Your contract
Administrative Issues
between YOU and your Contracting
Organization (CO)
• For ALTs who have
entered into a contract
with Gifu Prefecture, the
official CO is the Gifu
Prefecture Board Of
• Your school is your host
Contact point  Tammalings and
Endo Sensei
• For all other JETs working
for a municipality, your
CO and host institution
are usually the same;
•  i.e. the BOE in the
town or village that you
work at.
Contact point - Shane and Watanabe
Your host institution is responsible for your
basic needs and your salary!
Employment Conditions
 Statement of Agreement – please read thoroughly and understand this
 Know your obligations and entitlements
– Duties; working hours; paid leave; sick leave; bereavement leave etc
– If you do not understand something, please talk to your host
institution for clarification
 Keep a copy of your contract at work & at home
 You may recontract if your host institution agrees
(in some cases, up to 4-5 years)
 Recontracting intention is usually required by November the year
BEFORE (keep your eye out for this paperwork), and your final decision
by the first week of February the SAME year
- Last year 2 JETs decided not to fulfill their contract. One BOE has
therefore decided not to take JETs antmore.
Your payslip
EXAMPLE ONLY - 1st year JET in 2014
Gross salary (annually)
Gross salary (monthly)
Health Insurance
Kenkou hoken 健康保険
Kousei nenkin 厚生年金
住民税 /
Employment Insurance Koyou hoken
Income Tax
Shotoku zei
Residency Tax
Juumin zei /
Tokuchou zei
Check your first pay to see if this is being
deduced before you are paid
Montly estimates for 1st year JETS only.
These taxes must be paid from the remainder.
Check with your CO what portion of these you
need to keep aside
Net Salary
Other terminology used in payslips:
Base pay
Hou shuu gaku
Kou jo gaku
NOTE: Residency tax is paid in a lump-sum in
June each year, based on your salary from the
previous calendar year. Hence, 2nd year JETS
and above will pay a lot more than 1st years.
Example salary increase if reappointed
EXAMPLE ONLY - 2nd year JET in 2014
Gross salary (annually)
Gross salary (monthly)
Health Insurance
Employment Insurance
Kenkou hoken
Kousei nenkin
Koyou hoken
Income Tax
Shotoku zei
Juumin zei /
Tokuchou zei
住民税 /
Residency Tax
Net Salary
Check your first pay to see if this is being
deduced before you are paid
Montly estimate for 2nd year JETS only, based on
a full year of salary in 2012
NOTE: Residency tax is paid in a lump-sum in
June each year, based on your salary from the
previous calendar year. Hence, 2nd year JETS and
above will pay a lot more than 1st years.
3rd year gross annual salary will increase to 3.9 million yen, and if a 4th and 5th year
contract is entered into, 3.96 million yen.
• Go Remit – 2000 yen
(Plus intermediate bank fees)
• Western Union
Fees are based on the amount you send
1-10,000yen (990yen) 10,001-50,000 (1500)
50,000 – 97,000 (3,000)
• Your Personal Bank
Varies based on your bank (My bank about 3500)
Plus intermediary fees
• Japan Post Bank
2500yen (plus intermediary fees)
Tax in Japan for JETS
Income tax
Not always automatically deducated from your salary – check with your CO
US and Irish tax exemptions are only for 2 years only and still require you to
submit a tax return to your home country
All JETs should be in the practice of checking whether they are free from
home country income tax payments while abroad
Residency (inhabitant) tax
Not always automatically deducated from your salary – check with your CO.
If you seem to be receiving more ‘take home pay’ than your JET colleagues, it
could be because the CO is not deducting your inhabitant taxes. If so, you
might need to save this money each month for when the bill comes in June
Calculated in June each year by the municipality in which you live, based on
your previous year’s salary (calendar year)
If you change prefectures / jobs on JET on your own volition (ie. You have a
partner in Tokyo / ask for transfer), you may be required to pay all of your
residency tax yourself
Your JET number
Write it down somewhere where you will NOT lose it.
This number is required for important occasions such as:
Making claims under your accident insurance
Applying and submitting tests for the JET Japanese course
Recording your attendance at conferences
Voting in AJET elections
• Compulsory participation - you pay half the premium, CO pays
half (appearing on your paycheck is the half that you pay)
• When you go to the doctor/hospital, you only have to pay
30% of the cost for most treatments
• Does not cover preventative medicine, unnecessary checkups
• For overseas treatment, pay upfront and bring all paperwork
and receipts back to claim
• This covers your dependants too
– Carry health insurance card with you at all times
Jet Programme Accident Insurance Policy
• Covers illness or injury in Japan caused by accident, not pre-existing
conditions. The remaining 30% of your medical bill can be claimed
back (remember 70% is paid by the national health insurance)
• Your host institution pays the premium
• Can also be used as travel insurance for up to 30 days whilst
travelling back to your home country
• But electing to travel overseas for treatment, you may not be
covered (read notes)
• You need to know your JET number to make a claim
• A deductable of 5000 yen applies
• Does not include things like damaged / lost luggage, dental,
treatment received more than 180 days after accident, family
member’s treatment
Employment Insurance
• You are also enrolled in this by your CO (required by law)
• Entitles you to unemployment benefits if you are deemed
eligible after completion of the JET Programme and remain
in Japan on a valid visa status (requires registration at Hello
Work) See the Gifu Jets blog for more on this
(Search “unemployment”)
• Your CO pays into a pension as you work. There is also an
insurance component to this pension, which can be
accessed if you sustain serious injury or death whilst paying
into the scheme.
• Also required by law
Overtime – no official monetary compensation.
It is possible to get *daikyu in some circumstances;
*If you are asked to work outside normal hours, please
discuss the issue of compensatory time off beforehand!
Keep written record of extra work & get it signed by
Salary – please keep in mind that our salary conditions as JETs
are considerably better than that of the average Japanese
citizen – be gracious if approached by colleagues about this
delicate issue. Do not disclose your salary to 3rd parties.
Sick leave – depending on your host institution/CO, you may
need a medical certificate (shindansho);
• Please use your holidays before the end of your contract –
leaving early can significantly inconvenience your employer.
• Try to save some of your holidays for an emergency – in case
you have to fly home for some unexpected reason
Japanese people (regardless of vocation) collectively take time
off at three times each year.
 End of year / New Year (up to about 1 week)
 Golden Week (late April, early May, grouping of Children’s
Day, Greenery Day, other public holidays)
 Obon (commemoration of deceased ancestors)
Aug 13 – 17 (M-F)
At work
Which are you?
Senior High School
Senior High School ALTs are placed at one high school, and teach 5 days a week there. As a
Senior High School ALT you are employed by Gifu Prefecture Board of Education which is
your Contracting Organization (CO). Your base school is your Host Institution. Your
supervisor is likely a JTE (Japanese Teacher of English), with whom you will have a lot of
direct contact.
City, Town, or Village (Municipal) Board of Education
This means you will be hired by the Board of Education (BOE) in your city, town, or village,
so your paycheck will come directly from them and they are your Contracting Organization.
You will spend most of your time based in a junior high school and may make visits to other
schools in the area. You may spend a day or two at an elementary school, or sometimes go
on a weekly basis. You may also teach adult night classes, and this will be written into your
contract. Your supervisor will likely be a local Board of Education Office Worker, overseeing
more than one ALT.
Co-ordinator of International Relations
You will be under contract with the Gifu Prefectural International Affairs Division working in
either the International Affairs Division itself or in the International Centre, both in Gifu City.
There are 8 CIRs in Gifu and you could be interpreting at the French Embassy to talking to a
Chinese Primary School about art. You are likely to have two supervisors, one responsible for
your work and another in charge of JET responsibilites.
Example School Annual Schedule of Events
Example School Annual Schedule of Events
Ball Sports Day
Summer Study Tests
Ceremony 1st
Term Starts
Track and Field Day
1st Term Exams
1st Term Ends
Regional Speech
School Trip
2nd Term Starts
Culture Festival
Graduation Ceremony
High School
3rd Term Starts
Entrance Exams
School Trip
2nd Term Exams
Entrance Exam
Results Posted
Speech Contest
Debate Competition
3rd Term Ends
Term 2 Ends
Note : Sc h ool Trips ge n e rally h e ld late Ju n e OR mid- Oc tobe r
Sports Days an d Sc h ool Fe stivals may vary by sc h ool
Cu ltu re Fe stivals h e ld from late Se pte mbe r to Early Nove mbe r
Un ive rsity e n tran c e e xam date s vary by in stitu tion
Year End Ceremony
The JET: A Public Figurehead
• As JETs you are considered to be public
servants  expected to set an example;
• You will stand out in your community
• NO DRINK DRIVING – don’t get in a car if you
know the driver has been drinking
one way ticket home and other serious
repercussions – jail, interrogation, prosecution
Reflects badly on the JET Programme and your
home country
Protect Yourself from Legal Issues
– No posting, sending or otherwise making available photos, video, images, names,
addresses, academic performance, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. of
students, teachers and staff, without explicit permission from the parent/guardians,
teachers, and other authorities
– Failure to follow the above conditions violates the JET contract and the law→
potentially resulting in termination!
Exercise caution when using facebook, blogs, etc.
– Avoid insults, slander, offensive remarks→Exercise etiquette!
Discipline of students:
– Japanese teacher’s responsibility
– No corporal punishment
No exchanging personal email addresses or phone numbers, or other personal
contact info with students
No giving a ride to a student
Gifu Prefecture Ordinance for the Sound
Upbringing of Juveniles
(Under 18 Years)
• No sexual harassment, sexually related dialogue or acts, showing students
sexual (naked, etc.) images, etc.
• No providing a location for or serving as a mediator of any of the following:
– Inappropriate sexual acts or harassment
– Tattooing
– Imbibing of alcohol, smoking
No accompaniment of a juvenile outside of their home between 10PM – 4AM
by any person, without good cause
Imprisonment and / or heavy fines may apply in these cases
Health Check
(Kenkou Shindan)
• You are asked to participate in this basic
health check twice a year
• It is the responsibility of your employer to
keep you informed of your health
• If you have problems with certain testing –
do not be afraid to mention it.
• Results are based on the average Japanese
body shape / build. Naturally larger framed
foreigners are commonly reported to be
BMI Differences
BMI range –
BMI range –
from 18.5 to 22.9
from 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight from 23.0 to 24.9
from 25 to 30
Class I
from 30.1 to 34.9
25.0 and above
Communication barriers
Sample Western View:
Sample Japanese View:
Rules and guidelines
should be stated;
problems should be
dealt with directly
Rules and guidelines
often unspoken;
problems often dealt
with indirectly
Bachnik, J. “At Home in Japan.”
Read the signs !
(without getting paranoid)
1. Noncommittal “answers” to your ideas and questions
(things are rarely decided on the spot, but collectively.
Carefully follow the chain of command)
2. Repeated “mentioning” of something (yes, this probably
means someone has something to say, but won’t say it
3. Physical attendance (Sometimes just ‘being there’ counts
more than anything)
4. Being available (Flexibility is very highly regarded,
especially for JETS)
Enkai Etiquette
(Work function / party)
• 歓迎会 (Kangeikai) ーWelcome
• Wait for the Kanpai! (I never do this  )
• Don’t pour your own beer
• Speeches
• Nijikai – Post enkai
• Sanjikai – Post-post enkai
• Seiza for formal situations
(Nobody really cares)
Japan & alcohol
There is an idea held by some people that drinking helps break down barriers allow co-workers to
relax and open-up. These events are commonly rather heavy-drinking in nature, usually
concluding with one of your Japanese coworkers very red-faced and loud.
Accessibility: Alcohol is sold in machines on the street, in the corner store and at the supermarket!
What, you don’t drink more?? Do not feel as if you HAVE to drink. As non-Japanese, we are often
stereotyped as ‘heavy drinkers’… You are well within your rights to refuse, however try to do it
politely. If you do drink, be careful of the different types of alcohol and the possibility that your
body absorbs it differently.
Living by yourself in a foreign country, amongst colleagues that celebrate their week with ‘a few
drinks’, can often lead to a change in your drinking habits. ‘Binging’, getting home safely but
driving first thing in the morning when alcohol is still in your blood, and becoming reliant on
alcohol at home during the long cold winter, are all activities to try to avoid where possible.
By all means, have a drink and enjoy yourself ! But know the laws and be careful NOT TO DRIVE.
Alcoholics Anonymous: 03-3971-1471 (English)