WORLD PRESS RELEASE
FOR GENERAL RELEASE
1900 h, 18 November, 1989
WORLD CITIZEN GARRY DAVIS RECEIVES MANDATE FROM IMPERIAL HOUSEHOLD TO SEEK REDRESS FROM IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT AT OTEMACHI
TOKYO -- What should a World Citizen do in Japan when the Ministry of Justice refuses to grant him permission to leave the country? Garry Davis, a stateless person, has a passport issued by the World Service Authority - which he himself founded in 1954 - based on the human right to "...leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country," which is art. 13(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Japan's Immigration Department doesn't recognize the global document though many other countries have affixed their visas on many of the over 350,000 already issued.
Twice refused to board a China Airlines flight to Honolulu by Immigration officials at Haneda Airport, Davis appealed to Emperor Akihito for His Majesty's intervention, even presenting himself Friday in front of the palace gates with world flag and sign reading "World Citizen Claiming Freedom of Travel Right." Palace police quickly intervened. It was against the law to petition His Majesty, they told the World Citizen. Davis replied that as he was already outside the law anyway, having no visa, he was obliged to appeal to the only authority above the civic codes for his sovereign intervention.
This morning, however, in a telephone conversation with a lower echelon member of the Imperial Household who refused to reveal either his name or rank, Davis was informed that His Majesty - to whom Davis presented an honorary World Passport on Novermber 14th by letter - had no power to intervene in his behalf. He was directed by the same official then to expose his grievances to Immigration officials at Otemachi. Davis revealed that he would be leaving Japan Monday, November 20 for Los Angeles from Narita Airport and that twice before the same Immigration had prevented his departure. The official again referred him to Immigration headquarters.
On Monday at 9 a.m., Davis will see Y. Shibata, a hearing officer at Immigration Hdqts in Otemachi, and present his World Passport.
At 5 p.m. he hopes to be aboard United Airlines Flight 090 bound for Los Angeles.... with his World Passport in hand. If so, it will be because Immigration permitted him to leave with that global document, another small victory for freedom of travel which itself is gaining acceptance in many other nations throughout the "global village."