What is a Boshi Techo(The Mother and Child Health Handbook) and why do I need one?
The Mother and Child Health Handbook, [Boshi Techo] is a small booklet that will chronicle a womens pregnancy, well-being, the birth, the well-being of the child and the immunization record of the child up to and including the age of six. In short, a child older than six does not really need one anymore. The handbook comes with some coupons for free wellness checks for the pregnant woman and also for the child after it is born. Without the book, presumably the child can not get the immunizations for free. In this sense the handbook is mandatory. Upon entering primary school in Japan, the information in the Boshi Techo is transferred onto the child's student health card, at which point the Boshi Techo becomes an old record to be kept but never really used again. Click here to see a sample pregnancy registration form with English translation.
Normally these handbooks are issued to a prospective mother when she registers her pregnancy at the municipal office. For those of you who do not have a Boshi Techo for each child, for example if your child was not born in Japan, a handbook can be obtained when registering a child at the municipal office for the dependent's alien registration card. It may also be possible to obtain a Boshi Techo at the local Health office. A non-registered alien can also register a pregnancy and obtain a handbook. The child is still entitled to immunizations according to the Child Bill of Rights.
If your local ward office does not have your language in stock, then you can go directly to the source: tel: 03-5320-4372 Boshi Hokenka Office (Mother and Child Healthcare section of the Bureau of Public Health, Tokyo Municipal Government)
For people living outside Tokyo there are English only, Maternal and Child Health Handbook of Japan , and Chinese only versions published by the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning, Inc. (JOICFP), delivered upon request. The fee is 920 yen plus 180 yen for postage which you can pay at the post office after you have received the handbook.
Main telephone number: 03-3268-5875
For ordering the Handbook:
Tel: 03-3268-3150 Fax: 03-3235-9776
Hoken Kaikan Shinkan
1-10 Ichigaya Tamachi, Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 162-0843