DPJ slams strict bills on foreign residents

These cards, called “zairyu,” would replace alien registration cards if the bills now before the Diet are passed. Foreigners are currently required to carry their alien cards at all times, but unlike at present, a failure to carry the zairyu could draw a ¥200,000 fine. Also subject to the fine would be failure to promptly report changes in personal information, including residential address, place of employment or marital status.

“The control (over foreign residents) is too tight” in the bills, said Hosokawa, who is the justice minister in the DPJ’s shadow Cabinet. Under the proposed system, resident registrations would be handled by the Justice Ministry, not the municipalities where people live.

The bills to revise the immigration law, which were submitted to the Diet in March, have drawn fire from foreigners, lawyers and nonprofit organizations, who complain the proposed stricter monitoring is a violation of human rights.

The panel also rejected language in the bills to strip foreigners of their residency status for failing to report new addresses to the government after a move.