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View Poll Results: Are you for or against the "gaikokujin tourokusho" ?

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  • For : it's convenient (even Japanese should have one for this reason)

    40 60.61%
  • Not sure

    17 25.76%
  • Against : I just don't like the concept of having to carry an ID with me all the time

    6 9.09%
  • Dead against : that's blatant discrimination !

    3 4.55%
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Thread: For or against the "gaikokujin tourokusho" ?

  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    For or against the "gaikokujin tourokusho" ?

    Easy question, just to get an idea of how other foreigners in Japan feel abbout it : Are you for or against the "gaikokujin tourokusho" (alien registration card) that all foreigners have to carry if they stay more than 3 months in Japan ?

    Some have criticised it as a form of discrimination, even comparing it to the Nazi system with the Jews. I guess that was especially when people had to have their fingerprints on it, but I have never known this system.

    Personally, I see more advantages than inconvenients. It makes it easier to prove one's status, to get official documents or to open a bank account. Japanese tend to be in trouble when asked for official identification to open a bank account, get a video club member's card or apply for a job. As they don't have any identity cards, and most leave their passport at home, they have to get some kind of other official paper, such as insurance payments or family register, but those don't have pictures, so are less reliable and don't always work. But that's quite a hassle as one doesn't normally carry that kind of documents with them. With the gaikokujin tourokusho, no need to keep one's passport in the wallet, nor any other cumbersome documents. Just a little card. I can't think of any drawbacks either...

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  2. #2
    'cuse I can! Ghost's Avatar
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    Not sure, never been though that sorta thing......yet.
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  3. #3
    Villain Iron Chef's Avatar
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    I'm all for it. I found it to be quite handy whenever I needed to do anything requiring me to sign up for any sort of membership (video or karaoke clubs for instance). Wasn't too keen on the fingerprinting at the time (which thankfully is no longer done) but all in all I thought it was convenient to have.

    Btw, in case anyone doesn't know what they look like, below is an example (all personal info distorted naturally) taken from someone's weblog I found while doing a search for an example to post. (http://www.blogd.com/archives/000142.html)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Regular Member Erik's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's a handy piece of photo ID... They should do something similar in every country... Fits in the wallet nicely... rather carry this than a passport.

  5. #5
    Kongming jeisan's Avatar
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    wouldnt bother me any. youre required to carry photo ID if youre over 18 in the states, a drivers license suffices. which they take your thumbprints for, even if youre renewing or changing address, well in texas anyway.
    makes me wonder, dont the japanese have drivers licenses? or are they just different than the ones here?
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  6. #6
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jeisan

    makes me wonder, dont the japanese have drivers licenses? or are they just different than the ones here?
    Well, not everybody has a driver's licence. Having a car is almost unnecessary in a city like Tokyo (where almost 1/4 of all Japanese live). I personally don't see the need for one. Once you know you have to pay for a permanent parking space about 300US$/month (as very few houses have garages, and no garden at all in central Tokyo) and it cost about 1000US$ to actually get the driver's licence, and you have to renew it (and pay a few hundred US$) every few years, it is really not surprising that less Japanese have driver's licence than in Western countries (especially in such a vast country as the USA, where people can drive as early as 14, while it's 18 in Japan and Europe).

    But which countries really have proper ID cards ? In Europe, Austria, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden have made ID cards voluntary; Belgium, Germany, Greece and Spain require citizens to carry the ID with them at all times. The UK doesn't have any, but is planning to introduce them. Ireland, Denmark, Japan, the US and I believe Canada & Australia don't have any. What about other countries ?

  7. #7
    free spirit lineartube's Avatar
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    It's weird reading about a comparison of a national ID card to part of a Nazi system. It's not the firts time I stumble upon it, but I also don't know if it is a history myth or not...

    Anyway, I can say that in Portugal, every citizen as an ID card and I haven't a problem with it... despite having a finger print of mine in it. I never thought much of the ID card system, because it's been institutionalized for years in Portugal and it's quite handy when you have to show a proof of identity. Passports and drivers licenses are not an option here, because you first need an ID card to get those, but they can also work as a proof of identification since they are oficial papers and carry at least, a photography.

    If the Japanese want to innovate, why not a RFID tag planted under the skin?
    Ln.

  8. #8
    Kongming jeisan's Avatar
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    the US is a bit tricky on this, while i dont think the nation as a whole requires ID, but most if not all of the states require persons over 18, 16 in some, to carry a valid state issued or military ID card. they can actually fine you for not having it. a drivers license covers the state issed ID as the 2 or hardly different besides the words at the top, hell you have to get the ID at the department of motor vehichles anyway lol

  9. #9
    I jump to conclusions mad pierrot's Avatar
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    I like it. In fact, I like it so much I have 2.
    (Thought I lost the first, got another, then found the old one.)

    At least it's fun to show folks back home!


  10. #10
    Regular Member neko_girl22's Avatar
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    I have no problem with it and yep it was convenient when I signed up at a new video store last week.
    Although, the card is in my maiden name (because my passport is) which caused some confusion when I signed the form with my Japanese name

  11. #11
    Regular Member neko_girl22's Avatar
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    p.s do you get in a heap of trouble if you are found not carrying it? It's in my wallet so it's with me nearly all the time, but sometimes I might go out and forget it .........

  12. #12
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    Well in Canada you have a health card, you need it to get medication and a trip to the doctors, etc. It has your picture and alot of info on you so you can use it as a ID. But many places don't accept it as a ID, like for buying smokes lol well it is a health card.

  13. #13
    You SPAM/We BAN !
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    I FIGURE IT WON'T BE LONG BEFORE........

    We all have those litte chips like they put in annimals. It will have our life history and every little detail of our life. There will be scanners everywhere to track us. Law enforcement agencies will all have little TV type scanners they just hold next to us so they can read it. They just have to figure out where to implant it so it can't be tampered with; like deep in our brain where tampering with it would kill you. Then they have to figure a way to up-date it without the possibility of it being altered by non-governmental officials. WOW, sounds so parinoid !!

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  14. #14
    free spirit lineartube's Avatar
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    I don't know, but... a system that would allowed me not to carry a bulky wallet filled with an ID card, credit and debit cards, video cards and so on, wouldn't probably be so bad if it was in the shape of some sort of RFID tag.

    Then again, the aliens would only need to home in their death lazers at our unique RFIDs and we wouldn't be able to hide.... though decision...



    It comes down to the level of trust you put on your government, whichever nation you belong to, and I've never seen a degree of trust toward a government body that would make anyone get tagged like animals. Well, maybe in totalitarian states, where your opinion as the common citizen doesn't amount to anything..

  15. #15
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Instead of chips implanted in the skin, why not just have a single personal card that act as ID/passport, healtyh care, credit/debit card, and could be used for any club membership too. Actually it's not so difficult technically. I already have a international debit card that can be used as telephone card, and the EU is going to impose a EU-wide health card (that some countries already have, as I do), with a chip that is only readable by special machines that each hospital, pharmacy or doctor should have. So instead of carrying loads of insurance papers, vaccination card, medical history, etc., everything is on the card. It's safer than papers as nobody can read them without the machine.
    I heard that in some countries like Switzerland, they already have card-like passport, where all the visas and "stamps" are added electronically (but not all customs are equipped to read them !).
    That wouldn't e too difficult to combine all of these in a single card. Then all shops and clubs should be equipped with a machine that allow them to add/edit their own memberships, without having access to other data (with password system or something).

  16. #16
    The Akita Hachiko's Avatar
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    IMHO, if the gaijin need this, EVERYONE in Japan (native/naturalized citizens included) needs it. It's only fair.

  17. #17
    Regular Member Kiyotsuki's Avatar
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    That is true.
    Seeing what everyone else says, I guess I would find it convenient as well. Of course, I don't mind having to do anything unless it's totally unreasonable.

    I've noticed Japanese government is in EXTREME control of their gaijin population.
    What are the citizenship laws of Japan?

  18. #18
    Cute and Furry Ewok85's Avatar
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    I think its a good idea, I cant use my drivers liscence for everything (has the aussie address, not japanese). But then again i didnt have a card
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  19. #19
    Regular Member Erik's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Luc
    Well in Canada you have a health card, you need it to get medication and a trip to the doctors, etc. It has your picture and alot of info on you so you can use it as a ID. But many places don't accept it as a ID, like for buying smokes lol well it is a health card.
    Not every province has a picture on the health card. I'm assuming your from ontario... When I was living in ontario, I had a picture ID health card... but in BC the card has no picture.

  20. #20
    Regular Member Erik's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maciamo
    Instead of chips implanted in the skin, why not just have a single personal card that act as ID/passport, healtyh care, credit/debit card, and could be used for any club membership too. Actually it's not so difficult technically. I already have a international debit card that can be used as telephone card, and the EU is going to impose a EU-wide health card (that some countries already have, as I do), with a chip that is only readable by special machines that each hospital, pharmacy or doctor should have. So instead of carrying loads of insurance papers, vaccination card, medical history, etc., everything is on the card. It's safer than papers as nobody can read them without the machine.
    I heard that in some countries like Switzerland, they already have card-like passport, where all the visas and "stamps" are added electronically (but not all customs are equipped to read them !).
    That wouldn't e too difficult to combine all of these in a single card. Then all shops and clubs should be equipped with a machine that allow them to add/edit their own memberships, without having access to other data (with password system or something).
    I guess this really depends on the country, but Canada and the US would have a harder time doing something like this as each province/state acts independently issuing their own DL, Healthcards, birth certificates. I agree with you that it is technically possible, but that would be just plain and simply too convienent for those governments.

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Hachiko
    IMHO, if the gaijin need this, EVERYONE in Japan (native/naturalized citizens included) needs it. It's only fair.
    *Agrees*. Foreigners should just be able to use the same identifcation as the Japanese use, there is no need to be singled out

  22. #22
    Regular Member Keeni84's Avatar
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    In America, if a police officer asks for your ID and you don't have one, and he suspects you being over the age of 18 (or sometimes 16) she can take you down to the station.

    I personally don't see anything wrong with an ID card, just as long as people don't get crazy with it, and ask me to show my ID everywhere I go or every time I'm peacefully walking down the street.

    ID cards are only harmful if they are used in malice.
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  23. #23
    Samurai Golgo_13's Avatar
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    If you're not in Japan to do anything illegal, why would it bother you?

  24. #24
    Omnipotence personified Mandylion's Avatar
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    I have had experience with the fingerprint version of the card. I think this was back in ' 97. But I was only a kid and didn't care.

    I don't mind them now either, but I do not think they should take the place of other forms of official id if you have them (like a Japanese drivers license. I had to show them my card to apply for a license, so having a drivers license implies a torokusho). When it comes to things like video store memberships, point cards, and all that stuff, my Japanee drivers license has been accepted.

    The only people I am truly comfortable with knowing all the stuff that is on that card are government officials. I can make exceptions though. However, it is really not anyone elses business knowing what I do for a living, who employs me, how long I have been in Japan, my home address and where I was born unless I choose to tell them.

    Originally posted by Golgo_13
    If you're not in Japan to do anything illegal, why would it bother you?
    For the same reason that other honest peoople in principle would object to someone listening to their phone calls, reading their e-mail, or going through their mail. Torokusho are no where near as invasive, but that doesn't matter to some people (I'm not "some people" just telling you what I have heard).

  25. #25
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    "If you're not in Japan to do anything illegal, why would it bother you?"

    For the same reasons america has all the privacy laws it does.
    Once you open the door lawyers will flood it with exploits and loop holes to get information on any one.

    Any ways, I do not like the ID of me haveing to have ID and others not but I wouldn't make a big fight about it. I carry id around all the time any ways. Mostly because I am a donor and if I die I want them to know.
    Sharks never look back because they have no necks.

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