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Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2004

LIFELINES

Alien card concerns and a visitor


Fall is a beautiful time in Japan. If you have a chance, try and get away to to the mountains somewhere -- Nikko, Chichibu . . . it is absolutely beautiful.

Card concern

I have a question, which I don't recall being covered previously.

After renewing my work visa last year, I didn't realize (until it was pointed out to me recently) that I was supposed to have gone into my local ward office to have the information on my alien registration card updated as well.

I mistakenly thought I only had to renew the card by the date indicated at the bottom, two years from now.

I have also recently changed jobs.

In other words, I have a valid work visa in my passport good for two more years but the information pertaining to period of stay and place of employment shown on my alien registration card is out of date.

What with recent intensified efforts to crack down on visa violators, I am worried I may find myself in a sticky situation when entering/leaving the country on business or if stopped randomly by police.

Is my ward office likely to be difficult when I go in to have this rectified? Should I seek legal advice?

Go to your ward office, let them know what happened and the changes you need to make and they should make them for you with the minimum of fuss.

Technically all changes have to be reported exactly when they happen -- basically you need to get a new card.

At the same time, telling them the truth and explaining your misunderstanding of the system will let them know you are a honest citizen and interested in doing the right thing.

Any of our readers have a problem with forgetting to update their alien registration information?

Helping hand

Rob is a 23-year-old Japanese-American raised in the States, whose parents now live in Yokohama. He'll be visiting his folks in December for 3 weeks.

Rob is fully expecting that his parents will kick him out of the house at some stage to explore other parts of Japan that he's never been to, and to "experience" and learn more about his homeland's culture, history and geography.

"I think I will be going to Kyoto, and perhaps Sapporo or Hiroshima.

"I have been searching the Internet for a craigslist type forum where I could post for some guidance/advice, but I haven't been able to find any viable alternatives.

"Nor can I find normal discussion pages that would allow me to ask for some help," he writes.

He's hoping to get in touch with someone or some groups in the above mentioned areas that can show him around the various sights and watering holes etc.

If any of our readers think they can point visitor Rob in the right direction, let us know and we'll pass on all the details.

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers to: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp Ken Joseph Jr. directs The Japan Helpline at 0570-000-911 or www.jhelp.com


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