Q and A
Q: I’ve obtained my re-entry permit, finalized my reservations for my holiday trip and have even squeezed in the last of my packing, but now I hear there are some new procedures for all foreigners entering Japan? What are these new measures and how will they affect me?
A: The official line:
On the 24th of May 2006, a new law amending parts of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act was promulgated and is going to be in affect as of November 20, 2007. The revised law contains new provisions for the establishment of a framework for preventative measures against acts of terrorism. As part of this framework, a new anti-terrorism measure is to be implemented, which requires the submission of personal identification information at immigration control. Under the new immigration procedures, when foreign nationals are applying for landing, fingerprints and a facial photograph will be taken after which an immigration control officer shall conduct an examination for landing. In the event of any foreign national, who is required by the new law to be fingerprinted and photographed, refusing to submit to these new provisions, that person will not be permitted to enter Japan, and will be required to leave the country.
In short, it means make sure you allow yourself plenty of time when re-entering the country because it can become a timely procedure.
Affected persons All foreign nationals entering Japan will be subject to the new provisions, apart from the following:
1. Special permanent residents
2. Persons under 16 years of age
3. Those persons performing activities which fall under the status of residence for ’Diplomat’ or ’Official’
4. Those persons who have been invited by the head of any national administrative organization
5. Those persons who are prescribed by the Ministry of Justice ordinance as equivalent to either (3) or (4)
For further information, contact:
General Affairs Division, Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice
1-1-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8977
Tel: +81 (0)3-3580-4111, URL: http://www.moj.go.jp/