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Regarding Debito Arudou’s March 4 article, “Dusting off the A-word“: In reading through this latest bit of self-promoting preaching, I tried hard to keep from laughing out loud at some of the lofty claims. Arudou claims to be “doing what other fellow Japanese (however few), working within the law and the Constitution, do.” Arudou hides behind that argument, yet flouts the law all too often.

His claims that a ballet school in Minami-Azabu (Tokyo) was “racist,” when he was, once again, rushing off without facts, could be considered punishable for attempting to obstruct business. His publishing on his blog of court documents regarding a rape case in which the victim’s name was revealed was almost certainly a violation of Japan’s privacy laws.

Arudou says Japan needs laws against hate speech, yet on his blog he posted an opinion piece claiming that “Japan condones the murder of foreigners by its citizens.” Is this not hate speech? Does posting that help bring down barriers? Does deriding anyone with a different viewpoint as “apathetic, cynical, culturally relativistic, or debate dilettantes” raise the level of discussion?

We don’t need his brand of “activism,” thank you. His cause may be just, but the ends do not justify the means. In fact, Arudou’s means make the ends much harder for responsible people to achieve, and create divisions that the rest of us have to try to patch over. He does his fellow Japanese and the foreign community an immense disservice with his “activism.”

lance braman