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Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004

LIFELINES

Air travel, kids stuff and wills


Air travel

R.M. has a friend who wants to come and visit Japan, but he needs to use a portable oxygen tank from time to time.

"Is there any chance airlines would let him bring his own onto the plane? If not, is it possible to obtain oxygen at Narita Airport or somewhere in Tokyo?"

The following information was supplied by AMDA (International Medical Information centers) in Tokyo: (03) 5285-8088. Kansai: (06) 636-2333.

Airline security tightens by the day, and it is unlikely you will find a company that allows your friend to carry his own tank aboard. Check with the airline he will be flying with to make sure, though.

There is some provision made, however. Fill in a form of permission on health grounds supplied by the airline a good two weeks in advance of making the trip. A supply will then be laid on by the airline.

Also ask the airline for help if needs be in maintaining a supply on entering Japan, from the clinic in Narita Airport (Tokyo Kokusai Kyuko Clinic -- phone 0467-34-6119.) Here oxygen can be supplied under the supervision of a doctor.

To rent a tank for the duration of the stay, contact Japan Air Gases on (03) 3536-2642 (Japanese only). The company does however have a Web site in English listing branches at www.japanairgases.co.jp/en/index.html

Making a will

A long-term British resident who was born in Scotland wants to make a will and wonders where she can get advice from a Scottish lawyer.

She is aware that Scottish law can be different from that of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Also, under Japanese law, if she dies before her Japanese husband, he automatically inherits her estate. Neither of them want this, preferring assets to go directly to their children.

"Under Japanese law, all my husband needs to do is sign my will agreeing to making no claim. But inquiries so far indicate that to make a will I need both a Scottish lawyer and a Japanese lawyer (if I can find one), which means double fees!"

I would begin by finding a Scottish lawyer and take it from there. Check out the British Embassy's Web site at www.uknow.or.jp

Click "ENGLISH," and then the entry for British Nationals in the right-hand corner. Search "Life in Japan," which has a list of offices with British lawyers.

In short, the Japanese inheritance law states that at the death of one spouse, half the estate goes to the remaining partner and half to the children of the marriage. If there are no children, the surviving spouse gets two thirds, the parents of the deceased the remainder. If the parents are dead, the surviving spouse gets three quarters and any brothers or sisters of the deceased share the remaining quarter.

Japanese readers can confirm this and get additional information on the following Web sites: www.taxanser.nta.go.jp/

And; www.ron.gr.jp/law/law/minpo_sz.htm

With regards death duty, the basic deduction is zero, with no duty payable below 50 million yen, plus 10 million yen for each inheritee.

We would like to hear from any readers who have experienced problems regarding wills and inheritance.

Idea sharing

Sako, a father of two, writes that not long ago, he and a few other gaijin parents started a mailing list to talk about issues facing those raising children in Japan. The mailing list is now open to anyone who would like to join.

He writes: "The list is intended as a venue for trading information and discussing issues related to education, bilingualism, socialization, dealing with Japanese in-laws, and any other subjects that foreigners bringing up children in Japan have in common."

If you would like to join, check out Gaijin Parents in Japan at six.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/gp

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


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