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Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009


'Neko-cide' prevention; document dealings


'Contemplating neko-cide' writes, "There is a cat next door that in meowing all night causes me to lose sleep, which then hurts my performance at work."

The cat is not in CN's building, but the one next-door, with a balcony alongside his bedroom window. "You know how tight space is in Tokyo," he adds.

The neighbor lets the cat out onto the balcony, but it meows to get in throughout the night. CN even dreams of it meowing — dreams that wake him up whether the cat is there or not.

He says the sound defies earplugs. He has also tried leaving a note at the building's entrance, but the problem persists.

"There's the slight chance that it's a stray cat that hangs around, but the balcony is on the 4th floor, so I think it would be hard for a cat to get up there. Can you help me with options on how to deal with the neighbor next door, or if it is a stray cat?"

Ask the neighbor how he or she sleeps through the racket their animal is making and learn from their sweet dreams. Alternatively, find out who is responsible for the building (ownership and letting) and complain to them, asking for humane feline intervention.

Finally, why not try what are described as "The World's Finest Earplugs," the NRR 34, designed for "advanced high noise reducation." Made from beeswax, cotton and lanolin, they mold to the shape of the ear canal. You can order online at www.earplugsonline.com/u-industrial.html.

Reader BT is trying to find a public notary to authenticate a document in Nagoya for use outside Japan.

In Japan, these officials are called gyosei shoshi. Functioning as lawyers who essentially prepare documents to be provided to government offices, their duties can range from immigration law to local government assistance.

You can obtain a list of the public notaries in your area at www.gyosei.or.jp/ or call Mr. Nakai, a gyosei shoshi in Tokyo, on (03) 6402-7654.

There are two stages to authenticating a document to be used overseas. First, a public notary has to prove and "notarize" that the individual is who he or she claims to be. The document must then be translated and authenticated as an accurate and true translation.

Another option, depending on the individual embassies, is to have your embassy act as the public notary. Many embassies are able to authenticate documents on behalf of their citizens.

A reader married in Tokyo in the mid-90s and divorced soon after writes in with a problem.

"How can I get a copy of my Japanese marriage certificate? Also, would an English translation be available? I'm looking for this information everywhere and just can't find it."

You can ask for a copy of your marriage certificate from the city office where your marriage was registered. You will need the names of the two parties and the exact date, of course. Needless to say the copy will be in Japanese; since translation is not generally available, you will need to organize this yourself. If you were married at your embassy, you can ask them for copies of official documents. Let us know how you get on.

T he reader who was looking for her half sister has mailed us again.

"I am still trying to locate Michi Aoyama, a popular singer in the 1970s. Her family in the U.S. wants very much to find her. Please, can someone help us to connect with her?"

When Michi was looking for her father in the late 60s, her story was reported both in Japan and the States. Now her half sister in America is trying to find her here.

We can put this family together as soon as information is forthcoming. Michi Aoyama, where are you?

Ken Joseph Jr. directs the Japan Helpline at www.jhelp.com or on (03) 000-911. Send questions, queries, problems and posers to community@japantimes.co.jp

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