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Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2005


Repairs, old CDs and disaster information

Apartment problems

My wife and I have lived in our small apartment for 7 years. In that time, we have had virtually no contact with our landlord or real estate agent.

The only problem is that, although we've done our best to look after the place and keep it clean etc, after seven years things begin to fall apart. A bad smell often comes up the drain into the shower room, and the sliding screen doors, for example, hardly slide anymore.

My question is: Who is responsible for paying for the upkeep of an apartment? Obviously, we carry out minor repairs as and when necessary, but when it comes to something more major, is that our liability too?

In terms of upkeep of the apartments, this is, as in any other country, the responsibility of the owner and or manager.

The procedure is to first make a simple list of the items you need checked and or repaired. Give it to your apartment manager. If you do not know the manager give it to the real estate agent that got you the apartment in the first place.

If after a reasonable amount of time you do not get an answer or get any help go to your local city or ward office with copies of all your letters and they will contact the owner/manager on your behalf.

If all else fails contact The Japan Helpline at www.jhelp.com or on (0570) 000-911.

Used CDs

I have a lot of used CDs that I no longer listen to and would like to sell them to a store that buys used CDs. I know they exist in Japan, but don't know where to find them.

Do you know where I can find such stores in the Tokyo area?

There are many, many places that will buy your used CDs. One good one to try is Recofan at (03) 5454-0161. We checked with them and they buy used CDs depending of course on the type and how old they are from 10 percent off the list price to 50 percent.

They are near Shibuya Station at Nishimura Bldg.,36-6 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya.

Do any of our readers know of good places to flog old CDs.?

Tsunami advice

For those returning from overseas who were involved in the tsunami disaster, Peter Van Buren of the U.S. Embassy offers some important advice.

He says:

* DO NOT re-enter Japan under the 90 day visa waiver (i.e., as a "tourist.") Even if admitted, you will not legally be allowed to work and you will be subject to arrest and deportation, and your employer will be subject to legal penalties. You will not be allowed to change status in Japan.

Instead, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice advise us that you should inform the immigration officer upon landing in Japan that you were involved in the disaster and lost your passport and re-entry permit. The immigration officer will check the database, and once the issuance of the re-entry permit and your identity are confirmed, you will be allowed to enter and will have the same status as before.

This additional processing must be done at the airport and will take sometime.

* A MORE CERTAIN, albeit more time consuming alternative method will be for your visa sponsor to go to the city office and get a certified copy of your alien registration ("gaikokujin toroku genpon kisai shomei.")

Your sponsor will then go to the nearest Japanese immigration office and obtain a re-entry permit stamped on the back side of this certified copy of the alien card copy. The stamped certificate should be express-mailed (or faxed both sides) to you.

Contact your nearest Japanese Embassy or consulate for more information.

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

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