Updated details on Japan’s COVID-19 ¥100,000 Payment to Every Resident: Eligibility cut-off date

May 28th Update: Tokyo 23 Ward Application and Payment Schedule – This post summarizes the approximate date when applications were (or will be mailed out) and when to expect payment.

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April 28th Update: Where to download a PDF of the paper application form for the ¥100,000 payment.

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This post has been updated as of April 21, 2020 at 12:30AM (JST) with new information announced by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, on eligibility and other details.

The Ministry of the Interior has released a draft of the application form that will be mailed out to residents. See this post for a copy of the form and an English translation: English translation of application for ¥100,000 payment.

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The government of Japan will be making a one-time, across-the-board ¥100,000 ($930) cash payment to every resident of Japan in order to mitigate the economic fallout from the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Below we summarize the answers to FAQs about whether resident foreigners are eligible (yes, they are), how to apply, when you can expect to receive the payment, and so on.

Q: Are resident foreigners eligible?

A: Yes. Eligibility for the cash subsidy from the government is based on the Basic Resident Register, which means that all residents of Japan are eligible, including resident foreigners as long as you have a Residence Card.

Updated: You are eligible if you are registered in the Basic Resident Register as of April 27, 2020. Eligibility applies to yourself and registered members of your household as of that date.

The beneficiary is the “head of household” of the household to which the person belongs. 

There are no age or income restrictions on the “¥100,000 per person” subsidy.

Sample of a Residence Card. Image: Immigration Bureau of Japan

Q. How do I receive the subsidy?

A. Apply for the subsidy by filling out the application form that will be mailed to you by your local municipal government (city, town, or village) office. The application form will be sent by postal mail to the head of every household in Japan. If you live by yourself, obviously, you are the head of your household.

Application by postal mail

To prevent fraud, the name of the “head of household” will pre-printed on the application form. If you wish to receive the subsidy, fill in the required information, including the bank account number where you want the subsidy to be deposited.

Mail the completed application back to your local government office, along with a copy of an official ID document (such as your driver’s license or bank passbook) to verify the identity of the “head of household”.

In order to minimize person-to-person contact, as a rule, you will not be able to pick up the payment in cash from your local city or ward office. For people who don’t have a bank account, however, the government is considering allowing them to receive the payment in cash from their local government.

Online application

If you have a My Number Card, and can digitally verify your identity, you’ll be able to go to a website where you can apply for the subsidy online. If you apply online with My Number, you will be able to verify your identity with a digital signature and do not have to separately verify your identity with a copy of an ID document

The URL of the online application site has not yet been announced. It will be provided in the paper application that will be mailed to all residents.

Q. When will application forms be sent out by local governments?

A. Municipal government (city, town, or village) offices will decide the starting date for when they will mail out application packets to residents and when they will start accepting completed applications. Different municipalities will mail out packets on different dates.

Given that this is an emergency measure, applications will be mailed out as soon as possible.

Q. How long do I have to apply?

A. Applications will be accepted within three months of the date on which your municipal government starts accepting completed applications. The application acceptance date will be provided in the application packet.

Q. When will I receive the subsidy?

A. Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Finance Aso indicated at a press conference on April 17th that he would like the government to start sending out cash benefits in May. However, since the ¥100,000 across-the-board subsidies were a last minute decision that overrode the original ¥300,000 subsidies that were already approved for families with reduced income, it will take longer to approve the supplementary budget to cover the expense. For this reason, it’s not clear the government will be able to roll out payments in May and how efficiently local governments will be able to disperse them.

Q. What about households that originally qualified for ¥300,000 subsidies?

A. In some cases, certain households will end up receiving less than under the original plan, which would have given ¥300,000 to households with significantly reduced income, whether this was a single person, married couple without children, or single parent with one child. In each of these cases, the “household” would have received ¥300,000, but under the new plan, the payment is ¥100,000 per resident. This means, for example, that a single person with reduced income, would receive only ¥100,000, not ¥300,000 as originally intended.

Reduced income households with two parents and a single child, however, would still receive ¥300,000 (¥100,000 per person), so the amount of the cash subsidy would not change.

Q. Is the cash subsidy taxable?

No, it is tax exempt.

Q. What is the purpose of the cash subsidy?

A. The government has said that the purpose of the cash subsidy is to help support people’s livelihoods. It is not specifically targeted to help revitalize the economy or to boost spending. Because the state-of-emergency declaration was expanded nationwide on April 16th, the economic impact on people’s lives will be much wider and deeper than originally anticipated.

Q. How will the government cover this expense?

A. Japan will issue deficit-financing bonds to cover the approximately 12.6 trillion yen require to make a ¥100,000 payment to each of Japan’s approximately 126 million residents. The government had originally planned to issue bonds worth 8.6 trillion yen to cover the ¥300,000 payment to households with reduced income (for a total of 4 trillion yen). The new plan will require an additional 8.6 trillion yen of financing.

Q. Is there anything else I should be aware of?

A. The Ministry of Internal Affairs wants people to be aware that you should protect yourself from possible fraudulent activities related to the cash subsidy.

In order to receive the subsidy, you will NOT have to do any of the following:

  • Input any sort of information at an ATM machine.
  • Pay any sort of transaction fee.

Other than the application packet that will be mailed to you, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and your local government office will NOT contact you by postal mail, telephone, or e-mail in order to ask you for any personal information, such as your bank account number.

Other than the application packet, if anyone contacts you asking for personal information in order for you to receive the cash subsidy, you should immediately report the incident to the police. 

Q. What if I have other questions about the subsidy?

A. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has a call center (in Japanese) for questions about the subsidy. Official information can also be found on the Ministry’s website (in Japanese)

TEL: 03-5638-5855

Hours: 9AM to 6:30PM, except for Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays

 


Source: Nikkei newspaper, April 17, 2020 (in Japanese), updated information Ministry of Internal Affairs announcement (in Japanese)

Lead photo: People crossing the street, Shibuya Scramble, February 22, 2020 via iStock


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