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“FOR TAKA AND MANA” Race and Japan’s Judiciary A primer by ARUDOU Debito Associate “FOR TAKA AND MANA” Race and Japan’s Judiciary A primer by ARUDOU Debito Associate Professor, Hokkaido Information University 2

FOR AMY AND ANNA (Amy (left) and Anna Sugawara Aldwinckle 1996) 3 FOR AMY AND ANNA (Amy (left) and Anna Sugawara Aldwinckle 1996) 3

DISCLAIMER I am not a qualified legal scholar. I am an activist. And my DISCLAIMER I am not a qualified legal scholar. I am an activist. And my research and conclusions in this field are purposefully colored by my activism. That acknowledged, let’s continue: 4

Trends I am seeing in the J judiciary u Criminal Court cases where if Trends I am seeing in the J judiciary u Criminal Court cases where if it is NJ crime committed against Japanese, heavy punishment. But if it is Japanese on NJ crime, or NJ-NJ crime, lax judicial standards. u Civil Court cases where NJ winning is a crapshoot. Not a precedent based system. u Family Court cases where NJ winning is practically nonexistent, and NJ plaintiffs are at a severe disadvantage. 5

Criminal Court Cases u Idubor Case (2006 -7): Nigerian yesterday sentenced to 3 years Criminal Court Cases u Idubor Case (2006 -7): Nigerian yesterday sentenced to 3 years for alleged J rape despite no material evidence. www. debito. org/index. php/? p=831 u Lucie Blackman Case (2006): J defendant acquitted of her rape, murder (life conviction on other rapes, murder). www. debito. org/index. php/? p=356 6

Criminal Court Cases u Valentine Case (2003 -7): Police exonerated of responsibility despite denying Criminal Court Cases u Valentine Case (2003 -7): Police exonerated of responsibility despite denying medical care to injured Nigerian prisoner in their custody, who wound up crippled. www. debito. org/japantimes 081407. html u Jane Doe Case (2002 -7): Police refuse to charge anyone in alleged NJ rape of Australian woman, exonerated of police harassment of woman claimant. www. debito. org/index. php/? p=818 7

NJ disadvantages in Criminal Court Cases u Uncertified standards for courtroom/police translations. u Confessions NJ disadvantages in Criminal Court Cases u Uncertified standards for courtroom/police translations. u Confessions extracted through unrecorded, torturous procedures, including language barrier. u “NJ shouldn’t be here anyway if they’re going to cause trouble” factor. u Convictions at 99% for everyone, but no chance of bail for NJ (seen as flight risk). Meaning freer hand for police interrogations. u NJ being singled out for racial profiling by police www. debito. org/whattodoif. html u NJ can commit more crimes than J (ex: J cannot commit visa violations, and NJ can be jailed long enough to run out visa, or have it cancelled) 8

Civil Court Cases u Ana Bortz Case (1998 -9): Brazilian refused entry to “Japanese Civil Court Cases u Ana Bortz Case (1998 -9): Brazilian refused entry to “Japanese Only” jewelry store wins under UN treaty. www. jpri. org/publications/ workingpapers/wp 88. html u Otaru Onsens Case (1999 -2005): American, German, and naturalized J (guess who) win against “Japanese Only” bathhouse, lose against do-nothing Otaru City govt. www. debito. org/otarulawsuit. html 9

Civil Court Cases u Mc. Gowan Case (2004 -6): African-American refused entry into eyeglass Civil Court Cases u Mc. Gowan Case (2004 -6): African-American refused entry into eyeglass store, loses on technicality in lower court, wins on appeal. www. debito. org/mcgowanhanketsu. html u Kim Doe Case (2003 -7): Zainichi Korean wins against exclusionary landlord after rental contract signed. www. debito. org/index. php/? p=831 10

Civil Court Cases u U Hoden Case (2000 -2007): Daughter of naturalized Chinese and Civil Court Cases u U Hoden Case (2000 -2007): Daughter of naturalized Chinese and J bullied to the point of medically-certified PTSD, civil suit against parents of bullies. Decision due Dec 22, 2007. www. debito. org/index. php/? p=59 11

NJ disadvantages in Civil Court Cases u Not Japanese citizens, so kokumin grey protections NJ disadvantages in Civil Court Cases u Not Japanese citizens, so kokumin grey protections of laws and Constitution can be exploited by defense/judges. u Problems put down to cultural issues, misunderstandings. u “Rational Discrimination” holds water as legal argument. u Dearth of multilingual legal counsel. u Pressure to settle (wakai), avoid legal precedent or judgments. u Intense mediations not always explained. 12

Family Court Cases u. Murray Wood Case: Plaintiff wins in Canadian courts, loses in Family Court Cases u. Murray Wood Case: Plaintiff wins in Canadian courts, loses in J courts. u. Not a single precedent of NJ being awarded custody. u. More cases at www. crnjapan. com u. Lawyer friend’s opinion: judiciary wants to keep J kids here due to low birth rate. 13

Disadvantages for NJ in Family Court Cases u NJ have no koseki (Family Registry), Disadvantages for NJ in Family Court Cases u NJ have no koseki (Family Registry), so not recognized as family unit to award children to. u NJ visas often dependent on marital status; can’t stay after divorce. u No real punishment for perjury--lies rampant, and native speakers are better liars. u Mediation process (choutei) long, arduous, no legal force, and must damn partner www. debito. org/ thedivorce. html u No joint custody, visitation rights & child support unenforced. 14

CONCLUSIONS u Japan’s divorce rate (95% of seekers are women) is now skyrocketing--rose 6. CONCLUSIONS u Japan’s divorce rate (95% of seekers are women) is now skyrocketing--rose 6. 1% in April 2007 alone. www. debito. org/index. php/? p=823 u Post-divorce Japan is a land of Deadbeat Dads and Fortress Moms. u Seeking protection through the Japanese judiciary will probably not work for NJ, so consider alternative methods. 15

CONCLUSIONS u Hague Convention on the Rights of the Child--not signed by Japan. But CONCLUSIONS u Hague Convention on the Rights of the Child--not signed by Japan. But doesn’t matter. Is administrative thing, obfuscates--signing is merely housekeeping. u UN Convention on the Rights of the Child--Sec 9 -Japan has already signed. Guarantees visitation to both parents. u Japan’s judiciary is not independent. You can’t enforce laws properly and impartially when judges are employees of the State. u Not so much a matter of the parents’ rights--the child’s rights are being violated. Too often overlooked 16

More on this and other issues: www. debito. org ISBN 4 7503 9018 6 More on this and other issues: www. debito. org ISBN 4 7503 9018 6 English version, Japanese version ISBN 4 7503 9001 9 THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ATTENDING THIS PRESENTATION! 17

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