As Kathleen Morikawa pointed out in her Jan. 8 Zeit Gist article “Following in our fingerprints,” the opinions of foreigners tend to be separated into two groups: those who are here long term vs. those who are here temporarily.
Although each foreigner has his or her own experience and makes up a part of the entire foreign community, I hope that those who are here temporarily can understand that statements like the one made in the Jan. 13 letter “A defense against impostors” — namely, “If Japanese citizens, in whose country I am privileged to reside, feel safer if all foreigners are fingerprinted, so do I” — are not helpful to those of us who are here long term.
For many of us long-term residents, Japan is no longer a place where we feel privileged to reside. Though we may have come from different countries, this is our home now. We are raising families here and trying our best to integrate into our communities. And though some of us have considered changing our nationalities, we really wonder what the benefits are compared to permanent residency.
Please understand that the issue is not about “fingerprinting.” It is about us wanting to be accepted and treated equally in a society that we think of as “our society.”