Daddy-san (part 4): Immunising your child after arriving in Japan

Vaccinations in Japan are different than in the West
Vaccinations in Japan are different than in the West - there are important points that you should know, because your Japanese doctor may not.
For most long-term parents of children in Japan, there is little to consider when it comes to vaccinations. The Japanese government immunises the population against the primary diseases in Japan and so long as you’re here in the long-run then you’re not going to give it a second thought. Unfortunately, things are not so simple for families who shift to Japan in the first six months after their child’s birth. When we came to Japan six weeks after my son was born in Hong Kong, we discovered pretty quickly that immunisation schedules don’t conform to any international standard and continuing vaccination programs that were begun overseas isn’t straight forward. Hopefully this article saves a bit of stress of other young families that have recently moved to Japan. It’ll probably also be of interest to any parents keen to immunise their children against some diseases that aren’t part of the standard program for Japanese children. Continue reading

When should Japan’s Highways be Freeways?

Japan is always spending money building roads
Where does the money come from? Everywhere you travel in regional Japan there seem to always be new highways under construction

So after all of that rhetoric about abolishing road tolls (高速道路無料化法案), Hatoyama has decided to rethink his plan and only allocate 1/6 of the original budget detailed in their manifesto.  Until last week, I, like 65% of Japanese voters, actually wanted him to scrap the entire plan altogether.  I happened across some insightful interviews with the academics who originally proposed the policy and have since gained some insight into where the concept came from.  How does Hatoyama look at himself in the mirror after promising that Japan will cut green-house gas reductions by 25%? Continue reading