Hi Blog. Another in the ongoing series re Japan’s judiciary. Retyping from document, sorry for any typos. Only time enough to render English version for now. (And yes, the comma-less sentences, poor syntax, and mediocre writing are in the original; no wonder many Japanese find English hard to read!). Arudou Debito in Sapporo ========================= SPEAK …
Although the US is certainly no paragon of human rights worldwide (what with torture, renditions, abuses under SOFA, denial of Habeas Corpus to non-citizens, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and the largest arms sales worldwide, to name but a few caveats under this administration), here is their annual report on human rights in Japan in full. For what it’s worth. Note how the situation of “Japanese Only” signs nationwide is no longer mentioned, like it was in previous reports. I guess the US State Department considers the situation resolved. I beg to differ.
Anonymous Guide: “In Japan, police can arrest anyone, any time. They do not come announced. There are no government leaflets that prepare you for the catastrophe. So, I wrote this one instead, compiled from my own painful experience and those of many other foreigners in Japan. The actual chances to be arrested in Japan are much higher than the chances to be hurt by an earthquake in Japan – especially if you are a foreigner. Don’t think that you will be able to deal with it just because “you know your rights” from back home or from Hollywood court movies. Japan is not about justice, it is about bustice. So prepare yourself for the real big bang – read this.”
We have a situation here I’ve been waiting to draw conclusions on for some days now. But here are some articles which substantiate what I’ve been fearing all along. The indication of differing judicial standards for similar crimes based upon nationality.
When a NJ killed a J in 1984 (see the Steve Bellamy Case, where a NJ defending a woman against a drunk and disorderly Japanese wound up killing him with his advanced martial arts skills), he was exonerated, then convicted, then exonerated again for, colloquially, “yarisugi” (and it became a case that changed jurisprudence for kajou bouei in Japan).
Now we have the opposite circumstance–a J killing a NJ–and according to the Japan Times, leniency is expected.
Historically, America had the expression, “he doesn’t have a Chinaman’s chance” (the modern-day equivalent of “a snowball’s chance in hell”), showing how bent the American judiciary was towards Asians a century or so ago. In Japan’s judiciary, are we to say, “he doesn’t have a gaijin’s chance”? Mr Yuyu Idubor, convicted for a rape he says he never committed, or Mr Valentine, crippled due to police medical negligence during interrogation, might.
A crie du coeur from Aly Rustom, comparing the treatment of NJ as suspect and as victim of crime: “The most basic right- the right not to be murdered- and the most basic justice- punishing a killer, is denied to foreigners in Japan. The American military took some steps to try and avoid such instances in the future and the head of the armed forces in Japan bowed and apologized. For the murder of 3 young foreigners in Japan, cut down in their prime for absolutely no good reason, what have we got? We can’t even get justice for these people. Not even a conviction, let alone an apology. Is this a civilized government?”
JUSTICE SERVED, JUSTICE DENIED
1) Moharekar Case: Parents raise questions about baby’s death to Sapporo’s Tenshi Hospital
2) Matthew Lacey Case: Fukuoka police dismiss NJ death by blow to the head as “dehydration” (Yomiuri & Japan Times)
3) Mainichi: Chinese Trainees wage successful back-wage lawsuit against strawberry farm
4) Sankei compares NJ computer operators with toxic Chinese gyouza
5) Update on Valentine Lawsuit High Court Appeal
6) Idubor Case: A conversation with Mrs Idubor about life in Japan, and letters from Mr Idubor from prison specially for Debito.org
ISSUES OF BORDERS AND EFFECTS OF FOREIGN INFLUX
7) Asahi on how the GOJ doesn’t recognize NJ schools for tax funding, and why they should
8) Kyodo on USG pressure on Japan to do more fingerprinting
9) “Japanese Only” sign in Tsukiji Fish Market
10) Japan Times on Tsukiji’s tamping down on tourism
11) Alex Kerr on being a “Yokoso Ambassador” for the GOJ
12) DPJ at odds with itself over NJ voting rights
SPEECHES, PODCASTS, TV SPOTS, AND A BOOK TOUR
13) Italian TV SKY TG 24 on the Sapporo Snow Festival… and racial discrimination in Japan
14) January 22, 2008 speech to Waseda’s Global Institute for Asian Regional Integration, podcast and soundfiles in full
15) HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS on sale March 15, Japan Book Tour March 15 to April 1…
Hi Blog. Here are two articles about a mysterious death of a NJ, found dead in his apartment 3 1/2 years ago, deemed not a product of foul play by Fukuoka police (with no autopsy performed). An autopsy overseas reveals the cause of death to be a blow to the head. The Japan Times took …
Feeling down this holiday season? Consult if necessary with International Mental Health Professionals Japan–a volunteer group of certified professionals offering a range of recognized theraputic approaches, for the treatment of relationship issues, stress, anxiety, depression, abuse, cross-cultural issues, children’s emotional and educational problems, and many other issues. Many members also offer phone counseling. Given the state of mental health services in this country (generally pretty lousy; most Japanese quasi-“counselors” will probably unhelpfully attribute any mental issue involving a NJ to a matter of “cultural differences”, and Japan doesn’t even have certifications for clinical psychologists), this group is a boon. Check it out if you or one of your friends needs help.
1) MY NEXT COLUMN IN THE JAPAN TIMES DEC 18 2007
ON HOW XENOPHOBIA AND SHORT-SIGHTED POLICYMAKING IS DESTROYING JAPAN
2) SASEBO GYM SHOOTING: SOME MEDIA SPECULATES THAT A NJ DID IT.
WRONGLY. YET NO RETRACTION.
3) TV TARENTO PETER BARAKAN ATTACKED, PREMEDITATED TEARGASSING–
WITH RESPONSE FROM PETER HIMSELF
4) THE AUSTRALIAN/JAPAN TODAY ON KANAGAWA POLICE RAPE CASE LAWSUIT LOSS
5) MEDIOCRE ECONOMIST SURVEY ON JAPAN BUSINESS DEC 1 2007
6) MAINICHI WAIWAI: HOMI DANCHI AND JAPANESE-BRAZILIAN FRICTIONS IN AICHI
7) ALBERTO FUJIMORI REALLY GETS HIS–6 YEARS’ PRISON; AND THAT’S NOT ALL
8) UN UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS 60TH ANNIVERSARY DEC 10, 2007
9) DEBITO.ORG PODCAST DEC 8, 2007
with links to more than two months’ of previous podcasts…
The media this time was very good about the recent shootings in Sasebo, Kyushu, where a tall perp entered a gym and shot several people. But some media were quick to speculate that a gaijin or a black person dunnit, based upon how tall the perp was (and the fact that Sasebo has a US military base)–with information about an alleged stalking and a personality profile from a Sophia U prof that he was being influenced all the recent shootings in the USA! Don’t hold your breath for any retractions. The Mainichi certainly hasn’t in its follow-up reporting…
Re Kanagawa Police rape case investigation: “At the [police] station, she says, she was denied medical treatment during the first six hours, though bruised, scraped and suffering a whiplash injury from the force of the assault. The attitude of the policemen throughout was coarse and mocking. She says no attempt was made by the police to preserve bodily samples as evidence. “Not only the rapist but even the Japanese police contributed to an abridgement of my civil and human rights,” she says. “I begged to be taken to a hospital from the onset of reporting the incident, but my pleas were repeatedly denied.” Even after finally being taken to a nearby hospital about 9 a.m., she says she was returned to the station about midday for a further three hours of questioning… And, at the end of it all, the Kanagawa police decided against charging Deans…
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 28, 2007
SPECIAL ON FINGERPRINTING POLICY INAUGURATION NOV 20, 2009
FORWARD: ANGER IN THE BLOGOSPHERE
WHAT YOU HEARD:
1) YOUTUBED NHK: KEEP CRITICS AND PROTESTS OUT OF BROADCASTS
2) YOMIURI EDITORIAL: FP JUSTIFIED AS ANTI-FOREIGN-CRIME MEASURE
3) SANKEI ON FINGERPRINTING SNAFUS
4) YOMIURI & NIKKEI MISTAKENLY TRUMPET “FIVE CAUGHT IN NEW SYSTEM”,
WHAT GOT MUFFLED:
5) MAINICHI: REFUSERS TO BE INCARCERATED, FORCED TO BE FINGERPRINTED
6) ASAHI: 38% OF US-VISIT DATABASE IS MISTAKES
7) ASAHI: TOKYO & NARITA LOSE PERSONAL DATA FOR 432 NJ
8) YOMIURI: SDF & MOFA LOSE COMPUTER DATA IN JAPAN, BELGIUM
WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE HEARD:
9) MAINICHI ON AMNESTY/SMJ PUBLIC ACTION OUTSIDE MOJ
10) PROTESTS WITH PARODY POSTERS, T-SHIRTS, POSTCARDS, MULTILINGUAL BILLETS
11) FRANCE 24 TV INTERVIEW IN FRENCH AND ENGLISH: “JAPAN’S 1984”
12) NYT: FINGERPRINTING “A DISASTER FOR J BUSINESS”
13) ACCENTURE, MAKER OF THE FP MACHINES, NOW HIRING IN JAPAN,THRU TIGER WOODS!
CONCLUDING STATEMENT: PROGNOSTICATIONS FOR THE PRESENT COURSE:
A HASTENED ECONOMIC OBSCURITY FOR JAPAN
Two recent messages regarding fingerprinting and foreign crime in Japan, and how criminal investigations increasingly incontrovertibly run along nationality lines–with NJ visibly getting the third degree of suspicion, while J skirt the dragnet.
Hi Blog. Nov 20 promises to be a busy day. If you’re not attending the Amnesty/SMJ Protest against Fingerprinting, then consider attending this event–in fact you can probably squeeze both of them in, since they’re both in Kasumigaseki. About a person allegedly brutalized by the police, but undoubtedly denied medical treatment while incarcerated, and crippled …
LA Times: “As is common in Japan, Aichi police reached their verdict on how [brutalized sumo wrestler] Saito died without an autopsy. No need for a coroner, they said. No crime involved. Only 6.3% of the unnatural deaths in Aichi are investigated by a medical examiner, a minuscule rate even by nationwide standards in Japan, where an autopsy is performed in 11.2% of cases… But Saito’s case has given credence to complaints by a group of frustrated doctors, former pathologists and ex-cops who argue that Japan’s police culture is the main obstacle. Police discourage autopsies that might reveal a higher homicide rate in their jurisdiction, and pressure doctors to attribute unnatural deaths to health reasons, usually heart failure, the group alleges. Odds are, it says, that people are getting away with murder in Japan, a country that officially claims one of the lowest per capita homicide rates in the world… “All the police care about is how they look to people; it’s all PR to show that their capabilities are high,” Saikawa says. “Without autopsies they can keep their percentage [of solved cases] high. It’s all about numbers.””
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
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”
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
1) DISCRIMINATION AT “HOLIDAY SPORTS CLUB” CHAIN, BY JIM DUNLOP
2) TPR ON US HR 151 ON COMFORT WOMEN, AND WHY IT’S NOT A BAD THING
3) THE IDUBOR CASE: INCARCERATION WITHOUT EVIDENCE, WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
4) MOFA ALLOWS CONVICTED DISRUPTER INTO HUMAN RIGHTS MEETING (UPDATED)
5) THREE JAPAN TIMES COLUMNS ONLINE
… along with RESPONSE TO DOREEN SIMMONS ON ASASHORYU SCANDAL
6) IJUUREN PUBLISHES NGO POLICY PROPOSALS ON MINORITIES IN JAPAN
7) GREGORY CLARK DEFENDS PM MIYAZAWA’S CORRUPTION, AND MY RESPONSE
The persecution of Yokozuna sumo wrestler Asashoryu is all a diversion from the real story: That Sumo’s house of cards is being shaken. We have a death deterring people from joining a system with institutionalized bullying, renewed allegations of bout fixing, the very real possibility of bodybuilding chemicals banned in most world sports, and the entirely possible death of the Sumo’s credibility that the Ohnaruto Scandal of 1996 would have done a lot sooner…
Here’s a really sophomoric article from The Economist, which discusses Japan’s future demographics, yet mentions NOT A WORD about the influx of foreign labor. Why is a magazine as thoughtful The Economist sticking its head in the sand on this issue, and even resorting to the “grown-up children who call themselves adult Japanese men” stereotypes by the conclusion of this article? The Economist should not ignore global labor mobility, which (with closing on a million NJ workers in Japan) is definitely a factor in Japan’s future demography. Just like in any other developed country. Wish people would stop assuming that Japan is uniquely able to resolve all of this by itself.
NPA denies medical treatment to Nigerian in custody with broken leg, latter becomes crippled. Nigerian plaintiff sues, but Tokyo District Court rules against him. Also overrules Plaintiff’s friend’s witness testimony invalid because he is African, an Plaintiff’s doctor’s medical opinion on the egregiousness of Plaintiff’s injuries as “not rational”. Fact is, coupling this lawsuit outcome with the McGowan “I don’t like black people” Osaka Eyeglass Store Case, not only do NJ increasingly have different standards of evidence in J courts, but now The NPA clearly can do pretty much whatever they want to NJ in custody, even if it causes permanent damage. Case is under appeal.
1) UN COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE CASTIGATES J JUDICIAL SYSTEM
2) LAT: FIRST RECORDED POLICE CONFESSION OKAYED AS COURT EVIDENCE
3) DIETMEMBER CRITICAL OF J’S UPCOMING JURY SYSTEM
4) UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII’S ASIAN PACIFIC LAW JOURNAL ON CHILD ABDUCTION IN JAPAN
5) I GET SMACKED BY A CAR WHILE ON MY BIKE IN JUNE…
AND HAVE A GOOD EXPERIENCE WITH TRAFFIC COPS!
A summary of what happened this past week with my speeches in Tokyo: At Waseda, Meiji Gakuin University ASCJ 2007, Tokai University, and publisher Shogakukan Inc. Links to all my speeches, papers, and Powerpoint presentations also included FYI.
Got hit by a car while riding my bike, had surprisingly good experience with police. After all the scorn I heap on the NPA, I thought I’d give praise where it’s due.
This is a little ditty about my recent 768 cycle around Kyushu during Golden Week 2007. Complete with maps and photos, have a gander if you want to see marathon cycling in all weather.
In all, 13 men and women, ranging in age from their early 50s to mid-70s, were arrested and indicted. Six buckled and confessed to an elaborate scheme of buying votes with liquor, cash and catered parties. One man died during the trial — from the stress, the others said — and another tried to kill himself. But all were acquitted this year in a local district court, which found that their confessions had been entirely fabricated. The presiding judge said the defendants had “made confessions in despair while going through marathon questioning.” The Japanese authorities have long relied on confessions to take suspects to court, instead of building cases based on solid evidence. Human rights groups have criticized the practice for leading to abuses of due process and convictions of innocent people.
The alleged killer of hostess Lucie Blackman, whose body was found a short walk from serial racist and killer Obara Jouji, was aquitted of murdering Blackman due to “circumstantial evidence”. This in a system where circumstantial evidence has gone a long way in other verdicts which turned out guilty, and why does it increasingly seem like the police do a half-assed job when crime is committed against non-Japanese…?
1) IMMIGRATION POLICY–KEIDANREN VS NATIVISTS: BOTH IGNORE NJ NEEDS
2) ACCENTURE GETS SWEETHEART DEAL TO TRACK NJ AT BORDERS
3) ECONOMIST: UNITED NATIONS “ADRIFT” ON HUMAN RIGHTS
4) KYODO: LEE SOO-IM, ETHNIC KOREAN-JAPANESE ACTIVIST
5) TIME: TOKYO HOUSING IN 1964 AND THE EMPOWERED KENSETSU ZOKU
6) RESPONSES TO DEBITO.ORG RE GAIJIN HANZAI MAG, ALEX KERR,
LEE’S ELECTORAL DEFEAT, AND TORUKO
LUNCHTIME SPEECH AT ICU (MITAKA, TOKYO) ON MONDAY, APRIL 23
Here’s an article which will hopefully start the pendelum swinging backwards on the whole “foreigners are potential criminals” starting point whenever NJ interact which the police. Some advice follows from the US Embassy (gleaned after a recent email exchange over yet another case of post-assault police negligence) which would have made my closing comments a little more informative.
Foreigners who turn to Japan’s justice system for help find themselves ignored. Is incompetence to blame—or racism?
METROPOLIS MAGAZINE #677 MARCH 16, 2007
By Oscar Johnson
To deflect the cultural relativists and naybobs who make a sport of poking holes in any argument or social movement, it’s probably a good idea to give a review of the “GAIJIN HANZAI UNDERGROUND FILES” publication. and why it’s symptomatic of so much of what is wrong about a media which has insufficient safeguards against hate speech and defamation of ethnic groups.
Daily Yomiuri reports: Two state-run immigration “Gaijin Tanks” (where overstayers await deportation) failed to have a full-time doctor on staff despite ministerial requirements. Maintaining adequate medical and health services at detention facilities of any kind is stipulated in the U.N. Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.
Quick announcement on the Noro Virus (for people, not computers) circulating Japan and making news, with a link to the valuable health website healthhokkaido.com
A Japan Times article about another promotion to bring more tourists to Japan to spend money (remember Koizumi’s “Yokoso Japan” campaign?), specifically mentioning onsen as one of the places they want more foreigners to frequent. Funny they should mention onsens. Friend Hidesato Sakakibara makes a great rejoinder in a letter to the editor, questioning the effectiveness of such a campaign when there is no law to protect their rights from racial discrimination once tourists get here. For the record, the article, Hidesato’s rejoinder, and a comment from me with some links follow.
1) ERIC JOHNSTON ON MCGOWAN LAWSUIT APPEAL VICTORY
2) AERA/MAINICHI ON 2-CHANNEL’S NISHIMURA
3) SHUUKAN PUREIBOI/JAPAN TIMES ON GAIJINIZING THE PUBLIC:
POLICE CHECKPOINTS NOW HAPPENING TO JAPANESE
4) WORLD TOUR II: TOKYO, CANADA, AND SEATTLE,
AND THE MURRAY WOOD CHILD ABDUCTION CASE DOCUMENTARY
COMMENT: Yet another attempt to pin Japanese crime on foreigners–this time on a “blond” man–in Wakkanai, a place known for its close links to nearby Sakhalin, Russia. Luckily the police didn’t fall for it, but how many crimes in Japan which are suspected to be committed by “foreigners” are thusly red-herringed?–Arudou Debito Police arrest murdered …