Periodically, the Japanese government has decided to fingerprint all resident foreigners as part of the alien registration process. This would invariably raise many complaints from the foreign community, since people didn’t appreciate the “criminal” treatment. Well, this was in the latest newsletter from the US Embassy in Tokyo:
Every so often we, at the Embassy and Consulates, receive requests from people who need a copy of their fingerprints to apply for a specialized license in the U.S. Recently we started receiving similar requests in relation to the extension of the long-term resident permit in Japan.
We verified with the Immigration Bureau of the Ministry of Justice that as of April 2006, foreign long-term residents must provide the Japanese authorities with a copy of their criminal history record to extend their visa. In order to obtain such a record, Americans have to provide the FBI with a copy of their fingerprints.
We used to refer such requests for fingerprints to the local Japanese police, but in most cases the police have stopped offering this service. Since the Embassy does not provide this service, Americans needing a copy of their fingerprints should follow the guidance listed online here.
So now I have to say that the Japanese government is better, because at least they use bicycles and cute image characters to track my sedition.