Community News

By on August 5, 2013

Skype Classrooms Becoming the Norm
Japanese language teachers are now reaching out to students who want to take a course but lack the time to commute to school via SKYPE classrooms. One Japanese teacher says, “It’s pretty good considering the money students and instructors can save on transportation, venues, and snacks, etc. I think the biggest advantage is being able to have frequent and regular sessions. Being able to type out the spellings of words and phrases on the chat window while talking is just like having a white board to utilize.”

Wes, a busy researcher in Tokyo says, “My current schedule takes up a lot of my time and I have been thinking that Skype lessons may be for someone like me who can not be away from home base but can squeeze in an hour a day. The idea allows me to make use of one hour productively than stretching another hour for travelling to and from school.  Besides, a Skype arrangement works very well if I need to focus on learning.”

Internationalization in Minato-kuPicture 9
As of last year,  nearly 10% (21,000 people) of registered residents in the Minato ward are foreigners from 134 countries. Minato houses 80 embassies, international schools and educational institutions along with companies with foreign affiliation. The Advisory Committee of the Minato Internationalization Master Plan is headed towards enhancing the administrative services for foreign residents of Minato ward in areas such as disaster prevention, welfare, health, childcare and public relations  to promote more engagement  and community support between the foreigners and  Japanese residents.

Picture 11The SIM CARD option in Japan
All mobile phone carriers in Japan competing in the market have just one common goal and that is to lock each subscriber in to a fixed monthly fee in addition to the actual calls made, up to two years.  If you make regular overseas calls to families and for work, your total cost could easily come up to a hefty sum in a year.  Up until now, that was the only way to get a smartphone in Japan.  With the arrival of Sim cards, people can now buy unlocked phones abroad and enjoy options that were not possible before.  Unlocked smart phones sold online offer way more flexibility in terms of device choices, cost, storage space, design and mobility, and you can manage and control your call costs.  But which smartphones are wise to get?

Picture 12DUAL SIM CARD 3G smartphones
A smart option to put everything into one gadget when traveling is by using dual SIM mobile phones.  Dual-SIM operation allows the user two services without the need to carry two phones at the same time. So if your homebase is Japan, you use a SIM CARD for Japan (only NTT sells SIM cards for 3G smartphones) and another for making and receiving calls abroad.  The same handset can be used for business and private use with separate numbers and call charges, or for travel, with an additional SIM for the country you are visiting.  LTE phones are highly unlikely to work in countries except in territories where they were intended to be used so that leaves you with a choice of just a 3G network.  Before you order your handset abroad, check that the phone’s radio supports NTT Docomo’s frequency  2100/1700/800 Mhz.

About Tokyo Families