DISCRIMINATION IN JAPAN A PREVENTIVE GUIDE PART 1

I know I covered a lot of ground on  my previous post on human right etc, but I found that I needed to extend a little bit more  information on discrimination in japan , what to do, how to prevent it , and steps to shorten the stress and fast resolution in case you suffer certain situations: first I must remind you that in the Japanese constitution rights are condition to nationality rather than being human.
Ironic since the Japanese Constitution professes twice that there shall be no discrimination based on race, sex or family origin in Japan in family laws and social relations.

In Article 14.  “All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.”

In Article 24.  “With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equality of the sexes.”

A huge contradiction and mostly not applied.

Without laws to protect us against discrimination in general there is not much we can do legally. But we can prevent development of certain situations.

In order to do that we must understand certain facts:

1) “If in Rome do as the Romans do ” that is the golden rule for Japanese, when it comes to their ways the more Japanese you are ; the more you will fit in.

2) Senpai vs. Kohai:  Relationship is an essential element of Japanese seniority-based status relationships, similar to the way that family and other relationships are decided based on age, in which even twins may be divided into elder and younger siblingsor. The sempai is roughly equivalent to the Western concept of a mentor, while kōhai is roughly equivalent to protégé, though they do not imply as strong a relationship as these words mean in the West. More simply, these may be translated as senior and junior, or as an elder compared with someone younger in the family/company/organization/ socially or economically; the term is often applied to all members of one group that are senior (the sempai) to all the members of another group (the kōhai). There is usually no average separation in age between a sempai and his or her kōhai you will just know in which you fit by the status people give you. If you’re new at you are a kohai.

This is  very hard to implement, since it grants permission to those who are consider above you, to talk and refer to you in very strong (sometimes rude) manners that can be classified as bulling. To successfully manage this I can only recommend you are polite at all times and at the same time try to establish a line of respect in a sweet delicate manner.

TIp * in western culture we often answer hugh or ahh when we didn’t understand or heard something, this is considered rude and rebelious for japanese , so abstain from answering like that, refer more to the frase “can you please repeat” > “mo ikka onegaishimasu” 

Japan is a highly homogeneous society and any differences from the norm is frowned upon.  It really matters little whether you are a foreigner or not.  Of course, for the same situation, a foreigner is likely to feel a higher degree of discrimination due to the preconceived perceptions that “foreigners just don’t know the Japanese way” but a Japanese is not likely to spared either this I need you to remember.

I have found that the best way to avoid discrimination is to learn their ways as much as possible, even in little things such as blowing your nose in public (do not do that), or talking on the phone on the train, can set you apart easily, brand you out of the pack and cause problems. The more you learn the culture the more you fit in.

One of the most common mistakes I made during my first year, was laughing very loud, putting my chopsticks standing on a rice (this is done for dead people only) (VERY RUDE OF ME BTW) , not putting my bags or backpack between my legs or in the bag space area therefore bothering other people, rudely sitting without asking permission while visiting a house, not eating everything that I serve my self in a plate etc.  This is why learning the culture from its core will save you a lot of pain and suffering. 


Creating anti-discrimination laws in Japan — Where we are stading at the moment:

Saitama Prefecture, 2007:  A non-Japanese couple in their seventies had just begun renting an upscale apartment, only to find the day before moving that they would be turned away.  The management association of the apartment found that bylaws forbade rental or transfer of their apartments to foreigners.  The couple’s oldest daughter called this a violation of human rights and appealed to the local Ministry of Justice, Bureau of Human Rights.  The Bureau issued a warning to the association that this was “discriminatory treatment, conspicuously violating the freedom to choose one’s residence”.  However, the association refused to revise its decision, and the couple had to look elsewhere. 

Nationwide, the Bureau of Human Rights took on 21,600 cases of rights violations in 2007, including cases of violence or abuse towards women or the elderly, invasions of privacy and bullying.  But there were also 126 cases of discrimination towards foreigners, a figure that is increasing year on year, with numerous cases involving refusals of service by renters, public baths, and hotels.  However, even in cases determined to involve discrimination, the Bureau only has the power to issue “explanations” (setsuji) or “warnings”, not redress measures.  Many are deterred by lawsuits and the enormous investment of time, emotional energy, and money they demand.  In the end, many people just put up with it.

Japan still has no fundamental law protecting the livelihood or rights of non-Japanese.  A bill for the protection of rights for handicapped and women, which also covers discrimination by race and ethnicity, was defeated in 2003.  Debate is continuing within the government and ruling party on whether to resubmit it.  Still, a “Human Rights Committee”, entrusted with the duties of hearing and investigating violations of human rights, has engendered great criticism from conservatives on the issue of appointing foreigners as committee members.  The government eventually did a volte-face, saying that “only residents who have the right to vote for people in the local assemblies” are allowed, thus limiting appointments to Japanese.

In other countries, where organizations protect foreigners from discrimination, there is almost no example of foreigners being shut out like this.  Even people within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have been critical:  “The very organizations that are supposed to help foreigners in all manner of difficulties, such as language barriers, are in fact putting up barriers of their own.  Their priorities are truly skewed” (honmatsu tentou).


This article first appeared in The Asahi Shimbun morning edition, October 5, 2008 in the ashita o kangaeru (With Tomorrow in Mind) column. The original text of the article is archived here. Posted at Japan Focus on October 25, 2008.

As you can see the debate continues and all we can do is avoidance.

In the case of children my recommended best answer are international schools, there are very food ones at affordable rate and they often promote diversity among the alumni.

miruta

 

DIVORCE, YOUR RIGHTS IN JAPAN, CHILD ABDUCTION & FORGE SIGNATURE DIVORCESHey guys,I know I have been disconnected for a year and a half now, but as I must update you I had to go back to my home country afterthe earthquake for personal reasons. So updating now the 567 questions you guys left me over the year I will now start answering in group of pairs, 2 post per questions for some. First question that I will be answering is the big D  “DIVORCE” and your current rights injapan as a foreign citizen. Before I do that I want to explain my personal situation, I arrived to japan with an entertainers visa my case is not a very common one. After participating and gathering certain requisites I am now a fortune holder of residence-ship
( I AM NOT NATURALIZED)that would be something different; so the right that I have are not the same as a naturalized gaijin .
This been said you must understand that each situations has differentdispositions of rights according to the Japanese constitutions.  Actually there has been some changes in laws in japan regarding this subject but there is still a big difference between a Japanese and a gaijin.
What do I mean with this? Well the Japanese constitution speaks of defining equality and ‘fundamental human rights’ as being conditioned on nationality rather than being human.” (Colin Jones, Zeit Gist, Nov. 1, 2011) meaning only a Japanese citizen is protected under the japanese laws; now this doesn’t mean that you have no rights what so ever, it just mean that their are certain things you will be subject of that you wont be able to protect yourself from, depending on your status of residence-ship your rights might change .
An article by Debito (one of my favorite bloggers in japan) has very good insides, he is a naturalized gaijin here is the link: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2011/12/06/issues/for-the-sake-of-japans-future-foreigners-deserve-a-fair-shake/#.UTgkFhnx9aUPlease read it since it offers short synopsis of what most of your rights are. I also encourage you to fallow hes post on hes blog about your rights. link here: http://www.debito.org/?cat=5I will also leave here a link to the Japanese Constitution in English : http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/constitution_and_government_of_japan/constitution_e.htmlALSO IF YOU EVER ENCOUNTER PROBLEM WITH YOUR RIGHTS here is the address for the : 
Japan Foreign-Rights Centre (JFC), Tokyo
Sun Mall No 3 Rm 2011-19-10 Shinjuku Shinjuku-kuTokyoJapan160-0022
Telephone: +81 (0)3/32 26 27 11
Fax: 32 26 27 14
Now for the subject of divorce I received a question regarding what to do if your partner wants to divorce and fools you into divorce without your approval,
well the divorce subject is very tricky because in most parts as a gaijin you have lots to lose, in japan no one can divorce unless the both sign a rekontodoke (divorce papers), meaning unless both parties agree which in most cases this doesn’t happen and most people end up in mediation which can take years here are the best information I could gather over the subject, but firts let me explain the ground from which you can divorce:

Infidelity (futei na koui);  This could be just physical (furin 不倫) or it could be serious (uwaki 浮気)  Either the husband or the wife can sue for divorce for adultery, and if the other party is found at fault, he or she may have to pay consolation money. (isharyou 慰謝料)


•Malicious abandonment (akui na iki), which means the failure, without justifiable cause, to fulfill the spousal duties of cohabitation, mutual cooperation and assistance.  Some arguments can only be used by one or the other gender


to make enough to support them, even if the wife refuses to work.


•Whereabouts Unknown (shoushi). The whereabouts and status of a spouse are not known for over three years, regardless of cause;   Another reliable source says that “it is unknown for more than three years whether or not the spouse is alive”.


•Serious mental illness (seishinbyou); where there is no hope for recovery


•Serious misconduct (juudai na jiyu) on the part of one of the spouses making it difficult to continue the marriage.

"Other grave reasons" is a catch all which is often used as a substitute for irreconcilable differences (seikaku no fuitchi 性格の不一致) , although the later is not a specifically valid reason.  It covers a wide spectrum of grounds such as cruelty, domestic violence, unreasonable behavior, incompatibility, loss of love in the marriage.  The following are reported as valid reasons by a reliable source, but it is unclear in which category they belong.

•Refusal or neglect of marital sex.  Apparently, only the husband can sue for divorce on this grounds.


•Refusal or neglect of financial support. Apparently only the wife can sue divorce on this grounds if the husband is unable

Here the resources you need :
Children Rights Japan: http://www.crnjapan.net/The_Japan_Childrens_Rights_Network/res-div.html (this one is very helpful since it state all the details if you have childre)
FOR FORGED SIGNATURE DIVORCE please read here : http://www.crnjapan.net/The_Japan_Childrens_Rights_Network/jlw-forgedvp.html
American Embassy page: http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-7117.html
And here is Debito’s own story of how he got divorced: http://www.debito.org/thedivorce.html
Now if you still have visa and you have divorce I must inform you this will not affect your visa unless you have to renovate. This is why it is recommended for most foreigners that if you have been more than 5 years married to naturalize, after this period of time you can apply for naturalization with no problem and this will not only protect you and your future interest but your children as well, since there has been many cases of spouses denying children visitation or abdutions and in the law they have all the rights to take your children away from you since divorce in Japan due to the Koseki Family Registry System results in one parent (regardless of nationality) losing all legal ties to the child and leads in many (almost all, it’s estimated) cases to the child growing up with no contact whatsoever (since Japan does not allow joint custody) with the noncustodial parent.   Beware of this since is a very common case in japan and most Japanese get full custody.
 
 When it comes to marriage , before getting married there are too many things to consider first since gaijins are the ones to lose if it gets dissolved.
One of the first things I recommend is a prenuptial agreement stating all the grounds to protect yourself not only economically but family wise as well.
If you have a child you might want to read the children rights page is very helpful here the link :
http://www.crnjapan.net/The_Japan_Childrens_Rights_Network/Welcome.html  
I hope this post was helpful and prepare you guys for what you need . 
hershey kisses and cinnamon hugs 
miruta

DIVORCE, YOUR RIGHTS IN JAPAN, CHILD ABDUCTION & FORGE SIGNATURE DIVORCES
Hey guys,
I know I have been disconnected for a year and a half now, but as I must update you I had to go back to my home country after
the earthquake for personal reasons. So updating now the 567 questions you guys left me over the year I will now start answering in
group of pairs, 2 post per questions for some. First question that I will be answering is the big D  “DIVORCE” and your current rights in
japan as a foreign citizen. Before I do that I want to explain my personal situation, I arrived to japan with an entertainers visa my case
is not a very common one. After participating and gathering certain requisites I am now a fortune holder of residence-ship

( I AM NOT NATURALIZED)
that would be something different; so the right that I have are not the same as a naturalized gaijin .

This been said you must understand that each situations has different
dispositions of rights according to the Japanese constitutions.  Actually there has been some changes in laws in japan regarding this subject but there is still a big difference between a Japanese and a gaijin.

What do I mean with this? Well the Japanese constitution speaks of defining equality and ‘fundamental human rights’ as being conditioned on nationality rather than being human.” (Colin Jones, Zeit Gist, Nov. 1, 2011) meaning only a Japanese citizen is protected under the japanese laws; now this doesn’t mean that you have no rights what so ever, it just mean that their are certain things you will be subject of that you wont be able to protect yourself from, depending on your status of residence-ship your rights might change .

An article by Debito (one of my favorite bloggers in japan) has very good insides, he is a naturalized gaijin here is the link: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2011/12/06/issues/for-the-sake-of-japans-future-foreigners-deserve-a-fair-shake/#.UTgkFhnx9aU
Please read it since it offers short synopsis of what most of your rights are.
I also encourage you to fallow hes post on hes blog about your rights. link here: http://www.debito.org/?cat=5
I will also leave here a link to the Japanese Constitution in English : http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/constitution_and_government_of_japan/constitution_e.html
ALSO IF YOU EVER ENCOUNTER PROBLEM WITH YOUR RIGHTS here is the address for the :

Japan Foreign-Rights Centre (JFC), Tokyo

Sun Mall No 3 Rm 201
1-19-10 Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo
Japan
160-0022

Telephone: +81 (0)3/32 26 27 11

Fax: 32 26 27 14

Now for the subject of divorce I received a question regarding what to do if your partner wants to divorce and fools you into divorce without your approval,

well the divorce subject is very tricky because in most parts as a gaijin you have lots to lose, in japan no one can divorce unless the both sign a rekontodoke (divorce papers), meaning unless both parties agree which in most cases this doesn’t happen and most people end up in mediation which can take years here are the best information I could gather over the subject, but firts let me explain the ground from which you can divorce:

  1. Infidelity (futei na koui);  This could be just physical (furin 不倫) or it could be serious (uwaki 浮気)  Either the husband or the wife can sue for divorce for adultery, and if the other party is found at fault, he or she may have to pay consolation money. (isharyou 慰謝料)

  2. Malicious abandonment (akui na iki), which means the failure, without justifiable cause, to fulfill the spousal duties of cohabitation, mutual cooperation and assistance.  Some arguments can only be used by one or the other gender

    1. to make enough to support them, even if the wife refuses to work.

  3. Whereabouts Unknown (shoushi). The whereabouts and status of a spouse are not known for over three years, regardless of cause;   Another reliable source says that “it is unknown for more than three years whether or not the spouse is alive”.

  4. Serious mental illness (seishinbyou); where there is no hope for recovery

  5. Serious misconduct (juudai na jiyu) on the part of one of the spouses making it difficult to continue the marriage.

"Other grave reasons" is a catch all which is often used as a substitute for irreconcilable differences (seikaku no fuitchi 性格の不一致) , although the later is not a specifically valid reason.  It covers a wide spectrum of grounds such as cruelty, domestic violence, unreasonable behavior, incompatibility, loss of love in the marriage.  The following are reported as valid reasons by a reliable source, but it is unclear in which category they belong.

  1. Refusal or neglect of marital sex. Apparently, only the husband can sue for divorce on this grounds.

  2. Refusal or neglect of financial support. Apparently only the wife can sue divorce on this grounds if the husband is unable

Here the resources you need :

Children Rights Japan: http://www.crnjapan.net/The_Japan_Childrens_Rights_Network/res-div.html (this one is very helpful since it state all the details if you have childre)

FOR FORGED SIGNATURE DIVORCE please read here : http://www.crnjapan.net/The_Japan_Childrens_Rights_Network/jlw-forgedvp.html

American Embassy page: http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-7117.html

And here is Debito’s own story of how he got divorced: http://www.debito.org/thedivorce.html

Now if you still have visa and you have divorce I must inform you this will not affect your visa unless you have to renovate. This is why it is recommended for most foreigners that if you have been more than 5 years married to naturalize, after this period of time you can apply for naturalization with no problem and this will not only protect you and your future interest but your children as well, since there has been many cases of spouses denying children visitation or abdutions and in the law they have all the rights to take your children away from you since divorce in Japan due to the Koseki Family Registry System results in one parent (regardless of nationality) losing all legal ties to the child and leads in many (almost all, it’s estimated) cases to the child growing up with no contact whatsoever (since Japan does not allow joint custody) with the noncustodial parent.   Beware of this since is a very common case in japan and most Japanese get full custody.

 

 When it comes to marriage , before getting married there are too many things to consider first since gaijins are the ones to lose if it gets dissolved.

One of the first things I recommend is a prenuptial agreement stating all the grounds to protect yourself not only economically but family wise as well.

If you have a child you might want to read the children rights page is very helpful here the link :

http://www.crnjapan.net/The_Japan_Childrens_Rights_Network/Welcome.html  

I hope this post was helpful and prepare you guys for what you need .

hershey kisses and cinnamon hugs

miruta

Hola, estoy buscando consejos: me case con una japonesa, fui a japon, no conocia el idioma y no podia trabajar y ella estaba presionada por su familia para que se separara de mi, me saco una firma aprovechandose de mi ignorancia e hizo un divorcio, me dijeron los japoneses que era ilegal pero todo siguio viento en popa, ella hizo todo sola, estoy divorciado en japon pero casado en mi pais y quiero buscar visa nuevamente ahora que estoy en mi pais, que me puedes aconsejar? anonimo.
Anonymous

Perdón por la tardanza a tu pregunta. he preparado un Post sobre este tema nuevo ve lo pues lo acabo de submitir, pero puedo comunicarte que lo que ella acaba de hacer es ilegal e implica tiempo en cárcel . En noviembre del 2011 se paso un Bill of rights ( una ley de derechos en la constitución japonesa) que da derecho igualitarios a los extranjeros en Japón , antes de esto ella podía hacer eso sin problemas pero ahora puedes apelar en la corte. Debes conseguir un abogado extranjero en Japón, la apelación al caso tomara tiempo y puede que llegues a mediación lo cual puede tomar dos años pero en cuanto a tu visa un divorcio No afecta la visa a menos que debas renovar . Si este es tu caso en apelación debes tratar tu caso pero lo más seguro es que ella gane y te den indemnización no estoy completamente familiarizada con este tema pero creo que es posible una extensión de vida en base a esto. Solo te puedo decir que existe una ley en Japón que declara que un divorcio no puede ejecutarse si ambas partes no están de acuerdo. En mi nuevo post encontraras todo lo que necesitas

BUSINESS IN JAPAN
So in my search for a subject to write about I came to realize I have no business section ins this blog. So I’m going to use this post so pass around some resource you need when doing biz in japan.
The first and more Important link you need to have is the government’s  Public source the Japan’s external Trade Organization “JETRO” ‘s webpage.
http://www.jetro.go.jp/ this one is the most complete source to foreign business inside and outside japan.  Is a source guide to investing in japan.
Another thing always handing is the Government’s Public  information source web.
http://www.jetro.go.jp/
I also Leave you here some general link about the gobernment and foreign policies:
Ministry of Defense
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
- Statistics Bureau & Statistics Center
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
- METI Regional Bureaus
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
Patent Office
Small and Medium Size Enterprise Agency
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
Ministry of the Environment
And a link with some introduction videos about japan and its Government policies:
http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/video-e/index_e.html
Another very important link is the JICA ——> The japan International cooperation Agency http://www.jica.go.jp/english/
and The Japan economic Foundation  http://www.jef.or.jp/
Almost all of this link you can find in the JETRO webpage but I think highlighting the most important one could help you paint a better picture of what you need to study and know about the Japanese law before doing biz in japan

BUSINESS IN JAPAN

So in my search for a subject to write about I came to realize I have no business section ins this blog. So I’m going to use this post so pass around some resource you need when doing biz in japan.

The first and more Important link you need to have is the government’s  Public source the Japan’s external Trade Organization “JETRO” ‘s webpage.

http://www.jetro.go.jp/ this one is the most complete source to foreign business inside and outside japan.  Is a source guide to investing in japan.

Another thing always handing is the Government’s Public  information source web.

http://www.jetro.go.jp/

I also Leave you here some general link about the gobernment and foreign policies:

And a link with some introduction videos about japan and its Government policies:

http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/video-e/index_e.html

Another very important link is the JICA ——> The japan International cooperation Agency http://www.jica.go.jp/english/

and The Japan economic Foundation  http://www.jef.or.jp/

Almost all of this link you can find in the JETRO webpage but I think highlighting the most important one could help you paint a better picture of what you need to study and know about the Japanese law before doing biz in japan

Its been a long hiatus …

Its been a long hiatus since I last posted here, I also have 2 update the blogger section of this blog.  But today I find my self searching for  a subject to write about that hasn’t been yet covered. So I call upon you guys to post more questions of thing I haven’t yet blogged about, thing you need or want to know about japan.

I hope I c you guys soon with a new topic to write about :)

Hershey Kisses and Cinnamon Hugs ,

Miruta

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translation gaijin by M. C. Lockward is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.