Police action distorted as racist

Debito Arudou, with his July 9 article, “Police ‘foreign crime wave’ falsehoods fuel racism,’” manages as ever to confuse apples and oranges. Anyone knowing anything about Japan realizes that the large majority of foreigners in Japan are law-abiding, if only because they do not want to lose their visas or status.

By the same token, no one can deny that there is a small minority of crime-minded foreigners in Japan, most connected to Asian crime gangs. Japan has every right to be concerned about these people, since they operate in ways difficult to counter. Fortunately strict police and visa action in recent years has eased the problem somewhat as National Police Agency figures show.

But Arudou bizarrely uses this highly justified concern and action to claim that the NPA is guilty of a racist and distorted attack on all foreigners in Japan.

I would suggest that if anyone is guilty of racism and distortion, it is Arudou rather than the NPA.

gregory clark
tokyo

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

  • Roan Suda

    In the longstanding disagreement between Arudou Debito and Gregory Clark, I would unhesitatingly back the latter. But to toss about the term “racism” is, I’m afraid, to play Arudou’s game. Genuine racism is belief in the inherent superiority of (arbitrarily defined) Group X over Group Y. As used by the political left in Arudou’s native land, a racist tends to refer to “anyone who doesn’t agree with our agenda”; “racism” is also used by professional rabble-rousers, as can be seen in the utterly absurd reaction to the George Zimmerman trial. Arudou has embarked on a career trying to foster an aggrieved and embittered class here in Japan. In that he remains, whatever the color of his current passport, quintessentially American, alas, not in the better sense of the word. That the Japan Times gives him space to promote his ethnic-mongering cause is unfortunate, but let’s not attribute to him what he attributes to us.