Hi Blog. Two interesting developments in the weird system for registering people in Japan.
We all know that Japanese (by definition, unless they’re royals) are listed on Family Registries (koseki), and if they have an established address are listed on Residency Certificates (juuminhyou). We also know that NJ are not listed on either, and that has created problems for them not just logistically but also logically (how dare people who pay residency taxes (juuminzei) not be treated as residents?) There’s talk of fixing that, but anyhoo…
Adding insult to more insult is the fact the government keeps issuing juuminhyou residency documents to things that can’t actually reside anywhere, such as Tama-Chan the sealion in Yokohama (2003),Tetsuwan Atomu in Niiza (2003), Crayon Shin-chan in Kusakabe (2004), Lucky Star in Washinomiya (2008), and most recently a photogenic sea otter named Ku-chan in Kushiro, Hokkaido (2009) (who quickly swam to Nemuro and then points beyond; check your fishing nets).
Now Kyodo reports that the animals or fictitious creatures don’t even have to be famous anymore to become residents. It can be your favorite pet. Read on.
Wags (pardon the pun) on Debito.org wondered what happened if your pet happened to be born overseas — would they get this juuminhyou anyway?
Finally, one more idiotic thing about registration is the double standard when it comes to carrying ID. In Japan, there is no standardized identification card which all citizens have to carry (drivers licenses are fine, but not everyone drives; health insurance cards work but they’re not photo ID; nobody carries passports except tourists (except me, in case I get stopped by cops). NJ, of course, have to carry their Gaijin Cards at all times under threat of arrest and criminal prosecution.) Japan’s proposed answer to that was the Juuki-Netto System early last decade, and it came under fire quickly for “privacy concerns” (well, fancy that). It was even declared unconstitutional in 2006 by the Osaka High Court (the judge ruling in that case soon afterwards committed suicide).
But Juuki-Netto has been a complete flop. Only 3%, the Asahi says below, of Japanese nationwide applied for their cards. (I didn’t either.) Now Nagoya is even withdrawing from it. Read on. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
Nagoya to withdraw from Juki Net
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Nagoya plans to withdraw from the nationwide online residency registry network known as Juki Net, Mayor Takashi Kawamura said Tuesday.
Kawamura told internal affairs minister Kazuhiro Haraguchi he will reach his decision after he discusses the issue with city residents.
He also told Haraguchi the system should be abolished.
Only 3 percent of residents nationwide have applied for a card that allows them to access the Juki Net system, due in part to privacy concerns.
The city of Kunitachi in Tokyo and the town of Yamatsuri in Fukushima Prefecture have not joined the system.
The Japan Times Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010
Ward to give dogs resident cards
Kyodo News, Courtesy of Yokohama John
Member of the community: A residency card for canines lists a dog’s “personal” details along with its photo. KYODO PHOTO
Itabashi Ward in Tokyo will start issuing residential cards for dogs on Monday in a bid to encourage more pet owners to officially register the animals, according to ward officials.
For registered dogs only, the cards will be issued free of charge at public health centers in the ward. The postcard-size residential card will bear the dog’s name, picture, address, birth date and other information such as inoculation records, the officials said.
“Issuing residential cards for dogs is rare in Japan,” said an official, adding that the move is aimed at encouraging dog owners to register their dogs and have them inoculation for rabies.