Application for Foreign Press Registration Card

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print

QUICK START GUIDE FOR NEWLY ARRIVED JOUNALISTS

The Foreign Press Registration Card facilitates your access to press occasions provided by official organizations including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, National Diet and other governmental agencies.
First, please refer to Table 1 in section 5 to have a bird’s-eye view on what you need for application.
Then please read Section 5 carefully to prepare for application and make it processed smoothly.
When you are ready to apply, please send an application form and related documents to the Foreign Press Center Japan (FPCJ) by e-mail in accordance with Section 4.
After roughly one-month interval for processing, please refer to Section 6 to collect your card.

① Foreign Press Registration Card (FPR Card)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) issues a Foreign Press Registration Card (FPR Card) to support media journalists residing in Japan and engaged by foreign media organizations to attend news-gathering activities organized by MOFA such as press briefings.
Note: The FPR Card cannot be substituted for your ID in any event. It is simply issued to facilitate news-gathering activities, namely, participation in press conferences and briefings organized by MOFA and the reception of information and support from the Foreign Press Center Japan (FPCJ).
Applications for the FPR Card are accepted by the FPCJ on behalf of MOFA.

The FPR Card offers you the following advantages.
- The bearer is eligible to attend press conferences held at MOFA without prior registration and being escorted by a MOFA staff member in the MOFA premises.
- MOFA sends the bearer its press releases and press conference/briefing notices immediately upon their becoming available for release.
- Possession of the FPR Card is one of the requirements for news coverage in the Diet and the Prime Minister’s Office.

② Basic Requirements for FPR Card Issuance

The applicant is required to be a professional journalist who is employed by or regularly contracted to media organizations headquartered outside Japan, and conducts news gathering and other journalistic activities.

For freelance journalists

Freelance journalists may also be eligible to hold an FPR Card if they submit a certificate attesting to the presence of a regular contract with media organizations headquartered outside Japan which proves that the applicant is a full-time, professional journalist engaging in journalistic activities as the main source of income. The information needed in the certificate(s) including the applicant's activities, employment period, job tittle, and rewards.

For a non-Japanese national

(1) Status of residence: The applicant must in principle possess one of the following types of resident status:
- Journalist
- Permanent resident
- Spouse or child of Japanese national
- Long-term resident.
(2) Resident Card (including an Alien Registration Certificate which is deemed as a Resident Card): The applicant must possess a Resident Card with a valid date of expiry.
*Those who have not applied or are currently applying for a Resident Card cannot apply for an FPR Card. Please apply after receiving a Resident Card.
*An Alien Registration Certificate is deemed as a Resident Card for a certain period. This period is until July 8, 2015, for a permanent resident, and the expiry date of the residential period for journalists, spouse of Japanese national and long-term residents.

Those to whom one or more of the following categories apply are NOT ELIGIBLE to have the FPR Card issued:
- Those related to media organizations headquartered in Japan;
- Those who are not a full-time, professional journalist engaging in journalistic activities as the main source of income;
- Those who only assist visiting journalists in news coverage;
- Those involved in media organizations but not engaging in journalistic activities such as drivers and escorts;
- Those related to media organizations that do not mainly report in the field of political, diplomatic, and economic issues or cover limited areas of interest (e.g. fashion, entertainment, sports, lifestyle, architecture, advertisement, photographic collection, travel guide, restaurant guide) or that can hardly be regarded as engaging in journalistic activities targeted to publish to the general public (e.g. in-house bulletins);
- Those related to program production firms who cannot certify regular contract/employment relations with TV companies that own broadcasting networks;
- Those deemed to have no track record of regular journalistic activities; or
- Those who have submitted flawed documents.

③ Important Notice for Issuance

Term of Validity

The FPR Card is valid for one year from the date of issue. However, the FPR card of a non-Japanese national will expire if his/her status of residence, passport or alien registration certificate expires or otherwise becomes invalid. As a result, the expiry date of an FPR Card is set on

(1) the expiry date of the status of residence,
(2) the expiry date of the passport, or
(3) the expiry date of the Resident Card (including the Alien Registration Certificate deemed as a Resident Card), when whichever date that comes first among(1), (2) and (3) falls within one year after the issuance of the FPR Card.

Request for Renewal Procedure

A journalist desiring to maintain an FPR Card is called upon to go through a renewal procedure promptly about one month before the term of validity of the current FPR Card expires.

Request for Return of FPR Card

Please return the FPR Card to the FPCJ when the bearer:

- ceases to meet requirements for card possession before the expiry date lapses;
- leaves Japan;
- terminates journalistic activities;
- changes professional affiliation to another media organization;
- receives a renewed FPR Card;
- has the current card expire.

*If the bearer fails to return the FPR Card when required, MOFA may turn down applications for FPR Card issuance made by his/her successor or by other journalists employed by or contracted to the organization that the bearer belongs to.

Request for Report on Changes in Entries in Application Form

Please report to MOFA and the FPCJ immediately upon any change in the information stated in the application form.
*In case of a change in professional affiliation to another media organization, the bearer is required to apply for a new FPR Card on which the new affiliation shall be inscribed, even if the current card remains valid.

Loss of FPR Card

If a bearer has lost his/her FPR Card, please report the loss immediately to the police and also to the FPCJ, irrespective of the bearer’s desire to have a new FPR Card. To report the loss to FPCJ, please use the "Report of Lost Card Form”.
*If this Report is not submitted appropriately, MOFA may restrict issuance (or renewal) of FPR Cards for the media outlet concerned.

Contact information
Foreign Press Center Japan
TEL: 03-3501-3405 (Media Relations Division)
E-mail address: presscard[at]fpcjpn.or.jp
*Please replace “at” with “@” when you send the Email.

④ Application Procedure

When you apply, please attach the necessary documents (listed in Table 1.)in electronic files to an application e-mail.
E-mail address: presscard[at]fpcjpn.or.jp

*Please replace[at] with “@” to make it effective as an e-mail address.
*Please always use the subject title of an application e-mail below:
“Application for FPR Card” (organization name and applicant name)
*Maximum capacity of attached files allowed is up to 5 MB.
*Submission of necessary documents stored in removable memory devices such as USB memory sticks shall NOT be permitted.

[In case it is difficult to digitalize documents other than application form and face photograph]
After e-mailing the Application Form and photographic data to the e-mail address above, please submit the documents difficult to digitalize either in person or by post to the address below. (Please note that document submission via fax is NOT permitted.) Please also be reminded that non-electronic submission will result in a longer processing time than application by e-mail only.

Contact information
Foreign Press Center Japan (Press Card Application)
Address: 6F Nippon Press Center Building, 2-2-1 Uchisaiwai-cho,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0011, Japan
TEL: 03-3501-3405 (Media Relations Division)
Service hours: 9:30-12:30 and 13:30-17:30 (weekdays only)

⑤ Documents Required

The documents required (to be submitted for each application) differ according to the type of application. There are four application types as listed below. Please send the documents matching appropriate data in the relevant category:

Types of application
Initial For a journalist who has not held an FPR Card in the past.
Renewal For a journalist possessing a valid FPR Card currently or one who has had an FPR Card issued before.
Change in affiliations When a journalist possessing a valid/invalid FPR Card changes the media organization he/she belongs to.
Reissuance upon loss For a journalist who has lost his/her FPR Card.
[Table 1] List of documents required for respective categories of application.
Documents/Application type 1) Initial 2) Renewal 3) Change 4) Loss
1) Application Form
2) Full-face Color Photograph
3) Certificate of Affiliation
(original required by the time you collect new card)
4) Proof of Regular Contributions
(when belonging to organization other than TV/radio)
5) Overview of Organization
(when Tokyo Bureau is set up)
6) Identification
(only non-Japanese nationals)

(only non-Japanese nationals)
7) Resident Card
(including Alien Registration Certificate deemed as a Resident Card)
Note: only for non-Japanese nationals

(only non-Japanese nationals)

(only non-Japanese nationals)

(only non-Japanese nationals)

(only non-Japanese nationals)
8) Previous FPR Card
(submit it at the time of receipt of new FPR Card)
- -
9) Report of Lost Card - - -

Regulation of required documents (including file format)

(1) Application Form
(File format: Windows version of Microsoft Excel)

Please download the Application Form (Microsoft Office Excel) and provide accurate information in as much detail as possible.

*The application form is not compatible with Macintosh Office. Please prepare in Microsoft Windows only. When the ratio of horizontal-vertical length is not met with the regulation, the photo to be printed on the Card can be extremely twisted. Please keep the ratio strictly.

(2) Full-face color photograph
(File format: JPEG)
- Photographs shall be JPEG-formatted, taken within the past six months.
- 7:9 horizontal-vertical ratio of length and under 1MB.

*When the ratio of horizontal-vertical length is not met with the regulation, the photo to be printed on the Card can be extremely twisted. Please keep the ratio strictly.
(3) Certificate of applicant’s affiliation certifying working relationship/contract/employment by media organization
(File format: PDF, JPEG or TIFF)
*Please attach the original letter that certifies the employment, contract or any other working relationship between the applicant and the media organization, written within the past three months and signed by a person who has authority over personnel affairs of the media organization. Media journalists dispatched from headquarters or transferred from other countries, such as bureau chief and correspondent are required to submit a letter issued by the headquarters, while media journalists employed by the branch office in Japan are required to submit a letter issued by the headquarter or the branch office.
*The letter can be returned to the applicant after the examination if desired (be sure to request the return if you desire);
*Please send the letter in digital format first on application, and then submit the original copy of the letter by the time when the applicant collects an FPR Card. The FPR Card shall NOT be delivered without the submission of the original copy.
*If the submitted copy of the letter cannot be confirmed as an original, the applicant may be requested to return the delivered Card, and his/her future application may be turned down.
(4) Proof of regular contributions
(File format: PDF, JPEG or TIFF)
Products that can prove the applicant’s regular contributions to media (sending links by e-mail is NOT accepted).

*Applicants belonging to TV or radio stations are not required to submit proof.
*Writers and photographers of newspapers or magazines are required to submit bylined articles written within the past three months in principle.
*Photographers are required to submit photographs with name credit, taken within the three months in principle and published in newspapers or magazines outside Japan.
(5) Overview of media organization [only when a Tokyo Bureau is set up]
(File format: Windows version of Microsoft Excel)

*The form is not compatible with Macintosh Office. Please prepare in Microsoft Windows format only.

(6) Official identification
- Japanese nationals: a photocopy of “ID” such as a passport or a driver’s license issued by public authorities.
- Non-Japanese nationals: a photocopy of a passport including the page showing the bearer’s photograph, passport
number, date of issue and expiry. When possessing an alien registration certificate regarded as a resident card, please include the pages showing the status of residence and its expiry date (issued by Japan’s immigration authorities).
(7) [For non-Japanese nationals only] Photocopies of both sides of a resident card(including alien registration certificate which is regarded as a resident card)(File format: PDF, JPEG or TIFF)
(8) Previous FPR Card [only for change of media affiliation or renewal]
No data required, but please return the Card in hand when collecting a new one.
(9) Report of lost card [only for application due to loss of card]
(File format: PDF, JPEG or TIFF)

Please download and fill in the “Report of Lost Card” form, and convert the document to a JPEG, PDF or TIFF file.

⑥ After e-mailing application

You can apply for our Media Assistance Service for Individual Reporting here.

(1) FPCJ replies to applicant on e-mailed application

After receiving an application e-mail, the FPCJ will reply by e-mail to the given address whether or not all the necessary data have been received.
*If you do not receive any reply e-mail from the FPCJ within three working days after e-mailing an application, please inquire by phone. The FPCJ is closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Contact information
Foreign Press Center Japan (Press Card Application)
TEL: 03-3501-3405 (Media Relations Division)

(2) Examination

The documents will be received by the FPCJ and forwarded to MOFA for examination. For the purpose of examination, MOFA may contact the Tokyo Bureau or the headquarters of the organization to which an applicant is affiliated, or the applicant himself/herself. The applicant may also be requested to submit additional documents. No FPR Card will be issued if any inadequacy is found in the documents submitted or if the applicant fails to satisfy the requirements for issuance.

(3) Contact and collection of a Card

The contact and collection of an issued Card differ by the type of application as follows. Approximately one month is required after receiving application to issue an FPR Card. If you are not contacted by the FPCJ or MOFA within one month after the date of application, please make an inquiry to the relevant collection point.

Type of application Contact (via e-mail) Collection point
Initial/Reissuance MOFA->applicant MOFA
Renewal/change in affiliation FPCJ->applicant FPCJ
Contact information
International Press Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
2-2-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8919, Japan
TEL: 03-5501-8134
Foreign Press Center Japan (FPCJ)
6F Nippon Press Center Building, 2-2-1 Uchisaiwai-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0011, Japan
TEL: 03-3501-3405 (Media Relations Division)
E-mail: presscard[at] fpcjpn.or.jp

*Please replace “at” with “@” when you send the Email.
*If you are worried about the sending condition, please set “open notice”.
Service hours: 9:30-12:30 and 13:30-17:30 (weekdays only)

Registration on FPCJ mailing list

We register the e-mail addresses (written in the Application Form) of those who possess the “FPR Card” on the FPCJ’s mailing list, as the FPCJ may send important notices related to the “FPR Card.” If you do not desire registration, please inform the FPCJ at the time of application.

*The FPCJ mailing list is different from that of MOFA written at the end of the Application Form.

About Us
Covering Japan
News Resources
Activity Reports
Reaching the Press