Posted by debito on June 28th, 2008
Hi Blog. Forwarding from Ms Kimura Kayoko, freelance writer for online independent internet newspaper Nikkan Berita (http://www.NikkanBerita.com). Original Japanese in previous blog entry. Translation mine. Arudou Debito
REPORTS OF DETENTIONS UPON ENTRY AT TOKYO IMMIGRATION
Recently, as the eve of the G8 Summit approaches, we are seeing incident after incident of non-Japanese being stopped at airports.
NJ who are coming here for G8 Summit activities (including reportage and convocations), without connections to governments or major press outlets, are apparently being subjected to background searches. 24-hour detentions are not unusual.
Last night (June 27), three Hong Kong citizen journalists who have been registered with the Citizens’ Media Center (Sapporo) were detained by Immigration, and were on the verge of being deported.
This morning, Susan George (ATTAC France) was stopped and questioned at the airport. Ms George is 74 years old, and her detention demonstrates a lack of humanity on the part of authorities.
Similar measures on the part of Immigration are forecast to continue in this vein.
Japan, as host to this Summit, is a developed country with a democracy. It is shameful for a member of the international community to treat visitors from other countries in this fashion.
And detaining, even refusing entry to, international journalists and media coming in for the Summit is a suppression of freedom of expression.
This is developing into a large international issue, with constraints being placed upon the length of stay for journalists belonging to international journalistic associations.
Journalists and international media people often have to cover unforeseen events, and cannot always tell Immigration in advance their exact itinerary or schedule. This is normal. However, people having schedules with free days are apparently being turned away at the border.
Journalists who are not members of the major media are also coming to Japan, covering the Summit from the point of view of the general public. Suppressing those people’s activities is depriving the public of a chance to have their voices heard, and only promotes overemphasis on the reports from the powers that be.
We wish to draw more attention to this problem so that more visitors can come overseas and enter Japan more smoothly. We would like your help. Anything you can do would be welcome.
Further, here is the phone number for Narita Immigration:
Also, the G8 Media Network will be having a press conference on Monday, June 30, with the detained media figures and Dietmembers in attendance. More details here as they become available.
info AT berita DOT jp