How not to hate the locals Part Two

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.

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3 Responses to How not to hate the locals Part Two

  1. sandy says:

    Here in the UAE we all get an iris thingy done at the airport, as soon as we arrive (if you have an employment visa – not a tourist one)! I really think that fingerprinting is a bit ‘old technology’ – so I’m surprised the Japs are going for it. Still, maybe it’s just political posturing, like you say.

  2. Alex Case says:

    Now iris scanning I wouldn’t mind- very sci fi!

    Lots of people are surprised by how uncomputerised Japan is considering how much of the world’s electronics they produce. I guess part of it must be workers in other countries demanding decent equipment to do their jobs on (or using that as an excuse not to do your job at all if you are British), whereas the average Japanese junior salaryman or civil servant just says gambarimasu! (I’ll do my best) and tries to singlehandedly stop terrorism in Japan with ink pads and pieces of paper

  3. Laurent says:

    im with you on this one, i dont think there is much to get angry about all things considered. If anything this is just a much more overt tactic than the ones currently used in Europe to try and keep track of people and their habits. Plus I’ve never been fingerprinted before so at least it’s something new to experience.

    Iris scanning would be wicked, so would full body scans a la Total Recall.

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