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Forging false IDs for foreigners a flourishing trade

31 Comments

The "sanshu no jingi" (three sacred treasures) that served as the royal vestments of Japan's ancient Yamato dynasty were a mirror, sword and jewel. By the early 1950s, these three treasures had humorously evolved into a black-and-white TV set, washing machine and refrigerator, the appliances a potential suitor was expected to provide if he were to have any hope of winning a modern-day princess' hand in marriage.

These days, a new set of four "sacred treasures" are said to be in great demand by illegal foreign sojourners: a driver's license, passport, alien registration card and student ID.

"In China, there's an extremely high demand for forged IDs, and a variety of identity documents are in circulation," a Chinese journalist based in Japan explains to Shukan Jitsuwa (March 26). "Out in the provinces, you can find graffiti or handbills distributed all over advertising document forgers.

"For Chinese who are smuggled into Japan, they'll make a set consisting of a passport, alien card and student ID for 1 million yen," he adds.

Foreign forgers have also set up shop in Japan, and are periodically apprehended. But like the perpetrators of those "it's me, send money" scams, they have proved next to impossible to eradicate.

"In February, a team of investigators from the Tokyo metropolitan police and Chiba and Saitama prefectural police arrested a group of four Chinese forgers operating in Ichikawa City in Chiba," a crime reporter from a major daily tells the magazine. "From April 2008 to January of this year, they produced some 1,300 documents for 700 customers, and cleared about 12 million yen."

At the home of the alleged perpetrator, Lin Quanxing (age 29), police found forms used to produce various certificates, as well as a manual containing the names of the mayors of nearby local municipalities, which appear on the alien registration cards.

The group reportedly made contact with customers via the Internet. To conceal its base of operations, customers were met in public rest rooms, where the materials and money were exchanged.

"A driver's license is the best type of ID to have, but forgeries of these are often spotted, so instead of that, alien cards can be used to open bank accounts and also for buying a cell phone or making a housing rental contract, so there's a big demand for them," the aforementioned Chinese journalist says.

Alien registration cards were redesigned in 2005 to prevent forgery. The new cards boast a hi-tech design with 20 features designed to foil illegal reproduction, such as printing with special ink and an iridescent hologram of the paulownia leaf used in the Ministry of Justice crest.

Unfortunately, it's taken the forgers less than four years to defeat these countermeasures and come up with authentic-looking fakes.

"When police raided an apartment in Okazaki City, they found printing plates and over 100 blank cards and a big bunch of hologram seals," a local reporter in Aichi Prefecture tells Shukan Jitsuwa. "It seems they'd bought their shop as a turn-key operation that included the equipment, materials and technical guidance."

© Japan Today

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31 Comments
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To provide them with false jobs..

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I imagine these false passports and alien cards would show the holder has permanent residence? I can't imagine someone just having a 3-year visa and having to pay 1 mil yen each 3 years to get it re-forged.

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To conceal its base of operations, customers were met in public rest rooms

Sounds a little kinky...

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Do forgers have Point card? I hope they can get them all.

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In any other country the headline would read "illegal immigrants" and not "foreigners". This tells you a lot about Japanese attitudes towards non-Japanese (this is nothing new, I know).

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Bloody foreigners. Look at what tehy do to beautifull Japan. It would be a crime free Utopia if all the ghastly foreign criminals left teh Japanese to live in peace.

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Bloody foreigners. Look at what tehy do to beautifull Japan. It would be a crime free Utopia if all the ghastly foreign criminals left teh Japanese to live in peace.

Double cheers to that bro.

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Bloody foreigners. Look at what tehy do to beautifull Japan. It would be a crime free Utopia if all the ghastly foreign criminals left teh Japanese to live in peace.

Exactly!

Oh, except for the train groping and suburban gang-raping.

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Bloody foreigners. Look at what tehy do to beautifull Japan. It would be a crime free Utopia if all the ghastly foreign criminals left teh Japanese to live in peace.

well said. lets have Japan become like North Korea, Isolated, free form the rest of the world where we have NO EXPORTS and of course No Imports. Where we consume what we produce, where there will only be Japanese employees ( No Aliens/foreigners )and the Famous Japanese brands will prosper with the whole of japan for themselves, Imagine Toyota,honda,Mazda,Suzuki,Sony,NEC,Panasonic,Hitachi to name a few prospering in a New japan and ofcourse what goes up must come down and similiarly all the Japanese companies will be booted out from the rest of the world to come and survive in japan. when that day comes I will be the first to leave japan to let the japanese live in peace.

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Reading the posts in here, most of you guys seem so absorbed in your own perceived victimhood that you completely miss the point, which is that these counterfeiters are finding it quite lucrative to break the laws.

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Nice xenephobic article for the day.

mark in japan - Very true, what you said.

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which is that these counterfeiters are finding it quite lucrative to break the laws.

Beelzebub - are you reading with your eyes closed again? The only mention in the article to the "lucrative" foregery business is to a gang of 4 that made 12MY in 9 months - split equally, not exactly a bonanza.

Methinks they aren't flying back to China on private jets.

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Methinks they aren't flying back to China on private jets.

So as long as they don't make billions they don't really break the law. I was wondering how long before some here will begin to complain about seeing more chinese than japanese in Japan. Actually some places in Ikebukuro are so chinese that we will probably soon see chinese immigration officers asking for passport and giving visas to japanese visitors.

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I got my forged card from the city office...

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So Beelzebub, why isn't the headline "Counterfeiters are finding it lucrative to sell false IDs?" There is most definitely a reason why the headline specifically mentions "foreigners" in the context of crime; the intention is to create a associative link in the audience's mind.

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There is most definitely a reason why the headline specifically mentions "foreigners" in the context of crime; the intention is to create a associative link in the audience's mind.

Er no, TokyoXtreme, I think it's called a "fact." Do you have a problem with that?

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pay 1M yen so I don't have to stand in line for many hours at the regional immigration center...

sounds like a PLAN!

and if they are this good at forging, why not make fake money ?

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Beelzebub: sorry prince of lies but I gotta back the others on this. the article makes no mention of yakuza who supply the same service, the headline clearly states forigners. when you've been here longer you'll see that japan doesn't want us here and only tolerates us as they need us.

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Sigh. Reading skills have really declined. The headline says "Forging false IDs for foreigners," I repeat, "for foreigners." It means the service, irrespective of the people behind it, caters to "illegal foreign sojourners," as stated in the first sentence of paragraph two. That is what the article in the vernacular magazine was about. Other articles in other publications may chose to report about other things. Maybe yakuza are involved; maybe some of the customers for these services are Japanese nationals. Or maybe the Japanese nationals prefer to buy from fellow citizens. All very interesting. But Shukan Jitsuwa didn't write about any of these things. And it's already been established that the vernacular media here likes to get low-down and dirty and does not feel the least bit moved to follow the rules of political correctness. Perhaps they've taken the British tabloids as their role models.

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Childish xenophobic article....local yakuza can do the same things much cheaper.

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Wow, great reporting. I hope the people they sent to find all this out get medals for exposing this horrific situation</sarcasm>.

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"forging false IDs"

I can't believe some people have nothing better to do.

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Come on. Show me the real numbers. How many arrests, convictions? How many foreigners in Japan on illegal documents?

Look the problem is by no means epidemic. How many foreigners are even here? This is just more xenophobic tripe from the media that lacks the necessary skill to write about something real and important. Or to distract from the very real problems facing Japan today.

You want some topic to write about that actually have some bearing on the long term welfare of Japan? How about these.

The Economy and how Japan's current leadership seem unwilling or incapable of doing anything to address it.

The mental health care crisis facing Japan as evidenced by rising domestic violence, suicide and violence among teens.

Japan's health care crisis and the degrading state of hospitals and availability of emergency services as evidenced by the growing number of deaths resulting from hospitals refusing emergency care to individuals.

Japan's declining role on the global stage as she is overtaken for leadership in Asia by China and now India. And what this means for the future influence of Japan over the region.

Ok. Have at it. Some topics with real world meaning and real implications for people.

This racist BS about foreigner this and foreigner that is typical propaganda designed to take the sheepish masses attention off what is happening to their country and to place worry and blame on evil foreigners instead of where it belongs on stupid inadequate leaders with zero clue how to help the nation forward.

Wake up Japan. The house you are in is burning while your leaders try pointing at a candle somewhere far down the street. Better see to the fire people. And now!

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Interesting that people on here know how to get this stuff from "the local yaks" and how much it costs. Also, buggerlugs is a bit extreme - my girlfriend is Japanese and she wants me here. Who exactly is "Japan"? These forgers were making a pittance. And anyway, what jobs are the illegals getting that make it worthwhile to pay this for a forgery?

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Ah yes, laying the groundwork for when the Ministry of Justice takes over the manufacture and administration of foreign I.D. cards this or next year. This article is appearing today for no other reason than to soften up the public. In 5-10 years time, the Japanese themselves will be carrying biometric RF i.d. cards so the government can keep an eye on them. Japan will become so much like China in this regard that those of us living here now will look back and laugh.

Think I'm wrong? Start looking up on the lightpoles in cities and note the incredible number of suveillance cameras. What are they there for? To stop all the crime, I suppose??? Think the police don't have access to anyones internet? Tell me then, how a guy makes an anonymous death threat against Asa on 2CH and is arrested hours later. Police state 2.0 is here and as the Japanese have always believed what their governments tell them, there will be no resistance against it, so long as a handful of "gaijin" criminals are served up for the media sharks every once in a while.

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Conspiracy theory

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I miss being a 19yearold gaijin criminal...those were the days I tell ya.

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the iranians in shibuya were way cheaper, 6man for license and alien card

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tkoind2 has some good points. But at the same time, I wonder when was the last time he had to "visit" THE Immigration office in Shinagawa. I have to go every 3 years, and went just last month. I was surprised to see the how the ratio of Chinese (my guess) has skyrocketed in the past 3 years, and also that compared to 3 years ago, the total numbers of foreigners has decreased. I had number 125, but it didn't stop the 128 card holding person from butting ahead of me at the last minute (I had waited an hour and a half) to receive the granting of my application. When I protested to the clerk behind the desk. He said in Japanese "I am taking people in the order that they are lined up". I didn't fight it. Waited a few more minutes then got my visa. Another funny incident was when I had my fingerprints takent there to make reentry more expedient (I'm starting to have my doubts as to its effectiveness). Since I had licked one of the revenue stamps instead of putting it over the dry sponge in front of me, inadvertantly some of the sticky-stamp remained on my left index finger and as a result the fingerprint machine couldn't read it. I had to repeat the process 3-times, then the lady said "There's something wrong with your finger." I licked the remaining stick off, but it still couldn't register well. So then she asked me to shift to the longer finger in the middle. I said, Oh this one? giving her the bird. As I left the madhouse, there was members of the red army with loud speaker protesting the Phillipine girl with illegally entered parents problem (deadline coming soon). Having recieved my 3-year lease on life, I felt liberated to yell out "Gaikokujin no sabetsu ni wa YAMEROOOO") People around were mildly surprised, but I soon got into a taxi and was on my way back to Disneyland.

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alien cards can be used to open bank accounts and also for buying a cell phone or making a housing rental contract

no they cannot. you need an alien card and a passport and you need a visa too. This article is a fabrication.

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For buying a cell phone, all you need is a passport. No visa, certainly no alien card. I had neither, and they didn't ask.

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