Why Japan Arrests Foreigners

Why Japan Arrests Foreigners

This video is brought to you by Squarespace. Japan, one of the safest countries in the world. In fact, when it comes to crime in 2017, the Japan crime rate hit record lows with a total of 915,000 recorded crimes when compared to the U.S. with almost tripled the population, had a total of 8.9 million recorded crimes. For me, there’s no better place to visit or even live and probably why I’ve been here for more than 15 years. So if you’ve never been in Japan, then I definitely recommend visiting once, at least in your life. But before you visit, you might want to know why Japan arrests foreigners. Well, the simple answer is when many foreigners come over, they simply fail to understand Japanese laws, their severity, and the overall Judicial system until it’s too late. And believe me, I’ve seen and heard enough stories of foreigners getting arrested that I wanted to make this video for you guys. So when you visit Japan, you don’t end up arrested. Because the last thing you want to do especially come in Japan is get arrested. I won’t be doing this video by myself. But I’ve actually invited a real Japanese trial lawyer to help answer some of our questions today. Enough without further ado. Let’s get this thing started. So you guys are finally here. Can you just tell us a little bit about yourself? Hi. I’m Yugo: Yugo Ishibashi. I’m a Japanese lawyer. I like to consider myself as a trial lawyer. Okay. And I’m doing a lot of criminal cases. So today, I would like to explain you about the Japanese justice system. So maybe before we like start about all of the different situations that foreigners could get themselves arrested for. Maybe you can kind of like share with me how the justice system overall kind of works here in Japan. Okay. So, if you get arrested: Police will get you in custody for 72 hours. And within that 72 hours, they have to decide whether to detain you or not. The prosecutor will file a request and if the judge approves such a request then you’ll get detained for 10 days. And this 10 days. It could be extended for 10 more days. So in total, the detainment will last 23 days and if you’re a foreigner and you don’t have a permanent residency. It’s likely that you’ll get arrested and get detained for 23 days for one crime. Of course, if you have committed another crime and if they arrest you for that, that will be 46. So, if you say you like shoplift and then you also assaulted someone. Yes. That means 3 days each. Yes. Peculiar thing about the Japanese justice system is: in most of the other countries, You can request for a bail if you get arrested, so… Probably in the United States you can- you will get out of it in 24 hours. Probably. But in Japan, we don’t have that system. You only can request a bail after you get indicted. You can see a lawyer, but you cannot get bailed out. You cannot get outside the cell. You have to stay in custody for 23 days. Maybe after the 3 days, you can meet your family. Okay. 50 minutes each day. And if you get indicted, you may get uh- detained for a longer or they release you. If you get arrested for doing shoplifting. For example, or a bar fight. It’s a minor crime. But if you’re foreigner, you don’t have the permit of residency. There is the risk that you will get detained for 23 days. So, just let me clarify this okay? We feel like you’ve committed a crime, then they’ll take you to the police station. Yes. They’ll hold you for 3 days. They don’t have to charge you with a crime. No. So, basically they’ll just interrogate you for 3 days. Yes. And within the 3 days, if they don’t charge you with a crime. Then, they have to let you go right? Or they ask you for detainment up to 20 days. 10 days plus 10 days. What happens if you don’t speak the language. Well, there’s an interpreter, but 23 days, it’s-I think it’s outrageous. Some people lose their jobs…lose their families. What happens during that 23 days? Yeah. The police will do some investigation and you’ll get interrogated. No emails, no telephone, and although, you have the right to remain silence. In Japan, the authorities construe that you have to be there when the officer questions you. So, there’s difference because my understanding is other countries: If you have the right to remain silent, you don’t have to go through the interrogation. So, that’s also a big difference. So doing an interrogation, you have to be in the room with officer and they will throw in questions. And they will put pressure on you. They will say like “It’s better for you to plead guilty” and they are accusing you for a crime. And although, you have the right to remain silence. It’s really difficult, hard to exercise it right. Also, one more thing: The lawyer is not allowed to be present during the interrogation. In other countries, usually the lawyers are with you but not in Japan. They don’t allow that here in Japan. So, a lot of pressure and that’s why a lot of people confess, even confess what’s not true. And thus the conviction rate of 99.9%. And this is called “Hostage Justice”. And what’s that called in Japanese? Hitojichi Shihō. Like they basically, force a confession. Yes. Because if you’re shoplifting, maybe they will just tell you not to do it anymore or maybe a fine. But if you plead, not guilty: they will keep you for a longer period. After they indict you, you will be detained and sometimes, it could end up a year because they don’t hear you out. The judge won’t approve it. They want your confession. That’s why it’s called “Hostage Justice”. You’re better off just confessing. Well, a lot of people will think in a way. It’s in a way irrational. What about an embassy? For example, can they do anything for you? Well, they can come and they can probably give your message to your family, but not much. Alright, so let me just take a quick break right now and thank our sponsors Squarespace. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to make these videos for you guys. So, I’ve been using Squarespace for the last seven years to start up all the different businesses I’ve had. It’s just been so easy to get my online presence out there. In fact, when we created Tokyo Zebra, I let Maiko who’s never managed or built a web site in her life. And it was super easy for her to use. What’s really nice is that they have all these different templates that then you can go choose. So, if any of you are looking to actually get a web site out there and your online presence out there. You can go to squarespace.com And try it for free and when you’re ready to launch, go to squarespace.com/paolofromtokyo and get 10% off your first purchase on your domain or website. It’s that easy. Let’s like kind of talk about theft. That’s one of the common reasons why foreigners get arrested here in Japan. Yes. So, someone goes into a shop. They go and like take an item. The shopkeeper sees them, they get stopped. What’s the process there? Well, they will call for police. They will take you to a police office nearby and probably you’ll get arrested, detained, and the process I explained to you earlier: the 23 days. And also, if you ask for a lawyer, they usually have interpreter. But, there is a language barrier and usually if it’s theft and if he’s pleading guilty. And, if he has a lawyer, we are trying to make a settlement. Is the victim trying to compensate? But recently, a lot of stores: those big stores. Yeah. Clothing stores or merchandise they refused to sell. The reason for that is because the damage cost by shoplifting. It’s a huge, huge amount. They don’t want to settle anymore and they want to be more strict on the punishment. Like it’s a warning sign to everyone else that’s trying to shoplift. The difference between the Japanese and the foreigners is the foreigners, especially those sightseeing tourists. Yes. They don’t have a permanent residency. There is a risk of flight if they don’t live in Japan. So, that gives reason for authority to arrest and to detain them. Wow. So it’s a funny thing, if you get convicted. Yeah. For example, you’re guilty, but it was a minor offense. So or tells you to pay fine, but you already spent like a year in jail. Well, the crime you committed was a minor. Oh- Small crime. But, but still, they will put you in jail off a year or two or even longer. Until you confess. Yes. Many times people ask me. “But, should I confess even I haven’t done it.” But, as a lawyer, it’s-it’s really hard to say. There’s one thing I wanted to talk about. There was two roommates and one of the roommates actually got some drugs sent to their apartment. Because both of them are living in the same space. Um. They both got detained or arrested. I think it’s a matter of how strong that evidence is. If there’s no evidence, they cannot arrest you and there’s no reason to arrest you. So, there must be some kind of evidence. The question is how strong is that evidence? For example, of what you have told me now, they found drugs where those two people were living, right? Yeah. So, there is suspicion. But, it was only sent to one person. The other guy says right? Of course, if the situation show. For example, if they go through a computer. They will check your email and if they find like email exchanges with the other person and the person who sent those drugs. Yeah. Then, probably you can say, “I didn’t do it and there’s no evidence.” They will release you or they will decide not to indict you. But, what happens if you don’t give them your password? Oh, that-that that’s interesting case on there. For example, iPhone. If you don’t give them your password, the pass number. They cannot open it. Not even the FBI can open it, I heard. So, there are people who refuse to use their password. So, you can do that on the computer as well. You don’t have to give them your password. No. What about your thumbprint? You can refuse. What happens if they force your thumb onto the phone? They are not allowed to do that. Thumbprint? Yeah. Or refusing to give your ID or your reading test. Or not allowing them to search your bags. You have the right to do that. And, if you have a strong will, then probably you can go over there. But, it’s not easy for… How do I say it: Regular people. So, let me get this straight. So. if someone gets caught with drugs. Within those 23 days, if they do confess to that crime and then once they’re indicted, the court process: How long could take? Well, if you’re pleading guilty, it will be two months to three months. Okay. So, on top of the maybe, you know, three weeks you’ve spent, you can another two months in jail. Now, if you’re in Tokyo, it will be Tokyo Detention Center. Well, you can request a bail. You can request bail? At that time, if you’re gonna get indicted. If you have somebody who could pay for the bill and if you have a friend. Somebody who will dodge for you. Yes. So, you have two to three months for the trial and once that’s completed, they sentence you. You get sentence for…let’s say, half year, six month, or a year with three years of probation. Yeah. But then, there’s the visa issue. That’s a different matter. The immigration standard cancel your visa and then they will ask you to come to the immigration office. And there, you get detained again. How long usually? Well, if you can afford your own ticket, then not long. Otherwise, you will have to wait until there’s a special airplane for deportation. That’s-that’s pretty serious, right? It’s serious. Yes. Actually, not the crime itself that is serious. I think it’s the system. I’ve seen people foreigner. They got arrested for shoplifting. Onigiri, a rice bowl. For one rice ball. He was detained for almost a year and after that, he was deported-deportation. Do you think marijuana, cocaine is drugs, or is that something that’s common for foreigners to get arrested? Well, not only foreigners. Also for Japanese people, but it happens often. Theft and drug. Even a bar fight. For example, if you were fighting against a Japanese and the police comes. Of course, they will listen to this Japanese guy because they can communicate with this Yeah. person. Well, you can’t explain your story. They can explain their story. The police will just probably hear that one side. So, what do they do? They can arrest you, the same with drugs. So, if the Japanese person says, “Oh, he hit me first. He assaulted me.” The police can just arrest you. Yes, but there’s also cameras around. So, if you could prove that your story is true. So, if you do get in a fight and you did hit someone first. You’re gonna go down this path. There’s a possibility. Then, of course, it doesn’t mean necessarily that you get arrested. They may let you go. Yes. So, let’s talk about graffiti. Okay. I’m in Shibuya. I see it all around. Is it that bad? Well, you can get arrested. Yeah. If you get caught doing that and the same thing happen. Three days arrests and then 20 days of detention. But, usually within that 23 days and if he’s pleading guilty. Yeah. We will try to contact those owners of the building and negotiate with them and getting to a settlement. If this succeeds, they will be released. But, graffiti is pretty serious. Yes. It’s not just like “Oh, I just painted something”. No. “Forgive me.” No. And it’s also, I’ve seen some cases. Those people I met were misled by the false information. Information says, “Shibuya is a free city. They are welcome to do graffiti.” So, graffiti artists, they gather to Shibuya and do their paintings and the police comes by randomly. “Hello.” And then they get arrested. Oh really, that’s happened? Because they think they are welcome. Because you see it everywhere. Well. Theft or graffiti, fighting, drugs. Well, maybe not drugs, but other things. They are also a crime in other countries, not only Japan. Yeah. But, what makes it so serious. It’s not the crime itself. It’s the system. Someone does commit one of these crimes here in Japan, what should they do? What you should do, it really depends on the situation. So, I can’t really say like you should do this. But, you ask the police officer and they have to call for a lawyer. First time. It’s free. Is it okay to not say anything? I tell my clients to remain silence. There’s no point in giving information to your opponent, right? So, if you guys have any more questions on this, I’ll leave some information in the description of the video. Thanks for your time. I appreciate it. Thank you. So, if you guys have any question about what we discussed today? Then, leave it in the comment section and maybe if we get enough comments and interesting questions. Then, maybe you go and join me for another video and we can answer all those questions.

100 thoughts on “Why Japan Arrests Foreigners

  1. Your tittle is very misleading ….. it shud be “Don’t bring your thug mentality to Japan “
    … if you’re there , don’t mess around . These stiff penalties are the reason why u can walk around anywhere at 2AM without being in fear ..
    thugs will be treated as thugs , not celebs

  2. You started the video by telling me to visit japan but you tell me that i can be in jail for 1 year for something I didn't even do it in the end.

  3. I was so intrested in visiting Japan.
    But After this information I think I will skip it and stick with videos…?

    I would never plead guilty. And for no reason I am willing to stay in prison even for 1 day when I have done nothing.

    So best decision is to stay away from Japan and there is no risk.?

  4. moral of the story. If you are in dire need of 3 hots and a cot. go to japan. sucker punch a guy in a bar. keep your mouth shut. your set for life. I think i like this system.

  5. this is a clickbait. dishonest and deceitful vlogger. I will remember your name and will click 'not interested' each time you appear in my home in youtube.

  6. So if I went to Japan and an Radom Japanese guy said I had drugs rt and I wasn’t able to speak the language I would get arrested , so what do I do if some Japanese people are racist hmm it’s kind of weird I feel like u should of went on a different path on this topic video , but Ayee I’m mixed so I should be hood rt?‍♂️??

  7. The best justice system was the one that 19th century britain had.You steal more than a day's pay worth of stuff – you get hanged the next day, or else get off free. No prisons, no shady interrogators, no power-hungry corrupt police, not professional prosecutors with sentencing quotas. A truly people's system.

  8. Very misleading title. You make it sound like Japanese hates foreigners, which is far from the truth. But I do agree why foreigners get arrested. Most travelers just dont think about respecting the country and it's laws.

  9. As you mentioned, Japan is among the safest countries so you don't have to anything. Just don't break rules in Japan. And just in case you do something, watch this video. This video is nearly irrelevant to most of you I believe.

  10. Before you go commit a crime in a foreign nation, find out the consequences. Don’t like them? Stay home, or obey the law!

  11. I’ve heard of Japanese people fighting Foreigners because the law is pretty much on their side. Doesn’t seem like a fair justice system to me. But most people who are getting in trouble seem to be people who are obviously breaking the law. So just stay out of trouble and then you should be good

  12. I think the title of this video should've been "Why Japan Arrests Idiots". Don't have drugs…don't cause trouble…be respectable

  13. The Japanese police would have a hard time with me… I don't confess no matter how long they lock me up.

    Can I apply for residency if they keep me in prison for long enough?

  14. I think anyone that does graffiti is a complete dumbass, they should be kept out of society because they are too dumb, if they are out they will be driving cars and things, and someone that dumb should not be driving or out in public because they will do dangerous things due to their lack of intelligence.

  15. Sounds like Japans legal system is almost EXACTLY the same as USA anyone that has got arrested would know that, but people that have not been arrested probably think USA has this great legal system, well it doesn't and Japan's cops and courts were probably taught by USA people after Japan was taken over by USA after WW2.

  16. So in other words stay the F out of Japan befor you get set up strung up and lied about soley because you're a foreigner

  17. So someone who doesn’t like foreigners can accuse you of stealing and you get arrested. Great system Japan. Never going to visit your country now.

  18. Funny that just the other day I had this random thought about Japan and how none of it's history or culture has ever interested me. I doubt I'll ever want to visit it. Just seems like a fake values and ideals sort of nation, like South Korea, some Caribbean islands and to an extent Thailand. No offence to any patriots. Just a pointless thought to go along with a pointless video.

  19. Well the system does work for lowering the crime rate i guess. But im sorry for the people who got framed up. shoplifting jail time for a year is sound scary.

  20. I think that no matter what you think of a country's laws, as a guest you should always show respect for their hospitality.

  21. In Singapore if you commited even a minor crime ( for example spitting a bubble gum anywhere specially on the ground or floor) they'll cane both the palms of your hands plus a fine ,and they don't care if you're an American or whatever nationalities you are

  22. Japanese laws are total shit. No one wants to get arrested period in Japan. You think abuse is bad in America look behind the scenes in Japan then it will make sense why crime is low.

  23. Holy shit. The system is broken and unfair.
    Japan needs to learn about the psychology of people who abuse drugs. Drugs in itself aren't bad… with the current system you simply force them to use alcohol which is scientifically a much more dangerous drug than cannabis.

    But it's not the only thing in which they fail to look at psychology. Hikikomori are people with depression and fortunately, there are people like Teruo Miyanishi, emeritus professor at Wakayama University, who realizes that there is an underlying problem and addresses it properly.

    Note that this comment isn't meant to bash Japan. A lot of governments, the german one included, somehow fail to look at studies and scientific research and just go with their gut feeling.

  24. It would be interesting to know stuff that is a crime in japan but not anywhere else. For example: you get arrested in the US for drinking alcohol in public, hence the brown paper bags. (At least I read that you get arrested for that.)
    Nowhere in Europe is that the case.

  25. looks at crime rate in Japan, looks at crime rate in America. Me: woah! So safe! Me: also looks at Japan's population vs America's population. Me: oh.


  27. Guilty until proven innocent, yikes that is pretty damn terrible system they got there.
    but that 99% conviction rate looks good until you actually know what it means.

  28. We have the same system in the united states. We can hold you in jail for up to 3 years while waiting for a trial and force you to ''confess'' (take a plea bargain) as a way for the courts to avoid trials and ever have to prove you are guilty.

  29. Though I'm sure you would hear about it at the airport, or the airline before you landed, if you take Adderal you cannot bring it to Japan. They view it as the same thing as methamphetamine.. Who would have thought?

    "Currently, the only drug used to treat ADHD that is legal in Japan is Concerta. While Ritalin is available in Japan to treat sleep disorders, it is not prescribed to ADHD patients."

  30. ‘They are not allowed to do that’

    Doesn’t mean they WONT and DONT

    Also.. why didn’t they do any of this to Logan Paul? It’s the least he deserves for what he did..

  31. So my question is this: Since when was it common practice to travel outside the home country without first learning of the customs/laws of the country you'll be travelling to?

  32. Why would you commit a crime and expect leniency? What is this stupid entitlement? Fkn SLAP the book on any moron committing crimes anywhere

  33. The only way to stop crimes by foreigners is simply they should not let fxxxing foreigners inter Japan.
    What difference does make they come to Japan or not.
    They do more damages than benefits. ?????

  34. Even Japanese Lawyers seem like decent people….and if you're dumb enough to shop lift,.whilst travelling,anywhere,don't bitch about doing the time..

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