March 26 article “Immigration reforms spell Big Brother, JFBA warns” was an eye opener. The latest immigration bill before the Diet appears to criminalize the good while in pursuit of the bad. If a foreigner does not carry the new ID card, he or she might have to pay a ¥200,000 fine — which could lead to the suspicion that the government wants to make stopping foreigners more economically viable. In other words, it may want to increase ID spot-checks, probably dramatically. Time will tell.
However incredibly, the government wants to tax the legal but forgetful foreign resident presumably to pay for policing illegals and harassing legals, as all foreigners are fair game for the widening net. Yet for all the potential violations of natural justice and decency, it will NOT solve the illegal immigration problem. It’s quick, easy, political theater and possibly not the smartest move as Tokyo bids for the 2016 Olympics. Otherwise, it is politically painless.
Unethical, cost-cutting companies are the root of the “foreigner problem.” People who hire illegals make a risk-reward business decision. If the laws were tight, penalties severe and the police actively focused, the problem could be contained. Illegal immigration would decline as new risk-reward calculations meant that less work was available. The illegals would then make their own risk-reward analysis and go home. Sadly, though, it is easier to bully and harass trains full of mostly legal foreigners and pretend that this is solving the problem than to name unscrupulous company owners.
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