Ikebukuro Police Checking Foreigners’ IDs
Blogger Max Hodges recently encountered Japanese police who were demanding identification from foreign-looking individuals passing through Ikebukuro Station:
I noticed these police in the station doing random checks of foreign looking people’s identification. I started shooting them, and they got pissed and told me that I couldn’t take pictures (“Shashin wa dame!”)
I held my ground, and we got into a heated debate. I told them to check their law books because I clearly understand there is no law that forbids a photojournalist from taking pictures of police. They asked me to prove I was a journalist so I gave them my business card (which says White Rabbit PRESS and also Publisher. They eventually gave up and started harassing other foreigners.
In other Tokyo police news, an MPD officer is facing punishment after it came to light that he had pulled a loaded gun on a group of boys who were talking too loud on a public street:
He admitted to the allegations. “I thought I had no choice but to instruct the defiant boys in a high-handed manner. I’m sorry,” he was quoted as saying during questioning.