Yotomaya comments

Posted in: Japan accepted 74 refugees in 2021, highest on record See in context

English is learned by from childhood by all refugees

I meant spoken by locals in non-English speaking countries. For example, students in central eastern European counties tend to perform about the same as Japanese students in international tests. And Hungarian or Polish are easy languages to learn either. Both have ridiculously complicated grammar and phonology.

Japan has much less of a problem with racially motivated hate crime. I don't want to pull up the stats for every European country (and one could argue it has something to do with the coexistence of various backgrounds in those countries), but I'm speaking from my personal experience as a European with roots elsewhere. As much as I like to complain about Japan now and then, I'm glad I'm here and not in my old country. But yeah, that is only anecdotal.

I really can't think of any reason Japan would be a better place for refugees except the food is more healthy and it's a bit cheaper.

This is another fairly common argument and difficult to argue against. All I can say is that refugees mostly aren't going on holiday but fleeing conditions way worse than getting stared at in the street or being praised on their chopstick skills. The gruesome conditions in detention centres are another issue, but, again, those are not at all unique to Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan accepted 74 refugees in 2021, highest on record See in context

A lot of the commenters here argue that Japan shouldn't let in refugees because it's "not a friendly country to foreigners". Apart from the circular reasoning of such an argument, it also implies that European and North American countries are some kind of post-racial multicultural paradise (or hell, depending on your viewpoint).

The fact is that many Western societies are extremely hostile towards refugees, despite their governments' nominal support (and some European countries didn't even pretend until the refugees were Ukrainian). If you're from a Middle Eastern, African or Asian country, "fitting in" and just living your life in most of Europe, except its metropolises, is close to impossible. English doesn't seem to be a factor either, as some European countries aren't doing much better than Japan on that front.

You may think Japan is doing the right thing by being oblivious to the suffering caused by multinational corporations (including Japanese ones) and wars frequently started by western powers, and I'd disagree. However, the idea that Japanese society is significantly less welcoming than the 'open' West is simply not based on reality.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan accepted 74 refugees in 2021, highest on record See in context

Still a laughable number. Nothing for Japan to pat itselft on the back for.

Japan inc. (and Japan's consumers) are more than happy for goods and capital to cross borders but when it comes to fellow human beings, that becomes another story.

Unless there are systemic changes (very unlikely), there will be no meaningful progress.

8 ( +29 / -21 )

Posted in: Musk warns Japan will cease to exist if birthrate continues decline See in context

The aging population is a problem, but Japan won't "stop existing". This guy has neither the capacity nor empathy to be taken seriously on this subject.

-10 ( +15 / -25 )

Posted in: 10% suffer COVID-19 aftereffects 1 year after discharge from hospital: survey See in context


My guess would be that Omicron isn't included in the data of people who suffer aftereffects after 1 year as Omicron has been around for a bit more than 6 months.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Human rights lawyer from Korean community in Japan undeterred by hate See in context

As you like. But as much as you ignore what you call apologists narrative and their articles, you d better actually look into the statistics.

No. Claiming that colonialism was beneficial to the colonized is so far out of the realm of reality, that nobody is compelled to "prove" with "statistic" that that's not the case.

This would all be fun and games as it's just an online commenting board. However, this type of whitewashed perception of history leads to exactly the problems that the lawyer in the article is trying to tackle. If you believe a country's people can do no wrong (despite ample evidence to the contrary), you will look as anyone from the outside as ungrateful if they don't constantly praise their new country of residence or even demand not being subject to discrimination. Japanese Koreans (and anyone else living here) don't owe anything to Japan. All residents need to be treated equally regardless of their background.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Posted in: Human rights lawyer from Korean community in Japan undeterred by hate See in context


All you do is here every time is attack and belittle other commenters. You never say anything constructive and hardly ever comment on the actual article.

Claiming Korea was thriving under Japanese colonial rule is a prime example of revisionism. I have a life, so I don't want to spend time looking for articles that would debunk every false or out-of-context claim you make, as easy as that would be.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

Posted in: Human rights lawyer from Korean community in Japan undeterred by hate See in context

The wasteland? The peninsula under Japan ruling? Either you chose the wrong word, or completely ignorant. You don’t have to listen to what you call apologists’ narrative, and yet look into the actual statistics

"Colonization was actually good for the colonized."

Oldest form of apologism in the book. Throwing in a casual insult really gets the message across!

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Posted in: Human rights lawyer from Korean community in Japan undeterred by hate See in context


I understand some people really like anonymously talking down to people they've never met.

History is complicated, isn't it? For example, the Windrush generation are migrants from the West Indies that moved to the UK between 1948 and 1971. Jamaica, for example, gained independence in 1962. There are many factors that contributed to the timing such as labour scarcity. Also, formal independence hardly ever meant an end to exploitation.

This, however, is not really relevant to the issue of Japanese Koreans. I just gave it as a parallel example of how people from exploited countries often do move to the countries that exploit them, be it out of convenience or necessity. In the case of Koreans, the physical proximity of Japan night also be a factor.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: Human rights lawyer from Korean community in Japan undeterred by hate See in context

So, in order to escape Japanese "barbarism", they fled to ...Japan!!!

Just like African, south Asian and Caribbean colonial subjects migrated to the countries that colonised them to escape the wasteland colonialism turned their homes into. This is a typical example of apologist gaslighting. "If Japan was so bad, why did you move there as opposed to staying in your old country or try to move to a country that is much less likely to let you in?" Also, there is a large Korean diaspora across the West, so it's not like many didn't try to go elsewhere.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Posted in: Human rights lawyer from Korean community in Japan undeterred by hate See in context

"Prejudice comes from not knowing," she said.

Yes and no. Japan, just like other neocolonial empires, operates on a mindset of its people's supremacy. Fear of the other is inevitable to a certain extent, but Japan's treatment of people from other Asian countries is a direct result of nationalist education and unwillingness of its elites to critically approach its own history.

-2 ( +17 / -19 )

Posted in: No felony charge for man who tackled Dave Chappelle on stage See in context

It was clear lots of people would immediately jump to conclusions about "the woke mob" trying to silence Chappelle. Whatever you think about his hot takes on gender, the assailant is a Trump supporter:


-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Posted in: Japan's 'womenomics' pioneer says mindsets must change See in context

I think ladies should focus on making babies not on carriers.

Do people who say this kind of stuff seriously think a lack of opportunities and low-paying jobs will make people want to start families?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Some companies try 4-day workweek to offer flexibility to employees See in context

Tired of having little time for yourself for 5 days a week? Well how about you have no time for yourself at all for 4 days a week so you can spend another day making yourself more useful for us? Or we'll deduct it from your salary. Or both! No problem, it's just our way of saying thank you for dedicating most of your waking hours for the sake of our investors.

Now that's a pitch!

5 ( +17 / -12 )

Posted in: Japan to require listed firms to disclose female manager ratio See in context


Again, good for you it's working out. I work various jobs and am mostly self-employed now as well. Can't complain for myself.

At the same time, I don't oppose a move towards a society where this isn't what it takes. Not everyone can or wants to be self-employed. And nobody should have to make that choice to not be treated unfairly.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to require listed firms to disclose female manager ratio See in context

You would have to work twice as hard to move up within a Japanese company and understandably so.

What you're describing is discrimination. And you say it's actually a good (or at least understandable) thing.

I'm not a native speaker of Japanese but got employed because I can speak the language well enough to communicate at a "business" level in written and spoken form and because I can speak other languages too. I don't want to get into more detail, but I did have skills others didn't have, but it was made pretty clear to me I need to be grateful to even be part of the group, let alone demand being treated equally.

I'm not sure how owning land is related to any of this, but the idea that it should be an advantage or precondition for being treated equally is inherently classist.

You can make (and people do make) similar arguments for discriminating against women. What if she gets pregnant and leaves the groups for a few years? What if she changes her mind about being loyal to us rather than her family? And aren't they too emotional to be in managerial positions?

I'm not a woman, but I think this and other experiences make workplace discrimination a very relatable topic. Also, I'm a racial minority in my country of origin, so it's not that the experience was completely new to me. "Work twice as hard to get the same result" is something I've heard many times before and I'd like to live in a world where as few people as possible have to accept it.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan to require listed firms to disclose female manager ratio See in context


Good for your wife. Many aren't that lucky though. I personally know women who struggled quite a lot, especially after they dared to take maternity leave. Also, I wonder how much harder than others she had to work to achieve the same goals.

I have, as a non-Japanese, worked for a company with absolutely no ability to move upwards while my Japanese counterparts kept getting raises and promotions. I know it's similar for women in many companies, where routinely women get more frequently hourly contracts and their employment is treated as "baito" by their employee and society alike.

One woman being successful doesn't mean it works for everyone equally. I mean, there are women politicians here, but that doesn't undo deep flaws in the system.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan to require listed firms to disclose female manager ratio See in context

Such a measure in itself won't imho make that much of a different. Affordable and accessible childcare so that women don't have to chose between career and family, normalised paternity leave, less toxic and more equal work environment are other things needed to support people who don't fit the description of the "erai hito", i.e. old ethnically Japanese workaholic man.

Are they the best able to do that job?

To a lot of people, the answer is automatically no if it's a woman applying. Hence the measure.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan, Vietnam affirm respect for sovereignty See in context

Um, is anybody threatening either country's sovereignty? I mean, China's advances, especially in the South China Sea, surely are a threat to both countries' interests, but nobody is invading their actual territory with the aim of delegitimizing the state as such. The way Ukraine is being used as a talking point on China is getting surreal.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Posted in: Japan, Indonesia confirm cooperation toward free, open Indo-Pacific See in context

@Kyo wa heiwa dayo ne

Even if it was, then it was just a side effect. Crediting Imperial Japan with SAE countries' independence is a bit like crediting Nazi Germany with liberating India because the war was too expensive for the UK to hold on to it.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan, Indonesia confirm cooperation toward free, open Indo-Pacific See in context

The invasion and occupation of Indonesia by Japanese forces during the war saw 10 million people enslaved as forced labor to build bases in Java and 500,000 forced to relocate as far as Burma.

And a loud part of Japan's historiography treats it as "liberation" from Western powers.

Indonesia, however, has a terrible record of treating Indonesian people too, with no accountability so far. Be it Suharto's purges or atrocities in West Papua and then-occupied East Timor.

There really are no "good guys" here.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan, Indonesia confirm cooperation toward free, open Indo-Pacific See in context

Massive kick in the gut for friendly and cooperative Japan.

No investment from a developed country to a developing is ever friendly and cooperative. They're just that, investments. I don't know what made Widodo switch, but loyalty is not a value in international (or any politics) as the only thing that's mostly considered are corporate gains.

I would not trust Joko to be upfront and honest,

Agree, but I would extend that to almost any politician. Geopolitics isn't where honesty or friendship are exercised. On the rare occasion a politician does care about their constituents, they still have to juggle the complicated interests of those who back them and the broader circumstances. To Widodo's credit, he was the one who was trying to prevent the Jakarta mayor from going to prison as his trial was clearly racially motivated.

But let's not pretend these are a bunch of friends meeting up to have party, or let's hope it isn't.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan, Indonesia confirm cooperation toward free, open Indo-Pacific See in context

strategic partner sharing universal values such as democracy and the rule of law

Lol. Jakarta mayor served two years for "blasphemy" while Japan isn't able to hold its own former PM to account for blatant corruption and cronyism. Some great examples of rule of law there!

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Posted in: Do you think Ukrainians who have come to Japan because of the Russian invasion of their homeland should be referred to as "evacuees" or "refugees." In Japan, "refugees" can be granted long-term residency, while "evacuees" are viewed as people who will eventually have to leave. See in context

Not like the government is looking at online polls (especially if they're not in Japanese) to see what it should do.

But the wording matters very little. Right now, they're using the word 避難民, translated as 'evacuee', because accepting 'refugees' would make the LDP's nationalist base lose their marbles. I mean, the government refuses to call Asian workers 'immigrants', suggesting that anyone not 100% Japanese is, at best, a tolerated guest.

Japan, just like every developed country, has benefited greatly from free movement of capital and goods, exploiting poorer countries for their resources and cheap labour (often just a euphemism for slavery). Free movement of people, however, doesn't align with a worldview in which your country's GDP determines how many rights you have and a system that relies on stoking fear of the 'other'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ukraine apologizes for juxtaposing photo of late emperor to Hitler in video See in context

I meant *Italy and Germany in my previous post.

The enemies of my enemy were Allied Powers. That was it.

Look who are the current destabilizers of the world, all from ex-allied powers, especially UN sec permanent members.

Nobody here is claiming that Stalin's Soviet Union were the good guys or what the US have been up to is justifiable. However, none of that is relevant to Japan's right's sensitivity to someone even mentioning its wartime past.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Posted in: Ukraine apologizes for juxtaposing photo of late emperor to Hitler in video See in context

I mean... Ukraine wasn't wrong... but probably not a smart move to say while they need support and aid from Japan.

They need support from Japan and Germany too. But afaik, no apology was needed for them as they try not to pretend history didn't happen.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Posted in: Over 50% in Japan feel public safety has worsened in last 10 years: survey See in context

@Alfie Noakes

Very good points. It's also before an election. The ruling party, just like any "conservatives", needs fear to justify its authoritarian tendencies.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: U.S. envoy to Japan highlights acceptance of LGBTQ people See in context

The fact you need labels on everything is already a problem,

Don't know how to address these issues without using "labels". Thinking about it, "men" and "women" are labels as well.

sorry but a woman with a penis is a man and showing up on a date saying they are a woman isn't going to change that

This is actually a really good point and shows why discussions of trans people are often limited to trans women, not trans men as men don't feel threatened by the former.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Posted in: U.S. envoy to Japan highlights acceptance of LGBTQ people See in context


Lots to unpack there. I don't know how many trans or intersex people you know in real life, but the ones I've met never wanted anything else but not being treated with scorn.

Yes, if we accept that gender is a spectrum, gendered sports stops making sense. But why does Caster Semenya get disqualified from women's sports for having too much testosterone and Michael Phelps celebrated for having extremely large hands? Both are a genetic coincidence beyond their control. And no, "men" don't compete as women. For example, the IOC has strict guidelines on testosterone levels over an extensive period of time. Hence Semenya's disqualification. They are intersex, but by the standards of this comment's section "experts", they would only qualify as a woman.

As for beauty salons, I don't know the answer as I'm not a beautician. But not knowing the answer doesn't justify dismissing their concerns, the workers' as well as potential customers.

Finally, labelling trans women as "men" is denying their existence as the humans they are. Which is why my statement is not an exaggeration. Comparing them to someone with good eyesight claiming to be blind is beyond condescending. There is extensive research on why some people turn out to be transgender, non-binary or intersex. There is no evidence that points to misrepresenting one's eyesight being anything else than delusion.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: U.S. envoy to Japan highlights acceptance of LGBTQ people See in context

@Matthew Hopkins

I've spent some time in London as well and thought it was on the LGBTQ-friendly side. Little did I know how the Tory government would eventually discriminate against trans people.

I don't know, but the"vocal" part of the LGBTQ community seems to me like a strawman. Yes, there are entitled morons in every movement, but seeing the comments under any article addressing the issue makes it clear which side is more vocal. What's more, things like marriage equality, inclusion and acceptance of trans and intersex people doesn't affect you if you're straight and cis gender. That's why I always find it alarming when people go out of their way to voice their opposition to these people having the same rights as them.

Perhaps LGBTQ (why leave out the T?) rights were not discussed in the past, which made the majority feel like everything was fine. But how much consideration was given to people who couldn't marry their partners, couldn't receive gender-affirming treatment and couldn't raise children? If you're discriminated against, you learn to pick your battles. Most non-Japanese living in Japan must be aware of that. If you aren't on the receiving end of discrimination and others voicing their concerns bothers you, it might be could to ask yourself why that is.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

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