Japan's Got it Right

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Those guys don't mess around:

TOKYO (Reuters) - Foreigners arriving in Japan will be photographed and fingerprinted on arrival as part of measures to prevent terrorism, under a measure approved by Japan's parliament on Wednesday.

It allows Japan to deport any arriving foreigner it considers to be a terrorist, and requires planes and ships arriving in Japan to submit lists of passengers before arrival.

Japan's Federation of Bar Associations had called for the bill to be scrapped, saying fingerprinting foreigners violates a constitutional requirement to treat people with respect.

A police report in December said Japan was at risk of attack because of its close links with the United States.

Fingerprinting and photographs were introduced at U.S. immigration checkpoints in 2004.
But not soon enough. It should be a general rule that if you're not a citizen of a particular country, the government will be paying close attention to you. There's nothing "disrespectful" about fingerprinting foreigners inasmuch as it is quite disrespectful to cause massive casualties as a result of a covert terrorist strike.

We live in fearful times. Sometimes drastic measures must be taken to ensure public safety, even if we must go as far as taking somebody's fingerprints.