Yesterday I was out for the morning and part of the afternoon, doing yet more admin things for Mayuki. As yet, it’s not quite realistic to ask her to do them herself, so I got lumbered with the job.
The first one was getting her registered at the UK Embassy. This is not legally required; she was born a UK citizen, because I was born a UK citizen in the UK (it gets complicated; I think she would have to give birth in the UK for her children to be UK citizens, unless her husband was), and although I am obliged to register her in Japan, I’m not obliged to register her in the UK as well. This is why there’s no problem with leaving it until a couple of months after the birth.
On the other hand, she can’t actually claim any of the benefits of citizenship until she is registered. Most notably, we need the certificate of registration to get her a UK passport. The required documents for the registration are very easy to get now (hospital birth certificate, my birth certificate, my passport, Yuriko’s family record), but in a few years’ time they might be a bit trickier to put your hands on. Still, the form allows for the applicant being the child in person, so if you have the documents you clearly can register decades down the road. But since I anticipate needing a passport for her before she turns eighteen, I went to get it done.
Security at the embassy has been beefed up since I last went. Now, you have to go through three very heavy blast doors, and a metal detector, before you get into the compound, and two of the doors are an “airlock”, where the inner door can only be opened after the outer one is closed, so that you can’t charge through. Still, going through was completely painless, and the process in the consular section was equally painless; I just showed them all the documents and handed over the photocopies I’d prepared. The next step, paying for everything, was a bit more painful.
The certificate takes a week, so I’ll go back to pick it up next week. Then we can apply for a UK passport for her at any time.
The next step was to look into bank accounts. We want to build up some savings for Mayuki, reasonably enough. The first place I went was Shinsei Bank, which is where I have my main account. The lady there said “If you want to save in yen, you’d probably be better off elsewhere; our yen rates are very low.” So I went around some of the other banks. They all offered exactly the same rate. 0.350%. A little more than a third of one percent. Oh well, it’s a lot better than it was a couple of years ago, when it would probably have been about 0.003%. We’re looking at one-year fixed term savings, because I can’t see Japanese interest rates going down in the near future, but I can see them going up over the next year, so we don’t want to be stuck in anything longer term.
Today, I’ve been working again, while Yuriko looks after Mayuki. I’m still working on building up a good routine; the arrival of a baby does seem to be somewhat disruptive in that area. Work, however, is now going quite well; I just need to work on the other bits. Since the other bits don’t put food on the table, I have a bit more time in which to get them right.