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Hi Blog. It turns out Japan has earned a reputation from past experiences hosting international events.
The racism-riddled debacles that were the soccer World Cup 2002 and the G8 Summits (here and here) made me question whether Japan as a society (let alone its politicians and police) was mature enough to handle any temporary influx of NJ, let alone as visa-legal NJ workers and residents of Japan.
But it seems it wasn’t just me. Some months ago, the Rugby World Cup and staff from two embassies actually cautioned the Japanese police to ease up on their overzealousness towards NJ. As previous blog entries have shown, it’s questionable whether they are actually doing that (as they are bending the law to encourage racial profiling at hotels etc.).
But the following article deserves to be recorded on Debito.org because it shows at least somebody out there is taking notice, despite all the official “omotenashi” wallpapering over Japan’s latent exclusionism that goes ignored, if not encouraged, by Japanese authorities. I look forward to seeing what the International Olympic Committee has to say in Tokyo in a year. Debito Arudou Ph.D.
Rugby – Japan police urged to take ‘light-touch’ approach at World Cup
REUTERS APRIL 18, 2019, By Jack Tarrant, courtesy of JDG
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese police have been encouraged to take a “light-touch approach” during the Rugby World Cup, with organisers telling Reuters they had visited host cities to emphasise that while fans will be boisterous they are unlikely to cause trouble.
More than 400,000 foreign fans are expected to descend on Japan for the Sept. 20 to Nov. 2 tournament and concerns have been raised that police might not have enough experience to deal with the influx.
Staff from two embassies have expressed concern to Reuters that police may overreact to perceived intimidation from fans.
Mick Wright, 2019 executive director for operations, said host cities had received briefings on what to expect and that organisers had downplayed concerns about unruly fans.
“We have been on a bit of a mission, we have had a roadshow going around all the cities talking about … rugby fans and what they expect from their behaviour,” Wright told Reuters.
Wright, who also works as a technical advisor to the International Olympic Committee, said host cities would be swamped by large numbers of fans drinking huge quantities of alcohol but that the mood would be a positive one.
“We have been explaining to all the cities that they better stock up on beer because we know from history that rugby fans will drink a lot,” he said.
“It is part and parcel of rugby’s ethos and culture.
“The way the fans behave, it might be loud and it might be raucous but it won’t be intimidating.
“With the police, I think we have been really successful in explaining to them that the light-touch approach is going to be better,” added Wright.
Yoshiya Takesako, Japan 2019 director of security, said the police had been told what to expect from fans and how to react.
“Rugby fans may seem scary but they are not,” said Takesako, who has been seconded from the Japanese police.
“This has been explained to the police so they have been educated that fans will drink a lot and may sing or be loud but it is not like they will hurt anybody.
“I have told the police forces many, many times to respond to fans in a reasonable way.”
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