Content Warning: This week’s round-up touches includes articles touching on multiple sensitive topics including pedophilia, sexual harassment, slurs, racist harassment and profiling. Please proceed with care.
A video game adaptation with a solid premise, but the execution is so tepid it’s unlikely to even satisfy existing fans.
The production values are stupendous, though your mileage will vary on whether you find the central Gender and Sexuality Stuff affirming or potentially homophobic.
Somehow whiffed the potential of hitman/bounty hunter enemies-to-lovers romance and made a show about cutesy one-sided stalking instead.
All of our winter premieres in one place, with content warnings and blurbs to help you choose a watchlist for the new season.
Because there are all kinds of reasons why dubs are a cool option to have.
The Tokyo Bar Association needs our help to understand racial profiling in Japan (The Japan Times, Baye McNeil)
The survey the Association released received over 700 responses within the first 24 hours.
The Tokyo Bar Association’s Committee on Protection of Foreigners’ Human Rights wants to better understand the situation regarding racial profiling by police in Japan. It has launched a survey and is asking those who believe they have been the target of profiling — or their family or friends — to take a moment and fill out the survey in order to get a clearer picture of what is going on.
“The survey on racial profiling by police in Japan is an encouraging step toward addressing long-standing issues with the way in which police perceive and interact with people from international and multicultural communities in Japan,” says Tina Saunders, director and associate professor of instruction in law at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University, Japan Campus. “Capturing and sharing people’s experiences with the police gives us a powerful tool to push for change in police policies and training to better engage with these communities.”
Pandemic-era stress has manifested in some Western countries as xenophobia and violence directed at people of Asian and Pacific island decent, sparking the need for movements such as #StopAsianHate.
Xenophobia continues to be an area of concern for many in Japan’s foreign community, too, one that has only been exacerbated amid the COVID-19 pandemic due to border policies enacted to prevent the spread of the virus and a perception among the Japanese that non-Japanese people are more likely to carry it. The arrival of the omicron variant has made matters worse, prompting a sharp rise in new cases and continued border restrictions that have the full support of the public.
Vietnamese trainee speaks out on broken rib, injuries from assaults by Japanese colleagues (The Mainichi, Hanami Matsumuro)
The man’s case follows on multiple recent stories of foreign technical trainees being exploited and underpaid for their labor using the visa system.
According to Fukuyama Union Tampopo, a labor union in Hiroshima Prefecture which has taken the Vietnamese man under its protection, he left his wife and 5-year-old daughter in Vietnam to come to Japan in October 2019. Through mediation by a supervising organization in the city of Okayama, he got a job at the construction firm in November 2019 as a technical intern specializing in scaffolding.
Around December that year, he began enduring assaults by multiple Japanese employees, such as being beaten and kicked. In May 2020, he sustained a chipped tooth and needed lip surgery requiring four stitches after a colleague threw a pipe-shaped component of about 90 centimeters down at his face while he was dismantling a scaffold. In November 2020, he suffered a bone fracture when a colleague serving as a guidance counsellor kicked him in the chest and elsewhere.
Although the man reported the injuries in June 2021 by emailing photographic evidence to the supervising organization heading his intern program, he reportedly received a reply stating, “We will issue a warning regarding the violent behavior, but transferring you is difficult.” The man said he was told something along the lines of “it can’t be helped if you are the target of assault because your Japanese is poor.” The violence then subsided for about a month.
Rules to tighten on pedophile teachers seeking reinstatement (The Asahi Shimbun, Jun Miura and Tomomi Abe)
The new guidelines will be accompanied by a database of details on past offenders’ charges to be utilized starting in April 2023.
Currently, schoolteachers whose teaching credentials were rescinded for sexually molesting children can be relicensed automatically only if they apply at least three years after revocation of their licenses.
Under the new law, which is scheduled to take effect in April, however, they must obtain approval of prefectural education boards based on the state of the offender’s rehabilitation and other circumstances.
The law also states that an examination board should be set up to seek expert opinions on whether to accept each relicensing request.
The draft guidelines specify that it is “appropriate” to reject relicensing applications if there are any signs that applicants might offend again.
In addition, the applicants must present a medical certificate from a doctor or other written proof of the “high probability” that they will not sexually abuse children again. Such proof could be attendance records at a rehabilitation program or a parents’ petition calling for reinstatement of the disgraced teacher.
The ban at large remains in place, but 87 students with less than a year of schooling left will be allowed to finish out their studies.
Matsuno said the government will consider individual cases in making further exceptions.
The move comes as academic and economic circles have continued to voice concerns after a growing number of foreign students gave up on studying in Japan in the face of the country’s strict border controls.
The government’s measures are “affecting foreign students and businesses that employ foreign workers,” ANA Holdings Inc. President Shinya Katanozaka said last week.
“I hope the government will balance both effective infection controls and social economic activities from a scientific viewpoint,” he said in a statement released amid a drastic reduction in international flights.
VIDEO: Roundtable/podcast discussion of the first half of Ranking of Kings.
VIDEO: On the banning of sexually explicit content on game platforms and its harmful knock-on effects on sex workers.
TWEET: Podcast discussion of cyberpunk and Psycho-Pass.
TWEET: Capture of the racist harassment directed at Nagaoto actress Kimberley Anne Campbell after the show’s English dub was announced.
Content Warning: Screencaps in the original tweet include antiblack slurs.
TWEET: Quote/translation of a Japanese Mainichi article reporting on men announcing they planned to have a “groping festival” on the train during exam days.
TWEET: Survey call for international students affected by Japan’s travel ban.
Lot of cool suggestions across a range of languages here.