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Blacklist of Japanese Universities Update Summer 2002


25 Apr 2002
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By Arudou Debito

The Blacklist (and Greenlist) of Japanese Universities, i.e. institutions which have an active policy of discriminating against non-Japanese academics by specifically offering them inferior job conditions, has been revised for the season. Three new inclusions and two updates to the 85 universities already listed are:

1) Himeji Dokkyo University (Private)
2) Kanazawa Medical University (Ika Daigaku) (Private)
3) Ritsumeikan University (Private)

1) Doshisha University (Private)
2) Kyoto Institute of Technology (Kougei Sen'i Daigaku) (National)

If you would like to know more about the criteria for qualification, or are willing to be a primary source for the inclusion of a university that discriminates on the basis of nationality, please go to:


All data, culled from primary sources, such as university job announcements, testimonials of former or current employees, and documented publications, are reproduced on the Blacklist. There is also commentary on advertised job conditions and links to helpful resources for readers either unfamiliar with the Japanese university system or needing advice on Japanese university employment policies.

The Blacklist is constantly updated as information comes in, but this periodical notice is to let people know the list is still active.

An aside:

As job candidates worldwide become more aware of adverse working conditions in Japanese education, Japanese universities are learning how to fudge the wording in their job announcements. For example, some are substituting the controversial "position for foreign faculty" with milder wording, such as "position for native English speaker" (eigo o bogo suru mono etc.), while in the small print still giving foreigners contracts (cf. Ritsumeikan University). Other ads say that the position is open to all regardless of nationality, with the caveat that candidates with foreign nationalities will get contracts while Japanese will not (cf. Kyoto Institute of Technology). This detail is often omitted in the English versions of some Japanese-language announcements, so be wary.

Case in point:
(from http://www.debito.org/blacklist.html#ritsumeikan)
NAME OF UNIVERSITY: Ritsumeikan University (Private)
LOCATION: Kita-ku, Kyoto
EMPLOYMENT ABUSE: (from Blacklist writeup)
In very thorough job announcements, Ritsumeikan offers posts entitled "Native-speaker Full-time English Language Instructors" (a roundabout way of saying gaikokujin kyouin, which by definition are job posts reserved for foreigners, and by design with inferior job conditions and no permanency.) Even though Ritsumeikan appends a "Jokin" ("full-timer" in Japanese) title to the job status to make it look more secure, it is still not the same as a "Jokin" post a Japanese gets. One look at the job announcement indicates it is a temporary post with an expat package. Ironic is the fact that Ritsumeikan still wants these temporary workers to have university teaching experience and high qualifications (such as a PhD and enough Japanese language ability to perform administrative duties), yet refuses them the same job status as their equally-qualified (or even less-qualified entry-level) Japanese educators. Moreover, the post demands a heavy courseload of ten classes per week, including holiday periods, on a one-year renewable contract--clearly capped at two renewals (frowned upon by the Labor Standards Law).

Ritsumeikan is, in the Blacklist author's opinion, prevaricatingly playing with contractural wording to lure oblivious candidates. Since the "Native Language" requirement exonerates Japanese from the fear of their native tongue relegating them to this status, one wonders how the circle would be squared if the author, a Japanese citizen but a native speaker of English, would be slotted if he applied for a job at Ritsumeikan. (The author did contact their Office of Academic Affairs and was told that they do not consider these posts "discriminatory", since Japanese are allowed to apply for them too--if they happen to be native speakers of English. However, tellingly, no Japanese has ever taken one of these posts. Even more telling is the fact that this department conversely offers no tenured positions for "native speakers" (not "foreigners", mind you). They indicated that the Blacklist author could take the post simply by dint of his native tongue. He would have to apply to a different part of the school if he wanted tenure like any other Japanese.)
Original job announcement visible at


There is also a GREENLIST of universities (those who have either tenured non-Japanese faculty, or have an objective qualification system for tenuring them), located at:


There are six additions to the twenty-three universities already listed:

1) Chuo University, Faculty of Law (Private)
2) Doshisha University (Private)
(on both lists because it has a hybrid system of contracts and tenure for foreigners)
3) Gakushuin University, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Centre (Private)
4) Hokkaido Tokai University, School of International Cultural Relations (Private)
5) Nanzan University, Department of British and American Studies (Private)
(on both lists because it has a hybrid system of contracts and tenure for foreigners)
6) Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (Tokyo Gaikoku Daigaku, Ajia-Afurika Gengo Bunka Kenkyuujo) (National)

Occasional updates to follow. People are welcome to submit official university job announcements they come across at any time, to debito@debito.org. Thanks!

Arudou Debito
Blacklist and Greenlist Monitor
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