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Hi Blog. More on the Yener Case, featured prominently on Debito.org in the past, in my latest JBC column. Dr. Debito Arudou
‘Attach the evidence and wait for your day in court,’ says Turkish plaintiff after Osaka victory
By Debito Arudou
Just Be Cause column 109 for the Japan Times Community Page, October 12, 2017
On Aug. 25, the Osaka District Court handed down a landmark ruling in a discrimination lawsuit.
Ibrahim Yener, a Turkish national and 14-year resident of Japan, was refused service last October by an Osaka used car dealer, which stated in an email (text at www.debito.org/?p=14743) that they would not serve foreign customers. The car company also stipulated that even if the customer legally holds Japanese citizenship, they would only sell to people who could “hold their own (sonshoku ga nai) against native speakers” in terms of Japanese language ability (as determined solely by the car company).
Yener felt this was discriminatory, filed suit and won. The presiding judge said that it “was based on prejudice that a foreigner would cause trouble and does not justify the discriminatory treatment.”
But what made this case particularly noteworthy is that Yener navigated Japan’s legal system all by himself — without a lawyer.
Thus this case offers potential lessons for other non-Japanese or international Japanese who face similar discrimination. JBC contacted Yener last week to find out more about the thinking behind bringing the case.
What motivated you to file the lawsuit? Were you trying to show the public that it could be done without a lawyer? Or were you just angry after all the other cases of discrimination you say you faced? What made you say “Enough is enough!”?
I faced so many discrimination issues during my 14 years in Japan. I will give you two examples: […]
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