• Hata, Nagano

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Regarding Debito Arudou’s May 19 article “IC you: bugging the alien“: It’s finally happened; Arudou has joined the ranks of conspiracy theorists. This article on the proposed new gaijin cards is filled with the kind of tin-foil-hat rants I normally associate with those who live in fear of black helicopters and little green men. It is filled with misinformation.

For example, his own source notes that address changes would still be reported to the local municipal office, which would then report them to the government immigration bureau. They would not be reported directly to the immigration bureau. Outright speculation in the article doesn’t come close to describing how RFID chips work, especially the kind most likely to be embedded in the new cards.

If Arudou is so concerned about identity theft from these chips and random scanning, I suggest he never again apply for, or use, his Japanese passport because the same data is encoded in the same type of chip! Honestly, if thieves in Japan really wanted to steal someone’s identity, they would have a better time of it at Narita than by hoping to catch a random foreigner.

jason smith

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