Cynthia Seton writes in her May 28 letter, “Different take on universities,” that Japanese national universities are often notorious for treating non-Japanese quite differently. I agree to a large extent. I worked as a low-paid post-doctorate fellow at a prefectural — not national — university for 9½ years, and was told by the director that I was first in line for the next permanent position. The director retired, the promise was forgotten, and the new director didn’t care that I had invested so many years waiting for a permanent position.
But it isn’t easy for a university, either. Seton complains that money was not deducted from her husband’s salary for a national pension plan. My university deducted money from my salary and put it into a national pension plan without giving me a choice. The result is that I can now humbly apply to get back a lump sum, which is a fraction of the amount that I paid into the scheme during my first three years. Everything paid during the last 6½ years is lost.
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