Arudou’s anonymous advocate


Japan Times’ letter page decided today to print a letter backing Mr Arudou from a NAME WITHHELD in Kobe, although I suspect the address of the poster may be Sannomiya Daiei. It’s pretty sad that the writer feels unwilling to reveal his or her name, and the Japan Times is willing to post such a mild message anonymously.

And talking of Mr Grey, back when he went a bit off the rails and spammed me up, I suspect he did that then reported to Mr Arudou that the Tepidistos virused him up. Fortunately it appeared that Mr Arudou applied a rare bit of editorial discretion, if my theory was correct.

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  1. Japan Times tells Mr Arudo the comments were overwhelmingly negative towards his standpoint and Mr Arudo publicly or personally asks his fellows to write something good about it and Japan Times will post positive comments on JT.
    It is called “Yarase” in Japanese.

  2. Couldn’t you write this about any op-ed author? What a waste of space.

  3. Midfield Marauder

    Got to agree. Ken, surely you have better things to do with your time than this shit?

  4. Actually, I was talking about Debito.

  5. I think everyone bar Midfield knew you were!

  6. I’m pretty sure M&M knew as well.

  7. So, basically, some of debito’s few remaining fans are too embarrassed to attach their name to even a simple freedom of expression argument, because it’s in his defense?

    Message received. :wink:

  8. beneaththewheel

    Honestly, I read it how MM read it.

  9. I wasn’t aware that bigotry was “part of the tradition of the free press”.

  10. I thought that letter seemed incredibly apologetic, specially coming as it did after the two critical ones. It was as if he was saying “Yes, it is true the man has imploded but anyway…..”. If I were Arudou I would not have welcomed it.

  11. No no, it’s all our fault, if we weren’t internet stalkers collecting names of the 6.3 unique individuals at commentators would feel safe revealing who they really were.

  12. スラジュさんのケースについて有道氏のブログにあったので、一応参考のためにここに(関係ないですが)投稿しておきます。

    The truth as to how and why Mr.Suraji died should be told both by prosecutors and the media.

    A suspicious death
    Dec 31st 2010, 7:03 by K.C. | TOKYO

    Although they are reported to have continued working as normal since Mr Suraj’s death, they could face charges of violence and cruelty resulting in death, a Chiba police officer told the Japan Times. (The English-language newspaper has published strong coverage of the case, in stark contrast with the Japanese press, which has largely ignored it.)

    A nation’s bouncers
    A suspicious death in police custody
    May 13th 2010

    The topic is one Japanese society would rather avoid. The press barely reported it. Still, when her name appeared online, she was fired from her job lest the incident sully her firm’s name.

    Not true.

    Each Japan Times article on the death of Suraji came after Japanese articles to the same effect.
    And major newspapers reported the case..

    In addition, I have absolutely no idea why not just the Japanese media but the supporters including the lawyers haven’t reported the widow was fired from her job lest the incident sully her name. I doubt this story is backed up, but I might be wrong. Tell me if somebody knows the truth

    Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011
    .Justice stalled in brutal death of deportee
    Autopsy suggests immigration officers used excessive force in restraining Ghanaian

    The case has been discussed in Parliament, where security minister Baroness Neville-Jones called it “extraordinarily regrettable.”

    Suraj has received no such honors. The 45-year-old’s case has largely been ignored in the Japanese media and no politician has answered for his death. An investigation by Chiba prosecutors appears to have stalled. There has been no explanation or apology from the authorities.

    Not entirely accurate.
    It is true that an investigation by Chiba prosecutors appears to have stalled, Pinkydragon ~ SYI (収容者友人有志一同: Immigration Detainee’s Friends) Blog ~


    But even Immigration Detainee’s Friends’blog admits that relatively large number of the media reported this incident.

    第174回国会 法務委員会 第12号

    Mr.Suraji’s case was discussed in Parliament and it is still under investigation.


    Three days after the incident 法務省入国管理局山中警備課長 a section chief of an immigration security told Mr Suraj’s widow “We are sorry that they have done it.”

    2011年11月7日 月曜日


    The supporter felt the apology was insincere, and the widow now demands the truth be uncovered through the trial and the official apology be made.

    Justice in Japan
    An ugly decision
    The Economist Nov 4th 2011, 8:05 by K.N.C.

    Now, it looks like the case will be dropped completely—and a man’s death go unpunished. Prosecutors in Chiba prefecture, where Tokyo’s Narita airport is located, have decided not to indict the ten officers who carried Abubakar Awudu Suraj’s unconscious body onto an Air Egypt flight in March 2010 before he was declared dead, according to a new report in the Yomiuri Shimbun.
    Addendum, 5 November 2011: When The Economist requested an interview with the Chiba prosecutor’s office, the answer was a firm no

     As of 5 November 2011,



     The Supporter group noticed the Yomiuri article but noted that since this was not official announcement, it would check Chiba prosecutor’s office later.

    As of 7 November 2011,


     The lawyers contacted the Chiba prosecutors and got the response that Chiba prosecutor’s office had nothing to do with the news report and can’t say anything about the plan to prosecute.

    The widow was shocked and hurt by the unfounded story. They hope the media will act responsibly.

    It is most likely that Yomiuri as well as Economist were wrong.

     I hope that truth will be revealed. The prosecutor’s office should provide the clear explanation of Mr. Suraji’s death.
     But that does not mean I like the way the news articles report the case. Yomiuri’s as well as Economist articles were unfounded. They should check up the fact before they post the articles. Besides, the reporters should read Japanese articles; I don’t think they have checked Japanese articles sincerely. My guess is that the reporter from Economist assumed the all Japanese articles were translated into English and since he could only find few articles in English, he concluded that Japanese newspapers ignored the case OR he knowingly misreported the way Japanese media reported it. 
     It is like this guy asking ”Why isn’t the BBC telling us how 333 Blacks were killed in police custody since 1998, without a single conviction?”
    The answer is probably because he didn’t bother to check the fact.

    Deaths in police custody since 1998: 333; officers convicted: none
    Caroline Davies
    The Guardian, Friday 3 December 2010

    Out of the total of 333 deaths, 87 people had been restrained, most commonly being physically held down by officers. In 16 of those cases, restraint was linked directly to the death, and four were classed as “positional asphyxia”.

    The majority were from natural causes, with nearly three-quarters relating to drug or alcohol abuse.
    Those who died in custody were mostly white (75%), male (90%) and aged between 25 and 44.

    The truth should be revealed and the justice should be done but the articles and narratives without checking facts will weaken the claim for the justice and will lead to suspicion of some ulterior motive

  13. I don’t think anyone is claiming Debito doesn’t have the right to free speech.

    As do his critics.

    I’ve probably submitted over 20 comments to Debito’s blog over the last couple of years, and to date I think I’ve had one that got through his self-preservation filter. The majority were critical of his views without being abusive. But, I think it’s long been known that Debito is only interested in free speech when it suits him.

  14. Besides, the reporters should read Japanese articles; I don’t think they have checked Japanese articles sincerely

    I guarantee they don’t read Japanese articles or Japanese sources. Even large news sources like CNN don’t check Japanese sources or news before going off half-cocked. They might have 1 or 2 people in the entire organization that can even understand the language.

    Their only source on the matter would have been Japan Times. This is the insidious nature of having a 3rd-rate tabloid acting as Japan’s de facto portal to the English-speaking world. Especially one that masquerades with a name like “Japan Times”.

  15. Can I just ask another important point?

    What is the vetting process to get a Letter to the Editor printed under your “name” in the JT?
    Do you basically just need an email address?

    (Or more directly, what is the chance that a LttE in the JT is just a sockpuppet of the person being praised or one of their fans? debito, tepido, or whoever)

  16. I’ve never had them contact me for my submissions through their web site. Has there ever been a case of impersonation on the JT letters page?

  17. I wouldn’t say impersonation. But it sure sounds easy for any committed fan to just make up a name or 5, add in a random Japanese city, and generate fan mail for whoever/whatever.

    Seems silly, but such a thing would be important for those who like to “keep score” by quantity of letters, rather than the content.

    anti-debito letters being : Debito is wrong, because of cited sources A,B,C and D.
    pro-debito letters being: I like debito! His critics are meanies!

    By any rational standard, one of the former trumps all of the latter. So for a debito critic, there’s no point to try and boost numbers through fakery. We already win on merit.

    I suspect that thinking does not apply to the committed debito fan.

  18. On the other hand, a more critical review:

    …(“The costly fallout of tatemae and Japan’s culture of deceit,” Nov. 1) paints with indefensibly broad strokes, completely failing to establish how tatemae culture — essentially a social mechanism to prevent hurt feelings on the part of the listener — somehow translates into Japan being a vast sea of lies.

    Comes from a known and trusted source:

  19. Well, considering what he did when Eido called him out I think it’s safe to say that Scott and Olaf will soon be joining Eido on David’s “’s Richard Milhous Nixon memorial enemies list”…

  20. Though it doesn’t excuse the general crappy reporting on Japan, the restrictive kisha club systems are part of the problem if western outlets are denied seats at press conferences.

  21. Very interesting.

    Daniel Kahl did a great job of translating news right after the earthquake on twitter. It was very helpful for me to understand all the nuclear jargon on TV all the time.

  22. Is being a member tax deductible? Oh, it’s not an organization based in Japan, I see. Too bad.

    OT: Is the Korea Times and Japan Times using some sort of cookie-cutter “English version of Asian language news for tourists and English-language-learners” formula for their layout, editorial style, and content selection? The papers, offline and online, seem to be eerily alike to me.

  23. Speaking of anonymity…

    debito’s “use an alias because the 63 stalkerz will getcha!!!11!” tactic is backfiring, as debito fans are accusing each other of being “plants” from tepido when they get into a argument about whose claims of racism are at the proper level of exaggeration. :facepalm:
    “Going by your posts over the recent weeks,you really need a break from Japan, before you explode. Either that or you’re a plant from the other stalking site, giving them a reason to ridicule this place. Calm down.”

    Other stalking site? I thought there was only one. US!!! There are others? This cannot stand!
    But I like the Voldemort treatment. We are The-Site-Which-Cannot-Be-Named? :roll:
    Too dangerous for young viewers (at, I guess. (Hint: If they actually read the site, they’d know that we do believe racism exists in Japan. Such that debito’s Boy Who Cried Racist claims are unnecessary and counterproductive.)
    “I’m legit here. I’m an unequivocal supporter of Debito’s activism. I have strong views, so shoot me. You’re entitled to disagree, and Debito will print your counterarguments here.

    Will he?! As long as you don’t disagree with him, that is!
    Good one. :lol:

    “unequivocal supporter”?
    I’m pretty sure all the remaining fans are that. They’d have to be.
    Or maybe again, it’s yet another case of “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” from

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