Discrimination still alive in Japan
A great place, but . . .
Although Japan is certainly a great place to live, it is by no means perfect. Foreign residents here face all of the normal problems that one could reasonably be expected to encounter living away from his or her native land. Yet, at the same time, it might be argued that, due in large part to Japan's long history and tradition of isolation from other cultures of the world, the attitudes faced by expatriates here may be slightly more 'acute' than in other countries.
Discrimination - still alive and well in Japan
Discrimination is an ugly word, but it is, unfortunately, still alive and well in Japan - as it is (in some form) in most other parts of the world. However, overt racial discrimination, though not completely extinct here, is not the most pressing concern among Japan's foreign community. Job and housing discrimination against non-Japanese and naturalized citizens are the much more widespread problems (though it is possible to make the connection that these types of discrimination also have as their root source the issue of race). Finding a housing rental unit, in particular, can often be an extremely difficult search for prospective non-Japanese residents, because many landlords simply will not rent to foreigners.
A societal 'disease'. . . .
Lamentably, discrimination is a disease that typically does not just go away all by itself. Human experience has shown us that it must be legislated out of existence. Forward-thinking, equitable laws must be crafted and made a part of the fabric of society - legislation that protects the rights of both natural citizens and foreign residents alike. Furthermore, laws must be enacted that make it a crime to discriminate against a person simply because he or she is foreign-born - laws that Japan currently does not have. For instance, real estate laws should be revised to provide significant penalties for owners who discriminate against non-Japanese renters.
Pro-active legislation is needed . . .
Discrimination is a vile practice that demeans and devalues the entire society. We call upon the government to enact needed legislation that will afford all of Japan's residents - natural and naturalized citizens as well as non-Japanese - the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. It's the right thing to do.
- This is needed not only to protect the international community in Japan but to move Japan forward as a country, economy and society in the 21st century. -T.C., Recruiter [Kanagawa]
- I am looking for an apartment now. It is a frustrating and demeaning process. I want to say to the landlords, "how would you feel if you wanted live in my country (Australia, where BTW more and more Japanese are retiring to) and land-owners refused to allow you to rent their apartment one after the other? -Kevin Dunn, Teacher [Tokyo]
- Simply put, if Japan doesn't enact proper anti-discrimination laws, what makes it any better than China? -Aly Rustom, Teacher [Saitama]
- If anything, racism is the ROOT problem facing most foreign residents in Japan. The root of discrimination lies in cultural isolation that, to this day, is still very active in Japanese society. There is only one race, and that is the human race!!! -T.P. [Osaka]
- It's funny how landlords would rather leave a unit completely empty for months and months instead of renting it to a foreigner. You've done and checked my bank account, know where I work and have verified that I make enough money. If we're able to afford it, why not let us rent it? Why cut off your nose, just to spite your face? -V.T., Recruiter [Tokyo]
- In modern societies, discrimination against race is anathema to the human race. -Maureen Pool, Literacy Tutor
- This is very important. there are NO real anti-discrimination laws, people are losing the suits, too. This should be a priority and you are being told by the UN and Amnesty, so start taking this seriously, PLEASE! -Frauke Arndt, NGO staffer [Kobe]
- There is so much discrimination here ranging from the obvious racial ones to the more subliminal ones as in marriage and parenting. -J.K, [Kyoto]