Netherlands Missions, Japan

Closure of Consulate-general in Osaka

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs needs to make major savings: by 2018, our spending will have to be down by a quarter. Making general cuts across the board is no longer enough. Tough choices have to be made. The Netherlands wants to maintain as large a diplomatic presence in the world as possible. We do not intend closing any embassies, but – to make the necessary spending cuts – we are closing five consulates-general: in Antwerp, Munich, Milan, Chicago and Osaka.

The annual cost of a consulate-general is €1.5 to 2 million. Closing five consulates-general means a substantial saving.

The embassies will try to absorb as many of the tasks as possible – or transfer them to other parties.

Passports, for instance, can be issued at an embassy, a ‘border municipality’ office, or a special desk at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. In addition, passports will soon be valid for ten rather than five years.

We will examine whether the economic function of consulates-general can be taken over in part by embassies, Netherlands Business Support Offices (NBSOs), and honorary consulates with extra responsibility for trade.

These are examples of alternatives, not decisions.

The consulates-general will continue to provide their services until a decision has been made on their closure dates.

For further information you can also consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (www.rijksoverheid.nl).