Scheduling Tips on Reporting in Japan
When you are planning your reporting in Japan, we advise you to avoid holiday periods (the “Golden Week” of consecutive national holidays from the end of April to the beginning of May; the summer holiday season in August, especially the middle of the month; and the period at the end of the year and beginning of a new year), as well as March (especially mid- and late March), which marks the end of the fiscal year in Japan. In these periods it is extremely difficult to arrange appointments with government officials and company representatives. Please note that it is also difficult to arrange appointments with Diet members and senior officials of government ministries and agencies when the National Diet is in session.
Regarding visas for entry into Japan, media representatives of countries that have reciprocal visa waiver agreements with Japan are not required to obtain visas if they are staying for only a short time for the genuine purpose of reporting. Media representatives from other countries are required to apply for a visa beforehand at a Japanese embassy or consulate general. The FPCJ does not issue letters of invitation for visa applications.
Interpreters and TV Reporting Coordinators
In many cases reporting in Japan necessitates an accompanying interpreter. Therefore, it is necessary to budget for the hiring of an interpreter. In the case of hiring an interpreter (Japanese–English) through an agency, the rate is approximately 60,000 yen per day (up to eight hours) and 40,000 yen per half-day (up to four hours). In order to facilitate TV reporting, it is necessary to hire an interpreter/coordinator who can also handle negotiations with the places to be visited, preliminary meetings, research, general management of the schedule, etc. In the case of hiring a freelance coordinator, the rate is around 50,000–60,000 yen per day (up to eight hours).
The FPCJ does not provide interpreting services, but upon request we can supply information on interpreters, coordinators, etc.
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TV and Still Photography Reporting
When conducting TV or still photography reporting in Japan, from such perspectives as the maintenance of confidentiality and security (especially at facilities relating to defense, the police, and nuclear energy), in many cases it is necessary to have meetings with representatives at places you wish to visit beforehand and make a preliminary inspection of the site to be filmed or photographed. In practice, the procedures for acquiring permission for filming and photography can take quite a long time. Accordingly, at the preparatory stage it is essential to produce concrete program plans and detailed reporting plans and allow yourself plenty of time when approaching the officials in charge. It is extremely difficult to make arrangements for filming and photography at short notice of, for example, only about one week. In Japan we have no authority to issue press passes which give automatic access to photographers/TV crews to film any places/people.
Bringing Camera Equipment into Japan
In the case of media representatives from member countries of the Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods, work-related equipment (media and broadcasting equipment, camera equipment) can pass through customs as temporary imports if you submit an ATA carnet when entering Japan. In other cases, it is necessary to follow the required procedures (deposit of guarantee, etc.) at the port of entry, and it may take you several days to get your equipment back.
*The voltage in Japan is 100 V. The television system is NTSC.
You can apply for our Media Assistance Service for Individual Reporting here.