Starting your Life in Kizugawa City
Welcome to Kizugawa City!
In order to make it easier for foreign residents we have prepared this comprehensive English guide about the necessary procedures and useful services provided at Kizugawa City Hall.
Assistance in English
As of August 2016, Kizugawa City Hall employs a native English speaker as a Coordinator for International Relations (CIR). If you do not speak Japanese, the CIR can help you with the paperwork at City Hall, provide translation and interpretation, as well as answer general questions about life in Kizugawa City.
Residency Registration for Foreign Nationals and Reentry Procedures
With the introduction of the new residency registration system, mid-term to long-term foreign residents are issued a Residence Card either at the port of entry, or at the municipal office. Within 14 days of finding your residence and settling down in Kizugawa, you must bring your Residence Card and register your place of residence at the Citizens and Pension Division of Kizugawa City Hall. Please bring your passport if you are not given your residence card at your port of entry. Until you receive your Residence Card, foreign residents must carry their passports at all times.
With a valid passport and residence card, you can obtain a special re-entry permit if you reenter Japan within 1 year of your departure date. When you leave Japan, be sure to present your residence card and check the box indicating your intention of Departure by the Special Re-entry Permit System on your Embarkation Card for Reentrant.
For further information or inquiries please visit the Immigration Bureau of Japan webpage or call the Immigration Information Center (Tel 0570-013904).
Inkan (Official Seal)
In Japan, personal seals (inkan 印鑑) are used instead of signatures when confirming official documents (for example, opening bank accounts, signing telephone contracts).
There are situations in which foreign residents are allowed to sign in place of a personal seal. However, we recommend purchasing and using a personal seal. They can be written in roman letters or katakana, with katakana seals more widely accepted.
Seals can be specially ordered online or in specialist shops here in Kizugawa city. It is generally easier to order seals for non-Japanese names over the Internet.
In certain procedures such as making high-price purchases like real estate or automobile, you may need an Inkan (Personal Seal) Registration Certificate. In order to obtain this certificate, you must register your seal at the Citizens and Pension Division of Kizugawa City Hall.
National Health Insurance operates on a voluntary system whereby, for a monthly premium, the administration covers 70% of medical expenses and the remaining 30% is paid by the individual. You can enroll in the National Health Insurance System at the City Hall. If you are not enrolled in private health insurance by your place of employment, you may subscribe to the National Health Insurance.
Health Insurance covers:
- Medical examinations
- Medicine and drug costs
- Hospitalization and hospital care (except food costs)
※ There are medical services which are not covered by the National Health Insurance. For more information, please take a look at our page on Healthcare.
With the goal of reducing waste and our influence on global warming, Kizugawa City Hall requests that all residents separate their waste into the appropriate categories. Each category has its own pick-up schedule. To provide a more eco-friendly environment, we ask for your understanding and cooperation.
Garbage should be separated into:
・ Burnable household and garden waste
・ Plastic containers and wrapping* (plastic bags etc.)
・ Unburnable (cans, glass, etc.)
・ Plastic waste* (shoes, rubber gloves, etc.)
・ Large waste (furniture, bicycles, etc.)
・ PET plastic bottles
・ Paper and large paper cartons
・ Used batteries
・ Cardboard boxes
*Plastic containers and wrapping, and plastic waste are different. Plastic containers and wrapping generally are the packaging for products. On the other hand, plastic waste would be the actual products made of plastic. Take a CD as an example, there is plastic film wrapped around the CD, the CD case, and the CD itself. The plastic film and the case would be plastic containers and wrapping. The CD itself would be a plastic waste.
Japan is a largely cash based society. Credit cards are accepted in larger department stores, but it can often be difficult to use debit cards.
It is sometimes difficult to use foreign cards with Japanese ATMs. Japan Post Bank ATMs (JP Bank, yūcho ginkō, ゆうちょ銀行(ぎんこう)), 7/11 Bank ATMs, and other selected bank ATMs accept foreign credit cards.
You may find it beneficial to open a Japanese bank account, or your employer may require you to do so. To open a bank account you will need a registered seal (inkan) and your residence card.
Services Other Various
If you wish to speak with the CIR, please ask at any service counter on Monday through Friday before 4.30pm. Please note that phone calls will usually be answered in Japanese; however, if you respond in English, the call will be transferred to the CIR. Similarly, e-mails written in English will automatically be passed over to the CIR. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the CIR.