Japan: Lawsuit against authorities by foreign-born residents
Three foreign-born Japanese residents, Matthew and Syed Zain i Maurice, filed a lawsuit on Monday against national and local authorities over alleged illegal police interrogation based on racial profiling.
The lawsuit was submitted to the Tokyo District Court by three men who insist that the national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the Aichi Prefecture Government acknowledge the illegality of police officers stopping and interrogating individuals based only on their race, nationality, or ethnic background.
- I never knew what social withdrawal was until recently (...) I feel like every time I finish work, I'm hiding in my house - said one of the accusing men in a statement to Reuters.
The three men say they have suffered repeated police interrogation based on their appearance and ethnicity, which they say is a violation of the constitution. They are pursuing approximately ¥3 million ($20,300) per person in compensation from the central and local governments, marking the first case.
According to Reuters, "The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Aichi Prefectural Government and the National Police Agency declined to comment, while representatives of the Ministry of Justice."
Experts indicate that the problem may be growing due to the increasing presence of foreigners in Japan as Japan's population ages. Currently, the average age of a Japanese is 47.8. In comparison, the age in the US is 40.