Thinking about skipping out on health insurance, either kokumin kenko hoken (national health insurance) or kokumin nenkin (national pension)? Think again! With the new change in the visa requirements, you could be in some major trouble. Check out Jenny Uechi’s Japan Times article on the topic below:

In your wallet or somewhere at home, do you have a blue or pink card showing that you are enrolled in one of Japan’s national health and pension programs? If not, and if you are thinking of extending your stay here, you may want to think about a recent revision to visa requirements for foreign residents. The changes, which the Justice Ministry says were made in order to “smooth out the administrative process,” may have major consequences for foreign residents and their future in Japan.

On a drab, rainy Sunday in June, a group of foreign workers gathered at the office of the National Union of General Workers Tokyo Nambu in Shimbashi to discuss an equally drab topic: social insurance. According to a new immigration law passed by the Diet earlier this month, foreign residents will be required to show proof of enrollment in Japan’s health insurance program in order to renew or apply for a visa after April 1, 2010.You can read the rest of the story here. Let us know what you think.