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Re: [tlug] From an enthusiast TLUG follower

On Fri, 28 Aug 2020 at 16:20, Edward Middleton <> wrote:

> However, most of the time, Japanese authorities do have a process for
> things that are put in writing and especially when it is backed up by
> supporting documentation.
> There is somebody at each authority who is in charge of dealing with
> such out-of-standard processing cases, but they will only be involved
> if you put your stuff in writing because the ordinary folks there do not
> wish to put unnecessary workload on whoever it is who deals with the
> "special" cases.
> But if you make an effort to put in writing and even better have plenty of
> supporting documentation, they will pass it on to whoever deals with
> "special" cases and then the outcome may well be positive.

Well there is something wrong when someone experience in dealing with
bureaucratic BS can't cleanly navigate through a simple work visa
application and I can navigate through reasonably complex tax issues
(for which I have not qualifications) with the tax office.

I am not defending the way the Japanese authorities work.

I am merely offering a method that has worked for me more often than
not in dealing with them.
This is not to say things are any better in Australia.  I was shocked at
how hard it is to renew an Australian passport in the Australia capital
when you are not an Australia resident, and that was before COVID-19.

When we were living in France, we experienced plenty of things that
made us appreciate the way Japan works, despite all the frustrations
experienced in Japan.

The apartment we moved into was completely refurbished, new walls
had been installed to make smaller units, complete new electrical
installation and all the rest of it.

When trying to get phone service, I was told that the physical pair of
wires associated to this apartment was 112 by France Telecom. So, I
signed the contract that asked for telephone service for the apartment
at the given address under the circuit number 112.

Weeks passed and we still had no service. France Telecom says that
it could take time, we needed to be patient. This meant no telephone,
no TV, and no internet, because they were all coming over this pair of

Then I received phone bills for that circuit. France Telecom said that
we had service, but the line was dead. They did not care and insisted
I pay the bills. I had to hire an electrician at my own cost to determine
that the circuit they had connected was another apartment in the
building where nobody was living yet. Still that did not help and the
electrician did not have the authority to just switch the wires.

Evenutally I had enough and sent notice to France Telecom that I
terminated the contract for breach of contract since they failed to
deliver service. They replied that I could not cancel because there
was a one-year minimum contract period.

I then tried to sign up with a competitor but they could not serve
me for as long as the apartment was assigned to France Telecom.

So I had no service, had to pay and could not get service elsewhere.

France Telecom even had the audacity to sue me for non-payment
of a service they never delivered.

I got a wireless router and signed up for wireless service with a
competitor of France Telecom.

The situation never got resolved. Shortly before we left France,
I sent a letter by registered mail to the relevant French Ministry
in Paris. France Telecom is partly state owned.

On the upside, we got electricity from Electricite de France for
the whole time we lived there without ever getting an invoice.

Upon urging from the landlord, I went to EdF on the day I signed
the lease for the apartment to make sure the electricity for the
apartment was now under my name and not the landlord's.

I signed a contract but never received any invoices. I went there
every month and asked and they said I needed to be patient.
I asked the landlord to make sure they didn't accidentally still
charge the landlord, but they did not.

When we moved away, I went to EdF to terminate the contract.
I mentioned that I had never received any invoice. They said
"Oh, yes, I remember you have been here about this several
times" and "Oh well, don't worry, you got free electricity."

By contrast, In Japan, I once returned from a long overseas stay
late at night and the electricity was off because the last bill had
been overdue. I went to the convenience store to pay the unpaid
bill, and by the time I returned to my apartment, the electricity was
already back on. Voila!

Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of things that frustrate me
in Japan. But when you get to live in some other country every
now and then, there will be plenty of things you appreciate
about Japan.

Everything has advantages and disadvantages.

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