Assisting Japanese Citizens Overseas
With the total number of Japanese nationals who travel overseas exceeding 17 million annually and that of those living abroad also rising year by year (estimated at approximately 1.08 million as of October 1, 2007), Japanese are playing active roles in a variety of regions and fields. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is actively engaged in assistance attuned to the needs of overseas Japanese nationals, understanding that it is of significant importance to ensure their smooth activities and safety and sense of security.
The Ministry works to raise awareness of each Japanese national on the need of "self-help" in staying overseas, while also providing information, in a swift and timely fashion, on a variety of risks and threats overseas: those of incidents and accidents, natural disasters, and new and newly emerging infectious diseases such as avian and pandemic influenza, as well as those of terrorism and kidnappings, which are both occurring over an ever-wider area and becoming increasingly complex. At the same time, the Ministry continues to enhance its assistance to Japanese victims of overseas events, while regularly strengthening relevant organizations and infrastructures in order to make such assistance more effective. In addition, as fundamental services to support the daily lives of Japanese citizens overseas and the basis for their activities, the Ministry issues passports and certificates, assists Japanese schools and supplementary schools, provides medical and healthcare-related information, and supports atomic bomb survivors living overseas. Furthermore, in order to improve the level of those services, the Ministry is strengthening its system for providing information utilizing information technology and is improving electronic procedures for registrations while also reinforcing and upgrading crisis management systems in its embassies and consulates-general around the world.