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An open letter to Ayako Sono

Dear Ms Sono 
One of this country’s largest newspapers took the occasion of the Founding of Japan holiday earlier this week to publish a column by a noted author who advocates apartheid. Japan should solve the problem of a dwindling population by bringing in foreign workers, she wrote, but it should make sure that they live segregated from the natives.
I read that excerpt in The Daily Beast. You can read the full article here.

As a South African currently living in Japan, I'd like to remind you that in apartheid South Africa you would’ve been classified as non-white or, at best, “honorary white”.


Japanese people were counted as honorary whites. Why this special status? When Yawata Iron & Steel Co purchased 5 million tons of iron from South Africa in the 1960s, worth more than $250 million, the South African government realized that it might not be a good idea to ban Japanese trade delegates to black townships. All Japanese people would henceforth be regarded as white, and they had almost the same rights as whites, except that they couldn’t vote, were exempt from conscription and couldn’t have sex with white people. If you’d like to read a complete report, I recommend this paper called "The Policy of Apartheid and the Japanese in the Republic of South Africa" by Seiro Kawasaki.

Would you approve of your own secondary status in South Africa, Ms Sono, or does the very idea of living in the third-world country that you wish to emulate actually scare you to death? Oh, the dirt, the crime, the black people!

Also, what about mixed marriages and – further horror! – hafu children? Currently 5% of marriages in Japan are international (link, link, link). It's a small percentage, but the number has been rising steadily. Roughly 80% of these involve Japanese men marrying Chinese and other Asian women. (Perhaps Japanese women aren't marrying because they don't subscribe to your other belief that women should quit working as soon as they have children. Who knows?) Would these international couples live in segregated areas and enjoy conjugal rights every Saturday night? Can't be Friday. That's izakaya night.

Or would your next logical step after segregated living areas be apartheid South Africa's other monument to greatness, the Immorality Act, which was abolished in 1985? Heard of that? It was a law that forbid sex between white and any other race. You can read about it in English here, and in Japanese here.

I assume you'd love to enforce that law: pure Japanese marriages with pure-blooded, unsullied Japanese babies, ensuring a truly beautiful country. You want us to clean your toilets and teach you English, but Amaterasu forbid anything else.

Incidentally, I'm fully aware of the fact that the Sankei Shimbun is a far-right publication, but it's closely aligned with Prime Minister Abe's administration, and by publishing this opinion on National Foundation Day, the newspaper gives (as Jeff Kingston says in the article in The Daily Beast) "a prominent platform to the country’s lunatic fringe".

So. Here's an open invitation to you: Come with me to South Africa. Let me show you the legacy of apartheid, let me tell you about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, let me invite you to a brawl in our parliament, let me entertain you with Karoo lamb chops and Klippies & Coke, let me take you to areas where everybody will immediately assume you're Chinese and/or Taiwanese, let me watch as you listen to Jackie Chan jokes or comments about prostitu …

Mind you, you're a bit mature for that. Ah well. You can be the madam.

Let me know when you'd like to go.

Die uwe,

Ru, die barbaar uit die suide

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