Voices | VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Tokyo: Do you have a positive or negative image of the police?

Yoko Hayashi
Company employee, 38 (Japanese)
I have a pretty negative impression of the police overall, in large part as a result of repeated cases of young women reporting stalkers, the police then failing to act, and the stalkers eventually killing the women.

Jason Koehler
Restaurateur, 40 (American)
Overall positive, because they are fairly approachable, but I do sometimes wish they would do more than give directions, such as cracking down on people smoking on the street where streets are clearly marked as “no smoking.”

Kazuo Yoshida
Talent manager, 50 (Japanese)
I have a good image of them, as they are very important in our daily life, and without the police presence we would face many problems with lawlessness, and no resolution of things like traffic accidents and neighborhood rows.

Momoyo Chiba
Tattoo artist, 25 (Japanese)
I really don’t have a good image of the police because of a couple of stalking cases a few years ago when the police failed to act, and the girls being stalked were eventually murdered. What is there to admire after that?

Colin Carter
Teacher, 50 (English)
I’m not impressed with the police because more often than not they slow to react, and whilst they might have strong points in some areas, in others they are straight on the foreigners regardless.

Hiroshi Hashimoto
Interior decorator, 42 (Japanese)
I don’t have a good impression at all. Stories of amakudari (cushy postretirement jobs), graft and wrongful arrest are more the norm than the exception. There are some cops that try hard but most people think they are bad, which is sad.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

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