12 December 2007

Too tight?

A few weeks ago BBC News Tokyo reported that Japan has locked-down its immigration procedures. Now all foreign travelers entering the country will be fingerprinted and photographed. What's more, even foreigners living in Japan (i.e., those who have visas) who leave the country will be subjected to these proceedings upon returning to Japan.

An Englishman in Osaka gives an interesting, satirical view of the new immigration procedures. He states that in addition to photographs and fingerprints, folks entering the country will also be interviewed about their reasoning for coming to Japan.

The really surprising part of all this is that there has been no obvious terrorist activity committed by foreigners in Japan to date. Weird. Has Japan gotten a little too tight for its breeches?

5 comments:

Jordan said...

Mandy, foreigners entering America are subject to the same shoddy treatment, and many report being verbally abused and treated as terror suspects just for trying to take a vacation or come here to study. It's shameful and contributes to our low standing in the world.

Orville said...

The US and Japan aren't the only counries who do this.

It could be part of a counter-intelligence program. Japan is one of Iran's biggest trading partners and one of the destinations for Iranians going abroad to study nuclear science.

Pete said...

What do you think would happen if I answered all their questions with "Iwo Jima"? Would I get deported? Totally worth it...

mandy said...

Yeah; I mean, I know the US does the same thing, I guess I had this naive idea that other countries were above the Bush administration's idiocy; in particular, I thought this of Japan (albeit completely unfounded). The counter-intelligence idea is interesting regarding Iran. Either way, it's absolutely ridiculous for any country to conduct these kinds of interrogations.

orville said...

My point is that this type of processing is now the rule rather than the exception across the globe.

In my experience, the countries who have the laxest border security (crossing the Syrian border from Jordan for a carton of Marlboro Reds and $20 US comes to mind) have rededicated the funds spent on border guards and entrance processing to guys who follow you around wherever you go in the country. You'd be surpised at the number of guys who you just randomly see over and over again from Damascus to Aleppo or from Amman to the Gulf of Aqaba. France, Italy, Britain...not so much. Israel won't even grant you a visa if they think you're a threat. At least the US and Japan aren't detailing every person or place you visit while in-country. Let's say that you want to visit your friends in Tehran over the summer. You are required to have a government minder for your entire stay, in addition to be fingerprinted and photographed upon entry.