Japanese Supreme Court Upholds Special Surveillance to Keep Tabs on MuslimsPosted: July 1, 2016
Japan has actually done remarkably well in averting terror attacks and has never been the victim of lethal jihadist violence. Some have praised Japan’s effectiveness in forestalling Islamic violence, proposing it as a model for other nations.
“The most interesting thing in Japan’s approach to Islam is the fact that the Japanese do not feel the need to apologize to Muslims for the negative way in which they relate to Islam.”
In 2010, over a hundred Japanese police files were leaked to the public, which revealed widespread monitoring of Muslims across Japan. The files reportedly showed that the Japanese government was keeping tabs on some 72,000 Japanese residents who hailed from member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Tokyo police had also been monitoring places of worship, halal restaurants, and “Islam-related” organizations, according to the documents.
“Along with surveillance, Japanese authorities also apply tight immigration standards. Muslims seeking a working visa or immigration permit, for instance, are subject to detailed scrutiny, which is credited with preventing the sort of terrorist activity that has plagued Europe. “
Soon after, 17 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit saying that their privacy had been violated, and challenging the extensive monitoring of followers of Islam in Japan.
After two appeals, the case made it to Japan’s Supreme Court, which on May 31 concurred with a lower court that awarded the plaintiffs a total of ¥90 million ($880,000) in compensation because the leak violated their privacy.
Nonetheless, the high court dismissed the more general charges of police profiling and invasive surveillance practices, which a lower court had upheld as “necessary and inevitable” to guard against the threat of Islamic terrorism.
“We were told we don’t have a constitutional case,” said Junko Hayashi, an attorney for the plaintiffs. “We’re still trying to figure out, how is it not constitutional?”
Speaking via video link at a symposium on government surveillance in Tokyo on June 4, NSA rogue informant Edward Snowden also criticized the Japanese practice.
“People of the Islamic faith are more likely to be targeted…(read more)
- Top court green-lights surveillance of Japan’s Muslims (aljazeera.com)
- Japan’s Top Court Has Approved Blanket Surveillance of the Country’s Muslims (amren.com)
- Top court in Japan upholds blanket surveillance of country’s Muslims (worldtribune.com)
- Japan Will Continue to Monitor All Mosques (theblacksphere.net)
- Who’s watching whom in Japan? It’s a state secret (japantimes.co.jp)