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  • Ibaraki Pref Police put up new and improved public posters portraying NJ as coastal invaders

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on November 20th, 2008

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan

    Hi Blog.  The police and coast patrollers are out in force again in Ibaraki Prefecture, warning the public to be vigilant against “illegal entrants” (as in people who enter the country surreptitiously) and “illegal laborers”.  Again, the title, “STOP THEM AT THE SHORES AND PROTECT”.

    Found on the wall at Tomobe Station in Mito, Ibaraki on Friday, October 24th, 2008.  Comment follows.

    Er, I dunno why Ibaraki Prefecture feels the need to do this.  Again.  It’s certainly not the prefecture with the longest coastline in Japan, nor does it have a huge number of NJ residents or entrants, compared to Tokyo, Gifu, Shizuoka, or Aichi (whose police have not used the same degree of “coastal invader” alarmism). 

    And you just gotta love the image of not only our subduing boys in blue armed with machine guns (I’m no expert in firepower, but that looks like an automatic weapon to me on his back), but also a military force in green at the bottom left disembarking from a transport like it’s D-Day.  

    This is, alas, not the first time Ibaraki Prefectural police have resorted to this rubric, or these kinds of posters.  See last year’s version immediately following (more details on that here), although back then they were less armed and militarized.  I guess the NJ invasion of Ibaraki Prefecture is proceeding apace.  

    IbarakiNPAposter07.jpg

    As always, your taxes at work.  Including those of the NJ being portrayed.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    26 Responses to “Ibaraki Pref Police put up new and improved public posters portraying NJ as coastal invaders”

    1. jim Says:

      I wonder how much these stupid posters costtthe taxpayers? they should use the money instead on training there keystone j-cops to stay out of trouble it seems like another senior police officer just got arrested yesterday for drunk driving and leaveing the scene of an accident,,if it was me or you we would still be sitting in the jail cell,,but they just get a 10 percent salary cut for a few months..business as usually for the pitiful boys in blue..

    2. Justin Says:

      Has anything like the situations depicted on these posters ever happened in real life? Are teams of Japanese commandos in riot gear prowling the nation’s beaches and landing fields with guns drawn, ready to pounce on the odd foreigner? Scary! I guess I’d better laminate my gaijin card and wear it on a string around my neck if I go for a dip in the ocean.

    3. Justin Says:

      By the way, Debito, here’s what happened to that Japanese nightclub DJ who choked a gaijin to death in front of witnesses back in March:

      http://wvgazette.com/News/200809190765

      Sentenced to 5 years’ probation; no jail time. That was fine with the Japanese prosecutors, who decided not to appeal for a harsher sentence.

      – Thanks for this. Any more comments on this, please take this discussion to
      http://www.debito.org/?p=1412
      I’ll have a blog post up on this in a day or two.

    4. Kakui Kujira Says:

      Debito said:
      And you just gotta love the image of not only our subduing boys in blue armed with machine guns (I’m no expert in firepower, but that looks like an automatic weapon to me on his back),

      It’s an assualt rifle, which usually has automatic fire, but, technically is not a machine gun. It’s a bit blurry to tell, but it could be am M-16 or one of its variants.
      For a machine gun, think mounted on tanks or bi/tripods and belt fed kind of deal.
      Kind of pedantic I know, and not really much difference if you are be shot at…

    5. STP Says:

      “It’s certainly not the prefecture with the longest coastline in Japan, nor does it have a huge number of NJ residents or entrants, compared to Tokyo, Gifu, Shizuoka, or Aichi (whose police have not used the same degree of “coastal invader” alarmism). ”

      According to the Coast Guard stats, there were 21 cases of Immigration violation along the coast last year. Of which 8 of them accounted at Kashima (Ibaragi) jurisdiction.

      http://www.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/info/tokei/h19tokei.pdf

      – Thanks for the stats (as always). The point you want to make is…?

    6. STP Says:

      “Thanks for the stats (as always). The point you want to make is…?”

      In addition, according to the 2005 stats, Ibaragi was ranked sixth among the # Illegal laborors (ahead of Gifu and Shizuoka)

      http://www.moj.go.jp/PRESS/060324-1/b09.html

      “but they just get a 10 percent salary cut for a few months”

      Nah. The action appears to be 懲戒免職 so he’s dismissed and will not get his pension. And deservedly so.

      http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/national/news/CK2008111902000082.html

      But then again, I doubt this will convince the “Jim” of his distorted view of Japan.

    7. TJJ Says:

      The thing I always wonder about these kind of posters is, what is their purpose?

      It’s the law enforcements’ job to handle immigration violations, and they should just go ahead and do it, not ask for help to do their job from the citizens. You want us to help you do your job? Fine put us on a salary. I’ll call you up and report everytime I see anyone at all in the water, whether they be swimming, sailing or fishing, and regardless of whether they look asian or not. After all, how can I tell what nationality they are from the shore? Get your switchboard staff ready for an influx!

    8. Daniel Says:

      Mere cowards. A far cry from the feudal warriors who would willingly take on several attackers single-handedly. No balls or heart.

    9. Mark Says:

      Tax money is actually being saved in 2008. You’ll notice that in the 2007 poster, it takes 6 cops to arrest one guy. But in the 2008 poster, it takes only 5 officers to make the arrest. And the landing craft in 2008 is a flexible-fuel vehicle that runs on a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded gasoline. The 2007 model burned diesel. (^_~)

    10. Brad Says:

      I’m pretty sure that’s an MP-5 he’s got on his back – not an M-16 (as earlier commenter posted). Also, it’s not an assault rifle, it’s classed as a sub-machine gun. Don’t let the detachable stock fool you. :)

      – I knew that if I speculated about the weaponry and transport that the soldiers of fortune reading this blog would step forward with their expertise! Thanks! ;)

    11. debito Says:

      FEEDBACK FROM CYBERSPACE:

      Japanese police do not carry automatic weapons, only the military does.

    12. Jerry Says:

      More frightening is it takes 6 police in full riot gear to subdue one man. Of course if he’d been wielding a golf club they would have had to run for cover.

    13. Max Says:

      Two days ago I went to a Kouban to register a new bike.
      Apart from laughing of me everytime I used a “difficult” Japanese word, I noticed the two policemen could hardly write romaji, it was taking 10-15 seconds for each letter.
      They are very poorly educated – on purpose I guess: this makes them easier to be brainwashed with common places such as NJ coming and invading them, stealing, wasting resources and so on.
      These posters don’t surprise me.

    14. E.P. Lowe Says:

      @Kakui Kujira

      Actually, it looks like a Heckler and Koch MP5 Submachinegun – the thin magazine is very distinctive. The police at Heathrow also carry these.

      As for the posters – what the hell’s going on with those riot shields? Afraid the guy will give them the evil eye? To someone with an eye for these things it screams ‘unprofessional’.

    15. Andrew Smallacombe Says:

      Fearmongering.

      And why don’t other police agencies just give the boys from Ibaraki a call next time some yakuza squeezes a couple of shots off?

    16. James N Says:

      Actually, E.P. Lowe is right on the money. However, one must speculate whether its chambered in 9mm or 10mm…My guess is that its a 9mm due to its cost efficiency. Since it is a 30 round single stack magazine, one mere boy in blue can take out a riot of them damn “foreigners”.
      Seriously though, I highly doubt that any boy in blue would be able to handle the muzzle lift of a full auto HK MP5 10mm; much less set to tri-burst….HAHAHAHA!!!!!

    17. Kakui Kujira Says:

      Debito said:
      – I knew that if I speculated about the weaponry and transport that the soldiers of fortune reading this blog would step forward with their expertise! Thanks!

      Actually the son of two parents who were in the (not US) army when they met, with two brothers who signed up. My sister and I are the only sensible ones who never joined…

      I think those other posters are correct, the magazine size, whatever model it is, indicate a sub-machine gun. Pistol-sized bullets coming at one in rapid succession.

      – And you got that information through family osmosis! ;)

    18. alex Says:

      sasuga amerika jin ya ne.

      Even the layman knows his guns in America.

      What does it matter what gun they are carrying! The posters are tools for fearmongering.

      They are almost as bad as the poster in the back office of the family mart I work at that says to watch out for 外国人による詐欺! it says to watch out for South East Asians and イスラム系 (Whatever the hell that means. How can I tell someones religion just by looking at them!) People who come in in groups of 2 or more people and speak katakoto Japanese. I would say something but the place is so close to my house and so benri to work at so I just shrugged it off. I imagine all family marts have it in their back office though.

      But please why do we need all those officers to take down one person! and there is no way in hell that police resort to force when detaining somone guilty of a NON VIOLENT CRIME.

      On another note…

      I wonder though what Japanese would think if American (Or any foreign police) had 警察 written on their back in Japanese.

      I really don`t understand the mentality of Japanese and other Asians sometimes. Yesterday I attended a 就活forum for international students and 同じ留学生である人が oggled at me like crazy. A lot of Koreans ignored me and spoke Korean to eachother because they were ashamed that I could speak Japanese much better than them…

      When I stood up to ask a question at the Mitsubishi shouji booth it was a sea of 苦笑い.
      I can understand the 苦笑い from Japanese but I absolutely hate it when I get it from people who are in the same boat as me (留学生). What makes them more entitled to speak and interact in Japanese than me? Now I remember why until now I tell everyone I`m half or was born here. There is no end to this madness! Debito I need to get my hands on that red passport! And even then I`ll get the same crap everyday no doubt…

      I can kind of understand why Japanese feel they have 負けた as a result of some inferiority complex. (Although I have no feelings of superiority whatsoever. 逆に I harbor quite the inferiority complex towards Japanese and to some extent other asians. なぜならEven though they get treated like crap a lot they still get 大人扱い as opposed to 児童扱い which whitey gets)
      Sure these things happen everywhere, but why aren`t there more people who say `As a member of the G8 and as a strong developed nation, let us set and example for others to follow`.

      Japan is on the top of the world and yet 個人的なレベルで people still think Japan is a minor small island nation with no influence even though Japanese is in the top ten of most spoken languages in the world and they no doubt have the 経済力 to do anything…

      Back to the forum 話

      I find it odd that Koreans who until now have never even seen their name written in Kanji come to Japan, look up the characters for their name and start using it here. It is no doubt to me an attempt to be somewhat closer to Japanese than those of use who have to write our names in katakana and be forced to listen to people try and pronounce our names in `gaijin english`. (Just saying something 陽気な感じで doesn`t mean its proper english -.-)

      I was actually told yesterday by one of the 面接官 at nomura shouken that I was `too Japanese` and that it would work in my favor if I acted more positive and gaijin-like.

      Sorry for allowing myself to vent a bit here.

      郷に入っては郷に従えっちゅう感じでやってて何が悪いねん…

      If we (Although I don`t want to say we because otherness is given to the Japanese側) Assimilate we are weird and 怪しい. If we don`t people complain and tell us to assimilate.

      どうしようもないやんけ。。。

    19. Brad Says:

      Kind of ironic that the police in the photo are decked out with foreign-made weapons (and probably body armor and gear) while taking on the big bad foreigner. When it comes to foreigners, the cops will stop at nothing to keep as many as possible out of here or monitored tightly but in terms of equipment, they don’t mind at all turning to other countries for quality-made stuff.

      I wonder if that ever crosses their minds while they’re suiting up…probably not.

    20. Mark in Yayoi Says:

      “But please why do we need all those officers to take down one person! and there is no way in hell that police resort to force when detaining somone guilty of a NON VIOLENT CRIME.”

      Alex, you need to rethink this one. The police will use force even when detaining a bicycle rider who doesn’t feel like stopping for one of their impromptu registration checkups. And they don’t care if you’re guilty or not.

    21. Massimo Says:

      I saw a few times 5-6~ policemen around 1 individual here in Shinjuku.
      It’s not normal police activity ! They need to 圧倒する, in English I think
      the best term is OVERPOWER ! To completely cower him, bully him, make him feel
      like sh**.
      Abroad you expect 2-3 policemen to handle 1-2 guy…..come on, why do they need to get
      reinforcements if it is not a gunshot fight ???
      Here they want you to feel like you have no escape, that you cannot break the wa,
      even for stealing a bicycle.

      One case that I saw,was one seemingly harmless otaku type Japanese boy who was riding his bike
      with his girlfriend (and I assure you he was really a nerd…), they were like 5
      surrounding him. Really, he could have done anything BUT he was not a criminal lol.
      I felt bad for him, the girl was terrorised and he was surrounded, pushed and questioned….

      Another time at night there were like 6 policemen around a normal looking foreigner (white)
      kind of salaryman guy. Very tidy looking, just finished working, I’m going home after work type…
      They were intimidating him surrounding him so closely that he could feel their breath….
      He was by bicicle (left nearby) and a BLACK mercedes with BLACK glass windows was very close
      and parked like it was involved in this matter……
      I don’t know what happened but I thought that maybe the guy displeased some yakuza,
      maybe he hit the car with the bicycle ??? Anyway nobody of the car was outside and the police were treating
      that guy like one of the worst criminals……I was sincerely shocked……
      It seemed like they had caught Al Capone…..

      Some other time I saw the police get a host type guy (Japanese) that (I think) was involved
      in a fight or robbery in Kabukicho’s Kabukiza’s Square…..there came 3-4 patrol cars + another
      1-2 normal looking cars + at least 15-20 policemen. No need to say that they got him and while
      3 policemen were on his back another one had his BOOT on the guy’s neck pinning him down like
      a beast….. I wonder what he did…..20 for 1 unarmed guy…..LOL

      I’m sincerely afraid of this kind of nazi “out of reality” police state……..

    22. Mark in Yayoi Says:

      Massimo, what a timely remark — yesterday evening the same thing happened to me. I’ve long since gotten used to being hassled by police officers, particularly while on a bicycle, but yesterday near my office in Roppongi one of them started asking me questions about the bicyclt, and he quickly called another officer over (by name; surely that was careless as I now know the name of one of my tormentors… then again, if I file an official complaint they can always say there’s no officer by that name).

      Within seconds I was surrounded by five police officers, each peppering me with questions and making me repeat what I’d said to their companions. Several tiomes they misheard (or pretended to mishear) the name of my company.

      It was all over in just three minutes or so, but what a humiliation to be surrounded by belligerent cops right in front of your own office!

      I hope all the bystanders were duly impressed with their National Police making sure that those no-good criminal foreigners are kept in their place. I can’t think of any other reason for this nonsense except to impress the public and make them think the police are doing their jobs while they in fact dawdle and bumble on their real, serious investigations.

    23. Austrian Says:

      I`m a guy from Austria (Europe) and I really like Japan and since 2005 I`m going there around 1-2 times a year for vacation, so in Semptember it was my 6th time already. Usually it`s for 2-3 weeks. Sometimes I fly there alone, sometimes with my gf. Often I`m thinking that I`d really like to live and work in Japan, at least for one or two years, then I`d see. But lately I recognize things that I didn`t see in the beginning. Those really would disturb my life in Japan.
      I mean those permanent checks of gaijins in the airports for example and another thing that happened to me in April 08.

      I went out to a club in Shibuya alone, unfortunately I didn`t know where it was exactly but I had a map which wasn`t very detailed. Anyway, after looking around the area where it was (near Koban next to Dogenzaka street) I saw a police car driving slowly along Dogenzaka and policemen inside looking at me strangely. Well, I wasn`t thinking anything bad and went to another street looking for the club. Then I saw that the police car was following me. After a few meters it stopped. Two police men left the car, headed in my direction and stopped me.
      They recognized that I don`t speak Japanese. I mean I know a few words and sentences and I can also read Hiragana and Katakana but that`s just beginners stuff. Anyway, I saw that they wanted to check me. I showed them my driving license. Well, I got the old one which is a peace of paper with a picture and the details. Not a credit card like licese. So they found it quite funny.
      And they didn`t understand anything on it. In this moment I didn`t realize what`s the problem. Now I know that a passport would`ve solved all problems (maybe). But I just got used to that everywhere in Europe my driving license would`ve been enough so I didn`t took a passport with me and left it in the hotel. After long drinking nights at clubs it could`ve got lost much easier than my wallet with my driving license inside.

      First there were two police men, then four, then six. Eight in the end. Only one could speak very bad English. They just couldn`t understand or didn`t wanted to understand that I`m a tourist, which I told them a thousand times, who lives in a hotel for 2 weeks.
      They asked me questions if I took drugs (which I didn`t of course) and something like that.
      But at least they were quite friendly in that moment.
      Well, the things I told them, my intense body check which everyone from clubs around could see and my driving license weren`t enough. They wanted to take me to the Shibuya police station. So I had the honor to sit in the backseat of a Japanese police car between two police men. Two were sitting in front. Even inside one of them was asking me questions in Japanese which I didn`t understand. When I entered the car I already knew one thing, that there won`t be any club for me that night. And I was right.

      We arrived in the garage of the police station. Somehow I was curious how the station will look.
      I was expecting something modern which I know from movies. Maybe that was a stupid thought. The station looked totally primitive inside, I hardly saw any computers, everything looked like from the 70ies. But I must say that I didn`t saw everything of course. They took me to the interrogation room. I rarely saw such a small room before. Like 5 square meters. The funny (or not so funny) thing was, that I wasn`t alone there or with one officer. At least 7 officers were inside asking me the same questions as before. Shigoto, Shigoto, damn I`m a tourist I have no shigoto in Japan. I had to empty my pockets again and they checked my wallet even better than before. Every piece of paper. They found shopping bills from 2007 and maybe 2006 which made me more suspicious I guess.
      They checked my shoes, asked about my weight, my hight, why my girlfriend isn`t with me (she stayed at the hotel) and more questions. I guess they were expecting that I`ll do something stupid. Especially one guy who was standing next to me. In one moment he was moving his hand like he wanted to grab or hit something but he did nothing. He asked me something in Japanese which somehow sounded like: “You understand Nihongo very well and you`re just a criminal making fun of us”. Well, I had the feeling that he was saying something like that. In that moment a policeman finally found a bill of my hotel so they couldn`t see the adress. It wasn`t enough for them that I told them the name and the place of the hotel a million times before.

      So finally I could go. Alone ? Of course not. Again with four police men driving to my hotel.
      One of them was a plain clothes officer. They weren`t in a hurry when they drove. When there was 60 km/h allowed, they were driving 60. But I didn`t care anyway anymore. My clubnight was over.
      I already got bored. Even when we arrived at the junction near my hotel they couldn`t find the adress on their big, perfect GPS. I had to tell them.
      It was late at night so the front door was closed. The backdoor was open all night. I entered with the plain clothes guy (who`s gun was seen very vell, even without uniform). The hotel guy was a bit shocked. After that things went quickly. I woke up my gf, got my passport, the police guy made a copy and that was all. He didn`t apologize but he made a bow and told me to take my passport with me next time.
      Well, what shall I say? Of course it would`ve been better to take the passport with me (because only there is written how long I stay in Japan) but was it needed to act up like this ?
      From that time I`m taking my passport with me in Japan but even though it`s just a matter of time when they will bodycheck me again. Maybe infront of places or people where I shouldn`t be seen in such a situation. Maybe more often when I`ll stay in Japan for more than just 3 weeks. And why that all ? Because I look different.

      Sorry for that long comment, I just wanted to write this.

    24. Massimo Says:

      Hi Mark,

      I’m sorry to hear that it happened to you too.
      I hope you won’t feel too bad…

      Yes, what you say I think is right.

      It is a problem of PERCEPTION and of IMAGE.

      Police here wants to be visible and to give the (false) perception
      of safety. Many things in Japan are just for the use of “image” while
      the SUBSTANCE is really lacking. Same thing for those posters up here.
      Strong image while in reality they can just stop a small fraction of the
      illegal immigrants.
      And more, lately, thanks to Bush, we also have the FEAR/TERROR factor.
      When you use fear, perception and image you can rule the world (maybe….).

      If posters like those were publicly displayed in an European country
      there would be a ROAR of rage and the people who created them would be
      sacked in a matter of hours.
      The problem in Japan is the GOJ…that’s why it is difficult to have a “change” here.

    25. E.P. Lowe Says:

      Anyone with an a bit of intelligence could cause a lot of damage in Japan – because the police have no clue. When I travel on the shinkansen and see notices flashing up that ‘the Police are on the alert’ I have to stifle a laugh. Anyone with a bit of initiative could cause enormous damage on the Underground and Shinkansen, let’s leave it at that.

    26. Behan Says:

      Does it really take 5 or 6 armed police officers in riot gear to arrest one illegal immigrant? And what’s with the knees in the back? How serious of a crime is violation of immigration laws anyway? Should we expect this if we forget to renew our visas?

      I think you have to consider what kind of message the police are trying to send to the public with this poster. Do the police think the population wants illegal immigrants to be treated like this?

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