The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare submitted the Bill to Amend the Employment Measures Law and the Law for the Promotion of Local Employment Development[Japanese] to the 166th (ordinary) session of the Diet in February 2007. Articles 28 and 29 of the bill provide for the reporting system on the employment status of foreigners. Every employer is to be obliged to notify the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare (in practice, local public employment security offices called "Hello Work") of the foreigner's name as well as status and period of residence every time when he/she is employed and leaves the job. The failure to notify will be subject to punishment. In addition, the information is to be presented to the Minister of Justice when requested.
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) expressed opposition to the bill in its opinion paper released on 21 February, which was also submitted to the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare as well as the relevant Committees of the both Houses of the Diet. The JFBA argues that the bill is in breach of the right to privacy, guaranteed in Article 13 of the Constitution of Japan and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
The Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SMJ), a network of NGOs working for the protection of human rights of foreign residents in Japan, also agrees with the JFBA and released a separate opinion paper[Japanese], arguing that the bill would contravene the principle of labour-management equality. The SMJ demands that priority should be given to the problems faced by trainees, technical interns, workers of Japanese ancestry and undocumented workers, who are working while being denied their rights.
· Bill to Amend the Employment Measures Law and the Law for the Promotion of Local Employment Development [Japanese]
· Japan Federation of Bar Associations, "Opinion Paper on Reporting System of Employment of Foreign Nationals aiming to Reinforce Immigration and Residence Control of Them" [English] [Japanese]
· Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan, "We Oppose the Introduction of Obligatory Notification of the Employment Status of Foreigners: Opinion Paper on the Proposed Amendments to the Employment Measures Law" [Japanese]