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  #1  
Old 12-07-2005, 12:39 PM
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Default Visiting Tokyo Detention Centre Information & Pictures

In june 2005 I have visted my dear friend Nick Baker in Tokyo Detention Centre (TDC). Nick is a British man and if you would like to read more about him go to www.justicefornickbaker.org.

TDC is located near to Ayase subway station (if you see the map of Tokyo it is up-left). TDC is situated in an outskirt of Tokyo where you also can enjoy. There are some good restaurants and even an internet cafť which is not so easy to find in Tokyo.
I stayed in Ayase Kukosai Hotel. The price for a single room is about 35 Euro and you have your own bathroom. The room is small but clean and contains everything you need. The staff of the hotel is very kind although most of them donít speak any English.



the hotel


a single room

From your hotel you can see the TDC and it takes about 20 minutes by foot to get there. Donít forget to take your water with you as you donít have any shade and it can be quite hot there.


Tokyo Detention from your hotel (please note I used the zoom on my camera)


TDC is the place where people are located if they are appealing against their sentence. There is even a Death Row on the 8th floor. Nick was also on this floor and told me that people are going sometimes insane there. He has been for over 3,5 years in solitary confinement. The conditions in Japanese prison are terrible but at TDC it is just a little better. But please know you are not far away from Hell on earth.


Tokyo Detention Centre


In Japanese prisons you are normally only allowed to visit or to receive letters if you are a close family member. For TDC the rules are different. Everyone is here allowed to visit somebody in detention. The rules are going to change probably next year for the Japanese prisons and inmates are then probably allowed to receive visits also from friend, but please know it this not official yet. You can visit every day from Monday to Friday and there are two shifts. In the morning it starts from 9.30 a.m. to 12 a.m. and in the afternoon it is from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. An inmate can receive each day one visit of maximum three people at one time.

If you come in via the gate you have to cross the parking place and you have to take the Ďbridgeí. See below.




When you come in, turn right and get yourself a visiting form. This is also available in English. Fill in the form and give this paper to one of the guards in the office. Also, donít forget to tell them that you need an English spoken visit!! All visits are together with a guard who will write everything down you are talking about. So they have to order a English spoken visit for you. You have to wait nearby the guardsí office as they will give you a ticket with an number. Each floor has their own color and for the eight floor you will get a blue ticket. You will see two numbers on it. The first one is the number of the floor and the second one is your visiting number. Go back to the waiting area and have a seat as it will take about 15 to 30 minutes until they announce your number on the TV screen. The TV screen is divided in two sections. Above are announced the visits for male inmates and below you will find the female inmates. If your number is on the TV screen turn right and pass the guards office and go to the visiting area. There are many lockers available so leave your purse here. You are allowed to take a notebook and a pencil or pictures with you. You will pass a metal detector and you need to show your visiting ticket and the key of your locker.
From here you have to walk to the elevators which will bring you to the floor where your relative is detained. I needed to go to the eight floor and it feels quite lonely as most of the times you will walk alone. When you arrive on the right floor donít forget to say hello to the guards in the office next to the elevator. Here you have to wait until your relative will be out of his cell. From here it doesnít take long anymore, about 5 minutes. They will tell you to which room you need to go. These visiting rooms are quite small and between you and your relative is bullet proof glass. There are three seats at your side and a desk. At his side he has a chair and at his left a guard will take place on his desk. The guard will write down everything you are talking about. But after a while you will simply forget him. I always said hello to him in Japanese as it is polite to do this but it also may help you and your relative to have a little more time. Visits are for Japanese people 10 minutes(!!!!!!) and for Western about 15 minutes. If you do come from abroad your relative can request for longer visits but they are maximum 30 minutes. Only if you are a close family member and you have done your request via the embassy you may stay one hour but please know this is an exception!
The guard will tell you five minutes before he ends your visit. When you leave the visiting room, please donít forget to thank the guard here for his time!!

If your relative left something for you to pick up you will get a ticket from the guard at that office on the same floor. So please make sure you will wait a moment if you want to get some stuff.

When your visit is over go back to the elevator, thank the guards in the office again and go downstairs. Give the guards at the entrance/exit your visiting ticket back and take your belongings at the locker with you.

At the entrance you will also find a shop where you can buy stuff for your relative. They have canned fish and fruit, fresh apples and oranges, all kind of sweets, chocolate, biscuits, crisps, blankets and cushions. You also may buy flowers here for your relative!!!!!! Yes you do read this very well!! The goodies here are here quite expensive but you donít have much choice. At this shop you need to fill in these forms in Japanese but the ladies at the shop are very helpful although they donít speak any English. You simply point to the goodies and they will write it down for you.

You also may take stuff with you for your relative. For example; you can take three books in one time with you, you may take clothes also maximum three pieces of the same kind of clothes; for example max three t-shirts in one time + three shorts in one time etc. News papers will be counted as a book so please make a choice what is most needed. As I said you also may pick up stuff. This means for example that you are allowed to wash the beddings of your relative!!! Just keep in mind that you donít use very smelly washing powder as this is not allowed and it will take about 3 to 5 working days before your relative gets it back. Probably due to their checking procedure.
If you want to bring/pick up some stuff please turn left and you will see three offices. Number one is to get stuff, number two to bring stuff and number four to put money on your relativeís bank account. For all these procedures you need to fill up forms. I do have these forms but not scanned yet. I will do this asap and on your request I can email the to you so you will know how to do that as these are only provided in Japanese.
It is good to know that office number one and two are working together so if there is only one que just go to number 2!!

Outside TDC there is also another shop from where you will be allowed to buy your relative some stuff. From here you can even order milk wich will be brought each day that you have ordered so the milk will remain cold. I heard that Apples and Oranges taste better from here. They also have much more choice. The prices here are also more conviened so keep that in mind. I also found out that the family who runs this shop is very, very kind and the lady does speak some english which can be very helpful.


the shop outside


In general, the guards are friendly to the visitors and will treat you with respect but unfortunately not many of them do speak English. Everything goes by the rules and please know, no one will make an exception for you as this is not the Japanese culture.

We also just found out that you are allowed to order a meal from a special organisation. You cannot order specific food even not a choice between fish and meat but the food tastes very good and is fresh. It is not cheap at all, but if you can afford it please order this once in a while. It will give your relative in TDC an extra boost to go on.

Furthermore it is very useful to get him/her a good cushion. These cushions are used to sit on each day. In TDC they don't have a chair, a desk or whatever. Just their beddings and their cushion. The beddings will be taken away during day time so this will mean he or she has to sit on a concrete floor which will give mayor back problems. These cushions can be bought in both shops. The inmates is only allowed to order stuff from the shop inside the prison!! So please keep this in mind if you want to buy him/her anything.

If you do have anymore questions, please feel free to ask me. For sure I have made several mistakes in my english but I hope I have been able to tell you about the visits and the rules I know about TDC.

Last edited by Nicoletta; 12-07-2005 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 12-07-2005, 06:11 PM
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Thanks Nicoletta, that is great!

What a good account and pictures, too!!

Rach x
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:32 AM
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Nicoletta, thanks for sharing !!!! Great pictures and great thread !!

Phil
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Old 12-08-2005, 02:46 PM
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Excellent post! Thank you very much for taking the time to share this with all of us.
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Old 12-09-2005, 01:32 PM
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thank you all for your kind messages. I hope it is a little clear and not to many mistakes.....hihihi
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Old 12-24-2005, 09:47 PM
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I thought that was a picture of one of the cells, and I was tripping out. :P

Peace be with you this christmas.
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:09 AM
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Here I am again....

As promissed I was going to tell you a little more about the special meals that can be ordered to have a little better meal.
If you want to have this meal you simply tell the guard that you want to have a "Bento meal". Bento means something as take away meal. This will cost you around 500 yen which is nearly $5. It is maybe expensive but very nutricious and tastes much better than the daily food in TDC.

I also want to tell you a little more about the beddings. TDC doesn't provides you good beddings. This means you need to buy them yourself. The reason why it is not good is that it is to short (they use the avarage size of a Japanese man) and most important too cold. It is very necessairy to buy yourself good beddings but this is quite expensive. It will cost you around $220!! There is no catalogue or picture available so it will not be possible to see it first.

During the wintertime it is also very cold in TDC. Not that cold as Chiba where you can get frostbite but it is still very cold. In Japan you can buy pocket stoves to keep at least your hands a little warm. These are very recommended for the inmates in TDC. Especially as they are not allowed to do excercises in their cell.

Well this is my update for now. Take care!
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:12 PM
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Thanks Nicoletta!
I heard about the frostbite - that is just beyond belief!
I know that this winter has been bad, but that is disgraceful.

Keep popping in as your info is always welcome!
Thanks,
Rach x
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Old 01-29-2006, 03:09 AM
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Yes Rachel, Frostbite is terrible. Nick is now moved to Fuchu and got Frostbite again !!!! The conditions in Fuchu are terrible. There are no heaters or airconditioning. Just for the guards...... Maybe only them can feel the cold and the heat?????????????????????????????

What he needs is to be moved to a heated cell, or at the very least, allowed to wear whatever clothing is necessary to protect him from the cold. Would this be special treatment? Absolutely. But special treatment for one person is the starting point for decent treatment for everyone.

The Japanese Government should be ashamed of treating his prisoners this way.
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Old 10-22-2006, 04:27 AM
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Thumbs up Thank you Nicoletta ;)

This is a very informative thread. Thank you very much. I'm hoping to go to Tokyo in a few weeks and visit my partner at the TDC. This has helped make me feel a bit more prepared. Could you please tell me the most important things you think would help someone at TDC as I don't think he will ask for anything so I want to just get him some things. I know you mentioned a cushion, bedding and bento meals. Can you think of anything else? Also, can you please email me the forms you mentioned? Email address removed - please PM member Many thanks
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:48 AM
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Default Very informative

After reading this thread, it releases some of my tension for knowing more about the details. However, the information was in 2005. Any person can update the current condition?
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