Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Japan's Safety Level Same As Before

Today marks the first day of Japan's newly tightened airport security procedures (fingerprinting, photographing and interrogation) for all foreigners entering the country -- even those with legitimate visas. Japan is the only other country besides the US to introduce such measures since 9/11.

Visa holders like myself have cause to be annoyed. With these new "safety" measures, all foreigners are required to go through the same tedious re-entry process and invasions of privacy associated therewith, regardless of whether they live in Japan or are just visiting. This, in turn, makes foreign residents in Japan angry, which makes the country less safe.

Nice going.

Bear in mind that Japan hasn't yet suffered a terror attack at the hands of foreigners. If that happens now, it proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that anti-terrorism legislation doesn't have a positive impact on actual safety. The new rules are also being prematurely touted as having a crime reduction effect. Guess we'll have to wait and see whether or not another English teacher gets put down for a sandbath by some crazy, disappearing Japanese guy. Come to think of it, wouldn't crime in this country decline if Japanese police stopped sending the message, "Don't worry, we'll never catch you?"

[the story]

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