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Dear JF Members: Thanks to the Japan Forumfor alerting its readership from time to time to books recently published thatshould be of interest to those of us who might otherwise not learn of them sopromptly. I myself have found useful tworecent submissions – one on Clyde Prestowitz’ “Japan Restored,” the other onWilliam D. O’Neil’s “The Plan that Broke the World” about the Schlieffen Planin the First World War. I would like to present my own recommendation here fora book just out that dovetails (less optimistically) with Clyde’s scenario onthe future course of Japan -- though I’m unable as yet to find any connectingJapan angle for it in the Schlieffen Plan of the Kaiser’s Second Reich.  The book: “Embedded Racism: Japan’s VisibleMinorities and Racial Discrimination.” The author: Dr. Debito Arudou.Publisher: LexingtonBooks, a division of Rowman & Littlefield, 2015, 378 pages. Available bothin hardback (ISBN 978-1-4985-1390-6) and as an eBook (ISBN 978-1-4985-1391-3). Arudouwill be familiar to Japan Times readers as one of their regular monthlycolumnists. Lexington’spress release in full reads as follows: “Embedded Racism untangles Japan’s complex narrative on nationality andrace and how it threatens Japan’svery survival. Because racial discrimination is unconstitutional but notillegal in Japan,structural and systemic discrimination against “foreigners” targets VisibleMinorities, including citizens who don’t “look Japanese.” Analyzing casestudies of hundreds of individual “Japanese Only” businesses, this book carefullyreveals the construction of Japanese identity through legal structures, statuteenforcement, public policy, and media messages. Incorporating a quarter-centuryof research by a naturalized Japanese citizen, Embedded Racism argues that Japan’seconomic and demographic decline is irreversible until it can acceptimmigrants, regardless of physical appearance, as “new Japanese.” Quoted on the book’s backcover, I for my part wrote: “Hats off to Arudou for breaking once and for allthe Silence Barrier that has permitted Japan’s profound racialdiscrimination to purr along undisturbed well into the 21st century.Exposing at long last the definitional acrobatics of Japanese and foreign JapanStudies experts – who have argued that since there is nothing we could callracist attitudes in Japan it follows that there can be no systematic racialdiscrimination either – Arudou lays out voluminous evidence to the contraryshowing how Japan actually operates in its laws, public policy, media messages,and social ordering.” In the two months that havepassed since its publication, the profound moral and policy questions raised bythe massive migration of Near Eastern refugees into the continent of Europeonly adds a poignant new relevance to Arudou’s study of Japan’s recordto date on the acceptance and integration of people who “just don’t lookJapanese.” Ivan P. HallChiang Mai, Thailand5 January 2016

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