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Maciamo
Mar 29, 2005, 15:16
I am interested in other people's experience of discrimination or prejudices in Japan, so as to assess how widespead they are, who they affect, where it takes place and which form of discrimination/prejudices are the most common.

It is evident that the feedback I will get in this thread will depend a lot on each member's individual experiences in Japan. Those who haven;t been to Japan will not be able to reply, while those who have only stayed as visitors will probably not have experienced discrimination at all.

I personally haven't experienced discrimination in hotels or guesthouses, because I have almost never stayed in any, and when I did it was in very touristical areas and with my Japanese wife or familiy.

However, I was told by big real estate agencies that they just couldn't serve foreigners, even accompanied by my wife.

I was stopped and checked by the police 6 times (so far) in 3 and a half years in Japan; everytime in central Tokyo, close to my house, and everytime without reason when I was riding my bicycle to/from work (although I was asked twice for my alien registration card, and they didn't even check my bicycle registration). However, had I only stayed 1.5 years in Japan, I would have insisted that I was never annoyed by the police, as the first time I was checked was about 1.5 years after my arrival. So I guess it is just a matter of luck and how long one stays in Japan, but almost bound to happen to anybody staying for many years, no matter how formal they dress (I was wearing a suit all but one time when I was checked).

Japanese females are free to reply to the sexual discrimination question. Not being a woman, and not working full-time in a Japanese company, the only feedback I can give regards what I heard from female Japanese friends.

I am also interested to know if you have experienced similar discrimination in your country, or visiting/living in other countries. Personally, I have lived in 5 European countries (including Italy and Spain, where I clearly look like a foreigner), spend several months in India and Australia, and travelled to many more countries on all 5 continents, but had never been checked by the police or refused accommodation before.

I have never been to a public bath, and very rarely go to onsen or nightclubs, so I haven't experienced any problem about these in Japan.

goofy2feet
Mar 29, 2005, 17:41
Been here over 5 years, and never had any police trouble; though I am out in the countryside near Nagoya, so that's probably no surprise.

Been turned away from nightclubs on several ocassions.

Never been turned away from a hotel - I usually get a japanese friend to make the booking. Have made bookings myself for restaurants without any problems.

Was looking for a new appartment recently and got turned away from several places, even though i would have been living with a Japanese. In the end, we decided to buy (not in my name so no problems).

I hear, foreigners are very often turned away from fuuzoku.

Maciamo
Mar 29, 2005, 20:39
I hear, foreigners are very often turned away from fuuzoku.

By "fuuzoku" do you mean sex industry ? Never had to try, so don't know. The only thing I heard was that foreigners were usually turned away from hostess bars if they are not accompanied by a Japanese.

Pachipro
Apr 6, 2005, 02:22
In the years I lived in Japan (Feb 1973 - Aug 1988), I spent 4 years on base and 12 off base. I resided on or near the base for the first 12 years.

In the 16 years I actually lived in Japan, I was asked for my gaijin card about 4 times. Once I didn't have it on my person and that made alot of trouble and hassle and I had to go to court. Interesting story.

I was stopped on my bicycle about three times in the three years I had it.

I was turned down for an apartment by about three fudosans before I found one that would rent to foreigners. Near the base this was understandable as servicemen usually trashed apartments and played loud music and made alot of noise. This disturbed the "wa" of the Japanese people.

I was never refused entry to a business establishment although there were signs on some bars around the base that refused entry to foreigners. Away from base I was never refused entry even when I was alone.

I was allowed to buy my first stereo on credit at a major department store with only my gaijin card while I was a student. I paid in three monthly installments.

I bought my first new car on credit from Toyota with no money in the bank and a new business. Paid it off in three years.

I never had a credit card back then ('70's & '80's) as I usually paid cash or bought things on installment from the stores. This was never a problem. If I needed something on installments, I just showed my gaijin card and that was all that was needed. I was never refused. I was single at the time!

Recently when I bought something in a major store like Yodobashi Camera, I was asked if I wanted a credit card from their store to receive discounts and points! Since I was only visiting, of course I refused.

Staying in minshuku's or ryokans was never a problem. Even in out of the way places where tourists don't go. I was never turned down even when I went alone. I guess when you pay in advance it doesn't matter.

In all my years there, and every year since, up to my most recent visit last month, I have not experienced any outward discrimination from the Japanese.
In fact I have never been asked for my gaijin card since I moved away from the base or in any of the yearly visits there these past 17 years.


Japanese females are free to reply to the sexual discrimination question. Not being a woman, and not working full-time in a Japanese company, the only feedback I can give regards what I heard from female Japanese friends.
I can speak for my wife on this one. She will NOT return to Japan until she is ready to retire in a few years because of the discrimination (age & sex) towards women there (she is 43). Although she is an executive here for a Japanese company (hired as a local) and is expert in her field and is paid extremely well, she knows that she will not even be considered for employment by a major Japanese company in Japan in her field. Even for the one she works for now! She claims that the only jobs available to her will be part-time jobs doing menial tasks. Although she does say that she may be able to find employment with an American company or the rare Japanese company that doesn't discriminate.

In the 17 years we have lived here in the states, my wife has never received any discrimination or prejudice from other Americans, even here in the South. She has been accepted as just "another American citizen." For that she is impressed.

I have never been refused entry to an onsen, public bath, or nightclub in my 32 years experience with Japan.

I hope this helps with your research.

Brooker
Apr 6, 2005, 05:37
Once a drunk businessman in Fuji City stumbled up to me and called me "gaijin".

A group of us would get turned away at nomihodai (all-you-can-drink) sometimes, but that's understandable since we'd drink ourselves stupid and make a scene.

Other than that, I didn't have any problems. I never got my foreigner ID checked in the 15 months I was in Japan.

Maciamo
Apr 6, 2005, 10:01
Thanks for this excellent feedback Pachipro.



I was turned down for an apartment by about three fudosans before I found one that would rent to foreigners. Near the base this was understandable as servicemen usually trashed apartments and played loud music and made alot of noise. This disturbed the "wa" of the Japanese people.

Don't think it's because it was near a military base. It's exactly the same in Tokyo (even Eastern Tokyo, faraway from dubious areas like Roppongi or Shibuya). I personally resent it that they would even consider that I would damage their apartment or play loud music just because I am a gaijin, because I hate loud music (or anything loud), have had very noisy Japanese neighbours, and would think twice before renting my apartment to a Japanese after seeing how disorderly my own wife (who have to scold for it) or her friends can be. I am not really Monica Geller in Friends to say that "if it's not a right angle it's a wrong angle" (well I still insist on books between arranged in the right numeral order and by categories and sizes), but there are limits.


I was allowed to buy my first stereo on credit at a major department store with only my gaijin card while I was a student. I paid in three monthly installments.

Never heard of any problem with that, even without gaijin cards. Aren't Westerners richer than the Japanese nowadays (Japan only ranked 17th worldwide in GDP per capita at PPP in 2003). If you were there in the 70's, the difference was even bigger. It's mostly in the 80's Bubble Years that the Japanese thought they'd become master of the world and thought gaijin came to rob them.


In all my years there, and every year since, up to my most recent visit last month, I have not experienced any outward discrimination from the Japanese.
In fact I have never been asked for my gaijin card since I moved away from the base or in any of the yearly visits there these past 17 years.

Maybe that's because you came as a tourist. What may have caught the police attention in my case was that I was always wearing a business suit, so they guess I was a resident and it was their duty to harass me so that I do not consider staying too long in Japan.



In the 17 years we have lived here in the states, my wife has never received any discrimination or prejudice from other Americans, even here in the South. She has been accepted as just "another American citizen." For that she is impressed.

Yes, and all that in the country of the KKK and were innocent Muslims get lynched after terrorist attacks and Blacks only got equal rights in 1967 (?). I would not even imagine that a Japanese would be discriminated in most northern European countries.


I have never been refused entry to an onsen, public bath, or nightclub in my 32 years experience with Japan.

Me neither in 3.5 years, but I have only been twice to onsen, never to public bath and twice to a nightclub (these are not the kind of places I like going to). However I heard that people in Kyoto especially tended to less hospitable (even toward Japanese) than anywhere else, and that quite a few restaurants (not just the geisha tea houses) will not let foreigners in (even accompanied by a Japanese). But that's ok, as it's not really necessary to go to such places. The annoying thing is when you can't ride your bicycle safely in the streets without fearing being harrassed by the police (no it's not Mexico or Vietnam, but Japan I am talking about!).

But the most common form of discrimination remains for housing. That's where you really see what people think of foreigners. Many shops and restaurants in Japan are chains, where the staff wouldn't even dare refusing someone (they just don't have the authority), Anyway, most shops, restaurants and hotels need customers to survive, and foreigners are welcome as long as they have money. But when it comes to houses or flats, we are usually dealing with individual owners (it means ordinary people who do not have to follow to corporate rules) and the majority of them will just tell you that they don't take gaijin and that's it, no matter how rich, well mannered, responsible and orderly you are.

As I said earlier, discrimination in Japan rarely comes from people who want to meet foreigners, i.e. the people most foreigners end up meeting, be it as exchange students, at parties, or in English conversation classes. These people are exception (usually young and international-minded). The majority of the Japanese does not speak English, did not study abroad and does not take Eikaiwa lessons with native speakers. When I notice negative attitudes toward me as a foreigner, it is most often from people that do not want to meet foreigners and that foreigners wouldn't usually come in contact with as short-term visitors (even 1 year). They are the salespeople who ring to my door twice a week and always look so disappointed and embarassed to find just a "gaijin" (in exchange, when it rains I let them explain their stuff while making them wait on the doorstep and thensay I am not interested). They are also the (mostly elderly) neighbours who always greet my wife with a smile and "konnichiwa" but after 3 years still ignore me when I am alone and look at me suspiciously (or tell their grandchildren to be careful of the gaijin). They are people in shops who reply to my wife and ignore me when I ask them some questions (this happens 90% of the time). These people didn't ask to meet a gaijin, but when they have to they do not hide (or very badly) their contempt and prejudices.

Many foreigners in Japan may be happy and not feel the discrimination because they don't meet such people. Anybody who stays with other foreigners, with Japanese who want to meet foreigners, or do not need to live a life like in their home country (including getting a loan, buying a house, being accepted by the neighbours, asking a question without having the reply addressed to somebody else, etc.) may just not notice the underlying bad feelings shared by a large part of the Japanese population towar foreigners. Remember the cultural differences. Japanese people don't like direct confrontations, are hypocritical and polite. Therefore they will rarely tell you "piss off, bloody gaijin!", but they may think it. Remember also that the Japanese are no more angels than other peoples. After all, they were real butchers during the 1930's and WWII, killed and raped more people in more atrocious conditions than the Nazi ever did. Most of these proudly nationalistic people are still alive nowadays, and those that butchered and raped Koreans Chinese and SE Asians during WWII have shaped the government, media and education system of today's Japan. So that their nationalistic and racist ideas have influenced the younger generation they have educated, in typically Japanese indirect and subtle ways, so as to avoid too much criticism from the US.

My advice would be, go away from touristical places, meet the people who don't try to meet foreigners. Listen discreetly to their conversation whenever talking about "gaijin". Try to read their mind and emotions when talking to them. See how the kids react to foreigners. Get a Japanese grandmother. :D Read between the lines of what the media say. Understand why people have come to address all foreigners as "gaijin" and not 欧米人 (obeijin) or 西洋人(seiyoujin) for Westerners, and アジア人 for other Asians, for instance. Try to understand why most people are so ignorant of the world, or rather why the government would want its people to be ignorant of the world (i.e. so as to breed prejudices and eventually racism). Try to wonder why there is such an attitude in real estate agencies as refusing "all foreigners" before even considering their nationality, status, job and personality - especially since most Western residents in Japan (i.e. those renting a flat for the legal mininimum of 2 years) have a university degree, are better paid than the Japanese average, may be fluent in Japanese, and almost never commit any crime (http://www.wa-pedia.com/society/foreign_crime_in_japan.shtml) even compared to the Japanese.

It cannot be a coincidence that all these things are the way they are. So yes, the Japanese can seem very polite and respectful, girls are cute, the country is safe and has plenty of entertainment and great food. It's all good fun... until you realise that this was only one side of Japan. Looking at the other side, you see that those foreigner-friendly and well-travelled people are far to be the norm. How many landowners rent flats/houses in Japan ? 10 million, 20 million ? Would I be far off saying that 80% of these are so prejudiced against foreigners that they won't even consider them as a potential tenants ? This usually means that their spouse (or whole family) is also like-minded. Add to this a few millions elderly people, a few million nationalists (e.g. those in the black vans shouting nationlist comments in loud speakers around Tokyo). Almost none of those people are those that the typical Westerner will come into contact with in Japan, even staying as long as one or two years in Japan. But once you've decided to live somewhere, you can't just ignore that all these people exist and live around you - and are reminded of it by the occasional police checks and grandmotherly nonsense about foreigners.

In Europe, I would fight against racist, prejucided and ignorant people and denounce their behaviour. Why should I act differently while living in Japan - especially that this time I am directly concerned. One thing with me is that I don't forgive easily (especially to people I am not intimate with) unless the faulty person has made all they could to repair their wrong - and I never forget, in any case (I can't, which is another problem, too vivid memory).

Maciamo
Apr 6, 2005, 10:04
Once a drunk businessman in Fuji City stumbled up to me and called me "gaijin".

Don't tell me you have only heard once somebody call you "gaijin" ? It has happnened to me hundreds of times. It doesn't even bother me anymore. There is so much more worse than that !

However that's a good point that you can use drunk people as a way to know what they really think of foreigners. I live in an area with lots of izakayas and restaurants, so every Friday night I get drunk people all around me in the streets (a few hundreds, as there is certainly over 100 restaurants/bars within 15min walk of my house). It has happened to me to be told strange things also related to "gaijin" by drunkards.

mad pierrot
Apr 7, 2005, 22:47
my trouble have only been with the police. Why? I don't look suspicious. I look like Fred Savage meets Frodo Baggins.

I've been asked for my bike registration several times, both in broad daylight. Both times they also insisted on seeing my alien registration card. I've also been randomly stopped by the police for no apparent reason. Once, on late night walk I was stopped at an ice cream vending machine. They asked, "What are you doing?"
"Eating ice cream."
"What's your destination?"
"No where particular."

They looked kinda disappointed with me...

However, I've never been harassed or treated badly. Considering the kind of racial profiling that goes on in the states, this is nothing.

FireyRei
Apr 16, 2005, 03:23
Discrimination is rampant in Japan, in many forms you'd need a lot longer list for.

Many other less known examples, i.e. until a couple of years back non-Japanese students attending International schools were not allowed to enter Japanese universities, and now they are, EXCEPT Koreans.

Buraku, still exist and still goes on though quietly now.

Japanese companies refusing to pay foreign workers Medical insurance and Pensions even though required by law to pay.

How about plain ignorance? We all speak English didn't you know?

I interviewed a teacher for my school, he was very professional and a good choice, a native English speaker. But in the end rejected by my boss because he was half-Chinese.

I have a list a mile-long.

FireyRei
Apr 17, 2005, 16:57
P.S. Forgot to mention what happened to me a few years back: Came home one day, go to check my post & find my box out of the 100 or so is the only one vandalised. Later, got home one day to find 'Gaijin kaere' sprayed on my door.

Lovely.

Mike Cash
Apr 17, 2005, 17:55
Japanese companies refusing to pay foreign workers Medical insurance and Pensions even though required by law to pay.



Unfortunately, that can tend to happen quite a lot when foreign workers are hired as foreign workers (specificially to fill jobs Japanese won't do or, more common, to save money). When one of the prime reasons a particular job may be open to a foreigner is as a cost-cutting measure, it is only to be expected that they skimp on everything they can.

There is always the option of doing what I did: Get hired even though you're a foreigner and not just because you're a foreigner. It's harder to do, but in companies which will do it it probably never even enters their mind to handle the pay/benefits any differently than they do the Japanese employees.

FireyRei
Apr 19, 2005, 02:12
Mike,

Not quite sure of your point, but as I said, "Japanese companies refusing to pay foreign workers Medical insurance and Pensions even though required by law to pay." Meaning every single one of us, aside from those hired by international companies like Mitsubishi etc. You mean you aren't a language teacher? Why would a Japanese company hire people for not being foreign, what situation? Even the major corporations hire foreigners because they are that and can help bridge the gap between nationalities.

We'll always be foreigners here, nothing else. Doesn't matter how a Japanese person thinks they feel or acts, when it comes down to it, we're different to them, period. I've met so many Japanese people who thought they were hip, down with the gaijins but when the sugar hits the fan, they turn out Japanese - different from us after all.

One of my ex-students, travelled the world, speaks English fluently/accurately, loves foreign things and people, well into being 'different'. Has an operation, doctor fooks up & damages his brain. So what does he do? Nothing, "Japanese people don't make a scene" he says...

The bottom line, 'We Japanese...' Like you've never heard that line a thousand times.

Mike Cash
Apr 19, 2005, 03:14
I am a regular seishain at a company, and neither my foreignness nor my English ability play any part whatsoever in my work. They were handicaps to my being employed, if anything. And I don't work for an international/multinational company. I am employed under precisely the same terms and conditions and perform precisely the same tasks that my Japanese coworkers do. And I'm the only non-Japanese person there. So I'll kindly ask to be excluded from "every single one of us" and ask you to consider painting Japan with a little narrower brush.

celtician
Apr 27, 2005, 22:46
Yes the Japanese are expert in getting around the pension, health insurance for FOREIGNERS thing. Indirect discrimination???
I have not been checked while on my bicycle. Fortunately. Otherwise I'd go nuclear!!!! Depends on what type of bicycle you have.

myownpain
May 1, 2005, 21:38
Wow I knew it was bad, but man oh man I didn't know it was that bad. I don't have much care to as if they like me or not. I'm not even accepted here in the US that much. Because I like to dress differently I am judged before people even get to know me. So I'm pretty numb to that stuff already. I would love to live in Japan, but lack the interest to struggle in a place when I can do that here and at least be around loved ones.

Plus I think its sad that people have to act that way to make themselves feel better. We all live and die just the same, difference is when you come to America they welcome you with open arms and other places really don't care if you visit/live there or not. I guess you have to consider that in all places some welcome others and some don't. It just depends on how you were raised and the experiences that settle your judgement towards something.

Mike Cash
May 1, 2005, 22:04
Yes the Japanese are expert in getting around the pension, health insurance for FOREIGNERS thing.

And foreigners have often displayed quite a desire to be exempted from them.

I guess my posts on this, in this thread, must have escaped your notice.

marcus314
May 10, 2005, 15:11
With all these posts about foriegners being prejudiced in Japan in this forum, I have a question.....please do not feel offended if this question is slightly discriminative in nature.

Are these only limited to caucasians? Would Asians be in general less "discriminated" in Japan because they are not "white?"

Is it possible for a Japanese to look at a Chinese and think that he/she is Japanese?

Sorry these may be stupid questions......but I am not caucasian and in the near future plans to stay in Japan for an extended period of time. I have been to Japan many times and have not felt any prejudice against me by the locals. I would like to know if this is purely luck or is it more the fact that I "look" Japanese.........

Thank you

^_^

pipokun
May 10, 2005, 21:08
marcus314
Hope that you will come to Japan with a lot of negative images.
I suppose, at least, no maple leaf flag would be needed even with your north american English accent. :)

As to the Europen matters, it would be interesting for an asian tourist to go to, say, a small museum in northern europe at not busy time, for the staffs would kindly watch what you are interested in. But I am too stupid to be eloquent and I don't have to play certain roll here.

lexico
May 10, 2005, 21:38
I think a lot has also to do with the person.
I'm not saying that everyone who complained was looking for trouble or had a negative attitude desrving such, but it would be unfortunate if the idea of 'negativity' would make anyone more keen to little things that can go either way. If you've had a postive experience, what can be better than that ?

Wherever you go, there will be a**holes to ruin your day. They'll be angels to save you from trouble. Some of the things deserve serious study, reflection, and improvement, but it shoudln't become a reason to put the whole 'foreigner thing' in a dark light. There are advantages and disadvantages, and little social skills that smoothes the interaction. The same should go for 'non-Caucasian foreigners.' Just a little different in every case.

My European experience wasn't all jolly, but doesn't make me anit-European. It is hard, though, to discern the whining and insights. I can't distinguish those in myself, either. ^___^ I hope you enjoy your positive Japanese experience next time, every time.

bossel
May 11, 2005, 00:17
As to the Europen matters, it would be interesting for an asian tourist to go to, say, a small museum in northern europe at not busy time, for the staffs would kindly watch what you are interested in. But I am too stupid to be eloquent and I don't have to play certain roll here.
I'm a German & been to small German museums, & the staff kindly watched what I was interested in. So what?

pipokun
May 11, 2005, 00:43
I'm a German & been to small German museums, & the staff kindly watched what I was interested in. So what?
No utopia in the world. Got it?

MeAndroo
May 11, 2005, 01:27
The only thing I heard was that foreigners were usually turned away from hostess bars if they are not accompanied by a Japanese.

Having walked through Kabuki-cho with just one white buddy (me being of Asian descent, but definitely American), we were openly "recruited" to go into a variety of hostess bars, both in Japanese and English. I've only been to one, it being a mainly gaijin establishment, with women of European, southeast Asian, and even South American descent. Good times. :cool:
We also ventured into a couple of places on our own, just to see how people would react, and I'd say it was 50/50.


A group of us would get turned away at nomihodai (all-you-can-drink) sometimes, but that's understandable since we'd drink ourselves stupid and make a scene.

I can't imagine how much worse the scene would have been if our groups had ever been turned away. We never once got turned away from a nomihoudai, even with a heavy majority of foreigners, and I'm sorry to hear that you did. And if drinking yourself stupid and making a scene were any cause for concern, Japanese people wouldn't be allowed in those places either.


Are these only limited to caucasians? Would Asians be in general less "discriminated" in Japan because they are not "white?"

No, they do it to every other race too. A half white, half black friend of mine had a guy come up to her and say repeatedly "brajiru? brajiru?" I mean, I know there's a fair amount of Japanese in Brazil, but is that really the default? I definitely felt like I blended in with everybody else, but that may be due to the fact that I spoke mainly Japanese and spent a lot of time with my host family. Having a Japanese surname doesn't hurt either. This may sound odd to some, but I definitely did NOT want to be seeen as a Japanese national. I did my best to fit in, follow local customs, and whatnot, but never let it be thought for long that I was a local.

bossel
May 11, 2005, 03:14
No utopia in the world. Got it?
Not really. Why then would it be "interesting for an asian tourist to go to, say, a small museum in northern europe at not busy time"?

PopCulturePooka
May 11, 2005, 07:50
I heard that foreigners got banned from a few BLDY's around the Atsugi, Hon Atsugi and MAchida area (Odakyu line) because one group one time drank to much on the cheap ALL YOU CAN DRINK spirits bar.

pipokun
May 11, 2005, 14:44
I know it is a bit irrelevant to say something about other countries, at least, in this thread. But I also think it would be boring if everybody here says something like “Racism Everywhere”.

MeAndroo
May 11, 2005, 16:14
I heard that foreigners got banned from a few BLDY's around the Atsugi, Hon Atsugi and MAchida area (Odakyu line) because one group one time drank to much on the cheap ALL YOU CAN DRINK spirits bar.

Now that would be an outright travesty. BLDY had two outposts at Takadanobaba, the nearest major stop on my way to Waseda, and I definitely used my frequent customer card to the fullest.

Mike Cash
May 11, 2005, 18:12
A half white, half black friend of mine had a guy come up to her and say repeatedly "brajiru? brajiru?" I mean, I know there's a fair amount of Japanese in Brazil, but is that really the default?

In some places up here in Gunma, it's the default. Seriously.

I used to live in Oizumi (Gunma) before very many showed up. That was quite some time ago and just here and there in a few places you could see a couple of tiny shops operated by South Americans and/or catering to them. You go there now and you'd swear you were in a Brazilian city with here and there a few shops operated by Japanese and catering to them.

When I answered "Portuguese" because it would be useful in Japan in the thread about what other language I wish I had learned....I wasn't joking.

Mikawa Ossan
Sep 18, 2005, 19:50
Where I live, too, being Brazilian is basically the default. What with all the Toyota group factories and all.

I have encountered much of what has been mentioned here, but I fully expect it, and I have from the beginning. I mean, being a foreigner in Japan makes me a minority from the start. Being a minority ANYWHERE puts you in a disadvantage.

Being able to speak Japanese to a degree, I find that much more than discrimination, I encounter a certain "differentiation" if that's an acceptable use of the word. For example, just yesterday I was talking with some friends from a local volunteer group. One man was older than I am and the other was younger. The older man is not racist, anti-foreigner, or anything like that. BUT, during serious topics, he almost never looked at nor addressed me, and when I put my 2 cents in, it was quickly brushed aside. However, during non-serious topics, he put me in the center of the conversation.

At stores, I sometimes find that the clerks won't talk directly to me even if I ask a question, like Maciamo. I hate that.

I find that if I talk about anything other than English and other countries, I have a hard time being taken seriously unless I really work at it.

I find that you have to know much more about topics than the locals for your opinion to be heard.

And once you show any sign of "weakness", it takes a long time to regain your standing.

But having said this, I have had many many positive experiences here, too.

I never had a single problem of discrimination or "differentiation" when I was the salary man at the wedding company from my co-workers. Never. (At least not after the first day, when some most people were concerned whether I could really speak Japanese or not.) Like Mike Cash, I, too, was hired in spite of my being a foreigner.

Nor, might I add at any other job I've had here. Customers are a different story, however...

Maybe I expect discrimination too much, but I was SHOCKED (in a good way), when I first went to a capsle hotel in Hiroshima and some guy started talking to me out of the blue about his laundry he was doing. I mean, he was talking to me completely naturally. Actually, I had(have) it stuck in my mind that capsle hotels are very anti-foreigners, but I've had better experiences there in general than at regular hotels.

I could go on. But I'll spare you. :victory:

Maciamo
Sep 18, 2005, 21:31
I have encountered much of what has been mentioned here, but I fully expect it, and I have from the beginning. I mean, being a foreigner in Japan makes me a minority from the start. Being a minority ANYWHERE puts you in a disadvantage.

I didn't expect it, because I have lived in such countries as Spain or Italy where I was almost as clearly a foreigner as in Japan, and was never treated much differently from the locals (actually yes, in Madrid they tried to cheat me several times on the restaurant bill thinking I was just an unwary tourist - but they have learnt not to mess with me on that).

I can't really complain about not being taken seriously by the Japanese, as it is usually the reverse that happens. I am fed up of their lack of interest and knowledge for serious subjects, and they usually listen to me as if I was an expert (maybe because most of these discussions happen while I am in the position of teacher :p ). Difficult to have a level-field conversation in which there is a real exchange of opinions (not just polite nodding and "eeeh !"), except with the rare true intellectuals.


At stores, I sometimes find that the clerks won't talk directly to me even if I ask a question, like Maciamo. I hate that.

Still happened to me 10min ago. I was with my wife and paid for her stuff. The guy at the combini hesitated giving the change back to me or to my wife and was looking at her for tips, as if he had no idea that if the banknote came out of the wallet that came out of my pocket, the change had to return to me too ! It's almost always like that in combinis !


Maybe I expect discrimination too much, but I was SHOCKED (in a good way), when I first went to a capsle hotel in Hiroshima and some guy started talking to me out of the blue about his laundry he was doing. I mean, he was talking to me completely naturally. Actually, I had(have) it stuck in my mind that capsle hotels are very anti-foreigners, but I've had better experiences there in general than at regular hotels.

This mostly happened to me when the guy could speak English and addressed me in English as if I looked like an English-speaker. Sometimes I just want to talk to them back in French or any other language to make them think a bit, but I usually just reply in Japanese because I know the conversation won't go very far in English.

Mikawa Ossan
Sep 18, 2005, 22:10
I didn't expect it, because I have lived in such countries as Spain or Italy where I was almost as clearly a foreigner as in Japan, and was never treated much differently from the locals
I came from the USA originally, and as you well know, they have many issues with minorities there. I have always thought of it as a cruel but unyielding fact that minorities face many obstacles that a non-minority has a hard time understanding.
Interestingly enough, I have a Japanese friend who moved to Italy, but finally moved back to Japan because, as she said, "No matter how long I lived there, they never accepted me as one of them." I don't know exactly what she meant, but I assumed it was exactly what this thread is discussing here.


I am fed up of their lack of interest and knowledge for serious subjects.
I know many people who like to talk about serious subjects, but I should clarify. When I talk to co-workers, I never have this problem. When I talk to fellow volunteer members, I do. It really depends on who I'm talking too.


This mostly happened to me when the guy could speak English and addressed me in English as if I looked like an English-speaker.
But you see, the guy spoke to me in JAPANESE without skipping a beat. That's what was so shocking! I was really flattered, actually. It was like the guy didn't even notice I was a foreigner!

On a slightly different note, has a Japanese person ever come up to you at say the train station and asked you for help buying the right ticket? It happened to me once by a little old lady. I don't think she could see so well...

Maciamo
Sep 18, 2005, 22:28
But you see, the guy spoke to me in JAPANESE without skipping a beat. That's what was so shocking! I was really flattered, actually. It was like the guy didn't even notice I was a foreigner!

I understood. I wanted to point out that it NEVER happened to me. You were "lucky" if I may say so.


On a slightly different note, has a Japanese person ever come up to you at say the train station and asked you for help buying the right ticket? It happened to me once by a little old lady. I don't think she could see so well...

I have seen many times someone asking their way in the street to other Japanese. Often the person had to ask quite a few people as they didn't know the area well. I was standing next to them (waiting at the pedestrian crossing) but the lost guy always ignore me and try to walk further away to find another Japanese to ask. Everytime I knew exactly where the place was and could have explained it very clearly in Japanese. But as the lost person didn't care to ask me at all, I thought to myself that I was not going to help such a jerk who probably presume I am lost (never ever assume I don't know exactly where I am anywhere in the world - it's instinctive) or cannot speak Japanese. Too bad for them. Once, a guy was going to ask me, but as I turned and he saw that I was a Westerner, he abruptly stop talking and walked away without a word. Typical Japanese reaction when they see a Westerner. Very lame if you ask me !

Mikawa Ossan
Sep 18, 2005, 23:09
I understood. I wanted to point out that it NEVER happened to me. You were "lucky" if I may say so.

Sorry. I misunderstood. :sorry:



Once, a guy was going to ask me, but as I turned and he saw that I was a Westerner, he abruptly stop talking and walked away without a word. me !
Yeah, when I worked at the hotel, I remember some customer who just wouldn't listen to my directions, even though it was to a place right next to where I live.
Another time, a different customer just couldn't seem to understand my directions. Then a Japanese staff told the SAME DIRECTIONS in the SAME WORDS and the customer magically understood. Not a happy feeling! :auch:

I should mention that I am not asian, but I am very thin, so maybe I'm somewhat less intimidating(?) than some other foreigners.(?)

Maciamo
Sep 18, 2005, 23:18
I should mention that I am not asian, but I am very thin, so maybe I'm somewhat less intimidating(?) than some other foreigners.(?)

I am not very fat either. 75kg for 1m90. But that is not it, why would someone behind me ask me for directions, then suddenly go away without a word or even a "sumimassen" when they see I am not Japanese ? That time there was nobody else immediately around, except the first guy he asked who didn't have a clue. Well, that's his choice (but I don't want to hear some Japanese tell me about the strength of the samurai spirit in every Japanese salaymen - more coward you die !).

Mikawa Ossan
Sep 18, 2005, 23:32
But that is not it, why would someone behind me ask me for directions, then suddenly go away without a word or even a "sumimassen" when they see I am not Japanese ?
I don't know. I really don't understand it at all. I mean, my ancesters are all from northern Europe, and once I was in Seoul (this is S. Korea mind you) and some guy asked me for directions IN JAPANESE even though I was certainly not speaking Japanese with my American friends I was with at the time. I was flabergasted. I really don't understand how people decide such things. :souka:

pipokun
Sep 19, 2005, 18:20
But that is not it, why would someone behind me ask me for directions, then suddenly go away without a word or even a "sumimassen" when they see I am not Japanese ? That time there was nobody else immediately around, except the first guy he asked who didn't have a clue. Well, that's his choice (but I don't want to hear some Japanese tell me about the strength of the samurai spirit in every Japanese salaymen - more coward you die !).

Let him/her lost his/her way, and you don't have to exaggerate things...

A small yellow card for your exaggeration.
    []
('A`)丿

Maciamo
Sep 19, 2005, 18:34
I don't know. I really don't understand it at all. I mean, my ancesters are all from northern Europe, and once I was in Seoul (this is S. Korea mind you) and some guy asked me for directions IN JAPANESE even though I was certainly not speaking Japanese with my American friends I was with at the time. I was flabergasted. I really don't understand how people decide such things. :souka:

Now that's interesting ! You are the second person to say that today.
Kara_Nari explained the same experience in this thread (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19396) :


Well I arrived yesterday morning [in Fukuoka] off the ferry from Busan. The ferry was great, but very long. It was like a mini cruise ship, movie room, restaurant, communal baths. I was the only non asian on the ferry, and for some reason everyone decided they would speak to me in Japanese, even the Koreans.

Why would Koreans in Korea address Westerners in Japanese ? Were they elderly people who had to learn Japanese during the Japanese occupation ?

lexico
Sep 19, 2005, 18:48
Let him/her lost his/her way, and you don't have to exaggerate things...

A small yellow card for your exaggeration.
    █
('A`)丿URCOLRSOFF
Now that's interesting ! You are the second person to say that today.
Kara_Nari explained the same experience in this thread (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19396) :
Why would Koreans in Korea address Westerners in Japanese ? Were they elderly people who had to learn Japanese during the Japanese occupation ?Mikawa Ossan's interesting case is intriguing, but not enough information to make any informed guess. How old was the person asking you the question in Japanese ? Did (s)he look like a visitor from Japan ? Did the word Japan or Nippon/Nihon or anything that might lead the person to believe that you (or some people in your company) were/was somehow capable of speaking Japanese ? These things can have an impact on how that person made a decision, but there's just not enough info in MO's post.:p
As for Kara Nari's case, the ferry had probably entered Japanese waters. Nihongo practice time, hai ! As many young people love to travel, and Japan is one of the cheapest place for a quickie out of the country, food is familiar, and the people frinedly. Just like the other foreigners who love to practice their hard earned language skills ? :clap:

Mikawa Ossan
Sep 19, 2005, 20:03
URCOLRSOFFMikawa Ossan's interesting case is intriguing, but not enough information to make any informed guess. How old was the person asking you the question in Japanese ? Did (s)he look like a visitor from Japan ? Did the word Japan or Nippon/Nihon or anything that might lead the person to believe that you (or some people in your company) were/was somehow capable of speaking Japanese ? These things can have an impact on how that person made a decision, but there's just not enough info in MO's post.:p

Well, let's see how much I remember.... I was with a Jewish American man, and I know this is rude, but he looked like the poster-child for a Western-Jew. (Sorry, Scott, if you're reading this! :sorry: ) I was also with a woman, also American, but her ethnicity was half Peruvian and half Japanese. But I think she looked much more Peruvian than Japanese. I happen to look very European (not American, for some reason. I've been asked here and in America whether I'm French, Chzech, Swedish, etc..) I think I had a RURUBU tour magazine (which is in Japanese, yes), but I wasn't looking at it at the time or even holding it; it would have been in my bag. It was kind of funny. We were standing in front of 景福宮 (Kyonbokkun ) taking pictures and this middle-aged guy comes out of nowhere and asks me in Japanese, 景福宮はどちらでしょうか(where is Kyonbokkun?) Of course I told him, and he left. It was a surreal moment. Does this help?

Kara_Nari
Sep 19, 2005, 20:46
Hey Lexico, I can speak enough Japanese to get by in everyday stuff. The fact that the Japanese staff were speaking to me in Japanese was fine, but the Korean staff? We hadnt actually left the port yet. For some stupid reason they think it would be nice to sit around and do nothing for 3 hours before they go.
I have no problem being spoken to in the national language of the country I am in. I think its a little rude that some people dont at least make an effort if they are planning to stay for more than a mere holiday. Even in saying that, as I was lining up at customs on the Japanese side, I was impressed to hear many Koreans brushing up on their greetings and such like.
Now I dont know if its just because I have only been here for a short time, but Japanese still speak to me in Japanese, and if I get a bit lost in the conversation, they apologise and tell me they thought I was japanese. How that is so, I dont actually know.
Went to a hostess bar the other night, brought along an American guy, and we had no problems, granted possibly because my friend worked there, but still, I was the first gaijin woman to ever enter the place. Novelty? Pass...
As for the long term stuff, im sure that if I was to return to Japan long term I would encounter problems regardless of my looks and language capability. Even if I was to go to Australia, I would have problems getting a house etc, purely for the fact that I wasnt born in that country. Maybe slightly more lenient, but problems occur everywhere, just in slightly different degrees.
I had no problems moving into the place that im staying in now in Korea. Im the only woman there,havent felt intimidated, and I havent once been discriminated against, infact I have been given gifts from the manager, and have made friends with some of the guys because they feel sorry for me being by myself in Korea. Still, its not an apartment, its just student accomodation, and im not a student either... but yeah if I was to move into an apartment mabye there would be some anomosity.
In regards to the being asked for directions, I have had that already in my few days in Japan, many times in Korea. I feel stupid because I dont know my way around enough to help, but I am always given a warm response.
My boyfriend on the other hand who IS korean, doesnt get such a warm receiving from Koreans.
So that brings me to the conclusion that is is dependant on the particular person. I dont think it matters on your sex, your looks or your language ability, but on your character at a first glance.
Discrimination everywhere happens, it sucks, but if you want to make a go of it in another country, you have to be prepared for it.
Like Mike Cash said, he works the exactly the same as his fellow Japanese co workers, and doesnt get any sh#t for it. You need to adapt to make it the best possible experience for you as an individual.

Maciamo
Sep 19, 2005, 20:59
So that brings me to the conclusion that is is dependant on the particular person. I dont think it matters on your sex, your looks or your language ability, but on your character at a first glance.

Interesting theory. But I guess it varies with the local population. For example, when I was in Germany, I was asked the way "all the time". In Belgium a few times. In Japan, never. If I am with my wife, they address my wife and completely ignore me. So she has to ask me, but when I explain some people faint not to hear or understand, so my wife has to repeat the exact same words to them. This does not just happen for directions, but anything ! today again at the restaurant, when I asked the waitress to be moved to a non-smoking area, she looked at my wife, who had to repeat what I said to be sure. Yet, if I explain something in Japanese to some students, they understand immediately, because they know I speak Japanese and are not taken aback when I start speaking it.

I find this strange, because whenever a foreigner asks me something in my home country (or anywhere else), whatever their looks and the language they use, I have never been particularily surprised, and never to freeze like the Japanese do. I wonder if they have this disposition to freeze in the genes, like some animal freeze and feign to be dead when they see a predator.

Kara_Nari
Sep 19, 2005, 21:08
Right, I understand your meaning for that exactly. I have encountered that in New Zealand too, when with my boyfriend who is Korean, and I will offer to help a lost looking Japanese person, they will look to him for help, and he will have to explain that I am the one who is speaking to them and he has no idea what they are saying. That happened on more than one occasion.
In Korea I have spoken in Korean, but they assume that I am still speaking english because they SEE me as a foreigner and its not until I speak english that they realise I was indeed speaking Korean. AARRRGGHH so frustrating.
I think the worst place I have been for foreigner extortion is Thailand. The mark up is phenomenal.
I thought it was happening the other night at one of the all you can drink bars. My mistake, it was actually cheaper for me coz I was a woman. heh, yeah I felt pretty stupid. NOT because I was a foreigner.
I can imagine your frustration is stronger because you have had to deal with it for a lot longer, and you have residency. Im sure if I had been here for as long as you, it would bother me to a much higher degree.
One other thing I had heard about was that foreigners with tattoos are sometimes not allowed admission to places. Is this true? I went to the public baths today, and didnt seem to have any problem. I am always a little uncomfortable because one of my tattoos is in Kanji, which can be read in Korea and China too. Luckily I havent as yet been denied entry.

Maciamo
Sep 19, 2005, 21:27
I think the worst place I have been for foreigner extortion is Thailand. The mark up is phenomenal.

I remember how I heard Thai people refer to Westerners all the time as "farang" (the equivalent of "gaijin", except that it originally means "French", as they were the first Westerners to interact with them). At least in Japan, it is mostly children that exclaim "gaijin ! gaijin !" when seeing a foreigner in the street (although adults use the word all the time in conversations between themselves), but in Thailand, whereever you go, you can't enter a place without hearing people around you muttering "farang" and giggling.



One other thing I had heard about was that foreigners with tattoos are sometimes not allowed admission to places. Is this true? I went to the public baths today, and didnt seem to have any problem. I am always a little uncomfortable because one of my tattoos is in Kanji, which can be read in Korea and China too. Luckily I havent as yet been denied entry.

I heard about that too. It not only for foreigners though. It is mostly to prevent yakuza or other dubious people (recognised by having a tatoo, as in Japan almost only yakuza do). My sister has a small one (also a kanji) on the shoulder but didn't have any problem anywhere in Japan. I guess that women are less suspicious too, and a "spiritual kanji" as hers won't raise an eyebrow.

Mikawa Ossan
Sep 19, 2005, 21:28
One other thing I had heard about was that foreigners with tattoos are sometimes not allowed admission to places. Is this true? I went to the public baths today, and didnt seem to have any problem. I am always a little uncomfortable because one of my tattoos is in Kanji, which can be read in Korea and China too. Luckily I havent as yet been denied entry.
Yes, this is true, but being a foreigner and having a tattoo here are two different issues. Many baths/onsen/hotsprings, etc. try to refuse people with tattooes regardless of nationality. Tatooes are associated with the yakuza, and therefore frowned upon.:smoke:

Kara_Nari
Sep 19, 2005, 21:44
Yeah, I had heard that, but even nowadays more and more japanese are getting tattoos. I have a japanese friend who has a HUGE tattoo on his back, and of course people automatically assume he is associated with Yakuza... until they look closer, but of course people wont, because they dont want him to think they're staring. Why he got it, im not sure...
Well I sure would have been a stinky dinner guest hadnt I gone to the public baths haha, thanks for your views on that too, much appreciated.
Yeah the whole FARANG thing was a bit tedious, which I spoke enough Thai... they were probably thinking OOOHH farang, more money.
When I travelled around with Thai friends, I got a better idea though. Even some tourist places will have Farang price and Thai price. The cost was significantly different. Havent come across such extortion anywhere else as yet.
I guess they were too busy here in Japan looking at my tan line, to care about a couple of tattoos hehe..

Mikawa Ossan
Sep 19, 2005, 22:04
Even some tourist places will have Farang price and Thai price. The cost was significantly different. Havent come across such extortion anywhere else as yet.
I guess they were too busy here in Japan looking at my tan line, to care about a couple of tattoos hehe..
Sri Lanka has the double rate thing, too. Even at (especially at?) government owned (I think) historical and religious sights. But I'll be honest. I didn't really mind. I know that I have much more money than the average Sri Lankan living in Sri Lanka does. I think of it as a kind of progressive tax.

This is off topic, but what bothered me about Sri Lanka were the "Foreigner Only" bars in Columbo. An establishment where citizens born and raised in the country of operation are not allowed to enter?!? Turning back the hands of time to unfair treaties and colonialism...just outrageous!!!!

Kara_Nari
Sep 19, 2005, 22:20
Hmm, yeah good point.
Hhaha I guess I was just miffed that I didnt have more money than most of the Thais haha.
For the tourist sights, especially the temples etc, I had no problem to pay extra, but for those stupid tuk tuks... I could get to the other end of the country for what they wanted me to pay at times. Perseverance and patience is the key.
Thats scary about the foreigner only bars! Lots of the guesthouses I stayed at wouldnt allow Thais to enter, unless they left their card at the front desk. Others just outright said no.

lexico
Sep 20, 2005, 16:53
Well, let's see how much I remember.... I was with a Jewish American man, and I know this is rude, but he looked like the poster-child for a Western-Jew. (Sorry, Scott, if you're reading this! :sorry: )The Japanese have been quite friendly to the Jewish people ever since the Russo-Japanese War in 1904-1905. I know, I'm stretching it !
Japanese Views towards European Jews (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8532&highlight=sugihara+jews)
The Japanese Schindler (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1142&highlight=sugihara)
Sugihara Chiune (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=224110&postcount=18)
Wiki on Sugihara Chiune (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiune_Sugihara) 杉原千畝 (1900-1986)
Nevertheless there have been some signs of anti-semitism for similar reasons of the initial friendliness--money matters and control; Anti-Semitism in Japan ? (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5140&highlight=sugihara)

I was also with a woman, also American, but her ethnicity was half Peruvian and half Japanese. But I think she looked much more Peruvian than Japanese.The lost historical connection of the crossing of the Bering land bridge ?
I happen to look very European (not American, for some reason. I've been asked here and in America whether I'm French, Chzech, Swedish, etc..)But Japan is a western country by some standards...
I think I had a RURUBU tour magazine (which is in Japanese, yes), but I wasn't looking at it at the time or even holding it; it would have been in my bag. It was kind of funny.Or perhaps the person was clairvoyant or even psychic ?
We were standing in front of 景福宮 (Kyongbokkung ) taking pictures and this middle-aged guy comes out of nowhere and asks me in Japanese, 景福宮はどちらでしょうか(where is Kyongbokkung ?) Of course I told him, and he left.Now I get it ! I am often asked for directions in a strange city when I am a stranger myself. My hesitation and unusually long pauses seem to attract people with a similar problem with dierections. If at all possible, I try to stay composed, not to instill fear of asking or discuragement from a snappy answer, "I don't know either !" I try to behave like a local, and give whatever "accurate" directions that I am able to give. The satisfaction is beyond words !

I think the guy found all the other people just too busy and intimidating to ask, while your international company taking leisurely photos in front of the palace comforting. Isn't there some kind of tacit agreement among hard-core travelers to help each other in their perilous adventures abroad ?
It was a surreal moment. Does this help?Nevertheless, it is both surreal and wonderful when language does not matter; it is people that are talking to people. I think yours was a wonderful story to remind me of that oft forgotten truth. We all came out of Africa not earlier than 40,000 yrs ago. :)

lexico
Sep 20, 2005, 17:05
The fact that the Japanese staff were speaking to me in Japanese was fine, but the Korean staff ? We hadn't actually left the port yet.Why not ? If the ferryboat cruise was headed for Japan, it would be considered an added feature to be given as much Japanese as they can get. That's because touruism is for many people for the exotic experience. Would the mostly Korean/Japanese passengers on board not appreciate the language service by the Korean staff as well as that of the Japanese staff ? They are professionals catering to the needs of their clientel; there must have been a reason.
In regards to the being asked for directions, I have had that already in my few days in Japan, many times in Korea. I feel stupid because I dont know my way around enough to help, but I am always given a warm response.
My boyfriend on the other hand who IS korean, doesnt get such a warm receiving from Koreans.I believe that in any country exists the ancient code of conduct regarding foreigners (how would they know ? looks !). "Be nice to strangers for you were also strangers in a strange land." Some cultures practice this only to personal guests, but many also practiced this indiscriminately to any foreigner, for example the anicient Hebrews.

I know he could be just as lost as you in Korea, or Japan, but his looks sends the message, "My looks are such that can let me pass as a local, so you don't have to patronise me." Misleading message ? Definitely. reverse discrimination ? That would be overgeneralising. They are being just as cold and indifferent as to any other countrymen from out of town. ;-)

Maciamo
Sep 21, 2005, 09:51
Little summary of the votes so far :

Among those who have looked for long-stay housing by themselves in Japan, 9 were refused accommodation at least once because they were foreigners. 2 didn't.
=> 82% discriminated for apartments

Out of 14 people who have lookked for short-stay accommodation (hotel, guesthouse...) only 2 were refused entry because they were foreigners.
=> 14% discriminated for hotels

Out of 16 people who have been to nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, onsen, etc. 4 were refused entry because they were foreigners.
=> 25% discriminated for entertainment places

Among 16 people who voted, 9 have had discrimination problems with the police.
=> 56% discriminated by police

Among those who voted, so far all (only 2 !) the females who have worked for a Japanese company have experienced sexual discrimination for salary or promotion.
=> 100% sexual discrimination

From the current results (although very succint), we can say that foreigners in Japan are very likely to encounter discrimination for long-term accommodation or sexual discrimination at work. They are fairly likely to be annoyed bu the police, but only partially likely to have problems with entertainment places, and even less with short-term accommodation, although it will happen to some people.

Mikawa Ossan
Sep 21, 2005, 20:31
Well, since this is a thread about our experiences, let's share!


Among those who have looked for long-stay housing by themselves in Japan, 9 were refused accommodation at least once because they were foreigners. 2 didn't.
=> 82% discriminated for apartments
I am one of these nine. The fudosan was very nice and apologetic, and the guy found there then found me my current apartment quite speedily. That was 3 years ago. This is unrelated, but what I find more difficult is finding someone to co-sign the lease.



Out of 16 people who have been to nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, onsen, etc. 4 were refused entry because they were foreigners.
=> 25% discriminated for entertainment places

I am one of these 4 as well. I was refused entry to every fuzoku in Takamatsu City. (I had to try, if only once.) In retrospect, I'm glad I was refused service.



Among 16 people who voted, 9 have had discrimination problems with the police.
=> 56% discriminated by police

Once again, I am one of the nine. I was in Shinjuku outside a Royal Host waiting for a friend to get out of work. It was like 10:30 at night, I believe, and I had been waiting in the same spot for at least 30 minutes. The police officer came and asked me for my gaijin card, which I promptly handed over to him. He studied it for a moment and then confirmed that I was student (I was at the time.) Then he started talking to me very friendly about college and explaining why he had asked for my card. He was a nice guy, but he was a little suspicious he said, because he had passed by about 30 minutes earlier and he saw me in the same place doing basically nothing. I thought this was perfectly understandable.

Another time, I was in Shinjuku Station outside the JR ticket gate, and I was tired, so I decided to sit down. Shortly thereafter a station police officer came and told me that I couldn't sit there. I could stand all I want, but I couldn't sit. Apparently they were trying to keep the homeless from setting up shop, so to speak, in the station.

From the current results (although very succint), we can say that foreigners in Japan are very likely to encounter discrimination for long-term accommodation or sexual discrimination at work. They are fairly likely to be annoyed bu the police, but only partially likely to have problems with entertainment places, and even less with short-term accommodation, although it will happen to some people.
Yes, we run into into problems, but we are the minority in this country. I know you have a different outlook, but I just expect this from time to time. I find that the more accepting you are, the more other people accept you.

Yamatoblue
Oct 22, 2005, 08:34
Wow, this is such an interesting topic.
I've wanted to go to Japan since I was in high school, but after going to arudo debito's site and researching racism in Japan, I think I'd just want to go there for vacation.
When it comes to racism, and such, I think there is racism in the USA as well. Maybe it's not racism, but it's a kind of undertone...for example, a Japanese classmate who came to the US as a ryuugakusei told me that she is kind of disappointed and wouldn't want to live here. She said she's disappointed because she wants to have some American friends and the only ones who will be her friends are mormons who want to convert her to Christianity (God Forbid), which she is not interested in. She said that she talked to her other Japanese friends who have become Christians (God forbid) and they got American friends by going to church and converting (God Forbid).
So when people don't want to associate with you, I think that is a kind of racism as well. Yes, I see there is a lot of Japanese racism and sort of stereotyped and prejudices.
I was at the Kinokuniya Bookstore here in Seattle and asked for the famous Japanese novel,"Yukiguni,"雪国 mind you I didn't say "Snow Country." Anyway, they directed me to the English version which I did not want...sigh...
Maciamo: Yes, lynching against Muslims happens here in the US. But I, as a muslim, have encountered very little hostility since 9/11 and maybe that's just me. Yes, this country has a more than atrocious track record when it comes to dealing with Muslims and people in the Muslim world, but I really think that when it comes to blatant racism and such against muslims or anyone else, Canada and the US can't be beat. People are more open towards people of other cultures,etc. I'll give you an example: I started working at this company recently and told them that I need to pray 5 times a day and that it would take only a few minutes. So they got me an empty office room and I can leave any time I want, and I got time off for Ramadan. That's pretty great, isn't it? I doubt I could have something like this in Japan, where I'd be looked at strangely just because I know more japanese than just "konnichiwa" and "arigato." :souka:

Ma Cherie
Oct 22, 2005, 11:07
Wow, this is such an interesting topic.
I've wanted to go to Japan since I was in high school, but after going to arudo debito's site and researching racism in Japan, I think I'd just want to go there for vacation.
When it comes to racism, and such, I think there is racism in the USA as well. Maybe it's not racism, but it's a kind of undertone...for example, a Japanese classmate who came to the US as a ryuugakusei told me that she is kind of disappointed and wouldn't want to live here. She said she's disappointed because she wants to have some American friends and the only ones who will be her friends are mormons who want to convert her to Christianity (God Forbid), which she is not interested in. She said that she talked to her other Japanese friends who have become Christians (God forbid) and they got American friends by going to church and converting (God Forbid).
So when people don't want to associate with you, I think that is a kind of racism as well. Yes, I see there is a lot of Japanese racism and sort of stereotyped and prejudices.
I was at the Kinokuniya Bookstore here in Seattle and asked for the famous Japanese novel,"Yukiguni,"雪国 mind you I didn't say "Snow Country." Anyway, they directed me to the English version which I did not want...sigh...
Maciamo: Yes, lynching against Muslims happens here in the US. But I, as a muslim, have encountered very little hostility since 9/11 and maybe that's just me. Yes, this country has a more than atrocious track record when it comes to dealing with Muslims and people in the Muslim world, but I really think that when it comes to blatant racism and such against muslims or anyone else, Canada and the US can't be beat. People are more open towards people of other cultures,etc. I'll give you an example: I started working at this company recently and told them that I need to pray 5 times a day and that it would take only a few minutes. So they got me an empty office room and I can leave any time I want, and I got time off for Ramadan. That's pretty great, isn't it? I doubt I could have something like this in Japan, where I'd be looked at strangely just because I know more japanese than just "konnichiwa" and "arigato." :souka:


You "think" there's racism here? Darling of course there's racism here in the US. And as far as muslims being lynched, I don't think that's quite true, I know there's been attacks on muslims, but I don't know about lynchings :? What makes you believe that racism in the US and Canada are much more worse than anywhere else? Just out of curiousity :?

Well, I could say that it's a good thing that you being a muslim your customs are being respected.

Yamatoblue
Oct 22, 2005, 14:24
Well, you're right there have not been any lynchings on muslims in the States, but that's not the case for muslims in Russia. After the Beslan school shootings, there were quite a few retaliatory acts...I remember reading about one muslim woman who was killed and someone wrote "terrorist" on her back and threw her body in a desolate place.
There have been mosque attacks in the US, but I really think people here and in Canada are much more tolerant. Yes, there are obvious divisions (people who are hispanic live in hispanic neighborhoods and many dont want to interact with non-hispanics), but I mean it's just plain illegal to be racist here and in Canada.
The reason I say other countries are worse is because it's true. I grew up in Germany and can remember kids calling me the n-word (my skin is as white as any German's, but I have brown hair and eyes), and having their moms ignore me or act uneasy when they see me (a 7year old kid!!). One time, I even went to this German kid's house and talked to his racist mother who was instilling these values.
I think Europe (and Japan, it seems like) are very racist places-in France, if you're north African they refuse you entry in many places, England's pretty good like the US and Canada. They are just much more open countries.
Ma Cherie, which countries would you say are the most racially tolerant in the world?
I would love to go to Japan someday, but now..Im not so sure if I'll be able to handle all the gaijin discrimination.

Ma Cherie
Oct 22, 2005, 15:09
I don't think there is a country that's is actually racially tolerant. :? I mean the US for example still has the Klu Klux Klan who hates anyone that isn't white. I also heard similar stories about the one where you pointed out that Africans in France are discriminated against. I've also read somewhere that the lower class in France, some of them are north African immigrants :? I really don't know how true this is. Maybe it's a matter of how countries deal with racial issues. Like will countries admit that they have racial issues or what kinds of problems do foreigners face, things like that.

It doesn't seem like Japanese society is ready to deal with most of the issues of foreigners. Hanging "No Foreigners" signs in onsens and such places, I would think something like that should be illegal. :mad:

But you know, Yamatoblue? I think you may have a wonderful experience if you visit Japan. :-)

Mike Cash
Oct 22, 2005, 18:37
I don't think there is a country that's is actually racially tolerant. :? I mean the US for example still has the Klu Klux Klan who hates anyone that isn't white.

Let's not forget that the US also still has the Nation of Islam, which does a very good job of giving the impression they aren't too fond of anyone who is white.

Jack
Oct 22, 2005, 21:58
kkk dont just hate non-white folk, they hate all that dont agree with them.

Maciamo
Oct 30, 2005, 17:45
I have just had my bicycle registration checked by the police for the 8th time.

I was riding around my nearest metro station as everyday (that's where all the shops and restaurants are). I passed in front of the Koban (police box) at 5pm in the middle of the crowd. There were dozens of other people riding bicycles. One police officer saw me coming and got out of the Koban hurriedly toward me making a sign - but I was too fast and he couldn't stop me. I passed again 30min later in the other direction to go back home. This time, he was waiting and stopped me with another cop. He then asked (I was a bit nervous so my Japanese was a bit strange) :

Police officer : ちょっとすみません。 ("excuse me")
Me : はい。何ですか?("yes, what is it ?")
Police officer : 日本語わかりますか?("do you understand Japanese ?"
Me : はい。("yes")
Police officer : この たりの方ですか?("are you a local resident ?"
Me : はい。("yes")
Police officer : お住まいはどこですか。 ("where do you live ?")
Me : 「。。」です。 (in ...)
Police officer : 、SAKURA HOUSE*ですか?(ah, are you from Sakura House* ?)
Me : いいえ、違います?("no, not at all")
Police officer : 登録をチェックさせてもいいですか? ("would you let me check your registration")
Me : なぜですか?("why is that ?")
Police officer : 最近窃盗が多いんですよ。 なたの自転車ですか?("recently there has been a lot of thefts. Is that your bicycle ?")
Me : はい。 ("yes")
Police officer : 登録をチェックさせてもいいですか?("would you let me check your registration ?")
Me : なぜですか?私は泥棒だと思いますか?("why is that ? do yo think I am a thief ?")
Police officer : いいえ、いええ!誰でもご協力を頼みます。("no, no. We ask the cooperation of anybody.")
Me : では、なぜ の人かこの人ではないんですか?("so, why don't you check this or that person ?" [pointing at other bicycles that had stopped at the traffic light 10m away])
Police officer : は ぁ。。はい、その人も。誰でもチェックします。("err.. yes, this person too. we can check anybody")
Police officer 2 : 顔で泥棒かどうか良くわからないよね。("we cannot be sure whether someone is a thief just by looking at their face...")
Me : 30分前もう私を止めようとしました。 (30min ago you already tried to stop me")
Police officer : はい、そうです。声をかけようと思ったけど。 ("yes, that's right. I thought of calling after you, but...")
Me : それは、私は欧米人だからですか?("Is that because I am a Westerner ?")
Police officer : いいえ。日本人も止めます。("No, we also stop Japanese people")
Police officer 2 : なたの自転車のかご壊れてますので。。。盗まれた自転車の中で壊れた自転車多いんですよ。("your bike's basket is broken... many of the stolen bicyles are broken")
Me : もう4年前から使ってますからね。でも、私はちゃんと 鍵をつけてますね。
("I have been using it for 4 years already. But I have the key as you can see")
Police officer : そうですね。すみません。一回チェックをするだけ。 ("that's right. Sorry, I'll just check once [the registration]"
...
etc.

I finally let them check the registration. They apologised and told me that if my bicycle is ever stolen, I should report it to the Koban by giving them the registration number (a way of excusing themselves, as they understood that I was not bvery please by their behaviour).

*Sakura House is a "Gaijin House" with branches all over Tokyo. The police officer visibly didn't know his district well, as the neighbourhood I mentioned was not the same as the nearby Sakura House, although not far away.

It seems pretty clear that they stopped me because I was a foreigner. The cop didn't even deny that he already tried to stop me the first time. I find it amazing that I pass there everyday, on the same bike with its broken basket, I have stopped in front of them with my wife, both on our bikes; she has asked the police officers something a few times with me, and they still find it necesaary to check me. That's actually the first time I have been checked at a Koban. 6 of the other 7 times, it was one or two cops with a red stick on the main road. Once, it was a police car that stopped me around noon when I was riding on the road (with the cars, not on the pavement).

That's the first time I asked them to justify themselves and asked if they stopped me because I was a Westerner. Before, my approach was "the fatest it is done, the fastest I can go". But 8 times, that's really enough - especially 6x in my own neighbourhood ! Funny that not a single of my Japanese relatives, friends or acquaintances I asked has been checked in their whole life (in the same neighbourhood) ! They can claim that they stop other people too at the Koban, but in 50 months in Japan I haven't seen a single person have their bicycle checked at the Koban in my area.

pipokun
Oct 30, 2005, 20:33
Just 8 times? it is much fewer times than i imagined.

today i also get checked, though i felt sense of guilty after a glass of wine at lunch.

epigene
Oct 30, 2005, 23:57
It seems pretty clear that they stopped me because I was a foreigner.
I don't think so... :souka:

You've said you live in the shitamachi area. If you see one of those 犯罪マップ, a map showing the crime rates in the various parts of Tokyo, the shitamachi crime rate is very high (red=top level). I have a Japanese American friend living in shitamachi, and she said that there most of the houses in her neighborhood had been burglarized because of the narrow streets, the very same quality that makes the shitamachi quaint and nice. Her boys (100% Japanese blood) are routinely stopped by police when they ride their bikes--because they're young and dressed like rockers...

As for my family, we live close to Seijo (which is an exclusive neighborhood with movie stars and other rich people as residents), and the crime rate there is also high (including the well-publicized killing of an entire family on Dec. 31, 2000--not sure about the date). And my husband (100% Japanese) was routinely stopped by the same cop! That's because he takes the same routes all the time on his bike and he likes to see the beautiful flowers in other people's gardens. The cop always tells him it's his job... My husband was so pissed he showered him with all the most sophisticated Japanese vocabulary and expressions he could muster (to get the message across that he is dealing with a well-educated professional). He apologized and went away with his tail between his legs. :blush:

He's still getting stopped by cops (new ones probably assigned to the job the other guy used to have...) :giggle:
I'm not stopped because I'm an obasan--the obvious target of purse snatchers... (I almost got my purse snatched twice by Japanese youngsters, but I noticed them first and stared at them.)

FYI: 犯罪発生マップ (Tokyo crime rate map) (http://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/toukei/yokushi/yokushi.htm)

DoctorP
Oct 31, 2005, 05:13
Maciamo...are the same officers ther all of the time? You've been stopped 8 times, but how many times by the same officer? Instead of getting iritated, have you attempted to get to know the officers at that koban?

I'm not sure about Tokyo, but here we have the same officers all of the time. I know who they are and even know their families. One officer has a child in the same class as one of my son's.

We have discussed this in other threads, but maybe you need help with social skills. I realize that getting checked is inconvienient in the least, but maybe you need to put forth an effort in order to stop this string of events! Instead of getting upset, talk to them as equals. One day stop by and drop off some simple snacks as an offering.

I believe one reason that you get stopped is that they have a quota, a number of persons that they are required to check in say a day, week, month. He (may have) came after you because it is less embarrasing to stop a foreigner and ask (and be wrong) than stopping a local and being wrong!

Just a thought.

Maciamo
Oct 31, 2005, 10:44
I don't think so... :souka:

You've said you live in the shitamachi area. If you see one of those 犯罪マップ, a map showing the crime rates in the various parts of Tokyo, the shitamachi crime rate is very high (red=top level).

From the map in link, my area is the greenest possible (it's not Taito-ku !). Likewise, I have been checked twice in Nihombashi-Otemachi (inlcuding the time by the police car), which is also in the green.

Maciamo
Oct 31, 2005, 10:57
Maciamo...are the same officers ther all of the time? You've been stopped 8 times, but how many times by the same officer? Instead of getting iritated, have you attempted to get to know the officers at that koban?

As I said, it was the first time I was stopped at the Koban. The other times were at different places on the main road. The cop who stopped had seen me before because I asked and my wife asked him something a few months ago (almost 1 year actually, so I would understand that he did not remember me). The Koban is just next to the subway exit, and I have passed there thousands of times (often several times a day). If he could spot me so easily twice that day when it was already dark (although only 5pm and still crowded), how comes he didn't see me the other days since he works there ?

There were 3 cops at the Koban at the time (2 who talked to me), so I can't believe that none of them had never seen me before passing with the same basket-less bicycles hundreds of times. I am one of the few long-term resident Westerner in that neighbourhood, and some people I have never met told my wife or her mother that they had seen me many times around (they know who I am, as I stand out as a tall blue-eyed Westerner that has been living there for years). I can't believe that the cops, whose job it is to know the neighbourhood, didn't know me or remember me.

2 years ago, I was stopped by the same cop twice in 2 days, and he asked me exactly the same thing the same way ! (starting over with "where are you from", "where do you live?", etc. and I lived 100m from there).


One day stop by and drop off some simple snacks as an offering.

Is that bribe or worship ?

DoctorP
Oct 31, 2005, 16:18
As I said, it was the first time I was stopped at the Koban. The other times were at different places on the main road. The cop who stopped had seen me before because I asked and my wife asked him something a few months ago (almost 1 year actually, so I would understand that he did not remember me). The Koban is just next to the subway exit, and I have passed there thousands of times (often several times a day). If he could spot me so easily twice that day when it was already dark (although only 5pm and still crowded), how comes he didn't see me the other days since he works there ?

Once again the tone of your post is irritating. Only trying to help. But in all honesty, how many strangers would you recognize if merely passing them day to day?



There were 3 cops at the Koban at the time (2 who talked to me), so I can't believe that none of them had never seen me before passing with the same basket-less bicycles hundreds of times. I am one of the few long-term resident Westerner in that neighbourhood, and some people I have never met told my wife or her mother that they had seen me many times around (they know who I am, as I stand out as a tall blue-eyed Westerner that has been living there for years). I can't believe that the cops, whose job it is to know the neighbourhood, didn't know me or remember me.

Point is that you are not sociable (obviously) in your own neighborhood and haunts. If you were more personable, maybe they wouldn't think you were a criminal? (ok, that might not be fair) How about this...if you were more friendly, instead of being irritated because you were stopped, maybe you could develop friendships with these people. When I pass the officers in my community they wave and say hello to me.



2 years ago, I was stopped by the same cop twice in 2 days, and he asked me exactly the same thing the same way ! (starting over with "where are you from", "where do you live?", etc. and I lived 100m from there).

In all fairness this guy may be an idiot!



Is that bribe or worship ?

It is called an act of friendship...you should try it sometimes! :-)

Carlson
Oct 31, 2005, 16:40
most my problems are going into some bars down town roponngi... thats about it...

Maciamo
Oct 31, 2005, 18:24
Once again the tone of your post is irritating. Only trying to help. But in all honesty, how many strangers would you recognize if merely passing them day to day?

Considering that I am a Westerner in Japan, they should remember me. Whenever I see another Westerner in my neighbourhood, I remember their face, even if that was 3 years ago. When I was living in Belgium, if a non-Caucasian person passed in my neighbourhood (esp. in the countryside or a small town), I would notice them and remember their face, especially if I saw them repeatedly. I know most of the "baachan" living near my house and can tell where they live (and they probably can too), although they are not the kind of persons I would socialise with (yes, you are right, I am pretty selective, even among people of my age).


Point is that you are not sociable (obviously) in your own neighborhood and haunts. If you were more personable, maybe they wouldn't think you were a criminal? (ok, that might not be fair) How about this...if you were more friendly, instead of being irritated because you were stopped, maybe you could develop friendships with these people. When I pass the officers in my community they wave and say hello to me.

I think there is a big cultural difference between Northern Europeans and Americans about this. In Northern Europe, it is not normal to start talking to strangers, nor even to talk with people you know around strangers (like in a lift/elevator or crowded train). It is as true in Britain, the Benelux of Scandinavia. Belgian people are usually distrustful of strangers (according to some cultural comparisons I have read, but I fully agree).

Then there is my own personality (partly forged by the culture). Even compared to the average Belgian, I tend to dislike more when a stranger address me. My natural reaction is "what does he/she want - leave me alone". I am already irritated by people who want to be friendly by starting talking about such subjects as football, or in Japan, asking if I can eat sushi or use chopsticks. Whatever their intentions, I loathe that. I don't need to be friend with someone who think that I may not be able to use chopsticks, or even less with a cop that think I could be a thief.

In French, there are two very common words for "friend", with a clearly distinct meaning : "copain" and "ami". English does not have this distinction. A "copain" could be any acquaintance, like a workmate, classmate, etc. even if we don't get along very well (as long as the relation is informal). An "ami" is a real friend, with whom you share interests, personal experiences, and can count on to help you when you need them. People usually have very few "amis", but can have hundreds of "copains". When I use the word "friend" in English, it means "ami" (I use "acquaintance" for "copain"). Therefore I am very selective with who can become my friends, and don't really care about getting more closely acquainted to people who think I could be a thief. I have such contempt for thieves (even a child stealing a pen from a classmate) that I could never have positive feelings toward someone who suspects me of being one. That is partly why I got the idea of making the thread What would you do if a bag-snatcher ran toward you ? (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20143), because, although I would never do it, it is the last option of the poll which reflects my real feelings.

pipokun
Oct 31, 2005, 18:36
Not all police officers are not so smart as you. Some even quetioned ex-chief of the National Public Safety Commission supervising J police at a street in Shibuya...

epigene
Oct 31, 2005, 18:47
Not all police officers are not so smart as you. Some even quetioned ex-chief of the National Public Safety Commission supervising J police at a street in Shibuya...
I agree! I've seen a lot of dummies in my neighborhood and elsewhere! :giggle: :giggle: :giggle:

Apollo
Oct 31, 2005, 20:42
Being half Japanese and half Danish in Japan was not all good sometimes. I am so glad that I grew up in Yamate, Yokohama where there were many foreigners, so I didn't feel that much different.

In fact, I was born with very light-brown hair, and sometimes I got teased and bullied by other few Japanese kids in the neighbourhood because I looked different: light-hair and pony-tails!!!...only innocent kids' teasing and bullying though. :( I am glad that I went to international school in Japan, so I didn't feel that much different from the other kids in school, but some Japanese kids in the neighbourhood could be very evil sometimes - until they of course got to know me better - that I actually spoke Japanese too.... :-)

However, now I don't get teased or discriminated against in daily life in Japan, maybe because I I know the country so well, have darker hair and can talk back IN Japanese!!! :blush:

OH no!!! Plz ignore my voting on the poll!! I must have been cross-eyed, pop-eyed, too quick to click with the mouse or whatever to misread it!!! I thought it read "I have Never been discriminated against", but instead I'd voted "I have been discriminated against"... :( :bawling: :bawling:

Mikawa Ossan
Nov 1, 2005, 18:37
Considering that I am a Westerner in Japan, they should remember me. Whenever I see another Westerner in my neighbourhood, I remember their face, even if that was 3 years ago. When I was living in Belgium, if a non-Caucasian person passed in my neighbourhood (esp. in the countryside or a small town), I would notice them and remember their face, especially if I saw them repeatedly.
Hello, again! Once again, I find myself in disagreement with you, Maciamo. Let me explain.

If you were the only Westerner in the area, I would agree with you more than not, but I think that we "Westerners" tend to look pretty much the same to most Japanese. When I did my study-abroad several years ago, another (Japanese) student came up to me and thought I was one of the other "Western" foriegn students. This happened on several occasions over the course of a month or two, after they got to know him better and finally learned his face. I was pretty surprised, because we really didn't look that similar, but it happened nonetheless.

I thought about why this might happen, and it occurred to me that Japanese tend to see us "Westerners" as all looking basically the same when they look at us only casually. Of course, if they have regular contact with us, they learn our faces and whatnot, but otherwise, for the most part they don't have enough contact with us in their daily lives to make distinctions upon casual observation alone.

Think about how many people the police see every day, including "Westerners". I would imagine that it's a pretty impressive number. I don't think it's fair to ask them to remember one specific person's face, "Westerner" or not. If the same officers stopped you on a regular basis, they'd probably figure out who you are pretty quickly, but I'm talking like once a week or something along those lines, not 8 times in 4 or 5 years, or even in one year.

And remember, too, that not everyone is the same. Just because you could remember people's faces well in Belgium doesn't mean that other people can remember faces so well. You may have something closer to a photographic memory than most people. :p

On the other hand, I'm suprised to hear you have been stopped so many times, because I never have even once. You might want to invest in fixing your bike or buying a new one to give them one less excuse to question you if it bothers you so much.

mobeen
Nov 7, 2005, 13:31
umm.. i know this is very off topic but can i please ask some questions maciamo? First of all Isalamualikum i'm muslim as well! :-)
Anyway please dont these questions as being racist this is for my knowledge.(and yes i know you already answered some of these questions)
What color is your skin
What colors are your eyes
What is your origin
What are your parents origin
what is your profession


... I was wondering something, lets say you are a foreigner with white skin, hazel greenish eyes, and knowing japanese well going to japan to work as a doctor. Would you still be discriminated against? Does having power and money affect your status in japanese society?

Maciamo
Nov 7, 2005, 13:45
umm.. i know this is very off topic but can i please ask some questions maciamo? First of all Isalamualikum i'm muslim as well! :-)

Why as well ? I am not a Muslim (but a convinced Atheist).

What color is your skin : white (northern European type)
What colors are your eyes : blue
What is your origin/What are your parents origin : same question isn't it ? Northern European
what is your profession : Language instructor in big companies, translator + some IT-related work.


... I was wondering something, lets say you are a foreigner with white skin, hazel greenish eyes, and knowing japanese well going to japan to work as a doctor. Would you still be discriminated against?

Yes. I am also a "sensei" (not doctor though) with an hourly salary similar to that of a Japanese GP (although I work much less), and fit your description. Yet, I was stopped many times by the police for no reason, asked for my alien registration card for no reason, refused accommodation because I was a foreigner, etc. In Japan, it doesn't matter whether your are a thug or a well-educated professional. If you are not Japanese, you will be discriminated or treated differently at some time (although not on a daily basis, fortunately). The real estate agents and policemen in Tokyo are the worst in my experience.


Does having power and money affect your status in japanese society?

Not as a foreigner. 5 out of 8 times I was stopped by the police, I was wearing a suit with designer shirt and tie (bought in Japan, and chosen by my Japanese wife, so we cannot even say they were conspicuous).

mobeen
Nov 8, 2005, 06:55
WOw shocking. First of all let me apologize for thinking and calling you a muslim.
I don't understand this.. I though many japanese though high of blonde hair and blue eyed people that came from western Europe and its very hard for me to believe that they are that discriminative..

pipokun
Nov 8, 2005, 17:57
Yearly Spring and Autumn trafic safety campaign, in some area all 4 season trafic safety campaigns here.
Year-end public safety campaign
...and more.

Is his 8 times for 4yrs really so many?
When he want more for his story here, he should ride his bike painted all in flashy pink like I did when I was a kid.

Yamatoblue
Nov 13, 2005, 15:01
WOw shocking. First of all let me apologize for thinking and calling you a muslim.
I don't understand this.. I though many japanese though high of blonde hair and blue eyed people that came from western Europe and its very hard for me to believe that they are that discriminative..
assalamu aleikum:)
Im muslim, maciamo isn't lol :-)

Macaimo, are you going to stay in Japan for the rest of your life or are you going to move back to Europe? I think there's racism in Europe (from what I've experienced in Deutschland), but seems like there's less than in japan.
I'll have to go and see for mysself one day.

Maciamo
Nov 13, 2005, 16:14
Macaimo, are you going to stay in Japan for the rest of your life or are you going to move back to Europe?

I am going to move back to Europe very soon as I am fed up of the daily bias, prejudices, discrimination or just reactions like "oh, gaijin da !" (see this post (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=273678&postcount=15)) whenever a Japanese stumble on me unexpectedly. There are other reasons for me to go back to Europe, but this is clearly the most important. Life in Japan is just too stressful and irritating for me as a foreigner who cares about what people around feel and think.

DoctorP
Nov 13, 2005, 18:39
I am going to move back to Europe very soon as I am fed up of the daily bias, prejudices, discrimination or just reactions like "oh, gaijin da !" (see this post (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=273678&postcount=15)) whenever a Japanese stumble on me unexpectedly. There are other reasons for me to go back to Europe, but this is clearly the most important. Life in Japan is just too stressful and irritating for me as a foreigner who cares about what people around feel and think.


I read it, but I don't believe it! I don't believe that someone that takes as strong a stance as you do on issues would let something that trivial drive you out of a country.

pipokun
Nov 13, 2005, 22:54
I am going to move back to Europe very soon as I am fed up of the daily bias, prejudices, discrimination or just reactions like "oh, gaijin da !" (see this post (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=273678&postcount=15)) whenever a Japanese stumble on me unexpectedly. There are other reasons for me to go back to Europe, but this is clearly the most important. Life in Japan is just too stressful and irritating for me as a foreigner who cares about what people around feel and think.

I suppose the Heathrow has the similar policy, EU citizens and non-EU, like NRT. But I think the Narita staffs are more flexible than used to.

Totally agree with you if you say "life in Tokyo is too stressful", but I highly doubt if you'd say "oh, gaijin da !" in Tokyo everydays...

嘘はいけないと思うよ。面白いから良いけど。

epigene
Nov 13, 2005, 23:19
私も、真茶門さんのような強固な意思をお持ちの方が、 そんなことで撤退するとは思えませんね。:okashii:

nurizeko
Jan 12, 2006, 11:51
Macs just bluffing, if he as sensitive to what those around him think about him as he claims to be, no-where is safe for him.

Games up mac, we know you love japan, we also know you need to vent sometimes and you do it here, no worries, have you ever seriously sat down and told your wife (japanese?) about how you feel?, i find it hard to believe that if your so seriously bothered by a percieved descrimination, you would marry a woman who if i remember correctly, youve said has been guilty of at least a minor insult in the descrimination regard (saying gaijin or something).

Basically if it was really a constant drain on your very soul, you probably wouldnt have been there aslong as you have and you would never have married a japanese woman, i know this, and so do you.

Dont let japan get you down, and instead of seeing everything as dark and miserable, concentrate more on what you lvoe about japan.

As for the japanese passport thing, i think they are just being polite, rather then insulting you as you percieve, they just dont want you to possibly face the embarrassment of being in the wrong line.

As a rule maybe hold your japanese passport in plain view in your hand when you join the line, to avoid that situation.

And in a country that is 90+% ethnic japanese, its a bit unfair to blame the japanese for associating the asian face with japan more then the westerner.


I dunno, im not a giant, not blonde and i dont have blue eyes so maybe im not such a shocking sight to face, but, the japanese arent trying to be impolite and offensive.

All i have is my meager experience for me to decide if japan is really descriminating or not, and for the most part, i have to say not.
The situation with my girlfriends uncle did prove to me that it does exist, but it isnt such a burden that i face it the momment i step outside the front door.

Mike Cash
Jan 12, 2006, 20:58
As a rule maybe hold your japanese passport in plain view in your hand when you join the line, to avoid that situation.


Maciamo has Japanese citizenship?

Maciamo
Jan 12, 2006, 21:39
I suppose the Heathrow has the similar policy, EU citizens and non-EU, like NRT. But I think the Narita staffs are more flexible than used to.

Sorry, but I fail to see the connection with the quote. As you mention it, any foreigner with a re-entry visa (i.e. with a 1-year visa or more), can use the "Japanese passports" queue. I have never had any problem there. But after that, after taking my luggage, the customs officers almost always (well maybe 6 times out of 8) decide to check what's in my bag, and never a single time my wife who was with me. Why not both of us ? Why just me ?


Totally agree with you if you say "life in Tokyo is too stressful", but I highly doubt if you'd say "oh, gaijin da !" in Tokyo everydays...
嘘はいけないと思うよ。面白いから良いけど。

No, I never said that I hear "oh, gaijin da !" in Tokyo everyday. What happens everyday is at least one of the numerous things I complain about - in order of frequency (most common at the top) :

- being treated like a mere tourist and complete outsider, not like a permanent resident (almost daily in my last year in Japan)
- hearing prejudiced comments, questions or reactions (average 100 to 200x a year)
- people replying to me with gestures when I address them in Japanese (average 20 to 50x a year)
- Shows, news or politicians on TV with racist attitude toward foreigners (I don't watch much TV, but I'd say 10 to 20x a year)
- hearing "oh gaijin da!" or similar comment in public toilets, lifts/elevators, or when a salesman rings at my door. (average 10 to 15x a year)
- being checked by the police (average 2 or 3x a year)
- being checked and questioned by customs officers at airport (happened about 2x a year)
- being refused accommodation in real estate agency because I was a foreigner (happened only 2x, when I was looking for something at the beginning)

Maciamo
Jan 12, 2006, 21:42
私も、真茶門さんのような強固な意思をお持ちの方が、 そんなことで撤退するとは思えませんね。:okashii:

I may look strong, but I am probably more sensitive than average. Then, if you haven't lived it, you can't imagine how irritating it can be (see the list of "annoying things" just above).

Mike Cash
Jan 12, 2006, 22:10
- being treated like a mere tourist and complete outsider, not like a permanent resident (almost daily in my last year in Japan)

That has been the norm, for my first year in Japan...my last year in Japan...and every year in between. One of those things some of us mentioned having to make our peace with.


- hearing prejudiced comments, questions or reactions (average 100 to 200x a year)
- people replying to me with gestures when I address them in Japanese (average 20 to 50x a year)

You wouldn't believe me, perhaps, if I told that for as bad as it may seem now, it is unbelievably improved over what it was back when I first got here.


- hearing "oh gaijin da!" or similar comment in public toilets, lifts/elevators, or when a salesman rings at my door. (average 10 to 15x a year)

Same as my response above, basically. It used to be a daily (or multiple times daily) occurance. These days it is so rare that rather than being irritated by it I feel wistfully nostalgic.


- being checked by the police (average 2 or 3x a year)

Been here longer than a large portion of the JREFers have been on the planet...and it has never happened to me.


- being checked and questioned by customs officers at airport (happened about 2x a year)

This goes back to my earlier remarks about it being hard to settle one's heart and mind in Japan when one's body is bouncing in and out of the country multiple times a year. (I average under twice a decade, I think).


- being refused accommodation in real estate agency because I was a foreigner (happened only 2x, when I was looking for something at the beginning)
Been there before. Even had the novel situation of being refused accommodation in the very house I was moving out of.
I have the additional distinction, though, of on multiple occasions having been denied employment because I was a foreigner, despite professional licensure and experience (in Japan).

pipokun
Jan 12, 2006, 22:17
Japan bows to code of respect (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4594782.stm)


Unsociable youth
...
And there are concerns about the future.
In the early 1990s, more than half of all crimes in Japan were committed by juveniles.
Admittedly, 70% of those were petty thefts - stealing bikes or motorbikes for example - but now many of those people are in the workforce.
...


Your posts are much more interesting than the article above. I bet you deserve to be a BBC correspondent more than the guy in terms of your effort to do numerical analysis on your feeling or complaints, though I don't agree with his article, maybe he probably created it based on the net, or your result, either.
I don't know the influence of the respect agenda for British people, but it is a bit cute that he upload a photo of young guys in military uniform, isn't it?:blush:

I suppose a bit more knowledge on Chinese or East Asian nations would help you to be the correspondent.

Maciamo
Jan 12, 2006, 22:46
In the early 1990s, more than half of all crimes in Japan were committed by juveniles.
Admittedly, 70% of those were petty thefts - stealing bikes or motorbikes for example - but now many of those people are in the workforce.

I do not have the crime statistics by age group, but maybe you can help me with it, pipokun. I don't think there is much exaggeration here. It means that 35% of all crimes in Japan are petty thefts commited by young people (under 20, under 25 ? not quite sure)

Mike Cash
Jan 13, 2006, 05:34
I was just noticing....in the poll there is nothing about facing discrimination in getting employment. Does this reflect the foreign mindset of taking it for granted that foreigners only seek employment in places that are seeking foreign employees?

Maciamo
Jan 13, 2006, 06:59
I was just noticing....in the poll there is nothing about facing discrimination in getting employment. Does this reflect the foreign mindset of taking it for granted that foreigners only seek employment in places that are seeking foreign employees?
That's a good point. I could add it, but many people have already voted, which would fake the statistics (well if we can call that statistics, it's not like we've had thousands of votes :okashii: ).

It is true that the vast majority of foreigners in Japan may not encounter discrimination to seek employment, as it is required for most of them (except married and permanent residents) to have a job to get or maintain their visa. Most Westerners are expats and work in specialised fields (IT, finance, language...) where they will rarely be refused just because they are foreigners. But I do not doubt a second that for more regular jobs in purely Japanese companies (i.e. with no foreign investment and little or no foreign presence), it would be more difficult for a foreigner to get the job at equal qualification to a Japanese. Stories about Japan-born Koreans discriminated in this regard (even at the government) are numerous enough to prove it.

I suppose that in your case, Mike, there must be really few foreigners in your field, which only makes it more difficult to get accepted.

thomas
Jan 13, 2006, 08:56
But I do not doubt a second that for more regular jobs in purely Japanese companies (i.e. with no foreign investment and little or no foreign presence), it would be more difficult for a foreigner to get the job at equal qualification to a Japanese. Stories about Japan-born Koreans discriminated in this regard (even at the government) are numerous enough to prove it.

On the other hand, how many European or American companies would hire for instance a Japanese national even if he/she were as qualified as competing local job applicants?

I have heard a lot about the infamous "black lists" Japanese companies employ during recruitment, listing people or families of Korean or buraku origin. Are they still "in use"?

Maciamo
Jan 13, 2006, 19:34
On the other hand, how many European or American companies would hire for instance a Japanese national even if he/she were as qualified as competing local job applicants?

I suppose it depends a lot on the type of job and importance of language skills (if the foreigner in question is not as fluent as a native...). But I don't see why a Western company wouldn't recruit a Japanese, say as shop attendant, clerk, office worker, accountant, designer, etc., at equal qualification, if their language skills were sufficient.


I have heard a lot about the infamous "black lists" Japanese companies employ during recruitment, listing people or families of Korean or buraku origin. Are they still "in use"?

I heard and read some companies still used them, but cannot certify if that is true (they obviously keep discreet about it, as it is illegal).

celtician
Jan 24, 2006, 21:52
After having read all that ..you discover that they even discriminate against their own (talented,or not?) women over a certain age. If they would dare to come back to such a retro country. Interesting

strongvoicesforward
Apr 5, 2006, 01:24
3.1 Entertainment : I have been refused entry to at least one restaurant, bar, nightclub, onsen or public bath because I was a foreigner

Yes, I have. And, I think this is one of the most common forms of discrimination here.

However, I have learned this is quite easy to win over.

Most places you can enter and sit down rather quickly and then the waiter or some staff will come to ask you to leave. Simply, just refuse to do so. Ask for a menu and try to order. Soon the staff will get irate with you and after they see you refusing to leave they will threaten to call the police. Call their bluff and in fact pull out your own cell phone to call them if you can.

When the police the bar staff will ask you to step outside to meet the police because the staff will have asked the police to wait outside (they don`t want to alarm their customers). Refuse to step outside. Tell them to have the police come in to escort you out. When the police come in go out with them peacefully.

Outside is your time to debate. Remind them of Japan`s constitution and their signatories to UN charter resolutions against discrimination. Tell them you want this bars policy changed because it is not in accordance with the laws of Japan and that you will sue and also call these policemen as witnesses in the court proceedings. At this point pull out a piece of paper and ask the police for their names, units, and badge numbers, telling them that you will be contacting their prefectural supervisers and mass media. If you don`t have a pencil or piece of paper, ask to borrow the police`s. If they refuse to lend you theirs, remind them that your tax money pays for everything they have and own while on duty.

Usually at this point they will pull the bar owner over and explain to them the sensitivit of the situation if it were to escalate. The bar owner will make some excuses that he was worried foreignors would cause fights or steal silverware and that if you promise to not do any of those he will allow you to be a future patron -- but just not that night. You should agree to this because it is a negotiated settlement. But, tell them you are going to check up on this policy in a week or two and even ask a friend to go by themself to see if that person is permitted to come in.

I`ve busted a few barriers down for foreignors with this tactic and it is good for giving your Japanese language a workout. In fact it is quite fun adn the adrenaline gives you kind of a high. A few friends and I used to do this for a hobby once in a while until it got old -- because we always won. Stay calm and you will, too.

Good luck and happy bar hunting.

pipokun
Apr 5, 2006, 21:10
Good luck and happy hostess bar hunting.
A minor correction... But sorry if I am incorrect.

t4r00
May 17, 2006, 20:55
Bravo for strongvoicesforward!

More and more people aware of discrimination nowadays.
However, there are only some that know how to combat discrimination by not being discriminating others.

Two thumbs up!

Mike Cash
May 17, 2006, 21:13
Bravo for strongvoicesforward!
More and more people aware of discrimination nowadays.
However, there are only some that know how to combat discrimination by not being discriminating others.
Two thumbs up!

Your praise comes a bit late, since he already got the boot.

changedonrequest
Jun 25, 2006, 08:10
Maciamo has Japanese citizenship?

I am curious about this one as well....does he or doesn't he?

I see he doesnt live here anymore.

Mike Cash
Jun 25, 2006, 14:02
I am curious about this one as well....does he or doesn't he?
I see he doesnt live here anymore.
He had "permanent" residency. (I do not have permanent residency, on the other hand. Food for thought.)

ArmandV
Jun 25, 2006, 23:47
3.1 Entertainment : I have been refused entry to at least one restaurant, bar, nightclub, onsen or public bath because I was a foreigner

The first time I encountered this was last year in Ueno when I tried to enter a nightclub there. I nice Japanese host asked if I spoke Japanese, and when I said no, the then said that this club is Japanese-only.

Then, a couple of months ago, I was wandering around Sendai's Kokubuncho nightclub district and saw a lot of "Japanese-only" signs posted at the entrances of the clubs.

changedonrequest
Jun 26, 2006, 06:38
He had "permanent" residency. (I do not have permanent residency, on the other hand. Food for thought.)

Is that a matter of choice? Immigration here practically forced it on me a number of years ago when I was renewing my visa.

When it comes to government services here I have noticed almost zero discrimination, hell they need all the tax money they can get.

Money has no race or nationality, it all spends the same.

Mike Cash
Jun 26, 2006, 07:37
Is that a matter of choice?

Yes, but not my own.

I finally got around to applying last October. Still waiting for the results.

ricecake
Jun 26, 2006, 07:45
The first time I encountered this was last year in Ueno when I tried to enter a nightclub there. I nice Japanese host asked if I spoke Japanese, and when I said no, the then said that this club is Japanese-only.



Could it be more a " language barrier " issue instead of racially-motivated business practice ? Would you've been allowed in if your answer was " YES " ?

Those clubs probably hire non-English speaking local Japanese hostesses working there.

Mike Cash
Jun 26, 2006, 08:28
Could it be more a " language barrier " issue instead of racially-motivated business practice ? Would you've been allowed in if your answer was " YES " ?
No. The answer would have been in Japanese instead of English.

Those clubs probably hire non-English speaking local Japanese hostesses working there.
Which has nothing to do with it.
The Filipina clubs (packed with young hostesses who do speak English) generally have a "Japanese Only" policy as well.

ricecake
Jun 26, 2006, 08:47
Is this " Japanese ONLY " business practice restricted in Tokyo metropolitan area or it's wide spread through out Japan islands ?

How about neighborhood family-owned restaurants where other NE Asians or Westerners might pop in for a quick meal,do some of these have " Japanese ONLY " sign as well ?

ArmandV
Jun 26, 2006, 10:01
Could it be more a " language barrier " issue instead of racially-motivated business practice ? Would you've been allowed in if your answer was " YES " ?
Those clubs probably hire non-English speaking local Japanese hostesses working there.


Could be. I didn't see any signs as I did at several clubs in Sendai.

ArmandV
Jun 26, 2006, 10:04
No. The answer would have been in Japanese instead of English.
Which has nothing to do with it.
The Filipina clubs (packed with young hostesses who do speak English) generally have a "Japanese Only" policy as well.

I was approached by a guy working for a Ueno Filipina club asking if I were interested in going in. I wasn't.

changedonrequest
Jun 26, 2006, 15:03
During the "bubble" economy I was refused entrance at Japanese clubs in a few places throughout Japan, most notable was at one place in Ginza, the MaMa there wouldn't let me even even though my (Japanese) friend was willing to spend something like 100万円 at her place that night. That was back in the day of 25万円 bottles of Old Par and 10万円 tables charges. Hell I always figured it ended up being her loss.

However since then, I would say within the last 10 years, that has never happened to me.

japan*cracked
Aug 23, 2006, 16:21
I would recommend that anyone coming to Japan thinks about it well before taking the plunge and coming here.I mean if youve got a japanese girlfriend and you have travelled extensively then japan is heaven.Its so safe,people are friendly and there is money everywhere and everyone seems to have it.The problem is that it is a very traditional country and if you are not with somebody japanese then you might (actually WILL) feel like an outsider.Hope that helps..Anyone can make the best out of any given situation and the Japanese are top people..Really!

Maciamo
Aug 23, 2006, 19:28
I mean if youve got a japanese girlfriend and you have travelled extensively then japan is heaven.Its so safe,people are friendly and there is money everywhere and everyone seems to have it.
I don't know where you are from, but I rarely had the impression that "there was money everywhere and everyone seems to have it" while I was in Japan. This may be true of the few rich neighbourhoods of Tokyo like Ginza and Marunouchi (indeed where most tourists go), but once you go to the suburbs, or worse, the countryside, my feeling was almost always like I was in a developing country like Thailand (Thailand is definitely the most similar I can think of), with just 10 or 20 years of economic head-start. I suppose it is especially the houses (or hovels), old and cheap-looking taxis, or run-down and poorily lit shops owned by elderly people that made me feel like that. Most of the real estate agencies, pharmacies or clothes shops in my shitamachi neighbourhood of Tokyo looked so old, cheap or run-down that I would just pass my way and look for another one, had I seen them in Europe.

I guess that is why Westerners in Japan usually stick to the "expensive" neighbourhoods of big cities (Azabu, Shirokane, Yoyogi...) and shop in places like Shinjuku, Ebisu, Roppongi Hills, Ginza or Marunouchi. Westerners rarely come to Japan to live in places like Akita or Miyazaki, unless they have to (because that is their girlfriend's hometown or because the JET programme send them there).

yamada
Aug 24, 2006, 21:22
Is this " Japanese ONLY " business practice restricted in Tokyo metropolitan area or it's wide spread through out Japan islands ?
How about neighborhood family-owned restaurants where other NE Asians or Westerners might pop in for a quick meal,do some of these have " Japanese ONLY " sign as well ?

As for the 1st, No except in a legit sense.
As for the 2nd, I've never seen like that before.

Dutch Baka
Oct 15, 2006, 20:13
Posts deleted, I edited the post, while I needed to delete it in the first place.

So I did now, and that made the other post irrelevant. Sorry for the mistake.. please continue with the topic

Bucko
Oct 15, 2006, 20:14
I think I was on the flight that had the videos.

zeroyon
Sep 11, 2007, 05:49
It seems to me that the Osaka keisatsu might be more kind and accepting to foreigners than the Tokyo keisatsu are?

I had an interesting encounter with the police in Osaka with regards to my bicycle. I went to a Tsutaya with my friend and all of the paid bike parking stalls were taken, so we decided to park our bicycles out front of the store, with about 100 other bicycles. We knew that it was illegal to park there though, regardless of the amount of bicycles out front of the store, because there was a sign that said (only printed in Japanese though) that bicycle parking was not permitted there. My friend and I can read Japanese to a degree, and we knew exactly what it said, but we decided to park and go in the store anyways.

After about 30 minutes, we came out of Tsutaya with our DVD rentals, to find that the keisatsu were ticketing all the bicycles and were probably preparing to lock them all up. My friend and I thought "oh ****", and we got out our wallets and bicycle registration in preparation to pay the fine. When we approached our bicycles to read the ticket though, the keisatsukan ticketing the rest of the bicycles ran over to us and said "AAAh! Daijoubu desu!! Douzo! Douzo!", took the tickets off our bicycles, and let us free. We didn't even say a word. We just stood there with our wallets in our hands, looking dumbfounded. He probably assumed we couldn't read the no parking sign, but he assumed wrong. Booyah :D

About the comments on racism though, I just learned to go with the flow. It really irritated me early on when I was in Japan, and the more I became upset with the racism towards me, the more miserable I became. I found that if I didn't take it personally, and didn't make a gigantic deal out of it if it wasn't a big deal, then life was much better. Racism does suck though, but it sucks a lot less if you don't let the all the small incidents with racism bother you. Of course, the ideal situation would be for the racism in Japan to be eradicated, or at least suppressed from what it currently is. I was only in Japan for a short stint compared to other people though, and I didn't see the need to fight that long, uphill, difficult battle. I might have a different opinion if I was living in Japan for the rest of my life, but my opinion on not letting the little things bother you would probably be the same.

bakaKanadajin
Sep 11, 2007, 09:58
I had an easy go in Japan, the only time I was refused access anywhere was to a nightclub and its because I didn't have proper ID. My alien card was in the process of being replaced.. all I had was the slip of blue paper that replaces it in the mean time. Whether they wouldn't accept it because I was a gaijin is hard to determine, but I know that even here in Toronto they won't accept fascimiles from anyone, native-born or not. I would assume that because it was a hip hop club and there are a lot of reckless vacationers looking to party and go nuts in Tokyo, the strictness of their policy was definitely justified.

A friend of mine was once greeted at an izakaya by the mama-san crossing her arms in a giant 'X' and going 'gaijin NO, gaijin NO'.

My ex had trouble getting her own apartment without a guarantor, but several other NOVA teachers did not.

It's really a case by case basis, I think on average if you display even the slightest courtesy and consideration for 'the Japanese way', whatever that amounts to at that particular time or in that particular situation, you'll find that attitudes will soften. Of course in some cases that just doesn't work but I think that's the exception not the rule.

There are some things which are sacred to Japanese culture and their way of life. For example conduct at onsens, certain eateries and establishments, certain services; things and places where you don't want to put up with someone else's learning curve. Since Canada is less then 2 centuries old I don't think we have any places worth kicking people out of, but I can understand how a culture as old as Japan's might.

White Girl
Sep 28, 2007, 00:19
Wow! Haha... I can't vote. Isn't the one on "sexual discrimination" a bit biased? I have worked for a Japanese company, am a woman, and did not feel any sexual discrimination...so I go to check that option...there's no option! Only "I have experienced sexual discrimination" twice and then an option for "I am not a woman"! I see the poller has made up his mind ;)

I have lots of discrimination experiences but none regarding refusing entry. I've had people refuse to even consider me for a job because I'm foreign and I have tons of bad experiences with people yelling racist epithets at me, treating me like a criminal, stereotyping me, or making my experience miserable in general. But nothing on this poll, really, perhaps because of my Japanese husband? One thing to be thankful for.

And wow at some of the posts of people defending discriminatory practices! Amazing... :o

Mike Cash
Sep 28, 2007, 03:42
I can't understand your taking exception to people taking notice of and treating you differently because of your race and gender. After all, it is by those two things alone that you choose to be known to us, "White Girl".

White Girl
Sep 28, 2007, 11:12
I can't understand your taking exception to people taking notice of and treating you differently because of your race and gender. After all, it is by those two things alone that you choose to be known to us, "White Girl".

You can't understand me being angry at people yelling racial epithets at me for no reason, because of my username? Good lord.

Actually, my name was meant to refer sarcastically to the fact that it's the most important thing in my life right now, at least to everyone I meet. I thought it was funny...maybe I have a warped sense of humour...

Actually though I could care less about race. My nephew asked me why my skin is so white, I thought it was cute. Because anyway, I AM white. So I explained to him that I am 白人 and that the "haku" in "hakujin" is the character for "white." He was like "OHHH." I love my nephew.

My problem is when people make a whole bunch of assumptions based on my race, not about seeing my race itself. I don't care if people call me white ('cuz I am). I don't even mind if people stare. Maybe I look different. Maybe I'm just so damn hot. I'm not really that sensitive.

I DON'T mind if I'm having a conversation already with someone and they ask me where I'm from, because if you're talking to me for a while it's obvious I'm not from Japan. I DO have a problem with annoying people I don't know coming up and harassing me about it or speaking in broken English to me in random places, or yelling "gaijin!" and pointing, or complaining about having a "gaijin" near them like, in the hospital, where I'm lying dying on the bed and not making a sound? And this kind of stuff happens too often for comfort.

My main problem is this: white =/= English and white=/=foreign. People need to get this through their heads, or Japan, even Tokyo, will never be "international" as they like to paste everywhere.

You guys seem to like it though, so.....well, I'm just not you.

Note though that I said nothing about people treating me differently because of gender. I was going to mark that people did NOT treat me differently because of gender and was going to put that in the poll... Anyway, I don't care much about that issue...because well, there are already lots and lots of other women in Japan, so it's not like I'm treated differently than anyone else there... I'd love to be treated more different for being a woman rather than for being white though :p

Ewok85
Sep 28, 2007, 17:43
white=/=foreign

When over 98% of the population is Japanese I think thats a statement that holds true in an overwhelming majority of cases.

White Girl
Sep 28, 2007, 17:59
When over 98% of the population is Japanese I think thats a statement that holds true in an overwhelming majority of cases.

I don't care. It doesn't hold true for my own child.

Anyway, whether it does or doesn't, it's never okay to yell rude things at people or say rude things to them... Jesus Christ, with foreigners like you guys in Japan justifying all the racist crap people do, we'll never make headway.

Mikawa Ossan
Sep 28, 2007, 19:45
Well, your situation is your own. I have never known of people using racial epithets towards me, and I am white, too.

I've had some bad experiences based on my being a foreigner, but that pales in comparison to the number of times that it's been a non-issue.

genmai
Sep 29, 2007, 09:26
Well, your situation is your own. I have never known of people using racial epithets towards me, and I am white, too.
I've had some bad experiences based on my being a foreigner, but that pales in comparison to the number of times that it's been a non-issue.

Classic, the 'It's never happened to me' crap. How old is this? So, if someone has an experience and reports on it, and this experience may not have happened to you, you think it's strange, or they should just 'get over it'?
I guess if I said that there are earthquakes in Japan, but you have yet to experience one, that you think there are none?

Mikawa Ossan
Sep 29, 2007, 09:32
Classic, the 'It's never happened to me' crap. How old is this? So, if someone has an experience and reports on it, and this experience may not have happened to you, you think it's strange, or they should just 'get over it'?
I guess if I said that there are earthquakes in Japan, but you have yet to experience one, that you think there are none?
Hello, Genmai, and welcome to the forum!

I am not trying to say that it doesn't happen. What I am saying is that if you take an honest look at the way that everyone around you treats you, you will often find that the majority of the time, people do not act racist.

The times when they do stand out, to be certain, and they are easy to remember, but they are the minority of experiences, not the majority.

genmai
Sep 29, 2007, 09:40
I don't care. It doesn't hold true for my own child.
Anyway, whether it does or doesn't, it's never okay to yell rude things at people or say rude things to them... Jesus Christ, with foreigners like you guys in Japan justifying all the racist crap people do, we'll never make headway.

Sweet, White Girl, love the user name. Keep rockin' it.
You're exactly right, many foreigners here in Japan justify most of this sometimes racist and bizarre Japanese behavior. It is sucking up to the nth degree. They always try to give excuses as to why Japanese act a certain way. ...Oh, mabye they didn't hear you, Oh, maybe they don't speak English, Oh, maybe they were just being polite, Oh, maybe it's how you said it, Oh, maybe they don't understand 'gaijin', Oh, maybe they are shy or embarrassed or...whatever. Who cares, it's just tiring.
Some 'gaijin' want to fit in so badly, they turn into conformist robots.
Little do they know that they will never be Japanese nor never 'fit' in.

Of course there are cool, friendly Japanese, which are a joy to talk to.
I have even used some advise from this forumn, which has worked.
Finding these cool Japanese is rare, yet makes living here a pleasure at times.

genmai
Sep 29, 2007, 09:54
Hello, Genmai, and welcome to the forum!
I am not trying to say that it doesn't happen. What I am saying is that if you take an honest look at the way that everyone around you treats you, you will often find that the majority of the time, people do not act racist.
The times when they do stand out, to be certain, and they are easy to remember, but they are the minority of experiences, not the majority.

Thanks for your welcome.
I have experienced racism all my life, so I know what it looks like. An honest look at the way that everyone treats me? Uh, Yes of course. Come on, you have to be blind or sucking up the Japanese to believe otherwise. Don't be blind, open your eyes and deal w/ what we are saying. Please don't try to cover it up, turn the other cheek, or walk the other way. How many examples do you need? (on the train, in the super, walking on the street, police stopping bikers, store staff interactions, staring, gestures, avoiding, silence, rudeness, oddness....come on.
If I was fresh out of college, was 23, and just arrived in Japan, I may not have a good understanding, yet I've been here 3 and half yrs, so I have some idea of what's going on.

White Girl
Sep 29, 2007, 13:52
Sweet, White Girl, love the user name. Keep rockin' it.
You're exactly right, many foreigners here in Japan justify most of this sometimes racist and bizarre Japanese behavior. It is sucking up to the nth degree. They always try to give excuses as to why Japanese act a certain way. ...Oh, mabye they didn't hear you, Oh, maybe they don't speak English, Oh, maybe they were just being polite, Oh, maybe it's how you said it, Oh, maybe they don't understand 'gaijin', Oh, maybe they are shy or embarrassed or...whatever. Who cares, it's just tiring.
Some 'gaijin' want to fit in so badly, they turn into conformist robots.
Little do they know that they will never be Japanese nor never 'fit' in.
Of course there are cool, friendly Japanese, which are a joy to talk to.
I have even used some advise from this forumn, which has worked.
Finding these cool Japanese is rare, yet makes living here a pleasure at times.

I very much agree with you^^

I am quite happy with the life I've built around myself but I am not going to pretend that there are not issues that are definitely there. For me, it's much easier to acknowledge them so I am not floored when such things happen. Japanese people often want me to tell them Japan is perfect, but I will not do such. I have found some great friends that I can talk very openly with, and the subject hardly ever comes up, but when it does, I can be honest. I think we are a lot closer than if I felt I had to suck up to them. I think honesty with others and yourself is the best policy.

pipokun
Sep 29, 2007, 18:49
Japanese people often want me to tell them Japan is perfect
I wish I would see them...

Mike Cash
Sep 29, 2007, 22:06
I don't care. It doesn't hold true for my own child.
Anyway, whether it does or doesn't, it's never okay to yell rude things at people or say rude things to them... Jesus Christ, with foreigners like you guys in Japan justifying all the racist crap people do, we'll never make headway.

Could you kindly point out where we've been justifying racist crap?

Thank you.



If I was fresh out of college, was 23, and just arrived in Japan, I may not have a good understanding, yet I've been here 3 and half yrs, so I have some idea of what's going on.

You do realize that some of the people you're talking to have spent longer than that in Japan just counting the time they've spent sitting on the crapper, don't you?

My undershorts have been here longer than that.

GodEmperorLeto
Sep 30, 2007, 00:57
Look, firstly, I'd like to point this out to people:

Japan is NOT OUR COUNTRY it is THEIRS. We have no right to go there and cry the blues about racism or discrimination. We are lucky they even let us in there. I'd like to see you guys go to Mexico and scream and cry about how it is virtually impossible for a non-native-born Mexican to get citizenship (it is much easier to get Japanese citizenship in comparison). </irony>

My point is, we honestly have no right to go there and complain. Who are we to tell them what to do in their own country? It's absolutely hypocritical.

Am I justifying racism? No. It's wrong. Yes. Fine. If I experience it, I'll get ticked, yes. Ever consider, however, how sometimes Japanese assumptions can be an advantage, like how zeroyon inadvertantly gaijin smashed his way out of a parking ticket? Or would you guys be too busy getting offended and thinking you have a right to go and remake their country and culture as you see fit? Does the term postmodern relativism mean anything to you guys? Or does it only apply to third world countries?

Please excuse my anger and frustration here, but I cannot see this as anything but hypocrisy. They have every right to deport you if you sneeze the wrong way. It is their homeland, not yours. You can come back home and pillage our institutions and protest here to your heart's content, and it's your god-given right, but at least have respect for the boundary of a sovereign nation.

genmai
Sep 30, 2007, 01:26
You do realize that some of the people you're talking to have spent longer than that in Japan just counting the time they've spent sitting on the crapper, don't you?

My undershorts have been here longer than that.

Instead of talking about your foul bowel habits or your panties, why don't you address the conversation? Don't address me, address the issue.
You've just made White Girls point actually, justifying and defending.
Do you realize that some of the people you're talking to don't care how long you've been here? If you've been here long enough to experience what has been talked about on this forumn, then that's long enough. Whether it's one year, three years, or 10 years. If you're a bit slower to realize things, then maybe it'll take y'all longer to catch on.
Remember, try to keep focused on the issue w/in the forumn.

GodEmperorLeto
Sep 30, 2007, 03:28
You've just made White Girls point actually, justifying and defending.

Ummm, how? He's questioning your claim that you "know what's going on", based on the fact that, compared to him, you've just arrived in Japan and have yet to even come close to having "seen everything". Therefore, it is questionable whether your judgement in the whole matter is specious or not.

The fact that you don't care how long he's been there, I think, firmly situates you in the "early-mid-twenties, I-have-a-degree-and-know-everything" category. Besides, Mike is a highly respected member of these fora, and you are basically a nobody newcomer who has yet to establish himself as anything but a belligerent loudmouth with a chip on his shoulder.

Besides, I just did address the issue, and I went totally ignored. So, I'd like to ask you:

What right do you have to go to someone else's country and demand that they change?

If you don't like it there, leave. You are free to go back home anytime. Nobody is putting a gun to your head and saying you have to stay there and suffer. Yeah, racism is wrong, but nobody here is justifying or defending it. We have a right and duty to fight it in our own homes, but you have no right to force your agenda down their throats.

Besides, have they shot firehoses at you? Have they thrown you off of a bus for not giving up your seat? Have they lynched you, tarred and feathered you, and dragged your corpse through a street? Have you had to drink from "gaijin only" fountains? No. What you've experienced is people being jerks. You haven't even truly come close to experiencing what true racism is.

Mike Cash
Sep 30, 2007, 08:42
You've just made White Girls point actually, justifying and defending.

That's laughable. Not only did I not justify or defend it....I didn't address it at all.



Do you realize that some of the people you're talking to don't care how long you've been here?

I would hope that they don't care how long I've been here. You're the one who dragged out the tired old tactic of propping up one's own opinions on Japan by referencing how long one has been here....as though it means something.

What makes it cute is when it is done by people who are so freshly arrived they still feel the need to include "and a half". It's adorable. Sort of like a little kid giving their "going on" age in addition to their actual age. Anything to stand up on their figurative tippy-toes and gain a little stature.

http://www.walldrug.com/images/VARIANT/icon/2664.jpg

Mikawa Ossan
Sep 30, 2007, 09:51
I wish I would see them...
Me too!

Thanks for your welcome.You're welcome!:cool:

I have experienced racism all my life, so I know what it looks like.If it's not too personal, would you mind sharing with us at least an episode, so we can get a better idea where you're coming from?
An honest look at the way that everyone treats me? Uh, Yes of course. Come on, you have to be blind or sucking up the Japanese to believe otherwise. Don't be blind, open your eyes and deal w/ what we are saying. Please don't try to cover it up, turn the other cheek, or walk the other way. How many examples do you need? (on the train, in the super, walking on the street, police stopping bikers, store staff interactions, staring, gestures, avoiding, silence, rudeness, oddness....come on.I guess this is where we differ. I try to interact with people as equals and I have not adopted an "us vs them" mentality during my life here. I do not look for racism, and consequently, I don't often find it.

What I do find is behaviour based upon a certain collective experience which I largely concur with. Most non-asian foreigners are NOT able to hold their own in a conversation in the Japanese language. Also, foreigners' reactions ARE often unpredictable. And this I say based upon my own experience as a foreigner intereacting with foreigners in Japan.

Much of the "racism" you describe seems to stem from the above. I suppose in the strict sense it is racism, but it's not based on any kind of racial theory, but rather experience.

One does not need to fit in at the nation-wide level to fit in with the people around you. And the Japanese people around you are willing to let you in to the extent that you prove yourself to do so.

Metaphor: If a student moves to a new school and can't make any friends, the first place to look is in the self, and not blame the whole school for being bigoted.

jmwintenn
Sep 30, 2007, 17:03
I'll go ahead and point out that I have never been to Japan, nor do I know anyone that has.

So from what I've read, we have people complaining about being asked for a visa/passport,bike registration card, and some funny looks or rude behaviour.

I cannot think of any country that would not ask to check your visa or passport. Not one. Nine times out of ten, foreigners stick out by some characteristic. If it's not your ethnicity, it's more than likely your apparel or speaking skills. My point being it's easy, generally speaking, for them to identify the outsider. Checking to see if they are there legally should not offend the person, the officer is doing his job(not saying they won't harass you though). You can get pulled over here(quite frequently) for no reason and get asked for your license,registration and proof of insurance.

Housing. Agencies, banks, and people have the right to turn you away for any reason they want to. Let's be honest, if you rented a house to five different Russians, on five different occasions, and they were all loud, damaged your property, and failed to pay the last months/few months rent, would you be so keen to rent to one again?

Bike registration card, don't know of many countries that have them, but to me it's the same as driving a car, they want to make sure you are in possession of it legally.

As for the funny looks or rude behaviour, grow up. There is always going to be someone somewhere who won't like you, and probably never will. If you go and seek them out, you can't complain. I was fat from elementary to middle school. I wore glasses, I was smart, I was nerdy, I played soccer, when I spoke I rarely used a word shorter than 6 letters. Guess what? People gave me funny looks and were mean to me. Big surprise, I stood out. I never really cared if people said rude things about/to me or gave me funny looks. I still don't, the only time I care is if they act like they might try to hurt me. I'll also say I've never ventured where I wasn't wanted, that's just common sense.

I don't understand why it's important or a matter of interest if people treat you this way. Until they hurt or threaten you, get over it.

Mike Cash
Sep 30, 2007, 17:46
The funny part, my Tennessee homie, is that the ones who complain the loudest and hardest about Japanese noticing they are foreigners (and treating them as foreigners) very often owe their ability to make a living in Japan to using their foreignness as a commodity.

English teachers getting pissed off because Japanese assume they speak English belongs in a Monty Python sketch.

JimmySeal
Sep 30, 2007, 20:11
genmai vs. genmai

I've been here 3 and half yrs, so I have some idea of what's going on.

Do you realize that some of the people you're talking to don't care how long you've been here?

Couldn't have said it any better myself.

Glenski
Sep 30, 2007, 23:39
You're exactly right, many foreigners here in Japan justify most of this sometimes racist and bizarre Japanese behavior. It is sucking up to the nth degree. They always try to give excuses as to why Japanese act a certain way. ...Oh, mabye they didn't hear you, Oh, maybe they don't speak English, Oh, maybe they were just being polite, Oh, maybe it's how you said it, Oh, maybe they don't understand 'gaijin', Oh, maybe they are shy or embarrassed or...whatever. Since we are talking in generalities here, I'd like to point out that the above "examples" are not excuses unless they are intentionally given. Call me a defender if you will (and you will be wrong), but the above can all be legitimate reasons, not excuses.

I read the first few pages of this thread (realizing it is 2 years old), then skipped a couple before Sept. 2007 discussions became posted. I, too, would like to know if in those unread pages were there really examples of people justifying the racism in Japan?

(And, in case you need to know, I agree that there is racism here. Sometimes I can explain it, but I certainly don't defend it.)

jmwintenn wrote:

I cannot think of any country that would not ask to check your visa or passport. Not one. Nine times out of ten, foreigners stick out by some characteristic. If it's not your ethnicity, it's more than likely your apparel or speaking skills. My point being it's easy, generally speaking, for them to identify the outsider. Checking to see if they are there legally should not offend the person, the officer is doing his job(not saying they won't harass you though).Police have no right to ask a person to identify themselves without just cause. Since you have never been to Japan, I thought I should explain that. I was stopped once in 9 years. The guy was in plainclothes, too, and didn't even identify himself properly until I forced the issue. He mumbled his pathetic reason for asking to see my passport, and did a poor job of examining my alien card (didn't even look for my current information on the back).

But, there is more to discrimination and racism here than being checked for bike registration or not being allowed in bars/bathhouses. A lot of it is hidden, and unless one knows what to look for (in work contracts, for example), one might not even know they were discriminated.


Bike registration card, don't know of many countries that have them, but to me it's the same as driving a car, they want to make sure you are in possession of it legally.Then why stop only the foreigners on bikes and not all people?


Housing. Agencies, banks, and people have the right to turn you away for any reason they want to.Not legally they don't.


I don't understand why it's important or a matter of interest if people treat you this way. Until they hurt or threaten you, get over it.Since you admit you have absolutely no experience in this matter related to Japan, you are not going to understand. "Get over it" is an expression to use only if you have a justifiable experienced reason. I prefer to say "Learn to adapt", but people should also know what to expect before they come here (or learn as much as possible).

Those "funny looks" you pooh-pooh can make some people pretty uncomfortable. Try sitting on a bus or train and have nearly every set of eyes on you simply because you look different. Do this day in and day out. It's not just being fat. Most Japanese have never seen a non-Asian foreigner in person, and they feel the need to look them over. (And, with little kids, it becomes vocalized to the parents' embarrassment, but they realize that there may be a language barrier, so they can only hold the child back and not attempt to apologize.) I met a woman who had been here a year and was fed up with the stares. She was a fair-skinned, freckled, strawberry blond with deep blue eyes. Quite the contrast to the brown-eyed, black or brown-haired Japanese! When we rode on the train once, she stopped in mid-sentence to glare daggers at someone over my shoulder. I knew instantly what was happening and whispered, "Is someone looking at you?" She cursed under her breath and continued to stare for at least a minute. Gimme a break! Live here a year with that type of appearance in a semi-rural suburb, and you just have to realize that people will stare. She went home a week later.

diceke
Oct 1, 2007, 01:46
Jeeeez, are you all masochists? Why are you enduring such terrible treatment for so long? You may as well leave such a racist country.:okashii:

bruno
Oct 1, 2007, 01:46
:pBevor asking respect,learn to be respectful to a country where you are
guest.I think they didnt call you.You have to adopt the social manners
here and not vice versa.

GodEmperorLeto
Oct 2, 2007, 00:37
Police have no right to ask a person to identify themselves without just cause.
In the States, I have learned that what the police are allowed to do, what they say they can do, and what they do do are three very different things. Considering what I've heard about Japan, I'd be surprised that the cops there are all that different.


Most Japanese have never seen a non-Asian foreigner in person, and they feel the need to look them over. (And, with little kids, it becomes vocalized to the parents' embarrassment, but they realize that there may be a language barrier, so they can only hold the child back and not attempt to apologize.)

I had a Korean student that told me that it is because they stare at the unusual and different. Therefore, they stare at foreigners, and she explained it as curiosity. She even got into trouble staring at people on buses and trains in the United States, and wasn't sure why. I told her that it is considered rude here and to stop doing it, period. I explained how it makes people uncomfortable and sends the clear message of, "You are different, you don't belong" to people. I think she was being pretty honest about not meaning anything by staring, especially because she told me that she thinks Americans are the most misunderstood people in the world (but that's a different conversation). But it was a bit of a shock to her to realize what she was doing in our mindset.

Then again, she was Korean, so maybe Korean motivation for staring is different.

Besides, I hear that people stare on the train at each other in Europe all the time.


When we rode on the train once, she stopped in mid-sentence to glare daggers at someone over my shoulder. I knew instantly what was happening and whispered, "Is someone looking at you?" She cursed under her breath and continued to stare for at least a minute.

I've had friends who say the best thing to do is make a show of staring back, wave, or somehow call the person out, "Excuse me, you are staring at me", or "Yes, I'm a foreigner, get over it." They usually get embarassed and look away. Even if it is not necessarily a good way to assimilate, and it is unlikely that any Japanese person would be so overt.

I find it ironic that these people alo come to the United States, and the first moment they hear some frat punk yell out of their car window, or get poor service at a store, they want to cry the blues to me about how they are being discriminated against. I usually follow it up with a description of how I've had friends refused cab rides or restaraunt service in their countries because they were foreign, with an explanation of what real racism and discrimination is (firehoses, lynchings, Jim Crow, etc).

I am not justifying the behavior of the Japanese. I do feel it is wrong. I have no intention of changing their country. But I also have no compunction against telling them just how rude they can be to foreigners, and that it is hypocritical to complain about poor service or dumb jocks and play the "race card" when what they are really dealing with is jerks and a--holes, not discrimination.

Glenski
Oct 2, 2007, 11:33
In the States, I have learned that what the police are allowed to do, what they say they can do, and what they do do are three very different things. Considering what I've heard about Japan, I'd be surprised that the cops there are all that different.That doesn't make it right in any country that recognizes the rights of human beings. But we're getting slightly off the track here.


I had a Korean student that told me that it is because they stare at the unusual and different. Therefore, they stare at foreigners, and she explained it as curiosity. She even got into trouble staring at people on buses and trains in the United States, and wasn't sure why. I told her that it is considered rude here and to stop doing it, period. I explained how it makes people uncomfortable and sends the clear message of, "You are different, you don't belong" to people. I think she was being pretty honest about not meaning anything by staring, especially because she told me that she thinks Americans are the most misunderstood people in the world (but that's a different conversation). But it was a bit of a shock to her to realize what she was doing in our mindset.
Then again, she was Korean, so maybe Korean motivation for staring is different.Actually, I don't think the motivation is any different for the Japanese.


Besides, I hear that people stare on the train at each other in Europe all the time.Hmm, interesting. Been there twice now (England, Scotland, Belgium) and never saw that happen. But what you are describing here in general terms can be explained by the fact that European countries are used to people traveling within their borders from other countries, and people don't look all that differently because of proximity or intermingling of races. It's different with the "homogeneous" Asian cultures. We non-Asians stick out.


it is unlikely that any Japanese person would be so overt [as to stare].I totally disagree!


I usually follow it up with a description of how I've had friends refused cab rides or restaraunt service in their countries because they were foreign, with an explanation of what real racism and discrimination is (firehoses, lynchings, Jim Crow, etc).Those are just more overt (to use your word) and more violent manifestations of racism and discrimination. One can be discriminated against without violence, don't you think?

jmwintenn
Oct 3, 2007, 19:25
Police have no right to ask a person to identify themselves without just cause. Since you have never been to Japan, I thought I should explain that.

well,the "just cause" of it would to make sure you're there legally,which is what I was trying to imply. I honestly see no harm in that. I agree police can abuse their powers, and often do.




Then why stop only the foreigners on bikes and not all people?
I'm sure they have stopped Japanese citizens before, and I hope you don't argue against that.



Not legally they don't.

Really? A privately owned business doesn't have the right to turn anyone they think won't/can't make the payments away? That's the arguement I'm sure they use, or something similar, and it'll probably hold.



Since you admit you have absolutely no experience in this matter related to Japan, you are not going to understand. "Get over it" is an expression to use only if you have a justifiable experienced reason. I prefer to say "Learn to adapt", but people should also know what to expect before they come here (or learn as much as possible).

Those "funny looks" you pooh-pooh can make some people pretty uncomfortable. Try sitting on a bus or train and have nearly every set of eyes on you simply because you look different. Do this day in and day out.

I'll admit I won't understand it since it's related to Japan, but I can empathize. I moved to MS the last semester of my senior year this past January. It was a town with a population of 1,300. The principal of the school had me running in circles for 21 days before he finally caved(because I had notarized papers from the state) and let me enroll. He wouldn't put me in honors classes like I had before, even though there was room. He pretty much made the last 5 months of high school as crappy as he could for me. I didn't do anything to him, at my father's urging, he didn't like me because I wasn't "from 'round there." Also everyone in the town(and kids in class) would stare at me when I went somewhere. The first month I was there no one would say anything to me, just stared at me.

Personally, I like quiet, so I didn't mind(about the staring). I will yeild that some people can't handle it, but I'll also say that they shouldn't put themselves in a position they cannot handle.


The funny part, my Tennessee homie, is that the ones who complain the loudest and hardest about Japanese noticing they are foreigners (and treating them as foreigners) very often owe their ability to make a living in Japan to using their foreignness as a commodity.

English teachers getting pissed off because Japanese assume they speak English and therefore belong in a Monty Python sketch.

Honestly, it doesn't surprise me. When I heard someone say "they'd rather be a popular idiot than a lonely genius" , I knew things had hit the ceiling.

Mike Cash
Oct 3, 2007, 19:43
The Japanese police do stop Japanese on bicycles and check for registration.

I have numerous times seen cops standing in places with little or no foreigner traffic (bicycle or otherwise) and snag one Japanese after another for the checks. When it happens in places with no foreigners around, quite naturally the foreigners don't know it is happening. And with faulty logic they assume that it doesn't happen.

JimmySeal
Oct 3, 2007, 20:05
Housing. Agencies, banks, and people have the right to turn you away for any reason they want to.
Not legally they don't.
Really? A privately owned business doesn't have the right to turn anyone they think won't/can't make the payments away? That's the arguement I'm sure they use, or something similar, and it'll probably hold.
I'm not too familiar with Japanese law on this matter, but then again neither are you. I can say that at least in the USA it is illegal to turn away a customer/refuse to sell them real estate based on their race. I would suppose that similar laws exist in Japan.
Can people come up with ways to get away with it in court? Yes. But people get away with a lot of things in court. That doesn't mean it's not illegal.
And I'll bet that no matter what, no judge would accept "because he was a foregner" as an excuse.

bakaKanadajin
Oct 3, 2007, 22:30
Japan is NOT OUR COUNTRY it is THEIRS. We have no right to go there and cry the blues about racism or discrimination. We are lucky they even let us in there.

All moral and personal objections aside, this is ultimately true. In a place like Canada or America where we proclaim to be open and accepting of all creeds and colours its necessary to try and eradicate racism as much as possible to support our own self-proclaimed image. On top of that our countries were and continue to be built on the backs of migrant workers so anyone who knows that knows how hypocritical it is to be racist. Japan doesn't have the same history, it's an older country with older traditions and was and remains extremely homogenous socially and culturally. We simply don't get this, it's a foreign concept to us as Westerners a lot of the time. I believe this entitles them to a different kind of treatment. The way you enter an elderly person's home and conduct yourself is different than going to your college friends apartment slash flop-house for the weekend.


She cursed under her breath and continued to stare for at least a minute. Gimme a break! Live here a year with that type of appearance in a semi-rural suburb, and you just have to realize that people will stare. She went home a week later.

No offense but that's her damned loss. I found the people who generally suffered the most in Japan and ended up going home early were the types who seemed to think all the same cultural entitlements that applied to them back home (not being stared at, not being asked a few extra questions when renting an apartment or parking their bicycle) somehow got transferred with their visa. All the subtle forms of 'racism' that exist in the world are so much more apparent when we travel, but they exist back home too and its simply the way the world is at the moment. Looking at the big picture really helped me get past all this BS and enjoy Japan for the beautiful country it is. My acceptance of this and subsequent attitude towards daily affairs may or may not have contributed to the fact that I never got hassled over there, but it certainly increased my personal enjoyment.



What makes it cute is when it is done by people who are so freshly arrived they still feel the need to include "and a half". It's adorable. Sort of like a little kid giving their "going on" age in addition to their actual age. Anything to stand up on their figurative tippy-toes and gain a little stature.

That's kind of belittleing, I think everyone's experience is valid if properly articulated. There were some people in Japan I met who'd been there years longer than me and they were pretty oblivious to things the newly arrived had picked up on ages ago. I save my judgement for people's ideas and not the duration of their stay in the country. Living in Japan is a great experience and not everyone is lucky enough to have it. I do think that someone who's been in Japan longer, knows the language, has more experience, etc., is more qualified to speak on certain issues, but it doesn't lessen someone elses experience to the extreme you mention.

Mike Cash
Oct 4, 2007, 04:04
That's kind of belittleing, I think everyone's experience is valid if properly articulated. There were some people in Japan I met who'd been there years longer than me and they were pretty oblivious to things the newly arrived had picked up on ages ago. I save my judgement for people's ideas and not the duration of their stay in the country. Living in Japan is a great experience and not everyone is lucky enough to have it. I do think that someone who's been in Japan longer, knows the language, has more experience, etc., is more qualified to speak on certain issues, but it doesn't lessen someone elses experience to the extreme you mention.

You misread my comment.

Over the years I have on numerous occasions and in numerous places expressed the exact same sentiment you outlined above. My point is, and always has been, that one's opinions and assertions regarding life in Japan should be able to stand on their own internal merits without having to be propped up by resorting to the tactic of slapping a big "I've been here XX years so I know what I'm talking about" sticker on them.

And it is cute when the "and a half" gets thrown in.

Glenski
Oct 4, 2007, 09:08
well,the "just cause" of it would to make sure you're there legally,which is what I was trying to imply. I honestly see no harm in that.
That is not "just cause". The same thing holds for police inspecting your car or home. If there is not reason for them to suspect something is amiss (and the key here is "reason"), then they have no legal right, in the USA or Japan, to ask for your ID. Perhaps you should look at what Debito Arudou has to say about being stopped by the police for no "just cause", only to verify your passport. http://www.debito.org/instantcheckpoints2.html


I'm sure they have stopped Japanese citizens before, and I hope you don't argue against that. Yes, they have stopped Japanese citizens before for bike registration. People have reported, however, that after they (foreigners) are stopped, then they ask the cops if Japanese are being stopped too, the cops say yes, but totally ignore any passing Japanese at that time on bikes. So, it's a case by case thing, and if you are stopped and are the only one who is stopped, it is suspiciously like discrimination, don't you agree?


A privately owned business doesn't have the right to turn anyone they think won't/can't make the payments away? That's the arguement I'm sure they use, or something similar, and it'll probably hold.Stop moving the goalposts. You originally said they "have the right to turn you away for any reason". The reason you just cited is totally valid. You think they turn down foreigners for only valid reasons? Nope. Lots of apartments turn away foreigners for the most ludicrous of reasons.

Examples:
We stink (or our food stinks).
We don't know how to use tatami floors.
We won't be able to understand enough people.

Taiko666
Oct 4, 2007, 11:26
Look, firstly, I'd like to point this out to people:
Japan is NOT OUR COUNTRY it is THEIRS. We have no right to go there and cry the blues about racism or discrimination.
...
but at least have respect for the boundary of a sovereign nation.


The moral and philosophical arguments about the views expressed in your post could go on forever. However, Japan has signed and ratified a UN TREATY against racism.

PERTINENT BITS OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION:
(Ratified (hijun) by Japan Nov 1995, Officially inaugurated (hakkou) Jan 14, 1996)

Article 1
1. In this Convention, the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

Article 2
1. States Parties condemn racial discrimination and undertake to pursue BY ALL APPROPRIATE MEANS AND WITHOUT DELAY [all block caps here and hereinafter are my emphasis added] a policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms and promoting understanding among all races, and, to this end:

(a) Each State Party undertakes to engage in no act or practice of racial discrimination against persons, groups of persons or institutions and to ensure that all public authorities and public institutions, NATIONAL AND LOCAL, shall act in conformity with this obligation;

(d) Each State Party shall prohibit and bring to an end, BY ALL APPROPRIATE MEANS, INCLUDING LEGISLATION AS REQUIRED BY CIRCUMSTANCES, racial discrimination by any persons, group or organization;

2. States Parties shall, when the circumstances so warrant, take, in the social, economic, cultural and other fields, SPECIAL AND CONCRETE MEASURES to ensure the adequate development and protection of certain racial groups or individuals belonging to them, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Article 5
In compliance with the fundamental obligations laid down in Article 2 of this Convention, States Parties undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of the following rights:

(f) The right of access to any place or service intended for use by the general public, such as transport, hotels, restaurants, cafes, theatres and parks. [NB: This includes private-sector businesses.]

Article 6
States Parties shall assure to EVERYONE WITHIN THEIR JURISDICTION EFFECTIVE PROTECTION AND REMEDIES, through the competent national tribunals AND OTHER STATE INSTITUTIONS, against any acts of racial discrimination which violate his human rights and fundamental freedoms contrary to this Convention, as well as the right to seek from such tribunals just and adequate reparation or satisfaction for any damage suffered as a result of such discrimination.

I don't think anyone could argue that Japan is adhering to the treaty, or even making any attempt to. And I think most people would agree that signing and ratifiying a UN treaty places a country under a legal obligation to comply with that treaty. Therefore, Japan does NOT have the right indulge in racial discrimination, and non-Japanese have every right to complain about racism in Japan.

Taiko666
Oct 4, 2007, 11:41
That's kind of belittleing, I think everyone's experience is valid if properly articulated.

I'm sticking my neck out here, but that whole exchange with genmai actually made me quite depressed (I must be getting emotionally attached to JREF!!) I think he describes his experiences very well, if a little 'enhusiastically', and didn't deserve being swatted by various members.

JimmySeal
Oct 4, 2007, 11:55
@Taiko666

I've re-read genmai's posts and couldn't find a single instance of him describing his experiences. Could you point out where that happened, because if it was there, it was buried beneath lines like this:



Classic, the 'It's never happened to me' crap. [his first line in this thread]
...
It is sucking up to the nth degree.
...
Some 'gaijin' want to fit in so badly, they turn into conformist robots.
...
Come on, you have to be blind or sucking up the Japanese to believe otherwise. Don't be blind, open your eyes and deal w/ what we are saying. [directed at Mikawa Ossan]
...
Instead of talking about your foul bowel habits or your panties, why don't you address the conversation?

Talk like that deserves to be swatted away.

Taiko666
Oct 4, 2007, 13:05
Talk like that deserves to be swatted away.

I agree, that kind of language is unacceptable (the first line at any rate.) Gaijinpot or Japantoday seems to be the place for that! However, the issue of his language style didn't seem to be addressed. Maybe I should have done that myself rather than belatedly lamenting all the unpleasantness (>_<).

jmwintenn
Oct 4, 2007, 16:30
I can say that at least in the USA it is illegal to turn away a customer/refuse to sell them real estate based on their race. I would suppose that similar laws exist in Japan.
Can people come up with ways to get away with it in court? Yes. But people get away with a lot of things in court. That doesn't mean it's not illegal.
And I'll bet that no matter what, no judge would accept "because he was a foregner" as an excuse.

this may surprise you,but 90% of all deeds(at least in the south) have a clause saying non-whites cannot buy the house in question. They ignore it, and are trying to get rid of it, but if one wanted to, they could use race as a factor and it'd hold in court. Always read the fine print.


However, Japan has signed and ratified a UN TREATY against racism.
And I think most people would agree that signing and ratifiying a UN treaty places a country under a legal obligation to comply with that treaty. Therefore, Japan does NOT have the right indulge in racial discrimination, and non-Japanese have every right to complain about racism in Japan.

Ahem, so you honestly believe every country that signed the Geneva Convention adheres to it 100% of the time?or at all? I can guarantee that medical personnel and civilians have been fired upon, and that inhumane things are done to POWs by the countries that signed it. Just because a country/person signs something doesn't mean they are going to keep their word.



That is not "just cause". The same thing holds for police inspecting your car or home. If there is not reason for them to suspect something is amiss (and the key here is "reason"), then they have no legal right, in the USA or Japan, to ask for your ID.

well, the Patriot Act gives the US government the authority and right to do anything they want to us civilians and violates the Bill of Rights. Ok, let me pose this to you: You are in Russia, you are an officer of the law. You happen to see a very dark skinned man walking down the street. Russia is predominantly white, and you see he cannot speak Russian. Would you not in the least bit go over and at least ask him, if not check his passport, if he was there legally? I don't think anything when a cop asks a Mexican for his greencard, because they have a history of coming illegally.



Yes, they have stopped Japanese citizens before for bike registration. People have reported, however, that after they (foreigners) are stopped, then they ask the cops if Japanese are being stopped too, the cops say yes, but totally ignore any passing Japanese at that time on bikes. So, it's a case by case thing, and if you are stopped and are the only one who is stopped, it is suspiciously like discrimination, don't you agree?

Well, you just said it's a case by case thing. To me, that just pretty much nullified your arguement on that point. Some people are racist, and some of those find their way into positions of authority. Some are doing it because the person is non-Japanese, others are not. But yes, I agree.



Stop moving the goalposts. You originally said they "have the right to turn you away for any reason". The reason you just cited is totally valid. You think they turn down foreigners for only valid reasons? Nope. Lots of apartments turn away foreigners for the most ludicrous of reasons.
Examples:
We stink (or our food stinks).
We don't know how to use tatami floors.
We won't be able to understand enough people.

Here's the thing, I didn't move the goalposts. I gave an example of how they are going to phrase it if you call them on it and it goes to court. Does that mean it's fair? No, it doesn't. I have, however, never heard of a private business or landowner getting in trouble for turning someone away since it's not government regulated. That is my point, a privately owned business/landowner can refuse anyone they want.

To be fair though, I don't think the majority of foreigners know what a tatami floor is, let alone how to use one. Myself included. So I wouldn't call that ludicrous, especially if it would cause damage to the floor if not used properly.

Taiko666
Oct 4, 2007, 17:05
Ahem, so you honestly believe every country that signed the Geneva Convention adheres to it 100&#37; of the time?or at all?

Of course not. But countries who sign the Geneva Convention and then break its conditions should be vociferously criticised. Ditto Japan and its non-adherence to the racial discrimination treaty it signed.

Glenski
Oct 4, 2007, 17:44
The moral and philosophical arguments about the views expressed in your post could go on forever. However, Japan has signed and ratified a UN TREATY against racism.
Is this supposed to justify anything? That treaty was signed over a decade ago, yet Japan has not enacted one single law to accompany it. None. They let discrimination happen at will and deal with it case by case. Their reason for no laws? They say they can't enforce them. B.S. on their human rights treaty.


well, the Patriot Act gives the US government the authority and right to do anything they want to us civilians and violates the Bill of Rights.This is not the USA we are talking about, but if they can violate the Bill of Rights in the USA, why don't more people fight such an out and out act of breaching civil rights?


Ok, let me pose this to you: You are in Russia, you are an officer of the law. You happen to see a very dark skinned man walking down the street. Russia is predominantly white, and you see he cannot speak Russian. Would you not in the least bit go over and at least ask him, if not check his passport, if he was there legally? This is not Russia, either. Besides, we are not talking about noticing whether someone cannot speak the language. That example is so strange that one can take the hypothetical anywhere with it. We are talking about printing/photoing people who have lived here for decades (sometimes) and had PR status, done nothing overtly wrong (including being noticed that they cannot speak the language, which in itself is not even a crime).


Well, you just said it's a case by case thing. To me, that just pretty much nullified your arguement on that point. It can be case by case, but how about the times when people report the cops just sit there and pick only on the foreigners? What about that "case"?


Here's the thing, I didn't move the goalposts. Yes you did, by going from generality to specific. Stop it, and we can have a sensible debate.

JimmySeal
Oct 4, 2007, 17:45
this may surprise you,but 90&#37; of all deeds(at least in the south) have a clause saying non-whites cannot buy the house in question. They ignore it, and are trying to get rid of it, but if one wanted to, they could use race as a factor and it'd hold in court. Always read the fine print.
Yeah, southerners do a lot of racist things, but they are still breaking US law if they discriminate against someone in a housing transaction, so that nullifies whatever racist scribblings are on the deed. I refer you to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968:
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/title8.htm
http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/FHLaws/
"It shall be unlawful to refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin."
Again, I'm not too clear on Japanese law, but I'm pretty sure there's something like that somewhere.


Ok, let me pose this to you: You are in Russia, you are an officer of the law. You happen to see a very dark skinned man walking down the street. Russia is predominantly white, and you see he cannot speak Russian. Would you not in the least bit go over and at least ask him, if not check his passport, if he was there legally? I don't think anything when a cop asks a Mexican for his greencard, because they have a history of coming illegally.
Good god, man. And what if every police officer in Russia took that attitude and a dark skinned man, who was there for completely legitimate reasons, was stopped three times a day for every day he was in the country? Talk about an unfriendly welcome.


Here's the thing, I didn't move the goalposts. I gave an example of how they are going to phrase it if you call them on it and it goes to court.
Glenski said they can't refuse real estate legally, and you said they can. Even if it holds up in court, that doesn't make it legal, so you are wrong.


That is my point, a privately owned business/landowner can refuse anyone they want.
Wrong. See above.
The real estate market, along with many others, is tightly regulated by strict laws. It's not a free-for-all.

Mike Cash
Oct 4, 2007, 19:35
Yes, they have stopped Japanese citizens before for bike registration. People have reported, however, that after they (foreigners) are stopped, then they ask the cops if Japanese are being stopped too, the cops say yes, but totally ignore any passing Japanese at that time on bikes. So, it's a case by case thing, and if you are stopped and are the only one who is stopped, it is suspiciously like discrimination, don't you agree?

They don't stop every bicycle coming down the street. They grab one, give him the works, let him go, and stop another one. While they're busy, numerous other bicycles tool along past the check point unimpeded. Hence, they wouldn't be likely to notice who got stopped before or after them and they come away thinking that only foreigners are getting stopped.

I'm here to tell you, many times I have been parked in my truck and watched bicycle check points on streets where no foreigners were passing through the area. People make out like this is some activity the police dreamed up just to hassle foreigners, and it just ain't so.

bakaKanadajin
Oct 4, 2007, 21:56
It's kind of useless in my humble opinion to compare the US and Japan in terms of how they approach the topic of racism. Expanding on that heavily would probably upset some people and turn this into a poo-fling-fest but I'll allude to it very briefly. America has (and to no fault of its current civil populous so much as previous generations) a history of overt, entrenched racism. I'm not saying Japan hasn't also played foul at times, but really, no one was burning crosses or lynching people in Japan last I checked. I'm not saying everyone's grandfather here did that either, but let's be frank, it happened. We're not talking war crimes here, this is just the day to day.

So, America has had to take steps to supress this kind of racism and hatred. The civil liberties and women's rights movements took place, and today, especially in larger urban centers, America has progressed and worked hard at ensuring people of all creeds enjoy the same rights. There is thusly a well-founded sense of achievment to be had there and it's supported every day by the multiculural American popluation. Institutionally however there are still some things happening that lean a little to closely to times of olde vs. the current needs of the people. It's a daily struggle.

The same thing could be said of Japan; some policies and attitudes are outdated. However, what social movements or influences necessitate the Japanese government to proactively catch up and somehow weed out what little racism stll exists? Who would that serve? It would be for the benefit of but a few foreigners here and there at most. The system functions for 98% of the population and also works for most of that remaining 2% as well. When we think about it, it's really a small slice of the population who are held back by 'the system'.

This is in my opinion 'the big picture', and while we certainly have a right to be upset about individual acts of discrimination and prejudice, Japan as a country is not at fault as far as I'm concerned.

Taiko666
Oct 4, 2007, 23:09
Again, I'm not too clear on Japanese law, but I'm pretty sure there's something like that somewhere.

There's nothing like that in Japanese law. It's perfectly legal to discrimate against someone based on any of the things you mentioned.

This really is the crux of the matter.

There's a small coffee shop near my flat, and they were recently advertising for staff.

"Part time staff required.
Japanese woman, under 45 years old."

Which of course is illegal on 3 counts in most developed countries...

JimmySeal
Oct 4, 2007, 23:17
@Taiko666

I s'pose I stand corrected on that point, then. Unless anyone has any evidence to the contrary.

diceke
Oct 5, 2007, 00:15
There's nothing like that in Japanese law. It's perfectly legal to discrimate against someone based on any of the things you mentioned.

This really is the crux of the matter.

There's a small coffee shop near my flat, and they were recently advertising for staff.

"Part time staff required.
Japanese woman, under 45 years old."

Which of course is illegal on 3 counts in most developed countries...

Huh? :okashii:

The Constitution of Japan, article 14:
"All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic, or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin. "

Mike Cash
Oct 5, 2007, 04:25
Huh? :okashii:
The Constitution of Japan, article 14:
"All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic, or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin. "

Read it in Japanese:



第14条 すべて国民は、法の下に平等で つて、人種、 信条、性別、社会的身分又は門地により、政治的、経済 的又は社会的関係において、差別されない。

It says, "kokumin".....not "ningen"

Goldiegirl
Oct 5, 2007, 08:23
What's the difference between "kokumin" and "ningen"? Also, what would change with the use of either word? I'm curious...

Uncle Frank
Oct 5, 2007, 08:33
a Japanese citizen has rights and a non-citizen/gaijin is up the creek without a paddle; but just a guess.

:clueless:

epigene
Oct 5, 2007, 08:36
a Japanese citizen has rights and a non-citizen/gaijin is up the creek without a paddle; but just a guess.
:clueless:
Yep, close--I guess. :blush:

Kokumin means Japanese citizens
Ningen means people or human beings

Glenski
Oct 5, 2007, 08:53
I'm not saying Japan hasn't also played foul at times, but really, no one was burning crosses or lynching people in Japan last I checked. I'm not saying everyone's grandfather here did that either, but let's be frank, it happened. We're not talking war crimes here, this is just the day to day.You didn't happen so see this recent and overt act of racism, did you? (Gaijin Hanzai magazine) http://www.debito.org/index.php/?cat=27 In essence, your burning cross.

Or this story on a foreigner held in prison since November 2006 without speedy trial and so far with practically zero evidence.
http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=537

Or this story about how a foreigner was denied hospitalization after a scuffle with the police, was turned down in court because one of his witnesses was a foreigner, and who is now crippled.
http://www.debito.org/valentinelawsuit.html

The Holiday Sports Club chain routinely bars foreigners because (they say) foreigners “cannot read/write their name and address in Japanese.” Oddly enough, they have an English rule book...

Or the signs that were posted near ATMs showing only foreigners robbing people.

Or the numerous signs reading "Japanese Only". http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html
What's next? Sit at the back of the bus? Use separate toilets?

The constitution says one thing, and Japan's signature on the anti-discrimination treaty says the same, but we all know there is blatant discrimination here, and Japan seems to be doing little to enforce measures against it.

Kokumin means people of a nation, or its citizens.
Ningen means humans or mankind.

So, the constitution itself is discriminating when you see it referring only to its own citizens, not visitors, long-term residents, and the like.

bakaKanadajin
Oct 5, 2007, 09:58
You didn't happen so see this recent and overt act of racism, did you? (Gaijin Hanzai magazine) http://www.debito.org/index.php/?cat=27 In essence, your burning cross.

Business takes advantage of the less industrialized and desperate peoples of the world every day. I do not think this is indicative of an intense hatred of the Chinese race, I think its business taking advantage of a loophole situation.


Or this story on a foreigner held in prison since November 2006 without speedy trial and so far with practically zero evidence.
http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=537

That's quite horrible and unjustified but it still doesn't amount to a widescale attack on foreigners.

I'm not going to run down the list and deny every point you've made there, but I'm not in disagreement with you either. There are definitely some horrible things happening these days in Japan and all across the world.

The crux of my point was that at one time, overt and blatant racial biggotry dominated all levels of discourse in America. (I'm not here to criticize America, but rather point out influences.) As a result of its past, we now have this whole issue of reparations, trying to right the wrong, and we had a concordant movement in the 60's to eradicate vestiges of civil injustice in the system that gave rise to many of today's NGO's and lobby groups. Japan simply hasn't had the same influences or the same need to make race an issue in their country. Who is the NAACP going to fight for in Japan?

Now is the system a little lop-sided, outdated and not quite leak proof? Yes like most bureaucratic machinery it's built and maintained by those who control old money, and the trickle down effect is that there is a lot of room for error. But the need for Japan to overhaul its constitution and bring it closer to something like America's or Canada's wouldn't guarantee anyone anything. Racism still exists in the West despite having some of the most advanced democracies in the world. As I see it there is no fault with Japan the country, the nation itself.

I maintain that incidences like the ones people talk about here and the ones in those stories are individuals taking advantage of situations and acting out, they're isolated, it's not systemic. Even if you changed that one word from 'citizen' to 'human' you'd still have situations like the ones you mentioned happening from time to time. They're called glass ceilings.

JimmySeal
Oct 5, 2007, 10:20
Business takes advantage of the less industrialized and desperate peoples of the world every day. I do not think this is indicative of an intense hatred of the Chinese race, I think its business taking advantage of a loophole situation.
I can't say for sure but I think the racist incident that Glenski was actually referring to is the the publication of Gaijin Crime File, which was stocked in magazine racks throughout the country about 9 months ago:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ky&#37;C5%8Dgaku_no_Gaijin_Hanzai_Ura_File_-_Gaijin_Hanzai_Hakusho_2007

diceke
Oct 5, 2007, 10:55
Read it in Japanese:
It says, "kokumin".....not "ningen"
Huh? Read it in English. The authors of the documents were Americans, and the original draft was written in English. :blush:

I'm not a lawyer, but seriously, unless foreigners are granted extraterritorial rights and being exempt from the jurisdiction of the local constitution and laws, there is no reason that this particular article doesn't apply to foreigners.

diceke
Oct 5, 2007, 11:37
I can't say for sure but I think the racist incident that Glenski was actually referring to is the the publication of Gaijin Crime File, which was stocked in magazine racks throughout the country about 9 months ago:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ky&#37;C5%8Dgaku_no_Gaijin_Hanzai_Ura_File_-_Gaijin_Hanzai_Hakusho_2007
Hmmm, I wonder why so many foreigners support this book? If you are against racism, please, don't buy the book!! :blush:
http://www.amazon.co.jp/驚愕の外人犯罪裏ファイル―外人犯罪白書2007/dp/4754256182/ref=sr_1_1/249-5260729-4825127?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191552059&sr=8-1


この商品を買った人はこんな商品も買っています
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Lonely Planet Hiking in Japan (Lonely Planet Hiking in Japan) (Lonely Planet Hiking in Japan) Mason Florence; Craig McLachlan; Richard Ryall; Anthony Weersing; Chris Roethorn
(1) ¥ 2,475
Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power And Purpose Kenneth B. Pyle
¥ 3,342
Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne Ben Hills
(15) ¥ 2,946
THE JAPANESE TRADITION ~日本の形~ DVD ~ ラーメンズ
(11) ¥ 3,864

Taiko666
Oct 5, 2007, 13:02
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Huh? Read it in English. The authors of the documents were Americans, and the original draft was written in English. :blush:

The original draft. Exactly. The version in use is the Japanese version.


I'm not a lawyer, but seriously, unless foreigners are granted extraterritorial rights and being exempt from the jurisdiction of the local constitution and laws, there is no reason that this particular article doesn't apply to foreigners.

And yet by judicial precedence, and by the experiences of thousands of foreigners in Japan, it quite clearly does not apply to foreigners. Come to think of it, in practise it doesn't apply to Japanese citizens either.

diceke
Oct 5, 2007, 15:19
Read it in Japanese:
It says, "kokumin".....not "ningen"
But in Japanese, it looks like there is no clear differentiation being made when the article says "kokumin" (citizen) or "nanibito" (any person within jurisdiction, which may imply anyone, citizen or not). It's used interchangeably. Maybe it's kind of similar to the US Bill of Rights or the amendments in the way it is worded. It's open to interpretation. If the bad translation is to blame, the government can amend it.



Amendment XIV
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;

nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Glenski
Oct 5, 2007, 17:04
Business takes advantage of the less industrialized and desperate peoples of the world every day. I do not think this is indicative of an intense hatred of the Chinese race, I think its business taking advantage of a loophole situation. bakakanadajin, you've completely lost me with the above.

Jimmy Seal,
You are right. I meant that horrible book. Foreigners did not support it, except to buy it just to see what was inside for the sake of shock value and to report it to the publisher, outlet, and main store office. It worked, too. Amazon stopped selling it, and so did the stores.


I'm not going to run down the list and deny every point you've made there, but I'm not in disagreement with you either. There are definitely some horrible things happening these days in JapanWell, since this web site is about Japan, I'm not going to deal with the rest of the world. I live in Japan, and I post here because things in Japan affect me here. Thanks for agreeing me, but...


Japan simply hasn't had the same influences [as the USA] or the same need to make race an issue in their country.This IMO is a very lame way of making excuses for the poor treatment foreigners get in Japan. You should really be ashamed of trying to put this point in a serious debate. Let's stop comparing the USA with Japan, ok?


the need for Japan to overhaul its constitution and bring it closer to something like America's or Canada's wouldn't guarantee anyone anything. Who's talking about overhauling the constitution? They signed an international treaty, but they refuse to enforce laws to accompany that signing. Hypocritical, and consequently damaging.


Racism still exists in the West despite having some of the most advanced democracies in the world. As I see it there is no fault with Japan the country, the nation itself.Again, I'd like to stay off the topic of the west. And, I guess we have to agree to disagree with the "no fault". You really surprise me, though. You agree there are racial/discriminatory problems here, yet you speak out of the other side of your head by saying "no fault".


I maintain that incidences like the ones people talk about here and the ones in those stories are individuals taking advantage of situations and acting out, they're isolated, it's not systemic.Again, I totally disagree.

diceke
Oct 5, 2007, 19:14
And yet by judicial precedence, and by the experiences of thousands of foreigners in Japan, it quite clearly does not apply to foreigners. Come to think of it, in practise it doesn't apply to Japanese citizens either.
Huh? :okashii:
By judicial precedence, anyone within jurisdiction, citizen or not, is entitled to the legal protections of basic human rights. See the Supreme Court decision in the MacLean(spelling?) case, 1978.

bakaKanadajin
Oct 5, 2007, 21:15
@Glenski:

Re: the part where I lost you. We've gotta get our definitions sorted out here first. Japanese businessmen taking advantage of Chinese migrant workers isn't 'racism'. That was my point, that the article you posted didn't demonstrate racism so much as it demonstrated problems with how advanced countries treat less advanced ones. That article had very little to do with race, aside from mentioning the fact that the workers happened to be Chinese. If you wanted to spin an incident like that racially you'd have to demonstrate to me clearly that those workers were targeted and treated poorly specifically because they were Chinese. If you're going to call things like this racist you'd have to call the North American Free Trade Agreement 'racist' too since it makes good use of cheap Mexican labour.

I'm not defending Japan so much as I'm trying to point out that the influences between Japan and other countries (countries which people compare Japan to as an example, so they get included in the discussion) are different. Therefore, the bigger picture must be examined to determine if Japan is a racist country. The reason I took the discussion to that level is because instead of acts of discrimination against foreigners, this thread started to take a turn towards issues of the constitution, Japan as a country, comparing it to other countries, and so on.

Also, to be clear, I don't agree with or support or want to ignore what acts of prejudice do actually take place, (i.e. talk out two sides of my head) by giving Japan a clean bill of health and saying 'the problem isn't systemic, don't blame Japan'. What I want to do is just support my opinion, which is that these acts are isolated and stem from individual people. It's not reflective of systemic issues within Japan as a nation.

JimmySeal
Oct 5, 2007, 21:29
@bakaKanadajin
You and Glenski are talking about two vastly different things.
His link was pointing to Arudo Debito's blog about this publication:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ky&#37;C5%8Dgaku_no_Gaijin_Hanzai_Ura_File_-_Gaijin_Hanzai_Hakusho_2007
the top entry in that blog happens to be about Chinese migrant workers and at the very end you can see how that incident relates to the publication (namely, despite the writers' rampant racism, that incident was so bad even the makers of the magazine were sympathetic towards the Chinese).
But the point is, Glenski was talking about this book, not migrant workers. This is the burning cross he was talking about:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ky%C5%8Dgaku_no_Gaijin_Hanzai_Ura_File_-_Gaijin_Hanzai_Hakusho_2007

bakaKanadajin
Oct 5, 2007, 21:51
Ah I see. I got caught up in reading the article itself and failed to scroll down to the other stuff.

Well you won't find a disagreement from me on that book, it's definitely fear mongering hate literature. My only response to that is, much like the average citizen in our home countries, I really think most Japanese people are smarter than that and it's not indicative of any national movement or widespread, accelerating social trend. There's hate literature available here too, although it's often stamped out quicker because there are stronger lobby groups on the watch. Again, that stems from the history and legacy of trying to eradicate racism and make up for the mistakes of the past.

At the end of the day I have to draw upon my own personal experiences here as far as why I truly think racism in Japan is isolated and not systemic, much like everyone else is doing, and naturally that's getting some mixed reactions because not everyone has been treated the same way and there are a few horror stories out there. At the risk of sounding redundant, for me personally, I think that only further underlines the point however that despite these pockets of extremists and nationalists, overall, racist and prejudiced attitudes aren't the norm in Japan.

JimmySeal
Oct 5, 2007, 23:06
Yes, you're certainly right that that magazine in all likelihood does not reflect the general sentiment of the Japanese people. But the fact that it wasn't squashed before it ever hit stores is an indication of a significant apathy towards racism. I saw this publication with my own eyes stocked on the shelves of my local convenience store.

Not sure if you know this, but Japanese schools (at least superficially) make a big deal about human rights. As soon as I arrived at my school I started seeing the word 人 everywhere. It's taught in classes and many schools hold yearly "human rights fairs." But from what I can tell, the subject matter does not stray far from: burakumin, handicapped people, and lepers. You'd think when they take such pride in teaching their kids about human rights, they'd make it a point to be aware of issues beyond the boundaries of Japanese citizenry.

bakaKanadajin
Oct 6, 2007, 00:20
JimmySeal:

Yes I think there's definitely a different approach to censorship and hate literature being taken in Japan vs. other industrialized nations. I'm not entirely convinced that the fact it hit store shelves automatically entails any apathy or tacit approval though, so much as its perhaps an unwillingess on the part of the Japanese to heavily censor their books and literature and more importantly a lack of specific lobbyists and interest groups supressing it. (And that lack of interest groups or at least the strength of what exists stems from the discussion on past influences and events).

Ultimately, I wouldn't measure racism based on the fact the book exists but rather on how many people we reasonably assume to agree with the principles presented within. That book couldn't have been the work of more than a handful of far right-wingers, surely not a healthy cross section of the Japanese public.

doinkies
Oct 6, 2007, 01:46
Indeed, and that book was published by a small, obscure publisher that is now out of business (gee, I wonder why...).

It's also worth noting that the blog Japan Probe was actually the first to report on the book and to tell the people at stores selling it not to carry it anymore. In fact, a frequent commenter from Japan named Ponta was instrumental in this campaign, helping list some polite ways in Japanese of telling stores that the book is doinky and racist and as such should not be sold. Along with many other readers of Japan Probe, Ponta also wrote to some stores about the book. Thanks to their efforts, in the end, most stores did take it off the shelves.

Glenski
Oct 6, 2007, 16:27
How many "isolated cases" does it take to make an issue systemic?

1) Tons of places post "Japanese Only" signs.

2) The government ignores the Zaiinichi yet forces other non-Japanese citizens to fingerprinting and photographing, despite renouncing the fingerprinting program in place earlier.

3) Police in many districts discriminate against foreigners on bicycles, not to mention post those insipid posters about ATM thefts (despite many Japanese committing the same crimes).

4) The government (again) discriminates by the Japanese wording of its own constitution and by not enacting laws to enforce an anti-discrimination treaty it signed.

5) Many schools discriminate against students with foreign parents, not letting them take part in certain athletic events (because they make the Japanese students look bad) or because they might have better English (some don't).

6) High schools and universities with 2 separate hiring systems, based on nationality.

Systemic, bakakanadajin. And, pretty blatant.

pipokun
Oct 6, 2007, 17:45
1) Tons of places post "Japanese Only" signs.
...

1) You should say tons of places in the sex industry
2) I agree on the inequality. And I even support the idea that all Japanese should be fingerprinted.
3) Wrong. The bike check also applys to Japanese. In Augst, I could not forget the stupid face of a cop when he wanted to check my bike, but the host computer was down. I voluntarily told them about my address and phone number when you would find something wrong, though I thought it must be an incredible human right infringement.
No phone call from him.
4) Ok, please do not claim, "Japan is a horrible police state!", when the govenment enacts the controversial law.
5) Do you know that the government trys to decrease the non-Japanese children whose parents are not interested in education of their kids?
6) Tell me how many foreign nationals are hired by your government in your home country. When you want to get a stable teaching position in a public school, elementary, junior high, high schools, just take the teacher's license course and pass the exam like non-Japanese teachers here.
And I think the post doctor problem is the same which brings hard time to find a place to work for the highly educated people in your country.



この商品を買った人はこんな商品も買っています
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
...
THE JAPANESE TRADITION ~日本の形~ DVD ~ ラーメンズ

The best post in 2007

diceke
Oct 6, 2007, 23:07
4) The government (again) discriminates by the Japanese wording of its own constitution

Again, as I said earlier, the wording of the constitution is not that significant, in my opinion. (If the translation is bad, people can change that.)

The US Bill of Rights (and parts of the US constitution) theoretically applies to all persons within the US territory (citizens, non-citizens, visitors), it's not because of the legal document per se, being that it applies to non-citizens, but a succession of interpretations and reinterpretations. Same in Japan here (the MacLean Case, which became precedent in 1978).:souka:

bakaKanadajin
Oct 7, 2007, 00:04
Glenski almost everything you've mentioned there happens in the West too. We may be less obvious about it but it definitley happens. Before you can enter an American college you need a SAT score of however much; anyone witout a decent command of the language isn't going to pass. One could argue that's discriminiatory but really how far can arguments like that be taken until you're basically giving foreigners special treatment just to fill a quota?

To answer your question, it takes way more than what you've mentioned for something to be a real problem. Canada has some of the most advanced hiring and equalizational policies around and many newcomers still catch a rough ride and can't get decent jobs or do certain things. If you open up the system too wide it loses strength and stops working for the people it's designed to serve. Like I said before, the Japanese system works for everyone except a few foreigners here and there.

There are plenty of foreigners living in, succeeding in, integrated into Japanese society. Most of those who really succeed have taken the time to really understand the culture and learn the language so they're able to integrate better. I think there was a thread about that elsewhere, one of the first I ever posted in, about language and how necessary it is to survive in another country.

The need for guarantors and stacks of paperwork in Japanese would exist with or without foreigners, its probably confusing for a lot of first time Japanese renters as well. So what is the difference? Well how many times does a real estate agent really want to go through the hassle of trying to translate and walk a gaijin through that process, are they obligated to even bother? It's their country, if I can't understand a lick of Japanese what right do I have to expect someone to hold my hand and help me get an apartment? Now if I can read and speak and fulfill the requirements on my own then I'd probably receive way less resistance and hassle, and most of this so-called 'racist' attitude disappears. I think in many cases actually, it was never there to begin with.

And even if you can't speak Japanese, a country with systemic racism wouldn't allow all the specialty companies that help foreigners acquire things like apartments, vehicles, insurance, etc. to exist. But, there are many organizations advertised regularly in the Metropolis and other gaijin publications that are designed to help foreigners succeed. That's pretty impressive for a country whose composition is around 1&#37; foreign.

Goldiegirl
Oct 7, 2007, 00:25
I would love to see Wal*Mart in the US post a sign saying "no foreigners allowed". I am amazed at the Japanese level of discrimination. I can understand it to point though, when Japan is still basically "Japanese". It's amazing that my husband who is not a legal US citizen was able to open a bank account, get a cell phone, internet hook-up, an apartment and buy 3 cars all without a guarantor or anything else. He loves the US.

undrentide
Oct 7, 2007, 00:45
I would love to see Wal*Mart in the US post a sign saying "no foreigners allowed". I am amazed at the Japanese level of discrimination.

Is there any establishment equated to WalMart in Japan that says "no foreiners" or "Japanese only"? Did you see shops with such a sign yourself?
I don't say there's no such shops in Japan, but your statement sounds as if there were many shops with such signs you can see everyday, everywhere.

---
I see several posts mentioning guarantor for renting apartment house, but it is not just for foreigners - Japanese citizens also need a guarantor. At least in Tokyo, yes. There are some apartments advertising "no guarantor required" but they are exceptional.

JimmySeal
Oct 7, 2007, 00:49
GBefore you can enter an American college you need a SAT score of however much; anyone witout a decent command of the language isn't going to pass.
Probably neither here nor there, but I thought I should point out that almost all American universities will accept a TOEFL score in place of SAT I Verbal for non-native English speaking foreign students. At the same time I should mention that most Japanese universities evaluate foreign applicants' language abilities using a test for foreigners, so on that point, Japan and the US are about the same.

bakaKanadajin
Oct 7, 2007, 01:49
I would love to see Wal*Mart in the US post a sign saying "no foreigners allowed". I am amazed at the Japanese level of discrimination. I can understand it to point though, when Japan is still basically "Japanese". It's amazing that my husband who is not a legal US citizen was able to open a bank account, get a cell phone, internet hook-up, an apartment and buy 3 cars all without a guarantor or anything else. He loves the US.

You wouldn't see a store of that size in Japan with a 'no foreigners' sign either. The closest comparison I can think of is Costco, which is open to anyone with a membership and I knew several foreigners who had one.

In Japan, I was able to get a bank account, cell phone, internet and several of my friends got apartments with little to no difficulty as well! I think Japan and America are both great countries for this.

Another dynamic worth noting is that the West is an immigrant destination; a place which experiences an above average influx of newcomers. We sell ourselves this way. Our governments go abroad and basically recruit foreigners and entice investment and so on and so forth. I don't think it's reasonable for us Westerners to expect countries operating outside this dynamic to go to the same lengths that we do if the same demand isn't there. Above all that it seems a bit bossy and hypocritical to me since we have all this wonderfuly shiny bureaucracy in place and many of the same problems persist.

Let me ask this.. to those who feel short-changed by the Japanese system: how exactly would improvements be made from the top-down? Exactly what needs to change, would it be tangibly effective, and would it also be cost-effective as a nation to do that based on Japan's current sociocultural composition?

Mikawa Ossan
Oct 7, 2007, 11:10
I would love to see Wal*Mart in the US post a sign saying "no foreigners allowed". I am amazed at the Japanese level of discrimination. I can understand it to point though, when Japan is still basically "Japanese".

You wouldn't see a store of that size in Japan with a 'no foreigners' sign either. The closest comparison I can think of is Costco, which is open to anyone with a membership and I knew several foreigners who had one.I agree with bakaKanadajin here. Although I personally have never seen one of these signs, and I've travelled around central and western Japan pretty extensively, they seem to be a small businesses from what I gather.

It's amazing that my husband who is not a legal US citizen was able to open a bank account, get a cell phone, internet hook-up, an apartment and buy 3 cars all without a guarantor or anything else. He loves the US.I was able to do all this without a special guarantor, too.
Well, OK, in my time here I have only ever bought two cars.

I have also secured loans on several occasions, received two credit cards, been interviewed by a newspaper, TV news crew (twice, and one even made it on the news!), and cable news crew.

I have received "loan cars" on two separate occasions, I have been able to join a volunteer group and help organize a local festival for the kids, I have helped carry the mikoshi shrine of the main Shinto shrine in a certain small town, I have joined the JAF and gotten assistance from them on several occasions, I have gotten an international drivers license from Japan in less than 10 minutes, I have....

Glenski
Oct 7, 2007, 14:35
1) You should say tons of places in the sex industryWhat are you talking about. I'm referring to convenience stores, other shops, and bathhouses. Haven't you seen any of the Rogues Gallery posts on www.debito.org ?


3) Wrong. The bike check also applys to Japanese.Read what I wrote. I'm not wrong when some people report that they have sat by after getting stopped and seen the police never stop a single Japanese. Did I say this happens all the time? No.


4) Ok, please do not claim, "Japan is a horrible police state!", when the govenment enacts the controversial law.I have no idea what you are talking about here. Japan says it is behind the concept of anti-discrimination, yet doesn't do anything about it.


5) Do you know that the government trys to decrease the non-Japanese children whose parents are not interested in education of their kids?I have not heard of this, and I don't even understand what you mean. Could you explain more?


6) Tell me how many foreign nationals are hired by your government in your home country. When you want to get a stable teaching position in a public school, elementary, junior high, high schools, just take the teacher's license course and pass the exam like non-Japanese teachers here.For universities no license is necessary. For private high schools, the license is a rubber stamp on your translated resume, transcripts, and degree (no testing needed). I'm not talking about people being hired by the government; I'm talking about people being hired by schools, where the Japanese people get salaries and benefits that are usually different than non-Japanese people in identical posts.

Glenski
Oct 7, 2007, 14:45
Glenski almost everything you've mentioned there happens in the West too. We may be less obvious about it but it definitley happens. Before you can enter an American college you need a SAT score of however much; anyone witout a decent command of the language isn't going to pass. One could argue that's discriminiatory but really how far can arguments like that be taken until you're basically giving foreigners special treatment just to fill a quota? What does this have to do with inequalities in hiring (as I outlined in a tad more detail to pipokun), to "Japanese only" signs, and the other remarks I made? You've really lost me here with SAT scores...


To answer your question, it takes way more than what you've mentioned for something to be a real problem. Canada has some of the most advanced hiring and equalizational policies around and many newcomers still catch a rough ride and can't get decent jobs or do certain things. If you open up the system too wide it loses strength and stops working for the people it's designed to serve. Like I said before, the Japanese system works for everyone except a few foreigners here and there.What system is that? I get hired, for example, at a university or high school with the same title as a Japanese person with the same qualifications, yet I get paid differently and am not given tenure (while he is from day one). Does that happen in Canada?

I'm not talking about people who can't speak/read/write Japanese and complain about having a hard time finding work here. In fact, I post on many forums to encourage people to learn the language (and do far more) especially if they are interested in non-teaching jobs.


And even if you can't speak Japanese, a country with systemic racism wouldn't allow all the specialty companies that help foreigners acquire things like apartments, vehicles, insurance, etc. to exist. But, there are many organizations advertised regularly in the Metropolis and other gaijin publications that are designed to help foreigners succeed. That's pretty impressive for a country whose composition is around 1&#37; foreign.It's a little more than 2% actually, but the majority of them are the Zaiinichi, so you are skewing the facts here. As for the "specialty companies", yes, they exist, but in pitifully small numbers, and they are recent, so that I would put it to you that it is they who are the isolated cases.

Glenski
Oct 7, 2007, 14:53
I agree with bakaKanadajin here. Although I personally have never seen one of these signs, and I've travelled around central and western Japan pretty extensively, they seem to be a small businesses from what I gather.
Does that make it any better?
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#index
LOCATIONS REFUSING OR RESTRICTING NON-JAPANESE CUSTOMERS

Onsens in Otaru (Hokkaido), Bars, baths, karaoke, and restaurant in Monbetsu City (Hokkaido), Public bath and sports store in Wakkanai (Hokkaido), Pachinko parlor, restaurant, and nightlife in Sapporo (Hokkaido), Bars in Misawa (Aomori Pref), Disco in Akita City (Akita Pref), Hotels and Bar in Shinjuku (Tokyo Shinjuku-ku), Women's (i.e for women customers) Relaxation Boutique in Aoyama Doori (Tokyo Minato-ku), Bar in Ogikubo (Tokyo Suginami-ku), Bars in Koshigaya (Saitama Pref), Bar in Toda-Shi (Saitama Pref), Stores and nightclubs in Hamamatsu (Shizuoka Pref), Onsen in Kofu City (Yamanashi Pref), Nightlife in Isesaki City (Gunma Pref), Nightlife in Ota City (Gunma Pref), Bars in Nagoya City (Aichi Pref), Internet Cafe in Okazaki City (Aichi Pref), Onsen Hotel in Kyoto, Eyeglass store in Daitou City (Osaka Pref), Bar in Kurashiki (Okayama Pref), Nightclub and Bar in Hiroshima (Hiroshima Pref), Restaurant in Kokura, Kitakyushu City (Fukuoka Pref), Billiards hall in Uruma City Gushikawa (Okinawa Pref), Miscellaneous exclusionary signs (Tokyo Ikebukuro, Hiroshima).

Mikawa Ossan
Oct 7, 2007, 16:35
Does that make it any better?
No, it doesn't. But like I say, I have never seen one with my own eyes. Also, as I've stated elsewhere on this forum, I have only been denied service once because of my foreigness, and that was something that I'm completely fine with, anyway. I've even been to a place that told me by mouth, "no foreigners" until I spoke in Japanese, and then it was like I wasn't a foreigner anymore. He even explained to me why he had started that policy, and believe it or not, I agreed with him 100%.

The one internet cafe in Okazaki strikes me as interesting, though, because it's close. I'll have to look for it, although I must admit that quoting Debito to me largely falls on deaf ears. I think he is a blowhard who makes more problems than he solves.

jmwintenn
Oct 8, 2007, 07:50
you missed the entire point of what I said, so there's no point in me trying to explain it again, your mind is made up.

I have to say though, glenski, your posts have a hostile/angry tone to them. You do like referencing the bike stop though, and have said yourself a few times that it is a case by case thing. The fact it is a case by case thing proves it's not the nation as a whole that is racist. Others have stated they've seen numerous Japanese stopped as well. Racists will exist no matter where you go, and like I said earlier, some will be in positions of authority.

The fact that there are government scholarships for foreign students, private scholarships provided by Japanese companies for foreign students, and special places for foreigners to go shows that they're making an effort to not discriminate.

To be honest, if you're so vehement about this issue, why do you live there?

bakaKanadajin
Oct 8, 2007, 08:10
I had this whole long thing written out.. I'm just going to say this instead.

In Japan, if you keep walking into a doorway and hitting your head on it and this prevents you from entering, neither the doorway nor the manager are to blame. It is you who has failed to bow your head slightly in order that you may enter.

Carrying yourself with a little humbility, and understanding where you're not allowed to go within a foregin culture opens up a lot more doors such that the few that remain closed are of less concern. That at least was my experience. Having for the sheer sake of having is fruitless in my opinion. For every onsen that won't accept foreigners there are tons more that will, yet some people would be content to stand there through the night shaking their fist, yelling at that one onsen, keeping everyone else awake.

Glenski
Oct 8, 2007, 16:34
I get hostile when people put on blinders and say there are no problems, or when they cite inaccurate or misleading information.

Why do I live here? I have a nice job and family. No place is perfect, and I enjoy being here despite the problems I have described. Does that justify the problems, and should they be ignored? Of course not. Why do you think people ("blowhards") like Debito Arudou fight so hard against them? I think you belittle his accomplishments and efforts, and he is not even a foreigner here anymore, since he became naturalized! jmwintenn, you admit you have never been here, nor do you even know people who have been here. Why do you feel you have any valid opinion about the situation of those of us who have been or are still living here? I'm really quite amazed that you think you have something to offer the forum. Zero experience in a situation, yet you try to say something of value. I don't get it. I'm not telling you you can't post here. That's for moderators. I'm just totally baffled by your standpoint, whatever that is, for offering advice on a situation you know nothing about.


In Japan, if you keep walking into a doorway and hitting your head on it and this prevents you from entering, neither the doorway nor the manager are to blame. It is you who has failed to bow your head slightly in order that you may enter.If this means learn to adapt to cultural differences within a country, I'm 100&#37; in agreement with you. I say this a lot in many of my own posts, especially to the "hostile" complainers who have obviously not learned to keep their western morals in check. If, however, it means blindly accept discrimination when it should not exist, I'm 100% against that.

KirinMan
Oct 8, 2007, 19:54
Is there any establishment equated to WalMart in Japan that says "no foreiners" or "Japanese only"? Did you see shops with such a sign yourself?
I don't say there's no such shops in Japan, but your statement sounds as if there were many shops with such signs you can see everyday, everywhere.
---

Even if there is one establishment in Japan that has a sign that refuses entry to foreigners it is one too many.:p

pipokun
Oct 8, 2007, 21:51
A Japanese man challenged the inequality of notorious speed traps in the court, and claimed it was violating the constituion...

Article 14. All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.
...

No public servant on duty has no right of portrait and no law against wiretapping here now. So why don't you wiretap and record them in the next spring trafic safety campaign?
I am afraid that the conversation between you and the cop may be quite a polite one, if you don't have your bike painted in flashy pink and you are not an angry junior high school student like me.

About the teaching position, I know how instable the hijokin koushi instructer's positon is.
Who do you support, a Japanese instructer who is fired or a newly hired Italian instructer in Ritsumeikan Uni?
http://generalunion.org/kumiai/video/Rits2005EN.html
I don't know her Italian skill, but it is the biggest eikaiwa school's conspiracy that many Japanese come to believe the native speaker is better.

Debito is the good example that you can live here, naturalised or not, no matter how loud you are.

Mike Cash
Oct 8, 2007, 22:24
One little-known method of fighting against a ticket from a speed trap is to inquire if the officer operating the radar had the proper amateur radio license to do so. If he doesn't have the license, then you can try to beat the ticket in court. Actually, you can arrest the guy yourself on the spot, but it wouldn't be advisable to try it.

Taiko666
Oct 9, 2007, 10:30
But like I say, I have never seen one with my own eyes.

It's amazing that you've never seen it with your own eyes.
I'm no party animal, but by the time I'd been in Japan only one year I'd already been refused entry to 4 ('normal') bars specifically for not being Japanese (in Ogikubo, Nishi-Ogikubo and Harajuku.)

But then, reading your post further, it seems you have seen it with your own eyes, at least twice...


I've even been to a place that told me by mouth, "no foreigners" until I spoke in Japanese, and then it was like I wasn't a foreigner anymore. He even explained to me why he had started that policy, and believe it or not, I agreed with him 100&#37;.

Your acceptance/approval of this discrimination makes very depressing reading. Even the guy's intolerance of non-Japanese speaking people is bad enough, but he goes one further and has a 'no foreigner' policy unless you can convince him that you're not 'like a foreigner.'


I must admit that quoting Debito to me largely falls on deaf ears. I think he is a blowhard who makes more problems than he solves.

Whatever one might think about Debito's controversial style, it's obvious that you and he are on opposite sides of the fence. He expends a considerable amount of time and energy opposing discrimination, while you seem to accept and even excuse it.

JimmySeal
Oct 9, 2007, 10:59
Some establishments are not so overt about discrimination as to put signs on their doors. earlier this year, I went to a rather large restaurant with some friends and was greeted with "I'm sorry, we're full." I asked how long the wait would be, and as they were going to check, a group of Japanese walked in and were immediately ushered to a table. Realizing that they were caught in a lie, they quickly led us to a table too.
After that we were treated to some of the worst service I've ever seen. About 1/5 of the items we ordered were never brought to the table and when we asked a waiter the status of the items (we did this a few times), he would leave to check on them and never come back.
Quite a jarring experience.

Mikawa Ossan
Oct 9, 2007, 17:39
It's amazing that you've never seen it with your own eyes.
I'm no party animal, but by the time I'd been in Japan only one year I'd already been refused entry to 4 ('normal') bars specifically for not being Japanese (in Ogikubo, Nishi-Ogikubo and Harajuku.)
But then, reading your post further, it seems you have seen it with your own eyes, at least twice...Actually, no, I have never seen a sign like that even once. I was told vocally once, and I'll freely admit that, but I have never seen a sign like that.

Your acceptance/approval of this discrimination makes very depressing reading. Even the guy's intolerance of non-Japanese speaking people is bad enough, but he goes one further and has a 'no foreigner' policy unless you can convince him that you're not 'like a foreigner.'Actually it was just if you could convince him that you spoke Japanese.

And as I said, I agreed with him after hearing his story. It's somewhere else, but let me relate it to you again as best as I remember.

The barber never used to have such a policy, and gladly served foreign customers. I assume that he never had many foreign clients before, but he had nothing against them.

Then one day a Brazilian couple came in. I think what happened was the man wanted a hair cut and explained what he wanted through the woman, but she left immediately afterwards. The barber did the best he could with what he was told.

Finally the man saw his haircut and was furious. He kept yelling something or another, but of course the poor barber couldn't understand a thing. I don't remember the story very well after this point, but anyway, you get the point.

He decided he didn't want a repeat of that and changed his policy.

I thought it was a rational choice.

Whatever one might think about Debito's controversial style, it's obvious that you and he are on opposite sides of the fence. He expends a considerable amount of time and energy opposing discrimination, while you seem to accept and even excuse it.I think life is too short to search out for things that make you unhappy.

I suppose that I should add that I am of the opinion that if you plan to stay for more than a short vacation, I think you should try to learn the local language of any country you go to.

Perhaps I am wrong, but personally I don't find mild discrimination of non-citizens nearly as problematic as discrimination of citizens. Yes, there are human rights and they are to be observed and respected. But being allowed into a certain drinking establishment/onsen/etc. is not an inalienable human right in my opinion.

I live in a country of which I am not a citizen. I am a minority. However I am able to freely enter into contracts, live and work where I want to, participate in the national medical and pension systems, live without fear of religious or ethnic persecution, and make friends with whome I chose.

It is not a perfect society or place to live, no place is, but the minor restrictions and inconveniences I have to face to live out my life as I have chosen are very small indeed. Nothing in life comes for free, and I just see it as the price I pay to be a foreign national.

bakaKanadajin
Oct 9, 2007, 23:39
I don't think anyone here realistically believes discriminatory attitudes aren't a problem in Japan, they're a problem in every country so to say Japan has none at all would be sheer blindness.

But tolerance goes BOTH ways. Changing the attitudes of a few people who reject the principles of the existing legislative enactments is a life long endeavour which is chiefly accomplished by other individuals becoming ambassadors of their own culture. Therefore, worrying about this, banging drums, sounding alarms, and forcing change doesn't help the situation and probably creates resistance and ill-will towards foreigners where it may not have even existed prior.

Understanding how the Japanese culture works and finding a solution thusly tailored to generating a change in attitude seems more sensible to me then forcing people to let you into their restaurants by drawing unwanted attention and shame to the situation as that jackass Debito does. I'm sure he's SO well-received and really changes people's hearts and minds with his approach.

jmwintenn
Oct 10, 2007, 19:17
To say that you have to experience something to have even a remote grasp of that something, to me, seems ignorant and seems like logic is of no consequence. I do believe that's all I wish to say on this topic anymore.

Taiko666
Oct 11, 2007, 12:00
I thought it was a rational choice.

His choice is rational in that he's reduced the risk of a similar misunderstanding, but the downside is he's excluding perfectly acceptable customers and is contributing to the creeping exclusionism in Japan. I'm sure that many places which exclude foreigners do so because of some prior unpleasant or awkward situation. Other establishments may not have had awkward experiences, but may have heard about other places' experiences and with to avoid something similar. It's understandable but not excusable. Just as a barber in another country refusing to serve Japanese because he once had an unpleasant experience with a Japanese customer would be inexcusable, and illegal.


I think life is too short to search out for things that make you unhappy.

I don't think many foreigners search out situations where they suffer discrimination. Just going about one's daily life does the trick.



I suppose that I should add that I am of the opinion that if you plan to stay for more than a short vacation, I think you should try to learn the local language of any country you go to.

I don't think many people would disagree with you there.


Perhaps I am wrong, but personally I don't find mild discrimination of non-citizens nearly as problematic as discrimination of citizens. Yes, there are human rights and they are to be observed and respected. But being allowed into a certain drinking establishment/onsen/etc. is not an inalienable human right in my opinion.

Of course being refused entry to a bar per se is not a human rights violation. But being refused any service on the basis of your race/origins certainly is. And I don't think it's even necessarily a citizenship thing. Most exclusionary establishments may refer to 'foriegners' but they acually seem to mean 'non-Japanese looking' people.


It is not a perfect society or place to live, no place is, but the minor restrictions and inconveniences I have to face to live out my life as I have chosen are very small indeed. Nothing in life comes for free, and I just see it as the price I pay to be a foreign national.

They may well be minor inconveniences for you, but they foster a culture of discrimination which permeates through many layers of society, causing huge problems in other areas, especially for people who have almost no choice but to live here (eg children of immigrants.)

Mikawa Ossan
Oct 11, 2007, 18:06
Hello, again, Taiko666! It's nice to be able to have a rational discussion about such an emotional topic!
His choice is rational in that he's reduced the risk of a similar misunderstanding, but the downside is he's excluding perfectly acceptable customers and is contributing to the creeping exclusionism in Japan.I think of that as his loss, not mine. Creeping exclusionism? I think I know what you're referring to, but I just don't see it. Yes, I've seen that immigration in getting more strict about enforcement and whatnot, but that's how it should have been from the beginning, IMO.
It's understandable but not excusable. Just as a barber in another country refusing to serve Japanese because he once had an unpleasant experience with a Japanese customer would be inexcusable, and illegal.I seem to remember hearing on NPR talk in certain places in America where public services are not being offered any longer to illegal immigrants (perhaps it was still only in the talking stage. I don't recall perfectly.) Is that not at least similar?

I don't think many foreigners search out situations where they suffer discrimination. Just going about one's daily life does the trick.I guess I must just be one of the lucky ones, then.

Of course being refused entry to a bar per se is not a human rights violation. But being refused any service on the basis of your race/origins certainly is. And I don't think it's even necessarily a citizenship thing. Most exclusionary establishments may refer to 'foriegners' but they acually seem to mean 'non-Japanese looking' people.At what level does it become a human rights violation? Can store people not decide whom they wish to serve? I understand your point about the rights of the customer, but what about the rights of the storekeeper? Can not the storekeeper take steps to avoid problems in the future?

They may well be minor inconveniences for you, but they foster a culture of discrimination which permeates through many layers of society, causing huge problems in other areas, especially for people who have almost no choice but to live here (eg children of immigrants.)I suppose we just have to disagree. Yes, people do often have to pay for the sins of others, but I think in Japan this is where personal responsibility kicks in. I think that as foreigners, and by this I mostly mean non-citizens, the onus is on us and the children who have no choice but to live here to fit in as best as possible. It's a tough world, but it's the world we live in.

I have a hard time getting up in arms about the things being discussed here. You can call this relativism if you like, but bhat does bother me are things like the human slave trade, which is very much alive and well all over the world, including Japan. Maybe it's called something else nowadays, but it is here.

bakaKanadajin
Oct 11, 2007, 21:19
Aside from the fact that this is a discussion board for all things Japanese, I fail to see why pointing out the short comings of Japanese race law and highlighting these isolated cases of discrimination is so important when most of us are unwilling to discuss or care about this stuff as it pertains to immigrants living in our own countries back home. Sure we all "care" but how hard do we fight for it? Certainly not as hard as we appear to be doing so right here. It's as one member stated in another thread; depending on which side of the ocean you're on the glass is half empty or half full.

I've also yet to see anyone respond to the idea that Japan simply isn't one of those countries with a large foreign population necessitating change in attitudes and perceptions. Government serves people. What is the point of having enforced legislation (and by enforced I don't mean the old men with the yellow arm bands scurrying around, encouraging people not to smoke, not to litter, etc., I mean courts setting precedents) if there's barely anyone there to benefit from it? Japan doesn't even explicitly ask for foreign immigration the way the US and Canada do. To borrow from another current thread, many people who go over to Japan do so with false impressions of what to expect and with little or no knowledge of the culture. This exacerbates and probably leads to many of these 'discriminatory' incidents. I don't see these issues stemming solely from the Japanese side of the equation.

The only group I can legitimately see laying claim to this are mixed ethnicity children, half Japanese half something else, born and naturalized in Japan who experience discrimination based on appearance despite being FULL Japanese citizens. Everyone else has their own country to go home to and be accepted in. These kinds of changes take time and progress is being made. For now, the idea of going to another country and immediately expecting it to tailor itself to my needs, especially when uninvited, doesn't jive politically.

Calchas
Oct 15, 2007, 02:30
....
The only group I can legitimately see laying claim to this are mixed ethnicity children, half Japanese half something else, born and naturalized in Japan who experience discrimination based on appearance despite being FULL Japanese citizens. Everyone else has their own country to go home to and be accepted in. These kinds of changes take time and progress is being made. For now, the idea of going to another country and immediately expecting it to tailor itself to my needs, especially when uninvited, doesn't jive politically.....

Agreed. The only discrimination worth complaining about, to me, is when a person is born and bred in a country, but is still treated like a second class citzen anyway. The kind of discrimination that oppress and attemps to hold a person back from advancing in his or her life.

But discrimination that only makes me feel unwelcome...so what..f*** them if they can't take a joke, I'll gladly spend my money elsewhere!!

Glenski
Oct 15, 2007, 08:51
bakakanadajin,
If you don't understand or care why people post here on discrimination issues, why do you post in those related threads at all? Leave them alone and don't suffer so much stress. People with valid claims are willing to discuss instead of brushing off their examples and experiences as "isolated incidents".


I've also yet to see anyone respond to the idea that Japan simply isn't one of those countries with a large foreign population necessitating change in attitudes and perceptions. Government serves people. What is the point of having enforced legislation (and by enforced I don't mean the old men with the yellow arm bands scurrying around, encouraging people not to smoke, not to litter, etc., I mean courts setting precedents) if there's barely anyone there to benefit from it? Perhaps that's because people like me have not seen you mention this openly enough.

Japan says, by signing the international treaty, that it is all for human rights. It's own population is declining, and unless they have more Japanese babies here, the only way the island is going to fill up with people is if it allows more immigrants. The number has been on the rise, and you may think that 2&#37; foreigners is too small a number to care about, but that number is still significant just because of human rights for all.

bakaKanadajin
Oct 15, 2007, 09:16
I'm not suffering any stress. You seemed pretty stressed out about these issues yourself though. Aside from that I'm voicing my opinion, as you are. We obviously don't see eye to eye. That alright with you?

Glenski
Oct 15, 2007, 11:57
The only stress I have is when people like you say they don't understand why this is so important. Granted, I don't lose sleep over such statements, but it makes me wonder just what is an important issue to you.

Are you living in Japan?
Do you have any work-related discrimination thrust upon you?
Ignore the problems, but they won't go away if you do.

I am curious about this statement you made, too, bakakanadajin:

many people who go over to Japan do so with false impressions of what to expect and with little or no knowledge of the culture. This exacerbates and probably leads to many of these 'discriminatory' incidents.Yes, many newcomers arrive with false images, secondhand or outdated information, etc. No arguments there. But how to you see that as contributing to or leading to discrimination here?
Are foreigners to blame for being foreign?

bakaKanadajin
Oct 15, 2007, 23:53
The only stress I have is when people like you say they don't understand why this is so important. Granted, I don't lose sleep over such statements, but it makes me wonder just what is an important issue to you.

When I think about some of the things that are going on in the world I truly can't get as fired up about these issues as some. I just see this as pre-mature drum beating. There is already progress being made and we've been through the examples already. Some people don't see what's already there as being valuable, or else they prefer to focus more on the negatives instead of celebrating the positives. It's really subjective. My experience in Japan was, like others on here, mostly positive. I guess I'm just trying to remain positive. It's not like I don't get what you're saying, I just don't have the same sense of urgency about it.


Are you living in Japan?
Do you have any work-related discrimination thrust upon you?
Ignore the problems, but they won't go away if you do.


Right now I'm back in Canada. I was in Kanagawa/Tokyo last year, and have visited my famly in Hiroshima a few times throughout my life with stays ranging in length from 2 to 6 weeks. I've also done some site-seeing in Osaka and Kobe. I'm planning on returning, as you know from our discussion on teaching accreditation. Admittedly, this is nowhere near as tenured a stay as some, but I have definitely developed my own sense of how Japan works for foreign workers and visitors, and I just don't share some of the opinions that I've read. I've also several friends here in Toronto who are visiting from Japan and Korea and we hang out on a regular basis. Their dislike for foreigners is non-existent, another reason I can't honestly agree with some of what I've read.

For the issues that have been discussed in this thread, I'm not condoning any ignorance, more like patience.

One more dynamic: I was born in and live in a city with high levels of immigration. I know precisely what bothers and doesn't bother me in terms of how newcomers conduct themselves in my country. Often, my ideas are simply an extension of what I've observed and what I feel I should be doing as a guest in someone else's country.


I am curious about this statement you made, too, bakakanadajin:

Quote:many people who go over to Japan do so with false impressions of what to expect and with little or no knowledge of the culture. This exacerbates and probably leads to many of these 'discriminatory' incidents.

Yes, many newcomers arrive with false images, secondhand or outdated information, etc. No arguments there. But how to you see that as contributing to or leading to discrimination here?
Are foreigners to blame for being foreign?

No, but if someone arrives in Japan with a false impression of what to expect and they're ill-equipped to deal maturely with some of the realities that exist outside their own borders I don't think that's Japan's fault either.

And I see this as contributing to the whole argument because it's often a source of unnecessary negativity and can lead to this notion that the Japanese somehow have an agenda against foreigners because X or Y didn't happen they way it was expected to. I certainly didn't expect anyone to speak English when I arrived, I had my phrasebook in-hand and was prepared for the worst. (I'm not patting myself on the back for being a good little gaijin, I'm just saying, I wanted to be prepared.)

By contrast, you'd be amazed how many people get over there and expect everyone to speak English and to be ready and waiting to help them settle in. It just doesn't work like that. This attitude contributes to a lot of frustration and misunderstanding down the road too when other issues crop up. There were many situations where something went wrong and I was completely screwed. I lost my wallet in Roppongi, my phone randomly died on me, bank account issues, not being able to access my own money, getting my alien card, mail not arriving, being turned away at clubs without proper ID, getting lost, etc. Each time the resistance I met wasn't racism in my opinion, it was more like 'hey, I can't speak English, what do you want from me a miracle?' And I think some people do expect a miracle because here in the West we're accustomed to banging our fists on counters and getting things done. That's not the Japanese way. Wasn't all roses either, I did meet a few individuals who were clearly not interested in helping gaijin. All I can say is they were soon forgotten because I quickly ran into someone who was willing to help.

I agree with you to the extent thatr racism persists in subtle forms, that's true the world over, but in my eyes its not as bad as some make it out to be. Also, since a lot of people visit this website looking for info., I feel compelled to offer my experiences as a balance. It's not even meant to be inflammatory or argumentative, just an example of my experiences and reasons vs. others.

Glenski
Oct 16, 2007, 06:34
When I think about some of the things that are going on in the world I truly can't get as fired up about these issues as some. I just see this as pre-mature drum beating.Premature? To what? What are you/we waiting for that makes this premature?


There is already progress being made and we've been through the examples already.And, just how do you think that progress was made? Not by sitting back, accepting the problem and doing nothing about it.


Some people don't see what's already there as being valuable, or else they prefer to focus more on the negatives instead of celebrating the positives.There's a difference between focusing on the negative in this discussion group, and focusing only on the negative issues in Japan outside the discussion group. As long as the topic is here in the forum, it only makes sense to focus on it. Ignoring it won't make it go away, whether you are in Japan or Canada.


It's really subjective. My experience in Japan was, like others on here, mostly positive. I guess I'm just trying to remain positive.I'm confused about what positivity you are trying to display. Being a "glass is half full" person is one thing, but you don't even seem to feel that the problem exists at all, or to any degree of importance.


I just don't share some of the opinions that I've read. I've also several friends here in Toronto who are visiting from Japan and Korea and we hang out on a regular basis. Their dislike for foreigners is non-existent, another reason I can't honestly agree with some of what I've read.
If I were really a snippy person, I would throw that last statement back in your face and say, "Oh, that's just an isolated incident." I won't, and all I can say with great reluctance is that we are going to have to agree to disagree, but I'll also ask that you don't keep brushing off the problems here as unimportant to those who still live here.


For the issues that have been discussed in this thread, I'm not condoning any ignorance, more like patience.Again with the "wait and see, don't be so premature" attitude. We've waited 12 years for Japan to enact laws to bolster its presumed support of the anti-discrimination treaty. I'm a very patient person, but that's far too long.


if someone arrives in Japan with a false impression of what to expect and they're ill-equipped to deal maturely with some of the realities that exist outside their own borders I don't think that's Japan's fault either.It starts somewhere. The foreigner didn't cause the discrimination. That's the root of it all, not his response when encountering it. (However, I do agree, and have stated countless times, that people coming here to work should really prepare a lot more just to avoid as many surprises as possible.)


By contrast, you'd be amazed how many people get over there and expect everyone to speak English and to be ready and waiting to help them settle in. It just doesn't work like that. This attitude contributes to a lot of frustration and misunderstanding down the road too when other issues crop up.Yes, as we both have prepared before coming, and seem to have open minds about things here, the unprepared will be frustrated. That still doesn't condone the acts of discrimination themselves.


There were many situations where something went wrong and I was completely screwed. I lost my wallet in Roppongi, my phone randomly died on me, bank account issues, not being able to access my own money, getting my alien card, mail not arriving, being turned away at clubs without proper ID, getting lost, etc. Each time the resistance I met wasn't racism in my opinion,Well, of course, with those examples, it is clearly not racism. I don't see why you even bring them up.


I agree with you to the extent thatr racism persists in subtle forms, Here it can be subtle or blatant.

bakaKanadajin
Oct 16, 2007, 09:38
Welp it's been stimulating Glenski but its probably best to continue our discussion via PM, if at all. I think our opinions are quite clear to one another and to everyone else by this point, as is the fact that we're not going to see eye to eye the issue of racism and discrimination in Japan. I could debate every word you've typed but I'm not sure doing so would continue to serve a communal purpose re: the topic. It comes down to the fact that our personal experiences, appreciation for and attitude towards Japanese society and people, and our political views are too widely varied and divided to find common ground. I've read everything you've written and considered it before replying, and I'm sure you've taken the same care. I just simply do not agree with you. So as they say, agree to disagree! I look forward to butting heads with you on another topic some day!
:-)

Glenski
Oct 16, 2007, 12:01
No prob. I hope this doesn't put you off asking for job advice in the future, too. Take it easy.

Taiko666
Oct 17, 2007, 17:52
Hello, again, Taiko666! It's nice to be able to have a rational discussion about such an emotional topic!
Hi! Thanks... it seems quite a lot's been said while I was away (motorcycling in Izu... no exclusionary problems to report...)


Creeping exclusionism? I think I know what you're referring to, but I just don't see it.

The exclusionism bug can do a lot of creeping before you notice it. That's because there are no laws to prevent it, which is the real problem. You must surely have read or heard about examples like the Brazilian-born Japanese citizen hounded out of buying some land on which to build a house? I could even throw in the story of the Japanese born, Japanese fluent daughter of an American friend who was denied employment by MacDonald's for the sole reason that 'customers would be wary of you because you're foreign'. Examples crop up very regularly. And they'll become more regular as more immigrants arrive, and the children of existing immigrants seek jobs or even
an adequate education.


Can store people not decide whom they wish to serve?
To a point. Refusing service to a person because they're drunk, abusive or dangerous is fine. But this question is so fundamental. If you believe that's it's ok to refuse to serve somebody based solely on their race, I don't think I or anyone else will persuade you otherwise.


I think that as foreigners, and by this I mostly mean non-citizens, the onus is on us and the children who have no choice but to live here to fit in as best as possible.
If you're being excluded, it's impossible to fit in. And nobody benefits.

Sometimes I can't help but wonder if you and bakaKanadajin condone racism (excluding by race = racism) in your own countries. I'm sure you don't... but then you seem to accept it as an unavoidable and acceptable part of life in Japan, and I don't know why. Saying that Japanese morals and 'western' morals are somehow different is no answer... even the Japanese (say they) don't believe that, since they signed a UN anti-racism treaty. What gives them special dispensation to renege?

I reckon the J-Gov has at least 3 choices:
1) Implement the laws it said it was going to implement, bringing it into line with most of the civilized world, enabling it to move forward and tackle more difficult aspects of immigration.
2) Deport all non-ethnic Japanese and revert to isolationism.
3) Attempt to maintain the status quo, and watch the country slide down the pan.


Ah, that's better. Downs tools and heads to his local non-exclusionary nomiya for a cheeky 純米酒.

Glenski
Oct 17, 2007, 22:04
If you believe that's it's ok to refuse to serve somebody based solely on their race, I don't think I or anyone else will persuade you otherwise.
Sadly true, perhaps, but they can sure sue your butt off for your actions!

gaijinalways
Oct 19, 2007, 20:16
This is a hot issue to discuss, and I've been involved in it on two other forums in one form or another ("Dave's ESL cafe" and "Young Dudes' Guide to Japan"). This forum is certainly more balanced than the latter, where I had people thinking I should work for Debito (amongst other ones)!

Strangely enough, comparisons with illegal aliens are strange ones as the people we're talking about getting undue attention are not illegally living here and are often married to citizens here. Every society often likes to focus on powerless scapegoats when they can't fight a problem or don't wish to. Why should Japan focus on a small minority of the population when it doesn't seem to be in the government interest to do so? Does tourism and foreign business investment in Japan ring a bell? Of course the latter may not be discouraged as long as they are servicing the domestic market, but they may be more than annoyed when their company seems to be competing under different rules than the Japanese ones. How do you think these cases of overt discrimination are going to make tourists want to visit here?

As to the employment issues, no it is a big difference depending on the country that you're looking at. The US has a large number of tenured foreign lecturers. Japan has very few, and even though the number of Japanese who are tenured is decreasing as well, they still have a much better chance of getting regular permanent employment here than a foreigner does.

Goldiegirl
Oct 19, 2007, 20:41
I hate tv programs that depict Westerners as stupid, and what I hate more is the Westerners who "act" in these shows with exaggerated facial movements and sounds. I think they make it easier for Japanese to discriminate.

bakaKanadajin
Oct 19, 2007, 23:48
I hate tv programs that depict Westerners as stupid, and what I hate more is the Westerners who &quot;act&quot; in these shows with exaggerated facial movements and sounds. I think they make it easier for Japanese to discriminate.

I agree, I've seen a few programs out there where the foreigners are basically just the 'foreign' quota for TV programming or what have you. They aren't really representative of their country, if the country itself is mentioned at all. They're more 'token' figures who are paid to exhibit the same kind of over-the-top personalities as everyone else because their Japanese is really good and they're foreign, but they're just talking heads basically. I think unfortunately, as is the case here back home, most people on TV really ARE that stupid and this just becomes even more apparent on Japanese TV. The same kinds of people who make it onto network TV back home will inevitably make it onto network TV abroad.

I have also seen some programs though where the foreigners involved are fairly real and representative. One show comes to mind where they take a panel of foreigners from various countries and have them engage in popular tourist activities and Japanese activities as well. I found that show to be incredibly well balanced. Generally speaking a lot of the Japanese 'documentay' programs I saw, the ones with the hosts watching in the little window in the corner, aren't so bad. They tend to take a more serious approach to their topics and only touch on non-tabloid type material like earthquakes, health issues, happenings and events in rural towns, the making of seasonal foods and crafts, etc.

The cruddier shows with the idiot gaijin are those variety shows with the games, costumes and challenges etc., which are funny but pretty mindless.

diceke
Oct 20, 2007, 00:55
I hate tv programs that depict Westerners as stupid, and what I hate more is the Westerners who "act" in these shows with exaggerated facial movements and sounds. I think they make it easier for Japanese to discriminate.
For example?:?:?:?:?

Pachipro
Oct 20, 2007, 01:03
I hate tv programs that depict Westerners as stupid, and what I hate more is the Westerners who "act" in these shows with exaggerated facial movements and sounds. I think they make it easier for Japanese to discriminate.



The cruddier shows with the idiot gaijin are those variety shows with the games, costumes and challenges etc., which are funny but pretty mindless.



For example?:?:?:?:?

One person that comes to mind is Dave Spector, a "famous" 'gaijin tarento'. I believe he is still around. I remember reading in a magazine interview with him in English in Japan where he said that as long as the Japanese were paying him well he would act like a fool if that's what they wanted. His Japanese is pretty fluent also.

It's a sad person and situation who would sell themselves as media whores for a few pieces of silver and make their own countrymen look like fools. Sadly, it still goes on today and I just shake my head.

Mikawa Ossan
Oct 20, 2007, 06:36
It's a sad person and situation who would sell themselves as media whores for a few pieces of silver and make their own countrymen look like fools. Sadly, it still goes on today and I just shake my head.
I thought that's what talento were supposed to do. Japanese comedians and talento do the craziest things all the time, so why should we get upset when some foreigner does the same thing?

That makes no sense to me.

Goldiegirl
Oct 20, 2007, 08:24
Doing crazy things is ok; but when the point is to make foreigners look like fools that's when I get annoyed. It's not funny. I can laugh at the differences between the cultures because somethings are funny or odd, but when I am made to feel that I am being laughed AT that is wrong.

doinkies
Oct 20, 2007, 08:39
I thought that's what talento were supposed to do. Japanese comedians and talento do the craziest things all the time, so why should we get upset when some foreigner does the same thing?

That makes no sense to me.

Yeah, there are lots of Japanese comedians/tarento who also act crazy/dumb/odd, dressing in doinky-looking costumes and making doinky jokes. I think a lot of foreign tarento simply do the same things as their Japanese counterparts. Of course, if the point of the tarento's act is to try to make himself/herself look like a bigger doink than the Japanese ones, then that can be considered problematic.

Mikawa Ossan
Oct 20, 2007, 10:39
Of course, if the point of the tarento's act is to try to make himself/herself look like a bigger doink than the Japanese ones, then that can be considered problematic.
That would be a hard thing to do. Being stupid is part of Japanese comedic culture.

One of my favorites: AHO AHO Man
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOdtUhtQ1Ls
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijAJLbUwzKQ
http://www3.zero.ad.jp/silver13th/ahoahoman1.html

Here's another one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zDHFDWtsx4

And another:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MR4wPOVBRg

diceke
Oct 20, 2007, 15:30
This is OUTRAGEOUS! This gaijin tarento is making the Japanese people look like fools in a Japanese TV show! :D:D:lol::lol:

Karakuri funniest English 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKVCadQIiPo
Karakuri funniest English 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqaP73ykFrU
Karakuri funniest English 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBnfsV5vBVQ

Glenski
Oct 22, 2007, 10:12
Thane Camus has long since died on Karakuri. However, he doesn't / didn't just make Japanese look like fools. His clip Funniest English was also done in reverse with foreigners doing Funniest Japanese. In fact, both of these were far more worthwhile IMO than the other crap on Karakuri. Sadly, it was Bobby Olgun (sp?) who got discovered on Thane's clips, essentially took over his episodes, and steered the whole focus away from the language issue.

jguticon
Nov 10, 2007, 18:23
P.S. Forgot to mention what happened to me a few years back: Came home one day, go to check my post & find my box out of the 100 or so is the only one vandalised. Later, got home one day to find 'Gaijin kaere' sprayed on my door.
Lovely.
Well I don't know what 'kaere' means but I wonder what would happened here if someone did the same to a muslim.Hard to belive for me. I am reading a lot of things in this forum and to be honest I had no idea.

sdf
Nov 12, 2007, 14:36
Kaere (かえれ) means - Go Home or Get out - whatever you like.

Astroboy
Jan 7, 2008, 03:41
Discrimination can be seen everywhere in the world because people tend to be cautious against foreigners/unusual looking-people in general.

Probably USA/Europe/Australia/NZ are the countries of the most discrimination/prejudice against non-Whites. Thus they are the most sensitive about racial discrimination today.

In Japan, there must be some discrimination against foreigners - especially to the people from less developed countries. So we must be careful about ourselves.

However, what Europeans/Americans usually tell as discrimination/prejudice is not acceptable. http://www.debito.org/index.html is the typical case. This man continues to send wrong message to the world, neglecting that foreingers don't adpot Japanese manner in Japan, but forcing Japanese to adpot foreigners' manners in Japan.

Before coming to Japan, foreigners better learn Japanese customs/manner, which are often different from the rest of the world.

Glenski
Jan 7, 2008, 06:28
However, what Europeans/Americans usually tell as discrimination/prejudice is not acceptable. http://www.debito.org/index.html is the typical case. This man continues to send wrong message to the world, neglecting that foreingers don't adpot Japanese manner in Japan, but forcing Japanese to adpot foreigners' manners in Japan.
What wrong messages does Arudou Debito send?

I don't necessarily agree with you about foreign manners and discrimination. Yes, many foreigners don't know about certain manners in Japan, but that doesn't mean they should face discrimination. Can you give some examples of what you mean, so I can understand you better?

centrajapan
Jan 7, 2008, 06:30
Arudo Debito is like Paul Watson he does more harm than good the way he goes about.

Sensationalist
Jan 7, 2008, 06:42
What wrong messages does Arudou Debito send?
I don't necessarily agree with you about foreign manners and discrimination. Yes, many foreigners don't know about certain manners in Japan, but that doesn't mean they should face discrimination. Can you give some examples of what you mean, so I can understand you better?

I think Astroboy made very clear and salient points and I don't see why he needs to write it on the wall for you, so to speak. Mr. Debito does do more harm than good. Sure, some people do face discrimination in Japan, but that's the same all over the world. Mr. Debito is a very ignorant man in my opinion, and it shows in some of the places he chooses to highlight - stripper joints and seedy bars ! Like the whole world needs to condemn Japan for not allowing foreigners into brothels and sex joints ?? How can you not see the writing on the wall Glenski ?

R.A.M.
Jun 28, 2009, 21:35
I'm Puerto Rican and Black, would I be treated differently or oddly in japan by the locals? Oh, ya almost forgot, does your race play any role in getting japanese chicks ;P

ASHIKAGA
Jun 28, 2009, 21:46
I'm Puerto Rican and Black, would I be treated differently or oddly in japan by the locals? Oh, ya almost forgot, does your race play any role in getting japanese chicks ;P

Dig deeper into this thread and you will find other members' experiences (some of them are latinos/blacks).

As for your second question, I don't know if your race plays a role but your attitude will. And that's not just in Japan.

Welcome to the Forum.

akaitsume1
Jul 31, 2009, 13:25
Since there have been so many negative stories, I feel like I should try to lighten the mood a little. While I was living in Nagoya, which doesn't have a tremendously large foreign population, and when I lived in Hikone (Shiga Prefecture), I typically had excellent experiences. Should I look lost or confused, people would flock to my side, whether or not they spoke English, and helped me out. I had an elderly couple walk me and my friends, none of whom spoke more than two words of Japanese at the time, all the way to the far end of a huge train station (Osaka), outside into the rain, and waited at the bus stop with us to make sure we got where we were going.

In Nagoya, I was approached by elderly men and women who simply wanted to talk to me, and several who were delighted by my Japanese. I met several nice people of all ages who would give me directions if needed, or simply talk to me should I strike up a conversation. I never even had the "gaijin perimeter" on the subway, where Japanese people are supposed to give foreigners extra berth. Nope, they squeezed right in next to me. Hahaha.

The best experiences were often in restaurants, where businessmen would pay for the meals of my friends just for having heard English. One businessman approached me in an Outback Steakhouse while I was waiting to pay, spoke to me in English for several minutes, and then handed me a thousand yen for my trouble on his way out the door.

I even had the police fall all over themselves once to help me figure out where a building was.

To be honest, the only "discrimination" I dealt with in a year and a half was a bit of staring (I might as well be from outer space, being an African American) and the assumption that I didn't speak Japanese, which was not only reasonable, but gave me a break some days when I didn't feel like practicing. XD I'm sorry that other people had awful experiences, but so far so good for me.

Reyter
Sep 19, 2009, 11:24
I am an average white guy from northern Europe. No tattoos, no long hair (not short enough to be mistaken as someone in the USA army), no police record, a full-time occupation, dont wear weird or unique clothing and etc. Yet 3 times the police have stopped me and demanded I show I.D.

The first time I was shocked and just complied. The second time I got a little pi##ed off, asked why and refused to show it. They then prattled on with some nonsense about a foreigner being reported doing something nearby (obviously if someone had just committed a crime he wouldnt have been casually strolling along a busy street as I was.), called for back-up and when another car pulled up and 2 more of the angry little pigs got out and started getting in my ear. At that time I had had enough and handed over my I.D. Both times they wrote down my details.

The third time, 2 weeks ago was the final straw. A guy I knew was in a little trouble. Very little. He was never charged, taken for interrogation of anything like that. I was there only to help translate for both parties. The guy couldnt speak any Japanese and the pigs couldnt speak any English. Suddenly, they turned around and demanded to see my I.D. After some harsh words were exchanged and i was surrounded by literally 10 of them, I again relented.

Japan is a nice and civilised place and Japanese people are generally very decent and thus, it came as a shock the pigs could do this. Well, it turns out that if you know your rights, they cant lawfully.

Some of you probably know of Arudo Debito (http://www.debito.org/?page_id=2) and for those who dont, he is a white Japanese citizen, an associate professor and I guess you would say an activist for foreigners rights here in Japan. I guess he became sick of the pigs stopping him for no reason too and did some research on the topic.
Read some general info here (http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#checkpoint) and the specific laws here. (http://www.debito.org/GcardLAWS.pdf)
Now I understand why the pig came up with a childish story about a foreigner being reported doing something when I asked "why" he wanted to see my I.D. the second time.

Basically, the police cant stop you, ask for I.D. and question you unless you are under suspicion for a crime. Simply "because you are a foreigner" isnt sufficient.

Now, some people will probably interlope to this thread and say "no, Debito is wrong" and etc etc. Trust them if you like but then think about the kind of people they obviously are and the kind of person Debito obviously is and think for yourself who you would believe. Also, ask yourself why they are so desperate to make you believe they are right. Why would they care? Debito is an activist who was tired of being harassed by police because he has white skin. His motives are very clear.

One thing everyone agrees upon is that even if you are suspected of a crime you have the right to first inspect their I.D. before showing your own and if you are in a hurry this would be enough. Take time and do it as publicly as possible and the pigs little power trip will be shot down in flames. Thats what its all about. They want people to see how "powerful" and "important" they are and I guess it would be quite humiliating to have a foreigner publicly inspect their I.D.

If stopped in such a way as I outlined above, if you simply pass over your I.D. without question, in my opinion you are a pityful and docile lackey and are doing a disservice to all foreigners here.

Astroboy
Sep 19, 2009, 11:40
Basically, the police cant stop you, ask for I.D. and question you unless you are under suspicion for a crime. Simply "because you are a foreigner" isnt sufficient.

When I traveled across Europe, I was often stopped by police, immigration officer, train master, etc. to show them my passport.

At the airports in Europe, EU passport holders go to different gate, while Japanese passport holders go to another gate, taking more time at passport control.

But I have never heard about any complaints from my Japanese friends because I and others believe different country has different rules. Or you believe all countries must adjust to your preference ? because you are different from any others.

Half-n-Half
Sep 19, 2009, 12:50
I'll try not to make a direct response to the situations you experienced as I have no independent means of interpreting them myself and I have never experienced anything like it. It's not that I think you are lying or being dishonest in your accounts, it's just that eye-witness reports often glaze over certain details that could be very important or have a certain personal bias based off of emotion.


Now, some people will probably interlope to this thread and say "no, Debito is wrong" and etc etc. Trust them if you like but then think about the kind of people they obviously are and the kind of person Debito obviously is and think for yourself who you would believe. Also, ask yourself why they are so desperate to make you believe they are right. Why would they care? Debito is an activist who was tired of being harassed by police because he has white skin. His motives are very clear.

This is a pretty sweeping generalization and a weak argument. I have no idea the merits of Debito's argument concerning police stopping foreigners, but to project anyone who opposes Debito as malicious or, how you put it, "...think about the kind of people they obviously are..." is just disingenuous. How do you know what kind of people they are? How do you know what kind of person Debito is? Do you know him personally? Does the simple fact that one opposes Debito tarnish the merits of their arguments? Who says they are desperate to make us believe they are right? Maybe they just have an opinion and don't act much on it. Indeed, Debito himself is an activist who tries very hard to get people to believe he is right.

To make my point clearer, let me inverse the roles of your sentence.

Now, some people will probably interlope to this thread and say "no, Debito is right" and etc etc. Trust Debito if you like but then think about the kind of person he obviously is and the kind of people Debito critics obviously are and think for yourself who you would believe. Also, ask yourself why Debito is so desperate to make you believe he is right. Why would he care?


If stopped in such a way as I outlined above, if you simply pass over your I.D. without question, in my opinion you are a pityful and docile lackey and are doing a disservice to all foreigners here.

Could you expand on this more please? That is, justify why you think that "if you simply pass over your I.D. without question,[...][You] are doing a disservice to all foreigners here."

Reyter
Sep 20, 2009, 13:23
I'll try not to make a direct response to the situations you experienced as I have no independent means of interpreting them myself and I have never experienced anything like it. It's not that I think you are lying or being dishonest in your accounts, it's just that eye-witness reports often glaze over certain details that could be very important or have a certain personal bias based off of emotion.
This is a pretty sweeping generalization and a weak argument. I have no idea the merits of Debito's argument concerning police stopping foreigners, but to project anyone who opposes Debito as malicious or, how you put it, "...think about the kind of people they obviously are..." is just disingenuous. How do you know what kind of people they are? How do you know what kind of person Debito is? Do you know him personally? Does the simple fact that one opposes Debito tarnish the merits of their arguments? Who says they are desperate to make us believe they are right? Maybe they just have an opinion and don't act much on it. Indeed, Debito himself is an activist who tries very hard to get people to believe he is right.
To make my point clearer, let me inverse the roles of your sentence.
Now, some people will probably interlope to this thread and say "no, Debito is right" and etc etc. Trust Debito if you like but then think about the kind of person he obviously is and the kind of people Debito critics obviously are and think for yourself who you would believe. Also, ask yourself why Debito is so desperate to make you believe he is right. Why would he care?
Could you expand on this more please? That is, justify why you think that "if you simply pass over your I.D. without question,[...][You] are doing a disservice to all foreigners here."

Firstly, about the Debito thing, I was having this discussion on another thread and some people were absolutely desperate to say that Debito was wrong. They got quite upset and the thread was locked. You can read the laws yourself. I provided the links. I should have deleted that paragraph for this thread but I just copied and pasted.

Finally, if foreigners who know their rights still dont take at lest some of the steps I outlined it just encourages the pigs in their lawlessness, power-trips and petty racism. If every foreigner in Japan suddenly took the steps I outlined, the pigs wouldnt harrass us on the basis of our skin color anymore.

Reyter
Sep 20, 2009, 13:31
When I traveled across Europe, I was often stopped by police, immigration officer, train master, etc. to show them my passport.

I cant say too much without knowing some more specific details but it sounds like they were also lawless pigs with the obvious exception of the immigration officer at the airport... Even the train master???? Sorry but i find it very hard to believe.


At the airports in Europe, EU passport holders go to different gate, while Japanese passport holders go to another gate, taking more time at passport control.

So? Whats the point? Why tell me this? I have never complained about having to go to a different gate at immigration control.


But I have never heard about any complaints from my Japanese friends because I and others believe different country has different rules. Or you believe all countries must adjust to your preference ? because you are different from any others.

Well now we reach the crux of the situation..... Talking about rules is it too much to ask that the pigs obey the law? Furthermore, I shouldnt care about being singled out becasue I have white skin?

jmwintenn
Sep 21, 2009, 13:22
I havent posted on this board in 2 years,but when i saw reyter's post i was disgusted.

1.the fact you call them pigs makes me think you get all haughty when you see them in the first place and that could,just maybe,be why they decide to come over and ask.attitude goes farther than you can imagine.

2.I've gotten stopped here in america plenty of times before because im young and it was late,i know the circumstances,i answer their questions and go back to my life.it's not a big deal.

3.and since you're quick to quote laws,you do know in most countries,including the great ol' U.S.A any and all immigrants/foreigners whether permanent or visiting are required to have their passport or equivalent papers on them at all times in case a police officer or authority figure wants to take a quick look to make sure you are actually there legally.

my main point,get over it and come down off that high horse,you're not being abused,you're in their country and you must abide by their laws,and i guarantee there are nuances in said laws that you don't fully comprehend.


I apologize if I sounded cross.

Reyter
Sep 21, 2009, 14:22
I havent posted on this board in 2 years,but when i saw reyter's post i was disgusted.

1.the fact you call them pigs makes me think you get all haughty when you see them in the first place and that could,just maybe,be why they decide to come over and ask.attitude goes farther than you can imagine.

2.I've gotten stopped here in america plenty of times before because im young and it was late,i know the circumstances,i answer their questions and go back to my life.it's not a big deal.

3.and since you're quick to quote laws,you do know in most countries,including the great ol' U.S.A any and all immigrants/foreigners whether permanent or visiting are required to have their passport or equivalent papers on them at all times in case a police officer or authority figure wants to take a quick look to make sure you are actually there legally.

my main point,get over it and come down off that high horse,you're not being abused,you're in their country and you must abide by their laws,and i guarantee there are nuances in said laws that you don't fully comprehend.


I apologize if I sounded cross.

Firstly I dont consider USA to be great at all. According to pretty much all the data and from what I have witnessed, socially and economically Japan, Australia, Canada and most members of the EU along with Norway and Switzerland are far more advanced.

Secondly I remember a few years ago reading about how they changed to laws in USA so that the police had the right to randomly stop and ask for ID anyone within 10km of the border. I also remember watching on TV how there was a large group of obviously illigal immigrants standing around trying to get work but the police couldnt do anything becasue they didnt have the right to ask to see I.D. and those people werent breaking any laws, at least not that anyone could see. If you dont mind lawless police and wont stand up for your rights, thats your problem as far as I am concerned. Dont try to pass off your self-loathing to me.

Finally, you obviously didnt read my original message or couldnt understand it. All I ask is that police obey the law and the law states that they dont have the right to stop and ask someone to present I.D. simply because he or she has a different skin color.

Of course you are right that I shouldnt call them pigs and I am sure there are many very decent policemen and women but from my experience and from what I have heard, the organization as a whole is fascist and when I am in a good mood I refer to fascists as pigs.

FrustratedDave
Sep 21, 2009, 14:54
Firstly, about the Debito thing, I was having this discussion on another thread and some people were absolutely desperate to say that Debito was wrong. They got quite upset and the thread was locked. You can read the laws yourself. I provided the links. I should have deleted that paragraph for this thread but I just copied and pasted.
Finally, if foreigners who know their rights still dont take at lest some of the steps I outlined it just encourages the pigs in their lawlessness, power-trips and petty racism. If every foreigner in Japan suddenly took the steps I outlined, the pigs wouldnt harrass us on the basis of our skin color anymore.
Are you dumb? You obviously have a problem with reading comprehension understanding what has been written. Each of your claims were were delt with quatations from Japanese law to refute what you were saying , but you chose not to read them and keep blindly harping on the fact that you think Japanese police officers are all fascists. I will say it one more time for you, they are well within the law to ask for your ID.

My advise to you GO HOME!

Reyter
Sep 21, 2009, 15:32
Are you dumb? You obviously have a problem with reading comprehension understanding what has been written. Each of your claims were were delt with quatations from Japanese law to refute what you were saying , but you chose not to read them and keep blindly harping on the fact that you think Japanese police officers are all fascists. I will say it one more time for you, they are well within the law to ask for your ID.
My advise to you GO HOME!

Hello friend! Did you miss me? I missed you but to tell the truth, I was kind of hoping you and the rest of that little crew who think I have nothing to be upset about would avoid replying to me here but it seems one cant escape you on this forum. Do you spead hours going through the threads or just search for any messages by me?
Its kind of weird how you supposedly quote me but say something absolutely contrary to what I stated. Let me reiterate and hopefully you can understand. "I am sure there are many very decent policemen and women but from my experience and from what I have heard, the organization as a whole is fascist". That is it in verbatim! Just to clear up what may have been the problem, I dont consider fascsits to be "decent people".

So basically you are saying that if I get upset by racist police ignoring the law, the only option is to go home?

May I ask what color skin you have? I find it surprising that anyone would condone such behavior but astonishing that a possible victim would condone it.

FrustratedDave
Sep 21, 2009, 16:07
Hello friend! Did you miss me? I missed you but to tell the truth, I was kind of hoping you and the rest of that little crew who think I have nothing to be upset about would avoid replying to me here but it seems one cant escape you on this forum. Do you spead hours going through the threads or just search for any messages by me?
Its kind of weird how you supposedly quote me but say something absolutely contrary to what I stated. Let me reiterate and hopefully you can understand. "I am sure there are many very decent policemen and women but from my experience and from what I have heard, the organization as a whole is fascist". That is it in verbatim! Just to clear up what may have been the problem, I dont consider fascsits to be "decent people".
So basically you are saying that if I get upset by racist police ignoring the law, the only option is to go home?
May I ask what color skin you have? I find it surprising that anyone would condone such behavior but astonishing that a possible victim would condone it.
Yes I did miss you, and I especially missed hearing about you hardships in Japan. I was talking to a few of those members to see if we could get a fund up and running to help you in your plight for better understanding of Japanese laws and just Japan in general.

Don't give me the credit for finding you, stupid posts have a tendency to stand out.

And let me reiterate and hopefuly you can understand , the police or any other Japanese official is well within the law to ask for ID in any circumstance, suspicious or not. So the fact that they do ask for ID does not make them "racist", it does mean they are doing their job.

And from what you have "heard" and with your very "limited" experience, I really don't think it is any basis to label the entire Japanese police force "fascists". Sounds more and more like you are in fact the racist here...

And to answer your last question, all I am doing is stating the real truth about the Japanese police, instead of your misinformed , ignorant and clearly lopsided veiw on them. But unfortunately you can't talk sense to someone without common sense.

Reyter
Sep 21, 2009, 17:18
Yes I did miss you, and I especially missed hearing about you hardships in Japan. I was talking to a few of those members to see if we could get a fund up and running to help you in your plight for better understanding of Japanese laws and just Japan in general.

Don't give me the credit for finding you, stupid posts have a tendency to stand out.

And let me reiterate and hopefuly you can understand , the police or any other Japanese official is well within the law to ask for ID in any circumstance, suspicious or not. So the fact that they do ask for ID does not make them "racist", it does mean they are doing their job.

And from what you have "heard" and with your very "limited" experience, I really don't think it is any basis to label the entire Japanese police force "fascists". Sounds more and more like you are in fact the racist here...

And to answer your last question, all I am doing is stating the real truth about the Japanese police, instead of your misinformed , ignorant and clearly lopsided veiw on them. But unfortunately you can't talk sense to someone without common sense.

Excellent! How much have you raised so far? How am I to receive the money?

I take it from your last paragraph that you dont have different color skin from normal Japanese people and thus, dont ahve such problems with the police as others have had. It seems to me that it makes you feel good to see us getting harrassed. Perhaps you had a bad experience in another country? If any police harrassed you because you have different color skin from the native people, I can only denounce those police as pigs! Furthermore if the law forbids the police from doing that as it does in Japan and most (or all, I dont know.) other developed coutnries, I can only say I am sorry for you and the gulag in Siberia for all fascsits no matter the race. Lets them tear into each other in the gulag so decent people can get along with trying to build a better society for all, regardless of race.

Once again, here are the secific laws (http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#checkpoint), and some general info here. (http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#checkpoint)

Now, I believe this exchange between us us over. If there is anything else I can help you with and when you have finished your fund-raising for me, please dont hesitate to send me a private message.
BTW: I think your fund-raising efforts would be better spent if you gave them to Debito. I'm a union member and so occasionally get involved in their activities but that is pretty much the extent of my political activities in Japan. Still, if you insist it go to me, I will accept it.

FrustratedDave
Sep 21, 2009, 18:20
Excellent! How much have you raised so far? How am I to receive the money?
I take it from your last paragraph that you dont have different color skin from normal Japanese people and thus, dont ahve such problems with the police as others have had. It seems to me that it makes you feel good to see us getting harrassed. Perhaps you had a bad experience in another country? If any police harrassed you because you have different color skin from the native people, I can only denounce those police as pigs! Furthermore if the law forbids the police from doing that as it does in Japan and most (or all, I dont know.) other developed coutnries, I can only say I am sorry for you and the gulag in Siberia for all fascsits no matter the race. Lets them tear into each other in the gulag so decent people can get along with trying to build a better society for all, regardless of race.
Once again, here are the secific laws (http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#checkpoint), and some general info here. (http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#checkpoint)
Now, I believe this exchange between us us over. If there is anything else I can help you with and when you have finished your fund-raising for me, please dont hesitate to send me a private message.
BTW: I think your fund-raising efforts would be better spent if you gave them to Debito. I'm a union member and so occasionally get involved in their activities but that is pretty much the extent of my political activities in Japan. Still, if you insist it go to me, I will accept it.
At the moment we have one old Geta and a piece of chewing gum someone found on the footpath, it seems that noone thinks you were discriminated against.

I am white if it makes you feel better, and like I said earlier in the other thread I would in fact enjoy seeing you questioned by the police and you refuse to show ID, b/c then you would be detained for not co-operating.

And you clearly are lacking any sort of comprehension skills what so ever, so I will quote a paragraph from the link that you just posted that Debido himself wrote. here are the secific laws (http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#checkpoint), and some general info here. (http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#checkpoint)

More at the above links, but the gist is, you had better cooperate--or face search and seizure. However, you may beforehand ask for the policeman's ID (you are legally entitled to do that), and I suggest you make a record of it. Then, if they show, you must show. Unlike citizens, Japanese police do not need probable cause or clear suspicion of a crime in order to stop foreigners and ask personal questions.

And no, they don't have to show you their ID if you do not ask for it before asking for your ID.

I am really hoping that our conversation is over, but it is still unlikely that you will grasp the concept that the police have every right to ask for your ID. It is not the police forces fault that the law is written as such, but they do however have a duty to follow the law.

And most sane people realise that there is not this huge conspiracy to discriminate against every foriegner that sets foot in Japan, but if you think there is then you are better off in another country.

FrustratedDave
Sep 21, 2009, 18:28
I havent posted on this board in 2 years,but when i saw reyter's post i was disgusted.

1.the fact you call them pigs makes me think you get all haughty when you see them in the first place and that could,just maybe,be why they decide to come over and ask.attitude goes farther than you can imagine.

2.I've gotten stopped here in america plenty of times before because im young and it was late,i know the circumstances,i answer their questions and go back to my life.it's not a big deal.

3.and since you're quick to quote laws,you do know in most countries,including the great ol' U.S.A any and all immigrants/foreigners whether permanent or visiting are required to have their passport or equivalent papers on them at all times in case a police officer or authority figure wants to take a quick look to make sure you are actually there legally.

my main point,get over it and come down off that high horse,you're not being abused,you're in their country and you must abide by their laws,and i guarantee there are nuances in said laws that you don't fully comprehend.


I apologize if I sounded cross.

Why apologize? Like I said before , you can't talk sense to someone without comon sense...

Chidoriashi
Sep 21, 2009, 18:30
Do you spead hours going through the threads or just search for any messages by me?


First, I think it is just hilarious that you seem to think you know Japanese law so well, but clearly cannot read Japanese well enough to have a full understanding of it. But you go get'em tiger! Be sure to carry that law around with you and show it to them... put them piggies in their place!

Second, I think it is quite strange that you had not bothered posting on this site for almost a month, and then when I suddenly created a thread to talk about a positive experience I had with the Japanese police you magically show up again. Now I cannot be certain, but it seems to me you are so desperate to find stuff about the Japanese police to flame your blind hatred that you are actually still doing Google searches weeks later about a subject that any normal human being would have calmed down about by now. Seriously dude, it seems to me you are the one that needs to get a life.

Lastly, I could care less about what you do in this country or think about Japanese law, and it is not you I'm trying to convince of anything. I just don't want your misinformation taking a big dump all over the integrity of this forum.

Reyter
Sep 21, 2009, 19:57
First, I think it is just hilarious that you seem to think you know Japanese law so well, but clearly cannot read Japanese well enough to have a full understanding of it. But you go get'em tiger! Be sure to carry that law around with you and show it to them... put them piggies in their place!
Second, I think it is quite strange that you had not bothered posting on this site for almost a month, and then when I suddenly created a thread to talk about a positive experience I had with the Japanese police you magically show up again. Now I cannot be certain, but it seems to me you are so desperate to find stuff about the Japanese police to flame your blind hatred that you are actually still doing Google searches weeks later about a subject that any normal human being would have calmed down about by now. Seriously dude, it seems to me you are the one that needs to get a life.
Lastly, I could care less about what you do in this country or think about Japanese law, and it is not you I'm trying to convince of anything. I just don't want your misinformation taking a big dump all over the integrity of this forum.

God have mercy! You people are really fanatical, arent you? You just hate it so much that foreigners would have any rights in Japan, dont you? Once again, the only appropriate way to describe this is fascistic. I think you on purpose ruin this thread, the one I started on the topic and the one I originally posted on to.

The demographic realities dictate that one way or another, more and more foreigners are coming here. Either to work and pay tax or with assult rifles to take over (speaking within the prisim of the prevailing socio-economic order that exists in Japan and its big neighbours in China, Russia and USA.) . If you prefer the former I suggest you reconcile yourself to the fact that foreigners have rights and desist being in such a terrible state of nervous irritation when anyone is so bold as to point this out.

Insofar as the second paragraph I have no idea what you are talking about. I was interested to know about the experience and knowledge of others on the subject but had you people all over, spitting out insults and etc on threads I was posting on a month or so ago. I stopped posting and waited in the vain hope that you people would have something better to do than spend hours going through these threads and ruining them with non-stop nonsese messages.

Finally, its not my information. It is that of a Japanese citizen who has studied the subject and been so kind as to tell others. If you have a problem with this information, take it up with him. I am hardly going to believe you or any of your little gang over Debito. His motives are perfectly clear. He was extremely irritated about being harrassed by the police due to having white skin. Your motives for not wanting people to know about this are becoming increasingly clear. So in my situation (having white skin and living in Japan) who would you believe?

Now, will you '$#)'&&#37; please desist from replying to me!!!

For anyone else, here is some general info (http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#checkpoint) and here are the specific laws. (http://www.debito.org/GcardLAWS.pdf) Laws can be vague and some people seem to think the police do have the right to stop you and ask for I.D. simply for having white skin. (I presume it is the same for others who have different color skin from the native people.) This is not really an issue. Everyone agrees that you have the right to first inspect the policemans I.D. If you do this as publicly and slowly as possible and record the details. They only want to show how "powerful" and "important" they are and doing this will only shoot down their little power-trip. Can you imagine how humiliating it must be for their petty racism to have someone of a different race publicly and slowly inspecting their I.D.?

FrustratedDave
Sep 21, 2009, 23:52
God have mercy! You people are really fanatical, arent you? You just hate it so much that foreigners would have any rights in Japan, dont you? Once again, the only appropriate way to describe this is fascistic. I think you on purpose ruin this thread, the one I started on the topic and the one I originally posted on to.
The demographic realities dictate that one way or another, more and more foreigners are coming here. Either to work and pay tax or with assult rifles to take over (speaking within the prisim of the prevailing socio-economic order that exists in Japan and its big neighbours in China, Russia and USA.) . If you prefer the former I suggest you reconcile yourself to the fact that foreigners have rights and desist being in such a terrible state of nervous irritation when anyone is so bold as to point this out.
Insofar as the second paragraph I have no idea what you are talking about. I was interested to know about the experience and knowledge of others on the subject but had you people all over, spitting out insults and etc on threads I was posting on a month or so ago. I stopped posting and waited in the vain hope that you people would have something better to do than spend hours going through these threads and ruining them with non-stop nonsese messages.
Finally, its not my information. It is that of a Japanese citizen who has studied the subject and been so kind as to tell others. If you have a problem with this information, take it up with him. I am hardly going to believe you or any of your little gang over Debito. His motives are perfectly clear. He was extremely irritated about being harrassed by the police due to having white skin. Your motives for not wanting people to know about this are becoming increasingly clear. So in my situation (having white skin and living in Japan) who would you believe?
Now, will you '$#)'&% please desist from replying to me!!!
For anyone else, here is some general info (http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html#checkpoint) and here are the specific laws. (http://www.debito.org/GcardLAWS.pdf) Laws can be vague and some people seem to think the police do have the right to stop you and ask for I.D. simply for having white skin. (I presume it is the same for others who have different color skin from the native people.) This is not really an issue. Everyone agrees that you have the right to first inspect the policemans I.D. If you do this as publicly and slowly as possible and record the details. They only want to show how "powerful" and "important" they are and doing this will only shoot down their little power-trip. Can you imagine how humiliating it must be for their petty racism to have someone of a different race publicly and slowly inspecting their I.D.?
Read your link again .

And you clearly are lacking any sort of comprehension skills what so ever, so I will quote a paragraph from the link that you just posted that Debido himself wrote. here are the secific laws, and some general info here.


More at the above links, but the gist is, you had better cooperate--or face search and seizure. However, you may beforehand ask for the policeman's ID (you are legally entitled to do that), and I suggest you make a record of it. Then, if they show, you must show. Unlike citizens, Japanese police do not need probable cause or clear suspicion of a crime in order to stop foreigners and ask personal questions.

And no, they don't have to show you their ID if you do not ask for it before asking for your ID.

akaitsume1
Sep 22, 2009, 02:35
This is a lot of fighting, but I'm not exactly sure why it's going on. :?

There's a difference between asking personal questions and asking for identification. The "Gaijin Card" carries a lot of personal information on it, like your address, etc. Having that information recorded down over and over again when you haven't done anything wrong would be unnerving to anyone. Would having your information taken down multiple times mean that should something in your area go wrong, you're going to be a strong suspect because you've clearly been deemed suspicious by the Japanese police? Being asked questions (where are you going, what are you doing) is moderately annoying, but not nearly as worrisome as having your personal information demanded and recorded. Heck, I was asked "personal questions" at my own school in the States, but I think it was just that officer's slightly creepy way of making small talk. :relief:

Now, if I were busy loitering around a place for a really long period of time (like maybe I completely misunderstood where I was meeting someone, knowing myself), I would consider that just suspicious enough to be politely questioned no matter what country I was in. Just walking down the street and having my ID demanded is a bit much. All that does is tell me that in that officer's eyes, I don't belong. Those Japanese laws have tried to make it so that racial profiling is not reason enough to ask for your ID, and I can agree with that. Stereotypes are common anywhere, but that shouldn't lead to harassment, and no, I'm not referring just to Japan. I personally had no trouble with the police when I lived in Japan (I'm black, so I definitely stand out), but I appreciate the fact that in some respect, at least, someone is trying to make sure that I feel comfortable there. Even if a few xenophobic people are causing distress in the foreign population.

So, like I said, I'm not sure why all this fighting is going on. I hope I'm not about to be targeted just because I posted in the middle of it. :worried:

EDIT: Rereading the law about police behavior, I just noticed that it doesn't actually say anything about showing your ID, just that they need justifiable cause to question you. I'm guessing that's where all the contention is, huh?