About this Site
March 31, 2009
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will work to realize an easily accessible MOFA Website, which allows the elderly and people with disabilities to use the information and services provided on the site without any difficulties. For that purpose, this site will aim to conform to the guideline stipulated in JIS X8341-3 ("Guidelines for older persons and persons with disabilities - Information and communications equipment, software and services - Part 3: Web content"), which is provided by the Japanese Standards Association.
In order to achieve this goal, we have established specific accessibility standards for this site corresponding to each JIS guideline. Furthermore, we relevant personnel received training on web accessibility, so as to establish a system which enables creation of a website satisfying the above goal.
We will continue to work to create a website that conforms to accessibility standards, as well as modify existing pages, as needed, and make efforts to realize a more accessible website.
Main items regarding accessibility standards
1. Conformity with standards and specifications
- The following technical standard will be employed to create contents and the site will be created based on the specifications of each standard.
- HTML 4.01
2. Structure and display style
- Headings, itemization, paragraphs, etc. will be marked up using structural elements of HTML.
- All of the display styles (arrangements, visual qualities, etc.) will be defined on style sheets. At the same time, easy browsing and understanding will be ensured even in environments in which style sheets are not applicable.
- Should it be decided, after thorough examination, that using a chart is necessary, information will be provided in the simplest structure possible.
- For title elements, names will be created that enable the user to surmise the content of a page and to distinguish the page from other pages.
- Frames will not be used.
- "Breadcrumb lists" that display the levels of a page and the current position will be established on each page, with the exception of the top page.
3. Operations and inputs
- A user will be able to carry out all operations with a keyboard.
- For forms, form names and controls will be associated with each other through HTML code. Consideration will be given to user-friendliness with explanations for inputs and structuring of choices.
- In principle, there will be no time limit for inputs.
- There will be no automatic renewal of contents displayed on a page and automatic redirection to different pages.
- Popup windows will not be used.
- As a rule, mechanisms for opening separate windows will not be prepared. Should the necessity for exceptions arise, this will be clearly indicated.
- A common global navigation will be set up for all of the pages.
- The global navigation with links will allow screen reader users skip over global navigation portions.
- For form inputs, a confirmation screen will be established which enables users to confirm input contents and make modifications before the form is sent.
4. Non-text information
- Appropriate "alt" attributes will be provided for all images.
- Text in "alt" attributes of linked images will inform the users of the link destination.
- Contents provided as PDF will also be offered in HTML or text format.
5. Colors and shapes
- When using colors to express corresponding relationships or emphasis, other means of differentiation will be simultaneously used.
- When using different shapes and positioning to express information content and corresponding relationships, other means of differentiation will be simultaneously used.
- For easy-to-see combinations of contrasting background and font colors will be used.
- Font size for each page will be specified in relative size units.
- Text fonts for pages will be specified for maximum readability.
- Easy-to-see combinations of contrasting background and font colors will be used on all pages.
- There will be no mechanism to automatically play sounds.
- For changing images or texts, extra care will be taken to their speed of changes.
- Rapidly flashing images will not be used.
- Basic language and character encoding will be specified for all the pages on the site. Where languages other than English are used, it will be clearly indicated.
- Spaces and line breaks will not be inserted in the middle of a word.
- In order to speed up provision of information to users, icons will also be set up for the following links:
- Links to outside sites:
- Links to separate windows:
- Links to PDF files: