Living in a foreign country can be difficult, especially one as bureaucratically confusing as Japan. Thankfully the new Foreign Residents Support Centre (FRESC) has just opened in Yotsuya, Shinjuku ward, on Monday July 6. The support centre is designed to be a convenient one-stop location for foreign nationals living in Japan to get information, support and consultation from government departments and organisations handling immigration, legal and humanitarian affairs and employment. Having all these agencies under the same roof will make life much easier, especially for those new to Tokyo.
There are a total of eight organisations and bureaus represented in FRESC.
Immigration Bureau with Resident Support Division: Provides information to foreign residents. Also accepts requests for disclosure of entry and exit records and certification of information relating to foreign residents.
Tokyo Immigration Bureau: Provides consultation for foreign residents and also companies interested in hiring immigrants.
Tokyo Legal Affairs Bureau and Human Rights Department: Handles cases of discrimination, abuse and harassment against foreign residents and people with disabilities.
Japan Legal Support Centre: Introduces residents to the Japanese legal system and also provides free consultation on Japanese legal matters, including for those in need of financial assistance.
Tokyo Labor Bureau: Provides consultation on working conditions for foreign residents as well as information for businesses that employ them.
Tokyo Employment Service Centre for Foreigners: Offers support, vocational consultation, information on job interviews and internships for international students and people on working visas.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Visa Information: Provides information on the documents required for visa applications as well as answer visa-related questions.
Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro): A group that runs seminars and websites with information for professional foreign residents and offers support for small to medium-sized companies that hire professional foreign residents.
Basically, FRESC is your one stop shop for anything related to immigration, legal and employment matters in Tokyo. The centre is open from 9am to 5am on weekdays only and offers services in English, Chinese and nine other languages. Remote interpreters are available as well. Currently, further information is only available in the Japanese-only official pamphlet here, but we’ll update this story as more details become available.
FRESC is located at Yotsuya Tower 13F, 1-6-1 Yotsuya, Shinjuku (Yotsuya Station). For more information, call 057 001 100 (or +813 5363 3013 if you're dialing from overseas).
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