Posted on May 14, 2024

‘World’s Friendliest Country’ Suddenly Orders ‘Crackdown on Foreigners’ in Huge Shock

Max Parry, Daily Express, May 10, 2024

Japan is famous for its culture of politeness and respect, however, a whistleblower in the country’s police has claimed that officers had received orders to “crackdown on foreigners” and “judge them on their appearance alone”.

Left-leaning Japanese publication Mainichi reported that an unnamed police source said he was told to “target foreigners for questioning and checking their residence cards”.

The officer added: “There was a ‘month of repression of foreigners’ during which we had to redouble our efforts to check cards, but also [to] search them for drugs or knives.”

The order is reported to have come from the country’s Criminal Investigation Division, which was trying to find undocumented migrants.

To make matters worse, the officer claimed that “blacks and Southeast Asians” were singled out for particular prejudice by police.

This is not the first case of visitors or non-native Japanese people meeting resistance in Japan.

In March, the famous Gion district in the city of Kyoto banned tourists from certain areas, including traditional tea houses.

The district is home to the city’s world-famous Geishas. Geishas are characterised by their traditional appearance, dress and their dancing. It was claimed that tourists were harassing the dancers, and thus the restrictions were necessary.

The move has split opinions with some welcoming it as a means of preserving the dignity of the Geisha and protecting local culture. While others believe it is an overbearing misstep.

Speaking to German outlet Deutsche Welle, two Dutch tourists Anna and Mark Van Diggenen, Anna said: “I think it’s very good to ban taking pictures here in the area.”

Mark added that it was a welcome move to ensure “the privacy of the girls”.

However, this outlook wasn’t universally shared. Australian tourist Jane Stafford said: “I wonder why this being enforced? To me this is a unique heritage area, I guess, that people want to enjoy and [they] like to photograph the architecture.”