YouTube video of Tokyo Police using excessive force to subdue a Non-Japanese in public


Books, eBooks, and more from Dr. ARUDOU, Debito (click on icon):
Guidebookcover.jpgjapaneseonlyebookcovertextHandbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan「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)sourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumbFodorsJapan2014cover
UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free
“LIKE” US on Facebook at
If you like what you read and discuss on, please consider helping us stop hackers and defray maintenance costs with a little donation via my webhoster:
Donate towards my web hosting bill!
All donations go towards website costs only. Thanks for your support!

Hi Blog.  Check this out:


Al:  Hi Debito, In the wake of the case of Mr. Suraj, the Ghanian who was killed by Japanese immigration during a botched deportation, I’d like to share a video of clear use-of-excessive-force by Tokyo police on NJ:

Though we don’t know what the NJ did or how they took him to the ground, clearly he is already on the ground, subdued with 3 officers on top of him. The disturbing part is the officer who is sitting on his lower back, applying unnecessary and excessive pressure to bend his spine. Why was this necessary?? He’s already on the ground, with his hands behind his back, and poses no threat to any of the officers.

He’s clearly in a lot of pain, which shows in his voice. The officer sitting on his lower back could have simply just pinned his legs to the ground rather than bending his spine the way he does in the video. The officers are from Tokyo as can be seen by the 「警視庁」emblem on their uniforms.

Please get this video out as it is a disturbing case of excessive use-of-force on an NJ. Additionally, I find that use-of-force by Japanese police tends to be very arbitrary, without any clear goal or regulating doctrine. I myself have had my arms grabbed and pulled out of a department store for an ID check. Thanks, Al


COMMENT: Do people still doubt the Japanese police are incapable of breaking a NJ’s leg while subduing him? Or in the UG Valentine Case, crippling him for life?  Are they trying out a new technique to see if NJ can withstand more pain than average?  Or are they using actual police training, which has resulted in the mysterious death of at least one NJ in Tokyo and at least five more between 2014-2015.  Maybe these other NJ deaths are less mysterious now too.

Somebody please feel free to make a copy of the video for us before it disappears and send to  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

PS: Although we have some bystanders repeatedly telling the police they’re overdoing it, I find it especially chilling how one unempathetic person starts calling it “revenge”?

32 comments on “YouTube video of Tokyo Police using excessive force to subdue a Non-Japanese in public

  • I deeply worry that with the run up to the Tokyo Olympics-combined with the growing Us vs. Them mentality-that this will only get worse.

    Hope to find more info about this. This is terrifying considering how little power foreigners have here.

  • Clearly the cop is not trying to restrain the man but just hurt him. Somebody is heard saying ‘rivengi’ revenge? Is that legal anyway? The cop is unconcerned with the people around and the recording of the incident. Scary to know that this kind of behavior seems to be the norm.

  • I have seen a drunken Japanese man deliberately knock off a Japanese policeman’s hat and received nothing more than a stern caution with raised finger. God help me or any other foreigner who tried that.

    I have to remind myself that this is a country of extremes and unending over reactions. Take the case in Osaka some years ago involving 2,240 officers (sic), 460 police vehicles (sic) and one helicopter chasing a certain Hirofumi Fukuda who had been wanted for assaulting police. A slap and a punch to be exact. This is the kind of stuff in Lupin Sansei. Then again the populace has always had a little trouble distinguishing fact from fiction.

    God help us if caught in the labyrinth that is the Japanese legal system. Guilty until proven innocent.

  • This is why we need to film all police interactions. It’s a problem with police everywhere in the world, and Japan is no exception. Except the gun violence, Japan might even be worse because of the culture of expected kowtowing to authority, combined with the culture of covering up and lying by the authorities; and xenophobia of course. Make sure you get it on film.

  • David S Young says:

    I’ll agree that it is scary how little power foreigners have here, but I’m also hesitant to 2nd guess the police based on such a short snippet of video. The suspect’s hands were behind him at the start, but they quickly wound up in from of him, so they weren’t cuffed. He began on his stomach (where he was kept when the officer controlling his legs threw in that ‘Boston Crab’ hold) but very soon wound up on his side. (That’s where the officer can be seen holding one leg with both hands and trying but failing miserably to control the other leg with his own.) The two officers who were controlling the upper torso weren’t on the back by the time the NJ rolled over, so I wouldn’t have said they had control of him. They may have overdone it, but I’m not sure if I would call it “excessive force”. That term has a specific meaning and usually usually implys injury, not just discomfort. And since we don’t know 1)what the NJ was accused of,2) his mental/emotional state,3)how much Japanese he understood,4) how he got on the ground or what lead up to it/why the officers felt it was required to take him to the ground…there are too many unknowns to 2nd guess them in a case where we don’t even know if he was injured.

  • David S Young says:

    We also don’t know how much the Tokyo Police were able to communicate in a language other than Japanese.(My guess is about zero) Poor training and poor communication may have been a big part of this. Or it could be that the guy was was in an altered mental state and just couldn’t be handled politely.
    Arm-chair-quater-backing is tough without seeing it from the beginning.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Wow, never seen that video before! Shocking!
    They’re going to put that guy in a wheelchair if they aren’t careful. And of course, they’d get away with it in Japan, after all, they killed Suraj.
    And I remember a Japanese woman who suffocated after a 15 stone J-cop sat on her back to immobilize her a few years back, and then there’s the guy who was suffocated after the J-cops wrapped him in a roll of carpet to immobilize him, and who could forget the NJ guy who was picked up off the street for ‘looking suspicious’ and then died whilst resisting arrest?

    Dr. Debito, you’ve got a ‘Rogues Gallery’ for the Japanese Only signs, I think that maybe you should have a dedicated page for these instances where it seems that the J-police don’t have a clue about restraining suspects. Sure, all the apologists will scream that in the US cops would ‘just shoot you’, but the fact of the matter is that in the US and the EU police officers receive mandatory training on the correct way to restrain members of the public (and suspects!) so that they don’t injure themselves or the public/suspects!

    Why do they receive this training? Precisely so that THEY DON’T put someone in a wheelchair, and leave the force open to a million dollar lawsuit.

    Of course, since Japan’s former Chief Prosecutor teaches the police that ‘Gaijin have no rights’, it’s not surprising that J-cops have no fear what-so-ever of putting an NJ in hospital, after all, they CAN KILL NJ with no comeback. And now we see the relationship of cause and effect. It’s time to start cataloguing these incidences so that as a body, they receive the same recognition as the ‘Japanese Only’ problem.

  • Don't call me gaijin says:

    Anyone remember the big media scare stories before the 2002 soccer World Cup when on national TV the cops were seen hunting down the gaijin barbarians with nets (really rendolent of Planet of the Apes – the original series, not the movie, which sucked) and a whole Hokkaido shotengai shuttered up and battened down for the impending tidal wave of drunken violent foreign scum that had been warned about)…?

    There was a distinct air of quiet and competent sadism in the spine stressing there. Obey or pain. Shucks, I’m enjoying this. This fun. Give the animal, helpless and legs akimbo another twist.?Note the gloves now we don’t want to catch diseases from these animals.

    I’m sure the Kempeitai and Gestapo were similarly professional and vicarious in their duties NS pleasures. Kinki sadism, coming to your hood soon under Abe’s “revised” Constitution?

  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ David S Young #5&6

    Yes, we don’t know what all the circumstances are, that is why people go to court to establish those facts so that guilt or innocence can be determined along with appropriate sentencing. It is not the job of the police to dish out painful punishments. And you could hardly claim that in the video above the police were reverse bending this guys spine to protect him or others, could you?

    Why are you apologizing for them? It looks wrong, so they should be challenged, and should be able to defend their actions based on written police policy and training. Can those officers do that in this instance?

    The fact that there is no pressure for them to do so speaks volumes.

    As for yourself, you should fall into the victim blaming, default to authority mentality that the Japanese do; ‘he must have done SOMETHING wrong to be on the floor with 3 cops in the first place’ = he deserves what he gets. Is that where you’re coming from? Seriously?

  • Giuseppe says:

    First they pull both legs up, then they put both legs down, then they pull one leg up then they make sure the other leg is down, then they twist and turn the leg that is up….

    Do they have an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) or are they making things up as they go along?

    Meanwhile that guy is suffering unnecessary pain for no reason whatsoever.
    If they have to arrest him they should do it right away and be done with it.
    Those three policemen need some serious training because from the video it shows that they have no idea what to do next.

  • This is a clear case of human rights abuses by the police, this made me think about rodney king and how the police attacked him in LA, same thing different country. those keystones need to be arrested. GAIJIN LIVES MATTER !!!!!

  • @David S Young

    I don’t care what happened before the video starting rolling. You don’t bend someone’s spine like that unless you’re trying to cripple them. The officer could have just pinned his legs to the ground. Excessive force is ANY force above and beyond what’s necessary to make an arrest or defend yourself. Even grabbing someone’s arm is excessive force if it’s unnecessary. I’ve had my arms grabbed and physically pulled out of a department store after I had shown my ID; so that they could search me. It was “excessive” because I had no obligation to leave the store or be searched. I wasn’t injured, but “excessive” doesn’t require injury. “Excessive” means exactly that, above and beyond what’s necessary. And bending someone’s spine like that certainly could lead to injury.

  • I’m not trying to justify the police, but the video is from 2011, but the headline makes it sound like it happened recently.

    It is a little shocking that the person taking the video really seemed to enjoy watching it.

  • I agree with Jim about spot for police abuses. I feel there could be a lot to be gained from an compilation or dedicated site/section of this site for Japanese police misconduct, videos, how to handle the situation, etc. Of the everyday interactions that take place, interactions, harassment, or abuse by police may be one of the larger threats.

    I know Debito is one busy man, but this seems to be a consistent issue that poses great risk that needs to be spoken about. I see no one else really bringing the issue up unfortunately.

  • @Giuseppe

    There doesn’t seem to be any Standard Operating Procedure for use-of-force. If you’ve ever seen Japanese police use force, you’ll see that it’s extremely sloppy, and inconsistent. Remember the hundreds of police officers that showed up when there was a naked British man swimming in the Imperial Palace moat? They had these weird restraining devices on a pole, and there were hundreds of officers there. And when he approached them, completely naked, they were literally afraid of him and kept backing up. Yet, I’ve been grabbed and forced out of a store by 2 officers. So, hundreds of officers were afraid of a naked guy and didn’t want to approach him, but 2 officers had no problem grabbing my arm and pulling me out of a store?

  • @Jim Di Griz & B (#7 & #15)

    I agree with you guys. If this site had a Rogues Gallery for bad J-police, that would be awesome. In fact, I live in far more daily fear of J-police, who have the power to harass and hurt me, than I do of exclusionary establishments. Not that both things aren’t bad–I just think that racist cops patrolling the streets near my home are far more dangerous than bars or clubs that won’t let me in.

    One of the main problems with filming the J-police (and I speak from personal experience, having filmed them a couple of times, for example when they stopped me for a suspicionless questioning “because I looked lost” biking to the gym one night) is that it’s hard to get the whole thing on video from the beginning. Most NJ are just trying to be reasonable and resolve the situation without trouble; the camera only comes out when things get heated. Case in point, the above video–we don’t know what the background was.

    I think that to remedy this, we need a sting operation–carefully orchestrated from the beginning to catch the entire incident on camera, from the very beginning, to silence any doubts from apologists:

    1. A call to the police from a “concerned citizen” (a nervous Japanese woman, who is part of the sting operation) complaining of a “suspicious-looking gaijin” who “looks up to no good.” She should toss a “he is making me feel uncomfortable” in there, too. She can’t mention any actual crime that is being committed or that is about to be committed. The caller has to be female and a native Japanese speaker for maximum effect. If the caller is male or not a native Japanese speaker, the J-police will likely ignore the call. RECORD THE WHOLE THING–BOTH ENDS OF THE CALL.

    2. Prior to this sting operation, set up very high-quality cameras and ample microphones around a specific area, in hidden locations.

    3. Of course, the police will arrive and start questioning the NJ (either a real NJ, or a foreign-looking Japanese citizen will do, preferably male), probably asking to see an ID. Note that prior to this video, the NJ needs to have memorized all the relevant laws down to the letter in Japanese, and must be able to say them in very clear Japanese to the police, including the section and the paragraph.

    4. Make sure the video is in a fairly secluded location without too many onlookers–that way, the J-police are more likely to get careless. However, have a couple of Japanese people to be “just-in-case onlookers” just around the corner just in case the J-police start to get dangerously violent.

    5. Step 5 depends on the identity of the NJ.

    If he’s a true gaikokujin, he has to show his ID by law, but has the right to demand that the J-police show theirs first FOR A LONG ENOUGH AMOUNT OF TIME FOR HIM TO NOTE DOWN THE INFORMATION. Note that J-cops usually comply and show their IDs, but usually only for a second or two–not long enough to read or take down the information.

    If he’s a naturalized Japanese citizen, he should refuse to show the ID, citing the law on suspicionless ID checks. If they flash their badges for one second, he should flash his ID for one second and then quickly put it away, never letting it leave his hand. This mirroring of their behavior, although within his legal rights, will of course anger the authoritarian J-cops and make them more likely to act carelessly on camera.

    6. Hopefully, the J-police will break a law while unknowingly being filmed–refuse to show their ID(s), use physical force against him, try to force a naturalized Japanese citizen to show ID and cart him off to the police station even though this is illegal, etc. If so, the whole thing, from start to finish (including the initial “tip off” from the concerned J-citizen), will be on camera to silence the apologists.

    7. Once this masterpiece of a video has been taken, with high quality picture and sound, from start to finish, subtitle it (English, Japanese, Korean, and Japanese subtitles) and immediately work on getting it into the foreign media and sympathetic J-media: BBC, CNN, Japan Times, etc. Send a copy to the relevant United Nations agency, as well, whoever works on ICERD cases, and perhaps the embassy of the country that the NJ man comes from. MAKE SURE ALL FACES ARE BLURRED EXCEPT FOR THE NJ’S AND THE OFFICERS’. This is very important to avoid crossing legal boundaries. Put it up on YouTube, as well. Let it go viral. Get some sympathetic public places (such as NJ-run shops) to hang posters of extracts of video or play the video in an area where passersby will see it.

    Yes, we can do this–we can orchestrate a perfect sting operation in 1080p, with high quality sound, from start to finish, in which a perfectly calm NJ, doing nothing wrong at all, is oppressed by racist J-cops. We can definitely do this. It just requires a few team members, some planning, some A/V equipment, and checking with a lawyer to make sure that everything in the sting operation is completely legal–because when you piss off the police, you need to make sure that everything is air-tight.

    Debito-san, you have my e-mail address. If you are interested in the creation of such a video, I would gladly help fund it, because even though I’m not rich, I have been stopped for supicionless questioning multiple times and dealt with J-police who think they’re above the law multiple times, and would consider such a video a totally worthy form of activism; I would be willing to donate several 万円 and perhaps other resources, as well, to this project.

    What do you say?

    — I think it’s an excellent idea.

  • First of all, correction:
    “(English, Japanese, Korean, and Japanese subtitles)” -> “(English, Japanese, Korean, and CHINESE subtitles)”

    To extend my ideas from my previous post:

    1. If we use a naturalized Japanese male actor, he should not tell the J-police that he is a citizen. He should simply refuse to show his ID and offer no explanation. This will almost certainly result in his getting arrested and/or carted off to the nearest police station (at which point they will discover their error–after it is too late and the whole encroachment on his civil rights has already been caught on camera).

    2. The NJ or naturalized J-citizen actor should be wearing clothing that is casual but not overly casual. If he is wearing a nice Armani suit, there is too much risk that the police will assume that he is someone important and high-profile and therefore actually treat him with dignity and respect. If he’s wearing ripped jeans and a tank top and/or has tattoos or piercings, apologists lock onto that to blame the victim. Ideally, the actor should be wearing casual but classy clothes and have no visible tattoos or piercings.

    3. As a possible follow-up to #1, a lawsuit could be launched, Otaru Onsen-style. Once again, I would be willing to contribute money to this–because I know that legal fees aren’t free, and that the financial payoff from the lawsuit, if any, is likely not to cover the costs of the lawsuit, in monetary terms, anyway (social justice terms are another matter, though).

    4. Perhaps before releasing this publicly, we could do this, say, five times, and get five different videos. In my experience playing hard-to-get with my Zairyuu Kaado, J-cops generally think they are above the law and refuse to comply with their legal obligations, so it should be relatively easy to get five more-or-less similar videos with different J-cops and different NJ actors.

    5. It is likely that, in each case, the police will call many backup officers (usually a total of seven or eight officers) in an attempt to bully the NJ and make him feel overwhelmed and powerless. Make sure to point this out in the video–that massive police resources are being wasted on IDing an ordinary NJ instead of being used to catch murderers or yakuza. Make sure to note the cost to the taxpayer on-screen as this whole fiasco unfolds. This will pick up the attention of Japanese who couldn’t care less about NJ rights, but do care where their taxes are going.

    6. In order to increase coverage beyond just this site and a niche of YouTube, we could take out paid advertising in which the ad is displayed to anyone Web surfing about Japan, the same way that a NOVA ad or a Sakura House ad is displayed. Once again, I would be willing to help with the cost of this.

  • @Charles

    Trying to lure the police with a fake emergency call is likely to get you in trouble. If you want to record them stopping you, just walk around town a bit, make eye contact with any passing patrol car or officer inside the train station. They sometimes post plainclothes officers at the ticket gates, with the sole purpose of stopping foreigners for ID checks. Make eye contact and then keep walking; you’ll be stopped in no time.

  • I have to say, I think that could really have a huge impact of done appropriately, especially before the Olympics. I sure know I am sick of this harassment.

  • wow – that is just plain mean.
    I think these police are accustomed to getting their way. Even the calls from Japanese bystanders (yarisugi) don’t deter them.

  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ Al #19

    I see where you are coming from; if I called the police and said I saw a robbery when there was none, yes, that would be wasting police time, and likely an offense in itself.

    However, if I call the police in my oyaji voice and tell them I saw a ‘suspicious foreigner’ outside the combini, and the say ‘what was he doing?’, and I say ‘being a shifty foreigner’, and then the police decide to come over and check that foreigner out, what offense has the caller committed? The police could have said ‘being a foreigner outside the combini isn’t illegal’ and hung up, couldn’t they? Yet, we have seen many cases where this is enough of a crime for the cops to rush out and arrest the foreigner (even if sometimes they are Japanese!).

    If the call is made correctly, with no quivering voiced scared Japanese woman, but rather a self-appointed oyaji ‘gaijin handler’, then a police response would demonstrate the inherent racism of the system, wouldn’t it.

  • Baudrillard says:

    We do not need to fake it. Just turn up, “act suspiciously” ie. hang around while being White/Black/NJ, and presumably there would be a bunch of us in the initial stages before we hide the camera in the bushes. A group of dodgy foreigners with cameras, how frightening! Pick an area with a history of Oyaji gaijin handling, e.g. Shinagawa near that gaijin house the immigration officials raided and broke the sliding door off the hinges of.

    Once I was trying to find a short cut on my commute and there was a potential shortcut-a long driveway- I investigated which turned out to be a private road. Just stopping for 30 seconds and looking up there was enough to get a very constant and suspicious stare from a neighbor- not even the person who lived there. if I had not then moved on I feel there was a strong chance she would have called the police; I got the impression she thought I was staking the place out (though the house was at the end of a long driveway through trees).

    All this paranoia makes you paranoid. After that I noticed I started to put on an unconscious “act”, i.e. demonstrating my actions to The Eye or whoever might be watching. E.g. I am stopping…because it is hot. Cue fanning gesture so that all can see WHY I have stopped. Or, I have changed direction. Cue checking of Map or Phone. Oh, I see. The Nj is just a lost tourist……(though I was not, but that is an easier physical cue to “act out” for The Eye).

    So this paranoia just encourages misinformation in any case. Just another hard day of acting in the J theatre of the Absurd.

  • I think Al makes a good point. All you literally need to do is just walk by a few areas and make eye contact to trigger them to harass you in some areas, and that should be enough. No calls or other questionable stuff necessary.

  • @Al

    I’m not sure what my level of involvement in this project will be if this project goes forward. I might just donate money and time, not be the white (or black, or brown) guy on camera. Honestly, that role should probably go to either a naturalized citizen or a PR holder (someone who doesn’t have to worry about visa renewal next year which could be capriciously and arbitrarily denied).

    Before going forward with a project like this, it is _very_, _very_ important to make sure that a lawyer is consulted to make sure everything is as legal as possible. Even then, there is still some risk, because J-police are known for acting extrajudicially.

    Of course, there’s a very real possibility that the police might become enraged and retaliate in an extrajudicial fashion. That’s exactly what happened in the American South, South Africa, etc. when activists pulled things like this. That’s just part of activism, unfortunately. Debito-san has received anonymous death threat letters before and been threatened by authorities before. Anyone involved in this project would have to consider the risks in advance–but could also sleep easier at night knowing that he made a difference that will improve the lives of thousands of visible minority members living in Japan.


    Yes! You made a great point about the upcoming Olympics. The eyes of the world will be on Japan. In 1988, South Korea had the Olympics, and it is no coincidence that 1987 was the year they allowed South Koreans to leave their own country for the first time without an exit permit. It is key to make this video at a time when the impact will be the greatest.

    @Jim Di Griz

    Thank you for your encouragement. I’m not sure if having the caller be a concerned oyaji or a quivering voiced scared Japanese woman would be better. Both would be complaining of a non-crime, but in such a way that might get the police dispatched, and I think both would anger the police when they found out they had been deceived later on when the video became public.

    As I wrote to Al above, some level of risk is inherent in any activist activity. It’s not going to be easy to find volunteers for this project because of this due to possible retaliation from the police or other allied authorities such as the MOJ/immigration offices (I see that as being this project’s most significant stumbling block). Anyone heavily involved in the project (besides just cheering it on from the sidelines or donating some money) would have to be someone fairly stable–preferably a naturalized Japanese, really foreign-looking haafu with J-citizenship, or at least a PR holder with a wife and kids who would be very difficult to deport.

  • Just two more things:

    1. Debito-san, have you ever considered a (carefully vetted) message board (like phpBB) on this website so we can collaborate on projects like this? Perhaps even have some parts of the message board be visible to members only so that we can collaborate on projects privately, without tipping off various hostile elements?

    I can think of SO MANY projects like the one above. That idea was only the beginning.

    2. I mentioned above that the “suspicious gaijin” in the video could be a foreign-looking J-citizen or a PR holder to prevent him from getting deported in retaliation after this video goes viral. I’ll propose another idea: a guy with nothing to lose. We could find some actors who are planning to leave Japan/never planning to live in Japan anyway and have (almost) nothing to lose from having a black mark on their records. Perhaps even offer them payment just as any professional actor would be paid. Can we find volunteer actors? Maybe not. Can we find actors willing to take a risk for, say, 100,000 yen? Almost certainly. As I’ve already mentioned three or so times, I’d be willing to contribute some significant funds. 🙂

  • You have to be very careful here. In my opinion you dealing with a near totalitarian government attitude in regards to it’s police (not to say the US, UK, etc. don’t have those tenancies). Don’t tempt these thugs when you already have a sensitive position. You also have right wing wackos who could harass and make your lives horrible, even just going by this board.

    Get journalists involved is my recommendation. Contact organizations who have the power.

    Honestly, what you are talking about here is an investigative journalism report on police harassment of minorities in Japan. The best approach would be to get an actual investigative journalist involved who has the resources and legal knowledge, as well as can afford legal advising. Heck, even the VICE special report videos could be something to consider.

  • I’ll have to agree with B. This is definitely investigative journalism, so you’ll need a proper game plan. You should especially interview minorities from 3rd-world countries, and get them to participate, since they probably get stopped by the police more than anyone. Unfortunately, they’re also the least likely to complain about police harassment. Also, try to get insider information from the police themselves, such as any official policy regarding treatment of foreigners. I’d like to know what police officers are taught regarding foreigners. And I’d like to know whether they make a distinction among the different foreigners. For example, are they taught that Arabs behave a certain way, and that Brazilians behave another way? Do they approach black men differently than white men? Will they let a naturalized citizen refuse an ID check? How far will they go to pressure someone to let them search their bags or wallet?

    Documents showing police policy (official or unofficial) regarding treatment of foreigners is definitely a Most Wanted Leak of the decade. Anyone who can obtain such documents deserves an award for investigate journalism.

  • I also feel it is something that foreign and domestic media has horribly failed to approach considering that this is a wide-spread issue. I know in my ku, the police are staking out and stopping foreigners multiple times a week.

    Furthermore, if you initiate a stop, isn’t that a shokumushitsumon which is something that needs an actual reason? “Looks foreign therefore is a possible criminal” isn’t a legitimate reason in my book, and I doubt many others. Even though I have been told by the police themselves that they actually consider that a reason.

  • @B

    Yes, they do need a reason. It’s clearly stated in 職務質問 law. And the reason has to be “suspicious activity”. It’s what we think of as “probable cause” in the Western world. The reason why it’s not covered in Japanese media is because Japanese people tolerate 職務質問 regardless of the reason for the stop, or even if there was no reason. It’s not a big deal to the majority of Japanese people, and so there’s no reason to cover it. Even the deliberate targeting of foreigners doesn’t matter to them. But thanks to social media and such, people are becoming more aware of their rights, and so we’re starting to see some push back by Japanese people. Basically, it doesn’t matter what the law says, the police will do what they want until people make it an issue. As for foreign media, you know the saying “it’s their country, their rules.” Even if it means they don’t play by their own rules.

  • Yeah, I’m aware of that reason, but it unfortunately seems to be written to be extremely vague. They just make up any damn reason they wish to. Same with bullshit probable cause claims after the fact. I think catching them stating it is a clear shokushitsu and getting them to state the reason should be a start. If they are demanding ID okay, but if they are pulling off an illegal shokushitsu, that is where the most power may lie… (in my perfect world interpretation that is not supposed by any legal experience).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>