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Hi Blog. Here’s a short interesting article, with translation immediately following:
NHK News 03月06日 12時10分
http://www.nhk.or.jp/shutoken-news/20160306/3459061.html Courtesy of CJ
Saitama Police mistakenly arrest foreign youth
NHK News, March 6, 2016 (Translation by Debito)
According to police, on the afternoon of March 5, police were contacted that “a suspicious foreigner had come in” from an electronics shop in Kawaguchi City. Police arriving on the scene found a foreign male at a nearby street.
The male was a foreigner of Southeastern Asian descent. As he was not carrying his passport, police arrested him on the spot under suspicion of violating the Immigration Control Act.
However, after further investigation, police realized that as he was less than 16 years old and under no obligation to carry his passport, so they released him from arrest about six hours later after apologizing.
According to the police, the male said, “I’m less than 16 years old” from the start, but since he was holding no ID to confirm his age and looked older than 16, it resulted in his arrest.
The local officer in charge of foreign issues at the Saitama Police HQ, Ogawa Minoru, said, “The people involved deeply apologize. We should have confirmed things more prudently.” ENDS
COMMENT: I’ll say. Yet another instance of police overstepping their authority, and arresting someone due to a panicky shopkeep siccing cops on a youth just because the latter looked “foreign”. Last time we had an arrest like this this wasn’t the case — the person even turned out to be Japanese, but it’s hard to believe that police would necessarily come running and arrest someone just because they were acting “suspiciously”. Because there are laws against that — you have to have adequate suspicion that crime has been committed, or is likely to be committed. It’s the “foreign” thing that became the grounds for arrest. Pity it took six hours out of this kid’s life in police custody (something you don’t want to happen to you — you essentially have few rights as a suspect in Japan). Even though as a foreign resident in Japan (as opposed to a tourist), you still are not required to carry a PASSPORT. So that’s the second unlawful misinterpretation of the law by Saitama’s finest.
The real thing that’s hard to swallow is that shopkeeps are panicky precisely BECAUSE the Japanese police are encouraging them to see foreigners as criminals and racially profile. So thanks for the apology, Saitama Police, but how about training your cops better, so Japan’s Visible Minorities (particularly impressionable kids) don’t become targets of arbitrary (and traumatizing) arrests? I shudder to think what this officially-alienated kid thinks about life in Japan now. Dr. ARUDOU, Debito.
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