Bank loans, student grief and cremains


More house info

F. is responding to “Buying a house” in Lifelines, Nov. 11, in which the article states that “You have to have at least an ‘eijyuuken’ (permanent residency) to qualify for a bank loan as a foreigner.”

But F. has found it isn’t always necessary to have permanent residency to get a home owners’ loan in Japan.

This 32-year-old American and his Japanese wife bought a home just last month, even though he does not have permanent residency status.

“Two banks said they were willing to loan us money because I have had the same job for over 3 years, the same active bank account for 10 years and a stable job in Yokohama.”

F. also advises that when buying a used home, one should look for a construction under 20 years old.

Japanese tax laws are such that homeowners can receive up to 1 percent of their mortgage back in tax returns, but only if the home is less than 20 years old.

Readers should take careful note that he was helped by the fact that his wife is Japanese.

A non-Japanese couple without permanent residency might not find it quite so easy.

Student trouble

J. is a foreign student in a large city in southern Japan.

Recently her university staged a small festival for international students and she and her husband, who was here on a tourist visa, were asked to act as moderators in a game.

“Two Cambodian students who were quite drunk came in 1st and 2nd. The organizer decided to give them the first prize jointly. But they demanded first and second prizes

“As moderators, we told them that they should learn to share and not be selfish. It was only a simple game after all. But one of the guys began verbally harassing us, especially my husband.”

The Cambodian is a student at that same place of study and J. knows his faculty and the name of his student adviser.

She wants to know who to complain to, and how to protect her scholarship. She believes the men should learn a lesson or they will go on to offend others, and possibly not just their fellow students.

J. should talk to her own student adviser. After all, that is what he or she is there for: to offer practical and impartial advice.

Alternately she could talk to a sympathetic member of the academic staff, or approach the student union within the university. Maybe readers have other ideas?

Ink and ashes

Bill has additional info on printer ink (Lifelines: July 8) He recommends the Universal brand Inkjet Refill Kit and inkjet bottled ink offered by Ontel Products Corp., Direct Mail Div., 21 Law Drive, Fairfield, N.J., 07004. Fax (1) 973-439-0887 or log-on www.ontelproducts.com

The instruction booklet (along with syringe, etc.) that comes with the kit lists 35 standard and 3 photo Hewlett-Packard inkjet cartridge numbers as well as many others for 9 other brands of printers.

Bill also writes on the subject of bringings his wife’s cremains (cremated remains — ashes) into Japan from Cleveland, Ohio, to Narita International Airport for eventual burial at Fuji Reien near Gotemba.

“The local funeral director called the nearest Japanese consulate (Detroit) and received instructions for packaging and documentation required for carrying cremains to Japan as accompanied baggage.

“At Narita, customs inquired as to the package contents, and then let it pass. This happened in spring 1995.”

It is now legal to bring ashes into Japan; the law changed in 1991.

Japan Times writer Kaho Shimizu has written on the need for legal reform in this newspaper on Aug. 22, 2001: “Options over last rites sought — Scattering of ashes sparks debate over need for regulation.” You can find it at www. japantimes. co. jp