I am a college student traveling to Japan in the next 6 weeks for the new semester and wanted to post this cause I believe the information floating around to be a little contradictory and at times insufficient.
What I would like to know is this:
Is Japanese Customs as rigorous about checking external hard drives for content as the US has become lately?
I just researched it and while statistically rare there have been a lot of people lately who have been screwed over at customs from laptop and hard drive searches where the 4th Amendment has no bearing.
In my particular instance I will not be bringing my old laptop with me as I plan on purchasing a new one upon arriving to Japan, so no problem there. However I have a total of SIX external hard drives; 5 TB desktop externals and a 500GB desktop external, all of which are LOADED with stuff. Pictures, Music, Video ( Movies etc ) you name it, these drives are a compendium of my life for the past few years.
My primary concern is do Japanese Customs copy or confiscate hard drives like Customs in the US does? I am not trying to infer that I have anything illegal on my drives, but I find it rather frightening that Customs here can arbitrarily copy your most important and perhaps intimate digital belongings due to " probable cause " and wanted to know if I could potentially be hassled by Customs there for this reason. I am sure the chances of being bothered with an inspection are lower when you only have a single drive, but even though I will carry no computer with me I'm thinking that having 6 hard drives on me might seem a bit conspicuous to people who are looking for things out of the ordinary.
Any Advice or personal experience with this?
Everyone's input and experiences are very much appreciated!