author

 
 

Meta

Ken Joseph Jr.
For Ken Joseph Jr.'s latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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?
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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 our electrical system and the electrician discovered some very dangerous plugs. We have tried and tried to contact the landlord to no avail. We are very scared as we are a family of three people living on the fourth floor. We have always paid the rent on time during 14 years in this apartment. What should we do? To leave this apartment means paying money to the real estate agent and we can't afford it.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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 middle names.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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 paperwork for a fee.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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).
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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 my visa, income taxes, pensions, and health insurance.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
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.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
May 3, 2005
Rail passes, credit and changing your cash
More credit queries I notice lately you've had a lot of queries regarding credit cards in Japan. One question I'm curious about is -- why?
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Apr 5, 2005
Burned out, wills and tax advice
Fire! Last week our house had a fire We had just moved into a rental house and paid all the key money, real estate fees etc. and nine days later our neighbor's house had a major fire, which spread to ours. The neighbor's house is completely burned, and one person died. My family all escaped unhurt, but our house was partially burned and has a lot of water and smoke damage.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Feb 15, 2005
Insurance, selling your home and pet care
Insurance query Isn't health insurance in Japan different from "kaigo hoken?" And, is it true that if a permanent resident with a legitimate visa stops paying the health insurance premiums that basically nothing can be done? In other words, the "kuyakusho" will eventually remove the person's name from its mailing list?
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Jan 18, 2005
Repairs, old CDs and disaster information
Apartment problems My wife and I have lived in our small apartment for 7 years. In that time, we have had virtually no contact with our landlord or real estate agent.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Jan 4, 2005
Aged care, drivers' license woes and an alert
'Kaigo hoken' I have been in Japan many years but have never applied for permanent residence. I had personal insurance under Pacific Star until last year. Their present carrier will not insure past renewal at age 64. I do not know how much longer I will be in Japan but I am positive that at the time I should need nursing care I would return to the U.S. Therefore, there is no way for me to receive any benefits from the near 50,000 yen a year I am being asked to pay to the Japanese national health insurance system. Now the local office is writing, with threats of more forceful action, if their billings are not paid. How is this to be handled?
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Dec 7, 2004
The guy, tax worries and cops
The guy Reader David has a question for "the guy who answers them for the foreign community."
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Nov 9, 2004
Classes, groups and driving
Japanese classes I am on a month-long holiday travel staying here in Tokyo. I am interested and looking for Japanese beginner level language courses.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Oct 26, 2004
Dodgy landlords and police
Dodgy landlord I was two weeks late with my rent and the landlord locked me out of my apartment. Is there anything I can do?
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Oct 5, 2004
Alien card concerns and a visitor
Fall is a beautiful time in Japan. If you have a chance, try and get away to to the mountains somewhere -- Nikko, Chichibu . . . it is absolutely beautiful.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Sep 21, 2004
Office space and garbage
The office I am starting a small business and looking for an office. I hear that you have to pay many months -- up to a year -- to rent an office. Is this true and is there anything I can do about it?

Longform

Later this month, author Shogo Imamura will open Honmaru, a bookstore that allows other businesses to rent its shelves. It's part of a wave of ideas Japanese booksellers are trying to compete with online spaces.
The story isn't over for Japan's bookstores