picture of the day

Police search

118 Comments

A chubby policeman searches a man's bag in Shinjuku.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


118 Comments
Login to comment

wonder if he found any doughnuts

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Checks last but few days.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Geez I thought you only saw fat cops in other countries. Funny how they caption it "chubby" policeman, kinda un P.C. in other places.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, but chubby cops are forever... The states have them too. And I laugh at them when I am there too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And why is he checking this guy's bag? Or is it the 'chubby' part we're supposed to be interested in?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If I'm ever on the run from the police (for a crime I didn't commit), I truly hope it's from that guy. ;-)

Taka

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A year or so ago a friend, Japanese, got picked up in Asakusa for having a tiny Swiss Army knife in his bag when he was spot searched. He is an engineer and the knife is more a set of mobile tools with a tiny useless blade than any kind of imaginable weapon. Yet it ended him up in jail for ten hours or so while they sorted what to do.

The knee jerk reaction to Akihabara's tragedy will be a lot more of these spot searches. Idiot governments rarely address real problems. It makes more sense for them to just crack down or to resort to searches and fear. Sadly the problems can be addressed. If only there was a will to do so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Idiot governments rarely address real problems. It makes more sense for them to just crack down or to resort to searches and fear.

What do you suggest they do?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, wear a suit for crying out loud (like the yakuza) and they won't hassle you. This looks more like Attack on the Nerds. Every first week of the month I believe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unfortunately, I see this kind of 'deterrent' having no effect at all. The only thing it will do is alienate the J-cops even more than they are now. I am also curious to see how vigilant they are and how long this lasts. I'll give it a week at the most. Just this morning I saw a middle-aged freak at my station running around yelling abuse and giving the finger to no one. The saddest thing is, he looked just like everybody else and he was just ignored by passersby and the train guards. If Japan is serious about doing something for this problem people have to start taking notice and reporting these incidents and the police have to start taking action. All these freaks need to be detained and their mental state needs to be assessed before they do something on the scale of Sunday's atrocity. I caught a guy taking an upskirt photo of a high school girl at a station last week. However, there was nothing I cold do because due to way the law is, I would have been in more trouble than him if I tried to detain him. So, I had to settle for a bit of Janglish abuse and watch him walk away to do it again. I have no idea what the answer is, but is not token searches.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

checking for knives, i guess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

if you're going to bring attention to it why not just say "fat" in the caption. what's the point of being half polite?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is this a policeman? I thought it was Super Mario...

You're going to have a good explanation before you search me in the streets, officer. Petty officialdom loves this kind of excuse for self-aggrandisement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What do you suggest they do? OK, I'll have a go at this one.

For starters, deal with the huge problem of a growing economic gap in society. Youth who are not part of the so-call "kachi-gumi" have absolutely nothing to look forward to.

Take real measures to deal with ijime in schools. Believe it or not, many Japanese don't want to be part of the group and they shouldn't be persecuted for being "weird".

Initiate a transformation of the secondary education system (esp. HS) with the goal of eliminating the class system of schools. When children travel long distances to attend school every day, they cannot build relationships with people in their own neighborhood, hence, they tend to stay inside by themselves. Children are more likely to develop communication and social problems when they cannot make friends.

<strong>Moderator: Stay on topic please.</strong>

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the police here actually need to arrest you or have a warrant to search your bags or pockets without your permission. refusing will probably cause you more trouble than allowing it, but we'll be seeing a lot of this pointless profiling and police harassment for the next few weeks until they get tired and go back to their koban to read the Yomiuri

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The revised law clearly states; police have no business with anyone unless there is the suspicion of a crime. It's a good idea to go to the Debito Aldwinkle site and print out the small extract in Japanese of this law, then carry it around to produce on such occasions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here in Japan, I see kids from Yokosuka going as far away as Yokohama to get into a "good high school." More power to them, but like you said, I think it just breeds a resentment among their peers who live near them but are not chosen or can't afford the school. If their only goal in HS is to study to take the test for the right college, then they will not make friends. True, I still see only a few friends from HS, but one thing I did learn was how to make new ones, and not be afraid to "think outside the box."

As far as the police actions discussed in the picture, I think that they are a step in the right direction. Profiling while not politically correct is a good measure. If they were to make sure that they look at all types and start looking at the yakuza types then I think it would be fair.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The Foreign Registry Law, Section 13, Clause 2. Foreigners, when asked to show their Gaijin Cards by immigration investigation officials (as outlined in separate laws), police, coast guard, or any other national or local public official or group empowered by the Ministry of Justice as part of the execution of their duties, must show."

外国人 登録法 第十三条 第二項 外国人は、入国審査官、入国警備官(入管 法に定 める入国警備官をいう)、警察官、海上保安官その他法務省令で定め る国又は 地方公 共団体の職員がその職務の執行に当たり登録証明書の掲示を 求めた場 合には、これを掲示しなければならない。

Courtesy Debito Aurdwinkle's site

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese Constitution Article 35: The right of all persons to be secure in their homes, papers and effects against entries, searches and seizures shall not be impaired except upon warrant issued for adequate cause and particularly describing the place to be searched and things to be seized, or except as provided by Article 33. 2) Each search or seizure shall be made upon separate warrant issued by a competent judicial officer.

Japanese Constitution Article 33: No person shall be apprehended except upon warrant issued by a competent judicial officer which specifies the offense with which the person is charged, unless he is apprehended, the offense being committed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

IF THE POLICE TRY TO TAKE YOU TO THE POLICE BOX (kouban):

they cannot do so against your will, unless they formally arrest you, under the Shokumu Shikkou Hou Article 2, Clause 2 and 3:

==================================== Clause Two: "It is possible to ask a particular person to accompany the [police] to a nearby police station, police branch [i.e. kouban], or any police administration area for questioning if it is determined that this place is unsuitable for questioning because it obstructs traffic or is disadvantageous to the questionee."

Clause Three: "Unless there is a regulation relating to criminal action, officials may not confine, bring back to any police administration area, or else coerce a person to reply to questions against his will."

警察官職務 執行法 第二条 第二項 その場で前項の質問をすることが本人に 対して不利であり、又は交通の妨害になると認められる場合においては、質 問するため 、その者に附近の警察署、派出所又は駐在所に同行することを求 めることができる。

警察官職務執行法 第二条 第三項 前二項に規定する者は、刑 事訴訟に関す る法律 の規定によらない限り、身柄を拘束され、又はその意に 反して警察 署、派出所若しくは駐在所に連行され、若しくは答弁を強要されることはない。

which means that a cop has the right to ASK you to accompany him to the Kouban, but you have the right to REFUSE, and he has no right to restrict your movements without a formal charge or arrest.

I walk you through a possible scenario at <http://www.debito.org/ instantcheckpoints2.html>

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the police here actually need to arrest you or have a warrant to search your bags or pockets without your permission.

If that is the case, then perhaps you could explain how they are constantly going around Roppongi searching anyone who looks a bit suspicious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

????? how can I explain that without being patronising? errr, they have no right to be searching anyone in Roppongi and maybe thyose people should be more aware of their right to say "I did nothing wrong, leave me alone"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, but if you do that, you could get arrested for preventing a public official from doing their job or something like that.

Anyway, if you have nothing to hide, why be worried about 5 minutes of inconvenience?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why do you think the cops globally initially "ask" you if they can check your bags after giving an explanation as to why they want to do so. If you refuse they will/can usually "ask" you do accompany them to the Koban, etc.

They will always ask for your permission, they won't slam you on the ground and rip your bag away from you to check it. This would be illegal and a violation of your rights.

Multiple refusal in legal term is a "suspicious" behaviour and the police are than entitled to take it up a notch. Remember you are supposed to co-operate with the police.

Just my view.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, the policeman is chubby

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, no one likes having their personal belongings rifled through. But if the police are looking in my perfectly innocent bag, there's a good chance that they're also looking in the bag of that innocent-looking person who's actually a looney on his way to Akihabara with a sharp, double-edged knife, or in the backpack of the would-be martyr.

Why would anyone object to letting the policeman look inside the bag?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think it just breeds a resentment among their peers who live near them but are not chosen or can't afford the school

Well I'm from Boston but I'm not going out to knife someone because I didn't get to go to Harvard even though some of my classmates did. Not everyone who doesn't get into an elite school goes on a rampage. Not everyone who plays video games commits murder. It comes down to untreated mental illness, in my opinion. One upset and you commit suicide or kill someone? Rather too fragile, don't you think?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, but if you do that, you could get arrested for preventing a public official from doing their job or something like that.

I said exactly that in my original post

Anyway, if you have nothing to hide, why be worried about 5 minutes of inconvenience?

because it riles me to see the police wasting time and my tax money with this kind of response to a far more serious problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

oh god, here we go. "that guy looks like he listen to hip hop, search him." if anything, the people who were carrying around rambo slicers would lay low for the moment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

because it riles me to see the police wasting time and my tax money with this kind of response to a far more serious problem.

But they've been doing this around Roppongi, Shibuya etc for weeks. This is not a response to this incident (though it may be increased), it's as a result of Ishihara wanting to clean up Tokyo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's the chubbiest Japanese policeman I've ever seen. Too many Twinkies?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is the point of this picture? The fat guy (unusual in Japan) or the search (legality)?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe the police thought he was suspicious because hes a man with a womans handbag.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are no twinkies in Japan, so the policemans girth must comes from another source. He might be searching for food by looking for "suspicious" easy targets. Might advice taking a towel with you to wipe off fat or old occifers drool.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Multiple refusal in legal term is a "suspicious" behaviour and the police are than entitled to take it up a notch. Remember you are supposed to co-operate with the police.

how is standing up for your rights against illegal seach and seizure suspicious? maybe i just don't want them to see maid outfit and garter belt i carry around for cos-play? :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"What's your name? Ichihashi? Going to Ni-chome? Off you go then, sorry to bother you!"

to lady kohai policewoman: "Hmmm.... he looks somehow familiar... no knife, though"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fat Japanese policemen? This guy might just be a judo practitioner. Did anybody here see the recent all-Japan championship. The guy who was runner-up in the open division was a member of the NPA judo team (a cop). He would have been about 170cm tall and about 120cm around the chest.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

how is standing up for your rights against illegal seach and seizure suspicious?

Easy, the Cops "ASK/REQUEST" for your co-operation by allowing them to search your bag. By law you have to comply with the "REQUEST" for co-operation.

If the grab the bag of you and search it THAN it is illegal. That is the same across the globe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Himajin "What do you suggest they do?'

Listen to what these attackers are saying. There is a clear pattern of dissociative behavior and social alienation at work here. Searches and web monitoring are not going to reverse this. The government must make it a priority to look at and address mental health issues in Japan. This includes dealing with the causes that range from overwork, social isolation and alienation.

Address these by putting real councellors in schools to provide mental care for students and campaign to destigmatize mental health care in the country so more people will reach out for help. Get a couple trendy actors to talk about their sessions positively and the doors will open.

This is one step that will result in some people chosing help over violence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Damned if we do, damned if we don't. I concede your point, Cleo. I'm sure we all want the loonies off the streets, no doubt about that. Searches would seem an effective and sensible way of doing this I agree. What is annoying to see are the stereotyped generalizations of the 'searched'.

Last Sunday's nut-job looked like any salaryman. Clean cut, suited and approachable. Notice the guy in the picture... A typical stereotype troublemaker for J police aka tweedledum and sidekick perhaps. Looking at the wrong type here I'm afraid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nutsagain.

I agree the cards are stacked in the cops favour. Also feel that the searches are more there to make the public feel at ease.

Similar with the searches when entering disney-land, office-buildings, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A couple of questions: When was this picture taken? Do we know for a fact that this was last night, and is a direct reaction to the Akihabara incident? Or is that just JT posters speculation. This could just be normal police procedure in Shinjuku, as it is in Roppongi. Also, while they are at it, could they please confiscate that stupid-looking stocking cap the guy is wearing? It is an eye-sore, so therfore constitutes a public nuisance. Besides it's like 25 degrees out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have no issues with stopping and searching. I have never carried a knife so I do not have a problem with a policeman stopping me and it would make me feel more comfortable security-wise.

As for the 'chubby' policeman quote, I wonder how the Metropolitan police department will take Japan Today's description ? Kind of disrespectful don't you think ? Take another look at his arm and the size of his back. He is still quite young and most police here are recruited from the Kendo and Judo clubs so this 'chubby' guy with the huge forearms and back will take any one of us lot down in a matter of seconds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i don't think that's chubby...i think he's a blimp

0 ( +0 / -0 )

eresay, thank you.

As I said, he would take any one of us down no problem at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You know it is funny, I was in Shibuya late Friday night waiting for my girlfriend in front of the Hachiko police box.

Some loony Japanese guy in a red t-shirt was systematically lunging at and kicking everyone in the square, couples walking, guys who were just sitting there looking at their phones. The crazy guy looked towards the policebox, gestured and yelled "Bakayarou!"

I looked back and there was a cop standing in the door of the police box apparently staring into space.

I waved and said, "Boryoku futteruyo, me no mae ni..."

The cop came out, and I pointed the fellow out. He was in the middle of the street now, screaming.

The cop walked to the curb and looked at the drunk? drugged? crazy? guy. The crazy guy kicked some cars and screamed at the cop.

And then the cop turned and went back to the police box.

My girlfriend showed up and as we crossed the street we had to steer way clear of Mr. Psycho who was still taunting people.

I suggest it is far easier to search calm people's bags than to tackle nutjobs, or follow up murder threats posted on websites.

It is also useless, and a shame.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Super, I so a similar episode many years ago here in Town. It was down near Meguro (a long time ago). Obviously there was a mob funeral for somebody pretty important. The punch perm brigade were out in force, so were the cops. Anyway, I don't know what happened to start it, however, this yakuza guy was playing to the crowd (acting tough in front of his mates). He was abusing a cop rather badly. The cop said something ("settle down") and the yakuza guy ignored him. The cop just grabbed the guy by the lapels and dropped him so quick I missed it. One moment the guy was standing, the next he was prone on the ground. For some reason, I seem to remember the cop in question as being rather "chubby".... Talking about "chubby" you have to remember that these cops are wearing body armour around their stomachs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great picture. In terms of dealing with crazies,you have to negotiate with the cops to actually get them to do their jobs..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan Today seems to go for cheap tabloid controversy these days. Just after the Akihabara stabbings we get a photo of a policeman searching a guy in Shinjuku (clearly related to the Akihabara news) with a description of 'chubby' policeman. Are JT trying to imply that we are being protected from future attacks by fat policemen ? Do you not think the metropolitan police force would take that as an insult ? Considering the good arrest the policeman made in Akihabara on Sunday.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wondering what if the cops found a knife or a gun in that young man bag, what the cop will do next?!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You know, that 'Do you think J-cops deserve their bad rep?' thread from the other day got me thinking, and now I realize why I can't fully take J-cops seriously: No mustaches.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And by the way, that's a dope purse that kid's carrying.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hello peoples ijime in schools and also out sit, ijime is not only in jp, but i ve seen more ijime here Believe it or not, many Japanese don't want To love peoples and thy dont have open mind,here i ve seen feel many baka, baka wa khawaranai sure, i see thm thy dont try to change thm self but thy try to change others,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nice manbag... damn! that is one chubby Jdude..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow JT...if I was that cop I'd sue you for deformation of character. What gives you the right to call people 'chubby'? What's wrong? Don't you know how to be professional and just call him a policeman?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The picture doesn't tell the story, it just says a "chubby cop searches a man's bag" wow great "News" story there. There could be a million reason's why he's checking the bag.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The picture doesn't tell the story, it just says a "chubby cop searches a man's bag" wow great "News" story there.

This is Picture of the Day, not a news article.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Youdon't know - you clearly don't.

There's no "deformation" of character here - defamation requires a misrepresentation. There's no mention of the rozzer's character her, just an inference that he's not much of a one for salads.

He ate the pies. He can live with the consequences.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No doubt the J police will use the Akihabara atrocity, carried out by a Japanese National, to harrass us gaijin living and working in Tokyo. Power for the course. This picture, showing a "chubby" (sic) policeman with his pants at half m-mast, is really rather pathetic. The real problem is not being tackled. Whay dont the J-Police raid the yakuzua-run shops in the Akihabara and Ueno districts where the knives and other illegal weapons, such as knuckle-dusters, are openly sold? Of course they wont do that - because that might upset the yakuza and their political masters in the LDP/Soka Gakkai alliance.

Tokyo is NOT a safe city - has it ever been? Much of the daily crime here is never reported, aand perhaps deliberately hidden. I predict that within a short time there will be speeches from Ishihara and his Fascist friends highlighting the growth of gaijin crime in Japan once again. What a sad place this has become.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the Cops "ASK/REQUEST" for your co-operation by allowing them to search your bag. By law you have to comply with the "REQUEST" for co-operation.

Easy, this doesn't sound true.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Youdon'tknow He is chubby, which is a nicer way of putting it than how I would have phrased it. And by the way, what is "deformation" of character? Are you calling this policeman deformed? Be careful. He may sue you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan you surprise me! As regular reader of Japan news and crimes I'm not surprised to read comments from readers. Everyone is concentration on this policeman, and judging him by his looks. Please remember that he is doing his duty as an 'Officer of Law' to protect you from crime, and such search it could even prevent a tragedy on your streets of Japan. How can you people be so 'Bodoh’?' Are you judging judge this cop from his looks, or have you looked at yourself in the mirror to see what you look like. We were not all perfect born, and growing up with taste of beauty to please the public. So, let’s concentrate how you can help 'Police Officers' to stop or prevent the crime! Can you do that? If you don't than go back to school to learn some manners, to teach your own children what is respect. As for Police, I can say that they are doing good job, and we need the same in Australia to prevent our crimes. And disregard comments about your officer. 'I HAVE NOTHING FURTHER TO SAY.'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Guy probably just picked pocketed someone or shoplifted, the cops stopped to search him (like I said before a bunch of reasons or no reasons at all), but because the recent knife incident, JT throws this up as a picture of the day, so that some can imply that the cops are doing bag searches in direct relation to the knife incident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are you judging judge this cop from his looks, or have you looked at yourself in the mirror to see what you look like. We were not all perfect born, and growing up with taste of beauty to please the public. If you don't than go back to school to learn some manners, to teach your own children what is respect.

Well said.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm the photographer of this pic. I don't know the story behind the search, but the scene attracted my attention because I've witnessed some aggressive police behavior in the past few months.

Northlondon mentioned that "I have no issues with stopping and searching" and while it's fine for him or her to have that personal opinion, it's in fact illegal without probable cause.

On several occasions I've watched the police very randomly checking the IDs of foreign looking people in Ikebukuro station. It appears to be their favoriate pasttime during rainy days. I appreciate police efforts to round up illegals, but I think they should do so within the bounds of the law.

The police have asked for my ID on several occasions because I was taking photographs. And they've also told me that I can't take photographs of the police or of other people without their permission. But this is in fact not true. The police have also taken me back to the koban and held me for several hours against my will, which is also illegal. The police, it seems, often don't know the law or simply don't care about the law. I know the police in many other countries are much worse when corruption is concerned, but in a free and open society, it's a duty of a free press to monitor law enforcement. And we should be critical of police who flaunt the law.

If a policeman stopped you while you were walking to the store after midnight and said, "Get off the street! You're not allowed to walk to the konbini after midnight!" You'd be outraged right? But that's effectively what they've done to me on several occasions when I've shot them. They yell, "shashin dame!" (no photos!) and tell me to delete them. In fact, public figures like policemen, firemen and ambulance workers are fair game for photojournalists. When they demand to see IDs without reason, seach bags without probable cause, and hold people captive in the koban for hours without formally arrresting them, the police become criminals. And who do you turn to when the police are the bad guys?

Some laws you should know:

"A police officer is able to ask for a person's ID, but only if based on a reasonable judgment of a situation where the policeman sees some strange conduct and some crime is being committed, or else he has enough reason to suspect (utagau ni tariru soutou na riyuu) that a person will commit or has committed a crime, or else it has been acknowledged that a particular person knows a crime will be committed. In these cases a police officer may stop a person for questioning."

警察官職務執行法 第二条 警察官は、異常な挙動その他周囲の事情から合理的に判 断して何らかの犯罪を犯し、若しくは犯そうとしていると疑うに足りる相当な理由の ある者又は既に行われた犯罪について、若しくは犯罪が行われようとしていることについて知っていると認められる者を停止させて質問することができる。

IF THE POLICE TRY TO TAKE YOU TO THE POLICE BOX (kouban) they cannot do so against your will, unless they formally arrest you, under the Shokumu Shikkou Hou Article 2, Clause 2 and 3: Clause Two: "It is possible to ask a particular person to accompany the [police] to a nearby police station, police branch [i.e. kouban], or any police administration area for questioning if it is determined that this place is unsuitable for questioning because it obstructs traffic or is disadvantageous to the questionee."

Clause Three: "Unless there is a regulation relating to criminal action, officials may not confine, bring back to any police administration area, or else coerce a person to reply to questions against his will."

警察官職務 執行法 第二条 第二項 その場で前項の質問をすることが本人に 対して不利であり、又は交通の妨害になると認められる場合においては、質問するため 、その者に附近の警察署、派出所又は駐在所に同行することを求めることができる。

警察官職務執行法 第二条 第三項 前二項に規定する者は、刑 事訴訟に関する法律 の規定によらない限り、身柄を拘束され、又はその意に 反して警察署、派出所若しくは駐在所に連行され、若しくは答弁を強要されることはない。

0 ( +0 / -0 )

White Rabbit... excellent post !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Im sure if the manbag guy decided to leg it, theres not a great deal that cop could do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"A police officer is able to ask for a person's ID, but only if based on a reasonable judgment of a situation where the policeman sees some strange conduct

Don't you think that a foreigner taking a photograph of a policeman could be considered to be strange conduct?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Please remember that he is doing his duty as an 'Officer of Law' to protect you from crime, and such search it could even prevent a tragedy on your streets of Japan.

BB, we don't know this. He could just be harrassing a scruffy j-hippie because Mr. Jippie has more luck with the hip-hoppity j-hunnies than Officer Chubsatsu does.

If we really wanted to prevent tragedies on the streets, we could all call the cops and tell then every time we leave our homes and we could carry see-through plastic day bags so that everyone can see what we're carrying at all times. Would that be a good idea? Governments have a proven track record of taking as much power as people let them take. As White Rabbit has shown, there's no need to encourage them. (Thanks for the post, White Rabbit.)

And Cleo, the "nothing to hide" argument is a non-starter. The cops need to justify their actions. I don't need to justify mine. Otherwise, we're all walking around with "guilty until proven innocent" written on our foreheads in invisible ink. Privacy is not about hiding; it's about not being interfered with. Why should I waset my time being hasseled by cops? What will they do with information they collect?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't you think that a foreigner taking a photograph of a policeman could be considered to be strange conduct?

I suppose. And if they ask I tell them I'm a photojournalist. But they are making up rules on the spot when they tell me I'm not allowed to take their picture and that I must delete it.

If they aren't doing anything wrong, they shouldn't have a big problem with it I think. Photography is not a crime. Our cities are increasingly saturated with CCTV cameras, and the police have the nerve to ask us to put our cameras away?

I often blog about photographer's rights and law enforcement. There's a disturbing campaign in the UK which associates photography with terrorism: http://www.maxhodges.com/2008/03/photography-as-terrorist-activity.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

northlondon wrote, "Let us debate this with your 'staff' photogrpahers."

The photo was not taken by a staff photographer. It was submitted for Picture of the Day by a third-party. That you take offense with the word chubby is noted. Others view the word not as a negative personal attack amounting to defamation of character, but others view it as playfully descriptive.

<strong>Moderator: Readers, please do not get obsessed over one word. We do not consider the word "chubby" to be offensive. Please focus your comments instead on the subject of the photo. This ends discussion on this point.</strong>

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wottock, there may not be defamation of character, but there's sure is deformation of character. ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Police are out at many stations today. I saw them at Shibuya, Omotesando and Roppongi, though I didn't see them searching anyone's bags. None were quite as chubby as our friend above, though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nessie -

Privacy is not about hiding; it's about not being interfered with.

Yes, I understand that. As I said, no one likes having their personal things rifled through.

Why should I waset my time being hasseled by cops? What will they do with information they collect?

If it were only you, it would be harassment. If it's random, after (or before) they've searched you they might search someone who really, really doesn't want to be searched because of the knife/bomb/box of sarin in their bag. Or some weirdo might decide not to carry out that act of random mass murder/arson or whatever because there's an even chance the cops might ask to look in his bag and then his cover's blown.

What do you expect them to do with the information that 'Nessie does not have a 6-inch long, double-edged, razor-sharp blade in his bag?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good point Cleo. I concur. Also, being hassled or searched by the police -- if it happens -- is the price we have to pay for increased public security in this day and age. That's just a fact of life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Having worked with the Municipal Police Department, I can assure all of you... searches are not "random" in Japan. You would be shocked at all the racist b.s. talk that goes on within the corps ! Remnants of the ol' clan mentality, incouraged by the Tokyo Gov. Ishihara too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here we have a typical collection of teachers favourite pupils. Teacher being a cross between Vladimir Putin and the Burmese government (they are allergic to any form of opposition).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo and Razor,

If being randomly searched, or if being profiled and searched, is indeed the price that we need to pay for living in a changed world – then the laws need to be changed to support this activity. Then an open conversation could be held on the merits, and the seemingly targeting of foreign-looking people at the train stations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At least things don't go missing when the cops search your bags here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tjrandom -

I've never expressed any support for profiling. If the laws need to be changed, fine. I'm all in favour of open conversation. Can't say I've personally experienced any of this 'everyone knows about it' targeting/harassment of foreign-looking people. The lad in the photo with the tea-cosy on his head doesn't look particularly foreign.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But if the police are looking in my perfectly innocent bag, there's a good chance that they're also looking in the bag of that innocent-looking person who's actually a looney on his way to Akihabara with a sharp, double-edged knife

Cleo, you don't mind because you're a woman, and there's very little chance they'll look in your bag even if you're armed for bear (not that you would be). So really what you're saying is that you don't mind if they look in my bag.

Lovely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

white rabbit - nice shot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good point Cleo. I concur. Also, being hassled or searched by the police -- if it happens -- is the price we have to pay for increased public security in this day and age. That's just a fact of life.

No, unwarranted search and seizure is not necessary for increased public security.

If living in a police state is necessary for your own personal sense of security, move to a less civilized nation where that’s the norm and live it up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heda Madness

the police here actually need to arrest you or have a warrant to search ??your bags or pockets without your permission.

If that is the case, then perhaps you could explain how they are constantly going around Roppongi searching anyone who looks a bit suspicious.

Because they're acting illegally and they don't care.

Don't you think that a foreigner taking a photograph of a policeman could be considered to be strange conduct?

Not in the least. Is it strange in your country? Mind you, I wouldn't recommend doing it in certain countries, particularly brutal police states such as Burma. But Japan is a G8 country, supposedly modern and enlightened. Taking a photo of a cop should be no big deal. And the law should be respected... especially by the (illegal random search happy) police.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo,

But if the police are looking in my perfectly innocent bag, there's a good chance that they're also looking in the bag of that innocent-looking person who's actually a looney on his way to Akihabara with a sharp, double-edged knife, or in the backpack of the would-be martyr.

Why would anyone object to letting the policeman look inside the bag?

I would, because as an engineer I have a small Swiss Army knife in my bag at all times. Now after reading what tkoind2 wrote:

A year or so ago a friend, Japanese, got picked up in Asakusa for having a tiny Swiss Army knife in his bag when he was spot searched. He is an engineer and the knife is more a set of mobile tools with a tiny useless blade than any kind of imaginable weapon. Yet it ended him up in jail for ten hours or so while they sorted what to do.

I know that, being a gaijin, I would not only be detained - but probably jailed for possessing a knife of a type that is freely sold throughout Japan.

And there is the problem! A guy with a harmless pen-knife is just as much a criminal to the Japanese Police/Justice system as a nutter who has knifes that are designed solely for the purpose of easy and rapid stabbings. Knives that were bought legally!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What do you expect them to do with the information that 'Nessie does not have a 6-inch long, double-edged, razor-sharp blade in his bag?

I'm more worried about what they do with the information that Nessie has a badass Chinese cleaver in his bag because he's a badass cook who volunteers to cook at the houses of friends who only have butter knives.

I just don't trust them to see past the cleaver to the gentle cook underneath.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You're right Nessie, the cooking facilities at the koban are far from being badass. You'd have a hard job convincing them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just don't trust them to see past the cleaver to the gentle cook underneath.

Never fear, Nessie. You always have character witnesses here at JT!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

romulus never gets stopped, romulus does not make eye contact, nor does he flinch or squirm when cops are around. thats the secret

0 ( +0 / -0 )

he needs longer pants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I had a pen knife in my bag today (always carry one) and I went to Akiba. I would have ended up in a cell I reckon, if searched. Gulp.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is it really illegal to carry a small pocket knife? I had no idea. I carry a leatherman, which is similar to a swiss army knife but with pliers as well. I'm not an engineer, but I use to as a bike tool occasionally. It's also very handy for other things, but I've never considered it as a weapon.

Also, a quick question for White Rabbit. You wrote a long message about how it's illegal for policemen to detain anyone without arresting them and then also wrote how you were detained on more than one occasion for hours. Did you not know that law at the time, or did you voluntarily go with the policemen to avoid a confrontation. It just seems that you are informing everyone of their rights, but then chose not to use your own. Just curious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

jonobugs, it's a very long story and I don't want to waste my time typing it here because the editors will delete it as "off topic". write me and I'll tell you the story. gmail account is max.hodges[at]...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A ladyfriend of mine was once stopped by the rozzers on her way to an evening with a special friend. When the anal beads and rampant rabbit were discovered, the constable blushed, stammered, and sent her on her way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wottock,

I am sure the cops were happy she was not on the return trip when they searched her bad and fumbled with her gears

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you have nothing to hide there is no problem, is there? It's good to see some vigilance from the J-cops. Now, if we could only get them to start giving out some tickets for speeding, going through red lights and reckless driving I might start to think they actually have a job besides hanging out at the koban and giving directions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

in one evening, near the place I live, the police stopped a car (a guy and his girlfriend) and checked the trunk. they found a baseball bat and a long discussion started. by the time I came back from the evening walk about half an hour later, another police car appeared, and they were keeping on asking the guy why does he carry the bat, and he kept on saying he occasionally plays baseball. my Japanese wife got so upset she wanted to go to those coppers and tell them to stop wasting our tax money

0 ( +0 / -0 )

police have now issued a zero-tolerance approach on donuts and other confectionary-like contraban

0 ( +0 / -0 )

police have now issued a zero-tolerance approach on donuts and other confectionary-like contraban

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CaptD

Excellent suggestion

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nessie, As someone who almost always carries a leatherman (with a couple of knife attachments), I could not agree with your cook analogy more.

Wottock, Wow. I really need to hang out with you more often. Your friends seem to be pretty darn interesting!

Taka

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Any but me notice that there are more police on this "suspect" than cornered Tomohiro Kato after he knifed 17 peopple in Akihabara ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo,

Your innocent bag might be searched, along with a million other innocent bags.

I would like to see the statistics on how many crazy people carrying weapons who are intending to kill someone are stopped by these searches. I realize by their mere presence and checking of bags a crazy person might turn around and go home so statistics would be hard o come by, but, generally, how many are stopped by this illegal searching?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wottock, I don't know why anyone hear would want to be more anal than they already are.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why would anyone object to letting the policeman look inside the bag?

Because its my bag.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

White Rabbit

Thank you for the photo and your eloquent post explaining why you took it. I particularly applaud your expressing how you appreciate police efforts, and think they should do so within the bounds of the law. Japan need not be society of men, and not laws.

Calling the police who do not follow the legal codes "criminal" may be viewed by many as too argumentative. But what other word can we use to describe police who do not follow the established procedure for law enforcement...?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Himajin

What do you suggest they [the authorities] do?

Well, for starters, if they want to allow police to excercise greater policing powers, they should change the law to that affect. Otherwise the law means little.

And that is a whole lot more dangerous than ten mad men with knives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Calling the police who do not follow the legal codes "criminal" may be viewed by many as too argumentative. But what other word can we use to describe police who do not follow the established procedure for law enforcement...?

Illegal, unlawful, felonious . . . They all mean the same thing and are applicable. When you break the law, it is a criminal act.

I'm just curious whether or not those that have no problem with unwarranted searches of their person would object to the same searches of their homes.

After all, they have nothing to hide. Shouldn't be a big deal, right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hmm, makes me thing about the bag-searches, etc at Airports, Disney-land, Office-buildings, etc. I would think all those are also illegal.

Hey, why do they search(X-Ray) your bags without having any warrants or suspicions of you?

I think people go off on their "rights" forgetting that those rights also come with obligations. Just more of the ME first Culture.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sad thing is, yesterday in Chatan in Okinawa, I saw an "Officer of the Law" standing outside the police box, as they often do when they are "observing", and he made this guy look straight anorexic! I would've taken a picture, but my phone takes pictures about as fast as mud flows and my real camera was at home. Unluckily, this guy has been seared into my memory as another example of the police here... Now that I think about it, the police box is in the same building as a Starbucks. Coincidence? I think not!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

DanMan, excellent answer!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nessie,

Thanks,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TheGeneral

People who live in glass houses shouldn't mind spot searches...?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Danmanjt, there are no 4th, 5th or 6th amendment equivalents in Japanese law. The law is already sufficiently loose to allow police to search you, your bag, your car, your house without your cooperation or warrant. You may be taken to a police facility and held under suspicion for up to 23 days without arrest. Usually the police pressure or beg people to cooperate, but they don't have to, and sometimes don't. If someone asks to see your bag, just show him the contents and move on. You ain't in Kansas anymore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are no 4th, 5th or 6th amendment equivalents in Japanese law.

Are you certain about that. I mean, really certain. Because it would really make someone look ignorant, foolish, or dishonest to say something like that and not double-check after being challenged on it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Danmanjt, have a look for yourself. Let me know if you find something different.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My only other advice would be to refuse to show the contents of your bag, and see what happens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

have a look for yourself. Let me know if you find something different..

I have. Many times.

If you wish to taken seriously, its not a bad idea to know what you are talking about, and when challenging someone who does, be prepared to back up what you say. I find it disheartening, though typical, that though you are the one who asserts there are no 4th, 5th or 6th amendment equivalents in Japanese law, you seem quite content leaving that assertion unsubstantiated. Especially when considering how that assertion is the basis for your challenge to my point that Japan's police practices should match the laws governing policing.

Be that as, so, kindly check Articles 33 - 35 of the Constitution. And the Code of Criminal Procedure Law, Art 210 and 220

My only other advice would be to refuse to show the contents of your bag, and see what happens

This is not other advice, as you have offered no advice to me before. If you wish to argue that it is unwise to refuse the cops, well, that is precisely the issue we are discussing. Regarding what to do when the interacting with the police, I offer the following which you may take as you wish:

When dealing with the Japanese police, first and foremost bear in mind that local cops and the prefectural police are two different animals. My advice is unless you are connected -- and I mean really connected as in a foreign government official, CIA or under the direct supervision of a such a person of status either foreign or Japanese-- do not mess with the prefectural police. You may be right. And you may run into a lot of trouble that could be easily avoided. And corrected, given the appropriate time.

With the omawari san or the trafic cops, well, there is quite a lot of wiggle room. Still, always be formal and respectful, even deferential, but you need not comply if they have not made their case to you. Granted, you must be sufficiently proficient in Japanese to be able to make your case to the officer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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