Hawaii-based civil rights commentator Debito Arudou offline, due to apparent hack and multi-year harassment.


Welcome to the lawless gray zone that Japan sticks foreigners and foreigner issues into.

If you follow civil rights issues in Japan, you probably have come across the website Debito.org, where American-born, naturalized Japanese Arudou Debito has offered commentary and a discussion board for at least half a decade.   There was perhaps the first, if not among the first, available webpage concerning foreigner rights issues in Japan well before that—maybe the late 1990s. He has been quite a presence in what still feels like “new” technology.

A small group of computer-savvy malcontents has been harassing Arudou for about as long as the blog and website has been up.   It’s not clear what their ultimate motivation is, but lately it seems like a certain sociopathy.   Or maybe professional jealousy of others who feel they must always be first or best.   

The behavior descended into petty criminality quite some time ago.   Good luck getting relief, however.

Hopefully the site is back up soon, since it has been quite a resource.   The notice says “controversial nature”, but that’s hogwash.   How people coming from outside Japan are treated inside Japan or by Japan is very much an everyday concern.   This is so, especially when the USA has its B-52s flying over islands that are part of a territorial dispute between Japan and China.   We Americans put skin in the game in the ages-old animosity between Japan and China.    The least Japan should be able to do is make sure that certain elements it invited into Japan maintain lawful, pluralistic standards of behavior when it comes to the internet.

[Update 12/5/13: Blog looks to be back up. Good!]

[Update 12/7/13: Spin me around! It’s back down again. A link offered me suggests that the Debito site has been the victim of the “Viagra hack”, which may not necessarily be a deliberate attack on a webpage. I don’t know enough about the hack to say either way. It may be that, and it may be someone having sent Debito material containing the code, to set the hack in place. When people operate in their nastiness through mysterious coincidences, it’s hard to say how the thread got raveled, much less how to unravel.]