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Author Topic: So I'm disappointed with the Japanese police system...  (Read 4121 times)
Dana
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« on: June 21, 2008, 12:32:08 AM »

As you know, I had a fender bender back in late May.  The way insurance plays out, my rates go up no matter if i'm 10% at fault or 100% at fault, so i just had the insurance company pay out to have their vehicle fixed (new bumper).

Last weekend I met with the police again to make an official statement.  After an hour and a half about my background (YES! I mean an hour and a half about my residency all my life, shoe size, hobbies, you name it, they asked it), we finally move into the meat and potatoes. 

I will give them props for having a very well detailed map of the scene ready, which made things easier to explain.  So in short, they said I was 100% negligent.  The other driver is not responsible for what happens behind them (they stopped in the middle of an intersection blocking the perpindicular traffic).  We all agreed what the other driver did was not safe, but because she has a licesne, she is able to make those decisions. (ummm...ok?) So I throw out a scenerio if I were to do the same thing as the other driver on my way home from the station, who would be at fault?  I was floored when they said I would be partially responsible!  You're kidding me!  They call me negligent and then go on and tell me I would be responsible for doing the same thing? 

So at the end, they asked what did I learn from this?  They laughed at my response of gaijin always at fault.  It's a whole 'nother story about how terrible the translator they provided was! 

Dana

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2007 CRF-450R SM (Track Bike)
1999 Yamaha R6 (Track Bike)
slowpoke13
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2008, 01:38:22 AM »

dude man. I'm sorry to hear that. No luck getting a translator from base?
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slowpokesan
Dana
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2008, 02:51:50 PM »

The police required it be one of their own (in case the translator on base manipulated the translation in my favor).

Honestly, it was like the Friday before, they asked all the japanese police on shift who speaks a little english and they picked the lowest man in rank.

Dana
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2007 CRF-450R SM (Track Bike)
1999 Yamaha R6 (Track Bike)
LilGuns V2.0
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2008, 07:17:09 PM »

As you know, I had a fender bender back in late May.  The way insurance plays out, my rates go up no matter if i'm 10% at fault or 100% at fault, so i just had the insurance company pay out to have their vehicle fixed (new bumper).

Last weekend I met with the police again to make an official statement.  After an hour and a half about my background (YES! I mean an hour and a half about my residency all my life, shoe size, hobbies, you name it, they asked it), we finally move into the meat and potatoes. 

I will give them props for having a very well detailed map of the scene ready, which made things easier to explain.  So in short, they said I was 100% negligent.  The other driver is not responsible for what happens behind them (they stopped in the middle of an intersection blocking the perpindicular traffic).  We all agreed what the other driver did was not safe, but because she has a licesne, she is able to make those decisions. (ummm...ok?) So I throw out a scenerio if I were to do the same thing as the other driver on my way home from the station, who would be at fault?  I was floored when they said I would be partially responsible!  You're kidding me!  They call me negligent and then go on and tell me I would be responsible for doing the same thing? 

So at the end, they asked what did I learn from this?  They laughed at my response of gaijin always at fault.  It's a whole 'nother story about how terrible the translator they provided was! 

Dana



This sounds like normal operating JPS procedure. Even though its total bs it kinda has to do with the fact that the man is sticking it to you. Think about it like this. Out of all the times I have been pulled over or had an accident the "gaijin card" has gotten me outta so much crap. For one for the JPS to issue us a ticket they have to issue three. One is for them, one is for your command and the last if for US Forces Japan. It takes over an hour to get a speeding ticket trust me. I have been here for years and I have only recieved one ticket. And I ride like a damn hoolligan!!!!!   

I give you the key to getting outta tickets is go to a shirobai event if you can. They are fun and you will learn alot. But the kicker is they give you this sticker that says you rode with the cops and you are a good rider or something abd cops notice that stuff. Watched it get my friend out of a ticket and he even had a good conversation with the cop. I'm not saying it is fool proof but anything helps right.

Phil
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Dana
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2008, 09:04:31 PM »

That's kind of like having the state trooper sticker in your back window of your vehicle in the states...While it's not a guaranteed "get out of jail free" card, they sometimes are lenient if you weren't ridiculously speeding or whatnot.

Dana
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1999 Yamaha R6 (Track Bike)
mihama01
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2008, 12:40:26 AM »

Dana,

Sorry to hear about your troubles.

You should take your wife or someone who can speak Japanese (native Japanese) and is on your side. It is as much about what goes unsaid and following protocol as it is about the actual accident.

Like you said they had the detailed map, they had already decided whoes fault it was and had already decided on a range of possible punishments.

Your job is to convince them that you a nice humble hard working Gaijin that they feel guily for ticketing since the accident was obviously a one off event and thus you get away with the least punishment.

Thats the theory...it didn't work for me.....either  Grin
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Dana
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2008, 12:49:54 AM »

Actually, no tickets were issued.  Was I suppose to get one?

My wife is a perfectly fluent english speaker (nihonjin).  She was kind enough to drive out to the scene when it happened.  When we talked about me having to go to the station to do the official statement, they said she couldn't go...but the funny thing is when I got there, they were surprised she wasn't there (maybe that's why I got the bonehead translator).

The classic was right before I sign my statement, I turn to the translator and asked, "So if I take this statement to my wife, who is Japanese and speaks perfect English, she is going to tell me the same exact thing you told me as to what this says?" .....he pauses and does the 'breathing through the teeth' unsure gesture, and then says "No."  I said "Ok! let's go over this one more time with accuracy!"

Dana
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1999 Yamaha R6 (Track Bike)
mihama01
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2008, 04:48:27 PM »

I can't recommend enough that you take a Japanese speaker who is on your side to speak.

If your wife can't make it then ask to reschedule the meeting with the police to a time when she can attend. When that happens you will probably find that most of the conversation is directed directly at her and the fact you are a foreigner ceases to be an issue.

With translation, there is so much upto interpretation and dependent on the frame of mind of the interpreter.

The police interpreter has to deal with gaijin who says it wasn't their fault thinks the Japanese system sucks etc.. etc.. daily for years so don't expect any kindness there.

It also helps to reverse the situation. What would happen in the US if someone was being booked and refused to speak english. If you were police in that situation, imagine what they would be thinking.

I can't honestly say that it sucks or that Japanese police are worse than those in other countries. They are just different, and many of the assumptions we make about the situation and their motivations are often wrong.

This conversation would probably be better continued over a couple of beers, I could bore you stupid for a couple of hours.  Grin




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Red S4Rs, Tokyo
Dana
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2008, 02:49:35 PM »

Lately in my travels, I've made an interesting observation about the Shirobai (white motorcycle police) around here in the Tama/Hachioji area.  I've actually gone as so far to keep a log (although looking back, i could have been more precise).

So from June 15 to July 15, I've recorded if a shirobai has a car or motorcycle/scooter pulled over. 

The shirobai pulled over 17 vehicles in that time:




|
|
V






|
|
V








Cars: 0 (as in zippo)
Motorcycles/scooters: 17!!!  Shocked



So is it me or does it seem like they are only out with an eye on 2 wheeled vehicles?

Is this the same in your area?

Dana






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2008 Hypermotard
2007 CRF-450R SM (Track Bike)
1999 Yamaha R6 (Track Bike)
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