presents the TEFL teacher with a unique combination of Unions representing some
teachers and fighting to improve their working conditions, alongside a series
of Court cases bought by TEFL teachers. It is clear that Japan is at the forefront
of ground breaking developments that will eventually permeate across the TEFL
profession in both Korea and China. The
TEFL professional can find a wealth of on-line information relating to teaching
Fact Book http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ja.html
One Union predominantly
fighting to better teacher's conditions is the Education
Workers and Amalgamated Union Osaka. EWA. Their home page gives recourse to
the various programs they are or have undertaken in an effort to promote teacher's
is currently holding negotiations with one major university that employs its members.
The union members have not signed contracts presented to them by the university
because the Union has not agreed to the introduction of the contract system. The
reason the Union does not agree with the contract is that the contract states
explicitly the term of employment. In Japan a one year contract (regardless of
written of verbal) is transferred into a permanent contract where it has been
renewed several times,( by court precedent.) Thus the Union prefers a verbal contract
because the term of employment is not clear . The Union members in this university
hitherto had not received written contract, so some of them enjoy 'permanent contracts'
per se. The introduction of a contract system may cause a teacher trouble as the
contract will ultimately terminate his/her employment at the end of the contract,
as the Regulation for Part-time Lecturer of Kwansei Gakuin Article 2 emphasizes.
Berlitz Union is
another union striving on behalf of its membership to secure improved conditions.
Berlitz is a language provider and publishing company http://www.berlitz.com.
It is based all over the world and has approximately 1000 employees tin total
in Japan . The Berlitz Union website represents the interests of three separate
regional Berlitz Unions based in Kanto (Berlitz
General Union - Tokyo), Kansai and Tokai (General Union - Berlitz Branch)
and Fukuoka (Fukuoka General Union - Berlitz Branch). The Berlitz Unions are all
affiliated to the National Union of General Workers (Zenrokyo). Our affiliation
to the same union body maintains our close links.
Useful Legal Information for Japan
Trade Union Act
Law Specific FAQs
Immigration Control Act
I work for a Japanese company in Japan. Although I
have a fair knowledge of America's labor laws, I'm not familiar with Japan's.
Do the labor laws here cover foreigners, regardless of nationality?
As a rule, Japanese laws cover foreigners who work for Japanese companies in Japan,
regardless of their nationality.
The Constitution states that there shall
be no discrimination because of race. The Labor Standards Law also prohibits employers
from discriminating against employees with regard to wages, working hours or other
working conditions, regardless of race, color, creed, social status or family
origin. All foreign workers in Japan are protected by the following labor laws;
the Labor Standards Law (Rodo Kijun-ho), the Minimum Wages Law (Saitei Chingin-ho),
the Workers' Accident Compensation Insurance Law (Rodosha Saigai Hosho Hoken-ho),
and the Equal Opportunity Law (Danjo koyo Kikai Kinto-ho). Even illegal (non-documented)
foreign workers are covered by Japanese Labor laws; the Labor Ministry announced
in 1989 that "Japanese labor laws protect all people working in Japan, regardless
of their nationality or visa status."
Standards Laws (Equal Treatment)
3. An employer shall not engage in discriminatory treatment with respect
to wages, working hours or other working conditions by reason of the nationality,
creed or social status of any worker.
All articles hereinafter are extracted from the Labor Standards Law unless stated
For the purpose of working in Japan, I signed a contract
with a Japanese company in England.
Which law covers my contract, English
You can choose which law your contract will be based on. If neither you nor your
employer designated which law applied, the contract is subject to the laws of
the nation where the contract was signed. If the contract refers to the nation
to which the contract belongs, there is no problem. Even if it is not written
in the contract, it is enough when parties to the contract agree that there was
a consensus on the matter. It could be a problem if you and your employer made
a contract without designating which nation's law governs the contract, and now
disagree on this point. I assume your contract stipulates that you will work in
Japan. In such cases, it is often considered that you have agreed to work under
Japanese laws unless there was an exceptional accord that it should fall under
I don't understand what the Japanese think about contracts.
My employer doesn't want to conclude a labor contract with me.
Many Japanese employers are not accustomed to the idea of contracts,
and they think that concluding a formal contract is being somewhat "mizukusai
(stand-offish)". They prefer verbal agreements relying on the consensus that
has built up in the company over the years. Employers here tend to think that
a written form of contract is unnecessary among people who trust each other, such
as among family members. That is why some employers are unwilling to clarify things
in a contract or are upset when foreigners insist on a contract. However, a contract
is essential when the parties are of different cultures. In order to prevent future
problems, it is important that everything you discuss with your employer should
be included in your contract. The Labor Standards Law stipulates in Article
15 that an employer shall clarify the wages, working hours and other working
conditions for employees when making out a labor contract. The Labor Ministry
has given guidance that an employer shall provide a notice of employment to a
foreign employee, to avoid problems over working conditions after employment.
I'm from Canada. I've been working for a Japanese
company for more than a year. I find that the working conditions here are different
from those stated in the contract, and I want to change my job. My contract specifies,
however, that I should work for the company for at least three years. Is it possible
for me to quit?
To protect employees from having to work against their will, the Labor
Standards Law (Rodo Kijun-ho) prohibits contracts of over one year, except those
which require a definite period for the completion of a specific project, such
as the construction of a building. Even if a contract-other than those of specified
length-stipulates a required work period of over one year, it is valid for only
one year. Thus, if you have a standard contract, you can quit any time, as you
have been working for over a year. If you want to avoid to be in trouble with
your employer, you should confirm the rules of employment (Shugyo Kisoku) of your
company. When there are no rules of employment in your company, you only need
to give your employer two weeks' notice of your intention to quit. You said your
working conditions violate your contract. If this is true, you can leave the company
immediately without giving notice. This is a right guaranteed by the Labor Standards
(Period of Contract)
14. Labor contracts, excluding those without a definite period, and excepting
those providing that the period shall be the period necessary for completion of
a specified project, shall not be concluded for a period longer than one year.
(Request for Cancellation)
Law Article 627. (1)When the parties have concluded a contract without
a specified period of employment, either party is entitled to request that the
other party cancel the contract at any time. In this case, employment will be
terminated two weeks after either party has requested cancellation of the contract
by the other party.
I am working at an English language school on a one-year
contract. Asked by my friend to work at another language school, I am thinking
of changing my job. My contract says, however, that I must pay a penalty amounting
of twice my monthly salary if I quit during the contract period. Must I really
In order to protect employees from being forced to work, the Labor Standard Law
(Rodo Kijun-ho) states, "An employer shall not make a contract which fixes
in advance either a sum payable to the employer for breach of contract or the
amount of indemnity for damages." Therefore, the penalty stared in your contract
is invalid. However, if your employer incurs damages due to your departure, he/she
can claim for the damages. In such a case, your employer is required to prove
that damages were indeed incurred and were caused by your resignation. In your
case, your reason to quit your job does not seem to be unavoidable and, therefore,
you are responsible for breaking the contract. The Labor Standard Law allows employers
to cut wages as a sanction against employees who, for example, break their contract,
do not show up for work without prior notice, or often come to the office late.
The Labor Standard Law also stipulates that if an employer cuts your pay, the
reduction must be less than half your daily wage and the total amount of the pay-cut
cannot exceed 10 percent of the total wages for a single pay period. We understand
that sanctions such as wage reduction can be stipulated in the rules of employment
of the company, and therefore, you need not lose any money unless these rules
(Ban on Predetermined Indemnity)
Article 16. An employer shall not make a contract
which fixes in advanced either a sum payable to the employer for breach of contract
or the amount of indemnity for damages.
on Sanction Provisions)
In the event the rules of employment provide for a decrease in wages as a sanction
against an employee, the amount of decrease for a single occasion shall not exceed
one-half of the daily average wage, and the total amount of decrease shall not
exceed 10 percent of the total wages for a single pay period.
My school does not provide as many teaching hours
as promised in the contract, and I would like to take a part time job during my
free time. But my contract prohibits me from doing so.
What should I do ?
Prohibition of part-time work is a common feature of employment contracts. The
purpose of such rules is to protect the health of workers who might otherwise
continue to engage in strenuous work without taking necessary time off to rest.
The employer's obvious concern is that the part-time job might interfere with
the main job. Other reasons for such restrictions include keeping a company's
business confidential and maintaining discipline.
Despite these reasons,
however, regulations on how an employee uses his/her free time should be kept
to a minimum. In the case of an employee who, without the permission of his/her
employer, bought a truck and started making deliveries of earth and sand for another
company, arbitration upheld the disciplinary dismissal of the employee. In another
case, an employee worked two or three hours a day for about ten days. This minimum
level of work neither disturbed the company disciplinary dismissal was not considered
appropriate. In many cases involving contracts for language instructors, it has
been observed that a fixed number of teaching hours are guaranteed after establishing
a salary. By making this type of contract, the employer guarantees working hours
and minimum wages. An employer's failure to provide fixed working hours as stated
in the contract is considered the same as intentional negligence or breach of
faith in terms of the contract. In such a case, an employee can claim for the
full payment of wages for the fixed working hours stated in the contract (Paragraph
2, Article 536, Civil Law). If you have difficulty making a claim against
an employer, you should be paid 60 percent of your average wages (Article
26, Labor Standards Law). But the other problem remains; If a language
instructor receives neither the guaranteed working hours nor enough wages to live
on, he/she needs to find additional work,does this go against the terms of the
As explained above, with respect to an employee's private time,
an employer should allow him/her to continue a part-time job with consideration
of the minimum working hours. If the employer cannot provide fixed working hours
as written in the contract, he/she cannot expect to have the right to impose any
penalty on the employee.
(Allowance for Business
Article 26. In the event
of suspension of business for reasons attributable to the employer, the employer
shall pay an allowance equal to at least 60 percent of the average wage to each
employee during the period of business suspension.
My employer often says it is in the rules of employment
(Shugyo Kisoku) when ever I ask about my working conditions. The small booklet
of employment rules is distributed to every employee, but I cannot read it because
it is in Japanese. Can I ask my employer to translate it into English?
Companies with 10 or more employees are required to draw up rules of
employment and to submit them to the Labor Standards Inspection Office.
rules of employment must clearly state working hours, day-off, leave, wages and
matters concerning retirement. For retirement allowances, eligibility and the
methods of calculation and payment should also be stipulated. If there are bonuses,
accident compensation or health and safety schemes for employees, employers must
make these clear in the rules of employment. The Labor Standard Law (Rodo Kijun-ho)
requires employers to post the rules of employment in a prominent place and make
them understandable to the employees. You may request, and your employer is expected
to provide, an English version of the rules of employment.
for Drawing Up and Submitting)
89. An employer who employs ten or more workers shall draw up rules of
employment on the following items and shall submit those rules of employment to
the administrative office. If the employer alters the following items, the same
1. matters pertaining to the time
work begins and ends, rest periods, rest days and leave, and matters pertaining
to a change of shifts;
2. matters pertaining
to the methods for determination, computation and payment of wages (excluding
extraordinary wages and the like; hereinafter in this item the same qualification
shall apply); the dates for closing accounts for wages and for payment of wages;
and increases in wages;
3. matters pertaining
3-2. if there are stipulations
for retirement allowances, matters pertaining to the range of employees covered;
methods for determination, computation and payment of retirement allowances and
the dates for payment of retirement allowances;
if there are stipulation for extraordinary wages and the like (but excluding retirement
allowances) and/or minimum wage amounts, matters pertaining to such items;
5. if there are stipulations for having employees
bear the cost of food, supplies for work or other such expenses, matters pertaining
to such items.
(Dissemination of Laws and Regulations)
Article 106. The employer shall make known
to the employees the gist of this law, and ordinances issued under this law and
the rules of employment, by displaying or posting them at all times in a conspicuous
location or locations in the workplace, or by other methods.
I'm teaching English under a one-year contract. The
contract states that I must give my employer three months' notice before quitting.
Is there a law on this in Japan?
The Labor Standard Law (Rodo Kijun-ho) does not specify any notification
period. The Civil Law (Mim-po), however, stipulates that you must give your employer
two week's notice of your intention to resign if your contract has been fixed
without a specified period (Article 627, Civil Law).
Since your contract specifies the term of service, you are subject to the contract
unless there are special "unavoidable reasons" (Article
628, Civil Law). You might encounter legal problems if you quit without
giving your employer three months' advance notice. Violation of the contract by
your employer or circumstances that have arisen which are beyond your control
are sufficient justification for you to cancel the contract. If you fail to give
three months' advance notice and quit without good reason, your employer may claim
damages from you for breach of contract. Contract negotiations should include
the notification period, which employers tend to make long because of the cost
of recruiting foreigners and the difficulty of filling vacancies. However, the
notification period should not be longer than is necessary, as this puts constrains
on the employee. You should discuss the notification period with your employer
before signing the contract.
(Request for Cancellation)
Civil Law Article 627.
When the parties have concluded a contract without a specified period of employment,
either party is entitled to request that the other party cancel the contract at
any time. In this case, employment will be terminated two weeks after either party
has requested cancellation of the contract by the other party.
When the contract specifies the period of employment and wages, either party is
entitled to request that the other party cancel the contract for the second and
later terms, provided, however, that such a request is made in the former half
of the current term.
(3) When the contract
specifies a period of employment of six months or more and wages, the party wishing
to cancel the contract shall request the other party to do so three months in
(Cancellation of a Contract for some
Civil Law Article 628.
Even if the parties have concluded a contract with a specified period of employment,
either party is entitled to cancel the contract in unavoidable circumstances.
However, if these circumstances are the fault of the canceling party only, he/she
shall be liable for damages suffered by the other party.
As a result of a dispute with my employer over working
condition, I decided to leave the company. I then asked the employer to pay the
necessary travel expenses for me to return home, according to the terms of the
contract. But the employer told me that he could not pay those expenses before
the contract expired. The contract states that the employer shall bear the necessary
travel expenses for the employee. How should this be understood ?
For a foreign employee, travel necessary to return home is very expensive. The
basic principle is the same as for Japanese employees, who are expected to be
transferred to other branches inside Japan. Under the Law, there is no rational
reason for foreigners to be discriminated against.
All employee should be
treated equally. According to Article 15 paragraph(2)
in the Labor Standards Law, "If the working condition as clearly stated
under the provisions of the paragraph(1) differ from actual fact, the employee
may immediately cancel the labor contract".
Paragraph(3) states, "In
a case under paragraph(2), if an employee who has changed his/her residence for
work returns home within 14 days from the date of cancellation, the employer shall
bear the necessary travel expenses for the employee." The above can apply
to all foreign employees.
Regarding your question involving a dispute over
working conditions, if the actual conditions differ from those stated in the contract,
the law cited above will apply if you return home within 14 days.
such a case, the employee can claim the necessary travel expenses based on the
Labor Standards Law. In a case where Article 15
does not apply in a dispute over working conditions, there will be a question
of interpretation as to whether the employer is responsible for travel expenses.
If the part of the contract's paragraph stating that "the employer shall
bear the necessary travel expenses when the employee returns home" clearly
specifies the circumstances under which the employee is returning home, there
will be no misunderstanding between the two parties. If the contract stipulates,
however, that travel expenses are covered under any conditions, then the employer
must pay those expenses to the employee even before the expiration of the contract.
When the employer wishes to bear the travel expenses at the end of the contract,
the contract should be clearly written to that effect. In any case, once the employer
promises in the contract to pay travel expenses, he/she cannot refuse to pay.
That way, the employee can claim travel expenses for returning home only according
to the terms of the contract.
of Working Conditions)
(1) In concluding a labor contract, the
employer shall clearly state the wages, working hours and other working conditions
to the employee. Matters concerning wages shall be clearly stated in the manner
prescribed by ordinance.
(2) If the working
conditions as clearly stated under the provisions of the preceding paragraph differ
from actual fact, the employee may immediately cancel the Labor contract.
(3) In a case under the preceding paragraph, if
an employee who has changed his/her residence for work returns home within 14
days from the date of cancellation, the employer shall bear the necessary travel
expenses for the employee.
My employer cut my wages. When I was paid only half
of the wages outlined on the contract, I asked for an explanation. He remarked
only that my work was unsatisfactory. He said I made a lot of mistakes and was
often late. Is it legal for an employer to cut wages for such reasons ?
Basically it is illegal for an employer not to pay an employee the wages specified
on the contract. Also, an employer is not allowed, according to the Labor Standards
Law, to make a contract forcing an employee in advance to account for a loss incurred
on the job. Accordingly, if an employer has a claim for damages (limited to damages
caused intentionally and/or by malpractice), he/she must consider it separately
from wages. For absence or lateness, wages may be reduced according to the rule
of employment. Another case in which a reduction of wages is sanctioned is after
several occurrences of an employee being late. This would be stipulated in the
contract. In this case as stated in Q5, the amount of wage reduction should not
be more than half the daily wage for a single violation, or more than one tenth
of the monthly wages for all violations.
I came to Japan on a tourist visa. On pay day, my
employer did not pay me even half of the wages called for in my contract. Can
an illegal foreign employee like me request payment of unpaid wages ?
non-documented (illegal) worker" is not condoned but even so, you have the
right to receive your full wages as per the agreement with your employer.
The Labor Standards Law stipulates in Article 24 that the employer must pay you
your full salary or wages in cash on a specified date at least once a month.
Actually, however, it is true that illegal foreign employees hardly ever claim
by due process the right to be paid wages, for fear they may be deported because
they overstayed their visa. In fact, there are some abusive employers who exploit
this. To prevent this illegal exploitation, the Labor Ministry has issued a circular
saying that the Ministry will uphold the rights of illegal employees under the
Labor Standards Law, without reporting such employees to ask the related administrative
organizations for assistance so ask to be paid the full amount of wages by the
employer. Recently there have been increased advisory services in foreign languages
for foreign employees provided by various organizations. Also the services provided
by the Labor Standards Inspection offices and Labor Administrations offices in
the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are helpful on this kind of problem.
the amount of unpaid salary or wages is small, it would be better if you use an
advisory service provided by administrative organizations.
If the amount owing
is large and you also have other problems, you can consult a lawyer or a labor
union which you join as an individual, especially in cases where there appears
to be a big problem between you and your employer which accordingly needs a lot
of time to reach an agreement.
I hear that it is illegal for an employer to employ
someone for wages less than the amount fixed by the minimum wages fixing system
in Japan. What is the minimum wages system ? Dose it apply to foreign employees
Under the minimum wages fixing system the government sets the minimum wages. An
employer is obliged to pay wages more than the amount set by the Minimum Wages
Law. The Minimum Wages Law apples to all employees and all employers who employ
one or more employees, regardless of employment status, sex or nationality. Accordingly,
all foreign employees, including non-documented (illegal) workers, are covered
by the law.
There are some cases, however, in which an employer may exclude
the employees listed below, with the permission of the Chief of the Labor Standards
The minimum wages amount is fixed according to the normal working
hours or working days, and concretely as a basic salary excluding bonuses and
additional allowance for overtime, night shifts, duty on rest days, non-absence
service, commuting and family. There are two types of minimum wage; regional minimum
wages applicable to all employers and employees; industrial minimum wages applicable
only to employers and employees in particular industries. There are fixed according
to the region and type of industry and are revised yearly.
According to my contract, my daily working hours end
at 5 p.m. However, at 5 o'clock hardly any of the Japanese workers leave their
desks. What does the relevant Japanese law say about working hours and overtime
The Labor Standards Law stipulate that an employer shall not force employees to
work more than 8 hours a day, excluding rest period, or 40 hours a week (Article
32). An exception to this is that certain industries, depending on their
size or type, are allowed to keep 44 working hours while in the transition period
of changing to a 40-hour working week. Moreover, the pattern of working hours
in Japan has been getting more complicated since the introduction of flexible
working hours. Under the system, the pattern of working hours can be set flexibly
depending on how the working is going.
An employer is allowed to extend working
hours longer than stipulated in Article 32
if he/she concludes a written agreement with a trade union or representative of
majority of employees.
The law stipulates:
If an employee works more than 8 hours per days, or 40 hours per week, he/she
shall paid 125 percent or more of the hourly wage for each hour of overtime.
If an employee works between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.,the hourly wage shall
be 125 percent or more of the daytime hourly wage.
If an employee works overtime
and continues to work after 10 p.m., he/she is entitled to 150 percent or more
of the daytime hourly wage for each hour he/she works after 10 p.m.
employee works on rest days, the hourly wage shall be 135 percent or more of the
normal hourly wage.
It is common knowledge that "karo-shi (death from
overwork)" has been the object of public concern, and yet, a reduction in
the current legally-set working hours has not been wide-spread.
One of the
reasons for this may be that employees think that if they leave the the office
right after 5 o'clock it will have negative consequence on their job performance
An employer shall not employ an employee more than 40 hours a week, excluding
(2) An employer shall not employ
an employ an employee more than 8 hours a day, excluding rest period, for each
day of the week.
What does the relevant law say about vacation policies
in Japan ?
The Labor Standard Law stipulates that annual paid holidays are granted to employees
at any time of their own choice to ensure a healthy and agreeable life. Paid holidays
are granted to employees who have worked for 6 consecutive months and had at least
80 percent attendance. In such cases, an employer, who employs one or more employees,
should grant employees an annual holiday of 10 consecutive working days or the
same divided into parts. When an employee takes a paid holiday, he/she should
be automatically paid a sum equivalent to his/her average or regular wages for
the period of the holidays as stipulated by the Labor Standards Law. An employee
is free to use 10 days paid holiday consecutively or divided into parts. The number
of days holiday increases by one each year up to 20, if an employee remains working
in the same company.
Unused days of paid holiday can be added to the following
year's holiday (within two years). An employee can take days of holiday whenever
he/she wants. A company, however, is allowed to change an employee's vacation
to another time, if the vacation would interfere with the company's normal operation.
When employees work less than 4 days per week or work on unit periods of
other than a week and the number of days worked is between 48 and 216, paid holiday
is calculated and granted to employees pro rata and subject to the conditions
in the ordinance.
However, employees work more than 35 hours per week are
excluded. If such employees work for 6 consecutive months, an employer should
grant them 10 days paid holiday.
(1) An employer shall grant an annual paid holiday
of 10 consecutive working days or the same divided into parts to employees who
have been employed for 6 consecutive months and who had at least 80 percent attendance.
(2) An employer shall increase the annual paid
holiday by one day per year for each year of continuous service after the initial
6 months (see the chart below). However, if the amount of annual paid holiday
accrued exceeds 20 days, the employer is not required to grant or pay for any
days over 20.
An employer shall grant paid holidays as stipulated in the three preceding paragraphs
during the period required by the employee. However, if this prevents the normal
operation of the enterprise, the employer is authorized to change the holiday
I am working for a Japanese company. I hear that every
working woman has the right to take days off before and after childbirth, thereafter
for infant-care in Japan. Dose this apply to a foreign employee under a one-year
employment contract ? How about male employees ?
The Labor Standards Law stipulates in Article
65 that if a woman who is expected to give birth requests maternity leave,
the employer shall give her 6 weeks (or 14 weeks in the case of twins or more)
off before childbirth. The employer is not allowed to employ a woman within 8
weeks after childbirth; if, however, a woman requests so to return to work 6 weeks
after childbirth, the employer may allow her to resume her duties if a doctor
confirms that they will not adversely affect her. This applies to foreign employees
as well. Regardless of nationality, every employee has the right to take childcare
leave. However, Article 2 in the Childcare
Leave Law restricts workers' eligibility; employees who are employed on a daily
basis and employees who are employed for a fixed period are excluded. This means
that employees who are employed for a fixed period of less than one year are not
entitled to take childcare leave.
If an employee has concluded a contract
of unspecified length, with one month's advance notice, she is entitled to take
childcare time any day during the period from the approved date to the day before
the infant's first birthday. If an employee has been employed consecutively for
more than one year by several renewals and is regarded as an employee under continuous
employment, she may have the right to take childcare leave. A female employee
has the right to take 8 weeks of maternity leave, and if she wishes, she can take
childcare leave after 8 weeks of maternity leave. A male employee cannot take
maternity leave, but in some circumstances he can take childcare leave immediately
after child is born while his wife is on maternity leave. If a female employee
works while raising an infant under the age of one full year, she may take at
least 30 minutes childcare time, twice a day according to Article
67 of the Labor Standards Law. there are a lot of employees who use this
time before and after work in order to take their infant to a day-care center
or similar. there are no rules on wages during absence from work on maternity
leave, and therefore, each company needs to stipulate in the rules of employment
or similar whether it is paid during absence. In the case of unpaid maternity
leave, if an employee has been insured for a period of one year or more, and so
request, during absence, the employee can receive 30% of the total wages for the
pay period immediately before absence on maternity leave. When an employee returns
to work and so requests, she can get a lump sum payment of 10% of the total wages
for the period of absence. This can not be claimed until after the employee has
been payment of Social Insurance only if she applies before taking maternity leave.
My employer fired me, saying that I was not a hard
worker. I've heard that an employer can't dismiss someone without a valid reason.
What are valid reasons?
As you say, employers can't dismiss workers without a valid reason,
but it is difficult to draw a line between what is valid and what is not, as there
aren't any laws which stipulate criteria for dismissal. However, past court cases
may give you a rough idea. The court ruled that dismissal was fair in the following
When an employee; hit his boss / neglected his duty due to frequent
lateness / joined a company that requires its employees to have a certain educational
background by lying about his personal history / undermined his employer's trust
in him because of a constant uncooperative attitude
On the other hand,
the court ruled that dismissal was unfair and invalid in the following cases;
When an employee, refused to follow his employer's instructions because they
were not written in the contract / (a female) got married / went for job interviews
at other companies / had a poor attitude towards customers, but neither neglected
his duties nor made any big mistakes.
Judging from those cases, your
dismissal was unfair and invalid, unless, of course, your employer can point to
facts that clearly show you were a lazy worker.
I was fired over a dispute about working conditions.
Although I have not agreed with being dismissed this way, my employer also told
me to move out of the apartment provided by the company, as required by the contract.
Do I have to leave the apartment now ? If so, I will have to find another place.
What should I do ?
When an apartment is contracted by a company, the civil laws are applied
differently depending on whether it is provided free or is leased.
the former cases is covered by the provisions in Article
593 of Civil Law, and the latter by Article
601 of the Civil Law. However, if the rent is extremely low, there will
be some question as to whether the latter case applies.
If you have a rent-free
apartment, you are required under the terms of worker-as-tenant to give up the
apartment on the day specified in the contract (Article
The employer has demanded that you move out of the
apartment at the time of your dismissal. If you do not comply with that demand,
your employer could possibly take to matter to court.
On the other hand, a
lease contract with a company is governed by Article
28 of the Land and Building Act. According to the act, in order to end
a lease relationship, an employer as a landlord is required to give notice to
an employee, with a justifiable reason. When the lease has a specified period,
the landlord should give advance notice of 6 months to one year and should clearly
tell the employee that he/she does not intend to renew the lease contract.
Also, with a lease that has no specified duration, advance notice to vacate
the property of at least 6 months is required. Therefore, even if it is stated
in a contract that the employee shall move out immediately upon dismissal, such
requirement is totally contrary to the Land and Building Act (Article
30, Land and Building Act, or Article 6, former Land and Building Act).
The landlord can never make a tenant leave by force. In the case of a company
house, the argument often turns on whether it is provided free or is leased. The
court rules that each case should be carefully considered under its own merits.
Since the situation that arise are not always typical, the right decision is not
easily reached. Therefore, it is recommended that further discussion is needed
between you and your employer and that your landlord should wait until you find
another place to live.
I was fired when the plant where I worked closed down. My employer simply told
me not to come anymore as there would be nothing to do. He said that he had to
close the factory because of the deepening recession. Can an employer dismiss
employees without advance notice ?
Article 20 of the Labor Standard Law(Rodo Kijun-ho)
requires an employer to give employees at least 30 day's advance notice before
If an employer fails to do so he/she must pay employees at least
30 days' wages. However, there are some exceptions. An employer can dismiss an
employee under the following circumstances without advance notice, but he/she
must report his/her action to the Labor Standard Inspection Office:
the business was suspended because of a natural disaster or some other unavoidable
reason, such as fire destroying business premises, or legal business suspension;
If the dismissal is attributable to the employee; e.g. dishonesty, vandalism,
and so on. However, business suspension because of financial difficulties or a
business decline are not regarded as unavoidable reasons, in which case you can
request 30 days' wages. Moreover, employees who are employed on a daily basis
and are employed on consecutive days for one month or less are not covered by
this clause. In general, employees who are employed for a fixed period of not
longer than two months, seasonally employed for a fixed period of not longer than
4 months, and those who are on a 14 day-period of probation, are not covered by
this clause, either.
(Notice of Dismissal)
If an employer wishes to dismiss an employee, the employer shall provide at least
30 days' advance notice. An employer who does not give 30 days' advance notice
shall pay the average wages for the number of days short of 30 days. However,
this shall not apply if continuance of the enterprise has been made impossible
by a natural disaster or other unavoidable cause, nor when an employee is dismissed
for reasons attributable to him/her.
number of days of notice under the preceding paragraph may be reduced if an employer
pays the average wage for each day by which the period is reduced.
21. The provisions of the preceding Article shall not apply to any employees
coming under one of the following items; provided, however, that this shall not
be the case with respect to an employee coming under item 1 who has been employed
consecutively for more than one month, an employee coming under either item 2
or 3 who has been employed consecutively for more than the period set forth in
each of these items respectively, nor an employee coming under item 4 who has
been employed consecutively for more than 14 days;
employees who are
employed on a daily basis
employees who are employed for a fixed period of
not longer than two months
employees who are employed in seasonal work for
a fixed period of not longer than 4 months
employees on a probationary period
I suffered a broken leg when I dropped a steel rod
on my leg while working at a construction site. The next day my employer fired
me, saying that I would not be able to work. He said he was authorized to dismiss
me because the accident was my fault.
In your case, your employer cannot fire you. The Labor Standards Law prohibits
an employer from dismissing an employee while the employee is on sick leave to
undergo medical treatment for a job-related illness or injury. Also, an employer
cannot fire an employee within 30 days of returning to work (Article
19) The Labor Ministry gives directions that an employer should do his/her
best to help such employee return to work place; for working hours for a period
of medical treatment and gradually return him/her to the normal work level without
difficulty. However, there is an event that an employee is unable returning to
work for 3 years after an accident. Then, the Labor Standards Law no longer protects
the employee in case of that he/she receives Discontinuance Compensation or Physical
Handicap Compensation Pension (Article 75,81, Labor
Standards Law; Article 19, Workers' Accident Compensation Insurance Law).
My employer has not paid me nor has he given me the
holidays promised before I came to Japan. We haven't reached an agreement yet
despite several discussions. I'd like to organize a labor union to better negotiate
with the company for foreign colleagues as well as myself. What do I have to do
to organize a labor union ?
Even foreign employees have the right to organize a labor union, bargain collectively
and go on strike. These rights are guaranteed by the Constitution of Japan for
every employee, regardless of nationality. In addition, the Labor Unions Law safeguards
against unfair labor practices and provides a labor committee system to affirm
the rights of workers. It also provides for the requirements of a labor union
that can be protected by the law.
According to the law, a labor union
shall be; an organization formed substantially by employees, / independent of
the employer, and an organization that operates in a democratic manner (in terms
of the operation of the union itself as well).
If such requirements are
properly met, a labor union can make its presence known, and there is no need
to be authorized by any civil authority or report thereto. A labor union as such
shall have at least two members. Most Japanese labor unions are company ones,
but there are no legal regulations outlining how a labor union may be formed.
Consequently, employees may organize a labor union by region, occupation, or by
affiliated companies. A labor union shall have the right to bargain collectively
with the company for which its members work, regardless of the number of members.
There is no system in Japan like the exclusive negotiation representative system
in the United States of America (where only a labor union that has a majority
of employees is endowed with the right to bargain collectively).
Unions Law (Labor Unions)
2. Labor unions under the present law shall be those organizations, or
federations thereof, formed autonomously and substantially by employees for the
main purpose of maintaining and improving working conditions and for raising the
economic status of employees.
I am a student at a Japanese language school. I work
at a restaurant almost every day to supplement my income. My hourly payment was
initially \800, and the employer promised to give me a raise sooner or later,
but he has not raised my salary at all so far. I was not able to discuss it well
with my employer because I could not make myself understood in Japanese. Although
this concerns only me, would I be able to get any support from a labor union ?
Although you are staying in Japan with a "student" resident
status, as long as you work, you are, of course, under the protection of the labor
laws, and you can expect support from a labor union.The simplest way is to join
a joint labor union, which you can join as an individual, and negotiate with your
employer through the union. There are not many joint labor unions in Japan now,
but it is not unusual for a joint labor union to provide a labor advisory service
to an individual who does not belong to the union, and find a solution to the
problem together after he/she joins the union.
If you need more detailed information,
please go to a joint labor union for a consultation. As mentioned earlier, a labor
union has the right to bargain collectively with the company for which a union
mender is working, regardless of the number of members.
This means that
even if you are the sole member of your company who belongs to the labor union,
the union can bargain collectively with the company for you. If this is the case,
a company is legally obliged to satisfy a request for collective bargaining from
the union. If the company refuses without any fair and appropriate reason, it
will constitute an unfair labor practice by the employer. This will be more favorable
to the employee than if he/she negotiates with the company by himself/herself.
If an employer treats an employee disadvantageously by dismissal or reducing his/her
wages because the employee has joined a labor union, this also constitutes an
unfair labor practice. If an employer commits an unfair labor practice like this,
the labor union or a member employee will be entitled to complain against such
an unfair labor practice to the Labor Relations Commission. The Labor Relations
Commission will then make inquiries into, and consider the matter. If the commission
finds the labor practices in question to be unfair, it will issue an order to
protect the employee. In addition to this, the labor committee is supposed to
act positively as a third party to solve labor disputes by reconciliation, mediation
Labor Unions Law (Unfair
Article 7. An employer
shall be forbidden to carry out the following practices;
or discriminate against an employee by reason of his/her being a member of a labor
union, having tried to join or organize a labor union, or having performed official
acts of a labor union; or to make it a condition of employment that the employee
must not join or must withdraw from a labor union; (A provisory clause is omitted.)
to refuse collective bargaining with the representative of an employee or
employees by an employer without fair and appropriate reason;
or interfere with the formation or management of a labor union by employees or
to give financial support thereto in defraying the labor union's operational expenditure.
(A provisory clause is omitted.)
Please explain in detail how the insurance plan can
be used when a foreign employee has an accident at work.
The level of medical coverage for industrial injury to an employee is the same
for foreigners and Japanese. Because of language difficulties, however, a foreign
employee might experience unexpected problems. You should be aware of the following
important points so that you can exercise your full right:
To get appropriate medical treatment by the insurance plan, First, you must find
an appropriate hospital. This means that(a) it should be a hospital designated
to provide medical treatment under the benefits of Workers' Accident Compensation
Insurance, and(b) the hospital should have adequate facilities and doctors to
provide the varying levels of treatment necessary for sick and injured patients.
You must be very careful to choose the right hospital, because it has a tremendous
effect on the kind of medical treatment and compensation you will receive. Foreigner
facing such an important decision need help, because most do not know even the
name or location of a hospital. Therefore, it is necessary for those close to
them to give support in finding an appropriate hospital.
the case of an injury, a doctor has to be told as precisely as possible the circumstances
of the accident and current condition of the patient. Receiving appropriate medical
treatment depends on a high level of proficiency in Japanese in order to report
the details of the accident and resulting situation. To be sure that you receive
the right treatment, it is also essential to describe verbally your condition
and any symptoms such as pain, numbness, and so on, which only a patient can do.
Even for a minor injury, some conversation is necessary for a doctor to make a
diagnosis of the potential effect on the nervous system. Especially when determining
the possibility of internal injuries, a doctor must be able to converse with the
patient. At this time, if they cannot communicate well, wrong, or possibly poor
treatment may be given as a result of incorrect diagnosis. This will cause further
problems later in the course of the procedures required for receiving medical
2) The right procedures
for medical compensation benefits.
Should you become ill, it is very important
that your name and date of birth should be recorded accurately in medical records.
This avoids problems that might arise if you are not identified properly in the
future. There have often been cases when a person's common name is not the same
as the official name in a passport. There have also been instances in which person
who is taking care of the injured or sick person reports his/her common name incorrectly.
Further problems may result because a patient's name is written in katakana and
he/she cannot check it closely with the original. You should make every effort
to avoid such problems, and should make sure your name is correct, before initiating
procedures for obtaining medical compensation benefits.
In the case of medical treatment without this plan
There are many cases in
which medical cost benefits have not been obtained through Workers' Accident Compensation
Insurance: In the case of non-documented (illegal) employees, an employer does
not want to accept responsibility and thus tries to conceal the incident.Another
cases is where medical treatment is not carried out under the coverage of an insurance
plan, although the employer plans to enroll in Workers' Accident Compensation
Insurance for the future.
In any case where such compensation benefits
are not used, there is the question of who will cover the medical expenses.
An employee often uses either National Health Insurance or Employees' Health Insurance.
But most illegal employees are not enrolled in either kind of insurance plan,
and they have to pay their full expenses by themselves. In such cases, the cost
can be enormous, depending on the severity of the injury or illness. When hospitalization
is required, large medical bills can be expected. Because of uncertainty about
who will pay for these expenses, a hospital may refuse treatment.
instances that have come to the attention of the Labor Administration Division:
(a) An employee was given medical compensation by an employer at first but received
no further payment, and (b) although an employer paid for medical expenses, no
temporary disability benefit was given.
The only solution is for an employee
to be sure in advance that medical compensation benefits will be paid, or to request
that the employer assume all such obligations when a contract is concluded.
I quit my job immediately after I was involved in an accident at my work place.
Does Workers' Accident Compensation Insurance cover me ?
Yes, it does. The insurance covers you, even if you quit your job or are dismissed
by your employer. If the injury or illness attributed to your job becomes worse
and requires medical treatment some years later, your expenses will be covered,
also if you suffer a relapse. You should ask your former employer to sign your
compensation application form. Your employer may refuse to do so, saying your
illness or injury was not related to work. However, you can still submit the application
without your employer's signature. It is up to the Labor Standards Inspection
Office, not your employer, to judge whether or not your injury or illness deserves
compensation. It is you who submit the application, not your employer; and therefore,
it is important for you to do so by yourself and to wait for the judgement by
the office. You are expected to claim compensation within 2 years, and therefore,
you should apply for the insurance as soon as possible (Article
42, Workers' Accident Compensation Insurance Law).
Your employer cannot
dismiss you. The Labor Standards Law prohibits an employer from dismissing an
employee while the employee is no sick leave undergoing medical treatment for
a job-related illness or injury. The only exception is the case of an accident
(Restriction on Dismissal of
An employer shall not dismiss an employee during a period of rest for medical
treatment with respect to injuries or illnesses suffered in the course of duty
nor within 30 days thereafter, and shall not discharge a woman during a period
of rest before and after childbirth in accordance with the provisions of Article
65 nor within 30 days thereafter; however, this shall not apply if the
employer pays compensation for termination in accordance with Article
81 nor when the continuance of the enterprise has been made impossible
by a natural disaster or other unavoidable cause.
In the event of circumstances under the latter part of the proviso of the preceding
paragraph, the employer shall obtain the approval of the administrative office
with respect to the reason in question.
What is Employees' Health Insurance ? When a foreigner
wants to apply for this insurance, what are the conditions ?
Answer: When a employee needs medical treatment, Employees'
Health Insurance pays for medical fees and benefits for injury and sickness. The
financial resources are derived in principle from the employees and from subsidies
by the national government.
When you join Employees' Health Insurance, you
will be issued with a health insurance card. You should present it when you go
for treatment or consultation at a medical facility.
You will pay in
principle 20 percent of your doctor's bill in case of illness or injury. Benefits
vary according to the kind of insurance. Cash benefits are provided for injury,
sickness, or child-birth, during absence from work. Maternity allowance and funeral
expenses are also provided. Maternity allowance (the amount of allowance shall
be 60 percent of the insured person's daily standard remuneration during maternity
leave ), Lump-sum allowance for childbirth and nursing (300,000yen), Spouse's
lump-sum allowance for childbirth and nursing (if the dependant spouse of the
male gives birth to a baby, 300,000yen).
Those who are required to join
Employees' Health Insurance are employees who work regularly for a company, a
factory, etc., or at their respective places of work for an applicable enterprise
such as all organizations and corporations with 5 or more regular employees (excluding
farming, fisheries and the like), regardless of their nationality, position, and
sex. The monthly premiums of Health Insurance are determined in accordance with
the employees' wages, and are shared equally between the employer and the insured
person. As the employer must pay both the shared premiums together each month,
the employee's premium shall be deducted form his/her wages.
every foreign employee employed regularly by such employers is eligible for benefits
as the insured. On March 31, 1992, the Insurance Section of the Ministry of Health
and Welfare issued a notice about a new health insurance plan for foreign residents.
The details of its content are that "documented workers recognized by the
government including short-term employees are to be treated the same as Japanese".
According to the notice, Health Insurance benefits apply to foreign residents
based on the territorial principle. Regarding the insured, the notice does not
specify any nationalities but is restricted to "documented workers".
It may, therefore, become almost impossible for non-documented workers to be covered
by the insurance plan.
Under the Japanese social insurance system, those
who become insured persons under Employees' Health Insurance simultaneously have
to join Employees' Pension Insurance. Actually, however, only a few foreign employees
want to join Employees' Health Insurance. They say it is because those who have
no intention of residing in Japan for a long period have to give up the pension
insurance premiums that they pay.In April, 1995, therefore, the system of lump-sum
withdrawal payments for short-stay foreign employees in Japan was established.
Under the system, lump-sum payment are paid to foreign employees after leaving
Japan, in consideration of the fact that they will not be able to collect the
pension in their old age.
Lump-sum withdrawal payments are granted to persons
who are insured for 6 months or more, persons who have never had the right to
receive pension payment (including allowances for the handicapped), and persons
who do not have a place of residence in Japan, if an application is filed within
two years of leaving Japan.
What is National Health Insurance ? What are the conditions
when a foreign employee wants to join this system ?
National Health Insurance is funded by national government subsidies,
by member's monthly insurance payments, and by part of the costs of medical treatment
for which members pay at hospitals. It is mandatory for those who reside in Japan
more than one year to have National Health Insurance, excluding the insured and
family of persons with Employees' Health Insurance, Marine Insurance, Union Insurance
(managed by local governments).
You are required to file at your regional
government office. If you join this plan, one card per household as a rule is
delivered to you from the office, and by just showing your card, you can receive
medical treatment at any doctor's office belonging to the plan. You will pay in
principle 30 percent of your doctor's bill in case of illness or injury. Premiums
are calculated based on the amount of residential tax and the number of insured
people, and vary according to a member's income and place of residence. On March
7, 1986, the National Health Insurance Law was revised and foreigners became eligible
to apply. Insured persons include those who have a place of residence in special
wards or cities, towns, or villages. Accordingly, those who reside in the country
for only a short period of time and those who have no certificate of alien registration,
such as tourists, are excluded.
On March 31, 1992, eligibility requirements
were further clarified and standardized: A person is eligible to join National
Health Insurance if they meet following requirements:
they are registered
under the terms of the Alien Registration Law. / they are admitted to the country
to reside in Japan one year or longer by Immigration./ A person who says in the
country for longer than one year without permission is ineligible to be insured.
It can be said that as a rule, "non-documented (illegal)" employees
are not any eligible for National Health Insurance.
Immigration Control Act
I hear that a foreign student is required to have
a guarantor during his/her stay in Japan. I would like to know; i) why a guarantor
is necessary, and ii) what sort of obligation a guarantor has.
Under the terms of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition
Act (Immigration Control Act), a foreign student or foreign resident who is engaged
in cultural activities is required to submit in writing the name of a Japanese
guarantor. The guarantor is responsible for guaranteeing that person's living
expenses as well as the expenses required to return to his/her home country, and
for helping the person to understand Japanese Laws.
To confirm the status
of a guarantor, the Immigration Bureau requires the following information to be
Name of guarantor / Reason for being a guarantor / Occupation
/ Resident's card / Certification of tax payment / Certificate of seal impression
/ Written guarantee accepting responsibility for living expenses and so on.
These items are subject to change by some immigration bureau offices.
As a legal obligation, a guarantor is required to submit the items mentioned
above.The guarantor is not responsible, however, for such obligations as debts
or damages incurred by a student; a guarantor is not required to assume joint
obligation for these. What a guarantor is expected to guarantee to a student is
assistance in financial support and guidance for living in Japan by keeping the
Japanese Laws. If the student has a specific problem, the guarantor has no obligation
or responsibility for damages that may have result from carelessness on the student's
And, of course, no penalty is imposed on the guarantor, who is understood
to have a moral obligation under the Immigration Control Act.
I have a problem returning home, because my employer has my passport and has told
me that I will be fined for overstaying my visa if I go to the Immigration Bureau.
Is this true ?
You will have no difficulty returning home even if you do not have your passport.
We advise you to go to an Immigration Bureau office and explain that your current
situation is due to some particular reasons or unavoidable circumstances. You
should also ask the office for help with your missing passport and should report
it to the police as a theft. If you still cannot get the passport back, as a last
resort you should contact the embassy of your home country in Japan with an urgent
request for their assistance. As soon as they have confirmed your identity, a
new passport or a substitute can be issued.
The Immigration Bureau will then
investigate your possible violation and may request your deportation for overstaying
your visa. In that case, you will be returned to your own country. If you register
an objection to the deportation, it is possible to obtain a temporary restraint
by the Ministry of Justice. Even with such a restraint, however, you may still
be deported after an investigation, which takes from three days to a week. Even
if you go to the Immigration Bureau office, you will not be fined. Your money
and personal belongings may be held temporarily for inspection, but they definitely
will be returned to you. You will have to buy your own plane ticket to return
I have a contract that was submitted to the Immigration
Bureau office stating that my monthly wages are 300,000yen.
My employer later
made another contract under the terms of which I receive only 250,000yen per month.
Can I make a legal claim for the additional 50,000yen ?
The newly amended Immigration Control Act states that a foreign worker shall receive
wages the same as or higher than those of Japanese workers in the categories of
investor, business manager, medical services, researcher, instructor and engineer;
a foreign worker shall receive more than \250,000 in monthly wages in the categories
of specialist in humanities and international services and inter-company transferee;
and a foreign worker shall receive more than \200,000 in monthly wages in the
category of entertainer.
The purpose of establishing these minimum remuneration
levels is to avoid an increase in the number of low-salaried foreign workers.
This is implicit in stating the remuneration for each category. Since those working
in investment, business management, medical services, research, instruction, and
engineering tend to be competitive with their Japanese counterparts, a higher
remuneration was established in comparison with that of the average Japanese employee.
Because, however, specialists in humanities and international services and inter-company
transferees are required to possess certain knowledge and understanding based
on foreign culture, it is rather unlikely that they would compete with Japanese.
Therefore, a specific level of remuneration is stated. In the category of entertainer,
the form and type of which are varied, here too it is almost impossible to make
comparisons with Japanese counterparts, so a specific amount was stated. The act
thus proposes that a language instructor working at a language school or cultural
or international organization should receive at least \3 million in annual wages
In considering what effect these rules specifying
remuneration can be expected to have on labor contracts, it is difficult to conclude
that standard rules made for administrative purposes (in this case, entry requirements)
should be applied to the content of employment contacts. Even if you file a suit
with the Immigration Bureau, you could be denied permission for entry because
the requirements for entry have not been satisfied. But you cannot expect to correct
the conditions of an employment contract based on the rules stated above. If monthly
wages of \300,000 are clearly stated in a contract, you have the right to make
a claim for the difference and to claim a breach of contract. Unfortunately, you
will have difficulty establishing a claim for that difference unless the contract
was made under coercion or by deception.
Income tax is deducted from my salary. I'm not quite
sure about national taxation. Please explain the details for foreign workers in
There are two taxation systems in Japan; national taxes and local taxes.
The personal incomes of foreign workers employed by Japanese companies are subject
to income tax (national taxes) and residential taxes (local taxes). Income tax
is included in national taxes levied by the national government. Residential taxes
are included in local taxes collected by cities, towns and villages. The following
is a brief explanation:
I. Income Tax
1) Liability of foreign employees in Japan for
tax payment: If you have a domicile ("Jusho") in Japan or you have resided
continuously in Japan for one year or longer, you are a resident for tax purpose
(Article 2, Income Tax Law), and individual
income from wages and salaries is regarded as domestic source of income and treated
the same as Japanese employees' income (Article 161,
Income Tax Law).
Please note that a person entering Japan as an employee
is deemed to be a resident immediately upon his entry into Japan unless evidence
shows that his stay in Japan is to be less than one year.
Liability of Non-residents
Non-residents are subject to income tax
on all or part of their income from domestic sources depending on individual circumstances
(Article 164, Income Tax Law). For example,
a non-resident who is an employee is subject to Japanese income tax at the rate
of 20 percent of gross salary, wages and other allowances by means of withholding
at source when the payment is made in Japan.
With respect to non-residents,
collection of income tax varies depending on type and circumstances. Also, there
are some cases where special measures are provided by international tax treaties.
Please contact your tax office or regional taxation bureau for detailed information
as the treaty provisions are very complicated.
1) When to pay:
Residential taxes are based on your previous year's income and are paid to the
local government of the area in which you reside on January 1st of the year. The
amount of tax due for the year is finalized as of that date, and therefore, you
are expected to pay it even if you leave the country after the due date.
Individuals domiciled in cities,
towns or villages as of January 1st of each year are liable for paying taxes based
on per capita levy and per income levy (Article 9,
Local Tax Law), and cities, towns or villages collect the taxes (Article
24, Local Tax Law