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  • Changes to Alien Registration Act July 2012 — NJ to be registered on Juuminhyou Residency Certificates at last

    Posted by arudou debito on January 7th, 2012

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    Hi Blog. As the first real post of the new year, I thought we should start with a bit of unexpected good news.  Let’s talk about the changes in Immigration’s registration of NJ residents coming up in July.

    It’s been in the news for quite a bit of time now (my thanks to the many people who have notified me), and there is some good news within:  NJ will finally be registered on Residency Certificates (juuminhyou) with their families like any other taxpayer.  Maximum visa durations will also increase from 3 to 5 years, and it looks like the “Gaijin Tax” (Re-Entry Permits for NJ who dare to leave the country and think they can come back on the same Status of Residence without paying a tariff) is being amended (although it’s unclear below whether tariffs are being completely abolished).

    But where GOJ giveth, GOJ taketh.  The requirement for jouji keitai (24/7 carrying of Gaijin Cards) is still the same (and noncompliance I assume is still a criminal, arrestable offense), and I have expressed trepidation at the proposed IC-Chipped Cards due to their remote trackability (and how they could potentially encourage even more racial profiling).

    Anyway, resolving the Juuminhyou Mondai is a big step, especially given the past insults of awarding residence certificates to sea mammals and fictional characters but not live, contributing NJ residents (not to mention omitting said NJ residents from local government population tallies).  Positive steps to eliminate an eye-blinkingly stupid and xenophobic GOJ policy.  Read on.  Arudou Debito

    ////////////////////////////////////////////////

    The Japan Times Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011
    Immigration changes to come as new law takes effect in July
    By JUN HONGO Staff writer
    Courtesy http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20111221a5.html

    The revised immigration law will take effect next July 9 and the government will start accepting applications for new residence registration cards on Jan. 13, the Cabinet decided Tuesday, paving the way for increased government scrutiny through a centralized immigration control of foreign nationals.

    The amendment will affect foreign nationals who are residing here under medium- to long-term residence status as stipulated by the Immigration Control Act. While some will be exempt from the change, such as special permanent residents of Korean descent, most foreign residents will be required to make a few major changes, including obtaining new registration cards.

    The current alien registration cards, overseen by local municipalities, will be replaced with the cards issued by the central government.

    According to the Justice Ministry, foreign residents can apply for the new card at their nearest regional immigration office beginning Jan. 13 but won’t receive it until July. However, valid alien registration certificates will be acceptable until the cardholder’s next application for a visa extension takes place.

    At that point, the old card will be replaced with the new residence card, which will have a special embedded IC chip to prevent counterfeiting.

    The government claims that centralized management of data on foreign residents will allow easier access to all personal information of the cardholder, such as type of visa, home address and work address, and in return enable officials to more conveniently provide services for legal aliens.

    For example, documented foreigners will have their maximum period of stay extended to five years instead of the current three years. Re-entry to Japan will also be allowed without applying for a permit as long as the time away is less than a year, according to the Justice Ministry.

    Permanent residents, meanwhile, will have to apply for a new residence card within three years from July 2012. Required materials necessary for an application have not been determined yet.

    Rest at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20111221a5.html
    ENDS

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Changes coming to foreign registration, visa system
    Japan Today LIFESTYLE JAN. 05, 2012
    Courtesy http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/changes-coming-to-foreign-registration-visa-system

    TOKYO — On July 9, a new system of residence management will be implemented that combines the information collected via the Immigration Control Act and the Alien Registration Law respectively. Foreign nationals residing legally in Japan for a medium to long term are subject to this new system.

    The government will start accepting applications for new residence registration cards on Jan 13, which will then be issued after July 9. To apply for the new card, you are required to appear in person at the nearest regional immigration bureau.

    The Ministry of Justice says the new system ensures further convenience for such persons by extending the maximum period of stay from 3 years to 5 years. In addition, a system of “presumed permit of re-entry,” which essentially exempts the need to file an application for permission for re-entry when re-entering Japan within one year of departure, will be implemented.

    Upon introduction of the new system of residence management, the current alien registration system shall become defunct. Medium- to long-term residents will get a new residence card which they will be required to always carry with them. Children under the age of 16 are exempt from the obligation to always carry the residence card.

    Foreign nationals residing legally for a medium to long term with a status of residence under the Immigration Control Act, EXCLUDING the persons described below, shall be subject to the new system of residence management:

    —Persons granted permission to stay for not more than 3 months
    —Persons granted the status of residence of “Temporary Visitor”
    —Persons granted the status of residence of “Diplomat” or “Official”
    —Persons whom a Ministry of Justice ordinance recognizes as equivalent to the aforementioned foreign nationals
    —Special permanent residents (for example, of Korean descent)
    —Persons with no status of residence

    Permanent residents, meanwhile, will have to apply for a new residence card within three years from July 2012.

    What is the residence card?

    The residence card will be issued to applicable persons in addition to landing permission, permission for change of status of residence, and permission for extension of the residence period, etc. The card is equipped with an IC chip to prevent forgery and alteration, and the chip records all or part of the information included on the card. Fingerprint information will not be recorded in the chip.

    The card will contain a portrait photo of the individual and the following information:

    —Legal items given
    —Name in full, date of birth, sex, nationality
    —Place of residence in Japan
    —Status of residence, period of stay, date of expiration
    —Type of permission, date of permission
    —Number of the residence card, date of issue, date of expiration
    —Existence or absence of working permit
    —Existence of permission to engage in an activity other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted

    New visa and re-entry system

    (1) Extension of the maximum period of stay

    The status of residence with a period of stay of 3 years under the present system, will be extended to 5 years. As for the status of residence of “College Student,” the maximum period of stay will be extended to “4 years and 3 months” from the current “2 years and 3 months” starting from July 1, 2009.

    (2) Revision of the Re-entry System

    A foreign national with a valid passport and a residence card will be basically exempt from applying for a re-entry permit in cases where he/she re-enters Japan within one year from his/her departure. In cases where a foreign resident already possesses a re-entry permit, the maximum term of validity for the re-entry permit shall be extended from 3 years to 5 years.

    Conditions of Revocation of Status of Residence

    Implementation of the new system of residence management includes establishment of the following provisions concerning the conditions of revocation of status of residence and deportation, and penal provisions:

    —The foreign national has received, by deceit or other wrongful means, special permission to stay
    —Failing to continue to engage in activities as a spouse while residing in Japan for more than 6 months (except for cases where the foreign national has justifiable reason for not engaging in the activities while residing in Japan
    —Failing to register the place of residence within 90 days after newly entering or leaving a former place of residence in Japan (except for cases with justifiable reason for not registering the place of residence), or registering a false place of residence
    —Forgery or alteration of a residence card
    —Being sentenced to imprisonment or a heavier punishment for submitting a false notification required of medium to long term residents, or violating the rules concerning receipt or mandatory presentation of the residence card

    For further information, visit http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_1/en/index.html or call the Immigration Information Center at 0570-013904 (weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m.)
    ENDS

    ////////////////////////////////////////////

    Alien Registration Act will be abolished, and Immigration Control Act and Basic Resident Registration Act will be amended as of July 2012! [Courtesy of MM]

    http://www.city.inazawa.aichi.jp/ka_annai/shimin/e_nyuukan.pdf 

    《Key Changes》

    ◎ For a household consisting of Japanese nationals and foreign nationals, the conventional system under which the family members can identify themselves by certified copy of the residence record for Japanese nationals (Jumin-hyo) or by certified copy of alien register for foreign nationals (Gaikokujin tourokugenpyo kisaijiko shomeisho), will be abolished and they will be able to uniformly identify themselves by a single residence record (Jumin-hyo).

    ◎ Like a Japanese national does, a foreign national who moves from one city to another will need to report to the city he/she used to live of the removal and obtain “Certificate of Removal (Tenshutsu shomeisho)” which then needs to be submitted to the city which he/she moves in.

    ◎ A foreign national will be released from some burdens. → After the changes, a foreign national who has registered with the Immigration Bureau any change to his/her status of residence, an extension of period of stay, etc. will not need to report as such to the city where he/she lives.

    ◎ The Alien Registration Card (Gaikokujin torokusho) will be replaced by “Residence Card (Zairyu card)” containing less information. → For permanent residents …

    A Residence Card (Zairyu card) will be issued by taking procedures at

    Immigration Bureau within three years after the law amendment. For others …

    A Residence Card (Zairyu card) will be issued at the first extension of period of stay after law amendment or when any change to the status of residence is made at the Immigration Bureau.

    Alien registration system will be abolished and aliens will be subject to Basic Resident Registration Act.

    Changes to Immigration Control Act will benefit foreign nationals living in Japan.《Foreign nationals entitled to registration to Residence Record (Jumin-hyo)》 Excluding the persons staying in Japan for short periods of time, foreign nationals residing legally in Japan for more than three months with a status of residence. (1) Medium to long term resident (2) Special permanent resident (3) Person granted landing permission for temporary refuge or person granted permission for provisional stay (4) Person who is to stay in Japan through birth or who has renounced Japanese nationality ⇒ Persons who do not fall within any of the aforementioned categories or who do not qualify for the status of residence as of the law amendment (including those who have not reported to the city under Alien Registration Act any change to the duration of stay) will not be registered to Residence Record (Jumin-hyo) and thus certified copies of the residence record may not be issued. If you will need a certified copy of Residence Record (Jumin-hyo), take necessary procedures as soon as possible.

    ※ For those subject to the new system, a Provisional Resident Record (Kari jumin-hyo) will be sent to you from April 2012 for you to check information contained in the record.

    Neither reference date for making Provisional Resident Record (Kari jumin-hyo) nor effective date of the law amendment has yet been decided. Once decided, it will be announced on the City website and other notices.

    See the following websites for further details:

    Changes to Immigration Control Act! ” (Ministry of Justice) “Changes to the Basic Resident Registration Law – Foreign residents will be subject to the Basic Resident Registration Law -” (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications)
    ENDS

    ///////////////////////////////////////

    More from the horse’s mouth at

    http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_1/en/index.html

    35 Responses to “Changes to Alien Registration Act July 2012 — NJ to be registered on Juuminhyou Residency Certificates at last”

    1. Mumei Says:

      > However, valid alien registration certificates will be acceptable until the cardholder’s next application for a visa extension takes place.

      In other words, this is also the time limit to get a Japanese driver license proving your Japanese name*. Better than July which I had previously assumed. For those interested, the 原付 (gentsuki) license is the easiest to get. A day or two should be enough to prepare.

      * The new zairyū cards do not include any legally registered tsūshōmei, so you’ll loose any official way to prove your name.

    2. Peter Says:

      Its a start.. Now to work on dual citizenship.

    3. Anon Says:

      Get ready for the real reason the state is making this new card: to increase state revenue from gaikoku-jin.

      The new card cleverly states whether the gaikoku-jin is enrolled in both Health Insurance and Pension.

      Thus, when you go to renew your visa, immigration will instantly know if you are not enrolled in both.

      Thus, immigration will not renew your visa unless you go enroll in both plus pay 2 years of past fees.

      The state is NOT threatening Japanese-citizens-who-aren’t-enrolled with deportation, of course not.

      The state IS going to threaten gaikoku-jin-who-aren’t-enrolled with deportation. Pay up or no visa.

      Aren’t you happy? The state is printing this lovely new card, so that gaikoku-jin are forced to pay for the embarrassing fact that the state unlawfully dipped into and SPENT all of the pension money already. Oops.

      The pension money which the state stole from citizens a long time ago: the pension money which the state promised to the citizens would be safe-guarded: the pension money which allows the state to “legally” spend the citizens forced-savings, while never forcing the state pay back the trillions it it stole, since the robbery simply gets passed on to the next generation, and the next generation, and the next generations into perpetuity with compound-interest along the way, making your children and your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren and all of your descendants indebted slaves from the moment they are born until the day they die. What a lovely ponzi scheme.

      I’m so happy the state is printing this lovely new “pension-enrollment confirmation-card” so that it is more convenient for immigration to threaten gaikoku-jin with deportation. Yay!

      It sure is a surprise that Japanese citizens are NOT being forced to carry around a card which announces to the world that A LARGE PERCENT OF JAPANESE CITIZENS ARE CURRENTLY NOT PAYING INTO THE PENSION SCHEME, because there is no scary enforcement system being enforced against Japanese-citizen non-payers.

      Summary: this new card is designed to make sure that gaikoku-jin must pay up or face deportation.
      Japanese-citizens thus continue to simply ignore the letters from the pension office, no penalty.
      This new card is cleverly designed to shift payment burden onto Japan’s lowest caste: gaikoku-jin

    4. Anon Says:

      @Mumei

      Smart gaikoku-jin have already successfully managed to have their Kokumin-Kenko Health Insurance cards printed up with 100% Kanji Tsūshōmei.

      When these smart gaikoku-jin have an actual need to show I.D., they simply show their Kokumin-Kenko Health Insurance card with 100% Kanji and the person reading the card has no choice but to assume that this alien-looking-person has already become a Nihon-Shutoku-Sha, and thus the person reading the card treats this alien-looking-person as a Japanese citizen with all the added rights that entails.

      So, my alien brothers and sisters, STOP showing people your ARC card which proves beyond a doubt that you are a gaikoku-jin without rights, START showing people your 100% Kanji Kokumin-Kenko Health Insurance card that gives the impression you are a Japanese citizen with rights.

      PS – your idea about getting a Japanese driver’s license (i.e. the easy gentsuki) is interesting, but I think Japanese driver’s licenses always write your legal name, thus roman letters will appear, correct? Perhaps Japanese driver’s licenses have the option of ADDING your Tsūshōmei AFTER the roman letters, but the roman letters still appear, right? Please do correct me if I am wrong in that assumption. If the Japanese driver’s license has the option of having ONLY the Tsūshōmei appearing, with absolutely no roman letters (and absolutely no katakana) then yes your suggestion is effective. Otherwise, I suggest the 100% Kanji Kokumin-Kenko Health Insurance card technique.

    5. Mumei Says:

      Anon:

      > Smart gaikoku-jin have already successfully managed to have their Kokumin-Kenko Health Insurance cards printed up with 100% Kanji Tsūshōmei.

      I fully agree, but would not specify kokumin kenkō hoken; any valid Japanese health insurance is sufficient.
      For seishain work, in addition to kōsei nenkin (厚生年金) pension, companies usually (always?) provide subsidized (Japanese) health care. (I think it is called hiyōsha (kenkō) hoken 被用者(健康)保険)
      The Japanese government just wants everyone to covered by Japanese health insurance, not necessarily kokumin kenkō hoken.
      Anyway, if you change or loose your job, you need to return that health card.
      Also, if you ever switch from kokumin to a company-subsidized health plan, then you also need to turn in your kokumin hoken card as well.
      Either way, there is a question of the long-term durability of the card.

      And in addition to health insurance, one should also have their nenkin book updated to reflect your tsūshōmei.
      As you likely already know, this is 100% tsūshōmei without any hint as to what your passport name is. Unfortunately, it does not fit in your wallet.

      > PS – your idea about getting a Japanese driver’s license (i.e. the easy gentsuki) is interesting, but I think Japanese driver’s licenses always write your legal name, thus roman letters will appear, correct?

      I cannot claim this as my idea. It has been circulating here for at least a year, if not longer.
      That’s what prompted me to take it.
      I have no intention of driving, though. It’s only to prove my name.

      As to your question, yes, both your passport name as well as your tsūshōmei name will be listed.
      I was told that the only way to remove the other is to naturalize.
      Not ideal, but it is at least equivalent to the existing ARC, which is the minimal goal here.
      And as long as you keep it renewed, the card is essentially yours for life.

    6. Charles Says:

      I was made aware of most of these changes at the end of last year, and here are my thoughts…

      1. What exactly are the benefits of being registered on Juuminhyou? What extra rights and privileges (and even responsibilities) does one get from having his/her name on Juuminhyou? I’m just curious about what, if anything, I’ll be allowed to do in 2012 that I wasn’t allowed to do in 2011.

      2. I’m worried about the five-year renewals.

      The reason I am worried about them is that I fear it may be made into an extra hoop to jump through before getting eijuuken (permanent residency). First, reference this regulation:
      原則として、正規の在留資格で引き続き10年以上日本に在留している者

      その他、素行が善良であることや、生計要件を満たす必要があるほか、各在留資格の最長の期間(多くは3年)を許可されている必要があります。

      If you read the regs, you’ll see that the “longest period of stay defined for each type of status of residence” (“各在留資格の最長の期間”) is required to get PR. Well now, that “longest period of stay” is no longer three years — it is five.

      So that seems like an extra hoop to jump through that didn’t exist prior to 2012. Whereas before, to meet the “各在留資格の最長の期間” prerequisite for PR, you only had to get a three-year extension (not very difficult, lots of people eventually get it), you now need the five-year extension as a prerequisite. Since no one has gotten a five-year extension yet, we have no way of knowing how hard it will be to jump through this hoop!

      Can anyone shed some light on these two issues? Thanks.

      – Regarding the second issue, ask Immigration. You could apply for PR at any time after five years’ continuous stay if married to a Japanese, 10 years if not. IIRC, it’s not contingent upon your length of visa, rather your constant duration in Japan (note that 3-year visas did not mathematically add up to five years minimum, and you never had to wait for your previous visa to expire before PR kicked in — PR superseded. If you go to Immigration and they tell you different, please let us know.

      Regarding the first issue, try following some of the links I provided. That’s why I provide them.

    7. jim Says:

      Well I guess the ic chips in the cards are better then letting the GOJ implant ic chips in are necks.And why would they need the ic chips anyways, because don’t they already take a picture and fingerprint us at the airport? Isn’t that enough or do they want to GPS us too?

    8. Loverilakkuma Says:

      It’s a good news that NJ will finally be eligible for receiving the resident certificate. Hope the provisions will become effective as soon as possible.

      Regarding the MOJ’s change of the Alien Registration System, however, I have to say a couple of positive sides will likely be dwarfed, in no time, by the downsides with this new policy.

      Here are the problems I find with the new policy, so far.

      #1: Keep the Status Quo

      >* The Ministry of Justice ordinance specifies staff of the Japanese office of the Association of East Asian Relations and the Permanent General Mission of Palestine in Japan who have “Designated Activities” status, and their families.

      >** While illegal residents can be registered under the present alien registration system, they
      cannot be registered under the new residency management system. Any foreign national
      illegally staying in Japan is advised to immediately visit the nearest Regional Immigration
      Office and follow the necessary procedures.

      Notice: The reference to “the Association of East Asian Relations” and “the Permanent General Mission of Palestine,” placed along with those visitors and unknown-status, implicates that the MOJ will likely remain indifferent to any petitions filed for permanent residency or citizenship due to impending circumstance (i.e., refugee, asylum), as usual.

      Translation: Anyone who falls into the cracks is subject to paperwork for the correction of status error—which will prompt you for mandatory deportation or detention. NOTE: Today, overstay in Japan will likely be misconstrued as criminal—instead of civil—violation, thanks to the promoters of Bad Man’s Theory (No reference to Oliver Wendell Holmes), I mean, ideological distortions by Team-J—i.e., the MOJ and the NPA. Alternative? Leave Japan as early as possible and get a new work/student visa from Japanese Embassy/Consul in your home country, plus study/work permit from your school, employer, sponsor, etc., in Japan. The possibility of re-entry in Japan is… anybody’s guess.

      #2:separate entity/questionable management

      >“Those who have received a resident card at a port of entry/departure (*) are asked to visit the municipal office where they live with their resident card, and notify the Ministry of Justice where they live within 14 days of finding a place to settle down. ”

      >“A mid- to long-term resident who has changed his/her place of residence is asked to bring his/her resident card to the municipal office of his/her new residence and notify the Ministry of Justice of the new residence within 14 days of moving to the new residence.”

      Comment: This is the main problem I find with the new system. It forces NJ to waddle into the rigmarole. Why can’t the Japan Immigration Bureau transfer the residential information directly to the main district/section of the MOJ to keep the immigration records under the domain of their central data base—like the SEVIS(by the USCIS or Department of Homeland Security)? Aren’t all municipal offices their subsidiaries? If they take over the job to update the change of residency for NJ, then, what’s the point in going to ward/municipal office in this matter? This is meaningless. It’s a waste of time, and totally a bad organizational management.

      Moreover, the GOJ ministries—including the MOJ— still have some problems with IT management and security system today, regarding the history of information leak and security breach in the last few years. Wonder if they could take responsibility for the leak of NJ residents’ profile or stolen IDs, should their system sustain cyber attacks or computer hackings in the future. Our memories are still fresh with the disaster of Wiki Leaks, you know.

      #3: Policy skewed with racial flap

      >You are residing as a spouse with “Spouse or Child of Japanese National” or “Spouse of Child of Permanent Resident” status, but you have failed to engage in activities as a spouse for six months or more without a justifiable reason.*

      >* In case a foreign resident is in the process of arbitration with his/her spouse over the custody of his/her child or having a divorce case holding his/her Japanese spouse culpable, the foreign resident is deemed to have “justifiable reasons,” even though the activities of such a resident as the status of spouse are not approved. Also, even if a foreign resident in Japan does not act as a spouse for six months or longer, the resident may be permitted to change his/her resident status to another one if he/she has any reason, such as taking care of and raising his/her biological child who has Japanese nationality.

      Comment: This is a cookie-cutter approach by the JP authorities. See how they keep the ambiguity intact in their statement. What does “engage in activities as a spouse” suppose to mean? The MOJ does not give any specific example—so it’s unclear. Any reference? (Marriage fraud, maybe.) Moreover, regarding post marriage breakup, the statement connotes an overt racist assumption upon NJ residents as if their being with the kids alone provides an enough warrant for suspicious act (i.e., child abuse/abduction). What’s more disturbing is the MOJ’s insinuating tactic— an attempt to mask the evilness of misconduct by Japanese father/spouse by framing a NJ partner as a lesser evil for having “justifiable reasons” regarding the case. Wonder if reasons Japanese spouses have for any despicable misconduct or activity— in collaboration or assistance with secret police/legal authority— would ever be “justifiable”, or their very activities appropriate as spouse. Such language use clearly reflects MOJ’s skewed attitude toward NJ on international marriage at any level, and hence, put this under the radar.

      #4: Euphemism for ARC (Arrogant! Robotic!! Clueless!!! or whatever) system

      >Point 4: “The alien registration system will be abolished.”

      Perhaps, this is the most farcical part of the MOJ’s rhetoric of deception that appeals to the oblivion. System? Abolished? Are they talking about the abolitionist movement, or replace the Aliens Sedition Acts for the 14th Amendment? Convenient change of terms from ‘alien’ to ‘resident’— while maintaining the order that mandates NJ to subject to ID check is NOT an abolition of current system at all. It is the revision of maintenance of order for the convenience of bureau that will bring more inconvenience to all newcomers and residential aliens. Perhaps, the MOJ should be grateful to Neil Postman for a fancy title of his book “Amusing Ourselves to Death” (1985). Here you go. Amusing yourselves with malapropism!

      Thank you, and good night!

      For more, see http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_1/en/index.html

    9. Anon Says:

      Actually, Charles is correct: the law doesn’t say “you can only apply for PR after 5 years of marriage” it actually says as Charles quoted in Japanese “you can only apply for PR if you have the ‘longest period of stay’ permission which means a 3-year visa.”

      So, Charles’ concern is correct: since the new ‘longest period of stay’ permission is being changed to 5 years, this sneakily means that from 2012 “you can only apply for PR if you have the ‘longest period of stay’ permission which means a 5-year visa.”

      Yes, this “benevolent new-card present” and “benevolent 5-year present” are both sneaky trojan horses for the benefit of the state, not for the benefit of gaikoku-jin. Look closely everybody and understand the real motivations here.

      – Seems so. But again, confirm with Immigration to hopefully get the definitive answer. We’ve talked here before about the scripture of law vs. “the guidelines” as enforced by bureaucrats.

    10. adamu Says:

      can you still get the reentry permit without applying for this?

      what happens if your reentry permit is running out soon do they still issue it?

    11. Anon Says:

      Yeah, good point Debito, it was incorrect for me to write “the law says…” above.

      I should have written, “the bureaucrat’s guideline says…” to remain fully correct.

      The bureaucrat’s guideline says, “you can only apply for PR if you have the longest visa available.”

      Now check out this fact: the 1951 Law does NOT require a minimum time in Japan to apply for PR!
      http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail_main?vm=&id=173

      The 1951 Law requires “good behavior, good money, and good for Japan” for those without J-spouses.

      The 1951 Law requires “good for Japan” for those with J-spouses. That’s it.

      The 1951 Law does NOT require a minimum time in Japan to apply for PR.

      The bureaucrat’s guidelines require many things which the Law does not.

      So the “good behavior” conflict is not the only conflict that needs to be taken to a high court.

      This newly-noticed “time requirement” conflict is a major conflict that needs to be taken to a high court.

    12. Joe Jones Says:

      One more wrinkle in the PR rules: your status of residence apparently has to be “Spouse of Japanese National” before you can get the duration waiver. I asked Tokyo Immigration whether I could apply with a Japanese spouse and a humanities status (which my employer pays for), and they told me the 10-year rule would apply unless I changed my status first.

      – Ouch. So now people are even more dependent on being specifically anchored by their J wife or husband. It matters less how you are actually contributing to Japan jobwise. Thanks for asking and telling us.

    13. cstaylor Says:

      Jim: the IC chips are meant for encryption. The cards contain a private asymmetric key: the public portion is written into the digital certificate signed by the state and stored on the card in the clear. When the card is passed through a reader, the software can both verify that the data is signed by the Japanese government (the digital signature on the certificate) and the card matches the certificate.

      Two assumptions:
      [1] The MOJ will have a clear method for distributing the root certs
      [2] Criminals won’t be able to crack the cards

      More info here: http://www.smartcardbasics.com/smart-card-security_2.html

    14. Anon Says:

      @Joe Jones – Tokyo Immigration lied to you, to prevent another gaikoku-jin from applying (that’s their actual goal, to prevent applications) here’s proof:

      “I finally received the postcard in the mail at the end of June 2011 … I’d also like to point out that my experience shows you CAN go straight from specialist in humanities/international services status to PR. I never had a spouse visa. And at the time I applied, I had lived in Japan (consecutively) for less than 3 years.”

      http://forum.gaijinpot.com/showthread.php?53297-Permanent-Residency-Application-supportive-documents&p=1047680&viewfull=1#post1047680

      Which is why one should ALWAYS TRY: SIMPLY APPLY, because if you ask them about it they will lie.

      Never ask. If you were to ask permission to pee to the left here they would say, “Sorry, you can’t.”

      Truth is irrelevant, since the goal is to minimize gaikoku-jin, they will often say, “No, you can’t apply.”

      So, just to summarize, you CAN receive PR without a spouse visa, straight from a humanities visa, even with less than 3 years of consecutive living in Japan. Tokyo Immigration lied to Jim Jones. Those who deny the prevalence of lying here are denying reality.

    15. MarkH Says:

      Re civil liberty & identity theft issues concerning the new IC-chipped NJ resident cards: If it’s anything like a biometric U.S. passport, a triple layer of foil around it MAY fend off RFID traceability. I wouldn’t take any chances since there’s no information about the scale of privacy enhancing encryption imbedded in the chip.

    16. Anon Says:

      About using foil to hide your new IC-chipped card: it will appear to the police that you are (gasp) walking around without your card.

      The police will definitely initiate interrogations with any foreign-looking-person who DOESN’T concurrently appear on their IC-scanners: you will definitely be stopped and pressured to pull out and show your cleverly-foil-wrapped card. Great.

      While the foil will DECREASE the chance of identity theft, it will totally INCREASE the chance of interrogations.

      I would rather AVOID pulling police officers to come initiate a conversation with me, since their profession is to collect seemingly-incriminatory statements from innocent people (to be misreported and misconstrued in a kangaroo court, to convict as many people as possible regardless of innocence, to increase state revenue: the goal of a police officer speaking to you is to increase state revenue.)

      So I’m going to carry my yellow badge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_badge) WITHOUT the foil, so that the police can electronically check my visa status WITHOUT a conversation.

      – This is precisely the point I was making in earlier blog posts: IC Chipping will thus INCREASE racial profiling.

    17. Mtto Says:

      @Anon
      So when it comes time for me to live in Japan with a different status (my current status doesn’t require me to do hardly anything with the J government) and I otherwise meet all the requirements to file for PR (via my Japanese wife) I should just apply? I will for sure, but I think the traffic accident I was in in 2009 will cause my application to be denied. I’m not even confident an application for “just” a Spouse Visa will go through without a lot of heartache. When the time comes (for one, then the other) I’ll give it a shot and report back here how it goes. (This does digress from the original topic a bit and I apologize…can someone point me in the direction of a more appropriate thread?)

      – No, this venue is fine, thanks for the concern. I just don’t think we can say much more than “apply” (why would anyone here ever think it’s their job to discourage anyone?). But the definitive answers ultimately come from Immigration itself, and in the end that depends on who views your application. There is no predictable science here, I’m afraid.

    18. Mark in Yayoi Says:

      It’s very, very disappointing that, in this age of mobile telephones and communication devices, when a government official or police officer can verify a person’s status instantly and securely just by feeding a name and number into a database, the government is still requiring people to carry these cards at all times and expose themselves to the risk of identity theft.

      It would be infinitely safer for both sides to require police questionees to state their names and dates of birth — have them memorize their alien numbers if name/DOB aren’t unambiguous enough — rather than produce a card that could be faked (favoring the illegal immigrant; we saw a TV show where a cop caught a Chinese mane with a fake alien card on this blog a while back, and the new cards will surely be faked sooner or later) or lost/stolen (disadvantaging the legal immigrant who must bear that risk when carrying the card). If your name, data, and photo show up in the database, the questioner knows you’re legal, and no cards are needed.

      I may have 70 more years on this earth. If I spend them in Japan, I guarantee I’m going to lose my wallet a time or two — maybe many more than that — in that interval. Maybe I could have felt safe a decade or two ago, when wallets full of cash and ID cards were returned intact, but how about in a future age of high unemployment and high crime? And dangerous neighborhoods become even less safe when one segment of the population is required to carry one specific form of ID on their persons and the people around them know it.

      At least the new cards will have less information on them than before. But if they still serve as a primary (or mandatory) form of ID when signing contracts, then they’re still valuable to an identity thief, and thus the public is made less safe by being required to carry them.

    19. Anon Says:

      I’ve read and considered all of the earlier blog posts here about IC chipping, and the logical conclusion is the IC chip will DECREASE the chance of a police officer speaking to me.

      WITHOUT the IC chip, the police officer has a semi-plausible-excuse to initiate a conversation/interrogation: demanding I pull out the card to prove I have a valid visa.

      WITH the IC chip, the police officer has NO plausible-excuse to initiate a conversation/interrogation: he has already electronically checked my status from afar.

      So all you folks who think foil-wrapping the card will make your day go more smoothly, think it through: you’re going to be physically stopped and interrogated, face-to-face, up-close-and personal, by a police officer (or a few police officers) 30 centimeters from your face, with a high chance of the subsequent argument leading to heavy-search-pressure, and a high chance of you losing the argument due to lies by them about your right to refuse, and a high chance of you backing down in the end and showing your card, allowing a bag search and pocket search, perhaps even stepping into their van and peeing into a cup, and perhaps going so far as to take a little walk with them down to the koban for a little chat, no big deal right, you don’t mind because you’ve got nothing to hide right? Little do you realize, every police station has hundreds of yet-unsolved-crimes committed in the past that they would love to pin on a weak sucker who walks into their lair. And to think, this whole process started because you thought it would be clever to disallow electronic visa-confirmation, to made it appear that you weren’t carrying your card.

      Meanwhile a person who does NOT foil-wrap the IC chip (a person like me) will be checked electronically from afar, which keeps the police officers eyes and ears and noses and mouths at least 10 meters away from my body. Thanks to this new electronic-check-from-afar ability they will NOT have a valid reason to speak with me AT ALL, thus in the unlikely case that they ever would come up to me I would say WITH GREATER CONFIDENCE THAN EVER, “You have already confirmed electronically that I have a valid visa, so there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON for you to detain me. I do NOT agree to stop and speak with you. Okotowari-shimasu. No time. Goodbye. Thank you.”

      Look folks, as you can see from my posts, I am quite revolutionary against the state, I am usually criticizing every single fascist step they take in their goal of eroding all of our rights, but as it happens, in this particular case, the state has accidentally implemented something that will work AGAINST their goal of arresting me: this IC chip happens to work in my favor.

      For example, I do NOT want police getting in my face and looking closely into my eyes (who knows what MISTAKEN ASSUMPTIONS my eyes might cause an officer to use as probable-suspicion to detain me: perhaps my eyes are red from overwork, perhaps my pupils have a rare case of light-desensitive dilation, who knows what mistaken suspicions could arise from looking into my eyes) so I would MUCH RATHER my visa validity be confirmed from AFAR and avoid the whole conversation completely.

      To those of you who still plan on cleverly “beating the visa checking system” by foil-wrapping: enjoy your face-to-face up-close-and-personal conversations with the police.

      I’ll be walking by, internally humming a Bob Marley song, continuing to walk unstopped, and I will arrive home before you do (sorry) because you’ll still be back there with your foil-wrapped card having a big long UNNECESSARY conversation with the police! :)

      – That’s arguably all right for you. But think beyond yourself: What about those of us who are citizens yet look “foreign” (from the naturalized to our children who have the misfortune to look like us), and don’t even have this damned card to carry at all? Guess what? Under the system outlined above, we don’t survive the ultracentrifuge — we get snagged, only now on even more racist presuppositions than before. Good on you for opposing what you label as fascism, but I don’t support replacing it with racism. If you’re going to Chip the public, you’ve gotta Chip all of the public, which isn’t, for the reasons I described in my previous links, going to happen in the foreseeable future. So it shouldn’t happen at all.

    20. Anon Says:

      @Mtto Yeah, Debito and I seem to agree on this: simply hand all the required papers over to them and see what happens!

      Sometimes people say you should “ask” them, “Excuse me honorable honest immigration officer, in your esteemed opinion, do I have the lawful right to hand this PR application over to you?” Asking simply sends a message, “I’m not confident about what my lawful rights are, I’m so weak and worried and naive that if you simply verbally tell me ‘no’ I will totally believe it, I will assume that your ‘no’ was correct/truthful, and thus I will NOT hand in this application today, and thus I will simply walk away sad and dejected, and I will go to the grave wondering if perhaps the immigration officer might have been accidentally-wrong or purposefully-lying.”

      As a stupid, macho, clothing company (Bad Boy Club) once wrote, quite usable advice in my opinion, “Don’t die wondering.”

      Meaning, just do it. Try and see. As the link pasted in comment #14 proved, those who ignore immigration’s “benevolent advice” and simply confidently hand them the carefully-prepared-stack of the-lawfully-required-documents: have a perfectly fine chance of receiving the wonderful, magical, postcard of PR approval. :)

    21. Anon Says:

      Sorry Debito, you understand my advice was to those who were considering “foil-wrapping their IC-chip.”

      It sure is ironic that you, a Japanese-national, will be physically stopped due to your “lack of IC chip.”

      If I were a Japanese national, I would video-record and SUE any police officers unlawfully detaining me.

      It is illegal to detain a Japanese citizen without probable-cause, even for 1 minute, so I would sue, seriously.

      The only way the state is going to stop racial profiling is if you make it too expensive for them to continue.

      Asking Japanese police officers to “please stop checking visa status of people who look foreign” won’t create change.

      You need a Japanese judge to ORDER Japanese police officers to “stop checking visa status of people who look foreign.”

      Until a foreign-looking Japanese-citizen like yourself sues the state for illegal detention, the detentions will continue.

      Again, totally ironic: IC chips mean less stops for foreigners, and MORE stops for foreign-looking Japanese-citizens.

      Perhaps you should campaign for an IC chip which nationalized-citizens can opt to carry, so you can be checked from afar. :)

      – Not likely. I’ve already set my stakes in this debate. Moreover, I don’t know how long you’ve been reading Debito.org, but I’ve done the lawsuit against The State thing. And there has been at least one case of J detention-for-looking-foreign (which didn’t amount to much). I’ve also done the audio record thing of racial profiling and public protest during the G8 Hokkaido Summit (and still some idiots blamed ME for inciting it: cf. “loitering with intent”!).

      Sorry, but it’s somebody else’s turn, thanks.

    22. Loverilakkuma Says:

      I didn’t realize how this IC-chipping could worsen police bugging until I read the NYT article(see http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/opinion/08iht-edkumiko.html?_r=1&hpw). This isn’t just the matter of NJ.Even a Japanese native can become the target of alien interrogation just because s/he, according to police officer A wearing raced color glasses, looks physically abnormal. They shamelessly violate their own law by wrongfully interrogating the citizens who have absolutely no obligation to become the subject of their ID check–and worse, arrest and detain the citizens for disobedience(!) What’s more upsetting is their attitude toward one who got an unncessary interrogation without any reason, when they find they are wrong. They refuse to admit their mistakes or even apologize to the victims until the local media chip in. What we usually see is their apologetic and sycophantic behavior in front of the news writers and journalists–rather than the ones who becomes a hapless victim of ID checking.

      When I was at the Narita Airport to return to the US at the end of last month, I saw some Japanese Continental/United employees leading the line of passengers to the check-in counters. They spoke to me in English–possibly, thought I was an NJ asian or Asian-American. I didn’t care it at all. Luckily, so far, I haven’t gotten bugged by the police officers at the airport or station for irrational racial profiling, yet. I personally don’t believe this would happen to me–as long as the police agency can do their job right, but who knows? Police’s haughty attitude–alongside with their inability to respond to the requests from citizens whose life is under threat– is getting into people’s hair.So, yes, I agree that this IC chipping thing could seriously affect trust from btoh NJ and Japanese regarding the interests of human rights and individual safety and security. Maybe it’s time for us to update the scale of ARC (Arrogant, Robotic, Clueless) level becuase this is gonna leap up the indicators like the big Sky Tree.

    23. Anon Says:

      Understood. :)

      For anyone thinking of stepping up to the plate, Japan’s Constitution says that: “Any person, in case he is acquitted after he has been arrested or detained, may sue the State for redress as provided by law.”

      第三十三条 何人も、現行犯として逮捕される場合を除いては、権限を有する司法官憲が発し、且つ理由となつてゐる犯罪を明示する令状によらなければ、逮捕されない。
      Article 33. No person shall be apprehended except upon warrant issued by a competent judicial officer which specifies the offense with which the person is charged, unless he is apprehended during the act of the offense being committed.

      第三十四条 何人も、理由を直ちに告げられ、且つ、直ちに弁護人に依頼する権利を与へられなければ、抑留又は拘禁されない。又、何人も、正当な理由がなければ、拘禁されず、要求があれば、その理由は、直ちに本人及びその弁護人の出席する公開の法廷で示されなければならない。
      Article 34. No person shall be arrested or detained without being at once informed of the charges against him or without the immediate privilege of counsel; nor shall he be detained without adequate cause; and upon demand of any person such cause must be immediately shown in open court in his presence and the presence of his counsel.

      第三十五条 何人も、その住居、書類及び所持品について、侵入、捜索及び押収を受けることのない権利は、第三十三条の場合を除いては、正当な理由に基いて発せられ、且つ捜索する場所及び押収する物を明示する令状がなければ、侵されない。捜索又は押収は、権限を有する司法官憲が発する各別の令状により、これを行ふ。
      Article 35. The right of all persons to be secure in their homes, papers and effects against entries, searches and seizures shall not be impaired except upon warrant issued for adequate cause and particularly describing the place to be searched and things to be seized, or except as provided by Article 33. Each search or seizure shall be made upon separate warrant issued by a competent judicial officer.

      第三十六条 公務員による拷問及び残虐な刑罰は、絶対にこれを禁ずる。
      Article 36. The infliction of torture by any public officer and cruel punishments are absolutely forbidden.

      第三十七条 すべて刑事事件においては、被告人は、公平な裁判所の迅速な公開裁判を受ける権利を有する。 刑事被告人は、すべての証人に対して審問する機会を充分に与へられ、又、公費で自己のために強制的手続により証人を求める権利を有する。 刑事被告人は、いかなる場合にも、資格を有する弁護人を依頼することができる。被告人が自らこれを依頼することができないときは、国でこれを附する。
      Article 37. In all criminal cases the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial tribunal. He shall be permitted full opportunity to examine all witnesses, and he shall have the right of compulsory process for obtaining witnesses on his behalf at public expense. At all times the accused shall have the assistance of competent counsel who shall, if the accused is unable to secure the same by his own efforts, be assigned to his use by the State.

      第三十八条 何人も、自己に不利益な供述を強要されない。 強制、拷問若しくは脅迫による自白又は不当に長く抑留若しくは拘禁された後の自白は、これを証拠とすることができない。 何人も、自己に不利益な唯一の証拠が本人の自白である場合には、有罪とされ、又は刑罰を科せられない。
      Article 38. No person shall be compelled to testify against himself.
      Confession made under compulsion, torture or threat, or after prolonged arrest or detention shall not be admitted in evidence.
      No person shall be convicted or punished in cases where the only proof against him is his own confession.

      第三十九条 何人も、実行の時に適法であつた行為又は既に無罪とされた行為については、刑事上の責任を問はれない。又、同一の犯罪について、重ねて刑事上の責任を問はれない。
      Article 39. No person shall be held criminally liable for an act which was lawful at the time it was committed, or of which he has been acquitted, nor shall he be placed in double jeopardy.

      第四十条 何人も、抑留又は拘禁された後、無罪の裁判を受けたときは、法律の定めるところにより、国にその補償を求めることができる。
      Article 40. Any person, in case he is acquitted after he has been arrested or detained, may sue the State for redress as provided by law.

      http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail/?ft=2&re=02&dn=1&yo=Constitution&x=74&y=11&ky=&page=1

      Summary:
      Article 33 says apprehending you without a warrant from a judge is unlawful.
      Article 34 says arresting or detaining without charges and adequate cause is unlawful.
      Article 35 says searching without a warrant from a judge is unlawful.
      Article 38 says compelling someone to testify against himself is unlawful.
      Article 40 says the person arrested or detained MAY SUE THE STATE for redress.

      – Yes. You may sue. Now check out the track record of those people who do sue The State. You almost always lose. Plenty of cases mentioned on Debito.org…

    24. Joe Jones Says:

      “Which is why one should ALWAYS TRY: SIMPLY APPLY, because if you ask them about it they will lie.”

      I’m not sure that they “lied.” The more likely explanation is that there was a newbie answering the phone at immigration who gave an answer based on their own interpretation of the law, and the immigration officers who actually approve these applications for a living have different materials in front of them. Aggravating for sure, but probably not malicious.

      Since applying for PR takes a substantial amount of effort, costs 10,000 yen including the cost of supporting documents, and doesn’t really change anything unless you’re trying to buy a house and/or get divorced, I’m not too interested in testing the waters.

      “Perhaps you should campaign for an IC chip which nationalized-citizens can opt to carry, so you can be checked from afar”

      They have that. It’s a driver’s license.

    25. Anon Says:

      @Joe Jones – Are you thinking a driver’s license would allow police to confirm nationality from afar?

      My understanding is that the driver’s license no longer mentions honseki, so that won’t help Debito.

      It seems the only way foreign-looking-japanese-nationals can prove they’re not over-stayers is J-Passport.

      About PR, applying requires the SAME documents as applying for a spouse visa, and you pay ONLY IF APPROVED!

      So let’s see here, compared with simply applying for a spouse visa: applying for PR doesn’t cost more AT ALL.

      And on the plus side, receiving PR means: divorce is no longer a worry, plus big money loans become possible.

      If you do the math: Zero time risk, Zero yen risk, 10 million yen return, the choice is obvious. Just Apply. :)

    26. Bob Says:

      Anon 23 – The provision allowing redress after acquittal requires an acquittal, that is, they have to bring you to court over the crime in question and then you win, and only then can you sue them. If they give up before taking you to court, there’s no judgment that you’re innocent, and no opportunity to sue them for wrongful detention.

      Anon 25 – Honseki is stored on the IC chip, so can be confirmed from afar, but just not WRITTEN on the card. http://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/menkyo/menkyo/ic/ic.htm

    27. Anon Says:

      Thanks Bob. So one must be actually acquitted to sue for redress, that’s unfortunate. So a person who has been held against their will by the police for 23 days, then released, can’t sue for redress.

      Still, I think it’s valuable, usable, info to know: 「令状によらなければ、逮捕されない。」 Article 33 says no person can even be arrested in the first place unless the police first gets a judge to issue an arrest warrant, except for the rare case where the officer personally sees someone during the act of committing a crime. Wow. “According to Article 33, you must first go ask a judge to issue an arrest warrant, since you did not personally see someone during the act of committing a crime. The supreme law of Japan, the Japanese constitution, says you can not arrest people without an arrest warrant. Good luck getting an arrest warrant based on your suspicion. 「令状によらなければ、逮捕されない。」 Goodbye.”

      And, I think it’s valuable, usable, info to know: 「令状がなければ、侵されない。」 Article 35 says no person can even be searched in the first place unless the police first gets a judge to issue a search warrant, except for the rare case where the officer personally sees someone during the act of committing a crime. Wow. “According to Article 35, you must first go ask a judge to issue a search warrant, since you did not personally see someone during the act of committing a crime. The supreme law of Japan, the Japanese constitution, says you can not search people without a search warrant. Good luck getting a search warrant based on your suspicion. 「令状がなければ、侵されない。」 Goodbye.”

      The short, easy-to-remember, life-saving sentence is: 「令状がなければ: 侵されない、逮捕されない。 Goodbye.」

      PS – So JJ, you were right about the driver’s license’s IC-chip having honeski-checking ability (my assumption was incorrect there, sorry about that, your advice was good there), while you were wrong about thinking that one must pay upfront during the application for PR (your assumption was incorrect there: the application is free, you only have to pay the PR fee AFTER you actually receive a PR approval postcard.)

      We’re all learning here, that’s why continue to read and share here, because we all have decades of experience living in Japan, researching the laws, discovering ways to minimize chances of being fooled by people’s lies and mistakes, sharing ways to increase chances of successfully pursuing life, liberty, and happiness here in Japan. This is why I continue to enjoy this forum for Japan veterans to share: there is a lot of valuable, usable, info being shared here, in my opinion. :)

      – Agreed, thanks! Just to clarify: I don’t mean to pour cold water on anyone’s right or ability to fight for themselves (I have a whole site devoted to just that, here.). I just get a bit annoyed when people say we should simply do things that have already been attempted (with mixed results — a lot of it winds up being bluff, given the discretionary power bureaucrats, particularly police forces, have in this society). Even more so when people suggest that *I* do things for them. :) (Especially when I already have done them!) Sorry for the intemperance.

    28. Anon Says:

      Right on, I feel you. Seriously, you’ve gone to bat for human rights in Japan, investing more time, money, and energy, than anyone else I know. Armchair-commentators (like me) just type comments.

      Let me correct my comment #21: I hope someone who is a J-citizen (OK, not you Debito) will sue the state for unlawful detention (and as Bob pointed out, it must be AFTER acquittal: a low-chance pipe-dream.)

      A non-J-citizen like me has a low chance of winning, since the translators of Japan’s American-written constitution cleverly changed the words “The People” to “The Japanese People” and courts seem to secretly interpret this as protecting only “People who are (ethnically) Japanese.”

      You’re right, instead of yelling from the back-seat “Do this, do that!” I should simply become a Japanese citizen and try to sue both private people and public officials for discriminatory actions. I should put my time, money, and energy, where my mouth is. But alas, I probably won’t. It sure is easier to simply make suggestions to others from the comfort of my sofa. :)

      – Natch! :)

    29. Bob Says:

      Anon 27,

      It is good to know that these are the principles on which the police have to operate, but the conclusions about the safest action I draw are slightly different. Quoting the constitution to a police officer will not make them your friend or enlighten them in any way. What they are doing (asking for your “voluntary cooperation”; asking your consent to search; stopping you for “voluntary” questioning) is all withing their rights as a law enforcement officer, just as it is within your rights to refuse to voluntarily cooperate. The benefit from knowing your constitutional rights is to know what cooperation is voluntary (essentially all, unless they have a warrant or have seen a crime committed, in which case you have to let them search what the warrant says they can search or arrest the person they saw commit the crime, but still no obligation to answer questions or consent to further searches without a warrant).

      Whether foreign or not, the safest course of action with police is always not to say anything and not to do anything, including voluntarily opening a bag or going to a police station, especially not to run away, which they will feel is suspicious activity warranting an interrogation of some kind. In addition, if possible, surreptitiously record the entire conversation on an IC recorder (legal in Japan, unlike some western countries, and may be admitted into evidence). If police demands ID, and foreign face is in fact foreign, foreign face risks criminal liability by not presenting it, so the safest course of action is to present (but not surrender – hold for the police to see) the alien registration / residency card, again without responding to the police’s questions. If foreign face is naturalized, no action required. In either case, if your Japanese is up to it, you can say “I decline voluntary searches” 任意の, “I decline to participate in voluntary questioning”, or “If you have anything further to say, please speak with my attorney”. After the interaction, if you feel you are being harassed repeatedly by local cops, you may file a complaint with the local police commissioner, supplemented by your audio recording, and see if it gets you anywhere.

      If the police come to your home, simply don’t answer or open the door unless presented with a proper search warrant. If you must answer the door, do so without opening it, asking if they have business, what it is, and if they have a search warrant.

      You have to wait them out, basically. Anything else involves some element of risk, and quoting the constitution will just get them all riled up.

    30. Anon Says:

      Good point Bob. Know that the constitution allows you to refuse,
      confidently refuse their “requests”, but don’t bother lecturing them
      about the fact that you know that the constitution allows you to refuse.

      Thank you for reminding me to Keep It Simple.

      http://www.debito.org/?p=9718#comment-304992
      Your entire post is perfect, every sentence.
      Folks, every word in Bob’s post has a reason.

      There is even a reason why you should “present
      (but not surrender – hold for the police to see)
      the card”: so they can’t stall by hanging on to it.

      It takes courage to refuse the “requests” by police officers.
      To give us courage to refuse, here are 15 brave refusals documented:

      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/42/u6uw7506xMw January 8, 2008
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/41/K8hcf1flFHA January 9, 2008
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/40/irYJVn2k6zU January 20, 2008
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/39/TuIwz8ddAYo January 23, 2008
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/37/fKDdH8xtpN4 February 1, 2008
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/35/yHqpuVetLeo March 3, 2008
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/34/xZ8dothFvx8 March 21, 2008
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/33/mC1hXigi6xc April 1, 2008
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/32/gRk3awO1Jq0 April 22, 2008
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/31/Fv8hoQYeVl0 May 27, 2008
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/29/kG5FFilmjfc September 4, 2008
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/28/DDLlEh0x2XA November 26, 2008
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/24/sDjB1e7CNF4 August 22, 2009
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/9/Z2aCrrL3CWQ December 2, 2009
      http://www.youtube.com/user/CheckpointUSA#p/u/8/VdDEBT-UoJ0 February 25, 2011

      The brave man refusing, Terrence Bressi, is currently suing police officers: for arresting him for refusing.

      “This is a civil rights complaint to vindicate the civil rights of Terrence Bressi (“Bressi”) that were violated by the Defendants, individual police officers who were acting in their capacity as officers of the State of Arizona in enforcing Arizona state law. While conducting an illegal roadblock on State Route 86 in Arizona on December 20, 2002, Defendants seized Bressi’s person and vehicle without reasonable suspicion and demanded Bressi produce identification papers, all in violation of Bressi’s rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. When Bressi declined, he was arrested and charged with two violations of Arizona state law in Pima County Justice Court in Ajo, Arizona. On December 9, 2003, all charges against Bressi were dismissed with prejudice.

      On December 20, 2002, Bressi was driving eastbound on SR-86 in Arizona. Near milepost 143 on SR-86 he encountered a roadblock set up by the Defendants. At the roadblock, Bressi was forced to stop and was approached by Lieutenant Ford, who demanded Bressi’s identification papers. Bressi inquired with Defendants as to whether this stop complied with United States Supreme Court cases regarding sobriety checkpoints and roadblocks for several minutes, prompting Officer Traviolia to state that it was clear Bressi was not intoxicated. When the Defendants were satisfied that Bressi was not intoxicated, they no longer had legal justification to continue to detain Bressi.

      Rather than release Bressi and allow him to continue on his way, Lieutenant Ford, Officer Traviolia, and Officer O’Dell continued to detain Bressi and demand his identification papers. Bressi informed them that they were acting in contravention to state and federal law regarding constitutionality of roadblocks, but the officers persisted. The officers then arrested Bressi and removed him from his vehicle and cited him with violations of A.R.S. §§ 28-1595(B) and 28-622(A). Bressi was detained for approximately three hours. During that time he observed the operations of the roadblock. Bressi observed the Defendants and other officers allowing some drivers to pass without stopping while demanding identification papers from others.

      While working at suspicionless roadblocks, Defendants Saunders, Ford, Traviolia, and O’Dell stopped drivers not only for the purpose of determining whether drivers were intoxicated, but also for the purposes of checking driver’s licenses, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance, and they used the driver’s licenses to call dispatch to check if drivers had “wants or warrants” in the state and/or national databases. While working at suspicionless roadblocks, Defendants Ford and Traviolia requested consent from drivers to conduct trunk searches, and upon obtaining that consent they conducted trunk searches, without any reasonable suspicion.

      Bressi enjoys a right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The United States Supreme Court has clearly established those rights as applied to sobriety checkpoints and roadblocks in Michigan Dept. Of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444, 110 S.Ct. 2481 (1990), and City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32, 121 S.Ct. 447 (2000).

      Bressi’s civil rights were violated when the Defendants seized his person and vehicle without reasonable suspicion pursuant to a roadblock that did not satisfy Constitutional requirements stated in Sitz and Edmond. Plaintiff requests that this Court award damages in the amount of $7,500.00 to compensate him for expenses in defending the criminal charges filed against him by Defendants. Plaintiff requests that this Court award damages in an amount to be determined to compensate him for the violation of his civil rights. Plaintiff requests that this Court permanently enjoin any and all Defendants from violating the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the State of Arizona when conducting roadblocks and sobriety checkpoints on public rights-of-way.”

      https://www.checkpointusa.org/Checkpoints/checkpoints.htm
      https://www.checkpointusa.org/roadblock/lawsuit.htm
      https://www.checkpointusa.org/blog/

      – While I appreciate the research, we’ve gotten waaaaaaay off track from the original point of this blog post, which was to discuss the upcoming changes in GOJ NJ registration and visa requirements. No more posts on the above tangent will be approved. I’m a keystroke away from not even approving this one.

    31. matty-b Says:

      I just had some government people stop by my house to drop off some pamphlets (which they had already sent me) and explained that the new card system will soon be underway. There were 3 people and they spent about 2 minutes outside my door. Thanks taxes!
      Then they presented a form which I signed and the three officials left.
      I’m not exactly sure why they did this, but they did.

      Has anyone else had some gov’t officials stop by recently?

    32. Me Myself Says:

      Regarding a driver’s license

      > As to your question, yes, both your passport name as well as your tsūshōmei name will be listed.

      Is this something proven? I was told before that I can’t have my legal alias (tsushomei) on my driver’s license even as an “add on”.
      This was at a police station, not the license office, so the lady at the desk may have been misinformed.
      Anyone who has achieved this feat want to post an image (with personal information other than name blacked out of course)?
      Juki cards (住民基本台帳カード) may have your legal alias in parentheses, but the information I saw was just in the ‘consideration’ phase and not finalized.

    33. OG Steve Says:

      Sendaiben’s word is good enough, here you go:

      http://www.debito.org/?p=2485#comment-175703

      But still, why get excited about the fact that Driver’s Licenses list your roman-letters-name PLUS your tsūshōmei?

      Show that Driver’s License to a bank and they will simply ignore the tsūshōmei and use your roman-letters-name.

      The Kokumin Kenkō Hoken card lists my 100% Kanji tsūshōmei (without saying tsūshōmei) no roman letters, no katakana.

      This wonderful card with 100% Kanji gets my bank accounts registered with 100% Kanji, no roman letters, no katakana.

      So bank employees assume I’m a Kokuseki Shutokusha, and on mailed credit card applications I appear to be Nipponjin.

      Why are you folks still walking around Japan showing I.D. that contains roman-letters or katakana? Kanjify thyself! :)

    34. Dave Says:

      Hi,
      I am a little confused and unsure of all the changes withing the new immigration system.
      I am currently on a spousal visa, although regretably my wife and I seperated 8 months ago, and are trying to work things out.
      We live seperately and I have a different address registered on my gaijin card to the address she has.
      The 3 year spousal visa will run out soon, and I dont know what to do. As we have different addresses this will affect my application.
      Does this mean that I have “failed to engage in activities as a spouse for six months or more without a justifiable reason”?
      Is it better to change my address to match my wife’s and apply for a new marriage visa, or go for permanent visa?
      If I do go for either, and then we divorce (if we cant work things out) what would then happen to my visa?
      I’m sorry to ask so many questions, but any help you can give me would really be appreciated.

    35. Loverilakkuma Says:

      Here’s an update on New Resident Law from the JT article. To many of us, it’s very predictable regarding their trickery on documentation and reset-the-clock mentality to those who use Japanese as a second language. Good news is that some media begin to recognize that the system has a serious flaw.

      http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/08/15/national/immigration-reform-creates-problems-for-foreign-residents/#at_pco=tcb-1.0&at_ord=5

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