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Here are the topics for this month
- Upcoming Holidays and ACS Office Closures
- ACS Appointments coming to Tokyo during August 2009
- August 3: LetterPack500 Mailing of Passports and Reports of Birth
- Complete your U.S. Passport Application Online Prior to Coming to the Embassy
- Scam Alert - Faxes claiming to be from the IRS are not legitimate
- California to Hold a Special Primary Election on Sept. 1
- Federal Voting Assistance Program Newsletter and Helpful Hints for Voters
- Preparing for Influenza A (H1N1) and the Upcoming Flu Season
- Security Situation - Travel Warnings and Alerts
- U.S. State Department Online Travel Registration
The American Consulate in Fukuoka will only be offering limited consular services to American Citizens living in Kyushu and Yamaguchi Prefectures in the month of August, due to a staffing shortage. Appointments will be accepted after Aug. 14 for all routine services, including passport applications and notarization of documents. American citizens may use the American Consulate-General in Osaka, which provides daily consular services, if time sensitive processing of passports or notarized documents is required. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.
There are no holiday closures in the month of August. The U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulates in Japan will be closed for the following holidays in September 2009:
|Labor Day||Sept. 7 (Monday)|
|Respect for the Aged Day||Sept. 21 (Monday)|
- U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Sept. 4:
The American Citizen Services (ACS) branch of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo will be closed to the public on Friday, September 4, except for emergencies. Consular Services will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Please note that this closure applies only to Tokyo ACS and does not apply to the Visa branch in Tokyo. American citizens who require emergency assistance from the U.S. Embassy Tokyo ACS section on Friday, Sept. 4 should contact the Embassy switchboard at (03) 3224-5000 / DSN 224-5000.
- Osaka Consular Services, Sept. 3-4:
The ACS Unit in Osaka will be closed to the public on Thursday Sept. 3 and Friday Sept. 4. Consular Services will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 8. For American citizens needing emergency assistance, please call the Consulate's switchboard operator at 06-6315-5000.
- Fukuoka Consular Services, Sept. 2-4:
The Consular Section in Fukuoka will be closed to the public from Wednesday, Sept. 2 through Friday, Sept. 4. Consular Services will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 8. For American citizens needing emergency assistance, please call the Consulate's switchboard operator at, 092-751-9331.
- Sapporo Consular Services, Sept. 2-4:
The Consular Section in Sapporo will be closed to the public from Wednesday, Sept. 2 through Friday, Sept. 4. Consular Services will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 8. For American citizens needing emergency assistance, please call the Consulate's switchboard operator at 011-641-1115, extension 0 to speak with a duty officer.
A full list of all of our holiday closings is available online here.
Please remember that the days just before and just after a holiday are often extremely busy and you can expect significantly longer waiting times. If you visit us outside of these times, you should have a shorter wait.
American citizens who require emergency assistance during holidays should contact the office serving their part of Japan, a list of which is available online here.
To view the business hours for the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and all of the U.S. Consulates in Japan, please check here.
During the month of August, the American Citizen Services section in Tokyo will begin offering most ACS services on an appointment-only basis. The starting date will be announced on this website and via a special edition of the ACS newsletter.
Appointments will be needed for all Passport applications, Consular Report of Birth applications, notary services, and Federal Benefits services. No appointments are necessary for emergency services, or adding extra visa pages to your valid passport.
Passport services will be offered Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. – 12 noon; and on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 2–4 p.m.
Consular Report of Birth services will be offered Monday through Friday from 10–11 a.m.; and on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 2–2:30 p.m.
Notary services will be offered Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. – 12 noon.
Federal Benefits services will continue to be offered on an appointment-only basis. Please see the Federal Benefits page on this ACS webpage for appointment details.
The ACS section in Tokyo will be closed on Wednesday afternoons.
This announcement does not affect Consulates elsewhere in Japan. For information on operating hours and ACS services provided by Consulates in Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka-Kobe, Fukuoka, and Naha, please see their individual pages on the U.S. Embassy website.
Effective Monday, August 3 Tokyo ACS is requiring all passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) applicants to submit an LetterPack envelope or a self-addressed, stamped envelope with their passport or CRBA applications. These envelopes will be used to mail your passports and CRBAs back to you. Both passports and CRBAs will fit into an LetterPack envelope. If you provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope for returning a CRBA, it must be at least 30 × 24 cm (width × length) to accommodate the A4 size CRBA certificate.
LetterPack envelopes cost only 500 yen and can be purchased at any post office in Japan. They are also available for purchase at the Lawson’s convenience store located directly across from the U.S. Embassy. LetterPack envelopes are a quick, reliable, and secure method of mailing, and envelopes are tracked from sender to receiver.
Caution: Document losses resulting from use of customer-supplied, self-addressed, stamped envelopes periodically occur, resulting in customers losing important identification and documents (old passports with visas, ID cards, drivers licenses) and often having to replace original copies of vital records.
Because of increases in Tokyo ACS workload and restrictions on staffing, we regret we will be unable to phone customers for pickup of their passports and other documents at the U.S. Embassy except in emergency circumstances.
Effective immediately, when applying for a passport at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, the American Citizen Services (ACS) unit asks that all applicants utilize the online Passport Application Wizard and print (single-sided only) the completed passport application prior to coming to the Embassy.
We have recently received many phone calls and emails in regards to a faxed bogus IRS letter and Form W-8BEN (Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding) asking non-residents to provide personal information such as account numbers, PINs, mother’s maiden name and passport number. The legitimate IRS Form W-8BEN is sent to the recipients by their financial institutions, not the IRS and is used to establish appropriate tax withholding for foreign individuals.
This scam has been around for about 5 years circulating mainly in South America, Europe, and the Caribbean and it has now surfaced in Japan. For more information on this specific scam please go to this IRS webpage.
The IRS generally does not send faxes or emails to taxpayers, nor does the IRS discuss tax account matters with taxpayers via email or fax. Moreover, the IRS never requests security-related personal information, such as PIN numbers from taxpayers. Please be suspicious of any fax, email or phone call asking for any security-related personal information.
Those who have received questionable faxes or emails claiming to come from the IRS may forward it to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also forward suspicious faxes or e-mails to the Federal Trade Commission at email@example.com or call 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338).
For information about other scams and what you can do to protect yourself (or what to do if you are the victim of a scam), visit this webpage on the U.S. Department of State site.
On Tuesday, Sept. 1, there will be a special primary election in the 10th Congressional District of California to determine the political parties' candidates to appear on the ballot for a special general election to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3, to fill the seat vacated by Representative Ellen O. Tauscher. If one candidate receives a majority of the votes (50% + 1) in the special primary election, no special general election will be held.
To determine if your legal residence is in the 10th Congressional District, click here and then click on "United States House of Representatives." If you qualify to vote in this special primary election, please go to www.fvap.gov and request a ballot for this special election by completing and submitting a registration and ballot request, Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). County Election Office information is available online here.
For the Sept. 1 Primary:
Absentee Voter Registration: Aug. 17, 2009
Ballot Request for Registered Voters: Aug. 25, 2009
Ballot Return: Sept. 1, 2009
For the Nov. 3, General Election:
Absentee Voter Registration: Oct. 19, 2009
Ballot Request for Registered Voter: Oct. 27, 2009
Ballot Return: Nov. 3, 2009
Topics in the August newsletter include:
- Introducing Bob Carey, who was appointed as the Director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program on July 6, 2009
- FVAP Resources list
The Federal Voting Assistance Program publishes the Voting Information News which is a roundup of voting news from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). FVAP’s August 2009 issue can now be viewed on their website here.
This spring we were confronted with an outbreak of a troubling flu virus called 2009-H1N1. As the fall flu season approaches, it is critical that we reinvigorate our preparedness efforts in order to mitigate the effects of this virus on our communities both at home and abroad.
Taking precautions for this fall's flu season is a responsibility we all share. Visit Flu.gov to make sure you are ready, learn how you can help promote public awareness, and learn what steps you can take to prepare and do your part to mitigate the effects of H1N1.
Security reminder: While there is no specific threat information for American citizens in Japan at this time, it is prudent for you and your family to review your personal security profile and to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
The Department of State has issued a new Worldwide Caution to update information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against American citizens and interests throughout the world. This information is available online here.
Since our previous ACS Newsletter for July 2009, the U.S. Department of State has issued new Travel Warnings for the following countries. This information is available online here.
Since our previous ACS Newsletter, the U.S. Department of State has issued Travel Warnings for the following countries:
Travel Warnings are issued to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable. A Travel Warning is also issued when the U.S. Government's ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff.
The U.S. Department of State also has issued new Travel Alerts:
|China - H1N1 Quarantine Measures||7/09/2009|
|China - Security Concerns in the City of Urumqi||7/09/2009|
Travel Alerts are issued to disseminate information about short-term conditions generally within a particular country or region that pose imminent risks to the security of U.S. citizens. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, coups, anniversaries of terrorist events, election-related demonstrations or violence, and high-profile events such as international conferences or regional sports events are examples of conditions that might generate a Travel Alert. This information is available online here.
The most up-to-date information regarding permitted and prohibited items on flights can be viewed online here.
For additional information, please visit "Americans Traveling Abroad" on the U.S. Department of State website. Students traveling abroad may wish to visit the State Department site designed especially for them.
To obtain up-to-date information on security conditions, please call 1-888-407-4747 (toll free in the United States), or +1-202-501-4444 if you are outside the United States.
The U.S. State Department launched a secure online travel registration website which will allow you, as an American citizen, to record foreign trip and residence information that the U.S. Department of State can use to communicate with you and assist you in case of an emergency. U.S. citizens around the world who travel or reside abroad can register at travelregistration.state.gov. If you encounter any difficulties or have any questions about our travel registration website, please send an e-mail to CAIbrs@state.gov.
If you are departing from Japan after a long stay here, and you formally registered your stay with the Embassy or closest U.S. consulate, please be sure to "cancel" your registration when you leave.
You can deregister yourself by visiting the travelregistration.state.gov site.
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American Embassy in Tokyo
American Citizen Services
1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
The Embassy helps Americans in Tokyo, Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Yamagata and Yamanashi.
American Consulate General Sapporo
American Citizen Services
Kita 1-jo, Nishi 28-chome
Chuo-ku, Sapporo 064-0821
The Consulate in Sapporo helps Americans in Akita, Aomori, Hokkaido, Iwate and Miyagi. As there are times when both officers are away from the office, we ask that you make an appointment before coming to the Consulate General.
American Consulate Nagoya
Nagoya International Center Bldg. 6th floor
1-47-1 Nagono, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya 450-0001
TEL (052) 581-4501
FAX (052) 581-3190
Consulate Nagoya provides emergency consular services including death and arrest cases for Americans living in Aichi, Gifu, and Mie prefectures. Please call Nagoya or Osaka for confirmation before traveling to Nagoya if you believe you have an emergency situation. Routine American Citizen services are provided by appointment only. If an appointment is not available, American residents may also receive service at the Consulate in Osaka.
American Consulate General Osaka-Kobe
American Citizen Services
11-5, Nishitenma 2-chome
Kita-ku, Osaka 530-8543
The Consulate in Osaka helps Americans in Osaka, Aichi, Ehime, Fukui, Gifu, Hiroshima, Hyogo, Ishikawa, Kagawa, Kochi, Kyoto, Mie, Nara, Okayama, Shimane, Shiga, Tokushima, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama.
American Consulate Fukuoka
American Citizen Services
5-26, Ohori 2-chome
Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0052
The Consulate in Fukuoka helps Americans in Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga and Yamaguchi.
American Consulate General Naha
The Consulate in Naha helps Americans in Okinawa and the Amami Oshima Island group (which is the southern island group of Kagoshima Prefecture).
Travel, safety and security information is also available directly from the Department of State.
Inclusion of Non-U.S. Government links or information does not imply endorsement of contents. This subscription list is maintained by a private company and the U.S. Government cannot guarantee the privacy of any e-mail address.