Tokyo PE conducts briefing on New Japanese Alien Residency Management System

Filipino community members listen intently to the briefing on the new alien residency management system given by Japanese immigration officials.

Approximately more than a hundred Filipinos and community leaders attended a briefing by organized by Philippine Embassy in Tokyo in coordination with Tokyo Immigration officials on the New Alien Registration System of Japan on 23 June 2012 at the Embassy’s Multi-Purpose Hall.

The New Alien Registration System is an updated plan of registering foreign nationals living in Japan which will be implemented by the Japanese Government on 09 July 2012.

Mr. Shinichi Takahashi Liaison Officer of the Administration Section of the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau explained the new system of registration. Volunteer interpreter, Dr. Nobue Suzuki of Chiba University, assisted him during the briefing.

The new system of registration essentially transfers the function of issuing alien cards presently undertaken by local city halls to the immigration authorities. According to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), “the aim of the new residency management system is to enable the [MOJ] to continuously keep information necessary for managing the residency of foreign nationals residing in Japan for the mid-to long-term with resident status, and ensure greater convenience for those foreign nationals.”

The system will issue qualifying foreign nationals a resident card containing a portrait photo of the individual, basic personal information such name, resident status, and currently allowed period of stay.

MOJ said that “because the new system will allow authorities to more accurately track resident status than with the previous system, it makes it possible to introduce measures that will improve the convenience of foreign nationals who legally reside in Japan, such as a maximum period of stay of five years instead of the previous three years, and a new re-entry permit system that waives re-entry permit formalities for foreign nationals who leave and re-enter Japan within one year of the date of their original departure.”

Mr. Takashi further explained and outlined the procedural steps to be undertaken for particular categories of visa holders. A short question and answer session was conducted to close the briefing.

As of December 2010, there are around 220,000 Filipino nationals in Japan. Filipino nationals are now considered the third largest group of foreign nationals in Japan.