I love Japan!

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 02:44

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/japan-subaru/
Pretty much every large company in Japan has subcontractors who use virtual slave labor.

"Abu Said Shekh works at a Subaru supplier in violation of the law. On provisional release from immigration detention, he paints dashboard components and other interior parts for up to 12 hours a day, six days a week. Pictures taken with his mobile phone show him wearing a mask to protect against paint fumes. He asked that his place of employment not be identified.

A copy of Dhaka court documents translated into English show that Shekh was indicted back home in Bangladesh under the country’s explosive materials laws. In his asylum application documents, the 46-year-old Shekh said he was the victim of trumped-up charges and had been targeted for being a member of an opposition party. Reuters could not independently verify his assertion. His asylum request was rejected in 2011, a Ministry of Justice letter shows. He has since reapplied and is now awaiting a final decision.

Shekh says he lives in the shadows, constantly on the watch for immigration officers. “I have no right to work and no insurance,” he said. “Formally, I don’t have an address or a bank account. To the government of Japan, I am Mr Nobody.”

Asylum seekers on provisional release are effectively trapped – they can’t go home and they aren’t allowed to work.

“I have to stay here and I need money to buy food,” said Shekh, sitting in the two-room apartment he shares with a fellow Bangladeshi. “I just want to be treated like a human being, not a dog.”"
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 02:49

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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 02:58

And rape culture in Japan is still quite huge. It starts incredibly young here, with assaults against women by boys and men depicted on children's television programs as humorous. Our daughter doesn't like Japanese television, because as she says "it's all boys doing cool stuff, and girls cheering for them or being kissed by them", my wife hates watching local tv as well, because the fact that nearly every television commercial is still gender biased is depressing as hell.... and as for the whole #metoo campaign globally, read the article, about Ms. Ito, and understand how common this is. Most women here have been sexually assaulted or at least harassed in the workplace. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/world/asia/japan-rape.html

"The police officers she spoke to initially discouraged her from filing a complaint and expressed doubt about her story because she was not crying as she told it, she said. Some added that Mr. Yamaguchi’s status would make it difficult for her to pursue the case, she said."
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 03:03

And bullying, sure, nonexistent ... "The teacher knew of the suffering the boy was going through, as his abusers continued to bully him and urge him to commit suicide, however she refused to help him. They even recounted a time, when the teacher was present at the time his classmates were telling him to kill himself."
http://japandailypress.com/nagoya-committee-concludes-13-year-olds-suicide-was-direct-result-of-bullying-3146562/
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 03:07

They can actually chart when the suicides will peak... http://www.newsweek.com/why-do-so-many-japanese-schoolchildren-kill-themselves-391648

"To Western ears, the date of September 1 sounds benign. In Japan, however, it carries a mournful burden. It’s the date that many of Japan’s schools reopen after summer vacation.

It’s also the day that Japanese children are most likely to kill themselves."

"The numbers are glaring. Japan’s overall suicide rate is roughly 60 percent higher than the global average, a 2014 World Health Organization report noted. In 2014 alone, 25,000 Japanese people took their own lives—roughly 70 suicides every day.

Last year, suicide was the leading cause of death for Japanese children between the ages of 10 and 19. Among teens and young adults ages 10–24, there are roughly 4,600 suicide deaths in each year, and another 157,000 instances of hospitalization for self-inflicted injuries."

It's so awesome in Japan... we could all learn how to have better countries, if we just followed Japan's example.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 03:18

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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 03:34

And the clean up in Fukushima is going swimmingly, why? Because the yakuza, those unsung heroes of Japan are so helpful... http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/1922968/job-desperate-how-fukushima-clean-workers-form-bottom-caste

"Brokers have been known to "buy" workers by paying off their debts. The workers are then forced to work until they pay off their new bosses for sharply reduced wages and under conditions that make it hard for them to speak out against abuses, labor activists and workers in Fukushima said."

"Yousuke Minaguchi, a lawyer who has represented Fukushima workers, says Japan's government has turned a blind eye to the problem of worker exploitation. "On the surface, they say it is illegal. But in reality they don't want to do anything. By not punishing anyone, they can keep using a lot of workers cheaply.""

"Hundreds of small companies have been given contracts for this decontamination work. Nearly 70 percent of those surveyed in the first half of 2013 had broken labor regulations, according to a labor ministry report in July. The ministry's Fukushima office had received 567 complaints related to working conditions in the decontamination effort in the year to March. It issued 10 warnings. No firm was penalized.
One of the firms that has faced complaints is Denko Keibi, which before the disaster used to supply security guards for construction sites.
Denko Keibi managed 35 workers in Tamura, a village near the plant. At an arbitration session in May that Reuters attended, the workers complained they had been packed five to a room in small cabins. Dinner was typically a bowl of rice and half a pepper or a sardine, they said. When a driver transporting workers flipped their van on an icy road in December, supervisors ordered workers to take off their uniforms and scatter to distant hospitals, the workers said. Denko Keibi had no insurance for workplace accidents and wanted to avoid reporting the crash, they said."

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/special-report-help-wanted-in-fukushima-crime/
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 03:38

http://www.newsweek.com/why-does-no-one-care-japanese-are-openly-racist-364129

And there's no race issues here either... none what so ever...

"One of the more prominent victims of Japan’s ingrained discrimination is Ariana Miyamoto, who represents Japan in the 2015 Miss Universe competition. Miyamoto, the daughter of a Japanese mother and an African-American father, is categorized as hafu, a Japanese term and bastardization of the English word half, indicating someone who is mixed race.

Growing up in Japan, Miyamoto found her skin tone and curly hair caused others to shun her; classmates and their parents referred to her as kurombo, the Japanese equivalent of the N-word. Rather than identifying solely as black or Japanese, Miyamoto instead chooses to present herself as a representative of all ethnically and racially mixed Japanese. Her participation in the Miss Universe pageant opens the door for hafus to be accepted as part of Japanese society, and changes what it means to act and appear “Japanese.”

Reactions from the Japanese public have been less than kind. Posts on social media read, “Is it OK to select a hafu to represent Japan?”; “Miss Universe Japan is…what? What kind of person is she? She’s not Japanese, right?”; and “Even though she’s Miss Universe Japan, her face is foreign no matter how you look at it.”

The issues surrounding hafus run deeper than social acceptance—they face legal hurdles as well. Regardless of their ethnicity, children with dual citizenship (Japan and another country) must choose one nation or the other once they turn 22d. This mandate is based solely on suspicions that force individuals to base their loyalty with Japan or another country should international tensions arise.

The ruling was introduced in a 1984 amendment to define Japan as a jus sanguinis country, one that bases citizenship on blood, not birthplace. This makes it all the more difficult for hafus to strike a balance when embracing their mixed heritage with a Japanese upbringing."
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 03:53

So, yeah, without bringing any of the experiences that we have had personally here, just a few news stories, I claim bullshit on this notion that Japan is some sort of wonderland. It's a country, better than some, worse than others, it has it's good points, but it also has it's bad points. The one thing that Japan has a lot of, that many others do not, are foreign visitors and residents who get offended if you point out that Japan has some serious flaws. I can never fully understand that... I understand if Japanese folks act that way, but foreigners, nope. I like Japan, but I also recognize that it has issues, serious issues. We encourage our daughter to travel, see the world, visit other countries, and expect that she will not want to live in Japan as an adult, because there will be just too many issues, from the collapse of the population (aging and low birthrate), terrible conditions for females (in the workplace and society), and the endless racism (the term "hafu", or "half" is incredibly demeaning, and my daughter does face racist bullshit on a nearly daily basis, we insulate her as best as possible, mainly by taking her out of the public school system, but because we still have to be here, we teach her to respond to it, as it's the other person's issue, not hers).
There are worse places to raise a family, by far, and I don't worry about her being gunned down by the police or a nut job in a theater, but the government is as inept and racist as Trump's, every channel on the TV is similar to FOX news, and there are cons to being here as well.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 30 Jan 2018, 04:14

Sheesh, Matty. Glad I titled the thread "I love Japan," because Japan has been berry berry good to me. (70s SNL reference, kids.) But, yes, there are loads of problems here. That they are enumerated in the press is a good thing because once called out in public, saving face is a big motivator of societal and self improvement here.

Not to defend chickan (perverts) but in the school test day article there is this down near the bottom.

police reports make no mention of a spike in chikan activity on the days of the Center Test. That, however, may simply mean that chikans’ schemes are working exactly as planned,


Or it may "simply mean" that chikan are not as big a problem as the article is implying. Not saying it doesn't happen; it happens in porn a lot, but it probably ain't that prevalent. Or maybe it is which means the cops should be extra vigilant on test days. This news article expose might help.

The bigger problem are those damn tests the kids have to take. It's crazy to have all the tests on one day and in select test centers. Have a cold? Miss your bus? Miss a year of opportunity.

Despite the nefariousness of convenience store owners and mangers, the level of service I get from the Japanese staff at convenience stores is usually great. Not only do they scan the goods and take my money, they fill out forms for money orders and package delivery by hand with perfect handwriting and with top notch proficiency. Not to demean foreign staffers but there is one chain shop near my work where I stop in to buy a bottle of coffee before class. It is staffed by a few Nepalese young people and the service sucks. While they're friendly and they like to chat to me, a fellow gaijin, they also chat among one another, In a normal country this would be normal part-timer kids killing boredom. But this is Japan. My pal calls Japan "Work Station Xenon." I am used to the Japanese workers' hustle so it irks me when I have to wait for the Nepalese kid to finish his conversation with his pal and then saunter back over to the register to say a special "Hello, how are you?" to me and then take my 100 yen. I can imagine the negative thoughts about foreign workers from the customers behind me. Then again, I have seen foreign convenience store workers who do the job as well as the Japanese. It's actually only at this one store where I get irked.

PS Just read your bit above, Matty. I forgot you have a daughter. I'd be worried too about chikan. No offense meant.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 04:25

You clearly state that chikan's aren't a problem. They are. Your wife even said that she was harassed. This is a country that would rather add "women's only train cars" than deal with the problem. It's a big deal.

You live in Tokyo. It's very different than the rest of Japan. And who cares about the conditions of the foreign student making slave wages with his passport being held by the broker who arranged the job for him, so long as the bottle of coffee comes quick? I honestly can't get my head around this stuff. You claim you've never once been discriminated against in thirty years of living in Japan? I find that incredibly hard to swallow. Do you live in a bubble or not speak the language?
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 04:26

If I had a son, I'd be just as concerned with chikan. The issue isn't the girls, it's the fucking boys and men, and nobody telling them to keep their hands to themselves.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 04:57

Jimbo wrote:That they are enumerated in the press is a good thing because once called out in public, saving face is a big motivator of societal and self improvement here.


They aren't enumerated in the press. The average Japanese doesn't know about these flaws because they are not reported. Japan has an absolutely dismal record on reporting and press freedom, which has only gotten worse over the past three decades. Look back at the majority of the posts I've made with links. Those links are either the foreign press or the Japan Times, which has been the one independent (but English language, so useless to the average Japanese) news source in the country. I worked with CNN in Tokyo thirty years ago, and we realized how bad the reporting was then, and talking with others in media, they've confided that it's worse now. And the numbers back them up.

"The group said media freedom in Japan has been declining ever since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s second administration took office in 2012.

Due to “growing self-censorship within the leading media groups and a system of ‘kisha clubs’ (reporters’ clubs) that discriminate against freelancers and foreign reporters, journalists have difficulty serving the public interest and fulfilling their role as democracy’s watchdogs,” the organization said on its website.

The release followed former disaster reconstruction minister Masahiro Imamura’s much-criticized breaking off of a news conference earlier this month after facing tough questions about the government’s support for Fukushima evacuees.

He yelled “Get out!” at a freelance journalist who quizzed him about his comments that voluntary evacuees from around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant should bear “responsibility for their own decisions.”"

"Reporters Without Borders has criticized Japanese media outlets’ self-censorship and surrender of their independence. Last year, three TV news anchors who had been critical of Abe’s government stepped down. In the same year, the watchdog downgraded Japan to 72nd on the list, from 61st the previous year.

The group also criticized the government’s refusal to have any debate about the divisive law protecting state secrets specially designated by the government itself, despite U.N. protests. Under the law, whistleblowers, journalists and bloggers face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of publishing information obtained “illegally.”"

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/27/national/japan-stays-72nd-world-press-freedom-list-last-g-7/#.Wm_54yN7Gu4

"At first, the media didn't hold back in criticizing his administration. The press lambasted Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso for saying that Japan should learn from the way the Nazi party stealthily changed Germany's constitution before World War II. But critics say Aso's suggestion foreshadowed things to come.

Two years ago, the Abe administration pushed through a state secrets bill ostensibly designed to prevent classified information from leaking to China or Russia. But the measure allows for journalists and bloggers to be jailed for up to five years for asking about something that is a state secret, even if they aren't aware it is one. Thousands protested the law when it was passed on Dec. 6, 2013.

Abe's friend, conservative businessman Katsuto Momii, became the head of Japan's major public broadcasting company, NHK, in 2014, in a move that has compromised the independence of its reports. Momii has stated publicly that NHK "should not deviate from the government's position in its reporting."
Abe's Liberal Democratic party also recently proposed a constitutional amendment that would allow the government to curtail speech that "harms the public interest and public order."

In June 2015, members of the party urged the government to punish media outlets critical of the government and pressure companies not to advertise with them.

This year, Abe's Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi threatened to shut down news broadcasters over "politically biased reports" -- something TV and radio laws in Japan empower her to do.

A week later, three television presenters who had been critical of the Abe administration were all removed from their positions.
Veteran reporters in Japan have criticized Abe's government for applying pressure to reporters, but also decry the increasing self-censorship going on in the country's press. "To me, the most serious problem is self-restraint by higher-ups at broadcast stations," Soichiro Tahara, one of the country's most revered journalists, told reporters last month.

"The Abe administration's threats to media independence, the turnover in media personnel in recent months and the increase in self-censorship within leading media outlets are endangering the underpinnings of democracy in Japan," Reporters Without Borders concluded in its report released this month about declining media freedoms in Japan.

"Independence of the press is facing serious threats," David Kaye, U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said during a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan on Tuesday. "Many journalists who came to me and my team asked for anonymity in our discussions. Many claimed to have been sidelined or silenced following indirect pressure from politicians.""

http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-japan-press-freedom-20160420-story.html
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 05:11

And what was Japan's number one "scandal" for the past year? Kobe Steel, which was actually seriously under reported on in Japan, compared to elsewhere... and who reported on it first? The Japanese press? Of course not. It took nearly a month for any Japanese press to report on it, and only when the lawsuits were piling up from overseas. The scandal first broke in August, with the first serous Japanese reports in October. And who used to work for Kobe Steel before politics, oh, just a guy named Shinzo Abe. Japanese press, politics, and business is a dirty web of nastiness. Just like what Trump wants for America.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 30 Jan 2018, 06:19

Matty Red Sox wrote: You claim you've never once been discriminated against in thirty years of living in Japan? I find that incredibly hard to swallow.


I may have and didn't know it but looking back on over 30 years here, from where I was to where i am now, retired with my own home, a pension, an easy part-time job, my kid gainfully and happily employed, still married, I can't complain of shabby treatment from Japanese society or the law. Cases vary, I'm know.

But you make good points re the press, especially for a nut like me who follows US conspiracies and critical political stories, truly the like of which I don't see much of in the TV reporting here, which is where I get my Japan news. For what it is worth, Abe's wife and the school land purchase scandal got a lot of air time and I wouldn't have known at all of the Kobe Steel quality control problem if not for the TV news. True, I have not been informed of a deeper story. Of course, Matty, if my job were to ferret out news, if I were an actual reporter and I was stopped from reporting by the Japanese law or whatever other dark force then I'd protest as loudly as I could. Maybe it is like living under Mussolini and I'm just happy the trains are on time and so I could care less about how the sausage is made. I can't deny that somehow the country and the government services are well run.

As for my wife getting felt up a bit on the train, shit happens. There are measures in place to try and deal with perverts, such as a women's only car, which is not nothing, and she could have reported it to the police, which she didn't. But she told me about it and I got angry, but it's done and forgotten. There are things for which we needn't make a federal case.

Maybe you can tell me how worried you are about Fukushima now. The Japanese media is not panicking so I am mollified, perhaps narcotized. If it was truly fucked up up there life would be different like it was for months after the tsunami, i.e., the banning of veggies from the region. The western media seems more worried than the Japanese media. If and when all those tubs of radioactive water are leaking and radiation is affecting lives I'm pretty confident the Japanese media will warn the populace but for now I'm happy, glowing in fact.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 07:05

I'm actually most upset that I can't be at Sugiura's (Jan the owner of the Rolling Stone) funeral tomorrow. I got a message from his daughter the other day, he passed away on Saturday evening.

As for the radiation, I am resigned to the fact that if we've been poisoned, we've been poisoned already. As a resident of Hiroshima, I also realize that the damage can be contained more than folks realize... but I'm sure we've had contaminated veggies by now.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 30 Jan 2018, 07:19

Matty Red Sox wrote:I'm actually most upset that I can't be at Sugiura's (Jan the owner of the Rolling Stone) funeral tomorrow. I got a message from his daughter the other day, he passed away on Saturday evening.


Aw, that's too bad. Jan ran the best, most rocking bar in the world. He was a heavy smoker. Goddamn, I'll have a shot in his honor tonight.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 07:32

He did well... 75 years, owned the best bar in the world for 43 of them. Got to meet Keith Richards because of him.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 30 Jan 2018, 07:43

Matty Red Sox wrote:He did well... 75 years, owned the best bar in the world for 43 of them. Got to meet Keith Richards because of him.


When I first heard of the bar I was told every third or fifth song played was a Rolling Stones song and I hope I never have to listen to "Start Me Up" again. No, maybe I will listen right now in his honor. See, Jan wasn't in the bar all the time. He'd wander in and out appearing in his jean jacket like a ghost and as soon as the DJ who'd be playing an Iggy Pop or James Brown or AC/DC tune spied his boss gently bopping near the cheesy mirror ball, the next song was a Stones song, usually "Start Me Up."
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Matty Red Sox » 30 Jan 2018, 08:35

I never had that experience... the DJ's did take a lot of requests though. I remember every Saturday around 11:00 or 12:00 they'd play Sweet Jane from the Lou Reed Live LP and the DJ would chat over the intro for the whole time, explaining the bar rules... Jan would be there the whole night, wandering in and out all evening. There used to be a lot of Tom Waits, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Hanoi Rocks, Aerosmith, Guns & Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, forty five minutes of Stones, Kinks, Stone Roses, blur, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, and a host of other bands played on those enormous speakers. The request slips tucked in the old tea tins on the tables, the bathroom under the stairs with a poster of the Dictators in it... his daughter sent me a photo of when Jan first opened the place, it looked the same except clean... such a great bar.
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