Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
Every December millions of Japanese households are burglarized by a foreign intruder in red. Maybe he is a communist. Do citizens need to be afraid? Nothing is stolen. In fact, just the reverse, booty is deposited directly in unsuspecting people’s homes, as if by magic. Should we report unexplained hordes to the police? What is the origin of the goods? I mean, do they violate the terms of the World Trade Agreement? Are they Fair Trade items? Do they conform to all relevant product codes? Maybe the burglar in red is a pedophile, since he has a known affinity for children. Will increased airport security, or heightened vigilance by police and neighborhood committees deter or capture him? Will he at least be identified by mandatory fingerprinting? Will stricter Customs and Immigration screening reveal his breaking-and-entering intentions? Are there enough surveillance cameras installed to catch him in the act? I doubt he even enters the country legally. Maybe group responsibility can be used to retard this individual by imposing a curfew on all foreigners throughout December. Is the intruder properly registered, or does he carry his passport? Rumor has it that he travels with large, non-native herbivores. Has the Ministry of Agriculture looked into the matter? Are protocols ready to screen for BSE and other livestock-borne diseases at this time of the year? Are his animals properly quarantined, examined and approved for entry to Japan? Does the man have a proper license to possess large animals as domestic pets in the first place? Will the Japan Animal Welfare Society or the International Humane Society investigate the use of animals as accessories to burglary? Finally, the burglar in red is known to operate a vehicle - a flying vehicle, no less - during his nocturnal rounds. Can the National Police confirm that it is properly registered and safely maintained?
I admit to losing sleep over it and plan to keep an all-night vigil on December 24th.