Posted by debito on November 29th, 2008
Hi Blog. One thing I’ll give the GOJ: They’re predictable when under pressure. After one year of fingerprinting NJ at the border in the name of anti-terrorism and anti-crime, the MOJ decided to announce the number of NJ they netted, no doubt to claim that all the effort and money was somehow worth it. Problem is, as Sendaiben pointed out when submitting this link, that there is no comparison with how many people get snagged on an annual basis even BEFORE fingerprinting was reinstituted.
To me that’s another predictability: you just know if the information was in the GOJ’s favor, they would have released it as well. But this glaring omission I bet means there’s not much statistical difference. Besides, the GOJ similarly congratulated themselves last year when announced their catch the first day after fingerprinting was instituted, even though the fine print revealed those NJ were snagged for funny passports, not fingerprints. And we’ll throw in data about visa overstayers (even though that’s unrelated to the fingerprinting, since fingerprinting is a border activity, and overstaying is something that happens after you cross the border) just because the media will swallow it and help the public make a mental association.
Likewise, there is no ultracentrifuging of the data below to see how many were done for passports or fingerprints again. And of course, predictably, the J media is not asking analytical questions of their own. The closest we get is the admission that the GOJ is collecting these fingerprints to submit to other governments. Which is probably the real intention of this, Japan’s “contribution to the war on terror”.
What a crock. Arudou Debito in Morioka
TOKYO, Nov. 28 2008 (AP) – (Kyodo)—A total of 846 foreign nationals have been refused entry to Japan since the country began fingerprinting and photographing foreign nationals at airports and seaports nationwide in November last year, the Justice Ministry said Friday.
Most of the refusals were due to arriving passengers’ fingerprints matching those of people deported in the past while, in several cases, they matched those of wanted people, according to the ministry’s Immigration Bureau.
Of the total refused entry, 297 were South Korean, 155 Filipinos and 90 Chinese.
Some carried other people’s passports.
Under a revised immigration law enforced in November 2007 as part of an antiterrorism measure, foreign nationals aged over 16 are required to be fingerprinted and photographed.
The scanned fingerprints and other biometric data of those entering Japan are stored in a computer. Japanese investigative authorities can access the information and share it with foreign immigration authorities and governments.
It is believed the new rule not only blocks the reentry of deportees at airports and seaports but also discourages such attempts at reentry, ministry officials said.
The number of foreign nationals overstaying visas in Japan came to some 7,500 in the year that ended in October, down 35 percent year on year, according to the ministry.