Author Archives: nfsjadmin

NFSJ World Day against Trafficking in Persons Campaign 2021 ~Let’s share the video “What is Human Trafficking?” ~

The issue of human trafficking is often thought to be difficult or irrelevant to us. But in fact, it is very close to us and has a lot to do with our daily lives.

In order to make this issue more familiar to people, NFSJ has created a video featuring a college student named Takumi, with illustrations by Namura Michiyo. Please use this tool to participate in the campaign!

How to participate in the “NFSJ World Day against Trafficking in Persons Campaign 2021”

First, watch the video (8 min.50 sec.) yourself. https://youtu.be/SUXqRq6-ALE

Then, share it to other people:
Share it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…etc.);

Whenever there is a gathering in the community, school, PTA, church, etc., watch it together; and

Show it to students and audience in the classes and lectures!

(The campaign will run from July 30 through August 31, 2021. The first goal is to get 1,000 views. The video itself will remain after that.)

*July 30th is the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, as designated by the United Nations.

YouTube video link https://youtu.be/SUXqRq6-ALE

(6/23) The 24th NFSJ Cafe  The Issue of “Sexual Consent” at the Root of Everything: Thoughts from the Front Lines of Supporting Victims of Sexual Exploitation

Five years ago, the issue of “coercion to appear in adult videos (AV)” came into the spotlight, and many people were surprised to learn that such a terrible thing was happening on the set.

From the very beginning, the NPO PAPS (People Against Pornography and Sexual Violence) has been involved in counseling, rescue, and support, listening to the voices of women who had not been able to speak out before, and sticking close to them. We will be welcoming Ms. Megumi Oka (Rachel Hill), who has been on the front line of the fight as a counselor for victims of sexual exploitation, regardless of age or gender.

Why do these women have to suffer so much? Why is the production of pornography so prevalent in Japan? Why do we pass by sexual images and videos in our daily lives as if they are commonplace?

Ms. Oka has been asking these questions for many years, and one of the answers she has found is “sexual consent. Let us listen to the heartfelt appeal of a person who knows all about the field of victim support!

《Date and Time》 June 23, 2021 (Wed) 19:00 – 20:30 (tentative)

《Location】 Online (Zoom)

《Speaker》 Megumi Oka
Counseling Support Staff, NPO PAPS

After completing her master’s degree, she worked as a consultant at NPO Lighthouse, a support center for victims of trafficking in persons, and has been in her current position since June 2018. She is also a member of the steering committee of JNATIP (Japan Network Against Trafficking in Persons).

《Participation Fee》 Free (Max. 30)
Please register in advance. This time, participants must turn on their cameras.

《Language》 Japanese
(The guest speaker is fluent in English, so questions can be asked in English)

Please reserve your seat using the form below. We will send you the Zoom link at least two hours before the start of the event. https://forms.gle/g9BEFrrVexFBQzmC8

《Inquiries》 japan@notforsalecampaign.org

《Organizer》 Not for Sale Japan (NFSJ)

The NFSJ Cafe is a casual learning space where Not for Sale Japan, which is working on the issue of human trafficking and modern slavery, meets with interested participants to talk about a theme or watch a film over a cup of tea. Please feel free to join us. (Due to the Covid-19 situation, this event is being held online for the time being.)

Japanese Flyer PDF 20210623 NFSJ Cafe No.24 Flyer (J)

 

Mini Lecture Video Clip on SDGs and Human Trafficking (19min.)now available on YouTube

 

We participated in the online event “SDGs Yokohama CITY” on February 20 and hosted two seminars, “What is Human Trafficking?” each consisting of 3 sections: a mini lecture, introduction of a book and a film, and a mini English conversation class.

Now, a 19 minute video clip of the mini lecture part is available on YouTube. In this lecture, NFSJ Director Yamaoka explains on “SDGs and Human Trafficking/ Modern Slavery” using PowerPoint slides. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmLCdXimjQ8
This is a shortened version, or, the essence of the regular lectures that we usually give at universities and in other occasions.

As we added English subtitles to this one, please take a look at it. And please use it as a tool to let your English speaking friends know about human trafficking issues around the world and in Japan.

The other video clips (15 to 20 min. each) on Introduction to Books and Films and on Mini-English Conversation Classes will be added sequentially to our NFSJ Channel soon. (Sorry, English subtitles not available for those videos.)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdRVMwEGE2L7Z4gEV92T5UA

We hope that by making more people aware of the issue of human trafficking and modern slavery, we can get a little closer to finding a solution. We would be happy if we could work together with you to use these tools.  Thank you!

(1/15) NFSJ Cafe #23 “From Child Trafficking to LGBT Refugees: Challenges of Munakata Foundation that Delivers Aids to the Poorest Countries”

NFSJ Cafe #23 “From child trafficking to LGBT refugees: Challenges of Munakata Foundation that delivers aids to the poorest countries”

Munakata Foundation is a newly established foundation that fund aid projects in the most impoverished countries in Asia and Africa. It all started when Mana Tanaka, an international development expert, inherited her uncle’s will and fortune to establish a foundation. From survivors and those who are at risk of human trafficking, both girls and boys, to so called “LGBT refugees”, the variety of aid projects that the foundation is supporting are quite amazing.

Let’s hear from Mana the reality of the situations in those countries (India, Pakistan, Malawi, etc.) and think about what we can do to help.

The event will be conducted mainly in Japanese, but the speaker is fluent in English, so you can ask questions in English.

Friday January 15, 2021, 19:00-20:30

Please sign up with the form https://forms.gle/Mtg6y2vZb5d2Rr8BA or if you have hard time filling the form, send an email to japan@notforsalecampaign.org. We will send you the Zoom link by 2 hours before the event starts.

 

(10/21) NFSJ Cafe #22 “From the Kabukicho Nightlife District~Trafficking in Persons (Sexual Exploitation) and Countermeasures”

We will host an online “NFSJ Cafe” on Oct. 21st 19:00-20:30 in Japanese. (Sorry there will be no interpretation for this event.) Here is the English translation of the introduction for the event.

NFSJ Cafe #22 “From the Kabukicho Nightlife District~Trafficking in Persons (Sexual Exploitation) and Countermeasures”

Shinjuku Kabukicho is the largest entertainment district in Japan. People who work here have their own unique circumstances; some need support, but are unable to connect with anyone. Some of them may be victims of human trafficking.

Arata Sakamoto has been making night rounds once or twice a week in Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and other areas for the past two years, asking people he meets on the streets to come to him if they need help.

What are the thoughts and needs of the people living in the “nighttime city” at this time of the corona crisis? What can we do to help them? Why don’t we listen carefully to what Mr. Sakamoto is doing through his activities to act as a “hub” by going out to places where people are suffering, and connecting those who need support with support organizations?

Reservation form:  https://forms.gle/uckHc9vuMmnbLDec6

Vol. 14 “Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade—And How We Can Fight It”

Today is the last day of the campaign! Let us first apologize that this is a long (but we think, worthwhile) post. 

The book we review today is literally the starting point of NFSJ: “Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade—And How We Can Fight It” written by David Batstone, the co-founder and president of anti-human trafficking NGO, Not For Sale. When Mariko Yamaoka, a published translator, was searching for a new book to translate, she found this one. It changed her life, as well as the lives of staff now volunteering for NFSJ! (Read the background story of how Yamaoka founded NFSJ: http://notforsalejapan.org/en/wearenfsj/201807/349)

  Looking back on the decade since the publication of this book, the assistant director of NFSJ, Nozomi Kuriyama, interviewed director Mariko Yamaoka.          

 (The outline of the book) 

The author Batstone, after reading a newspaper article, learned that his favorite Indian restaurant in his neighborhood was actually a hub of trafficking slaves from India to the US. Curious about the reality of human trafficking, he set off on a tour to see for himself and report what is happening in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the United States. He not only depicts the cruelty and misery faced by trafficking victims, but also the rescuers who save victims with the conviction that “human beings are not for sale”. He also describes survivors who regain their self-respect and dignity to be able to say, “I am not for sale.” (The Japanese edition is now out of print. However, most libraries have copies available, and you can buy used books through sites like Amazon.)

===

Kuriyama (K): It has been 10 years since the Japanese translation of “Not For Sale” was published. Plus, next year 2021 will mark the 10th anniversary of NFSJ. So, what do you think is the biggest change during the past decade?  

Yamaoka (Y): The biggest change for myself was the increase in opportunities to go out and meet people. I have gotten used to speaking in public through a number of lecture opportunities. Also, through activities of NFSJ and JNATIP (Japan Network Against Trafficking In Persons), I have had many opportunities to research efforts made by governments including our own and the United Nations, through which I came to realize how the national laws and UN conventions are closely related to our daily lives. So that was another big discovery for me.    

K: There must be certain changes you’ve made because of your findings.  

Y: Yes, especially when working with SSRC (Citizens’ Network to Build a Sustainable Society through Responsible Consumption), I learned a lot about environmental and animal rights issues, and came to understand that all these social issues are related to each other. I had to change my lifestyle in what I eat and wear, starting with what I buy.    

K: Our society has changed a lot too.

Y: Yes. After the book was published in 2010, there have been many historic events: rise of the Islamic State; huge influx of refugees into Europe; Rohingya refugees from Myanmar; huge northbound immigration from South and Central America; acceleration of climate change; and human rights issues in China. And in Japan, the Great East Japan Earthquake, exposures of issues like AV forced appearance, TITP labor exploitation, children’s poverty issues, and now the turmoil of COVID-19… As society has become more vulnerable, the problem of human trafficking has worsened more than what this book described.

   On the other hand, the issue of human trafficking has been highlighted more during the last decade than before. Even in Japan, I feel that awareness has been raised. I hope NFSJ’s activities have contributed to this, even partially. I don’t have tangible evidence, though.           

K: Although there are no Japanese examples in this book, are there any episodes in it that you think are relevant to the reality in Japan?

Y: In Chapter 1 (South East Asia) and Chapter 4 (Eastern Europe), there are some scenes that women are tricked and brought to brothels in spite of their protests, and are victimized with violence and threats. These remind me of the issue of forced appearance in the pornography industry in Japan: the women are coerced to act in porn videos through deceit and threatened even if they resist. Also in Chapter 2, bonded laborers in India are featured and although the scheme is a bit different, they remind me of the slave labor of foreign technical intern trainees and students from abroad working in Japan.     

K: For this year’s NFSJ campaign, our intention is to motivate those who read the book and film reviews to make some changes someday, however small. Is there anything you want to tell the readers as one who was motivated by the book “Not For Sale” and made a change yourself? 

Y: In Chapter 4 of the book, there is a story of a woman who was trafficked from Eastern Europe to Italy. Towards the end of the story, when she was at a loss standing in front of a bakery, the woman shop owner came out, approached her and introduced her to a support facility, which led to her rescue. This baker was just doing her own business as usual. But she knew that there are victims who suffer from trafficking, and also knew there are organizations that support such people. That was why the baker could reach out to the trafficked woman with no hesitation. 

   That is exactly what NFSJ aims to do as we try to raise awareness of the issue among as many people as possible. The first step is to know the issue. Then, even if you don’t act right away, we hope you remain concerned. From there, you can either research more, let people know about it in your own way, volunteer for some organization, start up your own project, or seek to make improvements within your own company’s business. It can be anything. We just hope this movement of abolishing human trafficking will spread in various ways that suit each person.

(Nozomi Kuriyama, Mariko Yamaoka)   

(Written by David Batstone in 2007, Revised Edition in 2010, by Harper Collins, 304 pages, $13.59 https://www.harpercollins.com/products/not-for-sale-david-batstone?variant=32206392360994

This is the end of our campaign. Thank you for reading the posts!

         

Vol. 13 “Our Nation and Immigrants: Foreign Workers and the Future of Japan” (Tentative English title)

*This book is not translated in English yet.

I would like to introduce the latest book by Mr. Ippei Torii, director of the NPO “Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan”. For more than 30 years, Mr. Torii has been protecting and supporting foreign workers to restore their human rights when violation and exploitation occur. His activities have been reported in a variety of media, including the NHK program “Professional”.

Mr. Torii is the co-chair of the Japan Network Against Trafficking in Persons (JNATIP), of which NFSJ is a member. I have been privileged to have many opportunities to work with him. Let me share with you one episode that will be relevant to this book. It was in 2017 when we JNATIP members were organizing a seminar for Diet members. In the discussion on what to title the event, Mr. Torii said, “Let’s use ‘Human Trafficking in Disguise’. The Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) itself is a state-sponsored disguise. Japanese society has accepted and allowed this pretense.” The decision was made without further discussion.

In this book, Mr. Torii describes, using many graphic cases, how Japanese society has “disguised” its internship program, which often includes harsh labor exploitation that can be regarded as human trafficking. When you read the history of Japan’s labor immigration policy and how foreign workers have been treated in this country, you will find that it has been haphazard and deceitful.

The author indicates that the pretense of TITP has created an attitude among the Japanese general public that “we are teaching Japan’s superior skills to people from developing countries”. This attitude has resulted in our looking down on people from those countries. The reality is that foreign workers have come from far away places to work in a country with a shrinking population and a critical shortage of industrial laborers. For this reason, the book reiterates that TITP should be terminated as soon as possible and a “system for accepting migrant workers” should be created so that we can live together in harmony.

In conclusion I would like to leave you with this quote from the book—it’s clear who needs to change.

………

The word “immigrants” is sometimes used as a discriminatory word, however we need to change our thinking about them to “people who are trying to become a part of this society”. In fact, our society is looking for and needs “people who are trying to become a part of this society”. (Nozomi Kuriyama)

(Written by Ippei Torii in 2020, published by Shueisha-Shinsho, 256 pages, 860yen+tax,
https://shinsho.shueisha.co.jp/kikan/1025-b/)

Vol. 12 “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls” (film)

Watching this documentary is deeply disturbing, depicting in graphic detail the traumatizing and dehumanizing of young women for the purpose of selling sex. At times I felt physically sick seeing how these young women were regarded as “things” not humans. 

Giving an in-depth look at the factors that contribute to human trafficking including poverty, statelessness, being orphaned and perhaps the hardest to comprehend, parents sending their oldest daughters into prostitution in order to support the family, one realizes the complexity of the issue. The trafficking spans areas from Eastern Europe to Las Vegas in the United States. 

Listening to interviews with various people: former pimps, social workers, psychiatrists, Christian pastors and NPO representatives, one can better grasp the depth of how lives are forever impacted by this insidious evil. Some of those who are fortunate to be rescued spend their whole lives in counseling in order to come to an understanding of what happened to them and how they may overcome it. Sadly some are never able.  

Nefarious is a powerful and informative film, expressing empathy for the victims. And there is hope! In the latter part of the documentary the Nordic model approach to prostitution (*) is explained. Also included is a strong Christian message urging people to pray, along with some testimonies by former prostitutes and a pimp. Even if one isn’t a Christian, I strongly encourage you to watch the film not only for the awareness it brings of the terrible reality, but also for the possibility of finding a changed life that it offers.

“The film ends with the assertion that slavery today is not just an education and development problem – it’s a moral issue – the missing belief that women have an inherent value beyond their sexuality.” (From an online reviewer.)

*The Nordic model is based on four pillars, namely criminalizing buyers of sex, decriminalizing prostitutes, offering help and services for prostitutes to leave the sex industry, and awareness and education of the general public.

(Kathy Burton-Lewis, Bonnie Jinmon)

(Directed by Benjamin Nolot in 2011, 99min.
Producer Exodus Cry website with trailer: https://exoduscry.com/oursolution/film/
Watch for free on YouTube :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFaDHgXPbUg )