| Feb 21, 2006

Insurance snubs and damages

Insurance snub My husband recently passed away. I have a three-year visa and a valid driver’s license, but when I went to renew my insurance, I was told by the insurance company that they could not insure me because I was a foreigner. I ...

| Feb 7, 2006

Guarantors and leaving the country

Guarantor Is there an organization in Japan that serves as a guarantor for foreigners in Japan who want to rent apartments? Yes, there is such an organization. It is called the Japan Guarantors Association and you can reach them at (03) 5333-3816. You can ...

| Jan 3, 2006

Landlords, car repairs, and city hall

Landlord Five years ago my landlord asked for access to our apartment in order to fix a water problem in another premises directly under ours. Damage done to this apartment during that work still has not been repaired. Recently we had a problem with ...

| Dec 20, 2005

Names, cards and insurance

Naming a child I have heard that Japan does not allow middle names, even for children with foreign parents. Why not? Is there a way I can “sneak in” a middle name? Can I use a hyphen? I really want my children to have ...

| Dec 6, 2005

Pensions, wills and helplines

Pensions I will be leaving Japan soon — I’ve been here for two years — and have been paying into the National Pension System. How do I go about applying for the refund? I have also heard that there are agencies that do the ...

| Sep 13, 2005

Counseling, insurance and prints

TELL counseling Tokyo English Life Line (TELL) is accepting applications for the Telephone Counselors Training Program, that begins in September. No prior counseling experience is needed as this course provides training in the skills required in this role. This is a great opportunity for ...

| Aug 16, 2005

Moving and bank hassle

Moving expenses We need help negotiating with the new owner of our building. It is going to be demolished, and we have been told to leave. The major problem is that they are unwilling to pay us compensation. What, if anything, do you recommend ...

| Jul 26, 2005

Inheritance, swimming and men

Property tax I am building a home here on land jointly owned by my wife (Japanese citizen) at a 50:50 recorded proportion (land only). After the house is built, I assume it will be jointly owned. If I were to die, I read that ...

| Jun 14, 2005

What's the deal with leaving Japan?

Leaving Japan DAVE WRITES: I am considering whether or not to return to my country after having worked in Japan for almost 10 years. I would like some information on what official procedures are necessary to end my stay here, particularly with respect to ...

| May 31, 2005

Residency, repairs, finance and printing

Permanent Residency You’ve probably addressed this question before, but if you could enlighten me once again, I’d be grateful, indeed. If a person has permanent residency and leaves Japan, how long can they be gone without losing that status? Or, to put it another ...