Resources to find solutions to everyday problems

[Question]I bought an electrical appliance at a home-electrical retail store with a one-year warranty. It stopped working properly under normal use so I took it to the store and asked for a warranty repair but I was charged for the repair. What should I do?

[Answer]
If you are not satisfied with the products or service provided, you can check with your local Consumer Center for advice. Please take along someone who can speak Japanese since no foreign language assistance is provided. The Consumer Center is a public organization responsible for responding to consumer inquiries and complains about products and services.

[Question]I moved out my apartment unit. The landlord demanded I pay additional expenses to cover the cost to repair holes in fusuma sliding doors. Should I pay?

[Answer]
As a tenant, you are obliged to restore the property to its initial conditions, except for normal wear and tear, before you leave the rental property. A tenant is essentially responsible to and may be required to compensate the landlord for any damage arising from his or her own negligence. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has released a guideline to define and give general guidance to rental housing issues involving tenancy’s obligation to restore the property to its original conditions at the time of terminating the release contract. 
If you are not totally convinced, you can get free legal consultation at your municipal office to get a good idea about where you stand on this matter and accordingly take this case to arbitration sessions at a Summary Court.

[Question]I want to consult a lawyer to start divorce proceedings, but I cannot afford to pay his fee. Can I obtain a loan of the fee?

[Answer]
You can get support from the civil legal aid system if seeking a judicial solution in family affairs, such as divorce and civil affairs. This system is designed to ensure the right to access to the courts for those who have a good prospect of winning the lawsuit but cannot do so due to financial difficulty. Under this system, you get free legal consultation, referral to lawyers and legal scriveners, temporal payment of legal fee for you, as well as representation in court and preparation of documents.  Since legal aid is for people who have limited means, you need to produce evidence showing your income is below a certain amount to be qualified for the system. Foreigner residents staying in Japan legally can take advantage of the system.  For more information on legal aid, please refer to Japan Legal Support Center  

[Question]I am discriminated based on my nationality. Where can I get human rights consultation?

[Answer]
Consultations on human rights abuses are provided in several languages at the following sites in Osaka.

Osaka Legal Affairs Bureau: 0570-090911 (English) 0570-050110 (Chinese)

Osaka Bar Association:   Second and fourth Fridays of the month from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in English, Chinese and Korean.  06-6364-6251

[Question]Where can I have my diploma from my Japanese university notarized for the validation purpose at home.

[Answer]
The homepage hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affair (MOFA) explains the procedures to get official seals of such documents authenticated.  

Osaka Liaison Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tel: 06-6941-4700
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