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Knife carry in Asian countries?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Moshe ben David, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    There's a possibility that I may be making a trip out to Asia in the sorta near future. Taiwan for sure (seeing in-laws....); unlikely but possible I'd try to squeeze side trips into one or more others.

    Japan I know is quite strict about knife carrying. Which in a way, considering history and culture is a bit surprising. But there you have it.

    I'd predict HK and Singapore are also strict.

    Although years ago when I lived and worked in Asia, I ALWAYS had some sort of SAK in my pocket - it was an old Wenger model and I don't recall what it was. Doesn't matter.

    Any feedback for the following places would be helpful; thanks all y'all!

    1) Taiwan
    2) China'
    3) Thailand
    4) Vietnam
    5) Singapore
    6) HK
    7) S. Korea

    No, I'm not planning a 'grand tour'! Would be fun, but not in the cards... Just figured since I'm asking I'd try to grab as much info as I can!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  2. That Movie Guy

    That Movie Guy Loaded Pockets

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    I spent two weeks touring China and Hong Kong for my honeymoon. I wasn't as much of an EDC fanatic as I am now but I still made sure to always have a little something on me. In this case that meant my first multitool, my tried and true, trusty-rusty Gerber Clutch.

    [​IMG]

    I didn't generally have to many reasons to use it out in public so there were no hassles along the way. However, if you're planning to visit the Forbidden City in Beijing be ready for a security check with a pocket dump. They said nothing about the Clutch but they wanted my mini bic lighter. The screening is done for explosives. Other than that, I advise following the less-is-more philosophy of carry and just using a little common sense. Otherwise, enjoy your time it's a beautiful place with wonderful people.

    Pro tip: Most hotels you stay in will have a breakfast buffet. Actual brewed coffee is scarce, so be prepared to line up for it. Instant coffee is the norm there. Also, avoid the traditional western-style breakfasts. There will be a station serving up simple noodles in a nice soothing broth. Breakfast of champions!
     
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  3. rdisom

    rdisom Loaded Pockets

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    I traveled to China 3 times over the past 2 years. I packed a Skeletool in my checked bag on each trip, along with some other tools. I was advised not to carry it when taking a train down to Shenzhen, as well as when taking the ferry over to Gulangyu from Xiamen. Both when boarding the train and the ferry, there was a thorough inspection of my bag. The ferry x-ray picked up a Leatherman in my friends bag, but when they opened only the pliers, they let him go with the tool. I also flew locally from Xiamen to Nanchang and then to Tianjin. I only carried a backpack on all of those trips, and left the Skeletool at my hotel. I carried the Skeletool clipped to my front pocket every other minute in China. I walked and travelled all around Xiamen, both the island and mainland at all hours of the day and night without any problems.
     
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  4. Davidka

    Davidka Loaded Pockets

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    All these stories of what you guys did don't matter to the law. You might have broken the law and got away with it, Moshe might choose his luck as well but to know if you are breaking the law or not you'll have to do some googling. "China knife law" then "Taiwan knife law" etc.

    Don't forget to update us on your findings!

    Have a safe trip and Lechayim!
     
  5. Bad Company

    Bad Company Loaded Pockets

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    Just don't .
     
  6. FLbeachbum

    FLbeachbum Loaded Pockets

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    Since we're gathering info could someone with experience (preferably recent) in Japan explain their knife laws? I was in Japan several years ago and carried a small multitool in my bag with no problems. I don't remember ever taking it out of my bag in public though.

    That was before I got into edc. It never occured to me at that time that something as simple as a pocket knife could get some people so worked up that there could actually be laws about it.

    I had another trip planed to Japan coming up in April that was cancelled by the person going with me. It may be back on now as a solo trip.
    I've always carried a SAK when I travel. Mostly to tighten screws in glasses and camera equipment and to open packages. Would this type of knife or a Swisstool really be an issue packed in checked luggage? I like to carry the Swisstool for its better quality and extra tools but it is kind of pricey and I don't want to lose it to security.
     
  7. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    I think you are right about "not taking what you read on the internet as good fish", but I hold Moshe,s judgement in a higher regard than to expect that from him. Even if you read the laws concerning knives, there's often more to laws than what you can read in a pinch. How laws are interpreted and enforced can play a big role in how you could or should behave.

    I could use my own country, Norway, as an example since most of you are not from here, and might not have been here at all.

    First of all, it's a mess. Several laws directly or indirectly affects what you can do with a knife.
    The laws as written (if you can find them all) seems pretty straight forward, and could even be interpreted as quite liberal. In reality though, it's all very mushy. As I understand, laws in the U.S. are very explicit, while laws around here leaves very much to the common sense of the police officer enforcing it.
    The problem with our approach is that you never really know. Common sense is not equally distributed, so where you are and who you meet plays a large part in what you're rights are. You never really know. Another problem with interpreted laws are that their meaning change with the society and political climate around us. With urbanization we see knives, weapons and "dangerous things" in general loosing their cultural foothold, and as more and more people view these items as treaths rather that tools, we se a slow and steady shift toward stricter interpretation over time.
    What's truly sad is that it undermines the concept of equality. While a person in one part of the country can open carry a large fixed blade in front of the police without reaction, another poor fellow in another part of the country can be prosecuted if a random search reveals a SAK in his backpack.

    I'm sure there are more countries around the world that are just as much of a legal morass as ours, or worse.
    If you want to come here, I can tell you how to bring a knife and be safe, but you'll be hard pressed to acquire that knowledge from the law books. Or Google.
     
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  8. garza

    garza Loaded Pockets

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    Depends on the jurisdiction in the US by state, county and city. New York City police used a wrist fleck to open a knife to determine if it were an illegal gravity knife. The ordinance has been changed and a case is pending in federal courts which overturned the law.

    My state has a statewide law unlike New York and NYC which allows me to carry almost any knife. Even the few location restrictions allow a blade less than 5 inches.
     
  9. neo71665

    neo71665 Loaded Pockets

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    A lot of american laws are also worded up in the air to the officer at the scene. They leave loop holes where the officer can pretty much interpret it to their desire at the time. In arkansas we are legal to carry a sword if we so wish as long as we "don't intend to commit a crime". All the police gotta say is they have reasonable doubt. Pull you over for speeding and if they don't like you can lock you up because you were armed (pocket knife) while committing a crime. Yes I know somebody that spent the night in jail just like that.
     
  10. nursetim 40

    nursetim 40 Loaded Pockets

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    Leatherman raptor will be safe, but cutting your steak could be awkward, but doable. Get an indestructible umbrella and you are golden.
     
  11. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    All y'all: I do appreciate the feedback.

    I'm not exactly a noobie when it comes to Asia. Have lived/worked out there (Taiwan, HK, Macau, China, Singapore, S. Korea) for 9 + years. Plus travel in Japan. BUT. I haven't been back out there in over 20 years now... :( and just like here, much I know has changed.

    Japan I know for sure is tight on pocket knives, even SAK. Most at least when I was out there I could pocket carry a 3" +/- blade no sweat. But didn't know what it is like these days.

    In many countries out there laws on the books are one thing; enforcement of same can be different. But no joke; there have always been dual standards for foreigners (aka westerners) vs native. Try being pulled over for a traffic problem or worse being in an accident while driving...

    In Taiwan I could I suppose ask my in-laws. But based on their reactions when they come here and see me pull a knife out of my pocket... don't think that would work so well!

    Most likely I'll just have something like a SAK Tinker or Fieldmaster. With the red celidor scales. Which seem to scream out ' no I'm not a weapon'. Partly from branding and partly due to the tools on it... Yeah a LM should do as well except those clip point blades that lock in place.

    Thanks again!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  12. jbj

    jbj Loaded Pockets

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    Was in Osaka a couple of years ago, and the Japanese are strict since a court ruling upholding the knife laws enacted after someone stabbed/killed a bunch of folks on the street in the late 90’s.

    If you buy a knife at a store, you’d best keep your receipt with you to prove you just bought it and are carrying it to your residence right now.

    The truth is that you may go unnoticed and get away with carrying, but if you come in contact with the police in Japan for anything other than a beer, they’re going to toss your pockets.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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