Japan’s bishops protest police intrusion, arrest in Catholic church
A letter of complaint was sent by the Japanese bishops’ conference to the central government in Tokyo over an incident involving a group of police officers entering a Catholic church without a warrant to arrest a Filipino for not having a passport. Addressed to Jin Matsubara, the president of the National Public Safety Commission, the letter argues that rights to religious freedom of the Filipino layman were violated by the police on the May 27th arrest.
It has been reported that the police arrest was based on the expiration of the man’s visa, and that he was illegally overstaying in Japan. The bishops remain outraged over the actions of six officers who entered a Diocese of Yokohama church. Church pastor Father Takashi Motoyanagi claims that the police should have brought an arrest warrant or provided advance notice of their visit. Witnesses have also stepped forward to say that excessive force was used during the arrest. [more]