Hire employees
and contractors in Japan

Capital city
Japanese Yen (JPY)
Population size
125,620,000 (2021)
Language spoken

Grow your team in Japan with Remote

Remote currently offers contractor payment and management services in Japan. We are busy building our own entity in the country to provide you with best possible employment solutions for your employees.

  • Capital city
  • Currency
    Yen (JPY)
  • Language spoken
  • Population size
    125,620,000 (est. 2021)
  • Ease of doing business
    Very Easy (2020)
  • Cost of living index
    87.77 (2021)
  • Payroll frequency
  • VAT – standard rate
  • GDP - real growth rate
    0.7% (2019)

Facts & stats

Japan has enjoyed a long, rich history spanning around 2,000 years, and has given rise to a wonderful cultural heritage featuring samurai, ninjas, calligraphy, origami, sushi, ramen, and of course, anime!

Armed with a $5.5 trillion GDP, Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, built on powerful technology, automotive, tourism, and telecoms industries. And with unusually low unemployment figures, a welcoming population, and growing cultural diversity, Japan has maintained a solid place on the top of the world’s most desirable places to do business.

Japan Map
Japan risks illustration

Risks of misclassification

Japan, like many other countries, treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time workers differently and there are risks associated with misclassification.

Employing in Japan

Japanese labor laws are outlined across two regulations, namely:

  • The Japanese Civil Code, and
  • The Labor Standards Act of 1947

Both of these define provisions for employee protections and workers’ rights which apply to Japan’s workforce of 68.7 million.

Employees in Japan enjoy protections against discrimination based on age, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, and race.

Common questions that could come up during the hiring process include the minimum wage, overtime rates, and guaranteed paid time off. Remote can help you offer a complete, competitive, and compliant benefits package to your employees in Japan.

Public holidays

Date Holiday Name Extra information
Japanese New Year
Coming of Age Day
National Foundation Day
The Emperor's Birthday
Vernal Equinox Day
Shōwa Day
Golden Week
Constitution Memorial Day
Greenery Day
Children's Day
Marine Day
Health and Sports Day
Mountain Day Falls on a Sunday in 2021 so August 9 (Monday) is the observed public holiday.
Respect for the Aged Day
Autumnal Equinox Day
Culture Day
Labor Thanksgiving Day

In Japan, minimum wage rates are set regionally in line with local costs of living and range from ¥714 ($6.46) to ¥932 ($8.43) per hour. Japan’s hourly minimum wage depends on the region. The highest being 985 Yen in Tokyo and the lowest being 761 Yen in Kagoshima.

For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal monthly instalments on or before the last working day of each calendar month, payable in arrears.

Competitive benefits package in Japan

Remote can help you provide a competitive and compliant benefits package for your employees in Japan. If you have questions or would like to offer a custom benefit, let us know and we can help.

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Taxes in Japan

Learn how employment taxes affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Japan.

  • Employer

    • 9.15% - Pension contribution
    • 4.935% - Health Insurance Contribution (or 5.83% if 40 years or older)
    • 0.6% - Unemployment insurance
    • 0.25% - 8.8% - Work injury
    • ~0.36% - Family allowance
  • Employee

    • 9.15% - Pension contribution
    • 4.935% - Health insurance contribution
    • 0.3% - Unemployment insurance
  • Personal income tax rates

    • 5% - Up to ¥1.95M ($17,629.67)
    • 10% - ¥1.95 – ¥3.3M ($17,629.67 - $29,834.82)
    • 20% - ¥3.3M – ¥6.95M ($29,834.82 - $59,579.24)
    • 23% - ¥6.95M – ¥9M ($59,579.24 - $81,367.70)
    • 33% - ¥9M – ¥18M ($81,367.70 – 162,735.41)
    • 40% - ¥18M – ¥40M ($162,735.41 - $361,634.24)
    • 45% - Over ¥40M (Over $361,634.24)

Types of leave

time off

Employees earn paid vacation days based on their tenure, starting after they’ve spent six months working with an employer, and can accrue up to two years of paid vacation.

  • 6 months: 10 days paid vacation
  • 1.5 years: 11 days paid vacation
  • 2.5 years: 12 days paid vacation
  • 3.5 years: 14 days paid vacation
  • 4.5 years: 16 days paid vacation
  • 5.5 years: 18 days paid vacation
  • 6.5 years: 20 days paid vacation
  • Over 6.5 years: 20 days paid vacation

There are 16 public holidays in Japan and although it’s not obligatory for employers to pay employees on public holidays, it’s widely practiced.


Japanese employees are not explicitly entitled to any paid leave entitlement but can use their paid vacation in lieu of sick leave.


Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity starting six months before delivery and lasting until eight months, and are compensated at a rate equivalent to 2/3 of their normal salary, paid out by the labor insurance office.


New parents can embark on parental leave once maternity leave ends, until their child turns one, or one year and two months, if both partners opt for the parental leave.

Both parents are entitled to tax-exempt parental leave benefits equivalent to 2/3 of their normal wages, paid by the government labor insurance office. Male employees who have worked for the same employer for at least a year are entitled to 12 months paid leave.

  • Bereavement leave: employees are entitled to five days of paid leave for the death of any 1st-degree relative, three days off for 2nd-degree relatives, and two days off for the death of 3rd-degree relatives.
  • Hospitalization leave: Parents can take up to three unpaid months off annually to nurse sick or injured relatives.
  • Menstruation leave: Employers are obligated to provide unpaid time off for female employees who opt out of work due to their health condition during their menstrual period. This is statutory leave mandated by government legislation.
  • Civil duty leave: Workers can take unpaid time off work to vote, perform jury duty, or attend to their civil obligations.


Termination process

In Japan, terminating employee contracts can be demanding, and employees can dispute and only accept to be let go with a severance package equivalent to a month’s pay for every year worked.

Notice period

Employers are required to provide 30 days advance notice or compensate the employee in lieu of the mandatory notice period.

Severance pay

There are no requirements for employers to offer severance packages under Japanese labor laws.

Probation periods

Probation periods last anywhere from three to six months.

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