Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on November 20th, 2007
Vincent has uploaded the Nov 20 NHK 7pm Evening News segment about fingerprinting (2 min 52 sec, English dubbing) on YouTube:
Same with NHK Newswatch 9pm. Somewhat longer and more detailed than Evening News 7pm. Uploaded in Youtube (6 min 10 sec), and with a greater attempt at balance (but still far more airtime given to making the GOJ’s case). Link:
As for the Nov 20 11PM News shows (10PM’s News Station put it on as a blurb at the very end).
I watched Chikushi Tetsuya’s News 23–they featured the FP story very prominently with an interview with critics (Amnesty’s Teranaka saying that FP has caught very few people, if any, and is in no way an effective measure) and even a rupo at the AI/SMJ demonstration at noon today. There were some interviews included with NJ who grumbled about the wait. Summary comments by anchors at the end questioned why Japan was even instituting the program at all.
Also Zero news gave it about five minutes early, with some more coverage of machines not behaving properly, and very annoyed tourists (one elderly Korean using some really impressive angry English). The point of both was that this whole thing was a mess.
NHK BS 10:50 didn’t even bother to have it in their headlines. As others have said, it makes one wonder why NJ would ever bother to pay any NHK fees. When something like this affects at least 1.5 million Japanese residents (millions more if you include their Japanese families), this is unignorable news. Whatever coverage there was basically toed the GOJ line and gave little, if any, coverage to the controversy. Very, very disappointing NHK.
Finally, CNN, courtesy of Olaf:
Japan begins identifying foreigners
CNN, November 20, 2007
Diplomats, government workers, permanent residents exempt from practice
Japan is second country after U.S. to implement practices
Tokyo says move made to combat international terrorism
Critics say practice is discriminatory and violates privacy
NARITA, Japan (AP) — Japan started fingerprinting and photographing arriving foreigners Tuesday in a crackdown on terrorists, despite complaints that the measures unfairly target non-Japanese.
Nearly all foreigners age 16 or over, including longtime residents, will be scanned. The only exceptions are diplomats, government guests and permanent residents such as Koreans who have lived in Japan for generations.
Tokyo has staunchly backed the U.S.-led attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan, raising fears Japan could be targeted by terrorists.
Officials said the new security measures, while inconvenient for visitors, were necessary.
“There are people who change their names, use wrongly obtained passports, and pretend to be other people,” said Toshihiro Higaki, an immigration official at Narita International Airport near Tokyo. “The measure also works as a deterrent.”
The fingerprints and photos will be checked for matches on terrorist watch lists and files on foreigners with criminal records in Japan. People matching the data will be denied entry and deported.
Japan is the second country after the United States to implement such a system, said Immigration Bureau official Takumi Sato.
He said there had been no reports of trouble since the checks began Tuesday morning.
Critics, however, said the measures discriminate against foreigners and violate their privacy. A group of nearly 70 civic groups from around the world delivered a letter of protest Monday to Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama.
“We believe that your plans … are a gross and disproportionate infringement upon civil liberties, copying the most ineffective, costly and risky practices on border management from around the world,” the letter said.
Immigration officials say the bureau plans to store the data for “a long time,” without saying how long. It is unclear how many people will be affected; Japan had 8.11 million foreign entries in 2006.
Concerns about extremists coming into Japan spiked when reports emerged in May 2004 that Lionel Dumont, a French citizen with suspected links to al Qaeda and a history of violent crime, repeatedly entered the country on a fake passport.
Dumont, who was later sentenced to 30 years in prison in France, was reportedly trying to set up a terror cell when he lived undisturbed in Japan in 2002 and 2003.
Last month, Justice Minister Hatoyama came under fire over his assertion that a friend of his had an acquaintance who was a member of the al Qaeda terrorist group.