Hi Blog. You’ve probably wondered why I’ve reverted back to my “one-a-day” blogging style, in the face of all this news. It’s because I’m doing this blog entirely by myself, and I don’t have the time and energy to work at the computer constantly for weeks (plus with speeches coming up just about every weekend these days, I haven’t had a full “day off” in several weeks); I even went to bed at 9PM last night and didn’t open my eyes until 7AM this morning. Guess I’m getting old.
Anyhoo, some good comments from The Community internet volunteer group this morning on the Fingerprinting policy and foreign crime in Japan:
I just sent this out as a Letter to the Editor at the Japan Times:
The timing [of the Fingerprint Policy] couldn’t be more ironic. While Japan is ratifying and implementing laws to cut into the privacy of foreigners in Japan, forcing tax-paying, law-abiding, decade-long foreign residents to yield their fingerprints at immigration, Japanese gangsters are shooting and killing right and left. Hospital patients, city majors fall victims to Japanese criminals well known to the police. The police know their names, headquarters and that they own arsenals of deadly weapons. Instead of spying after innocent residents, the police should smoke out the gangster’s rat holes, arrest and persecute them. Only after that is done, I will consider giving my fingerprints.
It struck me this morning, watching the TOKUDANE programme coverage of the “accidental” hospital shooting, as one of the talking heads pointed out that ‘the police simply “designate” yakusa and members of “shitei bouryoku dan” and do nothing to actually round them up’; Organised crime syndicates get better treatment from the Japanese police than foreigners do! Maybe we should organise ourselves into a gang and then the police might leave us alone to get about our daily lives – no more “carding”, and we would get to ride our bicycles with impunity!
Debito, feel like changing your name again to “Don Debitone”??
Another comment in the same program that struck me as surreal – in the coverage of the disappearance of a Kikawa Ken grandmother and her two granddaughters, the neighbours have reported hearing a man shout “Hayou senka?” which is a local dialect phrase for “hurry up!” The reporter said in all seriousness that “since this was a little known west country dialect, it could be assumed that the perpetrators were probably not foreigners”.
I wondered to myself, has it really come to the stage that the default assumption in a serious crime is that foreigners are involved?
COMMENT: And I wondered to myself, the NPA still haven’t apprehended the prime suspect, Ichihashi Tatsuya (who last March reportedly fled barefoot from his apartment containing her body when 9 police visited) in the Lindsay Ann Hawker murder case. Yet the police will hold a person for a year without any physical evidence (no bail for foreigners, mind you) in the Idubor Case. And there’s still nobody arrested in the death last June of sumo wrestler Tokitaizan, who was savaged to death by his stablemates (and stablemaster Tokitsukaze, who even publicly admitted to bludgeoning him with a beer bottle the day before his death). Where’s the consistency? Why are criminal investigations drawn along nationality lines?
Funny old world out there. Pity it’s (increasingly incontrovertibly) stacked against the foreigner in Japan. Arudou Debito in Sapporo