Quite a foreigners in Japan getting steamed about the fact that they are re-introducing fingerprinting for almost all foreigners, including most long term residents. As someone who tends to judge stuff like this that pisses me off with the patience and time before I react that my red hair would suggest, trying to understand and accept these things takes a bit more time and effort than for the more relaxed parts of humanity- especially in a country where I have still yet to see a joint but caffeine is always available. Think I’ve come up with another good tactic to make sure you don’t hate the natives though:
With a political decision like this fingerprinting thing, thinking through the electoral politics of an idea always helps with this not blaming it on everyone thing. Here’s how the population of Japan divides on the matter as far as the ruling Liberal Democrats (LDP) see it:
– Foreigners can’t vote, and their numbers, influence, connections to other people of influence and ability to affect the country by voting with their feet are minimal, so they don’t count
– The left wingers who think it is a disgrace are never going to vote for the LDP or any other party that will get in power anyway, so their opinions don’t count
– The vast majority of Japanese people could be persuaded either way if it ever came to their attention, but they are too busy with celebrity gossip so there is no danger of that, so they don’t count until some scandal happens
– The minority who get really steamed about immigration are about the only section of Japanese society that is not afraid of making a big fuss and embarrassing themselves and the government, so they count big time
– Big business and their supporters in government know they will never be able to sell the idea of more legal immigration, so they use tactics like this to keep the anti-immigration punters happy so that illegal immigration and the drop in wages and conditions of workers can carry on- not unique to Japan this one!
Analysis done, and suddenly I’m as calm as a man with a Camberwell Carrot…
(This is a polished up answer of mine to a post on the Jo in Japan blog)
“How not to hate the locals Part One” here.