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 )