Interpretation for the Industry Promotion Plan Presentation

I did an interpretation today for a presentation on my prefecture’s industry promotion plan. We talked about the problems our prefecture has, which is both a decreasing and ageing population. Due to the population decreasing, the size of the economy gets smaller, and this further causes the young people to leave the prefecture. It’s a negative spiral. So, we are now trying to create a larger and more active economy by selling our goods outside of the prefecture – to other parts of Japan as well as overseas. From what I see so far, the plan has been → Read more


Where are all my friends from?

I have always wondered how many Japanese and International friends I have as compared to the number of friends I have in my home country. So, I decided to open up my Facebook friend list and give it a count. I know this is hardly accurate – since a number of my friends don’t use Facebook, but this is the easiest so here goes.

Upon counting – and wasting my morning away, I found out that → Read more

An ambassador and his professional interpreter

The ambassador of a particular country in Europe came to my prefecture together with his wife and their interpreter. 課長, H-san and I, accompanied them to our famous castle. At first, because their native language isn’t English, I wasn’t sure whether I should interpret Japanese into English for them, but when I asked the interpreter for advice, she said that the both of them understood English.

When the ambassador knew I could speak English, he started talking to me. “This may be a nosy question, but I realise your name isn’t Japanese” he commented. Indeed I am not, I thought as I told him where I was from. He was extremely friendly and didn’t put on airs, I’m glad to be able to guide such a person around.

The tour of our castle was done by a veteran guide in English, so I honestly didn’t have much work to do. During then, I had the chance to talk to the interpreter, and I found out that → Read more

Getting a Debit Card in Japan – Japan Net Bank Visa Debit

After staying in Japan for a couple of months, I feel that although credit cards are widely talked about, debit cards seem to be less heard of. As someone who wants to purchase online items, but is extremely uncomfortable in putting oneself into the whole complicated default revolving payment system of credit cards, I looked into debit cards in Japan that are under VISA and do not have a membership fee. There was only one card that satisfied all my criteria, and it is → Read more

#2 Fukayomi – Organ Donation

I watched another FU.KA.YO.MI session on the television this morning.
Today, the topic is about organ donation after death. In Japan, there is a small area at the back of one’s blue National Health Insurance card that gives the owner a chance to specify whether they would like to donate their organs after death.

It is written as such → Read more

Getting Colder

It’s getting colder here. My digital clock informs me that my room is approximately 19 degrees at night. I purchased a nice warm blanket for myself. It’s extremely fluffy and soft to the touch. I also got warm slip-on house shoes 🙂