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Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005

LIFELINES

Bird flu, same-sex, posting


Bird flu

With all the panic flying around on the subject of bird flu, several readers have asked where to get down to-earth information and advice. Sascha Hewitt's online store and resource center Natural Healing Center has a well-grounded article with a link to its home page on the subject: naturalhealingcenter.com/

Sascha says: "Almost all the info comes from the WHO and Australian government. I've no idea what kind of stocks of vaccine and medicine Japan has on hand. Somebody told me they are doing a good job but if that is the case why is Dr Shane (as quoted in the article) running low?"

Same sex marriage

X in Canada wants to know if his marriage there to Japanese boyfriend Y is legal in Japan. "As you probably know, Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize gay marriages third year, along with the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. If we decide to move to Japan, how will this affect us?"

Legally, Japan does not recognize same-sex marriages. You will not be able to get a spouse visa, for example. If you want confirmation or to argue the case, call the Immigration Information Office in Tokyo's Shinagawa district on (03) 5796 7112.

In terms of finding accommodation, most probably a blind eye will be turned to two men sharing; just get all the paperwork done in your Japanese partner's name.

The place to go to deal with sexuality-related human rights issues in Japan is the organization OCCUR, which welcomes any inquiries about the legal ramifications of recognizing overseas marriages and/or human rights violations.

OCCUR can be contacted on(03) 3383-5556, or (fax) (03) 3229-7880. Alternatively e-mail: occur@kt.rim.or.jp

Indian grocer, Hindi

Genevieve is desperate to find a well-stocked Indian grocer in Nagoya. "I am also looking for Hindi classes somewhere in the area, and a social group of English-speaking people over 35 years of age. Can anyone help me out with any of these?"

I suggest you link up with the Nagoya International Center (NIC) at 47-1, Nagono 1-chome, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya 450-0001. (Closed every Monday, Dec. 29-Jan. 3, and the second Sundays of February and August).

See what resources are available; maybe you can pin up a notice.

NIC's Web site ( www.nic-nagoya.or.jp/english/frame_e.htm ) is in English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Tagalog.

And while we are in Nagoya, here are some contact numbers that might be useful:

Information Counter (Public Relations and Information Division): Phone (052) 581 0100; Fax (052) 571 4673; E-mail: info@nic-nagoya.or.jp

Library (Public Relations and Information Division): Phone (052) 581-0102.

Exchange and Cooperation Projects Division: Phone (052) 581-569; E-mail: koryu@nic-nagoya.or.jp

Exchange and Cooperation Projects Division (Nonprofit Sector Activities): Phone(052) 581-5689; E-mail: vol@nic-nagoya.or.jp

International Students Center: Phone (052) 654-351; E-mail: isc_nic@arion.ocn.ne.jp

Posting for Christmas

For some parts of the world, it's too late to post for Christmas. Check out the last date for sending cards and gifts to different countries.

Japan Post has been offering postal services information in English by telephone since 1992. Beginning Nov. 9, 2005, the telephone number for its services changed.

Call Postal Services Information using the new number (0570) 046 111; this is operative 365 days a year, from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. (Monday- Friday) and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays.)

Go online to www.post.japanpost.jp/Engl.osh/news/number_info.html for a list of local numbers.

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


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