Introductions in Japanese

July 2, 2010

www.bitesizejapanese.com

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How much does it cost? In Japanese

June 10, 2010

Found this site that teaches Japanese.  Here’s the link:

www.bitesizejapanese.com


How to Rent Your House in Japan

April 16, 2010

This is only one example.

The basics
House Insurance
Mortgage costs
House Tax
Rental Income Tax
Rental Agency fees
General Maintenance Costs
Renewing Fees

Rental Agency Contracts:
1 month’s rent & 5% of monthly rent. (If unoccupied, the agency will pay for up to 3 months rent.)
1 month’s rent & 7% of monthly rent. (If unoccupied, the agency will pay for up to 6 months rent.)
1 month’s rent & 20% of monthly rent. (If unoccupied, the agency will cover the rent regardless of time.)
Renewing fee of half a months rent.  (The owner gets the other half.)
When the house is empty you don’t have to pay the agency a monthly rate.

Renter Contracts:
Renewable contract every 2 years.  1 months renewing fee.  The renter decides to renew or not.
Renewable contract every 5 years.  1 months renewing fee. The owner decides whether to renew with the renter if they want to continue renting. (10% cheaper monthly rent because the contract is longer ensuring guaranteed income).

Renter’s Costs:
1 Months gift money that goes to the rental agency
2 Months damage deposit
1 Month rent
1 Months rent to renew the contract

Management Duties
Management: Find renters
Maintenance: Call Plumbers, Electricians, etc… and send you a bill
Evicting if necessary: maximum 6 Months

House Maintenance every 15 years:
New Kitchen: 300,000
New Bathroom: 300,000
New Roof: 500,000

Caution: Interest Rate Change
If you are leaving the country or the mortgage is based on you living in the house, you may need to inform the bank where you got your mortgage.  This means that you might have to pay more interest on your mortgage, thus increasing your monthly mortgage costs that will bite into your monthly renting income.

Loop Hole
You can, however, go away on a business trip for 3 years.  (Proof is required.) This means you can keep the same interest rate but you must return after 3 years or your interest rates will change to the higher rate.  As for the period you have to live in Japan after you have left for 3 years before you return back to your home country is yet to be discovered.


How to set up a stock trading account as a non-Japanese

April 16, 2010

Day Trading in JapanChoices
Providing you meet the residency requirements, your first task is to choose a suitable online broker. Below we list a few of the many online brokers available, then look at three in some detail.

However, you should be forewarned that currently NO online broker operating in Japan offers an English language service. So if you want to trade, you’re going to have to at least learn the relevant screens to do so.

Matsui Securities
Taking over a conventional securities firm from his father-in-law in the 80s, Michio Matsui moved Matsui Securities online in 1998 and in the process pretty much started the current online brokerage boom. The company is well known for its aggressive pricing, campaigns and free seminars. Surprisingly, given the prices, they also have a reputation for reliability and user-account protection.

Starting up with Matsui is simple if you’re Japanese. They let you open a personal account without having to affix a seal. On the downside, because of heavy demand, they are slow to authorize accounts, reportedly around 10 to 14 days. If you are not a Japanese citizen, you will have to show your certificate of alien registration. Since Matsui is not prepared to receive inquiries in English, you must be competent in Japanese or bring along a Japanese speaker.

Set-up charge: Free
Per trade charge:
JPY100,000 or less: free
JPY100,000 – JPY 300,000: JPY315
JPY300,000 – JPY 500,000: JPY525
JPY500,000 – JPY 1 million: 1,050
More than JPY 1 million: JPY 2,100

Monex Securities

Started in 1999 by Oki Matsumoto with SONY, Monex is less intense than Matsui and some other online brokers. That makes it an ideal site for beginners. Monex became the largest online broker in Japan after its merger with Nikko Beans in 2005. It has about 650,000 accounts and assets of about JPY2.2trn.

In the end, we chose Monex for several reasons. One was that they are more foreigner friendly than most. Then there is their simple signup process, with straightforward instructions, welcome by those of us with imperfect Japanese. Finally, they don’t require reams of paperwork proving your identity. All we had to do was provide a photocopy of our alien registration card. Turn-around after sign up was quick, less than five working days.

Monex also has a “mini-kabu” club where for JPY10,000 you can start trading stocks in small lots – allowing you to learn the market. They also operate an ECN called PTS (nighttime trading) that lets you trade from 17:30 through 23:59. Another nice thing about Monex is the volume of IPOs they handle – checking day-trader chat sites, they are supposed to be easier to get an allocation for a pre-IPO stock than most other brokers.

Set-up charge: Free
Per trade charge: JPY 1 million or less: JPY1,050
More than JPY 1 million: 0.105% of the total trade

E*Trade Japan
This is Softbank’s online brokerage and is similar in operation to the US site.

That might be enough to sway experienced NASDAQ traders to choose E*Trade when opening an account in Japan. The company is regarded a competent broker with plenty of discount campaigns and pre-IPO allocations. However, its new account processing is reportedly very, very slow, taking on average about three weeks. Also, the home page is quite confusing owing to the information-heavy design. Perhaps this is the influence of the “more is better” syndrome that plagues Yahoo Japan as well.

Set-up charge: Free
Per trade charge:
JPY500,000 or less: JPY472
JPY500,000 ? JPY1 million: JPY840
JPY1 million ? JPY1.5 million: JPY1,050
JPY1.5 million or more: JPY1,575

Making the Application
For the purpose of this article, we decided to subscribe to the Monex Securities service. We went to the application page of Monex’s web site. We filled out the online application form with the help of a Japanese friend, and entered in a fair amount of personal data. Once done, we pressed the send button and three or four days later an envelope containing the sign-up kit arrived by courier. Conveniently, all the information that we’d entered online was pre-entered into the paper forms. All we needed to do was to provide the necessary additional documents and affix our personal seal.*

Deciding Tax Method
In filling out the Monex (or any other online broker’s) application form, one question that may stump you at first is how you want to pay your tax. Basically you have the choice of either Monex paying it for you, or paying it yourself by going to your local tax office and using a self-assessment tax declaration, due by March 15th every year. We chose to pay the tax ourselves, since this gives us the use of our own cash for the entire year, rather than having fees deducted from our Monex account per trade.

As a side note, taxes on profits from the sale of shares are treated differently from regular income tax. You can read more about them at http://www.mof.go.jp/english/tax/t axes2005e_c.pdf. However, in essence, you can treat your trading activities as a mini-business and deduct or carry forward losses to offset against profits in a latter year. Check out the Blue Form method of declaring tax, since this allows you to deduct the costs incurred in earning the income. The Japanese tax system is quite complex, so if you’re not sure what to do, consider doing a consultation at your local tax office before making a decision.

Other Documentation
Once the application kit arrives from Monex, you have to supply identification. For Japanese, this can be a photocopy of a driver’s license or passport. Non-Japanese applicants must provide a photocopy of their certificate of alien registration or certificate of registered matters. If the former, make sure that it is still valid and if the latter, ensure that it is valid for at least another six months.

We stuffed the signed documents into the supplied envelope and mailed them off. It’s as simple as that! A few days later, we received our membership packet, complete with password, guide and rules, and a credit card application – just in case we didn’t have one already.

The final step was to transfer some trading funds into the Monex bank account, the details of which were given in the membership packet. As soon as the money hit the account, using the web sign-on information in the same packet, we were ready to go.

Research References in English
To wrap up, although the purpose of this article is to help non-Japanese with the account establishment process, rather than trading, as a non-Japanese you will soon find that there is a dearth of information about listed stocks in English. Here are a few resources that may be helpful. One technique you can try is to pick up the ticker symbols on the Nikkei site, then go to Yahoo Finance or your brokerage charting page, and plug them in to get more detailed stock charts.

http://www.japaninc.com/mgz_summer_2006_day_trading


List of Accredited Universities

February 18, 2009

List of Accredited Universities

http://www.unesco.org/iau/onlinedatabases/list_data/u-nw.html#United_Kingdom


Jobs in Japan

February 10, 2009

Here are a variety of sites with information relevant to teaching in Japan:

For information about job hunting in Japan:

  1. EFL in Asia at http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Flats/7947/eflasia.htm
  2. Teaching English in Japan: A Guide to Getting a Job at http://www.wizweb.com/~susan/japan
  3. Information for those seeking university positions (not a job list) at www.debito.org/univquestions.html

For job postings:

  1. CareerCross Bilingual Employment in Japan at www.careercross.com
  2. EFL, ESL and Other Teaching Jobs in Japan at www.jobsinjapan.com
  3. ELT News at www.eltnews.com/jobsinjapan.shtml
  4. ESL Cafe Job Center at www.eslcafe.com/joblist
  5. Gaijin Pot Japan Jobs at www.gaijinpot.com/job_search.php
  6. Hokkaido Insider at www.ne.jp/asahi/hokkaido/kenhartmann/
  7. JACET (The Japan Association of College English Teachers) Job Openings at www.jacet.org
  8. JALT Jobs and Career Enhancement links at www.jalt-publications.org/tlt/jobs
  9. Japan Research Career Information Network at http://jrecin.jst.go.jp
  10. JETAA Job Guide at http://cheno.com/job/jobbank
  11. Jobs in Japan at www.englishresource.com/index.html
  12. Ohayo Sensei at www.ohayosensei.com/
  13. TESOL career page at http://careers.tesol.org/search/browse
  14. The Chronicle of Higher Education Career Page at http://chronicle.com/jobs
  15. The Digital Education Information Network Job Centre at www.edufind.com/index.cfm
  16. World English Jobs at www.englishjobmaze.com
  17. Japan Research Career Information:
    http://jrecin.jst.go.jp/seek/SeekTop?ln=1

I got these links from <http://www.jalt-publications.org/tlt/jobs/&gt;


Buying a House in Tokyo

February 10, 2009

Real Estate Agent

We went through about 5 agents to find our house.  Each differed greatly.  Some were knowledable while others were just winging it.  Therefore, it is advised to see as many as possible to ensure you are getting a good agent. In total, we saw about 25 houses in our area and price range.

Real Estate Fees

Deposit

Banks

House set up

Usefull Terms

Ability りきん
Applicant ごじしん
Appointment やくそく
Asset しさん
Average へいきん
Borrow かりる
Budget よさん
Calculate さんしゅつ 算出
Call Back おりかえしでんわ
Construction けんちく
Coverage けんぺいりつ
Deposit てつけ
Difficult to rent かしにくい
Discount ねびき
Down Payment あたまきん 頭金
Earnest ほんき
Economy けいざい
Envirnoment かんきょう
Evidence しょうこ
Garden ていえん
Home いっこだて
House Size いえのめんせき
House Structure いえのこうぞう
How long has it been for sale? どのくらいのきかんうりだしていますか?
How many stories なんかいだてですか?
Insurance ほけん
Interest Rate りし 利子
Investment とうし 投資
Law ほうりつ 法律
Loan かす
Low ひくい 低い
Lowest さいてい
Maintenance かんりひ
Minimum さいてい
Mortgage ていとう 抵当
Near Road せつどう
Negotiation こうしょう
Owner ぎょうしゃ
Parking ちゅうしゃじょう
Person Living in the house or not げんきょう
Powerlines こうあつせん
Profit りえき
Reform リフォーム
Rent it after buying it ちんたい
Rule きそく
Sell うる 売る
Tax ぜいきん 税金
Too old ふるすぎ
Violation いはん
When you can move in ひきわたしはいつですか
Yearly Income ねんしゅう

Real Estate Forms

A house じゅうたく 住宅
A sum きんがく 金額
Applicant もうしこみ 申し込み
Borrowing かりいれ 借り入れ
Capital Funds しほん 資本金
Company
Company かいしゃ 会社
Contents ないよう 内容
Daytime にっちゅう 日中
Debt かり 借り
Division Department
Division くかく 区画
Enter the company にゅうしゃ 入社
Establishment せつりつ 設立
Every Year まいとし 毎年
Gender せいべつ 性別
Guarantee ほしょう 保証
Hope/Desire きぼう 希望
How long have you worked きんぞくねんすうはどれくらいですか
勤続年数はどれくらいですか
Including Bonus うちぶあい 内歩合
Income しゅうにゅう 収入
Job Classification しょくしゅ 職種
Mandatory Retirement ていねん 定年
Object ぶっけん
Occupation しょくぎょう 職業
Official Possition やくしょく 役職
Purchase こうにゅう 購入
Seal いん 印
Type of Business ぎょうしゅ 業種
Yearly Income ねんしょう 年商
This information is more for my reference than anything else.  But if you want to buy a house in Tokyo this vocabulary will be useful.