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  • First Zainichi resident to refuse fingerprinting in 1980 dies at 79

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on July 27th, 2008

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan

    Hi Blog. We’ve just lost a hero. Here’s a quick obit for the person who started the end of fingerprinting in Japan–at least permanently for Special Permanent Residents (the Zainichi).

    My great thanks to Mr Han for his great work. We all benefit when somebody stands up and refuses to cooperate with an irrational system. Arudou Debito.


    First foreign resident to refuse fingerprinting dies at 79
    Japan Today/Kyodo Friday 25th July, 02:17 PM JST
    Courtesy of Mark MT

    TOKYO — The first foreign resident in Japan to reject alien fingerprinting, Han Jong Sok, died of respiratory failure at a Tokyo hospital on Thursday, his family said Friday. He was 79. Han, a Korean resident in Japan, in 1980 rejected the fingerprinting required under the then alien registration law, and was the first foreign resident to do so.

    He was convicted over the violation of the law at lower courts. But in 1989, the Supreme Court dismissed the charge against Han, invoking imperial amnesty that was declared on the funeral of Emperor Hirohito. Han was known as a symbolic figure in an anti-fingerprinting movement that spread among foreign residents in Japan during the 1980s. Japan’s fingerprinting requirement for foreign residents, which drew international fire for infringing upon human rights, was lifted in 2000 after the alien registration law was revised in 1999.

    More on the 1999 abolition here.

    More on the 2007 resurrection of fingerprinting for all NJ except a select few with political power here.

    7 Responses to “First Zainichi resident to refuse fingerprinting in 1980 dies at 79”

    1. Nigel Says:

      Now, we need a Korean to protest Korea’s idiotic and discriminatory fingerprinting system. The Korean fingerprinting requirements are a lot more onerous than Japan’s, and is a definite infringement of human rights. Zainichi Koreans hopefully will spread their protests to their own nation as well, and speak up for human rights where they are citizens.

    2. A man in Japan Says:

      I had to give my fingerprints recently to those bastards at Narita, after being here nearly a year without having to until we had to fly out of Japan. We went away on our honeymoon and the thing that really bothered me was that I KNEW I would have to give my fingerprints on returning. So while we were away I decided to buy a nail file to TRY and scrape my fingerprints off. It didn’t work… Not only that, but as soon as we got to the baggage claim, I saw the guy with the sniffer dog going around. And guess what? He checks ALL the WHITE people and didn’t even BOTHER to check any Japanese. The fourth time he came over to me, I pretended to spot our bag going around so I pretended to step away from the guy and head on over to the belt. He went away after that to check all the other big, bad “gaijin”

      Just as a matter of fact, Im going to continue to try and get rid of my fingerprints from ALL of my fingers. Humans dont need fingerprints any way, and it will also stop me from getting blamed from accidently touching something that ends up being used in a murder or something, upon which I would be labeled a “suspect” any way.

    3. Mark Says:

      to ‘A Man in Japan’ – there is a way that gaijin are getting through Narita without being fingerprinted. Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, I don’t want to post the method on this public blog. A friend of mine just flew into Narita last month and got through successfully without being fingerprinted.. but the method has been done by others since last year and it seems to work very well. I predict if too many people do it though, there could be trouble. If you want to know how, just leave your e-mail address here in a post and I’ll contact you. I wouldn’t put the e-mail in the normal format though (e.g. ‘’) – type it in such a way that it’s obfuscated so you won’t attract spammers.

    4. AWK Says:

      It seems like we cannot runaway from this anymore. Here are very interesting news, what next? DNA?



    5. AWK Says:

      # Mark Says:
      July 31st, 2008 at 1:49 am
      …I wouldn’t put the e-mail in the normal format though (e.g. ‘’) – type it in such a way that it’s obfuscated so you won’t attract spammers.

      Hi Mark, can you tell me how can I give you my email here? The way I would put you will never guess, so please give me some idea.

    6. Mark Says:

      AWK, there are different ways – an example would be typing in something like “hi, the address is gmail and the username part is john.smith
      not very creative, but hopefully defeats the spam-bots…

      –Just send me the email, and I’ll forward, already. It’s not worth taking up any more space here on this blog entry.

    7. AWK Says:

      –Just send me the email, and I’ll forward, already. It’s not worth taking up any more space here on this blog entry.

      You`re right and agree with you.
      I will send you email today. Subject my user name with my yahoo email ID from forum, which nobody can see.
      Thank you in advance

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