Foreigners living in Japan have a legal obligation to carry their residence card or passport with them at all times. Residence cards will usually be required for a foreigner to apply for a cell phone, open a bank account or find an apartment. Failure to carry your residence card can result in a fine of up to 200,000.
If a police officer or immigration officer asks to see a foreigner’s residence card or passport, the card holder has a legal obligation to show it to them. The punishment for not producing a residence card or passport upon request by a police officer or immigration officer is imprisonment for up to a year or a fine of up to 200,000. Imprisonment for this offense can also result in deportation from Japan.
However, if a police or immigration officer asks to see a foreigner’s residence card or passport, the official must also present the foreigner with his or her identification card showing his or her official status upon request by the foreigner.
If you have any questions about residence in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.