That article is making it sound like all Nigerians in Japan are criminals. Why did the author not find a single one to interview who was not rightfully arrested or prosecuted? If there is a Nigerian community outside the red light and criminal milieu, passing off a bunch of serial criminals and con artists as "the Nigerians" does not help them.
Anyways, with respect to the Roppongi hustlers, I think the police is beating them not too much, but not enough.
Every single person in Japan who was trying to sell me something understood a polite "no", even though they often didn't speak English, and I don't speak Japanese. Just smiling and shaking one's head is usually enough.
Not so the Nigerian folk in Roppongi; they use a sales strategy somewhere between harassment and assault. A 10 minute walk turned up about five mildly annoying ones, about another five really annoying ones, and three who became physical. Some just walk alongside you and talk. Others will step in your way or try to grab your hand. Others will walk along and try to physically stop you, shoulder-to-shoulder body check. The last one who did that even grabbed me. I told him "don't touch", shook off his hand. He grabbed again, I slapped his hand. Then he started shouting, first a whiny "why you hit me", then threats and insults. I offered to rearrange his face and to take him o the police station two blocks down the road, so he refrained from further touching, and went on shouting insults. I returned a few, and left. I can do that because I weigh 200lbs. If I was a bit smaller, I would be intimidated by these people, and desperately want more police presence.
My conclusions of the 10 minute field study in Roppongi:It would be good if the police would send more plain clothes officers. Not every hustler who whines loud and publicly is a victim; mine first assaulted me and started whining after he got his had slapped. If the police chooses to beat up a few more of the hustlers: oh well. There are more pressing human rights issues than prosecution of criminals that is not done with velvet gloves, but gets the right guys. Also, officer-san: If you arrest the ugly guy in the brown t-shirt, please smack him for me once or twice. :)
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