My annual “Human Rights Top Ten for 2021” countdown now at Shingetsu News Agency, VM 29 Dec 27, 2021


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Hello and Happy Holidays to all Readers! Here’s my annual Top Ten, this year moved to the Shingetsu News Agency because The Japan Times isn’t in the market for articles like these anymore. Excerpt:

Visible Minorities: Human Rights Top Ten for 2021

SNA (Tokyo) — Since 2008, I have always devoted my end-year columns to counting down the Top Ten human rights issues as they pertain to Non-Japanese residents of Japan. This year I’m moving this feature to the Shingetsu News Agency. Let’s get started:

10) Turns 25 Years Old…
9) Tourism to Japan Drops 99% Since 2019…
8 ) Vincent Fichot Hunger Strike against Japan Child Abduction…
7) Tokyo Musashino City Approves, Then Defeats, Inclusive Voting Proposal…

Full countdown with write-ups at

Enjoy!  More to come in 2022!  Debito Arudou, Ph.D.

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4 comments on “My annual “Human Rights Top Ten for 2021” countdown now at Shingetsu News Agency, VM 29 Dec 27, 2021

  • On the day that Kishida lauds blocking the re-entry of NJ residents (“Using the time we bought through strengthened border controls, we have accelerated efforts“) Japan significantly restricts the definition of a ‘close contact’ on flights as its quarantine facilities are overwhelmed by Japanese flying in for the New Year.

  • Another great write up to wrap up the year. Unfortunately this year has been pretty bad for human rights in Japan and for me personally. But I like the ending especially:

    “Hence, despite the best efforts of the denialists and Pollyannas to make Japan’s reactionary and unscientific border policies seem normal, 2021 confirmed once again that foreign residents simply don’t count for much in the reckoning of Japanese policymakers. No matter how long they have lived here and contributed to Japan, foreigners regardless of visa status remain on par with tourists—casually stranded abroad and separated from their livelihoods and families, losing everything they loved or accrued in the country.

    Through such behavior, Japan is only accelerating its own international irrelevance, as China and South Korea increase their economic, political, and cultural sway in East Asia and beyond.”

    This is seriously the only good thing I see in all of this. Debito and other people on this website have said this for years, immigrants in Japan have no rights, you’re basically just a tourist, even with permanent resident status. I’m glad that now the whole world can see this, even apologists stopped making excuses this time (well most of them, others can’t be saved anymore I guess). Japan shot itself in the foot again, there’s no way Tokyo will become the new Asian financial hub lol. Nobody wants to live in such a racist society, not even Chinese and Vietnamese blue collar workers, and certainly not wealthy businessmen. Ghosn also got the word out there, so people now know everything there is to know about Japan.


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