Smart Alien Registration Cards

The Japanese government is planning to update the alien registration cards (“gaijin cards”) that foreigners are required to carry in Japan. The cards will be made into smart cards, with integrated electronic chips. and the information on the cards will be stored in a central database.

The details of the new system are mostly similar to the current one. Of course, the new cards will be harder to forge. Also, electronic exchange of information will make it easier for the Japanese authorities to keep track of foreigners. Don’t panic — the government needs to organise budgeting and legislation first, so this change will probably not take effect until 2007.

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