Voices | FOREIGN AGENDA

36,000 don’t want ‘pick-up artist’ Julien Blanc to drop in on Japan

by Jake Adelstein

Now-internationally reviled misogynist “pick-up artist” Julien Blanc is supposed to be coming to Japan this month. On Monday, a petition signed by over 36,000 people opposing his entry into Japan was submitted to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau, claiming that he is a criminal and shouldn’t be allowed into the country. Blanc was recently kicked out of Australia after the immigration minister canceled his visa.

Blanc is “an executive coach for Real Social Dynamics,” which charges men up to $3,000 for a chance to learn his secret dating tricks — including lying, psychological manipulation and choking. One of his videos, which was independently subtitled in Japanese and posted online on Sept. 17, raised ire in Japan and internationally. The video shows him bragging about physically grabbing Japanese women and footage of Blanc apparently sexually assaulting some of them.

After reading about Blanc, two women — a self-employed Japanese in her 20s and a longtime foreign Japan resident and DJ, 31 — put together a bilingual petition to stop Blanc from returning to Japan. Posted on Nov. 6 on Change.org., by 6 p.m. on Nov. 9, 32,588 people had signed.

Sources in law enforcement, including Customs, say there are valid reasons for denying entry. First, Blanc may have been working without a proper visa during his previous “seminar” in Tokyo. Second, the video shows him committing what appears to be forcible indecency (kyōsei waisetsu), a serious crime in Japan.

“While kyōsei waisetsu usually requires a criminal complaint from the victim, he could also be investigated for simple assault and/or obstruction of business, for grabbing a convenience store employee and forcibly kissing her and holding onto her,” said a police source.

The DJ, a stalking victim who asked that her real name not be used, said, “I hope that this petition will not only prevent him from entering Japan, but also send a strong message that misogyny, harassment/abuse and racism are things that the global community is increasingly realizing are unacceptable and that those who perpetuate these views and actions now have fewer and fewer places they can get away with it.

“Even if he is able to enter Japan after all of this, I think the campaigns against him have overall been successful enough that he will not be able to freely engage in this kind of behavior in many places anymore. The world is watching.”

Calls to Real Social Dynamics’ Japan office were not returned.

Jake Adelstein writes the monthly Dark Side of the Rising Sun column in The Japan Times on Sunday. Your comments: community@japantimes.co.jp