A day-to-day, true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan.

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

First Japanese bill outlawing racism, hate speech submitted to Upper House / Recent Update

First Japanese bill outlawing racism, hate speech submitted to Upper House

by Tomohiro Osaki - Japan Times

A group of lawmakers made history Friday by submitting a bill to the Upper House that would outlaw racism and hate speech.
Sponsored by lawmakers from the Democratic Party of Japan and Social Democratic Party, the bill would prohibit all forms of racial discrimination, including hate speech, and places responsibility on the state and municipalities to eliminate racism.
The bill is the first anti-discrimination legislation of its kind in Japan and signals that its decadeslong failure to follow through on its signing of the 1969 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination may be coming to an end.
“We believe the bill is very significant,” said foreign-citizens rights group Gaikokujin Jinkenho Renrakukai in a statement Friday. “It is a huge stride forward for the state to proclaim the illegality of racial discrimination and to express its intention to take steps to eradicate it.”
The bill does not, however, hold violators liable for criminal punishment — an apparent bid to avoid opposition from those who might argue it infringes on freedom of expression.
There is also no guarantee that the bill will be examined by an Upper House committee — the first step to Diet passage — let alone be enacted.
Nonetheless, human rights advocates view the bill as a potential breakthrough in their long-frustrated ambition to rein in hate speech targeting ethnic Koreans, which sometimes involves death threats.
This is because the bill, they point out, outlaws not only discriminatory or incendiary remarks directed at specific individuals, but also those aimed at “an unidentified number of persons who are of the same racial origin.”
“This clause is a virtual declaration by the state that it opposes remarks targeting a mass audience, such as ‘Kill Koreans’ and ‘Japanese Only,’ ” the rights group said.
Hiroshi Tanaka, a professor emeritus of sociology at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, likewise welcomed the bill.
Although the law would not penalize violators, Tanaka said it would serve as a deterrent.
“Suppose a group like Zaitokukai ever wants to organize a hate-gathering in a community hall,” Tanaka said, referring to the far-right citizens’ group whose vitriolic rallies often target Koreans. “The law will make it easier for owners of such facilities to refuse to rent their venues for the group, with the rationale that they are duty-bound under the law to prevent racial discrimination.”



Day 2739 ( Apartment Hunting )
Sunday, September 20, 2015

Went apartment hunting today.... Yeah I'm moving. I was looking for somewhere in Kamiooka, 3 stations away from me with lots of shopping areas and a movie theater. So went to an agency and they showed me a place.

But the apartment was up some serious hills and down some serious valleys. It also had a huge graveyard nearby. Nooooope.


Day 2740 ( More Apartment Hunting ) 
Monday, September 21, 2015

Went to Kanazwa Bunko, this time 2 stops away from me in the opposite direction from the one yesterday. Went to another apartment agency and saw information about another apartment. So I went to look at it, still being built but really nice place for not too expensive. It is very near to my current apartment. I can walk there in like 7 mins.

Decided that I'm gonna take this one !!!


Day 2744 ( African American Youth Travel Program - Fund Raiser MC)
Friday, Dec 25, 2015

I was asked to MC this event tonight.  I performed at one back in July I think and met some cool people there. It was great this time again. It's known as the AAYTP or African American Youth Travel Program - An NPO that helps underprivileged African American High Schoolers to come to Japan and get a feel of the culture.

At first I was a bit nervous MCing the program but eventually it all went well.



Saturday, September 19, 2015

My 8th Birthday in Japan

It's My Birthday !!!!!

Day 2718 ( Jurassic World )
Sunday, August 30, 2015

Watched Jurassic World today at a theater in a prefecture called Tochigi. It was really good.

Day 2724 ( Mission Impossible )
Saturday, September 5, 2015

Watched Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation at a theater near my apartment in Yokohama. It was also very exciting and full of action, just like what you can expect from a Mission Impossible movie.



Day 2738 ( It's My Birthday !! )
Saturday, September 19, 2015

I am still finding it hard to believe that it was last year today I celebrated my 34th birthday in Toyama with many friends. This literally almost feel like yesterday.

Jeez time is flying more than I can imagine. This year it was a little quieter. I watched Antman which was exciting and funny.

Then I had a verrry big dinner at Hard Rock Cafe in Minato Mirai, Yokohama.

I got myself these stuff for my birthday this year.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Visit back to Niimi, Okayama, Japan

Wow wow wow.

Haven't updated in a month !!! I'm sure this has been the longest break in the 7 years since I'm blogging.

Day 2692 ( Back From Italy )
Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Landed in Japan from the looong trip to Italy. Again one of my best trips to date. But my flight was delayed and we got back to Japan late. Fortunately, the customs were quick with us and we managed to get a bus to Yokohama. It took about 30 minutes. Had to take a taxi from Yokohama back to my apartment.

Actually we were lucky that the flight got delayed, because we would get stuck in this crowd that got stranded because a circuit got short circuited.



Day 2695 (Back to Niimi 1)
Friday, August 7, 2015

Used my ANA Airline points and traveled to Osaka today. Then took a bus from Osaka to Niimi. It took almost 4 hours.

Had dinner with my old Landlord in Niimi.



Day 2696 (Back to Niimi 2)
Saturday, August 8, 2015

Went to the yearly Niimi Festival today. I try to go every year but some years like last year when I was in Jamaica, I couldn't get to go. Met some old friends, students, teachers and others.

Rocking the Yukata

Old students

More old students.. Who I don't remember but they spotted me out

Cameraman for my TV show and a random old friend

More old students, I remember these

Old friend who loves Jamaican culture

Best friend in Niimi

First Vice principal of my main school and former head of BOE




Day 2700 ( Tour Guide For a Day )
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My company got the contract to run an orientation program of sorts for some new JET ALTs. Its always weird how my company is competing against JET but also working with them at the same time. Oh well, who cares.

I was tour guide for a day for some new JETs. We all did 4 main things;

1) Learn and demonstrated how to use the fire extinguisher properly

2) Watch a movie about Japan and earthquakes

3) Did an earthquake drill

4) Went to a Museum in Tokyo

After all this we met at the Sensoji Temple. And here we are;



Day 2716 ( Dinner at a Jamaican Restaurant with a few Co Workers )
Friday, August 28, 2015

Had dinner with some co-workers after work at Good Wood Terrace Jamaican restaurant in Shibuya.



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Week in Italy / Man Buying Porn, Refused to be served by Female

Yes I'm back ... A week now. And my workplace has been calling me about random stuff since. I'm expecting some changes, as almost every single time I go on vacation, some kind of change takes place.

Before I go in details about my vacation, how about some strange news from Japan?

Man buying porn refuses to be served by female convenience store clerk

Japan has a reputation for outstanding customer service, and as such you’ll usually find courtesy and pleasantness on both sides of retail transactions. As polite as clerks are, most shoppers are just as respectful toward the hard-working individuals who’re ringing their purchases up.
Still, not every customer is a joy to deal with, and one young woman working at a convenience store thought she was encountering an extremely rude male customer who refused to be served by her. As it turns out, though, the man she’d mistaken for a chauvinist was simply following his own particular code of chivalry.
A lot of the stuff you’ll find in a Japanese convenience store is pretty family-friendly. Often, the clientele consists of kids coming in to buy candy, hungry salarymen and Internet writers picking up boxed lunches, or passersby stopping in to grab a cold, refreshing bottle of tea or can of coffee.
Convenience stores also provide some less wholesome vices, though, and occasionally a customer, usually a guy, will become impatient and frustrated when he can’t find his preferred type of booze or the clerk is too slow in retrieving his regular brand of smokes from where they’re kept behind the counter. It’s likely that’s what Twitter user Yuma thought was happening during her shift at her part-time convenience store job.
Yuma was at her position working the register when a crotchety male customer approached and suddenly declared “I haven’t got anything to say to you! Go get your manager!!”
Not sure what the man’s problem was, Yuma did as asked. Her male manager came out and served the customer, but the puzzled part-timer still had no clue what all the fuss had been about, considering she hadn’t said anything at all, let alone something that could have caused offense, prior to the customer’s outburst. So after the man left, Yuma asked her manager, “Did I do something wrong?”
Not at all, according to her manager, who relayed what the customer had told him: “It wouldn’t be right to make a young girl serve me when I’m buying a porno mag, so I had her go get you instead.”
So while he didn’t go about it in the most delicate way, it turns out the customer was at least trying to spare Yuma a bit of embarrassment. The good-natured young lady decided to take the customer’s actions with their intended sentiment. “It was actually kind of cute that he thought to do that,” she tweeted. Now that she knows his MO, though, we’re not sure what the porn-craving customer is going to do the next time he needs his fix.



And the moment you have all been waiting for (or not)......... ha .... Pictures from my week in Italy.

Day 2684 ( Qatar Air to Qatar )
Monday, July 27, 2015

Went to the Haneda airport today, not far from where I live (about 50 mins by train). Saw my German friend Kai who lives in Toyama at the airport by total coincidence.

Took Qatar air from Tokyo to Doha in Qatar. Qatar is the world's richest country per capita. And the population is about 90% expatriate. You will see quite a bit of Africans and South East Asians there. I highly recommend Qatar air.... Top quality service.    



Day 2685 ( Venice, Italy Day 1 )
Tuesday, July 28, 2015

So yeah landed in Qatar then flew from there to the Marco Polo airport in Venice. While in the Qatar airport, a Nepalese guy saw me wearing a Bob Marley shirt and asked if I was from Jamaica. I said yes to which he said people in Nepal love Bob Marley. I remember hearing this from another Nepalese guy who owns a curry restaurant near to my former office in Yokohama. He even showed me a video of Nepalese dancehall/reggae. Oh wait you don't believe me? Ok here it is ...

So yeah... At Venice now.. and the first thing was to find my hotel. Which was near but it took about 45 mins to find it because hey, I don't know the area and maps make absolutely no sense to me unless its a GPS kinda thing.

I then went to a restaurant and had yes the cliche pizza. It was reallllllllllllly good tho. I then did a mini tour of Venice.

Then took a boat stroll on a Gondola. It was very interesting to see around Venice via the Gondola.



Day 2686 (Verona , Italy Day 2 )
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Took a 1hr 30 mins train ride from Venice to another city Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet. My Ghanaian friend Albert who I met in Japan in 2012 so happens to live there. Just coincidence made me know that he was there. I made a post on facebook to which he made a comment. So he showed us around Verona.

The Balcony of Juliet

Statue of Juliet

Random Photo Bomber

Went back to Venice from Verona in the evening. Summer in Italy, the sun starts going down at around 9pm. Venice was filled with beggars.... Actually pretty much all of the cities I went in Italy. My Ghanaian friend said many of the Italians in Verona are racist especially against Blacks. Maaan we don't get a break anywhere it seem. He said they are not so bad in Venice and the other bigger cities, the further south you go in Italy. I was surprised to see so many Africans though.

So started packing up my stuff because tomorrow will be Florence.



Day 2687 ( Florence, Italy Day 3 )
Thursday, July 30, 2015

Took a 2hr train ride from Venice to Florence. Hey on the regular trains, no one inspects the tickets!!! Only if you go to the 1st class seats or take the fast trains. So pretty much people can jump on the train for free. If they do catch you doing this though, you are in biiig trouble.Or maybe not. The people in Italy don't seem to care one bit about what is going on.

Anyway, got to Florence and had no idea where to go to find my hotel. So as much as I was trying to avoid turning on the data roaming on my phone, I had to do it in order to find the hotel. It was about 7 mins away but not so easy to find.

A lady from my work place in Tokyo, told me that I should try the steak in Florence. When she told me, she actually got so excited... so I decided to try it. Cost about 22 Euros (3000 yen/US $25) but it was sooooooooo good. Also ate a lot of vegetables there. There was no Italian dressing... Vegetables were served with olive oil, salt and this other thing you spray on it, can't remember the name.

The Florence Cathedral (Duomo), started in 1296 and completed in 1436. A World Heritage Site.  

Touching the Uffizi Museum

This guy went to Jamaica in April this year

Bought a watch from Fossil

Florence was fun. I like this city. I remember eating at a restaurant and getting some stares though. My guess is that its not normal for blacks to eat at restaurants here???? I don't know.



Day 2688 ( Pisa, Italy Day 4 )
Friday, July 31, 2015

Did I mention that Italy is freaking hot !!! It's like the sun is shinning only there. Took a 1 hour train ride from Florence to Pisa today. Had to walk for about 30 mins in the Sun to get to the Leaning Tower of Pisa another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After leaving the leaning tower, I bought a Bvlgari cologne there in Pisa at a shop name Coin

Afterwards, I went back to Florence and visited the Uffizi Museum. Famous for the original paintings of artists like Michelangelo and Raphael. One of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world.

Ceiling... Different pictures on all the ceilings

The birth of Venus

Madona of the Goldfinch by Raphael

My feet were tired from walking all day. Then had to go back to the hotel to pack for tomorrow and head to Rome. I must say this has been one of the best trips so far in my life.



Day 2689 ( Rome - Italy Day 5 )
Saturday, August 1, 2015

Went to Rome from Florence by fast train. It took 2hrs. Again, the first thing after arriving, was to find the hotel. This time, the hotel was near and very easy to find. Only 5 mins from the station. After checking in, I walked to the Colosseum, yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was about a 20 mins walk from the hotel and was quite impressive. Can you believe this was built between 70-80AD?

After spending some hours in the Colosseum - the largest Amphitheater ever built, I walked a bit around Rome to check out some more hot spots. Like .....

Random Roman Architecture Buildings

Vittorianno - The symbol of New Italy

The Fountain of Trevi - Under reconstruction

The Spanish Steps

And another random building



Day 2690 ( The Vatican City - Italy Day 6)
Sunday, August 2, 2015

Another hot day in Italy. Took a bus to the Vatican city, which is the smallest country in the world by size and population. It is a country but owned by the Holy See - Head quarters for all Catholics and controlled by the Pope. So the pope is pretty much a president in his capacity.

I wanted to see inside St. Peter's cathedral but the line was possibly the longest line I've ever seen anywhere... And it was in the sun !!! I'm estimating a 3 hrs wait. So just took some pictures outside. It is believed that Peter, the apostle of Christ came here and established the church. In other words, he was the first pope.

After Vatican city, went to the mouth of truth ..... Another loong line of mostly Asian tourists... Why?



Day 2691 ( Rome, Italy Day 7 )
Monday, August 3, 2015

Well it's time to leave Italy. It was a good 1 week. While there, it felt like it was about a month. But looking back it flew by really quickly. I would definitely come back here again but spend less time in Rome.

Checked out of the hotel but stayed in the lobby for about 2 hours. We have to pay like 7-15 Euro for city tax after checking out of each hotel. After checking out, I stored my luggage near the station, then walked around a bit and did some last minute shopping.

Went back for my luggage then took a train to the airport in Rome. Here is a 8 mins video I made of the trip to Italy. Enjoy.