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.]

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4 comments

  1. Scott · December 5, 2013

    I had no idea it was down till I read your blog entry today. I haven’t visited it much lately because it’s a bit difficult to browse on a phone.

    I assumed the anti Debito crowd had moved on as I hadn’t heard anything of them for nearly a year now. This is incredibly petty if the people in that crowd are involved but, with their track record, it’s not beneath them either.

    I hope Debito’s site gets back up soon. It’s one of the few places on the net that actually holds serious discussions about foreigner rights in Japan.

    • hoofin · December 6, 2013

      I think they are still working on their project, albeit at a lower decibel level than a couple years ago.

  2. Ἀντισθένης · December 5, 2013

    Japan has issues with “lawful, pluralistic standards” that go quite beyond our little ghetto, and affect far more people. It is, mostly, not about us.

    Look, I won’t throw insults at America here, but “We Americans put skin in the game in the ages-old animosity between Japan and China” deserves just as much cynicism as when a Japanese person starts with ‘Ware-ware Nihonjin’. America, like every other nation, empire or otherwise, does what is in the perceived interests of its ruling class. Whether it makes the decision makers noble or venal, the population are still suckers, and when the method is bombing, conventional or nuclear, you have to expect cynicism from the recipients of it.

  3. Arudou Debito · December 5, 2013

    For the record, Debito.org Archive has been online since March 15, 1996, and the Debito.org Blog since July 17, 2006. We’re closing in on twenty years now. You can see the history of Debito.org on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/debitoorg.

    Thanks for the concern, Hoofin. I hope to have it cleaned up and reinstated soon. Debito

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