Reader Mail

No welcome mat at Narita International

When I, a web developer and blogger from India, reached Japan at Narita International Airport, an official asked me questions, including “why have you come to Japan?” I replied to her that I came for tourism, to visit Tokyo Tower and some other places.

She asked if I was traveling alone. When I replied that yes, I was traveling by myself, she called to her senior and that officer spoke very rudely and told me to sit in the waiting room.

He told me to show him what papers I had. I told him that I had already filled out the yellow paper on the plane.

He told me to show him other papers, so I presented him with my return ticket, hotel booking, a printout of my daily itinerary.

He said, “Your passport is new, you do not have a travel history, why did you come to Japan first?” I replied that I want to travel to Tokyo Tower and Disneyland, which is in Japan.

I was surprised by the question of why I do not have a travel history. This was a nonsense question because I was standing in Japan.

Then he asked me how much money I had for travel. I told him, that I had $800 in cash and three credit cards. He asked me to put them on the table. I complied. He compared my credit cards and my passport to make sure the name was the same — everything was fine.

Then he told me to tell him what I will do in the 12 days I am to be in Japan. I told him that everything was in my printed itinerary, that I had researched it on the internet. It is difficult for me to pronounce Japanese names, which is why I showed him the printout.

In the end, he told me to sign papers that I was being denied entry. I asked him, “What about my hotel booking and air ticket.” He said he didn’t care.

PARMINDER SINGH
LUDHIANA, INDIA

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.