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  • Yomiuri & Nikkei trumpet 5 NJ snagged by Fingerprinting system. Sankei says FP system not snagger.

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on November 21st, 2007

    Hi Blog. Here is a link to three articles in Japanese trumpeting the success of the new Fingerprinting system–all done in the middle of the night so as to make the morning editions. Hey, we caught ‘em, see how the system is working and how much we need it? Despite the fact that it was also reported yesterday that nobody was refused at all.

    That’s right, actually. Read beyond the Sankei headline. Three of the five were caught for funny passports, the other two for other reasons left unclear but at Immigration’s discretion. Which means bagging these five was unrelated to the Fingerprint policy. In other words, this sort of thing happens on a daily basis and is not news. Unless there is a political reason for making it so. Guess what that political reason is. The fix is really in.

    Anyway, two of the articles follow in translation. Two associations to make: fingertips and sandpaper. You’ll see what I mean in the Sankei article. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

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

    FIVE PEOPLE REFUSED ENTRY TO JAPAN FOR “PREVIOUS HISTORY”

    System to inspect fingerprints and facial photos

    Sankei Shinbun November 21, 2007 02:02AM

    http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/crime/071121/crm0711210203000-n1.htm

    (Translated by Arudou Debito)

    With the new new Immigration system requiring facial photos and finger from all foreigners over the age of 16 [sic–not completely correct as stated] being launched from November 20, five people’s fingerprints matched those of people who had been refused entry in the past in the database, according to the Ministry of Justice.

    Of those five, it seems three were using altered or falsified passports, and were processed for deportation. The remaining two were given orders to leave. No foreigner was refused entry at the border due to them refusing to give fingerprints.

    The Justice Ministry also announced that at Obihiro, Narita, Chubu International, and Fukuoka Airports, as well as at Hakata seaport, a total of 21 people’s fingerprints were impossible to read. The reason seems to be that they were elderly and thus had worn-down fingers.

    Those 21 were given oral interviews by Immigration and allowed in. The Ministry added that “Under Immigration directives, if we can’t scan their fingerprints properly, we still will process them for entry into Japan.”

    Only one machine was completely inoperative, at Fushiki Toyama Port. Immigration said, “We had problems for a little while and there were cases of delays in processing, and our standards slipped due to all the rush.”

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

    FIVE PEOPLE MATCH FINGERPRINT BLACKLIST; DENIED ENTRY AT THE BORDER

    Yomiuri Shinbun November 21 2007 03:09AM

    (Translated by Arudou Debito)

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20071121i401.htm

    With the amendment of the Immigration and Refugee Control Act, as of November 20 all foreigners [sic again] coming to Japan must be fingerprinted. As a result, 5 people were denied entry, as their fingerprints matched those on a “blacklist”.

    Most of those people had been deported in the past, or had tried to come into Japan on fake passports. One person was immediately deported, while the remainder were issued orders to leave.

    The blacklist includes data such as 1) 14,000 names created by Interpol (ICPO) with the Japanese police, 2) about 800,000 names of people who have been deported for overstaying their visas in Japan.

    With the advent of the Immigration Act revisions, new entry procedures were enacted in ports of entry such as Narita, Kansai and Osaka Airports, and those five people matched the fingerprints on the blacklist.

    On the other hand, there were several problems with people not having their fingerprints readable.

    At Hakata seaport, several tourist groups from Pusan, Korea, had trouble having their fingerprints scanned upon entry. So four people were waived through with a passport check. According to Immigration at Fukuoka Hakata, “They were elderly whose fingerprints are hard to read.”

    According to the Ministry of Justice Immigration Bureau, there were a total of 21 cases where people’s fingerprints were unscanable, at places such as Hakata, Narita, and Chubu International. Also, at Toyama Port, one of five scanning machines was inoperable and decommissioned.

    ENDS

    8 Responses to “Yomiuri & Nikkei trumpet 5 NJ snagged by Fingerprinting system. Sankei says FP system not snagger.”

    1. Kimpatsu Says:

      David, I can tell you for certain that this snagging of five people is completely unrelated to the fingerprinting. Know why? I bet you mistakenly think that the photos and fingerprints are processed in real time, and if Osaqma bin Laden tries to enter Japan, an alarm will sound and red light will flash, right?
      Wrong. There is no computer powerful enough to process biometric data in real time. Instead, at the end of each working day, the data is infodumped to a centre in Tokyo for processing. There will inevitably be a backlog (because the centre is closed at weekends), and the best a computer can do is throw up possible matches, which must then be verified manually. (Forget CSI, in which the computer positively matches fingerprints before the next commercial break; that’s just fantasy.) Consequently, Osama has enough time to enter Japan, blow up Tokyo, and depart, before his biometric data has been processed. The new system doesn’t make people safer; it only makes them FEEL safer–which is not the same thing. People mistakenly believe that this system is processing their data in real time like in the fictional show CSI (in which the “science” is more akin to magic) but it isn’t.
      But then again, when dealing with the scientifically ignorant, we are dealing with an absolute majority…

    2. John Says:

      NHK did cover fingerprinting in their 9pm news – I think about the third or fourth item. The English soundtrack kept talking about “visitors” being fingerprinted – only later and briefly did they talk about permanent residents being included too. Of course, there was helpful footage of the 9/11 towers ablaze, and a reminder about that al-Qaeda guy who got in on a fake passport a few years back, stayed awhile, then got caught.

      They also said prints are compared instantly to a blacklist. I thought that in fact they have to be processed after up to 24 hours, with meantime the passport holder being let in.

      Oh, and NHK also reported the 5 individuals apparently caught as of 5pm. They certainly implied it was because of fingerprinting, but of course we know this is not the case.

    3. Stevie Says:

      I am totally against this system, but can predict one small benefit: A year or two down the line when the J-government “foreign crime” stats become available for the period “post-printing”, the Gov. will trumpet a reduction in foreign crime, justifying the system…”see we told you so”. They will of course conveniently neglect to mention that the figures have been decreasing for some time now.

    4. Adam Says:

      [quote]Of those five, it seems three were using altered or falsified passports[/quote]

      Hahaha…hahahaha…fake passports. Bullshit!!! Propaganda!!! I think when they were deported they had another passport and then asked own government to re-issue new one in order to cover up they were here. Before my country joined EU and many of us worked in western europe we did this on daily basis. Once deported (i`ve never been) one got stamp “BEAR” in the passport. This made difficult to come back, so…went and changed claiming that passport had been demaged. Once changed people came back again. “BEAR” was not there anymore :) Time has changed since and I even don`t need passport anymore while in EU, just my national ID. No border control anymore, no need work visa anymore. This is what these guys had certainly done, but GoJ oyajis will washbrain its citizens anyway. I only don`t understand why PRs?

    5. Andrew Smallacombe Says:

      The Yomiuri also tried to sell us the idea that there were “technical glitches, making the lines much longer than usual”
      How can the lines be “longer than usual” when this is the first time the system is in use?
      Of course, those of us whom the system affects knew that the lines would be long and technical glitches would make them even longer.
      And a reminder of a friend of a friend of Hatoyama’s (forever after known as the Minister for friends of friends) who was nabbed without the aid of biometric data. What, the Japanese authorities can’t tell a fake passport from a real one?

    6. Michele Says:

      Hi Debito,

      After reading multiple papers overnight, I found the reporting by Hokkaido Shimbun pretty decent. Do you often communicate with reporters and editors there?

      http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/editorial/61509.html
      http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/society/61549.html
      http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/society/61410.html

      But they also reported the same NJ snagged by Fingerprinting system story… for a story like that, we need definitely need some comparative daily deportation/refused entry figures.

      http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/society/61713.html

      Cheers,

      Michele
      Brisbane, Australia

      –THE REPORTERS AT DOSHIN GET MY JAPANESE NEWSLETTERS LIKE EVERY OTHER MEDIA OUTLET. EXCEPTING THE YOMIURI, SANKEI, AND NIKKEI, OF COURSE. :) ACTUALLY, THE REASON IS THEY NEVER GAVE THE TIME OF DAY TO THE OTARU ONSENS CASE WAY BACK WHEN, SO I DON’T KNOW VERY MANY PEOPLE THERE. THANKS FOR THE LINKS. DEBITO

    7. debito Says:

      FROM OLAF. DEBITO

      I bet you mistakenly think that the photos and fingerprints are processed in real time, and if Osama bin Laden tries to enter Japan, an alarm will sound and red light will flash, right? Wrong. There is no computer powerful enough to process biometric data in real time. Instead, at the end of each working day, the data is infodumped to a centre in Tokyo for processing.

      yes, but look at the (long) FBI file here: http://www.fbi.gov/publications/leb/1996/aprl963.txt

      and this was 11 years ago. Real time data analysis is gaining speed.

      There will inevitably be a backlog (because the centre is closed at weekends), and the best a computer can do is throw up possible matches, which must then be verified manually.

      You are right. Even FBI says that they have a 99.99% correct identification rate (forgot the source – have to look again) With 8 million processed data sets every year that means that there are 800 misidentified people per year – more than 2 a day! If this misidentification matches an innocent person as being on a criminal data base (with several million data sets worldwide this is likely to happen), this false positive match must be checked manually. checking the complete databases takes hours (one print per millisec; 8 million prints – do the math: 8000 seconds, or nearly three hours). Poor guy for whom the ‘hit’ comes early in the search, while he is still in transit at immigration. Detention, grilling, at worst deportation, at best a missed connection flight (and waiting Japanese family members on ‘the other side’ in utsukushii Nippon).

      Of course this will never be reported in the press: ‘Faulty fingerprint ID: Tourist mistakenly deported’

      Olaf

    8. mayet londonio Says:

      800,000 names of foreigners are included in the blacklist. this figure includes those foreigners who`d overstayed their visas but voluntarily surrendered, isn`t, it really makes no sense at all.

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