The Yomiuri Shimbun
A group of 14 Muslims has filed suit against the central and Tokyo metropolitan governments, demanding 154 million yen in compensation for violations of privacy and religious freedom after police antiterrorism documents containing their personal information were leaked onto the Internet.
The lawsuit filed at the Tokyo District Court accused the Metropolitan Police Department and the National Police Agency of systematically gathering their personal information, including on religious activities and relationships, merely because they are Muslims.
The lawsuit also alleged that after the information was leaked last October, the MPD failed to take sufficient action to prevent its spread.
In late November, a Tokyo-based publisher released a book carrying the leaked documents.
After the leak, “The plaintiffs were presumed to be international terrorism suspects. They were forced to leave their jobs and live apart from their families,” the petition filed Monday at the court claimed.
The MPD has said it is highly likely the leaked documents included internal information from its Public Security Bureau, and has been investigating the leak on suspicion of obstruction of police operations since December.
At a Monday press conference in Tokyo, one plaintiff said: “It’s been six months since the leak, but there’s been no [official police] apology. I haven’t been able to see my family and my life is full of anxiety.”
This will fly… just like a lead toolbox.
Every now and then, in the years since Sept. 11, 2001, Muslims in Japan or their sympathizers have tried to play the victim card that has been used so successfully in the United States and Europe, only to find out that the Japanese people (as a whole) are totally indifferent to their bruised feelings and tender sensibilities, and that their “rights” as foreign residents are nowhere near as comprehensive as they are in Western countries.
I expect this will get tied up in the lower courts for several months, causing the plaintiffs enormous legal fees, but essentially going nowhere, while at the same time it will be ignored by 90% of the Japanese news media and public. They might eventually get a token settlement (three to five years from now) which will then be appealed, but even that is unlikely.
Do the Japanese police keep a close eye on Muslims here? You better believe they do — with the full approval of virtually the entire nation, I might add. In fact, I am wondering whether the “leak” that resulted in this suit was intentional — aimed at letting the Muslims in Japan know just how closely they are watched.
That, I believe, would be a typically indirect Japanese way of putting pressure on the community as a whole, and thus encourage them to shun dangerous activists.