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Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

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  • Japan Today: NJ suspect acquitted by J Court, yet still detained–for overstaying his visa due to denial of bail!

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on May 16th, 2008

    Hi Blog. Here’s another way to make sure you perpetually incarcerate any NJ suspected of any crime. Even if they’ve been acquitted in court, just keep them in detention (after all, NJ aren’t allowed bail in Japan) long enough, and then you can get them for overstaying their visa! “Hostage Justice’s” safety catch for NJ only. Comment from contributor Mark Mino-Thompson and then article follows. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    Seems the British Govt. has more pull here than the Swiss. Same situation as before, yet this time around the court releases a man acquitted of suspected drug smuggling, despite prosecutors wanting him detained until they appeal. Of course, he still hasn’t been freed; he’s in a gaijin tank waiting to be deported, despite the sole reason of his “overstay” was due to being in the custody of Japanese police.


    Court rejects prosecution request to detain Briton after acquittal
    Japan Today/Kyodo News Friday 16th May, 07:15 AM JST

    TOKYO –The Tokyo High Court rejected Thursday a request by prosecutors to detain a 54-year-old British man who has been acquitted by a district court of the charge of smuggling cannabis from South Africa into Japan. The court decided that ‘‘after reviewing the grounds for and records of the ruling, detention is unwarranted.’’ The Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office had sought the man’s detention to prevent him from being deported from Japan before appeal court proceedings can begin.

    The man is being held by the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau for overstaying his legally permitted period in Japan. He was arrested in August last year on suspicion of carrying a suitcase containing about 9.7 kilograms of cannabis at Narita airport, east of Tokyo, after arriving from South Africa. On May 1, the Chiba District Court acquitted him, saying there remains reasonable doubt about whether he intentionally brought in a suitcase containing cannabis.


    11 Responses to “Japan Today: NJ suspect acquitted by J Court, yet still detained–for overstaying his visa due to denial of bail!”

    1. Kimpatsu Says:

      Catch 22 indeed.
      How does this case differ from that of Nick Baker, I wonder?

    2. Adam B Says:

      I would prefer to see solutions to the problems here, rather than the constant call of we are all being discriminated against.

      There is no information on what status the man had in Japan. What guarantees will the authorities have of the man turning up to court? He was arrested for allegedly attempting to bring cannabis into the country – guilty or not, what would people suggest the authorities do – turn him back at the gate, scot-free?

    3. Stevie Says:


      The man was found not guilty, so yes, he should be free to walk out of the courts’ front door as a Japanese person would so be able.

      The problem is not whether he will turn-up again or not, but with the fact that the prosecution are able to appeal the courts decision in the first place.


      Nick was found guilty. Readers might like to know that Mr. Baker was transferred back to the UK last month and is currently at Wandsworth prison in London.


    4. HO Says:

      I am glad the high court turned down prosecutor’s request for detention.
      I wonder why he cannot leave Japan. There is a Supreme Court ruling that says;
      “Detention in immigration detention facilities of foreigners without admission status is not unconstitutional as long as the detainees have right to leave Japan.”(1st petty bench of Supreme Court of Japan, January 25, 1971, Hanrei Jiho 617-25)

      Article 390 of Code of Criminal Procedure says;
      “In appellate proceedings, the defendants do not need to appear at the court on trial dates.”
      So, he can go back to UK and let his lawyers argue for him.

      Maybe, the prosecutors are playing some trick. Like, if he tries to leave, they may file request for detention order again citing flight risk.

    5. Andrew Smallacombe Says:

      I have heard similar stories before, most of which I had written off as hearsay or urban myths (man gets arrested,detained and charged; is found not guilty and then gets arrested by immigration authorities as he leaves the court for overstaying visa which expired while he was in custody)

      While Adam B makes a good point, it’s also worth noting how this kind of situation would affect foreign crime statistics.

    6. tornadoes28 Says:

      Maybe I am blind but I don’t see in the article that the NJ overstayed his visa DUE TO being incarcerated. The article does not imply that at all. To me, it implies he had already been overstaying his visa before he was incarcerated.

    7. Martin Says:

      “”There is no information on what status the man had in Japan. “”

      “”Maybe I am blind but I don’t see in the article that the NJ overstayed his visa DUE TO being incarcerated. The article does not imply that at all. To me, it implies he had already been overstaying his visa before he was incarcerated.””

      Here is my answer: Ga.

      Here are the details:

      The dude got arrested at Narita airport in August…
      He got acquitted on May 1st.
      Today is May 17th…
      To me, it implies he had been arrested at the airport, spent time in jail and by consequence, overstayed his legally permitted stay in Japan.
      Then, got detained by the Immigration. British nationals, as far as I know, can stay up to six months in Japan (as tourist).

      Do you need a PhD in Logic to get it ?

    8. tornadoes28 Says:

      Thank you for allowing me to witness your superior intelligence Martin. I am in awe.

      Thank you for explaining in such a friendly and couteous manner Martin. You are a real joy.


      –Alright, that’s enough. Don’t respond in kind, Martin or tornadoes. Hurl points as well as barbs or I won’t let any more of either of your comments through.

    9. yuki Says:


      He is probably saying it that way because it appeared you, like a few more people that recently showed up, seem to play the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” game.
      It happens a lot on this blog where an incident screams discrimination at it’s very core,
      but people play the “see no evil” game. Hence, the frustration.

    10. tornadoes28 Says:

      Sorry Debito. I have no problem being correctly informed by people such as Martin. However, he went beyond that to be insulting.

      I will maintain civility on your blog.

      –Thanks. I allowed your comment through because yes, a bit of tit-for-tat is psychologically necessary sometimes, and the exchange warranted that. I called for a halt after the tit-for-tat was done. Now, if everyone here would like to carry on with some reasonable, substantiated points that somehow relate to the original point raised on this blog entry, that would be capital…

    11. tornadoes28 Says:

      Yuki, I did not “recently show up” as you say. I have been visiting Debito’s website and blog for several years now. Maybe longer then you.

      I want issues presented here to be based on facts and evidence. Therefore, there may be times I will post a comment when I feel that not enough evidence is presented or that generalitites are given.

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