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 Debito Arudou

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Debito Arudou
Debito is the Just Be Cause columnist for the Community Page and has been contributing to The Japan Times since 2002. Author of eight books, including "Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants and Immigrants" (2nd Ed.), "Japanese Only" and the novel "In Appropriate," his most recent work is "Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination" (Lexington Books). He has been a naturalized Japanese citizen since 2000, and his daily blog and archive is at www.debito.org.
For Debito Arudou's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Sep 3, 2014
Visible minorities are being caught in police dragnet
Around noon on Aug. 13, in Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture, a local apartment manager notified the police that a "suspicious foreigner" was hanging around the nearby JR train station.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Aug 13, 2014
Past victimhood blinds Japan to present-day racial discrimination
Until Japan gets over itself and accepts that racialization processes are intrinsic to every society, it will never resolve its constant and unwarranted exceptionalism.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Jul 2, 2014
Complexes continue to color Japan's ambivalent ties to the outside world
A sense of isolation gave rise to Japan's 'cult of uniqueness,' which still dominates Japan's self-image today, constantly vacillating between superiority and inferiority when dealing with foreigners.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Jun 4, 2014
Humanize the dry debate about immigration
Lost in the immigration narrative in Japan is the idea that when we import labor, we import people. With lives. And needs. And voices to be heard.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Apr 30, 2014
Tackling the 'empathy deficit' toward non-Japanese
Sympathy is not the same as empathy, and that is one reason why discrimination against foreigners and minorities is so hard to combat in Japan. Japanese society is good at sympathy, but empathy? Less so.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Apr 2, 2014
Knowing your rights can protect against fake cops
Safeguard yourself against an unwarranted public shakedown
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Mar 12, 2014
J. League and media must show red card to racism
On Saturday, during their J. League match against Sagan Tosu at Saitama Stadium, some Urawa Reds fans hung a "Japanese only" banner over an entrance to the stands.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Jan 24, 2014
Don't let ANA off the hook for that offensive ad
If ANA had really wanted to "change the image of Japan," it should have avoided racializing its product. Instead, it's just business as usual.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Jan 6, 2014
The empire strikes back: the top issues for non-Japanese in 2013
2013 saw the enfranchised elite consolidating their power further than has ever been seen in the postwar era, while Japan's disenfranchised peoples slipped ever lower down the totem pole, becoming targets of suspicion, fear and loathing.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Dec 4, 2013
In Japan, no escape from The Eye's perpetual policing glare
In Japan, The Eye compels you towards collective behavior: Mustn't be forceful or push back against the status quo, lest you get hairy-eyeballed.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Nov 6, 2013
Japan brings out the big guns to sell remilitarization in U.S.
With a probable nod and a wink from the Americans, there's not a lot we can do but watch Abe's military machinations march to fruition.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Sep 30, 2013
Triumph of Tokyo Olympic bid sends wrong signal to Japan's resurgent right
International events undermine Japan's democracy. Shame on the International Olympic Committee for being a party to it.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Sep 9, 2013
If you're jōzu and you know it, hold your ground
Communicating in Japanese is not all that difficult. What's difficult is communicating with Japanese people, writes Debito Arudou.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Aug 5, 2013
Ol' blue eyes isn't back: Tsurunen's tale offers lessons in microcosm for DPJ
Spare a thought for Marutei Tsurunen, Japan's first European-born naturalized immigrant parliamentarian, who was voted out in last month's House of Councilors election.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Jul 8, 2013
Police 'foreign crime wave' falsehoods fuel racism
These Community pages have reported many times on how the National Police Agency (NPA) has manufactured the illusion of a "foreign crime wave," depicting non-Japanese (NJ) as a threat to Japan's public safety (see "Upping the fear factor," Zeit Gist, Feb. 20, 2007; "Time to come clean on foreign crime," ZG, Oct. 7, 2003; "Foreigner crime stats cover up a real cop-out," ZG, Oct. 4, 2002, for just a few examples).
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Jun 4, 2013
By opening up the debate to the real experts, Hashimoto did history a favor
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto has been busy making headlines around the world with his controversial views on Japan's wartime sex slaves (or "comfort women," for those who like euphemisms with their history). Among other things, he claimed there is no evidence that the Japanese government sponsored the program, and suggested these exploited women were (and still are) a "necessary" outlet for a military's primal urges.
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
May 14, 2013
Police, media must consider plight of those caught in linguistic dragnet
A national media exerts a powerful influence over the lives of members of its society. For example, rumors or untruths disseminated through print or broadcast can destroy livelihoods and leave reputations in ruins.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Apr 2, 2013
Tweak the immigration debate and demand an upgrade to denizen class
Crucial to any public discussion is defining the terms of debate. However, often those terms must be redefined later because they don't reflect reality.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Mar 5, 2013
Child's quibble with U.S. 'poverty superpower' propaganda unravels a sobering story about insular Japan
Last November, a reader in Hokkaido named Stephanie sent me an article read in Japan's elementary schools. Featured in a sixth-grader magazine called Chagurin (from "child agricultural green") dated December 2012, it was titled "Children of America, the Poverty Superpower" (hinkon taikoku Amerika no kodomotachi), offering a sprawling review of America's social problems.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Feb 4, 2013
Keep Abe's hawks in check or Japan and Asia will suffer
On Jan. 1, The Japan Times' lead story was "Summer poll to keep Abe in check." It made the argument that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party alliance falls short of a majority in the Upper House, so until elections happen this summer he lacks a "full-fledged administration" to carry out a conservative agenda.

Longform

At the Akan International Crane Center, just north of the city of Kushiro proper, visitors can see the majestic red-crowned crane — a symbol of Hokkaido.
Faces of the north: A Hokkaido town grapples with depopulation