Media Assistance Service for individual reporting
The FPCJ helps foreign journalists, both those who are based in Japan as resident correspondents and those on short visits in making practical arrangements for news coverage and filming. FPCJ arranges individual interviews with Japanese political leaders, government officials, businessmen, scholars, and artists, and also on-site coverage of manufacturing plants, scientific research laboratories and sports facilities.
Please note that FPCJ provides only logistic support, e.g., preparation of coverage programs and giving advice and information on news coverage and shooting.
Basic Information For Visiting Press
When planning trips for news coverage and shooting in Japan, journalists are advised to be careful with timing. It is preferable to avoid holiday seasons in Japan ("Golden Week" from the last week of April to the first week of May, summer holiday season in August, year-end and New Year holidays from the last week of December to the first week of January). During these periods, it is extremely difficult to make appointments with government officials, representatives of private companies and scholars. Also, when the National Diet(Parliament) is in session, it is generally difficult to arrange meetings with the Prime Minister and other Cabinet ministers, and high-ranking government officials.
Please note that it is usually necessary to bring an interpreter for meeting with Japanese personalities, and journalists are advised to take due account of this point when budgeting for coverage trips to Japan. Normally, it costs about 50,000 yen (or about US$ 420) a day and 30,000 yen (or about US$ 250) a half day to hire a professional interpreter(Japanese-English) through a commercial agency.
Duly-accredited journalists from the countries with which Japan has concluded a reciprocal visa waiver agreement, are not required to obtain visas for a short-term coverage trip. Journalists from other countries and areas are required to apply for an entry visa at a Japanese Embassy or a Consulate-General before coming to Japan.
Photos and TV shooting
For reasons of security (in covering defense, police and nuclear facilities) and also for the protection of industrial secrets (in covering manufacturing plants and research laboratories), it normally takes a long time to go through complicated formalities to obtain filming permission or to make necessary arrangements for taking still photos and TV shooting. In most cases, FPCJ has to hold consultation meetings with the Japanese organizations and personalities, and also to conduct location hunting on the ground before starting full coverage. Accordingly, TV filming crews and photographers are advised to inform FPCJ of their shooting plans well in advance. It is almost impossible to make filming arrangements at very short notice, for example, a couple of days or even a week before.
For bringing TV and camera equipment into Japan, journalists from the countries which are parties to the Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods, will be able to facilitate customs clearance by showing the ATA Carnet to the customs officers. For those without the ATA Carnet, it may be necessary to go through prescribed formalities (sometimes, deposit money at the customs office), and may take a few days to recover the equipment. In either case, it is strongly advised to prepare a complete list of their equipment.
For the most part, Japan's electric current is 100 volts A.C., and the TV broadcasting system is NTSC. Please take account of this point when bringing filming equipment into Japan or planning to rent in Japan.
FPCJ provides relevant advice and information on selection of interviewees and places to cover, hiring interpreters, assistants and camera crews, or renting filming equipment and cars.