- Slides: 10
DRIVING IN JAPAN
JAPANESE DRIVING SCHOOL
JAPANESE DRIVING SCHOOL
JAPANESE DRIVING SCHOOL
Converting your license To change your valid foreign license to a Japanese license: Requirements 1. Your foreign license must be valid. 2. The duration of your stay in the foreign country where your license was issued must have been three months or longer. Items you need to take with you 1. Certificate of alien registration 2. Foreign license 3. Certification of the date of acquisition of your foreign license and the term of validity (your foreign license will suffice if these are printed on it) 4. Your photograph taken within the past three months 5. Passport 6. Certified translation of your foreign license (issued by an embassy or by the Japan Automobile Federation) 7. Application fee ¥ 4, 250
To obtain a regular motor vehicle license 1. Take the aptitude test § Eyesight. . . 0. 3 or better in each eye, and 0. 7 or better for both eyes § Color recognition. . . Able to recognize red, green and yellow § Hearing ability. . . Able to hear ordinary conversation 2. Obtain a learner driver's permit § Answer at least 45 out of 50 questions correctly (at least 90%) on the written driving § knowledge examination (true-false test). (This is not required if you already have another type of driver's license. ) Take the driving skills test at a course set up at the test site. 3. Practice using a learner driver's permit § Practice driving for 10 hours in at least five days within a three-month period. § During your practice sessions, you must be accompanied by a person who held a class one driver's license for more than three years, a person who has a class two driver's license or an instructor at a designated driving school. This person must be present in the front passenger seat next to you. 4. Take the licensing examination § Answer at least 90 out of 100 questions correctly (at least 90%) on the written driving § knowledge examination (true-false test). (this is not required if you already have another type of driver's license. ) Take the driving skills test out on an ordinary street.
Roads and rules § In Japan, cars are driven on the left side of the road and have the § § § § driver's seat and steering wheel on their right side. The legal minimum age for driving is 18 years. Road signs and rules follow international standards, and most signs on major roads are in Japanese and English. Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited. The typical speed limits are 80 to 100 km/h on expressways, 40 km/h in urban areas, 30 km/h in side streets and 50 to 60 km/h elsewhere. Drivers usually exceed the speed limits by about 10 km/h. Most roads in Japan are toll free with the exception of expressways and some scenic driving routes. Road conditions tend to be good, although side streets in the cities can be rather narrow. Traffic congestion is a frequent problem in and around urban centres. Drivers generally tend to be well mannered. Some dangers on Japanese roads include drivers speeding over intersections despite the traffic light turning red, people stopping their vehicles at the edge of the street in a way in which they block traffic, and cyclists driving on the wrong side of the road.
International Driving Permits § Foreigners can drive in Japan with a recognized international driving permit for up to one year after entering the country. Recognized international driving permits must be obtained in your home country, usually through the national automobile association, before you leave for Japan. § Japan recognizes only international driving permits which are based on the Geneva Convention of 1949. A few countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland Taiwan, however, issue international driving permits which are based on different conventions. Those permits are not valid in Japan. § Instead, holders of a driver's license from one of the above mentioned six countries can drive in Japan for up to one year with an official Japanese translation of their driver's license from the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) or their respective country's embassy or consulate in Japan. People from other countries, whose international driving permits are not recognized by Japan, must obtain a Japanese driver's license in order to drive in Japan. § A Japanese driver's license is required for all drivers who stay in Japan for more than one year. Only if you leave Japan for more than three consecutive months are you again allowed to use an international driving permit.
Japanese Driver's Licenses § Japan has concluded agreements with more than twenty countries to ease the process of acquiring a Japanese license for holders of a valid driver's license of one of these countries. Among the countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland the United Kingdom. § If you hold a valid driver's license from one of these countries, you can get a Japanese license without taking a written or practical exam. All you need to do is go to the local license center with an official translation of your license, take an eye test, and prove that you lived at least three months in the license issuing country after receiving your license. § If you have a driver's license from a country which has not concluded an agreement with Japan yet, such as the United States, China or Brazil, you will have to take a written and practical exam in order to obtain a Japanese driver's license. This process typically takes several attempts, even for experienced drivers.
Buying and Owning a Car § New and used cars are relatively inexpensive in the home country of Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda. Brand new kei-class cars, the smallest car type, sell for less than a million yen. § Owning and operating a car, however, involves numerous expenses. These include compulsory inspections every two to three years, various taxes, mandatory and optional insurance, high parking costs in cities, and expensive toll expressways. A litre of gasoline costs roughly 110 yen (April 2009). § Shaken is a compulsory safety inspection, which cars in Japan have to undergo every two years, except new cars, for which the first inspection is not due until three years after purchase. The shaken typically costs between 100, 000 and 200, 000 yen, and besides the actual inspection includes a weight tax (typically 8, 000 to 50, 000 yen) and a mandatory insurance (about 30, 000 yen). § Since the mandatory insurance does not provide full coverage, it is recommended to purchase additional, optional car insurance. Furthermore, there is an annual automobile tax, which depends on the engine size and is typically between 10, 000 and 50, 000 Yen, and an acquisition tax to be paid when you buy the car. § When acquiring a car, numerous documents have to be filled out, including forms to register your car and to verify ownership of a parking space. If you buy a used car, the process is further complicated by forms regulating the transfer of ownership. § Fortunately, if you buy a car through a car dealer, the dealer will handle most of the paperwork for you, while your main task is signing the forms with your officially registered, personal stamp (inkan).