KimJapan's big news :)

Feb 2nd, 2006, 05:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,034
emd of course you can say you know me. We were always residents in the way you use the term resident to mean you live somewhere. But we were only permitted to work at the job that was indicated on our visa. We are teachers, and even changing schools involved a change of visa. We were not allowed to engage in other types of work, could not get a loan for a longer period than our visa was good for, needed a Japanese co-signer/guarantor to rent a house, have a credit card. We have always paid Japanese tax, and are subject to US taxation as well if our income exceeds the foreign income exclusion (which we never do).

Now, we are free to work anywhere we like, including our own independent enterprise without trying to get a business visa (difficult if there is no business, and there is no business if we don't have the right visa...), we can get a house loan if we want to. In some prefectures, we can even vote in local elections if we live there.

Basically, the only thing we can't do is vote in national elections and many local elections. In every other way, we have all the rights of a Japanese citizen. It offers security, as until now, all jobs we have had are required by immigration to have a written contract, which specifies a starting and ending date, typically one year. What that means, is every year, you are at the mercy of your employer, who can arbitralily choose to not renew your contract, cut your pay, do anything they like. Last year, when my husbands father was dying, his boss told him if he went to see his dying father in America it would reflect badly on him and his contract would not be renewed 2 months later. So, my husband's last contact with his father was a telephone call to his almost unconscious father where he said goodbye to him. I still cry about that. That is the kind of thing that we don't want to ever happen again.
KimJapan is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
Oh that's awful. Then this new status is very very significant in terms of your freedom. I am very glad the grip of the work contract will not be so tight anymore. I am spoiled as I have been self-employed for awhile now, but I do not think I could tolerated what you have gone through for several years to get to this status. I know it has a lot of meaning for you on many levels.

So even more congratulations!
emd is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
Kim-- I loved kanazawa when we were there. It was one of the places I want to return to and spend more time in -- I was only there for 2 days.
glorialf is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:06 PM
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Congratulations KimJapan, to you and your family, for your newly restored freedom! So, you keep your U.S. passports, or have both, or what?
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:09 PM
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Posts: 5,034
We have US passports and are visa free, unrestricted, permanent residents of Japan. The only way we could get "more Japanese" is to actually become naturized Japanese citezens, and Teaghan might actually do that when she is grown up.
KimJapan is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 158
Sorry, this is off-topic. KJ, my son is moving to Tokyo for a couple of years. He is a computer animator and needs a laptop, do you have any websites that I could investigate?

Thanks. And my apologies to the rest of the forum.
hi50phd is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:33 PM
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I'm not sure I understand what you are looking for...a place to buy a laptop? If so, it's best to buy in person.

There are many shops in Tokyo that offer English language operating system equipped laptops, if he wanted to buy it in Tokyo. If it is important for him to have personal support in Tokyo, than buying in Tokyo would make sense, and from a specialty shop rather than a discounter.

There is no problem with bringing a US laptop and using it in Japan, either. The only issue might be support...should a "foreign" machine need service, it may or may not be covered by warranty (check) and there may or may not be someone/someplace easily found who can offer service. Most people have repairs/upgrades/service done at the shop where they bought the machine.

I use a Mac...there are stores in Japan as well as the online store. I use a Mac because it very easily switches between Japanese and English as well as mixes the two language without crashing. When I used a Windows machine, it was always crashing on me...guess it wasn't bilingual. For Windows, as in the states there are a multitude of shops.
KimJapan is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 211
I've only been reading this thread for a few months in preparation for our trip to Japan, but I have to say CONGRATULATIONS! You are clearly so caring to all of us who ask questions, and your wisdom reminds me of Maribel in Barcelona, for anyone who travelled there. So I wish you all the best. We'll think of you when we're in Kanazawa in early April!
debwhite is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:42 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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I really hope you enjoy Kanazawa. Maybe we'll meet you somewhere! My husband is easy to spot...the tall foreigner guy who walks everywhere while reading a book. Early April is a lovely time to be in'll likely see cherry the very least, plum blossoms. Where are you staying?
KimJapan is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 07:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,252
Congratulations KimJapan! It is good to hear when someone's life become less (instead of more) complicated!

And thanks for all the advice you provide on this board.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2006, 10:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 511
Congratulations Kim! I had similar experiences in France before becoming a resident -- it's a great feeling to be free =)
moxie is offline  

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