Woo-hoo, the apologists are doing rather well!

As pointed out by the too-difficult-to-spell-flower sniffer, Mr Arudou featured in a recent Asahi article. A few things caught my eye:

The owner, who received a phone call saying the sign was inappropriate, showed a new sign that will be displayed at the entrance. It says, “Japanese Language Only.”

Or indeed “In Appropriate”, and the casual reader might come to think that it was the person who did the phoning that was responsible for the changed sign, but Gimmieaflakeman knows better.

Arudou said he found more than 50 examples from around Japan of signs saying “Japanese Only” or “Foreigners are not allowed.”

[…]

 Half of the owners refused his request to take down their signs.

So, there are more than 25 “active” signs (that he is aware of), or on average less than one per prefecture, and this is what he is basing his dissertation on. On the other hand, 40 neo-Nazi scumbags from just the Kanto area (I presume) congregated in Ikebukuro to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Hitler’s birth and he laughed them off, basically. When’s the last time a “Japanese Only” sign threatened to kick your head in? Seems like mixed up priorities to me.

A bar in Kobe displayed a sign that said “Japanese People Only,” but removed it after receiving advice from a stranger.

“A very kind individual told me that the sign was not appropriate,” said the 51-year-old owner.

Chalk that one up to the apologists too, this time Sora.

I saved the most problematic point for last:

Arudou, who wrote his doctoral dissertation about discrimination in Japan at the University of Hawaii

As far as I am aware, he wrote it while attending the East-West Center which is indeed located at the University of Hawaii, but the casual reader would assume that he was actually enrolled at the University of Hawaii. I’m sure it is just the journalist being a bit confused, as Mr Arudou has previously taken Mike Guest to task for “misrepresent[ing] his own academic credentials”, so I eagerly await Mr Arudou publishing a correction on his own web site at the very least.

Oops, it seems I was wrong on the above point. Sorry about that, folks.

Leave a comment ?

81 Comments.

  1. The Apologist

    JTW,
    In the first link the guy was charged with harassment ( not discrimination) which apparently can be construed as a hate crime under state law. Is this the new civil code? I don’t know, I’m not american

    So, yes there are a shockingly few cases where a dispute that would normally be parceled for Tort law gets re-interpreted as harassment in order to bring it into the hate crime sphere and thus the consequences are extended into the criminal code. No doubt the fact that that the perp was a public employee had a lot to do with this. If discrimination is now being conflated with harassment and hate speech, we have breached the fundamental civil/criminal court divide. That is a big filthy pandoras Box.

    In the second link it is clearly a civil claim. No arrests can be made, although redress may be the norm. No imprisonments, no criminal record.

    If I’m not mistaken debito’s challenge of otaku onsen and daiichi chosen HS claims versus the zaitokukai were wholly civil cases in which the concept of illegality is used flexibility to determine who has wronged who– it is not a criminal investigation. It is not about a public prosecutor making arrests on behalf of the state, but rather plaintiffs and claimants invoking international charters and accords to bolster their claims

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  2. @Varus:

    You must be the dumbest feck I have read on the internet.

    Yay! Fraying “no personal insults” alcoholic loses his temper again! :cool:

    You do nothing and the police arrest the guy: that`s the norm in most developed countries.

    As m’learned and fecking dumb friend The Apologist has pointed out, that isn’t actually what happens in most developed countries. I pay tax here, and frankly I wouldn’t want public money wasted, if a criminal offence were created, on arresting and prosecuting an old man who only needs to be told to take the sign down and given advice on how to deal with future problems. Someone stubbornly refusing to change their policy would be a different issue.

    The thing is, in my dumbfeck brain, I had got the impression that the police do not make arrests in every single instance of a criminal offence. I look forward to you turning yourself in every single time you break the law here as the good and honest resident I’m sure you are. Silly stupid me thought the context – including the fact that it isn’t the manifestation of something far nastier and potentially wider spread such as the revivification of base prejudices against the historically oppressed – might be worth taking into account in resolving the issue.

    I notice you completely passed up the opportunity to condemn or even acknowledge brazen unpunished discrimination against women in the UK when I pointed out your vision of a barrier-free modern west was flawed (I’ll assume it’s not because you’re too full of yourself to concede a millimetre even where you’re plainly wrong; that would be unkind of me). It’s creepy how many western men who come over here, particularly the ones who think they are a viciously oppressed minority, are more than a bit hazy on women’s rights. That’s a far, far bigger problem in Japan than some old man’s tempura restaurant. Your friend Arudou’s page on gender is a shocker.

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  3. iLikedolphins

    Oh god. Womens’ rights. VK has a vagina.

    I am always reminded of the young punk men who presumably grew up on a diet of anti-disestablishmentarianism and yet feel the need to extol the virtues of a Western upbringing to all and sundry once washed up upon the shores of the East as though their punkiness were a mere cloak garmenting their gaijinron until hastily revealed through the web of a prism of distaste for a b-grade society of petite Asian lunacy.

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  4. Dedicated Whale Researcher

    I’ve really had it with the casual racism and cultural imperialism of the Debitards like JTW and the like.

    You can’t cut it in Japan, we get it. We understand.

    But turning Japan into America so that you can figure out these savages is not the solution. That’s cultural imperialsim bullshit.

    That’s the only thing that these guys offer. Examples of Japanese racism (which exists!) are all equated to American history. 80-year-old shopowners in the burbs who maybe have are equated to jackboot-wearing American skinheads. They so want to equate themselves to the blacks in the 50s American south. For all the logic they espouse in their examples, they all fall to “If only Japan’s culture was more American (or “Western”, but let’s face it, they really mean American), then they wouldn’t have all these confusing nuanced problems with racism. They’ll be Normal, like us.” All cited counter-examples they bring up are examples from the US. All articles linked are to where things were sorted proper, back in America, the UK, etc.

    Which is why extreme solutions, like calling up the confused elderly from overseas to yell at them, or encouraging people to flood restaurant review sites with aggressive reviews to ruin their business, or sending the police to throw them in jail, all seem normal to these pith helmet wearing jackasses. The casual racist monocultural imperialists won’t stop until we’re reading romaji letters on konbu packages in the grocery store, and joining hands together as we skip into the blowjob bars without being turned away.

    There’s a deep irony to this all coming on the heels of an article about “Japan’s empathy deficit”. These jackals talk “Japan lacks empathy” yet walk “Fuck empathy, fuck conversation, fuck a 2000 yen meal and conversation with the elderly to bridge a culture: No, let’s roll over these savages with extreme force until this culture becomes Proper and Fixed, just like back in America”.

    I’m from America, but American monoculture, casual cultural racist imperialism of the majority of these jackasses can go die in a fire.

    I know it seems preposterous, but Japanese history and culture is NOT American history and culture. And while these things are a problem, American solutions won’t do anything but increase that “empathy deficit”.

    Seriously. Arresting 80-year-olds without even seeing if they’re jackboot nationalistic thugs or just confused elderly folks. That’s Florida Shit.

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  5. “the fact that it isn’t the manifestation of something far nastier and potentially wider spread such as the revivification of base prejudices against the historically oppressed – might be worth taking into account” – VK

    This is VK’s diplomatic way of saying, “it’s just white people who are complaining about this (wrong) and it’s just white people who are being excluded (wrong) and thus the punishment for putting up “Japanese People Only” signs should be a simple talking to each and every time this illegal crime of race-based-entry-barring occurs because as diplomatically mentioned already by me in various ways – white people never suffered slavery so white people should stop campaigning to have “Japanese People Only” sign owners lawfully punished (wrong).”

    VK, we know you are an Indian guy raised in the U.K., you keep talking about that and your hate for white people who campaign for equal human rights for all, why do you choose to keep posting again and again “the victim’s race being white means that the punishment that should be given should be less than if the victim’s race was Indian” it’s too selfish of you to only care about dark folks and to consistently bash white folks, as you have been recorded doing here over the past few years.

    Again and again you have posted what equals to “You’re white, you’re white, I know it, and you hate japs, and you say these signs are equivalent to slavery, and you blah-blah-blah.”

    I am a human, saying that no establishment anywhere should have a sign or a policy of “Certain humans only are allowed within this establishment.”

    Stop trying to guess what race (which you don’t believe in anyway, it’s all “just a mental construct” to you, right) the victim is, or what race the defender of human rights is, simply stick to admitting the fact that it is a crime to post signs which say “Whites Only” “Blacks Only” and “Japanese Only”.

    “But, but, this sign is not so bad because whites haven’t historically been victims…”

    “But, but, this sign is illegal but the police shouldn’t arrest the illegal action perpetrators until I, Mr. VK, have had the chance to see what the perpetrator was thinking, and I’m sure that the perpetrator will take my kind gentle talk to heart and change his ways immediately…”

    And what about this quote of VK’s:

    “Someone stubbornly refusing to change their policy would be a different issue.”

    So here, after much time wastage talking about historically oppressed comparisons (as if that has any relation to the illegality of the sign, and the punishment that should be dealt to all for such signs) the truth finally comes out, the truth which VK admits but doesn’t want to concentrate on:

    “Someone stubbornly refusing to change their policy would be a different issue.”

    Yes, so Mr. “Talk to the perps instead of arresting them” VK, what does Mr. Rational You recommend be done with the “jackboot nationalistic thugs” which DWR mentions above as being the only time illegal actions should be punished using the court system and the police who bring people by force into that court system.

    VK and DWR both say that “if it’s just some confused elderly guy” then suddenly the laws don’t apply to him, and that all he should receive for the stress he caused the victims (who range from Blacks, to Indians, to Whites, it doesn’t really matter WHAT race the victim is, as long as the victim was excluded for the fact that the victim was not Japanese, the victim is a victim, a human victim of race-based entry-denial) the perpetrator should merely receive a nice gentle talking to.

    Well, then VK and DRW both admit that in some cases the perpetrator SHOULD be prosecuted by the courts as normal, and they have laid it out as follows:

    VK implies that actual justice should be applied by the courts, when “Someone stubbornly refuses to change their policy.”

    DWR implies that actual justice should be applied by the courts, when “A jackboot nationalistic thug stubbornly refuses to change their policy.”

    So, you two, now that you have admitted you want to punish (or not punish) based on the perpetrator’s thoughts and feelings (great, I guess we need to elect psychic people like you who will delve deep into the consciousness of each criminal in Japan committing illegal actions) and now that is perfectly clear that you don’t agree to punish all illegal actions equally across the board, your thoughtism feelingism excuse-making is now plain, it’s not the illegal action that deserves punishment in your opinion:

    In my opinion the law is (and should be) “people who bar entry based on race will be punished by the courts.”

    In your opinion the law should be “people who bar entry based on race will be punished by thcourts – only when the victim is not white, because historical oppression rates and all that – and only when I have decided that this isn’t just a case of a non-racist eldery-guy who mistakenly did a racist act without knowing what he was doing – and only when I have decided that this is an ADMITTED racist, yep the guy has to ADMIT to me that he hates Non-Japanese, before I can label his racist-action as being a racist-action.”

    Your qualifications are not needed.

    Rational people, rational lawmakers know, it doesn’t matter what the perpetrator claims his thoughts or feelings were about the races he barred, the simple fact is that posting a sign which says “Whites Only” “Blacks Only” or “Japanese Only” is illegal because it is immoral and illegal actions get equal arrests and equal time behind bars and equal fines, no excuses.

    Now are you going to post some more bullshit in which you try to say “Whites blah blah blah”?

    Or are you going to post some more bullshit in which you try to say “The sign poster is a victim blah blah blah”

    Or are you going to post some more bullshit in which Eido Inoue Havill tries to say “The sign poster is merely saying “Japanese Nationals Only” and that is totally LEGAL according to ICERD, check it out, ICERD says nationality based excusion is legal, yeah, nationality-based-exclusion is fine, and I’m a Japanese national, and that’s why I was allowed in, see, everybody just change nationality and you’ll be fine, even though Debito already proved that the race-based exclusion continues even after having become a Japanese National.”

    The diplomatic words all stripped away, that’s all you guys are saying, lame attempts at making-excuses for the inexcusable.

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  6. KT88 (dae corl mii da soiklahr wivva kepitol Soy!)

    @JTW: How to make friends and influence people? I like your style!

    くるくるくるくるくるくるくるくるくるくるくるくるくるくるくるくるわらわら!

    Too many circles, making me dizzy, is it all the spare time? Damn you Golden Week!

    So, aside from writing in the comments on marginal Japan-nerd blogs about marginal Japan-nerds… what are you doing about all this? You a lawyer, scholar or or just an OCD troll with waaaaayyyy too much time on your hands?

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  7. Dedicated Whale Researcher

    @JTW:
    “…posting a sign which says “Whites Only” “Blacks Only” or “Japanese Only” is illegal…”

    Again, you seem to be confused: JAPAN IS NOT AMERICA.

    JAPAN HISTORY =/= AMERICA HISTORY

    AMERICAN RACISM =/= JAPANESE RACISM

    AMERICAN CULTURAL SOLUTIONS =/= JAPANESE CULTURAL SOLUTIONS

    There is no history in Japan of black slavery, of lynch posses, of 1/16th laws, of public segregation (schools, etc), of housing projects/ghetto building (actually, the eta, but that’s another story in Japan-on-Japan hate). So your nice rational equivalencies fall apart on that single element. As much as you want to make others believe it, the history of Foreigners in Japan is not even the slightest equivalent to the history of Blacks in America.

    Every time you try to make your case that you have it as bad as blacks did in the American Jim Crow era, the more you come off as a naive, uneducated, racist turdball in a pith hat, condemning the local savages for Not Understanding American Racism, not adopting American Methods of Fixing it, and of Not Being More American.

    There is racism in Japan. There are ways to fight it. Empathy, conversation, public shame; all are powerful Japanese cultural tactics that are proven to work. All you and the Debito Commenter Mob propose to do is aggressive western “punch them in the face with the LAW” tactics used in ‘Murica.

    Here, go watch a good start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxnmMrWOj3c
    Empathy, Conversation, and Shame all in one tight package.
    Also telling, the real racists, the ones who march on Hitler’s Birthday (you know, the ones who know what they’re doing; those ones that Debito and crowd don’t actually engage with or address, because it’s easier to go ruin the businesses of the elderly from the internet), HATE that video above. They comment all sorts of crazy racist shit to it, because it is so effective to Japanese people watching from Japan.

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  8. Dedicated Whale Researcher

    Also, where’s all the furor over this?
    http://www.debito.org/?p=12282

    Real, honest-to-god public racist bullshit, only narrowly allowed due to legal loopholes.

    Where are the angry calls to the shacho from Hawaii?
    Where is the army of commenters organizing to “take them out” via bad public reviews on review forums and the like?
    Where are the calls to police over this shitty behavior?
    In an org like that, it’s no longer one person with a bad experience, but a System…

    …and the Call to Action over on Debito’s site is, “let’s all post mopey stories about how this sucks, guys”.

    Burn down the elderly dishing out mediocre tempura over here. But do nothing about that one major institution (and sure “the housing system” has a lot of these, but this is One Entity, Tokyosharehouse, and can be contacted; they can be called; they can have people “try to get a room over the phone, then show up as a Japanese Nationalized foreigner, and see/document what happens”; they can be picketed).

    But that’s too much work for the mob. The mob only craves easy blood.

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  9. The Apologist

    Quoting JTW:
    “the simple fact is that posting a sign which says “Whites Only” “Blacks Only” or “Japanese Only” is illegal because it is immoral and illegal actions get equal arrests and equal time behind bars and equal fines, no excuses.”

    No. Wrong. And frankly it’s tedious trying to discuss this issue with someone whose level of legal understanding appears to be derived from Batman justice. If you want to be taken seriously, get a fundamental, non-comic book based, grasp of law. Do you seriously not understand the difference between civil and criminal codes, even in WESTERN law?

    Apparently not.
    Then you also write an ignorant piece of tripe about Eido and Debito’s cases.
    Let’s look at it in two parts.

    Quoting JTW:
    “Eido Inoue Havill tries to say “The sign poster is merely saying “Japanese Nationals Only” and that is totally LEGAL according to ICERD, check it out, ICERD says nationality based excusion is legal, yeah, nationality-based-exclusion is fine”

    You are lying here. Eido never said ‘it is fine’. He said that the ICERD convention does not include nationality-based discrimination. Which is correct. Stop lying in your posts. Lying is immoral.

    And then: “(Eido says)…everybody just change nationality and you’ll be fine, even though Debito already proved that the race-based exclusion continues even after having become a Japanese National.”

    First, this is logically nonsense. Elementary common sense, tells us that just because Debito was refused despite holding Japanese nationality, that every other banning must also therefore NOT be based upon nationality, but race. Seriously, that is just stupid.

    Second, how the fuck is it rational to assume on that the old tempura coot’s sign must be referring to race and not nationality. Do you seriously think the old geezer wanted to say, “I welcome everyone of Japanese racial ancestry, including Brazilians, nikkei Americans and so on but not any other race, even if they are visibly non-Japanese and fluent in the language and customs”?

    …because Eido’s entry, and subsequent discussions with the owner, have proved that wrong. So, you are wrong about that JTW. Wrong.

    The other sign cases that the Asahi article refers to indicate the same thing.

    People with humane social skills, including your esteemed judges, take motivations and underlying factors into account (the judge in the Daiichi vs. Zaitokukai case based his judgment on the aggressive ongoing harassment). This is a fundamental feature of the civil code, not that you appear to know jack squat about that. This is a fundamental feature of justice in all countries.

    Finally, stop lying by saying that many here think what the old man wrote is fine or OK. We don’t and you know it. But through understanding the causes or motivations, often end up fixing these things, as Ken’s point shows– and I can add my own cases–, not by shouting about how those people are criminals and should be arrested and imprisoned, like some mindless juvenile hick with no concept of humanity and a binary grade school understanding of jurisprudence.

    Your finger-poiting and shouting feels good, doesn’t it? It’s nice to play victim, isn’t it? It gives you justification for feeling superior to others, but it doesn’t hide sheer logical ignorance. Foolishness is forgiveable but lying is immoral.

    Shit, in your ideal world of ignorant, jackbooted moral/legal righteousness you’d be giving yourself a citizen’s arrest and stamping yourself a criminal.

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  10. @JTW: Sorry, that’s enough from you. Suggesting that VK is of Indian extraction seems a bit of a leap – I know at least that it doesn’t stand for Vinay Kumar and it was someone else who had the Indian cricketer fixation.

    You seem totally unable to accept that people can hold other views and use some painful to read (I skip over most of them) text that says, quite frankly, bugger all of interest.

    Furthermore, Eido told me his nationality was never mentioned when he went to Ten-Take, and not every shop with a Japanese Only sign has the same reason behind it.

    Your IP address is now in the sin-bin, so I will be pre-approving (or throwing away) your comments from now on. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot make a point in two paragraphs, the chance of getting it past me is slim to non-existent.

    I’ve said enough on this matter. :evil:

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  11. Dedicated Whale Researcher May 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I’m from America,

    Get over yourself, no one is mentioning America directly on this thread, JTW`s example aside, and it may hurt your inflated myopic ethnocentric perception of the world, but apart from VK`s strawman attempts of hijacking the discussion, no one gives a flying feck about what the US does or doesn’t do: It`s one of the few refreshing aspects of this site.

    Get yourself over to Japan Today, it sounds more your style and IQ.

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  12. @Dedicated Whale Researcher: Excellent point – housing discrimination is something that many, many people face and many are seriously pissed off about it; the recent survey by Tokyo City found that it was Japanese themselves identified as the biggest discrimination for foreigners. Hotel accommodation law already states that discrimination by race, etc is illegal, why not work to get similar statutes in place for at least commercial/agency letting?

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  13. iLikedolphins

    Oh my lord VK is not Indian, no. I mean, he’s all for equality but he’s not actually one of ‘them’ nudge nudge.

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  14. @JTW:

    VK, we know you are an Indian guy raised in the U.K.

    :shock: It’s news to me, and I’m jolly upset with mumsy and pops for keeping such an important thing secret from me, I can tell you. Our next family Skype session is going to be quite interesting.

    you keep talking about that and your hate for white people who campaign for equal human rights for all

    Really? Where did I say that? I have a problem with racism masquerading as a care for human rights, sure enough. I have a problem with white people who want to compare every slightest offence against them with the ghastly history Europeans have visited on others in the name of racial superiority. I have a problem with people who place more importance on punishing even old men in their seventies than on helping them overcome their fears and concerns so that they don’t want to resort to signs like that.

    why do you choose to keep posting again and again “the victim’s race being white means that the punishment that should be given should be less than if the victim’s race was Indian”

    Wow. You’re hallucinating whole posts from me now. What is this thing you have with Indians? Does labelling me Indian make you feel you have something over me?

    it’s too selfish of you to only care about dark folks and to consistently bash white folks, as you have been recorded doing here over the past few years.

    My dear, your petticoats are showing. You really have it in for those Indians. And you really are proving my point about your motivations.

    You repeatedly ask a hypothetical about what if these people were actually fascist thugs promoting race hatred. I’m all for arresting them, as I’ve said before. Do you have a problem with this? Am I not saying it in a white enough manner? Is there a secret white signal I’m supposed to give?

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  15. @Dedicated Whale Researcher and @Ken Y-N:

    Absolutely. I was pleasantly surprised to see attention being given to a real and notable issue of discrimination – but then, as far as we can see, nothing. It’s weird how he rarely gets into this issue compared to the Japanese Only bar stuff or theories of government conspiracy against “NJ”. It’s like it’s not headline-y enough.

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  16. I have a lot of time for VK. I think he writes amusingly, not viciously, which is an important skill in these kind of arguments. I also felt he was one of the few who was willing to call out 空 on his absurdities on Ken’s old site.

    Which is long, dull preamble to saying I’m not entirely on his side here.

    JTW is a pain in the backside, and has a prose style which can outbore even my own. However, he has a point.

    In short, JTW was largely right about the legality of random police questioning and I don’t think VK, and other people who engaged him here, have really acknowledged that, as painful as that may be.

    There is now a good deal of case law on the subject. If anyone has followed my pseudonym, they’ll know my work is with the elderly. We have many reasons to be both grateful to, and wary of police attention to our wards.

    A police force with cases to clear can be become a little too excited by someone who can’t fully explain themselves. Most of you will appreciate that actually describes elderly Japanese and foreigners alike.

    I think if people here are willing to concede JTW his point on that matter, then they will be on much firmer ground calling him out on “Japanese Only” signs.

    I’m no fan of Debito – and can claim that status since he appeared on the Dead Fukuzawa lists. My biggest problem with him is one which VK just stated – he claims to be an activist but has no active programme to achieve any particular goal.

    However, I’ve watched people here claim he had no chance of getting accepted to do a PhD. It’s still unclear to me if he has one. but it has always seemed to me that it was foolish to say he couldn’t get one.

    You may want your enemies to always be wrong, and fail in everything they try, but that rarely happens. If you take up a position which depends on that, they you are likely to be found out.

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  17. @Justin Thyme:

    Thank you for your nice comments. To be fair, I didn’t as far as I recall ever say anything particularly concrete about the legality or otherwise of police stops in general (and JTW didn’t seem to confine himself to random stops alone). I’m not a legal expert. That was the problem with JTW. He kept insisting that I had taken a strong position on the issue of legality when I kept explaining that I hadn’t. It’s kind of difficult both to interact with and interpret what someone is saying if they are determined to misread even simple statements. It’s difficult to treat them as capable of interpreting legal texts when they can’t coherently reply to reasonable questions. Several times he didn’t seem able to understand what anyone else said.

    To be clear: My own view was a practical one: unless there were evidence of a problem with the local police harassing people with stops, my default position would be simply to comply with any such request, while making sure I was given a reason why I was being asked. Police can abuse their powers, but that doesn’t mean I should assume they are doing so. I’ll invoke my rights if I think they need invoking, not in every single encounter. Perhaps it’s a British thing: out of curiosity I had a google for advice on “co-operating with the police” and there was a stark contrast in advice from citizens groups in the US and UK on what one should do in the first instance. Perhaps it’s because random checks on the street on people walking while foreign are simply not a fact of life for me or the foreigners I know in real life, although I am always willing to listen to stories where problems have emerged. My position on random stops for drunk drivers is that I don’t really give hoot if it’s illegal in itself: it saves lives, and I think that should be taken into account when deciding how much of a fit one wants to pull over the matter.

    (To be honest, it seemed at times as if JTW thought that all police stops are illegal, not just random ones. He kept going on about the Suraj case, as if it illustrated the problem with police stops. As far as I understand, Suraj – was, in his first arrest, stopped under suspicion. I’ve read that he initially gave a false name and false information about his marital status when arrested, so I presume he didn’t show ID. JTW seemed to be arguing that the police can’t stop foreigners for anything, even where they’ve committed a crime.)

    I’m much more concerned by whether there are good, accessible procedures in place for when there does seem to be abuse. There’s no point in having or knowing your rights if you cannot exercise them. The case of the person being stopped on his bike in one street in Tokyo many times really bothered me because it seemed like nothing could be done about it when complaints were made even by employing institutions (there needs to be something more accessible than going to court). Even if random stops were legal, this would be unacceptable.

    Have the police been harassing the elderly or foreigners in your area?

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  18. The Apologist

    I admit that JTW had more substance to the ‘illegal police questioning’ argument than I had originally believed, particularly when he provided some links offering examples of this law being applied.

    I would still contend that the law is wide enough in its theory and application to allow for various extentuating conditions though.

    Unfortunately, any valid points he has to make tend to be obscured by his fist-waving hubris, invented attributions, inability to surmise what his opponents are actually saying, and a general black-and-white absolutist naivete regarding how laws are interpreted and applied.

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  19. Justin Thyme

    @VK:

    “Have the police been harassing the elderly or foreigners in your area?”

    I haven’t noticed, or heard, anything especially worrying about police relations with the foreign community here.

    With the elderly, there are some points of concern.

    Anyone following the news over the last few years will have seen articles about the growing elderly prison population.

    It’s an inevitable trend, given the country’s demographics, but you also see TV and papers reporting anecdotes about some old people shoplifting because they want to be caught and go to prison to get some regular meals.

    I’m sure there are some examples like that but there’s another explanation too. Old people walk out of shops, or into private property, absent-mindedly. Or they might be “having a turn”. 20 years ago, few of these episodes would have gone anywhere. Now they do.

    Police don’t go out of their way to generate arrests, because that works against the goal of a low crime rate. However, to take the example of shoplifting, shop staff – who are now mostly employees of large chains rather than store owners – report their suspicions of crimes more readily. That can create a statistic which needs balancing with an arrest.

    A police officer can often get an elderly person to admit they are in the wrong in about three seconds flat. I’ve seen this happen, and it takes an intervention from a family member, friend or care professional to rescue them from possible charges.

    All the media coverage about the growing number of elderly criminals can be a bit self-fulfilling because it creates an environment where people expect the elderly to be more likely to commit crimes.

    It’s not that large numbers of innocent older Japanese are being banged up. What we experience is that the police are likely to take a harsher approach to them in questioning nowadays.

    In two specific instances, we had reason to protest wrongful detainment which had resulted from random questioning. Not serious enough to get in the headlines, largely because senior officers immediately acknowledged their junior colleagues had been over-zealous.

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  20. @Justin Thyme:

    Here’s the data (2011 report) for senior citizens and crime:

    http://hakusyo1.moj.go.jp/en/60/nfm/mokuji.html

    (see section under “Elderly Offenders”) TL;DR: crime and imprisonment has been dropping since the peak of 2002~2003, and senior citizen (>65) crime rose rapidly from 2000 to 2005, and has leveled off since 2006.

    To put incarceration rates into perspective, however, it’s important to know that Japan has one of the lowest incarceration rates in the world for a developed country (51 incarcerated per 100,000 people). Only Iceland* is lower (47 per 100k). Japan’s foreign inmate population is also very low compared to many other countries: less that 7%, though more than three times higher than the percentage of foreigners in the general populace.

    So when we use phrases like “growing elderly prison population”, it’s important to understand the scale, context, and base of the problem.

    * Okay, and Liechtenstein (24 per 100k). But as that country currently has a grand total of nine (9) prisoners and a maximum national capacity for twenty (20) prisoners, I’m discarding that as a statistical outlier.

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  21. Dedicated Whale Researcher

    @Varus:

    He’s not mentioning America directly?

    Every single counter-example he offers (“whites only”) and every hilariously black and white action he endorses (arresting the elderly without engaging with them) are all American examples, based in American culture and history (or is there a history of “whites only” signs in Japan?), the logical “rationalized” conclusions brought about by a festering resentment of local culture and a desire to see it replaced with something he understands, Western monoculture.

    If only it was as easy as all that. “Insensitive public sign: that’s a mandatory two weeks in the iso-cubes, perp”.

    Still, I have to tip my hat to his persistence, as utterly naive and casually racist as it is. He is looking for things to change (into The West, but still), unlike the folks who only want to see their name in the paper…

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  22. Justin Thyme

    @havill:

    “So when we use phrases like ‘growing elderly prison population’, it’s important to understand the scale, context, and base of the problem.”

    I do understand the scale, context and base of the problem. It’s become part of my job.

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  23. The Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    Anyone notice a subtle change in the poster information over on that other site?

    ReplyReply
  24. Now I’m certainly not referring to anyone in particular, but I’ve noticed that a Venn diagram of people who title themselves “Dr. Suchandsuch” coupled with any of the following groups is basically a circle of the former completely enclosed by a circle of the latter:
    – Douchebags
    – People with tiny dicks or with tiny-dick syndrome
    – Blowhards
    – Egoists with a bad case of insecurity
    – Failures in most other areas of their life

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  25. @Simon: I noticed that Dr Arudou has updated his LinkedIn page regarding his PhD, and it seems to be in line with our earlier speculation. What it means, I don’t know, but in line with KT88’s earlier comments, it’s a bit stalker-ish to continue.

    ReplyReply
  26. @Simon:

    For your entertainment:

    Spies Like Us

    and

    The Big Bang Theory

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  27. JTW – head over to Japan Times and tell them (for the love of God/Buddha/FSM please not us) how they are getting it all wrong on stop-n-search.

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  28. Does this story sound familiar? Deja vu. 2008.

    http://www.occidentalism.org/?p=829

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  29. KT88 (da hi tekk)

    Wow, this massive influx of spam… it’s like an anemic version of DNS. Could it be, Debito’s “revenge”?

    Shut em down, shut em shut em down!

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  30. @KT88 (da hi tekk): I must say that was an odd spam! Although I don’t make a habit of reading spam, that’s the first time I can remember them sticking a keyword into the message.

    ReplyReply

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