national

Reporter sues government after his passport invalidated

43 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

43 Comments
Login to comment

I say...let him go and have his take. If he gets taken, or worst - killed, its on him not the nation. GOJ, like the USAGOV, periodically post cautionary news to travellers heading into civil unrest nations. USA never deprives its citizens to global travel - they simple tell us to be careful. The risk is ours alone if we opt to bypass the good word of warning.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Government loves to keep the best interests of its citizens in mind at all times.

Be safe.

Be cute.

And remember -- it's all thanks to the government.

Thanks Government!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Give him his passport back, but make him sign a waver that the j-Gov is in no way obligated to help him if/when he gets in the poop.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

After reading more about this guy, he was way too friendly with ISIS - "good friends" with many of those butchers. I would feel more comfortable with him outside the country. If the Japanese government cannot charge him with a crime, they should have no right to take his passport in any case. Give him his passport, and hope he doesn't come back.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

All he needs to do now is wait 30-40 years for the Japanese courts to make a final decision.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He is absolutely correct. His constitutional rights have been violated, as has his right to earn a living from his work. IF the govt can do this to one person, they can do it to anyone. A very dangerous precedent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is indeed difficult not to frame this in the context of an attack on the freedom of the press. Would this individual have had his passport revoked (the constitutionality of which is pretty hard to argue for) if we has someone who was visiting the country on his own without a job to do (including having had the past he does)? How about if he had family there to visit?

Some journalists report on domestic issues and other international. Some report in safe areas and others need to go to dangerous areas. Some work for large new conglomerates and other independently. I would argue that they are all necessary to ensure free flowing information to the electorate. Yes, democracy does depend on freedom of the press.

For those who would argue that governments should not negotiate with terrorists, I am not arguing against that but in the same frame of mind, would running from reporting on them in the primary sense not be equally as terrible a policy? Wouldn't that allow their networks to grow unchecked? Doesn't someone have to do the hard job here and risk their safety for this information in order for us all to be informed with balanced information (or at least an attempt at it)?

This seems like a rather obvious and heavy-handed way for the government to sanction reports (ie choose which can do the job and which cannot). Isn't that an awfully dangerous precedent to set for a country which aims to be a democracy?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Freelance are loose canon in a difficult time

°

But the government should be careful during this time of change with a new emperor who have to reassure the world about not being a bad man. It did not manage to protect his wife from emperor household, and it is easy step to think that it might not have been the emperor household.

Freelancer are to often found in the middle of the worst sensitive case. They leveled up the game. They think they touch only the lightweight when for real they touch to the finest hidden ways. That's dangerous to hell for them and their familly (this include their country). Those are the most dangerous files and nobody want one of his own in the middle of one of this cases. We are talking about investigation but religion too. Every piece of proof is use to find someone hidden in the game and britannic are real religious fanatics here ready to strike at the devil (they need a scapegoat).

So if I understand the freelancer opinion, i don't see the understanding wiseness of the full danger they put themselves and others in. There is no abuse. There is a real risk. This is true that the game became tie the last few years (Ghosn is tied to the problem too, before he would not have been arrested too). In France a president and a first minister indicted too. All of this should tell japan to be wise with britannics on the loose.

°

NadAge

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a guy who wrote on his blog that he was buying favors from Alqaida with prepaid cell phones, because Alqaida preferred them over money.

If he’s a journalist of any worth, he would know that cell phones are used in most remote detonated IEDs. IEDs that killed thousands of coalition troops, and continue to kill Afghani civilians.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@comanteer

I do agree that being a smug dongskull troll isn’t in itself grounds for withholding freedoms, this guy was defacto claiming that he would conduct illegal activities overseas. (crossing borders illegally and cooperating with terrorist organizations)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Please refrain from posting nonsense like "smug dongskull troll."

This guy had his passport revoked for being a complete troll and smug dingus.

Trolls and smug dinguses (whatever that is) still are allowed to have basic freedoms. May as well lock up half the country otherwise. If a government can take away his basic freedoms so easily, then they can take away yours as well.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In a way, they are preventing him from earning a living and the USA doesn't do this to CNN reporters.

CNN reporters wouldn't be traveling alone and getting abducted...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This guy had his passport revoked for being a complete troll and smug dingus.

Upon return to Japan after being held captive in Yemen, before even thanking his rescuers, he said smugly in a press conference that he would continue to go to war zones and that the govt and UN have an obligation to ensure his safety. When he was denied a visa into Afghanistan, publicly stated on his blog that he would enter illegally through Pakistan, with help from his “trusted friends” in Alqaida.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I am astounded that there are people who actually downvote the idea of freedom of movement. As though they like the idea of being imprisoned. Or maybe they like the idea of others being imprisoned, and assume it will never happen to them?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

rainyday - Though not mentioned inthis article, in an earlier one on the same case the government declined to comment, saying it does not make public statements on individual decisions like this.

So blame the government, not the reporter, for the lack of the government’s explanation.

Thanks for the info. I blame the reporter(s) for not including this important information in the reporter(s) article. The government did not write the article. The reporter(s) did. Not everyone read the "earlier one".

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The Constitution provides for the freedom of movement within the country, foreign travel, immigration, and repatriation. Citizens have the right to travel freely both within the country and abroad, to change their place of residence, to emigrate, and to repatriate voluntarily.

Freedom of movement abroad requires a passport. Taking away the passport is preventing that freedom.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

zichi - Constitution chapter iii rights and duties of the people articles 10-40. Every citizen, that is every, man, woman, child are protected by it.

Which of the articles states that Japanese passports can not be invalidated by the Japanese government?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Constitution chapter iii rights and duties of the people articles 10-40. Every citizen, that is every, man, woman, child are protected by it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Most Japanese don’t know that Japanese soldiers were involved in at least one gun battle where civilians died in the South Sudan civil war recently. Or that now the Japanese military are in Egypt where a suppressed civil war is ongoing with many civilian deaths.

Both these are illegal under Japanese constitution.

the Japanese political and associated far right don’t want people to know the truth. They want to bury article 9 and go to war. As they are over 70, of course they will have to stay here, and send the younger generation. They won’t go if they know the truth.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This story has listed Tsuneoka's side of the story. What I don't see is the government's side of the story. Tsuneoka assumes this, Tsuneoka assumes that. Tsuneoka's passport was invalidated, but there are lots of reasons for a government to invalidate a passport. Who ever wrote this story should have included the governments official reason for invalidating his passport. I, for one, would like to read why the government actually invalidated Tsuneoka's passport. I would consider that to be proper reporting.

What reason did the government give for invalidating the passport? Are we supposed to guess, or speculate, or simply take Tsuneoka's claims as fact?

Though not mentioned inthis article, in an earlier one on the same case the government declined to comment, saying it does not make public statements on individual decisions like this.

So blame the government, not the reporter, for the lack of the government’s explanation.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

zichi - Not only reporters and journalists but every single man. woman and child has the constitutional right of the freedom of movement and can't prevent people travelling.

Many reporters visit dangerous places and countries to keep the public informed of what is happening. If they get into trouble they also deserve the help of the government.

Which constitution are you referring to? Which constitution applies to "every single man, woman, and child"?

I suggest that "freelance reporters" take out kidnapping insurance before they enter known areas of conflict, war zones, civil wars, etc..

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This story has listed Tsuneoka's side of the story. What I don't see is the government's side of the story. Tsuneoka assumes this, Tsuneoka assumes that. Tsuneoka's passport was invalidated, but there are lots of reasons for a government to invalidate a passport. Who ever wrote this story should have included the governments official reason for invalidating his passport.

Exactly.

This is Journalism 101: tell both sides of the story and let the reader make up his or her mind.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Kosuke Tsuneoka was stopped at Tokyo's Haneda airport in February on his way to Yemen to report on the country's conflict and humanitarian crisis. He was told his passport had been invalidated and was ordered to immediately surrender it.

In January, before the Feb. 2 passport problem, Tsuneoka was denied entry to Oman, where he planned to transit on an earlier planned trip to Yemen. Despite having obtained an e-visa, he was forced to return to Tokyo and rescheduled his trip via Sudan, he said.

This story has listed Tsuneoka's side of the story. What I don't see is the government's side of the story. Tsuneoka assumes this, Tsuneoka assumes that. Tsuneoka's passport was invalidated, but there are lots of reasons for a government to invalidate a passport. Who ever wrote this story should have included the governments official reason for invalidating his passport. I, for one, would like to read why the government actually invalidated Tsuneoka's passport. I would consider that to be proper reporting.

What reason did the government give for invalidating the passport? Are we supposed to guess, or speculate, or simply take Tsuneoka's claims as fact?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Not only reporters and journalists but every single man. woman and child has the constitutional right of the freedom of movement and can't prevent people travelling. This isn't Israel.

Many reporters visit dangerous places and countries to keep the public informed of what is happening. If they get into trouble they also deserve the help of the government. It's not like the government has to deal with hundreds of these cases every year.

His fight is also the fight of every single citizen.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

 It will be extremely unpopular to force a reporter to sign a waver: it will be considered as cruel.

cruel as in making Japanese citizens pay for their release because of their selfish decisions

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

If he wants to go, let him, just ensure that he sign a waver, and if possible, all his family and friends too, releasing the government from any responsibility in gaining his release when he is again taken hostage!

exactly , make these morons sign a waiver, if they get into trouble theyre on their own no government assistance or ransom moneys paid if your taken hostage. wonder how many would go then. its a nice feeling knowing the Japanese taxpayer will pay for your release if you get caught

0 ( +5 / -5 )

remove his citizenship, and deny future japan access. he wants to play with terrorists and then cry to Japan gov.. he can do it on his own.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

TheRat:

USA doesn't do this to CNN reporters.

It is well understood among its citizens that US does not make a deal with terrorists. No so in Japan. It has been often quoted in Japan that "the life of a person is heavier than the Earth" to justify giving easy money to terrorists in return for a Japanese citizen. It is quoted less frequently today but the practice is the same: Japanese government says publicly that they do not make any deal with terrorists but everybody knows it always tries to make a deal in the background. There is enormous pressure on Japanese government to make such deal at any cost! It will be extremely unpopular to force a reporter to sign a waver: it will be considered as cruel.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Let him go if he wants but have him sign a waiver that he understands the government will not help him if he is captured.

Like the last guy who was captured and later released as he had in the past, I don't believe it is the individual crying for help after they are captured. It is the terrorists forcing them to call their government so they can get a nice payday. After that call, it becomes a media circus and the terrorists are happy because it puts more pressure on the government to do something and it puts out the so-called kidnappers cause.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sadly once again Japan gets it WRONG...….Japan can & SHOULD be doing better, hope this guy soon gets his passport back!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This isn’t even how passports are supposed to work. They are issued by governments for the benefit of other countries that its citizens are entering, to act as proof of what country the person holding it is from.

They are not a tool by which a government prevents its citizens from leaving the country. Sometimes a criminal may be required to surrender his passport to prevent flight, but even then their passport is still valid (they just don’t physically have it). The idea of just completely invalidating a passport of a law abiding citizen to prevent himfrom doing his job because it is dangerous is nuts.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

" restricted press freedom." Its Japan what do you expect? They are ranked about 50th in the world in freedom of press (and almost the same for freedom of speech).

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The Foreign Ministry routinely reminds Japanese media to avoid entering conflict zones. Journalists who have been taken hostage or become embroiled in problems have faced criticism as troublemakers who deserve punishment. People who act independently in Japan are often considered selfish and receive little sympathy.

from the article above.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"Rather, I worry about the direction Japan seems to be heading, as it seems to be losing its perspective on global issues, and I wanted to put the brakes on this somehow."

brave man

He said he filed the lawsuit because of his concern that the government may be expanding its control over citizens.

it is. Under this dimwitted incompetant PM Japan will surpass China soon in lack of human rights

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Very few people know this but a passport is considered to be the property of the government that issues it.

Another thing very few people seem to know is that the freedom to travel is a fundamental right in any free country. That's why the Berlin Wall was considered to be so awful.

Things have changed so that walls are not necessary. All a government has to do is take away a person's passport. People have silently given up their right to freedom of movement - not just in Japan. Good on this reporter for trying to fight it in his small way.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Bwa ha ha ha.

Good luck with that Tsuneoka, good luck indeed.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

He should have become a dual-citizen and gotten another passport. Perhaps he is out of touch with Japanese culture?

Could you please explain what you mean when you say "out of touch with Japanese culture?"

I do not understand what Japanese culture has to do with becoming a dual citizen? Particularly seeing as how Japan does not officially recognize dual-citizenship's.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

He should have become a dual-citizen and gotten another passport. Perhaps he is out of touch with Japanese culture?

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Very few people know this but a passport is considered to be the property of the government that issues it.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

leaving Japan out of touch with the rest of the world.

Japan has been out of touch with the rest of the world on so many levels for a very long time. I doubt that his going to Yemen is going to even scratch the surface of changing it!

If he wants to go, let him, just ensure that he sign a waver, and if possible, all his family and friends too, releasing the government from any responsibility in gaining his release when he is again taken hostage!

Oh and make sure that signing and the document itself is highly publicized both here and abroad, as well!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Let him go if he wants but have him sign a waiver that he understands the government will not help him if he is captured. He wants to play in traffic but then he will bitch if he gets hit by a car

7 ( +11 / -4 )

So....by this logic any journalist covering a war zone or terrorist attack like the one in Sri Lanka can have their passports revoked. I say let him go but don't expect help from the government. In a way, they are preventing him from earning a living and the USA doesn't do this to CNN reporters.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites