Two weeks ago my husband and I went to the Azabu police station in Tokyo to report that my wallet had been stolen. At the time it was stolen, I was at an English pub with my non-Japanese friend. The police insisted that they get her last name and address even though she wasn’t the one who was suspected of stealing it. I found this strange and I refused to disclose her personal information.

The next day my wallet was returned by a non-Japanese person who was a regular at the pub. It was found by one of the bartenders who then gave it to the regular who in turn returned it to me.

My husband and I then returned to the Azabu Police station and met with a police officer. We told him who had returned the wallet with everything intact: money, cards, etc. I told him that the people who returned my wallet were non-Japanese, friendly and honest.

I continued to tell him that the police shouldn’t assume that all non-Japanese people were thieves. Immediately, he began describing bad Iranians, Russians, Chinese and other “mafia” groups. I told him that Japanese people, too, in fact committed crimes such as the yakuza, and that Lindsay Hawker and Lucy Blackman were murdered by Japanese people. He abruptly stopped the discussion and then left the conference room without thanking us for informing them that my wallet was returned.

I am curious as to why the Japanese police want to alienate themselves from law-abiding, non-Japanese citizens such as myself? In no way, will I ever cooperate or ask for their help if this is how they treat me because I am non-Japanese.

name withheld

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