Japan is not really much different from any other place when it comes to things like racism and discrimination (no matter what the Japanese themselves might say). Just like in Canada or the U.S., many foreigners face discrimination on a daily basis. [Disclaimer: To my knowledge, I have never been the target or victim of discrimination, racial slurs, etc. in the almost 9 years I've been in Japan. I have no particular axe to grind on this matter. I should also point out that I'm a member of a somewhat priveleged group of foreigners--I'm an educated white guy from a "developed" country. None of this negates a) the presence of racism and discrimination in Japan, nor b) my right to get pissed off about it and my obligation to point it out.]
Now, it's not the actual fact of discrimination and racism here that irks me about Japan. No, it's the generally lazy attitude of Japanese society in dealing with these problems that is troubling. Below are some scanned pics from a magazine called Gaijin Hanzai File ("Gaijin Crime File"). It's available at Amazon Japan, and other major book/magazine sellers. It's available on the shelves of at least one major convenience store (Family Mart; also check the links/comments at Debito and Japan Probe, above). Check it out:
47,000 crimes by foreigners each year!!
The map, with suggestive images of guns, knives, and syringes, assigns a "danger rating" (危険度) for each country: China: 14, Russia: 5, Korea: 9, Brazil: 8, Colombia: 3, etc. The USA, Canada, Australia and the whole of Europe are conspicuously blank...
Japanese getting conned: "Theesaway to ze ATM, Meester Managing Director."
And, of course, "sex crimes" by foreigners seem to feature prominently. The picture below shows a black man (clearly with consent) touching a Japanese woman's behind. If you weren't shocked by the above, check out the caption for this picture:
Oi Nigger!! Get your fuckin’ hands off that Japanese lady’s ass!!
Yes, that's what it says. And believe me, there's lots more where that came from, and not just in magazines (Japanese television frequently has some pretty offensive stuff that would cause riots back home...).
What do the Japanese do? Nothing. Zilch. Zero. That this kind of thing is tolerated in a so-called "developed" country is enough to make anyone nauseous. And Japan will continue to tolerate this bullshit until they are shamed by the community they so very much desire to be a leader of.
[Update: I've added a link (above) to confirm that Family Mart is in fact selling the magazine. This link also has information regarding the possible beginnings of a boycott. I also corrected the post title.]