If you are having trouble with money or your job amid the coronavirus crisis

If you are a foreign resident in Japan during the coronavirus pandemic, there are some things you need to know. If you are having trouble with money or work, you will find useful advice and contacts here.

If you are having trouble at work

Q: My workplace has closed down. Am I still entitled to my salary?

A: If your work was suspended due to the state of emergency or as a preventative measure against COVID-19, you should ask for full payment of your salary, or at least for leave allowance which is not less than 60% of your salary. Working from home does not make a salary reduction permissible, and you are entitled to your salary in full.
You are entitled to leave allowance whether you are a regular employee or a non-regular employee.

Q: I was working as a regular employee (indefinite-term employment) but was dismissed by my company due to an alleged business crisis caused by COVID-19. Is this legal?

A: You may not be dismissed without just cause. The same rule applies if you have a job offer cancelled.

Legal advice is available at:
The Labour Lawyers Association of Japan(LLAJ) website;
Available in 8 languages

Q: I have been instructed to quarantine due to having come into contact with a person infected with COVID-19. Am I still entitled to get paid?

A: If you were ordered not to come to work by your company, you should be entitled to your full salary. You may also be able to claim “Injury and Sickness allowance” (“Shobyo-teatekin") if you become infected or show symptoms of being infected and have to stay at home.

Q: I need to take time off work in order to look after my child who is staying home as schools have been closed. But I have already used all of my annual paid leave. What should I do?

A: Inform your company that your absence is due to the school closures and ask for special paid leave separate from annual paid leave. Dismissal under these circumstances is illegal.

■Questions on labor and employment issues can be directed to the Labour Lawyers Association of Japan(LLAJ) through their website:
Available in 8 languages

■The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare provides information in English.

■If you have further questions, you can contact:
“Telephone Consultation Service for Foreign Workers” of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
Consultations available in English and 8 other languages.
-English: 0570 - 001701
Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

If you are self-employed

Q: My business got hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Is there any way I can ask for financial assistance?

A: Small businesses are eligible for collateral-free zero-interest loans (“Murishi-mutanpo Yushi”) through private financial institutions. The maximum amount is 30 million yen. For more details, please inquire at your bank.

Q: I am a freelancer and most of my jobs have been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Does the government offer any support for people such as me?

A: Yes. Individual business owners, including freelancers, whose sales have decreased by more than half compared to the same month last year can apply for the “Subsidy Program for Sustaining Businesses” ("Jizokuka Kyufukin").

You can get more information about this program on our website:
Backstories: How to apply for coronavirus financial aid programs

Q: I just started my business this year and have no income I can compare it to from last year in order to apply for the “Subsidy Program for Sustaining Businesses”. What should I do?

A: The Japanese government is working to expand its target of the “Subsidy Program for Sustaining Businesses” (“Jizokuka Kyufukin”) to:
1) those who started their business sometime between this January and March.
2) those whose income sank more than 50% compared to their average revenue during the three-month period.
The government plans to put it into effect as early as mid-June.

In the meantime, you can make use of the collateral-free zero-interest loans (Murishi-mutanpo Yushi). Also, small businesses can apply for a support program ("Jizokuka Hojokin") that subsidizes the expense of enhancing business. For example, this program can be used to cover the cost of starting a take away service, or installing a remote working system.

For information about Jizokuka Hojokin;
(only in Japanese)

If you have financial troubles

Q: I lost my job. My monthly income dropped significantly. As a foreign national, am I eligible for financial assistance from the government?

A: Regardless of your nationality, you are entitled to receive financial support from the Japanese government.
You can receive a 100,000 yen handout (“Tokubetsu Teigaku Kyufukin”) from the government if you have had a visa for more than 3 months, and you were registered on the country’s “Basic Resident Register” (“Jumin-hyo”) as of April 27, 2020.

Click the links below to find out more about financial support:
■How to apply for 100,000 yen handout (“Tokubetsu Teigaku Kyufukin”):
Backstories: Foreign residents can receive 100,000-yen handout
■How to to apply for no interest loans known as “Temporary Loan Emergency Funds” (“Seikatsu Fukushi Shikin Kashitsuke Seido”) and “Housing Security Benefits” (“Jukyo Kyuufukin”)
Backstories: How to apply for coronavirus financial aid programs

Q: I am unable to pay my utility bills. What can I do?

A: Public utility payments can be deferred if you are financially impacted by the coronavirus. Please inquire with your utility company for more information.

You will also find assistance at the following:

■Backstories: Multilingual coronavirus hotlines in Japan

■YORISOI HOTLINE offers advice in 11 languages.

*Information accurate as of June 11, 2020.

Click below for our domestic program Heart Net TV’s version in simple Japaneseやさしいにほんご.
Link: https://www.nhk.or.jp/heart-net/article/339/