Agreement on social security between Sweden and Japan enters into force

Published

On Monday 28 March, an exchange of notes took place between Swedish Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi and Japanese Ambassador to Sweden Noke Masaki to enable the social security agreement between Sweden and Japan to enter into force on 1 June 2022. The agreement, adopted by the parliaments of both countries, coordinates the Swedish and Japanese public old-age and survivor’s pension systems, and sickness and activity compensation.

Japanese Ambassador Noke Masaki and Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi exchanged notes confirming the social security agreement between Japan and Sweden.
Today, Japanese Ambassador Noke Masaki and Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi exchanged notes confirming the social security agreement between Japan and Sweden. An exchange of notes between the countries takes place when the countries have fulfilled their commitments, enabling the agreement to enter into force. Photo: Ninni Andersson/Government offices

“Japan is an important country for Sweden. This social security agreement, which primarily covers pensions, reinforces the already exceptionally strong trade ties and excellent relations between Japan and Sweden. The agreement will be important for employees who move between the two countries and for Swedish companies, and consequently for jobs and growth,” says Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi.

The social security agreement between Japan and Sweden will make it easier for Swedes working in Japan to qualify for a Japanese pension and they will also be able to receive Japanese pension payments in Sweden if they move back to Sweden to settle permanently. From a Swedish perspective, the agreement will be particularly important for Swedes who work in Japan for less than 10 years. Until this agreement enters into force, an employee has to have worked in Japan for at least 10 years to receive Japanese pension payments in Sweden.

For Swedish companies doing business with Japan, the agreement means less red tape. Moving between the two countries will also be easier when a posted employee is covered by the home country’s social security system and the employer pays the social security contributions encompassed by the agreement in the home country. Japan is Sweden’s second largest trading partner in Asia and the fourth largest export market outside the EU.

Under the agreement, posted employees and their accompanying family members are covered by the home country’s legislation for up to five years for the current old-age and survivor’s pension, and sickness and activity compensation. It is easier for family members when the whole family is covered by the same social insurance system.

Sweden and Japan have been negotiating a social security agreement for several years. The agreement was signed on 11 April 2019 and adopted by the Riksdag on 27 October 2021.

Facts

Japan is Sweden’s second largest trading partner in Asia and the fourth largest export market outside the EU. Roughly 2 000 Swedes live in Japan and about 14 000 Swedish jobs depend on exports to Japan. Japanese-owned companies in Sweden employ around 20 400 people. The EU-Japan free trade agreement entered into force in 2019 and gives Swedish businesses better access to the Japanese market and its 127 million consumers.

Press contact

Hanna Kretz
Press Secretary to the Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 73 064 96 04
email to Hanna Kretz