Pre-Departure Checklist

Before leaving Japan, it pays to plan thoroughly and make necessary preparations. Depending on your situation, some of the following steps will be necessary.

1. Provide Notification You Will Be Leaving Japan

If you plan to leave Japan and not return, or will be out of Japan for long periods, you should notify your local ward office/city hall. When doing so, you should take one of the following: Residence card or special permanent resident certificate (or an alien registration certificate). After notifying your local ward office/city hall of your intention to leave Japan, your resident registration and personal seal registration will be invalidated, and you will be withdrawn from the National Insurance system.

2. Terminate House Rental Agreement

Be sure to terminate your residence rental agreement (if applicable) prior to the date shown on your contract. When moving out, you should return your residence to its original condition.

3. Close Bank Account(s)

Follow the necessary procedures to close your bank and/or post office accounts at the relevant institutions. If you pay utility bills and other payments by direct debit, be sure to pay any outstanding balances before closing your accounts.

4. Stop Gas, Electricity and Water Services

5. Cancel Cell Phones and Internet Connection Services

6. Cancel Fixed-line Telephone Services (NTT)

Directly contact your fixed-line telephone services company to stop this service.

You will be able to talk through an interpreter.

From a cell phone, PHS and non-NTT fixed-line telephone services, call

NTT East
NTT West
In Japanese Only
English service available

7. Create and Submit the Required Documents to Change School/Graduation Certificates.

If you are attending a school, mention that you plan to leave Japan and ask them to create the required documents (certificate of enrollment, academic transcripts, course certificate, graduation certificate, etc.). After having them approved via official seal from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan), obtain the necessary authentication from your Consulate in Japan. You should then be able to use them in the next country you live in.

8.Withdrawal of National Pension, National Health Insurance and Employees’ Pension Insurance

Carry out the necessary withdrawal procedures at the relevant National Pension and National Health Insurance counters at your local ward office/city hall.
If you have Employees’ Pension Insurance, ask at your company how to cancel it.
In the case people who are not Japanese nationals are disqualified from the National Pension or Employees’ Pension Insurance system and leave Japan, , they can apply to receive lump-sum payments of National Pension or Employees’ Pension Insurance within 2 years of leaving Japan.

9.Tax (Residence tax, Income tax)

Residence Tax

All people in Japan regardless of nationality are taxed by their city of residence as of January 1. You must pay your taxes even if you are moving or returning home in the middle of the fiscal year.  In the case yoVarious Allowances, Medical Subsidiesu are returning home, you should provide notification about a person who will pay your residence tax on your behalf to your local ward office/city hall. For those who may be double taxed, inquire at the district tax office of your local ward office/city hall to discuss how to avoid duplicate payments.

Income Tax

Different procedures will need to be taken depending on the timing of your departure from Japan, and whether or not your income tax is deducted from your salary. To find out more, be sure to talk to the relevant personnel at your company. For other queries, call the National Tax Agency.

English service available

This agency accepts questions about national tax (income tax) from foreigners living in Japan.

10. Various Allowances, Medical Subsidies

When leaving Japan, you will need to ask your local ward office/city hall to stop any payments such as these, and follow the necessary procedures.

11. How to Dispose of Waste

If you have any large garbage items to dispose of such as furniture or bedding, please confirm the necessary procedures at your local ward office/city hall.

12. Check Route to Airport

If you are not familiar with your route to the airport you will be departing from, be sure to plan it beforehand.
You may be able to reserve an express train or limousine bus in advance.

13. Return of Residence Card

When leaving Japan, you return the residence card at immigration offices of airports.

14. Customs Procedure

If you are taking items (foreign products such as watches, cash or other items valued at more than 1 million yen, and/or Duty Free items) out of Japan, you will need to follow the necessary procedures at the airport.

  • Reference:
  • Kobe International Center for Cooperation and Communication, Kobe Living Guide
  • Tokyo International Communication Committee, Comprehensive Living Guide for Foreign Residents in Japan
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, To foreign residents, note that if a foreign resident moves to a different municipality (city/ward/town/village), he/she must report his/her move out to their former municipal office, and report his/her entry to their new municipal office.

Edited by NTT TownPage
(Updated in October 2017)