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Hi Blog. Check this article out, put out by the Nihon Keitai Shinbun (Japan’s WSJ):
Japan to allow fingerprint authorization for visitors
Nikkei Asian Review, July 24, 2016
(Original text below courtesy of http://www.anirudhsethireport.com/japan-allow-fingerprint-authorization-visitors/, and numerous other websites found by Googling the article title, demonstrating how reported misinformation proliferates across the media and becomes the narrative.)
Visitors to Japan will be able to use their fingerprints instead of passports to identify themselves at some hotels thanks to technology introduced by a Tokyo venture.
With financial help from the economy and industry ministry, Liquid will start offering a fingerprint-based authorization system by March in a bid to increase travel convenience. Some 80 hotels and Japanese-style inns in major tourist spots like Hakone and Atami, two hot spring resort areas not far from Tokyo, will be among the first to install the system. More inns and hotels will follow.
The ministry will cover part of the installation costs.
Visitors to Japan can register their fingerprints along with their passport information in their home countries or at registration spots at airports or elsewhere in Japan. Foreign travelers can then identify themselves at a hotel’s front desk by waving their fingers over a contactless device.
Japanese law requires hotels to check and keep copies of foreigners’ passports. But the economy ministry and the ministry of labor have decided to treat “digital passports” as legitimate alternatives.
Debito.org Reader XY found this article and wrote to the Nikkei for a correction. Their response, and his original post, follow:
From: NAR Customer Support <email@example.com>
Subject: 00004389 – Editorial
Date: August 4, 2016 at 15:23:58 GMT+9
To: XY, XXXX University
Thank you for your inquiry. This is Nikkei Asian Review (NAR) Customer Support.
Please find our editorial team’s answer as follows.
Nikkei Asian Review
Thank you so much. We will check the Ryokan Law and see if we need to change the sentence.
This article contains an incorrect statement: “Japanese law requires hotels to check and keep copies of foreigners’ passports.” In fact, Japanese law requires hotels to check the passports of foreigners who don’t have an address in Japan:
For details, including a quote of the relevant Japanese law go to
The most important point is that the law does not apply to all foreigners but to foreign tourists who do not have an address in Japan. This is a matter of concern to many who live in Japan and occasionally are asked for passports based on a misunderstanding of the law. A second point is that keeping copies of passports is not mentioned in the law — it is a directive from the police. The law only calls for keeping records.
Would you consider correcting the article?
XY, XXXX University
COMMENT: As you can see by following this link to the new article, Nikkei corrected it to remove the last paragraph entirely — and that’s about as close as we’ll ever get to them admitting they made a mistake. But as we’ve written here many times before, the National Police Agency and its branches keep lying about their lawgiven powers regarding tracking foreign guests at Japanese hotels. XY wonders if somebody at the NPA wasn’t involved in creating this misinformed article. It wouldn’t be the first time, and a recent (and very funny) article came out over the weekend describing how the Japanese Police have historically stretched laws to outlaw public behavior they basically just personally disliked. Just another example of how Japan is actually a mild (or sometimes not) police state. And that’s even before we get to the whole issue of re-fingerprinting NJ and the flawed reasoning behind it. Dr. ARUDOU, Debito
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