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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

For Debito Arudou's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

What about we stop it with the 'whataboutism'?

Issues | JUST BE CAUSE Jul 15, 2018

What about we stop it with the 'whataboutism'?

These are troubling times for human rights activists. For 27 years I’ve been writing about civil, political and human rights for non-Japanese (NJ) and other minorities in Japan. And I’ve never been more confused. Not least because the United States, the putative paragon of human ...

Government of Japan, survey thyself

Issues | JUST BE CAUSE Mar 5, 2017

Government of Japan, survey thyself

Something landmark happened late last year. Japan's government undertook a nationwide survey of discrimination toward Japan's long-term non-Japanese (NJ) residents. The Foreign Residents Survey (FRS), drawn up in 13 languages, was randomly mailed last November to 18,500 NJ residents. It was widely dispersed — to ...

Japan's human rights issues fared better in 2016

Issues | JUST BE CAUSE Jan 8, 2017

Japan's human rights issues fared better in 2016

Welcome back to JBC's annual countdown of the top issues as they affected Non-Japanese (NJ) residents of Japan. We had some brighter spots this year than in previous years, because Japan's government has been so embarrassed by hate speech toward Japan's minorities that they ...