| May 22, 2007

Home loans, PR

You can never leave P.J. would like to to share his story about home loans. He had no trouble getting a loan, but the problems came later. “I would like to warn folks that the ‘regular’ home loan interest rates at many major banks ...

| May 8, 2007

Health insurance headaches

D.C. wrote to Lifelines with a question about health insurance. “I am a U.S. citizen living and working in Japan on a Child of Japanese National visa. “I currently have health insurance from my city’s Shakai Hoken Jimusho (social insurance office) for a limited ...

| Apr 17, 2007

Roaches and rent

Death to ‘gokiburi’ JB put pen to paper to vent spleen on the perennial pests that roam — or rather scuttle about — these islands. “I’d like to try your Hawaiian cockroach remedy, but would it be effective against our big Japanese ‘gokiburi?’ “Also, ...

| Mar 27, 2007

Fingerprint law furor revisited

Thomas in Tokyo wrote to Lifelines in response to my Jan. 9 answer to an inquiry from reader Nick on the new law requiring the photographing and fingerprinting of foreigners on their entry into this country. I wrote that Japan Helpline is coordinating a ...

| Jan 9, 2007

Fighting fingerprinting and roaches

Fingerprinting Regarding the new law requiring the photographing and fingerprinting of foreigners, reader Nick asks about any organizations that are lobbying against the new law. In May 2006 the Immigration Control Law was amended to require that, from November of this year, all foreigners ...

| Dec 19, 2006

Pensions, residency and driving

At this time of the year, it is good to think about what exactly the “holiday” is. It is Christmas — the birthday of Jesus Christ — and Hanukkah — the Jewish festival of lights. They are both important times of the year to ...

| Nov 21, 2006

Koban and law concerns

As it gets colder, it is a time to be careful in Japan, especially with colds and flu. In contrast to many other countries, homes in Japan are not heated or insulated as well as they should be and it is something to be ...

| Nov 7, 2006

Driving and social security

As everything get more convenient, things also, in other ways, become more difficult. The “laid back” and “all providing” system in Japan has changed dramatically over the past five years under the Koizumi administration, which has dismantled and reduced many key provisions. It is ...

| Oct 3, 2006

Divorce and tenant troubles

Divorce Reader SJ and his wife were married nearly 40 years ago in the United States. At that time, SJ agreed to list her as half-owner of our home. For various reasons, the couple now do not get along and are on the way ...

| Sep 12, 2006

How can I get a mortgage in Japan?

F. wants to know if there are any banks that will give home ownership loans to foreigners who do not have permanent residence status. F. is very frustrated since he has a salary that would allow him to cover monthly payments, but feels like ...