BLOG BIZ: Coming out of the busiest semester I’ve ever had; will try to update more.


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Hi Blog.  On a personal note, it’s been the busiest semester for me ever, teaching 19.5 college credits and around 250 students.  Consequently, updating has been slow since I’ve been devoting all my energies to creating lectures, lecturing, grading, and sleep.  Repeat cycle for sixteen weeks.  Just coming out of it now.  I’ll try to do better, since there’s plenty to comment about (and Readers have been doing an excellent job in the Comments sections of each post; thanks!).  But for the first time ever, I didn’t immediately blog my most recent SNA column!  I’ll get to it.  Thanks very much to everyone for reading and commenting to  Debito Arudou, Ph.D.

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18 comments on “BLOG BIZ: Coming out of the busiest semester I’ve ever had; will try to update more.

  • Q. When is Permanent Residency not permanent?
    A. When a hugely unpopular PM is trying to distract the population from crushing inflation, plummeting spending power, and massive acceptance of NJ temporary workers (coz you HAVE to feed the right wing xenophobic narrative you’ve been stoking for decades).

    So Biden was right the week before last;
    Biden: Japan is xenophobic.
    Japan: (outrage!)
    Also Japan: let’s revoke PR visas with a law that we can expand for ever coz, ‘tough on foreigners!’🙄

    • The most hilarious thing is that they responded by saying that Biden doesn’t understand Japan’s immigration policy, but 2 weeks later they try to kick out a huge chunk of PR holders. I think Biden understands their immigration policy very well (this is probably the first time I praised Biden for something, but everyone is right at least once in their life I guess).

      They’re also trying a new visa scheme to attract “trainees” to work as truck, bus and train drivers now. Like I said in my previous comment, how are you going to attract new immigrants, sorry “trainees”, if you’re kicking out current PR holders? This is just another prove that PR is useless. Covid proved it once and it looks like the LDP wants to further prove it to everyone. Everyone knows that Japan is racist now, even “allies” like the US and UK are saying the quiet part out loud now. Even the hardcore Japanophiles don’t want to come anymore after the covid fiasco.

      Good luck kicking out PR holders, let’s hear more about it when India overtakes Japan as 4th largest economy soon.

  • So a human life is worth only around 10k USD?

    The fact that the government even challenged the first judgment is a joke. And their argument is an even bigger one “During the trial, the government argued that the response by the officials, who had no medical knowledge, was not inappropriate.”

    This just can’t be real. 10 years spent in court over literal government sponsored murder, only to get awarded 10k USD by the court. I can’t even imagine how the family feels. There is just 0 justice for foreigners in Japan.

    • I would understand this if the cat statues were not only displayed but also owned by the temple, but according to the article the tourists buy the statues. So how does the temple even think they have the right to dictate what people can and can‘t do with stuff they bought? If I bought it, I can do whatever I want with it. What the hell is currently happening with all the „gaijin“ policing? First we have Shibuya banning Halloween, then we have Kyoto banning all tourists (I still wonder if this applies only to „foreign looking“ tourists and how it will be enforced) from the Gion district, then we have a town literally blocking the view of Mount Fuji and now this.

      When covid started and Japan closed its borders, I predicted here on that Japan will be one of the last countries to open for tourism and that the racism will increase tenfold. But even I‘m surprised at all these recent developments. They are literally inventing rules and customs that don‘t even exist and now people can‘t even write onto items they bought with their own money. Japan is really becoming more problemstic than China when it comes to tourism.

    • Recently I have had an epiphany about the Honne of Tatemae. I mean Tatemae used as an excuse to blame the other person, not in fact to spare the other person’s feelings. Like the exec turning my product down because “It is Korean, and recently North Korea causes trouble” Honne: he didn’t have money (admitted as much when pressed).

      This “sacred figure etc” Tatemae is to shame and blame the customer into leaving UNMARKED figures at the temple. So they can RE-SELL them. Over and over. It is a tourist trap scam masquerading as Unique Japanese Culture. UNiCUL(t), not Uniqlo.

      The issue is they leave the Cat figures at the temple. OK then, possible reactions:
      1. Write on it in front of them, but don’t leave it. Walk away with your purchase, writing as you go. If challenged, just say “Oh don’t worry, I am not going to leave it here! Mochi Kaeri desu!”
      2. Leave your written message on a piece of paper instead.
      3. Same as 2, but without even paying.
      4. Refuse the figure, just make a contribution (amount up to you). Shame them as beggars. Assume control of the Transaction.

  • In other news, the Nagoya District Court orders the GoJ to grant refugee status to a Syrian applicant who had refused to be drafted into his nation’s military / シリア国籍男性の難民不認定、取り消し命じる判決 名古屋地裁

    From the article:

    The government had argued that in Syria, there is no unjustifiably heavy or arbitrary punishment for evading conscription.

    But the ruling said that “evading military service is a crime in Syria and is likely to be regarded as a political or anti-government act by the Syrian government.”

    The court concluded that the man’s situation falls under the category of “refugee” because “circumstances were found that would lead to the fear that the Syrian government might infringe on his life or physical liberty, or oppress him.”

    I guess we have Nagoya District Court to thank for setting the GoJ straight w/r/t how Syrian draft-dodgers are dealt with!

  • One step forward, two steps back. It’s great that “trainees” can now actually become immigrants and stay indefinitely, but revoking PR for not paying taxes is a bad joke. Punish such people like you would punish Japanese nationals, ie. a fine or jail sentence if we’re talking about millions. Revoking something that should be PERMANENT over something so like not filing taxes properly is just a joke. They claim that it will be decided by a “case by case basis” (just another word for our bureaucrats will do whatever they want and kick you out if they don’t like you and there’s no chance to appeal), but we all know this won’t work. Again, they’re making the law abstruse on purpose when it comes to immigrants, so that everyone can be kicked out over minor things.

    How many unreported taxes do LDP politicians and their “business partners” embezzle yearly? I would love to see stats on that.

  • In other news, Tokyo aims to become a global hub for tech startups.

    I’m surprised that NHK actually calls them out on their bullshit and quotes a study that shows how Tokyo is not suited for something like that at all.

    Anyways, why would a foreign investor start their company in Tokyo, or Japan in general? So that they can end up like Ghosn? Or maybe they want to experience the unique Japanese culture of “omotenashi”, ie. being turned away at bars and restaurants due to being a foreigner. So much for Tokyo being “international”.

    For how many years has Japan tried to attract “elite” NJ businessmen now? I lost count how many times Japan tried to become an “international hub” for anything and failed. I just hope that everyone got their invitation to the event through their fax machine.

      • If you pay 120 months or more you qualify for a pension so can no longer get a refund.

        The withholding tax can be nullified by pension treaty (ie the UK Japan treaty eliminates withholding taxes from the other country for residents).

        • Thanks, while aware of that treaty, which appears to be points based, I can’t help feeling the “exchange rate” would be in Japan’s favor, thus the 20-30% “commission” Japan in effect charges for the honor of living and working here (?)

          Ie. You paid in 1 million Yen, then you move back to the UK, but do not quite receive the equivalent in Pounds, rather somewhat less.

          • I have no idea what you mean by that.

            If you are living in Japan and claiming a UK pension you do not have to pay tax to the UK thanks to the pension treaty, only Japan.

            If you are living in the UK and claiming a Japanese pension you do not have to pay tax to Japan, only to the UK (thanks to the treaty).

  • Just because NJ = money. Ditto “must have paid up to date Insurance/Nenkin to get visa renewal.”

    So, if their attitude is, if you aren’t going to pay as much as possible into the system, they don’t “feel they need you here” (as was said to me on my return once).

    Alarmingly, I heard the other day that if you leave Japan after 3 years, thus being entitled to a refund of your contributions, it is ONLY 70% or so, not the full amount.
    Japan takes a commission of your pension to the tune of 30%. That is like Protection Money.

    Can anyone confirm this is the case?


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