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Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2007


Advice on divorce, arachnids

Seeking legal help

French national J-L's brother has separated from his Japanese wife.

"According to Japanese law, my brother's visa ended a week ago. However, they have two young kids who would like to live with their father. According to Japanese policy, if my brother returns to France, he won't see his children again. What shall we do?"

First, head to your embassy and seek assistance. Hopefully staff can point you toward a French lawyer with knowledge of Japanese law.

If this fails, call Kurokawa Office in Tokyo's Toshima Ward (3-15-14 Higashi-Ikebukuro, by the Sunshine 60 building), which specializes in visa procedures, immigration law and marriage-related legal services.

Ask for immigration lawyer Koji Kurokawa (English-language service available) on (03) 3985-4661, fax (03) 3985-4662, or e-mail kurokawa-office@mbg.nifty.com. His home page is at www.kurokawa-office.com.

Another option is the Universal Law Office, 2F Ishibashi Building, Samoncho 2, Shinjuku Ward (phone (03) 3358-5361 or fax (03) 3358-5367).

Here you can consult with the Tokyo Bar Association about the legal ramifications of separation and divorce in Japan.

The best online site for information is Children's Rights Network Japan at www.crnjapan.com. There's masses here on the law, lawyers, abuse, where to go (and where not to go), what to do, support groups, etc.

No foreigner should consider marriage with a Japanese national, especially if planning to have children, without first considering worst-case scenarios. This is why applicants-to-wed at many embassies are given a pep talk by officials to make sure that marriage and divorce laws here are clearly understood.

Man vs. spider

Julian writes: "Living in the wilds of Yokohama (well, semi-wilds), we have a small garden around our house. We have the usual bugs — mosquitoes, ants, etc — but we get some monstrous spiders! These things have bodies the size of golf balls and very long legs. They seem to prefer to live in the house, come out in the evening and move very fast."

Julian solved a very minor cockroach problem some years ago by buying an electronic gadget that you plug into an electric socket and it sends out "some sort of pulse" throughout the house's wiring system.

"It's great. But it doesn't deter the spiders. Do you know of any gadgets out there that can do a similar job? Or any other solutions?"

Take a look at this Web site: www.critterridders.com/spiders.htm.

Pest-control firm Critter Ridders, based in Memphis, Tenn., offers a range of traps, vents, sprays and all manner of supplies by mail order.

Not especially ecologically sound, however. More the "death to all vermin" approach.

An alternative would be to rid yourself of the phobia so that you can learn to tolerate life among arachnids. Certified NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) or hypnosis are two forms of therapeutic treatment that can often banish a fear as quickly as it took root. Tokyo's Eric Bragg is very good: Phone (04) 7166-6698 or e-mail erikb@gol.com.

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

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