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Japan's immigration control; Gulag for gaijin
AN EXTRAORDINARY story is making the rounds among the hacks and other expats in Japan. A Canadian freelance journalist who has lived in Japan for years fell into the ugly whirlpool of Japan’s immigration-and-detention system. For years human-rights monitors have cited Japan’s responsible agencies for awful abuses; in their reports the system looks like something dark, chaotic and utterly incongruous with the country’s image of friendly lawfulness.

Still the case of Christopher Johnson beggars belief. Returning to Tokyo after a short trip on December 23rd he was ushered into an examination room, where his nightmare began. Over the next 24 hours he was imprisoned and harassed. Most of his requests to call a lawyer, the embassy or friends were denied, he says.

There's a lot to this mans story we don't know... it's sensationalist and dubious, clear gaps to background story exist and he sounds like a dick--but even assuming his story isn't true, there exist other troubling Amnesty accounts. And from them one thing is clear: Japanese Immigration legally exist in a gray area, act with absolute autonomy, total indemnity, and bad elements can shake people down for money with impunity.

Realistically, all of it is probably a normal activity at entry/exit points in other countries; just shocking Japan isn't immune.

EDIT: The more I read the more I think this guys story is 99% bullshit. If anything, the story is a warning to always have a working VISA status or else. But who doesn't know that? What I did find interesting is that some of the comments claim VISA runs to Korea aren't working anymore or stop working after doing it so many times in a row....
Edited by Satorialist - 3/6/12 at 8:25pm