All posts by blogsonjapan

Indonesia’s campaign for centrist Islam goes global  

Author: Yang Razali Kassim, RSIS

Ma’ruf Amin is vice-presidential running mate for incumbent President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo in the 2019 presidential election. While Amin was a surprise choice, his ideas on the role of Islam in Indonesia are proving to be a potential vote-getter. Amin’s value for Jokowi is not his personality per se, but what he symbolises or represents. The coming together of the duo reflects the symbiosis of the two main streams of Indonesian politics — nationalism as manifested in Jokowi and Islam in Amin.

Islamic cleric Ma’ruf Amin speaks to the media after he was chose to be Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s running mate in the 2019 presidential election in Jakarta, Indonesia, 9 August 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Antara Foto).

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A central feature of Amin’s campaign so far is his promotion of Wasatiyyah Islam. Loosely translated, the term wasatiyyah connotes a middle way or a path of moderation. During an October 2018 speech in Singapore hosted by the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Amin spoke of the importance of Wasatiyyah Islam in Indonesia, and how Indonesia should not only practise but also project Wasatiyyah Islam to the world. To him, Wasatiyyah Islam contributes not only to peace and security in Indonesia, but also globally given the …continue reading

    

ORIX trialing 45-year loans on investment properties

ORIX Bank began trialing 45-year loans on investment properties in May 2018, making it the longest property loan on offer in the industry, exceeding the typical maximum term of 35 years.

The loan may be used on studio-type apartments for single occupant tenants ranging in size from 18 ~ 40 sqm (194 ~ 430 sq.ft). Buildings over a certain age may not be eligible.

The maximum age of the borrower at the end of the loan term has been raised from 80 to 85 years, which means a borrower under the age of 40 may be eligible for the longest loan term.

ORIX’s prime rate on investment loans for individual apartments was between 1.8 ~ 2.9% as at November 1, 2018. A longer loan term means lower monthly repayments (up to 15% lower than a 35-year loan), although the total interest paid is significantly higher (30%+ more).

Borrowers need to be very cautious when looking at potential cash flow estimates. It is typical for rents to decrease as a building ages. Something that appears to be cash flow positive on paper may actually end up running at a loss. Over time there is a risk of an increase in interest rates, vacancies, decreases in rent or increases in running costs that can cause an investment to operate at a loss.

Investment loan options have been shrinking rapidly since regional lender Suruga Bank was exposed for providing loans to unqualified buyers based on heavily falsified documents. Loans for share houses have effectively ceased. Banks are still open to lending on studio-type apartments but lending criteria has tightened this year.

Sources:
The Nikkei Shimbun, November 9, 2018.
ORIX Bank

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A Low-Key Day Trip to Otsuki and Tsuru in Nearby Yamanashi Prefecture

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

Packed with interesting cultural and historical sights, not so packed with tourists. If you’re looking for a relaxed overnight getaway, Otsuki and Tsuru in nearby Yamanashi Prefecture are a great choice.
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What to do in Otsuki and Tsuru
While it’s not exactly a high-octane thrill ride, the area is perfect for some traditional sightseeing. Enjoy the views, take a few snaps and grab a bite to eat at one of the sleepy rural cafes and restaurants that surround each tourist spot. While the spots below are sorted into a rough route (Otsuki then Tsuru), they’re all close enough that you could change them up, reverse them or drop a few and go totally off the beaten track.
Saruhashi
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Translated as “monkey bridge”, Saruhashi

The post A Low-Key Day Trip to Otsuki and Tsuru in Nearby Yamanashi Prefecture appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

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The Inside Japan Podcast – Getting a University Teaching Position w/University Teacher James

This week University Teacher James drops in to help me clear my inbox out of questions all about being a University Teacher in Japan. Enjooooy.

Right-Click to Download the Mp3


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Topics

  • 03:30 – Why Should We Trust You James?
  • 04:30 – What do you think about the job of University Teacher in Japan as a whole?
  • 13:00 – Is the job more stable than being an ALT or Eikaiwa Teacher?
  • 16:50 – How are you evaluated?
  • 18:40 – How many years on average would it take to find a University Teaching Position after JET?
  • 2155: – What are you responsible for both inside and outside the classroom?
  • 30:25 – Is there any job that is better than University Teacher?
  • 33:30 – Closing Advice

Every episode of the podcast is available on iTunes, Android, and Stitcher. Make sure to subscribe to the show so that you don’t miss out on any new episodes as they’re released. All ratings and reviews are also greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening!

Outro


Discuss this episode with like minded people on the ALTInsider discord:

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Countryside Lodges in Japan: Holidays Subsidized by your Ward Office

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

If the hustle and bustle of the big city has you hankering for a change of pace and some country tonic, pack up some friends and head out to the inaka. Many wards and cities own countryside cabins and lodges in Japan that can be rented cheaply by the ward or city’s residents.
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Often referred to as “resident health villages” or something similar, these lodgings go for a pittance in comparison to what you’d pay on the private market. They’re open to all residents of a ward, including new transplants and folks from abroad. Short-term visitors are excluded, though.

Where do I find out subsidized lodges in Japan?
A little further down are some examples of properties owned by Tokyo municipalities. Your muni not listed? C

The post Countryside Lodges in Japan: Holidays Subsidized by your Ward Office appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

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