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Assisting Japanese Citizens Overseas

As exchanges with other countries develop, Japanese have played active roles in an increasingly broad range of fields and regions. The number of Japanese nationals traveled overseas, including tourists and residents abroad, has reached approximately 17.5 million (in 2006), with roughly 1.06 million (as of October 2006) of them long-term overseas residents, including permanent residents. At the same time, the dangers that Japanese might encounter abroad have become more diverse, while local legal and social systems are becoming more complex. In this context, there are many cases in which Japanese engaged in activities abroad find themselves in difficult circumstances.

In light of this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is reinforcing both its assistance measures to facilitate the activities of overseas Japanese nationals and its consular services to enable Japanese to live abroad with peace of mind. Attuned to the needs of overseas Japanese nationals, the Ministry is enhancing its dissemination of safety information abroad and reinforcing its function of protecting and assisting Japanese nationals according to the circumstances of each area. In addition, to support a life of overseas Japanese, each embassy and consulate providing several services such as issuing passports and certificates, operating overseas voting, supporting Japanese schools and supplementary education and providing medical- and healthcare-related information. The Ministry strives to improve effectiveness of these consular services, which ensure and advance the safety and interests for Japanese Nationals overseas, enhancing effectiveness by utilizing advanced IT technology and public-private cooperation networks and by outsourcing certain function to external service providers.

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