October 4, 2007

Foreigners entering Japan will be fingerprint and photograph from Nov 20

Starting from November 20, 2007, Japan will fingerprint and photograph all foreigners traveling to Japan. The government will approve a draft ordinance stipulating that a mandatory fingerprinting and photographing of visitors aged 16 or older. The revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law incorporating such a measure was enacted in May last year in a bid to block the entry into Japan of individuals designated as terrorists by the justice minister.

Under the law, scanned fingerprints and other biometric data will be stored in a computer to be checked against those of past deportees. The system can also be accessed by investigative authorities, they said. The measure excludes ethnic Koreans and other permanent residents with special status, those under 16, those visiting Japan for diplomatic or official purposes, and those invited by the state.

There goes your privacy as scanned fingerprints will be stored in computer database for future reference.

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