Ueda Hideaki, GOJ rep at UN Committee Against Torture, repeatedly tells people to “shut up” for audibly laughing at Japan’s human rights record


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Hi Blog. I was going to blog on this yesterday, but I have a few deadlines to meet. Fortunately, other people have taken this up, so let me quote them and save time:

Debito.org Reader JDG sent in this comment yesterday:


Just want to share this with you:

Japanese U.N. diplomat’s shouts of ‘shut up’ to fellow delegates go viral, inflame

Japan Times/AFP-Jiji:  Japan’s human rights envoy to the United Nations faced calls to quit Wednesday over a video that showed him shouting at fellow diplomats to “shut up.”

YouTube footage of the incident at the [UN Committee Against Torture held 5/21-5/22] provoked a storm of criticism on the Internet, with demands that Ambassador Hideaki Ueda be recalled to Japan.

Blogging Japanese lawyer Shinichiro Koike, who said he was at the session, explained that a representative from Mauritius had criticized Japan’s justice system for not allowing defense lawyers to be present during interrogations of criminal suspects…

JDG: This is Japan’s Human Rights envoy to the UN. He is telling other countries diplomatic delegations to ‘SHUT UP! SHUT UP!’ when they (allegedly) giggle at his claim that Japan is ‘one of the most advanced countries in the world’ on the issue of human rights.

It says so much about what is wrong with Japan, and the way Japan views both international relations and human rights (the human rights representative shouting at other diplomats?).

Sure, clearly he is not a success story of the Japanese education systems attempt to teach the English language, but is his (unfortunately typical) arrogant attitude, with his easily hurt pride resulting in an angry outburst that is the most telling about how myopic the society he comes from is; a classic case of ‘The frog in the pond’.

Of course, we must cut the guy some slack, after all, he is forced to try and uphold the tatemae that ‘Japan is a modern nation’ in a room full of people who clearly know the truth about Japan’s human rights record.


More at http://chirpstory.com/li/83743
Japan’s Human rights Ambassador Ueda yells “Shut Up!”

COMMENT FROM DEBITO: Well, I’m not going to cut this character any slack. Ueda is a very embedded elite. Here’s his resume at the MOFA. And he is living in the culture of constant denial of reality that Japan’s elites excel at (get this bit where he’s officially claiming in 2005 as Japan Ambassador to Australia that Japanese don’t eat whales).

If I were listening to Ueda say these things on any occasion, I would laugh out loud too.  The UN Committee Against Torture has commented previously (2007) on Japan’s criminal justice system, where treatment of suspects, quote, “could amount to torture”.

Ueda is part of the fiction writers maintaining the GOJ’s constant lying to the UN about the state of human rights in Japan.  Consider his statement on February 24, 2010 to the ICERD regarding Japan’s progress in promoting measures against racial discrimination (excerpted, courtesy MOFA, see http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/human/pdfs/state_race_rep3.pdf)


Mr. Chairperson and distinguished members of the Committee,

I would like to take this opportunity to explain some of the major steps the
Government of Japan has taken in relation to the International Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

First, Japan is working actively to establish comprehensive policies for
respecting the human rights of the Ainu people. Following the adoption of
the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations
General Assembly in 2007, the Japanese Diet unanimously adopted a
‘Resolution Calling for the Recognition of the Ainu People’ as an
Indigenous People in June 2008. In response to this resolution, the
Government of Japan recognized the Ainu people as an indigenous people
who live in the northern part of the Japanese islands, especially Hokkaido,
and established the ‘Advisory Panel of Eminent Persons on Policies for the
Ainu People’ with a representative of the Ainu people participating as
member. The Panel members visited regions where many Ainu people
reside and exchanged views with the Ainu People. In 2009, the Panel
compiled a report and submitted it to the Government of Japan.

In this report, the panel expressed its view that the Government of Japan
should listen sincerely to the opinions of the Ainu people and make efforts
to establish Ainu policy reflecting the situations of Japan as well as the
Ainu people. This view is based on the recognition that the Ainu people are
an indigenous people and the Government of Japan has strong
responsibility for the rehabilitation of their culture. The report identified
three basic principles on implementing the Ainu-related policies, that is, (1)
respect for the Ainu people’s identity, (2) respect for diverse cultures and
ethnic harmony, and (3) nation-wide implementation of the Ainu-related
policy. The report also made recommendations on concrete policy
measures including promoting education and public awareness about the
history and culture of the Ainu, constructing parks as a symbolic space for
ethnic harmony, and promoting the Ainu culture including the Ainu
language. Furthermore, the report advised the Government of Japan to
conduct research on the living conditions of the Ainu people outside
Hokkaido and to implement measures for improving their living conditions
throughout Japan.

In August 2009, the Government of Japan established the ‘Comprehensive
Ainu Policy Department’ to develop an all-encompassing Ainu policy, and
in December 2009 decided to set up the ‘Meeting for Promotion of the
Ainu Policy’ with the participation of representatives of the Ainu people.
The first session of the Meeting took place last month followed by the first
working group next month, and the meeting is scheduled to be held
regularly. The Government of Japan will materialize policies and also
follow up on the implementation of policy.

Prime Minister Hatoyama, in his policy speech at the Diet in October last
year, committed “to promote cultural diversity to enable everyone to live
with dignity, by respecting the history and culture of the Ainu people, who
are indigenous to Japan”. In this direction, the Government of Japan will
create an environment which will enable the Ainu people to be proud of
their identities and inherit their culture.

Secondly, let me explain our efforts to promote human rights education and
enlightenment. The Government of Japan believes that everyone is entitled
to human rights, should correctly understand other people’s human rights
and respect each other. Under this belief, the Government of Japan places
importance on human rights education and enlightenment. In December
2000, the Government of Japan enacted the ‘Act for Promotion of Human
Rights Education and Encouragement’, which led to the formation of the
Basic Plan for Promotion of Human Rights Education and Encouragement
in March 2002. According to the Basic Plan, the human rights organs of the
Ministry of Justice expand and strengthen awareness-raising activities to
disseminate and enhance the idea of respect for human rights. Various
activities are conducted by the organs, with a view to fostering human
rights awareness as appropriate in the age of globalization, for eliminating
prejudice and discrimination against foreigners, as well as for promoting an
attitude of tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, religions, lifestyles
and customs of different origins.

Human rights organs of the Ministry of Justice also have been endeavoring
to protect human rights through other activities such as human rights
counseling, investigation and disposition of human rights infringement
cases. In particular, in April 2004, the Government of Japan fully revised
the ‘Regulations of Human Rights Infringement Incidents Treatment’ to
ensure quick, flexible and appropriate enforcement of investigation and
relief activities. Based on this revision, when the human rights organs
recognize the facts of a human rights abuse case, including acts of racial
discrimination, they commence relief activities immediately and carry out
the necessary investigation in cooperation with the administrative organs
concerned. If it becomes clear, as a result of the investigation, that a human
rights abuse, including acts of racial discrimination, has occurred, the
human rights organs take various steps to relieve individual victims. For
instance, they admonish and order the perpetrator to stop such acts of racial
discrimination and request that those parties authorized to substantially
respond to the case take necessary measures for the relief of the victims and
prevention of reoccurrence. The human rights organs also endeavor to
prevent reoccurrence of acts of racial discrimination by educating the
persons concerned with regard to respect for human rights.

Furthermore, from the perspective of remedying human rights issues, Japan
is currently working on studies aimed at the establishment of a national
human rights institution, which, independent of the government, would
deal with human rights infringements and remedy the situation as quickly
as possible. The ‘Human Rights Protection Bill’ which the Government of
Japan submitted to the Diet in 2002 provided that a human rights
commission, to be independent of the government, take measures to
remedy human rights infringements in a simple, quick and flexible manner.
However, the bill did not pass due to the dissolution of the House of
Representatives in October 2003. Currently, a bill on a new human rights
remedy system is under review.

Mr. Chairperson and distinguished members of the Committee,
I would like to avail myself of this occasion to announce Japan’s new
initiative with regard to refugee-related policies. As part of its efforts to
make international contributions and provide humanitarian assistance, the
Government of Japan decided to start a pilot resettlement program and
admit Myanmarese refugees staying in the Mae La camp in Thailand. More
specifically, Japan will admit approximately 30 people once a year for 3
consecutive years from this year, in total approximately 90 people. For this
purpose, three weeks ago we dispatched a mission to the camp to interview
candidate refugees.

Japan is proud that it will become the first Asian country to introduce a
resettlement program. Japan will make the utmost efforts in order to live up
to expectations from the international community. The Government of
Japan, in cooperation with relevant organizations and NGOS, will provide
refugees substantial support for resettlement such as guidance for adjusting
to Japanese society, Japanese language training, and employment
consultation and job referral.

Japan, on the basis of the spirit declared in the Constitution and the
preamble of the Convention, will disallow any discrimination against race
and ethnicity, and continue to make tireless efforts to improve the human
rights situation in Japan.


COMMENT:  So, let’s see the tally here:  Paragraph after paragraph about the Ainu (fine, but they are not the only minority in Japan covered by the ICERD), then citing a dead law proposal that failed to pass about ten years ago as some sort of progress, the absolutely useless MOJ Bureau of Human Rights, a proposal targeting a sliver of the international refugee community (who refused the hospitality anyway because they knew how unsupported it is once they get to Japan), and alleged cooperation with NGOs (which I know from personal experience is an outright liethey are constantly ignored.)  Meanwhile all sorts of things banned under the ICERD (including “Japanese Only” signs) also go completely ignored.  It is, in the end, a joke.

So world, don’t shut up.  Laugh aloud, laugh long.  International awareness to the point of derision is the only thing that really shatters the veneer of politeness these officious elites keep taking advantage of in the diplomatic community.  Arudou Debito

18 comments on “Ueda Hideaki, GOJ rep at UN Committee Against Torture, repeatedly tells people to “shut up” for audibly laughing at Japan’s human rights record

  • I like how he pulled out the appeal to hypocrisy regarding whale eating with a “But you see, you all eat kangaroo…” A very typical response when you know your position is untenable but want to deflect attention.

  • Bitter Valley says:

    What struck me here was the 本音 (honne) revealed by/ behind the short-tempered outburst, then the doublethink switch to the prepared script less than a minute later. Perhaps if he had been genuinely proud or convinced of Japan’s record, he would have been less sensitive and defensive, and more able to say something like, “well I hear laughing, and you are entitled to express yourselves and your opinions, but why not do them more intelligently in debate.”

    Which suggests that he is self-aware enough to know that many people know about the considerable shortcomings of the Japanese legal system.

    More disturbingly for me in the honne was the arrogance and short-tempered nastiness of the whole thing. We are great, we are one of you “like an advanced Western country, but unique and special” …shut up!

    Which leads back to the point about an inability to engage and accept debate with others outside of a pre-decided formulation and artificial debate.

    Which means a carefully engineered superstructure of legalize, buraucractojargon, set-piece debating points and formulations, and pre-decided conclusions leading to a resolution…

    …to hold another expensive four star conference venue-based conflab in a desirable location via first or business class travel, limos, the lot, anything to avoid having to sit down in that shitty building in Kasumigaseki shuffling meaningless papers for several years until the next conference.

    Oh, and what about the Wa? Disrespectful wogs don’t understand it. So speak to them in a language they understand. It’s a real pity we didn’t win the war, and these people would know their place.

  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ Bitter Valley #2


    When it was Ishihara making the outbursts, apologists said ‘he’s not representative of Japanese people’. When Inose and Hashimoto, or the Mayor of Nagoya made outbursts, they said the same. I wonder; how many outbursts does it take for people to understand that this is representative of Japanese people?

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Perhaps it was the Nepali delegation laughing? Who would have blamed them?

    Anyway, reading Japanese netizens comments on this incident are a little depressing. Just like with Inose and Hashimoto, the emphasis is on how embarrassing this outburst was (not in front of the foreigners!), rather than anyone questioning what sort of a culture is clearly in place to have produced all these morons.

  • John (Yokohama) says:

    On a related note…


    “In polite Japan, vulgarities rise as hate speech spreads

    The threats and insults came fast and furious against a woman in the fashionable Ginza district of Tokyo in late May.

    A man who was making a speech picked her out of the crowd and shouted: “Hey, you! You’re Korean, aren’t you?”

    Before she could react, the man launched into a tirade.

    “I will kill your entire family,” he yelled at her. “Die, you old bag.”

    When she smiled in her confusion, he growled, “Wipe that smirk off your face.”

    She finally told the man, “But I’m Japanese.” However, that only prompted him to approach her. He was stopped by police officers before he could reach her.

    Hate speech in Japan directed at Koreans has made headlines and drawn the scorn of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the United Nations. But the cold-hearted insults, threats and outright lies have spread online and in the public to target celebrities, total strangers and even a writer who was born with no arms or legs.

    Words considered unacceptable or even taboo in a country that has long revered high levels of politeness are now commonly used in such attacks.

    The man who yelled at the Japanese woman in Ginza was part of a protest organized by Zainichi Tokken wo Yurusanai Shimin no Kai (Group of citizens who do not tolerate privileges for ethnic Korean residents in Japan), known more commonly as Zaitokukai, in front of the bureau of JoongAng Ilbo, a major South Korean daily.

    The protesters were furious at a column in the paper that described the August 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as “God’s vengeance.”

    Before setting his sights on the woman, the man was blasting South Korea in a speech, using such phrases as “Koreans must die.”

    He said, “Discrimination is only something we do against other humans, so the only thing to do with cockroaches and maggots is to exterminate them.”

    Other protesters also pulled no punches in venting their criticism, with one saying, “We will turn Pyongyang and Seoul into a sea of fire.”

    To show why he thought the woman on the street was Korean, the speech reader pulled on the sides of his eyes to form narrow slits.

    She was not the only one targeted by the protesters.

    A couple with a young child who just happened to be near the protest was yelled at, “Why aren’t you raising your voices?”

    Online attacks can be more vicious and personal, given the option of anonymity the Internet provides.

    Hirotada Ototake, 37, author of the bestseller “Gotai Fumanzoku” (No One’s Perfect), found that out after he tweeted on May 18 about feeling “humiliated” at an Italian restaurant in the Ginza district.

    Ototake, who has no arms or legs, said he was forbidden from entering the restaurant because he was in a wheelchair. His tweet included the name of the restaurant.

    According to Ototake’s tweets and other forums, he had made reservations at the restaurant, which was located on the second floor of a building. However, the elevator could not be used, and only two workers were at the restaurant when he arrived.

    Ototake said he asked for someone to carry him into the restaurant, but the owner rejected the request, saying the workers were busy and the restaurant should have been informed beforehand that a wheelchair would be used.

    Restaurant workers later denied the owner used harsh language but apologized for not telling people on their website that the restaurant should be contacted beforehand for wheelchair users.

    Many posts agreed with Ototake’s complaint. But a large number of negative comments were posted, including criticism for revealing the name of the restaurant and for not informing the restaurant beforehand about the wheelchair.

    On his blog three days later, Ototake apologized for failing to keep his composure when he revealed the restaurant’s name.

    That triggered a further exchange on Twitter and the Internet that included cruel comments directed at Ototake.

    One tweet described him as “a worthless daruma,” a doll without limbs. It said: “You were deprived of your arms and legs because of your personality, which is like a walking land mine. Don’t think you can always live by your own rules, you piece of garbage.”

    Ototake responded, “Oh, so I am garbage.”

    Columnist Minori Kitahara, 42, has been under attack for years, but she said the spread of online services has enabled her detractors to increase the frequency of their insults and their blatant lies. She said she also feels the mood nowadays attaches greater veracity to vulgar language.

    She wrote about her experiences with discrimination in a recent book titled “Sayonara hanryu” (Goodbye Korean wave).

    Her Twitter account came under a viral attack in the summer of 2011, after she criticized protests directed at Fuji Television Network Inc. for broadcasting too many South Korean dramas and programs.

    One tweet said, “We can certify with 99.9 percent accuracy that she is an ethnic Korean living in Japan.” The website for her company was also bombarded by angry posts.

    Later, a Wikipedia entry supposedly about Kitahara described her as a totally different individual. Those who took the entry as the truth spread the attack against her.

    “I thought that having animosity directed at me from others would be a dramatic event that happened only a few times in my life,” she said. “But I had to deal with one-way abuse at a pace of one post every three seconds. It also became clear that the attacks were making the senders feel good. There was a period when I was afraid to look at the Internet or Twitter.”

    It took her a year to organize her feelings and directly deny that she was an ethnic Korean.

    Kitahara also faced criticism in 2002, but back in those days, the insults arrived mainly through e-mail.

    She said the spread of social networking services has created opportunities for people to induce overwhelming fear in their targets.

    “People who can only hurt others as a way to express the fact they are serious and angry also show a sense of desperation that their views will not be understood if they only use polite language and sensible arguments,” Kitahara said. “I was only trying to get across what I felt. It is frightening not to say anything if one thinks about the possible risks.”

    Even a seemingly harmless comment can trigger an onslaught of hate-filled comments.

    Abe said on his Facebook account that psychiatrist Rika Kayama, a known critic of the prime minister, wasn’t worth discussing when referring to her appearance on a TV program to discuss political affairs.

    The animosity directed at Kayama then exploded on an Internet bulletin board.

    Other attacks in recent months show that even ordinary people can be targets because they are considered somehow different from others.

    Personal information of those believed connected to school bullying incidents and corporal punishment against students has spread over the Internet. Even individuals who were mistakenly identified were left vulnerable to criticism and hate-filled words.

    Koichi Yasuda, 48, a journalist who has followed Zaitokukai since its establishment in 2007, said the use of such words as “die” and “kill” on the streets became standard language from about 2012.

    “They do not feel they are discriminating against or hurting someone,” Yasuda said. “They feel elation because they feel they are fighting something they consider to be incredibly powerful.”

    Yasuda said the fact that such people become convinced of outlandish conspiracy theories also shows that many people are worried about not only themselves but also the nation and the economy that supports them.

    “As the sense of language in real society evolves over the Internet, it becomes much sharper through the search for more and more stimulating words. In the end, discrimination and hate speech turn into a form of entertainment,” he said.

    The words of hatred directed at Koreans have not gone unnoticed at the top levels of the Japanese government and international society.

    At a May 7 session of the Upper House Budget Committee, Abe said about hate speech, “It is extremely regrettable that there are words and deeds that try to exclude certain nations and peoples.”

    On his Facebook account, Abe expressed his hope that hate speech would not escalate.

    On May 21, the U.N. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights called on Japan to prevent hate speech and other actions that degrade former “comfort women” who provided sex to Imperial Japanese military personnel before and during World War II.

    Facebook officials have also said they plan to strengthen regulations against anonymous postings that could be considered hate speech.

    Yasuda said hate speech may stem from an individual’s own insecurities or feelings of inadequacy.

    “When one is not being properly evaluated at work or is experiencing problems in relationships, it is much easier to blame others or society rather than admit one’s own shortcomings. Everyone has the ability to make it through today or tomorrow using such means,” he said.

    “Whether that turns into hate speech is up to each individual, so what is probably more fearful is if society becomes accustomed to such hate speech or people’s sensitivity toward language becomes worn down,” Yasuda said.

    (While discriminatory language is contained in the descriptions of the Internet postings and demonstrations, the language was not revised for the purpose of this article.)”

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ John (Yokohama) #6

    Great link, thanks.

    “Discrimination is only something we do against other humans, so the only thing to do with cockroaches and maggots is to exterminate them.”

    Koreans should be exterminated, and all other NJ discriminated against?
    This is the same Japanese right wing that believes WW2 was a ‘non-aggressive war’, waged to free asian brothers from western evil imperialism, during which the Japanese army never did any wrong, and that Japan is the victim? How do they rationalize that in their own heads? Mental.

  • Wow! Reminds me of all of my Oya-ji neighbors where I lived. They’d go into the “Urusai! Urusai!” mode when they were confronted with a concept the synapses in their fossilized grey matter couldn’t process. And now it’s public….on a grand scale. Lift rug, sweep dirt under, and deny, deny, deny! Pesky foreigners, they MADE him do it! Hope someone fast-tracks this to the IOC….

  • Peter McArthur says:

    Astonishing! He doesn’t know why they’re laughing at him. He used to be ambassador to Australia, but he doesn’t know that some cultures laugh at people when they talk crap.

    No wonder Japan punches below its weight in international diplomacy.

  • Mainichi_struggle says:

    It’s interesting to see two recent threads on seemingly disparate subject matter come together so nicely:
    Thread 1: English ability/experience with other cultures often deemed unnecessary or undesirable for new hires in many Japanese companies and institutions.
    Thread 2: Japanese diplomats constantly getting into trouble by not understanding correct English usage or how to behave in a multi-cultural environment.
    Regarding ambassador Hideaki Ueda’s recent gaffe, as a poster on another site has observed, there was a substantial awkward pause and unusual inflection during his statement: “Certainly Japan is not in the middle age, WE ARE. ..one of the most advanced country in this field.”Whether laughing ensued based on the way his manner of speaking made the statement sound contradictory or the panel’s incredulousness upon hearing such an incredible statement the end result is the same: He cannot communicate effectively (as one should expect an international diplomat to do).

    It has become overwhelmingly obvious to me (as I’m sure it has others who read and post here) that Japan (in general) often wants two completely contradictory things simultaneously: International accolade and respect / wholesale acceptance of obviously fictitious propaganda dispersed through the ministries for overseas consumption.

    Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways. Allowing business owners to have total freedom to disallow entry to anybody they see fit (as long as they are foreign), then complaining that foreigners are ‘attacking’ Japan for being a xenophobic country is another example. Advocating video evidence for felony and misdemeanor convictions but pushing to keep cameras out of criminal interrogations would be another. Lying about Japan’s human rights record then becoming incredulous and infuriated when other countries’ representatives don’t swallow your propaganda wholesale is yet another.

    As the only visibly non-Japanese member of my workplace I am particularly sensitive to attitudes among Japanese regarding my presence. When the international press is singing Japan’s praises I am welcome (“Oh, your company is so international”). When Japan is in hot water I am met with suspicion and scorn (“Oh, you have a gaijin. What is he doing here”). I entreat you all to please only say positive things about Japan in the future. It will help bring my little ‘dreamy day’ aspirations closer to reality [insert smiley-face, winking emoticon here].

    @ John (Yokohama) #6
    Don’t you find it interesting that when confronted by threats of “I will kill your entire family”from the Zaitokukai the woman’s response was “But I’m Japanese”. Isn’t that telling? Instead of “Leave me alone you racist creep” she basically responds with a “But I’m one of you.” entreaty. Nazi parallels, anybody? The response to the threat might be even more telling than the actual threat…

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    In the footage, I wasn’t sure where he was until I checked out his profile with a picture. He was sitting in the middle, but hard to see because his face was clouded by listeners sitting in the front rows. I think the footage well illustrates Japan’s political satire by portraying Ueda as the representative of J elitists who behave like the pre-programmed i-robot without face. Definitely he’s NOT a role model of “JAPANESE WTIH ENGLISH ABILITIES.” That explains why Japan has MOFA, which is referred to “MINISTRY OF FEIGNED ATTITUDE.”

  • It’s honestly just typical, sad to say. It is indicative of the majority of “globalized” Japanese who are not picked for a position based on any social skills whatsoever.

    I’m sure there are more than a few posters here that have had a heated argument with a Japanese person who turns lethal when Japanese society is criticized in any way: while I again, hate to say it, it is mostly men.

    Can’t say you can blame this idiot: Japanese with true pride in their country accept the faults, and pragmatically move ahead: the revolutionary thinkers of Japan always made note of this (e.g. Fukuzawa; Nitobe; Sakamoto). This man is one of the privileged who like many during “Bubble education,” was not taught to handle criticism.

  • @11 It’s just another case of “when we want it, how we want it.” When we want it, you’re dead fluent and can read anything we thrust in front of you at a moment’s notice, and when we don’t want it, you will be complimented for not stumbling over the pronunciation of “konnichi wa” and belittled appropriately. When we want it, you are one of the workers in the office same as us, taking the same punishments as us when we mess up, but when we don’t want it, you’re the foreigner and you’re out on your own so as not to cast a bad light on the rest of us.
    Preferential selection and abuse of the uchi/soto dichotomy that occurs so often here, especially with a disadvantaged group of people who they can wield power over based upon bloodline and citizenship.

  • Jim di Griz says:

    @Mainichi_struggle #11

    You are onto something with your analysis of the two threads coming together. That’s not a failing of Debito.org (not to imply that you claimed it was), but rather these two issues are linked, if not sharing a causal relationship. That deserves deeper analysis,

  • Baudrillard says:

    @ JJ #13 “I’m sure there are more than a few posters here that have had a heated argument with a Japanese person who turns lethal when Japanese society is criticized in any way: while I again, hate to say it, it is mostly men. ”

    I have the opposite experience, sadly. Only yesterday my Japanese teacher-whom I regard as an open minded cool person and she is married to a Chinese, etc etc. sadly still thinks in paradigms such as
    1. “Japan needs gaijin who think like you, who understands us and can give us new ideas (which I doubt in practice) and then after a drink or two
    2. “Rules and laws in Japan are the same thing” (when I said Oyaji sometimes try to “explain the rules” to me, i.e. force me to do what they want) she jumps to
    3. “You white people (“guys”) have it easy in Japan”, I was called “yellow” at the Opera house by some middle aged woman who wanted my seat. Japan is a piece of cake compared to that, you only come here for money anyway.”
    4. “White people cannot be the victims of racism” (Asians-subtext Japanese-have it worse (subtext, when not admitted into the white man’s club they are so eager to join).

    I wouldn’t call having your child refused entry to an onsen on the basis of her appearance “a piece of cake” for “You white people”.

    Disappointing. I think I shall do the Japanese thing and ignore her. I dislike confrontation, and I couldnt get a word in edgeways, except to counter that I do not regard myself as a member of a particular tribe but a free citizen of the world, a paradigm I wish she would adopt.


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