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Summary of Latest Information Regarding COVID-19 (As of 10/24/2020)
2020.10.24

★★Hokkaido is currently at ALERT STAGE 1★★

This post is a summary of all the latest information that has been released regarding COVID-19, and will be updated regularly.

<COVID-19 Cases in Hokkaido>
Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Hokkaido (As of October 23, 2020)

<Messages from the Governor>
COVID-19 Countermeasures Public Awareness Flyer (10/16/2020) ≪NEW≫
Period of New Hokkaido Style Concentrated Countermeasures (7/31/2020)
Phased Relaxation of COVID-19 Related Restrictions (Post Transition) (7/27/2020)
COVID-19 Related Emergency Countermeasures (No. 3) (6/9/2020)

<Notices for Hokkaido Businesses>
Summary of COVID-19 Related Support for Businesses (5/15/2020)
Notice Regarding Support Grants for Businesses that Cooperate with Request for Closure and Contribute to Efforts to Stop Spread of Infection (4/27/2020)
Business Subject to Request for Closure (4/20/2020)
Business Not Subject to Request for Closure (4/20/2020)

<Support Programs>
Updated Summary of COVID-19 Related Support for Individuals(8/1/2020)
Notice from MEXT: Emergency Support Payout for Students Affected by COVID-19 (5/22/2020)
Guide to the ¥100,000 COVID-19 Payout
   Application Form Sample   (Postal Application) (5/20/2020)
Information about the Housing Security Benefit (5/20/2020)
Housing Security Subsidy and Temporary Livelihood Support Program (5/1/2020)
Special Loans for Social Welfare (Emergency Small Loans) (4/28/2020)
Special Payout for Households with Children (4/22/2020)
COVID-19 Payout Applications for Victims of Domestic Violence (Living apart from head of household) (4/20/2020)
Leaflet Regarding Tax Payment Grace Period (4/7/2020)

<Notices from the Immigration Services Agency>
Guide to Support for Continuous Employment for Foreigners Who Have Been Dismissed, etc. (9/18/2020)
Request of intention to re-enter Japan for foreign nationals with status of residence currently residing in Japan (9/7/2020)
Regarding refusal of landing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) (9/28/2020)
Specific examples of cases where permission for re-entry may be granted due to special exceptional circumstances (8/28/2020)
Additional biosecurity measures upon re-entry of foreign nationals who departed from Japan with a re-entry permit (8/28/2020)
Handling of residence applications for Technical Intern Trainees affected by the spread of COVID-19 (8/12/2020)
Handling of foreign nationals planning to enter Japan (6/26/2020)
Regarding foreign nationals who have been dismissed, had their contract terminated, made to stand by at home, etc.(6/1/2020)
Handling of residence applications and COE issuance applications for those unable to return to their home country (5/21/2020)
Regarding International Students Affected by the Spread of COVID-19 (5/20/2020)
Handling of residency applications from mid-to-long-term residents and former mid-to-long-term residents who have difficulty returning to their home country due COVID-19 (5/20/2020)
Period for acceptance of residence related applications has been extended (COVID-19) (Updated 5/12/2020)
Regarding “justifiable reason” for exclusion from revocation of residence status (5/1/2020)
Handling of residence applications for foreign nationals in Japan on a working holiday visa that are unable to return to their home country(4/27/2020)
Regarding Effects of the Spread of COVID-19 on Period of Validity for Certificate of Eligibility (3/10/2020)

<Notices from the Hokkaido Board of Education>
New Way of School Life 
Extension of Temporary School Closure Due to State of Emergency (5/4/2020)

<State of Emergency>
Countermeasures in Hokkaido to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 (May 25, 2020 - May 31, 2020)
State of Emergency Measures in Hokkaido Response to COVID-19 Pandemic (April 17, 2020 - May 31, 2020)
”New Way of Life" Practical Examples (5/8/2020)
Request for Cooperation at Supermarkets/Parks During State of Emergency (4/28/2020)

<Other>
Notice from Hokkaido Prefectural Police – COVID-19 Related Special Measures for Driver’s License Renewal Period Extension, Expired License Procedures (6/26/2020)
The New Coronavirus Multilanguage Consultation Center (AMDA International Medical Information Center)

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Hokkaido
2020.10.23

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Hokkaido

See the below PDF for more details.

COVID-19 Countermeasures Public Awareness Flyer
2020.10.16

During a press conference held on October 16, 2020, the Hokkaido Governor presented a public awareness flyer with new information regarding high-risk situations for the spread of infectious diseases.

In addition, a new category was added to the New Hokkaido Style, calling for Hokkaido citizens to stay properly informed and act with compassion.

See the attached file for more details.

From the Hokkaido Governor: COVID-19 Stage of Alert & Request for Cooperation
2020.10.07

During a press conference held on October 7, 2020, the Hokkaido Governor made an announcement regarding the current state of COVID-19 in Japan and the related Stage of Alert, as well as requests for cooperation from Hokkaido residents and businesses. There are also specific messages targeted towards the younger age group.

For more information, see the attached file.

Notice from the ISA – Entry/Re-Entry into Japan for foreign nationals from 9/1/2020
2020.09.28

On August 28, 2020, the Immigration Services Agency of Japan released a notice titled “Request of intention to re-enter Japan for foreign nationals with status of residence currently residing in Japan.” Below is an outline of that notice:

Eligible persons: Foreign nationals residing in Japan who have received a residence card, and to whom one of the following applies.
・Persons with a valid re-entry permit
・Persons in possession of a valid passport and residence card who are permitted to leave and enter Japan with a special re-entry permit

Procedure:
① Request of intention to re-enter Japan before departing Japan (via e-mail)
② Presentation of Receipt of intention to re-enter Japan at immigration inspection at port of departure
③ Acquisition of Certificate of Testing of COVID-19 proving a negative test result after having undergone a test for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to departing from the country/region of stay
④ Presentation of Receipt and submission of Certificate of Testing at port of arrival during re-entry procedures

Date of implementation: September 1, 2020 (Tuesday) 12:00 pm (Tentative)

※If you departed Japan on or before August 31, 2020, instead of the Receipt of ②, you must instead present a Letter of Confirmation of Submitting Required Documentation for Re-entry into Japan issued by the Japan diplomatic mission in your country/region of stay.

In addition to the above notice, the following notices have been updated as of August 28, 2020:
・Regarding refusal of landing to prevent the spread of COVID-19
・Additional epidemic prevention and control measures for the entry or re-entry of foreign nationals
・Specific examples of cases where permission for re-entry or entry may be granted due to being special exceptional circumstances

For more details, see the attached files below.

Notices from the Immigration Services Agency – Current landing restriction measures and resumption of cross-border travel
2020.09.28

On August 12, 2020, the Immigration Services Agency released a notice titled “Outline of current landing restriction measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and resumption of cross-border travel.”

In addition, the following two related notices have been updated as of August 12, 2020:
1. Specific examples of cases where permission for re-entry or new entry may be granted due to being special exceptional circumstances cases corresponding to individual situation in relation to the measures for denial of landing relating to prevention of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
2. Additional biosecurity measures upon re-entry of foreign nationals who departed from Japan with a re-entry permit

For more details, see the attached files.

Notice from the ISA – Update to the Guide to Support for Continuous Employment for Foreigners Who Have Been Dismissed, etc.
2020.09.17

The Guide to Support for Continuous Employment for Foreigners Who Have Been Dismissed, etc., published by the Immigration Services Agency of Japan on April 17, 2020 has been updated.

In the previous guide, only technical intern trainees and specified skilled workers were eligible for support, but the new version has been broadened to include foreign nationals with the status of residences such as “Skilled Labor” and “Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services” etc.

*Only applicable to work in specified industrial fields (those approved for Specified Skilled Workers.”
**Through this special measure you may switch to “Designated Activities (Work Permitted, 1 year.)” However, if change your mind midway through your 1-year period of stay and wish to change to a different status of residence, you may need to submit a statement of reasons.

For more details, see the attached file.
If you have any questions, please inquire with the regional immigration bureau. (Our center can provide interpretation services if necessary.)

Notice from the ISA – Request of intention to re-enter Japan for foreign nationals with status of residence currently residing in Japan (As of 9/7)
2020.09.07

On September 7, 2020 the Immigration Services Agency released an updated version of the notice, “Regarding the request of intention to re-enter Japan for foreign nationals with a status of residence currently residing in Japan.”
For more details, see the attached file.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact our center.

COVID-19 Hokkaido Stages of Alert
2020.09.01

See the below PDF for more details.

Notice from the ISA – Foreign Residents Support Center (FRESC) Help Desk
2020.09.01

The Foreign Residents Support Center (FRESC), a government program that provides support for foreign nationals residing in Japan, has opened the FRESC Help Desk as of September 1, 2020. The FRESC Help Desk accepts consultations by phone from foreign nationals who have lost their jobs or whose lives have been otherwise affected by COVID-19.

○TEL: 0120-76-2029 (Free Dial)
○Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
*Closed on weekends and public holidays.
○Languages: 14 languages (Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Portuguese, Spanish, Nepalese, Indonesian, Thai, Khmer, Burmese, and Mongolian)

See the attached flyer for more information.

Notice from the Immigration Services Agency – Handling of residence applications for Technical Intern Trainees affected by the spread of COVID-19
2020.08.12

On August 12, 2020, the notice regarding the handling of residence applications for Technical Intern Trainees affected by the spread of COVID-19 was updated.

① Those unable to return to their home country:
  ⇒ permission to change to the status of residence to “Designated Activities (6 months, work permitted)” or “Designated Activities (6 months, work not permitted)”
② Those unable to shift to the next level of technical intern training due to inability to take the exam:
  ⇒ permission to change status of residence to “Designated Activities (4 months, work permitted)” until able to take the exam and shift to next level
③ Those who have difficulty continuing training due to a decline in business, etc. at accepting organization (if a new accepting organization cannot be found):
  ⇒ permission to change status of residence to "Designated Activities (Maximum 1 year, work permitted)” if you fulfill certain conditions

● Below applies to those who have finished Technical Intern Training (ii)
④ Those who wish to shift to Specified Skilled Work (i) but haven’t yet finished preparations:
  ⇒ permission to change status of residence to “Designated Activities (4 months, work permitted)” during period of preparation
⑤ Those who wish to shift to Technical Intern Training (iii):
  ⇒ permission to change status of residence to “Technical Intern Training (iii), if you are hired by supervising and accepting organizations that are deemed as “excellent”

For more details see the attached file.
*If you need interpretation help to make an inquiry to the Immigration Bureau, please feel free to contact us.

Message from the Governor Regarding Obon / Summer Holidays
2020.08.07

During a press conference held on August 7, 2020, the Hokkaido Governor released a notice to residents of and visitors to Hokkaido regarding travel and gatherings during Obon and summer holidays. There are also special requests targeted at businesses, and the younger age bracket.

For more details, see the attached file.

Updated Summary of COVID-19 Related Support for Individuals
2020.08.01

The Summary of COVID-19 Related Support for individuals which we shared previously on our Facebook and homepage has been updated as of August 1, 2020.

See the attached file for more information.

Notice from the Immigration Services Agency - Additional biosecurity measures upon re-entry of foreign nationals who departed from Japan with a re-entry permit (As of July 31)
2020.07.31

Only July 31, the Immigration Services Agency released a notice regarding additional biosecurity measures upon re-entry of foreign nationals who departed from Japan with a re-entry permit.

In principle, all foreign nationals whose date of re-entry is on or after August 5 will be subject to these additional measures and must prepare the following two documents:
1. Letter of Confirmation of Submitting Required Documentation for Re-entry into Japan (issued by embassy or consulate)
2. Negative COVID-19 test result (conducted at a medical institution within 72 hours of departure)
*Depending on the date of re-entry some foreign nationals may be exempt from these additional measures, so please read the attached document carefully.

If you have any questions or concerns about these measures, please contact the Japan overseas diplomatic mission in the country or region in which you currently reside.

Period of New Hokkaido Style Concentrated Countermeasures
2020.07.31

As of August 1, 2020, Hokkaido has entered the Post Transition Phase of the Phased Relaxation of Restrictions (Basic Policies for COVID-19 Countermeasures.) However, with the upcoming Obon and summer holidays, there is a possibility we will see an increase in infection rates as there is more travel and movement of people around the country. With this in mind, during a press conference held on July 31, 2020, the Hokkaido Governor announced the beginning of a “Period of New Hokkaido Style Concentrated Countermeasures.”

See the attached file for more details.

Notice from the Immigration Services Agency – Update to the specific examples of cases where permission for re-entry may be granted due to special exceptional circumstances
2020.07.29

On July 29, 2020, the Immigration Services Agency updated the notice regarding specific examples of cases where permission for re-entry may be granted due to being special exceptional circumstances corresponding to individual situation in relation to the measures for denial of landing relating to prevention of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). See the attached notice for more details.

If you have any questions regarding this notice, feel free to contact us.

Phased Relaxation of COVID-19 Related Restrictions (Post Transition)
2020.07.27

During a press conference held on July 27, 2020, the Hokkaido Governor released updated information on the Phased Relaxation of Restrictions as part of the Basic Policies for COVID-19 Countermeasures.

For more details, see the attached file.

Phased Relaxation of COVID-19 Related Restrictions (Transition to Step 3)
2020.07.10

During a press conference held on July 10, 2020, the Hokkaido Governor released updated information on the Phased Relaxation of Restrictions as part of the Basic Policies for COVID-19 Countermeasures.

For more details, see the attached file.

Notice from the Immigration Services Agency – Handling of foreign nationals planning to enter Japan
2020.06.26

On June 26, 2020, the Immigration Services Agency released a notice regarding the handling of foreign nationals planning to enter Japan. A basic outline of the notice is as follows:

1. Foreign nationals who have been issued with a certificate of eligibility or foreign nationals who have applied for a certificate of eligibility
2. Foreign nationals who departed from Japan with re-entry permission while in the process of residence related application procedures
3. Foreign nationals whose period of stay expired while outside of Japan with re-entry permission

For more details, see the attached file.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Notice from the Hokkaido Police – Further Extension of Driver’s License Renewal Period and Procedures for Expired Licenses
2020.06.26

The special measures for driver’s license renewal released by the Hokkaido Police has been updated. Individuals whose license will expire on or before September 30, 2020 (including those who have already applied for an extension) are now eligible for the special measures to extend their driver’s license renewal period. In addition, more specific details regarding procedures for those individuals whose license has expired due to effects of COVID-19 have been included.

For more details, contact the nearest Driver’s License Center or police station. If you need interpretation support, please feel free to contact our center.

Phased Relaxation of COVID-19 Related Restrictions (Transition to Step 2)
2020.06.18

During a press conference held on June 18, 2020, the Hokkaido Governor released updated information on the Phased Relaxation of Restrictions as part of the Basic Policies for COVID-19 Countermeasures. Below is an outline of the content:

1. Phased Relaxation of Restrictions (Transition to Step 2)
2. Hokkaido Travel Discount (Domin-wari)
3. Alert Stages

For more details, see the attached file.

COVID-19 Related Emergency Countermeasures (No. 3)
2020.06.09

During a press conference held on June 9th, 2020, the Hokkaido governor released the 3rd installation of the COVID-19 Related Emergency Countermeasures. The outline of the measures is as follows:

1. Widespread practice of the “New Hokkaido Style”
2. Strengthened medical care provision system in preparation for the 3rd wave and beyond
3. Continued, gradual expansion of economic activity
4. Engagement in social life and cultural activities, while ensuring peace of mind and safety

For more details, see the attached file.

Update from the Hokkaido Police – License Renewal Processing to Resume
2020.06.05

Starting from June 8, 2020, driver’s license renewal processing is to resume at the Sapporo Driver’s License Center, the Central/Atsubetsu Excellent Driver Renewal Center, and police stations in Sapporo City. Gaimen kirikae (switching a foreign driver’s license to a Japanese license,) and written and behind-the-wheel testing will also resume.

In order to prevent overcrowding, for the time being, only those individuals whose driver’s license renewal period will expire within 2 weeks will be allowed to renew their license. In addition, if your driver’s license renewal period is due to expire before July 31st, you may still apply for the 3-month extension of your renewal period.

*Driver’s license renewal procedures for jurisdictions besides the Sapporo region have already resumed as of June 1, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact the nearest driver’s license center. For interpretation support, please feel free to contact our center by phone.

{Updated 6/1} Notice from the Immigration Services Agency – Regarding foreign nationals who have been dismissed, had their contract terminated, made to stand by at home etc. due to COVID-19
2020.06.01

The notice from the Immigration Services Agency regarding foreign nationals who have been dismissed, had their contract terminated, made to stand by at home, etc. because of the worsening job situation due to effects of COVID-19 has been updated as of June 1, 2020.

Change: Technical Trainee Interns are not eligible for these special measures.

See the attached file for details.

Basic Policies for COVID-19 Countermeasures from June 1st
2020.05.29

During a press conference held on May 29, 2020, the Hokkaido governor announced the “Basic Policies for COVID-19 Countermeasures.” Below is a brief outline of the contents:

・Projection of developments after June
・Hokkaido Corona Notification System
・Infection Prevention (Stages of Alert)
・Early Detection and Response

See the attached file for more details.

New Way of School Life – Notice from the Hokkaido Board of Education
2020.05.26

On May 26, 2020, the Hokkaido Board of Education released a notice for parents and guardians introducing the implementation of the “New Way of School Life.” See the attached file for more details.

If you have any questions, please contact individual schools directly.
*If you need interpretation assistance, feel free to contact us. We’re here to help!

End of State of Emergency – Response in Hokkaido
2020.05.25

During a press conference on May 25, 2020, the Hokkaido governor announced new Countermeasures in Hokkaido to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19.

The state of emergency has been lifted for all of Japan, and as such, the state of emergency countermeasures put in place in Hokkaido until now have also been lifted. However, new cases of infection are still being confirmed in Hokkaido, and as such the following countermeasures will still be taken for the period of May 25 to May 31.

〇 Measures to Prevent the Further Spread of Infection
・Request for residents to stay home, etc.
・Request for halt in operations/business closure (request for cooperation)
〇 Implementation of the “New Way of Life”
・Thorough prevention of infection
・Promotion of Hokkaido Social Distancing
・Request for infection prevention measure at supermarkets, parks, etc. (request for cooperation)

In addition, details regarding the New Hokkaido Style have been announced.

For more details, see the attached file.

Notice from MEXT: Emergency Support Payout for Students Affected by COVID-19
2020.05.22

Many students have suffered significant financial impact from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to significant decreases in household income and/or earnings from part-time work, job-loss, etc. In order to ensure that these students are able to continue in their education, Emergency Support Payouts for Students to Ensure Continued Education have been made available. The basic outline of the program is as follows:

・Eligible students:
Students of public and private universities (including graduate school,) junior college, technical colleges, etc. (including Japanese language schools)
*International students are also eligible for this payout.

・Payout amount:
Students from Resident Tax Exempt Households 200,000
All other students 100,000

See the attached document for more details.

For more information, please contact the student support center at your school. If you would like interpretation assistance, please feel free to call us. We’re here to help!

Partial Lift of Request for Business Closure from May 25, 2020
2020.05.22

During a press conference held on May 22, 2020, the Hokkaido governor announced the partial lifting of requests for business closure. The outline of the announcement is as follows:

・Regarding the partial lift of request for business closure*
・Regarding the New Hokkaido Style (for business operation)
・Overcoming the 2nd wave, and preparing for the 3rd wave
*In order to be eligible for the business support grants, those businesses under request for closure, etc. must cooperate until May 25, 2020.

For more details, see the attached file.

Updates to Notices from the Immigration Services Agency
2020.05.21

The following notices from the Immigration Services Agency have been updated.

・Handling of residence related applications, etc. for foreign nationals facing difficulty in returning to their home country (Updated 5/21)
・Regarding international students affected by the spread of COVID-19 (Updated 5/20)
・Handling of residence applications for Technical Intern Trainees affected by the spread of COVID-19 (Updated 5/21)

See the attached files for more details.

Announcement from the Immigration Services Agency – Residence applications and COEs for those unable to return to their home country (2020.05.21)
2020.05.21

The measures for handling residence applications and certificate of eligibility issuance applications for those unable to return to their home country have been updated. See the attached document for more information.

If you need interpretation support to make an inquiry, please don’t hesitate to contact our center.

Handling of residency applications from mid-to-long-term residents and former mid-to-long-term residents who have difficulty returning to their home country due COVID-19
2020.05.20

Until now, mid-to-long-term residents who have difficulty returning to their home country due to COVID-19 were granted the residence status of “Temporary Visitor (90 days)” or “Designated Activities (3 months.)”

However, since it is still difficult for them to return to their home country, from May 21 mid-to-long-term residents and former mid-to-long-term residents will be permitted to change to a status of residence of “Designated Activities (6 months.)”

In addition, international students who have difficulty returning to their home country and wish to work will be allowed to work (part-time) within a limit of 28 hours per week.

For more details, see the attached document.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Information about the Housing Security Benefit (From the MHLW)
2020.05.20

If you are having trouble paying for your current housing due to income decrease resulting from business shutdown, etc., then you may be eligible for the Housing Security Benefit. This benefit is available for all those who are searching for work or whose income meets certain requirements. Foreign nationals are also eligible for this benefit, not limited to Permanent Residents.

See the attached file for more information. If you have any questions, or need interpretation assistance to contact a Self-Reliance Support Center, please feel free to get in touch.

Guide to the 100,000 COVID-19 Payout & Sample Application Forms (From the MIC)
2020.05.20

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has uploaded multilingual guides for the 100,000 COVID-19 Payout, as well as sample application forms with English explanations. They can be downloaded from the link below.

https://bit.ly/2zSVRcQ

If you have any questions regarding the payout, please contact your local municipal office. For those who would like interpretation assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Attention Int’l Students – Announcement from Immigration Services
2020.05.20

The Immigration Services Agency has released an announcement regarding the handling of international students in Japan who are affected by the spread of COVID-19.

Basic Outline:
1 Students who will continue to attend school
2 Students who will no longer attend school
3 Students who have graduated and already received a job offer
4 Students who have graduated and wish to continue job hunting in Japan

See the attached file for more details.

Former mid-to-long-term residents may now be eligible for the 100,000 COVID-19 Payout upon change in residence status (Notice from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications)
2020.05.19

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications released an announcement regarding eligible recipients of the 100,000 COVID-19 Special Cash Payments on May 19, 2020. The general content is as follows.

Until now, former mid-to-long-term residents who changed their status of residence to either “Temporary Visitor (90 days)” or “Designated Activities (3 months)” due to difficulty in returning to their home country before April 27, 2020 (reference date for the special cash payouts) were not considered eligible recipients for the 100,000 special cash payments. However, the MIC has declared that the above individuals may be considered as eligible recipients for the cash payments upon changing to a mid-to-long-term period of stay, and re-registering their address at the local municipal office.

For more details, see the attached file. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at the Support Center. We’re here to help!

Notice from the HBOE – Towards the Reopening of Schools
2020.05.19

In addition to the thorough implementation of countermeasures against infectious diseases, the Hokkaido Prefectural Board of Education has sent schools the attached notice, including points of consideration and countermeasures to be taken in school to ensure that educational activities in the new school semester are carried out safely.

For more specific details, please contact the individual schools, directly.
*If you need interpretation assistance, feel free to call us.

Notice from Hokkaido Prefectural Police – COVID-19 Special Measures for Driver’s License Renewal
2020.05.19

 Special measures have been implemented for individuals unable to renew their driver’s license due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. See the attached document for more details.

If you have any questions, please contact the nearest Driver’s Licensing Center or police station.
*For interpretation assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact our center. We can help!

Summary of COVID-19 Related Support – from the Hokkaido COVID-19 Countermeasures Taskforce
2020.05.19

A summary of the current COVID-19 related support measures has been released by the Hokkaido COVID-19 Countermeasures Taskforce. For those of you who have been laid-off or had your hours cut, etc. and are worried about what the future might hold, we hope that these measures may be of use to you. See the attached file for more details.

*If you have any questions or would like to inquiry directly regarding any of these support measures, but are not confident in your Japanese ability, please feel free to contact our center. We can provide interpretation support over the phone!

Summary of COVID-19 Related Support for Businesses – from the Hokkaido COVID-19 Countermeasures Taskforce (As of May 15, 2020)
2020.05.15

A summary of the current COVID-19 related support measures for business owners and freelancers, etc. has been released by the Hokkaido COVID-19 Countermeasures Taskforce. For businesses struggling with sustaining operations, keeping employees, paying taxes and insurance, etc. we hope that this is a useful reference. See the attached file for more details.

*If you have any questions or would like to inquiry directly regarding any of these support measures, but are not confident in your Japanese ability, please feel free to contact our center. We can provide interpretation support over the phone.

Urgent Message (5/16 – 5/17)
2020.05.15

During a press conference on May 15, 2020, the Hokkaido governor released an Urgent Message regarding the weekend of May 16 – 17. Although the spread of infection has slowed in many parts of the prefecture, Hokkaido still remains in a state of emergency, and residents of Sapporo and Hokkaido are asked to continue doing their part to help stop the spread of infection.

1. Residents of Sapporo, please stay home!
2. Residents of Hokkaido, please do not visit Sapporo!
3. Residents of Japan, please do not travel between prefectures!

In addition to the above, residents are asked to endeavor to implement the “New Way of Life / New Hokkaido Lifestyle,” as well as thoroughly avoid the Three C’s.

See the attached files for more details.

Basic Approach to COVID-19 Countermeasures Moving Forward
2020.05.14

During a press conference held on May 13, 2020, the Hokkaido Governor announced the “Basic Approach to COVID-19 Countermeasures Moving Forward.” For more details see the attached file.

*If you have any questions regarding this document, please feel free to contact us.

Are you having trouble paying rent or have no place to live due to COVID-19?
2020.05.13

The following support measures have been implemented for individuals who are facing difficulty paying rent, or who have lost their place to live due to the effects of COVID-19.

1. Housing Security Subsidy
If you are at risk of losing your place to live due to a decrease in income or loss of work, you may be eligible for this subsidy. The municipal government will subsidize your rent (paying the landlord directly) for, in general, 3 months, with a set maximum of 9 months. In order to qualify for this subsidy, you must have either lost your job or had your income decrease significantly within the past two years, and be at risk of losing your place to live.

2. Temporary Livelihood Support Program
If you do not have a place to live, or are in an unstable housing arrangement, such as staying long term at a net café, etc., emergency shelter, food, and clothing will be provided for a fixed period (generally 3 months.) Additionally, various support will be provided to help with life after the shelter, such as for employment. If you are without a place to live and have an income below a certain level, you may be eligible for this support program.

If you have any questions about these support measures, contact a local Independence Consultation Support Organization (jiritsu soudan shien kikan.) For those who need interpretation assistance, please feel free to contact our center. We’re here to help!

Announcement from Immigration Services Agency – Effects of COVID-19 on Revocation of Status of Residence Procedures
2020.05.13

There are many foreign nationals living in Japan who, due to effects of COVID-19, are currently unable to continue engaging in activity corresponding with their residence status (such as working or attending school, etc.) Normally, if more than 3 months pass without you engaging in said activity, you would be at risk of revocation of status of residence. However, if you have a “justifiable reason” for not engaging in said activity, your residence status will not be revoked and you may continue living in Japan. See the attached file for the “justifiable reasons” associated with the effects of COVID-19 and more detailed information regarding this special measure.

Any questions regarding this matter can be answered by your local immigration bureau. If you need interpretation assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Announcement from the Immigration Services Agency of Japan – Period for acceptance of residence related applications has been extended (COVID-19) (Updated May 12, 2020)
2020.05.12

Measures to reduce congestion at the immigration counters in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been updated as of May 12, 2020.

Now, foreign nationals whose period of stay expire in the months of March, April, May, June, and July will now be able to submit residency applications (e.g. extension of period of stay or change in residence status) for an extended period of three months from the expiration date of their period of stay. This does not include foreign nationals with the residence status “Designated Activities (Departure Preparation Period).”

See the attached document for more details.

If you need interpretation support to make an inquiry, please don’t hesitate to contact our center.

Urgent Message (May 9 – May 10)
2020.05.08

An urgent message has been released regarding this weekend. Although Golden Week has ended, residents of Sapporo and Hokkaido are urged to continue to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Hokkaido.

1. Residents of Sapporo, PLEASE STAY HOME!!
2. Residents of Hokkaido, PLEASE DO NOT VISIT SAPPORO!!
3. Residents of Japan, PLEASE DO NOT TRAVEL BETWEEN PREFECTURES!!


See the attached file for more details.

ATTN: Foreign Nationals on a Working Holiday Visa - Notice from the Immigration Services Agency
2020.05.08

The Immigration Services Agency has released a notification regarding the handling of residence applications for foreign nationals in Japan on a working holiday visa but are unable to return to their home country. See the attached file for more information.

If you have any questions regarding these procedures, please contact your nearest Immigration Bureau. Those of you who need assistance with interpretation, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Practical Examples of “New Way of Life” Under State of Emergency in Hokkaido in Response to COVID-19
2020.05.08

Practical examples of a “New Way of Life” were included in the State of Emergency Measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Hokkaido that were released on May 6, 2020. The outline is as follows:

(1)Basic Infection Prevention Measures for Everyone
(2)New Way of Life and Basic Everyday Routines
(3)New Way of Life in Various Situations
(4)New Style of Working

See the attached file for more details.

Extension of Temporary School Closure Due to State of Emergency
2020.05.08

On May 4, 2020, the Hokkaido Board of Education released a memo addressed to municipal boards of education regarding the extension of temporary school closure until May 31, 2020 due to the extended State of Emergency in Hokkaido in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Below is a selection of information from the memo that we thought may be useful for parents or ALTs, etc.

1.Period of temporary school closure is extended to May 31, 2020
2.Regarding the implementation of distributed attendance, in light of the extension of the request for business closure in Hokkaido until May 15, during the same period distributed attendance should be kept to a minimum. Municipal BOEs were then requested to begin preparations to gradually increase the number of times of distributed attendance per week working towards the eventual reopening of schools.
3.Regular check-ups on the health and well-being, as well as the study conditions, of all students, should be implemented at least once every two weeks. *For students registered with the Regional Council for Measures to Protect Children as needing support, check-ups should be implemented at least once a week.

For more details please contact your individual school. If you need interpretation support, please feel free to contact us.

Extended State of Emergency Measures in Hokkaido Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
2020.05.07

In a press conference held on May 6, 2020, the Governor of Hokkaido announced details regarding the extended State of Emergency Measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Hokkaido. The general outline is as follows.

Region: All regions of Hokkaido
Period: April 17, 2020 – May 31, 2020
Content:
Due to the current spread of COVID-19 in Hokkaido, measures to prevent the further spread of infection will be implemented, and efforts will be made to promote a "New Way of Life" that avoids the Three C's and helps prevent infection.

★Measures to Prevent the Further Spread of Infection★
・Request for residents to stay home
・Request for halt in operations/business closure (request for cooperation)

★Thorough Implementation of the “New Way of Life”★
・Thorough prevention of infection
・Promotion of Hokkaido Social Distancing
・Request for infection prevention measures at supermarkets, parks, etc. (request for cooperation)

For more details, see the attached file.

Message from Governor (May 4, 2020)
2020.05.06

Request for Continued Social Distancing/Stay at Home Measures and Business Closure

・The State of Emergency declared in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended until May 31st

・The request for business closure, etc. as part of the emergency measures has been extended until May 15 for the time being.

・Once the spread of infection has slowed and hospitals are able to offer care without difficulty, reopening of some facilities is under consideration.

・In order to receive the Hokkaido Business Support grants, businesses must comply with the extended request until May 15th.

Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki

Special Payout for Households with Children
2020.05.01

On April 22, 2020, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare released information regarding a “Special Payout for Household with Children.” The basic content of the announcement is as follows.

○Am I eligible to receive this payout?
If you received or will receive a child-care allowance for an eligible child (defined below) for the month of April or March of this year, then you are eligible for this special payment.

○What children are eligible for this payout?
Any children who are eligible for payment of child-care allowance for the April, 2020 (also including children eligible for payment of Child Allowance in March 2020) are also eligible for this payout.
*Children who were born before March 31st are also eligible.
**New 1st year senior high school age children are also included.

○How much is the payout?
¥10,000 per eligible child*

○How do I apply? And how will I receive the payout?
・Documents will be mailed by municipal offices to all eligible recipients. Fill out the application form, and return to the appropriate municipal office.
・The payout will be remitted to the bank account you have registered for your child-care allowance payments.

○When will the application forms be sent out?
To be decided by each individual municipality.

More details will be announced by local municipal governments, so please contact your local government office with any inquiries or concerns. If you need interpretation assistance, please feel free to contact our center.

*A previous version of this post listed the payout amount as 100,000 yen. This was an error on our part, and we apologize for the mistake. 10,000 yen is the correct amount.

Employment Support for Technical Intern Trainees and Specified Skilled Workers
2020.05.01

The Immigration Services Agency of Japan has launched a special support program for Technical Intern Trainees and Specified Skilled Workers who have been let go, etc. due to effects of COVID-19 and are unable to continue their training.

Basic Outline:
〇 Target:
Technical Intern Trainees and Specified Skilled Workers who have been let go, etc. due to effects of COVID-19 and are unable to continue their training, work. (*Please consult your local immigration bureau for more details.)
〇 Status of Residence・Period of Stay:
Designated Activities (Work Permitted)・Maximum of 1 year
〇 Approved Activities:
Activities performed at accepting organization to acquire skills necessary for work as a Specified Skilled Worker

See the attached file for conditions, as well as a general image of the support system.
*If you need interpretation support when contacting an immigration office, etc., please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Reference: https://bit.ly/34Zm6tF (Japanese only)

COVID-19 Payout Applications for Victims of Domestic Violence (Living apart from head of household)
2020.05.01

The application forms for the ¥100,000 COVID-19 Payout from the Japanese government will be automatically mailed to the address at which the head of the household has registered their address. This can cause an issue for those individuals who have left their home in fear of or risk of domestic violence. To alleviate this issue, there is a way for such individuals to apply to receive the COVID-19 Payout at their new address.

〇Application Period
April 24, 2020 ~ April 30, 2020 (Applications will still be accepted after this date.)

〇Necessary Documents
・Application form: a written statement declaring that you are living away from the head of your household due to risk of or fear of domestic violence. Application forms are available at local municipal offices, women’s counseling centers, and on the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications website.
・One of the following:
(a) Official documentation regarding the domestic violence from a women’s counseling or support center, or local municipal office
(b) A protection order (or official copy) from a court of law

※If you have an accompanying person or child, you will also need to submit documents to verify their status.

For more details, please inquire at your local municipal office. If you need interpretation assistance, please feel free to contact our center.

「Golden Week」Urgent Message
2020.05.01

During a press conference held on April 30, 2020, the Hokkaido Governor issued an urgent message regarding Golden Week. In the message, residents of Sapporo and Hokkaido are urged to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Hokkaido.

1. Residents of Sapporo, PLEASE STAY HOME!!
2. Residents of Hokkaido, PLEASE DO NOT VISIT SAPPORO!!
3. Residents of Japan, PLEASE DO NOT TRAVEL BETWEEN PREFECTURES!!

See the attached file for more details.

Request for Cooperation at Supermarkets/Parks During State of Emergency
2020.04.28

During a press briefing on Friday, April 24, 2020, additional requests for cooperation were announced to Hokkaido residents regarding infection countermeasures at places such as supermarkets and parks.

For more details, see the below attached file.

Are you struggling financially due to effects of COVID-19?
2020.04.27

Many individuals are struggling with living expenses due to loss of work, lower income, and other effects of COVID-19. To help alleviate these struggles, the Hokkaido Council of Welfare is offering Special Loans for Social Welfare (Emergency Small Loans).

The loans are targeted towards households who need temporary emergency funds to maintain a living due to loss of income, etc. as a result of COVID-19.

Please be aware that these are loans, and as such will require repayment.

See the attached file for more information.

*Inquiries regarding these loans can be directed to the Hokkaido Council of Welfare. If you need interpretation support, please contact our center.

Details Regarding Business Support Grants from Hokkaido
2020.04.24

Details regarding the Support Grants from Hokkaido for businesses that cooperate with the Request for Closure, and contribute to efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, have been released on the Hokkaido government homepage. Below is a basic outline of the content.

○Requested Period of Cooperation
From April 25, 2020 (at the latest) until May 6, 2020
*See the lists linked below to see what businesses are subject to or exempt from the request for closure, etc.
Businesses Subject to Request for Closure: https://bit.ly/2xKZaST
Businesses Not Subject to Request for Closure: https://bit.ly/2Y2dEs0

○Content of Request for Cooperation・Grant Amount
① Request for Business Closure
  Corporation    300,000 yen
  Sole Proprietorship 200,000 yen
② Request for restaurants which serve alcohol (not included in above ①) to refrain from serving alcohol after 7pm
  Corporation & Sole Proprietorship 100,000 yen
③ Request for autonomous efforts to reduce risk of spread of infection

○Application Period
Once the grants have been approved by the Hokkaido Legislative Assembly, the government plans to start accepting applications as soon as is possible.

○Inquiry
Business Closure Request Hotline: 011-206-0104, 011-206-0216
Hours: M-F 8:45am – 5:30pm (calls will also be accepted April 25th and 26th)

For more details, such as the required documents upon application or specifics on eligible businesses, see the attached file.

¥100,000 COVID-19 Payout
2020.04.23

On April 20, 2020, information regarding the ¥100,000 COVID-19 Payout was released on the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications homepage. See below for an English translation of the basic outline of the payout process, eligibility requirements, etc.

○ Am I eligible to receive this payout?
・Eligible Recipient: any individual who is on the basic resident register as of April 27, 2020
・Beneficiary: head of household (receives benefits on behalf of whole family)
*Foreign nationals who have lived in Japan for at least 3 months with a residence card, and who have registered their address at the local municipal office will be counted as Eligible Recipients, and as such are eligible to receive the payout.

○How much is the payout?
・¥100,000 per eligible recipient

○How do I apply? And how will I receive the payout?
(1)Application by Postal Mail: fill in the application form (sent to all Beneficiaries from local municipal offices) with your bank account information, and mail the form along with documents verifying your bank information and identity to your local municipal office.
*The application form will be mailed to the address at which you were registered with the Basic Resident Registration System as of April 27, 2020. If you moved after this date, it is possible the application form will not arrive at your new address. Please inquire with the municipality you resided in as of April 27, 2020.
(2)Online Application (My Number Cardholders): apply online by entering your bank account information into the Mynaportal site, and uploading documents verifying your bank information.

○When will the application forms be sent out?
・To be decided by local municipal governments.
・Applications will be accepted for 3 months after the initial starting date (which may vary by local municipal government)

○Call Center
TEL: 0120-260020
Hours: 9:00~18:30
*If you need interpretation assistance, please feel free to contact us.

Reference: https://www.soumu.go.jp/menu_seisaku/gyoumukanri_sonota/covid-19/kyufukin.html (Japanese only)

Hokkaido Support Grants for Business Owners
2020.04.22

During a press conference held on April 20, 2020, the Governor of Hokkaido announced support grants for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses who cooperate with the request for closure and contribute to the efforts to stop the spread of infection will be eligible. See the attached file for more details.

※NOTE: Issuance of the grants will begin after the prefectural budget has been approved. We will update our website and Facebook once more details are announced.

State of Emergency in Hokkaido – Regarding Business Closure Request
2020.04.22

During a press conference held on April 20, 2020, the Governor of Hokkaido released more specific information regarding the request for business closure during the State of Emergency in Hokkaido to stop the spread of COVID-19.

A full list of businesses subject to this request for closure has been made available in PDF form on our website. If you are a business owner, be sure to double check the list and see if any requests apply to your establishment.

State of Emergency Measures in Hokkaido in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
2020.04.20

In a press conference held on April 17, 2020, the Governor of Hokkaido announced details regarding the State of Emergency Measures to be taken in Hokkaido in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Outline:
○ What does “State of Emergency” mean?
・During a state of emergency, the entire nation comes together, including national and local governments, medical personnel, professional experts, and business owners, to prevent the spread of infection through basic preventative actions, social distancing and staying home, and avoiding the “Three C’s.”
・This is not like the “Lockdowns” being implemented in other countries, during which penalties are set for leaving your home and traffic is blocked between cities.
・Please remain calm and avoid unnecessary stockpiling of daily essentials such as food or clothing.

○ State of Emergency Measures in Hokkaido
Region: All regions of Hokkaido
Period: April 17, 2020 – May 6, 2020
Content:
 1. Thorough prevention of infection
 2. Appeal for citizens to stay home
 3. Appeal for citizens to refrain from holding events
 4. Promotion of Hokkaido Social Distancing

See the attached file for more details.

Hokkaido Board of Education Call for Hokkaido-wide School Closure in Response to Spread of COVID-19
2020.04.17

On April 17, the Hokkaido Board of Education called upon schools across Hokkaido to temporarily close as part of countermeasures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The temporary school closure will be from April 20, 2020 through May 6, 2020. However, some schools may implement distributed attendance on Monday, April 20th, so be sure to confirm with your child’s school.

※If you need interpretation assistance to contact the school, please feel free to call our Center.

Message from the Governor Regarding COVID-19 Countermeasures (April 16, 2020)
2020.04.17

In a press conference held on April 16, 2020, the Governor of Hokkaido announced details regarding further countermeasures to be taken against COVID-19 in the upcoming days. See the attached file for more details.

The Governor has also called upon the Hokkaido Board of Education to close all elementary, junior, special education, and high schools in Hokkaido, but as of yet there has not been an official announcement. We will update our Facebook and homepage as soon as we get more information.

*Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

The New Coronavirus Multilanguage Consultation Center (AMDA International Medical Information Center)
2020.04.16

On April 10, 2020, the AMDA International Medical Information Center opened the “New Coronavirus Multilingual Consultation Center,” a Facebook page and hotline where you can ask questions regarding COVID-19 with support in 8 languages.

〇Period of Operation:
April 10, 2020 through May 20, 2020

〇TEL LINE ① 03-6233-9266
・Hours: Weekdays 10:00~17:00
Weekends and Holidays 10:00~15:00
※English consultations are available every day, including weekends. See the below schedule for other languages.
(M)Korean, Tagalog
(T) Chinese, Thai
(W)Spanish, Vietnamese (2nd and 4th Wednesdays only)
(Th)Chinese
(F) Portuguese

〇TEL LINE ② 090-3359-8324
Hours: Weekdays 10:00~17:00 (English and Chinese only)

The Center will be uploading multilingual information to their Facebook page as well, so be sure to follow them.
https://www.facebook.com/tagengosoudan/

Summary of COVID-19 Financial Support Measures
2020.04.14

Due to the prolonged effects of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has released a summary of current available COVID-19 related financial support measures. Please use it as a reference to see if any of the measures may apply to your situation.

See the attached file for detailed information.

*If you have any question regarding the support measures, or if you need interpretation support, please feel free to contact us.

Are you struggling to make your utilities (gas, water, etc.) payments?
2020.04.14

Due to the effects of COVID-19, some individuals may be struggling to pay the bills for utilities such as gas and water services. The Japanese government has called upon gas and electric companies to offer special one-month (tentative) grace periods and extensions for such individuals. For more information regarding the length of the grace period and conditions for application, please contact the relevant gas and water companies.
>>CONTACTS
・Regarding gas: your contracted gas company
・Regarding electricity: your contracted electric company
・Regarding water: the water bureau or your municipal office

If you need interpretation services to contact the above companies, please feel free to contact our center.

Hokkaido・Sapporo Joint Emergency Declaration
2020.04.13

On April 12, 2020, Hokkaido and Sapporo made a joint declaration regarding emergency measures to be taken in response to what appears to be a “second wave” of COVID-19 infections.

Basic Outline of the Declaration:
1. Request for social distancing within Sapporo City
2. Request for citizens to refrain from going out to restaurants, etc. with customer service
3. Request for citizens to refrain from traveling between regions under state of emergency
4. Closure of schools and public facilities
5. Strengthening and reinforcement of the medical care provision system
6. Strengthening of support for Hokkaido economy

For more details, please see the attached file.

Message from the Governor: Period of COVID-19 Concentrated Countermeasures starts today
2020.04.08

In a press conference held on April 7, 2020, the Governor of Hokkaido announced details regarding a period of “Concentrated Countermeasures” to be taken against COVID-19.

COVID-19 「Concentrated Countermeasures」 (April 8 - May 6)
・The Government COVID-19 Response Taskforce has declared a State of Emergency based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response.
・As the spread of COVID-19 has not reached an end yet in Hokkaido, during the national State of Emergency, Hokkaido will enter a period of Concentrated Countermeasures against COVID-19, with the continued and thorough implementation of the efforts we have made thus far to stop the spread.
・I ask that all the residents of Hokkaido reaffirm the importance of hand-washing and cough etiquette, as well as make efforts when going out to “Avoid the Three C’s” (closed spaces, crowded places, close-contact settings) that can lead to cluster outbreaks.

See the attached document for more details.

Are you having difficulty paying national taxes or pension due to effects of COVID-19?
2020.04.08

★ NATIONAL TAXES (Grace Period)
If you are temporarily unable to pay national taxes due to effects of COVID-19, please inform your local tax office. Those who are found to fulfill the following conditions may be eligible for a tax payment grace period of up to one year.
① You would face difficulty either continuing to run your business or maintaining your livelihood by paying national taxes all at once.
② You have a sincere intention to make tax payments.
③ You are not delinquent on any other national taxes besides the national tax for which you are applying for a grace period.
④ Your application for the grace period is submitted within a 6-month period after the tax payment due date.

For more details, please see the attached leaflet. Inquiries regarding the tax payment grace period can be directed to the collection department of your local tax bureau.

★ NATIONAL PENSION (Exemption)
If you are having difficulties paying your national pension premiums, you may be eligible for an exemption.

Applications for exemption can be downloaded here:
【Required】
・Pension Book or Universal Pension Identification Number Notification
【Additional Documentation (Case by Case)】
・Proof of income of previous year (or two years prior)
・Written application of earnings (if you did not file a tax return for income taxes)
・Copy of Certificate of Eligibility to Receive Unemployment Benefits or Certificate of Unemployment of said individual who was covered by employment insurance (Only required in cases where applicant has lost their job but was previously covered by employer’s insurance)

Applications for exemption should be made at the national pension consultation counter of the municipal office where you have registered your address.

※If you need interpretation support when making inquiries into either the tax payment grace period or pension premium exemptions, please feel free to contact us.

Message from the HBOE Superintendent
2020.04.01

The Hokkaido Board of Education Superintendent has shared a message for Parents and Guardians regarding the upcoming start of the new school year.

He has asked for your cooperation on the following:
1. Please continue to measure your child’s temperature every morning and night.
2. Please keep your child home from school if they have any cold symptoms.
3. Please be sure that your child wears a mask to school.

For more information see the attached file.

“State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19” to end as of today, March 19
2020.03.19

During a press conference held on March 18, 2020, the Governor of Hokkaido announced details regarding the countermeasures to be taken against the spread of COVID-19 once the “State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19” has ended, as well as a request for the citizens of Hokkaido.

The State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19 will end as of today, March 19, 2020. However, the Governor has requested that even after the state of emergency has passed, you continue to check the following before leaving your home:

1. How are you feeling? Do you have any cold symptoms?
2. Does your destination draw large crowds or have poor air circulation?
3. Do you know the methods to reduce the risk of infection?

For more information regarding further countermeasures against COVID-19 after the end of the State of Emergency, please see the attached files.

For Foreigners Working in Companies – A Message from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
2020.03.17

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has released information regarding COVID-19 for foreign workers.

COVID-19 has caused a decrease in business for many companies, but the Ministry has released a statement affirming that foreign employees are guaranteed the same rights and equal treatment to Japanese employees. The page linked below has information regarding your rights, as well as contacts for local Labor Standards Supervision offices, Hello Work, etc.

The information has been made available in 13 different languages, including simple Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, etc.

Follow the link below for more information:
https://bit.ly/38UBnMJ

Information from the Hokkaido Government Regarding COVID-19
2020.03.16

The Hokkaido Government has released new information on COVID-19 as of March 13, 2020.

See the below PDF for more details.

**The Hokkaido Foreign Resident Support Center will provide translation support over the phone for those who wish to contact a public health center but require assistance in a language other than Japanese.

TEL: 011-200-9595 (M-F, 9:00-12:00, 13:00-16:00)

Message from the Governor Regarding COVID-19 (March 12, 2020)
2020.03.13

During a press conference held on March 12, 2020, the Governor of Hokkaido announced details regarding going out during the weekend of March 14-15, and requests that you stay aware and check the following before going out:

1. How are you feeling? Do you have any cold symptoms?
2. Does your destination draw large crowds or have poor air circulation?
3. Do you know the methods to reduce the risk of infection?

During the same press conference, Governor Suzuki also released information regarding consultation services for government financial support in response to COVID-19. Please refer to this information for consultations regarding employment or business operations. For more details, see the attached document.

*If you need interpretation support, please feel free to contact our Center.

Announcement from the Immigration Services Agency of Japan (March 10, 2020)
2020.03.12

The Immigration Services Agency of Japan has released an announcement regarding a change in the period of validity of certificates of eligibility due to effects of the spread of COVID-19.

As such, for the time being the period of validity of Certificates of Eligibility (COEs) will be extended from 3 months to a period of 6 months.

See the attached file for more information.

Any inquiries regarding this change should be directed to a regional immigration bureau.
*If you need interpretation support, please don’t hesitate to contact our Center.

Outline of “Distributed Attendance” from Hokkaido Prefectural Board of Education
2020.03.10

The details of “Distributed Attendance” announced at the press conference with the Governor on March 5 have been released. For the time being, students may attend school in limited numbers divided by grade level or area at staggered times for up to one hour per week for extracurricular studies. *Please note that distributed attendance for senior high schools and special needs education schools will be announced separately.

See the attached documents for more details. If you have any questions or concerns regarding distributed attendance, please inquire at your child’s school.

Our center can provide interpretation support, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need language assistance.

Announcement from the Immigration Services Agency of Japan (As of March 2020)
2020.03.06

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 due to overcrowding at immigration offices, the Immigration Services Agency has established special rules regarding the submission of residence status related documents.

See the attached file for more details.

Countermeasures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 for Weekend of March 7-8
2020.03.06

During a press conference held on March 5, 2020, the Governor of Hokkaido announced details regarding the countermeasures to be taken against the spread of COVID-19 for the weekend of March 7-8. See the below PDF for more details.

During the same press conference, Governor Suzuki also called upon the Hokkaido Prefectural Board of Education to allow “distributed school attendance (where a limited number of students attend school for certain periods of time)” for all elementary, junior high, special education, and high schools in Hokkaido starting from March 10, 2020.

As soon as more detailed information regarding “distributed school attendance” is released, we will update our Facebook and homepage.

Residence Application Procedures Affected by COVID-19
2020.03.04

The Immigration Services Agency of Japan has released an announcement regarding the handling of residence status application procedures for those facing difficulty returning to their home country, as well as individuals who went abroad temporarily and have been affected by landing restrictions.

See the official document for more details.

Regarding Countermeasures to Prevent Overcrowding at the Immigration Services Counter in Response to COVID-19
2020.03.04

Announcement from the Immigration Services Agency of Japan:

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 due to overcrowding at the immigration services counter, individuals whose residence status is due to expire during the month of March will be able to apply for a change in residence status or extension of period of stay, etc. for up to a month after the expiration date.

CAUTION: This does not include those persons with the status of “Short Term Stay” or “Designated Activities: Departure Preparation Period.”

See the attached document for more details.

Countermeasures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Hokkaido (As of March 1)
2020.03.02

During a press conference held on March 1, 2020, the Governor of Hokkaido announced further details regarding the countermeasures to be taken against the spread of COVID-19 in Hokkaido. See the below PDF for more details.

During the same press conference, Governor Suzuki also made clear that they are considering allowing “distributed school attendance (where a limited number of students would attend school for certain periods of time)” until spring break at elementary, junior high, special education, and high schools in Hokkaido.

We will update this page as soon as new information is released.

Effect of COVID-19 on Graduation Ceremonies
2020.02.29

On February 25, 2020, the Hokkaido Prefectural Board of Education sent an official document regarding the effect of COVID-19 on graduation ceremonies to all municipal board of education in Hokkaido, excluding Sapporo City. Included in the document were the following examples of possible ways to handle upcoming graduation ceremonies in Hokkaido.

Possible Changes to Graduation Ceremony:
1. Cancel graduation ceremony practices, only hold the official ceremony.
2. Prohibit underclassmen from attending the graduation ceremony.
3. Call upon parents and guardians to limit number of family members attending ceremony, and ask for those with cold like symptoms to refrain from attending.
4. Leave larger distances between chairs at the ceremony, and in some cases consider escorting parents and guardian to watch the ceremony from a separate venue.
5. Change the contents of the ceremony, such as omitting congratulation speeches, electing one representative to receive certificates of graduation on behalf of all students, etc., to overall shorten the graduation ceremony.

*The final decision regarding how graduation ceremonies will be held will ultimately be decided by the PTA and other officials.

Changes made to graduation ceremonies will vary by school, so please be sure to verify with the school your child attends. If you need interpretation support to contact the school, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Governor of Hokkaido Declares a State of Emergency
2020.02.28

At 5:50pm on Friday February 28, 2020, the Governor of Hokkaido declared a state of emergency in response to the spread of COVID-19. The duration of the state of emergency is from February 28, 2020 to March 19, 2020.

As a countermeasure against the spread of COVID-19, the Governor asks that all Hokkaido residents refrain from going out this weekend. We ask for everyone’s understanding and cooperation.

Further countermeasures after this weekend have not yet been announced.

Governor Calls for Elementary, Junior High, Senior High, and Special Education Schools to Close from March 3 to End of Spring Break
2020.02.28

On February 27, 2020, the Hokkaido Governor made the following announcement:

“During the COVID-19 Countermeasures Emergency Headquarters meeting held today, Prime Minister Abe called for all elementary, junior high, senior high, and special education schools to close temporarily from March 3 until the end of spring break.

In Hokkaido, after deliberations with the Superintendent of the Hokkaido Prefectural Board of Education, we have decided to encourage the public elementary, junior high, and special education schools to extend the current temporary closure until the end of spring break, and will now also request that public high schools close temporarily from March 3 until the end of spring break.”

The final decision on whether or not to close schools will come from each municipal board of education, so please check with your child’s school to confirm. If you need interpretation support, please feel free to contact our center.

Message from the HBOE Superintendent for Parents and Guardians Regarding School Closure
2020.02.28

The Hokkaido Prefectural Board of Education Superintendent has released a message for parents and guardians regarding the temporary closure of elementary and junior high schools. In addition to the message, be sure to view the attached “Regarding Children’s Mental Health.”

For further details, please see the PDF below.

*The Hokkaido Foreign Resident Support Center offers interpretation support over the telephone. If you would like to consult regarding COVID-19 or COVID-19 related bullying but cannot speak Japanese, please feel free to contact us.

The Hokkaido Board of Education Calls for All Public Elementary and Junior High Schools To Close Due to Spread of COVID-19
2020.02.26

Due to the spread of COVID-19, the Hokkaido Board of Education has called on municipal boards of education to close all public elementary and junior high schools for a period of 7 days, from February 27 to March 4. This call was based on the decision* of the Governor of Hokkaido. *Press conference held February 26th, 2:30pm

The final decision on whether or not to close schools will come from each municipal board of education. Please check with your child’s school to confirm.
If you need interpretation support, please feel free to contact our center.

**Sapporo City has not yet released a decision regarding school closure.