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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Alien Registration Card

This is a Japanese Alien Registration Card. Until very recently, it was something every person who was going to stay in Japan longer than 90 (excluding foreign military) needed to have.

They needed to get this card within 90 days of landing, and needed to keep it on their person at all times - I kept mine in my wallet.

No... that's not MY card - I had to surrender mine when I left Japan. This one belongs to my good friend Michael, who kindly consented to let me borrow his card that he was allowed to keep. I guess there was no consistency regarding that.

Anyhow... to receive an Alien Registration Card, one had to provide an application form, passport and two photo identifications.

You needed one of these if you wanted to get a bank account (yes), get a driver's license (I had an International license I got in Canada) or a cell phone (still don't have one of those)... so it can be an important document to have in Japan.     

Date contained on the Alien Registration card: 
  • Date of registration
  • Name (including any legal alias)
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Nationality and place of residence in home country
  • Place of birth
  • Employer/school, work/school address and occupation (if any)
  • Passport number and date of issuance
  • Date of landing in Japan
  • Status of residence and duration of stay
  • Residential address
  • Information regarding household members (including name, date of birth, nationality and relationship)
  • Information regarding parent(s) and/or spouse residing in Japan
This information was recorded in a physical document called a tōroku genpyō (登録原票), kept by the municipality in which the subject lived (in my case at Ohtawara-shi).

Any changes in registered information had to be reported to the municipal office - for example, if I got married... or the fact that I was initially only staying in Japan for one year, but renewed twice more for a total of three years - the tōroku genpyō needed that information.

If you want to leave Japan (say, a vacation), you will need a Re-entry form filled out - failure to do so will man you have left Japan for good, and you will require a new tōroku genpyō and Alien Registration Card if you are going to stay longer than 90 days again.

You will notice, that there is a finger print image on the front right corner of the ARC... that's Michael's and I believe it is registered with Interpol (my ARC actually issued some seven years before Michael had more information on it). 

FYI, the Alien Registration system was done away with on July 9, 2012 and replaced with a Foreign Residents' Registration system, new system that was passed from the local municipal level to the national level - perhaps to better control possible undesirables entering the country.I would have got in anyways.

This is the reverse of the card, issued by the Japanese Ministry of Justice. Mine was pink. But this one, issue to my friend Michael - it's blue (obviously).

I had to surrender mine before I left to the Ohtawara City Hall - and I'm unsure how the heck Michael; managed to keep his, but I thank him just the same for letting me borrow it for this blog.

Anyhow... this is a gaitōshō (外登証) the alien registration card and is issued at the municipal level.

More on the new system shortly.

I have leaking water heater that took out two boxes of comic books - but fortunately not the comic books which are always ensconced in plastic. Love life.

Andrew Joseph

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