Working on 2017’s Top 10 Human Rights Events that affected NJ residents of Japan. What do you think should be included?


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Hi Blog. I’m working on my annual Top 10 Human Rights Events of 2017 that affected NJ residents of Japan. (Here’s the list for 2016.)  Do Readers have any suggestions about what should make the list?

Remember a) these must be events, not just ongoing issues (although they could be events that punctuate or illustrate the larger issue), b) these events must have occurred in 2017, and c) they must have a distinct effect on NJ residents in Japan.

Based upon that, what do you think mattered last year? Please let us know in the Comments Section below. Thanks, and happy holidays. I’ll put on Holiday Tangent mode shortly. Dr. Debito Arudou

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7 comments on “Working on 2017’s Top 10 Human Rights Events that affected NJ residents of Japan. What do you think should be included?

  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    The purging of NJ suffrage supporters from the merger of the Democratic Party and Kibonoto. Unless the CDJP can build a sufficient support base, the notion of NJ suffrage in local elections has effectively been crushed.

  • Doesn’t deserve to be in the Top 10, but deserves a ‘dishonorable’ mention;
    Trump strategist Steve Bannon turns up in Tokyo looking like a lost alcoholic, praises Abe for fighting against, err…, people exactly like Abe, and praises Abe for being ‘Trump before Trump’.
    Well, at least we agree on something, except when I say it, it’s an insult not praise.


    In response to the above link, I find it humorous that only 28 hospitals are deemed acceptable for foreigner usage. That means the other numerous clinics and hospitals in Japan I wouldn’t be able to receive adequate treatment or acceptable attitudes from the staff. Just curious. The following comment is a diatrib/rant :

    Regardless of language ability, after talking with other Japanese people, during or after the conversation has ended I am surprised about how misinformed Japanese people are. When the conversation has ended, I think about how meaningless the conversation I just had was. Based off of past and present experiences I have this belief that most Japanese can not participate in discussions or reasonable dialogue.

    Well educated Japanese people cannot even participate in a reasonable discussion without reacting defensively or irrationally when talking about a variety of topics if it is contrary to what they’ve been taught. Japanese people rarely question their education system or government institutions. Many lack critical thinking, which is why I consider many Japanese people to be like like robots or clones.

    Many Japanese people I have met lack basic knowledge. Many Japanese people have the ability to research information from the internet and discover on their own what is factual and not factual information but don’t bother to do so. They just repeat whatever they have heard from one source which is usually propaganda based or follow whatever the government corporation they work for or group tells them to do. The internet is not always accurate or provides factual information but there are sources available that provide fairly accurate information. I am surprised about how distorted perspectives and beliefs of the world still exist, even Japanese people who traveled outside Japan. Surely I do not know everything about the world, but it is important not to assume and ask questions before jumping to conclusions that are inaccurate or based on stereotypes. What I refer to as constructive criticism towards Japan is usually met with anger and a very unreasonable response from Japanese. This sort of reaction invokes a negative reaction from me or a loss of hope that Japanese people have the ability to compromise and respect a foreigner’s opinion.

    Japanese people usually just want to hear from foreigners about how perfect Japan is, and how Japan is much better than any other country in the world which reinforces their overly prideful attitudes and xenophobic attitude towards people other than Japanese people. That always makes me laugh and react with sarcasm. The immaturity of most Japanese and the lack of courtesy for other people displayed by most Japanese people is offensive to me. Many foreign tourists have this false impression that Japanese people are very polite and hospitable, but they do not live in Japan and have a deep misunderstanding of how Japan really is. After living in Japan, I quickly realized that most of the politeness is a performance with insincere intent and that there’s little hope to change this country.

    I doubt any suggestions will matter when it comes to human rights for NJ.

    — This post isn’t asking for suggestions on how to fix things. It’s asking for suggestions on what events last year highlighted unresolved problems.

  • @ Jim, Bannon backed Trump’s controversial decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, …….. spoiling what would have been a perfect “China-containing project,” as freelance journalist Taro Kimura put it .
    So even the freelancers prioritize China containment (nationalist distractions) over human rights? Shame on the freelancer! Or, he is not as freelance as he appears?
    (Actually an NHK stalwart who In the course of his work, has interviewed notable figures such as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and U.S. President George W. Bush.[1]

  • blondeintokyo says:

    I think the most important issue is the firings that are happening over the five-year rule, and how foreign teachers in particular are being targeted for firing before it kicks in. I know several people who have already gotten notice or else were forced to quit and then sign a new contract so their company could avoid giving them full employment. This is illegal, but is happening regardless, since most foreign teacher lack the resources to stand up to their company. They either don’t know the law well enough, don’t know how to report this violation, or else are afraid to report it because they will be fired, and then will have no recourse to get their job back.

    One person I know had worked at his high school for 19 years, and was told he is being fired so they can hire temp teachers from a company such as Aeon or Interac to take over his position. They even told him outright it’s because of this new law, and because hiring temp teachers is cheaper than paying his full time salary.

    It seems that the job security for English teachers is just getting worse year by year. We have virtually no protections under the law and can be fired with impunity.

    — It made the list.

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    This just caught my attention as NTV, conservative Japanese TV establishment, aired a comedy program featuring Kosuke Hamada, a Japanese comedian, who appeared “black-painted face” for parodying African-American actor(e.g., Eddie Murphy) on Dec.31, 2017. Huffington Post Japan published the article on Jan.3, and it appeared in the top category of Yahoo! Japan.

    It never ceases to amaze me how Japanese corporate media like Fuji TV(accused of plotting a teen-idol group Momoiro Clover Z in collaboration with Ratz and Star, notorious for performing black minstrel show) and NTV willfully exploit cultural ignorance and color blindness through racialization of African-Americans for gross cultural consumption. It is troubling in a sense that media producers and executives can easily get away with their accountability for their cultural transgression by showing “ignorance-as-innocent” card while they snicker themselves for successfully selling out their ideas to the marketplace of their viewers. They just double down their cognitive dissonance by dismissing the magnitude of public outrage as a catcall from foreign community, while more Japanese are involving in dissent(e.g., According to McNeil, more than half of petitioners who filed for ban on black minstrel show are Japanese).

    This kind of media social engineering and parochial mindset represents a warped sense of cultural privilege in the form of exclusivity, which gives Japanese establishment an immunity or a null hypothesis to the guilt of racism. It brings out a deploring level of ignorance and blindness in relief, about the inability to embrace historical understanding of race and culture of the oppressed—including Japanese own encounter in the 19th century. The best Japan-residing activists can do is keep calling out anyone pulling off this kind of distasteful stunt before it is thrown off to the pack of foreign media wolves for meal and eaten alive to national humiliation.


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