Paul McCartney banned to enter Japan

November 1975

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From The Guardian, November 12, 1975

What happened about the trip to Japan that was cancelled when the Japanese authorities let them in due to an old wouldn’t dope smoking offence?

“It was the Minister of Justice’s fault. I suppose he’d say it was my fault for having smoked some of the deadly weed. But we had our visas signed by the London Japanese Embassy. Everything had been cleared, David Bailey was coming over to do a film and we were in Australia, just about a week out from going to Japan when a little note arrived saying sorry, the Japanese Minister of Justice says No.

“They’re still old-fashioned out there. There’s a generation gap and the wrong end of the gap is in the Ministry of Justice, as it is here.

“The older folks see a great danger in allowing in an alien who has admitted smoking marijuana, and supposedly they’re trying to stamp it out, using all the wrong methods as usual.”

Did Paul feel angry about being barred? 

“Oh Yeah, bit over the top. It was just one of those things, but we felt a bit sick about it. It’s so short-sighted.”

Paul McCartney – From interview with Melody Maker, March 27, 1976

Last updated on August 6, 2023

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