What are your experiences with the Machida police, good, bad or none at all. When did they occur? Would you be willing to let me publish them in The Machidanian, my blog about life in Machida? Either anonymously or by name?
Email me: kevinsenglishschools at yahoo.com
How do the Japanese people feel about the police? Amnesty United would concur:
“The public is thankful to the police authorities for their action in controlling gangsters….However, it must be pointed out criticisms are raised against this action….because the police is relentless in arresting people….and there are many innocent men arrested who are not gangsters at all.”
-p. 269 Japan`s Feet of Clay, Volume 9, Freda Utley
Again, sadly, this is all so true today.
I`ve had no problems with the Machida police.
I was stopped several times last year, riding my bike to work. Each time, they asked for my ID and to search my bag. Finally, I went over to the main police station to complain. They apologized profusely and promised that they would take what I had said into consideration.
I`ve never been stopped by the Machida police, but I have had some uncomfortable incidents with them. One time at night, I was walking home from a party after work, and they stopped their police car next to me and turned off all their lights. I just looked at them and walked on. But I was wondering if they were going to jump out. At first actually, I was wondering who it was. Was I about to be mugged? Oh a police car! It was a bit scary.
Another time a police car came up behind me very slowly. One policeman was watching in front, looking towards me or watching the road as he was driving, the other policeman was looking to the left like they were looking for someone. And probably they were. But having a police car, slowly coming up to me from behind was stressful. I hadn`t done anything wrong, but I don`t want to be stopped and have to talk to the police in Japanese.
On the main street in Machida they have stopped their car next to me. Perhaps just a coincidence, or perhaps a ploy to see if I will run away then they will have an excuse to stop me.
Not that they really need an excuse, the police of Japan have enormous power. They can keep you locked up for no reason for up to 23 days! No, you are not entitled to your telephone call nor a lawyer during that time.
What are your experiences with the Machida police?
Email: kevinsenglishschools at yahoo.com
Worth Noting – Ticket Season!
You might want to also note that many police departments have a big push to get more tickets before the bonus seasons. So May/June, and Oct./Nov. So if you may wish to be on your best driving, cycling and walking behaviour during those times of year!
Some of the false arrests lead to the death of the innocent in Japan unfortunately:
“The police claim that heart failure caused his death but cases of
heart failurefrequently occur in police cells, so that the public does not believe that what the police say is true.”
p.269 Japan`s Feet of Clay, Volume 9, Freda Utley
Although this came from a book written in 1934, sadly it still occurs today at times.
They stopped my wife and I year back because they were out for tickets. Everyone of them out in front of the main station. One young cop thought he was going to get me for no seat belt but the belt blended with my black down jacket. By the time he made his way to the car and realized I did have my belt on, the light was red and he cited my wife for being past the line instead. ¥8,000 for his mistake.
More deaths while in Police Custody from Dave Aldwinkle (Arudo Debito):
A 37 year-old male in a state of mental confusion was subdued in a hotel room at about 2:35 a.m. after reports that he was shouting and throwing things. He soon had a heart attack and was transported to a hospital, where he was confirmed dead at about 10:55 p.m. Police suspect drugs were involved.●精神錯乱状態の男性、警官保護後に死亡 都内ホテル、室内に粉末も東京都内のホテルで精神錯乱状態に陥り、警視庁目黒署に保護された男性（37）が約20時間後に死亡していたことが12日、警視庁生活安全総務課への取材で分かった。ホテルの室内から覚醒剤のような粉末などが見つかっており、同課は成分の鑑定を急ぐとともに、13日にも男性を司法解剖して死因を調べる。･･････11日午前2時35分ごろ、東京都目黒区内のホテルの一室で、大声を出し、腕時計を投げつけるなどしていたのを目黒署員が発見。同署員は精神錯乱状態と判断し、保護バンドを手足に巻くなどして保護した。男性は間もなく心肺停止状態になり、都内の病院に搬送されたが、同日午後10時55分ごろ、死亡が確認された。･･････室内からは覚醒剤のような粉末が入ったポリ袋のほか、茶色い粉末入りの袋や空の袋も見つかり、同課は男性が何らかの薬物を摂取していたとみている。
The police seem to target people who work at night. People like musicians who play a gig then come home on the last train. Or people who were out at a party and come home late.
“When there is a strike the police always arrive promptly to arrest the leaders and break it by arranging a so-called compromise settlement, which the workers are bound to accept since those who dare to object are arrested as disturbers of the peace. This is all part of the
paternalism` of the Japanese police, equally with the third degree methods they employ in the police cells for extracting so called evidence.”
–p. 269 Japan`s Feet of Clay, Volume 9, Freda Utley
One thing I will add is, I wish the police would do more to enforce existing laws. There are laws for bicycle safety-things like: bicycles must obey traffic laws like not going through red lights. People flaunt them because they are not enforced in Machida. I’ve been hit by a bicycle three times in three years. My wife has been hit too.
They do a good job of preventing the illegal parking of bicycles in downtown Machida. But surely they can do more about safety. As usual, it will not happen until someone gets killed or severely injured.
Also laws about smoking in public, and walking and smoking. Some feel free to do it because it is not enforced often.
What is the point of laws if they are not going to be enforced?