First Tuesday, Just Be Cause, blah blah blah

I commented elsewhere on the site that I was losing interest in, so now I must admit to having the same feelings about his JT column. Someone might have something more interesting to say on it, but for me it is tortured metaphors – check; thesaurus abuse – check; lack of anything positive – check. In a little more detail:

America has a Green Card as a well-known denizen (even uglier word than gaijin!) indicator but I cannot think of an equivalent in the UK. I would guess most Japanese assume we have always had a juminhyo.

If you’re planning on living in Japan indefinitely, I suggest you get your neighbors warmed up to the fact that you as a non-Japanese (let’s at least avoid the dislocated, transient trappings of the generic word “foreigner”) are not merely gaikokujin. And as of 2012, most of you now have a jūminhyō (residency certificate) to prove it.

If people are planning on staying long-term, I’d certainly hope they would have advanced from talking in English to the neighbours. So, we should call ourselves 非日本人? :facepalm:

Then spread the word through the grass roots, such as they are. Upgrade your status and mollify the binary.

Are we supposed to carry our juminhyo and wave it at people at the least provocation? And WTF is "mollify the binary"? :headdesk:

Leave a comment ?


  1. @Sublight: The “lengthy Buddhist mourning process” forced her to stay in Japan, separate from her husband, for 8 years? :shock:

    He’s a writer — suggest he write a special investigative report right away.

  2. @Sublight: The topic is Japan’s immigration; a comparison with other countries is out of scope.

    …when that comparison makes Japan looks good.

  3. @iago: I think it’s pretty poor that she cannot even get a tourist/spouse visa and start again from scratch, but well, eight years is a bit fishy, and quite frankly, I get a feeling of people choosing the most tax-advantageous country of residence. Hubby could afford to live 2 or 3 months of the year in Japan, so I’m sure she could have popped back for a week once every two years to renew her status. :???:

  4. Ken – UK specifically bans that sort of inverse visa run every two years for people with ILR (UK PR). If you try to re-enter after more than 2 years (or as an overseas resident trying to enter to maintain the ILR), they would have just cancelled the ILR and give a tourist entry under visa waiver. A previous expired ILR is no reason to refuse her tourist entry unless there is more to it.*

    The other missing thing is that (like most of the problems foreigners have with Japanese immigration), this all comes down to not reading the rules properly. Returning residents with strong UK connections are allowed re-entry after more than 2 years if they apply at their local UK embassy for permission in advance. This is spelled out (and a form is even provided) in the section of the rules they hint at about exceptions for maintaining a strong connection.

    *I guess that she declined to enter as getting a tourist visa would mean her ILR is cancelled, so they are instead appealing for the ILR to be re-activated, which couldn’t be done if she entered as a tourist. (UK PR is massively expensive and time consuming to apply for so better not to get cancelled and try again – the whole process from tourist to spouse visa to ILR would cost more than £3000 over a lot of years).

  5. @Impressed: It all makes Japanese PR look posirively welcoming, doesn’t it? Strange, that.

  6. Actually, I looked at this some more and it seems they did apply for returning residents re-entry, but were turned down. So sorry for jumping the gun. She could still re-enter as a tourist, but then they couldn’t appeal. Maybe the 8 years apart looked a bit fishy, but not sure why they went to the press rather than waiting for the tribunal.

    The odd thing about the way the rules are written is that the one thing someone with strong ties to the UK with ILR can’t do is visit the UK unless it is the time when they are coming back to live permanently. Great way to maintain connections. Makes those 5 year multiple use re-entry permits for Japan look cheap.

  7. @Impressed: The British press (my reference point is typically Daily Mail) seems to be used as an administrative alternative to taking the bureaucracy on directly. There are daily stories of people who have had a slight run-in with red tape (not to say this particular example in slight) and have gone straight to a willing press with their moral outrage, leaving a rational person to wonder why they didn’t just ask a question or follow the procedure to resolve what generally seems to be a minor hiccup.

    Such stories are usually accompanied by a photograph of said inidividual, couple or family looking appropriately stern and put upon. I suspect there is a stock images web site where one can buy such photos.

  8. iLikedolphins


    JDG? Fight Back? Eric C? Baldrellard?

    Who’s your favorite Arudou troller?

    Vote here. Vote now.

  9. I grow the best turnips in Japan. Come to Obihiro and try them.

  10. Question for iLikedolphins

    @iLikedolphins: Hey iLikedolphins, which branch of immigration was that?

  11. Question for iLikedolphins

    Perhaps it was the Tokyo branch?

  12. @Question for iLikedolphins:

    I had basically the same thing said to me in Saitama about a dozen years ago.

  13. iLikedolphins

    Hey! I’ve got a stalker!

    If you wait outside every immigration office in Japan for the next six months you can ask me for an autograph. You’ll know me. I’m handsome.

  14. iLikedolphins

    Not effete model handsome. Factory handsome.

  15. Thanks Sixth Sense

    I want to know which branches have the highest chance of PR approval, namely: the branches where most of the staff actively encourage the increase in PR holders, as opposed to the branches where most of the staff actively discourage the increase in PR holders.

    (And yes, you can apply outside where you live, their desire for you to only apply to your local branch is just that: a desire. Lawfully, you can apply wherever you want.)

    To Sixth Sense: thanks for the altruistic help, it sounds like Sendai branch is a good place to apply. Thanks again.

    To iLikedolphins: thanks for nothing, paranoid maniac, you obviously have a hard on for yourself, but no one else here does.

  16. A co-worker of mine applied for his PR around the same time as me, even though he’d been in Japan about five years longer. According to him, the person at the counter (at the Tokyo office near Shinagawa), called him a dumbass for waiting so long to apply.

    A few caveats:
    (1) This guy is extremely prickly, often in a bad mood, and loves picking fights with people at the slightest imagined provocation.

    (2) He is continually getting into JdG/CJ-level confrontations with authority figures, which (according to him) are never because of (1).

    (3)I, and everyone else in the office, had already called him a dumbass for waiting so long to apply, so maybe the idea was already planted in his head.

  17. Mark in Yayoi

    Sublight, how long had that person been in Japan?

    I’ve been renewing my visa at Shinagawa for years (four times now) and have never had a problem with the personalities of any of the staff. I asked about possibly going for PR when my total residence had reached 10 years (current visa was at 9 1/2; had been hoping that my academic work would push me over the line), and was told not to. They were friendly about it, though — which is as much as you can ask of a bureaucrat. :neutral:

  18. @Mark in Yayoi: I think at the time he applied for PR, he’d been here about 16 years. Despite being married for 10+ years, he’d been on a 人文知識 visa the entire time (according to him, back when he got married, his FIL made a comment that he interpreted as implying he was just marrying for a spouse visa, so he refused to get one just to make a point).

    I shouldn’t have said he ‘continually’ gets into confrontations, but he does so far more often than the average person, and he’s always the victim. The person at the counter probably commented that it was foolish to keep renewing a visa for so long if you were eligible for PR, and he immediately jumped on it as a personal attack.

  19. iLikeDolphins


    He sounds like a real gaijin. Steer clear. I’m assuming both he and you work at the same eikaiwa? Sounds like you run into a lot of nuts at those kinds of jobs. Anywhere you get a lot of foreigners gathered together, there’s always gonna be some real gaijiny types and people with with mental and personal problems. Ewwwwww.

  20. @Thanks Sixth Sense: Saitama, not Sendai.

  21. Thanks again :-)

    @Sixth Sense: Ah, Saitama, thanks for the correction.

    @iLikeDolphins: It’s interesting to see you don’t consider yourself to be a gaijin anymore, just because you do physical labor.

    The funny thing is, no matter how much you think you are fitting in with your circle of Japanese co-workers and Japanese friends, when you’re out of earshot, I’m sure they still call you a gaijin. Just a gaijin. Born a gaijin. Forever a gaijin. A gaijin who thinks he’s being accepted into the circle of Japanese. Enjoy your delusion of acceptance, Mr. Poor Physical Laborer Gaijin.

  22. @iLikeDolphins: Ad agency.

  23. @Thanks again :-):

    It thinks it gets iLD. I’m afraid sir that your lovely lashes with the gaijinly love whip will merely slide harmlessly from the lubricated-by-sweat cetacean styled claw hammer wielder’s muscular body…

    PS – that line of argument, with the whole “you’ll never belong, you should hear what they say when you’re not around”. Way past played out.

  24. @Thanks again :-):

    Being a gaijin and being accepted are not mutually exclusive concepts, bub.

  25. iLikeDolphins

    i was definitely born a gaijin. However I overcame it by working hard and learning flower arranging in my spare time.

  26. @iLikeDolphins: Jim Di Griz is the name of the main character from a long-running series of sci-fi books, so it’s pretty much the go-to user ID for any teenager with delusions of cool who thinks they’re the smartest one in the room. While that certainly describes our JdG to a T, I wouldn’t assume that a Jim Di Griz somewhere else is the same guy.

  27. I don’t see why people here are so dubious about JDG’s immigration story. After all, just last week I arrived at Narita from abroad and when I went to the immigration booth the official pointed at me and said, “Hey everyone, look at the funny foreigner.” Then all the other immigration officers started pointing and laughing. He started making monkey noises and called me a ‘Gaijin monkey’ after which he said, ‘Only Japan has four seasons!’. Then he pulled a switch and I was dropped down into the Gaijin Gulag dungeon.

    Yeah that’s it. Don’t take my narrative away. I am the victim.

    Seriously though, I’m glad people are calling bullshit on this stuff. For me, the inescapable fact is that a hell of a lot of these stories from AD and CJ and like-minded fans are embellished beyond any credibility (complete with conveniently stock racist comments from “The Japanese” member of the encounter) or are just plain made up.

    Lest someone (not likely on this site mind you) pull the yawn-inducing, “Just because it hasn’t happened to you…” card on me… Let me say,yes I have run into a few whack-jobs with attitudes in my twenty plus years here representing about 00.1% of my Japanese encounters. I wouldn’t feel the need to embellish these run-ins with BS, or claim that these encounters are somehow systematic unless I wanted to confirm my own prejudice.

  28. Yeah, yeah. I read the books too. Just because you work in an ad agency with gaijins and I work in a factory with working class Japanese men, doesn’t mean that you’re the only one with book learning smarts.

    Man, you should hear what gaijins say about other gaijins when gaijins aren’t around!

  29. @ild
    or even when they ARE around, like on this blog. It’s an bonafide pastime.

  30. @Thanks again :-):

    Just a gaijin. Born a gaijin. Forever a gaijin. A gaijin who thinks he’s being accepted into the circle of Japanese. Enjoy your delusion of acceptance, Mr. Poor Physical Laborer Gaijin.


  31. @The Apologist:

    Arguing about how one’s Japanese ability and comprehension really is natural and correct. In English.

    That’s almost worthy of a Monty Python sketch.

  32. @iLikeDolphins:

    I don’t think you’re a “gaijin namakemono”, ILD.

    I consider you to be a true Denizen of Japan.

    Flash that Juuki Card with pride, brother.

  33. Fun web search of the day:

    searching for “gaijin namakemono” gives me the first result as

    Shit Gaijin Say

  34. Paul Hackshaw

    What Glenski and I don’t know after 40 years in Japan , isn’t worth knowing, IHOMO.

  35. Looks like our man in crazytown is about to publish a 70,000 word exposé on a certain someone.

  36. “Looks like our man in crazytown is about to publish a 70,000 word exposé on a certain someone.”

    Don’t exaggerate. He only said 15,000 words.

    “wrapping up new 15,000-word special investigative report about the ‘Miseducation of a reporter’ in Japan. Working too hard, in need of break”

    I have no idea what he’s talking about here. Can someone enlighten me?

    “Reporter in Japan.” He himself is a reporter in Japan. Is he writing something about himself? Jake Adelstein is a reporter in Japan and one of Christoper Johnson’s targets. But Jake’s already been “investigated.” Hiroko Tabuchi is a reporter in Japan and a new addition to the enemies list. Surely he’s not going to go after her in one of his blog posts? His Twitter campaign against her backfired in a big way. But “education” might be an allusion to his elite pro journalism degree from Carleton, contrasted against the fact that Pulitzer-nominee Tabuchi only graduated from the London School of Economics, hardly an appropriate background for a “pro journo.” Has he uncovered the mystery man behind Japan Probe (yet again)? If so, would he call such person a “reporter”? Our Man in Abiko is a reporter, or was when he lived in the U.S. and the U.K. Has Johnson circled back around to him again? But he was included in a previous group “investigative report.”

    Let’s start a pool. Any guesses about what this new blog post (er, “special investigative report”) will be about?

  37. Who are you though?

  38. Clearly, he’s going to go after Hiroko Tabuchi, but in way that isn’t directly attacking her. Rather, he’s going to go after all of his “enemies” who miseducated the scrappy young cub and turned her against him.


  39. He’s slinging around a lot of oblique (for him) digs at a lot of other journalists (gaijin and Japanese) on Twitter right now.

    My prediction on the article: a rambling word salad that accomplishes little beyond making the author look even more of an unhinged narcissist. Little to no reaction from the target likely, but always the chance that he’ll say something actionable to someone inclined to take action. The rest of us will point and laugh, but less than before as it’s clear he’s steadily degenerating into a sad, tired mess.

  40. @noisetovh: Our Man was a journalist (well, copy editor) at the Daily Yomiuri as well, and had professional dealings with Jake Adelstein in those days, according to this post. So there’s some grist for the CJ mill, at any rate.

  41. Yeah my money’s on his target victim being Hiroko Tabuchi, too. Bet the “miseducation” thing is some shit about how poor little Hiroko-chan is being misguided and fooled and led astray–“miseducated”, if you will–by all the lying, cheating, filthy, cyberstalking, string-“stealing”, NHK-sympathising, non-war-going, non-Monday-morning-drinking, nasty conmen out there who are filling her ears with filth like “Watch out because CJ will stalk you if you cough in his vicinity” and blinding her to the wisdom she could be drinking from his cow-like udders. It’ll be complete with a righteous, “objective” tone, a la Hoofin; deliberate misinterpretations of others’ comments, a la Aldeivfhkdf; and a bunch of Tweeter screenshots that prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he’s trying to set new records for crazy the Tepido Twelve is going to rape your houses, pillage your wimmens and salt the earth with bitter, bitter CJ tears.

  42. Whoops, used the wrong tags. Imagine that “target” and “he’s trying to set new records for crazy” are struck out.

  43. Yeah, little Hiroko-chan, look how tiny and cute she is playing at this ‘journalist’ thing, so eager and desperate to meet ‘authors’ and real journos that have been through 18 war zones including having to park at the local wal-mart.

    I had thought that it wasn’t possible for CJ to turn himself into any more of a laughingstock than he already has…but I guess he could yet surprise us.

  44. This tweet gave me the giggles:

    “@inchiki_gaijin difference between, say, economics and J-school degree? J-school weeds out egoists, fabricators, plagiarists at early phase”

    A little economics knowledge might help Johnson, because apparently he doesn’t know what the Consumer Price Index is. He was tweeting just the other day that Japan is not deflationary, even though the CPI has been mildly deflationary since 1989. Knowing the difference between an index and an anecdote is also something economics teaches.

  45. More “interesting” claims:

    –, run by alleged cyber-criminal and author Jake Adelstein […] Commenters have accused Adelstein of using “sock puppet” names, including BWHockaday on Twitter

    It’s curious that Google cannot find such a commenter. :???:

    Anyway, an important thing that is (I hope) taught in Canadian journalism school is ethics, such as the CEP JOURNALISM CODE OF ETHICS, which teaches me:

    14) We shall identify sources of information, except when there is a clear and pressing reason to protect anonymity. When this happens, we will explain the need for anonymity.


  46. @Peter: He could be using the original definitions of inflation and deflation, which refer only to the money supply.

    And I think the CPI actually went up in the past quarter, since Abe’s crypto-Cyprus theft from savers through intentionally devaluing the currency of his own peoplequantitative easing began. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Chris hadn’t thought this far into it.

  47. The Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    Why are you guys wasting your time with CJ? Shouldn’t you all be rereading the newly released “definitive book on one of Japan’s most important public debates and lawsuits on racial discrimination?”

  48. I am awaiting Christopher Johnson’s 150,000 word response to Ms Tabuchi’s less than 140 character tweet that politely implored said Japan journalist to stop harassing her friends. Shock and awe indeed.

    Japan Journalist. CJinJapan. Christopher Johnson Japan.

    Isn’t this something that only FOB eikaiwa teachers do? I thought CJ was a grizzled old hand of a war dog?


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