Hi Blog. A little follow-up on something I have been reporting on for years now:
As Readers of Debito.org know, Japan instituted its new Gaijin Cards (Zairyuu Kaado, or ZRK) from July 15, 2012, promising to promote the “convenience” of NJ residents by streamlining bureaucratic procedures. But as I have argued, the Ministry of Justice’s main interest is not the convenience of NJ (or else it would have not left NJ in legal limbo when Japan’s Postal Authorities arbitrarily decided not to honor the old Gaijin Cards as a valid form of ID any longer — even though the MOJ acknowledged the old Gaijin Cards issued by them were still legal for at most three more years). No, the MOJ’s interest is in policing NJ (well, “administering” (kanri) is how they benignly put it, as they explicitly noted in their Cabinet-level presentation last May about how to “co-exist” with NJ in future — essentially by cracking down on visa overstayers further).
To that end, the ZRK has an embedded IC Chip with RFID technology, which, as I have argued for years now, is a means to remotely track NJ in a crowd and beef up racial profiling. After all, if the NPA scans a crowd and sees somebody walking while visibly “foreign”, they now have probable cause to stop them for one of their patented ID checkpoints formerly permitted under the Foreign Registry Law. Hey you, gaijin, why aren’t you showing up on our scanners? Woe betide the naturalized citizen or Japanese of international roots, who now have the burden of proving somehow that they are not “foreign”…
(As an aside, I have been told by at least one legal expert that spot checks are apparently no longer legally permitted, since the Foreign Registry Law has been abolished, but never mind — it’s still happening. In fact, I just heard word the other day that somebody who got zapped for a Gaijin Card check in Tokyo wasn’t carrying it, had to be escorted home for proof of valid visa, and after showing it was still slapped with a 200,000 yen fine. Waiting for final confirmation on that…)
However, here’s where the SITYS (See I Told You So) comes in: People who should know better have constantly argued that I’m donning a tinfoil hat for saying that embedded IC Chips are remotely trackable, and will be used not only for identity theft (for NJ only, since only they are legally required by law to carry ZRK at all times or face criminal penalty), but also for enhanced policing. No amount of evidence presented (even “the scan-proof travel pouches” long on sale) has convinced them. So let’s try again:
Look, even the US Government acknowledges that their cards (in this case, my friends’ “Green Card” and Global Entry Card) need to be issued with Faraday Cage envelopes “to protect their privacy”. If these cards were not remotely trackable, why would the USG bother issuing them with the following instructions?
“Green Card” Faraday Envelope:
Global Entry Card Faraday Envelope:
Do you think the GOJ will ever issue a Faraday Envelope to NJ with their ZRKs? Nosiree. That would defeat the point of inserting the IC Chip in the first place. (For the record, taking off the tinfoil hat and wrapping it around your card protects your privacy — until you get remotely racially profiled, of course…)
Remember, protecting the privacy of NJ is not a priority of the MOJ. As far as they’re concerned, NJ have no right to privacy, for who knows what they’ll get up to in Japan if they’re not properly “administrated”?
So let’s face facts, everyone: Embedded chips are there to track NJ and legally NJ only. No more denialism please. SITYS. Arudou Debito