|Pregnancy + Birth|
As soon as the pregnancy is confirmed, submit a notification of pregnancy to your city hall. You will receive a “mother and child’s health handbook”. Many local governments provide this handbook in foreign languages, but the coupons for free medical checks are sometimes only provided with the Japanese version. Please confirm with the person issuing your handbook that the coupons are included. If your city hall only provides a Japanese edition, you can buy a translation from the Mothers' and Children's Welfare Association (Tel.: 03-4334-1151).
In Japan, health insurance does not cover childbirth. A normal birth costs about 350,000 yen or 450,000 yen, though it can be dramatically more expensive, depending on your choice of hospital. Parents receive a lump sum payment for childbirth and nursing from their health insurance provider. For the Science and Technology Health Insurance Society serving RIKEN, the amount is 520,000 yen, and there are some extra benefits.
Legal Procedures for Newborns
There are certain procedures that need to be done for newborns in Japan. Another source of information for this is http://www.clair.or.jp/tagengo/.
If the baby is going to stay in Japan for more than 60 days, then you need to do several more things.
Circumcision is a relatively rare procedure in Japan, and thus generally requires planning. Discuss your wishes with your obstetrician or pediatrician. If you live in the Tokyo area, try the Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic (which does not accept Japanese insurance).
Medical Cards and Childcare Allowances
Children’s medical cards are issued by local governments and enable you to get a partial or total refund on the cost of medical care; you need these in addition to normal health insurance. Childcare allowances are monthly payments that you will receive to help with childcare costs, provided that you are not earning more than the maximum threshold.