NO MORE ALIEN REGISTRATION CARDS!
LET'S SEND THEM ALL BACK TO THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT!
To all foreigners living in Japan:
We are a network of foreigners who have returned or are considering
returning our alien registration cards to the Japanese government.
We are tired of this bothersome thing that we are obligated to
carry on our persons at all times in flagrant violation of our
fundamental human rights. We hereby propose sending them all back to
the Prime Minister or the Justice Minister.
HUH? CAN I DO THAT?
Yes, you can.
About 15 individuals, mostly in the Kansai region, have
already sent theirs to the Prime Minister or to the Justice Ministry. And
more are thinking of joining us day by day.
There are various ways of returning your alien registration
card. A group of people might get together and send them all together
from a local post office. A single individual might drop his or hers
into a corner mailbox. Some people might want to include a letter
explaining why they are taking this action.
ISN'T IT ILLEGAL?
The Alien Registration Law is infamous throughout the world as a tool
for the oppression of human rights. This law stipulates that the card
must be carried on the person at all times. A permanent resident who
violates this clause is subject to a fine of up to \100,000. (Before
the revision of 2000, a criminal penalty was also possible, but that
penalty has been eliminated. The current fine is only an administrative
penalty and does not constitute a criminal record.) However, none of the
individuals who have returned their cards has ever been charged.
Since we are asking the trustworthy Prime Minister and Justice
Minister to safeguard our cards for us, we will no longer have to
worry about losing them or throwing them away accidentally. The
national government did send our cards to the local authorities with
instructions to return them to us, but once the local authorities
confirmed that we have no intention of going to pick them up, they
sent them back to the national government. It can be assumed that the
local authorities deny the need to carry an alien registration card.
WILL I ENCOUNTER ANY PROBLEMS WITHOUT MY ALIEN REGISTRATION CARD?
Not to worry. According to the individuals who have returned theirs:
--You can get a Certificate of Completion of Alien Registration issued
even if you don't have your card.
--You can conduct all city hall business with this Certificate.
--You can take care of all passport and visa business with this Certificate.
--If you travel abroad, you can take care of all re-entry permission
business at the local immigration office without your card, including
permission for multiple re-entry.
Not a single inconvenience has been confirmed due to the lack of an
alien registration card. However, it is possible that you may be
harassed if you have a short-term visa or if your status is unclear or
about to expire. Please consult us in such cases.
BUT WHAT IF I DO GET INTO SOME TROUBLE?
If for some reason you really need your alien registration card, you
can contact the Justice Ministry and ask to have it returned, or you can
contact the local authorities and ask them to reissue it.
You may think it's ridiculous to return it once and then ask
for it back. But we're not the ones who are being ridiculous. It's the
Japanese government that's being ridiculous, treating us as less than
human, making us wear these dog tags like an animal, and harassing us
and threatening us for not complying.
The United Nations Human Rights Commission repeatedly criticized the
Japanese government for this discriminatory law which makes it a
criminal offense to refuse to carry this identification. Even though the
government changed the penalty from a criminal one to an administrative
one, the UN is still critical. The Japanese government says it
must continue to insist that we carry this identification because "we
don't know what kind of trouble foreigners might cause." It's
unbelievable that they continue to maintain such an archaic,
It is a universal civil right to disobey an unjust law. Fingerprinting
was finally outlawed as a result of the resistance of many people. In
our opinion, the alien registration law is equally unjust.
There is no need for anyone to sacrifice their convenience for
the sake of resisting an unjust law. We can return them when we don't
need them, ask for them back whenever we need them, and then send them
back when we're through with them.
HOW WILL MY LIFE CHANGE AFTER I RETURN IT?
You will hardly experience any inconvenience without your alien
Everyone who has ever returned his or her card testifies to a
feeling of liberation from the psychological burden of carrying it.
Physically and mentally, they say they feel their lives are healthier
and more pleasant.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.
"Discard the Card! Network of Alien Registration Card Refusers"
c/o Kim Seong-Il at Cafe-Restaurant Garakuta Sabo Dolmen
5-98 Higashi-Sonoda-Cho, Amagasaki-Shi, Hyogo-Ken