Japanese police refuse to release rare footage from The Beatles’ iconic 1966 visit

Japanese superfans of The Beatles have lost their legal battle against the police in a bid to have rare footage released.

The fan group, who have argued that the footage taken from The Beatles’ 1966 visit to the country is a “historical document”, took their case to the Supreme Court but have seen their efforts knocked back.

The local authorities had initially offered to release the footage but issues over privacy have caused the stumbling block. Police said the video, which is thought to be around, 35 minutes long, was recorded by police as a security measure. Attempts to offer the video with the faces of everyone in the film except the Beatles blurred out were rejected. 

“It is a document that should be made available from a historical standpoint,” Satoshi Shinkai, the lawyer of the fan group told the Asahi Shimbun daily after lower courts backed the police.

Shinkai, who argued on behalf of the fans that the video should be released uncensored, added that the faces of people in the crowd would be unrecognisable due to its age. “The final concert given on July 2 was apparently electrifying,” Toru Omura, a member of the fan group and Beatles author added.

“If confirmation can be made of the existence of footage from that day, there would be huge excitement,” he continued. 

Subscribe to our newsletter
Delivering curated content