Major amendment to Japanese rules for dependent family member health care coverage and spousal pension eligibility

Jackson Sogo (Japanese Gyoseishoshi Law Office) – Client Alert

Area: Family Law

The Japanese Health Insurance Law, which has until now allowed dependent family members outside of Japan to receive health insurance benefits, has been amended to limit benefits to those dependents residing in Japan. Spouses wishing to draw pension as a “Category 3 Insured Person” will also have to reside in Japan to be eligible to receive pension.

The amendment takes effect in April 2020 and is meant to curb potential abuse of the health care and pension systems by the growing number of foreigners in Japan, although the changes apply to foreigners and Japanese alike. Certain exceptions are made for students studying abroad and accompanying family members living abroad on a temporary overseas assignment.

Japanese residents with dependent family members residing outside of Japan will want to carefully consider how these changes may impact them and plan accordingly.

* Jackson Sogo ( is a Japanese gyoseishoshi law office offering a wide range of Japanese corporate, immigration and family law services to clients in native English. The information provided within this client alert is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Copyright Jackson Sogo. All rights reserved.