Japan to develop app that can detect if foreign nationals' residence cards are fake
Japan Times -- Jan 08
The government will develop a smartphone app to easily identify if residence cards, which are issued to foreign nationals, have been forged in an attempt to crack down on visa law violations, government officials have said.

The app, intended for potential employers of foreign workers, will read data stored in the IC chip embedded in the cards and confirm whether the data matches information listed on the cards such as name and residential status.

The government aims to introduce the app by the end of 2020, the officials said.

The number of foreign residents has been increasing every year, reaching some 2.83 million at the end of June last year, up from about 2.03 million at the end of 2012, according to the Immigration Services Agency.

The number of arrests resulting from holding or using forged residence cards has been rising too, reaching 620 in 2018, 1.6 times higher than the previous year, according to police.

A residence card lists the carrier’s information including name, birthday, nationality, residence status and period of stay.

Forged residence cards are often used to get jobs other than those permitted by the type of visa held or to remain in the country beyond the permitted period. In some cases, they are used to sign housing loan contracts.

While the hologram on the surface of the cards has been counterfeited, so far there has been no case of the IC chips being faked, the agency said.

News source: Japan Times
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