Commodore Matthew C. Perry visited the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1852, landing in what is now modern-day Naha nearly two months before his historic visit to Uraga near Yokosuka. Subsequently, although the United States established formal relations with Japan in 1855, there was no U.S. Consulate in Okinawa until after the Second World War. During the period of the U.S. administration of the Ryukyu Islands, a Consular Unit was set up in January 1952, which helped American citizens with the same services we offer today.
The official Consulate was established in 1959, and the first Consul was Thomas H. Murfin, a former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Seattle. After Okinawa’s reversion to Japan, Richard W. Petree was appointed in May 1972 to serve as our first Consul General.
The Consulate’s original location was not far from the University of the Ryukyus in the capital of Naha. It was moved in January 1987 to its current spot in Urasoe City adjacent to Barclay Court, keeping its official name as the “U.S. Consulate Naha” despite its new actual geographic location.
The Consular Section’s most significant constituency is the large number of American military personnel and their families stationed on Okinawa. The Consulate General has a 10-person consular team who assists Americans in need of passports (over 7,500 per year), reports of birth abroad (well above 1,200 annually), and other U.S. citizen services. Our good offices are regularly called upon to help families under stress. In fiscal year 2016, we also processed documentation for the death of 30 private U.S. citizens. We strive to ensure that Americans with an emergency find the assistance they need.
In recent years, the Consulate has seen a growing trend of international marriages which break down, leading to one parent unlawfully bringing or retaining a child in Japan, and resulting in international parental child abductions (IPCA). Working with left-behind parents and with the Government of Japan, which is a signatory to the Hague Convention on International Child Abductions, to resolve these cases is a growing aspect of our work.
The Consular Section also facilitates lawful travel to the U.S. by conducting nonimmigrant visa interviews for thousands of Okinawans and resident third-country nationals, many of whom seek to study and invest in the United States. Naha is also the only post in Japan other than Tokyo that handles Immigrant Visas, and these include hundreds of spouses, children, and other relatives of U.S. military members assigned to Okinawa.
Our Consular Section also provides assistance with Federal Benefits including Veteran’s Administration (VA) liaison services for over 1,000 veterans living on Okinawa.
Hours and Directions
All visa interviews are by appointment only. Please go to the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo site for all the latest information and to make an application.
All American Citizen Services are also on an appointment basis, except for emergencies. For passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad applications, please arrive at the consulate at your appointed time or according to other instructions if simply to drop off or pick up documents. Cases involving assistance with Federal benefits are also by appointment.
U.S. Consulate General Naha
2-1-1 Toyama, Urasoe City, Okinawa
We are located in Urasoe City on Route 241 just west of the intersection of Route 330 and Route 241, next to Barclay’s Court. Coming southbound on Route 330, turn left onto Route 241 (exiting Shuri). The Consulate General is about 50 meters from the intersection on the right (south) side of the street. We are also on municipal bus routes 25, 90, 98, 88.