Update on Foreigner Crime File

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    Update: FamilyMart has issued an apology for the sale of the magazine, so we are calling off our boycott on FamilyMart.

    [More information here.]

    -Some news on the Foreigner Crime File / FamilyMart issue-

    According to Debito, FamilyMart Japan will remove the publication from their shelves [within a week]:

    Thank you very much for sending e-mail to our ‘info@’ and bringing this matter to our attention.

    FamilyMart Japan will have this publication off their shelves within 7days.

    Once again, thank you so much for contacting us and will continually strive to improve the quality of our
    store to meet up to your expectation of Famima!! as your local community store.

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to let us know.

    Hidenari Sato

    That doesn’t look like an apology to me. Simply removing the item from shelves after getting caught selling racist materials is not enough. Are they still buying publications from Eichi Mook? Have they given any assurances that this kind of thing will not happen in the future? They put hundreds, possibly thousands, of racist magazines on the shelves of their convenience stores, no doubt selling more than a few of them. Where is FamilyMart’s apology?

    As some of you have pointed out, this statement might just mean that FamilyMart is doing absolutely nothing in response to complaints, as the average shelf life of a magazine is usually about a week anyway….

    The Guardian has posted a special report on Gaijin Ura File, including an interview with activist Debito Arudou:

    The magazine, which is available in mainstream bookstores and from Amazon Japan, makes liberal use of racial epithets and provocative headlines directed mainly at favourite targets of Japanese xenophobes: Iranians, Chinese, Koreans and US servicemen.

    Human rights activists said the magazine was indicative of the climate of fear of foreigners created by conservative newspapers and politicians, notably the governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara.

    “It goes beyond being puerile and into the realm of encouraging hatred of foreigners,” Debito Arudou, a naturalised Japanese citizen, told the Guardian. “The fact that this is available in major bookstores is a definite cause of concern. It would be tantamount to hate speech in some societies.”

    One section is devoted to the alleged tricks foreign-run brothels use to fleece inebriated Japanese salarymen, while another features a comic strip retelling, in graphic detail, the murders of four members of a Japanese family by three Chinese men in 2003.

    An “Alien Criminal Worst 10” lists notorious crimes involving foreigners from recent years, including the case of Anita Alvarado, the “Chilean geisha” blamed by some for forcing her bureaucrat husband, Yuji Chida, to embezzle an estimated 800m yen from a local government. Mr Chida, who is Japanese, is serving a 13-year prison sentence.

    The magazine’s writers are equally disturbed by the apparent success foreign men have with Japanese women: hence a double-page spread of long-lens photographs of multinational couples in mildly compromising, but apparently consensual, positions.

    Several bloggers have also reported on the Magazine/Boycott of FamilyMart:

    Revver user TheGaijin has also posted a video of the magazine on the shelves in a FamilyMart:

    Don’t let this issue die, folks!

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