In his March 12 letter, “Illegal under the Constitution,” Lance Braman had much to say regarding the fact that racial discrimination was illegal under the Japanese Constitution, contrary to what Debito Arudou wrote in his March 3 article, “Of toadies, vultures and zombie debates.”
I would like to ask Braman if he has ever experienced racial discrimination in Japan. There are many laws in Japan — and, indeed, any country — that are not enforced. For example, how many employers force their employees to work overly long hours without paying them the legally mandated overtime wages? How many women in Japan get paid the same wages as men who do the same job? How many companies are prosecuted for turning down a viable employment candidate simply because of his or her race?
Then there is, of course, the myriad double and triple standards regarding apartment and housing rentals. While I agree with Braman that one should get his facts straight, I also feel that he has missed Arudou’s point. Whether racial discrimination is legal or not, it is practiced without tether on a daily basis and it continues to ruin lives.
I think Braman should accustom himself to the notion that if you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem. We need enforced equality now or, barring that, an official forum with access to the government to hear and process grievances.
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