I was looking up some statistics on the Ministry of Justice website tonight and, just for kicks, decided to take a look at their “How to Interpret a Gaijin Card” poster. I noticed this rather odd item on page two: it’s possible to get a gaijin card even if you don’t have a status of residence. Odd, because the only way to get to Japan without a status of residence is to hide on a boat or an airplane.
The MOJ’s explanation (in the fine print to the right) is that foreigners have to register even if they have no status of residence. Of course, foreigners have to have a status of residence just to be in Japan (even if it is as a “temporary visitor” on a visa waiver).
So I’m puzzled: why bother issuing gaijin cards to people who shouldn’t be in the country in the first place?