Japan :

Life in Japan

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Alien Card in Japan

ESL teachers in Japan must register for their alien registration card within 90 days of arrival. This can be done at a local municipal office and your school will inform you where this is, and the requirements necessary to obtain the card. You must carry this card at all times after receiving it, as it identifies you as a resident of Japan.


The Alien Registration Card in Japan is required to open a bank account, purchase a mobile phone, visit a hospital, etc and so should be a priority soon after your arrival. These cards are easily updated, so if you change your job or address you only need to visit the local ward to have it done.


Some rumors have been circulating about a new smart card system which will allow the government to better track foreign residents. This is a controversial issue for many foreign residents in Japan as it is seen as a virtual Big Brother. However Teaching in Asia will be monitoring this issue and will inform teachers about any changes in policy, your school should do the same.

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