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It was with amazement that I read D.B’s July 17 letter, “Three days in the Hakodate jail.” D.B. was imprisoned for that length of time for not producing an original copy of his passport, although he did have copies.

We hear much talk these days about China and the belief among Westerners and the Japanese that it’s a totalitarian regime that flouts human rights. However, I can tell you that if the Chinese police requested your passport and you were unable to produce it, even if you didn’t have copies, they would not even pursue the matter, let alone arrest you.

If you left it at your apartment, some of them might suggest accompanying you there, but generally speaking, it would be assumed that you didn’t carry it with you for a good reason: You didn’t want to lose it. I lived in China for a year and never carried my passport with me. Isn’t it the Japanese who need to improve human rights?

iwan morgan

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