Guide for International Researchers | Tokyo Tech


All residents of Japan are required to join an approved health insurance plan. This requirement also applies to international researchers and their family members, unless the researcher is not employed by Tokyo Tech and is staying in Japan for less than 3 months or is staying under a short-term stay visa.

When you join a health insurance plan, you will be issued a health insurance card. When you visit a hospital or clinic and present this card at the reception desk, you will typically only have to bear 30% of the medical costs incurred. In addition, if your medical costs for a single month exceed a fixed sum, you can apply for a reimbursement of the amount exceeding that fixed sum. Lump-sum payments are also available for child birth and other life events.

Those not employed by Tokyo Tech and staying in Japan for less than 3 months or staying under a short-term stay visa are not eligible for health insurance. We strongly advise these researchers to obtain travel insurance before coming to Japan, as it will be difficult to join one once in Japan. Exceptions to this are visiting researchers and other specified members who are eligible for Overseas Travel Insurance covering their period of stay at Tokyo Tech.

Faculty and staff members employed by Tokyo Tech will join the appropriate health insurance plan upon hiring based on the terms of their employment. Insurance premiums are automatically deducted from the salary paid to the employee by Tokyo Tech.

MEXT Mutual Aid Association (Short-Term Benefits)
Regular employees who work 20 hours or more per week receive health coverage under the MEXT Mutual Aid Association. A membership card for the MEXT Mutual Aid Association is issued after submission of the forms provided upon hiring by the Human Resources Division.

If a family member of an employee meets certain criteria, he or she can also receive health coverage through Tokyo Tech as a dependent family member. For the family member to be eligible as a dependent, he or she must be certified by the health insurance provider. Those who can be certified include the employee’s lineal ascendant, spouse (including common-law spouse), child, grandchild, younger sibling, and other specified family members who meet the following criteria:

  • Is primarily supported by the insured member’s income
  • Has an annual income less than 1,300,000 yen (or less than 1,800,000 yen for those receiving public pension and those 60 years of age or older) and amounting to less than 1/2 of the insured member’s income
  • Is less than 75 years of age

For details on eligibility and membership procedures for family members, please contact the Employee Benefits Group, Human Resources Division through your departmental office.

An inquiry will be performed annually to confirm if insured family members meet eligibility criteria. If an insured family member no longer meets the criteria, the employee must notify the Human Resources Division without delay.

Adding a dependent family member does not incur any increase in the employee’s insurance premium, nor does it require payment of an additional premium.

Those who are not employed by Tokyo Tech and are staying in Japan for 3 months or more must join the National Health Insurance by performing the appropriate procedures themselves at the municipal office of their residence.

Insurance premiums are calculated based on your previous fiscal year’s resident tax in Japan, and premiums must be paid by the dates specified by the municipality. Most municipalities accept payment through direct debit from your account as well as in person by bringing an invoice and payment to specified financial institutions or convenience stores.

For National Health Insurance, your insurance premium will change depending on the number of members of your household joining National Health Insurance.

To join National Health Insurance, you will need your Residence Card and other necessary documents, so please check resources such as the website of your local municipal office for the enrollment procedures.

Visiting researchers (visiting scholars, visiting fellows, visiting junior fellows) and JICA program participants at Tokyo Tech are eligible for purchasing E-CALLS Inc. at a discounted premium. Tokyo Tech strongly recommends that visiting researchers purchase overseas travel insurance if they have not already done so, as the insurance will cover their stay in Japan, both on- and off-campus.

For details, please refer to this page, or contact the International Infrastructure Group, International Affairs Division.

Last updated August 8, 2023