Kobe Newspaper (the evening edition),2001/05/08 

Returning Alien Registration Cards to the Prime Minister

Japanese-born Koreans return the Alien Registration Cards protesting against the Alien Registration Act.


Protesting against the Alien Registration Law, which force foreign residents in Japan to carry certification cards with them at all time, five Japanese-born Koreans living in Hanshin Area, returned the alien registration cards to the Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro by mailing.  The law was revised in April 2000, and the finger printing, which has been internationally criticized as discriminatory together with the requirement of carrying the card, was abolished.  However, the requirement of carrying the card remains.  The Japanese-born Koreans criticize that gthe system of regarding a foreigner only as a management object is unnecessary.h


  The five Koreans consists of a third generation Japanese-born Korean, Kim TongFi (age of 22) , who studies at Faculty of Law in the graduate school of University of Kyoto (City of Amagasaki), and men and women at age of 20s through 40s from city of Kawasaki and Osaka prefecture.  In 1990, the father of Kim TongFi, Kim SeongIl(49) returned his alien registration card to the then Prime Minister Kaifu by mailing.  By the law revision in 2000, the fingerprinting requirement imposed upon foreign residents at age of 16 or over was abolished. However, the requirement to carry the alien registration card remains in spite of the fact that the United Nations Human Rights Committee has advised abolition of the law twice in the past.  The revision was limited to the change in the penal regulations of the violation against Japanese-born Koreans, who are special permanent residents, into an administrative penalty from criminal punishment.  According to the registration division of Immigration Bureau in the Ministry of Justice, 14 persons from Osaka or Hyogo, most of the nationalities being Korean, returned the alien registration cards in 1990 and afterwards. Although local governments, which were passed the returned cards from the central government, had kept the cards, the cards were returned to the central government again.  So far, none of the 14 persons has been punished for violation of the Alien Registration Law. 

gWhile ethe prooff is at hand, it is amusing that they have not punished the offenders.  Probably, the Japanese government only cares the problem on the security and is preserving the system. Unless requirement of carrying the card is abolished, the essence of the Alien Registration Law does not change.h says Kim SeongIl, who opened a web site to appeal for returning the alien registration cards.  The URL is <http://www.osk.3web.ne.jp/~hanran/>.

  (Kanaumi Takashi)