Books, eBooks, and more from Debito Arudou, Ph.D. (click on icon):
UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free
“LIKE” US on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/debitoorg
If you like what you read and discuss on Debito.org, please consider helping us stop hackers and defray maintenance costs with a little donation via my webhoster:
All donations go towards website costs only. Thanks for your support!
Hi Blog. From time to time Debito.org gets sent information from NJ residents being harassed by Japanese officialdom and businesses for the most basic things. Such as checking into a hotel or using a bank. Or being treated as objects of mistrust in official “Blame Games”. Or being demanded unnecessary steps just to live their daily lives or conduct regular business. It encourages racial profiling even further, in addition to what you already have at Japan’s hotels and other public accommodation, police instant ID checkpoints, and tax agencies. (See here too).
Such as the following case below, where Chugoku Bank is demanding a Visa Check in order to maintain (not open; maintain) a bank account. (In their words, “we have elected to confirm the period of stay for customers whose period of stay and other details have not been confirmed” Meaning their nosying into somebody’s visa status is not even under the pretense of some legal requirement.) And of course, in this era of identity theft that even foreign governments warn you against, Chugoku Bank wants to make a photocopy of the person’s ID, it turns out, for no reason whatsoever but reflex.
As “immigrants are not to be trusted” mindsets proliferate around democracies worldwide, remember where many of them take their cues from: Japan. PM Abe, remember, is “Trump before Trump“, and even Abe had his antecedents. Another milepost on the march towards normalized ethnostatism worldwide. Debito Arudou, Ph.D.
Subject: Being made to show my gaijin card to my bank
Date: December 12, 2019
I recently got the attached postcard from my bank. It says that I have to go in and verify that I am in the country legally to keep using my bank account.
(click on image to expand in your browser)
I went in today and they wanted to make a photocopy of my card. Is this legal? They claimed that they are doing so at the request of the government, which I’m sure is true, and that they need a copy for “filing”, which I am not sure is true.
I told them that the card can usually only be requested by a police officer or an immigration agent. I finally relented only after they explained that they also photocopy other customer’s driver’s licenses. I offered my driver’s license, but they declined. I noticed that other than my visa status (PR), there is really no info on there that they don’t already have.
Who is in the right here, legally?
You may use my story on your site, there must be other people getting this kind of notice from their banks. Initials DF is fine.
Do you know of the specific law that states who may or may not request or copy a zairyuu card? I tried to look, but didn’t find it.
I want to email Chugoku Bank’s head office and try to get them to change their policy at all of the banks, not just my branch. I also want my photocopy returned to me.
I don’t begrudge the workers at the branch, the teller tried to make a copy, I stopped her and she said that the postcard mentioned a copy. We looked at it together and it doesn’t say anything about a copy. She immediately bailed out to a higher authority and I saw that man make a phone call. He then called me over to a private side booth to talk to me. Everybody was professional and polite, but they were just given the wrong information.
If I can quote the law to them and get a reply, I can give a follow-up for your blog.
Thank you for your assistance, DF
From Debito: Hi DF. You are still in the right, legally. The thing is, the laws I have (the Gaitouhou) pertain to the old Gaijin Card, which is very clear who can inspect the Gaijin Card. Only police, Immigration Officials, and MOJ representatives.
“The Foreign Registry Law, Section 13, Clause 2. Foreigners, when asked to show their Gaijin Cards by immigration investigation officials (as outlined in separate laws), police, coast guard, or any other national or local public official or group empowered by the Ministry of Justice as part of the execution of their duties, must show.” https://www.debito.org/instantcheckpoints2.html
Now that the Gaitouhou is no more, I’m not sure what the new laws are. I can’t seem to find them either. I’ve asked around, but gotten no response. I’m not a lawyer, so it’s time for the legal experts to weigh in, as they have done (in our favor) in terms of ID checks of NJ residents of Japan at hotels.
Do you like what you read on Debito.org? Want to help keep the archive active and support Debito.org’s activities? Please consider donating a little something. More details here. Or if you prefer something less complicated, just click on an advertisement below.