Powerpoint Presentation on what’s wrong with new NJ Fingerprinting Program


Hi Blog. Want a quick-and-dirty (and easy to understand) presentation on what’s wrong with the upcoming NJ Fingerprinting Program?

Download my powerpoint on this subject (from a speech given at Waseda University on Monday, October 22, 2007) at

Spread it around. Show it to others. It’s all there.

Most newsworthy piece of information within the presentation, regarding the US-VISIT Program, upon which this new program is modeled:

“Roger Dow, president of the Travel Industry Association, told me that the United States has lost millions of overseas visitors since 9/11–even though the dollar is weak and America is on sale. ‘Only the U.S. is losing traveler volume among major countries, which is unheard of in today’s world,’ Mr. Dow said. Total business arrivals to the United States fell by 10 percent over the 2004-5 period alone, while the number of business visitors to Europe grew by 8 percent in that time. The travel industry’s recent Discover America Partnership study concluded that ‘the U.S. entry process has created a climate of fear and frustration that is turning away foreign business and leisure travelers and hurting America’s image abroad.’ Those who don’t visit us, don’t know us.”
–Thomas Friedman, New York Times, Sept. 30, 2007


And Japan thinks this will be good for not only “YOKOSO Japan”, but also it’s balance sheets? Beg to differ.

Arudou Debito in Sapporo

5 comments on “ Powerpoint Presentation on what’s wrong with new NJ Fingerprinting Program

  • I love statistics! So, I tried tracking down some numbers. Here’s overall stats for the US. Growth in travellers from almost every country in the last three years:

    I tried tracking down the source of that Thomas Friedman quote, and it seems he is part of a tourism lobby group looking for money to spend on infrastructure. Here is the source of the data in that quote, I think:

    They are claiming one reason for the drop in business visitor numbers is the slowness in visa application processing for people from non-visa waiver countries.

  • Hi Debito, Really like your work and keep it up. Just watched your PP presentation and found it to be very interesting. One question, while I am against the whole finger printing idea–and am especially pissed as I am a permanent resident who travels outside of Japan several times a year–but what seems to be missing from the criticism is an offer of a solution. What should Japan do to improve border security? Often in this type of debate with bureaucrats they cant see beyond the policy because no one offers an alternative. Again, I am against this but I would like to hear some alternatives. Perhaps some have been suggested and if so could you point me in the right direction.

  • Debito,

    Some comparative lessons from the US might also be useful for making your points:

    ‘Unwelcoming’ US sees sharp fall in visitors since 9/11
    AFP: Nov 1 04:33 PM US/Eastern (AFP)

    The number of foreign visitors to the United States has plummeted since the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington because foreigners don’t feel welcome, tourism professionals said Thursday.

    “Since September 11, 2001, the United States has experienced a 17 percent decline in overseas travel, costing America 94 billion dollars in lost visitor spending, nearly 200,000 jobs and 16 billion dollars in lost tax revenue,” the Discover America advocacy campaign said in a statement.

    Chairman Stevan Porter lamented the “extraordinary decline” in the number of overseas visitors to the United States, while the advocacy group’s executive director, Geoff Freeman, blamed the slump on the shabby welcome many foreigners feel they get in the United States.

    “It’s clear what’s keeping people away in the post-9/11 environment: it is the perception around the world that travelers aren’t welcome,” Freeman told AFP.

    “Travelers around the world feel the US entry experience is among the world’s worst,” Freeman said, calling on the US government to work with the private sector to make visa acquisition more efficient, the entry process traveler-friendly, and to improve communication.

    “We have put in place many reasonable security barriers but we have not communicated these barriers and we have not told travelers that we want their business,” he said.

    “Six years after 9/11, we need to take this more seriously,” Freeman said.

    “The United States has to do what every other nation in the world does, and that is to promote itself to visitors,” he said.

    “If you look at visitor numbers from the UK before 9/11, we had 4.8 million visitors. Last year, the number was 4.1 million.

    “Looking to 2010, the Department of Commerce is projecting an increase in those numbers, but only of one percent over the course of 10 years.
    “If I ran a business that had one percent growth in 10 years, I’d be fired,” Freeman said.

    The Discover America Partnership was set up by US business leaders last year to try and redress the flagging image of the United States and bring in more visitors.

  • Debito,

    Good work on the treatment of immigrants, the permanent residency fingerprinting, and etc. I wonder if you know of the Economist’s “Global Talent Index.” It may help you press your points home, so I send the links along. The index shows Japan behind China, India and Korea in the race to attract brainpower. The index may seem elitist, of course, since it focuses on highly workers. But sometimes the only way to get a population to accept immigrants is to emphasize the most visible economics benefits. Canada does this, and then brings in plenty of refugees and lower-skilled workers, family-class people as well. In any event, Japan is showing the world a truly “cool” (tsumetai) aspect in the new fingerprint/photo rules for permanent residents (on top of having to pay for re-entry visas!). I suspect these measures will not endear this country to people with choices.

    Personally, I was dismayed when I saw the content of these new rules. I have permanent residency, and wonder what that’s worth.

  • Debito,

    Another mention – in the Atlantic – of US costs that might be of use:

    I think one of the most effective ways to push this issue is to alert the Japanese tourism industry to the tsunami of bad PR and lost business coming their way. They have been counting on “cool Japan” to fill hotels and so on, but they risk an overseas understanding of cool as cold. With the global economy slowing down, airfares increasing along with skyrocketing oil prices, etc etc, Japan’s domestic businesses look set to take serious body blows. And now they’re going to be kicked hard where it hurts by the xenophobes in the LDP. If the tourism business people can’t do the math, then gakuryoku teika started decades ago.



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