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Hi Blog. I’m breaking my regular busy silence to report on something we’ve been working on for nearly two decades finally reaching fruition:
Getting Japanese hotels to stop racial profiling by running instant Gaijin Card/Passport Checks on customers (including NJ residents) merely because they’re “foreign-looking” — despite ID checks not being required for customers deemed to be “Japanese” on sight by hotel managers.
Finally, after various regional police departments have unlawfully deputized random hotel clerks to act as a de facto branch of the Immigration Agency (with the explicitly illegal threat of refusal of service in the offing), a regional government has cottoned on to the fact that this might be a violation of human rights.
Bravo Kagawa Prefecture. Let’s hope it catches on nationwide. Seems to only take about twenty years for common sense, not to mention legal protections for NJ residents against police bullying, to seep in. Debito Arudou, Ph.D.
Hotels in western Japan urged not to request foreign residents’ ID
KYODO NEWS – Mar 16, 2023 – Courtesy of ZNM
The government in the western Japan prefecture of Kagawa has called on local hotel operators to stop asking foreign residents for identification when they check in, local officials said Thursday.
Citing a notice issued Monday by the Kagawa prefectural government to hotel operators, the officials said it is “problematic on human rights grounds” to ask foreign residents to show their passport or other forms of ID when checking into a hotel.
The hotel business law requires only foreigners who live outside of Japan to present ID. But hotel receptionists sometimes ask foreigners who live in Japan for ID based on their name or appearance.
“If a guest provides a domestic address, even if their name or other information suggests they are a foreign national, no further confirmation is required,” the notice says.
The notice comes after a case in August last year in which a South Korean woman living in Osaka was asked to show her residence card ahead of a stay at a hotel in Utazu.
An official at the hotel said it has “asked for ID from foreign nationals living in Japan on a voluntary basis.”
Similar cases have emerged at other accommodations across the country, with some even stating on their websites that they will “refuse” guests who do not comply.
“While there may not be any malicious intent behind the requests, they are effectively an infringement of human rights,” a Kagawa prefectural government official said.
Mun Gong Hwi from the Osaka-based nonprofit organization the Multi-Ethnic Human Rights Education Center for Pro-existence said that “changing one’s response based on nationality with no logical reasoning is discrimination. I want to spread the knowledge of Kagawa Prefecture’s approach as a good example.”
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