WORLD PRESS RELEASE
FOR GENERAL RELEASE
1200 h, 14 November, 1989
WORLD CITIZEN GARRY DAVIS TWICE REFUSED PERMISSION
TO LEAVE JAPAN BY JAPANESE IMMIGRATION
Immigration "Advises" China Airlines Not To Issue Davis Boarding Pass;
Tells The World Coordinator To Report To Otemachi as "Alien"
TOKYO--At Haneda Airport Monday evening, Garry Davis, armed with his World Passport, presented himself for departure for the second time on China Airlines Flight 018 for Honolulu The Japan Airlines official, representing the Taiwan airline, informed the World Coordinator, that Japanese Immigration officials had "advised" them not to issue a boarding pass. When Davis protested that as a private carrier, it was not obligated to obey an "advice" from immigration but was only concerned with whether the passenger could disembark, the official said that the so-called advice was tantamount to an order.
Immigration officials at the airport once again "advised" Davis to report to the Otemachi headquarters of Immigration as they claimed that as an "alien" he "overstayed" a 90 day tourist visa.
Davis' original Japanese 90 day visa was affixed on a U.S. passport the State Department had declared "invalid" two years prior. The department, however, made no attempt either to retrieve the passport or to prosecute Davis for having obtained it. Davis returned the passport to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on 8 March this year.
"The issue raised by this absurd situation is fundamental to people everywhere," Davis said from his Nakano office today. "It concerns the freedom of political choice as well as the right to travel. Both are sanctioned by articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"Since the Immigration Department is now caught in a dilemma in that it doesn't know how to cope with an individual who claims to be a world citizen, it has irresponsibly passed the buck to China Airlines. I reject categorically this arbitrary and feckless decision, a collusion between China Airlines and Japanese Immigration. In 1984, the same Immigration refused me entry into Japan because I was identified only with the World Passport. Today, it prevents me from leaving knowing I am still identified with the same passport! The irrationality is manifest.
"Furthermore, to arbitrarily refuse me permission to leave is to violate the right of freedom of travel which our passport alone represents. I cannot concede that Emperor Akihito himself accepts such a fundamental violation by his lower level officials. Another irony is that we have been issuing this passport for over 6 months from our Nakano office to residents of Japan already in alleged violation of immigration laws in order for them to remain here. Now that the Immigration Department is forcing me to remain here, does that mean that all others who have our passport can also remain in Japan indefinitely?"
Davis intends to inform the Emperor by letter of this latest development. If he does not receive confirmation from the Immigration Departure of his right to leave Japan within the next 48 hours, he intends to present himself at the Imperial Palace to await a decision from His Imperial Majesty.
"I must be in Toronto the weekend of the 25th for a meeting with organizers of the forthcoming World Government Constitutional Convention in Christchurch, September 18," Davis said today. "Both the Emperor and all members of the lower house of the Diet have been informed of this historic event. Though I sincerely regret this decision, it appears that I am obliged to force the issue by appealing to the highest authority in Japan" (Letters appended)