OSAKA — The Osaka District Court rejected a request by 10 permanent foreign residents Tuesday that the fingerprints they provided under the Alien Registration Law no longer be kept on file and that they be paid 100,000 yen in compensation.
Presiding Judge Yasukazu Watanabe said that although a 1992 law revision has exempted permanent residents from the fingerprinting requirement, it is not illegal to keep the prints on file because they were taken and stored before the law’s revision.
The compensation claim by the 10 plaintiffs — nine Korean and one American permanent resident — was also rejected. Foreign residents had been required to be fingerprinted upon registration and every three years at the registration renewal until 1982, when the law was revised to extend the renewal interval from three to five years.
Another revision in 1988 required foreign residents to be fingerprinted only at the time of initial registration. The 1992 revision required permanent residents to register only their signatures and photographs.
The court said the psychological pressure caused by the storing of fingerprints is not as heavy as that caused by the act of fingerprinting. But plaintiff Kim Ok Yom said: “The court did not listen to our claim. I said the pressure caused by the storage was much heavier.”
Yoshihiro Sorano, attorney for the plaintiffs, said the court did not understand the pain and hardship suffered by foreign residents. All the plaintiffs plan to appeal, he said.
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