A couple from Taiwan has accused Japanese police of mistreating them as they questioned and investigated the pair – who were in the country to study – in accordance to a new immigration law for their failure to carry proper identification. The new law passed in 2012 now requires all foreign residents in Japan to obtain a Residence Card, and that they are to carry the ID card wherever they go. The Taiwanese couple had reportedly went out for lunch when they were accosted by the police for failing to have their ID cards with them.
The couple said that they had gone out for lunch and were unsure of directions to the restaurant they were looking for and so asked a police officer for help. The police officer then asked them for their Residence Cards, as the law says that foreign residents who fail to carry them could be looking at a a fine or even a maximum jail term of one year. According to the Taiwanese couple, they were frisked on the streets of Tokyo before being escorted home to get their Residence Cards for foreigners living in Japan. They were then taken to a police station, where their DNA samples and fingerprints were collected. They questioned whether the entire process was legitimate, as they had already admitted being at fault for forgetting their Residence Cards at home. They were reportedly detained for six hours before being allowed to go.
Anna Kao, spokesperson for the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has taken the couple’s complaints into consideration and urged Taiwanese people to observe local laws while abroad. Lo Kun-tsan, secretary-general of the Association of East Asian Relations – the arm of the Taiwanese government that handles relations with Japan – said that his office will try to investigate the incident further, and will discuss the matter with the Japanese authorities if they find out that couple was indeed mistreated.
[via China Post]