Foreign-born residents in Japan sue government for alleged racial profiling

Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

The three plaintiffs outdoors the Tokyo District Court on January 29, 2024.


Three foreign-born residents in Japan are suing the nation’s government over alleged racial profiling, highlighting an ongoing debate about Japanese identification and nationality.

The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in the Tokyo National Court and held a information convention with their attorneys on Monday, based on public broadcaster NHK.

The swimsuit alleges they had been questioned by police on the premise of their race, pores and skin colour, nationality, and different elements, constituting discrimination in violation of Japan’s structure, NHK reported.

They are searching for 3 million yen (about $20,355) in compensation per individual from the nationwide government, the Tokyo metropolitan government, and the Aichi prefectural government.

One plaintiff got here to Japan from India after marrying his spouse, and has lived there for greater than 20 years, NHK reported. Since then, he has been repeatedly stopped and questioned by law enforcement officials on the road, generally twice a day. It bought so unhealthy he grew to become afraid to go away the home at instances, he mentioned, based on NHK.

Another plaintiff, a Pakistani-born Japanese citizen, mentioned through the information convention, “I think that people in Japan have the image that foreigners who look like foreigners commit crimes.”

“I have been cooperating with (police) because I thought it was important for maintaining public safety, but when it happened not once but more than 10 times, I began to have doubts indeed,” he added, based on NHK.

The third plaintiff is an American-born man who mentioned he hoped to lift consciousness of the problem among the many Japanese inhabitants, according to Reuters.

Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

The three plaintiffs and their authorized crew stroll outdoors the Tokyo District Court on January 29, 2024.

When contacted by CNN, the Aichi government declined to touch upon the precise case — however mentioned its law enforcement officials obtain coaching with “respect for human rights,” and are dedicated to conducting their duties in accordance with the prefecture’s human rights ordinance.

The Tokyo government additionally declined to touch upon the case, however mentioned it had enacted a human rights ordinance in 2019, offered related coaching for its police, and was “conducting educational activities to respect the human rights of citizens, including foreign nationals, and to eliminate discrimination.”

Japan is an ethnically homogenous nation with comparatively low ranges of immigration, which in latest years has prompted authorities to push for extra foreign residents and workers to plug gaps left by an getting older inhabitants.

Japan has struggled to steadiness its conservative views on immigration with the necessity for new and youthful staff, although a 2018 Pew survey confirmed that 59% of Japanese folks believed immigrants would make the nation stronger.

The nation’s excessive ethnic homogeneity means individuals who look completely different can appeal to undesirable consideration, and really feel othered even when they determine as Japanese – particularly these with darker pores and skin.

For occasion, people who are “hafu” – the Japanese phrase for “half,” referring to those that are ethnically half Japanese – have described being handled as foreigners even when they’re Japanese nationals.

A variety of controversies over the years have highlighted these prejudices, and raised questions on magnificence requirements and what it means to be Japanese. In 2019, noodle firm Nissin apologized after being accused of “whitewashing” tennis star Naomi Osaka – who’s of Japanese and Haitian heritage – in an animated advert that depicted her with pale pores and skin, brown hair and Caucasian options.

And simply this month, a nationwide beauty pageant made waves by crowning Ukrainian-born mannequin Karolina Shiino because the “Foremost Beauty of All Japanese Women.” Some critics questioned whether or not somebody with out Japanese ancestry might symbolize the nation’s magnificence beliefs.

But Shiino, a naturalized citizen who has lived in Nagoya since she was 5 years outdated and speaks fluent Japanese, mentioned she thought-about herself “absolutely Japanese,” and wished to be acknowledged as such.

“After all, we live in an era of diversity — where diversity is needed,” she mentioned.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button