Related to recent discussions about public refusals of service for either not complying with (unlawful) demands for NJ ID, or denial of service anyway when people in charge arbitrarily decide a visa’s length is not long enough, mentioned below is a move by the GOJ to require hospitals demand Gaijin Cards etc. (as opposed to just requiring medical insurance cards (hokenshou), like they would from any Japanese patient) as a precondition for providing treatment to sick NJ. Granted, the Yomiuri article below notes that for Japanese patients, the government is “considering” requiring a Japanese Driver License etc. as well, because the hokenshou is not a photo ID. But once again, NJ are clearly less “trustworthy” than the average Japanese patient, so NJ will have more (again, unlawful) rigmarole first.
But there’s a deeper pattern in this policy creep. Recall the “Gaijin as Guinea Pig” syndrome we’ve discussed on Debito.org for well over a decade now: Public policies to further infringe upon civil liberties are first tested out on the Gaijin — because foreign residents even Constitutionally have much fewer civil liberties — and then those policies are foisted on the general public once the precedent is set. So once again, the GOJ is taking advantage of the weakened position of NJ to assume more government control over society.
NB: There’s also a meaner attitude at work: Note in the last paragraph of the article below the echoes of 1980’s “foreigners have AIDS” paranoia creeping into LDP policy justifications once again. I say “mean” because the point would have been made by just stopping at “the person fraudulently used somebody else’s insurance”. And I’m sure presenting a Gaijin Card would have fixed the AIDS issue! (Not to mention that the GOJ apparently WANTS people to get AIDS screening, especially if they’re visibly foreign!) Such ill-considered policymaking signals!
Meanwhile, don’t expect equal treatment as a patient if you get sick while foreign. It’s official policy.