Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Possible shady character busted

....American tourist asked a police officer for directions to the Kinokuniya bookstore in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.

The Californian, 74, could never have imagined the officer would reply to his question with: "Do you have a knife?"...Japan Times

And then, Tokyo's finest threw the fellow in the pokey for 10 days, informing his son (who is living in Japan) only the next day. Then, the upholders of all that is right and just; the protectors of society insisted that the son speak to his father in Japanese since they had no interpreter available.

Being a foreigner may have led police to ask the question because Shinjuku is also home to the Kabukicho red light district, which attracts a plethora of shady characters, including foreigners, the two lawyers said.

Nice to see that the Japan Times followed up on the original article with more details. The koban-sitters did not answer any questions about the case, as they don't discuss individual cases if there is any possibility that they would look like what they are.

To paraphrase---and take some license with---what was written about this incident earlier: Japan, where tourists have more to fear from the police or government than from criminals*.

Wonder if they run around asking yakuza such questions? (No, probably not.)

I shan't be bringing my parents here, even if I could convince them to endure the near 24 hours of travel that it would take.

*One should not feel that criminals are not a danger here. I had to add that for fear someone might think that criminals are nice in Japan.


  1. Someone called the cops on me one Thursday afternoon. I was standing in the street chatting to an English guy when two patrol cars , police motorbikes and don't forget the police bicycles turned up. We wondered what was going on?! Apparently, someone saw us and called 911. We both had scooters and they thought, being "foreigners", we must have stolen them! Bera in mind we were wearing teaching clothes and were both carrying briefcases. Not your typical bike thieves.

  2. I dunno...Two foreigners in disguise with transportation possibly conspiring evil deeds. Sounds suspicious to me.