OTARU DISCRIMINATORY ONSENS LAWSUIT
UPDATE JUNE 2002
SETTLEMENT (wakai) HEARING TWO OF TWO:
ALL SIDES AGREE TO DISAGREE,
MAKING A COURT DECISION IMMINENT
(Japanese version here 日本語バーションはここです)
OTARU ONSENS LAWSUIT UPDATE
JUNE 18, 2002
(full background at http://www.debito.org/otarulawsuit.html)
Plaintiffs Karthaus, Sutherland, and Arudou met with Defendants Otaru City and Yunohana Onsen for the second court-brokered settlement kyougikai on June 11, 2002.
Both parties had received from the Court the settlement offer on May 31. I cannot reveal the exact details of the offers, but I can say:
DEFENDANT YUNOHANA was a) to offer each Plaintiff a substantial amount of money (which I cannot reveal), and b) to apologize for causing mental distress to foreigners (gaikokujin) and promise to never refuse entry to all foreigners again.
DEFENDANT OTARU CITY was a) to understand the degree of mental anguish caused to foreigners and their families, and b) to promise to make sure this never happens again through offering guidance (shidou) to offenders, tabling discussion groups which foreigners can participate in, and strive to carry out "enlightenment" (keihatsu) in order to raise awareness and eliminate discrimination by Otaru citizens.
Plaintiffs refused the settlement because:
a) A settlement made bilaterally with Onsen Yunohana is never what we wanted. We want a court decision binding throughout Japan;
b) the terms of Otaru's settlement have no force and can amount to empty promises;
c) (Arudou speaking) this does not deal with me at all. It apologizes and makes promises to "foreigners". I am not a foreigner. I was refused entry as a Japanese. All aspects of racial discrimination (jinshu sabetsu) have been completely bleached out of this offered settlement, indicating that Defendants have learned absolutely nothing over the sixteen months since this case has brought or over the nine years since Otaru businesses started excluding. These are the depths of the problem we face--Defendants keep forgetting I am citizen simply because I do not look like one.
Now for the surprise. The terms of the settlement offer were not drawn up by the Defendants (we had assumed by the language of the terms that Judge Sakai had asked each Defendant what they would settle for and then served them up to Plaintiffs).
No. The words were Judge Sakai's, drafted by him on his own recognizance. Which means even the judge has been blindsided on this issue.
I asked the judge when I would be recognized and treated like a Japanese. This is why we want a decision in black and white.
Fortunately, we weren't the only ones dissatisfied with the terms. Both Defendants also refused to settle. The court-sponsored discussion then drew to a permanent close, leaving the judges no choice but to issue a decision (hanketsu).
Thus there will be no out-of-court settlement.
Concluding arguments due on August 19, 2002.
The final court decision will come down on a date TBD after that.
All for now.
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