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  • Amnesty Intl May 24 Tokyo protest against Diet bills under deliberation to further police NJ residents

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on April 29th, 2009

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    Hi Blog.  Here’s a nice roundup from Amnesty International about upcoming GOJ proposals for further policing NJ residents, and what you can do to protest them.  Mark your calendars. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    Say no to immigration law revision!

    An assembly and rally will be held to protest amendments to the law.  Everyone is welcome to attend!

    Date : May 24th (Sun) 14:00-15:30

    Assembly 16:00-17:00 Rally

    Place : Koutsu Biru (Tokyo, Minato-ku, Shimbashi5-15-5)

    6 minutes’ walk from Shimbashi station (JR Line, Karasumori-guchi)

    Bills are now under discussion in the Diet to impose tighter control on foreign residents.

    This is information from Amnesty International Japan regarding controversial bills under discussion in the Diet to impose tighter control on foreign residents. I would appreciate if you could pass these to anyone interested.

    Brochures in different languages are available as below (keep reading):

    Sonoko Kawakami
    Amnesty International Japan

    Sonoko Kawakami
    Campaign Coordinator
    Amnesty International Japan
    2-2-4F Kanda-NIshiki-cho, Chiyoda-ku
    Tokyo 101-0054 JAPAN
    TEL:+81-3-3518-6777 FAX:+81-3-3518-6778
    E-mail:ksonoko@amnesty.or.jp

    English
    http://www.repacp.org/aacp/pdf/MultiLang/20090420LeafENv01.pdf

    Contents:

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

    Tighter regulations on foreign residents

    A new registration card with IC chip will replace the current foreign resident registration card.

    Bills revising the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act and Basic Resident Registration Law were submitted to the Diet to create a new residence control system and resident certificate system for foreigners.

    Under the new system, the Immigration Bureau will collect and control personal information on foreign residents. A new foreign resident registration card with an IC chip will be issued to replace the current registration card.

    Further, the revision of the Basic Resident Registration Law aims to establish a resident certificate system for foreign residents in order to provide administrative services.

    The new registration card must be carried at all times.

    The new registration card will be issued to foreign residents who are officially permitted to stay in Japan for 3 months or longer. Foreigners must always carry the new registration card when going out, or be subject to penalties.

    You will be required to provide a wide range of information to the Immigration Bureau.

    1. The new registration card will be issued at the Immigration Bureau, rather than at the local municipal office.
    2. Depending on your visa status, you will be required to report a wide range of information to the Immigration Bureau. Failure to report is punishable by a fine, and possible revocation of visa (see the following points).

    Foreigners officially permitted to stay in Japan for 3 months or longer
    You must report any change of address to the municipal office within 14 days when you move. The office will send the address change to the Immigration Bureau.

    Your visa status can be cancelled if you don’t report within 90 days.

    Foreigners with “Spouse of Japanese National” or “Spouse of Permanent Resident” visa status
    You must report to the Immigration Bureau within 14 days in the case of divorce, or death of your spouse.

    Your visa status can be cancelled if you are continuously “inactive as a spouse”, e.g. due to separation, for 3 months or longer.

    Foreigners with working visas including “Specialist in Humanities/ International Services”, “Engineer”, “Skilled Labor”, “College Student” or “Trainee”
    You must report to the Immigration Bureau the name and address of the organization to which you belong. If you leave the reported organization and join another (i.e. change jobs or schools), you must report it. In the case of “Specialist in Humanities/ International Services”, “Engineer”, or “Skilled Labor”, you must report to the Immigration Bureau within 14 days if your contract ends or you enter into a new contract

    Your visa status can be cancelled if you do not conduct the permitted activity continuously for a period of 3 months or longer.

    Undocumented residents and asylum seekers become invisible.

    Under the revised law, undocumented residents and asylum seekers will not be issued the new foreign resident IC card. In addition, they cannot register as residents at municipal offices unless they have permission for provisional stay or landing permission for temporary refuge. It is of grave concern that they will face even greater difficulties in going to school or hospital.

    ◆ Immigration Bureau will collect and control personal information on foreigners

    It will be technically possible for the Immigration Bureau to match a foreigner’s personal information with the data gathered from his/her employer or other institution, and use it when deciding the change of visa status or extension of period of stay.

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

    Spanish
    http://www.repacp.org/aacp/pdf/MultiLang/20090420LeafSPv01.pdf

    Japanese
    http://www.repacp.org/aacp/pdf/MultiLang/20090420LeafJPv01.pdf

    Jananese with furigana
    http://www.repacp.org/aacp/pdf/MultiLang/20090420LeafJPrubyv01.pdf

    Best regards,

    Sonoko Kawakami
    Amnesty International Japan

    Sonoko Kawakami
    Campaign Coordinator
    Amnesty International Japan
    2-2-4F Kanda-NIshiki-cho, Chiyoda-ku
    Tokyo 101-0054 JAPAN
    TEL:+81-3-3518-6777 FAX:+81-3-3518-6778
    E-mail:ksonoko@amnesty.or.jp

    ENDS

    11 Responses to “Amnesty Intl May 24 Tokyo protest against Diet bills under deliberation to further police NJ residents”

    1. Tod Says:

      So it’s essentially the same as it always has been. Just a new IC chip and a change in who controls the reported data.

    2. snowman Says:

      The Gestapo is alive and well and operating in Japan! I’ll be glad when I finally get my Japanese passport and I can just forget about all this stuff.

    3. jim Says:

      Tod, it is not the same. There will be a financial loss to anyone who doesn’t carry the new card all the time.So it is not the same. Especially since certain races are easier to identify than others.
      So will immigrants be used as a cash just incase you forgot your ID card when popping out to the convenience store. This increases direct government observation on immigrants.Being stopped and being asked to show you PAPERS,and being subject to punishment certainly has some flavour of history repeating itself.Anyone want to propose a symbol we must wear on our clothes

    4. Tod Says:

      At present foreigners are required to carry an alien card at all times. There is a significant fee if caught without it.

      The proposed new system seems to generally be about the same at the existing one. If Amnesty Intl or others can help improve the situation, great, but trying to pass off the problems of the system as something new is a little unfair and dishonest.

    5. Shrikant Atre Says:

      No one can constantly carry his/her card while on road. So if the Amnesty International and all NJ supporters in Japan can collective put pressure to remove this condition, life would be much easy. Else, rest of the conditions of new law (apparently) should not be a big problem for those who are fair and sincere enough. But, the flip side is who would put so much enough pressure on Govt of Japan especially when you have NIL NJ representatives in diet houses. DPJ may perhaps raise some voice, so it would be good to submit them all the protest stuff and ask for help.

    6. sendaiben Says:

      I am not sure why everyone (including AI) seems to be under the impression that the fine for not carrying an Alien Registration Card is new. It is on the books now, and you can be fined up to 200,000 yen for not carrying your card or passport at all times.

      Allegedly no-one has ever been punished with this fine, but the existence of the law is worrying. I am glad that people are using the new regulations to draw attention to this, but it’s been around for a long time.

    7. level3 Says:

      Tod, I also thought that before checking the details. The increased level of strictness, especially in reporting any and all changes in your life within 14 days under threat of possible deportation (for example, if you are held by the police for 23 days, as they can do, and you lose your job, even if you are released and not prosecuted, you are already in violation of the visa law for not reporting that you lost your job while you were in a holding cell….or if you J wife dies, you are also expected to get your ass down to city hall within 2 weeks of the fact, how sympathetic), added in with the seeming aim to actually enforce the fines and pnishments for not carrying your gaijin card (whereas until now it seems that if you had no ill intent and merely forgot it, you can’t be fined) make this a very serious issue.

      Snowman, hope you don’t think it all ends when you get J citizenship. Have you even READ debito’s site? And if/when the new rules pass, expect even more “random” stops by police demanding your papers, I mean, your gaijin card, which you won’t have, and since they think they’re gonna get money out of you, maybe you’ll get to spend some time in handcuffs before everything gets straightened out.

      Jim, Maybe we all SHOULD wear armbands that more clearly label us as gaijin as a form of protest. I’m only half joking.

      .and in theory some want there to be a 10% immigrant population? So the police can randomly harass not only 1 of 10 people walking down the street, more and more of whom won’t have gaijin cards because they gained citizenship, but also their children and grandchildren who may look gaijin, but are natural born Japanese citizens. Oh how confusing it will be for racist cops.

    8. E.P.Lowe Says:

      Hmm…

      “◆ Foreigners with “Spouse of Japanese National” or “Spouse of Permanent Resident” visa status
      You must report to the Immigration Bureau within 14 days in the case of divorce, or death of your spouse.”

      Foreigner: My wife has just died

      Immigration: Our condolences – now please get out of Japan.

    9. Mark in Yayoi Says:

      Everyone who’s able to should attend this protest — this is deadly serious.

      The introduction of IC chips, which are readable remotely from a short distance, will enable police to scan crowds of people and then stop and question any foreign-looking person who’s “unscannable”. Maybe you forgot the card, maybe you’re refusing to carry it as a form of civil disobedience, but then again, maybe you’ve got it in a foil-lined pocket, or maybe you’ve acquired citizenship.

      Until now, police couldn’t catch foreigners who weren’t carrying cards without stopping them and questioning them, and while police have always taken liberties with what they’re allowed to do, they still usually dig up some flimsy reason for stopping you. The new technology will allow them to do an end run around the Police Execution of Duties Law — being unscannable is suddenly grounds for “suspicion of a crime”!

      Surely these scanners will be in airports. Imagine sprinting to catch a plane while your card is buried in your luggage and can’t be reached by the scanners! Think the “anti-terrorism” cops (who would just love an opportunity to stop you in a crowd and show their adoring public what a great job they’re doing keeping Japan safe) will care if you miss your flight?

      Not to mention the massive jump in identity theft risk. If some organized crime group scans you remotely, you’ll have no way of knowing. Just as with credit card skimmers, another “you” could be created from whole cloth — only there’s little you can do to stop it.

      If you’re going to issue alien cards — and I won’t deny that they can be useful as identification when signing contracts and taking out loans — let us keep them in a safe or in some other secure location of our own choosing. It’s only common sense to keep priceless personal documents in a safe and never to carry them casually — how many Japanese people do you know who carry their legally-binding hanko everywhere they go? They’d laugh at the suggestion but that’s what non-nationals are up against with the current and future card-carrying rules.

    10. AWK Says:

      “Minority Report” is coming to us. Soon there will be cameras scanning our eyes and small robot spiders will come too. We are criminals after all separated from families at int`l airports like in Nazi time.
      Aso wants to increase foreign population by 2020? Well, Good Luck Mr.Aso. You will be gone soon and you will never reach this target with such stupid Police policy. Re-Entry make GoJ money and now they need more so let`s fine foreigners who forget ID.
      I`ve heard from friend of mine that IOC has been informed about things going on here towards foreigners. Debito links from your website has been given too. He told me this is fight against Tokyo Olympic 2016.
      I think more reports should be put on YT to discourage others to come here. To show them real japan, not image they have.
      To Snowman: J passports doesn`t change your life much. You will be stopped anyway, unless you look Asian. Japan is behind other nations where Police can check your identity without documents.

    11. TJJ Says:

      I wonder how much this new system will cost to implement and police. In these troubled economic times, how much money is the government wasting on a useless system?

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