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Should foreigners with PRs be allowed to vote?

John Marcus touched on a very interesting topic. Frankly, I don’t know if Permanent Residents should be allowed to vote – it’s a right for the citizens but I guess he has his gripe about his rights when he has to pay the tax and stuff like a normal citizen.

Do you guys have any thoughts on this topic?

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Administration, Immigration, Misc | 1 Comment »


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Tax Day

I am kinda surprised that someone would actually video Japan’s tax day lol

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Administration, Misc | No Comments »


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Working Holiday in Japan

Japan has an agreement with certain countries whereby they will allow citizens of those countries to participate in a working holiday visa that lasts up to a year. These working visas applies only to those aged 18 to 25 (sometimes it applies to 30’s, special privileges or exemptions will apply). What you can do is you can stay up to one year traveling around Japan and working part time while you’re at it to sustain your living costs.

This is an excellent way of opening up your eyes to the world.

The countries that Japan are in agreement with are:

* Australia
* Canada
* Germany
* France
* Ireland
* Korea
* New Zealand
* United Kingdom

If you’re not from this country then I am afraid you are not eligible for a working holiday in Japan.

via Japan Guide

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Administration, Misc, Social | No Comments »


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Health Insurance

If you’re traveling anywhere in the world, you should always ALWAYS make sure you have your personal health insurance covered. This is mainly because if you ever have an medical emergency in a foreign land, you are covered, both your little behind and your wallet. That is why, many countries insist on their foreigners to have health insurance from their own insurance company or take a health insurance offered by their country.

In Japan, the goverment insists that all residents must enroll in a Japanese insurance program. Currently there are two main types of health insurance – “Social Insurance” (KENKO-HOKEN) and National Health Insurance (KOKUMIN-KENKO-HOKEN). Generally, social insurance are for use for employees in companies and National health insurance are used for students and the self-employed.

There are other types of insurance as well called the Mutual Aid Associations (KYOSAI KUMIAI), which cover most public service and private school employees. Under Japanese insurance, you are generally required to pay about 30% of the medical expenses incurred.

Foreigners who come to work in Japan has a choice in their health insurance though. Most of them opt for health insurance from their country of residence or they take up offers from private insurance companies in Japan.

There are some pointers to look out for as an Expat in Japan, here they are:

* Health insurance is mandatory when living in Japan for one year or longer.
* Contrary to popular rumors circulating among the GAIJIN community, foreigners ARE NOT automatically covered by National Health Insurance.
* As National Health Insurance premiums are based on your PREVIOUS year’s income, the first year of coverage is relatively cheap (you pay the minimum required premium).

You also need to be aware of the legitimacy of your Expatriate Healthcare program from your chosen insurance company. Here are some pointers for you to look up on an insurance company before deciding:

1. Underwriter of the product.
2. Standard and Poor’s rating.
3. Emergency Assistance Company.
4. Representative company of the product.

All of that information above needs to be on their website. If not, request a written documentation of the information above. It can save you a lot of trouble!

For more information, visit Gaijinpot

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Administration, Emergency, Healthcare, Money | 1 Comment »


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Convert western years into Japanese years

In Japan, it’s usually the Gregorian calendar years (e.g. 2005) that we use everyday, but for official and administrative purposes, the Japanese calendar is often used, and that can be confusing if you don’t know it.

Fortunately, this online tool converts western years into Japanese Emperor Era years (”nengo”, 年号).

The Japanese year is written with the name of the reigning Emperor followed by the year of his reign and the kanji character for “year”. For example, 2005 is Heisei 17, and can be written in Japanese as 平成17年 or 平成十七年.

The most common occasion when you might need to use this calendar system is for paperwork that ask for your date of birth, which means that once you memorize this, you should be safe for a while. And if you were not born before 1925, it will be either Showa or Heisei. Note that in some forms, the eras are shortened to just the first kanji, or even becomes a choice between S and H.


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