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Welcome to Japan, Criminal

As you may know, Japan will start collecting biometric data for all foreigners coming into Japan as of November 20 under the guise of the fictitious War on Terror. How very curious that fingerprinting was done away with years ago only to be brought back with the excuse that it will protect Japan from terrorists. Just to make sure everyone knows what a threat foreigners are to Japan, Justice minister, Kunio Hatoyama, recently told the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Tokyo that he knew of a friend of a friend who was an Al Qaeda member.

Terrie Lloyd puts the plan into perspective:

This move by the Justice Ministry is ostensibly to protect Japan from terrorists and previous deportees, and as such as I suppose that I can understand the need (well, actually not) to process newly arrived people separately from others. But to force those who have in some cases lived decades in Japan, or who have even been born here, who have Japanese families, who pay taxes, own or manage companies, employ Japanese workers, etc., to have to go through the same meaningless process every time they travel overseas makes no sense at all.

The fact is that the Immigration Ministry in one foul swoop has made many people, myself included, who have positive feelings about living here, a little less welcome. It's not just the inconvenience of having to spend an extra hour or more for each return, but the fact that even after having made a significant contribution to society, the value of a permanent residency permit is in the long-run no greater than a 90-day visa-free tourist stamp.

All foreigners, whether they are tourists or residents of Japan, are going to be herded into a special line to be fingerprinted and have their pictures taken. While resident foreigners can pre-register and pass through a special automated gate, the gate will only be available at Narita airport.

The Japan Times

As annoying as the new fingerprinting procedure will be for non-Japanese going through immigration at Narita International Airport, it is going to be much worse for foreign residents who don't live in the Tokyo area.

Unlike at Narita International Airport, those passing through regional airports will have to go through the fingerprint registration process every time they re-enter Japan.

This is because only Narita, which handled half of all non-Japanese coming into the country in 2006, will introduce a new automated system that officials hope will speed up the new rules requiring most foreigners to have their fingerprints and photographs taken upon entry.

The Justice Ministry's Immigration Bureau plans to introduce the automated gate system at Narita on Nov. 20.

Registration for the automated gate system is optional. Those who choose to do so must provide their passport information and have their fingerprints scanned and photographs taken. This has to be done first at select locations in and around Tokyo, including the immigration office at Narita airport.

Once registered, participants will go through the immigration line by having their passport electronically scanned and fingerprints confirmed.

They may still face questioning by immigration officials before being allowed to officially enter Japan. However, officials say people who are registered are likely to get through immigration quicker than those who aren't.

While all of Japan's international airports and ports will have the new equipment to take fingerprints and photos, Narita will be the only entry point where people will be able to register with the automatic gate system. There are no plans anytime soon to introduce it elsewhere.

Some information on pre-registration in case you're curious:

The pre-registration counters will be at the South Wing of Terminal 1 and South Side of Terminal 2. Note that the opening times at Narita are limited to 9.00am-5.00pm. So it's probably a good idea to go early. There is no indication of how long the pre-registration process takes, but comments we've heard so far are a few minutes if there is no queue.

Japan, of course, has the right to take measures to defend itself and take measures to ensure the safety of its citizens, but the fingerprinting scheme makes no sense.

For one, the policy is ethically flawed. Foreigners are being fingerprinted on the chance they may be terrorists, so they should be treated as suspects. It completely ignores the fact that Japan does not have a history of foreign terrorists, but home-grown ones, namely the Japanese Red Army and Aum Shinrikyo.

There is also the question of what will become of your biometric data. Who will use it and for how long will it be kept? Terrie Lloyd again has some insight:

The fact is that the fingerprinting and eye scanning really are just an irritating inconvenience. What is making people mad is how the government has decided that foreigners living in Japan for decades, and in a number of cases those who were even born here, are now lumped in with tourists coming in for a week on the way to China or elsewhere. This seemingly insignificant rule change has woken up a lot of resentment over how Japan treats its foreign residents in general.

Getting past the feelings of shabby treatment, you then get to a more disturbing situation -- what happens to the data after it is collected? At the end of October, we attended an Amnesty International Japan press conference, where a prominent leader of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Barry Steinhardt, related what is done with the data collected in the USA's US-VISIT program. He made some very interesting points. Firstly, that the terrorist alert database being used by the USA contains 750,000 names -- an order of magnitude larger than the actual number of likely terrorists in the world --meaning that there are a lot of people on that list who shouldn't be there.

Secondly, the database has been proven many times to be flawed thanks to its very superficial data. Essentially, any person with a suspicious first name/last name, like that of Dr. Robert J. Johnson, is flagged at the port of entry and they are regularly dragged off for grilling. Treatment like this of innocent people has naturally caused tourism to the USA as a percentage of the global travel market to fall -- in fact by 35% since 1992. Japan can look forward to much the same result.

Thirdly, although no one has admitted as such, the ACLU suspects from recent cases involving activists prevented from entering Canada, that the USA is now sharing its database with other nations.

Foreigners are simply going to have to deal with this scheme for the time being. How will the Japanese react to all of this money poured down the drain? Japan might as well scrap its Yokoso Japan campaign and think about deleting the entry for kokusaikai (internationalization) from dictionaries while it's at it.

Enjoy your stay in Japan, criminal.

What you can do

Consider signing this petition to register your disgust.

Stay informed. Read up on the issue.

Further Reading

Debito's blog: Fingerprinting NJ category

Terrie Lloyd: Fingerprinting for Foreigners is Back

Global Voices Online: Fingerprints, mugshot, welcome to Japan

Matt Dioguardi: The new fingerprint law

Kevin Rafferty: Not so Welcome to Japan any longer

The Japan Times: Will entry checks cross the line?

Los Angles Times: Japan's welcome mat gets prickly

Japan Times: Arriving Outside Narita will be worse

Terrie Lloyd: Fingerprinting 101


Fake passports can be made, fingerprints can't.

Although there are some valid questions raised as to the rights and wrongs of the photographing/fingerprinting; the fact remains that one enters Japan under one's own volition, effectively as a guest, and under no obligation to do so. If a condition of entry troubles you sufficiently then do not enter.

Honestly, I think there should be a global database of fingerprinting. For starters. Then DNA samples. People panic about DNA samples being used to incriminate individuals in cases they aren't actually involved with, but so far DNA evidence has pretty much been used to *free* people convicted of crimes, in some cases decades later. Those poor souls everyone pities for being wrongly convicted of crimes deserving capital punishment, yet are now free and exonerated.
Hell, I'm looking at this on the bright side. Now, maybe, Ishihara and other right wing activists who assert that foreigners are responsible for all crimes in Japan are now gonna realise "hang on a second !! it's not them after all!!". Admittedly, that's a small step for mankind (but a giant leap for Japanese xenophobia).
I was walking through downtown Osaka this afternoon with my wife (a 3rd generation zainichi - look it up if necessary) and she mentioned how great it was that the neighbourhood watch was in action, keeping kiddies from crossing when the lights are red, and from getting in cars with sukebe men promising sweeties. I reminded her that, statistically speaking, those little kiddies we saw walking home are far more in danger with daddy and "loving" uncles than anyone they'd see on the street.
Christ, fingerprints are the least of the world's worries. It's an hour delay, tops, through customs. Get over it.

What about people who have family here? Do you think they really have the choice not to enter Japan? Ridiculous comment.

"Treatment like this of innocent(?) people has naturally caused tourism to the USA as a percentage of the global travel market to fall -- in fact by 35% since 1992. Japan can look forward to much the same result."

In America, they are the Mexicans/South Americans, Chinese, Filipinas/Filipinos, Indians and Iranians/Iraqis.
As for Japan, they are the Chinese, Indians, Brazilians/Peruvians, Filipinas/Filipinos and Iranians/Iraqis.

Do you want these people, living around you? In your country? Neighbors?

The Koreans!

HIV Africans?

Blood tests, next?

Funny, how some nationalities will never be mentioned, for example, Alaskans, etc.
Maybe it's better to be a minority.

Things like this, and the Patriot Act and any other number of stupid acts/legislation in the name of "The War on Terror" tend to make ashamed to be an American at times.
In any case, the 35% are the unwanted!
Submitted by whatajoke (not verified) on Mon, 11/12/2007 - 22:27.

"Treatment like this of innocent(?) people has naturally caused tourism to the USA as a percentage of the global travel market to fall -- in fact by 35% since 1992. Japan can look forward to much the same result."

In America, they are the Mexicans/South Americans, Chinese, Filipinas/Filipinos, Indians and Iranians/Iraqis.
As for Japan, they are the Chinese, Indians, Brazilians/Peruvians, Filipinas/Filipinos and Iranians/Iraqis.

Do you want these people, living around you? In your country? Neighbors?
And Jesus! Are you from AR-CAN-SAW or possibly GEE-YOUR-GEE-YA? Does your family tree form a double-helix?

Have you lived around them?
Where are you coming from?
Tell me about your beautiful experiences with any of them.

What really bothers me about all this, is the sense of "Terror" and the "War on Terror" that accompanies these new initiatives.

Anyone who hasn't watched Zeitgeist and Loose Change should take a look at what is really going on in the world.
I am a skeptic, but do REAL criminals really get hindered or do they think twice about their crimes if there is an Airport fingerprint? Not likely....

It's shit.

Take this country and shove it, I ain't livin' here no mo.

Wow, post something about the treatment of foreigners and watch the bigots come out of the woodwork.

"Do you really want these people around you?" Hello? What makes any of us different from any other group, we're ALL being told we're unwanted. If you're gonna rag on the Eikaiwa crowd for being loud, don't stop there, let's trash the Brazilians and other South Americans too with their barbecues and block parties.

Actually, hell, let's just go completely cannibalistic and tear up whoever we want, anything's fair game!

Morons. Saying overt discrimination is ok because it weeds out unwanteds is a crock. Discrimination is not ok. Period. People are different. If that different violates the law, punish those people individually.

I don't care where the people in my country, my neighborhood, my school system, my bedroom are from. I care about who they are and what they do individually.

"Statistically speaking" blah blah blah. I spend 90% of my life trying to undo these kinds of xenophobic remarks, way to promote them.

Tell me what's the same/in common? Other than we breathe and ?????

O.k., I usually try not to be pulled into these pseudo discussions about nationality/ethnicity/racism, but I feel the need to comment.

"...under the guise of the fictitious War on Terror."
-Shawn, I know it's your blog, and you can say whatever you want in it, but I think this statement is, in my opinion, irresponsible. I take issue with using the word "fictitious". I don't know you personally, but did you know anyone in The World Trade Center? Do you have any family or friends in Iraq or Afghanistan? Have you personally ever been in harm's way or in a combat situation? (Before you ask, yes, I have) The bullets, bombs, blood and death are not "fictitious". It's easy for people who experience a war, or terrorist act, on a TV screen, safe in their home, insulated from harm, to sit in moral judgment. Whatever your politics, people are still dying. Assuming the moral high ground doesn't change that. I would just ask that you choose your words more carefully. I know I’m going to take a lot of flack for this comment, but I don’t care. Unless you’ve been there, you just don’t know.

"Funny, how some nationalities will never be mentioned, for example, Alaskans, etc."
-Alaska is a state not a nationality.

-As for the finger printing thing. Isn't it funny how a sensitive matter such as this brings out the bigot in all of us? It's a shame that we have to live in a world like this, but welcome to the 21st century. There is a greater mistrust between ethnicities now than ever. Every country is guilty of mistreating ethnic or national minorities some time in their history. No one is innocent. No one is clean:

If your American, look what you did to the Native Americans.
If your Canadian, look what you did to the Inuit.
If you Australian, look what you did to the Aborigines.
If you a New Zealander, look what you did to the Maori.
If your English, look what you did to the Irish, Scottish, Indians and Chinese.

Don't for one second think that we have any right to piss, moan and stomp about what Japan does to us. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it's demeaning. Yes, it's against everything they claim to strive for. We all made the same mistakes, and keep making them. Japan is joining the club. Suck it up.

Who really cares? So I will go and register myself which will take a couple of minutes according to the article. Then I can travel through an automated gate at a faster rate than the toursists which is a plus for me as at the moment I have to wait behind hundreds of them. The US have done it and Japan will do it. It will be a trend that is replicated world-wide. So what if you have to carry a card? So what if you have to have your fingerprints and photo taken? What have you got to hide?

"It's not that I have anything to hide, it's the principle and the fact that they might use my information to..." Fuck off! Why do you think that you are so important that the government is going to keep tabs on you? The fact is you are a nobody, just like me. If you do get flagged (and it may happen) you have nothing to hide so really it's no big deal and just get over your own egos. We all know the Japanese government uses fear to keep their population under control. Now they are implementing a system to make the populace feel more secure and ensure their place as "the great protectors that citizens can't live without". It's happening everywhere and has been happening for hundreds of years all over the world. And by the way, everyone has a choice! Pack your family and leave if it's so fucking bad. Half the pussies whining about big brother are the same ones who turn around when terrorists slip through the cracks. When diaster strikes they ask 'why wasn't more done?' and when proactive steps are actually taken then it becomes an invasion of privacy. I'm not saying this is going to stop terrorism but the fact is that terrorism exists and that al Qaeda have issued threats against Japan on videos released to al Jazeera. The government are trying to do SOMETHING so they don't look like Bush if something does occur. Can you imagine Farunhaito kyu hyaku jyu ichi and how that would shame the bureaucracy?

"Treatment like this of innocent(?) people has naturally caused tourism to the USA as a percentage of the global travel market to fall -- in fact by 35% since 1992. Japan can look forward to much the same result."

What a load of bullshit nonsense! When was biometric scanning introduced in the US? These measures were not introduced until this century so how the fuck does data from the 1990s become evidence for 'treatment' that had not yet taken place?

The fat is 'You are not important!' Nobody cares about your information or your pathetic life! Oh wow, here comes an eikaiwa teacher, lets spend thousands of dollars investigating them and I fo one would sure like to know the secret to their success in life and every litte thing about them! Can you see how pathetically overblown your sense of self-importance is?

And what's more, everytime you bitch and moan about something small you weaken our voice for when a real injustice occurs. Don't put us in the category of little bitches who whine over everything and then complain later when no one takes notice of our legitimate complaints because they are lost amongst all the useless whinging.

This whole article is reminiscent of union organisers who have done nothing for the Eikaiwa workers during the Nova collapse. Please tell me one thing of use that these whingers accomplished. The G Comm buyout had nothing to do with them as they were exclued from the process. Nothing that happened did so because of union involvement. What have they actually achieved? Nothing but embarrass us by dressing up in that stupid usagi suit at the meetings and in protests and make all of us foreigners look like fucking idiots and dare I say dampen the cause!

I'm not saying don't complain, far from it. I'm just saying pick your battles wisely, don't cry wolf and just get over yourselves!!!


People are different. If that different violates the law, punish those people individually.
"Can't do that! That's why, people/I'm bitch/ing."
"Statistically speaking" blah blah blah. "I spend 99.9% of my time avoiding them!"
"Statistically speaking" blah blah blah. "95% of them are screwed up!"
I care about who they are and what they do individually. "That I agree with."

Amen!!! (Sound of applause)

If you're Maori look what you did to the Moriori

If you're Chinese look what you did to the Tibetans...or other Chinese

If you're a Nova employee look what you did to your students

I agree with anonymous 00:43! Good call! Injusices always have and always will occur. Don't let it get to you. You are a real pussy if you think THIS is persecution!

"Funny, how some nationalities will never be mentioned, for example, Alaskans, etc."
-Alaska is a state not a nationality.
The forgotten state/people. The poor Inuit People. Definitely, not North American, thank GOD!

"If you're a Nova employee look what you did to your students"

What are you trying to say?! My students loved it every time I did it to them!

Is the twenty five million man-hours* wasted waiting for fingerprinting worth the few dozen lives that will be spared by a potential terrorist attack by international terrorists?
(*about 5 million tourists come to Japan each year. Let's assume an attack would have taken place once in a 5 year span.)

Probably not.

The Afro-Americans (Slavery and Racism), The Civil War (You even kill your own, now that's scary!), Japan (A-Bomb), The Philippines (Screwed that country up with the Spanish, Dictator/Uncle Ferd), Vietnam War (Remember Agent orange?) , H-Bomb Tests (South Pacific Atolls/Islands), Iran (Kill,), Iraq (and Kill.), South America (manipulation of governments/puppets), Alaska(genocide). Rape the earth (Oil) and people/Okinawa. The list is, endless!
Everywhere Amerikans go/are, turns to shit!

Let's take a closer look at why it's not worth it:

According to various sources about 6 million foreigners come to Japan each year. If it takes about an hour extrafor 5 million of those foreigners to get through immigration that is 5 million man-hours a year this system is costing people. Therefore in 5 years that's 25 million man-hours.
Now imagine that in the next five years this system prevents a terrorist attack that would have killed 50 people. Assuming that on average these people saved had 328,500 hours (37.5 years) left to live, it means that this system saved 16,425,000 (50 * 328,500) man hours.

Basically we are waisting 25 million man-hours to save 16 million man-hours.
Therefore this country will basically cost the foreigners 9 million man-hours. That is the entire life span of about 13 people. Or the remaining lifespan of about 26 people - wasted over 5 years.
With this, someone might even try to argue that this system will kill 5 people per year.

NOTE: Above I've assumed:
- There is a 100% chance that in the next 5 years there will be ONE terrorist attack by international terrorists.
- 50 people will die in this attack.
- The attack could have definitely been avoided had this fingerprinting system been introduced.
- A person lives for about 657,000 hours (75 years).

They can scan both palms, and take your picture at the same time in five seconds flat.
They already scan your face and match it with their computer data-base before you even pick up your bags.

Anonymous 02:12,

If that's the case then perhaps it's worth it.

But I also should take into account that an international terrorist attack would have probably taken place less than once every 50 years in this country, if the System wasn't to be put in place.
Though if it really will only take "five seconds flat", then it will still be worth it.

scan boarding-passes through special machines for fingerprints, and check them all before takeoff!

Americans shouldn't be allowed in this country. Or anywhere for that matter.

"Everywhere Amerikans go/are, turns to shit!"

Yikes, I thought the conversation had been moving forward past that. Didn't we just establish already that every country/ nationality has a lot of blood on their hands?

I once got into an argument with a German around Nagoya area, and he said to me, "If you Americans studied history, you'd realize how to become more civilized like us Europeans." (I know that sounds like too much of a good set up to be true, but he actually said that to me I swear it.) You can imagine what I said back to him. "I've studied German history."

Anonymous didn't give his country of origin, but I'm guessing whatever it is there's no lack of dirt we can dig up on it. From the British Empire, to the Australian "White Only" immigration policy.

When do we learn?

Do some research before you start bringing up Zeitgeist and Loose Change. The "facts" used by both these films have either been strongly disputed or flat-out discredited a number of times. I'm about as liberal as you can get, and even I can tell that those films cross the line from concern of abuse of power to flat-out nutbag conspiracy theories.

"Is the twenty five million man-hours* wasted waiting for fingerprinting worth the few dozen lives that will be spared by a potential terrorist attack by international terrorists?
(*about 5 million tourists come to Japan each year. Let's assume an attack would have taken place once in a 5 year span.)

Probably not."

-I'd like to know if this attitude would be acceptable if those among the dead were you or your family? Would it be worth it then? If your son's/daughter's/mother's/father's burning carcass was dragged from the rubble, would it still be an acceptable loss?

This kind of attitude comes from the "That kind of thing happens to other people" school of thought. Reality never hits home harder then when it's preceeded by a bullet or bomb.

I also like how the limitless potential of a human life has been boiled down into man hours. I'm sure that makes it easier when you trade-off the value of a human life in return for your presumed right to feel smug and idealistic.

"Americans shouldn't be allowed in this country. Or anywhere for that matter."

There is no place for remarks like this. I don't care what country you're from, we're all in this together. If anything, puke like this is counter-productive in our situation. When we should be helping each other by exchanging information, or having well-reasoned, intelligent debate, shit stains like this just make everyone more angry and more divided.

It actually makes me ill to think I'm even dignifying it with a response, but I simply can't let garbage like this be belched into public and go unchallenged, and neither should you. It's time we put aside these narrow-minded, immature and pointless remarks and focus on a common goal.

Let's move to the moon or mars, and leave the Amelikajinz behind!

The fact that we are all on here complaining about Japanese racism is so hypocritical because:

1. Look how racist we are being to each other
2. Our countries are racist too, albeit not as openly in our governments. We just notice it more here because we are so self-centered something only matters when it happens to us
3. We are calculating lives on a $/hr basis
4. Everytime something happens to us that we don't like we call it racism. Isn't it possible that this is being done in the hope that Japan will become a securer place and by jumping up so quickly and calling it racist makes us racist ourselves. I hate organisations like the NAACP, the Jewish League, ACLU etc not because they are trying to promote equality but because they see racism everywhere and in any action they feel hurts them.

Poor fucking babies! I'm disappointed that we are discussing this. Let's get back to hating Nova. After all, i'm bitter about my lost salary and it's the only reason I come here. Shawn you have done a great thing with your blog but you have let a lot of us down this time.

put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Someone still really hasn't argued except for one poster that if reasons the goverment is fingerprinting is so damn good,.. well, why not everyone? The US and other countries should do it too. If it's for safety and it really works why exempt people. It seems like you are just being half ass about something "wonderful" to do. Is it really about the war against terror or is it immigation control?

I got nothing to hide and I personally don't mind getting fingerprinted and photographed but that isn't the point. It's the line we give the goverment about how much freedom vs how much control the goverment can have. I do perfer not to have the line not drawned so closely.

It really doesn't bother me either way, but the turnaround on the data is 24 hours, that is enough time for a so-called terriost to enter the country and do their business and leave the country before ever being detected.

I always thought we should have mandatory blood test through out the world for HIV and AIDS. If someone were to have they should be quarantined from the rest of the plubic. We do this five or six times a year for two or three years the world would be free of HIV and AIDS.

Reminds me of a domestic flight years ago out of Haneda. A group of us gaijin were walking into the terminal after checking in and a lone female security officer stopped the group and asked for ids. It was ridiculous because the terrorist threat at that time was the Narita farmers fighting to keep the family farm from being turned into a runway. Yet the Japanese all around us, who looked more like Japanese farmers than we did, strolled past unchecked.

I totally agree with the above poster. If this fingerprinting/photographing is such a fantastic, terrorist-fighting idea, then it's Japan's duty and its own people, and to the fingerprint, photograph, and interview every single person who enters the country, Japanese and foreigner alike. What if a Japanese national turns to terrorism? Half measures could cost precious lives. To protect the world from the threat of global terrorism, I hope the Ministry of Justice makes these changes to their policy.

I totally agree with the above poster. If this fingerprinting/photographing is such a fantastic, terrorist-fighting idea, then it's Japan's duty and its own people, and to the fingerprint, photograph, and interview every single person who enters the country, Japanese and foreigner alike. What if a Japanese national turns to terrorism? Half measures could cost precious lives. To protect the world from the threat of global terrorism, I hope the Ministry of Justice makes these changes to their policy.

If you are a US citizen, you have no right to complain MoJ. Complain US Government first, unless you are a double standard hypocrite.
The last paragraph:

Pool Data with Like-minded Foreign Governments - As the United States' systems and data improve, State and DHS must make these initiatives global. We will continue diplomatic efforts for the comprehensive exchange of watchlists, biometrics, and lost and stolen passport information with other governments as well as building capacity to effectively use this information. A central topic in this diplomacy is development of a common approach to protecting the privacy of the data, both in the way it is collected and the way it is shared.

If you do not like fingerprinting here, write to US State Department and ask them to stop that "diplomatic efforts".

I think you're confusing how that system might work in an ideal world with how it's actually going to... um, "work".

Let's consider what's more likely - Ishihara, Fujiwara and their other right wing pals coming out and admitting they got it wrong, which would substantially erode their positions... or they fiddle the numbers, lock up a few innocent people and sit back saying "hah, see we were right!" This is Japan, with a 99% conviction rate where innocent people are regularly locked up just because the police are incompetent, and/or corrupt, or because the judge didn't want to spoil his perfect strike record. This is also the country a senior government official (who then
became Prime Minister for a short time) sent paid shills to public forums so that it would appear the wider population supported his agenda. These are the people you trust to do the right thing with that data?

How about this:
1) System gets rolled out. People start registering. The data is shared with the police (they've said that they will be doing this)

2) Some particularly heinous crime is committed by a foreigner.

3) Rightwing nutjobs see an opportunity to increase their profile by whipping up public hysteria about the foreign crime wave.

4) Some time later the system is being reviewed, and your contention that crimes by foreigners are not a significant percentage of the national crime rate does indeed hold true.

5) Rightwingers don't want these figures to make them look bad. They're also running a big law and order ticket and their strongest supporters are the NPA, along with backing from the firms which administer the database system.

6) So... their pals in the police force (who have access to the database) throw in a few false positives to make the figures a bit prettier.

7) Your lovely Korean wife comes back from visiting relatives in Seoul and is stopped at the airport as a 'suspect' in some crime. Airports are particularly dangerous because you'll be stopped "airside" which means she has even fewer rights than she might after passing through the checkpoint.

8) The wonderous Japanese legal system creeps along while your wife is kept in prison. The judge and prosecutor oppose bail because of the (apparently) immutable and failsafe nature nature of the evidence against her (the computer matched her fingerprints, so it must be right) you try to get the police to recheck their findings... ah, but you see, they have to cover their asses, so you'll just get the usual "piss off foreigner, we did everything right" treatment.

(and so on)...

Consider what happened 60 years ago when the UN / ROK army recaptured Seoul (or ask your wife). During the communist occupation the residents were forced to register their names and attend rallies in order to receive food. Once those lists fell into the hands of the ROK army they rounded up as many as thy could, loaded them onto trucks, shot them and buried them in mass graves - because they were "communists" - when in fact they were just trying to survive, much like you are by acceding to this fingerprinting requirement.

So... when all the police, judiciary and politicians are perfect, never make mistakes and never become corrupt - and there's 0% chance of a radical change of government or social unrest... yeah, I'll be happy to participate in that program.

Until then (if you'll excuse me) WAKE THE FUCK UP! It's not the 1 hour delay at the airport that's the problem, it's the 5, 10 or 20 years I might spend in prison for a crime I didn't commit.

on this earth? If you had to name one country, any comments? Whatever your post is about....
To state your opinion put a star and join the poll. Example below.

Maybe another thread would be appropriate for this.

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007

'Gaijin card' checks spread as police deputize the nation

Special to The Japan Times
In the good old days, very few Japanese knew about Alien Registration Cards — you know, those wallet-size documents all non-Japanese residents must carry 24/7 or face arrest and incarceration.

Back then, a "gaijin card" was only something you had to show a bored cop doing random racial profiling on the street.

Legally, in fact, it still is. According to the Foreign Registry Law (Article 13), only officials granted police powers by the Justice Ministry can demand to see one.

But in its quest to make Japan "the world's safest country again" (without similarly targeting Japanese crime) and to stem hordes of "illegal foreigners" (even though figures for overstayers have been falling since 1993), the government has recently deputized the entire nation. From now on, foreigners must endure frequent "gaijin-carding" at work. Not to mention passport checks and copying of personal ID documents.

This open season on gaijin, as well as on terrorists and carriers of contagious diseases (which somehow also means the gaijin), has gone beyond fomenting the image that non-Japanese are merely untrustworthy. It has created policy creep. Gaijin-hunters in their zeal are stretching or breaking established laws.

Backtrack: After years of alleging heinous foreign crime and terror (Zeit Gist, Feb. 20, 2007), the government first deputized the public in 2005 (ZG, March 8, 2005). Laws regarding hotels were revised to require passport numbers and photocopies from all "foreign tourists" (i.e. people without addresses in Japan).

However, police immediately stretched the law, telling hotels to demand passports from all foreigners. Some hotels threaten refusals if the gaijin doesn't cough up his card ( ).

Now — as of Oct. 1 — the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has chipped in, deputizing workplaces. Under the Employment Policy Law ("Koyo Taisaku Ho" — see the MHLW Web site ), all employers ("jigyo nushi") hiring, firing, or currently employing non-Japanese (except Special Permanent Residents and diplomats) must check their visa status, verifying that they are neither overstaying nor working outside their visa parameters.

This means filing a report at Hello Work, the MHLW's unemployment agency. Information on all foreign staff, including name, date of birth, gender, nationality, visa status and expiration date, confirmation that all work is permitted under the visa, and employer's name and address, must be provided — on pain of penalties up to ¥300,000.

Proponents of the law, claiming it will "support the rehiring and better administration of foreign workers," might well deter employers exploiting overstayers under the table. But in practice, the policy stretch has already begun.

For example, Regular Permanent Resident immigrants — who have no visa restrictions placed on their employment and cannot possibly "overstay" — must also be reported.

Another issue is that the law merely requires employers "check" the visa status of their foreign staff. There is no requirement for foreigners to physically hand over any personal documents. Yet several people have contacted me to say employers have demanded both their gaijin card (which for ID purposes works the same as a passport) and their passport for photocopying.

Furthermore, these "checks" are already not limited to your main employer or visa sponsor. I have received reports that any gaijin payment requires photocopied visa verification. In one case for a sum as low as ¥500! Yet my legal counsel confirmed with the MHLW that checking isn't required for part-time work.

Conclusion: If hunting foreigners means tracking every yen they earn, this new and improved "gaijin card checkpoint" system goes far beyond the cop on the corner. It even voids the gaijin card. What's the point of its existence if "verification" necessitates passports too?

The justifications for this new system are these: You've got to make sure foreigners aren't working outside of their official Status of Residence. As we have reported (ZG Jun 28, 2005), even taking a quick part-time job can be a visa violation in certain cases.

Photocopies are apparently necessary because employers need proof on file if they get nobbled by the cops. (As if the police won't ask the foreign staff for their original documents if a raid actually happens?)

Moreover, sometimes gaijin cards and passports differ in detail, like when the visa status changes in the passport, but the bearer neglects to report it to the Ward Office.

But if all these loopholes needed closing, they should have been encoded in the law. They weren't, so demanding anything beyond a visual display of your gaijin card is policy overreach.

Now the floodgates are open: Unrelated places, such as banks, cell phone companies, sports clubs and video stores now illegally require gaijin cards for any service, even when other forms of ID — such as driver's license or health insurance booklet — would suffice for Japanese.

What's next, fingerprinting?

Japan needs more lawyers, or at least more lawyerly types. Anyone who reads the actual laws will in fact find natural checks and balances. For example, even if the cops issue their classic demand for your gaijin card on the street, under the Foreign Registry Law (Article 13), you are not required to display it unless the officer shows you his ID first. Ask for it. And write it down.

And believe it or not, under the Police Execution of Duties Law (Article 2), cops aren't allowed to ask anyone for ID without probable cause for suspicion of a crime. Just being a foreigner doesn't count. Point that out.

As for gaijin-carding at hotels, all you have to do is say you have an address in Japan and you are in the clear. Neither foreign residents nor Japanese have to show any ID. The hotels cannot refuse you service, as legally they cannot deny anyone lodging under the Hotel Management Law (Article 5), without threat to public morals, possibility of contagion, or full rooms.

And as for gaijin-carding by employers, under the new law (Article 28) you are under no obligation to say anything more than what your visa status is, and that it is valid. Say you'll present visual proof in the form of the gaijin card, since nothing more is required.

If your main employer forces you to have your IDs photocopied, point out that the Personal Information Protection Law ("Kojin Joho Hokan Ho") governs any situation when private information is demanded. Under Article 16, you must be told the purpose of gathering this information, and under Article 26 you may make requests to correct or delete data that are no longer necessary. That means that once your visa status has been reported to Hello Work, your company no longer needs it, and you should request your info be returned for your disposal.

Those are the laws, and they exist for a reason: to protect everyone — including non-Japanese — from stretches of the law and abuses of power by state or society.

Even if the Foreign Registry Law has long made foreigners legally targetable in the eyes of the police, the rest of Japanese society still has to treat foreigners — be they laborer, customer, neighbor or complete stranger — with appropriate respect and dignity.

Sure, policymakers are treating non-Japanese residents as criminals, terrorists, and filth columnists of disease and disorder — through fingerprinting on arrival, gaijin-house ID checkpoints, anonymous "snitch sites" (ZG, March 30, 2004), DNA databases (ZG, Jan. 13, 2004), IC chips in gaijin cards (ZG, Nov. 22, 2005) and now dragnets through hotels and paychecks.

But there are still vestiges of civil liberties guaranteed by law here. Know about them, and have them enforced. Or else non-Japanese will never be acknowledged or respected as real residents of Japan, almost always governed by the same laws as everyone else.

*UK can do if you don't like the new regulations:

SIGN THE PETITION AND PASS IT ON TO EVERYONE ON YOUR EMAIL LIST! Send it to your friends and family even if they don't live in Japan. If they come here to visit, they will probably want to know about the new regulations before they get here.

Abolition of Non Japanese fingerprinting program

Yes! Read Debito's website to get more information and to keep current on the situation!!

Debito also has something you can apparently toss on your blog. I wonder if it's on Youtube yet? Would be great if this made it to Youtube with a link on it to the petition. hmmm...

Personally, I find the idea of a DNA database frightening. It won't take long for perspective employers to have your DNA checked to see if you at risk from serious illness. In effect, it can and, probably, will be used in a discriminatory and controlling fashion.

As for the fingerprinting and portraits... it's all bullshit state control. As with the US, if a terrorist really wanted to get into the country, they would simply cross the border or land at an unmonitored stretch of coastline.

if they do that, then it will be all hell breaks loose.

I think he means the Alaskan Eskimos, who do have a national identify. They were just ignored when the land was claimed by the Russians and later sold to the US.
They're still up there, in villages. They drive Fords now.

Also... I can identify with both of you. The "War on Terror" is in fact quite real. In this sense I agree with you. People are still fighting and dying in it.
However. It's also used to justify things that are, at times, unconstitutional or wrong. Personally, I think that if we give up rights for "Freedom from terror" then we have already lost to the terrorists. It's just a different person taking rights away.

Anyhow, that's another topic. As for the fingerprints, it's only a matter of time before everyone who travels anywhere will have to go through more and more detailed identify checks. At some point, even returning citizens will have to undergo what would have once been called outrageous.


-Shawn, I know it's your blog, and you can say whatever you want in it, but I think this statement is, in my opinion, irresponsible. I take issue with using the word "fictitious". I don't know you personally, but did you know anyone in The World Trade Center? Do you have any family or friends in Iraq or Afghanistan? Have you personally ever been in harm's way or in a combat situation? (Before you ask, yes, I have) The bullets, bombs, blood and death are not "fictitious". It's easy for people who experience a war, or terrorist act, on a TV screen, safe in their home, insulated from harm, to sit in moral judgment. Whatever your politics, people are still dying. Assuming the moral high ground doesn't change that. I would just ask that you choose your words more carefully. I know I’m going to take a lot of flack for this comment, but I don’t care. Unless you’ve been there, you just don’t know.

Thanks for the comment, but what would have been more appropriate? I disagree, by the way, with your line of thinking. It's a strawman argument: if you've never fought/served in the military or lost someone in the 9/11 attacks, you are not qualified to discuss this issue. That's patently false.

My intention was not say that that nobody is fighting and dying in Iraq or Afghanistan, but that our leaders, particularly president Bush, have grossly conflated the threat of terrorism and would have us believe that unless we fight them over there, they'll come over here and take over the country. Fingerprinting 3% of the population doesn't make Japan safer from terrorist attacks. The 9/11 hijackers were all in the US legally and were educated people.

I'm angry about being presumed to be a terrorist after working here for more than 10 years. It must be a real punch in the stomach for people who have been here longer than myself and have settled down to raise families.

How is it that all foreigners are suddenly terrorists at the stroke of a pen? How does Japan define a terrorist? Why are no steps being taken against the right wing nationalists in Japan who burn down buildings, firebomb newspapers, and kill reporters who print and report "controversial" stuff about the emperor? Aren't there actions terrorism?

What bothers me is how our biometric data will be used. The government has not made this clear. We know they will share it with the police. Maybe they'll share it with other governments. Is it possible that they could share it with private companies? There's a lot of leeway for abuse here.

Privacy is another huge concern. The Japanese Navy leaked schematics of American-made Aegis cruisers because some dumbass was downloading porn on a PC that had Winy installed. If they are this sloppy about protecting sensitive military data, there's no reason to think they will do a better job protecting our data. The Japanese public already has experience with this in their fight against Juki Net, Japan's nationwide residency registration network. The plan was to digitize everyone's family registration information and have it accessible online, but despite reassurances that their information was safe from being stolen, the public didn't like the fact the government was providing their information without their consent.

As has already been said, it's not the long lineups, but the arrest or deportation for a crime you didn't commit that's the issue.

The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.
-Albert Einstein


Wealth has no borders.
Wars are created by bankers.
Is Bush in Iraq for the people or oil?
If a handful of yakuzas can take over large companies here and abroad.
Cloak their identity and trade on the internet.
Manipulate stock prices.
Start up bogus funds.
Make tens of millions a day with a couple of clicks.
Imagine what a bunch of rich Chinese/Russians can do.
Buy up Japan/The USA?
If you can't beat them join them.
Play by their rules.
Capitalism is the name of the game.
Natural resources = power.
China is in Africa for her oil.
Economical warfare/terrorism.
What goes around, comes around.

If you realy want to stop fingerprinting in Japan, you should contact US State department or US Department of Homeland Security. They are the masterminds of this Japan-VISIT thing.
If they stop the "diplomatic efforts" on Japanese Government, it will stop this costly fingerprinting.


Why should we work to abolish this law? Because there is no presumption of innocence in Japan, and there is a 99% incarceration rate. Plus, here won't be any kind of JURY trials until 2009.

Plus, there are always vocal idiots here that cook the stats to try and make it seem like FOREIGNERS are primarily criminals (remember the Foreigner Secret Crime Files magazine from earlier this year? That is a lot of thought that it was published by [ex?]POLICE OFFICERS .

Why would I trust my biodata to this kind of system? I WOULDN'T!!!!!

Steve, I think that technically his fallacy is not a strawman, but an "Argument from Authority"
Either way, you are right, it is still bunk...

And to add to your last point about privacy, does anyone really want their biodata registered somewhere, so that the next time a Yakuza member causes an accident with you, HE can get your info to blackmail you that much easier?

Steve, who thehell is steve? I meant Shawn...

(not the first time the Corrector has had to correct himself)

Being unemployed has warped your sense of reality. What are the chances of the 'how naive' post actually happening? Probably less than a terrorist attack! Get real!!!

Ok, we are 2nd class citizens, I get it. Despite what you say or how much you cry it's not your country nor is it mine. I'm not saying that discriminating against us is ok but this is nothing to cry about. People cried about the same thing when social security numbers were introduced, photo drivers licenses were supposed to be the end of the world too. A lot of countries hve introduced biometric passports as well for their own citizens (something the Japanese government are looking into for its own citizens) so talk of racial dicrimination are crap! Japanese will be bjected to the same thing in the future when applying for their passports. If our governments can have that kind of information on us surely it is acceptable for the government of the country we are residing in to be allowed the same. The sky isn't falling. The fact of the matter is that this is what a lot of Japanese want. They want to have it in THEIR country. You don't like it? Too bad, despite having a job here it isn't YOUR country and if you object so much just go home (I wish the immigrants that came to my country and complained would do the same). But sooner or later your country will introduce the same measures (its inevitible with the advancements in technology) and you will be trapped in your little cities out of an irrational fear.

You talk about the government's fear-mongering to promote their politicl agenda but you are doing exactly the same. There is no conspiracy out to get you! I am actually starting to get embarrased about being one of you. Stop blowing things out of proportion and making us look like retards! Like the union dressing up in an Usagi suit, it removes our credibility as educated people and just make us look like pricks. By keeping this pathetic challenge of authority up on the grounds of racial discrimination we are only doing ourselves a disservice.

You make a perfectly valid point Joe; it's Japan, it's their entitlement to develop into a nasty little apartheid state. It's hardly suprising - they slaughtered each other for centuries, and turned on their neighbors once they tired of that. Frankly I couldn't care less about such regression, (and it's hardly unique to Japan) except that a few of the things I like are made in Japan. At the end of the day, I'll probably do without or find substitutes for Gyokuro, expensive silks, Saké and Miko.

The real problem, to be blunt, is people like you. To expound...

I am actually starting to get embarrassed about being one of you

Let's get one thing perfectly straight - you are in no way similar to me. You, Joe, are livestock - not just naïve, but a kind of fawning, supine sheep, eager for the whip and yoke for as long as the easy (adulterated) meals and mind numbing entertainment hold out.

But sooner or later your country will introduce the same measures (its inevitible with the advancements in technology)

Ah, the old inevitability argument. It's because groups and individuals like you exist, not the technology, that makes it inevitable. Cowardly people like you bring misfortune to society by encouraging others to follow your contemptible example, until cowardice becomes the norm. The one causing embarrassment is you, by urging others to stoop to your level.

The only way you are similar to me is that we'll both likely end up the same way once we outlive our usefulness. Except I'll go with dignity, on my feet - you'll finish up the same way you've lived: cheaply, on your knees, with your face in the dirt.


We are indeed different people but to many Japanese we are one and the same. We are here for our skills (arguably we have some of those), not to become residents or citizens. You are welcome here as a guest, as a visiting worker teaching English or working in a foreign company. The reality is that there are no distinctions between race in this law but citizenship. If you have lived here long enough, gotten married and obtained citizenship you are no longer a foreign alien and the rule isn't applicable to you. Is it really all that racist and discriminatory to be more lenient with your nation's citizens than foreigners? I don't dispute this nation has more than its fair share of xenophobia but the legislation is drawn along lines of nationality (citizenship being the deciding factor) and not race. Can you draw the distinction?

What's more, there exists another bill going through the readings (it has just gone through the first but has been sent back for ammendments) that addresses the same thing for Japanese nationals when they apply for their passports and this too should be in place by 2010-2011. Ok so they did foreigners first, big fucking deal!

The fact is that this is not all that racist. There are plenty of other examples of racism to go after in this country and you should probably choose one of those instead. There is a big difference in rights afforded to citizens and non-citizens in any nation on this planet and in my opinion, quite rightly so.

Next, in my own defence I would like to say that I don't object to having my photo taken and fingrprints scanned. What are the going to do with a photo? What are they going to do with 'electronically scanned fngerprints'? Are they going to push a murder weapon up against their monitor to contaminate it with your prints? Are they gong to print out a sample on paper and tape it to the handle of a knife or gun as evidence that you were indeed the one that held it. In many ways, electronic storage is preferable (in the eyes of legislatures, commissions of inquiry and oversight committees) to physical precisely because it is difficult to contaminate physical evidence with electronic data. The only thing they can do is to take your prints manually and use that to manipulate evidence by filing a bogus report. AND they can do that now anyway! At the end of the day, the biometric scanning does little or nothng to help. People talk about how this will increase the chances of you being wrongfuly convicted. But this just displays ignorance as DNA analysis has been a protector of the innocent far more than a prosecutor of them.

It is not out of cowardice that I don't stand up and confront this practice but out of the knowledge that I know it is not the big bad monster some of you are claiming.

Also when it comes to government, they have a huge power (especially in Japan) to enact new and invasive procedures on their citizens (and aliens) in the name of national security. These will increase even if the citizens object. All you need to do is look at measures taken wthin the UK, Australia, NZ, and perhaps most importantly the US. Don't roll over and take injustices, but also don't find them where they don't really exist!

So the information is useless other than saying this name belongs to this face and these fingerprints. It is practically impossible to use for purposes of contamination. If you are worried that the police will have access to your fingerprints you either have something to hide or are delusional aout your own self-importance as the information can really only be used for detection after obtaining physical evidence.

Oh and please don't mistake typing your post for bravery and mine for cowardice. I am the one going AGAINST the mob here. But even that is a poor indicator of bravery. Have you ever stood up to a group of right-wing protestors by yourself in front of a crowd? Have you ever stood up to people wielding weapons (in your own country) because for some reason or another you had a duty to do so? I can almost guarantee that I have REALLY (not just in terms of rhetoric) stood up to more injustices than you would in 2 lifetimes.

On a final note, I recognise that corruption exists here but so does a strong sense of honour and saving one's face (Saruhashi are you reading this?) I also acknowledge that Japan has a relatively low crime rate despite their police and not because of them. But these people dressed in blue are bureaucrats with little experience of real policing. Their faults really lie with gross incompetence not corruption.

Well Joe, it's actually pretty easy to convert the fingerprints back into the real world from the computer files.

There's usually a function that will allow printing, right?

A)Once printed out one could feed the image into a LOM (Laminated Object Modeler)to create a durable physical copy which could be used to "plant" prints anywhere one wants.

B)Photocopy onto film and then use a lithographic plate to produce the copy. But even that's more than you need...

C)Just take the print out and photocopy it on the darkest setting so the toner layer is nice and thick (this will create some relief in the whorls) then use a brush to paint a thin layer of oil onto the page. Once the paper has absorbed the excess oil you'll be left with some over the toner - just apply it to the incriminating object and you're done.

D)Walk into any stamp shop with the file / image and they'll make a rubber stamp for around $30.

Under the new system every one of those would be a slam dunk - the computer says you're guilty, so you are - and none of them actually require access to the database, just a persons' prints. B,C,& D all cost less than $50. The key here is the database though, police and courts will become even lazier once they can just rely on supposedly tamper proof computerised evidence (it's called "Content Addressed Storage" - CAS). I suppose your wife may argue that "no... he wasn't there, he was with me." Heh, they're more likely to incarcerate her for perjury than admit their expensive new toy doesn't work properly. And the more expensive it is, the more incentive there will be to ignore those problems.

...ah, but this is all just splitting hairs. The police are incompetent. That means they are already corrupt since they're defrauding the public of a reliable police service. Weakness compounding weakness, followed by desperation are what lead to criminality. Plenty of them are already halfway there.

Since you've saved up 2 lifetimes worth of bravery I suppose taking a holiday now is fine. Slightly less than the best is good enough for you then, eat from their hand rather than to go hungry.


Axis of Evil= Amerika

Axis of Evil= Amerika

Side question. Whats the use of the re-entry permit now that we can't be in the same line as the other japanese nationals? That was the only thing I could see we got of it. Oh besides the not canceling our visas for leaving the country, what a rip-off.

If you can't (or won't) see the direction this country (and world) is headed, then it really is like talking to a brick wall. You are allowing your rights and your privacy to be violated and putting yourself at risk. There is nothing constitutional about the fingerprinting and photographing of foreigners. The world is creeping towards a global state where you are being monitored on a non-stop basis.

Indeed, the consequences of such policies are numerous:

You could be convicted of a crime simply because your prints happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time - easily done since YOUR prints are on the police database and the conviction rate is around 99%. In a land where foreigners are often wrongly blamed for crimes increasing, it's easy to get the majority of the public to go along with such a conviction.

"NYT on forced confessions by Japanese police"

Reports to and from UN Special Rapporteur Mr Doudou Diene"

You could be refused entry simply because your record on another country's database has been shared with the J-authorities - regardless of whether that information is accurate or has been mixed up with a criminal. Mix-ups DO occur in this modern age of high-tech - technology is not "a sure thing". Certainly that works both ways - the Japanese gov't could share information with another country and the information could be inaccurate leading to a whole host of problems for YOU, the traveler.

You don't know how secure the information is. I've heard more than a couple reports lately that concern me. One is a Japanese Embassy in Belgium having numerous laptops stolen by common thieves and of the police in Japan losing a database on several criminal cases. Your information may not be as secure as you think and could get into the wrong hands. Moreover, they plan to keep it for 70 years!! Pretty much your lifetime, eh?

Governments in many countries have tried similar tactics in the past to get control of their people. Indeed, it's a fantastic way to politically oppress certain 'difficult people' in any given country. Governments could use (and have used) databases to lock up those that go against their governments. Let me clue you in:

"Political repression is the oppression or persecution of an individual or group for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take part in the political life of society. Political repression may be represented by discriminatory policies, surveillance abuse, police brutality, imprisonment, involuntary settlement, stripping of citizen's rights, and violent action such as the murder, summary executions, torture, forced disappearance and other extrajudicial punishment of political activists, dissidents, or general population."

From Wikipedia:

Need some another link to follow what I'm saying? Here:

"Fingerprinting puts foreign residents at risk"

These policies open up a massive can of worms. Here's a biggie:

If you allow these kinds of procedures to go through without so much as blinking an eye, then what's next in the works? Both your tongue and your veins have special unique characteristics. Shall we soon be asked for a 'print' of our tongue and the veins in your hands and wrists? The technology is already being developed, from what I've read. Will your DNA be requested? A urine sample? A swab inside your mouth? Shall we move on to taking blood samples, too just because "the technology exists" and "everyone else is doing it"? Just how invasive is okay? Slippery slope, my friend.

"Forensic science fiction
Bad science and racism underpin police policy"

Or maybe we should get straight to the proposal to put chips in our gaijin cards:


Guess that showing our gaijin cards to every Tomoko, Daisuke, and Hiro (and the long process of getting those cards to begin with) isn't enough to keep an eye on us. And apparently being a permanent resident (and all the steps that entails) is not enough either.

Guess it's not enough that there are "snitch sites" to email in about suspicious foreigners:

"Downloadable discrimination"

Or that hotels and other businesses, as well as employers, are now part of immigration control:

"'Gaijin card' checks spread as police deputize the nation"

Never mind the random street checks:
"Have you ever been "gaijin-carded"?"

"Stranger in His Homeland - Police Encounter"

Where EXACTLY is this country headed???

And if you doubt that your prints can be faked, try typing this into Google: "how to fake fingerprints" and see what comes up, just like this journalist did:

He also mentions the following which I think is VERY important to note:

"The Japan Federation of Bar Associates has come out strongly against this measure. (See:

Among the many useful arguments they make, they point out that the measure might well stigmatize foreigners as somehow being more inherently capable of crime than Japanese.

They also note that it is clearly unconstitutional under Article 13. And yes, the constitution does apply to people seeking entry into Japan. They may not be citizens, but they are people."

Forget the fact that Amnesty International and Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SMJ) don't agree with it either:

Forget that People's Plan Study Group has had some strong words about it:
"Fingerprinting: Tokyo Demo Amnesty/SMJ Nov 20, Signature Campaign by Privacy International"

Forget the inconvenience, the fact that this will only be done to non-Japanese, and that the Justice Minister justifies it because he has "a friend of a friend in al-Qaeda".

You may not care about your privacy, your civil liberties, or that this is looking very xenophobic. But how can ANYONE sit back when you put it all together and see the big picture? This has nothing to do with "having something to hide". It's the whole damn thing put together!

The system won't work:
"Japan Times: Fingerprinting NJ won’t stop terrorists, critics say"

It's going to upset business:
"European Business Council and Australian/ NZ Chamber of Commerce protest NJ fingerprinting laws"

It's a "PR disaster":

It's going against International Treaty:

It's already generating plenty of bad press:
(there are more - run a search)

Much tourism and business will shy away, I'm sure.

Not to mention that I think these types of policies are further going to divide the Japanese from 'others' and instill the idea that foreigners are criminals and not to be trusted.

The measures are not good and not sensible, despite the lack of privacy and respect for the foreign community.

I could go on, but what's the point? If you choose to be idle and think "it's no big deal", then you deserve whatever comes your way.

"He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security" - Benjamin Franklin, I do believe.

"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do." -Benjamin Franklin

What a nut!

I understand the need for security, and these measures are helpful to fight off unwanted terrorists & illegal immigrants but this is really going to hurt Japan in the long run.
Japan already has a bad reputation as being a racist sexist country with bad food.
Recent events with NOVA (the largest employer of foreigners & female graduates in Japan) to go under have hurt Japan's international reputation & this is going to kill it.
It doesn't matter how righteous this is or how you feel about it, a lot of people will be put off from coming here & the real loser will be Japan!

>Recent events with NOVA (the largest employer of foreigners & female >graduates in Japan) to go under have hurt Japan's international >reputation & this is going to kill it.

I bet you stay too long here. People in the world forget NOVA 10 minutes after hearing the news.

Words of Wisdom...


U.S. starts to fingerprint all ten fingers.
Probably Japan will follow U.S. in a few years.

Japan should protect itself from foreigners because they are scum especially ex Nova teachers.How many other jobs do u know where managers and bosses in charge of departments and personnel impregnate their clients?When u think that in many cases the parents paid for the lessons it is a true disgrace.So please God burn these bastards up.We dont want another sewer filled with gaijin scum.

"Unite Earthlings!"
Your world is as big as your perception/imagination.

U.K. expanded fingerprinting polcy from november,
And started figerprinting allmost foreigners' ten fingers.

Thanks to the diplomatic efforts of the US, the fingerprinting will be global.

HIV Africans ? you racist bastard! your belong with the ignorant.

Re: "HIV Africans? you racist by Anonymous on Mon, 11/19/2007 - 13:56."

Read his user name. 'White South African' - enough said.

I think...

It's a shame that the USA started this trend of fear.
The PATRIOT Act continues to step on my liberties.

I mean... we did make the US Constitution and Bill of Rights...
The Civil Rights movement too!
How did we get all the way back here?

The US has got to spread the love... treating people as individuals... Rather than spreading the fear and treating people as possible threats.


Lots of my friends are people. Friendly, outgoing honest people. Didn't really notice that they are of different races but now that you mention it, yes, I have Egyptian, Turkish, Spannish, Fillipino, Japanese, European, East Asian and even WASP friends.

Nice wind up!
Keep that bait coming, troll!

Keep the rubbish people, "OUT"! (As mentioned above.)

It all goes back to America

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