News Paper, 2001/01/27
Ifll return it to the Prime Minister
gCivil Rights Movementh against the Alien Registration Law, which
requires foreign residents to carry a certification card with them at all time.
Shin SugOk, a third generation Japanese-born Korean in Japan
gI would like to appeal to the international societyh with people
who agree to our proposal.
A third generation Japanese-born Korean who works as
a personnel training consultant, Ms. Shin SugOk, has decided to return her alien
registration card, which foreign residents in Japan are required to carry with
them at all time, to the Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro. It is for protesting against the law, which regards foreign
residents only as "the object of managementh even in the 21st
century although fingerprinting at the time of alien registration was abolished
last year. Ms. Shin holds up gThe
Civil Rights Movement in Japanh and is planning to appeal directly to members
of the United Nations Human Rights Committee that the law is against
international human rights laws.
gI canft forget the feeling of Warabanshi (cheap
and low quality paper) through my lifetime.
As a human, I have never felt so humiliated since then.h says Ms. Shin
looking back over her first alien registration when she was 8th
grade. The person in charge at the
office pressed down her hands into ink and made her fingers roll on the
registration paper. Then, she was
given Warabanshi. She rubbed her
fingers with Warabanshi, but the ink did not fade.
Foreign residents, including descendants of Koreans
who came to Japan under the colonial rule, have to register as gforeignersh
and carry the alien registration card with them at all time after they become 16
years old (When Ms. Shin registered, the law applied to those at age of 14 or
over). Then fingerprinting was also
imposed for identification when they registered. Because it was strongly criticized to be against their human
rights, foreigners who have permanent resident status were exempted from
fingerprinting in 1993, and fingerprinting of foreign residents was entirely
abolished when revised Alien Registration Law was put into effect in 2000.
However, the requirement to carry the alien registration card remains.
Article 1 of Alien Registration Law says gIt is aimed at contributing
to fair management of foreign residents.h
Ms. Shin says gMy feeling of mental pressure that the authority may
bind us anytime has not changed at all. I
would like to ask whether international society approves of a system that
regards people without Japanese nationality as ereserves of criminalsf.h She named her action gCivil Rights Movementh after the
1960sf human rights movement of African Americans in the United States and is
thinking of returning the alien registration cards with other Japanese-born
Koreans. She is going to visit
Geneva in March for appealing directly to members of the United Nations Human
Rights Committee and is also considering to attend the United Nations gWorld
Conference on Anti-racism and Abolition of discriminationh, which will be held
in South Africa from the end of August.
Alien registration certificate
Foreign residents in Japan
are required to renew the certificate every five years (every seven years for
permanent residents and special permanent residents). Requirement to carry the card at all time is provided on
Article 13 of the Alien Registration Law, and they have to show the card when
asked by policemen and others like.
By the end of last year,
more than 10 people from Osaka and Hyogo prefecture, whose nationality being
Korean or Chinese, have returned their alien registration cards to the Japanese
government by mailing to protest against the law. Although Ministry of Justice says gWe would like the law to
be understood and will return the cards to them through local governments,h
the ministry has not punished them by the administrative penalty (a fine of
100,000 yen or less), which is aimed at special permanent residents.