• Kamakura, Kanagawa


Regarding Grant Mahood’s Dec. 7 letter, “Fingerprinting law is unjust”: Since the new guidelines on fingerprinting foreigners at Japanese ports of entry were issued (November 2007), we have seen discussions for and against them in various forums, including The Japan Times. Some have branded such a practice as against one’s freedom.

But please, stop calling it a human rights violation. There are more serious and worse human rights violations in other parts of the world, and within Japan itself. Every nation has the freedom to issue or enact laws that guard it against threatening forces. Japan, even if it were not a tiny nation, is bound to protect its territories.

After being asked for my foreign registration card for the sixth time in two months, my white-skinned friends demanded that I bring it to the notice of my embassy, citing racism or discrimination. If I were to do that, my embassy would have politely told me to pack my bags and return to my home country. In short, I am bound to abide by the law of the land. If I don’t, then I am simply not welcome here.

While there are a million beautiful things for which I choose to live in this country, there are a few hundred that I don’t agree with, but I follow the the system anyway because I do not belong here. Criticizing an entire nation for some defects is not the way to protest in a civilized world. As for why only a particular group of foreigners is fingerprinted or asked for IDs more often than others, that’s a different issue.

arun d’souza

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