Reuters: “No foreign spectators at Tokyo Olympics”: Japan takes the Gold Medal for Discrimination with a “Japanese Only” Olympics? (UPDATED)

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Hi Blog.  Check this out.  According to Reuters below, Kyodo News (full article now in Comments Section) is saying that “overseas spectators” will not be allowed at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. I would hope that means that Non-Japanese Residents of Japan are allowed to get tickets and spectate.  But I’m not at all confident that will happen.

First, how will authorities enforce that, given the “Japanese Only” practices widespread in Japan that historically have barred entry or participation to anyone who is foreign, moreover doesn’t “look Japanese”? (This includes Japanese sports; see for example here, here, herehere, here, and here.)  After decades of studying these practices, my educated guess is that this entry ban will be applied to any person considered to be “Non-Japanese”, not just NJ tourists from overseas; and that includes online ticket sales.  Meaning anyone with a foreign-sounding name online will be denied a ticket, and a foreign-looking face denied entry at the door.

Second, what completely astonishes me is the poor physical and social science happening here.  Authorities have once again missed the point is the fact that ANY gathering during a pandemic is potentially a super-spreader event.  The virus is already in Japan, spread by Japanese, and thus Japanese spectators will infect each other, of course.  So if safety is a concern, why aren’t they barring ALL spectators?

Why are they targeting foreigners? Well, partly because the Wajin spectators are already doing it.  According to opinion polls cited in the article below, the “public concerns” officials are pointing to indicate that 77% of respondents are against allowing “foreign fans” to attend (while less than half want all spectators banned regardless of nationality).  But wait — isn’t this a form of “manufactured consent” — where the government and media continue to portray the issue as “It’s the foreigners who are contagious, not us hygienic Wajin“, and then that becomes a “public concern”?  Olympics + Pandemic + Racist Government Policies = Reified Embedded Racism.

Enough.  First the unprecedented cost overruns that have made this the most expensive Olympics in history.  Then the Mori sexism debacle.  And now the potential for a “Japanese Only” Olympics?  If you can’t postpone the Games until after the pandemic, I say cancel them already.

This is why Debito.org was always against Japan getting the Games.  Hosting international events brings out the worst in Japan’s ethnostatist governing practices, and now it’s clear it encourages the Wajin population at large to become even more racist as well.  SITYS.  Debito Arudou, Ph.D.

NOTE:  The JOC and IOC have since agreed to exclude all “overseas spectators” from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  More on that in my SNA column of this month at http://www.debito.org/?p=16504.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Reuters
Japan to keep foreign spectators away from Tokyo Olympics, Kyodo says
Reuters, Tue, March 9, 2021, By David Dolan and Chris Gallagher, courtesy of NM and MG

https://www.yahoo.com/news/japan-stage-tokyo-olympics-without-122947237.html

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan has decided to stage this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics without overseas spectators due to public concern about COVID-19, Kyodo news agency said on Tuesday, citing officials with knowledge of the matter.

The Tokyo 2020 games organising committee said in response that a decision would be made by the end of March.

The Olympics, postponed by a year because of the pandemic, are scheduled for July 23 to Aug. 8 and the Paralympics from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

Kyodo said the government had concluded that welcoming fans from abroad would not be possible given public concern about the coronavirus and the detection of more contagious variants in many countries, Kyodo cited the officials as saying.

The opening ceremony of the torch relay would also be held without any spectators, Kyodo said.

“The organising committee has decided it is essential to hold the ceremony in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima behind closed doors, only permitting participants and invitees to take part in the event, to avoid large crowds forming amid the pandemic,” Kyodo said, quoting the officials.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto has said she wants a decision on whether to let in overseas spectators before the start of the torch relay on March 25.

“Five parties, the IOC, the IPC (International Paralympic Committee), Tokyo 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the national government, came together for a meeting via online just last week,” the organising committee said in response to the Kyodo report.

“The decision regarding allowing spectators from overseas to attend the Tokyo 2020 Games will be made by the end of March based on factors including the state of infections in Japan and other countries, possible epidemic-prevention measures, and expert scientific advice will be considered.”

‘TRADE-OFF’

Sebastian Coe, the man behind the 2012 London Olympics which enjoyed sell-out crowds, and now President of World Athletics, said the goal was always to ensure “the best possible games for the athletes and having full stadiums of passionate people”, preferably with a “good global presence”.

“With all the work being done around vaccinations and the huge sacrifices large parts of the world have made over the last year, I would hope that fans (international and domestic) will be able to attend (the Tokyo Olympics), of course it would be better,” he told Reuters.

“However, if local communities are concerned, then athletes will accept that and it is a trade-off they are prepared for.”

In the last Olympic Games, the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, local fans accounted for 80 percent of all ticket sales, with international fans buying 20 percent.

Most Japanese people do not want international visitors to attend the Games amid fears that a large influx could spark a resurgence of infections, a Yomiuri newspaper poll showed.

The survey showed 77% of respondents were against allowing foreign fans to attend, versus 18% in favour.

Some 48% said they were against allowing any spectators into venues and 45% were in favour.

While coronavirus infection numbers have been relatively low in Japan compared with the United States and many European countries, the country has been hit hard by the third wave of the pandemic and Tokyo remains under a state of emergency.

Japan has recorded more than 441,200 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, with the death toll at more than 8,300.

(Reporting by David Dolan, Ossian Shine and Chris Gallagher; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Nick Tattersall, Andrew Heavens, Alex Richardson, William Maclean)

ENDS

///////////////////////////////////////////////////

UPDATE MAR 10:  Here’s some original text from Kyodo giving the original terminology in context.  (There is no full Kyodo article like the one in English (reproduced below in Comments) referred to in the Reuters article above.  That’s a composite.)

五輪・パラ、海外観客見送りへ
政府、今後5者協議で確認
共同通信 2021/3/9 22:48 (JST)
https://this.kiji.is/741995959420239872
政府は、東京五輪・パラリンピックで海外からの一般観客の受け入れを見送る方針を固めた。複数の関係者が9日、明らかにした。来週にも政府、大会組織委員会、東京都、国際オリンピック委員会(IOC)、国際パラリンピック委員会(IPC)の代表による5者協議を再度開き、確認するとみられる。

新型コロナウイルスの変異株が確認され、現在は外国人の新規入国を原則、認めていない。今後の感染状況も見通せず、世論の不安も強いことから一般観客の入国は難しいと判断した。政府高官は9日、海外観客の対応を速やかに決める必要があるとの認識を示した。
ENDS

COMMENT: So now it’s a matter of practical application. Here’s hoping public outrage will force policymakers to make it clear that NJ Residents are not included in the term “海外からの一般観客” (“regular spectators from overseas”).

But that’s not going to come from within Japan, since Reuters noted above that a Yomiuri poll “showed 77% of respondents were against allowing foreign fans to attend” (which again doesn’t have that firewall between NJR and tourists).  And now we have to find that Yomiuri poll to see what the original rendering of “foreign fans” was.

My point remains that in practical application, unless the government steps in to clearly distinguish between NJR and tourists, the public won’t, and discrimination will ensue. And as the terminology is rendered in the media, it’s not clear enough. Based upon precedent I have written about for decades, there must be outrage about this. Hence this blog entry.  — Debito

///////////////////////////////////////////////////

UPDATE TWO MAR 10:  I found the Yomiuri poll cited in the Reuters article.

東京五輪「観客あり」賛成45%、反対48%…読売世論調査
読売新聞 2021/03/07 22:00

https://www.yomiuri.co.jp/election/yoron-chosa/20210307-OYT1T50193/
読売新聞社が5~7日に実施した全国世論調査で、東京五輪・パラリンピック大会組織委員会の橋本聖子会長が観客を入れた形での開催を目指す考えを示していることについて聞くと、「賛成」が45%、「反対」が48%と拮抗きっこうした。
一方、観客を入れて開催する場合に海外からの観客を受け入れることは、「反対」の77%が「賛成」の18%を大きく上回り、否定的な意見が多数を占めた。
ENDS

COMMENT: Again, the term used in the poll is “海外からの観客” (again, “spectators from overseas”) is a poor translation of “foreign fans” on the part of Reuters. — Debito

======================
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35 comments on “Reuters: “No foreign spectators at Tokyo Olympics”: Japan takes the Gold Medal for Discrimination with a “Japanese Only” Olympics? (UPDATED)

  • Soooo, so naturalized Japanese get to come watch? Perhaps Oussouby Sacko could visit? I’m just gonna hope that the Scarlet Witch pops in and whispers “No more Olympics.”

    Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Meanwhile, almost 400 cases of new Covid strain found in Japan, but institutional racism demands that it not be ‘Japanese strain’;

    ‘ The new viral strain is thought to have come from overseas but details are still unknown’.

    https://japantoday.com/category/national/nearly-400-infected-with-new-coronavirus-variant-found-in-japan#

    Meanwhile, banning NJ except those invited by corporate sponsors, who are getting special consideration;
    ‘ The committee now needs to proceed with refunding foreign ticket holders and it is expected to separately consider what to do with foreign spectators to be invited by corporate sponsors of the games.’

    https://japantoday.com/category/tokyo-2020-olympics/update1-japan-to-stage-tokyo-olympics-without-overseas-spectators

    Reply
  • Chris Clancy says:

    STUDENT: Japan needs to improve the most to reduce inequalities ,so I think Chris is most concerned about SDG10.Because Chris wants to open Tokyo Olympics.

    ME: You’re correct, Japan needs to reduce inequalities. That is why I’m concerned about SDG10. Actually, I didn’t think Japan deserved to host the Olympics in the first place because of the inequality issue.

    Reply
  • David Markle says:

    Well, Japan has finally figured out how to rig the Olympics in its favor, ban all those pesky foreigners from coming to root for their athletes. What is next will be the headline: Foreign Athletes To Compete In Tokyo By Invitation Only. The Covid disease has handed Japan exactly what it has always wanted, a seemingly legitimate excuse to handicap all those “others” so Japanese athletes are the last ones standing. Japan will get most of the medals, thereby confirming all their self-delusion of racial superiority. They already do it in every other sport that Japanese cant compete in, now they get to practice their Yamato affirmative-action program out in the open, without the headache of criticism from the rest of the world. “We had to ban everybody for safety reasons! Blame the Chinese! We are the victims! Blah! Blah! Blah!”

    Its pretty obvious that this article Debito posted is for foreign consumption. It was not even given the slightest mention on the morning news or talk shows this 3/10 in Japan. That means they are floating it now to see what the overseas reaction will be. They say the final decision will be made on 3/23. Ha! What a bunch of malarkey. Now, only officially approved media will be able to report on what happens in the run up to the events. Expect that false positive tests for athletes who are most competitive in their respective fields to mysteriously materialize. In the directions the IOC puts out for every country that sends athletes to the events they state: “Be sure to provide for alternative participants in case of unforeseen circumstances.” Yeah! Unforeseen! Remember the questionable drug tests that mysteriously appeared unforeseen in Seoul knocking out most of the Russian team among others? Japan has learned its lessons well, and will be playing that game, I am sure. Covid now gives them the perfect cover. “What a glorious Olympics this will be when Japan wins everything!” Is what they chant in their secret closets.

    Its pretty obvious that Japan is not a county that can host an event like the Olympics in good faith. The hope is that other countries will realize this deception in time and boycott the whole rigamarole by refusing to send their athletes. Time to shut down this farce, for good. Where is Jimmy Carter when you need him?

    —- Plains, Georgia.

    Reply
  • I said it once and I‘ll say it again, Japan is very lucky. Nobody will blame them for banning foreign spectators at the Olympics and nobody is going to call it racism. Everybody will just say „Well, the corona virus made this inevitable“. Only NJ residents and ex residents will know that racism and xenophobia is the real reason for this exclusion, because if this really was about spreading Covid, they would also ban Japanese fans, like Debito pointed out correctly. But Japanese people are immune to the virus according to the LDP, it‘s only dangerous NJ who carry the virus, therefore let‘s only ban NJ. It‘s the same situation as last year when they decided to ban all NJ residents, but Japanese citizens were allowed to travel around and re-enter Japan without any problems. Even the 14 day quarantine was just a suggestion, not a rule for them.

    We all know that having a „racially pure“ Japan is Abe‘s and the LDP‘s dream, and the corona virus gives them a perfect excuse to hold a „Japanese Only“ Olympics. It‘s a dream come true for them.

    And now that all NJ will be banned from attending, nobody will be able to experience and report on racial profiling by the police and all the „Japanese Only“ places. So, all in all, this situation is perfect for Japan. They get to be racist without having to listen to criticism from the international community and nobody is going to be in Japan to experience all the racism first hand.

    Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how many countries teams pull out when they don’t have great vaccination programs, and realize Japan doesn’t either.
    It’ll be interesting to see how teams from countries with progressing vaccination programs react when they realize Japan isn’t.
    It’ll be interesting to see how many team event teams pull out because they haven’t been able to practice together for a year.
    It’ll be interesting to see how many athletes pull out when they realize they can’t start acclimating in Japan from next month.
    I think it’s all too easy to attribute this to the malice of Japanese racism, but I suspect that it’s a monumental display of stupidity; people who neither know nor care very much about sports are desperately doubling down on bad decisions rather than lose face, after all, the government and J-media have been relentlessly hyping these Olympics for the last couple of years.
    They’d rather die of Covid than die of embarrassment.

    Reply
  • Mmm, think you might be over egging this one. O I don’t know how it’ll play out, but maybe the organizers are thinking of socially distanced stadiums as are already happening in football and baseball.

    Also, at the recent Aussie Tennis open even many of the players had to quarantine in hotels for 10 days (meaning never venturing outside their rooms). The stadiums were also clearly way below capacity. Did we call the Australians racist?

    Also, overseas fans will likely have to quarantine as visitors now do in many countries.

    Also, I think the Japanese were generally looking forward to the international festival before the pandemic kicked off. I was at many rugby World Cup games and there was no issue among the lines suggested here.

    I can agree with you that some people here might lazily and unthinkingly associate the virus with foreigners – and this is clearly racist. Attitudes and education are often inadequate on such matters here.

    I have tickets for some Paralympic matches (some finals no less – I correctly calculated these would be much easier to get in the lottery.) I’m a British resident of Japan. Let’s see how they deal with me and my dual national son with an English name…

    Reply
  • I’d like to make a few comments on this.

    First, Macfie uses the following terms in bold interchangeably even though they are not interchangeable.

    ” Japan has decided to stage this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics without overseas spectators…”

    Further, “overseas spectators” is not English. How did this make it past an editor?

    “…the government had concluded that welcoming fans from abroad would not be possible…”

    “Most Japanese people do not want international visitors to attend the Games amid fears that a large influx could spark a resurgence of infections, a Yomiuri newspaper poll showed.”

    “The survey showed 77% of respondents were against allowing foreign fans to attend, versus 18% in favour.”

    What are the terms “fans from abroad,” “international visitors,” and “foreign fans” supposed to be referring to? Given Japan’s history of discriminating against non-citizen residents, a competent journalist would make sure and specify if this policy affects non-citizen residents, or only foreign tourists. To be fair, it is easily possible that the bureaucrats are using the same vague language, but the journalist should explain that.

    “…it is essential to hold the ceremony in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima behind closed doors, only permitting participants and invitees to take part in the event…”

    Nevertheless, this one line appears to completely contradict the assertion that the Japanese general population will be able to spectate anyway. What a lousy article.

    Reply
    • Al in Aust says:

      Yes, it’s time for foreign embassies, including my own, to approach the Government of Japan and ask by means of a Note Verbale if this decision is only directed at non-Japanese visitors hoping to arrive as tourists to see the games and is not directed at those foreign nationals who have Japanese residency. Also, it might be a good idea to ask if Japanese nationals residents abroad are to be counted as “overseas spectators” because some of them are dual nationals who use a foreign passport to leave their home foreign country and use a Japanese passport to enter Japan. There needs to be a guarantee that those foreign nationals resident in Japan will be allowed to purchase tickets just like a Japanese national resident in Japan.

      Reply
  • Here’s the Kyodo News article Reuters is referring to.

    Japan to stage Tokyo Olympics without overseas spectators
    KYODO NEWS – Mar 9, 2021 – 23:34
    https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/03/4f0072fe1b20-spectators-not-allowed-at-start-of-tokyo-olympic-torch-relay.html

    The Japanese government has decided to exclude overseas spectators from attending this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, officials with knowledge of the matter said Tuesday.

    The government and the Japanese organizing committee of the Summer Games are expected to hold a remote meeting with the International Olympic Committee and two other bodies possibly next week to make a formal decision on the issue of overseas visitors.

    The government has concluded that welcoming fans from abroad is not possible given concerns among the Japanese public over the coronavirus and the fact that more contagious variants have been detected in many countries, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Japan continues to halt new entries of foreign nationals in principle as it is taking more time than initially expected for the government to stem the number of infections since early January, when it peaked at more than 2,500 cases per day in Tokyo.

    With the decision, the government will also have to review its growth strategy, given that expectations for inbound visitors to revive the Japanese economy were high, especially before the games were delayed for one year due to the outbreak of the virus.

    On March 3, the representatives of the five organizing bodies, which also include the International Paralympic Committee and the Tokyo metropolitan government, agreed to make a decision on overseas spectators by the end of this month.

    They will then make a call in April on the number of spectators to be allowed into venues based on Japanese restrictions on attendance at large events.

    While the one-year postponement of the games has caused the cost to balloon to at least 1.64 trillion yen ($15 billion), the organizing committee was expecting to make 90 billion yen from ticket sales.

    The committee now needs to proceed with refunding foreign ticket holders and it is expected to separately consider what to do with foreign spectators to be invited by corporate sponsors of the games.

    It has not publicly disclosed the total number of tickets to be sold, but some officials have said it was likely to be over 9 million before the games were rescheduled one year ago.

    While about 1 million overseas spectators were estimated to enter Japan, some 4.45 million tickets have already been sold in the country, of which about 810,000 requests for refund have been made so far.

    In December, a government-led panel tasked with coming up with COVID-19 measures for the Olympics said in an interim report that overseas spectators could use public transport and be exempt from a 14-day quarantine requirement if they were from countries with relatively few virus cases.

    However, the Japanese organizers studied several options in parallel, such as holding the games behind closed doors and staging them with a limited number of spectators just from Japan.

    “We would really like people from around the world to come to a full stadium, but unless we are prepared to accept them and the medical situation in Japan is perfect, it will cause a great deal of trouble also to visitors from overseas,” Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Japanese committee, told reporters last week.

    Hashimoto has sought to finalize whether to let visitors from abroad watch the games live in the stands at each venue before the domestic leg of the Olympic torch relay begins on March 25.

    The opening ceremony of the relay will be held without spectators as well to prevent the spread of the virus, officials with knowledge of the planning also said Tuesday.

    The organizing committee has decided it is essential to hold the ceremony in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima behind closed doors, only permitting participants and invitees to take part in the event, to avoid large crowds forming amid the pandemic, the officials said.

    After the ceremony at the J-Village soccer training center, about 10,000 runners will carry the flame through Japan’s 47 prefectures before the opening of the Olympics on July 23.

    The training center served as a frontline base in the battle against the nuclear crisis that was triggered by the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami of March 11, 2011. It was selected as the starting point of the relay to showcase the northeastern region’s recovery from the triple disaster.

    Last month, the committee released a set of coronavirus countermeasures for the 121-day relay that requested those who wish to watch the event to refrain from traveling to other prefectures and to maintain social distancing from other spectators.

    In recent weeks, a number of celebrity torchbearers, who were expected to draw large crowds along the route, have opted out of the event, which was supposed to have been held last year before the Olympics and Paralympics were due to the global health crisis.

    The Olympics are due to take place between July 23 and Aug. 8, followed by the Paralympics from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.
    ENDS

    Reply
  • 五輪・パラ、海外観客見送りへ
    政府、今後5者協議で確認
    共同通信 2021/3/9 22:48 (JST)
    https://this.kiji.is/741995959420239872
     政府は、東京五輪・パラリンピックで海外からの一般観客の受け入れを見送る方針を固めた。複数の関係者が9日、明らかにした。来週にも政府、大会組織委員会、東京都、国際オリンピック委員会(IOC)、国際パラリンピック委員会(IPC)の代表による5者協議を再度開き、確認するとみられる。

     新型コロナウイルスの変異株が確認され、現在は外国人の新規入国を原則、認めていない。今後の感染状況も見通せず、世論の不安も強いことから一般観客の入国は難しいと判断した。政府高官は9日、海外観客の対応を速やかに決める必要があるとの認識を示した。
    ENDS

    COMMENT FROM DEBITO: So now it’s a matter of practical application. Here’s hoping public outrage will force policymakers to make it clear that NJ Residents are not included in the term “海外からの一般観客”. But that’s not going to come from within, since Reuters notes that a Yomiuri poll “showed 77% of respondents were against allowing foreign fans to attend” (which again doesn’t have that firewall between NJR and tourists. Now we have to find that Yomiuri poll to see what the original rendering of “foreign fans” was.).

    My point remains that in practical application, unless the government steps in to clearly distinguish between NJR and tourists, the public won’t, and discrimination will ensue. And as the terminology is rendered in the media, it’s not clear enough. Based upon precedent I have written about for decades, there must be outrage about this. Hence this blog entry.

    Reply
  • UPDATE TWO MAR 10:  I found the Yomiuri poll cited in the Reuters article.

    東京五輪「観客あり」賛成45%、反対48%…読売世論調査
    読売新聞 2021/03/07 22:00
    https://www.yomiuri.co.jp/election/yoron-chosa/20210307-OYT1T50193/
     読売新聞社が5~7日に実施した全国世論調査で、東京五輪・パラリンピック大会組織委員会の橋本聖子会長が観客を入れた形での開催を目指す考えを示していることについて聞くと、「賛成」が45%、「反対」が48%と拮抗きっこうした。
     一方、観客を入れて開催する場合に海外からの観客を受け入れることは、「反対」の77%が「賛成」の18%を大きく上回り、否定的な意見が多数を占めた。
    ENDS

    COMMENT: Again, the term used in the poll is “海外からの観客” (again, “spectators from overseas”) is a poor translation of “foreign fans” on the part of Reuters. — Debito

    Reply
  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    I was going to comment on the lack of terminology that separates someone who has lived here for twenty years from someone who stepped off the plane twenty minutes ago; the popular press describes them both as “foreigners”.

    Whilst my own predictions aren’t as dark as some other commentators (I’m sure that residents would be able to buy tickets, attend events etc. with a zairyu card), I’m pretty sure the average Taro would be confused/offended/scared by the presence of a possible “foreign carrier”.

    I’m sure there will be volunteer groups who will form mock-up cheerin squads for other nations (and the local media will fixate on these to show how kind/thoughtful Japanese people are)

    It’s a farce.

    Reply
    • That’s an excellent point, Andrew, and is precisely the reason I deliberately go out of my way to avoid using the word “foreigner” at all. I also teach my students that it is extremely overused and vague to the point of meaninglessness. They all use it reflexively, but if asked, none of them can even explain what it means.

      It is my view that the root cause of this criminal overuse of “foreigner” is rooted in the fact that it is merely used as an inaccurate substitution for the racial epithet “gaijin.” The labeling of all non-Waijin persons with the blanket term “gaijin,” i.e. “not one of us” illuminates a worldview rooted in xenophobia, ethnocentrism, and Wajin supremacy. In such a worldview, questions of how long “others” have lived in Japan, or even their citizenship, are irrelevant. However, because so many people have successfully objected to the slur “gaijin,” Wajin have largely replaced it with the similar but differently defined word “foreigner” (gaikokujin) without substantively modifying their underlying mistaken worldview.

      I do want to mention that the correct terminology exists; most Wajin simply neglect to use it.

      Dr. Arudō, thank you for sharing the articles. I agree with your point entirely. This is all the more reason we must push back against the term “foreigner” and demand more accurate language.

      Reply
  • David Markle says:

    Japan loves rules. This is a brief highlight (my input which I tried to keep to a minimum is in parentheses) of just some of the rules and regulations athletes and their support staff will be subjected to during their wonderful stay in the land of Wa. You can see the complete list of requirements for yourself here: The Playbook, a JOC publication: https://tinyurl.com/r484st7j

    You as a participating NJ (the rule book for the natives who are conscripted as enforcers is different) are required to follow the following:

    Do Not:
    1. Interact with other people.
    2. Hug or shake hands.
    3. Meet with another person other than your approved circle of associates.
    4. Get closer than 2 meters to another person.
    5. Go into close spaces or crowds.
    6. Use public transport.
    7. Deviate from your activity plan that you filled out before coming.
    8. Clap, sing or chant.
    9. Do anything or go anywhere except to your scheduled event.
    10. Leave your pre-aranged living quarters without permission from your Japanese liaison officer.

    You Must:
    1. Download the Japanese COCOA software (Covid Contact Track and Trace App).
    2. Get tested and provide proof (Japan government approved) of a negative result before you depart your country for the Games and when you leave Japan.
    3. Submit to multiple random and unscheduled Covid tests at any time during your stay.
    4. Follow any additional restrictions that may be implemented at any time.
    5. Provide a detailed itinerary of your actions and activities 14 days before entering Japan and during your entire stay.
    6. Leave Japan within 72 hours of your last scheduled event.

    If you are found in violation of these rules, it could result in the following penalties:
    1. Banned from participating in your event.
    2. Be quarantined for up to 14 days in government facilities (Covid prison for foreigners).
    3. Be deported (to wherever we decide to deport you and you may not like it there).
    4. Suffer any other punishment we decide to implement (feel like doing to you).

    So you can see things might be less than enjoyable for people who don’t abide by the rules, ALL the rules. There are many more and as Debito has pointed out that the general population will be the police and enforcers of these rules. You will have few friends and many enemies if you happen to come under their citizen jurisdiction.

    What this may mean for NJ who reside in Japan already and might just be innocent bystanders in the police state being set up for errant NJ. Suppose you are on your way home from work and decide to stop off at your favoring watering hole for something cool after spending your day sweating in the 100 degree plus heat and humidity. You forgot your mask. A patron who doesn’t know you assumes you are one of the Olympic NJ who are violating one or more of the rules. Which one you don’t know because you are not concerned or connected with the Olympics. The native patron who wishes to be a good citizen (or has other motives less altruistic) calls the Olympic Rules Enforcement Force. The next thing you know you are being questioned and probed by some amateur police wannabe, full of their own recently bestowed authority. You are in serious trouble, my friend, all because you don’t have a mask or had the bad luck to exist in the wrong time and place. This is what awaits you if you are not extra cognizant of your surroundings, as every one of us are from time to time. Remember, under the gaudy make-up, Japan is a police state at heart, waiting to raise its ugly head. Why would anybody not want to come and enjoy the festivities?

    Reply
    • Baudrillard says:

      More than rules, Japan loves policing NJs heavily, which has been predicted on this site.
      “Do not interact with anyone”. This was part of a UN probe on racism I think, to Japan. The question posed was “So, does Japan just want to trade without interactingin any other way with non Japanese?” Which was vigorously denied by the J spokeman at the time.

      But its been getting this way for years. You can “live” in Japan, ie. have the right to exist, but are effectively excluded from an increasing number of activities or heavily policed in doing so its not worth it anymore.

      The case of Australian born geisha Sayuki comes to mind, as someone who really tried to act like a Japanese and it still wasnt good enough. Apart from sometimes not being allowed to progress due to being a foreigner, other times she was penalized for “not following the rules” although this effectively dovetailed with being a foreigner as she was percieved as being different and thus breaking the rules or mannerisms by default. “and provide perfect service in the context of Japanese society.” https://metropolisjapan.com/sayuki/
      At which point one has to ask oneself, why bother trying to do anything in Japan? Except as a tourist, sad to say.

      Reply
      • Thanks for this excellent ( and very true) comment and for the article. It was a great read, the only thing I disliked was the title “Being a gaijin geisha isn’t easy—but it can be fun.” I really wish that English language media stops to use the term “gaijin”.

        Reply
        • Baudrillard says:

          Arguably the level of acceptance depends on how “Japanese” a non Japanese can act. Peter Barakan does an excellent job without humiliating himself.
          In contrast, I have written before about the newer generation of self effacing Weeaboos, fluent in Japanese yet prostrating themselves in front of audiences of real Japanese with their over apologizing as if that makes them Japanese.
          Dr Debito mentioned a relative of his from the states who is on tenterhooks every time she visits Japan. As if this is what is perceived as Japanese. I.e. existing silently without making a “fuss”. That is the (male, old) prerogative of the Ishihara’s of this world.
          There is this Taiwanese lady, a teacher of Japanese who calls me up for a job from time to time but I find her usage of Japanese unnatural because she over apologizes. Imagine someone who starts every sentence or request with an extended version of “warui hanashi desu ga” and you ll get what I mean.

          Acceptance as Submission. Thats got a nasty ring to it, reminiscent of Koreans and Taiwanese in the wartime Japasnese empire, or even non German SS members,

          Certainly too high a price to pay for non native residents of Japan.

          Reply
      • It is not just foreigners but Japanese that look foreign. On TBS yesterday morning there was a Japanese man with dreadlocks harassed by a cop. So he decided to film the cop and put it up on Twitter. First the cop asks what job he does, then searches his backpack. He justifies it by saying that he thought he could have marijuana.

        Reply
        • David Markle says:

          I saw that, and the cop said; “In my experience, foreigners with dreadlocks are often selling drugs.” So he searches his belongings and doesnt find anything. Not even an apology is given. And the Japanese audience cheers the policeman for “doing his job”. Luckily this guy handled it calmly. If he hadnt it could have been a different, very tragic outcome.

          Reply
    • I find this note on slide #30 noteworthy

      “You will not be required to have received a vaccine in order to participate in the Games – and all of the rules outlined in this Playbook will apply, whether or not you have received the vaccine”

      Meanwhile, preliminary data from Israel suggest that vaccinated people are very likely to not being infectious. But no, the playbook must render pre-Games vaccination fairly pointless by not being discriminatory once… between not vaccinated athletes and vaccinated ones that is.

      Who else would bet on the possibility that the Japanese vaccination program will quickly get on track the second after the Games have ended and Team Japan got No. 1 for most medals because of severely stifled competition?

      Reply
      • David Markle says:

        Theory: Japan really doesn’t want the FOREIGN vaccine, but making it a requirement for participating would mean Japanese athletes would have to get the “other” people’s vaccine. When a Japanese vaccine is ready, you will see a major push to get the “safe” domestic brand that isn’t “too strong” for unique Japanese physiology. Example; Remember Tamiflu? The miracle anti-flu medication? It was sabotaged until a domestic variation could be cloned, then everybody was pushed to get it. Same with the Covid vaccine domestic variation.

        Reply
        • David Markle says:

          By the way, does anybody really believe the “syringe mistake” excuse for not being able to distribute the imported V? The domestic brand needed more time to be developed and tested. Conspiracy theory?

          — We’re getting off track.

          Reply
  • IF “domestic” spectators are allowed and IF – as foreseen here – nationality (or – even worse – ethnicity) alone will be the defining factor of who counts as a “domestic spectator” or not, I’d like to nominate the organizers for Dejima Award #10.

    Reply
  • David Markle says:

    There seems to be some push back on banning NJ from the Olympics.

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/ioc-members-worry-banning-foreign-154818562.html

    “And not to forget,” Capralos added. “Many of these people are parents or relatives of the athletes.”

    Unfortunately they never go into why its important for relatives to be able to watch their children in person. Its not just wanting to
    have a good family relationship, while this is important, its the fact that many of them have personally bankrolled their child’s training and participation in the event of their lifetimes. Many have gone deeply into debt to hopefully propel their children’s futures as players, coaches, officials on national boards, etc. Everything rides on their Olympic show whether they win or lose doesn’t really matter, its that they got there in the first place. The relatives want to see their substantial investment pay off, and make sure some over zealous, racist, amateur official doesn’t sabotage THEIR child’s future and their own. These are the kinds of people Japan wants to ban most, the noisy foreigners, speaking strange tongues, who upset their dictoms.

    So Hashimoto is backpedaling on the “Lets Ban The Foreigners” campaign even though 80% of the Japanese population doesn’t want the games to be held.

    https://news.yahoo.com/tokyo-olympics-chief-denies-decision-145222749.html

    “We are still continuing discussions and have not yet reached a conclusion,”

    So the host nation wants out of the Olympic marriage, but the other partner, the rest of the world says; wait a minute! not so fast! there are some issues we have to settle here first. What a snafu.

    I guess none of it will matter if nobody can get here.

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/03/11/national/ana-jal-reductions/

    And foreign airlines are being restricted in the number of passengers they can carry.

    https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/news/foreign-airlines-flying-into-japan-are-restricted-to-100-passengers-per-flight-031121

    This will guarantee that by making it so difficult for everybody to even get here, that there is no way the Olympics can be held. This is what Japan wants after all. The Germans think that Japan is looking for sympathy in hopes of getting the games in 2032. Rich countries like Germany are already bankrolling their Olympic presence with planned charter flights and hiring drivers for the duration. I know of this fact personally. Poor countries? Good luck.

    Reply
    • I was about to post this very same article, ya beat me to the punch.

      I’m annoyed that the Olympics are looking at this solely from a money perspective rather than an issue of racial discrimination. I mean, we all know the Olympics are a rip-off for the host nation (I mean, Athens ’04 had a domino effect that nearly killed the EU’s economy), but I’d hope they would at least mention the “international cooperation” angle they like to prattle on about.

      Reply
      • David Markle says:

        Max; did you mean “International cooperation?” Here is a good example of international corporation:

        https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-03-05/tokyo-olympics-refunds

        “A number of industries — airlines, cruise ships, hotels, insurers — have demonstrated deep reluctance to give people their money back

        Olmos, and apparently a number of other people, are finding that a New Jersey company called CoSport, which is the main U.S. purveyor of Olympics tickets, would prefer to keep 25% of some package deals.”

        Japan seems to be planning on the Force Majeure clause to be able to screw all those foreign ticket holders. Let the foreigners fight it out among themselves, who cares. You can sue, but as the article states, it is difficult, and the lawyers…..? well, everybody knows about them. The problem with racial discrimination is it really doesn’t matter unless it hits somebodies pocket book. Sometimes it does and sometimes it has the opposite sympathy effect. I would wager the Otaru onsen Debito made famous, saw its business at least double after all the publicity, mostly from people with tattoos.

        As for NJ residing in Japan who are already holders of tickets being allowed into the games? They MIGHT be allowed in, and this is a big if. Heaven forbid if they forget their mask, sweat, happen to cough or sneeze, or get too enthusiastic. The Covid quarantine gulag for you.

        Reply
  • David Markle says:

    China Beats Japan…Again

    https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/world/asia/2021-03-03-tokyo-games-already-beaten-by-chinas-winter-olympics/

    “The weight of China, especially among Japan’s conservatives, is quite immense in terms of the way it sees its own position and the way it sees Japan,” said David Leheny, a politics professor at Waseda University. “If Japan isn’t able to have the Olympics because it hasn’t handled it well or vaccination hasn’t proceeded quickly enough — and if China is able to do that, it’s just going to be another blow.”

    It seems strange to me that the Olympics which prides itself on being non-political when it comes to ignoring the oppression of minorities in the hosting nations, is in reality one of the most political and polarizing events on the planet. A whole lot of countries get together to pit their best athletes against each another in the hope that sports will be a substitute or safety valve for real war, and in its place, you have a cold war of ideologies between nations pitting their national systems up against one another. And they do it almost to the brink of real hostilities which hopefully get resolved on the playing field, but never really do. It didn’t work in 1936, and probably wont today either.

    Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      Great comment, it IS a substitute for a war, which is why Japan is pretending that there is no Covid problem in Japan and has a vaccination schedule that will take over 100 years to vaccinate the population. The citizens of Japan are expected to die of Covid (untested, untraced, untreated, uncounted) so that the state can ‘win’ an Olympic ‘Soft Power’ war.

      Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Meanwhile, PM Suga and his entourage of 80 are going to Washington in April so he can get his photo taken with the POTUS before Suga gets forced out (gotta get that picture!).
    Either;
    1. He’s in for a disappointment because he’s not vaccinated, or
    2. All these 80 people plus the PM have already been vaccinated with at least the first shot secretly…

    https://japantoday.com/category/politics/Suga-to-visit-U.S.-in-April-for-his-1st-in-person-summit-with-Biden

    Reply
    • David Markle says:

      Japan To Restrict Number Of NJ Dignitaries To Its Olympic Venue

      “Kyodo said the Japanese government will restrict the accompanying staff to 11 people per head of state, while cabinet-level delegations will be limited to five people, the report said.

      Kyodo said VIP guests will be asked to undergo COVID-19 testing within 72 hours of travelling to Japan and will be re-tested on arrival.”

      https://news.yahoo.com/olympics-japan-limit-size-foreign-121521381.html

      Japan should just make the NJ go through China for their test before coming to Japan. That would save Japan the trouble and expense of having to waste all those cotton swabs.

      The Chinese know how to do everything better anyway.

      — Including ethnically reprogramming/cleansing its Muslim minority? Let’s be careful about our claims, for they may invite easy counterargument.

      Reply
      • Jaocnanoni says:

        Please stop lauding China as if it were so much better than Japan in everything. It’s not. It’s a USSR knockoff with a better economy than the original. Despite Japan’s embedded racism, the human rights situation in China is still a galaxy worse.

        Reply
  • David Markle says:

    Problems, Problems, Problems

    IOC says vaccine offer open to countries who have approved Chinese vaccines (insidethegames.biz)

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has clarified COVID-19 vaccinations offered by the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) to Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 athletes will only be available to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in territories which have approved the Chinese vaccines for use.

    So the Japanese athletes will not be getting the Chinese vaccine because the Japan government has not approved the Chinese vaccine. Suppose after receiving the Chinese vaccine an athlete tests positive for the virus? They are not symptomatic, and appear healthy enough to compete but have a positive test possible on account of the vaccine itself. Will they be allowed to compete even after showing a positive test result? The Japanese athletes will not be getting the Chinese vaccine however will they be held to the same testing standard? Will they be tested as rigorously as the NJ athletes? Some estimates are that the NJ will be tested DAILY during their entire stay. What about athletes whose countries have not made any vaccine available? What will be their options? Vaccinations on the planes?

    Another Problem

    This morning on 3/18 on NHK news they interviewed a Japanese man who resides in Sweden. He stated that he bought tickets for the Olympics (I assume overseas) and was planning on returning to Japan with his six family members to see the Olympics “as a once in a lifetime opportunity.” He was unhappy to know that overseas spectators were not going to be allowed into Japan for the games and stated (to the best of my recollection, sorry I didn’t tape it) that it was a “waste” for the tickets he bought not to be used. This was when the interview cut off. I can finish the interview though, as him possibly stating: “Well, I and my family have Japanese passports, we have Olympic tickets, we have our plane reservations, they cant keep us from entering the country, We are Japanese!” And that is true. Granted, they may have to self-quarantine for a time after arriving, but there is nothing the authorities can do to keep holders of Japanese passports who have purchased Olympic tickets overseas, from returning to Japan at their leisure to view the games. They are though, going to prohibit NJ ticket holders from entering Japan on the belief that they may be carriers of the virus. Japanese are ALWAYS totally observant of the rules, right? Its those NJ we have to keep out because they are NOT. (I mean this sarcastically, by the way). Holy Cow! Anybody see a problem here? I have not seen any media reporting this possible issue yet, but they probably will soon enough.

    Reply

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