When foreigners decide to leave Japan, what is necessary for it before leaving Japan? If you have stayed for a long time, it is not easy and simple. For instance, you have to dispose of your stuff, close your bank account, pay the utility bills, transfer the residence card, in addition to public procedures, such as national health insurance, pension, and resident tax. Especially, you must not forget public procedures, otherwise, you will get some trouble when you enter Japan again.
In this article, we explain what you need to do before leaving Japan. We also introduce home-delivery services that you can sell unwanted items. If you have already decided on your departure date, let's start the procedures to return to your home country.
Things To Do Before Leaving Japan No.1: Daily Life
Cancel your lease
It is necessary to inform the landlord and the real estate agent of the expected departure date in advance. In Japan, it is common to contact them one or two months before your departure date, but for details, check the rules of the contract. Be aware of the deadline, otherwise, you may have to pay a month's rent even if you don't live.
Ask for collecting oversized garbage
Under the Home Appliance Recycling Law, you cannot dispose of home appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, and televisions as oversized garbage. For oversized garbage other than home appliances, check the classification of the stuff you want to discard, and apply for collection via the phone or the Internet in advance. After you complete the application, affix the collection sticker purchased at the post office or convenience store and throw it away on the specified date and place. The acceptable items to discard and the required fees are depending on the region. The procedures also slightly different, so check the information of the local government for details.
Disposal of unwanted items such as furniture, home appliances, books and clothes
To dispose of unwanted items, you can throw them out as garbage or selling them to a recycle shop. Some region does not accept some products as garbage. In this case, it is good to sell unwanted items to a recycle shop. However, the purchase price might not be the same as the market price. In some cases, it will be collected free of charge.
If you would like to dispose of unwanted second-hand items, we recommend using a home-delivery recycle service, which collects used items. In particular, this service is very useful for foreigners who have stayed in Japan for a long time because you can sell a lot of owned unwanted items at once as staying at home. You can see the assessment result in advance so you can use the service after you confirm the purchase price. Getting the result is free.
Recommended Home-delivery Recycle Shop for Foreigners Leaving Japan
Buyking is a recycle service that collects a wide variety of items. You can choose the purchase method from home-delivery and shipment to Buyking. The purchased target is over 100 categories: books, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, game software, smartphones, tablets, cameras, and brand items. They support free shipping throughout Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa when using the home-delivery purchase method. You can request to send cardboards for shipping up to 10 free of charge. (* If you prepare the cardboard by yourself and fulfill other conditions, you can grant 300 yen to the assessed amount). The product you requested for purchase will show you the purchase price for each product, so it would be a good idea to sell unwanted items with your friends together. They also hold attractive campaigns with a great deal. The shipping cost is completely free. Besides, you can get a maximum of 10,000 yen if you use Buyking for the first time.
This service provides a home-delivery recycle service for used clothes and branded items. Although they do not accept no-branded, fast fashion, and items with a price of fewer than 5,000 yen, they handle over 1,600 popular apparel brands and deal with over 1.5 million purchases annually. You can search for acceptable brands on the official website, so you should check it in advance. After you apply for the purchase service from the website, you will receive a free delivery kit for packing. Enclose the used clothes and a copy of the identification card (residence card), and send it back to Fukuuro. You can complete all the procedures at home. When they finish the purchase assessment, they transfer money to the designated bank account. As shown, you can sell used clothes very easily.
NET OFF is a recycle service operated by ReNet a major recycling company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers. The purchased target items are used books (including manga), game software, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and so on. Net OFF is one of Japan's largest home-delivery recycle shop because they have 2.5 million members and customer satisfaction is 96.1%. Even if you are a new user, you can apply for a recycle service 24 hours a day from the Internet without registering as a member. If you apply by 22:00, they will pick up the items in the morning the next day in the shortest time. If there is no cardboard to ship, you can request them up to six cardboards free of charge in advance. In addition, if you would like to send only one item, you can drop it into a post box for free shipping. Furthermore, if the manga is released within one month, the purchase price is guaranteed at 50% or more of the list price. If you have mangas that have just been released, you can expect to get a high price. The purchase price will increase by 30% as using a coupon on the official website within the campaign term.
Procedure for canceling of electricity, water, and gas
You can easily apply for the cancellation of electricity, water and gas utilities via the Internet or telephone. When you apply, you will need the "customer number" written on the receipt, so prepare it. If you pay the remained bills directly, you must be present on the day of cancellation. In case you cannot decide the date and time of the meeting immediately, you should try to make a schedule as early as possible.
Cancel the phone and the Internet
If you contract a cellphone, a smartphone, and the Internet, you have to cancel it. Be sure that you pay all the fees when you cancel.
Cancel a bank account
Even if your savings become 0 yen, it does not mean you have completed the cancellation. You need to go to the bank teller to cancel it. To cancel the bank account, you have to bring a passbook, a cash card, a residence card, and inkan*1. If you do not cancel it and leave for ten years, your account will be inactive so that you may not use the deposit. In the case of Yucho Bank, the term is five years. However, if you have to pay for bills, such as a cellphone, utilities, the Internet, and credit-cards, make sure you do not cancel before you pay those. If you cannot pay for those bills, Japan Credit Information Reference Center Corp (JICC) will record your name. As your name listed, you cannot contract or apply any services, such as a credit-card, a cellphone, and a house-loan. Besides, they might sue about unpaid. If it occurs, you will get troubles when you enter Japan next time.
*1: a Japanese style seal to acknowledge an individual, which is curved your name.
Things To Do Before Leaving Japan No.2: Resident Tax and Pension Return
Fill out tenshutsu todoke (notification of transfer)
If you do not have a plan to live in Japan again, you have to submit a tenshutsu todoke (moving-out notification) at the city hall. To submit, you have to bring a document, which proves your departure date (for example, a flight ticket), and an identification card, such as a residence card (or a special permanent resident certificate), and passport. Although the term of the procedure depends on where you live, you can submit two weeks before the departure date. If you forget to submit it and return to your home country, the authorities may charge for resident tax, pension, national health. Moreover, you may not be able to receive pension refunds.
The resident tax is revised on annual income from 1st January to 31st December of the previous year. The authority you have to pay is based on your living place on 1st January. Hence, even if you leave Japan in the middle of the year, you must pay the tax as long as you have stayed in Japan on 1st January. If you return to your home country without paying the resident tax, they might demand amount in arrear. Before you leave Japan, go to the city hall and pay the remained tax.
National Health Insurance
As you pay for Japanese National Health Insurance, go to the city hall to return your card. If you have not paid, you can pay there. If you have obtained a health insurance card by your company, just return it to them.
Individual number card / notification card
If you do not come back to Japan again, you have to return the individual number card or the notification card to the civil registration office in the city hall. If you possibly come back to Japan in the future, they return your card with the word "返納 (handing back)". When you will register as a resident in Japan in the future, show the individual number card. The individual number will not issue a new number, so do not lose the card.
Notification concerning an organization of activity
If you are a mid-to-long-term resident, you have to submit the notification concerning an organization of activity to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan before you leave Japan. To submit, use the online system of the Immigration Service Agency.
Pension refund (Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments)
If you are a non-Japanese (not having Japanese nationality), paying for a pension over six months but have not received any money, you can request a pension refund. The procedure is available within two years after you leave Japan (your Japanese address is gone). After you request the pension refund (Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments), you can receive a part of the paid pension. The maximum limitation of the pension refund is 36 months. To submit, a tax office that manages the region where you have lived last time is in charge. You have to specify a bank account with your name, and a tax manager who lives in Japan.
*Download the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment invoice
Return the residence card
When you leave Japan without having scheduled to come back, you have to hand the residence card to the immigration officer at the airport.