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View Poll Results: Multiple poll (min. 5 answers, choose any that apply) - Please read carefully !

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  • 1.1 Housing : I have been refused accommodation because I was a foreigner

    25 40.32%
  • 1.2 Housing : My company provides my accommodation (so no problem)

    9 14.52%
  • 1.3 Housing : I have only stayed at gaijin houses, hotels or friends' houses

    9 14.52%
  • 1.4 Housing : I have lived in Japan for many years, rented my housing via a estate agent, and never had any problem

    4 6.45%
  • 1.5 Housing : I have only stayed in Japan for two years or less, rented my housing via a estate agent, but never had any problem

    9 14.52%
  • 2.1 Tourism : I have been refused entry to a hotel, guesthouse or weekly mansion because I was a foreigner

    6 9.68%
  • 2.2 Tourism : I have stayed a few times in hotels, guesthouses and/or weekly mansions and have never been refused entry

    19 30.65%
  • 2.3 Tourism : I have stayed numerous times in hotels, guesthouses and/or weekly mansions and have never been refused entry

    25 40.32%
  • 3.1 Entertainment : I have been refused entry to at least one restaurant, bar, nightclub, onsen or public bath because I was a foreigner

    16 25.81%
  • 3.2 Entertainment : I have been a few times to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, onsen or public baths, and was never refused entry

    15 24.19%
  • 3.3 Entertainment : I have been a hundreds of times to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, onsen or public baths, and was never refused entry

    22 35.48%
  • 4.1 Police : I have been stopped and asked for an ID (passport/alien registration) by the police for no reason

    12 19.35%
  • 4.2 Police : I have been stopped while riding a bicycle and had my bike registration checked during day time for no reason

    3 4.84%
  • 4.3 Police : I have been stopped while riding a bicycle and had my bike registration checked during night time for no reason

    4 6.45%
  • 4.4 Police : I have been mistakenly arrested (taken to the police station)

    1 1.61%
  • 4.5 Police : I have had other discriminatory problems with the police

    4 6.45%
  • 4.6 Police : I have stayed for many years in Japan and have never been checked or annoyed by the police in Japan

    15 24.19%
  • 4.7 Police : I have stayed less than 2 years in Japan and have never been checked or annoyed by the police in Japan

    24 38.71%
  • 5.1 Sexual Discrimination : I have experienced sexual harassment in Japan

    7 11.29%
  • 5.2 Sexual Discrimination : I have experienced sexual discrimination regarding promotion, salary or opportunity

    4 6.45%
  • 5.3 Sexual Discrimination : I am not a woman or have never worked in a Japanese company

    39 62.90%
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Thread: Have you encountered discrimination or prejudices in Japan ?

  1. #76
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I am going to move back to Europe very soon as I am fed up of the daily bias, prejudices, discrimination or just reactions like "oh, gaijin da !" (see this post) whenever a Japanese stumble on me unexpectedly. There are other reasons for me to go back to Europe, but this is clearly the most important. Life in Japan is just too stressful and irritating for me as a foreigner who cares about what people around feel and think.

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

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I am going to move back to Europe very soon as I am fed up of the daily bias, prejudices, discrimination or just reactions like "oh, gaijin da !" (see this post) whenever a Japanese stumble on me unexpectedly. There are other reasons for me to go back to Europe, but this is clearly the most important. Life in Japan is just too stressful and irritating for me as a foreigner who cares about what people around feel and think.
    I suppose the Heathrow has the similar policy, EU citizens and non-EU, like NRT. But I think the Narita staffs are more flexible than used to.

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

    嘘はいけないと思うよ。面白いから良いけど。

  3. #78
    相変わらず不束者です epigene's Avatar
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    私も、真茶門さんのような強固な意思をお持ちの方が、 そんなことで撤退するとは思えませんね。

  4. #79
    tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai nurizeko's Avatar
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    Macs just bluffing, if he as sensitive to what those around him think about him as he claims to be, no-where is safe for him.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

  5. #80
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nurizeko

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

  6. #81
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipokun
    I suppose the Heathrow has the similar policy, EU citizens and non-EU, like NRT. But I think the Narita staffs are more flexible than used to.
    Sorry, but I fail to see the connection with the quote. As you mention it, any foreigner with a re-entry visa (i.e. with a 1-year visa or more), can use the "Japanese passports" queue. I have never had any problem there. But after that, after taking my luggage, the customs officers almost always (well maybe 6 times out of 8) decide to check what's in my bag, and never a single time my wife who was with me. Why not both of us ? Why just me ?

    Totally agree with you if you say "life in Tokyo is too stressful", but I highly doubt if you'd say "oh, gaijin da !" in Tokyo everydays...
    嘘はいけないと思うよ。面白いから良いけど。
    No, I never said that I hear "oh, gaijin da !" in Tokyo everyday. What happens everyday is at least one of the numerous things I complain about - in order of frequency (most common at the top) :

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

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  7. #82
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epigene
    私も、真茶門さんのような強固な意思をお持ちの方が、 そんなことで撤退するとは思えませんね。
    I may look strong, but I am probably more sensitive than average. Then, if you haven't lived it, you can't imagine how irritating it can be (see the list of "annoying things" just above).

  8. #83
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    - being treated like a mere tourist and complete outsider, not like a permanent resident (almost daily in my last year in Japan)
    That has been the norm, for my first year in Japan...my last year in Japan...and every year in between. One of those things some of us mentioned having to make our peace with.
    - hearing prejudiced comments, questions or reactions (average 100 to 200x a year)
    - people replying to me with gestures when I address them in Japanese (average 20 to 50x a year)
    You wouldn't believe me, perhaps, if I told that for as bad as it may seem now, it is unbelievably improved over what it was back when I first got here.
    - hearing "oh gaijin da!" or similar comment in public toilets, lifts/elevators, or when a salesman rings at my door. (average 10 to 15x a year)
    Same as my response above, basically. It used to be a daily (or multiple times daily) occurance. These days it is so rare that rather than being irritated by it I feel wistfully nostalgic.
    - being checked by the police (average 2 or 3x a year)
    Been here longer than a large portion of the JREFers have been on the planet...and it has never happened to me.
    - being checked and questioned by customs officers at airport (happened about 2x a year)
    This goes back to my earlier remarks about it being hard to settle one's heart and mind in Japan when one's body is bouncing in and out of the country multiple times a year. (I average under twice a decade, I think).
    - being refused accommodation in real estate agency because I was a foreigner (happened only 2x, when I was looking for something at the beginning)
    Been there before. Even had the novel situation of being refused accommodation in the very house I was moving out of.
    I have the additional distinction, though, of on multiple occasions having been denied employment because I was a foreigner, despite professional licensure and experience (in Japan).
    Last edited by Mike Cash; Jan 12, 2006 at 22:11. Reason: tag error

  9. #84
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    Japan bows to code of respect

    Unsociable youth
    ...
    And there are concerns about the future.
    In the early 1990s, more than half of all crimes in Japan were committed by juveniles.
    Admittedly, 70% of those were petty thefts - stealing bikes or motorbikes for example - but now many of those people are in the workforce.
    ...
    Your posts are much more interesting than the article above. I bet you deserve to be a BBC correspondent more than the guy in terms of your effort to do numerical analysis on your feeling or complaints, though I don't agree with his article, maybe he probably created it based on the net, or your result, either.
    I don't know the influence of the respect agenda for British people, but it is a bit cute that he upload a photo of young guys in military uniform, isn't it?

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

  10. #85
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    In the early 1990s, more than half of all crimes in Japan were committed by juveniles.
    Admittedly, 70% of those were petty thefts - stealing bikes or motorbikes for example - but now many of those people are in the workforce.
    I do not have the crime statistics by age group, but maybe you can help me with it, pipokun. I don't think there is much exaggeration here. It means that 35% of all crimes in Japan are petty thefts commited by young people (under 20, under 25 ? not quite sure)

  11. #86
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    I was just noticing....in the poll there is nothing about facing discrimination in getting employment. Does this reflect the foreign mindset of taking it for granted that foreigners only seek employment in places that are seeking foreign employees?

  12. #87
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecash
    I was just noticing....in the poll there is nothing about facing discrimination in getting employment. Does this reflect the foreign mindset of taking it for granted that foreigners only seek employment in places that are seeking foreign employees?
    That's a good point. I could add it, but many people have already voted, which would fake the statistics (well if we can call that statistics, it's not like we've had thousands of votes ).

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

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

  13. #88
    Decommissioned ex-admin thomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    But I do not doubt a second that for more regular jobs in purely Japanese companies (i.e. with no foreign investment and little or no foreign presence), it would be more difficult for a foreigner to get the job at equal qualification to a Japanese. Stories about Japan-born Koreans discriminated in this regard (even at the government) are numerous enough to prove it.
    On the other hand, how many European or American companies would hire for instance a Japanese national even if he/she were as qualified as competing local job applicants?

    I have heard a lot about the infamous "black lists" Japanese companies employ during recruitment, listing people or families of Korean or buraku origin. Are they still "in use"?
    Last edited by thomas; Jan 13, 2006 at 09:31. Reason: typo

  14. #89
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas
    On the other hand, how many European or American companies would hire for instance a Japanese national even if he/she were as qualified as competing local job applicants?
    I suppose it depends a lot on the type of job and importance of language skills (if the foreigner in question is not as fluent as a native...). But I don't see why a Western company wouldn't recruit a Japanese, say as shop attendant, clerk, office worker, accountant, designer, etc., at equal qualification, if their language skills were sufficient.

    I have heard a lot about the infamous "black lists" Japanese companies employ during recruitment, listing people or families of Korean or buraku origin. Are they still "in use"?
    I heard and read some companies still used them, but cannot certify if that is true (they obviously keep discreet about it, as it is illegal).

  15. #90
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    After having read all that ..you discover that they even discriminate against their own (talented,or not?) women over a certain age. If they would dare to come back to such a retro country. Interesting

  16. #91
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    3.1 Entertainment : I have been refused entry to at least one restaurant, bar, nightclub, onsen or public bath because I was a foreigner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Good luck and happy bar hunting.

  17. #92
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    Good luck and happy hostess bar hunting.
    A minor correction... But sorry if I am incorrect.

  18. #93
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    Bravo for strongvoicesforward!

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

    Two thumbs up!

  19. #94
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t4r00
    Bravo for strongvoicesforward!
    More and more people aware of discrimination nowadays.
    However, there are only some that know how to combat discrimination by not being discriminating others.
    Two thumbs up!
    Your praise comes a bit late, since he already got the boot.

  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cash
    Maciamo has Japanese citizenship?
    I am curious about this one as well....does he or doesn't he?

    I see he doesnt live here anymore.

  21. #96
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hachiro
    I am curious about this one as well....does he or doesn't he?
    I see he doesnt live here anymore.
    He had "permanent" residency. (I do not have permanent residency, on the other hand. Food for thought.)

  22. #97
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    3.1 Entertainment : I have been refused entry to at least one restaurant, bar, nightclub, onsen or public bath because I was a foreigner

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

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

    Armand's Rancho del Cielo

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cash
    He had "permanent" residency. (I do not have permanent residency, on the other hand. Food for thought.)
    Is that a matter of choice? Immigration here practically forced it on me a number of years ago when I was renewing my visa.

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

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

  24. #99
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hachiro
    Is that a matter of choice?
    Yes, but not my own.

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

  25. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmandV

    The first time I encountered this was last year in Ueno when I tried to enter a nightclub there. I nice Japanese host asked if I spoke Japanese, and when I said no, the then said that this club is Japanese-only.
    Could it be more a " language barrier " issue instead of racially-motivated business practice ? Would you've been allowed in if your answer was " YES " ?

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

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