The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Suspicious Character

The rather strange looking building in the background of this image is the Prime Minister of Japan‘s official residence known as the Kantei. Shortly after taking this image and waiting around for others where the suited office workers crossed a frame that included the full apex of the roof of Prime Minister Noda’s house (a mistake I put down to the cold), I was questioned by four(ish) policemen as to what exactly I thought I was doing.

Actually is was slightly less aggressive than I make it sound due to the fact that the police first followed me down the road a while talking into radios and trying to look like they were not following me down the street. I (and they) was also being shadowed by several secret service personnel, also talking into radios, who had earlier positioned themselves strategically along the road. Only when everyone was in place did two officers run up to stand in front and behind me and stop me moving. Other uniformed men stood further up and down the street, next to the secret service to block any escape.

It was fun to watch this all happen, fun to see the necessary security operation swing into action for me and my little camera even though the place is visible from the road and the almost en suite metro station they still didn’t like that I had lingered. Tried to explain about stock imagery and the need to get some foreground interest, showed them the pics I had taken which due to the grey day and the slight intimidation had felt taking them (I knew I was probably going to get stopped) were not that impressively great. Anyway a fun day out and certainly a bit more polite than I would probably have been treated in the UK even if it was all a bit hyperbolic and least the cops could get a bit of a adrenaline in their day.

Busy with image request related to the Tohoku tsunami and earthquake at the moment, going to get busier to I think as the first anniversary of March 11th comes round.

Later Damon


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