Martin Issott on Kansai Int’l Airport’s funny implementation of Fingerprint Law

Martin Issott reports that Kansai Int’l Airport will not have an automated gate system for fingerprinting foreigners, confirmed, for 2007–and probably not even 2008. Which means, a 2 minute immigration queue up to now will change into a 2 hour one, each time you cross the border, from Nov 20. His conclusion: “So the message is clear, all resident foreigners – at least those of us living outside of the immediate Tokyo area – must complain repeatedly in writing , to MOJ and Immigration officials at the Airports they regularly use!!”

Globe and Mail (Canada) on “Japan’s Unfriendly Shores”

I sometimes post pretty mediocre articles on Debito.org by journalists just going through the motions to file stories, without much attempt at bringing new information or angles to the surface. In contrast, here is an excellent one that could probably after a bit of beefing up be reprinted in an academic journal. Lots of good information here, have a read. I think the reporter followed quite a few of our leads…
IMMIGRATION: JAPAN’S UNFRIENDLY SHORES
‘One culture, one race:’ Foreigners need not apply
Despite a shrinking population and a shortage of labour, Japan is not eager to accept immigrants or refugees

Asahi: Woman dies falling from veranda during Gaijin Card Check

Asahi: On October 16, 2007, around 9:55 AM, a woman resident on the 9th floor of an apartment complex (Osaka-shi Nishi-ku Minami Horie 3 chome) thought to be a foreigner was asked by Nishi Prefectural Police for identification (shokumu shitsumon), in order to ascertain her Status of Residence. The woman received the police in her genkan, but returned to her room, and minutes later fell from her veranda. She died of severe injuries to her entire body.

朝日:マンション9階から外国人風女性転落死 大阪・西区

朝日:07年10月16日午前9時55分ごろ、大阪市西区南堀江3丁目のマンション9階で、大阪府警西署員が在留資格の確認のため、外国籍とみられる住人の女性に職務質問した。女性は玄関でいったん応対したが室内に戻り、数分後、ベランダから転落した。女性は全身を強く打つなどして死亡

Debito.org’s first podcast October 13, 2007

In this first-ever podcast from Debito.org, October 13, 2007–for people on the go who would rather listen than read. In this edition of the Debito.org newsletter:

1) FINGERPRINT LAW REVISIONS: CONFUSION, OUTRAGE, AND AMNESTY INT’L
2) JAPAN’S ANTI-TERROR: GOVT PROFITEERING & USER-FRIENDLY SNITCH SITES
3) LAWSUITS: ZAINICHI KOREAN VICTORY, VIETNAM WORKERS VS TOYOTA
4) UPCOMING SPEECHES OCT 22-27 IN WASEDA, TOCHIGI & KYOTO
5) IDUBOR CASE: HEARING OCT 18, BEERS AT THEIR YOKOHAMA BAR OCT 20

Template protest letter to authorities re new gaijin fingerprint laws

Scott Wallace: “I know many have written comments about the new fingerprinting laws for all non-Japanese reentering Japan’s borders. So i had a Japanese friend draw up a letter of protest. Here it is in English and Japanese. For the cost of stamp and an envelope i think its well worth sending it. Even if nothing is done, it’s great for our health just to let them know and get it off our chests. Nothing ventured nothing gained right? I have kept it to one A4 size so that it is read, points out politely why i think it the law should be removed or amended, and specifically makes a request. I don’t expect much but i do expect it to make me feel better. Feel free to amend it as you like.”

NOVA Union on NOVA’s impending bankruptcy, and strike/march Tues Oct 16

As many of you know, Nova is on the verge of bankruptcy and is likely already insolvent, burdened with massive liabilities from terminated and ongoing student contracts, and little assets since most properties are rented. Administrative staff were not paid on their most recent payday of Sept. 27 and have yet to be paid. Management has already said that teachers’ salaries will not be paid on Oct. 15 (tomorrow) and may be paid by Friday, Oct. 19. The situation for thousands of foreign and Japanese employees around the country is serious. In addition to unpaid wages, some are being kicked out of their housing, others are having visa problems. Meanwhile, President Nozomu Sahashi is nowhere to be found and refuses to file to the court for bankruptcy protection. Such a filing would aid all employees to retrieve 80% of their unpaid waves through government subsidies and to start to receive unemployment benefits (‘for those who have been employed long enough). The company is falling apart without Sahashi filing properly, the worst possible of situations, making it far more difficult and time-consuming to get our wages paid and onto the dole, etc.

Wash Post on Brazilian Immigrants & Education in Japan

Warm-fuzzy article from the Washington Post: “Hamamatsu was a natural magnet for the newcomers because its many factories offered entry-level employment and required virtually no language skills. Officials here like to brag that their community became the most “international” of Japan’s cities. About 30,000 of its residents, or 4 percent, are foreign-born. That’s almost twice the proportion of foreign-born residents in Japan as a whole. (About 13 percent of the U.S. population is foreign-born.) Most newcomers are from Brazil and Peru. They are offspring of Japanese who immigrated to South America in the early 1900s to work in coffee fields and take other jobs…”

Debito.org Update: Addition to “What to do if…” site: Evictions

Addition to the What to do if… artery site up at Debito.org, now containing advice from people in the know on what to do if you’re threatened with eviction from your abode (answer: stand your ground–they can’t evict you without a court order in Japan). Plus additional advice courtesy of the Japan Times, September 25, 2007, regarding union support, unpaid wages, Immigration/Visas and employment, redundancies, and unemployment insurance.

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER OCT 13, 2007

1) FINGERPRINT LAW REVISIONS: CONFUSION, OUTRAGE, AND AMNESTY INT’L
2) JAPAN’S ANTI-TERROR: GOVT PROFITEERING & USER-FRIENDLY SNITCH SITES
3) LAWSUITS: ZAINICHI KOREAN VICTORY, VIETNAM WORKERS VS TOYOTA
4) UPCOMING SPEECHES OCT 22-27 IN WASEDA, TOCHIGI & KYOTO
5) IDUBOR CASE: HEARING OCT 18, BEERS AT THEIR YOKOHAMA BAR OCT 2O …and finally…6) METROPOLIS’S MARK DEVLIN: “JUST LET THE DAMN JAPAN TIMES DIE”

The GOJ Anti-Foreign, er, Anti-Terrorist Movement keeps on rolling

We live in interesting times, where the GOJ is attending “Anti-Terrorist” profiteering exhibitions, making their internet “snitch sites” more user-friendly, and then reinstituting fingerprinting policy in ways designed to make life more difficult for NJ residents trying to return here. Surreal excerpts from online sources.

Chosun Ilbo: Korean sues for apartment refusal, wins in Kyoto Court

Chosun Ilbo: A Kyoto court ruled partially in favor of a Korean woman who sued a Japanese landlord for refusing to rent a room to her. A Kyoto district court ruled that refusing to rent a room to a person due to her nationality is illegal and ordered the landlord to pay the woman W8.65 million (US$1=W916) [about 110 man en, pretty much the average award in these lawsuits] in compensation.

Kobe Shinbun on new GOJ requirements on employers to report NJ laborers

Kobe Shinbun: Beginning October 1st, according to new amendments in the Employment Promotion Law, all firms employing foreign workers will be obliged to report employment conditions to labour offices. The goal of the reforms are two fold – to provide foreigner workers with job support and to help curb illegal employment. As awareness about the amendments is still relatively low, officials at the Hyogo Labour Department are eager to distribute leaflets to business groups. However, some have pointed out the danger that such reforms might invite new kinds of prejudice toward foreigners.

神戸新聞:外国人労働者報告義務付け、周知進まず 差別の恐れも

ブログの皆様、こんばんは。用件のみ載せてすみませんが、以下で書いてある面白い大前提ですね:『「働けなくなった外国人が余計に犯罪に走るのではないか」と心配する。』どうですかね。有道 出人 //////////////////////// 外国人労働者報告義務付け、周知進まず 差別の恐れも 2007/10/01 神戸新聞 http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/kobenews/sg/0000668949.shtml Courtesy of Colin Parrott 外国人労働者の雇用状況の報告を事業所に義務付ける改正雇用対策法が10月1日から施行される。外国人の就労支援や不法就労の抑止が目的だが、事業所への周知は進んでいない。兵庫労働局はリーフレットを経済団体に配るなど周知に懸命だが、新たな外国人差別などを招く恐れも指摘されている。(高田康夫)  これまで外国人を雇用する一定規模以上の事業所は毎年六月、在留資格や国籍、職種別の外国人数について、任意で職業安定所に報告してきた。同労働局によると、県内では従業員三十人規模以上の約九百十事業所で、約五千人が対象だった。  改正で、特別永住など一部の在留資格をのぞいた外国人を雇用する全事業所が対象となり、氏名と在留資格・期限、住所、生年月日などを、職業安定所に届けることが義務化された。留学生のアルバイトも含め、すでに外国人を雇用している企業は一年以内に報告しなければならない。報告を怠ったり偽ったりした事業主には三十万円以下の罰金が科せられる。  外国人の労働実態が把握でき、職場環境の改善や再就職支援に役立てられるほか、事業主に在留資格を確認させることで、不法就労の抑止が期待されるという。  神戸市長田区では、約五百人のベトナム人が居住し、多くが地元のケミカル工場で働く。日本ケミカルシューズ工業組合は法律の改正を会報で会員企業に知らせたが、「どこで何人働いているか調査しておらず、影響も分からない」。ケミカル工場の経営者(42)は「不法就労をなくすのはいいが、その前に外国人の単純労働を認めてもらわないと、人手不足でやっていけない」。  周辺では不法滞在のベトナム人が摘発されることもあるといい、「働けなくなった外国人が余計に犯罪に走るのではないか」と心配する。  また、厚労省が取得した情報は法務省に提供する仕組みで、日本弁護士連合会などは「外国人のプライバシー権などを侵害する」と批判。「人種、皮膚の色、民族的・種族的出身を理由とした差別的取り扱いがもたらされる恐れがある」と指摘している。 雇用対策法 労働者の就労の安定と経済的、社会的地位の向上などを目的に、女性や高齢者、障害者などの施策の充実を定めた。10月から募集・採用時の年齢制限の原則禁止なども盛り込まれた。  外国人労働者は、「安い労働力」として酷使されていることが問題になり、雇用状況の報告が義務付けられた。 ENDS

Fascinating lunchtime conversation with several faces of Japan

I had a fascinating lunch in Osaka today with four faces of Japan–a Nikkei Peruvian, a Zainichi Korean, a kikoku shijou Japanese working in the USA, and a long-term Peruvian. We compared notes on whether or not we would naturalize into the places we currently live. Their answers were enlightening, so I blog them here for posterity.

Reuters/J Times on Immigration to Japan

Reuters: “In a homogenous country traditionally wary of outsiders, foreign workers are seen as a last resort to boost the shrinking workforce. Instead, the preference is to bring more women into the workforce, keep senior citizens working and even resort to robots — but experts say these steps will not be enough to fill the hole left in the labor force as the population ages.” And on and on in mass media retread mode…

Shuukan Kinyobi/J Times: Vietnamese worker lawsuit against JITCO & Toyota-related company

Hi Blog. Another lawsuit against an employer for bad work practices. This time around, however, the plaintiffs are NJ. Let’s hope their efforts both make the labor laws more clearly enforceable, and highlight more of the problems created by treating NJ laborers as inferior. Thanks to Shuukan Kin’youbi and people at the Japan Times for …

What to do about fingerprint law: letter of protest, Amnesty Int’l meeting Oct 27

Lots of frustration out there about the upcoming reinstitution of fingerprint laws. This blog entry offers an assessment of what can be done about it. Not much, but not nothing. Organize through Amnesty Int’l/SMJ this October 27, even crib from two protest letters included. Civil disobedience is not out of the question, either. Details here.

Ignore recent news articles: Non-Zainichi Perm Residents WILL be fingerprinted

Some recent news articles and foreign government translations of Japanese announcements indicate that “long-term” or Permanent Residents will NOT be fingerprinted at the border from November 20, as per newly-promulgated anti-terrorism laws. This is incorrect. Yes they will, according to the MOJ even as of this morning.

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER OCT 4, 2007

1) JAPAN TODAY ON NOVA EIKAIWA MELTDOWN
AND LABOR UNIONS ON WHAT TO DO UNDER LABOR LAW
2) FOLLOWUP ON JAPAN TIMES’ FINANCIAL PROBLEMS: STATS
3) JAPAN TIMES: REINSTATEMENT OF FINGERPRINTS DEBATE
4) ECONOMIST: EDITORIAL ON ANTI-TERROR VS CIVIL LIBERTIES
5) BLOOMBERG OFFERS OVER-ROSY ASSESSMENT OF J IMMIGRATION
6) FOLLOW-UPS: J CHILD ABDUCTION ISSUE AND IDUBOR CASE
7) SPEECH OCT 8 AT OSAKA UNIVERSITY SUITA CAMPUS

…and finally…
8 ) HOKKAIDO NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS WIN PENNANT! AGAIN!

Speech Monday Oct 8 at Osaka Univ Suita Campus

On Monday October 8, I will be briefly speaking both for ten minutes and as part of a panel (English and Japanese) at Osaka University’s Suita Campus, Osaka University Convention Center, from 9:30AM to 11AM. Panel will be on “Non-Japanese Residents and their Health Treatment–What’s Necessary in this Era of Multicultural Co-Existence”, chaired by Professor Setsuko Lee of Nagasaki’s Seibold University. Sponsored by the 22nd Annual Meeting for the Japan Association for International Health

Bloomberg on J economy: refers to J immigration from China

Mr Feldman of Morgan Stanley Japan: “Immigrants are now really welcome… I see a very large number of Japanese people very much welcoming young, eager, aggressive people who want to come to Japan and make their lives there. We have now between 400,000 and 450,000 foreign-born workers in Japan. That’s not a huge number. But most of these are very young people, a huge number are from China… And quite interestingly, until a couple of years ago, there was a lot of talk in the media in Japan about crime coming in with these foreign workers. You see almost no discussion of that anymore. I think the immigrant groups have proven themselves to be very hardworking, very good citizens, and that’s helping the image of immigration.” Er, really?

J Times debate on reinstating fingerprinting for NJ

Sorry to have missed this debate on reinstating fingerprinting for NJ only in the Japan Times Community Page last June. Since cyberspace is quite incandescent with outrage over the November revisions to the laws, are the pros and cons, by two friends of mine, Scott and Matt. Comment and links to historical articles charting this policy for years in the pipeline also included.

Japan Today/Kyodo: Japan remains haven for parental abductors

As a result of the increasing number of international marriages, more than 21,000 children are born each year in Japan to couples of mixed Japanese and non-Japanese descent. Add to that the number of children born to Japanese who live abroad and are married to a non-Japanese. What becomes of these bi-national children when the parents separate or divorce?… There are no exact figures on how many children have been abducted to Japan. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports 46 American children have been kidnapped to Japan since 1995. That number grows considerably when factoring in children of other countries and cases that were either dropped or never reported. Furthermore, the U.S. government has no record of even a single case in which Japan has agreed to return an abducted child by legal means to the United States.

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 28, 2007

1) PREGNANT NJ WOMAN REFUSED TREATMENT AT 5 HOSPITALS 7 TIMES. IN 2006!
2) BIOMETRIC DATA MACHINES AT NARITA ONLY COME NOV 2007
(NJ FACE FINGERPRINTING IN THE GAIJIN LINE IN ALL OTHER AIRPORTS)
3) AMNESTY INT’L/SMJ FORUM ON NEW GOJ FINGERPRINT LAWS OCT 27 TOKYO
4) IDUBOR CASE AND THE DANGERS OF OVEREMPOWERING THE PROSECUTION
5) FUJIMORI FINALLY GETS HIS–EXTRADITION BACK TO PERU
6) NOVA EIKAIWA FINALLY GETS THEIRS–ADVICE FOR TEACHERS IN LIMBO
7) YOMIURI: FIRST TENET OF PM ABE’S “MORAL EDUCATION” PLAN SHELVED … and finally
8) STARS AND STRIPES: KOREAN-STYLE ETHNIC DISCRIMINATION

Protest Sept 29 re Monkashou’s Okinawa History Revisionism, Okinawa Convention Center

Coming up tomorrow, Saturday, Sept 29, from around 3:00 P.M. there is to be a general protest (kyoukasho kentei shuudanjiketsu) staged at the Okinawa Convention Center over MEXT’s attempt to rewrite history regarding the Japanese military’s policy of encouraged civilian “mass suicides” during the Battle of Okinawa. MEXT is pushing the view that it never happened. Scores of Okinawans who were there and witnessed it say it did.

Mainichi: Pregnant NJ woman rejected by 5 hospitals 7 times, in 2006!

Mainichi: A foreign woman seeking medical help in Japan after giving birth at home was rejected by five hospitals where officials said her Japanese wasn’t good enough and they didn’t have proper facilities, authorities said Thursday. The incident happened in August 2006, but was reported in Japan only after a similar thing recently happened to a Japanese too.

出産直後の外国人拒否、「言葉通じない」と津市の病院

ブログの皆様、おはようございます。これを見て言語道断。温泉等じゃなくなりました。ましてや、昨年8月に起きた事件ですね。つまり外国人に遭った事件ならニュースにならないでしょうか。日本人妊婦に同様に遭ったからニュースになりますね。色んな意味でひとい!有道 出人 //////////////////////////// 出産直後の外国人拒否  「言葉通じない」と津市の病院 産經新聞 2007/09/27 http://www.sankei.co.jp/shakai/wadai/070927/wdi070927004.htm  津市内で昨年8月、出産直後の20代の外国人女性が救急搬送の際、7つの病院で受け入れを断られ、到着するまでに約2時間かかった事例があったことが27日までに分かった。母子ともに健康だという。  三重県消防・保安室によると、この女性は自宅で出産。119番で消防が駆け付けたところ、赤ちゃんにへその緒がついたままだった。消防が新生児集中治療管理室が空いている病院を探したが、女性が日本語を話せず、一度も産婦人科を受診していなかったため「言葉が通じない」「処置困難」などの理由で断られ、医療機関の調整に時間がかかった。  奈良県で救急搬送中の妊婦が死産した問題を受け、県が調査し判明した。 (2007/09/27 11:26)

Excellent Economist editorial on anti-terrorism measures and civil liberties

Excellent article in The Economist this week regarding anti-terrorism measures and the erosion of civil liberties. How the pendulum has begun swinging back. As a twenty-year reader of The Economist, I’ve noticed a constant editorial slant favoring market-based solutions to just about everything, and the comcomitant (but wan and blinding) hope that the more politically-conservative elements of governments in the developed economies would follow their preferred course. Hence their often backwards-bending support of the current administration in the world’s most powerful economy, which has long demonstrated a pursuit of power for its own (and its cronies’ own) sake. Now, after struggling for years to come to terms with (and offering conditional, but certainly evident, support for) the American curtailment of civil liberties (enabling other countries, such as Japan, to take pages from their book and create policy rendering all foreigners suspicious as terrorists), this week’s Economist finally comes down against the erosion. Bravo. Now if only Japan’s opinion leaders were as intelligent and outspoken about the flaws in Japan’s new anti-terrorist and foreign-crime targeting regime…

Japan Times Community Page on NOVA Eikaiwa, and Advice for Teachers

Japan Times Community Page reports: Nova is on the rocks, and the rosy forecast from the man at the helm of the Osaka-based “eikaiwa” behemoth may not be enough to reassure members of the 7,000-strong Nova crew — including some 5,000 foreigners — that the company isn’t sinking as Japan’s biggest conversation school chain plans to abandon at least 200 of its 900 branches, according to reports. Advice on what to do if you are a NOVA employee also blogged, courtesy of the Japan Times.

Nov 07 Immig Law: New Biometric machines only at Narita. Every other airport fingerprints NJ every time.

Martin Issott reports: The new automated gate system for proocessing biometric data (read fingerprints etc., being enforced on foreigners only) will only be established at Narita and at no other International airport in Japan until processing via this system has been perfected and, very ominously, “when funds are available” to provide the system at other International airports. Resident foreigners entering Japan at other airports will be required to join the queue with all arriving visitors and to provide their fingerprints and photograph on every entry and re-entry into Japan.

Amnesty Intl Tokyo Symposium Oct 27 on

Public lecture you might be interested in. Arudou Debito ********************************************************************** Symposium organized by Amnesty International Japan and Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SMJ) Toward further control over foreign nationals? Japan’s anti-terrorism policy and a Japanese version of the “US-VISIT” program ********************************************************************** Date: Saturday, 27 October Time: 14:00 – 17:00 At: 9 Floor, KOREAN YMCA (YMCA …

アムネスティとSMJ主宰:『どこまで強まる? 外国人管理「テロ対策」と日本版US-VISIT』シンポ東京にて10月27日(土)

バリー・スタインハードさん(米自由人権協会)を招いてシンポジウム
どこまで強まる? 外国人管理 「テロ対策」と日本版US-VISIT
日時 2007年10月27日(土) 14:00〜17:00

Fujimori finally gets his–extradition to Peru

Former President Alberto Fujimori returned to Peru on Saturday to face charges of corruption and sanctioning death-squad killings, a grim homecoming for the strongman who fled the country seven years ago as his government collapsed in scandal. He was flying to Peru under police custody Saturday, a day after the Chilean Supreme Court ordered his extradition on human rights and corruption charges.

京都「イスラーム世界フェスティバル」は外国人お断り

一昨日、友人からの連絡があり、「9月30日京都にてのイズラーム教祭に行こうとしたが、予約を受けた代表に『貴方はムズリム(イズラム教の信者)ですか。』と聞かれました。『違います』と言うと、『それなら、外国人客はお断りです』と言いました。外国人は外国人を断ると大変皮肉を感じております。」

Kyoto Islamic Festival refuses foreigners, accepts Japanese Only

An Islamic festival taking place in Kyoto on Sept. 30 is open to Muslims and Japanese only, according to their director, a Mr. Selim. Muslim Aly Rustom comments on his feelings of how unIslamic this actually is. I comment on how even the holder of the venue, the Kyoto City International Foundation, is washing their hands of any responsibility–even though public places in Japan cannot refuse taxpayers even if they are foreign.

Yomiuri: “Moral education upgrade” proposal shelved

Hi Blog. Yomiuri reports that one tenet of former PM Abe’s “Beautiful Country” master plan has been withdrawn since his resignation–that of upgrading moral education. Good. I opposed this because these sorts of things, such as teaching (and grading) “patriotism”, would leave Japan’s children of international roots in a bind–how can they “love” Japan “properly”, …

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER SEPT 16 2007

1) GOJ’S HUMAN RIGHTS SURVEY WITH ODD QUESTIONS
2) NEW JUSTICE MINISTER TO GET TOUGH ON FOREIGNERS AGAIN
3) UN NEWS: UN PASSES RESOLUTION ON RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
4) UN NEWS: UNHCR URGES HUMAN RIGHTS REVIEW OF EVERY COUNTRY
5) TPR NEWS: SHASETSU COLUMN ON SNAFU AT MOFA
6) LETTER FROM GRASSROOTS UYOKU, DISRUPTERS OF AUG 31 MOFA MEETING
7) “ISSHO KIKAKU REP” TONY LASZLO IN COURRIER JAPON
8) FUN FACTS FROM SEIDENSTICKER’S “TOKYO RISING”

and finally…
9) ACTIVIST REBECCA WALKER ON THE “IDENTITY POLICE”

Letter from “Grassroots Uyoku” which disrupted MOFA meeting on UN CERD

Here’s a translated letter from one of the “grassroots uyoku” groups which obstructed the Aug 31 meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hearing arguments and feedback for the GOJ’s next (long overdue) report to the UN Committee on Racial Discrimination. They of course put on halos and claim that the NGOs denied them their democratic rights…

草の根右翼団体「家族の絆を守る会」から外務省へ「意見要望書」

人権擁護団体について野次をとばした草の根右翼団体「家族の絆を守る会」は、8月31日に開催された「人種差別撤廃条約に関する日本政府報告に関する市民・NGOとの意見交換会」について、いわゆる「問題点」と今後の対応についての意見、要望をまとめた「意見要望書」(9月4日付)を外務省に提出しました。