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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:
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Jan 24, 2006
Can Japan absorb foreign influx?
When discussing the recent ethnic riots in France, The Economist newsmagazine ("Minority Reports," Nov. 10, 2005) posed an important question: How come some countries assimilate immigrants more peacefully than others?
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Jan 3, 2006
Lawsuit-free land a myth
Japan is not renowned for its courtroom dramas. But occasionally a landmark ruling does make the front pages.
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Nov 22, 2005
The 'IC you' card
People are still reeling from September's LDP landslide election, realizing that Koizumi can essentially legislate whatever he wants.
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Oct 18, 2005
Ministry missive wrecks reception
Between Oct. 7-11, the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT), Japan's largest convocation of language educators, held its annual meeting in Shizuoka, a pleasant city between Tokyo and Osaka.
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Jun 28, 2005
Visa crackdown -- don't get burned
Last year The Japan Times ran an article entitled "Students pay price in visa crackdown" about Americans put through the wringer on minor infractions.
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
May 24, 2005
Here comes the fear
Japan is following other developed countries in drafting antiterrorism laws.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Mar 8, 2005
Creating laws out of thin air
With terrorists striking fear into governments worldwide, Japan too is currently considering its own version of America's Patriot Act, to be passed in a year or two.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Jan 4, 2005
Racism is bad business
The Community Page has commented at length on socially-sanctioned exclusionary practices in Japan. However, it has rarely touched upon their quantifiable, longer-term effects.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Nov 30, 2004
Get on their case
"I don't like black people! Shoo!"
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Jul 27, 2004
Know the law
You might have noticed the dragnet in Japan these days.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Jun 29, 2004
Visa villains
With U.N. studies advising more immigration, and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's worldwide campaign for more foreign visitors, Japan is not doing itself any favors with its new legislation on visa overstays.
COMMUNITY / Issues
May 11, 2004
Kidnap crisis poses a new risk
When five Japanese were taken hostage in Iraq last month, huge public concern for their safe return quickly gave way to hostility and a campaign of vilification. A disastrous public appeal by the families of three of the hostages for the withdrawal of SDF troops from Iraq encouraged the government to take a tough line, and facilitated a media frenzy that sought to paint the hostages as reckless, naive and of dubious political affiliation.
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Mar 30, 2004
Downloadable discrimination
There has been a lot of press recently not just on foreign crime (again), but on unethical methods of collecting data on foreigners.
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Jan 13, 2004
Forensic science fiction
We periodically hear from nationalists about Japan's distinctiveness -- how "Japaneseness" is a matter of "race" and "blood," not citizenship or culture. This is usually disregarded as mere unscientific sentiment from fringe elements.
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Jan 6, 2004
Freedom of speech
Consider this: You are a student in a Japanese J.H.S. Your native language may or may not be Japanese, but you are learning English as a second language like everyone else.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Nov 18, 2003
Unusual election full of promise
It may be difficult to take an interest in Japan's election last week, since many readers cannot vote. But results this time may be critically important for Japan's future as a democracy.
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Oct 7, 2003
Time to come clean on foreign crime wave
For those who read and watch the Japanese press, these are scary times. Foreign crime is allegedly on the rise, members of the new Koizumi Cabinet are making clear policy statements against it, and the National Police Agency is ready for a new push.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Sep 30, 2003
A level playing field?
Sports are seen as a catalyst for international communication. Even the Olympic Games were established a century ago to promote world peace -- through people meeting and competing on level playing fields.
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Jul 8, 2003
Watching the detectives
There's something to be said about Japanese police attitudes towards foreigners.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Mar 4, 2003
Sealing the deal on public meetings
You might have heard recently about Tama-chan, a cute sea lion frequenting Yokohama rivers. He became so popular that the city threw him an unprecedented fish: an honorary Certificate of Residency ("juminhyo").

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