Tag Archives: Japan

Japan News | Women

Medical university in Tokyo found to have altered women candidates’ scores on entrance exam
  • A probe found that Tokyo Medical University, one of Japan’s most prestigious medical schools, systematically boosted male applicants’ scores while cutting female applicants’ in an effort to reduce women’s admission to the school.
  • Investigators discovered that scores on the exam had been affected for at least a decade, driven by admissions officers’ belief that parental obligations would interfere with women’s commitment to the profession.
  • The discovery was found amidst a broader investigation into corruption involving the alleged admission of a government official’s child in exchange for subsidies.
Read

Tokyo Medical University admits subtracting points from repeat male applicants’ scores and boosting others to secure donations” (The Japan Times | August 2018)

‘Makes me shake with rage’ – Japan probe shows university cut women’s test scores” (Reuters | August 2018)

‘Betrayed’: victims of Tokyo medical school scandal speak out” (The Guardian | August 2018)

Japan News | Migrants & Refugees

Death of Vietnamese man in Japanese immigration center renews concerns about immigration protocols
  • Van Huan Nguyen died in the East Japan Immigration Center in Ibaraki prefecture northeast of Tokyo.
  • Nguyen had originally come to Japan as one of more than 11,000 refugees the country took in in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, though the cause of his detention has not been stated.
  • Nguyen’s death is one of more than a dozen in immigration detention facilities since 2006 and comes as Japan’s at times suspicious and unwelcoming treatment of migrants and asylum-seekers—including poor medical care in detention, familial separation, and its provisional release conditions—has faced renewed international scrutiny.
Read

Vietnamese detainee dies in Japan’s immigration center: sources” (Reuters | March 2017)

Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families” (Reuters | November 2016)

Inmates on hunger strike at Japanese immigration detention centre” (Reuters | July 2016)

(Image Credit: Yuyu Shino/Reuters)

Japan News | Koreans & Chinese

Growing scandal over ultra-nationalist kindergarten exposes battle over education in Japan
  • The Tsukamoto Kindergarten has drawn attention for promoting notions of Japanese “purity” and “uniformity” and racist statements made about Koreans and Chinese.
  • Ideological education has become a growing point of contention between liberals and conservatives, with the former worrying that so-called “traditional education” indoctrinates young children with the same ultranationalist spirit that fueled Japanese imperial expansion and led to World War II.
  • The school sits at the center of an expanding political scandal involving Japan’s First Lady and a suspicious deal that allowed the land on which the school was built to be purchased from the government at a steep discount.
Read

Nationalist Osaka preschool draws heat for distributing slurs against Koreans and Chinese” (The Japan Times | February 2017)

Bigotry and Fraud Scandal at Kindergarten Linked to Japan’s First Lady” (The New York Times | February 2017)

Shinzo Abe and wife under pressure over ties to ultra-nationalist school” (The Guardian | February 2017)

(Image Credit: Ha Kwiyeon/Reuters, via The New York Times)

Japan Feature | Refugees & Immigrants

The Narrow Lane of Life for Refugees in Japan

“The truth is I have lived in Japan for such a long time. … All I want to do is work and carry out a decent life.”

Despite international pressure, Japan has allowed only a trickle of politically persecuted and war-fleeing migrants to make their way into the country, with migrants only accounting for 2% of the population. The government’s economy-first stance has led some to question political blindness to the relationship between immigration and the economy, and Japan’s declining birth rate and aging population have led pro-immigration advocates and the business community alike to push for a relaxation of immigration policies.

The New York Times takes a closer look at the situation facing Kurdish refugees in the context of Japan’s political and cultural resistance to immigration. Visa-free travel made Japan an alluring destination as violence in the 1990s led many Turkish Kurds to look abroad for relief from conflict, but arrivals have found significant resistance to demographic change in the country. The same fears that drive anti-immigrant sentiment globally have been amplified in the largely ethnically homogeneous echo chamber of Japan: ignorance of cultural backgrounds, limited economic prospects, and hyperpolicing have created a narrow lane for Kurds to thrive.

Read more:
Ethnic Kurds Find Haven, but No Home, in Insular Japan” (The New York Times)

(Image Credit: Ko Sasaki/The New York Times)

Japan Feature | Transgender

The Ambivalence of Pathologizing Transgenderism

Bucking the trend in many developed countries to depathologize the mind-body incongruence at the heart of trans identity, Japan has seen resistance to international efforts to eliminate medical classifications of transgenderism as a disorder. A medical diagnosis of gender identity disorder (GID) has at times been necessary to secure the rights to the myriad legal and medical changes necessary to confirm an individual’s gender identity in the eyes of the state.

Much as disability advocates have fought to secure recognition, acceptance, and accommodation of those with disabilities and chronic illnesses in society, some Japanese trans activists and medical professionals have advocated for the continued recognition of GID and the accommodations necessary for trans people to live healthy lives. BuzzFeed News takes a look at the modern history of transgender visibility in Japan, the ambivalent reaction to declassification attempts, and the broader shift in medicine from corrective to adaptive approaches to addressing “illness” in society.

Read:
Why Transgender People In Japan Prefer To Be Told They Have A ‘Disorder’” (BuzzFeed News)

Related:
First GID doctors certified in Japan” (The Japan Times)

(Image Credit:  Kate Ferro/BuzzFeed News)

Japan News | People with Disabilities

Mass stabbing attack at facility for the disabled in Japan leaves at least 19 dead, dozens wounded
  • The Tsukui Yamayuri-en care facility in Sagamihara, an hour west of Tokyo, came under attack in the early morning hours by a former employee.
  • The knife attack was reportedly the worst mass killing in the country in decades, with additional reports of as many as 45 wounded.
  • The attacker allegedly indicated an anti-disability motive upon turning himself in.

Read more:
Man fatally stabs 15, wounds 45 in predawn attack at Kanagawa care facility, is arrested” (The Japan Times)
Japan knife attack: 15 killed and dozens wounded in stabbing” (The Guardian)
Knife Attack Kills at Least 15 in Tokyo Suburb” (The New York Times)

(Image Credit: via The Japan Times)

Citations | Refugee Education

Citations
Education for Refugees, from Preschool to Professorship

Global emergencies like war, natural disaster, and health pandemics have uprooted families and disrupted education at all levels as displaced students have been deprived of access to schools. Students in early childhood, primary, secondary, and higher education as well as teachers, professors, and other educational professionals have experienced delayed educational and professional development during times of crisis, disabling dreams and prospects for the future. Whether in Malaysia, Greece, or Lebanon, displaced communities have struggled to adjust to lost livelihoods, new cultures, and uncertain futures.

As the average duration of displacement has dramatically increased over the last three decades, international humanitarian organizations have been pressed to develop long-term programs and partnerships to replace short-term emergency educational provision. These challenges have been compounded by the disproportionate burden of education in emergencies shouldered by developing countries, where refugee populations vastly outnumber those in high-income countries. Over time, the educational pipeline has come to look less like a pipe than a funnel, with progressive exclusion and decreasing resources constraining opportunity as refugee children age. Workarounds developed in earlier stages have at times installed barriers for students at more advanced education stages as credentialing standardization and selective admissions disadvantage students from newly developed, temporary, and informal educational institutions outside of the national curriculum.

From connected learning hubs in refugee camps in Kenya to elementary classrooms in Canada, technological innovation and international coordination have worked to connect displaced students to well-resourced institutions and support educational continuity through crises. Meanwhile, new momentum in the development of transnational platforms for educational financing, advising, and service delivery has reinvigorated the global education community and increased commitment to education for all, regardless of circumstance. Here is a look at select recent news, features, and open research on and resources for global refugee education and scholar protection: Continue reading Citations | Refugee Education