Thursday, February 19, 2004

Did it

Went to the passport office and registered for my son's passport. One thing that makes me question their logic is that they wanted my American passport to confirm the English spelling of his name. I said that they had no business looking at my American passport unless they intended to have me arrested for visa violations. They didn't of course, but they insisted that they would need my passport, or they would spell his name as a transcription of the Japanese pronunciation in Roman letters.

Then the public servant at the counter says that we are lucky, because "normal" Japanese people can't apply for this, because they are not allowed to have the kind of name my son does. (He has a middle name, which is actually tagged onto his first name, because Japanese law does not yet recognize middle names. That makes his name especially long.)

After I suggested that he is indeed "normal," I suggested that discrimination is discrimination and the fact that he receives special treatment because his father is not Japanese is repugnant. Japanese people with voting rights should stand up and demand that the laws be changed so that they do not discriminate. She was quiet after that.

What a a country that should be looking forward to hundreds of thousands of immigrants a year, they are nowhere near ready as a society to treat people equally. Not even their own people. Evidence: Minamata, resident Korean nationals, women, the list is extensive.

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