Statistics Bureau: Concerning the 2005 Census
The 2005 Population Census will be conducted as of October 1, 2005, across the country. The respondents of the Population Census are all people living in Japan (about 128 million people, including foreign residents in Japan)..Note: the results of the census will be used only for statistical purposes and never be used for any other purposes such as the immigration control, taxation or police files….it is obligatory to answer the questions of the census….
Q: Since my Japanese visa has been expired for quite some time, is there anything in Japanese law that can force a foreigner to complete the Japanese Census?
Yep, you can be compelled to do the census, but they have to find you first.
Japan’s Census Regulations clearly state, “Everyone living in Japan as of October 1 will be surveyed at their place of residence. Foreigners who live in Japan will also be covered, regardless of their nationality. ”
[110月1日現在、日本国内に普段住んでいる全ての人を、その普 だんす ちょうさ にほん す 段住んでいるところで調査します。このため、日本に住んでい がいこくじん かた こくせき かんけい ちょうさ たいしょう る外国人の方も、国籍に関係なく調査の対象となります。 ]
The problematic term that provides a slim possibility for an “out” from this law is kokumin, 国民【こくみん】 (n) national; people; citizen. Only Japanese people/citizens” are covered in the original Census law of 1947.
I don’t like the odds of winning such an argument, so I just “lose” my census form and only speak Lithuanian if a census guy catches me coming out my front door. ;-)
Statistics Law Appendix 1-(2) [Population Census]
Promulgated on 26 March 1947 (Law No. [u]18[/u) Latest amendment pursuant to Law No. 160 of 1999
Obligation to Answer Questionnaires
Article 5 The Government, the chief of a local public entity or a Board of Education is authorized to place an obligation on a person or a juridical person to answer the questionnaires of the designated statistical surveys.
2 If the person required to answer the questionnaire in accordance with the preceding paragraph is a minor without legal contractual capacity, or a person under guardianship having reduced mental capacity or a juridical person, his/her legal representative or the director or other person authorized to represent the juridical person by law, shall be under an obligation to answer on behalf of, or as the representative of the person concerned.
Article 19 If any person
(1) being requested to answer under Article 5, refuses to answer or gives a false answer,
(2) obstructs answering as requested under Article 5,
(3) refuses, neglects or interrupts the inquiry, refuses or neglects to submit the materials required, submits false materials, or makes a false statement in answering questions requested under Article 13, or
(4) being a person engaging in the operation of the designated statistical surveys or participating in it, acts to falsify the results of the designated statistical surveys,
this person shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand yen.
Bottom Line: Try to avoid the census if you can, submit skewed information if the census folks twist your arm, but don’t bother fighting them.
Question: I will be on vacation overseas during the Japanese Census. Will I still be counted?
The Japanese census counter will come by your house in late Sept. If you’re not home, they leave the census form in your mail slot.
Let’s say somebody wanted to avoid the census—
That person could leave the form in the mail slot until they returned from a long overseas trip. Most likely the census folks will just skip your house (they skipped mine in 1985 and 1995).
Let’s say somebody wanted to be counted in the census but missed it—-
You can mail in the form late or call them ahead of time and they will send someone out.