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A Question for Yohan (Retirement)

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The_Adventurer
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A Question for Yohan (Retirement)

Post by The_Adventurer » September 6th, 2015, 5:11 am

Hello Yohan,

I was also a long time member of Orient Expat, before its terminal decline. I have read a lot of your posts over the years, and recently came upon a question.

You often have a lot of good things to say about Japan, and seem to have had a very successful run there. At the same time, if I remember correctly, you have already purchased your retirement property in Thailand and plan to retire there in the future. Thailand often seems the home of much political turmoil, noise and is generally much less developed than Japan. Why not simply retire in and stay in Japan forever?

Is it purely for financial reasons that you are choosing not to remain in Japan forever?
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan

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Yohan
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Re: A Question for Yohan (Retirement)

Post by Yohan » September 6th, 2015, 10:33 am

Hallo,

Thanks for asking, and no idea who are you or what was your former ID with Orientexpat.

I was kicked out suddenly, after over 11000 comments since the forum started, but no real idea why, the admin got crazy as many other foreigners who are running out of money with their Thai wife and depend totally on their Thai family. this man became hateful, edited most comments, and only he and a few others remain now writing one-liners and smilies to each other, it could be a good niche forum, to blame for its present situation is only the admin.
viewtopic.php?t=22571

BTW, Orientexpat was not my 'main forum', I am most frequently with the 'www.the-niceguy.com/forum' since about 10 years already.

About your question, I will be still in Tokyo up to summer 2017 - after we will move to a smaller city, likely Otsu or Nara and will buy there a condominium.

The present old house in Tokyo, fairly large, will be taken over by the brother of my Japanese wife. We are not interested to invest anything into a new construction and we are not interested to pay for loans up to our 80s.

We will stay in Japan of course as our permanent home, but our second home is in Thailand and we will be there during the winter season and also during the very hot summer season in Japan. Even now, while still working, as I have long vacation we are in our second home in Pattaya every year 2 times for about 3 weeks, that's much better than a hotel-room.

Yes, we have 2 condominium units in Pattaya, one smaller one in the city center and the other larger one near Jomtien Dongtan Beach.

It is now easy to travel between Japan and Thailand, about 5 hours, USD 500,- or less, plenty of airplanes every day. I live near Haneda Airport, which has several flights to Bangkok every night, and after arrival in Bangkok in morning, we take the Pattaya Airport bus, which has its terminal point just opposite of our condominium in Jomtien, really very comfortable.


There is no financial reason to leave Japan. We both have good retirement allowances, in my case from Europe and we have full Japanese medical insurance for life, and about myself, I have permanent residency permit in Japan, no restriction about work or buying my own home.

We think we will be about 6 to 8 months in Japan and about 4 to 6 months away in future. I have also friends and family members of my 2 daughters in USA/Canada, and also a fosterdaughter in Cebu Philippines and good friends in Eastern Malaysia.

We think, in future, after retirement, we will travel around in Asia and US/Canada, but I do not consider to return to Europe for a visit, we have nothing there, I left Europe in 1976.

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Re: A Question for Yohan (Retirement)

Post by The_Adventurer » September 6th, 2015, 12:46 pm

Thanks for replying.

I think my name was teruchan in that forum. I stopped posting over time as it became too Thailand centric, and discussion of other locals and topics simply dropped off. I, personally, never had any interest in Thailand and have no plans to ever visit, so I lost interest in the forum. I also noticed the place became more negative. The admin would complain more and more, and he and a guy with a blue cat avatar would just talk about stuff so local to them that it likely had little meaning to people who weren't in on it.

I remember Many pictures you posted of Cebu, and how it was constantly growing and changing. I haven't been there since 2008, so I suspect the changes will look huge to me now. I also remember when Mandrake was sitting in the village somewhere, constantly complaining about the internet service. Strange, as it seems to me that if one were sitting in a small village with few worries beyond sitting on a computer all day, they would find some way to make money online.

Anyway, I am considering moving to Japan. I was also considering something like the split schedule you mentioned with half the year spent in Japan and the other half elsewhere in Asia. (Korea, Philippines, or China etc.) I have been to Japan many times and used to be fluent in the language, both spoken and written. When I left the US, so many years ago, Japan was always my ultimate goal. In that time, though, other things came up, and then the Fukushima disaster happened, and my plans kind of changed. Now I think it is time to get those plans back on track.

I was concerned you had some special reason to get out of Japan. It's good to know you still see a future there.

Thanks again for replying...
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan

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Yohan
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Re: A Question for Yohan (Retirement)

Post by Yohan » September 6th, 2015, 4:42 pm

Oh yes, Teruchan, I remember you, I think you were into some drawings of manga or similar business. In Japan and also in South Korea.

About Fukushima, there is nothing to worry about anymore. Due to cleanup actions, radiation is down even within the 20 km security zone and work to control this disaster made a lot of progress. There is almost no radioactive water anymore, reactor #4 is empty without nuclear fuel etc.

Yes, I will continue to keep my permanent address in Japan, but outside of Tokyo. We prefer after retirement a living in a small city with more greenery around us, maybe Nara or Otsu... We did not decide yet.

In Cebu there is all OK with my Filipina fosterdaughter, now in university, still 3 semester more to graduation.

Thailand by my opinion over many years, is only good for vacation, short stay for a few weeks after retirement etc., but not a good place for longstay, especially not in rural areas. Foreigners hardly get a working permit, depending by visa on their Thai wife, have little opportunity to be productive... are often running out of money...

I have no intention to invest anything anymore into Thailand, I have my two condo-units in Pattaya full with furniture and our private things, nothing missing there anymore in my rooms, access to a very large private swimmingpool in our condominium complex, very convenient connection to travel to Pattaya from Tokyo, and my Thai-motorcycle is also OK, and I have a small banking account in Thailand in case of emergency and for paying utilities like electricity. We do not even consider to apply for a retirement visa in future, just tourist visa for 2 months for winter time and tourist visa for 2 months for summer time, and spending some more time in Cambodia, Malaysia and Philippines, something like that. - I am really satisfied with my present situation.

Please come back with any question about Japan.

Best greetings to you,

Yohan

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Re: A Question for Yohan (Retirement)

Post by The_Adventurer » September 14th, 2015, 7:15 am

Yohan wrote:Oh yes, Teruchan, I remember you, I think you were into some drawings of manga or similar business. In Japan and also in South Korea.
That is correct. I am still doing that, mostly doing animation training in Shanghai, at the moment, and some download works on my own website. I had been doing some doujin download works sold in Japan in the past, and am picking that up again as well.
Yohan wrote: About Fukushima, there is nothing to worry about anymore. Due to cleanup actions, radiation is down even within the 20 km security zone and work to control this disaster made a lot of progress. There is almost no radioactive water anymore, reactor #4 is empty without nuclear fuel etc.
This is good to know, as this event derailed my over plans years ago. I had been hearing conflicting reports, especially being here in China, about how that was working out.

In a recent thread, you wrote:
Yohan wrote: I like a peaceful home and I am not interested every morning and evening to start and end my day with disputes about trivial things with a bad-tempered woman next to me.
This thread got me thinking. Currently, in China, I work as much as possible in the middle of the night because it is quiet. China can be quite noisy. Not just the usual sounds of construction, motorcycles and the like, but also people generally walk around talking loud and yelling, even though they are not fighting. Even in a nice hotel, the cleaning women yell up and down the halls to each other rather than standing close to talk. It is difficult to get any work done. I have not been able to find any place to escape this.

I imagine that were I to move to Japan, I would spend my time sitting in my room drawing stuff. I would like a peaceful and quiet place to do so. Do you find that most places in Japan, like apartment complexes etc., are peaceful and quiet? I remember it being so, but it's been a few years since I was last there.
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan

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Yohan
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Re: A Question for Yohan (Retirement)

Post by Yohan » September 17th, 2015, 12:12 pm

The_Adventurer wrote: This thread got me thinking. Currently, in China, I work as much as possible in the middle of the night because it is quiet. China can be quite noisy. Not just the usual sounds of construction, motorcycles and the like, but also people generally walk around talking loud and yelling, even though they are not fighting. Even in a nice hotel, the cleaning women yell up and down the halls to each other rather than standing close to talk. It is difficult to get any work done. I have not been able to find any place to escape this.

I imagine that were I to move to Japan, I would spend my time sitting in my room drawing stuff. I would like a peaceful and quiet place to do so. Do you find that most places in Japan, like apartment complexes etc., are peaceful and quiet? I remember it being so, but it's been a few years since I was last there.
Your observation is correct, I have frequently visitors from abroad and all of them are considering Tokyo as a very 'silent' place.

I think it is even better now than 10 or 20 years ago, but I can only comment about Tokyo and neighboring cities.

In the streets traffic is moving on smoothly, almost no traffic jam - cars are rather new, full automatic and drivers are rarely using the horn.
New motorways are now constructed underground in tunnels - for example the new Yamate-dori tunnel about 30 km long is now open and the street above on the surface has much less traffic between Tokyo South and Tokyo North than before.

There is also almost no pollution in Tokyo, most major streets are now green with large trees and free of garbage. Japanese are for sure quiet people compared to their Asian neighbors in office and at home. Even drunk people are silent, and there is no loud music coming out of open windows if you walk around in any residential area at any time. Nowadays many more houses have a better isolation and more concrete than wood is used. This keeps also noise inside those buildings. Also construction sites are 'silent', most materials are delivered from factories ready for assembly.

Considering recent exchange rates, Japan is now about 30 percent cheaper for many Asian visitors and often visafree for at least 14 days, for example my Malaysian friends are now coming into Japan every year 2 times, flights are now much cheaper with discount airlines, there are plenty of new, but not so expensive small hotelrooms (business-hotels) - Chinese visitors can buy here many items cheaper than in China, where custom tariffs are high for imported goods.

Maybe you might consider to visit Japan again, at least for a few days or so, you are in China, not far away.

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Re: A Question for Yohan (Retirement)

Post by xiongmao » September 17th, 2015, 8:31 pm

Interesting thread. I've visited both Japan and Thailand. Both had their good points. I spent 6 months in Thailand but sooner or later my luck was going to run out and I went back to Europe. Japan was great and I would like to live in Tokyo for a while.

Until then, well I'm in London and we have the Japan Centre which is like a little piece of Japan but here in London.
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Re: A Question for Yohan (Retirement)

Post by The_Adventurer » April 19th, 2016, 4:08 pm

Hello Yohan,

Have you heard of this guy?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA5qVIOiwfI

I remember you wrote, in the past, that there is no alimony or child support in divorce in Japan. This guy, however, makes it sound like divorce is pretty horrible there currently.

Although he doesn't look it, it seems he is half Japanese, and I wonder if that is why he can just live there, even though he has no job.
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan

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Yohan
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Re: A Question for Yohan (Retirement)

Post by Yohan » May 13th, 2016, 4:43 am

Sorry for late reply, noticed this thread just now.

I never heard about this guy, but I know others similar to him. There is one, who calls himself tokyoreporter
http://www.tokyoreporter.com/
and if you read his publications, you will think, Japan is the worst place of crimes in the world.

There is infamous Debito
http://www.debito.org/
who feels discriminated everywhere....
and for sure there are some others too. Basically said, in Japan you can rather publish what you want, can be an activist about whatever you want to be.
Nobody cares.

I am not a lawyer, but the situation in Japan legally seen is not against men and in the large cities, where nobody knows who is who, the way Japanese handle their problems in about the following way:

I do not write now about some 'special people' looking for their 'rights' like feminists, gay groups, mother in jail, life in small fishing villages on islands, foreigners claiming rights from their own country etc. etc., I write about ordinary Japanese men and women.


1 - Co-habitation

People living together as a couple, but are not legally married, will never face a situation like in Western countries where such co-habitation will change to a similar status to marriage. If you want to leave, just leave - finished.

This is legally true also in case with children and you are not the biological father - as long as you all are living in the same rooms, you have all the rights and duties of a father for HER children, if you are moving out, you are gone - the Japanese law will not follow you for any form of support for her or her children.

-----

2 -

Young people married can easily divorce, most of them own anyway nothing much of value. They fill in a form in the ward office, sign together, cancel the rent contract, pack their things and are gone.

In case of children there is nothing what can be legally enforced, in general the man disappears, just gone, no alimony, no child support.
The wife gets the children, there are no visitation rights.

-----

3 -

Divorce usually works well out of court. Just sign together in the ward office - finished. Lawyers and courts are expensive, slow, and divorce is not a business unlike Western countries. Most lawyers are very reluctant except there is a big quarrel going on and this couple looking for divorce is really rich. Decisions are not predictable, can take many years if contested etc. Most simple people try their best to avoid divorce by courts under any circumstances, whenever possible.

Some couples decide to create often with the help of a consultant a civil contract, divorce in a friendly way - typically the text might be something like: Give me yen 100.000,- per month as support and you can meet me and take the 2 children with you every weekend from my parents as I am working on weekend anyway - or give me yen 20.000,- for every day you want to be with the 2 children, etc.

-----

4 -

Divorce of old couples, often past 60 years old after a long marriage.

While in a short marriage/divorce there is nothing you can claim (Western-style gold diggers are hopeless in Japan etc), court guidelines consider about 2 % or 3 % if one spouse has everything and the other has nothing after a long marriage.

Nowadays young people have their own retirement contract, their own banking accounts etc. but with old people this is not always the case.
The old man still has everything, like the land title, all savings only in his name, retirement allowance or his business etc. all in his name.
The old wife legally seen, owns nothing.

In such a divorce a court - if it even moves on to court asking for decision - considers how many years the marriage took place, typically after 20 to 25 years married the wife can claim up to 50 percent.

However to avoid delay, often such an old couple decides on a one-time separation pay out of court to buy a new accommodation for her and further she will receive a small part of the retirement allowance (this you could call alimony).

----

Now about some foreigners:

I do not know about any divorce next to me, here in Japan. However disputes are coming up when the foreign ex-husband demands similar rights he knows from EU or USA - but the Japanese ex-wife is refusing - such cases known in court are only few, and usually it is about their children.

The foreign father insists on visitation rights and wants to pay monthly child support to her account - and she is refusing him to let see their children and is refusing to accept any support money.

It is said that such cases are rather rare - more likely the foreign ex-husband or boyfriend etc. prefers to disappear, back to his country and to pay nothing....

Sometimes the Japanese or foreign mother is doing the same, she disappears, some even to overseas - if you look in any Japanese orphanage/home for abandoned children, you will see that about 1/4 of all children are clearly mixed or even pure foreign children. Many are Asians, but you will see also black children, Latinos, etc. just from any part of this world.

Well this is about the situation here in Japan, any question?

Now about these 'reporters and their stories on youtube' etc.- these (few) foreign men from Western countries (believe me all these Chinese, Filipinos, South Americans etc. prefer to disappear!) cannot accept the Japanese way of life in Japan, so after disputes, he runs to a lawyer, if he finds one to listen, he will be asked to pay some deposit, USD 5000,- or so... and in Japan lawyers are obliged to contact first the other party and try to negotiate. As this fails, he has no choice but to move on to court, pay again USD 10.000,- or so, next in return the court will ask for court fees, again this can be a few thousends of USD, and all must be paid in advance - of course the spouse on the other side sends a cheap consultant acting on her behalf, who merely says: We object. - Result: Postponed. Next date, postponed etc. etc. and this goes on over years... and finally he writes something about human rights, or fathers rights or similar BS.

But sorry, this is not the way, how disputes regarding divorce are settled here in Japan...inform yourself BEFORE you enter in Japan a personal relationship with a Japanese citizen about the legal situation. Laws are not everywhere the same.

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