The Japan Time
'REGAINING PUBLIC SAFETY' - Cops to sniff out illegal foreigners in Tokyo

By HIROSHI MATSUBARA, Staff writer

Immigration authorities, police and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Friday they will take joint action to halve the number of foreigners without visas in the capital within five years.

The Justice Ministry's Immigration Bureau, the bureau's Tokyo branch, the metropolitan government and the Metropolitan Police Department issued a joint statement saying they would cooperate more closely toward this goal.

They believe that half of the estimated 250,000 undocumented foreigners in Japan live or work in Tokyo.

"An increasing number of visaless foreigners engage in serious crimes, and it is pointed out that the problem is closely linked to organized crime by foreigners," Justice Minister Daizo Nozawa asserted during Friday's news conference.

This is all part of Governor Ishihara's ethnic cleansing of Tokyo thing. He's blaming all of the horrible crimes on "foreigners" and using that to ramp up police force and will probably lead to increased intrusions of privacy.

I do know that there have been increased activity of foreign organized crime groups in Japan, but his talking about "criminal DNA" in foreigners is horrible and will just help justify people in looking away when heavy handed police tactics are used on foreigners in Japan. Bad bad bad...

16 Comments

I guess it is easier than taking a whack at the local organized crime, which may have contributed to his campaign-funds, anyway....

Joi (and other jpn natives),
do you think this policy will be directed at 'all' foreigners western AND asian, or just asian gaikokujins?

my guess would be 'all'. While it's true there is a general impression that Chinese, Korean, and a few other foreign groups classified as Asians seem to be fronts for the Japanese mafia (aka, doing the "dirty work"), there is also an increasing Russian and Middle Eastern population which I wouldn't be surprised if Ishihara grouped as "criminal DNA".

What exactly can be done about this before it gets out of hand? There must be hard statistics out there showing actual foreigner/native crime involvement. With all the knife-wielding bus hijackings by native Japanese, along with the occasional homicide, a clear picture might actually help. But is this information readily available?

The fact that Ishihara remains in the political position that he is in despite the dozens of things he has said that are at the least politically incorrect not to mention outrageous, brings only sad conclusions none of which are good. What I find humorous though is how predictable he is.

I am not surprised by this at all. It's what I expect of Japanese politicians. I just wish they would be more creative. It's like watching an old movie with same old plotline. Not entertaining at all.

I think it is directed mostly at non-Westerners, but I think immigration will be tough generally.

One thing to note is that Shintaro Ishihara's brother Yujiro Ishihara, the famous actor, and their family have a great deal of influence over the media. And as you know, all of the newspapers own the major TV stations and the major baseball games. In fact, without the baseball teams or the entertainment side of their business, Japanese newspapers would not be profitable. (Or at least this is what the head of one of the major media conglomerates told me over dinner once...) This may sound a bit conspiracy theorist list, but there definitely is a link between clout in the entertainment business and clout in the media, as Arnold has shown. ;-)

Above, matt asked for hard statistics. If you read Japanese, please look at Hanzai Hakusho.

If I read this correct, it says that crime by resident foreigners is decreasing, while the figures for foreigners visiting Japan have increased by a factor of over 20 compared to 1980.

Visiting foreigners' crimes were at 1.8199 cases, as compared to 273.5612 in all, which seams to mean that less than 1 percent of crime is committed by visiting foreigners.

again i bring up facial recognition up in the context of a world with disolving bounderies; the ideas of processing computer generated images to finger-print individuals is one piece of a world survaillaned; categorization of people and the quest for a utopian society is part of the modern cyle of undermining democracy from a giambista vico perspective;

he was influencial on james joyce;

he also hypothesises the turn of events consistant with humanity's escape from democracy in the time of uncertain change; the difference now is consitant with virilio's and mann's hypothesis; that speed changes things like the blitzkreig did in 39.

yes; here in newark nj there is illegal aliens comming in to the port as are drugs and shoulder launched granades; if you look at the helicopter patterns above teterboro airport and above the hudson river, you will notice the security...aliens and drugs get in...but not weapons of mass destruction?

stef...serious post!

This makes me sad. Things like this do not help improve acceptance of foreigners in Japan. It's already hard to be a foreigner in Japan, and this might make it even worse.

I can understand where this is coming from of course, I think many countries have problems with foreign crime groups (plenty of Yugoslavian and Russian maffia in Sweden), still...

It's like Don said, same old movie!

A pretty bad story, but looking at local and global trends, this is only a minor wave.

Right wing, isolationist, reactionaries are gaining powere all over the world. As a reaction to terrorist threats and weakening economies we are seeing more hate groups, racially motivated attacks, and anti-immigration legislation in Europe, the US, and of course the historically xenophobic Japan.

Now look at where things are going. In Japan at least you can expect the right wing extremist to gradually gain a stronger and stronger foothold. As the economy in Japan continues to tank (and I hold very little optimism on this recent market bubble), more and more Japanese will lend their support to the radicals putting the blame on the smallest, most defensless group in Japan. It's certainly a pattern that is mirrored in nearly every aspect of Japanese society.

Statistics are of little help. First of call because the Japanese police have never kept real statistics on crime in the first place. The central police dept usually gives goals that the smaller police depts are obligated to "meet". Even is you say that foreigners commit only a tiny fraction of all crimes comitted in Japan, lately the flavor of the month says that even traditionally honest, but disadvantaged Japanese natives are being recruited by foreign crime syndicates and forced to commit crime.

This most recent action will only furthar increase the right wing viewpoint, blostering the position with more "statistics". By arresting , charging, and deporting undocumented aliens, the foreigner crime statistics are sure to go up. It's certainly a lot more appealing to a police officer who doesn't even know how to use his gun to herd a bus full of Philipino and Chinese prostitutes, then to confront a knife weilding wacko in a playgrounds or chase down a purse snatching biker.

So just like the economy I don't see this getting any better. In fact I find that they are inextricably linked. As the economy continues to go down, more and more problems will be blames on foreigners. Ironically increased immigration has been put forth as something necissary to improve the long term outlook of Japan. A reform minded politician might even suport this idea. And if it ever took place, you can bet the right wing will still be there to blame all problems on them.

This is all part of Governor Ishihara's ethnic cleansing of Tokyo thing. He's blaming all of the horrible crimes on "foreigners" and using that to ramp up police force and will probably lead to increased intrusions of privacy.
Ishihara? Shintaro "The Japan That Can Say No" Ishihara? Not a good man, from what I know -- he's like Pat Buchanan transplanted to the other side of the Pacific. Sorry to hear he managed to get elected governor.

What party does he belong to? Do people give him much chance of having a future in national politics? [I recall that he was in the Diet once ... ]

Greg, he's the Governor of Tokyo and is one of the most popular politicians in Japan right now. He was LDP but is now an independent.

Yuck, foreigners.

Everyone knows that foreigners are dirty, spread disease and are responsible for 98% of all crime and 100% of illiteracy.

Kyodo News are reporting that 1,600 foreigners were busted for violating immigration law in and around Tokyo over a month long clamp-down which finished last Friday.

The Justice Ministry's Immigration Bureau released the following deportation figures.

Chinese 366,
Filipinos 326
Malaysians 256
Indonesias 166
South Korea 144

So if you look at these figures, it appears that they are heavily focused on Asians.

I was talking to a Taxi driver about Ishihara on the way home last week. He explained to me that when Ishihara said bad things about foreigners, he was really just talking about Chinese!?!?

Crime and immigration seem to be an emerging popular issue in Japan. Professor Lenz offers a rational analysis that better identifies the problem. Dmitri laments Ishihara's prejudice and pandering to baser public attitudes while acknowledging that there may be a problem:

I can understand where this is coming from of course, I think many countries have problems with foreign crime groups (plenty of Yugoslavian and Russian maffia in Sweden), still...

It's important to address the problem in a responsible manner so that racist demagogues like Ishihara don't dominate the discussion. There is a good-hearted, well-intentioned multi-cultural tendency to sweep the problem under the rug in the face of growing public frustration. I see this problem a lot in Europe. The refusal of respectable politicians and pundits (understandable in light of history but still regreatable) to address the subject of immigration in anything other than rose-colored platitudes to "Diversity" leaves room for the emergence of people like Haider and Le Pen.

America has always struggled for 200 years with fear of immigration versus the benefits of immigration. It's a huge issue again in California. I don't consider Arnold to be the equivalent of Le Pen or Haider but Davis and the Democrats completely mis-handled the problem and paid the price for adopting the PC approach and offering free drivers licenses to illegal immigrants.

Opposing racists like Ishihara must not mean positioning yourself as "weak on crime." That's a recepie for political disaster. It's hard to oppose someone for cracking down on visa violators. A counter proposal to increase legal immigration or to further losen visa restrictions might be one way to offset this.

Japan must also do a better job of addressing the issue of its huge illicit sex industry. This is where most of the problems of crime and immigration originate. For now, I doubt that many would be willing to adopt more libertarian approach, although a draconian crack-down is equally unlikely as most people admit that it is their own appetite for vice that creates this problem, but they're not ready to accept a more, um, ascetic lifestyle just yet.

a draconian crack-down is equally unlikely as most people admit that it is their own appetite for vice that creates this problem, but they're not ready to accept a more, um, ascetic lifestyle just yet.
Add to that the fact that the guys in black leather and Ray-Bans who control the sex trade are also funding the coffers of politicos...

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