The Japan Times
Sunday, April 4, 1999
Labor scofflaws still running amok
March 29 article, "Assaulted woman calls for a victim's rights law,"
which described Raelyn Campbell's plight with Japan's legal system and her
press conference at the Foreign Correspondent's Club, brought back memories for
me – some of which I related in this scolumn Dec. 14, 1997 ("Labor
scofflaws often go unpunished).
fully support Campbell's fight for justice, but I don't think her case is just
about women. Rather, it's about
all of Japan's victims.
Campbell, I wrote letters to politicians and the press. However, no one seemed to care that an
English school I had worked for was hiring teachers from overseas to help
"internationalize" Japan, but refusing to pay them their wages after
they arrived (even though management had already been taken to court by former
employees for delinquent wages a few months beforehand).
no one, including the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, answered my
letters. In desperation, I once
wrote to U.S. President Bill Clinton, whereupon I got replies from the U.S.
Embassy and the U.S. State Department, which seemed to suggest that Japan's
legal system was the answer. However, the legal system is the problem.
the picture of Campbell's press conference, I notice that she had apparently
armed herself with a tape recorder in order to document her story. This reminded me that the tape I had
used to document mine was stolen by the president of the company I worked
for. I went to the police to
report the theft, but they suggested I was to blame because I had initiated the
lawsuit against the president's company for not paying employees.
last I heard, the man who refused to pay us was running a vocational school in
Utsunomiya, Tochigi – still hiring people to "internationalize" Japan
by teaching English.