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Maciamo
Jun 5, 2004, 14:49
I would like to summarize the situation regarding discrimination in Japan in this thread. Please feel free to add your views.

Japan is a country where few people believe strongly in religious, political or philosophical ideas. In other words, morals and ideals are not a major concern, because people rely a lot on common sense and values inculcated by the educational system or the society. Japan is a very collectivist country when it comes to rules. People usually don't do things that are frown upon, but also tend to do things that might be considered immoral in other countries, just because "everybody" (=many people) else does it (eg. political corruption, teenage prostitution...).

Racial discrimination

Usually not a big problem at work, because Japanese are usually in contact with foreigners while working for foreign companies (so they are subordinates and can't complain). However, few foreigners happen to work for Japanese companies. That may justly be because of discrimination from the recruitment process ("foreigners don't speak Japanese well enough or do not understand the Japanese system").

I am not quite sure of the discrimination encountered by Koreans or Chinese born and raised in Japan. There is dicrimination against them, but they usually tend to change their name to a Japanese one, so that it becomes almost impossible to tell they are foreigners.

The most common complaints regarding discrimination in Japan is for accommodation. Nowadays, few hotels will refuse foreigners outright because they don't look Japanese (even if they speak Japanese, like Alan Booth explained in his book the Roads to Sata). But cases of real estate agencies or landlords refusing to rent an apartment/flat to someone only on grounds that they are not Japanese, even if they are fluent in Japanese, have a stable job and a long-term or permanent visa, are still common place nationwide. It is not even illegal (or not enforced) for them to post signs such as "no foreigners or dogs allowed". The government visibly has a lot to do to curb discrimination.

Interestingly, there is no word in Japanese for "racism". The nearest translation is 人種差別政策 (racial discrimination policy) or 人種的偏見 (racial prejudice). But these words do not include the sense of superiority felt by real racists (like the Nazi). It is also undeniable that a lot of Japanese feel superior to their Asian neighbours, while discriminating against them. It is thus convenient for Japanese not to have the word "racism" in their vocabulary, so that no law can effectively prohibit it, and discussion about it is seriously hampered.

Sex discrimination

Contrarily to the common belief, discrimination toward women is not so deply anchored into Japanese history and traditions. For instance, Japan has had several empress already before the Heian Period, and as late as the Edo Period. Women were officially banned from reigning in the early 20th century, during a surge of national mysoginy.

After WWII, women have had specially assigned, such jobs as receptionist, secretary, dead-end OL positions or just serving tea, smiling and cheering the male staff. This is not unique to Japan, but Western women reach more equalty earlier than in Japan (although feminist movements have existed at least since Meiji in Japan).

Sex discrimination, combined with sexual harassment, have been part of everyday life in Japanese companies. A lot has been achieved regarding sexual harassment, but glass ceilings preventing women from reachig high positions still exist in most Japanese companies.

Interestingly again, Japanese have no word for "glass ceiling", which makes it more difficult to tackle as many people do not even think about the concept.

Ewok85
Jun 5, 2004, 17:20
What happened to the UN telling Japan to deal with the racism issues?

Buddha Smoker
Jun 5, 2004, 18:19
Well, I know Japan is an open-minded country in some aspects but it takes time to change a mind-set. I think Japan is ahead of the States though. I mean, even though Japan disciminates a lot they do it more politely most of the time.

I have a lot to say but not sure where to start. :D

Riven
Jun 5, 2004, 18:22
For what I heard things are going better, specially among the yound generation. Am I wrong ?

Buddha Smoker
Jun 5, 2004, 18:24
For what I heard things are going better, specially amping the yound generation. Am I wrong ?

Yes, things are getting better with the younger generations because they are around foreigners more and foreign ideas, etc.. so they are not just learning about themselves but about the world at the same time.

Duo
Jun 5, 2004, 21:42
I read that if you ask the average Japanese about racism, he will be surprised about the question because most japanse equate racism with acts of violence, which are rare in Japan.

Foxtrot Uniform
Jun 5, 2004, 21:56
Actually, I have friends or family who have come across racial discrimination in Japan. For example, many private porno stores or places such as brothels do not let "gaijin" in because the owners do not want gaijin to "interact" with japanese women. Another time, my friend could not get a credit card because the credit card company said that gaijin are less reliable and they might "pack up and leave" any day.

Btw, personally, i think there is a difference betweem racism and racial disrimination in the sense that racism is a stronger feeling and it sometimes involves violence. Groups like the KKK and the Nazi's invlolved racism and exaples that i have given above are racial disrimination.

Buddha Smoker
Jun 5, 2004, 22:42
Actually, I have friends or family who have come across racial discrimination in Japan. For example, many private porno stores or places such as brothels do not let "gaijin" in because the owners do not want gaijin to "interact" with japanese women. Another time, my friend could not get a credit card because the credit card company said that gaijin are less reliable and they might "pack up and leave" any day.

Btw, personally, i think there is a difference betweem racism and racial disrimination in the sense that racism is a stronger feeling and it sometimes involves violence. Groups like the KKK and the Nazi's invlolved racism and exaples that i have given above are racial disrimination.

I've seen it happen with bar tha refuse service and also in department stores that have refuse service too. It is getting rarer and rarer that it happens but it's still there a bit.

Spaceghost
Jun 6, 2004, 05:01
This is one of the things that concerns me as I play on joining the JET programme. I had never really heard of Japan being racist until I joined these forums, and big daikon.

I read about police calling gaijin scum and giving them a hard time. A bar may not serve a gaijin, but you would expect a huge department store to cater to everyone, all this talk of racism certainly has dampened my enthusiam about going.

playaa
Jun 6, 2004, 07:30
Seriously my whole time in Japan, I did not run into ANY racial problems except! I was in Kawasaki about my 3rd to last day, and ran across some Uyoku, my Japanese friend was explaining to me what they were and some of them happened to be standing behind us and overheard.. They then began yelling in Japanese to my friend and my friend was like HURRY let's get in a taxi! Well after being chased by big black van's all the way to the internet cafe we were going to the guy that was originally standing behind us ran up to the taxi window when it stopped and went to punch me so when I got out I hit him a couple of times got back in the taxi and ran some more...

So advice, if you see the big black vans with flags hanging from them be quiet and just keep to yourself (If you cannot fight). :p

Lina Inverse
Jun 6, 2004, 07:48
So these "uyoku" are just some type of Yakuza or something? Care to explain?

playaa
Jun 6, 2004, 07:54
From what I understand, they are hardcore people that only follow the emperor and hate anyone and everything other then JAPAN. Any kind of foreign relations, and I hear they start riots, fights, crimes, etc..

They ride around in these big black vans with Japanese flags hanging from them. And I guess you could call them some sort of Yakuza.

Maciamo
Jun 6, 2004, 08:35
So these "uyoku" are just some type of Yakuza or something? Care to explain?

"Uyoku" literally means "right-winger", but refers to the ultra-nationalist minority who often ride these black vans blaring music and nationalist slogans in loud-speakers around town. I have seen them pass only about 5 times in 3 years in Tokyo.

Rather than calling them yakuza, I'd compare them to some kind of neo-nazi, except that they mainly limit themselves to making a lot of noise in front of the Russian embassy to reclaim the few (small, uninhabited and harsh) Kuril islands north of Hokkaido.

playaa
Jun 6, 2004, 08:47
Yup... Exactly they were blareing the national anthem when they were where i was at..

Buddha Smoker
Jun 6, 2004, 09:25
all this talk of racism certainly has dampened my enthusiam about going.

Don't let it dampened your enthusiam about being Japan. It's just nice to be aware of it but it is getting harder and harder to find it nowadays.


From what I understand, they are hardcore people that only follow the emperor and hate anyone and everything other then JAPAN. Any kind of foreign relations, and I hear they start riots, fights, crimes, etc..

I haven't seen them that much either in the 10 years that I've been in Japan and it has been a long time since I've seen them. I know they are still around but nothing to worry about, I think.

Elizabeth
Jun 6, 2004, 09:34
I haven't seen them that much either in the 10 years that I've been in Japan and it has been a long time since I've seen them. I know they are still around but nothing to worry about, I think.
I probably saw them 7 or 8 times in the space of 2 1/2 months when I was there a couple years ago....mostly around Shinjuku, but it sounds like things have quieted down a bit since then.

m477
Jun 6, 2004, 09:35
Yeah, I wouldn't refer to them as Yakuza. From what I have seen, real Yakuza are practically businessmen in comparison. Near my girlfriend's apartment there are a bunch of them, they run brothels and drive around in black Benzes with tinted windows, and generally mind their own business.

Buddha Smoker
Jun 6, 2004, 09:42
Yeah, I wouldn't refer to them as Yakuza. From what I have seen, real Yakuza are practically businessmen in comparison. Near my girlfriend's apartment there are a bunch of them, they run brothels and drive around in black Benzes with tinted windows, and generally mind their own business.

Yeah, Yakuza can actually be really nice if you talk with them. I had a drink one time with a couple of them. They paid for everything and we really polite. To be honest, I had no idea they were Yakuza until after they left and the bartender thanked me for being nice to them (either way I didn't have to pay for my drinks and snacks that night :D ). The bartender told me that one of them was one of the higher people (exactly how high, I have no idea) and was extremely happy that nothing happened. Afterwards, I felt a bit weird but quickly blew it off. After that, the bartender said they asked for me a couple times but we never met again.

But Yakuza can be better than Uyoku though. :D I guess the saying "lesser of two evils" fits here somewhere. :D

Spaceghost
Jun 6, 2004, 11:47
Hehe that is a ncie story....in a way.

It would seem you are fluent in Japanese from your journal, I would be slightly concerned to talk to them if my Japanese was poor incase I accidently insulted them.

It is really the bigdaikon stories that got me, the school officials not wanting to give the JETs a decent place to live (no hot water!?) and the police and security guards being quite aggresive and insulting and general things like that.

Hopefully if I was walking along a street and some Uyoku decided to drive past they would not all jump out and attack me.

Back to yakuza, the only time I get to see them is generally through the media, films, anime, manga etc, quite often there seem to be "good" yakuza who are more samurai like and normally the old ones, and then you have the young punk yakuza that like to think they own the place and abuse everyone.

Budha Smoker how did you come start talking to the yakuza? And also as you have lived in Japan for so long, what kind of racism have you encountered?

Am I blind or is there no edit button?

I wanted to add: I would never expect racism from a department store, they are just so huge you would expect them to encounter alot of gajin, and also be part of a chain that needs to keep a good reputation. You would expect a complaint and the racist person to be fired if it was in the USA or UK.

At least with a bar it is probably privately owned, I think I am worrying too much, I won't be in Japan for at least another 3 years.

I really do hope that when I get placed (JET) I have a fellow JETer nearby and not be off in the middle of no where with no english speaking contacts.

Weird...looks like my messages got merged.

Foxtrot Uniform
Jun 6, 2004, 12:41
Oh and most of the Uyoku are like rednecks who drove around in vans with stickers of the japanese flag on them, and most of the Yakuza I've seen look like rich business men. You'll probabaly get more trouble from the police than from the Yakuza or the Uyoku.

Spaceghost
Jun 6, 2004, 13:47
So what is this occuring theme with Japanese police and Gaijin? How come they don't like us?

BlogD
Jun 6, 2004, 14:34
In my experience (first came to live and work in Japan in 1985), discrimination against foreigners was at somewhat of a peak in the 1980's, in large part due to (a) the trade war with the U.S. and the negative media coverage of all things American during that time, and (b) a certain nationalist arrogance Japan was feeling at the time due to their economic dominance.

During that time, I was stopped by police for "bicycling while foreign" on many occasions, and a policeman stopping you while walking down the street and asking you for your gaijin card was far from unheard-of. In the many times I went apartment hunting, I had a 90%+ rejection rate just from when the landlord heard I was non-Japanese. The real estate agents even used the exact identical phrase when explaining it to me: "gaijin wa dame." Can't tell you how many hundreds of times I heard that phrase. I saw three specific notices at real estate agencies which read "pets, bar girls (mizushoubai) and foreigners not allowed."

I was once told to leave a restaurant as I walked in, and one video shop said I could not join unless I held Japanese citizenship. However, these two locations were both in proximity to Yokota base, and likely the reactions there were to the perceived unruly behavior of military personnel, imagined or not.

The media could be very bad. If you saw a foreigner on TV during that time, it was quite common for them to be portraying a criminal or AIDS carrier or something of the like. America was seen as a violent, crime-ridden nation. One drama had a Japanese couple visit Hawaii and suffer as victims of five different crimes in the span of a few days, including mugging and rape. One well-publicized TV movie, "Rosu no Dai-ikkyu Satsujin" (The First-Degree Murderer of Los Angeles) was "based upon" the story of a Japanese woman living in L.A. with her husband and two small children; her husband cheated on her, she found out, committed oya-ko suicide (took her kids with her)--her kids died but she didn't, and she was charged with murder. The jury sentenced her to time served upon understanding the cultural differences. But in the TV movie, the woman was made out to be a heroic victim, she did not commit suicide, but rather violent Americans started a fire which killed her kid and she was unmercifully disbelieved and sentenced to prison time. This was kind of typical of the era.

Sports was also a big area of discrimination. Foreign batters, brought in for their home run power, were commonly beaned by Japanese pitchers who believe that this was the way things were done in the U.S.--without thinking that rushing the mound and beating the **** out of such a pitcher was also the way thing were done. But the foreign players were blamed for the violence, even though a majority (around 2/3rds, I believe) of the violence was perpetrated by Japanese players, coaches and managers. But TV shows didn't reveal that--one sports show had about 20 clips of violence on the field, all but one of which was foreign players rushing the mound--and the last clip being of a coach shouting at an ump, followed by the announcer 'reasonably' admitting that "Japanese could be violent, too."

Sports magazines commonly changed the kanji for "gai-jin" ("outside person") to the homonym "gai-jin" ("harmful person"), and the term was used so commonly as an epithet that it had to actually be banned by the league.

-----

Today, things are quieter. Japan has suffered not only a decade-long recession, but has seen a surge in home-grown crime (witness the schoolgirl killing just a few days ago) as well; it has been my observation that both of these have humbled Japanese people somewhat in terms of how they relate Japan to the rest of the world. The contrast between the late 80's and today is very marked. I rarely hear stories of foreigners on bikes being pulled over, and never hear of gaijin-card checks any more. Landlords still discriminate, but not as much nor as brashly as before.

Discrimination will exist, as it always does in all places, but in my past six unbroken years of residence I hardly see any of that at all. It is a good time in that respect to live in Japan, though the job market is far less attractive than it was.

Maciamo
Jun 6, 2004, 15:48
Very interesting post BlogD. :cool:


The contrast between the late 80's and today is very marked. I rarely hear stories of foreigners on bikes being pulled over, and never hear of gaijin-card checks any more.


I am not sure how often you used to be checked by the police, but I have been checked 4 times in one month between mid-January and mid-February this year, including 3 times the same week, and everytime well before midnight (between 8 and 10pm) and everytime less than 2min from where I live. I have been checked twice by the same guy 2 consecutive days and had to show my alien registration card each time (as if he couldn't remember me). Everytime I was wearing a suit as I was going back home from work. I haven't been checked since then though. They only briefly checked, were polite and didn't ask too many questions, but it is quite annoying (and embarassing when Japanese around are watching you) to be the only person checked like that. Usually they check if the bike is not stolen with the registration number, and I am aware that Japanese could be checked too after the last train (around 12:30). But in my case, they only checked the bike's number twice, and the other 2 times only asked for my gaikokujin torokusho (which mean they didn't care about the bicycle at all).

I have only been checked one other time outside these 4 and it was 2 years ago when I was going to the combini around 1am. I was shocked as it was my first time and 2 policemen got out of their car and came running toward me as I was waiting for the pedestrian traffic light to turn green. They asked me about 10 questions (do you speak Japanese, where do you live, what do you do, why are you in Japan, etc.) before finally asking if that was my bicycle. I said yes and immediately showed them my registration paper I still had in my wallet since I had bought the bike just a few weeks before. They were quite surprised I had that paper with me (nobody does) and apologized after checking one more time my bike's number by talkie-walkie. Bastards. That won't help my contempt for policemen as being people who haven't been able to finish high school and have nothing better to do than bully working citizens while getting paid with their taxes to release their frustration.

Keiichi
Jun 6, 2004, 16:19
What is the reason they're checking, might I ask?

BlogD
Jun 6, 2004, 16:27
Wow. I have noticed that police behavior is specific to certain areas--in Tachikawa I was never stopped, for example, while in Koganei, just a few stations down the Chuo, I got stopped constantly.

Sounds like you have a bad area.

Maciamo
Jun 6, 2004, 18:51
Wow. I have noticed that police behavior is specific to certain areas--in Tachikawa I was never stopped, for example, while in Koganei, just a few stations down the Chuo, I got stopped constantly.

Sounds like you have a bad area.

Well, my area is near Nihombashi (I was checked once just at the crossing of Chuo-dori and Eitai-dori near Nihombashi bridge). This is an area with lots of foreign business people. The largest building in the area is the American Merrill Lynch Building just at the crossing I mentioned. IBM and other foreign companies also have buildings in the area, so it's only obvious that there are lots of Westerners around (giving good jobs to thousands of Japanese). Several apartments blocks near where I have been checked are for (highly paid) expats, so I don't understand why the police care so much about checking them there, when a bicycle must cost less than their shirt or neckties. Why not checking if they haven't stolen their brand clothes, watch and bag then ? They just want to cause trouble to foreigners so that they can write how obnoxious and petty the Japanese police is (do you see another purpose ?).

Buddha Smoker
Jun 6, 2004, 19:02
Budha Smoker how did you come start talking to the yakuza? And also as you have lived in Japan for so long, what kind of racism have you encountered?

Am I blind or is there no edit button?

I'm still trying to find the edit button myself.

I was actually waiting to meet a friend of mine but he ended up having to work late and cancelled. So, I decided to go ahead and stay so I struck up a random conversation with someone at the bar and one thing lead to another. That's basically how it happened.

orochi
Jun 6, 2004, 21:53
Racism is definitely a problem in Japan. I don't think it's too much worse than any other country, but it is an issue. The problem that I have is how much effort is taken to "cover it up." Japanese people often say, "Well Japanese people do it this way..." or "Well, we're Japanese..." very innocently, but it is really a veiled form of racism, I think.

Non-Japanese Asians seem to have a hard time. There are many families living in Japan that have been here for many generations. Many of them are still not Japanese citizens. Even their children, born in Japan, cannot become citizens. Some can carry a Japanese passport, though.

Me and my friends have been pulled over on our bikes for "driving while gaijin." It is really irritating. Of course, when I show them my alien registration card and it shows that I am employed at city hall, they usually shut up real quick.

The thing that really gets me is how selective some people are in their racism. While Caucasians, especially Americans, are idolized, non-Japanese who are dark-skinned are often treated differently. The assumption that all white people are Americans is also very tiring.

"Racism in Japan" is a tough issue to deal with. It's huge. We haven't even brushed on the burakumin problem yet. Despite all the signs around my town declaring such statements as "Let's Get Rid of Discrimination" and "No More Stereotyping," there is still a long, long road ahead of Japan as a nation.

This definitely shouldn't get anybody down about wanting to come here, though! These problems are problems anywhere. Japan is a great place with tons of fantastic people to meet. Don't let the backwards people stop you.

BlogD
Jun 7, 2004, 01:40
Well, my area is near Nihombashi ... They just want to cause trouble to foreigners so that they can write how obnoxious and petty the Japanese police is (do you see another purpose ?).
Hmmm, could very well be exactly as you say. My guess, however, would be that in the post-9/11 Tokyo, the police are being really stupid in their security methods. You know how they recently "protected" the Keio line by removing garbage receptacles? As if a terrorist would leave a bomb there and not on an overhead rack on the train itself, where a bomb could easily be left unnoticed. That's a prime example of "we've want to look like we're doing something so let's do something really annoying and stupid."

Maybe the Nihombashi police--being so close to downtown, the financial district (which is after all a terrorist target)--are thinking, "we've got to respond to this terrorist thing, so let's just stop any foreigner at random." And they probably feel that they're "doing their job."

Take the Japanese motorcycle police. They set up ticket traps in the same place every time, and it is never in a place where safety is at stake--the prime determinant in setting up a ticket trap is "how can we ticket the most number of people with the least amount of effort?" Speed traps are set up on lonely, deserted straightaway roads with no pedestrians or intersections and the speed limit is ridiculously low. Never any accidents, but like shooting fish in a barrel for catching "speeders." Or the infamous intersection/underpass traps, aimed primarily at bikers who commit the unholy crime of crossing a yellow line when there is no traffic around, or 49cc scooters making a right turn at an intersection with more than two lanes. Stuff like that. I see incredibly dangerous streets with pedestrians, blind corners and narrow ways that are virtual death traps, but the police never police those--I know one such street in Chofu which is never patrolled despite being just a block away from police stations!

I have respect for many institutions in Japan, but the police are not one of them. They know how to put on a show and harass innocent people, but they would be hopelessly lost and vastly undertrained if they were ever presented with a real challenge.

Buddha Smoker
Jun 7, 2004, 07:03
I have respect for many institutions in Japan, but the police are not one of them. They know how to put on a show and harass innocent people, but they would be hopelessly lost and vastly undertrained if they were ever presented with a real challenge.

Yes, the Japanese police are basically worthless in my opinion. Like the saying goes "when the tough get going then the Japanese police find a way to runaway" :D

Duo
Jun 7, 2004, 07:05
Yes, the Japanese police are basically worthless in my opinion. Like the saying goes "when the tough get going then the Japanese police find a way to runaway" :D

Maybe they should give them back the privilege of being the only ones to carry a sword. :D Then they could do something. :p

Buddha Smoker
Jun 7, 2004, 07:18
Maybe they should give them back the privilege of being the only ones to carry a sword. :D Then they could do something. :p

But could you imagine the corruption that would start from that :D ....I mean, the Japanese police are already pretty bad.

Also, everybody please take what we say as opinions only...even though this stuff happens it is not stuff that tourist people usually see or short-timers. Japan is still one of the safest countries in the world.

Spaceghost
Jun 7, 2004, 09:27
What is this "driving while gaijin" thing? Is it illegal to ride a bike if you are not Japanese or do they assume that any gaijin riding a bike or driving has stolen it or does not have the correct papers?

Duo
Jun 7, 2004, 09:42
Spaceghost, since you are planning on joining the JET program, I reccomend that you read the book Hokkaido Highway Blues by the Canadian author Will Ferguson. He was a JET teacher in Japan and lived there for 5 years, so maybe you might get some valuable information. Also, its a hilarous book :).

BlogD
Jun 7, 2004, 12:33
What is this "driving while gaijin" thing? Is it illegal to ride a bike if you are not Japanese or do they assume that any gaijin riding a bike or driving has stolen it or does not have the correct papers?
They usually assume you've stolen it. Bicycles are relatively ubiquitous in Japan (relative to the U.S., not to China, for example), and you can find zillions parked near stations. But the locks on them are usually trivial and next to useless. So some get stolen, and the police usually suspect gaijin first. I remember one time when--dressed in a business suit and well-groomed--I was stopped by no less than four cops and a patrol car. One looked inside the frame, and another went back to the car to radio in the serial number while the rest surrounded me and asked questions.

That really pissed me off because at the time, media stereotypes were still strong against foreigners, and I knew that all the Japanese passers-by saw the spectacle and thought, "so it's true!"

It may well be possible that you could be pulled over simply for ID checks, though the first I heard of this in years was on this board. It likely will depend on where you are and what the police are like in that area.

Anyone else been pulled over recently?

Buddha Smoker
Jun 7, 2004, 13:40
They usually assume you've stolen it. Bicycles are relatively ubiquitous in Japan (relative to the U.S., not to China, for example), and you can find zillions parked near stations. But the locks on them are usually trivial and next to useless. So some get stolen, and the police usually suspect gaijin first. I remember one time when--dressed in a business suit and well-groomed--I was stopped by no less than four cops and a patrol car. One looked inside the frame, and another went back to the car to radio in the serial number while the rest surrounded me and asked questions.

That really pissed me off because at the time, media stereotypes were still strong against foreigners, and I knew that all the Japanese passers-by saw the spectacle and thought, "so it's true!"

It may well be possible that you could be pulled over simply for ID checks, though the first I heard of this in years was on this board. It likely will depend on where you are and what the police are like in that area.

Anyone else been pulled over recently?

I haven't rode a bike in a couple years but imagine the bike being registered in my mother-in-law's name/address which I had borrowed to go to the grocery store when we stayed one weekend and then I got pulled over. You would not imagine the hassle I went through, also, they must have been bored because I got the full works except for the body search (insert rubber glove sound here). I spent the entire day dealing with all of this and I had left my cell phone at the house because I only expected to be gone a couple minutes and they wouldn't let me use the phone. Anyway, to make a long story short...everything worked out alright when my wife and her mother showed up and they apologized plus they even gave us some "I'm Sorry" money for it being such a big ordeal. After that I refused to ride a bike that belonged to anybody unless my name/address was registered to it. :D This happened about 3 years ago maybe 4.

Maciamo
Jun 7, 2004, 15:29
Btw, is there any bicycle check or registration in other countries (eg. where you live) ? I had never been stopped by any policeman in any of the 7 other countries where I have lived. I have never heard of bike checks either. But it's true that I use my bicycle much more often in Japan than anywhere else.

dadako
Jun 7, 2004, 19:07
I used to steal bikes all the time

however stealing is probably the wrong word; there were no locks and I'd ride them back to the station and dump them from whence they came the next day.

once the police came to my house, because we had about 7 bikes parked outside, all of them decrepid. I just told them "no speaky japanesy" and they went away.

out of all my drunken adventures, crazy fights, misadventures etc, I have never once encountered racism, brutality or inequality from the police or japanese people. All that I can imagine is that people who have are either asking for it or always feel "hard done by" generally. Or maybe its just the fact that I don't feel the need to complain when things don't go my way.

Japanese see americans as being very selfish, thoughtless people. Maybe this would account for the experiences people have? Japanese may use the get out of conflict free card by using your race against you but I guess in other countries you would get the same treatment from being inconsiderate to others, rules & culture.

Japan is a wonderful place but if you treat it like a theme park or on the other hand expect it to give you equality to nationals, then you are in the wrong.

Buddha Smoker
Jun 7, 2004, 19:31
I used to steal bikes all the time

This is exactly why we have problems... :D



out of all my drunken adventures, crazy fights, misadventures etc, I have never once encountered racism, brutality or inequality from the police or japanese people. All that I can imagine is that people who have are either asking for it or always feel "hard done by" generally. Or maybe its just the fact that I don't feel the need to complain when things don't go my way.


I don't really care but it is nice to have discussions about everybody's experiences.



Japan is a wonderful place but if you treat it like a theme park or on the other hand expect it to give you equality to nationals, then you are in the wrong.

Refer to first statement.. :D

Riven
Jun 7, 2004, 20:07
I was very surprised that bicycles are registered in Japan. I don't know if my bike has number... and I didn't register it. On of my friend got his bike stolen few months ago (while it was locked with a big lock), and he didn't even said it to the police cause it would have been useless. Policemen here are too busy ... showing themselves under the sun with their brand new expensives sunglasses and walking as sheriffs in any western spaghetti.

Here it is very close to Japan, because if a bike is stolen, it is obvious for everybody that it was stolen by a foreigner ... If you know what I mean.

Duo
Jun 7, 2004, 20:39
I was very surprised that bicycles are registered in Japan. I don't know if my bike has number... and I didn't register it. On of my friend got his bike stolen few months ago (while it was locked with a big lock), and he didn't even said it to the police cause it would have been useless. Policemen here are too busy ... showing themselves under the sun with their brand new expensives sunglasses and walking as sheriffs in any western spaghetti.

Here it is very close to Japan, because if a bike is stolen, it is obvious for everybody that it was stolen by a foreigner ... If you know what I mean.

Ah but being in Nice, you are most likely referring to some immigrant or to some illegal alien. To mind comes north africans, some arabs, or maybe persons from eastern europe.

Riven
Jun 7, 2004, 20:51
Ah but being in Nice, you are most likely referring to some immigrant or to some illegal alien. To mind comes north africans, some arabs, or maybe persons from eastern europe.
yes, you are right. They have bad reputation. It is quite real that some always try to get in trouble with people in the street, but some "white" or French people are not as "perfect" as said. As in Japan, I don't think that all bicycles are stolen by gaijin people.

fugue
Jun 7, 2004, 21:52
Many fullblood Japanese citizens also get stoped by officers quite frequently when they are on bike, esp. when they look young (because bike theft is mostly committed by juveniles). Those Japanese kids however don't scream discrimination. Maybe they should start complaining about that something backward in the Japanese society that's somehow obviously oppressive and discriminatory because it's after all Japan we are talking about.

Elizabeth
Jun 7, 2004, 21:58
I have respect for many institutions in Japan, but the police are not one of them. They know how to put on a show and harass innocent people, but they would be hopelessly lost and vastly undertrained if they were ever presented with a real challenge.
I was with a Japanese friend in Tokyo (near Takaido) last Sunday when he was stopped about 2 am on suspicion of bike theft for nothing more than a broken headlight. How that could be the basis of anything but a cooked up show of force I still haven't figured out. :?

Buddha Smoker
Jun 7, 2004, 21:59
As in Japan, I don't think that all bicycles are stolen by gaijin people.

This is true too in Japan...but like everywhere it is easy to place the blame on the non-local :D

dadako
Jun 8, 2004, 01:37
japanese people tell me that its the chinese that steal bikes, then ship them back to china.

the reason why I used to "grab a bike" everyday was because A: there was a large pile of unused, unlocked, unloved bikes near the station & B: I bought a bike, but it was stolen.

Dream Time
Jun 8, 2004, 03:30
no Chinese allowed

http://www.fowang.org/suzhai/images/1/pic/trunks/eastbbs/non-asp/usr/17_785.jpg

Spaceghost
Jun 8, 2004, 05:49
What is that sign for? Is it a door to a shop or restaurant?

Dream Time
Jun 8, 2004, 06:44
What is that sign for? Is it a door to a shop or restaurant?

yes


a door to a shop/restaurant

Buddha Smoker
Jun 8, 2004, 07:24
japanese people tell me that its the chinese that steal bikes, then ship them back to china.

the reason why I used to "grab a bike" everyday was because A: there was a large pile of unused, unlocked, unloved bikes near the station & B: I bought a bike, but it was stolen.

Yeah, I've heard the same thing and your logic makes perfect sense :D

Mandylion
Jun 8, 2004, 08:37
no Chinese allowed

http://www.fowang.org/suzhai/images/1/pic/trunks/eastbbs/non-asp/usr/17_785.jpg

Having trouble making out all the bits, and I am in a bit of a hurry, but the sign also asks that people without their little fingers (ie yakuza) also not come in.

Golgo_13
Jun 8, 2004, 08:55
Also people with tattoos

MichaelJames
Jun 8, 2004, 09:03
As a person who loves just about anything japanese, it saddens me to hear that a lot of people there treat other asians(south east asians in particular) badly. I would like to visit Japan someday and make some friends but I'm now thinking twice about it. I hope I am wrong about my impression about Japan and make some japanese friends in the future :souka:

Golgo_13
Jun 8, 2004, 09:11
Japan is a country where few people believe strongly in religious, political or philosophical ideas. In other words, morals and ideals are not a major concern. . . .(emphasis aded)

I don't see the connection.

People who are not religious (especially not Christian) can certainly have morals. Otherwise, Japan could never be one of the safest nations on the planet.

In elementary school in the U.S. I never had classes in Ethics and Morals like I did in Japan ("Doutoku".)

It is unreasonable or even irrational to expect Japan to have no discrimination when most western countries have the same problem. Since when did the U.S. stop having discrimination based on race, gender, religion, sexual preference, age, weight, attractiveness, income level, etc.

Since when did Western European nations that have ethnic or racial minorities stop having any problems?

Or is it a more serious offense if the Japanese do the same thing?

Mandylion
Jun 8, 2004, 09:11
Also people with tattoos
Thats what that is! Ah ha!

Buddha Smoker
Jun 8, 2004, 09:14
As a person who loves just about anything japanese, it saddens me to hear that a lot of people there treat other asians(south east asians in particular) badly. I would like to visit Japan someday and make some friends but I'm now thinking twice about it. I hope I am wrong about my impression about Japan and make some japanese friends in the future :souka:

Don't take any of this to make an impression..form your own opinion. It's nice just to keep your eyes and ears open plus keep an open mind too. Don't worry about too much until you experience this wonderful country because even though you hear all this.....we still live here and there must me a reason for that. :p

Golgo_13
Jun 8, 2004, 09:27
As a person who loves just about anything japanese, it saddens me to hear that a lot of people there treat other asians(south east asians in particular) badly. I would like to visit Japan someday and make some friends but I'm now thinking twice about it. I hope I am wrong about my impression about Japan and make some japanese friends in the future :souka:

Are you the type of person who is saddened by rumors? Most other east-Asian nations have had a bad history with Japan, and people are still prejudiced against the Japanese.

You've never even been to Japan and you're already pre-judging.

Ask yourself this question--if the Japanese treat other Asians so poorly, why are there so many of them there? So many continue to go there, legally or illegally?

If I knew I wasn't going to be welcome somewhere, I sure as hell wouldn't go there.

One thing no one is willing to mention is the crimes being committed by Chinese and other foreignors in Japan. Are we in serious denial? Some merchants would rather refuse service than to risk and problems.

It creates a very very poor impression upon the Japanese when foreigners commit crime and makes headline news. Their feeling is, if you are a guest in someone's house, you behave yourself. What if the Japanese went to China and committed crimes? Do you think the Chinese would still treat them well?

Maciamo
Jun 8, 2004, 09:53
I don't see the connection.

People who are not religious (especially not Christian) can certainly have morals. Otherwise, Japan could never be one of the safest nations on the planet.

In elementary school in the U.S. I never had classes in Ethics and Morals like I did in Japan ("Doutoku".)

Golgo, maybe you should read the whole sentence before comenting it.. The answer lies just after the comma : "Japan is a country where few people believe strongly in religious, political or philosophical ideas. In other words, morals and ideals are not a major concern, because people rely a lot on common sense and values inculcated by the educational system or the society"

This was a praise, not a criticism. "Religion and morals" are not sufficient to make a society safe, because most of main religions developped such a long time ago that their values and morals do not fit the present world. Another problem with "morals" is that people usually think it is universal, which is one the worst aberration of the human mind, what creates misunderstandings and wars.

I believe that moral rules cannot work in any situation, and therefore people should always use their common sense and reason to know what behaviour they should adopt, case by case.

Japanese rely on common sense, but are unfortunately too influenced by stereotypes and tend to always simplify things. They should be taught analytical criticism, so as to understand more easily what kind of information can be trusted and which is exxagerated or false (eg. when reading newspapers, or hearing some stories about foreign countries). I learnt that at school with emphasis on it in almost every subject (language, history, science...).

But discussing how should ethics be taught is probaly more suitable to another thread.

Elizabeth
Jun 8, 2004, 10:00
Racism is definitely a problem in Japan. I don't think it's too much worse than any other country, but it is an issue. The problem that I have is how much effort is taken to "cover it up." Japanese people often say, "Well Japanese people do it this way..." or "Well, we're Japanese..." very innocently, but it is really a veiled form of racism, I think.
This has been a bit surprising to me as well. But it isn't necessarily always a matter of creating justifications of consciously being shielded from reality. Some friends a while back for instance were planning to invite an African American student into their home on an exchange program and were genuinely horrified when it didn't go over so well with some of their acquaintances, ashamed and shocked not to have realized racism was such a latent problem in Japan. :?

Maciamo
Jun 8, 2004, 10:09
One thing no one is willing to mention is the crimes being committed by Chinese and other foreignors in Japan. Are we in serious denial? Some merchants would rather refuse service than to risk and problems.

It creates a very very poor impression upon the Japanese when foreigners commit crime and makes headline news. Their feeling is, if you are a guest in someone's house, you behave yourself.

The problem here is that you use the word "foreigner" putting everybody in the same category. I think that people staying in Japan should be divided, if not by country, by purpose of staying in Japan. Crimes tend to be commited by people who are not trying to adapt to Japanese society, are not in Japan of their own will (or reluctantly, to make money), or are US soldiers stationed there (again, not because they want to adapt or live there, but not really for money either).

I am pretty sure that if we analyse the status f people committing (serious) crimes, we will find that the vast majority are either illegal or economic immigrants (+ US soldiers). There are probably few people with a working visa (which requires that the sponsoring company pays a salary of at least 250.000yen/month), or with a spouse, investor, diplomatic, religious or permanent visa.

I would be really interested to know the percentage of crimes committed by visa status as well as by country (so as to see how high is the crime rate of people coming from developping countries compared to others).



What if the Japanese went to China and committed crimes? Do you think the Chinese would still treat them well?

Well that already happened, and not just during WWII. Lots of stories of Japanese businessmen "partying" with prostitutes in China.

Spaceghost
Jun 8, 2004, 10:22
I've always wondered about all these signs etc, like the one above, or often in baths that don't allow yakuza in, I was always under the assumption that yakuza are feared, and they would rough the people up if they did not "respect" them.

I think I will read a chapter of Musashi and then goto sleep :)

dadako
Jun 8, 2004, 10:59
I have no idea where these ideas come from and how they are purpetuated, from many many sources on both sides I imagine.

My girlfriend is chinese, she and her chinese friends call japanese people "the f**king jap" however we study japanese together all the time and she plans to back to Tokyo with me next year to do modelling. It's all just a joke, not a nice one but meaningless all the same. Some Japanese people are really odd, especially in the UK, where the the oddballs seem to be shipped over by the dozen.

Japan is what you make of it, MichaelJames please don't be scared off! The fact remains that Japanese have a large amount of energy to promote peace and well being, regardless of past desputes between asia, its something that shouldn't affect our generation! I'm sure there are young racists, everywhere, thanks to thier ignorant pairents and the ignorance of thier of brains.

Golgo_13
Jun 8, 2004, 11:05
Well that already happened, and not just during WWII. Lots of stories of Japanese businessmen "partying" with prostitutes in China.

How about burglaries, robberies, fraud, and murders?





The problem here is that you use the word "foreigner" putting everybody in the same category. . . Crimes tend to be commited by people who are not trying to adapt to Japanese society, are not in Japan of their own will (or reluctantly, to make money) . . . .


And just how are the average Japanese supposed to distinguish them?

By the signs they wear?


As for how the Japanese treat other Asians, also consider how a Chinese would be treated in Indonesia, or how a Korean would be treated in Vietnam, and all kinds of combinations and permutations. I doubt that any one group would be treated like royalty anywhere else. It's just that so much attention is focused on Japan because that's where they all go to.

Again, why would anyone go there if they knew they were going to be treated so horribly?

mdchachi
Jun 8, 2004, 11:30
One thing no one is willing to mention is the crimes being committed by Chinese and other foreignors in Japan. Are we in serious denial? Some merchants would rather refuse service than to risk and problems.

It creates a very very poor impression upon the Japanese when foreigners commit crime and makes headline news. Their feeling is, if you are a guest in someone's house, you behave yourself. What if the Japanese went to China and committed crimes? Do you think the Chinese would still treat them well?

It also makes a poor impression when the media and governmental agencies issue stories about how crimes committed by foreigners are going up. They don't mention facts such as that there are many more foreigners (so of course foreign crime would go up) or that crime by Japanese are going up just as much if not more. It's easier to stoke xenophobic tendencies than to address the real issues (like poor performance of the national police agency).

mad pierrot
Jun 8, 2004, 15:22
There isn't a nation on this planet that doesn't have a little bit of xenophobia, and Japan is no exception. I'm willing to bet all kinds of different reasons add up to this. I.E. Japan is an island nation, has a long history of isolationist policy, etc.

Funny thing about the bikes. When I was a college student here, I was stopped a couple of times by cops asking to see my registration. I thought it was strange at the time. Then, just last week I met someone who "borrowed" 5 bikes in one night. He happened to be an English teacher, too....

:p

Sterotypes like these always have some truth mixed up with exaggeration.

:argue:

Buddha Smoker
Jun 8, 2004, 15:52
And just how are the average Japanese supposed to distinguish them?

I don't think you can distinguish between them but I think you see the point Maciamo is getting at.

Also, I know I said it in some post somewhere maybe this one. I checked some stats from the Japanese government and this is what I basically got.

80% of crime caused in Japan is caused by foreigners not a part of Japan (not permanent residents or the legal ones...you know the foreigners foreigners... :D ) and 50% of that number (or 40% out of 100%) was by US military people.

Maciamo
Jun 8, 2004, 18:09
And just how are the average Japanese supposed to distinguish them?

As mdchachi very pertinently said, the problem is that the authorities and media are misleading the public in a xenophobic way.


There isn't a nation on this planet that doesn't have a little bit of xenophobia

That is right, but it is the role of the government to educate the people and discourage xenophobia. Japan is one of the few Western countries to encourage it, and that is where the problem lies.

That is why I would like the media and government to compare stats and tell people exactly the proportion of crimes commited by Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Indonesians, Brazilians, Americans, etc. They could also mention the crime rate per country (eg. 2% of Americans residing in Japan have committed crimes at one time or another), and see where Japanese stand. I am pretty sure that lots of small European countries have a crime rate close to 0%.

dadako
Jun 8, 2004, 19:06
I am pretty sure that lots of small European countries have a crime rate close to 0%.

yeh right

I know you're stats mad Maciamo, however isn't it wiser to make your judgements based on experience not information alone?

89% of statistics are made up.

nekosasori
Jun 8, 2004, 19:08
BuSmo wrote:

80% of crime caused in Japan is caused by foreigners not a part of Japan (not permanent residents or the legal ones...you know the foreigners foreigners... ) and 50% of that number (or 40% out of 100%) was by US military people.

Wouldn't that be 80% of reported crime? I'm sure a lot of illegal activity occurs in every country where the rich and powerful can suppress it, or in cases like domestic abuse or acquaintance rape where incidents are never brought to the attention of authorities.

Since this is about racism in Japan, I won't go into what I've seen/heard/read/experienced in Ireland, but methinks that insular and homogenous cultures with a bent to conform have many traits in common. But then, I recall even in "the most multi-cultural city in the world" - according to the UN, that is - my parents and I had encountered some explicit discrimination and bigotry.

Maciamo wrote:

I am pretty sure that lots of small European countries have a crime rate close to 0%.

Let me assure you that Ireland, a population of less than 4 million people, has an extremely high crime rate per capita across all categories. I'll research figures if people ask for stats, although the Irish media aren't archived very extensively online (all the negative news seems confined to radio and TV).

Buddha Smoker
Jun 8, 2004, 19:47
BuSmo wrote:

Wouldn't that be 80% of reported crime? I'm sure a lot of illegal activity occurs in every country where the rich and powerful can suppress it, or in cases like domestic abuse or acquaintance rape where incidents are never brought to the attention of authorities..

Yes, unreported crime doesn't count :D

Maciamo
Jun 8, 2004, 23:05
Let me assure you that Ireland, a population of less than 4 million people, has an extremely high crime rate per capita across all categories. I'll research figures if people ask for stats, although the Irish media aren't archived very extensively online (all the negative news seems confined to radio and TV).

I hope that you and Dadako didn't misunderstand me. I meant the the crime rate of people coming from small European countries (Benelux, Scandinavia...) living in Japan is close to 0%. That seems obvious as I have never heard of any crime committed by any of them and there are usually less than 1000 people of each of those countries living in Japan.

nekosasori
Jun 9, 2004, 01:00
@ Maciamo - ahh, I apologize - that was not apparent to me. I'm not sure what a realistic count would be of Irish nationals living in Japan (long-term, over a year?) - although I believe you. As an aside, I imagine a lot of Australians in Japan would have Irish ties.

Actually, I did do some research about Irish crime rates (within Ireland, that is) and they claim that compared to Denmark or New Zealand that Eire has a lower crime rate. I don't believe this, however.

Golgo_13
Jun 9, 2004, 04:59
It's easier to stoke xenophobic tendencies than to address the real issues (like poor performance of the national police agency).

You think the FBI or the Scotland Yard has a higher clearance rate than the Japanese police?

But it's an unfair comparison since the crime rates are much higher in the U.S. and the UK.


And just how are the average Japanese supposed to distinguish them?

By the signs they wear?


People tend to judge others by the impression they get. Just like in any other country. If you wear a suit, carry a brief case and have a neat appearance, you WILL be treated a little better than someone with long hair wearing old jeans and a torn T-shirt, regardless of race.

I don't even understand why discrimination in Japan has to be such a major issue here anyway.

Has anyone seen the posts about how Frank White and I have been treated in the U.S. in the "white-Japanese relationships" thread?

Are there any chapters of the Ku Klux Klan in Japan? In case nobody knew, there are in the U.S.

If a lot of foreigners ended up somehow in Uzbekistan, chances are most of them will be discriminated against.

Buddha Smoker
Jun 9, 2004, 06:13
I don't even understand why discrimination in Japan has to be such a major issue here anyway.

Do you mean on this board or in real life?



Has anyone seen the posts about how Frank White and I have been treated in the U.S. in the "white-Japanese relationships" thread?

Give me a link, please? If not, then I'll look forward it later.

Golgo_13
Jun 9, 2004, 06:33
Do you mean on this board or in real life?
Give me a link, please? If not, then I'll look forward it later.

It says "here."

http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5384

Buddha Smoker
Jun 9, 2004, 06:36
It says "here."

http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5384

I assumed so but wasn't sure if you mean where you live or Japan, etc.

Golgo_13
Jun 9, 2004, 06:42
Golgo, maybe you should read the whole sentence before comenting it.. The answer lies just after the comma : "Japan is a country where few people believe strongly in religious, political or philosophical ideas. In other words, morals and ideals are not a major concern, because people rely a lot on common sense and values inculcated by the educational system or the society"


I didn't have to. "[M]orals and ideals are not a major concern [to them]" was all I needed to see. I inferred that to mean that the Japanese are immoral. IMO, morals are important in any society, and Japanese certainly have them. Perhaps your idea of what a moral is is different from mine.

"The Japanese do things that may be considered immoral by other cultures"

As long as they're done inside Japan I would think what they consider moral or immoral is more important, not other cultures.

Jean-Francois
Jun 9, 2004, 08:33
[a certain nationalist arrogance Japan was feeling at the time due to their economic dominance


If this theory is true, then foreigners in Japan better be well-prepared

The Japanese economy is heading to a strong recovery. Growth (the increase of consumer confidence and purchasing power of the Japanese people) is coming from inside while threats (fear of terrorist attack in the US market and tightening of monetary policy in mainland China) are coming from outside. However, threats 危 also create opportunities 機 . For the same reasons, a lot of money from the Hong Kong and US stock exchanges has flowed into Japanese mutual funds.



no Chineses allowed

Yeah, that was a hot topic of various radio talk shows in Hong Kong last summer. And most of the Chinese newspaper headlines read some like this:

Shame on Chinese people -
Slaughtered host family in Japan!
or

Shame on Chinese people -
Committed more than 50% of crimes in Japan!
And yes ... the HK media says more than 50%.

Maciamo
Jun 9, 2004, 09:34
I didn't have to. "[M]orals and ideals are not a major concern [to them]" was all I needed to see. I inferred that to mean that the Japanese are immoral. IMO, morals are important in any society, and Japanese certainly have them. Perhaps your idea of what a moral is is different from mine.

Completely different, apparently... It has always been clear to me that morals is something that is acquired and rigid. People need to be taught morals and follow those very strict rules, even when it doesn't make sense. For example, if Christian morals says "you must not lie", then you just cannot lie without commiting a sin, even when it would be better for everybody if you did. The problem of morals is that it is rigid and opposes common sense and reason. As a philosopher, I believe that people fall in the world fall in 3 categories :

1) Those who use (religious) "morals" they were taught and don't have to think about why it is this way, just follow it. This is usually related to strong religiousness.
2) Those who follow their common sense, which is somewhat acquired by the culture and society you live in.
3) Those who use their logic and reason in a case by case manner, so that they always choose the best solution adapted to the situation.

Japanese mostly fall in the 2nd category. Americans from the Bible belt (South East) and Muslims around the world typically fall into the first category. I am part of the 3rd category, which is also unfortunately the rarest (as people don't like to use their brains). Lot's of people use a combination of the 3.

Jean-Francois
Jun 9, 2004, 09:54
Originally Posted by Dreamer
no Chineses allowed



I am very sorry ... it should be Dream Time. I know you two are different. Dreamer from Paris has short hair and glasses and Dream Time from Vancouver has long hair and a high forehead.

I was just eating my dinner, reading and typing at the same time ... Oh, man! Now I have to apologise for being off-topic

Duo
Jun 9, 2004, 20:12
Can I ask if a foreigner was to be married with a Japanese citizen, or if after he/she had lived a long time legally in Japan, could he/she ask and receive Japanese citizenship ?

Buddha Smoker
Jun 9, 2004, 22:43
Can I ask if a foreigner was to be married with a Japanese citizen, or if after he/she had lived a long time legally in Japan, could he/she ask and receive Japanese citizenship ?

Difficult question..depends on the circumstances and the person honestly. I have known people that applied and got it within a couple years and others that have been applying for 20+ years and yet to receive it...what is the difference between the two.....not that much honestly.

nekosasori
Jun 9, 2004, 23:16
Regardless though, Japan won't accept multiple citizenships if I recall correctly. My parents had to relinquish their Japanese status in order to become Canadians.

Buddha Smoker
Jun 9, 2004, 23:33
Regardless though, Japan won't accept multiple citizenships if I recall correctly. My parents had to relinquish their Japanese status in order to become Canadians.

That is true..I forgot to mention that Japan, (Germany, I think), and one more country somewhere (Don't you love my specifics..LOL :D ) are the only countries in the world that don't allow multiple/dual citizenships.

At least until the age of 24 or 26 (not 18, like most people think) then they are suppose to choose, if my memory recalls correctly.

Ewok85
Jun 9, 2004, 23:42
Until recently (2001?) Australians couldn't hold dual citizen ship either. weird...

Buddha Smoker
Jun 9, 2004, 23:56
Until recently (2001?) Australians couldn't hold dual citizen ship either. weird...

I stand corrected already....LOL..four countries but I think there are some other too but the American Embassy in Tokyo told me the three countries but that was back in 1999 to 2001, I think.

Ewok85
Jun 10, 2004, 00:06
Theres a few, I'll find the list ;)

Austria
Belgium
Brunei
Chile
China
Denmark
Ecuador
Fiji
Finland
Germany
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran*
Japan
Kenya
Kiribati
Malaysia
Mauritius
Myanmar
Nepal
Norway
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Romania
Singapore
Solomon Islands
Thailand
Vietnam
Venezuela
Zimbabwe
* Does not recognise dual citizenship but continues to recognise its citizens as Iranian
http://www.citizenship.gov.au/0601paper/08.htm

I think seiza is in order! mwhahaha

Buddha Smoker
Jun 10, 2004, 00:10
Alot of countries say that they don't recognize it but that doesn't mean they don't allow it....

I know alof of countries have started to change and it is mainly due to the rich people of the world collecting as many citizenships as they could for fun and for tax evasion...that's what started it.

Ewok85
Jun 10, 2004, 00:10
I never had a problem with discrimination in Japan. As long as you keep an open mind, be polite and patient people will treat you well.

amerikanized
Jun 10, 2004, 15:02
as a teenager, i lived in okinawa for a few years. i saw the subtle hostility directed against the american servicemen and their families. while it was disturbing to witness, it was somewhat gratifying, too. i'm japanese-american and was raised in the southern united states. this reverse descrimination was novel, to say the least. however, a part of me still empathized with them...after all, i'm american, too.

the okinawans' resentment may have been perpetuated by another factor, of course. my father was in the military and we, like the other american families, were occupying their island.

Buddha Smoker
Jun 10, 2004, 16:28
as a teenager, i lived in okinawa for a few years. i saw the subtle hostility directed against the american servicemen and their families. while it was disturbing to witness, it was somewhat gratifying, too. i'm japanese-american and was raised in the southern united states. this reverse descrimination was novel, to say the least. however, a part of me still empathized with them...after all, i'm american, too.

the okinawans' resentment may have been perpetuated by another factor, of course. my father was in the military and we, like the other american families, were occupying their island.

I lived in Okinawa too...there are too many military people sometimes :D but if it wasn't for them helping with the local economy then it might be worse.

Ewok85
Jun 10, 2004, 20:14
The original reason countries didnt like it was that by having dual citizenship you were nolonger loyal to your country, being unpatriotic and all that bull.

Buddha Smoker
Jun 10, 2004, 22:39
The original reason countries didnt like it was that by having dual citizenship you were nolonger loyal to your country, being unpatriotic and all that bull.

But what spoiled it was the tax evasion and rich people

amerikanized
Jun 11, 2004, 05:53
I lived in Okinawa too...there are too many military people sometimes :D but if it wasn't for them helping with the local economy then it might be worse.

their economy would certainly be worse, but their standard of living would fare about the same. i remember the okinawans being primarily farmers and fishermen. regardless, they'll tolerate the servicemen's presence, but will continue to harbor their disdain of americans in general; must be a cultural thing.

Buddha Smoker
Jun 11, 2004, 08:18
their economy would certainly be worse, but their standard of living would fare about the same. i remember the okinawans being primarily farmers and fishermen. regardless, they'll tolerate the servicemen's presence, but will continue to harbor their disdain of americans in general; must be a cultural thing.

Yes, you are quite right, but it seemed to me that alot of the families monopolized alot of the business in Okinawa and the others got slim-pickings..know what I mean?

Maciamo
Jun 11, 2004, 09:36
The original reason countries didnt like it was that by having dual citizenship you were nolonger loyal to your country, being unpatriotic and all that bull.

Then why very patriotic countries like the US allow dual nationality, while countries with very low patriotism like Belgium (where people feel they are from their region, or the EU rather than Belgium) don't ?

Keiichi
Jun 11, 2004, 09:55
Maybe it's all part of freedom. "You're free to be a citizen of another country also." :D :D

Duo
Jun 11, 2004, 10:07
Then why very patriotic countries like the US allow dual nationality, while countries with very low patriotism like Belgium (where people feel they are from their region, or the EU rather than Belgium) don't ?

Maybe cuz in Belgium since they already have such a low sense of patriotism, if one was to have another citizenship, they might forget about Belgium completely :p

amerikanized
Jun 11, 2004, 10:19
Yes, you are quite right, but it seemed to me that alot of the families monopolized alot of the business in Okinawa and the others got slim-pickings..know what I mean?

<nod> sad, but true

Buddha Smoker
Jun 11, 2004, 12:38
<nod> sad, but true

Also, I think the Okinawan people complain a lot and don't take the first step in fixing things. The Japanese government spend tons of money but all they do is complain about how the Japanese people hate Okinawa...know what I mean?

Golgo_13
Jun 11, 2004, 13:02
no Chinese allowed

http://www.fowang.org/suzhai/images/1/pic/trunks/eastbbs/non-asp/usr/17_785.jpg

How do we know that sign is real?

How do we know it wasn't concocted by some Japan basher, photographed and placed on the net by Jim83's friends?

If any real business put up a sign like that, it would be reported in the papers and on the news, causing the proprietor much embarrassment or even legal problems. Once again, a single, isolated incident.

Many businesses in the U.S. have signs that read "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone".

"Anyone" could include literally anyone--including Chinese.

BlogD
Jun 12, 2004, 18:23
Note the perfect fit between the open door switch at bottom and the SECOM security label at top. The sign doesn't look faked.

And I doubt very much that the shop "would be reported in the papers and on the news"--after all, I have seen the sign "Petto Mizushoubai Gaijin Fuka" ("Pets, Bar girls, Foreigners Not Acceptable") posted publicly, and never heard about them in the papers. The police probably wouldn't do much, and embarrassment would depend on exactly how much coverage there was and what the national/international reaction was--locals would probably not mind unless outsiders made a ruckus.

As for US businesses reserving the right to serve "anyone," it is understood that it would not be applied on racial grounds, else they would get hauled into court.

No risk of that here in Japan--the court system is incredibly slow and does everything in its power to get you to negotiate an amicable agreement (as it sees it). If you did try to bring it to court, it would take years and tons of money and the return on investment would be near zero--settlements in Japan are tiny. Just look at the poor Minimata victims, such incredible harm inflicted upon them--and it took 40 years to get a settlement of only $24,000 or so per person.

So the idea of suing someone over that sign is very small, and even media attention would be hard to generate--most newspapers would probably ignore it, and only print something if a lot of people got upset and made a big protest, and were able to sustain the protest and attention long enough for the greater media to pick it up.

Much easier for the Chinese people in the area just to avoid the shop and take their business elsewhere.

Buddha Smoker
Jun 12, 2004, 22:06
Does anybody know where the sign is? I know that in Shinjuku that sometimes shops have sign like that because of the Chinese mafia, etc. After all the sign is talking about no tattoo, no missing fingers, etc. So, I have to say that is my best guess as to why the sign is there but I don't think it is fake.

mdchachi
Jun 13, 2004, 12:47
If any real business put up a sign like that, it would be reported in the papers and on the news, causing the proprietor much embarrassment or even legal problems. Once again, a single, isolated incident.

What makes you say that? This is not illegal in Japan. At least most Japanese courts don't seem to think so.

As for the newspapers reporting it, are you kidding? Even with all the work that Debito has been doing about these issues, you don't see the newspapers reporting something like this as news even though there are many examples of these "single, isolated incidents".
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html

I assume you've heard of Debito's Otaro lawsuit. Even though he has been refused entry to an onsen after he became naturalized Japanese, you still don't see any outrage. He makes the news occasionally but only because he is litigating the case.
http://www.debito.org/otarulawsuit.html

Buddha Smoker
Jun 13, 2004, 18:05
What makes you say that? This is not illegal in Japan. At least most Japanese courts don't seem to think so.

As for the newspapers reporting it, are you kidding? Even with all the work that Debito has been doing about these issues, you don't see the newspapers reporting something like this as news even though there are many examples of these "single, isolated incidents".
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html

I assume you've heard of Debito's Otaro lawsuit. Even though he has been refused entry to an onsen after he became naturalized Japanese, you still don't see any outrage. He makes the news occasionally but only because he is litigating the case.
http://www.debito.org/otarulawsuit.html

I don't think there are any major laws either that I can think of and if it did make it to the courts. Well, the business would be shut down by the time it did :D

Duo
Jun 14, 2004, 00:47
It seems to me, that the difference in racism between Japan and the West, is that here in the West the Government has laws that it enforces to prevent Racism, whereas in Japan the authorities seem to ignore it. BTW, do they have anti-racism campaign ads there like they have here ?

Spaceghost
Jun 14, 2004, 03:35
If anywhere is going to have "no gaijin" signs, it would be helpful to have it in the language the sign is relating to so those people can actually read it heh.

Buddha Smoker
Jun 14, 2004, 06:55
If anywhere is going to have "no gaijin" signs, it would be helpful to have it in the language the sign is relating to so those people can actually read it heh.

They actually like it when you try so they can Karate chop in the neck on your way in. :D

mdchachi
Jun 14, 2004, 10:55
It seems to me, that the difference in racism between Japan and the West, is that here in the West the Government has laws that it enforces to prevent Racism, whereas in Japan the authorities seem to ignore it. BTW, do they have anti-racism campaign ads there like they have here ?

No. The government doesn't think it's a problem and people of non-Japanese heritage are a very small minority. Unlike many other countries, you rarely see violent hate-crimes in Japan. It's mainly the less overt kind of discrimination that we have been talking about -- refusing to serve or otherwise deal with people because of their race.

BlogD
Jun 14, 2004, 11:11
In a way, this kind of racism is actually preferable--if one must deal with racism, is it not better to have racism that (a) does not threaten violence, and (b) can be easily identified? I would almost rather have racism be overt, rather than always be unsure whether I was being discriminated against or just unlucky, and always wondering who was the one discriminating against me.

Then again, we probably should not forget about the results of Japanese racism from the first half of the 20th century, in particular in 1923 when about 6,000 Koreans and Chinese were killed (http://210.145.168.243/pk/196th_issue/2003091303.htm) by "vigilantes and military forces apparently acting on the rumor that Koreans poisoned wells, started fires and planned to stage an uprising in the chaotic aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake which flattened the Tokyo metropolitan area."

Certainly the situation is different--no forced labor to foment an uprising--but it does point out that a flash point can be reached in a crisis where violence can be unleashed against a minority identified as dangerous.

Ewok85
Jun 14, 2004, 12:09
In my opinion nothing is better than the look on the face of a person who has denied you some kind of service when you begin a long, loud and very fluent flow of verbal abuse. :D take that!

Golgo_13
Jun 15, 2004, 04:17
When was the last time some Gaijin got chained behind a pickup truck and was dragged all over some small town in Japan until his limbs came off? Can you answer that?

Something like that happened in the U.S. a few years ago.

Why aren't y'all more concerned or upset over racism outside of Japan?

Maciamo
Jun 15, 2004, 10:48
It seems to me, that the difference in racism between Japan and the West, is that here in the West the Government has laws that it enforces to prevent Racism, whereas in Japan the authorities seem to ignore it. BTW, do they have anti-racism campaign ads there like they have here ?

No, the Japanese "National Police Agency" post "beware of foreigners" signs instead !


When was the last time some Gaijin got chained behind a pickup truck and was dragged all over some small town in Japan until his limbs came off? Can you answer that?

Something like that happened in the U.S. a few years ago.

Why aren't y'all more concerned or upset over racism outside of Japan?

Because we all live i different places in the world, but this forum is about Japan. I guess there must be plenty of other forums to discuss racism in the US, in Europe, in China, in Africa or wherever you want. That topic is just too big to discuss here. Anyway, we are comparing the situation between Japan and our home countries. And it's obvious that whereas Western governments try hard to fight racism, the Japanese government and police almost encourage or sponsor it.

BlogD
Jun 15, 2004, 11:13
When was the last time some Gaijin got chained behind a pickup truck and was dragged all over some small town in Japan until his limbs came off? Can you answer that?

Something like that happened in the U.S. a few years ago.
When was the last time that 6,000 black people were massacred in the U.S.? Longer than 80 years ago, to be sure. We're talking potentialities.

Why aren't y'all more concerned or upset over racism outside of Japan?
Who says we're not? This forum is for dicussing things Japanese--and I am not known as a Japan-basher, to be sure (read my blog). But if there is a concern here, it is because many of us live in Japan, and in the next crisis, it could be us.

But more relevant to the immediate discussion is the fact that discrimination does exist, and it has a very real effect on our lives.

Golgo_13
Jun 15, 2004, 11:44
When was the last time that 6,000 black people were massacred in the U.S.? Longer than 80 years ago, to be sure. We're talking potentialities..

That doesn't answer my question, but when were 6,000 black people massacred in Japan? You're talking there's a potential of that happening? If you seriously believe that, why don't you get out of Japan? WHo's pointing a gun at your head to stay?



But more relevant to the immediate discussion is the fact that discrimination does exist, and it has a very real effect on our lives.

Discrimination exists everywhere on this planet. The Japanese discriminate on the same basis as anyone else in any other country. Not just race or national origin. If you're gay, fat, handicapped, lack education, or plain unattractive, you're gonna get the short end of the stick. I'm sure there's a forum for such people who sit around bitching all day how much harder life is because of discrimination. Go join them.



Then again, we probably should not forget about the results of Japanese racism from the first half of the 20th century, in particular in 1923 when about 6,000 Koreans and Chinese were killed (http://210.145.168.243/pk/196th_issue/2003091303.htm) by "vigilantes and military forces apparently acting on the rumor that Koreans poisoned wells, started fires and planned to stage an uprising in the chaotic aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake which flattened the Tokyo metropolitan area."


I'm not excusing what the imperial Japanese government did. But you're way too quick to blurt racism. "Racism, racism, racism!" Did you mention racism? If the Germans killed French, the Ghanainans killed Gambians, someone else of one race kills someone of the same exact race, HOW is that racism?




And it's obvious that whereas Western governments try hard to fight racism, the Japanese government and police almost encourage or sponsor it.

Then why are you even there? Why even bother maintaining a forum where people who are interested in Japan can come together and share useful information, why stir up so much bitterness? There was one fella who was very much interested in Japan, and now he says he's afraid of going.

If you feel so strongly that the Japanese are racists and they are a serious threat to your life or well-being, there must be two reasons why you stay in Japan. Either you're really really stupid or your claims are baseless. Since I DON'T think you're stupid, I guess it has to be the latter reason. If it bothers you that much then leave! If you stay, then STFU.

Maciamo
Jun 15, 2004, 12:12
Then why are you even there? Why even bother maintaining a forum where people who are interested in Japan can come together and share useful information, why stir up so much bitterness?


There is hardly any bitterness in my comments. Of course you can't feel my emotions through the forum, but I am pretty calm and analytical. I am just stating facts. If you compare my criticism of Japan to that of other countries (eg. the US, or Europe on some points), you will realise that I am much kinder toward Japan, which is partly why I have decided to live there. I admit that Japan is safer than most other countries in the world, and Tokyo more convenient and easy to live in. I know there is discrimination even where I come from, but :
a) It is directed just at any foreigner just because they are foreigners (like in Japan where they don't let you enter in some places before having seen you or spoken to you).
b) European discrimination is directed at specific nationalities (Morrocans, Africans...) known for causing trouble and having much higher crime rates than the locals.
c) Japanese discrimination can be utterly unfounded. For example, among people living in Japan, Koreans commit proportionally almost 5 times less crimes than Japanese, but Koreans born and raised in Japan are often refused accommodation, jobs or access to some places, just because of their name (not something likely to happen in the States :-) ).
d) I have never experienced discrimination anywhere else myslef (so there is some novelty with being seen as the trouble-maker which I am certainly not).


However, I know that discrimination isn't violent in Japan, especially when compared to some Western countries, which is why I can live with it.

Buddha Smoker
Jun 15, 2004, 19:04
@Golgo I think it was stated a few times in the post that these were just opinions and no reason to get into an uproar or small rise in temperature.

Japan has its problems just as much as other countries but it is still safer and (in my opinion) the best place to live.

It is up to the individual to make the choice and alot of us that have been living in Japan, live in different areas or have been here for a prolonged period of time. Even though I might say some bad things about Japan...the good outweighs the bad. If a person is to believe a bunch of stories and recollections from a message board then I think they need to find other resources or examine themselves a little bit.

That's my two yen. :cool:

kirei_na_me
Jun 15, 2004, 20:36
There is good and bad about every country. Everyone should know about the positive and negative aspects, because nowhere and no one is perfect.

Golgo, don't you complain about the U.S.? It seems I've seen you make comments about the U.S. a lot. Someone could easily say to you, "well, why don't you go back to Japan if all you do is complain about the U.S.?" I complain about the U.S. and all the corrupt things here, but I still like where I live and really don't wish to live anywhere else. I think Maciamo, BlogD, and the others living in Japan have made the choice to live there because the positive outweighs the negative, but they can't deny the negative exists.

It's not like we're talking about those Japan-bashing trolls.

Elizabeth
Jun 15, 2004, 21:44
Then why are you even there? Why even bother maintaining a forum where people who are interested in Japan can come together and share useful information, why stir up so much bitterness? There was one fella who was very much interested in Japan, and now he says he's afraid of going.
At least with discussions of researched opinions and statistics it is possible to be rational unlike starting threads that the Japanese language is no good, the people are too 'Eastern' and unintellectual, concerned only with money and material gain etc where contradictions are usually simply ignored and nothing can ever be disproven. :wary: :angryfire:

Duo
Jun 16, 2004, 00:09
What's too "eastern" ?

Maciamo
Jun 16, 2004, 01:18
What's too "eastern" ?

Elizabeth visibly refers to the thread "Is Japan a Western country ?", but I don't think anyboby mentioned that Japan was too Eastern (actually, quite the opposite, it was seen as quite Westernized for an Eastern culture).

Elizabeth
Jun 16, 2004, 01:36
What's too "eastern" ?
It's just a thinly veiled criticism that is brought up occasionally. I suppose if it isn't a matter of racism, one overriding cultural value would be towards simpler and more direct speech patterns and actions, more use of silence or nonverbal communication modes, which might make them appear less eloquant or verbally expressive, analytical, reflective, etc. than so-called Westerners.

Tamsin
Oct 6, 2004, 14:52
Wow, I have heard about racial discrimination in Japan, but to see it posted on the shop door. I have never been to Japan, but sure would like to go, but would like to know that if I choose to ride a bike, I won't get stopped.

grounded in japan
Oct 9, 2004, 08:18
i've lived in japan for 4 years and have never been discriminated against. indeed, although it surely does go on, the japanese are much more of a homogenious society than western countries and so are much less used to foreigners - they're something of a novelty outside of okinawa and tokyo. actuelly, part of the reason lies in the fact that there are relatively few foreign tourist as japan is very difficult to travel in if you don't speak (or read, to a lesser extent) japanese and the other reason is they haven't had large influxes of immigrants. i think if you're a westerner, your much less likely to be discriminated against than an asian. i don't know how africans or african-americans get on.

PopCulturePooka
Oct 9, 2004, 09:55
If anywhere is going to have "no gaijin" signs, it would be helpful to have it in the language the sign is relating to so those people can actually read it heh.
Originally signs were in English, and the shops got some negative foreign press with the pictures being printed in newspapers.

So instead of overturning the rule, the rednecks who own the establishments (yes, Japanese rednecks) figured if they put the sign in Japanese they won't be published in foreign press and get bad publicity.

myrrhine
Oct 9, 2004, 17:34
i'm curious - although the discussion of racial discrimination here has been extensive, no one's mentioned gender discrimination since the first post...

has anyone in here experienced or heard anything about that? i've heard some horror stories about sexual harasment in japanese corporations (also heard that progress has been made), but what's it like for, say, women teachers? or in general, going about daily life - has anyone run into any trouble specifically because they're female/male?

Timsan
Oct 9, 2004, 18:19
Racism is everywhere. Always has been, always will be. Get used to it.

Maciamo
Oct 9, 2004, 20:56
i'm curious - although the discussion of racial discrimination here has been extensive, no one's mentioned gender discrimination since the first post...

I did, in the article in link.


i've heard some horror stories about sexual harasment

So you haven't heard of politically sponsored gang rape (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3012), widespread and now almost socially accepted teenage prostitution (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=530), or salarymen's orgies with hundreds of prostitutes in China (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4304) or other Asian countries ?

galaxystar
Oct 9, 2004, 21:20
the issue of discrimination is a never ending story. it's everywhere. sad,sad,sad...

Mike Cash
Oct 9, 2004, 22:54
i've lived in japan for 4 years and have never been discriminated against.

Jesus must love you more than he does me. Either that or you lead a particularly sheltered existence in Japan.

PaulTB
Oct 9, 2004, 23:09
So you haven't heard of politically sponsored gang rape (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3012), widespread and now almost socially accepted teenage prostitution (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=530), or salarymen's orgies with hundreds of prostitutes in China (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4304) or other Asian countries ?
I heard that excessive self-linking can lead to blindness - metaphorical anyway.

I'd be one of the first to admit that Japan has problems in that area but it's far from the only or even the worst such country.

myrrhine
Oct 9, 2004, 23:41
obviously those links illustrate a frightening attitude held by some men concerning women, sex etc... esp the gang rape one... *shudder*

but what i was curious about was the stuff that doesn't make the papers, daily stuff that people have to put up with due to gender. i'm not even necessarily just talking about harassment here, basically i was curious how peoples gender has shaped their experiences in japan...

Maciamo
Oct 10, 2004, 10:53
I heard that excessive self-linking can lead to blindness - metaphorical anyway.

Haha, good one ! :p Nevertheless my articles get their sources from the BBC or other reputed news agencies. I only do the selection.


I'd be one of the first to admit that Japan has problems in that area but it's far from the only or even the worst such country.

Did I ever say that ? Would I be living in Japan if it was the worst country in this regard ? This is just very indirect criticism of the rest of the world from me. As you may have realised from other threads, I said I felt little attachment to one particular country, even the one where I was born. I have lived in 6 countries, travelled to about 40 and get every occasion I can to learn about the rest of the world. This could be because I am an idealist (veiled in cynicism) that wishes to live in better society, but can't find it. So, I am letting people guess that if I am living in Japan, it is probably because it is a better place to live than anywhere else I know of, and eventhough I haven't found better in average, it is still far from perfect.

RED NINJA
Oct 10, 2004, 23:07
Racism is for the feeble and narrow minded! It is such arrogance that has torn Civilization after Civilization and Country after Country apart!

When will mankind learn the power of the human race as one, a whole and not divided.

It is until such mindsets are erased we as human beings are doomed to repeat our mistakes!!! [/B :(



I pray for the day Mankind is united as one in mind body and spirit.....


RED NINJA

Shiro
Oct 11, 2004, 02:57
For example, among people living in Japan, Koreans commit proportionally almost 5 times less crimes than Japanese, Is there any source?

I thought such stats have not even been open to the public. What the NPA released are about the foreign visitors' crime. Naturalized Koreans and immigrated Koreans are not included in those foreigners.

bossel
Oct 11, 2004, 08:34
Is there any source?

I thought such stats have not even been open to the public. What the NPA released are about the foreign visitors' crime. Naturalized Koreans and immigrated Koreans are not included in those foreigners.
Maciamo has put some effort into explaining this stuff here:

http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7372

Shin Asura
Oct 11, 2004, 11:45
I grew up liking Japan in the US so I never really came across this subject until later in my life.

When I leard about this discrimination problem (I'm black), to be honest, I got scared because here I loved Japan so much but I didn't want to be rejected if I went there. I kept going back and forth on whether I should give up my love for Japan because I didn't want to get hurt, for awhile I did and stopped listening to my Jrock/Jpop songs, stopped watching anime, and stopped playing my import videogames.

When you have strong feelings for something, they always seem to come back to you, no matter what the circumstance is. In the end, my undying love for Japan saved me. I asked myself, what the hell was I doing? I love Japan, discrimination shouldn't affect it. Since then, I started meeting Japanese students at a Community College here, I help them learn English and they help me with my Japanese. I've met a few friends online as well.

In the end, I decided that I love Japan way too much to let anything detour me.

stupidumboy
Oct 11, 2004, 12:14
Is there any source?

I thought such stats have not even been open to the public. What the NPA released are about the foreign visitors' crime. Naturalized Koreans and immigrated Koreans are not included in those foreigners.

Neutralized Koreans are legally included to Japanese citizens.
Immigrated ones(Zainizhi) are legally included Korean citizens when we make this kind calculation.

Shiro
Oct 11, 2004, 17:03
Maciamo has put some effort into explaining this stuff here:

http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7372The residents and the visitors are confused in his calculation.
That means nothing at all. I guess he should have been aware of;

* the 'residents' means registered foreigners.
* more than 70% of foreign visitors are unregistered (short term stay visitors).
* the NPA's foreign criminal stats are about the crimes of foreign visitors (rainichi gikokujin)
* 'foreign visitors' does not include permanent residents and immigrated Koreans according to the NPA's definition of it.


Neutralized Koreans are legally included to Japanese citizens.
Immigrated ones(Zainizhi) are legally included Korean citizens when we make this kind calculation.Yeah, naturalized Koreans are legally Japanese, zainichi Koreans are legally foreigners. What I meant was that zainichi Koreans are counted as a kind of permanent residents in the NPA's stats, and the permanent residents' crime stats are not released as far as I know.

stupidumboy
Oct 11, 2004, 17:57
The residents and the visitors are confused in his calculation.
That means nothing at all. I guess he should have been aware of;

* the 'residents' means registered foreigners.
* more than 70% of foreign visitors are unregistered (short term stay visitors).
* the NPA's foreign criminal stats are about the crimes of foreign visitors (rainichi gikokujin)
* 'foreign visitors' does not include permanent residents and immigrated Koreans according to the NPA's definition of it.

Yeah, naturalized Koreans are legally Japanese, zainichi Koreans are legally foreigners. What I meant was that zainichi Koreans are counted as a kind of permanent residents in the NPA's stats, and the permanent residents' crime stats are not released as far as I know.


Could you please make your own calculation again and show the result(Crimes per capita by nationality)and sources?
The NPA report seems like to be about crimes commited by foreigners living in Japan.

http://www.npa.go.jp/kokusai2/15b/siryo.pdf

The Zainichi are included into the registered foreigners living in Japan according to this linked page.
http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/nenkan/zuhyou/y0214000.xls

I am still very confused.
You told :

* the NPA's foreign criminal stats are about the crimes of foreign visitors (rainichi gikokujin)

====>I am just very curious where I can check this factor.

Thank you.

EDIT:YOU ARE RIGHT ,I did not read the kanji very carefully.

It was about the crimes of 來日 foreigners.
So we need to get the result in different ways.

anyways I think the rate of Korean crime will not get worse very much because the number of Korean tourists visited Japan is merely over 1 million annually.(Its bigger number than total Zainichi)

Plus if the number of students included -the 來日 Korean number is bigger.

PaulTB
Oct 11, 2004, 18:20
It was about the crimes of 來日 foreigners.
By the way, the usual kanji would be 来日 (來日 is an older version).

stupidumboy
Oct 11, 2004, 19:02
By the way, the usual kanji would be 来日 (來日 is an older version).


Yes,thank you very much for your kind correction.
I typed Korean version of kanji without notification. :p

Maciamo
Oct 11, 2004, 20:00
The residents and the visitors are confused in his calculation.
That means nothing at all. I guess he should have been aware of;

* the 'residents' means registered foreigners.
* more than 70% of foreign visitors are unregistered (short term stay visitors).
* the NPA's foreign criminal stats are about the crimes of foreign visitors (rainichi gikokujin)
* 'foreign visitors' does not include permanent residents and immigrated Koreans according to the NPA's definition of it.


Do you mean that 来日外国人 (rainichi gaikokujin) includes only short-term visitors on a 3 months or less visa, and not all the residents even on a 1-year visa ? (watch out that most residents are NOT permanent residents) If that is true, I'll have to recalculate the figures, but that also mean that the crime rate for most nationalities (especially Westerners as there are much more Western short-term visitors than Western residents) will be lower than announced.

As you can see here (http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/nenkan/zuhyou/y0234000.xls), in 2002, there were 5,77 million foreigners who entered in Japan (which I think fits better the meaning of "rainichi"), but 4,3 million were temporary visitors. Anyhow, that shows that the number of temporary visitors coming to Japan annually is over twice the number of registered foreigners of all status (1,9 million).

Given that the 1,224 Brazilians and 573 Peruvians arrested (in the NPA report) refer to non registered visitors and not to the registered residents, for example, the crime rate for Brazilian would 1,67% (instead of 0,46%) and 4,77% for Peruvians (instead of 1,12%), as there are 268,000 registered Brazilians and 51,000 registered Peruvians in Japan, but only 73,000 (non registered) Brazilian visitors and 12,000 Peruvians visitors in 2002. It's possible though, as Chinese keep a similar crime rate of about 2%, as there were about the same number of residents and visitors. Vietnamese would have a higher crime rate, 4,48% instead of an already high 3,4%.

I am also happy to see that the crime rate of British people would fall from 0,39% to 0,01%, as there are only 18,000 British residents in Japan, but 379,000 annual visitors. Same for American, whose crime rate would fall from 0,35% to 0,02%. Nothing to say, if the NPA stats are really for visitors, Westerners in Japan have a much, much lower crime rate (around 0,02 at most) than the Japanese (who are at 0,34%). :-) Even Russian's crime rate would fall from 4,05% (incredibly high) to a more reasonable 0,69%.

Sources : Persons who entered or departed Japan by nationality (http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/nenkan/zuhyou/y0232000.xls)

stupidumboy
Oct 11, 2004, 21:08
We need to add some modification for this calculation of foreigners' crimes in Japan.

We can see the number of foreigners who visited Japan in 2003(Hesei 15) by nationality here(来日) ----------->http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/STA/PDF/E2003.pdf

We can see the number of crimes that commited by foreigners who visited Japan in 2003(Hesei 15) here(来日 by nationality)------>
http://www.npa.go.jp/toukei/index.htm

for example,1>number of Koreans who visited Japan in 2003 was 1,459,333
2>number of Korean criminals arrested by NPA in 2003 was 2,973

Therefore the crime number commited by one Korean who visited Japan in 2003 is 2,973 /1,459,333=0.002036 ,approximately 0.002.

(But,I do not think this is very correct calculation becuase these two numbers are not match exactly for 2003 -for example the arrested Korean criminals might have come to Japan in 2001 2002 or whatever)

Other national record would be different if you use this material.

means 490 Korean visitors commited one number of crime in 2003.

In other words ,one out of 490 Korean visitors in Japan was a criminal.

what about Japanese?

*note:I really do not like this kind of topic,however I have been always curious of this foreign criminal rate in Japan because Koreans are often labeled as criminals in Japan.*

EDIT:sorry for many changement,but Korean criminal number that arrested by NPA in 2003 was 1,793.

1,793/1,459,333 =0.00122,approximately 0.001
means 813 Korean visitors commited one number of crime in 2003.
In other words ,one out of 813 Korean visitors in Japan was a criminal.

Shiro
Oct 12, 2004, 18:44
来日外国人 basically means 'foreigners in Japan except for permanent visa holders'.

"Rainichi gaikokujin applies to all the foreigners in Japan except for permanent residents, specially permitted permanent residents (zainichi Koreans), members of the U.S. force in Japan and unidentified ones"

http://www.han.org/oldboard/hanboard5/msg/1663.html
http://www.pdc.npa.go.jp/hakusyo/h15/html/E1101011.html

Also, crime stats are annual. You can't place the number of visitors on the same level with the population. You know, if you do so, it will make a three-day visiting criminal same as a one-year visitor who is supposed to commit a crime once in a year. In order to figure out the population, you must multiply the the number of visitors by "their average stay/365".

The difficulty is that such 'length of every visitors' stay' is almost impossible to comprehend . That's why any website about this issue is not clarifying of the population (not the number) of rainichi gaikokujin. We can only estimate it roughly.

Maciamo
Oct 12, 2004, 22:21
The difficulty is that such 'length of every visitors' stay' is almost impossible to comprehend . That's why any website about this issue is not clarifying of the population (not the number) of rainichi gaikokujin. We can only estimate it roughly.

Anyway, I doubt that tourists or business people, who make up most of the short-term visitors, commit a lot of crimes, except for offenses such as visa overstaying...



1,793/1,459,333 =0.00122,approximately 0.001

You forgot to multiply by 100 for the %age. So it is 0,1%

------------------

Alright, so let's recalculate the percentage using the number of tourists + the number of registered foreigners. Unfortunately I don't have the figures for the total number of foreigners (including tourists) annually by nationality. There is only registered foreigners (i.e. staying over 3 months, on long-term visas), total visitors (but does not include foreigners who haven't left/re-enter Japan that year), and total of tourists. So I'll take the tourists (or non-residents) and add the registered foreigners (or residents), which would be about the right number.

Country : residents + tourists = total => crime rate (total/no people arrested)

Korea : 625,422 + 917,590 = 1,543,012 => 0,12%
China : 424,282 + 95,991 = 520,273 => 1,73%
USA : 47,970 + 350,674 = 398,644 => 0,04%
Brazil : 268,332 + 5,121 = 273,453 => 0,45%
Philippines : 169,359 + 26,742 = 196,101 => 0,68%
UK : 18,508 + 110,510 = 129,018 => 0,05%
Thailand : 33,736 + 43,832 = 77,568 => 0,9%
Russia : 6,026 + 18,342 = 24,368 => 1%

Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Peru => unknown number of tourists, but less than 4,300 (less than 5,100 for Peru). The minimum crime rate below assume that there were about 4,300 tourists (5,100 for Peru) from these countries. The maximum crime rate assume that there were no tourists at all. So it is somewhere in between.

Peru : 51,272 + ? => min. 1,02% ; max. 1,12%
Vietnam : 21,050 + ? => min. 2,84% ; max. 3,4%
Bangladesh : 8,703 + ? => min. 2,4% ; max. 3,5%
Pakistan : 8,225 + ? => min. 2,4% ; max. 3,7%
Iran : 5,769 + ? => min. 4,1% ; max. 7,1%

This time we can see that British and American have by far the lowest crime rate, then come the Koreans. The highest crime rate among sure figures is for the Chinese, who are 43x more likely to commit crimes in Japan than Americans. However, Iranians, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Vietnamese still have a much higher crime rate, whatever the real number of tourists.

Minxie
Oct 13, 2004, 01:31
Racism in Japan is very widespread. Here are some examples i learned in my History class as well as from my mom and other Japanese people.

1. If you are not 100% Japanese, don't live in Japan etc. the Japanese will not recognize you as being truly Japanese, but yes, will treat you as a foreigner. They do show respect for them, but its more because they HAVE too.

2. If you are Japanese, but you moved to the US or another country and go back to Japan, you are an "unclean" Japanese person. These people think that Japan is the greatest thing, and why would anyone leave it?

These 2 notions go hand in hand with the concept of Japanese tradition - the concept of taking off your shoes before you enter the house. The Japanese feel that it is out of respect for yourself, as well as your home, to not bring dirt - an unpure/dirty thing, into your home; they want to keep their house very clean and pure. Basically this means that they don't like outsiders so much coming in and would rather have their country just with all Japanese people. I asked around about this to make sure back when i took my history class, and my mom said that was held accountable.

My own personal experience is that because im mixed w/ 1/2 japanese & 1/2 white... i had a hard time growing up around japanese people. I used to attend a Japanese school every Saturday in the US so i could study my own language and heritage, however, no Japense person accepted me. I didn't understand why until i learned in my history class about this problem of "if you are not 100% japanese, you are not japanese at all". It is a powerful stigma, but a lot of people are oblivious to it, unless they experiecne it themselves etc.

In terms of racisim towards China & Korea... racisim against those countries are high as well. Take for example the Nanking Massacre where Japanese people raped and killed many men and women, or the Korean comfort women, where Japan went to Korea and brought back many women so that the Japanese men could sleep with them or rape them. Japanese people think they are highly superior to everyone, and therefore they are highly ethnocentric. Once again, if you are not Japanese, they feel that they can do whatever they want, and don't care what they do, because they don't like anyone outside their own culture/heritage.

However, generations and views change. The younger generation, as i have read in other posts, definitely has different views. The older generation is probably the most racist because of events that happened - ie: Pearl Harbor, the Bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, etc. Racism occurs when a country/nation is defeated, or if those "other" people are not of their own or may actually be more skilled than them.

The thing is... one has to overcome their racisim to truly accept/understand what really led them to feel that way.

Remember... i am both Japanese and American, so my views are unbiased, but i do argue both sides of the point.

thanks 4 reading...

Eisuke
Oct 13, 2004, 03:27
1. If you are not 100% Japanese, don't live in Japan etc. the Japanese will not recognize you as being truly Japanese, but yes, will treat you as a foreigner. They do show respect for them, but its more because they HAVE too.

Ofcourse they will treat you as not a true Japanese if that person doesn't live in Japan. You don't necessarily have to be 100% Japanese blood to be considered a Japanese. If that person lives in Japan, has Japanese nationality and if that person also looks like a Japanese mostly, has at least some Japanese roots and can speak the language well then that person will be considered a Japanese.

Maciamo
Oct 13, 2004, 10:27
My own personal experience is that because im mixed w/ 1/2 japanese & 1/2 white... i had a hard time growing up around japanese people. I used to attend a Japanese school every Saturday in the US so i could study my own language and heritage, however, no Japense person accepted me. I didn't understand why until i learned in my history class about this problem of "if you are not 100% japanese, you are not japanese at all".

Yes, but how old were you ? Are children aware of this stigma too ?

You said that Japanese leaving their country are not considered as true Japanese, but the class you took were in the US with other children of Japanese migrants who were not native speakers of Japanese, weren't they ? So if you were discriminated by Japanese who were born in the US speaking English, then maybe the reason is that they were frustrated too not to be "true Japanese", born and raised in Japan.

However, true Japanese in Japan tend to consider Caucasians as more beautiful and some would say racially superior. That is why so many younger Japanese women prefer Western men to Japanese ones, and crave to have a baby that is "half" because they are said to be more beautiful than the pure Japanese. Many "half-Japanese half-Caucasian" become TV stars or models in Japan. Actually it's not just with Caucasians, as one of the most famous TV stars in Japan (and one of the most famous "gaijin") is the magician Cyril (or "Sero" in Japanese), who is half Japanese, half-Moroccan (so Arabic), but born and raised in the US. And I admit that he is very handsome.


...or the Korean comfort women, where Japan went to Korea and brought back many women so that the Japanese men could sleep with them or rape them. Japanese people think they are highly superior to everyone, and therefore they are highly ethnocentric.

Nowadays Japanese men only "rape" Chinese or South-East Asian women in "Soaplands" (brothels) or on sex tours to those countries. But you still have a point. What is more, during WWII, the price of prostitutes depended on their ethnic origin, with Japanese being the most expensive, followed by Koreans, Chinese, then at the bottom of the scale South-East Asian.

Sundiata_Xian_Tellem
Jan 17, 2005, 13:01
Greetings All:
I read the article, "Discrimination in Japan" and I found it to be interesting. The root of Japanese discrimination,- if I read it correctly- stems from more of a cultural base insted of a skin color base, unlike the evil "varna" caste system of India whereas the darker the skin color the worse you're treated.
It's weird how people of color can adopt a system that they originally didn't create. The history of India;Pre-Aryan invasion, shows that all Indians were of color (various shades of brownish skin) and didn't fight over color until the Brahma/Vedic/Aryans set up the caste system.
If only the light-skinned Indians could visit good old Texas(USA) they would learn quickly that they were people of color just like any other person of color...Ask the Sikh's Community here in Dallas, Texas...ask them what happened to a few of them after the 911 Terrorist Attacks.
One was shot mistake for an Arab (another people of color with light brown-skin).
I will be glad of the day when people of color stop acting like their former colonial slave masters...fore that type of mind set only benefits their master's descendants.

llanarth
Jan 20, 2005, 16:32
Interestingly enough when I worked in Japan I found-as a general rule but not always the higher the position of the person, and often older, the more likely you were to encounter discrimination from them.

I found people working in 'ordinary' jobs such as farmers, much more open minded. Probably because they didn't work in the system, and their jobs allowed them to develop their own opinion.

Sadly, it's not so much that Japanese 'don't like' gaiijin. It is more the case the system is still firmly entrenched in this belief. And since Japanese work in a system, in a group, they are more likely to adopt the belief of the group. Individuality is in many cases discouraged. And I feel this is the end result.

But I worked with many many incredibly hospitable and genuinely kind Japanese people. It is not always the case. Where you come across this situation (of discrimination) it is best to develop a sense of humour. And not come away with negative feelings.

Pachipro
Jan 21, 2005, 23:46
Greetings all. I am new to this forum and find the varying opinions in this thread quite informative and lively. I lived in Japan for over 16 years from the early 70's to late 80's, have a Japanese wife, and visit once or twice yearly, so my relationship with that country spans over 30 years. It is a country I have come to love and now call home as I spent my entire adult life there up until I departed in 1988.

I have recieved my fair share of discrimination during that time, but it was not all that bad. Mostly it was due to my living near the Camp Zama military base. However, the times I was stopped on my bicycle or asked for my gaijin card I could count on both hands.

I have been arrested for the posession of the illegal weed and almost arrested for stealing a bicycle. However, not once did I feel real discrimination from the Japanese police. They were always polite and I was not abused in any way. If time permits, I'll post those stories, which are quite detailed, in a seperate thread which will give you some insight.

I have been turned down for apartments and turned away from drinking establishments, but I understood the reasons why and accepted it living around a military base. I have never been turned away from a restaurant or department store in 30 years. That is something new to me.

I was a member of a few video and record stores and was never turned down for membership. I was even able to buy a stero component system from a department store on credit with just my signature and gaijin card while I was a student at Sophia University. I made my payments on time and didn't default.

One must understand that prejudice and discrimination exists in all cultures, not just Japan. Us white people in America rarely feel it here, so we are surprised and insulted when it happens to us in a foreign country. Look at England. They still discriminate based on class and accent. Look at India with their caste system as someone alluded to above. Even white people here in America discriminate against other white people, or "white trash", as they are called here in the south. Hell, even the Japanese discriminate against other Japanese, because of their sex, accent, background, or which part of the country they were born in. And I'm sure it's the same in all countries. How do you think the Yakuza and people with tattoos, etc feel? I'm sure they feel the same way people writing in this thread and living in Japan feel.

Living in Japan taught me one important thing and, in a way, I am grateful for the experience. I now understood completely how Black-Americans feel in the US, particularly before the civil rights movement in the 60's. Living in Japan taught me to judge a person on his merits and character, not the color of his skin, or heresay from prejudiced white people. One is NOT born racist and prejudice. It is taught to you by your parents, uncles, friends, etc. This I know from experience. Unless you feel prejudice you'll never understand how others feel.

This was brought to light recently when I met the family of a black friend of mine. After I left, his father told him, "That man knows discrimination and prejudice. He'll be a good friend." He was referring to the fact that I have a Japanese wife and must've received received some discrimination in Japan although my experience in Japan was hardly touched upon.

Therefore, prejudice is something that exists, and will always exist until ignorant people become enlightened. In my opinion and experience, if you just ignore it and move on to the next real estate agent or bar, you'll eventually find success. If it is subtle, as I experienced in Japan, that is no cause for alarm. It will happen and one must expect it from ignorant people. However, should it ever increase to the point where it is widespread and rampant then it's time to do something about it.

Maciamo
Jan 21, 2005, 23:56
Hell, even the Japanese discriminate against other Japanese, because of their sex, accent, background, or which part of the country they were born in. And I'm sure it's the same in all countries. How do you think the Yakuza and people with tattoos, etc feel? I'm sure they feel the same way people writing in this thread and living in Japan feel.

Please note that the title (and content) of this thread is "discrimination in Japan", not "discrimination against foreigners" only.


Living in Japan taught me to judge a person on his merits and character, not the color of his skin, or heresay from prejudiced white people.

In fact that is what I was always taught in Europe, but after coming to Japan I came to wonder if such values were even taught in Japanese schools or families. If it is, I don't think it is very widespread or very effective. Japanese judge with completely different values than I was raised with. They normally judge people from their appearance rather than their inner value (eg. think that a woman that is not beautiful is worthless) and judge both people and things from a price (salary/wealth) tag. Money and appearances are what make a person in Japan. I suppose that, like gender roles, it is part of human nature, but in Western societies we have learned to avoid this simplistic and discriminative approaches, and attach more importance to people's intellect and character instead.

The proverbs "money doesn't buy happiness" (or "love", if you wish) or "don't judge a book by its cover" are foreign and almost ununderstandable to many Japanese. They are Western concepts.

Pachipro
Jan 22, 2005, 01:29
Please note that the title (and content) of this thread is "discrimination in Japan", not "discrimination against foreigners" only.

I understand that, but the point I was trying to make is that, regardless of country, discrimination exists and will always exist, more so in a homogenous country like Japan.


...I came to wonder if such values were even taught in Japanese schools or families. If it is, I don't think it is very widespread or very effective. Japanese judge with completely different values than I was raised with. They normally judge people from their appearance rather than their inner value (eg. think that a woman that is not beautiful is worthless) and judge both people and things from a price (salary/wealth) tag. Money and appearances are what make a person in Japan.

I have no argument here. These values ar NOT taught in Japan. They usually learn it on their own by research or interaction with foreigners. Most Japanese who live and work in a foreign country come back with a completely different viewpoint. Sadly that number is very small.

My wife will not return to Japan until she is ready to "retire", or stop working, as she knows she will not be afforded the same respect, salary, and corporate position she receives here in the US. Even though she works for a Japanese company as a "local hire", she would never even be considered for employment based on her age in Japan.

Outward appearances do make a difference in Japan which is why some people try to have Shinagawa (i)@license plates as they think it will make them look important and convey the impression that they have money, or Hayama (tR)@license plates to look cool () even though they don't live in those areas. In Japan, "Clothes do make the man" even though he/she may be broke.

Sadly, discrimination is a fact of life in Japan. Even today ads in newspapers specify an age to be considered for employment. Will it ever change? Yes, I think so, but very slowly.

llanarth
Jan 22, 2005, 17:15
Picking up on the note that Japanese people judge women by their outer appearance is not always true. I don't think it's any more the case than in other western countries.

In this case the west can be said to be hypocritical. Yes in the west we have laws against discrimination, but it doesn't really change a person's point of view, does it. The only difference is that in Japan people are more vocal. It isn't against the law to discriminate. As pachiro points out discrimination is everywhere. Britain and America included.

It's just more obvious in Japan. Because there are fewer foreigners. And because it's acceptable to hold discriminatory views.

Maciamo
Jan 23, 2005, 21:13
Picking up on the note that Japanese people judge women by their outer appearance is not always true. I don't think it's any more the case than in other western countries.

Oh yes it is. Well there are some kind of people who also do in the west, but they are usually fingered out and called "shallow". In Japan, if you say that the inside is more important, you are called an "idealist" and people chuckle at you.


In this case the west can be said to be hypocritical. Yes in the west we have laws against discrimination, but it doesn't really change a person's point of view, does it. The only difference is that in Japan people are more vocal. It isn't against the law to discriminate.

Some kind of discrimination is illegal in Japan, but eventhough the Japanese are a pretty law-abiding people, it doesn't seem to affect them much. Discrimination is different in every Western countries, so you can't even talk of the "West" in this regard.
For example, in England "class discrimination" is seen as normal (not shocking but, at the contrary, natural, as people from different socio-economic background think differently).
In France, intellectual discrimination (eg. looking down on someone because they don't know things that one finds obvious, lack culture, or because they stopped their studies earlier one finds acceptable) is not even called discrimination, also because they find it natural.
In England, it may be normal to discriminate against other English people who have a different accent (be it more upper or lower class), but in France it is even more normal to do so with non native speakers (so that people look strangely at foreigners for the slightest mistake), whereas the British are much more tolerant in this regard.

These are just examples to show you that discrimination is not just racially motivated. In Japan it is actually not racially motivated, as other (Japanese-looking) East Asians might get a tougher time than Caucasians or other non Mongoloid people.


As pachiro points out discrimination is everywhere. Britain and America included.

The point of my original article was not to show that there was discrimination in Japan - everyone knows it, and it obviously exist everywhere in the world.
My aim was to explain what kind of discrimination was the most common in Japan. Coming back to my examples above France and the UK above, I don't think that Japanese discriminate even a little about someone's knowledge (they won't treat you as **** because you seem less educated as them), or pronuciation (as they have serious problems with foreign languages themselves and Japanese having few sounds, one cannot speak Japanese with as many different accents as in English or French). Discrimination in Japan is mostly in the form of "insider vs outsider" and against women and younger people (due to Confucianist values).

Funny that you should say "and America included" as if it was not obvious. These 2 countries are so of the most discriminating societies on earth, the US racially and recently also religiously and politically, and Britain for social classes and everything that comes with it (accents, way of dressing, hobbies, etc.). However, both countries are more tolerant than Japan regarding sex discrimination, even if not as much as Scandinavian countries or even Canada.


It's just more obvious in Japan. Because there are fewer foreigners. And because it's acceptable to hold discriminatory views.

As I explain above, the number of foreigners is irrelevant. As for what is acceptable, it depends on every society. Personally I find British or French way of discriminating more natural and acceptable than Japanese ones, because it is part of my culture. For example, I can't understand racial, inidier/outsider or sex discrimination, but I don't mind calling someone a redneck (intellectual and class discrimination) were they even related to me by blood (race, family, etc. does not matter at all - as people are/become what they want to, and I value knowledge and education more than the "automatic" predominance of a sex, race or cultural group).

brodiepearce
Mar 28, 2005, 19:41
I can relate to the racial discrimination....when my brother (26) was in Japan about 4 years ago he said that on the subway many Japanese people would move away from foreigners...he said he actually many times scored a seat cause he just moved towards it and people sitting there would move away lol

I dont know if its true but my brother also said that from childhood many japanese children were told that foreigners "smelt bad", he thinks maybe that was the reason for the "subway comfort zones". But he taught english to japanese children so at-least they got an inside view, as did he of their culture.

Dekamaster
Mar 29, 2005, 09:53
Well, when I was in Japan with my colleague and my boss, we were just stared at the subway. More probably because we were clicking our cameras away :D. We even had a mistake. We bought subway tickets at an upper platform (forgot the line) at Roponggi Station when we were supposed to be travelling at another line (I think it was Oedo or Nanboku...). We never knew then that those lines were controlled by two different companies. The man handling customer service was apparently irked, but nonetheless refunded our tickets.

Kyoto Returnee
Dec 18, 2007, 18:19
Have experienced first hand at a small country watchmakers store in Nara.

I wanted to enquire in regards to a watch battery change.

I walked in and politely called out, Sumimasen (twice), the shopkeeper came in and said very loudly Hai!, then he said Gaijin, Gaijin, and flapped his hands towards me out the door!

My American colleague experienced the same by a middle aged Japanese female Video shop keeper in Nara.

My American colleague and I also completed an English translation for the Nara prefectural government for a discrimination information booklet for residents.

I may point out that the book mainly targetted Baraku people, Brazilian, Peruvian, Chinese, and possibly the Ainu from Hokkaido.

We had no idea what Baraku was until we started the translation.

We were instructed by our English school staff not to mention the subject to any students.

the first thing I did was brough it up in my class of eleven senior students. It was the best thing I could have doen as we all talked about it for weeks which made for great lessons.

I also had a Chinese girl named Annie in my class who worked for WACOAL underwear company.

You can only imagine how interesting all discussions were.

I have also seen it first hand in many other situations, including with general Japanese who have felt it, been in tears, etc.

So yes, discrimination in Japan is huge and part of the society.

Without any doubt whatsoever, it exists..

Cheers - Elliot

pipokun
Dec 18, 2007, 18:38
I also had a Chinese girl named Annie in my class who worked for WACOAL underwear company.

I do not know what you mean by senior students, but you can legally work part/full-time after you graduated from junior high school here.
If she is under 16, she might have a special permission.

Kyoto Returnee
Dec 18, 2007, 18:40
I do not know what you mean by senior students, but you can legally work part/full-time after you graduated from junior high school here.
If she is under 16, she might have a special permission.

She was by memory around 25 and worked legally.

I was pointing to the fact that she was in the class and Chinese which made for interesting discussion..

pipokun
Dec 18, 2007, 18:44
I understand the situation.
What was the interesting discussion?

Kyoto Returnee
Dec 18, 2007, 18:56
I understand the situation.
What was the interesting discussion?

Discrimination in Japan:)

tokapi
Dec 18, 2007, 18:59
no doubt whatsoever, it exists..




Also in AMERICA & elsewhere in this fricking world :p

Kyoto Returnee
Dec 18, 2007, 19:04
Also in AMERICA & elsewhere in this fricking world :p

It's illegal in Australia.

It's legal in Japan.

pipokun
Dec 18, 2007, 19:10
Just 3 words for weeks?
Bring more or them here!

centrajapan
Dec 18, 2007, 19:22
It's illegal in Australia.

It's legal in Japan.

Japan has signed a non-discrimination treaty. So technically speaking it is not leagal. Though it might be illeagal in Australia.


In 1998, the Howard government enacted legislation that effectively took away the common-law rights that the High Court said belonged to Aborigines. Nothing like it has been passed by a modern parliament. It is just one of the disgraces that has given Australia the distinction of being the only developed country whose government has been condemned as racist by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The UN has also called racist the mandatory sentencing laws in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, which have given black Australians an imprisonment rate at least as high as that of apartheid South Africa, and have been a primary cause of one of the highest suicide rates in the world



http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=290

Australia is far from racist free. IN the eyes of the UN it is seen as more racist than Japan. Granted this thread is about discrimination in Japan.

Japan is a homogenous country and Japanese are the indegenous people of Japan. Which makes it different than countries like USA, Canada, Australia which relative speaking are new countries.

Kyoto Returnee
Dec 18, 2007, 19:50
Japan is a homogenous country and Japanese are the indegenous people of Japan. Which makes it different than countries like USA, Canada, Australia which relative speaking are new countries.

I'm surrounded by aboriginies where I live in North Queensland. the tourists flock to see them, vist their national parks, waterfalls, watch them dance in the theater, then at night, go for a walk along the Esplanade to see them enjoying their beers and casks of wine whilst relaxing on the grass.

If the tourist is lucky enough, he or she may be invited into one of their three bedroom government gifted houses, or even go shopping with them on government money, visit their free legal, medical, and all other services that they are provided with free of charge..

Where is the discrmination?

I was speaking to a lovely aboriginal lady today whilst we were swimming at the gorge.. She was enjoying a BBQ with her family.. Where's the discrimination?

The UN can think what they want but honestly, live here long enough and it would be hard to see..

I've experienced it first hand in Japan, as have other's I know and this includes other Gaijin, Baraku and Japanese including returness. This is within a very short span of time..

Am I dreaming ..LOL

Foreigners are generally not welcome in most restaurants, onsens, entertainment establishments, etc. unless accompanied by a Japanese native
Japanese will typically avoid sitting next to a foreigner in public places - there are innumerable stories of how Japanese would rather stand than sit next to a foreigner or if a gaijin has the nerve to sit down on an empty seat next to a Japanese, they will either move away or stand up
In jobs advertised in even English language newspapers, most of the time it will be clearly mentioned that foreigners need not apply. In Japanese language newspapers, it is understood that foreigners will simply not apply for jobs
For those jobs where foreigners are hired sometimes - for instance as language teachers - the discrimination is evident. The salaries are lower than that for a Japanese in similar jobs, expectations are higher, firing is easy, and regardless of the importance of the job, the foreigners are never part of the inner circle - which means that decisions are taken without them and they are simply expected to execute them
Even Japanese citizens raised overseas are regularly discriminated. Those that have spent just a few years or have absorbed some non-Japanese customs or cultural attributes are discriminated on a regular basis
Children from parents with a non-Japanese partner are doomed in Japan
Folks from the countryside never make it to the top
If even one member of the family ends up in an embarrassing situation (crime, poor education, low end jobs, etc.), the other family members have to share the discrimination for generations
The physically disabled and mentally challenged are discriminated to a point that Japan pretends that they do not exist. It is one of the un-friendliest countries in the developed world for physically handicapped people - many public buildings and means of transport have no provisions for disabled people. Japanese companies often prefer to pay an annual penalty for not hiring disabled people. Lepers are treated worse than animals in Japan
The condition of women, though improving, is clearly a result of discrimination over centuries

Kyoto Returnee
Dec 18, 2007, 20:01
Japan has signed a non-discrimination treaty. So technically speaking it is not leagal. Though it might be illeagal in Australia.


I think you will find discrimination in Japan is fine, even more so if it is against a non Japanese, and the subject in Australia is far from legal.

Please read below.

Introduction by ARUDOU Debito, website author

Japan has a very mixed record on human rights, especially towards ethnic minorities, non-citizens, and other people born of distinction within its society. The Government of Japan (GOJ) signed The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1979, then the UN's International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in 1995 (effected January 14, 1996). Under the CERD, Japan promised to take measures (including legislation) at all levels of government to eliminate racial discrimination "without delay". Despite this, Japan to this day remains the only developed country without any form of a law at any level outlawing discrimination by race.

Japan officially maintains (see below) that its legal system provides adequate protection against and redress for racial discrimination, therefore a specific law against it is unnecessary. But as demonstrated in

1) the Otaru Onsens Case (where "foreigners", including naturalized Japanese citizens and their international children, were refused entry to a series of public baths in Otaru between 1993 and 2001, while the Otaru City Government was exonerated in court for refusing to take any effective measures to stop it; case is still on appeal),
2) statements by Tokyo Governor ISHIHARA Shintarou (who wrote in May 2001 that Chinese have criminal tendencies due to their "ethnic DNA", and called upon Japan's Self Defense Forces in April 2000 to round up all "illegal foreigners" on sight in the event of a natural disaster), and
3) The Community Website (where an archive of domestic discrimination against non-citizens by race or appearance has been compiled over several years),the government's claims of sufficient protection from and redress for racial discrimination are simply not true.


AUSTRALIA
All Australian States and Territories have laws which make racial discrimination unlawful. The State and Territory laws work with the Commonwealth laws to protect the human rights of those people living in the particular State or Territory. In this respect, these laws, unlike the Commonwealth laws, do not cover all of Australia. They are limited to the particular State or Territory.
Like the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act (RDA), the State and Territory laws make both direct discrimination and indirect discrimination unlawful. However, there is an important difference between the RDA and the State and Territory laws. The difference is the definition of direct discrimination. The State and Territory laws do not refer to preferences and distinctions based on race, and nor do they refer to Article 5 of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination in relation to direct discrimination. Under the State and Territory laws, direct discrimination occurs where a person is treated less favourably than another person of a different race.
The State and Territory anti-discrimination laws are administered by specialist commissions that investigate complaints and try to resolve them by conciliation. Where the complaints cannot be resolved by conciliation, they are referred to specialist tribunals that hold hearings into the complaints. This involves all the relevant people giving evidence in the tribunal and the tribunal then makes a decision about the complaint.
New South Wales: Anti Discrimination Act (1977)

In New South Wales racial discrimination is unlawful in the areas of education, employment, the provision of goods and services, accommodation and registered clubs. For the purposes of the New South Wales Act, "race" includes colour, nationality, descent, and ethnic, ethno-religious and national origin. The Act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground that the person has a relative or associate who is of a particular race.
The New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Act also prohibits racial vilification. Racial vilification may in serious cases amount to a criminal offence. Racial vilification under the New South Wales Act is any public act which is capable of inciting hatred towards, serious contempt for or severe ridicule of a person or a group of persons because of their race.
South Australia: Equal Opportunity Act (1984) and Racial Vilification Act (1996)

In South Australia racial discrimination is unlawful in the areas of education, employment, goods and services, accommodation, disposal of land, superannuation, clubs and associations and conferral of qualifications. Under the South Australian Act, "race" means skin colour, nationality, country of origin and ancestry. The South Australian Act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground that the person has a relative or associate who is of a particular race.
Racial vilification is also unlawful in South Australia. The Act makes it an offence to racially vilify a person and unlawful to racially victimise a person.
Western Australia: Equal Opportunity Act (1984) and Criminal Code

In Western Australia, racial discrimination is unlawful in the areas of education, employment, access to places and vehicles, provision of goods and services, accommodation and land, and clubs. The Western Australian Act also has specific provisions making racial harassment unlawful in the areas of employment, education and accommodation.
Under the Western Australian Act, "race" includes colour, descent, ethnic or national origin and nationality. The Western Australian Act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground that the person has a relative or associate who is of a particular race.
Racial vilification is not dealt with under the Equal Opportunity Act, but the Criminal Code makes racial harassment and incitement to racial hatred a criminal offence. The offences are specific to possession of racial material, publication of racial material for display to harass a racial group or to incite racial hatred.
Australian Capital Territory: Discrimination Act (1991)

In the Australian Capital Territory, racial discrimination is unlawful in the areas of education, employment, accommodation, clubs, goods and services and request for information. Under the Australian Capital Territory Act, "race" includes colour, descent ethnic or national origin and nationality. The Act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground that the person has a relative or associate who is of a particular race.
Racial vilification is also unlawful and the provisions of the Australian Capital Territory Act operate in the same way as the New South Wales racial vilification provisions.
Queensland: Anti-Discrimination Act (1991)

In Queensland, racial discrimination is unlawful in the areas of education, employment, goods and services, superannuation, insurance, land, accommodation, clubs, administration of Queensland laws and programs and local government members.
For the purposes of the Queensland Act, "race" includes colour, nationality or national origin, descent or ancestry, and ethnic origin or ethnicity. The Queensland Act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground that the person has a relative or associate who is of a particular race.
In 2001, the enactment of the Anti-Discrimination Amendment Act made racial and religious vilification unlawful. Racial and religious vilification under the Queensland Act is any public act which incites hatred towards, serious contempt for or severe ridicule of a person or group of persons because of their race or religion.
Northern Territory: Anti-Discrimination Act (1992)

In the Northern Territory, racial discrimination is unlawful in the areas of education, employment, accommodation, goods and services, clubs and insurance and superannuation. For the purposes of the Northern Territory Act, "race" includes colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, descent or ancestry, and that a person is or has been an immigrant. The Northern Territory Act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground that the person has a relative or associate who is of a particular race.
Victoria: Equal Opportunity Act (1995) and Racial and Religious Tolerance Act (2001)

In Victoria, racial discrimination is unlawful in the areas of education, employment, goods and services, accommodation and land, sport and local government.
For the purposes of the Victorian Act, "race" includes colour, nationality or national origin, descent, ancestry, and ethnic origin or ethnicity. The Act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground that the person has a relative or associate who is of a particular race.
Racial and religious vilification are also unlawful in Victoria. The most serious forms of racial and religious vilification are a criminal offence.
Tasmania: Anti-Discrimination Act (1998)

The Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act was passed in 1998 and proclaimed in December 1999. The Tasmanian Act covers discrimination on the ground of "race". It applies to discrimination and prohibited conduct in employment, education and training, the provision of facilities, goods and services, accommodation, membership and activities of clubs.
For the purposes of the Tasmanian Act, "race" includes colour, nationality, descent, ethnic, ethno-religious or national origin and the status of being or having been an immigrant.
The Tasmanian Act also contains strong inciting hatred provisions. Section 19 says that a person, by a public act, must not incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or a group of persons on a number of grounds including race, religious belief or affiliation or religious activity. The Act applies to inciting hatred in the areas defined for discrimination and prohibited conduct as well as in any other area or in connection with any other activity.

centrajapan
Dec 18, 2007, 20:32
I am sure there are many different sides to look at it. I am sure there is discrimination in both Australia and Japan. Having gone to a Japanese school myself through much of my life with a mixed ethnic background I can't recall getting a hard time because of it ever. But I am sure some people go through a rough time in school because of it. I am sure many Australians have nothing against the indegenous people of Australia but I am sure many don't have much respect towards the culture.

You hear about all kinds of hate crimes on the news from Australia. You talk about Australia's shining example and then go on about how terrible Japan is. I am sure there are many nice things about Australia and not so many nice things about it either. Massacres of indegenous people continued until the 60s.


The UN can think what they want but honestly, live here long enough and it would be hard to see

Where is the discrimination? Even UN is condemning Australia of racial discrimination. I would and most other people too would probably listen to what UN has to say about discrimination and not an overly patriotic Australian about discrimination in AUstralia.

pipokun
Dec 18, 2007, 21:04
1) the Otaru Onsens Case (where "foreigners", including naturalized Japanese citizens and their international children, were refused entry to a series of public baths in Otaru between 1993 and 2001, while the Otaru City Government was exonerated in court for refusing to take any effective measures to stop it; case is still on appeal),

The plaintiff lost the case in terms of the Otaru City, didn't it?
Are you sure that the case is still on appeal?


2) statements by Tokyo Governor ISHIHARA Shintarou (who wrote in May 2001 that Chinese have criminal tendencies due to their "ethnic DNA", and called upon Japan's Self Defense Forces in April 2000 to round up all "illegal foreigners" on sight in the event of a natural disaster), and

Tokyo is getting safer and safer.
The French speakers lost the case, though I am not sure if they are going to appeal or not.
The plaintiffs did not include great French schools like Athenee Francais or the French Embassy here.


3) The Community Website (where an archive of domestic discrimination against non-citizens by race or appearance has been compiled over several years),
Youtube is nothing from your country, but it is the Internet after all.

Kyoto Returnee, tell me why the hate crime has never ended even though you are proud of the laws or the great muti-ethnic society.

centrajapan
Dec 18, 2007, 21:30
From shining AUstralia where everyone is treated as equals and where there is no such thing called racial discrimination. White Australians should know this


. They know, or they ought to know, that the life expectancy of Aboriginal people is one of the lowest in the world, and that their health is the worst in the world. An entirely preventable disease, trachoma, which has been beaten in many third world countries, still blinds black Australians because of untreated cataracts and appalling living conditions. Epidemics of rheumatic fever and gastroenteritis ravage black communities as they did the slums of 19th-century England.

Australia, like white South Africa, has a deeply racist history of dispossession and cruelty, buttressed by "the law". But even history is a battleground, in which "revisionists" - the likes of Keith Windschuttle, a self-publishing and much-publicised "new historian" - can suggest that Tasmanian Aborigines lacked humanity and compassion. Not anywhere in the world with indigenous populations, not in North America, New Zealand, even South Africa, could you get away with such a slur.



http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=328

Kyoto Returnee
Dec 18, 2007, 21:58
From shining AUstralia where everyone is treated as equals and where there is no such thing called racial discrimination. White Australians should know this







I was more interested with discrimination in Japan so I don't want to get off topic here.

I found your schooling comment interseting:122: as I am mainly concerned for my son.

The 10th Plague
Jan 4, 2008, 06:28
I didn't read this whole thread, as it was a bit too much to read in a short time, so I did a quick search (using the search-function (ctrl+f) in FF), using the keywords "homo" and "gay", as I would like to know about LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender persons) Rights & Discrimination is Japan. I couldn't find any hits in this topic. So here's my question: Is homosexuality a source of discrimination in Japan? I've been reading some stuff about LGBT-things in Japan on wikipedia, and found that the Japanese attitude against homosexuals changed drastically during the late 19th century, as western influence was strong. Back in the old days it presumably wasn't any problem; as shinto doesn't have a problem with homosexuality and homosexuality was quite common in the army. Nowadays, political party's just don't say anything about homosexuality, so I don't know how homosexuality is viewed. I would like to know how the public views homosexuality. The general public must have an opinion, as about 5~10% of the world is homosexual (in every country whatsoever!). Could anyone answer my question?

gaijinalways
Jan 7, 2008, 10:21
I would say it's still pretty underground, though there are some she-hes who play on the variety show circuit, but I don't think they are seen as 'average' citizens. I have heard from someone here in Tokyo who used to frequent gay bars and clubs in Tokyo that the gay community is tighter and more welcoming to hetrosexuals than in the UK (where she is from).

BBRyukyu
Jan 7, 2008, 13:20
I have only lived here for two years, but I have never experienced any kind of discrimination. Besides the random stares of some senior citizens and children. I have however head from a few friends who are married to foreigner men that their family has been upset that they married a non Japanese man, and put untold stress on their marriage.

Glenski
Jan 7, 2008, 13:29
I have only lived here for two years, but I have never experienced any kind of discrimination.Well, congratulations. As of November 20, 2007 you have.

What sort of job do you hold? Perhaps there is discrimination there that you are not aware of?

BBRyukyu
Jan 7, 2008, 14:05
I teach part time at a juku, and have never had any problems with the Japanese teachers or staff. As for the new fingerprinting and photo policy it seams more like governmental due diligence, and less like discrimination to me.

Glenski
Jan 7, 2008, 21:46
Do you get paid as much as a part-time Japanese teacher there? Do you have exactly the same benefits as a Japanese PT teacher there? Have you ever been refused housing (or were you secretly shuffled to housing that accepts foreigners, thus avoiding housing that doesn't)? There are many forms of discrimination, you know.

As for "due diligence", kindly explain what is so "due" about this policy. As for not seeming like discrimination, you obviously have not read enough.

The 10th Plague
Jan 8, 2008, 06:26
I would say it's still pretty underground, though there are some she-hes who play on the variety show circuit, but I don't think they are seen as 'average' citizens. I have heard from someone here in Tokyo who used to frequent gay bars and clubs in Tokyo that the gay community is tighter and more welcoming to hetrosexuals than in the UK (where she is from).

Well, She-he's aren't very representative for the gay "community", don't you think? Also, I don't like to use the word "gay community", because than it seems if all gays are part of one single community, but that isn't. Correct me if I'm wrong, but many gays don't go especially to gay-bars etc. Still my question hasn't been fully answered; how does the large public (the 90% of the population which is heterosexual) see homoseksuality? Do most people think it's okay, or do most people think it's "wrong" ?

gaijinalways
Jan 8, 2008, 13:16
Right, but the shehes are the only real public display you see of the gay community here. Kind of like the don't ask, don't tell policy mostly here. I don't think you'll see many Japanese 'running out' of the closet soon.

caster51
Jan 8, 2008, 14:43
Being Gay And Gaijin In Japan

What is it like being a homosexual foreign male in Japan? Well eScottf age 39 (who wishes his real name not the name of his partner not be used) has agreed to tell us a little bit about what it is like. Scott will tell a little about his life here in Japan on the condition that it not involve any strictly private or embarrassing details about his relationship with his Japanese partner. Thank you Scott.

Scott met his Japanese lover eTarof (age 44) in Vancouver, Canada about 5 years ago where he was working at the time as an assistant manager of a museum. Taro soon returned to Japan, where he worked as a restaurant manager, and they corresponded over the years, occasionally meeting and traveling together to various places around South East Asia. Finally, he invited Scott to join him in Japan, and Scott hesitatingly agreed to do so.

gI had been to Japan a few times before actually moving here for the long term, so I sort of knew what to expect, but I had some worries about how I would be treated and whether I would be accepted. I just took it a day at a timeh he says. gMy partner wanted us to move in with his elderly mother in Northern Japan and I was kind of hesitant about doing that. I mean I didnft know how people would react. Everyone knows him (Taro) and they soon understood what my relationship with him was. I was worried about living in a conservative city in Northern Japan.h

gWell we moved into his motherfs place and Taro started working in one of her (partnerfs mother) snacks (bars) . I helped out a little at the beginning, but we had so many people show up who were curious about me, and wanted to meet me, I had to stick around more and more, now I am working pretty much full time. I made up some dishes I thought would be tasty to our customers. Some have been hits and others have not. The Taco Salad we added to the menu is very popular, but the avocado dip however was a bombh Scott says. gItfs really a hit and miss thing, but I have very much enjoyed what I am doing here, it is what I wanted to do together with Taro.h

Scott says that his relationship with his partner has had a few difficult moments, but they remain strongly committed to each other. gWhen we first started living with his mother, I saw a side of him I didnft know existed. He is a very good son, and his mother has a very strong personality, even at her age (80) and she controls him quite a bit, but I canft say that is bad. She and I get along good. I help take care of her. I do some of the shopping, and help her with some of her personal needs. She agreed to build us a separate house on property she owns, and she did that. We moved in last summer. It is nice to have our own place now.h

Scott was worried about how he might be treated in their community, but he says after a ehoneymoon periodf things have settled down quite a bit. gA lot of Tarosf and his motherfs friends would drop by to meet me and say hello, and bring gifts. Most of them were really nice. When Taro re-opened the snack that his mother owned, the first few weeks were really busy, but now it has quieted down to a pretty regular crowd. gThe whole thing is really so normal. We have had a few problem customers, but you get that everywhere.h In fact it is so normal, it can be downright boring sometimes, according to Scott. gI have had some children point their fingers at me and laugh, but I think that is just because I am not Japanese. That happens everywhere. I have also seen some people gesture towards me and whisper so I can only guess what they are saying, but that really doesnft bother me. I would go crazy if I let that sort of thing get to me. I just smile.h

When asked if his intent was to set up a gay bar in his area, Scott replied that it was not. It just worked out that way. gMy partner and I had no intention of making our place exclusively anything, we wanted everybody, no matter who they were, to feel comfortable about coming here, but it is hard to know for sure, we get all kinds of people from every walk of life..h In fact it has been very good for Scott and Taro. They are planning to remodel and re-open another restaurant/bar soon. gWe have ideas on opening a second place. We will probably have to hire some people, but I am sure it will be successful, the place we have now is a small place and some nights the crowd here is overwhelming. We will expand carefully and slowly.h Scott says that they have several options for the future.

Scott passes the time he is not working alongside his partner, painting and studying Japanese. gThe hardest part is not being able to communicate with our customers well enough yet. I am improving, but I still have a long way to go.h gI just want people to know it is possible to be happy here and live your life as you like, no matter who you are.h That is a message that everyone can appreciate.
http://jp.globalvoicesonline.org/2007/11/06/95/

caster51
Jan 8, 2008, 14:55
As for "due diligence", kindly explain what is so "due" about this policy. As for not seeming like discrimination, you obviously have not read enough.

Wow. scary ,you are an activist like ant -japan propaganda

Glenski
Jan 8, 2008, 16:01
caster,
Just trying to be sure what the poster meant by "due diligence". IMO, we foreigners have no discrimination "due" to us, so I wanted clarification on the term.

The 10th Plague
Jan 9, 2008, 05:13
@ Caster 51: Thank you^^. From what I read in that article Japanese people seem to react quite well. Even if the children are pointing at scott for being gay, that's pretty normal, and you'll find that phenomenom also in the very LGBT-open country's.

centrajapan
Jan 9, 2008, 05:22
Wow. scary ,you are an activist like ant -japan propaganda

North Korean pachinko propaganda.

gaijinalways
Jan 9, 2008, 12:33
Thanx Caster, that article was an interesting read.

Bunshinsaba
Jan 19, 2008, 08:58
My first post - two cents.

I've been living in Japan and working for 10 years in an English language school, first as a teacher and now as an ***'t Director. Finding discrimination is all a matter of looking under the right rug and knowing where the Japanese keep those rugs.

If I may unroll (lift) one that stands out in particular.

Three years ago, our (Japanese-run English school) company decided to fly about 40 staff members on a "fact finding" mission to Las Vegas for a all-paid weeks trip.
Even the Japanese sales reps from head office who had just joined the company a month previously were invited. Who were not invited? Our (British) Academic Director, and his two assistant directors (of whom I was one). And neither of us are American so Vegas would have been a nice trip.

My partner (the other assistant director) followed up this shocking news with a very frank and open discussion with our Japanese Center Director and basically blasted him for discriminating against foreigners. The Japanese argument (defense?) was this: Japanese join a company for life, whereas foreigners are here only for a limited time and rarely settle into one job for life. I guess the bottom line was that the trip was a reward for the anticipation of a life-long career with the company... so long as you were Japanese.

Arrogance clashed with reality when one discovered, three months after the Vegas trip, that a handful of those so-called "life long" Japanese employees jumped ship for another job.

The irony since then has been that our Brit director, myself, and the other ***'t Director have been with the company since it opened shop in Tokyo, seven years ago. We were in the building when the frigging carpet was laid and the first books arrived. We have more longevity with the company than 97 percent of the current staff and management - even three ago. This fact was apparently "swept under the carpet" when the Japanese management were deciding on what batch of dedicated emloyees to take to Las Vegas.

I have lots of stories like this because, frankly, after 10 years of being in Japan and working in a Japanese-run company, seeing through their clever veils of discrimination is as easy as putting on a hat.

But hell... where doesn't discrimination live? And considering the problems other countries have with it, at least the Japanese are super polite about it.

Despite the contradiction, I love living in Japan. I have long learned to laugh, roll with the punches, and chalk stuff up to little more than the occupational hazards you have to endure to live in a country where 80 percent of the girls you see on the street everyday make you go "Schwing!!!"

Sensationalist
Jan 19, 2008, 09:38
My first taste of discrimination came from a "hafu" who thought he spoke for all Japanese when he refused me employment based off of my ethnicity. He of all poeple who probably experiences discrimination more than I do would have the audacity to discriminate against me.

Kirirao
Jan 19, 2008, 14:48
@Bunshinsaba
Interesting read :) Thanks for the info.
Definitely will keep it in mind, since I'm going to start my getting a job in a Japanese-run company/interviewing etc process in 2-3 months.

Bunshinsaba
Jan 20, 2008, 09:31
@Bunshinsaba
Interesting read :) Thanks for the info.
Definitely will keep it in mind, since I'm going to start my getting a job in a Japanese-run company/interviewing etc process in 2-3 months.

Well don't let me make you paranoid... I am sure you will have a great time here as most of us do. Just NEVER forget that Japan is an island and learn to forgive them sometimes as a significant number of folks have "island thinking" and all the preconceived notions and phobias about foreigners that go along with it. And they not only have them... they act upon them freely with little regard to foreigners and their views and reactions.

But unless you spend a significant amount of time in Japan, and/or work at a middle management level or higher, you may not even notice it that much... unless you get turned away from an apartment because you are a foreigner. When my (Japanese) wife and I were renting, the landlord always had to be notified if a perspective tenant was a foreigner. No big deal to me really...

Only rarely these days - after 10 years of seeing so much - do I bat a lash at some of the goofy race-related things the Japanese do, say, print, or consider... like a 2005 city-wide post-earthquake plan to deal with "Rampaging, rioting and looting foreigners !"

Jesus.

And here's a funny one.... In 2006 on Hallowe'en, some foreigners of an undisclosed race and social / work status got a little party-hearty at Ebisu station in Tokyo. So of course, Hallowe'en 2007, the Japanese management of our school issued a statement to all our (professional) teachers that they should avoid... "... getting out of control on Hallowe'en and creating disturbances."

Jesus!!

After a significant amount of time here, you may find that so many Japanese suffer from "islander's logic" when it comes to foreign people.

All cats have four legs. My dog has four legs, therefore my dog is a cat.
or... in the case of Hallowe'en

All rowdy foreigners have two legs. Our teachers have two legs therefore...


Well... can't write all day. I'm going for sushi.

Rioneru
Jan 21, 2008, 12:17
As stated many times before, racism, prejudice, and discrimination are everywhere. I've never been to Japan, but I've heard more bad talk on foreign treatment than good. I've heard enough to dissuade any non-Japanese person to even want to visit. However, I've heard very good stories too and it is with a clear conscience I will first visit Japan to assess for myself.

As an American, I see many foreigners come here on their own accord, often in search of a better life. Now whether the move was instigated by those glorifying America or damning it; point is, travelers and immigrants alike find out for themselves.

If you base yourself solely on fears erected by others, where goes personal experience?

Petenshber
Jan 23, 2008, 19:18
Glenski you have a good point, but be careful to acknowledge looks can be deceiving.

Bunshinsaba, i really like your explainations.

Despite what people may believe, white males in America receive more than our
fair share of racism and sexism (mostly in the form of accusations of racism or sexism).
Racism wouldn't stop me from moving to Japan, i think it would kind of amuse me.

As for jobs, they work the same way here, i wouldn't notice a difference

Glenski
Jan 23, 2008, 21:53
Glenski you have a good point, but be careful to acknowledge looks can be deceiving.
What does that mean?

Kyoto Returnee
Jan 23, 2008, 22:02
So it's looks as if after reading all the posts, we have now determined that discrimantion is alive and well in Japan on all sides of the fence:homer:

Chi65
Jan 24, 2008, 03:17
Plus the over-the-fence-climbers on both sides. . .
By the way, it was a befriended japanese business man, who unexpectedly once encouraged me to do so, for real! And that fence was high and dangerous and my shoes absolutely unfit for this, despite being bumpers. . .but he just waited and helped, after having climbed to the other side already. (it wasn't any better in his shoes though, so I decided to do it without shoes after all)
The simple fact, that he was sure, that I can, made me do it. Its this mentality, that I really appreciate.

Bunshinsaba
Jan 24, 2008, 08:52
Despite what people may believe, white males in America receive more than our
fair share of racism and sexism (mostly in the form of accusations of racism or sexism).


Spot on, mate! Let me just add, change one little thing.... white people in America receive...

Petenshber
Jan 25, 2008, 15:59
Glenski - I mean that i agree with watching for discrimination in all of it's forms,
but some things witch aren't discrimination could be mistaken as such,
an investigative mind should consider that possibility.

Bunshinsaba - I apologize for sounding single-minded, i only meant that when
white people fight among ourselves we're often divided by our sexes.

I'm sure white women would have plenty to say for their part of that point,
but i prefer to leave that for them to say, i speak for my part of it.

Glenski
Jan 25, 2008, 22:20
Glenski - I mean that i agree with watching for discrimination in all of it's forms,
but some things witch aren't discrimination could be mistaken as such,
an investigative mind should consider that possibility.
I don't suppose you have any examples in mind?

Kyoto Returnee
Jan 25, 2008, 22:45
Plus the over-the-fence-climbers on both sides. . .
By the way, it was a befriended japanese business man, who unexpectedly once encouraged me to do so, for real! And that fence was high and dangerous and my shoes absolutely unfit for this, despite being bumpers. . .but he just waited and helped, after having climbed to the other side already. (it wasn't any better in his shoes though, so I decided to do it without shoes after all)
The simple fact, that he was sure, that I can, made me do it. Its this mentality, that I really appreciate.

I was in the supermarket today and an old lady approached me and said:

"Would you mind walking around the supermarket with me as you remind me of my son who died in the war"

I replied: "Sure"

We were walking around for around thirty minutes, got to the checkout, the checkout girl had finished adding up all the goods, when suddenly the lady said to me:

"I forgot my purse" "Please wait here whilst I go to my car to get it"

Around 15 minutes had passed, the lady hadn't returned.

I went out to the carpark to find her, I got to her car and starting pulling her leg, just like I'm pulling your's!

:win:

bakaKanadajin
Jan 25, 2008, 23:16
As stated many times before, racism, prejudice, and discrimination are everywhere. I've never been to Japan, but I've heard more bad talk on foreign treatment than good. I've heard enough to dissuade any non-Japanese person to even want to visit. However, I've heard very good stories too and it is with a clear conscience I will first visit Japan to assess for myself.

As an American, I see many foreigners come here on their own accord, often in search of a better life. Now whether the move was instigated by those glorifying America or damning it; point is, travelers and immigrants alike find out for themselves.

If you base yourself solely on fears erected by others, where goes personal experience?

That's a really good point. I haven't spent as much time as others in Japan but I would consider the sum of my experiences quite typical and at least more informed (based solely on length of stay) than the average vacationer. That being said I'd be one of those people likely to offer positive experiences, as they are what remain in my mind. I guess others have had a rougher ride than me. Why this is I do not know. But I will say, to your point on personal experience and fear, that if you (meaning anyone) approaches Japan with this mindset or chooses to adopt it quickly after one negative experience, they will begin to see discrimination where it doesn't exist.

Kyoto Returnee
Jan 25, 2008, 23:29
I guess others have had a rougher ride than me. Why this is I do not know..


Maybe because they have been their longer and had more experiences.

I'm sure if you stayed long enough, you would find out all the little things that happen..

I used to HATE it when the old lady cleaner used to watch over the urinal whilst I was doing a pee, and that's no joke!

Apart from that, I found that racism and discrimination came from the male side of things..

I never had any problems, infact, the opposite with Japanese women..

Maybe it's a jealousy thing on the part of Japanese males?

Dogen Z
Jan 26, 2008, 16:33
When you move from a country where you're part of the dominant race to a country where you're part of the minority, you'll have a strong tendency to interpret things as discrimination when something goes wrong. This is even moreso if the culture is different from your country--say an open, gregarious cuture vs a closed, reserved culture.

You need to be more patient in Japan and try to understand what is really going on than to quickly and stupidly paint everything as discrimination/racism.

bakaKanadajin
Jan 28, 2008, 12:05
Maybe because they have been their longer and had more experiences.

I'm sure if you stayed long enough, you would find out all the little things that happen..


Doesn't make a huge difference, if its as bad as some make it out to be I'd have the same relative amount of exposure and would have come away with the same attitude. If the longer you're there the more they dislike you you're doing something wrong.

And if you have a genuine interest in Japanese culture I think it shows. People who were interested like that never had a bad time where I lived, even in the face of a little discrimination. The people who suffered the most were the ones who didn't really want to be there but had no exit strategy, knew very little Japanese relative to the amount of time they'd be there and were prejudiced to begin with.

Petenshber
Jan 28, 2008, 15:02
bakaKanadajin and Ocean Dude.
I like how the two of you just explained your points.

Ocean Dude, some people may argue that you're talking about
perception more than action, so be prepared for that.

bakaKanadajin, I agree that discrimination is more of a problem
for people who feel less connected than for those who feel
more connected. I've had to work for racist bosses that blame
me for other employees mistakes, I grew up in ghettos,
I've even been ignored in places of business in favor of a
person of another race. Those things do bother me, but not
much, I feel more connected with Japan than I do here.
I can accept that discrimination.