Category Archives: Notices

2017 Tax Guide for US JETs

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The tax guide for American JETs for the 2017 tax year has been updated! Please check the U.S. Tax Guide section of the website for the updated guides (one for first-year US JETs, one for 2nd-5th year US JETs) and the FAQ. Or, click here!

Best of luck to everyone in preparing their taxes!

Tax Packets for U.S. JETs

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It’s finally here! The thing you’ve all been waiting for! Tax-mon

The 2016 tax year packet for first-year U.S. JETs and the packet for second through fifth-year U.S. JETs are now available. Please visit the tax page for more information.

If you spot an error, please let us know. Happy tax filing!

JET Arigato Campaign

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In addition to the JET video and photo contests (mentioned in previous posts), CLAIR is also running the JET Arigato Campaign, a chance for current/former JET participants as well as Japanese residents who have interacted with JET participants to give their thanks to their schools, communities, and the important people in their lives. CLAIR is looking for text messages, audio messages, photos, and videos to help support their campaign. Unlike the video and photo contests, CLAIR would like smaller size submissions as they plan to combine many of them into a presentation to be shown at the 30th Anniversary Ceremony. In addition, selected submissions will be featured online by CLAIR.

Submissions are being accepted from May 18 to August 31. You can find more information about the campaign on the JET Programme Website.

JET Programme 30th Anniversary Photo Contest

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CLAIR is holding a photo contest to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the JET Program. They are looking for Japan-related photo submissions from current and former JETs to help celebrate the anniversary with the five best submissions becoming commemorative postcards to be distributed worldwide. Submissions will be accepted from May 23 to June 13 with the results to be announced in July.

You can find more information about the photo contest on the JET Programme Website.

English Speaking Doctors in Kumamoto

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In need of some medical help but not sure if your Japanese is good enough for it? Check out the English Speaking Doctors in Kumamoto page on our site! It contains information on a variety of English speaking medical services throughout the prefecture.

As always, we are looking for new additions to this page. If you know of any English speaking medical resources in your area, please e-mail the PAs so we can add it to the page. Thank you!

JLPT Grant for JET Participants

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CLAIR is now providing grants to JET Programme participants who pass Level 3 (N3) of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). This grant is only available to JET participants in their first three years. This grant is only applicable for tests taken starting this summer (no tests taken before April 1, 2016 are eligible for the grant).

You can read more information about this grant on the JET Programme website:

JET Programme Video Contest – Spring/Summer

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CLAIR is holding a JET Programme Video Contest to help mark the 30th anniversary of the JET Programme in 2006. While it is labeled as a “Spring/Summer” contest, the rules are similar to the previous contest and does not necessarily need to be Spring/Summer themed. Current and former participants can submit videos. The contest theme is: “Japan’s Local Communities as experienced by JET Programme Participants”. Award winning videos will receive tickets for free travel within Japan.

Submissions will be accepted until August 10th, while online voting is open from June 1st to August 31st. Please visit the official contest website for more information. Good luck!

Greetings from Matsuda-sensei

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As of April 1st, Harada-sensei has returned back to junior high school (we wish him all the best!) and has been replaced in the International Affairs Division with Matsuda-sensei, who will be the new Japanese PA.

Here are a few words of self-introduction from Matsuda-sensei:


Hello! I’m Keishi Matsuda, new Japanese PA from this April. I had been teaching English in high schools for 13 years until last March. My work here is completely different from what I have done before, but I’ll do the best that I can for the JET Programme with Roland. Also having taught in various kinds of schools, I can give you some relevant advice if you need it.

I had many ALT friends in my twenties. Most of my English has come from them, but words are changing every day. Through this job, I will make efforts to improve my English to help you and express myself correctly. “I help you” means “you help me!” Let’s help each other to make our lives meaningful in Japan.

I was one of the “Rocky Wings”, which was a student exchange programme between Montana and Kumamoto. Now I’m fairly surprised to work next to the State of Montana Japan Trade Office!

I’m looking forward to meeting all of you, ALTs and CIRs. And all tantoshas too, of course! See you soon!

Kurashi no Nihongo Kurabu

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The Kumamoto City International Center (the venue where Kumamoto Orientation is held) holds weekly casual Japanese conversation tables (called “Kurashi no Nihongo Kurabu”) for beginning level Japanese students. This is a good opportunity for people just starting to learn Japanese or those eager to practice their Japanese.

The sessions are held on:

– Tuesdays from 10AM to 12PM.
– Wednesdays from 10AM to 12PM, 2PM to 4PM, and 6:30PM to 8PM.
– Sundays from 10AM to 12PM and 2PM to 4PM.

It is only 100 yen a day to participate. If you would like to participate, please notify the International Center (phone: (096)359-2121 e-mail: in advance. All sessions are held on the 2nd floor of the International Center.

JET Programme Introduction Tools

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From the JET Programme Website:

While many Japanese people may know the word “ALT,” comparatively few are aware of the JET Programme and the fact that it places ALTs in schools all over Japan.

In order to spread awareness of the JET Programme and its near 30 years of history, the CLAIR staff have created a set of basic JET Programme Introduction Tools for use in your self-introduction. These tools can be used as is, or modified by you to match your audience (students, school staff, parents/guardians, members of the local community, etc.).

You can find the JET Programme introduction files on the JET Programme website.