How to get a subsidy to buy school supplies ~ Let’s utilize school financial aid ~

In Japan, tuition and teaching materials for public elementary and junior high schools are free, but you have to purchase uniforms and school bags at your own expense. The uniforms and  school bags are very expensive, and my parents worked hard to buy them.

In this topic, I will tell you about the school financial aid system (就学援助制度 / しゅうがく えんじょ せいど) that you can use when purchasing school supplies. You can reduce the financial burden by using the school financial aid system.  No difficult procedure is required, so please read until the end.

What is the school  financial aid system?

The school financial aid system is a system prepared by each municipality in Japan that can be used by households with low income and those who receive child-rearing allowances.
If your application is approved, you will be able to receive subsidies from municipality and use it to purchase school supplies (uniforms, school bags, etc.) and school lunch expenses.


If you are a single-parent family, you can also apply for a child-rearing allowance.(児童扶養手当)/ じどう ふよう てあて)

Application conditions

  • Those who have registered a Resident card
  • Those who have children enrolled in public schools
  • Persons with annual household income of 2 to 3 million yen or less
    * Income conditions vary depending on the municipality where you live.
    * Even if you meet the income conditions, you may not be eligible for payment.

Example of income standard

Number of
Base income
ex) Itabashi, Tokyo

The Base income is the sum of the income of all households. (Income is the amount of money after deduction of salary income(給与所得控除後の金額 / きゅうよしょとくこうじょごのきんがく) on the withholding record(源泉徴収票 / げんせん ちょうしゅうひょう) if you are a salaried person.

Withholding record

The withholding record will given to you by the company you work for every December.

Documents required for application

  • School financial aid application
  • A copy of the bankbook
  • A copy of the withholding record
  • A copy of the residence card
    A copy can be used at a convenience store for about 10 to 30 yen per sheet.

However, the required documents vary depending on the municipality. Ask the municipality you live in which documents you need to apply.

Payment amount

The amount of assistance varies slightly depending on the municipality, but the amount of assistance for Itabashi Ward is shown as an example.

Example of School finance aid

ex) Itabashi, Tokyo

Flow from application to payment


Please read here for the Japanese school education system.


The application is handed over from the school to the students


Submit application to school or Department in charge of municipality


Examination, notification of examination results


School financial aid transfer

Before entering elementary or junior high school, you will need a lot of money to buy uniforms and school bags and more. In such a case, you can utilize the school financial aid system. The flow of school financial aid before enrollment is as follows.※ It is called the admission preparation support fund.(入学準備金 / にゅうがく じゅんび きん)


Application form arrives by mail from the municipality


Submit the application to the designated address


Notification of examination results

After mid-March

School financial aid transfer

After enrollment, application documents will be distributed from school teachers to all students every April, and only those who need assistance will apply.  Students around you will not know that you are using the application or school financial aid system.

Support this blog

This blog is run with your donations. If this article helps you, I would be grateful if you could support this blog in the form of a cup of coffee.


The school financial aid system is a system that many Japanese people do not know.  In addition, the application method differs slightly depending on the municipality, and in most cases the application documents are only available in Japanese. If you and your child don’t have the money to go to school, take advantage of the school financial aid system. If you have any problems with the application process, you can also consult with our online community “useJapan” for free.  I hope everyone can share their wisdom and help each other.

Introduction and usage of the online community “useJapan”


Gerald Schoellkopf

Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »