Monday, September 08, 2008

arrested by the POLICE

-pengalaman di tahan polis jepun-

Don’t know why I forgot to write about this. Anyways, I mentioned about this when I commented on one of’s interesting articles, and someone asked me to tell about this story in detail, so here I am in the middle of the night in front of the computer.

Early summer of 2003, and it had only been 3 months since I first came to Japan. I was staying at Rikko Kaikan (Rikko Hall, for foreign students) in Nerima, Tokyo; and on one hot summer weekend, I went to the nearest video rental shop to return some VHS and DVDs that I had rented earlier.

I like to clarify things that don’t need any clarifying in the first place so here goes. The VHS tapes and DVDs that I rented are in no way pornographic in nature. They’re just some old Hollywood action movies and Japanese horror films. There might be some slight showing of an actress’s bare breasts, or some lame sex scenes, but that don’t count as porno.

I have a principle to NEVER use the scholarship money, originating from tax paid by honest-working Malaysian citizens, for anything that has to do with satisfying a men’s sexual gratification. I’ve been very successful in my righteous struggle to sustain this principle from being blotted with erroneous , and I must say that I am almost proud that I have been able to do this, with all the perverseness and sexual fantasy glorified in the Japanese pop culture that I’m living in right now.

Wait a minute, there is one time that I accidentally paid 1000yen for an all-u-can-see adult paid channel in a hotel in Osaka… but that was an accident. I don’t want to let waste the hard-earned money of my people, so I forced myself to watch, even though deep in my rose-smelling heart, I don’t want to.

But this experience has taught me one valuable thing: even someone like me would end up bored and fell asleep when exposed to Japanese porn for several hours.

Anyways, that was a long introduction. Let’s get on with the main story.

I went inside the video shop, returned my rentals, told myself to lose interest in what the 18 years old section had to offer, and went back to my bicycle parked outside. As I was helping myself to put my manly-shaped ass on the bicycle saddle, one young Japanese policeman tapped my shoulder. He wanted attention.

Then he started to ask me questions that I don’t quite understand. Bear in mind that my Japanese language skill at that time is piss poor, and I’m really confused. Then he used hand and body gestures. He pointed at the bikes’ broken lock, made a ‘hammering’ movement, and then put his fists together, then breaks them away. He was asking me whether I’m the one who broke the lock.

The situation was not so good for me. He then asked me to follow him to the nearest Koban (police box), while keeping a firm grasp on my arm.

“I’ve spent the last 17 years of my life in Malaysia, and I’ve never been arrested by the police. It only took me 3 months to achieve that in Japan.”

At the Koban, they asked for my alien card, student ID etc, and they were surprisingly polite in doing it. I thought I’m getting the ‘penampar jepun’ first before being asked any questions.

Then they explained to me that the bicycle that I used was reported stolen 3 years ago. That is the first time that I know about 防犯登録 (BouhanTouroku – Registration for Crime Prevention), a system in which an owner of a bicycle should comply to by buying a license and register their bicycle to the police, so that when the bicycle should be reported stolen, it makes it easier for the police to detect the reported bicycle. And Japanese cops are real hard-workers because they really did try to search for those stolen bicycles by looking at the registered license number.

Some called it the ‘bicycle license’.

Shit. I’m in deep shit.

But I tried to keep my calm, because I know I’m clean. The bicycle is not mine. I heard from a friend that he heard his friend talking about hearing a senior of ours telling that the bike belonged to a friend of another senior from another batch; and he left the bike at the Rikko Kaikan (the student hall where we stayed) for the use of us juniors.

I tried to tell this to the policemen at the Koban, but I cannot construct the proper Japanese grammar because my Japanese sucked big time. English was useless because he cannot speak English at all. Probably, the only English words that he knows are of the utmost absurd ones. Like “Fuck you Yankee remember Pearl Harbor” or “I’ll pay you double if you love me long, long time.”

I knew how important it is for me to clear this misunderstanding, and dig myself out of this shit-hole that I’m dragged into. They told me to wait for the police car to come and pick me. They’re sending me to the Nerima City Central Police Station.

The back seat of a Japanese police car is very comfortable. At this point, strangely I don’t felt scared anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m too overconfident that I’m innocent. Or maybe I’m just plain dumb.

I took out my cellphone and activated the camera. As I was thinking about posing for pictures inside the police car with peace signs, the police driver looked at me in the back mirror, his face not so happy.

[It’s not a situation where you do peace signs!!!]

Lesson to everyone: when the police is driving you to the central police station for further questioning, don’t be so relaxed. You might piss them off.

There were 3 police officers in suits waiting in front of the Nerima Prefecture Central Police Station. Without further a due, I was brought to the questioning room on the first floor, and upon entering the room, one of the officers said to his colleagues:

“Wait a minute; he’s still 18 years old!”

At that time, I’m still 18 years old, and according to Japanese law, I’m still a minor.

“We’re going to the juvenile department”

They said some other stuff, but I don’t understand most of it. Maybe they were telling me my rights of something; as I was being brought to the 3rd floor, into the juvenile department.

The juvenile department is kinda different. It looks no different than an office space, except they got questioning rooms.

One medium sized table and two chairs were put facing each other at the center of the dark questioning room. I was told to wait on the chair, and there were 2 police officers in the room.

About 5 minutes later, another 6 police officers, all in plain clothes, entered the room. Damn, Nerima Prefecture must be so damn peaceful, these police man had nothing else to do but to listen to his colleagues questioning me.

Then they started to question me.

“So, what is your favourite Japanese food?”
“How long does it take to come to Japan from Malaysia by airplane?”
“Some other casual questions that was supposed to make me relax”

I was a child at that time, there were 8 japanese police officers in the small room that I’m in, and all of them are asking me these questions that has no connection with the crime that I’m being suspected of committing; I would be lying if I say that I’m not a little bit nervous.

I only managed to understand only a portion of what they’re saying because my Japanese language capability is comparable to the capabilities of Pak Lah of sustaining a firm political stability.

Anyways, those Japanese policemen are too nice, it’s disappointing actually. I thought they’re going to grind me hard until I pissed in my pants and begged for their mercy.

No, those fuckers just asked me which is hotter, Malaysia or Japan.

I asked for the right to make a phone call, and then I rang Tanaka-san, the person in charged of the Rikko Kaikan. I told him that these bored Japanese policeman are just trying to find a way to make them look like they’re doing their job when in reality, they’re just passing time.

“I don’t know what they’re saying to me, I’m innocent, and I want to get out! Do something!”

Then I repeatedly explained to the people at the police station that I was innocent. I don’t know it was a freaking stolen bike! I even tried to explain it in English, and of course it’s more useless.

Then one fat policeman entered the room, and say he’s taking me to the records room. I don’t know the procedures, but the fat policeman kept grabbing my ass while he was transporting me to the records room. It’s fucking weird.

In the records room, they took my fingerprints, weight, height etc. Shit I’m in the Japanese police records! Then they made me hold this piece of plate in front of my chest while they took pictures of me, you know, like they do it in the police movies. It was kinda awesome and scary.

I’m a gangster in Japan, bitches!

Anyways, lucky for me, Tanaka-san, the Rikko Kaikan owner, was connected with the police, and I was let go scott-free. I don’t know how it went down, but he called the police station and kinda bailed me out, and I was not charged with any crime. Probably the police believed my story about me being innocent.

When it was all over, one detective told me that he’s heading out for a case, and he said he don’t mind to drive me to Rikko Kaikan because it was on the way to where he was going to.

He’s so fucking cool.

But I asked him to drop me off at the nearest fish market because I’m cooking fish curry for 5 people that evening.


  1. wow!!
    what a great experience! haha

    even my dad actly want to try spend a night in every time he join some PAS politics talk..demos ke..i showed my concerns n told him what if he get caught?? and u know what he said?

    " why not? at least i get free food."


  2. yeah i'd say the experience is worth all the trouble, b'coz you don't get arrested by the Japanese police everyday!

    Wait a minute, they still arrest people for listening to politics?

    Anyways, ur dad's funny hahaha/.

  3. Anonymous2:33 AM

    Hi bro...I suda kena SCAM in Japan lol!
    Yeah quit stress and scary bout the Japanese Police Policies...totally 100% diff duh!
    In Japan, you cant have a 'cover report' arghhh..susah ooo! Because my case...I kena black mail by 'hakkujin' in internet...

    Kat M'sia, kebiasaannya semua 'takut' kat polis, but not in Japan lol! Can I say 'coward'?
    Terms or proud..or bla bla
    Thanks for sharing...even I'm older than you...think should follow ya lah! sempai desu yo?

  4. @blogkuyin:
    i can't really say that i understood what you're trying to say, especially the part about being black-mailed by 'hakkujin' in the internet... but yeah, i totally agree that the japanese police is very different from malaysian.

    i do wish that the malaysian police force learns a thing or two from their japanese counterparts about being a little bit nicer and more rationale when dealing with people...

    too much of a wishful thinking?


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