The police in Japan do not have any right to search you or your car without justifiable cause or reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime. Meaning that just because they's stopped all cars driving along to check everyone with a breathalyzer, to see if they've been drinking, you are not required to consent nor do they have any right to force you to consent to this test or any search.
That goes for all illegal searches and idiotic things like entering Narita airport when those clowns ask you for your drivers license and to open your car trunk or luggage to search for whatever it is they are searching for.
If people in Japan don't start putting their foot down, then this country is going to keep becoming more and more like the police state the United States has become.
I've been preaching and preaching to all the Japanese people I know to begin to stand up for their rights. Too many Japanese people submit to illegal and unconstitutional searches, I think it's time to start saying politely, "No!"
Several months ago, I took my family to Guam (I am never going to Guam again because of the TSA, but that's another story). At Narita, I witnesses a female security agent
As the father of a child who has been molested by a stranger, I grew furious. I stopped and walked over to the security agent who was
"That's completely illegal and a crime for an adult to fondle a child like that. This is a crime!"
I then demanded that the security agent call her supervisor. The search stopped immediately. When the supervisor arrived I gave him a piece of my mind and reiterated the charges of child molestation. He meekly responded,
"She didn't use the detection wand on the child?"
"No!" I protested. I again reiterated that it is a crime under Japanese law for any adult to touch the body of any child like that, under any circumstances, and that I would report it to the police. I looked at the parents of that poor girl and said,
"Don't let this happen to your kids again!"
Once again, folks, Japanese law is the same as US law in this case; the police have no right to conduct a search on your or your possessions without reasonable cause. Just because you are driving a car into the airport is not reasonable cause.
A week or so ago, I was driving into Narita to pick up my friend Shea (please refer to: The REAL Reason Japan Lost the War! Let the Truth Finally Be Known!) I was early as I entered the airport. I sighed that I had to endure the circus show again at the entrance of Narita again. As usual, they asked me to show my driver's license and to open my trunk so that they could look into it.
The security guard was a young overweight guy who looked like this could be his first day on the job. He was visibly nervous, almost shaking, as he tried his darndest to recall his lines, "May I see your driver's license and please open the trunk for an inspection," he stuttered.
I very politely replied, "No, thank you."
He looked shocked. He repeated and so did I. This went on for a while; him asking that I show him my papers and allow a search and me saying "No thank you." He seemed a nice guy. I could tell that this wasn't computing in his pea-sized brain.
I felt my devil horns growing larger out the sides of my head.
After a few minutes and dozens of cars lined up and honking their horns behind me, the guy called over his supervisor, a woman who was another rent-a-cop... This lady wasn't in a happy mood and she, I'm sure, wanted to show Young Trainee that she could be as tough as the male supervisors. She began vigorously demanding that I comply.
"No, thank you," I said. I added, "I haven't done anything wrong so you have no reason, nor do you have the right, under Japanese law, to stop and search me. I don't have to submit to a search when I enter Haneda airport. I don't see why I have to submit to a search at Narita airport." I wanted to add a nice salutation like, "Sugar tits!" but I figured that I should lay off the niceties.
Oh, my gosh. This lady started to get really huffy and started ordering me to do all sorts of things to comply with her authority. Again, I stayed very calm and cool, and extremely polite, and asked, "Do you have any reason to think I am doing something wrong?" She answered in the negative. But demanded that I open my trunk to let them inspect it. I told her that there were 2 bottles of water, a soccer ball and a football in my trunk. That was all. She still said that she needed to see what was in the trunk.
I asked her why she didn't believe me and asked her if she had any reason to not believe me when I told her what was in my trunk... Heck, I'm a nice guy! At least I told her! She still demanded that I open the trunk.
Well, this went on in circles with this lady. Her insisting that she has the right to demand my papers and search my car; me telling her that the law is the law and she doesn't have that right.... Me staying calm and polite while she was starting to squeeze out sparks from her head as time went on.
It was obvious that this conversation wasn't leading to romance.
Finally, after a few minutes, a real policeman came over and asked what the problem was. I told him;
"These folks insist that they have the right to search my car. I told them that they don't have that right under Japanese law. I told them that unless they have a reason to think I am breaking the law, then they cannot search my car. They insist that they do have that right."
The policeman then kneeled down next to my car, looked me in the eyes, and very politely said, "Yes. I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I know we do not have the right to search your car, but we ask everyone for their cooperation. May we please ask for your cooperation, too!"
I looked at the guy. He was pleading with me and not being a jerk so I said to him, "OK, please tell these two that they have no right to search my car." Right in front of me, the policeman turned around and told them this. Then he turned and looked at me for approval... Heck, I didn't have much time left over anymore so I said to him, "OK. Like I told them, I got two bottles of water and two sports balls in the trunk. Now, I'm going to open the trunk for you this time, but remember that I am not going to let you folks do this again. Please tell your supervisor."
I popped open the trunk and they looked in. The policeman smiled at me and saluted... I drove off.
Those same clowns, that lady and that fat kid at Narita, had better hope that I don't get into their line next time I visit. Because next time I plan on getting to the airport at least an hour early...
Anyhow... That's what happened. Folks, don't allow the police to do illegal searches on you or your property. If you get stopped by the police at night on a sobriety check point, don't get angry. Be very polite and tell the police that you do not consent to a search and also tell them that they have no right to be randomly stopping cars.
It's the law of the land.
NOTE: I have confirmed this information with two Japanese professional lawyer friends, so you can take this advice to the bank; in Japan, even the police do not have the right to search you without reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime. Just because you are driving your car or walking along the street, they do not have the authority to stop and search you. If they try, just remain respectful and polite and say, "No thank you." Use common sense to determine how to handle the situation that is best for you.