Amnesty Intl Tokyo Symposium Oct 27 on


Public lecture you might be interested in. Arudou Debito

Symposium organized by Amnesty International Japan and Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SMJ)

Toward further control over foreign nationals? Japan’s anti-terrorism policy and a Japanese version of the “US-VISIT” program **********************************************************************

Date: Saturday, 27 October Time: 14:00 – 17:00
At: 9 Floor, KOREAN YMCA (YMCA Asia Youth Center) 2-5-5 Sarugaku-cho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo
Admission: 1000 yen
Simultaneous translation service available (Japanese-English)

*** Program ***
14:00 Opening remarks
14:00 Briefing about a Japanese version of “US-VISIT” program by Akira HATATE (JCLU)
14:30 Keynote speech by Barry Steinhardt, ACLU Technology and Liberty Program “War on Terror” and impacts of US-VISIT in the United States
15:10 Break
15:20 Panel Discussion: Anti-terrorism policies and reinforced control over foreign nationals —- The challenge of civil society to fight against discrimination and to protect rights. Members of the panel: Barry Steinhardt / Akira HATATE / Ippei TORII (SMJ) / Toshimaru OGURA (The People’s Plan Study Group)
17:00 Closing remarks

*** Profile of Barry Steinhardt ***
Barry Steinhardt served as Associate Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) between 1992 and 2002. In 2002, he was named as the inaugural Director of the ACLU’s Program on Technology and Liberty. Steinhardt has spoken and written widely on privacy and information technology issues.

*** Why Amnesty and SMJ are organizing the symposium ***
A law proposing to implement a Japanese version of “US-VISIT” was passed in 2006 and will probably be enacted by November 24th.

The law makes fingerprinting and photographing mandatory for all foreigners arriving in Japan except “special permanent residents” and youth under the age of 16. Furthermore, according to news reports, the biometric data obtained would be shared not only with a number of ministries in Japan but also, in the near future, with US authorities as well. US-VISIT (United States Visitor and Immigration Status Indicator Technology) was originally launched by US authorities in 2004 and Japan has become the second country to introduce a similar program.

The law is part of our government’s policy to reinforce control over foreign nationals entering and living in Japan in the name of the “War on Terror”.

Non-governmental organizations in Japan such as Amnesty International (AI) Japan, Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SMJ) and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations are concerned that the current government policy encourages discrimination against foreigners and violates individuals’ right to privacy. Please refer to a joint statement by NGOs dated 5 April 2006 (appendix 1).

Ahead of the enactment of the Japanese-version of “US-VISIT”, AI Japan and SMJ have invited Director of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Technology and Liberty Program Mr. Barry Steinhardt to Japan, and is organizing several public events including the symposium. The aim is to share information and concerns, as well as to raise awareness within Japanese society about the issues involved.

*** For further information ***
Amnesty International Japan 2-2-4F Kanda-NIshiki-cho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 101-0054 JAPAN TEL: 81-3-3518-6777 FAX: 81-3-3518-6778

Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SMJ) Tokyo-to, Bunkyo-ku, Koishikawa 2-17-41, Tomisaka Christian Center, House 2, #203, Japan (Map) TEL:81-3-5802-6033 FAX:81-3-5802-6034


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