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Lost codes spark airport scramble on eve of Obama's arrival


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as usual, Japanese security is so lax. Main reason why the US had pushed Japan govt for the secrecy law.

-13 ( +5 / -17 )

"Unannounced" visit by U.S President would have been both economical and less embarrassing to Tokyo.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Such a waste of resources to host one human being in one of the safest countries in the world. Lax security comes from Japan not being violent enough. A peice of paper with codes? In this day and age. No scrambled rotating codes? If communications are encrypted then actually their would be no need for analogue codes.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Cwhite - I think you have the wrong idea. An American leader coming to Japan needs very high security. It only takes one right-wing nutcase, of which there are many, to jump out of a crowd and there would be a huge international incident.

Back on topic: Let's hope the fool responsible gets his/her butt rightly kicked! The day before a US president comes to town he/she loses a list of pass codes? Are the clowns running this circus?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The codes were written on a piece of paper? That we're lost. Next they will announce that the key for the guest house is missing. With 16,000 police too busy bulling each other to find it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"Lax security comes from Japan not being violent enough."

US Ambassador Reiscahuer was stabbed in Tokyo by a Japanese guy in an assassination attempt, and later died of complications relating to the attack. Japan can indeed be "violent."

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I walk daily past the american embassy, yeah - they security gets tighter by the day.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I agree that JP is safe and not violent in recent history.

Gee, wasn't it just a few weeks ago a guy in Nagiya decided to go nuts and drive his car into a crowd? Good thing he didn't get out and stab anyone like the nut in Tokyo a few years ago. Let's not talk about the random stabbings that have happened recently in Tokyo and Osaka on trains and in stations...

Why on earth are codeS (with an S) written on the same paper? It amazes how few serious incidents happen here with the blind leading the blind...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Security code written on a piece of paper.....LOL...you can't make this stuff up.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I busted a gut ready this blurb...............if there are upteen pieces of paper floating around with these "codes" then they are bound to be lost, given to the wrong people.........this is SO keystone cop!!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Typical incompetence at a critical moment by someone who is doing a simple job.

Imagine if these idiots actually get something crucial.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Security and safety in Japan is top drawer. Take a ride on a New York subway and compare Japan's. Obama could ride all day long here and not worry.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yeh but Obama isn't Mr. Taro Salaryman-commuting-1.5-hours-from-Saitama or Mr. David Expat-English-drone is he?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A Skymark Airlines employee at the busy Haneda airport in Tokyo lost a piece of paper bearing security codes on Sunday afternoon, a transport ministry official said.

And Japan wonders why the U.S. has concerns about trusting Japan with military secrets. Good Lord.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

as usual, Japanese security is so lax. Main reason why the US had pushed Japan govt for the secrecy law.

The codes lost would of not been covered by any secrecy law to begin with.

No country wants a visiting world leader to be injured or hurt, thus the large number of police, which is still pale to the number when the President visits a big city like New York, where more security takes place.

I'm also wondering why they are landing at Haneda (probably because it is a state visit?) rather than landing at Yokota Air Base then helicopter or motorcade into Central Tokyo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

These codes are very low-level, designed to stop the casual traveller walking into the airline back-office areas. They are nothing like the security precautions required to access ramp side or VIP arrivals. When I worked at an airport in Japan, everyone knew the code, for all doors, was "0001". They changed it about 5 years later, but even if you forgot it, no-one objected if you "tail-gaited" through after them. My guess is that someone sent out an email to "everyone" at Haneda saying "on the occasion of US President Obama's visit the code will be changed to "0123" or whatever, and someone printed out this email so they wouldn't forget ..... BTW, I did notice a uniformed police officer in the JR station today. She was tall and quite good-looking. That would be the "heightened police presence" then .....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Australia does the same when an important person comes, and we love the U.S. So guys that don't understand why the J-Gov would put in such security, just take a look at the history of Japan and how many Chinese and North Korean's could be living in Japan...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When it comes down to it, there are not too many Asian countries that can boast or even host a meeting at any given time for a President of Obama`s statue. Well done the security guys that have made the right call in taking no chances and changing all the codes. Looking forward to hearing what comes out of his two day visit on the China/Korean front, not to mention the trade agreements yet to be agreed to.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just ridiculous

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A_cross: Thanks for the explanation. I seriously doubt that the main security measures for an event like this involves a memo handed to an airline worker. Besides, even if they used other hi-tech means like some other posters suggest, there is always a great chance for human error to prevail (ie. encrypted card keys can be dropped just as easily as a piece of paper, rotating passwords can be leaked, etc. etc.).

If anything, I think the article was very poorly written (or well-written, depending on how you look at it), in providing a one-sided view of the circumstances which would lead most people to believe that the security measures at Haneda are being run by a bunch of bumbling idiots.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So, now everybody knows it does not encrypt security codes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I bet it was Neville Longbottom who dropped the codes.

At least they found it and though it's pretty low risk that someone picked it up, remembered everything, new what it all meant, and dropped it again it was still a good idea to reset codes, regardless the level of security to which it gained access too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is all standard diplomatic/security protocol for the US and its closest allies, especially when there are indeed all sorts of crazies out there who get an idea to do something violent that probably wouldn't be as much a threat to a world leader as it would be to the general public in Tokyo. Having myself had a near miss on the subway just minutes after the fatal aum attacks in 1995, I can say it feels better to be safe than sorry in this massive metropolis.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It would be ALOT cheaper if Air Force One were to land on either Yokota AB or NAF Atsugi. Landing fees and fuel are very expensive. I believe these fees don't exist on a U.S. military base but I could be wrong. Now to get back on topic...one can not over stress security. Even safe Japan is not safe enough for such a dignitary, but yeah, what an antiquated way to store security info - and lost by a Skymark employee?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lucky that no passersby just picked it up and threw it away. there would be panic if they couldnt find it.@.@"Japanese like things on paper- juminhyo, inkan shomei... Just to name a few.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Re:jefflee " In 1964, while serving as Ambassador to Japan, Reischauer was stabbed(in the thigh) in an assassination attempt. His attacker was captured and deemed by authorities to be mentally disturbed – he apparently acted alone and had no connection to any group or cause.

Reischauer received a blood transfusion and recovered from his wound, but the transfusion infected him with hepatitis. He never fully recovered, and though he continued to work and lead an active life, he died of the complications of hepatitis 26 years later."

That attacker was not identified as either rightwinger nor leftwinger but as simply "deranged".

Are there other deranged people in Tokyo today? We read about them everyday here on JT. Are there any who might penetrate the multiple layers of security around POTUS? Possibly, but more likely it would be by agents of regimes or groups at enmity with either US or Japan in general or Obama/Abe in particular.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

POTUS' real security in Japan is provided by American agencies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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