Saturday, November 29, 2008

Japan's biometric fingerprinting and photographing regime finds 846 "undesirables" (including 290 Koreans)

The Japan Times is reporting that over the past year some 846 "undesirables" (that's the JT's word) were prevented from entering Japan's airports or seaports. All were forced to leave Japan immediately. Justice Minister Eisuke Mori has praised the biometric scanning regime. 

The program is not without critics, who say it as best very inconvenient (the Immigration says it "reduced waiting times at airport immigration booths") and at worst xenophobic and discriminatory. 

More from the JT:
The number accounts for 8.5 percent of about 10,000 foreigners whom immigration officers at airports and seaports expel every year after learning, through questioning and other measures, they had criminal records or were involved in illegal acts.

Despite complaints from foreigners who say mandatory fingerprinting, which resumed in November last year, makes them feel like they are being treated as criminals and violates their human rights, Justice Minister Eisuke Mori praised the system for helping to block illegal entries.
Ninety-eight of the 846 who used fake passports are banned from re-entering for five years. 

I'm curious how many of the 290 "South Koreans" are actual ROK citizens and how many are using forged or stolen passports, since prior to Korea's introduction of advanced passport systems (in order to get into the US visa-waiver program), they were among the easiest to use to get into other countries. 

The others cited were Filipinos, Chinese, Iranians, and Sri Lankans. 

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