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
Jun 04
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo says he maintains the goal of raising the country's minimum wage, while taking into account the situations of small- and medium-sized companies reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)
May 29
Economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and National Governors’ Association Chairman Kamon Iizumi agreed Thursday to work together in promoting “a new way of living” and migration to rural areas to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Japan Times)
May 28
The Japanese government has compiled a second supplementary budget for the current fiscal year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The planned spending of 31.9 trillion yen, or more than 296 billion dollars, is a record for a supplementary budget. (NHK)
May 22
Many Japanese local municipalities are struggling to distribute the universal ¥100,000 coronavirus cash relief due to a heavy workload resulting from handling online applications. (Japan Times)
May 22
The head of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutor's Office, who has been the focus of intense scrutiny over his close relationship with the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, submitted his resignation Thursday following a report that he had participated in a game of mahjong while gambling with newspaper employees. (Japan Times)
May 22
The Japanese government's coronavirus advisory panel has expressed support for the administration's plan to lift the state of emergency in three prefectures in western Japan. (NHK)
May 20
Japan on Tuesday urged the World Health Organization to allow Taiwan to join its plenary sessions as an observer to discuss the global response to the new coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Today)
May 19
The government and ruling coalition parties agreed Monday to shelve a plan to enact a law to extend the retirement age of prosecutors during the current Diet session, amid heated criticism from the Japanese public led by celebrities who have taken to Twitter to express their opposition. (Japan Today)
May 18
During a House of Representatives Cabinet Committee meeting on May 13, Takuya Hirai, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, was photographed watching a video of a crocodile on his tablet. Unsurprisingly, the video was not at all related to the meeting’s topic, which was about the retirement age for prosecutors. (Japan Today)
May 18
While China’s tensions with the United States and Australia have been sharply intensifying over its handling of the new coronavirus outbreak, the Asian power has been apparently aiming to bolster ties with its neighbors — Japan and South Korea. (Japan Times)