Self isolation got you down? Following Shinzo Abe’s declaration of a nationwide state of emergency on April 16, the government confirmed it will be handing out a coronavirus stimulus of ¥100,000 per individual. We imagine you have some burning questions in regards to this, so here is everything you need to know about how to get that money into your bank account.
What is it?
This new ¥100,000 handout is replacing an earlier plan to give ¥300,000 to households affected economically by the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent state of emergency. The new plan to give ¥100,000 to each individual is much simpler; it's part of an effort to cushion the blow to the economy as tourism has plummeted, people are staying home and non-essential businesses are closing.
Anyone who has resided in Japan for at least three months and is registered as a basic resident as of April 27 2020 will be entitled to the ¥100,000 handout, regardless of their current income or financial status.
How do I apply?
An application form will be mailed to the head of every household. If you share an address with someone who's not a family member, don't worry – you should receive your own form. You'll need to fill out your application form and return it to your local municipal government office, along with documents confirming your identity and bank account information.
People with a My Number card will be able to apply online through a government website. The URL for the online application has yet to be announced, but we'll keep this page updated as we learn more details.
When is the deadline to apply?
From the day they begin accepting applications, municipal governments will allow a three month submission window. The final date for getting your application in will depend on your municipal government.
When will I receive the cash benefit?
The government says it is working towards allowing people to submit their applications as soon as possible, so they can receive the money as early as May.
Who do I contact for more information?
The decision on the ¥100,000 handout was only announced by the Chief Cabinet Secretary on April 20, and some of the finer details regarding the application process have yet to be finalised. At this point in time, it is also unclear whether the application form will be printed in languages other than Japanese.
For further inquiries, you can contact the call centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications at 0570 066 630 (Navi Dial) or 03 6436 3605 (when calling from IP phones or PHS). Languages available are Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Tagalog, and Nepali.
Follow live updates on the Covid-19 coronavirus situation in Tokyo and Japan here.
Keep yourself safe