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Deep Asia:


Life in a Special Zone

You and Your Uncle

August 27, 2004


My dear friend Reiko once looked at me in Tokyo and said, "Are you going to go back to America and claim to be 'an expert on Japan'?"

"No," I replied.  "The main insights I've acquired in Japan have to do with being American."

And the lessons continue.  Last night, after months of living here, I finally registered my presence with the U.S. Department of State.  (Any American living abroad, or traveling for an extended period, should do the same here.)

I also found 

There's lots more on these sites; they're definitely worth some browsing time.  (I imagine Prince Roy will have some things to add in the comments for this back on the blog.)

Registering as a citizen living abroad has several benefits, one of which is notification by the State Department when they get information pertinent to your life in the region for which you registered.

I, for example, have registered for both "China-Mainland" and "Hong Kong SAR" mailing lists (since I live about three minutes from the Hong Kong border).  And, if there is significant civil unrest either here or over there--the sort that might call for an evacuation--I have a better chance of hearing about it as a registered U.S. citizen.

Along with such "emergency" services, I also get updates on conditions whenever they become available.  I received one introductory report each for China and Hong Kong upon registration.  If you do nothing else today, read through these lengthy-but-useful reports.  They are available on-line:


Hong Kong S.A.R.

Bookmark them and check for updates.  And if I get any, I'll let you know here.

(You can also read about other countries starting here.  Notice that I had to go through an anonymization service to get to these pages from within China.)

In addition, some of the same information--and much more--can be found in the CIA World Factbook:


Hong Kong


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