Quitting Your Job in Japan

November 7th, 2012By Category: Work Tips

There may come a time when you want to either change or quit your job in Japan. Breaking a contract in any job might generally leave you feeling concerned about the consequences, both short and long term, but doing so in another country can seem quite daunting.

In my case, I recently quit my job with an eikaiwa (English conversation school). Please be sure to do your own research about your specific situation, but I will try to provide some tips here about what I’ve experienced that could help you feel at least a little more at ease.

DO try to leave on as good of terms as possible with your current company. As long as you give at least two weeks notice, the company is required by law to pay you for all of the time you worked. If it’s possible to give more notice, that might be even more helpful. You may very well need to contact your company in the future for paperwork (ie. tax documents, letter of release, which may or may not be needed right away, etc.), so it’s good not to burn bridges.

DON’T feel intimidated by your employer when quitting. Threats may be made, especially concerning immigration, but these are empty. They may “terminate your sponsorship,” but you have your visa anyway, and immigration will not bother with changing its validity unless you’ve done something drastic, like commit a crime. Simply change over the sponsorship when you do have the opportunity.

DO try to set up another job before giving notice to your current one. The new company can help take care of things for you, including paperwork, health insurance, changing addresses and immigration. Additionally, you’re only allowed to stay in Japan for three months without working.

DON’T leave Japan without settling your affairs here first. If you ever want to come back, you must make sure that you’ve taken care of your taxes. If you leave without notice, you will still be charged taxes as if you had continued to live at your current address- if these are not paid on time, fines will be imposed, to be paid upon your arrival in Japan. That being said, as long as you come back to Japan within a year, you’re still allowed to look for a job.

Quitting a job is always a hassle, and Japan is no exception to this rule, but hopefully you can breathe a bit easier knowing a bit more about what to expect.

Photos by >littleyiye< and jrayfarm1980 via Flickr Creative Commons

Author of this article

Nicole Sauer

Nicole is a traveler, teaching to pay the bills and because she enjoys it! She loves discovering and taking photos of hilarious English fails on public signage ("Please use a toilet finely!") She currently lives in Nagoya. Check out her other site at http://la-mera-mera-viajera.blogspot.com/

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  • 1031NYD says:

    If I give notice is the company required to continue my employment for the two weeks or can they let me go at the end of the next pay period?

  • leslie nguyen says:

    Thanks for this article ~ Best to you in pursuit of a new job also.