Thanks for the reply Allen. I live in Tokyo, (Chiba actually) Japan and unfortunately there don''t appear to be many sailors about here. I don''t think there is a big sailing tradition in this country.
The water is cold in winter and cool in Summer - Tokyo Bay would be where I will learn. There are a few sailing clubs on the opposite side of the bay to me, but seeings I live right next to the bay myself I was hoping to be able to get something I can sail with a minimum of fuss close by. Travelling across Tokyo, while not impossible, is not something I really want to look at on my days off.
As for my age and fitness level - I am 35 and not in bad shape - not in great shape either
I can get a new laser here for around 600,000 yen (about $5,500 I think). I haven''t been able to find too many second hand ones for sale - though I suppose contacting the Laser Class Association for Japan would be the best way to find leads on them.
At this stage I am not interested in racing or sailing competitively. I suspect joining a club here would be prohibitively expensive, though I will have do some research, and for that and other reasons I am not really interested in joining a club. I suppose it it worthwhile looking into as a lead on getting instruction and access to local knowledge though.