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Foreign Ministry strengthening aid for Japanese citizens abroad

  • May 25, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 10:36 a.m.
  • English Press

In response to the new coronavirus pandemic, the Foreign Ministry is strengthening the systems it uses to aid Japanese nationals abroad.

 

The ministry is adding the capacity to form “mobile consulates” made up of ministry officials and overseas diplomatic staff so that it aid to Japanese nationals can flexibly be offered, even in areas without diplomatic missions.

 

Other endeavors include the improvement of a system for aggregating safety checks on Japanese nationals.

 

Government support has helped about 10,000 Japanese return home after being stranded abroad for reasons including the cancellation of international flights due to the pandemic.

 

Because there is no overseas mission in Hubei Province, China, where the pandemic started, staff from the ministry and the Japanese embassy in Beijing traveled to the area to facilitate return charter flights for Japanese citizens.

 

These experiences will be leveraged in the mobile consulates, which are to be temporary teams formed in response to major disasters, terrorist attacks or other events to assist the evacuation and return of Japanese nationals.

 

Additionally, the ministry plans to create a safety confirmation system for Japanese citizens in multiple countries and regions all at once.

 

The ministry asks that Japanese living abroad register their residence status, and short-term visitors for tourism, business or other reasons to register with the ministry’s “Tabi Reji” system.

 

When the safety of a Japanese national is confirmed, emails are sent out to the registered addresses, but these confirmations can only be done for one country at a time.

 

The system will be improved so that safety confirmations can be performed in multiple countries and regions simultaneously in the event of a transnational crisis like a pandemic.

 

The ministry was allotted ¥3.5 billion in this fiscal year’s supplementary budget for these endeavors to strengthen the protection of Japanese nationals.

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