DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 8, 2015

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DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 8, 2015

Hello Debito.org Newsletter Readers,

First off, my new book “Embedded Racism” hit the market in November, and I got my copy recently. It’s a happy day for any author when their book arrives. Here’s a picture just after I opened the shipping box showing how happy I am: http://www.debito.org/?p=13689.

I was also interviewed about the book for ABC News Radio Australia. You can listen to that here: http://www.debito.org/?p=13605

Now on with other topics from Debito.org:

Table of Contents:
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WEIRD INCENTIVE SYSTEMS

1) WSJ: PM Abe Shinzo First Non-American to Win Conservative Hudson Institute Award — and other American neocons egging on Japan’s remilitarization

2) 20th Standard Charted Hong Kong Marathon Japan tour registration is “Japanese Only”: “Applications from non-Japanese runners ‘invalid’, deposit payment not refunded.”

3) UPDATE: Standard Charted Hong Kong Marathon Japan tour “Japanese Only” registration is sanitized to include NJ residents, but “Japanese Citizenship” remains requirement on actual registration page

4) Mainichi: Miss Universe Japan Ariana Miyamoto spurns ‘half Japanese’ label, seeks end to prejudice. Good, but article in English only, not for Japanese-reading audience.

BETTER INCENTIVE SYSTEMS

5) Asahi & Mainichi: “No Hate” “No Racism”, “Refugees Welcome” say protesters at Tokyo anti-discrimination rally. Bravo.

6) JT: Court orders NHK to compensate NJ Anchorwoman who fled Japan during Fukushima crisis for lost salary: So much for “Flyjin” myth.

7) Eleven touristy articles of mine about touring Sapporo, Hokkaido, and environs, published by Netmobius

… and finally …

8 ) My Japan Times JBC Col 93: “Tackle embedded racism before it chokes Japan”, summarizing my new book “Embedded Racism”

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By Dr. ARUDOU, Debito (debito@debito.org, www.debito.org, Twitter @arudoudebito)
Freely Forwardable

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WEIRD INCENTIVE SYSTEMS
1) WSJ: PM Abe Shinzo First Non-American to Win Conservative Hudson Institute Award — and other American neocons egging on Japan’s remilitarization

WSJ: On Sept. 25, [2013,] Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will join an elite group of right-leaning leaders like Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger and Dick Cheney, as the recipient of an award from conservative Washington D.C.-based think tank, Hudson Institute. […] Mr. Abe won’t be the first Japanese politician to speak at a Hudson Institute event, though. In December 2011, Nobuteru Ishihara, then secretary-general of Mr. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, also gave a speech, calling for swift nationalization of disputed islands in the East China Sea and deployment of Japanese troops there. The islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, have been a major source of diplomatic strain between the two countries. […] Mr. Ishihara’s speech was quickly followed by one at the Heritage Foundation, another conservative U.S. think tank, given by his more famous–and controversial–father, Shintaro Ishihara. At that April 2012 speech, the elder Ishihara, who was then governor of Tokyo, unveiled a plan for the Tokyo government to purchase the disputed islands. Japan’s national government headed off that purchase by nationalizing the islands itself later in the year, sparking massive anti-Japanese protests in China.

Hudson Institute Website: At a gala luncheon in New York on September 25, 2013, Hudson presented its annual Herman Kahn Award to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in recognition of his extraordinary career on the world stage—and his vigorous, principled promotion free markets, global security, and democratic ideals. “Japan should not be a weak link in the regional and global security framework where the U.S. plays a leading role,” the Prime Minister said. “Japan is one of the world’s most mature democracies. Thus, we must be a net contributor to the provision of the world’s welfare and security. And we will. Japan will contribute to the peace and stability of the region and the world even more proactively than before.”

COMMENT: According to the articles above, less than a year after being returned to power and decimating Japan’s Leftists, PM Abe received this award from an American conservative think-tank. It’s clear that conservative elements in the hegemon wish Japan to have a leader like Abe honored and in power. I’m not quite sure why. It would be facile to think it’s merely because the US wants to maintain bases and a weapons market, or even contain China. No, think tanks like these are also grounded in morals and values that transcend economics and politics (such as, in this case, Abe’s alleged dedication to “democratic ideals”). The funny thing is, these people seem to think Abe shares their values. He really doesn’t, unless these people are fundamentally positive towards a racialized reorientation of Asia, where Japanese bigots settle old historical scores, pick fights, destabilize the region, and return Asia back on the course of an arms race.

I’m probably missing something (again, this isn’t quite my field), but I’m aghast at the short-sightedness of American neocons (especially, as noted above, the Heritage Foundation egging on the Ishiharas to purchase the disputed Senkaku rocks and inflame Sino-Japanese tensions). As I was the similar short-sightedness of the Obama Administration honoring Abe years later. In sum, positive overseas recognition like this helps keep Abe’s popularity ratings up (and the money to the LDP rolling in, and Japan’s right-wing swing swinging, etc.). I don’t think they understand what Frankenstein they’re creating.

http://www.debito.org/?p=13679

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2) 20th Standard Charted Hong Kong Marathon Japan tour registration is “Japanese Only”: “Applications from non-Japanese runners ‘invalid’, deposit payment not refunded.”

We’ve seen exclusionism in Japan’s sports leagues before (baseball, hockey, the Kokutai, the Ekiden, and Sumo, for example). Now we can see that Japan uses the same exclusionary practices when it processes paying customers to participate in overseas events THROUGH Japanese companies. Such as can be seen here at the 20th Standard Charted Hong Kong Marathon, which refuses all NJ customers (and will not refund their application fees, either):

Source: http://www.hkmarathon.jp. Screen captures of the site, dated November 9, 2015: Note the bottom-right black box that says [ONLY JAPANESE]. This is reconfirmed when you scroll down to the next section, where it says in red script:

“This tour is designed exclusively for Japanese people. Applications from other nationalities are not acceptable. Applications from non-Japanese runners will be treated as “invalid” and any deposit payment would not be refunded.”

Who is managing this? Kinki Nippon Tourist Agency, The Club Tourism Marathon Tour (their slogan, “Let’s run the world!”), and HIS Travel Agency (aka No. 1 Travel, which has had “Japanese Only” pricing and different (higher) prices for foreign customers in the past).

Who’s sponsoring this? The Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association, Standard Chartered Bank, and the Hong Kong Tourist Agency. I wonder if they know this is going on.

COMMENT: What’s wrong with this? The assumption that anyone who does not have a Japanese passport is not a resident of Japan. What about those people living permanently in Japan who might like to join this tour but do not have citizenship? How are they supposed to partake in this tour? Oh, I guess as customers, they just don’t count because they’re foreign.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 12, 2015: They didn’t know what was going on. After the Hong Kong sponsors were contacted by Debito.org Readers, the Japanese marathon tour site was amended to read:
“This tour is designed exclusively for people residing in Japan. Applications from other countries are not acceptable. Applications from runners who are not residing in Japan will be treated as “invalid” and any deposit payment would not be refunded. ”

The Hong Kong Tourism Association has written (full letter in comments):
“After receiving your email, we have immediately communicated with the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association (HKAAA), who is the organiser of Standard Charted Hong Kong Marathon. According to HKAAA, all people who are residing in Japan, regardless of their nationalities, are allowed to join the mentioned tour. They have already advised the tour operator “Kinki Nippon Travel” to amend relevant wordings on the registration site.”

Gone is the assumption that foreigners in Japan are not residents of Japan. It’s a pity that this wasn’t obvious in the first place and required a caution from the overseas sponsors of the event. Bravo HKAAA and HKTA for their quick and decisive work.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 13, 2015: Alas, the job is not quite done. On the application website itself, the requirement of Japanese Citizenship is still there. Hello HKTA…

http://www.debito.org/?p=13627

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3) UPDATE: Standard Charted Hong Kong Marathon Japan tour “Japanese Only” registration is sanitized to include NJ residents, but “Japanese Citizenship” remains requirement on actual registration page

This is an update to the previous post, but it deserves a separate blog entry for the deceitfulness. Thanks to Debito.org Readers contacting the organizers in Hong Kong, the 20th Standard Charted Hong Kong Marathon made it clear to their Japan tour organizers (http://www.hkmarathon.jp) that restricting applications “exclusively for Japanese people” is unacceptable, as “all people who are residing in Japan, regardless of their nationalities, are allowed to join the mentioned tour”.

The Japan-side website then changed its wording to “This tour is designed exclusively for people residing in Japan. Applications from other countries are not acceptable. Applications from runners who are not residing in Japan will be treated as “invalid” and any deposit payment would not be refunded.” But if you actually go to the website registration page (http://www.hkmarathon.jp/pre.html), the requirement for applicants of Japanese citizenship (item six in the bullet points: 私は日本国籍を有しています) is still there (screen capture).

So although the English has changed for the purposes of placating the English-reading world, in Japanese are the same “Japanese Only” rules. It is very hard to see this as a mere oversight. And as written, NJ resident applicants still face refusal and then a non-refund of their deposit payments. It’s gone from mere exclusionism to the potential for misleading applicants into corporate theft. How duplicitous and unprofessional of the Japan-side organizers. Imagine the internet uproar if a Japanese company made a mistake this big for its Japanese customers. Again, its seems, foreign customers in Japan don’t matter.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 13, 2015: Was tweeted this picture in regards to the Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon registration desk for Japanese in Bangkok, Thailand. Seems to be more systematic than just Japanese organizers within Japan. More like the organization is excluding foreigners everywhere in the world, including in those nations where Japanese are foreigners themselves.

http://www.debito.org/?p=13640

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4) Mainichi: Miss Universe Japan Ariana Miyamoto spurns ‘half Japanese’ label, seeks end to prejudice. Good, but article in English only, not for Japanese-reading audience.

Mainichi: As Japan’s internationalization continues, the country’s representatives in competitions abroad are also becoming increasingly diverse. The 31-man roster of the national rugby team that so electrified Japan in the recent Rugby World Cup, for example, boasted no less than 10 players born outside the country. And then there is Ariana Miyamoto, who this year became the first mixed-race woman to be crowned Miss Universe Japan.

“There are foreigner athletes representing Japan, and then there’s also me,” Miyamoto, 21, told the Mainichi Shimbun in a recent interview. “I think Japanese society has changed a bit, but it still has a ways to go.” Miyamoto, the daughter of an African American father and Japanese mother, is set to represent Japan in the annual Miss Universe pageant on Dec. 20 this year. Though she has become a positive symbol of Japan’s internationalization, when she was selected to represent Japan in the pageant, she was also the target of many Internet attacks that she “doesn’t look Japanese.” […]

“I want to end racial prejudice,” said Miyamoto, adding that this was her reason for auditioning to represent Japan at the Miss Universe pageant. […] Meanwhile, the Japanese sports world is also looking more diverse, with Japan-born athletes like high school sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown and baseball player (and recent Nippon Professional Baseball draftee) Louis Okoye making their mark. “I don’t want to be summed up with the word ‘haafu’ (half),” said Miyamoto, referring to the Japanese colloquial term for those with one foreign parent. “It’s the same as saying they’re not really Japanese,” she went on, and expressed hope that the presence of mixed race Japanese people like herself will eventually be considered completely natural.

COMMENT: I am increasingly impressed by the resilience of Ms. Miyamoto in keeping her message on track. Bravo. However, the Japanese media is making sure her message of tolerance and inclusiveness is being contained and rendered ineffectual. This article in English, for example, was not featured as a Japanese article, for a Japanese-reading audience. Which, naturally, is the audience that most needs to hear it and be convinced by it. Here is a screen capture of web search engine for the Mainichi in Japanese, where the article does not exist. Keep at it, Ms. Miyamoto, and someday your message may even get through the editors of Japan’s most liberal daily national newspaper.

http://www.debito.org/?p=13657

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BETTER INCENTIVE SYSTEMS

5) Asahi & Mainichi: “No Hate” “No Racism”, “Refugees Welcome” say protesters at Tokyo anti-discrimination rally. Bravo.

Asahi: “Refugees welcome” was a rallying cry among 2,500 or so Tokyo Democracy March demonstrators who paraded through the capital’s Shinjuku district on Nov. 22 following the recent Paris terror attacks. The crowd, protesting all forms of discrimination, urged Japan to welcome those fleeing danger with some waving a banner displaying the asylum seeker-friendly slogan. […]

Causes on the agenda included the prejudice experienced by ethnic Korean residents in Japan, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and people with disabilities. The third annual demonstration also focused on asylum seekers amid concerns over anti-refugee sentiment in and outside Japan after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead and hundreds injured. […]

The event was first organized in 2013 chiefly as a protest against groups which staged a number of hate speeches targeting the numerous ethnic Korean residents in Tokyo’s Shin-Okubo district. The demonstration has so far drawn on various themes, including the display of a discriminatory banner declaring “Japanese Only” at Saitama Stadium during a J.League football match on March 8, 2014. “We participate in this event because of our desire to improve our society,” said a 30-year-old organizer of the protest.

COMMENT: This development is a positive one, both in that it happened (as an annual rally, no less), and that it was reported in the news.

http://www.debito.org/?p=13675

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6) JT: Court orders NHK to compensate NJ Anchorwoman who fled Japan during Fukushima crisis for lost salary: So much for “Flyjin” myth.

Here’s something else that happened a few weeks ago that warrants mention on Debito.org, if only to show that NJ do sometimes get the justice they seek in Japanese courts (it only took nearly three years). And given the text of the court decision itself, so much for the accusations made about “Flyjin” deserting their posts. Rubbish then, verifiably so now. It was all just bullying, and in this case lying about the record by NHK in court (also known as perjury, but this being both Japan and NHK, nothing will come of it).

Japan Times: The Tokyo District Court on [Nov. 16] nullified a decision by NHK to end the contract of a French anchorwoman who temporarily fled Japan during the Fukushima nuclear crisis in March 2011. The ruling also declared that Emmanuelle Bodin’s decision to leave Japan in the face of the nation’s worst-ever nuclear crisis and prioritize her life over work did not represent professional negligence.

“Given the circumstances under which the Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima No. 1 plant’s nuclear accident took place, it is absolutely impossible to criticize as irresponsible her decision to evacuate abroad to protect her life,” the ruling said. Although lauding those who remained at work with the public broadcaster following the disasters, the court said NHK “cannot contractually obligate people to show such excessive allegiance” to the company.

http://www.debito.org/?p=13662

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7) Eleven touristy articles of mine about touring Sapporo, Hokkaido, and environs, published by Netmobius

It has been a busy past few months. August and September were spent proofing and indexing my new book Embedded Racism. But while doing that, I was working for a group called Netmobius who asked me to do some touristy writeups on Sapporo and environs. Since I’ve lived in the area for more than two decades and already written three chapters for Fodor’s Japan Travel Guides, I was happy to do it. Here are links to the eleven articles and titles I wrote for them:

Sapporo New Chitose Airport — how it’s run like airports everywhere should be.
Transportation from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo
Hokkaido Shinkansen – Traveling from Tokyo to Sapporo (or at least Hakodate by March 2016)
History of Sapporo Station — From Meiji to the Present
Sapporo Station Layout and Facilities
Shopping Near Sapporo Station (Paseo, Stellar Place, APIA, ESTA, Daimaru, Tokyu)
Sightseeing near Sapporo Station (Odori Park, Sapporo Chikagai, Akarenga, Hokkaido University, Tanukikoji, Sapporo Clock Tower)
Prominent Hotels Near Sapporo Station (JR Tower Nikko, Century Royal Hotel, Keio Plaza Hotel, Sapporo Grand Hotel, Hotel Monterey)
Getting Around Sapporo: Sapporo Subway Namboku, Tozai and Toho Lines
Getting Out and About: JR Hakodate Main Line for Otaru, Niseko, Hakodate, and Asahikawa
Getting Off the Beaten Track: JR Hokkaido Train Lines Accessible from Sapporo (Asahikawa/Furano, Obihiro/Kushiro)

You see, there is plenty to like about Japan, and I can switch off the critical tone when I want to.

http://www.debito.org/?p=13660

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… and finally …

8 ) My Japan Times JBC Col 93: “Tackle embedded racism before it chokes Japan”, summarizing my new book “Embedded Racism”

JBC: Japan has a dire problem it must address immediately: its embedded racism.

The country’s society and government are permeated by a narrative that says people must “look Japanese” before they can expect equal treatment in society.

That must stop. It’s a matter of Japan’s very survival.

We’ve talked about Japan’s overt racism in previous Just Be Cause columns: the “Japanese only” signs and rules that refuse entry and service to “foreigners” on sight (also excluding Japanese citizens who don’t “look Japanese”); the employers and landlords who refuse employment and apartments — necessities of life — to people they see as “foreign”; the legislators, administrators, police forces and other authorities and prominent figures that portray “foreigners” as a national security threat and call for their monitoring, segregation or expulsion.

But this exclusionism goes beyond a few isolated bigots in positions of power, who can be found in every society. It is so embedded that it becomes an indictment of the entire system. In fact, embedded racism is key to how the system “works.” Or rather, as we shall see below, how it doesn’t…

Read the rest at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2015/11/01/issues/tackle-embedded-racism-chokes-japan/

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That’s all for this month. JBC is taking a break for December, what with all the work promoting the book, so wait until January when I come out with my annual Top Ten Human Rights Issues. Thanks as always for reading!

ARUDOU, Debito
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 8, 2015 ENDS

15 comments on “DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 8, 2015

  • Well, to be fair, he reportedly said *registered* dogs, not strays, but either way, comparable to dogs. Way to go, again, Saitama.

    Reply
  • With all due respect, when I read that article yesterday, it said ‘stray dogs’ and not that’s become the opposite, ‘registered dogs’. I think the article has been edited.

    Reply
  • Perhaps edited. (Or Mandela Effect, but probably edited.) I’m guessing the natural Japanese expression he probably used was “やせ犬” = wild dogs = stray dogs = UN-registered dogs. But regardless of which kind of dogs, the point remains, this “foreigners are populating like animals” sentiment is racist.

    Plus, quite contrary to what this politician claimed: since foreigners need to show proof of paying income tax and city tax (kazei shomeisho, nozei shomeisho) to get their visas renewed, the reality is every visa-holding foreigner in Japan has proven within the past few years to be a perfect tax payer in those two areas of tax payment, while meanwhile MILLIONS of Japanese citizens are NOT paying city tax because there is no forced-check for citizens as there is in place for foreigners already. I think catching the JAPANESE non-paying-of-city-tax scofflaws is one of the main reasons for My Number thing.

    Reply
  • ha! Used to live in Kawaguchi, massive and noisy anti votes for Njs demos outside the station, and the city hall refused to allow Njs to submit tax returns online.

    Because I was a foreigner. The other tax office had sent me there and said that legally anyone could do it, but on arrival at Kawaguchi city hall they saw I was visibly NJ and contradicted the other office.

    Lots of foreigners live there because of the corporation owned buildings which tho impersonal do not discriminate to NJ renters. Also a big Chinese community in Nishi Kawaguchi.

    But the housing improvements fly in the face of the local culture which is not NJ friendly or is now feeling insecure with “rising” NJ numbers.

    Reply
  • @ Anonymous #4

    Given that the Assembly’s solution to this situation was to strike this guys comments from the written and video records, we’ll never know if the guy said ‘registered dogs’ or ‘stray dogs’ and the newspaper was under pressure to present events in a less inflammatory light, will we?
    Just all looks like sweeping it under the carpet, nothing to see here, to me.

    Reply
  • Interesting snippet by the beeb.

    “Japan’s curious passion for the business novel…..”I found that writing about companies in Japan was a taboo. You can’t write the truth in the media,” he says…..”I found that there was no truth in factual stories. But in fiction, there was,” ….In one of his novels, he wrote about an accident at a nuclear power plant – three years before the meltdown at Fukushima…..So if you want to know what is really happening in the world of Japanese finance or industry, don’t just read the newspapers – pick up a novel…” *

    * http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35125739

    Reply
  • @ John K #8

    Excellent point.
    All the creaming and hoo-haa about the ‘Iraqi-born British’ architects stadium design coming in at over twice over-budget, and yet step bak from the stadium and look at the whole thing; SIX TIMES over budget! The stadium cost over-runs were very, very small potatoes compared to this, and yet, no outrage and backlash.

    Reply
  • Loverilakkuma says:

    I heard that the estimated budget for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has ballooned to 1.8 trillion yen at this point. Regarding the timeline and cot-inflation in the near future, the total spending will likely cost more than London 2012.

    Reply
  • I found this gem on the Mainichi:

    http://mainichi.jp/premier/business/articles/20151222/biz/00m/010/014000c

    The interviewee (Inaba) makes brilliant remarks like:
    “外国人の特徴” (a special characteristic of NJ; read: the whole world)
    “外国人の皆さんは連泊する” (all NJ stay for two nights or more)
    “外国人でも団体客の過ごし方は全然違います。着いた時から、もうロビーがその国になっちゃいますから。” (Even for NJ, group parties’ stay is totally different. From the time they arrive, the lobby already becomes their country.)
    “全館禁煙にしていても、入り口の外で友達同士誘い合ってたばこ吸って、そこにポイ捨てされちゃうとか。” (Even though the whole hotel is non-smoking, (the NJ guests) will invite all their friends over to smoke outside the entrance, then litter their cigarette butts on the ground.) And Japanese people…don’t do this? Has this moron literally never been to Tokyo in his entire life?

    Anyway, just thought this would be a great piece to reflect the Japanese hotel industry’s appreciation for their overseas clientele, as well as their very global mindset.

    外国人客急増で東京のホテルは料金も雰囲気も大変化

    2016年1月3日稲葉なおと / 紀行作家、一級建築士

    「秘蔵の宿」稲葉なおとさんに聞く(2)

     「街の文化漂う 秘蔵の宿」を連載している稲葉なおとさんのインタビューの第2回は、訪日外国人で予約が取りにくくなっていると言われるホテル業界の現状を伺います。【聞き手は今沢真・経済プレミア編集長、写真は亀井和真】

     −−訪日外国人客が急増して、東京、大阪はじめ大都市のホテルの予約が取りにくくなっていると聞きます。実感としてどうですか。

     ◆稲葉なおとさん その実感はあります。2、3年前はホテルに宿泊取材を申し込むと、「平日ならいつでも」という答えが返ってきましたが、いまは「できたら日曜日泊、月曜日泊限定で」との答えが返ってきます。

     −−平日も予約が取りにくくなっているということですね。

    訪日外国人の急増とホテル業界の現状について語る稲葉なおとさん
    訪日外国人の急増とホテル業界の現状について語る稲葉なおとさん
     ◆平日こそ、外国人の観光客で埋まっていきますから。連泊の人が多く、早めに押さえるというのも外国人の特徴です。日本人が泊まる場合は、休暇にしろビジネスにしろ、直前の予約が多い。今までは直前の方が料金が値下がりすることがありましたよね、「当日限り」とか「明日限定」で。そういうのはいま、なかなか出てこない。

    宿泊料は今後上昇する気配

     −−その状況で、宿泊料金は、上がっていますか?

     ◆今は、そんなに上がっている感じはしないです。ただ今は、インターネットで料金が設定されるので、金額がどんどん動くんですね。それで、値上げ・値下げが楽にできるという事情もあると思います。

     −−これからさらに上がりそうですか。

    大阪の繁華街に建つ「クロスホテル大阪」
     ◆そうですね。例えば東京や大阪のホテルの宿泊料は、もともとニューヨークやロンドンに比べて安い感じはしていました。外国の友人にも「東京や大阪のホテルは安いね」って言われます。それが円安で、さらにお値打ち感が出ています。そうしたこともあって外国人客が増えているんだろうと思いますが、これから上がる感じはあります。

     −−日本人が国内旅行しようとすると、お金が今まで以上にかかることになりかねませんね。

     ◆そうだと思います。海外も高いし、国内も高い。そうすると何を削るかというと交通費になってくる。東京在住の人たちが休暇で海外にも国内旅行にも行かず、東京のホテルに泊まってゆっくり過ごすという、それが一つのスタイルになってきている気がします。

    外国人客でも個人と団体とでは過ごし方が違う

     −−外国人客の急増で、ホテルのサービスの部分では、どんな影響が?

     ◆僕自身は外国人の団体客を受け入れているホテルには泊まらないようにしています。「秘蔵の宿」の連載でも、そうしたホテルは避けているつもりです。外国人でも団体客の過ごし方は全然違います。着いた時から、もうロビーがその国になっちゃいますから。

     全館禁煙にしていても、入り口の外で友達同士誘い合ってたばこ吸って、そこにポイ捨てされちゃうとか。

     −−そういうマナーの向上は、ホテル側に気をつけてほしいと思いますが……。

     ◆そうですね、例えば、海上のホテル、豪華客船では、お客さんの層が船全体のイメージを決定づけるということに気を配っています。イメージづくりに成功している船は、旅行代理店を特定して、そこでお客さんを選別し、申し込み時点で指導する。「この船はこういう船ですから、こういうふうに過ごしてください」と。

    ホテルに着いてから「マナーを守って」では遅い

    外国人客の荷造りを手伝う「ファミリーイン西向」の原周平さん(奥)。マナー違反客には毅然(きぜん)と対応しているという
     海外に代理店を作っているホテルチェーンもあります。その代理店で日本のマナーを教えてもらうのも大事ですね。ホテルに着いてしまったお客さんを、スタッフはなかなか指導できないようですから。例えば、12月に紹介した「ファミリーイン西向」は、マナーをきちんと指導しています。ただ、そういう宿はごく少数ではないですか? 残念なのですが。日本人的なマナーを守ることができるお客さんをつかむか、わかってもらう人たちに来てもらう。そんな方針を語る支配人もいました。

     −−大都市のホテルは外国人客の増加で稼働率が相当上がっているようですが、地方都市のホテルはどうなんでしょう。

     ◆あまり聞かないですね。東京、大阪、京都、あとは福岡でしょうか。仙台、札幌でも外国人は増えていますけれども、東京、大阪の比ではない。外国人の皆さんは連泊するので、東京で5泊したら、札幌での連泊はなかなか組めない。例えば東京4泊、京都で3泊、大阪3泊なら、それで10泊になって、それ以上の宿泊はなかなか組めないんでしょうね。

     <「秘蔵の宿」稲葉なおとさんに聞く(3)「『余裕のあるスタッフとサービス』でホテルを選びたい」は、1月5日に掲載します>

    【経済プレミア・トップページはこちら】

    【稲葉なおとさんの連載「街の文化漂う 秘蔵の宿」】

    稲葉なおと
    紀行作家、一級建築士
    1959年、東京都生まれ。東京工業大学建築学科卒。世界の名建築ホテルを題材に旅行記、小説、児童文学、写真集を発表。第10回JTB紀行文学大賞奨励賞受賞。社交ダンスを題材にした長編小説をダンス雑誌「ダンスビュウ」に連載中。主な著書に「匠たちの名旅館」、「0マイル」、「サラの翼」など。公式サイトでお勧めホテル、名建築の写真を多数公開中。http://www.naotoinaba.com (顔写真の撮影は寺崎誠三さん)

    Reply
  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ HJ, #11

    Interesting article!
    I ‘like’ this part;

    “外国人でも団体客の過ごし方は全然違います。着いた時から、もうロビーがその国になっちゃいますから。” (Even for NJ, group parties’ stay is totally different. From the time they arrive, the lobby already becomes their country.)

    This is a common mindset in Japan; seeing ‘gaijin’ in Japan makes Japan less ‘Japan’.
    It’s a reflection of massive insecurity that Japanese feel about their national identity. And I would propose that the Japanese feel so insecure in their sense of Japanese identity because;
    i) it is based on an over simplistic ethnic nationalism based on imperial era racism that cannot be spoken of out loud due to its internationally offensive nature, thus this lack of open and frank discussion in Japan about Japanese racism based national identity means that most Japanese aren’t able to verbalize their ‘understanding’ of national identity, hence all the ‘because this is Japan’ conversation stoppers. And,

    ii) the above is an intentional effort by the right-wing and post war Japanese governments to deliberately confuse and misinform the Japanese people as a means of dusempowering and subverting them; the Japanese are trapped in outdated and illogical concepts of national identity. This prevents them from creating a civic society that demands political change (ensuring the survival of wartime political elites and ideas). This works to subvert any notion of individuality by reinforcing ‘Japaneseness’ as the ‘ultimate’ identity.

    As a result of this, the Japanese have an unsophisticated and facile sense of national identity that is unable to cope with any external influences; the mere presence of NJ is an ‘attack’ on Japaneseness. This was precisely the thing that facilitated the mentality behind Japan’s WW2 and its war crimes. It’s a mentality that permitted war crime committing Japanese to see themselves as victims.

    Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ John K #14

    Yeah, I saw that on the BBC and thought it was such a bizarre story to run!
    It’s typical of the BBC’s recent pro-Japan, pro-Abe stance.

    For the record, I absolutely believe that fathers should take their full paternity leave entitlement.

    However, the BBC frames this story with little of the contradictory context of Japan’s reality;

    Abe is supporting an LDP lawmaker who wants his paternity leave (as well he should, and Abe should support him on this).
    But where is is the law with penalties for companies that punish men for taking paternity leave? There isn’t one, because of ‘Japan’s unique culture’, even though it’s well within ‘constitution-buster’ Abe’s appropriated power to do so!
    In fact, where is the law with teeth that prevents companies for trying to force out or even firing women for getting pregnant and wanting maternity leave? Abe hasn’t done anything about that.

    This article has been carefully worded to make the LDP and Abe look like such social egalitarians that the reader would be left with the opinion that women enjoy their rights fully, and that the DPJ is mounting a backlash against men who do the same (shame on those stuck in the past DPJ guys!).

    Totally bizarre article that deliberately paints a totally inaccurate portrait of Abe, the LDP, and Japanese social attitudes and climate towards human rights.

    Shame on the BBC.

    Reply

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