Fingerprinting: How Yomiuri teaches J children that NJ are criminals


“Teach your children well…” Crosby Stills and Nash

Hi Blog. Courtesy Jason Topaz:

“Just to add a little more info in the fingerprinting issue: I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry, but the Yomiuri Shimbun had an online article a few weeks ago on their children’s section, explaining the fingerprinting scheme to children.

The article is at”> (and blogged at here).

I have to say I was a little disturbed by the cartoon

which roughly translates as:

GIRL: This is how foreigners who come to Japan register their fingerprints at places like airports.

BOY: The aim is to protect against criminals and terrorists coming to Japan.

GIRL #2: But you have to properly manage the registered face photo and fingerprint information.

(note background drawing of foreigner whose nose is approximately the same size as the airplane flying by)

COMMENT: It’s not a matter of managing the information. It’s a matter of how you manage this policy so that you achieve your goals without defaming an entire segment of the population. As usual, the Yomiuri has no qualms about selling the policy as a crime-prevention measure (which it never was–until recently) against “foreign guests” even to children.

Thanks a lot for carrying the bias down to the more impressionable generations. Arudou Debito

14 comments on “Fingerprinting: How Yomiuri teaches J children that NJ are criminals

  • Can you imagine what would happen if the NY Times printed a similar cartoon depicting Asians as having squinted eyes, buck teeth, and massive glasses? Man.

    FWIW, I sent along a complaint letter through the Yomiuri’s online form. I’m sure it will just get chucked, but…

  • Well, you know this begs the question…

    If registering fingerprints of foreigners is a protection against crime… then why are J fingerprints not registered? Would that not reduce crime more???

    I am sure, children being children, they would come to the conclusion that universal fingerprinting is a good idea… even if it is or is not.

    I have to say, this entire decent into a Kafkaesque, Orwellian nightmare, fostered by the “paragon” of freedom (the US)… has made me want to move to a lonely mountain top.


  • I personally want them to just get it over with already and stop using the word terrorist. They do the same thing in the US and it’s just as silly there as well. There is just no way to find out who the next person to do something “terrorist related” will be.
    I visited the links that Debito provided and I found the little chart they provided hilarious. The only time that they even have a possibility to find these so-called terrorists is during the questioning by the immigration agent. What kind of questions could they possibly ask that would even remotely help identify someone other than, “Are you a terrorist?”
    40 years from now I hope that in addition to the stone age, bronze age, and information age that they refer to this time period as the “misinformation age”.

  • Andrew Smallacombe says:

    Notice that further down in the article it goes on to say that 5 people were nabbed and blacklisted on the first day?

  • “It’s not a matter of managing the information.”

    Actually, it very much is. There are various layers to this debacle, and persons being defamed is just the top one. It offends and is unacceptable behavior yes, but focusing on this lets it go on because it isn’t a dire threat to those whose rights have been violated (and this is how we have to see it).

    But there is a dire threat to us. The contract to handle the information was let to Accenture, which was formerly Arthur Andersen, before being found guilty of fraud in the Enron mess. Accenture bid Y100,000… Y10,000 to create the database and Y90,000 to manage the data for 1 year. In the Bahamas… outside Japanese jurisdiction.

    Either Accenture likes Japan so much they are doing this virtually for free or they are intending to sell the data. Which do you think? Reader’s choice! A little searching then turns up who the likely client for the data might be when we see multi Billion Dollar contracts for “Data Warehousing”… US Department of Defense.

    Japan’s aging Diet for Life are either too blinded by Xenophobia to see they are being played (actually I think this unlikely) or they could care less what happens to the data of those dirty Gaijin… if this gets them angry enough to leave, mission accomplished!

    But honestly, to focus on humiliation and branding all foreigners as criminals is a loosing argument. I believe a solution (and the only one I have heard up to know that I think is possible) is from outside Japan. It has to come in the form of implications from damage to foreign citizens’ rights and safety, imposed on Japan by the governments of those people. The only thing those governments will care about is the wholesale (literally) of their data to unknown entities and governments… identity theft, profiling, watch lists… that sort of thing.


  • the challenge to this yellow-star-style apartheid could also come from other Asian countries demanding that visiting Japanese arrive at ports with their pre-processed biometric data. Long check-in lines and the thought of sending Holy Japanese biometric data to China and Korea would make many Yamato wince and suck their teeth.


    That’s so wrong. Two of them aren’t wearing glasses.

  • On the topic of enormous noses, I was channel surfing at a friend’s house last night and came across a game show where there were 3 tarento dressed up as Condoleeza Rice, Kim Jong-il and a Caucasian president/prime minister (I couldn’t recognise who they were trying to parody and don’t remember seeing name cards).

    Did anyone else see this? I don’t have a TV at home, so I don’t know if this is a weekly show, but it made me uncomfortable.

    The Condy tarento had her (his?) face painted a dark brown, with less than flattering lines prominently drawn on his/her face which the tarento permanently held in a scowl while opening his/her eyes as large as he/she could. Same with the Caucasian-playing tarento, except that instead of brown paint, he had a large prosthetic nose strapped to his face. Kim Jong-il looked like the real guy. He would periodically demand for “Toro.” and proceed to stuff the given piece into his mouth.


  • yes, but the japanese get so upset if someone dares to do a parody of the divine race. Do you remember a few years ago, Hungarian TV was doing some parodies of japanese with the buck teeth, squinting eyes and big round glasses thing? I remember that the japanese ambassador to the country got involved and forced the Hungarians to stop these parodies on pain of losing inward japanese investment!


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