I'm late talking about this, but it's worth noting given Hoofin's recent comments on freechoice.jp and health insurance in Japan. After I was asked to take down a letter from a private insurance provider that I posted here, Hoofin went out and did some digging, and came up with a lot of interesting stuff.
If Hoofin's findings are accurate, it makes you wonder if Kessler is honestly fighting for the right for foreigners to choose between national and private health insurance schemes or if he's fighting to protect his health insurance companies or the stakes he may have in them.
The letter that I removed from the blog concluded by urging readers to visit http://www.freechoice.jp/immigration2.asp for more information.Although the page is about "breaking news," as far as I can tell, you can't access it from anywhere within freedomchoice unless you've received the letter or were told about the page by Kessler. Despite the internal fax that apparently softens Immigration's stance on having to enroll in either shakai hoken or kokumin kenko hoken, there's been no independent verification of this to my knowledge. As it stands, the revisions to Guideline 8 are still in effect and immigration offices have signs up reminding people of the changes starting in April.
Moreover, it's difficult to think that Kessler is lobbying the government for change in good faith when he writes on the main page of his website, "Free choice means having the right to choose. A non-Japanese who desires to be on public health care should also not be denied access to it." He's full of it. Foreigners are not being denied access to healthcare in Japan. It is your right and obligation to be enrolled in shakai hoken or kokumin kenko hoken If anything is wrong, it's two things: 1) ignorance by employees and 2) far too many employers, especially in eikaiwa, intentionally not informing their employees of their right to healthcare and foisting some other plan upon them that is no more than travel insurance in disguise.
Can we trust anything on the freechoice website? His claim about Guideline 8 being put on hold hasn't been verified by any other source. Given that he may have incentives to skew things toward private insurance due to his possible connections to HealthOne, the answer has to be, "No."