That’s right folks. Everyone in Japan, including us gaijin, will receive a 100,000 yen handout as part of the economic response to the coronavirus outbreak. I’ll take it! It’ll go nicely towards one month’s fucking rent and then it’s instantly back to survival mode.

According to the NHK website, the cash handouts will go to every person listed on the Japan’s Basic Resident Register, regardless of nationality. Surprising but good news, I know.

The NHK website states:

Takaichi (Internal Affairs Minister) said the handouts will be distributed quickly. Applications and payments will be made without human contact to prevent infections and minimize clerical work at municipal offices.

Nice one Takaichi. So the only way to advance the bureacracy techniques from pushing stacks of paper to standard digital practice is to start a pandemic. We’re living in 2020 and you’re really highlighting the fact that this is to be done without human contact or online, no shit. The scary thing here is that this is genuinely surprisingly good news to a lot of folks in Japan.

So, how do we get the 100,000 yen?

Well, if you are on Japan’s Basic Resident Register as of April 27th, and have had a visa for over 3 months, you are eligible. Municipalities will send application forms to the heads of every household. Applicants will have to provide a bank account number, with copies of their ID and bank account information. The sum will then be transferred to the account. People can also use an individual identification system, known as the “My Number Card”, or known locally as the “MAI NANBAAA KAADO”, to apply online.

So, sit tight while rationing your cup noodles and toilet rolls, and you should receive an application form in the mail, or as Takaichi kindly pointed out, you can do it online considering you’ve not lost your MAI NANBAAA KAADO.

Whether the option to apply in English will be made available is still undecided, according to an official at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The head of the household will be responsible for applying for everyone in the family, and the cash will be wired to his or her bank account as early as May.