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Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007

LIFELINES

Big jobs, car clubs


Jobs on the Net

David saw an ad on TV that he believes was for jobs in Japan.

"There was a blonde woman speaking in Japanese, and a Japanese guy. They were talking about something called Daijob.com. I know 'dai' means big, or important, so does this mean top-notch jobs here?"

Yes, this is a serious career-orientated job-finding Web site in Japanese and English. Note however that while it is easy to search for "hospitality business specialists," for example, you will need Japanese to read many of the job descriptions and qualifications required. Nor do you automatically know the name of the client; the line "Company not publicly visible" appears frequently.

However, there are jobs galore here, especially in areas like finance/general affairs/ administration (over 4,500 jobs when I last looked) and IT (over 4,000 ads), and others such as engineering (1,830), consulting (1,196), medical/pharmaceutical/bio/nursing (585) and logistics/retail/consumer/ fashion (434). Interestingly, education/training/language lists only 147 opportunities — a sign of the times, perhaps.

The English site is at www.daijob.com/en, but still many of the jobs descriptions are in Japanese.

Taken in by NHK?

With regard to the NHK fee payment question, S.N. from Osaka feels we have been taken in by the broadcaster's propaganda.

"Lawyers I know say the broadcast law authorizes NHK to approach TV owners to solicit payment. (Nearly 40 per cent of the fees are said to go to pay the fee collectors — not very efficient, it seems.)

"The law does not oblige owners to pay," SN continues, "although that is NHK's line. Indeed, as you pointed out (in Lifelines two weeks ago), there is no penalty for non-payment. The court challenges under way now may lead to a judicial interpretation that eventually produces new, stricter legislation."

Auto-clubbing

Sophie writes: "Are there any car clubs in Tokyo? I've never wanted to own a car here, but I would like to drive sometimes — say at the weekend, out into the country or to visit friends."

Car clubs — a car-sharing scheme — originated in Germany and the Netherlands. Now they are big in the U.K., where councils require a third of all new developments to include a car club. Developers like it because they can use the land normally used for car parking for more flats. Councils cheer because a small car pool means reduced congestion.

As far as I know, Japan has not caught on to the idea yet. But it's surely only a matter of time. (Good business opportunity here for someone.) In the meantime, rent; it's still so much cheaper than car ownership. There are plenty of rental companies around.

Rent a granny?

Klaus asks if it is true that there is a Japanese firm that rents out grannies.

I suspect this is an urban myth, but in this country you never know. There is certainly a company that rents out pets, so why not relatives?

I seem to recall reading something, somewhere, but can find no trace. Am quite willing to be proven wrong, however.

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


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