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I am going to have a baby. How much will it cost in Japan? Is there any public assistance system in Japan?

Your National Health Insurance cannot be used for a normal delivery. Generally speaking, it costs 300 to 400 thousand yen to deliver a baby in Japan (the Insurance can be used for an abnormal delivery).

New mothers have to pay the entire childbirth cost at the checkout window of a medical facility. Some part of this cost is refunded to a subscriber (spouse acceptable) to the National Health Insurance or Social Insurance as Lump Sum Allowance for Childbirth and Nursing and the like.

Subscribers to the National Health Insurance must file a notification with the local municipal office. The necessary items are as follows.

  1. A signature seal
  2. Maternal and Child Health Handbook
  3. National Health Insurance Card
  4. Bank account number
  5. Receipt for last National Health Insurance premium payment

Subscribers to Social Insurance can give notice through their companies.

If an expecting mother cannot gather sufficient money for the childbirth, she may apply at her local Social Welfare Office for the Childbirth with Hospitalization Assistance system. This system exempts all medical costs for mother and infant during hospitalization or keeps the costs low at hospitals designated by municipal governments. For this assistance, there are no restrictions as to nationality and status of residence.

The Childbirth Lump-Sum Allowance can also be paid directly to the medical institution by the local municipality or the insurer (local health insurance association or Japan Health Insurance Association), so that the subscribers to the National Health Insurance or other health insurance do not need to prepare a large sum for childbirth.

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Where and how can I get a copy of the Mother and Child Health Handbook?

File a form of Notification of Pregnancy with the Health center in your local area (Public Health Centers for the city of Nagoya, Okazaki, Toyota, Toyohashi) and receive a free copy of the Mother and Child Health Handbook.

The required documents are as follows.

  1. Notification of Pregnancy form
  2. Alien Registration
  3. A signature seal

With your Mother and Child Health Handbook, you can use various public services such as health checkups for pregnant women and neonatal infants, to monitor health during delivery and thereafter, antenatal classes for women and so forth. Also, you can consult with a public health nurse.

Any pregnant woman is entitled to a copy of the Mother and Child Health Handbook, irrespective of her nationality, her status of residence, or whether she is a registered alien.

Also, since you are not required to present your passport, you do not have to worry about being identified to immigration authorities. Therefore, even if you are overstaying your visa, you can be issued with a copy of the Handbook. You can also buy a Maternal and Child Health Handbook in a foreign language (Mothers' and Children's Health Organization Co., Ltd.).

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We are a foreign married couple staying in Japan on a work visa. Since we have had a baby, please tell us the necessary procedure for our baby.

The nationality of your baby depends on the nationality of the baby’s father or mother.

If both father and mother are foreigners, their baby is also a foreigner, and the following procedure is required.

  1. Submit a notification of childbirth to your local municipality office within 14 days after delivering the baby.

    Necessary documents are as follows.
    a. Notification of Birth (provided at the municipal office or hospital)
    b. Certificate of Birth (certified by your doctor or midwife on the Notification of Birth upon delivery)
    c. Seal (or handwritten signature) of the person submitting the notification d. Maternal and Child Health Handbook e. National Health Insurance Card (if you are a subscriber)

  2. Submit a notification of childbirth to the embassy or consulate in Japan of the country of the baby’s nationality, to be issued a passport.
  3. Apply for a status of residence at a regional immigration bureau within 30 days after the birth. Necessary documents are as follows.
    a. Two copies of Application for Permission to Acquire Status of Residence b. Document certifying the fact of childbirth c. Passports of the baby’s father and mother d. Residence cards of the baby’s father and mother

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Aichi International Association
Sannomaru Annex Building,
Aichi Prefectural Government 1 & 2 F, 2-6-1,
Sannomaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0001
TEL:052-961-8744, E-mail:somu* (Please replace"*" with "@.")
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