Having a Baby in Japan
You need to visit a maternity hospital or clinic to confirm your pregnancy. There are some options regarding your doctor, who will provide your prenatal care, and where to give birth. Where you decide to give birth will depend on whether you feel comfortable in a hospital, how much you can spend (some fancy private hospitals cost upward of a million JPY), and whether you need your doctor to speak English.
2. Maternal and Child Health Handbook
After your pregnancy has been confirmed by a doctor, they will provide a slip which you take to your local city hall to fill out a notification of pregnancy form. Once you do this they will provide you with a Maternal and Child Health Handbook (so-called “Boshi Kenko Techo” 母子手帳). You will need this handbook for:
- Your prenatal checkups
- To get a birth certificate from the doctor
- To keep track of your child’s vaccination record and other developmental milestones
The city office will also provide you some free prenatal checkup tickets, information on pregnancy classes and postnatal services, and a birth registration form.
3. Maternity leave in Japan (for mothers only)
Duration of maternity leave
Guaranteed maternity leave in Japan covers a period of 6 weeks prior to the expected birth date to 8 weeks after giving birth. If the employee desires to return to work earlier than 8 weeks, it is possible, but requires submitting an approval by a medical doctor. If the birth of the child is delayed, the days between the expected due date and the actual birth date also count as maternity leave period.
Compensation during maternity leave
During maternity leave, employee salary will be fully paid from the University of Tokyo (UTokyo).
Income tax, labor insurance and social insurance during maternity leave
Since your maternity leave is treated as “special paid leave”, income tax, resident tax, and employment insurance premium will apply even during maternity leave. However, you are exempt from paying health and pension insurance payments.
4. Childcare leave in Japan (for mothers and fathers)
Duration of childcare leave
Childcare leave applies to both female and male employees.
For the mother, you can start from the day after maternity leave ends (i.e. 8 weeks after the birth date) and for male, you can start anywhere between your child’s birth date, to the day your child reaches the age of three. Each parent may take childcare leave up to three times (leave-return x 3).
Compensation during childcare leave
During childcare leave, you will get 67% over your gross monthly salary including allowances (but capped at 424,500 yen) excluding honorariums for the first 180 days after maternity leave ends and 50% until the child turns 1-year old within the first continuous leave. In case you are unable to enroll your child in a daycare center, you can extend your leave until the child becomes one-and-half years old. Since the gross salary amount to calculate the compensation on the leave is capped at 424,500 yen, the maximum amount to be paid as childcare allowance will be 284,415 yen (=424,500 x 67%) for the first 180 days and 212,250 yen (= 424,500 x 50%) for the rest. It will be paid from:
- Labor Insurance: Only if you have more than one year remaining in your employment term as of the date you return from childcare leave, and you have been employed by UTokyo for more than two years when you started taking childcare leave.
- Kyosai Association: If the labor insurance is not applicable, Kyosai will pay the childcare allowance equivalent to the labor insurance support.
Income tax, labor insurance and social insurance during childcare leave
You are exempt from paying income tax, labor insurance and social insurance payments during childcare leave.
5. Other special leaves
Paternity Leave (for fathers)
7 days of paternity leave while your wife is on maternity leave
Infant Nursing Time (for mothers)
When you are nursing an infant of up to 12 months, you are entitled to take nursing time twice a day, 30 minutes each. You may show up to work 30 minutes late, leave work 30 minutes early, or take 60 minutes off at one time.
Sick/Injured Child Care Leave (for both)
You can take extra 5 days per year of special paid leave to take care of a sick or injured baby/child, taking your child to get vaccinated or health checkup.
6. Birth Allowance
Kyosai supports 420,000 JPY of birth allowance for each delivery (404,000 JPY if the clinic (midwife) is not identified as the “obstetric compensation system” one, or you delivered abroad) which is directly paid to your hospital/clinic from Kyosai Health Insurance Bureau and offset against your total cost related to your delivery and hospitalization cost. You will receive an additional 40,000 JPY as a supplemental allowance later.
If the clinic has not joined the Japan Obstetric Compensation System or is located abroad, you need to pay the full delivery cost fee at the time of discharge, and then be reimbursed for the allowance amount (404,000yen) at a later date. In order to claim this allowance, you have to ask your doctor to sign and seal their official stamp on the Kyosai designated form. Please ask Tokyo College Research Support Team for the necessary forms and documents well in advance.
7. Medical Services for Infants and Children
Health Checkup: Every city hall executes health checkups for babies free of charge on designated months of the baby’s age. You will get invitations or coupons from city hall either in person or by post.
Immunizations: Every city hall conducts immunizations for eligible babies and children. You will receive a package of instructions and free coupons by post for those immunizations as follows:
- BCG: 11 months or younger
- DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus): 3 times between 3 months and 7yrs 5months
- IPV (Inactive Polio)
- DT (Diphtheria, Tetanus)
- MR (Measles and Rubella combination): twice
- Japanese Encephalitis: three times
- HIB vaccine
The followings are optional: Mumps, Chicken pox, Flu, Pneumococcal
Medical Subsidies for Children: Most of local ward offices have subsidization of medical fees incurred during out-patient care and hospitalization for children. Covered age is different depending on each city. If you submit your baby’s health insurance card or certificate, and file an application, you will obtain a certificate, and your co-payment for your baby’s medical cost per time is capped at 200 JPY (null in Tokyo maybe).
Baby’s Residency: Your baby’s residency status needs to be registered regardless of the baby’s nationality. Any person born in Japan has 14 days after birth to apply for registration at the ward office. A few days following the arrival of your child, a birth certificate(出生証明書) issued by the hospital needs to be submitted to the city hall together with both parents’ passports and resident cards for validation. At the ward office, please apply for official documents as follows and bring them to the Tokyo College office together with the mother-and-child notebook(母子手帳):
- Certificate of Residence (住民票): 2 copies
- Proof of Birth Registration(出生届受理証明書)：1 copy
- Tax Certificate (納税証明書)：1 copy
- Tax Declaration Certificate（課税証明書）：1 copy
Enroll in your Health Insurance program: Your baby will be enrolled in your health insurance program. Please bring baby’s resident card and an original copy of residence registration (Jyumin-hyo) to Tokyo College office.We will enroll your baby in the Kyosai Health Insurance Program as your dependent.
Passport: Once the registration is processed, an official birth certificate will be available. Take this to your embassy along with other requirements (please confirm it with your embassy in advance) in order to get your baby’s passport issued.
Japanese Visa: Simultaneously with passport, but within 30 days of the birth we will apply for a status of residence (family visa) for your baby at Immigration attaching with the Proof of the Report of a Birth and a copy of the residence registration. (Baby’s face photo is not required.) At immigration, your baby’s residence card will be issued. This takes about a few weeks.
“My Number” notification: Within a couple of months after the baby birth, you must receive a notification of “My Number” for your baby by post. As soon as you receive it, please bring a copy to Tokyo College office.
9. Hongo Keyaki Nursery School
Before applying: You need to apply one of private/public daycare centers first. Only if you are turned down, will you become eligible to apply for Keyaki.
Keyaki application: You have to complete an application with necessary certificates and submit them to Keyaki by the 1st of previous months. (e.g. if you want to use Keyaki from August 1st, you need to submit the necessary documents by July 1st.)
Last updated : November 11, 2021