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Replacing your alien card; blasts from the past

by Ashley Thompson

Anita recently lost her alien registration card and is planning to leave on New Year’s Day for an overseas trip, so she needs a replacement right away:

“I was wondering when you re-applied, how long did it take? As I am a university student and have a part-time job, it’s difficult to go to the ward office, so I am now extremely worried I will not have enough time to confirm the details before I go and I will miss out on my trip.”

We checked with our local city hall and they said it typically takes a month to get a replacement card. However, this depends on the city or ward office and the time it takes for them to mail the forms to the nearest immigration bureau, and for Immigration to mail the card back. They said it might be possible to expedite the process to two or three weeks, but no guarantees.

On the other hand, Immigration said carrying the receipt from city hall confirming you have applied for a replacement card will suffice, but make sure that your re-entry permit and visa are up to date. In any case, you should visit your ward office as soon as possible (remember, too, that you are required to apply for reissuance within 14 days of realizing the card was lost or stolen).

Bob needs help finding information about a former Japanese officer:

“I’m doing research for a documentary about an Allied POW named Aidan MacCarthy who was in Nagasaki at camp Fukuoka 14b when the atomic bomb devastated the city in August 1945. Specifically, I’m hoping to find the name of the camp commander in order to verify whether the sword MacCarthy brought back to Ireland after the war was surrendered by the camp commander, as is believed by the MacCarthy family.

“I also hope to find the family of the Japanese officer who surrendered the sword to MacCarthy in order to tell them where the sword is now located. According to accounts we have found, MacCarthy saved the life of this Japanese officer from Allied POWs who were intent on taking revenge when the camp was surrendered.

“If you can offer any assistance in this regard I would be extremely grateful. We hope to travel to Japan to interview any of those who were present (prison guards and officers, civilian survivors, etc.) during these events or the relatives of those who were present. This will help us to tell the remarkable story of how a Japanese officer’s sword was surrendered to an Irish doctor who survived the atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki and is now part of his family’s history in West Cork, Ireland.”

Bob’s email is jackbobson@yahoo.com.

Lee Barnett is looking for an acquaintance from Japan:

“My wife and I were on a P&O cruise around 2009. When we were in Osaka we met a very kind Japanese man who said he was an ex-policeman. He also told me he had a son in university. He was very kind and showed us around Osaka and also took us to visit his home.

“Unfortunately we lost contact with this kind man and hope to make contact again and maybe he can come visit us in Australia in the near future.”

Lee can be contacted via allybarnett@hotmail.com, or by phone on (03) 9754-2211 or 04111-63086 (Australia numbers).

Looking for legal or other resources in Japan? You may want to try Wiki-TELL, a free directory of English-speaking resources including legal and medical services, government help, counseling support, and more.

Anyone in Japan can contribute information or submit an update if a listing has changed.

You can find Wiki-TELL through the Tokyo English Life Line website at www.telljp.com/index.php?/en/online_resource/.

Ashley Thompson writes survival tips and unique how-tos about living in Japan at www.survivingnjapan.com. Send your questions to lifelines@japantimes.co.jp