The Public Security Investigation Agency has collected alien registration data on some 150 Korean residents of Kyoto and Osaka as part of an investigation based on the Subversive Activities Prevention Law, sources close to the case said Friday.

The move has enraged Korean groups in the two prefectures, who argue that the agency is violating their human rights by treating them like criminals.

According to the municipal offices of the two cities and sources related to the case, the Kyoto office of the government agency asked each ward office in Kyoto to submit copies of the Koreans’ alien registration information from April. Complying with the request, ward offices presented copies of foreign registration records for 87 Korean residents whose whereabouts were confirmed.

The sources claimed the agency’s office requested information on 121 Koreans, as they were necessary to study regulations on subversive organizations.

Similar requests were made in April and July by the Kinki Public Security Investigation Bureau in Osaka for 67 Koreans residing in the city. Information on 63 individuals was handed over, the sources said.

The copies garnered by the agency’s office contain personal data such as photos and lists of family members, according to the sources.

“We strongly protest this serious infringement of human rights in which Koreans in Japan are treated like criminals and placed under surveillance,” the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) said in a statement. The pro-Seoul Korean Residents Union in Japan (Mindan), also said it is extremely angered at the incident.

The Alien Registration Law stipulates that the central and local governments can obtain copies of foreign registration records if deemed necessary. However, a specific reason should be presented at the time of the request, according to the Justice Ministry.

Satoru Hagiwara, chief investigator of the agency’s office in Kyoto, said the data collection is in accordance with the subversive activities law but declined to comment further, saying doing so could jeopardize the investigation.

The agency explained that gathering information on members of organizations subject to the agency’s investigation are conducted legally on a routine basis.

But the Justice Ministry said it instructs relevant organizations to clearly state why they want to see the data, in the interest of protecting personal information.

Police data in hideout

YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) Personal records of more than 4,000 police officers were found during a June search of a hideout of the Kakumaru-ha leftwing radical group in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward, police sources said Friday.

The Kanagawa Prefectural Police public security division seized floppy disks including the personal data of a number of police officers in charge of public security in the Tokyo metropolitan area and its vicinity, the sources said.

The data included names and addresses of the officers as well as detailed career records, and maps showing where they live. Also confiscated was video footage and photos of the officers apparently taken secretly by the extremists, the sources said.

Police believe it is unlikely the information was leaked from within the organization as the recovered data were in fragments.

The prefectural force searched the hideout in connection with the February 1996 theft of documents from a writer who has published books on the labor relations of the East Japan Railway Co. Police seized 178 items, including floppy disks and personal computers, according to the sources.

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