• Kyodo

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The Fukuoka District Court on Monday dismissed a 6.8 million yen damages suit against the Fukuoka Prefectural Government by a Chinese woman who claimed her arrest for not carrying her passport or alien registration card was illegal.

The woman, a resident of the city of Fukuoka who is in her 30s and married to a Japanese, claimed the law that requires foreigners to always carry their passports or alien registration cards violates human rights and her arrest and detention at a police station in the city was malicious.

Judge Tetsuro Tanaka noted in handing down the ruling that at the point at which the woman was found without her passport, there was no way of knowing who she was or why she did not have the documents on her person.

“It could not be acknowledged at the time that there was no clear need for arrest,” the judge said.

He also said her detention was in line with the law, noting that the woman, whose name was not provided, was often uncooperative with authorities and that there had been points regarding her life in Japan that were unclear at the time.

According to the court, a police officer in Fukuoka asked the woman on April 20, 1999, to show her passport or alien registration card.

She told the officer to confirm her identity by checking her home because she had left the documents there, but the officer took her to the police station and arrested her on suspicion of violating the immigration and refugee law. She was released on the evening of the following day.

The woman claimed that police should have released her immediately after they confirmed her identity or when her husband brought her passport to the police station.

However, police detained her for more than 40 hours and conducted a senseless inquisition into her married life, violating her privacy, she said in the lawsuit.

She claimed that the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law and the Alien Registration Law, which require foreigners to always carry their passports or alien registration cards, are against the Constitution and international agreements on human rights.

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