Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Glad I went last year, 'cause that's not going to happen to me

Japanese cabinet approves plan to fingerprint foreigners
Last Updated Tue, 07 Mar 2006 15:00:37 EST
CBC News
Most foreigners visiting Japan would be photographed and fingerprinted under controversial legislation approved Tuesday by the country's cabinet.

Children under 16, diplomats and permanent residents — such as ethnic Koreans born in Japan — would be exempt from the requirements.

A U.S. Customs computer displays fingerprints as travellers from Japan wait at a Los Angeles airport in 2004. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
The government wants the bill voted into law during the current session of parliament, which ends on June 18.

If the law is adopted, advance lists of passengers and crew members would also be required for all airplanes and ships arriving in Japan.

The revised immigration bill was put forward as part of a plan to prevent terrorism, despite criticism that the measures may violate the rights of travellers.

Japan's Federation of Bar Associations opposes the bill, saying it violates a constitutional requirement to treat people with respect.

The lawyers' group also says the fingerprinting proposal is a violation of privacy.

Last year, about 7.45 million people visited Japan.

with files from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation


tokyo tintin said...

it's really funny that one part of the government in japan is in charge of increasing the number of tourists to 20 million a year, while another part of the government is working to ensure it doesn't happen!

although, i really have to say, --and wouldn't you agree jenni?-- that japan is a really great place to visit. everything is signed in english, restaurants all have picture menus, and the shopping rocks! (even for big oafish westerners who cant fit into anything, the shopping still rocks).

Jennifer said...

Oh, I had the best time in Japan, the transit was so amazing, the signs were in English, I had very little difficulty getting around and doing things, there was almost always someone there to speak English or pantomime with me till I got what I needed. People were patient, helpful, I felt safe, the crime rates are low. The history is amazing, the sights, the shopping, the company, the food, the sushi, the conveyor belt sushi, the curry buns, that green thing I ate, the restaurants.... getting dressed as a Geisha....
I loved loved loved Japan.
I had an awesome time. I'd totally go again, but I don't want to be fingerprinted or have my picture taken, so I'm glad that I already went, so I don't have to make that descision.

You know what I think is so good about Japan? There is a language barrier, and it feels very foreign and it is very different, so you feel like you are having an authentic cultural experience, but it's not so authentic that you'll get lost and end up in a slum or be kidnapped or end up with the wrong cab driver who drops you off no where near your destination.
It's a really good balance.

Jennifer said...

Oh man, I want a curry bun and some conveyor belt sushi right now, I'm drooling.

Miss Ash said...

I agree!!! I could really go for some Okonomiyake right now, yummmmm!!! That was by far my favorite dish in Japan.

tokyo tintin said...

i wouldn't let the fingerprinting thing stop you from visiting japan jenni --they'll probably flip-flop on it anyway, or at least discuss the whole thing to death. the government has been considering this basically as long as i've been here, and probably even longer, so i wouldn't worry too much about it.

and even if they do it, doesn't all the nippony goodness balance out the the irritation of fingerprinting jenni?

Jennifer said...

Well, since I was just there, I don't think I need to worry about it for a while again. I'll cross that bridge if I come to it.