Dr. ARUDOU, Debito's Home Page

From Debito's doctoral research:

Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

  • Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination
  • (Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield HB 2015, PB 2016)

    Click on book cover for reviews, previews, and 30% discount direct from publisher. Available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle eBook on

  • Book IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan
  • Teigaku Kyuufukin: Have you collected your 12,000 yen tax kickback yet?

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on June 18th, 2009

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
    Hi Blog. Friend Olaf suggested to me yesterday that we ask readers of how things are going with their collecting the Supplementary Income Payment (teigaku kyuufukin), the Aso Administration’s answer to financial stimulus (where every adult gets 12,000 yen, plus 8000 yen for oldies and dependents). And yes, NJ residents get it too, so if you haven’t yet received word from your local government with forms (see below), get in touch with your local ward office or town hall and get your kickback.

    I got mine a couple of weeks ago (the Sapporo City Govt sent everyone’s by registered mail — just try to imagine the costs incurred the taxpayer) and sent it in last week. Still haven’t been paid yet, but how are things going for everyone else? How do you plan to spend your loot?

    I still say we could have had more universal stimulus at a lot less administrative cost if we had just given people a holiday, for however long, from the 5% consumption tax. But I’m not a policymaker; what do I know?

    Friend Ben sent me his forms from Shibuya-ku. They did a decent job of making things multilingual. But as he wrote to The Community last May, his app was rejected. As he put it:

    Got the rejection letter today, my application was rejected for two reasons:

    1 – The name on bank account card copy doesn’t match your cash card.
    2 – Didn’t supply the required identification

    So I decided to visit the ward office, I had to pay 2 tax bills anyhow and it was located in the same building.

    Paid the tax bills and ask where I could find the supplement payment office. People in the tax office on the 3rd floor had no idea where it was, they huddled around in a group of 6 people trying to figure out where this office was. One lady said, “oh it’s in the basement on the building, in the far other side of the building”. Three of the 6 people people started saying, oh, I never been there before.

    So headed down to the B1 area, and sure enough in the most far corner of the building, there was this 100m2 office with 8 workers and a boss in the far corner in the back left. They had 6 chair type booths to handle inquiries.

    Walked in the office and I was the only customer. This lady stands up and says in perfect English, may I help you? I showed her the rejection letter. She walks away to talk to the boss in the corner and them comes back.

    The name written down as your bank details is in romaji, however the copy of the cash card you provided is in katakana.

    my response – Yes, my legal name is in romaji, however they print katakana on the cash card. I think your cash card is the same situation. For example, your name is in kanji, did the bank print kanji on your cash card? She stops for a second and thinks, no my cash card has katakana. I said, there you go, me too, how strange…

    So she runs off to the boss again and explains. Then she comes back, well that’s OK then, however the real problem is with the second issue, you didn’t provide a copy of your alien registration card. I said, I gave you a copy of my drivers license, that should be enough. I have lived 15+ years in Japan and I have never given a copy of my alien registration card.

    She runs over to the boss again and now the boss and her are at the booth now. She continues to explain I need to prove if I am legally living in Japan to claim the 12,000 yen. So I offered to show my alien registration card, however they are not permitted to make a copy. The boss and the lady chit-chat away for 30 seconds and agree I can show my alien registration card only and this should clear up the paperwork.

    That was it, in and out of that supplement payment office in 5 minutes. Had to do nothing, no corrections to the paperwork, no copy of my alien registration card, etc.

    If you don’t want to give out a copy of your alien registration card, you will most likely have to visit your city/ward office. But the bank account thing was crazy, not sure what they were thinking.

    How have others fared? Any other bureaucratic SNAFUs?

    Arudou Debito in Sapporo


    39 Responses to “Teigaku Kyuufukin: Have you collected your 12,000 yen tax kickback yet?”

    1. Odeena Says:

      I applied a month ago and heard back from my city ward this Monday. To be honest, I was expecting to run into some trouble at least (I moved from Koganei-shi to Kodaira-shi in March, so I was a bit worried when I received the application papers from the Koganei city ward, even though I was no longer living there).

      Things appear to be going smoothly though, so anytime between next Monday and Friday I’ll swing by the Koganei city ward on Monday to hopefully collect my Teigaku Kyuufukin :)

    2. Alan Says:

      I received mine without any problems.

    3. feitclub Says:

      My local government didn’t offer any English language instructions, but my wife helped me with all the paperwork. We sent in our applications together, but she got her money about a week earlier than I did for whatever reason. Otherwise, no complaints here.

    4. James Annan Says:

      Yes, ours came through smoothly a couple of weeks ago. No issues with names or technicalities despite filling the forms in in romaji and having name order different between the bank card and gaijin card…

      It was mildly amusing to find a pdf with English instructions on the city web site (and other languages, I think)….but only *via* a wholly Japanese language web-page, with the link hidden near the bottom, not even prominent at the top, so I’m not sure who was expected to find it!

      This is Kamakura, Kanagawa by the way.

    5. Simon Says:

      Mine came through OK, though my wife’s payment arrived three to four weeks before mine despite her having lodged the application a week after me.

      My city requested residents to provide a copy of something to prove identity. I chose to provide my driver’s licence since the alien card wasn’t required. Ben, when they said you had to prove you were living there legally, maybe you could have said “hey, you guys sent me the forms in the first place — so you must know I’m here legally, right? you don’t send these forms to tourists and the like, right?” Leave the responsibility with them.

    6. Next ward neighbor Says:

      I live in Meguro-ku and the forms and procedures were very different here. NJ received the same forms and instructions as J (only in Japanese, ofc), and there was no requirement to copy or show any ID at all, but they asked for a copy of your cash card, although it was optional. I received my money without any hassle. It’s strange how the procedures and handling can be so different between two neighboring wards…

    7. Karl Says:

      I moved out of rural Hiroshima and into Hiroshima City in late March. I got my forms from the rural town (as I think the payments are handled by where you lived in February.) All I had to do was fill out my bank account information and send the form back. I sent it in late March and got my money in early April; way before the Hiroshima City-dwellers, I might add.

      I filled out the bank account information with the same Romaji that appears on my bank book. My cash card is in katakana but I assumed (correctly, it would seem) that wasn’t relevant. I had no problems.

      The forms were in Japanese only.

    8. adamw Says:

      yes,no problems here though my wife did it all..
      our family got nearly 9man in total..
      not sure where its gone though

    9. Biliken Says:

      I live in Osaka. I still have not received my application form, despite having phoned up twice and confirmed my name, address and date of birth. Even my foreign banks can manage to get mail to me, but it seems that this is beyond Osaka City. Also it seems the reception phone centre is not linked to the area where they hold previous enquiry information so the receptionists can’t even check when they think they last sent out an application. Not very impressive.

    10. Psiclopz Says:

      I got mine a month ago or so, Kizugawa-shi in Kyoto sent all the money by furikomi. I filled out one piece of paper and sent it in with a copy of my gaijin card and that was it. Very simple.

    11. Ben Says:

      >Simon Says: “hey, you guys sent me the forms in the first place — so you must know >I’m here legally, right? you don’t send these forms to tourists and the like, >right?” Leave the responsibility with them.

      You’re exactly right, when the lady and boss were chit-chatting, I did hear them say he is perm resident, so they knew exactly who I was.

      btw – I did receive a post card the money will be deposited on 12 June, my wife got her’s that day, mine still hasn’t come through. So it looks like they are processing the non-Japanese in another cycle.

    12. James N Says:

      I got mine a few weeks ago and will spend it in the U.S.A. next week on beer!!!!

    13. nakahara-ku Says:

      Kawasaki has been extremely slow in sending out payments. I sent mine (along with the requested copy of my alien registration card) in early May, as soon as I received the form. By last week I was wondering why I had heard nothing from the city, so I checked their website:

      Basically, they’re saying it will happen by the end of June, but who knows, really? I understand that Kawasaki City is pretty large, but did they not see this coming? Yokohama is having the same problem. I’m kind of jealous of my Tokyo counterparts; since each ward handles the payments individually, things seem to be moving much more quickly (my g/f who lives in Meguro-ku received her payment within three weeks of sending back the form).

    14. Marius Says:


      It’s been more than a month since I receieved, filled in and sent my application.
      Haven’t recieved payment, haven’t gotten any updates on my application.

      I suppose they are busy.

      — I suppose you should contact them.

    15. PeteMcC Says:

      I am thankful for living in Inaka because my forms were processed within two weeks and I got paid promptly.

      At which point I promptly spent it on beer.

    16. David B Says:

      I got the application form about 1 week after my wife got hers (both Koto-ku in Tokyo). Filled it out and sent it back straight away. We both got our money about a month ago hers a few days before mine.

    17. HH Says:

      I live in Minato-ku and was actually surprised at how quickly I received my payment despite the fact that I goofed up filling out the form (I omitted my name). Within a week of sending in the form I received a card notifying that a payment will be made and the payment hit my account within a week or two after that. My wife and son who are Japanese nationals received their payments after me.
      As a side note, one thing that I found strange is that my wife and son had their own form and I had my own. I remember when registering at the ward office when I first came to Japan I was asked by the clerk if I wanted to be “head of household” and I said “OK”. But, given the separate forms it seems like I am the head of my household, meaning me, and my wife is the head of the household including our son. Two heads? Does that make sense?

    18. John Says:

      I received my bribe last week and have spent it already to do my good bit for the economy…

      Thankfully, a painless process.


    19. Frodis Says:

      Received with no problems and no anti-foreigner plots anywhere to be seen. I sent what they asked for on the application and 6-8 weeks later received the deposit directly in my account.

    20. Matt Says:

      I had a bit of trouble getting my application form. I hadn’t received anything by the date the website said (Mito, Ibaraki) so I called up. She got my details and put me on hold while she checked. She came back to say I hadn’t gotten the forms because my alien card had expired or something. Wrong, check again, I said, as I always diligently go in to the city hall and update it everytime I renew my visa. She called me back, said yes I was right, and I had my forms within 2 days.

      Send them back in a week or so ago. Will wait and see how it goes!

    21. jim Says:

      I wonder why osaka, does mine separently from my wifes and kids. my wife told me that it makes her feel llike a single mother, and it makes my kid look like a basterd child. is all over japan or just in ass backward osaka?

    22. Michael Weidner Says:

      I got mine on May 7th; the paperwork came on April 17th, I sent it in on the 20th, and it came direct deposited into my account with my paycheck. I spent it on paying two bills; my internet and power bill.

    23. Colin Says:

      Supposed to receive it on the 25th this month (more than 2 months after I sent in the forms). Called City Hall and they said postal account holders will receive their cash later than UFJ, Shizuoka etc. Not sure why but that`s what I was told.

    24. InJM Says:

      I got mine at the end of April. Or was that May? It seems like ages ago.

    25. InJM Says:

      I forgot to mention that they took my driver’s licensce as ID.

    26. mameha Says:

      My family got about 9man in total with no problem. The only irritant was that my application had to be done totally seperate to the rest of my family, so two lots of paperwork.

    27. Brooks Says:

      My wife got hers before me. Since we are married I wondered why. We live in Kanagawa, and I think Kanagawa is the last prefecture to take care of this. We sent the forms in but I don`t know if the money was deposited yet.

    28. john s. Says:

      No problemo. I didn’t even realize it but the paperwork was filled out, sent in, and the money put in our account for both myself and my wife. you’d think she would have told me about it so i could have used it as an excuse sometime i waste money . thanks debito for reminding me of a potential excuse…

    29. RH Says:

      >My wife got hers before me. Since we are married I wondered why.

      Mine came a couple of days before my wife. I don’t think it’s a conspiracy 😉 2 adults and 1 child – 44,000 in total I believe.

    30. The Shark Says:


      Had the same problem in Oska. My wife (JAP) and I (NON-JAP) submitted the docs on the same day. She got paid already, I however haven’t. I followed that up with authorities and received a couple of different explanations:

      1) We are very sorry. But data for Japanese an foreigners are processed in different systems. Therefore the delay.

      2) We are very sorry. But because you are a foreigner we need to check something first. (person who said that didn’t want to go into details as to what needed to be checked)

      3) We are very sorry. You know, you wrote your name in Kanji/Katakana. Foreigners need to write their name in Romaji. Also your DOB was in Japanese style and not 19.. (Western style).

      The third explanation was by far the funniest I’ve ever heard. I can read Japanese and there was no such requirement pointed out in the instruction how to fill in the application form. On driver’s licences for foreigners the DOB is also in Japanese style (although the name is in Romaji). And on health insurance cards, tax certificates, pension books it’s perfectly fine for foreigners to use Kanji or Katakana.

      So what did I do to get things moving?
      I bluffed and said I’d be back with a journalist friend because whenever I ask someone I get a new explantion.

      Two hours later I received a phone call from the Ward office and the said: the will pay you immediately. They even told me the scheduled transfer date.
      You see, sometimes the harder you push, the quicker it comes.

      Apart from that, it really looks like the central government didn’t bother giving to much guidance. So all local governments started doing things a bit ‘gucha gucha’ as we say in Japanese.

    31. john k Says:

      got mine ages quibbles or prob’s. My wife filed out the forms, we both got the money the same day, even after moving from one prefecture to another..was well over a month ago now

    32. Marius Says:

      Marius again,

      Never did contact city hall after more than a months inactivity.
      Got a letter yesterday saying the kickback will be deposited 2 days from now.

    33. A Man In Japan Says:

      I got mine. I didn’t even know what it was until my wife told me. She said just to put it in her bank account, which we did without any problems. We went out to eat ramen with it. Noice one!

    34. Quaiti Says:

      Bloody hell… haven’t even received my application yet, and I was at the Ward Office yesterday, so I could have checked, had I thought of it. I had better check and see if my Japanese wife’s got hers yet…

    35. Glenski Says:

      Minor snafu with the way my name was listed on the bank book (English vs. katakana), despite following instructions with my wife’s collaboration. Was notified 2 weeks after the application, and money was sent without a hitch.

      How I spend it is up to me, but let’s say a child is expensive. Wonder how the politicians are spending their money (as if they deserve it).

    36. Olaf Says:

      I (foreigner) and my family (Japanese) only needed to send a copy of our bank book and ID (Japanese drivers license OK).
      I and my Japanese mother-in-law received it two weeks quicker that my wife and kids!
      Gaijin and ro-jin friendly Sapporo! :-)

    37. Tokyo resident guy Says:

      I live in Nerima-ku, Tokyo. Me(NJ) and my japanese wife sent the application together. We sent the application some time in April. She got her middle of May, not mine. I kept my cool and said to myself, this could be random. I experience a lot of discrimination in Japan especially in Tokyo. But I rather give my Ward office the benefit of the doubt.

      Middle of June, I called the Ward office and asked where is my 12,000?
      They asked for my
      1. birthday,
      2. address
      3. and name
      I responded politely and correctly.

      The answer they gave me: Because you are a foreigner, therefore, we need to check more so, please wait.

      I asked: Check more for what? You did send me the form. So, that qualifies me, right? I sent you all the documents you asked for.

      They replied: No, we cannot disclose the information how we process things here.

      I asked again: Ok, I will playball. Can you give me a tentative date at least?

      They calmly replied: We don’t know… maybe early next year.

      My blood pressure went to boiling point and hang up the phone. I want to think things through and do not want to regret any words that will come out my mouth.

      I called the Ward office again. To make the story short, I gave them hell on the phone. I feel bad for the lady handling my call because she was in a panic. (no doubt in my mind, she cried after that. It’s not her fault but she is part of the system). I demanded to speak or a meeting with the Head of my Ward. They told me that they will call me in a few minutes. Then a dude from the Ward office called me up and said, I can get my 12,000yen next week.

      Quite an improvement from early next year to next week.

      Moral of the story: Do not let them treat you like crap, if they do, make them feel like one.

    38. Drew Says:

      @Tokyo resident guy: Thanks for that information, I live in Nerima-ku as well. I’ve only sent mine in a few weeks ago but if they are really thinking that it’s going to be another 6 months I may call up and have a chat. Who did you ask to speak to, Toyoshiro Shimura?

    39. Kiz Says:

      I live in Toshima-ku and my husband and I (both foreigners) never even received the application forms despite both being registered with the local city hall. Surprisingly we get our city tax bills sent without fail on a regular basis, but somehow they don’t seem to have our details when it comes to the government payout – odd don’t you think….

      — Well, did you go claim your money?

    Leave a Reply


    The requested URL /sites/debito.txt was not found on this server.

    Not Found

    The requested URL /sites/debito.txt was not found on this server.

    The requested URL /sites/debito.txt was not found on this server.

    Not Found

    The requested URL /sites/debito.txt was not found on this server.

    The requested URL /sites/debito.txt was not found on this server.

    404 Not Found