Friday, November 09, 2007

Ministry of Justice Human Rights hearing

Somehow, the Ministry of Justice in Japan and the term "human rights" don't seem to fit well together, but Debito Arudo at Trans-Pacific Radio writes of a MoJ sponsored Human Rights meeting he attended earlier this year. Seems the right-wing nutjobs attended and were able to disrupt the meeting with little to no interference from the MoJ bureaucrats running the show. Even more interesting is what happened as the meeting ended which shows exactly how many Japan---and non-Japanese view discrimination in Japan:

The last straw was when one of the attendees referred to a famous Korean born to a Comfort Woman as a “bastard child” (shiseiji). Our side demanded the representative from the Ministry of Justice do something. It was within his ministry’s mandate to silence hate speech. He remained silent.....

....It almost came to blows. Even then, no security was called, and nobody was asked to leave. The meeting was brought to a close a half-hour early.

But here’s when it got really interesting. I was about to leave when one of disrupters actually came up to me with a smile and a friendly tone of voice. He turned out to be an assemblymember from Hino City, near Tokyo, and was quizzical as to why I was here.

After all, this is his view: White people in Japan have it good here because of Japan’s inferiority complex towards them. So discrimination cannot happen towards them. It only happens towards the lesser peoples of the world, and they’re only here taking advantage of the Japan we Japanese built up. They shouldn’t be here asking for anything. Therefore I as a superior Caucasian should have nothing to complain about.

I have seen and heard this attitude a lot. Several years ago, after Shitaro---oops, how childish of me---Shintaro "Blinky" Ishihara went into one of his bigoted rants about the Chinese and (shockingly) it was covered by the foreign press, a Japanese apologist wrote to the International Herald Tribune and explained it away because Blinky was talking about Chinese. Not Americans (synonymous with white folks in Japan, though many will tell you a few repressed minorities live there as do the rich Jews who control the country). Therefore, there should be no problem for white folks since it was the Chinese who Shit (hand slipped, sorry) Shintaro was insulting and demeaning.

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