Kobe eyes tattoo ban after marijuana case

September 2nd, 2010By Category: Legal Issues

As if having tatoos in Japan was not hard enough, now comes this:

The Kobe municipal government is considering banning people with tattoos from beaches there following the recent arrests of college students for alleged marijuana possession during a music event, city officials said.

The city office intends to come up with a concrete plan during this year, including establishing the rule by ordinance, but banning tattooed people from a public beach is a rare case in Japan as most tattoo bans are for commercial facilities such as onsens. The envisaged ban may prompt controversy over its possible violation of the freedom of expression as tattoos are becoming increasingly fashionable with young people, critics say.

‘‘It is our duty to make a safer environment for the citizens,’’ said a city official as senior officials of the city and Hyogo prefectural police are set to form a special team to work out details such as ways to restrict entrance to the beach.

Suma beach saw the lowest number of visitors in 25 years this summer, with about 620,000 people in 46 days. Some citizens have told the city office that they ‘‘hesitate to go near the beach’’ amid an increase in young people with tattoos, the officials said.

The city enforced an ordinance with a penalty in 2008 that forbids loud noise on the beach during nighttime, yet about 70 music events were held this summer.  What do you think – is this a reasonable step?

Photo credit: Atorero / Wikimedia

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  • Hobson

    What is the source of this news article??

  • Robert

    If this is in fact true it really sets Japan back another couple hundred years. I live here and I know that there is a negative stigma with tattoos. But to actually go so far as to imply that tattoos increase the use of pot smoked or to say that they are making a place safer by banning tats is ridiculous.

  • Vicki

    I agree with Robert (If this is in fact true it really sets Japan back another couple hundred years. I live here and I know that there is a negative stigma with tattoos. But to actually go so far as to imply that tattoos increase the use of pot smoked or to say that they are making a place safer by banning tats is ridiculous.)

    I know many people with Tatoos who are “model citizens” and do not smoke pot or do any sorts of drugs. Come on Japan, stop discriminating and promoting stereotypes. I wear sunglasses (because the sun is bright) and many Japanese people upon initially seeing me think of Yakusa….but if they know me or get to know me, they know that I am just an ordinary citizen. Are you going to start banning people sporting sunglasses?

  • John debacco

    hmmmm, guess i will have to speed up my tatoo collection. think the next will be a big pot leaf! lol

  • guest

    Not Reasonable At All….but is that a surprise???

  • kxone

    Anyone who has lived here for a while knows that A. The mob has a big influence in government and B. The main drug “problem” here is speed, not dope.

    If the yaks were really using this beach this law would not be on the cards.

  • kxone

    Anyone who has lived here for a while knows that A. The mob has a big influence in government and B. The main drug “problem” here is speed, not dope.

    If the yaks were really using this beach this law would not be on the cards.

  • Db

    This is the news in Japanese
    ホーム > ニュース一覧 > 2010年09月02日

    « 前のニュース次のニュース ».PR: オンライン麻雀の最高峰!今なら300ptプレゼントで即プレー
    兵庫・須磨海水浴場でタトゥーお断り…条例化検討 神戸市は1日までにタトゥー(入れ墨)の入った客の須磨海水浴場への入場を規制する方向で条例化などの検討を始めた。同海岸で8月に開かれた音楽イベントで麻薬所持の大学生が逮捕された事件を受け、市が再発防止策の一環として年内をめどに方針をまとめる。

     サウナなどでタトゥー客を規制する施設は多いが公共の海水浴場で規制するのは全国初。一部では憲法で保障された表現の自由を侵す恐れがあるとの声もあり今後、議論を呼びそうだ。

     近年は、ファッションとしてタトゥーを入れる若者が急増。同海水浴場でも「腕などのワンポイントを含めると海岸にいる7、8人に1人ぐらいの割合でタトゥーが入っている状態」(市担当者)。市民からは「怖いイメージがあって海岸に近寄りにくい」といった声が寄せられ、市では条例化を見据え対応を協議することになった。

     市は近く兵庫県警の幹部らで構成する「須磨海岸の健全化に関する専門チーム」を発足させ、入場制限の方法など具体案を詰める。

     同海水浴場は神戸市が開設。タトゥー客増加と反比例するように今夏は46日間で昨年より約2万6000人少ない約62万3000人にとどまり過去25年間で最低だった。

     タトゥー客の入場規制についてジャーナリストの斎藤貴男氏は「人権上問題がありやりすぎだ。排除された側の強い反発も予想され余計な騒動が増える」と話している

  • Mono_locco

    This is a stupid stereotype by people who are just stupid or dumb to see the real picture and or be openminded about their surroundings.
    So if I have a tatoo of like say…. a bird….does that automatically make me Yakuza or of some gang or dangerous lol. This people need a wake up call that not all people are like this just because of something that is similar to other bad people. I think usually people thinking like this are the old stubborn minded society that couldnt be bored to actually get to know the person before they judge them. Its sad to see Japan has these kind of places as there is alot of nice Japanese people out there who sometimes like us get bad wrap because of a few bad runs in with idiots who dont have a brain when it comes to comon sense and socialising.
    Whats next…..theyre gonna ban people looking different > <

  • Mono_locco

    This is a stupid stereotype by people who are just stupid or dumb to see the real picture and or be openminded about their surroundings.
    So if I have a tatoo of like say…. a bird….does that automatically make me Yakuza or of some gang or dangerous lol. This people need a wake up call that not all people are like this just because of something that is similar to other bad people. I think usually people thinking like this are the old stubborn minded society that couldnt be bored to actually get to know the person before they judge them. Its sad to see Japan has these kind of places as there is alot of nice Japanese people out there who sometimes like us get bad wrap because of a few bad runs in with idiots who dont have a brain when it comes to comon sense and socialising.
    Whats next…..theyre gonna ban people looking different > <

  • James

    Is this plain obvious or am I dumb… they say college students are smoking, then say they want to ban people with tats. Where’s the correlation?

  • Koutetsu

    Who said Japan was a free country? If people want to express themselves freely, they can go to America then. I am personally in favor for this ban. Sheesh, what ever happened to common decency?

  • Your_concubine

    What has common decency have to do with tattoos?

  • Mr. Friendly

    get rid of the tattooed asshole westerners from the beaches. i agree 100%. they look like fucking dated kooks anyway. be gone with you – go back to venice beach where you crawled out of some meth addicts asshole.

    if i see a westerner in the water with tatoos, expect my board to run your aho ass over! honto ni!

    and triple that for stupid baggy pants and fuzzy face, or strange hair color.

    expect an old fashion style beating if you dare show up at the beach with any strange piercings on your face. i’ll probably stick a fishing hook on your chest and toss off a pier and hope saba do more than take a nibble.

    fucking losers!

    geez!

  • DJEB

    Japanese legislators are so often so full of derp.

  • DJEB

    You were actually asked a very good question. What has common decency to do with tattoos? I recognise you have made an impossible to defend position, but have the common decency to deliver a mea culpa.

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