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Life Matters

The following list provides a number of precautions which you should take related to your life in Japan. Please read each item carefully.

1. Bicycle Registration

When you buy a bicycle, you are required to register it at the shop to prevent it from being stolen. If you cannot register your bicycle at the place where it was purchased (e.g. because you got it from a friend, or bought it second-hand), please register it at the police station. The registration fee is 500 yen. If a registered bicycle is stolen, it may possibly be returned to you, thanks to the registration. However, if your bicycle is not registered, it might be regarded as having been stolen, and you might then be warned by the police. Please make sure to register your bicycle.

2. Car Insurance

If you plan on driving a car, a motor-scooter or a motorcycle in Japan, you are required, not only to sign a contract for third-party automobile liability insurance (mandatory insurance), but also a contract for voluntary insurance. The mandatory insurance does not fully cover compensation for traffic accidents resulting in injury or death, or for serious accidents. For instance, mandatory insurance would provide you with a maximum of only 1.2 million yen for injury and a maximum of 30 million yen for death when accidents occur. This means that you would be financially liable for the following: (1) injury and/or death of you and/or the passengers in your vehicle; (2) damage to your own and/or the other driver’s car and/or damage to items attached to or in the car/cars. It is, therefore, essential that you obtain voluntary insurance. It should be noted that the insurance information given above is provided to students for guidance only; the University accepts no responsibility for decisions and the result of decisions taken by students in connection with insurance.

You are also required to obtain written permission to drive such vehicles from the university. Therefore, please submit the following documents to the Center Administration: a warrant of automobile inspection, insurance certificates (mandatory and voluntary insurance) and a copy of your international or Japanese driving license. (Photocopies of all these documents are acceptable.)

3. International Driving License

An international driving license is valid for one year after your arrival in Japan. If your international driving license is limited to a specific period, you need to abide by its restrictions. Once it has expired, you cannot renew it, unless you are out of Japan for more than three months. So, even if return to your home country temporarily (for a period of less than three months) and renew your international driving license, you are still prohibited from using it in Japan. If your stay in Japan is longer than one year, please obtain a Japanese driving license. Contact the Center Administration about obtaining a Japanese driving license.

4. Part-Time Jobs

If you take a part-time job without the permission of the university, you are liable to be severely punished (e.g. with a fine or even forced repatriation). Therefore, please apply to obtain a work permit. An application form is available at the Center Administration.

5. Japanese National Health Insurance

If you have not signed up for an effective international health insurance plan procurable in your home country, please apply for Japanese National Health Insurance, and hand in the copy of it to the international office. 

6. Renting an Apartment

When you rent an apartment, please make sure to obtain residence insurance. There is a form of residence insurance specifically designed for international students. Therefore, please contact the Center Administration (ryugaku@@ad.oita-u.ac.jp) when you plan to rent an apartment. The fee for residence insurance is 7,500 yen for one year, and 14,000 yen for two years.

7. Delayed Return of Rental Video Tapes

If you fail to return rented video tapes, CDs, or DVDs within the prescribed period, you are required to pay an arrears charge. In one case, a student was obliged to pay 50,000 yen in arrears charges because of a 3-month delay in returning such material. Therefore, please make sure to return any rented material within the prescribed period.

8. Guide to Life in Japan

Please access, which contains a guide to life in the city of Oita