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Hi Blog. Turning the keyboard over to Debito.org Reader HJ, who translates and comments:
Found this rubbish on Mainichi:
ビラで防止訴え 赤羽署など ／東京
Translation (my own):
ILLEGAL EMPLOYMENT OF FOREIGNERS
Demanding Prevention with Handbills
Mainichi Shinbun, December 8, 2015
Hoping to prevent illegal employment of foreigners and illegal foreign residency, on December 7th the Akabane police department held a flyer-distribution campaign around JR Akabane station, distributing handbills, which urge the proper hiring of foreigners, to restaurant owners and area residents.
Other than police officials, city officials and Tokyo immigration bureau officals also participated, for a total of about 20 participants. They also distributed a ‘Foreign Laborers’ Employment Manual,’ created by the city, and introduced the penal regulations for business owners who knowingly employed illegal foreign laborers.
A police official stated that in light of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, more foreigners are expected to be visiting Japan, so ‘from here on out we want to regularly urge caution’ [in regards to illegal foreign residency/employment].
What I noticed particularly is the lack of any effort to cite any statistics that might justify this blatantly fear-mongering use of taxpayer money. No citation of illegal foreign employment statistics, or what harm such infractions might meaningfully bring on society, or really any attempt to establish any reason for this “campaign” at all. It’s as if there’s no need at all to demonstrate why this behavior is necessary or what occasioned it in the first place.
We want to urge caution about illegal employment practices…because why? They’re on the rise? They cost taxpayers lots of money last year? There’s a lack of procedural knowledge? Where’s the handbilling to remind employers not to abuse their foreign employees? Haven’t we already seen many instances where that factually does occur? Where’s the “regular cautioning” about that? The whole thing is just completely disgusting.
Moreover, why the need to distribute handbills related to employment law to area residents? How does that have any effect on them at all, over then to instill in them a sense of mistrust of non-Japanese residents, which itself has no basis in reality, and which furthermore has nothing to do with the average resident at all?
The more I’ve started reading Japanese newspapers, the more I’m starting to feel like all you have to do to find this sort of incendiary, blatantly racist behavior is due a keyword search for “外国人.” It’s like they’re just incapable of discussing foreigners without blatantly exposing their ignorant prejudice. HJ
3 comments on “HJ on Mainichi article on “Preventing Illegal Hires of Foreigners”; what about campaigns to prevent illegal ABUSES of foreign workers?”
It’s easy to set up a straw man and then demonstrate how hard you are fighting crime by making a show of attacking the straw man.
If they went after employers abusing non-Japanese workers and it made the news, they’d have to start going after employers abusing Japanese workers as well (granted, nothing here is as egregious as the “trainee” cases). You can go to the government here with concrete evidence of employers breaking labor laws and basically be told to put up with it.
On the topic of 不法就労 and 不法滞在, ~6 years after HJ’s submission, problematic depictions of NJ continue:
Allow me to deconstruct the trajectory of events:
June 1: A racist illustration of 3 NJ overstayers each holding a 在留資格カード goes up on the Mie prefectural police website.
June ?: Discussion of said content finds its way onto social media platforms where it gets roundly criticized for being exclusionary and prejudiced.
June 26: a Mie prefecture webpage admin becomes aware of said content and removes it.
June 28: Mie prefecture becomes aware that the content was deleted.
In response, a Mie prefecture PR person says a) Mie prefectural police didn’t create the racist content, but rather they used an illustration that was produced by someone in a different prefecture with connections to the police, and b) there was no intent to promote racism. Finally, a staffer at the prefecture’s Public Information & Public Relations department said that “When I received the copy of the article from the prefectural police, I was of the opinion that some of the content was questionable human rights-wise, but since illegal overstaying is a situation which is becoming a problem, the article was published as-is”.
So much for Mie-ken getting with the times. Maybe they should stick to abolishing excessive high school rules on dating, hair, underwear color.
West Japan pref. abolishes excessive high school rules on dating, hair, underwear color
June 16, 2021 (Mainichi Japan)
TSU — Rules at all public high schools in west Japan’s Mie Prefecture pertaining to subjects including hairstyles, dating, and underwear color were all abolished during the current academic year, the Mainichi Shimbun learned from the Mie Prefectural Board of Education on June 15.
Rules seen to go too far are dubbed “black school rules,” and with more attention being paid to them as a societal problem, it appears schools were forced to rethink them. The education board’s student guidance section explained, “There are school rules that remain like ‘past relics’ out of step with the times. We will seek further changes in the future.”
According to the education board and others, among the 54 full-time public high schools in the prefecture, there were 24 in the 2019 school year banning undercut haircuts that leave the sides short and top long. All of them had abolished the rules by spring 2021. The primary reason given in forbidding the haircuts was that pupils must “be like high school students, and must not use elaborate techniques.”
Eighteen schools also cited reasons like “students should be pure, cheerful and upright” to justify prohibiting dating among students, but the rules were abolished from spring this year. In academic 2019, 17 schools also required students to file a document certifying their natural hair’s properties and color, but this practice had also been phased out by spring 2021.
Additionally, two schools have abolished their respective clothing rules that underwear and shirts under school uniforms should be “flesh-colored, beige, mocha or colors that are less visible under uniforms,” and, “monotone white, grey, navy blue, or black.” If patterns could be seen below a uniform’s surface, students were reportedly warned.
From academic 2020, the prefectural education board encouraged principals’ associations and individual schools to review school rules at meetings attended by guidance counseling staff.
Based on the reality of students’ school life and the thoughts of guardians, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology sent out notifications dated June 8 to education boards across the country urging them to review school rules.
(Japanese original by Yuka Asahina, Tsu Bureau)