Saitama Pref. Kawaguchi City Assemblyman Noguchi Hiroaki (LDP): “We have more foreigners registered than dogs,” querying about potential NJ tax dodgers

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Hi Blog. Lots of people have sent me this one. Comment follows articles:

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Saitama assemblyman apologizes for remark about number of registered dogs, foreigners
The Japan Times, DEC 13, 2015, courtesy of JK and JDG
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/12/13/national/saitama-assemblyman-apologizes-remark-number-registered-dogs-foreigners/

A 58-year-old official in the city of Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture, has pointed out that the city’s non-Japanese population is larger than the number of registered dogs. He later withdrew the remark after coming under criticism from other assembly members, according to local media reports.

Hiroaki Noguchi, a Liberal Democratic Party assemblyman, made the remark at an assembly session Wednesday when he was asking questions about the number of foreign residents who had failed to pay their taxes, the daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

After receiving complaints from some assembly members that his remark was inappropriate, Noguchi reportedly apologized, saying he only wanted to illustrate that the number of foreigners living in the city is on the rise. He said he did not mean to discriminate against them, but agreed that the remark was misleading.

He told assembly Chairman Kazunari Inagawa on Thursday that he wished to withdraw the remark, the report said.

On Friday, Inagawa reprimanded Noguchi and decided to delete the remark from assembly minutes and video records, according to the report.

According to the local daily Saitama Shimbun, Noguchi said Wednesday the number of foreign people in the city is increasing, pointing out that the number of dogs registered at the city is 26,000 while the number of foreign residents totals 27,000.

Inagawa told Saitama Shimbun that the remark could be regarded as being discriminatory, adding he believes it is similar to the “Japanese only” banner put up at Saitama Stadium by supporters of Urawa Reds soccer team last year.
ENDS

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外国人市民「犬より多い」 市議発言、議事録から削除
朝日新聞デジタル 12月12日(土)22時44分配信
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20151212-00000044-asahi-pol
Courtesy of BM and TB

開会中の埼玉県川口市議会で、野口宏明議員(自民)の一般質問に、外国人市民の増加を犬の登録数と比較した差別的な発言があったとして、議会が議事録とネット配信用動画から一部削除する手続きをとったことが12日わかった。

発言があったのは9日の国民健康保険の外国人加入者に関する質問。野口氏は「市内の犬の登録数は今年9月末に2万6399頭。外国人は同時期に2万7028人と、もうすでに外国人のほうが多くなっている」と述べた。

発言の冒頭に「例えは悪いが」と断りを入れたが、「不適切だ」とその日のうちに複数の会派から議長に申し入れがあり、議長が野口氏から事情を聴くなどしていた。この問題は11日の各会派代表者連絡会議で協議した結果、「外国人への差別、侮辱と受け取られかねない発言だった」と結論づけ、犬の登録数との比較部分の削除を決めた。

野口氏は、取材に「誤解を招きかねない表現だった」と話している。(伊藤典俊)

朝日新聞社

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COMMENT:  I suspect a slow news day.  These sorts of things usually don’t attract this much attention (because they’re so normalized in Japan), and implicit suspicions of NJ as people criminally indisposed to taking advantage of the system (unlike those “stereotypical law-abiding Japanese”; yet there are whole movies out there about the art of tax dodging done by Japanese — it’s normalized to the level of parody).  I’m also pleased that the comment was retracted (they often are not, especially if the person is very powerful), although I doubt there will be any sanction against this person for implicitly putting NJ residents at the level of dogs.  I’m also pleased that there has been a connection made between the “Japanese Only” exclusions at Saitama Stadium and this event (perhaps this is why there was a peg for the issue in the local media) — although a racist tweet by a Urawa Reds supporter last month resulted in no punishments either — mere deletion of the comment.

So all-in-all, mixed feelings.  This kind of comment cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged because it demonstrates the unconscious dehumanization of NJ by Japan’s registry systems (see more on that in my book EMBEDDED RACISM pp. 219-222), where until 2012 animals and fictional characters could be registered as “residents” but not foreign resident taxpayers. And that’s before we get to the explicit attribution of tax dodging to NJ. But all that resulted from this case was that the comment was deleted from the records, and all will continue as before, soon forgotten without recorded reprisal against the xenophobe.  Meaning there is nothing to preempt some other official saying something as thoughtlessly dehumanizing as this.  Clearly, more structural sanction is necessary.  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

PS:  I found this comment up at the JT amusing: “GIJPeople like this guy Noguchi are the ones who lend credibility to the activities of somewhat over the top social justice warriors like Debito. There is no filter, no restraining mechanism of any kind it seems, for LDP politicians in particular.” Well, yeah.

Here are Noguchi’s deets:

noguchihiroakihomepage

Courtesy of http://www.h-noguchi.jp

 

kawaguchinoguchihiroakiinfosite

Courtesy http://kawaguchi.gsl-service.net/meibo/2015051600176/

30 comments on “Saitama Pref. Kawaguchi City Assemblyman Noguchi Hiroaki (LDP): “We have more foreigners registered than dogs,” querying about potential NJ tax dodgers

  • I’m sorry, but as a foreigner living in Kawaguchi I don’t see anything wrong with what he is saying. It’s not comparing dogs to foreigners, it’s comparing numbers. Is it offensive to say there are more bears than Japanese in Hokkaido? It’s true Kawaguchi has more foreigners than Registered dogs. We have a lot of dogs too, so I think it’s a fair illustration of just how many foreigners are residents here. I think the tax dodging issue comes from the amount of Kurdish asylum seekers who have been here for decades albeit not so legally, but that is a bigger more underlying issue than just not enrolling in national healthcare or paying taxes.

  • So Stacy, Are you lower or on the same level as a dog ??? C’mon – Can you imagine if someone said this back in a western Country ??
    Its also disgusting that you put yourself on the level of a dog

  • Why do so many foreigners live in such a place? Is it a factory town? Foreigners who are feeling the economic pinch and forced to work in Saitama?Desperate people do desperate things.

  • I disagree with Stacy because a person especially in his postion should not be using a referance about dogs and NJ since they are completely unrelated but in his mind they are related and the disgusting thing is that this kind of opinion is completely normal here. He is speaking his mind with his racist remark and it should be retracted and he should be severely sanctioned.

  • Companies are technically obligated to withhold residence taxes from your paycheck – this applies to basically everyone with very few exceptions. Some companies will try and tell you that they only do it for seishain – they are obligated to do it for everyone.

    If you go to the tax office and complain about this, they’ll tell you that you should just pay your taxes and won’t contact your work to force them to pay (ironic for a place with signs and pamphlets about how companies are obligated to withhold residence taxes).

    If anyone is really concerned about people living in Japan not paying taxes, they might want to simply go after the companies that enable them.

  • Claude,
    Kawaguchi is next to Tokyo.
    It is cheaper to live there.
    Many people live in Saitama tosave money on rent.

    What this person could have said is that there are more foreigners in Kawaguchi than mafia members.
    Kawaguchi is known for organized crime.

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    #1, “Kurdish asylum seekers who have been here for decades albeit not so legally, but that is a bigger more underlying issue than just not enrolling in national healthcare or paying taxes.”

    That’s ridiculous. In Japan, number of asylum seekers is way much smaller than a total number of foreigners–including visitors and residents. Most asylum seekers are subject to detention while their application and background check are in process. The immigration authority sends them directly back to the security at the airport to boot them out of the country for good, if the application is rejected. How many asylum seekers do you think are allowed to stay freely without authority’s scrutiny?

    Do you really even know that refugees represent less than 1% of all registered foreigners?

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    I’m pretty sure he will live long in a sanitized environment of Japanese political circus as long as the city assembly considers public deliberation as a dog & pony show.

  • For years living in Japan, I saw how Japanese in general treated my old Italian Yorkshire Terrier much better then me for health care.
    I had the feeling that Japanese consider dogs (even foreigners) much more than gaijin; now thanks to Hiroaki Noguchi, a Liberal Democratic Party assemblyman, I do understand that I was right.

  • Well, i must say, i don’t see why everyone is (it seems) is having a go at Stacy #1.

    The chief of the metropolitan police in London, in the 1990s, made a statement that most of the crime committed in London was by black people. To cut a long story short, he was forced to leave his position. Yet the facts, not the emotive and subjective inferences, the facts were correct. He produced, in his defence before being ostracised, factual hard evidence of crime what was reported how much and ethnicity etc etc. It was unequivocal. Yet for reporting a FACT he was pushed to one side.

    Before people start jumping down others throats, one must distinguish between facts and inferences of facts. Otherwise those that do are as bad as the “thought police” of the whole J nation. One may make supposition and inferences from such, but they shall be subjective and not objective, and stated as such rather than assume any higher ground, as none exists.

    Thus is it factually correct what he said…it appears so, yes.

    Once possible subjective inferences were pointed out to him..he apologised. The nature and behaviour of his actions is the issue, not the facts!

    — Then why was the factual quote deleted? (Is there no possibility of stating “facts” without racialized linkage? Even the case you cite above is in danger of inferring that most London crime is committed by black people BECAUSE they are black people.) It’s hard to get around the context that the “fact” was brought in under the context of questioning NJ residents willingness to pay taxes. Let’s keep the conversation on track.

  • D.A.D.
    “.. Let’s keep the conversation on track..”

    Well that’s the point isn’t..what is track per se then?

    It is not the number of dogs v foreigners. It is the actions of the politician and the fact that such remarks have been removed. That is the real issue.

    “..Is there no possibility of stating “facts” without racialized linkage?..”
    That depends upon the listeners’ motivation and subjective thoughts on the matter. Facts are facts, interpretation of facts without supporting evidence is subjective speculation. The two are entirely separate issues.

    — The track is, as I wrote in my blog post, is: “This kind of comment cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged because it demonstrates the unconscious dehumanization of NJ by Japan’s registry systems (see more on that in my book EMBEDDED RACISM pp. 219-222), where until 2012 animals and fictional characters could be registered as “residents” but not foreign resident taxpayers. And that’s before we get to the explicit attribution of tax dodging to NJ. But all that resulted from this case was that the comment was deleted from the records, and all will continue as before, soon forgotten without recorded reprisal against the xenophobe. Meaning there is nothing to preempt some other official saying something as thoughtlessly dehumanizing as this. Clearly, more structural sanction is necessary.”

    We are getting off track by claiming that this outburst is factual therefore it is permissible. However, the context makes this “fact” inappropriate to express, so if you don’t know why commenters are being critical of Stacy, the reason is that Stacy’s assertion has gotten the topic off track. Nowhere in Stacy’s comment are the arguments I raised dealt with. And by bringing in once again the putative factual accuracy of the comment in the first place (without evidence that any Kurdish asylum seekers were involved), we are getting further off track.

  • @ John K #12

    I normally agree with you about a lot of stuff. But I think that Stacy was rationalizing what this guy said, and attempting to presume to be able to explain what his meaning was (which is why I called her an apologist).

    Maybe she is right, and this is some old geezer who has a poor command of his own language, and isn’t aware of the inferences in what he says because of the generation gap and he was simply trying to talk numbers? Then just talk numbers.

    There is no need for any comparison to numbers of dogs, how does it help anyone understand the size of the NJ population better than simple numbers?
    And Stacy shouldn’t be doing the ‘what he meant was’ routine, because Stacy doesn’t know what his true intended meaning was.

    It is precisely because Japan has a problem of politicians and people in power discriminating against NJ that public officials should know that what they say could cause offense, and that people are listening, and stick to facts instead of clever comments comparing the NJ population to domesticated animals in any way shape or form.

    Shoe on the other foot test; if a politician in Hawaii said ‘There are more Japanese here than dogs’, would that be ok? No. The Japanese would scream racism until their heads popped!

  • D.A.D

    Facts are always inappropriate to express if a person does not like the context. That is where differing opinions arise….as noted in politicians on the other side of the pond.
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/12/10/3729732/ted-cruz-and-science-have-a-rocky-relationship/
    Denying facts does not make it any less of a fact!

    However, if you thoughts Stacy’s last sentence into the Kurds was inappropriate and a deviation, then why not flag it, as you did mine above?

    The newspaper article in the JT should also have been brought into question for not providing editorial feedback on such events going unchallenged. That of wiping away official comments made by the politician….. never to be read again!

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    @John K, #13

    Presenting statistics of registered foreigners based on preserved record as fact is one thing. Contrasting this with the numbers of registered non-human subjects is quite another. Comparing and contrasting these two goes beyond the realm of stating the fact by revealing one’s attitude to denigrate the target human subject being discussed, in this case, registered foreigners. It’s kind of argumentation a notorious conservative SCOTUS judge Antonin Scalia likes to use in his court opinion.

    In this case, one commenter has got caught for deliberate distraction of the focus through fallacious argument.

  • @John K. #12&13

    The example from London you cited only further serves to illustrate the point. Stacy (#1) also makes the case that facts are facts, and while that is true, one cannot simply deny the implications of a comparison. That is the linguistic function of a comparison; to relate two things. If someone simply stated, “X number of non-citizen residents are registered here,” that would indicate the foreign populace without drawing anyones ire. If the objective was to simply present information, why the need for a comparison? Similarly, if the objective of the chief of London police’s statement was to elicit inquiry into the source of crime or how to go about preventing it, why the unnecessary reference to the racial make-up of criminals? If you seriously believe crime and race are directly related, then that would most certainly qualify you as a racist. (Did the police chief in question relate criminality to any actually relevant factors, like, say, poverty or undertreated mental illness? I suspect not.)

    Let’s use an analogy taken to an extreme to illustrate the point: “The venue was filled with native Africans, whose skin color was as black as sin.” This is yet another analogy that clearly makes a negative association about people.

    You can’t disregard the implications of a comparison by hiding behind its objectively factual basis. We employ comparisons in language specifically to connect two things. Ignoring that is, frankly, intellectually dishonest.

  • JDG #14

    “..And Stacy shouldn’t be doing the ‘what he meant was’ routine, because Stacy doesn’t know what his true intended meaning was…”

    And therein lies the rub.

    No body does. We can all form our own opinions and comments but in the absence of any evidence one way or another, it is all speculative.

    Lover…ma #16

    “..Contrasting this with the numbers of registered non-human subjects is quite another…”

    Agreed. But that is a different subjective position, based upon the listeners’ view of the juxtaposition alone.

    HJ#17

    “…the case that facts are facts, and while that is true, one cannot simply deny the implications of a comparison…”

    Agreed. See above.

    “..If the objective was to simply present information, why the need for a comparison?..”

    Again, one would have to ask directly the person, for such. Since otherwise, it is mere speculation as to why.

    “… if the objective of the chief of London police’s statement was to elicit inquiry into the source of crime or how to go about preventing it, why the unnecessary reference to the racial make-up of criminals? ..”

    Firstly, there is the subjective “ if “ again.
    Secondly, what is the point of breaking down records into groups then? Since all you are doing is what the J Police do in their stats, clump everything together as one, rather than separate into individual sets to establish patterns/trends, based upon facts. That is the purpose of statistics. Interpretation..is for social scientist et al to debate as to the why’s, objectively.

    It seems many are misunderstanding a fact and a supposition, their own, based upon a fact, and thus how J society really works.

    Simple example.

    I am in a supermarket with two friends, A and B. I point out, look a jar of peanut butter.
    Friend A says “yuukkk..i hate peanut butter”
    Friend B says “Oh yumm, I love peanut butter”

    Which friend is right?..the fact is..it is peanut butter, yes it is…however, the replies from friend A and B, is their subjective opinion of their own thoughts/views of peanut butter.

    Thus where is the evidence that friend A is correct?..there is none., similarly for friend B.

    And this is the point of what the politician did. Without any evidence of a cover-up to remove the original comments the standard J reply is..where is the evidence? And that was the objective of the politician Hiroaki Noguchi. Once his remarks are removed, he can then say..where is the evidence of what you are “suggesting”…?!

    Then, having a whole country stating where is the evidence, and that is Japan. If a whole country is saying, where is the evidence, and you are the lone dissenting voice, numbers win hands down! Since why is there such a reluctance to record and document anything that points to a decision by “someone”…re: Olympus, Panasonic et al. It is how J society works…keep it all grey not black and white. In the absence of any evidence, hard black and white evidence, it comes down to hearsay and subjective speculation and opinion.

    Thus, all you are doing is falling into their trap as they know there is little or no evidence and therefore easy to paint ‘you’ as ranting and biased etc, since it can only be your biased subjective opinion.

    Since to compare numbers A with numbers B is factual. The implications of said, are purely subjective, no different to friend A or B with regards to peanut butter, it is a differing point of view, based upon their own subjective likes/dislikes. The “weight of numbers” suggest (to them) that their point of view is factual and not implying anything and is the “correct” view.

    So
    “..You can’t disregard the implications of a comparison by hiding behind its objectively factual basis…”

    As the J would say..what implications? Since, the corollary is that there is no evidence to suggest that their position is non-inflammatory, but, again, the weight of numbers drowns out any dissenting voice as ranting and crazy.

    Therefore, all one can do is establish patterns and trends, based upon behaviour, as this is equally valid as hard evidence. As it tends to destroy credibility just as with the article I posted in #15 of Ted Cruz.

    I assumed those living in Japan for some period of time, would have grasped this by now. The greyer the better in Japan, as it maintains the image and harmony and no one can point an accusing finger and those that do…can easily be labelled as..well..take your pick.

  • So when asked a question regarding tax evasion a politician replies indirectly blaming the 4.5% of residents who are foreign. (Wikipedia gives population as 592,602) This leads me to one of two conclusions.

    1. He is complicit in tax evasion, he didn’t want to answer the question and blaming foreigners is easy as they have no influence. The fact that the ‘record’ has been expunged must be seen as an added bonus no one will remember the question.
    or
    2. Those registered as foreigners in Kawaguchi are exceptionally well paid to have such an effect.

  • People are losing sight of the big picture. Foreigners make up a tiny percentage of the population of Japan, and the very few of them who are evading tax on their (almost surely relatively small) sallaries are an even smaller percentage.

    The Japanese and Japanese corporations who evade tax and welch off public assistance are a much greater problem to society.

    But foreigners are an easier target – complain about them; it’s the best way for a politician to garner support.

  • @ John K #18

    I’m not really sure what your point is.

    The guy compared NJ to dogs. I’m offended, a lot of other people are offended. They took action because the realize how inflammatory his comment was.
    Stacey isn’t offended, because she doesn’t mind being compared to a dog. I take a dim personal view of her low self-esteem, but she is entitled to her opinion.
    But attempting to explain away this guys comment without knowing him or having been there is apologism.

    Again, if the guy was only trying to talk about numbers, then he should have talked about numbers, and not tried to have been clever about dogs.

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    @John K, #18

    Please note that you are further digressing from the topic by walking us through your pedantic explanation of what is factual/subjective argument to prove valid point in Noguchi’s statement. You give Ted Cruz’s fallacious argument on global climate change as an example, but I have to say contrasting this with Noguchi’s remark is misleading. There is a difference in the context between the two: Ted Cruz taunts scientists with his dismissive attitude on their concern as a hoax(or conspiracy theory) while Noguchi is accusing registered foreigners of creating or contributing to city’s emerging problem for cheating taxes. The former is made out of Argumentum ad ignorantiam upon global climate change driven from scientific findings while the latter is false analogy with unsubstantiated evidence.

    Noguchi’s allegation that “the number of dogs registered at the city is 26,000 while the number of foreign residents totals 27,000” does not pass the test for validity of evidence. Where does this come from? The article doesn’t provide any source at all.

    Even though his allegation that there are more registered foreigners than registered dogs in Kawaguchi City is true, it leaves another question on registered foreigners in relation to city’s challenge. How much money does Kawaguchi City lose due to tax cheating, and how many local residents get caught for that annually? And how many of those being caught turn out to be registered foreigners?? Noguchi’s allegation answers none of these questions at all. Having said that, his allegation doesn’t hold as much credibility as some dissenters believe. It’s just silly for one to make an analogy between the two based on the statistics to state how bad registered foreigners are creating the city’s problem, if city’s concern over registered dogs(i.e., abandonment, abuse, public cleanliness) remains minimum—if not trivial.

    Stacy’s comment on Kurdish refugees invites criticism–including mine — for the same reason. He/she makes his own viewpoint(although I don’t see itself as problem) by literally taking Noguchi’s allegation for it.

    Here’s my point. It’s easy for some people to dismiss the talking point as listener’s “selective viewpoint,” or minority of opinion. But such detached attitude that attempts to trivialize or minimize the critical issue is exactly what really needs to be scrutinized in the first place. Just showing stats and numbers alone does not make one’s argument credible, since statistics tend to be used and abused for manipulation of facts without proper verification. Noguchi, Shintaro Ishihara, Takeo Hiranuma, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Donald Trump or anyone in the powers-that-be including billionaire philanthropists, corporate hedge-fund managers, political think-tanks, and reformers can present whatever viewpoints they want to make people believe as fact–and their narratives work in many ways — even though many of those lack significant credibility.

  • I lived in Kawaguchi and it has attracted a lot of NJs due to relative convenience, lower rent, and a lot of housing that is government sponsored with no key money (i.e. not rented at the whims of a private owner who might refuse NJ).
    As I have said before, despite these “progressive” aspects, the society of Kawaguchi at the grassroots doe not seem particularly NJ friendly, as there were
    1. noisy, in your face, anti NJ local vote protests in front of the station a few years back
    and
    2. Kawaguchi City Hall absolutely refuses to allow NJs to submit tax returns on line although the law and online guideline in Japanese says you can (if you are Japanese?). Just the example of blatant discrimination I experienced.

    I think Noguchi is appealing to his demographic, and Kawaguchi has an undercurrent of unease about the rising number of NJ residents, especially Chinese who work in Nishi Kawaguchi.

  • JDG#21
    “But attempting to explain away this guys comment without knowing him or having been there is apologism….”

    By making such a statement you are no better than those you are accusing, simply because they disagree with your point of view or one cannot find evidence to the contrary. That is a cheap shot i would expect of someone lesser than you.

    Loverilakkuma#22

    “Noguchi, Shintaro Ishihara, Takeo Hiranuma, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Donald Trump or anyone in the powers-that-be including billionaire philanthropists, corporate hedge-fund managers, political think-tanks, and reformers can present whatever viewpoints they want to make people believe as fact–and their narratives work in many ways …”

    “ But such detached attitude that attempts to trivialize or minimize the critical issue…”

    So, how can Noguchi et al present their view points and not be acceptable, yet you are presenting you view point – that of trivialising the issue – and it is acceptable? Why does your point of view trump theirs..?

    What is very clear here is that none of you are scientist/engineers. I am one of the few in Japan that does not teach English. My work is in science/engineering and the only things that matter are facts and evidence, no place for emotions and polemics. Everything else is subjective and speculative. Nothing wrong since speculation can lead to evidence with research, but unless such speculation and inferences are proven it is just that speculative and inference. And the usual my dog is bigger than your dog argument.

    It is also clear many of you have ‘assumed’ my position on the matter, simply by my responses. Again wholly incorrect. But why let facts get in the way of a narrative.

    If any of you wish to make whole sale change in Japan none of you seem to have grasped that expressing offence or any other adjective you wish to explain your thoughts/emotions is simply a lot of wasted hot air – unless sitting around a camp fire with a guitar cum-bay-ya m’lud. The only way is by highlighting a clear and consistent behavioural and response pattern. Since such ‘evidence’ is extremely hard to come by in Japan. Debito gets it, which is why it has taken him so long to get to where he has today, by painstaking gathering of such rarely document events and behavioural patterns. Merely stating “I am shocked and offended” does not affect changes in the law; it takes a great deal more than that. Having gone through a court case myself, I can confirm that.

    So rather than throwing away easy/cheap shots at those that you accuse of not understanding your point of view as you appear somewhat chagrined by it, why not do as Debito has done, establish patterns of behaviour as de-facto evidence of those that are causing such offence, like Noguchi.

    Since the issue is this

    “…After receiving complaints from some assembly members that his remark was inappropriate, Noguchi reportedly apologized, saying he only wanted to illustrate that the number of foreigners living in the city is on the rise. He said he did not mean to discriminate against them, but agreed that the remark was misleading…”

    Politicians all over the world make stupid and sometimes racists remarks, some just once some many times. Nothing unique to Japan in that, but, is there a clear pattern of such by Noguchi…?

    However, what I find worse is that if those assembly members were so ‘offended’ by his comments, why have they agreed to strike the remarks from the record permanently? This points to Chairman Inagawa being as complicit as Noguchi. Thus, what was the real criticism and who raised it? Does any one know..?? Since if there was such overwhelming offence, for said actions to be taken, the record of what was said and by whom must remain as evidence. And there it is again…back to the grey murky world of Japan.

  • @ John K,briefly ” none of you are scientist/engineers. I am one of the few in Japan that does not teach English. My work is in science/engineering and the only things that matter are facts and evidence, no place for emotions and polemics. Everything else is subjective and speculative.”

    you may enjoy reading https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200811/common-misconceptions-about-science-i-scientific-proof

    Merry Xmas!

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    John K, #24

    Now I can see your defensive attitude in your response.

    >”So, how can Noguchi et al present their view points and not be acceptable,…”

    Did you even read my post? I’m not saying that “their viewpoints are not acceptable” because of who they are. I am saying that many of those tend to make their viewpoints hardly acceptable to the public because of their poor argumentation(i.e., wrong use of statistics, ad hominem, false analogy, non-sequitur), but their opinions are quite influential to the general public–despite the flaws. That’s because many of those have privilege of being majority group of race/ethnicity, exclusively higher social status, and connections with wealthy philanthropists, private organizations, patrons, corporate media, etc. I was a bit surprised you do not seem to acknowledge this.

    Also, you assume that factual argument does not lead one to provide her/his distinctive viewpoint. Sorry, I respectfully disagree.

    Noguchi is not vicious, anti-feminist GOP candidate like Donald Trump. But he paints himself into a corner because of his dumb argument. It makes us wonder if he is saying that 1) trend of registered foreigners is becoming an increasing concern–because of its numbers outpacing dogs(so we must impose additional security measures in local community!), or 2) public concern is minimal and there’s nothing to worry about (No big deal. Let’s just keep our eyes on them softly just like we take care of pets.) because it’s just slightly higher than dogs. Either way, it’s obvious Noguchi reveals his intent to attribute city’s problem (no matter what and how serious it is) to registered foreigners—without knowing how poorly it is executed.

    — I’m about to draw this thread to a close. One more comment from each person who has commented on this issue so far, and then that’ll do. Thanks.

  • D.A.D
    “One more comment from each person who has commented..”
    Thanks.

    Loverilakkuma#26

    “Now I can see your defensive attitude in your response….”

    Oh dear, there we go again. Your personal supposition that my comments are ‘defensive”….so where is the evidence, there is none. This is your problem. You have decided upon a meaning which is not supported anywhere simply because it supports your own views what you “think” is being said rather than what is actually being said, whether you can comprehended it or not. As I place on all my technical documents and drawings – if in doubt, ask. Thus, supposition not facts again. Great anyone can surmise, but please, if you wish to debate do not put words into others mouths to suit your narrative view, just ask for clarification first.

    “ I am saying that many of those tend to make their viewpoints hardly acceptable to the public because of their poor argumentation…”

    Please show a politician that does not??…it is what politicians do, not just in Japan, but everywhere!!.

    “..but their opinions are quite influential to the general public–despite the flaws..”
    Agreed. But that is why they are politicians, they wish to be heard publically. Or are you saying you’re are somewhat chagrined because no one is publically is listening to your view, thus it is non-influential?

    “That’s because many of those have privilege of being majority group of race/ethnicity, exclusively higher social status, and connections with wealthy philanthropists, private organizations, patrons, corporate media, etc. I was a bit surprised you do not seem to acknowledge this…”

    Please state where this has even been brought up, other than by you just now? You’re changing the narrative again. What has this got to do with his record of what was said by Noguchi being expunged and done so by the chairman?

    “Also, you assume that factual argument does not lead one to provide her/his distinctive viewpoint. Sorry, I respectfully disagree…”

    Nope, missed the point again. Anyone can draw views based upon facts; that is what Ted Cruz is doing. He is taking facts/evidence to support his ‘distinctive view point’. But has been exposed as being selective and woefully incorrect. Views are formed based upon many many facts gathered, it is a pattern as such. But do not equate a viewpoint to that of a known fact. It is still supposition, until proven. In the absence of any evidence it is still just a distinctive point of view. Just ask Ted Cruz!

    “ But he paints himself into a corner because of his dumb argument…”

    Again, show me a politician that does not.

    “It makes us wonder if he is saying that …”
    And that is the whole point. The “if” and “I wonder” again. It is purely speculative and supposition. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that – it is what most posters do on this website and everyone else down the pub talking about XX or YY. But if one is going to merely surmise, then one cannot criticise others for doing the same (just with a differing point of view) in the absence of any supporting evidenced by either party. Otherwise you are going down the Japanese weight of numbers trap = facts. Seems you are unable to understand this simple concept.

    Just go into any democratically elected government gathering in their parliament/congress et al, around the world and you’ll hear endless debate and disagreements and with differing points of views all based upon the known facts at the time…so..who is right there then? He who shouts loudest?

  • My final comment is that I resent the snobbery of the inference that scientists and engineers are better equipped to understand social sciences.
    I got my PhD. in cultural anthropology, so I feel that I do know what I’m talking about (as opposed to being say ‘an English teacher’, although I don’t particularly see anything about English teachers that inherently invalidates their opinions either).

    The fallacy that scientists and engineers somehow have ‘better’ reasoning abilities is a current failing of the Abe administrations education policy.

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    @John K, #27

    Sorry, John K. I have to agree with JDG on this. I hate to say this, but your supposition does not seem to meet the point. Especially, I am getting bothered with your remark “none of you are scientist/engineers.” I find your snobbery with cynical and accusatory tone on us.

    Again, just because he/she gives rough numbers–or stating the fact(no matter how accurate and true it is) alone does not make one’s argument persuasive. The factual-statement does not exist without context. Someone’s saying, “Oh, this is just the fact” is actually an argument–not a mere statement of fact. If you bring it in a heat of debate, you put yourself in a position to agree/oppose to other’s point. Scientists and engineers don’t just establish the facts–they also defend, refute, extend, and refine their own specific position(s) through continuous observation on natural phenomenon.

    I made it very clear about Noguchi’s poor argumentation through elaboration on its structural flaw–i.e., false analogy, non-sequitur, misplacement of stats(or what you consider as fact). Ask yourself again. Does his use of stats alone put him in a better position? This has nothing to do with people’s emotional response to foreigner-dog analogy. It’s strategically problematic because he fails to provide any evidence on the city’s issue with number of registered dogs. If you don’t have any problem with animals in the city, then what’s the point in making statistics comparison to address the concern with registered foreigner?

    These are based on scientific analysis–not based on emotional ones. You chose to dismiss them as supposition or one’s viewpoint because in your view they don’t meet your standard of science. Well, what can I say? The bottom line is your definition of fact/reasoning/statement is fundamentally different from mine. I have a degree in communication and I know pretty much what the issue is all about. Yet, I don’t see why English teacher reference is appeared in contrast to science/engineer on this issue. Does it really matter? I don’t think so.

    To me, it sounds like more than STEM’s intellectual snobbery and anti-liberal/social science bias. Kind of snobbery and fallacy argument I see in pro-reformers supporting Thomas Chetty’s bogus VAM(Value Added Measurement) to quantify learning and academic achievement under the name of economic growth. It’s all about cost-cutting and obscene profit-making on poverty. And, sadly, Japan seems to be following that similar path.

    Anyway, I’m done.

    — Okay, this thread is closed.

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