Japan National Census 2020 — Yes, foreign residents are required to respond!

Every five years, Japan conducts a nationwide census called the kokusei chosa (国勢調査), which every resident of Japan, including foreigners, is required to participate in. This year, 2020, is a kokusei chosa year, and the deadline for submitting responses is coming soon, October 7th, to be exact.

As explained on the official national census site, (in English), the results of the census “will be used for measures such as city planning to make life easier for foreign residents. The Census covers everyone that has lived or plans to live in Japan for more than three months, regardless of nationality. Everyone that is covered is legally obliged to respond, so please be sure to do so. Your responses will only be used to create statistics and will not be used in any way for immigration control, police investigations, or other such purposes.”

English flyer explaining the Japan National Census 2020

Paper Forms

The paper version of the census was distributed to mailboxes around the country starting on September 14th.

Respond Online by Wed, October 7th

You can also respond to the census online. You will need the Login ID and Access Key that came with the paper census documents in order to fill in the survey online.

Online responses are available in the following languages: JapaneseEnglish, Chinese (SimplifiedTraditional), KoreanVietnameseSpanishPortuguese

The government is urging people to do the census online in order to cut down on CO2 and administrative costs.

If you fill in the census online, you don’t need to also submit a paper version.

Online responses are accepted between September 14th and October 7th.

If you can’t do the census online

If you are not able to respond online, you can fill out the hardcopy.

In this case, please refer to the “English translation of the questionnaire” (PDF in English) and “How to fill out a questionnaire form” (PDF in English) which you will find in the “Survey Document Envelope”.

Return your completed survey using the postage prepaid envelope that came with your documents and mail it by Wednesday, October 7th.

If you aren’t able to mail your form, contact the Census Call Center (at the number below) and ask a census taker to come to your home to pick it up.

What if I don’t submit my response by October 7th?

If the census office isn’t able to confirm that you’ve submitted a response by October 7th, a census taker may visit your home in order to ask for a response. The “response request” period will be between October 7th and 20th.

What if I never got my census documents or have questions?

Please contact the Census Call Center.

Census Call Center:0570072020

Period: Monday, September 7 to Saturday, October 31

Reception Hours: 8:00am to 9:00pm

*The operator will respond in Japanese, but foreign language support is also available.

English translation of questionnaire

You can access the official English translation of the census here: Japan national census in English (PDF)


Source: Japan National Census official site (in English)