Hi Blog. FYI. The issue is still gathering steam. Debito in Tokyo
Barry Steinhardt & Makoto Teranaka
War on Terror & Controlling Foreign Nationals
15:15-16:15 Monday, October 29, 2007, Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, Yuurakuchou, Tokyo
(The speech and Q & A will be in English)
On November 20, Japan will begin fingerprinting and photographing virtually all foreigners entering the country in the name of the “war on terror.” Even those with permanent residency — who have previously been given the right to stay for life in Japan — are not above suspicion as Japan attempts to regain the title “safest nation on earth,” according to the Ministry of Justice.
But what will the new regulations prove? Will fingerprinting visitors make the country any safer and just how many terrorists will make the mistake of entering Narita and getting caught because they absent-mindedly gave their fingerprints to the government? Or is Japan using the “war on terror” as an excuse to bring back the once-mandatory fingerprinting of foreign nationals?