A: Good afternoon
B: Please have a seat (or, she may have said, please sit down)
A: Thank you for coming (と言ったかどうかよく覚えていないが、いずれにせよ挨拶のフレーズ）
B: First please tell us your name and where you live.
My name is XXXX, I live in XXXX
A: OK, Thank you. Now I'll ask you about things I noticed in Japan.
A: When I look into the windows of real estate agencies, I noticed
that the price of an apartment in Tokyo is so expensive compared to my
city London. Why is that?
it's been said that it's the scarcity of space. Japan is not a very
big country where many people live, so there are not enough good
apartments. It must have been true until fifteen years ago or so.
Until then the prices of real estate had always been boosted. But after
decade of severe deflationary pressures,... （金融関係に勤めていたのでこんな表現を使ってしまった）
A: Right, the burst of economic bubble, isn't it?
Oh yes, because the bubble bursted and the real estate prices
have come all the way down, prices of apartments are not
rising any more.
A: You mean the rent.
Yes, yes, the rent. (実は最初から賃貸を頭において話していた） I think it will move
along with the economic conditions, and won't rise much in the future.
Particularly if you consider the declining population of Japan in the
A: OK. I noticed, when you rent an apartment, you pay deposit,
that's the same in my country, and you get it back later. But I
noticed that there is some other charge which you don't get paid back,
something called "reikin"? What is that? Why do you have to
That's also a reflection of the demand and supply balance of
apartments. Historically land owners have had stronger bargaining
power against the people who rent... I mean, tenants. However, as I
just said, it's changing. These days I notice some cases that land
owners don't charge "reikin".
A: Oh, really.
I think we are now starting to see competition among land owners.
A: Ah, competition, I see. Is it difficult for foreigners to rent
Well it depends. If you pay a lot,...
A: Oh yeah, that's right （笑い）, of course...
Yes, if you're rich and pay a lot, of course many land owners
want to rent to foreigners. But unfortunately there are also lower
paid foreign people. I think those people must be having hard time to
find good apartments.
A: OK. Now, I ask you something different. On the streets, I also
noticed that there are so many "pachinko" parlors, and may people
there. Why is pachinko so popular? It seems the industry is so
I see, Well... It's an easy-to-access gambling. Normally it's
not supposed to be gambling but practically...
A: Isn't it? Isn't it gambling, because you change those balls with
Legally not, I think. They first receive... unfortunately I've
been to pachinko parlor only once in my life, so I can't describe it
well, but as long as I understand, they receive fake medals or
something, and change them to real money outside of the parlor to go
through the law (loophole というべきだったと後で思った）. Anyway, practically it's
gambling, very easy gambling.
A: But why...
（これだけじゃ答えになってないなと気づき、） Many people get addicted with it.
A: Ah, addicted, I see.
I don't think I would go there, it's better to keep away from
such addictive things.
A: (笑い） OK, that's all. Thank you. （他にも何か言われたが、挨拶程度のことだったと思う）