National | G8 SUMMIT 2008

Police questioning 'discriminatory'


A U.S.-born Japanese citizen living in Sapporo has lodged a protest with the Hokkaido Prefectural Police, alleging its officers are discriminating against foreigners by targeting them in questioning suspicious people ahead of the July 7-9 Group of Eight summit in Toyako.

Debito Arudou, an associate professor at Hokkaido Information University, said at a news conference Wednesday in Sapporo that he has submitted a letter of protest to the prefectural force.

The police said they are questioning people when they feel it’s necessary, regardless of whether they are Japanese or foreigners.

In the letter, Arudou said he was among those targeted by police in questioning last Thursday at New Chitose Airport, which serves Sapporo, adding that similar security steps are being taken at such places as other airports and ferry landings.

“I value police officers’ duties and it is necessary to be wary of terrorism, but police questioning conducted in the form of discrimination by appearances and races is excessive security,” the letter said.

Arudou also wrote that hard-core terrorists would be able to sneak into Japan in perfect disguise, and that the current questioning policy by police is not only ineffective but also a nuisance to foreign residents.