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Ken Joseph Jr.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
May 8, 2007
Health insurance headaches
D.C. wrote to Lifelines with a question about health insurance.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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 response to the measure.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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 remember, say "thanks" and reflect.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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 careful about.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Nov 7, 2006
Driving and social security
As everything get more convenient, things also, in other ways, become more difficult.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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 to separation or divorce.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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.
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Aug 22, 2006
Japan's fingerprinting law is dumb . . . (and that's just what the government thinks)
On May 18, 2006, a little discussed and little debated law passed the Diet.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Aug 15, 2006
Must I pay to renew my lease?
Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy Japan. The mountains, the ocean, the beautiful "inaka" or countryside where time seems to have stopped. It's a good time also to thank God for the simple things that make life in Japan so special -- telephones that work, trains that run on time and people that bring...
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Jul 25, 2006
Renting and dual nationality
In Japan, "truth" is often a very nebulous concept. A "situational ethics" approach to life here directly affects law and gives birth to the "don't ask, don't tell" attitude, which is pervasive in Japan.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Jul 11, 2006
Food and citizenship concerns
Dual citizenship Joe is looking for further clarification on the dual citizenship issue raised in the June 27 Lifelines column.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Jun 27, 2006
On dual citizenship, pensions
Dual citizenship Reader S. doesn't recall ever reading anything in the Lifelines column on dual citizenship.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Jun 13, 2006
Pensions, credit and new law
Missing pension Reader X began working for a company here eight years ago, at which time his employers failed to inform him of his right to enroll in the Employees' Pension and Health Insurance Programs.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
May 30, 2006
'Gokiburi,' new law and residency
Cockroaches One of our readers has been having problems with cockroaches recently. She has been cleaning the apartment regularly, placing cockroach traps and even used a "bomb" to try and get rid of them, all to no avail.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
May 16, 2006
Airports, pensions, cell phones
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.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Apr 4, 2006
Permanent residency and names
Permanent residency Having been granted permanent residency a couple of years ago, I have been concerned about ensuring that I do not jeopardize it by overlooking any technicalities.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Mar 21, 2006
Deposits, insurance and health
Security deposit I think I've heard that a law's been passed preventing a landlord from keeping your security deposit for wear and tear of an apartment.

Longform

The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan