The Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) may help foreigners living abroad look for family members living in Japan in case of emergency or the breaking-off of diplomatic relations, or based on humanitarian grounds.
The JRCS is authorized by domestic law to conduct inquiries regarding the presence of foreigners living in Japan and tries to confirm the well-being and the wishes of the person being sought. Especially in the event of an armed conflict, the JRCS works in close cooperation with the Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA), by maintaining a system for investigating the well-being of foreigners in Japan.
In case of emergency or based on humanitarian grounds, the JRCS may help people in Japan look for family members in other countries through National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies abroad and the ICRC.
In peacetime, the JRCS restores contact between family members by investigating the whereabouts of the person being sought and by confirming the well-being and the wishes of that person. The JRCS then gives the address, the telephone number and/or the personal message (if any) of the person being sought to the person who requested the investigation.
In the event of natural and man-made disasters or of an armed conflict, many actors are involved in restoring contact between family members, from the Japanese authorities and government agencies to embassies and other actors such as telecommunication companies and social media.
Where possible and if needed, the JRCS contributes to the joint efforts of all actors involved in these situations to restore contact between family members, especially between foreigners in Japan and their families abroad, or generally according to the needs.
The JRCS can ask for support from the ICRC in responding to the needs of separated family members in case of emergency. Depending on the situation and the needs, the JRCS may help separated people restore contact in disasters or in conflicts, through measures such as the Family Links Website and Red Cross messages.
The JRCS and the ICRC try, as far as possible, to reunite separated families in the event of an emergency.
In Japan, the ICRC may issue travel documents for refugees, asylum seekers and other people on request from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organization for Migration (IOM) or the relevant embassies.