Betty saw a poster of an upcoming Kokusei Chosa and asked her friend Ryota about it.
Ryota-san, what is “Kokusei Chosa” all about?
Kokusei Chosa, or Population Census, is a national statistical survey that aims to obtain a current picture of population and household in Japan. It is conducted once every five years, and 2010 falls on the survey year. Anyone living in Japan as of October 1 this year is subject to the census. Is this your first time to participate in the census?
Yes. I moved to Japan three years ago. Are foreign residents also included in the survey?
Yes, all residents and households are participating in the census. In fact, it is required by the law, called the Statistics Act, that we are obliged to answer and submit the census questionnaire.
How is the information obtained from the census used?
The results of the Population Census serve as data showing how people live in Japan and will provide important information for social welfare policies, employment policies, disaster prevention planning, regional development, and many other purposes.
How do I receive the census questionnaires?
A census taker in your area should be visiting you with the questionnaires sometime in late September.
What kind of questions will I be asked to answer?
There will be twenty questions asking about your sex, age, nationality, employment, household, housing, and so on.
That sounds like a lot! What if I don’t understand the questions?
A translation of the census questionnaires is available in various languages. Ask your census taker for a copy in your language. It is very important for you and other foreign residents to answer the census. Understanding exactly how many foreign people are living now is necessary for the country to plan measures for improving their lives in Japan.
Sure, I understand it.
Ryota continues to explain to Betty how to submit the census questionnaires.
Your census taker will come back to your home on October 1 to pick up the census questionnaires you have filled out. You are providing important personal information, so make sure you enclose the questionnaire form in the provided envelope and seal it.
I will remember that.
You can also mail the answered questionnaires in the envelope to a local municipal office. No stamp is required for it.
That makes it easy for busy people.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government offers a hotline to answer inquires about the Population Census from foreign residents. The hotline is available in English, Chinese, and Korean, and will be open until October 15 (Fri.).
That’s very helpful. I will make sure my friends know that too. Ryota-san, thank you so much for helping me a lot today!