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UPDATE: New anti-terrorist welcome to Japan, less ouch

UPDATE, see below — Nov. 2, 3007
Starting November 20, 2007 all foreigners, tourist and long-time residents alike, entering Japan will be required to join the queue with all arriving visitors for fingerprinting, photographing, and anal probing every time they enter or re-enter Japan. alien_anal_probe150x113.png

Japanese justification for this is partly as a tit-for-tat for the crappy faux security measures against Japanese terrorists entering the USA, and partly out of Japan’s general fears of ALIENS, eeek!

via Nov 2on Fingerprinting non-Japanese
European Business Council and Aus/NZ Chamber of Commerce in Japan: … Jakob Edberg, Policy Director of the EBC: “After long discussions with the Ministry of Justice, it is now clear that re-entry permit holders will be able to pre-register fingerprints and photo at either Shinagawa or at Narita on the way out. Undergoing this procedure once should grant swift re-entry at Narita (not other international airports) as long as the passport/ re-entry permit is valid.”
[Refer to Ministry of Justice PDF
The Ministry of Justice has also said that for those re-entry permit holders who have not yet pre-registered their fingerprints and photos, there should be a line separate from other foreigners (e.g. tourists) at the immigration counter. However, the MOJ not yet made this commitment in writing – because they may not be able to staff the extra lines at all times of the day.

As reported in REUTERS and the Washington Post, Oct. 26…
although the checks are similar to the “U.S. Visit” system introduced in the United States after the attacks on September 11, 2001.
But Japan, unlike the United States, will require resident foreigners as well as visitors to be fingerprinted and photographed every time they re-enter the country.
“It certainly doesn’t make people who’ve been here for 30 or 40 years feel like they’re even human beings basically,” said businessman Terrie Lloyd, who has dual Australian and New Zealand citizenship and has been based in Japan for 24 years. “There has not been a single incident of foreign terrorism in Japan, and there have been plenty of Japanese terrorists,” he said….

The new November Immigration Procedures reestablishes and adds photographing and biomentrics to the vile old system of fingerprinting that was withdrawn after decades of protest ten years ago.
Now long-term, non-Japanese residents like me will have to submit to fingerprints and photographing every time they enter the country and go through the infamous hours-and-hours wait in the “Visitors Line.” Read more at
Nice welcome, Immigration.

New immigration procedures for Japan

Japan National Tourist Organization (Press Release)
Monday, October 22, 2007

Japan will introduce new immigration procedures which require foreign nationals entering Japan to be photographed and electronically fingerprinted from November 20, 2007.

The new procedures – similar to those which have already been introduced in the United States – are part of a law amending parts of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act which was promulgated on May 24, 2006. The revised law contains new provisions for the establishment of a framework for preventative measures against acts of terrorism. As part of this framework, a new anti-terrorism measure is to be implemented, which requires the submission of personal identification information at immigration control.

Under the new immigration procedures, when foreign nationals are applying for landing, fingerprints and photograph will be taken, after which an immigration control officer shall ask a few questions regarding the visitor’s stay in Japan.

In the event that any foreign national, who is required by the new law to be fingerprinted and photographed, refuses to submit to these new provisions, that person will not be permitted to enter Japan, and will be required to leave the country.

All foreign nationals entering Japan will be subject to the new provisions, with the exception of the following:
(1) Special permanent residents
(2) Persons under 16 years of age
(3) Those persons performing activities which fall under the status of residence for ‘Diplomat’ or ‘Official’
(4) Those persons who have been invited by the head of any national administrative organisation
(5) Those persons who are prescribed by the Ministry of Justice ordinance as equivalent to either (3) or (4).

Foreign nationals arriving in Japan will be required to follow the following procedures.
1. A person wishing to enter Japan must submit his/her passport to the immigration control officer.
2. Once the immigration control officer has explained the procedures that are to be followed, the person wishing to enter Japan will be asked to place the index fingers of both hands on a digital fingerprint reader. The fingerprint information will be read and stored electromagnetically.
3. A photograph will then be taken, using the camera located at the top of the digital fingerprint reader.
4. The immigration control officer will then conduct a short interview.
5. On completion of the above procedures, the person wishing to enter Japan will receive their passport from the immigration control officer.


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8 Responses to “UPDATE: New anti-terrorist welcome to Japan, less ouch”

  1. Nathan Says:

    Please tell me the probing part was just a joke. That would humiliating enough to make me never want to go to Japan again.

    While I think going to the length of fingerprinting and photographs is paranoia extreme, along with outlawing the use of electronics on planes, I have no problem with it. However, if they do anything physically beyond what is standard in US customs security, their tourism will take a huge dive.

  2. Onigawara G Says:

    This does not go far enough. Every foreigner coming to Japan should have an RFID chip implanted, and their fingerprint data should go in a central database. Then they should require DNA samples as a condition of entry for all travellers. Visitors would be checked against INTERPOL databases and given a polygraph test to be sure they had no ties to terrorist organizations,. All police officers would have chip readers, and every supermarket, government buildings, and train stations would be required to have scanners and cameras to ID everyone passing through. This is our only way to be safe and secure, and enjoy our beuatiful Nippon.

  3. Gareth Says:

    You had me scared there with the anal-probing for a while.
    I can understand fingerprinting, photographing ect of immigrants and I imagine it will spread pretty quickly amongst the MEDC’s even though it is a bit xeno-phobic. Still wouldn’t put me off visiting Japan.
    This fear of terrorism is getting stupid. It seems we are gradually losing our civil liberties in the name of anti-terrorism. Nobody is getting near my with an RFID chip, its a few steps away from a totalitarian government :(

  4. Taro Says:

    Under the guise of “international cooperation” this anti-terrorist welcome to Japan is just a way to to lump together all aliens/gaijin whether they are long-term residents and taxpayers with decades of life in Japan like me with foreign tourists and visitors. Now with these xenophobic procedures, even the USA does not torment it’s Green Card residents as much Japan.

  5. Taro Says:

    Nathan wrote:
    Please tell me the probing part was just a joke. That would humiliating enough to make me never want to go to Japan again.

    Ha, ha, I’ve been anal probed by border police in China a few times. At least in Japan, all body searches are done by cute, under 25 year old security women.

    Nathan wrote:
    …fingerprinting and photographs is paranoia extreme…However, if they do anything physically beyond what is standard in US customs security, their tourism will take a huge dive.

    Actually, Japan’s new xenophobic procedures are going way beyond the USA — Even the USA does not torment it’s Green Card residents as much Japan by requiring Stalinist-style “Re-enter visa” on top the already issued long-term visa and alien resident cards with photo and fingerprint.
    Yes, Japan already has collected photo and fingerprints from all more-than-3-month residents, yet now are asking for new photo and fingerprints every time along term resident goes on vacation and returns. The IT-retarded Japanese government cannot properly manage their existing alien photo and fingerprint databases, but they now add redundant information. Sheesh.

  6. Mario Says:

    um.. Am I the only one who could find the article where it was stated that you also have to undergo the anal probe?

  7. Taro Says:

    Mario wrote:
    um.. Am I the only one who could find the article where it was stated that you also have to undergo the anal probe?

    Nope. Everyone seems to want a LITERAL alien anal probe. In reality it’s just a figurative reaming that Japan Immigration is subjecting foreign residents and visitors to since this system only collects fingerprints and photos repeatedly for no reason. It does not check the collected biometric data against passports except at one of the Japan’s hundreds of ports of entry—it’s pure “security theater.”
    Anyway, I’m sorry writing about the “anal probe,” which is just the silly musings of my humor-impaired mind.

  8. Mario Says:


    Thank you for your explanation. By inserting that “anal probe” part into the article, me and my friends had a great laughter about how this really fits with the fetishistic minds of the Japanese.

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