News from the EEO (American Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)

I received a determination letter from the Commission yesterday (November 11). For the people following my posts on the issue, I will try to fill you in in the next 24-48 hours.

In the meantime, please check out this Mainichi story sent to me by a friend. It involved someone who was being pressured out of computer maker Lenovo, which was a spinoff of IBM Japan. He took it to Tokyo District Court, and within no time at all, Lenovo changed its mind. I think the plaintiff/employee was Japanese.

[Update: The gist of it comes down to this. There is sufficient evidence that IBM Japan discriminates based on things like national origin or age. But when called to it, oh, how the story changes!

When called to account, we get the “Japan Oops!” as I refer to it: “Moshiwake gozaimasen!” This was just some sort of mistake or misunderstanding.

The trouble I have, though, is that, in my situation, it was all explained at the time—I had negotiated a sei sha’in status. At least, I thought it was, and have the e-mail chain to show that at least an attempt was made. [Update: Yes, there is actually sei sha’in in the instance, and enough to show it.] But then, people don’t want to be seen as discriminators, and so later, they say there was a misunderstanding or mistake.

But then, the question becomes: NOW, why don’t you just fix the “mistake”?

Yeah, there will be yet another excuse.

The Japan Establishment does this with America, and Americans. Yet we are supposed to keep everything the same.

The whole situation makes me uncomfortable.

This is what I don’t like, you know? If we are helping Japan out, why should we have to go through all these headaches?]

[Update #2: As I read this thing (the determination letter), I keep thinking, “yes, this is just another excuse to go around screwing over Americans who are trying to make it in Japan.” The blogosphere is replete with stories about how our own people hide behind latent Japanese bias and even corruption in order to screw their fellow countrymen. Now, with EEO, the handy excuse will be: not discrimination, mistake. And even better will be this: the gaikokujin [employer] made a mistake about a rule, and we just followed along, thinking this is what was. See? No discrimination.

When the lack of national pension coverage, health insurances, etc., come to light back home in due time, the Japanese will just say: “Oh well, the foreigners just got it wrong, and it was nothing about how we regulated the various industries that employ foreigners! You see? Mistake!”