The American Citizen Services unit is in the process of building our American Liaison Network of Citizen Liaison Volunteers (CLV) to ensure that we are able to communicate as effectively as possible with U.S. citizens in the event of an emergency. We are looking for volunteers to serve as CLVs in various regions of Japan. If you or someone you know may be interested, or you just want to learn more – let us know!
CLVs are private citizens who help the Embassy help U.S. citizens in need. They assist travelers in distress, help us track down missing U.S. citizens, and, in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency, help us locate other American citizens so we can help get them to safety. Most often, however, CLVs are called on to be our ‘eyes and ears’ in the community, providing valuable feedback on what life is like for ordinary U.S. citizens living in Japan. CLVs are usually American citizens who are longer-term residents of Japan and, ideally, speak some Japanese. Please note that this is a voluntary position that does not imply financial reimbursement.
We need CLVs in the following cities Yamagata, Tsukuba, Takasaki, Shizuoka and many others. CLVs in smaller cities and rural areas are uniquely important because those can be the hardest places for us to reach in an emergency. We are also looking for CLVs in Yokohama, Chiba, and Saitama.
If you would like to be a CLV, please provide us with your full name, date of birth passport number and your contact details via email at TokyoACS@State.gov Once you notify us of your interest, we’ll get back to you with more information and further instructions.
What is a Citizen Liaison Volunteer?
- A private American citizen resident in a foreign country who volunteers to assist consular sections in disaster preparedness, welfare & whereabouts, and alerting fellow Americans to emergency situations.
- Citizen Liaison Volunteers often have close ties to the U.S. expat community; therefore they are often the fastest and most effective route to distributing information to Americans and are essential when normal communication channels fail.
- They facilitate distribution of routine administrative information (changes in section work hours, procedures, embassy closures, and voting information) of interest to the U.S. private community.
Citizen Liaison Volunteers provide important, timely safety and security information, which might include the times and locations of upcoming local demonstrations, areas of potential unrest due to local celebrations or elections, or information about a specific medical issue.
American Liaison Network Communication
- The U.S. State Department is constantly looking for new ways to distribute information to the public, so we are open to suggestions. U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide rely on different communication methods to disseminate information to wardens and stay in touch with them:
- Email/ text messages (SMS) are the most commonly used
- Telephone, radios and faxes: in distant locations that lack the infrastructure and communication technology
Beyond the Call of Duty
- Providing updates about situations in their district
- Assisting/encouraging the registration of newcomers in STEP
- Assisting in crisis: natural disasters, civil unrest, etc.
- Alerting American citizens without immediate e-mail or internet access to emergency situations
Disseminating information about routine topics such as voter registration, income taxes, etc. If you are interested in serving as a Citizen Liaison Volunteer, please email the ACS unit of the nearest embassy or consulate where you reside or work in Japan.