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Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2003

LIFELINES

Scootering, start-ups and an update


Scooter licenses

Maynard never learned to drive in Canada before moving here in 1972 ("yes, 31 years ago, sigh"). Living and working in Tokyo's Yoga district, he has had no need to drive a car, and is put off by the 250,000 yen starting price for local driving schools.

Recently, though, Maynard has been thinking about getting a scooter and a license for short trips "through the wilds of Setagaya-ku." How would he go about getting a license, he asks, adding that language is not an issue.

Even to ride a 50 cc scooter, Maynard has to go back to school. I suggest he call the Driver License Testing Centre on (03) 3474-1374, which has an English service for those in need.

Basically, he has to do a course, then take a test, which is threefold: eye test, written test, and driving test. Check out the Koyama Driving School on (03) 3709-2551 in Setagaya Ward; instruction is good -- and in English if required.

In terms of finding something cheap, it's best to pay heavily up front and pass first time, than take the cheap route, possibly fail, and have to start all over again.

Shipping scooters

We have some more information on the subject of shipping scooters out of Japan.

Assuming you are shipping back other stuff, it can go as part of your effects. If not, it can go home alone. There are any number of shipping companies able to do the job.

Jeremy of the company Shipmates (www.yourshipmates.com ) says that scooters need to be de-registered here and the papers hand over to the shipper. The tanks also needs to be emptied, and wiring disconnected. The bike is then crated.

Free dial 0120-225 188, or e-mail yourshipmates@yahoo.com for more information.

Starting a business

British citizens Lisa and Andy want to start a small trading company in Saitama in the near future.

They should check out the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan on (03) 3267 1901. First take a look at its Web site at www.bccjapan.com

Then contact executive director Ian de Staines if you have any more questions.

Tried and tested

Phil has several times tried to access the Web site www.kovach-services.com/FSLfor the Family Supply Line mentioned in Lifelines' July 22 column, but each time received an error message saying that the URL was not valid. He has even tried variations but each time the result is the same, prompting him to wonder if we check our information before printing it.

We do. However, there is indeed a glitch now. A way around it, though, is to try a simple search for "family supply line."

This brings up the information with no problem at all. But the Web address given is the one above. Pretty strange.

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


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