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Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2006

LIFELINES

Guarantors and leaving the country


Guarantor

Is there an organization in Japan that serves as a guarantor for foreigners in Japan who want to rent apartments?

Yes, there is such an organization. It is called the Japan Guarantors Association and you can reach them at (03) 5333-3816.

You can also reach them online at www.igs55.com. At the same time any "gyosei shoshi" or administrative lawyer can perform the same service. The usual fee is one month's rent for serving as your guarantor.

Do any of our readers have any experience withing paying an organization to serve as a guarantor?

Leaving Japan

I am planning to leave Japan soon after being here for six years. I would be happy if you could suggest a list of things to do before I leave.

I have heard I can get part of my pension and insurance payments back -- could you help me through it?

In preparing to leave Japan, the first question you need to ask yourself is if you plan for this to be permanent? Will you ever return? Will you continue to have any relationship with Japan?

This is critical as regards the various steps you will you will need to take if leaving for good.

For instance, if leaving permanently, you should close your bank accounts, stop your insurance payments etc.

However, if you plan on coming to Japan from time to time or plan to have some relationship with the country in the future, it would be well to keep some of them.

The first place you should go is your local city office, where you simply let them know that you are leaving. They will direct you to the tax office, where they will help you put together what you will need for filing a last tax return; from there you need to go to the insurance section, which will help you finalize your health insurance; also here, you can fill out the necessary paperwork that will allow a partial refund of your pension payments.

At the airport, you turn in your Alien Registration card.

You'll also want to go to the post office to sort out having your mail forwarded to your new address. Your real estate agent should be able to take care of your apartment closing gas and electricity accounts, etc.

For more information, see www.jhelp.com

Pension refund

Is it possible for the ward office to refund the national pension to an overseas account? I do not have a bank account in Japan.

Before you leave Japan, at the ward office, you'll receive an envelope and application form that you then take with you when you leave the country.

When you are back home, you fill it out and send it out to the city office. They can send the refund to any bank account, including an overseas one.

Ken Joseph Jr. directs The Japan Helpline at www.jhelp.com or on (0570) 000-911

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


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