Nikkei: Another Japanese nabbed for being like a “suspicious foreigner” in Ibaraki. Adding it to the collection

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Hi Blog. This in from Debito.org Reader NH:

==============================================
Debito, Here’s another one for your files:
日本国籍気付かず誤認逮捕 茨城、旅券不携帯と判断
2014/8/14 日本経済新聞
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXLASDG1400K_U4A810C1CC0000/?n_cid=TPRN0009
茨城県警牛久署は14日、日本国籍とフィリピン国籍を共に持つ、さいたま市のパート工員の男性(20)を、日本国籍に気付かないまま誤って入管難民法違反(旅券不携帯)容疑で現行犯逮捕したと発表した。約7時間後に釈放した。

牛久署によると、13日昼すぎ、牛久市のJR常磐線ひたち野うしく駅近くで「不審な外国人がいる」と駅前の交番に通報があった。交番で署員が男性から事情を聴き、外国人なのにパスポートを常に携帯する義務を守っていないと判断し、午後5時10分ごろ、現行犯逮捕した。

その後、通訳が同席して取り調べた際、男性が「日本国籍もある」と説明。確認が取れたため、13日深夜に釈放した。父親が日本人、母親がフィリピン人という。

橋本康一郎署長は「おわび申し上げる。指示を徹底し、再発防止に努める」とコメントした。〔共同〕

English summary: A no-good busybody “reported” to the police that there was a “suspicious foreigner” around. The police duly rushed to the scene and questioned a Philipino 20-year-old they found. They arrested him as caught in the act of not carrying his passport with him.

After 7 hours of questioning, through an interpreter it came to light he also had Japanese citizenship and his father is Japanese. They double-checked, and since it was true released him in the middle of the night.

The police stated “We are sorry. We will try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The article and police statement does not find any fault with the person who reported a suspicious foreigner, or with the police for going and questioning people alleged to be suspicious foreigners. That is pretty much just the whole story.

It’s not a bad law exam question, since we could ask, did he have to give up his Filipino citizenship now that he is 20, etc.? The article doesn’t go there either, of course.

Another example of this law’s failure to account for Japan’s diverse population, and people getting caught in the cross-fire. I can only imagine how this young man felt about all of this.

==============================================
COMMENT: I can imagine. I myself have been racially profiled (although not arrested) by J-cops on numerous occasions (see here and here, for example), even after naturalizing.  So were these people (one of whom actually was arrested in 2006 for looking “too foreign”.) This is yet another reason why Japan needs laws against racial discrimination — because you can’t always tell anymore who’s “Japanese” based upon physical appearance alone. Innocent Japanese who don’t “look it” are going to get caught in any dragnet of suspicion.

I think Nishanta-san, a longtime acquaintance of mine and naturalized citizen, would agree (he’s in the center of the Newsweek cover). Below is what happened to him recently in Japanese (courtesy of Becky and others).  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

==============================================

newsweek091106

日本人のあなたが外国人として逮捕される日。

にしゃんた | 社会学者(羽衣国際大学准教授)・タレント

Yahoo News 

http://bylines.news.yahoo.co.jp/nishantha/20140818-00038350/

写真:Rosemary McKevitt

日本出国の窓口は一緒くたになっているが、入国審査のゲートは大きく二種類ある。一つは「日本人」、もう一つは「外国人」である。余談ながら外国人の英語表記は今では「foreigner」になっているが私が日本に初上陸した頃は、「alien」となっていたことを懐かしく思い出す。

10年ほど前から日本国籍である筆者が持っているたった一つだけのえんじ色パスポートの表紙には、美しい菊の紋章がしっかりデザインされている。2週間ほど前に海外から日本に戻って来たのだが、国籍の正しい自覚はあるため入国審査の段階では当然「日本人」カウンターを目掛けて進んだ。しかし、私の行動を憚る男性が現れた。入国管理局の職員であると思われる。進もうとも、ずっと何回も「貴方は違う」と繰り返す。避けて通ろうとしても、追っかけてくる。最後には目の前に立ちはだかり私を押さえ込んだ。

一連の流れ、みなさんはここで何が起きているか想像できますか?これは、私の肌の色で判断して国籍は日本人のはずがないと決め付けて私を外国人の枠に引っ張り込もうとしているのである。これは、今年の8月7日付けの日本の玄関口成田空港での話である。私のような日本人はいないはずと決め付けているのは、何も無知なド素人ではない、知識豊富で日本国家のエリートのはずの法務省職員である。私ごときの場合は、このような経験も前向きに考えれば、人前で喋ったり書いたりとネタにもなるので歓迎しても良いが、このような事が、誰彼かまわずに日本の彼方此方で起きているとしたら、私達は一度立ち止まって考える必要がある。

空港での出来事から一週間も経たぬ内に、同じようなことがこの社会において珍しく無いということが伝わってきた。13日、日本国籍を持った日本在住の20歳の男性が、出入国管理法違反、つまり旅券不携帯容疑の罪で茨城県警牛久署に誤認逮捕されたのである。警察側の言い訳によると、

13日午後、JR常磐線ひたち野うしく駅近くのマンションの管理人から「不審な外国人がいる」と駅前の交番に通報があった。駆けつけた署員が男性から事情を聴き、外国人なのに旅券を常に持ち歩いていないと判断し、同日午後5時10分ごろに現行犯逮捕した。 (8月14日産経新聞・朝刊

何の罪も犯していない20歳の青年を、昼ごろから警察に連行し(警察発表では任意同行となっているが…)、5時過ぎに逮捕した。逮捕から約7時間後に釈放したのだから実際には総拘束時間は10時間超えている可能性も考えられる。ちなみに誤認逮捕の被害者の男性は日本国籍の父とフィリピン国籍の母の間に生まれ、国籍法上22歳までにどちらかの国籍を選択できるようになっており、逮捕された時点では実際には二重国籍である。

今回の事件から何が見えてくるのか?

(1)事件の発端となった、電話連絡してきたという「通報人」と警察双方で一致した「不審な外国人」の「定義」についてまず問い、整理する必要がある。一人の青年が、一般市民によって不審者と決め付けられ、警察がそれに輪をかけて対処した今回の件は「日本の多数派と権力が一緒になって少数者虐めをした」と指摘されても言い訳はできない。

(2)今回の警察の失態の原因は、他ならぬ本人たちの「無知」と凝り固まった「思い込み」に基づいた終始にわたる言動にあったことが明確である。被害者は、警察に「どこの国の人?」と日本語で質問され、「フィリピンと日本の二重国籍」であると伝えている。そこで警察は入国管理局にフィリピン旅券での出入記録の有無を問い合わせており、記録が無かったため逮捕したとなっている。フィリピン旅券での入国の記録が無かったのならば、誤認逮捕された被害者の「日本人」としての出入記録をなぜ問い合わせをしなかったかという事も、警察の犯した大きな過ちではないか。あくまでも「外国人」と決め付けた偏った捜査に執着するあまり、現場では逮捕された被害者の声に耳を傾けるという最低限の人権すら保障されていことが明確である。

(3)早急に改善に取り組む必要性のある課題も見えてくる。誤認逮捕された被害者は、自分から「国籍は日本とフィリピン」であることや「友達に会いに駅前に来た」などと警察に伝え、伝わっているはずにも関わらず、警察の言い分だと、逮捕後に通訳を通して初めて日本人であることを知るようになったと言っている点、ここでも警察の決め付けた言動の怖さが改めて感じると同時に、逮捕する前になぜ通訳を活用しないのかという制度的な大問題を指摘できる。

(4)合わせて今回の件に関してメディア側にも問題がある。ここで伝わってくるのは一方的に警察の言い分のみであって、被害者の声が不在である。日本社会が犯した過ちの改善と再発防止を本気で考えているのであれば被害者青年の言葉こそ最も参考になるだろう。なぜ日本のメディアがその点を疎かにしているのか、自問自答する必要があろう。

このような誤認逮捕は昨日今日はじまったものではない。実はもっと酷いケースもある。2006年02月25日、埼玉でも誤認逮捕があった。逮捕されたのは、女性で容疑は今回と同じく旅券不携帯であった。

午後7時40分ごろ、川口市内の路上を歩いていた女性にパトロール中の署員3人が職務質問。署員は女性の容姿が東南アジア出身者に似ており、名前や国籍を尋ねたところ、小さな声で「日本人です」と言ったきり何も話さなくなったため、署に任意同行した。女性は署でも日本語の質問に対し無言を通したため、同署は「外国人」と判断。パスポートの不所持を確かめて同容疑で逮捕した。

女性は逮捕後に家族の名前を紙に書き、母親に確認すると娘と分かって誤認逮捕が判明した。母親は「娘は知らない人とは話をしない性格」と話していたという。 (毎日新聞2006年2月28日)

つまり、日本社会において、日本人であっても外国人として逮捕される可能性は充分にあると理解する必要がある。「誤認逮捕に至り、おわびする。再発防止に努める」と警察責任者は謝っているが、一般の人は謝っても許されないことでも、人を深く傷つけようとも、権力のある側が行ったことならば、謝罪だけで済む話なのだろうか。一つははっきり予言できる。このまま放っておけば今後このような問題が多発するということである。

公僕をする任務を担っているといえ、権力を持たされている人間にこそ正しい知識を伝え、人権教育を施す必要がある。日本の公務員、筆者の個人的な経験からだと、特に「入国管理局員」および「警察」に対して行っている「犯罪者予備軍扱いとしての外国人」という偏った視野の狭い教育を正し、国際感覚を伴った視野の広い教育を行う必要がある。

最後になるが、「日本人」であってもあなどってはならない。あなたは日本人であってもいつの日か「外国人」と決め付けられ逮捕される可能性は充分にあるということを心に留めておく必要がある。合わせて是非、日本の社会において常日頃「外国人」というだけで心身とも窮屈な思いをしている者もいるということに思いを馳せて頂きたい。

※ 参考資料として下記の記事も合わせて読んでいただきたい。

ジャパニーズ・オンリー!(Japanese only!)繰り返さないために。

あなたは、ジャパニーズ・オンリーを見分けられますか!?

にしゃんた社会学者(羽衣国際大学准教授)・タレント

1969年7月18日、スリランカのキャンディー市(世界遺産)生まれ。 高校生だった87年にボーイスカウトで初来日。その翌年に留学のため再来日をし、立命館大学に入学。新聞奨学生をしながら大学在学中に全日本空手道連盟公認四段・全国空手道連盟公認指導員を取得したほか、多数の弁論大会に出場し優勝する。大学を卒業後、大学院に進み、経済学の博士号を取得。現在は京都に在住し、羽衣国際大学で教鞭をとる傍ら、テレビ・ラジオ出演、講演会や執筆活動などを行っている。2005年日本国籍取得。08年日本女性と結婚、一男一女の父。近著は『日本で知った「幸せ」の値段』(講談社)

ENDS

26 comments on “Nikkei: Another Japanese nabbed for being like a “suspicious foreigner” in Ibaraki. Adding it to the collection

  • This is really crazy, is it a crime in this country too not look Japanese or actually be NJ? I still cannot understand why he would be stopped by the police. This country is really becoming more scary and bizarre.Another one of those only can happen in Japan weird stories.

    Could you imagine that if a Japanese person visited California and was stopped by the police for looking Asian or for not looking like an American and was held for 7 hours, what do you think would be the reaction in japan or by the Japanese embassy probably a protest and front page news.

    Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Ah, so many fails in this story due to Japanese institutional xenophobia having painted itself into a corner. Let’s take a look, shall we?

    #1. Self-righteous old geezer feels entitled to report to the police that there is a ‘suspicious looking foreigner’.
    What exactly does this mean? Does it mean that NJ in Japan must be in the eikaiwa, a gaijin bar, at home, or outside only if under Japanese escort, otherwise, they are clearly ‘suspicious’, walking around town like Japanese do? This ‘reporting’ is a testament to the power of NPA brainwashing along the lines that all ‘gaijin’ are criminals.

    #2. Police duly rush to the scene- after all, someone has seen a ‘gaijin’ without a Japanese handler- in broad day light too! The very cheek!
    Again, what constitutes ‘suspicious’? Waiting for a friend? It would be nice if the NPA could clear that up.

    #3. Arrested for not having his passport, and held for 7 hours whilst being questioned through an interpreter.
    Japanese citizen held by police for 7 hours under false accusation of committing the ‘crime’ of ‘being a foreigner’.
    Even then, they won’t take his word for it, they want to speak to his J-father. I’d have been asking for compensation myself.

    Just goes to show, when the apologists get pulled into the koban for not looking Japanese even though they have naturalized, we’ll soon hear them change their tune about how racist and discriminatory Japan is. Roll on the day…

    Reply
  • Mark in Yayoi says:

    According to the Asahi article, the police questioned him for roughly five hours before formally arresting him, and then it took a further seven hours for him to be released.

    外国人と思い込み、旅券不携帯容疑で誤認逮捕 茨城県警
    朝日新聞 2014年8月14日14時03分
     茨城県警牛久署は14日、日本国籍を持つフィリピンから来た男性(20)=さいたま市=を出入国管理法違反(旅券不携帯)容疑で誤って逮捕したと発表した。同署は、男性を約7時間後に釈放した。
     署によると、茨城県牛久市内で13日昼ごろ、署員が男性を職務質問したところ、男性は片言の日本語で「友だちに会いに来た」などと話した。外国人と思い込んだ署員は交番に任意同行を求め、男性が旅券を持っていなかったことから、午後5時すぎに現行犯逮捕した。その後、通訳を介して調べると、「日本の国籍もある」と話し、さいたま市の自宅で日本のパスポートが見つかった。
     男性は父親が日本人、母親がフィリピン人。国籍法は、22歳までにどちらか選択するよう定めている。
     橋本康一郎署長は「誤認逮捕に至り、おわびする。再発防止に努める」とコメントした。

    What could possibly have taken this long? As a veteran of police questioning, I can take some guesses: they started asking him about anything and everything: his employer, where he lives, when he came to Japan, who he lives with, etc., etc. But since the ostensible reason for his detainment and arrest was that he wasn’t carrying his passport, he should have been free the moment he asserted that he had Japanese nationality.

    (Aside: why are the words “passport” and 旅券 always used by the media in these cases? Since 2012, it has been mandatory to carry the 在留カード, and a passport is no longer a substitute. A regular reader of the news would be led seriously astray by this.)

    My first impression when reading the story was that the police officer didn’t believe that anyone could legally have dual nationality, even though it is 100% legal for those under 22. If police officers are going to go around enforcing immigration law on non-suspects (and at the behest of an anonymous apartment manager!), they must understand every part of the law, even the “loopholes” (which are not loopholes at all).

    The police should not be functioning as immigration officials — certainly not with non-suspects such as the man in this story. “Real” immigration officials working at air and sea ports know their laws back to front and would not bat an eye at a 20-year-old asserting that he has both Filipino and Japanese nationality at the same time. Even if the man didn’t speak any Japanese, “my father is Japanese and my mother is Filipino” is not hard to convey, even with no shared language between participants. And it isn’t fair to force police officers, who have real crimes and investigations to deal with, to master the subtleties of immigration law. Unfortunately, when you combine this with the police’s tendency to detain and arrest first and then worry about ascertaining the truth, you get situations like this one.

    Also, I think there’s a small typo in Nishantha’s article. This section 「現場では逮捕された被害者の声に耳を傾けるという最低限の人権すら保障されていことが明確である。」should probably have 「保証されていないことが明確である」at the end, if it means “It is clear that in not even listening to what the man had to say at the scene before arresting him [the police] did not even protect his most basic human rights.”

    Reply
  • As the UN reports note here:

    “..The Action Plan to Create a Crime- Resistant Society issued by the National Police Agency states that illegal residents are likely to commit crimes and therefore a large reduction in their number is necessary to provide public safety…” *

    * http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G11/121/27/PDF/G1112127.pdf?OpenElement

    We’re on a sticky wicket to begin with. The only thing to fear is fear itself..and boy is it working for the NPA.

    The report also notes:

    “…The Police also reported to the media that the number of crimes committed by foreigners had increased, while the statistics included in their White Paper confirm that the number of crimes committed by foreigners and brought to the attention of the authorities had actually decreased….” As you’ve already noted here before.

    All adds up to…Buckle up for the ride folks…

    Reply
  • Minister 1: Japanese citizens looking like NJ. It’s causing us problems in the press.
    Minister 2: Perhaps we should make them wear some easily identifiable mark.
    .
    Minister 3: I know, a little reflective oblong white patch two by four inches or cm
    Minister 4: Sounds too modern and clear. How about Four finger lengths by two
    .
    Minister 1: I think it’s been done before
    Minister 2: That’s good it’s historical, we can add it into the history books. Where was it?
    Minister 1: Found it, England in 1218

    Reply
  • The main point here is police illegality. Now, having said that, let’s see what the victim could have done better.

    There are ten vital actions that would have reduced the chance of his voluntary walk to the Koban in the first place:

    #1. Be ready to use these 10 steps which give police officers pressure to obey the laws and let you continue walking. Be ready.

    #2. Definitely install Evernote, each video uploads automatically, to avoid police destruction of video evidence. Install Evernote.

    #3. The victim should begin recording right from the moment any police officer initiates any conversation. Film Everything.

    #4. Remaining calm, the victim should get the officer to admit on film that this is Shokumu Shitsumon. Confirm Shokumu Shitsumon.

    #5. The victim should then make the officer show his Techou, which many officers illegally leave on their desk. Demand Techou.

    #6. The victim should film the officer’s Techou, and if officer pulls away too quickly, demand it be clearly shown. Film Techou.

    #7. The victim should then make the officer state immediately (tadachi ni) the reason, per Japan Constitution Article 34. Film Reason.

    #8. The victim should say, “Kore wa Dai-Ni-Jou Ihan” because “Sōtō na riyū NAI to ihou desu.” State Police Officer’s illegal actions.

    #9. The victim should say, “Shokumu Shitsumon wa nin’i” because “Kyōsei sareru wa ihō desu.” State SS is voluntary, Force is illegal.

    #10. “Nippon Kōan Īnkai to Saiban wa ihō keisatsu yurusanai. Mou itte ii deshō! Mou itte ii deshō?” Repeatedly State Freedom to Leave.

    Summary:

    #1. Be ready.

    #2. Install Evernote.

    #3. Film Everything.

    #4. Confirm Shokumu Shitsumon.

    #5. Demand Techou.

    #6. Film Techou.

    #7. Film Reason.

    #8. State Police Officer’s illegal actions.

    #9. State SS is voluntary, force is illegal.

    #10. Repeatedly State Freedom to Leave.

    Japanese Judge ruling states stopping people without Reasonable Suspicion of a Crime is illegal, so don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise:
    http://www.ombudsman.jp/policedata/130528.pdf

    And if this man can refuse suspicion-less stops, and refuse answering questions about citizenship there, you can be equally brave here:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/42/u6uw7506xMw Successful Refusal #1
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/41/K8hcf1flFHA Successful Refusal #2
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/40/irYJVn2k6zU Successful Refusal #3
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/39/TuIwz8ddAYo Successful Refusal #4
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/37/fKDdH8xtpN4 Successful Refusal #5
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/35/yHqpuVetLeo Successful Refusal #6
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/34/xZ8dothFvx8 Successful Refusal #7
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/33/mC1hXigi6xc Successful Refusal #8
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/32/gRk3awO1Jq0 Successful Refusal #9
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/31/Fv8hoQYeVl0 Successful Refusal #10
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/29/kG5FFilmjfc Successful Refusal #11
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/28/DDLlEh0x2XA Successful Refusal #12
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/24/sDjB1e7CNF4 Successful Refusal #13
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/9/Z2aCrrL3CWQ Successful Refusal #14
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/8/VdDEBT-UoJ0 Successful Refusal #15

    http://www.debito.org/?p=10407#comment-340943 Summary showing that Bressi received $210,000 for his bravery. He has the knowledge and the courage.

    No matter what country you live in, no matter what passport(s) you hold, it is vital for you to have the knowledge and courage to continue freely.

    Reply
  • FaithNoMore says:

    In response to David: electronically labeling or electronically tagging gaijin in addition to the measures is seen as a big market opportunity.

    A few years ago I had a professional relationship with a major security company that used to be fronted by an aging Showa-era baseball star (do you know whom I’m talking about) and a cadre of up-and-coming executives had all sorts of wonderful ideas. They were nearly creaming their pants at the idea of Tokyo establishing itself as an international gambling hub, and had dreams of Dejima style gambling centers in Tokyo Bay with all their ultra high security stuff.

    But they had brilliant ideas for gaijin. As gaijin are basically potentially trouble, they should be embedded with tracking and bio chips and monitored, not only for their health but for their performance and whereabouts.

    Hey presto, “Gaijin Problem” solved!

    I don’t know if the company has formally ever or behind-the-scenes proposed this to the NPA for example, but when this plan was being discussed and I was there, the congnitive dissonance – no, let’s make it simple; the whole thing was surreal.

    You know, I’m here, I’m one of the gaijin you are talking about as if I am some sort of potentially dangerous half-tamed animal. I am only here to be used and exploited and monitored, ultimately, and every other consideration is just tatemae.

    Yokoso Nippon!

    Reply
  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    I wondered if this would make it to Debito.org.
    I came accross the story on social media, and there were some very nasty comments about
    * “foreigners pretending that they’re Japanese” (citizenship isn’t good enough then?)
    * “people getting Japanese citizenship without being able to speak the language” (none of your purebread Yamatos speak Japanese at birth, either)
    * “It’s not discrimination (sabetsu), it’s distinction (kubetsu)” (i.e. it’s only racist when it happens to us)

    Apart from the lack of empathy, I am concerned about the average Japanese-on-the-street’s lack of understanding of how citizenship works.

    — For the most part, the assumption of the average Taro on the street is the presumption of guilt — as in, the cops obviously wouldn’t be stopping people without good reason. The cops stopped this person for “looking suspicious” (yes, looking out of place by looking foreign, but whose fault is that? The foreigner’s, obviously, for not knowing his place as invisible resident). This assumption can stand because it hasn’t happened (yet) to the average Taros.

    If you doubt that, check out how this presumption that the victim somehow deserved it rubs off on even the gaijin who are going to get zapped sooner or later: Tepido apologist Lance Braman’s letter to the JT editor claiming my being targeted by the police during the Toyako G8 Summit back in 2008 was my own doing. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2008/07/06/reader-mail/asking-for-trouble-from-police/ (And for the record, Braman’s claim within the letter that I said I “hung around” the airport was a complete lie, for my report on that event is at http://www.debito.org/?p=1752). But I digress…

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  • Maybe the solution is to only go out wearing those Marvel Comics hoodies that zip up all the way? After all, as a light skinned, blue eyed gaijin, I look damn suspicious… who knows what kind off nefarious schemes I’m plotting? Whereas nobody will cast a second look at someone dressed as Doctor Doom or Deadpool.

    I joke, except I’ve actually found this to be true… le sigh…

    Reply
  • Baudrillard says:

    Japan deserves what it gets and the losers are the Japanese public as well. Only the people can change the people. Thus, the police folow bad customs (taking a Japanese busybody seriously just because its a “foreigner”) and cause “meiwaku” to another Japanese.
    Harsh but fair.

    A more ironic example was that oft sited case in Kawaguchi, Saitama, where the police agai detained a “suspicious looking foreign woman” who was in fact a Japanese woman. They thought she was a foreigner because she would not speak to them! Her family later explained she was “not good at speaking to strangers”.

    Love the irony here. We have
    1. Japanese suspicion of people who look “different”
    versus
    2. The Japanese suspicion of strangers and unwillingness to speak or communicate.

    Thus, the Japanese lose. These bizarre and negative customs are at odds with each other.

    Reply
  • The bravery-inspiring links above need correction, here is one link which allows all 15 to be seen:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA/videos?sort=da&view=0&flow=grid (sorted by oldest first, the oldest 15 are the Successful Refusals.

    And yes, of course one can easily say “that’s not Japan” but they show the importance of repeatedly saying “Am I free to go now?” 「もう、行ってもいいでしょう」

    If more people (both non-Japanese and Japanese alike) would know and use this vital technique, more people would be able to avoid walking to the Koban.

    Reply
  • Still in process on my own complaint after the Koaniinkai has failed to produce any results or even contacted me after the police “investigator” told me that it is perfectly legal to stop gaikokujin simply because they are foreign and some foreigners have over stayed visas. So yeah… I can only hope some progress is made or this guy fought back legally.

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  • Both this guy in Ibaraki and the lady in Kawaguchi received verbal apologies, but nothing in writing.

    When perpetrators of illegal actions admit to having done something which requires apologizing for, the victim should always get that in writing.

    I’m trying to figure out what the name is for such an official “Admit, Apologize, and Promise to train staff not to do that same illegal thing again” letter.

    The closest thing my wife can think of is the term 謝罪文. Is there a better or stronger term for this kind of letter? Hopefully Debito or a reader here might know.

    Let’s figure out that letter name, and demand it each and every time we become the victim of illegal actions, whether the perpetrator is a private company staff or a government public servant.

    Without demanding that official letter, the chances are much higher that the illegality will occur again (and again, and again.) Making them write the letter (with the threat of a lawsuit plus worldwide media attention if they don’t) will increase the chances of higher-ups actually training their people correctly about how to follow the law.

    — For me too it would be 謝罪文.

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  • I requested an apology letter when I recently dealt with my situation, and even when they found that the officer was in the wrong, the investigator REFUSED to offer any written apology or even a follow up of the details of the investigation I requested.

    If you find out what to request or how to do so, I’m very curious as well.

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  • B the reason that the keystones didn’t give you a letter of apology is because if they gave you a letter then this letter could be used against the keystones as your supporting evidence and there admitted fault in court if you filed a lawsuit against them for racial profiling or discrimination.

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  • Hey B – Please tell us what official document you submitted to the Kōan Īnkai in the first place. I suspect that there is an official document that must be submitted (and that if you didn’t submit that, then this would explain why you never received anything in writing from them, because your “complaint” was handled by some jerk who does NOT handle official complaints. I do not believe that an OFFICIAL complaint handler would say over the phone, “Cops can legally stop people without probable cause, even though that violates Police Duties Law Article 2, suck it up B.” I believe the jerk who said that to you is some UNOFFICIAL complaint handler.)

    All of us here need to know what the official way to make the Kōan Īnkai start an official investigation is. I do NOT think it is a simple matter of sending them a self-written letter describing what happened, I think there is an official letter just as official as a visa application.

    Let’s figure this out together for next time. Does anyone here know the exact document that must be submitted? Because submitting that exact document would have produced B receiving an official letter from the Kōan Īnkai saying, “We received your official complaint.” at the very least. Since you didn’t receive any letter B, I think your letter of complaint never officially entered the Kōan Īnkai ombudsman investigation system.

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  • Well, my darling Japanese wife is visiting her aging parents in Japan for the next few weeks. I toyed with the idea of accompanying her, despite having made my vow never to return, way back in 2008. In light of this incident, I feel vindicated in sticking to my guns, and to my vow. Sadly, never again!

    No amount of o-toru sashimi, tonkatsu-teishoku, ‘Samurai ramen’, cold Yebisu or hours wallowing in my favourite onsen is worth this kind of hassle. I will savour the memories, look fondly at my photos, e-mail my friends, and chalk it all up to change, not for the better. Japan is now one of a half-dozen or so countries that I’ve vowed never to visit again; the UK, the USA, the ‘magic kingdom’ of Saudi Arabia and ‘israel’ (spit!) being among them.

    My take on it all is that life is just too short to be bothered with these kinds of annoyances. If they want to treat ‘foreigners’ that way, then I say, let’s not go. If they can’t deal with the fact of a changing demographic because they have manufactured one of the most dysfunctional societies on the planet, then, let the good ship “Utsukushi” Japan speed full throttle to the rocks while the captain sleeps one off downstairs. They’ve already chosen death by stagnation rather than life by external invigoration, so I feel no personal responsibility. I’ve done all the tolerating I’m going to do. If they can’t be bothered to reciprocate, then a plague on all their houses!

    I’m happily ensconced in Malaysia now, (celebrating its 57th Independence Day September 1st), and while not perfect, they seem to relish their diversity, instead of hammer down the nail of non-conformity. Yes I have a gaijin card….that I can use to board an aircraft instead of a passport (unless going to Sabah and Sawawak). Nobody asks for it, except the bank….and they ask everyone, for security. Here you can drink beer on the steps of the mosque during Friday prayers in Ramadan, and the only thing they’ll ask you is, “Please don’t litter!” Or, “When you’ve finished, would you like to join us for prayers?” Now that’s tolerance.

    A while back I predicted that the 2020 Olympics, which I’ve dubbed the “Glow In The Dark Olympiad” will be called off because of the radiation levels in Tokyo. IF, by some chance I’m wrong, then it will be interesting to see how all of the multi-coloured, multi-ethnic Olympians are treated. Like the poor sod “fushinshya” in the photo above? I weep at the thought. O, my beloved Japan, what have you become?

    Reply
  • Jim, Anon,

    Thanks for the comment. If that is the case then we seriously all need to find out what is the actual process for this, because clearly my case (and many others I’m sure) were handled VERY poorly. Luckily, I do have the investigator recorded on the phone saying some blatant “racial profiling/discrimination” stuff for any follow up.

    I plan to contact the Kouaniinkai yet again through a written letter, but yes, it does seem that they are purposefully avoiding this and shifting it to the side.

    Does ANYONE here know the official way to approach this? Koaniinkai or not? It could be that the kouaniinkai is waste of time for any complaint and we are going to the wrong place.

    — For the record, more details about how to get police to follow up on crimes are in my book HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS, pp. 210-216.

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  • As for the “official document” I went by their page and simply submitted a written letter the way they have on the website.

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  • Debito, thanks for the reply. I have your book actually, but mostly I just see mention of recording info, going to the press, or going to court. Unfortunately I don’t have time for a civil court case. However, I am planning to go to the media if possible with the recordings and evidence I am collecting.

    — There’s more. Read carefully. I gave page numbers.

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  • @B Illegal Shokumu Shitsumon is first defined on page 11, when the judge explains:

    「不番理由はなく。。。職務質問は違法である。 このような違法な職務質問。。。警察官らは。。。犯罪者を自ら作り出している。」

    And here are some more important quotes from that ruling:

    http://www.debito.org/?p=12237#comment-438862

    (To make this ruling more easily searchable using the Ctrl+F function, this really needs to be scanned by someone with good “OpticalCharacterRecognition software which can handle Kanji” – my favorite highly effective OCR software “TopOCR” can’t handle Kanji, unfortunately.)

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  • OK, if there is no official document, have media film you turning in the video evidence of keisattsu-hou dai-ni-jou-ihan 「ihou na shokumu shitsumon」. That’s probably the best way to increase the chance of your letter of complaint about the violation actually getting investigated.

    Your video has police officers admittedly stopping an individual without probably cause (as it seems someone high-ranking has given Shibuya cops some unwritten “permission/training” to daily illegally stop people without reasonable suspicion of any crime) so the headline here is literally “Shibuya Keisatsu no mainichi ihan.”

    Oh, and one officer even told you you don’t have the right to film them, and an officer even hit your hand in an effort to stop your filming.

    Now, looking back, I notice you mentioning you weren’t able to get them to show their Techous (http://www.debito.org/?p=12138#comment-433873) so maybe that is why your complaint seems to have not been officially investigated.

    Please remind me, where is the link to your video, I want to see if the video actually show an officer, or officers, refusing to show their Techous?

    Remember when we talked about how important it is to get the Techous on film, because without the location they actually are registered at (which may be different from where they are hanging out doing these illegal fishing expeditions) suddenly the investigation can’t happen.

    But anyway, since I’m here posting about the Police Duties Law, let’s also remember that the Police Duties Law requires police officers to treat the people they see as: individuals (kojin 個人)

    “According to the Police Law Number 162, these laws apply to all individuals in Japan, no differentiation between nationalities. Police questioning is voluntary, I have the right to go, am I free to go now?”

    “警察法第百六十二号によりますと、この法律は我が国の全「個人」 にあてはまります、国籍は関係ありません。職務質問は任意だから、行く権利ありますので、もう行ってもいいですか?”

    “According to the Police Duties Execution Law, Article Two: unless there is a regulation relating to criminal action, officials may not confine, bring back to any police administration area, or else coerce a person to reply to questions against his will.”

    “警察官職務執行法第二条によりますと、刑事訴訟に関する法律の規定によらない限り、身柄を拘束され、又はその意に反して警察署、派出所若しくは駐在所に連行され、若しくは答弁を強要されることはない。”

    Reply
  • @Anonymus: In your post in 23 above, the quote about the police manufacturing criminals appears to be from a part of the judgement where the plaintiff’s arguments are restated. Prefacing it with “the judge explains” is misleading.

    Reply

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