According to the new residency management system in place since July 9, 2012, foreign nationals residing in Japan are issued a Resident Card in place of the Alien Registration Certificate. The Resident Card is issued by the Immigration Bureau to individuals staying in Japan mid- to long-term (for more than 3 months), and contains information such as the entry permit and extension of period of stay. Tokyo Tech students have a Student resident status.
The Resident Card is an important document that will serve as proof of identification when you open a bank account, sign a cell phone contract, and rent an apartment. Please carry your card at all times. (Holders are legally required to carry the card and present it when requested.)
Services at Japanese banks and financial institutions include remittances and transfers in Japan, remittances overseas, and currency exchange. Anyone of any nationality may open a bank account. And with a bank account, you can withdraw money from savings and receive remittances from overseas.
To open an account, you will need an official document (e.g., Resident Card), identification (e.g., passport), and seal (depending on the institution). Rules vary. For details, inquire at the different institutions.
To ensure that you receive letters from your home country and notification from your local government office, please follow the guide below.
Japan Post English service (call charges apply)
0570-046-111 (Hours: Weekdays 8:00 - 22:00; weekends and holidays 9:00 - 22:00)
Local government offices in Japan set explicit rules for disposing of household trash. Trash must be separated as instructed and taken to a specified pickup point at a specified time, otherwise it will not be collected. Separation and disposal rules vary by local government. Please check the rules of your area before moving in.
Example: Trash disposal in Tokyo
Combustible trash (twice a week), non-combustible trash (twice a month), recyclable trash (once a week), oversized trash (arranged pickup for a fee)
All international students residing in Japan for more than 3 months are required to join National Health Insurance. Once enrolled, you will be required to pay only 30 percent of medical expenses. (Note, however, that certain types of treatment are not covered and you will be required to pay the full cost.)
Follow procedure to join National Health Insurance at the department of the local government office at which you completed resident registration. Present your Resident Card or Alien Registration Certificate. A National Health Insurance Card will be issued at a later date. When visiting a hospital for treatment, always carry your National Health Insurance Card.
By applying for a screening and driving exam at a designated center, you may convert a driver's license issued in your home country to a Japanese license.
Alternatively, you may drive in Japan with an International Driving Permit issued by a member state of and conforming to the model designated by the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic.
In the event of an earthquake or other disaster, protecting yourself is the first priority. Once you are safe, make efforts to gather accurate information from the websites of Tokyo Tech and your local government.
The guide compiles information on systems and procedures relevant to international students.
The PDF files present information in both Japanese and English.