Update: Ibaraki Police’s third new NJ-scare poster


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Hi Blog.  The Ibaraki Police are at it again.  JR Mito Station, July 18, 2009, courtesy of AM:


Yep, that’s another one of those police posters up in a public place explicitly making the case that Japan’s shores have to be defended from foreigners, and calling for public assistance to help the armed police surround and subdue them.

Again, it’s the third poster in as many years.  Despite the addition of the red, it’s arguably more subdued than last year’s (click to expand in your browser), where they bore automatic weapons and did Normandy Beach maneuvers:


Or the original and classic from two years ago:


More on these classics at https://www.debito.org/?p=2057.

But the question still remains.  Where’s the budget for these redesigns coming from?  And why does Ibaraki think it’s specially prone to invasion?  It’s not like it’s the only prefecture with a coast (almost all prefectures have one — in fact, pop quiz:  name the landlocked prefectures; don’t cheat and look at a map).  It’s not even facing the usual suspects for invasion China or North Korea (I shudder to think what posters might go up in Fukui or Ishikawa; any Sea of Japan siders out there?).  Even Otaru and other Hokkaido seaports with all their Russian sailor issues didn’t have officially-sponsored police posters like these (naw, they just had exclusionary signs from local-business vigilantes; way better.  /sarcasm).  So many mysteries created by our vigilant boys in blue, in this case garnished with black riot gear.

Arudou Debito in Sapporo

34 comments on “Update: Ibaraki Police’s third new NJ-scare poster

  • Shiga? Shiga’s got a lake but does it touch the sea? Or maybe it was a prefecture in the north east. I’m going to check a map after I post this.

  • I used to live on a town on the coasts of Ibaraki, and according to the mayor apparently we did get invaded every summer, kinda, by Brazillians on break from factories in Tochigi.

    — Yes. Guard the shores from string bikinis.

  • Shiga, Gifu, Nagano, and some more up around Tokyo. I think only Honshu has landlocked prefectures.

  • It would interesting to cross-culturally compare this to some of the on-going issues in the US. Not only anti-immigration but also racial profiling (as Colin Powell spoke candidly today about his experiences). As an American, I wonder if there’s anything to gain or understand by looking at the similarities or differences. Sometimes personal idic can shed more insight to another’s.

    No doubt there are a slew of political, cultural and linguistic hurdles, but human dignity remains the issue. How it’s impinged upon under various circumstances can be healthy and beneficial to overall debate and advocacy.

  • There aren’t enough negative words to describe my feelings for these posters. These are insanely disrespectful towards foreigners. How do they get away with this stuff?

    As a side note, why didn’t someone inform the NPA that foreigners won’t be coming by sea. We use airplanes now 😉

  • By the way, are those guys in masks the gaijin, or are they the ones looking for the gaijin (who seem to be conspicuously absent)?

    — Compare with other posters, look for the person under the scrum with the billed hat. Looks like this was all taken during the same photo session years ago. Good thing guns don’t go out of style.

  • If the cops are so scared of foreigners, why do they have the word “POLICE” written on their backs in english?

    — So there is no misunderstanding about who’s subduing you?

  • Joe Jones says:

    Hmmmm. Nagano, Saitama, Gunma, Yamagata and Yamanashi are all landlocked, I think.

    — Amazing how many people decided to take the quiz! Thanks! Okay, here are the answers, looking at a map. There are eight, a lot more than I thought.

    Tochigi, Saitama, Gunma, Yamanashi, Nagano, Gifu, Shiga, Nara.


    I only got Saitama, Gunma, and Nagano, despite being a map nerd.

    And look how big our Hokkaido is compared to all all your nebbishy prefectures! Muwahaha! Ours is the only one (okay, Aomori, and Kagoshima, at a stretch) that touches an ocean and the sea. Two seas, as a matter of fact. Hokkaido Police, be ambitious! Be vigilant!

  • I’ve lived in Ishikawa for a couple of years, but haven’t ever seen posters like those. Most posters town consist of ones encouraging greeting each other and being careful of fradulent phone calls. Be especially wary of those fradulent greeting phone calls.

    Landlocked… Shiga, Nagano, Gifu, Tochigi, Nara, Saitama, maybe Kyoto, errrrm…

    By the way, where on the poster does it say to help the police “surround and subdue” NJ?

    — That’s the visual. Scrum them!

  • jjobseeker says:

    Send these and the stories that have been posted here recently to the IOC. Make sure to include factual records or references and a professional letter. You want one way to make sure Japan starts to get it? Get them denied the 2016 games on the grounds of poor racial equality.
    Here’s the address:

    International Olympic Committee
    Château de Vidy
    1007 Lausanne
    And a Fax Number: (41.21) 621 62 16

    Remember, be professional, polite, and well documented.

  • From a marketing viewpoint I am confused what the message of these posters is supposed to be.

    The text asks for help in subduing illegal/criminal foreigners.

    But the image shows a huge gang of guys with shields and guns totally pawning some scrawny little guy. This totally contradicts the wording.

    Thinking about it some more, I think what they are trying to say is:
    – there are evil foriegners trying to come here and cause trouble
    – we are basically tough guys and are protecting you
    – but, we are not getting quite enough $$$ for guns/sheilds etc so we are now asking you to ‘co-operate’ and put yourself in the line of danger.
    (subliminal message: either give us more tax $$$ for guns/shields or put your ass on the line)

  • Deepspacebeans says:

    I guess the assumption is that people who seek to enter the country illegally are well-armed, requiring a dramatic subdual by officers in full swat gear. Also, given this imagery, how exactly do they suggest we “cooperate” in preventing illegal immigration? I could understand a message asking people to inform the local authorities regarding anyone who is in the country illegally, but the presentations of these specific posters is tactless to the point of brow-raising.

  • Sergio K. says:

    Part of the government agenda, keep the population paranoic and they will grant further powers to the ruling party, kind of what George W. did after 9/11.

  • point of order:

    hokkaido is certainly the biggest,but i can count at least 10 prefectures that touch a sea and the ocean

    — Gowan then, name ’em! We’re in full map-nerd tangent mode today. It’s better than being broadsided with criticism.

  • sorry only 9!


    criticize away!!

    — Yeah, but Hokkaido does it better. Nyah!

    Okay, I capitulate. Happy now?!

    (I forgot the Ogasawaras are part of Tokyo-to!)

  • This poster is also up at the Mito branch of the Immigration Office. Saw it today when I went to get a re-entry permit.

  • jjobseeker are you going to do this too or just ask us to do? I know person who sent many faxes over there with many good stuff to show, mostly from here and Japan Times, so it seems like good idea, but all of us must follow

  • This is all rather off-putting…

    I have wanted to holiday in Japan for some time now, but reading all these ‘anti-foreigner’ articles has definitely swayed me against visiting.

    The last thing I’d want is to wander in to the wrong area and end up being asked to produce some wee for a drugs test!

    Is it really that bad in Japan or am I just being incredibly paranoid?

    Also, what exactly does it say on the poster?

  • @Adrian
    This isn’t the norm. You’ll be fine. Pack your bags and use your head while you are here and you should love it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the embassy’s number easily available for any kind of emergency (medical, criminal, being thought you are evil NJ, etc) 😉

  • ****************************************

    # jjobseeker Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Send these and the stories that have been posted here recently to the IOC. Make sure to include factual records or references and a professional letter. You want one way to make sure Japan starts to get it? Get them denied the 2016 games on the grounds of poor racial equality.
    Here’s the address:

    International Olympic Committee
    Château de Vidy
    1007 Lausanne
    And a Fax Number: (41.21) 621 62 16

    Remember, be professional, polite, and well documented.


    That’s actually not a bad idea, after all the IOC itself states, I quote “The current view of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is that the symbol “reinforces the idea” that the Olympic Movement is international and welcomes all countries of the world to join.” (http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_672.pdf)

    I will contact the IOC members of my country regarding this matter. For anyone who wants to do the same, here is a list of IOC members http://tinyurl.com/olympic2016
    Most of these people should have some kind of mail address you can contact, so go for it. And yes, be polite and professional.

  • jjobseeker says:

    I have a few magazine clippings that I will send. My intention of making the address of the IOC available here was to give people a means by which they can do something, no matter how small they may think it is. I think all of us know that crowing about it here (i.e. in Japan) only results in being ignored or “red flagged.” By listing an international organization, I wanted those of us who have had experiences with Japan’s less than fair treatment of foreigners, whether residents or visitors, to know that they have a platform that in theory should be responsive or at least accommodating to their grievances.
    Personally, I think personal stories with documentation will be better suited rather than an envelope full of newspaper and magazine articles, but provide what you can and let the IOC decide.

    I have not had an experience like some of those recently listed here, nor have I seen such posters. My dealings and experiences in Japan have been overwhelmingly positive. That does not mean, however, that these things do not exist which is why I come to this site and monitor what’s going on outside of my sphere of influence. As James said, just be alert, use common sense, but be prepared. Overall you should have a great time!

  • We must hurry because decision is to be given soon.
    I will send them my story too 🙂
    [shaedenfreude deleted]

  • Deepspacebeans says:

    The text of the poster reads:

    Protecting an defending our shores. (the vertical text on the red poster)

    Please cooperate in preventing the illegal entry and illegal residence of foreigners.

    As stated above, do not let this news stop you from taking a holiday here. Contrary to the criticism thrown at many people who mention these problems with Japan, most of us are not “anti-Japan” by any stretch of the word. I cannot imagine many people being masochistic enough to live in a country they hate. The bleak picture this site occasionally paints is due largely to the simple fact that it is a resource which aims to raise awareness to these problems. Many people, myself included, have rarely, if ever, experienced any of the horror stories you find here (I lived in Tokyo for 2 years and Nagoya for 1 and was never stopped once for a “breathing while foreign” ID check). This does not mean I should not be concerned with the problems and experiences of others or just ignore the questionable policies and practices by the police and government.

    Japan is a really nice place to visit and live, in my opinion, and you should definitely not forgo your travel plans.

  • Debito, I saw a sign on a beach on the Sea of Japan in Hokkaido (I think it was in Morai) saying that ‘If you see foreigners on the beach, you should report it to the police”

    — Thanks. But we need as many details as you can muster, like exactly where for example. Best would be a photo of the sign. Thanks.

  • quote(They look like they are ready for battle with terrorists.)
    What terrorists? so far, the only terrorist attacks in japanese soil have been perpetrated by japanese nationals.(Aum, red army…)

  • I need one of these posters to decorate my house! Never seen one myself though, eventhough I’d be to scared to steal one if I actually did. I chickened out once already that was ‘anti drugs’.

    About the olympics; well, it states ‘help prevent illegal immigration and work’. We all know how biased this is, but it’s not racist since it’s about ILLEGAL aliens. JP lawyers etc. could easily invalidate whatever people would write to the IOC. 日本だから、できる!

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