Japan Times: JCLU’s Hatate opposes IC Chip Gaijin Cards


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Hi Blog. Next in the series on the IC Chip Gaijin Card controversy (the first two were on the politicians’ views, the second on the bureaucrats‘, and why they were both proponents), the Japan Times’s Matsutani-san now presents the activists’ view from the Left in opposition. The Japan Civil Liberties Union’s Hatate explains his viewpoint. Right after the view from the Extreme Right (who are also in opposition because it’s not tough enough!). Excerpt follows. Arudou Debito in Sapporo


The Japan Times, Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Activist sees holes in bills to snare illegals
Third in a series


Making a stand: Akira Hatate, director at the nongovernment organization Japan Civil Liberties Union, speaks with The Japan Times at a cafe in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on June 23. He is among the key activists opposing legislation to tighten control of foreign residents. MINORU MATSUTANI PHOTO

Activist Akira Hatate opposes the bills to tighten control of foreign residents, arguing they will not serve the government’s goal of clarifying who is in the country illegally because transgressors will see little benefit in turning themselves in.

“What (the bills will) achieve is to tighten control of law-abiding foreigners, who have no need to be under tight control,” Hatate, director of the nongovernmental organization Japan Civil Liberties Union, told The Japan Times…

“The bills are very unbalanced because the government will not be able to control the intended target: undocumented foreigners,” Hatate said. “Instead they will greatly tighten the leash on properly registered foreigners, who do not need monitoring.

“To me, this is the government’s reinforcement of infrastructure to control foreigners. Fingerprinting at airports is to control entrants and the bills are to control residents. The government probably thinks it needs to do this because the number of foreigners will inevitably increase,” he said.

Full article at http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20090630f1.html


8 comments on “Japan Times: JCLU’s Hatate opposes IC Chip Gaijin Cards

  • QUOTE: “The government probably thinks it needs to do this because the number of foreigners will inevitably increase,” he said.”

    Never will increase with such [exaggeration deleted] approach of GoJ. Only very desperated foreigners who don`t care will come.

  • The Shark says:

    Japanese citizens might think those fingerprinting toys at airports and now these new bills would not affect them because they are ‘Japanese’.
    Wrong. It’s all taxpayer’s money that’s being used. Maybe once Japanese citizens become more aware of that, Mr Hatate would have more support (which would be great).

    — By then, I anticipate, it may be too late.

  • QUOTE: “The government probably thinks it needs to do this because the number of foreigners will inevitably increase”

    Interesting thought. Maybe this is some kind of preparation for a future ‘opening of the ports’ and increased immigration?

  • We could all stick together and do a silent demo by putting yellow stars made out of fabric with our number on as soon as we receive the new card and wear it at all times. The last demo in Tokyo didn’t help at all and this would be easy and cheap to do it nationwide. This way it would be easier for the cops to know who is a legal alien and we would show that we completely co-operate with the authorities. Then inform major news stations and human right organizations worldwide about this discrimination. So…spread the word!

  • Why So Serious? says:

    Good idea Foxie. Debito have you thought of making T-shirts with ‘I am legal, registered, and I pay tax’ written in Japanese with space for the individual number?

    — Open to suggestion, and it’s an interesting idea.
    But T-shirts cost money, and I’m happy to help publicize if not host if somebody wants to make the initial efforts. I’m getting to the age where I’m feeling the urge to delegate.

  • I think we should rig up some sort of headband with an I.D. card holder and just wear them such that they are displayed on our foreheads at all times. That way, everyone can see that we are legally registered and there won’t be any need to harass us to see our I.D.s. They’ll be right there for everyone to check. :-p

    I think someone who has the influence should mention the police intimidation for random urine testing and bag searching (which is on top of the already random harassment for I.D. and bike theft checking) as well as this new system of tightening the leash on legal residents in the context of the Olympic bid in 2016 to the greater media. Every media outlet seems to be right there when it comes to some trite, quaint, bit of positive Japanese news, but none of them seem to say a peep about the negative news.

    Japan seems intent on treating tax-paying, law-abiding foreign residents as an increasing threat and a potential criminal element and a larger audience than the expats who are paying attention in Japan needs to know.

  • The Shark says:

    … yellow stars … T-shirts > very interesting ideas. Maybe not everywhere in Japan. But it The Shark went to Roppongi, he tings about wearing something like:
    ‘Don’t miss my p*ss!’
    ‘Let’s pee and see!’
    Another stategy could go like that: A cop ask you for your alien card, you show it to him. From that day on, each time you see that cop, you can “stop” him and say ‘Have another look at my alien card. See you again tomorrow.’
    That would put enormous mental stress on the police officer because he can’t “escape” you.

    I do similar things during airport fingerprint checks. If my Japanese kid asks me during that fingerscanning play ‘パパ、これ何?’ I simply reply ‘遊びだけだ、意味がない’.
    That’s funny because they (the Japanese) got power over you (the foreigners). But parents (even if foreigners) still got power over their childen (even if Japanese).


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