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How to read your payslip when working in Japan with a Japanese employer

A payment slip contains essential information about your social insurance. If you are a non-Japanese national working in Japan, it can sometimes be challenging to read and understand it because of the language and particular terms. In reality, some Japanese (including me in my 20s, to be honest) employees do not understand the details.


So, here, I’d like to explain how to read your Japanese payslip with basic knowledge of social insurance which is a large part of the deduction from your payment.


Here’s a sample of a payslip* with a salary of ¥290,000. *This is just a simplified version for ease of understanding, and the amount of deduction and tax varies depending on where you live and how much you earn.

The left column (A), ‘支給 (Shikyu), is about the total money you receive before deduction. If applied, it would also include travel expenses, overtime, and a stipend. The right column (B) is a deduction called ‘控除 (Koujo)’, consisting of social insurance (2~4) and tax (5 and 6). So, the salary you would eventually receive is: (A) – (B) = ¥221,740 (X).


More specifically, they are:

(2) Health insurance premium (健康保険料)

(3) Employees’ pension insurance (厚生年金保険料)

(4) Employment insurance (雇用保険料)

(5) Income tax (所得税)

(6) Resident tax (住民税)


As I mentioned above, the amount of taxes varies. And, regarding the details of social insurance, let me explain in some other posts. Your employer is responsible for these deductions, i.e. social insurance and tax, to pay to the government on your behalf.


In Japanese, we call those deductions ‘天引き (tenbiki)’ as a colloquial expression. Thanks to this tenbiki system, we do not have to be bothered to pay taxes every month by ourselves, helping us forget how much taxes we regularly pay. To my observation, this could be one of the reasons that a sense of taxpayer is weak among some Japanese people. Because of my limited working experience outside Japan, other people might have a different view. How about your home country?