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Hi Blog. Debito.org Reader JF has this to report:
Date: April 5, 2017
Re: Close Up Gendai 4/5 – Bad stereotyping
Just watched today’s Close Up Gendai on NHK, [“Can smartphones steal fingerprints? The over-transceiving society has arrived“]. Topic was how biometric data from pictures and security cameras can be used and abused.
While the experts were taking, during the entire program, they kept on showing relevant clips in the background. One of the clips shows how a face recognition system picks a criminal from a group of faces in a public place. Sure enough, among the group of Asian faces, there is one Western-looking foreigner, who happens to be “blacklisted”….
Please see attached picture taken from my TV. As reinforcement of the image linking foreigners to crime, I counted our “blacklisted” gaikokujin friend reappearing on continuous loop 6x, but I may have missed some as I just skimmed it. One in the beginning, two more in-between and the rest in the last 5 minutes when they had the discussion in the studio, including one at the very end.
What does this, on a subconscious level, suggest to the Japanese audience? Not sure if you know somebody at NHK, they should be more sensitive about these things!
When they briefly explained the face recognition system it also picked Japanese faces, but the clip that kept on running in the background only showed the foreigner being selected every single time.
Here’s a link to the program (which even includes the foreign blacklisted person in its signature image:
View the entire program at
COMMENT: It’s an interesting program in terms of content and execution, but how far the mighty have fallen. Close-Up Gendai was one of those programs you could count on for at least trying to strike a reasonable balance. Clearly not anymore. Especially after the purges of the show to reflect NHK’s hostile takeover by political leaders who explicitly (as a matter of officially-stated policy) can only act as the government’s mouthpiece.
Okay then, if that’s the way you want it. Here again we have more evidence of latent racial profiling as probable representations of government policy — NJ are more likely to be criminals (if not terrorists — watch from minute 18:30), all over again. Beware of them in a crowd! Dr. Debito Arudou
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