Foreign Residents Support Center
About half a year has passed since the Foreign Residents Support Center (FRESC) opened in Yotsuya, Shinjuku City, Tokyo. Local governments, private companies and individuals are making good use of its services.
Last July (2020), FRESC opened on the 13th floor of the CO • MO • RE YOTSUYA high-rise building near JR Yotsuya Station in Shinjuku City, Tokyo. It is a facility operated by the Japanese government to carry out activities including support for consulting requests from foreign nationals residing in Japan, support for companies that want to hire foreign nationals, and support for local governments engaged in supporting foreign nationals. A major characteristic of the facility is that eight organizations related to foreign nationals’ residence in Japan, such as visas and employment, are gathered on a single floor. These organizations work closely with one another to provide the necessary support for users regarding residence as quickly as possible.
The staff at FRESC’s reception desk speaks Japanese, English and Chinese. Using a tablet, they are also able to receive visitors in Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian and Nepali languages as well.
The following outlines the services available from organizations at FRESC. Since the available language services and the procedures to apply for services are different for each organization, visitors will need to visit the FRESC website or to call its main phone number to check before visiting to apply for services.
Immigration Services Agency (Disclosure Request Office)
The Disclosure Request Office accepts requests to disclose immigration records and alien registration records in addition to administrative documents held by the Immigration Services Agency (head office).
Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau
The Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau provides individual counseling by appointment to foreign nationals living in Japan and business people who want to hire foreign nationals. It also gives advice and provides counseling, etc., to local governments relating to foreign nationals.
Tokyo Legal Affairs Bureau, Human Rights Department
The Human Rights Department at the Tokyo Legal Affairs Bureau provides counseling on various human rights issues such as bullying, abuse, various types of harassment, and privacy violations through misuse of the Internet, in addition to discriminatory treatment of foreign nationals and people with disabilities. The department also conducts simple, quick and flexible relief activities and human rights awareness-raising activities for these types of human rights violations.
Japan Legal Support Center (the JLSC, Houterasu)
Houterasu is a public agency that helps to resolve legal issues. For people who reside in Japan and face financial difficulties, Houterasu provides free legal consultation and interest-free loans to cover the fees for lawyers’ services (depending on income level and other conditions).
Tokyo Labour Bureau Consultation and Support Office for Foreigners
Tokyo Labour Bureau Consultation and Support Office for Foreigners provides consultation and support regarding labor-related laws such as the Labor Standards Act and labor management, safety and health management consultation for business owners who employ foreign workers. It also provides seminars by experts and sends consultants to companies in relation to personnel management including safety and health issues. Consultations for foreign workers regarding working conditions are also available.
Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners
The Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners is an institution of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare that provides support for highly skilled foreign professionals (students and specialist/technical expert status of residence holders) who are seeking full-time employment. It also supports business owners by providing them with information and counseling for hiring foreign nationals in addition to conducting employment counseling and placement, holding job fairs and implementing internships.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Visa Information
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Visa Information receives various general counseling inquiries relating to visa application procedures and provides guidance concerning documents required to apply for entry visas for Japan.
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
JETRO has established a platform for promotion of active participation by highly-skilled foreign professionals while coordinating with relevant government ministries and agencies in order to facilitate the utilization of foreign nationals who have a high-level of knowledge and skill. The organization provides information through seminars and its portal site, and provides support services to companies interested in hiring highly-skilled foreign professionals.
Currently (as of January 20, 2021), FRESC operates the FRESC Helpdesk to provide telephone consultation services for technical intern trainees and other foreign nationals residing in Japan experiencing difficulties due to the COVID-19.
Services are available in 14 languages, including Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese and English.
Note: This article has been created with the consent of the Ministry of Justice’s Immigration Services Agency of Japan and on the basis of materials published by the agency.