Other Topics(その他)

2021.12.06[Mon] 09:00

Medical Treatment & Health(医療・保健) , Other Topics(その他)

【The Big Clean】
There's only just a bit of 2021 left, how time flies. And in December, in Japan, many people typically do a big, thorough house cleaning. It's called “O-souji” in Japanese.
This is a custom that has been followed for a long time in Japan and the purpose of it is to get rid of the dirt that has accumulated over the year in order to welcome the kamisama or Japanese deities into your home on New Year's Day. The two key points to doing this big clean is preparation and the weather. A clear day with just a bit of a breeze is perfect. A lot of water is used for cleaning so saving your bath water to do it is an eco-friendly way of doing things. Plus, having lukewarm water will save your hands from freezing as you clean, which means you get things done faster!
You'll, of course, need cleaning supplies like rags and a mop, but make sure your cleaning liquids are stocked up as you might think you have enough but end up finding out that you've run out in the middle of the job.
When doing O-souji, the order in which things get cleaned goes from top to bottom, meaning ceiling, then walls and then floor and back to front, so the back of the closet, to the cupboards and under and around the TV, which makes sense and ensures that you don't dirty up a place that you've already cleaned. It sounds like a big job but once you get done, you'll have a clean and tidy house to welcome in the new year. I'm mentally prepping myself to get it done this year. We managed to kind of do it last year but may have got distracted midway through. Good thing my vacuum robot always works so hard for me!


【World Human Rights Day and Human Rights Week】

 Next, I have information from Fukuoka City about human rights. Human rights are the the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being from the time they are born.

December 10th is Human Rights Day and this isn't something just in Japan, it is something that takes place all over the world and is a day to think about Human Rights. And from December 4th to the 10th is Human Rights Week, and here in Fukuoka City, a Human Rights Respect Week is held with the goal of creating a comfortable, discrimination free place to live.

In the same way that we recognize ourselves as individual, irreplaceable beings, at the same time, others are also individual, irreplaceable beings. And so this is an important week to recognize that all of us are valuable, precious beings.


In order to realize a society where no one is left behind as laid out by the Sustainable Development Goals for countries, we need to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against women, children, the elderly, foreigners, those with disabilities and all others who may face that negativity. Simply, we need to respect one another's human rights.

So let's keep compassion and a person's irreplaceability in mind as we move through this last month of the year.


【COVID-19 Vaccination Information】

 As you know, Fukuoka City has been working toward making sure everyone who hopes to be vaccinated can do so with peace of mind. In Fukuoka City, anyone over the age of 12 who is registered as living in the city and is eligible for vaccinations will receive COVID-19 vaccination notice in the mail. If you have not yet been inoculated but hope to do so,

please visit the Fukuoka City homepage for information on where you can get your vaccination done.

The vaccine is free. You will be given 2 of the same dose, 3 to 4 weeks apart.

After you receive your vaccination, a sticker will be placed on your vaccination sheet. This shows that you have been vaccinated and which vaccine you have received. This is an important document, so make sure you do not lose it.

For information on vaccinations or to make a reservation, you can call 092-260-8405. Again, that number is 092-260-8405. Calls will be taken between 8:30 am and 5:30pm every day. 7 languages are available at that number, including English, Chinese, Nepali, Vietnamese and Korean.

2021.11.15[Mon] 09:00

Housing(住宅) , Other Topics(その他)


Autumn is a comfortable season, it's easy to spend time indoors and outdoors, with temperatures that are just right. It's also a great time for a little bit of sightseeing, of course in the city, but also in nature. And in Fukuoka, there are quite a few areas pretty close to the city where you can enjoy Autumn's nature and flowers, especially cosmos, which are in season right now.

Cosmos come in colors like pink, white, dark red, yellow, orange and are a colorful addition to the season every year. They're pretty hardy flowers and if there's sun and decent ventilation, it seems like they'll grow just about anywhere. In Fukuoka City, there are a several places where you can enjoy these flowers. One pretty well known place is Umino-nakamichi-kaihin-koen, which is easily accessible by train and in addition to the flowers is a popular leisure spot where you can enjoy a beautiful sea breeze. There are large fields with different flowers throughout the year, including tulips, nemophila, roses, and rape blossoms. I like cycling there, it's a bit of trek from my house but well worth it.

Nokono-shima is another place to see the cosmos. You can catch a ferry from Meinohama, it only takes 10 minutes to get across, and once you're there, enjoy a kind of resort feeling. Nokonoshima Island Park is where you'll find a huge field of cosmos with the sea in the background. In the spring, this same area has a fabulous view of cherry blossoms and rape blossoms as well.

If you've got time on your day off, why not head toward one of these places for a relaxing, natural kind of day? I've got a trip out to Uminonakamichi already planned!



Today, I have some information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation to share with you.

 Call for Applications for International Student Housing: Family Rooms】

Currently, there are some student housing family rooms open to applications for international students enrolled at Universities in Fukuoka City or the Fukuoka Metropolitan area.

To be considered, applicants must be enrolled in a University and also be willing to participate enthusiastically in projects conducted by the Fukuoka City International Foundation. The lease period is for 2 years and single tenants will also be considered.

For more information about the application and other requirements, please visit the Fukuoka City International Foundation's homepage or send an email to dorm@fcif.or.jp with any questions you may have.


Legal Consultation】

The second piece of information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation is about legal consultations.

Is there anything you don't understand about residency status and term of stay regulations? If there is, free consultation is available for the foreign residents of Fukuoka at the Fukuoka City International Foundation. Consultations are held every second Sunday afternoon of the month from 1pm to 4pm. Please register by 3:30 on that day.  A gyousei-shoshi, or administrative lawyer, will answer your questions and offer consultation.

There are English and Chinese interpreters present, and so, consultation in English, Chinese and Japanese does not require a reservation. For other languages, please consult with us at least one week in advance.

If you choose to use these services, please know that confidentiality is guaranteed.

For reservations or more information, please call 092-262-1799. Again that number is 092-262-1799. Calls will be accepted between 8:45 am and 6pm on weekdays.

And to prevent the spread of Covid-19, measures are being taken so please wear a mask and disinfect your hands when you come for a consultation.


>> 続きを読む

2021.10.11[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Housing(住宅) , Events & Entertainment(イベント・娯楽) , Other Topics(その他)

【Osmanthus/Fragrant Olive】

Kinmokusei or Osmanthus fragrans in English, perhaps more commonly know as Fragrant Olive, is in bloom this season, full with it's tiny orange blossoms. You'll probably see it when out walking and will definitely be able to identify it from its sweet smell that fills the air. It's the scent that tells you that fall is right around the corner!

In the past in Japan, this flower was often planted near pit toilets as it was an effective deodorizer. Later, the scent became the standard for toilet air freshening sprays! Perhaps due to that, older generations don't have an overly fond image of the flower. Younger generations however don't have the same association with the flower and tend to enjoy its fragrance.

The flower is actually, also, edible. In China, where the flower is originally from, it is often candied or put into liquors. Yang Guifei, known as one of the 4 beauties of ancient China, was said to drink sake made from Kinmokusei. Hmm, if this was part of her beauty routine then I wonder where can I find some of this sake!

At any rate, it's a flower whose scent can be enjoyed now, just follow your nose!


【Information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation】

The International Japanese Speech Contest

Today, we also have information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation.

Have you heard of the International Japanese Speech Contest that they hold every year?Well, this year, it will take place on October 16th. Speeches are given by students from Japanese classes and from Japanese language schools in the Fukuoka Metropolitan area. The topic of the speech is up to the participant and ranges from their experiences living in Fukuoka City to their dreams for the future, of course, delivered in Japanese. If you have a chance, come and support these students and listen to the fruits of their language study labor! You can attend the contest in person on the day or watch the speeches online later! If you are interested, please visit the Fukuoka City International Foundation's website to make reservations to attend or watch the videos of the speeches.


Call for Applications for International Student Housing: Family Rooms】

Alright, next is the call for Applications for International Student Housing. Currently, there are some student housing family rooms open to applications for international students enrolled at Universities in Fukuoka City or the Fukuoka Metropolitan area. To be considered, applicants must be enrolled in a University and also be willing to participate enthusiastically in projects conducted by the Fukuoka City International Foundation. The lease period is for 2 years and single tenants will also be considered.For more information about the application and other requirements, please visit the Fukuoka City International Foundation's homepage or send an email to dorm@fcif.or.jp with any questions you may have.


Information on the Mail Magazine】

And now, I want to share a little information about Fukuoka City International Foundation's monthly mail magazine. The magazine, published in English and Japanese, shares news and information about international exchange events and cooperation and is available to everyone!  Just search for FCIF in your web browser and sign up on the Foundation's website to receive that valuable information! If you want to know more about the Fukuoka City International Foundation or have any questions, you can contact them during the week between 8:45am and 6pm at 092-262-1799. Again, the phone number is 092-262-1799.

2021.05.10[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Other Topics(その他)

【May's Clear Skies】

Have you heard the Japanese word “Satsuki-bare”?

I’m sure many of you have an image of May as a Sunny, breezy month.

The new green leaves all around are bright and shiny, it’s neither too hot or too cold, or too humid for that matter, which makes it easy to enjoy the days. 

However, the meaning of Satsuki-bare doesn’t actually refer to all of this nice weather! In the old days, May was “Tsuyu” or rainy season and “Satsuki-bare” only referred to those clear days between the rainy days.

It’s not unusual for the wrong meaning of a word to become quite common, so now both meanings, beautiful clear weather and the clear weather between the rain, are in the dictionary.

I hope you have a chance to enjoy May’s clear skies!


【The Opening of the Electronic Library】

Now, I have some information from Fukuoka City that might help you get through any rainy days! The Fukuoka City public library has begun book check-out and returns on a electronic library system. With the electronic library, you don't need to go to the library to borrow books if you've got a computer, tablet or smartphone. You can just go online and borrow the books you want to read for free with this service.


From novels to history to health and cooking, there are around 7000 titles, including picture books, that you can borrow. There are also audio books and large print titles available.


If you live in Fukuoka City or work or go to school in the city, you are eligible to use this service. You do need a Fukuoka City Public Library card to use this service though. If you don't have a card, the card has expired, or if you are coming from outside of the city to work or study, then please visit either the Fukuoka City Public Library or one of its ward branches to register with the Amikas Fukuoka City Gender Equality Promotion Center Library.


You can borrow up to 3 books for two weeks through this service. The books will be automatically returned to the library once the two weeks are up. If you are thinking about studying Japanese, or just want to read something in English, then you should definitely use this service. There are a variety of books in Japanese, English and other languages waiting for you to check out. 


【A Warning about Vaccination Scam Phone Calls】

Now, I have some important information to share with you in regards to the Covid vaccine roll-out. Apparently the Consumer Affairs Center has been receiving reports of phone calls being made by fraudsters out there trying to scam people out of money or personal information. They claim to be calling from the health center and say things like “You can receive the Covid vaccine. Your money will be returned at a later date, but we need you to do a bank transfer for it first.” Other calls say “ You can get the Covid vaccine for free” but then asking for personal information.


For the vaccine roll-out, your local city, ward and town offices will NOT ask for money or personal information by phone or by email. The vaccine will be free. In addition, you will receive a “notification for vaccination” by post. So, be aware of and on your guard against these scam phone calls and phishing emails.


2021.05.03[Mon] 09:00

Japanese(日本語) , Other Topics(その他)

【Mother's Day】

Here in Japan the second Sunday of May is Mother's Day. It's the same day in the US and actually originated there. During the Civil War in the US, there was a woman named Ann Jarvis who took care of wounded soldiers. She was also the founder of the Mothers' Day Work Club which helped to improve health and sanitary conditions for all, even for these soldiers whether they were friend or foe. She continued her work until she died. In 1908, 2 years after Ann's death, her daughter arranged the first official observance of Mother's Day coming near the anniversary of her mother's death. And to those who attended, 500 white carnations her mother's favorite, were given. It was around 1915 that Mother's Day spread to Japan. Carnations are the most popular flowers given on that day and they have some meanings language of flowers. Red carnations mean “Love to your mother” and “A mother's love”. White carnations mean “In memory of my late mother”.

What do you think you'll do for your mother on Mother's Day? If she's nearby, I'm sure she'll appreciate seeing you. If she's far away, knowing that you are thinking about her will no doubt warm her heart. I'll give my mom a call on the day, and will possibly arrange a dinner delivery for her and my sister to share. And then they can share picture with me. It's kind of like being there with them despite being thousands of kilometers away!


【The Japanese Chatting Event and Consultations with an Administrative Lawyer】

Now, I've got some information from the Fukuoka City International Foundation that I'd like to share with you. First, is for international students studying in Fukuoka. Did you know that there is a Japanese Chatting Event held every month on the last weekday of the month? Using Zoom, international exchange students and Japanese volunteers chat one on one or in small groups about a variety of topics. Whether you want to practice your daily Japanese or something you learned in class, or if you just want to chat with a Japanese person, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. It's completely free to participate, so check it out.

And the second announcement I have is in regards to residency status and term of stay regulations. Is there anything you don't understand? If there is, you can meet with  a gyosei shoshi or administrative lawyer at the Fukuoka City International Center on the 2nd Sunday of each month. There, the lawyer will answer your questions and offer consultation for free. Confidentiality is guaranteed, so please feel at ease to make use of this service!

For more information on times and reservations for the Chatting Event and consultations, please check the Fukuoka City International Foundation's website or call 092-262-1799. Again the number is 092-262-1799. 


【The Japanese Class Map】

Going back to Japanese studies, if you are interested in finding classes, well there are actually quite a few, taught by volunteers, in Fukuoka City. There are different levels and different fees for each but to help you with that, I'd like to introduce you to the Japanese Class Map.

There are a variety of classes available: Beginner level classes that take it slow, kanji classes to brush up on your characters, classes for learning about Japanese culture, classes that combine study with fun exchanges and many more. All you have to do is search for “Fukuoka City Japanese Class Map” in your browser and look for the classroom near you!


2021.04.19[Mon] 09:00

Children & Childcare(子ども・子育て) , Community(コミュニティ) , Other Topics(その他)

【The Long Holiday】

Every year in Japan, at the end of April and into the beginning of May, we've got a handful of national holidays that translates into a long holiday for all of us, often referred to as Golden Week. During this time, there are usually festivals and events held all across Japan, however due to Covid-19, many of these events have been cancelled or are on a much smaller scale than before. I imagine many people will be enjoying online events and travel this year though. Golden Week starts with Showa Day on the 29th of April. What do you have planned this year? A bit of a stay-cation at home perhaps? Or maybe visiting some hot spots in your area? I'm hoping to see some of the wisteria around Fukuoka. The Kawachi Fujien Wisteria Garden has become famous thanks to its beautiful wisteria tunnel, but here in the city there are a couple of places that are just a stone's throw away, like the wisteria near the Fukuoka Castle ruins, or in Futsukaichi at Buzoji Temple. They're cycle-able places, so that's probably where you see me over the holiday! On my bicycle, searching for wisteria and enjoying the hopefully great weather!

【The Volunteer Bank to Support Foreigners】

Now, we have some information from Fukuoka City. From April, the Fukuoka City International Foundation has started a Volunteer Bank to Support Foreigners. Those who want to help the international residents of Fukuoka, by using their language skills, can register with the Volunteer Bank under the following categories: translation or interpretation, international exchange and assistance in case of disaster.

Currently, the Volunteer Bank is looking for participants. Participants will help interpret Administrative Scrivener Consultant meetings and translate posters as well as provide online support to people who don't understand Japanese and are having troubles. Other activities might include helping local civic centers with planning and setting up international exchange events or festivals and supporting interpreters during disasters as well as helping to give translation  and interpretation at disaster drills. 

To be a volunteer, you must be over 18 years old and live in the greater Fukuoka area. You must be proficient in Japanese and on one other language, at least above a daily conversation level. And you must be able to set aside enough time to participate in the volunteer activities. Your nationality does not matter.

This is for those who feel like they want to help with international exchange and build their language skills. Your efforts will promote mutual understanding and international exchange between Japanese and foreign residents, leading to a safe and secure life together.

If you are interested, please visit the Fukuoka City International Foundation's website or give the foundation a call. They are waiting to hear from you!

I have another announcement here for those of you who are struggling with letters from school because you can't understand Japanese. At the Fukuoka City International Foundation, another language support program called “Tutor Program” has been started. The “Tutor Program” is a one on one service that will match you with a tutor that you can contact online. You'll be able to ask this tutor to give you simple translations of letter and other documents as well as get advice on daily living.

If you are a foreign resident of Fukuoka City and think you will be able to communicate with a tutor online, then you are eligible for the program. Please visit the Fukuoka City International Foundation's website or call the Foundation for more information.

The phone number for the Fukuoka City International Foundation is 092-262-1799. Again, that number is 092-262-1799. You can call anytime from 8:45 am to 6pm. Feel free to contact the Foundation with any questions you have!

>> 続きを読む

2021.03.22[Mon] 09:00

Housing(住宅) , Disaster(災害) , Other Topics(その他)


Well, the topic up to bat today is Pro-Baseball! Have you ever watched a game here in Japan? Baseball is a really popular sport in Japan and Nippon Professional Baseball consists of two leagues, the Central League and the Pacific League, each of which has 6 teams. They play to win, of course, and work to become number one in their league. The final showdown is when the top team from each league plays to be the number one team in Japan.

Fukuoka City's home team, the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks are part of the Pacific League and their stadium is Fukuoka PayPay Dome. The Hawks are a strong team and this year are hoping to keep their position as the number one team in Japan for the 5th year in a row. The season starts in just a few days on Friday, March 26th this year, so if you've got the chance, why not catch a game!

I guess I could say I'm a supporter of the Hawks, seeing as how Fukuoka has become my second home. I mentioned way back that I'm from Detroit and, of course, support that team. Baseball fans, do you know which team belongs to Detroit? If you said the Detroit Tigers, you are correct!



【Citizen's Disaster Prevention Day】

Now I have some information from Fukuoka City.

On March 20th, 2005, the Fukuoka Prefecture Western offshore earthquake hit Fukuoka City. And so that people would not forget what happened on that day, March 20th became Citizens' Disaster Prevention Day. We never know when a disaster might strike and it's up to each and every one of us to prepare on a daily basis so that we can take appropriate action and protect ourselves for when something does happen.

If you look at Fukuoka City's homepage, you can check hazard maps and get information on disaster prevention and what you should take with you if you need to evacuate. If you check Support for Foreign residents, you'll find disaster prevention information for foreign residents so make sure you check that important information regularly. Citizens' Disaster Prevention Day is an opportunity to think again about disaster prevention for the safety of our ourselves, our families and the community.



【Special Weekend Open Hours at Ward Offices】

As March and April are busy months for moving house, consultation desks at the ward offices tend to get crowded. Therefore, on Sunday, March 28th and Sunday, April 4th, ward offices will be temporarily opened to allow those who are too busy during the week to submit their notifications of moving in or moving out. On those days, moving in or moving out notifications and other paperwork related to moving house will be accepted between 10 am and 2pm.



【Preventing the spread of Covid-19】

And once again, we are asking everyone to continue practicing basic infection prevention measures to fight against the spread of Covid-19. Wear a mask, wash your hands, gargle and avoid the 3 Cs. That means you should avoid closed rooms with poor ventilation, try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations.

2020.12.07[Mon] 09:00

Rules & Manners(ルール・マナー) , Other Topics(その他)

【Oseibo-Winter gift-giving】

So, I know this season, many people are thinking about presents to give and get. In many cultures, it is a season of gift-giving and in Japan, it is the season to give Oseibo. If you haven't heard of Oseibo, it's a custom in which a gift is given to those who have taken care of you throughout the year, a kind of thank you for everything they've done over the year. Often it is food or drink but there are a number of different gifts given.

This tradition is said to have originated in the Edo period. At the end of the year, merchants would present gifts to landlords or business partners while also giving the message of “I am always indebted to you, thank you for your continued support”. Oseibo is normally given from the beginning of December to just around the 25th of December but in Kyushu, most people get their Oseibo delivered between the the 10th and 20th of the month. Is there anyone you want to thank this year for their care and support? It might be nice to send them a little something! I usually prepare a little something for those who have helped me out, for me Christmas is a big occasion anyway so giving gifts this season is a pretty normal thing to do. This year, I have some really nice chocolates and jams I want to give out. I've also got masks, that I've made, to pass out as well. Hopefully all of it will be well received!


【World Human Rights Day and Human Rights Week】

Next, I have information from Fukuoka City about human rights. Human rights are  the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being from the time they are born.And December 10th is Human Rights Day and this isn't something just in Japan, it is something that take place all over the world and is a day to think about Human Rights. And from December 4th to the 10th is Human Rights Week, and here in Fukuoka City, a Human Rights Respect Week is held with the goal of creating a comfortable, discrimination free place to live.In the same way that we recognize ourselves as individual, irreplaceable beings, at the same time, others are also individual, irreplaceable beings. And so this is an important week to recognize that all of us are valuable, precious beings.

We need to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against women, children, the elderly, foreigners, those with disabilities and all others who may face that negativity. Simply, we need to respect one another's human rights.

So let's keep compassion and a person's irreplaceability in mind.


【Illegal waste dumping】

I hope this doesn't really need to be said, but dumping oversized garbage and household waste in the mountains, forests, by the seaside, by rivers, on the road, or in parks is illegal.

In Fukuoka City, at the end of the year, many people do a big house clean and a lot of garbage is produced. As such, December has been designated as “Illegal Dumping Prevention Reinforcement Month”. Activities will be undertaken to strengthen measures to prevent illegal dumping of waste.

Fukuoka City has, in cooperation with the police, installed surveillance cameras and warning signs in places where illegal dumping is common and will carry out patrols of those areas.

Home appliances like TV's, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines and dryers, air conditioners and the like are all subject to the Home Appliance Recycling Law and there is a set way to dispose of them. If you are buying replacement appliances, the shop will pick up your old appliance. In Fukuoka City, you can speak with Best Denki or Yamada Denki for help with this.

When disposing of these items, recycling fees or collection and transportation fees are necessary. Traders who advertise that they collect unneeded items for cheap are illegal collectors who have not received permission from Fukuoka City. Please do not use these unauthorized collectors as problems such as illegal dumping, high fees and improper processing of waste may occur.


【Prevention of the spread of Covid-19】

I've got one more thing for you today and that is to ask you to take care this winter to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Although measures to prevent the spread are being taken, more and more people are getting out and with seasonal events like Christmas, New Year's Eve and the New Year holiday, there will be, no doubt, a number of opportunities for people to get together. So, wear a mask, wash your hands and gargle and also practice the 3 C's. It's been a while since I've mentioned them, but you should avoid closed rooms, make sure they are well ventilated, try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations. It's up to each of us to help prevent the spread!

2020.10.05[Mon] 09:00

Other Topics(その他)

【The Harvest Moon】

So, how's your morning going so far? I have to say that with the cooler temperatures rolling in, the mornings and evenings have been very pleasant! Refreshing to say the least! And with Autumn and these temperatures come what we call the harvest moon in English. In Japanese, it's Chuushuu no meigetsu. This year, the harvest moon was on Thursday, October 1st. Did any of you manage to see it?

The celebration of the full moon typically takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional Japanese calendar and is called Juugoya. Since long ago, Japanese have had a custom of viewing this moon which is said to be the most beautiful moon of the year.  This moon viewing custom is called Otsukimi and it's a kind of tradition to enjoy the view of the autumn full moon once the weather has begun to become cooler.  

During this time, dumplings and pampas grass is used to decorate and people give thanks as well as wish for a good harvest. And because the viewing is traditionally on that 15th evening, when you do Otuskimi, you're supposed to have 15 dumplings ready to go, stacked up in a pyramid shape. The pampas grass looks like rice and so, is used as part of the decorations.

Did you also know that in Japan, when people look at the moon, in it's shadows they see the shape of a rabbit pounding rice cakes on the moon? There's a fairytale about this moon rabbit, look it up if you have the chance.  In the US, we often say we can see 'the Man in the Moon'. Man in the Moon's' face. The Seas of Serenity and Rain are his eyes; the Sea of Clouds forms his mouth; and the Seas of Islands and Vapors make up his nose. What do you see when you look at the full moon?


【Information from Fukuoka City】

How to Answer the Census

This year, in Japan, a census is being taken.

The census is done once every 5 years and takes a look at  the living conditions of all people and households living in Japan, once every five years, including those of foreign residents.

The survey will ask for things like your date of birth, job, place of work or school and type of residence. In total, there are 16 parts to answer.  From September 14th, census takers have distributed census forms to every household.

If you visit the census website, you will find information, in 27 different languages, on how to fill out the form.  You can answer everything easily and conveniently from your smart phone or computer so please use the internet to fill in your census. If you use the internet, please use the Log-in ID and access key, written on the documents you received in your postbox, to log in.

Online census responses are available in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Portuguese and Spanish 24 hours a day. If you have any difficulties answering via the internet, please fill in the paper version of the census document and send it by post. Responses need to be received by the 7th of October.


Let's use the COCOA Contact and Tracing App!

Japan has released a Covid-19 contact and tracing app called COCOA.

If you are within 1 meter of someone who has contracted the virus, for over 15 minutes, you can receive a notification of this on this free app..

People who receive notifications from this app can receive a free PCR screening, if they decide to get checked anytime between the day of contact to within two weeks after.

The more people who download and register the app, the better we can prevent the spread of Covid-19. So, to protect yourself and those you love, download this app today!

2020.08.17[Mon] 09:00

Other Topics(その他)


Today I want to talk about Obon, which is generally what comes to mind when one thinks about August in Japan. Have you heard of Obon? I’m guessing most of you have unless you are brand new to Japan, but just in case, I’ll give you a little intro to it. Obon is a Buddhist custom, and it is believed in Japan that during this period, the spirits of one’s ancestors return home. As such, loving family members and relatives gather to give thanks to their ancestors and pray that those in this world live safe and peaceful lives. Obon is typically the 4 days from the 13th to the 16th of August however in some parts of the Kanto area, it is between the 13th and the 16th of July. Regardless, this is why on TV around these times that you hear about the Obon Rush because if everyone heading back to their hometowns. In the US we don’t really have anything like this the closet approximation I could make might be Thanksgiving. Families typically gather for Thanksgiving dinner, meaning a lot of people go home over that holiday causing a rush like the Obon rush. However the feeling is completely different. In both cases you’re often gathered with family and there seems to be a lot of food, I’ve participated in the Obon custom here, but with Obon there is sometimes a bit of sadness remembering those who have died and well as nostalgia recalling those times past. Thanksgiving seems noisy, busy and loud! That’s just my experience though!


Information from Fukuoka City on the special fixed relief benefits

The application deadline for the 100,000 yen special relief benefits is August 31st. Applications were sent to everyone who registered by April 27th as a Fukuoka City resident. Please make sure you get your application in by the deadline! If there is anything that you don’t understand please call 092-401-0826 for help or information. Again that number is 092-401-0826. This phone service is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm and consultation is available in English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Nepali.

And Love FM is also running a special broadcast called the 5 minute guide to understanding the special fixed relief benefits. The English broadcast for that is on every Monday and Saturday at 1:53 pm.


Multilingual phone interpretation hotline for ward offices

Next, I have information on a phone interpretation service available to foreign residents. Whether you need help with your resident’s card, aren’t sure about what you need to do when you move house, or have questions about national health insurance, taxes or even garbage, there is a phone interpretation service available for you to use to check with the ward offices.

Interpretation is available in 18 languages, among them are English, Chinese , Korean, Vietnamese and Nepali, and the phone number is 092-753-6113. Again, that is 092-753-6113. When you use this number, after you have spoken to someone at the interpretation center, you will be connected to your ward office. Make sure you tell the interpreter in which ward you live and what you are calling about. For example, you might say something like “ I live in Higashi ward and I need the certificate showing proof of earnings.”, in which case you’ll be connected to the person in charge of issuing those papers for the Higashi ward. From there, you, the ward office person and the interpreter can continue your conversation. And, if you go to the ward office in person, don’t worry, just use your phone to ring up this service if you need any interpretation help.

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  • Colleen
  • Colleen
  • 誕生日:11月11日
    出身地:USA Detroit, MI
    特技:I can plan a party at anytime!
    好きな音楽:Almost everything, depends on my mood.