Thursday, June 9, 2005

Posted by kuri, ping, the pinglet, & mini-ping on 6/09/2005

OK, normally I take what happens in Japan with a grain of salt and try to turn potentially irritating situations into something funny...keeps me sane. But this? Well, let's just say that E7 spent the evening quiet and trying not to answer me because I was like a raving lunatic.

Here is the article from Kyodo News, and even though I usually don't post things verbatim on this blog (copyright reasons, etc.), I couldn't explain this without including explicatives that people probably haven't heard before...enjoy and welcome to Orwell's 1984 (of course, this is already in place in the U.S. with the so-called "Patriot Act", which gives the government broad powers to monitor the movements of U.S. citizens both inside and outside of the U.S.)

Um, hello people!?! When did we all become complacent sheep allowing the U.S. government to invade our privacy?

Oops...sorry, this is a rant about the JAPANESE government, not the AMERICAN government...gotta keep my posts straight! :)

Thursday, June 9, 2005 at 07:29 JSTTOKYO — The Japanese government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party plan to require all foreigners staying in Japan for more than 90 days to carry identification cards equipped with integrated circuit chips, with all data to be kept at an "intelligence center," party lawmakers said Tuesday.

The LDP and the government claim the new policy is aimed at keeping track of foreigners as part of measures to prevent terrorism and crimes.

But the new system, intended to replace the current Certificate of Alien Registration that foreigners have to carry, is likely to raise concerns over the sharing of information between the immigration and police authorities, as well as protests from foreigners that it unfairly discriminates against them.

Under the plan, foreigners will have to carry with them at all times IC cards that contain information such as their name, nationality, address, birth date, passport number, visa status and place of employment or study. Holders will be required to report any change of address and obtain permission to change jobs.

The data of all card holders will be kept at the intelligence center that the Justice Ministry plans to set up to gather and analyze information on suspicious foreigners. The information will be shared between immigration and police authorities when foreigners are involved in crimes. Currently, foreigners' registrations are kept at the municipality of their residence. The municipal governments, which issue the alien registration cards, are required to send a copy of the registrations to the Justice Ministry.

Under the new policy, companies and schools where foreigners work or study will also be required to report to the authorities about when the foreigners move or change jobs, and will be subject to penalties for any falsified information.

The government is aiming to submit budget requests as early as for next fiscal year, beginning next April, and to have related law revisions as well as new legislation made in two years.
Short-term visitors in Japan for up to 90 days and those with special permanent residency, including Korean residents in Japan, will be exempt.

Japanese nationals are not required to carry any form of identification, but foreigners aged over 16 who fail to carry their alien registration cards with them at all times currently face a maximum penalty of one year in prison or a 200,000 yen fine. The maximum penalty for special permanent residents is 100,000 yen.

The current alien registration card contains the holder's name, nationality, date of birth, place of birth, address, passport information, visa status, occupation and company or school.
Japan's treatment of foreigners has often been criticized as being discriminatory, especially with the fingerprinting system it introduced in 1952. After decades of protests, Japan finally stopped requiring the fingerprinting of permanent foreign residents in 1992 and of those with nonpermanent status in 2000. (Kyodo News)


Maybe the immigration people in Japan can just place a chip in people's necks, while they are fingerprinting you on your way in and out of the country (also under discussion...we can all thank the US government for instituting this "welcome to our country" system), so they don't have to have additional costs of making up new cards. Ha!

You'll notice that people who stay in Japan for less than 90 days will be exempt from this system (similar to the "Alien Registration System" where tourists do not have to register with the local governments). It goes along with Japan's "Yokoso Japan" PR campaign, which was put together by the government to increase the number of tourists in Japan.

So from this I can get the following message: "Welcome to Japan and don't let the door hit your a** on the way out."

2 of you feeling verklempt. Tawlk amongst yourselves:

Mom said...

It's getting scary.

kuri & ping said...

You know, the system is pretty much the same as it is now (or should be now since information on alien registration cards are the same as the information that they will be collecting under the new IC system), but in one article I read, the information will be stored in an "unidentified intelligence collection center", which leads me to believe that some incompetent bureaucrat is going to be in charge of making sure this information isn't leaked out....which it will be since Japan isn't exactly known for their great information protection skills (they have SO many instances where personal information is leaked out...accidentally or on purpose). Just pisses me off royally.


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