It’s finally arrived!
For those who’ve had their eye on news about the Supplementary Income Payment announced by the government earlier this year, the paperwork should be arriving at your homes very soon, if not already.
Here is a quick guide on how to fill it out and get the payment.
What to Expect
When it arrives, you should get a formal looking letter with your name printed in a plastic window with your addresses, a funny looking barcode and a very long number. Open it up, and inside you should find the following three pieces of paper awaiting your inspection:
From left to right, we have:
- The application form.
- A set of instructions (Japanese only – damn)
- A reply-paid envelope.
Ok, so what to do with it all?
Filling Out the Application Form
The first thing you need to do is fill out the application form provided so the government knows who you are and where they should pay the money to.
But despite it’s apparent size, there is actually very little for you to fill in. Take a look at the bottom of the form and you will find two boxes in thick black lines. It is these that you need to fill out, and you can find a guide on how to do so in the instructions. However, since they’re all in Japanese (damn, again) here is a quick run-down on what to do.
The upper box is for details regarding you, the applicant. In the top line, fill out the date in the spaces provided. If you filled it out today, it would look like this – “平成２１年３月１０日”. In the area below this you need to write your name, in furigana in the area above the dotted line, and however you normally write your name below. To the right of this, in the box with the kanji “印” in the centre, you should stamp your hanko. In the line at the very bottom of the box you should enter a phone number by which you can be contacted.
Right, now the next box. You’ll need your bank book for this.
First of all, you will see that the box is divided into three sections, and the upper two have two numbers in circles. Essentially, you get to choose whether you want the money to be deposited into a standard bank account (1) or into your post office bank account (2). You only need to fill one of these out, so if you wanted it to go to an Awa Bank account you possessed, then you would fill in the top section and leave the middle section blank.
For those choosing to have the money deposited into a standard bank account, you need to circle the type of account you have with the said bank. You can choose “1. 普通” or “2. 当座”. In most cases your account will be the first type, but in either case you will be able to find this written on your bank book. Circle the one appropriate.
Next, you need to circle what kind of bank you are using. You have three options – “銀行”, “金庫”, and “農協”. The first is a standard bank, the second is for a safe, and the third is for a farmers cooperative. In most cases you will be with a bank, but once again, which one you are with will be written on your bank book, so check for it here to make sure. Once it is circled, write the name of your bank above the circled option. So for example, if you are with Awa Bank then you should write “阿波” above the circled option in kanji.
In the area to the right of this you need to fill in which branch of the office your bank book is for. This could be a branch office, or the the head office, etc. – essentially, the place where you made your account. Once again, check your bank book as it should be right after your bank name. Circle the appropriate option and write the branch name above.
2: Post Office Account
If you want to have the money deposited into your post office account, all you need to do is fill in the numbers from your bank book in the boxes provided. Easy as that.
When you have filled in one of the above, the last section of this box is where you fill in your account name. I cannot stress enough that this should be EXACTLY as printed on your bank book. Once again, write furigana in the dotted area, and then write in the standard name for your account in the area below. This should be on the front of your bank book.
What to Put in the Envelope
In addition to the above application form, you also need to provide the following:
- A photocopy of personal identification. One of the following is acceptable: A Japanese driver’s licence, passport, foreign registration card, resident’s card (not available to foreign residents), and other formal licences, permits or proof of accreditation from the Japanese government that have a photograph on them.
- A copy of the front page of the bank book for the account you specified on the application form.
Get all this together, put it in the envelope, seal it up and you are almost ready to go.
Sending the Envelope
This might seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but there’s a slight catch you need to be aware of when sending formal letters in Japan.
Learners of Japanese may be aware that when you send a letter, you should address the person you are sending it to as “sama” (様), and organisations as “onchuu” (御中). This is no problem when writing the address yourself, but when sending letters in reply-paid envelopes, it is a little more complicated. The reason for this is that while it would be easy for the organisation or person sending the envelope to write the appropriate title for you, good manners dictate that you cannot be presumptuous as to address yourself with a polite title on behalf of someone else. Because of this, reply-paid envelopes will always be marked with the character “yuki” (行) instead.
So, what you need to do is put two stroked lines through the character yuki, and then write sama or onchuu below it as appropriate. In this case, since we are sending it to an organisation, you need to write onchuu. Of course, it will have no affect on your letter if you do this or not, but it’s considered good manners and may be offensive to some if left as is.
All done! All that remains now is to take it down to your local post office or post box and send it off. Make sure you do so AFTER March 16, however, as this is the beginning date for acceptance of applications.