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Japan driver's license to start showing expiration with Western date

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Geez, it's not really THAT big of a deal is it? Hell the foreign registration cards have been using the "Western" style since like forever!

Nice to see one of the most conservative agencies in Japan take a small step into the 21st Century!

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I ask Japanese all the time what year is Heisei this or Showa this and none of them know they have to check the internet so its about time they used dates even they can decipher.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

I get ticked everytime a Korean asks back "Korean age or western age?" when they're asked their age.

I believe same thing goes here about stupid Heisei thing.

Nobody cares about Emperor's Year anymore!

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Why is it that a foreigner who comes to Japan, knowing fully well the system is "different" expects people to figure things out for them, when it's on them to check on their own?

hey its not his fault you people dont know how to count properly

5 ( +13 / -8 )

@Kazumichi - Nobody cares about Emperor's Year anymore!

I have no real problems with the Japanese system of dates although, I still can’t write the kanji for each era. On the other hand, it is a big problem if you haven’t memorized each emperor for the last thousand years. Talking about historical dates is extremely difficult in the Japanese style. Most Japanese will use the Christian date when talking about historical dates because they too cannot remember the succession of emperors.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Wow! Japan marches steadily toward the 21st century,

Next thing you know and we'll have a real address system, you know, with street names and house numbers!

10 ( +17 / -7 )

to allow an ID photo of a driver wearing a hijab.

And so it begins....

-9 ( +12 / -21 )

Why is it that a foreigner who comes to Japan, knowing fully well the system is "different" expects people to figure things out for them

Just quizzing them to see if they know, and usually they do not.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Why is it that a foreigner who comes to Japan, knowing fully well the system is "different" expects people to figure things out for them

By the way, I majored in Japanese history I am pretty sure I can "figure it out" but thanks for your advice.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Japanese era style is not good any more for all people. I dont like it. When someone says Meiji 10 nen, Taisho 5 nen, Showa 31 nen, I can't figure out soon how long ago these are. I have to calculate it into western date every time. Even if Japanese, seem same.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

On the other hand, it is a big problem if you haven’t memorized each emperor for the last thousand years. 

Actually it's 2,678 years, if you start with Emperor Jimmu.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The changes reflect an increasing number of foreigners holding Japanese driver's licenses, according to the agency.

Excellent, that makes sense. I'm sure some will see it as an attack on Japanese culture and the beginning of the end but it's just a bit of cosmetic surgery,

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I'm relieved I can leave on my toupee. Thank Ghosh!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I think the move would coincide in line with the Emperor's abdication, being that those numbers will go back to 01 when the new emperor year takes over.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Now, if they could only learn to drive on the right, speak American and adopt the dollar as a currency,we might have a country worth living in.

Oh, and loosen up those ridiculous gun-ownership laws, too.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

I hope the article is not accurate. 'Because there are more foreigners' is a ridiculous reason for the change and smells like a way for them to avoid admitting that they can't be bothered to reinvent everything for the upcoming new era.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I was just wondering if they will get rid of the era system on things that are going to expire in the near future, outside the current Heisei era. I had the fun task of renewing my drivers license in July, and it will expire again in Heisei 33, but of course that year will not occur with the change due next year. So does anyone with a license due to expire outside of Heisei 31 need to get it reissued, or do we count to a era year that won't come?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

We need metric time. Why is time exempt from metrification? Year 1 is first day of Hadean Age.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Someone else said it right. Why, in a country mostly not Christian, should that country use the Christian (western) calendar? Year 1, first day of earth

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Yep, with 6-7% of foreigners in the country they ll definitely change the forms just to make the gaijins happy XD

I know several Japanese friends who forgot to renew the licences on time because they didn't convert Heisei dates correctly. To me, this sounds like a more probable reason for the changes. This is exactly why the birth dates stayed the way they were-you don't need to convert them every time not to miss the deadlines.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Because it's an outdated and irrelavent calendar?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Why, in a country mostly not Christian, should that country use the Christian (western) calendar?

Because it's no longer the "Christian" calendar (and even that was adopted from the Romans). Notice how BC and AD are now expressed as BCE and CE, with the C meaning "common" - i.e., just something everyone in the world uses, like time zones and a seven-day week.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

A great victory for all bearded, sunnies & beanie wearing hipsters yay! (am talking about blokes who wear their beanie 24/7 & 365/365).

Are scarfs ok too?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Seems completely pointless...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Most likely their software already processes the Western calendar and it was a matter of cost.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Don't people just place a reminder on their calendar at work 1 month before anything important expires (6 months for passports)?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I think they did this to help Japanese that travel abroad.... not of domestic reasons.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Well its a nice consideration for the foreigners. But honestly I prefer it the old way. foreigners must learn basic Japanese specially when driving.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Well its a nice consideration for the foreigners. But honestly I prefer it the old way. foreigners must learn basic Japanese specially when driving.

If you think this is for the benefit of foreigners, you’re mistaken. Probably to help people to remember to renew, and so it can be vaguely understood in foreign countries.

Hopefully one day they’ll tackle the painful bureaucracy behind renewing the thing and registering a car.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

If they want to make driver's licenses more western, lets make one license for all motorcycles (no more 4 category based on engine size) and one license for cars (no more automatic or manual)

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

and one license for cars (no more automatic or manual)

As long as you learn to drive in manual.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Well, I don't really mind either way, but I only read the full article because I thought maybe the purpose was to make the drivers license legible in more than one country. Eh.... wishful thinking, I guess. Otherwise, it seems like a lot of work to please a pretty small number of people.

@Dango Bong

I ask Japanese all the time what year is Heisei this or Showa this and none of them know they have to check the internet so its about time they used dates even they can decipher.

You must be asking pretty ignorant Japanese people who never do their own paper work.

@Kazumichi

I get ticked everytime a Korean asks back "Korean age or western age?" when they're asked their age.

Seems like a pretty legit question to me. Is is THAT unfathomable to you that someone might be knowledgeable/considerate enough to offer the answer in an easier way for them to understand? You don't think the world revolves around their culture, but don't think that it revolves around yours either!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

We need metric time. Why is time exempt from metrification?

JuminRhee - good question. Time is done in base 6 because it has traditionally been a more flexible method for simple mathematics and has been used by many societies, or varieties of it (imperial measures).

60 can be readily divided into halves, thirds, quarters and sixths. 12 can be divided by 6, 4, 3, 2.

10 can only be divided cleanly by 5 and 2.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Ok, so expiry will be in Western format but why not date of birth as well? Not a biggy but just putting it out there..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@AustPaul

Presumably the owner knows their own date of birth, and doesn’t need to be reminded. The expiration date isn’t so easily remembered.

And, as Kiwi in Okinawa pointed out, it’s potentially confusing when the era name changes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm with shikisai. They are using foreigners as an excuse to avoid admitting that Japanese get the date wrong. For foreigners, they would have to change every date on the card to Western style.

The only person I know who failed to renew on time was Japanese.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

This is for the Japanese more than for foreigners. I know Japanese people who forget all the time. Either they simply don't drive enough or use their driver's license in daily lives to remember to renew. Most of them can't convert the years off the top of their head either which makes it difficult to notice the deadline.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Great...welcome to 2018. Now if you could actually come to decision to use the system the rest of he world uses for not just the DL expiry date but for everything else it would make things much easier for everyone . Then in another few decades you might even move on from the hankos and start using signagures ..yey..

Then again with the speed of change in here and the need to have special panels discuss it endlessly first, maybe not.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Personally I'd be happy to keep Emperor years if they ditched that ridiculous junrei-shiki form of romaji they still teach in schools. It is a complete waste of teachers' and students' time. It is not even used on Japanese passports.

Kids in schools in 2018 are still being taught that "chujitsu" is "tyuzitu" and that that thing you catch in the morning to go to work is the "tikatetu".

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Ah-so:

Thank you for your response. Why then, instead of metric, do we not use the Babylonian (base 60) for length, volume, mass, velocity, etc? I am genuinely curious.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Others:

Why do you downvote metric? Must not be a lot of Canadians here (ahem 'murka).

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Confusing names of that M-T-S-H from Meiji to Heisei era, plus a new era coming soon, again,again and again!? Gimme a break! Finally up-to-date system in Japan! Good for me and the police!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

and one license for cars (no more automatic or manual)

If everyone passed their test in a manual car then having one licence will be OK, but considering most Japanese never learn to drive manually it would be rather stupid having a licence that allows them to that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How about they NOT worry about the date on the license, but instead worry about getting rid of that absurd "S crank" turn in their exam test. Actually teach people how to drive, not teach them how to pass a course test. You know, the more important aspects of a licensed driver.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

About time. If a westerner come to visit Japan and drive in Japan, they must have an international driving permit which translates the basic information on their driver's license. The whole thing is pretty much a scam really but I play along because ONLY in Japan do they really enforce this. As a Canadian I have NEVER been asked for a international driver's permit when rent a car or on the odd times I was going through a road check or stopped by the police in the U.K., France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Australia, Chile, Mexico, The Bahamas or the Cayman Islands.

Now if a Japanese person attempts to drive in Canada, will their international driver's permit convert their Emperor date system to western date system so the poor rental counter person or cop can make heads or tails of it?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@knowbetter

It's not only about the expiry date. Its about the vehicle classification. So, they'll still need one

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thank you for your response. Why then, instead of metric, do we not use the Babylonian (base 60) for length, volume, mass, velocity, etc? I am genuinely curious.

@juminRhee

To some extent we have used varieties of it - length, volume and weight have imperial equivalents, centered on base 12. I do not think velocity is meaningful under base 6 or 12 - it is simply a quantification of the underlying. Of course if you measure miles per hour you are using two not metric measurements.

Of course in modern society, metric measures are far easier to deal with, so it is sensible that most countries have moved from miles to kilometers and from pounds to kilogrammes. Some are neither one or the other - the UK exists in a weird situation of being part-metric, part-imperial. Japan of course still uses some older measurements - the tatami mat to size rooms, for example.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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