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Downloadable discrimination


17 Jan 2004
By Debito Arudou

There has been a lot of press recently not just on foreign crime (again), but on unethical methods of collecting data on foreigners.
First was a plan by a branch of the National Police Agency to establish a crime database of "foreignness" (Zeit Gist: Jan. 13, 2004) by collecting organic samples from crime scenes.

Now the Immigration Bureau has set up a Web site for the public to inform on "illegal" residents.

Japan Times

(This is my 600th post...)

This is my favortie bit

From the end of last month, the site has offered informants the following pre-set reasons for reporting on someone:



There are others. sigh... Hopefully they will get their act together and shut it down.

Until that time I am going to track down the site and use it to report of anyone I see, regardless of nationality, who

A) throws a cig butt out the window of a moving car (I am really going to do that one)
B) speeds
C) looks at me funny
D) drives around in big black buses and blares mean-spirited messages about anything not Japanese.

I'll just claim I didn't know they were talking about foreigners like me - I just took it to be a subjective term. Afterall, I'm living in a foreign land so it must be filled with foreigners...
Found the webpage (was not easy - never had to deal with that type of vocab before...) One of the few major government sites that doesn't have at least a half-assed English page. Wonder why...

The last selection in the lower right has "jyouhou uketsuke" 情報受付. Click on that and you go to a nifty screen that tells you how most foreigners in Japan are great people, but hey, don't feel bad if you feel like snitching on that funny looking one on the corner.

Click on the big red button to go to the data entry screen.
The blanks with red next to them mean you don't have to enter any info - name, e-mail, full address, telephone number are not needed to inform.

Then at the bottom in where you start to "offer information" or narc.
The drop down menu brings up different fields depending on what type of attack on the Japanese national character and way of life you saw.

However, it does seem to be lacking the type of pull-down menu mentioned in the article. Now you have to type in what you are complaining about. Doesn't make the system any less offensive though.
Mandylion said:
I'll just claim I didn't know they were talking about foreigners like me - I just took it to be a subjective term. Afterall, I'm living in a foreign land so it must be filled with foreigners...

Good one ! 👍 Yes, after all, from our point of view, the Japanese are the foreigners too ! I'd like to tell a Japanese police officer at the Shibuya koban that I just saw 5000 foreigners crossing the street all together and heading to the station. I am sure they'd be all panicky, then ask me "where, where ?", until I show them the mass of Japanese people. As they wouldn't understand till I explained to them that they were all of different nationality than me and thus call them foreigners.

Unfortunately I think that Japanese don't have the sense of relativity. Even grammatically, you cannot say "I am coming" (来ます ), but "I am going" (行きます ) when someone is calling you. How many times have I heard Japanese saying that their country was tiny, when it's bigger than all but 2 European countries (France & Spain), 3x like England or 13x like Belgium. No, Japan is huge. Again, no sense of relativity. Then they always see things from a fixed point of view (theirs) and with fixed preconceived ethnocultural ideas. I don't like the word "always", but in Japan, if someone doesn't think like the group, it's like they are not really Japanese (harmony obliged).
How many times have I heard the excuse, "but Japan is tiny island", to explain everything from discrimination/racism/xenophobia to everybody having to have the same purse. I guess it's true to some extent, but...
Does anybody know any ways to screw around with websites, like say making porn ads or something pop up each time the site gets opened? Seems like this site would make a most worthy target for that kind of treatment.
I am no expert in Japan. Although I have had different Japanese friends for the past 14 years, I didn't take an interest in Japan until 5 months ago.
Correct me if I am wrong.

From what I understand, Japanese people call themselves the Yamato race.
Yamato = collective and harmonious
Yamato spirit is the most important element contributes to the sucess of Japan. (Ha ha... this is my personal conclusion...of course, assistance from the US after WWII helped too but Yamato spirit is still ichiban, at least I think so). In order to achieve harmony, minorities (including Japanese who have different personal interests from the mainstream) have to sacrifice their interests and differences.

Actually, every Japanese citizen sacrifices and conforms in different extent in order to build a harmonious society. And I guess they don't want anybody to disturb their harmonious society which they treasure the most. Again, just guessing, never discuss stuff like this with my J-friends, too busy talking about designer labels and celebrities.
Foreigners, eh? ...I bet they also put shoyu on their rice and don't put the toilet seat down.

Re: Maciamo
Ah, yes, the good old "because Japan is a shimaguni" excuse. The Japanese can think they're special/unique/foreigners will never understand them all they want, but it shouldn't be an excuse for passive or active segregation, or psychorigidity.
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