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Real estate discrimination

thomas

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Sounds like a step into the right direction:

Real estate firms urged to be fairer with foreigners

A governmental panel on Tuesday called on Japanese real estate authorities to be fair and make more efforts to assist foreign nationals seeking rental accommodation, panel officials said. The panel, formed by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and local governments, came up with a series of guidelines on the issue as foreigners have often encountered difficulties in trying to make contracts with Japanese real estate firms. "We want to create an environment with these guidelines where foreigners are able to rent accommodation more smoothly," a panel member said. The guidelines, for example, advise real estate firms to explain more carefully to foreign clients about certain Japanese customs regarding housing, such as paying "reikin" key money 窶 non-refundable extra money for the owners of the properties 窶 in addition to a deposit when making a contract. They also state that a number of Japanese real estate firms are too reluctant to accept foreign clients and call on them to take steps to improve the situation.

=> http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=1&id=253227
 

Davey

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I didn't wanted to make a new thread so I just add it to this thread.


Foreigners still dogged by housing barriers

Having arrived in Tokyo from Seoul about a year ago, Il Yeong Eun, like many foreigners who come to Japan, soon encountered a major difficulty ツ― housing discrimination.

Il, 25, together with two South Korean friends who also came to Japan around that time, visited three real estate agencies to rent an apartment in Shinjuku Ward. But the agencies turned them away because they were foreigners.

"I never expected to be refused," said Il, who goes to a Japanese language school in the ward. "I felt like I was treated like a criminal."

Fortunately, she found a one-bedroom flat through a real estate agency that one of her friends introduced her to. The firm's South Korean employee takes care of foreign customers by teaching them Japanese customs related to living in rental apartments.

Japan's foreign population is steadily increasing. Government data show the number of registered foreign residents stood at 2.08 million in 2006, up from 1.48 million a decade ago. Nonetheless, housing discrimination against foreigners is surprisingly strong even in Tokyo.

...The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry launched the Web site Anshin Chintai (safe rental housing) in June to provide rental housing information and lists of real estate agents and NPOs that can support foreign apartment-seekers....

..."The system is to network local governments, rental agents and nonprofit organizations" to effectively help such foreigners as well as the aged and the disabled. ...

...The site ツ― www.anshin-chintai.jp ツ― is available in Japanese only, but foreigners who have difficulties with the language can ask local governments to explain the information on the site to them, according to the ministry...

..The Japan Property Management Association, also launched the Web site Welcome Chintai ツ― www.jpm.jp/welcome/ ツ― ... in six languages ツ― Chinese, English, Korean, Mongolian, Spanish and Russian.


.... Read the full article

I do have some understanding for some racism against foreigners, especially when a person can't speak Japanese or his Japanese is not conversational enough to discuss things. Renting an apparment does also involves a lot of money, community service, and other things. But when someone is able to speak conversational Japanese I do not think that there should be a problem.

And I even wonder if there where any problems about foreigners and appartments? Anyone able to find Japanese articles related to this with a small translation?
 

Goldiegirl

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I don't think not speaking the language is an acceptable form of discrimination. Money talks...
 

Davey

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I don't think not speaking the language is an acceptable form of discrimination. Money talks...

I did not say it's acceptable, I just think it's understandable.

When you're have a business and it's hard to work with one group because of communication problems, or things aren't going smooth. I think it's understandable that some companies choose not to work with that group anymore.

I do not think that this company says "We don't like foreigners" but is looking at it business wise; "It's not easy to work with most of them".

But as I have said before, how many reports are their from landlords that had problems with foreigners. I am very interested if their is any reason for landlords or real estate companies to actually close out foreigners.
 

Mike Cash

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The thing that most people fail to recognize is that this is not direct racism/discrimination. It is discrimination one step removed, based on the assumption of the racism of others.

The realtors make their money by putting people into apartments, and so long as the color of their money is right really have no personal interest in the color or national origin of the customer. After all, they're motivated by the profit motive and it isn't as though they personally are going to be living next door.

The discrimination most often is most often on the part of the landlord, who the agent represents. Many landlords make it clear in no uncertain terms that their property is not to be rented to a foreigner. The agents know which ones those are and won't tell you about them and will steer you away from them if you specifically ask. Some landlords don't make it clear, and many times I have sat while a real estate agent telephoned the landlord....while I listened to one end of the conversation....to ask if a certain property was open to foreigners. And with the vast influx of South Americans into some communities, there are even buildings that agents steer foreigners into, with most or all residents of the building eventually being entirely foreign.

To blame the agencies to to misplace the blame.
 

caster51

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Il, 25, together with two South Korean friends who also came to Japan around that time, visited three real estate agencies to rent an apartment in Shinjuku Ward. But the agencies turned them away because they were foreigners.

i think it is because of korean.
there are many discontent and consultations of real estate agent and landowner are written in messege boards because they went home without paying and some problems.

most of them say "i will never rent them"
 

Glenski

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I don't think not speaking the language is an acceptable form of discrimination. Money talks...
Goldiegirl,
Idealistic as always. If you can't understand the simplest terms of a contract as spoken to you, how do you think a businessman (ANY businessman) would feel about you doing business with him? Pretty reluctant, no matter how much money you flash in his face.

Many foreigners don't even realize the concept of key money, so should you choose to enter a real estate office and inquire about an ad, just because the picture of the blueprint and the accompanying monthly rent looks appealing, how are you going to understand what is meant by manager's fee, real estate agent fee, cleaning fee (or the requirements for such), and whether any of this money is refundable? How do you think the real esate agent will feel about explaining the garbage schedules, how to pay for utilities, what the gas is like for space heater vs. stove vs. bath heater, etc.?

Money may talk, but it needs the proper language to be understood.

The real beef for some foreigners comes when they are discriminated NOT because of a language barrier but for other reasons.

Goldiegirl,
Your profile says you only stayed in Japan 3 months to a year, but that you are married to a Japanese man. Who arranged housing for you when you were here?
 

pipokun

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It is the same that we cannot easily understand why the credit history is so important in the US.

How do you think the real esate agent will feel about explaining the garbage schedules, how to pay for utilities, what the gas is like for space heater vs. stove vs. bath heater, etc.?
You cannot live in Germany, either.
 

Glenski

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It is the same that we cannot easily understand why the credit history is so important in the US.
Loans are based on a person't credit history. Renting an apartment is, too, to some degree. So is getting a credit card. Pretty obvious reasons.
 

Goldiegirl

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We live in a hotel....really rough hey! :) It feels like home. Idealistic, yep as long as their my ideals!
 

Glenski

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Goldiegirl,
Maybe I don't understand, but are you saying that you and your husband stayed in a hotel in Japan for 3 months to a year? You wrote "live" (present tense), so I am really confused.
 

Goldiegirl

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We live in a hotel from anywhere of 3-8 weeks per visit. We go to Japan every 2-3 months because of my husbands job. We'll be back in January for a month or so. That will be in a hotel as well! Sorry for the confusion. We are trying to figure out where to live at the moment. It's a hard to choose, but I know where we will live eventually.
 

Taiko666

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To blame the agencies to to misplace the blame.

The government is to blame. If there were legislation to outlaw refusing accommodation on grounds of race/nationality alone, racist property owners would have to think up some other excuse to refuse non-Japanese. After a while, I believe that a critical mass of racist property owners would consider that too much trouble, relent, and start renting to non-Japanese.

Instead, things seem to be going the other way. In its brochures, one agency in Osaka now has a natty 'gaijin ok' symbol, along with 'pets ok' etc, so you can tell at a glance which properties are unavailable to foreigners (ie most of them.)
 

gaijinalways

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As Mike earlier stated, many of the problems stem from the landlords, and the agents have decided to pass the buck rather than trying to change the attitude of the apartment/building owners.

And no Glenski, it is often not to do with language, but rather an unwillingness often to get around or fight general xenophobia, which is often promoted by the government right-wingers who currently control the government. Fear of the unknown and strangers seems to be particularly strong here, and many Japanese travel abroad, but don*t really seem to absorb much culture or on very artificial levels (such as buying Loius Vuiton bags).

Sometimes it can also be a problem with a needed guarantor, but even in cases where a foreigner might make far more than an average Japanese, some people are turned down or not shown prime properties. This comes back to too many Japanese not seeing it as a problem, until they are turned down themselves abroad, then suddenly the point is driven home.
 
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I've never had an issue, possibly because my wife is Japanese, that said, I used to get some darn horrible looks in the Kyoto city ward where we lived..

I guess whoever is renting a place out in Japan would prefer Japanese to foreigners.

I know I would, including in Australia;-)
 

Glenski

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Kyoto Returnee,
Having a Japanese wife itself will not always resolve matters. I just read a case where a foreigner with a Japanese wife tried to find housing for a teacher who will soon start at their home-owned language school. The real estate agent said the landlord won't rent to foreigners, the landlord said it wasn't him but the real estate agent, etc. Terrible runaround, right in front of the Japanese wife. The pair finally broke down their stupid, circular arguments and got the place, but it was a long, hard battle.

And, whether you "prefer" Japanese to foreigners is moot. It is also illegal to discriminate against tenants in this way.
 
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Kyoto Returnee,
Having a Japanese wife itself will not always resolve matters. I just read a case where a foreigner with a Japanese wife tried to find housing for a teacher who will soon start at their home-owned language school. The real estate agent said the landlord won't rent to foreigners, the landlord said it wasn't him but the real estate agent, etc. Terrible runaround, right in front of the Japanese wife. The pair finally broke down their stupid, circular arguments and got the place, but it was a long, hard battle.

And, whether you "prefer" Japanese to foreigners is moot. It is also illegal to discriminate against tenants in this way.

Hi Glenski:

That's terrible news and I'm sure it wasn't healthy for the couples relationship.

I definitely know that discrimination exists and is wide open in Nihon.

I think any foreigner who has lived their long enough would agree.

The fact is, if it's illegal, and I am not familiar with the law, I believe a foreigner would not get anywhere in Japan with a complaint, and let's face it, who wants to be sent bankrupt taking matters to caught where statistics show that the judge would almost certainly discriminate against the non Japanese.

the bottom line is, discriimination in Japan is rife, and gores back a long way in history.

It's definitely part of the culture. It applies to many subjects in Japan and not only foreigners.

It reminds me of a South African friend who was in the SA army back in the days when apartheid was a reality.

He hated black's, and had personally shot hundreds, legally.

I could not understand how on earth during that time how white South African's could hate black's so much.

I guess when you are taught from birth, you don't think twice and it becomes part of your life.
 

pipokun

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...
I could not understand how on earth during that time how white South African's could hate black's so much.
...

You do not have to go all the way to Africa.
Your country was the only country who refused African American soldeirs in WWII.

The Citizenship Ceremony
http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Community/ServicesAndPrograms/Citizenship.asp
Adults are required to take a pledge of commitment in English and receive a Certificate of Citizenship. The pledge is a moving, important part of the citizenship ceremony. The pledge reads:

From this time forward, under God*,
I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people,
whose Democratic beliefs I share,
whose rights and liberties I respect,
and whose laws I will uphold and obey.

*New citizens have the option on their application to take the pledge in the form of an oath, which includes the words 'under God', or in the form of an affirmation, which does not.
...
At the conclusion of the ceremony, guests are asked to stand and sing the Australian National Anthem.

Wondering what would happen if the J government asked to our anthem for the naturalised Japanese...
I only hope the goverment would do the same things, the oath and anthem, to all Japanese and immigrants, for an allegedly great multi-ethinc and racism-free country like yours does.
 
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You do not have to go all the way to Africa.
Your country was the only country who refused African American soldeirs in WWII.

I think you are getting off topic here.

"Refused" True or not, let's face it, that was a long time ago.

Discrimination and the dark age ways in Japan seem to flourish.

I had a Japanese senior student who's husband was one of the big wigs responsible for all the JR Railway concreting. Thought I'd throw that in..

She was in tears telling me about her brother, he is deaf, and the daily discrimination he would face in Japan.

Another case was Sachiko in Kyoto City. her and hubbie and the two kids lived in the US for a few years to study and work. They are both doctors.

Keigo and Kota attended standard suburbia type Public school.

They were of course very Americanized when they returned to school in Kyoto.

The boys had a hard time as they were totally discrminated against. They were strong, and a little bit pushy. Poor bloody kids..

Now these were Japanese people..

Discrimination in Japan is part of the culture, like it or not.

It is "normal" in Japan.

I know. I owrked for a local government on the subject. The Japanese government knows..

I think Pipokun you need to really research it better and get more info. on it.

I'm talking Japan here.. Not only against foreigners, but all aspects of the word in Japan..



I have no idea about your comment but will take it on board, although I could hardy imagine that happening nowadays in Australia.
 

caster51

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She was in tears telling me about her brother, he is deaf, and the daily discrimination he would face in Japan.

what hell is that?:p

deaf?
you should say" a person who can not hear or whose ear is inconvenience " lol
 

hsakakibara1

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Discrimination?

YES! To be sure, there is a whole lot of discrimination in Japan (and other Asian countries). However, in many cases language and customs can overcome a lot of it. My question is, where is our beloved government in dealing with this? Why haven't any laws been passed to do anything about this?
 
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