Japan will start imposing fingerprinting and photographing to all foreigners who are entering Japan starting from next month. All foreigners aged 16 or older will be photographed and electronically fingerprinted when they enter Japan. This measures has been approved by the parliament last year and will be impleted as soon as November 20 pending approval from the cabinet of Japan. The information will be stored for potential criminal investigations. According to the government, information will be stored for potential criminal investigations. The law has been heavily critized and among the critics including Opposition Mps, Japan Federation of BAR Associations and The Korean Resident Unions. Critics concern that the measures may infringe on privacy and promotes the view that all foreigners are criminals.
All permanent residents, state guests, diplomats and 40,000 US soldiers based in Japan will be exempted from the law.The government said the measures are necessary in a move to tighten security in Japan to deter any terrorists acts. Although Japan has a very low crime rate, Japan has repeatedly been threatened in al-Qaeda statements over its deployment of troops on a humanitarian mission to Iraq.
So, if you do not fall into the exempted categories, be prepared to say CHEESE when entering Japan.