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03 February 2010

7-11 offering city services (via Japan Times)

Seven-Eleven Japan Co. launched a new service Tuesday enabling customers to get residence and personal seal certification at its convenience stores in Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture instead of going to city offices.

News photo
Municipal service: Seven-Eleven Japan President Ryuichi Isaka (third from left) helps kick off the convenience store chain's issuance of residence and registered seal certificates at an outlet in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on Tuesday. KYODO PHOTO

The issuance of "juminhyo" (residence certificates) and "inkan toroku shomeisho" (registered seal certificates) marks a first for convenience stores and for now is available only to residents of Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, the suburb of Mitaka, and people living in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture.

The service will be extended to all 12,600 Seven-Eleven outlets in 38 prefectures by May, according to the company, which is under the wing of Seven & I Holdings Co.

Foreigners will not receive residence certificates until the revision of the immigration law and the resident registration law, passed last July, takes effect in July 2012.

Japanese and foreigners need a certificate of personal seals only when they establish a business, make a big purchase such as a house, or borrow money. Such seals are not required, for example, when signing an apartment rental contract.

Seven-Eleven hopes the new service attracts more customers.

The company has been working with the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry and local authorities since spring 2008 to launch the service.

Customers will be able to insert their resident registry network cards into a new terminal for identification and get a printout of the document they need. The fee will be ¥200 to ¥250 for each copy.

Printouts are forgery-proof to make sure personal data are not falsified, Seven-Eleven said, adding the terminal network has advanced security features to protect personal information.

Some things that we can take away from this as foreign nationals here in the Chubu region are:

* The immigration law that passed in July 2009 means we WILL have to register and carry a Juuminhyo (住民票) card instead of the Gaikokujin Torokusho (外国人登録書) that we carry now; it will have our gaijin status on it and inside it along with other data

* No doubt this data includes healthcare enrollment status--if you haven't taken care of that, NOW is the time to do so. That part of the law goes into effect in April 2010--less than 2 months away now.

* You can take care of a lot of the more routine matters that take place at city hall/ward offices at convenience stores by the time all this goes into effect for us... Well at least 7-11. I'm willing to bet good beer ¥ though that the other chains will pick up on this by the time we get to do it in 2011...

* Conbinis are the most awesome thing about living in Japan still-- validate your hanko, pay up on your scooter insurance, grab a beer, a sandwich and a spare pair of underwear in the same place!

Posted via web from The Official RANmagazine LifeStream

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