Nadia Lee | NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary Romance » Blog Archive » The Recent “Do You Feel Discriminated Against” Survey
The Recent “Do You Feel Discriminated Against” Survey

Not too long ago, the city where we live sent out surveys to a bunch of foreign residents to see how they like living here. The whole survey was rather long and involved, but one of the best questions was: Do you feel discriminated against?

I thought the question was rather timely since Hero Material and I have been trying to find a bigger place to live for the past six months. Our apartment is currently about 600 sq-ft (slightly less than 60 sq-meters), and it’s just not big enough for a family of three.

Anyway, in August (or was it July?) we went to a real estate agency to inquire about the availability of two rental homes advertised. They were in good locations, and the asking rent was reasonable. But the landlord (both were owned by the same guy) refused to even consider us because we were not Japanese! Never mind that Hero Material and The Boy have green cards (permanent residency), and I have a spouse visa. Never mind that we have sufficient income to pay the rent. Never mind that the language is no barrier.

Just the fact that we aren’t Japanese was enough to get us rejected sight unseen by the landlord over the phone!

So of course we answered YES to the “Do you feel discriminated against?” question. Then we specified why (“When trying to rent a place to live”). I also wanted to check “I cannot describe when, but I feel discriminated against nonetheless” just because I’ve been feeling rather annoyed about the whole incident, but Hero Material decided that maybe it was too vague.

With the falling population in this country, you’d think that the government would encourage citizens to be more open-minded and welcoming to immigrants. But I guess they’re happy with their shrinking serfs taxbase.

6 comments to “The Recent “Do You Feel Discriminated Against” Survey”

  1. Sandy Williams
    · September 29th, 2012 at 12:11 am · Link

    Woah. I’m surprised there aren’t laws against that! That totally sucks.

  2. Shawntelle Madison
    · September 29th, 2012 at 12:17 am · Link

    I remember when you first told me about this. It’s very disappointing that people still treat others this way. Especially a family with a small child.

  3. angel Graham
    · September 29th, 2012 at 1:04 am · Link

    So sorry you are experiencing this. Sigh. Seems it is a major problem regardless of where one lives.

    Hope you are able to find a place for you and your family.

  4. Nadia Lee
    · September 29th, 2012 at 1:01 am · Link

    @Sandy Williams: No, there isn’t. Why? According to the central government’s survey a few years ago, discrimination against foreigners does not exist in Japan. What the government later revealed was that the survey was sent to the citizens only, not foreigners. So of course, the citizens answering the survey answered that they do not believe that there is any discrimination against foreigners, and even if there is discrimination, it’s just something they can’t do anything about.

    Discrimination against ethnicity, gender, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc. etc. etc. is all legal in this country as far as I know. I routinely see wanted ads for secretaries and/or admins with “women only” or “women strongly preferred” added at the end.

    @Shawntelle Madison: Yes. It’s almost like we may be forced into buying a home whether or not we want to, precisely because of this kind of discrimination.

  5. Nadia Lee
    · September 29th, 2012 at 1:41 pm · Link

    @angel Graham: Frankly, I’ve never experienced it in America, but then it’s illegal in the States.

    Hope you are able to find a place for you and your family.

    Thank you!

  6. angel
    · October 2nd, 2012 at 1:31 pm · Link

    I experienced it with a female partner when we looked for a house to own. I know people who experienced it because of interracial relationships. Those ones are illegal, but in many places it is legal to discriminate against the GLBT population.

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