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Passport applications to go to municipal offices

Date Posted: 2010-02-11

Okinawa Prefecture would like to spin off the entire process of handling Japanese Passport applications to local municipalities, but is encountering objections from most on Okinawa’s main island.

Sixteen municipalities have already agreed to the plan, which will be submitted to the Prefecture Assembly for formal approval during a February business meeting. The ‘Regulation of Special Cases of Paperwork of Okinawa Prefecture’ bill would transfer responsibility for processing passport applications from the prefecture to local governments starting April 1st.

Only Onna and Ginoza Villages on Okinawa’s main island have agreed, citing “we have too much work to do already, and cannot handle the increase in paperwork.” Municipal offices on the other 14 Okinawa island have agreed to handle the passport applications. The Prefecture, which says the process change would best serve citizens, says it will continue to press local government offices in Okinawa cities, towns and villages to take over the paperwork.

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