Quake-affected foreigners can apply for residence extension

The Japanese government will provide foreign nationals affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake with tentative measures regarding applications for an extension of their period of residence.

The Immigration Services Agency will accept applications for an extension of period of stay, by foreigners that have overstayed their visas.

The special measures will be effective "for the time being." The agency is calling on those planning to apply to consult with the nearest regional immigration bureau or the immigration branch bureau in each prefecture.

For those who have temporarily evacuated from their original place of residence or who had no choice but to move to other areas, applications will be accepted at immigration facilities closest to their current residence.

The Justice Ministry says more than 72,000 foreigners are living in the four quake-affected prefectures of Ishikawa, Toyama, Niigata and Fukui.

In detail, over 17,000 foreign nationals are in Ishikawa Prefecture, more than 20,000 in Toyama, over 19,000 in Niigata, and more than 16,000 in Fukui.