ICI Hotel Kanda unlawfully requires ID from all “foreign guests”, including NJ residents of Japan, as a precondition for stay; claims it’s demanded by Tokyo Metropolitan Police (UPDATED)

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(UPDATE OF SEPT 29 BELOW:  JENIFER CLARIFIES LAW WITH HOTEL, YET HOTEL INSISTS THAT THEY HAVE CHECKED WITH THE POLICE, AND THE POLICE INSIST ALL NJ INCLUDING RESIDENTS MUST SHOW ID AS A PRECONDITION FOR STAY.)

Hi Blog. Here we go again. Debito.org Reader Jenifer (a pseudonym) sends evidence that the ICI Hotel Kanda will not only be demanding ID from all of its “foreign guests” (no doubt, as typically enforced, as a precondition for stay), but also unlawfully requiring even the NJ residents (who have addresses in Japan) display their ID (something not required by law of Japanese guests). The status of “foreign guest” will no doubt be determined on sight or by recorded name, so cue the racial profiling.

The justification? Once again, the Japanese Police (in this case the Tokyo Metropolitan Police) are stretching the law and demanding hotels act as their agents to check all “foreign ID” (something only people with the proper ministerial credentials can do).  And as the ICI Hotel Kanda explicitly says in the Update below, they will refuse accommodation if that ID is not displayed, in direct violation of the laws governing hotel management.

The ICI Hotel Kanda also cites “safety for our guests and other residents in Japan”.  No doubt the Rugby World Cup will be used as a pretext, even though the reservation is for November. Once again, bring in an international event, and use it as a pretext to further alienate Japan’s resident non-citizens and international citizens. I can hardly wait to see what tricks the police come up with next year for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics. Debito Arudou Ph.D.


UPDATE SEPT 29:  JENIFER REGISTERS A COMPLAINT WITH THE HOTEL

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

On Wed, 18 Sep 2019, Jenifer wrote:
> To whom it may concern,
>
> This is the second time I’ve stayed here and I have another reservation for November but am considering cancelling it.
>
> I just checked in and was asked for my passport. When I stated I live in Japan, I was asked for my residency card. This goes against the laws of Japan. As a hotel, you cannot not ask anyone who states they live in Japan for ID. Not only that, your hotel staff made the assumption I was not Japanese and not living in Japan by asking for my passport. This is blatant racial profiling. The only people who have a right to ask for a residency card is the Japanese police and immigration. As a hotel, it is illegal to ask people you assume to be non Japanese for their residency card.
>
> I checked in speaking Japanese. In the end I showed her my Japanese driver’s license but I’m not happy I felt I had to do that. Do you ask Japanese for picture ID?
>
> I would like to ask that you train your staff better and have them understand the laws of Japan.
> Sincerely, Jenifer

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

THE HOTEL RESPONDS (EMPHASIS ADDED IN BOLD):

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

From:kanda@icihotel.com” <kanda@icihotel.com>
Date: September 27, 2019 at 23:03:10 GMT+9
To: [Jenifer]
Cc: イチホテル神田 <kanda@icihotel.com>
Subject: Re: Check in procedures

Dear [Jenifer],

We greatly appreciate your response.

First, We would like to sincerely apologize once again to you to what happened during your check-in with us. We have no intention to discriminate anyone as we are only following the check-in policy of the hotel.

Please do know that we are fully aware of Japanese law and we have consulted your case to the Tokyo Police Department. As mentioned to our previous emails, They have strictly ordered us to ask for any identification card for foreign visitor or foreign residence of Japan due to security purposes. Otherwise, We won’t be able to accommodate you. Please understand that we are only complying to the city rules and our hotel rules and regulations.

We have coordinated this matter to the authorized personnel, for further specifications kindly contact them directly.

As we already explained our side, If you need further explanation regarding this situation, Please contact Expedia where you have made your reservation.

Please bear in mind that we didn’t meant to have any misconceptions at all. We are truly hoping for your kind understanding.

Sincerely,
ICI Hotel Kanda
Front staff
■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□

┃ イチホテル神田 担当
E-mail: kanda@icihotel.com
┃ 〒101-0044
東京都千代田区鍛冶町1丁目9-15
┃ TEL: 03-3251-1118
FAX: 03-3251-1117

ICI HOTEL Kanda
┃ 101-0044
1-9-15, Kaji-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
┃ TEL: 03-3251-1118
FAX: 03-3251-1117
┃ E-mail: kanda@icihotel.com

■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□

Jenifer concludes:  “It’s like they don’t want to admit the cops aren’t following the law… ”

======================
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25 comments on “ICI Hotel Kanda unlawfully requires ID from all “foreign guests”, including NJ residents of Japan, as a precondition for stay; claims it’s demanded by Tokyo Metropolitan Police (UPDATED)

  • Japan just can’t kick fascism can it?
    ‘The police say..’ is all it takes for the masses to nod and repeat.
    Third world dictatorship stuff.

    Reply
  • One solution would be:
    – Upon arrival in any given Japanese city, tourists and/or foreign looking residents, should contact to Police and ask for a free ride to the Hotel, and a ticket showing that we have cleared up our “identity” issues. It saves time and (Taxi) money.

    The other solution, obviously, would be to have a “Koban” inbuilt near the hotel reception. It saves time.

    As for Japan, I think that some art of accommodating pragmatism is likely to prevail 🙂 !

    Reply
    • Nonsensical ‘solutions’, of course. I’m not sure why you think that “some art of accommodating pragmatism is likely to prevail”. Perhaps you haven’t been paying attention. Police are increasingly asking hotels to racially profile their guests and demand ID that is not requested of others who pass the racial profiling test.

      Reply
    • I suppose the brave could just act dumb compliant, call the hotel’s bluff and call the police from the hotel lobby ‘just to check the information and follow the rules like a good citizen NJ”
      “moshi moshi, kakunin no tame desu ga, Eijyuken no hito ha hotel XXX ni passport/ID wo miseru koto ha hitsuyo deshou ka?”
      Then pass phone to receptionist. They made that bed, they can lie in it.

      Reply
          • AnonymousOG says:

            Even worse: the police do not have any duty not to lie to citizens-of-Japan either.

            There is no law requiring police (of Japan, of America, of any country) to tell the truth to you.

            Police legally are allowed to lie to you: about the laws, about anything.

            But remember, you legally are NOT allowed to lie to them: about the laws, about anything.

            So it’s naïve to ask the police to admit what the actual laws are.

            And it’s dangerous to speak to the police without recording the conversation to prove to the judge that you didn’t lie to the police officer.

            And so, it’s vital to learn the laws oneself and make it clear that you know them well.

            (The most important law to learn is: you legally are not required to answer ANY questions asked by a police officer.)

  • There is such a beautifully simple solution (with two possibilities to choose from) to this ID mess: All or nothing. Either check the ID of every guest without any exceptions, or of no guest, at all, no matter what, period. Why can’t they just go for one of these two simple extremes? I frankly could live perfectly fine with either of both.

    …but not with the current system with only one certain group as ID checking target upon check-in, that is even all too often defined wrongly. It is just discriminatory bs that leads to nothing else but the same reported problem over and over.

    — Why won’t they check everyone or no-one? Simple answer back: Because the Japanese Police believe that NJ, including NJ residents, have no rights in Japan.

    Reply
    • I know that point. My question was rather rhetorical. I just find it mind-boggling that they don’t start to get the message after years of complaints. But then, it’s an inflexible state agency. What to I fool expect…

      I am also aware that the real implementation of the easy solution would be quite tricky. Checking all would cancel out the allegations of racism and xenophobia, but would most likely make a significant portion of the native wajin population mad, and it may be against current legal arrangements concerning ID checking of citizens, but I am not an expert on that.

      Checking no-one would make the machi-bugyou police and nationalist politicians mad, so I see this side of the solution as very very very unlikely to be ever implemented.

      Reply
    • Mark in Yayoi says:

      “All or nothing. Either check the ID of every guest without any exceptions, or of no guest, at all, no matter what, period.”

      While this solution would erase the distinction between tourists, immigrants, and citizens (the latter two of which are, under the law, not supposed to be distinguished at all), this would go against the Hotel Law, which specifically states the things that can be used to justify denying a guest (failure to supply ID is not one of them).

      Requiring ID from anyone isn’t in anyone’s best interest; locals are not required to carry any (or even possess any) and people denied rooms at inns for not having one would be forced to sleep outdoors like vagrants. Imagine a local Japanese person whose wallet got stolen — now they can’t spend the night anywhere? There’s no reason to exacerbate this person’s already disastrous situation.

      The Hotel Law as it is is perfectly fine — the solution is to get the National Police Agency back in the business of enforcing existing law and not in making up its own bogus laws to oppress the people it doesn’t like.

      Reply
      • This.
        The Japanese police have to stop breaking the law.
        The Japanese police have to stop misleading others into breaking the law.
        Seriously, WTF kind of set up is this?

        Reply
        • Eric J-Cartman says:

          An authoritarian set up. Same as in China, except its legal there, so the Erai Hito wish they could do similar, without the pesky western style constitution imposed upon them with things like laws, etc.
          Erai hito dakara. Respect their authoriteh.

          Reply
        • I’m not sure the police are breaking the law by asking hotels to do their bidding. And I’m not sure that hotels asking for proof of ID is breaking the law. (It may be, I’m not sure).

          But turning away hotel guests who reside in Japan and won’t show their ID is illegal.

          It’s a triangle of stupid laws based on the presumption that nationality is visible and that people without ‘Japanese DNA’ (there’s no such thing) deserve extra scrutiny.

          Reply
          • It IS illegal for hotels to demand to see and copy resident cards of NJ who reside in Japan- the law says that you need to show ID, and a drivers license or health insurance card is sufficient.
            The police are breaking the law by falsely requesting that hotel operators are required to break the law by conducting these resident care checks even though hotel operators are ignorant of the fact the police are telling them to break the law).

          • Mark in Yayoi says:

            @ Jim – this part is incorrect: “It IS illegal for hotels to demand to see and copy resident cards of NJ who reside in Japan- the law says that you need to show ID, and a drivers license or health insurance card is sufficient.”

            You do not need to show them any ID at all. Writing your name and address in the register is all you need to do.

          • Actually, according to Japan’s Hotel Law

            Residents of Japan merely need to:
            Write their name and address.

            Non-residents of Japan merely need to:
            Write their name, address, and passport number.

            Residents are NOT required to SHOW anything.
            Non-residents are NOT required to SHOW anything.

            NOBODY is required to show I.D., according to Japan Hotel Law.

            So let’s not mistakenly diffuse the factually wrong claim that “the law requires people to show I.D., let’s argue about which form of I.D. we should show.”

            According to the Japan’s Hotel Law nobody needs to SHOW anything.

            According to the Japan’s Hotel Law everybody needs to simply WRITE their info.

            Same thing goes for Japan’s new Minpaku Law as well:
            http://www.debito.org/?p=15559#comment-1723620

            So:

            Residents of Japan
            After you write your name and address on the registration form,
            the hotel legally is required to give you the room key.

            Non-Residents of Japan
            After you write your name and address and passport number on the registration form,
            the hotel legally is required to give you the room key.

            When the hotel starts threatening that they won’t give you the room key, here is what you should tell them:

            Ryoukan Business Law, Article 5, “Lodging Refusal is ILLEGAL.”

            = Ryoukan Gyou Hou, Dai Go Jou, “Shukuhaku o kobande wa naranai.”

            = 旅館業法、 第五条、「宿泊を拒んではならない。」

            If they have even ONE empty room when you filled out the honor-system check-in-card, the hotel legally MUST give you the room immediately, that’s the law.

            Staff will cite incorrect memos from the MoJ and the Police, but you should stick to repeating the actual Japan Hotel Law’s most important sentence:

            “Shukuhaku o kobande wa naranai.”

            Point to what you have already written on the registration card, and repeat:
            “Shukuhaku o kobande wa naranai.”

            When staff & police search online for “宿泊を拒んではならない” they will suddenly be faced with that law which forces them to give you the key now.

            http://www.shugiin.go.jp/internet/itdb_housei.nsf/html/houritsu/00219480712138.htm

            https://archive.is/zdhZU

            But of course, if you are too scared to make the hotel staff (and police officers who might arrive on the scene) eventually after hours of arguing admit that actually the law doesn’t require showing I.D., then in that case simply bend over and do that action which the law doesn’t require: showing hotel staff your I.D.

            The sad fact is, when you show the actual laws of Japan to authorities in Japan, they have been known to illogically illegally respond: “Well that’s just a law, who cares about that, simply bend over and do what we are coercing you to do or else we will punish you somehow.”

  • UPDATE SEPT 29: JENIFER REGISTERS A COMPLAINT WITH THE HOTEL:

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

    On Wed, 18 Sep 2019, Jenifer wrote:
    > To whom it may concern,
    >
    > This is the second time I’ve stayed here and I have another reservation for November but am considering cancelling it.
    >
    > I just checked in and was asked for my passport. When I stated I live in Japan, I was asked for my residency card. This goes against the laws of Japan. As a hotel, you cannot not ask anyone who states they live in Japan for ID. Not only that, your hotel staff made the assumption I was not Japanese and not living in Japan by asking for my passport. This is blatant racial profiling. The only people who have a right to ask for a residency card is the Japanese police and immigration. As a hotel, it is illegal to ask people you assume to be non Japanese for their residency card.
    >
    > I checked in speaking Japanese. In the end I showed her my Japanese driver’s license but I’m not happy I felt I had to do that. Do you ask Japanese for picture ID?
    >
    > I would like to ask that you train your staff better and have them understand the laws of Japan.
    > Sincerely, Jenifer

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

    THE HOTEL RESPONDS (EMPHASIS ADDED IN BOLD):

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

    From:kanda@icihotel.com” <kanda@icihotel.com>
    Date: September 27, 2019 at 23:03:10 GMT+9
    To: [Jenifer]
    Cc: イチホテル神田 <kanda@icihotel.com>
    Subject: Re: Check in procedures
    Dear [Jenifer],

    We greatly appreciate your response.

    First, We would like to sincerely apologize once again to you to what happened during your check-in with us. We have no intention to discriminate anyone as we are only following the check-in policy of the hotel.

    Please do know that we are fully aware of Japanese law and we have consulted your case to the Tokyo Police Department. As mentioned to our previous emails, They have strictly ordered us to ask for any identification card for foreign visitor or foreign residence of Japan due to security purposes. Otherwise, We won’t be able to accommodate you. Please understand that we are only complying to the city rules and our hotel rules and regulations.

    We have coordinated this matter to the authorized personnel, for further specifications kindly contact them directly.

    As we already explained our side, If you need further explanation regarding this situation, Please contact Expedia where you have made your reservation.

    Please bear in mind that we didn’t meant to have any misconceptions at all. We are truly hoping for your kind understanding.

    Sincerely,
    ICI Hotel Kanda
    Front staff
    ■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□

    ┃ イチホテル神田 担当
    E-mail: kanda@icihotel.com
    ┃ 〒101-0044
    東京都千代田区鍛冶町1丁目9-15
    ┃ TEL: 03-3251-1118
    FAX: 03-3251-1117

    ICI HOTEL Kanda
    ┃ 101-0044
    1-9-15, Kaji-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
    ┃ TEL: 03-3251-1118
    FAX: 03-3251-1117
    ┃ E-mail: kanda@icihotel.com

    ■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□

    As Jenifer concludes, “It’s like they don’t want to admit the cops aren’t following the law…”

    Reply
    • Ask them how do they find out who their zainichi kankokujin customers are. And how they tell the difference between a foreign “visitor” and a foreign permanent resident?

      Reply
  • I would like to suggest that all foreign embassies in Japan submit a Note Verbale to the Japanese police, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to clarify that ID from foreign residents of Japan is not required when checking into a hotel in Japan and then post the Note Verbale reply, in Japanese and their language, on their embassy’s website so travellers may copy it and show it to the hotel staff.

    Reply
    • Very logical post A/ thank you.

      Unfortunately, it seems foreign-embassy staff-members in Japan aren’t financially or morally motivated enough to write such such a logical “Law Confirmation” Note Verbale.

      And unfortunately, it’s clear that police officers and ministry bureaucrats in Japan aren’t financially or morally motivated enough to honestly reply, as they have already proven themselves amply willing and able to LIE in writing about the law in their fraudulent “Law Summarries”.

      e.g. http://www.debito.org/?p=15559#comment-1723620

      But again, serious thanks for your perfectly logical and concisely-stated effective solution proposal.

      Respect to you for your contribution, and I hope to see more posts from you in the future, fellow human. 🙂

      Reply
      • Jim Di Griz says:

        The government and the police can break the law, and coerce businesses to do so, just to keep society ‘safe’ from an NJ who may be overstaying or without a visa.
        Ok, got it.
        Japan Today (and the global news media) needs to stop handing Japan with kid gloves and glossing over these absurd abuses of the law and human rights and allow NJ to make informed choices about whether they want to come to Japan and expose themselves to deprivation of human rights and risk of identity theft.
        Hiding the problem until jet lagged travelers are confronted with disruption to their holiday plans upon arrival at their hotel is taking away their right to make informed choices.
        I wonder how it impacts ‘repeat business’ in terms of travelers who decide to never come back?

        Reply
    • This is from a Government of Canada website.

      Never give out personal information from your passport or your passport application unless you’re sure it is for a trusted organization or individual. This includes photocopies. You take all responsibility for giving information in your passport to a third party.

      — Can you just supply us with a link to the site too? Thanks.

      Reply
  • Last night (Friday Oct. 4) I stayed at the Sotetsu Fresa Inn which is quite literally across the street. When asked for my passport I said I live in Japan and don’t carry it with me, wrote down my address, and got the key.

    Someone either works at a very bad hotel or is lying. I pasted the link to Canada’s wise recommendation below.

    https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/canadian-passports/security/protect-fraud.html

    Protect your personal information
    Protect your personal information, including the information in your travel document at all times.

    Always store your travel document in a safe, dry and secure place.
    Never give out personal information from your passport or your passport application unless you’re sure it is for a trusted organization or individual. This includes photocopies. You take all responsibility for giving information in your passport to a third party.

    Lost, stolen or misdirected passport information
    You might be at risk if:

    a photocopy or scan of your passport is lost or stolen
    you’ve given a photocopy, scan or record of the information in your passport to a person or organization by mistake
    However, the risk of a third party getting a passport in your name is low if you still have your:

    passport
    proof of citizenship
    supporting identity documents
    We cannot issue or replace a passport based on only:

    photocopies of original documents
    information in a passport

    If you think the security of your passport is compromised:

    Apply for a new passport to replace the current one. You will pay the full fee to apply for a new passport. We cannot transfer the remaining validity period of the current passport to the new one.

    Identity theft

    Contact us if you think:

    you’ve been a victim of identity theft
    someone used your identity to falsely get a passport or travel document

    You can get more information about identity theft from:

    The RCMP
    Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
    Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

    Reply

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