Why would YOU help Michael Q Todd out of Prison ?
All helps. Money or sharing or . . .
Have your say :-)
Do not worry I read the stuff on Ecademy that you wrote telling people not to make donations for a lawyer when I was falsely imprisoned. I know exactly what you think of people like me
Mit dem Hinweis . . . "Stuff on Ecademy" . . . bezieht sich die Entität augenscheinlich auf DIESEN Blog. Inwieweit sich hinter dem Account tatsächlich ein gewisser Michael Q Todd befindet, der diese Behauptung aufgestellt hat, kann ich nicht mit Sicherheit sagen, da im Internet so Einiges möglich scheint. Da jedoch die erhobene Behauptung geeignet ist, die ursprüngliche - und von vielen Kommentatoren auch so angesehene - gute Absicht ins Gegenteil zu verkehren und damit meinen Ruf im Internet zu schädigen, sehe ich mich zu diesem Statement veranlasst.
Der 'echte' Michael Q Todd ist - unter Nachweis seiner realen Existenz - hiermit zur gelegentlichen Stellungnahme aufgefordert.
All easy to answer 1. I tried to give them back the card when I left Japan in Nov 2010 but they said I should keep it as I was coming back to Japan soon 2. Yoriko was told about the money after it was raised 3. Do not know about all that but they accepted my application for an extension to my visa and it has now been granted. As with many immigration procedures it is very much a case by case situation I think
Dear Michael, I am so relieved and delighted to hear from you!!!! While I was saddened and concerned thinking about what you must have gone through and then filled with joy at being able to say "Congratulations" to you both!!!! Welcome back friend and hope you could feel the love and support from all of us. Cheers, Sadie
Hi guys 1. I have never overstayed as I have a "live" application for an extension to my visa application. There is nothing in the rules to say that visitor visas cannot be extended it is just not normally done. My passport was stolen and I could have perhaps been carrying the receipt for my extension application if I had thought to. I was carrying my ARC which was to expire on Dec 2012. You will note that the new Zairyu cards expire on the same date as the visa to avoid confusion with the 2 different dates that the ARCs brought. I missed a "reporting date" in Tokyo because Immigration sent a letter to an old address and never emailed me as they had agreed to do. So their computer told the Police my period of stay had elapsed. Thus the confusion and the investigation. It is getting cleared up but the wheels of Justice move carefully and slowly. I have another hearing about this on Nov 22 as the case officer from the Tokyo immigration office never turned up in Osaka for the one next week. Basically I was being held waiting for that hearing but have now been released. 2. Yeah I intend returning the money to those who want it and will pay pal it back so if some of you have donated please be patient. I will need to gather email addresses for 120 or so people. I have zero idea why my fiancee or I were never consulted about it. Just good intentions from my concerned friends I guess and no harm done. It seems to have created quite a hornet`s nest as access to exact was difficult as you can neither telephone nor be telephoned not even write letters while being investigated by Police 3. Eido I never intended to do any interpreting voluntary or otherwise. My wife was going to do some. As a volunteer. Neither of us were ever going to be paid anything. We were sent train fares (which was volunteered by them never asked for) but this money has been returned to the Canadian documentary company some time ago.Unfortunately they failed to say that in their You Tube vid so I will get that sorted out 4. I do do some social media related work but online and pay tax in New Zealand (we have a reciprocal agreement with Japan). Lots of people are getting paid from work done in other countries while on visitor visas in Japan. As you have suggested who would be stupid enough to go to Taiji or work in Japan without a valid visa. Hope that this clears a few things up but am happy to answer any other questions. Michael
Here it is...hope it works. https://www.facebook.com/michaelqtodd/posts/10151122638928710 It is the first post on his FB account at the moment. That account is being monitored/updated by someone who has direct contact with him and whom it appears Michael has asked to keep his account information updated " MQT Volunteer" Cheers
Hi Andreas. Wanted to share this in the event no one else saw the post on FB. Here is another way to help Michael if you wish: "MQT- Parcels: Books, Magazines, no CD's or DVD's Address: YOU MUST include his nationality. So... Micheal Todd (Nationality: New Zealand) 1-29-53 Nankokita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu 559-0034 JAPAN BOOK REQUESTS: MQT response- "if you like it, let me give it a try. I got time on my hands." MQT Volunteer
I started reading the updates to the indigogo page, starting from the bottom (oldest) http://www.indiegogo.com/SaveMQTodd?c=activity I got as far as this: "Michael knew his Japanese visitor's visa was going to expire and Yoriko reports that he had applied for an extension. After his arrest, she discovered that the extension had not been processed. She has referenced a legal change to the process. Michael was not aware of this problem until she met with him in jail on September 25, 2012." Before I stopped. Enough B.S. Some points: 1. A Vistor's Visa (sometimes called a "Tourist Visa") is a slang term. The correct term for it is "Temporary Visitor Landing Permission". They are up to 3 months long (sometimes less than 15 days for some non-G20 countries). This is what you get stamped in your passport when you arrive from a "visa-exempt" country like the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, U.K., etc. without doing any visa paperwork or application prior to arriving. 2. This is the "visa" you get when you visit Japan on holiday, for overseas office business meeting(s), conferences, tours, etc. You are expected to stay in hotels... or if you're a budget traveller, perhaps at a friend or family's home. You are not supposed to do anything that would resemble either being a "resident" or "worker" in Japan. 3. Contrary to what the update on the new indiegogo update page says, "visitor visas" CAN NOT be "renewed" or "extended" (with one one-time special rare exception *, see below) as that defeats the purpose of them being "temporary". While it is possible to change from a temp landing permit to a spousal visa, this would not be possible for his situation even if he had just married his fiance; qualifying for a spousal visa requires at decent history under your belt to prove it's not a sham marriage for the purpose of a visa. 4. Illegals sometimes try to avoid becoming an "overstayer" on a temp landing permits and get around the fact that you can't renew them by doing what's called a "visa run". A "visa run" is when you leave Japan near the expiration date of your landing permit, flying (sometimes ferry) to a cheap neighboring country (usually Korea or Taiwan) for a day trip or weekend, then return to get a brand new 90-day temp landing permit, resetting the clock. This is not permitted. 5. "Visa runs" were common in the eighties and early nineties, but with the advance of immigration digitalization and computers, it's much easier to catch it at the border. Japanese immigration computers known when you leave and enter Japan (regardless of the stamps in your passport; they also record your fingerprints and digital photo for logging entrance/exits), and they red flag people whose entrance/exit pattern looks like a "visa runner": if they have a long-Japan-stay + very-short-Japan-leave + long-Japan-stay pattern over a few cycles. I do not believe that police in Taiji caught MQ doing a Visa Run, as determining a visa run by looking at a passport (or calling immigration to check current status if they have no passport/Residency Card on them from a patrol car or police station) is relatively difficult you have to look at all the stamps and do mental arithmetic and sorting figuring out all the date ranges and patterns. Most people who are caught doing visa runs are caught at the border due to immigration computers having access to your digital history and are simply denied reentry into Japan and sent on the next flight back home. It may have been possible that MQ was indeed also guilty of Visa Running, but they most likely got him because either his SoR (status of residence) and/or his temporary landing permit had expired, making him an "overstayer". It's a simple matter for an officer to confirm that one is here past the date they're permitted to stay. Anyway, one thing is not in doubt: it is not possible to "renew" or "extend" a "Visitor's Visa" aka "Tourist Visa" aka Temporary Landing Permit. And nobody that actually lives and/or works in Japan should ever have this status. It is not a status for bone-fide residents. FWIW, I first met MQ in Japan in 2008. At one time, he may have been legal. I doubt he is now though. * In theory, it's possible for a very well-off person who can show the means and motive to afford to vacation in Japan for longer than 90 days to double the temporary landing permit expiration date exactly one (and no more) time, making their "temporary" landing last a maximum of 180 days (almost half a year). If you can demonstrate that you have the financial means and the leisure ability to sightsee and perform tourism in the very expensive country of Japan without working for over three months, you may be eligible for an extension. I've never met anybody that qualified for this.
Thanks for the informative background to this dilemma, Andreas. Michael seems a very personable guy who infects others with his personality and worthy endeavours. Whatever the facts, we ought to try to do *something* to help Michael. I'm not qualified to know what that something is, but the support and commentary on EA as well as informative blogs like this help us to progressively get a better handle on things, and hopefully work out the best solution for Michael.
Hello. Quick comment about the facts and some misunderstood terminology by the original fundraiser site: 1. Michael Q Todd is a New Zealander, not an Australian. 2. People initially enter Japan with a visa, then they receive a "Status of Residence" (SoR) if they live there (are not a tourist on a 90-day "temporary landing permit"). "Visa-exempt countries" like Australia and New Zealand are only applicable for short-term stays as a non-resident. 3. Some SoRs allow you to work (Instructor, Engineer, Journalist etc), some don't (Student, Homemaker etc). Working for no-money pro-bono (like the Canadian documentary) group is still considered "work". 4. All Status of Residences (SoRs), which the exception of Permanent Residency, have a expiration date. Usually 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, or (rarely) 5 years. If they are not renewed and you stay, you are called an "overstayer" (nice word for "illegal alien"). 5. If you overstay for one month or less and immediately report it, they will "slap your wrist" and rectify the situation usually. They will NOT do this if a) over one month, b) overstaying in combination with a crime, or c) prior record of immigration problems 6. When you apply for renewal of a SoR, a stamp is affixed in your passport saying that your renewal is in process. This allows you to stay in Japan even past the SoR expiration date until your application is approved. Contrary to what the indiegogo site says, there is no "paperwork" to misplace or "documents" to lose ... if he had his passport (or ARC / Alien Registration Card or Residency Card). 7. All foreign residents, by law, are required to have either their ARC/Residency card OR their passport on them at all times. You are educated as to this law when you obtain a SoR. This doesn't seem to apply to MQ, as the indiegogo site says he had his passport (which is unusual... most foreigners in Japan carry their credit card sized ARC which is more durable and compact day to day in their wallet rather than their passport which they could damage or lose) 8. Unlike what the indiegogo page says, MQ will not really have a choice of country to go to. He will be deported to the country he's a citizen of (New Zealand) on a one way straight flight as early as possible. Shopping for a discounted fare etc will not be possible. He will be required to pay for his own deportation (flight). A non-discounted, not-bought-in-advance one way ticket can be expensive. If he does not have cash they will make him use his credit cards. 9. There will be little need for a legal lawyer representation or anything. Once you're in Ibaraki immigration detention center, odds are very high that you will be deported. There is no habeas corpus for illegal immigration because being sent back to the country you're a citizen of is technically not considered to be a "punishment". There are points in the process to make your case and protest and ask for special permission/exception, but that's it. Whether you agree with this or not isn't the point; that's how it is. There are exceptions for cases like refugees. New Zealanders, though, aren't really eligible for refugee status. 10. He will be banned from reentering Japan for FIVE (5) years, not 7 like the indiegogo site says. If this is his second violation it will be 10 years. And even after 5 years, he will be scrutinized very carefully, and he may need a visa even though he's from a visa-free country. His fingerprints will be recorded so he can't enter under a different passport / name. What MQ will need is not money for a lawyer. He basically needs money to return home and restart his life in his native country from scratch. Most likely, he was caught "overstaying" when police checked IDs at Taiji, which they have the legal right to do without needing cause. Being in Taiji with groups that have a history of trespassing, MQ should've known that police would be checking IDs. The group, as well as MQ, should have been aware of the dangers of being in Japan doing controversial work without proper residency status. Foreign residents in Japan are well educated towards the risk of residing with expired/improper status in Japan. It's a popular topic. MQ is a nice guy. I know him and have met him on numerous occasions. I feel for him. He messed up, though, and there's basically not any amount of money (or lawyering) that will fix this. I'm sorry he messed up his life in Japan. Whether you want to give money to him is your choice. But I thought you should know the facts re Japanese deportation before you commit money to his organization.
This is what the internet was created for really Andreas - wider community and sharing and enlightenment. That's really what makes it the eight wonder of the world. I do hope they can sort this out - as a global world - we need to start producing standards for decency that are internationally transferable. On a totally unrelated note - I recently met someone who's Dad was bodyguard to Kate Bush for years. Yes - she is a great person away from the camera and the media too (as I'd always suspected)..
The cause that MQT was/is involved in is just, so that alone is a fine reason to help. But he is one of our wider community, so that's another reason. But it's a personal choice. Andreas did well to bring his plight to our notice, not to invite debate but to enable those who wish to help to do so. As William said, it's a no brainer, really. PKP
Two questions to answer here: 1) How would you hope that others would respond if you found yourself in a similar situation? 2) Is there a good reason not to help Michael? I don't know Michael, but he seems a good-hearted sort of chap, the story seems real, looks like he's made a fairly minor cock-up that could destroy his life as he knows it, and that of his fiancee. Who would you turn to, if you'd made a small but devastating error of judgement?
I find it a bit confusing...and no real facts The details Jackie Bigford, Social Media Strategist, has put on the indiegogo site don't make sense to me, combined with postings on his facebook page I'm not really sure what to make of it When we had visa issues recently with my mother in Germany we openly approached the authorities immediately when we found out and they were very helpful even though we had not done the right thing Hope it works out well for Michael and his family around him Sigrid
@Lucas.. You are an amazing source on information on so many topics!! Thank you for sharing! Thanks also for your recommendation "I think that we have to let the Australian Embassy in Tokyo do its job!" Based on some of the information I have seen, part of the request for donation is to 'help with legal fees' - as one of the options outlined is for the Australian Embassy in Tokyo is to provide a list of local lawyers...with the understanding they must be paid, and any loan by the Tokyo government would be subject to re-payment prior to being released. Correct? Just checking. On another note, I thought he was from Christ Church in New Zealand. I guess I heard that when they had the big earthquake there. Not sure it makes much of a difference in how things are handled? Also, I believe he has a daughter who lives in Japan as well as a fiancé and family who are from Japan and live there. I am sure he is in good hands but it must be a bit scary nonetheless. .
Dear Andreas, Thank you so much for your great blog and for sharing! As far as I know Michael Q Todd is an Australian citizen! The task of the Australian Embassy is to provide Michael with legal assistance: What we can and cannot do We can: in medical emergencies, provide lists of local doctors and hospitals and assistance in arranging a medical evacuation (at your expense) if required in the event of war, civil unrest or natural disaster, provide current information and assistance in arranging an evacuation if appropriate and subject to the state of disruption of communications and transport on the ground provide advice and support in the case of an accident, serious illness or death. We will also ensure nominated contacts are informed (if you give your consent, except in the case of a death where consent is not required) assist victims of serious crimes, including by arranging for nominated contacts to be informed (if you give your consent) assist if you are arrested overseas, by visiting or contacting you and by arranging for your family to be informed (if you give your consent). We also seek to ensure that you are treated fairly under the laws of the country in which you have been arrested provide lists of local lawyers assist in cases of missing persons assist with arranging a replacement passport if yours has expired or been lost, stolen or damaged (fees apply) assist you to contact relatives or friends for help with money or tickets provide small emergency loans in genuine emergency situations. (Note: Any financial assistance we may provide will generally be in the form of a loan, which is made on the basis of a signed, legal undertaking to repay in full. You may also be required to surrender your passport and you may not be issued with a replacement until the debt is repaid.) provide notarial services including witnessing and authenticating documents and administering oaths and affirmations (fees apply) provide travel advisories as one source of input to inform your travel plans provide the opportunity for you to register your travel details with us so that we can try to make contact in case of emergency provide voting facilities for federal and some state and territory elections assist with contact details of government authorities in Australia in the event of pension or social security payment difficulties. I think that we have to let the Australian Embassy in Tokyo do its job! Have a great and happy Friday! Best Lucas