Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Discrimination Against Non-Japanese

I suppose there are actually 2-3 people on earth who do not believe that there is any racial, ethnic, or other discrimination in Japan. Some Japanese may believe that, but most I know acknowledge it exists (except for those who try to give me the window-dressing "tatemae" snow job), but then justify it.

This is a site by a Mr. Arudou Debito who became a Japanese citizen several years ago (Is he insane?) He gained fame (notoriety amongst many) for suing a city in Hokkaido for allowing policies of racial discrimination and later wrote a book about it.

This is his site, http://www.debito.org/ . Should you be interested in how common discrimination is here and how it is supported and encouraged by the Japanese government (who will lie through their teeth denying it), you should visit it. He does piss me off by using "gaijin," a somewhat derogatory term for foreigner (gaikokujin is a bit respectful---if this society can have any real respect for a non-Japanese).

I again have to mention that not all Japanese discriminate against non-Japanese. However, it is part of the history and culture of this society and the Japanese government often actively promotes and encourages racial, ethnic, age, sexual, and other types of discrimination. Recently, the Japanese police and many politicians (e.g. Gov. Ishihara of Tokyo and national figures) supported by the media for the most part tend to blame the rising crime rate in Japan on non-Japanese and basically brand non-Japanese as potential criminals. When you get a society in which people are taught from a young age that they are different in every way (and the difference often turns out to be "better than") other peoples, it is difficult for them to be subjected to this type of lies and propaganda all the time without being susceptible to believing it fully.

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