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Summary of Latest Information Regarding COVID-19 (As of 10/15/2021)
2021.10.15

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

★★Hokkaido is currently at ALERT STAGE 2★★

Revised Special Measures During Autumn Español ไทย  
Period: October 1 ~ October 31
Requests for Cooperation for All Residents:
 ‐Ensure thorough implementation of infection countermeasures in daily life
 ‐When going out, avoid crowded areas and times of day
 ‐Avoid travel to and from other prefectures with high rates of infection
 ‐When eating or drinking out, practice Mokushoku (Silent Eating)
Requests for Cooperation for Bars and Restaurants, etc.:
 ‐ Refrain from use of karaoke equipment
 ‐ Maximum of 4 people in a group at one table

<COVID-19 Cases in Hokkaido>
State of COVID-19 Situation in Hokkaido (As of October 14, 2021)

<Messages from the Governor>
Revised Special Measures during Autumn Holiday Season to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 (10/13/2021) ≪NEW≫

<COVID-19 Vaccine>
For foreign nationals who wish to get COVID-19 vaccination  (Español) (ไทย) (9/4/2021)
Basic Information on the COVID-19 Vaccine in Japan (MHLW) (3/31/2021)
COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate for Travelling Abroad (MHLW) (Español) (ไทย) (9/27/2021) ≪NEW≫
Priority vaccinations for those with underlying medical conditions (7/1/2021)
Hokkaido Vaccination Center (Hokkaido) (9/28/2021) ≪NEW≫
Translation of COVID-19 Vaccine Medical Pre-examination Sheet (MHLW)
Instructions for the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine (MHLW)
Notification Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccination (Example) (MHLW)
MHLW COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center: 0120-761770 (Every day, 9:00 am - 9:00 pm)

<COVID-19 Related Informational Flyers, etc.> 
What to do if worried you may have contracted COVID-19 (Hokkaido)
COVID-19 Contact-Confirming Application (COCOA) (MHLW)
Preventing COVID-19 and Stopping It’s Spread (MHLW)
Measures Against Infectious Diseases (MHLW)
Avoid the Three C’s (MHLW)
5 High-Risk Scenes for Infection (MHLW)
New Hokkaido Style (Hokkaido)
”New Way of Life” Practical Examples (MHLW)

<Notices for Hokkaido Businesses>
Summary of COVID-19 Related Support for Businesses (Japanese) (9/24/2021) ≪NEW≫

<Support Programs>
Summary of COVID-19 Related Support for Individuals (9/24/2021) ≪NEW≫
Notice on the provision of a self-reliance support benefit for households suffering financially from the COVID-19 pandemic (9/1/2021)
Information about the Housing Security Benefit (Español) (ไทย) (9/1/2020)
Special Loans for Social Welfare (Emergency Small Loans) (2/18/2021)
Leaflet Regarding Tax Payment Grace Period (2/18/2021)

<Notices from the Immigration Services Agency>
◎ Entering / Re-Entering Japan
 ・COVID-19 Related Landing Restrictions (Español)(ไทย) (9/20/2021)
 ・Handling of foreign nationals planning to enter Japan (7/5/2021)
◎ Residence Application Procedures
 ・If you have difficulty returning to your home country (12/1/2020)
 ・Technical Intern Trainees (3/26/2021)
 ・International Students (6/29/2021)
 ・Working Holiday Visa (4/27/2020)
 ・(Former) Mid-to-long-term Residents (3/19/2021)
 ・Period of Validity for Certificate of Eligibility (7/5/2021)
 ・Special Permission to Work Part-Time (12/1/2020)
◎ Other
 ・Guide to Support for Continuous Employment (10/21/2020)
 ・If you have been dismissed, let go, furloughed, etc.(6/1/2020)
 ・Regarding “justifiable reason” for exclusion from revocation of residence status (5/1/2020)

<Notices from the Hokkaido Board of Education>
To all Parents and Guardians: ~Temporary School Closure and Online Learning~(8/27/2021)
To all Parents and Guardians: ~ How to combat the highly infectious delta strain ~(8/13/2021)
New Way of School Life 

<Other>
Extension of Driver’s License Renewal Period and Procedures for Expired Licenses(10/2021)≪NEW≫
Legal Concerns Regarding COVID-19 Outbreak Q&A (Japan Legal Support Network)(10/1/2020)
The New Coronavirus Multilanguage Consultation Center (AMDA International Medical Information Center)

State of COVID-19 Situation in Hokkaido
2021.10.14

See the below PDF for more details.

Regarding Revisions to the COVID-19 Special Measures during Autumn
2021.10.13

At a press conference held on October 13th, the Hokkaido Governor announced that with the number of new COVID-19 infection cases currently no longer increasing, the Special Infection Counter-measures in Sapporo will end on October 14th and from the 15th onward, Sapporo will follow the same measures in place for the rest of Hokkaido. The outline of measures after October 15th is as follows.

〇 Requests for Cooperation for All Residents:
・Keep outings to a minimum of 4 people and avoid crowded places and busy times.
・When eating or drinking out, practice “mokushoku” silent dining (4 people or less, short period of time, no loud voices, no heavy drinking, wear a mask when talking)
・Comply with infection prevention measures at bars and restaurants, etc., and avoid places where measures are not enforced.
・Refrain from non-urgent, non-essential travel to prefectures with high rates of infection.

〇 Requests for Cooperation for Bars and Restaurants, etc.:
・Karaoke equipment will not be used at establishments whose main business is providing food and beverages.
・As a general rule, groups of up to a maximum of 4 people will be allowed at the same table

For more information, please see the attached documents.

Extension of Driver’s License Renewal Period and Procedures for Expired Licenses
2021.10.01

The previously posted guide to the special Driver’s License Renewal Period Extension and Expired License procedures due to COVID-19 has been updated.

In particular, the Renewal Period extension application period has been extended, with the application now being open for those whose renewal period is until December 28, 2021. (However, this excludes those whose license has already expired.)

Please refer to the attached file for more information.

Special Measures during Autumn Holiday Season to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 (Full Version)
2021.09.29

See the attached file for detailed information on how these measures affect schools, businesses, events, etc.

Special Measures during Autumn Holiday Season to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
2021.09.29

With an overall improvement in the infection situation in Hokkaido, and a fall in the number of new cases to below Alert Stage 3, the State of Emergency in Hokkaido has been lifted as of Thursday, September 30.

However, even though there is improvement, and vaccinations are progressing, in order to return to a normal daily life, a rapid spread of infection due to the new highly contagious strains of coronavirus must be prevented. With this in mind, from October 1 the Hokkaido government will implement Special Infection Countermeasures for the Autumn season. Please find a summary of the measures below.

1. Measures for All of Hokkaido (10/1 ~ 10/31)
‐ In everyday life:
Along with avoiding the “Three C’s” (Closed spaces, Crowds, and Close contact) thoroughly implement other measures such as wearing a mask, hand washing, disinfecting, social distancing, and refrain from participating in activities or going to areas where there is a high risk of infection.
‐ When going out:
Avoid unnecessary, non-urgent travel between other prefectures with high rates of infection as much as possible. Additionally, when unable to avoid the risk of infection, please refrain from any unnecessary and non-urgent travel to Sapporo.
‐ When eating/drinking:
Along with only visiting eating establishments that have thorough implementation of infection countermeasures, please practice “mokushoku” or silent eating (go in groups of 4 people or less, as short as possible, without drinking heavily, or raising your voice or shouting. and wear a mask when conversing.)

2. Focused Measures for Sapporo City (10/1 ~ 10/14)
‐ When going out:
Avoid unnecessary, non-urgent travel between areas with high rates of infection, as much as possible. Additionally, if the risk of infection cannot be avoided, please refrain from unnecessary, non-urgent outings and travel, especially after 9PM.
‐ When eating/drinking:
Restaurants and bars may operate from 5:00 to 20:00. (Alcohol may be served until 19:30)
*Premises certified by the Hokkaido Government may operate until 21:00.(Alcohol service until 20:00)

For more information, please see the attached document.

We will upload more detailed information on how these measures affect schools, businesses, events, etc. shortly.

Hokkaido Vaccination Center Update
2021.09.28

The Hokkaido Vaccination Center is no longer accepting reservations for the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. From Friday, September 24th, only reservations for the second dose of the vaccine will be handled.

○Eligible Vaccine Recipients
Those who received their first does of the vaccine at the Hokkaido Vaccination Center, and already have their reservation for their second dose.

○Inquiries
Hokkaido Vaccination Center WEB Reservation Support Dial
TEL: 050-3851-0181 (Japanese only)
Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Including weekends and holidays, the hotline is open on Tuesdays and Fridays until 8:30 PM)
*If you need interpretation assistance, please contact the Hokkaido Foreign Resident Support Center.

For more details, please see the attached file.

Regarding COVID-19 vaccination certificate for travelling abroad
2021.09.27

On September 27th, 2021, the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare updated their guidelines ‘Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate for Travelling Abroad.’ The updates are as follows.

・ The restriction that “you can only apply for a certificate when travelling to a country where a relaxation of epidemic countermeasures is permitted” has been removed.
・ From October 1st 2021, with new measures regarding the waiting period after entering/returning to Japan (shorter quarantine), it is possible to use the COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate along with vaccination certificates and vaccination records issued by local governments and medical institutions.

For further details, please see the attachment.

Updated Summary of COVID-19 Related Support for Individuals
2021.09.24

The Summary of COVID-19 Related Support for individuals has been updated.

See the attached file for more information.

Summary of COVID-19 Related Support for Businesses
2021.09.24

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.

COVID-19 Related Landing Restrictions
2021.09.20

On September 20th, the Immigration Services Agency (ISA) updated the notices “Regarding Denial of Landing Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)” and “To foreign nationals departing from Japan with re-entry permission” The changes are as follows:

★ The denial of entry to foreign nationals who have stayed in India, Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, or Afghanistan within 14 days of application for landing has been lifted, as of September 20th, 2021.

For more details, please see the attached files.

COVID-19 Related Landing Restrictions
2021.09.20

COVID-19 Related Landing Restrictions

On September 20th, the Immigration Services Agency (ISA) updated the notices “Regarding Denial of Landing Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)” and “To foreign nationals departing from Japan with re-entry permission” The changes are as follows:

★ The denial of entry to foreign nationals who have stayed in India, Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, or Afghanistan within 14 days of application for landing has been lifted, as of September 20th, 2021.

For more details, please see the attached files.

Regarding the State of Emergency in Hokkaido
2021.09.10

Hokkaido is seeing an unprecedented level of disaster with the spread of COVID-19. Due to concerns about further spread, especially with the increased threat of the Delta strain, Hokkaido will enter into a state of emergency from August 26. The outline is as follows.

★Emergency Measures in Hokkaido★
Period: Until September 30, 2021
Areas:
❶ Priority Area: Sapporo, Ebetsu, Chitose, Eniwa, Kitahiroshima, Ishikari, Tobetsu, Shinshinotsu, Otaru and Asahikawa
❷ All other municipalities

❶ Requests for All Residents of and Visitors to the Priority Area
・Even during the day, refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings or travel (especially during the weekend and after 8 PM)
・Business hours for Eating Establishments should be between 5AM to 8PM (Alcohol must not be provided)
・Refrain if possible from eating or drinking with people outside of your household
・Refrain from using restaurants, etc. where infection control measures are not thoroughly implemented
・Reduce outings to crowded areas by half
・Unless absolutely necessary, do not travel to and from other prefectures

❷ Requests for All Residents of and Visitors to Hokkaido
・Even during the day, refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings or travel (especially during the weekend and after 8 PM)
・Reduce outings to crowded areas by half
・Refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from the Priority Area.
・Unless absolutely necessary, do not travel to and from other prefectures

In addition, new requests and calls for cooperation have been announced for restaurants in each target area. *
❶ Priority Area
・Establishments that offer alcoholic beverages and karaoke should be closed
・All other establishments should limit their business hours from 5 AM to 8 PM
❷ All other municipalities
・Businesses should only offer alcoholic beverages from 11 AM to 7:30 PM and under certain conditions
・Business hours should be limited to 5 AM to 8 PM
*Support grants are available for businesses that follow these requests. Please check the Hokkaido website for details.

For more information, please refer to the attached documents.

For foreign nationals who wish to get COVID-19 vaccination
2021.09.04

A notice titled “For foreign nationals who wish to get a COVID-19 vaccination – you are about to receive your COVID-19 Vaccination Voucher!” was published on the Immigration Services Agency of Japan homepage. See below for an outline of the contents.

➊ Kindly make sure to open an envelope received from your local municipality with “コロナ(COVID-19)” and/or “ワクチン(Vaccine)” written on it and check the enclosed documents.
❷ The COVID-19 Vaccination Voucher is being sent out in sequential order. You will get some idea as to when you are going to receive the Vaccination Voucher by checking announcements from the municipality (on the municipality website, etc.).
❸ If you live in an address different from the address indicated on your residence card, please go to the municipal office immediately and complete the procedures to change your address.
❹ When you receive the COVID-19 Vaccination Voucher, kindly make a reservation and get vaccinated in accordance with the content of the COVID-19 Vaccine Notification. If you have any questions, please inquire with any of the below ➀ to ➃ for further clarification.

➀ Local municipality (call the number on the face of the envelope)
➁ COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center (MHLW)
TEL: 0120-761-770 (toll-free)
Open hours: See below (Every day, including weekends and national holidays)
・Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish: 9:00 – 21:00
・Thai: 9:00 – 18:00
・Vietnamese 10:00 – 19:00
➂ Foreign Residents Support Center FRESC Help Desk
  TEL: 0120-76-2029 (toll-free)
  Open hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (Weekdays only)
  Languages: 18 languages, including Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Thai, and Spanish
➃ Hokkaido Foreign Resident Support Center
  TEL: 011-200-9595
  Open Hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (Weekdays only)
  Languages: 11 languages, including Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Thai, and Spanish

See the attached file or follow the link below for more details.
https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/support/portal/information_covid19.html

“Provision of a self-reliance support benefit for households suffering financially from the COVID-19 pandemic” application period extension
2021.09.01

To support those who have already borrowed the additional temporary loan of the general support fund, MHLW has extended the application deadline for “self-reliance support benefit for households suffering financially from the COVID-19 pandemic” from the end of August to the end of November. There is no change on other details.

For further details, please see the attached file or click on the link below.
https://corona-support.mhlw.go.jp/shien/index.html 

If you have not already borrowed the additional temporary loan of the General Support Fund, please click on the link below.
https://corona-support.mhlw.go.jp/seikatsufukushi/general/index.html

Inquiries: MHLW a self-reliance support benefit for households suffering financially from the COVID-19 pandemic call-center
・Tel: 0120-46-8030
・Operating Hours: 9:00~17:00 (Weekdays)
※If you need interpretation, please contact our center

Housing Security Benefit resumption of payment – extension of application period
2021.09.01

The period for applying for resumption of payment of the Housing Security Benefit was set to end at September 30th, but will now be extended to the end of November. The contents of the benefit have not changed.

For further details, please refer to the attached file.
If you need the translation support for application, please contact the center.

To all Parents and Guardians ~Temporary School Closure and Online Learning~
2021.08.27

The Hokkaido Board of Education released an announcement to all parents and guardians on its website on August 27, 2021. The contents are as follows.

The Hokkaido Board of Education will continue to promote efforts to guarantee learning for children who cannot help attending school due to temporary closure or suspension of attendance due to the effects of COVID-19 by making maximum use of ICT such as personal computers.

【Temporary closure decisions made based on Health Center surveys】
➊ Take PCR Test (Cold symptoms → Take PCR Test → Contact School)
❷ Positive Result (Get results from doctor / health center → Inform school of result)
❸ Temporary Closure (Health Center survey → Temporary closure → Online learning)

【Online learning during temporary closure, absence from school】
★Prefectural Schools★
 ➊ Use of tablets, computers, and smartphones, etc. to study at home.
 ❷ Start online learning.
 ❸ On school attendance days, teachers provide evaluation and learning support.
★Elementary and Junior High Schools★
 ➊ Bring home a computer or tablet, etc. from school.
 ❷ Start online learning.
 ❸ Support provided to families.
 ❹ On school attendance days, teachers provide evaluation and learning support.

For further details, please refer to attached file.

COVID-19 Hokkaido Stages of Alert
2021.08.26

See the below PDF for more details.

Quasi-Emergency Measures in Hokkaido extended to September 12, expanded to include Asahikawa
2021.08.18

Due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases the Hokkaido government announced that the Quasi-Emergency Measures in Hokkaido will be extended to September 12. The Priority Area of the Quasi-Emergency Measures will also be expanded to include Asahikawa City. See below for an outline of the updated measures.

★Quasi-Emergency Measures in Hokkaido (revised August 18)★

Period: Until September 12, 2021
Areas:
❶ Priority Area: Sapporo, Ebetsu, Chitose, Eniwa, Kitahiroshima, Ishikari, Tobetsu, Shinshinotsu, Otaru and Asahikawa
❷ All other municipalities

❶ Requests for All Residents of and Visitors to the Priority Area
・Avoid non-essential, non-urgent travel or outings
・Reduce outings to crowded areas by half
・Business hours for Eating Establishments should be between 5AM to 8PM (Alcohol must not be provided)
・Refrain if possible from eating or drinking with people outside of your household
・Unless absolutely necessary, do not travel to and from other prefectures

❷ Requests for All Residents of and Visitors to Hokkaido
・Refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings or travel
・Refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from the Priority Area.
・Unless absolutely necessary, do not travel to and from other prefectures

For more information, please refer to the attached document.

Quasi-Emergency Measures Expanded in Hokkaido (8/14 ~ 8/31)
2021.08.14

Due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Hokkaido in areas such as the Ishikari Subprefecture, the Hokkaido government announced that the Priority Area of the Quasi-Emergency Measures will be expanded to include Ebetsu City, Chitose City, Eniwa City, Kitahiroshima City, Ishikari City, Tobetsu Town, Shinshinotsu Village, and Otaru City. See below for an outline of the updated measures.

==================================
Quasi-Emergency Measures in Hokkaido:
Period: August 14 - 31, 2021
Areas:
❶ Priority Area: Sapporo, Ebetsu, Chitose, Eniwa, Kitahiroshima, Ishikari, Tobetsu, Shinshinotsu, Otaru
❷ All other municipalities

❶ Requests for All Residents of and Visitors to the Priority Area
・Avoid non-essential, non-urgent travel or outings
・Business hours for Eating Establishments should be between 5AM to 8PM (Alcohol must not be provided)
・Unless absolutely necessary, do not travel to and from other prefectures

❷ Requests for All Residents of and Visitors to Hokkaido
・Refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings or travel
・Refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from the Priority Area.
・Unless absolutely necessary, do not travel to and from other prefectures

For more information, please refer to the attached document.

Updated information for businesses, schools, event organizers, etc. will be uploaded to our website as soon as the translation is finished.

To all Parents and Guardians ~ How to combat the highly infectious delta strain ~ (from Hokkaido Board of Education)
2021.08.13

The Hokkaido Board of Education has made an announcement to all parents and guardians on its website. The contents are as follows.

Currently, in Hokkaido, the highly infections Delta strain makes up more than 85% percent of Covid-19 case, and infection continues to spread. School activities have resumed after the holidays. However, to prevent the spread of infection in schools, we again ask for parent’s/guardian’s cooperation with the following measures.
- If any child or their family member presents with symptoms, please stay at home
- If your child will take a PCR or antigen test, please contact the school
- Please help stop slandering on social media

For further details, please refer to attached file.

Quasi-Emergency Measures in Hokkaido (8/2 ~ 8/31)
2021.07.31

The number of COVID-19 cases in Hokkaido is on the rise, especially in Sapporo city, where the number of infections has surpassed the numbers during the previous State of Emergency (equivalent to Hokkaido Stage 5), and the ratio of Delta Variant has also become a concern.

Due to the above situation, the Hokkaido government announced that Hokkaido will implement Quasi-Emergency Measures for the period of August 2 to August 31. See below for a quick summary.

==================================
Quasi-Emergency Measures in Hokkaido:
Period: Monday, August 2, 2021 – Sunday, August 31, 2021
Areas:
❶ Sapporo
❷ All other municipalities

❶ Requests for All Residents of and Visitors to Sapporo
・Avoid non-essential, non-urgent travel or outings
・Business hours for Eating Establishments should be between 5AM to 8PM (Alcohol must not be provided)
・Unless absolutely necessary, travel to and from other prefectures should be avoided as much as possible

❷ Requests for All Residents of and Visitors to Hokkaido
・If you cannot avoid infection risk, refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings or travel
・Refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from Sapporo.
・Unless absolutely necessary, do not travel to and from other prefectures

For more information, please refer to the attached document.

More information on “Requests for Eating Establishments,” “Requests and Calls for Cooperation regarding Events,” “Requests and Calls for Cooperation for Businesses,” and “Requests and Calls for Cooperation for Facilities Other than Eating Establishments,” will be uploaded to our website etc. as soon as the translation is finished.

Stronger COVID-19 Countermeasures in Sapporo City
2021.07.20

Considering the spread of COVID-19 within Sapporo city (including the spread of Delta variant,) on July 20th, Hokkaido government made an announcement regarding Stronger COVID-19 Countermeasures within Sapporo City. The contents are as follows.

★Stronger COVID-19 Countermeasures in Sapporo City★
Period: July 22 - August 22
Content:
・Refrain from non-urgent, non-essential outings in Sapporo, and travel out of Sapporo.
・Eating establishments should close by 9PM (with the sale of alcohol ending at 8PM)
・In principle, public facilities in Sapporo will be closed.
・During the summer holiday, keep the number of people you meet outside of your regular circle to an absolute minimum.

For further details, please see the attached document.

We will upload more detailed information on how these measures affect schools, businesses, events, etc. shortly.

Special Measures during the Peak Travel Season to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
2021.07.09

The Quasi-Emergency measures in Hokkaido have been lifted as of Sunday, July 11th. From Monday, July 12, Special Infection Countermeasures have been set in preparation for the increase of travel and movement of people during the upcoming Summer Holiday season. Please find a summary of the measures implemented below.

1. Measures for All of Hokkaido (7/12 ~ 8/22)
‐In everyday life: Along with avoiding the “Three C’s” (Closed spaces, Crowds, and Close contact) thoroughly implement other measures such as wearing a mask, hand washing, disinfecting, social distancing, and refrain from participating in activities or going to areas where there is a high risk of infection.
‐When going out: Avoid unnecessary, non-urgent travel between areas under a State of Emergency or Quasi-Emergency Measures as much as possible. Additionally, when unable to avoid the risk of infection, please refrain from any unnecessary and non-urgent travel to Sapporo.
‐When eating/drinking: Along with only visiting eating establishments that have thorough implementation of infection countermeasures, go in groups of 4 people or less, as short as possible, without drinking heavily, or raising your voice or shouting. Additionally, wear a mask when not eating (e.g. when making conversation, have left your seat etc.).

2. Priority Area (Sapporo City) 7/12 ~ 7/25
‐When going out: Avoid unnecessary, non-urgent travel between areas under a State of Emergency or Quasi-Emergency Measures as much as possible. Additionally, if the risk of infection cannot be avoided, please refrain from unnecessary, non-urgent outings.
‐When eating/drinking: Do not go to restaurants after 9PM, and do not drink out after 8PM.

For more information, please see the attached document.

We will upload more detailed information on how these measures affect schools, businesses, events, etc. shortly.

Notice from the Immigration Services Agency – Handling of foreign nationals planning to enter Japan
2021.07.05

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

Period of validity for certificate of eligibility
2021.07.05

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.

Priority vaccinations for those with underlying medical conditions
2021.07.01

People who are suffering from conditions defined as “Underlying medical conditions” will receive priority booking for vaccinations after those for the elderly.

◎What is counted as an “Underlying Medical Condition”?
Someone is counted as having an Underlying medical condition if they suffer from any of the following conditions:

➊ Someone who is receiving in/outpatient care for one or more of the below conditions
1.Chronic respiratory disease
2.Chronic heart disease (including hypertension)
3.Chronic kidney disease
4.Chronic liver disease(Liver Cirrhosis, etc.)
5.Diabetes being treated with insulin or other medication, or diabetes associated with other diseases
6.Blood diseases(Excluding iron deficiency anemia.)
7.Diseases that impair the functioning of the immune system(Including malignant tumors currently under treatment)
8.Receiving treatment that reduces or depresses the function of the immune system, such as steroids, etc.
9.Neurological and Neuromuscular diseases associated with abnormalities in immunity/the immune system
10.Decreased body functions due to Neuromuscular or Neurological diseases (including breathing disorders)
11.Chromosomal abnormality
12.Severe mental and physical disability (i.e. Conditions resulting in heavy physical and intellectual impairment)
13.Sleep apnea syndrome
14. Severe mental illness (Hospitalization for treatment, holding a mental disability certificate or falling under the “severe and continuous” category in the self-supporting medical care (psychiatric hospital care) ) or Intellectual disabilities (Holding a rehabilitation certificate)

❷ Those suffering from Obesity with a BMI of 30 or higher
  ※Examples of a BMI of 30:Height: 170cm with Weight: 87kg, Height: 160cm with Weight: 77kg etc.

Please contact your local COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center about further information, as the start date and time of vaccination for underlying diseases, as well as the application method, differ depending on the local government.

【Prevaccination Screen Questionnaire / Instructions / Information Resources regarding COVID-19 vaccinations in foreign languages】
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare website linked below has downloadable materials regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/vaccine_tagengo.html

【COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center(Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)】
Phone number: 0120-761770 (toll free)
Reception time: See below (also available on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays)
・ Japanese / English / Chinese / Korean / Portuguese / Spanish: 9: 00-21: 00
・ Thai: 9:00-18:00
・ Vietnamese: 10: 00-19: 00

Attention Int’l Students – Announcement from Immigration Services
2021.06.29

The Immigration Services Agency has updated their information regarding the handling of International students in Japan affected by COVID-19 as of March 29, 2021.

See the attached file for more details.

Quasi-Emergency Measures in Hokkaido
2021.06.18

The State of Emergency in Hokkaido has been lifted as of June 20th, and it has been announced as of June 18th that Quasi-Emergency Measures will be implemented from June 21st – July 11th. Please find a summary of the Measures below.

Quasi-Emergency Measures in Hokkaido:

Period: Monday, June 21, 2021 – Sunday, July 11th, 2021
Affected areas:
1. (Quasi-Emergency Measures Area): Sapporo
2. (Observation Areas*): Ebetsu, Chitose, Eniwa, Kitahiroshima, Ishikari, Tobetsu, Shinshinotsu, Otaru, Asahikawa
3. (Areas not under Measures or designated Observation Areas): All Municipalities not mentioned above

*“Observation Areas” refers to areas where a state of emergency or special measures were previously implemented, in which infection countermeasures will be changed and updated gradually depending on the infection situation

1. Requests for All Residents of and Visitors to Sapporo
(WHEN GOING OUT)
・Refrain from Non-necessary, Non-urgent movement and outings including during daytime, and especially on the weekend.
・Please be extra careful to avoid the risk of infection if you are in contact with an individual who is at high risk of developing severe symptoms.
・Refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel between prefectures, especially those under a state of emergency or quasi-emergency measures.
(WHEN EATING OR DRINKING)
・Do not unnecessarily go to, or eat at, any restaurants or other establishments after 8 pm
・Refrain from dining at restaurants that do not have proper infection countermeasures implemented, or are not cooperating with the request for shortened business hours
・Refrain from activities with a high risk of infection, such as drinking alcohol in the street or park, etc.
・Refrain from eating or drinking with those you are not living with, as much as possible. When eating out, practice “Mokushoku (Silent Eating)” (Up to 4 people, only for a short period of time, no heavy drinking, shouting, or loud voices, and keep masks on while talking)

2 & 3. Requests for All Residents of and Visitors to Hokkaido
(WHEN GOING OUT)
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings, if risk of infection cannot be avoided
・Please be extra careful to avoid the risk of infection if you are in contact with an individual who is at high risk of developing severe symptoms.
・Avoid non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from Sapporo City.
・Refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel between prefectures, especially those under a state of emergency or quasi-emergency measures.
・When eating out, practice “Mokushoku (Silent Eating)” (Up to 4 people, only for a short period of time, no heavy drinking, shouting, or loud voices, and keep masks on while talking)
・Refrain from activities with a high risk of infection, such as drinking alcohol in the street or park, etc.

*Restrictions implemented in Observation Areas will be gradually eased in a step-based process in order to thoroughly curb the spread of infection.

See attached "Full Version" for more information on “Requests for Eating Establishments,” “Requests and Calls for Cooperation regarding Events,” “Requests and Calls for Cooperation for Businesses,” and “Requests and Calls for Cooperation for Facilities Other than Eating Establishments," etc.

What to do if worried you may have contracted COVID-19
2021.06.07

Do you know who you should contact if you think you may have contracted COVID-19?

The Hokkaido Foreign Resident support Center has created a series of foreign language infographics. These infographics compile the information released by the Hokkaido Government, concerning what to do and who to contact should you contract COVID-19, into an easy to understand visual format. Please, take a look.

State of Emergency Banner
2021.06.01

State of Emergency Banner

State of Emergency Measures in Hokkaido Extended Until 6/20
2021.05.28

On May 28, 2021, the Hokkaido Government official announced that the State of Emergency Measures in Hokkaido would be extended until June 20, 2021. See below for a summary.

STATE OF EMERGENCY MEASURES IN HOKKAIDO

Period: June 1 (TUE) – June 20 (SUN) 2021
[Under Specific Measures] Sapporo City, Ebetsu City, Chitose City, Eniwa City, Kitahiroshima City, Ishikari City, Tobetsu Town, Shinshinotsu Village, Otaru City, Asahikawa City
[Under General Measures] All cities, towns, and villages in Hokkaido not under Specific Measures

【Requests for All Residents of Hokkaido and Visitors to Sapporo】

(WHEN GOING OUT)
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings. No matter if it’s during the day, after 8pm, or the weekend, please stay home as much as possible.
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from prefectures, especially areas under a State of Emergency.
*If you absolutely must leave Hokkaido, in addition to taking thorough measures to prevent infection, please monitor your physical condition, such as checking your temperature or taking a PCR test if necessary.

(WHEN EATING OR DRINKING)
・Refrain from dining at restaurants, etc. which do not have adequate COVID-19 Countermeasures in place, or are not cooperating with the request for shortened business hours.
・Refrain from activities with a high risk of infection, such as drinking alcohol in the street or park, etc.
・Refrain from eating or drinking with those you are not living with, as much as possible. (Specific Measures)
・Practice “Mokushoku (Silent Eating)” (Up to 4 people, only for a short period of time, no heavy drinking, shouting, or loud voices, and keep masks on while talking) (General Measures)

【Call for Cooperation for Individuals Considering Visiting Hokkaido】
・Please refrain from visiting Hokkaido as much as possible, based on the Basic COVID-19 Countermeasures.

For more details click the link below.

State of Emergency Measures and Medical State of Emergency in Hokkaido
2021.05.15

On May 15, 2021, the Hokkaido Government released ❶ State of Emergency Measures in Hokkaido and ❷ a Declaration of a Medical State of Emergency in Hokkaido. See below for a summary of the contents.

❶ STATE OF EMERGENCY MEASURES IN HOKKAIDO

Period: May 16 (SUN) – May 31 (MON) 2021
[Under Specific Measures] Sapporo City, Ebetsu City, Chitose City, Eniwa City, Kitahiroshima City, Ishikari City, Tobetsu Town, Shinshinotsu Village, Otaru City, Asahikawa City
[Under General Measures] All cities, towns, and villages in Hokkaido not under Specific Measures

【Requests for All Residents of Hokkaido and Visitors to Sapporo】
(WHEN GOING OUT)
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings. No matter if it’s during the day, after 8pm, or the weekend, please stay home as much as possible.
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from prefectures, especially areas under a State of Emergency.
(WHEN EATING OR DRINKING)
・Refrain from dining at restaurants, etc. which do not have adequate COVID-19 Countermeasures in place, or are not cooperating with the request for shortened business hours.
・Refrain from activities with a high risk of infection, such as drinking alcohol in the street or park, etc.
・Refrain from eating or drinking with those you are not living with, as much as possible. (Specific Measures)
・Practice “Mokushoku (Silent Eating)” (Up to 4 people, only for a short period of time, no heavy drinking, shouting, or loud voices, and keep masks on while talking) (General Measures)

For more details, see the attached file.

❷ Declaration of Medical State of Emergency in Hokkaido

COVID-19 is spreading rapidly throughout Hokkaido due to the influence of new variants, and the number of daily new infections of COVID-19 in Hokkaido reached a record high of 712 cases on May 13, 2021.
The medical care provision system in Hokkaido is in a critical situation.
In order to prevent the collapse of the medical care provision system, and protect the lives of our citizens, we declare a Medical State of Emergency for Hokkaido.
People of Hokkaido, in order to protect the medical care system, your loved ones, and yourself, please cooperate with the following requests.

Especially now, in addition to wearing masks, washing and disinfecting your hands, and maintaining a safe distance from others, please cooperating with the following additional requests.
● As much as possible, DO NOT GO OUT
● Especially, DO NOT GO OUT ON WEEKENDS
● If you do go out, BE HOME BY 8 PM

For more details, see the attached file.

Quasi-Emergency Measures in Sapporo City
2021.05.08

In response to the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 patients, “Priority Countermeasures in Response to the Medical State of Emergency in Sapporo City ~Quasi-Emergency Measures based on the Special Measures Law~” have been announced as of May 8, 2021. Below is a basic outline of the Quasi-Emergency Measures.

Area: Sapporo City
Period: Sunday, May 9 ~ Monday, May 31, 2021
Requests:
【Requests for All Residents of Hokkaido and Visitors to Sapporo】
(WHEN GOING OUT)
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings within, and travel outside of Sapporo City.
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from prefectures, especially areas under a State of Emergency.
(WHEN EATING OR DRINKING)
・Do not unnecessarily go to, or eat at, any restaurants or other establishments after 8 pm.
・Refrain from dining at restaurants, etc. which do not have adequate COVID-19 Countermeasures in place, or are not cooperating with the request for shortened business hours.
・Refrain from activities with a high risk of infection, such as drinking alcohol in the street or park, etc.
・Refrain from eating or drinking with those you are not living with, as much as possible.

Please follow the below link for more information on “Requests for Eating Establishments,” “Requests and Calls for Cooperation regarding Events,” “Requests and Calls for Cooperation for Businesses,” and “Requests and Calls for Cooperation for Facilities Other than Eating Establishments.”

Declaration of Medical State of Emergency in Sapporo City
2021.05.05

In response to the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 patients, a Medical State of Emergency has been declared in Sapporo City on May 5, 2021. Citizens are asked to cooperate with the following requests.

1 Please avoid going out in Sapporo City, and traveling to and from Sapporo City as much as possible.
2 Please take action to reduce the risk of infection when eating or drinking.

In addition, due to the Declaration of a Medical State of Emergency in Sapporo, the notice regarding “Infection Prevention Countermeasures to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19” has been updated. See below for an outline of some of the major changes.

○Golden Week Special Countermeasures for Sapporo City (Until May 11)
(Additional Measures Based on Medical State of Emergency)

【Requests for All Residents of and Visitors to Hokkaido】
(WHEN GOING OUT)
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings within Sapporo City.
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from Sapporo City.
(WHEN EATING OR DRINKING)
・Please avoid eating or drinking with people outside of your household (those who do not live in the same home as you) as much as possible.
・Please refrain from visiting restaurants, bars, karaoke, etc. between the hours of 8 pm and 5 am the next day.

【Requests for Eating Establishments (Restaurants, Bars, Karaoke, etc.)】
・Alcohol should only be served from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm.
・Close for the hours between 8:00 pm until 5:00 am the next day.
・Implement the policies outlined in the Industry Specific Guidelines.

For more details, see the attached files.

Update regarding requests to the people of Hokkaido in preventing further spread of COVID-19 (UPDATED 4/23)
2021.04.23

The Hokkaido COVID-19 Countermeasures Taskforce updated the notice regarding “Infection Prevention Countermeasures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19” on April 23.

Specifically, there have been special countermeasures put in place for the Golden Week period from April 2 to May 11. See below for an outline of the changes.

★★Golden Week Special Countermeasures for Sapporo City★★
Period: Saturday, April 24, 2021~Tuesday, May 11, 2021

【Requests for all residents and visitors to Hokkaido】
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings within the Sapporo city area.
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from the Sapporo city area.
・Please refrain from eating or drinking with people not in your household (e.g. living in the same home.)
・Do not eat at or go to restaurants, bars, karaoke, etc. between 9PM and 5AM the next day (From April 27)

【Requests to the Business Owners of Hokkaido】
・Please implement COVID-19 Countermeasures such as Remote Work (Telework), Staggered Working Hours etc. as possible through cooperation with Economic Organizations.
・Confirm infection countermeasures are in place in break / eating areas, and other such areas where infection risk is high.
・For Large-scale venues and attractions with large numbers of customers, ensure thorough implementation of countermeasures such the wearing of masks and using of hand sanitizer, etc.

【Requests for Schools】
・Thorough implementation of infection countermeasures in schools and at student dormitories.
・Extra-curricular activities, outside of those permitted and deemed necessary by the school, should, as a rule, be put on hold for the time being
・Universities, Colleges or Technical Schools should implement or continue to implement Online Classes and hold face-to-face classes with a reduced number of students in order to avoid close-contact between students.

【Measures in place in Public Facilities】
・Municipal / Public Facilities will gradually implement countermeasures, such as shortened business hours, usage restrictions, capacity limitations, etc.

【Requests for Restaurants, Bars, etc.】*From April 27 to May 11
Applicable Establishments: Eating Establishments (Restaurants, Bars, Cafeterias, etc.) Karaoke and Karaoke Bars in Sapporo
・Alcohol should only be served from 5AM to 8PM
・Close from 9PM until 5AM the next day
・Follow the policies set for them in the “Industry Specific Guidelines”
*Businesses that comply with these requests are eligible to receive grant money.

For more details, please refer to the attached file.

Hokkaido・Sapporo Joint Message – Prevent the Spread of Infection
2021.04.15

On April 15, 2021, the Hokkaido Governor and Sapporo City Mayor released a joint message regarding the Prevention of the Spread of Infection in Hokkaido and Sapporo.

1. Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings in Sapporo City, and non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from Sapporo City.
2. Thoroughly implement basic infection prevention measures.
3. Take action to reduce the risk of infection when eating or drinking.

See the attached file for the full message

Update regarding requests to the people of Hokkaido in preventing further spread of COVID-19 (UPDATED 4/9)
2021.04.09

The Hokkaido COVID-19 Countermeasures Taskforce updated the notice regarding “Infection Prevention Countermeasures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19” on April 9th.
Specifically, it has added the below request regarding travel to and from areas under “Priority Measures Against Spread of Infection.”

Additional request:
Refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from areas* where “Priority Measures Against Spread of Infection” have been implemented.
*Miyagi Prefecture, Osaka Prefecture, Hyogo Prefecture, Tokyo Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture (As of April 12, 2021)

For more information please see the attached file.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information Update
2021.03.31

On March 31, 2021, the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare updated their webpage about the COVID-19 Vaccine in Japan. New content is as follows:

【Information, Explanation, and Medical Pre-examination sheets in Foreign Languages】
The Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare has published multilingual information about the COVID-19 Vaccine on their website. The published documents are as follows:

Documents:
・Translation of COVID-19 Vaccine Medical Pre-examination Sheets into Foreign Languages
・Information about the Pfizer Vaccine
・Notification Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccination (Example)

Languages: English, Chinese (Simplified, Traditional), Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Russian, Mongolian, Nepalese, Indonesian, Burmese, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabian, Khmer, Thai

Download Link: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/vaccine_tagengo.html

【Multi-language support for the COVID-19 Vaccination Call Center】
The MHLW COVID-19 Vaccination Call Center supports the following languages as of April 1st, 2021.

Phone Number: 0120-761770 (Free Dial)
Hours: See below (Open every day, including weekends and holidays)
・Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
・Thai: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
・Vietnamese: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this post, or want more information, do not hesitate to contact us!

Notice from the Immigration Services Agency – Handling of residence applications for Technical Intern Trainees affected by the spread of COVID-19
2021.03.26

On March 26, 2021, the notice regarding the handling of residence applications for Technical Intern Trainees affected by the spread of COVID-19 was updated.

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.

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
2021.03.19

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.

Notice from the Hokkaido Government for those moving to a different municipality
2021.03.16

The period of March-April is generally one where there is an increase in the amount of people moving in to or around Japan, and an increase in the occurrence of eating with others, such as welcome parties, etc.

In order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 during this time, the Hokkaido COVID-19 Countermeasures Taskforce has posted guidelines for those who will or have already moved to a different municipality. It specifically focuses on best practices for going out, eating, and at school and the workplace.

Please check the attached file for more information.

Period of Concentrated Countermeasures Will End March 7
2021.02.26

During a press conference held on February 26, 2021, the Hokkaido governor announced that Period of Concentrated Countermeasures in Hokkaido will end as of March 7, 2021. See the attached “Requests for Cooperation During Period of Concentrated Countermeasures” for more details.

In addition, the State of Emergency has been lifted in the following prefectures as of February 28, 2021.
Gifu, Aichi, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Fukuoka

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

Are you having difficulty paying national taxes or pension due to effects of COVID-19?
2021.02.18

★ 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.

Are you struggling financially due to effects of COVID-19?
2021.02.18

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.

Period of Concentrated Countermeasures Extension and Requests for Cooperation
2021.02.13

During a press conference held on February 13, 2021, the Hokkaido governor announced that due to the State of Emergency in Japan and the likely increase in movement of people starting new jobs, transferring workplaces, graduating etc., the Period of Concentrated Countermeasures will be extended.

Area specific requests for cooperation have been extended until February 28, 2021, and All-Hokkaido requests for cooperation have been extended until the Japan lifts the state(s) of emergency.

See the attached file for more details.

Period of Concentrated Countermeasures – Additional Request for Cooperation added January 28
2021.01.28

The Period of Concentrated Countermeasures was updated on January 28, 2021 to include additional requests for cooperation, as follows:

If you cannot avoid the risk of infection, please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings in and travel to and from Sapporo City and Otaru City.

See the attached file for more details.

Period of Concentrated Countermeasures Extended & Hokkaido Government Approach to State of Emergency
2021.01.14

During a press conference held on January 14, 2021, the Hokkaido governor announced that due to an increasing trend of new infections in Hokkaido, the Period of Concentrated Countermeasures will be extended for a month, from January 16, 2021 until February 15, 2021. Additional requests for cooperation have also been made regarding shortened business hours for restaurants, etc. in Sapporo City.

The decision to declare a state of emergency in Hokkaido is made after comprehensive judgment by the national government of Japan. However, if the number of new cases in Hokkaido exceeds the national Stage IV indicator (25/100,000 people per week), then the Hokkaido government will request the national government to promptly consider declaring a state of emergency for the prefecture.

See the attached files for more details.

Regarding refusal of landing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus)
2021.01.13

For more details, see the attached files below.

Period of Concentrated Countermeasures in Response to State of Emergency Declarations
2021.01.07

A State of Emergency has been declared in Tokyo Metropolitan Area, Saitama Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, and Kanagawa Prefecture. During a press conference held on January 7, 2021, the Hokkaido Governor announced new countermeasures to be implemented during the Period of Concentrated Countermeasures (DEC 26 ~ JAN 15) in response to these declarations. Below is an outline of the content:

○ Requests from December 26 to January 15
≪To all Residents of and Visitors to Hokkaido≫
★ Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from regions under a State of Emergency.
■ If you can’t avoid the risk of infection,
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings in Sapporo City and Asahikawa City.
・Please refrain from travel to and from prefectures with high rates of infection and Sapporo City.
■ Be thorough in your actions to avoid the risk of infection and,
・Please refrain from sharing meals in groups of 5 or more or long meals over 2 hours, even at home.
・Please be extra careful to avoid the risk of infection (wear a mask, wash hands, etc.), especially if you are or plan to meet an individual who is at high risk of developing severe symptoms.

≪To Business Operators in Sapporo City≫
・If you operate a drinking establishment in Sapporo City, please shorten your business hours.
・Please re-check and properly implement the infection prevention countermeasures outlined in the industry specific guidelines.

For more details see the attached file.

Notice from the ISA – Re-Entry of Foreign National Residents of Japan
2021.01.01

Holders of a valid residence status who plan to re-enter Japan after 1 November 2020 will no longer need to obtain the "Receipt for request of re-entry” before departure. Please note requests of re-entry and inquiries via e-mail are no longer available.

※Due to the quarantine measures accompanying the state of emergency, until the cancellation of the state of emergency, all persons will be required to have obtained a Certificate of Testing for COVID-19, not limited to the following cases. Click here for details (Japanese only).

Foreign nationals who stayed in the countries / regions designated as subject to denial of landing within 14 days before re-entering Japan need to bring a Certificate of Testing for COVID-19 issued in the country/region of stay to prove a negative test result after having undergone a test for COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) within 72 hours prior to departure from the country/region of stay.
*In principle, the specified format should be used. The certificate should be filled out at the medical facility (entirely in English) and signed and/or sealed by your doctor. When using an unspecified format, you must make sure that the written information is the same as that of the prescribed format.
*Only samples and testing methods listed in the prescribed format for the certificate of testing are accepted.

Format for certificate of testing for COVID-19 required for re-entry to Japan by foreign nationals who have left Japan with a re-entry permit[word]

You can check latest countries / regions designated as subject to denial of landing on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs homepage.
https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html

*Individuals who departed Japan with intent to re-enter on or before October 31 must still follow the previous re-entry requirements, so please be sure to submit your “Receipt for Request of Re-entry” upon your arrival in Japan.

Period of Concentrated Countermeasures During the Year-end and New Year Holiday
2020.12.24

During a press conference held on December 24, 2020, the Hokkaido Governor announced new countermeasures to be implemented during the year-end and New Year holidays and beyond. Below is an outline of the content:

○ Additional Requests until January 3, 2021
Make this year’s holiday season a peaceful one and,
→ please stay at home with those who you already meet regularly.  
→ please refrain from sharing meals with those who you do not meet regularly. 

○ Requests from December 26 to January 15
≪To all Residents of and Visitors to Hokkaido≫
■ If you can’t avoid the risk of infection,
・Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings in Sapporo City and Asahikawa City.
・Please refrain from travel to and from prefectures with high rates of infection and Sapporo City.
■ Be thorough in your actions to avoid the risk of infection and,
・Please refrain from sharing meals in groups of 5 or more or long meals over 2 hours, even at home.
・Please be extra careful to avoid the risk of infection (wear a mask, wash hands, etc.), especially if you are or plan to meet an individual who is at high risk of developing severe symptoms.

≪To Business Operators in Sapporo City≫
・If you operate a drinking establishment in Sapporo City, please shorten your business hours.
・Please re-check and properly implement the infection prevention countermeasures outlined in the industry specific guidelines.

For more details see the attached file.

Hokkaido・Sapporo Joint Message – Towards a Quiet and Peaceful New Year Holiday
2020.12.24

On December 24, 2020, a joint message from Hokkaido and Sapporo City requests all in Hokkaido to spend the year and New Year holiday quietly in order to curb the further spread of COVID-19 in Hokkaido.

This year-end and New Year holiday,
○ Please stay at home with those you already meet regularly (close-contacts.)
○ Please refrain from sharing meals with those who you do NOT meet regularly.

See the attached file for the full message.

Have you started using COCOA yet?
2020.12.17

○ What’s COCOA?
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s COVID-19 Contact-Confirming Application (COCOA) is a smartphone app that enables you to receive notifications about the possibility of contact with someone infected with COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

○ How do I use it?
You can start using the app in just 3 easy steps!
1. Download the app to your smartphone
   ・Apple https://apple.co/3a85Taf
   ・Android https://bit.ly/3nsVnhi
2. Open the app, agree to the terms of use
3. Allow for contact detection, enable Bluetooth
And that’s it! The process should take you at most 5 minutes.

After you have completed the above steps, the app will simply be running in the background. If you are in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 and records it in the app, then you will receive a notification. If you test positive for COVID-19, please anonymously register your positive test result within the app.
*The app will generally run in your smartphone’s registered language.
**The app may not work properly in smartphones that have been purchased abroad.

For more details, please see the attached file.
Stay safe and take care!

Period of Concentrated Countermeasures extended to JAN 15 / Stronger Countermeasures Implemented until DEC 25
2020.12.10

Due to the increased travel expected during the year-end and New Year holidays, the Hokkaido governor announced during a press conference held on December 10, 2020 that the current Period of Concentrated Countermeasures will be extended until January 15, 2021. In addition, stronger countermeasures such as requests to stay home and refrain from travel and shortened business hours will be implemented for the period of December 12 to December 25. See below for more details.

○ Requests for Cooperation for period of 12/12 to 1/15
・Please refrain from gathering in a group of more than 5 people or for more than 2 hours when eating and drinking, even in your own home. (This does not apply to those already living together in one household)
・Please be extra thorough and careful to avoid the risk of infection, especially if you are or plan to meet and individual who is at high risk of developing severe symptoms.
・Reconsider which areas at work could be high-risk for infection.
・Please refrain from in-person, work-related year-end and New Year greetings.
・Please continue to use telework and staggered commuting options.

○ Requests for Cooperation for period of 12/12 to 12/25
・Please refrain from going out to eat at restaurants. Business operators are also requested to shorten business hours.
・Please refrain from using restaurants, etc. that serve alcoholic beverages in the Susukino area from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am the next morning. Business operators are also requested to shorten business hours.
・Please refrain from any non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from prefectures that have announced COVID-19 related restrictions.
・Sapporo and Asahikawa residents, please refrain from going out unnecessarily.

The full, detailed document released at the press conference will be uploaded to our homepage as soon as translation is complete.

We have finished translating the materials released at the Hokkaido governor press conference held on December 10, 2020.
See the attached file.

”New Way of Life” Practical Examples (MHLW)
2020.12.01

See the below PDF for more details.

New Hokkaido Style (Hokkaido Gov’t)
2020.12.01

See the below PDF for more details.

5 High-Risk Scenes for Infection (MHLW)
2020.12.01

See the below PDF for more details.

Measures Against Infectious Diseases (MHLW)
2020.12.01

See the below PDF for more details.

Preventing COVID-19 and Stopping It’s Spread (MHLW)
2020.12.01

See the below PDF for more details.

Avoid the Three C's!
2020.12.01

See the below PDF for more details.

Announcement from ISA – Handling of foreign nationals who have difficulty returning to their home country or other country
2020.12.01

The official notice from the Immigration Services Agency regarding the handling of foreign nationals who have difficulty returning to their home country or other country has been updated as of December 1, 2020.

Changes to the announcement are as follows:
If foreign nationals with the residence status of Temporary Visitor (90 days) find it difficult to maintain their livelihood in Japan, they are permitted to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted (and allowed to work part-time up to 28 hours per week)

For more details see the attached file or the link below.
http://www.moj.go.jp/isa/content/930005849.pdf

Period of Concentrated Countermeasures in Hokkaido Extended until Dec. 11
2020.11.26

During a press conference held on November 26, 2020, the Hokkaido governor announced that the Period of Concentrated Countermeasures will be extended, resulting in a new period of November 28 to December 11. Additional countermeasures and requests for cooperation were also announced. An outline of the additional requests for cooperation is as follows:

○ In Sapporo City:
・Residents of and visitors to Hokkaido, please refrain from visiting drinking establishments with entertainment in Sapporo City.
・Business owners and managers of drinking establishments in Sapporo City, please temporarily halt your business activities.
・During the hours of 10 pm to 5 am, please refrain from visiting drinking establishments in the Susukino area. Business owners and managers, please shorten your business hours.
・If you cannot avoid the risk of infection, please refrain from any non-urgent, non-essentials outings, as well as any non-urgent, non-essential travel outside of Sapporo City.


○ All Hokkaido Prefecture:
・Please be extra thorough and careful to avoid the risk of infection when eating or drinking in groups.
・Please be extra thorough and careful to avoid the risk of infection, especially if you are or plan to meet and individual who is at high risk of developing severe symptoms.


○ Restrictions on the Go To Campaign
Go To Travel: promotions cannot be applied for travel to Sapporo City for the period of November 24 ~ December 15. Free cancellations can be made until midnight on December 3 (Thursday.)

Go To Eat: sales of Go To Eat coupons will be temporarily suspended in all Hokkaido for the period of November 30 ~ December 15. In addition, please refrain from using previously purchased coupons at establishments in Sapporo City. *Restrictions do not apply to takeout and delivery orders.

More details can be found in the attached PDF.

Hokkaido Stage of Alert Update – Additional Countermeasures
2020.11.17

During a press conference held on November 17, 2020, the Hokkaido governor announced that for the period of November 7 to November 27, additional countermeasures against COVID-19 will be implemented in Sapporo City, equivalent to Alert Stage 4.

An outline of the additional countermeasures is as follows:
○ Individuals in Sapporo City:
If you cannot avoid the risk of infection, please refrain from any non-urgent, non-essentials outings, as well as any non-urgent, non-essential travel outside of Sapporo City.
○ All individuals in Hokkaido Prefecture:
If you cannot avoid the risk of infection, please refrain from any non-urgent, non-essential travel to Sapporo City. In addition, please avoid any high-risk situations when eating or drinking.

For reference, situations where you cannot avoid the risk of infection are as follows:
① Using a facility or business which does not practice the New Hokkaido Style.
② Long periods of time spent in a closed room where you cannot keep a safe distance from others.
③ Eating or drinking in a group of more than 5 people, and speaking in loud voices without masks. Eating or drinking together over a long period of time of 2 hours or more.


More details can be found in the attached file.

COVID-19 Related State of Alert Raised to Stage 3 as of 11/7
2020.11.07

During a joint press conference held on November 7, 2020, the Hokkaido governor and Sapporo City mayor announced that the COVID-19 Related State of Alert for Hokkaido will move from Stage 2 to Stage 3. The Period of Concentrated Countermeasures has also been extended, and will now continue until November 27.

Residents of Hokkaido are asked for their continued cooperation in efforts to reduce the spread of infection, but Sapporo residents in particular are asked to cooperate with the following:
1. Especially in establishments that serve alcohol, make thorough efforts to avoid the risk of infection, such as wearing a mask, and not speaking in a loud voice.
2. During the hours of 10pm to 5 am, refrain from using establishments which serve alcohol in the Susukino area.
3. Eating and drinking establishments in the Susukino area should shorten business hours, etc.

All residents of Hokkaido are asked again to cooperate with the following:
① Choose businesses and facilities that have declared that they are practicing the New Hokkaido Style.
② If you feel unwell or have symptoms such as a fever or cough, please refrain from going out. Always be sure to wear a mask and wash your hands.
③ Make use of telework and staggered commuting options, and register for the Hokkaido Corona Notification System.
④ Businesses of Hokkaido, practice the New Hokkaido Style and other infection countermeasures even more thoroughly.

In Hokkaido, as a further strengthening of measures to prevent the spread of infection, there will be further improvements in the consultation, medical care, and testing systems and strengthened public awareness.

See the attached file for more details..

COVID-19 Related State of Alert Raised to Stage 2 as of 10/28
2020.10.28

During a press conference held on October 28,2020, the Hokkaido governor announced that the COVID-19 Related State of Alert for Hokkaido will move from Stage 1 to Stage 2.

The governor also announced that as we have entered Stage 2, there will be a Period of Concentrated Countermeasures set from October 28 to November 10, a period of two weeks.

The governor makes the following requests of Hokkaido residents during this period:
① If you feel unwell or have symptoms such as a fever or cough, please refrain from going out.
② Always be sure to wear a mask and wash your hands.
③ Make use of telework and staggered commuting options, and register for the Hokkaido Corona Notification System.

For more details, see the attachment below.

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.

Houterasu Q&A: Legal Concerns Regarding COVID-19
2020.10.01

Did you know that the Japan Legal Support Center (Houterasu) has a multilingual Q&A about legal concerns regarding COVID-19 on its website? The Q&A covers topics from work and labor issues, rent, residence status and more. Feel free to have a look if you have any legal concerns.

Please see attached file for information.

Contact Houterasu:
Houterasu Multilingual Information Service
Open weekdays from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Phone: 0570-078377
https://www.houterasu.or.jp/multilingual/index.html

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 – 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.