How Can I Get My Criminal Record in Japan?

I got a phone call from an English speaker today. He had a complicated visa history. He said that he had been deported from Japan once. After that, he changed his name (he said "it is legal in my country.") and was able to enter Japan again soon.

He was very anxious about new immigration system at Japanese airports which starts Nov. 20th. In the new system, foreign people have to give their fingerprints and have their picture-taken. If his fingerprint meets the other one which he had given in deportation procedure, immigration may arrest him even though changing name was legal, he said. Yes, it could happen.

I am not sure he really got deported. It seemed like a denial of landing as long as the story he told me. A solution is going to be different if it was a denial of landing.

I am always frustrated with the fact that there is no way to make sure what foreign people's actual sanction were. Violation records of immigration law are strictly closed. Even if the immigration officer gives a written notice at the time of law violation, the officer gets it back when the foreigner gets deported.

I heard this story. A foreign woman mistook her own sanction and waited for the prohibition period of one year outside of Japan. She never knew that she cannot enter Japan forever until she arrived a Japanese airport one year later and the immigration officer told her so.

That was not the only one case I heard. Though written notice of their sanction is an obligation of the immiglation office according to Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, I am not sure if they conduct that right. If the notice is written in Japanese and they cannot read Japanese? If the officer read that for the foreigner and he could not get the meaning well? If they can obtain the paper when they leave Japan, they could make sure the meaning of their sanction after that.

How can they know about their own criminal history with staying outside of Japan?

While writing this article, I found the criminal record reference service for foreigners in the Okayama Police website.

People outside Japan can apply for the certificate through Japanese Embassy or Japanese Consulate in their countries. Please contact the police or Japanese consulate if you are interested. The person must apply by him/herself. Our office can pick up the certificate in Japan as an agent of you.