Hard lessons in broken English

“A lot of people see the advertisements ? and think it will be like schoolroom teaching and lots of fun, but when you get here it is more like doing factory line work,” he says. “The whole teaching-English-in-Japan thing is a complete fraud and the experience can be quite bitter.” But for anyone set on … Read more

Equality still has a long way to go

Louis Carlet, deputy general secretary of the 2,600-member National Union of General Workers Tokyo Nambu (to which some Japan Times employees belong), agreed. It is always those women in less stable situations who bear the brunt of negative trends in the economy, he said. “When companies downsize, or when they shift toward fixed-term contracts, the … Read more

Two Colleges Drop ID Requirement For Foreign Applicants

Two colleges, one in Fukuoka Prefecture and the other in Tokyo, have stopped requiring non-Japanese applicants to submit identification certificates, following complaints that it is a discriminatory practice, school officials said Thursday. Kyushu Dental College in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, made the decision after a South Korean resident of Japan complained to the college that the … Read more

March In March 2006

400 foreigners in a simultaneous demonstration seeking job security and an end to discrimination. http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0305/TKY200603050119.html The Asahi Shimbun reported on the web Sunday evening and in their morning print edition. In fact, many of the Asahi’s “400 foreigners” were Japanese, who joined foreigners in what is the beginning of a civil rights movement in Japan. … Read more

Japan needs, but does not welcome, migrant help

About 1.9 million foreigners are registered in Japan. Combined with illegal entries, non-Japanese make up 1.5 percent of Japan?s population, a tiny proportion compared to immigrant populations in Europe and North America. The challenges so familiar to officials in the US, Europe and Australia are thus relatively new in Japan. Official policy has not come … Read more

Thinking of teaching in Japan?

Most people, when they first arrive, work at a place like Nova, probably the biggest employer of native English teachers in the world. By dint of their overseas recruiting programme, NO-VAcation (as we called it when I worked there) is the first employer for many arriving in Japan. But even this has changed. Recently, after … Read more

Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

United Nations Special Rapporteur Doudou Diène’s report on his official mission to survey racial discrimination and xenophobia in Japan has been published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. His recommendations include: 94. The Government should adopt appropriate measures to guarantee that foreigners are treated equally in Japan. It should … Read more

Female on throne could marry foreigner, Hiranuma warns

[LDP lawmaker and former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma] warned the reform could corrupt the Imperial line, which he said has been the supreme symbol of Japanese national and ethnic identity for centuries. “If Aiko becomes the reigning empress and gets involved with a blue-eyed foreigner while studying abroad and marries him, their child may be … Read more

Court rules English language school Nova billed student illegally

English language conversation school operator Nova Co. illegally billed a student when it refused to refund her the full price she had paid for classes she didn’t take, the Kyoto District Court ruled. Presiding Judge Mizuho Ebi ordered Nova to pay the student the 176,672 yen she had sought when suing the company. http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/news/20060131p2a00m0na011000c.html