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Barry Brophy

For Barry Brophy's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

The rules of the road

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Nov 28, 2006

The rules of the road

Obtaining a driver's license can be an expensive and frustrating experience, and doing so in Japan is no different in that regard. But for many foreign residents in Japan, transferring their home license into a Japanese one can be a fairly simple and inexpensive ...

Permanent visa can relieve pension pain

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Oct 3, 2006

Permanent visa can relieve pension pain

One of many foreign residents' biggest gripes about Japan is the requirement that they must pay into the Japanese pension system for as long as they work here, even though they won't stay long enough to receive any benefits. Permanent residency can help to ...

Permanent residency

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Sep 12, 2006

Permanent residency

As more foreigners choose to remain in Japan long-term, increasing numbers have sought a status change to reflect their commitment to the country and make it easier to build a stable life here. Since 1997, the number of foreign residents who have secured permanent residence ...

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Oct 4, 2005

Hidden wisdom of 'the guv'

Adored by large sections of the Japanese public, reviled in equal measure by the foreign community and courted tirelessly by the domestic media: There are few more divisive figures in Japan today than Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara. The septuagenerian populist can rarely open his mouth ...

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Sep 13, 2005

Scales of justice

Spare a thought for Hiroyuki Cho. The 39-year-old purported "mastermind" behind the theft of large fiber-glass Peko-chan dolls in broad daylight from outside one of Japan's most famous confectionery chains was last week handed a 7-year prison sentence for his crimes. Cho's harsh sentence ...

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST May 31, 2005

New Nova hours pose health risk

Nova Corp., Japan's largest employer of foreign nationals, is set to amend its working times from this week, a move which could see thousands of foreign teachers become ineligible for Employees Health Insurance, and save the company as much as 1 billion yen a ...

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Apr 12, 2005

English schools face huge insurance probe

The Social Insurance Agency is to investigate Japan's largest English-language teaching companies over a suspected failure to enroll their full-time foreign employees in the employees' pension and health insurance schemes. Japan's largest "eikaiwa" chain, Nova, is already being probed by the Social Insurance Agency and ...

Pension system a riddle wrapped in an enigma

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Aug 24, 2004

Pension system a riddle wrapped in an enigma

Help, police! For foreigners staying in Japan for more than three and less than 25 years, there is only one word for the Japanese pension system -- ROBBERY! -- Bhupesh Politicians should pay up The Japanese pension system is undoubtedly one of the most corrupt programs ...

Collecting your pension dues

Community Aug 17, 2004

Collecting your pension dues

After those who leave Japan, hand in their gaijin cards and apply for their 2.4 month refund, the remaining millions of yen they've paid into the system stay in Japan, where the money is used to pay pension payments for those they left behind. The ...

Your golden handshake

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Aug 10, 2004

Your golden handshake

What is the Japanese pension system? There are two types of pension system. National Pension System Temporary and part-time workers and the self-employed are required to pay into the national pension system, or "kokumin nenkin." There are cases whereby those who can argue that they are unable ...