As a Japan vet, I say "Yes" to both good and bad connotations. More important than terminology, though, is the actual treatment of non-Japanese regarding important employment issues. What happens on a near daily basis is often criminal.
Although, originally Perry and those who followed were called "ketojin," so there has been some progress made. -- Gregg
I am married to a Japanese citizen and my wife and I find it offensive when people use "gaijin."