【CLAIR News June 2012 Topics】
The 2012 July/August Post-Arrival Orientations in Tokyo
The JET Programme will welcome approximately 1,500 new participants to Japan this year. The total number of participants for the 2012-2013 JET Programme year is expected to exceed 4,350 people, from approximately 40 participating countries.
New participants will arrive in Japan and take part in Tokyo Orientation at the Keio Plaza Hotel. New JET participants arriving in Group A will come to Japan on 29 July and participate in Orientation A, which will take place until 1 August. New JET participants arriving in Group B will arrive on 5 August and participate in Orientation B, which will take place until 8 August. In addition, Orientation C for new JET participants arriving on 22 August will be held until 24 August.
136 reappointed JET participants have been selected as Tokyo Orientation Assistants (TOAs) for these orientations. CLAIR received approximately 400 TOA applications, and notifications of TOA selection were sent to all applicants as well as to their contracting organisations via their host prefectures/designated cities.
|Japanese Correspondence Courses|
The JET Programme Japanese Language Courses are designed to increase JET participants' understanding of Japanese language and culture. The course textbooks distributed each month focus on real work situations that JET participants may experience on a daily basis and we hope participants can utilise these courses to make their lives and work in Japan more fulfilling.
The 2012-2013 JET Programme Japanese Language Course Guide Book and application have been uploaded to the JET Programme Homepage. If you wish to enrol in a course, please apply after carefully reading the Couse Guide Book. The application form also serves as the JET Programme Participant Contact Information and Confirmation Form. If you wish to take the Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced courses you should fill in the form completely and submit it to your contracting organisation supervisor.
In order to help JET participants improve their English teaching skills, CLAIR will provide a grant for TEFL certification.
The deadline for your contracting organisation to submit all the documents to CLAIR is 8 June, 2012. You can obtain the application package from your contracting organisation or download it from this section of the JET Programme Homepage.
Late applications will not be considered, so please be sure to submit all required documents on time.
Your contracting organisation must submit your application to CLAIR. CLAIR will examine the applications and notify applicants of the results by the end of June.
JET Accident Insurance Coverage Period
1. Termination period of JET Accident Insurance coverage for JET participants who arrived in July or August
For non-reappointed JET participants who arrived in July or August, the JET Accident Insurance coverage period will finish according to the following dates, whichever comes earlier:
- 31 August 2012 (12:00 midnight, Japan Standard Time)
- Upon the JET participant's return to his/her home country ("return to his/her home country" is defined as the JET participant's home country or another country in which the JET participant has a permanent address)
*Those JET participants travelling in Japan or other countries en route to returning home are also insured, within the abovementioned dates.
For reappointed JET participants, the new period of coverage will be from 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2013 (until 12:00 midnight).
2. Details of Coverage
For coverage details please read the JET Accident Insurance Policy Guide given with the JET Programme Japanese Language Course Guidebook. A copy of this information is also available on the JET Programme Homepage.
3. Please make claims to the insurance company as soon as possible
It takes approximately one week to a month from when the necessary documents arrive at the insurance company to when the claim is processed and any payments are made. If you are intending to make a claim and you are a non-reappointed JET participant, you should do so before the end of June to ensure you are paid before you return home.
|Information for Non-Reappointed JETs Returning Home|
1. JET Alumni Association (JETAA) Membership and Contact Information Form
All returning JET participants will soon receive notification about the Online JET Alumni Association (JETAA) Membership and Contact Information Form. By filling out this form, JET participants who are finishing their tenure on the JET Programme will be able to sign up for a JETAA chapter, as well as ensure that they continue to receive information pertaining to former JET participants from both CLAIR and Japanese embassies and consulates abroad.
Also on the JETAA Membership and Contact Information Form, returning JET participants can request to receive the JET Streams newsletter, which is sent by email to JET alumni. JET Streams is produced annually by CLAIR and provides updates on the JET Programme and JETAA activities around the world. Previous issues of JET Streams can be viewed here.
The JETAA Membership and Contact Information Form will be available online, and a link to the form will be posted on the JET Programme webpage. We will contact your contracting organisation regarding the start date and specific instructions on how to fill out the survey. We plan to post the online form at the end of June. We recommend you take the survey in order to receive information regarding the JET Programme.
For more information about JETAA, and to access individual JETAA chapter websites, please visit the JETAA International website. You can also find a list of individual JETAA chapter websites on the JET Programme website here.
2. Preparing for Your Successor
Remember how uncertain you may have felt before coming to Japan? And how eagerly you awaited information about your workplace, work duties and living arrangements? As your successor no doubt has the same anxieties, you can help them by providing detailed information about what their situation will be like, prior to their arrival in Japan.
When writing to a new JET participant who is coming to your contracting organisation, please remember to write an objective and constructive letter that will help them settle in quickly and easily. Both your contracting organisation and your host prefecture/designated city will have your successor's contact information. We recommend that you include your contracting organisation in your correspondence with your successor for their reference. You can also supplement this letter by including the Essential Information for Incoming JETs Form.
You should provide the following information to your successor:
- What to bring/not to bring
- A description of your contracting organisation and the surrounding area
- A map of the area, including where to evacuate in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency
- An explanation of bills, how to use appliances, etc.
- Your living/working conditions
- A sample work schedule, details of your work duties, etc.
- Necessary contact numbers (including for emergencies)
- Your contact information after leaving the JET Programme
If you are planning on selling any items to your successor, please price them fairly as used items. Also, please make sure that what you are planning to sell is actually your own property and not property that belongs to your contracting organisation. Do not forget to include photos and details about the condition of the items, the method of payment and information about the transfer of the purchased items. Also, do not forget that your successor is under no obligation to purchase the items that you are selling, and if necessary, disposal of items will be your responsibility.
3) Pre-Departure Check List
You also need to start planning for your own departure. Here is a checklist of things to think about before leaving Japan:
- Make lists of the things to leave, sell, dispose of, send home, etc.
- Research shipping companies and prices
- Ask about the foreign language Post Office Guide at your central post office, or refer to the Japan Post website for general postage information
- Ask about the special 'book bag' (tokubetsu yuutai insatsubutsu) available at central post offices for discount bulk book shipping
- Keep a list of contents of boxes for insurance and customs purposes
- Close all bank accounts, cancel credit cards, etc.
- Settle all gas, electricity, telephone, water bills, etc. If necessary, discuss final payments with your contracting organisation supervisor
Please refer to the General Information Handbook and the After JET Guide for more information about what to do before leaving Japan.
|To Leaving JET Participants Who Own Cars|
There has been an increase in cases of JET participants leaving Japan and abandoning their cars, thereby incurring large costs related to disposal of the car which creates a large burden for local governments and tax payers. We therefore would like JET participants who are leaving Japan and own cars to keep the following in mind:
1. Disposing of your car
If you are unable to sell your car to another individual, and car dealerships deem that is has no resale value, you will have to dispose of your car (haisha). You can choose to process the paperwork yourself, but this and the physical disposal of the vehicle are usually taken care of by a vehicle sales or disposal company. There is a disposal fee. The following items are usually required:
- Vehicle inspection certificate (shakensho)
- Front and back license plates
- Certificate of disposal from the disposal company
- Your inkan and registration from it (inkan shomeisho), which is less than three months old, from your local city office/town hall
- A letter of attourney (i-ninjo) if you are authorising a company to take care of the paperwork. If you dispose of the vehicle yourself you will also have to complete this at the licensing centre.
- Tax certificate (jidosha nofu shomeisho), depending on the office or company processing the paperwork
2. Selling your car
Selling your car requires more than just an agreement between you and the purchaser. You will have to officially transfer the ownership. Failure to do so can result in you being held responsible in the event the car is involved in a crime or accident, even if somebody else is now driving the car. In order to transfer ownership, you usually require all the items mentioned above, but instead of a certificate of disposal, you will need a certificate of transfer (joto shomeisho). The procedures for transferring ownership need to be carried out in the jurisdiction of the Land Transportation Office of the new owner. Procedures must be carried out within 15 days of transfer. Please note that forms may vary municipality. Please check with your local authorities for specific details.
Reverse Culture Shock
You may have experienced some form of culture shock after arriving in Japan. However, what you may not realise is that a similar period, called reverse culture shock, may be awaiting you on your return to your home country. Unlike the initial culture shock you may have experienced when you first arrived in Japan, reverse culture shock can be more difficult as it is often unanticipated. The following are some tips to help you prepare for and deal with reverse culture shock.
1. Things to do before leaving Japan
Big changes in lifestyle, like the one you are about to undergo, can be extremely stressful, but you can make things easier on yourself if you start planning in advance. You will probably spend a lot of time packing up your belongings to go home. It is also important to spend a similar amount of time and energy thinking about packing up your experiences here in a way that will make them easier for you to carry home emotionally.
2. Saying goodbye to Japan
Make a list of things that you like about Japan. This list may include aspects of Japanese culture, your job or lifestyle here, actual places or possessions, and a variety of other things. Look over this list and think about which things you can take home, which things you can try to recreate back home, and which things you must say goodbye to.
Make a list of the people you will miss most when you leave. Think of the most meaningful way to say goodbye to each person on that list. Ways to do this may include writing a letter, going to a favourite restaurant, or spending a day together with a shared hobby.
3. Dealing with change
Over the last year or more, you have changed in many ways. List some of the values or behaviour patterns that you have learned. Think about which of these things are positive and which you want to maintain. Think also about which parts of the 'new you' will not fit in with your home country's culture, and how you can deal with this.
Realise that your home country has also changed. You may need to read up on and research about your home country in the same way you would if you were going to a foreign country. Check the internet, try to get your hands on some local news, ask your friends what is popular at the moment and get in touch with the latest music and trends. Knowing a little about what people are talking about will help you feel less like an outsider when you return.
Understand that your family and friends may have changed while you have been in Japan. They will almost certainly not have spent the entire one to five years sitting around waiting for your return. Call or email people in advance to catch up on their news and let them know that you will be going home.
4. Settling back in
Give yourself time to settle back into your home country. You may be busy with job hunting or graduate school applications, but it is also important to make time for yourself to relax and have fun.
Make a schedule for yourself. Going home and having nothing at all to do every day may lead to lethargy or depression. Having things to do with your time will make the differences between your life in Japan and life in your home country seem less acute.
Recognise that you may come under some stress because you are experiencing a major change in your life. Remembering how you dealt with culture shock when you arrived in Japan may give you clues as to how to cope with reverse culture shock in your home country.
Establish a support system with someone or a group of people who can relate to what you are going through. Join the JETAA chapter in your area so that you can meet people who can talk about Japan, the JET Programme and reverse culture shock. See if there are any Japanese people, prefectural associations, or other organisations in your area where you can maintain a connection with Japan. Enrol in Japanese language classes, or a cultural or martial arts class.
Lastly, remember that reverse culture shock can lead to personal growth and is an inevitable but valuable part of your experience as a JET participant.
SGL Selection Results
As stated in the April edition of CLAIR News, CLAIR established the Self-Support Group Leader (SGL) system with the aim of providing support in languages other than English. We would like to express our gratitude for the many applications that we received from JET participants interested in the SGL position. Including some SGLs from last year who will continue this year, the SGLs for 2012-2013 are listed below. These individuals are available to provide counselling in one of the following languages: Chinese, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian. If you would like to consult with someone one of these languages, please feel free to contact the appropriate SGL.
In principle, the duties of an SGL are not part of that JET participant's work duties, and as such, correspondence should occur outside of working hours if possible. For more detailed information, please contact the appropriate SGL directly.
- Mei LI (Kagoshima Prefecture, 0995-74-3111)
- Lei YU (Hokkaido Prefecture, 0154-72-2171)
- Aurelie NOEL (Ibaraki Prefecture, 029-301-2862)
- Anthony LIEVEN (Tottori Prefecture, 0858-43-1111)
- Olga CZYZAK (Saitama Prefecture, 048-728-2512)
- Sascha KLINGER (Miyazaki Prefecture, 0985-21-1711)
- Soyon KIM (Miyazaki Prefecture, 0982-59-1601)
- Yusun CHOI (Aomori Prefecture, 017-734-9219)
- Hamie SAKUMA (Shizuoka Prefecture, 0538-37-4710)
- Anderson MORISHITA (Gifu Prefecture, 058-214-7700)
- Anastasia SHCHERBATYUK (Toyama Prefecture, 076-444-3158)
- Evgeny BORODICH (Ishikawa Prefecture, 076-262-5932)
Change of Address Form
In the event that your home and/or work address changes, CLAIR asks that you fill out and submit a Change of Address Form. This form can be downloaded from the JET Programme website. The form should then be submitted to your supervisor at your contracting organisation. Prompt submission of this form will help ensure that you continuing to receive necessary information from CLAIR.
From a JET participant:
The other day, my supervisor told me that my successor has been decided. I would like to know if there is anything I can do to help to prepare for my successor's arrival?
When your supervisor contacts the new JET participant by telephone or email, volunteer to make the phone call or write the email. The new JET participant will be reassured to hear from someone from their new workplace. Moreover, you are encouraged to assist your supervisor in writing a welcome letter and preparing a summary of all your work duties to be passed on to your successor. As you may not be around to meet the new JET participant in person, please take the time to make your successor feel welcome. More information is provided on page 191 and 241 of the 2012 edition of the General Information Handbook.
From a contracting organisation:
Our JET participant came to us and mentioned, "After completing my time on the JET Programme, I wish to visit a third country (a country other than my home country) on my way home." Is the contracting organisation responsible for paying the JET participants' return airfare in such circumstances?
Contracting organisations are required to provide the return travel expenses for passage to the JET participant's original airport of departure (which was designated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Japanese embassies and consulates overseas).
The JET participant's return airfare is not intended for them to visit third countries (countries other than the home country) on their way home. Therefore, if the JET participant has decided to visit another country before returning home, the contracting organisation is not required to provide the JET participant's return airfare.