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Tokyo police release PR video in English to assure foreign visitors Japan is safe

69 Comments

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has released a new promotion video in English, highlighting the law enforcement work and efforts toward tackling terrorism and crime.

The video is designed to assure foreigners of Japan's safety ahead of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The 12-minute-long video was uploaded on the police department's official YouTube channel, which was launched this month. The channel features nearly 70 videos already, including the original Japanese version of the PR video, as well as a Korean, Chinese and a kids-friendly version.

Titled “Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department 24,” the video features over 1,000 active policemen from various departments and actors playing the roles of criminals, victims and political figures. It introduces the work of different police departments, starting from street patrol and police box duties to security police and counter terrorism units.

The production cost spent on the video totaled about 21 million yen and it took approximately six months to complete it, Sankei Shimbun reported.

A representative of the company that created the video praised the acting skills of all policemen, saying they were “better than professional actors.” He added that he hopes many people will gain a better understanding of police work from this video.

© Japan Today

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69 Comments
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Tokyo is relatively safe, common sense will prevent many if not most crimes from occurring, but besides putting out videos like this the cops need to be trained to deal with foreigners, and not treat them as suspects every time something happens.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

You won't be safe if accused by a local of something. You may not even be able to defend yourself.

31 ( +33 / -2 )

Did they include being stopped for id checks while being foreign?

27 ( +29 / -2 )

I won't get into the whole "japan is relatively safe" debate because that always seems to swirl around every couple of months.

And I won't get into the whole "Japanese cops are incompetent" or "they treat foreigners like suspects" debates either.

I just have one question: its 2016. Why the heck are they producing a video now, 4 years ahead of the 2020 Olympics? I mean, surely they have better things to spend Yen 21 million on this year??

Besides, a lot can happen between now and 2020. Even in a safe country like Japan.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

It felt like more of a high stakes cop drama than an informative video. It's good either way.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The video is designed to assure foreigners of Japan’s safety...

But foreigners have no human rights in Japan and if you are a victim of crime the J-cops will NOT investigate it...

This is something more commonly known as THE TRUTH!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Interesting contrast between this action-packed 70's style Hollywoodesque video and New Zealand's recent police recruitment video with an emphases on kindness towards the public rather than fighting off bad-guys:

https://www.facebook.com/NZPoliceRecruitment/

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I will watch the video later because I did not have time to have a proper gander at it... ;-)

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/gander

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The police chase around 9 minutes in were likely foreigners. Wouldn't it be better if they didn't mention that and acted like it was a normal pursuit?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I hope Japan will stay the relatively safe place that it is, I expect as we head to 2020 there will be times it won't be much fun to be in Tokyo.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tokyo Police: "Foreigners, we assure you Tokyo is safe............before you came."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Money well spent.

When is Japan going to wake up from their slumber. Public safety in Japan is the least of all worries any English speaking foreigner will have here because of Japan's rumor as a safe country. Perhaps this propaganda video money could have been put to better use elsewhere? English education for officers? Recruiting people who actually have some command of this mysterious, foreign language?

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Watch your camera's, though...they can often be stolen. Thumb me down if you want but that is my experience.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

cameras

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Japan seems much safer islands because of maybe no racial issue, no guns, no drugs,,, there.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Pfff a 12 minute PR video. And I love how most of the criminals in this video are portrayed by gaijin. sigh

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Oh, damn, just watched the whole thing. It was even wirse than I thought. Just because Japanese TV strongly belives in dubbing voices on all persons doesn't mean this works for ither audiences. These people speaking with North American accents sounded like a joke, because we all know none of them can actually utter one word in English.

The only thing I take away from this is that the MPD is completely tone-dead and can't be trusted spending money wisely.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

That's cool. But I don't know anyone who thinks Japan isn't safe, at least compared to some of the places we come from back home. Yeah, there are definite exceptions, and maybe I was protected by whatever force protects fools and drunks, but I've been out and around stumblingly blindly drunk in "dangerous" neighborhoods here and I'm still around and working on 10 years of sobriety. I have a feeling this video is more to assure the home crowd even if they're not the "intended audience," though.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A representative of the company that created the video praised the acting skills of all policemen>

I think the acting skills of the Japanese police has never been in doubt

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Great! However, they neglected to share the fact that, only 1 or 2 percent of police can actually converse in a foreign language.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I think Japan is just as safe as Australia. Like Australia, if you get in trouble, it's usually with someone you know and not a total stranger.

but Did I read this right ?

21 million yen ? Thats 1,750,000 a minute !!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Wow…that video really set me up for the days work. Haven't laughed so loud in a long time.

That said…

Not all terrorist are foreign Japan!

Not surprised at all that the firearms suspect confessed. That what suspects do in police cells here….case closed!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Ugh, you would think that if they're making the video specifically for foreign audiences they would take care to get the English perfect. If they can't be bothered to get a proper expert in English to proofread their text, does that say something about how the officers approach other problems?

But maybe the bigger question is, who is this for? Exactly how many foreigners are there who are afraid that Japan is unsafe? Everyone I know who is reluctant to visit Japan, the issues are how expensive everything is and how discrimination is still legal and how indulgent people are of the racism and sexism still present in the society. You can film all the staged formation riding/driving/boating you want and make bad imitations of procedural drama dialogue until the cows come home, but you're not going to address those concerns with a video like this.

I think this is a video made by police, for police. Like so of the English produced in Japan, it's purpose is not to successfully communicate to its imagined audience, it's purpose is to make the people who made it feel good about having made the effort.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I love how comments are disabled for the video on YouTube. I wonder if they are afraid of a little feedback (criticism)?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Talking about domestic terrorists, I was in Ocahanomizu yesterday and there was a group of those right-wing neo-nazis at the station in their black uniforms and bigblack boots with a loud speaker and this twit was screaming abuse into the mic. I could understand what he was saying and they are terrorists! I stopped and took a video of the fool screaming into the mic and was stopped by one of his offspring with a very dirty look, which I just laughed at and walked away. His speech was nothing short of a hate speech against all foreigners although, he was mostly pointing the finger at Koreans. And, I should add, there were no police to be seen anywhere. There is a big difference between free speech and hate speech. This was not free speech! I have no doubt that, when the Olympics come around these goons will be out in force trying to disrupt everything. Recently, Japan made both hate speech and being part of a criminal organisation illegal. These twats are promoting hate speech as a group, which makes them a criminal otganisation, doesn't it? My guess is, the cops and politicians won't do anything about them because many of them are part of this neo-nazi organisation.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Recently, Japan made both hate speech and being part of a criminal organisation illegal.

Really? Do you have some links on that? I don't remember hearing either of those things.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

yes no guns or drugs. japan very safe. just mind yr p's and q's.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

They left Gilala the space monster and Godizilla out !!! How come? and that chinese albino gangster coupled with the character on mafiosi suit where of the charts sooo realistic ,keep on the good work J.POLICE.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

well the one good things foreigners don't have to worry about is being gunned down in the middle of the street, but knifed, well that's a different story.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

well the one good things foreigners don't have to worry about is being gunned down in the middle of the street, but knifed, well that's a different story.

Not really, we don't have to be worried about being knifed in the street either. Not that that will stop people who overly worry about things from worrying about it. But they may as well worry about getting shot in the street in Japan too - the odds of either happening are statistically not that different.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tokyo police release PR video in English to assure foreign visitors Japan is safe

21 million yen for another Omotenashi false assumption.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Very funny, I had a good laugh, at about the 6 minute mark two cops catch a criminal and say, 'I found the gun', next scene two cops catch a criminal and say, 'I found the drugs', next scene cops are chasing man out of a door and I really expected them to say, ' I found the man in the bad suit'.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It looks like someone has watch a few too many episodes of 24!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Oh , don't they look so cool and organised !

Not so much in this other youtube video which shows 20 or so officers, running from a naked foreigner .

http://youtu.be/lHjvoHgQSvA

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not off topic ! You just don't like the truth, you bunch of wankers !

Moderator: "Wankers: is a vulgar expression that should never be used by a mature educated adult. Please remember that good manners apply in cyberspace, too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They have good security bill

Minor crimes they can handle very well

Major crimes, be more worried about

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I think it is hilarious how so many people expect Japanese officers working in japan, living in japan to have to learn how to speak a foreign language. How many foreign languages do they need to learn to make everyone happy? Not everyone in the planet speaks English. Do people expect all Brazilian officers to start learning languages to make all the foreigners happy? Highly doubt it so why do Japanese officers have to bend over backwards. When you come into someone's house it is best to learn their rules and play their games.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Coming from a country with lots of wild animals, I'd liken this Tokyo " safety" thing to a lion in the Savanna saying the savanna is safe. Yes, it is, but only for the lions, ask the herbivores and you'd certainly get a different answer.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Kuribo,

I, equally, find it hilarious that most of them can barely speak a word. I think the problem boils down to this: most people on this planet take at least an interest in comminicating in another language than their mother tongue. It has to do with the will to communicate. That will is all but non-existant in Japan. I suspect that what people take issue with. Also, as an officer of the law, I would expect them to have better than average education. Brazil is a poorer country, and as such does not have the same expectations on them. A theory.

But the hilarious thing about this video, is that is it voice dubbed in English. Why? It would have been better with subtitles.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@disillusioned

There is a big difference between free speech and hate speech. This was not free speech! I have no doubt that, when the Olympics come around these goons will be out in force trying to disrupt everything. Recently, Japan made both hate speech and being part of a criminal organisation illegal.

Christ knows where you inform yourself on these things.

Not all countries agree on whether hate speech should permitted under freedom of speech protections, but some (noatably the US) see it as fundamental to freedom of speech not to ban hate speech. So it cannot be definitively stated that hate speech and freedom of speech are different. In fact, whether they are different or not is at the root of the whole debate on the issue. More importantly, Japan does not have a law banning hate speech, which is why it is frequently being urged to enact one, as reported in February 2016.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/02/08/national/social-issues/u-n-rapporteur-urges-japan-to-consider-law-banning-hate-speech/#.Vvj9g-J95aQ

And in September 2015, the Economist ran a piece explaining that membership of yakuza groups, the most visible form of criminal organization in Japan, is not illegal.

For one reason or another (including prewar history and the postwar Constitution), Japan has been extremely reluctant to ban any organization, and most particularly religious and political groups. Rightist organizations would come under the heading of political groups, though some are certainly known to have close yakuza links.

Unless you can name the group you saw, and explain when and how that specific group was declared illegal, your argument has no credibility. In this country, there is no ban on political groups simply for what they believe, or on freedom of speech, or on hate speech.

Without a law, the police not only won't act; they can't act.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A 12-minute video??? The message could have been delivered in 30 seconds!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

12 minutes? Won't watch it - my attention span for something like this is 2-3 min tops. If they play it when I'm stuck in a line, might catch a few more minutes.

Watched the first few minutes - seemed like a movie trailer, but didn't say anything important. "strong passion to arrest the suspect" - why not "the guilty" instead?

But I've been to Japan many times and never experienced any crime. Police aren't something I really consider helpful in most countries when we don't speak the same language. Once, in a hurry, left my wallet at a little shop - came back 10 hrs later and it was there, with everything still inside. Untouched. I like to think that wasn't a special cases. There are kind, polite, people, all over the world. There are nasty people everywhere too, but I like to think there are fewer in Japan than most other places.

I wouldn't expect Japanese police officers to speak anything other than Japanese, but I would expect them to have a cell phone and the ability to call a native speaker "hotline" to help get to the bottom of an issue in 2 minutes. "English translator" would be worth knowing. "Please/You must stay here." another phrase to know. Heck, as a traveler to any country that doesn't natively speak my language, I will always have the English "hotline" saved in my phone contacts. English is common around tourist areas, but that is a bonus, not a requirement as far as I'm concerned. I am a guest in other countries and try to treat everyone with kindness and respect ... until they show some other treatment is deserved. Just like at home.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did they include being stopped for id checks while being foreign?

18 years in Japan and never once stopped by the police for an ID check.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

A 12-minute video??? The message could have been delivered in 30 seconds!

Actually, they delivered the message that Tokyo is a full of all sorts of dangers and our police will act like TV stars trying to solve the case.

What I need to know as a foreigner visiting Japan is:

What do official vehicles look like - are there any fake vehicles? Do flashing lights of a certain color mean something different? In certain states in the USA, only Blue lights matter - red lights can be on can vehicle legally. How do I get help from local police if I need it? Is there a police-approved translation service? How do I ask, in Japanese, for the police to use a translation service? How do I file a police report in English should that be necessary? Are there specific stations where this is possible? How should I expect all police officers to behave towards me? What "rights" do I have, if I happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and get stopped? For example, in some parts of the USA, police cannot force me to provide any ID, while in other parts, I must comply. Any local laws that foreigners seem to be confused about? How do I know I am being detained vs being asked to hang around, if I have time?

THOSE are the things I need to know as a visitor to Japan, not that the police have trillions of yen in equipment and always get the "suspect." BTW - is a suspect the same as a guilty person in Japan? I don't know.

Flashy video doesn't answer any real questions that I need to know. Also - who makes a video these days any doesn't include a URL in it - prominently - to get more details?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Badge213 - I have been here 25 and have been stopped. So what's your point.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This video will convince nobody.

"Wait! What's this? A syringe? You're carrying drugs, right?"

A ¥21 million joke.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This video seems to be made for a purpose other than that stated.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Kuribo

"I think it is hilarious how so many people expect Japanese officers working in japan, living in japan to have to learn how to speak a foreign language. How many foreign languages do they need to learn to make everyone happy? Not everyone in the planet speaks English. Do people expect all Brazilian officers to start learning languages to make all the foreigners happy? Highly doubt it so why do Japanese officers have to bend over backwards. When you come into someone's house it is best to learn their rules and play their games."

Why do Japanese people go to Hawaii or Guam, cos they can speak Japanese.......

Moderator: Sorry, your comment has nothing to do with the Japanese police. Please post something pertinent to the story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Read the following headlines from JAPANTODAY's front page, while humming "Sesame Street"'s "One of these things is not like the others" song:

Man arrested for killing wife with hammer in Nagano Pref ( 9 )

Mother dies after jumping from 8th floor with 3-year-old son ( 11 )

Suspected kidnapper caught after girl missing for 2 years found ( 68 )

Tokyo police release PR video in English to assure foreign visitors Japan is safe ( 41 )

Tires punctured on 33 cars in Tsukuba neighborhood ( 12 )

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan IS safe.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Japan IS safe.

But mainly because the populace do not commit crimes (despite the obverse-cherry-picked....scary-picked or hairy-picked headlines) and less because the police force are Jack Bauer.

I think that perhaps the video was in fact designed to warn away potential terrorists at this juncture. Even in that case, while the police are good, I'd have been inclined to emphasise the vigilant nature of the populace.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But mainly because the populace do not commit crimes (despite the obverse-cherry-picked....scary-picked or hairy-picked headlines) and less because the police force are Jack Bauer.

I don't know if I agree, but it doesn't change my point either way, that Japan is a safe country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@disillusioned

Japan made both hate speech and being part of a criminal organisation illegal. These twats are promoting hate speech as a group, which makes them a criminal otganisation, doesn't it? My guess is, the cops and politicians won't do anything about them because many of them are part of this neo-nazi organisation.

You would have been arrested over calling the cops neo-nazi organization if hate speech was illegal in Japan. It seems that people who demand hate speech law in Japan are the people who make hate speech the most toward Japan. I wonder why do they want the law?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

You would have been arrested over calling the cops neo-nazi organization if hate speech was illegal in Japan.

No it wouldn't - that wouldn't be hate speech.

Hate speech:

Hate speech, outside the law, is speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech

Calling the police neo-nazis isn't attacking the group based on gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability or sexual organization. It's simply hyperbole, which doesn't fit under hate speech.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Strangerland

If Japan wants to draft a law, it is Japan who decides the definition of the law based on Japan's perception and circumstances. There is no reason all countries in the world have to have exact the same wordings.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Japan is safe, but it's not so safe for foreigners to have dealings with the police...they have a 99% conviction rate and assume foreigners are criminals. Ask the old man who stopped to ask for directions at a koban and went to jail for having a pocketknife.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If Japan wants to draft a law, it is Japan who decides the definition of the law based on Japan's perception and circumstances.

Japan doesn't have hate speech laws right now. Your comment:

You would have been arrested over calling the cops neo-nazi organization if hate speech was illegal in Japan.

As hate speech is not defined under Japanese law, the only definition we have of hate speech is the one that was given in the link I showed.

And under that definition, calling the cops a neo-nazi organization would not be hate speech.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As hate speech is not defined under Japanese law, the only definition we have of hate speech is the one that was given in the link I showed.

I have never heard of such a rule. But even under the Wiki definition, foreigners calling Japan's cops neo Nazis cannot be ruled out. Anyway Japan would never draft hate speech law. I rest my case.

jansob1 - Japan's indictment rate is very low, so no point only discussing conviction rate

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I have never heard of such a rule.

That's why I gave you a link.

But even under the Wiki definition, foreigners calling Japan's cops neo Nazis cannot be ruled out.

Yes it can. The article defines hate speech as 'attacking a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation.' Calling the cops neo nazis does not attack based on any of these attributes.

Anyway Japan would never draft hate speech law.

They already are drafting one in Osaka: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/25/national/social-issues/with-hate-speech-bill-osaka-grapples-with-freedom-of-expression/

So you are wrong when you say 'never'.

I rest my case.

What case? You've literally been wrong on every point you've made.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All readers back on topic please.

Oy, so it's the Koreans again?^^ Overtly racist people SHOULD be made to pay the consequences, and they would be, in most western European countries for example; the fact that these "cockroach"-yelling Japanese aren't, does not speak well for Japan on the international stage. In fact, it makes Japan look downright underdeveloped.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has released a new promotion video in English, highlighting the law enforcement work and efforts toward tackling terrorism and crime.

-Terrorism in Japan has been home-grown. -Japan has a 99 percent conviction rate, in large part due to the 23 days they are allowed to hold suspects without charges. -Coerced confessions. This doesn't detract from the fact that Japan IS largely a safe country. I just don't see the need to sugar-coat facts

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Drugs and terrorism. Two of the least worries Japan should have. Must have gotten some script writing tips from the U.S. for that video. Wasn't the message, war on drugs, war on terror and security service to protect the elite?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That was highly entertaining! A good laugh. I loved the criminals' costumes and the cheesy American voiceover! Well done cops!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tokyo may be the safest captol city in the world, but I don't like to live in :P

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In fact I have had a wallet, 6 cameras and 2 electronic dictionaries stolen in the time I have live in Japan. Just saying ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In fact I have had a wallet, 6 cameras and 2 electronic dictionaries stolen in the time I have live in Japan. Just saying ...

Just saying what? Please lead us to the conclusion you are trying to make.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just saying that although violent crime is low in Japan, lots of theft takes place. Be alert!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cops need to be trained to deal with foreigners, and not treat them as suspects every time something happens

Why do they 'need' to be trained to deal with foreigners? Theyre doing their job to enforce the laws in a country that has the lowest crime rate in the world for such a large population.

cops and politicians won't do anything about them because many of them are part of this neo-nazi organisation.

What does your home country do about the prevalence of neo nazis who often go beyond verbal abuse and engage in physical attacks against non-whites, particularly Asians?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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