Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some frequently asked questions. Many of the websites and facilities suggested can only answer inquiries in Japanese, so if you do not understand Japanese, please contact the Hiroshima City Consultation Service for International Residents. However, some of the organizations may have foreign language-speaking staff available.
Q: I have moved to Hiroshima City. I am looking for a place where I can receive guidance in a foreign language.
A: The Hiroshima City Consultation Service for International Residents has staff who provide consultations for non-Japanese members of the public (in Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese). Please see here for more details.
The Hiroshima International Center also accepts specialist consultations (legal, human rights, working conditions, social insurance, etc.) in addition to general consultations. Please see here for supported languages and times, etc.
Q: I am having financial trouble (due to debt, being unable to work due to illness, etc.)
A: The Hiroshima City Livelihood Support Center has consultants who are licensed social welfare specialists and can provide support.
Japanese Language Classes
Q: I would like to study Japanese. What kind of Japanese language classes are there in Hiroshima City?
A: There are 19 Japanese language classes operated by volunteers in Hiroshima City. Please see here for details on the dates and times of each class and inquire with the classes directly.
Q: I would like to find hospitals which support foreign languages.
A: There is a website called Kyukyu Iryo Net Hiroshima. It has a search function to find medical institutions by fields of care and supported languages.
Q: Do you offer job referrals?
A: Please inquire with Hello Work Hiroshima.
Also, the Hiroshima Foreign Workers Labor Conditions Consultation Service in the Hiroshima Labor Bureau Inspection Division has staff who speak Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese. There are also Vietnamese-speaking staff at the Hiroshima Central Foreign Workers Labor Conditions Consultation Service in the Central Labor Standards Inspection Office. Please check dates and times on their websites.
Q: I have gotten pregnant. What should I do?
A: First, please file a notification with the Health Services and Welfare Division (Longevity and Health Division for Higashi Ward). You will receive a Maternal and Child Health Handbook to record the health of the mother and child from conception until the start of elementary school. Please also ask there to receive information on health checkups, vaccinations, Child Allowances (jidō teate), etc.
Q: I am concerned about earthquakes. How do I find out where the evacuation sites are?
A: Information on evacuation sites is listed on the Portal Site of Hiroshima City for Disaster Prevention, which is part of the Hiroshima City Emergency Disaster Information Site. Please see here. You can also find information about things other than earthquakes, such as evacuation and weather information issued by the City.
Q: I wish to go to the hospital. Could you refer me to an interpreter?
A: We do not provide hospital interpretation referrals. Please inquire with the Hiroshima International Center, which provides volunteer medical interpreters. Alternatively, ask a relative who can speak Japanese to interpret for you.
Q: There is a parent-teacher conference at school and I would like to request interpretation. What should I do?
A: The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation International Relations and Cooperation Division keeps a registry of volunteer interpreters who speak Japanese and a foreign language, and sends them on request. It is free of charge. A request from the school is required for us to send a volunteer, so please either ask the homeroom teacher or inquire with the Hiroshima City Consultation Service for International Residents.
Q: I don’t understand what the staff at a shop are saying. Will the Hiroshima City Consultation Service for International Residents provide interpretation?
A: As a general rule, the Hiroshima City Consultation Service for International Residents only covers consultations relating to government services, so they cannot interpret in such cases.
Q: I wish to change my residency status. What should I do? I wish to extend my period of residence. What should I do?
A: This is handled by the Immigration Bureau, so please inquire with the Immigration Information Center. Also, on the 2nd Friday of every month staff from the Regional Immigration Bureau visit the Hiroshima City Consultation Service for International Residents to answer questions about residency status.
Q: I was enrolled in Japan’s pension system (i.e. the National Pension, Employees’ Pension Insurance, or a mutual-benefit association), but I am withdrawing from the system because I am leaving Japan. Can I receive a lump-sum refund upon withdrawal? What procedures does this involve?
A: There are conditions for receiving it. Furthermore, you must claim it within 2 years after leaving the country. Please see this website for information on the conditions and how to make a claim.
Q: What kind of place is the International Exchange Lounge? Where is it located?
A: It is a place for interaction between Japanese people and foreigners, and it also provides information on international exchange and cooperation. There is a a meeting corner, leaflets with information on tourism, events, and life in Japan , a Library Corner, and more. Please see here for information on the International Exchange Lounge.
Q: I would like to read newspapers and books in languages other than Japanese. Where can I find them?
A: The International Exchange Lounge has a collection of newspapers, weekly publications, magazines, etc. in various languages. We also loan books (free of charge), so please use our services.
Q: Can I find information on Hiroshima events in languages other Japanese?
A: Hiro Club News, which is published every month, includes information on events.