Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Coming to Japan?

Sorry I haven't blogged for a while... I've had some crazy, busy days here. They are still continuing, so this is just a quick post before bed...

There are times in Japan, luckily not too often, that I feel like a criminal just for being a foreigner.

I forgot to tell you that when I came back from my trip to Japan, I was asked by police to produce my alien card. It was a first for me. Of course I had to show my "Certificate of Alien Registration" in immigration, that was expected. But later, as Wayne and I were waiting for our train, outside of the the airport, we and other foreigners waiting were asked to produce our cards again, this time to different officials. The police officer then interviewed me for about ten minutes as he took down all my details and also asked to see my passport and visa.

I believe that years ago when gaijin applied for their alien cards, they were fingerprinted. This was stopped a number of years ago, sometime before I first came here in 1999. Well it seems like it's back! Not only for foreigners planning on staying for an extended period, but anyone entering the country. Mel gave me the heads up and you can see more about it here. By the way, make sure to say "Cheese"!


Mel & Seigo said...

Actually, now that I think about it, I first had my fingerprints taken at Seki City Hall!!

I think I'd forgotten an inkan etc and they took my fingerprint instead.

Funnily enough, the same is done for Japanese too. Seigo's mum forgot her inkan when she was lodging Ryder's Japanese passport and they took her fingerprint then too.

I guess it's not so terrible after all...but it would feel a whole lot better if it was Japanese too getting it done at the airport ;)

Ritchie said...

I'm gonna give a big cheesey grin for that camera!

azumarisan said...

The same thing happened to me (although i don't have alien registration) when i entered japan. I was pulled over by immigration and interviewed *in Japanese* for 10 minutes while hubby had to wait on the other side of the glass. It was terrible!

They mainly wanted to know where i was planning on living, why i was in Japan etc etc. Obviously marrying a Japanese man is a suspicious activity or something? I don't know...but it was such a surprise!! I was totally scared they were going to deport me or something.

One of my friends was on the same flight (also a gaijin) and she didn't get asked anything. I was told later it was because i had a Japanese last name. Go figure.