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60% of people with foreign roots questioned by Japanese police: survey

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No surprise at all.

4 ( +33 / -29 )

I had been stopped while driving in Okinawa, several times, as they were doing DUI checks.

Not until I moved to Tokyo did I ever feel I was being harassed.

-7 ( +15 / -22 )

Oh, now that they've requested the police not to stop foreigners for no reason, I'm sure those stop and checks for existing-while-foreign will totally end now. Uh huh.

-4 ( +26 / -30 )

Racism and descrimination in Japan? Tell me something I don’t know.

I was subjected to interrogation five times in the 18 years I live in Japan and I am neither of African or Latin American descent. I was held for over two hours one time for grabbing a creep with his phone stuck up a high school girl’s butt on an escalator at a train station. The let the creep go in 20 minutes. They called my wife, my boss, checked all my ID and treated me like I was the criminal. At the end of it all one of the police said to me, “Stay out of Japanese business.” That is a totally racist comment.

31 ( +66 / -35 )

Maybe I’ve just been lucky but I’m still waiting to be stopped a first time.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

With so many Japanese police officers being arrested for various crimes, I think being stopped and questioned is the least of our worries.

-17 ( +15 / -32 )

@Lindsay... You know I've always thought that the police might see things that way, "stay out of Japanese business". The police seem unable to wrap their head around the idea that a foreigner might be a fine upstanding trustworthy citizen.

15 ( +36 / -21 )

I have a high school student who is soon facing that time where he must choose a university, a career path, a future. He has no idea what he wants to do, seems to have a bit of an attitude, and finally told me that he might join the police, mainly because he can’t think of anything else. Now, he’s a prime example of the type of people they recruit: lost, directionless, potentially dangerous, bigoted…

10 ( +31 / -21 )

If you live in Japan then it is tough if you look different. However, don’t expect treatment that is racist to stop.

There aren’t any laws that are protecting you.

In addition, the rights of the Japanese police to be shown ID is also there for a reason to stop you at any time.

If I saw an altercation between Japanese that was criminal I would rrpress my desire to intervene as I would be the one being detained, checked and questioned for hours or longer.

As a foreigner thinking that you have rights in Japan is a big mistake-you don’t!

5 ( +29 / -24 )

Surprising the percentage was not higher, maybe the 40% that are not questioned are of Chinese of Korean roots and are not that easily singled out by the police as foreign.

Anyway, now the Bar Association has evidence that the obvious problem is happening, so what is going to be done about it? sending a request to the police not to be racist is not going to do much to solve the problem.

5 ( +22 / -17 )

What's the issue exactly? They are still doing their job. Is not like they insult or harm you. People act as if some few minutes of questioning is some kind of torture and get so easily offended. Not to mention they do manage to find a lot of those who had expired visa or doesn't have a license while driving.

-49 ( +9 / -58 )

What's the issue exactly?

It’s called racial profiling, the treatment of individuals as potential criminals based on skin color or race.

Something you will never experience in Japan. Still, “I’m alright, Jack!”, eh?

15 ( +31 / -16 )

@Hiro

Maybe you are happy for your day to be interrupted several times a year or month?

I do not think so.

Being stopped on the way to work several times could result in being fired from a job.

And it is extremely inefficient to stop random foreigners without evidence of a crime.

Japan has a massive shortage of workers already so do the Japanese police really want to make Japan a difficult place to work and live?

8 ( +28 / -20 )

Targeting people because of skin color is never acceptable. In 30 years here I have not been stopped once.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Asking what's the issue exactly just shows the level of discriminative attitude and mentality in your mind.

The article clearer points out the obvious and you choose to ignore.

Japanese police as well as some Japanese nationals are hypocrates so stereotypical, suffer from inferiority complex and that's why they try to show they're machoistic by targeting minorities to prove to their populace that they're doing something.

What they do not know is that their targets take note of these altercations and share with their friends overseas setting a stage for a tit for tat when Japanese nationals visit foreign countries.

2 ( +22 / -20 )

Politik Kills

I have a high school student who is soon facing that time where he must choose a university, a career path, a future. He has no idea what he wants to do, seems to have a bit of an attitude, and finally told me that he might join the police, mainly because he can’t think of anything else. Now, he’s a prime example of the type of people they recruit: lost, directionless, potentially dangerous, bigoted…

My ex Martial Arts teacher used to be a cop and Self Defense instructor for the Tokyo Police, so MANY of my kohai were cops themselves. One was very high up in one of the prefectural forces and he told me that they now sometimes have to recruit from the Bosozoku and Chimpira and sometimes overlook the fact that someone might have a criminal record because of the shortage of applicants. They are desperate to hire recruits and many rejects get directed to the police now. Another martial arts friend from a different dojo and who's in the SDF told me the same thing.

Both the police and the SDF are SERIOUSLY struggling to recruit and will hire almost anyone.

-3 ( +25 / -28 )

Haaa Nemui

Targeting people because of skin color is never acceptable. In 30 years here I have not been stopped once.

Right. I believe you but there are people on here who will tell you that you are lying because their own daughter was stopped three times on the way home one day and they just can’t accept that someone has lived in Japan for more than a year without being stopped once.

Certain posters will make that claim when they wake up. I do not deny foreigners are stopped, especially because of skin color. I have seen people stopped and questioned.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Isn't it one of Tokyo phenomena (another remarkable is packed train commuting)? Living away from the capital, I have never had such an inquiry on the street...oh, except one when I was riding a bike without a light on in the dark late eventing; which means, the police officer never contacted me on a basis of my appearance.

Aren't there any better ways for public safety? It must be generally disturbing to anyone regardless of racial background, no matter how the police adjust the approach to being fair and random.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@Hiro... it is an insult just to be profiled and the darker your skin is in Japan, the more it happens. It would be like you moving to an a city in Nigeria and every time an Asian person committed a crime, if you're nearby, you get stopped and interrogated. The first one or two times you'd probably be OK with it, most people would, but if it were to continually happen, well, then you'd become a bit bitter about it. And to mention, in Japan, you're screwed if they really think you did it when you didn't. They can lock you up forever and interrogate you until you confess to something you didn't due just to end that portion of the ordeal.

4 ( +18 / -14 )

I have been stopped only once in more than twenty years here. Not a racial profiling, as the police was checking people going through a dark path were groping had happened.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The survey was carried out after the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo in December tweeted about multiple incidents of suspected racial profiling by Japanese police.

Following the post on Twitter, the National Police Agency sent prefectural police departments across Japan a request to avoid questioning that could be construed as racist.

So the US Embassy just tweets about racial profiling and NPA sends a request for all police departments to avoid racist questioning??? WOW!

Just imagine what would happen if the US Embassy issued a formal complaint with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

Waiting for the official comment from Head of Police: ’So? OTHER countries have racism too!’

3 ( +11 / -8 )

I’ve never been stopped by Japanese police; but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen. But it is to say I’m happy the Japanese cops and government are doing their job to protect their country. I have no issue with this.

-11 ( +12 / -23 )

"60% of people with foreign roots questioned by Japanese police "

From the title

> "Around 60 percent of more than 2,000 people with foreign roots surveyed earlier this year "

From the article

Am i the only one rolling my eyes at this poorly written piece???? Seriously....

5 ( +10 / -5 )

This was from an anonymous online survey conducted over 2 years ago. Easy to rile us up...

7 ( +11 / -4 )

If life is so bad for them in Japan, they could always move to China or Russia instead. My guess is they're staying put.

-23 ( +8 / -31 )

The police will stop racial profiling when it's not recruited from a public that associates foreign-looking people with crime and disorder. But the narrative that Japanese people are uniquely peaceful, kind and orderly is very unlikely to change.

@Lindsay

What you describe sounds awful. In the time I've spent here, I've learnt that whenever there's an incident between a local person and me, the police will almost certainly side with the Japanese person, no matter any other circumstances.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

"Guidelines need to be established to end discrimination based on how one looks" If there is an issue with visa overstays the profile is "foreign" which can often be determined by "how one looks"

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

philippine descent. ive been stopped alot I can’t count over 15years here. They have the gall to sneakup onetime in plainclothes in the crowded train station grabbing my arm showing me a gun then badge. my trick i just start shouting keisatsu sabetsu sabestu repeating that. they say sabetsu jenai i repeat again after awhile they walk away. it worked numerous times or with a simple showing of gaijin card I never talk.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

I was held 2 hours one time for grabbing a creep

@Lindsay

Although the person was committing a crime in actual fact so were you !

Keep your hands off Japanese people !

Better to just report the crime and not intervene .

Your lucky you didn't go to jail.

Not only that but your actions allowed the perp to go free.

Kinda counterproductive don't ya think !

-20 ( +5 / -25 )

If life is so bad for them in Japan, they could always move to China or Russia instead.

Is that the bar you set for yourself? The two worst examples out there and if you are better than that it’s good enough?

19 ( +23 / -4 )

How many foreigners live in Tokyo?

As of January 1st, 2021, there were about 546,436 foreigners living in Tokyo, comprising about 4.1% of the total Tokyo population of 13,297,089 people.

If 60% were being stopped that would be 330,000 foreigners over five years. About 180 people stopped every day.

40,000 Tokyo police officers.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

This article was originally published on Apr 10, 2022.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

In 2021, approximately 10.7 thousand foreigners in Japan were arrested for criminal offenses or violations of law. The highest number of annually arrested foreigners within the past decade was reached in the previous year of 2020 with close to 11.8 thousand arrests.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

It happaned to me many times in 2015. I had been stopped at Meguro and Shibuya... sometimes I just let them chase me.. and before I show to them my identification card, I ask them first to show theirs so I know that they are police... most of them are in civilian attire.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

With so many Japanese police officers being arrested for various crimes, I think being stopped and questioned is the least of our worries.

No! It's part of the wider problem of a toxic culture with Japanese police forces. They don't enforce laws unless it's right in front of their noses; repeatedly being outed for lewd conduct; a blatant racism.

-10 ( +12 / -22 )

Outrageous, never had anything happen when THEY weren’t in uniform.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Not surprised at all, and it is not only police.

Recently I send an inquiry in Japanese about apartment that I saw on the internet and the real estate agent answered.

It is hard to rent it to foreigners.

So it is not only Police it is the whole system created to abuse foreigners.

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

@Lindsay

I had the same thing a guy (dressed as a woman) taking photos up a young ladies skirt right Infront of me as we as we waited for the lights to change. I stop it and made sure it couldn't delete the photos. Called out for help and a young couple helped and got police we were all taken to a holding room where photos were discovered. I left and received a little A5 laminated certificate saying the date and my name that is helped the police.

I avoid the police in any country but that won't stop me doing the right thing. Your story sucks and I'm sorry but they ain't all bad.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I have never been stopped or questioned by the police despite my obvious foreign looks, that said, that's the way things are done here, just comply and go on your merry way.

No country is perfect and even though racial profiling may be considered discriminatory, here in Japan, it is not.

I was held 2 hours one time for grabbing a creep

Lawyer's Advice: Unless the victim is a loved one, you should never ever get involved in a 'Chikan' case. Even if you posess Japanese citizenship, the police will likely side with the local Yamato. Just turn a blind eye and mind your own business.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Both the police and the SDF are SERIOUSLY struggling to recruit and will hire almost anyone.

It’s just like the American military or American police. Best of the best becomes those who have no other choice. And it affects many other countries as well …

I have personally never been stopped but my Japanese friend was.. police thought she is Chinese.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

So it is not only Police it is the whole system created to abuse foreigners.

I disagree with the notion that Japanese institutions and society were first started with the goal in mind to abuse foreigners. Sounds possibly like another case of an American overseas declaring their rights—I really don’t know. Juss sayin’

3 ( +11 / -8 )

This is how resentment and distrust grow in communities which creates a negative cycle of higher crime rates.

We see this around the world with minorities in the US, NZ, Australia and the UK etc. all with higher minority crime, police profiling and incarceration rates. Then a large percentage of the population comes to believe that there is something 'wrong' with these minority groups, which increases prejudice.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

ChiliToday  08:57 am JST

philippine descent. ive been stopped alot I can’t count over 15years here. They have the gall to sneakup onetime in plainclothes in the crowded train station grabbing my arm showing me a gun then badge. 

Sorry but BS alert. Cops in Japan don't "show a gun". This isn't the PI.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

I was only stopped once. I told the dude I’m too busy, told him my name and walked away. But I am white.

the times I have had a form of harassment is on a couple of occasions when I handed in lost wallets to police stations. Both times were 45 minutes of questioning, very invasive and personal.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

For those who are fresh off the boat or who came to Japan recently (1-10years).

Avoid contacts with the police even if you saw something, that will end up badly for you.

You will always have problem with renting property as you will be constantly discriminated. "We can't rent to foreigners etc." Btw. This is the way to keep foreigners in ghettos.

Also when you are stopped by the police don't use Japanese the best thing to do is tell them you want to see your lawyer or call your embassy.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Also when you are stopped by the police don't use Japanese the best thing to do is tell them you want to see your lawyer or call your embassy.

Twenty-five years of experience in Japan tells me that you're wrong on both of these.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

In 15 years of living in Tokyo, I was never approached by police.

I am a caucasian of short stature with dark brown hair which leads me to conclude that they target more fortiegn-looking people than more local-looking people.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

KingaikokujinToday  10:04 am JST

For those who are fresh off the boat or who came to Japan recently (1-10years).

Avoid contacts with the police even if you saw something, that will end up badly for you.

I went to the Tokyo police (koban) several times, mostly for directions and one time to report that someone had defected in and in northern Shinjuku (I spoke Japanese). On every occasion, the police were polite and professional enough to me.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Right. I believe you but there are people on here who will tell you that you are lying because their own daughter was stopped three times on the way home one day and they just can’t accept that someone has lived in Japan for more than a year without being stopped once.

I've a total of 16 years in the country between my 20s and 50s. Only stopped once, for crossing on a red light. Like other posters, I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just a lucky person.

One major interaction with police was over my wife almost losing her driving licence (she was caring for her sick mother AND our young child then) over an accident that was totally the other party's fault. We faced a lot of obfuscation and prevarication in the meeting with the cop responsible and his boss.

Fortunately it was far from my first negotiation, and I was determined not to let someone's confirmation bias or any other unchallenged assumptions impact on me as sole breadwinner. I'd studied about negotiation enough to recognise the various tactics that they were (unconsciously) deploying. Identifying their use of 'good cop, bad cop' to them brought some well-needed levity and awareness that we meant business.

Long story short, Mrs Mickelicious got to keep her licence. Her domestically ferocious character stayed at home that day, but the fact that I was negotiating for a 'kokumin' who was in the room next to me did (I'm certain) make all the difference to the outcome.

Logic and stubborn, repeated insistence that procedure wasn't followed on the day of the accident, won through. I'd recognised early that the traffic cop in question - spotless uniform, very stylish and well polished glasses, not a hair out of place - was a perfectionist, and through gentle questioning that challenged that self-perception, slowly raised the temperature in that dingy, windowless room.

Debito's research focuses way too much on the negatives for my liking. He does, however, have some useful tips for when you're stopped by police, which I highly recommend:

https://www.debito.org/?p=15914

3 ( +5 / -2 )

RodneyToday  10:01 am JST

I was only stopped once. I told the dude I’m too busy, told him my name and walked away. But I am white.

the times I have had a form of harassment is on a couple of occasions when I handed in lost wallets to police stations. Both times were 45 minutes of questioning, very invasive and personal.

I think a lot of it is to do with attitude and behaviour. If you are not used to talking and acting like a local Japanese person, they are more likely to think you're a bit fishy. That's been my experience anyway.

I always (mostly unconsciously) act like Japanese people do (i.e. less eye contact, softer voice, no hand gestures etc.),

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Considering the Japanese population is almost entirely Japanese I’m confused as to what lack of common sense would expect anymore to not have to experience a certain amount of racial profiling as a foreigner. The article contains a severe lack of decent data and stats. Especially on crime in the areas involved and what the expectations of a police office might be. Maybe approaching the problem like grown ups and being reasonable about expectations, rather than writing to entice rage and division would be better.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If you see a wallet or phone on the ground, forget you saw it and keep going. If you see a crime happen, no you didn’t. Your staying out of trouble is worth more than a Japanese person’s trouble. They certainly think the same about you.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

I had the police pull me to the side while I was in a rush trying to catch a train, they said, I looked a bit suspecious riding a bike so fast as they drove passed me and we exchanged stares, they asked for my ID, I showed it to them and then I told them that they had no legal justification to stop me and that they were racially profiling me, they wanted to look in my bag, I told them to bleep off and not to come anywhere near me and I just turned around and walked off. If you give them an inch they will take a mile, know and understand the law and your rights and when they try to do something that is out of the realms of the rulebook call them out, I have done that so many times and they really get confused and tongue-tied, because they don't think foreigners know the law. The Japanese police are not allowed to racially profile you or stop you without probable cause-period! If they do so, you can most definitely challenge them, never let the deep voice and screaming or their stern assertiveness fool you, it's all show and I'm not the kind of guy that will allow anyone to walk up to me and threaten me, not going to happen. Again, know the law and know your rights.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

This is how resentment and distrust grow in communities which creates a negative cycle of higher crime rates.

This is often true, but not yet in Japan. Afaik (can't pull up the stat right now), foreign-born residents have lower crime rates than Japanese, with the most common "crime" being overstaying their visa.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Their country..

Their Laws..

Their rules..

Their way..

If you want to live here, always be legal, assimilate the culture, learn the language, respect the authority and obey the law..

If you don't like it, Japan is not for you..

Well done, Japan police, protect the country !!..

-23 ( +8 / -31 )

Best thing to do if your stopped for questions as a foreigner is to comply politely with the police and immediately and quickly show your resident card or passport.

The more polite and respectful and helpful you are the quicker the whole process will end.

Remember this is Japan and they have their own way of doing things.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Just imagine what would happen if the US Embassy issued a formal complaint with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs. would tell their US counter parts to read the following:

New racist texts reveal Torrance cops talked about hurting and killing Black suspects

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-25/torrance-police-officers-racist-new-texts

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Their country..

Their Laws..

Their rules..

Their way..

Well, not exactly, every country has laws and even the police in Japan are NOT above their own laws.

If you want to live here, always be legal, assimilate the culture, learn the language, respect the authority and obey the law..

Within legal reason, I agree.

If you don't like it, Japan is not for you..

Well done, Japan police, protect the country !!..

I also agree, but it doesn't mean that the authorities can abuse their power, there are checks and balances and every foreigner needs to know this.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Mickelicious

that’s my point exactly. It happens, I know, and you’d have to be a fool to believe it doesn’t, but in my time here I’ve only had interactions with the police twice. Once when I stopped in at a koban to ask directions, and once riding past a koban a young officer greeted me with a friendly konnichiwa to which a responded in kind. Neither time was I asked for ID but when I asked directions I had it ready just in case. I know I might have just been lucky but I’ve hardly been given a second glance.

Best thing to do if your stopped for questions as a foreigner is to comply politely with the police and immediately and quickly show your resident card or passport.

The more polite and respectful and helpful you are the quicker the whole process will end.

I completely agree and that goes in Japan and any other country. Make it difficult for them and they can make it a whole lot worse for you.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Best thing to do if your stopped for questions as a foreigner is to comply politely with the police and immediately and quickly show your resident card or passport.

The more polite and respectful and helpful you are the quicker the whole process will end.

Remember this is Japan and they have their own way of doing things.

Didn't work for me both times I was stopped. I complied and was polite while the officers were superficially polite, but went through my bag and asked for way more information than they could have possibly needed. All that in busy places (once an intersection, once a busy station) with people giving me stares, because obviously it couldn't have been the police who was doing anything wrong. It must have been the foreigner.

Racial profiling being "their way of doing things" is a non-argument. It was "my way of doing things" to blow my nose in public, but I stopped because it makes people in Japan uncomfortable.

Nobody benefits from this type of discrimination and only creates a group of residents rightfully mistrustful of the authorities. Japan and its law enforcement aren't immune from criticism or change, just like any other country or system.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

There is a side of the puzzle that's concealed by this article:

https://mainichi.jp/articles/20220909/k00/00m/040/428000c

約77%は職質を法的に正当化する「不審事由」がないのに職質を受けたと認識していた

The other way to put it is that these questionings have a 23% hit rate even by the self-admission of these "victims".

No technique will always be hits, and for a low intensity technique that has a quarter hit rate (which might well be increased to half once the other side's story is in), the justification will be for why it should be stopped.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Didn't work for me both times I was stopped.

Ok, so next time try being uncooperative. You’ll notice the difference.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ok, so next time try being uncooperative. You’ll notice the difference.

I was, more than the law requires me to. That was the whole point of my comment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I got that. That’s why I said UNcooperative.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Haaa Nemui

I misread your comment. I now realised that it was actually much more threatening than that (although I don't know you think it's a good or bad thing that it's this way.)

So your point is that I was left off easily because I was cooperative, but if I wasn't things would have been much worse. Both times, I was stopped for no reason whatsoever, so that kind of only shows how bad things are.

"Comply with unfair treatment and you'll be singled out, don't comply and even worse things will happen." Now, I don't get stopped often enough to think of it as a huge issue, but it's really a mindset I'd prefer not to be in and I think a lot of people would be happier if things weren't that way.

As I said, literally nobody benefits from non-Japanese people getting occasionally harassed in the street. If the assumed role of the police is to protect the public, then it's probably not good that a growing portion of that public doesn't belief this assumed role applies to them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs. would tell their US counter parts to read the following:

New racist texts reveal Torrance cops talked about hurting and killing Black suspects

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-25/torrance-police-officers-racist-new-texts

Considering that all it took was a TWEET for NPA to issue that order I would, to quote YOU say..

Total BS and you know it,

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

So your point is that I was left off easily because I was cooperative, but if I wasn't things would have been much worse. Both times, I was stopped for no reason whatsoever, so that kind of only shows how bad things are.

You clearly stated you weren’t let of that easily so no, that wasn’t my point. People get stopped and questioned. That happens. The thing is, you haven’t tried being uncooperative, but if you were, the police could easily make things a lot worse and you’re actually giving them reason to do so, regardless of whether you think they stopped you for any legitimate reason or not.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It’s just like the American military or American police. Best of the best becomes those who have no other choice. And it affects many other countries as well …

Nowhere near the problem here

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Haaa Nemui

I get your point. I used the expression "let off easily" as compared to not being cooperative, which could end in an arrest. The police didn't need to see my bank cards or know my employee details. However, they kept asking these and more invasive questions while I was getting suspicious looks from passers-by.

My point is not that being cooperative doesn't "pay off", but that the bar is incredibly low to begin with.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Speaking of wallets, I found a wallet on the street once, had a look inside and found keys and a drivers’ license. No cash, of course.

Since the owner could be identified, and I figured returning his keys and license would save him the P.I.T.A. of getting his locks changed and license reissued, I took the wallet to a nearby koban. The cops were fine about it, but the dude himself (when he turned up later) looked at me like I had pilfered the cash for myself!

Some time later I lost my old clamshell phone in a shopping arcade. Thankfully, someone took it to a koban and it was returned to me. I figured it was a quid pro quo.

Do not be afraid of doing the right thing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

After living in Japan since more than 40 years, I have no complaint about the behavior of police - I was stopped sometimes while still living in Tokyo/Yokohama area, but I always carry my residence card and driving license with me and it’s just a friendly talk. I had some checks when riding my motorcycle during late night, but police cannot know if I am a foreigner or Japanese, using a helmet and streets were rather dark. Just checking if I am drunk and if I have a driving licence and I continued within a few minutes.

After retirement and moving out of Tokyo 5 years ago to a rural area in Kansai, I was a bit worried as I am the only foreigner living there, maybe local Japanese will approach me and ask me this and that, or a patrol car will stop and police officers will check why I am walking around near my home, but so far nothing...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yotomaya - fair enough. For the record I actually agree with you but I still think it comes down to luck in a lot of cases. Actually it reminds me of customs and immigration at an airport. Start well and HOPEFULLY end well, but the more questions asked the more nervous people get and then things start to go downhill. It shouldn’t be so difficult but it does get that way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Online polls are self-selecting, hence they are flawed and not statistically correct.

A key aspect to all valid polls is that completely RANDOM participants are used in the survey for the target population.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Long ago, I went to an izakaya with a bunch of guys from Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The police were waiting outside for us to leave. Apparently, a worried Japanese person had told the police there were non-Japanese having a beer, which was suspicious of course, and required investigation. It took around 10 minutes of shining torches and checking cards to confirm we were all legal. The crazy thing was that they didn't bother to card me. They just carded the ones who looked Asian. They just assumed the white guy was a legal English teacher and would have a proper visa. That was a real eye opener. White foreigners here should not think this doesn't happen. It happens all the time, but mainly to those with African, Asian and South American backgrounds.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The police in Japan have every legal right to stop you and ask you to see your ID. You, in turn, have the right to ask them why you're being stopped.

What-to-do-if-you-are-stopped-by-the-police-in-Japan

https://japantoday.com/category/features/lifestyle/What-to-do-if-you-are-stopped-by-the-police-in-Japan

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bass4funk Sep. 21, 2019  09:08 am JST

Been living in Japan for over 38 years. I've been stopped once. Produced my Resident card and on my why in 5 minutes. I didn't ask why and he didn't say why he stopped me. Who cares? He was polite to me and I to him. People these days make trouble for themselves. Too many Google lawyers out there.

"I couldn’t agree more, not a big fan of J-police at all because a lot of the times they are looking for something when there is nothing or to hopefully make something out of nothing, but having said that, I have been stopped 3 times in the off and on time I’m in Japan for 20 years and all of it really unnecessary, but the same as in your case, I kept my mouth shut, completely complied with the officer even he and I both knew the reasons I was stopped were absolutely laughable, but because I was completely humble, complied, showed my Resident card, was never hesitant, I was free to go and so far never had any problems dealing with the cops. "

What changed?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

RHToday  10:29 am JST

Considering the Japanese population is almost entirely Japanese I’m confused as to what lack of common sense would expect anymore to not have to experience a certain amount of racial profiling as a foreigner.

Are you saying non-Japanese should expect to be profiled?!

I can't tell if that's what you mean or not. Surely, I'm wrong.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This is my experience with J-cops, believe it or not, it's entirely up to you.

Something happened at our place about 9 years ago. My wife called the cops and when they arrived they were more interested in me and my occupation, residence card etc instead of taking my wife's statement. After about 10 minutes I got so pissed of that I kicked them out of my house. After a follow up a couple of weeks later at the local police station to see what they had done with our report, they couldn't find anything in their system. So the cops basically didn't write any documentation about ever visiting us and our experience. Lost my trust in the system right there and then

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I see locales get questioned/searched all the time also.

What's the issue?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I’m white scandinavian woman and I lived in Japan for 3 years. Police stopped me twice without reason, first time it was inside train station when I was entering train. I felt embrassed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My own experiences with the police here have been generally okay. I’ve handed in lost wallets and phones and wasn’t interrogated. I had a brief interview and was photographed posing by the crime scene after I found a cat that had been (ultimately fatally) abused.

Stopped on maybe 5 or 6 occasions in all my time here (probably not due to my skin color since people generally don’t know I’m not Japanese until I start speaking). Police were mostly friendly, asked basic questions, didn’t keep me long and gave me “Ooh...Beatles!” after learning where I was from. Though a pair did follow me during a late combini run; after I’d told them where I was going, they trailed me all the way and watched me through the windows for a bit before driving away.

I have heard from people who’ve had unpleasant experiences with the police so maybe I’ve been lucky so far.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@letsberealistic

Do you expect people to be completely unbiased towards non Japanese?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've been stopped multiple times on the street and they just ask for ID and a few other questions relating to my residency status, nothing particularly intrusive in that regard. For some reason they occasionally visit the building I lived in to ask people to register with the police station but I realised you could just not open the door and they'd go away without a problem. Weird thing is I moved into the building next door and they never come? Don't know how that works.

At least Japan has a visible police presence that deters criminals. The UK has foreign rape gangs that proliferate in an environment where they're ignored. i much prefer it the way it is here to be honest

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I've been stopped many times while staying in tokyo hotels and using a complimentary bike. Probably my fault for forgetting to turn the light on to be fair. While its a little annoying to be held up while they verify the bike's owner, they were always polite and helpful. Once even pumping up my tyre! In any case, I always remember that I'm a guest in their country.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I guess that I am amongst that very small minority who after having lived for 18 years in Japan has yet to be stopped once.

My interactions with the J-cops were so far limited to the following 3:

.asking my way to a koban a handful of times

.register a cat I found at the local koban just to check if he wasn't somebody's lost property (he wasn't and found a new home at a friend's house)

.and, believe it or not, one very early Saturday morning being doorbelled out of the bed with wifey by an ossan in a jumper-suit who introduced himself (with badge) as a detective (刑事) from the Chiba policy, asking us if we "noticed something this morning one hour or so earlier".

Obviously, as we were still sleeping we didn't and told him so, and when we asked what this was all about, he said that he was checking all apartments in the same vertical row because somebody living above us tried to commit suicide by jumping from his terrace that morning!!!

(We're living on the 10th floor and were later told the guy while jumping from the 19th floor...actually survived!!!! ...Or, as both me and wifey assumed, maybe he didn't and it was just the administration of the building who didn't want to upset their tenants...?? You know, that 事故物件 or real estate with a "history"-thing)

So, while I do know of people who got stopped, I can't state anything about it myself and I'm an average height Caucasian and (very) chubby guy who does not look one bit Japanese (or Asian for that matters). I also lived in Ibaragi, Kanagawa, Tokyo and have finally settled down in Chiba 14 years ago...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

> blueToday  02:11 pm JST

I guess that I am amongst that very small minority who after having lived for 18 years in Japan has yet to be stopped once.

My interactions with the J-cops were so far limited to the following 3:

.asking my way to a koban a handful of times

.register a cat I found at the local koban just to check if he wasn't somebody's lost property (he wasn't and found a new home at a friend's house)

.and, believe it or not, one very early Saturday morning being doorbelled out of the bed with wifey by an ossan in a jumper-suit who introduced himself (with badge) as a detective (刑事) from the Chiba policy, asking us if we "noticed something this morning one hour or so earlier".

Obviously, as we were still sleeping we didn't and told him so, and when we asked what this was all about, he said that he was checking all apartments in the same vertical row because somebody living above us tried to commit suicide by jumping from his terrace that morning!!!

(We're living on the 10th floor and were later told the guy while jumping from the 19th floor...actually survived!!!! ...Or, as both me and wifey assumed, maybe he didn't and it was just the administration of the building who didn't want to upset their tenants...?? You know, that 事故物件 or real estate with a "history"-thing)

So, while I do know of people who got stopped, I can't state anything about it myself and I'm an average height Caucasian and (very) chubby guy who does not look one bit Japanese (or Asian for that matters). I also lived in Ibaragi, Kanagawa, Tokyo and have finally settled down in Chiba 14 years ago...

Curious to know, are you like me, are you also of average to small stature, caucasian and with dark brown hair? Are you also quite good at assimilating into Japanese society (i.e. behaving like the locals?).

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

2BobToday  01:56 pm JST

I've been stopped many times while staying in tokyo hotels and using a complimentary bike. Probably my fault for forgetting to turn the light on to be fair. While its a little annoying to be held up while they verify the bike's owner, they were always polite and helpful. Once even pumping up my tyre! In any case, I always remember that I'm a guest in their country.

If you are a permanent resident, you are not a 'guest', you are, for all intents and purposes citizen like any Japanese person and should be treated as such.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

RHToday  01:35 pm JST

@letsberealistic

Do you expect people to be completely unbiased towards non Japanese?

Yes, 100%.

I know that they do not at all, but I expect everyone everywhere, no matter who they are, to be treated equally and without bias. If they are not then they need to learn because they would want the same if they lived overseas - who doesn't want to live in an egalitarian society?!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

EymaahToday  01:26 pm JST

I’m white scandinavian woman and I lived in Japan for 3 years. Police stopped me twice without reason, first time it was inside train station when I was entering train. I felt embrassed.

Oh wow, why did they stop you?

I think it has a lot to do with how much you stand out. If you are blond and tall then, yeah, you're going to stand out.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

been stopped three times for no apparent reason except looking foreign

5 ( +7 / -2 )

FurbyToday  01:04 pm JST

I see locales get questioned/searched all the time also.

What's the issue?

Well, it looks like you did not read the article.

I only saw Japanese being randomly checked for their bicycle, not because they looked different.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I only saw Japanese being randomly checked for their bicycle, not because they looked different.

In my experience, Japanese people get stopped as well if something about their appearance stands out. Judging someone by how they dress is utterly wrong in such cases too.

However, Japanese people affected by this can choose to fall in line (not that they should have to). As a non-Japanese, however, just your existence as who you are is what raises suspicion. And that, I think, is the root off the issue here. A society that, through various means, punishes being different, something people with roots elsewhere simply can do nothing about (again, not that they should or should have to).

@Haaa Nemui

Understood!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If you are a permanent resident, you are not a 'guest', you are, for all intents and purposes citizen like any Japanese person and should be treated as such.

THIS!!!

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Ever been stopped for Breathalyzer tests while driving? Before each test, police sure has no idea if you're drunk or not at all. but they do the tests occasionally . It is all for prevention of drink-driving.

Suppose police wants to check if the rule to carry your ID is respected to prevent fake visa/ID cases, or to decrease number of illegal stayers, they would go straight to foreign-looking persons and ask. There, police do not have a suspicious reason 「不審事由」beforehand. It is all for prevention too. Or they could actually be searching for specific foreign-looking suspects related to the actual crimes happened based on witness's shared info.. etc.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

letsberealisticToday  02:32 pm JST

EymaahToday  01:26 pm JST

I’m white scandinavian woman and I lived in Japan for 3 years. Police stopped me twice without reason, first time it was inside train station when I was entering train. I felt embrassed.

Oh wow, why did they stop you? 

I think it has a lot to do with how much you stand out. If you are blond and tall then, yeah, you're going to stand out.

I think police were searching someone at train station because he was civilian police. First I thought he was some kind of ”nanpa guy” trying to speak me, I ignored him but then he stepped front of me and showed his police license pledge from his pocket and said he is police and I need to show my ID. He only checked it for 5 seconds and let me in train. No more questions. It seemed like police was looking someone special and they knew name they were looking for.

But I have many half brazilian-japanese friends with lot of tattoos and police stops them often and do full body search, their wallets, bags etc.. I know they stand out because of lot of tattoos, even on face, so thats only reason police want to search them even they only walk on street. Sometimes they video record everything and post it to facebook.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

> EymaahToday  03:03 pm JST

letsberealisticToday  02:32 pm JST

EymaahToday  01:26 pm JST

I’m white scandinavian woman and I lived in Japan for 3 years. Police stopped me twice without reason, first time it was inside train station when I was entering train. I felt embrassed.

Oh wow, why did they stop you? 

I think it has a lot to do with how much you stand out. If you are blond and tall then, yeah, you're going to stand out.

I think police were searching someone at train station because he was civilian police. First I thought he was some kind of ”nanpa guy” trying to speak me, I ignored him but then he stepped front of me and showed his police license pledge from his pocket and said he is police and I need to show my ID. He only checked it for 5 seconds and let me in train. No more questions. It seemed like police was looking someone special and they knew name they were looking for.

But I have many half brazilian-japanese friends with lot of tattoos and police stops them often and do full body search, their wallets, bags etc.. I know they stand out because of lot of tattoos, even on face, so thats only reason police want to search them even they only walk on street. Sometimes they video record everything and post it to facebook.

Thanks, Emiyah. Can you post a link to a video of your friends?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@letsberealistic

Do you expect people to be completely unbiased towards non Japanese?

Yes, 100%. 

I know that they do not at all

and that’s my point.

I agree that it would be wonderful if we could all approach each other in a completely unbiased manner. I understand it feels horrible to be treated differently for appearing foreign. Before opening your mouth you have been assessed as “a foreigner” (whatever that may be). Your desire for a completely unbiased (on physical attributes) society sounds lovely. But also naive and childish. We have adapted a biased approach over millennia because it is effective to a point. Maybe not so much going forwards (one would hope) but has been the difference between life and death for our ancestors. You should consider that you are part of a lineage that has been biased (based on physical attributes) to a point and that is why you are alive today (all your ancestors lived).

I am not saying that is correct or even appropriate anymore but just saying that it should be expected as part of human nature (currently). We can’t just suddenly restructure our hard wired responses.

My point would be that we take that into consideration and rather than fan the flames of hatred and hold high our signs saying “racist!” we act appropriately and respond in a manner that improves the situation for foreigners being unfairly discriminated against because of their appearance.

The US and UK provide excellent examples of how NOT to handle this. One would hope that in Japan the community could learn from the experience of external groups and take a far more intelligent approach.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The police in Japan have every legal right to stop you and ask you to see your ID.

No, not without probable cause, if they do that then they are profiling. Do they just randomly ask Japanese for their ID or do they assume that just because they are Japanese they are incapable of committing crimes for foreigners are? When I hit the cops like that they usually don't say anything and then I walk off.

You, in turn, have the right to ask them why you're being stopped.

That goes without saying and twice I got some BS excuse and when I tried to write down the officers badge number they wouldn't let me, yeah, so much for transparency. Body cameras would fix that for both sides.

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/us-embassy-tokyo-warns-suspected-racial-profiling-by-japanese-police-2021-12-06/

https://observers.france24.com/en/asia-pacific/20210205-japanese-police-officer-admits-to-searching-black-man-because-of-his-dreadlocks

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@letsberealistic

Curious to know, are you like me, are you also of average to small stature, caucasian and with dark brown hair? Are you also quite good at assimilating into Japanese society (i.e. behaving like the locals?).

I guess, yes. Now the hairs are grey, but yes, I think it is a pretty fair description.

I have been working remotely since 2020, but when going to work, it's basically dark suit, briefcase and necktie (it pretty much goes with my function/job). If the J-cops would stop me, I'm more than fluent in Japanese but again, you will only know if you stop me and start talking to me...

In my private time, I'm dressed super casual. But, yes, I do consider me as not "standing out" in any way. Maybe an advantage of looking, well, (ahem) pretty boring...(ouch! self-goal here).

But TBH, I'm from Europe and racial profiling IS an issue back there as well...It's just that in Japan, WE are the foreigners and it is US who maybe (or not) targeted.

Will I never be stopped...? Well, I don't know. I can just say I haven't been so far (keeping fingers crossed).

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Thanks, Emiyah. Can you post a link to a video of your friends?

Videos are in private facebook profiles, but you can see many similar videos if you search from youtube ”police stop foreigner in japan”, ”police gaijin japan”. There are even ”why police arrest foreigners in japan” videos.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

blueToday  03:38 pm JST

But TBH, I'm from Europe and racial profiling IS an issue back there as well...It's just that in Japan, WE are the foreigners and it is US who maybe (or not) targeted.

Will I never be stopped...? Well, I don't know. I can just say I haven't been so far (keeping fingers crossed).

Oh, yes it really is an issue everywhere, isn't it? But I wonder if J-police get training in this and whether the J-public care.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's funny...

I just realized that I may actually be the only one on this thread to have:

. faced a Japanese detective (刑事) in an official investigation

.in what may have actually been a case involving...a dead body (again, wifey and I were later told that the jumper "survived" but...jumping from the 19th floor and surviving?? Really??)

And the whole interaction was all about whether I (or wifey) had been at a very specific point in time that morning on our 10th floor terrace and whether we happened to cross eyes with a guy on his way down to kiss the asphalt...

I will file this encounter under "weird things that happened to me in Japan"...TBH, that file is actually getting pretty thick...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

> I am not saying that is correct or even appropriate anymore but just saying that it should be expected as part of human nature (currently). We can’t just suddenly restructure our hard wired responses.

Well, that's a rather fatalistic and pessimistic view of humanity.

I have greater respect and faith in humans to expect them to be unbiased.

I am not, and most of the people I know are not, so why should they? It's entirely possible to be non-biassed and treat people equally and millions of people do. So it's perfectly realistic to expect that I think.

My point would be that we take that into consideration and rather than fan the flames of hatred and hold high our signs saying “racist!” we act appropriately and respond in a manner that improves the situation for foreigners being unfairly discriminated against because of their appearance.

I think this is your projection since racism or hatred never entered my mind. :)

The US and UK provide excellent examples of how NOT to handle this. One would hope that in Japan the community could learn from the experience of external groups and take a far more intelligent approach.

A better example might be New Zealand. They have the least corrupt government and police in the world, yet the police still profile Maori and Pacific Islanders they put great efforts and training into not doing that and progress is slowly but surely being made.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Lived in Japan a few years in the 1990s, been back dozens of times since and back living here again. Never stopped by the police. Many years living in Hong Kong and never stopped either. Back in the day, the HK police would profile anyone who looked like Mainland Chinese. Caucasians were seen as being favoured. Just to add a degree of balance to the issue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bass4funk

you are required by law to carry your resident card or passport if you are a non-Japanese citizen over the age of 20. That ID can be requested by the police or immigration at any time they request it.

You can be punished if you do not present your residence card in response to a request from a police officer.

If you are stopped for questioning, it is in your best interest to cooperate—Police are legally allowed to seize and arrest you if you try to escape.

Stop and frisk searches or “shokumu shitsumon” while technically illegal, are regularly carried out by the police. The use of this practice is regarded as a “moral gray zone” and is a fiercely debated topic amongst law makers.

When leaving a port area, the harbor police or immigration can request to see the ID of anyone, including citizens. Notices to that effect are posted.

The police can stop you if they decide a crime might be committed.

None of that changes the fact there is racial profiling.

You changed your opinion from when you posted in 2019.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The article 14 of the JAPANESE CONSTITUTION is not being honored.

Article 14. All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

> wallaceToday  04:09 pm JST

bass4funk

you are required by law to carry your resident card or passport if you are a non-Japanese citizen over the age of 20. That ID can be requested by the police or immigration at any time they request it.

You can be punished if you do not present your residence card in response to a request from a police officer.

If you are stopped for questioning, it is in your best interest to cooperate—Police are legally allowed to seize and arrest you if you try to escape.

Stop and frisk searches or “shokumu shitsumon” while technically illegal, are regularly carried out by the police. The use of this practice is regarded as a “moral gray zone” and is a fiercely debated topic amongst law makers.

When leaving a port area, the harbor police or immigration can request to see the ID of anyone, including citizens. Notices to that effect are posted.

The police can stop you if they decide a crime might be committed.

None of that changes the fact there is racial profiling.

You changed your opinion from when you posted in 2019.

Yes, and to be clear, these rules apply to Jp citizens as well. They must carry and present some form of ID when requested (e.g. driver's licence, number card etc.).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I was almost run over by a car. I called police and they wanted to just turn a blind eye. When I went to the police station to complain about the driver and the whole ordeal, I was taken into an interrogation room. Oh, and you can’t record the conversation in a police station it seems. Very convenient, isn’t it ?

This does not surprise me at all. All things bad in Japan are because of foreigners but they love Gaishikei salaries :)

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Yes, and to be clear, these rules apply to Jp citizens as well. They must carry and present some form of ID when requested (e.g. driver's licence, number card etc.).

Since when?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

*But TBH, I'm from Europe and racial profiling IS an issue back there as well...It's just that in Japan, WE are the foreigners and it is US who maybe (or not) targeted.*

Will I never be stopped...? Well, I don't know. I can just say I haven't been so far (keeping fingers crossed).

Oh, yes it really is an issue everywhere, isn't it? But I wonder if J-police get training in this and whether the J-public care.

If it is an issue everywhere, it means racial profiling is needed and sometimes indispensable for the police

So what is this fuss?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Yes, and to be clear, these rules apply to Jp citizens as well. They must carry and present some form of ID when requested (e.g. driver's licence, number card etc.).

No You are wrong.

When you are driving, yes you have to have driving license.

When you visit hospital or municipal office for some procedure, yes you have to have my-number/health insurance card

When you make some contracts, yes you have to have some of your valid ID.

It is not like you always have to have it.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

letsberealistic

wallaceToday  04:09 pm JST*

bass4funk

you are required by law to carry your resident card or passport if you are a non-Japanese citizen over the age of 20. That ID can be requested by the police or immigration at any time they request it.

You can be punished if you do not present your residence card in response to a request from a police officer.

If you are stopped for questioning, it is in your best interest to cooperate—Police are legally allowed to seize and arrest you if you try to escape.

Stop and frisk searches or “shokumu shitsumon” while technically illegal, are regularly carried out by the police. The use of this practice is regarded as a “moral gray zone” and is a fiercely debated topic amongst law makers.

When leaving a port area, the harbor police or immigration can request to see the ID of anyone, including citizens. Notices to that effect are posted.

The police can stop you if they decide a crime might be committed.

None of that changes the fact there is racial profiling.

You changed your opinion from when you posted in 2019.

Yes, and to be clear, these rules apply to Jp citizens as well. They must carry and present some form of ID when requested (e.g. driver's licence, number card etc.).

That is not entirely correct. Japanese citizens, those born and those who became citizens are not required by law to carry any ID and they cannot be stopped by the police without probable cause.

All people, citizens, and non-citizens are required to carry their driving licenses when driving a vehicle and can be stopped by the police and requested to show it.

All people leaving a port area can be asked for ID.

There are many nonpolice activities that require an ID like opening a bank account.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I see and know much more about racial profiling in the UK and the US than here.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@yotomaya

Iam sorry to hear about your experience.

Bear in mind the police may also be looking for a foreigner who has similar features.

Occasionally its difficult for Japanese to differentiate between the physical features of a foreign person , just as sometimes it's difficult for us to differentiate from two Japanese people or other Asians.

Still the best thing to do is to comply politely and respectfully and allow then to do their job .

Racial profiling does happen but being aggressive or non-compliant might have negative consequences.

The can hold you in detention with a charge for weeks or months.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Guidelines need to be established to end discrimination based on how one looks," the Tokyo organization said in the report on racial profiling

The only "guideline" one needs is to be a decent human being that isn't xenophobic, prejudiced, and racist. In Japan, such traits are hard to come by in the police force.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

wallaceToday  05:25 pm JST

I see and know much more about racial profiling in the UK and the US than here.

Well, that's hardly surprising considering the Uk is a multicultural nation and Japan is far from it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

White foreigners here should not think this doesn't happen. It happens all the time, but mainly to those with African, Asian and South American backgrounds.

It's happened to me 4 times, once with a full search of everything I had on me including them opening up the charm my gf bought me from the Jinja. I'm white. Just because it hasn't happened to you doesn't mean it doesn't happen to white people, we are all foreigners and all subject to discrimination.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I was subjected to interrogation five times in the 18 years I live in Japan and I am neither of African or Latin American descent. I was held for over two hours one time for grabbing a creep with his phone stuck up a high school girl’s butt on an escalator at a train station. The let the creep go in 20 minutes. They called my wife, my boss, checked all my ID and treated me like I was the criminal. At the end of it all one of the police said to me, “Stay out of Japanese business.” That is a totally racist comment.

FIVE times interrogated in just 18 years?

Not just stopped, but interrogated?

I think there is much more you're NOT telling us.

The fact is, racial profiling works. They profile certain groups because thats where the bulk of crimes are coming from. In this case illegal aliens or those overstaying their visas.

Take a look at the state of NY or London after they dropped stop and search. Crime rates exploded.

Racial profiling works.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Well, that's hardly surprising considering the Uk is a multicultural nation and Japan is far from it.

Very contradictory statement

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

t's happened to me 4 times, once with a full search of everything I had on me including them opening up the charm my gf bought me from the Jinja. I'm white. Just because it hasn't happened to you doesn't mean it doesn't happen to white people, we are all foreigners and all subject to discrimination.

Which do you like better this by the police (only if it is discrimination) and incessant discrimination against Asians for example...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0QFmRyOgow

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

That is not entirely correct. Japanese citizens, those born and those who became citizens are not required by law to carry any ID and they cannot be stopped by the police without probable cause.

OK, so I’m a foreigner, and I could be a Japanese citizen, so how would they know, I just won’t look at me they could tell that I have citizenship? And if they ask me, then, that means a profiling me.

All people, citizens, and non-citizens are required to carry their driving licenses when driving a vehicle and can be stopped by the police and requested to show it.

I understand that, but once again, they’re profiling me, and why is that they don’t do this to other Japanese? my kids are mixed, and if they are driving and the police pulled them over because they don’t look Japanese, even though their mother is Japanese, and they were born here, what do you call dad? I called it racial profiling.

All people leaving a port area can be asked for ID.

Again, what’s the reason? If you’re doing it just profile me, then they cannot ask, let’s make this abundantly clear, if they stipulate that they’re pulling me over and ask me for ID because it racially profiling me, OK nothing I can say to that, but to hide it, or that they’re just doing their job, I’m not buying it, and I have never excepted it, and never will

There are many nonpolice activities that require an ID like opening a bank account.

I understand, but you’re going off a tangent now. The point is, after living in Japan, for 23 years, I have never been put in the system, I’ve always abiding by the rules, I have the cleanest record, and the only thing that I asked for is respect in return, I don’t break any laws, and I am totally compliant, but I will not except any racial profiling just to make the cop feel better and if they do that, as I said before, I’ll just walk away and they know they can’t stop me. I know my rights in Japan and I know what the police can legally do.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

You can be punished if you do not present your residence card in response to a request from a police officer.

Yes, this is exactly true, and I will agree with you that 100%, but I need to know what the probable causes, just because I’m riding my bike very fast I’m trying to catch a train, and it looks suspicious to the cops, and therefore just by visual perception and because of a foreigner, they can judge me? I completely disagree and I would never put up with it.

If you are stopped for questioning, it is in your best interest to cooperate—Police are legally allowed to seize and arrest you if you try to escape.

I didn’t cooperate, because I knew my rights, and I threw it in their face, and they couldn’t say anything, and I told them I will file a lawsuit against them, unless they show probable cause, and as I continue to say, I walked away and they can say anything to me, and I knew right then and there I had them and they backed off.

Stop and frisk searches or “shokumu shitsumon” while technically illegal, are regularly carried out by the police. 

Yes, and I would never put up with it. Although, one time I was driving home, and I was dozing off, and they pulled me over, and they asked me to take the drunk driving test, and I explain to them that I was very tired and I was falling asleep, but I complied, and I did everything they asked me to, so in that situation, yes I allowed them to see my ID and everything, because I was swerving around, so I get that they had probable cause, they thought I was driving under the influence.

The police can stop you if they decide a crime might be committed.

Again, I would challenge them.

None of that changes the fact there is racial profiling.

You changed your opinion from when you posted in 2019.

I did not actually. As long as it’s for a probable cause. I don’t tell people what to do, or how to be, or even how to live, or how to act, but I personally will not tolerate that, if other people allow the police to abuse their rights I can’t say anything to that, but I personally would not accept it, and I would never allow anyone to push me around unjustifiably regardless, of where I live, I was not raised like that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

> kennyGToday  05:54 pm JST

Well, that's hardly surprising considering the Uk is a multicultural nation and Japan is far from it.

Very contradictory statement

To clarify, if there are many different people of different cultures there are going to be more instances of profiling than a nation with a small number. Does that help?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The fact is, racial profiling works. They profile certain groups because thats where the bulk of crimes are coming from. In this case illegal aliens or those overstaying their visas.

Take a look at the state of NY or London after they dropped stop and search. Crime rates exploded.

Racial profiling works.

These folks must be thinking the police must be perfect without any useless effort...... like superman.

If illegal stayers increase, and the crime ratio by those in particular segments of all crimes is way high ( which is actually the fact) , say in Tokyo, they go for checking at a street corner, focusing on non-Japanese -looking folks.

If the cases of fake passport/visa/Zairyu-card ( provided by Chinese scums) aren't igonorable any longer, they do the same.

If actual crimes happened, and eye-witness reported " the profile", they would do the same.

Racial profiling is needed quite often

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

o clarify, if there are many different people of different cultures there are going to be more instances of profiling than a nation with a small number. Does that help?

Unless you folks are discussing racial profiling of the police toward entire Non-Japanese-looking foreigners.

It is easier for the police to focus on targets in the country like Japan, hence, the debate goes onto Japanese vs Foreigners ... or simply defined as discrimination. Does that help?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

No you don't say!

I mean it isn't like some of use have pointed this out only to be told we are lying by others here that day "I never have " " I have never seen it" and my favourite " if they are being stopped they must have done something to deserve it".

I pointed out that this was a frequent problem for my mixed adult children but again told I was making it all up.

I guess these 60% are also, right the Japan is perfect crowd?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

bass4funk

Today 06:17 pm JST

You can be punished if you do not present your residence card in response to a request from a police officer.

> Yes, this is exactly true, and I will agree with you that 100%, but I need to know what the probable causes

In my pajamas at the vending machine on the property of the apartment building I lived in (I lived on the first floor 2 doors from the entrance) buying a drink for my daughter who was a toddler with a fever at the time.

Cop asked for my then gaikoku toroku card.

I say ring my application number and my will bring it out 3:00 AM they refused took me to the station then called my wife made her take the sick child in a taxi to bringy card to the station.

Made nasty remarks about marryin6a Gaijin!

Yep got to love the Japanese police.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

bass4funk

That is not entirely correct. Japanese citizens, those born and those who became citizens are not required by law to carry any ID and they cannot be stopped by the police without probable cause.

OK, so I’m a foreigner, and I could be a Japanese citizen, so how would they know, I just won’t look at me they could tell that I have citizenship? And if they ask me, then, that means a profiling me.

Because the police and immigration can profile noncitizens to produce their IDs. That is the law. If you become a Japanese citizen then you can inform them you are a Japanese citizen and do not need to show ID. This also happens with people born to Japanese and non-Japanese parents. Especially if they look more non-Japanese. That is what those people posted here in previous articles.

In some cases, it could be claimed it was racial profiling but not when the person is another Asian.

All people, citizens, and non-citizens are required to carry their driving licenses when driving a vehicle and can be stopped by the police and requested to show it.

I understand that, but once again, they’re profiling me, and why is that they don’t do this to other Japanese? my kids are mixed, and if they are driving and the police pulled them over because they don’t look Japanese, even though their mother is Japanese, and they were born here, what do you call dad? I called it racial profiling.

If they stop you because of a driving thing then no they are not profiling you. But the police have the right in law to stop you and request your ID. Like the time you were caught driving without a license.

All people leaving a port area can be asked for ID.

Again, what’s the reason? If you’re doing it just profile me, then they cannot ask, let’s make this abundantly clear, if they stipulate that they’re pulling me over and ask me for ID because it racially profiling me, OK nothing I can say to that, but to hide it, or that they’re just doing their job, I’m not buying it, and I have never excepted it, and never will.

In this case, it applies to all people, citizens, and noncitizens. You have to buy it because it is the law. They do not need to give a reason.

There are many nonpolice activities that require an ID like opening a bank account.

I understand, but you’re going off a tangent now. The point is, after living in Japan, for 23 years, I have never been put in the system, I’ve always abiding by the rules, I have the cleanest record, and the only thing that I asked for is respect in return, I don’t break any laws, and I am totally compliant, but I will not except any racial profiling just to make the cop feel better and if they do that, as I said before, I’ll just walk away and they know they can’t stop me. I know my rights in Japan and I know what the police can legally do.

I was not going off on a tangent. I was answering a comment directed at me.

letsberealisticToday  04:30 pm JST

bass

the law is very clear

If you are a PR you are required to carry your Resident Card 24/7. The police and immigration have the authority to stop you without reason and ask to see your ID.

If you are a visitor or tourist you are required to carry your passport and the police or immigration can ask to see it.

They do not need any further reason.

Interestingly, you do not hold the views about foreigners' rights in your own country.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

> kennyGToday  06:25 pm JST

o clarify, if there are many different people of different cultures there are going to be more instances of profiling than a nation with a small number. Does that help?

Unless you folks are discussing racial profiling of the police toward entire Non-Japanese-looking foreigners.

It is easier for the police to focus on targets in the country like Japan, hence, the debate goes onto Japanese vs Foreigners ... or simply defined as discrimination. Does that help?

Thanks, Kenny.

I'm struggling to get any meaning from this. That's what you get for being an English major. :)

Can anyone decipher this from Ken please?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Some folks seems against official media reporting nationality of perpetrators like @letsberealistic who was even opposed to media reporting the eyewitness's statement, "they were arguing but not in Japanese"..

Look. Vietnamese kills Vietnamese in Japan, that cannot be denied and often happening.

If the police target their Shokumu-questioning onto Vietnamese-looking folks in the town where such crimes happened, do you even call the police racist?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Look. Vietnamese kills Vietnamese in Japan, that cannot be denied and often happening.

> If the police target their Shokumu-questioning onto Vietnamese-looking folks in the town where such crimes happened, do you even call the police racist?

Well let's see what was the nationality of the person that set fire to the clinic? Of set fire to The animation studio?

That was 24 and 36 dead.

So what was your point on Vietnamese on Vietnamese?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I think the foreigners are forgetting something: You're living in someone else's home. Learn to respect their laws.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

In the states we call this abuse, racism and targeting and major lawsuits where millions of dollars get paid to the victims

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Wesley

Today 06:50 pm JST

I think the foreigners are forgetting something: You're living in someone else's home. Learn to respect their laws

Sure and then watch the Japanese news and government go ballistic if anything like this happens to Japanese in North America or Europe.

It is like Japanese getting upset about Hungarian TV Japanface on a comedy show, then ignoring all the regular blackface, etc...on Japanese TV.

The old do as we say not as we do.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Well let's see what was the nationality of the person that set fire to the clinic? Of set fire to The animation studio?

That was 24 and 36 dead.

So what was your point on Vietnamese on Vietnamese?

That is just TWO incidents regardless the number of death.

My point is clear only if you usually read Japanese news too

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

That is just TWO incidents regardless the number of death.

> My point is clear only if you usually read Japanese news too

Would you like more.

As I pointed out even counting over stay foreigners commit fewer crimes per capita than Japanese.

If that is hard to understand.

Let me put it another way.

For every 100 foreigners in Japan

And every 100 Japanese the percentage of crimes is lower for the Foreigners. And again that is including the crime of overstaying.

You are R and it is obvious

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

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