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Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007

VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Have you ever been "gaijin-carded"?


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Alun Thomas
Teacher, 34 (English)
I was asked by a policeman standing outside a "koban" to show my gaijin card. However, I feel like being English and white I don't have the problems other foreigners must have.

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Shannon Johnston
Teacher, 24 (Australian)
I was stopped by a lady cop as I was leaving work. She asked for my card and then read it out loud on the street. It was so embarrassing! If you have to show your card I wish it could at least be more discreet.

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Nam Vu
Accountant, 24 (Aussie)
I only had to show it to get a phone and apartment. I believe it is a hassle though: Japan doesn't have a problem with illegal immigrants so I don't see why they always have to check foreigners' cards.

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Jessica Havstad
Graduate student, 27 (U.S.)
I was stopped while trying to figure out a map by a man in uniform. I don't know if he was a cop. He told me to show my card, looked at it, then acted all nice. But he didn't help me work out where I was going.

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Rav Phull
Trainee solicitor, 24 (English)
Just after I arrived, three officers demanded my card. It wasn't made yet so they took me to work and spoke to my boss. I was then interrogated by 20 cops, fingerprinted and had to sign an apology.

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Jade Dearle
Print maker, 28 (Aussie)
I've never been asked to show it, but I show it to taxi drivers as I can't speak Japanese and they can take me home. I feel I have nothing to hide so I wouldn't have a problem if I was asked to show it.



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