Upcoming articles in Japan Times and Metropolis


Hi Blog. I mentioned this at the end of my last newsletter, but don’t want it to get buried within:


It’s been a busy time, with five speeches next week, and also two essays coming out.

On Tuesday, October 23, Japan Times Community page will publish my 40th article, this time on the awful ‘Human Rights Survey”, put out every four years by the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office, as some indication of popular sentiment towards granting human rights to fellow humans (tentatively including non-Japanese). They fortunately report that more people this time believe that “foreigners deserve the same rights as Japanese”, after more than a decade of steady decline. But if anyone actually took a closer look at the survey, with its leading questions, biased sampling, and even discriminatory language towards non-Japanese residents, you would wonder a) why anyone would take it at all seriously, and b) why our government Cabinet is so unprofessional and unscientific. Especially when the United Nations has long criticized Japan for ever making human rights a matter of popularity polls. Pick up a copy next Tuesday (Wednesday in the provinces). I even did the cartoon for it.

On Friday, October 26, Metropolis’s Last Word column will have my 20th article with them, this time on the Fingerprint Reinstitution I’ve been talking so much about recently. 850 words on the issue, the history, and more on what you can do about it. Get your copy next Friday.

And if you want me to start writing a column for the Japan Times and/or Metropolis on a regular basis, say, once a month, let them know.
community@japantimes.co.jp, editor@metropolis.co.jp

Thanks for reading! Arudou Debito in Tokyo

3 comments on “Upcoming articles in Japan Times and Metropolis

  • Since this is at least to some extent a continuation of the previous discussions about the new immigration procedures, it is interesting to note a letter to the Editor of the Daily Yomiuri today. The writer had just come through Narita and spoken to the Immigration Supervisor there. Apparently there will be a separate line for people with “visas”; he doesn’t specify exactly what visas he is talking about, and I suppose it could possibly be limited to those with permanent residence visa, although I presume not; since permanent residents don’t need to be fingerprinted, they shouldn’t need a separate line. Additionally, on the first time these visa-holders enter after Nov 23rd they will get some sort of card which will speed up the process from the next time.

    I hope it’s right! Of course it doesn’t affect the principle, but – it it’s correct – at least it will make the new situation a bit more bearable from a practical point of view (at Narita anyway).

  • Huh? Tony, I thought this was already settled – permanent residents DO need to be fingerprinted (the exclusion is for ‘special’ permanent residents only – ie. Zainichi). My information is still correct isn’t it?

  • TJJ

    I’m talking about the practical implications, not the principle.

    Did you see the letter in the Yomiuri? Reading it, it looked like the immigration supervisor at Narita meant that those with visas need to be fingerprinted/photographed the FIRST time they go through Narita, and after that they will get a card of some sort which means they don’t have to be done every time. This is consistent with the earlier information with a poster who had checked in Kobe and found that there was a special system (an automated gate) to be installed at Narita only for the time being.

    The way I read the situation (and the letter to the Yomiuri) is as follows (I could be completely wrong!):

    1. Zainichi are exempt and don’t need to be fingerprinted and photographed at all. Therefore they don’t need a special gate and can go through with Japanese passport holders.

    2. There will be a separate line (the Yomiuri letter writer’s words, not mine) at Narita for those with visas allowing them to live in Japan (other than pure tourist visas), where they will be fingerprinted and photographed the first time they go through after November 23rd. They will then somehow obtain a “card” which will obviate the necessity for this to be done again, and they can pass through an “automated gate” (the Kobe poster’s words) in future.

    If that is the case, then hopefully the system will spread to all other entry points in future. And, of course, we all hope that the fingerprinting/photographing system will be abolished in any event.


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