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Thread: Discrimination in Japan

  1. #101
    Samurai Golgo_13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Time
    no Chinese allowed

    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.

  2. #102
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    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.

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  3. #103
    Finally Enlighted One Buddha Smoker's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #104
    Taicho mdchachi's Avatar
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    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

  5. #105
    Finally Enlighted One Buddha Smoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdchachi
    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

  6. #106
    As the Rush Comes Duo's Avatar
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    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 ?

  7. #107
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    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.

  8. #108
    Finally Enlighted One Buddha Smoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaceghost
    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.

  9. #109
    Taicho mdchachi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo
    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.

  10. #110
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    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 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.

  11. #111
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    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. take that!

  12. #112
    Samurai Golgo_13's Avatar
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    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?

  13. #113
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo
    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 !

    Quote Originally Posted by Golgo_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.

    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.

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  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golgo_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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Golgo_13
    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.

  15. #115
    Samurai Golgo_13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlogD
    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?


    Quote Originally Posted by BlogD
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlogD
    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 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?



    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    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.

  16. #116
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golgo_13
    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.

  17. #117
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    @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.

  18. #118
    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
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    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.
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  19. #119
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    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. :

  20. #120
    As the Rush Comes Duo's Avatar
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    What's too "eastern" ?

  21. #121
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo
    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).

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo
    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.

  23. #123
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    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.

  24. #124
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    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.

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaceghost
    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.

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