Social Insurance

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Japan’s Social Insurance Programs require all residents, regardless of nationality, to pay a specific insurance premium to cover the costs of various life contingencies such as illness, injury, death, unemployment, and so on. The purpose of this insurance program is to provide financial stability for the insured by compensating medical expenses or by providing a pension or lump-sum payment to the insured in the event of need. The law stipulates that all residents in Japan participate in these social insurance programs. If a foreign national satisfies the requirements, he or she must join the social insurance system. As medical expenses are quite high in Japan, all eligible foreign nationals are urged to join the insurance programs without delay.

The social insurance system has four components:

  • Health Insurance, which covers part of your medical expenses
  • Pension Insurance, which provides an income should you lose the ability to work due to age or disability
  • Long-Term Care Insurance, (currently applies only to those people 40 years and older) which provides medical and welfare services according to the individual’s needs when the insured or their families need long term care
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance, which provides compensation for work-related accidents.

Life insurance and non-life insurance are also provided by private insurance companies, whose services may be purchased by individuals or companies if they so wish. In this case, such individuals are excluded from the social insurance programs outlined here.

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Health Insurance in Japan

There are three kinds of public health insurance in Japan, one of which is the National Health Insurance Program and the other refers to the Work Place Health Insurance System. The law in Japan requires all residents to enroll in one of the above health insurance systems.


Long-Term Care Insurance

The Long-Term Care Insurance System involves the whole of society and is run by the social insurance system to ensure long-term care for elderly. According to their needs people or families needing long term care are able to choose from medical and welfare services.


Japanese Pensions

The National Pension Scheme, Employees’ Welfare Pension Insurance, and Withdrawing from the Pension Program


Worker’s Compensation Insurance

In the case a worker is injured on the job or during commutes to/from work, by law an employer may be required to provide compensation for medical treatment and time off.


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