Immigration revision set to be passed

Compromise paves way for state-issued foreigner cards

 The ruling and opposition camps have revised a contentious set of immigration bills in a way that increases government scrutiny of both legal and illegal foreign residents while extending additional conveniences, according to a draft obtained Thursday by The Japan Times.

Legislators from the Liberal Democratic Party-New Komeito ruling bloc and the Democratic Party of Japan hammered out the bills to reach a balance on how the estimated 110,000 undocumented foreigners living in Japan should be tracked. Currently, municipalities issue alien registration cards and provide public services to foreigners, even if they know they are overstaying their visas.

The revised bills, expected to be passed Friday by the Lower House, will abolish the Alien Registration Act and revise the immigration control and resident registration laws with sweeping changes that put information on foreign residents completely in the hands of the central government.