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Tuesday, March 2, 2004

LIFELINES

Getting a visa and finding a good lawyer


Japanese visas

Dear Lifelines; How do I apply for a visa for Japan?

If all questions were so simple and to the point. You apply for a visa at a Japanese Embassy or Consulate in your home country. For many countries, mainly in Europe and North America there is no need for a visa to visit for up to three months. For other countries there are many variables but generally they involve a ticket, proof that one will return to one's own country etc.

Lawyers

Dear Lifelines; Can you recommend a dependable and trustworthy English-speaking lawyer or solicitor who specializes in handling foreign residents' wills, etc?

There are many, many good English-language lawyers in Japan.

We are putting it out to our readers to let us know of any they can recommend.

At the same time it is good to bear in mind one very important thing -- simply speaking English and varying degrees thereof is not the solution.

What you need is a lawyer who not only speaks the language but is a good lawyer and will fight for the cause you need fought, which in Japan is truly rare.

We can recommend Mr. Sasaki at Anderson Mori at 6888-1000 and Mr. Watanabe at 3222-5361 respectively. Both are good lawyers and can speak English or have staff that can do so.

Let us hear from our readers with their recommendations on the "Lifelines Lawyer List."

GSM phones

Traveling a lot? GSM telephones have finally come to Japan. You can get them at Vodaphone at www.vodaphone.jp/english . This allows you to have the same telephone and take your calls wherever you are and change GSM cards anytime. A huge step forward for those of us who travel a lot.

From our readers

Re. the inquiry about tall or big sizes; many department stores have an "okii size" section (eg. MyCal) but you can find some shops that specifically cater to the tall and big.

In Japan I wear a triple L, but in Hawaii, I wear an L. There is a chain called Grand Back in all the major cities. In Yokohama, it is across from the Naka Ward office. Their Web site is www.grand-back.co.jp and the toll free number is 0120-244-771.

In Tokyo, in Shinjuku 3-chome, one block from Isetan's original, large dept. store, there is a department store called Sakazen Zen Mall. The 4th and 5th floors are just for tall and large men. One floor has suits and formal type wear and shoes, belts, etc. and the other floor has casual wear of all kinds -- jackets, training outfits, sweatshirts, underwear, ties, jeans, everything.

Yes, the price is much more than you'd pay back home, but if you need something in particular, you'll find it here.

Ken Joseph Jr. directs The Japan Helpline at www.jhelp.com or 0570-000-911 Send your queries, questions, problems and posers, to: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp


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