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Living Guide in Japan


 Established in 1979, the Refugee Assistance Headquarters (RHQ), under commission from the government, has been undertaking projects to support the settlement of Indo-Chinese refugees in Japan. The number of persons from the three Indo-Chinese countries who have settled in Japan exceeds 11,000.

 In August 2002 the Japanese government decided to assist the settlement of persons who were recognized as refugees by the Minister of Justice on the basis of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees ("convention refugees"). The RHQ also provides convention refugees and their family members with support in learning the Japanese language and finding employment.

 It is my sincere hope that people who settle in Japan as convention refugees adapt to Japanese society and become active in many fields. At the same time, though, until their lives do become stable, there is a possibility that such people will find it hard to understand various Japanese customs and events and will have to cope with various difficulties.

 Therefore, we have compiled this handbook of basic information required for living in Japan. Please use it to understand the various systems and rules of Japan, obtain more detailed information, and enjoy your life in this country. Also, please do not hesitate to make further inquiries to the RHQ's advisory section and refugee consultants. I hope that you will be able to achieve independence and stable lives as soon as possible.

 If you have any comments about this handbook, please feel free to address them to the RHQ.

To those who are going to reside in Japan as refugees:

Chapter 1: Legal Procedures
1-1   Residence status of "long-term resident"
1-2   Certificate of Alien Registration
1-3   Mistaken entry of personal details
1-4   Bringing family members to Japan
1-5   Marriage procedures
1-6   Procedures when a child is born
1-7   Procedures when a family member dies
1-8   Divorce procedures
1-9   Receiving permission for permanent residence
1-10   Naturalization
1-11   Registration of seal(legal seal)
1-12   Traveling overseas
1-13   Migrating another country

Chapter 2: Living in Japan
2-1   Rules to be observed in the local community
2-2   Police boxes
2-3   If you have difficulties in living
2-4   Social Welfare Councils
2-5   If you have difficulties in paying pregnancy and childbirth expenses
2-6   What happens to children who have no one to raise them
2-7   Renting a place for meetings
2-8   Public consultation offices(legal advice, etc.)
2-9   Change and acquisition of driving license
2-10   Telephone subscription and transfer

Chapter 3: Work
3-1   Looking for work
3-2   Receiving vocational training
3-3   Acquiring qualifications
3-4   Employment insurance
3-5   Work-related accident compensation insurance
3-6   Quitting work and changing to another company

Chapter 4: Housing
4-1   Public housing, Urban Renaissance Agency housing, and employment-promotion housing
4-2   Private rented housing, etc.
4-3   Getting a loan to purchase a home

Chapter 5: Medical Treatment
5-1   What to do in case of sickness or injury
5-2   Emergency medical facilities for holidays and nighttime
5-3   Public health insurance
5-4   Medical examinations and vaccinations
5-5   If you cannot pay medical expenses
5-6   If you have mental anxieties
5-7   Assistance and training facilities for disabled children living at home
5-8   Pregnancy and childbirth

Chapter 6: Education
6-1   The educational system in Japan
6-2   Procedures for admission to or change of elementary or junior high school
6-3   Admission to nursery school and kindergarten
6-4   Going on to senior high school
6-5   Going on to university, etc.
6-6   Higher technical colleges and vocational colleges
6-7   If you have difficulty paying school expenses
6-8   Preparations for studying abroad
6-9   Japanese-language study

Chapter 7: Accidents, Fires, Ambulances
7-1   Accidents and burglary
7-2   Traffic accidents
7-3   Fire
7-4   Sudden illness or injury
7-5   Gas leak

Chapter 8: Natural Disasters
8-1   Earthquakes
8-2   Typhoons and flooding
8-3   Disaster-victim certificate

Chapter 9: Taxation, Pensions, Insurance
9-1   Types of tax
9-2   Payment of tax
9-3   Final tax return
9-4   If you cannot pay tax
9-5   The pension system in Japan
9-6   When and how much pension can be received?
9-7   If you cannot pay pension fees
9-8   What private insurance schemes are there?

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