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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
Jan 1, 2013
The year for non-Japanese in '12: a top 10
Back by popular demand, here is JBC's roundup of the top 10 human rights events that most affected non-Japanese (NJ) residents of Japan in 2012, in ascending order.
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Dec 11, 2012
Do Japan a favor: Don't stop being a critic
Remember grade school, when the most demanding question put to you was something as simple as "What color do you like?" Choose any color, for there is no wrong answer.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Nov 6, 2012
If bully Ishihara wants one last stand, bring it on
On Oct. 25, Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara announced his resignation from office. He now plans to stand for election to the Diet as head of a new conservative party. He suggested political alliances with other conservative reactionaries and xenophobes, including Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and Tachiagare Nippon (Sunrise Party of Japan) chief Takeo Hiranuma (Just Be Cause, Feb. 2, 2010). And all before a Lower House election that must be held within ten months.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Oct 2, 2012
Revisionists marching Japan back to a dangerous place
No doubt you've seen the news about the Takeshima and Senkaku disputes: Japan is sparring with China, South Korea and Taiwan over some specks in the ocean.
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Sep 4, 2012
Toot your own horn — don't let the modesty scam keep you down
As per this column's title, this month's topic was chosen, well, "just because" it's been on my mind.
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Aug 7, 2012
For nikkei immigrants in Japan, it doesn't have to be a bug's life
As Beto awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his futon into a gigantic cockroach.
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Jul 3, 2012
In formulating immigration policy, no seat at the table for non-Japanese
Last month the Japanese government took baby steps toward an official immigration policy. Ten ministries and several specialist "people of awareness" (yūshikisha) held meetings aimed at creating a "coexistence society" (kyōsei shakai) within which non-Japanese (NJ) would be "accepted" (uke ire).
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Jun 5, 2012
Guestists, Haters, the Vested: Apologists take many forms
Last month's column on "microaggressions" was my most debated yet. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
May 1, 2012
Yes, I can use chopsticks: the everyday 'microaggressions' that grind us down
Have you ever noticed how many interpersonal interactions in Japan are like "speed dates" of set questions?
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Apr 3, 2012
Keene should engage brain before fueling 'flyjin,' foreign crime myths
Congratulations to Donald Keene, who was granted Japanese citizenship last month with great media fanfare. At 89 years young and after a lifetime contributing to world scholarship on Japan, he truly deserves it.
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Mar 6, 2012
Japan's revolving-door immigration policy hard-wired to fail
Last December, the Japanese government announced that a new visa regime with a "points system" would be introduced this spring.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Feb 7, 2012
These are a few of my favorite things about Japan
The Just Be Cause column has been running now for four years (thanks for reading!), and I've noticed something peculiar: how commentators are pressured to say "nice" stuff about Japan.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Jan 3, 2012
Kim to 'flyjin,' a top 10 for 2011
Here's JBC's fourth annual roundup of the top 10 human rights events that affected Japan's non-Japanese (NJ) residents last year. Ranked in ascending order of impact:
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Dec 6, 2011
For the sake of Japan's future, foreigners deserve a fair shake
These past few columns have addressed fundamentally bad habits in Japanese society that impede positive social change. Last month I talked about public trust being eroded by social conventions that permit (even applaud) the systematic practice of lying in public.
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Nov 1, 2011
The costly fallout of tatemae and Japan's culture of deceit
There is an axiom in Japanese: uso mo hōben — "lying is also a means to an end." It sums up the general attitude in Japan of tolerance of — even justification for — not telling the truth.
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Oct 4, 2011
Japan needs less ganbatte, more genuine action
Ganbatte kudasai!
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Sep 6, 2011
'Sexlessness' wrecks marriages, threatens nation's future
In its cover story last month, The Economist newsmagazine looked at the issue of "Asia's lonely hearts: Why Asian women are rejecting marriage and what that means." It offered many reasons — including economics, education level, changes in family structures and gender roles, divorce difficulties, and demographics — for why many Asian women (and of course, by extension, Asian men) are marrying later or not at all.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Aug 2, 2011
The loneliness of the long-distance foreigner
A few months ago I had beers with several old Japan-hand guys (combined we have more than a century of Japan experiences), and one of them asked an interesting question:
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Jul 5, 2011
Lives such as Daniel's deserve to be honored in these pages
I had a shock in May with the death of a close friend, Daniel, a long-term Japan resident in his sixties who had been in bad health. We were close and I'll miss him.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / JUST BE CAUSE
Jun 7, 2011
'English-speaking diaspora' should unite, not backbite
There has been an ill wind blowing around Japan, and I don't just mean the fallout after Fukushima. I'm talking about the nasty attitude non-Japanese (NJ) residents have towards each other, even in this time of crisis.

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