Re-entry for PRs; rent-a-gran


New ‘Yokoso’ measures

Robert inquires about the changes that started Nov. 20.

“Please advise if Permanent Residents with re-entry permits are going to be required to join the non-Japanese lines when entering Japan under the new fingerprinting and face recognition procedures.

“The Ministry of Justice’s Web site advises that those with ‘Special Permanent Residence Permits’ will not. If so, why are Permanent Residents (PRs) segregated and why is this new form of discrimination being supported by the Japanese government? The PR card has a fingerprint and picture; would this procedure still be required each and every time or only for the first time?”

As I understand this new ruling, the large majority of foreigners will be fingerprinted and photographed every time they enter or re-enter Japan. The only exceptions are children under 16, diplomats and residents with special status, these being mainly of Korean or Chinese ancestry.

In the U.S., regular permanent residents are exempt from this humiliating process — interestingly one that the Korean community fought against for years in Japan, eventually winning the right not to be fingerprinted.

However, as a regular PR here you will have to join the queue. Over and over again.

Robert also asks what Immigration is planning to do to speed up the arrival processing procedures when there are already long lines (depending upon arrival time) and even without this “added new burden/requirement.”

Again, as far as I understand it there are no plans. We are told that we will be processed within 20 minutes as usual. Ha, I cry.

I also foresee tears as mothers are separated from young children in order to be “processed.” How will Immigration handle this, I wonder?

Also, how will officials explain to tourists wooed here by the government’s “Yokoso” (Welcome to Japan) campaign that Japan regards them from the moment they land as potential terrorists?

This measure has been condemned by both the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and Amnesty International as “a basic violation of human rights.”

A perfect example of Japan showing beyond all doubt that it is America’s unquestioning dog on a tight leash.

Got granny?

In response to the inquiry about a rent-a-gran service (Nov 6), Richard believes Klaus may have got things backward.

He recalls reading several years ago an article on this subject, but it concerned the plight of grandparents who were unable to spend time with their real grandchildren, since their own children were living far away and so were unable to visit their parents very often.

“There does exist, I believe, an agency which supplies ‘surrogate’ grandchildren to these deprived grandparents. For something like ¥30,000 per afternoon, small children would be supplied to them; they could then do what grandparents do best, viz. fill them with cakes and otherwise spoil them rotten.”

Send your questions, queries, problems and posers to lifelines@japantimes.co.jp