return the kids.  I smell a loophole in the making.

    NHK’s “Close Up Gendai” gave 28 minutes to the issue on February 2, 2011 (watch it here), in which they gave less airtime than anticipated to portraying Japanese as victims escaping to Japan from NJ DV, and more instead to the Japanese who want Japan to sign the Hague so they can get their kids back from overseas. Only one segment (shorter than all the others) gave any airtime to the NJ side of the marriage — but them getting any airtime at all is surprising; as we saw in yesterday’s blog entry, NJ don’t “own the narrative” of child abductions in Japan. Arudou Debito


    Survey shows divided views on Japan’s signing of child custody pact
    Kyodo News/Japan Today,  Thursday 3rd February 2011, courtesy AW

    TOKYO — An online survey by the Foreign Ministry showed Wednesday that people who have directly been involved in the so-called parental ‘‘abductions’’ of children as a result of failed marriages were divided on Japan’s accession to an international treaty to deal with child custody disputes.

    Of 64 respondents to the questionnaire posted on the website of the Foreign Ministry and its 121 diplomatic missions abroad between May and November last year, 22 were in favor of Japan joining the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, while 17 were against the idea.

    The remaining 25 respondents did not make their stance clear, said Parliamentary Vice Foreign Minister Ikuo Yamahana at a press conference.

    The convention provides a procedure for the prompt return of children to their habitual country of residence when they are wrongfully removed or retained in the case of an international divorce. It also protects parental access rights.

    Those seeking Japan’s accession to the convention said Tokyo should no longer allow unilateral parental child abductions as the country is perceived overseas as an ‘‘abnormal’’ nation for defending such acts.

    People opposed to Japan’s signing of the treaty said the convention ‘‘doesn’t fit with’’ Japanese culture, values and customs and urged the government to protect Japanese nationals fleeing from difficult circumstances such as abusive spouses and problems in foreign countries.

    Some pointed to the disadvantages faced by Japanese parents seeking a local court settlement on child custody abroad, such as expensive legal fees and the language barrier.

    Yamahana said the government led by the Democratic Party of Japan will further examine the possibility of joining the convention based on the results of the online survey. ‘‘We will discuss what we can do to ensure the welfare of children,’’ he said.

    International pressure on Tokyo to act on the parental abduction issue has been growing, with legislative bodies in the United States and France recently adopting resolutions that call for Japan’s accession to the treaty.

    At present, 84 countries and regions are parties to the Hague Convention. Of the Group of Seven major economies, only Japan has yet to ratify the pact.

    Of the 64 respondents, 18 said they have abducted children and 19 said their children have been taken by their former spouses. A total of 27 said they have been slapped with restrictions on traveling with their children because Japan is not a party to the Hague Convention.

    By country, 26 respondents were linked to parental abduction cases in the United States, followed by nine in Australia and seven in Canada.


    Reprising a Blog entry from May 27, 2010, when this survey first hit the news:

    Debito:  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has just started asking for opinions from the public regarding Japan’s ascension to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (which provides guidelines for dealing with cases of children being taken across borders without the consent of both parents, as well as establishing custody and visitation; all past articles on the issue here.).

    Sounds good until you consider the contexts.  We’ve already had a lot of Japanese media portraying the Japanese side of an international marriage as victims, fleeing an abusive NJ.  Even the odd crackpot lawyer gets airtime saying that signing the Hague will only empower the wrong side of the divorce (i.e. the allegedly violent and-by-the-way foreign side), justifying Japan keeping its status as a safe haven.  Even the Kyodo article below shies away from calling this activity “abduction” by adding “so-called” inverted quotes (good thing the Convention says it plainly).

    But now we have the MOFA officially asking for public opinions from the goldfish bowl.  Despite the issue being one of international marriage and abduction, the survey is in Japanese only.  Fine for those NJ who can read and comment in the language.  But it still gives an undeniable advantage to the GOJ basically hearing only the “Japanese side” of the divorce.  Let’s at least have it in English as well, shall we?

    Kyodo article below, along with the text of the survey in Japanese and unofficial English translation.  Is it just me, or do the questions feel just a tad leading, asking you to give reasons why Japan shouldn’t sign?  In any case, I find it hard to imagine an aggrieved J parent holding all the aces (not to mention the kids) saying, “Sure, sign the Hague, eliminate our safe haven and take away my power of custody and revenge.”  That’s why we need both sides of the story, with I don’t believe this survey is earnestly trying to get.  Arudou Debito


    Japan conducts online survey on parental child abductions
    Kyodo News/Japan Today Wednesday 26th May, 06:29 AM JST

    TOKYO — Japan began Tuesday soliciting views via the Internet on the possibility of the country ratifying an international convention to deal with problems that arise when failed international marriages result in children wrongfully being taken to Japan by one parent.

    The online survey by the Foreign Ministry asks people who have been involved in the so-called parental ‘‘abductions’’ to Japan of children of failed marriages what they think about Japan’s accession to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

    Complaints are growing over cases in which a Japanese parent, often a mother, brings a child to Japan without the consent of the foreign parent, or regardless of custody determination in other countries, and denies the other parent access to the child.

    The convention provides a procedure for the prompt return of such ‘‘abducted’’ children to their habitual country of residence and protects parental access rights.

    Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has suggested that he is considering positively Japan’s accession to the Hague Convention and ratifying it during the next year’s ordinary Diet session.

    Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said at a regular news conference Tuesday that the government will examine opinions collected through the online survey in studying the possibility of joining the convention. The questionnaire will be posted on the website of the Foreign Ministry and its 121 diplomatic missions abroad, he said.

    At present, 82 countries are parties to the Hague Convention. Of the Group of Eight major powers, Japan and Russia have yet to ratify the treaty.





    【問1】 国境を越えた子供の移動に関する問題の当事者となり、以下のような経験をしたことはありますか。なお、回答に当たり、個人名などは挙げていただく必要はありません。

    ●国境を越える形で子供を連れ去られたり、やむなく子供と一緒に移動せざるを得なかったこと (その事情も含めて教えてください。) (回答)

    ●外国で裁判をして、裁判所の命令等により国境を越える移動に制限が加えられたこと (回答)

    ●差し支えなければ、以下の事項についても教えてください。 -子供の年齢: -父母の別: -子供に対する親権の有無: -関係ある国の名前:

    【問2】 ハーグ条約の存在やその内容をご存知でしたか。 (回答)

    【問3】 これまで我が国がハーグ条約を締結していないことについてどのようなご意見をお持ちですか。 (回答)

    【問4】 日本がハーグ条約を締結することになれば、ご自身又は類似の境遇に置かれている方々にどのような利益・不利益があると思いますか。 (回答)

    【問5】 その他ハーグ条約や国際的な子の連れ去り問題についてご意見があれば、お書きください。 (回答)

    お名前(       )

    ご連絡先(      )


    (1)差し支えない (2)希望しない





    Question 1:  Have you ever had an experience like the ones below regarding the problem of children being moved across borders? You do not have to reveal anyone’s names in your answers:

    — There was a child abducted across an international border / you had no choice but to move with your children (please give details):
    — You had a court trial in a foreign country and your border movements were restricted by a court order. (Response space)

    — If convenient, please tell us about the following conditions:  Age of the child: — Whether you are the mother or the father — Whether you had custody of the children / The name of the relevant country (Response space)

    Question 2: Did you know the existence and the content of the Hague Convention? (Response space)
    Question 3: Do you have an opinion about Japan not becoming a party to the Hague Convention so far? (Response space)
    Question 4: If Japan were to sign the Hague Convention, you think there would be any advantages or disadvantages given to people in similar circumstances, or yourself? (Response space)
    Question 5: If you have any comments about the issues – child abduction and the Hague Convention and other international issues, please state them below: (Response space)


    Contact details

    There may be cases where we need to contact you to receive more details on your case.  Would contacting you be possible? (Yes/No)

    Thank you for your cooperation.


    Jiji Press — the loophole in the making

    時事通信 2011年2月1日(火) Courtesy of Chris Savoie


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    Posted in Bad Social Science, Child Abductions, Human Rights, Japanese Government, Japanese Politics, Shoe on the Other Foot Dept., 日本語 | 4 Comments »

    Suspected murderer of Lindsay Ann Hawker, Ichihashi Tatsuya, publishes book about his experiences. Ick.

    Posted on Thursday, January 27th, 2011

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    Hi Blog. Here’s the next installment in the circus that is the Ichihashi Tatsuya manhunt and arrest for homicide. First the police royally bungle their dragnet, enabling Ichihashi to live on the lam for years. Then now that he’s finally been arrested, he’s able to come out with a book about his hardships (with the apparently reassuring disclaimer that he’ll donate the proceeds elsewhere — what would he do with the money anyway?) without coming clean about why he allegedly did it. Why do I feel we’ve got the beginnings of hero worship, with pilgrimages following his path, and future fans harping on the adversities this man suffered while evading arrest? Hey, if Ichihashi had eaten his victim in another country, he might have become a writer and traveling gourmet celebrity in Japan. Reactions get weird when things get morbid — and that goes for anywhere (cf. Texas Chainsaw Massacre).

    Again, I understand that the accused has the freedom to speak out about his case while in prison (a privilege you hear few people being granted while in Japanese incarceration), but somehow I get a sinking feeling about this. Deeply troubling.  Let’s get a court verdict on this case, already.  It’s been more than a year since his arrest.  Arudou Debito

    The Japan Times reports (excerpt):
    The editor in charge of the book said she contacted Ichihashi’s lawyer last June to offer to publish the fugitive’s story, whereupon she received a positive response. At present there are no plans for an English translation, she told The Japan Times.

    In other words, the publisher approached him for the story. I smell less attempt at contrition, more corporate profit motive. What ghouls.


    Tatsuya Ichihashi wishes murdered Briton Lindsay Ann Hawker would ‘come back to life’
    The Japanese man accused of killing and raping British teacher Lindsay Hawker in 2007 has claimed in a book that he wished his victim “could come back to life.”

    The Telegraph (UK) 7:00AM GMT 26 Jan 2011

    Tatsuya Ichihashi, 32, wrote the book in the 14 months after he was apprehended after two years and seven months on the run.

    Titled “Until I Was Arrested,” the book details his journeys by train and ferry the length and breadth of Japan, his repeated efforts to change his appearance by using knives and scissors on his face and his feelings of “contrition” for Hawker’s death.

    The naked body of Hawker, 22, from the village of Brandon near Coventry, was found by police in March 2007 buried in sand in a bath tub on the balcony of Ichihashi’s apartment in the Gyotoku district of western Tokyo.

    Barefoot, Mr Ichihashi managed to evade the eight officers searching the property. Immediately after making his escape, Mr Ichihashi’s 240-page book reveals that he spent some weeks in Tokyo while the police tried to trace him. He then travelled to the northerly prefecture of Aomori, where he lived rough during the summer, before deciding to go on a pilgrimage of some of the 88 temples that make up the sacred Buddhist route through the mountains of the island of Shikoku.

    During this journey, Mr Ichihashi said he wished that Hawker could “come back to life.”

    He subsequently spent time on the tiny island of Oha, which has a circumference of less than two miles and is home to just four families.

    Mr Ichihashi wrote that he lived in a concrete bunker, living on wild fruit, fish that he was able to catch and cook over an open fire and even eating snakes.

    Terrified that he was going to be identified he tried to change his looks by removing two distinctive moles from his cheek with a box cutter, slicing off part of his lower lip with a pair of scissors to make it appear thinner and changing the shape of his nose by sewing it with a needle and thread.

    As his money ran short, he picked up labouring jobs on construction sites in Osaka and Kobe, but never staying at one place very long before moving on. He was, however, able to earn close to Y1 million (£7,705) over a period of two years, which he spent on cosmetic surgery.

    Mr Ichihashi described the work he carried out, which was mostly the demolition of old buildings, as “tough,” but wrote “this is the price I have to pay. Hawker had to suffer more pain. I took Lindsay’s life and that fact does not change.”

    The book reveals that Mr Ichihashi was careful to avoid closed-circuit security cameras in shops and would not look people in the eye. He also usually wore a hat and the white face masks that Japanese people frequently wear during the winter or at the height of the hay-fever season.

    During his 31 months on the run, he read the Harry Potter series of books, “The Catcher in the Rye” and “Kafka on the Shore,” by Haruki Murakami.

    He was eventually caught in Nov 2009 while waiting to board a ferry to return to Okinawa.

    Mr Ichihashi does not comment on the killing of Hawker in the book or his motives, but it does include an apology.

    He said the book was “a gesture of contrition for the crime I committed” and that royalties from the book would be given from Ms Hawker’s family.

    Bill and Linda Hawker, in a statement issued through their legal representative in London, say they have no intention of accepting the money and only want to see justice for their daughter in a Japanese court.
    Lindsay Hawker ‘killer’ wants to donate book proceeds to family 25 Jan 2011
    Lindsay Hawker murder: timeline 25 Jan 2011


    The Japan Times, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011
    Ichihashi recalls manhunt stress
    By JUN HONGO Staff writer

    Full article at

    Accused killer Tatsuya Ichihashi’s book released Wednesday offers anecdotal accounts of his 31-month life on the run, from fears of being caught and listening to radio updates on the manhunt, to moments of awe over nature, to how he abstained from sex because of what he had done, and how it may feel to be hanged.

    He writes about his determination to alter his appearance to keep one step ahead of the law, and how he even dared a visit to Tokyo Disneyland, but offers no insights into why Briton Lindsay Ann Hawker was slain in his Chiba apartment.

    As reported earlier, Ichihashi said he wrote the 283-page book “as part of an act of contrition” for Hawker’s slaying and added he is “aware of the criticism it may bring on me.”…

    Confessing he had “no courage to commit suicide,” he eventually decided to take shelter on Ohajima, a tiny island off Kumejima in Okinawa that he learned about in a library book.

    There, he gathered fish, crabs, snakes and sea cucumbers for food but had a hard time finding fresh water. During the daytime he kept to a cavelike shelter on the island to avoid being spotted by locals and tourists, he wrote…

    The book, “Taiho Sarerumade — Kuuhaku no Ninen Nanakagetsu no Kiroku” (“Before I Was Arrested — Records of the Blank Two Years and Seven Months”), published by Gentosha Inc., spans the time between Ichihashi’s flight from police at his Chiba apartment in March 2007 to the moment of his arrest at an Osaka terminal for an Okinawa-bound ferry in November 2009.

    Ichihashi’s trial is expected to start later this year, and it may be one involving lay judges.


    (2011年1月26日12時40分 読売新聞)


    手記「逮捕されるまで 空白の2年7カ月の記録」(幻冬舎)によると、市橋被告が市川市の自宅マンションから捜査員を振り切って裸足で逃げ、09年11月に逮捕されるまで、行動は青森から沖縄まで二十数都府県に及んだ。途中、大阪などで土木作業などで金を稼ぎ、身の危険を感じると、沖縄の離島に潜伏し、魚やヘビを取って食べるなどしたほか、「リンゼイさんが生き返ると思った」と四国で遍路道を歩いたことも。また、市橋被告が自らハサミで下唇を切るなどして整形を試みたことも記されている。




    市橋被告、離島の小屋でヘビ食べた 逃亡生活を手記に
    朝日新聞 2011年1月26日3時1分


    市橋被告が26日に幻冬舎から発売する「逮捕されるまで 空白の2年7カ月の記録」で明らかにした。







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    Posted in Bad Business Practices, Ironies & Hypocrisies, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Media, 日本語 | 43 Comments »

    Weekend Tangent: BBC show QI gets scolded by J media and embassy for insensitivity re atomic bombings

    Posted on Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

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    Hi Blog.  As a Weekend Tangent (for the record, I have no particular stance on this issue), here’s another bit following yesterday’s blog entry about official GOJ reactions to overseas media:  The BBC One show QI and its segment on the “unluckiest (or luckiest, depending on how you look at it) man in the world”:  a survivor of two atomic bombings who died recently at the age of 93.  It has engendered much criticism from the J media and cyberspace.  Here’s a comment from Reader JS:


    Hi, Dunno if you want to cover this, but NHK Newswatch 9 have just done a substantial piece on the coverage of a double A-bomb survivor on a BBC show called QI that involved the anchors lecturing us on the insensitivity, ending with “shame on them”. This is the offending clip:

    And the coverage:

    Japan protests to BBC over treatment of ‘double A-bomb survivor’
    (Mainichi Japan) January 21, 2011

    Tokyo (Kyodo) — The Japanese Embassy in London lodged a written protest against the BBC and a TV production agency, arguing that they insulted a deceased Japanese man who survived both the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, embassy and other sources said Thursday.

    In a comedy quiz show broadcasted by the BBC on Dec. 17, Tsutomu Yamaguchi, whose international profile has been raised as a double hibakusha and who died at age 93 last January, was introduced as “The Unluckiest Man in the World,” with pictures of his face and atomic clouds presented in the studio.

    A producer of the popular quiz show, “QI,” has already apologized to people who sent protest e-mails, noting “we greatly regret it when we cause offence” and “it is apparent to me that I underestimated the potential sensitivity of this issue to Japanese viewers.”

    But the producer added the program has often featured the tragic experiences of Americans and Europeans in a similar manner.

    On the show in question, the host explained that Yamaguchi was badly burned by the atomic bomb when he was in Hiroshima on business and after returning to Nagasaki, he was atomic-bombed again.

    One of the guests asked whether Yamaguchi got on a train to go to Nagasaki. The host said, “Even though the atom bomb fell, the trains were working. So he got on a train to Nagasaki and a bomb fell again,” drawing laughs from the show’s personalities and the audience.

    According to the embassy, it sent the BBC and the production agency a letter on Jan. 7, saying it is inappropriate and “insensitive” to pick on Yamaguchi in that way.

    In Japan, Toshiko Yamasaki, 62, Yamaguchi’s oldest daughter living in Nagasaki, expressed her anger about the issue, saying on Friday, “I cannot forgive (the quiz show) as it looked down on my father’s experiences when the world is moving toward nuclear disarmament.”

    She added her family had laughingly talked about her father being unlucky, but “it is a different story when (my father) was treated in that way in Britain, a nuclear-capable nation.”

    Such a problem happens due in part to “a lack of seriousness about nuclear reduction,” she said.

    Born in Nagasaki, Yamaguchi suffered the A-bombing in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and another bombing in Nagasaki after returning home three days later.



    BBC 被爆者をコメディーに
    NHK 1月21日 21時15分




    Japan protests to BBC over treatment of ‘double A-bomb survivor’
    Kyodo News/Japan Today Friday 21st January, 05:34 PM JST

    LONDON —The Japanese Embassy in London lodged a written protest against the BBC and a TV production agency, arguing that they insulted a deceased Japanese man who survived both the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, embassy and other sources said Thursday.

    The Japanese Embassy received on Friday a letter of apology from a producer of the popular quiz show, ‘‘QI,’’ dated Monday, after the producer had apologized to people who had sent protest e-mails.

    The content of the letter to the embassy was similar to the producer’s e-mail response to the people who protested, and said that ‘‘we greatly regret it when we cause offence’’ and ‘‘it is apparent to me that I underestimated the potential sensitivity of this issue to Japanese viewers.’‘

    In a comedy quiz show broadcast by the BBC on Dec 17, Tsutomu Yamaguchi, whose international profile has been raised as a double hibakusha and who died at age 93 last January, was introduced as ‘‘The Unluckiest Man in the World,’’ with pictures of his face and atomic clouds presented in the studio.

    But the producer added in his message that “QI” is not the type of program that makes fun of featured subjects and it introduced Yamaguchi’s experience without misrepresenting it.

    On the show in question, the host explained that Yamaguchi was badly burned by the atomic bomb when he was in Hiroshima on business and after returning to Nagasaki, he was atomic-bombed again.

    One of the guests asked whether Yamaguchi got on a train to go to Nagasaki. The host said, ‘‘Even though the atom bomb fell, the trains were working. So he got on a train to Nagasaki and a bomb fell again,’’ drawing laughs from the show’s personalities and the audience.

    The show prompted the Japanese Embassy to send the BBC and the production agency a letter on Jan 7, saying it is ‘‘inappropriate and insensitive’’ to present Yamaguchi in the way that it did, it said.

    In Japan, Toshiko Yamasaki, 62, Yamaguchi’s oldest daughter living in Nagasaki, expressed her anger, saying on Friday, ‘‘I cannot forgive (the quiz show) as it looked down on my father’s experiences when the world is moving toward nuclear disarmament.’‘

    She said her family had laughingly talked about her father being unlucky, but ‘‘it is a different story when (my father) was treated in that way in Britain, a nuclear-capable nation.’‘

    This kind of problem occurs due in part to ‘‘a lack of seriousness about nuclear reduction,’’ she said.

    Born in Nagasaki, Yamaguchi suffered the A-bombing of Hiroshima on Aug 6, 1945, and the bombing of Nagasaki three days later after returning home.

    For the record, QI is a general knowledge quiz show with liberal doses of humour (points are awarded not for being correct, but for being “quite interesting”). They were actually quite complimentary about Yamaguchi and the Japanese resolve in the face of adversity, but apparently it was enough to merit a formal complaint and prime-time news coverage. Oh, and apparently Yamaguchi used to call himself “the unluckiest man in the world”, and he and his family laughed about it. I would say, as a Brit, that they’re laughing at the irony of the situation, not at Yamaguchi personally.

    There are lots of warm, understanding comments on YouTube… JS


    The most interesting comment so far on Japan Today I think is this one:


    Frungy: QI is dark, intelligent and biting, typical English humour. Textbooks in Japan are dark, simple and tragic, typical Japanese stories. There’s a fundamental mismatch between their approach to sensitising an issue. When dealing with something tragic the English will make a joke of it, allowing people to dispel the tension by laughing. When dealing with something serious the Japanese will tell the story simply and tragically, and then cry inside.

    Of the two I find the English approach more healthy. It allows them to move on and discuss the difficult issue having approached it head on, removed the sting, and made it possible to deal with without constant pain.

    The Japanese on the other hand bottle up the feelings and they simmer inside. That’s why it’s impossible to really discuss the atomic bombings in Japan, the issue simply makes most Japanese people feel too sad and miserable for words. They’ve never really removed the sting.


    Conclusion for me: I think there is a strong case that can be made for nontransferability of humor, particularly irony, across cultures.  Arudou Debito

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    Posted in Cultural Issue, Discussions, Humor, Japanese Government, Media, Tangents, 日本語 | 38 Comments »

    Dietmember Tsurunen offers clarification and apology for calling himself a foreigner in Japan Times article

    Posted on Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

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    Hi Blog. In response to the feedback regarding his statements to the Japan Times last December 28, where in an article he calls himself a foreigner despite his Japanese citizenship, Dietmember Tsurunen Marutei sends this public statement through his office:


    from: ツルネン マルテイ事務室
    date: Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 4:26 PM
    subject: ツルネン事務所より



    厳密に表現するためには「foreign-born person」、または記事でも使用している
    「finn-born Japanese」と表現すべきでした。



    秘書 山本綾子

    参議院議員 ツルネンマルテイ
    秘書 山本綾子
    Ayako Yamamoto
    Secretary to Mr.Marutei Tsurunen,
    Member, House of Councilors, Japan
    Tel: +81-3-6550-0923
    Fax: +81-3-6551-0923

    Pertinent section by Tsurunen translated by Arudou Debito (not an official translation):
    “I wish to thank everyone for their comments. As people have pointed out, my use of the English word ‘foreigner’ was inappropriate. I was trying to express that I am not a ‘Japan-born Japanese’ and used ‘foreigner’, but strictly speaking I should have said ‘foreign-born person’, or as I said in the article ‘Finn-born Japanese’.

    “I regret using expressions that gave rise to misunderstandings, and I would like to offer my apologies.”


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    Posted in "Pinprick Protests", Good News, Immigration & Assimilation, Problematic Foreign Treatment, 日本語 | 16 Comments »

    MOFA now requiring consent of both parents for their child’s J passport renewal

    Posted on Friday, January 14th, 2011

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    Hi Blog.  It looks like the GOJ has pinched off one of the essential avenues for Japanese overseas looking to abduct their children back to Japan after separation or divorce — the ability for a Japanese citizen to get their child’s J-passport renewed at any Japanese embassy or consulate without the consent of both parents.  Somewhat good news, although commenter Getchan below points out that there are still loopholes in this development.  Courtesy of SF.  Arudou Debito


    To Parents with Children of Japanese Nationality:
    Notice: Passport Application for Japanese Minors

    Under Japanese civil law, those under the age of 20 are regarded as minors. When a Japanese minor applies for a Japanese passport, one parent/guardian must sign the “Legal Representative Signature” section on the back of the passport application. An application signed by one parent will be accepted under the assumption that the signature is a representation of consent from both parent(s)/guardian(s).

    However, if one parent/guardian submits a written refusal to passport offices in Japan or Japanese Embassies and Consulates-General abroad, a passport will be issued only after it has been confirmed that there is consent from both parents/guardians. (This refusal should be written, signed, and attached an identification document proving parental custody of the minor applicant.) The passport for the minor will be approved and issued once the parent/guardian that did not consent submits a letter of agreement to issue a passport for the minor applicant to a passport office in Japan or Japanese Embassy/Consulates-General abroad.

    Please note that in some countries, when both parents/guardians have custody of the child, and the child is taken out of the country by one of the parents without consent of the other parent, it is punishable by criminal law. There have been cases where a parent taking a child was arrested and charged with child abduction when he/she reentered the country, or that parent was placed on the International Wanted List of International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO). To protect Japanese citizens residing in countries with the above laws, the Japanese Embassy and Consulates-General in these countries will verbally ask the parent (s)/guardian(s) submitting the application if both custodial parents/guardians have consented for passport issuance of the minor applicant, even if there is no expression of refusal from the other parent.

    If you have any questions regarding this issue, please contact the Consular Section at your nearest Japanese Embassy, Consulate General, Passport Office in Japan, or the Passport Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

    Passport Division, Consular Affairs Bureau
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan
    April, 2010








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    Posted in Child Abductions, Good News, Japanese Government, 日本語 | 10 Comments »

    Alleged “mistranslation” at Kyodo News of AKB48 ingenue’s anti-crime activities: Asking nationality of perp SOP for 110 calls?

    Posted on Thursday, January 13th, 2011

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    Hi Blog.  Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes (46 today, won’t feel a milestone for another four years).  With no particular connection is today’s blog entry, regarding the possibility that that the NPA’s slip was showing.

    We had AKB48 (yes, I know what the acronym stands for, but I can’t help but think of it, not inappropriately, as a serial number) ingenue Maeda Atsuko doing public service for the police the other day (and boy it got carpet-bomb coverage by the media, see print articles alone below).  But the original and revised articles had a significant omission between them.  Alert Reader RY reports below:


    From: RY
    Subject: 110 Call center practices
    Date: January 12, 2011

    I stumbled across your website several years ago and began following you again recently. Thank you for your work.

    I found this article on the Japan Today site. I read it to my husband who is Japanese and he replied “It must be in the manual”. Referring to the content in the second paragraph.

    I personally find it cumbersome to try to remember the difference for when to call 110/119 but now we are supposed to determine the nationality of the perp as well!? Why not easier questions such as gender/height/build/hair color?

    Ok I admit maybe those might be a little difficult to answer too with the herbivores running around and all the different hair die numbers. Just thought this article was interesting. RY


    AKB48’s Atsuko Maeda mans police call center
    Japan Today/Kyodo News Wednesday 12th January 2011, 01:08 AM JST

    TOKYO — Atsuko Maeda, 19, from popular idol group AKB48 this week visited a police emergency call center to publicize “110 day,” a day on which the public is reminded of the number to call in the event of an emergency. She took a mock emergency call from a witness to a robbery in order to experience the routine of a call center employee.

    She calmly asked, “Is anybody injured? What nationality was the culprit?” to gauge the situation before passing the information on to a nearby patrol car.

    When asked about her impressions of the experience, Maeda replied, “You’ve got to ask the right questions and get the information to officers as quickly as possible, and that it is not as easy as it sounds.”


    Debito here again.  Seems the Standard Operating Procedure for the NPA’s checklist of questions given our dapper detective involved asking whether or not the perp is NJ or not (no easy task, unless you accept the rubric that anyone who doesn’t look Japanese is a gaijin, which hardly narrows the field anyway).  But since it seems the NPA (or Kyodo News) is getting a bit more sensitive about how things might play in Peoria (or at least how it will come off in media “not meant for domestic consumption”), we had the following “correction” made:

    Er, “mistranslated”?  “What nationality was the culprit?” is a far cry from “How many suspects were there?”  My translation skills aren’t perfect, and I’ve been accused of liberally interpreting in the past, but sorry, I don’t buy it.  This doesn’t seem like a random string of letters that happened because the machine translator had a power surge or the proofreader had a stroke.

    I note that all the Kyodo Feed media now share the same correction as well.  Below are all the articles I could find on the subject in Google News.  Anyone find the actual original preserved in 2-chan amber somewhere, let us know.

    Kyodo News (as do all J media) have a habit of sweetening articles that may in fact portray their public-power subjects in a bad light.  Good example was Dietmember Etoh Takami back in 2003 claiming half the registered NJ population (as in a cool million) were all “murderers and thieves” (media kindly amended it to a mere ‘lots”, thanks for softening the blow apparently on our behalf).

    NPA, your racial-profiling slip is showing.  Nice try keeping it out of the media.  Arudou Debito


    (2011年1月11日06時00分 スポーツ報知、と (共同通信フィード)


    強盗事件を想定した模擬110番の受理を体験した前田は「けが人はいませんか? 犯人は何人ですか?」と冷静に状況を判断しながら応答。現場の警察官に、無線で内容を報告した。「適切に聞き取って、素早く伝えないといけないのが、難しかったですね」。制服姿で表情を引き締めながら、正確な通報の重要性をかみしめている様子だった。


    (時事通信 2011/01/10)



    日本経済新聞 2011/1/10 18:55;at=DGXZZO0195583008122009000000
    「110番の日」の10日、人気アイドルグループ「AKB48」の前田敦子さん(19)が警視庁の110番通報を取り扱う通信指令本部の一日本部長を務め、「110番 守るこの街 地域の目」と標語を読み上げてPRした。




    AKB前田敦子さん、一日通信指令本部長 110番の日
    朝日新聞 2011年1月11日





    (2011年1月10日22時14分 読売新聞)






    UPDATE JANUARY 13, 2010 5:34PM JST:

    Hi Blog. I had plenty of time to think about today’s blog entry during my snowbound Sapporo commute to university today (a 35-minute drive took more than three hours), and I’ve come to the following conclusion:

    It was in all likelihood a translation mistake.

    I came to this conclusion thusly:

    1) I could find no evidence of an uncorrected Japanese version which mentioned nationality (there usually is one around the denizens of 2-Channel, but not this time).

    2) I find the mistranslation of 何人 (which by the way does not come out as “nani-jin” when I hit the henkan button) as possibly “what kind of person” (a possibly oblique reference to nationality in this circumstance) plausible — although that’s certainly something the professionals should have picked up on before publishing the article.

    So this time I think I got it wrong — I doubt Maeda actually asked about nationality when she read her script.

    I of course still stand by my assertions that 1) the NPA’s SOP involves racial profiling (particularly in their use of the unsophisticated and misleading label “gaikokujin-fuu” to categorize anyone as not “Japanese-looking”), and that 2) the media significantly alters the factual content of their news stories for overseas — or even domestic — consumption. Those acts are perfectly within character, as per the examples I gave in this blog entry. I just don’t think that this case is an example.

    Never mind. My style is to make the assertion first and capitulate when wrong. I find it brings out people who are willing to go the extra mile just to prove it wrong. I’m wrong this time. I capitulate.

    Sorry for jumping to conclusions. Thanks for keeping it real. Arudou Debito

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    Posted in Bad Social Science, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Media, 日本語 | 8 Comments »

    FCCJ No.1 Shimbun: A killing separation: Two French fathers suicide 2010 after marital separation and child abduction

    Posted on Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

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    Hi Blog.  Amid rumblings that Japan will sign the Hague Convention on Child Abductions this year (the Yomiuri says it’s currently being “mulled”), here’s another reason why it should be signed — child abductions after separation or divorce are driving parents to suicide.  Read on.  The Yomiuri articles follow.  Arudou Debito


    A Killing Separation
    by Regis Arnaud, courtesy of PT
    FCCJ No.1 Shimbun, Mon, 2010-12-20 13:20

    The life and career of Arnaud Simon once could have exemplified the excellent relationship between Japan and France. A young French historian teaching in Tokyo, Simon was preparing a thesis on the history of thought during the Edo Period. He was married to a Japanese woman. They had one son.

    But on Nov. 20, Arnaud Simon took his own life. He hanged himself. He did not need to leave an explanatory note; his closest friends knew he had lost the appetite for living because his wife would not allow Simon to see his son after their marriage broke up. Simon apparently tried on multiple occasions to take his boy home from school, but the police blocked the young father each time.

    “The lawyers he met were trying to appease him, not help him,” one of his former colleagues remembers.

    Another Frenchman in the same situation, Christophe Guillermin, committed suicide in June. These two deaths are terrible reminders of the hell some foreign parents inhabit in Japan – and because of Japan. When a couple separates here, custody of any children is traditionally awarded to the mother. After that, the children rarely have contact with the “other side”; they are supposed to delete the losing parent from their lives.

    There is no tradition of visitation rights in Japan, and even when those rights are granted, the victory generally comes at the end of a long and costly judicial battle fought in Japanese courts. The visitation rights given are also typically very limited – sometimes just a couple of hours per month. Worse yet, the mother ultimately decides whether she wants to abide by the agreement. The police will not intervene if she refuses, on the grounds that this is a private matter. While there are exceptions, Japanese fathers seem to have basically accepted this practice. For foreign fathers, it is almost universally impossible and unbearable.

    France is particularly touched by these tragedies. There have been many unions between Japanese women and French men, and many breakups. Simon’s death was shocking enough to the French community for the French ambassador to issue a stern and in many ways personal press release afterward: “Mr. Simon recently told the Consulate of the hardships he endured to meet his son, and it is most probable that to be cut off from his son was one of the main reasons (for his suicide). This reminds us, if necessary, of the pain of the 32 French fathers and of the 200 other (foreign cases involving) fathers known to foreign consulates as deprived of their parental rights.”

    During a recent trip related to this subject in Japan, French judge and legal expert Mahrez Abassi said: “Japan has not ratified the Hague Convention on civil aspects of international children’s abductions. There is no bilateral convention on this topic, and our judicial decisions are not recognized in Japan.” Tokyo is in a precarious position on this issue, since one of the main topics of Japan’s diplomacy is the case of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea, for which Japan requires international solidarity.

    Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs seems preoccupied by the problem, which only promises to grow because of the constant rise of international divorces in Japan – now at 6 percent – and of Japanese-foreign births (20,000). Various diplomatic delegations have visited Japan to discuss the issue. France and Japan set up a “consulting committee on the child at the center of a parental conflict” in December 2009. But the National Police Agency, the Justice Ministry, and Japanese civil society in general care little about the issue.

    “There is no system better than another for the child after a breakup,” says a foreign psychiatrist who has followed cases of foreign fathers that have lost access to their children in Japan. “The French and American systems have deep flaws as well. But it is simply unbearable for a French father, for example, to be unable to meet his child.”

    A French lawyer based in Tokyo, adds: “The principle of joint custody as it is known in France does not exist in Japan. To implement such a principle here, we would have to amend the Civil Code, which is very hard for family law matters in this country. If this change is enacted, the police should then compel Japanese families to hand over the ‘disputed’ child to the foreign father. This seems pretty hard to achieve.”

    Regis Arnaud is the Japan correspondent of leading French daily Le Figaro and has been covering Japan since 1995. He is also a movie producer. His next project, called CUT, laments the decline of the Japanese movie industry.


    Govt to mull joining child custody pact

    The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 11, 2011)

    The government has decided to set up a council to weigh joining the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which pertains to disputes over parents’ custodial rights to children born in international marriages, sources said.

    The council of senior vice ministerial-level officials, to be set up by the end of this month, is to compile a report by the end of March.

    That would allow Prime Minister Naoto Kan to make an announcement on joining the convention during his visit to the United States in spring.

    The move comes as the government works to mend ties with the United States, which have been strained by the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture and other issues.

    The U.S. government has repeatedly urged Japan to join the Hague convention.

    Despite the fast-track timeline for the council’s report, some in the government and the Democratic Party of Japan remain cautious about joining the convention.

    The convention stipulates that children born in international marriages should be returned to their original country of residence in cases where parental rights are in dispute.

    The convention came into effect in 1983. As of December, 82 countries, including most Western nations, were party to the convention.

    Among Group of Eight countries, only Japan and Russia have not joined the convention.

    There have been many cases in which Japanese whose international marriages failed have brought their children to Japan without notifying their spouses or former spouses.

    Non-Japanese parents in such cases who want to meet with their children are unable to take any legal action because Japan has not joined the convention.

    Many such cases therefore become seriously problematic.

    Western countries have urged Japan to join the convention as soon as possible.

    The U.S. Congress in September last year adopted a resolution demanding Japan join the convention. The pressure from Washington has been mounting and the issue has become a point of tension between the two nations.

    On Thursday, when Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in Washington, Clinton asked for Japan to act expeditiously to join the convention. Maehara replied that the Japanese government would discuss it seriously.

    In February last year, then Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama instructed the Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry to examine joining the convention as quickly as possible, but a decision was put off due to resistance within the ministries.

    Some voiced concern that joining the convention could mean Japanese wives who had escaped with their children from abusive husbands would be forced to return to an unhealthy or dangerous environment.

    At the time, a senior Justice Ministry official said there was no public consensus on the issue.

    A number of DPJ members have expressed reservations about Japan joining the convention.



    (2011年1月10日03時02分  読売新聞)





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    Posted in Child Abductions, Japanese Government, 日本語 | 5 Comments »

    Japan Times Suraj Case of death during deportation sent to prosecutors

    Posted on Thursday, January 6th, 2011

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    Hi Blog. It’s taken nearly a year, but the Suraj Case has finally been sent to prosecutors, for what it’s worth. Somebody dies in your custody and you can’t determine the cause of death? Joudan ja nai. Let’s see if anyone is held accountable. (Suraj’s wife certainly was — she was fired from her job for making a fuss about her husband’s death!) More on the Suraj Case at here. Arudou Debito


    Japan Times Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010
    Prosecutors get case of deportee’s death
    By MINORU MATSUTANI Staff writer

    Chiba police have turned over to prosecutors their case against 10 immigration officers suspected of being involved in the death of a Ghanaian deportee they had restrained and physically placed aboard a jetliner last March at Narita International Airport.

    The action Monday came six months after the man’s Japanese widow and her lawyers filed a criminal complaint demanding that prosecutors take action against the airport immigration officers who overpowered Abubakar Awudu Suraj to get him on the jet, where he subsequently died of unknown causes while handcuffed in his seat.

    The police turned their case against the 10 men, aged 24 to 48, who are still working, over to the Chiba District Public Prosecutor’s Office. They could face charges of violence and cruelty by special public officers resulting in death, a Chiba police officer said.

    “This has taken way too long,” lawyer Koichi Kodama, who is representing Suraj’s widow, said Tuesday. “I just hope prosecutors handle the case appropriately.”

    An official of the Immigration Bureau’s Immigration Control Division, to which the 10 officers belong, said, “We will continue to cooperate in the investigation, try to find out the truth and take appropriate action.”

    Mayumi Yoshida, assistant general secretary of Asian People’s Friendship Society and a supporter of the widow, had quoted a Chiba police officer as saying the immigration officers carried Suraj, who was acting violently, aboard an Egypt Air jet on March 22. Handcuffed and his mouth covered with a towel, Suraj was found unconscious in the aircraft and confirmed dead at a hospital, Yoshida had quoted the officer as saying.

    The police were unable to pinpoint the cause of death…

    Rest of article at


    Domestic articles:

    (2010年12月28日11時35分 読売新聞)






    入管警備官10人書類送検 強制送還のガーナ人死亡
    2010/12/28 11:56 【共同通信】






    産経ニュース 2010.12.28 11:17







    朝日新聞 2010年12月28日11時13分






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    Posted in Human Rights, Injustice, Japanese police/Foreign crime, Problematic Foreign Treatment, 日本語 | 8 Comments »

    Fukui City now requiring J language ability for NJ taxpayer access to public housing. Despite being ruled impermissible by Shiga Guv in 2002.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

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    Hi Blog. Word broke out this month that Fukui City is now requiring Japanese language ability from NJ taxpayers before they can be allowed into public housing run by the government. Comment from me follows news articles.

    A blogger writes, courtesy of PB:


    Nihongo needed

    Last April the city of Fukui adopted a “guideline” in its municipal public housing regulations that stated non-Japanese who applied for low-income housing must be able to “communicate in Japanese.” Applications for those who cannot will not be accepted. Since then various groups that work with foreigners in Japan have protested the guideline, but it still stands. Some of these groups have said that they are aware that some non-Japanese applicants, though they qualify for public housing otherwise, have been prevented from applying for housing due to the new guideline.

    There are nine cities in Fukui Prefecture, but only Fukui City has such a rule. The city official in charge of public housing told a local newspaper that his office had received complaints from community associations (jichikai) of individual public housing complexes. These associations said that some non-Japanese residents were unable to communicate “very well” in Japanese, and thus it was difficult for them to understand and follow association rules regarding the “sorting of refuse” and “noise.” For that reason, the city government adopted this new guideline.

    The criteria for acceptance in public housing is that the applicant’s income be below a certain level, that the applicant lives with “other family members,” and that the applicant has not been remiss or delinquent in paying his or her local taxes. Until April the only rules regarding non-Japanese applicants are that they possess either permanent resident status, “special” resident status (tokubetsu eijusha, usually people of Korean or Chinese nationality who have lived in Japan since birth), or permission to reside in Japan for at least three years. Now they also must have “Japanese communication ability.” However, there is nothing in the guideline that specifies how this ability to speak Japanese is to be assessed.

    Japan’s Public Housing Law does not stipulate Japanese language ability as a requirement, but an official with the Construction Ministry told the newspaper that “individual regions can adopt their own criteria” and “local governments should make their own judgments” regarding how the law should be applied, so there is nothing legally wrong with the Fukui guideline…

    Rest at


    市営住宅会話できぬ外国人除外 共生プラン逆行批判の声、福井




    AH adds:

    December 20, 2010

    Debito, I’ve just seen this in the Spanish language press. It’s the first time I’ve heard of a local council putting a language condition on getting public housing. NJ also have to be Zainichi, permanent residents or at least registered in Fukui for more than three years. According to the council, three foreigners have got into public housing since this was introduced in April this year. I expect there’s something out there in English or Japanese, but it was news to me.

    Cheers, keep up the good work! AH


    Fukui prohibe ingreso de extranjeros que no hablen japonés en sus viviendas municipales

    El municipio de la ciudad expuso como razones para tomar la discriminatoria decisión “problemas como el ruido y la manera de tirar la basura”.
    International Press Publicado en 20/12/2010 17:31

    El municipio de Fukui de la provincia de Fukui impide que extranjeros que no hablen japonés alquilen una vivienda municipal, informó el diario Fukui Shimbun. El controvertido requisito que rechaza la entrada de extranjeros comenzó a aplicarse desde abril del 2010 aduciendo “problemas como el ruido y la manera de tirar la basura”.

    La ciudad de Fukui es el único lugar de la provincia que tiene este requisito y el diario local confirmó que existían personas extranjeras que no pudieron optar a una vivienda municipal por no cumplir este requisito.

    Nobuo Kubo, jefe de la Sección de la Política de Vivienda Municipal del Municipio de Fukui, dijo: “El requisito se aplica después de haber tenido conocimiento de problemas entre residentes japoneses y extranjeros que no hablan bien el japonés, a causa del ruido, la manera de tirar la basura y el incumplimiento de los modales”.

    Actualmente, para entrar en una vivienda municipal de la ciudad de Fukui se requiere vivir con familiares, tener un ingreso menor a una determinada cantidad (según el número o la composición de la familia) y estar al día en el pago del impuesto municipal.

    Además, desde abril del 2010 ha entrado en vigor la “Línea Básica de Tratamiento Administrativo para el Ingreso a la Vivienda Municipal”, de acuerdo a ella, los extranjeros tienen que cumplir uno de estos tres requisitos: “tener la visa permanente”, “tener la visa permanente especial” o “llevar más de tres años registrado en el Registro de Extranjería del Municipio”.

    Además de cumplir uno de ellos, hay que ser “capaz de tener una comunicación básica con los vecinos”. Fukui tiene 1.957 departamentos municipales, en 75 de estas viviendas moran familias extranjeras. Después de estar disponible la nueva regla, han entrado tres familias extranjeras, según el municipio.

    Según el Ministerio de Justicia, en la ciudad de Fukui viven 4.214 extranjeros: 1.699 chinos, 1.174 coreanos, 364 filipinos, 356 brasileños, 69 estadounidenses, 53 peruanos y otros.


    COMMENT:  I’ve heard of this sort of thing happening before.  Shiga Prefecture also banned NJ who do not “speak Japanese” from its public housing back in 2002.  However, the Shiga Governor directly intervened literally hours after this was made public by the Mainichi Shinbun and rescinded this, as public facilities (and that includes housing, of course) cannot ban taxpayers (and that includes NJ, of course).  Whether or not the Fukui Governor will show the same degree of enlightenment remains to be seen.  Maybe some media exposure might help this time too.  Arudou Debito

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    Posted in Exclusionism, Human Rights, Immigration & Assimilation, Japanese Government, Problematic Foreign Treatment, 日本語 | 9 Comments »

    French Embassy reports French father of abducted child in Japan commits suicide

    Posted on Friday, November 26th, 2010

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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    Hi Blog.  The latest in a series of tragedies through child abductions by Japanese because Japan’s laws and Family Court do not prevent them (more at  The tragedy is clearly not only that of children being deprived of a parent.  On November 19, a Left-Behind Parent deprived himself of his life.  As reports the French Embassy in French and Japanese on November 24.  English translation first, then official texts from the Embassy.

    We’ve had government after government denouncing this practice, GOJ, as the French Embassy puts it so eruditely below.  How much longer must it go on?  Arudou Debito


    35 Year – old French Father kills self after loss of children in Japan.
    Ambassade de France au Japon, November 24, 2010
    Translation to English, courtesy of

    Our compatriot Arnaud Simon killed himself Friday, November 19. The French teacher in Tokyo, he was 35 years old and lived in Japan since 2006.

    Separated from his wife since last March, he was the father of a boy of 20 months he had sought unsuccessfully to gain custody. Our community is in mourning and I present on behalf of all our condolences to his family and loved ones.

    Nobody can speak with certainty about the reasons why a man so young to commit an act so terrible. Mr. Simon, however, had recently expressed to the consular section of our embassy in Tokyo of its difficulties to meet his son and it is very likely that the separation from her child was a determining factor. This reminds us all if need be suffering fathers of the 32 French and two hundred other cases identified by consular authorities as being deprived of because of their parental rights.

    It is clear that our words and deeds are little face a dramatic situation, but I wanted to remind the determined action of the French authorities and the Embassy in connection with its German partners, American, Australian, Belgian, British, Canadian, Colombian, Spanish, Hungarian, Italian and New Zealand calling on Japan to ratify the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and expedite a review of individual records to find appropriate solutions where they are possible, depending on circumstances.

    It is the interests of children, that nobody has the right to deprive one of their parents. It is also to take into account the suffering of the fathers we have today is a tragic event.


    Décès de M. Arnaud Simon – Message de condoléances de l’Ambassadeur
    Ambassade de France au Japon, 24 novembre 2010

    Notre compatriote Arnaud Simon s’est donné la mort vendredi 19 novembre. Enseignant le Français à Tokyo, il était âgé de 35 ans et vivait au Japon depuis 2006.

    Séparé de sa femme depuis mars dernier, il était père d’un petit garçon de 20 mois dont il avait cherché en vain à obtenir la garde. Notre communauté est en deuil et je présente en son nom toutes nos condoléances à sa famille et à ses proches.

    Personne ne peut se prononcer avec certitude quant aux raisons qui ont poussé un homme aussi jeune à commettre un geste aussi terrible. M. Simon avait toutefois fait part récemment à la section consulaire de notre ambassade à Tokyo des difficultés qu’il éprouvait pour rencontrer son fils et il est très probable que la séparation d’avec son enfant a été un des facteurs déterminants. Ceci nous rappelle à tous s’il en était besoin la souffrance des 32 pères français et des deux cents autres cas recensés par les autorités consulaires comme étant privés de fait de leurs droits parentaux.

    Il est bien évident que nos paroles et nos actes sont peu de choses face à une situation aussi dramatique, mais je tenais à rappeler l’action déterminée des autorités françaises et de cette Ambassade en lien avec ses partenaires allemands, américains, australiens, belges, britanniques, canadiens, colombiens, espagnols, hongrois, italiens et néo-zélandais pour demander au Japon de ratifier la Convention de La Haye sur les aspects civils de l’enlèvement international d’enfants et procéder rapidement à un examen individuel des dossiers afin de trouver des solutions appropriées là où elles sont possibles, en fonction des circonstances.

    Il s’agit de l’intérêt des enfants, que personne n’a le droit de priver de l’un de leurs parents. Il s’agit également de prendre en compte la souffrance des pères dont nous avons aujourd’hui une tragique manifestation.

    Service d’Information et de Communication (24 novembre)



    アルノー・シモン氏の訃報 に対する 駐日フランス大使のお悔やみ






    Service d’Information et de Communication (11月24日)

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    Posted in Child Abductions, 日本語 | 15 Comments »

    Mainichi: Bullying of Filipina-Japanese grade schooler in Gunma leads to suicide: NHK ignores ethnicity issue in reports

    Posted on Monday, November 8th, 2010

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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    Hi Blog.  For the record, here are some of the Mainichi’s articles on a recent suicide of a multiethnic Japanese due to classroom bullying.  Uemura Akiko, a Filipina-Japanese grade schooler, was found dead by hanging three weeks ago in an apparent suicide, and evidence suggests that this was after being bullied for her Philippine ethnicity. Given the number of international marriages in Japan, I think we’re going to see quite a few more cases like this unless people start realizing that a multicultural, multiethnic Japan is not just something theoretical, but here and now.  We need an official, MEXT and board-of-education approach of zero tolerance towards kids (who are, of course, going to tease each other no matter what) who choose to single people out due to their race or ethnic background.

    As submitter JK puts it, “This is why IMO, having a law against racial discrimination on the books is only part of the solution — what is really needed is a mental shift towards creating a culture of racial inclusion.  There is no future for a Japan whose modus operandi is 「出る杭は打たれる」.”

    Articles follow.  Arudou Debito

    UPDATENHK completely ignores issue of Akiko’s ethnicity as a source of her bullying in multiple reports.  See Comments Section below.


    Picture of classroom out of control emerges in wake of bullied 6th grader’s suicide
    (Mainichi Japan) November 5, 2010, Courtesy lots of people

    MAEBASHI — Two weeks since the suicide of a sixth grader in Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, a picture of a classroom out of control has begun to take shape.

    Akiko Uemura, 12, who was found hanged by a scarf in her room on Oct. 23, transferred from an elementary school in Aichi Prefecture when her family moved to Kiryu in October 2008. It was after her Filipino mother visited the school on parents’ visitation day in 2009 that Akiko’s classmates began commenting on her appearance.

    After Akiko began sixth grade this past April, classmates started saying that she smelled bad and asked her if she bathed. Akiko appealed to her parents to let her transfer to another school, saying that she was willing to walk to school no matter how far. Her parents sought advice from the school on numerous occasions, and considered moving elsewhere once Akiko finished elementary school.

    In late September, Akiko’s classmates began to sit as far away from her as possible at lunchtime despite their homeroom teacher’s admonitions to stay in designated groups. According to Akiko’s mother, Akiko asked a classmate to eat lunch with her in mid-October, only to be refused.

    On Oct. 19 and 20, Akiko stayed home from school. Her homeroom teacher called her at home to encourage her to come to school on the next day, as the class was going on a field trip. On Oct. 21, however, some of Akiko’s classmates questioned her about why she only came to school when there was a special event and whether she was otherwise playing hooky, and Akiko came home in tears.

    Akiko stayed home from school again on Oct. 22, and when her homeroom teacher visited her home that evening — when her parents happened to be at work — to report on the school’s decision to abolish lunchtime groupings, no one answered the door. On Oct. 23, Akiko woke up around 9 a.m. and had breakfast. When her mother looked into her room around noon, she was hanging from a curtain rail by a scarf that she had been knitting for her mother.

    No suicide note has been found, but after her funeral on Oct. 26, manga entitled “Friends Are Great!” that Akiko appears to have drawn before her suicide was found. In a letter addressed to Akiko’s former classmate in Aichi that was found on Oct. 29, Akiko wrote: “I’m going to Osaka for junior high. So we might pass through Aichi. I’ll visit you if I can!”

    Meanwhile, the faces of 15 classmates found in a photo taken during an overnight school trip when Akiko was in fifth grade were crossed out with what looked like ballpoint pen, and in response to a question from an autograph book asking what she wanted if she were granted one wish, she had written, “make school disappear.”

    At Akiko’s elementary school, located among farms and new residential areas, the sixth grade students were divided into two homerooms. One classmate said, “There was a group of students who bullied Akiko. She looked really sad when they said things like ‘Get of the way’ and ‘Go away.’ No one tried to stop them.”

    Another classmate said that other students had no choice but to go along with the bullying. “There were a few people who were at the center of the group, and the other students were too scared to defy them. The class was in chaos.”



    Father of schoolgirl suicide victim says daughter was teased about mom’s nationality
    (Mainichi Japan) October 27, 2010

    KIRYU, Gunma — A man who says his 12-year-old daughter’s suicide was triggered by bullying at school has told the Mainichi that his wife’s Filipino nationality may have been one of the reasons for the bullying.

    Ryuji Uemura, 50, made the comment on the possible cause of the bullying of his daughter Akiko, who committed suicide in Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, in an interview with the Mainichi on Oct. 26.

    “I think the fact that her mother was a Filipino was also one of the causes of the bullying,” he said.

    Uemura said that when his daughter was in the fifth grade in 2009, her 41-year-old mother went to her school for a class observation day for the first time. At the time Akiko’s classmates teased her about her mother’s appearance, and after that she started to be bullied.

    The 12-year-old’s memorial service was held at a funeral hall in Gunma Prefecture on Oct. 26, with about 90 people from her school and others in attendance. All 38 students in her class attended the funeral, complying with a request from the school.

    “We’re very sad that she suddenly passed away. We hope she will rest in peace,” a boy representing the students said in a speech at the ceremony.

    Speaking in a wavering voice, Uemura told participants, “Akiko got lonely and she always said she wanted to make lots of friends. I believe she is being watched over by her classmates today and is happy.”



    Original Japanese stories

    馬・小6自殺:願いは「学校消す」 学級崩壊、孤立深め
    毎日新聞 2010年11月5日



    ■         ■

    09年4月 5年生に進級。父親によると、フィリピン出身の母が授業参観に訪れてから一部の同級生に容姿の悪口を言われるようになった。

    今年4月 6年生に進級。「臭い」「風呂に入っているのか」などと言われるようになり、両親に「どんなに遠い学校でも歩いて行く」と転校を訴えるようになった。両親は学校側にたびたび相談し、中学進学を機に引っ越すことも考えていた。

    9月18日 運動会。以後、明子さんのクラス(児童数39人)では授業中に児童がふざけたり、私語にふけるようになった。

    同28日 担任(40代の女性教諭)は席の間隔を広げれば私語などがやむと考え、縦8列の席を6列に減らした。しかし児童たちは給食時、給食の班(5人程度)ではなく、席を移動して友達同士で食べるようになり、明子さんは孤立した。

    10月14日 担任は校長らに相談の上、再び席替えを実施。給食の班替えも行った。

    同18日 再び明子さんが給食で孤立するようになった。


    同19日 明子さんが学校を欠席。

    同20日 再び欠席。担任が「あすは社会科見学があるから、出てくれるかな」と電話をする。

    同21日 社会科見学に出席した明子さんは一部の同級生から「なんでこういう時だけ来るの」「普段はずる休み?」などと言われ、泣きながら帰宅。

    同22日 再び学校を欠席。学校側はこの日、給食の班を廃止。全員を黒板に向かって食べさせた。夜、担任が上村さん宅に報告に行ったが、共働きの両親は留守で、インターホンの呼び出しに返事はなかった。

    同23日 明子さんは午前9時ごろ起床、朝食を食べた。正午ごろ、母が部屋をのぞくと、母のために編んでいたマフラーをカーテンレールにかけ、首をつっていた。

    ■         ■







    桐生・小6自殺:同級生が母の悪口 いじめのきっかけか
    毎日新聞 2010年10月27日





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    Posted in Education, Exclusionism, Immigration & Assimilation, Media, Problematic Foreign Treatment, 日本語 | 57 Comments »