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Hokkaido Government 北海道 Living guide

J.Education

 Japanese compulsory education consists of 6 years of elementary school and 3 years of junior high school. Foreign nationals between the ages of 6 and 15 are allowed to be enrolled in a Japanese school if they wish.

 The Japanese academic year begins in April and ends in March, and has two long-term holidays in the summer and winter. Municipal schools have no tuition fee, but do charge for lunch, teaching materials and other miscellaneous fees. Classes are conducted in Japanese only. If Children wish to go to high school after graduating from junior high school, and then on to university/college, they must take and pass the respective entrance exams.

 There are public (run by the prefecture/municipality), national, and private schools with different entrance procedures and expenses.

 Please ask in detail at your municipal office or the Board of Education for your residence (with regards to public schools), or at the respective schools (with regards to national/private schools or any high schools).

 In Sapporo and Niseko, international schools accept children who have a language barrier in terms of studying at a Japanese school, or for those who value the environmental advantage of a foreign school education.

 There are financial assistance plans (student grant/loan/subsidy) for those with financial needs for school education and for international students. Please go to the CLAIR website for details.

○ Details of the system and procedure
     Go to http://www.clair.or.jp/tagengorev/en/j/index.html (CLAIR)

○ Lists of organizations for processing and general inquiries
    (Procedure to enroll in public elementary/junior high schools)
        Municipal offices in Hokkaido(Excel),
   Municipal Board of Educations
  (Procedure to enroll in private schools)
   Individual private schools
  (Goods support for international students)
   Hokkaido International Exchange and Cooperation Center (HIECC)
   TEL: 011-221-7840


○ Links
  Hokkaido Board of Education
    http://www.dokyoi.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/l06m06.htm [Available in Japanese]
  List of private schools (Private Schools Division, Department of General Affairs, Hokkaido Government)
    http://www.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/sm/gkj/index.htm [Available in Japanese]
  Study in Hokkaido, HIECC
    http://study-hokkaido.com/ [Available in English]

K.Japanese language education

 Municipalities, local international exchange associations and volunteer groups conduct Japanese language lessons and other lectures about Japan. It is helpful for foreign nationals who are new to Japan to take advantage of those opportunities and to learn about Japan. Please go to their websites for details.

○ Details of the general system and its procedure
   Go to http://www.clair.or.jp/tagengorev/en/k/index.html (CLAIR)

○ Links
   Hokkaido Nihongo Kyoiku Network
     http://hok.jpn.org/modules/links/ [Available in Japanese]

L.Tax

 There are two types of taxes in Japan: national and local. Local taxes are further categorized into prefectural and municipal taxes.
 1. National Taxes
  income tax, corporation tax, inheritance tax, gift tax, consumption tax, alcohol tax, tobacco tax
 2. Prefectural Taxes
  prefectural inhabitants’ tax, business tax, real property acquisition tax, motor vehicle tax, golf course use tax
 3. Municipal Taxes
  municipal inhabitants’ tax, national health insurance tax, fixed asset tax, bathing tax.

 The most common taxes for local residents are income tax and inhabitants’ tax. Any inhabitants residing in Japan for one year or longer must pay those taxes in accordance with their income, principally with the same tax rate regardless of nationality. Salaried employees do not need to take any specific steps, in that their employers withhold a part of their salaries for tax payment and reimburse employees for any excess at the end of the year. However, employees should file tax returns separately to be refunded excess payment if their medical payment exceeds a certain amount or they purchase a house. Those who manage their own business, including farms, must file a tax return for their annual income from January 1 to December 31.

 Inhabitants’ taxes are levied on a prefectural and municipal basis. Those who have a Hokkaido address as of January 1 must pay the prefectural inhabitants’ tax to Hokkaido and the municipal inhabitants’ tax to the municipality for your residence.

 There are some cases where you need certificates for tax payment and/or income that prove that you earn money; for example when changing your status of residence, registering children to nursery school, and applying for public housing, you will be required to produce tax documents. Please apply for these certificates at your municipal office when necessary.

○ Details of the general system and its procedure
   Go to http://www.clair.or.jp/tagengorev/en/l/index.html (CLAIR)

○ Lists of organizations for processing and general inquiries
  (Tax final returns of national tax, income tax etc)
   Tax offices for your residence
  (Prefectural tax: business tax, real property acquisition tax etc)
   Tax Affairs Divisions of Hokkaido prefectural bureaus, prefectural taxation offices(Excel)
  (Local tax: municipal inhabitants’ tax, fixed asset tax etc)
   Municipal offices in Hokkaido(Excel)

Application forms
   Declaration/Application for Registration of Tax Agent (PDF)


○ Links
  List of tax offices, National Tax Agency
   http://www.nta.go.jp/sapporo/guide/zeimusho/index.htm [Available in Japanese]

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