The International Permit Agencies (国際渡航許可庁, Kokusai Tokō Kyoka-chō—lit. "International Travel Permit Agency") are a group of different organizations (possibly one) that regulates travel to the Dark Continent, and are operating directly under the V6 (formerly V5).
The role of the IPAs is to do research on travel worldwide and organize a database taking into account political and social landscapes, biodiversity and climate in order to calculate travel risk and conservation level and to ultimately assign countries a safety index. Ordinarily, applications to travel to the Dark Continent are forwarded to the IPA after being approved by all Restricted Voyage Agencies. In practice, the IPA has the unspoken duty to reject all such applications and, in the rare cases in which this should not be possible, to accompany qualified travelers in order to maximize safety after screening them through a multilateral and comprehensive inquisition and training process.
The Permit Agency's involvement with the Dark Continent is deeper than the public is aware of. In its basement are stored the bodies of victims of the Five Threats, off record. Not even the Deputy Secretary is normally aware of this side of the agency. Despite officially dismissing it as a work of fiction, the Agency utilizes Journey to the New World as its primary source of information concerning the Dark Continent. Other than this book, Beyond Netero's report on his trip to the south shore of Lake Mobius with the V5 member, Kukan'yu Kingdom, contains more details on Zobae Disease.
Kakin's Journey to the New ContinentEdit
Following Kakin's announcement of an imminent, massive expedition to the Dark Continent with an open-door policy, the IPA received new duties and powers. Its Deputy Secretary, Steiner, was informed of the top-secret side of the agency and put in charge of a special unit coordinating all RVAs. Seeing that Kakin haven’t signed the Inviolability Treaty with the V5 members, they bypassed the IPA's screening process, and now demanding unlimited access to the Dark Continent while filing their trip under "business: colonization".
During the summit, after having submitted to the V5 an analysis of the risks and benefits involved, the IPA was tasked with suggesting possible courses of action, which resulted in the distinction between the Dark Continent and a New Continent inside the far ocean boundary and outside humanity's territorial waters, which will act as the destination of regular civilians. The IPA's approval of Kakin's colonization project and the admittance of the developing country in the Modern Nation Leaders will ensure that the distribution of all rewards will be in even sixths. Whereas the actual voyage will be left to Kakin on the condition that their members be carefully screened, and the Hunter Association functions as Kakin's chaperone during the journey. The Deputy Secretary and his team were assigned to joining Beyond Netero in the exploration of the actual Dark Continent, advising him with the knowledge gathered from Journey to the New World.
Dark Continent Expedition arcEdit
After Nasubi Hui Guo Rou reveals his colonization project, Steiner is put in charge of a team coordinating all RVAs. He is also told about the secret duty of the agency and tasked with memorizing the content of Journey to the New World. After gathering the necessary data, the Deputy Secretary communicates the risks and possible courses of action to the V5: since the only way to stop the colonization is military, he invites them to let Kakin join the organization, reaping the benefits while letting Kakin take the fallout. He also suggests secretly redirecting civilians to the New Continent, a safer but unexplored area neighboring the actual Dark Continent. The V5 approves the suggestions.
Succession Contest arcEdit
The Deputy Secretary and his unit are assigned with counseling Beyond Netero during the expedition. Moreover, the IPA Director will seemingly be involved in the journey.
- In Chapter 340, Curly uses the word "Foreign" (外来, Gairai) instead of the more used term "International" (国際, Kokusai) to refer to the agency. Whether this implies they are two different agencies or not remains unclear. One way to explain Curly's choice of words is that he preferred to use "foreign" rather than "international" to convey the meaning that Kakin is an independent country from V5 at the time.
- It's unclear whether the International Environmental (国際環境許可庁, Kokusai kankyō kyoka-chō) and Travel (国際渡航許可庁, Kokusai tokō kyoka-chō) Permit Agencies are the same organization, as Steiner's description of his job accommodates both meanings.
- The current director of the IPA is one of the unofficial survivors of the Dark Continent.