The Tokyo police film

The Beatles in Tokyo, 1966.

It certainly looks like the police making security films around rock concerts was in vogue in 1966. So far we’ve seen police films around the Munich, Essen and Hamburg concerts of The Beatles, and now it seems we’re in for a Tokyo police film as well.

In a news story from Japan Times, it is reported that a group of fans lost a battle to release such a film uncensored. The police wanted to blur everyone’s faces, except for the Beatles themselves, before releasing the film.

Here are some quotes from the news story:

The superfans took their battle for the film — recorded by police as a security measure — all the way to the Supreme Court, arguing it was a “historical document.”

Police had offered to release the footage, reportedly about 35 minutes long, but only after blurring the faces of everyone in the film except the Beatles, citing privacy reasons.

Two lower courts backed the police against a group of citizens from Nagoya who wanted the entire film released uncensored, saying it would be almost impossible to identify people in the footage more than 50 years later.

But the long and winding legal battle ended last week when the Supreme Court rejected their argument, the group announced.

A lawyer for the group seeking the footage said it would have huge historical significance for Beatles enthusiasts.

“It is a document that should be made available from a historical standpoint,” lawyer Satoshi Shinkai told the Asahi Shimbun daily.

This news story made headlines in Japan, helped by the fact that Paul McCartney is currently holding four concerts in the country.

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