ネット君臨:第1部・失われていくもの/1(その3止) 2ch管理人に聞く

mytest

ネット君臨:第1部・失われていくもの/1(その3止) 2ch管理人に聞く
毎日新聞2007年元旦特集
http://www.mainichi-msn.co.jp/shakai/wadai/kunrin/news/20070101ddm003040021000c.html
インタビューに答える「2ちゃんねる」管理人の西村博之さん=山本晋写す

インターネットと2チャンネルの歩み
 ◇「これがネット、仕方ない」−−「2ちゃんねる」管理人・ひろゆき氏
 ネット上の掲示板に匿名で個人への中傷が書き込まれる問題を、管理する側はどう考えているのか。最大の掲示板2ちゃんねる(2ch)の管理人、ひろゆき氏(30)は毎日新聞の取材に「ネットの仕組みだから仕方がない」と答え、規制は難しいとする認識を示した。大学時代にネットの発展を体験し、IT(情報技術)の旗手を輩出する「ナナロク世代」の一人は掲示板を東京の歌舞伎町に例え、「きれいじゃない情報もあるから面白い」と語った。
 ◇情報いろいろあるから面白い/中傷は国民性の問題
 −−2chの匿名性をどう思うか。
 ◆匿名の良さもあるし実名でやりたい人もいる。書く人の選択の問題。
 −−匿名性の良さは。
 ◆例えば安倍首相が実名でネット掲示板に書き込んだら議論どころじゃなくなる。純粋に議論をするのなら、人格はないほうがしやすい。
 −−中傷や個人情報の暴露が行われている。
 ◆度を越したものは削除すればいいだけ。
 −−削除まで時間がかかり、ネットの他の場所に広がってしまう。
 ◆それはネットの仕組み。世の中に銃がなければ平和だよねっていうのと一緒で、あるから仕方がない。
 −−非がないのに中傷を受ける人もいる。
 ◆ネットのせいでなく、それが好きな国民性の問題。ネットがなくても内輪で楽しむはずだ。
 −−2chは内輪の話を表に出してトラブルになっている。
 ◆規模が大きいだけ。2chがなくてもネットがある限り、海外の掲示板などほかの場所に行く。
 −−「祭り」はネット上だけでなく対象者の家の撮影に行ったり、迷惑電話を掛けたりする。
 ◆2chの書き込みを削除する権限はあるが、それ以外の行動を僕には止めようがない。
 −−匿名掲示板は個人をつるし上げる大衆心理が働きやすいのでは。
 ◆(中傷を面白がる)人間の本質は変えるべきだと思うが、仕組みとしては無理。それが出来たらノーベル賞が取れる。
 −−誤った情報が独り歩きすることも多い。
 ◆既存のメディアが「冤罪(えんざい)報道」をした松本サリン事件と一緒。ただ(ネットの方が)間違う可能性は高いと思う。ネットはうさん臭いもので良い。大事なのは使い方を教育すること。
 −−法で規制すべきだとの意見もあるが。
 ◆海外とつながるネットを国内法で規制しても絵に描いた餅だ。
 −−あなたの管理責任は。
 ◆発言の妥当性を見極めてから載せるべきだとの意見もあるが、それはしなくてもいいのが今の法律。文句を言いたければ法律を作って下さいと国会議員に言うべきだ。
 −−2chは今後も「怪しい」情報が交じりつつ続くのか。
 ◆(危険なのに人が集まる)歌舞伎町と同じ。きれいな情報だけを集めることは難しい。いろいろな情報があるから面白いこともある。
 ◇奇抜な発想「ナナロク世代」
 ひろゆき氏は76年生まれ。その前後に生まれた通称「ナナロク世代」は次代のITベンチャーを担う。ネット交流サービス・SNS(ソーシャル・ネットワーキング・サービス)の最大手「ミクシィ」や検索サービス「はてな」の社長らだ。
 この世代が大学に入学した時期にOS(基本ソフト)のウィンドウズ95を搭載したパソコンが登場し、ネットの利用が本格的に始まる。卒業するころはデフレ不況で就職氷河期。笠原健治ミクシィ社長は「パソコンやネットに慣れ親しんだ年代。仕事は自分たちで何とかしなくちゃ、という意識が芽生えやすかった」と語る。
 ITベンチャーの歴史を振り返ると、孫正義ソフトバンク社長(49)らの第1世代、楽天の三木谷浩史社長(41)らの第2世代に続く第3世代に当たる。先輩に比べてカネもうけへの執着が薄いといわれ、笠原社長も「みんなが楽しむことができればいい。個人的に欲しいものはあまりない」と言う。第1世代でアスキー元社長の西和彦さん(50)は「我々にはない奇抜な発想を持っている」と分析する。
 彼らが生み出した2chやミクシィをのぞいてみると、ユーザーの間に既存のメディアへの強い不満もうかがえる。2ちゃんねらーにとってマスコミは格好の批判材料だ。ライブドアのフジテレビ乗っ取り騒動では、掲示板にライブドアを支持する声があふれた。
 社会への影響力も大きい。新潟県中越地震では被災者に携帯カイロを送る運動が盛り上がった。東芝社員の顧客への不適切な対応を告発した「東芝クレーマー事件」は副社長が謝罪会見に追い込まれた。「おたく青年」を2ちゃんねらーが掲示板の書き込みで応援するラブストーリー「電車男」は100万部を超えるベストセラーになった。
 一方で、2chの運営にもかかわったフリージャーナリスト、井上トシユキ氏(42)は「電車男以降、新しいユーザーが入り、書き込みのレベルが下がった。かつては『祭り』をやるにも義侠(ぎきょう)心や熟慮があったが、今は悪ふざけや単なる魔女狩りになっている」と指摘する。
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 ■ネット用語■
 ◇掲示板(電子掲示板)
 ネット上で利用者同士が意見や情報をやり取りするページ。画像を張り付けられるものもある。日本では「2ちゃんねる」が最も有名。
 ◇顔文字
 パソコンの文字を組み合わせて作った顔。感情を強調する時に使う。1面記事の「°∀°」の「°」は目、「∀」は開いた口。
 ◇ハンドルネーム(HN)
 ネット上で本名の代わりに名乗る仮名。
 ◇ブログ
 簡単にネット上で日々追加して書き込めるホームページ。日記に近い形式が多い。
 ◇スレッド
 掲示板内のある話題に対する意見や情報の集まり。書き込みに対して意見が寄せられ、さらにそれに誰かが書き込む形で議論が進む。
 ◇ソーシャル・ネットワーキング・サービス(SNS)
 広く情報を公開するほかのネット上のページと異なり、会員にならないと参加できない。日記を公開したり、共通の趣味を持つ仲間で情報交換をする。

Nikkan Gendai: foreign crooks fleeing Japan scot free. Just like J crooks fleeing here.

mytest

Hi Blog. File this article under the “sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander” category.

Nikkan Gendai reports on Japan grousing about a lack of extradition treaties, creating a situation where foreigners committing crimes in Japan can easily flee abroad and not be sent back to face justice. Then the article concludes that, “Japan is not a place where foreign criminals typically flee in order to escape arrest for crimes they committed elsewhere.”

Quite. It’s only the Japanese crooks that can flee here and get away with it. The most famous “Japanese” absconder from overseas justice, former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, is a textbook example of how Japan protects its own, even after they turn a country upside down. Note that the GOJ in its favor then cited the lack of an extradition treaty with Peru.
http://www.debito.org/japantodaycolumns10-12.html#12
Blog backlog to several articles and recent updates on Fujimori at
http://www.debito.org/?p=120

Then we get into all the Japanese divorcees of international marriages who abduct children into the safe haven of Japan, even when convicted of crimes overseas, and you can see how widespread the problem has gotten. More on that at
http://www.crnjapan.com

The clearest example being the Murray Wood Case:
http://www.crnjapan.com/people/wom/en/
http://www.debito.org/successstoriesjune2006.html
http://www.debito.org/?s=Murray+Wood

Sorry, Japan, you can’t have it both ways–make it seem as if the kokutai is a victim of rapacious and sneaky foreigners, then allow exactly the same thing to go on for your own repatriating nationals. Maybe this development will force Japan to make its own citizens accountable for crimes overseas as well… Anyway, the article:

Debito in Sapporo

========================================

Lack of extradition agreements prompting more criminals to flee abroad
Japan Today, December 31, 2006

http://www.japantoday.com/jp/kuchikomi/446
Courtesy of Matt at The Community. His comments follow below.

The number of cases involving foreigners who commit crimes in Japan
and flee the country to avoid arrest has been rapidly increasing,
reports Nikkan Gendai (Dec 27). The most recent incident involved the
murder of a 41-year-old Brazilian woman and her two sons, ages 10 and
15, in Yaizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture. The suspect in the murders,
Brazilian Neves Edilson Donizeti, 43, departed from Narita soon after
the slayings.

Japanese authorities have advised Interpol that Donizeti is wanted in
connection with the crimes. Unfortunately, the chance of Donizeti
being apprehended in Brazil and extradited to Japan is virtually nil.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan has concluded
extradition agreements with just two countries, the United States and
South Korea. And Donizeti is particularly fortunate in that his own
country’s laws specifically forbid the extradition of its citizens,
except in drug-related offenses.

The approximately 188,000 Brazilians currently residing in Japan make
them the third largest foreign minority after Koreans (529,000) and
Chinese (253,000).

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tells Nikkan
Gendai that extradition is not the sole means of arranging for the
return of a wanted criminal to Japan. “It’s also possible to make a
request via diplomatic channels,” he explains.

However, diplomacy has not proved any more effective and currently
Brazil alone is said to harbor some 86 felons wanted for crimes in
Japan.

“The hijacking (by leftist radicals) of the JAL passenger jet Yodo to
North Korea in April 1970 is a typical example,” points out policeman
turned journalist Ken Kitashiba. “If the other country doesn’t regard
the act as a crime, it won’t turn them over. The international rules
simply don’t apply. This is the case not only for North Korea, but
African and Middle Eastern countries, which take an uncooperative
stance toward Japan. There’s nothing the Japanese police can do about
it.”

Well, remarks Nikkan Gendai tongue in cheek, at least it’s a good
thing that Japan is not a place where foreign criminals typically
flee in order to escape arrest for crimes they committed elsewhere.

==========================
ARTICLE ENDS

Additional comments from Matt at The Community:

—————————

There is a lack of extradition treaty between Brazil and Japan.
Apparently, some people are committing crimes in Japan and escaping
to Brazil.

Two problems:

1. Last year I had a talk with some middle-aged ladies about
immigration increasing in Japan. They all responded with “kowai,
kowai” (scary, scary). And when I asked them what was on their minds,
they said that foreigners can commit offenses in Japan then run away
to other countries. This was something new so I wasn’t prepared with
any kind of come back. Is this issue causing any (probably unfair)
problems with the perception of foreigners in Japan?

2. It’s a sore spot for Brazilians living in Japan, as they want
justice too. Often they are the ones who have been the recipients of
the crime. I’m not clear on this, but they *might* be the ones who
raised this issue.

There is a discussion of this on NBR’s Japan forum. If the following
link works, it should open an archive page for that forum, with the
search word, “extradition” already typed in, and the column sorted
according to date. Read the top five or six posts, especially Daniel
Sturgeon’s:
http://www.nbr.org/foraui/list.aspx?LID=5&sh=extradition&srt=EmailDate+DESC
—————————
ENDS

J Times Letter re Gregory Clark’s Ideological Laundry

mytest

Hi Blog. Bit of a surprise to find this Letter to the Editor regarding old Gregory Clark and his ranting ways. Especially since I’ve been such a target of them in the past (as the letter alludes). I promise I had nothing to do whatsoever with this letter. Still, glad somebody out there is ready with a critical eye to draw attention to the ironies and hypocrisies (see links below letter) of a man who should long have been retired from writing any column for the Japan Times. Debito in Sapporo

===========================================
Japan Times
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2006
READERS IN COUNCIL
As alike as they are different

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/rc20061203a1.html
By A.E. LAMDON, Nishinomiya, Hyogo

Regarding Gregory Clark’s Nov. 20 article, “Ideological laundry unfurled“: While Yoshihisa Komori’s ideological bullying is deplorable, it is ironic that Clark complains about it. “Rightwing,” “right-leaning,” “besmirch,” “notorious,” “snide,” “sinister,” “fulminating,” “atrocities” — such flaming rhetoric lights up yet another Clark column as he rails against yet another target of his. Clark regularly uses his column (and letters to the editor) to verbally firebomb those targets, a good and ironic example being the case of Debito Arudou.

It is ironic because Clark’s fulminations about Arudou’s campaign against a “no-gaijin” bathhouse were noted by certain circles of Japanese society and resulted in unpleasant consequences for Arudou and his associates — the same sort of consequences that Clark claims he is the victim of now.

Although of opposite wings, Clark and Komori are essentially alike: They use their journalistic billets as bully pulpits to rant against those with whom they disagree. It was just a matter of time before they were exchanging fire.

===========================================
LETTER ENDS

More on this mysterious and extremely stripey character:
http://www.debito.org/PALEspring2000.html
http://www.debito.org/gregoryclarkfabricates.html
http://www.debito.org/onsensclarkjtimes122599.html
ENDS

イジメ本日TBS放送, ICカード,「外人お断り」カフェとレストラン, 「碧眼金髪外人募集」

mytest

ブログの皆様、こんにちは。有道 出人です。クリスマス・イブでメッセージを送ることはあれなんだけど、きょうTBSテレビ放送でイジメ特集で友人がインタビューされますので、それとブログに貯まったニュースを送信させていただきたいと思います。

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1)12/24放送イジメ特集TBS番組:人種・民族による川崎いじめ事件も
2)読売:大村入管センターで常勤医不在2年に、確保のメド立たず
3)朝日:外国人にICカード 登録情報の一元管理へ政府原案(和英訳幾分異なる)
4)朝日:「外人の日本語は片言の方が」 久米さん10年後の謝罪
5)甲府市「碧眼金髪外人」英会話学校公募の件:掲示した山梨国際交流協会より返答
6)最後に、岡崎市のインタネット・カフェで「外国人お断り」、すぐに撤回

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By Arudou Debito

December 24, 2006

和英参考資料をリアルタイムで私のブログで記載しております。

http://www.debito.org/index.php

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1)12/24放送イジメ特集TBS番組:人種・民族による川崎いじめ事件も

(友人から転送いたします。全文は http://www.debito.org/?p=138

===========================

有道出人 先生

 (挨拶中略)有道出人先生もご存知のとおり、いじめによって自らの命を絶つという大変悲しい事件が続いており ます。数ヶ月ほど前から、「いじめ発生の背景は何か」、「きちんと対策を講じたのか」などの疑問が寄せられ、学校はもちろんのこと、加害者側の家庭教育への見直しが強く求められる中、川崎いじめ事件原告である私どものもとに、メディアからの取材要請が何件かございました。

 11月2日に行われた第9回公判の直後、TBSテレビから、娘への被害について特集番組を設け報道したいとの計画が提示されました。担当 の方と会い、事件に関する話しを交わす中で、「于さんが被った事件の全容を社会に 発信し、いじめの本質・残酷さを知ってもらい、さらにご両親が娘さんを救おうとし ている姿を紹介することで、いじめに苦しむ人々を元気づけたい」との方針を伺い、 報道に真剣に取り組もうとする信念を強く感じました。この事は、提訴を通じ、加害 者の責任を明確化する他、いじめは許されざる行為であることを証明したいと願う私 たち夫婦の気持ちと一致しており、番組制作に協力することにしました。

 取材は、娘をはじめ私たち家族と事件に関係した人た ち〔加害者被告、そして第三者である市教委、精神科医師、地域住民、弁護士、事件 の目撃者、転校先の元担任など〕に対して行われることとなりました。

 娘にとり、また私たち家族にとり、当時の一つひとつ の出来事を振り返り語ることは大変辛いものでした。一方、番組スタッフの方々に とっても、事件発生から6年もの歳月が経過しており、事の経緯を 遡りつつ、膨大な資料を整理する事は、大変な作業であったと思います。しかしこれ までの軌跡を再現しようとする精神力と報道に携わる上での優れた観察力に基づき、 着々と番組制作が行われていきました。

 事件の全貌を伝えるには、加害者側への取材が欠かせ ないことから担当の方が被告側に取材の要請をしましたが、メディアに対する加害者 被告の態度は、私たち原告や第三者の方とは全く対照的なものでした。加害者側は、 「理由」をつけて断ってきたそうです。

 取材班は、インタビュー予定者の中で加害者被告本人 を除く全ての関係者への収録を実現しました。なお、事件の全容を視聴者に知っても らう為、取材がかなわなかった加害者被告による主張内容も、番組の中に取り込む措 置をとるそうです。

 今、私たち家族と同じように、あるいは私たち以上に いじめを受けて悩む人々の為に何らかの助力になればと願うと共に、いじめは反社会 的犯罪行為であるというメッセージが、視聴者の方々のもとに必ずや届くものと信じ ております。

 放送日時は下記の通りです。ただし、他の事件との関 連、あるいは世の中に予想外の出来事が生じた場合には、放送日が年明けに延期にな る可能性もあるそうです。

放送局 TBSテレビ

放送日 12 月24日〔日曜日〕

時 間  17:30〜 18:24

番組名  『報道特集』

以上 ご報告申し上げます。(後略)

=======================

川崎いじめ事件の経緯は

http://www.debito.org/kawasakiminzokusabetsu.htm

どうぞ、ご視聴下さい!

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2)読売:大村入管センターで常勤医不在2年に、確保のメド立たず

読売新聞 2006年12月21日

http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/news/ne_06122153.htm

http://www.debito.org/?p=137#comment-115

 入管難民法違反の外国人を本国に送還するまで収容する法務省大村入国管理センター(長崎県大村市)と西日本入国管理センター(大阪府茨木市)で、収容外国人の診療と健康管理のため同省令で配置を義務付けられた常勤医が不在になっていることがわかった。

 不在期間は、大村センターが約2年間、西日本センターが約5か月間。入管側も不備を認め医師を緊急募集しているが、言葉や文化の違いなどがネックとなり、確保のメドは立っていない。

 同省入国管理局によると、同様の施設は全国に3か所あり、常勤医の定員はいずれも1人。東日本入国管理センター(茨城県牛久市)には常勤医がいるが、大村センターは2004年末に、西日本センターは8月初めにそれぞれ常勤医が退職して以降、後任が見つからない状態が続いている。

 不在の背景には、〈1〉言葉や生活習慣の違いから診療が困難〈2〉勤務経験が医者としての評価に結びつきにくい〈3〉給与が民間より低いムムなどの事情がある。

 収容者数は10月末現在、西日本センター254人、大村センター176人。収容される外国人の国籍は中国、韓国、ベトナムなどアジア諸国のほか、中東、中南米、アフリカなどに及んでいる。

 現在、両センターとも非常勤医を配置しているが、勤務時間はいずれも週2日計6時間。急患が発生し、外部の医療機関に搬送するケースが続発している。

 こうした収容施設での医療体制については、同省令で常勤医の配置が義務付けられているほか、1988年に採択された国連被拘禁者人権原則でも、各国政府が適切な医療体制を保障するよう求めている。

 両センターの現状について、大阪の外国人支援団体は「体調不良を訴えても診療を受けられず、症状を悪化させたケースがある」と指摘。アムネスティ日本の寺中誠事務局長は「政府は収容施設内の医療体制を充実させる責任を果たしていない。常勤医を2人体制にするなどの抜本的な改革が必要だ」と批判する。

 一方、入国管理局総務課は「非常勤医では十分な対応ができないのは事実。今後も常勤医確保に向け努力を続ける」とし、医師を同省のホームページなどで緊急募集し続けている。

以上

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3)朝日:外国人にICカード 登録情報の一元管理へ政府原案

朝日新聞 2006年12月19日19時18分

http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1219/TKY200612190338.html

http://www.debito.org/?p=133

 外国人労働者らの居住地などを正確に把握するため、外国人登録情報を法務省入国管理局が一元管理する新制度の政府原案が19日、分かった。入管が氏名や国籍などを電子データとしてICに登録した「在留カード」を発行、外国人を雇う企業や市町村の情報も法務省が集約する。政府は、外国人労働者の受け入れ拡大に備えた体制整備の一環としている。

 原案は、首相が主宰する犯罪対策閣僚会議の作業部会がまとめ、19日午後に同会議に報告した。政府は、関連する外国人登録法や出入国管理法の改正案を08年度に国会に提出する方向だ。

 「在留カード」の対象者は、朝鮮半島を中心とした日本の旧植民地の出身者や子孫などの「特別永住者」や旅行などの短期滞在者を除き、主に80年代以降に来日した日系人やその家族。単純労働者を受け入れない政府方針の事実上の例外となっており、転居などのため居住地や滞在期間の把握が難しいとされる。

 原案によると、対象者を市町村での外国人登録制度から除外。一方で市町村を窓口に氏名や生年月日、国籍、居住地、家族、在留期間・資格を届け出る制度は残し、届け出に入管発行のICカードを使う。入管は転居情報も含め一元管理し、在留更新の判断材料などにする。ICカード発行は05年に自民党内の検討チームが携帯の義務化を含めて提案しているが、「管理強化につながる」と警戒する声もある。

 また、政府は来年の通常国会に提出予定の雇用対策法改正案で、外国人労働者の雇用状況報告を全企業に義務づける。内容も従来の人数や性別に加え氏名や年齢、国籍、在留期間・資格などに広げ、この情報も法務省が厚生労働省から得られるようにする方針だ。

=============================

有道 出人よりコメント:

 この朝日新聞の記事の和英訳はかなり異なります。英語は「IC cards planned to track “Nikkeijin”」(ICカードは日系人のトラッキングをする企画)、そして、「外国人労働者らの居住地などを正確に把握するため、外国人登録情報を法務省入国管理局が一元管理する新制度」のことは控えめに言っている。どうぞ英文と比較して下さい。

http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200612200163.html

または

http://www.debito.org/?p=134

 決して対訳ではありません。なぜでしょうか。

=================

 最後にグッドニュース2点で終わりましょう:

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

4)朝日:「外人の日本語は片言の方が」 久米さん10年後の謝罪

朝日新聞 2006年12月21日16時59分

http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1221/TKY200612210282.html

 キャスターの久米宏氏が、テレビでの発言をめぐる在日外国人からの10年も前の抗議に対して今月1日、謝罪していたことがわかった。謝罪したのは、出演していたテレビ朝日「ニュースステーション」での「外人の日本語は片言の方がいいよね」との発言。久米氏は「今頃何をとお思いでしょうが、心からおわびします」としている。

 外国人の人権を守る活動をしている「ザ・コミュニティー」代表で米国出身の有道出人(あるどう・でびと)さん(41)によると、発言があったのは96年10月の同番組内。インドのルポの中で、インド人がよどみない日本語で話をする映像を見て、久米氏は「しかし、外人の日本語は片言の方がいいよね」と発言した。

 これに対して、有道さんらは同局に口頭やメールで、「日本語を必死に勉強し、日本社会に溶け込もうとしている外国人もいる。とても不快に感じた」などと抗議した。だが、当時、返事はなかったという。

 久米氏から有道さんに突然謝罪のメールが届いたのは、今年12月1日。発言を認めた上で、「よく考えてみると、これはかなり失礼な発言だと思います。いわゆる『島国根性』の視野の狭さ、と反省しています」などと書かれていた。

 久米氏は朝日新聞の取材に対し「最近、(抗議があったことを)ネット上でたまたま知りました。10年前は知りませんでした」とコメントした。

 有道さんは当時から、自身のホームページ(HP)にことの経緯を詳しく掲載していた。

 有道さんは「驚いたが、久米さんのように影響力のある人が過去の発言を放置せず、修正しようとしてくれてうれしい」と話している。

 テレビ朝日広報部は「当時の対応の内容はわからない。視聴者から毎日100件ほどの意見をいただいており、司会者らにすべて伝えるわけではない」としている。ENDS

=======================================

詳しくは

http://www.debito.org/nihongo.html#kume

http://www.debito.org/?p=106

 久米宏さま、このメーリングリストに載っていらっしゃいますので、この場を借りて再び感謝の気持ちを申し上げたいと思います。どうもありがとうございました!

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

5)「碧眼金髪外人」英会話学校公募の件:掲示した山梨国際交流協会より返答

 11月末、甲府市にあるER English School 英会話学校「碧眼金髪外人を求ム」公募の件ですが、掲示した(財)山梨県国際交流協会と甲府地方法務局人権擁護課に抗議文を郵送しました。文は

http://www.debito.org/?p=93

先日、山梨国際交流協会より返答をいただきました。ありがとうございました。スキャンした手紙はここです。

http://www.debito.org/?p=127

ご返答ありがとうございました。

 ちなみに、11月初めの「英語が怖いから外人お断り」と言った北九州のレストラン「ジャングル」の件ですが、いまだに福岡法務局人権擁護部の応対が大変遅うございます。ほぼ2ヶ月が経過しても今週金曜日、担当者の上原氏 (Ph. 093-561-3542) から再び電話が来て、「不明な点はまだあります。最初に断られた人から直接連絡が人権擁護部に行かなければ、当店には現実調べなどと問い合わせが出来かねます」のような返事をいただきました。「僕も断られたので、僕も証人になりませんか?」と聞いても、「元々断わられた人からも聞きたい」と言いました。なぜここまで来るのは2ヶ月もかかるのかは不明。やる気があるのは疑わしいです。経緯は

http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Kokura

http://www.debito.org/?p=81

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

6)最後に、岡崎市のインタネット・カフェで「外国人お断り」、すぐに撤回

 岡崎市在住のスェーデン人が12月10日に付近のインタネット・カフェでに訪れたが、外国人だから入場お断り、と当日お知らせが来ました。

http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Okazaki

 後日私は当店のマネジメントに連絡してみて、「以前顧客がある金融サイトに不正アクセスをして、当サイトでは当店のIPがブラックリストに載ったようです。」顧客が外国人だと確実?「名前は知らないが、英仏葡語でも記載があったようなので、確かに」と言いました。

 ところが、マネージャは「全ての外国人客を断るのは迷惑だし、外国人客からのお金もいただけないので」とすぐにこの排他的な看板を撤回して、国籍を問わず一律の会員制を実行しました。

良かったです。経緯は

http://www.debito.org/?p=117

間もなくTBSの番組が放送されるので、ここで失礼します。皆様、良いお年を!

宜しくお願い致します。有道 出人

debito@debito.org

http://www.debito.org

December 24, 2006

ENDS

SPECIAL REPORT: Issho Kikaku Deletion of the Historical Record

mytest

SPECIAL REPORT:
WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT MAILING LIST ARCHIVES OF JAPAN?

By Arudou Debito
December 23, 2006

(NB: The title is not meant to be sensational–merely a pun on the 1978 movie title, “Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?” The movie was a comedy. This report is, unfortunately, deadly serious. It is an update of a Dec 7 report, archived at http://www.debito.org/?p=108, because yet another mailing list has since been deleted.)

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1) GOOD NEWS: KUME HIROSHI’S APOLOGY MAKES ASAHI SHINBUN
THANKS TO DISCOVERY OF THE ISSUE ON INTERNET ARCHIVES
2) THE DEATH OF THE ISSHO KIKAKU, AND NOW THE SHAKAI ARCHIVES
3) THE GREAT HYPOCRISY UNDERLYING THIS CASE
4) CONCLUSIONS: FIVE YEARS LATER, WHY SPEAK OUT NOW?

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

1) THE GOOD NEWS FIRST:
KUME HIROSHI’S APOLOGY MAKES ASAHI SHINBUN

We open this report with a newspaper article:

========= ARTICLE BEGINS ================
Newscaster regrets anti-foreigner quip
December 21, 2006 BY MARIKO SUGIYAMA, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200612210418.html
http://www.debito.org/?p=136

Atonement, it seems, can never come too late. Newscaster Hiroshi Kume has apologized for a disparaging remark he made 10 years ago about foreigners speaking Japanese.

The comment offended a number of foreign residents in Japan, prompting some people to formally complain to TV Asahi Corp. that aired the remark. At the time, Kume was a presenter on TV Asahi’s evening news program, then called News Station.

The program aired in October 1996 and featured a report on India in which an Indian spoke fluent Japanese, according to Debito Arudou, 41. Arudou, who was born in the United States as Dave Aldwinckle and is now a naturalized Japanese, is active in efforts to protect the rights of foreigners.

Kume blurted out on the program, “Isn’t it better to see a foreigner speaking in broken Japanese?”

Arudou and others complained to the TV station that many foreign nationals are studying Japanese and trying to integrate into society.

He posted details of the protest on his Web site. Kume did not respond at the time, according to Arudou.

But on Dec. 1, Kume sent an e-mail message to Arudou, saying, “Thinking deeply, I realize this was quite a rude remark and I regret this as being narrow-minded.”

Kume told The Asahi Shimbun: “I recently learned on the Internet about the protest. I didn’t know 10 years ago.”

Arudou, in turn, said, “I was surprised but happy that an influential individual such as Kume did not neglect what he said in the past and tried to make things right.”

========= ARTICLE ENDS ================
(See what Kume saw at http://www.debito.org/activistspage.html#kume)

Very happy to see this happening. As I said above, I’m elated when somebody in authority displays a conscience. And I’m also glad the media has taken this up to show that amends can be made.

But what this brings to light is the power of Internet archives. If I had not archived this on debito.org, Kume would never have seen it…. Which is why maintaining a record of the past is a serious matter.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

2) THE DEATH OF THE ISSHO KIKAKU, AND NOW THE SHAKAI ARCHIVES

Information about the Kume Hiroshi Gaffe was also archived elsewhere–on a site called Issho Kikaku (http://www.issho.org). This domain is run and webmastered by Tony Laszlo, currently well-known as the star of the best-selling manga series “MY DARLING IS A FOREIGNER” (Daarin Wa Gaikokujin), created and rendered by wife Oguri Saori.

However, the Issho Kikaku archives, once open to the public, have been closed to the public since December 4, 2005, more than a year ago.

This is tragic. These archives contained the volunteer efforts of and reports from hundreds of researchers, essayists, and activists. These archives also had great historical value, as they charted the change in awareness in the mid-1990’s of the English-speaking foreign community in Japan. With the development of Japan’s Internet, foreigners went online, mobilized, and worked to change their status in Japan from “mere misunderstood guest who should shut up and behave” to “taxpaying resident with enforceable rights”.

Portions of this record can also be found in the archives of the seminal but now dead “Dead Fukuzawa Society”. (http://www.mail-archive.com/fukuzawa@ucsd.edu) Good thing these archives still exist.

However, the Issho Kikaku Mailing List archives, once a part of yahoogroups, were deleted several years ago. Information on and evidence of the list’s existence at http://www.debito.org/enoughisenough.html

When asked about moribund Issho.org in December of this year, Tony Laszlo said, in his final mail to the Shakai Mailing List (also an Issho Kikaku project), quote: “ISSHO Kikaku’s website is still in renewal… Tending to a new baby boy is keeping the webmaster busier than he had expected.” (December 10, 2006)

(That email–courtesy of a former Shakai member deeply troubled by these developments–is archived here:
http://www.debito.org/shakaiarchive121006.html
I archive it on debito.org because, since then, the Shakai Mailing List archive has also been deleted.)

Congratulations on the birth. But this is an unsatisfactory excuse. The average gestation period of a human being is a little over nine months, not a full year. And as a poster to the NBR mailing list pointed out:

———————————————–
“…Tony can take months, years, decades, whatever to work on a “revamp” of ISSHO.org if he wants to. But there is no reason to REMOVE ALL THE CONTENT that was previously there while doing this work. Keep the old site running until the work is done, and then make the switch by simply changing the URL of the top page. It’s a simple task, and something that just about any website does while working on improvements.”
———————————————–
http://nbr.org/foraui/message.aspx?LID=5&pg=4&MID=26526

What’s more, despite all the busyness (and a millionaire’s income from the manga, meaning financially he can devote all his time to househusbandry, if not webmastering), Tony Laszlo is finding time to write articles again for the Shukan ST, not to mention appear in public as “Representative, Issho Kikaku” at a November 26, 2006, meeting of new NGO “No-Borders”: (See http://www.zainichi.net Click under the left-hand heading “nettowaaku ni sanka suru soshiki, kojin” . If that archive has also mysteriously disappeared, refer to http://www.debito.org/noborders120706.webarchive)

So that means there have been three archives done away with: Shakai, Yahoogroups Issho, and Issho.org–all under the aegis of Issho Kikaku. What’s next–the older yahoogroups archive for Shakai (May 2000 to Oct 2003)? Go visit it while it’s still there:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shakai-archive/

What’s going on?

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

3) THE GREAT HYPOCRISY UNDERLYING THIS CASE

I worked in tandem for years with Tony Laszlo and Issho.org, particularly in a Issho subgroup called BENCI (I’d send you more information on it, but, again, the Issho.org files have disappeared). I created, wrote, and maintained the BENCI webarchive. We had a falling out. I left the group.

Meanwhile, I had long since been archiving the Otaru Onsens Lawsuit website on debito.org. (http://www.debito.org/otarulawsuit.html) To this day it is still up there, along with its Japanese equivalent, serving as a citeable record for academics, lawyers, media, activists, and other interested parties as consistently one of the top twenty (of thousands) of accessed sites on debito.org.

Laszlo then told me to take related materials on debito.org down due to “violation of copyright”. Even though I never signed a waiver of my copyright, nor agreed in any way to waive it, nor received any remuneration for my writings. Yet according to Issho Kikaku former Co-Moderator Bern Mulvey, an eyewitness to this case, Laszlo was considering a lawsuit against me for “appropriation and misuse of Issho documents”:

=======================================
December 13, 2006:

I was a member of ISSHO from the late 90s. Like Debito
and several other people, I was a also a member of the
Benci Project–the action group within ISSHO Kikaku which
took action against businesses with discriminatory
practices. Finally, I was co-moderator of the ISSHO
KIKAKU forum until June of 2001; hence, I have a pretty
good grasp of the details regarding Tony’s threatened
lawsuit (and other actions) against Debito.

Tony’s “issues” with Debito came out long before JAPANESE
ONLY was published first in Japanese (2003). Even when I
was co-moderator, there was a push from Tony to have
Debito removed from the ISSHO list because of his
“redundant” website and “misuse” of ISSHO documents. The
talk of suing Debito began then as well–ostensibly to
protect the accessibility and sanctity of the archived
materials, ironic given that said materials have
apparently been erased completely and permanently.

Much of the criticism directed at Debito from ISSHO and
Benci members was over how the collected documents and
other evidence–the fruits of a number of people’s
efforts–were being “appropriated” by Debito for his
supposedly “selfish” ends. The book was ostensibly just
another example of this–e.g., how dare Debito even
reference the ISSHO/Benci information?! (Note that there
was also a more legitimate anger over Debito’s use of
internal correspondence in the book.)

Of course, what Tony and others conveniently overlooked
was that much (80%?) of the archival information had been
gathered by Debito himself. I was one of Debito’s few
defenders when all this came down, and helped scuttle
Tony’s lawsuit (supposedly “on behalf of” BENCI members,
of which I was one). Indeed, I wonder, now that Tony has
taken down all documentation of 6 years of often
successful activism–almost all of it the results of
INTENSE effort he “ordered” but did not assist in–how his
former defenders live with themselves. Two of the most
vicious, at least, owe Debito a public apology.

For a long time, Tony justified his attacks on Debito
partly by asserting the need to ensure the archival
resources we created would remain open to everyone. Now,
they are gone, and I do not understand why. I am glad,
however, that Debito stood his ground and kept whatever
archives he could up at debito.org.
Bern Mulvey
=======================================
http://www.debito.org/?p=108#comment-14

We (Bern, Olaf Karthaus, Ken Sutherland, and myself) dispute the claims Laszlo made. Please see this historical website, written in 2001, and released for the first time today with updates for this report at:
http://www.debito.org/enoughisenough.html

It contains the remaining record of what went on in the Issho Kikaku Mailing list. It may also offer some insights on why these archives might want to disappear.

Then in 2004, my publisher was contacted by Laszlo’s lawyer. According to a letter dated August 13, 2004:
http://www.debito.org/letterlazlawyer.html

Laszlo, through a very famous TV lawyer named Kitamura Yukio, was formally threatening me with a lawsuit, claiming, quote, “violation of copyright, invasion of privacy, and libel” for the publication of my book “JAPANESE ONLY”.
http://www.debito.org/japaneseonly.html

In a face-to-face meeting we had at Kitamura’s offices in late August, he demanded that sales of the book cease.

What’s ironic, given Laszlo’s claims, is that Tony Laszlo, a journalist by byline, has himself taken materials verbatim from an Internet mailing list (Issho’s), without permission from or notification of the source. Then used them for personal remuneration in a Nihongo Journal article, dated December 1999. Archive at:
http://www.debito.org/enoughisenough.html#footnote7
http://www.debito.org/nihongojournal1299.jpg

He was also not above using his journalist byline in a published journal (Shuukan Kin’youbi, April 18, 2003) to put out a clarion call for help to deal with “a recent publication using copyrighted materials without permission”.
http://www.debito.org/letterlazlawyer.html#kinyoubi

Anyway, the lawsuit came to naught. And we got on with our lives. Until now.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////

4) CONCLUSIONS: WHY SPEAK OUT NOW?

Note that I wrote the above “enoughisenough” website above more than five years ago. Why didn’t I release it then?

Because I was worried that this would just be construed as a personal squabble. Seen as a petty dispute between two alpha males who just can’t get along, or who are somehow jousting for the pole position of “Mr Kokusaika” etc. Or, as time went on and the DAARIN WA GAIKOKUJIN turned him into a media superstar, seen as sour grapes for him getting rich and famous on his wife’s talents.

So I let things go. I just thought that he could do his thing, I could do mine. Even after he threatened me with a lawsuit for me doing my thing and writing books. Let it go, life’s too short, I thought.

Unfortunately, once the above decisions were made to delete whole archives and begin a process of whitewashing over history, I realized that this was going too far.

The destruction of public records is verifiable public damage. First he threatens to sue people over information he claims is copyright Issho.org. Then that information becomes unavailable to the public anyway.

The sad thing is that, even if Webmaster Laszlo eventually decides to let the Issho.org archives come back to life, the yahoogroups Issho and Shakai mailing list archives are gone forever.

This is irreversible. It is unforgivable. And should be known about.

Arudou Debito
Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
December 23, 2006
SPECIAL REPORT ENDS

Previous report of this matter (Dec 7, 2006) available on this blog at
http://www.debito.org/?p=108

12/24放送イジメ特集TBS番組:人種・民族による川崎いじめ事件も

mytest

ブロクの皆様:友人から転送:

===========================
有道出人 先生
 日頃より、被害者人権擁護のた めにご尽力を賜り、心から敬服いたしております。

 さて、本日 は、新たなご報告があり、ご連絡させていただきました。

 有道出人先生もご存知のとおり、いじめによって自らの命を絶つという大変悲しい事件が続いており ます。数ヶ月ほど前から、「いじめ発生の背景は何か」、「きちんと対策を講じたのか」などの疑問が寄せられ、学校はもちろんのこと、加害者側の家庭教育への見直しが強く求められる中、川崎いじめ事件原告である私どものもとに、メディアからの取材要請が何件かございました。

 11月2日に行われた第9回公判の直後、TBSテレビから、娘への被害について特集番組を設け報道したいとの計画が提示されました。担当 の方と会い、事件に関する話しを交わす中で、「于さんが被った事件の全容を社会に 発信し、いじめの本質・残酷さを知ってもらい、さらにご両親が娘さんを救おうとし ている姿を紹介することで、いじめに苦しむ人々を元気づけたい」との方針を伺い、 報道に真剣に取り組もうとする信念を強く感じました。この事は、提訴を通じ、加害 者の責任を明確化する他、いじめは許されざる行為であることを証明したいと願う私 たち夫婦の気持ちと一致しており、番組制作に協力することにしました。

 取材は、娘をはじめ私たち家族と事件に関係した人た ち〔加害者被告、そして第三者である市教委、精神科医師、地域住民、弁護士、事件 の目撃者、転校先の元担任など〕に対して行われることとなりました。
娘にとり、また私たち家族にとり、当時の一つひとつ の出来事を振り返り語ることは大変辛いものでした。一方、番組スタッフの方々に とっても、事件発生から6年もの歳月が経過しており、事の経緯を 遡りつつ、膨大な資料を整理する事は、大変な作業であったと思います。しかしこれ までの軌跡を再現しようとする精神力と報道に携わる上での優れた観察力に基づき、 着々と番組制作が行われていきました。

 事件の全貌を伝えるには、加害者側への取材が欠かせ ないことから担当の方が被告側に取材の要請をしましたが、メディアに対する加害者 被告の態度は、私たち原告や第三者の方とは全く対照的なものでした。加害者側は、 「理由」をつけて断ってきたそうです。

 取材班は、インタビュー予定者の中で加害者被告本人 を除く全ての関係者への収録を実現しました。なお、事件の全容を視聴者に知っても らう為、取材がかなわなかった加害者被告による主張内容も、番組の中に取り込む措 置をとるそうです。

 今、私たち家族と同じように、あるいは私たち以上に いじめを受けて悩む人々の為に何らかの助力になればと願うと共に、いじめは反社会 的犯罪行為であるというメッセージが、視聴者の方々のもとに必ずや届くものと信じ ております。

 放送日時は下記の通りです。ただし、他の事件との関 連、あるいは世の中に予想外の出来事が生じた場合には、放送日が年明けに延期にな る可能性もあるそうです。

放送局 TBSテレビ
放送日 12 月24日〔日曜日〕
時 間  17:30〜 18:24
番組名  『報道特 集』
以上 ご報告申し上げます。
ご覧になられました後、ご見解ご意見など頂けました ら幸いです。
以上
=======================
この問題の経緯は
http://www.debito.org/kawasakiminzokusabetsu.htm

TV Anchorman Kume Hiroshi apologizes for anti-foreigner quip made a decade ago, thanks to records on Debito.org

mytest

Bravo! This is the power of a public archive, such as that found on debito.org. Kume would never have found this otherwise! Debito in Sapporo

=========================
Newscaster regrets anti-foreigner quip
12/21/2006 BY MARIKO SUGIYAMA, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200612210418.html

Atonement, it seems, can never come too late.

Newscaster Hiroshi Kume has apologized for a disparaging remark he made 10 years ago about foreigners speaking Japanese.

The comment offended a number of foreign residents in Japan, prompting some people to formally complain to TV Asahi Corp. that aired the remark.

At the time, Kume was a presenter on TV Asahi’s evening news program, then called News Station.

The program aired in October 1996 and featured a report on India in which an Indian spoke fluent Japanese, according to Debito Arudou, 41. Arudou, who was born in the United States as Dave Aldwinckle and is now a naturalized Japanese, is active in efforts to protect the rights of foreigners.

Kume blurted out on the program, “Isn’t it better to see a foreigner speaking in broken Japanese?”

Arudou and others complained to the TV station that many foreign nationals are studying Japanese and trying to integrate into society.

He posted details of the protest on his Web site. Kume did not respond at the time, according to Arudou.

But on Dec. 1, Kume sent an e-mail message to Arudou, saying, “Thinking deeply, I realize this was quite a rude remark and I regret this as being narrow-minded.”

Kume told The Asahi Shimbun: “I recently learned on the Internet about the protest. I didn’t know 10 years ago.”

Arudou, in turn, said, “I was surprised but happy that an influential individual such as Kume did not neglect what he said in the past and tried to make things right.”

(IHT/Asahi: December 22,2006)
Japanese version of this article at
http://www.debito.org/?p=132
Background on the issue at
http://www.debito.org/activistspage.html#kume

Sunday Mainichi on Foreign Crime Fearmongering as NPA policy

mytest

Hi Blog. SITYS. See I told you so. As far back as 2000 (when this whole thing started, really–Check out Chapter Three of my book JAPANESE ONLY), I was saying that foreign crime was being artificially generated by policymakers in order to justify more budgetary outlay. Well, here’s an article on it from the Mainichi Daily News. Courtesy of Ben at The Community (thanks). Debito in Sapporo

===========================
Author dismisses government’s fear mongering myth of crime wave by foreigners

MAINICHI DAILY NEWS December 21, 2006
http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/waiwai/news/20061221p2g00m0dm003000c.html

Translating Sunday Mainichi article dated Dec 31, 2006, original version blogged here.

For years, people like Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara have been up in
arms about rising crime rates among foreigners and juveniles in Japan,
but one of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s public safety experts
has come out to say the claims are groundless, according to Sunday
Mainichi (12/31).

Ishihara and his ilk have long laid the blame on foreigners for a
perceived worsening of public safety standards that has allowed the
powers that be to strengthen and crack down on non-Japanese and teens.

But Hiroshi Kubo, the former head of the Tokyo Metropolitan
Government’s Emergency Public Safety Task Force, says they’ve got it
all wrong.

“Put simply, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s public safety policy
involves telling people that public safety standards have worsened and
police groups need strengthening to protect the capital’s residents,”
Kubo tells Sunday Mainichi. “But I’ve realized there’s something
unnatural about this ‘worsening.'”

In his newly released book, Kubo goes through the statistical data
being used to justify taking a hard line on foreigners and kids and
argues that maybe it’s not quite all there. For instance, the growing
crime rate in Tokyo is based on reported crimes, not actual crime
cases. This means the count includes cases where people who have been
scared into believing their safety is under such a threat they contact
the police for any trifling matter only to be sent away with no action
taken.

And taking a look back over the past 40 years shows that violent
crimes by juveniles has actually declined. Current worries about how
youths are becoming more criminally inclined — and at a younger age
— sound like a recording of similar cries dating back to the ’60s.

Crimes by foreigners have long been highlighted, but there’s little to
suggest that Tokyo or Japan is in the midst of a violent crime spree.
In 2002, there were 102 non-Japanese arrested in Tokyo for violent
crimes including murder, armed robbery, arson and rape. The following
year, that number jumped to 156, fell back to 117 in 2004 and was just
84 in 2005. And the number of violent crimes foreigners are committing
in Tokyo is not a patch on the Japanese, who account for about 1,000
cases a year.

Kubo says authorities are merely fear mongering, taking statistics
that work in their favor and molding them to suit their purposes.
National Police Agency data is used the same way as authorities are
doing in Tokyo, spreading fear nationwide.

“There’s an underlying current of anxiety throughout society. People
have no idea what’s going to happen in the future, they’re worried
about employment and pay and declining living standards and somebody
who’s going to openly talk about the reason for their anxieties is
going to attract their interest,” the public safety expert tells
Sunday Mainichi. “Say somebody comes out and says ‘foreigners’ violent
crimes are all to blame’ then anxious people are going to go along
with that. And the national government, prefectural governments,
police and the media all jump on the bandwagon and believe what’s
being said.” (By Ryann Connell)

December 21, 2006
ENDS

==========================
More on how the police fudge the stats at
http://www.debito.org/crimestats.html
http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity/communityissues.html#police
ENDS

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

mytest

Hello Blog. Here’s something odd. My lawyer today told me about an Asahi article which came out two days ago regarding proposals to IC Chip all foreign workers.

Funny thing is this. The English version (enclosed below) is entitled “IC cards planned to track ‘Nikkeijin'”. The Japanese version is entitled “Gaikokujin ni IC kaado–touroku jouhou no ichigen kanri he seifu gen’an” (“IC Cards for Foreigners–a proposal before the Diet to unify all registered data for administrative purposes”). Sounds quite different, no?

And the J version focusses much more on how it’s going to affect “gaikokujin roudousha” (foreign workers), including any foreigner registered and/or working for a company in Japan. The Japanese version doesn’t even mention “Nikkeijin” until well into the third paragraph, let alone the headline. Odd indeed.

Both articles blogged on debito.org for your reference. Japanese version at
http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1219/TKY200612190338.html
Or on this blog at
http://www.debito.org/?p=133

What do you think is going on here? Is this a way to keep the members of the foreign elite that can’t read Japanese from protesting when hobnobbing with the Japanese elite? Debito in Sapporo

=============================

IC cards planned to track ‘nikkeijin’
12/20/2006 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200612200163.html

The government plans to enhance its system of tracking foreign nationals of Japanese descent by issuing new IC cards containing information controlled by the Justice Ministry’s Immigration Bureau, sources said Tuesday.

The electronic information will include name, date of birth, nationality, address in Japan, family members, and duration and status of stay, the sources said.

The cards will be issued by immigration offices when they grant visas to the foreigners of Japanese ancestry, or nikkeijin.

With the information under its control, the Immigration Bureau will be able to follow changes in the foreign residents’ addresses when they present the IC cards to municipal governments in reporting that they are setting up residence there.

The Justice Ministry will also consolidate information on private companies and municipal governments that hire foreign workers, the sources said.

The moves are part of the government’s efforts to expand the scope of legal systems to prepare for a growing number of foreigners working in Japan, the sources said.

The IC cards will be issued mainly to nikkeijin and their family members who came to Japan in the 1980s and thereafter.

The nikkeijin have been practically exempted from the government’s policy of refusing entry to unskilled workers. Their whereabouts and duration of stay are often difficult to grasp, sources said.

Special permanent residents, including those from former Japanese colonies, such as the Korean Peninsula, and their descendants, as well as travelers and others here for a short period, will be exempted from the IC card program, the officials said.

Those who opt for the IC cards would not have to obtain an alien registration card from their municipal office. But they would have to present the IC cards when they register at new municipalities, the officials said.

The draft proposal was compiled by a working group of a government council on crime-fighting measures. The council, headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, received the working group’s proposal Tuesday, they added.

A working group of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in 2005 proposed that all foreigners be required to carry such IC cards, much like alien registration cards issued by municipal governments.

But the move was quashed after opponents said such action could lead to excess supervision.

For the new IC card plan, the government plans to submit a bill to revise related laws to the ordinary Diet session in fiscal 2008, the sources said.(IHT/Asahi: December 20,2006)
ENDS

朝日:「外人の日本語は片言の方が」 久米さん10年後の謝罪

mytest

「外人の日本語は片言の方が」 久米さん10年後の謝罪
朝日新聞 2006年12月21日16時59分
http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1221/TKY200612210282.html

 キャスターの久米宏氏が、テレビでの発言をめぐる在日外国人からの10年も前の抗議に対して今月1日、謝罪していたことがわかった。謝罪したのは、出演していたテレビ朝日「ニュースステーション」での「外人の日本語は片言の方がいいよね」との発言。久米氏は「今頃何をとお思いでしょうが、心からおわびします」としている。

 外国人の人権を守る活動をしている「ザ・コミュニティー」代表で米国出身の有道出人(あるどう・でびと)さん(41)によると、発言があったのは96年10月の同番組内。インドのルポの中で、インド人がよどみない日本語で話をする映像を見て、久米氏は「しかし、外人の日本語は片言の方がいいよね」と発言した。

 これに対して、有道さんらは同局に口頭やメールで、「日本語を必死に勉強し、日本社会に溶け込もうとしている外国人もいる。とても不快に感じた」などと抗議した。だが、当時、返事はなかったという。

 久米氏から有道さんに突然謝罪のメールが届いたのは、今年12月1日。発言を認めた上で、「よく考えてみると、これはかなり失礼な発言だと思います。いわゆる『島国根性』の視野の狭さ、と反省しています」などと書かれていた。

 久米氏は朝日新聞の取材に対し「最近、(抗議があったことを)ネット上でたまたま知りました。10年前は知りませんでした」とコメントした。

 有道さんは当時から、自身のホームページ(HP)にことの経緯を詳しく掲載していた。

 有道さんは「驚いたが、久米さんのように影響力のある人が過去の発言を放置せず、修正しようとしてくれてうれしい」と話している。

 テレビ朝日広報部は「当時の対応の内容はわからない。視聴者から毎日100件ほどの意見をいただいており、司会者らにすべて伝えるわけではない」としている。
ENDS

詳しくは
http://www.debito.org/nihongo.html#kume
http://www.debito.org/?p=106

J Times Eric Johnston on being misquoted in new book on Imperial Family

mytest

Hello Blog. Japan Times journalist Eric Johnston has been misquoted in a new book out in English, soon out in Japanese, on the Imperial Family. Before it gets him into any trouble, he has issued this disclaimer. Debito in Sapporo

==========================

From: Eric Johnston
Date: December 12, 2006 4:58:25 PM JST

(cut)
Eric Johnston December 12th, 2006

UPDATE FROM ERIC JOHNSTON FEB 19, 2007

Eric Johnston wishes to extend his thanks to everyone on the Debito.org list who wrote to him with messages of support over the “Princess Masako” book. There have been some new developments since his initial post, and he is looking into what, exactly, happened and why. Once the facts are known, Eric will write to Debito.org again and update everyone.

Kume Hiroshi reads his decade-old gaffe on debito.org, apologizes! And why archives matter (contrast with dead and deleted archives at Tony Laszlo’s ISSHO Kikaku)

mytest

Hello Blog. Got some great news regarding some unfinished business over a decade old:

FORMER NEWS STATION ANCHORMAN KUME HIROSHI APOLOGIZES
FOR AN ANTI-“GAIJIN” COMMENT HE MADE TEN YEARS AGO
THANKS TO THE ISSUE BEING ARCHIVED ON DEBITO.ORG

This post is structured thusly:
///////////////////////////////////////////////////
1) BACKGROUND TO THE ISSUE
2) KUME’S LETTER OF APOLOGY
3) MORAL: ARCHIVES SHOULD NOT BE DELETED

(CONTRAST WITH THE DELETION AND SUPPRESSION OF HISTORY
ON TONY LASZLO’S ISSHO.ORG)

///////////////////////////////////////////////////
December 7, 2006

BACKGROUND TO THE ISSUE

I realized the value of a maintaining an archive all these years, when I got a letter out of the blue last Friday night (Dec 1) from a certain individual named Kume Hiroshi.

This is significant. Kume Hiroshi is a very influential person–for more than a decade he was Japan’s most popular (and controversial) news anchorman, hosting NEWS STATION on the TV Asahi network throughout the 1990’s. Much of his controversy stemmed from his glib editorial comments about news during the broadcast, found caustic or offensive by some viewers.

One thing that friends and I found offensive was his flippant use of the word “gaijin”, already becoming a “housou kinshi gotoba” (word not for broadcast, at least officially) on the networks at the time.

A gaffe he made in October 1996, questioning the efficacy of “gaijin” speaking fluent Japanese, caused a huge debate on mailing lists such as the Dead Fukuzawa Society and ISSHO Kikaku (both now moribund). It also occasioned my seminal essay on why “gaijin” is in fact a racist word (http://www.debito.org/kumegaijinissue.html).

Anyhow, this was one of the first human-rights issues ever I took up publicly in Japan, becoming a template for how to use “proper channels” for protest. Now, ten years later, those efforts have finally come to fruition!

What happened back then in more detail: On October 17, 1996, I emailed the following letter to TV Asahi (Japanese original):

============ MY 1996 LETTER TO TV ASAHI BEGINS =================
To Mr Kume Hiroshi:

(opening salutations deleted) On Monday (10/14)’s News Station broadcast something happened which troubled me. In the middle of a broadcast from India about the Maharaja burger in McDonald’s, some Indian apparently spoke very good Japanese.

But after that, Mr Kume apparently said:

“But it’s better if foreigners talk broken Japanese, right?”
(shikashi, gaijin wa nihongo ga katakoto no hou ga ii)

What does this mean? Maybe this was no more than an offhand comment, but I am greatly troubled. The next day, it became an issue on the the Fukuzawa internet group, and some “foreigners” felt very uncomfortable. The reason why was because foreigners both inside and outside Japan [sic] have taken great pains to become bilingual, and even if they try to fit into Japanese society, is it good for you to tell the whole country that “after all, it’s better if they remain unskilled like children”?

And then, I called TV Asahi directly and was connected to a gentleman at News Station. After I explained the above, he [replied]:

“‘Baby talk’ isn’t a bad word, I think. It’s just you who thinks so”, among other things. In other words, it seems he doesn’t take seriously the opinions of his viewers.

Even after I asked him, he wouldn’t give me his name, nor would he write down mine. “I’ll tell him” was all he said. But I really don’t have the confidence that he will pass the word along, so I am sending you this directly by email.

Afterwards, I called TV Asahi again and got hold of the Shichousha Center and talked to Mr Sekimoto. He said friendily, “That won’t do” and “I’ll talk to News Station”. However, that was around noon and I haven’t heard anything from them, so I don’t know what happened.

Anyway, Mr Kume, couldn’t you please take care of your terminology when addressing people who aren’t Japanese? If you take care about how you talk about Burakumin [Japanese Underclass], Zainichi Kankokujin [Japan-born Koreans], and “cripples” (bikko), please also do the same for the “gaijin”. (closing salutations deleted)

============ 1996 LETTER ENDS ======================
http://www.debito.org/kume1.5letterenglish.html
Japanese original at:
http://www.debito.org/kumeltrnihongo.html
http://www.debito.org/nihongo.html

(The entire issue, related articles, and the debate on Fukuzawa is archived at
http://www.debito.org/activistspage.html#kume)

The issue then took off, hitting the Washington Post and the Daily Yomiuri twice. Finally, on November 28, News Station devoted an 11-minute segment on the word “gaijin” itself (a digression from the real issue of the “appropriateness” of their fluency–see my write-up of the telecast at http://www.debito.org/kume5tvasahibroadcast.html).

Alas, Kume topped the whole thing off by calling the reporter who anchored the story, award-winning novelist Dave Zoppetti, a “gaijin” all over again. Would he ever learn?

Yes, he would.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////

THE LETTER OF APOLOGY

Fast forward more than ten years. Kume-san is now no longer on the air (except for a radio program one day a week), and is apparently considering becoming a politician.

This is what I received last Friday:
(Japanese original, available at http://www.debito.org/?p=106
Translated by Arudou Debito):

============ LETTER FROM KUME BEGINS ======================
Subject: Mr. David Aldwinckle
Date: December 1, 2006 7:32:40 PM JST
To: debito AT debito.org
Aldwinckle sama:

Please excuse this sudden email. My name is Kume Hiroshi. I appeared three years ago on News Station.

This is something more than ten years old, but on my program I said something about “I find it weird when foreigners (gaikokujin) are good at Japanese.” Recently I found out that you sent in a letter of protest about this.

I remember this happening. That person who came on the show had such incredible Japanese that I was blown away. My memory was that I remarked with the nuance that foreigners (gaikoku no kata) who speak Japanese should speak it like they knew that they were foreign (gaikokujin).

However, after a good think about this, I realize that this is a pretty rude thing to say. I’m thinking about how this reflects the narrow viewpoint of someone with an island mentality (shimaguni konjou).

I’m not sure how you feel about this nowadays, but if you took offense to this, I apologize from my heart for it.

KUME HIROSHI
============ LETTER FROM KUME ENDS ======================

(Note how careful he is even to avoid using the word “gaijin” throughout his letter. Good.)

Now, given the nature of the Internet, I of course had doubts about the veracity of this email. So I asked the author nicely for some more proof. He answered to give me the contact details of his agency (I checked with Dave Spector to make sure it is legit) and the cellphone of his agent, and would let them know I would be calling. I called on Monday and confirmed that yes, Kume Hiroshi really was the author. I have already made this information public to my Japanese lists, to show that Kume really is a person with a conscience.

I also send this to you to show that it really does pay to protest.

Make your thoughts known calmly and earnestly, and minds might change even at the highest levels!

However, this incident brings a more serious issue to light:

///////////////////////////////////////////////////

3) MORAL: ARCHIVES SHOULD NOT BE DELETED
(cf. THE DELETION AND SUPPRESSION OF HISTORY ON TONY LASZLO’S ISSHO.ORG)

Now bear in mind that if these Kume letters were not up and searchable on debito.org, the entire issue would have been lost to the sands of time.

Which creates a clear irony. Another letter regarding the Kume “Gaijin” Gaffe up on my website is from ISSHO Kikaku, a formerly active Internet action group which promoted diversity in Japan (http://www.issho.org), headed by Tony Laszlo, now a millionaire and public figure. Tony Laszlo became very rich and famous in the 2000’s as “Tony-chan”, the amusing foreign husband of an international couple, thanks to the magical depiction by his wife, the very talented manga artist Oguri Saori, in the DAARIN WA GAIKOKUJIN multi-million-selling comic-book series. (Japan Times article “Drawing on Love: A publishing marriage made in heaven” at http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20041017x1.html)

Anyway, the thing is, you can’t find that ISSHO Kume letter up at issho.org anymore. In fact, you can’t get any information whatsoever from the ISSHO Kikaku domain, despite all the years of work by hundreds of volunteers (myself included) creating that archive and information site. Issho.org also contained information on other important issues, such as foreign academics in Japan, the Azumamura Pool Exclusions Case, and the Ana Bortz Lawsuit.

Fact is, the ISSHO archives have been down for more than a year now (all you get when you access issho.org is “Site renewal – please wait a while. Submitted by issho on Sun, 2005-12-04 11:39.”) According to others doing net searches said: ” I just hope [information on the Ana Bortz Case] wasn’t solely on the issho.org site, because according to the Wayback Machine), ‘access to http://www.issho.org has been blocked by the site owner via robots.txt.’ Which means whoever controls that domain has purposely blocked any attempts from outside to access information from it.” “To be more specific, the robot directed all search engines not to create their own archive. Also, there was a text message in the file, it read: ‘Go away!'”

I don’t know any real human rights group which would do a thing like this. Collate all this information and then not let people access it?

Similarly, the archive for the former issho mailing list at yahoogroups, likewise under the administration of Tony Laszlo, was also deleted several years ago.

Why does this matter? Because ISSHO Kikaku’s archives were an important historical record of how the foreign community in Japan fundamentally changed its awareness in the 1990’s. Foreigners began to refuse being merely seen as “guests”. They began asserting themselves online with a newfound confidence as residents and taxpayers, demanding attention, due recognition, and commensurate human rights.

I also tried to chart the rise of foreign resident awareness in my books JAPANESE ONLY. However, I received a letter, dated August 13, 2004, from Tony Laszlo’s lawyer, the famous TV lawyer Kitamura Yasuo, accusing me of infringement of copyright, libel, and invasion of privacy. Kitamura’s letter is available at http://www.debito.org/letterlazlawyer.html”>http://www.debito.org/letterlazlawyer.html

On August 30, 2004, my publisher and I had a meeting with Tony Laszlo and his lawyer, where he demanded that my publisher halt publication of both my English and Japanese versions of JAPANESE ONLY. We didn’t.

I bring all this up now because there has been more than a year of dead issho.org archives, many years of dead yahoogroups archives, and an attempt to silence another published account of the times in two languages. Why is there so much suppression and/or deletion of the historical record?

The biggest irony is that Tony Laszlo is once again appearing in public as “Representative, ISSHO Kikaku”, according to a November 26, 2006, meeting of new NGO “No-Borders” (http://www.zainichi.net Click under the left-hand heading “nettowaaku ni sanka suru soshiki, kojin” in the blue field, fourth from the top. His is the fifth name on the list. If that archive also mysteriously disappears, refer to http://www.debito.org/noborders120706.webarchive)

With no clear membership, no accessible information site, and no archives to show whatever ISSHO Kikaku has ever done, it seems that this is a Potemkin group indeed.

===================================

The bottom line: It is precisely because of archives that Kume Hiroshi apologized. Without a record, we are writing sand messages on the wind. Let history be judged in retrospect without denial of access or mass deletion. If we’re ever going to get anything done for ourselves in this society, we need to know what to continue building upon.

Arudou Debito
Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
December 7, 2006
ENDS

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

ADDITION: JAPAN TIMES ARTICLE
Drawing on love

The “Da-rin” books detailing a couple’s quirky ways are a publishing marriage made in heaven
By TOMOKO OTAKE, Staff writer

THE JAPAN TIMES Sunday, Oct. 17, 2004
Courtesy (and with photos and book excerpts at)
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/fl20041017x1.html

She is a Japanese manga artist with a piercingly sharp eye for human traits and foibles. He is an American writer and language buff who can chat with equal ease in four languages. Together, they make for a magnetic — not to say a “mangaetic” — couple.

That’s because for Saori Oguri and Tony Laszlo (above), their life together has also spawned a side-splitting comic-book series which, in two volumes, has recently topped the million-sales mark.

In the first of the books, “Da-rin wa Gaikokujin” (which means, “My Darling Is a Foreigner”), 37-year-old Oguri turned her life with 44-year-old Tony into a hilarious read.

Published in December 2002, “Da-rin” depicts Tony as a sensitive, naive and reflective guy with markedly chiseled features.

In one episode, bearded Tony is so emotionally affected by seeing a bus fly through the air off the middle of a broken highway in the action film “Speed” (only to miraculously land on the unbroken other side) that he has to get up and lean against the wall for a while “to soften” the shock. Meanwhile, Saori comes across as an articulate, no-nonsense type — a spouse Tony had no chance of shifting when she’d decided to buy two luxurious 200 yen buns at a bakery, despite him urging her to just get one 100 yen bag (with two buns in it) to save money.

“But what if we died tomorrow?” she retorts, her eyes narrowing into fiery slits. Next moment, she’s morphed into a woman on her deathbed, a worn-out futon — whispering feebly from between sunken cheeks: “I . . . wanted to eat that 200 yen bun . . . ”

Talking recently with the couple at a trendy cafe near their home in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, that same comical chemistry came to life from the pages of their book, with Tony waxing lyrical and reflective while his wife, in total contrast, cut straight to the chase.

Their first encounter dates back to 1995, when Saori volunteered to help at an event organized by a nongovernmental group that Tony had founded. Which one of them first had a crush on the other is a bone of contention, with each claiming the other was the first to look him/her in the eye.

Tiffs over ‘subtleties’
But anyway they clicked, started dating, and eventually got married. Although the book describes their budding relationship humorously, it was rocky at first, Saori said. That wasn’t just because Tony hails from the United States and has Hungarian and Italian parents, or just because Saori grew up in Japan. The tiffs came from differences in “subtleties” — like feeling that the efforts you’ve made to adjust to the other went unrecognized.

It was Noriko Matsuda, an editor at the Tokyo-based publisher Media Factory, who persuaded Saori, her older sister’s friend, to create a comic book based on the couple’s life. Matsuda had been a longtime fan of Saori, whose style before “Da-rin” had been relatively low-key, often allied to serious story lines and with dramatically different graphics from “Da-rin,” featuring lots of gorgeous girls and guys.

After she agreed to rise to Matsuda’s challenge, Saori drew the first volume of the book in just six weeks — from October 2002 — after taking time off from a series she was doing for a comic magazine.

Riding the success of the first “Da-rin,” whose total print run is now up to 550,000 copies, Saori came up with a sequel, simply titled “My Darling Is a Foreigner 2,” which was published in March.

Initially, the books were targeted at cross-culturally married couples. But they have turned out to have a much wider public appeal.

Nonetheless, the scale of the books’ success — with a combined 1.03 million copies printed so far (for which Saori receives 10 percent royalties for every one sold) raises the question of whether its popularity is connected to the rising number of Japanese getting hitched to non-Japanese (36,039 in 2003, up from 26,657 a decade ago, according to official statistics). Or does it mean that more Japanese are finally embracing multiculturalism — or at least feeling obliged to tune into the English-speaking world?

According to Matsuda, the book’s success has little to do with any of that.

“Whether you marry a Japanese or a foreigner, marriage, at the end of the day, is about living with someone else,” she said. “And readers probably resonated with the author’s message, which is, if you try to understand each other better, it makes life so much more enjoyable.”

Saori agrees that it’s not the theme of “international marriage” that has fueled the “Da-rin” boom. In fact more than 70 percent of the 60 to 100 postcard responses she gets from readers every month are from Japanese married to Japanese, she said — or from Japanese who are single.

Long after the book’s publication, there was one significant other whose opinion Saori was denied. Tony stopped himself from reading it, because he didn’t want to get caught up in all the hype.

Characteristically, though, when he did recently delve between its covers, he minutely examined its every detail. That was after contracts were signed for an as yet untitled English-Japanese bilingual version of the first book — and Tony was assigned as the translator. Now, he faces the daunting task of ensuring that all its many jokes and entertaining nuances equally successfully bridge the linguistic — and cultural — divide.

“I trust him,” Saori said. Then she turned to him with just a hint of intimidation in her tone, and said: “I’m counting on you, really.”

Keys to cohabitation
So just what are the keys to enjoying living with someone else?

“Talk a lot with each other, but don’t meddle in the other’s business,” Oguri replied directly and without hesitation. “I want him to clean up his stuff, but I don’t tell him persistently.”

I asked for Tony’s input. He paused, then started talking — in impeccable and soft-spoken Japanese — about the limitations of space in big cities and how it is important for a couple to secure enough living space to avoid needless conflict with each other.

“To overcome the shortage of space, you should learn how to put things upward, instead of sideways,” he said. “It’s been some 15 years since I came to Japan, but it’s still hard to master that. In Japan, stereos and other electronic appliances are all stacked up . . . ”

“Everyone is doing it,” Saori cut in. “You’re trying to justify your inability to clean up, aren’t you?”

“And it’s important not to interrupt someone when they’re speaking,” he continued.

Saori sighed, as Tony went on to stress at length the importance of community support in a disaster-rich nation like Japan. Eventually, though, his orbit brought him back to the area of relationships.

“It would be nice if you could be flexible so that you can adjust to your partner, while at the same time retaining your solid, individual self,” he opined.

“Yes, flexibility is necessary,” Saori concurred in an ever-so-slightly un-“Da-rin” way.

The Japan Times: Sunday, Oct. 17, 2004
ENDS

ニュースステーションの久米宏氏は10年間以上前の「外人は日本語が片言がいいよね」のコメント、謝罪文を!

mytest

 ブロクの皆様こんばんは。非常にいいニュースがあります。

 昔々のことですが、テレビ朝日のニュースステーションの元アンカーマン 久米宏(http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/久米宏)は当番組の平成8年10月14日放送でこういうことがありました。私の抗議文から引用します。

========================================

Subject heading: 外人は日本語が片言がいいですか

久米 宏 様へ

お忙しいところすみません。こちらは北海道情報大学の講師アルドウインクル デビッ ト(David Aldwinckle)と申します。いつもテレビ朝日のニュース ステションを拝見 し、久米さんのざっくばらんのスタイルは非常に爽やかだと思います。

しかし、月曜(10/14) ニュース ステションの放送の時に困ったことがありました 。インドのルポの中、マクドナルドのマハラジャ バーガーはトピックスで、あるイ ンド人が非常にお上手な日本語でしゃべたようです。

その後、久米さんはこうおっしゃったそうです:

「しかし、外人の日本語が片言がいいよね」

これはどういう意味ですか。

すてセリフにすぎないかもしれませんが、非常に困らせます。次の日、フクザワInte rnet Groupで論点になり、とっても不快に感じた「外人」も居ました。なぜならば、 在外、在日外国人はせっかく日本語をBilingualにし、日本の社会に溶け込めようと しても、やはり子供のようにうまくないママでいいと全国に伝えた方がいいですか。

そして、きょうテレビ朝日に直接、電話してニュース ステションの方までつないで いただきました。上記の通りを説明してから、電話を受けた人は私をちゃかす様な言 い方にしました。

「片言は悪い言葉だと僕は思わない。あんただけだよ。」とも。

つまり、視聴者の意見を尊重してないようです。

お願いしても、電話を受けた人がお名前を教えて下さいませんでした。それに、私の 名前も書いておくことも断りました。「伝えます」だけを言い、本当に伝えってくれ る自信がないのでemailで送信しています。

後程、私はまたテレビ朝日に電話して、視聴センターの関本様と話し合って、「それ はいかん」ともおっしゃい、「ニュース ステションの人と話す」と親しく交わして 下さいましたが、それはきょう正午頃なのにお返答がなくてどうなっているか分かりません。

とにかく、久米さん、日本人じゃない者にも言い方を気を付けて下さいませんか。部 落民、在日韓国人、ビッコ(足の不自由の方)等に対する言い方を気を付ければ、「外人」にも宜しくお願い致します。

平成8年10月17日 北海道情報大学 講師  デビット アルドウインクル
========================================
http://debito.org/kumeltrnihongo.html
http://debito.org/nihongo.html#kume

 では、先日、久米さんから返事が来ました:
========================================
December 1, 2006 7:32:40 PM JST

Aldwinckle様。

突然のメールで恐れ入ります。
私は、3年前までニュースステーションという番組に出演していた
久米宏と申します。

10年ほど前の話で恐縮ですが、
私が番組の中で、「外国人があまり日本語がうまいのはどうも・・・」
という趣旨の話をして、
それに対して貴方様が抗議の発言をしていらっしゃるのを最近知りました。

その時の状況は覚えています。
その方は、とにかく物凄く日本語が上手で、
あまりのうまさに驚いて、やはり外国の方は、外国人だと分かる日本語を話して
くれないと困る、というニュアンスで僕は話した記憶があります。

しかしながら、良く考えてみると、これはかなり失礼な発言だと思います。
いわゆる「島国根性」の視野の狭さ、と反省しています。
もし不愉快な思いをされたら、今頃何をとお思いでしょうが、
心からお詫びします。

                          久米宏。
========================================

 このメールは本人からかどうかは分かりませんでした。その後、彼からのマネージメント(オフィストゥーワン)と彼のマネジャーの連絡先を教えて下さって、私が確認してから確かに本人からだと確認できました。

 よって、私から皆様にお伝いたいのは、久米宏さんは非常に良心的な方なので、いくらでも過去なことがあってもかかわらずきちんと責任を取ろうとしていますね。私から心から感謝いたします。どうもありがとうございました!

 これから(特にマスコミでは)「外人」の言葉遣いをやめて、国籍を問わず日本住民が頑張っていること(特に言語的に)を認めましょう。
 有道 出人
ends
//////////////////////////////////////////////////

アップデート!
「外人の日本語は片言の方が」 久米さん10年後の謝罪
朝日新聞 2006年12月21日16時59分
http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1221/TKY200612210282.html
もしくは
http://www.debito.org/?p=132
ends

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOV 27 2006

mytest

Good evening all. Recent articles on my blog have reached saturation point, so here’s a roundup:

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOV 27, 2006
This post is organized thusly:

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1) OTARU ONSENS CASE NOW TEACHING MATERIAL
2) GAIJIN CARD CHECKS OUTSIDE “SAKURA HOUSE”
3) UPDATE ON KITAKYUSHU EXCLUSIONARY RESTAURANT
4) J TIMES ON TOURISM PROMOTION, WITH LETTER TO THE ED
5) TBS: FUJIWARA NORIKA BUMPS ARUDOU DEBITO
6) KYODO: MOCK JURY TRIAL SPRINGS FOREIGN MANSLAUGHTERER
7) JALT PALE ROUNDTABLE ON ACADEMIC EMPLOYMENT
and finally…
8) WASH POST: GOJ CREATING SUSHI POLICE FOR OVERSEAS J FOOD
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This and future material available in real time by subscription at
http://www.debito.org/index.php

1) OTARU ONSENS CASE NOW TEACHING MATERIAL

The Otaru Onsens Case (http://www.debito.org/otarulawsuit.html) refuses to fade into obscurity, thank goodness. Still, the facts of the case are being increasingly bleached out as time goes on. Witness how in this English teaching book discussing the case for educational purposes:

From “Shift the Focus”, Lesson 4: “Discrimination, or Being Japanese…?” pp 18-21, on the Otaru Onsens Case. Sanshusha Pubilshing Co., Ltd. February, 2006. Written by Colin Sloss.

After developing the case to make it appear as if I was doing this all on my own, the dialog continues:

======== EXCERPT BEGINS ===================
Some foreigners who had been living in Japan for a long time, lets [sic] call them “old Japan hands,” objected to the claim that this was discrimination and should be stopped. Their argument, as I understand it, was that trying to make Japan like other countries would, in fact, make Japan less distinct and more ordinary. Japan, as it is now (regardless of any problems it may possess, such as discrimination and racism), should be appreciated because of its uniqueness. Ultimately, this argument is romantic, condescending and resistant to the globalization of Japan. Lafcadio Hearn could be said to represent an extreme of this kind of thinking. During the late Meiji Period, Hearn was strongly against the Westernization of Japan, which he feared would destroy the charms of old Japan. Such hopes, though understandable, tend to be disappointed with the changing times.
======== EXCERPT ENDS ===================
Entire dialog at http://www.debito.org/?p=88

COMMENT:
While I am happy that the issue has been condensed and replicated for future discussion in an educational setting, I wish the author could have gotten a little closer to the facts of the case. Perhaps included the fact that there was more than one Plaintiff in the case (Olaf and Ken), not just me alone.

I also think he should take less seriously the intellectual squirrelling afforded those postulating pundits he calls “old Japan hands”, found chattering away on places like NBR. They are hardly representative of the foreign resident community in Japan, the proprortionally-shrinking English-language community in Japan, or of anything at all, really. Except perhaps old grouches and bores.

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2) GAIJIN CARD CHECKS OUTSIDE “SAKURA HOUSE”

Received a mail (I get a lot of these, especially on weekends) from people wanting some advice. This time, a person named Alisa told me about how cops keep hanging out outside the “gaijin guesthouses” of Sakura House (http://www.sakura-house.com) essentially to snare foreigners (this is not the first time I’ve heard about this, by the way):

======== EXCERPT BEGINS ===================
Anyway this morning I was stopped by three men in black jackets (windbreakers) and one of them flashed me a badge. They asked me if I had my “card”. Even though I had read your article, I was running late for work and was extremely frazzled at being approached like that. I could feel my Japanese fumbling but did manage to ask “nan de desuka?”. They told me that they had heard that some sakura house people had overstayed their visa and were “just checking”. They went to far as to ask my room number and whether I lived alone. They made double sure to check the address on the back of my card and sent me on my way. I was very insulted and humiliated at being stopped like that…
======== EXCERPT ENDS ===================
Entire email at http://www.debito.org/?p=86

Alisa even took the trouble to print up copies of the law regarding these instant checkpoints for the benefit of fellow residents
(see http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#gaijincard)
and to contact Sakura House about the harassment.

Well, let the hand-washing preclude any hand-wringing. Response from Sakura House:

======== SAKURA HOUSE RESPONSE BEGINS ===============
Dear Ms. Alisa West
Thank you very much for your staying at Sakura House.

In fact, Japanese police officer or imigration [sic] officer has a right to check your passport, visa status and alien registration card. If they ask you to show your passport, you have to show it to them. This is a leagal [sic] action. They do that kind of inspection without informing.

With best regards,
Takuya Takahashi
======== SAKURA HOUSE RESPONSE ENDS ===============

Pity Mr Takahashi doesn’t know the law better. It’s not quite that simple. So much for helping out his renters.

As I’m sure I’ll get nitpickers with short memories or attention spans thinking this is much ado, a few reminders from the record accumulating on debito.org:

Re the developing tendency towards racial profiling in Japan:
“Here comes the fear: Antiterrorist law creates legal conundrums for foreign residents”
Japan Times May 24, 2005
http://www.debito.org/japantimes052405.html

“Justice system flawed by presumed guilt
Rights advocates slam interrogation without counsel, long detentions”
The Japan Times: Oct. 13, 2005
http://www.debito.org/japantimes102305detentions.html

An excellent summary from the Japan Times on what’s wrong with Japan’s criminal justice system: presumption of guilt, extreme police powers of detention, jurisprudential incentives for using them, lack of transparency, records or accountability during investigation, and a successful outcome of a case hinging on arrest and conviction, not necessarily on proving guilt or innocence. This has long since reached an extreme: almost anything that goes to trial in a Japanese criminal court results in a conviction.

Point: You do not want to get on the wrong side of the Japanese police, although riding a bicycle, walking outside, renting an apartment etc. while foreign seems more and more to incur police involvement.

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3) UPDATE ON KITAKYUSHU EXCLUSIONARY RESTAURANT

At the beginning of this month, I told you about a restaurant in Kitakyushu which refuses service to foreigners. I was tipped off by a victim at a JALT national conference, and sure enough, I too was initially refused service as well. More details at http://www.debito.org/?p=69

Well, after sending letters on November 9 to the Kitakyushu Mayor, the tourism board, the local Bureau of Human Rights, the local newspaper, and JALT Central, I am pleased to report that I have had official responses.

The City International Affairs Desk (kokusai kouryuu bu) called me on November 20 to tell me that they had called the restaurant in question and straightened things out. No longer, they were assured, would foreigners be refused there.

The Bureau of Human Rights also called me on November 19 to get some more facts of the case. They would also be looking into them. “Go give them some keihatsu,” I urged them. They said they would.

Now, all we need is a letter from the Mayor’s Office and/or from JALT Central and we have a hat trick. I appreciate the concern given this matter (I have known many Bureaus of Human Rights, such as Sapporo’s, which couldn’t give a damn–even if it’s something as clearly discriminatory as the Otaru Onsens Case). Probably should write this up as a website later on to give people templates on how to work through administrative channels to deal with discrimination. Sure would help if we had a law against this sort of thing, though…

On that note:

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4) JAPAN TIMES ON TOURISM PROMOTION, WITH LETTER TO THE EDITOR

On November 10, Kyodo reported that Japan is going to add to Koizumi’s “Yokoso Japan” campaign to bring over more tourists from Europe:

======== EXCERPT BEGINS ===================
Staff at the Japan National Tourist Organization are also hoping to attract spa-lovers by promoting Japanユs many “onsen” (hot springs) and Buddhist retreats.

The campaign “Cool Japan–Fusion with Tradition” officially kicked off at this week’s World Travel Market in London, an annual trade fair that attracts more than 5,000 exhibitors. This year, 202 countries will be there.

The latest promotion follows the successful “Visit Japan Campaign” in Europe in 2003, which helped boost number of tourists traveling to Japan. Britain currently sends the most visitors to Japan from Europe, followed by Germany and France.

As part of the “Cool Japan” campaign, staff are sending out brochures on “manga” (comic books) and animation-related attractions, along with information on Japan’s cutting-edge architectural sights…

This year, representatives from a ryokan are on hand to advise travel agents and tour operators on how to promote traditional forms of leisure. Many Europeans do not think of Japan as place to relax and staff at JNTO are keen to change that.
======== EXCERPT ENDS ===================
Rest of the article at http://www.debito.org/?p=87

That’s fine. But as a friend of mine pointed out in a letter he got published in the Japan Times:

============== LETTER BEGINS ====================
Obstacle to increased tourism
By HIDESATO SAKAKIBARA, Jamaica, New York
The Japan Times, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2006
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/rc20061119a6.html

Regarding the Nov 10 article “Japan works on a makeover to attract more Europeans”:

While it is admirable to see the the Japan National Tourist Organization making efforts to draw more foreign tourists, our government officials are omitting one important thing–the promulgation of a law making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race or nationality.

The article states that JNTO staff are “hoping to attract spa-lovers by promoting Japanユs many onsens (hot springs) and Buddhist retreats.” But what about the many onsen that refuse entry to those who don’t look Japanese (including Japanese citizens)? What impression will “young tourists” get when they seek to enter discriminatory bars, hotels, discos, pubs (izakaya) and other spots only to be greeted with the words “Japanese Only?”
============== LETTER ENDS =====================

Well done. We need more people pointing out this fact as often as possible. I keep on doing it, but I say it so often (and alone) that to some I probably sound like a health warning on a cigarette box. If others say it as well, it makes the message come from more quarters, and increases credibility (i.e. I’m not just a lonely voice in the wilderness).

I encourage everyone to keep pointing out the elephant in the room thusly. Thanks for doing so, Hidesato.

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5) TBS: FUJIWARA NORIKA BUMPS ARUDOU DEBITO

No, it’s not what you might think. I reported last newsletter that TBS noontime program “Pinpon” would be doing a segment on Nov 18, regarding Internet BBS and frequent host of libel “2-Channel” (http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html). Thought the issue had reached a saturation point. Hell, they even flew up a producer and hired a camera crew on a moment’s notice all the way up to Sapporo just for an interview.

Well, guess what–the story got bumped for extended segments on Clint Eastwood’s new movie on Iwo Jima and supermodel Fujiwara Norika’s on-again/off-again engagement to some dork, er, nice guy.

Anyhoo, I called up the producer again ten days later. She says that the network wants a response from 2-Channel’s Administrator Defendant Nishimura Hiroyuki before airing. They’re still waiting for a response, unsurprisingly.

Ah well, that’s it then. Nishimura communicates with the press only by blog, as a recent story in AERA (http://www.debito.org/?p=48) indicates. He’s not going to make a TV appearance on this.

Meanwhile, the story cools, by design. S o might as well assume the TV spot is cancelled. Sigh. Sorry to inflict lunchtime TV on you, everyone.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

6) KYODO: MOCK JURY TRIAL SPRINGS FOREIGN MANSLAUGHTERER

This was sent to me by a reporter friend which caused bewilderment in both him and me.

Japan will be reinstituting trial by jury (they had it before between 1928 and 1943, according to Wikipedia entry for 陪審制) in 2009. This will be for criminal cases, and there will be six laypeople and three judges on the jury (given the GOJ’s nannying instincts, you can’t trust the people with too much power, after all).

Kyodo reported extensively on Nov 23 about a mock trial to test the system. But what an intriguing test case to use:

======== EXCERPT BEGINS ===================
Citizen judges on Thursday came out with a mixed verdict on a Briton, who was indicted for bodily injury resulting in death, at a mock trial in Osaka.

Paul Lennon, 36-year-old English teacher, stood trial at the mimic court, sponsored by the Osaka Bar Association, on the assumption that he kicked a Japanese man because he thought the man had assaulted a woman, although the man was just caring for his drunken girlfriend. The man died after falling down on a street and hitting his head…

Some citizen judges argued the defendant’s act was excessive as he should have realized its danger as a karate master, while others said it was not excessive, based on testimony of the witness that the victim collapsed dizzily, arguing that he would have fallen fast if the karate grade-holder had kicked him hard.

While the citizen judges did not reach a consensus, Takashi Maruta, a professor at Kwansei Gakuin University law school, said after observing the conference, “The mock trial showed ordinary citizens can develop reasonable and persuasive debates.”
======== EXCERPT ENDS ===================
Rest of the article at http://www.debito.org/?p=83

I don’t know what the Osaka Bar Association is anticipating by putting a foreigner on mock trial like this, but there you have it. My reporter friend writes:

“Not sure what to make of this. Should I be disappointed that they chose a foreigner as the defendant in their mock trial or pleased that the jury didn’t necessarily lock him up and throw away the key just because he wasn’t Japanese?”

Quite. A real head scratcher. Anyway, what odd things make the news. With all the events jockeying for your attention, why so much space devoted to this highly-contrived fake court case? And I fail to see how this is any harbinger of the future of Japanユs upcoming jury system. Surely they could have come up with a more average case to test a jury with?

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

7) JALT PALE ROUNDTABLE ON ACADEMIC EMPLOYMENT

I mentioned the JALT meeting above. Our interest group PALE (http://www.debito.org/PALE) held a roundtable on Nov 3 to discuss future employment issues in Japan’s academia. Panelists were Jonathan Britten, Michael “Rube” Redfield, Pat O’Brien, Evan Heimlich, and Ivan Hall. Introduction to a collation I made of the event:

======== EXCERPT BEGINS ===================
Continuing the Roundtable forum that packed the hall at JALT 2005, five PALE members paneled a meeting to discuss a variety of issues relevant to the conference’s theme of “Community, Identity, and Motivation”. All presentations touched in some way upon employment issues, including issues of job security, union representation, the relationship of nationality to job description and employment terms, and the growing role of dispatch teaching arrangements in Japanese universities. They dealt explicitly or implicitly with the proper roles and responsibilities of PALE and JALT in managing these issues.
======== EXCERPT ENDS ===================
Full writeup at http://www.debito.org/?p=80

and finally…

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

8) WASH POST: GOJ CREATING SUSHI POLICE FOR OVERSEAS J FOOD

This article is making the rounds of the communities out there (at least three people have sent me the link), so I’ll forward this on to fill the gaps.

Yes, the Japanese Government will be establishing a bonafide committee to police the quality and authenticity of Japanese food restaurants overseas.

======== EXCERPT BEGINS ===================
TOKYO – On a recent business trip to Colorado, Japan’s agriculture minister popped into an inviting Japanese restaurant with a hankering for a taste of back home. What Toshikatsu Matsuoka found instead was something he considered a high culinary crime–sushi served on the same menu as Korean-style barbecued beef.

“Such a thing is unthinkable,” he said. “Call it what you will, but it is not a Japanese restaurant.”

A fast-growing list of gastronomic indignities–from sham sake in Paris to shoddy sashimi in Bangkok–has prompted Japanese authorities to launch a counterattack in defense of this nation’s celebrated food culture. With restaurants around the globe describing themselves as Japanese while actually serving food that is Asian fusion, or just plain bad, the government here announced a plan this month to offer official seals of approval to overseas eateries deemed to be “pure Japanese.”…

A trial run of sorts was launched this summer in France, where secret inspectors selected by a panel of food specialists were dispatched to 80 restaurants in Paris that claimed to serve Japanese cuisine. Some establishments invited the scrutiny, while others were targeted with surprise checks. About one-third fell short of standards–making them ineligible to display an official seal emblazoned with cherry blossoms in their windows or to be listed on a government-sponsored Web site of Japanese restaurants in Paris.
======== EXCERPT ENDS ===================
Rest of the article at http://www.debito.org/?p=84

I think you can imagine where I’ll be going with my comment on this, but anyway:

Certification as “real” and “pure Japanese”, hmmm? Sort of like the beauty contests in the Japanese community in Hawaii I read about a decade ago open only to people with “pure Japanese blood”?

Anyway, I know Japan is a nation of foodies, but fighting against overseas restaurants tendency towards “fusion food”? Especially since, as the article notes, so much of Japanese food is from overseas, anyway? Tenpura, castella, fried chicken (“zangi” where I come from), even ramen!

And what if J restaurants innovate, and want to offer something from another country on the menu (such a Chinese or a Vietnamese dish)? Will it have to be offered in J restaurants first in Japan before it can be offered in J restaurants overseas as “authentic Japanese cuisine”? Silly, silly, silly.

This culinary Balkanization seems to be yet another way to give some retired OBs some work after retirement. What better way than for them to take money from either the restaurants or the J taxpayer than by offering the good ol’ “certifications”?

Anyway, food for thought. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

That’ll do it for this newsletter. Thanks for reading.

Arudou Debito
Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOV 27 2006 ENDS

Kyodo Nov 23: Odd mock trial of foreigner to test new jury system (with updates)

mytest

Hello Blog. Forwarding from a reporter friend. Comment is his. Debito

//////////////////////////////////////////

Not sure what to make of this. Should I be dissapointed that they chose a
foreigner as the defendant in their mock trial or pleased that the jury
didn’t necessarily lock him up and throw away the key just because he
wasn’t Japanese….. Anyway, for your amusement and education:
==============================

Mock trial under lay judge system held in Osaka
by Keiji Hirano
OSAKA, Nov. 23 KYODO
http://asia.news.yahoo.com/061123/kyodo/d8lipja81.html

Citizen judges on Thursday came out with a mixed verdict on a Briton,
who was indicted for bodily injury resulting in death, at a mock trial in
Osaka.

Paul Lennon, 36-year-old English teacher, stood trial at the mimic
court, sponsored by the Osaka Bar Association, on the assumption that he
kicked a Japanese man because he thought the man had assaulted a woman,
although the man was just caring for his drunken girlfriend. The man died
after falling down on a street and hitting his head.

The mock trial was held prior to the introduction of the citizen judge
system in Japan by 2009, under which professional judges and lay judges
will try such serious crimes as murder, robbery resulting in death,
injuries leading to death and arson, in order to enable the public to
understand the planned system.

It will be the first attempt in Japan to enable ordinary citizens to
be involved in the judicial system.

During the mock trial, the prosecution side said Lennon, a muscled
grade-holder in karate, had kicked the victim, who was much smaller than
himself, without hearing what he had to say in order to chastise him and
that it was an excessive offense to target his face. The prosecutors
demanded a six-year prison term.

The defense lawyers argued that Lennon’s act was self-defense as the
drunken woman said to him ”help me” in English while the victim was
raising his arms in a fighting pose.

They also insisted he had kicked the man in a restrained manner. ”As
a result, the victim did not sustain any injuries to his face. It was
unfortunate the victim died but the defendant is not a criminal,” the
lawyers added.

After hearing the testimonies of the girlfriend and another witness of
the incident, six lay judges — actual ordinary citizens and students who
did not know the contents of the mock trial beforehand — discussed
together with three judges — actual lawyers of the association — about
whether the defendant was guilty.

A citizen judge said, ”I understand the principle of presumed
innocence, but I tend to be attracted to what the prosecutors argued,”
while another lay judge, commenting on the girlfriend’s remarks that the
victim did not raise his arms and the defendant kicked him suddenly, said
it was not trustworthy as she was drunk.

Some citizen judges argued the defendant’s act was excessive as he
should have realized its danger as a karate master, while others said it
was not excessive, based on testimony of the witness that the victim
collapsed dizzily, arguing that he would have fallen fast if the karate
grade-holder had kicked him hard.

While the citizen judges did not reach a consensus, Takashi Maruta, a
professor at Kwansei Gakuin University law school, said after observing the
conference, ”The mock trial showed ordinary citizens can develop
reasonable and persuasive debates.”

Under the citizen judge system, three professional judges plus six lay
judges would decide by a majority vote whether a defendant is guilty or
not, and pass sentence in a guilty verdict. At least one professional judge
and one lay judge must vote on the majority side.

Judicial circles — professional judges, prosecutors and lawyers —
are now holding such mock trials as part of their efforts to make the new
system functional and effective.

A symposium followed the mock trial on Thursday, in which a judge from
Hawaii and two people from Australia and France, who had once served as
jurors, shared their experiences with the audience.

Both Malcolm Knox from Sydney and Francoise de Vaulgrenant from Paris
said they had initially been reluctant to sit in courts as jurors but they
later found it a ”unique” and ”fascinating” experience.

While jurors must have been prejudiced initially, ”we became
impartial” after entering the jury room, said Knox. He said he had doubts
if he could work with others whom he did not know, but that he found it
wonderful to work with various kinds of people and he could foster trust in
other citizens after serving as a juror.

Vaulgrenant shared the view, calling the change in the jurors
”magic,” and told the Japanese audience ”don’t miss it” if selected to
be a citizen judge.

Lay judges in Japan would be chosen at random from lists of eligible
voters in a general election for the House of Representatives, regardless
of their views, faith or abilities.

Sabrina Shizue McKenna, a judge from Hawaii, said 99 percent of jurors
in her court said it was a great experience, although they too had been
hesitant about serving as jurors at first.

Speaking in Japanese, McKenna said, ”Life experiences of ordinary
people are much more important than professional knowledge of judges (in
discussing legal cases).”

Yuji Shiratori, a law professor at Hokkaido University who attended
the symposium, said that while introduction of a lay judge system has a
symbolic meaning of citizen’s participation in the judicial system, it is
also expected to improve overall criminal justice by exposing investigation
and defense processes to the public.

As lay judges will deliberate on serious crimes, which may lead to
capital punishment, Shiratori said, ”It is likely that not a few lay
judges will be hesitant to be involved in giving a death penalty, and the
introduction will be a good opportunity to stir national debate over
capital punishment.”

The lay judge system will be reviewed three years after its
introduction, and Shiratori said he expects the majority verdict to be
revised to a two-thirds or three-quarters decision in the future to ensure
more legitimacy during the review period or even before the 2009
introduction.
==November 23, 2006 21:49:55 Kyodo News
////////////////////////////////////////////////

COMMENT: What odd things make the news… With all the events jockeying for your attention, why so much of this highly-contrived fake court case? And I fail to see how this is any harbinger of the future of Japan’s upcoming jury system. Surely they could have come up with a better issue to put before a jury? Debito

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////
UPDATE NOV 27, 2006:
(from friend MS)

For your information, this would be a rerun of the actual trial of one Steve or Stephen Bellamy, who was indicted for manslaughter in Chiba around 1982 or thereabouts. His appeal went all the way to the Supreme Court.

He never spent any time in prison but had to pay whopping compensation to the dead man’s family. The whole thing was just a sad misunderstanding, the man was not assaulting the woman — she was just drunk and acting in an obnoxious manner, but Steve went galloping to her rescue like a knight in shining armor. I think he eventually moved to Hawaii. Back in the days of 300bps acoustic modems, Bellamy had one of the first computer bulletin boards in Japan, called Kanto Central.

Unfortunately there’s nothing in Google re this case. Anyone else here 25 years or so ago who remembers any details? MS

==============================

COURTESY OF REPORTER FRIEND MW

Debito,

Google might not have anything but Lexis Nexis does! Sorry for the caps….

Copyright 1984 Kyodo News Service
Japan Economic Newswire
NOVEMBER 22, 1984, THURSDAY
LENGTH: 311 words

DATELINE: TOKYO, NOV 22

BODY:
APPEAL COURT REVERSE TOKYO HIGH COURT FOUND A BRITISH BUSINESS CONSULTANT GUILTY OF ASSAULT RESULTING IN DEATH STEMMING FROM AN ALTERCATION ON A MATSUDO STREET THREE YEARS AGO.

JOHN STEVEN BELLAMY, 34, WAS SENTENCED TO 18 MONTHS IN PRISON, BUT SENTENCE WAS STAYED AND BELLAMY PUT ON THREE YEARS PROBATION DUE TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE INDICENT.

THE CHARGE AROSE AFTER BELLAMY, A THIRD-DAN (LEVEL) KARATE EXPERT, BECAME INVOLVED IN WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS A DOMESTIC QUARREL IN MATSUDO BETWEEN YASUTOSHI HARIMA, THEN 31, AND A DRUNKEN WOMAN.

DURING LOWER COURT TESTIMONY, THE COURT WAS TOLD BELLAMY APPROACHED THE PAIR AND TRIED TO MEDIATE IN THE SITUATION, BUT WHEN HARIMA ASSUMED A BOXING STANCE AND THREATENED TO STRIKE THE BRITON, BELLAMY STRUCK OUT WITH A KARATE KICK WHICH RESULTED IN HARIMA’S DEATH.

HARIMA APPARENTLY STRUCK HIS HEAD ON A CONCRETE CURB AFTER THE KICK AND DIED FROM HEAD INJURIES.

THE CHIBA COURT RULED BELLAMY INNOCENT BECAUSE THE KICK WAS EXECUTED IN SELF DEFENSE, BUT THE TOKYO HIGH COURT SAID THE DIFFERENCE IN SIZE BETWEEN THE TWO MEN, HARIMA WAS 160 CM TALL AND 60 KILOGRAMS WHILE BELLAMY IS 180 CM AND 80 KILOGRAMS, AND THE EXPERT NATURE OF BELLAMY’S ATTACK RENDERED A RULING OF SELF DEFENSE INVALID.

THE HIGH COURT ADDED THAT THE KARATE MOVE WAS OF SUCH A SKILLFUL NATURE THAT AN ORDINARY PERSON COULD NOT BE EXPECTED TO DEFEND HIMSELF FROM IT.

IRONICALLY, THE SITUATION WHICH PROMPTED THE ALTERCATION WAS NOT AS THE BRITON HAD ASSUMED.

HARIMA WAS ACTUALLY TRYING TO COMFORT A FRIEND’S WIFE WHO HAD BECOME DRUNK AND WAS NOT ATTACKING THE WOMAN AS BELLAMY BELIEVED AT THE TIME.

BELLANY, VISIBLY PALE AND SHAKEN BY THE VERDICT, SAID HE HAD DONE “JUSTICE” AT THE TIME AND FELT THE HIGH COURT RULING “CRAZY, JUST CRAZY.”

THE HIGH COURT DECISION WILL BE APPEALLED TO THE SUPREME COURT, BELLAMY’S LAWYER INDICATED.

LOAD-DATE: Load-Date=NOVEMBER 22, 1984
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Hi, Debito:

I’ve been following your postings and articles over the years since we last exchanged mail. Generally (though not always) I’ve been in agreement. Hats off to the wide scope of your concerns and the sheer energy you bring to bear on them.

As for the mock trial in Osaka — you may know it is based on one of the most famous cases in the region involving a defendant named Steve Bellamy. The incident took place about a quarter of a century ago and was widely publicized here. I don’t have the dates or other details locked in my memory and my clippings for that period are not sorted.

The Bellamy case raises the sort of issues that case study textbook writers love. In the US today (possibly even at the time), Bellamy would have won in criminal court then lost in civil court — like Peairs in the Hattori case. The mock trial, like the case it was based on, was not about nationality. The issues are precisely those addressed by the jurors. From a legal education point of view, the Osaka Bar Association knew what it were doing.

For what it’s worth. You have my permission to use what I have written here any way you wish.

Keep up the good fight.

Bill Wetherall
/////////////////////////////////////////////////
ENDS

Potential Yarase on TV’s Tokudane next Weds Nov 22 re “Comedy About Japan” (with update)

mytest

Hello Blog. What follows is a post forwarded with the permission of the author from The Community, and Life In Japan mailing lists. About potential “yarase” (i.e. staging a story for journalistic sensationalism) in one of my favorite Japanese TV shows, “Tokudane”, on for two hours from 8AM every weekday. Read on. Comment from me follows:

===================================

From: martin@autotelic.com
Subject: [Community] Potentially annoying piece about comedy on Tokudane Wide
Date: November 15, 2006 12:16:53 PM JST

Community, Lifers In Japan,

As some already know, I organize and perform at some comedy shows around Tokyo with a group called “The Tokyo Comedy Store”. Last night our group did one of our regular stand up comedy shows at The Fiddler in Takadanobaba.

A film crew from Fuji TV came down to film us for a segment on the show “Tokudane Wide”. It will air at about 9:15 AM on Wednesday, November 22.

The reason they wanted to film us was because some Japanese researcher type person (didn’t catch the name), has written a book called “Sekai No Nihonjin Joke Syuu” (世界の日本人ジョーク集, “A collection of the world’s jokes about Japanese”). So for at least part of their segment, they wanted to see foreigners doing comedy on or about Japan, and talk
to us about what we find funny about Japanese culture and so on.

Up to that point, it’s no big deal. But, where it gets possibly annoying is where they clearly had an agenda for the piece. No surprise there, of course, as I’ve learned reporters always create their news as much as find it.

They specifically asked of our comedians before the show if we could bring our pieces that “made fun of Japan”. Afterwards, they came up and asked us if we could think up some new jokes about Japan. We were confused about why the entire hour and twenty minutes of material about Japan we had just done on stage was not enough for them to work with. But it became apparent that there were two reasons for this:

1. The woman they had on hand who was there to translate our jokes into Japanese was mediocre at best, and clearly did not understand most, if any, of the jokes. I mean, she probably understood the literal meanings, but not the humour. So they are probably unsure if anything we said matches the criteria of what they are looking for.

2. They wanted us to have jokes about things that Japanese people care about, like crimes against otaku in Akihabara, or about “Neets”, and other items of current interest within Japan. We tried to explain that what might be of interest for Japanese people within Japan is not necessarily of interest for foreigners observing Japan from their perspective. But that point may have been lost.

So instead of discovering what it is that we talk about when we do comedy about Japan, they were fishing for certain kinds of aspects.

What was really annoying was that they asked us to sit at a table after the show and do a bit of a jam session to come up with some jokes about Japan, and film the creative process. (Most stand ups don’t work collaboratively, but whatever). They kept asking us things like “well, what first surprised you when you first arrived?”, “What happens here that doesn’t happen anywhere else”, “What is difficult about living in Japan for a foreigner?”. You know, all the same tired old topics which are A) not funny at all after you’ve lived here any amount of time, and aren’t a wide eyed babe in the woods anymore, and B) all based on the premise that Japan is a super special unique place that is so totally different from anything anywhere else. Yes, it is different. Just as every place is different. So what?

Sorry, I’m starting to rant a bit. The point I fear most that will get perpetuated is this whole concept of “Japanese vs Western” humour, which I think is crap, and within that the idea that any joke about Japan is a criticism about all of Japan. There was a little talk about how “Western” humour is more cynical and relies on making fun of someone, and “Japanese” humour is always just childish silliness. Ugh.

One of our comedians does a few jokes about a magazine called “Ramen” magazine. And the whole bit is about how he can’t believe that there’s a whole magazine devoted to ramen. Back in his home country, it would be understood that he’s making fun of the readers and makers of such a magazine. But here it gets automatically interpreted as being a criticism of Japanese culture in general, as if “the Japanese” are crazy for having such a magazine.

Bottom line, I fear this segment is going to parade around some tired out old stereotypes about how foreigners find Japan so weird and unique, and we make fun of it, and Japanese and western humour don’t overlap, and at the end of the day “our” humour is basically kind of mean. Or hopefully not. We’ll see next Wednesday.

Oh, and last thing… maybe the most annoying thing was that after the show, they found two audience members who said everything the producer wanted to hear. I almost wanted to strangle them.

Dave M G

==============================
COMMENT FROM ARUDOU DEBITO

Fascinating post, Dave. Thanks for it. Comment:

On Nov 15, 2006, at 12:16 PM, Dave M G wrote:
> So instead of discovering what it is that we talk about when we do
> comedy about Japan, they were fishing for certain kinds of aspects.

Welcome to my world. Whenever I’ve dealt with reporters, especially those in TV, there has always been an angle, a preconception they were assigned to present before they even showed up–because the story had to be sold on a certain “peg” for it to be hung on for audience interest anyway. “Discovery” is very rare (unless you’re talking about those car crash and funny home video thingies) in essay media like what you see on Tokudane, unless you have the time to develop it like a real essay (in documentary format). These people are in a hurry to write an essay the show wants to show, not depict what actually goes on with any subtlety as a documentary.

Dave again:
> Oh, and last thing… maybe the most annoying thing was that after the
> show, they found two audience members who said everything the producer
> wanted to hear. I almost wanted to strangle them.

Yes, and that is a primary weakness in image control that people had better learn about fast if they’re being portrayed thusly. People who live under the magnifying glass constantly (as most non-Japanese do when they come and live in Japan) should know better. But few seem to learn (and like even less being advised about it), even when it clearly works to their disadvantage. I’ve found that very few people overseas have much awareness (aside from celebrities, diplomats, and those “trained” *specifically* in image self-control) about how they’re coming off in public, especially when asked pointed questions with a smile and no sarcasm.

You do that with people here, however, and voila, people wonder why you’re asking that, and look around carefully and measure how what they’re saying is being taken by the people around them. Image control here is pretty much second-nature. You’re not going to get nearly the same candor from an audience in this society. Especially if you’re talking in front of a television camera, for pete’s sake!

That phenomenon is going to give Tokudane plenty to work with, I bet, to fulfill every single fear you’re raising here. Or hopefully not, as you say. We’ll see next Wednesday.

I’ve given Dave Spector a heads-up about this, as Weds is his day on Tokudane. Maybe he can ground and temper the yarase. Debito in Sapporo

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Debito,

>Dave, how did the Tokudane show turn out last Weds, re your Comedy
>Story portrayal of Japan in as humor and potential “yarase”?

Happily, it turned out not so bad. Basically harmless.

Actually, you can see it for yourself on YouTube. My friend Kevin, who
does a regular video blog thing, put it into one of his entries. He
chatters (a bit aimlessly) about it for a minute, and then you can see
the clip from the show:

For all my whining about the impression I got from when they filmed it,
I think it turned out to be kind of a non-issue. Dave M G
=============================
ends

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOV 15 2006

mytest

Hello All. Time for another
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER, NOVEMBER 15, 2006

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1) TBS INTERVIEW RE 2-CHANNEL BBS, THIS THURSDAY LUNCHTIME
2) NOOSE TIGHTENS: ZAKZAK AND MUTANTFROG ON NISHIMURA & WASEDA SPEECH
3) ASAHI: NORIGUCHI PONTIFICATING ON LANGUAGE TEACHING AGAIN
4) LETTER TO KITAKYUSHU AUTHORITIES RE EXCLUSIONARY RESTAURANT
5) EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF JAPANESE PRISON VISIT
6) FOREIGN MARRIAGES NOT ALLOWED FOR POLICE AND JSDF?
and finally
7) CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN TO HOKKAIDO NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS!
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

freely forwardable
blogged in real time at http://www.debito.org/index.php

1) TBS INTERVIEW ON 2-CHANNEL BBS THIS THURSDAY LUNCHTIME

I had an interview yesterday morning with one of Japan’s major networks, TBS (the network which brought you “Koko Ga Hen Da Yo Nihonjin”, and still brings sunlight and subliminal musical jokes to Sunday mornings with “Sunday Japon”).

It’ll be a brief segment on the 2-Channel libel lawsuit, with me speaking as one of the many victorious plaintiffs which BBS administrator Nishimura Hiroyuki refuses to pay, despite court rulings.

The attention this issue is getting in recent weeks is very welcome. The more the better, as it may prod the creation of some legislation. Japan should at least strengthen “contempt of court” punishments for court delinquents, making evasions of this type a criminal offense prosecutable by police.

As it stands right now, a thwarted Plaintiff in Japan has to chase down the Defendant for payment, at his or her own time and expense.

As I found out two weekends ago, you can’t even “serve papers” to a Defendant (notifying him of his legal obligations and eliminating plausible deniability) yourself, say, in a pizza box or at a public event. I refer to Nishimura’s blythe speech at Waseda (more on that in the next section), where my lawyer said I could approach the podium with papers, but it would be a publicity stunt, not a legally-binding action. “Serving” must go via the court through registered post; and all the deadbeat has to do is not retreive his mail!

But I digress. The show will be broadcast as follows:
=============================
SEGMENT ON BBS 2-CHANNEL, TBS show “PINPON”
http://www.tbs.co.jp/program/pinpon.html
Thursday, November 16, 2006 (as in tomorrow)
I’m told sometime between 12 noon and 1PM.
However, the show starts at 11AM, so set your VCRS.
TV network: TBS (HBC in Hokkaido)
=============================

Final thought: Quite honestly, I find appearing on TV terrifying. It’s like dancing (which I can’t do either–I think too much to have any rhythm). It takes all my brainpower just to manage my thoughts digestably, and then worrying about how to manage my face and eyes and all overloads the system… Anyway, tune in and see how I did.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

2) THE NOOSE TIGHTENS:
ZAKZAK AND MUTANTFROG ON NISHIMURA & WASEDA SPEECH

Scandal paper Yuukan Fuji (and its online feed ZAKZAK) has been doing a series on Nishimura and 2-Channel, mentioning my case by name as well (which is what occasioned TBS coming up north to talk to me yesterday).

You can see two of the articles from last week translated into English by Adamu at Mutant Frog (thanks!) at

Don’t mess with 2ch: ZAKZAK, Sankei Sports report


The rupo on the Waseda speech deserves excerpting:

———————- EXCERPT BEGINS ——————————–
The focus was, as could be expected, the issue of Nishimura’s litigation-related disappearance. Last month, in a suit brought by a female professional golfer (age 24) alleging she was slandered and harmed by the bulletin board seeking deletion of the posts and damages etc, Nishimura was ordered to delete the posts and pay 1 million yen in compensation. However, he ignored the call from the court to appear in this case, and never showed up in court even once.

As to the reasons for that, Nishimura admitted, “Actually, there are similar cases going on from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south.” He bluntly explained, “Well, lawyer fees would cost more than 1 million yen. Hey, I’ll go if I get bored.”

He explained that “I deleted the problem section (from the site),” but added his horrifying assertion that “there is no law to make me pay compensation by force, so it doesn’t matter if I win or lose in court. It’s the same thing if I don’t pay (the compensation).” When asked about his annual income, he boasted “a little more than Japan’s population (127 million).” So he’s not having money issues.

In response to Nishimura’s assertion that “there is no law forcing me to pay compensation,” Nippon University professor of criminal law Hiroshi Itakura points out, “a court’s compulsory enforcement (kyousei shikkou) can be used to ‘collect’ compensation.” He says that running from compensation is impossible. Also, if someone hides assets etc. for the purposes of avoiding compulsory execution, then “that would constitute the crime of obstructing compulsory execution,” (kyousei shikkou bougai zai). Itabashi wonders, “It is strange that the courts that ordered the compensation have not implemented compulsory enforcement. It’s not like Nishimura doesn’t have any assets.”
———————- EXCERPT ENDS ———————————–

Originals in Japanese at

2ちゃんねるの西村ひろゆき:早稲田にて「強制的に(賠償金を)払わせる法律がない」(追加:ZAKZAK 記事)


Two more ZAKZAK articles in Japanese which came out this week at

TBSテレビ番組「ピンポン」で2ちゃんねるについてインタビュー(木16放送)及びZAKZAK記事連載


(Adamu, feel free to translate again, thanks!)

And an article photocopied (literally) and sent from Dave Spector while shinkansenning (thanks!), from Tokyo Sports, Nov 9, 2006. Headline notes how the police are starting to get involved:
http://www.debito.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/tokyosports110906.jpg

I wonder how long Nishimura thinks he’s going to be able to get away with this…

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

3) ASAHI: NORIGUCHI PONTIFICATING ON LANGUAGE TEACHING AGAIN

Professor Noriguchi at Kitakyushu University is becoming a regular pundit on English language education in Japan.

After saying not two months ago in the Asahi Shinbun’s prestigious “Watashi No Shiten” column, that one problem with non-Japanese teachers is that they stay in Japan too long (http://www.debito.org/?p=34), he’s back again with a response to his critics (or, as he puts it, his supporters).

Article is archived at

Kitakyudai’s Noriguchi again in Asahi on English teaching (Nov 4, 2006, with updates)

Let me rewrite a few of Noriguchi’s points and weave in comment and interpretation. He essentially asserts this time that:

So much energy devoted to the study of English (as opposed to other languages) is not only unneighborly, it is a reflection of a Japanese inferiority complex towards the West.

One consequence of this much focus on English is a lot of swindling and deception of the Japanese consumer, with bogus advertising about the merits and the effects of English language education.

In any case, English is hardly necessary for life in Japan, so why require it on entrance exams? Especially after all the trauma that Japanese go through learning it.

This is no mystery. Japanese have a natural barrier to learning English, given the “Japanese mentality”, the characteristics of the language, and the homogeneity of the country.

More so than other Asian countries, he mysteriously asserts. (Koreans, for example? And won’t the same barriers apply to other Asian languages if the Japanese are indeed so unique?)

Meanwhile, let’s keep the door revolving on foreign English-language educators by hiring retired teachers from overseas, who not only will bring in more expertise and maturity, but also by design (and by natural longevity) will not stay as long in Japan and have as much of an effect.

(NB: The last point is not his, but it’s symptomatic of Noriguchi’s throwing out of ideas which are not all that well thought through in practice. After all, nowhere in his essay does he retract his previous assertion that part of the problem is foreign teachers staying here too long.)

As before, Professor Noriguchi is reachable at
snori@kitakyu-u.ac.jp
He says that far more people support his views than not, so if you want to show him differently, write him.

Meanwhile, those two Watashi No Shiten articles seem to be having an effect on domestic debate. As a friend of mine (who is in academic admin) said earlier today on a different mailing list:

============== BEGINS ====================
[Noriguchi’s] articles are not merely “problematic”–they are DEVASTATING to the cause of foreigners here. I’ve had to discuss his crackpot ideas (given a kind of pseudo authority because they appeared in the Asahi and because the author is Japanese) on two occasions over just the LAST WEEK–once with a university president, and once with the head of this city’s board of education. Both see in these articles justifications for firing experienced foreign faculty and bringing in cheaper newbies. After all, as Noriguchi … [has] made clear, we are only language “polishers” and “cultural ambassadors,” not teachers.

Some unintentional humor from [The Ministry of Education]. On my desk right now is a document [entitled Gaikokujin Chomei Kenkyuusha Shouhei Jigyou].

The plan as described: Bring in NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS to accelerate (and elevate) the pacing and quality of academic research here. The catch? These stars will be on contracts capped on principle at 1-3 years!

Wouldn’t want these “cultural ambassadors” to become stale….
============== ENDS =====================

Concluding thoughts: There is a large confluence of events in recent weeks which makes me wonder whether the Ministry of Education is gearing up for another cleanout of foreign faculty in Japanese universities (as happened between 1992 and 1994, see Hall, CARTELS OF THE MIND). I’ll develop that theory a bit more if you want in my next newsletter.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

4) LETTER TO KITAKYUSHU AUTHORITIES RE EXCLUSIONARY RESTAURANT

I mentioned last newsletter about an addition to the Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Enterprises: An exclusionary restaurant, discovered in Kitakyushu on November 3, had an owner so fearful of foreign languages that he turned people away that maychance speak them.
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Kokura
If he can’t greet customers because of his own complexes, perhaps he’s in the wrong line of work?

Well, I sent a letter on this dated November 9, in English and Japanese, to the Kitakyushu Mayor’s Office, the City Bureau of Tourism, the local Bureau of Human Rights, the local Nishi Nihon Shinbun newspaper, all my Japanese mailing lists, and JALT Central. Text available at

Letter to Kitakyushu authorities re exclusionary restaurant, Nov 9 06

No responses as of yet. Few things like these are taken care of overnight. Wait and see.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

5) EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF JAPANESE PRISON VISIT

One of the advantages of doing what I do is that I get very interesting emails from friends. The other day, I got a report from a friend who paid a visit to a Japanese prison, to offer moral support to someone incarcerated. I don’t really know much about what the incarcerated has done to justify his imprisonment, but that’s not the point of the story. Interesting are the bureaucratic tribulations he (the author, not the prisoner) had to go through just to get a short audience (limited to 15 minutes), worth recording somewhere for the record. In the end, I couldn’t help thinking: Is all this rigmarole necessary? What purpose could it possibly serve?

Read the report at

Eyewitness account of a visit to a Japanese prison (with comment)

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

6) FOREIGN MARRIAGES NOT ALLOWED FOR POLICE AND JSDF?

A friend notified me of a blog entry (not exactly the most trustworthy source, I know) about German woman who wants to marry a Japanese man. The problem is, he’s a policeman, and apparently he was told by his bosses that Japanese police who want a future in the NPA cannot marry foreigners. There’s a security issue involved, it would seem.

Hm. Might be a hoax, but had the feeling it warranted further investigation. After I reported this to The Community mailing list (http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity), I got a couple of responses, one saying that international marriage is in fact not forbidden by the NPA (and this supervisor bullying should be reported to internal affairs).

But the other response said that somebody married to a former member of the Japanese Self Defense Forces also had to quit his job because of it. He was involved in a “sensitive” area, apparently.

Hm again. I know that certain jobs (such as Shinto Priests) are not open to foreigners, due to one of those “Yamato Race” thingies. (Buddhism, however, seems to be open, as I know of one German gentleman on my lists who has an administrative post within a major Japanese sect.)

But imagine the number of people in, for example, “sensitive” jobs in the US State Department who would have to make a choice between their job and a foreign spouse?

I’m blogging this issue for the time being at

Blog entry: J police cannot marry non-Japanese? (with update)


with comments and pings open for a change.

Any information? Let us know. Thanks.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

and finally:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

7) CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN HOKKAIDO NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS!

For those of you under still under rocks: Our home team is unstoppable!

The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, after reaching the top in Japan last month, on Sunday won the Asian Series, 1-0, vs Taiwan.

This makes them the best team in Asia this year. Our first baseman Ogawawara was just made MVP for the Pacific League, too! (Pity it looks as though we’re going to lose him to the rich but insufferably arrogant Tokyo Giants…)

Now if only we’d create a REAL world series, so the North Americans can’t lay claim to the title of “World Champion” every year!

Some articles of interest:
On Hillman and Fighers’ team spirit
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/sp20061114se.html
On Ogasawara
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/sb20061114j1.html
Wrapping up the season
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/sp20061114el.html
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

As always, thanks for reading!
Arudou Debito
Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
November 15, 2006
NEWSLETTER ENDS

Interview Thurs on Thurs Nov 18 lunchtime on TBS show “Pinpon”, re 2-Channel (with updates)

mytest

Hello Blog. I had an interview this morning with one of Japan’s major networks, TBS (the network which brought you “Koko Ga Hen Da Yo Nihonjin”, and still brings sunlight and subliminal musical jokes to Sunday mornings with “Sunday Japon”).

It’ll be a brief segment on the 2-Channel libel lawsuit, speaking as one of the many victorious plaintiffs which BBS administrator Nishimura Hiroyuki refuses to pay despite court rulings.

Great. Thanks. The more attention this issue gets, the better, as it may prod the creation of some legislation.

Japan should at least strengthen “contempt of court” punishments for delinquents, making evasions of this type a criminal offense. As it stands right now, a thwarted Plaintiff in Japan has to chase down the Defendant for payment, at his or her own time and expense. You can’t even serve papers to the guy in a pizza box or a public event (such as Nishimura’s recent blythe speech at Waseda, see http://www.mutantfrog.com/2006/11/08/dont-mess-with-2ch-zakzak-sankei-sports-report/). “Serving” has to go through the court through registered post, and all the deadbeat has to do is not retreive his mail!

But I digress. The show will be broadcast as follows:

=============================
SEGMENT ON THE TIGHTENING DRAGNET AROUND BBS 2-CHANNEL
Thursday, November 16, 2006. I’m told sometime between 12 noon and 1PM.
However, the show starts at 11AM, so set your VCRS.
TV network: TBS (HBC in Hokkaido)
=============================
http://www.tbs.co.jp/program/pinpon.html
http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html

Quite honestly, I find appearing on TV terrifying–it’s like dancing (which I can’t do either–I think too much to have any rhythm). It takes all my brainpower just to manage my thoughts digestibly, and having to manage my face and eyes and all overloads the system… Anyway, let’s see how I did.

Meanwhile, here is a link to some blogged ZAKZAK articles, appearing as a series this week and last. At the bottom is a photocopied (literally) article courtesy Dave Spector, reading on the shinkansen. Thanks Dave!

TBSテレビ番組「ピンポン」で2ちゃんねるについてインタビュー(木16放送)及びZAKZAK記事連載

If Adamu at Mutantfrog wants to translate these too, most welcome! Too busy at the moment to get to it myself.
http://www.mutantfrog.com

Debito in Sapporo

======================================

UPDATES

Rats, got bumped by Fujiwara Norika on TBS
Posted by debito on November 16th, 2006

Hi Blog. The story on 2-Channel got bumped off TBS’s PINPON today. Rats. Supermodel Fujiwara Norika’s apparent marriage was the bigger story, then a huge advertisement for Clint Eastwood’s movie IWO JIMA filled the rest of the lunch hour.

Ah well, that’s probably the closest I’ll ever come to being bumped by Norika (smile).

The reporter on the story says she’s interviewing other people connected with the 2-Channel issue, and will let me know later if and when they’ll broadcast. I’ll pass the information on when I have it. Thanks for watching. Debito, on his way to Nagoya.

======================================

Update on TBS segment on 2-Channel: Probably cancelled
Posted by debito on November 25th, 2006

Hi Blog. Nearly two weeks ago, I wrote you to say that TBS would be featuring a segment on their weekday lunchtime program “PINPON” regarding the 2-Channel lawsuits (http://www.debito.org/?p=75). They interviewed me for a broadcast which got bumped last Friday by news on Fujiwara Norika.

Now it’s been a week. Just called the interviewer. She says that the network wants a response from 2-Channel’s Administrator Defendant Nishimura Hiroyuki before airing. They’re still waiting for a response, unsurprisingly.

Ah well, that’s it then. Nishimura communicates with the press only by blog, as a recent story in AERA (http://www.debito.org/?p=48) indicates. He’s not going to make a TV appearance on this. Meanwhile, the story cools, by design.

So might as well assume the TV spot is cancelled. Sigh. Debito
======================================
ENDS

TBSテレビ番組「ピンポン」で2ちゃんねるについてインタビュー(木16放送)及びZAKZAK記事連載

mytest

ブログの読者おばんでございます。
 今朝、テレビ局TBSは私を2ちゃんねるについてインタビューしました。原告として名誉毀損訴訟を勝訴したのに管理者西村ひろゆき氏は賠償金の未納の件について、私の立場を聞きました。
 正直って、テレビが非常にこわいものですが、どうなったのかを見てみましょう。
 番組「ピンポン」11月16日(木)番組表によると、午前11時スタートですが、今朝会ったスタフによると12時と12時50分の間に放送されるだろうと。
 どうぞご視聴下さい。 
http://www.tbs.co.jp/program/pinpon.html
http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html
========================
ちなみに、ZAKZAKは2ちゃんねるを連載してます。ありがとうございました。ブロクにも載せさせていただきます。宜しくお願い致します。
=========================
【追跡】(5)ひろゆき見たさに大行列
爆破予告に会場ピリピリ
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/2006_11/t2006111328.html
 ≪警告 メディア創研accessの諸君 11月4日(土)15号館302教室のイベントで2チャンネル管理人不法行為責任「西村博之」を呼んだら会場を爆破する! 脅しではない!≫
 早稲田大の学生サークルのホームページにある掲示板に先月29日、「民族派 右翼」を名乗る脅迫が書き込まれた。
 同サークルが学園祭で匿名掲示板「2ちゃんねる(2Ch)」管理人の西村博之氏(29)を招き、講演会を行うと発表後、同サークルの掲示板には脅迫以外にも西村氏を招くことへの批判が寄せられ、掲示板は閉鎖。サークル幹部の携帯電話にも直接抗議が来た。
 このところ西村氏は頻発する訴訟を無視して雲隠れ中。約4カ月ぶりに公の場に現れるとあって、「裁判所の関係者や被害者が押し寄せる」などの憶測が流れた。「本当に来るのか?」「爆破予告を言い訳にドタキャンするのでは」といった疑問の声も出ていた。
 講演会当日の4日、開演の2時間前には行列ができ始め、一番乗りの男子学生(20)は、「しばらく姿を見せていないと聞いたので、本当に来るのか楽しみ」と笑顔。
 主催サークルのスタッフは盛況の中でもピリピリムード。事前に取材申請していたマスコミに対して「撮影は一切禁止。スタッフへの取材不可」と土壇場で通達し、全入場者に手荷物検査。「当サークルは2Chを擁護しているわけではない」とアナウンスする厳戒態勢の学生スタッフと対照的に、会場には日ごろ2Chを利用する、物見遊山の学生の姿が目立った。
 「単純にひろゆき(=西村氏)に会いたかった。訴訟では彼の姿勢に共感する。ネット社会に即した法律が整備されていないほうが問題」(19歳男子学生)
 「ひろゆきを訴えても仕方ない。掲示板の管理人に責任を集約するのではなく、書き込み人を特定するシステムをつくってしまえばよいのではないか」(19歳女子学生)
 「掲示板をあれほど大きくしすぎたことの管理責任はある。賠償責任を負う必要はないが、書き込み人のIP公開には応じてもいいような気がする」(22歳男子学生)
 一方、「これまでひろゆきの講演会には3回参加している」という自動車メーカー広報の男性(56)は、「個人的に付き合いのある人物が、早大のスーパーフリー事件の関係者として個人情報をさらされた。直接犯罪に加担したわけではないのに、彼は社会的信用を失い、人生の歯車を完全に狂わせた」と明かす。
 この男性は「匿名性を第一義とする理念には共感するし、匿名性が守られた自由な言論空間は理想だが、かたくなに匿名にこだわる姿勢にも限界を感じる。個々のトラブルに対応できる運営体制の構築が必要」と話す。
 開場時間には約750人の長蛇の列ができ、結局100人余が入場できなかった。場内にいまだ「本当に来るの?」と半信半疑の囁きが聞かれる中、場内が暗転。映画「2001年宇宙の旅」でもおなじみの名曲「ツァラトゥストラはかく語りき」が仰々しく鳴り渡り、グレーの長袖シャツにカーゴパンツ姿の西村氏が登場した。(2Ch取材班)
ZAKZAK 2006/11/13
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/2006_11/t2006111328.html

====================
【追跡】(6)ひろゆき「賠償金ほしけりゃ法律つくれ」
年収は1億円超
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/2006_11/t2006111426.html
 「裁判には、まぁ、ヒマだったら行く」
 「(裁判に)勝とうが負けようが、(賠償金を)払わなければ一緒」
 匿名掲示板「2ちゃんねる(2Ch)」は悪質な書き込みで訴訟が絶えないため、管理人の西村博之氏(29)は面倒ごとを避けて失踪中。裁判所の出頭命令は無視しながら4日、自転車に乗って早稲田大の学園祭に現れ、講演会でアナーキーな持論を展開した。
 会場は20代男性を中心に、立ち見を含めて約650人の満員。西村氏の人を食ったような、ノラリクラリとした受け答えに喝采を送った。
 裁判逃れを続ける理由は、「北海道から沖縄まで似たような裁判に呼ばれているので、自腹で日本中を回るか、1件100万円以上払って弁護士をつけるか。でも『(裁判を)やらない』という選択肢をとったら、何も起きなかった」と説明。
 賠償金不払いに関しては、「子供の養育費の踏み倒しや消費者金融のグレー金利のように、ルールがあっても守ってないのが多いから、(賠償しなくても)いいんじゃねぇの、という感じ」と見解を語った。さらに「賠償金を強制的に払わせる方法はこれ以上ない。イヤなら国会議員に献金して、そういう法律をつくればいい」と挑発した。
 2Chの無法空間化も意に介さない。現実世界でもネット空間でも大人数が集まる場所で「全く犯罪が起こらないはずがない」。月1000万人が訪れる2Chで「完全に犯罪を抑えられたらノーベル賞もの」と語る一方、「2Chで起こる犯罪は犯罪予告、風説の流布、名誉棄損くらいで、たいしたことない」と述べた。
 悪質な書き込み人を特定するIPアドレスを公開すれば西村氏は訴えられずに済むとの指摘もあるが、「積極的に公開するほうが面倒」で、「効果がないと法律もルールもできない」と別の善後策も頭にない。さらには「窃盗の検挙率は5割を切っている。(どんな被害でも)それが必ず回復すると思わないほうがいい」と、やられ損もやむなしとの考えを示した。
 だが、責任を問う声に対して、「『東京では犯罪が多いけど、都民としてどう思いますか』というのと同じ感じ。僕自身から完全に離れてる」と語ると、さすがに会場も声を失った。言うまでもなく、この例えなら西村氏は一都民ではなく都知事。治安への無関心が許されるわけがない。
 むしろ西村氏が無法状態を望んでいる節もある。「健全なサイトは腐るほどあるが、危ないところはそんなにない。(新宿区)歌舞伎町のように怪しげなほうが好奇心のある人が集まる。胡散臭いほうがいい」。
 事実、歌舞伎町の法律スレスレの店を楽しむ人がいるように、2Chで出会い系サイトやクレジットカード現金化サービスなどアングラな広告に目を引かれる利用者も多いようだ。広告収入などにより、「今年、年収のケタが変わった。日本の人口より少し多いくらい」と西村氏は告白した。
 億単位を稼ぎながら、賠償金は一切払わず。この日、爆破予告をした“テロリスト”はおろか、西村氏に法の裁きを望む原告や弁護士、債権者、シカトを食らう裁判所関係者が、会場で動きを見せることはなかった。(2Ch取材班)
ZAKZAK 2006/11/14
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/2006_11/t2006111426.html

Tokyo Sports Nov 9, 2006 on 2-Channel BBS

Article courtesy Dave Spector. Thanks.

Zakzak and Sankei on 2-Channel libel (thanks Adamu)

mytest

Hi Blog. Found that fellow blogger Adamu at Mutantfrog has translated two articles on internet BBS 2-Channel, a hotbed for information, rumor, and (as court rulings have borne out) libel.

I have the original articles archived in Japanese

Meanwhile, let’s archive Adamu’s translations.

Tokyo Sports Nov 9, 2006 on 2-Channel BBS
Photocopy (literally) of article courtesy Dave Spector. Thanks. Click on it for a larger image.

More on the problems with 2-Channel

Thanks very much, Adamu! Debito in Sapporo

ADAMU’S TRANSLATIONS BEGIN
================================
2-Channel in a state of lawlessness – Attacks on individuals left on the site
ZAKZAK, quoting Sankei Shinbun, November 7, 2006
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/2006_11/t2006110728.html

A 30-year-old customer service worker recalls her painful memories:

“I went back to my parents’ house after my home address was revealed on the Internet, but harassing phone calls kept coming into my office. Even my customers started to distrust me, thinking that I had someone (harassing me).”

The woman took the brunt of insults such as “ex-prostitute,” “too much plastic surgery,” and threats including “I’ll kill you,” and “Just die.”

There were rumors that “an old acquaintence in the same business posted the offending material around the time when (the woman) opened her own store,” but the “culprit” could not be identified. The woman filed a civil law suit holding message board’s moderator Hiroyuki Nishimura (age 29, pictured) responsible.

The Tokyo Regional Court ordered deletion of the posts and 1 million yen in compensation, but the court victory spawed a second round of attacks. On 2ch, there were several posts including “don’t get bent out of shape over such things,” “I’ll beat you to death,” and “Hurry up and hang yourself.” Her workplace’s web site was also flooded with similar posts, shutting it down. The woman took leave from work for a while due to the stress.

Nishimura’s reaction at the time was, “Since it wasn’t just a demand to delete the posts, but litigation to take money from the message board’s moderator, I think it happened because it provoked protest from regular users.”

The woman explains, “As of now the person who gets posted about is the loser. The person who actually posts is never ultimately found, and even if you sue it doesn’t make you feel better. I don’t even want to hear the word ‘2ch.’”

Hokkaido Information University professor Debito Arudou (age 41), who became a naturalized Japanese citizen from the US in 2000, has sued to eliminate racial discrimination at public baths etc that are “Japanese only.” Meanwhile, at 2ch, posts made the rounds starting 2 years ago claiming that “American white David Aldwinckle” (the professor’s former name) made claims like the following:

“20,000 Iraqi citizens massacred due to invasion supported by Aldwinkle (American citizen)”

“For the profits of American whites, there is no problem with the massacre of a few hundred thousand nonwhites.”

Prof. Arudou is furious: “I said nothing of the kind. It’s a fabrication aimed to hurt my image and destroy my position as a human rights activist.” He was victorious in litigation seeking to have the posts deleted, but Nishimura is ignoring the decision. The false statements are still on the Internet in thousands of posts.

[NB: You can see for yourself by doing a Google search, by entering “アルドウィンクル” , “イラク” and “2ch”. Tried just now and got 1060 hits, up from 1050 three days ago, and from around 500 from when the libel court decision came down in my favor back in January. The situation is thus getting worse.)

A male business owner (age 40) of Chiba prefecture had his address, telephone number, the names of his family members, and even photos of his house and car registration documents exposed on 2ch. Phone calls asking for confirmation of orders he has no recollection of taking come constantly.

“I think I was targeted because I criticized the status of 2ch on the Internet. If you make an enemy of 2ch then terrible posts will be made [about you] and left there. I don’t know whether the people who push their way into my house are from inside 2ch or 2ch followers, or… I just give up because there’s nothing I can do.”

(From ZAKZAK’s 2ch reporting team)
========================

Now for Sankei Sports:
November 5, 2006

Original Article

Here’s Hiroyuki! 2-channel moderator gives lecture at Waseda University

Hiroyuki Nishimura, better known simply as “Hiroyuki,” moderator of enormous, anonymous bulletin board website 2-channel, who has been “missing” since last August, gave a lecture at Waseda University (located in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo)’s school festival on Nov. 4.

Nishimura has faced continual lawsuits over slanderous and hurtful posts on his website. Just last month, he was ordered to pay compensation of 1 million yen without ever setting foot in the courtroom, but he said “I’ll go to court if I’m bored.” He showed a consistent stance of having no intention of paying the damages.

He spoke freely of what he was thinking while “missing” at a lecture during the Waseda Festival. The theme was “the information society as seen from 2-channel.” 650 people, including standees, crammed the large classroom used for the event.

When Nishimura appeared in a black t-shirt over a gray long-sleeved shirt, the crowd oohed and ahhed. In response to the host’s comment that “It was reported you were missing…” Nishimura lazily played the stooge, saying “No no, you see, I’m a shadow warrior.” The crowd roared with laughter.

The focus was, as could be expected, the issue of Nishimura’s litigation-related disappearance. Last month, in a suit brought by a female professional golfer (age 24) alleging she was slandered and harmed by the bulletin board seeking deletion of the posts and damages etc, Nishimura was ordered to delete the posts and pay 1 million yen in compensation. However, he ignored the call from the court to appear in this case, and never showed up in court even once.

As to the reasons for that, Nishimura admitted, “Actually, there are similar cases going on from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south.” He bluntly explained, “Well, lawyer fees would cost more than 1 million yen… Hey, I’ll go if I get bored.”

He explained that “I deleted the problem section (from the site),” but added his horrifying assertion that “there is no law to make me pay compensation by force, so it doesn’t matter if I win or lose in court. It’s the same thing if I don’t pay (the compensation).” When asked about his annual income, he boasted “a little more than Japan’s population (127 million).” So he’s not having money issues…

Nishimura smiled when he received his favorite snack candy “Yummy sticks” (Umai bo) from the host. However, at the end an accident occurred. During a part of the program where Nishimura answered questions for him posted on his website and displayed on a large screen, there was a post saying “Die, Hiroyuki!”

Nishimura shook it off: “That’s a lazy greeting.” Finally, the lecture ended with a message to people looking at their PCs right now: “Go outside!”

In response to Nishimura’s assertion that “there is no law forcing me to pay compensation,” Nippon University professor of criminal law Hiroshi Itakura points out, “a court’s compulsory enforcement (kyousei shikkou) can be used to ‘collect’ compensation.” He says that running from compensation is impossible. Also, if someone hides assets etc for the purposes of avoiding compulsory execution, then “that would constitute the crime of obstructing compulsory execution,” the professor tells us. Itabashi wonders, “It is strange that the courts that ordered the compensation have not implemented compulsory enforcement. It’s not like Nishimura doesn’t have any assets…”

ARTICLES END

2ちゃんねるの西村ひろゆき:早稲田にて「強制的に(賠償金を)払わせる法律がない」(追加:ZAKZAK 記事)

mytest

有道 出人です。ブログの読者、こんにちは。いつもお世話になっております。

さて、2ちゃんねるの管理者西村ひろゆきは11月4日、早稲田にて講演をしました。(私の名誉毀損勝訴の経緯は http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html ) 。現場からレポートは以降にあります。

ひろゆきの話のなか、「強制的に(裁判の賠償金を)払わせる法律がない」と言い、「弁護士の費用で100万円以上もかかるし…。まぁ、ひまだったらいくということ」と”サラリと言ってのけた”ようです。しかし、賠償金逃れは不可能であると日大大学院教授が指摘しました。「強制執行妨害罪になる」と認め、「なぜ裁判所が、強制執行を行わないのか不思議」とも言いました。

そして、「問題の部分は(掲示板から)削除した」とも言いましたが、皆様どうぞgoogleで「アルドウィンクル」「イラク」と「2ch」、そのままで検索してみて下さい。本年1月、北海道岩見沢地裁の判決日、問題の部分が掲示板から削除せず、500サイト余りがありました。きょう検索すると、1050サイトまで増加しました。すなわちひろゆきの主張の現実と遥かに違いまして、更に悪化しています。

現場からレポートをどうぞお読み下さい。宜しくお願い致します。有道 出人
///////////////////////////////////////////

ひろゆきキターーー!「2ちゃんねる」管理人が早大で講演会
http://www.sanspo.com/shakai/top/sha200611/sha2006110500.html
November 5, 2006

西村氏は約2時間、早大生らの質問に答えた=4日、東京都新宿区=撮影・山内倫貴
 昨年8月から“失踪”状態にあった巨大匿名掲示板「2ちゃんねる」の管理運営者「ひろゆき」こと西村博之氏(29)が4日、早大(東京都新宿区)の学園祭で講演会を行った。同掲示板での誹謗(ひぼう)中傷の書き込みなどをめぐる訴訟が続く西村氏。先月も、1度も出廷することがないまま100万円の賠償命令を受けたが「裁判にはひまだったら行く」。賠償金も払う気ナシと強気の姿勢を貫いた。

 ひろゆきがキター! “雲隠れ”をしていた西村氏が約1年2カ月ぶりに公の場に姿を見せた。
 “失踪中”の思いを存分に語ったのは「早稲田祭」で行った講演会で、お題は「2ちゃんねるから見た情報社会」。会場の大教室は立ち見を含めて約650人の聴衆で埋め尽くされた。
 西村氏が黒のTシャツにグレーの長袖シャツを羽織った姿で登壇すると、会場から「お〜っ」とどよめきが。「失踪報道がありましたが…」との司会者の突っ込みに、西村氏は「いやぁ、影武者なんで」と軽〜い口調でボケを披露、会場は爆笑となった。
 話題の中心はやはり、裁判に絡んだ失踪問題。先月には女子プロゴルフファー(24)が、掲示板で誹謗中傷されたとして書き込みの削除や損害賠償などを求めた訴訟で、西村氏は東京地裁から書き込みの削除と100万円の支払いなどを言い渡された。しかし、この訴訟で裁判所からの呼び出しを無視し、1度も法廷に現れなかった。
 その理由をめぐり西村氏は「実は北は北海道から南は沖縄まで似たような裁判が行われている」と告白。「弁護士の費用で100万円以上もかかるし…。まぁ、ひまだったらいくということ」とサラリと言ってのけた。
 「問題の部分は(掲示板から)削除した」と説明したが、「賠償金を強制的に払わせる法律もないし、裁判に勝とうが負けようが関係ない。(賠償金を)払わなければ一緒」と仰天発言。年収について「日本の人口(約1億2700万人)より少し多いくらい」と豪語、おカネに困っていないはずだが…。
 司会者から好物のスナック菓子「うまい棒」を差し入れられ、笑顔を見せた西村氏。しかし、終盤にアクシデントが発生。掲示板に寄せられた西村氏への質問を大画面に写し、本人がそれに答えるコーナーで、「死ね! ひろゆき」と記された投稿があったのだ。
 「軽いあいさつでしょう」とかわした西村氏。最後に、今パソコンをのぞいている人へ「外に出ろ!」とのメッセージを送り、講演会を終えた。
■2ちゃんねる
 西村氏が米国留学中の1999年5月に開設した。1日1600万のヒット数を誇る巨大掲示板群で、約350以上の掲示板が存在。約450人のボランティアで運営。
★賠償金逃れは不可能…日大大学院教授が指摘
 「強制的に(賠償金を)払わせる法律がない」という西村氏の発言に、板倉宏日大大学院教授(刑法)は「裁判所の強制執行で賠償金を“集金”できる」と指摘する。賠償金逃れは不可能だという。また強制執行を回避するため、財産などを隠した場合は「強制執行妨害罪になる」とも。板倉教授は「なぜ、これまで損害賠償を命じてきた裁判所が、強制執行を行わないのか不思議だ。西村氏は財産がないわけではないのに…」と首をひねった。
ENDS
///////////////////////////////////////////////

2ちゃんねる、個人攻撃も放置“無法空間”状態
「書かれた者が負け」「敵に回すとひどいめに」
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/2006_11/t2006110728.html
November 7, 2006

 「自宅の住所をネットでさらされて実家に移ったが、勤務先にも嫌がらせの電話が相次いだ。お客の中にも(嫌がらせをしている人が)いるのかと人間不信になった」
 30代の接客業女性は苦い記憶を振り返る。女性は匿名掲示板「2ちゃんねる(2Ch)」で、「元風俗嬢」「整形しすぎ」などの事実無根の中傷や、「殺す」「死ね」といった脅迫を受けた。
 「(女性が)自分の店を開く前後から、旧知の同業者が嫉妬で書き込んだ」と噂になったが、“犯人”は特定できなかった。女性は掲示板を管理する西村博之氏(29)の責任を問い、民事訴訟を起こした。
 東京地裁は書き込み削除と100万円の損害賠償を命じたが、勝訴が二次被害を生んだ。判決後に2Chでは「そんなことで目くじら立てるな」「殴り殺す」「とっとと首を吊れ」などの書き込みが相次いだ。勤務先のホームページにも同様の書き込みが10万件も殺到し閉鎖に追い込まれた。女性は心労でしばらく仕事を休んだ。
 西村氏の当時の感想は「削除要求だけでなく、掲示板管理人から金を取ろうとした裁判なので、一般ユーザーから反感を買ったためだと思う」。
 女性は「現状では書かれた者が負け。書いた張本人は結局分からず、訴えても気晴らしにもならない。2Chという言葉も聞きたくない」と話す。
 北海道情報大の有道出人助教授(41)は平成12年に米国から日本に帰化し、「外国人お断り」の銭湯などに対し、人種差別撤廃を訴えてきた。一方で2Chでは、一昨年から≪アメリカ白人デビッド・アルドウィンクル≫(同助教授の旧名)が次のような主張をしたとする書き込みが横行した。
 ≪アルドウィンクル(米国籍)が支持している侵略戦争によるイラク市民2万人虐殺≫
 ≪アメリカ白人の利益のためには非白人の虐殺は数十万人までは何の問題も無い≫
 有道助教授は「こんなことは一切言ってない。人権活動家という私の立場を崩すため、イメージダウンを狙った捏造だ」と憤る。削除を求める裁判で勝訴したが西村氏は判決を無視。捏造発言はネット上に1000件以上も放置されたままだ。
 千葉県の自営業の男性(40)は2Chで住所や電話番号、家族の名前、自宅とマイカーの登録証の写真まで公開された。しばしば覚えのない注文を確認する電話も来る。
 「2Chのあり方をネット上で批判したので目を付けられたと思う。2Chを敵に回すとひどい書き込みも放置される。自宅まで押しかけて来るのは内部の人間か、2Ch信者なのか…。もう仕方ないとあきらめている」
(2Ch取材班)
◆ドラマ化もされたベストセラー「電車男」を生むなど、強い影響力を持つ巨大掲示板「2ちゃんねる」。しかし夕刊フジ既報の通り管理人の西村氏の賠償金の不払いや裁判逃れなど無責任な実態が明らかになってきた。この無法空間で自分を守る術はあるのか。
ZAKZAK 2006/11/07
ENDS

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 7, 2006

mytest

Hi All. Arudou Debito in Sapporo here. Lots been going on recently. Another newsletter to fire off to you:

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 7, 2006
Table of Contents:
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1) NEW JAPAN TIMES COLUMN TODAY (NOV 7) ON JAPAN’S BROKEN UN PROMISES
2) EXCLUSIONARY KITAKYUSHU RESTAURANT ADDED TO ROGUES’ GALLERY
3) ECONOMIST SOFTBALL OBIT: “TOKYO ROSE” DIES
4) PODCAST ON GOV. ISHIHARA
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
(freely forwardable)

1) NEW JAPAN TIMES COLUMN TODAY (NOV 7) ON JAPAN’S BROKEN UN PROMISES

Let me start with this since it’s the briefest entry:

My latest article in the Japan Times Community Page will be coming out today, as in a few hours. Teaser summary:

=================================
Now that the UN’s corrupt Human Rights’ Commission has been replaced with the “Human Rights Council”, with more accountability for its members vis-a-vis their own human rights record, the Japanese government got elected last June as its richest member. Interestingly, I was able to obtain a copy of Japan’s submission to the UN when it declared its HRC candidacy. In it, Japan pulls the wool over the UN’s eyes, with half-truth claims regarding Japan’s willingness to comply with international standards of human rights (with prominent treaties left unsigned and signed treaties left unfollowed). Moreover, nowhere mentioned in the sales pitch is any form of commitment towards improving the rights of Japan’s international residents.

Maybe this ability for unqualified candidates to get elected is what’s causing writers on the UN, such as James Traub (author, “The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power”) to call the Human Rights Council “a failure” (NPR Fresh Air, October 31, 2006) already, mere months after its birth…
=================================

Anyway, pick up a copy of the Japan Times today and have a look.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

2) EXCLUSIONARY KITAKYUSHU RESTAURANT ADDED TO ROGUES’ GALLERY

These sorts of things just seem to keep on happening whenever I attend a JALT conference (http://www.jalt.org). Last year, it was me finding out how the Japanese police were bending newly-revised hotel laws, by misrepresenting the law to make it seem as though all foreigners (residents of Japan or not) must show their passports at check-in. (Wrong–it only applies to tourists.) See the Japan Times (“Checkpoint at Check In”, October 13, 2005) article that came out of that at
http://www.debito.org/japantimes101805.html

This year, the following happened:

===================================================
ROGUES’ GALLERY OF EXCLUSIONARY ESTABLISHMENTS NOW INCLUDES ITS 21ST CITY:

Kokura, Kitakyushu City (Fukuoka Pref)
Restaurant “Jungle”
Kitakyushu-shi Kokura Kita-ku Kajimachi 1-7-4, Kajimachi Kaikan 3F
Ph: 093-512-7123, FAX 093-512-7124
Photo of storefront available at
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Kokura

On November 3, 2006, during the JALT National Conference at Kitakyushu, a JALT member was refused entry to the above restaurant. Reason given was that the establishment was full, even though to the refusee it visibly had open tables. The person who was refused informed Rogues’ Gallery moderator Arudou Debito at the conference after one of his presentations, and volunteer Jessica tracked down the site.

On November 4, at around 9PM, Arudou Debito, Jessica, and four other friends (including Ivan Hall, author of CARTELS OF THE MIND) went to the restauant in question. Arudou first went in alone and the manager, a Mr Matsubara Tatsuya, indeed tried to refuse him entry by claiming the restaurant was full. A quick walk around the restaurant confirmed that the establishment, with at least eight large tables plus counter space, was in fact almost completely empty. When it was clear that Arudou and Matsubara could communicate in Japanese, Matsubara then switched tacks and offered him counter space. Arudou then brought in his friends and confirmed that they could now have a table.

Arudou and friends then confirmed (after being seated and ordering drinks) that a) Matsubara did refuse foreigners entry, b) because he cannot communicate in English–he finds it his “nemesis” (nigate), c) and because he finds foreigners frightening (kowai). When asked if he had ever had any bad experiences or altercations with non-Japanese customers, Matsubara said no. He just (for reasons never made very clear) did not want to have to deal with them.

When Arudou and friends softly and calmly pointed out that a) non-Japanese are customers too, with money, not to mention language abilities (or at least forefingers to point to items on the menu), b) refusing them entry hurts their feelings, as it did the person refused the previous evening, c) that welcoming customers was part of the job description of his line of work (kyaku shoubai), he apologized and said he would try harder not to refuse non-Japanese customers in future.

The irony of the situation was that at the end of our drinks, one of the waiters who attended us (a student at the local technical college) talked to us in very good English. Why couldn’t Matsubara just have passed any customer with whom he was unable to communicate on to his staff?

We look forward to future reports from readers of this website who might wish to investigate this restaurant in future to see if Matsubara keeps his promise.
===================================================
ROGUES’ GALLERY ENTRY ENDS

I should think that if I find some time, I should write a letter on this case to JALT, the Kitakyushu Mayor’s office (after all, he did officially welcome us in the JALT brochures), the local Bureau of Human Rights, and maybe the local newspaper, and let them know that this sort of thing happened and should not anymore. JALT is like a mountain in that it is big enough to influence the weather–with a couple thousand attendees surely a windfall for the local economy. Might as well ask to use the authority if we have it.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

3) ECONOMIST SOFTBALL OBIT: “TOKYO ROSE” DIES

Here’s an article I stumbled across while reading back issues of The Economist, left fallow on my desk due to all my travels:

OBITUARY: TOKYO ROSE
Iva Toguri, a victim of mistaken identity, died on September 26th, aged 90
From The Economist (London) print edition, Oct 5th 2006
Courtesy http://www.economist.com/obituary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_SJJSDST

=================== EXCERPT BEGINS =======================
MANY years after the end of the war in the Pacific, a former tail-gunner who had been stationed in New Guinea wrote a letter to a veterans’ magazine. He wished to share his memories of a voice. Every night in the spring of 1944, huddled in a tent with his comrades, he would hear a woman speaking behind the crackle and whistling of the Halicrafter radio. “Hi, boys!” she would say, or sometimes “Hi, enemies! This is your favourite playmate.” She would play swing and jazz, introduce “some swell new records from the States” and then, almost as an afterthought, mention that a Japanese attack was coming: “So listen while you are still alive.”

They listened happily, as did American troops all over the Pacific. It was rare and good to hear a female voice, even through several layers of interference and even with the sneer of death in it. Whether it was one woman, or many different women, did not matter. They could picture her: a full lipstick smile, ample curves, perfect skin, part Hedy Lamarr and part the sweetheart left at home. She was a temptress and a vixen, and her name was Tokyo Rose. For even myths must have names and addresses…
=================== EXCERPT ENDS =======================
Rest of the article also at

Economist Oct 5 Obit: “Tokyo Rose” dies (with replies)

COMMENT: I think the author of article tries a little too hard to let Ms Toguri off the hook. Unwilling or subversive participant perhaps, the fact that she still participated is something that should be discussed. The author should have dealt with her motivations a little more, and instead of merely dismissing “incriminate Tokyo Rose” campaigner Walter Winchell as a “populist ranter”, brought up more of his claims and counterargued them better. Her popularity with the troops and celebrity status does not in my view exonerate her participation in the propaganda, and she herself should have told us a bit more about what went on before she died. If there is any “mistaken identity”, as the article claims in the title, I feel it is in part because she did an insufficient amount to correct it herself.

The Economist has done this sort of thing before, by the way. In an article on the Emperor Hirohito death in 1989, there was a Leader (editorial) dismissing British newspaper claims that he was “truly evil”. The Economist instead made the case that “Hirohito was one of the people in the 20th Century who delivered us” (IIRC–it’s been 18 years). I had trouble buying it then, and, given the revelations of Shouwa Tennou’s wartime involvement (see Herbert BIX’s book on it), I buy it even less today.

Contrast these with what passed as an Obit in The Economist for Leni Riefenstahl, another woman with wartime complicity. Also available at

Economist Oct 5 Obit: “Tokyo Rose” dies (with replies)

Maybe this is just something The Economist does: Focus on the output and not on the motivations of the artist. Pity it means glossing over archetypal historical figures in retrospective. I say: Less gush for people with possible complicity in wartime, please. There are issues here which should be discussed.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

4) PODCAST ON GOV. ISHIHARA

Shortly before writing this newsletter, I was interviewed tonight by “Bicyclemark’s Communique”, an introduction through ResPublica’s Lee-Sean Huang, by Mark, a Portuguese-American activist blogger, podjournalist, and vlogger living in Amsterdam. He asked me about Governor Ishihara, a topic I have probably B-minus knowledge about, and the emerging right-wing shift in Japan’s internationalist future. I’m pretty tired, so I made a couple of goofs, but have a listen anyway. I think it came out quite alright:

http://bicyclemark.org/blog/2006/11/bm164-ishiharas-tokyo/

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Thanks as always for reading!
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 7, 2006 ENDS

Economist Oct 5 Obit: “Tokyo Rose” dies (with replies)

mytest

Hi Blog. Been reading back issues of The Economist left fallow during my recent trips, and stumbled across this. Comment at the very bottom follows:

Iva Toguri, a victim of mistaken identity, died on September 26th, aged 90


Oct 5th 2006
From The Economist (London) print edition
Courtesy http://www.economist.com/obituary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_SJJSDST

MANY years after the end of the war in the Pacific, a former tail-gunner who had been stationed in New Guinea wrote a letter to a veterans’ magazine. He wished to share his memories of a voice. Every night in the spring of 1944, huddled in a tent with his comrades, he would hear a woman speaking behind the crackle and whistling of the Halicrafter radio. “Hi, boys!” she would say, or sometimes “Hi, enemies! This is your favourite playmate.” She would play swing and jazz, introduce “some swell new records from the States” and then, almost as an afterthought, mention that a Japanese attack was coming: “So listen while you are still alive.”

They listened happily, as did American troops all over the Pacific. It was rare and good to hear a female voice, even through several layers of interference and even with the sneer of death in it. Whether it was one woman, or many different women, did not matter. They could picture her: a full lipstick smile, ample curves, perfect skin, part Hedy Lamarr and part the sweetheart left at home. She was a temptress and a vixen, and her name was Tokyo Rose. For even myths must have names and addresses.

After the war American pressmen descended on ruined Tokyo to search for the girl they had invented. The Hearst empire was offering $2,000 for an interview and, after a while, a slight, pale, smiling young woman came forward. She had worked for Radio Tokyo and, for two years, had part-hosted a programme called “The Zero Hour”. Her name was Iva Toguri: an American citizen, born and raised in California, and now in desperate need of money to get home. She had never called herself Tokyo Rose, on air or otherwise, but there seemed no harm in taking the identity when the Hearst men asked her. Yes, she was “the one and only”, the “original”.

For a while it was glamorous to be this person. Troops mobbed her for her “Tokyo Rose” autograph. She was photographed with them, a schoolgirl figure in white blouse and black slacks amid a sea of beige uniforms. But if she was Tokyo Rose, and an American, then she was also probably a traitor. So, after the fun, she was arrested.

For a year she was kept in a military brig while her broadcasts were investigated. The authorities, finding nothing against her, concluded she was not Tokyo Rose and set her free. Others were not so easily robbed of their chimeras. A populist ranter and broadcaster, Walter Winchell, started a campaign to get her rearrested and retried. In 1948 she was indicted on eight counts of treason, one of which stuck: that in October 1944 “she did speak into a microphone concerning the loss of ships.” She was sentenced to ten years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

In fact, Miss Toguri’s story was all innocence. She had gone to Japan for the first time in 1941 to visit a dying aunt; the outbreak of war had trapped her there, an “enemy alien” without money and almost without the language. She was forced, like many other Allied prisoners-of-war, to work in propaganda broadcasting. Unlike her mythical persona, however, she had delivered no threats and nothing to demoralise the troops. Her radio manner was jolly rather than sultry. She was “Orphan Ann”, after Little Orphan Annie, and her theme tune, “Strike up the Band”, had been the fight song of her alma mater, the University of California at Los Angeles.

An alien in Japan

Ostensibly she was working for the Japanese. But she and her mentor, Charles Cousens, a major in the Australian army, had found ways of undermining them. Odd pauses or silly asides (“You are liking, please?”) would make nonsense of chilling remarks. And the records Miss Toguri chose were often British rather than American, entertaining the troops without making them think miserably of home.

As a nisei, the daughter of first-generation Japanese immigrants, she looked thoroughly Japanese. Not so. She was American to her fingertips, a Girl Scout, keen on big-band music and a regular at her Methodist church. Her father, though he ran a Japanese-import store, had insisted on that identity, wanting his children to speak and write only English. Iva—the name she had embraced, casting off “Ikuko”—had set off for Japan in 1941 with her trunks full of American food, and her letters home wailed at the misery of three rice meals a day. Stuck in Tokyo, she was pestered by the military police to give up her American citizenship. She clung to it fiercely until in 1949, as part of her treason sentence, it was revoked by her own country.

The mistake was eventually acknowledged. Gerald Ford pardoned Miss Toguri on the last day of his presidency, in 1977: the first-ever pardon of any American convicted of treason. By then, she had been released early for good behaviour, had paid her fine and had moved to Chicago, to live obscurely and to help out sometimes in her father’s Japanese-goods shop, selling bags of the hated rice to midwesterners.

Her pardon seemed an admission that she was not Tokyo Rose. But the American government still considered she was, even if wrongfully convicted. Hollywood, and the public, still thought so. And for many old servicemen “her” voice, and their dream of “her” face, still fill their memories of war in the Pacific, as real as the kamikaze aircraft plunging into the sea.
OBIT ENDS

COMMENT: I think the author of article tries a little too hard to let Ms Toguri off the hook. Unwilling or subversive participant perhaps, the fact that she still participated is something that should be discussed. One should have dealt with her motivations a little more, and instead of merely dismissing Winchell as a “populist ranter”, brought up more of his claims and counterargued them better. Her popularity with the troops and celebrity status does not in my view exonerate her participation in the propaganda, and she herself should have told us a bit more about what went on before she died. If there is any “mistaken identity”, as the article claims in the title, I feel she did an insufficient amount to correct it herself.

The Economist has done this sort of thing before. In an article on the Emperor Hirohito death in 1989, there was a Leader (editorial) dismissing British newspaper claims that he was “truly evil”. The Economist instead made the case that “Hirohito was one of the people in the 20th Century who delivered us” (IIRC–it’s been 18 years). I had trouble buying it then, and, given the revelations of Shouwa Tennou’s wartime involvement (see Herbert BIX’s book on it), I buy it even less today.

Contrast these with what passed as an Obit in The Economist for Leni Riefenstahl, another woman with wartime complicity:

========================

Leni Riefenstahl
Her cinema was unforgettable

Hand-held history
Sep 11th 2003
From The Economist print edition
Courtesy http://www.economist.com/books/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=2051630

WITH just two films, made when she was still in her early 30s, Leni Riefenstahl stamped on history the iconography of Nazi Germany. Not even Albert Speer, with all his grandiose architecture cast in marble, came as close to capturing the subconscious allure—at once both devilish and erotic—that represented power to many Germans in the early 1930s. And although being cast as Adolf Hitler’s favourite film-maker later killed off Ms Riefenstahl’s career for good, it is this early work, the first commissioned personally by Hitler, that sealed her reputation as the greatest female film-maker of the 20th century.

She was a dancer and actress, whose films for Arnold Fanck, steeped in the Nietzschean ideology of mountains, purity and a proximity to heaven, were among Hitler’s favourites. So it was perhaps inevitable that he should ask the 31-year-old Ms Riefenstahl, who had recently begun directing, to make a film of her own—not a newsreel but a piece of cinema—about the Nazi victory rally of 1934.

It was a moment that appealed to Ms Riefenstahl’s passion for the Busby Berkeley spectacle and she turned it into a political coronation. “Triumph of Will” opens with the Führer descending from the clouds, like Odin, in his aeroplane to celebrate the might of his troops. She used moving cameras, frequent close-ups of the wide-eyed party faithful and heroic shots of Hitler taken from ground level. “Triumph of Will” has no commentary, only real sound—the Führer exhorting and the crowd roaring approval.

The film won an array of German prizes and led directly to a commission to film the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936. To capture the spirit of the early Greek Olympics, she filmed nearly naked athletes in an array of heroic poses. And although the film was less parti pris than its predecessor—it showed Jesse Owens sprinting to victory in a race that enraged Hitler—the power of moving muscle as the pinnacle of human excellence portrayed in “Olympia” had as much to do with Nazi ambition as it did with sport.

As before, Ms Riefenstahl’s filming and editing techniques both broke new ground, and many shots that now seem commonplace had never been seen before. To capture the drama of the pole vault and long jump, she placed her cameras in holes beside the sandpit where the athletes landed. She used four cameras, including one underwater, to capture the movement of high divers from all angles. Then, in the editing room, she turned them into graceful birds that you almost never see hitting the water.

Leni Riefenstahl took up still photography after she stopped making films. A favourite subject was the Nuba of Sudan. Like her athletes, her portraits of the Nuba were far less about the individuals she photographed than what their sculpted, muscular bodies represented. The similarity makes you wonder, if her film-making had not been abruptly cut off in its youth, whether she would indeed have evolved much further as an artist. Although she was 101 when she died earlier this week, there was always something of the James Dean about her.
ENDS
========================

Maybe this is just something The Economist does: Focus on the output and not on the motivations of the artist. Pity it means glossing over archetypal historical figures in retrospective. I say: Less gush for people with possible complicity in wartime, please. There are issues here which should be discussed. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

//////////////////////////////////////////////////
A READER REPLIES:

Hey Debito,
I think you need to read a bit more on Tokyo Rose. The trial was a travesty, with witnesses forced to committ perjury in order to get a conviction. Here are some urls

—————————————
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iva_Toguri_D’Aquino
Identified by the press, however erroneously, as Tokyo Rose after the war, she was detained for a year by the U.S. military before being released for lack of evidence. Regardless, upon return to the U.S., the Federal Bureau of Investigation charged her with eight counts of treason. Her 1949 trial resulted in a conviction on one count, making her the seventh American to be convicted on that charge. In 1974, investigative journalists found key witnesses had lied during testimony, among and other serious problems with the conduct of the trial. She was pardoned by U.S. President Gerald Ford, becoming the only U.S. citizen convicted of treason to be pardoned

http://www.fbi.gov/libref/historic/famcases/rose/rose.htm
The Department of Justice initiated further efforts to acquire additional evidence that might be sufficient to convict Aquino. It issued a press release asking all U.S. soldiers and sailors who had heard the Radio Tokyo propaganda broadcasts and who could identify the voice of the broadcaster to contact the FBI. Justice also sent one of its attorneys and reporter Harry Brundidge to Japan to search for other witnesses. Problematically, Brundidge enticed a former contact of his to perjure himself in the matter.

Neither Brundidge nor the witness testified at trial because of the taint of perjury. Nor was Brundidge prosecuted for subornation of perjury. According to FBI records available at the National Archives, the Department of Justice thought that the evidence came down to the witness’s word against that of Brundidge.

http://www.kensmen.com/tokyorosec.html
http://forejustice.org/wc/tr/tokyo_rose_040503.htm
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/28/db2802.xml

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6154827&ft=1&f=2
—————————————

MY FRIEND CONCLUDES: Equating a film director supplied with resources from the Nazi party and a single woman without documentation trapped in Japan is missing the point on a number of levels. I think you are going to get hammered on this point.

==========================
DEBITO REPLIES:
As I should be, then. The Obit to me just didn’t make a sufficiently powerful case to the contrary. Ah well. Live and learn. Thanks for the info. Debito

///////////////////////////////////////////////

Hi Debito-san,

…I always enjoy reading your news items through e-mail and in the Japan Times. I noticed this little notice about Tokyo Rose below. It reminded me of a radio show that I hear sometime earlier this year. I have found it on Internet and am sending the URL. If you have some time, have a listen.

ECHOES OF A CENTURY: Tokyo Rose
http://www.podcastdirectory.com/podshows/836561

Keep up the good work!
///////////////////////////////////////////////

ANOTHER REPLY:

Dave, Eva Toguri, the so called Tokyo Rose, was framed–a post-war scapegoat. See

http://www.justicedenied.org/issue/issue_28/jd_issue_28.pdf
scroll down to page 22. Likewise, see
The Hunt for “Tokyo Rose” (Softcover) ($14.95)
by Russell Warren Howe – $14.95 – 384 pgs. A study of one of World War II’s most hated personalities. One realizes from the evidence Howe presents that the case against Iva Toguri, falsely identified as Tokyo Rose, was contrived and that the furor over her wartime activities while trapped in Japan after the war broke out was a combination of journalists wanting to create news and government officials looking for revenge against the Japanese. Howe includes detailed information from F.B.I. files and the testimony of surviving principals involved in the situation. The book reveals that Toguri’s broadcasting was not in any way detrimental to U. S. troops; in fact, she was forced by the Japanese to broadcast a show with little more than chitchat and music. The book carries a strong message about the vindictiveness of people under the stress of war, the ability of people to use the U. S. justice system for their own profit, and the power of the press. The book will also make readers reflect on American racism, the constitutional rights of the accused, and the immorality of U. S. officials.

Iva Toguri’s story was featured in the Spring 2005 issue of Justice Denied magazine. See, “Iva Toguri Is Innocent! – Iva Toguri was not Tokyo Rose and she was wrongly convicted of treason.”,
http://www.justicedenied.org/issue/issue_28/jd_issue_28.pdf
//////////////////////////////////////////////////
ENDS

2-Channel’s Nishimura speaking at Waseda Nov 4 2ちゃんねる管理者「ひろゆき」講演

mytest

(English first, 日本語は英語の後です)

News Flash:

Just heard from a reporter that Nishimura Hiroyuki, the administrator and owner of internet BBS 2-Channel, currently on the lam after not paying several court losses (including mine–see http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html), will actually be making a public appearance on Saturday November 4 at Waseda University, Tokyo.

Details follow, courtesy of a friend who answered a call for information put out to my blog (http://www.debito.org/index.php):

//////////////////////////////////////////////////
SPEAKER: NISHIMURA Hiroyuki (Administrator of 2-Channel BBS)
DATE AND TIME: Sat, Nov 4, 2006, 2 to 4 PM
PLACE: Waseda University, Nishi Waseda Campus, Building 15, Room 302
//////////////////////////////////////////////////

Here is a map of the campus:
http://www.waseda.jp/jp/campus/nishi_up.html

Sounds like an interesting speech. Wish I could attend. Readers and reporters should feel free to go see him and ask a few questions. Maybe somebody could serve him papers…

Bests, Debito in Sapporo
http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html
Japanese follows:

有道 出人です。皆様おはようございます。ホットニュースを聞いたので、早速転送させていただきます。

==========================
2ちゃんねるの「ひろゆき」は早大にて11月4日に公演
==========================

以前申し上げたことですが、2ちゃんねるの管理者西村「ひろゆき」はマスコミによると現在「失踪状態」です。
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
 インターネットの巨大匿名掲示板「2ちゃんねる」の管理運営者「ひろゆき」こと、西村博之氏(29)が失踪状態にあることが22日までにわかった。同掲示板は西村氏個人が管理しちえる。当局が不適切な書き込みの削除や投稿者の情報を求めようにも行方知れずで放置され、裁判所からの呼び出しにしも応じていない。ネット会社の象徴的な存在でもある「2ちゃんねる」は、最悪の場合、「掲示板閉鎖」という事態まであり得る情勢だ。
http://019.gamushara.net/tv/data/vi5889218087.jpg
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
なのに、来週末早稲田大学で公演します。明細は以降の通りです:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////
出演*西村博之さん(インターネット掲示板・2ちゃんねる管理人)
時間*11月4日(土曜日) 14:00〜16:00(予定)
場所*早稲田大学 西早稲田キャンパス 15号館302教室
キャンパスマップ
http://www.waseda.jp/jp/campus/nishi_up.html
//////////////////////////////////////////////////

皆様、記者の皆様、どうぞご取材とご傍聴をご検討下さい。それぞれの名誉毀損敗訴について私も聞きたいと思います。本年1月私の勝訴について
http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html
では、宜しくお願い致します。
有道 出人
debito@debito.org
ENDS

Mainichi Oct 10 06: BBS 2-Channel’s Nishimura still on the lam

mytest

(Article courtesy M. Update on 2-Channel lawsuit and Defendant Nishimura’s continuing lam. More on this issue at http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html –Arudou Debito in Vancouver)

Operator of notorious bulletin board lost in cyber space
Mainichi Daily News, Oct 10, 2006

http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/waiwai/news/20061010p2g00m0dm020000c.html

All sorts of mail is bulging out of the postbox, but the thick wads of legal
letters stand out. A peep inside through the windows of the Tokyo apartment
provides no hint that anybody has lived inside for a while.

It’s the home of Hiroyuki Nishimura, the 29-year-old webmaster of
Ni-Chaneru, the huge bulletin board that is arguably the Japanese language
Internet’s most popular — and most notorious — site.

Nishimura has been reported by Japan’s tabloid media as “missing” — with
the strong implication that he’d run away from massive debts brought on by a
huge number of lost lawsuits that he consistently refused to contest by
showing up in court. But the women’s weekly says it has managed to track him
down and find out about the rumors of his disappearance.

“I’m just hanging out like I always do,” Nishimura tells AERA with a blog
posting that serves as answers to its e-mailed questions.

Nishimura defends his decision not to contest the myriad of lawsuits filed
against Ni-Chaneru.

“I’ve been sued in the north as far as Hokkaido and the south as far as
Okinawa. It’s simply not possible to attend every court case where I’ve been
named as a defendant. I figure if I can defend myself in every case, it’s
exactly the same as not turning up in my defense,” he tells the weekly
indirectly.

[ED’S NOTE: HUH??]

Nishimura also strongly denies suggestions that he’s gone bankrupt, which
many have speculated may be the main reason nobody seems able to find him
now.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he writes when questioned about
his financial state.

AERA, however, begs to disagree. It says that Nishimura, as Ni-Chaneru’s
administrator, was sued in May by a man claiming to have been defamed on the
bulletin board by postings listing his name and accusing him of molestation
and bankruptcy. The man was seeking to have Nishimura release details of
those who had posted the messages on the site. Nishimura did not turn up in
court for the case, nor did he accept the injunction ordering him to make
the information available.

“I asked the court to impose a fine of 50,000 yen for every day he failed to
comply and it did. He already owes more than 2 million yen,” the plaintiff
tells AERA. “Because he hasn’t paid that, I applied to have him declared
bankrupt.”

Unlike companies, which are regularly shut down by creditors, it’s rare for
a creditor to bring about an individual’s bankruptcy. But Nishimura now
faces the prospect of a receiver being appointed to look into his financial
affairs and selling off whatever he has to repay what he owes, according to
the weekly.

The plaintiff took the drastic step because Ni-Chaneru has consistently
refused to pay up when courts have declared it a loser in court cases. It
has already been ordered to fork out more than 20 million yen over lost
lawsuits.

“If they put the Ni-Chaneru domain up for auction, it’d reap tens of
millions of yen for sure,” the man tells AERA. “There’s bound to be a
company out there that would buy it.”

It’s still unsure whether the court will order a receiver be appointed to
oversee Nishimura’s finances. Surely, he wouldn’t be able to ignore the
courts again if that happened? Others who’ve won court cases against him
aren’t so sure.

“We tried everything from property seizures to forced execution of rulings,
but we could get no more than 2 million yen,” says a spokesman from DHC, a
cosmetic company awarded 7 million yen in a court battle with Nishimura.
“We’d welcome the chance to get more if bankruptcy proceedings go ahead, but
have our doubts about whether this will really happen.”

A lawyer involved in a number of Ni-Chaneru-related lawsuits says that the
current attack on Nishimura is nothing new.

“People have suggested bankruptcy proceedings before,” the lawyer says. “The
issue revolves around whether the court will recognize him as bankrupt with
debts of only a few million yen. It might be different if everybody who’s
won court cases against him joined forces and fought together.”

Even then it’s no certainty — Ni-Chaneru’s revenue is all controlled
completely by a separate advertising company, making the bulletin board’s
accounts something of a black hole.

“If the receiver can get their hands on that,” the plaintiff tells AERA,
“everything will become totally clear.” (By Ryann Connell)

October 10, 2006

More on this issue at
http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html
ENDS

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER SEPT 23 2006

mytest

Good evening all. Arudou Debito in Sapporo here, with a roundup of recent articles I’ve been blogging recently:

Table of Contents:
////////////////////////////////////////
1) 2-CHANNEL’S DEFENDANT NISHIMURA “DISAPPEARS” (SHISSOU)
2) J TIMES: FUTURE CONFLICTS ON FOREIGN “OLDCOMERS” AND “NEWCOMERS”
3) YOMIURI: CRACKDOWN ON FOREIGN BUSINESSES IN COUNTRYSIDE
4) TOKYO GOV ISHIHARA TO RUN FOR THIRD TERM, DISSES “FOREIGNERS” AGAIN
5) ASAHI: MURDER SUSPECT TRIES TO BLAME CRIME ON “BLOND” MAN
6) KITAKYUSHU PROF BLAMES BAD ENGLISH EDUCATION ON FOREIGNERS WHO STAY TOO LONG
7) AKITA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY ADDED TO BLACKLIST
////////////////////////////////////////

Newsletter dated September 23, 2006
Freely forwardable

////////////////////////////////////////

1) 2-CHANNEL’S DEFENDANT NISHIMURA “DISAPPEARS” (SHISSOU)

I updated you last week (http://www.debito.org/?p=30 ) about my lawsuit against Japan’s largest Internet BBS, 2-Channel. Although they lost a libel suit to me last January, Owner and Adminstrator Defendant Nishimura Hiroyuki still hasn’t paid the court-ordered damages, moreover has ignored another series of paperwork my lawyers have filed to enforce the decision. Full details on the lawsuit at http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html#english

The news is that I just heard that Nishimura, with his invisible income, numerous personal blogs and online columns, and books published by the likes of Kodansha and Asukii, has made himself invisible. Yes, he’s just plain disappeared. Witness this newspaper article (translation mine):

============== BEGINS ==================
On September 22, it was established that Nishimura Hiroyuki (29), aka “hiroyuki”, administrator and operator of giant Internet BBS “2-Channel”, has disappeared (shissou joutai). This BBS is being run by Nishimura as an individual. Even after government organs have demanded that inappropriate posts be removed, and posters have their whereabouts revealed, [Nishimura] has let these things slide and not responded to orders to appear before courts. The worst case scenario is that “2-Channel”, an emblematic site to Internet industries, may even be shut down.
=============== ENDS ===================

I don’t know in what newspaper this appeared (it looks like a screen capture from a TV news show), but it is the genuine article, and visible at http://www.debito.org/nishimuradisappears.jpg

I have also heard rumors that Nishimura was about to declare personal bankruptcy, and has a gaggle of lawsuits following him to zap any above-board income (royalties etc.) he might legally receive. However, he’ll never be able to open and register a real company. If he does resurface (if he’s even still in the country) and declare himself bankrupt, he’ll apparently even lose the right to vote.

For the record, I do not support closing 2-Channel down (it is for millions a very valuable network). I only want it to take responsibility for filling the media with irresponsible information, so bad that even Japan’s cautious courts have determined in several cases to be libelous. Continuous evasion of these responsibilities as a member of the media may mean Nishimura gets his in the end. Keep a weather eye on this story…

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2) J TIMES: FUTURE CONFLICTS ON FOREIGN “OLDCOMERS” AND “NEWCOMERS”

Reporter Eric Johnston has done it again–another prescient scoop on what may become a pressing domestic issue in future: How a probable influx of foreign labor may cause frictions between foreigners themselves, i.e. the “Oldcomers” (the Zainichi generational foreigners) and the “Newcomers” (overseas-born immigrants, whose numbers are rising as the Zainichis’ fall). Excerpt:

============== EXCERPT BEGINS ==================
“I don’t think you’d see a level of violence between different ethnic groups that you see in other parts of the world because Japanese authorities and society would not tolerate it,” said former Tokyo Immigration Bureau chief Hidenori Sakanaka. “But it’s likely that established foreign residents would discriminate against groups of new foreigners, barring them from apartments, restaurants, or jobs.

“It’s already happening in cities like Tokyo, but it could become a much bigger problem nationwide in the future,” he said.

And newcomers facing job discrimination in particular, be it from long-term foreign residents or from Japanese, could find that groups like labor unions that have often been at the forefront of protecting the rights of foreigners may change their attitude if they begin to see foreign labor as a threat.

“I can see a large influx of foreign workers sparking opposition from Japan’s labor unions,” Sakanaka said.

“Compared to the Justice Ministry and the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry, opposition within the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to large numbers of foreigners is quite strong, and much of this opposition reflects the opposition that exists in labor unions.” (Japan Times, Sept 12, 2006)
============== EXCERPT ENDS ====================

It also addresses issues such as education, discrimination, public policy, and a lingering ostrich mentality even amongst “progressive” (and Prime-Ministerial-aspiring) Dietmembers such as Kouno Taro. Blogged in full at
http://www.debito.org/?p=28

Speaking of internationalization tensions:

////////////////////////////////////////

3) YOMIURI: CRACKDOWN ON FOREIGN BUSINESSES IN COUNTRYSIDE

Here’s a harbinger of future foreign entrepreneurialism:

============== EXCERPT BEGINS ==================
The Toyama prefectural government has instructed two businesses
targeting foreign residents to improve their business practices after
discovering they had disregarded the city planning law, The Yomiuri
Shimbun has learned.

The prefectural government intends to issue similar instructions for
seven other businesses in the near future. If the conditions of the
instructions are not met, the businesses will be ordered to cease
operations. If the orders are again ignored, the prefectural
government will file criminal complaints against them.

The Construction and Transport Ministry is demanding the prefecture
also investigate the about 170 such businesses in the area that are
believed to be on the edge of the law as part of a clampdown on
businesses encroaching on the countryside…

The nine businesses for which the guidance has been issued or
scheduled comprise five used-car dealerships, a mosque, a real estate
office targeting foreigners, a money exchange business and a
used-appliance store. The operators of the locations include Japanese,
Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, among others…

[And of course, the perfunctory allusion to foreign crime…]

In the neighboring areas, there are a large number of robberies,
burglaries and traffic violations committed by foreigners….

(Yomiuri Sept 13, 2006, http://www.debito.org/?p=29 )
============== EXCERPT ENDS ====================

Goes without saying, but I would expect any businessman regardless of nationality to follow Japan’s zoning laws. But based upon the number of these “shack businesses” I see springing up in the Hokkaido countryside (where our foreign population is miniscule), I can’t help but think that crackdowns and criminal procedures wouldn’t be so considered without the foreign element. Let’s hope these proceedings also target places without mosques and Russian customers…

Now for a man who really wants foreigners to come to his town–as long as it’s for the Olympics…

////////////////////////////////////////

4) TOKYO GOV ISHIHARA TO RUN FOR THIRD TERM, DISSES “FOREIGNERS” AGAIN

Yes, the man who never misses an opportunity to slag somebody off (how dare the Fukuoka mayor put in an Olympic bid and compete with Tokyo, the center of the universe!) has decided to run for a third term as Tokyo Governor. Expressly so that he can shepherd his plans through for the 2016 Tokyo Olympics: Tokyo won the bid to be Japan’s champion on August 31.

That’s fine. But then Ishihara decided to punch below the belt when a critic just happened to be “foreign”:

============== EXCERPT BEGINS ==================
However, Ishihara’s trademark volatility came to the fore when Fukuoka supporter Kang Sang Jung, a professor of political science at the University of Tokyo–and a second-generation Korean born and raised in Japan–criticized Tokyo’s Olympic bid.

In his pre-vote speech, Kang provoked Ishihara’s ire by asking, “Can we win over world competitors with an Olympics of the rich, by the rich and for the rich?”

Ishihara replied in his speech, saying: “A scholar of some foreign country said earlier Tokyo has no philosophy. I do not know why.”

The governor then went on to make his displeasure clear later at a celebratory party, when he dismissed Kang as both “impudent” and an ayashigena gaikokujin (dubious foreigner).

(Asahi Sept 1, 2006, http://www.debito.org/?p=27 )
============== EXCERPT ENDS ====================

Aim high, shoot low. This caused quite a furor with human rights groups, since Ishihara promised to stop making these types of discriminatory remarks in 2000 after the firestorm wreaked by his “Sankokujin” (basically meaning “lesser-nation foreigners” in vernacular use) Speech to the Self Defense Forces (where he called for foreigner round-ups in the event of a natural disaster). For good measure, on September 15, Ishihara then talked about illegal immigration from the, quote, “sankokujin” all over again.

People have filed complaints, for what they’re worth (links in Japanese):
http://news.goo.ne.jp/news/asahi/shakai/20060916/K2006091504340.html?C=S
http://news.goo.ne.jp/news/asahi/shakai/20060920/K2006092004280.html
http://www3.to/kmj1

Can hardly wait to see how Ishihara assesses all the foreigners who come to spend money here during the Olympics… Given Japan’s overreaction to world-class sporting events, viz. the World Cup in 2002, I’m not optimistic.
http://www.debito.org/WorldCup2002.html

I’m also not all that optimistic about Ishihara getting the boot in the next election. But one can dream.

Meanwhile, the beat goes on with people blaming foreigners for their ills:

////////////////////////////////////////

5) ASAHI: MURDER SUSPECT TRIES TO BLAME CRIME ON “BLOND” MAN

It’s quite a famous case up here in Hokkaido, where a kid from a broken family in Wakkanai, Japan’s northernmost city, apparently tried to get his friend to help kill his mom. It’s a pretty sad case, covered assiduously by the Wide Shows, of yet another example of Japan’s apparent decline in morals. It’s further complicated (as far as this newsletter is concerned) by the following fact:

============== EXCERPT BEGINS ==================
The victim’s son had initially told investigators that he saw a man with blond hair running away from his home, and the first-floor living room appeared to have been ransacked. Investigators suspect that the two attempted to cover up their involvement.

(Mainichi, Aug 29, 2006, http://www.debito.org/?p=32 )
============== EXCERPT ENDS ====================

Fortunately, the police saw through this. But given the NPA’s long history of targeting foreigners (got lots of links, but I’m not going to include them all in this already long-enough post), I’m happy that they didn’t jump to conclusions (especially given the often-sour relationship between Japanese seaports and disembarking Russians, which I have also catalogued in great detail in the past).

The point I’m trying to make is this: This is yet another attempt to pin Japanese crime on foreigners. It didn’t work this time, but how many crimes in Japan which are suspected to be committed by “foreigners” are thusly red-herringed? Does wonders for the foreign crime rate. And this is not alarmism–I have archived two other cases in 2004 of “gaijin nasuri tsuke”, one involving a youth gang attack, the other an indolent trucker:
http://www.debito.org/aichibikergangpatsy.html

By the way, an interesting note about this article. The original Japanese at
http://www.mainichi-msn.co.jp/shakai/jiken/news/20060829k0000e040014000c.html
does NOT mention the blond man at all. It only says that the suspect saw “an unknown man” (mishiranu otoko) running away from the house’s genkan. Well, maybe both the media and the police are becoming more careful about how they investigate things nowadays. Good.

Now, how about some specious research from our intellectual best and brightest?

////////////////////////////////////////

6) KITAKYUSHU PROF BLAMES BAD ENGLISH EDUCATION ON FOREIGNERS WHO STAY TOO LONG

Professor Noriguchi Shinichiro of Kitakyushu University (whom I have on very good authority is a very progressive individual) does himself few favors, with one of those navel-gazing essays on how bad Japan’s English-language education is.

After lashing out at unqualified Japanese teachers, Noriguchi then lumps in foreign instructors as a factor–not for any qualifications they lack, but rather because of qualifications they apparently lose over time:

============== EXCERPT BEGINS ==================
In particular, native speakers who have lived in Japan for more than 10 years tend to have adapted to the system and have become ineffective as teacher–this is also partly because their English has become Japanized and is spoken to suit the ears of their Japanese students.

(Asahi, Sept 15, 2006, http://www.debito.org/?p=34 )
============== EXCERPT ENDS ====================

I see. A foreigner who is less adjusted is axiomatically more effective. Hmm. Damn those foreigners for becoming used to the system, getting their bearings, and “Japanizing” themselves. How dare they? It’s even unprofessional.

I guess we can also assume that this means we should not give permanent tenure to foreign faculty in Japanese Universities, because they have a shelf life (instead of a learning curve). It certainly is logic that would happily be used by unscrupulous university employers (I have a list of them at http://www.debito.org/blacklist.html).

This argument, by the way, is quite similar to the one used by Asahikawa University in a famous precedent-setting lawsuit called the Gwen Gallagher Case (who was fired after more than a decade of service for no longer being, quote, “fresh” enough, see http://www.debito.org/activistspage.html#ninkiseigallagher). I wonder if Noriguchi would enjoy being lumped in this kind of company.

So it’s one prof’s opinion, BFD. Unfortunately, Noriguchi’s essay appeared in one of Japan’s most influential, well-read, and prestigious columns called “Watashi no Shiten” in the Asahi.

I think he should issue a retraction. You can encourage him to do so via email at
snori@kitakyu-u.ac.jp
http://www.kitakyu-u.ac.jp/foreign/in/noriguchishinichiroin.htm

Speaking of universities:

////////////////////////////////////////

7) AKITA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY ADDED TO BLACKLIST

The Blacklist of Japanese Universities, a list of tertiary-educational employers who refuse to employ full-time foreign faculty on permanent-tenure terms (i.e. without contract–unlike most universities, which tenure full-time Japanese from Day One of hiring), has just gotten one addition.

It’s AIU–which has Gregory Clark as its Vice President. More on Clark at
http://www.debito.org/PALEspring2000.html
http://www.debito.org/gregoryclarkfabricates.html
http://www.debito.org/onsensclarkjtimes122599.html

It’s a bit of a surprise. Akita International University was opened a couple of years ago to offer “a radically new approach to education in Japan”–with classes entirely in English, overseas immersion, and other progressive educational strategies.

Which is sad because it seems to have lapsed back into bad old systemic habits:

==============================================
NAME OF UNIVERSITY: Akita International University (Private)
LOCATION: 193-2 Okutsubakidai, Yuwa, Tsubakigawa, Akita-City, Akita
http://www.debito.org/blacklist.html#aiu

EMPLOYMENT ABUSE: Despite wanting PhDs (or the equivalent) for faculty, AIU offers 3-year contracted positions with no mention of any possibility of tenure, plus a heavy workload (10 to 15 hours per week, which means the latter amounts to 10 koma class periods), a four-month probationary period, no retirement pay, and job evaluations of allegedly questionable aims. In other words, conditions that are in no visible way different from any other gaijin-contracting “non-international university” in Japan. Except for the lack of retirement pay.

SOURCE OF INFORMATION: Job advertisement in the Chronicle of Higher Education, dated September 2, 2006. http://chronicle.com/jobs/id.php?id=0000469416-01 (or visit http://www.debito.org/aiudata.html).

Other unofficial sources of dissent available on the Chronicle’s forums at
http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php?topic=28632.0
==============================================

There will be more additions to make to my lists (including the Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Businesses) when there’s time. They’ll be on my blog first, of course. Again, to receive things in real time, subscribe at http://www.debito.org/index.php
////////////////////////////////////////

All for today. Thanks very much for reading!

Arudou Debito
Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
NEWSLETTER SEPT 23 ENDS

2ちゃんねる管理者被告西村氏は失踪状態となった様

mytest

 皆様、きのう送った2ちゃんねるのことについて追加文ですが、新聞記事によると、2ちゃんねる管理者被告西村博之氏は失踪状態になったようです。

 出典はこちらです。新聞記事の原稿は
http://019.gamushara.net/tv/data/vi5889218087.jpg
テキストを以降に書き直します。

ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー
 インターネットの巨大匿名掲示板「2ちゃんねる」の管理運営者「ひろゆき」こと、西村博之氏(29)が失踪状態にあることが22日までにわかった。同掲示板は西村氏個人が管理しちえる。当局が不適切な書き込みの削除や投稿者の情報を求めようにも行方知れずで放置され、裁判所からの呼び出しにしも応じていない。ネット会社の象徴的な存在でもある「2ちゃんねる」は、最悪の場合、「掲示板閉鎖」という事態まであり得る情勢だ。
ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー

 ご参考まで、宜しくお願い致します。

 2ちゃんねる名誉毀損勝訴した原告 有道 出人
http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html
ENDS

プレスリリース:2ちゃんねる名誉毀損勝訴アップデート(Sep 21 2006)

mytest

プレス リリース

////////////////////////////////////////////////

2ちゃんねる訴訟 アップデート
原告 有道出人が本年1月に勝訴したものの、
被告 西村博之氏は未だに判決に従わず、
命じられた賠償未払いかつ名誉毀損文章を削除せぬ

////////////////////////////////////////////////

原告 有道 出人(あるどう でびと)著

2006年9月21日公開 転送歓迎

目次:

============================================

1)経緯

2)アップデート

3)関わる論点

4)なぜこの問題について意識高揚が必要なのか

5)取材のための連絡先

============================================

1)経緯 

 2004年から現在まで、日本一のインターネット巨大掲示板「2ちゃんねる」(www.2ch.net) にて利用者が匿名で、原告の名義を使用して捏造した「原告のコメント」を載せました。例えば(サイトから引用):

———————

 アメリカ白人 デビッド・アルドウィンクル(米国籍) の主張:

 ● アメリカ白人の利益のためには非白人の虐殺は数十万人までは何の問題も無い。

 ● 下等国、日本では 無資格のアメリカ白人がアルドウィンクルのように英語教師の職を得て優遇されるのは当然である。

 ● アメリカ白人の利益のためには非白人に対する人種差別は ある程度 許される。

 ● 下等民族、日本人がアメリカ白人に対して差別することは、どんな些細なことでも許されない。

———————

 (注:「デビッド・アルドウィンクル」は原告が帰化する前の名称でした)

 云々。捏造文全文は http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html。この文章は「外国人」に関するスレッドに必ずと言って良いぐらい上記の文をそっくりコピー・ペーストされて、意図的に原告の名誉を棄損しようとしたと言えます。

その後、2004年末から2005年4月に渡り、原告と原告の弁護士は電子メールと書留郵送で2ちゃんねるの管理人と代表西村博之氏(写真はhttp://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/西村博之)に数回も連絡して削除を頼みました。が、返事がなくそのまま放置されたスレッドはかえって多くなりました。(現在でも、googleで「アルドウィンクル」、「イラク」と「2ch」で検索すると、1000サイト以上が出ます。このサイト数を本年1月の判決日の状態と比較すれば、2倍以上増加です。)

結局、提訴しても被告西村氏は返答せず、裁判所に一切出頭せず黙殺しました。そして、2006年1月20日、北海道の岩見沢地方裁判所は平成17年(ワ)第39号で原告に名誉毀損の根拠で110万円の賠償命令を下しました。判決文よりの命令:

———————

 一、被告(2ちゃんねる管理人の西村博之氏)は原告に対し、110万円(賠償金の100万プラス弁護士費用の10万)を支払え

 一、被告は「2ちゃんねる」と題するホームページにおける判決文に載った発言目録記載の各文言を削除せよ

 一、被告は原告に対し判決文に載った発言者情報目録を出した人の情報(IPアドレス)を開示せよ

 一、第一項に限り仮に(控訴は判決日の2週間後までに)執行することができる

———————

(訴状全文はhttp://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html#sojou)

 しかし、被告西村氏は現在に至って、一切この命令に従っていません:

////////////////////////////////////////////////

2)アップデート

////////////////////////////////////////////////

裁判所の判決命令を執行するために、原告の弁護士はそれぞれの申立をしました。タイムラインは以降の通りです(原告の芝池弁護士作成):

———————

2006年1月20日 原告有道は勝訴

2月3日  控訴締切 被告西村から返答なし

債権差押命令①(被告西村氏の会社の債権を差し押さえるために)

3月29日 債権差押命令申立(東京地裁)(第3債務者:東京プラス(株))

4月7日  債権差押命令

4月11日 第3債務者へ転送されず、再送達の上申書提出

4月28日 同上

7月14日 依然送達されず、債権差押命令②との兼ね合いから、取り下げた。

間接強制申立(賠償金が未納の状態、日々に賠償金が増加させるために)

4月5日  間接強制申立(岩見沢支部)

4月28日 債務者へ送達されず、再送達の上申書提出

債権差押命令②

 6月30日 債権差押命令申立(東京地裁)(第3債務者:(株)ニワンゴ)

7月20日 債権差押命令

4月11日 第3債務者からの陳述書届いた。(債務者へは送達されず)「差押に係る債権の存否なし」

———————

(全ての書類はここでご覧になります:http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html#updatesept06 )

////////////////////////////////////////////////

3)関わる論点

要するに、被告西村氏は裁判所からの連絡ないし判決後それぞれの送達を全て受け取らなければ、被告の勝ちです。そして被告の貯金や債権や財産が不明であれば、判決命令を執行できないようです。(原告が自費で調べなければいけないようです。)これは日本の裁判制度にたいへん大きな問題となります。

あくまでも被告西村氏は敗訴しました。ならば被告は支払わないといけないのです。さもないと、司法府の公権力が問われます。裁判所や判決の意義すらなくなります。執行させるのは原告の責任ではなく行政府(警察庁)や司法府になるべきです。海外(例えばアメリカ)ではそうなります。判決命令を守らなければ、たいてい当裁判所は「contempt of court」(法廷侮辱罪)を決心して、地方の警察署を経て被告を逮捕します。そして被告の財産を確保して競売で販売して賠償金を集金するようです。日本はまだこの制度はありません。ならば原告の勝訴で得た権利が無効となります。

一応、法整備があります。例えば、プロバイダ責任制限法第4条は本判決文で言及されました。が、この判決で分かることは拘束力がないということのようです。

よって、多面的にかつ深刻な社会問題が発生します。メディアの読者へのお願いを、取り組んでいただけませんか。意識高揚が必要だと思います。

////////////////////////////////////////////////

4)なぜこの問題について意識高揚が必要か

社会問題を取り組むのはマスコミの役割だと思います。犯人が放置されることは社会問題です。法を守らない人は犯罪者です。しかも裁判所が下した判決を守らない人は尚更そうです。しかし、被告西村氏は単行本等を発行し、メディア(例えば講談社:http://kodansha.cplaza.ne.jp/hiroyuki/)から注目や収入をもらえるし、被告人が所有しているそれぞれの名誉毀損を拡散しているサイトがあると裁判官さえ判断しました。これは責任を取らせることが必要で、それに強制執行制度の皆無であるのを指摘するべきであります。それを取り上げて、どこかに法整備の不足があるのかは意識高揚すると、様々なインターネット誹謗などを悩んでいる人の助けになりえると思います。

===========================

そして、ちょっと脱線かもしれませんが、「言論の自由に危機感があるでは?」という反論は起きえるかもしれません。この点につきましてひと事を申し上げます。2ちゃんねるのケースではその危険性がないと言えると思います。なぜなら:

一)2ちゃんねるのケースは裁判制度を通して「名誉毀損である」という結果が出ました。たいてい慎重な日本の裁判官は気軽にそうは決めません。遥かに明らかな名誉毀損だと言えます。

二)このメディアは新型です。これはインターネットなので、名誉毀損防止に関わるルールや法整備はまだ不徹底です。他のメディアは違います。印刷と放送メディアは編集部があり、株式会社として財産や債権が登録されており、名誉毀損はここまで行かなくても誰かが責任を取ります。要は、他のメディアを「掃除する」方法は既に設置してあります。

ただ、2ちゃんねるの場合、管理者は「個人」のみと登録され、匿名で風評を流布することができて、名誉毀損に至ることも強制的に削除させられません。よってこのメディアを「掃除する」方法も足りません。2004年成立された「プロバイダー責任制限法」も起動性がないのであるようです。

最後に申し上げたいのは、「2ちゃんねるを廃止させろ」とは言っておりません。色々な方にたいへん役に立っているネットワークです。ただ、「言論の自由」は「ウソをつくこと、意図的に人にキズを付けることもOK」とまで及ぼしません。管理者は本人の削除願いや裁判の賠償命令も無視ができ、更に名誉毀損が削除されなければ、金銭的に責任を取るべきです。

インターネットでの誹謗中傷は明らかに社会問題になっています。誹謗中傷に予防注射を。皆様、一緒にメディアの信用性を守りませんか。

////////////////////////////////////////////////

5)取材のための連絡先

原告の私、有道出人まで直接ご連絡下さい。

debito@debito.org

http://www.debito.org/nihongo.html

既にコメント、感想文、全ての関連書類や判決文はここにあります:

http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html

但し、法律等についてのご質問の場合、私の連絡弁護士芝池俊輝(しばいけ としてる)氏までお願い致します。

 北海道合同法律事務所 (011) 231-1888 (勤)FAX 231-1785    

 email: shibaike@hg-law.jp 

宜しくお願い致します。有道 出人

September 21, 2006

PRESS RELEASE ENDS

2-CHANNEL WEBSITE LAWSUIT UPDATE Sept 14 2006

mytest

====== 2-CHANNEL WEBSITE LAWSUIT UPDATE ===========
DEFENDANT STILL REFUSES TO PAY COURT-ORDERED DAMAGES
FOR INTERNET LIBEL.
LIBELOUS STATEMENTS REMAIN ONLINE TO THIS DAY
==============================================
By Plaintiff Arudou Debito
September 14, 2006 Freely Forwardable

Table of contents:
==============================================
1) QUICK RECAP OF THE CASE
2) WHAT IS 2-CHANNEL? REFERENTIAL LINKS
3) THE ISSUE
4) THE UPDATE
5) WHY THIS DESERVES MEDIA ATTENTION
6) APOLOGIA: What of issues of free speech?
7) CONTACTS
==============================================

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1) QUICK RECAP OF THE CASE: From early 2004 onwards, anonymous poster(s) began systematically copying and pasting statements on a Japanese Internet Bulletin Board System (BBS) called “2-Channel”, Japan’s most popular website, with around one million posts and 20 million hits per day. Said statements were about Plaintiff Arudou Debito, a human rights activist in Japan. Calling him inter alia a “White Supremacist”, the posts, which were added to just about any BBS thread regarding foreigners in Japan, attributed to him by name several fabricated statements, such as “he said he supports massacres of Iraqis”, “he said he supports discrimination against non-Whites”, with the clear aim of impugning his character and damaging his credibility in his campaign for racial equality in Japan.

Repeated requests both by electronic and registered mail were made by Plaintiff and his lawyers to remove these materials from the online archive, but were completely ignored by the founder and administrator of 2-Channel, a Mr Nishimura Hiroyuki. The posts in question to this day have been left up to spread further across the Internet. After Plaintiff sued for defamation of character, Defendant ignored all court communiques, and never appeared in before the judge to offer any explanation or defense. On January 20, 2006, Hokkaido’s Iwamizawa District Court ruled in favor of Plaintiff, awarding him 1,100,000 yen in damages for negligence in the face of libel, and ordered 2-Channel to remove all the libelous posts. However, Nishimura continued to ignore court orders, forcing Plaintiff’s legal team to take further litigious steps to enforce the court decision. Update below.
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

REFERENTIAL WEBSITES:
What is 2-Channel?
1) “Japanese get real on 2 Channel” Japan Times, February 13, 2003
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/member/member.html?nc20030213mr.htm
2) Q&A with Defendant Nishimura on USC Japan Media Review, August 22, 2003
http://www.ojr.org/japan/internet/1061505583.php
3) “Log on to the Dark Side” Time Asia, June 18, 2001
http://www.time.com/time/asia/digital/magazine/0,9754,131020,00.html
4) “Net boards venue for faceless rightists” Japan Times, March 14, 2006
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/member/member.html?appURL=nn20060314f1.html

The libelous claims made about Plaintiff Arudou, and the court’s opinion about them.
http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html#english
Newspaper articles on the court decision in English and Japanese
http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html#kiji

The damage done: Do a Google search on”Arudouinkuru”, “Iraku” (both in katakana) and “2ch” (to eliminate most genuine news sites), and you will see that as of today there are more than 1000 sites with the abovementioned libelous posts. This is around double the number of sites with the posts when the decision came down in January, which means that 2-Channel has taken no steps whatsoever to follow the court order.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

THE ISSUE: Does a media outlet, owned and run by an individual (as opposed to a corporate entity with a tax home and registered assets), have to take responsibility when anonymous users make false, damaging, and irresponsible public claims about people? The Iwamizawa District Court ruled yes. But what if the Defendant, even after losing, refuses to follow the court decision to either a) pay the damages, or b) remove the libel? This is where the case diverges from issues of “freedom of speech”, and into questions regarding the ability of Japan’s judiciary to enforce its own court decisions.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

UPDATE: Eight months after the verdict, I can now release information about what further measures we have taken. These steps, although they have brought us no closer to getting damages from Nishimura, illustrate what legal loopholes a new media can exploit to evade responsibility, and expose the need for legislation to deal with the problem.

TIMELINE:
Jan 20, 2006: Iwamizawa District Court decision for Plaintiff Arudou.
Feb 3: Deadline passes for Defendant Nishimura to appeal; no response.
Mar 29: We file motion (saiken sashi osae moushi tate) with Tokyo District Court to seize Nishimura’s assets at his company, Tokyo Plus KK.
Apr 5: We file motion (kansetsu kyousei moushi tate) with Iwamizawa District Court to force Nishimura’s to follow the court decision, with a compounding financial penalty for every day the decision is not carried out.
Apr 7: Tokyo District Court grants motion of Mar 29.
Apr 11: Registered communiques from Tokyo District Court to Tokyo Plus KK returned unopened because nobody went to the post office to claim them. We refile motion.
Apr 28: Registered communiques from Tokyo District Court again returned unopened. (We drop motion against Tokyo Plus KK on Jul 14 to contact a different company.) Also, Apr 5 motion from Iwamizawa District Court returned unopened.
Jun 30: We file separate motion with Tokyo District Court to seize Nishimura’s assets at another one of his companies connected with 2-Channel, KK Niwango.
Jul 20: Tokyo District Court grants motion of Jun 30.
Jul 27: KK Niwango answers motion in official court statement: denies paying Nishimura any salary, therefore has no assets to seize.

(All documents will be available presently in Japanese at
http://www.debito.org/2channelsojou.html#updatesept06 )

And that’s it. Which means all Nishimura and his corporate allies have to do is ignore orders from the court (by not officially receiving them, therefore not being “served with papers”), or else deny that there is any financial connection between them, and Nishimura can avoid taking any responsibility. No police will arrest Nishimura (because this is a Civil Court case, not a violation of the Criminal Code). Also, there is no judicial oversight commission in Japan which can audit or raid the companies, or ferret out Nishimura’s bank accounts. (In fact it becomes Plaintiff’s responsibility, at his own expense, to hire a private detective–for around 500,000 yen, with no guarantee of success).

This is the route taken by Nishimura so far in the thousands of (many successful) lawsuits raised against him. If you want to sue 2-Channel, you have to sue its representative, as the company is registered to him individually. But you cannot find his assets, because they are not properly registered (like they would be for any other established non-cyberspace media outlet). He technically has no income, and only he knows his bank accounts (which may be under different names or untraceable titles). Meanwhile, Nishimura can continue to meet media, write books, make public speeches, and get away with running a venue that causes social damage judged illegal by a court. All because Japan’s court system is unempowered with the investigative mechanisms to enforce its own court rulings, or equipped with cyberspace-specific legislation to keep the media clean.

Point is: Nishimura had his day in court. He lost. Now pay up.

Now that we have exhausted all judicial means (we can only file more papers against more companies, and they answer at their whim, again with no judicial sanction), our next step is for me to bring the problem to the fore, and hope we get some media attention.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

WHY THIS DESERVES MEDIA ATTENTION

Because this is not the only place in which Japan’s judiciary has loopholes. Civil Court decisions are often unenforced, and short of filing angry letters, the judiciary won’t get the police involved. Other cases, such as issues of child custody and support (two I know something about), are also without legal sanctions of enforcement.

However, with media attention, legislative remedies can occur. For example, in the bad old days, there was no way, say, to force a deadbeat spouse to pay child support if he kept his bank accounts secret; after some awareness raising by journalists, now there is a law which says you can force the spouse’s employer to pay alimony directly from his salary. This is what press coverage does for social problems, and I believe my case uncovers one. I will also be sending this issue to the domestic press in due course.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

APOLOGIA:
Many readers in the media are probably wondering if my court decision constitutes some sort of threat to free speech. This I strongly doubt because for two reasons. One: Remember that this passed through a court of law. I’m sure any Japanese judge can distinguish between information based upon fact and unsubstantiated rumor motivated by malice–especially given the general cautiousness of Japanese judges. Two: Consider the nature of the media in this case–the Internet. All other media formats–print or broadcast–have editors, registered corporations, credibility-checkable sources, and people who are in charge and can take responsibility if somebody goes too far. However, with the Internet, and in particular places like anonymous Bulletin Boards, there is nobody who will take responsibility, either on the moderator’s side or on the poster’s side. Thus, with complete poster anonymity, coupled with a media which will not delete libel, irresponsible messages of some
permanence will inevitably get through and stick; there is simply no mechanism to clean things up.

What makes 2-Channel peerless in this respect is that, according to my lawyers, it has been sued repeatedly, and lost in court due to negligence. Yet 2-Channel can ignore those court decisions, refusing to pay severances, reveal IP addresses, and lets the libel stick. How? Because, again, unlike other media, 2-Channel’s assets are privately owned, secretly stashed, and thus unfreezeable should they lose in court and refuse to pay. Which means Japan’s “Provider Responsibility Guidelines Law”, mentioned in the court decision, is unenforceable.

In sum, winning against 2-Channel will not affect other, more responsible media, because other media has mechanisms in place to ensure it never goes as far.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

CONTACTS
My lawyer, SHIBA-IKE Toshiteru can be contacted at shibaike@hg-law.jp
(He speaks, reads, and writes English)
Phone number Sapporo (011) 231-1888, Fax (011) 231-1785
My email, as always: debito@debito.org

Thanks for reading. Arudou Debito in Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
September 14, 2006
ENDS

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER OF SEPT 10, 2006

mytest

Arudou Debito in Sapporo here. Welcome back from summer break, everyone. Got quite a backlog of articles for this newsletter.

Let me briefly open with my summer break: Two weeks cycling 940 kms (Sapporo to Wakkanai to Abashiri), averaging around 100 kms a day, and a trip average of 16.9 kms an hour, on a mountain bike. Friend Chris accompanied me for the entire trip, and he’ll soon have a site up with a report and photos. And yes, I as usual lost no weight on this cycletrek (my third, see my first at http://www.debito.org/residentspage.html#cycletreks), but I feel great, and wish I lived in a climate with no winter so I could do this all year round.

On to the updates. As I said, there’s a backlog, so apologies if you have seen some of these articles before:

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1) PROGRESS ON “JAPANESE ONLY” ESTABLISHMENTS
2) YOU TUBE: “JAPAN DOESN’T LIKE YOU!” VIDEO ON EXCLUSIONARY SIGNS
3) NEWSWEEK JAPAN ON NATURALIZATION IN JAPAN
4) METROPOLIS: DIETMEMBER TSURUNEN MARUTEI
5) ASAHI: RACIALLY-MOTIVATED BULLYING FUKUOKA COURT CASE RULES FOR VICTIM
6) SF CHRONICLE: CHILD CUSTODY IN JAPAN IS NOT BASED ON RULES
7) KYODO: NEW “FOREIGN CRIME” CAMPAIGN HITS SNAG: DISSENT
8) CALLING ALL NATURALIZED CITIZENS: NEW BOOK FORTHCOMING
… and finally… NEW DEBITO.ORG BLOG
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September 10, 2006, Freely forwardable.
Full text of all articles below blogged at
http://www.debito.org/index.php

1) PROGRESS ON “JAPANESE ONLY” ESTABLISHMENTS

The reason I opened with our cycletrek is to segue nicely into this topic: Upon reaching northern cities Wakkanai and Monbetsu, Chris and I did the rounds of “Japanese Only” signs on public establishments. Photo archive, eyewitness reports, and links to newspaper articles international and domestic available at:
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Wakkanai
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#Monbetsu

WAKKANAI
Chris and I went by public bath “Yuransen”. An egregious entry in this gallery, Yuransen for years has violated the Public Bath Law to refuse all foreigners (including foreign taxpayers) entry. Then it built a separate “gaijin bath” with separate entry and separate prices (2500 yen, six times the entry fee of 370 yen, and without male and female sections). This attracted international attention, even making the New York Times in April 2004:
http://www.debito.org/iht042304.html

Well, guess what. Yuransen went bankrupt in March 2006. So much for its claim that letting foreigners in would drive them out of business. Meanwhile, its rival onsen some miles away, Doumu, does a brisk trade. And it has never refused foreigners. Does anyone else see a lesson here? Current photo of Yuransen’s storefront at the above Rogues’ Gallery link.

MONBETSU
has also had “Japanese Only Store” signs up since the previous century. Despite demands from the Ministry of Justice for them to be taken down in July 2000, some signs (we counted four) are still up to the present day, with the city government turning a blind eye to repeated requests and petitions for resolution.

Well, Chris and I dropped by a yakiniku restaurant and got the manager to take one of the signs down. It took less than a minute! Photos up soon at the Rogues’ Gallery. Bonus: if you’d like to hear me in action negotiating the sign down, courtesy of Chris’s mp3 player/recorder, download a soundfile at

Best part: Hear me stuttering in surprise at how easy it was, and Chris giggling at the very end.

Y’know, we’re going to win this battle. Not least because this issue has legs:

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2) YOU TUBE: “JAPAN DOESN’T LIKE YOU!” VIDEO ON EXCLUSIONARY SIGNS

In a similar vein, somebody has been filching photos from the Rogues’ Gallery, to create a YouTube photo gallery entitled “Do you like Japan? Japan doesn’t like you!” Japanese national anthem included. A two-minute vid, it has been viewed as of this writing about 25,000 times, with more than 700 comments, and the dubious honor of being one of the top ten most accessed “Travel and Places” videos in YouTube history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCeK0Trz9E0&mode=related&search

And before you ask: No, I didn’t have any part in creating this video, and knew nothing about it until a friend notified me a few weeks ago.

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3) NEWSWEEK JAPAN ON JAPAN NATURALIZATION

Newsweek Japan this week has two articles (English and Japanese each) entitled “The New Face of Japan–Foreigners are not only coming–They’re staying”. Friends Kaoru and Kiichi (formerly Coal and Jayasinghi), are featured on the very cover. Get a copy of both issues quickly while they’re still on the newsstands!

For those who cannot, text at
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14640269/site/newsweek/

Excerpt (included not because it quotes me, but because it luckily encapsulates the spirit of the article nicely):

———ARTICLE EXCERPT BEGINS———————
Meanwhile, so-called permanent residents–foreign born people who have chosen to live in Japan for the long term–are steadily growing. “It shows that immigrants, not generational foreigners, are now becoming the more common permanent residents in Japan, meaning they’re not going to leave,” says human-rights activist Debito Arudou, a former American turned Japanese citizen. “I used to say half of the foreigners in Japan were born here. Now it’s more like a quarter.”

And the fundamental consequence, says Arudou, is clear. “We’re going to see people who don’t look Japanese being Japanese. That’s undeniable.”
———ARTICLE EXCERPT ENDS———————–

(NB: Those who would like to see some substantiation for this sea change in Permanent Residency, see my essay on this last January at http://www.debito.org/japanfocus011206.html )

A couple of quick corrections to the article, if I may: The figure of 15,000 people cited as the total number ofnaturalized people in Japan is the rough estimate of the YEARLY intake of naturalized citizens. According to the Minister of Justice, around 300,000 foreigners (mostly the Zainichis) took citizenship between 1968 and 2000. Update the number by 15K per year and you’re closing in on 400,000 newly-minted Japanese of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

And former Finn Tsurunen Marutei is not the only naturalized Japanese in the Diet. As friend Chris pointed out, “Renho, formerly of Taiwanese nationality, and Shinkun Park, formerly of Korean nationality, are two other naturalized Dietmembers.”
http://www.renho.jp/
http://www.haku-s.net/index.html

Newsweek has told me they will be issuing corrections in short order. Speaking of Tsurunen:

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4) METROPOLIS: DIETMEMBER TSURUNEN MARUTEI

Reporter friend Oscar did a bang-up job of an article on Tsurunen for Metropolis Magazine last August. Article available at
http://www.crisscross.com/jp/newsmaker/345

Soon up for re-election, Tsurunen gives his views on Yasukuni, foreign crime, assimilation, education, nationalism, and constitutional changes. Highlight:

———ARTICLE EXCERPT BEGINS———————
Tsurunen’s more than 30 years of naturalized citizenship–if not books he’s penned in Japanese with titles such as “I Want to be a Japanese,” “Here Comes a Blue-Eyed Assemblyman” and “Blue-Eyed Diet Member Not Yet Born”–speak to his vested interest in foreigner acceptance. But he’s no longer as optimistic as when he took office in 2002.

“Well, it is still my goal–or wish [to get suffrage for foreigners]–but I’m not sure I have been able to do much. For example, I am for the right of permanent foreign residents to vote,” he says of a bill now on ice that would allow them to do so in local elections. “But our party is not united on this issue. Last year, I was the leader of a committee that dealt with the issue of accepting more foreign laborers and we made some progress. But I’m not sure if it’s the best solution now. Japanese people are not ready to live with foreigners. There will be problems such as discrimination. We have some cities where 10% of the population is foreign and they already have these kinds of problems.”… “For foreigners this is not a very friendly country–it can be very cold. I’m one of the lucky ones.”
———ARTICLE EXCERPT ENDS———————–

COMMENT: I’ve met Tsurunen on several occasions, even had a chance to talk to him one-on-one (see my October 2003 interview with him at http://www.debito.org/tsuruneninterview.html ). I personally like the guy. I also understand that he’s trying to make his mark as a politician trumpeting more than just ethnic-rights issues (one of his biggest policy pushes is for recycling), and as a politician, he’s not in a position to please everybody.

However, I have qualms about the degree of his distancing. For example, when UN Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene came to Japan for a second time, talking about racial discrimination and the need for legislation to combat it (see http://www.debito.org/rapporteur.html ), Diene attended a 2PM meeting at the Diet’s Upper House on May 18, 2006. A few Dietmembers attended, and some of their offices sent secretaries to at least leave their office’s meishi business card behind as a sign of awareness or interest. Tsurunen’s office did neither. I find this deeply disappointing. This is, after all, a meeting with the United Nations–and on foreigner and ethnic issues. If Tsurunen’s office can overlook this, what kind of example does this set for the rest of Japan’s politicians?

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5) ASAHI: IJIME CASE IN FUKUOKA RULES IN FAVOR OF VICTIM

Elephant-minded readers of Japan’s media might remember the “Pinocchio” Case of 2003–where a grade-school teacher had a “thing” about the mixed racial background of a child in his class. He would pull on the boy’s nose until it bled, calling him “Pinocchio”, do the same thing with his ears with a “Mickey Mouse”, and devise all sorts of public punishments (even demanding he die for having “stained blood” (chi ga kegareta)) until the child became mentally unstable.

On July 28, 2006, Fukuoka District Court ruled positively that the PTSD the boy suffered deserved compensation–awarding 2.2 million yen (continuing to push up the “market value” of racial discrimination lawsuits from the generally-accepted 1 million yen or so).
Full report at
http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200607290180.html
Original Japanese at
http://www.asahi.com/edu/news/SEB200607280015.html

The downside to this case is that the teacher only received a suspension from teaching for six months, and is now back on the job with full responsibilities. The man deserves, in my view, incarceration, if not institutionalization.

Moreover, this is not the first case of racially-motivated power harassment between teacher and student I am aware of by any means. I will soon be reporting on a future Kawasaki court decision regarding a Chinese-Japanese in similar straits. For now, info site at http://www.debito.org/kawasakiminzokusabetsu.htm (Japanese).

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6) SF CHRONICLE: “CHILD CUSTODY IN JAPAN ISN’T BASED ON RULES”

Friend and legal expert Colin has done an excellent article in the San Francisco Chronicle on another one of my hobby horses: Child custody after divorce in Japan, the weakness of courts to enforce their own decisions, and the “Who dares, wins” attitude behind many of the officially-mediated battles.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/08/27/INGD3KO4C71.DTL

———ARTICLE EXCERPT BEGINS———————
Imagine discovering you have been living in an artificial world with rules designed to mask a terrible reality. This is, of course, the premise of “The Matrix,” but it is also an analogy I use to explain child custody and visitation in Japan, a subject in which I do research (and have had personal experience). Japan’s family courts have rules and procedures that hide a sad truth: They are powerless to protect the parent-child relationship when a divorce turns hostile… Child custody litigation is always sad, but particularly so in Japan. For starters, there is, quite literally, no law…

Those who seek cultural (as opposed to institutional) explanations for this state of affairs should be wary. In a recent book in Japanese on visitation, a widely published expert on family problems explained why visitation was different in Japan than in the United States or Europe. The book said Japan is a Confucian society where children are important for continuing the bloodline (but only within marriage), while Western countries had gun cultures, long histories of incest, and frequent cases of parents abducting, raping and even killing their children.
———ARTICLE EXCERPT ENDS———————–

Colin also talks about about the dynamic behind judicial decisionmaking–where judges who don’t toe the official current in their decisions are denied promotion and reappointment. It adds up to a horrifying state of affairs where children (especially those in international or intercontinental divorces) are the big losers, being technically kidnapped by one parent to Japan with no recourse whatsoever.

Fortunately, this issue is finally gaining some attention internationally. See report at Children’s Rights Network Japan about a recent protest at a Los Angeles film screening on the “Megumi Yokota Story”, drawing (stretched, but effective) comparisons between kidnappings to North Korea and child kidnappings to Japan:
http://www.crnjapan.com/events/2006/en/megumiyokotaprotest.html

A primer on this issue available from the Japan Times at:
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20060718z1.html

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7) KYODO: NEW “FOREIGN CRIME” CAMPAIGN HITS SNAG: DISSENT

You may have seen on the news a new slew of programs on “foreigner crime”. It’s periodical. The National Police Agency spoon-feeds the media every six months or so with new “foreigner crime” statistics, and special “tokushuu” shows doubling as public-service announcements appraise the public on how to avoid becoming victims of hordes of foreign criminals.

Some historical examples of how the NPA has finagled statistics and manufactured crime waves at
http://www.debito.org/japantimes100402.html
http://www.debito.org/opportunism.html
http://www.debito.org/foreigncrimeputsch.html
http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity/ihtasahi121502.html
http://www.debito.org/japantimes033004.html
http://www.debito.org/NPAracialprofiling.html
http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity/communityissues.html#police

This time around, however, there’s been a snag–in that “Chinese Criminal DNA” proponent Tokyo Governor Ishihara’s former deputy chief has even come forward to call all the grandstanding an exaggeration.

The text of the article available on my blog (no other extant link available) at

Aug 24, 2006 Kyodo: “Ex-deputy of Tokyo Gov. Ishihara cries foul over ‘safe town’ campaign”

———ARTICLE EXCERPT BEGINS———————
Hiroshi Kubo, who released a book titled ”Is Public Safety Really Deteriorating?” in June, said such measures could make people excessively wary, encourage prejudice against foreigners and benefit those in authority like the police…

Some analysts say these concerns are entirely reasonable and have urged authorities to work harder to get rid of factors threatening public order, such as the widening income disparity, instead of simply telling people to brace themselves for possible crimes.

Kubo, 59, was a senior bureaucrat in the Tokyo government. He led various crime prevention projects as a division chief in charge of public safety in the governor’s headquarters from August 2003 to March 2005, when he quit the municipality.

Kubo said he felt ”embarrassed” when he involved himself in or led projects he said were aimed at prompting people to think the community was becoming more and more dangerous and to rely on the authorities, especially the police, to deal with the situation.
———ARTICLE EXCERPT ENDS———————–

Finally, a voice of reason, even at the top…

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8) NEW BOOK ON NATURALIZED CITIZENS FORTHCOMING

Calling all naturalized Japanese readers:

Naturalized Chinese-Japanese Professor U Hoden, of Japan Women’s University, and myself will be collaborating on a new book over the next few months. We aim to feature the views of life in Japan from a “newcomer citizen” perspective, with essays in Japanese from those who have naturalized. This will be in their own words. We have a basic outline of questions ready, so if anyone is interested (Kaoru, Kiichi?), please let me know at debito@debito.org.

Meanwhile, my friend and I have just finished the fourth draft of our new GUIDEBOOK TO LIFE IN JAPAN, which we think should be coming out in the next six months or so. More on that later…

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And finally, let me announce here my new blog at debito.org, to more easily archive these newsletters. Go to
http://www.debito.org/index.php
to see what’s going out. There is also RSS capability, for those who want to sign up for reports in real time, before I collate into an update. I’m still getting used to the technology, but I hope you like what you see.

As always, thanks for reading, and welcome back for what promises to be an eventful autumn!
Arudou Debito
Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org
http://www.debito.org
Sept 10, 2006
NEWSLETTER ENDS

NEW BOOK ON NATURALIZED CITIZENS FORTHCOMING

mytest

NEW BOOK ON NATURALIZED CITIZENS FORTHCOMING

Calling all naturalized Japanese readers:

Naturalized Chinese-Japanese Professor U Hoden, of Japan Women’s University, and myself will be collaborating on a new book over the next few months. We aim to feature the views of life in Japan from a “newcomer citizen” perspective, with essays in Japanese from those who have naturalized. This will be in their own words. We have a basic outline of questions ready, so if anyone is interested (Kaoru, Kiichi?), please let me know at debito@debito.org.

Meanwhile, my friend and I have just finished the fourth draft of our new GUIDEBOOK TO LIFE IN JAPAN, which we think should be coming out in the next six months or so. More on that later…

私は、北海道情報大学助教授の有道出人と申します。「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店出版)の著者でもあり、米国出身で、既に日本に帰化しております。
 さて、このたび、貴社にご助力を賜りたい旨がございまして、ご相談申し上げます。
 私ども帰化をいたしました日本人の声・立場を描写する単行本を、貴社から出版させて頂きたいと望んでおります。
著者は、私有道出人と日本女子大学教授の于保田氏です。
著書の主な内容について、于氏と協議を致しました事柄について、下記の通りまとめさせていただきました。

1. いつ来日したか。
2. どのような職業に就き、どういった生活をしているか。
3. 日本に帰化した理由はなぜか。
4. 帰化後、どういった有利、不利、損、益があったか。
5. 帰化後、自身のアイデンティティーが変わったか。(自分の名称、日本での立場、日本人らしくなったかなど)
6. 帰化後、周りの人々は、あなたへの見方が変わったか。
7. 日本政府は、帰化した人を、十分サポートしているか。
8. 帰化して良かったと思うか、それとも後悔しているか。
9. 帰化後でも、職場・家庭内で、あるいは子供の学校で、社会的・文化的なトラブルがあったか。
10. 選挙での投票など、日本の民主主義制度に参加しているか。
11. 帰化後、あなたの人権・尊厳が、さらに認められ、擁護されていると思うか。

このほかにも、多くの質問を、帰化をされた方々にさせて頂きたいと考えております。こうしたアンケートをベースに、日本に暮らす帰化者の方々の生き様をクローズアップさせ、客観的な分析を加え、読者と共に帰化者と日本との関係、更には、日本の国際化について考えていく本にしたいと思っております。
 もし、私どもの案にご賛同頂けますならば、是非、お力添えを賜りたいと存じます。
以上、ご相談申し上げます。

有道出人
2006.8.1

SF CHRONICLE Aug 27 2006: “Child custody in Japan isn’t based on news””

mytest

Child custody in Japan isn’t based on rules

-By Colin P.A. Jones

San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, August 27, 2006

[COMMENT AT VERY BOTTOM]

Imagine discovering you have been living in an artificial world with rules designed to mask a terrible reality. This is, of course, the premise of “The Matrix,” but it is also an analogy I use to explain child custody and visitation in Japan, a subject in which I do research (and have had personal experience). Japan’s family courts have rules and procedures that hide a sad truth: They are powerless to protect the parent-child relationship when a divorce turns hostile.

Take the case of Samuel Lui, whose Japanese wife took their 2-year-old son from California to Japan in violation of a California court order that gave him custody. The validity of his U.S. custody order was confirmed by Japan’s Supreme Court, yet his wife remained in control of the child. In the meantime, he had to file proceedings in the Osaka Family Court just to seek visitation with the child who was supposed to be living with him in California.

By this time, his wife had thoroughly poisoned the child against him, and he ultimately had to agree to a mediated settlement whereby he gave up custody in exchange for limited (and unenforceable) visitation.

Child custody litigation is always sad, but particularly so in Japan. For starters, there is, quite literally, no law. A couple of articles in the Japanese Civil Code give Japan’s judges the authority to decide custody in divorce cases based on the best interests of the child. But there are virtually no provisions expressing what those interests are (California’s Family Code, by comparison, states clearly that best interests of a child involve frequent and continuous contact with both parents regardless of their marital situation).

Visitation, a matter of course in most U.S. divorces, is in Japan a vaguely defined notion created by judicial precedent and only sometimes described as a right. In reality, both custody and visitation are effectively administrative decisions made at the discretion of judges and untrained mediators, some of whom may even regard visitation as harmful to children.

The judges are part of an elite bureaucracy. Chosen from a small minority of those who have passed one of the most difficult exams in the world, the Japanese bar (which until recently had a pass rate of 3 percent), judges usually enter the judiciary in their 20s and spend their careers in a variety of postings around the country, often living in government housing, isolated from the rest of society.

A judge’s postings reflect the progress of his or her career, which depends on annual reviews. Well-rated judges will end up in higher courts or become part of the judicial administrative apparatus.

While the criteria used by the judiciary in evaluating its members are not public, efficient docket-clearing is an important factor. So, it seems, is not embarrassing the judiciary as an institution.

In one recent case, a judge who wrote a popular book criticizing the excessive length of some judicial opinions was denied reappointment. The reason? His opinions were too short.

Disfavored judges may end up spending most of their time in lower courts outside of Tokyo or other major cities, or in family court, where excessive tenure may be a sign of a stalled career.

While some judges may seek out such postings, others may have joined the judiciary expecting to preside over cases of national importance rather than resolving marital bickering. Thus, other factors may be at work when the best interests of a child are adjudicated.

Because docket clearing is one of these factors, a judge may be too busy to participate in the mediation proceedings that by law must precede divorce and custody litigation in Japan.

If the mediation is deemed unsuccessful, however, the judge may issue a judgment based primarily on the recommendation of the mediators and a family court investigator (another employee of the judicial bureaucracy). A parent may thus lose custody and be denied virtually all meaningful parental rights in proceedings where the judge has barely heard the parties speak and has never seen the child in question.

Custody and visitation decisions also present the judiciary with a problem from the standpoint of preserving its status because they are generally unenforceable.

The Web site of the U.S. State Department Office of Children’s Issues warns that compliance with Japanese family court orders is essentially voluntary. Police rarely get involved in family disputes and courts do not have marshals who can enforce compliance.

The penalty for violating a family court order is at most a fine of less than $1,000. There are other remedies, but they also have limited efficacy, particularly against a party with limited financial resources or who cannot be located.

I interviewed one mother whose attempts to enforce visitation were thwarted when her ex-husband simply hung up the phone on the court officer who had been trying to persuade him to comply. “There is nothing more we can do,” the bureaucrat explained, apologetically.

From the standpoint of resolving cases without exposing the judiciary’s weakness, it is small wonder that family courts so often seem to find the status quo to be in the best interests of the child, particularly when it comes to visitation.

If this means no visitation when one parent refuses to cooperate, then it is often denied or terminated. If the child is too young, visitation may be detrimental. If the child is going through puberty, visitation might be upsetting. If the parents cannot get along, then it would be bad for the child to be exposed to their fighting (though courts do not seem to care about such exposure within a marriage).

If Dad buys too many expensive presents for the children, then that, too, is potential grounds for termination of visitation.

It doesn’t seem to take much for Dad to become optional: One man (who has become a fathers’ rights activist) saw his visitation terminated by the court because his ex-wife said thinking about the visits made her physically ill.

Fathers who insist on their rights may be told by family court mediators, “Children don’t need a father all the way to age 18.”

Those who seek cultural (as opposed to institutional) explanations for this state of affairs should be wary. In a recent book in Japanese on visitation, a widely published expert on family problems explained why visitation was different in Japan than in the United States or Europe.

The book said Japan is a Confucian society where children are important for continuing the bloodline (but only within marriage), while Western countries had gun cultures, long histories of incest, and frequent cases of parents abducting, raping and even killing their children.

Whatever the explanation, the sad dynamics of custody litigation can lead to a vicious downward spiral. If a wife moves out of the home with the children and files for divorce (most divorces in Japan are initiated by women), she might be inclined to allow visitation.

However, her lawyer is likely to recommend against it, seeing it as a potential opportunity for the father (or hostile ex-in-laws) to take possession of the children. The courts may be unable to intervene and the woman could lose custody.

Some lawyers actually recommend against visitation until the divorce is final — which may take months or years because of the mandatory mediation.

Nor will a family court want to order visitation if it might result in a new status quo it cannot remedy but will surely be blamed for. After months of not seeing his children, the father may come to view abduction as the only way of preserving their relationship. In a recent case, a former judge was arrested for abducting his own daughter.

One Japanese mother I interviewed had a custody order affirmed all the way up to Japan’s Supreme Court. Her ex-husband still has their son despite years of litigation. Since she lost almost all contact with the child when he was 1 year old, she hopes to have at least enough contact that he will remember his mother’s face.

Sadly, Japan’s courts cannot seem to help realize even this meager hope.

——————————

Colin P.A. Jones is an associate professor at Doshisha University Law School in Kyoto. Contact us at insight@sfchronicle.com.

Page E – 3

URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/08/27/INGD3KO4C71.DTL

COMMENT: Fortunately, this issue is finally gaining some attention internationally. See report at Children’s Rights Network Japan about a recent protest at a Los Angeles film screening on the “Megumi Yokota Story”, drawing (stretched, but effective) comparisons between kidnappings to North Korea and child kidnappings to Japan:

http://www.crnjapan.com/events/2006/en/megumiyokotaprotest.html

A primer on this issue available from the Japan Times at:

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20060718z1.html

end

METROPOLIS: DIETMEMBER TSURUNEN INTERVIEW AUG 9, 2006

mytest

Foreign-born lawmaker puts Japan’s acceptance of outsiders to the test

By Oscar Johnson
Courtesy http://www.crisscross.com/jp/newsmaker/345

Marutei Tsurunen stands in front of the Diet. PHOTO BY TSUTOMU FU
TOKYO — Marutei Tsurunen relentlessly clawed at the doors of the Diet for a decade with two goals in mind: to get the inside scoop on politics and offer an outsider’s perspective in a land he says is far from ready to accept its foreign residents. It’s a task that Japan’s first and only foreign-born parliamentarian likens to a mission from God — literally. In fact, he left North Karelia, Finland, 40 years ago as a Lutheran lay missionary bent on helping Japan see the light.

“Of course, I’m a Christian and I still say I’m a missionary, not as a churchman but as a politician,” says Tsurunen, 67, whose mission has always been more about social practice than religious preaching. Having graduated from Finland’s Social Welfare College, he was a caseworker for a children’s home in Kyushu before forgoing his church ministry to head an English-language school. In 1992, he was elected as the nation’s first foreign-born assemblyman in Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture.

“Originally I had no interest in politics,” he confesses. “I had been wondering why I left the church and why I was here. There was very little I could do to affect society as a foreigner. Then suddenly it hit me like lightening: maybe I should try it. It took a long time but I finally found my calling.”

To be sure, the House of Councilors seat that fell to him in 2002 can be seen as nothing short of a miracle. Having made three failed bids (and another for the House of Representatives), it came only after former television celebrity Kyosen Ohashi stepped down, dramatically declaring politics too lowbrow for his own tastes. The job automatically went to Tsurunen, fellow Democratic Party of Japan member and runner-up in the 2001 election, whose close-but-no-cigar defeat he and everyone else considered the end of his political career.

Tsurunen is an unabashed Japanophile who, in addition to rendering his Finnish name, Martti Turunen, into its current Japanese form, has translated “The Tale of Genji” and other local classics into his native language. His populist tactics brought him tantalizingly close to victory in each race, and upon finally taking office he touted protecting the environment and “internationalizing” the nation as his priorities. These days, he’s homed in on sustainable agriculture as a member of the Diet’s Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and founder and secretary-general of the Parliamentarian’s League for the Promotion of Organic Agriculture. But he says his mission is not confined to these.

Task is to improve Japanese lifestyles

“I feel this society is sick in many ways,” says Tsurunen, an amiable and soft-spoken vegetarian with a grandfatherly demeanor. He lays much of the blame for today’s social ills on an increasingly popular “law of the jungle,” which he says rewards selfish ambition and ignores the less fortunate.

“Morale is down and there are many things that are unhealthy about Japanese lifestyles today. There are more than 30,000 suicides every year and maybe five times as many attempts. Many people drink a lot and eat too much. Environmentally, more chemicals are used in Japan than anywhere else. Sixty percent of our food comes from other countries — one of the highest rates in the world. That’s because we eat a lot of meat. My task is to improve our lifestyles, to make them healthier.”

That’s not to say that the nation’s self-styled “blue-eyed lawmaker” hasn’t spied a number of recent political trends that put foreigners who are in — and in close proximity to — Japan on edge. There’s an ominous rightwing shift toward deepening nationalism, he concedes. It’s one that includes fingerprinting foreigners, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s insistent public homage at Yasukuni Shrine and an education bill that mandates patriotism.

“It is a shift,” Tsurunen says, “and a very dangerous one. I’m very worried about it. It’s mainly in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, not its junior coalition partner New Komeito.” True to his calling, he broaches such issues with caution.

“A few years ago we stopped fingerprinting foreigners and I thought it was a good idea,” he explains. “In some ways it’s good now because of terrorism. But maybe 1% of foreigners entering the country are criminals, while 99% are not. To fingerprint all of them, I think, is counter to basic human rights.” Yet, it comes as no surprise to the member of a government wont to fault foreigners for its crime woes — to the extent of mulling a legal cap on their residency to 3% of the population.

Tsurunen’s more than 30 years of naturalized citizenship — if not books he’s penned in Japanese with titles such as “I Want to be a Japanese,” “Here Comes a Blue-Eyed Assemblyman” and “Blue-Eyed Diet Member Not Yet Born” — speak to his vested interest in foreigner acceptance. But he’s no longer as optimistic as when he took office in 2002.

Goal is to get right to vote for foreigners

“Well, it is still my goal — or wish — but I’m not sure I have been able to do much. For example, I am for the right of permanent foreign residents to vote,” he says of a bill now on ice that would allow them to do so in local elections. “But our party is not united on this issue. Last year, I was the leader of a committee that dealt with the issue of accepting more foreign laborers and we made some progress. But I’m not sure if it’s the best solution now. Japanese people are not ready to live with foreigners. There will be problems such as discrimination. We have some cities where 10% of the population is foreign and they already have these kinds of problems.”

Tsurunen says he and his views as an outsider are welcome in the upper house, but admits it wasn’t always so in the Yugawara assembly, a post he resigned to run for the Diet. After spending two-thirds of his life here with his Japanese wife Sachiko and two adult children, he’s “hopeful” but makes no promises.

“For foreigners this is not a very friendly country — it can be very cold. I’m one of the lucky ones.” The key, he insists both by word and example, is to learn the language and avoid retreating to the bubble of gaijin communities. “If they want to get inside Japanese society, they should try to work for this society, not just for their rights. Japanese must learn to live with foreigners, but foreigners must also learn to live with Japanese,” he says. That may also mean living with an increasingly nationalistic worldview fostered by public education.

On plans to revise the 60-year-old Fundamental Education Law to mandate “loving the nation,” Tsurunen defers to the Democratic Party line. The ruling LDP bill, which is widely expected to prevail over opposition alternatives, plays on a conservative-posited notion that occupation-era education reforms are behind national woes ranging from declining academic performance to surging juvenile crime. Critics fear it could turn back the clock to a time when loving the nation meant nosediving fighters into battleships, occupying neighboring countries or rationalizing sexual slavery for a war effort deemed unpatriotic to question.

“This Fundamental Education Law bill is very difficult,” Tsurunen says. “In our (DP) bill we say patriotism should be encouraged but not mandatory. Maybe this trend has something to do with the law on the national anthem in Tokyo,” he says of Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara’s popular nationalist reforms. They have punished well over 300 teachers — and reportedly some parents — in the metropolis for not standing before the flag and singing the anthem, or for not encouraging students to do so, at school events.

“They’re very strict about it. In Japan the history of the flag and the anthem, which pays homage to the emperor, is unique,” he says. “I’m afraid if this new education bill gets through in its present form, then when you look at students’ records you’ll be able to say, ‘You love the government this or that much.’ That’s not good.” Recent media reports have noted that 40 to 50 schools in Saitama — citing the Ministry of Education’s current guidelines for social studies — have already started to assess sixth-graders on their demonstrated “love of the nation.”

As for Koizumi’s visits to Yasukuni Shrine, which memorializes Japan’s war dead including convicted Class-A war criminals, Tsurunen offers a measured but candid view.

“Yasukuni Shrine very much relates to China,” he says of Japan’s emerging rival in terms of regional power and resources. “I’m a little afraid of China because it wants to control the region. The prime minister should not go to Yasukuni now — but not because of China’s protests. We must find a good solution.”

He notes that controversy still swirls over the convictions of the criminals enshrined at Yasukuni and says building a new national memorial to bypass them is untenable. “I think it would be best if we could remove them from Yasukuni. But solving this issue will not solve all our problems with China.”

Japan’s relationship with China is not the only one that gives Tsurunen pause. “I think there should also be less emphasis on our relations with the United States,” he says. It’s a recurring theme in his thoughts on diplomacy.

In July, a week after North Korea lobbed seven Scud, Nodong and Taepodong-2 missiles into the Sea of Japan, Nagatacho rang with the bullhorns of right-wing protestors calling for an attack on the Stalinist state. Tsurunen dismissed the caravan of black vans with the wave of a hand. “They’re here all the time,” he says. “I’m not worried about North Korea. If they do anything, it would be suicide. To tell you the truth, I’m more worried about what the United States will do. Japan cannot act alone. If North Korea continues to aggravate the situation too much, the United States may attack them. That would destroy them and a lot of people would die.”

Tsurunen developed a distaste for war at the tender age of 4, when his family was one of a few in their small Finnish village to escape an attack by Soviet soldiers. “Our house was in the middle of the forest so they didn’t notice we were there,” he recalls. “Yes, you could say I am a pacifist. I don’t believe war can solve anything; it just makes things worse. Of course, sometimes it’s unavoidable, such as if we are attacked and must defend ourselves.”

War-renouncing Constitution is outdated

As director of the Diet’s Research Commission on the Constitution, this informs his position on whether and how to revise war-renouncing elements of a constitution the U.S. imposed on Japan during its occupation. He says the document is outdated, and polls show 60 to 70% of the nation believes some kind of amendment is in order.

“I think under certain conditions it’s needed,” Tsurunen says. “The first article should be changed so that it mentions the Self-Defense Forces, their task to defend the nation and to help with international humanitarian efforts at the United Nations’ request. Right now, it doesn’t,” he says of the missions that Japan’s quasi military have already undertaken.

But he stresses SDF deployment overseas should only be at the behest of the U.N., not the United States, as was the case with sending troops to Iraq. He also notes that similar to the fate of the education law, there’s a need to be on guard against LDP hawks that might seek to expand the SDF’s international role.

“Our party’s idea is quite different than the LDP’s,” Tsurunen says. “They may have ideas about making Japan stronger, more independent or nationalistic but they cannot change the constitution alone. Still, we must be careful when the LDP makes their proposals.”

In this case, his faith is not so much in his party’s ability to stop such tactics as it is in the need for a referendum to change the constitution. But he’s also hopeful the day will come when the Democratic Party of Japan will break the near half-century grip the conservative LDP has had on government.

“Because there is so much corruption many people are finally anticipating a shift in power,” he says, adding it’s the most significant change he’s seen in politics since he’s been in Japan. “During the last election the opposition actually won the most votes. The LDP won the election but that was because of the proportional electoral system. For the first time, more than 50% of the voters want change.”

To that end, Tsurunen is putting the faith he has in his political calling to the test one last time in a bid to retain his seat in the 2007 upper house election. It could be his first and only outright victory in a Diet election before reaching retirement age. “The people are very interested in me,” he says of his two-hour early morning glad-handing sessions with locals at train stations. “I believe I can get it.” The result may also say a little something about how truly ready Japan is to accept their “blue-eyed Diet member”— or any other foreigner.

August 9, 2006
ARTICLE ENDS

COMMENT: I’ve met Tsurunen on several occasions, even had a chance to talk to him one-on-one (see my October 2003 interview with him at http://www.debito.org/tsuruneninterview.html ). I personally like the guy. I also understand that he’s trying to make his mark as a politician trumpeting more than just ethnic-rights issues (one of his biggest policy pushes is for recycling), and as a politician, he’s not in a position to please everybody.

However, I have qualms about the degree of his distancing. For example, when UN Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene came to Japan for a second time, talking about racial discrimination and the need for legislation to combat it (see http://www.debito.org/rapporteur.html ), Diene attended a 2PM meeting at the Diet’s Upper House on May 18, 2006. A few Dietmembers attended, and some of their offices sent secretaries to at least leave their office’s meishi business card behind as a sign of awareness or interest. Tsurunen’s office did neither. I find this deeply disappointing. This is, after all, a meeting with the United Nations–and on foreigner and ethnic issues. If Tsurunen’s office can overlook this, what kind of example does this set for the rest of Japan’s politicians?

END

YOU TUBE: “JAPAN DOESN’T LIKE YOU!” VIDEO ON EXCLUSIONARY SIGNS

mytest

YOU TUBE: “JAPAN DOESN’T LIKE YOU!” VIDEO ON EXCLUSIONARY SIGNS

Somebody has been filching photos from the Rogues’ Gallery, to create a YouTube photo gallery entitled “Do you like Japan? Japan doesn’t like you!” Japanese national anthem included. A two-minute vid, it has been viewed as of this writing about 25,000 times, with more than 700 comments, and the dubious honor of being one of the top ten most accessed “Travel and Places” videos in YouTube history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCeK0Trz9E0&mode=related&search

And before you ask: No, I didn’t have any part in creating this video, and knew nothing about it until a friend notified me a few weeks ago.

Newsweek Japan on Naturalized Japanese–Sept 11, 2006 issue

mytest

Excellent article on how Japan is changing as more people naturalize. The article in full follows.

==========================
This is the New Japan
Immigrants are transforming a once insular society, and more of them are on their way.
By Christian Caryl and Akiko Kashiwagi
Newsweek International
Courtesy http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14640269/site/newsweek/

Sept. 11, 2006 issue – A few years ago, when Milton Minoru Takahashi first set out to improve conditions for Brazilian guest workers living in Nagoya, he thought he’d be telling Japanese about soccer, samba and Brazilian beaches. They were the sales hooks the Brazilian-Japanese Takahashi—who works for a nonprofit foundation that aids the 60,000 foreigners in Nagoya—thought could open locals’ eyes to the beauties of Brazilian culture. But, he says, “the Japanese didn’t want to hear about those things. They wanted to talk about noise and garbage”—problems allegedly caused by the Brazilian immigrants in their neighborhoods.

Takahashi now spends most of his time on more mundane tasks, trying to help his fellow Brazilians overcome the bewildering array of barriers to integration into Japanese society. But he still wonders why the Japanese government is largely indifferent to the problems facing foreigners. What would he like to see from Tokyo? “Action,” says Takahashi. Something, anything, to acknowledge that there are immigrants in the country—and that they require recognition and support.

Takahashi’s frustration underscores a critical disconnect in Japan—a split between what the country is becoming and what most Japanese want it to be. For mostly economic reasons, Japan must open itself to other ethnicities. Japan’s population is not only aging rapidly, but starting to decline. By the year 2050, it is expected to fall from 128 million now to around 105 million. To keep the economy viable, experts say, the country must let in more immigrants—not just guest workers, but foreign-born naturalized citizens. A government panel acknowledged that in a report this summer, while at the same time recommending that the foreign percentage of the total population not exceed 3 percent, roughly double what it is now.

Consciously or not, ordinary citizens and government bureaucrats still cling to the notion that Japanese society is a unique, homogeneous culture. There is a conspicuous lack of public debate about how this insular country should adjust to the reality that more immigrants are coming—and that those already here are changing Japan. “The government has no [comprehensive] immigration policy,” says Marutei Tsurunen. Rather, the approach is piecemeal, with different agencies issuing often contradictory regulations. Tsurenen should know. He’s a former Finn turned Japanese citizen and the only naturalized member of the national Parliament, or Diet.

Travel around Japan today, and one sees foreign residents holding a wide range of jobs: there are Chinese short-order cooks, Indian software programmers, Bangladeshi used-car dealers, Brazilian textile-factory workers, Sri Lankan department-store cashiers. The overwhelming majority of the approximately 15,000 ex-foreigners who now hold Japanese citizenship are Chinese and Koreans—but increasingly one can also meet people like Kaoru Miki (formerly Colin Restall, born in the United Kingdom). “Generally people don’t expect someone who looks like me to be a citizen,” says Miki, 33, who makes his living translating software into English. He was naturalized this spring.

The number of foreigners in Japan has more than doubled over the past 15 years—rising from 886,000 in 1990 to over 2 million today. That amounts to 1.57 percent of the overall population—still small even by Western European standards (not to mention the United States or Canada). But that figure tells only part of the story. The rise in the foreign population is taking place against the background of Japan’s demographic decline; as the population ages, native-born Japanese constitute a diminishing share of the work force. Meanwhile the number of marriages between Japanese and non-Japanese has been rising sharply. So-called international marriages made up 5.5 percent of the total in 2004 (the last year for which data are available).

The numbers also reveal a growing trend toward what one might call “genuine immigration.” For many decades, the bulk of foreigners in Japan were ethnic Koreans, the vast majority of them born in the country but not automatically entitled to citizenship. In recent years, as their members have either died out or increasingly opted for naturalization, their share of the total number of foreigners has been declining. Meanwhile, so-called permanent residents—foreign-born people who have chosen to live in Japan for the long term—are steadily growing. “It shows that immigrants, not generational foreigners, are now becoming the more common permanent residents in Japan, meaning they’re not going to leave,” says human-rights activist Debito Arudou, a former American turned Japanese citizen. “I used to say half of the foreigners in Japan were born here. Now it’s more like a quarter.”

And the fundamental consequence, says Arudou, is clear: “We’re going to see people who don’t look Japanese being Japanese. That’s undeniable.” Essentially, any foreigner who has lived in Japan for five years, can prove he or she is in good financial health and has no criminal record can petition the Justice Ministry to become a citizen. In reality, the naturalization process is more complicated, and can take about 1 to 2 years to complete.

Many Japanese officials seem inclined to address the immigration issue as if it were merely a matter of good public relations with the outside world—let’s be polite to foreigners. In fact, though, immigration is often driven by hardheaded economic realities. Thanks to Japan’s resurgent economy and shrinking population, many industries are suffering from labor shortages, and immigrants are already sustaining sectors where native-born Japanese simply aren’t able or willing to pick up the slack. That’s the case in towns like Hamamatsu, where the local car and motorcycle industries have been buoyed by an influx of foreign labor, and in Ota City, where a Subaru factory and its parts suppliers are located.

Or take Homigaoka, a suburb of Toyota City, where ethnic Japanese from Brazil make up 5,000 of the 9,000 people living in a vast public-housing development. The Brazilians came to Japan thanks to a 15-year-old law designed to alleviate labor shortages in certain sectors of the economy. These days the Aichi prefecture firms that supply parts to Toyota and other local manufacturers are heavily dependent on the cheap labor provided by Brazilians (many of them now permanent residents who are entitled to stay in the country indefinitely). The magazine Weekly Diamond neatly summed up the situation in a headline recently: WITHOUT FOREIGNERS TOYOTA’S JUST-IN-TIME SYSTEM WOULDN’T WORK. Says Hidenori Sakanaka, a former director of the Tokyo Immigration Bureau: “This labor force is contributing to Japan’s ability to make good and cheap cars.”

The problem, though, is that these immigrants may not prove so cheap in the long run. Many of the immigrants in Homigaoka are part-time workers who lack the basic health insurance or social security usually enjoyed by full-time employees. A loophole in the law means that their employers can get away without making any contributions on their behalf. Many of them have only limited Japanese-language skills. And there’s no law that compels them to send their children to Japanese public schools, where they might have the chance to gain the know-how that would give them social mobility. Most foreign children attend schools, but their Japanese language skills tend to be weak, and the government has virtually no provisions for teaching Japanese as a foreign language to students entering the system. As a result, the dropout rate is high. Needless to say, the creation of large groups of unemployable young people is a recipe for social problems in the future.

Or take the burgeoning Indian community in Tokyo’s Edogawa ward. In 1998 the government of then Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori passed a law designed to alleviate a catastrophic shortage of software engineers by easing visa restrictions for programmers from India. Jagmohan Chandrani, 52, who has been living in the area since 1978, says 243 Indians were registered in Edogawa in 2000. Today there are 1,014—a fourfold increase.

In “Indiatown,” as it’s already being called, the classic immigrant dynamic is beginning to take hold. Newcomers who’ve established themselves offer support networks to the ones that follow—for example, by acting as guarantors when the new arrivals sign housing leases. The majority of the newcomers are writing code for financial firms in downtown Tokyo, a short subway ride across the river. They have confounded the stereotype of poor, unskilled foreigners held by many Japanese.

Yet members of the community are still desperately seeking a building to house a school for the burgeoning population of children. Tokyo isn’t helping, even though the Indian government in New Delhi provides facilities to the Japanese community there. Technically the Indians can be sent home when their visas (or jobs) run out—although as the growth of the community demonstrates, some will almost certainly find ways to stay on, and bring their relatives with them.

Five years ago a group of communities with large foreign populations sent a set of urgent policy recommendations to the government. They’re still waiting for an answer. And they’re not the only ones who are worried. Japan’s business leaders are at the forefront of calls for a comprehensive immigration policy. Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has predicted that the present work force of 66 million people will decline by 10 million by the year 2030. Before he stepped down earlier this year, the chairman of the Japanese Business Federation, Hiroshi Okuda, made headlines by calling on the country to accept foreign workers “in all business categories.”

Immigration proponents do perpetuate the occasional myth. One common misconception: that immigrants alone can counter the demographic decline. Economists say that just isn’t so. Robert Alan Feldman, an economist at Morgan Stanley, points out that immigrant workers almost always have lower productivity than natives, meaning that vast numbers of foreigners have to be brought in to make up the gap. (The solution, he says, is to find ways to encourage greater productivity from underutilized members of the population, such as women and the elderly.)

And despite the vagaries of life in their new country, most of the foreigners in Japan are living better lives than they would have back home. That’s certainly true of the Brazilians in Homigaoka. Twelve-year-old Editon Arakawa says that he loves living in Japan, even though he can express the thought only in broken Japanese since he dropped out of public school a few years back. “I don’t want to go back to Brazil,” he declares.

He might well get his wish, and manage to stay. But if he does, it’s in Japan’s own interest to respond to the challenge he poses—by making it easier for people who are born in the country to apply for citizenship; by forcing employers to bear some of the costs for social insurance; by making education mandatory for the children of foreigners legally in the country, and by providing resources to ensure that foreign residents learn Japanese. None of those measures may have been all that critical in the Japan of the past. But they’re the only way to the future.

© 2006 Newsweek, Inc.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14640269/site/newsweek/page/2/

ENDS

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(NB: Those who would like to see some substantiation for my quote, talking about this sea change in Permanent Residency, see my essay on this last January at
http://www.debito.org/japanfocus011206.html )

A couple of quick corrections to the article, if I may: The figure of 15,000 people cited as the total number ofnaturalized people in Japan is the rough estimate of the YEARLY intake of naturalized citizens. According to the Minister of Justice, around 300,000 foreigners (mostly the Zainichis) took citizenship between 1968 and 2000. Update the number by 15K per year and you’re closing in on 400,000 newly-minted Japanese of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

And former Finn Tsurunen Marutei is not the only naturalized Japanese in the Diet. As friend Chris pointed out, “Renho, formerly of Taiwanese nationality, and Shinkun Park, formerly of Korean nationality, are two other naturalized Dietmembers.”
http://www.renho.jp/
http://www.haku-s.net/index.html

Newsweek has told me they will be issuing corrections in short order.
ENDS