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Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

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  • Bus. consortium to track Ginza shoppers, then IC Gaijin Cards?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on January 7th, 2007

    Hi Blog. Courtesy Mark at The Community. Comment is his. Debito in Sapporo

    In partnership with Fujitsu, Hitachi and NEC. This trial is for the
    expressed purpose to aid shoppers in locating stores and sales as
    they pass retailers, but one has to wonder if the test’s application
    and results might interest Japanese immigration regarding proposed
    plans to put RFID chips [IC Chips] in gaikokujin touroku shoumeisho cards.

    Published Tuesday 2nd January 2007
    The Register (IT news site)

    The Tokyo Ubiquitous Network Project has announced plans to blanket
    the Ginza region of Tokyo, the most popular shopping district, with
    10,000 RFID tags and other wireless technologies to provide shopper-
    assistance and location-based services.

    The trial starts later this month, and will feature a specially-
    designed handheld equipped with RFID, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
    connectivity. This handheld can rented by visitors, though the
    vision is that the service should be available on compatible phone

    The thousands of RFID tags are used to identify where the user is;
    each has a unique serial number which is sent to a central server
    that responds with local information and directions if required.

    The device will also automatically display special offers in nearby
    shops, and give information about the various retailers in each of
    the many buildings in the area.

    The Tokyo Ubiquitous Network Project is a joint venture between the
    Japanese government and various high-tech companies including
    Fujitsu, Hitachi and NEC, and has run smaller trials elsewhere as
    well as developing technologies and usage models. These trials will
    run until March.

    In these days of GPS, Galileo and triangulation systems it might
    seem a retrograde step to simply place numbered tags around an area,
    but the technology has the advantage of being accurate and reliable,
    as well as being ideally suited for a pedestrian population, and the
    visitors who are so frequently lost around Ginza.

    Note how the trial uses an optional handheld device rented by visitors equipped with IC tracking technology. So how about future applications for nonoptional IC Gaijin Cards? Once business gets involved, this could develop very quickly indeed. Ends

    One Response to “Bus. consortium to track Ginza shoppers, then IC Gaijin Cards?”

    1. debito Says:

      Comment from The Community:

      I’m not particularly bothered by this, as it will be easy enough to
      keep the card screened when not actually being shown to anyone. There
      are plenty of supposedly RFID-proof wallets and passport cases already
      available, and even though googling suggests their effectiveness isn’t
      wholly clear at pressent, that’s only a matter of time and effort to

      AIUI, the tags don’t like spending a few seconds in a microwave either :-)

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