I guess the clarification I should make here is that Japan is as potentially racist as anywhere else, but for a developed country, the legal and social protections and recourses afforded to people of differences are lacking comparatively. Racial discrimination is still not illegal in Japan, and this is something the Japanese government promised to fix when it signed the UN Convention on it in 1995. In short, Japan is not an outlier in terms of racism, but it is in terms of protections against it.
To me naturalization is just an obvious extension of what somebody in my position would desire anyway the right to vote and to legally participate in society the same as any other citizen. I am already as entrenched as any other citizen: I have a house and land with a debt of a quarter-million dollars; with a thirty-year loan I really cannot leave Japan Moreover, naturalization has knock-on benefits that suit a person with my personality. It will enable me to stand on my rights (yes, more than I do now!) with renewed vigor because I will indeed have more rights, as well as a firmer ground to demand even more (I can except myself from, say, this 'as a foreigner, you are a guest in our country so shut up' bullshit). And dare I say it? I would be able to participate in politics as a candidate if I so choose).
Starting from 1993 in Otaru, Hokkaidō, and now running unchecked throughout Japan, signs saying 'Japanese Only' have gone up, making an unspoken undercurrent of fear of the outsider into clear, present, and brazen exclusionism following the best traditions of segregation and apartheid.
Truth be told, having two passports in Japan is not necessarily a problem. If one lived a quiet life, one could conceivably keep renewing a non-Japanese passport ad infinitum. The USG permits dual citizenship and doesn't go out of its way to tell other governments about the nationalities of their citizens. However, as you know, I don't live a quiet life.
Other people have called me a "human rights" activist. I don't mind the label, but I don't think I'd go so far. It puts me on par with other extraordinary activists. I'm just an average guy with a bigger mouth than average.
Too many Japanese believe that they can say whatever they like in Japanese ('that statement was for a domestic audience' is very often an excuse for gaffes), as though Japanese is some secret code
WaiWai was an essential guide to Japanese attitudes and editorial directives.