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Japan Today
Chips may be implanted in imported dogs to prevent rabies

TOKYO — Japan plans to implant microchips under the skin of imported dogs in order to prevent rabies from making inroads into the country, government officials said Tuesday.

The plan intended for strict individual recognition of imported dogs was confirmed the same day at a meeting on the nation's quarantine system against rabies of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the officials said. (Kyodo News)

via Louis

I wonder when we'll be start getting records in our chips instead of stamps in our passports...


brave new scary world

Well, in a smiliar vein, when I was visiting Japan last week they printeda scannable "stamp" that was placed in my passport instead of the old ink stamps. First time I'd seen one of those.

I wonder when the'll be coming to install MY chip. Might be less intrusive than my little pink card that even a video rental store can demand to see, and more accurate than the registration system that Japan copied from SORI

Typical paranoid Japan. There has probably not been a rabid dog in Japan in the last 30 years. This is just practice so that they can get the processes down. They will be putting chips in foreigners in a few years.

We've been microchipping cats and dogs here in the States for quite some time.

The chip is about the size of a grain of rice. Before implantation, it is enclosed in biocompatible glass; the same stuff human pacemakers are made out of. This prevents rejection from the animal's body. What's more, the microchip will last very long. Longer, in fact, than the life of it's host.

Simply scan over the loose skin on the back of a dog or cat's neck and voila! - thanks to low frequency radio waves, you get a unique ID. Reference that ID against our national database and you'll find the following:

Animal Name



External Markings

Animal Owner


Vaccination records

Medical records (if available)

At the SF SPCA, we never release an animal for adoption until we microchip it first. (Oh, and we spay/neuter it too, of course.) Microchipping is a wonderful idea, in my opinion. It's estimated that about 2 million companion animals in the US are presently chipped.

My question is this: will Japan have access to international databases? Will they create their own foreign animal DB with the home country's ID used as a foreign key? (no pun intended)

Or, will they simply implant a second chip!?!?

Each microchip carries a unique number that is logged onto a national database. Against this number key information is stored about the dog and its owner including the dog's name, the owner's name and address and a record of the dog's vaccinations.

Whoops. Didn't read the excerpt carefully enough. Yup, they're gonna implant their own chips. Hmmm... I wonder if they'll do this if a chip is already present?

Paranoia abounds, as usual. This kind of thing has been in place for years in Europe, it's quite convenient if you want to travel with a pet and not have to suffer quarantine.

Hey, pay attention, the release says "Foreign" dogs. This is not something they are going to do for all dogs in Japan, just the imports. Foreign things are dangerous and need to be tracked and monitored, anything that is 100% Japanese is already clean (because it is Japanese.)

None of the benefits that you have in Europe or California will be gained if only imported pets are "Chipped."

And of course the database will be a 100% Japanese version that is not integrated with those of other countries.

I apologize for being such a cynical jerk in my previous post. I just read it again and find that I am "over the line."

I guess that I just feel this is a government project that is not well thought out and will not deliver much value to the citizens of Japan.

I could use a PDA that can be recharged with food scraps.

Fido, bark if an e-mail from Joi arrives. Meanwhile, let's go for a walkie talkie around the block.

At the Baja Beach Club in Barcelona, a microchip implant gets you in the door.

Technology gets under clubbers' skin (CNN)

If you had very loose skin around your chin, you could probably fit a glass-enclosed cell phone in there. Then you might be able to run a plastic conduit from it, past the mastoid and into the external auditory canal. Throw in ring tones and it becomes annoying as well as gross.

It all depends on the kind of chips they implant. Tortilla chips, for instance, would only work for very large dogs; conventional potato chips likewise (although perhaps those crumbled fragments from the bottom of the bag would work for smaller ones). The gourmet vegetable cips made from other sorts of vegetable, though, seem often to come as smaller chip units, and these might be more nearly practicable for a moderate-size dog. Of course, any chip at all is bigger than some dogs.

Next question, though, would be comfort —and how would they get the pertinent information onto the chip? Is this the same technology that Cory was talking about?


Of course it's foreign dogs being tracked. By definition, dogs that travel to Japan are foreign. Same with dogs that I bring to England from the US. They're foreign dogs and they have the chip, and that gets them into the country. And of course, English dogs don't need the chip if they don't travel.

AKMA, if the chip is bigger than the dog, then the appropriate thing to do is to use the dog to track the movement of the chip.

I wish they would invent a technology that keeps the dog from throwing up chips in my car.


There is no need for the chips in the first place. This issue, like almost any other is viewed differently by non-Japanese who live in Japan, than non-Japanese who live outside of Japan. Check out what people are saying on the JapanToday discussion boards. Basically, this is a way for the government to set up a money making scheme under the guise of public safety. No one will be safer and it will probably increase illegal importation of dogs.

We have see it all a million times. Foreign = dangerous, Japanese = safe.

BTW, this is not about traveling dogs, this is about farmed dogs that are traded as pets.

Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of man; and his number is six hundred sixty and six.

Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of man; and his number is six hundred sixty and six.

Do Japanese dogs have distinctive features? How are the authorities to tell if a dog is a 'japanese' dog or a 'foreign' dog to determine whether it should have a chip or not? This will be a particular problem for dogs who travel a lot outside Japan (engaged in global trade on behalf of Japan, no doubt).

What about a dog that has Japanese heritage, but was born outside Japan?

What about dogs that are only half-japanese? They might not have all the traditional distinct features and might not even be able to bark the language.

Finally, is it permissible for a dog to hold a 'dual chip', or does the dog have to swear fealty to Japan above all other nations?

What if a dog which sought refuge from cruel owners in Japan? Would it be entitled to an identification chip?

Finally, what steps are being taken to avoid creating a new underclass of 'stateless' dogs which do not have a chip from any country?

I think so,too.

When I came to U.S.,I was took a photo and a fingerprint.I thought that I am an offender, am I?

It is more fearful than that time is likely to set.

My daughter is currently living in Japan and is trying desperately to get her two cats micro-chipped. Any suggestions as to how she can find out where it is available. No-one over there seems to know.

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Posts on Other Blogs from Hot Abercrombie Chick
June 10, 2004 11:53 AM

Joi Ito: Reposting of an excerpt from an article about microchips implants in imported dogs. Read More

it seems to be "big brother" day here at meta-roj. ah well. might as well run with it.... from joi, Japan - Chips may be implanted in imported dogs. it's important to track the dogs, but someone's going to complain... Read More

Implanted RFIDs are a pretty startling way to discriminate the out crowd from the in crowd, both with non-humans and humans. Japan’s planning to implant foreign dogs with RFID, while a Spanish club owner offers implants to his VIP customers... Read More