Yakut village girl Vida became a resident of the neon metropolis – in Japan. She and her husband have been living in this country for 9 years now. Vida shared her experience of moving and told about the life of Russians in Japan.
– Tell me about yourself.
– My name is Vida. I come from cold and harsh Yakutia. I was born and grew up in a small village. Then no one would have thought that from a Yakut village girl, I would become a resident of a neon metropolis!
My parents named me after the 1988 Olympic champion in alpine skiing — Vida Wentzen. I have an online store selling Japanese vitamins and cosmetics, I have been doing it for more than 5 years. I am planning new projects soon, I want to develop and become someone more than just an online seller. I hope I will succeed)
– Your story of moving to Japan. Why this particular country?
— My husband and I are Japanese by profession. They learned Japanese
at the Yakut University at the Faculty of Foreign Languages. Like all graduates of our faculty, they dreamed of visiting the country of the studied language: to walk, to travel, but no more than that. There have never been any concrete plans to move. It all came out by itself. My husband was invited to work for a short time in an auto export company in Japan. We planned to live in Japan for only 3 months, and this year it will be 9 years since he went to work “a little”)
— Vida, do you miss your homeland?)
– Yes, we miss you, but not as much as in the first three years. It used to seem like real life was happening in Russia, not here in Japan. In Japan, everything seemed temporary and impermanent. We bought used household items and household items, since it’s all the same to leave or throw away. And now it’s not like that at all. We live here and this is our real life. We like everything here, everything is there. The son first went to a Japanese kindergarten, now he has already gone to the 3rd grade.
— What was it difficult to get used to in Japan?
— In our student years, we already had the experience of living in Japan. Therefore, when we moved to live, everything was clear and familiar.
But, for the first time for many visitors to Japan, I think difficulties come in sorting garbage: separating plastic from paper, aluminum cans from glass, and so on. Plastic bottles must be thrown away without a lid and a paper label, and before that you need to wash this bottle. But we were even more surprised that the garbage is taken out on certain days. For example, on Monday only plastic garbage, on Tuesdays – paper and burning garbage, on Wednesdays – glass and aluminum, on Thursdays – bulky garbage and so on. I think we are not the only ones who have experienced the shock of the Japanese waste recycling system. Now they are used to it and it seems to be the norm. On the contrary, when I come to Russia, it seems wild to throw away glass along with paper)
— How to move to Japan?
– It’s not difficult to move to Japan. The main thing is that you need a Japanese work visa, and how to get it, there are already difficulties) You can also become an exchange student and study at a Japanese university together with Japanese students.
— How do I get Japanese citizenship?
– Citizenship is not so difficult to obtain. But if you find out what the requirements are for this, then hardly anyone will agree to such sacrifices. First of all, you must renounce the citizenship that you currently have. In Japan, you can’t be citizens of two countries at the same time. Some will say that it is possible, but this is rather an exception to the rule. Then, after renouncing your previous citizenship, you must receive a written waiver from you and from both parents (if they are alive). And it doesn’t matter how old you are: even 50, even 70, but parents must write a waiver from you in writing. And after that you get a Japanese surname and become a Japanese citizen.
Whether it’s the case, to have a cherished card – a residence permit in Japan (eijyuken). It’s almost like citizenship, but without a Japanese passport while retaining your citizenship. And this residence permit is the most difficult to obtain. But if your husband or wife is Japanese, then it’s easy. And if not, then you need to live a righteous Japanese life in Japan for at least 10 years, and only then apply for eijuken. And it’s not a fact that they will give it the first time. Some live for 20 years without this card.
– Vida, and the expensive life of Russians in Japan?
– Yes, quite expensive. Tokyo is still in the top of the most expensive cities in the world.
- Apartments for rent in Tokyo – from $ 1800 per month. We used to carefully monitor expenses, but we realized that living and counting expenses in Tokyo is a way to nowhere.
- We rent an apartment and parking costs $ 2,000 per month.
- Health insurance, taxes — everything is expensive. Medical insurance per year — $ 5,200.
- The cost of apartments (with an area of 50-60 squares) in Tokyo starts from $ 500,000.
— What are the most popular specialties in Japan for migrants?
– Probably the most popular in the IT industry. Japanese scientific institutes cooperate with foreign institutes and invite foreign employees to exchange experience.
— What are the salaries in Japan for migrants?
– There are no specific salaries for migrants. If a migrant is a good specialist in his field, then his work will be paid with dignity.
For example, yesterday’s student will receive approximately $2800. A friend of mine works as a sales manager for a large automobile company. His salary is $4,600.
– Tell us about the mentality of the Japanese)
– Japanese are cool people) But they treat everyone with respect. I have never felt any hostility or alienation on their part.
— Do you know Japanese? Was it difficult to learn?
– Yes, as I said above, we learned Japanese at uni. But Japanese is such a language (I’m sure it can be said about all languages in the world) that I learn something new every day.
– Good medicine in Japan?
— I’m not complaining about medicine. Since we pay for insurance, we try to use it as needed.
— What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in Japan for you?
— Advantages of living in Japan – this is security. I can walk alone on the streets of Tokyo until morning without fear for my life. In Japan, no one is trying to cheat you or steal something from your bag. We don’t lock cars on the street. We can leave the doors of the house open.
Cons of living in Japan — this is of course that all relatives and relatives are away. We cannot share family holidays, meetings and weddings with them. And there is no good mayonnaise in Japan and rye bread)
Olga Avrakh was talking