Tuesday, April 3, 2012

'Japan's untouchable workers' (Socialist Worker)

JAPAN OF old did not have a captive black population to use and abuse. So the Burakumin were created to fill that economic and social vacuum at the bottom of society. They are still there.

If the job is dirty or dangerous or carries a social stigma, hire the Burakumin. They will take the job. They have few options and, like everyone else in Japanese society, need money to live--even in their ghettos. Besides, that's what a permanent "untouchable" class is for.

It was that way centuries ago when the Samurai class created the Burakumin to take care of society's dirty work. And it is that way now, when the wreckage of four nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi needs to be cleaned up, and the utility does not want to waste trained employees on jobs that will contaminate them and make them ineligible for further work in the nuclear field.

"They are the 'throwaway people," said Yuki Tanaka, professor of history at the Hiroshima Peace Institute in Japan's Hiroshima City University. "They are the Untouchables."

... full story at Socialist Worker.

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