Renting a place, a regular place advertised to everyone, not a place for foreigners only with unfairly inflated high rent, is not an option in Japan, unless you are Japanese or have a Japanese guarantor, period!
I also had the unpleasant experience of looking for a place, a small one for myself, where I even offered to pay a year rent in advance. Well, you can guess the outcome. The most laughable and frankly very sad, revealing experience was an agent asking over the phone to the landlord: 'Do you take foreigners?' :) True, not lying
Now that is plain and blatant racism, no other words for it. Should we really have this conversation? By the way if you didn't realise yet, the same rule applies to monthly payments, eg: a car loan or a small loan like the one to buy a TV, I was turned down for a ¥150,000 TV set once :) Here you can only transact in cash, funny how they never ask you as many questions and allow you to buy anything with cash, even properties. Shame on Japan for not accepting developed countries standards, while always looking to do business and send its citizens to live and work in those countries. Japan, if you want to keep things that way, then also keep all your citizens here, do not send them around unfairly getting first class human rights when you deny those very rights to all of us. Grow up Japan, it's not that difficult, just try :)
4 ( +4 / -0 )
That is a very encouraging step in the right direction. We need everyone to 'protect' this private company now. Make no mistake, some octogenarian, angry Japanese official, somewhere in Tokyo, is thinking how to make them pay for this act. They are doing the unthinkable: openly criticising the government. B***s of steel !
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Permanent residents and their families, as well as the spouses or children of Japanese nationals who leave Japan by Thursday with re-entry permission will be exempted from the measure
See? You need to educate these people and they will get it, but I must admit, I fear it is only motivated by foreign media coverage and people like us, who will never ever accept those unfair double standards without denouncing them. Keep complaining, they might eventually wake up to reality.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
A clear, unbiased take on the current situation in Japan:
It's on the SCMP
0 ( +0 / -0 )
I have children and they will not be part of this 'smoke and screens' project ! No other country started talking about inoculating youngsters when its overall count on elderlies stand at 240,000. Some politically naive Japanese citizens might find that a good move, I just find it a reminder of how ineffective Suga's governing skills are. I'm sure a team of ten of us here, from Europe, North America, etc. could do a far better job of this, Japanese are masters at dithering, they couldn't take a decision if their lives depended on it: this vaccination program shows that just too well. I recommend all my fellow expats here, not to get frustrated about it, we have a choice when it comes to decide where to keep our investments, where to plan our future, etc. Do not make your hard earned money part of this shameful scam, which is 'elitist Japan'. Give your children as much scope as possible to decide where to settle when adults. Whatever you do, do not commit to Japan, you cannot trust people who think of you as a citizen not worthy of an equal treatment when it comes to even the most basic of rights, eg: renting a room, applying for a job, etc. and before someone comes up with a rebuke about this last line, I mean some jobs are the exclusive domain of Japanese national, no matter your ability. Think about one of us becoming a security staff at the airport or a bank employee, as an example. No ! This jobs are not open to 'gaijin'. Think twice before committing your life to this country, you will always come second.
10 ( +11 / -1 )
"Local government employees are really working hard, as are the call center staff so I ask that people refrain from issuing complaints as much as possible," Kono told reporters on Friday.
... gives you an idea of how these people think and how distant their interpretation on the res publica is from our west democracies. Just imagine for a moment if President Biden or PM Johnson said something like that. They are totally unprepared, from an early age, but they can easily do their job in a society, where just about everyone thinks alike and does not find anything wrong in the sentence above. It's very frustrating to us, but we have a choice, I have totally withdrawn from active engagement in Japanese society, I find the place to be good only for holidays, nothing more. If you have enough money to live a 'detached' life, it's the best place in the world, but if you're working or running a business, anywhere else in developed economies and non, is better than here.
-2 ( +2 / -4 )
We all know well now that words from Japanese officials almost always mean nothing. What I find difficult to understand is the total lack of challenge to this hollow pledges. How about the people getting angry? How about the ineffective press asking questions? That is where they need to start from. This is not a democracy as we grew up to understand the meaning of that system. This is a mild dictatorship, with lots and lots of small dictators, from the PM down to the cleaners' manager. Everyone must conform, without challenging his/her 'superior', without challenging the status-quo. In turns, Japanese are both dictators and persecuted...no time for more, sorry.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
Mr Motegi should stay home, contemplating how to improve his office immigration policies. Considering how long term residents feel about Japanese attitude towards them. There is no place on the world stage for people like Mr Motegi, who rebuked the UN findings on Mr Ghosn's judicial saga and refused to accept and build on the damming outcome of the enquest.
Motegi san,listem! they might invite you, but make no mistake, they are only interested on your money. No G7 country has anything, and I mean nothing, to learn or take from you and your anachronistically out of touch cabinet's colleagues. Go back to study, European and American history and philosophy above all. You have a great deal to learn my friend, you really do! Traveling to the uk :)... of all places. Stay home !
-1 ( +2 / -3 )
Japan wake up ! Start policing your own people and stop always pointing fingers at foreigners or foreign elements ! I'm 100% sure those allowed in without tests were all Japanese citizens. We, long term residents, would not even dream of coming back without a test in place. Have a walk around Tokyo between 17:00 and 21:00, look into bars and restaurants and see how locals totally and happily ignore social distancing, mask wearing, etc. Imagine the comments if a 'gaijin' was to do that. Sorry Japan, you are far, far behind. Neon lights and fast trains do not make up for a basic lack of political ability to manage a people and relationships with others. It's embarrassing to some locals who know better, but the vast majority of citizens here do not even know what we're talking about. Detach from Japanese society, you must not contribute anything until they are prepared to look at you as an equal. Until then, no contribution!
32 ( +34 / -2 )
Interesting, when will Japan open up to tourists? 2022 or 2023?
Are you joking, are you? I can see Japanese wearing masks to the end of days and tourists being banned 'for years to come'. Imagine how difficult will be for these people to take their masks off, worrying of what their neighbour must think about that. No one will want to move first for fear of being singled out.It's the Japanese psyche, what your neighbour thinks about you is by far more important of your own ability to take informed decisions. Despair not: we do not need a vaccine to travel, or stay here forever, it's enough you accept to quarantine for some days, 5 to 10, usually. Not ideal for a short holiday, but if you have time on hand and are the nomadic type of tourist, then I wouldn't worry so much about a vaccine. The UK will next week announce the list of countries for their 'traffic light' system, Japan should be amber (tests pre and post flights, plus quarantine required), with only Israel, the USA, Taiwan and not many more in the green category. Gone are the days when this government got away with presenting a fake facade and Japanese travellers were welcomed the world over. We all know now they can't control the virus any better than us, it's what they wanted you to believe, Mr Aso and friends, in fact they are doing a far worse job. But you can't hide failure in the age of the internet. To top it all up, they are now organising the most laughable games, Japanese not Olympics, in which they are also banning themselves from attending them, honestly it's happening, just as in the UK and USA are starting to readmit crowds to sporting events. Next thing we can expect, all athletes will be banned, only Mr Suga and his cabinet will participate, I mean... "they have a plan for it on which they are working", it will happen, in September perhaps, in time for the Pfizers vaccines to arrive :)
You cannot deny it's incredibly entertaining
1 ( +3 / -2 )
Very interesting. I doubt Japanese will be able to enter many countries from now on and until vaccinations will be done. With total inoculated standing around the 1% level, IATA's ranking means absolutely nothing. These are the same leaders who kept long term residents from going abroad, while allowing their own to freely go and come back, on the basis of a self assumed 'superiority',perhaps. Laughable ! There's a very interesting article out from a scholar (London Business School or LSE I don't remember), a Japanese national, who deemed his country's effort to tackle the Covid crisis as a failure: low testing, near zero vaccinations, etc. Mr Suga, Mr Aso and co might find it interesting reading, after an all too necessary translation ! Humility is what they need, not vaccines, humility and an open mind, two things no octogenarian Japanese leaders possess.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
1139 in a day, compare that with the numbers in the UK or the USA, you can do the maths.
"No problem, there are no restrictions (on such usage)," Kono said at a press conference.
Kono is right, that is common sense, problem is no Japanese adult is allowed to use it, most do not have it, they are trained to go by the plan and cannot take a decision based on common sense.
The rule is king here, the plan is king ! Five people who have booked didn't turn up, it never occurs to them that those doses could be put to good use rather than thrown away. My 10 year old boy would have done better !
2 ( +2 / -0 )
Considering the aversion Japanese have toward speaking out against authority figures, company executives, etc. I would put the real figures at 95% dissatisfied, maybe higher than that. I would be very interested in knowing the reasons behind the choice of those in the 44% group. I guess it's a government direction: delay the roll out and see how the vaccine can affect individuals in other countries, in doing so avoiding a backlash from the public were to be some serious cases, even few, of side effects. Most Japanese are terrified of a drug that has been developed, manufactured and tested outside their land, it's that innate distrust of 'the foreign element', even when the indigenous alternative is non existent. Japanese pharmaceutical companies have been unable to put a vaccine on the market yet.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
The USA and other 'friends' aren't keeping quite, as reported today on Bloomberg:
"U.S. Friends Join China in Ripping Japan Plan on Fukushima Water"
-1 ( +1 / -2 )
One can't help but admit, observing this society, that those nationalistic winds, strong in the first half of the twentieth century, are still present, albeit not as strong. We have, through court trials and constitution rewriting, been able to remove the element that allowed Japan to mount the initial threat it did during the last war. The greatest of all decisions the allies took at the end of the conflict was to install bases onto German and Japanese soil. Germans, save few, have learnt the lesson well. Here, unfortunately, not so. I recently read a line on a 'tourist' trip to Okinawa: "We ain't tourists, we are here to stay". We shall all be grateful to those military personnel and their families for sacrificing their lives and stay on bases. I salute them all. That is the only way to keep a close, very close eye, onto these easily excitable right wing fellas. Do not trust them a bit, they can't help but feel they are conscripted into a society that dictates every single move, one that does not consider diversity as an asset, as we all recently learnt very well. Comfort women, Nanjing, Pearl Harbour or, as historians more comprehensively refer to, Japanese aggression "is here to stay, it ain't a joke", it's history and I'm afraid we came too far in our civilisation to allow a few revisionist to rewrite the books. That ink is well dried and read. If only some of the members of this Japanese government would bother to learn English and study history, I'm sure they would look at things very differently.
-2 ( +0 / -2 )
Comfort women, like many other crimes committed during that war, should forever be remembered and called with their own names. No revisionism to be allowed on any part ! Japan, like Germany does, should teach their kids war history, starting Dec 1941 and the importance of that event on this country's destiny. I can't believe at my son's school on 6 August they never mentioned Hiroshima, what teaching is that? "Oh yes sorry: today we will look at how to plant a radish then we shall move on and draw some aesthetically perfect hiragana characters"...
-3 ( +0 / -3 )
Well done on Hiroshima to take the lead and show the central government one effective way to stem the growth of cases. Do not expect Tokyo to follow suit, numbers certainly are in the six figures, in and around the capital
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
Japan through its consistently discriminatory, institutionalised double standard measures, has shown and still is showing no appreciation nor respect for other nations' citizens. This defies the objective of the games. The Olympics should not go to nations like Japan, who have very little respect for 'foreigners'. God shall put that right when Summer comes
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
The brand here is not relevant. It is good to bring up social issues, it is then up to the people to show maturity and address them, or at least start discussing them. Clearly too many in Japan aren't ready for that dialogue, it shows deep rooted aversion to non indigenous races in too large a part of this country's people. Our task is and must be to point this out every single time we feel we should to. Denial is easy to show in public, but when alone facing a mirror, there is no longer denial, the truth comes staring at you. Nationalists, rigorous right wing supporters, blatant racists must know that Japan cannot longer hide behind fake smiles and bows. The world is starting to know what many of these people and too many of these politicians are like. It's thanks to individuals like us here and adverts like this, that things can improve. Equality, respect for all, inclusion are values that prescind from the geographical allocation of a land. Cultures can and must evolve. Being Asian or Western does not mean having reached the ultimate, sublime level of perfection in society structuring and values. Everyone can and must improve. Those who fail to recognize this country have a racism issues are the very ones who must do something about it first !
9 ( +13 / -4 )
To all those writing to challenge the 'Group' opinion, this is not a group of ordinary lawyers casually talking about a case. The 'Working group on arbitrary detention' is an officially appointed body at the UN. For them to come out with such a damning 'opinion' of the Japanese judicial system, a case to answer must have been brought to its attention. For M3 to say the claims are made by one party, my mate, the Japanese government refused to engage in a constructive and objective conversation, do you think we are stupid? Just stop writing no sense and write to your MP instead, to ask him to change this dated and unfair system, but not before they have all changed their attitude towards foreign nationals first! You are also wrong when you say there are no specific norms anywhere, on the length of time an individual can be held without charges. Perhaps in Japan, but I can guarantee you that in the EU or USA, those limits are certainly in place, sometimes, exceptionally but officially, disregarded, mainly for terrorism suspects. It is an old practice, originally thought to safeguard the minority in a democratic system. You are clearly here not to examine the facts, but trying to argue the Group decision. This is not a court, it is a board where we exchange opinion and it seems to me that you are one of the very few arguing the outcome, together with Mr Motegi. Now if I assume most of us here to have grown up in a healthy and stable democracy, then I can see why you fail to acknowledge the Group findings. You were not socialized in a mature democracy as it was originally intended in Greece first and the USA later. Look at your school system too. Japan is at best a farcical attempt to fit into a world of order where human rights are upheld irrespective of societal values. These rights are not negotiable nor interpretable on the basis of one's values. These rights are given to any individual by a natural order, above societal structures. A natural order for which all beings are equal at births. Honestly M3, I feel sorry that such an intellect as yours, is wasted in a place and a system that still cannot come to terms with the fact that if you don't want to remain isolated you must, I mean must, respect the other !
0 ( +3 / -3 )
We are not discussing here wether or not Mr Ghosn committed a crime, what we are trying to do, is to highlight the malpractices that the Japanese Foreign office fails to even contemplate, let alone address. We are not specifically asking for Mr Ghosn not to be arrested the day after release, only to extend his detention prior to a trial. We are asking for any individual to be spared that. Not allowing a person to see his/her lawyers, not allowing him/her to talk privately to members of his legal team. Not setting a trial date, despite four arrests, the last of which was for an alleged wrongdoing into which prosecutors had looked in the past and found no merit, only for it to be reexamined and used as a 'weapon' years later. We are not asking for Mr Ghosn to be acquainted, we are just asking for a fair trial, for him or anyone else, one that in the EU or the USA would come as a given. Personally, after 10 years in Japan, on the basis of personal experience and most recently through the handling of the permanent foreign citizens right to return to Japan first and their need to obtain a pre-flight test later, I can without doubts look at Japan as being no much better than places like China or Vietnam, both authoritarian states, when it comes to human rights for non Japanese nationals. I have decide to leave as soon as practicable, because I no longer feel safe here. Yes, I can leave my phone on a table in a cafe and be sure to find it again, but how about if for some reason I get arrested? For an instance, following a road accident? Well, I stopped driving and working with my driving license for that very reason: I do not trust the Japanese policing practices nor Japan judicial system fairness. When it comes to that, Japan is just as good as China or Vietnam or Belarus and not many more countries I can find to list here. I sincerely feel sorry for the Japanese people who do not have a choice, nor look to get one.
6 ( +8 / -2 )
This is the link to the UN working group panel final opinion, complete with Mr Ghosn's legal team account and the Japanese government response.
10 ( +21 / -11 )
It is a great day for all those who regularly challenge the archaic and at times unfair practices in all aspects of the bureaucratic machine, in a country that too often likes to portrait itself as something it never is. The damage the 'Ghosn saga' has done to Japan is something the free world will not taking lightly and perhaps irreparable. The Japanese government would better held those responsible to account and start addressing issues on basic human rights, like equality and freedom, when it comes to the interactions with foreign nationals.
26 ( +37 / -11 )
Reading from the MOFA website, PRs still need the 72h pre-departure test when re-entering Japan, so nothing changed on the double standards approach of the Japanese government: one rule for its citizens and one rule for all the other nationals. Discrimination on the basis of nationality is called racism !
0 ( +1 / -1 )