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New talent, cheap fares and STDs

by Angela Jeffs

Talent scouting

Jan believes she has a great voice and wonders how to find representation in Japan. “Are there any agencies that take on foreigners?”

Meet professional Australian songstress Donna Burke, who this year began an agency, Dagmusic Artists.

Dagmusic is the top agency for foreigners working as singers for TVCMs and book people from all nationalities and languages.”

Details can be found at www.dagmusic.com

Just click on Dagmusic Artists for information about where to send your demo, bio and photo. Or you can call during business hours on (03) 5765-6949.

Travel deals

Potential tourist Diana from the U.K. is asking if there are any cheap flight deals around Japan in addition to the JR Rail Pass. The anwer is yes.

As a contribution to the goverment-sponsored Visit Japan Campaign, the Japan Airlines Group has a new discount domestic air fare for overseas visitors to Japan — the JAL “Yokoso (Welcome) Japan” Airpass.

The new fare can be used at 42 airports in Japan served by JAL and two regional subsidiaries, JAL Express (JEX), based in Itami Airport, Osaka, and Japan TransOcean Air (JTA), based in Naha, Okinawa.

Passengers have to be resident overseas and must purchase the JAL “Yokoso Japan” Airpass in advance in conjunction with their JAL Group international ticket, prior to departure for Japan.

The main requirement is that travel to and from Japan from overseas must be made on a JAL Group flight, such as Japan Airlines (JAL), Japan Asia Airways (JAA) and JALways (JAZ). Also, the fare is available overseas only and is not on sale in Japan.

Each domestic sector (minimum two) is priced at 10,000 yen and additional sectors up to five will be charged incrementally. There is a special insurance charge of 300 yen per sector. There is also sales tax of 5 percent.

Only the flight on the first domestic sector needs to be booked in advance. The remaining sectors should be specified in advance but the individual flights can be booked later, when the passenger is in Japan.

JAL also offers another discount fare for overseas visitors, the “Welcome to Japan Fare.” This offers domestic flights at the fixed rate of 12,600 yen per sector, including tax. It can be used to all cities in Japan served by JAL and its subsidiaries, JAL Express (JEX) and Japan TransOcean Air (JTA). This fare is also available overseas only and is not on sale in Japan.

The main difference between the “Welcome to Japan Fare” and the new JAL “Yokoso Japan” Airpass is that travelers using the original “Welcome to Japan Fare” can use JAL or any other airline serving Japan for their international flights to and from Japan, whereas the new, lower priced, JAL “Yokoso Japan” Airpass is available only to travelers using JAL Group flights to and from Japan.

PS for sake lovers

Did you know that JAL has a great multi-language web site “all about sake” at sake.jal.com

It contains information on sake brewing, descriptions of traditional sake breweries throughout Japan and how to visit them, details of the varieties of premium sake served on board JAL flights and a glossary of sake terminology.

STD testing

Anonymous in Osaka is asking where to get a test done for what she fears may be a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Either go to your regular gynecology clinic (“fujin-ka”) to be tested or contact one of AMDA’s international medical information centres (06-636-2333 for Osaka, 03-5285-8088 for Tokyo) to locate your nearest specialist STD clinic (“seibyo-ka”).

Men can also go to a urologist (“hinyoki-ka”).