Inheritance, noise woes and pet travel


More on death tax

More now on inheritance or death tax. Alastair had heard that “death tax” is very high in Japan and was wondering if this was the case.

If Alastair was talking about the Japanese inheritance tax, then yes, it is very high. This is why so many large estates are being sold and carved up into small plots, and why historic buildings have no intrinsic value. The idea is to do away with inherited wealth; all very totalitarian. Unless you are so rich it doesn’t matter, of course.

For details, refer to Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s guide (in English), “Guide to Metropolitan Tax.” This has three pages on inheritance taxes. Call TMG’s Foreign Residents Advisory Service on (03) 5320-7744 for details of where and how to get hold of a copy.

You might also like to check out the Ministry of Finance’s Web site, which has an English facility.

Noise pollution

Don is up in arms about the new Roppongi Hills Arena (part of the new Roppongi Hills complex) in Tokyo, which has large loudspeakers.

“I live just across the street from these monsters and the sonic pollution is unwelcome. Some families have already moved out because the noise was driving them crazy.”

Don thinks Tokyo would be better off if we could all agree that massive outdoor loudspeaker systems are inappropriate in a crowded urban environment. What do you think?

We asked Mori Corporation to comment:

“We consider that cooperation and peaceful cohabitation with our neighbors is very important,” they say.

“Thus at Roppongi Hills Arena we are actively hosting various community-based events for those from the immediate locality to enjoy. Through this specially devised programming we are aiming to provide special resources and contribute to the local community.

“A great number of people from the immediate area, including those from the residence where your reader lives, have already taken part in these activities and have greatly appreciated these opportunities. For example, the Arena has presented such events as Early Morning Tai-Chi sessions, the Morning Market to sell agricultural produce, Bon Festival Dance, and the recent Halloween Party.

“We are also implementing the following measures for noise control:

In order to minimize the disturbance to the neighbors, we have set voluntary noise limits with a mandatory maximum limit.

The noise level is constantly monitored at Arena. If the noise exceeds the set decibel level, we immediately turn down the sound at the PA master control panel.

The Arena does not hold events that generate noise after 8 p.m. except on special occasions.

We are taking the utmost care when we allocate and set up any sound equipment to minimize the effect of noise to the neighbors.

We are facilitating a dialogue with the neighboring community for further noise reduction measures — as well as providing opportunities for periodic discussion between the person in charge of Arena and our neighbors — and are also conducting discussions to implement further noise reduction measures.”

From our readers

According to second hand information I have received (not confirmed with airlines, etc), the airline policies in general do not allow to ship pets as cargo when the air temperature is above a certain degree either at the port of departure or at the port of destination. This rule supposedly applies both to pet owners traveling on their own with their pets as checked in luggage, as well as for the shipping companies that arrange the transport of pets as “cargo.”

In the end, the pets will travel in the same cargo space in both cases and the same rule regarding heat will therefore apply.