Category Archives: SOCIETY

Tokyo government provides coronavirus home recuperation sets with instant ramen, curry, and more

Comfort food care packages eliminate the need to go out for groceries or take-out during final stage of recovery. It’s pretty safe to say that no one in the world enjoys having to quarantine at home as they recover from a coronavirus infection. For those living in Tokyo’s Adachi Ward, though, there’s at least something […]

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Table of Contents:
1) W on Japan’s Kafkaesque and faulty re-entry procedures (even after October revisions to “open borders to Re-entry Visa foreign residents”): More elaborate racist barriers now.
2) Oct 1, 2020’s new govt regulations for NJ Resident Re-Entry: Not much of a change. Racialized barriers still up; instead, “business travelers” and “foreign tourists” may soon be prioritized
3) Dejima Award #9: Again to Japan Rugby Football Union, for classifying naturalized Japanese players as “foreign”, in violation of Japan Nationality Law.
… and finally …
4) My latest SNA VM column 14: “Visible Minorities: Weaponizing the Japanese Language”, on how Foreign Minister Motegi’s discriminatory treatment of Japan Times reporter Magdalena Osumi is part of a bigger phenomenon …continue reading


My SNA Visible Minorities 15: “New Covid Foreign Resident Re-Entry Rules Still Racist”, on how they are actually a natural outcome of Japan’s bullying bureaucracy (Oct. 19, 2020)


SNA: Japan’s Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that Japan’s foreign residents have no “right of sojourn,” i.e., to leave Japan temporarily and expect to return. (Japan Times columnist Colin Jones called it a “reverse Hotel California”–you can leave any time you like, but can never check back in.)

That means that even if you invested your entire life in Japan, married a Japanese, had children, paid taxes, bought property, started a business, and even achieved Permanent Residency (which by definition should be a legitimate claim to reside here forever), nothing you did matters… Hypothetically, if push comes to shove, a Permanent Resident will have the same status as any foreign tourist at the border.

Well, that hypothetical came true last April when, due to Covid, Japan decided to bar all foreigners from re-entering Japan–even though Japanese could still return and merely quarantine. No other developed country does this, and there is no science indicating that Japanese passports offer enhanced epidemiological protection. It was purely arbitrary…

From October 1, Japan announced it would open its borders to foreign residents under certain conditions. But it turns out that, realistically, these conditions are still a ban. Consider “George,” a foreign resident of Japan who told his experience returning to Japan from Europe this month…

In sum, Japan’s October revised re-entry system is still a means to discriminate against foreigners. By arbitrarily creating a tight 72-hour hour window requiring special paperwork unattuned to the realities of Covid testing overseas (especially when the test is meaningless if you get infected on the plane), Japan’s bureaucrats merely deflected international criticism from its regular racism by replacing it with new, improved racism. …continue reading


New Pantene commercial interviews Japanese trans individuals about difficulties of job hunting

Sending love and light to the LGBTQ+ community. From the same company that brought us the world’s first two-in-one conditioner and shampoo formula, and also questioned Japan’s strict rules on job hunting attire, a new commercial recently produced by Pantene has been making the rounds on social media. Featuring an interview with two transgender individuals […]

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Cradle to the grave – birth, marriage and death in Japan

Cradle to the grave – birth, marriage and death in Japan

Like this post? Help us by sharing it! Every culture has rituals and ceremonies that mark the key stages of life, usually birth, marriage, and death. In many cases, these rituals have a religious significance. The baby of Catholic parents, for example, will probably be baptised in church. At a Jewish wedding the groom will […]

The post Cradle to the grave – birth, marriage and death in Japan appeared first on InsideJapan Blog.

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W on Japan’s Kafkaesque and faulty re-entry procedures (even after October revisions to “open borders to Re-entry Visa foreign residents”): More elaborate racist barriers now.


This is an eyewitness account (redacted to remove personal identifiers) of a Permanent Resident of Japan, married to a Japanese for decades, who as a European went through re-entry procedures that apply to foreigners only (regardless of visa status) and not Japanese. The Japanese Government claims they have made things easier for Non-Japanese re-entrants since October 1, but Reader W would beg to differ below. This Kafkaesque ordeal will no doubt resonate with those who are used to Japanese bureaucracy, and doubly so when they see how racism (the belief that having a Japanese passport somehow makes you less contagious) is as usual part of the mix.

W: I would like to update you about PCR Covid tests in Europe. The lab in Europe sent by email secured Certificate of negative PCR test the same day evening. All countries that require PCR before arrival accept such certificates. But not Japan. Japan requires the old way: Stamps, doctor`s name and signature. On their paper that you must pick up in advance at their embassy.

I asked in the lab what I should do, and I was told that upon negative result I have to come back to them next day to bring the printed certificate that they sent me, passport and Japanese “Certificate of Testing for COVID-19” which they will fill in, stamp, and sign. Lucky me, they opened a new lab 2 weeks ago very close to where I stay in Europe. If not for this, then I would have to travel over 1 hour to be tested and 1 hour again the next day to bring the paper to stamp it. Now imagine those who are in countries that don`t have labs close by. It`s ridiculous and discriminatory. Why? Because, again, my Japanese …continue reading


Tweet of the Week #102: Stay Pawsitive With Hissterically Funny Cat Tweets

Source: Gaijin Pot

Feline sad about the news? Nothing can cheer you up quite like slices of life from our little furry friends.

Classic Cat’n’box

No comment.


— ちーな@ぽち 🍁 (@_Alber_tina) October 2, 2020

多分(たぶん)世界一(せかいいち)のバカ = “Probably the dumbest cat in the world.”


Spend one day in a Japanese residential neighborhood, and you will come across plastic bottles filled with water lined along the road. You can spot them against a wall, around plants, cars and home entrances.

But what are they for?

The tweet below will give you a clue!


— サライネス 自称漫画家 よう知らんけど多分。 (@SAARA_INES) October 5, 2020


“A great example that shows why using bottles as cat repellent is obsolete.”

Yes, you read that right. People use bottles to repel cats and prevent them from, well, doing cat stuff. In Japanese, it’s called nekoyoke, or cat repelling. It stays popular in Japan, despite no supporting evidence that it actually scares cats away.

Speaking of water

Far from being repelled by water, some cats even enjoy our sinks.


— ねこ美 (@nekobi_info) October 6, 2020

もうちょっと普通(ふつう)の飲(の)み方(かた)は出来(でき)なかったんでしょうか =

“Couldn’t he drink water in a slightly more normal way…?”

No one can resist a cute kitten… Let alone 3!

Last week, blogger and Twitter user @NipponKawauso realized he was being followed home by two adorable kittens.


— たいちゃん@ニホンカワウソ探し中 (@NipponKawauso) October 6, 2020


“I felt something was following me. What to do…”

Yielding to their adorable meowing, @NipponKawauso decided to take them home, but not before doing a quick check of the are, which led him to discover a 3rd kitten abandoned in a box.


— たいちゃん@ニホンカワウソ探し中 (@NipponKawauso) October 6, 2020


“These were kittens wrapped in a blanket and thrown away. There was one more one. They looked weak …continue reading


Tokyo Government considers fining people who knowingly go out when infected with COVID-19

Good news for people who say, “there ought to be a law.” With Tokyo’s number of coronavirus cases stubbornly high compared with the rest of the country and fears lingering over a potential third wave, the Metropolitan Assembly is meeting to discuss possible countermeasures. One such idea that will be up for discussion is the […]

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