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Sunday, Nov. 26, 2006

KANSAI: Who & What

Consultation session for non-Japanese

Kyoto City International Foundation will hold a free consultation session for non-Japanese residents from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 2 at Kyoto International Community House in Sakyo Ward.

The session is aimed at providing foreigners who do not understand Japanese with advice on such issues as legal matters, employment, taxes, social insurances, status of residence and mental health. Advice will be given in strict confidence by specialists in each field.

Interpreters will be available for speakers of English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai.

The service is free, but reservations are required.

For reservations and more information, call the organizer at (075) 752-3511.

Seminar on birthrates in Japan and Canada

Kwansei Gakuin University will host a two-day seminar on Canadian studies Dec. 9 and 10 at the university's campus in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture.

The topic of the 17th annual seminar is declining birthrates in Canada and Japan. Specialists from both countries will make comparisons and talk about possible solutions through presentations and group discussions. All sessions will be conducted in English.

Eric Fong, a sociology professor at the University of Toronto, will give a lecture titled "A short history of fertility decline in Canada," while Toshimitsu Shinkawa, a professor at Kyoto University's law graduate school, will speak on the theme "Policy responses to the declining fertility rate in Japan."

Shinkawa's talk will be at 12:30 p.m. while Fong will speak at 9:45 p.m., both on Dec. 9. Admission is free and no reservation is required.

Participation for the rest of the event is 1,500 yen including lunch on Dec. 9, 5,000 yen including lunch and dinner on Dec. 9, or 8,000 yen including lunch and dinner on Dec. 9 plus an overnight stay at the university's sports center with breakfast on Dec. 10.

Those wishing to attend must send a reservation form by Dec. 5.

For more information and the reservation form, call the organizer at (0798) 54-6115.

Famous Hikone Castle garden lit up at night

Autumn leaves are being illuminated every evening through Dec. 3 at Hikone Castle's Genkyu-en garden in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture.

The garden was constructed in 1677 under the order of Ii Naooki, the feudal lord of the area, and is said to be modeled on the one in the detached palace of Emperor Xuanzong of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. The garden is known for its scenic beauty in all seasons and is located at the northeastern part of the castle, which is a designated national treasure.

During the period, the area around the castle will also be lit as a prelude to the celebration of the 400th anniversary since the castle was built.

The illumination will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Entrance to the garden is 500 yen for adults and 200 yen for children.

The garden is 15-minute walk from Hikone Station on the JR Biwako Line.

For more information, call Hikone Sightseeing Association at (0749) 23-0001.

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