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Gov't to step up measures to prevent terrorism in Japan

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“We aim to implement antiterrorism measures steadily so that people can live in safety,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference.

What this will amount to is an excuse for the police to steadily increase their harassment of gaijin-looking folks through ID and bag checks.

Better make sure you're up to date with the new gaijin card.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

boost information gathering capabilities.

I hope that doesn't mean adopting the spying programs of homeland security.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

We can only thank Abe for putting Japan on the terrorist's map.

16 ( +28 / -12 )

Does anyone actually expect the government to not say anything? These types of public-service announcements are to keep the population snug in their belief that they are secure.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

since1981,

While I agree the police should do their job, I'm a bit concerned about having my ID checked just because I don't have an Asian face. All of the terrorist acts in Japan have been accomplished by Japanese. None have been instigated by non-Asians. Therefore, why check my ID? Check everyone here who is Japanese. And, I fear, that is where this safety island nation is headed - by fear toward a more totalitarian state. They're just picking the low hanging fruit first. (Non-Asian foreigners).

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Up until today, all the 'terrorist' incidents in Japan have been promulgated by Japanese nationals, yet the authorities have always concentrated their efforts on foreigners. I guess now that they have some justification for this.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I was stopped and ID checked by two cops at the station this morning. First time in 14 years here. Hopefully 'my cracker ass' will be memorable enough for me to not need to do this every morning. Bet they won't be scouring the cafes of Nishi-Azabu though.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Japan’s Olympics Minister Toshiaki Endo on Monday promised to make public safety the “top priority” of the 2020 Tokyo Games following the deadly Paris terror attacks.

So it's like, Tokyo 2020!!! Brought to you by anti-terrorisim! Yokoso!!

Sorry but, Japan is poorly equipped to handle any kind of well organized, coordinated attack. Even IF there was a super pro counter-terrorist unit here, if terrorists trult had sights set on Japan, it would probably happen. Odds are in their favor unfortunately. They only have to get it right once... Prevention has to be 100% all the time.

It is scary to think what kind of damage could be done in a crowded area like Shibuya, on a Shinkansen or just about any major urban area....

If it is desired to happen, it probably will. And I doubt a newly appointed Olympic Minister will be able to do much to prevent it.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

We can only thank Abe for putting Japan on the terrorist's map.

Maybe he wants the chance to play victim.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

">Joeintokyo, what's wrong with the police doing their job.

They're not doing their job. The police actually don't do anything except sit in the Koban and act as tour guides for the Japanese and as gestapo for the foreigners.

I have no problem letting the police check my id and bag. You don't, but tons of other foreigners do. Its intrusive and humiliating. If you think its ok, then why isn't that practice being implemented on everyone, japanese and foreign? After all, Aum were Japanese, and the man who recently lit himself on fire on the shinkansen was also Japanese. In addition to that, one Japanese man was caught trying to go to Turkey to join IS. In all these cases, not one foreigner was involved.

A few years ago, they tried to make a law that said that all Japanese had to carry ID too, and it was met with outrage, saying that it was against human rights.

It'll help me sleep at night knowing they are doing what they can for the saftey of the public. It's when they don't check, that we should be concerned. How is harrassing anyone for ID keep you safe from terrorism? There are MANY terrorists with European passports who can come into Japan legally and do whatever they want to do. Arbitrary stopping and seaching isn't going to do anything.

And you should always keep you gaijin card up to date. It's the law. Being an apologist will get you nowhere. Sure, we all need to follow the law. But your berating of the police's detractors is not constructive. Also, why do you assume you are the only one with an updated foreign card.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Japan is relatively safe from terrorist attacks due to its location and culture. But these won't be enough to counter terrorism in a large international event like Olympics where people from every corner of the world gather up. Its wise to prepare now than later.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I am an ASIAN lady with beautiful silky soft brown skin but of course I don't look Japanese at all. I have been pulled over by police a total of 5 times for my 2 years stay. I just can't understand why on earth they do this. Once I was even asked if my bicycle I was riding was mine..Whattah ****... Good thing I brought my registration papers. Also since I don't speak Japanese it always takes a long time for the interrogation etc. Just when I told them, I am an English Teacher here...they stop the bloody questioning. Anyways, I just let it go as I am under the country's provisions. However, I am hoping that the police would just look at my ALIEN CARD and let me go without a long discussion in Japanese as I don't understand a word. I am an illegal settler and I have a proper visa to teach your people how to interact with the world through English.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

What threats have been issued,evidence of potential threats etc? Surely, making information public would be the best way to prevent terrorism but the fact is that it is the tax payers that will find they are increasing the budgets of the police and army for training and resources. Unless there is complete totalitarian control of a country then it may well be possible to thwart terrorism but as the events in France have shown, a well planned attack with even limited resources can lead to many deaths.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Two more data points:

1: My friend's wife is half-Okinawan/half-Persian and is constantly mistaken for a total 100% gaijin. She was pulled over on her scooter this year. Why? The police said "They saw a foreigner on a scooter with license plates from [redacted village name, a fairly rural area], so they assumed she had stolen it." That place is her hometown. Not only did they jump to a ridiculous conclusion by stereotyping foreigners but their traffic stop also made her late for work. She has a pretty fiery temperament so needless to say she cursed them out accordingly.

2: I was dropping off a female friend in Naha, who incidentally lives barely a block from a major gaijin nightclub. A patrol car passes me....and they must have done a U-turn because they pulled me over about 2 minutes later. "What are you doing in Naha?" My Japanese isn't proficient enough to respond "The last time I checked there were no restrictions on travel in the city, so I came down to get serviced by your mother in the red light district." So I just said "...visiting a friend". They ask if I'm US military. "Gunjin jyanai!" They ask for ID....and I pull out my residence card...my Japanese drivers licence....AND my Japanese university ID. "Ohhhh, sugoi.....Ok, you can go." WTF..... I'm sure their thought process was the same as the above example: They saw a black guy with short hair in an area where military people frequent....but I was driving a Kanji-plate vehicle.... ERROR! DOES NOT COMPUTE! STOP AND HARASS DAMN DIRTY GAIJIN! HE MUST BE BREAKING THE LAW!

If the Japanese intend to get serious about stopping terror attacks at the Olympics without pissing off all the guests and crushing their tourism gains, they'll need to be more discerning and much more diverse and skilled in how they assess threats.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan is far more likely to be hit by more Japanese terrorists than foreign terrorists.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Better safe than sorry. Good to see they're taking proactive measures and not waiting for the first attack to finally move like in Europe

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Top priority huh. How about just building the venues. That's your top priority

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And if that means being asked to show your resident registration card, then please don't make a big deal about it. Just be polite. Similarly, when you are fingerprinted at the airport, again no big deal.

Brainiac, ok fine. BUT let's have it for EVERYONE, Japanese included. Like wanderlust said the terrorist attacks in Japan have all been the work of Japanese nationals.

Do you think the Japanese public would tolerate the same treatment? If we are ALL getting stopped and searched as well as fingerprinted then fine ok.

Its not the practice of fingerprinting or spot checks that infuritate me; its the difference in treatment. If its really about safety, than EVERYONE should be subjected to this, no?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

gokai_wo_manekuNOV. 17, 2015 - 07:10AM JST We can only thank Abe for putting Japan on the terrorist's map.

Sorry, I'm going to have to disagree here. I'm as strong a critic of Abe as anyone, but when it comes to Daesh (ISIS) we're not dealing with the straightforward thinking we might see in other geopolitical rivalries. They're effectively a doomsday cult, they believe everyone who doesn't follow their brand of Islam is ripe for slaughter, and they're even willing to kill other Muslims with abandon when it suits their politics. They've said their goal is to drive a wedge between moderate Muslims and everyone else in the world in order to force the moderates under their banner. So one way or another, eventually Daesh would have targeted Japan. It's only a matter of time.

On the anti-terror front, I think Japan is probably better-prepared than other countries in at least one way- It seems unlikely that random civilians will have access to AK-47s or ammunition here,especially foreigners. The hard part will be setting up some kind of system that flags people who buy or import the components to make improvised explosives without flagging people who buy some but not all of those items for their ordinary intended uses.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yes, the obvious response will be stepped up ID checks of foreigners ranging from the dark skinned to slightly swarthy and those not wearing suits or riding bicycles. Meanwhile, there are out and out illegal or at least suspect immigrants contracted to work in the "entertainment" areas who often are shielded by domestic organized crime organizations.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

We all know what the gravest threat is.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

What this will amount to is an excuse for the police to steadily increase their harassment of gaijin-looking folks through ID and bag checks.

That's exactly whats going to happen. ANY excuse to harrass foreigners even more. The real benchmark will be what NEW security measures will be taken and towards WHOM. Are the new security measures going to be implemented on the whole population or just the foreign looking ones?

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Japan is being dragged by some west countries into a dirty game , while Japan is always peaceful , out of sudden , money will start pouring into security and weapons, and of course some countries will be more than happy to help using their " expertise , and weapons" , nothing for free of course . ( if they were successful to prevent those terror attack on their own nations , then they can offer help). Japan economy ,stability and security are a fear for some nearby nation. While Japan should take precautions from Terrorist , it should at the same time be careful of those pretending to be caring . I remember US expressed anger over TOYOTA sales in Middle east and how can terrorist access to them , but never asked themselves where those terrorists are getting their weapons from .

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Cruel as it is, keeping refugees out will help. Protect your own before potentially letting in a Trojan Horse.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Japan was no idea, please listen to other countries and don't try to do it yourself.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I have not noticed any difference in the number of times that I have been asked for ID, whether I was in touristy areas such around as Kyoto, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Kobe, Nara or Tokyo or I was around work in Otemachi or around my neighbourhood or off the beaten path somewhere going back to 1995. You get stopped, they ask for ID and if you want to go on your way fast, always pull your Japanese driver's license out first as you fumble for your gaijin card. 100% of the time it has worked for me and they just say okay, okay and you're on your way.

Is getting stopped really that much of a hassle, it can be but the alternative is doing nothing and then the knee jerk reactions that come after. I rather be stopped every so often than be sorry because we did nothing because some thought it was wrong and an inconvenience. I say what happen in Paris on Friday was more than just a little inconvenient, no?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's not just dark-skinned people who get stopped. I'm Scandinavian-looking and I've been harrassed for no reason a couple of times, but I guess it's because they assume that any blonde girl must be a hooker, regardless of whether or not they're wearing a business suit and carrying a briefcase.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Finally a box they can check. Kerrrchingg!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Joeintokyo, what's wrong with the police doing their job.

They're not doing their job. The police actually don't do anything except sit in the Koban and act as tour guides for the Japanese and as gestapo for the foreigners.

I have no problem letting the police check my id and bag.

You don't, but tons of other foreigners do. Its intrusive and humiliating. If you think its ok, then why isn't that practice being implemented on everyone, japanese and foreign? After all, Aum were Japanese, and the man who recently lit himself on fire on the shinkansen was also Japanese. In addition to that, one Japanese man was caught trying to go to Turkey to join IS. In all these cases, not one foreigner was involved.

A few years ago, they tried to make a law that said that all Japanese had to carry ID too, and it was met with outrage, saying that it was against human rights.

It'll help me sleep at night knowing they are doing what they can for the saftey of the public. It's when they don't check, that we should be concerned.

How is harrassing anyone for ID keep you safe from terrorism? There are MANY terrorists with European passports who can come into Japan legally and do whatever they want to do. Arbitrary stopping and seaching isn't going to do anything.

And you should always keep you gaijin card up to date. It's the law.

All of this brown nosing will get you nowhere. Sure, we all need to follow the law. But your berating of the police's detractors is not constructive. Also, why do you assume you are the only one with an updated foreign card. And I would advise against using the term gaijin. Unless you also use the term jap.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan is relatively safe from terrorist attacks due to its location and culture.

US Bases would be an ideal target for terrorist . . . but I doubt they'd have the balls. They're more content doing cowardly acts like shooting up bars, diners and concertgoers.

The Japanese authorities have already blocked out radical islam. If there's another incident, it will be homegrown like '95 (Aum) Sarin Gas attacks.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Unfortunately, strict counterchecking emphasis is just carried out immediately after an attack and the trend dies with time. We are living in very odd times where locals are secretly sneaking out of the country for terrorism lessons and leading the gangs back for attacks. In a recent terrorist attack at a Kenyan university where 147 students were killed, it was very embarassing to realise that the gang leader was a Kenyan who had sneaked out of the country sometime back for the lessons. He secretly sneaked the gang back and invaded the hostels at dawn and carried it out on religious profiling. Those able to iterate certain verses of their (gang) holy book were spared. As such being a local alone does not exempt one from counterchecking. These thugs may soon beat our potential to curb the menace unless we interject head-on earlier.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Steve Crichton - "The only thing needed for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

With Abe's move to militarize Japan, we will need all the protection we can get!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

just not participate in the middle east affairs and Japan will be safe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bit late to apply for the new residents card, has been compulsory since June this year. Applying now only shows you have been illegal here for some time.

Still waiting for 18yrsr to get stopped and ID-chevk.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

YubaruNOV. 17, 2015 - 07:44AM JST Does anyone actually expect the government to not say anything?

(No, I think it's good to take appropriate actions and discuss what legitimate deterrents can be done, however it is my concern that this will be used as a tool to legitimize authoritarian actions such as spying programs and playing on people's fears and so on. Boarder patrol authorities working closer with interpol is a positive step that I agree with, I hope there will be more common sense approaches of that nature.)

These types of public-service announcements are to keep the population snug in their belief that they are safe.

(Are you implying that you have credible information to suggest otherwise?)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sorry, typo error... I am NOT an illegal settler I meant.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If the police stopped me in order to check my ID card, what exactly are they looking for?

There's nothing on my ID card that would indicate my religion (not that that would mean anything anyway). There's nothing on my ID card that would suggest any sympathies I might have with certain groups.

If it's simply just to check whether or not I have an ID card, what does that achieve? If a tourist without an ID card is stopped - what next? Ask them the same Qs they were asked at immigration in the airport? - They'll get the same answers.

As many have said previously, Japan is doing all right with regards terrorism. The only incidents that have occurred in Japan have been by the hands of Japanese people. The majority of ISIS related incidents occurring overseas have been committed by local nationals (who have also been known to the authorities). By that reckoning I would suggest the Japanese intelligence agencies / police should spend the majority of their funds and time keeping a close eye on its own.

Japan had no problem holding the 2002 World Cup the year after 9/11 happened. This proves they basically know how to approach such large security issues. A huge over reaction regarding the 'upcoming' 2020 Olympics is not necessary as it's still 5 years away.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

the concept of terrorism is like intensive care serious whereas not only Japan but all of Asia like it includes all the countries that the majority worship Buddhism and all others Asian countries honors a mixture of Islam and Buddism; anyway it's only too simple for terrorist to recruit in Japan or S.Korea especially with the internet like to the starving and homeless people who got abused and misused with losing their job security it's click click "we send you money and you do this for us, and after we'll send somemore bonus money if you are successful";..that's about how easy they can control the relentless and homeless and it's a big time scary,..like fast and growing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A lot of people seemed to have been stopped by the police here. I am a white American male who has lived in Japan for nearly 30 years. I live in a big city, drive a car (and ride 3 different bicycles!) and get out a lot, but I have never once been stopped by the police. I can only guess that getting questioned by the cops in Japan is a matter of luck or possibly the color of your skin. Or maybe I just look intrinsically innocent. However, knowing the Japanese proclivity to "tar everyone with the same brush" (a carry over from the group mentality?), when the 2020 Olympics come round, expect some racial profiling from the boys in blue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You cannot prevent it only avoid id it. Donnt become iinvolved in this so called war on terror. Stay out of it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I lived there for about 6 years in the late 90's but never got stopped by the Police, although it seems many are.

I think the issue really is why are foreigners in general being stopped? Why are they still being fingerprinted? It doesn't happen in most other countries I am aware of and is not really good PR for the Police if it is for no apparent reason...

Treat others how you would like to be treated..?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

GoodlucktoyouNOV. 17, 2015 - 02:29PM JST Why do people call revenge attackers terrorists?

Probably because they attack innocent parties instead of the people they claim to be taking revenge on. The moment anyone targets an innocent, they lose all pretense to whatever they're pretending justifies their murder.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm starting my 29th year in japan and I've never been stopped to check my ID. I've been surprised as well that on two occasions when I was stopped by police as warning (thankfully no ticket) I was only asked for my drivers license. The only time I was asked for my resident card was when I actually got a ticket at 140km on the Chuo highway in Yamanashi.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

so Cleo give us the lowdown on how the Jstones only stop "furrigners" seein as you're the spokeswoman on here with relatives who are members of the Japanese police force and are constantly defending them

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No one is ever safe in this crazy world we live in.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Don't know why so many are against letting the authorities do their job. It's arrogant people that fight the system and harass the police for doing their job why criminals have it easy and foreigners are profiled. Some police are even afraid to do their job cause of the threat of losing their job because someone wants to be hiring than the system. I've been in Japan for 34 years, light brown skin, Italian Amercian, facial hair, have never had any problem with police. I've had a few parking tickets, caught once for speeding and never been harassed. We even end with a few laughs and a handshake. Just cooperate with them! They ask for my id, I give it and in 5 minutes on my way. (Except of the traffic stops. They take a bit longer no matter what your nationality is.) Five minutes of my life is well worth the sense of safety knowing the authorities are doing something for the safety of the people. I have a great rep with my local police. Be nice. It's not personal. Give them the image that foreigners in Japan are not arrogant a-holes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@gokai wo maneku, I just think when the Japanese translator of the Satanic Verses was murdered several yrs ago by, of all people, a Japanese funded scholar, terrorism, has already set foot in Japan. Last night, went grocery to Ito Yokado and a somewhat Middle eastern/Turkish looking man with a very big suitcase that seemed to be newly landed from the airport or something was buying bread . I'm not hinting that he's a terrorist. Nor when during a open base in Kakamigahara some 3 yrs ago a group of black clad Muslim women with some children on stroller came into the festival one hr before closing time. Or that some Abu Sayyaf membe rand/or symphatizers are already here, them being a real or fake Japanese descendant or married to one. they are already here maybe waiting for the right ideology, money and motivation. Just hope they would appreciate the peace and prosperity they are enjoying here much more than the ones they left in their rugged, mountainous home base. So, pls stop bashing PM Abe! The real problem is in the psyche of people who come to Japan whose original orientation is way out of a peaceful coexistence!

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Joshua Degreiff NOV. 17, 2015 - 12:52PM JST don't accept refugees with criminal background like didn't in Europe,

How do you verify criminal background on millions of potential immigrants? You can't. Alot of these refugees have false passport from Syria that they can buy for $700 U.S. and it's practically impossible for these European countries to verify the accuracy of the information. There is alot of bad data.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sfjp How you can accept in your home people you don't know? So meaning they just condemned the act of government incompetent because they can't verify who enter in their countries? Lame excuses always been around and 129 people won't back to the grave because their border Immigrations and their government they are mentally incompetent to check criminal background those refugees before to enter in their country. With your answer God help us if we will live safe in our countries with that government mentally incompetents!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Being more vigilant about unattended luggage, garbage bins in public areas, and so on would be much more effective than racial profiling and stop and search. It's serious. They should get a grip on that.

As for ISIS, a lot of their anti-western rhetoric is very old and reiterates a lot of stuff that was coming out of anti-western activists like Okakura Tenshin long, long ago. Islamic fundamentalism also has some roots in Fanonism, which was itself inspired by nihilist French philosophy. History has a horrible and relentless way of bringing back the past to haunt us.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It may sound racist but the undeniable reality is that only dark skinned foreigners are and will be center of suspicion as a rule of thumb. So far I have talked with foreigners living in Japan, never found a white one having experience of being stopped, because usually westerners are not known for visa overstaying.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

because usually westerners are not known for visa overstaying

That's right. Most westerners do not come to japan "to make money to send home" or "for a better life." The NPA knows this. So they leave us alone.

@Cleveryani. J-police are often featured in the crime section on JT. From attempting to kidnap 10yr old girls, to groping women on trains.

Have your cell phone ready to record your next encounter- even though there's no reasonable suspicion / probable cause to have sufficed for J-police to stop you in the first place.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

gokai_wo_maneku can you name any country other than Sweden that isnt on the terrorist map?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well that's easy don't open border to undocumented refugees like did Europe, don't accept refugees without a psychological evaluation like didn't in Europe, don't accept refugees with criminal background like didn't in Europe, don't bomb Syria or Iraq because you will make that people hate you more than before like Europe did. Overall if you fallow this steps Japan will be safer!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why do people call revenge attackers terrorists? Japan should keep out of other peoples business and enjoy all the wonderful things we have.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Joeintokyo, what's wrong with the police doing their job. I have no problem letting the police check my id and bag. It'll help me sleep at night knowing they are doing what they can for the saftey of the public. It's when they don't check, that we should be concerned. And you should always keep you gaijin card up to date. It's the law.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Aly Rustom

You've obviously got some issues with police and law enforcement that you need to deal with. But we live in a dangerous world and the police need the support and cooperation of every decent member of the community, including you and me. And if that means being asked to show your resident registration card, then please don't make a big deal about it. Just be polite. Similarly, when you are fingerprinted at the airport, again no big deal. In fact, all my friends and family who have visited me have found it amusing.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

If you're a light skinned (aka, white) foreigner, you're usually given a free pass. The more tanned your skin, the more the police will stop you on the streets. So my suggestion, go to some skin whitening clinics. Lots of them in Tokyo.

That said, I'm starting to think racial profiling is not such a bad idea.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Gov't to step up measures to prevent terrorism in Japan

First of all, Japan does the right thing by not accepting islamic refugees and taking a tough stance on immigration in general. This is a huge deterrent already in place.

Maybe the obama can learn something here instead of unilaterally "approving" tens of thousands of islamic refugees into the US. Even in the wake of what occurred over the weekend in Paris.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

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