Expatriate Community in Japan

Overview by Globlatrade.net:

Communities of Expatriates

The Number of Expatriates
The expatriate community in Japan has more than 200,000 members. These sites describe living conditions for expatriates in Japan: Expatfocus Japan, Transitionabroad Japan, ministry of justice, etc.
Blogs For Expats
Japan Alloexpat
Expat Blog Japan
For Further Information
The key elements of Japanese culture on the Japan Guide website
Trends in Japan
Japan Travel
Web Japan
Immigration Authority
Immigration Bureau of Japan
Transportation Companies For Moving/Removals
Japan Express
Japan Luggage Express, Ltd.

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Ranking of Cities

Cost of Living
Tokyo is the 4th city in the world where the cost of living is highest, Osaka is 8th.
Quality of Life
Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe and Osaka are ranked among the 50 cities in the world where the quality of life is best.
Sanitary Conditions
Katsuyama, Kobe, Omuta, Tsukuba, Yokohama et Yokkaichi are situated among the 50 cities in the world where the sanitary conditions are best.
For Further Information
The Mercer Human Resource Consulting ranking concerning the quality of life and sanitary conditions
The Mercer Human Resource Consulting ranking concerning the cost of living

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Renting an Apartment

Description of Apartments
LDK (Living, Dining and Kitchen) is an abbreviation frequently used in the world of Japanese real estate to describe apartments. It is preceded by the number of rooms.

1K = one room apartment with kitchen
1DK = one room apartment with dining and kitchen area
1LDK = one room apartment with a living, dining and kitchen area

Furnished rentals are rare.
Normal Lease Term
2 years
Rental Costs
Costs of reservation (tetsukekin), equivalent to 1 month’s rent, recoverable if the rental becomes effective.
The deposit (shikikin), equivalent to 7 months rent, recoverable if the apartment has not been damaged.
Money for the hand-over of the keys (reikin), paid in the case of a private rental, not recoverable, equivalent at most to 7 months’ rent.
Agency fees (chukai tesuryo), between 3 and 10 months’ rent, not recoverable.
The guarantee by a third party is necessary; the person may be required to be Japanese and have the necessary financial capabilities.
Agencies or Private Rentals
National rental agencies are not particularly friendly to foreigners. Tensions may appear concerning the notice of departure, rental conditions, etc. There are specialized rental agencies for the foreign communities. They offer rental conditions adapted to the needs of expatriates (rental for a shorter time, furnished apartments, inclusion of electricity in the rent) and their fees are less expensive.
Finding directly a private rental is difficult because of the language barrier.
Rental Agency Websites
Expatriates'Housing Tokyo
Private Rentals Announcements Online
Tokyo Apartment
Other Possibilities For Accommodation
The « Gaijin houses», guest houses reserved for foreigners. They offer low cost accommodation but are based on a principle of community life similar to that in university halls of residence.
Apartments by the week (weekly manshon) or by the month.
For Further Information
Japan Guide information about finding an apartment
Japan Guide information about Japanese apartments

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School System

School Level
In Japan, education is compulsory at elementary and junior high level, and most Japanese students usually complete more than 16 years of education including pre-school, high school and college. The Japanese educational system is extremely competitive, with many students taking extra tuition classes in order to maximize their chances of doing well in examinations.
The Japanese Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture provides further information.
International Schools
There are a large number of international schools in all the main cities. There are relatively few English-language pre-schools. The Alloexpat website provides a list of international schools in Japan.
For Further Information
The website of the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry provides an article « Study in Japan ».

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Health System

Quality of Healthcare
Healthcare in Japan is of a very high standard, although facilities are more basic in rural areas.
International Hospitals
Japan has only one international hospital: St Luke’s International Hospital. But other establishments are accessible to people who speak English.
Health Insurance
Accessibility of the Health Insurance Network to Foreigners
Limited to those who have been working in the country for a very long time.
Health System Insurance Body
National Health Insurance
Employees' Health Insurance
Health Ministry
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

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