Japanese Beatles fans lose battle with police over unreleased footage

The Beatles 02/11/2018

A group of Beatles fans in Japan have lost their bid against the police to get them to hand over historic footage of the band's 1966 Japan visit.

The film was recorded by police as a security measure back in 1966, and the group of fans took their battle to Japan's supreme court to try and recover it, arguing the images were a 'historical document'.

Police have offered to release the 35-minute-long footage, but only after blurring the faces of everyone in the film except the Beatles band members for privacy reasons.

Two lower courts previously back the police against the superfan group, who wanted the entire firm released uncensored. They said it would be impossible to identify people in the footage more than 50 years later.

The long legal battle ended last week however, with the supreme court rejecting the fans' argument. 

The Beatles only toured Japan once, playing five concerts, and were followed across the country by many dedicated fans.

A lawyer for the fans seeking the footage, Satoshi Shinkai, said it would have huge historical significance for Beatles enthusiasts: "It is a document that should be made available from a historical standpoint,"

The Beatles remain popular in Japan, with former group member Paul McCartney kicking off his world tour there this week in Tokyo.