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UN ready to whip Japan up to date on multiculturalism

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  • UN ready to whip Japan up to date on multiculturalism

    From today's JT (Friday, July 1):

    The U.N.'s expert on racism and discrimination will visit Japan for the first time this month to assess the situation of minorities and foreigners in Japanese society....

    He has asked the government to allow him to study the perception and interaction of foreigners and minorities in Japanese society, and to see how the country's strong national identity is coping with the challenges of multiculturalism in a globalized world...he has specifically requested a special meeting with Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara....

    He said his visit is aimed at gauging the extent to which Japan is complying with its international human rights obligations. At issue are concerns linked to discrimination and xenophobia....
    Will the J-gov finally have to reconcile its discriminatory actions with its pretty words about internationalization and tolerance? Or will it wine and dine the UN fact finders and maintain its facade of being in the same league as other 'developed' countries?

    Ignorance and phobia run pretty deep, and I don't expect that the UN's visit is going to change J-people's minds about even basic things like sitting beside a weird looking guy like me on the train, but maybe the UN could counter some of the offical discrimination and get the gov to shut up about foreigners being the source of everything nasty and criminal in Japan. Either way, I'm glad to know we're on the radar...

  • #2
    Yeah, nice one. It might help the wheels of change slowly start turning. The Let Internationalise thing really gives me the sh1ts to be honest. All these little festivals and so on are just to point out the funny differences, and generally provide entertainment at the expense of those who are different. Here's a good example of the double standards exhibited in this area:
    OUr school has a sister school in Korea. Every year the student visit each other, and it is a much talked about/ celebrated "opportunity for Internationalism/ global communicatin " etc. The teacher in charge of the programme told me last week that crime is very high in the Kansai regions because of "so many people of Korean decent" . Aaaaaaagh! Ok, not saying the same redneck ____ wouldn"t be uttered in my country, but probably not by a teacher in his position to another (foreign) teacher. Are they just more transparent about racism than we have been conditioned to be?

    Stll, as you point out, these attitudes are supported by institutional racism, and therein lies the major difference.

    Comment


    • #3
      Japanese diplomats, time to throw some sushi banquet for your foreign guests...

      Originally posted by aha yes
      Will the J-gov finally have to reconcile its discriminatory actions with its pretty words about internationalization and tolerance? Or will it wine and dine the UN fact finders and maintain its facade of being in the same league as other 'developed' countries?

      Ignorance and phobia run pretty deep, and I don't expect that the UN's visit is going to change J-people's minds about even basic things like sitting beside a weird looking guy like me on the train, but maybe the UN could counter some of the offical discrimination and get the gov to shut up about foreigners being the source of everything nasty and criminal in Japan. Either way, I'm glad to know we're on the radar...

      I have seen too many political "shows" taking place in East Asia, so personally, I doubt this event will change much... In fact, I think it may be a clever window-dressing show already worked out between the Jp diplomats and the UN officials to beautify Japan's image before its attempted entry to the UN security council. So yes, as the OP pointed out, I think it could be just a wine-and-dine time with foreign guests. And I am sure they will do a good job - I think the Jp people are pretty good at schmoozing...

      But cynicism aside, I think it is still better than nothing at all - at least the Jp govt will try to make some superficial changes, and that will certainly help in improving the public's perception toward foreigners and minorities.

      (btw, to be fair, I personally would like to see that UN guy spare some time to visit Japan's neighbors as well... Their records of treating minorities and foreigners aren't that much better either...)

      Again, even a very small change will be a welcome one...

      Comment


      • #4
        govermental regulations are fine ALREADY

        If it ain't broken it doesn't need fixed,i disagree with any fixing up,Japan does not need flesh and blood characters messing and starting up conflicts in their homeland.
        Problems and situations unwanted here,unity is already achieved here.
        Remember we are guest's and that the majority of guest's here are only here tempoary as there is no determination for change here.
        Last edited by electric_japan; 2005-07-01, 05:01 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          I never had you down as a troll electric...

          Comment


          • #6
            Way to go Electric.

            I see bits and pieces of me rubbing off on you !
            I agree, we are merely guest and so therefore the government shouldn't write special laws just to accommodate foreign guest. I like Japan the way she was and is !
            Show some respect for the country you visit and stop demanding certain rights and privileges you don't deserve.
            This is Japan ! “Vc•Ã‰º–œÎII

            I'm sure before we came to this country we had fell in love with certain ideals and principals this country stood for and now that society is deteriorating, in part because of foreigners...etc, we need to be less vocal about OUR wants and wishes. The Is God's country ! and undoubtedly the finest and most well organized and civilized country on the face of the earth. I for one, have travelled all over the world and most countrys are festered with religion and idealist, and those who wish to impose their culture upon another culture.

            In America it's okay to bring your "tired" and "weary" because America was designed for that. The mixing of cultures and ideals are good and that's what makes America so great ! BUT, every country can't emulate America. Japan is one such example. This country is great because of the contributions of others from a technical and business point of view BUT not cultural. Japan is a homogeneous culture and a people with one language and one ideaology. A japan that's full of foreigners is not Japan; a Japan without the Emperor is not Japan; A Japan withouth the sword is not Japan.

            Comment


            • #7
              The word gmulticulturalismh really sets off the fearmongering endangered culture panickers doesnft it? Especially the priveleged white ones whose Japan is a quaint ideal more than a real place. Itfs worth noting that the UN misson is concentrating on Asian foreigners in Japan.

              electric,
              Youfre a flesh and blood character in Japan yourself, arenft you?

              mcalpine,
              Was that little lop-sided rant your way of dropping some healthy antagonism into this, or do you really believe that BS?

              If the former, I have to say, well done. A genuine right-winger couldnft have said it better. You not only covered most of the 2-yen cliches about Japanfs unique godliness, you also managed to blur the distinction between eguestsf like yourself who are evisitingf the country and, letfs see, permanent residents, naturalized citizens, second-generation Koreans, and half-Japanese kids who spend their whole lives in Japan speaking and acting Japanese but are still treated like eguestsf because they have curly brown hair and big eyes. But see, itfs not the tourists who have problems here.

              If the latter, I shall call you mccowpie and offer these responses:


              Originally posted by mcalpine
              I like Japan the way she was and is !
              Shefs a dynamic thing and has been for most of her history. Couple of hundred years Japan sealed itself off, but before that half its culture was imported from China and Korea, and since then... well I have to say youfre about 60 years late on the warning about Americanization. Anyway, I doubt the Japanese care what you like.


              Originally posted by mcalpine
              Show some respect for the country you visit and stop demanding certain rights and privileges you don't deserve.
              Powerful show of righteousness there, but what does it even mean? What gcertain rights and privelegesh should foreigners not have, and what exactly have we done that we gdonft deserveh them?


              Originally posted by mcalpine
              This is Japan ! ??????!!
              You donft say (???????!!!). Damn I thought that plane was headed for Mexico city. I musta had too many $8 bloody marys at the bar...


              Originally posted by mcalpine
              I'm sure before we came to this country we had fell in love with certain ideals and principals this country stood for and now that society is deteriorating, in part because of foreigners...
              Actually before I came here what I fell in love with was a girl, not any particular Japanese ideals or principles, although I did like to play ninja when I was a kid (and sometimes even now when the mood strikes), and I do dig some of the philosophy...and lots of other good things about the place and the people as I got to know them. But I didnft come here with expectations of samurai strutting down the street, so Ifm not nearly as disappointed as you. But letfs say esociety is deterioratingf, and not just changing, tell me exactly what epartf of the responsibility goes on the foreigners.


              Originally posted by mcalpine
              ...we need to be less vocal about OUR wants and wishes.
              Well youfre pretty vocal about YOUR wants and wishes for Japan. Like you know whatfs better for them than they do... Japan is changing by its own choices. Youfre the one whofs trying to pin them in the past. Get over it and let eem grow. I know plenty of Japanese who donft mind seeing some of the old ways go.


              Originally posted by mcalpine
              The Is God's country ! and undoubtedly the finest and most well organized and civilized country on the face of the earth...
              Now thatfs funny. The nepotism, bribery, 15-yr economic backslide, rising violent crime, and 30,000 reported suicides a year, however, arenft so funny.


              Originally posted by mcalpine
              In America it's okay to bring your "tired" and "weary" because America was designed for that. The mixing of cultures and ideals are good and that's what makes America so great ! BUT, every country can't emulate America. Japan is one such example.
              I think the mixing in America has been a good thing overall too, but I donft think it was really designed for it in the gtiredh and gwearyh sense. That was an advertisement for cheap labor by a clique of ex-European landowners. They buried their exploitation under nice sounding ideals like freedom and equality, then those ideals got out of the barn and America and the world has been trying to catch up ever since. Anyway, Ifm not saying Japan should emulate America, and thatfs not the aim of the Senegalese UN guy either. Japan will decide who it wants to emulate.


              Originally posted by mcalpine
              Japan is a homogeneous culture and a people with one language and one ideaology. A japan that's full of foreigners is not Japan; a Japan without the Emperor is not Japan; A Japan withouth the sword is not Japan.
              Japan might be relatively homogeneous compared to some other countries, but...last week I graded some papers I had assigned to some of my uni students asking them to agree or disagree with the statement that Japan is a monocultural society and give some examples to support their answers. And guess what? Only 2 of 16 agreed that itfs monocultural, and their examples complained about how conformist and stifling Japan culture can be. The other 14 said itfs multicultural and gave examples about regional, generational and individual differences in Japanese peoplefs beliefs and attitudes. No one wrote anything about the Emperor or swords...


              This UN mission isnft coming to open the floodgates for foreigners or to force Japan to relinquish its culture. Theyfre just checking on whether Japanfs policies match up with the international agreements it has voluntarily committed to.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mcalpine
                Japan is a homogeneous culture and a people with one language and one ideaology. A japan that's full of foreigners is not Japan; a Japan without the Emperor is not Japan; A Japan withouth the sword is not Japan.
                And what about a Korea that"s full of Japanese, or a China, or Singapore, or Thailand? For such a homogenous country they sure did get around back then in the '40s.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Looser!

                  Originally posted by mcalpine
                  Japan is a homogeneous culture and a people with one language and one ideaology. .
                  And in your case, a homoerotic culture, half a language, and one overarching idjit-ology.
                  You can be so tiresome sometimes. Don't you ever get tired of it?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It not about us Westies, I think,....

                    Besides ignorant xenophonia (which you find in many countries, not just Japan) as a English-specking Caucasian, I feel I have little to moan about in Japan (even though I do when Im having a bad day).

                    However I do think the Korean-Japanese issue needs addressing. While I think its too simple, the "if you dont like Japan, go home" line holds some truth for most of us, it doesnt for Korean-Japanese. Like African Americans, they were brought here against their will, couldnt get back so I feel its unfair for Japan to not regard them as a real part of Japan. Many only speak Japanese and think Japanese. If they dont want them here, they shouldnt have dragged them over in the first place.

                    Korean Japanese should be the number one issue for the Un, not the rest of us.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, I do get tired of being tired Kurogane.

                      Originally posted by kurogane
                      And in your case, a homoerotic culture, half a language, and one overarching idjit-ology.
                      You can be so tiresome sometimes. Don't you ever get tired of it?
                      What's there to be tired of ? I thought there was more to be loved...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        maciijit:

                        so you're still alive then...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Stillnosleep-GET SOME MUCH NEEDED SLEEP

                          Troll? what was it that I said?,how do I demonstrate to you as being a troll when I walk and breathe here in Japan daily?.
                          This troll term is over-used online here as this is apparently one of the best lines used on here when someone objects to one's beliefs specific about Japan.
                          I see what Japan is which is no spinning wheel of change my friend,if you speak Japanese here you are considered a foreigner whom speaks Japanese and that is it,you are not treated as a friend,or kinder by Japanese people.
                          I am not singing and dancing on the streets here,I am not moaning and causing demonstrations on the street as what I saw before first hand,but not here though as life is lived peacefully here in privacy as much as I like and want.
                          I will never let go of whom I am or where I came from NEVER,as multiculturalism will never happen here,assimilation sounds very fantastical in Japan,wearing a kimono isn't going to do the trick either.
                          Culturally I am not the same as the Japanese,even walking into a Mc Donalds is a diffrent experiance than my former address,everything I do here is ALL diffrent.
                          I am not entitled to anything here just because I am a foreigner.I will and will always be kept out of the society,and you know what my friend I accept this with open arms and I will always.
                          Because I don't rock the boat here and I don't make myself look like a moron as I have see all too much already in this life of mine what an outsider can look like to a native person,an official fool from abroad.
                          So come on and tell me what exactly was it that I said to make your eyes light up?.
                          Ahayes I am walking and cycling the streets and pathway's here day and night aware of where I am and seeing everyone whom comes before me,it's all Japanese stuff and will always be.
                          Stillnosleep don't confuse me with being a troll,get some sleep,when I speak from the heart to all of you I tell in great length...when I am not roasting like a chicken in this hot summer house of what I see and feel here genuinely.
                          Assimilation is not and will not happen so what are you opposed to what i say,nothing is vaguely reminisent of what I know of growing up,I accept where I am whom my new friends not unaware of what and whom I am.
                          Still no sleep the ball is in your hands now,my story-reading journal is over and done,let us continue this as English speaking guest's as this is whom and what we are.
                          Last edited by electric_japan; 2005-07-03, 10:53 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            hmmm

                            besides the xenophobia, i think the UN is coming to look into (among other things) the fact that people taken into custody in japan are

                            1) not given a proper interpreter during their hearing... the translations run akin to Lost in Translation with huge chunks of the proceedings skipped over

                            2) while incarcerated foreign prisoners may not receive any communication that is not in Japanese

                            3)while incarcerated foreign prisoners may not talk to their visitors in any other language but Japanese

                            surely this violates basic human rights... or does it fall under things that they do not deserve?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Cries For Attention

                              Yes that may be grim and harsh,but makes most reluctant of causing a problem here.

                              A futuristic Japan that we never get to see in a environment weakened by the contributions of unruly foreigners.A collaboration of English and Japanese in a bond within Japan is something that does not work remarkablly well.

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