Apr 7 2020 Dealing with Unemployment in Japan

A lot of Foreigners make their way to Japan and aim to establish their respective careers here. Whether it’s the rich culture, awesome food, or the unexplainable attraction that pulls you in for an adventure of living and working in Japan, it’s definitely an experience that is difficult to pass out.

If you do get the opportunity to work in Japan but due to an unforeseen event that leads to you getting fired or you find yourself unemployed, the unemployment insurance can be your safety net for temporary financial assistance.

Unemployment Insurance Explained

In Japan if something unfortunate happens like company layoffs and downsizing or bankruptcy and you lose your job, there is a social benefit called koyou hoken (雇用保険) or unemployment insurance. This can be your temporary fallback in times of need. 

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare supports the unemployment insurance benefit but if you need to use it you have to go through Hello Work, which is a government organization that deals with helping people in Japan find employment.

Who is Eligible to avail this support?

Basically anyone who has been working in Japan for at least 6 months and has made insurance payments are open to avail this support. If you are working full time in Japan, you may have noticed that your company deducts a certain amount for pension payments and healthcare insurance. This includes fees paid to your unemployment insurance benefits. However, if you are a part-timer you have to pay this separately.

What are the Requirements to collect this Financial Assistance?

You will have to go to your local Hello Work office and bring the following requirements below:

Rishoku-hyo (Official letter from your previous employer showing your salary, length of service and reason for termination or leaving the company)
-Residence card
-Bank book
-My Number card
-Two passport-sized photos (3 cm x 2.5 cm)

Any letter or email that serves as evidence to a company that didn’t offer you to renew your contract will help you in this process. Take note that they prioritize those who got fired and contracts weren’t renewed compared to those who quit their job. The length of time varies depending on the case by case basis but it usually takes around 3 months for your application to be processed.

After processing the paperwork, you will have to wait a week and then the benefit payments will start being calculated. You will be expected to return to the Hello Work office usually after 28 days and discuss your job hunting status. You will need to bring evidence or proof of your effort in job hunting through applications you have sent previously. You will need at least 2 job applications per month as a proof. Take note that the officials from Hello Work will verify your application to the companies you have presented as applied for.

How much can I collect from the Unemployment Insurance?

The exact amount varies depending as well on the case, but it is usually around 50-80 percent of your previous salary. The higher your salary were, the nearer the payout is to 50% and the lower your previous salary were, the nearer it is to 80% payout.

The length of time of receiving the insurance also varies.

For more information contact your local Hello Work office.


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