HOKKAIDO JETS AND POLICE HARASSMENT
Courtesy of The Community Archive
> To: "Dave Aldwinckle" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: Fw: [hokkaidojets] speeding and licences -the latest!
> Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 21:38:55 +0900
> I don't know how a Japanese person would have been treated in the same
> situation, and I don't know what the normal penalties are for driving
> without a valid license in Japan. This smacks, though of one of those cases
> that might merit documentation for Issho Kikaku archives. (snip)
> What think you?
> ----- Original Message -----
> Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2000 3:58 PM
> Subject: [hokkaidojets] speeding and licences -the latest!
> > May I be so bold as to comment on L's story.
> > Last June, I was driving through Engaru, slowing down for a sharp corner and
> > was pulled over for speeding as well. I was only going 60km per hour (in a
> > 40km zone). Unfortunately, thanks to my own stupidity, my international
> > licence was also expired. Here, very briefly are the consequence of speeding
> > and letting your int'l licence lapse (which is a common occurence from what
> > I have seen):
> > 1. You will do an excruciating interview with the police for at least 5
> > hours like L and I. Questions range from "have you ever received a
> > national decoration from the government of Japan or your home country" to
> > "how much money do you make?" to "what is your sister's name and home
> > address" to "why don't you know your sister's address? Do you really have a
> > sister?"
> > 2. You will do a second interview with the police, to go over the first
> > interview.
> > 3. Your kacho, and-or supervisor will do an interview with the police. The
> > police will tell them that they are doing a terrible job, that they are
> > irresponsible and that their actions will be reported to who knows who
> > (empty threat kana?)
> > 4. Concerning the licence expiry, if caught, the police consults the
> > Hokkaido prosecutor and Interpol for the required penalty.
> > 5. When you get your new licence, you have another 2 to 4 hour interview to
> > prove your licence is not forged and to explain how you acquired it.
> > 6. You have another 1-2 hour interview with the Hokkaido prosecutor, who has
> > read your 2 inch file and reviews the situation with you. He-She decides
> > whether you go to court.
> > 7. You pay your fine which can range from 15 000 (the minimum) to 15 plus
> > man. In L's case, she could expect to pay over 10 man (possibly).
> > 8. In my case, the Engaru police called in all the AETs for a meeting (for
> > that block) with their supervisors. They were told that crime is increasing
> > in Japan because of foreigners. Then, they gave me as the example. Further,
> > this was reported on in the Hokkaido shinbum.
> > So, in other words - buy a radar detector. Don't let your licence lapse. Get
> > a good translator and good luck. After 6 months, my ordeal with the police
> > in Japan ends on Monday, when I pay the original amount of the ticket -
> > 15000yen! Funny though, while I do agree that I broke a traffic law, I
> > wonder where the police were when three of my former students have been
> > killed in traffic accidents related to drinking and driving, drag racing and
> > everyday car accidents. Must have been the foreigners bringing all that
> > crime to Japan, like myself!
> > BE careful and happy driving this winter!
> > >Subject: [hokkaidojets] (unknown)
> > >Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2000 06:15:09 EST
> > >
> > >Dear Everyone,
> > >
> > >If you're a perfect driver and never speed, delete this now. If not, you may
> > >want to read on...this will most likely appear in a more elaborate version
> > >in an upcoming Polestar - we'll call it "therapy".
> > >
> > >Some driving tips from personal experience - 1) it's winter. slow down. i
> > >was driving the not particularly 'safe' Sekihoku Toge (mountain pass)
> > >between Sounkyo and Kitami on Friday night, along route 39. in my lovely
> > >town of aibetsu, we've been blanketed in snow for a week; the roads show it.
> > >but as you move east toward kitami, the snow disappears. the sekihoku pass
> > >is quite dangerous right now, particularly because the conditions of the
> > >road alternate between ice, clear and dry, and snow-covered. anyway, i was
> > >moving along at the ripping speed of about 50-60kph, when i lost control of
> > >my car. i was all over the road, almost hit an oncoming car, and finally
> > >crashed into a guardrail, avoiding anything more life-threatening.
> > >
> > >shaken, i continued driving, found a pay phone, and arranged to meet my
> > >friend in Akankohan, not too far from Kitami. as i approached kitami, there
> > >was absolutely no snow, and the roads were completely clear and dry. perhaps
> > >in a panic because i no longer wanted to be driving, i hit a straightaway
> > >and wasn't really paying attention to my speed. flash, there it is, i've
> > >been caught by the speed camera doing 93kph in a 60 zone. hooray.
> > >
> > >the conclusion of the story is that i spent five hours in the kitami police
> > >station yesterday with my supervisor, answering questions and watching them
> > >take notes. while i won't go into details here, suffice to say that it was
> > >one of the worst days of my life. i write this now to you because somehow it
> > >makes me feel better, and to warn you of some of the consequences if you're
> > >caught speeding. for anyone wondering, i *still* don't know my penalty, or
> > >if there *will* be one. that news will likely come in january.
> > >
> > >my advice: 1) slow down. even 50-60 was too much on that particular road.
> > >2) if you plan to drive over the speed limit - not that any of us ever do, as
> > >we're all quite pleased with the 50-60kph imposed limits - i suggest you
> > >purchase a radar.
> > >
> > >take care and be good to yourselves,
> > >
> > >_________________________________________________________________________
(all names snipped)