WelfareMeasures regarding Public Assistance for Foreign Nationals who are living in poverty
(May 8, 1954)
(Social Affairs Bulletin No. 382)
(Notice from the Director-General of the Social Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Health and Welfare to Prefectural Governors)
We understand that you have been working to thoroughly implement measures to provide Public Assistance to foreign nationals who are living in poverty, but we have recently consolidated the guidelines and procedures for handling this matter as shown below.
Please be advised and take all possible measures necessary for implementation.
According to Article 1 of the Public Assistance Act (hereinafter simply referred to as the ‘Act’), foreign nationals are not subject to the Act but, for the time being, foreign nationals who are living in poverty shall be provided with Public Assistance as deemed necessary by following the procedures described below, based on the judgment process which is applicable to Public Assistance for general citizens.
However, when an applicant for Public Assistance or a member of the applicant's household is in urgent need of Public Assistance and there is no time to implement the procedures prescribed in the relevant items below, it shall be permissible to temporarily provide Public Assistance in accordance with the provisions of Article 19, Paragraph 2 or Article 19, Paragraph 6 of the Act and subsequently follow the procedures described below.
1. Foreign nationals who are living in poverty and seek Public Assistance shall submit an application for Public Assistance which clearly states the nationality of the applicant or the person in need of Public Assistance, and present a valid residence card or special permanent resident certificate to the authority which is in charge of Public Assistance and which has jurisdiction over the place of residence of said person living in poverty as stated on their Residence Card based on the “Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act” (Cabinet Order No. 319 of 1951, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Immigration Act’) or their Special Permanent Resident Certificate based on the “Special Act on the Immigration Control of, inter alia, those who have lost Japanese Nationality pursuant to the Treaty of Peace with Japan” (Act No. 71 of 1991, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Special Immigration Act’).
2. When the authority in charge of Public Assistance has received the written application and the resident card or special permanent resident certificate mentioned in the above item, it shall check the contents of the written application against the contents of the resident card or special permanent resident certificate in order to verify the contents of the written application.
3. When the foreign national for whom the verification mentioned in the above item has been finalized is found to be in need of Public Assistance, the authority in charge of Public Assistance shall promptly submit a report to the prefectural governor and attach a copy of the application and a document clearly indicating the number of the residence card or special permanent resident certificate of the applicant or the person in need of Public Assistance.
4. A prefectural governor who has received such a report from an authority in charge of Public Assistance shall confirm that said person requiring Public Assistance is unable to receive the necessary Public Assistance or support from the diplomatic mission or consulate (or branch or branch office, if such a branch or branch office exists) of the country to which said person belongs, or their mediating organizations, and shall notify the authority in charge of Public Assistance of the results.
If the foreign national living in poverty is a Korean or a Taiwanese national, the procedures described in items I3) and I4) above shall not be required for the time being.
In cases where a foreign national receiving Public Assistance no longer needs Public Assistance because the said foreign national has found a stable job, etc., employment and self-support benefits shall be paid to the said foreign national in accordance with the provisions of Article 55-4, Paragraph 1 of the Act.
In cases where a foreign national receiving Public Assistance (limited until March 31 of the first year after reaching 18 years of age, or to those who qualify under Article 18-7 of the Ordinance for Enforcement of the Public Assistance Act (Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare No. 21 of 1950)) is expected to be surely enrolled in a specified educational training facility prescribed in Article 55-5, Paragraph 1 of the Act, the government shall pay the said foreign national higher-education preparation benefits in accordance with the provisions for the procedure set forth in the same Paragraph.