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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

LIFELINES

More credit and readers need help

More free credit

Reader "Tokyo Angel" got a no-charge credit card after hunting around for a while. She currently has a Nicos Visa card through the post office (application forms are available from all post offices) that has no annual fee and which includes full travel insurance aswell, even if you don't pay for your trip with the card.

There's a list of other services on the yahoo.co.jp site though only in Japanese. This is a great reference site because it includes all their other perks as well, so it's easy to compare the different companies and you can also apply for an application form online (only in Japanese again).

Tokyo Angel found a host of no-charge cards through the Yahoo site, including an NTT card (Visa); DC card Jizile (Visa); Arubara card (JCB); Japan Postal Savings card (Visa); Nicos Japan Postal Savings card (Visa); and an Aeon card (Visa).

Also, reader Danny confirms that the Post Office offers a joined ATM card with VISA privileges for free. There is no annual fees.

He also says that Citibank also offers a free annual fee for the first year VISA card. Just cancel the second year in order not to pay any fees and re-apply again for a new card!

Pet hotel

A Tokyo-based reader is wondering if anyone knows of a good English-speaking pet sitter or pet hotel in the metropolitan area. She has a 7-month-old puppy that needs watching over the Obon holiday. Send us your tips and we'll pass them on.

Help!

My boyfriend was playing around with my phone, and by mistake clicked on a link within a junk mail, which led to some sex site. The problem is: you seem to get automatically signed up when you click the link.

When he realized this (the site says something like "thank you for registering," and displayed my number).

The terms of use say something like: "Pay 60,000 within 6 days to designated bank account. If you don't, we will come after the money." I tried to find a link for dissolving the contract on the top page, but couldn't.

Now I'm afraid that some thugs will come after me for the money. Will they be able to get private information about me, like my address etc., from the phone company or is it illegal?

Have any readers had a similar experience with dodgy keitai sites?

Further education

Reader Viola has done her master's in Japanese outside Japan and has been working here for two years.

She would like to go in for further education like research or a PHD, but is afraid that her Japanese level may not be up to the grade required to pass the notoriously difficult entrance examinations at Japanese universities.

She's wondering if any other readers have had experience with applying for further education in Japan and if there is any consideration shown to foreign nationals who apply for admission.

Send your experiences with the Japanese third-level system into us.

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


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