national

Ministry of Justice's human rights bureau offers free counseling services to foreign residents

40 Comments

Have you ever experienced discrimination because of your race or nationality, in your local community, workplace? Examples include being refused a rental property or store service on grounds of nationality, or one’s children experiencing bullying at school.

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With the aim of giving proper respect to the human rights of foreign residents, the ministry’s Human Rights Bodies has set up counseling services accessible by phone (Foreign Language Human Rights Hotline), online (Human rights counseling services on the internet) and in person (Human rights counseling centers), at 50 Legal Affairs Bureaus and District Legal Affairs Bureaus nationwide, to support foreign residents who are not fluent Japanese speakers.

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In addition, these bodies will assess through consultation, the situation and, as need requires, carry out investigations and take appropriate steps to help victims and prevent future occurrences. If you are worried about a possible human rights issue, get in touch. A staff member will be on hand to discuss your problem, and together you can look for the best possible solution.

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*As the bureau is a governmental body, all advice is neutral and impartial.

*Advice is offered free of charge, and no paperwork is required.

Referrals, legal advice, mediations¹ between the relevant parties and interventions² demanding an improvement in behavior from human rights offenders are offered, as considered appropriate.

¹ ² These measures will only be taken with the understanding and agreement of the relevant parties, and cannot be forced if either party is unwilling.

Counseling services available by phone, online and face-to-face:

Phone: Foreign Language Human Rights Hotline

0570-090911 Weekdays 9:00-17:00 (closed for New Year Holidays)

Online:

https://www.jinken.go.jp/soudan/PC_AD/0101_en.html (English)

Face-to-face: Legal Affairs Bureaus and District Legal Affairs Bureaus

Weekdays 9:00-17:00 (closed for New Year)

http://www.moj.go.jp/MINJI/minji10.html (Japanese only)

Read more here: http://www.moj.go.jp/content/001281977.pdf

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

40 Comments
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Nonsense a while back MOJ announced it had a hotline for foreigners I called and and got the runaround was passed off to various departments and not one even heard of the hotline - and I am fluent Japanese. More BS.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Have you ever experienced discrimination because of your race or nationality, in your local community, workplace?

Forgot to include ward office, police station, and hospitals.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

As the bureau is a governmental body, all advice is neutral and impartial.

And what if it is the government that is violating your human rights?

18 ( +20 / -2 )

The standard response will be, "That is how it is in Japan and there is nothing you can do about it!" In other words, "Suck it up buttercup! TIJ!"

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Good for them. Not many countries do this.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

Hairdresser refused to cut my hair yes. Refused rental accommodation yes. Difficult to open MUFG bank account but I won that one.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Just avoid any contact with police, prosecutors or government employees. It never ends well. Ministy of Labour will do all they can to protect companies from you. And there it is.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Good for them. Not many countries do this

This is inaccurate.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Without an anti-discrimination law passed by the politicians in Tokyo, then nothing will ever change in Japan.

Wasting your time contacting this hotline will lead to what type of remedy?

As an example, landlords in a Japan practise discrimination against foreign nationals and have done for many years, without penalties.

Whats new?

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Nonsense a while back MOJ announced it had a hotline for foreigners I called and and got the runaround was passed off to various departments and not one even heard of the hotline - and I am fluent Japanese. More BS.

Not surprised.

Forgot to include ward office, police station, and hospitals.

1.EXACTLY.

As the bureau is a governmental body, all advice is neutral and impartial.

AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

And what if it is the government that is violating your human rights?

2.EXACTLY.

The standard response will be, "That is how it is in Japan and there is nothing you can do about it!" In other words, "Suck it up buttercup! TIJ!"

That's 3 in a row

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Don't worry alone. Consult with us first. Then worry alone.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Relevant text:

These measures will only be taken with the understanding and agreement of the relevant parties, and cannot be forced if either party is unwilling.

In other words, this won't accomplish a dang thing.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

¹ ² These measures will only be taken with the understanding and agreement of the relevant parties, and cannot be forced if either party is unwilling.

Basically nothing will happen and you will end up wasting your time! I wonder if they actually have tried and tested this fail-full tactic?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

@oldman_13 - Good for them. Not many countries do this.

Many 'modern' countries do this and have done for decades. It's just taken selfishly monocultural Japan 4 or 5 decades to introduce it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It may be Japan Japanese, American Japanese are cultured adapted too equality of all races,

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Make sure you won't give them your full name unless you want to have troubles with visa renewal or your PR extension.

If not right away then in the future.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It's the Spider and the Fly once again:

"Will you walk into my parlour?" said a spider to a fly;

" 'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy.

The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,

And I have many pretty things to shew when you are there."

"Oh no, no!" said the little fly, "to ask me is in vain,

For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Hmmm, good timing to coincide with the Olympics, when all eyes are on the host country...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"you were not allowed to rent an apartment"

Yeah, I already checked the law about that, and there is absolutely nothing that forbid a landlord to refuse to rent to someone. So...what they're gonna do about it ?? Tell the real estate agency that this is not nie lol ? The real estate agency is not going to say anything to the landlord because this one will go to another real estate agency if he's pissed off.

Many laws need to change if they really want to drop the discrimination rate.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What appears to be a human universal — you get what you pay for.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is why having good Japanese friends (and a bright Japanese spouse as a bonus) is so very important in Japan. Also a good lawyer. Smart friends (and spouses) are good at persuasion. This involves talking and talking to the person who discriminating against you until he or she is politely drained of energy and gives in. I've seen it happen. On one occasion, when an employee at a store I'd patronized for years was foul to me, only a few quiet words from a Japanese person to the manager got him fired. At work colleagues who stand by you are important. Work: I attend every drinking party I'm invited to and to party after the party.

In normal democratic countries the rule or law is most important (remembering rules against discrimination came after much struggle in places like the U.S.). Japan everything is a special case or seems like so most often.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Also, who do I call if its the police, hospitals, or employees at my city office (Gov't employees) who were openly discriminating against me?

City Office Staff : Sorry, we don't deal with gaikokujins here. Go to another branch.

Me : But I live and pay taxes here!

Staff : walks off and signals for the other staff to leave the window I was at.

I had sharp pains in my heart so I went to the hospital and the floor that deals with these situations.

Me (spoke in Japanese) explains my situations and is in pain

Nurses calls over others and act like I am speaking French in Peru. They told me to sit in a chair. 1hr 28mins later, 17 other people were seen who came after me and as I went back to the desk, no one would talk to me. A guy came out from the back and gave me an address to another FAR hospital, placed his hand on my shoulder implying for me to leave while saying "Mou shiwake gozaimasu!"

True stories. I hope people like these in my past experiences now know that foreigners have human rights too and the government takes the proper steps to enforce this to prevent others from being discriminated against like me in my story.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

sir_bentley28 what kind of a horrid place do you live in?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

What an absurd article. MOJ can't handle their own matters and they believe in understanding westerners...and our concerns? Just a smoke screen!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

sir_bentley28Today  01:02 pm JST

Me (spoke in Japanese) explains my situations and is in pain

A guy came out from the back and gave me an address to another FAR hospital, placed his hand on my shoulder implying for me to leave while saying "Mou shiwake gozaimasu!"

I'm all for eliminatng discrimination and I'm not questioning your terrible experience. But I have to question how good your "Japanese" was in explaining your condition.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

This sounds like a nice idea, but are there any actual laws that cover this? Unfortunately, as nice an idea as this is, I'm not sure it's practically enforceable. If someone is denied housing because they're not Japanese, if it was done verbally it's a big shou ga nai.

I hope things improve though

2 ( +2 / -0 )

HOPE this really works.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@OssanAmerica

Thank you for your empathy but as a Japanese, it is probably difficult for you to understand the level of discrimination that may occur in Japan.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

I'm all for eliminatng discrimination and I'm not questioning your terrible experience. But I have to question how good your "Japanese" was in explaining your condition.

I didn't want to say anything (because it may sounds like bragging...) but honestly I thought the same when I read the "Mou shiwake gozaimasu!". That shows a quite poor level of Japanese in my opinion. Nevertheless this does not change the fact that he shouldn't have be treated that way!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

akerusanToday  04:08 pm JST

I'm all for eliminatng discrimination and I'm not questioning your terrible experience. But I have to question how good your "Japanese" was in explaining your condition.

I didn't want to say anything (because it may sounds like bragging...) but honestly I thought the same when I read the "Mou shiwake gozaimasu!". That shows a quite poor level of Japanese in my opinion. Nevertheless this does not change the fact that he shouldn't have be treated that way!

Absolutely, no one should be treated that way. But I simpl;y find it hard to imagine any hospital where a paitent is ignored for an hour and a half unless there is a linguistic problem and the gravity of the condition has not been correctly conveyed.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I had sharp pains in my heart so I went to the hospital and the floor that deals with these situations.

1hr 28mins later, 17 other people were seen who came after me

A guy came out from the back and gave me an address to another FAR hospital, placed his hand on my shoulder implying for me to leave while saying "Mou shiwake gozaimasu!"

Sorry but did you have an appointment? One cannot just walk into a specialist cardiac unit at a Japanese hospital and expect to be seen at the drop of a hat. These places are booked weeks in advance due to the scarcity of MRI machines. If it's a genuine emergency, you should always call an ambulance.

In the hour and a half you were sat waiting, is it possible that the staff were calling to find alternative far flung hospitals able to take you? Is it possible that only a foreigner would get this additional level of service while a Japanese person would be told to make their own calls and alternative arrangements?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

sir_bentley28 what kind of a horrid place do you live in?

he lives in Japan, what world do you live in ?

I know of a guy who died getting this kind of treatment

I also suffered some twlight zone experiences here as well. Good luck friend, your own your own, like we are own island here.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

beware of the go to excuse "cant speaku engrish"

Many hospital staff can. if a Japanese person entered a US emergency ward and complained "chestu painz" you could be guaranteed he would get immediate treatment, even get a translator if they could find one

the olympics, if they have it, will surely be fun and games, not only the sports, but the people who get to experience real Japan

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I have lived in Japan for over four decades and have not been refused treatment anywhere. My hokemsho is good anywhere in Japan. I've had my Twilight Zone experiences in academia. But Japanese and non-Japanese have the same experiences too. I always came up on top, perhaps because the old saying is right: God protects children and fools.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I have never been refused medical treatment. About 10 -12 years ago I had an appendicitis in the middle of the night. I was taken by an ambulance to a small hospital without an ER. A nurse told me it was just gas and should go home. I knew it was an appendicitis and the clock was ticking. I demanded an ambulance take me to a major hospital and I was operated on as soon as I arrived.

Last week I was in hospital for a major op in Kobe. Many of the nurses spoke some level of English and wanted to practice their skills and learn some new medical words. So we spoke in Japanese and English and they seem to enjoy the interaction.

Prior to my op I had attended three hospitals, each arranging for a transfer to the next one. I came out on Monday, but today I got a call from my Kobe doctor to find out if I was ok.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

one of the many take away, gems of truth I have learned in Japan is; what another person experiences might be completely opposite of what I experienced; its truly a case by case life here . Its interesting, however, I never meet these people in real daily life, who have had a stress free life in Japan, actually quite the opposite.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

TheLongTermerToday  06:53 pm JST

beware of the go to excuse "cant speaku engrish"

Many hospital staff can. if a Japanese person entered a US emergency ward and complained "chestu painz" you could be guaranteed he would get immediate treatment, even get a translator if they could find one

That's only if the hospital was not privately owned or that Japanese person had insurance coverage. For most hospitals in the U.S. the only foreign language immeduately translatable is Spanish.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The Hokensho works for private hospitals and clinics. I write from personal experience. There are non-profit and for profit hospitals. ( I prefer the non-profits. ) There are also private practices. Most are very good. Remember Japan is committed to universal healthcare. It is important to system that you stay healthy, whether you are a citizen or not.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

sir_bentley28 what kind of a horrid place do you live in?

Japan. It doesn't matter where. You're a foreigner, you'll face it!

I'm all for eliminatng discrimination and I'm not questioning your terrible experience. But I have to question how good your "Japanese" was in explaining your condition.

Native level! Wife, son - Japanese.

Work place - 100% Japanese must be spoken (Criminal Forensics specialist)

Guys, keep in mind.....I am a black man living in Japan. Never been arrested, no drugs, don't even smoke cigarettes, fit, very professional looking, well spoken, very presentable. A clone of Andre3000, I am. I went to the counter many times to ask what's going on IN JAPANESE and was just told to please wait! I may have typed the "mou shiwake gozaimasu" wrong or auto-correct, but I dare either of you guys to live in Japan as a black man! Walk some yards in my shoes! I get treated like this everywhere. We would go out to eat or anywhere and I'd speak Japanese or order food and the staff would look at my wife for a "translation" as if I'm speaking French in Afghanistan like "um.....what did he say?" Had a hand placed on my chest with a light push and denied entry to a bar/restaurant while being told "No gaijin!" It was not a snack bar or karaoke joint.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@sir bently,

Im not black and have had that, actually worse. Some of it I will admit is my own individualism (I detest conformity and group think) but allot of it is just good ole racism, but being black in Japan...hmmm that must be a tough one. I know it is because when I get away from it, and have a chance to see it from a distance, I can really get some perspective and I realize I had been pushing it all down for survival. When you dont have to fight for survival to keep your sanity dignity etc, it sure feels natural and good.

My suggestion to anyone wanting to live in Japan, long term, is to first accept this fact, then if your still committed, work from that. Its not any easy existence for sure, but it makes it easier to be honest about what your experiencing and check it when it arrives at your face, even if it means checking your own self doubts and blame. If your going to be in constant denial, blaming yourself every time the goal post is moved, and listening to others who live a different life, or are lying, then your wasting your time. Look out for yourself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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