“Legal”ese in Japan

The following text or “agreement” is from the back side of a credit card application form.

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I asked the Saison Card service desk on the 5th floor of Parco building on the East side of JR Ikebukuro station (東京都豊島区南池袋1−28−2 池袋パルコ5F) on August 2, 2017 whether even native speakers of Japanese can read the text due to the size of the characters. According to the response, it is not necessary to read the “agreement” on the back side of the application form. Apparently reading the following document is quite sufficient.

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Might the entire “agreement” thus be simply omitted from the application form? This is allegedly what at least one bank has done. There allegedly are no other documents which would have to be or could be read or filled out except the front side of the application form in order to apply for a credit card. The company does not give reasons for rejected applications. In general it appears to be easier for a Japanese national who gets the money to pay for credit card bills from a foreign national to get a credit card than for the foreign national him-/herself.

In any correspondence with a corporation based in Japan or the alleged or self-declared “government”, it is far from certain that such correspondence would be addressed and/or delivered to the person whom the content of such correspondence concerns. Some fairly important – if not essential – material might, for instance, be delivered only to one family member. If other family member(s) never receive the material, it is in some cases apparently the person who has never received the material which was never sent to him/her personally who has to explain “in detail” the circumstances in which the material which he/she has never received was “lost”. A local government office did not accept the fact that the person whom the matter concerns has never received specific material and does not know its whereabouts as a sufficient reason for reissuing or resending that material directly to the person in question and did not elaborate on what might be sufficient criteria for some specific material to qualify as being “lost” that would fall short of essentially perfect knowledge of the material’s whereabouts or the circumstances under which it might have been destroyed or become permanently inaccessible. A subsequent letter from the office specified the relevant standard as “two weeks’ search”. In other words, if the material in question has not been found after a two weeks’ search, it could be regarded as “lost” – a standard which could have been easily fulfilled already during the personal visit to the office if only it had been explicitly stated without losing several weeks. In some cases any potential delivery of, for instance, a credit card to the person whose name is on the card by the person who receives the relevant letter appears to be entirely up to the discretion of the person receiving the letter – if not more often or always in Japan the artificial intelligence system and/or its human overseer(s) that control(s) the person receiving the relevant letter.

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