Many people with foreign roots stopped by police in Japan: survey

Nikkei -- Sep 15
Many people of foreign heritage in Japan have been subject to racial profiling by police because of their appearance and unconscious racial discrimination on the part of officers, according to a new survey by a group of Tokyo-based lawyers.

The group, which operates under the auspices of the Tokyo Bar Association and focuses on foreigners' rights, conducted a survey on racial profiling experiences in the country from early January to the end of February this year. It collected responses by asking concerned persons such as foreigner support groups to deliver the survey to respondents and to spread the word. All respondents submitted their answers through an online form.

The survey, published last Friday, is the first attempt in 15 years to assess the situation, according to the lawyers. They have been unable to hold constructive talks with related government agencies due to a lack of awareness of the problem.

Some 63% of 2,094 respondents polled said they had been stopped by police over the past five years. Of those with such experience, 73% had been questioned multiple times, while more than three quarters said they had no reason to be stopped other than for looking foreign or speaking a foreign language. ...continue reading

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