On May 18, 2006, a little discussed and little debated law passed the Diet.
With changes modeled on the “U.S. Visit” system set up in 2003, the Immigration Control Law was amended to require that, from November 2007, all foreigners (except “special” permanent residents) be photographed and fingerprinted upon entering the country.
The law has sparked concern among the international community in Japan, as well as with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, which believes the amendments to the law are unconstitutional.
While the Justice Ministry does appear to be adopting a flexible, open approach to the terms of implementation, some government officials have described the law as “dumb” and “poorly thought-out.”
Others admit they’ve never even heard of it.