We have done it! The sign that Debito has been complaining about has been taken down thanks to the actions of Occidentalism commenters MaidoOido and Ponta, and also the policy of Occidentalism of bringing foreigners and Japanese people together, rather than driving a wedge by misunderstanding and prejudice.

Ponta spoke with the owner on the phone, and the owner said that different customs lead him to write “Japanese
people only” on the sign. In addition to the foreign customers not being able to follow the written rules in Japanese, they also brought their own food to the restaurant, brought children to the restaurant but left the children alone in the restaurant while the parents went elsewhere which caused trouble for the staff, and some foreign customers ordering only on dish between 5 people, etc. The sign was already down this morning when Ponta spoke with the owner, because MaidoOido had already contacted the local restaurant association to explain the situation.

At the moment there is no sign, but the text of the sign may be changed to make it clear that it is non-discriminatory, unlike the old sign which easily leads non-Japanese speaking foreigners to conclude that the shop owner hates foreigners. This excuses the comments of Debito’s readers, but not Debito’s comments.

The people that Debito has been deriding on his blog as “trolls” and “apologists” for Japanese only signs, including myself, have been the ones to solve this precisely because we allow an atmosphere of open discussion that allowed someone with the details of the restaurant to come forward, so we could contact the restaurant.

Debito on the other hand concealed the meaning of the Japanese text of the sign, very mitigating details, which reveal that the owner may not be racist, just clumsily excluding those people who most frequently violate his many rules. Understanding the actual problem is important in crafting the solution, but it is not clear that Debito wants a solution that doesn’t involve moralistic grandstanding. Read all about Debito’s deletions, spin, and outright deception here, in “Debito suppresses the opinions of dissenting foreigners“.

Ponta is going to interview the owner later today, so I will have more details, and photo’s of the shop and new sign (if a new one exists), later on.

By the way, what is with Debito calling foreigners with reasonable views “apologists for Japanese only signs”? Whats next, being called an “uncle tom”?

Important Update: Ponta’s interview with the owner. Here is Ponta’s report below.

I interviewed with the shop owner. It was a small restaurant where there is only a counter-table with just 11 seats.

Being explained that the sign was misleading, he took down the sign and threw it away. A Japanese blogger contacted the Tukiji association and advised what to do.

http://blog.livedoor.jp/tonchamon/archives/51811708.html#trackback

He said, “First and foremost, I apologize for causing troubles. As for the English sentence on the sign, I apologize for causing unpleasant sentiments among gaikokujin”

I asked why he posted the sign besides the reasons he gave me in the morning. He said, “when foreigners came”, he responded in Japanese, “they ordered Sushi, but the shop is not sushi restaurant, its main dish is ankou(an angler)and anago(sea eel).And the restaurant is pretty busy at launch, I can’t speak English , don’t have time to explain it in particular when busy , and the customers are mainly tourists who can’t speak Japanese. And the price is high for fishes. When complained I can’t explain it in English”. Sometimes a group of foreign tourist came in line, realizing the shop does not offer sushi, they just went away, that gives other customer trouble”.

Interestingly he said even after he posted the sign, there were foreigners coming. He didn’t reject them because they had a memo in Japanese saying what they wanted. More interestingly it was a foreigner who speaks Japanese that suggested him to set the shop for Japanese people only hearing troubles he had.

That’s how he posted the English sign.

He emphasized that he did not hate foreigners. He was working at Roppongi, he met a lot of foreigners whom he respects. But Tukiji is a place for tourists. That makes difference.

He said he is a big fun of Gundam (an anime that is popular among foreigners and Japanese), and he holds the belief that we can understand each other.

I told him, there were suggestions from gaijin, rewriting the post to “Entry restricted to people that understand the rules written below ” ( Matt) or “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” (Gerbilbastard )

He said he had no intention to post the sign, for the time being at least and that shop would welcome anybody, Japanese or foreigners, who keep their manners.

He looked frightened being explained what Debito’s post says.

Look at the photo I took today, the sign says “Please keep the manner when drinking. Don’t speak to other customer without reason

no sign

no sign

no sign

Thank you Ponta. Additional thanks to MaidoOido and Tonchamon.

Problem solved, and all it took was Japanese people and foreigners working together, done without hysterical accusations of racism, selective bannings of dissenting commenters, or implying that people are racist “apologists for Japanese only signs”. I hope Debito can learn a lesson from all this.

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy, finger chopping wacky, Racist Industrial Complex. Date: February 11, 2008, 7:57 pm | 207 Comments »

207 Responses

  1. KenYN Says:

    Good result guys! Quite frankly, Debito forments anti-oh-no-not-all-Japanese-because-we’re-not-racist as it serves his purposes. Not resolving matters means it can go on festering and be added to his Japanese Only sign collection.

    It’ll be interesting to see how he deals with this one, and yes, as I thought, it’s ill-mannered (or at least not having manners befitting the establishment) foreigners that are the problem here, not racist Yamato exclusionary etc etc proprietors.

  2. Gerbilbastard Says:

    Bravo! I tip my hat to you guys.

  3. GordonM Says:

    fantastic! well done!!! score one to the reasonable crowd.

  4. Jerry Billows Says:

    Congratulations on being real diplomats and professionals. This is just another indication that Debito Arudou’s website and blog cannot be taken at face value…EVER. Well done! Yes, score one for the reasonable crowd!!

  5. moYom Says:

    You guys are awesome.

    It’s ironic.
    Debito proved the Japanese language test for visas was a good idea.

  6. GordonM Says:

    here’s how i see it…
    Occidentalism (and other good blog sites)= “let’s all talk, keep an open mind and come up with something”

    Debito.org = “you agree with me, or bugger off”

  7. Kaneganese Says:

    Thank you, Matt, Ponta and Maido. お手柄です。

    It confirmed that Debito’s (who knows how to read Japanese) claim “Problem is, they indicate that NJ cannot have this degree of food appreciation, and so refuse them entirely. ” was completely false accusation based on prejudice against restaurant owner. And his accusation on Ponta as “apologist” or “troll” was totally wrong, since he was the one who actually solved the problem. On the other hand, Debito himself didn’t do anything except for deleting Ponta’s comments and shifting his responsibility to others. Now who was the one violated human rights? This time, he got lucky to have had Matt and Ponta to save his face. Next time, he should do this on his own before accuse someone.

    Anyway, I’m glad that I don’t have to go to Tsukiji in the freezing early morning to find the shop and explain what’s going on to them. I’m not a real fish-lover and you should know that even Japanese like me feel intimidated to go there after reading all the complicated rules, to be honest.

    I’d like to hear Ponta’s report.

  8. A lesson in activism « AMPONTAN Says:

    […] Another person seized on the opportunity to slip into his identity as The Caped Crusader fighting for truth, justice, and the moral order of the universe. Two other people with common sense and human understanding used a different approach, however. A native Japanese discussed the matter calmly with the owner, and the sign was taken down. Matt at Occidentalism describes what happened in two posts–the first here, and the second here. This is an excerpt from his second post: …The owner said that different customs led him to write “Japanese people only” on the sign. In addition to the foreign customers not being able to follow the written rules in Japanese, they also brought their own food to the restaurant, brought children to the restaurant but left the children alone in the restaurant while the parents went elsewhere which caused trouble for the staff, and some foreign customers ordering only one dish between 5 people, etc….At the moment there is (now) no sign, but the text of the sign may be changed to make it clear that it is non-discriminatory, unlike the old sign which easily leads non-Japanese speaking foreigners to conclude that the shop owner hates foreigners. […]

  9. camphortree Says:

    Wow! Ponta, MaidoOido, Matt,
    You are three sparkling lotus flowers in the Debito Pond. ドブ池の華麗なる蓮の花!
    Ponta, would you please reveal what foreign nationals the sushi cheff refered to in the sign?
    I am just curious. My husband and daughter are American. I am also an American citizen. I don’t mind even if the customers Matt mentioned above are American. So please let us know.

  10. GordonM Says:

    I’m going to make a guess that the owner was not concerned about American customers… the issues that the owner was complaining about (bringing in food into the restaurant, not watching your kids, ordering only one dish amongst 5 people…) are probably not what a typical American tourist would do.

  11. Tokyo Restaurant Removes “Japanese People Only” Sign : Japan Probe Says:

    […] Remember the above sign, which was featured on Arudou Debito’s blog last week? A group of users at Occidentalism report that they made a couple phone calls, talked to the restaurant owner, and the sign has been taken down: We have done it! The sign that Debito has been complaining about has been taken down thanks to the actions of Occidentalism commenters MaidoOido and Ponta, and also the policy of Occidentalism of bringing foreigners and Japanese people together, rather than driving a wedge by misunderstanding and prejudice. […]

  12. john k Says:

    Well done Ponta.
    Nice to see logic and sound reason wins the day over myopia.

  13. Jerry Billows Says:

    I suspect that I’m not alone in being disappointed with how Debito Arudou replied on his blog. He said everything except the two things that would have given him back a little credibility: “I’m sorry” or “I apologize, I was out-of-line for censoring posters and opinions I don’t like or disagree with.” It must be difficult for him to admit these things.

  14. Jerry Billows Says:

    Debito Arudou’s text in reply to a poster:

    –Yes, I read. Well done, everyone. I look forward to a full report and a photo of the new sign. Please do the same thing next time another exclusionary sign like that pops up (or work on some of the ones still up that are recorded on the Rogues’ Gallery).

    Not being sarcastic. I do appreciate your efforts. Glad it got done. Debito

    PS: I take it from your email address you’re a Pink Floyd fan…

    I’m pasting it here, in case it somehow disappears or is suddenly altered.

  15. The Overthinker Says:

    Very interesting set of comments. And well done ponta and MaidoOido – look forward to your further comments. It was especially eye-opening seeing the sorts of comments Debito censors, having been a victim of that from him myself. Ponta’s comments seemed perfectly reasonable to me. Certainly not rude or insulting.

  16. john k Says:

    I have never found Ponta rude or insulting, quite the opposite, nice to see him get a good result too.

    Mind you, I’ve had the same from Ampontan. He doesn’t like his own editorals being highlighted as biased and myopic in its conclusions too. Both their raison d’etres are the same and hence cut from the same cloth, but with different conclusions.

  17. Mark in Yayoi Says:

    First post here; I signed up to congratulate MaidoOido and Ponta for getting this sign issue resolved. What exactly did the owner say? Was he as “ganko” as the sign led people to believe? Are his revised rules posted anywhere?

    It’s worth noting, though, that Debito doesn’t delete every comment that disagrees with him. I made several posts (such as #10) suggesting that this situation could be solved amicably, and thanks to you Occidentalism bloggers, it was!

  18. Matt Says:

    First post here; I signed up to congratulate MaidoOido and Ponta for getting this sign issue resolved. What exactly did the owner say? Was he as “ganko” as the sign led people to believe? Are his revised rules posted anywhere?

    It’s worth noting, though, that Debito doesn’t delete every comment that disagrees with him. I made several posts (such as #10) suggesting that this situation could be solved amicably, and thanks to you Occidentalism bloggers, it was!

    Hi Mark. I just updated on this page. Scroll up to the main post to read Ponta’s report.

  19. Bryce Says:

    I posted a comment on Debito’s entry about this sign about a week ago wondering why someone didn’t just go down to Tsujiki and explain what the problem was to the owner nicely. My comment made it to the *your comment is being moderated* message, but was never published. I suppose he has the right to moderate his own blog, but it just makes him look like a dick, IMHO.

    So I guess “Occidentalism” is site where suggestions are actually taken on board. If someone has the time, why not draw up the shop rules in English and give it to the owner? I personally think that Debito is right in that many of the rules on the sign are really anal, but – like Debito’s moderation policy – the owner can make up any silly rules he likes for his own shop, as long as they comply with the law. At least if there is a list of rules in the shop and out front non-Japanese speaking visitors won’t have an excuse to cause offence when doing fairly normal things like saying hello to strangers in close proximity.

  20. Matt Says:

    I suspect that I’m not alone in being disappointed with how Debito Arudou replied on his blog. He said everything except the two things that would have given him back a little credibility: “I’m sorry” or “I apologize, I was out-of-line for censoring posters and opinions I don’t like or disagree with.” It must be difficult for him to admit these things.

    I am pretty unhappy with the response as well. He said that “there was no concealment” of the meaning of the sign on his part, knowing full well that most of his readers obviously cannot read Japanese (just read their comments!), and also knowing that the text in Japanese should lead one to a conclusion other than “this is what happens when this kind of discrimination is not illegal in this society”.

    If Debito is an honest activist, then what is wrong with letting people that the sign is not as cut and dry as out and out racism. Every Japanese speaker that I consulted, foreigner and Japanese, concurred with me that the writing in Japanese indicated that it was likely not a case of racial malice.

    Debito also strikes out at myself and the Japanese people like Ponta that worked to get the sign taken down by saying “Just don’t try to justify this sort of exclusionary practice–as some people were trying to do” adding that “those posts have no place on Debito.org, sorry”. Huh? None of us tried to “justify” anything, just provide an accurate overview of the meaning of the sign, something he would not do.

    Here we have someone that thinks explaining = justifying. Also, anyone that disagrees with him is an “apologist” which I assume is his word for “racist” if that person is Japanese, and “uncle Tom” if the person is a foreigner.

    It is funny that a so called rights activist would make an explicit appeal based on racial loyalty. Because that is what it is. Either you agree with Debito, or he will imply you are an apologist for the Japanese, some sort of race traitor. Debito is too left wing to use that kind of terminology (race traitor) but that is effectively what he is doing when he sidelines foreigners like myself as “apologists”.

    Anyway, I did not “troll” his blog. I did not “justify” the sign. I did not do any of the things that Debito says I did. I am offended by what he is saying, and he is an a**hole for saying it.

  21. The Overthinker Says:

    “If someone has the time, why not draw up the shop rules in English and give it to the owner?”

    I did a quick translation on Japan Probe, but don’t live anywhere near Tokyo. Someone who does can see if they are interested (I’ll collect my fee in fresh fish…).

  22. john k Says:

    The problem with blogs like Debito’s is that it is his personal crusade; since he is also judge jury and executioner, he is the law, in Debito world. A blog is very personal to the author, which is ostensibly the reason for the blog. It is no different to writing ones Master’s or Doctorates thesis. The amount of time and effort spent on the thesis moves the authors point of view from objective to subjective. Any criticism is seen as negative and anathema to the author who has a “personal/emotional stake” in the thesis/blog.
    Therefore, as Bryce says, he has the right to edit his own blog. But it should come with a large health warning, agree with me and we’ll get along fine…if you don’t, then be prepared to be ostracised.

  23. Bryce Says:

    # Bryce Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    February 12th, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Debito says; “I’m pleased the owner of the Tsukiji restaurant was open to entreaty. But not all of these kinds places are. I’ve been doing this for nearly a decade, and sorry, but experience (and history) indicates that not everything can be fixed by simple “communication”.”

    So you’ve been doing this for 10 years? And there are what, thirty or so, signs up on the rogues gallery including the ones you succeed in having taken down? So you are finding about three signs per year, on average, even when you have a website encouraging your fanbase to send you pictures of such signs.

    Don’t you think you are making a mountain out of a molehill when you say that such behaviour is rife in Japan?

    (Don’t worry, I know this post won’t see the light of day on your site. I think I might post it over at Orientalism though, they have a somewhat more enlightened moderation policy over there.)

  24. Matt Says:

    Bryce, he posted it to try to show you up.

  25. www.japansoc.com Says:

    Occidentalism Users Cooperate to Take Down “Japanese Only” Sign…

    JapanSoc member and commenter Ponta and a colleague from Occidentalism called MaidoOido teamed up to tackle the “racist” sign that read “Japanese People Only” – an issue that caused some really interesting comments here. Cheers for the amazing work…

  26. ponta. Says:

    I think my interview Matt has kindly posted has answered the questions raised to me.
    I am grateful to Matt, MaidoOido and Tonchamon.

    The owner was a nice guy, not ganko, arrogant type.
    Rather he looked frightened at what happened because of the sign during the past few days; he just did not realize the sign was misleading.
    It has taken just a few polite advices in Japanese to make him realize that it was misleading.

    I don’t understand why the person who took the photo didn’t explain to him what the problem is with the sign before he sent it to Debito.
    I don’t understand why Debito posted it without knowing how to get contact with the shop, without knowing what the sign in Japanese says.
    As it was, I don’t understand what the point of posting the photo. just wanting to add to his collection?

    Debito wrote.

    he person who said he’d go and check things out hasn’t responded. Somebody else claims to know the whereabouts of the place, but no progress on getting him to tell me.

    I am not sure who that someone is, but it might be me.

    He publicized the comment implying that I gave him wrong e-mail address and said “is it any wonder you’re dismissed as a troll so often?”
    I publicized the all the comments he deleted, I took some photos of the comments with my e-mail address on my computer when I commented on Debito’s blog, if anyone is interested, please let me know.

    That said, I am not against Debito himself. His agenda that the racism is wrong is right. As I said again and again I am only against the way he presents his case and he runs the blog: he tends to post without checking the facts, and he presents one-sided story and bans the comments that tries to tell another side of the story. I am saying that more times than he realize, he is hurting people he mentions on his post rather than helping people, he is damaging the relation between J and NJ in Japan rather than getting them closer. And I don’t like the way he and his fans attack me, calling
    me a troll, trollish, trying to bury me.

    I am glad Matt,MaidoOido and Tonchamon and other Js and NJs have worked together to settle this problem. I hope some day Debito’s fans, learning sufficient Japanese, will also work with J.

  27. Dobo Says:

    Great job everyone. Debito should be profoundly embarrassed by all of this.

  28. The Overthinker Says:

    “without knowing what the sign in Japanese says.”

    I gather Debito can read Japanese, though his comment on his blog for his year-end warp-up for 2006 (?) said that he was starting to read a comic book or something that was the first Japanese he had read that he was reading for anything other than just to get information, so I’m not sure how good he really is.
    (“I proved to myself I could read something [a comic] in Japanese not merely because I need the information. That is very promising.” http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=885)

  29. Kaneganese Says:

    http://www.japansoc.com Says:
    Occidentalism Users Cooperate to Take Down “Japanese Only” Sign…
    JapanSoc member and commenter Ponta and a colleague from Occidentalism called MaidoOido teamed up to tackle the “racist” sign that read “Japanese People Only” – an issue that caused some really interesting comments here. Cheers for the amazing work…

    the “racist” sign ? No. Ponta proved that it was just a ignorance, and moreover, it was actually foreigner who suggested the owner to write a sign. How can it be a racist?

    I saw Debito’s Rogue of something for the fist time, and I already found out one of the tiny hotel on the list actually changed it’s policy from “no foreigners” as he still claims to “no foreigners who don’t speak Japanese” already. Still, I don’t think it is a good thing to do at all, but it is understandable that tiny hotels run by Japanese family who has no English ability try to avoid those who doesn’t understand Japanese. There should be some line between racism and ignorance or English phobia. But I liked the idea Debito’s having been to many hostess bars to make sure they are racist or just cannot deal with foreign languaeg. I hope he will keep harrasing those 水商売 places. As long as he keeps exposing those places with real names and locations and calling them as racists on his blog in public, he has responsibility to keep checking those places one by one by himself. Or he can do some business to offer English translation for hostess bars and tiny hotels if he really wants to solve the problem and help NJ newcomers.

  30. ponta. Says:

    “without knowing what the sign in Japanese says.”

    Right. And that is another point.
    EITHER he understands Japanese text, for instance, the court text in the rape case and the sign on Tsukiji restaurant, but intentionally ignores/misinterprets them, OR he does not understand Japanese.
    The way he responded to my comments indicates the second possibility is higher.

    ASSUMING WHAT YOU SAY IS TRUE,

    あれ、ちゃんと写真にそう日本語書いてありますけど・・・link

    Anyway I don’t care if he can’t read Japanese sufficiently as long as he presents the case fairly.

  31. Ken Says:

    Matt,

    ‘on dish’ is misspelling of ‘one dish’, isn’t it?

    By the way, here may come up new problem, how to protect the restaurateur’s right, not to be disturbed by those who cannot understand his rules.
    Claimers like the David, who do not know grilled fish take longer time and protest against the reversed serving order of dish , may exist anywhere.
    But I inspire only one country whose people bring a kind of food, which smells strong, into restaurants all over the world though I have never seen Westerners did such.
    Besides, one dish sharing with 5 persons is not Western custom, not enough for their big appetite and they are affordable even in high price Japan.
    Here, those people who have such strange custom or are not rich enough usually cannot understand the complicated rules if translated into English but ‘Japanese people only’.
    I cannot help wondering if the restaurateur has to prepare multi-linguistic signs to lead his peaceful life just because he seems nice guy. Then how many languages?

  32. The Overthinker Says:

    Here’s a thought: how much attention would this have got if that sign had had, say, Thai at the top rather than English?

  33. crypticlife Says:

    Excellent work.

    Debito should be embarrassed. If he didn’t understand the words under the English, he should not have posted the pictures at all. It’s irresponsible.

    ” But not all of these kinds places are. I’ve been doing this for nearly a decade, and sorry, but experience (and history) indicates that not everything can be fixed by simple “communication””

    Right, Debito. You know what, I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you’ve actually tried to fix much of these situations at all.

  34. The Overthinker Says:

    I think Debito did understand the words. As I read the debate, such as it was, between him and Ponta, it was a matter of interpretation: Ponta’s view was that the sign was excluding foreigners not out of racial motives as such (民族主義) but out of fears they wouldn’t follow his rules, whereas Debito’s stance was that any sign banning foreigners is racist, reasons be damned (his tendency to label those who seek to find reasons as trolls or apologists is disturbing, and smacks entirely too much of Dubya’s “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” stance and the post-911 mindset where anyone trying to understand why Muslims would attack the US, rather than just condemn them, was attacked as a traitor).

    The issue is really whether all exclusion of non-Japanese (in this case) is racist, or merely discriminatory. Is discriminating against people because they are The Other a racist act, or does racism require a more clearly-defined focus of hatred or dislike?

  35. japundit Says:

    Bravo!

  36. ponta. Says:

    I think Debito did understand the words. As I read the debate, such as it was, between him and Ponta,

    That’s a possible reading of his comment.
    I took his word “assuming” as not understanding the Japanese text. But your reading also holds. In that case, he intentionally ignored the court text that said the accused admitted he poked his finger into her genital.
    第6 被告人の供述の検討
    ・・・・・「走っている車の中や○○の家の前で停車しているときに△△が陰茎をさわってきたので、私も彼女の陰部に指を入れるなどしました。セックスまではしていません」( On this, the accuser says she does not remember it being asleep in the car. Debito said in response, that it was police’s make-up story, but I asked why the police made up the story inconsistent with the accuser’s accout, and I pointed out there was no mention of the accused denying the statement at the court. He banned my comment. If you want further details, send me e-mail,)
    He didn’t mention it until I pointed it out.
    (BTW, He didn’t delete the link to the court text, knowing there was the real name of the accuser until I warned him; He was nonchalantly asking how to black out the name in PDF.— I am saying this because my comment about it didn’t appear in Japan Probe probably due to the spam filter)

    I am sure he takes any sentence “no Japanese” as racism despite the reason and motivations for which it was stated, despite Japanese people’s ability of English in general.
    As a native Japanese , I have never met native Japanese who hold strong dislikes against foreigners in general. Sure some dislikes specific nationals, but my impression is the Japanese generally hold positive view toward English speaking people, and a pragmatic business runner will accept anybody, foreigner or not. So when there is such a sign in English, I suppose there are complex reasons behind it; for instance, he/she just writes the sign meaning he wants the customer to understand Japanese so that business works smoothly.
    Debito’s and Debito’s fan’s perception seems different.

    You gave us an interesting link, I’ll give you an interesting link.

    Name: Arudou Debito
    Age: 41
    Nationality: Japanese
    Occupation: Author, Columnist, University Prof
    Likes: Compliments
    Dislikes: Hypocrites
    http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=885

    I would like to add another thing about the shop owner in question.
    On second thought, when the owner mentioned Gundam, he meant “we can understand each other(wakariaeru)” was the “Gundam”‘s message.
    Sorry I am not familiar with Gundam.

  37. gamiras Says:

    whereas Debito’s stance was that any sign banning foreigners is racist, reasons be damned (his tendency to label those who seek to find reasons as trolls or apologists is disturbing, and smacks entirely too much of Dubya’s “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” stance and the post-911 mindset where anyone trying to understand why Muslims would attack the US, rather than just condemn them, was attacked as a traitor).

    The same tactics too. Intentionaly misleading people!

  38. john k Says:

    Overthinker
    Couldn’t agree more with your comments. With your other point:
    “…The issue is really whether all exclusion of non-Japanese (in this case) is racist, or merely discriminatory. Is discriminating against people because they are The Other a racist act, or does racism require a more clearly-defined focus of hatred or dislike?

    Racism is a term used widely but very rarely understood. To explain, first to discriminate (verb) is simply identifying a difference between one thing and another. Then discrimination (noun), this then takes the identity of the difference, e.g. race, into a context. In other words, this means someone is treated less fairly than others; not being allowed into a restaurant that others can for example.
    Racism (noun) is unfair treatment to someone who does not belong to the same race; not being allowed into a restaurant. So when looking at discrimination it is ostensibly the same as racism. But discrimination need not be about race, it could be for sex, e.g. male or female, or age, young or old. But racism is purely about race. It is discrimination based upon ones race and nothing else.

    Had the sign said “we reserve the right to ……whatever”, is a form of discrimination, be it lesser or greater. However, if the sign said “we reserve the right to excluded philistines of quality food or those without eating etiquette”, most people would laugh or feel what a snob. But most would not feel discriminated against. Merely feel chagrined that someone would have the audacity to write such a sign; ‘how do they know what I do and do not like’ feeling. But even on this small scale, this is discrimination, since the owner only wants like minded people who appreciate his quality food and eat with respect and manners. But who would complain at this??? I may feel irked at the assumption my palate is not sophisticated enough, but that is all.

    However, it is completely difference to racism, where a sign saying “Japanese only” with the obvious connotations of ONLY Japanese, because there is a dislike or hatred of someone who is not Japanese, for whatever reason. Race is singled out as the reason.

    So understanding the context is very important in ascertaining whether a comment or sign is discriminatory or racist. As I write on all my design drawings for my clients….”if in doubt ask”.

  39. Jerry Billows Says:

    To be honest, I struggle to understand what the big deal is now that Ponta interviewed the local restaurateur.

    It has now been established that (1) the owner could not speak or write English, (2) non-Japanese speaking peoples were breaking standard worldwide restaurant etiquette, and (3) there were possible legal and insurance-related issues at stake with non-Japanese children being left in the restaurant without adult supervision. Is any of that “racist”? No, of course not. Is it discriminatory? Well, not in any pejorative sense of the word. No.

    I look at it this way, with the minor exception of not liking non-Japanese speaking peoples talking with others at the counter (which, yes, is a little eccentric), what the restaurant owner is asking is perfectly sensible. If any of us owned (say) an Indian restaurant, I doubt any of us would appreciate potential customers coming into the store, ordering a coca cola between them, and then breaking out their Chinese food that they purchased somewhere else. After all, the guy is running a business, not a public hang-out facility.

    As for Ponta et al., I honestly respect and appreciate the way in which they diplomatically handled this issue. Debito Arudou will continue to push his muddled, unclear and divisive propaganda about “racism” in Japan until the cows come home. For 10 years, he has not changed his tactics in any discernible way or gained any traction in Nagatacho or Kasumigaseki. But as I and others said before, it’s his blog. If he wants to behave in an immature manner on his blog, it’s his right. Let him. But that’s the beauty of it all: by letting him behave this way, Arudou only hurts himself and his personal crusade to convince others that he’s always right. God bless freedom of speech.

  40. Matt Says:

    God bless freedom of speech.

    Indeed. But remember, Debito is the rights crusader that crusades to take away your right of free speech. Ampontan wrote a good article about it.

  41. nigelboy Says:

    The shop is located within the market (場内)so it’s catered towards the セリpros and itamae chefs.

    The guy wanted to keep those loyal regulars happy.

    I don’t blame him at all.

  42. KenYN Says:

    Oh-oh, I see another impending train wreck:

    http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=1286

    The ultrasound from the Indian hospital clearly states “a single, viable intrauterine foetus”, and as for an ASD, I’ve got one of them too.

    Unfortunately, this case has the “think of the children” aspect to cloud the better judgement of Debito’s commenters.

  43. The Overthinker Says:

    What is disturbing about some of his recent cases is that there seems to be nothing to indicate actual racial or other discrimination, just (at worst) local stupidity/incompetence. Is Debito now going to be the clearing-house for every foreigner who has had an unfortunate experience in Japan? I stubbed my toe the other day – clearly Japanese stairs are designed to trip up gaijin….

    It also seems as if it is not routine. A special technique, fetal echocardiography, is used to diagnose congenital heart disease in utero, usually after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It requires an experienced fetal echocardiographer/cardiologist to evaluate any detected dysrhythmia. This site has more details:
    http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4686
    Essentially, it seems that routine ultrasound is not good at detecting this, and that fetal echo-etc is not routinely used unless there are reasons to suspect problems. In this case, it looks like the echocardio was done because an abnormality was detected by the mother. And the abnormality was then detected. Unless the mother was considered more at risk than normal, it seems that procedures were followed. The hiding away of Dr Oishi (not Oh-ishi as Debito seems to prefer) does not look good, but based on what seems to have been presented, this does not look like a case of medical incompetence, still less like racial discrimination.

  44. Ken Says:

    “Blog power compelled the restaurateur to take down the sign. We won!” “Bravo!” That’s it?
    Tsukiji market is rough auction market like a battlefield, not a Sotheby’s for snobbish gentlemen.
    Some of the sellers and buyers would like to have breakfast in serenity for rest rather than in spree.
    And the restaurateur would have written the peculiar rules for such regular customers, who looked displeased at the behaviors by those who did not follow implicit rules.
    Then, who is responsible if the Trattoria lost the reputation of serenity and frequenters are gone away?

  45. Mark in Yayoi Says:

    Some of the sellers and buyers would like to have breakfast in serenity for rest rather than in spree.

    I’m sure they would, but presupposing that any non-Japanese patron would certainly disrupt that serenity, which is what the original sign implied, is at the heart of the problem. Fortunately, the owner didn’t really harbor such prejudices and the matter was settled.

  46. ponta. Says:

    Ken Y-N
    I see improvement. He didn’t write it as the case of racism.
    I am not sure if it is the case of negligence or not. The best thing to do is to raise the money to employ a good Japanese lawyer. But again I think it is careless of Debito to reveal the real name the doctor at this point.

  47. Ken Says:

    “Fortunately, the owner didn’t really harbor such prejudices and the matter was settled.”

    The matter is from now on.

  48. Jerry Billows Says:

    Just a general comment about blogs: I don’t blog myself because it’s time-consuming. But I also get a little worried about the legal risks and the uncertainty about where all of this blogging is heading. God forbid anyone gets sued someday for defamation, or invasion of privacy, or false advertising, or business fraud, or whatever. It happens sometimes.

    In fact, Debito Arudou’s website has all the potential to be a magnet for those kind of legal problems. I can’t remember where I read it on his blog, but they’re now talking about starting some kind of registered organization which involves money and paying dues, having treasurers and accountants and who knows what else, operating off of Debito’s website as some kind of hub. That just adds to the legal problems when money starts changing hands, especially if Debito is the de facto leader.

    Can you imagine what would happen if Debito really –as in legally–screwed up in the future while heading such a registered organization? Hey, I wouldn’t want to be him in that instance; it’s no laughing matter. Up until now, he’s gotten away with a lot because not many people take him seriously. The minute the guy starts to claim he’s serious, that’s when the real problems start. The Tokyo Ballet school, for example, could have sued him and his “organization” three times over for defamation, among other things, I imagine.

  49. Dobo Says:

    Does anyone know if posting the name of a rape victim online is illegal in Japan?

  50. Matt Says:

    Dobo, I am not sure.

    BTW, since you were interested in critiques of Debito, I have been doing quite a few in response to comments by his supporters at Japan Probe. By all means, take a look.

  51. KenYN Says:

    The Overthinker – I thought about my comment overnight, and now having read your post (thanks for the research!) I’m in basic agreement – it does seem to be a case of potential misdiagnosis or insensitive doctors rather than racism, so as you say, is the blog just going to become a collection of the misfortunes of gaijin?

  52. Dobo Says:

    Thanks for the link Matt. I could not help but notice that Debito has written on his blog that his translations have been “off” lately because he is busy. I think that this is clearly bull. No amount of busyness would cause these mistakes. His Japanese is either poor and he relies on a lot of dictionary work or he is deliberately obscuring things.
    I also second the opinion of Overthinker and KenYN – Debito seems ready to broadcast any misfortune that any foreigner has in Japan. The medical stuff, which has no relation to race that I can see, is listed under the category “problematic foreign treatment” on his blog.

  53. Jerry Billows Says:

    Matt, couldn’t help but notice that a couple of your debating opponents over at Japan Probe were quick to pull the “friend” card whenever things get rough for Debito, i.e., “If you just personally knew Debito like me, you can forgive what he says and does on his blog.” That kind of argument. Why people like Garret trot out that irrelevant stuff and think it somehow justifies everything else, I don’t know. Anyway, good job over there. You have “The Patience of Job” with some of those guys, especially the “thomas” meat puppet who posted on 2008-02-13 20:04:15.

  54. The Overthinker Says:

    “His Japanese is either poor”

    I do seriously think it is not that great. He’s been in Japan for about 20 years, a naturalised citizen for several years now, and as of the end of 2006 he was first starting to read Japanese (in comics) for other than to get pure information, and notes that about two pages of a school textbook on Japanese language is about his limit a night. Without actually having read the textbook myself, I can’t be certain (it could possibly be full of kanbun, but then that wouldn’t be helpful for learning modern Japanese really), but it does seem like a pretty low level for twenty years of residence *and* having citizenship. And his translations have been rather slap-dash lately – major errors in the one on Chinese trainees entering names, for example.

    And actually I find this a bit puzzling as well: Debito’s claim of “We won!”
    Who is this “we”? The blog commmunity in Japan? The sign was not directed at them. The foreign community in Japan? Debito is not a foreigner any more. The white/non-Japanese community in Japan? It was Japanese like ponta who did the actual legwork. He may mean the anti-discrimination community, but that needs to be made clearer. And “won!” too seems a little antagonistic for something that wasn’t a battle at all. It does shed light on Debito’s mindset when approaching these issues though: it’s a war, a fight….

  55. Matt Says:

    Matt, couldn’t help but notice that a couple of your debating opponents over at Japan Probe were quick to pull the “friend” card whenever things get rough for Debito, i.e., “If you just personally knew Debito like me, you can forgive what he says and does on his blog.” That kind of argument. Why people like Garret trot out that irrelevant stuff and think it somehow justifies everything else, I don’t know.

    Jerry, I replied to that particular comment by Garret. I am just waiting for it to appear (I think the owner of Japan Probe has a spam filter running). Needless to say, arguments like that are totally irrelevant, as you point out.

  56. Dobo Says:

    I’ve read the Japanese history textbooks that Debito was talking about using and not only are they a breeze to read, but they have FURIGANA on all of the “difficult” kanji. There are lots of illustrations so I think that I could read them at about a page a minute.

  57. GordonM Says:

    I disagree with the notion that Debito’s Japanese is poor. Although I am certainly no authority, I think his Japanese is very good, better than 99% of non-native Japanese speakers at least, and certainly better than mine.

    However, Japanese ability shouldnt be the issue. His tactics, his methods, etc. are the issue.

  58. ponta. Says:

    I see the improvement.
    http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=1286

    # John k Says:
    February 14th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Like Icarus, I am no medical expert, my wife is however, and concurs.

    Your article has 3 points referring to this “case”. Noting the difficulty as posted by Icarus above, why is this being raised? I can imagine some local newspaper hack getting a story, but the purpose here escapes me…..it is also not in keeping with your obvious M.O.

    The only reason for the posting should be to offer our condolences to the family and hope it never happens to us.

    Anything else is just procedural and as such occurs all over the world in any hospital.

    It IS improvement he didn’t ban it.
    I think Matt’s post has made difference.

  59. The Overthinker Says:

    The question isn’t whether his Japanese is “poor,” it is whether it is poor considering his length of stay and immersion in the country. From his own statements on the subject, this would appear to be the case. This may still put him above “99%” of non-native speakers (though I doubt it) but we are not judging him by every non-native speaker. And his ability certainly is germane when it leads to mistranslations of his evidence. Even if the mistranslations do not necessarily obscure the central point (eg in the Sankei reporting on Chinese workers, the real kicker was the headline rather than the descriptions of the actual work done) they damage his credibility. Remember, most non-Japanese reading his blog don’t know the language as well as he does (a substantial fraction may never have been to Japan, or may not know any of the language) so are reliant on him to interpret the issues.

  60. bonesdog Says:

    Oh-oh, I see another impending train wreck:

    http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=1286

    Unfortunately, this case has the “think of the children” aspect to cloud the better judgement of Debito’s commenters.

    Odd for Debito to be “thinking of the children”, he sure didn’t seem to be thinking of his own up in Otaru other than for use as lightning rods to further his own campaign.

    However, Japanese ability shouldnt be the issue. His tactics, his methods, etc. are the issue.

    Pretty much spot-on, aside from the fact that his tactics etc. seem dictated by what he perceives to be going on around him, and if he isn’t fully understanding what is going on then there is a problem. I’ve met him, and heard his Japanese. Not horrid, but not very good either, and a few things were said that just caused him to blink as he didn’t understand what people were saying. That’s why I always take his tales (like the Toyoko Inn debacle) with a very large grain of salt. He may be able to be righteously indignant in English, but I don’t think he could pull it off in Japanese at all.

    Anyway, to Ponta, congrats on talking to the shop owner and getting that sign taken care of. Glad it was just a case of misunderstanding or an ineffective/awkward attempt at communicating what he wanted in a customer. Amazing what can get accomplished when we don’t go into “red alert” mode and listen to dissenting opinion.

  61. moYom Says:

    Does anyone know if posting the name of a rape victim online is illegal in Japan?

    If it’s done without permission from the rape victim, it against The Personal Information Protection Law.(Kojin Joho Hogo Ho)
    In debito’s case, debito and the lower who handed over the text to him can be charged.

  62. Gerbilbastard Says:

    If it’s done without permission from the rape victim, it against The Personal Information Protection Law.(Kojin Joho Hogo Ho)

    I’m curious though. If something goes to court in Japan does it become public record? In the US for example, any court records that aren’t specifically sealed by the judge become public record and are available to anyone. How do things work in Japan and do the rules coincide with the Personal Information Protection Law?

  63. Matt Says:

    I wrote a comment replying to Garret over at JapanProbe, but since you have to actually look for comments because of the way they group together, I will just post it here as well.

    Ponta, it appears Debito commented on his own site congratulating you guys on a job well done. The only thing I’ve heard him say on the affair is, “Looks like we’re all working for the same thing,” which is true, isn’t it? If it makes you feel any better, he’s not in the habit of attacking or suing people. If he weren’t nice about it, how would he change people’s minds? How would he get signs taken down?

    Hi Garret. I know you are sympathetic to Debito, but I think you have things the wrong way around. Far from Debito taking the conciliatory attitude you describe, he called myself, Ponta, and other “trolls” and “apologists for Japanese signs” for trying to post comments on his blog with the meaning of the sign on his blog, something he has still not retracted. He also deleted those comments ensuring that anyone that came along would have to take his word that they we were trolling, rather than allowing people to decide for themselves. Yes, Debito has put a link up to our site, but he did so grudgingly, and lets face it, if he did not put up a link people what have found out about it anyway, since it has been posted on JapanProbe and other blogs.

    In addition, Debito allowed a large number of comments on that thread that clearly reveal that his readers have misunderstood the meaning of the sign. Debito seemed content to allow them to misunderstand.

    I have commented on his blog before quite a while ago, and for letting him know he made a factual error, I got my comment blocked by him. I am afraid that is the real Debito.

    As someone that is supposed to be an activist, he should display high standards of ethics. If he is asking others to do what is right, then he should do what is right too. The problem is that he isn’t.

    Ultimately, I don’t think Debito sets himself up as the voice of the NJ or as a crusader. I think some people’s opinions of him might change if they looked at him as a guy working toward a decent goal (I don’t think many people actually disagree with his goal) instead of a proxy for the hypersensitivity that Westerners often show (and you and I both know that there are some Westerners determined, eager even, to be the victims of racism, which is sad.)

    I think he does set himself up as a kind of voice of non-Japanese people. If not, where does he get off calling foreigners that disagree with him “apologists”?

    You know what, I actually disagree with his goal, if we are talking about actual policies he advocates. If you are talking about broad stuff like “racism is bad”, then I agree. But in the specifics, like the way he wants to use the UN to take away my right of free speech in Japan, then no way. I am not going to support a “rights activist” that is working to take away fundamental rights like free speech. The solution to problems is more free speech, not less.

    Here are a couple of references for you. 1. Ampontan posting about his anti-free speech activism.
    2. A letter by Alexander Kinmont to the Japan Review regarding Debito trying to use the UN to undermine free speech in Japan.

    In the end, it’s unfortunate that people who are working for the same thing wind up so much on each other’s bad sides. I hope that what the Occidentalism guys do, what you do, and what Debito does is done for the right reasons and doesn’t result in acrimony or even rivalry. You guys don’t have to like each other, just don’t forget that you’re on the same team.

    Unfortunate is one way of saying it, another way is saying that Debito took our comments, deleted them, called us “trolls” and accused us of being “apologists for Japanese only signs” without any good reason to do so. It is only because I have a fairly well known blog that I was able to respond to this kind of bullying. Any other commenter that he has done it to (and now we know they are legion) just would have been dropped down the memory hole, and people reading Debito’s site would have the vague impression the commenter was guilty of misconduct.

    That is the long and short of it. Not only did Debito delete our comments, he had to rub it in by accusing us of misconduct. I still haven’t received any apology from Debito. Ponta has not received an apology from Debito after Debito publicly accused him of using a fake email address, and again calling him a troll.

    Cut it whatever way you like but Debito’s behavior has been unethical.

  64. ponta. Says:

    I’m curious though. If something goes to court in Japan does it become public record? In the US for example, any court records that aren’t specifically sealed by the judge become public record and are available to anyone.

    It is the same here. The court is open to anyone, and anyone can read the court record. The former is guaranteed by the constitution, and the latter by the law, I think. The system is supposed to protect the fairness of judiciary
    However, if someone reveals the real name of rape victim on the net, that is another story: it violates the privacy of the victim, and hence illegal. In addition to bad taste and inconsiderate, that is why you never see the real name of the rape victim on the media.
    Also unfortunate was the case of Ballet school, due
    to his post, people remember it as no foreingers school.

  65. Gerbilbastard Says:

    I got this off of Wikipedia for those of you who are interested. I was just wondering what the reach of the 個人情報保護法 was.

    個人情報には

    * 氏名
    * 性別
    * 生年月日
    * 住所
    * 携帯電話の番号
    * 勤務場所
    * 職業
    * 年収
    * 家族構成

    などが該当するが、一般には2つ以上が結合された状態で個人を特定できなければ、個人情報とはみなされない。例えば、年収と職業が判ったとしても、その情報から個人を特定することはできない。 ただし1個でも特定できれば、個人を特定することが可能なものもある。 指紋などの生体情報や住民票コードも、個人情報に含まれる。

    I find it kind of funny that Bio-samples and fingerprints are considered part of “personal information”. Kind of makes me wonder how they worded the new fingerprint law for incoming foreigners.
    Sorry for the off topic comment.

    ___________________________

    And I agree Ponta, it is in bad taste to reveal that kind of information.

  66. Errol Says:

    Matt, Ponta and Maido thanks for putting in the time and effort to resolve this issue amicably. As noted above by Jerry Billows it requires diplomatic skill, courage and generosity.

    Debito’s parsimonious character doesn’t allow him to spend time and money solving problems. He’s too busy showboating.

  67. Alex Says:

    What would be the repercussions of having a “No Debito” sign placed on a business establishment?

    “出人の方お断り”

  68. bonesdog Says:

    What would be the repercussions of having a “No Debito” sign placed on a business establishment?

    “出人の方お断り”

    An increase in business?? ;-)

  69. bonesdog Says:

    Kind of makes me wonder how they worded the new fingerprint law for incoming foreigners.

    I wouldn’t think it would be an issue, as long as the fingerprint data was not released to the public. The MOJ (and other ministries) has the ability to collect personal information for administrative/legal purposes. They just can’t divulge that information to another person or group except for as required in the fulfillment of those administrative/legal requirements. Pretty much the same anywhere, I think, the one exception that comes to mind being the US IRS and tax records.

  70. Gerbilbastard Says:

    They just can’t divulge that information to another person or group except for as required in the fulfillment of those administrative/legal requirements.

    Do you think this means that if the information is leaked on accident that we can sue for damages? .> What?! I’m from the US, after all. :)

    Damn me, another off topic post.

  71. Errol Says:

    bonesdog Says:
    February 14th, 2008 at 12:19 am

    The MOJ (and other ministries) has the ability to collect personal information for administrative/legal purposes. They just can’t divulge that information to another person or group except for as required in the fulfillment of those administrative/legal requirements.

    Privacy rules generally prevent information exchange between agencies without a court order or through established exchange protocols requiring high level authorisation.
    .
    Unofficial information leaks between agencies with “old school” ties are common.
    .
    Not sure how that will affect physical information such as fingerprints. The second agency would have to explain how they obtained the prints if such prints are used to tie someone to some other activity. Expect a Law and Order episode on this issue soon.,

  72. Dobo Says:

    Re: personal information – It was my impression that it was illegal to release the name (even by accident) and that Debito could possibly be jailed for it (especially given what Ponta has said here + the fact that Debito’s writing about the case being easy to interpret as a smear campaign against the victim). However, I certainly don’t think that it is our place to pursue this – it would be up to the victim and she is likely more concerned with putting her life back together than finding out what people are writing about her in English online.
    Re: Debito’s Japanese – I have no doubt that Debito’s spoken Japanese is decent. However, a lot of his interpretation comes from written sources and it seems that his Japanese reading comprehension is very much suspect.

  73. Ken Says:

    Dobo,
    There is not any law limited to rape victim online in Japan.
    ‘Personal Information Protection Law’? targets such entity as government or company and their gathered info so that Debito’s case is not supposed to come under it though I do not know how he got the info.
    It shall fall under Defamation crime so far as blog is judged as enabling many unspecified persons recognize the fact.
    If she or her attorney sues Debito for libel, he shall be sentenced to maximum 3 years’ servitude, imprisonment or maximum $5 thousands fine provided that she is not dead.
    If the fact concerns public benefit and is disclosed for it and is proved true, he is not penalized.
    Officeholders such as judges are regulated by their own legislation and attorneys are condemned to maximum 6 months’ servitude or maximum $1 thousand fine if they leak the confidential info, which is gotten through biz, without rational reason.
    On the other hand, having made the restaurateur take down the sign of this time constitutes Biz Interference crime.

  74. The Overthinker Says:

    “having made the restaurateur take down the sign of this time constitutes Biz Interference crime.”

    Only if he was forced to. There was no forcing. Ponta talked with him, he agreed it wasn’t really what he wanted, and removed it.

  75. ponta. Says:

    It was my impression that it was illegal to release the name (even by accident)

    In case of the alleged rape victim, it was my impression that it was not by accident.
    1)Debito uploaded the pdf.
    2)Someone commented to the effect that the real name is on the last page.
    3)Debito delted this comment but he left the pdf.
    4)He asked noncharantly how to black out the name in pdf.
    5)I warned him.
    6)He removed pdf.
    He knew that the real name was being exposed by 3) at the latest.

    In case of ballet school, he said it was no foreigner school, which was not fact and damaged its reputation, He changed the title but didn’t retract his words. As a result, people remember it as no foreigner school. It is my impression that these are important facts in the tort law.
    In case of the Tsukiji restaurant, the shop agreed to take the sign down, I don’t think it constituted Biz interfence.
    But I agree it is not our place to pursue this.

  76. Ken Says:

    “Only if he was forced to. There was no forcing.”
    The constitution factor of Biz Interference crime is not only force but also taking advantage of not knowing and misaprehension.

  77. The Overthinker Says:

    “The constitution factor of Biz Interference crime is not only force but also taking advantage of not knowing and misaprehension.”

    This doesn’t seem to make much sense. What do you mean? Are you saying that it is illegal to ask someone about signs outside their shop?

  78. ponta. Says:

    Ken
    If you are refering to the criminal law, the definition is as follows.

    Article 233. (Damage to Credit; Obstruction of Business)
    A person who damages the credit or obstructs the business of another by spreading
    false rumors or by the use of fraudulent means shall be punished by imprisonment
    with work for not more than 3 years or a fine of not more than 500,000 yen.
    Article 234. (Forcible Obstruction of Business)
    A person who obstructs the business of another by force shall be dealt with in the
    same manner as proscribed under the preceding Article.

    Yes Debito did say what the shop didn’t say, i.e., “NJ cannot have this degree of food appreciation, and so refuse them entirely.”
    But the shop didn’t not want foreigners in the first place, and in this case, looking at the English sentence alone, it was misleading and it was the shop’s fault though it is likely that he didn’t mean what he wrote.

  79. Ken Says:

    “Are you saying that it is illegal to ask someone about signs outside their shop?”
    Did he just ask (questions)? I do not think so.
    The point is whether that kind of sign is not allowed or not was not sure yet and how the Trattoria’s biz going on as stated above.

  80. Ken Says:

    Ponta,
    I have not said you are guilty and am highly evaluating your effort.
    But there might have been any excessive and dificient advices though it is hard even for lwayer to comprise risks and returns in proper quqntities.
    The common interpretation of the provision is as above.
    My concern is whether regular visitors keep coming or not because some buyers of sheff are particular.

  81. ponta. Says:

    They tracked down the restaurant (ironically refusing to divulge its whereabouts to Debito.org, speaking of concealmenthttp://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=1295), and wound up, they say, getting the sign downhttp://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=1295

    I don’t know why he had to distort the fact.
    http://www.occidentalism.org/?p=827#comment-33331
    http://www.occidentalism.org/?p=827#comment-33348

  82. Matt Says:

    Ponta, the explanation that Debito wrote on his site is very unfortunate. I was hoping to lay this to rest, but I don’t see how I can do that if he keeps on misrepresenting what happened.

  83. randomcow Says:

    Ponta – Don’t even bother following Debito’s movements anymore. He is a disappointing has-been who has failed in Japanese society. It is natural that he is bitter and angry towards occidentalism members – we exposed him for the ineffective fraud that he is.

    If you really wanted to rub it in, you have to prove that occidentalism’s “one from one” 100% success rate was not a fluke. The only problem is that finding businesses with a discriminatory sign in this country is ridiculously difficult. The majority of the businesses in Debito’s pointless Rogues Gallery are not the sort of places I imagine Occidentalism wants to be associated with anyway.

    RC

  84. Jerry Billows Says:

    I don’t know why he had to distort the fact.

    Only two answers are possible, Ponta: he’s either delusional or he’s engaging in “political spin.”

    If he’s delusional, that means he has psychological problems that aren’t going to be resolved with a civil, rational, and open conversation. Let’s face it: there are paranoid people out there who honestly feel persecuted and attacked, despite the reality.

    On the other hand, he could be trying to “spin” this situation. That means he’s rational, but just lacks integrity and sincerity, as Matt and others think. In this scenario, he does it to preserve his followers’ need to believe his methods and actions are always infallible and beyond reproach. He selectively takes certain issues, rewords them to insinuate you did something wrong, and then markets it to the public. Some people are naive enough to believe him. Others, who are familiar with Arudou’s track record, are less willing to buy it.

    You should learn this English word, Ponta. It comes up all the time in American-style politics.

  85. bonesdog Says:

    If he’s delusional, that means he has psychological problems that aren’t going to be resolved with a civil, rational, and open conversation. Let’s face it: there are paranoid people out there who honestly feel persecuted and attacked, despite the reality.

    I think this is very close to the truth as regards Debito. He seems to be endlessly searching for the “boogieman” that is out to get him, be that the Japanese, the Sapporo US Consular staff, his parents, or just plain anyone who doesn’t see things his way. Everyone is out to get him, apparently.

    On the other hand, he could be trying to “spin” this situation. That means he’s rational, but just lacks integrity and sincerity, as Matt and others think. In this scenario, he does it to preserve his followers’ need to believe his methods and actions are always infallible and beyond reproach.

    There is also a great deal of truth here. I called him several times on his blog where he was putting up information, or allowing his cult of followerspeople to post items that were factually wrong in an effort to make Japan look bad. He just deletes any posts that challenge his official version of how the world works. He also got me one time where I challenged him on something and he challenged me to back it up or “I will delete this thread as unfounded hearsay” (talk about having big brass ones! He’s the master of promulgating unfounded hearsay himself!). When I responded, he deleted the response while leaving up what went before – in other words, manipulating things to make it look like I couldn’t answer his challenge. I called him on it in unpleasant terms and the whole thing disappeared.

    (Spin) comes up all the time in American-style politics.

    But… but… he’s not American! He’s Japanese! LOL

  86. GordonM Says:

    The majority of the businesses in Debito’s pointless Rogues Gallery are not the sort of places I imagine Occidentalism wants to be associated with anyway.

    RC

    Ohhh, I dunno RC, there’s a guy on Debito’s blog who claims to be able to see 3 such signs in 5 minutes after walking outside his place! I figure that either he lives near a red light district, or is very unlucky, or is a very, very fast walker (so fast that he is able to reach relativisitc speeds, bend space-time and travel back in time to a less enlightened era).

    http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=1210

  87. Matt Says:

    The majority of the businesses in Debito’s pointless Rogues Gallery are not the sort of places I imagine Occidentalism wants to be associated with anyway.

    LOL, it is always funny that Debito is so outraged that the Yakuza won’t let him into their brothels and other sexual establishments.

    Seriously, I wonder if Debito really thinks prostitutes should not be allowed to discriminate based on race, if they want to.

  88. Matt Says:

    bonesdog, you seem to know a lot about Debito. Has he ever participated in a debate? Somehow I just cannot see him putting himself in a situation where did does not control everything going on like he does at debito.org. You can’t delete someone at a debate, LOL.

  89. bonesdog Says:

    bonesdog, you seem to know a lot about Debito.

    I am not sure I would say I know “a lot” about him, I have met him, and I do have good relations with people who do know him pretty well (and are not unfriendly with him, although they do get frustrated with his antics sometimes). So I hear a lot of things and am able to get corroboration. Plus I have learned firsthand what happens when you disagree with him. A lot of what I know about him also comes directly from his own mouth (or writings). His feud with Tony Laszlo is a prime example of the type of guy he is – when they were in the same group campaigning for human rights, Debito would go off half-cocked on his own and et his pee-pee slapped for it. Then he thought that Tony (who was sort of a founder of the group) did the same thing, and launched a scorched-earth policy against Tony and anyone associated with Tony, saying something like “this isn’t how you treat members of a group where we are all supposed to be equal”. Ironic? Pathetic? I dunno.

    I know people who are trying to steer him towards the light side of the Force, but I don’t think it can be done. It always seems to be Debito’s way or the highway. If you are lucky (?), he likes you, which means he will just ignore you and do what he wants to do anyway. Otherwise, he wil negage in all manner of dishonesty and trickery to “prove” you are wrong and he is right.

    Of course, there is a third option: he is just trying to be cute and likable but failing miserably. He considers Dave Spector his “mentor” in some ways, which would lend credence to this theory and explain why no-one ever gets Debito’s “jokes”. ;-)

  90. ponta. Says:

    bonesdog, you seem to know a lot about Debito. Has he ever participated in a debate?

    What is interesting is that Debito’s friend, Garrett and Ken Worsely rarely if ever join the discussion on Debito’s blog, at least as their handle.
    Also noteworthy is the fact Debit didn’t block the comment to the effect that the alleged rape victim was a liar while blocking the comments from another perspective. I hold the judgement as to the case, but I strongly recommend Debito’s fans to ask him upload the court text without the accuser’s real name and read it.

  91. ponta. Says:

    hold the judgement as to the case→I reserve the judement as to the case.

  92. T_K Says:

    Ponta, it’s great that you went to the trouble of clearing this up in a civilised way.
    Debito’s heart may be in the right place, but something in his style strikes me as sensationalist, confrontational and legalistic. Could be my bias at work. :)

  93. ponta. Says:

    T_K
    Thanks, but it is actually Matt who has brought this to people’s attention, and it was James of Japan probe and Bill of Anpontan who gave us the opportunity to talk about it fairly and it was tonchanmon and MaidoOido who had actually shop-owner take the sign down. And it was Ken Y-N who helped me when I was on the verge of being buried on another forum. And a lot of fair commenters like overthinker and others ..sorry I can’t name them all…. helped me. So actually it is a little that I have done but anyway I can’t thanks them all enough.
    And yes, I also hope Debito will change his style.

  94. ViinatoMoh Says:

    Next time you want to prove that you entered a comment in a blog, try using Hypercam. Hypercam records activities on a computer screen and puts them in a video.

    That way if Blog Owner A pretends you didn’t enter any comments, you can post a hypercam video file and put it on a fileshare.

  95. Jerry Billows Says:

    ViinatoMoh, I never heard about the Hypercam. Is that some kind of hardware that we need to buy? Or is it just some kind of freeware application that we can download off the internet?

    BTW, GordonM posted a great reply to one of the Debitites today. Check it out. He said everything I was wanted to post in reply and more. I’ve lived in Japan for close to 20 years. I’ve had similar experiences to Gordon, and always wondered where all of these allegedly “racist” real estate owners were. I’m not saying that they don’t exist (racists are everywhere in the world), but it’s funny how I stopped having problems once I (1) spoke fluent Japanese, (2) presented myself as a respectable, responsible adult, (3) dressed well, and (4) had a hoshounin. Once you achieve these four straightforward tasks, everything else seems to fall into place.

    Screaming “racism!” at every turn might make you feel better for a little while, but it doesn’t solve the underlying problems. Good job, mate.

  96. ponta. Says:

    Or is it just some kind of freeware application that we can download off the internet?

    It was freeware. (^_-)(Thanks ViinatoMoh )
    Google,I downloaded Japanese version.

    So I don’t have to take a photo of my computer next time.

  97. Matt Says:

    BTW, GordonM posted a great reply to one of the Debitites today.

    Somehow what to call Debito’s followers came up. The less polite ideas were Debitards (I came up with that), and my friend came up with an even less polite one… Debiturds. LOL.

    Not that I am going to condone that kind of language here. Debito’s site might be a free for all against dissenters, be we have to be nice :)

  98. GordonM Says:

    Hey Jerry,

    yeah, it seems that for some reason the “logic” of certain individuals goes like this:

    problem: can’t get an apartment to rent..
    debito follower logic: RACIST BASTARDS
    real problem: the applicant is a douche

    problem: can’t get a job other than English teaching
    debito follower logic: RACIST JAPANESE SYSTEM
    real problem: Your “BA” really stands for “bugger all”

    problem: not accepted by a girl’s family
    debito follower logic: RACISTS!!!!!!
    real problem: you’re a loser in your late 30s with no prospects

    problem: you get thrown out of an institution
    debito follower logic: RACIST BASTARDS!!! CRUCIFY THE LOT OF THEM!!
    real problem: you were drunk and abusive

    problem: you were “refused service”
    debito follower logic: RACISTS!!!!!
    the real problem: you can’t speak Japanese, and the staff member couldnt speak english

    okay, those are some extreme (and fictional) examples, but what I’m getting at is, each time I hear someone say “racist!” in Japan, I wonder what the real deal is…

    In saying that, I’m not saying that Japan doesnt have it’s share of racists, sure it does, but I believe the problems here are no worse than in Australia, or perhaps the situation here is even better than in Australia. The so-called “anti-racism” laws have done more harm than good, in my opinion.

  99. The Overthinker Says:

    I was thinking of Deadbeatos, but yes, that is getting rude….

    And GordonM’s reply should be framed and hung on a wall. I have been turned down though, and the state reason was that the landlord didn’t like foreigners (the agency told me this: he’d had a “bad experience” with Bangladeshis, and so lumped us all in together). My current apartment was a breeze: saw the ad in the morning, went round to the agents’ with the SO, got shown my place, my SO (Japanese) specifically asked about foreigners, we were told that sure, no problems, there was a Chinese guy upstairs, and the deal was done. It was the first place we looked at. Basically the key issue is, can you pay the rent, and will you cause hassles? I understand tenants rights (once you are in) are quite strong in Japan (no doubt as there so many of us), so if that is so, then no wonder landlords want to get reliable people in. So I would say that unless you are specifically told “no foreigners” like I was a decade ago, don’t automatically assume it if you are rejected.

  100. Kaneganese Says:

    As one of the Japanese landlords, yes, we prefer Japanese and foreigners who has relatives or “hoshounin” in Japan. Few years ago, one of our tenants (with foreigner wife) lost his job, and couldn’t pay the rents, but his hoshounin (father) payed us instead. That’s how it works.

    According to my lawyer, if you leave the file which include the real name of the victim downloadable, even if it was a few days, it can be slander. But it is a “申告罪”, so if the victim doesn’t realise that, it is difficult to make a case.

    Honestly, I think Ballet class post is more serious slander case since it was a false claim and the class actually suffered from many protesting e-mails and had to shut down their English Home page. I hope this Ballet class owner take some proper legal action against him. If the ballet class in Azabu labelled as racist who rejects foreigners, it causes serious consequences. Azabu is full of foreigners. He need to face the music of what he had done.

  101. Dobo Says:

    Kaneganese makes some good points. I think, however, that the ballet school will likely let things drop. It is worth pointing out, however, that Debito has had two “close calls” in the past few weeks. If he continues to do what his is doing without changing his MO, however, he is bound to come up against it eventually.
    As part of the “Debito watch” that seems to be building steam here, I’d like to point out that Debito rarely gives any credit to the hundreds and hundreds of Japanese established and run foreigner support groups that exist nationwide. Now, however, is making the rounds of them to push his new book.
    He is almost completely silent about them because that would interfere with his “us” versus “them” orientation and his fantasy that it is he has his Deadbeatos that are really making a difference. He is, however, quite willing to take their offers of hospitality when it comes time to sell a few copies of his book.
    I wonder if he’ll try to sell a few “JAPANESE ONLY” t-shirts while he’s there?
    I’m in a bit of an odd position – I’ve actually seen more “JAPANESE ONLY” t-shirts in Japan (1) than “JAPANESE ONLY” signs (0).

  102. Matt Says:

    Dobo, here is another one for you.

    The first time Debito ever deleted my comment was on this post he wrote. In it he claims –

    Aso says Japanese better diplomats due to hair and eye color

    Hi Blog. More Japanese-elite social science at work. Foreign Minister Aso offers his well-thunked-out theories as to why Japanese would do better than Westerners in the Middle East diplomatically.

    Wonder how much of this has to do with how well Japan gets along in parts of Asia diplomatically. Oh yeah, must be the color of Japanese eyes and hair getting in the way… Race engenders trust, you see.

    Courtesy of the Mainichi, NYT/Reuters/CNN, Jerusalem Post… thanks to several people for notifying me.

    Followed by an article from the FCCJ website last June talking about Aso’s lack of a lack of a past himself, and a NYT Editorial of Feb 13, 2006 demonstrating his lack of diplomatic tact. Couldn’t be due to the shape of his mouth, now could it? It might, if you follow Aso Logic. Debito.

    I pointed out that Aso’s comment had nothing to do with racial abilities, and more to do with the fact that white people from the US and Europe are currently fighting two wars in the Middle East, and white people are thus deeply unpopular there. With the Japanese relatively uninvolved, they may have some advantages. However, I also mentioned that I disagreed with Aso because the actual threat of attack is a powerful diplomatic tool, one unavailable to Japan.

    That is clearly what was meant by Aso’s statement, but Debito went out of his way to racialize it. Exactly the same thing he did with the sign when he wrote “problem is, they indicate that NJ cannot have this degree of food appreciation, and so refuse them entirely”, which is a complete fabrication.

    Anyway, I made a comment and what did Debito do? He deleted it! Was it a troll comment? Nope. Just something that cast doubt on the idea the Japanese Foreign Minister had made a racist comment.

    Is there anymore proof needed that he is dishonest? If he were in the vegetable business he would probably be using rigged scales, ala Karate Kid 2. By the way, notice the crack about the “Japanese-elite social science at work”, as if the Japanese were congenitally racist.

  103. Alex Says:

    To bring the conversation back around to the original topic, and to archive my comment from Debito’s blog that will probably end up being deleted, I wrote,

    Hold on…I don’t get how Debito titled the post ‘“Japanese Only” sign in Tsukiji Fish Market’ and was still claiming to not know where the restaurant is. It’s in Tsukiji Fish Market, just like you titled the post. There is only one Tsukiji Fish Market, and it’s in Tokyo. The station name is Tsukiji, and there are a ton of signs that lead from the station towards the world-famous Fish Market. Also, you can see in the picture (that you posted), there’s a guy in the background riding one of the famous circular standing-go-kart contraptions that are all over Tsukiji market? Dead giveaway.

    It takes about 10 minutes to walk through the entire section of restaurants.

    By the way, I’d like to add my thanks to Ponta for making the call and rationally talking it over with the shop owner.

  104. Dobo Says:

    “By the way, notice the crack about the “Japanese-elite social science at work”, as if the Japanese were congenitally racist.”

    Yes and we should all note the difference between this and Debito’s social science which seems to consist of little more than clipping from Japanese newspapers and posting any story of foreigner misfortune as an example of racism.

    Does anyone remember his plan to take a sabbatical to ask every diet member one question – would they support an anti-discrimination law? What a joke. This could be done in a week by phoning or emailing their offices for a quote. There is no academic department or funding agency in North America that would see this as a credible academic project (let alone the fact that he is supposed to be a language professor), but it is par for the course for Debito’s “methodology”.

  105. The Overthinker Says:

    I too have often wondered where the other voices in his campaign are – where the Japanese and other groups also fighting for racial equality etc.

    This is telling: “Japanese would do better than Westerners in the Middle East diplomatically.
    Wonder how much of this has to do with how well Japan gets along in parts of Asia diplomatically.”

    One would imagine that someone who has actually taken Asian citizenship would realise that the Middle East, while technically Asia, is not remotely the Far East, and that the fact that Japan invaded the parts of Asia near it does not mean that all parts of Asia hate it. To suggest otherwise is at best a cheap debating point, at worst deliberate lying. I have seen TV reports of how Japanese SDF members are treated very well by the locals who appreciate that they aren’t the Americans, or the Europeans – the colonial powers that they had to sit through.

    Debito’s research project was a bit of a joke too – then he cries foul when his university won’t support it, they figuring he’s there to teach English, not politics/social sciences. So he gets into a lather about “academic freedom” as if that means that he can do whatever the fuck he wants. Like hell it does. It means that he cannot be fired for saying/researching controversial topics. Freedom of inquiry does not mean that a professor of economics can suddenly decide to research physics. He’s employed to research and teach economics, and may do that any way he likes, but he must do that. Then he ragged on university students who actually had the temerity to question, in a Q&A session at one of his talks, his basis for his claims that certain phenomena were prevalent or increasing, saying they were missing the point. No, they just wanted to be accurate. Accuracy and academic rigour are presumably not welcome….

  106. ponta. Says:

    Debito, give me a break.

    And I would have called the shop owner myself if I had had the number. Ponta refused to give it to me even after I asked. Ah well. It helps your crowd believe I didn’t try hard enough, I guess.

    50 ponta Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    February 16th, 2008 at 3:52 am

    有道さん
    私は拒否などしていませんよ。
    私はそのことを含めて公開の場で話し合おうと提案したのですが、あなたが拒否したのです。
    記録もあります。

    Mr. Aridou.
    I didn’t refuse.
    I suggested to talk in public, about the matter including what you said.
    I have the record.

  107. gamiras Says:

    Let’s just face it. Debito is really mentally incapacited. He really crossed the line when he got Japanese citizenship just because the “Japanese Only” sign could be nullified. I mean, why didn’t he think about the option of going back to the US if Japan is full of racism and hatred as he claims? He already had a family at the time. He can’t just form one-man army (not really, because he employed his children) and go berserk. And it’s not like the US is devoid of stuff he can rile about, is it? He is just self-destructive.

  108. mass_production Says:

    I think this thread is being way too hateful of someone who wants to do good things. But I also understand that this is the kind of agression that comes out of someone censoring heavy dissention.

    Personally, I’ve got to say, I’ve disagreed several times on Debito’s blog with a lot of his government pet-peeves (Police will always require your gaijin card if they stop you for one, being one) and I’ve never been censored on his site. So I don’t feel it’s fair to say that he censors all dissenters.

    On the otherhand, I don’t always agree with the things he does, and especially his continued antagonism towards 2chan rankles a bit. For someone so twisted up about unfair treatment he truly fails to see the positives of the internet as an anonymous space.

    One of the things I think he has done really well is post a lot of information for people living in Japan for the first time that is not widely discussed in other places. Legal issues, overstay issues, your rights as a foreigner, etc. It’s invaluable, even if you can speak some degree of Japanese the kind of Japanese required to read this stuff is way beyond a lot of people’s heads. Personally I wish he would pursue more of this kind of activism, though I suppose his new money making book is where it’s at now huh.

    One thing that has recently disappointed me about Debito was his total ignorance of the NOVA issue. I know a lot of expats generally deride NOVA employees, but there were thousands of them who needed help in the form of information that no one was willing to help them with. A friend working for NOVA during the crash in October was also getting his visa renewed at the same time and was having a hell of a time getting any answers. All the foreign helplines basically had no information other than “you don’t have a job so, leave?”, immigrations didn’t speak English, and LSO transferred him over to Hello Work who have no connection to work legalities. NOVA’s two unions, Tokyo and Osaka, never answered his e-mails.

    This issue was, and continues to be, a time of crisis for a lot of foreigners as they move through picking up the pieces after NOVA (collecting back wages, unemployment, homelessness, filing taxes, possible lawsuits) and some find themselves now in an even worse position with the new NOVA. They’re being screwed over because they don’t know their rights or how to execute them.

    Someone with Debito’s uh.. lawsuit background and hunger for activism I would think would be all over this. Instead there was barely a peep from him on this issue and he decided to go after the fucking ballet school. I got kind of pissed off and e-mailed him a nasty letter to find a paltry list of “NOVA support links” a week later, all of which had little to no actual information, claiming that the NOVA issue had been more than covered.

  109. john k Says:

    Oh well…Debito is my 2nd website ive been block/barred from now. Questioning the statements of…its my website rant so i’ll print what i like. Which is discrimination aginst dissenting voices, which is no different to his own MO, hence what’s the difference? But didn’t print it.

    Funny how a personal web/blog suddenly becomes “very personal” when the raison d’etre is questioned. Integrity and impartiality are all too quickly discarded

    Silence speaks volumes

  110. gamiras Says:

    mass_production,
    What’s a private company’s bankrupcy got to do with this incident and Debito? Really. Weren’t the Australian and British embassies already helping their citizens with plane tickets? Why you had to write that here is puzzling me.

  111. ponta. Says:

    Facts
    Asked Debito to join the discussion February 10th, 2008 at 6:37 am
    Asked why he blocks the comments, asked how I should change the way I write for my comments to be on his blog(February 11th, 2008 at 10:41 am)
    Asked Debito if you have something to ask to the shop owner(February 11th, 2008 at 2:38 pm)
    Debito made a comment on his blog to be deleted a few hours later(February 11th, 2008 at 4:19 pm)
    Asked Debito the comment was really made by Debito(February 11th, 2008 at 6:21 pm)
    Asked Debito the comments on Occidentalism and asked not to delete his own comment(February 11th, 2008 at 7:42 pm)
    I received e-mail from Debito (2008年2月11日 21:30)
    Asked Debito to talk the matter in public(February 12th, 2008 at 3:38 am)

    Debito wrote to Alex(Feburary 18th 2008 at 12 42am

    And I would have called the shop owner myself if I had had the number. Ponta refused to give it to me even after I asked. Ah well. It helps your crowd believe I didn’t try hard enough, I guess.

    As of now, he deleted his own comment.

    mass_production,

    Legal issues, overstay issues, your rights as a foreigner, etc. It’s invaluable, even if you can speak some degree of Japanese the kind of Japanese required to read this stuff is way beyond a lot of people’s heads

    If you have problems with new NOVA, I suggest to write to James of Japan Probe and ask him to post about it.
    Be very specific about the problems you guys have.
    There are not many people who are faimilar with labour law.
    (tips:Just focus on you guys’ problems,what kind of imformation you need. Don’t be sacastic about Japan.)
    If you needs translations or you have something to ask to the Ministry of Justice, I’ll do what I can do.

  112. gamiras Says:

    If you needs translations or you have something to ask to the Ministry of Justice, I’ll do what I can do.

    Ponta, who are you?

  113. ponta. Says:

    Ponta, who are you?

    Just Ponta, an average Japanese citizen.
    Actually I don’t think there are a lot I can do, but
    a quick translation, or just phone the ministry of justice is easy enough.

  114. gamiras Says:

    Well, if they really have legitimate problems, what they need a trustworthy lawyer.

    Someone with Debito’s uh.. lawsuit background and hunger for activism I would think would be all over this.

    This borders on insanity, calling for all the trouble.

  115. john k Says:

    Gamiras
    I think Ponta is just demonstrating the typical Japanese trait of being helpful to his fellow man; in that his offer to assist where and if he can. The kindness of the Japanese to total strangers never seizes to amaze me. Ponta’s intervention et al, in the sign debacle, I think demonstrates that.

  116. camphortree Says:

    Mass_production,

    Fucking ballet school? The ballet school was and is a victim of disinformation that Debito has propagated as Ponta pointed out. The Debito’s charge was serious –racial discrimination, yet Debito did not retract his fraud charge nor apologize to the school. Let’s be clear, if anything is fucking, it is Debito, the way he conducted his activities on this issue.

    As for Ponta’s mail address Debito received Ponta’s CORRECT mail address from Ponta. Debito failed to type the exact letters Ponta gave him, consequently the mail got bounced back to Debito. Then Debito denounced that with highly emotional touch insinuating that Ponta gave Debito a false address. Mighty Debito has tendencies to drive issues without checking the facts. The truth does not seem to be important to him.

  117. moYom Says:

    They tracked down the restaurant (ironically refusing to divulge its whereabouts to Debito.org,

    This is another trap.
    We all know horrible things are happening to the ballet school as the result of accusation by Debito.
    If Ponta gave him address of the shop, the Debito Jugend will go attacking them.

  118. Guchan Says:

    I’ve been following Debito’s activity for a while, and I think it’s great that he’s starting to be called out by bloggers for his actions. I’ve gotten into arguments with his followers before, pointing out that most of these photos were for places involved in the water trade or organized crime, and I as a foreigner have no interest in going to these places, yet somehow this is a human rights violation.

    I was also wondering how good of a university (Hokkaido Information University) his employer is; I’ve certainly never heard of it before I went to his website.

  119. The Overthinker Says:

    “I as a foreigner have no interest in going to these places, yet somehow this is a human rights violation.”

    I don’t think this is a valid argument. While you may not wish to go there, that doesn’t make the signs acceptable. If an establishment is legally operating, it should be accessible to everyone equally (either equally easily or equally hard).

    Here’s the URL of HIU if you are interested (English site):
    http://www.do-johodai.ac.jp/english/index.html
    It’s certainly a minor university. However the quality of his employer should not affect the validity or lack thereof of his arguments or methods. According to that site, Debito is only a lecturer, not a professor. That was in 2002-03 though, so that may have changed. However HIU, remarkably, does not seem to have any listing of its faculty.

    Found this though: “This course focuses upon communication with an aim towards persuasion and discussion. Students will learn how to express an
    opinion, make one’s point clear, structure long and difficult comments, give arguments which will not turn off the listener, and
    safely express oneself in a cross-cultural format inoffensively.”
    (http://www.do-johodai.ac.jp/english/pdf/07syllabus_satellite.pdf)
    Guess who teaches this course….

  120. camphortree Says:

    Yay! Mr.Debito Arudou is offering a perfect class for students to daydream!

  121. mass_production Says:

    ponta,

    Thanks, I’ll pass the information on.

    camphoretree,

    Yes, fucking ballet school. As in, I don’t really care if someone got their panties in a twist about being denied entry to a stupid fucking ballet school when my friend is worrying about whether he’s going to be evicted because his company has totally fucked him over.

  122. randomcow Says:

    I think Ponta is just demonstrating the typical Japanese trait of being helpful to his fellow man; in that his offer to assist where and if he can. The kindness of the Japanese to total strangers never seizes to amaze me.

    You mean Japanese citizens like Debito?

    RC

  123. john k Says:

    randomcow
    Perhaps there in lies the difference between a citizen and a national?

  124. Ken Says:

    Those who bring their own food and shout for bottoms-up in restaurant.
    http://www.chosunonline.com/article/20060905000016
    Biz-man must have learned manner better than infrequent toursit.

  125. Dobo Says:

    Some spectacular bigotry posted over on Debito’s blog.

    http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=1369

    Fantasy allegations and a complete whitewash of American problems.

    “The most basic right- the right not to be murdered- and the most basic justice- punishing a killer, is denied to foreigners in Japan.”

    This is racist trash and Debito should be shamed into ceasing to regurgitate this type of thing.

  126. The Overthinker Says:

    It also looks like some key facts have been omitted from the initial report. “The taxi sped off, didn’t bother to call an ambulance, phone the police, take Floyd to the hospital, or even get out of the car to see if he was ok. He just hit him and ran.” But the Japanese report says “現行犯逮捕” – arrested while committing a crime: i.e. arrested on the spot (and without need for a warrant). It does not mention him driving off. It sounds like someone got confused between him and the younger driver who did drive off. “However, the taxi driver is free and I’ll bet you the 19 year old will get a slap on the wrist- if that.” That is pure speculation just to make the Japanese justice system look bad. There is enough rational critique of the Japanese justice system that sensationalism merely damages credibility.

  127. nigelboy Says:

    ”警察では最初にはねたタクシーではなく、現場から逃走した乗用車によるケガが致命傷になったと判断”

    The police determined that the cause of death was not the taxi but the next vehicle that fled the scene.

    http://news.goo.ne.jp/article/gooauto/sports/motor/106090.html

    But hey, what do you expect from Debito and his Debitoons.

  128. Matt Says:

    It also looks like some key facts have been omitted from the initial report. “The taxi sped off, didn’t bother to call an ambulance, phone the police, take Floyd to the hospital, or even get out of the car to see if he was ok. He just hit him and ran.” But the Japanese report says “現行犯逮捕” – arrested while committing a crime: i.e. arrested on the spot (and without need for a warrant). It does not mention him driving off. It sounds like someone got confused between him and the younger driver who did drive off. “However, the taxi driver is free and I’ll bet you the 19 year old will get a slap on the wrist- if that.” That is pure speculation just to make the Japanese justice system look bad. There is enough rational critique of the Japanese justice system that sensationalism merely damages credibility.

    Overthinker, post that information over there and lets see if it can get past Debito’s “bamboo curtin”.

  129. Dobo Says:

    Debito approved racist post –

    “Outside of countries like Sudan, Sierra Leone or Liberia, I can honestly say that I’ve never heard of such abuse of children as I have in Japan…. NJ’s have no access to their children, but J are free to abuse at will, and they do.”

    Just in case there is anyone on the fence, it is becoming increasingly clear that Debito’s site is becoming a haunt for nutjobs and bigots.

    Why screen posts at all if unsubstantiated (an untrue) BS like this is allowed to pass? Is it only to screen for dissenting opinions?

  130. ponta. Says:

    Debito has been blocking my comments. Probably many other comments that are trying to tell the truth
    are blocked. Oh well.

  131. Matt Says:

    Debito approved racist post –

    “Outside of countries like Sudan, Sierra Leone or Liberia, I can honestly say that I’ve never heard of such abuse of children as I have in Japan…. NJ’s have no access to their children, but J are free to abuse at will, and they do.”

    Just in case there is anyone on the fence, it is becoming increasingly clear that Debito’s site is becoming a haunt for nutjobs and bigots.

    Why screen posts at all if unsubstantiated (an untrue) BS like this is allowed to pass? Is it only to screen for dissenting opinions?

    That is the important thing. Racist comments occasionally appear on this site from all sides, but I rarely if ever moderate them unless someone gets repetitive. I don’t approve of the comments, and they often contradict each other as well. Debito on the other hand filters each and every comment, so when a racist or prejudiced comment appears, one must assume that he agrees with it substantially.

  132. GarlicBreath Says:

    I think all this talking about Debito is exactly what he wants. He had one little problem with a spa, and he has made a career out of it.
    .
    On the good side, I think its a testimony to how great Japan is. In Japan he is free to say what he thinks, even if his methods demonstrate his own deep racism. He still has his job at a university, and he has found a niche for his massive ego. Local newspapers give him credibility and publish is poorly written complaints.
    .
    Contrast that with Corea, where if you are decent, intelligent and fair minded person, who believes that there is overwhelming evidence that proves that Coreans are squatters on takeshima island, you would lose your job, or worse! Corea is a place where you can only get ahead if you pander to their ego, and worship them. There are many sellouts in corea that think by being “yes men” and prostrating themselves before their ” masters” the Coreans, somehow the Coreans will toss them some scraps.
    .
    The great thing about Japan is that people around the world admire her culture and, in case like corea, try and imitate, and claim Japanese culture as its own. When I see those fat bellied, hanbok clad, NC (non coreans) groveling, in full prostrate submission, to their corean masters it makes me sick.

  133. Jerry Billows Says:

    That is the important thing. Racist comments occasionally appear on this site from all sides, but I rarely if ever moderate them unless someone gets repetitive. I don’t approve of the comments, and they often contradict each other as well. Debito on the other hand filters each and every comment, so when a racist or prejudiced comment appears, one must assume that he agrees with it substantially.

    Good point. Speaking of which, who is this guy “Kimpatsu” who keeps posting on Debito’s site? I don’t even need to read his posts anymore because I know what they will say in advance. Almost every one of his comments boils down to how “racist” the Japanese are in all circumstances. The police are racists. The justice system is racist. The politicians are racists. The bureaucrats are racists. The journalists are racists. The Tokyo Ballet School is racist. Anyone who disagrees with Kimpatsu is a racist sympathizer, etc., etc., etc. Unbelievable. If this is the best level of intellectual sophistication that Debito’s supporters can muster, there’s no need to worry about anyone taking anything they say too seriously.

  134. Dobo Says:

    Kimpatsu (right down to his name) is a muppet.

    I don’t think that Debito himself makes racist comments (although he clearly reproduces the foreigner / Japanese exclusiveness that he sees as being abhorrent in Japanese society – it gives him a chance to set up an “audience” and to claim membership in a “victim” group). Huge problem, however, in the way that he seems to allow others to act as a proxy and rant (in the most generalizing and rude terms)about “Japanese” as if they were all part of some secret conspiracy to harm the hardworking “NJ” who are the real force of peace, economic growth, maturity, and happy multi-culturalism in Japanese society….

    This nonsense is getting worse – people have been using bad stats to whitewash the extent of US military problems in Okinawa and to paint the recent outrage over yet another rape as resulting from JAPANESE PREJUDICE. This is a slap in the face to Okinawans (who found themselves in the midst of a “real” human rights situation – basically no recognition of their human rights during the period of American rule and lots of problems since).

  135. ponta. Says:

    Almost every one of his comments boils down to how “racist” the Japanese are in all circumstances………….

    You forgot to mention Japanese people are racists, according to by DR
    http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=1207#comment-114102
    Who believes this story except for the newcomers and very biased people?

    I don’t think that Debito himself makes racist comments

    Agreed But when he leaves the comments that smack of racist but blocks the comments criticizing them, it tells a lot.

  136. nigelboy Says:

    Let me recount an incident that still shocks me to this day. I had a business meeting in a city in Shizuoka-ken in January of 2003. I awaited my colleague at the exit of the station at about 1230h. It was a bright breezy January day, temp 8C and cooler in the wind, say -2C, -3C or so.

    In front of me crawled a late middle-aged Japanese guy, barefoot, dishevelled and obviously cold and hungry. He was begging with the empty styrofoam instant ramen bowl. People acually spat at him in front of my eyes, and hurled epithets at him, contemptuously. I went to the Kiosk at the station and bought him a couple of onigiri and a couple of cans of warm tea. When I gave it to him he practically clung to my ankle thanking me, over and over. My associate arrived and we had to go. A besuited man who flashed a badge at me, denoting his employ at City Hall’s Social Service Dept, asked me quizzically, “Why did you do that? Feed that man?”
    My reply was simple. “We live in the world’s 2nd strongest economy, and it is a shame for me to see him like that. There’s no reason for anyone to be in such need here. None! Japan is a rich country, and it should take care of its citizens.”
    Well….it turns out that my name (which I’d exchanged to the mayor and governor) rang a bell as a no-BS kinda straight shooter, got someone’s attention.
    Two days later I saw my “beggar” heading to the train, clean shaven, (and I found out later), housed, employed and now a contributing member of society.
    I can’t claim that I shamed the powers that be into action. But somewhere, someone got a message. And to this day I still see the “beggar” in a suit and tie heading to work on a regular basis.

    So folks, even in small ways, we actually D O make a difference.

    I’d say Bullshit. This DR character is a tool.

  137. Errol Says:

    Yes, now I understand everthing perfectly.
    .
    When he’s not playing Mother Teresa or jackbooting himself around Japaneese red light districts, Debito moonlights as the philanthropic
    Princess Debito of Japan.

  138. Jerry Billows Says:

    Kimpatsu (right down to his name) is a muppet.

    Do you mean a sockpuppet? If so, of that, yeah, I have no doubt.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_%28Internet%29

    I’m just wondering why Debito allows sockpuppets. He seems to complain constantly that anonymous users on the internet are not worth debating or allowing on his site, and yet he allows these other silly sockpuppets to push whatever fringe political agenda he’s got on the table today.

    Are they all Debito in disguise? Are they all one guy? Or are they a bunch of clearly disturbed individuals who manage to find problems everyone and anywhere in Japan, even when they don’t really exist.

    Anyway….

  139. Jerry Billows Says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muppet_%28slang%29

    Never mind. I think I understand what you’re talking about now. Sorry about that.

    Thank God for Wikipedia. (^_^)

    P

  140. Jerry Billows Says:

    Sorry, got cut off.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muppet_%28slang%29

    Never mind. I think I understand what you’re talking about now. Sorry about that.

    Thank God for Wikipedia. (^_^)

    Pretty sad behavior if you ask me.

  141. Dobo Says:

    - I was using muppet in the UK slag way (although Kinpatsu may very well be a sockpuppet as well). Scratch that “mildly affectionately” thing from the Wikipedia article too.
    – Another point – Just recently, a poster, “Bryce”, attracted a sarcastic comment from Debito. Bryce was none too amused by an American military guy posting the usual “if you haven’t served, you don’t know jack” sort of defense of the crazy rate of sex assault by Marines in Okinawa. Debito accused him of being condescending. Condescending is bad, plainly racist digs at all Japanese are okay.

  142. Matt Says:

    This post by Debito is galling. The nerve.

    Hi Blog. Although Terrie’s Take this week (yet another excellent essay) concentrates more on J citizens abroad taking NJ citizenships, there is also good mention and argument about J children in international marriages and the pressures upon them to conform to single nationality. As Terrie rightfully points out, this is ludicrous in a country which needs citizens; it shouldn’t be taking this degree of trouble just to put people off possibly maintaining a J passport just in the name of some odd nationality purity.

    And dual nationality in itself would resolve many problems… I personally know several long-term NJ (and even some Zainichi) who would be happy to become Japanese citizens if it didn’t mean the sacrifice of one’s identity to having to choose. If you are a product of two cultures, why not have the legal status to back that up? Not half, but double. That’s what I would call the real Yokoso Japan. Debito in Sapporo

    My reply to Debito, which he may or may not approve –

    Surely this does not count as “Ironies & Hypocrisies”. Surely the Japanese are permitted to choose their own beliefs about nationality based on their traditions and culture without white immigrants calling them “hypocrites”.

    How arrogant he is. Japanese people do not want people with dual loyalties. That is completely understandable.

  143. Dobo Says:

    - “Japanese people do not want people with dual loyalties.”
    – While Debito is trying to spark outrage over this issue, countries like Canada are in the middle of vigorous debate about dual citizenship. There have been many cases of people who have absolutely no connection with Canada, never having lived in Canada, etc. coming to the country for expensive medical procedures or requesting that the Canadian government, at great expense, bring them to Canada from regions where conflicts are happening (only to return days or weeks later after things calm down). I support dual citizenship, but I am a bigger fan of national self determination. Debito is also shockingly arrogant in the way that he creates an artificial Japan vs. “good countries” gap without acknowledging that there are debates and divergence of opinion all over.

  144. Gerbilbastard Says:

    Japanese people do not want people with dual loyalties. That is completely understandable.

    This isn’t quite true because as it has been shown, there are quite a few Japanese people holding two nationalities albeit by using a loophole.

  145. Matt Says:

    –Surely White Japanese (and long-term immigrants to Japan) such as myself have the freedom to choose our own beliefs, and call something hypocritical within our home society (Japan) if we so choose. And not be taken to task by White boys like you bringing in the race card, who have lived in Japan all of a year and don’t live in Japan now. Kindly fuck off.

    Wow, Debito is really going off the rails with this kind of language. Anyway, I replied to him. Lets see if it will appear on his site.

    “Kindly fuck off”? Charming.

    How is it that I have brought in the “race card”? Because I mentioned that you are a white immigrant? The race card happens to be every card in your deck so it is pretty hypocritical that you would criticize me for that.

    Anyway, feel free to express your beliefs any way you choose (who said you couldn’t? I was writing rhetorically), but if you are going to describe Japanese as hypocrites for their nationality laws, you should explain what exactly is hypocritical about it. The fact that you were inconvenienced by it does not make Japanese people hypocrites, or racist, for that matter.

    Why are Japanese people hypocrites in this instance, Debito?

  146. Matt Says:

    This isn’t quite true because as it has been shown, there are quite a few Japanese people holding two nationalities albeit by using a loophole.

    Illegally. And if national laws are representative of the national will on the matter, then you could say that most Japanese people do not approve of it.

  147. Gerbilbastard Says:

    That’s an interesting point. Why do you think officials are not cracking down harder on those individuals who are abusing the loophole in other countries?

  148. Matt Says:

    That’s an interesting point. Why do you think officials are not cracking down harder on those individuals who are abusing the loophole in other countries?

    You mean on the Japanese side? It is hard to confirm it. If the Japanese person (or immigrant) declares they have attempted to renounce their other citizenship, then that is it. Some countries do not accept renunciations, by the way, or at least don’t make it easy.

  149. Gerbilbastard Says:

    Do you by any chance know what the penalty is if the Japanese officials catch someone taking advantage of dual citizenship? Do they have to renounce the second citizenship? Is that even possible – because like you said, some countries, including the US make it pretty hard?

    I’ve stated as much on Debito’s blog, but I personally feel that helping Japanese people take steps to achieve dual-citizenship is in the best interest of foreigners living here. There are a lot of people who complain about not being able to gain dual citizenship in Japan but I think that’s the wrong approach. Helping Japanese nationals who live abroad will most likely help us in the future.
    If the citizens of Japan don’t like the idea and never approve of it then I’ll just have to live with their decision and watch in interest at how they deal with Japanese living abroad. I do have the right to become a citizen if I so wish, but I don’t intend on giving up my US citizenship.

  150. Matt Says:

    Gerbilbastard, permanent residency is another option. It enables you to live in Japan without turning your back on your home country. Except for voting rights, you have virtually the same rights as Japanese people.

    I don’t know what the penalty is.

  151. Gerbilbastard Says:

    I’m aware of permanent residency (need to start that paperwork one of these days), but I guess I’m only really thinking in terms of my kids who I intend to raise with both an American and a Japanese identity. Not sure really how to deal with that topic at this point, but I’m hoping time will help me figure things out. I also suppose that my kids will naturally gravitate toward an identity of the country they live in the longest.

  152. ponta. Says:

    Gerbilbastard

    There are a lot of people who complain about not being able to gain dual citizenship in Japan but I think that’s the wrong approach. Helping Japanese nationals who live abroad will most likely help us in the future.

    That is a good approach. I have been suggesting that, if they want to work on the issue like fingerprinting, dual citizenship and comfort women , they should work on the universal ground:As for the fingerprinting and dual citizenship, they can help Japanese abroad as well, as for the comfort women they can help the women victimized by the US and Korea as well, In that way, we can be sure that they are not just Japanophobia that they look to be. As they are, rejecting almost all the comments by Japanese in Japanese, linking itself to the hate site of Japan, leaving the comments that smack of racism while blocking the comments that criticize them, do you still really think they are better than 2 “channel-er”?

  153. Matt Says:

    Debito has deleted my comment and his reply. Lucky we have a record of it here.

  154. Jerry Billows Says:

    DR graces us with this quote from Dogs and Demons author Alex Kerr, followed by his own little pearl of wisdom:

    To quote Alex Kerr, *”Obedience to authority, instilled in people from the time they are small children, makes Japanese society work very smoothly, with far less of the social turmoil and violent crime that have plagued other countries.” This would seem to be the goal of the social engineers who want a single homogeneous race. There seem to be no ends to which they will go to enforce their vision. And that includes any Japanese who do not “follow the rules.”

    So, if I understand him correctly, DR is either complaining that Japan does not have more social turmoil and violent crime like other countries (???), or he thinks that if more Japanese were just to break law and order (something he’s suggesting is good), the human rights of non-Japanese would finally be fulfilled at long last by gaining dual-citizenship (???). If neither of those are correct, then I struggle to understand why he needs to trot out the tired cliches about Japan’s “social engineering” and racial homogeneity. Cue in Kimpatsu with another declaration of how everyone is “racist” who disagrees with DR’s analysis. The commentary on that site is so shallow and difficult to follow, it’s actually entertaining to read.

  155. nigelboy Says:

    “However, the number of crimes detected by police during the five-year period from 2003 to 2007 increased some 70 percent from the period of with an NPA official stressing the need for further crackdown on them.”

    From the period of what? From the period of the NPA official stressing the need for a further crackdown between 2003-7? No, that doesn’t make sense. It makes more sense that there’s an NPA official commenting for this article, meaning once again the NPA stresses a need for further crackdown. That’s illogical given this news.

    Which means the press is once again merely parroting without analysis. And we really need some better translators at Kyodo.

    The point is: the NPA will say anything, even make bad news out of good, to keep budgetary monies flowing in… Debito in Okinawa

    http://www.debito.org/index.php

    “一方で、摘発件数を5年ごとに見た場合、03-07年は、1993-97年に比べ約7割増えており、警察庁は「多少の増減はあるものの、近年は『高止まり』の状態。今後も取り締まり強化など一層の取り組みが必要」としている。”

    “However, the number of crimes detected by police during the five-year period from 2003 to 2007 increased some 70 percent from the period of 1993 to 1997 with an NPA official stressing that although there are significant decreases, the current period indicates the stoppage of the peak and that there still exist the need for further crackdown”

    http://www.sanyo.oni.co.jp/newsk/2008/02/28/20080228010001941.html

  156. nigelboy Says:

    datura Says:
    February 29th, 2008 at 4:27 am
    Well, actually, I remember a very infamous case of Japanese abroad commiting atrocious crime. Namely Issei Sagawa.

    Maybe it’s a bit too old for you kids to know about, but Issei murdered and ate a fellow student in France, was deported back to Japan and through a legal loophole basically got off scott free. He then turned his wickedness into a lucrative position as a macabre tv talent, writing books on the subject as well as doing commentary any time some psycho went and ate people.

    Bluntly put, props to the US for actually following up on the Miura case because the Japanese defintion of justice could use a few spankings.

    –I remember him. I’ve always been intrigued by that case. Thanks for bringing it up. Debito in Okinawa

    http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=1364#comments

    Japan wanted to prosecute Sagawa for murder but it was the French Judge Bruguiéres who refused to hand over the evidence. Hence, it was virtually impossible for Japan to prosecute.

  157. Gerbilbastard Says:

    As they are, rejecting almost all the comments by Japanese in Japanese, linking itself to the hate site of Japan, leaving the comments that smack of racism while blocking the comments that criticize them, do you still really think they are better than 2 “channel-er”?

    I really don’t know what to say anymore. I post many criticisms of users on the page and even I’ve started noticing an ever-increasing atmosphere of hatred growing at Debito’s site. The only way that you can get criticism past the filters is to avoid Debito himself and focus on some of the more ignorant comments made by other posters.

    As much as I like what you guys are doing here it’s frustrating to me that you choose to include sarcastic comments like, “I know this won’t get posted, but you’re wrong,” etc. If you know something won’t get posted then why write the message? It just serves to piss of Debito and have him crack down harder on the opposing view in these topics – which needs to be heard.

    At this point I don’t know if there’s any point in further observation of his site. I go there to find interesting articles but recently I don’t really waste my time considering the commentary because it’s clear from the beginning that it’s going to be anti-Japanese. This is especially frustrating because a lot of the issues brought up at his site require careful consideration, but when the conversation is started off negatively nothing good is going to come of it, and more unfortunately it will have less of a positive impact on a wider scale.

    I know I come across as a Debito sympathizer, but I’m only interested in the topics themselves. You can re-read all of my posts and see that I’m only interested in getting debate going, just not necessarily by attacking Debito himself – which is pointless because it has no impact on his site at all. My biggest concern is the growing lack of transparency and the volatile mixture of hatred and the sense of so-called activism at his site. It is quickly turning misunderstandings into full-blown attacks like we saw with this sign incident. The precedent is very scary and I hope that Debito realizes what he is doing is becoming very damaging to NJ living in Japan.

  158. Jerry Billows Says:

    The precedent is very scary and I hope that Debito realizes what he is doing is becoming very damaging to NJ living in Japan.

    Bingo. I only read Debito’s site for the pure entertainment value, not for things like real information or serious analysis or good writing. It’s difficult to trust anything he writes because his track record, reputation and background is very spotty. If I wanted immigration-related or economic-related information or political analysis, I would go to a real website or electronic journal where everything is handled in a much more professional and diplomatic manner. The good news is, and I’m willing to be corrected with new information on this point, most people don’t take Debito or his followers seriously. We should all rest a little bit more easy knowing that, though I supposed ponta is right that newcomers to Japan and the seriously young and naive are more vulnerable to debito.org’s silly “us vs. them” message than most others.

  159. Dobo Says:

    - Gerbilbastard, if you came off as a Debito sympathizer in the first place you are now a clear example of what I hope becomes a trend – people with a sincere interest in the issues that Debito discusses, but who are fed up with his excesses.
    – Jerry, I am afraid that there are many “newbies” who believe these stories posted on Debito’s site about Japanese randomly spitting on vagrants, foreigners facing daily discrimination in all contexts, the Japanese police being completely racist and unreliable, etc. Some effective counterpoint is needed and maybe Occidentalism (or this thread at least) can help to fill this role.
    – Matt, Debito’s response to your deleted post was pretty shocking and should be publicized.

  160. ponta. Says:

    As much as I like what you guys are doing here it’s frustrating to me that you choose to include sarcastic comments like,

    But let’s face it. All of my comments are being blocked by Debito.I asked you which comments counts as trollish so that I can change, you’ve never answered.
    There are sometimes good comments in Debito’s blog just as there are sometimes good comment in 2 channel.
    I think 2 channel is better in that nobody takes it seriously, administrator do not block comments.
    I don’t believe Debito’s followers, because they know if they criticize the way Debito runs, they will be blocked, so they won’t criticize him. That is the world of dictatorship. To borrow their words, they are backward, insularistic、racists.

  161. Jerry Billows Says:

    All of my comments are being blocked by Debito.I asked you which comments counts as trollish so that I can change, you’ve never answered.

    Ponta, in fairness to Gerbilbastard, he did respond to your question. If you check the first thread on this issue, he responds to you on comment #131.

  162. Gerbilbastard Says:

    But let’s face it. All of my comments are being blocked by Debito.I asked you which comments counts as trollish so that I can change, you’ve never answered.

    I’ve actually thinking about this for a long time and I still don’t know how to put it into words. I’ll try to give it a go:

    The basic premise of Debito’s site is looking at the big picture. He likes to take timely topics and sum them up in a generalized way usually against Japanese people/government. Your approach to countering him is to focus on the details. So here you have a hugely generic opinion vs. lots of little details. In this sense, all it takes for Debito to disagree with you is to disassemble each of your points and he’s won because he comes across as the stronger debater. On the other hand, I feel if you were to counter his generalized opinion with an all-encompassing opposite view and then back that up with the facts that you usually include, you would seem less like a troll. As it stands now, it seems to me that you’re specifically looking for technicalities, or GOTCHA, statements that will counter his entire onlook on topics. The small details only serve to confuse the issue early on and easy to dismiss.

    I think this is why your statements come across as trollish in nature. For example:

    Debito: I hate math because it’s hard!
    Ponta: 1+1=2 is easy.
    Debito: You’re only using an easy equation. Stop trolling!

    Where it should be:
    Debito: I hate math because it’s hard!
    Ponta: Math may be hard, but it’s useful in various situations including calculating the maximum speed of trains. It’s hard but it’s also quite beneficial to society and crucial in our daily lives.
    Debito: …

    This is obviously just my opinion, but details vs. generalizations doesn’t work.

  163. ponta. Says:

    Gerbilbastard
    Thanks
    The followings are lists of the comment he blockedk/deleted.
    http://pontasmemorandum.blogspot.com/
    So could you help me understand the issue?.
    My comment section is open to anybody, I want a specific opinion to each comment I made to clarify what’s wrong with it.

    And notice he blocks my comment the same kind of which other commenters posted. That is blatant descriminations. I asked him reason, he rejected to
    respond–that is worse than the Japanese only” tsukiji shop owner.

    Jerry Billows
    Yes, I know, and I responded in #132.
    Don’t worry, I don’t think Gerbilbastard is an enemy or something. He is a reasonable guy.
    But thanks anyway.

  164. Gerbilbastard Says:

    I’ve taken a look at your blog Ponta and although you have a lot of posts where you question Debito’s decision making process, I don’t notice anything particularly egregious in this sense. An example of this would be:

     いままで有道さんのところに投稿したコメントはすべて削除されました。
     しかし、私は諦めません。
     礼儀正しく、主題について、対話を求めていけばきっと外国出身の方々との対話をうけいれてくれると、思います。
     いままで、日本人と日本語で在日外国出身者の人々とインターネットという便利な道具を通じて、対話する機会が少なすぎました。
     いろいろな意見を出し合ってこそ、双方の理解が深まるというものです。
     残念ながら、有道さんはいままで、ほとんどすべての日本語と日本人のコメントを拒否していますが、国際化を迎える日本においてそうした対話こそ一番大事なことだと思います。

    I think the biggest problem at this point is that you’ve been marked as a troll by Debito and as such you’re probably not going to get messages posted on his blog. Matt was able to get some posts in last night, but I’m thinking that was mostly so Debito could tell him to f%ck off. Those posts have been deleted at this point which kind of proves that point.
    I also don’t think it’s really worth going back and analyzing each and every post you’ve written. You make interesting points and have a lot of background knowledge about the Japanese legal system, but I think you should just step back and alter your discussion style to match the person talking with you. If Debito is using generalizations, you should return with focused generalizations backed up with actual facts. If someone is coming at you with a list of details, respond with counter details.
    At the same time, you should take what I say with a grain of salt. I’m by no means an expert at debate, I’m just giving you my opinions. I also think it would be interesting to turn your blog from something detailing blocked comments on Debito’s blog into something more positive like a mirror of Debito’s site to provide an open forum for discussion.

  165. ponta. Says:

    Thanks Gerbilbastard

    I think you should just step back and alter your discussion style to match the person talking with you.

    Should I kiss his ass?

    Debito I agree with everything you say. I admire your effort….but there is one question. why are you doing yourself everything you blame on others?

    What do you think?

  166. Gerbilbastard Says:

    I think you misunderstood the English here Ponta. I didn’t say change your opinion to match his, I said change your discussion style. These are totally different things.

  167. GarlicBreath Says:

    Ponta, its pointless to argue with Debit. He will get off making you put all the effort into your discussion with him, just so he can call you a troll and delete your comments.
    .
    Ponta, Debit has kind of a mental problem.

  168. ponta. Says:

    Thanks
    Gerbilbastard
    I wrote it half-jokingly.
    by the way the first time he called me a toll is after he mistook me for anPONTAn.
    http://www.occidentalism.org/?p=826
    He said I was anPONTAn and he asked a question, and I answered(see the relevant post) he started calling me a troll.
    In Japanese he is Otonagenai.
    To borrow his follower’s word, his blog is disgusting.

  169. GordonM Says:

    Debito… Dave… Damn…

    Let’s have a look at the facts he presented abotu himself:

    1. his “problems” at the Japanese company he worked at – of course this wasnt his fault,

    2. stick from the government, and Japanese people in general,

    3. the divorce – not his fault of course

    4. the fact his kids dont want a bar of him,

    5. even his parents hate him

    There is one common factor here – him.

  170. ponta. Says:

    I posted the followings.

    DR……

    What I’m really waiting for is the torrent of apologies, marching in the streets and international diplomatic wrangling which will follow the announcement that the rape charges against the US Marine have been dropped. I’m waiting for Fukuda to call the false charges, “Unforgiveable!” (I guess I shouldn’t hold my breath?
    # ponta Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    March 1st, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    もう被害者の名誉を毀損するのはやめませんか?
    沖縄の少女の事件の場合、米軍も容疑者も、he kissed and pressed up against the girl とはいっているわけでしょ。この場合、暴行罪が成立しますが、女性が親告しない場合、検察は暴行罪に関しても起訴できないわけです。
    有道さん、あなたはDRさんのような被害者の名誉を毀損するようなコメントは許可して、こうしたコメントはブロックするわけですね?

    Could you stop infringing the victim’s right to reputation? In case of Okinawa’s case, the culprit and the marine admit that he kissed and pressed up against the girl, don’t they. It means that the crime of assault holds but it requires the formal complaint from the girl for the prosecute the assault which is a part of rape. Mr Aridou, you admit the comment like DR but reject like this, don’t you?ponta’s memorandum

    Let’s see how he’ll respond.

  171. ponta. Says:

    Okay, he blocked my comment.
    In other words, he left the comment that was insulting to the victim but blocked the comment that criticizes it.
    It tells something about his policy on his blog, doesn’t it?
    Gerbilbastard
    Do you really still think it is better than 2 channel?

  172. The Overthinker Says:

    “he kissed and pressed up against the girl”

    Is that really all that is needed to be a crime? It doesn’t seem violent to me.

  173. Dobo Says:

    If somebody (a guy) far bigger than you pressed up against you and kissed you against your will, would you feel violated? If you punched him out and were arrested, would you feel justified in claiming self-defense (of course, right?). This counts as prosecutable sexual assault in the United States. If he forced her down or grabbed her, it would be a charge to be taken very seriously. They can’t prosecute in Japan without the victim’s consent, however. (In Japan, I think that this would be “Kyosei Waisetsu” against a minor).

  174. ponta. Says:

    Overthnker

    “he kissed and pressed up against the girl”

    Is that really all that is needed to be a crime? It doesn’t seem violent to me.

    It is all that is needed.
    Penal code

    Article 204. (Injury)
    A person who causes another to suffer injury shall be punished by imprisonment
    with work for not more than 15 years or a fine of not more than 500,000 yen.

    Article 208. (Assault)
    When a person assaults another without injuring the other person, the person shall
    be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 2 years, a fine of not more
    than 300,000 yen, misdemeanor imprisonment without work or a petty fine.

    Check 暴行罪・傷害罪 to see what counts as assault.

  175. ponta. Says:

    Oh yes,Dobo, if he had indecent intention to violate to freedom to sexual activity, it counts as Kyousei waisetsu.

    Article 176. (Forcible Indecency)
    A person who, through assault or intimidation, forcibly commits an indecent act
    upon a male or female of not less than thirteen years of age shall be punished by
    imprisonment with work for not less than 6 months but not more than 10 years. The
    same shall apply to a person who commits an indecent act upon a male or female
    under thirteen years of age.

  176. The Overthinker Says:

    Interesting. I haven’t been actively following the case, and was under the impression that the kiss was mutual, and the charges of rape only came from subsequent actions.

  177. ponta. Says:

    According to NNN on Japan probe

    軍曹は「無理やり押し倒してキスしようとしたが、暴行はしていない」と一貫して容疑を否認

  178. Gerbilbastard Says:

    Ponta said:

    Do you really still think it is better than 2 channel?

    It’s not quite 2-chan yet. :) (And yes, this is one of the extreme articles)
    http://namidame.2ch.net/test/read.cgi/news/1204514572/

  179. ponta. Says:

    Gerbilbastard
    Thanks

    It’s not quite 2-chan yet. :) (And yes, this is one of the extreme articles)
    http://namidame.2ch.net/test/read.cgi/news/1204514572/

    I agree. That is one of the worst thread.
    And Debito’s blog is not 2 chan, won’t become like 2 chan because the administrator does not block the comments just because comments are in English by English speaking people. He accepts everyone. In that sense he is not racist. In the thread, you can post any comment , pointing out the errors, racism.
    It has made its policy of deleting a comment clear, the policy is not good enough, though. And the administrators has sections to discuss with people whether to delete the thread. It is in a way much more democratic. Debito just does not even give resasons to block that comments which criticise an insulting comment: Tsukiji master who posted “no gajin ” stated reasons, accepted criticism, apologized.
    Few people trust what is written on 2 channel straightforwardly while many English speaking people in Japan who don’t read Japanese rely on his blog for the information about Japan.
    The administrator does not pretend to be human activist, does not act in the way he himself blame.

    True, you can not simply compare them, but taking everything into consideration, Debito’s blog is no better than 2 channel.

  180. ponta. Says:

    the administrator does not block →the administrator of 2 chan does not block

    By the way I hope he will change the way he runs the blogs, post the article, accepting criticism and checking facts. That is all I want. I have no grudge or something. I recommended on Japan Probe that Debito’s fans discuss the issues pointed out here with Debito, that will make his blog and activity much better and that will make gaijin community among Japanese society better. But so far there is no sign, as long as I am reading his blog.
    It might be they have been discussing secretly—I really hope that is the case.

  181. Gerbilbastard Says:

    Few people trust what is written on 2 channel straightforwardly while many English speaking people in Japan who don’t read Japanese rely on his blog for the information about Japan.

    This is really the worst part. I’ve read on other sites (not blogs) where Debito’s blog is used as a reference for discussing things related to Japan, and it’s easy to see how dangerous his blog could be if used in the wrong ways.
    This is one point – where his not-so-radical past and his current, and very questionable present are mixed together – that needs to be constantly monitored.

  182. john k Says:

    I just think owing to his ‘current status’ he is very slowly heading for a breakdown…sad…and now, he can’t see the wood for the trees.!

  183. ponta. Says:

    This is really the worst part. I’ve read on other sites (not blogs) where Debito’s blog is used as a reference for discussing things related to Japan,

    I am glad you realised it. One reason I judged his blog dangerous was Debito’s blog was cited as a proof that Japan as of now was worse than Australia 100 years ago in the racial issue when I was discussing with a commenter on Japan Probe.

    Any I posted new comments today. His article was in Japanse, and I posted in Japanese, it was rejected immediately.
    http://pontasmemorandum.blogspot.com/
    My comment

    Whether fingerprinting is valid or not, “out of this, 128 were rejected through the fingerprinting system—this is an interesting part, isn’ t it?. Is the system working for discovery of illegal immigrants rather than of terrorists?

    He blocked. And his comment to the commenter, InJM (at work)

    Come to think of it, the fingerprinting stuff was left out of the English translation. Not of interest to English-language readers?

    Since he also left out English translation I commented.

    Well might it be the same reason you left out English translation?

    (^_-)  too sarcastic?

    I sincerely hope Debito’s fans will do something about his style. You know, they must be kind enough to advise him.

  184. Matt Says:

    BTW guys, I am going to write another post about Debito shortly, to clarify the stuff he wrote about Ponta, and to further write about his modus operandi.

  185. john k Says:

    I sincerely hope Debito’s fans will do something about his style.

    Well there lies the problem. No matter what others wiil say or try to say to persuade him, if it is not what he wants to say and they way he wants to say it…there will be no joy. (i used this term in context for your refernce ponta).

    Ostenisbly it is his blog, he can say what he likes, that is his perogative. It is no different to an extremely right wing newspaper, you will never change their goals or ideology.

    Rather than ‘attack’ or persuade him to change to a sense of normality (whatever that means), it is far batter to appeal to those he is ‘converting’ or those he is informing, beit shops, universities etc. If counters to his ‘argeuments’ are presented, factually, and rebut his, where no factual opposing views are given (to those he is ‘speaking to’), then the slience that echos speaks volumes, and those being “informed” will be suitable informed regarding the ‘silence’ and may also question him directly in the same mannar as you et al have tried.

  186. GordonM Says:

    Debito just got given permission to write an 800 word “regular” column for the Japan Times called “Just Be Cause”… oh… my… god… “Just Be Cause” – well, that sums up what a lot of people think about him and his ilk, activism for the sake of activism, activism so that you can “feel” a cause, and “belong”… wankers…

    http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=1389#comments

    This will create more problems, and give Debito a preachy platform in which to spew forth his view points.

    I wonder what the JT group were thinking when they rubber stamped it, I also wonder how long it’ll last for.

  187. bonesdog Says:

    Debito just got given permission to write an 800 word “regular” column for the Japan Times called “Just Be Cause”… oh… my… god… “

    Perhaps we should write the Japan Times and let them know what a spectacularly bad move it is to give him a pulpit. I already did so:

    To the editors,

    I saw with regret today that the Japan Times has
    chosen to give Arudou Debito yet another podium to
    spew his disinformation and anger from. While I
    am not a subscriber, the Japan Times was my choice
    of English-language newspaper whenever possible.
    However, not any longer.

    Arudou-san likes to portray himself as an activist
    fighting for good. He is no such thing. His
    writings are full of distortions and half-truths,
    or even outright lies. Whatever is needed to further
    his agenda and feed his sense of paranoia that he
    is being “discriminated against”.

    Recently there was a case involving a small
    restaurant in Tsukiji which had a questionable
    sign outside, “questionable” in that at first
    glance it seemed discriminatory. Further reading,
    however, showed it was not. Arudou-san deliberately
    chose to ignore that and instead used the sign on
    his blog to prove the continued existence of
    “discrimination” in Japan. Those who posted to
    his blog to point out that the sign may not be
    what he said it was had their posts summarily
    deleted. Arudou-san does not tolerate criticism
    or dissenting views. Fair enough, it is his blog,
    but he is conjuring demons where they do not exist.
    Posters from another blog went and talked to the
    restaurant’s owner, the whole thing turned out to
    be a misunderstanding and as soon as the owner
    realized how his sign was being misinterpreted he
    took it down. Details can be found here:

    More troubling have been incidents involving a
    ballet school in Minamiazabu which Arudou-san
    rashly (and again incorrectly) accused of racism,
    and an ongoing rape case involving a foreign
    national where Arudou-san posted court documents
    to his blog that revealed the name of the victim.
    In the first case Arudou-san is probably guilty
    of criminal interference in the school’s ability
    to conduct business, whereas in the second case
    he may be guilty of violating privacy laws. He
    was warned by posters that he should not reveal
    the rape victim’s name, but still left the documents
    up on his blog while making excuses.

    Thus Arudou-san’s claims in his column that he is
    “working within the law and Constitution” are
    laughable. His tactics of “‘naming and shaming’
    discriminating businesses” are counterproductive
    if not, as mentioned above, potentially illegal.
    Arudou-san sets himself up as the final arbiter of
    what is discriminatory and what is not, without
    researching, discussing or even listening to
    what others say. By eliminating dissent he is
    presenting a one-sided, and often incorrect,
    picture of what is going on in Japan to a select
    audience of like-minded people, more than a few of
    whom are using him as their main if not only source
    of (dis)information on the subject.

    He claims to be working to eliminate discrimination
    while simultaneously dismissing his detractors as
    “apathetic, cynical, culturally relativistic, or debate
    dilettantes.” Arudou-san’s “my way or the highway”
    tactics do an immense disservice to the foreign
    community here in Japan and to his fellow Japanese.

    Does Japan Times really want to link itself with
    such a disreputable character?

  188. Errol Says:

    Beautifully written
    bonesdog.

  189. john k Says:

    Very eloquant, and non controntational….lets see what they say!

    I wonder what the JTs would do if they received letters like that en masse?

  190. Matt Says:

    bonesdog, good stuff.

  191. Dobo Says:

    A moment of hilarity over here –
    http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=1369
    – This poster, Jean-Paul, pretty much proved that rape coverage for foreigners in Japan is not more intense than for Japanese unless US servicemen are involved. This DR guy says “Jean-Paul, Respectfully, you are arguing statistics against reality.” Wow. Jean also provides the interesting tidbit that there have been 2 books about foreign crime and 200 about Japanese crime in the last year.
    – Nice letter bonesdog

  192. bonesdog Says:

    A moment of hilarity over here –
    http://www.debito.org/index.php/?p=1369

    Ah, the old “I reject your reality and replace it with one of my own!” argument. That DP guy looks like a real headcase – no wonder he’s posting on Debito’s site. “The only sign in a foreign language at the convenience store is one warning about change swindlers, why can’t you see the discrimination!”

    I posted a reponse, but since I am automatically banned I doubt it will go through:

    convenience store cash registers display only one foreign-language sign and it warns about change-swindlers

    I think you need to re-read that. Those signs state that they are unable to exchange foreign currency. Or does that count as “proof” of discrimination against foreigners as well? “Our money isn’t good enough for them!!!” Right – try buying a soda with a 1000 yen note at a convenience store in the States sometime…

    I like to call Debito and his followers “Dennis the Peasant”: “See the oppression inherent in the system!”

    And I hope there isn’t anyone out there so humor illiterate they miss the reference. ;-)

  193. Matt Says:

    It seems to me some of the commenters on his site (although there is at least one reasonable guy posting comments there now) desperately want to be discriminated against, and are angry when someone breaks their victim paradigm.

  194. Two Cents Says:

    bonesdog,
    I think the signs in the convenience stores say, 両替お断り (no exchange), which does not mean foreign exchange, but exchange of Japanese bills for Japanese coins. In other words, if you want some coins to make a call or buy something from automatic vendors that don’t happen to take bills, buy a pack of gum and hand the clerk a 1000-yen bill and don’t ask the store to exchange your bill for coins free. Stores no longer want to give the bill/coin exchange service for free because banks now charge for them. Change swindlers? That one is indeed hilarious. The guy must have serious paranoia. Who with a rational mind would expect a convenience store (family-run small franchise businesses) to offer foreign exchange service?

    As for the foreign-language signs warning of criminal activity, they are also plastered over the ATM giving the same message in Japanese, warning of transfer shams (振り込め詐欺) that has sadly become prevalent in Japan – “Grandma, I’ve just been in an accident with a yakuza and have to pay them 500 thousand yens. Help me out and tranfer the money to their accout!” I’ver never understood how one could fall for that, but innocent elderly people do.

  195. bonesdog Says:

    I think the signs in the convenience stores say, 両替お断り (no exchange), which does not mean foreign exchange, but exchange of Japanese bills for Japanese coins.

    Ah, THAT sign! ;-)

    A lot of the conbinis around here also have “We don’t exchange money” (not just “change”) in English and Portuguese, there’s a huge Brazilian community nearby and some of the shops they themselves run accept Yen, USD and Reals. So some shops apparently do feel the need to make it clear they do NOT (although I believe the local OffHouse takes USD…)

    Either way, somehow twisting that into “beware of change swindlers” and from THAT getting “anti-foreign discrimination” requires more leaping through mental hoops than I am capable of.

    Same with the bank signs. Debito has claimed that the thief depicted is clearly a foreigner. I don’t know how he got that, the cartoon character thief does not show any distinctly Japanese characteristics, true, but neither do any of the other characters! They are all a bunch of “flesh pink/off-coffee” bipedal humanoids. I have to wonder if Debito thinks that, for example, Pepe Le Pew is an accurate rendition of a Frenchman or Speedy Gonzalez is an accurate rendition of a Mexican… but then, we know what Debito’s own rendition of a Japanese looks like, don’t we?
    http://www.debito.org/chibikurosanbo.html

    Matt: BINGO!!! Give that man a ceegar! Only the problem is not limited to the commentators on his site, it extends all the way to the top. Debito is not happy unless he is being “discriminated against”. I may have said it before, but I will say it again: People don’t discriminate against him because he is white, or fat, or (ex)American, or Japanese, or anything else like that. They discriminate against him because he is an offensive ass. He just can’t grasp that concept.

  196. nigelboy Says:

    Shame on Kyodo. Get better translators and develop a critical eye.-debito

    お前が言うな。

  197. bonesdog Says:

    Rebuttal of that bit of tripe on Debito’s blog on mine.

    http://bonesworld-gooch.blogspot.com/2008/03/writing-news-to-suit-yourself.html

    I’ll tackle the follow-on “I take offense at your attempts to disabuse me of my illusions of being persecuted” brigade in my next post.

  198. Matt Says:

    Rebuttal of that bit of tripe on Debito’s blog on mine.

    http://bonesworld-gooch.blogspot.com/2008/03/writing-news-to-suit-yourself.html

    I’ll tackle the follow-on “I take offense at your attempts to disabuse me of my illusions of being persecuted” brigade in my next post.

    Posted and linked.

  199. The Overthinker Says:

    Debito’s comments in his new JT column seemed aimed pretty squarely at Occidentalism, I’d say….
    ———
    “Even if it means my swimming against the current, perpetually gainsaid by naysayers because they’re apathetic, cynical, culturally relativistic, or debate dilettantes.”
    ———
    Debate dilettantes?

  200. john k Says:

    I thought his article was very disjointed…almost like he’s try hard to find something to say or to say with real angst! Hoping the more he rambles, the more he’ll hit the mark and obtain more acolytes.

    Not quality journalism that’s for sure…

  201. Ken Says:

    ‘Speak English’ sign was demanded to take down but judged not discriminatory even in the country of immigrants.
    http://www.afp.com/english/globe/?pid=archives

    If the restaurateur of above Trattoria is litigious guy like the David and his biz declines, he may possibly sue for this time interference.

  202. Ken Says:

    AFP’s article does not seem displayed so I am citing local newspaper.
    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/16845211.html

  203. Errol Says:

    An update on mass fingerprinting.

    Hackers threaten to publish fingerprints

  204. Civil disobedience as iyagarase | Occidentalism Says:

    […] What really shocks me about Debito is that despite being in Japan so long, he seems culturally tone deaf. He doesn’t seem to care about Japanese strategies that work when dealing with Japanese people, rather he prefers Americanisms that are alien to Japanese thought. I think this is why he achieves precious little, as we see here and here. […]

  205. Civil disobedience as iyagarase | Occidentalism Says:

    […] What really shocks me about Debito is that despite being in Japan so long, he seems culturally tone deaf. He doesn’t seem to care about Japanese strategies that work when dealing with Japanese people, rather he prefers Americanisms that are alien to Japanese thought. I think this is why he achieves precious little, as we see here and here. […]

  206. Delita_chan Says:

    Debito has mental issues in my opinion, maybe further fueled by the fact that he’s been rejected by Japanese people, including his own family.

    I used to believe in his garbage and feared living in Japan or even visiting. This certainly caused problems in my relationship (my b/f is native Japanese) because my boyfriend felt hurt that I would think his people are racist. I’ve visited Japan since 2006 for at least 2 weeks or more at a time and I’ve never encountered any sort of racism, especially since I’m not white (I’m hispanic, brownish skin). I’ve gone shopping alone and have been met with friendliness to the point that they even offer me point cards (I opened one at BIC Camera despite being just a “tourist” and the cashier knew it).

    All Debito does is whine and cry to cover up how unfair his life has been. I don’t understand why he gave up US citizenship if Japan is so evil…same goes to his followers. If Japan is so full of racism, etc, then just go home and stop whining!

    On my recent flight back to the USA from Nagoya (nice airport BTW), I read with interest his article in the Japan Times about the drug sniffing dogs. I cannot believe this hack gets publishing space! I also read about his being questioned by the police and then realized that he’s just a media-hog. I mean, what’s the problem with just showing your ID and moving on? If you refuse or ask questions, you appear much more suspicious.

    My only dream is to see him someday be sued or jailed for his confrontational tactics that drive wedges between Japanese and non-Japanese.

  207. Ponta’s memorandum | Occidentalism Says:

    […] This site by Occidentalism commenter Ponta is about the closest thing we have to a “Debito watch” at the moment. Some of you may remember we had difference of opinion with Debito over a sign that seemed to exclude foreigners from a restaurant in the Tsukiji fish market (here and here). […]