Hi Blog. I think blogging should be certified as addictive, as I’m having trouble keeping my posts below one a day. Since there are so many, all I’ll do in this newsletter is provide the title of the blog entry, a very quick summary, and a link. Let’s see how that works out. It’ll certainly save me time and space.
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 10, 2007
Contents as follows:
1) TOWARDS FOUNDING A NPO FOR PERMANENT RESIDENTS, NATURALIZED CITIZENS, AND IMMIGRANTS
2) GOJ “JINKEN SHUUKAN” HUMAN RIGHTS WEEK AND ITS FLAWS
3) UNHCR DISMAYED BY SECRET DEATH PENALTY OF CONVICTS
ALSO TRYING TO PUT A BRAVE FACE ON JAPAN’S REJECTION OF REFUGEES
4) LITTLE BLACK SAMBO & GOLLIWOG DOLLS ON SALE AT RAINFOREST CAFE, NEAR DISNEYLAND
5) TOYOKO INN’S RACIAL PROFILING, PROTEST LETTER, AND SUGGESTED BOYCOTT
6) FUN FACTS: DIVORCE RISING, WORKFORCE TO PLUMMET, JAPAN’S MINUS GDP GROWTH,
AND 39% OF DIETMEMBER SEATS INHERITED
7) MORE ON NJ FINGERPRINTING:
CHUUGOKU SHINBUN, HOKKAIDO SHINBUN, DER SPIEGEL, NEWSWEEK, THE ECONOMIST,
THE JAPAN TIMES, THE MANITOBAN, AND JAMES FALLOWS OF THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY
PLULS ANONYMOUS ON SHINAGAWA FINGERPRINT PREREGISTRATION: A FARCE
8) IRONY: JAPAN POST CREATING “YOKOSO JAPAN” STAMPS. WITH DOMESTIC POST VALUE ONLY!
9) JAPAN TIMES PREZ OGASAWARA INTERVIEWED ON FUTURE OF PRINT MEDIA IN JAPAN
10) ARUDOU DEBITO DOING NEW BOOK TOUR IN MARCH 2008. DROP BY AND SPEAK?
By Arudou Debito, Sapporo, Japan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Daily blog entries at http://www.debito.org/index.php
Debito.org podcasts archived at http://www.transpacificradio.com/category/debito/
1) Towards founding a “Permanent Residents/Naturalized Citizens” organization
With all the NJ anger regarding the new Fingerprint Laws–moreover the GOJ’s tendency of consistently showing indifference, if not outright antipathy, towards the needs and interests of Japan’s international residents–there have been calls in the comments sections of several Debito.org blog entries for a new organization to represent the Permanent Residents and Naturalized Citizens of Japan. The organization is still in its embryonic stage. But let me create this separate special blog entry for people to discuss and pound out questions and concerns. Read more:
Created Yahoogroup for forming NPO for Immigrants, Permanent Residents, and Naturalized Citizens
Just created a yahoogroup for the forming NPO “Japan Organization for Immigrants, Naturalized Citizens, and Permanent Residents (JOIN-CPR). Join if you’re serious about pushing for the rights and interests of NJ in an official capacity. Read more:
2) GOJ Jinken Shuukan: “Human Rights Week” and its flaws
The Ministry of Justice’s Bureau of Human Rights has started its 59th “Human Rights Week” this week. I translate and interpret official BOHR documents to show where the focus of their efforts lie, and the shortcomings in their own “human rights awareness”. Read more:
3) UN News: UNHCR dismayed by secret death penalty of J convicts
Tangental to Debito.org, but UN News: “Japan is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which legally obligates States Parties to ensure strict safeguards when applying the death penalty. It is widely accepted that [capital punishment] executions cannot be carried out in secret and without warning, as this could be seen as inhuman punishment and treatment under the ICCPR.” And this is what Justice Minister was referring to recently about the higher value placed on life in Japan than the West? Read more:
J Times: UNHCR’s Guterres bravely spins on Japan’s exclusionary refugee policy
Take our money, keep your people. UNHCR: “Japan was the UNHCR’s third-largest donor country in 2006, with a $75 million (JPY8.1 billion) contribution, after being the second-largest donor for eight years through 2005. However, the number of people granted refugee status in Japan remains small. In 2006, the government recognized only 34 people as refugees, compared with 23,296 in the U.S. and 6,330 in Britain.” Read more:
4) Little Black Sambo dolls on sale at Rainforest Cafe, next to Tokyo Disneyland.
John C: “I went into The Rainforest cafe in iksepiri Maihama, Chiba (the shopping centre next to Disneyland) today with my son and I was utterly disgusted to find these Little Black Sambo dolls…” Plus what he did about the issue–successfully. Read more:
5) REPORT: Racial Profiling at Toyoko Inns; suggest boycott
SUMMARY: Toyoko Inn, a high-profile nationwide chain of hotels in Japan, have a clear policy of racial profiling at their hotels. They illegally demanded a passport from the author on the basis of his race alone last on November 30, 2007, reflecting their history of even illegally threatening to refuse accommodation to NJ residents unless they provide Gaijin Cards at check-in. This systematic harassment of NJ clientele is unnecessary and unlawful, especially in the face of hotels increasingly refusing all foreigners accommodation across “Yokoso” Japan. Toyoko Inn’s continuing refusal to abide by the laws, despite advisements from NJ customers in the past, forces this author to conclude that NJ residents and international Japanese citizens, not to mention supporters of human rights in Japan, should take their business to hotels other than Toyoko Inn–until the chain at the national level agrees in writing to improve their services. Read more:
Here’s the protest letter I sent by naiyou shoumei to Toyoko Inn’s boss Mr Shigeta, regarding their recent racial profiling of me at their Hirosaki outlet, and their history of treating the physically handicapped and NJ customers badly. Until we get a positive answer, I suggest we take our custom elsewhere.
6) Fun Facts #9: Divorce, Population decrease, Japan’s minus GDP growth, and inherited Nat’l Diet member seats
Here are another series of “Fun Facts”: innocuous-looking statistics which open portals into grander trends at work:
Stats showing a leap in Japan’s divorce rate (as predicted), a predicted drop in Japan’s labor force, a more impressive drop Japan’s GDP over the past ten years (in contrast with the rest of the developed world), and one reason why the system is breaking down–nearly 40% of the parliament is second-or third-generation (or more) Dietmembers, meaning Japan’s legislature is a peerage masquerading as a democracy. Read more:
7) MORE ON NJ FINGERPRINTING:
Hokkaido Shinbun Editorial and article on NJ Fingerprinting Debacle
Fingerprinting issue: Two very good articles from the Hokkaido Shinbun give the full panoply of human rights issues, citing what seems to be articles sourced from Debito.org, as well as the highly-critical Korean media. Read more:
Chuugoku Shinbun: Fingerprinting “a new form of discrimination”
Some favorable domestic media: Chuugoku Shinbun: “Ahead of its implementation on Nov. 20, foreign residents in Japan are protesting the new immigration system requiring foreigners to be fingerprinted and photographed when entering Japan, arguing that “it’s a new form of discrimination.” Read more:
FP issue: Newsweek on damage done by model US-VISIT Program
Newsweek: “According to the Commerce Department, the United States is the only major country in the world to which travel has declined in the midst of a global tourism boom. And this is not about Arabs or Muslims. The number of Japanese visiting the United States declined from 5 million in 2000 to 3.6 million last year. The numbers have begun to increase, but by 2010 they’re still projected to be 19 percent below 2000 levels. During this same span (2000-2010), global tourism is expected to grow by 44 percent.” Read more:
Economist on NJ Fingerprinting
The Economist (London) on the NJ Fingerprinting Debacle, with ample airtime given to the critics. As it should be, since this will affect business. Read more:
James Fallows of The Atlantic Monthly on NJ Fingerprinting
James Fallows on NJ Fingerprinting at Narita: “Let me put this bluntly: this is an incredibly degrading, offputting, and hostility-generating process… Today’s time spent in the passport clearance line for foreigners at Narita: 1 hour, 30 minutes. But mainly there is no getting around the insult factor of having entry to the country be like getting booked into County Jail… Think how the alarm bells would go off if China tried to impose a scheme like this! The editorials about “Big Brother in Beijing” practically write themselves. But now the two countries that apply the most intrusively big-brotherish surveillance over those trying to visit are two liberal societies: the United States and Japan.” Read more:
Japan Times: Mark Schreiber gives Immigration the finger at Narita
Mark Schreiber from the Japan Times gives us his experiences on what happened to him when he took a junket to Saipan, just to test the Fingerprinting machines on the way back… Read more:
Der Spiegel: “Border Controls: Japan’s fear of foreigners”
Der Spiegel on Japan’s fingerprinting: “No Japanese citizen even needs an Identity Card; yet the biometric data of foreigners will be stored for 70 years. Civil rights campaigners can smell the terrorism hysteria and racism, while the National Tourist Office fears for the country’s image… And Ms. Ogawa from the Tourism Office fears that worse may still come: “The Government has asked us to carefully observe tourists’ mood regarding these changes over the coming few weeks. If Japan’s image really does drastically deteriorate, then in our final report, we may have to include the recommendation that that these measures be abandoned.” Read more:
Original German at
Anonymous on NJ Fingerprinting: Pre-registering in Shinagawa a farce.
One farce: “It seems that if parents residing in Japan wish to use the automated gate process when leaving Japan or when returning, they will have to be separated from their children. Children are not required to give finger prints, but at the same time, at the automated re-entry gates there will be no human beings to inspect the passports of the children. Thus, for re-entering families, it appears that the adults can go through the automated gates but the children, if they have re-entry permits, must stand in the line like we always did for returning Japanese and re-entry permit holders and will enter Japan separately. Except that, obviously, if the child is a baby or not experienced enough to do this alone, then they have to come in through the tourist line with a parent. So at the end of the day, if a family wishes to stay together, or has to stay together because of the age of the child, they must go through the tourist line (Yes, I know, it seems obvious that we need fingerprint taking capability at the re-entry permit line)… there was a ton of frustration among these parents who had taken time to come all the way out to Shinagawa to pre-register themselves thinking to spare their family and tired children the agony of the tourist line only to find out that it was a complete waste of time.” Read more:
Manitoban: NJ FP etc. “The Land of the Rising Shun”
An article in The Manitoban (Canada) using lots of information from Debito.org, dispersing what’s been going on in Japan vis-a-vis NJ in Japan legally, socially, and logistically over the past 50 years throughout the Canadian steppes. Mottainai. Best to also put it on Debito.org for a wider audience. Read more:
8) Irony: Japan Post Office issuing “YOKOSO JAPAN” stamps January
Here’s your daily laugh: Japan Post Office is issuing new YOKOSO JAPAN stamps next January. Not only does this presume the tourists are going to want to come here to be treated like terrorists and criminals, but also the stamps don’t even amount to overseas postage: 80 yen domestic only! Read more:
9) FCCJ No.1 Shimbun interviews Prez Ogasawara of Japan Times.
Interview with the President of the Japan Times in the FCCJ No. 1 Shimbun, talks about the future of print journalism, the plight of the Japan Times, and even cites Debito.org!
10) Arudou Debito’s new book tour March 2008. Want me to come speak?
News of my upcoming tour around Japan between March 17 to 31, to promote my next (co-authored) book–“GUIDEBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS”. Its goal: To help non-Japanese entrants become residents and immigrants. Want to know more? Contact me. Want me to come speak? Ditto. Read more:
All for today. Thanks for reading!
Arudou Debito in Sapporo, Japan
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER FOR DECEMBER 10, 2007 ENDS