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Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007

LIFELINES

Bicycles, dentists and curves


Share the road

Reader Junji wants to bring to our attention the proposed laws before the Diet that will increase the number of cyclists on the sidewalk and restrict the number of roads that can be used by cyclists.

"This is bad legislation that simply ignores the broader question of road safety and education and dumps everything onto the ordinary citizens. It is known that Japanese laws on cycling are in a large gray area, and due to the lack of education, fatalities are very high," he says.

The answer, he believes, is not to force everyone onto the sidewalk.

A survey on the subject (in English) is online at the following address: www.japancycling.org/v2/opinionaire/enquete.html

Junji writes: "The survey is run by an organization called Japan Cycling Navigator, a group that reaches out to overseas residents of Japan who are interested in cycling.

"I encourage readers of The Japan Times to become aware of the issue and to fill out the survey, or even take the matter up with other authorities."

Curves

Lisa (no time to workout) has heard about "curvemaster," a ladies-only circuit style gym that only requires 30 minutes to work your whole body.

"Do these gyms exist in Kanagawa?" she asks. The company name is Curves and yes, they are in Japan.

Go to their Web site for a list of locations (over a hundred here already) and many more worldwide: www.curves.com/locations/

The list is not alphabetical so you need to scroll all the way down, but there seems to be several gyms in Kanagawa's Fujisawa, Hadano, Samigahara and Odawara.

The latter city is blessed with two.

Dental confusion

YO had a friendly argument with her dentist, whom she just visited for her annual checkup.

"After cleaning my teeth, he told me that the condition of my teeth and gums was perfect, consequently no further treatment was required, yet he asked me to come again for two more visits."

When she asked him why he would want her to come again, he replied that the Japanese insurance system requires patients to come and see their dentist three times, though he thought himself that it was absurd!

"I replied that I had no time and money to waste on such ridiculous rules and left.

"But now I feel somewhat sorry for my dentist, who seems rather puzzled, helpless and surprised by my straightforwardness.

"Could you please clarify this strange system concerning the Japanese dental system to avoid any further misunderstanding?"

Interesting. My Japanese husband's cousin is a dentist and she says she has never heard of such a thing before.

She has many foreign patients with "hoken" (Japanese insurance) and they come only as little or as often as they need.

It could be your dentist was trying it on.

That, or he knows something that other Japanese dentists don't.

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


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