Have you ever had any problems finding English speaking doctors and hospitals located in Osaka? Osaka prefecture provides a searvice that you can search clinics and hospitals which as English speaking doctors and staff. You can chose area or city, languages and the specialized field.

I personally went to one of the clinics when I was pregnant. The doctor had worked for some hospitals in US. The doctor speaks English but most of staff and nurses didn't speak English. But still my husband could get explanations from the doctor in English.

If you look for clinics or hospitals with English speaking doctors or staff, this search system might be helpful.

Japan and the following contries have signed International Social Security Agreement. Some of the agreements are implemented and others are on the way.

Sosial Insurance Agancy

Germany, United Kingdom, Korea, United States, Belgium, France, Canada, Australia, Netherlands have signed the international social security agreement and implemented.
Czech Republic, Spain, Italy have signed and under preparation for implementation.
Ireland is under negociation and Hungary, Switzerland, Sweden are under preparation for negotiation.

See more details at agency site
It seems now that every employee has received the documents ending their employment at Nova.For those of you who have no more health insurance, i would advice to go to the national health insurance counter at your ward office.The bill for this insurance was usually pretty high when working for Nova. But now the dismissal give your reduced rate. I saw my bill go from 22 000¥ a month to 6 700¥ a month because of my unemployment. I think that it is a good move, especially for those who were on Shakkai Hokken.For those who were in JMA, be careful you might have to cover your bill for the last 2 years because you were then in an illegal position. If such issue araises, the general union might have some advice for you, so contact them. But basically you can argue about the fact that you were not responsible for this situation and then you can't afford such a back payment. Do not sign papers that you are not sure about what they say. It is better to find a Japanese speaker to come with you at the office.Here is my piece of advice from my own experience.Good luck to all.

This month, and especially next week-end (November 17th&18th), a particular event is organized in Kansai. The entry to numbers of museums and other entertainment is FREE.
You can find the list of place participating from all over Kansai (9 prefectures) on the event website.
Enjoy your visits.

Just to relay part of the information that the nova website provided today.

"We inform you that there will be information sessions for employees held on the following date/times.

Following each session it is planned that a government agency information seminar will be held regarding related matters at the same venue.

Please note that those who are not employees are not permitted to enter the venue.Date and times: November 10, 2007 10:00 and 14:00Location:
1.Nova Multimedia Center
Kintetsu Shin Namba Bldg, 16F and 17F 1-4-38 Minatomachi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi
(We ask that if possible Multimedia Center instructors attend the 10:00 session, and Kansai branch instructors attend the 14:00 session)
2. Nova Tokyo Head Office
Shinjuku NS Building 23F 2-4-1 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo(We ask that if possible instructors from area 2 (Tokyo), area 4 and area 8 (Tokyo) attend the 10:00 session and Kanto branch instructors from other areas attend the 14:00 session)
3. Some branch locations (instructors will be informed individually)

* The content of the session starting from 10:00 and that of the session starting from 14:00 will be the same, so please do not attend both seminars as the capacity of the meeting place is limited."

Good luck to all of you.

It seems that a sponsor has been found for Nova. The "G communication group" is said, unofficially for the moment, that they would take over the 3 entities of Nova (Ochanoma Ryugaku, Ekimae & Nova kids) through their subsidiary "G education".

They would re-open 30 schools at first, when would gradually move over time to 200 schools re-opened.

They are considering taking as many nova employees as they can. The journalist asking about 2000 people, they answered that they would consider this as much as possible.

The subsidiary taking the Nova in charge has so far 4 networks of schools : 2 networks of Cram schools (Itto with 679 schools and Ganbaru with 185 schools) and 2 networks of english schools (Grip with 1 school and EC with 41 schools) and 42 english schools, mainly in Hokkaido. G communication seems to be very oriented to the food business (sake, restaurants) and is based in Nagoya.

The students from Nova could buy new tickets at this entity with a discount of 75%.

They haven't decided yet whether they keep Nova brand or not.

One-stop counseling corner will be placed at service centers for foreigners in Tokyo & Osaka.(See below)

At those two centers, counseling for below matters will be available.

  • 1) Vocational Counseling, Placement Service
  • 2) Unemployment Insurance
  • 3) Wages, etc.

Interpreters will be placed at those centers as well as staffs from Regional Labour Bureau.

  • 〒530-0001 Osaka-Ekimae Second Bldg.15F,
  • 1-2-2 Umeda,Kita-ku,Osaka-shi,Osaka-fu
  • TEL 06-6344-1135 FAX 06-6344-1134
  • URL http://www.osaka-rodo.go.jp/hw/gaisen/

※Please visit in the center in the case of consultation. Since it becomes consultation through an interpreter,  consultation by a telephone is not supported.

Labor Consulting Counter for NOVA Employees

Here is original press release in Japanese from Nova. Mr. Sahashi is fired by board of directers and file a petition for protection with the court under the Corporate Rehabilitation Law.

Nikkei Original press release

According to Yomiuri Online, 4 companies are under negociation as a sponsor including Aeon, Marui, Yahoo Japan and Rakuten.

According to this article, Yahoo Japan and Rakuten are interested in MM Center. I hope new board of directors make right decision very quick.

Yomiuri Online NOVA、4社に支援打診へ

As you should all know by now, Nova is on a severe downturn at the moment. People have been enduring late payments, while others are losing their appartments.For those losing their appartments, don't hesitate to contact us, we could be able to find out a new place.
For those who have pay issues, i wanted to remind you of a few facts i have gathered.

With some of your first payslips you got a little paper like this :Unemployment insurance card
This is the proof that you have been paying the unemployment insurance.

You can go to the ハロワーク agency in charge of your area (the area of your accomodation, not work) with this paper.

WIth the pay problems going on in Nova, if you had your pay delayed (different payment day than usual) 2 months in a row (as far as i know, only staff are such a situation so far), you will be entitled to declaring your job insecure and be admitted by ハロワーク just like a fired employee. The length of the unemployment compensation will be calculated on your age and the length of your payments to the insurance like shows the first table of this page.

I do not garantuee to you all that it will happen exactly like this but it is what i was told for my personal case and i'm pretty standard...

The ハロワーク doesn't have any documentation in english as far as i know but they have some documents pretty clear in japanese and it should possible for most of us to obtain a clean enough translation from friends.
Another exhibition at SoHo Art Gallery Café. This time, all is to be seen through cubes. Sounds interesting. This exhibition is from 4th to 16th of September 2007.

tachibanaYesterday we went to the "orange street" in Osaka. It is a shopping street at Minami Horie, behind Namba.
When the half closest to namba is full of clothes shops, the other end of the street has very nice furniture stores.
This end of the street is easier to access from the Nishinagahori station. Some stores are cheap places without specific brands, some others are outlets of european brands.

o concept denmark designA noticeable one is BO concept, that can help you figure out you interior with a 3D software. Their prices are of the upper range but the quality is too. You can see online furniture catalog at their web site.
BOConcept Web site

On the other hand, Hirata and flat's are places with nice products at an affordable price. They have 5 floors and each floor is specialized in different category. To see furniture and price, visit their web site. They have some fliers as well.
Hirata Kagu

Whatever you might be looking for will be in one of those shops.