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Hi Blog. Debito.org Reader JK sends articles that indicate that the Japanese Government wants tourists to come in and spend more money (without doing the legal groundwork necessary to stop them being discriminated against), and is willing to bribe the NJ already here with preferential visas if they get certified in “Cool Japan”, i.e., become shills. Kinda smart in terms of incentive systems, but very cynical — and those critical of Japan, of course, need not apply. The pressure to unquestionably “like” Japan is already omnipresent, and now reinforced as public policy. Dr. Debito Arudou
From the article: “What’s needed are initiatives that introduce [tourists to] things that are great about Japan, like hot springs, Japanese cuisine, and local history and culture.”
Well, that and no ‘Japanese only’ signs at hot springs, restaurants, etc…
Sharp decline in tourists’ spending
The Yomiuri Shimbun Courtesy of JK
7:49 pm, January 18, 2017
By Toru Ando and Yuto Yoshida / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writers
While a record 24 million-plus foreign tourists came to Japan last year, spending per person dropped sharply in 2016, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.
Fewer foreign visitors are engaging in extravagant shopping sprees, so figuring out how to use Japan’s charms to increase tourism outside major metropolitan areas and encourage longer stays is becoming an issue. A total of 24,039,000 foreign tourists visited Japan in 2016.
The agency on Tuesday released the results of a survey on foreign tourists’ consumption in 2016. The increase in the number of tourists pushed overall spending to a record ¥3.75 trillion, but per-person spending was down 11.5 percent from the previous year to ¥155,896, the largest drop ever recorded.
Behind the decline was the yen’s appreciation from the previous year, as well as a change in the purpose of travel from “consumption” through shopping and other means, to trips aimed at “experiencing things” such as nature and culture.
The government hopes to raise per-person spending to ¥200,000 by 2020. But Takeshi Okano, a senior researcher at Daiwa Institute of Research Holdings Ltd., was skeptical.
“There’s a limit to widening the scope of tourism if only consumption is focused on. What’s needed are initiatives that introduce [tourists to] things that are great about Japan, like hot springs, Japanese cuisine, and local history and culture. These efforts should be aimed at getting people to make repeat visits,” he said.
However, tourists tend to concentrate in major cities.
On Monday, a 19-year-old university student from Shanghai was in the Akihabara district of Tokyo. “I bought some figurines from anime I like,” he said, looking satisfied with his first trip to Japan.
Robert Macolino, a 56-year-old Australian, was shopping in the Ginza district of Tokyo. Macolino said he had also visited Kyoto and Nara, and appreciated the different charms of each city.
The main tourist destinations are concentrated in the so-called golden route that connects Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and other major cities. First-time visitors to Japan are even more likely to stick to these areas. Figuring out how to buck this trend and get tourists to visit other regions is a major challenge.
Starting this fiscal year, the Japan Tourism Agency is helping local regions that share tourism resources — such as modern architecture, sake brewing, or shrines and temples — create themed tours. For instance, Shizuoka, Aichi, Saitama, Tochigi and Miyagi prefectures are receiving state funds to plan and promote tours of their shrines and temples with strong connections to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun in the Edo period.
“Areas outside the major cities have many great tourism resources. Visitors to these areas will increase if we make them better known and get the information out there,” an official at the agency said.
Hi Debito. Here’s another. My gut reaction is that the GOJ is trying to exploit NJ possessing a certain degree of acculturation for their labor, what do you think? Regards -JK
‘Cool Japan’ smarts may give foreigners a residence edge
8:44 pm, January 18, 2017
The Yomiuri Shimbun
The government is considering establishing a certification test for assessing the competency and know-how of foreigners engaged in activities related to the “Cool Japan” initiative, such as anime and fashion. The aim is to accept more of these foreigners into National Strategic Special Zones, according to sources.
The government intends to relax the requirements for obtaining resident status for candidates who meet certain competency criteria and conditions. The plan is aimed at foreign students graduating from Japanese vocational schools, the sources said.
By creating a friendly working environment for foreigners with strong interests in Japanese culture, the government aims to increase the number of foreigners with an intimate familiarity with Japan. They could then serve as informal bridges for future exchanges between Japan and their home countries.
A working group of the government’s National Strategic Special Zones initiative is currently discussing the matter. It plans to grant resident status to foreigners after confirming their competency via certification tests and other methods. The government aims make relevant revisions to the National Strategic Special Zones Law in fiscal 2017.
Under the current residency status system, which is based on the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law, foreigners who have graduated from Japanese vocational schools are not eligible for resident status due to a lack of work experience. Consequently, they cannot work in Japan despite a desire to do so. This has been recognized as a problem.
Japanese language proficiency would also be assessed in the envisaged certification test, in addition to relevant professional skills.
“More foreigners will obtain resident status,” a government source said.
The working group is considering allowing foreigners to obtain certification to stay in Japan for several years, the sources said.
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26 comments on “Yomiuri on “Sharp decline in tourist spending”, with GOJ measures to certify NJ in “Cool Japan” for preferential visas”
It’s all just part of the LDP’s racist driven dream of only accepting NJ who know their place and do what they are told, which is lie about Japan’s problems to other NJ, and live in segregated areas.
The LDP doesn’t want Japan to be in anyway multicultural (see removal of bakeries from ethics textbooks), it wants a system like apartheid.
It wants NJ to shut up and sit at the back of the bus.
Yes, nasty western bakeries removed from textbooks and replaced with wagashi shops to instill pride and love of country. Big news this week.
— Let’s have a link, please. People coming back to this site years from now won’t remember this week.
This must be it:
Or we can always count on the Sankei for giving us a different take:
毎日新聞2017年4月4日 20時18分(最終更新 4月5日 17時22分)
産経新聞 2017.4.1 22:19
Your word is my command!
Ethics textbook change causes widespread constroversy
Apr. 17 03:40 pm JST 38 Comments
A controversy has been brewing after “a bakery” that appears in an elementary school ethics textbook was changed to “a Japanese wagashi confectioner” by a textbook publisher, in response to suggestions made by the education ministry in consideration of the “respect for tradition and culture” requirement under the curriculum for ethic classes.
Bakeries are furious and are considering bringing the case to the state government as they believe the maneuver to be a veiled slight, with the implication that confectioners are somehow a more valued part of Japanese tradition and culture.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, meanwhile, is striving to dispel speculation that it forced the change for curriculum for ethic classes, which are scheduled to be elevated to an official elementary school subject in the 2018 academic year.
“Nichiyobi no Sanpomichi” (Sunday Promenade), a story published by Tokyo Shoseki Co, for an ethics textbook for first-year elementary school students, is at the center of the trouble.
A boy strolls through unfamiliar paths of his hometown with his grandfather, the protagonist making fascinating discoveries along the way, including a bakery that emerges at the end of the story.
Tokyo Shoseki sought approval of the textbook from the ministry, saying that it nurtures among children respect for Japan’s tradition and culture and attitudes to love their country and hometowns.
In the post-screening of the textbook, however, the education ministry suggests that story as a whole did not satisfy the requirements of “showing a fondness for traditions and culture of our country and hometowns” in the context of curriculum guidelines.
The education ministry, which asked that the textbook be amended to reflect children’s affinity for Japan’s homeland, culture and life, requires ethics textbooks for early elementary grades to clear 19 curriculum guidelines such as “respect for regulations.”
The publisher thus changed the bakery to a wagashi confectioner in the story.
A ministry official in charge pointed out that the story merely describes “a routine walk,” without making reference to “our country and hometowns.”
“The bakery was not the culprit,” the official said. “Other parts could have been revised in accordance with curriculum guidelines.”
Since the screening results were made public on March 24, online social networking sites have been flooded with comments such as “Bread is also an excellent culture in Japan.”
The ministry has received some 30 complaints after some press reports indicated that the textbook was authorized because of the change. But the person in charge at the ministry said it was approved “as a whole” after the addition of a question asking children what they like about their hometowns and country.
Unlike other textbooks such as those for social studies examined for each description, ethics textbooks are checked from the viewpoint of whether curriculum guidelines and screening standards are followed throughout.
Changes in school textbooks are made by publishers at their own discretion, a senior ministry official said.
Although Tokyo Shoseki resorted to an “easy” solution, “the screening system has no choice but to authorize textbooks that meet the standards,” the official said.
But Takao Nishikawa, 74, who heads a national cooperative of small and midsize bread manufacturers, said, “The fact that a bakery was changed to a wagashi confectioner is regrettable because we have been contributing to school lunches for many years.”
The cooperative is considering filing a complaint with the ministry.
For another elementary textbook, Tokyo Shoseki made a change from “a middle-age member” of a volunteer fire brigade to an “elderly member” because the ministry pointed out the lack of concern for the aged in the section dealing with “gratitude.”
Superficial revisions of such kind are widely practiced because of issues with the textbook screening system, experts say.
After being notified of the post-screening opinions, publishers are required to make necessary changes within 35 days and tend to minimize them in order to retain the number of pages.
“Publishers may well wish to avoid spending time and effort (on changes) under time constraints,” another senior ministry official said, explaining that publishers incur huge losses if their textbooks fail to pass the screening.
Tokyo Shoseki did not reply to a request for comments.
“The screening system implicitly requires publishers to surmise (the education ministry’s) intentions,” an editor from a textbook publisher said. The change by Tokyo Shoseki “was maybe a superficial response but a desperate one.”
Thanks for mentioning that. Although I’m not sure if the MEXT saw bakeries a western reference, it’s just plain stupid and dumb by creating an unnecessary antagonism. Also I am deeply troubled with their positioning of pre-war Education Rescription(a.k.a. mandatory code of allegiance to the Emperor in the early 20th century).
You’re not sure?
‘A controversy has been brewing after “a bakery” that appears in an elementary school ethics textbook was changed to “a Japanese wagashi confectioner” by a textbook publisher, in response to suggestions made by the education ministry.’
In response to suggestions made by the education ministry!
I am sure.
Jim, I don’t disagree with your comment. But my point is not about whether bakery is a western product or not. It’s more on the way they made the decision for the change. I am quite dumb-founded with MEXT’s astounding level of ignorance and absurdity for dismissing the role of bakeries that became integral part of Japanese culture for over a century since its import. And what’s more incredible is the reaction of bakeries who took this as an insult for erasure of their names from the textbooks–which does absolutely no harm to their businesses whatsoever(!).
My heart goes to students and teachers who are going to be affected by this kind of stupid cultural/ideological fallout in curriculum-making. That’s just reflecting on Diane Ravitch’s “Language Police(2003),” which provides a deep account of ideological cat-and-mouse in education policy affects curriculum practice, publishing, and student learning.
spot on Jim. was thinking about that the other day. Its the same as old day bigots in the deep south. There was courtesy exchanged and fake tranquility but the reality was they had to know their place as 2nd class citizens. Get the same treatment in Japan. Speak English too loudly, “act” out of character (gaijin) and get shut down. Concrete ceilings on every job, living in “fear and trembling” of eyes on you all the time, and shuck and jive acting on TV by gaijin clowns. Dont like it? Then leave, because there is a line of uninformed newbies we can do a new number on once we are done with you.
Tim, could you please expand on ‘“act” out of character (gaijin)’?
Is it just saying that you think instead of what the other party might be willing to hear, or sth else..?
good observation; thats part of it.
I ll reply, Basically acting like a tourist while not being in tourist areas or accompanied by J person gaijin handler to say “sumimasen”. or simply riding a bicycle while gaijin looking.
Tends to be more apparent after a few weeks on holiday outside Japan, coming back refreshed and relaxed…until someone shuts your, shall we say, “carefree air” down as appearing “fumajime”
不真面目。This could just mean smiling too much while teaching older Obasan customers, oh err I mean students, you know, like actually ENJOYING your work. Or not smiling enough in a lacklustre younger person’s class who needs entertaining to wake up. A difficult balancing act. then your supervisor chews you out over serious stuff like “not sitting upright enough on the sofa in the Voice Room free conversation lesson”.
the resulting job insecurity, paranoia, and fcuk this I ll get another job siege mentality all add up to the suitable downtrodden, resentful air and furrowed brow of the harried NJ, oft mistaken for the “respectful NJ who knows his place”.
Guess again, Taro. I will leave Japan as yet another detractor. I am not “the NJ who sympathizes with Japan” anymore. You saw to that.
This isnt just the teaching experience; it also applied to certain other jobs I had although perhaps quite a few teachers or ex teachers are now reading this and nodding their heads in agreement.
I agree with that. It’s this thing about setting NJ up to fail in order to satisfy the self-fulfilling prophesy; NJ are all losers, Japanese are superior, but the NJ resent Japanese for it, so ‘we Japanese’ are the victims.
It’s all about them, not us.
Thank you for your kind explanation!
Hmmm….without even addressing all the fundamental issues that Japan has with reference to foreigners; they have clearly not understood what tourist “need” when entering another country. Which of course relates to their lack of empathy, and so on…
1) Japan is probative expensive, especially when comparing to neighbouring SE Asia countries. It is a no brainer when it comes to money, SE Asia is way way cheaper, ERGO, Japan is a “stop off” on the way to a much cheaper place.
2) The lack of integration. The whole system/infrastructure is not geared up for “foreigners”, since it reflects the culture/country as a whole. Ergo, very few signs in English (or another language) and any attempt to get around this one is faced with blank faces or the usual, endless apologises but never answering the question or willing to assist in ‘something’ beyond their limit knowledge or experience.
3) Linked to 2), what do tourist like doing (unlike Japanese) – exploring, and going off the beaten track! Since that is what visiting another is ostensibly about – getting away from the tourist spots to immerse oneself into the local culture/scene and the fun and joy of trying.
Yet any tourist entering a restaurant outside of the “let’s keep all tourist in this region” mentality is faced with the immediate no foreigners wanted/allowed or a lack of willingness to attempt to reward any patron that wishes to try a local restaurant and actually trying to assist the tourist. (This does not require any language skills by either party – period. Just a willingness to assist. I’ve been in many countries where both parties unable to communicate with each other – yet, we both got what we wanted – a shared experience and great food too!).
Coupled to this, that “Japanese business model” of never getting a fully itemised bill – just a crappy piece of hand written paper with one figure written in pen for the bill, and no CC facility for payment either.
It is basic….!!
@Jim, “Orwellian” was a comment made on the article, I d say overtly controlling, micro managing of the creative process and watering down of all content to avoid the most minor chance of ever offending anyone at all
“For another elementary textbook, Tokyo Shoseki made a change from “a middle-age member” of a volunteer fire brigade to an “elderly member” because the ministry pointed out the lack of concern for the aged in the section dealing with “gratitude.”
Superficial revisions of such kind are widely practiced because of issues with the textbook screening system, experts say.”
Oh, I don’t know. I think it’s more a case of septuagenarians in power pushing a rose tinted vision of a fantasy past that will completely fail to connect with Japanese kids who’s thirty-something parents have been brought up on ‘meron pan’.
I strongly feel, in light of the Osaka Nippon Kaigi school scandal, that the masses don’t connect with the right-wing elites nationalistic messages, and default to ‘silent opposition’. I reckon they will do the same on this matter too.
The result will be more hot air from policymaking elites largely ignored by the masses, resulting in no discernible effect.
This ‘endorsement by inaction’ on the part of the public will continue to embolden the elites until they go so far as implementing policy that causes direct economic/social pain on the electorate, at which point they will re-engage for a showdown. Of course, the government will ramp up police powers in advance…
Conspiracy law anyone?
You know what though? The only reason that people like Ishihara, Hashimoron, and Koike are popular is because they are seen as being outside the establishment. And when you consider that Japan has been a pretty much one-party right-wing fascist state (in the dictionary sense) for the last 70 years, that’s a pretty low bar to set. The ‘opposition’ doesn’t win because the public can see that they are nothing but a bunch of LDP second-stringers with literally nothing new to offer- they just want the J-public to ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’.
What really annoys me is that the LDP has set up such a chokehold in the political process that it is literally impossible for someone who might represent the 70+% of the Japanese electorate who didn’t vote for the LDP to have an alternative to vote for.
How long can that continue?
I’m going to answer my own question.
I just read an article about Stockholm syndrome, and I honestly think that it explains why the Japanese electorate keep choosing the same abuse old fools, and refuse to throw them out.
Jim, it is not so simple. Voting systems with proportional representation – you have to fill in every square with a numbered preference – instead of first past the post or other systems, tend to have a greater representation of diverse parties.
I am not sure what Japan’s system is, but I bet it is not the first I mentioned. Many Japanese are apathetic about voting, but that is true for all countries where voting is your choice and not compulsory like in a few western countries.
Keep in mind that most voters DO want the Jiminto Party. It is the safe choice for those who are not the elderly as it keeps them in the status quo that a large number of Japanese seem to want. It is not only about the elderly – who of course will keep voting Jiminto in increasing numbers as the ageing population gets bigger.
Jiminto is more right than center compared to most conservative parties in the west – the overwhelming majority of conservative parties and governments in the west kick any neo-nazis or other fascists who find their way into the party or do due diligence to make sure they are not there in the first place.
Many Jiminto government office holders and politicians hold views that have a lot in common with the uyoku without the ukoyu’s open violence in actions and words.
Text book revisionism, right wing censorship of actual history including the attacks on and murders of democratic and liberalising forces in the years leading up to WW2, maintaining odd ideas of ‘blood and soil’ that are not compatible with a parliamentary system and with the 21st century, allowing war flags to be flown at the events of a military that is also supposed to exist in the 21st century, etc etc.
The fact that Minshinto’s Government under Kan drew so much criticism and rejection from mainstream Japanese tells me that many of them do not care about electing or tolerating right wing Jiminto governments.
‘Keep in mind that most voters DO want the Jiminto Party.’
Yeah, that’s why it’s like Stockholm Syndrome; the fear of what happens if they reject the LDP is greater than their need to escape from the LDP.
Intelligent observers can agree about the fact that the majority of Japanese citizens consistently give power to people who commit racist xenophobic unconstitutional war-initiating murderous yet suicidal actions.
Attempting to definitively guess and agree on the mass unconscious “RATIONALE” for Japan’s mistaken life choices seems fruitless and divisive. Don’t let the reality-deniers attempt to divide and conquer based on slight differences of opinions.
It’s like trying to agree on the exact reason “WHY” the people of this crazy suicidal Japanese culture killed 30 million Non-Japanese neighbors yet still feel no remorse today.
This Japanese culture of “The Japanese race is superior to the Non-Japanese races, and thus all ‘gaijin races’ inherently deserve sub-Japanese treatment, whether it be death, rape, enslavement, robbery, or simply no human rights to justice in our courts” is a non-rational combination of extreme selfishness, extreme illogic, and extreme suicidalness long-term.
Shall we argue about whether most Japanese voters are thinking X or feeling Y?
Pontificating about and analyzing the “reasons” for the racial-discrimination we see the AVERAGE person in Japan commit everyday is an interesting game, but there is the risk of such an unknowable unprovable topic becoming divisive, and even if we were to agree on one analysis or another: often such psycho-analysis of crazy thought patterns and crazy behavior is, as Dr. Richard Alpert opined, analogous to playing with feces. Pointless. Fruitless. “It’s like rearranging furniture in the prison cell rather than trying to get out of prison.”
The undeniable point is that most people who proudly claim to be “The Japanese Race” have been infected with racist-by-definition race-based-propaganda AKA “Yamato Damashi Pride” AKA “Japanese Culture” and thus are perfectly proud to be committing the despicable action of: treating other races differently based on race.
“Japanese culture” is founded on the principle of discrimination: “Our race versus all other races,” “Our inner circle versus all racially-based-outsiders,” “Nippon-jin versus Gai-jin.”
(And even if you were lucky enough to be born racially-pure-Japanese, not ‘too-dark-Ryuukyuu’, not ‘too-white-Ainu’, the majority with the perfect blend of Yayoi/Jomon can STILL find ways to discriminate against the minority, for example our Murahachibu Burakumin caste system still being maintained to this day (still not hiring them, still not marrying them, still not giving them bank loans, thus still forcing them to continue accepting the dirtiest jobs nobody wants into perpetuity) WHILE STILL self-righteously claiming “Well, their ancestors must have ‘chosen’ to do those dirty jobs of their own free will…” (yeah, sure, their ancestors ‘chose’ the worst jobs possible, it had nothing to do with the fact that their ancestors were exlied into Murahachibu status for simply disagreeing with the majority about something, thus beginning a perpetual line of family-based-untouchables who the villages then refused to give any other work to, so all of the subsequent descendants were thus FORCED by the bullying majority to accept the worst paying dirties jobs like butchering, trash, funerals, etc.) “… and that’s why it’s OK for us to continue to continue refusing to give modern-day descendants equal consideration in hiring. That’s why it’s OK for Japanese HR managers to still mysteriously not hire anyone from those neighborhoods. The original Burakumin souls, and their modern-day descendants, simply don’t deserve protection from discriminatory hiring practices, just like Gaijin souls don’t either. Burakimin deserve Burakumin treatment, Gaijin deserve Gaijin treatment. Dogs are dogs, so stop barking about equal rights! Different souls, different rights!”)
(And even if you were lucky enough to be born the right kind of Japanese, not Ryuukyuu, not Ainu, not Burakumin, not Gaijin, not Half-Gaijin, not Quarter-Gaijin, not even 1/8th Gaijin, not even 1/16th Gaijin, STILL even a “pureblood puresoul” Japanese person has a chance of being permanently othered into the minority-camp, thanks to the “Japanese culture” tendency shown by the “Ijime & Nakama Hazure” culture here in which the majority clique meanly others the “minority-looking / minority-opinion / minority-acting” unlucky few.)
Back to Japan’s racial discrimination, it’s extra sick and twisted that WHILE committing racial discrimination institutionally and on a daily interection personal level, ‘Japanese culture’ has concurrently convinced ‘The Japanese People’ that it is OK to use this “Ware Ware wa Nippon-jin dakara” stance to avoid remorse and to avoid penalties: “Treating non-Japanese-races worse is not illegal racial-discrimination (jinshu-sabetsu), no no, it’s simply ‘being discriminating’ (kubetsu) which is perfectly fine since non-Japanese-races are inherently DIFFERENT from the-Japanese-race. We’re not doing racial discrimination, we are simply treating non-Japanese DIFFERENTLY. That’s fine and legal. Why don’t you understand? See, the fact that you are complaining about being treated differently, proves that you are DIFFERENT. You are not Japanese. Even if you have nationalized and now have a Japanese passport. Even if you have lived here longer than any other country. Even if you were born and raised here. Japanese is a race, not a nationality. And ONLY OUR RACE deserves court protection from racial discrimination. Please understand, honorable(dishonorable) race-based-outsider Gaijin-san.”
But anyway, even though Japan’s constitution only outlaws GOVERNMENT WORKERS from committing racial discrimination, and even though the new hate speech law only outlaws “excessively hateful bad words” without any actual penalties for racial discrimination, I can still enjoy the slight feeling of justice by shutting up racial-discriminating-perpetrators by saying the following (even if they aren’t yet 100% true) sentences :
“Nippon no saibankan wa Jinshu-de-kubetsu to Kokuseki-de-kubetsu o zettai yurusanai yo!”
( = “Japan’s judges definitely don’t* forgive racial-discrimination and nationality-discrimination!”)
“Jinshu-de-kubetsu to kokuseki-de-kubetsu wa Nippon no houritsu ihan desu.”
( = “Racial-discrimination and nationality-discrimination are against* Japan’s laws.”)
“Jinshu-ni-tsuite na hanashi to kokuseki-ni-tsuite na hanashi wa: Kenpo ihan to Heito Supiichu Houritsu ihan, kemushou no batsu ari.”
( = “Talking-about-race and talking-about-nationality: are outlawed* by the Constitution and outlawed* by the Hate Speech Law, with penalty of imprisonment*.”)
“Saibankan ni shoumei dashimasu yo, anata no yutta jinshu to kokuseki na hanashi.”
( = “I will give evidence to the judge, of the race and nationality words* you uttered.”)
“Soiyu ihou na jinshu/kokuseki na hanashi nidoto shinai de, chanto Nippon no houritsu mamote!”
( = “Don’t ever commit such illegal* race/nationality talk again, properly obey Japan’s laws!”)
* Again, we know these sentences are inaccurate bluffs, but they still are quite effective (in this post-modern-theatre-of-the-absurd) in motivating racial-discriminators to Stop the racial discrimination and complete the transaction. 🙂
Hat tips as always to the most highly conscious commenters, like Baudrillard, Jim Di Griz (Steve Jackman) and of course Dr. Debito Arudou. 🙂
Thank you, but I’m not Steve Jackman, honestly.
Sorry for my mistakenly wrong assumption.
I guess I was trying to appear highly perceptive.
My real point was simply that I respect his posts too.
OK, hat tips as always to the most highly conscious commenters, like Baudrillard, Jim Di Griz, Steve Jackman, and of course Dr. Debito Arudou. 🙂
Oh yes. ‘ inaccurate bluffs, but they still are quite effective (in this post-modern-theatre-of-the-absurd)”. Indeed, one good microagression deserves a suitable riposte. Japan loves to misappropriate English Threat Signposts like “Sekuhara”, or “Domestic Violence” etc and then use them to shut down and shut up any slight behavior at all they dont like, like a disgreement, a raised voice, or actually calling that number on the namecard given. Or my favorite, the unlicensed English school small business owner operating out of a Shinagawa apartment building, threatening to report all NJ teachers to immigration if they do things he doesnt like, e.g.poaching his students, quitting half way through the “contract” (term used loosely).
The average Japanese bully has been empowered for decades with the feeling they can lord it over the Nj at will and by whim.
At least these recent legal decisions, however toothless or watered, give us our own buzzwords to misappropriate as threats, and fight back.
I was once using a public phone on the platform of Shimokitazawa station and a beefy ojisan came over and interrupted my business call (how rude) to tell me a RULE: “Dont lean on the stand the phone is resting on”.
My response? Said to a passing JR staff, this guy is bothering me, can you call the police please? They both scurried off, the ojisan glaring at me. I continued my phone call.
Yes, Japanese bullies often falsely claim, based on race, that “This ‘gai-jin’ simply spoke to me, so: they were obstructing me from doing business, in violation of ryokugyōmubōgai laws, arrest this uppity ‘gai-jin’ who had the nerve to speak to me!”
Thus, this is another word to memorize and use to stop bullies in Japan trying to power harass you while you are (possibly) doing business, or even (possibly) on the way to doing business: “iryokugyōmubōgai”!
The fact is, a bully in Japan attempting to give orders to you, thus interrupting and preventing you from doing your business, or preventing you from getting to your place of business or business meeting on time, IS guilty of breaking Japan’s vague “iryokugyōmubōgai” law, so proclaim the word (or phrase, “iryokugyōmubōgai hōritsu ihan”) for witnesses to hear and watch the bully get quiet and runaway.
Also, another word to add to that is “meiyokison” which means “making me look bad (which thus could prevent me from getting business from all these witnesses who heard what you just said about me, right or wrong, and rumors spread from these witnesses who heard what you just said to me could lead to less annual business for me.)”
Also, couching these accusations in question form adds a layer of self-protection:
“Nippon no iryokugyōmubōgai no hōritsu: chanto mamoru ki aru ka?”
“Nippon no meiyokison no hōritsu: chanto mamoru ki aru ka?”