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60% of Foreigners in Japan Questioned by Police in the last 5 years - New Survey


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Japan (Kyodo) - A newly-released survey of 2000 Japanese residents with foreign roots conducted by the Tokyo Bar Association has found that 60% of respondents have been targeted by police officers in public for random questioning.

Under Japanese law, police have the right to stop and question any individual without cause to verify identity documents and establish purpose of movement. 

The practice has come under increasing fire in recent years due to allegations of racial profiling, since an overwhelming number of those singled out for random questioning are not ethnically Japanese in appearance. 

Justifications put forward for questioning have been the investigation of illegal activity, following up on reports of visa overstayers and a general desire to maintain public order. 

As of September 2022, Japan has almost three million foreign residents, of which around 50,000 are Thai nationals.

Source article: Daily Mainichi https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220917/p2g/00m/0na/020000c


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I could say the same about Thailand. Every time I am stopped at a police roadblock where they check your road tax and driving license. 

There is nothing nefarious about it. The bored policeman just wants to know which country you are from and practice his English a little bit. When I reply I am from Scotland I always get "Oh whisky!"  Some of them become quite animated over the subject. Then I get waved off with a smile.

This cry of racial profiling is overused in my opinion. Often we are stopped out of interest rather than some "combating criminal activities" agenda. Japanese police may just be the same.

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For the record, in 21 years here I’ve been stopped by the police twice only. Once when I was running along a main road (late for an appointment) ; the other time when I was walking through a residential area at 1am after missing the last train. I haven’t been stopped for at least 10 years though. 

My darling wife though, who has a South East Asian appearance, has been stopped 10 times or more in her 9 years in Japan, though not at all in the last five years. 

My conclusion is that old white dudes are no threat and young cute SEA girls are suspected of being illegals. 

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