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Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005

LIFELINES

Moving and bank hassle


Moving expenses

We need help negotiating with the new owner of our building. It is going to be demolished, and we have been told to leave.

The major problem is that they are unwilling to pay us compensation. What, if anything, do you recommend in a case like this?

If you are in a building that is being demolished you are entitled to moving expenses in relationship to your monthly rent and how long you have been there.

A good rule of thumb is to find a similar place that you will be moving too, find out how much it will cost you to move into a new place including moving expenses, add to that the amount you paid down on your current place and double it and start from there.

Start high and negotiate down.

If you do not get anywhere, check with a lawyer and he will do it for you. One who can help is Mr. Watanabe at (03) 3222-5361.

Swimming lessons

Swimming lessons in English are available at the YCAC in Yokohama, located near Yamate station.

The Club can be reached at www.ycac.com or you can mail general manager Cameron Graham at Gen.Manager@ycac.or.jp

Bank hassle

Every time I go to my local bank to send money abroad and even sometimes when I go to buy traveler's checks, the staff ask to see my alien registration card and/or passport -- which they always photocopy -- even though they already know perfectly well who I am.

A few times I have asked whether it isn't enough for them to see my ID and why they need to take a copy each time even though they know who I am.

The best I can get is that it is "bank policy."

What are the actual laws pertaining to this? Can the bank retain several copies of my personal information?

We checked with the bank and in order to send funds overseas you need the following: bank book, seal (signature), and an application form. The bank does not require any more than this, nor are you obliged to show your alien registration card, since only the police and immigration authorities have the right to ask to see it.

The best thing is to go to the bank with a Japanese friend and have them remind the bank that there is no legal basis for what they are doing, as well as the ridiculousness of the situation.

If you wish more help contact The Japan Helpline at www.jhelp.com

Business school

I am working in middle management in a large Japanese company and recently have been transferred to head office in Tokyo.

While in Tokyo, I would like to obtain a higher education in business management.

Can you tell me a good school in the Tokyo area that offers such courses, preferably through English?

The best school for your needs is Temple University in Tokyo. Contact them at (03) 5441-9914 and they can give you all the details.

Lottery tickets

I'm wondering about lottery tickets ("takarakuji"). How can I find out if I've won or not other than going to the ticket booth and having the woman there put my tickets through the machine?

I went on the Internet but found that the Japan Lottery's English page cannot be accessed.

We tracked down a number you can call, though for English help. Please call The Takarakuji Office at Mizuho Bank at (03) 3535-9085. You'll get a message in Japanese, but just press "2" and when someone comes on the line ask to speak to Mr. Ichino. He should be able to help you in English.

Further, any local Mizuho Bank branch will be happy to help you check your numbers.

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

Ken Joseph directs The Japan Helpline at www.jhelp.com or 0570-00-911


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