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  • New Immigration Law with IC Chip Gaijin Cards passes Diet

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on July 9th, 2009

    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 JapansourstrawberriesavatarUPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito

    Hi Blog. This is it, then. We lost. The new IC Chipped Gaijin Cards will be a reality. Gonna have to start looking on the bright side of things, like the fact that NJ will now have juuminhyou instead. Commentary and links from Anonymous. Add some more English-language articles in the Comments section (with links, please). Thanks. Arudou Debito

    As I’m sure that you’ve heard, today was a not a good day for NJ rights. The immigration revision formally passed the upper house today, July 8, 2009. With the various changes, we may need a 2nd edition of your Handbook.
    Several news clippings:

    ==========================
    http://www.nikkei.co.jp/news/seiji/20090708AT3S0800B08072009.html
    改正入管法成立、在留外国人の情報を一元管理
    NIKKEI NET 2009年7月8日
     国が在留外国人の情報を一元管理する改正出入国管理・難民認定法が8日午前の参院本会議で自民、公明、民主各党などの賛成多数で可決、成立した。3年以内に施行される。
     同法は現在、市町村が扱っていた在留外国人の住所や勤務・通学先などの情報を国が在留資格や出入国情報とともに一元的に管理する内容。市町村発行の外国人登録証を廃止し、法務省が新たに「在留カード」を発行する。在日韓国・朝鮮人らについても「特別永住者証明書」を発行して国に情報を集約する。
     在留カードは常時携帯することが義務付けられるが、特別永住者証明書に関しては自民、公明、民主各党の修正協議で携帯義務を撤廃した。現在は在日韓国・朝鮮人らにも外国人登録証の携帯が義務付けられている。(11:46)
    =====================
    http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/0708/TKY200907080106.html
    改正入管法が成立 在留カード交付、3年以内に施行
    朝日新聞 2009年7月8日10時56分
    印刷ソーシャルブックマーク
     3カ月を超えて日本に滞在する外国人を対象に新たな在留管理制度を導入する改正出入国管理法などの関連法が8日の参院本会議で可決、成立した。従来の「外国人登録証」(外登証)を廃止し、新たに「在留カード」を交付するのが主な内容で、日本の在留制度の大きな転換点となる。新制度は3年以内に施行される。

     外登証を持つ外国人は08年末に約221万7千人で過去最多を更新した。在留管理を厳格化して不法滞在者を減らしつつ、外国人の利便性も高めるのが改正の狙い。

     外登証は不法滞在者でも取得できたが、今後は適法な滞在者に在留カードを交付し、住民基本台帳にも登載する。住所変更などは自治体を通じて法務省も継続的に管理。職場や学校に対し、受け入れた外国人の情報を国に提供する努力義務を課している。

     一方で、適法な滞在者の在留期間は上限を3年から5年に延長。1年以内の再入国は原則として許可を不要とするなど利便性も高める。

     今後は国内に約13万人とみられる不法滞在者の扱いが課題になる。新制度の対象外となるため、「地下に潜り、犯罪に走る恐れがある」との懸念がある。法務省は「在留を認めるべき外国人は受け入れる」として、在留特別許可のガイドラインを見直して自主的な出頭を促す方針だ。

     約42万人いる在日韓国・朝鮮人らには別途、「特別永住者証明書」が交付される。国会審議の過程で、歴史的な経緯に配慮し、常に証明書を携帯する義務は課さないよう当初案が修正された。

     低賃金労働の温床との批判があった「研修・技能実習制度」の改正も盛り込まれている。「技能実習」という在留資格を新設し、1年目から最低賃金法や労働基準法を適用する。この改正については1年以内に施行される。(延与光貞)
    ===============================

    http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/policy/090708/plc0907081102003-n1.htm

     改正出入国管理及び難民認定法(入管難民法)が8日、参院本会議で可決、成立した。国による新たな在留管理制度で、中長期間滞在する外国人の利便性を向上する一方、不法滞在者対策をはかり、「外国人と日本人とが共生する社会の基礎」(森英介法相)になる。同法は公布後、在留カード交付など最長3年以内に段階的に施行される。
     3カ月を超える中長期滞在の外国人について、これまで法務省では上陸時と在留許可申請時の情報しか得られず、在留中は国が委託した自治体で実施する外国人登録の情報で管理していた。だが、居住実態などが正確に把握できず、就学や保険、手当など自治体の事務にも支障を来たしているほか、外国人登録証(外登証)が不法滞在者にも交付され、就労や在留継続を容易にするなどの問題が生じていた。
     改正法では外登証を廃止し、正規滞在者だけに新たに「在留カード」を交付。在留情報を国(法相)が一元管理することになった。
     在留カードは新規入国者は上陸時に、在留者は各地の入国管理局でそれぞれ作成。写真のほか届け出事項の氏名、生年月日、性別、国籍、住居地、在留資格・期間などが記載される。常時携帯が求められるほか、記載事項変更時は入国管理局への届け出義務もあり、いずれも違反すると罰則が科せられる。また届け出事項については入管の事実調査も可能になった。
     カードには登録情報を収めたICチップが入り、偽変造などには、懲役や罰金などの罰則が科せられる。
     一方、戦前から日本で生活する在日韓国・朝鮮人の特別永住者には同様の「特別永住者証明書」を交付するが、歴史的な背景を考慮し、常時携帯義務はない。
     また、低賃金労働などの事例が問題になっていた外国人研修制度では、新たな在留資格「技能実習」(最長3年)を作り、1年目の技能習得段階でも企業と雇用契約を結ばせることで、労働基準法や最低賃金法など労働関係法令の適用を可能にし、保護する。
     このほか、在留期間を従来の3年から5年にするなど、利便性を高める。
            ◇
    ●改正入管法の骨子●
    ・国が在留情報を一元管理、外国人登録証は廃止
    ・中長期の在留者に「在留カード」交付、常時携帯義務
    ・特別永住者に「特別永住者証明書」交付、携帯義務なし
    ・外国人の在留期間を3年から5年に伸長
    ・外国人研修制度で在留資格「技能実習」を創設。労働関係法令適用で、搾取を防ぐ
    ・在留資格「留学生」「就学生」の一本化
    ENDS

    **********************************************************************
                                  2009年7月8日
              ★IMADRインフォメーション★
                                   【No.153】
    **********************************************************************

    ─────────────────────────────────── 
    ◆目次◆
    ─────────────────────────────────── 
    1)入管法・入管特例法、住民基本台帳法・改定案成立に抗議する
    2)IMADR-JC第20回総会が開催されました
    3)ボランティアガイダンス
    4)イベントなどの予定
    5)IMADR-INFO配信について

    ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
    1.入管法・入管特例法、住民基本台帳法・改定案成立に抗議する
    ───────────────────────────────────
    本日(7月8日)の参議院本会議にて、入管法・入管特例法、住民基本台帳法・
    改定案が可決、成立しました。IMADR-JCも参加する「在留カードに異議あり!」
    NGO実行委員会は本日、十分な議論を経ていないこの法案成立をうけて、参議院
    議員会館にて記者会見を開催し「改定入管法・入管特例法・住基法の成立に対
    する抗議声明」を発表しました。

    記者会見では、「入管法改定案は与党がおしてきた案であるとともに、グロー
    バル企業と法務省の連携が可決につながった。グローバル企業の勢力が日本の
    法案に強い影響を及ぼし、国会の機能が低下しはじめている」(衆議院議員
    (社民党)保坂展人さん)、「入管法改定の大きな目的の1つに、日本の産業を
    担ってきた非正規滞在者を『使いにくく管理しにくい労働力』として国外へ追い
    出し、代わりに『使いやすい労働力』として労働権・人権を制限された外国人
    研修生・技能実習生の受け入れシステムを固定化する、ということがある」
    (全統一労働組合・鳥井一平さん)といった問題が指摘されました。

    IMADR-JCはこれに先立ち、参議院での審議が進行中の6月30日、これらの法案
    成立への動きに抗議する声明を発表し、参議院法務委員会委員長および理事に
    送付しています。

    IMADR-JC声明「外国籍者の管理強化ではなく、権利確立を─入管法・入管特例
    法、住民基本台帳法・改定案成立への動きに抗議する」の全文は以下をご覧
    ください。
    http://www.imadr.org/japan/statement/imadrjc/post_19/

    ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
    2.IMADR-JC第20回総会が開催されました
    ───────────────────────────────────
    反差別国際運動日本委員会(IMADR-JC)の第20回総会が6月30日に開催されま
    した。今年度(2009年4月1日〜2010年3月31日)の活動の重点課題として、引き
    続き、国内における人種主義・人種差別の解決に向けた活動、インドやスリ
    ランカなどの被差別マイノリティとの差別撤廃に向けた連帯などに取り組んで
    いくことが確認されました。加えて、アイヌ民族の先住民族としての権利確立
    に向けた取り組みに連携していくことも確認されました。80人の参加者から
    なる総会は、「マイノリティ間、マイノリティとそれ以外の人びとが、国内で
    あるいは国境を越えて結びつくことを通じて、差別撤廃・人権確立を推し進め
    る力をはぐくんでいくために引き続き全力を尽くしていく」とするアピール文
    を決議して閉会しました。

    アピールの全文は以下をご覧ください。
    http://www.imadr.org/japan/statement/imadrjc/imadrjc20/

    ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
    3.7月18日 ボランティアガイダンス
    ───────────────────────────────────
    反差別国際運動(IMADR)ならびに反差別国際運動日本委員会(IMADR-JC)は、さ
    まざまなプロジェクトの運営をはじめ、活動をいっしょにつくってくださる
    ボランティアを募集しています。次回のボランティアガイダンスは以下の通り
    です。

    ■日時:2009年7月18日(土)午後1時〜午後2時

    ■場所:IMADR/IMADR-JC事務所
     東京都港区六本木3-5-11 松本治一郎記念会館 地階
     東京メトロ南北線「六本木一丁目」 出口1より徒歩5分
     東京メトロ日比谷線・都営地下鉄大江戸線「六本木」出口5または3より
     徒歩7分
     地図:http://www.imadr.org/japan/contact.php#access

    ※ご参加を希望される場合は事前にご連絡ください。
     (連絡先は末尾参照)

    詳しくは、以下をご参照ください。
    http://www.imadr.org/japan/joinus/

    ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
    4.イベントなどの予定
    ───────────────────────────────────
    ◇7月◇
     18(土)IMADR/IMADR-JCボランティアガイダンス
         http://www.imadr.org/japan/event/imadr_imadr-jc_main/post_49/

     23(木)廃案までもう一歩─7・23共謀罪に反対する院内集会

    ◇9月◇
      1(火)第18回ヒューマンライツセミナー
         「先住民族アイヌの権利確立に向けて」
         http://www.imadr.org/japan/event/imadr_imadr-jc_main/hrs18/

             ◇IMADR-JC入会・参加のご案内◇
             http://www.imadr.org/japan/joinus/

    ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
    5.IMADR-INFO配信について
    ───────────────────────────────────
    このメールマガジンは、まぐまぐが提供するサービスにより運営しています。
    配送停止を希望される方は、お手数ですが下記IMADRホームページより配送解
    除を行って下さい。メールアドレスを変更される際は、現在のアドレスへの配
    送解除の後、新しいアドレスをご登録ください。
    なお、「ウィークリーまぐまぐ」は、http://www.mag2.com/wmag/
    から解除することができます。

    購読登録・解除用アドレス
    http://www.imadr.org/japan/joinus/#a000200

    **********************************************************************
    発行元:
     反差別国際運動(IMADR)    
      Tel: 03-3586-7447  Fax: 03-3586-7462 E-mail: imadris@imadr.org
     反差別国際運動日本委員会(IMADR-JC) 
      Tel: 03-3568-7709  Fax: 03-3586-7448 E-mail: imadrjc@imadr.org

     〒106-0032 東京都港区六本木3-5-11  Website: http://www.imadr.org
    **********************************************************************
    ◎IMADRインフォメーション
    のバックナンバー・配信停止はこちら
    http://archive.mag2.com/0000169133/index.html
    このメールに返信すれば、発行者さんへ感想を送れます

    ▽こちらもいかが?投資・マネージャンルの注目メルマガ
     ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄
    ●プロが教える、つかむ広告のコツ 儲かるデフレ経営編
    http://www.mag2.com/m/0000114295.html 不定期になりました。
    集客、広告でお金をドブに捨てていませんか。お客のココロをつかむポイント
    はキャッチコピー?コピーライター20年「荻野功一朗」がそのポイント解説。
    中小企業社長、ネットショップ店長が注目!経営、売上、営業に即効力。そし
    て「儲かるデフレ経営編」始動
    ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━【まぐまぐ!】━

    ━【まぐまぐ!からのお知らせ】━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
    ★★★★★★★★★★★★アウトレット価格で広告販売中★★★
    まぐまぐ!の広告は選べる117種、9,660円より!
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    ENDS

    30 Responses to “New Immigration Law with IC Chip Gaijin Cards passes Diet”

    1. JAFOREA Says:

      The new law will make it even more difficult for foreign residents to get loans in Japan. With it being easier to be fined, lose status, or be deported for petty acts of omission within a certain time frame. Banks already balk at making loans to foreign residents just for not being Japanese.

    2. Shibuyara Says:

      Politicians and bureaucrats know that outrage in the NJ community will die down after a while, as people have no choice but to accept the system or leave. A wide-reaching, long-lasting campaign is needed to inform and educate the general J population, who very often hear only one side, and at a superficial level. In my office, for example, nobody has lived outside Japan. They see only local media-filtered info. Once they hear the NJ view and understand the issues, however, they are quite supportive.

      Repeat of previously-posted ideas: Contact Newsweek, which publishes in Japanese. Contact the New York Times, which is frequently quoted in the J media. Ditto for the FT and Wall Street Journal. A country perceived as intensely anti-foreigner is less attractive as a target for foreign investment. That message could trickle down to Keidanren, which must then go to the GOJ and say “stop this nonsense”.

      And, write to the immigration guy quoted in the recent JT article, to politicians, and to the Minister of Justice. Also the mainstream Japanese media. If you can not write or type Japanese, spend a bit of money on translation. One page of text will not break the bank, and the impact will be much greater.

    3. Miles Says:

      In addition to juuminhyou, the upper limit on visas will be extended from 3 years to 5. And no re-entry permit necessary. These are good things, no?

      English link from Japan Times:
      http://search.japantimes.co.jp/rss/nn20090709a3.html

    4. Massimo Says:

      Well, I will apply for my PR next week. This is the right time…. (?)
      I really hope that PR will still have more benefits
      than other visas, even after this reform.

      Having to report, in a set time, changes as all the “lower” visas holders
      have to now, that will be an hassle.
      The obligation to go to Tenno-zu airu each time you need something
      is another punch in the face… I live in Shinjuku, in 5 minutes I can
      go to my kuyakusho… Thanks GoJ. You are striving hard to make things easier for us =)

    5. DC Says:

      Massimo, even as a PR you’ll have to report all your changes of details at the immigration office with everyone else. And you still get fingerprinted, and have to carry your id at all times. Plus assets held outside Japan become taxable in Japan. I don’t see the benefit of PR at all.

    6. John Says:

      “Diet revises immigration laws amid protests from foreign residents”, Japan Today, July 8

      http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/diet-revises-immigration-laws-amid-protests-from-foreign-residents

      I hope the average Debito reader lives near a Justice Ministry office… ;)

      “For legal residents, the amendments will boost convenience in some areas. Residency periods will be extended from the current three years to five years and they will no longer be required to obtain reentry permits if they return to Japan within a year.

      However, some foreigners say the legal revision will increase the burden on non-Japanese residents. Following the amendments, foreigners will be required to report changes in their addresses and job contracts to local offices of the Justice Ministry, not to nearby municipal government offices.”

      FULL ARTICLE:

      The Diet revised immigration laws Wednesday to unify administrative work related to foreigners under the central government so as to strengthen measures against illegal residents, despite protests from legal foreign residents that the change would increase the procedural burden on them.

      The legislation, which could provide a major turning point for the immigration policy of Japan with more than 2.15 million foreigners, cleared the House of Councillors with the support of the ruling bloc and the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan.

      At present, both the central and local governments undertake work related to foreigners and local municipalities even offer services to illegal residents who number around 110,000 in Japan.

      The amendments will enable the Justice Ministry to solely execute related tasks. The revision will come into force in three years and will be reviewed within three years of enforcement.

      The bills, which had been discussed in parliament since April 24, will abolish alien registration cards issued by local municipalities and instead require the central government to issue new residency cards equipped with integrated circuit chips to foreigners who remain in Japan longer than three months.

      Local governments had complained of difficulties in properly registering foreign residents because some migrant workers frequently change their addresses due to their jobs.

      For legal residents, the amendments will boost convenience in some areas. Residency periods will be extended from the current three years to five years and they will no longer be required to obtain reentry permits if they return to Japan within a year.

      However, some foreigners say the legal revision will increase the burden on non-Japanese residents. Following the amendments, foreigners will be required to report changes in their addresses and job contracts to local offices of the Justice Ministry, not to nearby municipal government offices.

      Under the revised immigration laws, foreigners who fail to notify the government of changes in address within 14 days would be fined up to 200,000 yen and their residency status could be revoked if they fail to report changes within 90 days.

      Foreign spouses of Japanese or non-Japanese permanent residents could lose their residency status if they fail to ‘‘conduct activities normally carried out by spouses’’ for six months under the revised immigration laws, but victims of domestic violence would be exempted from that condition. The measure has been introduced to curb bogus marriages.

      Some foreigners and their supporters say such clauses in the legislation will lead to tighter controls on non-Japanese residents.

      The Diet also endorsed the same day a bill to amend the basic resident registration law, which will enable foreign residents of Japan to register under the same residence system as Japanese.

      But opponents of the legal revision fear foreigners who overstay their visas and some asylum seekers will not be covered by the new system and will be deprived of education and health care services now offered by municipalities.

      The ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its coalition partner the New Komeito party and the DPJ therefore agreed to modify the legislation to require the government to consider how such residents could receive those basic services.

      The three parties also revised original bills when they cleared the House of Representatives on June 19. The changes include allowing permanent residents of Korean and Taiwanese descent to be spared the obligation of always carrying a residency card.

      After the passage of the bills, foreign residents and their supporters told a press conference that they will continue to protest so that the government will have second thoughts about implementing the legislation.

      Sachi Takaya, vice secretary general of the Solidarity Network with Migrants in Japan, said, ‘‘We need to increase pressure on the Justice Ministry so that the legislation will not function as expected.’’ She said the ministry has said it will aim to flexibly enforce the amendments.

      Sonoko Kawakami, campaign coordinator of Amnesty International Japan, stressed the need for steps to grant an amnesty to illegal immigrants who stay in Japan for a long time, so that they can turn themselves in and be recognized as legal residents by the government.
      ENDS

    7. Peter Payne Says:

      Oh noes! There’ll be an RFID chip in my next gaijin card, just as there ALREADY is in my Japanese drivers’ license. Oh, the humanity!

    8. Why So Serious? Says:

      So when does all of this actually become law?

    9. Sean Says:

      What’s all the hype about having to go to the Immigration Office to update details? Does anybody actually have proof that this is where you have to go to report changes?

      As Nigelboy quoted over on JapanToday.com

      “”入管法においても、外国人に対し、住所につき、法務大臣をあて先として市町村経由で届け出ることを義務づけた上で、住所の届け出義務の違反が長く続いているような方に対しては在留資格が取り消されることがあり得るとしているとのことでありますが、このような制度が加われば、外国人の方々がきちんと住所を届け出ることは相当担保されるのではないかというふうに期待をしております。”
      “By requiring foreign residents to inform the Ministry of Justice via local municipalities of the address change and that violation could mean the loss of residency previledge, we hope that those who have not notified the address change will do so”
      http://www.shugiin.go.jp/index.nsf/html/index_kaigiroku.htm
      In other words, the revision does not state that foreign residents must “visit” the Ministry of Justice branch offices to inform the address change as the article indicates.”

      I’m pretty sure the Immigration office doesn’t want the extra work, and I’m sure I’ve read somewhere (maybe the Japan Times) that the government would allow changes to be reported to the shiyakusho as usual, who will then forward them on to Immigration. I even read about the government allowing some changes to be done online. And that is what it sounds like if you read the Japanese “務大臣をあて先として市町村経由で届け出ることを義務づけた上で”

      Everyone seems to be getting carried away about apparent trips to Immigration and hours spent in queues.

      The IC Chip, however, is just plain wrong.

    10. Why So Serious? Says:

      You can tell the BBC!

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/your_news/7593687.stm

    11. E.P. Lowe Says:

      For your consideration:

      Now that the Justice Ministry is now totally responsible for foreign residents in Japan – what are the odd that many municipalities will start cutting back on their provisions for foreign residents – after all, they’re not their responsibility any more!

    12. Asterisk Says:

      Two things:

      1) If the DPJ wins the next lower house election, they would be the ones to enforce this new law. So the drafters might not get their interpretation.

      2) As for PR and taxes, anyone living in Japan for five of the last 10 years is treated the same as Japanese citizens (taxed on worldwide income.) Law changed in 2006 or ’07. This is why some tax offices make you fill out that survey.

    13. John Says:

      On a related note:

      “New guideline for granting special permission for illegals to stay in Japan set”, Japan Today, July 10

      http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/new-guideline-for-granting-special-permission-for-illegals-to-stay-in-japan-set

      TOKYO —

      Illegal immigrants could be granted special residence permission if they live with and raise school-age children, Justice Minister Eisuke Mori suggested Friday. Under a new guideline to be introduced Monday, ‘‘those who raise elementary, junior or senior high school children living in Japan for more than 10 years, who voluntarily report they have overstayed and who have no other record of law violation’’ could be allowed to remain.

      However, those who have committed crimes involving drugs and guns will not be granted special residence permission, Mori indicated at a press conference. A justice minister is authorized to grant special residence based on the guideline.

      The new guideline has been compiled following the case of a 14-year-old Filipino girl, born and raised in Japan, whose parents were deported to their country in April. The family had long been seeking special residence permission for the whole family, but the Justice Ministry rejected the parents’ request to stay while allowing their daughter to remain.

      Since then, criticism has grown that the criteria for granting special permission to stay are unclear.

      The ministry noted, however, that even under the new guideline, the Filipino couple would still have had to leave Japan as they entered the country using other people’s passports.
      ENDS

    14. Paul S. Says:

      Quoted from the JapanTimes article:

      “Currently, it is difficult to fully grasp where foreign residents live, so we need to change that,” LDP lawmaker Ryuji Matsumura, a board member of the Upper House Judicial Affairs Committee, said after the chamber passed the bills. “In other countries, including the U.S., France, Britain, Germany and South Korea, governments keep such personal information on foreign residents.”

      What he fails to mention is that in the US you can MAIL your change of address to immigration, you don’t have to take leave from work to stand in line at an immigration office.

    15. Mark in Yayoi Says:

      “What he fails to mention is that in the US you can MAIL your change of address to immigration, you don’t have to take leave from work to stand in line at an immigration office.”

      Paul, absolutely right, and the LDP has never been shy about fudging reality so that their own plans look less onerous. Earlier in this debate they attempted to justify forcing non-nationals to carry these papers by claiming that it happens in the US too, while simultaneously not mentioning that in the US it only applies to a certain subset of immigrants and that the papers can only be checked under limited circumstances and by a smaller group of officials, as opposed to Japan where there’s a police officer functioning as an immigration agent on every street corner.

      A similar thing was done in the Nikkei newspaper when the LDP was propagandizing for a higher consumption tax. The taxes of various countries were compared, and for “the USA”, they selected the sales tax in New York City, an outrageous 8.25%. This was used to make Japan’s consumption tax look low, and no mention was made of the fact that the NYC sales tax is one of the highest in the nation, and that some states have no sales tax at all.

      I myself think that the government will eventually let people update their info in their city halls just as things have always been. Those municipal workers behind the alien registration desks don’t want to lose their jobs, you know! They’ll forward the info to the central government and a new generation of foreigners will tell the veterans to quit complaining. Never mind that the government still got what it wanted, which was more control over perfectly-innocent people.

    16. AWK Says:

      Ah! Japanese must always compare to other countries but still doing their own way thinking is alright.
      3 years from now Immigration offices will be full of “animals” and officers will feel like can do whatever they want with them. One big ghetto. So, again
      1. we are fingerprinted and photographed each time we entry this land
      2. separated from families (WWII was the same, so japan is back many years) No wonder Aso`s family were criminals so it stays in family
      2. next check point “Urine”
      3. RFIDs
      4. all grouped together in one “private” PC (Ministry of Justice (even without justice)
      Yes, officials here use own computers for work and home with all data in, this is how Winny spread
      And some of you are so happy to give away own dignity for 5 years visas and no re-entry. Well…
      As a PR I will have to go through the same burden as visa holders?
      As someone wrote worldwide taxes. Hmmm…
      Well, at least are used against us to protect us, this is why we are fingerprinted at first point.
      Communistic regime will brain wash its citizens even more. Think, you are criminal when you forget your RFID and…you pay additional to your taxes next 200,000 or jail. BIG news for JTV.
      Headlines: Foreign Crimes on the rise!!! Oh, Yeah someone forgot ID.

      Japan compares itself to Europe but in Europe there is almost no racist profiling, even you cannot be stopped without reason. They don`t ask foreigners to piss and fingerprint them.
      Howevere check this out. Belgian eID with built in chip:
      http://eid.belgium.be/nl/
      and
      =======
      In Belgium, everyone above the age of 12 is issued an identity card (carte d’identité in French, identiteitskaart in Dutch and Personalausweis in German), and from the age of 15 carrying this card at all times is mandatory. For foreigners residing in Belgium similar cards (foreigner’s cards, vreemdelingenkaart in Dutch, carte pour étrangers in French) are issued, although they may also carry a passport, a work permit or a (temporary) residence permit.

      Since 2000, all newly issued Belgian identity cards have a chip (eID card), and roll-out of these cards is expected to be complete in the course of 2009. Since early 2009, the aforementioned foreigner’s card has also been replaced by an eID card, containing a similar chip. The eID cards can be used both in the public and private sector for identification and for the creation of legally binding electronic signatures.
      ==========================
      Scroll down wikipedia to see other EU countries IDs. Spain have chip too
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_document

    17. AWK Says:

      QUOTE]You can tell the BBC!

      Don`t you think that BBC staff is aware of this, but no one wants to interfere into another country business?
      I also sometimes think why only Japan Times writes something about it and J newspapers and media ONLY if there is something to brainwash Japanese e.g. they made this law because we have bad gaijins and many illegals who make crimes so we did good for you foks. Never mentioned about us, our rights, family separations, how bad is it. You know what I mean?

    18. Why So Serious? Says:

      Japan plans foreign fingerprinting
      Tuesday, 7 March 2006

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4781260.stm

      Japan racism ‘deep and profound’
      Monday, 11 July, 2005

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4671687.stm

      Japan ups checks for foreigners
      Tuesday, 20 November 2007

      ‘Japan has started to fingerprint and photograph all foreigners when they arrive in the country.

      It is only the second country after the United States to check foreigners in this way.’

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7102962.stm

      ‘Forced confessions’ in Japan
      Monday, 29 October 2007

      ‘BBC News asked the Japanese government to respond to that allegation and to explain why Japan has not introduced electronic recordings of police interviews as recommended by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, but no one was available to comment.’

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7063316.stm

      Basically, with the greatest of respect to AWK, you are wrong. The BBC will publish highly critical stories about any government.

      Now that I have your attention, would you please kindly comment on the issue that I raised previously, about the requirements under the new system that one has proof of health insurance in order to obtain a visa.

    19. AWK Says:

      To Why So Serious?
      Thank You for posts about BBC. They may write something but it`s one time and then forgotten. I want news talk about it over and over again. Make programs about STOP INVEST IN JAPAN because of….Anyway, I don`t know about health insurance requirements in new system but I was not required to show anything about health insurance. All I needed was all taxes along with other documents. It was in 2004 though. No idea how is now and what is going to be. I know GoJ want to put everyone into “dying” health system, but there are Ward Offices which allows you to withdraw when you show them foreign private insurance.(Minato-ku?) It means it`s not mandatory. Search Gaijinpot for more details.

    20. AWK Says:

      Yet about Belgian eIDs article.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/oct/04/guardianweeklytechnologysection.idcards
      At the end of article is very good point.

      “…However Van Eyk notes that the Belgian scheme differs from Britain’s in one big respect – the card has no biometric component. “Too risky,” he says.”

      Found this page interesting about your rights in Japan
      http://japan.indymedia.org/newswire/display/4544/

    21. Tom Says:

      Debito,

      I know you’ve taken some hits by suggesting that the IC cards could be used to track foreigners.

      Well, here’s a story on slashdot today about this very thing.

      >>> http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/07/12/0611201/Cruising-Fishermans-Wharf-For-New-Passports-Serial-Numbers?from=rss

      “… Within an hour, he’d “skimmed” the identifiers of four more of the new, microchipped PASS cards from a distance of 20 feet. … Meanwhile, Homeland Security has been promoting broad use of RFID even though its own advisory committee on data integrity and privacy warned that radio-tagged IDs have the potential to allow “widespread surveillance of individuals” without their knowledge or consent.”

      Original article is here >>> http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,531720,00.html

    22. Jake Says:

      Tom’s above post is a good example of why people need to be aware of the implications of having sensitive data stored in chips on your person.

      Not to continue the tangent, but in my line of work, I have seen various implementations of RFID-based surveillance technology that would scare even hardcore conspiracy theorists. I highly recommend picking up RFID-blocking passport cases and wallets, as the technology for reading (stealing) your information is only going to improve and become more widespread in the future.

      Facial recognition is another (scary) story, but there’s not much you can do about that short of wearing a mask everywhere you go (which in Japan might just work, considering the obsession with surgical masks, now that I think about it)…

    23. Leon Says:

      I had a bit of a giggle at city hall this week – got my wifes juuminhyo and they were nice enough to put a big stamp saying “actual head of household”, my name, and an official hanko. Awesome!

    24. JAFOREA Says:

      Chips in cards will allow the government to track movement of foreigners in Japan. When you enter and leave buildings, driving on toll roads, and a myriad of other uses that are not quite as obvious. RFID readers can be set to various ranges, and certain areas can be monitored at the push of a button count the foreigners, and show where they are. This technology was originally developed as a logistical tool for inventory and container movement and identification in large ports. They will know who we are and where we are 24 hours a day.

    25. Why So Serious? Says:

      They want insurance? Let them eat shit.

      http://www.freechoice.jp/immigration.asp

      P.S. Debito – please, please, please comment on this issue.

      – Sorry, not sure what you want me to comment on. I wrote an entire Japan Times article on this last May, for what it’s worth.

    26. Ken44 Says:

      So I guess then after reading the below link those with PR status have little to worry about with regards to being forced into the NHI after April/2010.

      PR status mean you’ve already been deemed one of the chosen few and thus the immigration will not likely demand proof of health insurance when it comes to time to renew the actual card since . (My card expires in 2015.)

      http://www.freechoice.jp/immigration.asp

    27. Why So Serious? Says:

      Health insurance is what I would like you to comment on please Debito. As far as I can see there is nothing in your otherwise excellent article about how NJs might now be forced to enrol in national insurance and potentially have to make back payments.

      “While the Free Choice Foundation is working toward the freedom of health care for foreigners in Japan, the Immigration authorities here are working in the exact opposite direction. They are planning a new “Guideline” that asks visa-renewal applicants to present their social insurance cards to Immigration officials.

      Let’s be clear. This is not a law or regulation, it is merely a guideline. But the way it is worded would suggest that it may be some kind of ‘ace-in-the-hole’ which Immigration can use to deny renewal of a person’s visa if they so desire. If there are other points that are doubtful about an applicant, the ‘hole card’ can be used to seal their fate.

      What does all this mean? Well, it means that if an applicant looks like a decent sort of person and has all other necessary paperwork in order, then his or her visa could be APPROVED! If not, however, it might very well be DENIED!” This is not a conspiracy theory. If you carefully read the new guideline, you will see that it uses the Japanese word “gokyouryoku,” which means that it requests our “cooperation.” It appears to have been written with built-in “fuzziness.”

      The new guideline is supposed to go into effect in April of 2010 . . .
      There are several issues to consider here. First, there’s the gray (indeed, very gray!) verbiage of the guideline. It is not clearly worded and is therefore unfair – unfair in the respect that they can pull it on some, but will presumably look the other way for others. Furthermore, it does not seem fair or equitable that Japanese citizens can live here without being enrolled in social or national health insurance (which, by the way, is the stated law for everyone) and with no fear of punishment, yet foreigners face the possible fate of not being able to renew their visas. Furthermore, by attempting to tie together two completely separate concerns, Immigration is effectively removing humanity from medicine.

      The Law, but . . .
      While the National Health Insurance Law states that all residents of Japan must be enrolled in National Health Insurance if they are not enrolled in one of the other government insurance plans (employee health insurance, etc), there is NO PUNISHMENT for those who do not comply – that is, until now; and that punishment will be selectively administered only to foreigners. It should also be pointed out that Immigration is part of the Ministry of Justice, whereas the NHI is regulated by the Ministry of Labor, Health and Welfare – two unrelated ministries. One of our supporters recently spoke to a National Health Insurance official about this issue, who felt that Immigration was far overstepping its bounds. Apparently, we are not the only ones of the opinion that Immigration should stick to its own affairs.

      Unexpected side effects . . .
      Should Immigration actually attempt to enforce this new guideline, it’s easy to foresee the negative impact that it could have on the foreign community of Japan, as well as the very real possibility of creating even more problems for Immigration. Here’s why: since many foreign workers of Japanese companies and schools would still not be allowed access to Social Health Insurance at their workplaces, they would be forced to apply for National Health Insurance (another form of public insurance for the self-employed and the elderly). However, in doing so, they would be required to pay up to two years (three in some cities) of back premiums, calculated from the time they first registered in Japan to the present. It’s reasonable to assume that many would not be able to afford this, and the situation could force these would-be legal aliens underground. This would have the exact opposite effect of the intended purpose of the newly-passed immigration laws which seek to curtail foreigners from overstaying their visas.

      The Free Choice Foundation is strongly opposed to the new “guideline” and intends to garner support from the public and lobby with the government over this issue. Such an attempt to punish only foreigners is, after all, bad medicine!”

      http://www.freechoice.jp/immigration.asp

      – I see these payments held as a Sword of Damocles over visa applicants, like you do. Pay up, or be denied. The system is insolvent, and the GOJ has a big incentive to be tightening up on whomever they consider a deadbeat. Too bad if it was your former employer who was the deadbeat. It’s yet another potential barrier to entry and assimilation, in my view.

    28. Why So Serious? Says:

      “I see these payments held as a Sword of Damocles over visa applicants, like you do. Pay up, or be denied. The system is insolvent, and the GOJ has a big incentive to be tightening up on whomever they consider a deadbeat. Too bad if it was your former employer who was the deadbeat. It’s yet another potential barrier to entry and assimilation, in my view.”

      Do you think the DPJ will take a better approach?

      – Dunno. I don’t even think the DPJ knows. Too early to tell.

    29. E.P. Lowe Says:

      The system is insolvent, and the GOJ has a big incentive to be tightening up on whomever they consider a deadbeat. Too bad if it was your former employer who was the deadbeat.

      For those of us working in the dispatch industry it’s the government who were the actual deadbeats – approving jobs that were designed to be low-paid, jobs that allowed employers to skip contributions to health and pension schemes and pushed those requirements fully onto employees.

      If a worker figured out a way to defraud the health and pension schemes they’d risk a lot of jail time.

      The government did figure out a way to defraud said schemes and the dogs will do no time.

      – There are also plenty of companies (dispatch companies included) who declare one set of (low) working hours to the government and work their workers many more hours than that, to avoid paying half the social welfare benefits for their workers. Or the companies just don’t pay in their share and the worker is unaware. Then once that job comes to a close and an occupational transition is made, the workers get a bill for unpaid back payments. This sort of fraudulent behavior needs to be tightened up on. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s the NJ who are gonna get it, both workwise and visawise.

    30. Why So Serious? Says:

      I know of companies where hardly any of the NJ staff have health insurance. From day 1 in Japan, they didn’t have it because it was acceptable to have private health insurance instead. I can easily see the situation being that if immigration does decide to go through with this, that people will be denied visa extensions for not having insurance. They may well go and attempt to join one of the systems, but as Debito said the Sword of Damocles will be hanging over them. It will finally become too expensive to work in Japan. Either people should start to save now, or every English school, dispath organisation, multinational company, university, bank and law firm in Japan should be prepared to see their NJ staff start dropping like flies.

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