Go Home

GO HOME….Who says America has lost its power to influence the rest of the world?

The Japanese government has created new immigration procedures for foreign visitors — rules that critics say are all too revealing about official attitudes toward foreigners.

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.

I wonder if the ongoing arms race to treat every tourist like a potential terrorist is the 21st century version of Smoot-Hawley?

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation