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


We travel to a mysterious power spot in Okinawa, where a “heart rock” floats in the sea

Mother Nature attempts to reclaim the path at this rugged tourist site filled with mystery and beauty. Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa stretches out over a chain of about 150 islands, all varying in size and each with a unique appeal. And while some of these islands are more remote than others, a few of […]

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Filing patent applications in Japan to obtain patents in India fast

On November 21 2019, Japan and India signed an agreement to start a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program. The PPH is a cooperative program to facilitate an acquisition of a patent by utilizing search and examination results at other patent office. Japan is the world’s first country that corporates with India for such a patent acceleration program.

In India, it reportedly takes about 7 years to obtain a patent. However, under the PPH program, it is expected to be able to obtain a patent within a year and a half for the corresponding Japanese patent.

In this agreement, the technical fields of applications eligible for Indian patent office are limited to computer science, information technology, machinery, automobiles etc., and not include medical or biotechnology (cf. There’s no limitation for the Japan Patent Office). Also, the Office of First Filing must be Japan or India.

So, if Japan further discusses with India to expand the scope of the PPH to the MOTTAINAI, it would be really great. The PPH MOTTAINAI is more user-friendly, and under the MOTTAINAI program, an applicant can make PPH requests at the Office of Later Examination (OLE) by using the examination results of the Office of Earlier Examination (OEE), provided that the OEE and OLE have a PPH MOTTAINAI agreement.

The JPO provides excellent examination services in both quality and speed. The total pendency for patent examinations (i.e. from Request for Examination to Establishment of Right) was 14.1 months on average in 2017, according to JPO STATUS REPORT 2019.

So, if Japan and India sign the agreement for the MOTTAINAI program, some foreign applicants may have an interest in filing patent applications in Japan for an option for obtaining patents …continue reading


The (Homoerotic) World of Tom of Finland: Reality and Fantasy opens September 18th. First time Tom shows in Japan!

Tom of Finland (1920-1991) was a pioneer in LGBQT and homoerotic art, blazing a trial in Finland and his works have been shown all over the world. From today September 18th, his work will be exhibited for the first time in Japan (ever) at Parco Shibuya. In a country where alternative sexuality is still barely recognized and some politicians spew homophobic bile, it’s a small accomplishment that the show is being held.

The exhibition will only last until October 5th.

The show has taken nearly years to put together, was delayed by COVID19, and ran into numerous obstacles along the way; thanks to the collective efforts of all involved, including the Embassy of Finland, the show is finally taking place. The whole story behind the curtains is told eloquently in this piece by Justin McCurry in The Guardian

I almost gave up’: Tom of Finland exhibition to finally open in Japan

Be sure to try the Tom of Finland vodka. The hard stuff.

The exhibition will show that his work was a catalyst for social change and acceptance of homosexuality while celebrating sensuality and the beauty of the male body. The curator of the exhibit and director of The Container, Mr. Shai Ohayon points out that Japan is still very much behind in the recognition of gay and LGBQT rights.

(From the press release) “Historically, the images highlight milestones and artistic stylistic developments in Tom’s life and practice—starting with his 1940s and ‘50s paintings in gouache, of men in stylish attire and uniforms, such as sailors, soldiers and policemen, …continue reading


Tokyo Harvest 2020 Online

The popular harvest festival “Tokyo Harvest” is held online this year!
・47 producers from 47 prefectures introduce the harvest scenes in order with videos”TODAY’S FRESH”
・The fish caught in the basket of your choice arrives at your house”REMOTE FISHERMAN EXPERIENCE”
・You can make lemon sour while learning from a lemon farmer using the lemons that arrived in advance”LEMON SOUR CLASSROOM”
・Live broadcast in collaboration with famous chefs, cooks and models
We have 30 online programs.

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This Week(End): Tokyo Area Events For October 24-25

halloween sumida

Spooky Kaleidoscope Tunnel

Halloween in Sumida Aquarium

The Sumida Aquarium is holding a special Halloween version of the jellyfish exhibition in their “Kaleidoscope Tunnel”, which has approximately 5,000 mirrors on the walls and ceiling. The area is decorated with classic Halloween symbols such as witches, pumpkins, and jellyfish floating in the water tank to look like ghosts out for fun during the Halloween season.

Vogue Fashion's Night In 2020

In The Spotlight

Online Event: Vogue Fashion’s Night In 2020

Every year fashionistas from all around Tokyo gather out to attend this massive one night-limited Japan franchise of the global event by Vogue. However this year the event will be held online, and for two weeks long! Aimed to celebrate fashion, participating stores will wow the crowds with unique sales, giveaways, and special events. Online appearances by key Japanese celebrities, including model Mari Natsuki and Hikari Mori is also on the agenda.

FRI, OCT. 23 – SUN, NOV. 8, 2020
ONLINE – to get it listed!

Attending any of these events? Trying any of these activities? Send us photos through Instagram for a chance to be published on our feed. #SavvyTokyo

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2020 Top Jobs in Japan Week 42

Source: Gaijin Pot

If you’re looking to work in Japan, check back here each week as we look through our database of top jobs in Japan posted to GaijinPot and showcase some of the most interesting ones. You can apply directly to these companies by creating a profile on GaijinPot Jobs!

Bsmo Co., Ltd.

Malay speaking e-commerce support / Translator / Social media staff

  • Company: Bsmo Co., Ltd.
  • Salary: Amount not specified
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • English: Fluent
  • Japanese: Not mandatory
  • Application: Must currently reside in Japan

Bsmo is looking for Malay-speaking support staff candidates to join its digital marketing department.

Your main duty will be to help with translating online text and ads from English to Malay, as well as handling email communications and social media responses (mainly Facebook and Instagram).

Japanese skills are appreciated.

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Global Indian International School (GIIS Japan)

Marketing manager

  • Company: Global Indian International School (GIIS Japan)
  • Salary: ¥400,000 ~ ¥500,000 / Month
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • English: Fluent
  • Japanese: Fluent
  • Application: Must currently reside in Japan

The Global Indian International School (GIIS) located in Kasai, is looking for a marketing manager.

Successful candidates will have integrated marketing experience with strong campaign know-how to develop its marketing program build their brands, drive consideration and generate leads across the APAC region.

You must have at least six years of experience in a similar role and advanced knowledge of digital marketing tools/CRM to drive strategy and day-to-day operational.

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Web researcher

  • Company: Appen
  • Salary: Project based
  • Location: Remote
  • English: Fluent
  • Japanese: Fluent
  • Application: Must currently reside in Japan

Studio Ghibli releases 300 more images from six movies free to download online

Gorgeous anime stills include tantalising food scenes from some of the studio’s beloved films. Last month, Studio Ghibli wowed its fans around the world with a present they weren’t expecting: a collection of 400 images from eight feature films free to download online. It was a surprise gesture of kindness from a studio renowned for being […]

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