DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JUNE 15, 2008

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Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JUNE 15, 2008
Table of Contents:

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TWO STEPS FORWARD
GOJ Panel: Japan should welcome skilled foreign workers, also create Immigration Agency,
   and increase the NJ population to 10 million!
Japan Immigration Policy Institute’s Sakanaka-san on Japan’s new immigration policy (Japanese)
AFP: Once “homogeneous” Japan will finally recognize Ainu as distinct ethnic minority

ONE STEP BACK
Hokkaido Police G8 anti-terrorism measures: deputizing coke machines with scare posters, police checkpoints in Chitose Airport…
NYT on free land in Hokkaido (yes, you read that right)–but in one place only to NJ with PR

INTERESTING TOPICS AND TANGENTS
Akihabara stabbing incident June 8, 2008–yet Akihabara knife shop with “Japanese Only” sign up
Japan Times FYI on voting rights in Japan (including Zainichi & Newcomer NJ)
LA Times: US giving liver transplants to Yakuza with FBI assistance
Excellent Japan Times FYI column on the sex industry in Japan
China bans terrorists during Olympics (Shanghai Daily)

GATHERINGS OF INTEREST
Speech June 20, 2008, Arudou and Goetz speak on G8 Summit and Sapporo’s internationalization
Amnesty Int’l Public Seminar Shinjuku Sat June 21 on Beijing Olympics & crackdown on Journalists and Writers in China
July 13 Tokyo Organizational meeting for Oyako Net, a nationwide network for realizing child visitation for both parents in Japan
…and finally…

Otaru Onsens Lawsuit 2002 Sapporo District Court decision translated into English
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Collated by Arudou Debito (debito@debito.org)
Daily blog updates at www.debito.org
Freely forwardable

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TWO STEPS FORWARD

GOJ Panel: Japan should welcome skilled foreign workers, also create Immigration Agency, and increase the NJ population to 10 million!

Well, well.  Common sense does eventually trickle uphill after all.  The GOJ is finally considering immigration as a possibility for Japan’s future.  The Reuters article below touches upon that, but does not mention some important things:  The creation of a “Immigration Agency” (Imin cho–as in an agency to manage an imported population growth strategy, not the one we have now that merely polices you, taxes you with Re-Entry Permits, and tries to reset your visa clock to void your getting Permanent Residency).  And reduce the 10-year requirement for PR to 7 years.  Or, most importantly (I can’t see how they could have left this out!) over the next fifty years increase the NJ population to 10% of Japan’s population, meaning 10 million people (as opposed to the two million plus we have now)!

You can see more on these unturned stones in the previous Japanese blog entry, in an article from the Yomiuri.

This is a revolutionary proposal, make no mistake.  And if the GOJ takes measures to warm the Japanese population up to the idea (not to mention passing laws against discrimination by race and national origin), so much the smoother the transition for everyone.  Good positive steps here.

http://www.debito.org/?p=1736
Japanese version at http://www.debito.org/?p=1735

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Japan Immigration Policy Institute’s Sakanaka-san on Japan’s new immigration policy (Japanese)

http://www.debito.org/?p=1741

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AFP: Once “homogeneous” Japan will finally recognize Ainu as distinct ethnic minority

I’m still blinking at this one. After all these generations maintaining the fiction of Japan as monocultural/monoethnic, we have finally broken yet another ideological logjam: The GOJ will finally recognize the Ainu as a real ethnic minority, entitled to cultural and financial assistance for helping to maintain its culture. Bravo!
http://www.debito.org/?p=1719

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ONE STEP BACK

Hokkaido Police G8 anti-terrorism measures: deputizing coke machines with scare posters, police checkpoints in Chitose Airport…

With less than a month to go before the G8 Summit comes to Hokkaido, here’s some information on how the public is being steeled for the event. I expect things are only going to get worse (like they did for the Sapporo leg of the 2002 World Cup), when walking while White in public is going to be cause for suspicion, with street corner ID checks by overtrained paranoid cops indulging in racial profiling. It’s already happening, according to Olaf Karthaus, in Chitose Airport…
http://www.debito.org/worldcup2002.html

Eric Johnston and I have already talked about the oversecuritization for both the Debito.org blog and for the Japan Times.
http://www.debito.org/?p=1710
http://www.debito.org/?p=1639

Here’s the first evidence of that: Deputized coke machines with scare posters, other scare posters nationwide, and ID checks of anyone who walks out of baggage claim while looking foreign…
http://www.debito.org/?p=1721

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NYT on free land in Hokkaido (yes, you read that right)–but in one place only to NJ with PR

Time for the world to do a major update on their view of Japan’s economy, with it’s famous land-price bellwether (land was once used as the ultimate collateral–since once upon a time land prices in Japan were seen as something that never went down, and it fueled the Bubble Economy).

From the country where, less than twenty years ago, the Imperial Palace Grounds were once rumored to be worth more than all of Canada, now we have land so cheap it’s free!  As long as you build and live on it.  

This is apparently the first time this has happened here since the Oklahoma-style Hokkaido land grab during colonization about 150 years ago.  Pretty impressive, and a sea-change in attitude.  Especially as the exodus from the countryside continues, the ruralities empty, and entire communities die out.  However, it turns out, Shibetsu is being oddly fussy–refusing NJ who do not have PR.  Can it afford to be picky like this?  
http://www.debito.org/?p=1709

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INTERESTING TOPICS AND TANGENTS

Akihabara stabbing incident June 8, 2008–yet Akihabara knife shop with “Japanese Only” sign up

Japan Times article June 8, 2008, has a recount of the recent spate of stabbings in Japan, particularly the shocking incident the same day in Akihabara. But an irony I see in this horrible event is that a store in Akihabara–a knife and weapon shop, no less–has limited its customers to “Japanese Only”. Store called “MAD”. Photos in this blog entry.

Are “the authorities” being cited in “MAD”‘s sign still going to make the case that non-Japanese customers are less safe than Japanese? The shopkeeps of “MAD” might. Let’s use this occasion to reflect a bit on how insanity and nationality are not linked. And my condolences to the families of the victims…
http://www.debito.org/?p=1727

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Japan Times FYI on voting rights in Japan (including Zainichi & Newcomer NJ)

Yet another excellent FYI Column from the Japan Times. Along with information on issues of absentee balloting in Japan (and how the GOJ once denied this fundamental constitutional right to Japanese living overseas, until the Supreme Court finally ruled this action unconstitutional in 2005), something of concern to Debito.org:

“Foreign nationals currently do not have the right to vote in Japan and the issue of giving foreign permanent residents that right for local-level elections is controversial.

Permanent residents, mainly Korean descendants of those who lived in Japan before the war and were forced to take Japanese nationality at that time, have been fighting for local-level suffrage.

Newcomers with permanent resident status from other countries and regions, including China, Brazil and the Philippines, are also part of this movement.

Recently, DPJ members started work on a bill to grant them suffrage. New Komeito has also been active in this area.

However, conservative lawmakers oppose granting foreigners suffrage, arguing such residents must become naturalized Japanese first. This is because the Constitution stipulates that sovereignty rests with the people, and people are defined as those who hold Japanese nationality, they say.”
http://www.debito.org/?p=1717

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LA Times: US giving liver transplants to Yakuza with FBI assistance

“UCLA Medical Center and its most accomplished liver surgeon provided a life-saving transplant to one of Japan’s most powerful gang bosses, law enforcement sources told The Times. In addition, the surgeon performed liver transplants at UCLA on three other men who are now barred from entering the United States because of their criminal records or suspected affiliation with Japanese organized crime groups●

The most prominent transplant recipient, Tadamasa Goto, had been barred from entering the U.S. because of his criminal history, several current and former law enforcement officials said. Goto leads a gang called the Goto-gumi, which experts describe as vindictive and at times brutal. The FBI helped Goto obtain a visa to enter the United States in 2001 in exchange for leads on potentially illegal activity in this country by Japanese criminal gangs, said Jim Stern, retired chief of the FBI’s Asian criminal enterprise unit in Washington…”

The FBI did not help Goto arrange his surgery with UCLA but did help him gain entry to this country, Stern said. The agency had long been frustrated by the reluctance of Japanese law enforcement to share information on yakuza members in the United States.

…”For American law enforcement, it’s been like pulling teeth to get criminal intelligence from Japanese authorities,” said David Kaplan, a journalist who co-wrote the book “Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld,” published in 2003 by the University of California Press…
http://www.debito.org/?p=1706

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Excellent Japan Times FYI column on the sex industry in Japan

“What law bans prostitution in Japan? The Prostitution Prevention Law, enacted in 1957, forbids the act of having “intercourse with an unspecified person in exchange for payment.”

It also punishes acts including soliciting by prostitutes and organized prostitution, such as operating brothels. Legal experts say it is hard for police to crack down on prostitution because it is tricky to verify if a couple had consensual or compensated sex. The law meanwhile does not ban paid sex with a “specified person,” or someone who has become an acquaintance. It also defines sex exclusively as vaginal intercourse. Thus other paid sexual acts are not illegal…”

Lots more interesting data within. I’m not going to comment more specifically on why I’m reposting it on Debito.org (because anything I say will just be misconstrued). It’s just a great article on a pervasive topic in Japan…

http://www.debito.org/?p=1696

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China bans terrorists during Olympics (Shanghai Daily)

Every now and again we do need a reality check. I’ve been heavily critical of Japan’s paranoid rules about G8 Summitry and security. Well, let’s cross the pond and see how silly China comes of regarding security during their Olympics. From the Shanghai Daily: “Overseas visitors suspected of working in the sex trade, of smuggling drugs or belonging to a terrorist organization will not be allowed to enter China during the 2008 Beijing Olympics: Foreigners with mental or epidemic diseases, including tuberculosis and leprosy, will also not be issued visas to visit China, the Organizing Committee said in a circular published on its official Website. Entry would be banned to anyone with “subversive” intent upon arriving in China, according to the rule…” But wait, there’s more…
http://www.debito.org/?p=1716

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GATHERINGS OF INTEREST

Speech June 20, 2008, Arudou and Goetz speak on G8 Summit and Sapporo’s internationalization

One of two speeches I’ve got coming up next week (the other is a speech to the Tochigi City Assembly next Wednesday morning, June 18, on racial discrimination in Japan). In Sapporo, Friday evening, June 20, 2008, in Japanese, on the G8 Summit and how internationalized Sapporo is.
http://www.debito.org/?p=1731

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Amnesty Int’l Public Seminar Shinjuku Sat June 21 on Beijing Olympics & crackdown on Journalists and Writers in China

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Public Seminar on June 21
Countdown to the Beijing Olympics
BROKEN PROMISES
– Increased crackdown of Journalists and Writers in China-

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Date: Saturday 21 June 2008
Time: 14:30-17:00
Guest: Dr. Zhang Yu (Secretary-general of Writers in Prison Committee Independent Chinese PEN Center)
At: Harmonic Hall (Shinjuku-ku, Nishi Shinjuku, In English
More details at http://www.debito.org/?p=1720

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July 13 Tokyo Organizational meeting for Oyako Net, a nationwide network for realizing child visitation for both parents in Japan

The Oyako Net:  A nationwide network for realizing child visitation for both parents after divorce/separation in Japan, first organizational meeting in Tokyo
Date: July 13th Time: 13:00~16:30 (Doors Open 12:30)
Place: Bunkyokuritsu Academy Miyogadani Kaigishitsu A
Station: Miyogadani (Marunouchi-sen)
Cost: 1,000 yen
Individuals to speak:
1. Paul Wong 2. Yuki Misuzu 3. Mitsuru-san 4. Tanase sensei (Lawyer)

More details at http://www.debito.org/?p=1739

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…and finally…

Otaru Onsens Lawsuit 2002 Sapporo District Court decision translated into English for the Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal Vol 9:2

“Hi Debito-san, I just wanted you to know that the [Otaru Onsens Lawsuit] Sapporo District Court decision of 11/11/02 is now available in English. Please feel free to set up a link to the following url on your own website:
http://www.hawaii.edu/aplpj/articles/APLPJ_09.2_webster.pdf
“Thanks and keep up the good work.  Yours, Tim Webster”

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All for today!  Thanks for reading!  
Arudou Debito
Sapporo, Japan
www.debito.org
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER JUNE 15, 2008 ENDS

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