Tsukuba City sponsors a confidential helpline service & consultation room every Tuesday and Wednesday. Thai and English consults are accepted on Tuesdays while Korean and Chinese are accepted on Wednesdays. Japanese is accepted on both days. Consultations are usually done over the phone or face-to-face by appointment. However, in practice most face-to-face consultations are walk-ins who have no appointment. It's recommended that you call beforehand on the day you plan to go. Please call the helpline phone number which is a direct line to a counselor. This number is active ONLY on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. There is not answering machine. For appointments, call the helpline phone number or for convenience, call Tsukuba City, International Division and leave a message.
Often, callers have the misconception of this service being some kind of government agency with legal/administrative powers. It is just a multilingual information and advice service sponsored by the City of Tsukuba. It is not affiliated with the Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice, Bar Association, Labor Department, etc.
This service basically listens to caller's concerns and questions, and provides information which will lead the caller in the right direction. "Advice" is just that, advice and it carries no authority whatsoever. However, the counselor can serve as an information intermediary and help connect people with the information they seek. It provides a service for people who would otherwise have had to call the relevant agency directly and hope they provide foreign language services. Advice is based not only on training and experience, but also on casebooks and direct inquiries with the relevant authorities. Since this is a city service, it is especially suited to issues with a municipal jurisdiction. Cases dealing with immigration are also quite common. In most other areas, the counselor can direct you to the proper agency or relevant party, ask the question for you, or bring up the issue on your behalf when there is a language barrier.
There is a limit to the amount of information this service can provide on any given issue and it doesn't pretend to be a one-stop destination. It tries to help foreign residents (sometimes Japanese too) understand the "red tape (paperwork)" in a language they can understand and help them find answers to the questions they have. It also helps people ask the right questions of the right people.
- Help in English, Japanese, Thai: Tuesdays, 10am to 4:45pm
- Help in Chinese, Japanese, Korean: Wednesdays, 10am to 4:45pm
Call, write, or have a direct meeting (appointment necessary) When you arrive for your appointment at the Sakura Branch of Tsukuba City Hall, report first to the International Division or Kokusai-ka located immediately on the right when entering through the main entrance on the ground floor.