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Ken Joseph Jr.
For Ken Joseph Jr.'s latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Sep 7, 2004
Scammers, counseling, health costs
Counseling Is there such thing as counseling in Japan? I have been married for 7 years and am having problems, yet my wife refuses to even discuss it. Is there some place we or I could go for help?
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Aug 3, 2004
Health costs, counselling, and new jobs
Health Insurance I have been in Japan over a year and I have enrolled in Japanese Health Insurance. My first three monthly premiums cost 1,500 yen, but I have since been re-assessed and now my monthly premiums have jumped to a whopping 57,000 yen a month.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Jul 6, 2004
Healthcare overseas and pension cares
Overseas health I have heard that under some circumstances it is possible to use National Health Insurance Coverage outside of Japan. Is this true? If so, under what circumstances?
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Jun 22, 2004
Visa cards, pensions and thesaurus info
Visa card Is it possible to get a zero annual fee Visa or Mastercard from a Japanese bank? It is quite common in the U.S., but I have never heard of or seen one here.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
May 25, 2004
More pension information and hiking
Pension I I am a foreign national living and working in Japan. I have heard that when I leave Japan, I will be reimbursed for my contributions to the national insurance , unemployment insurance or national pension plans.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
May 11, 2004
Insurance, pension cash and divorce
Health Insurance I have been in Japan for almost 6 years and I have paid into the social health insurance system during my 3 years on the JET Program. After I had finished JET, I dropped out of the system and have not enrolled in the national health insurance system.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Apr 27, 2004
Car checks and new passport rules
Vehicle inspection Do you know of anyone who could give me information on the laws and procedure regarding car inspections? I need to obtain Japanese inspection and a registration number plate for a recently imported car.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Apr 13, 2004
Divorce and insurance policies
Divorce I was married for two years to a Japanese woman (no children). We separated almost one year ago. I recently asked my wife for a divorce, but she wants financial compensation before she will agree.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Mar 30, 2004
Pensions and claiming back farewell cash
JET pensions I am working as a prefectural employee and am married to a Japanese national. I am aiming to amass the minimum 22 years of pension contributions necessary to draw a pension in Japan.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Mar 16, 2004
Citizenship and health insurance
Citizenship I am a holder of a valid Philippines passport and have permanent residence status here in Japan, where I have lived for at least 18 years. I would like to apply for citizenship.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Mar 2, 2004
Getting a visa and finding a good lawyer
Japanese visas Dear Lifelines; How do I apply for a visa for Japan?
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Feb 17, 2004
Posting food to the U.S. and big clothes
U.S. posting rules Dear Lifelines; Is there some new prohibition against sending Japanese foods to the U.S.?
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Feb 3, 2004
Tenant rights and health care for foreigners
Tenant rights Two years ago, I rented an apartment through a realtor, and paid lots of money -- two-months deposit, one-month thank you money, and realtor fee -- thinking that after two years, we could renew our contract and somehow use the place longer to compensate for the initial payments we had made.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Jan 20, 2004
Planning for your financial future in Japan
I am looking for some pension and retirement information in Japan. Even though I am only 34, I am thinking about the financial situation in the future. I am Swiss, but have spent the past few years abroad, so I have to count on foreign retirement support.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Dec 16, 2003
Computers trains and sewing tips
Driving and computers I seem to remember that some time ago you gave information about driving lessons in English. I wonder if you could let me have the details as I neglected to note them down at the time.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Dec 2, 2003
Green cards, tenant rights and sewing
Immigration worry Dear Lifelines; My wife and I are returning in January from the U.S.; I am a U.S. citizen and she is Japanese. We had lived in Japan together for 7 years prior to my 2 year U.S. assignment. (I am a regular employee of the Japan branch office.)
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Nov 18, 2003
Frustration with ISPs and keitai spam
ISP trouble On the subject of ISPs, I also was billed about 100,000 yen by my Internet Service Provider. The salesperson explained the contract to me in broken English as I cannot read Japanese. I was told I had to sign now, I couldn't take the contract away, have someone explain it to me and bring it back later.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Nov 4, 2003
Pension cash payments and house-buying
Nenkin Dear Lifelines; I am American, my late husband was Japanese. We lived in Japan throughout our marriage, but for various reasons it became prudent to bring the kids back to the U.S. after he died at age 42.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Oct 21, 2003
Internet bill nightmare, pension payouts, and singing groups
Internet connection I have a problem that concerns with my Internet Service Provider. I was billed for over 100,000 yen for Internet connection and international calls. Most of the bill came from international phone calls, which I thought were free.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LIFELINES
Sep 2, 2003
Baby names, death tax and crackers
Greetings from Baghdad, where it's 120 in the shade, the food is great, the people the best and electricity a dim memory. Oh, for the goodness of Japan.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on