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Tuesday, April 29, 2003


Overstaying visas, noisy neighbors and DIY trading

Visa overstaying

I'm a Ukranian Citizen now in Japan. I have overstayed my tourist three-month visa. If I would like to go back to my country, what should I do? Can I buy an air ticket without a visa? Do they have money or other kinds of penalties for this type of case? -- Tokyo Don

Dear Tokyo Don, don't worry. Even though the law has become much more strict than in the past, if you contact immigration and are prepared to return home you should be able to negotiate your passage back.

There is no problem in getting an airline ticket. The best thing to do is to purchase your ticket, then contact an immigration attorney to begin negotiations for you and they can help you negotiate to return home.

Japanese immigration is very, very strict but at the same time you can talk with them.

Please contact Mr. Inomoto at (03) 3582-7482 or Mr. Nakai at (03) 5282 7654. They will be able to help you. However, you will probably be prohibited from returning to Japan for five years.

Noisy neighbors

I was hoping you could help me with a problem I am having with my neighbors. I live in a tiny apartment in Yurigaoka courtesy of a language sweatshop, er, I mean school that I have the misfortune to be enslaved by.

Anyway, I work six days a week, which leaves me very tired. However, my neighbors insist on having groups of four or five people over a couple nights a week and they talk and laugh very loud until four and sometimes five in the morning. What can I do? -- Nathan in Tokyo

Dear Nathan in Tokyo, this is one of our regular complaints at The Japan Helpline.

First, you should get a friend to write in Japanese (if you can't do it yourself) a very nice letter telling your neighbors what you just told me and asking them to please keep it down during the night. Then leave it in their mailbox with a number to call your friend if they have any questions.

If this does not work, then get your Japanese friend to go with you to your landlord and show him/her the letter and ask the landlord to help. If this absolutely doesn't work, go to the City Office -- "seikatsu sodan center," or Daily Life Center, and they will take care of it. If you do it politely, with a letter and in Japanese it should be taken care of.

Noise regulations in Japan are very lax, and in order to get your neighbors to keep the noise down, you will have to rely a lot upon their goodwill and understanding.

If matters escalate, and you receive no assistance from your landlord or the city hall, you can always call the police, though it'd be best not to. And if you do, make sure you get your Japanese friend to do it for you.

Please let us know how it goes so we can share your experience with our readers.

From our readers

Your unaccompanied baggage advice is "tanjun" simplistic. Yes, two copies of the declaration are filled out. The custom officer stamps and returns one to the accompanying passenger who must keep it and show it when goods arrive.

Those who deliver the package have no proof that they are unaccompanied until you, the recipient, produce it. The form itself is required.

One who is importing unaccompanied goods sent from two or more places should be careful not to give up possession of this form.

At the time you purchase the items abroad you should put the words "unaccompanied baggage" ("bessouhin") in Japanese on the box to ease customs. -- Jack in Osaka

DIY day trading

Wilma Jay writes from Kyoto about an article read in a recent weekly news magazine about do-it-yourself day trading.

"As you may be aware, DIY day trading was all the rage a few years ago in North America. Some of those guys started with a few bucks and made good money. Some lost a lot of money too."

Wilma is still curious to find out if this form of trading is possible here in Japan and if so, whether there are resources available in English to get started in this type of "gambling" on a home-based PC. "I think it could be an interesting pastime for many gaijin spread around these islands."

Interestingly there was an article not so long ago on the Asahi pages of the International Herald Tribune (14/3/2003 to be exact). This looked at the difficulties traditional brokerages are facing and reported on one facet of the competition: trading from a home-based PC.

This reader would do well to contact the Tokyo Investment Club, which organizes regular meetings, guest speakers and social events. E-mail: tokyoinvestmentclub@hotmail.com. (A.J.)

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers, to: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp

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