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Valuable Information on Getting Started Living in Japan part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of our Valuable Information on Living in Japan series! This time we will go over credit cards, taxes, and insurance.

If you have any questions or information that you would like to share about living in Japan, please leave us a comment!

Valuable Information on Living in Japan part 3

  Credit Cards

Most major credit cards issued overseas can be used in Japan at major restaurants, hotels, department stores, etc. (please note, however, that Japan is still very much a cash society, and there are many stores and restaurants that do not accept credit cards) . However, it is said to be difficult for foreigners to get a Japanese credit card, and there are many stories of people getting rejected when they apply for one. It is not impossible, though – some residents have reported having luck obtaining credit cards through Citibank and Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.


  Taxes and Insurance

RESIDENT TAX: The amount of residence tax you pay is determined by the amount of income you made the previous year. This tax is paid to your Local Ward Office, and you can either pay it by yourself (using taxation slips sent to you by the Ward Office) or through your employer (who deducts it from your monthly salary).
INCOME TAX: Income tax is paid annually, and the amount paid is calculated based on how much one made the previous year. If you are a company employee, this tax is deducted from your salary each month. At the end of the year, the amount is recalculated and adjusted depending on how much you earned from January to December of that year.

INSURANCE: Membership in one of two main health insurance systems is compulsory. The two main systems are National Health Insurance (国民健康保険, kokumin kenkō hoken), and Employees’ Health Insurance (社会健康保険, shakai kenkō hoken). Monthly premiums are based mostly on ones salary, but are calculated differently.

EMPLOYEES HEALTH INSURANCE: Under this scheme, the employer provides a health insurance certificate to employees. Broadly speaking, this applies to those who 1) work for medium/large companies, 2) work for national/local government, and 3) work for private schools. Those who join this scheme pay only 30 percent of their medical costs.
NATIONAL INSURANCE: If you are staying in Japan for a year or more and are not covered by Employees’ Insurance, you need to apply for National Health Insurance. When applying at your local word or city office, you must show your Alien Registration card. Those who join this scheme pay 30 percent of their medical costs.
For more details:

PENSION: If you have paid into the Employees Pension Insurance system for at least six months, you are entitled to a refund when you leave Japan. You must visit your local ward or city office and get an application form, which you must send back within two years of leaving the country.

We hope you have enjoyed this information on getting started living in Japan.Please share any tips or information you have with us!