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Japan to Start Fingerprinting Foreign Travelers

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the welcome-to-the-country-you-get-to-leave-a-piece-behind dept.

Privacy 520

rabiddeity writes "If you're planning to visit Japan sometime in the near future, you should be aware of the welcome you'll get. Last year, Japan's parliament passed a measure requiring foreigners to submit their fingerprints when entering the country. The measures, which apply to all foreigners over 16 regardless of visa status, take effect tomorrow. The worst part: the fingerprints are stored in a national database for an "unspecified time", and will be made available to both domestic police and foreign governments."

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New Travel Destination (0)

Ghoser777 (113623) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403557)

Since I won't want to go to Japan anytime soon, any other suggestions for Asian or Pacific countries to visit?

Re:New Travel Destination (1)

dippitydoo (1134915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403581)

CHINA!

Re:New Travel Destination (5, Insightful)

wish bot (265150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403605)

Welcome to the rest of the world's dilemma if we want to even transit through the USA. I've avoided it for the past...3, 4(?) years exactly for this reason. I wouldn't be surprised if Japan is doing this kind of as a big 'FU' to the States.

Re:New Travel Destination (1)

Josh Booth (588074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403739)

Isn't Japan doing this to all foreigners, not just those from the US?

Re:New Travel Destination (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403871)

I wouldn't be surprised if Japan is doing this kind of as a big 'FU' to the States.
Actually, I'd imagine this is a wetdream come true to those in the U.S. who pushed for the patriot act. Did you not read the line: "will be made available to both domestic police and foreign governments."

Now the U.S. will have access to fingerprints of US citizens who travel to Japan without ever having to lift a finger. I'm sure they will push for all other governments to start doing this -- where upon anyone who ever traveled outside this country will be fingerprinted by others and all of it put into some worldwide database.

I'm sure Bush is going to give his thanks to the Japanese Prime Minister one of these days.

Re:New Travel Destination (1, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403979)

And what is exactly a big deal? How will CIA/whomever will use fingerprint evidence on US citizens from Japan? Unlike RFID, fingerprints can not be automatically scanned en masse from remote. You have to first detect a suspicious activity at a particular small, private location and only then it can be dusted for fingerprints. The activity at the location has to be unquestionably illegal. One can not deduce the content of your conversation with a decedent just by presence of your fingerprint in his apartment. On the other hand, a dead body is a valid cause to question all recent visitors.

I am more worried about California fasttrack lane and red light cameras than about this law. Unlike fingerprints, images of license plates can be easily OCRed and establish a very detailed profile of everyone's hour-by-hour whereabouts.

Re:New Travel Destination (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404015)

Whereas I'm just one of these crazy people who think they shouldn't have to show ID to travel.. even internationally.. let alone give fingerprints and have my picture taken.

Never forget that your government owns you.

Re:New Travel Destination (5, Insightful)

likes2comment (1021703) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404003)

Brazil started doing this when the US announced it was doing it to all visitors a couple of years ago. It surprised me to see that it has taken other countries so long to start doing this too. What goes around comes around. We do it to the world, then the world will do it to us.

This also applies to torture and other interogation techniques like "water boarding" for captured soldiers. In the future our military personal should expect to have the same treatment that we are giving others with water boarding, etc.

Re:New Travel Destination (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403609)

Korea is like Japan's younger sister. Just don't let any of either party hear you say that. :)

Re:New Travel Destination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403763)

;-) That'll piss off both parties, guaranteed! ;-)

Re:New Travel Destination (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403673)

guide to prostitutes:

under 12 == cambodia

12+ (or lady boys) thailand

16+ phillipines

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403799)

+5 INFORMATIVE

Re:New Travel Destination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403687)

Singapore.

Re:New Travel Destination (2, Informative)

Iftekhar25 (802052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403781)

I'd recommend Singapore, where I live, but they've got my fingerprint here too. I'm not a Singaporean national; they took my thumb print back in 2006 when I was a fresh graduate from university, applying for a work permit. They have a national ID card system for their nationals and permanent residents, though. And it's linked to nearly everything.

Back in Bangladesh, where I'm originally from, they're implementing a national ID card system. To wide public support, btw.

In the Middle East (United Arab Emirates) where I grew up, they've been keeping foreign workers' passports under lock & key of their employers for the longest time, and issuing an ID card for foreign workers (the majority of their resident population).

Most expatriates living and working in these countries have been stomaching this stuff for generations now. The general rule is keep your nose out of trouble and no trouble will come to you.

Re:New Travel Destination (1)

JediLow (831100) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403975)

Privacy wise - Singapore's one of the worst places to go... which is why I'm so glad I got out of NS because I became a naturalized US citizen.

Hmmm... (1)

ScaryMonkey (886119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403577)

I already live in Japan... I wonder if I will have to do this if I go on vacation and am coming back home?

Re:Hmmm... (3, Informative)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403717)

already live in Japan... I wonder if I will have to do this if I go on vacation and am coming back home?

I live in Aomori-ken and yes, it does. I love living here, but I am very upset about these measures. Rightly or wrongly (stastically wrongly, but seeing the way some English teachers and others behave here, I'm not surprised many Japanese people see things this way) the uptick in immigration is associated with crime (though in the U.S. it's the same way). I am very unhappy that while I have been a productive citizen here I am going to be treated like a criminal when I leave to visit other countries and return.

There's a lot to love here, but the conservative party and those supporting it (including the supposed opposition party) need to go.

Re:Hmmm... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403991)

Not to nitpick, but if you were really a productive "citizen" then there shouldn't be a problem, this applies to non-citizens only. If you meant that you are a productive member of Japanese society, the fact that you aren't a citizen means you are just out of luck. I think the appropriate term is "love it or leave it" or perhaps "go back to where you came from"

I'm not trying to be a jerk here, actually. it's that I am frustrated that here in the US (and I AM a citizen) we are doing much worse, and when someone complains he/she is branded a traitor (if he/she looks white/black) or told one of those two quotes if he/she looks non-white/non-black, regardless of citizenship.

Bottom line, Japan is still a lot better than the US, but I'm afraid that doesnt mean much, because that is true for a lot of countries now.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

spooje (582773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403971)

Yes, you will and you'll have to stand in the foreigner line instead of going through the Japanese citizens' line.

So? (1, Troll)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403599)

What's the big deal? This makes a lot of sense. It could help in catching criminals... and that's probably what it's going to be used for.

Mod parent up. (0, Troll)

PineGreen (446635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403639)

Mod parent up, you privacy idiots. Show at least some fairness and stop modding up just privacy psychos and nobody else.

Re:Mod parent up. (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403839)

Nobody modded him down, just so you know. His Karma is a little low...

Re:So? (1, Offtopic)

keesh (202812) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403671)

I take it you don't object to the police searching your house or randomly stopping you and giving you a cavity search either? That could also help in catching criminals.

Re:So? (1)

TeraCo (410407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403831)

Yes, but those things inconvenience me. This wouldn't inconvenience me.

Re:So? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403897)

or randomly stopping you and giving you a cavity search

      Some people might actually even enjoy it.

Re:So? (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403917)

That arugument works as much as the argument that nations are becoming police states because they all have groups dedicated to keeping peace. There's plenty of things that can be considered wrong with the new policy, but your response is little more than reactionary bull.

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403947)

I take it you don't object to the police searching your house or randomly stopping you and giving you a cavity search either? That could also help in catching criminals.
There's a very large difference between giving fingerprints and having your house or rectum searched.

There are two components to gathering fingerprints: The initial fingerprinting and the "match" found at an incriminating location.

Your privacy only becomes violated by fingerprints when a crime is comitted AND it can additionally provide evidence you were NOT in said location if your status as a criminal is ever questioned.

Fingerprinting is not a slippery-slope scenario as you are making it out to be.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403675)

You know what else could help in catching criminals? Making every car carry a GPS tracking device, and putting a camera in every room of the house (including the bathroom). You need a better justification than that.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403801)

What's the big deal? This makes a lot of sense. It could help in catching criminals... and that's probably what it's going to be used for.

Taking DNA samples could also help catch criminals. And so would implanting GPS chips in every traveler (or citizen). And video camera records of all public spaces would surely be useful. We could also make all mental and medical history records available to the police as well as all shopping records done by credit cards and checks. And with enough cameras you could log where any vehicle is at a given time. In effect you could determine the location of every person at all times and have a good idea what they are doing and the other people they were with (if you log bus and subway records, video cameras, etc.).

And if somebody disabled any of this tracking information (perhaps by paying with everything with cash and hiding their license plate numbers) then it would be likely that if there was a crime committed then they were trying to cover up their involvement. Heck, we could cut out the cash issue by having ATMs check the numbers of the bills that are given out and have retailers scan the numbers during purchases.

It sounds like if you had enough intrusive monitoring methods it would be fairly easy to knock out all crime (or at least catch all of the criminals). So now all you have to do is determine when the cost of these methods is less than the cost of crime.

Shared? (5, Interesting)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403611)

So the Japanese fingerprint the Americans entering there and the US fingerprints the Japanese coming here, and then sharing is permitted. So in reality each government is getting access to its citizens fingerprints without violating any privacy laws.


Am I supposed to just accept that this violation-by-proxy is legal?

Re:Shared? (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403725)

Am I supposed to just accept that this violation-by-proxy is legal?
Yes. This sort of thing (including communications interception) has been going on for decades between many countries.

Re:Shared? (2, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403747)

"Legal" does not matter as soon as the "terror" word is used. At that point you don't even have the benefit of professional law enforcement and instead deal with untrained guys that want to be James Bond loosely supervised by horse judges.

Re:Shared? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404035)

Am I supposed to just accept that this violation-by-proxy is legal?
Only if it's a Wednesday. Any other day of the week, you're free to feel perturbed.

Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403629)

Probably yes, see http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/index.html [immi-moj.go.jp] under "New entry Procedures will start"

The usual post (4, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403631)

Did you know that you leave fingerprints on everything you touch? Anyone can track you anywhere you go!!! All they have to do is "lift" the prints off the surface. It's a privacy nightmare.

Re:The usual post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403679)

Why do you think i wear glove when comiting murder.

Post anymously for obvious reason.

Re:The usual post (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403711)

Why do you think i wear glove when comiting murder.

Post anymously for obvious reason.


We know you did it, OJ.

Re:The usual post (1)

cralewyth (934970) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403939)

Dexter, is that you?

Re:The usual post (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403709)

I use knuckles to push buttons, or at least twist my thumb after pushing a button.

Re:The usual post (1)

Storlek (860226) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403821)

They can still get your prints after you've twisted your thumb. Also, I suppose you typed that post with your knuckles. Oh, and I bet you never touch your car keys, check your mailbox, open the front door, or take out the trash.

Re:The usual post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403731)

They will lift your fingerprints off all of your "Tentacle Dicked Schoolgirl Fucker" DVD's. Still, you'd be the rule and not the exception in Japan ;)

Re:The usual post (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403823)

Did you know that you leave fingerprints on everything you touch? Anyone can track you anywhere you go!!! All they have to do is "lift" the prints off the surface. It's a privacy nightmare.

I don't know if the rumor that snot on your finger makes it unreadable is true, but I'm going to try anyhow.
     

Re:The usual post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403911)

It also renders you immune from unwanted handshakes and any other human contact, really. But then, you're on /. to begin with, which pretty much serves the same purpose.

Um, Cool. Sounds like a good idea to me. (0, Troll)

Lordplatypus (731338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403635)

Frankly this sounds like a good idea to me. I really don't have a problem with it. Someone please explain why I should. How would this negatively affect me? Even if I were a criminal, I would just wear latex gloves while I was committing crimes.

Re:Um, Cool. Sounds like a good idea to me. (1)

A Pancake (1147663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403659)

It probably will never negatively effect you. However, some people object to being treated like a criminal for no apparent reason.

Re:Um, Cool. Sounds like a good idea to me. (0, Flamebait)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403777)

having your fingerprints taken is being treated like a criminal? Sounds like your lily white fat ass has never spent a day in jail.

Re:Um, Cool. Sounds like a good idea to me. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403829)

Ohh, the melodrama, playing the race card too.

There are varying degrees of being treated like a criminal.

Re:Um, Cool. Sounds like a good idea to me. (1)

A Pancake (1147663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403915)

I don't know where you are from, but around here you don't get printed unless you're being charged with a crime. I'd say that that qualifies. I also didn't know being in jail was something to be proud of.

Re:Um, Cool. Sounds like a good idea to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404019)

People that wear it like a badge of honour do so as it gives them an excuse to bitch an moan about "being held back by the man" and "there picking on me because im black" like their the big victim because they did something wrong

Those that claim "racism" more often than not are usually the racist ones themselves.

Anyways, fingerprinting is something you do when you get a criminal record, and basically here you DO have a criminal record for nothing more than visiting a certain country. How the fuck is that fair? Enlighten me somebody?

Re:Um, Cool. Sounds like a good idea to me. (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403811)

Frankly this sounds like a good idea to me. I really don't have a problem with it. Someone please explain why I should.

Because being able to freely move about with out molestation is an essential freedom, which has been violated throughout the ages. It's time to say, No more! That's why. If you wish to give up your freedom, that's okay. But don't take away mine, please.

Re:Um, Cool. Sounds like a good idea to me. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403867)

How would this negatively affect me?

      The extra minute or so per passenger adds up, when you're waiting in line.

Re:Um, Cool. Sounds like a good idea to me. (2, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403873)

True. And you should open your doors to police searches without notification or justification whenever they want, because if you have nothing to hide, why do you care? The only people who should exercise their liberties are those who have things to hide. That way we can outlaw all liberties as merely tools of criminals. Good thinking, sport.

Re:Um, Cool. Sounds like a good idea to me. (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403987)

After a long flight trip the last thing I want is to be fingerprinted. This is why I refuse to travel to America anymore. I am more willing to fly to Japan though as the flight isn't as long and so I'm not as tired.

Re:Um, Cool. Sounds like a good idea to me. (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403997)

"Frankly this sounds like a good idea to me. I really don't have a problem with it. Someone please explain why I should. How would this negatively affect me?"

In the past, it wasn't uncommon to see 'foreign' travellers sitting on the floor in Narita, waiting to be processed into the country. They might be from Korea or Vietnam or even China - but the look on their faces as they sat on the linoleum (no chairs, sorry) inside a temp. holding area, marked by orange traffic cones, said that you didn't want to be one of them. The Japanese are pretty good at making outsiders feel uncomfortable when they want to.

If they were lucky, it only took a day or two to complete the process before they were released...some allowed to enter and some put on the next aircraft out.

Now, EVERY non-Japanese will be fingerprinted, photographed, turned into a number and forced to wait a minimum of 30 minutes more than whatever the process took before. Each and every time you come into Japan. Even if you hold a residency permit. I suspect the process will take a bit longer each time you come through.

This policy sounds familiar... (2, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403637)

Could it be?

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/01/07/0127227 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/08/125235 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/26/1944228 [slashdot.org]

Yes, apparently it could. Japan isn't the first by a long shot.

Submit Citizen! (2, Funny)

stox (131684) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403641)

Only the guilty need worry.

And while I am at it, can I interest you in some Florida Condominiums?

Re:Submit Citizen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403937)

Maybe it'll put a dent in the 419 scams and all the 419/barkers who hustle harlots in the soaplands? Maybe it'll lead to less swindlers who marry doe-eyed locals that locals of the opposite gender ignore.

high and mighty (0, Redundant)

Karma Sucks (127136) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403665)

Why are you acting all high-and-mighty? When I came to the US, I was fingerprinted.

Was it pleasant? No. Was it a big deal? Not really. I figure if the US wants to throw me in Guantanamo Bay, them having my fingerprints is the least of my problems.

So if the US does it, why not Japan?

Re:high and mighty (4, Funny)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403699)

Because the US is the land of the free

...

...

What? Why are you laughing so hard.

Re:high and mighty (0)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403845)

Freedom has its price.

Re:high and mighty (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403895)

Yep, and too many people have cashed in.

Re:high and mighty (1)

cralewyth (934970) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403967)

Yup, your privacy is free to be taken from you.

Wait, looking back that looks more serious than intended. Mods beware!

Re:high and mighty (3, Insightful)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403775)

Japan has gone further. Not only are visitors fingerprinted and photographed but also foreign residents like my friend Terrie LLoyd in the second article who has been there for almost a quarter of a century and who has started several successful companies that employ Japanese citizens.

What is most irritating is that Japan really doesn't have reason to fear an international terrorist incident on their soil. As Terrie says, all the terrorist incidents in Japan have been done by Japanese and the amount of crime by foreigners in Japan is minuscule compared to the overall total.

This is xenophobia pure and simple and will kill whatever tourist industry Japan was trying to get with their "Yokoso Japan!" campaign. A lot of businesses will avoid Japan because of these regulations as business travellers definitely do not like being treated as criminals.

Re:high and mighty (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403923)

I can't say I'm surprised about the xenophobia claim with respect to Japan. I've heard it anecdotally from several angles, that a lot of Japanese history has ingrained xenophobia into some parts of the Japanese culture and psyche. Most people groups have it to some degree, it seems to be more marked than usual in Japan.

Re:high and mighty (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404001)

When I was in Japan I stayed with a Japanese family I didn't know before then (it was through my school). Those people were as king as everyone else I met in Japan with them being as nice as Australians or Americans. I found no more xenophobia in Japan then I did in America. In fact I find more here in Australia :(

*sigh* (1)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403677)

*grumble* I leave for japan in a month for 2 weeks, I really don't like this, but I love visiting Japan, and guess not visiting would be worse to me. :-(

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices when you enjoy something or someplace. :-(.

The US has been doing this for a while now. (5, Insightful)

NimbleSquirrel (587564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403685)

How exactly is this different to what the US does to foreign visitors?

When the US started to fingerprint foreign travellers, a whole bunch of countries threatened to do that to visting US citizens. It is nice to see Japan follow through with their threat, albeit a few years later (although they are not just focussing on US citizens). I can see a bunch of Americans getting really upset about this and declaring they'll never travel to Japan, but what the Japanese Government are doing is really no different than what the US Government is doing to everyone else.

Personally I don't like being treated as a criminal. However, as much as I could complain about it, it won't be stopping me from travelling.

Re:The US has been doing this for a while now. (4, Interesting)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403765)

Yeah, Americans get high and mighty about these stories, but I am an American citizen (but of South Asian descent) and traveling between the U.S. and Japan with my American passport I have been treated pretty well up until now in Japanese airports (my parents on the other hand, who are not American citizens, got questioned pretty thorougly leaving Japan after visiting me, but my American passport-ed brother flew by), whereas I get grilled in the U.S. It sucks to be stuck in the crossfire, and I am sad that this place I love living is becoming more like the U.S., but the Americans started this stupid airport mess. And it's still better than always getting selected for "random" screening and taking off my shoes.

Re:The US has been doing this for a while now. (2)

CB-in-Tokyo (692617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403843)

Well, everyone is used to the US being a Jackass to the international community, but Japan is supposed to be so polite.

The American way is better (1)

jihadist (1088389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403691)

"We require these fingerprints for your health insurance," he said. "But of course, since our atmospheric pollutants have raised the cancer rate to 50%, you'll probably want that cancer insurance, unless you want to go bankrupt as you die of voracious tumors which suspiciously resemble health care executives." His smile flashed the wisdom of Satan and the plaintive honesty of Jesus Christ, and I could not resist.

Let me tell you how ridiculous this is... (4, Informative)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403703)

I have permanent resident status in Japan. This is the equivalent of a landed immigrant in most countries, however it is more permanent as you essentially have it for the rest of your life unless you become a Japanese citizen or leave Japan without a re-entry permit. This status takes a very long time to get (5-10 years) and requires you to submit tons of personal information and have Japanese guarantors. One of the benefits has been that you can line up at the Japanese citizens counters at airport immigration and be through very quickly. (My record: plane to train in under 5 minutes)

Despite this, from this Tuesday I will be required to line up with the regular foreign tourists and have my picture and fingerprints taken every time I enter Japan and every time I *leave* Japan.

Also, I still have to make sure I have a re-entry permit which I have to get every 3 years or I will lose my status completely.

All of this because I *might* be a terrorist or criminal.

The one thing I wonder is, if I pass away during a trip abroad are they going to take my picture and fingerprints when they bring my body back to the nice gravesite in rural Gumma prefecture where I'm going to be buried when I die?

Re:Let me tell you how ridiculous this is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403751)

So become a fucking citizen. It only takes 3 years to get permanent residency if you're the spouse of a Japanese national and after that you can work towards the requirements needed to become a citizen. if you're living here in Japan you should enjoy the benefits being a citizen entails. If you're unwilling to give up your citizenship of your country of origin go the fuck back there and quit bitching.

In other words, put your money where your mouth is.

Thanks to the US (2, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403719)

The Japanese are not known to waste time and resources on what I'd call useless ventures, but this thumb print routine appears to be right from my president and the Neocon's cook book.

Very soon, they will realize that taking thumb prints has no effect at deterring a man ready to "meet his God" or "getting rewarded with 70 virgins", just like the we did.

Trouble is, it will become quite apparent very late in time. Thanks to the US.

Re:Thanks to the US (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403795)

This isn't thumb. It's left and right index fingers.

Re:Thanks to the US (1)

CB-in-Tokyo (692617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403833)

LOL,

The Japanese are known for wasting both time and money on useless ventures. It is almost a Halmark of being Japanese!

Hmmmm where shall we start....

http://www.japantoday.com/jp/news/420236/all [japantoday.com]

http://inventorspot.com/articles/melody_road_gives_whole_new_mean_8235 [inventorspot.com]

http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=622 [japanprobe.com]

This Fingerprinting and photographing are not designed to prevent terrorism. Terrorism in Japan has been traditionally conducted by groups that are exempt from the fingerpritning process.

This is being done specifically to track foreigners, especially the foreigners who live here. Some of it is being done to prevent illegal immigration.

Personally, living here, it impacts me as I have to travel a lot throught the Asia Pacific region, and now immigration is going to be a royal pain. I stopped going through the US because my Japanese wife needs to get fingerprinted and photographed there, but unfortunately, leaving Japan right now is not an option for me.

Shoganai ne!

Re:Thanks to the US (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403973)

This is being done specifically to track foreigners, especially the foreigners who live here. Some of it is being done to prevent illegal immigration.

So Japan needs to track foreigners, and one of the best way of doing this is by finger printing? I agree with you to some extent, but only if every employer will play along with the government.

But I doubt this will ever be the case because even in these United States, a country governed and ruled by laws, it simply does not work all the time.

For Japan, I'd like you to take a stroll in its [private] car junk yards. The folks at some of these yards do not give a damn about the government and its policies. It is folks like these that will continue to employ illegal immigrants.

It is even worse at scrap yards. Immigrants are payed under the table to aid the process of ridding japan of unwanted waste of the industrial age.

Your Papers, Please... (4, Insightful)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403741)

America has been doing this to citizens of every single country except Canada for many years now. Even up here in Canada we figure it's only a matter of time.

Re:Your Papers, Please... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404021)

It's either the fingerprint routine or you get to become the 51st state and pay taxes. I'd stick with the fingerprints.

Balance of Power (4, Insightful)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403755)

Each new power given to the government must be balanced by a power of the citizenry. Else, this is just another step on the path to a facist state.

These new powers of surveillance and databases that we're giving our governments are vast. Never before in history has a country been able to monitor the movements and transactions of everyone, with so much precision. I know of no balancing power that has been given to the citizens in countries such as the US, UK, and now Japan, to check that the government is not abusing these powers. And the citizenry certainly does not have the equivalent power of knowing the private travel habits of their officials.

The fact of the matter is that these kinds of powers are far more useful for tracking law-abiding citizens than catching criminals. You don't catch criminals by identifying all the non-criminals. The database of non-criminals is totally useless, since any truly nefarious characters will avoid it, and not end up in your database at all. These kinds of things are often justified on the basis of preventing petty crime. But, this is far too large a power to give the government to reduce petty crime. Petty crime will never hit zero.

Instead, these new kinds of powers have far more use in tracking political enemies and corporate espionage. For instance just before the next G8 summit you can bet there will be new names on the no-fly lists. Before a major political debate, the challenging candidate will be denied travel. Governments will be able to determine when competing corporations are traveling for a meeting, and deny entry to those people. For people who are not political dissidents or corporate higher-ups, the only possible consequence besides deterioration of our democratic systems is that we will end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and be accused of committing a crime. The dragnet will have found us. And the evidence will be ironclad. Because, fingerprints are never wrong, are they?

I need a succinct way to explain these issues. The fact of the matter these arguments always come down to the brain-dead simple arguments that are difficult to refute: a) This will help catch <latest bogeyman>; and b) I'm not a <latest bogeyman> so why should I care? I need a one-sentence refutation to these arguments to give the people that don't think very hard about it. Obviously those interested in preserving freedom such as myself are not winning this argument. Anyone want to suggest one in the comments?

--Bob

Re:Balance of Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403963)

I need a succinct way to explain these issues. The fact of the matter these arguments always come down to the brain-dead simple arguments that are difficult to refute: a) This will help catch ; and b) I'm not a so why should I care? I need a one-sentence refutation to these arguments to give the people that don't think very hard about it. Obviously those interested in preserving freedom such as myself are not winning this argument. Anyone want to suggest one in the comments?

How about, "If they have no reason to suspect me, why should they search/track/fingerprint/whatever me?

Perfect timing (4, Interesting)

UfoZ (680310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403759)

...for all of us gaijins going home for the holidays! Needless to say, I'm not pleased.

Bonus points for this idiot minister [bbc.co.uk] using a bullshit "a friend of a friend is in Al Quaeda, therefore all foreigners are dangerous" claim to justify this crap.

Re:Perfect timing (2, Informative)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403797)

Mod parent up. This unabashedly stupid story about a friend of a friend in al Qaeda has been used to push this useless legislation through. It's sickening and the scare tactics used are as bad as America's. I hate Japanese politics but the al Qaeda story is a new level of stupidity to me. There were some people questioning it, but it got the job done.

Re:Perfect timing (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403827)

Bonus points for this idiot minister using a bullshit "a friend of a friend is in Al Quaeda, therefore all foreigners are dangerous" claim to justify this crap.

      America did it first.

Advertisement (-1, Offtopic)

Philotic (957984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403803)

I'm getting an ad for this site... Thanks slashdot. http://www.usagreencardlottery.org/ [usagreencardlottery.org]

I have better idea (1)

partowel (469956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403805)

Fingerprints? Rubbish.

I want 3 samples of DNA [ blood, saliva, hair ] and retina images of both your eyes.

We have to keep people safe *cough* yeah right *cough*

AFTER those "safe" tests, we get your full palm prints, both hands.

Then we collect a full infrared body heat signature [ front, back, both sides, top, bottom ].

Then we collect your voice signature [ talk into this microphone please ].

Then we collect a 3D image of your body with this laser scanner [ take off ALL your clothes ].

Then we keep all this information forever and ever.

If you pass all these tests, you will be allowed in.

We will keep you safe.

On the other hand :

For sale : information you can't get anywhere else. 100 million per person. Cash only.

Future tests in the works :

quantum dna scanner, Neutron body scanner, Energy Karma signature scanner, etc.

Re:I have better idea (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404031)

I want 3 samples of DNA [ blood, saliva, hair ] and retina images of both your eyes.
Been reading Stephen Baxter have we? Don't worry, it's coming. Along with the 3 hour phone call to the airline to justify why you need to fly.

They aren't doing enough. (1, Insightful)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403813)

No. This is not enough. I think they should do more.

They should:

  • Take fingerprints, handprints, and footprints.
  • Take retinal scans.
  • Take two samples of DNA:
    • A drop of blood.
    • A hair follicle. If the person is bald or otherwise doesn't have suitable hair follicles, they will have to pay a fee.
  • Take a voice print.
  • Take photographs of the face from eighteen different angles.

In addition to all of this, all travelers should have to submit notarized copies of their birth certificate as well as copies of every page of their passport in order for officials to know everywhere they have traveled. Also, they would have to submit a special letter from the government of their country of citizenship that states that the person does not have any criminal records in that country. Also, they would be subject to an interview using a lie detector machine. All of this information would be kept indefinitely and shared with foreign governments. Also it would be sold for pennies to telemarketing companies and spammers so that they could target you for the products that you are most likely to buy.

No, they aren't going to do all that, but that's what I think they should do.

Re:They aren't doing enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403847)

I really, REALLY hope you're joking...

Tourist Attraction (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403841)

The new system is being introduced as Japan campaigns to attract more tourists.

Oh yeah, that'll work. "Over to your right, you can see and experience our meddlesome bureaucracy at work. Just follow the rubber yellow line to be stamped and printed."

The terrorist of the future... (3, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403865)

... will look like 12-year-old Japanese schoolgirls since the authorities will be too busy checking out their panties to suspect them.

Never mind then. (1)

saihung (19097) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403907)

Japan seems to have an obsession with foreigners as criminals. This despite (what I've heard) a rather obvious all-Japanese organized criminal underworld. Apparently, it's still possible in Japan to see business establishments that blatantly refuse to cater to foreigners. Sod 'em. I don't want to go badly enough that I'd subject myself to that mess.

Call me anal..... (1)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403919)

but how often and how will they be cleaning these biometric devices? I'm sure many folks don't relish the thought of touching a device that every incoming and outgoing foreigner has touched. I imagine though that this is not high on their list of concerns.

It will be interesting to see what impact this new system has on business and tourist travel. I will be all smiles if it has a drastic impact and Japan relents.

Re:Call me anal..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403983)

If they are anything like the devices the US customs uses, they will be very dirty and cleaned once about never. Sometimes, they also make you dab your fingers in wax to make the prints more readable. The thing was covered in that slimy shit last time I came into the US.

I suggest (0, Offtopic)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403929)

If it's hot asian women you are after, Singapore (though I personally think Japanese chicks are worth the fingerprinting bs)

If you want a geeky holiday, South Korea, best video game tournaments in the world.

Malaysa is not bad a place either

Explanation of consequences? (1)

cralewyth (934970) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403931)

So if I'm heading to Japan for a two-week educational visit at the start of 2009, What does this mean for me? (Apart from the obvious, my fingerprint being taken)

How do I erase my fingerprints? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21403935)

What's the simplest, safest, and least painful way to get rid of fingerprints permanently?
Would be the greatest FU to these countries.

SO um.... (1)

etrnlcoca (1190929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403977)

So um... What's the big deal? It's like having your passport checked at the airport... What, you don't think they keep a record of you? Nothing new, Some gas stations in the U.S. scan your index finger to keep a tab instead of using cash or credit. Is it a bigger issue of 666, the fear of some one else being in more control of your life than you? I am more ticked about the Social Secuirty tax in the U.S. more than this finger printing in Japan. Don't worry about it, every country will have something like this sooner or later. Not worth loosing sleep over it! Enjoy Japan!!! It is a beautiful place, honestly I haven't been there... but I've seen pictures :-) Knowing that they want my finger print wouldn't,shouldn't, and doesn't disscourage me from wanting to go there! It might even give some people a sence of security. Not me, but other people might...

Who hasn't been fingerprinted? (1)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21403981)

I've never been in jail (except for a tour) yet have had my fingerprints taken 5 times. First was at 16 when I got a job with a city. Second through fifth were for volunteering in a school, student teaching, and two teaching jobs. Being a huge supporter of privacy, I don't give a hoot. As another poster said, they can lift your prints from something you just touched. Let the Japanese government have its mostly useless and highly masturbatorial wad of security theater. They video tape you from a vast number of security cameras, which I find to be far more invasive. Your credit card number comes up wherever you use the ATM or purchase something. Hotels must see your passport to let you stay.

Lets not forget (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404013)

That the last real terrorist threat to Japan's mainland was homegrown [wikipedia.org] .
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