Activist sees holes in bills to snare illegals


Activist Akira Hatate opposes the bills to tighten control of foreign residents, arguing they will not serve the government’s goal of clarifying who is in the country illegally because transgressors will see little benefit in turning themselves in.

“What (the bills will) achieve is to tighten control of law-abiding foreigners, who have no need to be under tight control,” Hatate, director of the nongovernmental organization Japan Civil Liberties Union.

“The bills are very unbalanced because the government will not be able to control the intended target: undocumented foreigners,” Hatate said. “Instead they will greatly tighten the leash on properly registered foreigners, who do not need monitoring.

“To me, this is the government’s reinforcement of infrastructure to control foreigners. Fingerprinting at airports is to control entrants and the bills are to control residents. The government probably thinks it needs to do this because the number of foreigners will inevitably increase,” he said.