Text of proposed amendments to new Immigration Law, including IC Chip Gaijin Cards


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Hi Blog. I asked the author of the recent Japan Times articles (here and here) on the passage of the new laws on IC Chip Gaijin Cards et al. to send me his source materials. He very kindly complied. Thanks very much!

Here are fifteen pages of very thick and oddly-formatted pages of legal changes. It’s cumbersome wading through it. So rather than wait until I read everything before commenting, I might as well put these up so we can all read them at the same time.

Revisions to the Juumin Kihon Daichou Hou (which governs how people are registered with local governments, as in juuminhou), followed by the interestingly-titled “shutsu nyuu koku kanri oyobi nanmin nintei hou oyobi nihonkoku to no heiwa jouyaku ni motozuki kokuseki o ridatsu shita mono tou no shutsu nyuu koku kanri ni kansuru tokurei hou no ichibu o kaisei suru tou no houritsu an ni taisuru shuusei an” (draft of the revisions for one part of the draft of the laws governing administration of immigration, administration of recognized refugees, and the special law governing administration of immigration of people who have renounced their Japanese citizenship from countries with a peace treaty with Japan).

What a mouthful. I’m wondering what inspired the special-law conceit about having a peace treaty (does this weed out Russians and North Koreans?). Any ideas out there?

Alright, have a read. Order is as received from the Japan Times. Click on any thumbnail to expand in your browser. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

12 comments on “Text of proposed amendments to new Immigration Law, including IC Chip Gaijin Cards

  • I’m wondering what inspired the special-law conceit about having a peace treaty (does this weed out Russians and North Koreans?). Any ideas out there?

    日本国との平和条約に基づき日本の国籍を離脱した者等の出入国管理に関する特例法(The law on special provisions of immigration administration of people who lost Japanese citizenship due to the Peace Treaty with Japan) is the law about the Special Permanent Residents, or Zainichi. The Peace Treaty means, as defined in the body of the law, the San Francisco Peace Treaty that formally ended WW2. Until the peace treaty was enacted, Korean and Taiwanese immigrants in Japan had Japanese citizenship. The US-drafted peace treaty stripped them of Japanese citizenship. Japanese government could not deport them for humanitarian reasons, it gave them special permanent resident status by enacting this law.

    — Thanks HO.

  • Can anyone find the part about the supposed draconian penalties for forgetting to have the gaijin card on one’s person? This is what most disturbs me.

  • DL;
    The above is a link to the proposed bill before the amendment by the lower house.

    第七十五条の三 第二十三条第二項の規定に違反して在留カードを携帯しなかつた者は、二十万円以下の罰金に処する。

    “Article 75-3. Anyone who did not carry a Zairyu card in violation of Paragraph 2 of Article 23 shall be fined 200,000 yen or less.”

    2 中長期在留者は、法務大臣が交付し、又は市町村の長が返還する在留カードを受領し、常にこれを携帯していなければならない。

    “Article 23. Paragraph 2. A medium to long term resident must receive and always carry a Zairyu card that the Justice Minister issues or the Mayer of a city, a town or a village returns.”

    The lower house maintained the proposed articles 23 and 75-3, so they are likely to be a law if the upper house does not change them.

    I think the bill should be changes so as not to punish unintentional offenders.

  • It looks like those penalties were copied almost verbatim from the current Alien Registration Act. The question is how those penalties would be enforced; it seems like their application is pretty uneven today.

    I am curious to see how job/school changes are ultimately structured. It looks like MOJ has to decide the procedure for these changes, but as it stands right now, the employee/student has a duty to report their employer/school, who likewise has a duty to report all the foreigners in their employ/classes. It all sounds much more complicated than necessary.

  • isnt this more restrictive than now??
    currently if you have your passport you dont need to carry your alien card do you..
    i never bother with it when im going overseas..
    they often ask for it at airport,but i just say i dont have it on me

  • Adamw, currently, you have to carry your Gaijin card with you, even if you carry your passport, if you live more than 90 days in Japan.

    I do not think it a wise thing to do to re-enter Japan without your Gaijin card. The chances are that your record gets messed-up or you get arrested for not carrying the card.

  • Mark in Yayoi says:

    HO, my feeling is just the opposite — I don’t think it’s a wise thing to take the alien card outside Japan, or to carry it at the same time as the passport. The passport contains all the information on the alien card (and more), and legally supersedes it.

    If your passport is lost or stolen overseas and you have to have a new one issued, the new passport won’t contain your Japanese visa, the stamp confirming that you registered at your local city hall, your re-entry permit, or any other proof of your residence in Japan.

    In such a situation, having the alien card safely stored in Japan would mean that you could have it delivered to the airport, which would greatly smooth your er-entry into Japan. How could you re-enter on a replacement passport, which has no proof that you live in Japan? (Do replacements for stolen passports have new numbers? Renewal passports do.)

    I myself never carry both of these documents at the same time. When I re-enter Japan, the only thing anyone cares about is the passport, and the visas and re-entry stamps in it.

    Once I was also asked (by the immigration official) if I had the alien card with me, and I said that since I was carrying the passport, I kept the alien card locked away at home. She reminded me to carry it after returning home and putting away the passport, and that was that.

    In fact, I’ve had police officers demand to see a passport when an alien card should have been fine, but I’ve never had anyone demand to see an alien card when the passport is what I’m supposed to be carrying.

    The alien card was created as a substitute for the passport. With the exception of your employer’s address (and also perhaps your own address in Japan, if you didn’t write it), everything on the alien card is also on the passport — certainly everything related to prove yuor right to enter the country. Has anyone here ever gotten in trouble for not carrying both documents at the same time?

  • HO,

    i will tell you what i always tell them if i get asked for my alien card on re-entering japan..
    if you cant tell who i am from my passport and the fingerprint and eye check you are imposing on me,then that makes the whole check you are doing as i suspected completely pointless

  • The Shark says:

    200,000yen or less would give police authorities the options of dropping the fine altogether (less includes 0yen as far I can remember).
    The purpose of such a high a amount is quite obvious: it’s to frighten people to make sure really everyone carries that card.

    My hope is that the reality will more be like that: unless you get caught 3 times in once week without your card, we’ll just forgive you. Wouldn’t that be much nicer?

    For the police it is important to their priorities right I think: and a foreigner who is not being suspected of anything, who just doesn’t have the card on him, that person wouldn’t really be a threat to society. To protect the public from real danger should always be number one police priority!

    I fully understand the government’s intention to crack down on illegal (and especially illegal AND criminal) foreigners. But I still fail to see how the new system can make daily life easier for legal law-abilding foreigners. The re-entry permit seems to be the only perk.

    Anyway, the government will soon have to face another reality: foreigner (like Japanese) might get older. Just imagine 70% of foreigners being over 65. At that age it’s quite normal (and forgivable) to be slightly forgetful. If we don’t have your card on your way to the supermarket you might lose 2 months pension.
    What if you become blind and can’t find your to the immigration office any more?

  • Why so serious? says:

    Interesting point Mark in Yayoi. I think that most employers ask for a copy of the passport though, together with the visa page. I think if your passport gets lost or stolen, and you get a replacement, ask your employer to fax you the photo page and visa page. Then contact the Japanese embassy and hope for the best!

    I heard that the new immigration law means that all foreigners will need to have national insurance and pension in order to get a visa extension. Is it just me or is this huge? Does this mean that we can’t get away with (eg.) Global Health anymore? Are those of us who have been here for a long time without being on Shakai Hoken or Kokumin Hoken going to have to fork out big time???

    Advice please!!!

  • Why So Serious? says:

    I think I may have found the answer to my own question, but it looks as if things are extremely vague!

    Here is a link to some information from the General Union website.


    It seems that the Immigration Bureau will be including a check on health insurance enrollment as part of the visa renewal process from April 2010. According to the guidelines posted on the Immigration website, you will be required to present proof of enrollment in “social insurance”.

    The GU include a link to the Ministry of Justice webpage.


    They ask the following questions:

    If you are forced to enroll in the city health insurance scheme will enrollment in the pension scheme also be enforced?
    Will people be forced to back enroll?
    Will those that already hold visas that do not need renewal (such as permanent residency) be exempt?
    Or will proof of enrollment be required for re-entry permits?

    It seems that the GU is going to go into negotiation with the Ministry in order to seek clarification of the above points. In order to obtain information in advance of the negotiations, they are running a survey.


  • Why So Serious? says:

    Debito – I know that you have given presentations to the General Union before. Have you discussed these questions with them?

    If you are forced to enroll in the city health insurance scheme will enrollment in the pension scheme also be enforced?
    Will people be forced to back enroll?
    Will those that already hold visas that do not need renewal (such as permanent residency) be exempt?
    Or will proof of enrollment be required for re-entry permits?


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