Posted by debito on January 11th, 2007
Hey Blog. This might make you think I wasn’t so crazy by naturalizing after all:
IHi Blog. Arudou Debito in Sapporo here. Going through two weeks of examination hell (mine–the biannual 20-minute oral examinations of 100 students), so my brain’s a bit fried. Still, this week’s installment:
1) IMMIGRATION BUREAU VIOLATES PRIVACY OF MARRIAGE,
IN QUESTIONING J SPOUSES FOR LONGER-TERM VISAS
2) ECONOMIST ON THE BASIC EDUCATION LAW’S REFORM
3) BUSINESS CONSORTIUM INTRODUCING IC CHIP SHOPPING DEVICES
4) MORE LABOR ABUSES OF FOREIGN “TRAINEES” COMING TO LIGHT
DEBITO’S EXPANDED ITINERARY: UPDATED SCHEDULE WITH OPEN DAYS
GOING THROUGH TOKYO, KANSAI, AND KYUSHU, NEED ME TO SPEAK?
January 12, 2007, freely forwardable
Real-time blog updates at http://www.debito.org/index.html
1) IMMIGRATION BUREAU ASKS VERY PERSONAL QUESTIONS OF J SPOUSES FOR VISAS
Tokyo Immigration (Nyuukoku Kanri Kyoku)’s questionnaire for granting Spouse Visas (haiguusha biza) has since been adopted nationwide, as part of screening out fake marriages (gizou kekkon).
It’s available to the general public on the Nyuukan section of the Ministry of Justice Website:
According to the site, application procedures for Status of Residence for many longer-term visas (i.e. anything over three months) now require three documents (section reading “shinseisho youshiki”):
1) An application for Certificate of Eligibility (zairyuu shikaku nintei shoumeisho koufu shinseisho)
(same as before, form contents depending on what kind of visa you want)
2) A Guarantor, through a Letter of Guarantee (mimoto hoshousho)
http://www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-1-24.pdf (laughably unprofessional English)
I don’t know how new this is, but I never had to have one of these forms signed (granted, this was more than ten years ago, when I was still a foreigner).
And, newest of all,
3) an eight-page “Shitsumon Sho” (Question Sheet) in Japanese only, given to the Japanese spouse of the foreign applicant.
This Shitsumon Sho is now required (according to footnote four in the quadrant reading “shinseisho youshiki”) for 1) all Japanese spouses, 2) all Japanese spouses of Permanent Residents, and 3) all Japanese spouses of Nikkei who are applying for a visa.
Opening with a wavy-underlined statement (like an FBI warning before a video) stating (all translations mine), “Bear in mind that any part of this form adjudged as contravening the truth may incur disadvantages when being considered by officials,” this form in fascinating in its intrusiveness:
SECTION ONE asks that the applicant state his name and nationality, and the spouse do the same. Home address and home and work phone. Living together or not.
Fine. Then it asks whether you rent or own, the space of your abode (in LDK), and how much you pay in rent per month.
SECTION TWO asks for your love story, from meeting until marriage. It gives you nearly a page (attach more if you need) to write down the date you met, where you met, whether or not you were introduced, and your whole love life (kekkon ni itatta kei’i, ikisatsu) until you got married.
(It avoids asking about your favorite positions. Still, it specifically notes that anything else of reference, such as photos, letters, proof of international phone calls etc. are welcome.)
SECTION 2.2 is for those who were introduced by someone. It asks for the introducer’s name, nationality, birth date, address, phone number, alien registration number, date of introduction, place, and style of meeting (photo, phone, date, email, something else?). It also asks you to fill out a box on how deep each of your relationships go with the introducer. Be detailed, it demands.
But wait, there’s more…
SECTION THREE gets into the linguistics of your relationship. It asks what language you speak together, what your native tongues are, how well you understand each other (with four possible boxes to check), and how the foreigner learned his or her Japanese (again, be specific–there are four lines provided).
And there are four more lines provided to explain what you do when you don’t understand each other linguistically. If you use an interpreter, you are to give the interpreter’s name, nationality, and address.
SECTION FOUR asks about your marriage from a legal standpoint:
If you married in Japan, who were your witnesses? (You need two to sign the Kekkon Todoke in Japan). Give their name, sex, address, and phone numbers.
SECTION FIVE asks about the fanfare. If you held a wedding ceremony or a party (doesn’t indicate where–I guess that includes overseas bashes too), give the date and address. How many people attended–give a number. Who came? Choose from the appropriate seven types of family members: Father, mother, older brother, older sister…
SECTION SIX asks for your wedding histories. Is this your first marriage or a remarriage? If a remarriage, from when until when? Give dates. Two check boxes are provided to distinguish between dissolution through death or through divorce.
SECTION SEVEN asks how many times your foreign client, sorry, spouse, traveled to Japan and for how long. Give dates and reasons. SECTION EIGHT asks how many times you Japanese spouse went to the foreigner’s home country. Same data, please, except there are two specific sections devoted to how many times you’ve crossed the border since you met, then how many times since you married.
SECTIONS NINE and TEN the only sections I can see as really germane–if you’ve ever been expelled from Japan for a visa violation or some such. Give full details.
But we’re not done yet. SECTION ELEVEN wants you to fill out your entire family tree, with names, ages, addresses, and phone numbers in both Japan and the foreigner’s country. A separate chart is provided for the happy international couple to give the names, birth dates, and addresses of their children. Create for us an entire Koseki listing.
Finally, SECTION TWELVE asks who in both your families knew about your marriage. Again, circle the appropriate types of family members.
Sign and date. And we’ll reiterate the FBI warning just at the very bottom again just in case you would even think of lying.
So much for the sanctity of the privacy of marriage. I think I’ll stop by Immigration and ask a few questions why they need this kind of information. After all–what matters what language they speak at home?
It goes beyond remembering the color of your spouse’s toothbrush… into voyeurism. I’m sure any Japanese couple would balk at having to reveal this much intimate detail, so why is it being demanded from international couples in Japan?
Because it can be, of course. We’re Immigration, so sod you. After all, we can take away any foreigner’s rights at will…
Again, see for yourself at http://www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-1-25.pdf
Too bad for all those long-suffering spouses who now have to provide the government with a pipeline into their private life just because they had the ill judgment to marry a foreigner. I smell an article here.