January 21, 2008

How to escape and stay illegally in Japan

A Chinese man managed to walk out of the Osaka International Airport without being noticed. This is how easy for a person to sneak back into Japan.

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JT) OSAKA — A Chinese man went out of Kansai International Airport near Osaka earlier this month by going through a restricted area of the facility without drawing any attention, sources familiar with the matter said Sunday.

As the case involved lax security, police have requested that Kansai International Airport Co and Japan Airlines Co — the operator of a plane the man was to board to leave for home — take measures to prevent such an incident from happening again, they said.

The 28-year-old man, who was to leave Japan after working as a trainee, has told the police that he fled the airport because he wanted to work in Japan longer, they said. On the morning of Dec 14, he was seen off at the terminal building of the airport by an official of the company that had accepted him in Japan, they said.

He then went through embarkation procedures and passed through a boarding gate for a JAL airplane bound for Dalian, northeastern China, at around 9:40 a.m. and began to cross the boarding bridge to the plane, they said.

But he instead got off the bridge by going through an unlocked door and down a stairway, the sources said.

He entered a restricted area on the ground but was not spotted by a security guard who was positioned just below the bridge, they said.

The man walked through the restricted area for more than 500 meters and left the airport through a checking gate shortly before 10 a.m. without being stopped by any guard, the sources said.

Around the same time, authorities discovered the man was missing and began a search for him mobilizing more than 100 police officers.

Shortly after noon, the company official talked with the man by phone and found he left the airport island by railway to the mainland, they said.

The man turned himself in to the police that night and he was arrested on suspicion of immigration law violation, but he was later released without being charged and left Japan on Thursday on another JAL plane, they said.

JAL admitted that the door, which crew members often use, was left unlocked but said it has now made it a rule not to unlock the door without an employee being present.

The airport operator on the other hand has said it will reinforce security at the airport.