Press Conference at Hokkaido Govt Press Club follows Letter of Protest to Hokkaido Police


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Hi Blog.  FYI, I will be giving a quick press conference tomorrow, Wednesday, June 25, 2008, after giving in a letter of protest regarding all the recent racial profiling happening during the G8 Summit anti-terrorism moves.  (More on that issue here.)

Schedule as follows:

  • 10:45AM Gather at Hokkaido Police HQ (Kita 2 Nishi 7)
  • 11AM Formal presentation of Protest Letter (text in Japanese here) to Hokkaido Police
  • 11:45AM Short Press Conference at Hokkaido Government Building Press Club to give the media a better understanding of what’s going on

All appointments have been made with the Hokkaido Police and the Hokkaido Government Press Club.  All parties have received advance copies of the press release and letter.

You can download everything that I’ll be presenting to the public (Japanese) at

Or see the text (Japanese) of the letter of protest here.

Arudou Debito in Sapporo

5 comments on “Press Conference at Hokkaido Govt Press Club follows Letter of Protest to Hokkaido Police

  • Just wanted to give a big “thank you” to Debito and all involved in this for taking the time and making the effort, which is definitely appreciated wholeheartedly. I’m excited to see how this turns out.

    Jake in Osaka

  • I can’t wait to see how this goes. I hope it gets the media coverage it deserves. Let us know about any articles or other news coverage to look out for. Good luck and thank you!

  • jake i think we should all be handing out these letters all over japan at all the main police stations, to protest this injustice. we should not be waiting on the sidelines to see how it turns out, because if it can happen to debito then it could happen to anyone at anytime. debito could you help everyone with a standard letter so we could all use them at every police station across the nation? WE really need to take a stand like debito and fight for our human rights.

    –No time. Feel free to sample from my letter.

  • Mark in Yayoi says:

    Debito, good luck tomorrow! I hope the police give meaningful answers and that the media presses them on the matter. It is egregious that in this age of passports, customs declarations, fingerprints, photographs, local alien registration, mandatory card-carrying, and the occasional home visit from a police officer, that foreign-looking people are still considered suspicious.

    I’d like to know more about the training that these cops are receiving prior to being posted at the airports and train stations with instructions to stop anyone who doesn’t look Japanese. For example:

    * The police have obtained the cooperation of the train/subway lines. Security cameras in the stations Are police reviewing these films before positioning themselves in the stations, so as to get a handle on which commuters are regulars? It should be possible for stationmasters to review tapes and count the regular foreign commuters and when they enter and exit. Are they advising police, or do the police just show up at the station and do as they like?

    * Is there anything at all that a foreign-looking person can do to remove himself from suspicion? For example, wearing a company badge? Carrying a transparent bag? Advance communication with police/stationmasters, for when tight train connections must be made? Will records of “clean” foreigners be passed to the next shift so that they don’t get hassled when using the airport/train station again?

    * Is there an official complaints desk that can look into possible violations by overzealous police? (If not, why not?) An operation this large, regardless of one’s opinion of its merits, is sure to suffer a few flare-ups and disagreements, particularly when plainclothes police officers are stopping non-suspects.

    * Any estimates of the total number of “foreigners” stopped? How much tax money was spent in harassing them? Extra officers stationed, or were they taken from other duties? (Increased crime in areas where they would have been patrolling, if not for this dragnet?) Cost per stoppage? Total cost to society including missed trains, late appointments, etc. This last is impossible to estimate, and several minutes per person of foreign-people’s time might be considered valueless by the police, but multiply by the thousands of people being stopped and you’ve got a lot of lost productivity.

    Placing so much of the nation on a high-security lockdown is something that requires, at the very least, a high degree of accountability from its implementers. Let’s hope we get some at this press conference.

    –I’ll do my best to sight-translate these questions at today’s press conference. Thanks very much for them.

  • If no one does anything, nothing will ever change. I think history has taught that.

    Thankfully there are people like Debito-san out there.


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