Kyodo: Summary Court overturns fine levied on Filipino-Japanese man after Osaka police botch assault probe — that punished him for defending himself against drunk Japanese assailants!


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Hi Blog. Check this article out, followed by a comment by Reader and submitter JDG:


Filipino-Japanese exempt from fine after Osaka police botch assault probe

OSAKA – The police investigation into a street brawl in Osaka in 2013 that resulted in a fine for a Filipino-Japanese man was superficial and should never have caused charges to be filed, a court in Osaka has ruled.

In a rare ruling, the Osaka Summary Court decided to exempt the 23-year-old defendant from punishment despite finding him guilty of assault, after hearing that the police failed to provide him with a Tagalog interpreter. The man can only speak limited Japanese.

According to the ruling, two drunken men began a quarrel with the defendant on a street in Osaka in June 2013. When one of them grabbed his collar, the Philippine-Japanese man punched him in the face, causing a broken bone.

Neither of the drunks was indicted. But the court initially ordered the Filipino-Japanese man to pay a ¥300,000 ($2,500) fine in January 2014. The defendant filed a complaint and sought a formal trial, leading to a ruling that effectively canceled the fine on Feb. 26.

The ruling was finalized on March 13 after the appeal period expired.

“This is de facto innocence,” said Masanori Matsuoka, the defendant’s lawyer. “It’s an excellent ruling that criticized the investigation of a man who cannot speak Japanese sufficiently.”

Judge Akinori Hatayama said it is unfair to punish only the Filipino-Japanese man, given that the drunken man was not indicted for assault.

The judge criticized the prosecutors for charging the defendant without properly considering the case and based purely on the degree of physical injury that resulted from the scuffle.


JDG: Well, this is an interesting case. Now, if we take the poor reporting to mean that ‘Filipino-Japanese’ = naturalized Japanese citizen of NJ descent, this story is quite telling.

Naturalized Japanese citizen is stopped in Osaka by two drunk Japanese guys, who grab his shirt collars whilst shouting at him. The naturalized Japanese punches one in the face in self-defense and is arrested, charged, goes to court, and is fined.

The Japanese assailants, since they are ‘victims’ of their own victims self-defense, are not apprehended, and win compensation from their victim!

Thankfully, this was over-turned at a [summary] court. But the fact that it played out like this clearly shows the intense institutional racism of the Japanese police and legal system. In effect, if you are Japanese, you can commit assault (by western standards) on NJ (well, anyone who was not born Japanese), and the legal system recognize you as the victim if you are injured whilst attempting assault!


Quite.  And, I might add, if he hadn’t taken it outside the criminal justice system (I assume) into Summary Court, he would have never gotten this ruling on the record either.

Clearly somebody had to go down for this incident in the cops’ eyes.  And since they saw what they considered to be a NJ involved (naturalized or not), they charged and convicted him.  Wrongly so, as this court ruling demonstrates — nearly two years later!  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

23 comments on “Kyodo: Summary Court overturns fine levied on Filipino-Japanese man after Osaka police botch assault probe — that punished him for defending himself against drunk Japanese assailants!

  • Despite the result two years later, this is yet another example of why I have no trust or faith in Japanese police or the “justice system” in Japan.

  • While I have no proof to back this up, my take on “Filipino-Japanese” part is that this man is likely a Japanese born and raised abroad in the Philippines with one parent being Japanese and the other Filipino. Hence the limited Japanese ability, yet correctly identifying him in the newspapers as Japanese.

  • I agree with you @B because this type of things by the Keystones and the Kangaroo courts over here happen far too much over here. Its in fact scary how NJ have so few legal rights over here due to do the racism and bias double standards by the so called Justice system over here. In this case he was Guilty until proven innocent just because he’s NJ.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Dr. Debito, thank you for bringing this to prominence.

    I think this case is very disturbing. Does anyone remember the Nepalese guy who was killed by a Japanese guy in Osaka a couple of years back? And afterwards, the murderer said that he ‘couldn’t believe’ that he ‘killed a gaijin’.

    Look at what we’ve got here with these two cases;
    If someone assaults you, and you defend yourself, you are committing a crime. Best to just curl up in a ball and take your chances, after all, they probably don’t actually want to kill you…
    Except that they might kill you by accident, when they were only intending to give you a simple beating…

    So, as a NJ in Japan, this is your choice;
    Curl up in a ball and hope that they don’t kill you, because if you defend yourself, you’ll be arrested and fined (at best).
    Or defend yourself and accept that you are the criminal and will be treated as such.

    Quite frankly, with those kind of Kafkaesque laws, why bother? Leave Japan, and go somewhere where it’s not ‘open season’ on whatever nationality you are.
    That’s my advice.

  • It really makes me wonder… aren’t there any lawyers that focus on supporting NJ against such treatment? I’d imagine the would make a killing here.

    Well, that is of course making the grand assumption that with proper legal representation there actually can be justice in this joke of a justice system I guess :/

    — Yes, there are lawyers who defend NJ. And they came to our defense during the Otaru Onsens Case, for one.

  • Dr. Debito,

    Thanks for the reminder of that. That said, it would be nice to see some sort of support or contact page for more. I feel that when there are major problems, it is very difficult to know who to even contact for such issues, legal, support, or otherwise. Obviously that is the case in many countries, but I could see where that would be a great way to support the NJ community, knowledge of the avenues for representation.

  • Neutral, intelligent, bilingual observer Justin Thyme researched deeper than Eido Havill Inoue, as usual:

    “The actual victim here (who unfortunately became the man accused by the police of a crime) was with his brother and sister, all three on bicycles. Two drunks abused them, and one went after, and grabbed hold of, the man’s brother. The accused man went in to help his brother, was grabbed himself, and struck the man.

    The Judge said in his ruling that the court could not say whether the accused man’s reaction was justified self-defense, or excessive.

    Eido Havill Inoue claimed twice without evidence that “the accused man’s reaction MUST have been excessive.”

    Taking contrary positions out of habit, rather than thinking them through, is not logical.

    The injuries to the drunken attacker were NOT sufficient to determine whether the accused used excessive force. If they were, then the court would have said so. The accused was being strangled at the time he was hitting out.

    Eido Havill Inoue claimed twice online that the man accused by the police was “just having his collar grabbed”, but reading through the court ruling, that is NOT the case.

    The fact the accused was being strangled at the time he was hitting out, is one thing which I suspect counted in the accused man’s favor by the court.

    The court had several problems with the prosecution case. The absence of a Tagalog interpreter was key, because it meant the full circumstances of the affray did not come to light.

    The court ruled that the prosecutor acted unjustly by only prosecuting one party. Given the possibility that the drunken man attacked first, the court saw no reason why the drunken man had not also been prosecuted, or both men released without charge.

    The court said it seems as if the prosecutor just looked at who inflicted the most serious blow, which the judge specifically ruled was not a sufficient basis to decide who was at fault, or whether excessive force was used.

    The case has been a regular topic on Kansai radio shows, where guest lawyers were predicting the prosecutor would lose.





    That Japanese quote is from the Mainichi Shinbun.

    #1 – The drunk didn’t “merely grab the accused man’s collar” as Eido Havill Inoue claimed.

    #2 – The drunk didn’t “merely motion towards, without actually committing any actual strangulation” as Eido Havill Inoue claimed.

    The drunk was literally in the act of strangling, choking, and thus causing pain to, the accused man.

    Thus, the accused man in this case, is the real victim here.”

    I took the liberty of paraphrasing for presentation, I hope the above remains acceptable to you Justin.

    Thank you Justin Thyme, for your neutral intelligent well-researched sharing of information, as always.

    — Thank you. Please provide a link and the full text of the Mainichi Shinbun article so that the spooks can’t claim incomplete citation or quoting out of context.

  • 🙂 Sure thing, here is the link and the full text of the Mainichi Shinbun article:

    大阪簡裁:傷害罪の男性に刑免除の判決 相手が先に攻撃

    毎日新聞 2015年04月24日 14時12分(最終更新 04月24日 15時49分)










     北川健太郎・大阪地検次席検事の話 判決の認定と評価は不満だが、事案の内容及び証拠関係を再検討した結果、控訴の要はないものと判断した。

    Justin Thyme also directly read the court ruling itself. Unfortunately I don’t have the link to that, but I trust his synopsis of the relevant facts above. 🙂

  • PS – This man who successfully defended himself and his sister and brother when grabbed and strangled by drunk Japanese assailants, was legally defended by lawyer Masanori Matsuoka, whose phone number is on the Osaka Bar Association website. 🙂

  • The court admits one of the drunken Japanese men was STRANGLING this human (tightening his hands around the neck preventing air from entering the body) yet this drunken Japanese man was not charged with attempted homicide:

    Japan, the land where in 2015 Japanese are still allowed to strangle “half-breeds” and not even be charged.

  • This story does not surprise me at all.

    Despite being a “privileged” white person, I have also dealt with the extreme racism of the Japanese police when reporting an assault.

    The incident, before going to the police station:

    Last year (2014), I was in a bar. I was getting tired of a (friendly, non-violent) old man next to me going on and on and on for hours on end, so I decided to leave the bar, go home, and sleep. I stood up and said “It’s late. Time to go home! Check, please!” and got ready to go, when suddenly…

    …yep, you guessed it, a hot 30-something woman with dyed hair and blue contacts grabbed my arm and told me to sit down next to her.

    Now, I know that isn’t the best way to meet women. But I had had a dry spell since 2012, and had recently been stood up by a woman who I had thought liked me, and this woman at the bar was very attractive, so I sat down next to her.

    She was in the bar with a guy named Ken, so I asked them their status to make sure she wasn’t his girlfriend/wife. He said “She’s one of my four wives,” and she said (right in front of him) “We are not going out,” which he did not deny. Since he was obviously joking, and since she said she was not going out with him, and since she was being extremely flirtatious with me even though he was right there (resting her head on me, kissing my ear, giving me her phone number, etc.), I assumed that they were just friends.

    Well, we (Ken, her, and I) all left the bar. She had decided to go home, and I had already decided to go home earlier and was only staying because she was flirting with me. We all went out to the street in front of the bar, and then, she and I started making out. Then, suddenly she…reached down. And then, only seconds later, she fell down. I guess she had been drunker than I had realized.

    Well, at that moment, Ken came up to me and started grabbing me. I thought he was just joking or playing around for the first few seconds. We had been talking jovially in the bar even with this woman flirting with me; I had assumed it was not bothering him. He continued trying to grab me and push me around. Finally, I responded by grabbing him from behind and restraining him. I said “I DO NOT WANT TO FIGHT YOU. I DO NOT THINK YOU ARE A BAD PERSON. LET’S JUST GO HOME.”

    The other people around him restrained him. They had seen what had happened; he had gotten physically violent first. It had been so one-sided that even though I was a gaijin, everyone saw that he had started it.

    As I walked away, the woman called to me. Angry about the situation, I said, in English this time “I don’t want anything to do with people like you.” And meant it.

    Then, suddenly, as I was walking away, Ken broke free from the people who were restraining him. He ran after me, swinging punches at me.

    Fortunately, I had had very little to drink, so I was still quite sober. Ken, on the other hand, was quite drunk. I easily dodged him as he charged me, grabbed him, and threw him on the ground, punched him in the head, and then sat on him. Some people came immediately to stop the fight, but did not particularly restrain me or yell at me; I think they realized that he had, once again, started the fight. I had just been trying to walk away.

    I left the scene. Obviously Sakuramachi was not a good place to be.

    Of course, I was very shocked. I had never been in a fight in Japan before, in nearly three years in Japan. I was worried that someone might call the police and I might get in trouble. Even though I had been defending myself, I knew that Japanese law sometimes punishes people who defend themselves, and that people (both civilians and the police) can be racist, and that racism causes people to (without realizing it) remember events differently from the way they actually happened, which might get me blamed for a fight that he started (and then restarted). I was also worried because I had told the people at the bar where I worked (a private school), and was worried about retribution, for example blackmail. After all, I had absolutely humiliated my attacker by sitting on top of him, in front of a bunch of people, including the woman.

    So I called my dad, told him what had happened, and asked him what to do.

    He couldn’t believe my poor judgment at drinking late at night and accepting advances from a drunk, obviously loose woman. And he’s right about that, but accepting advances from a drunk, loose woman does not excuse violence, and he knew and understood that.

    I told my dad that I should NOT go to the police, because the police are well-known for being racists, and if they saw that I was unscathed and that Ken had a cut on his head, I might get in more trouble than him (even though he had started the fight–twice).

    My dad is the kind of guy who trusts authority. He worked for the federal government for 30 years and retired with a gold watch, and thinks that things should be done officially, according to procedures, and by the book. He said I should go to the police and tell them my version of events; don’t press charges, and don’t make them track down Ken, just get my official statement on paper in case he tried to file a report, or in case he tried to get revenge.

    Normally, I would have ignored my dad’s advice. I mean, although he lived in Asia for five years, it has always been as a diplomat backed by the American government and a as a family man, and not as a low-status gaijin. He has no clue what it’s like for someone in my position. But that night, after the fight, I was not thinking as rationally as usual, and decided to go to the police and file a report (without pressing charges).

    At the police station:

    – I asked the police if I could write my own report (I have Kanji Kentei 4-kyuu, so I am proficient at writing kanji at roughly a 9th grade level, and could have written a report like that, no problem). They refused. They said I would have to tell them what happened and that THEY would write it down.

    – So I told them. While I was telling them:
    The police kept asking me lots of irrelevant questions like about my workplace, my visa status, etc. They spent probably more time on this than they did asking questions about Ken’s assault on me.
    They kept interrupting me and cutting me off, saying “that’s not important,” even during important details, like that the women had fallen down because she was so drunk (I wanted to make sure they knew it was because she was drunk, and not because I had pushed her).
    They told me that what I did (making out with a woman in public) was unacceptable in Japan and that what I had done was bound to make people angry. To this, I responded, “I know that what I did was not good. I know that it was rude. But kissing a woman in public is NOT a crime. Attacking another person IS a crime. Your job, as a police officer, is to uphold THE LAW. There is no LAW against kissing. There is a LAW about violence!”

    – Finally, they finished writing the report (and asking me lots of irrelevant questions about myself). I asked if I could go home, and if I could see the report. They told me that I could come back and see the report the next day.

    – I came back the next day. This is what happened:
    They refused to let me see the report.
    I asked for a summary. The police officer just said “We don’t really know what happened. We weren’t there. So we just wrote down ‘he got drunk and got into a fight.'”

    Bloody hell! First of all, I was not drunk. I had only had two shots over the course of an entire evening. Ken was drunk. I was not. Second of all, their report completely omitted who had started the fight. Their “report” sounded more like a confession than anything else.

    I demanded to make changes to the report. They refused. Finally, I exclaimed, angrily “This police station only has justice for Japanese people” and left. This was going nowhere. Fortunately, there was no retribution from Ken, and no legal trouble for me (I even got an extension to my period of stay just two months later), but it put a very bad taste in my mouth.

    Moral(s) of the story:
    1. Japanese police are often racists.
    2. If you are the victim of a crime, DO NOT go to the police station, especially if you were doing something completely legal but taboo like I was (such as making out with a Japanese girl).
    3. The best course of action is probably to just ignore the crime and go on living your life, if possible, trying to avoid the source of the trouble (for example, not going to bars, or not going out in a city after 10:00 PM).
    4. You can try to contact your embassy. This is unlikely to really help, but may be slightly better than nothing, especially if things escalate and you end up incarcerated. It is a well-known fact that the Japanese police often deny phone call requests, so without any other way to contact the outside world, having your embassy know what’s going on could be your only lifeline out of wherever you’re being held.
    5. DO NOT repeat my mistake and take advice from a family member to go to the police station. In a time in which you are emotionally vulnerable, it might seem like good advice. It isn’t. You are the best judge of your own situation, not someone living in a western country thousands of miles away.
    6. And now, my last, controversial “moral”–in Japan, as a gaijin with basically no civil rights, if you want something to actually be done, either do yourself, or enlist some help from “outside the system.” When people cannot get justice from going to the police, what do they do? One word: gangs. Why else was the leadership of Inagawa-kai 20% Korean in the 1990s? If police want people, especially foreigners, to stop joining gangs, then perhaps they could start by protecting everyone, not just Yamato Japanese. I personally have not joined a gang; I am still trying to follow #3. However, I can certainly understand the appeal of joining gangs, now.

  • @Charles – way more information than I’d like to hear about an embarrassing night out.

    “We all went out to the street in front of the bar, and then, she and I started making out. Then, suddenly she…reached down”

    Good God. This isn’t a testimonial, its a bad romance novel for bored housewives

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ Charles #11

    Your story doesn’t surprise me.

    The J-cops were faced with a situation in which an NJ comes in and reports being assaulted by a Japanese guy. This is a crime. To follow it up, they would need to leave the koban and speak to witnesses. After all that leg work, the best they could hope for is to charge a Japanese with a crime. The Japanese perp would likely respond along the lines of ‘I was drunk’/’I don’t remember’ (all ‘get out of jail free’ lines in Japan).

    That is to say, a lot of man hours for virtually no result. However…

    By grilling you extensively about your employment and visa status, they could pick up an NJ for being in violation of immigration or employment law. A black and white case, with confidence of successful prosecution.

    It’s a no brainer as to which ‘collar’ the J-cops would prefer on their record;
    The ‘I don’t remember’, ‘Please don’t do it again’, Japanese criminal, or the evil NJ infiltrator, taking advantage of Japan easy bust.

    Let’s be honest, the J-police don’t seem to understand the concept of ‘detection’ having relied on forced confessions for so long.

  • angelito says:

    On a slight tangent Debito, but it would be good to know if there are any other points of view/people with similar experiences – I have heard from people who work in NPO that supports NJ with limited Japanese in Kanagawa, that they have anecdotal evidence of PR holders losing their residence and being given 3-year visas for minor legal infractions. examples given included someone who was arrested for driving after drinking (they didn’t have an accident), and someone who was caught taking something out of the gomi. As I haven’t heard of this before, I wonder if this is widespread, and if it’s a new thing.

    — I have heard of PRs losing their status for minor infractions, but those are usually Immigration-related issues, such as forgetting to get their Re-Entry Permit before leaving or forgetting to renew their Gaijin Card. Those other ones that anyone can commit I have not heard of as yet. Would like more information if possible, thanks.

  • Baudrillard says:

    Basically this and the “No dancing” laws-not going to bars, or not going out in a city after 10:00 PM” are indirectly causing Japan passing. It just isnt a fun place anymore. Paranoid Tokyo makes one paranoid. I thought Yokohama was a bit more relaxed, it seems not so.

    What kind of life is this?

    “completely legal but taboo”- the rule of law has only tenuously taken root, having been imposed on Japan by McArthur. Abe would have this removed, along with constitutional rights or anything meaningful written down, to be replaced by “Japanese common sense” which 1. means NJs can be excluded and 2.caused self censorship, like not going out at 10 pm or drinking in bars.

    Thus leading to a a “safety Japan”. One with a dead nightlife the police hardly have to patrol.

  • @Charles And the moral of the story is – don’t live in a country where you cannot trust the police to help you.

  • Baudrillard says:

    afterthought, youre not paranoid enough Charles. Never befriend Japanese men in bars, especially when women are involved, as they will try to block you or badmouth you. They even do it to each other-there is no “men’s code”, even between old friends, its just every man for himself when it comes to, err, “dating”.

    You have only been here 3 years, so you havent got paranoid about this, or to pay attention to what he said “she is one of my four wives”- he was trying to lay claim to her even if the lady (term used lightly) doth protest. Hence they were out for a drink.

    Shouldve just got both their numbers and got the hell out, as was your original intention. THe guy wasnt “cool” about you scoring.

    The only time it is worth drinking with Japanese men is in business, if New York head office wants to know why the Japanese are taking so long to decide something-then you might get some answers if you take them to a bar and pour a few beers down their throats.

  • @Markus

    I am thinking of checking out Singapore. They have very strict anti-racism and anti-xenophobia laws, a truly diverse and multi-racial population, and recently charged some bloggers with sedition for making xenophobic posts on a blog.


    I have learned that lesson now. This was over a year ago, before I really learned that lesson.

    In 2014, there was both the incident of Ken from the bar turning on me after what seemed like a cordial evening, and my male Japanese co-teacher backstabbing me repeatedly later the same year. 2014, my worst year in Japan so far, taught me the hard way that the friendlier and politer a Japanese man appears at first, the more questions he asks “to get to know you,” the more he is adhering to the idiom “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I didn’t learn this lesson in my first years in Japan, 2011, 2012, and 2013 simply because I worked at a tiny eikaiwa school with no Japanese male co-workers, and rarely went out to bars back then.

    Basically, in conclusion, in any situation in which there might be competition (a bar, a workplace, etc.), (young) Japanese men view western men as rivals, not as potential friends. From day one, as a western man, you are being analyzed, not because he is interested in getting to know you, but because he is scanning you for potential weaknesses he can use against you in the future.

  • @Bob

    Yes, I realize those pieces of information might come across as “too much information.” I debated whether to put them in or not.

    I ultimately decided “Yes, they should go in,” because they:
    A) show that she was coming onto me, and that I was not sexually harassing her (which might have been valid grounds for Ken to attack me), and
    B) to show why I allowed my own judgment to be compromised when this was obviously a dangerous situation from the start.

    I am not proud of that night out and almost did not share the account at all (and would not have, had this been, say, Japan Times or Yahoo! Answers, where I would have been eaten alive for posting it by racists and apologists–but is better-moderated). I knew full well that nightlife spots (bars, night clubs, etc.) are hotbeds of racism, violence, and just sin in general. I knew that a woman coming onto me in a bar likely to bring me trouble. However, my temporary stupidity and breaking of Japanese taboos do not excuse someone to actually become violent towards me, and after the violent incident, does not excuse the police acting in the unhelpful, racist, and human rights-violating way that they did.

  • Baudrillard says:

    “(young) Japanese men view western men as rivals, not as potential friends.”It wasnt always this way, but with the shrinking of the Japanese economy, the inward looking nature of Japanese youth (arguably)losing any genuine curiosity about overseas, and the general paranoid, Japan as victim of the world narrative peddled by the Abe regime and their media,what do you expect?

    And there has always been an undercurrent of jealousy. I was attacked in 1993, and my GF was not even a Japanese! (Certain J men tend to lay claim to all cute East Asian women). In my case the police had to be sympathetic, because 1. I contacted them thru a Japanese proxy, and 2. the attackers had damaged property belonging to a Japanese landlord.

  • @Charles (#18) Singapore…oh well, they have a whole different catalog of skeletons in the closet, but who knows, maybe you like it there? Me personally, after 2.5 years in Tokyo, can’t think of any reason anymore to want to live in Asia – I’m done.
    The biggest deal breaker for me wasn’t even the racism, but the lack of interesting people to have a meaningful conversation with, or – gasp – become true friends with (as Debito wrote a great essay on about two years ago). I now know that the morals and values in East Asian cultures is diametrically opposed to what I hold dear – the absence of critical thought has much deeper and more far-reaching consequences than I expected. In short, it makes people boring, at least to me.

  • Jeff Smith says:

    Sorry, just reading this now.

    @ Charles san: Honestly this is one of those “saw it coming” situations. I don’t feel people shouldn’t have a night out on the town, but the drunk hostess/wild Japanese girl with Japanese guy means something was up and your Street Spidey Senses were on the blink that night. This happens A LOT. NEVER talk to a woman who is with a Japanese guy: him saying she was one of his “four wives” was telling you something, dry spell be damned.

    The case in Osaka is in my opinion another reason WHY Osaka is still a great city: the judge ruled against the prosecution, of course. Those animals who beat the Nepalese man in the adjoining neighborhood to mine were apprehended and they were NOT FROM OSAKA (no surprise). I have lived here 22 years and while I was only in court for my divorce proceedings, I have friends who unfortunately have been in run-ins with thuggish white-collar hooligans. People in Osaka/Kansai impress me continuously with their vocal opposition to unfair acts and harassment to foreigners: the MAJORITY of Japanese men are VERY AGGRESSIVE and most NJ men let their guard down: woe unto thee who expects a free pass.

    As an African American I find the police here FAR LESS abusive and LETHAL: while not to patronize quite a few people here seem to have only encountered racism here.

    — You had me until the last clause. Do not patronize us. You know an insufficient amount about our experiences to make pronouncements like this. Thank you for not doing it again.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ Jeff Smith #22

    ‘White-collar hooligans’, is an interesting phrase. I find that the most abusive Japanese men I have ever met were all white-collar. It must be something to do with perceived social hierarchy and sense of entitlement.

    I posted here a few years ago that I felt that Japan had become more aggressive towards NJ in general, on a random basis, since about 2008/9, and I stand by it. I think that it’s getting worse.

    From around the time of the financial crisis, I found that Japanese (mostly men) seemed to enjoy slamming into me on the street, kicking the backs of my shoes, shoulder checking me, making abusive comments, tutting, or spitting on the street when I walked past.

    My wife always thought that I was just paranoid, since she never saw any of if- if we were together, other Japanese were respectful to us both (this alone convinced me that Japanese were making a conscious decision to do it, based on racism, and the idea that a lone NJ wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if it came to anything).

    My wife changed her mind earlier this year when we were coming home from dinner, after work, on the train (we weren’t driving since we’d had a little drink at dinner). We sat on the train and didn’t speak to each other, and when it was time to get off, we (and others) went to the door, and one salary man seemed determined to shove me out of the way to get off before me. I’m quite big, so he couldn’t shove me, and I told him in Japanese not to shove. The door opened, I stepped off, and he kicked the back of my calf really hard, and started being verbally abusive on the platform. I turned around and asked him what his problem was, and suggested he was mentally ill, and he laughed at me, and pretended he didn’t understand my Japanese. That’s when my wife told him she saw the whole thing, and asked me if I was ok.

    When this guy realized that I was with a Japanese person, and not alone, he looked gobsmacked, and scurried off as fast as he could whilst saying ‘daijyoubu desu, gomennasai’.

    Now my wife believes me.

    I would say that there have always been some Japanese who have had a chip on their shoulders re: NJ, but I think that in the last few years, it has become more widespread, more spiteful, and more socially acceptable amongst society at large. I just don’t think that Japan is as nice a place to live as it was. I also wonder about the future of a society that seems to have a widespread mental health problem (that is to say, the insecurity re: NJ and the desire for NJ approval, that has set up cognitive dissonance, that under Abe’s particular campaign to gain more international attention for Japan, seems to be acting as a catalyst in aggravating these mental health problems that arise from this cognitive dissonance).


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