Thursday, April 2, 2009

Asahi Shimbun employee in discriminatory comment shame

The Daily Yomiuri reports that an Asahi Shimbun employee has been posting discriminatory remarks on an internet bulletin board about marginalized communities and mentally ill people. Japan Probe interprets marginalized communities to mean the Burakumin who traditionally held 'impure' jobs (executioners, undertakers, leather workers) that made them outcasts. I was unaware of the existence of Burakumin until I went on an anti-war march (before the Iraq invasion) where a group of them attended. Sick of being dumped on by most of Japanese society, they've become pretty militant and are often speak out against political injustice.
The other group the employee slagged off were the mentally ill who also get a rough deal in Japanese society. A recent feature in Metropolis painted a pretty grim picture of how these groups are treated. The stigma is huge. The feature was about a documentary film on the subject that has been made by director Kazuhiro Soda, since the making of the film three of the participants had committed suicide.
It's unclear whether this employee will face any disciplinary punishment but at least it's good his behaviour came to light and was not seen as acceptable.Jiichiro Matsumoto 'the father of Buraku liberation'

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