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Airports, pensions, cell phones

by Ken Joseph Jr.

Immigration change

I am reading a lot about the new immigration laws and the possible changes that could apply in regards to airport arrival/re-entry.

I have a question. My kids both have Japanese passports. However, being 2 1/2 and six months, of course they can’t line up by themselves at customs.

I wonder if any thought has been given to this situation.

Does this mean I can go with them, via the “Japanese National” line or are they denied access as they can’t go by themselves?

First, if you have a re-entry permit, meaning you have a regular visa or are a permanent resident, you are able to line up at the “Japanese Only” line. This line generally refers to those — including Japanese — who have some legal tie to Japan.

You should be able to line up with your children there with no problems whatsoever.

Pensions

I am a foreign wife of a Japanese who came to Japan in 1985. After that it became possible for foreign wives to enroll for regular pensions. We were given a number to keep for paperwork purposes.

My husband still pays into this system for me, but in moving recently I lost the number. Is there any way to ask the relevant agency to give me the number again?

Your husband should have the slips detailing the payments that have been made on your behalf. You can then simply go to your current city hall — to the “nenkin ka” — and have them check your name.

They will be able to tell you how many years you will need to keep paying to receive your pension and how much you will receive.

With the new system all the city offices are now connected.

Cell phones

Vodafone has written in about requirements for foreign residents seeking to get a cell phone in Japan.

Vodafone say they accept applications for contract phones even if the applicant does not have a valid alien registration card yet.

A valid passport, visa stamp and an “official” document that verifies their address will do as well.

What experiences have our readers had when it comes to getting hooked up with a cell phone in Japan?

Quickies

Need a quick telephone number? Traveling and need a weather report? Call the prefix of the area you would like to know — for example, 03 for Tokyo, 06 for Osaka, and then 177.

You will get the most current weather report for the area code you are calling.

Call 104 “information” and they should be able to help you, including English.

Need the time? Call 117 — information is in Japanese but it gives you the exact time to the second.