Embassy of the United States, Tokyo
|Embassy of the United States in Tokyo
|Location||Akasaka neighborhood of Minato, Tokyo|
The Embassy of the United States in Tokyo is a United States embassy that represents the United States in Tokyo, Japan. Along with consulates in Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, and Naha, the embassy provides assistance to American citizens and residents who live in Japan and issues visas to foreign nationals, who are Japanese and legal residents in Japan, who wish to visit or immigrate to the United States.
Kurt Tong serves as the Deputy Chief of Mission of US Embassy in Japan. He had been the Chargés d’affaires ad interim during the absence of the Ambassador from August 12, 2013 till November 12, 2013.
The embassy is located in the Akasaka neighborhood of Minato, Tokyo, steps away from the Nagatachō district, home of the Japanese legislature and the Prime Minister's residence. The address is 1-10-5, Akasaka, Minato-ku Post Code: 107-8420. It is easily accessible via the Tokyo Metro Ginza or Namboku Lines Tameike-Sannō Station and conveniently located to the Hotel Okura.
Previous US missions in Japan
The first American consulate in Japan was opened at the temple of Gyokusen-ji, Shimoda, Shizuoka under Consul General Townsend Harris. Gyokusen-ji is also the location of a small number of foreign graves dating from as early as 1854 marking the final resting place of US forces personnel that died while serving as part of Commodore Matthew Perry's 'Black Ship' fleet.
In 1875, the legation was moved to a site on the Sumida River near Tsukiji, in an area slated as a district for foreigners outside the employ of the Japanese government; this site is now occupied by the St. Luke's Garden complex.
The legation moved to the current embassy site in 1890.
In January 1906, following Japan's victory in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan and the U.S. mutually elevated their legates to the rank of ambassador. Several European powers did so at the same time, indicating a perception of equality between Japan and the major Western powers.
World War II
The US Embassy was closed shortly following the Pearl Harbor attack on December 8, 1941. Its American employees (including military attaches) were interned on the embassy grounds until June 1942, when they were sent by ship to Portuguese East Africa and handed over for repatriation.
The embassy remained closed during the Allied occupation, as the US was the occupying power in Japan. It reopened on April 28, 1952, following restoration of diplomatic relations under the Treaty of San Francisco.
Rent payment issue
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The land on which the embassy sits is about 13,000 m² (3.21 acres), and is leased from the Japanese government. In 2007, the Yomiuri Shinbun reported that the US government had made no payments for the embassy's premises since 1998. According to Foreign minister Taro Aso, the average rent was only 2,500,000 yen (less than US$22,000; or 16¢ per square foot) per year from 1993 to 1997, which was much cheaper than that other diplomatic missions in Japan had to pay (the number for UK Embassy in Tokyo, for example, is 35,000,000 yen per year). The Minister also said that it was clearly unfair behavior and the Foreign Ministry initiated an investigation.
- Henri Smith-Hutton, "American Prisoners in Japan," in Paul Stillwell, Air raid, Pearl Harbor! (Naval Institute Press, 1981)