Useful Links for American Residents & Visitors


People-to-People Contacts in Kyushu and Yamaguchi

The Japan-America Society – The Japan-America Society is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization that offers educational, cultural and business programs about Japan and U.S.-Japan relations to the general public through its member Japan and Japan-America Societies. The United States Consulate in Fukuoka works closely with the Japan-American Societies in Fukuoka, Kitakyushu, Kurume, Nagasaki, Sasebo, Kumamoto, Beppu, Miyakonojo, and Kagoshima to foster cooperation and mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and Japan on the grassroots level.

Fukuoka Japan-America Society
Address: 1-11-17 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-8570
Tel: 092-734-1552 Fax: 092-722-1405
http://www.nnr.co.jp/JASF/

Kitakyushu Japan-America Society
Address: 13-1-2F Konya, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 802-8522
Tel: 093-541-0187 Fax: 093-531-1799

Kurume Japan-America Society
Address: 12-9 Chuo, Kurume, Fukuoka 830-0023
Tel: 0942-35-5251 Fax: 0942-35-8389

Nagasaki Japan-America Society
Address: 1-11 Doza, Nagasaki City 850-0841
Tel: 095-827-8190 Fax: 093-531-1799

Sasebo Japan-America Society
Address: 10-12 Shimase, Sasebo, Nagasaki 857-0806
Tel: 0956-23-3631 Fax: 0956-23-4671

Kumamoto Japan-America Society
Address: 4-2 Joto, Kumamoto City 860-8565
Tel: 096-326-3311 Fax: 096-326-3324

Beppu Japan-America Society
Address: 2-12-21 Kitahama, Beppu, Oita 874-0920
Tel: 0977-24-3939 Fax: 0977-24-3948

Miyakonojo Japan-America Society
Address: 30-5 Daio, Miyakonojo, Miyazaki 885-0026
Tel: 0986-23-2844 Fax: 0986-23-2871

Kagoshima Japan-America Society
Address: 5-25 Korai, Kagoshima City 890-0051
Tel: 099-254-7111 Fax: 099-254-4243

In the event of a major disaster affecting American citizens in western Japan, the Consulate may use Kyushu International FM (“Love FM”) as one means to disseminate information in English. Although this radio station does not reach all eight prefectures in this consular district, it does reach much of the population of Kyushu and Yamaguchi. The radio frequencies for Kyushu International FM are as follows:

Fukuoka (Fukuoka City, Kurume, Omuta …): 76.1 MHz
Kitakyushu Area: 82.7
Saga (partial): 76.1
Kumamoto (partial): 76.1
Nagasaki (partial): 76.1
Oita (partial): 82.7
Kagoshima (out of range)
Miyazaki (out of range)
Yamaguchi (partial): 82.7

Another important source of emergency information is NHK radio. Following are some of the local radio frequencies for NHK. Please tune in to the local station in your area.

NHK No. 1 (AM)

Fukuoka: 612 KHz
Kitakyushu: 540
Saga: 963
Nagasaki: 684
Sasebo: 981
Kumamoto: 756
Oita: 639
Miyazaki: 540
Kagoshima: 576
Yamaguchi: 675
Iwakuni: 585

The following list of resources is provided as a reference of services without endorsement by the Consulate.

  • Fukuoka Regional Immigration Bureau, Immigration Information Centre, Immigration information:English, Chinese, Spanish spoken
    092-282-8682 or 092-282-8681
  • Fukuoka International Exchange Foundation, Kokusai Hiroba, Labor, immigration, human rights counseling
    092-725-9200
  • Fukuoka Prefecture Labour Policy, and Welfare Division, Labour counseling in English: Chinese, Korean, Spanish
    092-622-1004
  • Fukuoka Prefecture Administrative Lawyer, Association, Immigration counseling in English
    092-735-1101
  • Fukuoka Legal Affairs Bureau, Human Rights Counseling Centre, Employment, housing, marriage, divorce, immigration, naturalization counseling in English
    092-721-4570
  • Fukuoka Prefecture Traffic Accident, Consultation Centre, Traffic accident consultation in Japanese
    092-651-1111 x2555
  • Fukuoka Labor Standards Office, Counseling in English on labor problems
    092-411-4862
  • Fukuoka Regional Taxation Bureau, First Information and Examination Division, Japanese taxation questions
    092-411-0031 x2181
  • Employment Service Center, Employment information
    092-771-5831
  • Japan Automobile Federation, Fukuoka Branch Office, Guidebooks on driving regulations in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Persian
    092-641-8880
  • Fukuoka International Association, Rainbow Plaza Information center, visitors guide, maps; legal and personal counseling in English
    092-733-2220
  • Japan Helpline Toll free 24-hour telephone counseling service in English
    0120-461-997
  • Tokyo English Life Line Telephone counseling and referral
    03-5721-4347
  • NTT English Town Net Service General information service
    03-3201-1010<
  • Help Women’s 24 hour counseling service
    03-3368-8855
  • Sexual Harassment Counseling Network Sexual harassment counseling
    092-725-7497 or 092-526-3755
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
    092-724-6343
  • HIV/AIDS Hotline
    092-715-8395
  • NTT English Phone
    092-632-1010
  • Postal Service Information
    092-752-8504
  • Hakata Quarantine Office Vaccination information
    092-291-3585

Business Contacts in Kyushu and Yamaguchi

Welcome to the Consulate’s Economic and Commercial Section Home Page. We hope you will use the information here as one of your basic tools in considering business and trading activities in western Japan’s Kyushu-Yamaguchi region. We offer a variety of state-of-the-art programs and services designed to assist American firms in increasing their market presence in the region and to assist Japanese firms in locating American sources for their import needs.

The Economic and Commercial Section works closely with the Department of Commerce in supporting American companies wishing to export to Japan. We also coordinate with the Department of Agriculture in supporting American food and agricultural products promotion in the region. We maintain extensive key contacts with Japanese local and regional governments, business, and economic organizations so that we can assist individual American companies and to coordinate American import promotion activities. We also monitor general economic conditions in the region.

Our services include:

  • Providing counseling to American business travelers, U.S. firms in Japan, and Japanese companies wishing to import from the United States
  • Assisting (as appropriate) in arranging appointments for visiting American exporters, organizing and supporting selected trade events, and assisting American firms in registering for these events
  • Publicizing American fairs of significance to Japanese importers
  • Providing space (when available) for small company-organized trade shows or seminars

We also work closely with the Fukuoka American Business Club (FABC) in a variety of business and community projects designed to assist American businesses and their employees from overseas. Please contact the Consulate about FABC and its activities.

Please feel free to contact us for assistance.

  • From the United States:
    American Consulate Fukuoka (E/C)
    Unit 9800, Box 336
    APO AP 96303-0336Our fax number from America is 011-81-92-725-3772
    Our telephone number from America is 011-81-92-751-9331
  • From Japan:
    American Consulate Fukuoka (E/C)
    5-26 Ohori 2-chome
    Chuo-ku
    Fukuoka 810-0052 JapanOur fax number is 092-725-3772
    Our telephone number is 092-751-9331

Annual Events

March: Western Japan Total Living Show (Kitakyushu)

May: Western Japan Import Fair (Kitakyushu)

June: Fukuoka International Gift Show (Fukuoka)

October: Kyushu International Techno Fair

Commercial Prospects and Recent Commercial Activity

American Consulate Fukuoka believes that particularly good prospects for U.S. businesses in the Kyushu-Yamaguchi region include construction and design, retail and apparel, food and processed food products including wine, electronics and computers, and 2×4 housing. American architectural design firms have made impressive contributions to the modern skyline of Fukuoka, and American airport and rail station designs can be found throughout Kyushu. Additionally, major Kyushu construction and design companies often approach the Consulate for assistance in linking up with major American companies for direct business ties. Regional retail marketing leaders also regularly approach us for assistance in contacting American sources for consumer products and for regional “American Fairs”.

(Provided for reference without endorsement by the Consulate)

Regional

Kyushu Association of Corporate Executives
Contact: Secretariat
Address: 1-9-48 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City 810-0041 Japan
Tel: 092-721-4901
Fax: 092-721-4900
URL: http://www.kerc.or.jp

Kyushu Bureau of International Trade and Industry, METI
Contact: International Affairs Division
Address: 2-11-1 Hakataekihigashi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City 812-8546 Japan
Tel: 092-482-5437
Fax: 092-482-5321
URL: http://www.meti.go.jp/english/index.html

Kyushu-Yamaguchi Economic Federation
Contact: Administrative Department
Address: c/o Fukuoka Sanwa Bldg.
10-24 Tenjin 1-chome, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City 810-0001Japan
Tel: 092-761-4261
Fax: 092-715-9252

Fukuoka Prefecture

JETRO Fukuoka Office
Contact:
Address: El Gala 7F, 4-2 Tenjin 1-chome, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City 810-0001 Japan
Tel: 092-741-8783
Fax: 092-714-0709

JETRO Kitakyushu Office
Contact:
Address: 7F Kitakyushu International Conference Center
3-9-30 Asano, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu City 802 -0001 Japan
Tel: 093-541-6577
Fax: 093-551-2685

Fukuoka Japan-America Society
Contact: Secretariat
Address: c/o Kyushu Productivity Center, Fuji Bldg., 2-8-49 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City 810-0001 Japan
Tel: 092-771-6481
Fax: 092-771-6490

Fukuoka Prefecture
Contact: International Relations Division
Address: 7-7 Higashikoen, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City 812-0045 Japan
Tel: 092-641-4014
Fax: 092-632-2333

Fukuoka Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Contact: International Division
Address: 9-28 Hakataekimae 2-chome, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City 812 -0011Japan
Tel: 092-441-1117
Fax: 092-474-3200
URL: http://www.fukunet.or.jp/index.shtml

Fukuoka Foreign Trade Association
Contact: Secretariat
Address: 9-28 Hakataekimae 2-chome, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City 812-0011 Japan
Tel: 092-441-2868
Fax: 092–411-0141

Fukuoka Junior Chamber, Inc.
Contact: Secretariat
Address: 2-9-28 Hakataekimae, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City 810-0011 Japan
Tel: 092-411-9936
Fax: 092-411-9937
URL: http://www.fukuoka-jc.or.jp/

Kitakyushu Foreign Trade Association
Contact: Secretariat
Address: 1-35 Furusenba-machi, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu City 802-0082 Japan
Tel: 093-541-1969
Fax: 093-522-5120

Kagoshima Prefecture

JETRO Kagoshima Office
Contact:
Address: Kagoshima-ken-Sangyo Kaikan, 9-1 Meizan-cho, Kagoshima City 892-0821 Japan
Tel: 099-226-9156
Fax: 099-222-8389

Kagoshima Prefecture
Contact: Commerce, Industry & Labor Department, Industry Promotion Division
Address: 14-50 Yamashita-cho, Kagoshima City 892-0816 Japan
Tel: 099-226-2567
Fax: 099-239-5057
URL: http://www.pref.kagoshima.jp/

Kagoshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Contact: Administrative Department
Address: 1-38 Higashi-sengoku-cho, Kagoshima City 892-0842 Japan
Tel: 099-225-9500
URL: http://www.kagoshima-cci.or.jp/

Kumamoto Prefecture

JETRO Kumamoto Office
Contact:
Address: 4F Kumamoto-shi Sangyo Bunka Kaikan, 7-10 Hanabata-cho, Kumamoto City 860-0806 Japan
Tel: 096-354-4211
Fax: 096-324-0751

Kumamoto Prefecture
Contact: International Affairs Division
Address: 18-1 Suizenji 6-chome, Kumamoto City 862-0950 Japan
Tel: 096-383-1502
Fax: 096-381-3343
URL: http://www.pref.kumamoto.jp/

Kumamoto Chamber of Commerce
Contact: Administrative Department
Address: 10 Yokokonya-machi, Kumamoto City 860-0022 Japan
Tel: 096-354-6688
Fax: 096-352-5202

Kumamoto Prefectural Trade Association
Contact: Secretariat
Address: 7-10 Hanabata-cho, Kumamoto City 860860 -0806 Japan
Tel: 096-355-2281
Fax: 096-359-1029

Miyazaki Prefecture

Miyazaki Prefecture
Contact: International Affairs Division
Address: 10-1 Tachibanadori-Higashi 2-chome, Miyazaki City 880-0805 Japan
Tel: 0985-26-2161
Fax: 0985-28-4610
URL: http://www.pref.miyazaki.jp/

Miyazaki Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Contact: Administrative Department
Address: 8-11 Tachibanadori-Higashi, Miyazaki City 880-0805 Japan
Tel: 0985-22-2161
Fax: 0985-22-5472

Nagasaki Prefecture

JETRO Nagasaki Office
Contact:
Address: 9F Nagasaki Shookoo Kaikan, 4-1 Sakura-machi, Nagasaki City 850-0031 Japan
Tel: 0958-23-7704
Fax: 0958-28-0037

Nagasaki Prefecture
Contact: International Affairs Division, Planning Department
Address: 2-13 Edo-machi, Nagasaki City 850-0861 Japan
Tel: 0958-28-0302
Fax: 0958-27-2487
URL: http://www.pref.nagasaki.jp/

Nagasaki Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Contact: Administrative Department
Address: 4-1 Sakura-machi, Nagasaki City 850-0031 Japan
Tel: 0958-22-0111
Fax: 0958-22-0112
URL: http://www.nagasaki-cci.or.jp/nagasaki/

Oita Prefecture

Oita Prefecture
Contact: Commerce, Industry, Labor & Tourism Department
Address: 1-1 Otemachi 3-chome, Oita City 870-0022 Japan
Tel: 0975-36-1111
Fax: 0975-37-2624
URL: http://www.pref.oita.jp/

Oita Foreign Trade Association
Contact: Secretariat
Address: 15-19 Nagahama-machi 3-chome, Oita City 870-0023 Japan
Tel: 0975-37-3372
Fax: 0975-36-3981

Saga Prefecture

Saga Prefecture
Contact: Commerce, Industry & Labor Department
Address: 1-59 Jyonai 1-chome, Saga City 840-0041 Japan
Tel: 0952-25-7093
Fax: 0952-25-7270
URL: http://www.pref.saga.jp/eibun/esagaken.html

Saga Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Contact: Administrative Department
Address: 1-2-35 Matsubara, Saga City 840-0831 Japan
Tel: 0952-24-5155
Fax: 0952-26-2831

Yamaguchi Prefecture
JETRO Yamaguchi Office
Contact:
Address: 4F Boeki Bldg., 1-2-8 Yamato-machi, Shimonoseki City 750-0067 Japan
Tel: 0832-66-0401
Fax: 0832-66-8390

Yamaguchi Prefecture
Contact: International Affairs Office
Address: 1-1 Takimachi, Yamaguchi City 753-0071 Japan
Tel: 0839-33-2340
Fax: 0839-33-2358
URL: http://www.pref.yamaguchi.jp/

Yamaguchi Information Center for Commerce and Industry

Yamaguchi Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Contact: Administrative Department
Address: 1-10 Nakaichi-cho, Yamaguchi City 753-0086 Japan
Tel: 0839-25-2300
Fax: 0839-21-1555

Note: This list provides the contact telephone and fax numbers for callers from within Japan. To access from the United States, telephone numbers should be dialed as follows: For example, if the telephone number is 0839-25-2300, please dial: 011-81-839-25-2300. Calling from overseas (any country), you should drop the zero at the beginning of a Japanese phone number – it is for domestic long distance only.

The U.S. Consulate Fukuoka’s consular district consists of the seven prefectures of Kyushu Island and Yamaguchi Prefecture on the main island of Honshu. Major cities in this region of over 15 million people include Fukuoka, Kitakyushu, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, and Kagoshima.

Kyushu

Kyushu accounts for 10% of Japan’s GNP and represents Japan’s fourth economic center after the greater Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya metropolitan areas. In addition, it boasts an economic growth rate above the national average and increasing integration into the regional Asian economy. Already known as Japan’s “Silicon Island” because of a semiconductor industry that accounts for over 30% of Japan’s total chip output, Kyushu is also developing into a major car manufacturing center. It will soon produce 10% of Japan’s overall car output, based on roboticized state-of-the-art auto technology.

Few regions in Japan can match Kyushu’s historic consciousness, and fewer yet have the deep sense of self-identity and pride seen in the people of Kyushu. According to tradition, it is here that the Sun Goddess Amaterasu descended from heaven to establish the nation of Japan, and it is here where Japan’s first emperor was born. Historically, foreigners – Chinese, Koreans, Portuguese, Dutch – first made contact with Japan through Kyushu, and it was through this region (e.g. Nagasaki) that Japan continued its foreign trade during the 300 years that it was officially “closed” to the outside world. Kyushu also led Japan out of feudalism in 1868, and its local heroes have played major roles in shaping modern Japan. Starting with Japan’s first prime minister, Hirobumi Ito, 15 Japanese prime ministers have been natives of Yamaguchi prefecture and Kyushu.

Fukuoka City

Fukuoka City, capital of Fukuoka Prefecture, is the cultural, economic, and educational center of Kyushu. With a population of 1.3 million people, it is the heart of the region’s $410 billion economy, which is larger than that of Australia and almost equals that of South Korea.

Fukuoka City is also the heart of Kyushu’s dynamic hi-tech research and development sector, which is noted as a leading world center for research in advanced computer chips, nuclear fusion, and robotics. With its long tradition of openness to the outside world and receptivity to foreign ideas and products, Fukuoka City has developed into Japan’s test market for fashion design and new products.

Culturally and politically, Fukuoka has led Kyushu’s advancement in promoting some of the nation’s most active sister-city programs and Japan-America Society activities. Fukuoka City’s universities are highly active in expanding student and cultural exchanges, particularly with Asia. In addition, Fukuoka City’s leading officials are exploring ways in which the City, region, and people may play a more constructive role in the development of the Asian-Pacific region. Each summer, the “Asia-Pacific Children’s Convention, a Fukuoka-based nonprofit organization supported by local entities, also hosts an “international exchange congress” for more than 300 children from over 40 places in Asia and the Pacific region; 2005 will mark the organization’s 16th convention.

In this context, the Kyushu region is known as the “Gateway to Asia,” maintaining close economic, cultural, and political ties with Japan’s Asian neighbors. Fukuoka City has established the Asian Cultural Awards to honor contributions to the understanding of Asian culture and thought by both Western and Asian scholars. It has also initiated an Asian-Pacific Mayors summit to encourage networking by local leaders in order to work cooperatively in developing solutions to common problems. The City has also established regular meetings with relevant counterparts in Korea to promote understanding and cooperation. Reflecting its increasing prominence in Asia, Fukuoka City was named “Most Livable City in Asia” on several occasions in recent years. Fukuoka City also hosted the G-8 Finance Ministers meeting in July 8, 2000. The City hopes to become an important international economic, cultural, and political center in the future.

The U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka

American Consulate Fukuoka is responsible for promoting closer ties between the United States and western Japan. Its consular district consists of Kyushu Island (Fukuoka, Saga, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Miyazaki, and Oita prefectures) and Yamaguchi prefecture on the main island of Honshu. The consulate is headed by a principal officer and divided into consular, economic/commercial, administrative, and public affairs (e.g., Fukuoka American Center) sections. In addition to actively supporting companies interested in marketing U.S. goods and services throughout western Japan, it provides consular services for local U.S. residents and visiting Americans.

Two key U.S. military facilities, Sasebo Naval Base (Nagasaki prefecture) and the Marine Corps Air Station at Iwakuni (Yamaguchi prefecture), are located in the Kyushu-Yamaguchi consular district. Foreign consulates and trade representative offices are also located in Fukuoka and the Kyushu region.

Prefectures : Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Saga, Oita, Miyazaki, Yamaguchi
Population: 15 million
GDP: $434.5 billion
Major Industries: Agriculture & Fishery, Electric Machinery (semiconductors), Transport Equipment (motor vehicles and shipbuilding), Retail/Services

Kyushu/Yamaguchi Region

The Kyushu/Yamaguchi Region of southwestern Japan consists of seven prefectures on Kyushu Island (Fukuoka, Oita, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima) and Yamaguchi prefecture on the southern tip of Honshu, with a combined population of over 15 million. The region’s $435 billion economy constitutes Japan’s fourth largest economic center, representing about 10 percent of national GDP – comparable in size to the Netherlands. This region is traditionally known as Japan’s gateway to Asia and enjoys extensive historical, cultural, and trade ties with continental Asia, particularly South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China. The United States remains an important trading partner, but trade with Asia is predominant and Kyushu is becoming increasingly integrated into the East Asian regional economy.

Kyushu has a strong agricultural sector, producing about 20% of Japan’s agricultural output, and ranks first in Japan in livestock output (about $6.2 billion in 2004). But its dynamism stems from a diversified economy that includes many high-tech industries. Dubbed Japan’s “Silicon Island”, Kyushu accounts for 25% of Japan’s total production of semiconductors. American companies like Texas Instruments and Teradyne have facilities here. Northern Kyushu also boasts nearly 10% of Japan’s automobile output, with Toyota, Nissan, and Daihatsu operating state-of-the-art final assembly facilities, and Honda has an advanced motorcycle plant in the region. Kyushu is also home to Japan’s leading shipbuilding production, Japan’s two space-launch facilities, and Yaskawa Electric, one of the world’s leading robotics manufacturers. The southern prefecture of Kagoshima is home to Japan’s two space launch facilities at Uchinoura and Tanegashima. Other important industries include steel manufacturing, shipbuilding, tourism.

With a population of 1.3 million, Fukuoka City is the economic, educational, and cultural center of Kyushu. In 2006 Newsweek International selected Fukuoka City as one of the “World’s 10 Hottest Cities.” While manufacturing is prevalent in Fukuoka prefecture’s surrounding areas, the city’s economy is services-based, with many large retail outlets and regional headquarters offices for banking, insurance, and real estate. Living expenses (including housing) and office rents are lower than in Japan’s other large metropolitan areas. The city enjoys excellent transportation infrastructure, including Kyushu’s principal international airport, high-speed ferry service to South Korea, and the southern terminus for Japan’s “Shinkansen” (bullet train) network. (In the spring of 2011 Kagoshima will become the southern terminus of Japan’s bullet strain network when the Kyushu Shinkansen line extending south from Fukuoka is completed, cutting travel time from Fukuoka’s Hakata Terminal to only 80 minutes. The service will link Fukuoka and Kumamoto in about 30 minutes.)

The Economic/Commercial Section of the U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka has been actively assisting U.S. businesses and promoting their interests in the region for over 40 years. The Consulate believes many sectors of the Kyushu/Yamaguchi economy offer promising opportunities. With its long history of openness to foreign influences, the Fukuoka area has an established reputation as a useful test market for new consumer products, services, and retail concepts before they are expanded to wider areas of Japan. Familiar U.S. retail names (Toys ‘R’ Us, Costco, Starbucks, and The Gap, just to name a few) have an active market presence. Major American companies have established research and production facilities in electronics, computers, and medical devices, and are also active in architecture, design and construction, energy, insurance and finance. In recent years U.S.-based investment funds have made major acquisitions of hotels and related leisure facilities in Kyushu. Another sector of growing interest is environmental products and services. In particular, Kitakyushu City in Fukuoka prefecture, a historical center of heavy industry, is seeking to become a regional leader in environmental remediation and recycling. Good export prospects exist in many other sectors, including building materials, medical equipment, and health care products.