Gaijins to be Electronically Tagged

In some other news that has not yet reached my English language paper is that the Japanese government has passed (or in the process of passing, not sure) a bill that will put an IC chip in the gaijin cards that every foreigner living here has to carry.

These Alien Registration Cards are basically a form of identity and police can (and do) stop foreigners and demand to see it.

It’s never happened to me, but I’ve heard from other people about it.
I personally have no problems carrying one, it’s used to sign up for libraries, driving licenses, and other official things, so pretty useful.

But not entirely sure why they want to track my movements.
I remember about a year ago this idea was first mooted, and the chip would record when I went into libraries, government buildings and other official places.

The question is:
a) Why do they want to know when I go in these places?
b) Why don’t they want to know when, say, my wife, who’s Japanese, goes in there?

There’s also the potential that the system could be expanded to train stations, busses, cinemas, shopping malls, or anywhere.

Foreigners get blamed for a lot of crime in Japan unfortunately, – mind you the same thing happens in Britain, so that’s not a criticism of the Japanese particularly – but usually you only tag criminals after they’ve been found guilty.

Having said all that, like I said before, nothing has been written recenty in my English language paper about it, so don’t really know any details, so for all I know it may be perfectly harmless.

But it’s like the fingerprinting of all foreigners (or Aliens, as we are called here – something I find particularly unpleasant) at the airports as you come in to the country.

As soon as you land in Japan you’re made to feel unwelcome and a potential criminal.

I would like to emphasise that this is “official” Japan – i.e. government policy, etc.
Individual Japanese are 99% of the time incredibly friendly, welcoming and very polite and helpful to foreigners.


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