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Foreign Residents Support Center to open in Tokyo to assist with various issues

The Ministry of Justice is seen in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- The Immigration Services Agency of Japan will launch a centralized hub to support foreign residents, companies that hire foreign residents, and local governments in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on July 6, the agency announced June 12.

The Foreign Residents Support Center will comprise eight bodies from the justice; health, labor and welfare; foreign; and economy, trade and industry ministries, and will collectively offer assistance not just with immigration procedures, but consult on finding employment and legal issues, as well as human rights violations, among other problems.

Establishment of the center is part of the government's Comprehensive Measures for Acceptance and Coexistence of Foreign Nationals. The head of the immigration support section at the Immigration Services Agency of Japan will serve as the chief of the center. Among the eight entities will be the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, the Tokyo Legal Affairs Bureau's Civil Liberties Department, the Japan Legal Support Center (Houterasu), the Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners, and the Japan External Trade Organization, commonly known as JETRO.

Each body will respond to telephone consultations from individuals and companies. The Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, which in particular receives a large volume of consultations, will take interviews by appointment. One of the center's main services will also be providing support to municipal governments; it will assist in problem solving and other work through coordinators positioned at regional immigration bureaus. The eight entities will also hold talks with each other on a regular basis.

"Since the eight bodies will be placed in an open space together, we will be able to provide efficient and effective service," said a representative from the Immigration Services Agency of Japan.

The center can be contacted by phone at 0570-011000.

(Japanese original by Takakazu Murakami, City News Department)

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