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SOCIETY > Human Rights

National Police Agency asks prefectural police to avoid questioning based on racial profiling

  • May 13, 2022
  • , Tokyo Shimbun
  • JMH Summary

Tokyo Shimbun wrote on Thursday evening that the National Police Agency (NPA) circulated an advisory to prefectural police departments across the country last December instructing police officers to avoid questioning people on the street based on their physical features. “Outward appearances, such as facial features, hairstyle, skin color, or clothing, must not be the only criterion when identifying subjects for questioning,” said the NPA document, which was accompanied by an attachment noting that pinpointing subjects for questioning based on an individual’s race, religion, or nationality could be construed as being biased or prejudiced. It also called for the prefectural police chiefs to instruct their subordinates to refrain from making inappropriate or careless remarks and pay due respect to LGBTQ individuals and other sexual minorities when conducting questioning. The daily pointed out that the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo had posted a tweet earlier in December alerting American citizens of several cases of what it regarded as “racial profiling” by the Japanese police, adding that in response to a query from an opposition politician about an alleged instance of racial profiling by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, National Public Safety Commission Chairman Ninoyu said at the Diet in March that it is intolerable for police officers to question individuals based on factors such as race or nationality.

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