Speaking at Hirosaki Gakuin University this Saturday

mytest

Hi Blog, I will be speaking this weekend in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture.

Hirosaki Gakuin University, Faculty of Liberal Arts,
13-1 Minori-cho, Hirosaki-shi, Aomori-ken 036-8577 JAPAN
http://www.hirogaku-u.ac.jp/
Saturday, December 1, 2007, 1:00 – 2:45 PM
Topic: 「日本における外国人差別・人種差別」(speech in Japanese).

Sorry for the short notice. Been busy with the whole fingerprint thing. Attend if you like. Debito in Sapporo

Irony: Japan Post Office issuing “YOKOSO JAPAN” stamps January

mytest

Hi Blog. Here’s your daily hohoemi–with irony. Courtesy of HG:

===========================
Hey Debito, Japanese Post is planning 10 commemorative stamps for Jan. 23, 2008 to promote the YOKOSO JAPAN campaign.

http://www.post.japanpost.jp/kitte_hagaki/stamp/tokusyu/2007/h190123_t.html

(Nothing on the stamps in English, of course. And nothing on the official YOKOSO JAPAN Blogs about the new Fingerprinting rules, of course.)

10 million foreign tourists by 2010? Say WHAT?

So far, less stringent measures (Green Card holders are exempt) in the US have led to a drop totalling 6 million tourists on a yearly basis since introduction of the FP requirement. Despite an ever weaker dollar (shall we now call it “North American Peso”?? *ggg*).

BTW, face value of the stamps is 80 yen each – domestic first class postage. So the foreign tourists are mainly left out of this… ;-).
===========================

Amazing. Stamps for tourists that tourists can’t even use to send a letter home? Provided the tourists want to come here anyway and be treated like terrorists and criminals. Makes you wonder if policymakers ever think things through. Debito

Japan Times: Mark Schreiber gives Immigration the finger at Narita

mytest

Hi Blog. Mark Schreiber from the Japan Times gives us an amusing account on what happened to him when he took a junket to Saipan, just to test the Fingerprinting machines on the way back… Debito in Sapporo
=============================

THE ZEIT GIST
Prints rejected, scribe accepted
Our writer attempts to give Immigration the finger at Narita
By Mark Schreiber
The Japan Times November 27, 2007

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20071127zg.html

The center of the little monitor — I’d guess about 20 cm from the looks of it — flashed the word “Yokoso” (welcome). Its colored border was festooned with a collage of images near and dear to visiting tourists’ hearts: “torii” gates, the shinkansen, Zen gardens, Mount Fuji . . .

“Please place your fingers on the pad,” ordered the immigration officer from behind the counter.

Before I relate more sordid details, let’s begin at the beginning. Having heard much emotional debate on the new fingerprinting system, I decided that I would leave and re-enter Japan for the express purpose of subjecting myself to this supposed indignity, and then deal with it in the most exhibitionistic manner possible: the article you are now reading.

It seemed reasonable to give Narita Immigration five days to get its act together, so I flew down to Saipan and entertained myself with a visit to Banzai Cliff. My return flight, Northwest Airlines 75, touched down at Narita at 6:50 p.m. on Nov. 24.

First and foremost, let me make it crystal clear where I stand on this matter: I don’t particularly like to give my fingerprints. Nevertheless, my strongest objection to the new system relates less to my human rights than to my wanting to exit the airport as expeditiously as possible. Since 9/11, air travel has become a nightmare, and after undergoing security checks up the kazoo and being cooped up in a stuffy tourist-class cabin for 12 hours on a flight from Chicago or Detroit, I’m in no mood for further torment.

One more thing: For more than 20 years, holders of re-entry permits were permitted to use the same gates as Japanese nationals, with no questions asked. I’ve always appreciated this privilege and felt aggravated that, through no malfeasance on my part, this consideration — a great time-saver — was apparently being withdrawn.

That said, if I were to report that I was forced to cool my heels in a long queue last Saturday, it would be an outrageous lie. The fact was, it was the mostly Japanese passengers who did the slow shuffle. At that particular time few foreigners were in evidence and as a result, fingerprinting aside, I was probably one of the first ones out of the place.

As soon as I made my approach, a senior official pounced on me like he’d been waiting there all day just for my arrival.

“Have you filled out one of these E/D cards?” he asked with an encouraging smile, waving one of those familiar entry/departure cards with its incomprehensible questionnaire on the back.

Indeed I had, so I was sent straight to the nearest vacant counter.

The young inspector was all friendly and smiley. He took one look at my passport and knew I was going to be a piece of cake: a permanent resident, papers in order, and nobody named “Mark Schreiber” on Interpol’s terrorist watchlist. (Little did he know, nya-ha-haa . . .)

Then the moment of truth arrived, and he requested me to place my left and right index fingers on the little glass pads. I sighed, set down my six-pack of duty-free macadamia and chocolate chip cookies on the floor, and followed his instructions.

The green lights beside my fingers changed to red. Something was not working properly.

“Um, I can’t seem to get a clear reading off your fingers,” he said, popping open a container of premoistened finger wipes. “Please use this to clean them and try again.”

I gave both fingertips a quick but thorough rubdown and repeated the process.

After several clicks from his keyboard he shook his head again.

He stood up, reached over, and used the same wipe to polish the glass surface of the fingerprint reader.

“OK, uh, this time, let’s try your middle fingers,” he encouraged, holding up his digit in an unintentionally rude gesture some people refer to as “flipping the bird.”

Once again I complied. Click-click-click. Click-click. Click.

“Please, would you mind not pressing down so hard on the pad?”

“But I’m not pressing down hard,” I countered.

From his exasperated reaction I got the distinct impression my middle fingers were not providing usable prints either.

“Well, anyway, let’s take a picture,” he grimaced, standing up and tilting the camera angle upwards to accommodate my 189 cm height.

And that was that. Confirming that I looked like the captured image, and that both resembled the mug shot in my passport, he waved me through.

“Gokuro-sama,” I told him — by which I meant “Sorry to give you such a rough time” — and headed for the baggage carousel.

But wait a minute: My prints didn’t take. Why wasn’t I dragged off into a separate room and interrogated? Why, after all the fuss, was I simply admitted on the strength of my passport, status of residence and re-entry permit?

It would seem that human officials, at their discretion, are empowered to overrule the almighty fingerprint thingamajig.

After relating my experience to a friend on Sunday, he directed me to a BBC News item dated Oct. 17, 2005, in which a fingerprint expert is quoted as saying that “Work such as laboring and typing (italics mine) wears down those ridges and affects the smoothness of the skin. It can make fingerprints very hard to read.”

So my first encounter left me chuckling that the government laid out ¥36 billion for something anyone can outwit by pounding a keyboard, as I do, for 14 hours a day.

Just think: four of my fingers, with no help from their owner, pulled off a courageous feat of passive resistance. In the ongoing struggle for foreigners’ rights in Japan, let them henceforth be known as the “Narita Four.”

On a separate note, there’s been much talk about a system that permits residents to pre-register their biometric data prior to departure, either at the main Immigration office in Shinagawa or in the departure areas at Narita.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I can’t see any point to this, either in terms of time savings or exemption from the big, bad biometric bogeyman. Pre-registration or not, unless you’re a Japanese national or a “special permanent resident” (and if you have to ask what that is, you’re almost certainly not one), you will still be obliged to give your fingerprints every time you enter the country.

So unless Japan suffers a drastic dropoff of foreign visitors and operators of hotels with single-digit occupancy rates begin screaming bloody murder to their Diet representatives, I suppose we’re stuck with this newfangled nuisance for the duration.

At least the government ought to consider a way to recover some of its outlays. Let’s turn the immigration gates over to a private operator and put the system on a paying basis. For instance, they could program the fingerprint and face scanners to detect things like razor nicks and chipped nails that invite commercial exploitation.

Upon giving one’s fingerprints, personalized messages would scroll across the monitor. “Yokoso to Japan, Mark Schreiber-sama. While here, check out our latest USB-portable multi-blade shaver.” Or, “Yo, Schreiber-kun. Pamper your fingers, and give their ridges the nutrients they need with Mother-of-Pearl Cream — for typists, pianists and . . .”

Yokoso, anybody?

Send comments on this issue and story ideas to community@japantimes.co.jp
The Japan Times: Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007

ENDS

Economist on NJ Fingerprinting

mytest

Here’s The Economist (London) on the NJ Fingerprinting Debacle. FYI. Nothing really new (except a silly bit on butterflies), but ample airtime given to the critics and the controversy, thanks. NHK, take note. Debito

==============================

Japanese immigration control
Giving you the finger
Nov 22nd 2007 | TOKYO
From The Economist print edition

http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10184633
A controversy over fingerprinting foreigners

IN 1641 Japan’s shogunate designated an artificial island in Nagasaki harbour as the only place foreigners could live. Japan has of late been more welcoming to gaijin. Yet this week it began to photograph and take digital fingerprints of all foreigners entering the country—residents as well as tourists and visiting businessmen. Privacy advocates deplore the emergence of a surveillance state. Pundits say it panders to anti-foreign sentiment in Japan, and undermines the country’s ambitions to increase tourism and make Tokyo a global financial centre. Angry expats expect long waits at immigration.

In defence, the government says the measures are simply to keep terrorists out. As an example, Japan’s justice minister, Kunio Hatoyama, a butterfly enthusiast, explained that a friend of a lepidopterist friend was an al-Qaeda operative, who for years travelled in and out of Japan on fake passports; the new measures would block the chap. Mr Hatoyama was quickly forced to backtrack lest it appear that ministers run around netting butterflies with terrorists. Yet the truth remains: terrorism in Japan has only ever been home-grown, most recently in 1995, when a sarin gas attack by a religious cult killed 12 in Tokyo’s subway.

The system mirrors America’s equally controversial US-VISIT programme. In principle, it should not cause such a fuss. All countries are moving towards the collection of “biometric” information: from next year, Britain will collect such data from visa-holders. The problem comes with implementation. America’s US-VISIT system is fraught with flaws and cost overruns. Technical problems have delayed Europe’s introduction of digital passports. For all Japan’s prowess in designing computers, the government is peculiarly inept at running them. This year, it admitted it had lost 50m electronic-pensions records.

Exempt from the new screening are diplomats, children under 16 and certain permanent residents (ethnic Korean and Taiwanese who have lived in the country for generations). Why only gaijin? Japan already has all sorts of ways to keep watch on its own people, such as “neighbourhood associations”. Foreigners are outside these social controls. Yet fingerprinting foreigners is just a first step to securing the biometric details of everyone entering and leaving: as it is, frequent travellers, Japanese as well as foreign residents, may save time by pre-registering to use an unmanned automatic gate at airports that takes photographs and fingerprints.

Mr Hatoyama says people should not be delayed more than the 20 minutes it already takes immigration officers to process visitors. This week some of the machines played up, but most travellers fell into line. Officials even claimed to have caught a handful of people who had already been deported at least once. They did not reveal whether they were butterfly collectors.

ENDS

Towards founding a “Permanent Residents/Naturalized Citizens” organization

mytest

Hi Blog. With all the NJ anger regarding the new Fingerprint Laws–moreover the GOJ’s tendency of consistently showing indifference, if not outright antipathy, towards the needs and interests of Japan’s international residents–there have been comments in several Debito.org blog entries calling for the creation of a new organization to represent the Permanent Residents and Naturalized Citizens of Japan.

I agree the time is nigh. And I am very supportive of the founding of such an organization. We are talking as far as establishing a dues-paying registered NGO/NPO to that end, with the ability to lobby and lend support to other groups to pursue the interests of Japan’s international residents.

The organization is still in its embryonic stage. But let me create this separate special blog entry for people to discuss and pound out questions and concerns.

Steve Koya (who says he can take care of accounting, a job I detest) and I will meet sometime next week in Sapporo to chew things over. If you’d like to contribute your thoughts and feelings, please do so now.

My first thought: The very name in Japanese–which is fundamental to credibility in this country.
HIEIRI DANTAI NIHON EIJUU KIKA IMIN JUUMIN KYOUKAI

Translated literally as:
NPO Japan Association for Permanent Residents, Immigrants, and Naturalized Citizens
(JAPRINC)
Okay needs work. Anyone good with anagrams? Scrabble players?

I’ll leave you with some questions I got from John L. tonight. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

================================
 Hey…it’s John again writing you on a business trip in Shanghai.

My two conference calls this morning were canceled, so I decided put my time to use on homebound issues, such as this association which seems to have gained some significant – and surprising – traction over the past 24 hours.

I am submitting, for approval to post on your blog as a new and separate topic, a set of questions we should consider, a mission statement draft and, lastly, a small opinion piece.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I have to go and sand down my fingerprints in anticipation of my return to Japan on Sunday.

Cheers,
– John

*****

It appears that the call for an association of resident foreigners is gathering steam. To that end, I have some questions and would like to take a stab at a mission statement here.

QUESTIONS:

1) Is this association for PRs only or for all foreign residents, regardless of status? If for all, how do we handle issues which may affect only certain segments of the foreign resident population, such as voting rights (which could be reasonably applied only to PRs)?
2) What are our membership requirements? (i.e. can anyone join, even if they are not living in Japan? In other words, for instance, can someone living in England who has a strong interest in Japan join?)
3) Related to 2) above, what different level of memberships could be available?
4) Can Japanese nationals join? (Of course they can, but we need to attend to other details, such as: are they given voting status in issues, can they hold official titles, etc.)
5) What is our stance on illegal immigrants? This is a policy debate that we can take up after we do form, but I want to put this on deck now so we can all start to consider the kinds of questions we will be tackling after forming.

MISSION STATEMENT DRAFT

The association is committed to protecting and enhancing the rights of foreign residents in Japan, abolishing systematic discrimination and changing the perception of foreign residents in Japan. We are committed to instituting persistent campaigns to educate, inform and motivate change at all levels of Japanese society in order to integrate new and progressive attitudes of foreign residents.

Our goals

– To promote the image of foreign residents of Japan to the indigenous population as well as globally.
– To highlight the benefits and positive impacts of foreign nationals to Japanese society
– To organize and campaign against negative or demeaning views of foreign residents as stated by certain politicians, pundits and media outlets.
– To educate foreign residents on the immigration laws of Japan
– To negate and diminish the negative views of foreign residents among the Japanese public
– To organize as a group and lobby for equal rights for resident foreigners under the law.
– To abolish systematic discrimination against the foreign community
– To participate in activities highlighting discriminatory practices against foreign residents

QUICK OPINION PIECE

The association is, by its very definition, an activist organization, but the activities must take on a multiple facets. Naturally, we must continue to highlight those instances where discrimination does exist and call with a unified voice for its removal. However, we should not focus only on the perceived wrongs committed by society as that tends to play us as victims and people tend to tune out after hearing complaint after complaint, but we should shed light on the positive aspects of resident foreigners in Japan. We know that the system can be rigged against us in many instances. We should concentrate on those who have overcome the difficulties, who have succeeded against the challenges. We can show that people can move to Japan and make a change for the better.

ENDS

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 28, 2007: FINGERPRINTING II

mytest

This post is available as a podcast.  See

[display_podcast]

Hello Blog. Just back from a nice conference in Tokyo for JALT (http://www.jalt.org), where I gave four speeches, two on fingerprinting (http://www.debito.org/wasedafingerprint102207.ppt) and two on pitfalls to avoid in job searches in the Japanese university labor market (http://www.debito.org/jaltjobpitfallsnov2007.ppt). Got another speech coming up next weekend in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture (see my blog later this week for details).

Meanwhile, contents of this very special Newsletter, which shows all the primary assumptions this policy is justified by–efficient and accurate data collection, secure storage, and effective checking against a database–are simply not true.

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 28, 2007
SPECIAL ON FINGERPRINTING POLICY INAUGURATION NOV 20

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
FORWARD: ANGER IN THE BLOGOSPHERE

WHAT YOU HEARD:
1) YOUTUBED NHK: KEEP CRITICS AND PROTESTS OUT OF BROADCASTS
2) YOMIURI EDITORIAL: FP JUSTIFIED AS ANTI-FOREIGN-CRIME MEASURE
3) SANKEI ON FINGERPRINTING SNAFUS
4) YOMIURI & NIKKEI MISTAKENLY TRUMPET “FIVE CAUGHT IN NEW SYSTEM”,
SANKEI CONTRADICTS

WHAT GOT MUFFLED:
5) MAINICHI: REFUSERS TO BE INCARCERATED, FORCED TO BE FINGERPRINTED
6) ASAHI: 38% OF US-VISIT DATABASE IS MISTAKES
7) ASAHI: TOKYO & NARITA LOSE PERSONAL DATA FOR 432 NJ
8) YOMIURI: SDF & MOFA LOSE COMPUTER DATA IN JAPAN, BELGIUM

WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE HEARD:
9) MAINICHI ON AMNESTY/SMJ PUBLIC ACTION OUTSIDE MOJ
10) PROTESTS WITH PARODY POSTERS, T-SHIRTS, POSTCARDS, MULTILINGUAL BILLETS
11) FRANCE 24 TV INTERVIEW IN FRENCH AND ENGLISH: “JAPAN’S 1984”
12) NYT: FINGERPRINTING “A DISASTER FOR J BUSINESS”

…and finally…
13) ACCENTURE, MAKER OF THE FP MACHINES, NOW HIRING IN JAPAN,THRU TIGER WOODS!

CONCLUDING STATEMENT: PROGNOSTICATIONS FOR THE PRESENT COURSE:
A HASTENED ECONOMIC OBSCURITY FOR JAPAN

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
By Arudou Debito, Sapporo, Japan (debito@debito.org, http://www.debito.org)
Daily blog updates at http://www.debito.org/index.php
Podcasts of previous Newsletters (and soon this one) at
http://www.transpacificradio.com/category/debito/
Freely forwardable

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

FORWARD: ANGER IN THE BLOGOSPHERE

In all my twenty years of Japan, I’ve never seen the NJ communities so angry.

Not during the “gaijin all have AIDS” scare of 1986, the Otaru Onsens Case of 1999, the Ishihara anti-gaijin anti-crime “Sangokujin Speech” media campaigns of 2000, the “anti-hooligan” scare before and during World Cup 2002, the Al-Qaeda scare of 2005, the publication of the “Gaijin Hanzai Ura File” magazine last February, or the “foreign crime is rising” National Police Agency media campaigns every six months. This time, there’s a very “faith no more” element to it all.

I am receiving links to angry diatribes on the Fingerprint policy in the Blogosphere. Two that leave a lasting impression:

Running Gaijin Card Checks
http://www.keepingpaceinjapan.com/2007/11/running-in-fear.html

Oppose Japan’s bid for The Olympics
http://nofj16.googlepages.com/home

This one in particular inspired protests of hate speech and unsubstantiated accusations about Japan. Hmm, I guess when the shoe’s on the other foot, it’s not pleasant. Fancy that.

If you know of any more sites, please send links to the comments section at this site.
http://www.debito.org/?p=780
Angry, humorous, ironic, and/or poignant is fine, racist is not, so exercise discretion.

The point is, how else are NJ going to express their anger when they are this disenfranchised in Japanese society? Where the media machines for manufacturing consent will ultimately pit the entire Japanese society against the “gaijin”–through completely unfounded assertions of criminality, terrorism, and allegedly effective preventative measures that single people out for discrimination by race, nationality, and national origin.

How else? The Blogosphere. Vent away.

How things work over here to create “Team Japan vs. The World” has never come out as clearly as now. Especially when you consider what the Japanese media muffled:

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YOUTUBED NHK: KEEP CRITICS AND PROTESTS OUT OF BROADCASTS
http://www.debito.org/?p=763

A reader wrote in to say:
===========================
NHK 7PM NEWS NOV 19TH
Absolutely no mention of fingerprinting NJ entering Japan starting tomorrow. I’ll give them another chance tomorrow night, but that’s it. If they don’t find this new policy newsworthy, why should the foreign community pay for NHK?

Also notable that it is still hard to find a regular Japanese person who is even aware the policy is coming into effect. Not surprising really if NHK has nothing to say about it.
===========================

Vincent then uploaded the Nov 20 NHK 7pm Evening News segment about fingerprinting (2 min 52 sec, English dubbing) on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XZzPg9pk5U

Same with NHK Newswatch 9pm. Somewhat longer and more detailed than Evening News 7pm. Uploaded in Youtube (6 min 10 sec), and with a greater attempt at balance (but still far more airtime given to making the GOJ’s case). Link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA9wYkwvaIQ

As for the Nov 20 11PM News shows (10PM’s News Station put it on as a blurb at the very end).

I watched Chikushi Tetsuya’s News 23 that day. They featured the FP story very prominently with an interview with critics (Amnesty’s Teranaka Makoto saying that FP has caught very few people, if any, and is in no way an effective measure) and even did a rupo at the AI/SMJ demonstration at noon that day. There were some interviews included with NJ who grumbled about the wait at the gates. Summary comments by anchors at the end questioned why Japan was instituting the program at all.

Also Zero News gave it about five minutes early in their broadcast, with some more coverage of machines not behaving properly, and very annoyed tourists (one elderly Korean using some really impressive angry English). The point of both was that this whole thing was a mess.

NHK BS 10:50 didn’t even bother to have it in their headlines.

As others have said, it makes one wonder why NJ would ever bother to pay any NHK fees. When something like this affects at least 1.5 million Japanese residents (millions more if you include their Japanese families), this is unignorable news. Whatever coverage there was basically toed the GOJ line and gave little, if any, coverage to the controversy. Very, very disappointing, NHK.

Contrast that with CNN, which devoted half of their article to the criticisms. Let me excerpt those only:
=====================================
JAPAN BEGINS IDENTIFYING FOREIGNERS
CNN, November 20, 2007

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/11/20/japan.foreigners.ap/index.html
http://www.debito.org/?p=763
Courtesy of Olaf Karthaus (excerpt)

…Critics, however, said the measures discriminate against foreigners and violate their privacy. A group of nearly 70 civic groups from around the world delivered a letter of protest Monday to Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama.

“We believe that your plans… are a gross and disproportionate infringement upon civil liberties, copying the most ineffective, costly and risky practices on border management from around the world,” the letter said.

Immigration officials say the bureau plans to store the data for “a long time,” without saying how long. It is unclear how many people will be affected; Japan had 8.11 million foreign entries in 2006…

Last month, Justice Minister Hatoyama came under fire over his assertion that a friend of his had an acquaintance who was a member of the al Qaeda terrorist group.
=====================================

Thanks. But the fix was in re domestic media coverage right from the start:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

YOMIURI EDITORIAL: FP JUSTIFIED AS ANTI-FOREIGN CRIME MEASURE

Hoo-hah. Here’s the best argument yet for fingerprinting almost all foreign visitors, er, all foreigners (thus portrayed) all put together nicely for one-stop shopping. The Yom’s Nov 19 editorial was right on cue–with its fundamental association of extranationality with criminality and insecurity. Note how anti-crime was Trojan-Horsed into the arguments for anti-terrorism:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////
USE FINGERPRINTS, PHOTOS TO BOOST SECURITY
The Yomiuri Shimbun Nov 19, 2007

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/20071119TDY04310.htm
http://www.debito.org/?p=748
Courtesy of Thomas Bertrand (excerpt)

…The main objective of the revised law is to block terrorists and foreign criminals from entering the country. If it is proven to be effective, Japan’s reputation as a safe country will be bolstered…

The scanned fingerprint data will be cross-checked against a blacklist on a database in a few seconds. If the data matches that of suspected criminals on the police’s wanted list or information on terrorists obtained through the United Nations and Interpol, the Immigration Bureau will immediately reject their entry into Japan and notify the police… The new immigration checks will be useful in preventing such illegal entries into Japan…

The government needs to cooperate with other countries and constantly update the database… Fighting terrorism is a common task for the international society. These countries obviously recognize its importance.

Japan will host the Group of Eight summit meeting at the Lake Toya hot spring resort in Toyakocho, Hokkaido, next year. Together with strengthening immigration checks, we hope the government will take all possible means to ensure coastal security and prevent terrorism in this country.
=====================================
http://www.debito.org/?p=748

COMMENT: If you want the quintessential parroting of the xenophobes with their hands on the levers of power, the Yomiuri provides it. Thanks Yomiuri, I wonder why any NJ subscribes to your English paper.

But the primary assumptions remain: efficient and accurate data collection, secure storage, and effective checking against a database. All of these things, this newsletter will show, are not true.

For example, here’s a funny article:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

SANKEI ON FINGERPRINTING SNAFUS

========================
FIRST DAY OF NEW IMMIGRATION SYSTEM: CONTINUOUS TROUBLES
Sankei Shinbun Nov 20, 2007
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/lifestyle/071120/sty0711201251002-n1.htm
(Translated by Arudou Debito, excerpt)

November 20, the day the new biometric system was inaugurated for foreigners at Immigration, has seen continuous troubles at every port of entry with taking prints and equipment failure.

There were errors with reading data for about 30 people at Hakata Port, and after redoing the procedure, only four people were recorded. The Immigration official in charge decided to waive the procedure and everyone in. The official claimed the equipment was not faulty, rather, “It seems there were a lot of elderly people whose fingerprints had been worn down after years on the farm.”

At Narita Airport, one Australian man’s fingerprints were unreadable, and the process took more than an hour. According to the Immigration Bureau at at Narita, there are cases where people’s fingertips were too dry to be read. At Shin-Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, there were reports of more failures, the cause seen as dry skin.

At Fushiki Toyama Port, Toyama Prefecture, three out of five portable fingerprint readers were inoperative right after the start of usage. After rebooting their systems, only one machine became operable, and it died after 30 minutes. Use was discontinued.
========================
Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=759

COMMENT: In my high school psychology class, we learned about a mental process called “projection”, where a batter blames the bat instead of himself for the strike-out.

Well, Immigration that day was a paragon of projection. Farmers and dry skin? Maybe the system is just no damn good from the start. Or maybe it’s just plain Karma.

So the compliant media turned its attention to damage control:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

YOMIURI & NIKKEI MISTAKENLY TRUMPET “5 CAUGHT IN NEW SYSTEM”, SANKEI CONTRADICTS

Here is a link to three articles in Japanese trumpeting the success of the new Fingerprinting system–all done in the middle of the night so as to make the morning editions.
Original Japanese at http://www.debito.org/?p=770

========================
FIVE PEOPLE MATCH FINGERPRINT BLACKLIST; DENIED ENTRY AT THE BORDER
Yomiuri Shinbun November 21 2007 03:09AM

(Translated by Arudou Debito, excerpt)
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20071121i401.htm

With the amendment of the Immigration and Refugee Control Act, as of November 20 all foreigners [sic] coming to Japan must be fingerprinted. As a result, 5 people were denied entry, as their fingerprints matched those on a “blacklist”.

Most of those people had been deported in the past, or had tried to come into Japan on fake passports. One person was immediately deported, while the remainder were issued orders to leave.

The blacklist includes data such as 1) 14,000 names created by Interpol (ICPO) with the Japanese police, 2) about 800,000 names of people who have been deported for overstaying their visas in Japan.

With the advent of the Immigration Act revisions, new entry procedures were enacted in ports of entry such as Narita, Kansai and Osaka Airports, and those five people matched the fingerprints on the blacklist…
========================
Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=774

“Hey, we caught ’em, see how the system is working and how much we need it?” Despite the fact that it was also reported on November 20 that nobody was refused at all?

That’s right, actually. Read beyond the following Sankei headline:

================================
FIVE PEOPLE REFUSED ENTRY TO JAPAN FOR “PREVIOUS HISTORY”
System to inspect fingerprints and facial photos
Sankei Shinbun November 21, 2007 02:02AM

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/crime/071121/crm0711210203000-n1.htm
(Translated by Arudou Debito, excerpt)

With the new Immigration system requiring facial photos and fingerprints from all foreigners over the age of 16 [sic–not completely correct as stated] being launched from November 20, five people’s fingerprints matched those of people who had been refused entry in the past in the database, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Of those five, it seems three were using altered or falsified passports, and were processed for deportation. The remaining two were given orders to leave. No foreigner was refused entry at the border for refusing to give fingerprints.

The Justice Ministry also announced that at Obihiro, Narita, Chubu International, and Fukuoka Airports, as well as at Hakata seaport, a total of 21 people’s fingerprints were impossible to read. The reason seems to be that they were elderly and thus had worn-down fingers.

Those 21 were given oral interviews by Immigration and allowed in. The Ministry added that “Under Immigration directives, if we can’t scan their fingerprints properly, we still will process them for entry into Japan.”…
================================
Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=774

COMMENT: In other words: Three of the five were caught for funny passports, the other two for other reasons left unclear but at Immigration’s discretion. Which means bagging these five was unrelated to the Fingerprint policy. In other words, this sort of thing happens on a daily basis and is not news. Unless there is a political reason for making it so.

One so political it generates a lie in the face of science and technology? As “Kimpatsu” commented to Debito.org:

================================
November 21st, 2007 at 11:15 am e
David, I can tell you for certain that this snagging of five people is completely unrelated to the fingerprinting. Know why? I bet you mistakenly think that the photos and fingerprints are processed in real time, and if Osama bin Laden tries to enter Japan, an alarm will sound and red light will flash, right?

Wrong. There is no computer powerful enough to process biometric data in real time. Instead, at the end of each working day, the data is infodumped to a centre in Tokyo for processing. There will inevitably be a backlog (because the centre is closed at weekends), and the best a computer can do is throw up possible matches, which must then be verified manually. (Forget CSI, in which the computer positively matches fingerprints before the next commercial break; that’s just fantasy.)

Consequently, Osama has enough time to enter Japan, blow up Tokyo, and depart, before his biometric data has been processed. The new system doesn’t make people safer; it only makes them FEEL safer–which is not the same thing… But then again, when dealing with the scientifically ignorant, we are dealing with an absolute majority…
http://www.debito.org/?p=774#comment-95234
================================

And as Olaf concurred:
================================
Look at the (long) FBI file here:
http://www.fbi.gov/publications/leb/1996/aprl963.txt
and this was 11 years ago. Real time data analysis is gaining speed.

[But you are right that there will be an inevitable backlog.] Even the FBI says that they have a 99.99% correct identification rate (forgot the source – have to look again). With 8 million processed data sets every year that means that there are 800 misidentified people per year – more than 2 a day! If this misidentification matches an innocent person as being on a criminal data base (with several million data sets worldwide this is likely to happen), this false positive match must be checked manually.

Checking the complete databases takes hours (one print per millisec; 8 million prints – do the math: 8000 seconds, or nearly three hours). Poor guy for whom the ‘hit’ comes early in the search, while he is still in transit at immigration. Detention, grilling, at worst deportation, at best a missed connection flight (and waiting Japanese family members on ‘the other side’ in utsukushii Nippon).

Of course this will never be reported in the press: ‘Faulty fingerprint ID: Tourist mistakenly deported’
http://www.debito.org/?p=774#comment-96473
================================

Two associations to make: fingertips and sandpaper. Meanwhile, the GOJ is already changing the force of law into the law of force:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

MAINICHI: FP REFUSERS WILL BE INCARCERATED, FORCED TO BE FP

According to the Mainichi Nov 21, the Justice Ministry has now issued a “tsuuchi” directive (the GOJ bureaucrats’ way of minting laws without going through a legislative body) granting Immigration more powers.

People who refuse to get fingerprinted will not only be refused at the border, but also forced to have fingerprints taken. as well as a physical inspection and incarceration in the airport Gaijin Tank.

What this means in the event uncooperative Permanent Residents and their Japanese spouses, the article notes, is incarceration with “extra persuasion”–without, they say, the threat of force. With all this extralegality going on, fat chance.

================================
FOREIGN FINGERPRINTING: NONCOMPLIERS FORCED TO BE FINGERPRINTED: MOJ
Mainichi Shinbun November 21, 2007

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20071121-00000017-mai-soci&kz=soci
(Translated by Arudou Debito, Courtesy of Tony K)

As an anti-terrorism etc. measure under the new Immigration inspection system, requiring fingerprints from all foreigners coming to Japan [sic], the Mainichi has learned that The Ministry of Justice’s Immigration Bureau has issued a directive (tsuuchi) to all regional divisions, saying that foreigners who refuse fingerprinting and rejection at the border [sic] are to be forced to be fingerprinted.

Although the Ministry of Justice originally explained this system as an “offering” (teikyou) of fingerprints without coercion, they have now indicated that they will implement this measure with the option of compulsion (kyouseiryoku) against anyone who refuses. It is anticipated that this will strengthen criticisms that “this system is treating foreigners as criminals”.

This policy of collecting biometric data is being effected at airports and seaports whenever foreigners enter the country, compared on the spot with stored Immigration data of people with histories of being deported from Japan, or blacklisted overseas. If fingerprints match, entry into the country will be denied, as will people who refuse to cooperate with the collection of data.

If the person denied refuses to comply with the deportation order, Immigration will implement forceable deportation orders and render the person to a holding cell within the airport. Whether or not fingerprints will be taken during incarceration had until now not been made clear.

However, based upon an Immigration directive issued during the first week of this month, it is now clear that “for safety concerns, when necessary people may now have their bodies inspected (shintai kensa)”, and Immigration officers have now been empowered to take fingerprints from those who refuse to cooperate. The directive also demands video recording of the proceedings.

Afterwards, refusers will be rendered to the appropriate transportation authorities for deportation. However, in the case of Permanent Residents and their Japanese spouses who have livelihoods in Japan, what the “country of return” for deportation will exactly mean is bound to present a problem. Immigration officials reply, “We will sufficiently persuade (settoku) the refuser to cooperate, and endeavor not to do this by force.”

According to a source familiar with Immigration laws, Immigration searches are something done in the case when a foreign national is under suspicion for breaking the law, such as overstaying his visa. In principle, fingerprinting is a voluntary act, and forceable fingerprinting rarely occurs. The source adds, “If we just don’t let the refuser into the country, there’s nothing dangerous they can do.” He questions whether or not it is justifiable to forceably fingerprint the person and add them to a blacklist of deportees.

Ryuugoku University Professor Tanaka Hiroshi, a specialist on human rights involving non Japanese, adds, “This type of foreigner fingerprinting system was once in place and people refused to cooperate. But now in its place we have not only criminal penalties, but also the extreme measure of refusing them entry into the country. This ministerial directive has little legal basis in its extreme sanctions.”
===========================
Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=777
along with a much shorter (and milder) official translation in the Mainichi of the same article, for your comparison.

Now let’s look at the emerging “garbage in, garbage out” situation:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

ASAHI: 38% OF US-VISIT DATABASE ARE MISTAKES

So much for the effectiveness of the US-VISIT system the current Japanese NJ fingerprinting regime is modeled upon:

======================================
AMERICAN EMBASSY, TOKYO
PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION, OFFICE OF TRANSLATION AND MEDIA ANALYSIS
DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS
November 21, 2007 (excerpt)

(Item 8)
US SYSTEM OF SCREENING VISITORS: MISTAKES, CONTRADICTIONS FOUND IN 38% OF THOSE CITED ON MONITORING LIST
ASAHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
November 19, 2007

…The US-visit system was introduced in 2004. The system is almost the same as Japan’s. Anna Hinken, an officer of the US Department of Homeland Security, proudly said: “We have rejected the entry of more than 2,000 persons who were considered a security risk since the system was introduced.”

But a US government agency poses questions about the system’s technology and credibility. This July, the US General Accounting Office criticized the US-visit system as seriously fragile in view of information control. He pointed out the possibility that personal data, including fingerprint data, might be altered or copied by someone from the outside due to insufficient security measures.

In September, an auditor of the Justice Department emphasized how inaccurate US blacklists are. The auditor said that as a result of a sampling check of the terrorism-affiliates included in a monitoring list, mistakes or contradictions were found in 38% of those checked, with the names of some terror suspects left out of the list or innocent persons appearing on it.

The monitoring list was compiled by integrating those of such government agencies as the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration, and the list is not open to the public. As of April this year, the number of those listed was 700,000. The number reportedly increases by 20,000 per month.

American Civil Liberties Union member Barry Steinhardt said: “There should not be so many terrorists. The list is unreliable. In addition, since the list is classified and not publicized, it is impossible to check how effectively it has worked to prevent terrorism.”

The monitoring list has also affected civic life. There are cases in which citizens unrelated to terrorism appeared on the list or in which a person who has the same family and personal name as a certain suspect was stopped at an airport security check.

The US-visit system also tends to give travelers an unpleasant impression about the nation.
======================================
http://www.debito.org/?p=779

I might add that the original article has been unavailable online at Asahi.com, even shortly after it first appeared. No wonder. Thanks to the USG for archiving it.

Something else equally archivable, which I had on file for months waiting for just such an occasion:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

ASAHI: TOKYO & NARITA LOSE PERSONAL DATA FOR 432 NJ

One of Immigration’s mantras has been how they will take proper care of all the biometric data they drag out of their gaijin patsies.

I’m not confident of that, in light of what happened last May. Incompetence in spades.

=======================
TOKYO IMMIGRATION BUREAU LOSES PERSONAL DATA FOR TOTAL 432 FOREIGNERS
Asahi Shinbun March 28, 2007

http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0528/TKY200705280376.html
http://www.debito.org/?p=437
(Translated by Arudou Debito, full text)

TOKYO – Tokyo Immigration announced on March 28 that it had lost flash memory at its headquarters and Narita Airport Branch, regarding personal information for visa overstayers and deported foreigners. They say that no trace of it remains, and there is no danger of the data being misused.

The same agency said last December that an Immigration official in his thirties, based at headquarters, had lost saved memory–names, dates of birth, embarkation points, and other documented details–for 137 foreign overstayers currently being processed for deportation. Also last December, another official in his twenties based at Narita had lost saved memory in the form of a “deportation notebook”. In that, an additional 295 foreigners had had their names, dates of birth, reasons for deporting etc. recorded for deportation.
======================================

http://www.debito.org/?p=766

On a similar note:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

YOMIURI: SDF & MOFA LOSE PERSONAL COMPUTERS IN BELGIUM

Courtesy of Michelle:
======================================
731 SDF APPLICANTS’ DETAILS LEAKED ONTO INTERNET
The Yomiuri Shimbun, November 18, 2007
(excerpt)
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20071118TDY02309.htm

Personal details of 731 people who passed the first-stage entrance examination for recruitment by the Self-Defense Forces have been accidently uploaded onto the Internet, it has been learned.

The Defense Ministry learned the list had been online for six weeks and has begun investigating how the information was compromised.

The list–confidentially created using spreadsheet software by Yokohama-based SDF Kanagawa Provincial Cooperation Office, which recruits self-defense officers in Kanagawa–included Kanagawa Prefecture-based applicants’ personal details including their name, sex, date of birth, address, cell phone number and parents’ names…

Families of examinees have expressed their dismay over the mishandling of the information.

“The situation, which saw detailed personal information made available online, is a serious error that caused problems for the examinees,” the man who told the office of the errors said. “They have to realize the severity of the situation.”

“I worked as an SDF officer. I think it was disgraceful,” the father of a male examinee said. “They let their guard down–now we’re afraid what the information could be used for. The Defense Ministry has been hit by so many scandals that even as a former officer, I find it hard to be proud of it.”

The Defense Ministry and SDF have been hit by a succession of information leaks. In February last year, confidential data on the MSDF destroyer Asayuki was leaked onto the Internet through members’ privately owned computers, which had been installed with a file-exchange program.

In April last year, the Defense Ministry prohibited the use of privately owned computers in the workplace, and barred personnel from handling business data on privately owned computers. Then, SDF members were visited at home by inspectors who checked whether personnel had stored business data on their computers…
======================================
Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=747

COMMENT: It’s nice for the Yomiuri to devote least a third of the article to those affected by the leaks. Criticism is okay as long as it comes from Team Japan. Another article, to show this is nothing new:

======================================
JAPANESE FINGER VIRUS FOR POLICE DOCUMENT LEAK
By John Leyden, The Register
Published Wednesday 7th April 2004
(excerpt)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/04/07/japanese_keystone_cops/

Japanese police are blaming a computer virus for a leak of information about criminal investigations.

Information from 19 documents – including investigation reports, expert opinions and police searches – found its way from the hard disk of an officer from Shimogamo Police Station in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, onto the Net last month.

The names, birthdays, addresses and other personal data of 11 people were listed in the leaked documents, along with a detailed description of an alleged crime. Police have promised to notify the 11, including an alleged crime victim, to explain the cock-up…

The officer at the centre of the debacle created the leaked documents in 2002 while practicing how to fill out forms using real data instead of dummy entries.

He was on police box duty and authorised to use his own PC but not to save sensitive data on it, a violation in police procedures that has become the subject of disciplinary inquiry.
======================================
Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=747

And it’s not limited to stupidity within Japan:

======================================
NINE LAPTOP COMPUTERS STOLEN FROM JAPANESE EMBASSY IN BELGIUM
(Mainichi Japan November 5, 2007
(excerpt)
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20071105p2a00m0na005000c.html

BRUSSELS, Belgium: Thieves broke into the Japanese Embassy in Belgium and stole nine laptop computers, including one belonging to the consul, embassy officials have announced.

The break-in is believed to have occurred between the evening of Nov. 2 and the predawn hours of Nov. 3. Officials said nothing besides the computers had been stolen. They added that no confidential diplomatic information had been leaked outside the embassy… Japanese officials have asked the government in Belgium to boost security in the wake of the incident.
======================================
Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=747

The Yomiuri, moreover, has it at eleven laptops, with details on their contents:

======================================
11 LAPTOP PCS STOLEN FROM BRUSSELS EMBASSY
The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov 15, 2007
(excerpt)
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/world/20071115TDY02303.htm

…Some of the stolen computers held electronic data on matters such as the expats’ residence certification, overseas voting registration and passport information, according to the embassy.

The residence certification contains details such as a person’s name, birthdate, permanent address in Japan, occupation, family information and passport number.
======================================
Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=747

As contributor Michelle writes, if they can’t take care of personal information for their own citizens, how can they be expected to take care of foreigners’ information?

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Now for the information you wouldn’t hear via the Yomiuri, Nikkei, or NHK:

MAINICHI ON PUBLIC ACTION OUTSIDE MOJ

======================================
PROTESTERS ‘FLIP THE BIRD’ AT JUSTICE MINISTRY OVER FORCED FINGERPRINTING
Mainichi Daily News Nov 20, 2007 By Ryann Connell (excerpt)
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20071120p2a00m0na020000c.html

Protestors inflated a 3-meter-high yellow hand with an extended forefinger and thrust it toward the Justice Ministry’s offices in Tokyo on Tuesday to demonstrate against a controversial fingerprinting policy beginning at ports of entry across the country the same day.

About 80 protestors turned toward the ministry building and shouted in unison their opposition to the new policy, which requires all but a handful of foreigners to have their fingerprints and face photos taken to gain entry into Japan.

Representatives of human rights groups, labor unions, foreigners’ groups and individuals spoke out against the system–similar to the US-VISIT policy operating in the United States since 2004, but also targeting residents and not just tourists–calling it, among other things, “racist,” “xenophobic,” “retrogressive” and “an invasion of human rights and privacy.”

“It’s an expression of Japanese xenophobia. Japan is using this system as a tool to control foreigners. For the past few years, the government has been associating foreigners with things like crime and terrorism,” said Sonoko Kawakami, campaign coordinator for Amnesty International Japan, which organized Tuesday’s demonstration.

Lim Young-Ki, a representative of the Korean Youth Association in Japan, pointed out how ethnic Koreans had fought for decades until the 2000 abolition of fingerprinting on Alien Registration Certificates only to see the process revived through the back door now.

“This system is ostensibly an anti-terrorism measure, but it is extremely harmful to individuals and only applying the system to foreigners shows a lack of consideration for foreigners’ human rights. Even though the system of fingerprinting foreigners was completely abolished in April 2000, it’s infuriating that the Japanese government has reinstated this practice and this entry inspection system.”…

Another foreign woman who identified herself only as Jennifer said she is a permanent resident, having lived in Japan for 38 years and with a Japanese husband and Japanese national children… “They already have my photo and my fingerprint*many times over,” she said. “This step is quite unnecessary.”

But an official from the Justice Ministry’s Immigration Bureau dismissed the protestors’ claims.

“This system was introduced to protect the lives and safety of citizens [sic] by preventing terrorism. There were rational reasons and necessities in introducing the system, which was approved by the Diet,” Yasuhiro Togo of the Immigration Bureau said, adding that the methods of fingerprinting differ from the abolished Alien Registration Certificate system.

“The aim of taking fingerprints is different–we’re fighting against terrorism–and we will not be forcing people to put their fingers into ink as used to be the case. The fingerprints will all be taken and stored electronically.”…

The government says the new system is aimed at combating terrorism, but has also said it will provide data to crime-fighting authorities upon request. The Immigration Bureau’s Togo said such information would be handled in accordance with the Private Information Protection Law. He added that information collected by immigration authorities would not be handed over to foreign governments.
======================================
Rest with photos at http://www.debito.org/?p=751

COMMENT: So, which is it, the GOJ will share its data with other governments or won’t it? The GOJ is taking fingerprints like before or isn’t it? The data is secure or isn’t it? It’s enough to make one laugh out loud at the absurdity and double-talk. To that end:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

PROTESTS WITH PARODY POSTERS, T-SHIRTS, POSTCARDS, MULTILINGUAL BILLETS

Hilarious parody of the issue by Kaoru, showing maiko (apprentice geisha) in whiteface, with the caption:
==========================
OI WHITIES! GO AND GET FINGERPRINTED!
Kaoru: “I knocked up a quick mock-poster illustrating the ludicrousy. This was just for my own amusement of course (especially the inclusion of Yu Kikumaru of the Red Army saying ‘Keep Japan Safe!’), but I figure there has to be a t-shirt idea in there somewhere!”
==========================
http://www.debito.org/?p=757

Multilingual billets:
==========================
Hi there, the trilingual (Japanese, French, and English) tract against fingerprints policy is done!
More info on fingerprinting protest site reentry japan:

http://reentryjapan.blogspot.com/2007/11/here-is-tract-you-may-consider-using-to.html
Download it, print it, show it, put in your bar, restaurant, on your car, on your desk, give it to the immigration officer, to your friends…
==========================
http://www.debito.org/?p=787

More posters, “Yokoso Japan” T-shirts (which will be sent to you in time for your New-Year return to Japan), and video at
http://www.debito.org/?p=761

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

FRANCE 24 TV INTERVIEW IN FRENCH AND ENGLISH: “JAPAN’S 1984”

TV Network France 24 has a good report on the FP policy, with an interview with a national bureaucrat, Teranaka Makoto of Amnesty International, and yours truly.

==========================
English:
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Japan’s 1984: Japanese authorities have introduced American-style immigration law. Foreigners will have to be fingerprinted and photographed evey time they enter the country – a law that some regard as Orwellian
. (Report: N. Tourret)
http://www.france24.com/france24Public/en/reportages/20071120-japan-society-immigration-law-fingerprint.html

Francais:
mardi 20 novembre 2007
Le Japon durcit les conditions de circulation: Le Japon a durcit sa legislation vis-a-vis des voyageurs etrangers. Disormais, photographies et empreintes digitales seront imposis dans les aeroports. Le sujet suscite un large debat.
(Reportage : N. Tourret)
http://www.france24.com/france24Public/fr/reportages/20071120-japon-loi-immigration-empreinte-digitale-photographie.html
==========================

While I’m at it, here is a link to my previous podcast, up on Trans Pacific Radio. Yes, it has information on fingerprinting, of course.,,
http://www.transpacificradio.com/2007/11/22/debitoorg-newsletter-for-november-19-2007/

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

NYT: FINGERPRINTING A “DISASTER FOR J BUSINESS”

Much the same ground covered in this article as others. But good to see a write-up this thorough making a splash throughout the US East Coast this time–in the Old Grey Lady, no less. This is the paper the GOJ takes most seriously of all overseas publications. And they don’t pull punches–devoting most of the article to the criticisms.

================================
NEW JAPANESE IMMIGRATION CONTROLS WORRY FOREIGNERS
New York Times November 18, 2007 (excerpt)
By MARTIN FACKLER

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/world/asia/18japan-1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

TOKYO, Nov. 17– Japan has tried hard in recent years to shake its image as an overly insular society and offer a warmer welcome to foreign investors and tourists. But the country is about to impose strict immigration controls that many fear could deter visitors and discourage businesses from locating here.

On Tuesday, Japan will put in place one of the toughest systems in the developed world for monitoring foreign visitors. Modeled on the United States’ controversial U.S.-Visit program, it will require foreign citizens to be fingerprinted, photographed and questioned every time they enter Japan…

[T]he measures, part of an immigration law enacted last year, have been criticized by civil rights groups and foreign residents’ associations as too sweeping and unnecessarily burdensome to foreigners…

Some of the most vocal critics have been among foreign business leaders, who say the screening could hurt Japan’s standing as an Asian business center, especially if it is inefficiently carried out, leading to long waits at airports. Business groups here warn that such delays could make Japan less attractive than rival commercial hubs like Hong Kong and Singapore, where entry procedures are much easier…. [and] runs counter to recent efforts by the government to attract more foreign investment and tourism.

“If businessmen based here have to line up for two hours every time they come back from traveling, it will be a disaster,” said Jakob Edberg, policy director in the Tokyo office of the European Business Council. “This will affect real business decisions, like whether to base here.”…

However, some civil rights groups worry that the government is using terrorism to mask a deeper, xenophobic motive behind the new measures. They say that within Japan, the government has justified the screening as an anticrime measure, playing to widely held fears that an influx of foreigners is threatening Japan’s safe streets…

“Terrorism looks like an excuse to revive to the old system for monitoring foreigners,” said Sonoko Kawakami at Amnesty International in Japan. “We worry that the real point of these measures is just to keep foreigners out of Japan.”…
================================
Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=768

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

…and finally…
ACCENTURE, MAKER OF THE FP MACHINES, NOW HIRING IN JAPAN, THRU TIGER WOODS!

Seems its not just former Yomiuri Pitchers anymore pitching this system.
http://www.debito.org/?p=735

Accenture (formerly the crooked and now defunct Arthur Andersen, accounting firm and book-cooker for Enron), is riding the wave of its cheap bid to build Japan’s biometric machines by expanding its operations in Japan! As reader Leslie writes:

================================
Debito, Saw this ad in the subway yesterday. Seems Accenture, the offshore company with the contract to collect biometric data on foreigners in Japan, is hiring!
http://www.debito.org/?p=782

I am also astounded that foreigners arriving in Japan and refusing to give MOJ/Accenture their data will now officially have physical force used against them to force the extraction of the personal data. Nightmarish. Leslie
================================

The profiteering never stops from companies like these, especially when the GOJ is under pressure from the local hegemon to contribute to the war effort.
http://www.debito.org/?p=693
No doubt buying American helps placate.

Perhaps Tiger Woods, pictured in the advertisement, would enjoy being treated as a potential terrorist and criminal next time he comes for a round of golf in Miyazaki?

See more about Accenture’s involvement in the biometric data market on Debito.org here:
http://www.debito.org/?p=345

Mark Says:
================================
November 24th, 2007 at 5:51 pm e
Perhaps it would be worth contacting Tiger Woods, through the agency that sells his likeness, to complain that he’s advertising for a company that is directly involved in these new Draconian measures that he himself would be subject to if arriving without fanfare.
The Interntational Management Group (IMG)
1 Erieview Plaza
Cleveland OH 44114
216-522-1200

================================
http://www.debito.org/?p=782#comment-96052

We’re also looking to recruit baseball’s Tuffy Rhodes, who has lived and played here for more than ten years, if he’s amenable. Imagine if he were to say, “The league has accepted me, the Buffaloes have accepted me, the fans have accepted me–but the government hasn’t.”

And as Mark in Yayoi notes, “He’s paid in a *lot* more tax money than any of us have!”

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

CONCLUDING STATEMENT: PROGNOSTICATIONS FOR THE PRESENT COURSE:
A HASTENED ECONOMIC OBSCURITY FOR JAPAN

With this new Fingerprinting policy, the Japanese government has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt anymore that it’s run by people who are either out of touch with just how internationalized Japan has become (with globalization and the Trainee Visa regime since 1990), or are just plain xenophobic (what with blaming foreigners for terrorism, disease, and crime). Even stupid (MOJ Minster Kunio “Friend of a Friend in Al-Qaeda” Hatoyama sexing up the justifications for the Fingerprinting policy).

And how if we don’t have a major change in leadership at the top (i.e. at least knock the LDP from it’s half-century in power), Japan will ultimately knock itself back into an economic backwater, no longer Asia’s representative to the world, what with the rise of China. That’s how I see the lay of the land at the moment.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

That’s quite enough for this week. Thanks for reading and listening!
Arudou Debito, Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org, http://www.debito.org
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 28, 2007 ENDS

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Fingerprinting protest tract for Immigration & new FP protest info website

mytest

Hi Blog. Thomas Bertrand writes:

==========================
Hi there, the trilingual (Japanese, French, and English) tract against fingerprints policy is done!

More info on fingerprinting protest site reentry japan:
http://reentryjapan.blogspot.com/2007/11/here-is-tract-you-may-consider-using-to.html

Download it, print it, show it, put in your bar, restaurant, on your car, on your desk, give it to the immigration officer, to your friends…

(click on image to expand in your browser)
ReentryJapanProtest.jpg

Thomas Bertrand and friends.
==========================

COMMENT: Well done. Pass it around online and make copies for distributing in the real world. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

Community: Olaf & Tony on ironies of Fingerprinting & foreign crime in Japan

mytest

Hi Blog. You’ve probably wondered why I’ve reverted back to my “one-a-day” blogging style, in the face of all this news. It’s because I’m doing this blog entirely by myself, and I don’t have the time and energy to work at the computer constantly for weeks (plus with speeches coming up just about every weekend these days, I haven’t had a full “day off” in several weeks); I even went to bed at 9PM last night and didn’t open my eyes until 7AM this morning. Guess I’m getting old.

Anyhoo, some good comments from The Community internet volunteer group this morning on the Fingerprinting policy and foreign crime in Japan:

Olaf wrote:
==============================
I just sent this out as a Letter to the Editor at the Japan Times:

The timing [of the Fingerprint Policy] couldn’t be more ironic. While Japan is ratifying and implementing laws to cut into the privacy of foreigners in Japan, forcing tax-paying, law-abiding, decade-long foreign residents to yield their fingerprints at immigration, Japanese gangsters are shooting and killing right and left. Hospital patients, city majors fall victims to Japanese criminals well known to the police. The police know their names, headquarters and that they own arsenals of deadly weapons. Instead of spying after innocent residents, the police should smoke out the gangster’s rat holes, arrest and persecute them. Only after that is done, I will consider giving my fingerprints.
==============================
Tony wrote:
==============================
It struck me this morning, watching the TOKUDANE programme coverage of the “accidental” hospital shooting, as one of the talking heads pointed out that ‘the police simply “designate” yakusa and members of “shitei bouryoku dan” and do nothing to actually round them up’; Organised crime syndicates get better treatment from the Japanese police than foreigners do! Maybe we should organise ourselves into a gang and then the police might leave us alone to get about our daily lives – no more “carding”, and we would get to ride our bicycles with impunity!

Debito, feel like changing your name again to “Don Debitone”??

Another comment in the same program that struck me as surreal – in the coverage of the disappearance of a Kikawa Ken grandmother and her two granddaughters, the neighbours have reported hearing a man shout “Hayou senka?” which is a local dialect phrase for “hurry up!” The reporter said in all seriousness that “since this was a little known west country dialect, it could be assumed that the perpetrators were probably not foreigners”.

I wondered to myself, has it really come to the stage that the default assumption in a serious crime is that foreigners are involved?
==============================

COMMENT: And I wondered to myself, the NPA still haven’t apprehended the prime suspect, Ichihashi Tatsuya (who last March reportedly fled barefoot from his apartment containing her body when 9 police visited) in the Lindsay Ann Hawker murder case. Yet the police will hold a person for a year without any physical evidence (no bail for foreigners, mind you) in the Idubor Case. And there’s still nobody arrested in the death last June of sumo wrestler Tokitaizan, who was savaged to death by his stablemates (and stablemaster Tokitsukaze, who even publicly admitted to bludgeoning him with a beer bottle the day before his death). Where’s the consistency? Why are criminal investigations drawn along nationality lines?

Funny old world out there. Pity it’s (increasingly incontrovertibly) stacked against the foreigner in Japan. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

Asahi: US-VISIT database riddled with mistakes: 38% of entries

mytest

Forwarded by a friend. So much for the effectiveness of the US-VISIT system the current Japanese NJ fingerprinting regime is modeled upon. First the source of the article (the table of contents), then the article with pertinent sections underlined. The article, btw, has long been unavailable online at Asahi.com. No wonder. Which is why I had to wait until I got this source. Arudou Debito

======================================
AMERICAN EMBASSY, TOKYO
PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION
OFFICE OF TRANSLATION AND MEDIA ANALYSIS
INQUIRIES: 03-3224-5360
INTERNET E-MAIL ADDRESS: otmatokyo@state.gov
DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS
November 21, 2007

INDEX:
(1) US needs to see progress in nuclear, abduction issues for N. Korea delisting: Bush [Sankei] 2
(2) Fukuda diplomacy takes first step toward “synergy”: Premier Wen reacts favorably [Asahi] 3
(3) Leaders of Japan, China, South Korea play up friendly mood, laying aside pending issues [Nikkei] 4
(4) Nukaga treated by Mitsubishi [Akahata] 6
(5) Editorial: Do we want to entrust the compilation of the state budget to Finance Minister Nukaga? [Asahi] 6
(6) Ruling, opposition parties to find way to reach agreement on bills [Asahi] 7
(7) US N-flattop unsettles local host communities [Tokyo Shimbun] 9
(8) US system of screening visitors: mistakes, contradictions found in 38% of those cited on monitoring list [Asahi] 10
(9) Policy watch: Face up to the economy slipping [Sankei] 11
(10) TOP HEADLINES 13
(11) EDITORIALS 13
(12) Political Cartoon 15
** Next Daily Summary will be issued on November 26. **

EXCERPT

(8) US system of screening visitors: mistakes, contradictions found in 38% of those cited on monitoring list

ASAHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
November 19, 2007

Arriving foreign visitors form a long line at the immigration section at John F Kennedy Airport in New York to have their fingerprints taken from the index finger of each hand. Visitors have to wait for more than one hour when a number of flights arrive.

The US-visit system was introduced in 2004. The system is almost the same as Japan’s. Anna Hinken, an officer of the US Department of Homeland Security, proudly said: “We have rejected the entry of more than 2,000 persons who were considered a security risk since the system was introduced.”

But a US government agency poses questions about the system’s technology and credibility. This July, the US General Accounting Office criticized the US-visit system as seriously fragile in view of information control. He pointed out the possibility that personal data, including fingerprint data, might be altered or copied by someone from the outside due to insufficient security measures.

In September, an auditor of the Justice Department emphasized how inaccurate US blacklists are. The auditor said that as a result of a sampling check of the terrorism-affiliates included in a monitoring list, mistakes or contradictions were found in 38% of those checked, with the names of some terror suspects left out of the list or innocent persons appearing on it.

The monitoring list was compiled by integrating those of such government agencies as the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration, and the list is not open to the public. As of April this year, the number of those listed was 700,000. The number reportedly increases by 20,000 per month.

American Civil Liberties Union member Barry Steinhardt said: “There should not be so many terrorists. The list is unreliable. In addition, since the list is classified and not publicized, it is impossible to check how effectively it has worked to prevent terrorism.”

The monitoring list has also affected civic life. There are cases in which citizens unrelated to terrorism appeared on the list or in which a person who has the same family and personal name as a certain suspect was stopped at an airport security check.

The US-visit system also tends to give travelers an unpleasant impression about the nation.
ENDS

BBC: Japan visa regime “abuses foreign workers” with “forced labour”

mytest

Hi Blog. When things get busy (as they are right now, writing this from on-site at JALT), I’ll put up some backlogged articles that are still germane to Debito.org. Arudou Debito in Tokyo

================================
Japan scheme ‘abuses foreign workers’
By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Tokyo, Wednesday, 3 October 2007, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/7014960.stm

Over the past 17 years, thousands of foreign workers have travelled to Japan, taking part in an official scheme to learn skills they cannot pick up in their own countries.

But this year the Japanese government’s own experts have admitted that in many cases trainees are used as cheap labour.

The US state department has gone further. In its annual report on human trafficking, it said that “some migrant workers are reportedly subjected to conditions of forced labour through [its] foreign trainee programme”.

Wang Jun came to Japan on the trainee scheme “because Japan is the most advanced country in Asia, and so that I can learn skills here then go back to my own country and get a good job”.

Mr Wang works at a small factory in a suburb of Tokyo. He is one of four trainees in the workshop, toiling alongside 11 Japanese workers.

He sounds like he is getting the kind of experience he is supposed to on this scheme. It was set up in 1990, in order, the Japanese government says, to help poorer countries learn from Japan’s mastery of the manufacturing process.

Toshikazu Funakubo, the factory owner’s son, said it could be difficult to communicate with the Chinese workers. “But they are learning the Japanese culture and language. It’s a very good thing for all of us.”

The owner of the business, Toshiaki Funakubo, said he employed the Chinese workers because he wanted to help China. But he admitted that labour shortages in Japan were another important consideration.

“To tell the truth I want Japanese people to join my company, but at the moment we have no choice but to depend on good workers from abroad.”

Cultural ‘integrity’

The problem is that widespread public aversion in Japan to the idea of immigration has contributed to a shortage of labour.

In the United States, foreign workers make up 15% of the workforce. In Japan the figure is little more than 1%.

The job description, the working hours are the same. But the salary and treatment are so different. I cannot understand this
Chinese trainee
A recent government report into its own foreign workers scheme found that, in reality, trainees are used as cheap labour and their working conditions are not properly monitored.

“The Japanese government and the ministries do not want Japan to become an immigration country,” said Martin Schulz, a research fellow at the Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo.

“They do not want to change the cultural and social integrity of Japan, so they have a rather hands-off approach.”

That hands-off approach can lead to abuses. When the government made unannounced inspections to firms employing foreign trainees last year it found that 80% of them were breaking the laws on pay and conditions.

Some of those who are treated badly on the scheme find their way to the offices of the Zentoitsu (All United) Workers Union, in the Akiharbara district of Tokyo.

‘Sexual harassment’

One Chinese trainee said he discovered a disparity between his pay and that of other workers, but when he complained he was told that if he did not like it he could go back to China.

He did not want to give his name as he is afraid of reprisals.

“Chinese workers here do the same work as Japanese workers,” he said. “The job description, the working hours are the same. But the salary and treatment are so different. I cannot understand this.”

Hiroshi Nakajima, the union official helping him with his case, said a foreign worker came to ask for help almost every week.

“Basically they have many complaints about their labour conditions. For example, non-payment and sometimes threat of dismissal, and not only these things but sometimes sexual harassment and sometimes the company keeps their passport or alien card and insurance card too,” he said.

Japan International Training Co-operation Organisation (Jitco), which runs the scheme for the government, said it was aware of media reports about trainees’ troubles.

But said its own research showed foreign workers were satisfied with the way they were treated.

In a statement, Jitco told the BBC that individual cases should not be used to generalise about the whole scheme.

And yet the Japanese government’s own panel of experts has decided there is a need for stiffer penalties for companies that mistreat workers.

These will not be introduced for at least two years, though. It is an acknowledgement that the system is not working, but it seems there is no rush to fix it.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/7014960.stm

Published: 2007/10/03 11:24:33 GMT

© BBC MMVII

John Spiri reviews Gregory Clark’s book “Understanding the Japanese”

mytest

The Japanese and Ware Ware Non-Japanese
A review of UNDERSTANDING THE JAPANESE by Gregory Clark
By John Spiri, former Assistant Professor at Akita International University

(written for a mass media outlet, unpublished)

UNDERSTANDING THE JAPANESE: Gregory Clark. First published 1982 by Kinseido, Tokyo

It is difficult to imagine a book written by a Japan “expert” having as little of substance to say as Understanding the Japanese by Gregory Clark. The book, awash with trivial generalizations, simplistically attempts to dichotomize everything—brains, societies, and the entire world—while presenting “theories” that would be better left to barrooms and pubs.

The mother of all Clark’s dichotomies is between “Japanese” and “non-Japanese.” Clark writes, “For us non-Japanese peoples the identity of a nation lies in its ideas and culture.” Clark even goes so far as to title a section, “The Non-Japanese Nation” citing stereotypes about the French (who are happy to accept even millions of refugees and workers), Chinese (who have even refused to accept Western technology), and Americans (who exclude homosexuals since they are seen as a threat to Christian ideology). The conclusion is “culturally advanced non-Japanese peoples are more exclusive to foreign ideas and culture than they are towards foreigners” while Japanese are the reverse.

Later, after generalizing that Japanese have a “dual morality” (with his evidence being banal inconsistencies that exist within every human), Clark claims, “With non-Japanese it is not possible to admit to such a dual morality. Our behavior is supposed to be guided by law and principles.” One example of Japanese morality that Westerners supposedly lack is the “generosity” of booksellers who allow customers to read books for free. Clark might be a little shocked to see evidence of this “Japanese morality” in any Barnes & Noble bookstore in the United States, where customers sit around in lounge chairs reading unbought books.

Towards the end of the book readers are told the Japanese negotiate “heart to heart” while all the other peoples in the world negotiate “mind to mind.” “It is as if Japan were to insist on playing shogi while the rest of the world plays chess.” Oh, those Japanese are so, so, what’s the word?, different!

As the thin book wears on, we learn that “non-Japanese” might not really be meant to include everyone; only the “advanced” peoples are worthy of the ultimate comparison. After telling his readers again that “the Japanese seem to be very different from other peoples” Clark claims the reason is that all the other “advanced peoples” had protracted conflict with foreign nations. “Meanwhile,” readers are told, “the rest of us, for the past thousand years or much more, have been constantly involved in fighting each other.” Besides the historical falsity, Clark doesn’t bother to explain how the experience of warring samurai factions of generations past has failed to affect modern Japanese in the same way that warring knights in medieval Europe has supposedly affected modern Europeans.

Clark’s efforts to engage readers in Socratic dialog are juvenile: “Do the Japanese lack a sense of morality?” (answer No! their morality is different from ours), and, “Why does (Japanese flexibility) exist?” (answer: Japan is a nation without ideology!). Then, Clark resorts to citing “someone” to modify: “Someone once said that the ideology of Japan is Japanism!” One would think an “expert” would be held to higher standards.

However, readers learn that if a writer tosses around enough unsupported opinions and generalizations, some will resonate. My favorite was the section about the Japanese propensity for booms. Clark notes that when he first came to Japan there was a “hula hoop boom,” followed by the bowling boom. “The businessmen had convinced themselves,” he writes using his finest prose, “that the Japanese people wanted to do nothing else for the rest of their lives except throw large balls at distant pins, and the relics of their emotionalistic judgment still dot the nation in form of unused bowling parlors.” Hopefully, one day the same can be said of pachinko parlors.

The Japanese, according to Clark, are comparable to one other nation. The Chinese? Never! They are like Westerners. The Koreans? Perish the thought. The Mongolians? They’re not “advanced.” It may come as a surprise, but the one nation that resembles the Japanese are Cretes! Like Japan, the Cretes could “borrow the ideologies of the advanced rationalistic societies around it” and was also a “very durable civilization, lasting almost 1,500 years.” Of course, concrete comparisons are tough to make considering the fact Crete society perished 2,500 years ago in a massive volcanic eruption. “Perhaps there is a message there for Japan,” Clark tells readers, without elaborating.

Some of the stereotypes are downright mean-spirited. “Under the Christian ethic stealing is forbidden,” Clark tells readers, “But that does not stop taxi drivers from trying to short-change their passengers.” The recent stories of the New York city cabbies would undoubtedly surprise Clark. One returned a bag of diamonds; a second sped to the airport to return a forgotten wallet containing thousands of dollars.

The book, constantly hammering home the theme that “Japanese are unique,” is clearly trying to cash in on a writing style, and topic, that appeals to Japanese. Clark frequently tosses in yokeina (superfluous) Japanese: tanitsu minzoku, gyousei shidou, and nantai doubutsu, to either benefit the Japanese reader or put his knowledge of the Japanese language on display, and ends with 13 pages of notes in Japanese.

If Clark weren’t writing with apparent seriousness, the book might be amusing; the illustrations, however, give a hint that the book is not to be taken seriously. As Clark himself has (according to Brad Blackstone, a former associate professor at AIU) been heard to say, “I milked that baby (Understanding the Japanese book) for 20 years, going to speaking engagements around the country.” So, in a sense, it’s “hats off” to the author for getting away with elevating barroom blather to social theory and still maintain status as a culture commentator and Japan expert.
======================

More on Gregory Clark, columnist at the Japan Times, on Debito.org at
http://www.debito.org/gregoryclarkfabricates.html
http://www.debito.org/HELPSpring2001.html
ENDS

Accenture, producer of NJ fingerprinting machines, is hiring in Japan, thru Tiger Woods!

mytest

Hi Blog. Accenture ( formerly the crooked and now defunct Arthur Andersen, accounting firm and book-cooker for Enron), is riding the wave of its cheap bid to build Japan’s biometric machines by expanding its operations in Japan! As reader Leslie writes:

//////////////////////////////////////////////
Debito,

Saw this ad in the subway yesterday. Seems Accenture, the offshore company with the contract to collect biometric data on foreigners in Japan, is hiring!

(Click on image to expand in your browser)
accenture.jpg

I am also astounded that foreigners arriving in Japan and refusing to give MOJ/Accenture their data will now officially have physical force used against them to force the extraction of the personal data. Nightmarish. Leslie
//////////////////////////////////////////////

The profiteering never stops from companies like these, especially when the GOJ is under pressure from the local hegemon to contribute to the war effort (plus, buying American sure helps). Perhaps Tiger Woods, pictured in the advertisement, would enjoy being treated as a potential terrorist and criminal next time he comes for a round of golf in Miyazaki?

See more about Accenture’s involvement in the biometric data market on Debito.org here. Arudou Debito in Tokyo
ENDS

Fingerprinting: Anger in the Blogosphere

mytest

Hi Blog. Lots to do this weekend in Tokyo at JALT, so I’ll be brief:

In all my twenty years of Japan, I’ve never seen the NJ communities so angry.

Not during the “gaijin all have AIDS” scare of 1986, the Otaru Onsens Case of 1999, the Ishihara anti-gaijin anti-crime “Sangokujin Speech” media campaigns of 2000, the “anti-hooligan” scare before and during World Cup 2002, the Al-Qaeda scare of 2005, or the “foreign crime is rising” National Police Agency media campaigns every six months. This time, there’s a very “faith no more” element to it all.

I am receiving links to angry diatribes on the Fingerprint policy in the Blogosphere. Two that leave a lasting impression:

Running Gaijin Card Checks
http://www.keepingpaceinjapan.com/2007/11/running-in-fear.html

Oppose Japan’s bid for The Olympics
http://nofj16.googlepages.com/home

If you know of any more, please send links to the comments section below. Angry, humorous, ironic, and/or poignant is fine, racist is not, so exercise discretion.

The point is, how else are NJ going to express their anger when they are this disenfranchised in Japanese society? Where the media machines for manufacturing consent will ultimately pit the entire Japanese society against the “gaijin”–through completely unfounded assertions of criminality, terrorism, and allegedly effective preventative measures which single people out for discrimination by race, nationality, and national origin.

How else? The Blogosphere. Vent away.

How things work over here to create “Team Japan vs. The World” has never come out as clearly as now. Arudou Debito in Tokyo

France 24 TV & Trans Pacific Radio on Fingerprinting: “Japan’s 1984”

mytest

Hi Blog. TV Network France 24 has a good report on the FP policy, with an interview with a national bureaucrat, Teranaka Makoto of Amnesty International, and yours truly.

////////////////////////////////////////////
English:
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Japan’s 1984: Japanese authorities have introduced American-style immigration law. Foreigners will have to be fingerprinted and photographed evey time they enter the country – a law that some regard as Orwellian. (Report: N. Tourret)

http://www.france24.com/france24Public/en/reportages/20071120-japan-society-immigration-law-fingerprint.html

Francais:
mardi 20 novembre 2007
Le Japon durcit les conditions de circulation: Le Japon a durcit sa législation vis-à-vis des voyageurs étrangers. Désormais, photographies et empreintes digitales seront imposés dans les aéroports. Le sujet suscite un large débat. (Reportage : N. Tourret)
http://www.france24.com/france24Public/fr/reportages/20071120-japon-loi-immigration-empreinte-digitale-photographie.html
////////////////////////////////////////////

While I’m at it, here is a link to my latest podcast, up on Trans Pacific Radio. Yes, it has information on fingerprinting, of course…

http://www.transpacificradio.com/2007/11/22/debitoorg-newsletter-for-november-19-2007/

Also, to people who have written me emails recently–they’re piling up in my in-tray at the moment, sorry. I will get to them when I have some time (and also translate a couple of favorable articles on the FP issue from the Hokkaido Shinbun), but I’ve got two speeches I’ve gotta work on coming up this weekend at JALT Tokyo, regarding job searches for their Job Information Center:

==========================
Getting a job in Japanese academia: Avoiding pitfalls
Arudou Debito

* Saturday, 4:10 pm – 5:10 pm, Room 102
* Sunday, 9:50 am – 10:50 am, Room 102

Japanese academia is in crisis. Although demand for language education is not in jeopardy, the number of secure jobs for both Japanese and non-Japanese is shrinking, as contracted work replaces tenure. The times require job searches with eyes wide open. This workshop will give some advice on how to avoid the potentially lousy jobs, some job-condition benchmarks, and some things to ask your potential employer before taking a job that could have no secure future.
==========================
http://conferences.jalt.org/2007/pd-workshops

Perhaps see you there. Jumping on a plane to Tokyo in a few hours, Arudou Debito in Sapporo

Mainichi: MOJ will force NJ refusers to be incarcerated, fingerprinted

mytest

Hi Blog. According to the Mainichi today, the Justice Ministry has now issued a “tsuuchi” directive (the GOJ Mandarins’ way of minting laws without going through a legislative body) granting Immigration more powers. People who refuse to get fingerprinted will not only be refused at the border, but also forced to have fingerprints taken. as well as a physical inspection and incarceration in the airport Gaijin Tank.

What this means in the event uncooperative Permanent Residents and their Japanese spouses, the article notes, is incarceration with “extra persuasion”–without, they say, the threat of force. With all this extralegality going on, fat chance. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

/////////////////////////////////////////

FOREIGN FINGERPRINTING: NONCOMPLIERS FORCED TO BE FINGERPRINTED: MOJ
Mainichi Shinbun November 21, 2007
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20071121-00000017-mai-soci&kz=soci
Translated by Arudou Debito, Courtesy of Tony K

As an anti-terrorism etc. measure under the new Immigration inspection system, requiring fingerprints from all foreigners coming to Japan [sic], the Mainichi has learned that The Ministry of Justice’s Immigration Bureau has issued a directive (tsuuchi) to all regional divisions, saying that foreigners who refuse fingerprinting and rejection at the border [sic] are to be forced to be fingerprinted.

Although the Ministry of Justice originally explained this system as an “offering” (teikyou) of fingerprints without coercion, they have now indicated that they will impliment this measure with the option of compulsion (kyouseiryoku) against anyone who refuses. It is anticipated that this will strengthen criticisms that “this system is treating foreigners as criminals”.

This policy of collecting biometric data is being effected at airports and seaports whenever foreigners enter the country, compared on the spot with stored Immigration data of people with histories of being deported from Japan, or blacklisted overseas. If fingerprints match, entry into the country will be denied, as will people who refuse to cooperate with the collection of data.

If the person denied refuses to comply with the deportation order, Immigration will impliment forceable deportation orders and render the person to a holding cell within the airport. Whether or not fingerprints will be taken during incarceration had until now not been made clear.

However, based upon an Immigration directive issued during the first week of this month, it is now clear that “for safety concerns, when necessary people may now have their bodies inspected (shintai kensa)”, and Immigration officers have now been empowered to take fingerprints from those who refuse to cooperate. The directive also demands video recording of the proceedings.

Afterwards, refusers will be rendered to the appropriate transportation authorities for deportation. However, in the case of Permanent Residents and their Japanese spouses who have livelihoods in Japan, what the “country of return” for deportation will exactly mean is bound to present a problem. Immigration officials reply, “We will sufficiently persuade (settoku) the refuser to cooperate, and endeavor not to do this by force.”

According to a source familiar with Immigration laws, Immigration searches are something done in the case when a foreign national is under suspicion for breaking the law, such as overstaying his visa. In principle, fingerprinting is a voluntary act, and forceable fingerprinting rarely occurs. The source adds, “If we just don’t let the refuser into the country, there’s nothing dangerous they can do.” He questions whether or not it is justifiable to forceably fingerprint the person and add them to a blacklist of deportees.

Ryuugoku University Professor Tanaka Hiroshi, a specialist on human rights involving non Japanese, adds, “This type of foreigner fingerprinting system was once in place and people refused to cooperate. But now in its place we have not only criminal penalities, but also the extreme measure of refusing them entry into the country. This ministerial directive has little legal basis in its extreme sanctions.”

ENDS

===========================

OFFICIAL TRANSLATION BY THE MAINICHI, FOR YOUR COMPARISON:

Gov’t orders forced fingerprinting of foreigners refusing to give prints at entry ports
Mainichi Shinbun Nov 21, 2007
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20071121p2a00m0na033000c.html

The Justice Ministry has instructed regional immigration bureaus to forcibly take fingerprints from foreigners who refuse to be fingerprinted or to leave the country, sources close to the ministry said.

The ministry’s Immigration Bureau sent the directive to regional immigration bureaus prior to the introduction of a system on Tuesday, under which all foreigners who enter Japan, except for a limited number of people such as special permanent residents and visitors under the age of 16, must be photographed and fingerprinted at airports and ports.

The ministry had explained that it had no intention of forcibly taking fingerprints from foreigners who visit Japan.

The directive cites a clause in the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law, which empowers immigration officers to conduct body checks on foreign visitors if such measures are necessary for safety reasons. It then urges immigration officers to forcibly take fingerprints from those who refuse to cooperate and film them on video.
ENDS

毎日:<外国人指紋採取>「拒否者には強制力行使も」…法務省通知

mytest

<外国人指紋採取>「拒否者には強制力行使も」…法務省通知
11月21日2時31分配信 毎日新聞
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20071121-00000017-mai-soci&kz=soci
Courtesy of Tony K

 テロ対策などのため、20日始まった来日外国人に指紋提供を義務付ける入国審査制度で、法務省入国管理局が、指紋提供と退去を拒否する外国人は収容し強制的に採取するよう地方の各入国管理局に通知していたことが分かった。同制度について、法務省は強制的に指紋採取はしないとして「提供」と説明してきたが、拒否者に対して強制力で臨む措置を指示した形だ。「外国人を犯罪者扱いする運用」との批判が強まりそうだ。

 指紋の採取や顔写真の撮影は、空港、港での入国審査時に実施し、その場で入管が保有する過去の強制退去者、国際指名手配犯などのリストと照合。一致した者は入国拒否され、提供拒否も国外退去となる。退去命令にも従わない場合、入管は強制退去手続きに移行し、身柄を空港内の収容場に収容する。その際に指紋を採るかどうかは明らかにされてなかった。

 ところが、今月上旬に出た法務省入管局警備課長通知は「保安上の必要がある時は身体検査できる」などの入管法の規定を根拠に、入国警備官に強制力をもって拒否者から指紋を採取するよう指示。同時にビデオ撮影することも求めている。

 その後、拒否者は運航業者に引き渡し、強制退去させる流れとなるが、永住者や日本人の配偶者がいるなど国内で生活する人は「戻る国」がなく、対応が問題になりそうだ。入管局幹部は「拒否者にも十分に説得を重ね、強制しなくてもすむよう努める」と話す。

 入管法に詳しい関係者によると、不法残留容疑などで外国人の違反調査を行い、指紋を採るのは任意が原則で、強制採取はほとんどないという。関係者は「拒否者は入国できない以上、危険が国内に持ち込まれることはない。さらに指紋を強制的に採取し強制退去者リストに保存する正当性はあるのか」と批判する。

 外国人の人権問題に詳しい田中宏・龍谷大教授は「全廃された外国人登録の際の指紋押なつ拒否についても、刑事罰のうえに再入国不許可という過剰な制裁を加えていた。今回の通知内容も法的根拠に乏しく、同様の発想による過剰制裁だ」と話している。
ENDS

Primary source info: Application Form for NJ preregistry of fingerprints

mytest

Hi Blog. No matter where you are in Japan, if you want to play ball and preregister your biometric data, go to Tokyo. More on the difficulties involving that procedure here, from somebody who made the trip from Kobe and had a pretty lousy time once there.

Never mind–even permanent residents are still gaijin and potential terrorists, so lump it. It’s for our safety–“our” especially meaning us “kokumin”. How many more hoops will Japan make its residents jump through before it realizes this will lead to an exodus of business and money? Text courtesy of Shaney. Arudou Debito

===========================

Please find the attached “Application Form for User Registration of the Automated Gates” and “User’s guide”. If you wish pre-registration, please complete the application form and bring in the application counter.

To: All foreign national employees,

We would like to advise you of an important change in immigration procedures for foreign nationals.

The change is intended to prevent terrorism and is due to a partial amendment of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.

With effect from 20 November 2007, fingerprints and a facial photograph will be taken as mandatory requirement when foreign nationals enter Japan.

This will not only apply to tourists but also to holders of foreign registration card holders and/or re-entry permit.

If foreign nationals refuse to provide fingerprints and a facial photo, the entry will be denied and such person will be asked to leave Japan.

For details, please view the video “Landing Examination Procedures for Japan are Changing!” available in English, Chinese and Korean.

The video runs for approximately five and a half minutes.

For English http://nettv.gov-online.go.jp/prg/prg1203.html

For Chinese http://nettv.gov-online.go.jp/prg/prg1204.html

For Korean http://nettv.gov-online.go.jp/prg/prg1205.html

Also here is the link in English & Japanese.

English: http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/keiziban/happyou/video.html

Japanese: http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/keiziban/happyou/biometric.pdf

At the same time, from 20 November 2007, Narita airport will implement an automated gate system.

The system is designed to simplify and accelerate emigration and immigration procedures.

Foreign nationals who wish to go through the automated gate are required to pre-register by submitting their ID (face photograph & fingerprint).

The application for registration will be accepted at Tokyo Immigration Bureau in Shinagawa or Tokyo Immigration Bureau Narita Airport Branch.

You will be asked to submit your passport and the registration application form, and your face will be photographed and both index fingers be fingerprinted.

Please find attached the English translation of the official document by Ministry of Justice. 
ENDS

Yomiuri & Nikkei trumpet 5 NJ snagged by Fingerprinting system. Sankei says FP system not snagger.

mytest

Hi Blog. Here is a link to three articles in Japanese trumpeting the success of the new Fingerprinting system–all done in the middle of the night so as to make the morning editions. Hey, we caught ’em, see how the system is working and how much we need it? Despite the fact that it was also reported yesterday that nobody was refused at all.

That’s right, actually. Read beyond the Sankei headline. Three of the five were caught for funny passports, the other two for other reasons left unclear but at Immigration’s discretion. Which means bagging these five was unrelated to the Fingerprint policy. In other words, this sort of thing happens on a daily basis and is not news. Unless there is a political reason for making it so. Guess what that political reason is. The fix is really in.

Anyway, two of the articles follow in translation. Two associations to make: fingertips and sandpaper. You’ll see what I mean in the Sankei article. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

================================

FIVE PEOPLE REFUSED ENTRY TO JAPAN FOR “PREVIOUS HISTORY”

System to inspect fingerprints and facial photos

Sankei Shinbun November 21, 2007 02:02AM

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/crime/071121/crm0711210203000-n1.htm

(Translated by Arudou Debito)

With the new new Immigration system requiring facial photos and finger from all foreigners over the age of 16 [sic–not completely correct as stated] being launched from November 20, five people’s fingerprints matched those of people who had been refused entry in the past in the database, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Of those five, it seems three were using altered or falsified passports, and were processed for deportation. The remaining two were given orders to leave. No foreigner was refused entry at the border due to them refusing to give fingerprints.

The Justice Ministry also announced that at Obihiro, Narita, Chubu International, and Fukuoka Airports, as well as at Hakata seaport, a total of 21 people’s fingerprints were impossible to read. The reason seems to be that they were elderly and thus had worn-down fingers.

Those 21 were given oral interviews by Immigration and allowed in. The Ministry added that “Under Immigration directives, if we can’t scan their fingerprints properly, we still will process them for entry into Japan.”

Only one machine was completely inoperative, at Fushiki Toyama Port. Immigration said, “We had problems for a little while and there were cases of delays in processing, and our standards slipped due to all the rush.”

================================

FIVE PEOPLE MATCH FINGERPRINT BLACKLIST; DENIED ENTRY AT THE BORDER

Yomiuri Shinbun November 21 2007 03:09AM

(Translated by Arudou Debito)

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20071121i401.htm

With the amendment of the Immigration and Refugee Control Act, as of November 20 all foreigners [sic again] coming to Japan must be fingerprinted. As a result, 5 people were denied entry, as their fingerprints matched those on a “blacklist”.

Most of those people had been deported in the past, or had tried to come into Japan on fake passports. One person was immediately deported, while the remainder were issued orders to leave.

The blacklist includes data such as 1) 14,000 names created by Interpol (ICPO) with the Japanese police, 2) about 800,000 names of people who have been deported for overstaying their visas in Japan.

With the advent of the Immigration Act revisions, new entry procedures were enacted in ports of entry such as Narita, Kansai and Osaka Airports, and those five people matched the fingerprints on the blacklist.

On the other hand, there were several problems with people not having their fingerprints readable.

At Hakata seaport, several tourist groups from Pusan, Korea, had trouble having their fingerprints scanned upon entry. So four people were waived through with a passport check. According to Immigration at Fukuoka Hakata, “They were elderly whose fingerprints are hard to read.”

According to the Ministry of Justice Immigration Bureau, there were a total of 21 cases where people’s fingerprints were unscanable, at places such as Hakata, Narita, and Chubu International. Also, at Toyama Port, one of five scanning machines was inoperable and decommissioned.

ENDS

読売・産經・日経:「5人強制退去」だが、指紋採取制度と無関係

mytest

ブロブの皆様、きのう「誰も断らなかった」が報道されたが、こうやってメディアは正当化するね。特にこの新聞は早い者勝ちしているのは意外ではないね。しかし、見出し以外を読むと、「うち3人は偽造・変造パスポートを使用したとみられ、強制退去の手続きに入った。残る2人にも退去命令が出される見通し。 指紋や顔写真の提供を拒んで入国拒否となった外国人はいなかった。」(産經)。つまり、これは新制度と無関係だった。これは毎日の出来事みたいで、なぜニュースになったのでしょうか。有道 出人

=====================

5人に「前歴」 強制退去へ 指紋・顔写真の新入国審査
産經新聞 2007.11.21 02:02
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/crime/071121/crm0711210203000-n1.htm

 16歳以上の外国人に入国審査で指紋、顔写真の提供を義務付ける新制度の運用が20日始まり、法務省によると、計5人の指紋が、過去に強制退去となって来日が許可されていない人物のデータベースと一致した。

 うち3人は偽造・変造パスポートを使用したとみられ、強制退去の手続きに入った。残る2人にも退去命令が出される見通し。 指紋や顔写真の提供を拒んで入国拒否となった外国人はいなかった。

 法務省はまた、この日帯広、成田、中部国際、福岡の4空港と博多港で、計21人の指紋がスキャナーで読み取れなかったと発表。高齢で指紋がすり減るなどしたのが理由とみられるという。

 この21人は口頭での審査を経て入国。同省は「省令などに基づき、指紋が読み取れない場合でも入国審査手続きを進めることができる」としている。

 不具合で使用できなかった指紋読み取り装置は伏木富山港の1台だけ。法務省入管局は「一時的なトラブルで審査時間が延びたケースがあったことは反省すべきだが、大きな混乱はなく順調な滑り出し」としている。

=====================

入管指紋採取でブラックリストと一致、5人の入国認めず
(2007年11月21日3時9分 読売新聞)
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20071121i401.htm

 改正出入国管理・難民認定法の施行初日の20日、来日外国人に義務づけられた指紋採取の結果、5人について、入国が認められない「ブラックリスト」の人物の指紋と一致したことが明らかになった。

 過去に日本から強制送還となり、偽造パスポートなどで入国しようとした人物が大半と見られる。法務省入国管理局は1人を強制送還とし、4人に退去命令などを出す方向だ。

 リストは、〈1〉国際刑事警察機構(ICPO)と日本の警察が指名手配した約1万4000人〈2〉不法滞在するなどして強制送還となった約80万人――らの指紋のデータが含まれている。

 改正入管法の施行に伴い、成田、関空両空港や大阪港などで新たな入国管理が実施され、このうちの5人の指紋がブラックリストと一致した。

 一方、各地の空港や港などで指紋が採取できないなどのトラブルが相次いだ。

 博多港では、韓国・釜山からの数十人の団体客が入国審査を受けた際、指紋採取にトラブルが発生したため、4人の指紋採取を断念、旅券審査などを行った上で、入国を許可した。福岡入国管理局博多港出張所は「高齢の方で指紋が読み取りにくくなり、採取できなかった」としている。

 法務省入国管理局によると、指紋が採取できなかったケースは博多港、成田空港、中部国際空港などで計21件あった。また、富山港では5台ある指紋採取用の機器のうち1台が不調となり、使用を中止した。

(2007年11月21日3時9分 読売新聞)
=====================

Nikkei112007.jpg

ENDS

NYT on Fingerprinting: “Disaster for J business”

mytest

Hi Blog. Much the same ground covered in this article as others. But good to see a write-up this thorough making a splash throughout the US East Coast–in the Old Grey Lady, no less (a paper the GOJ takes most seriously of all overseas publications). Debito in Sapporo

================================

New Japanese Immigration Controls Worry Foreigners
New York Times November 18, 2007
By MARTIN FACKLER
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/world/asia/18japan-1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

TOKYO, Nov. 17 — Japan has tried hard in recent years to shake its image as an overly insular society and offer a warmer welcome to foreign investors and tourists. But the country is about to impose strict immigration controls that many fear could deter visitors and discourage businesses from locating here.

On Tuesday, Japan will put in place one of the toughest systems in the developed world for monitoring foreign visitors. Modeled on the United States’ controversial U.S.-Visit program, it will require foreign citizens to be fingerprinted, photographed and questioned every time they enter Japan.

The screening will extend even to Japan’s 2.1 million foreign residents, many of whom fear they will soon face clogged immigration lines whenever they enter the country. People exempted from the checks include children under 16, diplomats and “special permanent residents,” a euphemism for Koreans and other Asians brought to Japan as slave laborers during World War II and their descendants.

The authorities say such thorough screening is needed to protect Japan from attacks by foreign terrorists, which many fear here because of Japan’s support for the United States in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the measures, part of an immigration law enacted last year, have been criticized by civil rights groups and foreign residents’ associations as too sweeping and unnecessarily burdensome to foreigners. They note that the only significant terrorist attack in Japan in recent decades was carried out by a domestic religious sect, which released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway in 1995, killing 12 people.

Some of the most vocal critics have been among foreign business leaders, who say the screening could hurt Japan’s standing as an Asian business center, especially if it is inefficiently carried out, leading to long waits at airports. Business groups here warn that such delays could make Japan less attractive than rival commercial hubs like Hong Kong and Singapore, where entry procedures are much easier.

The business groups also contend that the screening runs counter to recent efforts by the government to attract more foreign investment and tourism.

“If businessmen based here have to line up for two hours every time they come back from traveling, it will be a disaster,” said Jakob Edberg, policy director in the Tokyo office of the European Business Council. “This will affect real business decisions, like whether to base here.”

Business groups also fault the government for bungling the few attempts it has made at explanation. Two weeks ago, the justice minister created a commotion when he defended the new measures by stating that “a friend of a friend” who belonged to Al Qaeda had entered the country repeatedly using forged passports. The government scrambled to say that the minister, Kunio Hatoyama, had never had direct contact with the alleged Qaeda member.

However, some civil rights groups worry that the government is using terrorism to mask a deeper, xenophobic motive behind the new measures. They say that within Japan, the government has justified the screening as an anticrime measure, playing to widely held fears that an influx of foreigners is threatening Japan’s safe streets.

These groups also note that fingerprinting of foreigners is not new here. Until fairly recently, all foreign residents were routinely fingerprinted. That practice was phased out after years of protest by foreign residents and civil rights groups.

“Terrorism looks like an excuse to revive to the old system for monitoring foreigners,” said Sonoko Kawakami at Amnesty International in Japan. “We worry that the real point of these measures is just to keep foreigners out of Japan.”

One request made by the European Business Council, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan and other business groups is to add special lines at airports for foreign residents, and especially frequent business travelers.

Until now, foreign residents have been allowed to use the same lines at airport immigration as Japanese citizens, speeding their entry. But the new law will bar them from doing so.

Only the Tokyo area’s main international airport at Narita has agreed to set aside lines for foreign residents. Others, including the nation’s second-largest airport, Kansai International near Osaka, will force these residents to line up with other foreigners, who even before the new screening often waited an hour or more to pass through immigration.

That irks Martin Issott, 59, a Briton and the regional director for a British chemical company who has lived in Japan for 20 years. Mr. Issott said he used the Kansai airport two or three times a month for business trips. He uses the immigration line for Japanese citizens and never waits more than five minutes. He said he feared that the change in rules would result in long waits at the end of every trip.

“I have no problem complying with the letter of this law,” said Mr. Issott, who lives in the western city of Kobe. “But I am utterly disgusted that they haven’t found a way to make this quicker and more painless.”
ENDS

Asahi: Tokyo Narita Immigration loses personal data for 432 NJ

mytest

Hi Blog. Been a busy day, what with the Fingerprinting fiasco. This will be the last article (for tonight anyway) related to the issue.

One of Immigration’s mantras has been how they will take proper care of all the biometric data they drag out of their gaijin patsies.

I’m not confident of that, in light of what happened last May. This article has been sitting in my blog intray for months now, but I had a feeling it would become very relevant soon. Here it is. Incompetence in spades, these people. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

=======================

TOKYO IMMIGRATION BUREAU LOSES PERSONAL DATA FOR TOTAL 432 FOREIGNERS
Asahi Shinbun March 28, 2007
http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0528/TKY200705280376.html
or
http://www.debito.org/?p=437
(Translated by Arudou Debito)

TOKYO – Tokyo Immigration announced on March 28 that it had lost flash memory at its headquarters and Narita Airport Branch, regarding personal information for visa overstayers and deported foreigners. They say that no trace of it remains, and there is no danger of the data being misused.

The same agency said last December that an Immigration official in his thirties, based at headquarters, had lost saved memory–names, dates of birth, embarkation points, and other documented details–for 137 foreign overstayers currently being processed for deportation. Also last December, another official in his twenties based at Narita had lost saved memory in the form of a “deportation notebook”. In that, an additional 295 foreigners had had their names, dates of birth, reasons for deporting etc. recorded for deportation.
ENDS

朝日:外国人計432人分の個人情報を紛失 東京入管

mytest

ブログの皆様、入管は「指紋などのデータを大事にする」というものの、こういうことも今年5月にあったことです。きちんと管理することに自信はありません。有道 出人

=======================

外国人計432人分の個人情報を紛失 東京入管
朝日新聞 2007年05月28日18時47分
http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0528/TKY200705280376.html

 東京入国管理局は、外国人の不法残留者や強制送還対象者の個人情報が書き込まれた小型記録媒体(フラッシュメモリー)を本庁舎と成田空港支局内でそれぞれ紛失した、と28日発表した。現時点では情報が悪用された形跡はないという。

 同局によると、昨年12月、本庁舎内で30代の入国警備官が不法残留・滞在などで退去手続き中の外国人137人分の氏名や生年月日、入国の経緯などの調査書類を保存したメモリーを紛失した。成田支局でも昨年12月、20代の入国警備官が「送還台帳」を保存したメモリーを紛失。強制送還対象の外国人295人分の氏名や生年月日、送還理由などが記録されていたという。
ENDS

Kobe Regatta Club Prez Dr Sadhwani on NJ Fingerprinting debacle

mytest

Hi Blog. This is a letter from Dr Deepu Sadhwani, President of the oldest group of long-term NJ in the Kansai, Kobe Regatta & Athletic Club. These are his thoughts on the NJ Fingerprinting policy, blogged with permission. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

===================================
Hi All,

An unedited version of an article that will go in our monthly mag. this weekend. It also goes out electronically to hundreds on our list both here and abroad.

Regards, Deepu

Many of you will probably be travelling out of the country during the next few weeks. When you return you will find that you will be treated as a second class citizen or worse. The new immigration law that came into effect on November 20th. 2007 treats all expatriates as such. You will be finger-printed and photographed each time you re-enter Japan. George Orwell would say, i told you so!!

The local authorities even contradict their own laws and resolutions by not installing proper equipment in all the airports and therefore it will take you hours before you can exit the terminal due to the long queues you will have to face. Narita airport being the exception. In a country that has had the Alien Registration system in place for years, a system that was already regarded as being insulting, why would the authorities need to verify information they already have?

It may be understandable in today’s difficult world that a first time visitor be obliged to go through this procedure. But for one who has all the proper documentation, for one who has visited on numerous occasions or lived here for a long time and for those who have Japanese partners and/or permanent residency, how can you sit back passively and see these perverted laws being enacted before your very eyes? It is time for each and everyone of us to make a stand. You have all recently been forwarded mail received from Mr. Debito and Mr. Issott, two concerned people who are really trying, mail that gives plenty of information and suggestions as to what we can do.

The way the authorities are going about welcoming expatriates to Japan is the equivalent of International political Hara-Kiri. Why would any expatriate business people who travel a lot want to be based in Japan? Most of the other countries in South East Asia offer simplified procedures that allow for easy travel and or transit. With the way it’s going now, i fear that we will lose many more expatriates and Kobe most of all can least afford that scenario.

We can all sit back and say, well if they’re going to get you they’re going to get you. Just like Asashoryu, they’re going to get you. We can also make a stand and express our grievances starting with our embassies. Isn’t that what they are there for? Don’t let them pass the buck. It is their duty, one where they must act in the interest of all the expatriates.

The new law is not the only area of major concern. In case you missed it, Mr. Debito wrote a very informative article in the Japan Times regarding the laws on checking of Alien Registration cards and with his permission, for which i am very thankful, reproduce some of the pertinent facts.

“The police have now deputized the whole nation to check on our cards and they get away with it as most of us do not know our rights and or the laws. When a cop demands to see your card on the street, you are not required to show it unless the officer shows you his ID first under the Foreign Registry Law (Article 13). Ask for the officer’s card and write it down. Furthemore, under the Police Execution of Duties Law (Article 2), cops aren’t allowed to ask anyone for ID without probable cause for suspicion of crime. Just being a foreigner doesn’t count. Point that out. 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.”

So you see dear readers, there’s possibly much more to come if we don’t utilize all of our forces at our command now to point out these fallible procedures and laws. Please send your comments to the General Committee to give us more strength in conveying this message to the authorities. Tell everyone you know to write to any figure of authority. Any help from you will make this wave of protest that much stronger. Do not remain silent.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Deepu Sadhwani
President
KR&AC
ENDS

NHK 7PM on Fingerprinting (You Tube), plus 11PM news programs and CNN

mytest

Vincent has uploaded the Nov 20 NHK 7pm Evening News segment about fingerprinting (2 min 52 sec, English dubbing) on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XZzPg9pk5U

Same with NHK Newswatch 9pm. Somewhat longer and more detailed than Evening News 7pm. Uploaded in Youtube (6 min 10 sec), and with a greater attempt at balance (but still far more airtime given to making the GOJ’s case). Link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA9wYkwvaIQ

==============

As for the Nov 20 11PM News shows (10PM’s News Station put it on as a blurb at the very end).

I watched Chikushi Tetsuya’s News 23–they featured the FP story very prominently with an interview with critics (Amnesty’s Teranaka saying that FP has caught very few people, if any, and is in no way an effective measure) and even a rupo at the AI/SMJ demonstration at noon today. There were some interviews included with NJ who grumbled about the wait. Summary comments by anchors at the end questioned why Japan was even instituting the program at all.

Also Zero news gave it about five minutes early, with some more coverage of machines not behaving properly, and very annoyed tourists (one elderly Korean using some really impressive angry English). The point of both was that this whole thing was a mess.

NHK BS 10:50 didn’t even bother to have it in their headlines. As others have said, it makes one wonder why NJ would ever bother to pay any NHK fees. When something like this affects at least 1.5 million Japanese residents (millions more if you include their Japanese families), this is unignorable news. Whatever coverage there was basically toed the GOJ line and gave little, if any, coverage to the controversy. Very, very disappointing NHK.

Finally, CNN, courtesy of Olaf:
=====================================
Japan begins identifying foreigners
CNN, November 20, 2007
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/11/20/japan.foreigners.ap/index.html
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Diplomats, government workers, permanent residents exempt from practice
Japan is second country after U.S. to implement practices
Tokyo says move made to combat international terrorism
Critics say practice is discriminatory and violates privacy

NARITA, Japan (AP) — Japan started fingerprinting and photographing arriving foreigners Tuesday in a crackdown on terrorists, despite complaints that the measures unfairly target non-Japanese.

Nearly all foreigners age 16 or over, including longtime residents, will be scanned. The only exceptions are diplomats, government guests and permanent residents such as Koreans who have lived in Japan for generations.

Tokyo has staunchly backed the U.S.-led attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan, raising fears Japan could be targeted by terrorists.

Officials said the new security measures, while inconvenient for visitors, were necessary.

“There are people who change their names, use wrongly obtained passports, and pretend to be other people,” said Toshihiro Higaki, an immigration official at Narita International Airport near Tokyo. “The measure also works as a deterrent.”

The fingerprints and photos will be checked for matches on terrorist watch lists and files on foreigners with criminal records in Japan. People matching the data will be denied entry and deported.

Japan is the second country after the United States to implement such a system, said Immigration Bureau official Takumi Sato.

He said there had been no reports of trouble since the checks began Tuesday morning.

Critics, however, said the measures discriminate against foreigners and violate their privacy. A group of nearly 70 civic groups from around the world delivered a letter of protest Monday to Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama.

“We believe that your plans … are a gross and disproportionate infringement upon civil liberties, copying the most ineffective, costly and risky practices on border management from around the world,” the letter said.

Immigration officials say the bureau plans to store the data for “a long time,” without saying how long. It is unclear how many people will be affected; Japan had 8.11 million foreign entries in 2006.

Concerns about extremists coming into Japan spiked when reports emerged in May 2004 that Lionel Dumont, a French citizen with suspected links to al Qaeda and a history of violent crime, repeatedly entered the country on a fake passport.

Dumont, who was later sentenced to 30 years in prison in France, was reportedly trying to set up a terror cell when he lived undisturbed in Japan in 2002 and 2003.

Last month, Justice Minister Hatoyama came under fire over his assertion that a friend of his had an acquaintance who was a member of the al Qaeda terrorist group.
ENDS

“YOKOSO JAPAN” parody poster, T-shirts and video

mytest

poster67790812.jpg
Courtesy Larry Fordyce

YokosoJapan[2].gif
Courtesy Nick Wood

TEE SHIRTS
==========================
Hi all, There have been several posts on various sites asking for a t-shirt designed to wear through Japan immigration & customs control to protest the recent policy of biometric I.D. for foreign nationals.

I am pleased to say that we have come up with such an item and encourage those who wish to wear them proudly as they pass through the passport control and I.D. process.

To view or order the “Yokoso Japan 11/20 commemorate t-shirt” please visit
http://samuraicanuck.tripod.com
or email yokoso_tee@joka.powweb.com

I will also be proudly wearing my shirt(s) throughout the JALT conference this weekend in Tokyo. Should you wish to speak to me about the tee design, ordering, or the policy itself I would be happy to oblige. I will also be bringing a limited number of shirts that may be purchased for 2500 yen, saving the shipping and handling fees.

Regards, Jon Dujmovich

If you haven’t already done so, please view and sign the petition to have
the policy abolished:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/fingerprints-japan/index.html
==========================
ENDS

Another PDF file courtesy of John Brodie:
Welcome to Japan 20.pdf

Sankei Shinbun on Fingerprinting equipment SNAFUs

mytest

Hi Blog. Here’s a funny article. In high school psychology class, we learned about a mental process called “projection”, where a batter blames the bat instead of himself for the strike-out. Well, Immigration today was a paragon of projection. Maybe the system is just no damn good from the start. Or maybe it’s just plain Karma. Read on. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

========================

First Day of New Immigration System: Continuous Troubles
Sankei Shinbun Nov 20, 2007

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/lifestyle/071120/sty0711201251002-n1.htm
(Translated by Arudou Debito)

November 20, the day the new biometric system was inaugurated for foreigners at Immigration, has seen continuous troubles at every port of entry with taking prints and equipment failure.

There were errors with reading data for about 30 people at Hakata Port, and after redoing the procedure, only four people were recorded. The Immigration official in charge decided to waive the procedure and everyone in. The official claimed the equipment was not faulty, rather, “It seems there were a lot of elderly people whose fingerprints had been worn down after years on the farm.”

At Narita Airport, one Australian man’s fingerprints were unreadable, and the process took more than an hour. According to the Immigration Bureau at at Narita, there are cases where people’s fingertips were too dry to be read. At Shin-Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, there were reports of more failures, the cause seen as dry skin.

At Fushiki Toyama Port, Toyama Prefecture, three out of five portable fingerprint readers were inoperative right after the start of usage. After rebooting their systems, only one machine became operable, and it died after 30 minutes. Use was discontinued.

ENDS

産經新聞:新入国審査システム初日 トラブル続出

mytest

新入国審査システム初日 トラブル続出
2007.11.20 12:51
このニュースのトピックス:事件・トラブル
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/lifestyle/071120/sty0711201251002-n1.htm

フォート:入国時に「生体情報」を採取するシステムが導入され、端末機の説明を受ける外国人=20日午前、関西空港

 外国人の入国審査で導入された新システムで20日、指紋読み取りの失敗など装置の不調が各地で相次いだ。

 博多港では約30人の指紋読み取りでエラーが発生し、やり直しの末、4人は記録を断念。入国審査官の判断で入国を許可した。入管担当者は「長く農作業に従事していた高齢者が多く、すり減ってしまったようだ」と話し、装置に問題はないとしている。

 成田空港では、オーストラリア国籍の男性(42)の指紋が認識できず、1時間以上かかった。東京入管成田空港支局によると、指先の乾燥などで十分認識できないケースがあるという。北海道の新千歳空港でも読み取りに何度も失敗するケースがあり、肌の乾燥が関係するとみられるという。

 富山県の伏木富山港では、持ち運び型の装置5台のうち3台で、使用開始直後に接続の不具合が発生。再起動して復旧した後、1台は約30分後に再び不具合が生じ、使用を中止した。

Yomiuri Editorial justifying NJ Fingerprinting as anti-crime measure

mytest

Hoo-hah. Here’s the best argument yet for fingerprinting almost all foreign visitors, er, all foreigners, yet–all put together nicely for one-stop shopping. November 19, 2007 editorial in the Yomiuri–with its fundamental association of extranationality with criminality and insecurity. Note how anti-crime has been Trojan-Horsed into the arguments for anti-terrorism now. Thanks Yomiuri, wouldn’t have expected anything less from you. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

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Use fingerprints, photos to boost security
The Yomiuri Shimbun Nov 19, 2007
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/20071119TDY04310.htm
Courtesy of Thomas Bertrand

The revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law will go into effect Tuesday, introducing new immigration checks that require foreign visitors to be fingerprinted and photographed when they enter the country.

The main objective of the revised law is to block terrorists and foreign criminals from entering the country. If it is proven to be effective, Japan’s reputation as a safe country will be bolstered.

Foreign visitors, including tourists, aged 16 or older will be subject to the new immigration examinations with the exception only of diplomats and special permanent residents such as South and North Korean residents in Japan.

The number of foreigners visiting Japan has been steadily rising. Last year, it totaled about 8.1 million, up more than 650,000 from the previous year.

One reason behind the increase is that the government, which has been trying to strengthen the tourism industry, has implemented measures to woo foreign tourists.

The government needs to give careful consideration in conducting the immigration checks to avoid a system breakdown or possible confusion in connection with the new examination procedures.

===

Electronic data collection

An electronic reading device will be used to collect fingerprint data from the index finger of each hand and foreign visitors’ faces will be digitally photographed. The scanned fingerprint data will be cross-checked against a blacklist on a database in a few seconds. If the data matches that of suspected criminals on the police’s wanted list or information on terrorists obtained through the United Nations and Interpol, the Immigration Bureau will immediately reject their entry into Japan and notify the police.

In the past, a man linked to Al-Qaida passed through Japan’s immigration despite the fact there was an international warrant for his arrest, complete with his fingerprints. Such a blunder must not be repeated. Fingerprint data collected at immigration can be used in criminal investigations in cases in which police find fingerprints at the scene of a crime believed to have been committed by non-Japanese.

The blacklist includes people who have been deported from Japan in the past. An increasing number of people who were once kicked out have later reentered the country with a fake passport or a passport that they obtained by changing their name. The new immigration checks will be useful in preventing such illegal entries into Japan.

===

International effort needed

The government needs to cooperate with other countries and constantly update the database. The bureau apparently expects the new measures will bring about a deterrent effect, which could make suspicious foreign visitors abandon their attempt to enter the country.

The United States has already introduced measures to fingerprint and photograph all foreign visitors in principle. Britain obliges visa applicants to be fingerprinted upon issuance. Indeed, many other countries are interested in obtaining personal identification data from foreign visitors, including fingerprints.

The government dispatched relevant officials to China, South Korea and Taiwan to explain Japan’s new immigration check system. The Asian neighbors, according to the government, basically expressed understanding for the envisioned measures. Fighting terrorism is a common task for the international society. These countries obviously recognize its importance.

Japan will host the Group of Eight summit meeting at the Lake Toya hot spring resort in Toyakocho, Hokkaido, next year. Together with strengthening immigration checks, we hope the government will take all possible means to ensure coastal security and prevent terrorism in this country.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 19, 2007)
ENDS

読売社説: 改正入管法 指紋・顔写真を治安改善に生かせ

mytest

ブログの読者諸君、読売社説は「反テロ措置」の外国人一般永住者でも指紋採取となる正当化は益々、「外国人犯罪の未然防止」まで走っていますね。それであっても、なぜ日本のマスコミはどうしても「外国人=テロ・犯罪」を描写するのですか。そこまで防犯・テロを防止したければ、漏れなく日本国民も指紋採取もしなければいけないですよね。特に、殆どの国内犯罪は日本人に犯され、いままで全ての国内テロ事件は日本人(赤軍、アウム等)に行われました。そう考えれば、この読売社説はアジトだと主張するのは過言ではないと思います。有道 出人

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改正入管法 指紋・顔写真を治安改善に生かせ(11月19日付・読売社説)
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/editorial/news/20071118ig90.htm

 指紋情報を読み取り、顔写真を撮影する。改正入管法が20日に施行され、こんな新しい入国審査がスタートする。

 最大の目的は、テロリストや外国人犯罪者の入国を阻止することにある。実効が上がれば、安全な国との評価も高まるだろう。

 観光客を含め、16歳以上の外国人が対象となる。外交官や、在日韓国・朝鮮人などの特別永住者が除かれるだけだ。

 来日する外国人は増加の一途だ。昨年は前年より65万人以上多い810万人に上った。観光立国を目指す政府の観光客誘致の施策も背景にある。

 システムが故障したり、入国審査に手間取ったりして混乱しないよう、運用には細心の配慮が必要だ。

 指紋情報は、両手人さし指について読み取り機器で採取する。顔写真はデジタルカメラで撮影する。指紋情報は、データベースの要注意人物リストと数秒のうちに照合される。

 警察が指名手配中の容疑者や、国連や国際刑事警察機構(ICPO)を通じて入手したテロリストと一致すれば、入国管理局は直ちに入国を拒否したり、警察に通報したりする。

 テロ組織「アル・カーイダ」に関係する男が、指紋付きで国際手配されていたのに、日本の入国審査を何度もすり抜けていた。こんな失態を繰り返してはならない。外国人の犯行と見られる事件現場から指紋が採取された場合など、犯罪捜査にも活用できる。

 要注意人物リストには、過去に退去強制処分になった人物も含まれる。退去させられても、偽造旅券を使ったり、改名して旅券を手に入れたりして、その後も来日する者が後を絶たない。こうした不法入国の防止にも役立つ。

 各国とも連携し、絶えずデータベースの充実を図っていく必要がある。入管局では、不審人物が最初から日本を避けるような“抑止効果”も期待している。

 すでに米国では、原則すべての外国人入国者から指紋を採取し、顔写真を撮影している。英国は査証を発給する時点で指紋の採取を義務づけている。指紋を含む個人識別情報の取得に、関心を示す国は少なくない。

 政府は中国や韓国、台湾に職員を派遣し、新しい仕組みを説明したが、基本的には理解を示したという。テロとの戦いは国際社会の共通の課題だ。その重要性をわかっているからだろう。

 来年は北海道洞爺湖サミット(主要国首脳会議)も開かれる。入国審査の強化と併せ、沿岸警備や国内のテロ対策にも万全を期してほしい。

(2007年11月19日1時31分 読売新聞)
ENDS

Mainichi on Fingerprinting protests outside MOJ

mytest

20071120p2a00m0na015000p_size5.jpg

An inflatable finger protestors used outside the Justice Ministry in Tokyo on Tuesday. (MDN)
(article follows photos)
20071120p2a00m0na016000p_size5.jpg20071120p2a00m0na017000p_size5.jpg20071120p2a00m0na018000p_size5.jpg20071120p2a00m0na023000p_size5.jpg

Pictures of protestors (MDN)

Protesters ‘flip the bird’ at Justice Ministry over forced fingerprinting
Mainichi Daily News Nov 20, 2007

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20071120p2a00m0na020000c.html

Protestors inflated a 3-meter-high yellow hand with an extended forefinger and thrust it toward the Justice Ministry’s offices in Tokyo on Tuesday to demonstrate against a controversial fingerprinting policy beginning at ports of entry across the country the same day.

About 80 protestors turned toward the ministry building and shouted in unison their opposition to the new policy, which requires all but a handful of foreigners to have their fingerprints and face photos taken to gain entry into Japan.

Representatives of human rights groups, labor unions, foreigners’ groups and individuals spoke out against the system — similar to the US-VISIT policy operating in the United States since 2004, but also targeting residents and not just tourists — calling it, among other things, “racist,” “xenophobic,” “retrogressive” and “an invasion of human rights and privacy.”

“It’s an expression of Japanese xenophobia. Japan is using this system as a tool to control foreigners. For the past few years, the government has been associating foreigners with things like crime and terrorism,” said Sonoko Kawakami, campaign coordinator for Amnesty International Japan, which organized Tuesday’s demonstration.

Lim Young-Ki, a representative of the Korean Youth Association in Japan, pointed out how ethnic Koreans had fought for decades until the 2000 abolition of fingerprinting on Alien Registration Certificates only to see the process revived through the back door now.

“This system is ostensibly an anti-terrorism measure, but it is extremely harmful to individuals and only applying the system to foreigners shows a lack of consideration for foreigners’ human rights. Even though the system of fingerprinting foreigners was completely abolished in April 2000, it’s infuriating that the Japanese government has reinstated this practice and this entry inspection system,” Lim said, reading a statement issued by his organization. “We want to use this demonstration to call on the Japanese government to promptly redress this system obligating foreigners to provide their fingerprints and face photos whenever they enter the country.”

Catherine Campbell of the National Union of General Workers Nanbu, whose ranks contain many foreigners, echoed a similar line.

“This is a big step backward and I really think it’s sad,” she said.

Another foreign woman who identified herself only as Jennifer said she is a permanent resident, having lived in Japan for 38 years and with a Japanese husband and Japanese national children. She spoke about having previously provided authorities with her fingerprint and face photo while taking out and updating her Alien Registration Certificate.

“They already have my photo and my fingerprint…many times over,” she said. “This step is quite unnecessary.”

But an official from the Justice Ministry’s Immigration Bureau dismissed the protestors’ claims.

“This system was introduced to protect the lives and safety of citizens by preventing terrorism. There were rational reasons and necessities in introducing the system, which was approved by the Diet,” Yasuhiro Togo of the Immigration Bureau said, adding that the methods of fingerprinting differ from the abolished Alien Registration Certificate system. “The aim of taking fingerprints is different — we’re fighting against terrorism — and we will not be forcing people to put their fingers into ink as used to be the case. The fingerprints will all be taken and stored electronically.”

Changes to the immigration law in May last year allowed for the collection of biometric data. Now, except for special permanent residents — who are largely people born and bred in Japan — diplomats, children under 16 and others the government deems can be excluded, any non-Japanese entering the country must provide the fingerprints from the index fingers on both hands and a photo of their face before they can be permitted to enter the country.

The government says the new system is aimed at combating terrorism, but has also said it will provide data to crime-fighting authorities upon request. The Immigration Bureau’s Togo said such information would be handled in accordance with the Private Information Protection Law. He added that information collected by immigration authorities would not be handed over to foreign governments. (By Ryann Connell)
ENDS

Immig Fingerprinting NJ from today, media coverage (or lack of), GOJ data security breaches

mytest

Hi Blog. It’s Nov 20, FP Day. Keep your eyes peeled for how the media talks about the event, send in briefs (or copies of whole articles, duly credited) about what you see. A reader wrote in last night to say:

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NHK 7PM NEWS NOV 19TH
Absolutely no mention of fingerprinting NJ entering Japan starting tomorrow. I’ll give them another chance tomorrow night, but that’s it. If they don’t find this new policy newsworthy, why should the foreign community pay for NHK?

Also notable that it is still hard to find a regular Japanese person who is even aware the policy is coming into effect. Not surprising really if NHK has nothing to say about it.
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Wow, the anger runneth over these days. Quite so. Speaking of media, here’s a post from a friend who also considers the dearth of coverage (except to justify it as a domestic crime-prevention measure by hiring former baseball pitchers as spokespeople). Have a read. Debito in Sapporo

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Hi Debito. Guess what was just posted to YouTube? If you guessed official (painless looking) instructions for fingerprinting and photographing, complete with elevator music and a smiling foreigner, you’d be right!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZiBFYSXKu10

Is this the official video to be shown on flights entering Japan??? Doh! To be fair, I don’t know how they can offer in-flight instructions without coming across like they see us as criminals.

Again…

I really hope someone can post a catchy video on YouTube WITH a link to the petition right below this watered-down load of rubbish! So far, only TWO videos uploaded to YouTube on fingerprinting in Japan. I’m surprised no one else has thought to do this, yet. The other video is a news clip from Japanese television. Anyway, only 38 “views” so far on that link I included.

Also found some information on Japan Today that may interest you. I’m going to quote it since it didn’t come from me:

=============
“Here’s an interesting development…”
WhatJapanThinks (Nov 19 2007 – 17:07)

http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/national/news/CK2007111902065426.html
外国人の指紋、20日から採取 「テロ対策」で入国時
2007年11月19日 朝刊 中日新聞
 16歳以上の外国人を対象に、入国審査で指紋と顔写真の提供を義務付ける改正入管難民法が20日施行され、全国の27空港や126の港で一斉に運用が始まる。
 こうした「生体情報」採取システムは、米中枢同時テロ後に導入した米国に次いで2番目。政府はテロ対策のためとしているが、日弁連や人権団体などから「情報の保存期間が不明で、犯罪捜査に際限なく利用される」と懸念の声が出ている。
 新システムでは、スキャナーで両手人さし指の指紋を読み取り、続いて顔写真を撮影。パスポートに記載された氏名などの情報とともに電磁記録として保存する一方、過去に強制退去処分を受けた外国人や警察による指名手配者など、計80万−90万件の生体情報データベースとその場で照合する。
 指紋や顔写真の提供を拒んだり、生体情報がデータベースと一致した場合、別室で特別審理官による口頭審理などを経て、強制退去や警察への通報などの処分を受けることがある。
 16歳以上でも(1)在日韓国・朝鮮人ら特別永住者(2)外交・公用での来日(3)国の招待者−などは制度の対象外。
 入管が収集した情報は捜査当局が必要に応じて照会し、利用できる。保存期間について、法務省は「テロリストに有益な情報を与えることになる」として明らかにしていない。
 日本人や特別永住者らが事前に指紋を登録しておき、指紋照合だけで出入国できる「自動化ゲート」も20日から、成田空港で先行導入される。
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Focus on last paragraph:

日本人や特別永住者らが事前に指紋を登録しておき、指紋照合だけで出入国できる「自動化ゲート」も20日から、成田空港で先行導入される。

Japanese and Zainichi, etc (or since this is news to me, “also”) can preregister their fingerprints for the express lane(s).”

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Posted by: nigelboy (Nov 19 2007 – 18:31)

“Posted by nigelboy November 14th 14:04

http://www.moj.go.jp/NYUKAN/nyukan63-3.pdf

It’s part of the SPT program (Simplyfying Passenger Travel)

http://www.spt.aero/about

Also some stories in there regarding the current conditions before the procedures are brought in:

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“Today at Narita”
genkidave (Nov 19 2007 – 23:55)

“went to see a buddy off back to New Zaland and as usual showed my alien card as ID after getting off the train. Was then singled out by an overzealous policemen for no reason (apparently spot checks) and given the 3rd degree. I even had to hand over my current mobile number. While asking me many questions he was flatout filling in a form. I guess they are trying to get more data than they have now on record. We must be given a chance to register our prints and a photo once and that should be the end of it. From then on we should be in the re-entry line!!”

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“Immigration fingerprinting, photographing device unveiled at Narita”
Richard_III (Nov 19 2007 – 16:59)

“I flew out of Narita a couple of weeks ago and they were separating gaijin from J then. That pretty much narked me off as I had to queue for 25 mins (this is in spite of paying J taxes and employing people here). The thought of then either having to queue and answer questions or go through the typically bureaucratic and petty minded pre-application procedure – which would nark me even more – then the stresses of flying out of Narita are bound to quadruple.”

——–

All these quotes come from:
http://www.japantoday.com/jp/news/421530

By the way: I love the idea of having a page for the stories of those that are coming through the airports. That’s apparently being done over here too:

http://reentryjapan.blogspot.com/

Well worth a look. I, too, am interested in hearing those stories.

You may also want to do a small story on how the government is losing personal info right, left, and center these days. I can point you in the right direction:

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731 SDF applicants’ details leaked onto Internet

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20071118TDY02309.htm
731 SDF applicants’ details leaked onto Internet
The Yomiuri Shimbun

Personal details of 731 people who passed the first-stage entrance examination for recruitment by the Self-Defense Forces have been accidently uploaded onto the Internet, it has been learned.

The Defense Ministry learned the list had been online for six weeks and has begun investigating how the information was compromised.

The list–confidentially created using spreadsheet software by Yokohama-based SDF Kanagawa Provincial Cooperation Office, which recruits self-defense officers in Kanagawa–included Kanagawa Prefecture-based applicants’ personal details including their name, sex, date of birth, address, cell phone number and parents’ names.

On the list, each candidate’s former high school was recorded as well as the prefectural rankings of the high schools, taken from a commercially available information book for high school examinations.

In addition, the list was sorted by applicants’ preferred personnel assignments such as the Ground, Maritime or Air Self-Defense Forces. The list also included the names of self-defense officers–likely the recruiters of the individual candidates.

The recruitment office said it conducted the first-stage entrance examination in September. Though the office intended to make only the identification number of those who passed the first-round examination available online, the office likely mistakenly posted the entire list on the Internet on Oct. 1 when it uploaded the ID numbers.

Later, the site was updated, hiding the list, but the Web page remained accessible via search engines.

After a family member of an examinee whose name was on the list made the office aware of the problem Friday evening, the office barred access to the list.

“We intend to inform the examinees [about the leak] and apologize to them,” the office said. “We’ll study what measures should be taken to prevent such leaks occurring in the future.”

Families of examinees have expressed their dismay over the mishandling of the information.

“The situation, which saw detailed personal information made available online, is a serious error that caused problems for the examinees,” the man who told the office of the errors said. “They have to realize the severity of the situation.”

“I worked as an SDF officer. I think it was disgraceful,” the father of a male examinee said. “They let their guard down…now we’re afraid what the information could be used for. The Defense Ministry has been hit by so many scandals that even as a former officer, I find it hard to be proud of it.”

The Defense Ministry and SDF have been hit by a succession of information leaks. In February last year, confidential data on the MSDF destroyer Asayuki was leaked onto the Internet through members’ privately owned computers, which had been installed with a file-exchange program.

In April last year, the Defense Ministry prohibited the use of privately owned computers in the workplace, and barred personnel from handling business data on privately owned computers. Then, SDF members were visited at home by inspectors who checked whether personnel had stored business data on their computers.
(Yomiuri Nov. 18, 2007)

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Japanese finger virus for police document leak

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/04/07/japanese_keystone_cops/

Japanese finger virus for police document leak
Bug in Japan
By John Leyden The Register
Published Wednesday 7th April 2004 14:56 GMT

Japanese police are blaming a computer virus for a leak of information about criminal investigations.
Information from 19 documents – including investigation reports, expert opinions and police searches – found its way from the hard disk of an officer from Shimogamo Police Station in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, onto the Net last month.

The names, birthdays, addresses and other personal data of 11 people were listed in the leaked documents, along with a detailed description of an alleged crime. Police have promised to notify the 11, including an alleged crime victim, to explain the cock-up.

Japanese newspaper Daily Yomiuri reports that police suspect that a computer virus might have sucked up this sensitive data and spread it over the Net. Viruses like SirCam are capable of this kind of behaviour but an equally likely scenario is that the hapless officer’s PC was hacked into.

The leak only came to light after the data was made available to all and sundry over the popular Winny P2P network, the Asahi Shimbun reports.

The officer at the centre of the debacle created the leaked documents in 2002 while practicing how to fill out forms using real data instead of dummy entries.

He was on police box duty and authorised to use his own PC but not to save sensitive data on it, a violation in police procedures that has become the subject of disciplinary inquiry.

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Nine laptop computers stolen from Japanese Embassy in Belgium

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20071105p2a00m0na005000c.html
Nine laptop computers stolen from Japanese Embassy in Belgium

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Thieves broke into the Japanese Embassy in Belgium and stole nine laptop computers, including one belonging to the consul, embassy officials have announced.

The break-in is believed to have occurred between the evening of Nov. 2 and the predawn hours of Nov. 3. Officials said nothing besides the computers had been stolen. They added that no confidential diplomatic information had been leaked outside the embassy.

The embassy is located on the sixth and seventh floors of a seven-story building in the middle of Brussels. Investigators said the locks on double-layer doors at the entrance on the sixth floor had been broken.

The embassy was closed between Nov. 1 and 4 for national holidays and the weekend. Japanese officials have asked the government in Belgium to boost security in the wake of the incident.
(Mainichi Japan) November 5, 2007
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Original Japanese story:
ベルギー:日本大使館でノートパソコン9台盗難
http://mainichi.jp/select/jiken/news/20071105k0000m040100000c.html

 【ブリュッセル福原直樹】ブリュッセルの在ベルギー日本大使館は4日、何者かが大使館に侵入し、領事をはじめ館員のノートパソコン計9台が盗まれたことを明らかにした。侵入は2日夕から3日未明の間とみられる。パソコン以外に被害はなく、外交上の秘密情報は外部に持ち出されていないという。

 同大使館は王宮やベルギー政府庁舎が並ぶ市内中心部にある7階建てビルの6~7階部分に入居する。調べでは、6階入り口の2重ドアの鍵が壊されており、ここから侵入されたらしい。地元警察は窃盗事件として捜査を始めた。

 同大使館は1~4日の間、ベルギーの祝日と週末で休館中だった。事件後、日本側はベルギー政府に大使館の警備強化を求めたという。
毎日新聞 2007年11月5日 1時10分 (最終更新時間 11月5日 1時13分)
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Yomiuri has it at eleven laptops with details on the contents of those laptops —

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11 laptop PCs stolen from Brussels embassy

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/world/20071115TDY02303.htm
11 laptop PCs stolen from Brussels embassy
The Yomiuri Shimbun

Eleven laptop computers were stolen from the Japanese Embassy in central Brussels earlier this month, leading to fears that personal information on about 12,700 Japanese living in Belgium may have been exposed, the embassy said Wednesday.

The robbery is believed to have taken place early Nov. 3. Security guards alerted by an alarm found the lock broken on the seventh-floor entrance to the embassy in an office building.

Some of the stolen computers held electronic data on matters such as the expats’ residence certification, overseas voting registration and passport information, according to the embassy.

The residence certification contains details such as a person’s name, birthdate, permanent address in Japan, occupation, family information and passport number.

(Yomiuri Nov. 15, 2007)
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If they can’t take care of personal information for their own citizens, how can they be expected to take care of foreigners’ information?

Still digging around and keeping my eyes open for new information. I will contact you again if I find anything. Hope this helps! M
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ENDS

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 19, 2007

mytest

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DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 19, 2007

Back from Tokyo, off to Tokyo again this weekend (for JALT) but I can’t believe how much I update my blog over the course of only seven days! Contents as follows:

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1) JAPAN TIMES: WORKPLACE GAIJIN CARD CHECKS, WALLET-SIZED LAWS
2) FINGERPRINTING UPDATE:
===OFFICIAL INSTRUCTIONS FROM NARITA AIRPORT
=== KOBE REGATTA & ATHLETIC WANTS IN ON FP PROTEST
=== ACCJ OFFERS THEIR VIEW OF LOBBYING FOR “CONCESSIONS”
=== MORE PROTESTS: T-SHIRTS AT JALT, “WANTED” POSTERS
=== FORMER GIANTS PITCHER MIYAMOTO PROFITEERS, GETS FP FOR MONEY
=== OFFER YOUR FP EXPERIENCES AT IMMIG AFTER NOV 20 AT DEBITO.ORG

3) ECONOMIST: YOMIURI OWNER WATANABE INTERFERES WITH POLITICS, AS USUAL
4) OSAKA REALTOR HAS CATALOG WITH “GAIJIN OK” [sic!] APARTMENTS; WHAT TO DO
5) CRIES DU COEUR FROM INTL RESIDENTS RE POLICE GAIJIN CARD SHAKEDOWNS
6) UN REP DOUDOU DIENE WARNS RACISM INCREASINGLY VIOLENT WORLDWIDE
7) SPEECHES ON JOB SEARCHES, NOVA COLLAPSE AT JALT TOKYO THIS WEEKEND
8) VALENTINE CASE NEXT COURT HEARING TUES NOV 20 11AM
(SAME PLACE AS AMNESTY MOJ FP PROTEST AT NOON–SO DO BOTH!)

…and finally…
9) “NO BORDERS” MEETING NOV 18: KOKUSAIKA AND KEIDANREN LAID BARE

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By Arudou Debito in Sapporo (debito@debito.org, http://www.debito.org)
Daily updates in real time at http://www.debito.org/index.php
Podcasts of past (and soon this) Newsletters at http://www.transpacificradio.com
Freely forwardable

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1) JAPAN TIMES: WORKPLACE GAIJIN CARD CHECKS, WALLET-SIZED LAWS

I had an article come out in the Japan Times last Tuesday, regarding how as of October 1, employers are now required to register all their foreign workers with the Health Ministry. And how it’s causing Gaijin Card and passport checks for any NJ receiving any money at all. Read the entire article with links to sources at
http://www.debito.org/japantimes111307.html

Excerpting from the conclusion of the article (in mufti–see the whole article for links):

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“GAIJIN CARD” CHECKS SPREAD AS POLICE DEPUTIZE THE NATION
By Arudou Debito
Column 41 for Japan Times Community Page, November 13, 2007

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20071113zg.html

…You know, Japan needs more lawyers, or at least more lawyerly types. Anyone who reads the actual laws will in fact find a natural check and balance.

For example, even if the cops issue their classic demand for your Gaijin Card on the street, under the Foreign Registry Law (gaitouhou) (Article 13), you are not required to display unless the cop shows you his ID first. Ask for it. And write it down.

And believe it or not, under the Police Execution of Duties Law (keisatsukan shokumu shikkou hou) (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’re in the clear. Neither foreign residents nor Japanese are required 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 Jouhou Hokan Hou) 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, Japan’s policymakers are treating non-Japanese residents as criminals, terrorists, and filth columnists of disease and disorder–through fingerprinting at the border, gaijin-apartment ID Checkpoints, anonymous police Internet “snitch sites” (Zeit Gist Mar 30 2004), “foreign DNA crime databases” (ZG Jan 13 2004), IC Chips in Gaijin Cards (ZG Nov 22 2005), and now gaijin dragnets through hotels and paychecks.

But there are still some vestiges of civil liberties guaranteed by law in this country. 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.

More information on what to do in these situations, plus the letter of the law, at
http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html
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To this end, Erich Meatleg has provided a very valuable service–wallet-sized copies of the original text (plus hiragana and English translations) of pertinent sections of the laws. For you to download and carry around. For the next time you get racially-profiled on the street and Gaijin Carded by cops:

Download plain version of text of laws regarding Gaijin Card Checks here (pdf format).
http://www.debito.org/GcardLAWS.pdf
Download color-coded version of text of laws regarding Gaijin Card Checks here (pdf format).
http://www.debito.org/GcardLAWS2.pdf

Other laws that you can use (such as for Gaijin Card Checkpoints at hotels and in the workplace) are also up linked from the abovementioned whattodoif.html article. Great thanks to Erich for his assistance! I’m sure the cops will be nonplussed from now on re how legalistic their gaijin patsies have become.

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2) FINGERPRINTING UPDATE:

OFFICIAL INSTRUCTIONS FROM NARITA AIRPORT

Here is the official word on how you go through the gates, with a lot of grumbling from cyberspace:
http://www.debito.org/?p=736

KOBE REGATTA & ATHLETIC WANTS IN ON FP PROTEST

Dr Deepu Sadhwani, President, Kobe Regatta & Athletic Club (one of Japan’s oldest clubs of NJ long-termers in Japan, with over a century of history) introduced himself via email Nov 15, and asked what he and his members could do to protest the NJ Fingerprinting policy. I blogged my response, as it turned into a nice capsule summary of the whats, whys, and hows of protesting fingerprinting. Feel free to forward it around to others that need convincing.
http://www.debito.org/?p=742

ACCJ OFFERS THEIR VIEW OF LOBBYING FOR “CONCESSIONS”

Although the American Chamber of Commerce is in no position whatsoever to criticize (given that Japan’s FP program is modeled on the US-VISIT program, only taken to extremes), they have lobbied for certain concessions for businessmen. See the rather lukewarm and rich protest with a nice dose of cold water from cyberspace at
http://www.debito.org/?p=743

MORE PROTESTS: T-SHIRTS AT JALT, “WANTED” POSTERS

A couple of proposals from cyberspace which tickle me:

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Name: Jon D
E-mail: jon AT imaginationink.biz

We have created a special “Yokoso Japan 11/20? T-shirt to commemorate (protest) this new biometric ID policy for you to wear while passing through immigration, or around Japan.

The design is the distinctive “Yokoso Japan”-like logo with a hinamaru fingerprint in the center, printed on the front and back. The T-shirt will debute at the upcoming JALT 2007 conference, please look for it!
http://jalt.org

I will post design photos after the conference and take orders in time for the Xmas travel season. All sizes available, black or grey shirts 2500 yen (shipping and handling not included)

Let’s get the word out by wearing one of these unique T-shirts, and signing the petition!
For more information write to Mr. Jon Dujmovich, email jon AT imaginationink.biz

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Hello, I am Lionel Dersot, a French resident of 22 years in Tokyo. Following a post on my French blog about alternative, vital ways to express discontent with the biometric filling of foreigners reaching Japan from November 20, I have created a Flickr public photo gallery where I will host any Wanted Poster candidate picture of people wishing to tell others that ” I am not a terrorist”…
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http://www.debito.org/?p=727

FORMER GIANTS PITCHER MIYAMOTO PROFITEERS, GETS FP FOR MONEY

And here’s the ultimate in government greenmailing:
Get a real pitcher to pitch the system. Check out this chucklehead:

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PHOTO: “FINGERED — TV celebrity Kazutomo Miyamoto tries out the new foreigner fingerprinting system at Narita Airport. As a Japanese national, Miyamoto will not need to have his fingerprints taken when the new system comes into operation from Nov. 20. (Mainichi)”

Celebrity uses fingerprint photo-op to call for cut in foreign crime
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20071114p2a00m0na030000c.html

NARITA — TV celebrity Kazutomo Miyamoto urged immigration officials during a photo-op to use a new process to fingerprint inbound foreigners to fight foreign crime, not terrorism as the government claims the system will be used for.

“I think it’d be best if we could cut the amount of crime foreigners are committing and make Japan a safer place,” Miyamoto said at Narita Airport, where he was serving as the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau Chief For a Day as a promotional event for the fingerprinting process…
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http://www.debito.org/?p=735

COMMENT: Anything for a photo-op–even if it’s at the expense of Japan’s NJ residents (whom Kazutomo-kun probably knows next to nothing about). He isn’t going to be fingerprinted under any circumstances anyway, so I guess this is his only chance.

Pity he thinks that it’s for stopping foreign crime (which is, in fact, falling). Sorry chum, it’s allegedly for preventing terrorism and disease; and if you think it will make Japan a safer place, your publicist is as uninformed as you.

Then again, profiteering helps. According to a reliable source, these photo-ops run JPY 300,000 to 500,000. Nice bit of pocket change to get your fingers on afterwards.

Let Kazutomo-kun know your feelings at his official site:
http://www.m-bravo.com/
Mr Miyamoto’s manager’s office number is Tel 03-3224-1681, Fax 03-3224-1682

OFFER YOUR FP EXPERIENCES AT IMMIG AFTER NOV 20 AT DEBITO.ORG

I am now offering a special blog page for people who wish to comment on their experiences as they go through Post-11/20 Japanese Immigration. Tell us what it’s like, how you felt, if you did anything to protest, how it was received by officials, etc. Only by charting the arc will we know if we’ve made a difference (we already have, but the ultimate goal, however possibly unattainable, is a complete rescinding of the policy). So submit your comments and experiences at
http://www.debito.org/?page_id=745

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3) ECONOMIST: YOMIURI OWNER WATANABE INTERFERES WITH POLITICS, AS USUAL

Finally, we are getting the articles coming out about Japan that should have done so long ago–and would have been done if reporters were either competent or not complicit in the media machine.

What follows is an excellent article in The Economist (London) on that very media machine in Japan, and how it meddles with the political process here. (Pity it’s only the web version–the print version had one about Ozawa only.)

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Japan’s politics: The most powerful publisher you’ve never heard of
Nov 14th 2007 From Economist.com

http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10127783

…The [Yomiuri Shinbun building] has its own army of security guards, whose main job seems to be to stop you using the lift reserved for the chairman, 81-year-old Tsuneo Watanabe. His imperious arrival is heralded by bows and salutes.

The main difference between this building and a government ministry, however, is that Mr Watanabe is more powerful than almost any government minister in Japan could ever hope to be. Privately, Yomiuri journalists tell you that they have no choice but to follow the editorial line Mr Watanabe lays down. T hey are nowhere near as forthcoming to their readers.

…[In the recent interparty backroom dealing between the LDP and the DPJ,] Ozawa backtracked, explaining that “a certain person” had mediated his first contact with Mr Fukuda about [a grand coalition]. The certain person was in fact Mr Watanabe.

Mr Watanabe’s credentials to speak on behalf of the 71-year-old Mr Fukuda and other members of the LDP’s old guard who backed the idea of a grand coalition are not in doubt. In September, after Shinzo Abe suddenly resigned as prime minister, having suffered a loss of nerve that was aggravated by Mr Ozawa’s attacks, Mr Watanabe convened the crucial meeting of party kingmakers where Mr Fukuda was persuaded to run for the LDP presidency.

Not only have the Yomiuri’s readers been kept in the dark about these events, so largely have those of the paper’s four national rivals. All that has appeared so far is just two editorials politely questioning Mr Watanabe’s involvement. A quip among Japan’s political class is that editorials are read only by their authors.

Political and cultural factors produce such opacity: the mainstream media are neither analytical nor adversarial; less charitably, they mostly serve the ruling party. But there is also a commercial dimension. The three most successful dailies (the Yomiuri, the Asahi Shimbun and the Nikkei) have a common interest in putting the two smallest nationals (the Mainichi Shimbun and the Sankei Shimbun) out of business and are not inclined to antagonise each other–indeed they even share commercial ventures…
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http://www.debito.org/?p=740

COMMENT: Let’s hope The Economist or someone else someday does an entire survey on the situation. This kind of corruption runs very, very deep in Japan, and will ultimately keep our country on its future path to economic obscurity (and an untoward degree of xenophobic isolation), unless something drastically changes in the power structure. Exposing it to the light of the media spotlight is one way. So encourage it by having a read.

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4) OSAKA REALTOR HAS CATALOG WITH “GAIJIN OK” [sic!] APARTMENTS; WHAT TO DO

Martin Oickle kindly sent me one page of a housing/apartment catalog from “Heartful Fukushima Ten”–an Osaka realtor. (Fukushima 7-5-1, Fukushima-ku, Osaka-shi, KK Kansai Kensetsu Fukushima Ten, Ph 06-6455-7101).

Heartful has a system for refusing foreigners so clear it even has a special snappy logo:
http://www.debito.org/?p=723
saying in Japanese”‘gaijin’ are allowed” for your handy-dandy reference. Cute.

Very sophisticated ad, with clever logos at the bottom of the page: “Auto Lock”, “Satellite TV”, “Students Allowed”, “Pianos Allowed”, “Children Allowed”, “Sink for Shampooing”, “Pets Allowed”, “Toilet and Bath Unit Separate”, “Shower Included”, “Flooring”, “Piped in Radio”, “Specially for Women”, “Hot Water Pot Included”, “Staff Constantly On Duty”, “Cable TV”, “Parking Allowed”, “Handicapped Access”, “Contract with Legal Entity”, “Air Conditioning”, “Elevator”, “Rentable in Portions”, “Furnished”, “Phone Included”, “Refrigerator Included”, and finally… “Foreigners Allowed”.

The interesting thing is that of twelve apartments on the one page I have blogged, only ONE has the logo which means they will allow foreigners. And it just happens to be nearly the cheapest and quite possibly the crappiest one on the entire page–only a one-room (1R). Now what a coincidence…

The fact that this company is bold enough to make exclusionism so explicit (the realtor will no doubt counterargue that this is done by the landlord’s wishes; they’re just following orders–see my rebuttals at the blog) makes them an accessory to the discrimination in black and white.

Debito.org wishes to discourage this type of systematic discrimination in any way possible. I have put this company on the “Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Establishments”.
http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html#FukushimakuOsaka

Suggest you take your business elsewhere if you’re looking for apartments in Fukushima-ku, Osaka. Someplace less tolerant of intolerance. Like some of these places, mentioned in a recent Japan Times article:

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BIAS, BUSINESS BEST SERVED BY UNDERSTANDING
Foreigners still dogged by housing Barriers
The Japan Times, November 10, 2007, by Akemi Nakamura

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20071110f1.html

…According to a 2006 survey conducted by Tokyo-based nonprofit organization Information Center for Foreigners in Japan, 94 percent, or 220 respondents, out of 234 foreigners in Tokyo who visited real estate agents said they were refused by at least one agent.

To ease the discrimination, the public and private sectors have gradually come to offer various services to help foreigners find properties.

The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry launched the Web site Anshin Chintai (safe rental housing) in June to provide rental housing information and lists of real estate agents and NPOs that can support foreign apartment-seekers. So far, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Osaka and Miyagi prefectures and Kawasaki have joined the project. For example, 237 real estate agents in Tokyo are listed as supportive firms.

The site (http://www.anshin-chintai.jp) is available in Japanese only, but foreigners who have difficulties with the language can ask local governments to explain the information on the site to them, according to the ministry.

The Japan Property Management Association, involving about 1,000 real estate agencies, also launched the Web site Welcome Chintai (http://www.jpm.jp/welcome/) in September to introduce rental properties in six languages– Chinese, English, Korean, Mongolian, Spanish and Russian.
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All details at
http://www.debito.org/?p=723

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5) CRIES DU COEUR FROM INTL RESIDENTS RE POLICE GAIJIN CARD SHAKEDOWNS

Two Cries du Coeur from ethnic residents of Japan being shaken down by the Japanese police–one by Zero, a Issei Japanese-Filipino with J citizenship, the other by Ali Rustom, and Englishman of Egyptian descent. On racial profiling and the lingering anger it creates towards the authorities:

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I am a Japanese citizen by birthright (born in Japan, and my father being a Japanese) and a half-Filipino half-Japanese in terms of ethnicity. I can understand Nihongo, but I have yet to become fluent with my native tongue. I was raised in my mother’s homeland to become an educated and responsible person and I have returned here in Japan with the hopes of pursuing my goals and aspirations.

Prior to my return, I have been informed of many accounts about the realities that people have faced during their stay here. I kept all these in mind but made utmost effort not to make hasty assumptions about the Japanese people in general. But now, only after 3 months of my stay, I am writing this entry because I am beyond compelled to relate to the readers an encounter that has exacerbated my growing skepticism about this country…
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I would like to start off by asking Japanese people who have traveled overseas a very simple question: while overseas, how many of you actually had problems with police harassment? How many of you were asked to show your passports or proof of alien registration or visa just because you were not the right color, or because you just looked different? Chances are, most of you would say “never!”

Now please sit back and read about the following situations that I, an Englishman, have had to endure…
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Rest of both at:
http://www.debito.org/?p=714

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7) UN REP DOUDOU DIENE WARNS RACISM INCREASINGLY VIOLENT WORLDWIDE

Here’s what old friend (seriously!) Doudou Diene is getting up to these days at the United Nations. He’s the one who came to Japan a couple of years ago, and accurately reported to the UN that “Racism in Japan is deep and profound.”
http://www.debito.org/rapporteur.html

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From: UNNews@un.org
UN EXPERT WARNS THAT RACISM IS INCREASINGLY MANIFEST AS VIOLENCE
New York, Nov 7 2007 5:00PM

Racism is increasingly being expressed through violence, and is also being institutionalized by xenophobic political parties in what amounts to a grave threat to human rights, an independent United Nations expert told a General Assembly committee meeting in New York today.

Doudou Diene, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, said a “resurgence of racist and xenophobic violence, in particular its most serious expression a shift from words to action”–can be seen in the growing number of acts of physical violence and murders targeting members of ethnic, cultural or religious communities.

He also spoke of the “political normalization and democratic legitimization of racism and xenophobia,” resulting from the ability of political parties advocating racist and xenophobic platforms to apply these platforms through government alliances.

This tendency, he said, “represents the gravest threat to democracy and human rights.”…
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Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=704

Given the arguments used to justify fingerprinting and Gaijin Card Checks, seems that Japan has already developed the political normalization aspect.

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8) SPEECHES ON JOB SEARCHES, NOVA AT JALT TOKYO THIS WEEKEND

I will be speaking at the Japan Association for Language Teaching’s 33rd Annual Meeting in Tokyo on Saturday afternoon (4:10-5:10) and Sunday morning (9:50-10:50). Topic: Finding jobs in Japanese Education: Pitfalls to avoid. Since I manage the Blacklist of Japanese Universities (http://www.debito.org/blacklist.html), you can see some of my ongoing research there. More on the wheres and whens at http://jalt.org/

The PALE (Professionalism, Administration and Leadership in Education) special-interest group within JALT (http://www.debito.org/PALE) will also be sponsoring a talk on labor unionism in Japan, with the National Union of General Workers Tokyo Nambu (http://www.nugw.org) labor leader Louis Carlet talking about the collapse of NOVA English schools, and what it’s doing for unionization of non-Japanese (and Japanese) in Japan. This will be held from 4:45-5:45 PM on Friday Nov 23.

See what Louis said recently about the NOVA collapse, and why he feels it has revolutionized the Eikaiwa Industry (as well as the “Lessons for Food” campaign), on Debito.org:
http://www.debito.org/?p=741

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9) VALENTINE CASE NEXT COURT HEARING TUES NOV 20 11AM
(SAME PLACE AS AMNESTY MOJ FP PROTEST AT NOON–SO DO BOTH!)

Nov 20 (tomorrow) promises to be a busy day. If you’re not attending the Amnesty/SMJ Protest against Fingerprinting at noon in front of the MOJ (http://www.debito.org/?p=708), then consider attending the Valentine Hearing at 11AM. In fact you can probably squeeze both of them in, since they’re both in Kasumigaseki.

The Tokyo High Court hearing is about the Valentine Case, where a person was allegedly brutalized by the police, but undoubtedly denied medical treatment while incarcerated, and crippled in the event. Yet he could not receive any compensation in the lower court for his suffering or medical bills, due in part to, according to the Lower Court decision, his (and his witnesses’) untrustworthy foreignness. I wrote about this in the Japan Times last August 14:

THE ZEIT GIST
Abuse, racism, lost evidence deny justice in Valentine Case
Nigerian’s ordeal shows that different standards apply for foreigners in court

http://www.debito.org/japantimes081407.html

Here are the details from the Support Group:
http://www.debito.org/?p=729
Do attend both. It would make their day. And likely help you in future.

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…and finally…
10) “NO BORDERS” MEETING NOV 18: KOKUSAIKA AND KEIDANREN LAID BARE

GROUP “NO BORDER” SECOND FORUM 2007
HOSEI DAIGAKU, ICHIGAYA, TOKYO NOV 18, 2007

I spoke at the above gathering (http://www.zainichi.net) for about 40 minutes today. This is a little note to tell you what transpired:

1) HEARING FROM THE NEW GENERATION OF “NON JAPANESE”

This is essentially a misnomer, as these kids (college age already) are fluent in Japanese with some background in the native tongue of their immigrant parents. I met youth from China, Brazil, Peru, and most famously a young lady from Iran who came here at age seven, overstayed with her parents for a decade, and was granted a visa after many misgivings from the GOJ. Same with a young Chinese lady whose family had to go through the courts (lower court denied, high court granted) for a stay of deportation and one-year visas. Although all of these kids were just about perfectly culturally fluent in Japan (having grown up here as a product of the new visa regime, which started from 1990), they had a variety of faces and backgrounds that showed a lovely blend–a very hopeful one for Japan’s future. They made the best argument possible for visa amnesties for NJ with families–an extended life here that they have not only adapted to, but even thrived under.

The problem was they were grappling with things they really shouldn’t have to to this degree–identity. Being pulled one way by family ties overseas, and then another by the acculturation of being in a society they like but doesn’t necessarily know what to do with them. And refuses to let them be of both societies, either way their phenotypes swing. I suggested they escape this conundrum of wasted energy by ignoring the “identity police” (people who for reasons unknown either take it upon themselves to tell people they are not one of them, or who find the very existence of Japanized non-Japanese somehow threatening their own identity). They should decide for themselves who they are. After all, the only person you have to live with 24 hours a day is yourself (and believe me it’s tough)–so you had better do what you have to do to be happy. That means deciding for yourself who you are and who you want to be without regard for the wishes (or random desires) of millions of people who can’t appreciate who you are by any means considered a consensus. Trying to second-guess yourself into the impossibly satisfied expectations of others is a recipe for mental illness.

2) SPEAKING ON WHAT’S NECESSARY FOR JAPAN’S FUTURE

Rather than telling you what I said, download my Powerpoint presentation here (Japanese):
http://www.debito.org/noborder111807.ppt

3) HEARING FROM A POWER THAT BEES–KEIDANREN

Coming late to the second talk sessions was a representative of Keidanren (Japan’s most powerful business lobby), who was actually in charge of the federation’s policy towards business and immigration. He gave us a sheet describing future policy initiatives they would undertake, focusing optimistically on creating synergy between the varied backgrounds and energies of NJ and the diligence of Japanese companies.
http://www.keidanren.or.jp/english/policy/2007/017.html
Yet Keidanren is still trying to create an ultracentrifuge of “quality imported foreigners” over quantity (or heavens forbid–an open-door policy!). Orderly systematic entry with proper control, was the theme. And Taiwan’s system (for what it was worth, unclear) was cited.

When question time came up, I asked him whether Keidanren had learned anything from the visa regime they helped create (something he acknowledged) in 1990. All this talk of orderly imports of labor and synergy are all very well, but business’s blind spot is the overwhelming concern with the bottom line: People are imported and treated like work units, without adequate concern for their well-being or welfare after they get here. After all, if their standard of living was ever a concern, then why were the hundreds of thousands of people brought in under Researcher, Intern, and Trainee Visas made exempt from Japan’s labor laws–where they have no safeguards whatsoever (including health insurance, minimum wage, unemployment insurance, education? (Or anything save the privilege of living here with the dubious honor of paying taxes into the system anyway.) Did they expect to create a system where there are no legal sanctions for abuse, and expect employers not to abuse it?

The Keidanren rep’s answer was enlightening. He said, in essence:
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1) Japan’s labor laws are sloppy anyway, and don’t protect people adequately enough as they are. (So that justifies exempting people from them completely?)

2) Japanese society is not wired for immigration. (So why bring in so many foreigners then? The expectation was that they would not stay–meaning the system was only designed to exploit?)

3) There are plenty of elements of civil society out there filling the gaps. (So you’re trying to take credit for those who try to clean up your messes?)
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To me, quite clear evidence that they powers that be just don’t care. And it’s very clear it’s not clear that they’ve learned anything from the 1990s and the emerging NJ underclass.
http://www.debito.org/?p=678

The meeting closed with a really fine performance from a Nikkei Brazilian rapper who sang in Portuguese, English, and Japanese (I think–I find rapping indecipherable in any language). Now that’s synergy.

PS: And on a personal note, I might add that one of last year’s meeting “sponsors”, “Darling Foreigner” Manga star Tony Laszlo, of non-existent group Issho Kikaku (whose site, http://www.issho.org will celebrate in a couple of weeks its second anniversary of being under “site renewal”, with a decade’s work of hundreds of other budding activists in Japan utterly lost), was not invited this year to the NO BORDERS gathering. In fact, he has been completely deleted from the records of last year’s proceedings. Karma.

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All for this week. Thanks for reading!
Arudou Debito, Sapporo Japan
debito@debito.org http://www.debito.org
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 19, 2007 ENDS

“NO BORDER” Nov 18 Meeting: Kokusaika & Keidanren laid bare

mytest

GROUP “NO BORDER” SECOND FORUM 2007 REPORT
HOSEI DAIGAKU, ICHIGAYA, TOKYO NOV 18, 2007

I spoke at the above gathering (http://www.zainichi.net) for about 40 minutes today. This is a little note to tell you what transpired:

1) HEARING FROM THE NEW GENERATION OF “NON JAPANESE”

This is essentially a misnomer, as these kids (college age already) are fluent in Japanese with some background in the native tongue of their immigrant parents. I met youth from China, Brazil, Peru, and most famously a young lady from Iran who came here at age seven, overstayed with her parents for a decade, and was granted a visa after much misgivings from the GOJ. Same with a young Chinese lady whose family had to go through the courts (lower court denied, high court granted) for a stay of deportation and one-year visas. Although all of these kids were just about perfectly culturally fluent in Japan (having grown up here as a product of the new visa regime, which started from 1990), they had a variety of faces and backgrounds that showed a lovely blend–a very hopeful one for Japan’s future. They made the best argument possible for visa amnesties for NJ with families–an extended life here that they have not only adapted to, but even thrived under.

The problem was they were grappling with things they really shouldn’t have to to this degree–identity. Being pulled one way by family ties overseas, and then another by the acculturation of being in a society they like but doesn’t necessarily know what to do with them. And refuses to let them be of both societies, either way their phenotypes swing. I suggested they escape this conundrum of wasted energy by ignoring the “identity police” (people who for reasons unknown either take it upon themselves to tell people they are not one of them, or who find the very existence of Japanized non-Japanese somehow threatening their own identity). They should decide for themselves who they are. After all, the only person you have to live with 24 hours a day is yourself (and believe me it’s tough)–so you had better do what you have to do to be happy. That means deciding for yourself who you are and who you want to be without regard for the wishes (or random desires) of millions of people who can’t appreciate who you are by any means considered a consensus. Trying to second-guess yourself into the impossibly satisfied expectations of others is a recipe for mental illness.

2) SPEAKING ON WHAT’S NECESSARY FOR JAPAN’S FUTURE

Rather than telling you what I said, download my Powerpoint presentation here (Japanese):
http://www.debito.org/noborder111807.ppt

3) HEARING FROM A POWER THAT BEES–KEIDANREN

Coming late to the second talk sessions was a representative of Keidanren (Japan’s most powerful business lobby), Inoue Hiroshi, who was actually in charge of the federation’s policy towards business and immigration. He gave us a sheet describing future policy initiatives they would undertake, focusing optimistically on creating synergy between the varied backgrounds and energies of NJ and the diligence of Japanese companies.
http://www.keidanren.or.jp/english/policy/2007/017.html
Yet still trying to create an ultracentrifuge of “quality imported foreigners” over quantity (or heavens forbid–an open-door policy!). Orderly systematic entry with proper control, was the theme. And Taiwan’s system (for what it was worth, unclear) was cited.

When question time came up, I asked him whether Keidanren had learned anything from the visa regime they helped create (something he acknowledged) in 1990. All this talk of orderly imports of labor and synergy are all very well, but business’s blind spot is the overwhelming concern with the bottom line: People are imported and treated like work units, without adequate concern for their well-being or welfare after they get here. After all, if their standard of living was ever a concern, then why were the hundreds of thousands of people brought in under Researcher, Intern, and Trainee Visas made exempt from Japan’s labor laws–where they have no safeguards whatsoever (including health insurance, minimum wage, unemployment insurance, education–or anything save the privilege of living here with the dubious honor of paying taxes into the system anyway). Did they expect to create a system where there are no legal sanctions for abuse, and not expect employers to abuse it?

The Keidanren rep’s answer was enlightening. He said, in essence:

1) Japan’s labor laws are sloppy anyway, and don’t protect people adequately enough as they are (so that justifies exempting people from them completely?).

2) Japanese society is not wired for immigration (so why bring in so many foreigners then? the expectation was that they would not stay–meaning the system was only designed to exploit?)

3) There are plenty of elements of civil society out there filling the gaps (so you’re trying to take credit for those who try to clean up your messes?)

To me, quite clear evidence that they powers that be just don’t care. And it’s very clear it’s not clear that they’ve learned anything from the 1990s and the emerging NJ underclass.

The meeting closed with a really fine performance from a Nikkei Brazilian rapper who sang in Portuguese, English, and Japanese (I think–I find rapping indecipherable in any language). Now that’s synergy.

Arudou Debito
November 18, 2007

—————————-
PS: And on a personal note, I might add that one of last year’s name “sponsors”, “Darling Foreigner” Manga star Tony Laszlo, of non-existent group Issho Kikaku (whose site, http://www.issho.org will celebrate in a couple of weeks its second anniversary of being under “site renewal”, with a decade’s work of hundreds of budding activists in Japan utterly lost), was not invited this year to the NO BORDERS gathering. In fact, his name has been completely deleted from the records of last year’s proceedings. Karma.

ENDS

UN Rapporteur Doudou Diene warns “racism is increasingly manifest as violence”

mytest

Hi Blog. Giving a speech in a few hours, so I’ll be brief. Here’s a recent report from Doudou Diene, who has been so assiduous in reporting on Japan’s human rights violations to the UN.. Not about Japan in specific, but still worth a read. Debito in Tokyo.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

From: UNNews@un.org
Subject: UN EXPERT WARNS THAT RACISM IS INCREASINGLY MANIFEST AS VIOLENCE
Date: November 8, 2007 7:00:28 AM JST

UN EXPERT WARNS THAT RACISM IS INCREASINGLY MANIFEST AS VIOLENCE
New York, Nov 7 2007 5:00PM

Racism is increasingly being expressed through violence, and is also being institutionalized by xenophobic political parties in what amounts to a grave threat to human rights, an independent United Nations expert told a General Assembly committee meeting in New York today.

Doudou Diene, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, said a �??resurgence of racist and xenophobic violence, in particular its most serious expression a shift from words to action�?? �?’ can be seen in the growing number of acts of physical violence and murders targeting members of ethnic, cultural or religious communities.

He also spoke of the �??political normalization and democratic legitimization of racism and xenophobia,�?? resulting from the ability of political parties advocating racist and xenophobic platforms to apply these platforms through government alliances.

This tendency, he said, �??represents the gravest threat to democracy and human rights.�??

Mr. Diene was presenting to the Assembly�?Ts Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Third Committee his latest report, which warns of a decline in the political and ethical determination to combat racism and discrimination, calling this �??an alarming feature of a new ideological landscape characterized by discrimination that is more complex in nature owing to the conflation of race, culture and religion.�??

He says a new discourse of legitimization of racism, xenophobia and intolerance is developing. �??It is seen not merely in individual actions, but is becoming a social and collective practice by virtue of its use as a political, intellectual and media tool.�??

The new trend is rooted in the �??old ideology of the hierarchy of cultures, races and civilizations, on which all subjugation of peoples and legitimization of racist culture and mentalities have historically been founded, creating fertile ground for all old and new forms of racism and xenophobia, from anti-Semitism to Islamophobia, and serving to justify incitement to racial or religious hatred.�??

The report recommends that the Assembly draw attention to the �??alarming signs of a retreat in the struggle against racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia as a result of two serious developments: the growing acceptance of racism and xenophobia through the impact of racist and xenophobic platforms on the political programmes of democratic parties and the rise in racist political violence.�??

It also calls for attention to the �??serious nature of the defamation of religions�?? and for the strengthening the role of the UN in interreligious, intercultural and intrareligious dialogues.�??

The Special Rapporteur also recommends that the Assembly underscore �??the urgency and necessity of approaching immigration and asylum issues, which are major sources of the current resurgence of racism and xenophobia, with a view to respecting and protecting immigrants�?T and asylum-seekers�?T human rights, as guaranteed by the relevant international instruments, and not solely on the basis of such considerations as security and defence of national identity.�??
2007-11-07 ENDS

Two Cries du Coeur from ethnic residents of Japan being shaken down by the Japanese police

mytest

Hi Blog. Two Cries du Coeur from ethnic residents of Japan being shaken down by the Japanese police–one by Zero, a Issei Japanese-Filipino, the other by Ali Rustom, and Englishman of Egyptian descent. Racial profiling and the lingering anger it creates towards the authorities… Arudou Debito in Tokyo

===============================

An Isseijin’s Outcry
By Reijiro “Zero” Abrera
zero DOT abrera AT yahoo DOT com

Before reading any further, let me inform the readers that I am keeping my whole identity confidential, for the sole reason of protecting myself. But what I can tell you is this: that I am a Japanese citizen by birthright (born in Japan, and my father being a Japanese) and a half-Filipino half-Japanese in terms of ethnicity. I can understand Nihongo, but I have yet to become fluent with my native tongue. I was raised in my mother’s homeland to become an educated and responsible person and I have returned here in Japan with the hopes of pursuing my goals and aspirations.

Prior to my return, I have been informed of many accounts about the realities that people have faced during their stay here. I kept all these in mind but made utmost effort not to make hasty assumptions about the Japanese people in general. But now, only after 3 months of my stay, I am writing this entry because I am beyond compelled to relate to the readers an encounter that has exacerbated my growing skepticism about this country:

November 1, 2007. For Christians, it was a day designated in commemoration of the Church’s role models, the saints. Here in Japan it was just a typical autumn morning… or at least it was supposed to be. My brother walked out of our apartment as I was left making final preparations for a day’s work. When the clock struck 6:20 am, I knew I had 3 minutes left before I miss the train ride en route to the city where we work. And without a second thought, I hurriedly took the usual route on the way to the train station. And just when I was about a corner away, I caught a
glimpse of a scene that rendered me speechless for events to come – my sibling backed against a wall, holding his Japanese passport while being surrounded by not less than 8 men clad in blue suits or work clothes (genba). They were representatives from the local police and the immigration office, who disguised themselves as civilians to catch us off our guards.

Two of them saw me coming and tried to stop me from going any further. But they didn’t have to. I stood still, dumbfounded with what I saw, wondering how this could have happened to us. As I approached my brother, he told me that they are in pursuit of illegal immigrants and we appear to be their targets. But what baffled me was the fact that my brother had already shown his passport yet these individuals continued to bombard him with questions. Nor did they even back down to give my brother some personal space to explain that we are Japanese but have been raised elsewhere. Shouldn’t his passport suffice to let him continue to go to work? And what confused me even more was that I recall a policeman conducting a census in our area less than a month ago. My brother himself showed the proper documents as a proof of our legitimate residence.

I was so lost in my thoughts that I can hardly respond to their multiple queries. Then one of them asked if I was his brother. We responded “yes” and I was asked if I brought my passport. The first thing that entered my mind was “Why in the world do I have to bring it with me to work?” Obviously I didn’t have one, and so we were asked to escorted to our house and get it. And then it struck me. What if I was the one who went ahead to the station?

As we showed them my passport, they knew they were left with squat. My brother was psyched out and so he decided to stay in the apartment. I chose to go to work and explain the incident to our supervisor; but as I rushed back to the station, I noticed that there were more men than ever surrounding the vicinity of our house. I wasn’t there for their explanation, but I was told later that a tip from a source prompted them to make a move against us as soon as they heard it. But as far as I know, a tip in itself does not establish enough grounds to arrest someone. Just because of the way we look, we were tagged as criminals. Because of our complexion and facial features, because of our heritage… it was enough to send an armada of men to put us down, as if we were highly dangerous to the society. We felt debilitated, humiliated and dehumanized. And as an added insult to injury, I have to bear with the fact that I have to keep a passport handy whenever I go out for personal or work purposes, ironically, in a country where I bear a citizenship.

Now, I know for a fact that this incident is not as rare as a solar eclipse; there are some who may contend that everyone who is “gaijin” or considered to be one will most likely go through similar troubles here in Japan, thus it does not hold much gravity. But this experience is enough to stir thoughts that have been welling within me for quite some time; for this is just one facet of what my brethren, the so-called Japanese-Filipino (or Ja-pino) issei-jins go through in this country. Allow me to speak for those who share these burdens but are not able to articulate themselves, as I share to the readers our story that is perhaps unknown to many.

We, the isseijins, are children born out of the Japanese bandwagon during the 80’s until the 90’s, when a great interest in the Philippines (among other Southeast Asian nations) and its people was highly prominent. (Nowadays, it is apparent that the people from the West are getting the attention.) And when the time came for our country to lose its popularity, it is as if the Filipinos were reduced to almost non-existent. Nowadays, I have noticed that there is not a single Filipino featured in any television show that involved representatives from other countries. But that’s nothing compared to our current state of living. Today, isseijins like me, whether raised in Japan or elsewhere, are far from being recognized to be a part of the society. Most, if not all, are subjected to tough working conditions in a factory, required to produce perhaps twice the output of the “true” Nihon-jins and compelled to work longer hours when “requested” (they will deem us irresponsible if we decline). And while we do just that, at the end of the day, we will still be “arubaitos” (temporary workers) – and as such, we do not have the support of labor laws. Is this a predetermined social script that has been handed down to our kin? And unlike the “gaijins,” we have nowhere else to go; in our “other” homeland, we cannot easily get a job as the locals take precedence over us.

I myself have taken steps to get out of this social milieu. I tried vying for an English teaching job for almost a year now, but I only managed to merit three interviews in that length of time, all of which were from a reputed learning center. I recall the first one wherein I almost lost the chance for an interview from a branch within the prefecture, as the Japanese manager was deliberately deferring me to another school. I was told that the latter is nearer, only to find out that the opposite is true! Fortunately, the interviewer still gave me that chance, although I did not make the cut because “someone was in the immediate area and is willing to train immediately.”

It’s really sad, but I to continue the fight as I refuse to say “shoganai” and just stick to the program. I am willing to exert 10 times more effort in order to secure a job that I can be proud of, one that can inspire my fellow people to strive for excellence, instead of being kept in the shadows of a backbreaking unskilled labor job in a factory. I truly seek for recognition, if not acceptance, of our kind in this society; and I feel that that time has yet to come.

Reijiro “Zero” Abrera (pen name)
zero DOT abrera AT yahoo DOT com
ENDS

================================

From: Aly Rustom
Subject: My story about harrassment by the yoshikawa police

I would like to start off by asking Japanese people who have traveled overseas a very simple question: while overseas, how many of you actually had problems with police harassment. How many of you were asked to show your passports or proof of alien registration or visa just because you were not the right color, or because you just looked different? Chances are, most of you would say ”never!”

Now please sit back and read about the following situations that I, an Englishman, have had to endure. These incidences have taken place in the city of Yoshikawa in Saitama Prefecture and the authorities mentioned here are all members of the Saitama-ken Yoshikawa Keisatsu.

This is the incident that caused me to finally say enough is enough and tell someone about this. I was having the oil changed in my car and I had decided to take a walk to the local police box by Yoshikawa station, because I had lost my mobile phone the week before and I was wondering if they had found it. While walking, a police car passed me, and the two coppers inside stared at me intensely. I ignored the stares and walked on. I was close to the station, when the car pulled up beside me, coming to a screeching halt; there was only one cop inside. The other had snuck up behind me. I hadnft done anything wrong, yet both were treating me like a fugitive on the run, trying to cut my avenue of escape, as if I would try to run anyway! The one behind me asked if I was working here. (this whole conversation was conducted in Japanese) I said yes. He asked to see my GAIJIN card, a word that I find extremely offensive, as do most foreigners I know.

I asked him, ”Why? Have I done anything wrong?

”Nothing at all” he replied. ”We’re just checking foreigners’ GAIJIN cards, making sure that they are all legal. Recently there have been a lot of problems with Chinese people.” Did I miss something here?

I asked him, ”Do I look Chinese to you” (I’m white)? He said no. I continued, “As a matter of fact, you two look more Chinese than I do, correct?” They both laughed uncomfortably, not knowing whether to agree or disagree with my statement. The older one spoke up.

”Its not just the Chinese now days. Recently wefve been having many problems with Middle Eastern people. They are terrible people.” Now I was starting to get upset. My grandparents on my mother’s side came from Egypt. I told him that.

”Oh! Well, I don’t mean all of them are bad. Just some of them,” he said. ”And the Iranians. We have so many problems with Iranians.”

“In Yoshikawa?!” I was shocked.

“In Misato. But they are right next to each other.”

“I’ve never heard about anything happening,” I said.

”They’re minor infractions, but they do happen.”

“This is discrimination. Do you know that there are more than 100,000 Japanese nationals living in the UK alone? And what about America, Canada, Australia, etc. When Japanese nationals go overseas they don’t get treated this way. Why do you do this to us?”

”Over there, that’s England. This is Japan,” was the reply.

”And you are a racist,” was mine.

”We are often told that by people when we stop them, but it’s really not true.”

“You just stopped me simply because I don’t have an Asian face. That’s discrimination.”

“Oh, thatfs not true! We stop the Fillipinos and the Chinese as well!” was the enthusiastic reply.

”Well, that’s racism. You’re basically discriminating against non Japanese.”

“We have a lot of problems with foreign crime!” he protested.

“You don’t have problems with Japanese people committing crimes?” I asked.

”Yes we do,” he said.

”You don’t go around stopping THEM, do you?”

”They’re JAPANESE. They donft have Gaijin cards.” He laughed in a condescending way at me, as if to tell me my comment was stupid.

”That’s still discrimination. Both groups commit crimes. Both have good and bad people among them. Yet, you only stop the foreigners. That’s discrimination.”

”All right,” he challenged me. ”What DO YOU think we should do? What DO YOU think we should do?” I was quite frankly taken aback. I thought for a second. I looked at him.

”Nothing,” I said. ”Don’t do anything. You can’t do anything. You can’t arrest someone before they commit a crime, right? You have to wait until they commit a crime. Am I correct?”

”This is all we can do. We have to do this to check up on foreigners living here,” he insisted.

”Do you really think that most, much less all the foreigners in Japan who commit crimes donft have proper visas. There are foreign criminals who are married to Japanese women who are living on spouse visas. There are people living in Japan without a proper visa, but who have never committed a crime. There is absolutely no relation being a criminal and having a proper visa.”

”Hmm,” was all that came out of him.

“Therefore, you have done nothing. You have gained nothing. And you know that. This is nothing more than a racist gesture.”

He tried to argue some more, but at that moment I realized that this could go on for hours. So I gave him the ”Gaijin Card” he so badly wanted to see. He noted it momentarily, and gave it back, insisting that he shake my hand. I did reluctantly. We parted our separate ways.

A year before that, I was on my way home, riding my bike, and was a few feet from my house when 2 police cars flashing their lights and sirens told me through their loudspeakers in Japanese to stop. I did. Eight coppers got out of the car and surrounded me. Needless to say, I was quite alarmed.

”Have I done anything wrong?” I asked the one nearest to me.
”No,” he said. ”Routine Checku.” He pronounced it in katakana English.

Another one came up to my right side and growled for my Gaijin card (I really hate that word). I gave it to him. A third snuck up to me from behind and when I turned to face him, he leaned in close to me and asked me in a threatening voice that was meant to be intimidating which country I came from.

That was the last straw. Fear and alarm turned into outrage and downright fury. I leaned even closer so that our noses were almost touching and said, ”EGIRISU” in a loud and challenging voice. I glared at him, in a challenging way. He backed off, and retreated back into the safety of his comrades. I was asked a whole series of questions to which I responded to with as much patience as I could muster. I went home feeling pretty much the same way I felt after the last incident a few weeks ago: drained, tired, depressed, helpless, upset, and most of all furious.

What’s going on here? Why is Japan treating her foreigners like they are ALL criminals? Yes there is foreign crime in Japan. But it is significantly lower than in other countries and nothing when you compare it to crime committed by Japanese nationals. I can also tell you right now, the Yakuza are creating massive problems for us in London. They practically run Little Tokyo in Los Angeles and they are very powerful in parts of New York as well as North Vancouver. Contrary to popular belief, Japanese do commit crimes in other countries too, but nobody singles THEM out and forces them to show their proof of status.

Also, a very small number of foreigners actually commit crimes. I know this, because had the number been significant, there would have been martial law declared on all foreigners. This forcing people to show their passports or gaijin cards only incites hatred, disdain, and rage toward the Japanese people as a group, and does no one any good. You’re not stopping foreign crime. Anyone can get married to a national and get visa status. This happens around the world. This forcing of foreigners to carry ID with them at all times is nothing more than a racist gesture. It solves no problem. It adds to it. And believe me, it adds to Japanese people’s problems too.

Japanese people love to travel. Imagine having experiences like mine in a foreign country and coming home feeling nothing but negative about that country. Now imagine you just met someone from that country in your own country enjoying life, smiling, and enjoying the very privileges that were denied you when you were in that country. How would you feel towards that person? Hostile? Would you want revenge? All these foreigners you are mistreating have a home country. They will probably go back someday. Your friends, relatives, children, etc might someday find themselves as Gaijin in these countries. Heaven help them if they run into a disgruntled foreigner whose experiences in Japan were negative. Heaven help any Japanese national who runs into me in the UK and tells me he is a police officer in Japan.

See what you have done? And for WHAT? We are human like you.

ENDS

bai aag mp3dolte aage piche mp3jimbob 976 mp3aah tcha mp398 because degree mp3mp3 aahista aahistaaai chand mp3recognize mp3 98se Map

American Chamber of Commerce Japan on negotiations re NJ Fingerprinting

mytest

FYI: THE AMERICANS GET INVOLVED IN THE NJ FINGERPRINTING ISSUE

Subject: Info. on New Japan Immigrations Entry Procedures eff. from Nov. 20th

Dear SCCJ Member,

Re. New Immigration Entry Procedure, we send you the following mail sent by ACCJ for your information.

**************
Dear ACCJ Member,

As most undoubtedly are aware, this coming week, new immigrations procedures will go into effect in Japan requiring the collection of biometric data (facial photograph and fingerprints) for most foreign citizens entering the country.

Your Transportation and Logistics Committee as well as Board leaders have been working hard with local Immigrations authorities at the international airports as well as the Ministry of Justice, Immigration Bureau.

We believe that the Government of Japan is well aware of the issues of concern to the foreign business community and has worked collaboratively with us to mitigate any major difficulties at the transition. We are committed to closely monitoring implementation and will keep you apprised of any developments.

The following is a recap of measures that will be introduced to ensure that the new procedures are implemented as smoothly as possible:

Narita International Airport – Tokyo: – Add 100 immigration officers during the transition period – Provide dedicated queues for foreigners with re-entry permits – Provide dedicated queues for airline crew members and disabled/ reduced mobility passengers – Offer automated immigration gates in Terminal 1 South Wing and Terminal 2 for pre-registered travelers. Registration is available at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau or the Narita District Office – Install cameras/fingerprint readers at all positions and dynamically expand number of queues available to foreigners – At least initially, allow mixed nationality families with children under the age of 16 and one Japanese parent to use the Japanese passport holder lanes

Central Japan International Airport – Nagoya: – Add 18 immigration officers during the transition period – Provide a dedicated queue for airline crew members and disabled/ reduced mobility passengers – Install cameras/fingerprint readers at all positions and dynamically expand number of queues available to foreigners – At least initially allow mixed nationality families (at least one Japanese parent) to use Japanese passport holder lanes – Consider installing automated immigration gates during 2008

Kansai International Airport – Osaka: – Add immigrations officers (number under study) during transition period – Provide a dedicated queue for airline crew members and disabled/ reduced mobility passengers – Install cameras/fingerprint readers at all positions and dynamically expand number of queues available to foreigners – Consider installing automated immigration gates during 2008 Note: the Kansai region is home to a large number of Korean special permanent residents who will use the Japanese passport holders lanes and are not subject to biometric data collection

Other airports: The U.S. carriers have met with the local immigrations authorities and believe that because a high percentage of passengers using these secondary airports, foreign citizens will encounter few problems.

Airlines: – Will actively advise foreign arriving passengers of the new procedures–onboard videos and/or announcements – Will actively encourage/monitor completion of Embarkation/ Disembarkation forms to minimize secondary queuing of passengers

If you have any questions or wish to provide feedback, please direct an email to the Transportation and Logistic Committee.

Sincerely,

Charles Duncan and Masamichi Ujiie,
Co-Chairs Transportation and Logistics Committee (Sent by ACCJ Communications)

****************************
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan – SCCJ
6-12 Kioicho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0094
Tel: 03-5211-2101 Fax: 03-5211-2102 http://www.sccj.org
****************************
ENDS

Economist on J Media (particularly political collusion between LDP, DPJ, and Yomiuri Shinbun!)

mytest

Hi Blog. Finally, we are getting the articles coming out that should have done so long ago–and would have been done if reporters were either competent or not complicit in the media machine. What follows is an excellent article in The Economist (London) on that very media machine in Japan, and how it meddles with the political process here. (Pity it’s only confined to the web–the weekly article from Japan in the print version was a different one about Ozawa only.)

Let’s hope The Economist or someoone else someday does an entire survey on the situation. This kind of corruption runs very, very deep in Japan, and will ultimately keep our country on its future path to economic obscurity (and an untoward degree of xenophobic isolation) unless something drastically changes in the power structure. Exposing it to the light of the media spotlight is one way. Have a read. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

(PS: I will be on the road for the next couple of days, and not sure how many blog updates I’ll be able to do. FYI)

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Asia.view: Japan’s media don
Nov 14th 2007 From Economist.com
http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10127783
Courtesy of DMG

Japan’s politics
The most powerful publisher you’ve never heard of
watanabetsuneo.tiff

FOR its Tokyo bureau The Economist rents a room in the headquarters of the conservative Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s most popular newspaper that also happens to own the country’s best-known baseball team. Or is it the other way around? Either way, the building brings to mind nothing commercial or sporting, but a vast government ministry in some bygone socialist country.

The floors are linoleum and the corridors endless, with way stations every 50 metres for smokers. The fourth floor boasts a proper newsroom; otherwise, with its fusty offices and featureless hallways, the place exudes the atmosphere of a massive, shabby bureaucracy.

The building boasts canteens, a phalanx of white-coated medical staff, a dormitory and even a proper bathhouse (for men only). The group has its own army of security guards, whose main job seems to be to stop you using the lift reserved for the chairman, 81-year-old Tsuneo Watanabe. His imperious arrival is heralded by bows and salutes.

The main difference between this building and a government ministry, however, is that Mr Watanabe is more powerful than almost any government minister in Japan could ever hope to be. Privately, Yomiuri journalists tell you that they have no choice but to follow the editorial line Mr Watanabe lays down. They are nowhere near as forthcoming to their readers.

Take the political farce of the past couple of weeks. On November 2nd Ichiro Ozawa, the fiery leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which had seized control of the upper house of the Diet (parliament) in summer elections, sat down with the prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda, who heads the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Hitherto, Mr Ozawa had promised voters that he would bring down the LDP-led government, win a general election and prove the DPJ was able to govern. November 2nd, by contrast, was spent cutting deals: what would he and his party get in return for bringing the DPJ into a “grand coalition” with the LDP? Mr Fukuda, it seems, offered him the post of deputy prime minister, among other goodies.

When Mr Ozawa brought the deal back to his party’s executive the following day, it was outraged. Mr Ozawa resigned. Lacking a suitable replacement, however, the party reinstated him. Mr Ozawa sounded uncharacteristically contrite, though his old form re-emerged when he railed at journalists who had reported that it was he, not Mr Fukuda, who had made the first approach about a grand coalition. A few days later, he backtracked, explaining that “a certain person” had mediated his first contact with Mr Fukuda about it. The certain person was in fact Mr Watanabe.

Mr Watanabe’s credentials to speak on behalf of the 71-year-old Mr Fukuda and other members of the LDP’s old guard who backed the idea of a grand coalition are not in doubt. In September, after Shinzo Abe suddenly resigned as prime minister, having suffered a loss of nerve that was aggravated by Mr Ozawa’s attacks, Mr Watanabe convened the crucial meeting of party kingmakers where Mr Fukuda was persuaded to run for the LDP presidency.

Not only have the Yomiuri’s readers been kept in the dark about these events, so largely have those of the paper’s four national rivals. All that has appeared so far is just two editorials politely questioning Mr Watanabe’s involvement. A quip among Japan’s political class is that editorials are read only by their authors.

Political and cultural factors produce such opacity: the mainstream media are neither analytical nor adversarial; less charitably, they mostly serve the ruling party. But there is also a commercial dimension. The three most successful dailies (the Yomiuri, the Asahi Shimbun and the Nikkei) have a common interest in putting the two smallest nationals (the Mainichi Shimbun and the Sankei Shimbun) out of business and are not inclined to antagonise each other—indeed they even share commercial ventures.

As for the smaller two, their revenues would be in even worse shape were it not for the system of price-fixing the government allows for the newspaper industry. The powerful Mr Watanabe protects the industry in government circles, allowing the anti-competitive status quo to persist.

Consequently, newspapers provide little criticism of Mr Watanabe, or of his string-pulling to create a grand coalition, born from his belief that the affairs of state should be left in the hands of a few experienced men without the messy distractions of democratic politics—just like the old-school LDP in the old days. Indeed, Mr Ozawa cut his political teeth in that school, and Mr Watanabe and his kind have long regarded the DPJ as just an errant LDP faction.

But a grand coalition is a terrible idea. It would leave Japan without an opposition to keep the government clean, and it would deprive voters of political choice: most Japanese oppose it. The advancement of the idea has brought out the incompetence of both main parties, reducing Japanese politics to farce. Might the arrogant Mr Watanabe be humbled by the experience? That, says Minoru Morita, a venerable commentator, would be like asking the sun to rise in the west.
ENDS

Letter to Dr Deepu Sadhwani, President, Kobe Regatta & Athletic Club, re protesting NJ Fingerprint policy

mytest

Hi Blog. This is a letter I sent out tonight in response to Dr Deepu Sadhwani, President, Kobe Regatta & Athletic Club, who introduced himself today, and asked what he and his members (long-term residents of the Kansai) could do to protest the NJ Fingerprinting policy. Feel free to forward my response around to others that need convincing of the the whats, whys, and hows. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

ORIGINAL LETTER

////////////////////////////////////////////////////
From: Deepu Sadhwani
Subject: RE: DR D SADHWANI KOBE KRAC CLUB PRESIDENT
Date: November 15, 2007

Dear Debito,

Hi, my name is Deepu Sadhwani currently serving as President of the Kobe Regatta & Athletic Club. As mentioned by Mr. Issott, i am prepared to help in any way i can. I have many city councilmen amongst my contacts. They have been helping me in our fight with City Hall for the land rights of our Club. They are all stand up people and will fight a good fight. I understand the immediate priority is to get the scans installed at airports besides Narita but i believe we should carry this fight all the way. The whole process stinks and the airport checks is but only a start of many other hassles to come.

Please let me know how we can be of assistance. For your information the KR&AC was given a manifesto way back in the late 1800’s by the Embassies that said that the President and Committee of the KR&AC were to be the de facto leaders of the foreign community of Kobe, something that has never been changed though has not been used in decades either. I intend reminding City Hall of this.

Awaiting your advise, Deepu.
====================
UPDATE NOV 19

Debito……You can quote me on anything i write and put it in your blog if you like. I will be writing a special report for our KR&AC magazine and will be quoting from your article in the Japan Times that appeared on Nov. 13th. I will also be making representation to City Hall shortly and meet a group of concerned city councilmen. Best regards, Deepu

Sorry, forgot to mention. When i was at immigration this morning the tanto sha did mention that there would be officials pointing out booths for re-entry permit holders but that these booths would be the ones that the Japanese go through. In other words till the Japanese are done we’re still in line.
////////////////////////////////////////////////////

MY RESPONSE

////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Hello Dr Sadhwani. Arudou Debito in Sapporo here. Thank you very much for your email. Received with great honor and gratitude. Let me take this opportunity to make a few suggestions to your membership about activities you might engage in to protest the fingerprinting policy:

ACTIVE:
1) At any public opportunity you have, in any venue you deem appropriate, slip in a subtle (or not so subtle) indication that you have serious misgivings about a policy that follows the logic of treating all non-Japanese axiomatically as “terrorists and carriers of infectious diseases”.
http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/033005b.htm
And one that treats all long-term non-Japanese residents and taxpayers as tourists, non-residents, and aliens unconnected to their Japanese families–no matter how long they’ve lived here and contributed to this society’s demographically-troubled future.

Suggested venues include meetings with public officials, members of the government and bureaucracy, the diplomatic corps, press outlets, agencies connected with tourism and foreign exchange, and especially politicians. A mention in passing is fine. But do a little something. Remind them that this issue is not going to go away, and we are not just good little “guests” that will take a slight as deep as this lightly.

2) Encourage your friends to take their trips elsewhere–tell them you’ll meet them overseas. Even encourage them to join in the fight. For example, a contributor wrote me tonight:

=============================
Hello there, It really may sound quite a childish step to take, but if people wish to show their displeasure with the
fingerprinting/photo issue, then send a query to the JNTO in the UK (or any other office in an industrialised nation whose visitors and cash Japan would like to attract) asking about the new immigration rules as if you were thinking of bringing
your family to Japan for an extended visit (don’t use an obviously Japanese email address–plenty of Yahoo.uk etc addresses available).

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/contact/index.html

When they reply with a raft of information about the new entry procedures, write back and tell them that it’s all too much and that sadly you will have to forgo the treat of a visit to ‘beautiful Japan’ and that you will visit somewhere else (how about Korea or China!?).

If enough people do this, negative feedback about these measures from the JNTO may be heard where the rising sun doesn’t shine. Best regards, G. Alexander.
———————————————————————
http://www.thehungersite.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/CTDSites
=============================

3) Write letters of your own to pertinent ministries and outlets. A template letter and suggestions on places to send it are available at
http://www.debito.org/?p=652
Consider even handing it to Immigration every time you clear Customs.

Others have proposed protest t-shirts, buttons, or other means to show your discomfort that are public and vocal. If you can help out with any of these efforts (if you have the means), please let me know. If you have other suggestions, please feel free to visit my blog and leave a comment and/or suggestion, anonymously if you prefer, or write me at debito@debito.org

———————-

PASSIVE: Refuse to be separated from your Japanese families at the border. Stand in the same line. Slow things up. Make it clear that Japan is not immune to the effects of immigration and globalization, and that it must remember that Japan’s international residents are as integrated into and contributing to this society as any other citizen.

In short, please don’t do nothing. Please consider showing that the “gaijin” being targeted by this policy (essentially anyone who is not US Military under SOFA, Diplomats, or Zainichi Korean/Chinese etc.–since their being exempted is purely political; they would have more effectively fought back if fingerprinted as well) are neither docile nor impervious to being treated as suspicious criminals–by a government that is happy to take their resident taxes and tourist dollars, yet not treat them with the commensurate respect.

If you need more background on the issue, my files on fingerprinting issue may be found on my blog under a special category, through the link below:
http://www.debito.org/?cat=33

If you still need convincing of the gravity of this situation, please consider reading my essay in Metropolis (October 26), about why this policy is such a bad idea.
http://metropolis.co.jp/tokyo/709/lastword.asp

And if you need a second opinion, consider that of Terrie Lloyd, entrepreneur, publisher of Japan Inc and Metropolis, and fellow long-term resident, in a recent “Terrie’s Take” (November 11). He calls this “an unmitigated public relations disaster for the Japanese government and the Justice Ministry in particular” :
http://www.debito.org/?p=724
Also recent protest letters from the European Business Council and the Australian/NZ Chambers of Commerce:
http://www.debito.org/?p=689

I hope that this inspires you do to what you can. Please consider forwarding my message around to anyone you like. We probably cannot stop the promulgation of this law from November 20 (and it will affect you down in the Kansai much worse than those coming through Narita–see Martin Issott’s evidence of this at http://www.debito.org/?p=656). But we can certainly inconvenience the promulgators right back. And so far, sustained protest has had a discernible effect on the authorities.
http://www.debito.org/?p=701

Thanks for reading and considering.

With best wishes, Arudou Debito in Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org, www.debito.org
November 15, 2007
ENDS

NUGW’s Louis Carlet: “NOVA collapse a turning point in language industry”, Lesson For Food

mytest

From: carlet@jca.apc.org (Louis Carlet, NUGW Nambu Union)
Subject: [Nambu FWC] Nova Union Meeting and other upcoming events
Date: November 15, 2007 3:15:30 PM JST

Sisters and Brothers, (Nova Union General Meeting Sunday 7pm!)

The Nova collapse represents a turning point in the language industry. We have a chance to push through crucial reforms for the industry as a whole, including permanent job status and health care options for all teachers.

Our efforts over the past few years and through the media over the past few months have succeeded in raising awareness among the public of the precarious situation of language teachers and the abuse they undergo on a daily basis. This public awareness included the current Nova trustees, which is why they are pressuring G Education (the so-called “sponsor” selected to take over Nova’s operations) to comply with all labor laws and treat teachers, staff and customers as human beings.

We should congratulate ourselves for this crucial victory while quickly taking the next step. Let’s demand collective bargaining from G Education as soon as we have members employed and let’s ask for everything early on — since this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to chance the industry. Last Saturday, we passed out 500 flyers at the information session in Tokyo to potential G employees, asking them to join GUTS — G Union of Teachers and Staff.

Schedule

Saturday, Nov.17 2pm Lesson For Food

We will meet at 2pm at Shinkoiwa Station (Sobu Line) and move to the Shinkoiwa Park for the first official Lesson for Food. If you want to watch this, please come at this time. Although, the Lesson for Food program was voted by the Nova Union members, it has drawn criticism from around the country. If you object to this program, please attend the Nova Union meeting on Sunday at 7pm at the union office and voice your concerns.

Sunday, Nov. 18, 7pm Nova Union General Meeting

We will hold a Nova Union general meeting from 7pm Sunday at the union office (Minato-ku, Shimbashi 5-17-7 Kobayashi Bldg. 2F, 03-3434-0669).

See map at bottom of the following web page: http://nambufwc.org/about/contact/

During the meeting we will decide policy, explain details of current situation, advice on resignation versus dismissal, explain government subsidy and unemployment insurance systems and answer questions. We will also hold elections for all executive posts, including president, general secretary, treasurer and Nova Relief Fund administrator. If you are interested in any of these posts, please let us know (nambu.carlet@ezweb.ne.jp) in advance of the meeting or at the start of the meeting. Also, please attend even if, or especially if you are now employed by G Education since we would like to begin setting up GUTS as a local of Nambu as soon as possible.

Thursday, Nov. 22 through Sunday, Nov. 25

JALT’s 33rd International Conference

Japan Association of Language Teachers will hold its 33rd annual international conference from Thursday through Sunday, this year in Tokyo at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center near Sangubashi Station, one stop from Shinjuku Station on the Odakyu Line. On Friday, Nov. 23, beginning 2:30pm the labor caucus of JALT — PALE* — will hold its annual series of meetings, with guest lecturers including yours truly. We will discuss teaching from a working conditions and labor perspective including prospects for improvement in the wake of the Nova collapse.

*PROFESSIONALISM, ADMINISTRATION AND LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION (PALE) promotes the status of language teaching as a profession both within the Japanese educational system and in relation to the wider national and international context.

http://jalt.org/calendar/index.php?page=group&id=43&year=2007#3272

— NUGW Tokyo Nambu – Nambu FWC —
Lessons For Food Campaign: http://nambufwc.org/lessons-for-food
ENDS

Japan Times on Gaijin Carding in workplace, and downloadable wallet-size Gaijin Card laws from Erich Meatleg

mytest

Hi Blog. I had an article come out in the Japan Times last Tuesday Nov 13 (Wednesday outside the metropolises), which you can read with notes and links to sources at http://www.debito.org/japantimes111307.html.

Excerpting from the conclusion of the article (in mufti–go to the whole article above if you want to see links):

===================================
You know, Japan needs more lawyers, or at least more lawyerly types. Anyone who reads the actual laws will in fact find a natural check and balance.

For example, even if the cops issue their classic demand for your Gaijin Card on the street, under the Foreign Registry Law (gaitouhou) (Article 13), you are not required to display unless the cop shows you his ID first. Ask for it. And write it down.

And believe it or not, under the Police Execution of Duties Law (keisatsukan shokumu shikkou hou) (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’re in the clear. Neither foreign residents nor Japanese are required 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 Jouhou Hokan Hou) 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, Japan’s policymakers are treating non-Japanese residents as criminals, terrorists, and filth columnists of disease and disorder–through fingerprinting at the border, gaijin-apartment ID Checkpoints, anonymous police Internet “snitch sites” (ZG Mar 30 2004), “foreign DNA crime databases” (ZG Jan 13 2004), IC Chips in Gaijin Cards (ZG Nov 22 2005), and now gaijin dragnets through hotels and paychecks.

But there are still some vestiges of civil liberties guaranteed by law in this country. 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.

More information on what to do in these situations, plus the letter of the law, at http://www.debito.org/whattodoif.html
===================================

To this end, Erich Meatleg has provided a very valuable service–wallet-sized copies of the original text (plus hiragana and English translations) of pertinent sections of the laws for you to download and carry around. For the next time you get racially-profiled on the street and Gaijin Carded by cops:

Download plain version of text of laws regarding Gaijin Card Checks here (pdf format).

Download color-coded version of text of laws regarding Gaijin Card Checks here (pdf format).

—————————————–

Other laws that you can use (such as for Gaijin Card Checkpoints at hotels and in the workplace) are also up linked from the whattodoif.html article, but Erich hasn’t gotten to them yet! 🙂

Great thanks to Erich for his assistance! I’m sure the cops will be nonplussed from now on re how legalistic their gaijin patsies have become. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

Official instructions on Narita automated gate for NJ fingerprinting

mytest

[For Foreigners]
(Reference Material for the PR Dept.)

Operation of the Automated Gate

Ministry of Justice, Immigration Bureau

1. Introduction
Automated gates will be placed at Narita Airport from November 20th, 2007, in order to improve convenience of immigration procedures by simplifying and accelerating them. We would like to ask foreigners who wish to use the automated gates to provide their personal identification information (fingerprints and a facial portrait) in advance and register themselves as applicants in order to use the gate.

2. Registration as an Applicant to Use the Automated Gate
(1) Required Items for Registration
1. Valid passport (including Re-entry Permit) and re-entry permission
2. Application form to use the automated gate
(2) Where and When to Register
We will be accepting applications from November 20th at the locations stated below:
1. Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau
Application Counter for re-entry permission (2F) 9:00-16:00 (Except Saturdays, Sundays, National Holidays and December 29th to January 3rd)
2. Narita Airport District Immigration Office
The departure inspection area at South Wing of Passenger Terminal 1: 9:00-17:00
The departure inspection area at the South Exit of Passenger Terminal 2: 9:00-17:00
(3) Registration Procedures
Submit your application form with your passport and provide fingerprints of both index fingers and a facial portrait.
Then, when the official affixes a registration stamp on your passport, the registration procedure is complete. In principle, you can use the gate from that day forward.
(4) Points of Concern for the Registration
1. Time Limit of Registration
You can register until the expiration date of your passport or the expiration date of your re-entry permit, whichever comes earlier.
2. Registration Restrictions
In some cases, such as when you cannot provide fingerprints, you may not be able to register.
3. Using and Providing the Registered Information
We will manage information including fingerprints and facial portraits provided at the registration as personal information set forth in laws on protection of personal information held by administrative agencies, and the information will not be used or provided beyond the range allowed for in these laws.
4. Deletion of Registration
Submit the application form to delete registration if you wish to delete your registration. Then, your registration will be deleted and the fingerprints and facial portrait you provided will be erased.

3. How to Use the Gate
(1) How to Use the Gate
1. When you arrive
Step forward before the immigration officer and place your passport over the Passport Reader. After being recognized as a registrant, provide your fingerprints and facial portrait. Then, submit your passport and ED card to the immigration officer. After checking, the gate will open. Arrival inspection procedures are now complete.
2. When you depart
Step forward before the immigration officer and place your passport over the Passport Reader. After being recognized as a registrant, provide your fingerprints. Then, submit your passport and ED card to the immigration officer. After checking, the gate will open. Departure inspection procedures are now complete.
(2) When you use the automated gate, as a rule, the entry/departure record (a stamp) will not be left on your passport.
ENDS

Former Giants pitcher tarento promotes Narita Fingerprinting NJ system as “Anti-Crime” measure

mytest

Well, here’s the ultimate in government greenmailing: Get a real pitcher to pitch the system. Check out this chucklehead:

========================================
miyamotokazutomo1.jpg
FINGERED — TV celebrity Kazutomo Miyamoto tries out the new foreigner fingerprinting system at Narita Airport. As a Japanese national, Miyamoto will not need to have his fingerprints taken when the new system comes into operation from Nov. 20. (Mainichi)

Celebrity uses fingerprint photo-op to call for cut in foreign crime
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20071114p2a00m0na030000c.html

NARITA — TV celebrity Kazutomo Miyamoto urged immigration officials during a photo-op to use a new process to fingerprint inbound foreigners to fight foreign crime, not terrorism as the government claims the system will be used for.

“I think it’d be best if we could cut the amount of crime foreigners are committing and make Japan a safer place,” Miyamoto said at Narita Airport, where he was serving as the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau Chief For a Day as a promotional event for the fingerprinting process.

Starting from Nov. 20, Japan will follow the United States to become the second country in the world to implement individual recognition software for foreigners entering and leaving the country.

With the new system, nearly all foreigners will have to have fingerprints from both hands and a picture of their face recorded. Fingerprints will be verified with a list in what the government says will be an attempt to prevent terrorists or known criminals from entering Japan.

Japanese nationals will be able to pass through Immigration via an automated gate instead of waiting in line to be processed by officials if they have applied for permission and submitted fingerprints in advance.

Miyamoto, 43, was once a pitcher for the Yomiuri Giants.

======================================

COMMENT: Anything for a photo-op–even if it’s at the expense of Japan’s NJ residents (whom Kazutomo-kun probably knows next to nothing about). He isn’t going to be fingerprinted under any circumstances anyway, so I guess this is his only chance.

Pity he thinks that it’s for stopping foreign crime (which is, in fact, falling). Sorry chum, it’s allegedly for preventing terrorism and disease; and if you think it will make Japan a safer place, your publicist is as uninformed as you.

Then again, profiteering helps. According to a reliable source, these photo-ops run JPY 300,000 to 500,000. Nice bit of pocket change to get your fingers on afterwards.

Let Kazutomo-kun know your feelings at his official site:
http://www.m-bravo.com/

Steve Koya below also notes that Mr Miyamoto’s manager’s office number is Tel:03-3224-1681 Fax:03-3224-1682 for anyone else who would like to make a complaint.

Arudou Debito in Sapporo
ENDS

毎日:タレント宮本和知は東京入管成田支局で指紋採取について、「外国人犯罪が減り、日本が安全になればベストだと思う」

mytest

一日入国管理局長:宮本さん、個人識別の手続き体験−−東京入管成田支局 /千葉
11月14日12時5分配信 毎日新聞 11月14日朝刊
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20071114-00000132-mailo-l12
miyamotokazutomo.jpg

 東京入国管理局成田空港支局は13日、タレントの宮本和知さん(43)を「一日入国管理局長」に招き、指紋などの個人識別情報を活用した新しい入国審査手続きを公開した。個人識別情報を出入国手続きに用いるのは、米国に続き世界で2番目。全国の空港や港湾で20日、一斉に導入される。
 新たな手続きでは、外国人旅客の両手人さし指の指紋採取と顔写真の撮影を実施。指紋情報をリストと照合し、テロリストや犯罪者の入国を防止する。事前申請と指紋提供をした日本人旅客を対象に、出入国審査の自動ゲートの運用も始まる。
 宮本さんは入国審査場で指紋採取などの手続きを体験。「外国人犯罪が減り、日本が安全になればベストだと思う」と話した。【倉田陶子】11月14日朝刊

==========================

コメント:(ちなみに減っている)「外国人犯罪」と無関係で、「反テロ措置」というのは入管の正当化でしたよ。和知君、何という無知ですよ。どうせあなたの指紋は入管で採取されないので、なぜプロモーションに加わるのですか。

どうぞ、感想は和知君のオフィシャルサイトへ
http://www.m-bravo.com/
ENDS

Japan Times on NJ Housing Discrimination, and how people are trying to help

mytest

Hi Blog. Pursuant to my post this morning on how an Osaka realtor has clear “foreigners OK” labels in its apartment catalog (meaning default mode is refusing them), here is an article in the Japan Times with some more evidence on just how systematic discrimination by nationality is in the housing market. Unfortunately, this is not really “news”… except to say that some people are finally trying to help. Debito in Sapporo

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////

BIAS, BUSINESS BEST SERVED BY UNDERSTANDING
Foreigners still dogged by housing barriers
By AKEMI NAKAMURA
The Japan Times: Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007

Courtesy http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20071110f1.html
Courtesy of Japan Probe

Having arrived in Tokyo from Seoul about a year ago, Il Yeong Eun, like many foreigners who come to Japan, soon encountered a major difficulty — housing discrimination.

Il, 25, together with two South Korean friends who also came to Japan around that time, visited three real estate agencies to rent an apartment in Shinjuku Ward. But the agencies turned them away because they were foreigners.

“I never expected to be refused,” said Il, who goes to a Japanese language school in the ward. “I felt like I was treated like a criminal.”

Fortunately, she found a one-bedroom flat through a real estate agency that one of her friends introduced her to. The firm’s South Korean employee takes care of foreign customers by teaching them Japanese customs related to living in rental apartments.

Japan’s foreign population is steadily increasing. Government data show the number of registered foreign residents stood at 2.08 million in 2006, up from 1.48 million a decade ago. Nonetheless, housing discrimination against foreigners is surprisingly strong even in Tokyo.

According to a 2006 survey conducted by Tokyo-based nonprofit organization Information Center for Foreigners in Japan, 94 percent, or 220 respondents, out of 234 foreigners in Tokyo who visited real estate agents said they were refused by at least one agent.

To ease the discrimination, the public and private sectors have gradually come to offer various services to help foreigners find properties.

The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry launched the Web site Anshin Chintai (safe rental housing) in June to provide rental housing information and lists of real estate agents and NPOs that can support foreign apartment-seekers.

“We hear that some foreign residents have been refused (by landlords or rental agents),” said Eiji Tanaka, a ministry official in charge of the project. “The system is to network local governments, rental agents and nonprofit organizations” to effectively help such foreigners as well as the aged and the disabled.

So far, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Osaka and Miyagi prefectures and Kawasaki have joined the project. For example, 237 real estate agents in Tokyo are listed as supportive firms.

The site — www.anshin-chintai.jp — is available in Japanese only, but foreigners who have difficulties with the language can ask local governments to explain the information on the site to them, according to the ministry.

The ministry is trying to have other local governments join the system and is considering offering the content in other languages as well, the official said.

The Japan Property Management Association, involving about 1,000 real estate agencies, also launched the Web site Welcome Chintai — www.jpm.jp/welcome/ — in September to introduce rental properties in six languages — Chinese, English, Korean, Mongolian, Spanish and Russian.

Information about properties and procedures and customs to rent rooms are put up by rental agents on the site’s six blogs — one blog in each of the six languages.

“The Web site is a tool for us to smoothly accept foreign customers,” said Masao Ogino, chairman of the association’s international exchange committee that runs Ichii Co., the real estate agent in Shinjuku Ward.

As real estate agents that registered with the site write about their experiences of dealing with foreign customers, other member companies can gain knowhow, he said.

But opening such Web sites is not enough to help foreigners, said Toshinori Kawada, a Meiji University student who set up The-You Inc., a rental housing consulting firm, in Shinjuku Ward last year.

“(Foreigners) often find apartments through word of mouth. Distributing fliers at places where they gather is more effective” than offering information online, he said, noting his company’s site showing properties for foreigners, launched in July, has failed to draw many viewers.

A key to solving the housing problem faced by foreigners is to ease landlords’ anxieties about accepting them as tenants, Kawada said.

Landlords and rental agents often say they are concerned that foreign tenants might not have proper guarantors and might cause trouble with neighbors.

To ease such anxieties, his firm gives rental agents and landlords consultations on foreign tenant management, such as teaching them rules of everyday life here and collecting rents, by utilizing the expertise he gained by working at a foreign customers-only real estate agency for a year.

These private-sector moves have come as real estate companies and landlords think the rental housing market targeting foreigners has potential as Japan struggles with a declining birthrate.

“An oversupply (of rental apartments) makes it difficult (for landlords) to manage their properties. So they reluctantly turn to foreign customers,” Kawada said.

Ogino of the association said more and more real estate agents would enter the market as the association is trying to enlighten them and pass along knowhow to handle foreign customers through its new site.

“Our industry is finally moving toward internationalization as some agents now hire foreign employees,” Ogino said. “If real estate agencies can obtain knowhow to deal with foreign customers, they could gain more benefits and make foreign residents happy.”

The Japan Times: Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007
ENDS

Rogues’ Gallery: Kansai Kensetsu Inc., a “No Foreigners” realtor in Osaka–according to its catalog

mytest

Hi Blog. Martin Oickle was kind enough to send me one page of a housing/apartment catalog from “Heartful Fukushima Ten”–an Osaka realtor (Fukushima 7-5-1, Fukushima-ku, Osaka-shi, KK Kansai Kensetsu Fukushima Ten, Ph 06-6455-7101).

It has a system for refusing foreigners that is so clear it’s even got a special snappy logo:

heartfulrealtynogaijin005.jpg
very kindly abbreviated to “‘gaijin’ are allowed” for your handy-dandy reference. Cute.

Here’s the original page in its entirety, from page nine of its catalog:
(click on the image to see a very detailed 300 dpi scan close up)

heartfulrealtynogaijin001.jpg

You’ll notice the very clever logos at the bottom, for “Auto Lock”, “Satellite TV”, “Students Allowed”, “Pianos Allowed”, “Children Allowed”, “Sink for Shampooing”, “Pets Allowed”, “Toilet and Bath Unit Separate”, “Shower Included”, “Flooring”, “Piped in Radio”, “Specially for Women”, “Hot Water Pot Included”, “Staff Constantly On Duty”, “Cable TV”, “Parking Allowed”, “Handicapped Access”, “Contract with Legal Entity”, “Air Conditioning”, “Elevator”, “Rentable in Portions”, “Furnished”, “Phone Included”, “Refrigerator Included”, and finally… “Foreigners Allowed”.

(click below to see whole image in your browser)
heartfulrealtynogaijin004.jpg

Thanks for making it so clear, I guess. Very Heartful. You’ll also notice that there is only one apartment of the twelve on this page which will deign to take “gaijin”:

heartfulrealtynogaijin003.jpg

And it’s nearly the cheapest and quite possibly the crappiest one on the entire page–only a one-room (1R). Now what a coincidence…

==========================

Now some quick counterarguments for the pedants, for what they’re worth:

Yes, there are restrictions on other things, such as pianos, but pianos and other material effects are not people. Same with pets, of course.

Yes, there are restrictions on students and children. But one does not remain a student or a child all their life, so it’s not the same as discrimination by nationality. (And for the record, I do not support “Women Only” apartments by the same logic. In any case, the default mode for apartments is accepting women, whereas the default for “gaijin” is rejection.)

What a lovely way to welcome newcomers who have enough hurdles to jump over in this society, without having the most fundamental thing they need in their life–a place to rest their head every day–denied them when they first arrive or need to move. Moreover relegate them to lousy housing regardless of income.

And the fact that this company is bold enough to make exclusionism so explicit (the realtor will no doubt counterargue that this is done by the landlord’s wishes; they’re just following orders) makes them an accessory to the discrimination in black and white.

Debito.org wishes to discourage this type of systematic discrimination in any way possible. I have put this company on the “Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Establishments”.

Suggest you take your business elsewhere if you’re looking for apartments in Fukushima-ku, Osaka. Someplace less tolerant of intolerance.

Like some of these places, mentioned in a Japan Times article of November 10, 2007, blogged here.

Pertinent references from the article:
The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry launched the Web site Anshin Chintai (safe rental housing) in June to provide rental housing information and lists of real estate agents and NPOs that can support foreign apartment-seekers. So far, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Osaka and Miyagi prefectures and Kawasaki have joined the project. For example, 237 real estate agents in Tokyo are listed as supportive firms.

The site — www.anshin-chintai.jp — is available in Japanese only, but foreigners who have difficulties with the language can ask local governments to explain the information on the site to them, according to the ministry.

The Japan Property Management Association, involving about 1,000 real estate agencies, also launched the Web site Welcome Chintai — www.jpm.jp/welcome/ — in September to introduce rental properties in six languages — Chinese, English, Korean, Mongolian, Spanish and Russian.

Arudou Debito in Sapporo

Valentine Lawsuit: Next Hearing Nov 20 11AM Tokyo High Court, join his support group.

mytest

Hi Blog. Nov 20 promises to be a busy day. If you’re not attending the Amnesty/SMJ Protest against Fingerprinting, then consider attending this event–in fact you can probably squeeze both of them in, since they’re both in Kasumigaseki.

About a person allegedly brutalized by the police, but undoubtedly denied medical treatment while incarcerated, and crippled in the event. Yet could not receive any compensation in court for his suffering or medical bills due in part to, according to the Lower Court decision, his (and his witnesses’) untrustworthy foreignness. I wrote about this in the Japan Times last August 14:

THE ZEIT GIST
Abuse, racism, lost evidence deny justice in Valentine Case
Nigerian’s ordeal shows that different standards apply for foreigners in court

http://www.debito.org/japantimes081407.html

Here are the details from the Support Group. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
SUPPORTERS WANTED FOR MR. VALENTINE’S TRIAL
== Please participate in his upcoming hearing ==

In Japan, when a witness is a foreigner, he can’t be trusted. And when an accused is a foreigner, he can’t have justice. At least, that is what is going on with his case…

Mr. Valentine, a Nigerian national, is defending himself against the Tokyo Metropolitan Government after a police beating incident which took place in Shinjuku almost 4 years ago. At the last trial, the judge did not close the case. Many thanks to the audience (more than 25 people sat in the public seats) who watched the trial so close. And now the date for the 3rd trial has been set. We are asking for your support, especially your participation in this upcoming hearing at Tokyo high court. Please help him to get justice.

The 3rd Appeal Tribunal Trial schedule:
Court opens at 11 am on November 20th. Tuesday, 2007
At Tokyo High Court 8th floor
Court Room Number 808
Court appellant : Mr. Valentine U.C.
< case number " (NE) 2429th of 2007" >

An application is not necessary to attend the hearing. Anyone can participate. Please come to the court before 11 am. You can enter the hearing room without any application or notification, but there will be a property check at the door. If you come earlier, please wait in the waiting room. Other supporters will meet you there. For more info: http://www.courts.go.jp/kengaku/

Access : “Kasumigaseki station” on Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line, Hibiya line or Chiyoda line. A1 exit, 1 minute walk. Or “Sakuradamon station” on Tokyo Metro Yuurakuchou line, No. 5 exit, 3 minute walk.

Mr. Valentine was arrested by Fuueihou violation in a back alley in Shinjuku Kabuki-cho on December 9th in 2003. Though he was handcuffed and did not resist during the arrest, he was brutally beaten by undercover police officers and it cost him a broken knee head bone. At the Tokyo police hospital, Mr. Valentine did not receive proper treatment. As a result, Mr. Valentine became a certified disabled person.

He brought a lawsuit against the Tokyo Metropolitan Government back in August, 2005, but lost the case. One of the reasons for the decision was based on the unaccountability of the eyewitness. The witness was also an African man. It stated anyone from the Kabuki-cho black people community can’t be taken as an accountable witness. And the Tokyo police hospital has not released his medical record, insisting it has been lost.

Read more:
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20070814zg.html
Contact: Valentine Trial Support Group (Japanese or English)
E-MAIL: rakuritsu.green@hotmail.co.jp
ENDS

バレンタインさんの警察官による外国人への暴力事件:【裁判傍聴に ご参加をお願いします!】 平成19年11月20日(火)11時 開廷

mytest

【裁判傍聴に ご参加をお願いします!】
===警察官による外国人への暴力事件===

ナイジェリア国籍のバレンタインさんは、新宿歌舞伎町で私服 警察官に不法な暴力を振るわれ障害者となりました。東京都を 相手取り裁判を起こしましたが、一審敗訴。東京都は暴力の事 実を認めず、バレンタインさんが勝手に看板に足をぶつけて怪 我をしたと虚偽の主張。証拠となる防犯カメラが現場にありま したが、都は防犯カメラを撤去し最初からなかったと主張しま した。初診のカルテも東京警察病院が「受診カルテを紛失した 」として裁判所命令にもかかわらず提出を拒否しています。一 審判決は原告側証人を「外国人だから信用できない」としまし た。原告は強大な公権力に翻弄され窮地に追い込まれています 。

人権が無視されていいのでしょうか、税金による公権力の不当 行使を許していいのでしょうか。

バレンタインさんは現在、控訴審公判中です。前回の第2回目 公判では25名以上の方々で傍聴席がうまり、そのお陰により 結審せず、第3回目公判につなげることができました。法廷で 真実を明らかにするため、東京高等裁判所に公正な判決を下し てもらうよう、多くの方々の傍聴参加をお願いします!

■ 【第3回・控訴審公判日程】 ■

平成19年11月20日(火)11時 開廷  東京高等裁判所 8階808号法廷

控訴人 バレンタインさんの事件名 「平成19年(ネ)第2 429号 」

○最寄り駅:地下鉄東京メトロ丸の内線・日比谷線・千代田線 「霞が関駅」A1出口から徒歩1分

地下鉄東京メトロ有楽町線「桜田門駅」5番出口から徒歩約3 分

○東京高等裁判所へのアクセス・案内図⇒
http://www.courts.go.jp/tokyo/about/syozai/tokyotisai.html

* 裁判の傍聴は、申込不要・受付不要です。誰でも傍聴でき ます。当日、開始時刻前に法廷に行って下さい。申込の必要や 、入口でどこの法廷に行くかなどの届出は不要です。(ただし 、裁判所の中にはいる際に、持物検査があります。)早くこら れた方は、隣接の待合室でお待ち下さい。他の支援者が同じよ うにそこで待っています。詳しい裁判傍聴案内は次のURLを参 照下さい⇒
http://www.courts.go.jp/kengaku/

【暴行の経緯】

ナイジェリア国籍のバレンタインさんは、2003年12月9 日午後7時45分、新宿歌舞伎町の路地裏にて風営法違反で逮 捕されました。当時歌舞伎町でナイトクラブのビラ配りのアル バイトをしていたバレンタインさんは、逮捕時には手錠をかけ られた上全く無抵抗であったのにも係わらず、私服警官から過 剰な暴行を受け、右膝周辺を力一杯踏みつけられ蹴飛ばされ、 右膝頚骨は粉砕してしまいました。その結果バレンタインさん は身体障害者になり、障害者手帳(5級)の保持者になりまし た。

バレンタインさんが懇願した末に搬送された東京警察病院でも 、必要な治療(手術)を受けらずに新宿署に10日間身柄を拘 束されました。本来ならば、通常このような患者には緊急手術 が施されますが、しかしその間も取調べは行われ、怪我を負わ された足にギブスをつけただけでした。そして現在も歩行に支 障をきたし、今後は普通に走ることなど望めません。

バレンタインさんはこの暴行に対し2005年8月、東京都に 対し国家賠償訴訟を起こしましたが、2007年3月29日敗 訴判決が下されました。(一審では、「歌舞伎町黒人コミュニ ティーの仲間である同国人の証人証言を、そのまま信用するこ とは到底できない。」などの理由により敗訴。また、東京警察 病院では「受診カルテを紛失した」とし、カルテを開示しませ んでした。)

同年5月に控訴し、7月15日に控訴審初公判、9月25日に 第2回公判を済ませ、現在は次回第3回公判の準備中です。

■連絡先: バレンタイン裁判支援会(メールは日本語でもO Kです。)

E-MAIL: rakuritsu.green@hotmail.co.jp
ENDS

Fingerprinting Protest: Lionel Dersot on making your own “WANTED” poster

mytest

Hi Blog. Here’s something I just got from Lionel Dersot out in cyberspace. If the idea tickles you, go for it. It does me. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

/////////////////////////////////////////////////

Hello, I am Lionel Dersot, a French resident of 22 years in Tokyo. Following a post on my French blog about alternative, vital ways to express discontent with the biometric filling of foreigners reaching Japan from November 20, I have created a Flickr public photo gallery where I will host any Wanted Poster candidate picture of people wishing to tell others that ” I am not a terrorist”.

My original post that shows my own Wanted Poster is here:

http://tokyo.blog.lemonde.fr/2007/11/09/wanted-in-tokyo/

The method to create and have you own WANTED poster uploaded is fairly simple. I did it in less than five minutes and I am no image application wizard. You need a free software and a decent digitized portrait picture of yourself.

Download the free PC software Poster Forge here:

http://www.ronyasoft.com/products/poster-forge/index.html

– Use the WANTED template and replace the fox picture with your own portrait picture.
– Modify the text as you wish. You can even mix Japanese and alphabet.
– Save your poster as a jpeg file, if possible at a size of 450 x 600 pixel and no more.
– If you don’t know how to do this, just save it as a jpeg document.
– Send it to my email ID: ldersot [at] gmail [dot] com, and I will post it in the gallery whenever I have time.

The gallery is here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/77816505@N00/sets/72157603114510839/

Rules:

1. Use your own real name, no pseudonym
2. Use a decent picture of yourself, no provocative pose, no NOVA bunny or sunglasses or weird face
3. Be creative with the wording but polite, no slang, no harsh words
4. Spread the word and tell other people

Note: If you know of a less time consuming method to store pictures in a shared gallery and save me time, I will gladly modify the scheme.

Regards, Lionel Dersot

****************************************
Lionel Dersot
Japanese-English-French
Business & Technology Interpretation
Face to face & Over-the-Phone
http://ldersot.googlepages.com/
Skype ID: lionelskp
****************************************
ends

DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 12, 2007

mytest

This Newsletter podcasted here, in case you’d rather listen instead of reading:
[display_podcast]

This week’s contents:

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1) NEW JAPAN TIMES ARTICLE TUES NOV 13 ON NEW WORKPLACE GAIJIN CARDING

2) NJ FINGERPRINTING UPDATE:
A) PROTEST WORKS: NARITA INSTITUTES NEW SEPARATE LINES FOR RESIDENTS
B) RECENT MEDIA: FP “AN UNMITIGATED PR DISASTER FOR THE GOJ”, “INEFFECTIVE”
C) CUTE ANIMATION RE FINGERPRINTING: DOWNLOAD AND SPREAD AROUND
D) TUES NOV 20, NOON, ASSEMBLE AND PROTEST AT JUSTICE MINISTRY

3) JAPAN TIMES: US GOVT FORCED PM ABE TO BACK DOWN RE COMFORT WOMEN
4) LA TIMES: HOW J POLICE IGNORE CERTAIN CRIMES. LIKE MURDER.
5) IHT/ASAHI, METROPOLIS, NUGW ON EIKAIWA NOVA BANKRUPTCY AFTERMATH
6) NOV 17 FED OF BAR ASSOC (NICHIBENREN) MEETING RE DIVORCE AND JOINT CUSTODY

…and finally…
7) UPCOMING SPEECH TOKYO NOV 18, “NO BORDER” GROUP ANNUAL MEETING

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

By Arudou Debito in Sapporo, Japan (debito@debito.org)
Daily blog updates, Newsletter archives, and podcasts at http://www.debito.org/index.php
Freely forwardable

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

1) NEW JAPAN TIMES ARTICLE TUES NOV 13 ON NEW WORKPLACE GAIJIN CARDING

First off, just wanted to advise readers to get a copy of the Japan Times tomorrow (Tuesday, Wednesday in the provinces).

I have an article coming out in the Community Page regarding the new Employment Policy Law, promulgated Oct 1, 2007, forcing all employers to report all their foreign workers to the Health, Labour, and Welfare Ministry. And how it’s already causing policy creep–to the point where any gaijin getting any money from any source is being Gaijin Carded.

The lay of the land and the letter of the law. And what you can do about it.
Tomorrow in the Japan Times. Have a look.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

2) NJ FINGERPRINTING UPDATE:

A) PROTEST WORKS: NARITA INSTITUTES NEW SEPARATE LINES FOR RESIDENTS
Received a scanned pamphlet from somebody who passed through Immigration last week. Reads:

========================================
Important Information from Immigration Bureau

…We will change the booth for your immigration inspection, as shown below:
BOOTH ONE: JAPANESE PASSPORT, SPECIAL PERMANENT RESIDENT
BOOTH TWO: RE-ENTRY PERMIT HOLDER
BOOTH THREE: FOREIGN PASSPORT

Those who have re-entry permit (except for special permanent residetns), please make a queue at the dedicated lane for RE-ENTRY PERMIT HOLDER.
Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau Narita Airport Branch

========================================
See original at http://www.debito.org/?p=701

COMMENT: You see, protest does have an effect. Residents (i.e. those who have paid the “Gaijin Homecoming Tax” by getting a Re-Entry Permit) are now no longer lumped in together with tourists.

But it still hasn’t resolved the problem of how this is going to impede businesspeople (especially APEC Business Travel Card holders), not to mention the issues of treating every non-Japanese as a potential Typhoid Mary or Osama Junior. And it’s still done to you every time.

Or the fact that the letter of the law is still not being followed nationwide. As Steve Koya poignantly commented at Debito.org:

========================================
We have a loophole, or at least a stay of execution! All we need is a decent lawyer and we can stop this legislation.

It is a simple argument, following on from my note yesterday about the Automatic gates. A chat to Sapporo Immigration confirmed that there were no plans to have the gates at Chitose or at any other airport other than Narita, giving lack of time and money as a reason.

Well, despite the fact they may have no time or insufficient funds, unfortunately Immigration are required by the new law to make the Automated Gates available to non-Japanese residents, at all airports within 18 months from the promulgation of the legislation, 24th May 2006. There is no “Only Narita” clause, there is no post promulgation amendment.

If they are not able to apply the law, then it should be rescinded. You could also state that failure to apply the law in full would also make it non-binding, so refusing to give your prints would theoretically not be illegal.

All we need is a decent lawyer! Amnesty, show us your muscle!
========================================
http://www.debito.org/?p=701#comments

Me again. Extra booth or not, I still say you should not be separated from your Japanese families. Stand together in the same line, everyone.

The issue just keeps on rolling…

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

B) RECENT MEDIA: FP “AN UNMITIGATED PR DISASTER FOR GOJ”, “INEFFECTIVE”, UNWIELDY

An article in the LA Times yesterday said everything we’ve been saying, for a big US Pacific Coast audience with close ties to Japan (the article even includes Justice Minister Hatoyama sexing up his arguments with his alleged terrorist friends):

================================
JAPAN’S WELCOME MAT GETTING PRICKLY
New rules requiring fingerprints and digital photos of visitors are revealing about attitudes toward foreigners, critics say.
From the Los Angeles Times November 11, 2007

By Bruce Wallace
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-screening11nov11,1,4675245.story?coll=la-headlines-world&ctrack=8&cset=true

Japan’s justice minister… even offered a bizarre personal anecdote to explain how easy it was for non-Japanese to sneak into the country. “A friend of my friend is a member of Al Qaeda,” Kunio Hatoyama told foreign reporters in Tokyo, saying that the man had entered Japan numerous times using fake passports and disguises. Hatoyama later backtracked slightly on his story, distancing himself from any connection to Al Qaeda and raising suspicions that he had embellished his anecdote to press the case for fingerprinting foreigners.
================================
http://www.debito.org/?p=724

Terrie’s Take this morning went even further:
================================
General Edition Sunday, November 11, 2007 Issue No. 445

We’ll say up front that the proposed measures have been an unmitigated public relations disaster for the Japanese government and the Justice Ministry in particular. Although the basic idea was to cooperate with the USA and other nations to try to catch potential terrorists at the borders, the measures have in fact proven to be disjointed, unorganized, and ultimately unworkable. They have also managed to infuriate pretty much every long-term, tax-paying, foreign resident in Japan.
================================
http://www.debito.org/?p=724

Other articles highlighted other issues passim, about not only the unwieldiness of this policy, but also its ineffectiveness:

================================
WILL ENTRY CHECKS CROSS THE LINE?
Fingerprinting foreigners won’t stop terrorists, critics say
By Jun Hongo, The Japan Times: Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20071108f1.html

…[E]xperts doubt whether [the FP policy] will even stop potential terrorists from entering the country. Under the procedure, visitors whose biometric data match those on confidential terrorist watch lists will be denied entry to Japan. The lists are believed to include one compiled by the U.S. government and contain the names of about 750,000 “terror suspects.” Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama has said Japan will cooperate with U.S. authorities in exchanging immigration data.

But Barry Steinhardt, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Program on Technology and Liberty, said the U.S. watch list is “bloated and full of inaccuracy.”…

“The U.S. immigration policy is a total failure,” Steinhardt warned, expressing concern that Japan’s version of biometric verification will likely be built on a flawed foundation. “It’s full of mistakes. That is the reality in the U.S. and it’s likely to become reality in Japan,” Steinhardt said. “Whether or not the loss of liberty is worth the security gained is not a question * because no security is gained.”…

Naoto Nikai, an Immigration Bureau official, …wouldn’t answer whether foreign mothers traveling with Japanese infants would be separated at immigration gates. “The immigration officer at the airport will (make the judgment),” Nikai said….
================================
http://www.debito.org/?p=709

================================
ARRIVING OUTSIDE NARITA WILL BE WORSE
By Eric Johnston, The Japan Times November 8, 2007

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20071108f2.html

OSAKA 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…

To date, airports have usually allowed foreigners with alien registration cards and re-entry permits to pass through immigration counters reserved for Japanese nationals.

At the moment, it remains unclear if fingerprinting and photographing machines will be set up at immigration counters reserved for Japanese citizens. During the initial period after Nov. 20, it could be the case that foreign residents will have to stay in the lines for foreign visitors only. “That policy may change after Nov. 20, but it depends on the airport,” said Takumi Sato, an Immigration Bureau official in Tokyo…

According to the Immigration Bureau, about 8.1 million foreigners passed through the immigration centers at 10 airports and eight ports in 2006. About 50 percent arrived via Narita, while about another third entered via Kansai, Chubu, New Chitose and Fukuoka airports. The remainder arrived at Haneda and smaller, international terminals at airports in Sendai, Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Hiroshima, and Hakodate, Hokkaido, while a little more than 187,000 people, or 1.1 percent of the total, arrived by ship.
================================
http://www.debito.org/?p=705

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

D) CUTE ANIMATION RE FP ISSUE: DOWNLOAD AND SPREAD AROUND

A great bit of gif anime from UTU’s Nick Wood protesting the FP policy. It’s hard to describe here in words, but visually it’s pretty much spot on… It’s already been sighted on other blogs, so help yourself. View and download from here:

Welcome to Japan.gif

Download it from here and use as you like:

http://www.debito.org/WelcometoJapan.gif

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

E) TUES NOV 20, NOON, ASSEMBLE AND PROTEST AT JUSTICE MINISTRY

Excerpting from the public appeal from Amnesty International Japan and Solidarity for Migrants Japan:

=========================
…Japan’s version of the US-VISIT Program is so laden with problems, and passed without adequate deliberation by the Diet, that we call for the government and the Justice Ministry to immediately suspend it. To this end, we will assemble before the Justice Ministry on the day of its promulgation, November 20, 2007, for a public action and protest. We call on the public to join us at noon that day and lend your support and participation.

———————————-
DATE: Tuesday, November 20, 2007
TIME: Noon (public action will take 30 minutes to an hour)
PLACE: Ministry of Justice, Kasumigaseki, Tokyo (Goudou Chousha #6)
(Subway Marunouchi Line to Kasumigaseki Station, Bengoshi Kaikan exit)
ACTIVITIES: Sound truck with speeches
Placards, Message boards (NO TO FINGERPRINTING, FINGERPRINTING NON-JAPANESE IS DISCRIMINATION, “NON-JAPANESE” DOES NOT MEAN “TERRORIST” etc. Create your own slogan and bring your own sign!)

———————————-
CONTACT:
Amnesty International Japan (Tel 03-3518-6777)
http://www.amnesty.or.jp/
Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SMJ) (Tel 03-5802-6033)
http://www.jca.apc.org/migrant-net/
See you there!
=========================

Entire text of AI/SMJ’s Appeal here (English, then Japanese original)
http://www.debito.org/?p=708
http://www.debito.org/?p=707
Concurrent public action, signature campaign by a group called Privacy International at
http://www.debito.org/?p=698

Now’s your chance, people. Don’t like what’s happening? Do something. You won’t be alone.

Anyway, life is not all fingerprinting. Let’s move on to some great news coverage of issues Debito.org has long been concerned about:

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

3) JAPAN TIMES: US GOVT FORCED PM ABE TO BACKTRACK RE COMFORT WOMEN

Last March, blogs like mine followed how former Prime Minister Abe tried to deny there was any “coercion” involved in the WWII “Comfort Women” (i.e. sex slaves) servicing the Japanese Imperial Army in its colonies and war zones. You can trace the Arc of Abe, from denial to hair-splitting to no comment to deflection to apology through his cabinet, through
http://www.debito.org/?p=293

Back then, I wondered aloud how belated apologies like this (apologies tend to mean less when they come after being demanded, especially over a long wait) were indicate of any “coercion”–on Abe? How much pressure was put on him, and from where?

Well, the Japan Time/Kyodo News recently answered that question:

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U.S. GOT ABE TO DROP DENIAL OVER SEX SLAVES
Kyodo News, from The Japan Times: Friday, Nov. 9, 2007

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20071109a2.html

The United States warned Japan in March that Washington could no longer back Tokyo on the issue of North Korea’s past abductions of Japanese unless then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reversed his contentious claim that there was no proof that the Imperial forces forced women and girls into sexual slavery during the war, sources revealed Thursday.

The warning, delivered by U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer to a senior government official, prompted Abe to change his stance and announce that he stands by Japan’s 1993 official statement of apology to the “comfort women,” as they are euphemistically known, the sources said….
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Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=293#comment-90922

COMMENT: Whaaa…? When I read this, I thought this article had popped in from another dimension: This US administration, which created Guantanamo Concentration Camp and actively resorts to kidnap and third-party torturing, excuse me, renditioning, actually caring about human rights? Putting pressure on Abe to change his stance regarding the Sex Slaves issue? Pinch me.

But let’s get into even weirder territory…

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4) LA TIMES: HOW J POLICE IGNORE CERTAIN CRIMES. LIKE MURDER.

In a remarkable double-bill this week from Bruce Wallace, we have another article tying a heckuva lot of things together. And left me with a tremor down my spine…

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JAPAN’S POLICE SEE NO EVIL
The boy had been badly beaten but his death was ruled natural.
The case was closed in an official culture that discourages autopsies.
From the Los Angeles Times November 9, 2007
By Bruce Wallace, Los Angeles Times

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-autopsy9nov09,1,5774455.story?coll=la-headlines-world

...As is common in Japan, Aichi police reached their verdict on how [brutalized sumo wrestler Tokitaizan] Saito died without an autopsy. No need for a coroner, they said. No crime involved.

Only 6.3% of the unnatural deaths in Aichi are investigated by a medical examiner, a minuscule rate even by nationwide standards in Japan, where an autopsy is performed in 11.2% of cases…

But Saito’s case has given credence to complaints by a group of frustrated doctors, former pathologists and ex-cops who argue that Japan’s police culture is the main obstacle. Police discourage autopsies that might reveal a higher homicide rate in their jurisdiction, and pressure doctors to attribute unnatural deaths to health reasons, usually heart failure, the group alleges.

Odds are, it says, that people are getting away with murder in Japan, a country that officially claims one of the lowest per capita homicide rates in the world… “All the police care about is how they look to people; it’s all PR to show that their capabilities are high,” Saikawa says. “Without autopsies, they can keep their percentage [of solved cases] high. It’s all about numbers.”…

Many police examinations of the body are cursory, he alleges, sometimes nothing more sophisticated than a visual examination.

Take the case in January 2006, when financial advisor Hideaki Noguchi was found dead in an Okinawa hotel with knife wounds. Noguchi was a close associate of Takafumi Horie, the brash founder of the Internet company Livedoor, which had just been the target of a nationally televised police raid and seen most of its multibillion-dollar value evaporate.

But despite being a central figure in a sensational criminal investigation and privy to Livedoor secrets, police declared Noguchi’s death a suicide. They did not ask for an autopsy, and the body was cremated.

Or take the suicide in April of Agriculture Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka, who was found hanged in his Tokyo apartment. Matsuoka was embroiled in a scandal involving the misappropriation of political funds that suggested a broad system of organized influence peddling. Even though Matsuoka’s troubles were destabilizing the government, and his death occurred just hours before his scheduled appearance to answer questions before a parliamentary committee, no autopsy was conducted to ensure that he had not died from something other than hanging.

A day later, Shinichi Yamazaki, a businessman implicated in the same scandal, plunged to his death in a parking lot outside his Yokohama apartment. No autopsy was conducted in that case either…
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Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=713

COMMENT: Chilling. And I took a deep breath and said to myself, “What if somebody wanted to shut up Debito.org?” It worked for whistleblowing film director Itami Juuzo…

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5) IHT/ASAHI, METROPOLIS, NUGW ON NOVA BANKRUPTCY AFTERMATH

Two good articles on the aftermath of the NOVA bankruptcy. One from the IHT/Asahi, the other from Metropolis Magazine:

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ASAHI WEEKLY
Cover Story: Nova fallout
IHT/Asahi: November 8, 2007
BY HIROSHI MATSUBARA, STAFF WRITER

http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200711080113.html

… G.communication group, a consulting firm based in Nagoya, will reopen at least 30 Nova schools and says it hopes to rehire the Nova staff.

As for Nova’s former president, Nozomu Sa[ru]hashi, he looks set to face criminal charges shortly for failing to pay billions of yen in wages to his employees, sources said.

Some former Nova teachers are in such dire financial straits they are having to rely on their former students to feed them.
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Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=710

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THE DECLINE AND FALL OF NOVA
Japan’s largest employer of foreigners comes to an ignominious end
By Ken Worsley
Metropolis Magazine November 9, 2007, Issue #711

http://metropolis.co.jp/tokyo/recent/bulletin.asp

In a sense, Sahashi has been playing into the hands of bankruptcy administrators who seek to pin the blame for Nova’s woes on him alone. His selfishness, petulance, disdain for employees and customers, and lack of business acumen make him an exceedingly worthy scapegoat. As this article was going to print, Sahashi remained incommunicado, and the bankruptcy administrators seem to be hoping that the worse he looks, the more the firm will appear as an innocent victim of his tyranny.

Will the strategy of separating Sahashi from the firm he wrecked succeed? Nova’s bankruptcy administrators claim that they have found a few firms interested in taking over the company’s operations, but this time they’re not naming names. Nova supposedly has until the second week of November to find a “sponsor,” or else it will be forced to go into a bankruptcy liquidation process.
======================================
Rest at http://www.debito.org/?p=710
with great links to where former NOVA employees can get help.
Now for the union’s perspective:

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From: Louis Carlet (carlet@jca.apc.org)
Subject: [Nambu FWC] Nova and G
Date: November 11, 2007 10:16:04 AM JST
To: action@nambufwc.org

Members, much happened yesterday regarding the Nova case. At 10am and 2pm at locations throughout the country, Nova’s trustee held information sessions explaining various aspects of the coming Nova bankruptcy and explaining G Education’s offer to hire all Nova teachers who want to be hired at the same working conditions they had before…

We also last night joined forces with General Union to tell the trustee, Noriaki Takahashi, that former conditions are not enough. Both unions (Nambu and G.U.) submitted to him several demands, including full enrollment of all teachers in shakai hoken and open-ended employment. Other demands included a fund to protect student tuition advances. The trustee said he agreed with all the demands…
Louis Carlet
NUGW Tokyo Nambu

http://www.nugw.org
======================================
http://www.debito.org/?p=715

Again, it pays to protest. And get organized. Do so.

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6) NOV 17 FED OF BAR ASSOC (NICHIBENREN) MEETING RE DIVORCE AND JOINT CUSTODY

Following up on the headlining topic last newsletter, on the “FOR TAKA AND MANA” documentary film screening and fundraiser taking place December 11, 2007 (http://www.debito.org/?p=685)

The issue of joint custody (which is not allowed in Japan, meaning one parent is nearly always cut off from their child(ren) after divorce) is also gaining some traction with lawyers in Japan.

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From: CRN Japan’s Mark Smith
Subject: [Community] JFBA joint custody seminar in Tokyo on Nov 17
Date: November 11, 2007

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations [Nichibenren] will be having a seminar in Tokyo entitled “Divorce and Children 2: Thinking of Joint Custody”.

This is not just for lawyers, so if you speak Japanese and are in Tokyo on November 17, from 13:00 to 17:00, you may want to attend. Their website page with more information about this event is here.
http://www.nichibenren.or.jp/ja/event/071117.html

Might be a good thing to have a lot of non-Japanese show up so that they saw that the problem is not restricted to Japanese.

Mark Smith, Children’s Rights Network Japan
http://www.crnjapan.com/en/
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Back to the “FOR TAKA AND MANA” documentary film fundraiser.
http://www.debito.org/?p=685
Please do support this event. Spread the word. Attend. Contribute.
Even put a movie poster newly up at Debito.org:
http://www.debito.org/?p=696

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…and finally…

7) UPCOMING SPEECH TOKYO NOV 18, “NO BORDER” GROUP ANNUAL MEETING

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NO BORDER 2007
LIVING TOGETHER IN ONE SOCIETY
Round Table Discussion
Hosted by the Volunteer Network of Foreign Residents in Japan

More Information at http://zainichi.net/

Objective: Following last year’s event, a round table discussion session will be held with the aim to assist individuals in their efforts in networking. Through discussion, this event aims to create an opportunity for individuals to consider the experiences of foreign residents and Japanese nationals with various cultural backgrounds in Japan.

18 November 2007, 10:00 – 17:00
Hosei University Ichigaya Campus, Boissonade Tower 26F, Sky Hall

http://www.hosei.ac.jp/hosei/campus/annai/ichigaya/access.html

Entrance free. Participants are free to enter and leave the event venue as they wish.
Active participation is welcome and encouraged during the round table discussion session.

Part 1 (10:00 – 12:30)
Is there a place for Japanese of foreign descent in Japanese Society?

Discussing the multiplicity of what it means to be Japanese: Is there a place for Japanese nationals of various ethnic backgrounds in Japanese Society?

Defining the Issue: Presentation of the movie, “The New Foreign Residents of Japan” (Shin-Zainichi Gaikokujin)

Presentation 1: Gen Masayuki
Presentation 2: Elnaz Jalali, Nady

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch Break (Light lunch is served)

Part 2 (14:00 – 16:30)
What is necessary for a system to support a new Lifestyle?

Presentation 1: Kim Kyon Ju (Chukyo University)
Presentation 2: Inoue Hiroshi (Keidanren–Japan Business Federation)
Presentation 3: Arudou Debito (Hokkaido Information University)

Part 3 16:30-17:30 No Border Live
MORE INFORMATION AT http://zainichi.net/

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That’s all for today! Thanks for reading!

Arudou Debito, Sapporo, Japan
debito@debito.org, http://www.debito.org
Daily blog updates, Newsletter archives, and podcasts at
http://www.debito.org/index.php
DEBITO.ORG NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 12, 2007 ENDS