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What shows up on Japanese police records? 2018/7/9 06:08
While living in Japan, I was part of three separate incidents that resulted in police involvement. In two cases, a Japanese man, both strangers, verbally and physically accosted me without provocation, and I responded in self defense. (Ifm female.) No notable injuries were sustained on either side.

In both cases, both parties were taken to a police station, questioned separately and fingerprinted for ID purposes. I'll clarify here that no one was arrested, or at least I don't think we were. By the time the police arrived, we had stopped fighting and were peacefully waiting for them. The police asked if we would come to the station with them, and we agreed.

During questioning, the police did not accuse me of breaking or violating any specific laws. However, they scolded me for defending myself, instead of running away or allowing the men to assault me and then reporting it (not an exaggeration). They tried to make me accept 100% blame for the entire incident. I refused because that was simply not true.

Both cases concluded a couple of hour later with everyone agreeing to apologize to each other, after which we were free to leave. No charges were filed on either side, and there were no court summons, convictions, fines or incarcerations. Although the police wrote detailed reports for their records, which both parties had to sign, they didn't issue a written citation or any other kind of document.

The third case involved a Japanese man who slammed into me with his bike while I was on a sidewalk, knocking me into the street. He tried to run away, but I chased him down and cornered him (no physical contact), while I called the police. The police questioned us separately onsite, but no one was taken to the station or fingerprinted. ID's were checked and cleared. The man tried to blame me, but it was clear from the bloody scrapes on my leg that he was lying, so that was quickly debunked. The police asked if I wanted to press charges, and I told them, no, I just wanted him to be penalized according to the law. They issued him a written citation, and we went our separate ways.

My questions are:

- Would any of these incidents appear on my Japanese police record and/or show up in background checks, even though I wasn't charged or convicted?
- If they are entered on my record, how would they be categorized? Would the police mark them as misconduct or a violation like simple assault for the first two incidents? I'd think (hope) they would have informed me of this during questioning, but can't put confidence in assumptions.
- Is there a way for me to check my Japanese police record from abroad without going through multiple levels of bureaucracy?
by YBates  

Re: What shows up on Japanese police records? 2018/7/9 10:49
I obtained a certificate from Japanese police regarding me having no criminal record in Japan, thru the Japanese embassy in Sweden years ago. I went to the embassy with my passport, filled out a form and then picked up the certificate a few weeks later. I needed it for an immigrant application, it was in both English and Japanese and stated that I had no criminal record in Japan.
by swede (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What shows up on Japanese police records? 2018/7/9 11:23
Once I have looked into the police record/clearance process and what goes into it, for someone else. So the following is what I know based on that.

Talking to (and reading webpages that were referred to me when I called) someone in a division of police that is in charge of issuing the clearance documents, they suggested that when they talk about "crimes" that go on criminal record, they are talking about cases where there was indictment and verdict for a fine or something more serious.

Since you were not required to pay any fine or appear in court, as far as I know, you are free of any "criminal record" as we speak today.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: What shows up on Japanese police records? 2018/7/9 12:35
AK and swede, thank you for your answers -- those were very helpful.

AK, would you happen to know what the police do with written reports for incidents that do not result in penalties? Are these reports purely for their own record keeping, or would they show up if an employer did a deep background check on me?

Also, regardless of the reports, would any notation about these incidents appear in a background check, even if I don't have a criminal record? For example, would there be something like: "On yyyy/mm/dd, YBates and XYZ were brought to the station due to an altercation. Both were questioned, then released without charges or penalties."
by YBates rate this post as useful

Re: What shows up on Japanese police records? 2018/7/9 22:15
Unfortunately I don't know what they do with those records when the case doesn't get to prosecution. Let me google around a bit on that one.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: What shows up on Japanese police records? 2018/7/9 23:40
Hi YBates,

I cannot answer your direct question (it's too specific for me to answer) but I did want you to know that it's not easy to get a general police check in Japan for yourself. You need to have a reason and often you are not allowed to see it.

It may have changed, but in 2014 I needed a police check for employment in another country and it had to go directly to my employer and I was not allowed to see it (it said I did nothing anyway). Just giving you the heads up.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

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