"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Monday, July 06, 2009

Tokyo cops are No. 1!

Talk about taking the piss. I don't think this plan is going to hold water if it is ever challenged on constitutional grounds (not that it ever would be in Japan) but it is certainly going to piss a lot of foreigners off. Apparently, over the last month or two, Tokyo police have taken to stopping people (almost exclusively foreigners) leaving bars in Roppongi and Shibuya, loading them in police vans and taking them down to the police station to provide urine samples for random drug tests.
This follows on the heels of a (admittedly anecdotal but no statistics on these kinds of things are ever likely to be released by the Japanese police) wave of stop-and-search harrassment of foreigners by Tokyo police recently.
Police in Japan have no authority to search a person's belongings without sufficient cause. So, what they naturally do is stop you for walking while being not-Japanese and ask for permission to search your bag and pockets. Refusing to give permission is considered "suspicious behaviour" and thus gives the cops "sufficient cause."
Thankfully, I haven't gone drinking in Roppongi or Shibuya for years.


Shinigami Kayo said...

I followed up and researched this article and procedures within police force. I was very surprised by the on going actions and past actions of your police there. Old world concepts of power and their perversion under the guise of protecting the public are always scary in any form

the rev. paperboy said...

the police force here not so far from being just another gang. People have very few Western Style rights when it comes to the police. Which would explain the nearly 100% conviction rate, mainly due to the arrested party confessing. There is no presumption of innocence as we know it either. And no lawyers in the interrogation rooms. A lot of arrested people "fall down a lot of stairs" before magically confessing. The police can and do hold people for several days without formal arrest. And can hold you for nearly a month without charge while they "investigate your case.
But if you ask the average Japanese about this they will simply tell you that Japan is a very safe country.