Service?

As you know, from this (fiscal) year on, I am enrolled in Japan’s national pension and health insurance, which costs me more than 60.000 yen every month (I have complained about this, I’m sure). Signing up for the service went very smoothly, and now I’m getting a monthly letter from them indicating how much I have paid for pension/health insurance. Not that this is necessary, since I can see that in my company bank book, but the Japanese love paperwork.

One evening about two weeks ago, I received a phone call, and it took me a while to understand that it was from the Japanese Pension Service in Kyoto. The following is a short version of the weirdest phone conversation I ever had:

“We have sent you a letter,” the woman on the other end of the line announced proudly.

“Oh? I didn’t receive anything yet.”

“Yes, it can take a week or so until you receive it. But please read the letter when it comes. Thank you!”

Ummm… okay. Mind you that she didn’t say what the letter was about. Fast forward about a week when indeed I got a letter from Japan Pension Service. Essentially it said “We just want to tell you that this is indeed your yearly income (amount goes here)”. Well, yeah, this is what I have entered on the form I gave you when I enrolled in the service, so…?

I am not sure what the letter was good for to begin with, since it told me what I already knew. But the phone call before that takes the cake. I mean, does Japan Pension Service call every single company when they send them paperwork? Or am I getting the special foreigner treatment? Well, as long as this extra work is not deducted from my pension in the end…

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