Americans in danger in Tokyo!!

This is too choice! In the safest city in the world, the US Embassy is now warning Americans to stay away from Roppongi. This story was circulating widely on Twitter yesterday, and I laughed out loud. Based on the photo above, I guess the warning only applies to Americans (^_-)

From Kosins Attorney at Foreign Law blog, I must quote the entire post:

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo reissued its July 10, 2009 warning advising American citizens from frequenting bars and clubs in the Roppongi area of Tokyo due to drink-spiking incidents. As stated in the American Citizenship Services (ACS) Newsletter, the U.S. Embassy “continues to receive reliable reports of U.S. citizens being drugged in Roppongi-area bars.”

The U.S. Embassy continues to receive reliable reports of U.S. citizens being drugged in Roppongi-area bars. Most reports indicate that the victim unknowingly drinks a beverage that has been secretly mixed with a drug that renders the victim unconscious or stuporous for several hours, during which time large charges are fraudulently billed to the victim, sums of money are charged to the victim’s credit card, or the card is stolen. Victims sometimes regain consciousness in the bar or club, while at other times the victim awakens on the street. Assaults on Americans have also been reported in connection with drink-spiking.

U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security.

I have been invited to talk at a well-known cultural space/bar next week in Roppongi. Do you think I should only invite Japanese and Europeans?

Municipal election noise

Tokyo municipal election noise

This Sunday, July 12, is Tokyo’s municipal elections. While I guess I believe democracy is a good thing and Japanese campaigns are relatively short, I will be happy for the loudspeakers to be turned off. In Nakano, they always campaign near the Metro stations, either with a small mobile set-up, or in a large “bus boat” that has an open area in the back and even a roof area for more loud shouting.

This particular event was especially loud: first I heard the noise, then I saw six riot police buses, many cops on the street, black limousines, and then the bus boat. My consolation was enjoying all the super-serious SP (special police) officers with their ear phones, dorky cords, and stone-cold expressions.

Municipal election Special Police

And the curious sight of so many riot police vehicles. What trouble were they expecting, or was it just to show-off?

Municipal election Riot Police