The Revision

Paul Arenson
Language: English

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Lyrcs and Music by Paul Arenson

Mistreatment of foreign residents by the Japanese government: Japanese government's changes to immigration law affecting Korean and other former colonial subjects and their descendants, as well as all 'foreign' residents and continued arbitrary treatment of those who committed civil disobedience in orde.
You can come back now, Hayashida Homu Daijin (Justice Minister) said
For in the past you gave your fingerprint - 'and one time is enough' now he said

But there is just one thing you've got to understand,
though you were born and brought up here in this land
You broke the law and the guilty they must pay
So we've taken your permanent residence - away

You say you deserve to stay here, Choi (1), just like a Japanese
But you're only a Korean so get down upon your knees
How long you can stay here is a matter we'll decide
For foreigners who make trouble are the ones we most despise
So obey the law and don't make waves and we might just let you stay
But raise your voice and you'll soon be on your way..

I sing a song of people struggling to be free
I sing a song of justice, its day is coming..

Five years in waiting, nine times he tried
But Han Jong-souk's request to leave the country was denied each time
Hayashida houmu-daijin smiles, says "You're rights have been restored:
You're free to travel and to work since you gave your print before"
Maybe he should pay him for the job he holds no more
Houmusho destroyer of lives..

Not so fast Hayashida, you've not yet won your war
For you cannot force obedience to your racist little laws
And in our place our children will refuse just like before
And the world will see the real criminals are the ones who make the law
And we'll continue our resistance 'til there's justice in this land
And you, its would-be killers are safely gone

I sing a song of people struggling to be free
I sing a song of justice, its day is coming..

Contributed by giorgio - 2009/12/31 - 11:41


(1) BACKGROUND: CHOE Son-ae, born in Japan, refused to be fingerprinted, left Japan to study music in the United States without getting a reentry permit and had her permanent residence subsequently revoked. More than 10 years later, after the Supreme Court upheld this decision as reasonable, the Diet finally addressed this savage attack on her dignity by voting to restore her permanent residence status. But, as shown above, the system of control which allowed the state to abuse her right to live freely in the land of her birth is still in place. Like HAN Jong-souk, whose right to a livelihood was stolen from him because his refusal resulted in him being denied the right to travel between South Korea and Japan (he worked with an educational exchange program I understand), Choi and many others were and are considered to be seocnd class by virtue of their ethnic heritage and their refusal to obey discriminatory laws. Their struggle is no different than the struggles waged by Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela or Gandhi in their respective countries for justice and human dignity. Now, as the players change and new "foreigners" come to these shores and stay, challenging the myth of Japanese homogeneity once again, the struggle continues...

giorgio - 2009/12/31 - 11:45

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