Posted by debito on March 22nd, 2009
Hi Blog. Turning the keyboard over to Mark in Yayoi, who has just been stopped for the 123rd time by the Japanese police for an ID Check.
This time, however, he was stopped and demanded a bag search. Although NJ are not protected against random ID checks (if he shows, you must show), random searches are in fact something protected against by the Constitution (Article 35) if you don’t feel like cooperating. But tell the cops that. He did. See what happened. Arudou Debito in Tokyo
MARK IN YAYOI WRITES:
Hey Debito, interesting thing the morning March 20 at 4:46 AM on the way home, in Azabu. Cop car pulls up along side me and I know what’s coming next. Extremely patronizingly-voiced young cop talking to me like I’m five years old while his senior, stepping out of the car a few seconds later, looks on.
I tell him that my bicycle is registered to the company (under its former name, which has already been a problem once), and he comes out with「じゃ、いいです。結構です。」 I’m about to ride off, full of pleasant thoughts about how enlightened the police are becoming, when he demands instead to see what’s in my bag. I point out that it’s private and not suspicious, and he insists again. I couldn’t remember which article in the constitution forbids this (turns out it’s Article 35), and wish I’d had it with me!
I keep trying to say no, and his voice turns on a dime from patronizing to interrogating (while still using childlike grammar: 「危ないもの！薬！刃物！」
Then the senior guy tells him to stop. He asks me if I’m a Hanshin fan (I was wearing their white pinstriped home hat, for increased visibility), and I say I am. Questioning over.
I tip my hat to the older guy and ignore the young guy, who says サンキュー as I ride off. Ass.
So today I go on the internet to see which law it was, and I stumble upon Japan Probe, with a recording of a “Cops” style TV show, which finds a foreign overstayer on the street:
…full of comments from people. Did you get to see this show? As Level3 mentions in the comments, it was an amazing stroke of luck that they managed to spot this guy just when a cameraman was present. And he’s got a very obviously fake alien card with him! (Check out the font used for the “2010″ date; it and the alignment of the characters are not even close to real).
I can only imagine how many innocent people were harassed in order to catch this guy for the cameras. Who knows, maybe there was one in the cop car that hassled me Friday morning!
Here’s the transcript of the TV show, translated by yours truly. Mark in Yayoi
INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS FROM MARK: I noticed a few more interesting things about the video.
- The cops invariably use the word “gaijin” while the announcer’s script and subtitles have “gaikokujin”, but in one instance the subtitles reflect what the cop actually said.
- The cops’ tone seems downright friendly *after* they’ve caught the guy red-handed *and* chased him long enough to be winded. Is that normal? I get ruder tones from them as soon as they see me.
- Also, the announcer never fails to refer to the suspect as a “Chinese man”, with emphasis on how he’s going to be sent back “to China” at the end. If I were a legally-resident Chinese, I’d be enraged — the man is a criminal who made use of forged documents, and not any kind of representative of China.
Now for the translation! Things in parentheses are spoken by the announcer or shown on the screen; things in brackets are added by me for clarification.
TV show at http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=9323
(Announcer: The patrol car moves down Dogenzaka, in Shibuya. Officer Nakazato is looking for suspicious people ["fushinsha"] in the crowd.
(Announcer: Then, they see some interesting movement. A young person, who had been standing still, suddenly began walking in the other direction when the police car passed by.)
Cop: Let’s go have a look. [runs over to side of street]
Cop: Sorry to stop you; do you mind? Japanese? Where [do you come from]?
(Announcer: He seemed to be Chinese. [The police] demand to see his Alien ["gaikokujin"] Registration Card. (Graphic: “Alien Registration Card”))
Cop: What does this say? “Long-Term Resident” Suspect: Yes. Cop: [The alien card is valid] until 2010? Suspect: My Japanese is, uh… Cop: Difficult? You can’t [speak/understand]? Suspect: Yes. Cop: Ah ha… so you were watching a movie today? Say, could you let me see… Suspect: My bag? Cop: Your bag, your bag… Suspect: Quickly, then. Cop: OK, quickly. Suspect: Here you go.
[01:11; camera angle shifts] (Graphic: “Inspection of Personal Effects” Announcer: After getting permission [shoudaku no moto] from the suspect, the inspection begins.)
Suspect: It’s fine; go ahead, open it; open it. Cop: Then your wallet when we’re done with the bag. Suspect: OK. The wallet, you don’t need to worry about.
[01:34; after a cut]
Cop: Can we see your wallet? Suspect: OK, OK, OK. There’s nothing [unusual].
(Announcer: But for some reason, the Chinese man doesn’t want to show the police his wallet.)
Cop: What does it say here? Suspect: I can’t [read] it at all. Cop: Your name is XX-san? Suspect: Yes. Suspect: There are no problems, so… Cop: Can I see that again? Suspect: I’m not carrying [(unclear)]; OK, open it, open it. No, that’s not… Cop: Let us see… Suspect: Wait, open this first… Cop: No, no, that comes last… Cop 2: What? There’s nothing to be worried about! Cop: (slightly angry voice) Hey, why are you suddenly… Suspect: Open that; it’s fine. Cop (speaking at the same time): Hold on, hold on. Cop: Hey, what are you– what are you shaking for!?
(Announcer: The Chinese man had been cooperative with the questioning, suddenly doesn’t want to let go of his wallet. And he’s carrying two Alien Registration Cards. Suspicious!)
Cop: Hey, what are you– what are you shaking for!? Suspect: That’s, uh, um… Cop: Why do you have so many ["ippai"] of these? Cop: Let me see that Alien [here and after "gaijin" spoken by cop; "gaikokujin" in subtitle] Registration Card. Let me see that. This is strange ["hen"] Cop: Why are you looking nerv– (suspect suddenly bolts)
(55-second montage of the suspect sprinting away and the cops chasing him) (Announcer: During the questioning, the Chinese man suddenly runs away in a sprint!)
(Announcer: The camera couldn’t get the moment when he was caught. But… officer Nakazato caught him in Center-Gai!)
[The two cops lead the suspect away, each holding him on one side.]
Cop: I run the marathon; I’m fast.
(They lead him to the patrol car.)
Suspect: I’m not going in– Cop: Yes, you are! ["Dame da!"] Suspect: I’m going in.
(Announcer: The suspect had tossed his bag aside, and run away. [Bystanders scream and shout "kowai!" (scary!)] Was he attempting to destroy the evidence [shouko inmetsu]? The two alien cards, however, reveal what he is!)
[04:37; back in the patrol car]
Cop: This is fake. A fake alien ["gaijin" both spoken and in subtitles] card. Cop 2 (into radio): Police 100 to base. Cop: How long have you been using this? Base (from radio): Go ahead, Police 100. Cop 2 (into radio): We’re in XX, Shibuya. Handling an overstay. Please send a Shibuya car as backup. Cop (to suspect): This is fake. Base (from radio): Describe the suspect? Cop 2: Male, one; we have him in the PC [patrol car]. Base (from radio): Is he violent or anything? Cop 2: He attempted to escape, but we caught him. Backup, please. Base (from radio): Understood.
Suspect: I don’t have anything. (cop seems to be searching him again) Cop: Nothing? (voice rising) You’re not carrying a knife, are you? (To other officers) Admitted by the suspect; another alien (“gaijin”) card. He has two. Cop 2: Here’s the second one. Cop (to cameraman, holding up two cards): This is the fake one. This is the real one.
(Announcer: An alien card forged in fine detail. Both are in the suspect’s name. The one on the left is the real one; the one on the right is a fake.)
[05:43; closeup of the status and period of stay; fake one has a different, finer but misaligned, number font]
(Announcer: The real one has “trainee” as the suspect’s status; the fake one has “long-term resident”. And the fake one has the period of stay extended for three years! The Chinese man has been staying illegally for approximately a year)
Cop: How much did you pay for this? Suspect: 50,000 yen. Cop: You made this fake one for 50,000 yen. Suspect: [My period of stay] finished after a year, and I wanted work. Cop: Is that so? And you stayed here using this? But you can’t! You have to go through the proper procedures; this is a fake. You can’t be in Japan using a fake Alien Registration Card.
(Announcer: The backup patrol car arrived from Shibuya.)
Cop 2 (into radio): Patrol car entering on the right.
(Announcer: The Chinese man will be asked more detailed questions at the police station. He arrived in Japan two years ago, and earned money working at a restaurant. He is being arrested on suspicion of “yuuin koubunsho gizou dou koushi” [“forgery or use of a stamped public document”? Seems to be covered in Part 17, Article 155 of the Criminal Code, here: http://www.houko.com/00/01/M40/045.HTM). He will be deported to China.)