Trying to take a day off here and there.

My posting has been a bit less regular this month, as I have been doing a lot of reading. Reading is some creative juice going in. It’s only that haven’t been able to get anything that I feel is interesting going out.

I appreciate that the readership is at least 50% a Japan-side one. If most of you didn’t find me through, it has been through these issues of pension, health insurance, and employment terms and conditions for foreign workers in Japan. There have maybe been one or two interesting developments on that front this summer, but I want to ask around to some people whose opinions I respect, to get the sense of whether those developments are “big changes”.

A lot more people have been searching on Japanese pension as a search term. (That, or some variant, usually including “nenkin”, the Japanese word for pension.) Even with the new Residence Card, introduced July 9, the government still is not pressuring non-Japanese to enroll in the national pension program, right? Or if so, this has been pretty sporadic, limited to one or two aggressive ward pension desks.

I still think the U.S. State Department needs to have a flame under their collective a$$es to get moving on why Americans are not automatically enrolled in the national pension, and why businesses are allowed to cheat Americans when there is an available employer pension program. I know that the M.O. of the Japanese (and businesses who employ a lot of foreigners in Japan) has been to point out the non-enrollment by Americans, and other foreigners, in that basic national pension. (This is the one that gets you the blue book you see to your left, above.) Then, it’s made like it isn’t anyone’s “fault” but the foreigner him-or herself. Or that there’s some sort of choice involved. But the reality is, everyone is supposed to be in.

I’m happy to read your anecdote, as you may be someone who has had this issue in the past couple months. It sounds like nothing’s changed, but maybe things are.