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  • American Chamber of Commerce Japan on negotiations re NJ Fingerprinting

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on November 16th, 2007


    Subject: Info. on New Japan Immigrations Entry Procedures eff. from Nov. 20th

    Dear SCCJ Member,

    Re. New Immigration Entry Procedure, we send you the following mail sent by ACCJ for your information.

    Dear ACCJ Member,

    As most undoubtedly are aware, this coming week, new immigrations procedures will go into effect in Japan requiring the collection of biometric data (facial photograph and fingerprints) for most foreign citizens entering the country.

    Your Transportation and Logistics Committee as well as Board leaders have been working hard with local Immigrations authorities at the international airports as well as the Ministry of Justice, Immigration Bureau.

    We believe that the Government of Japan is well aware of the issues of concern to the foreign business community and has worked collaboratively with us to mitigate any major difficulties at the transition. We are committed to closely monitoring implementation and will keep you apprised of any developments.

    The following is a recap of measures that will be introduced to ensure that the new procedures are implemented as smoothly as possible:

    Narita International Airport – Tokyo: – Add 100 immigration officers during the transition period – Provide dedicated queues for foreigners with re-entry permits – Provide dedicated queues for airline crew members and disabled/ reduced mobility passengers – Offer automated immigration gates in Terminal 1 South Wing and Terminal 2 for pre-registered travelers. Registration is available at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau or the Narita District Office – Install cameras/fingerprint readers at all positions and dynamically expand number of queues available to foreigners – At least initially, allow mixed nationality families with children under the age of 16 and one Japanese parent to use the Japanese passport holder lanes

    Central Japan International Airport – Nagoya: – Add 18 immigration officers during the transition period – Provide a dedicated queue for airline crew members and disabled/ reduced mobility passengers – Install cameras/fingerprint readers at all positions and dynamically expand number of queues available to foreigners – At least initially allow mixed nationality families (at least one Japanese parent) to use Japanese passport holder lanes – Consider installing automated immigration gates during 2008

    Kansai International Airport – Osaka: – Add immigrations officers (number under study) during transition period – Provide a dedicated queue for airline crew members and disabled/ reduced mobility passengers – Install cameras/fingerprint readers at all positions and dynamically expand number of queues available to foreigners – Consider installing automated immigration gates during 2008 Note: the Kansai region is home to a large number of Korean special permanent residents who will use the Japanese passport holders lanes and are not subject to biometric data collection

    Other airports: The U.S. carriers have met with the local immigrations authorities and believe that because a high percentage of passengers using these secondary airports, foreign citizens will encounter few problems.

    Airlines: – Will actively advise foreign arriving passengers of the new procedures–onboard videos and/or announcements – Will actively encourage/monitor completion of Embarkation/ Disembarkation forms to minimize secondary queuing of passengers

    If you have any questions or wish to provide feedback, please direct an email to the Transportation and Logistic Committee.


    Charles Duncan and Masamichi Ujiie,
    Co-Chairs Transportation and Logistics Committee (Sent by ACCJ Communications)

    The Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan – SCCJ
    6-12 Kioicho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0094
    Tel: 03-5211-2101 Fax: 03-5211-2102

    10 Responses to “American Chamber of Commerce Japan on negotiations re NJ Fingerprinting”

    1. Steve Koya Says:

      Sorry, Sorry, Sorry.

      Is this just me, or is it that the ACCJ is actually condoling the actions of the Japanese Government.

      I notice no “This is in breech of Human Rights law”, or “A blatent breech of our rights as tax paying residents”….

      No, No, No, You do not get the point. Even in your own country, Green Card holders get to bypass this system. What are you doing about that?

      Typical Yanks, turn up late, try to smooth things out, and then bugger off and leave a pile of crap behind.

      ACCJ. Either you are agianst this law or for it. simple.

      Steve Koya

    2. willie Says:


      They are for it, just as they are for most fascist corp-gov schemes. The Japanese and American govs will happily exchange fingerprints of their serfs, and build the databases that are going to be used for nefarious purposes soon.

      It’s risible to see the ACCJ make it sound like more KGB employees is the answer. That’s like saying the reason the US is so visitor-unfriendly nowadays is inadequate staffing at Homeland Security.

    3. KokuRyu Says:

      The ACCJ is doing a good job – they are trying to make things easier for long-term residents in Japan. Whether you agree with current US immigration policies or not, it would seem strange if the ACCJ were to advocate for completely eliminating the collection of biometric data by Japanese “immigration” authorities, since American immigration already collects this data, except in the case of permanent residents.

      The key to winning is to pick battles you are most likely to win, and don’t leave yourself open to attack.

    4. Glenn Says:

      How utterly disappointing. These ACCJ activities are at best meaningless and at worst collaborationist with the MoJ and their agenda of discrimination.

      We don’t need such “help.” If they could get residents completely exempted from the new procedure, that would get my attention.

    5. yanpa Says:

      One issue I haven’t seen addressed anywhere is hygiene: I don’t know how these new machines are supposed to work, but I imagine it entails placing my index fingers in the same place many hundreds of foreigners people have just placed theirs. As many of these will have just come off a long, arduous and timezone-spanning international flight, where some passengers might not have been washing their hands with quite the thoroughness one would hope, I hate to think what might be breeding there.

    6. yanpa Says:

      Just a heads up: the fingerprinting issue is being discussed on Slashdot.

    7. Joe Jones Says:

      By sheer coincidence, I am flying to the US tomorrow, so I will get to “enjoy” the system on its first day of operation.

      Maybe I should allow for some extra time to get through departure procedures at Narita. But one thing’s for sure: I will bring a shibori with me…


    8. DM Says:

      I got an even weaker response from my country’s business association here in Japan. Big business cares little or nothing about human dignity or fair treatment, so no surprise will not take a stand on the racist, cruel and dangerous new immigration procedures. Foreign business is not in Japan to rock the boat, they are here to kiss ass.

    9. Garrett DeOrio Says:

      On a related note, I’m curious as to what exactly the procedure for pre-registering at Immigration or Narita is. Are they handling it well? Has anyone done it yet?

    10. yanpa Says:

      Depending on how the system is set up – it might be a low-key but visible form of protest if everyone was to wipe their fingers with a shibori / towellette while waiting for the immigration officer.

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