The Japanese government has created new immigration procedures for foreign visitors rules that critics say are all too revealing about official attitudes toward foreigners.I wonder if the ongoing arms race to treat every tourist like a potential terrorist is the 21st century version of Smoot-Hawley?
On Nov. 20, Japan will begin fingerprinting and photographing non-Japanese travelers as they pass through immigration at air and sea ports. The government says the controls are a necessary security measure aimed at preventing a terrorist attack in Japan.
The new system is modeled on the U.S. program instituted in 2004 that takes digital photos and fingerprints of travelers entering the United States on visas. But the Japanese system goes further by requiring foreign residents in addition to visitors to be photographed and fingerprinted.