Friday, June 09, 2006

Getting Screwed at the Immigration Office

So, it's been almost a year in Japan (officially, one whole year tomorrow) and so a couple of weeks ago I trudged down to the immigration bureau (the small, less-well-known one in Tachikawa, much closer than the main center in Shinagawa) to get my landing permit extended by another year. Of course, me being me, I forgot a crucial piece of documentation at home: while I brought my passport, gaijin card, and tax forms, I left my contract back in my room. Luckily they were nice enough to do all the paperwork, and told me simply to come back in two weeks or so (once a postcard came in the mail), with the contract, and they'd finish the process.

The postcard came a few days ago, so I woke up early-ish today - it being my day off - trudged down there in the pouring rain, took a number, and waited for an hour. Finally it was my turn, and I went up, gave the clerk my postcard, and was told 'please give me your passport, your gaijin card, and 4000 yen.'

'4000 yen? For what?'

'The revenue stamp.'

'But I bought a revenue stamp the last time I came!'

So the clerk went, took out my file, and leafed through the various forms and documents therein. I could very clearly see a little square of abraded paper on the corner of the application, where the stamp had obviously been removed.

I pointed it out, but of course it counted for nothing. So, once again out into the rain, to track down an ATM and buy a revenue stamp.

The moral of this little story? Well, I take away two. First, obviously, always remember to bring all your documents ... especially when going to a government office in east nowhere, suburbia, where the nearest ATM is a fifteen minute hike away. And second - while I'm sure there's a perfectly rational explanation for the missing revenue stamp - my inherent paranoia and prejudice against bureacrats leads me to suspect that the slime removed the first revenue stamp after I left, purely so I'd have to pay twice and, thus, increase their precious revenue (after all, what could possibly happen to them? If I start complaining, then 'sorry, I do not understand. My English is not so good.' Not that I don't do the same thing in reverse whenever convenient, but still.)


At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Johan said...

That sucks!! But the person handling your documents should have told you that they don't need the revenue stamp until your return visit. I went there the other week, and I handed over the stamp, but got told that they didn't need it until the revisit.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger Matt said...

I really should update this post. The other day I gave my room an amazingly thorough cleaning, and I found the revenue stamp. So I guess I'll have to take back the whole rant about evil public servants.

Man, is my face red.

At 9:51 PM, Anonymous adamukun said...

Why did you lose the stamp?

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Matt said...

You wouldn't ask that if you saw my pre-cleaning room.


Post a Comment

<< Home