| Mar 16, 2004

Citizenship and health insurance

Citizenship I am a holder of a valid Philippines passport and have permanent residence status here in Japan, where I have lived for at least 18 years. I would like to apply for citizenship. I am separated from my husband for almost six years ...

| Mar 2, 2004

Getting a visa and finding a good lawyer

Japanese visas Dear Lifelines; How do I apply for a visa for Japan? If all questions were so simple and to the point. You apply for a visa at a Japanese Embassy or Consulate in your home country. For many countries, mainly in Europe ...

| Feb 17, 2004

Posting food to the U.S. and big clothes

U.S. posting rules Dear Lifelines; Is there some new prohibition against sending Japanese foods to the U.S.? According to friends, we can send something we have prepared ourselves, but if we purchase something, we can’t send it? This is supposed to be something to ...

| Feb 3, 2004

Tenant rights and health care for foreigners

Tenant rights Two years ago, I rented an apartment through a realtor, and paid lots of money — two-months deposit, one-month thank you money, and realtor fee — thinking that after two years, we could renew our contract and somehow use the place longer ...

| Jan 20, 2004

Planning for your financial future in Japan

I am looking for some pension and retirement information in Japan. Even though I am only 34, I am thinking about the financial situation in the future. I am Swiss, but have spent the past few years abroad, so I have to count on ...

| Dec 16, 2003

Computers trains and sewing tips

Driving and computers I seem to remember that some time ago you gave information about driving lessons in English. I wonder if you could let me have the details as I neglected to note them down at the time. Also, do you know of ...

| Dec 2, 2003

Green cards, tenant rights and sewing

Immigration worry Dear Lifelines; My wife and I are returning in January from the U.S.; I am a U.S. citizen and she is Japanese. We had lived in Japan together for 7 years prior to my 2 year U.S. assignment. (I am a regular ...

| Nov 18, 2003

Frustration with ISPs and keitai spam

ISP trouble On the subject of ISPs, I also was billed about 100,000 yen by my Internet Service Provider. The salesperson explained the contract to me in broken English as I cannot read Japanese. I was told I had to sign now, I couldn’t ...

| Nov 4, 2003

Pension cash payments and house-buying

Nenkin Dear Lifelines; I am American, my late husband was Japanese. We lived in Japan throughout our marriage, but for various reasons it became prudent to bring the kids back to the U.S. after he died at age 42. He was a “sarariman,” and ...

| Oct 21, 2003

Internet bill nightmare, pension payouts, and singing groups

Internet connection I have a problem that concerns with my Internet Service Provider. I was billed for over 100,000 yen for Internet connection and international calls. Most of the bill came from international phone calls, which I thought were free. My Internet connection started ...