Category Archives: Uncategorized

“Phoning it in” is an insult to phones

The dear doctor sadly has not been dropped by the Japan Times, but instead he has had a lazy article posted under “The Foreign Element” tag, for some reason, although there is little evidence of foreigners in the article. He seems to have spent more effort in getting Jeff Kingston’s passing mention of his book into his Wikipedia entry than he has on the JT article, yet he seems to have missed a real review of his tome. I quite enjoyed the closing sentence:

He may no longer be living in the land of the brokenhearted, but I suspect the disorder is not so easily cured.

I can imagine him writing a blog entry on how unfair this apologist has been, playing the man, not the ball, an event I look forward to.

Losing my racism, completing my transaction

This month, Dr Arudou decides to spin out a blog entry into an article for the Japan Times, on how “racism” at a Canadian bank and at Jamaican borders prove once again that Japan is horrible.

First, at the bank an “Asian gentleman” (I’ve learnt from the comments on his blog that it’s only racist if you categorise someone’s race behind their back, not while they are within earshot) denied the doctor’s inalienable human right to be both Japanese and white, although you’ll note that the Asian gent was denied his right to be Canadian and Asian.

Now, what exactly happened at the bank? According to debito.org and the second eyewitness, there is agreement up until we lose the racism and complete the transaction. However, he then says “Afterwards, I asked the teller”, but if we assume “afterwards” to be after heading to the car then returning to complain (as told by the third party), the teller had already been sent home! If it was after losing the racism and completing the transaction, according to the original telling the manager intervened leaving no opportunity for this exchange. This may seem like trivial quibbling, but as others have pointed out, and even as Dr Arudou himself has documented regarding his returning of his US passport, his reliability as a true record of events is questionable, and not of the degree of rigour that one would expect from an “independent scholar”.

Next, he touches on the Facebook flare-up, but glosses over, indeed backpedals on, the fact that he capitulated by admitting that “I overreacted, and in an unproductive way”.

There is then a ridiculous section of self-aggrandising, talking about how not having had more than a parking ticket then completing a tiresome paper chase to obtain Japanese citizenship is some sort of feat worthy of respect.

We then think of the children:

OK, how will you react the 100th time (or the fifth time in a day) that you hear, “Oh, what cute gaijin kids!”

I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate! And wouldn’t his sprogs have been called “haafu”s? I’m not going give myself nightmares by revisiting his archives to find out exactly how he classified them.

We’re fully formed adults — we can take these sucker punches

But wasn’t this article all about how he didn’t take the “You don’t look Japanese” sucker punch? Indeed he agrees:

But if they articulate thoughts inaccurate, unkind or alienating about us or the people we care for, we should reserve the right to push back accordingly

I’d be confused, but I’m already sucker punch-drunk from reading this guff.

Another thing, with him being out of the country he seems totally unaware of the coverage of two new star haafu sportsmen, the next Usain Bolt, Ghanaian-fathered Sani Brown Abdul Hakim (Ghana Web credits his ability to his Japanese mother), and one of the two Koushien Kaibutsu, some kid with a Nigerian (I think) father. I’m sure he’ll find a way to spin it all negatively (kaibutsu – scary black monster!), just like he has warned Ariana Miyamoto, Miss Universe Japan (respect to her PR team!) that she surely faces “frustration” when she fails to change Japan.

On a side note, Eido’s comment on his lack of negative experiences was deleted from the Japan Times, as was, apparently, a naturalised Japanese commenting on Arudou’s Facebook page that he travels very regularly without any similar bother from immigration.

Finally, as a bonus, here is some Vogon poetry.

Goebbels-like blitzkrieg annexes Japan Today

…and nothing of value was lost. Doctor Arudou writes about it, and nothing of value was gained.

none have the national and international media footprint that online news site Japan Today has.

:facepalm: I checked with Quantcast and its probably horrendously inaccurate figures put JT just 10-20% above the dead for many a year Japan Probe in the USA.

However, Just Be Cause has for the first time felt pressure (with this column) after coming under increased scrutiny in the editing process. 

Perhaps they were worried that they could get sued for some loose words? :roll: However, I noticed that he says “Click on its advertisers“, which given that most of the ads are from Google, are against their rules. If you wish, here is where to grass them up.

Well, that went downhill rapidly…

I was going to do two posts today, but I’ve decided to combine them. First up is the Japan Times’ Philip Brasor talking about immigration.

Takenobu, whose specialty is labor issues, explained that almost all the foreigners arrested in Japan are overstayers

Not much of a specialist, then.

The government is afraid of foreign workers settling down permanently because they think Japanese society doesn’t accept them

He links to another quality journalist, Richard Lloyd Parry in The Times (of London) who wrongly describes Ayako Sono as a (current) member of Abe’s education reform panel. I very strongly suspect Mr Brasor is aware of that fact, but chose to misrepresent it as it doesn’t fit in with his narrative.

I was going to go on more, but the Disqus thread has already gone down the drain, bringing me on to my second topic:

I was quite disappointed with the response to my review of the latest Just Be Cause, but I agree with the general feeling of “not the same old dross again!” Debito.org continues to be awful, and commenters get away with any old nonsense – there is the claim of not being racist, which I feel they justify by saying the Government is awful (fair enough), but as the Japanese population has not taken up proverbial arms thus silently assenting to government policies, they are to be pitied, not hated. The complaints about Japan Today being taken over by Japologists is hilarious, and of course some Japanese complain about JT being full of haters.

/r/bitcoin has /r/buttcoin and /r/conspiracy has /r/conspiratard, but sadly there is no /r/debito, and I have long since given up covering Debito.org in detail. There’s definitely a need somewhere for some positive spin (although given record tourist numbers every month recently, perhaps there isn’t really that much of need), but my government brown envelopes are not fat enough to do the necessary, so I suspect Japologism will be taking an extended holiday.

Perhaps I might be back in November for “Visible Minorities and Embedded Racism in Japan”?

Hopeless Fookooshimar news articles still exist!

The Independent recently published utter dross about Fukushima, displaying a lack of journalistic integrity along with scientific ignorance.

First there is a set of slides which are full of insinuations, but free from facts such as all food must pass Japanese radiation standards (they make no claim that these checks are being bypassed) that are lower than anywhere else in the world. They mention tea specifically, which as far as I am aware is not produced in any significant quantities anywhere north of Shizuoka.

The alarm is being sounded after Taiwanese investigators uncovered more than 100 radioactive food products which had been produced in Fukushima but falsely packaged to give their origin as Tokyo.

Well, all food products are radioactive, and do they mean 100 items or 100 different brands? Here is a relevant Asahi article, but the implication from that seems to be the false labeling is the issue, not any radioactivity.

They then follow-up with a picture that is from an oil refinery in probably Chiba, but the casual reader will assume it is the radiations burning.

There is no firm evidence that any radioactive food has entered the UK, but experts say there is a risk, and products could already have arrived.

There is also a risk that there might be chemicals in the food!

They also have another strange graphic, giving a fifty mile (80 km) fallout radius, which seems rather high too me. Fortunately the comments for the article mostly restore some sanity.

 

 

Bloody royal sprog!

Why oh why is there wall-to-wall coverage of the British royal sprog on Japanese TV?

Also, on Hiru Obi today, one of the commentators said that the reason mothers leave hospital within a day of the birth is due to their bigger hips.

Profound or gibberish – you decide

This month’s Just Be Cause left me scratching my head; I’ll probably have to read it two or three more times to see if I can make sense of it. I did note though that this time the target is (or appears to be) Japanese, not foreigners. The one :facepalm: moment I have found so far is:

This is one reason why even the most scientifically trained among us is ready, for example, to take seriously the comment of a single native-born Japanese (rather than trust qualified Japan experts who unfortunately lack the mystical bloodline) as some kind of evidence in any discussion on Japan.

Who on earth could these non-native-born “qualified Japan experts” be?

Japan Times trailer for Japan Focus

It’s a bit odd that half an interview (and a much shorter than the average Just Be Cause column) ends with:

The full Ziegler interview will be up at The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus website in a few days.

This article is actually pretty good in parts, but I suspect it is because Dr Arudou gets out of the way and lets the professor do the talking. The good part is that Dr Ziegler talks about an area where he is fully qualified to comment, another country’s governmental interference into his editorial freedom, but the bad part is that Dr Ziegler also talks about an area where he is unqualified to comment, Japan:

I didn’t know it was there because the first volume my co-author wrote, not me.

and

I’m not a specialist in East Asian history.

At this point I would expect Professor Bentley to be brought in to fill us in on the parts he wrote and presumably is a specialist on, but no. Will he feature in the Japan Focus version? I’m not holding my breath. No he won’t, he passed on in 2012 according to Wikipedia.

Regarding the meat of the article, as usual the Japanese government seems totally tone deaf to how their actions will be perceived; arguing about Nanking or the Comfort Women is widely regarded as the equivalent of Holocaust denial, despite the 400,000 Nanking death numbers being a figure straight from Party Headquarters, and the East Sea featuring due to (presumably) Korean lobbying.

Japanese Only: at least they keep the Muslims out

I hope you don’t all choke on your mochi when you read this extract from a random blog:

The country legitimately has policies in place to keep Muslims out of the country. It is impossible to get residency, pretty difficult to get any sort of visa, and bordering on impossible to find housing if you are Muslim. They site “neighbor discomfort” as one of the main reasons for housing discrimination in this case.

Err, “legitimately“? It’s bad enough that the author seems to have accepted at face value a stupid rumour doing the rounds of the web, but it’s pretty awful that they would praise it. And, putting my pedant hat on, it’s “cite”.

Mr Googles is stalking me!

This evening, Google Now decided to recommend this article to me…