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O'Barry released by police in Taiji

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48 Comments
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Slap on the wrist, with probably no further action - it's certainly not in the national interest.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lets hope they can let the Dolphins go too,,,,,

7 ( +10 / -3 )

They would love to throw the book at him, but he has too much of a spotlight on him. Had it been any other activist NO WAY would the J cops have let him/her go. no way

2 ( +4 / -2 )

it's certainly not in the national interest.

Umm.... No? I don't agree with some of the methods many opponents to whaling employ, but this guy was obviously set up. Someone phoned in a fabricated complaint that O'Barry was DUI in order to create a plausible pretext for police harassment. And the police participated willingly.

Arrested for not having his passport? Seriously? Can anyone here thing of more contrived reason to lock a foreigner up, much less one who is fairly well known and almost certainly not in Japan illegally? The police knew he had a passport and that he was in the country legally. They knew. And they arrested him anyway.

The fact that they let him go so soon is a pretty clear indication that Immigration -- who would normally prosecute cases like this -- wants no part of this huge, stinking pile of poo.

NPA headquarters in Tokyo needs to have inspectors down in Taiji yesterday to investigate this clear case of abuse of power by the local officers. But of course, they won't.

Not in the national interest? "Watch your step and don't piss of off the locals, foreigner, or we'll sic the police on you." -- What a great message to disseminate going into the 2020 Olympics.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Can anyone here thing of more contrived reason to lock a foreigner up

Many other unknown foreigners have been locked up for the same reason, until they worked things out. Some have even posted about it regarding this guy.

Always carry your passport or your Residence Card.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

According to Yahoo News/Sankei Shimbun, he was released on the evening of the 1st because he had admitted the charge of not carrying his passport, then on the morning of the 2nd, this morning, he caused an automobile accident as he was driving to the protest location. Not much in details as to the situation are given but no one was injured.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hope he has his passport now, they tend to check those things at Narita. Given the actions of the welcoming committee yesterday, I'm surprised they didn't provide him with a courtesy car to the airport.

Japan - Where police intimidation is as subtle as a brick.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Arrested for not having his passport?

Why the storm in a teacup? I've been arrested for not carrying my ID in Japan. I wasn't insulted, and had a great conversation with the guy who detained me until my ID arrived.

Mainland European countries all require that everyone carries ID. I doubt they'd be any more forgiving than the Taiji cops.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I think the J-cops knew exactly who this guy was and took their power of arrest too far this time. And for what??

Everyone should have the right to anonymity...we don't, but we should. Last time I checked this wasn't a police state.

Unless I have committed a crime or suspected to have then who I am and my business is mine. We start going down the route of giving police the powers to stop and request I.D for no reason other than "fishing" then who knows where it ends.

OK...he should have carried his passport but didn't. Its a pain to carry it and possibly lose it.

So...why don't they just issue a printout or a photocopy of your passport at immigration when you enter Japan? You can fold it up and put it in your wallet.

Job done...No excuses!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So...why don't they just issue a printout or a photocopy of your passport at immigration when you enter Japan? You can fold it up and put it in your wallet.

That's what I do every time I travel to another country.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

OK...he should have carried his passport but didn't.

It seems the 'missing passport was later found in O'Barry's car'. Maybe if they'd given him time to rummage in the glove compartment or wherever instead of hauling him straight off to the police station, there would have been no news story here.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/activist-ric-obarry-freed-japanese-cops-after-start-dolphin-hunt-n419571

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The elder O’Barry, an American who trained dolphins for the 1960s “Flipper” TV series, had a change of heart and now campaigns against both capturing and killing the animals. I don't understand this last paragraph of the article. Can anyone explain?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Interesting. I've lived here for 34 years and have never been arrested for not carrying any form of ID, though I've been stopped by police on my bicycle.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Rana

It's to distinguish him from his son, mentioned in the ninth paragraph. : )

2 ( +2 / -0 )

cluelessSep. 02, 2015 - 05:04PM JST So...why don't they just issue a printout or a photocopy of your passport at immigration when you enter Japan? You >can fold it up and put it in your wallet. Job done...No excuses!!

Are you incapable of walking into a konbini and making a photocopy by yourself? Would you like some uniformed government agency representative to follow you into the bathroom as well?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@since 1981,

Crossing against a red light in the 80s (with zero traffic around), I ignored a police officer's instruction to return to the kerb, and happened to have forgotten my ID that evening. If anyone asks me for ID on the street without good reason, however, I refuse, as I'd be complicit in allowing a police state, as @clueless says. It never happens, though.

Traffic cops have never asked for my gaijin card, just DL, even when ticketing me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Simple harrassment. The sort of thing one would expect from the Chinese government, not from Japan. Shame on the Japanese government and cops involved.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@williB

For an International License to be considered valid anywhere in the world you MUST present both your current license from your home country and passport. If you don't, you can be charged with driving without a license.

That's true everywhere in the world. When I've got mine here in Japan, they've explained that to me. When I had one issued in Canada, it was explained to me. Pretty sure its even written on the license itself.

If they cops wanted to harass, he would have been given a fine for driving without a license and deported. As it stands, they held him until someone produced his passport - which is the same treatment you or I get if you can't produce your passport or ARC.

Yeah, I get it. You love those dolphins. But there comes a point where you have to be just a little rational.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sensenotsocommon: why would you refuse to produce ID in a foreign country? Or any country for that matter. Wouldn't it be much easier on yours and every other foreigners life if you just take the few minutes to allow a police to do their job? As a former MP I clearly understand why police get arritaded with uncooperative people. Also, perhaps there would be less police shootings if people would just cooperate and allow police to do their job. I hope the police take their time responding to any call you may have to make to them for help.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If they cops wanted to harass, he would have been given a fine for driving without a license and deported.

How was he driving without a license? The passport was in the car.

As it stands, they held him until someone produced his passport

From inside the car.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Probably just asked his Japanese girlfriend to pick up his passport in the drawer next to the kotatsu and bring it to the station.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I'm confused. If the passport was in his rental car when he was stopped why did he not produce it when requested? Had he forgotten he had it? Was he too befuddled to remember where in the car he had put it? Did he not understand the request? The law requires that one have the passport with one but that doesn't mean taped to the body. It's natural that it would be in a purse, briefcase, or luggage etc. Why was he unable to produce if?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Cleo

With an international license, it's not valid unless you have your original license and your passport/ARC along with it. Those three things together = license.

If a cop asks for your license and you can't produce it then and there, unless you know the cop personally you're going to get a ticket for driving without a license. Please, tell me where in the world that isn't the case.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

why would you refuse to produce ID in a foreign country?

If I've done something wrong, or I'm stopped while driving, then fair enough. Otherwise, I refuse on principle. For the record, though, I have a great relationship with my local police.

perhaps there would be less police shootings if people would just cooperate and allow police to do their job

Are the J cops shooting people? Why haven't I heard? Do I sense tacit empathy for this phenomenon?

I hope the police take their time responding to any call you may have to make to them for help.

That's very kind, thank you. Doubtless you were an exemplary Member of Parliament.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Did he not understand the request?

I don't imagine he's fluent in Japanese.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ cleo at Sep. 03, 2015 - 12:45PM JST "Did he not understand the request?

I don't imagine he's fluent in Japanese."

I also doubt if he is fluent in Japanese but he has visited Japan more than once I think, and ought to be able to recognize the word "passport" even when spoken in the Japanese pronunciation.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Simple harrassment.

Who is harassing who? You have no sympathy to Taiji people and Japan.

The sort of thing one would expect from the Chinese government, not from Japan. Shame on the Japanese government and cops involved.

Acting like Chinese so that anti-hunting gaijins would leave Japan?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Who is harassing who? You have no sympathy to Taiji people

Certainly no sympathy for the 'Taiji people' who continue to harass, torture and slaughter the dolphins.

I see many, many more Japanese people enjoying Dolphin Swim/Watching tours than I see eating dolphin meat. Swimming with wild dolphins is magical. I cannot imagine how or why any normal human being would get in the water with a pod of dolphins and think the obvious thing to do is chop them to pieces.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I cannot imagine how or why...

Why should Japan care? Next time if you stopped by police, tell them you are anti-hunt for the better treatment.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Swimming with wild dolphins is magical.

Wild? You should have joined the Olympic swim team if you can swim 20 mph.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It seems the 'missing passport was later found in O'Barry's car'. Maybe if they'd given him time to rummage in the glove compartment or wherever instead of hauling him straight off to the police station, there would have been no news story here.

You're responsible for producing your passport. The authorities are not responsible for rummaging for it. This is true everywhere.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If a cop asks for your license and you can't produce it then and there, unless you know the cop personally you're going to get a ticket for driving without a license.

Driving without a license means you aren't licensed to drive, not that you aren't carrying your license.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@strangerland

Yes and no.

If you have no license on you, the cop doesn't know if you have one or not. So the charge is driving without a license.

They will usually write a ticket at the very least - which you can have torn up by showing up at the police station with your license (if the cops are nice) or later on in court. It's a very easy charge to have thrown out - but the charge is still driving without a license.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The expression "without a licence" is English, so the debate's kind of irrelevant in Japan....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

many more Japanese people enjoying Dolphin Swim/Watching tours

Still those Japanese people would have a sense of decency and not demand Taiji people to change their attitudes nor insult them by calling them low level humanbeing or barbarians or..what else did you say? I forgot .

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Mainland European countries all require that everyone carries ID.

Absolutely wrong. In Germany the days of Papieren are over, for everyone.

I have no experience in other European countries, but I only need the above example to disprove this noxious idea.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thanks for putting me right, ThonTaddeo. This Pinchofsaltopedia re. German ID cards:

If one is unable to produce an ID card or passport (or any other form of credible identification) during a police control, one can (in theory) be brought to the next police post and detained for max. 12 hours, or until positive identification is possible. However, this measure is only applied if the police have reasonable grounds to believe the person detained has committed an offence.

As driving licences are not legally accepted forms of identification in Germany, most persons actually carry their "Personalausweis" with them.

Once again, it's from Thickipedia, so treat with the appropriate esteem/disdain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_identity_card_policies_by_country#Countries_with_compulsory_identity_cards

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hokkaidogay:

" For an International License to be considered valid anywhere in the world you MUST present both your current license from your home country and passport. If you don't, you can be charged with driving without a license.. "

In theory probably, but I have shown my intl license in other countries without anybody asking for a passport or threatening jail. The cops have some leeway, and that this was a setup is glaringly obvious.

" Yeah, I get it. You love those dolphins. But there comes a point where you have to be just a little rational. "

Actually no, I am not particularly interested in the dolphin issue, I just see a blindingly obvious political act of harrassment if it is in front of my nose. You would too, if your vision was not tinted by that strong opinion on the dolphin issue.

I did not comment on the dolphins at all, only on the police harrassment. As I said, that is the sort of thing Japan should be above.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

if your vision was not tinted by that strong opinion on the dolphin issue.

It is the westerners who have strong opinion on the dolphin issue. It is the westerners who are coming to Japan to sabotage. The Japanese don't consider the dolphin as special or different from other animals. Is it a strong opinion?

Some activist was stopped at an airport. O'barry was stopped by police (for whatever). What else do you suppose Japan should do to stop west dolphin fundamentalists in Japan?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

If only the keisatsu would show the same passion towards enforcing traffic laws in Japan. Having spent the majority of my life growing up in Japan, I can't tell you how many times I've seen people blatantly run red lights. I wouldn't be surprised if those officers are on somebody's payroll.

What else do you suppose Japan should do to stop west dolphin fundamentalists in Japan?

What happens when there are no more dolphins in the ocean? There is an ecosystem in the ocean and it requires balance. When you take out sea life towards the top of the food chain, it creates turmoil in the ecosystem. Like all living things, dolphins have souls too!

If dolphins were the only source of subsistence available and was necessary for human survival, then I could see the justification for hunting them. But they're not. We're over fishing our oceans as it is already. Yet, you hear people complaining about the price of maguro or sushi in general and so on.

...we're slowly killing our planet. That's what the activists are trying to prevent.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I can't tell you how many times I've seen people blatantly run red lights.

I never saw any cars blatantly run red lights except fire engine or ambulance.

What happens when there are no more dolphins in the ocean?

They are not endangered species.

Like all living things, dolphins have souls too!

Then why do you eat cow or pig or fish or everything else.

...we're slowly killing our planet. That's what the activists are trying to prevent.

"the activists" are not saving our planet by harassing Taiji and Japan. They are only creating hatred against the westerners among the Japanese.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Still those Japanese people would have a sense of decency and not demand Taiji people to change their attitudes nor insult them

Funny, many of the people sharing the boat I was on (all of them Japanese) commented as they climbed out of the water after an exhilarating swim, that this was the way to enjoy dolphins, and they could not imagine killing or eating them. And others who didn't make the initial comments, nodded their heads and muttered So da ne as we watched the pod swim off to play with the next boat.

Then why do you eat cow or pig or fish or everything else.

I don't. Maybe as a person who defends the traditional Japanese way of life, you should be adhering more to a traditional Buddhist diet? Or maybe tradition is only important when it suits you?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

as we watched the pod swim off to play with the next boat.

So, you all just boat out into the ocean and wait for a pod to swim by? Do you have a link for this. Sounds fun.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, you all just boat out into the ocean and wait for a pod to swim by?

Not quite - there's other stuff to do, too. But lots o'fun.

http://www.chichijimapinkdolphin.jp/english.html

http://www.k3.dion.ne.jp/~come-c/HomePaje-Tour-DS.html

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They will usually write a ticket at the very least - which you can have torn up by showing up at the police station with your license (if the cops are nice) or later on in court. It's a very easy charge to have thrown out - but the charge is still driving without a license.

The charge may be dismissed, but in many places, you can still get a ticket for not having your license with you, even if you do have a license.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I never saw any cars blatantly run red lights except fire engine or ambulance.

It seems Tina Watanabe lives above a train station, and never uses roads as a pedestrian, cyclist or driver.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I never saw any cars blatantly run red lights except fire engine or ambulance.

Do you live in a city?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He passed a breath test but was detained after he could not produce his passport.

It is entirely possible that this, along with the DUI report, is a crock of you-know-what.

The passport turned up in his car AFTER he was arrested... Yeah, right. He had it with him all the time... He knew that, and the cops knew that, and yet it was conveniently "lost" for a few days.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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