As of mid-June, the nationwide average payout ratio (the amount that has been transferred to peoples’ bank accounts divided by the amount that has been applied for) was about 54.5%, according to a survey done by the Nikkei newspaper.
Most municipal governments started mailing out paper applications (and accepting online applications through the MyNumber portal) at the beginning of May but larger cities and wards took longer due to administrative bottlenecks. The delay in payments has been a source of stress for many households who expected payments to be made more quickly.
Below are the key takeaways from Real Estate Japan’s survey, which was conducted online from June 27th to July 30th. We asked users of Real Estate Japan, Japan Today, and GaijinPot if they had difficulty filling out the application, approximately when they submitted their application, whether they had received their payment yet, and how they plan to use their payment.
We received 241 overall valid responses. Thank you to everyone who took the time to do the survey! We will be contacting the ten winners of the ¥500 Amazon.co.jp gift cards in the next few days by email. They will be randomly chosen from among all valid survey responses.
As of June 27th, have you received the special support payment?
Number of valid responses for this question = 201 (out of total 205 responses, 4 invalid)
- As of June 27th, the majority of survey respondents (about 55%) had not yet received their payment. This result is consistent with the Nikkei survey cited above.
- 40.5% of people had received their payment.
- 3.9% did not know whether they had received the payment or not.
Approximately how long did it take for people to receive their payment?
We did not specifically ask this question in the survey but segmented the data in order to estimate the approximate amount of time between when people said they mailed in their application and when they said they received payment.
Based on the data below, we estimate that for people who received their payment by June 27th:
- About 26% of people received their payment within a month of submitting the application.
- About 4% of people received their payment within two weeks.
- Within six weeks of applying, about 50% of people had received payment.
- Within two months of applying, over 90% of people had received their payment.
As of July 29th, have you received the special support payment?
Number of valid responses for this question = 1o2
We sent the survey out again on July 29th to see if there would be a difference in the percentage of people who had received their payment.
As of July 29th (about a month after the original survey), over 60 percent of people said that they had received their payment.
Real Estate Japan’s survey did not capture a representative sample of foreigners in proportion to where they live in Japan, so the regional results are skewed. However, based on the responses we did receive, of the 30 percent of people who had not received their payment by July 29th:
- 64.5% live in the Tokyo 23 Wards
- 12.9% live in Kanagawa prefecture
- 12.9% live in Osaka prefecture
- 9.7% live in other parts of Japan
Although our sample was limited, the results are in line with the Nikkei survey cited above, which showed that people who live in smaller cities and towns tended to receive their payments faster.
How difficult was it to fill out the application form?
We asked: On a scale of one to five, with one being “very difficult” and five being “very easy”, how difficult was it to fill out the application form. Most people said that they had little difficulty filling out the form. Only about 3% said that the form was “very difficult” to fill out.
Did you apply using the paper application or online through the My Number site?
Over 92 percent of people applied using the paper application.
How do you plan to use the special payment? (Multiple answers ok)
The top three answers to this question were:
- Living expenses — 61.3%
- Savings — 34.8%
- Rent — 32.6%
We asked: Do you have any comments regarding the ¥100,000 special payment?
Below are selected, representative answers we received.
— My wife (Japanese) completed all the paperwork so it was no problem for me. But I know some colleagues who have struggled with the application process.
— Thankful and grateful for the Goverment’s assistance.
— Could have been implemented faster when people were hit by Corona crisis most (e.g., to ease tension/anxiety). Many people I personally know struggled and needed the help earlier, now they seem to be recovering despite not having received the payment yet so they feel frustrated by slow government response to the crisis.
— I noticed that there were different applications across cities. I truly believe there should have been 1 application form for every city. A common application, if you will. Because, in a facebook expat group, people wanted/needed help and needed translations. Even a coworker had a different application and I mentioned, “Oh, we shouldn’t check the box. Did you see? It means we don’t want it.” And then when he checked his application, he had 2 checkboxes. Shinagawa Ward’s had two checkboxes which negated what anyone said before and even the Japanese politician’s tweet that said to be careful of the checkbox. By making Shinagawa’s application less confusing they actually made it more confusing. I filled out my application because you needed little understanding of Japanese, in my opinion, but the rattling of nerves of messing up the application made me constantly second guess myself.
— I wish there was a way to know what the status of my application is, and when I will receive my money
— I hope they do it again as it’s not enough to cover what I’ve lost from staying home for 2 months
— Wish they had made online applications easier for people without My Number card readers
— Live in a rural town (pop. ~4000) in Hokkaido, town was very quick to send out paperwork and deposit payment.
— One time ¥100,000 is not enough especially for those stranded abroad who are still paying rents. I expect (hope) this year tax return to be more generous.
— It is good to help student like us to cover living fee when we lost part time job
— The delay in payment is crazy.
— The support came slower than they promised but that doesnt matter. Thankful to the government for this support. It’s a big help in this time of pandemic. Not every countries were able to give their citizen this kind of assistance so we should be thankful that they came to think and consider each and every person living in Japan regarless if Japanese or foreigner.
Lead photo: Real Estate Japan stock photo