MEDIA UPDATE MAY 14, 2001
By Arudou Debito/Dave Aldwinckle
Hello All. A number of articles that might be of interest:
1) NEW JAPAN TODAY COLUMN
2) HIGH SCHOOLER WINS BIG FOR DISCRIM SPEECH
3) JAPAN TIMES ON NATURALIZATION DIFFICULTIES
4) DAILY YOMIURI ON ONSENS ISSUE
5) PEOPLE POWER IN NANPORO
6) ASAHI ON PUBLIC IMAGING-DOWN OF FOREIGNERS
7) OTARU LAWSUIT: DEFENDANTS SPEAK
1) NEW JAPAN TODAY COLUMN
ON OUR RECENT WAKKANAI AND MONBETSU ONSENS TRIP
Just something I wrote up last Friday 5/11, opening with:
"I have been asked for an update on the exclusionary bathhouse situation, so here goes: As you know, I am one plaintiff in a lawsuit (http://www.debito.org/otarulawsuit.html) against Yunohana Onsen (for racial discrimination), and Otaru City (for letting it happen). However, the problem is neither confined to Otaru, nor to onsens...."
Read the rest at
See also a Preliminary Report on this trip sent out May 10, 2001, at
http://www.debito.org/wakmonbtsuprelimreport.html (English and Japanese)
and a Wakkanai Doshin article:
More details to follow if and when I have time.
2) LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLER WINS BIG FOR SPEECH ON FOREIGN DISCRIMINATION
Watanabe Mami, 17, a student at Ritsumeikan Keishou High School (in Sapporo), won first prize in the 55th Prime Minister's High Schooler Debate Competition (Naikaku Souri Daijin Shou 55 Kai Koutou Gakkou Benron Taikai), a nationwide competition. Her topic: "Living Together in the 21st Century" (Kyousei no 21 Seiki e), with insightful quotes beyond her years: "In today's Japan, there is the tendency to mistake 'internationalization' for 'simply understanding English'"; and, referring to the onsen problem, "Once we know what non-Japanese want from Japan, we will finally have a 21st-Century Japan where people's hearts and minds can interact." It is the first win at this contest for anyone in Hokkaido.
Read it at http://www.debito.org/doshin051201.jpg (Japanese)
Since I was rejected last year from an NHK speech competition probably because my speech was on the Otaru Onsens issue, the fact that Ms Watanabe not only could enter, but even win, a national competition on this topic is promising indeed. It also shows me the issue is receiving due attention.
3) JAPAN TIMES ON NATURALIZATION
Friday, April 20, 2001, Part one:
FOREIGNERS FACE LONG SLOG TO JAPANESE CITIZENSHIP
(includes statement from me on naturalization procedures)
Saturday, April 21, 2001, Part two:
KOREANS WEIGH MERITS OF GAINING JAPANESE CITIZENSHIP
(includes statement from my Korean friend on his rejection for parking tickets)
BTW, essays on naturalization at
4) DAILY YOMIURI ON OTARU AND ONSENS
Full page in color, front page of SATURDAY SCENE Section
Saturday, May 5, 2001
Enormous article (had to scan it in four bits in black and white and table it). Mentions our submitting Issho Kikaku's draft anti-discrimination ordinances to several assemblies over the past year and a half.
5) PEOPLE POWER IN MY LITTLE HOMETOWN, NANPORO-CHOU
A group of concerned citizens in my little town (http://www.nanporo.com) have been getting together every month or so, chairing Town Meetings and Fora to enpower local citizens in town governments. As chair of the Nanporo Chihou Bunken Forum, I hosted a roundtable on the topics of 1) Juutaku Koukyuu Kousha, our government-run land developer (which is technically bankrupt, yet the Nanporo town government is acting as go-between for an annually-renewable loan to Kousha of 2,000,000,000 yen, with no collateral--moreover paying 0.25% of Kousha's interest (5,000,000 yen a year for the past two years) as a subsidy! Usually it is the risk *taker* which receives interest...), and 2) the local golf course problem (http://www.debito.org/d3s.html), which is currently tied up in court.
The premise behind it (Doshin article):
Local Doshin article (Sorachi-ban):
Local Mainichi Shinbun article:
Local blurb on one person behind it:
(all articles Japanese, but with photos)
6) ASAHI SHINBUN ON FOREIGNERS' PUBLIC IMAGING DOWN
A good article on "the roots of prejudice towards foreigners": i.e. how people like Tokyo Governor Ishihara and the Japanese police, with their singling out of foreigners as instigators of social disorder, are making life in Japan difficult for people of color. Much like we're dealing with on The Community Website (http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity). Courtesy of LK.
(Adobe Acrobat format)
7) OTARU LAWSUIT UPDATE:
THE DEFENSE SPEAKS
Our second court hearing took place on Monday, May 7, 2001, at 10:30 am. It was a simple exchange of documents, a couple of questions from the judge, and a scheduling of the third hearing (Monday, June 18, 2001, 10:30 am). It took all of ten minutes.
Defendant Onsen Yunohana presented their six-page toubensho, visible at
Yunohana's defense essentially rests on three points:
Nowhere in the defense is there any mention of Defendant excluding *Japanese*
(Japanese children, and naturalized me on October 31, 2001).
Otaru City's defense this time (next time they will talk about the legal side) disputes our claim that City measures were insufficent. There are nine pages of records of their meetings with the onsens, their answers to public complaints, and other measures to stop discrimination.
This is all very well, but 1) merely answering complaints with letters of explanation, 2) refusing to hold open public meetings or sustain information campaigns, and 3) refusing to draft anti-discrimination ordinances while arguing that without laws their hands are tied, are arguably not effective measures of combatting discrimination--as exclusion of foreigners has been happening within their jursidiction continuously since 1994. Our case is that Defendant's measures would not hold up under the UN CERD Treaty, which calls for "effective protection and remedies" via "all appropriate means". (http://www.debito.org/intlconvention.html)
I think that's enough for one Media Update. Have a look. Hope you find something interesting.