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Ashley Thompson

Ashley Thompson writes Surviving in Japan, a blog supporting expats living in Japan. She has been writing The Japan Times’ Lifelines column since 2011.

For Ashley Thompson's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

| Oct 2, 2012

Companies liable for drug trial damages

MJ is considering using an experimental drug that his doctor has offered to treat colitis, but isn't sure who is responsible if anything goes wrong. "After many unsuccessful treatments, it seems we are getting close to or have arrived at a last-resort stage. He has ...

| Sep 25, 2012

Gaijin cards valid until 2015 — but not at the post office

Reader AM informed us that Japan Post no longer accepts alien registration cards as valid identification. "Even though alien registration certificates are valid until 2015, Japan Post decided effective July 9, 2012, to no longer accept such cards. Please see this website," he writes. "I found ...

| Sep 18, 2012

Unlike giving blood, becoming an organ donor easy

Bob is wondering if the blood donation rules, which we covered in "Less-than-fluent foreigners may have trouble giving blood" (April 3), also apply to organ donors. "I am carrying, and have for years, a donor card to donate my organs in case of my death ...

| Jul 31, 2012

How would changing jobs affect my visa?

S.E. has been working at the same English school for 16 years but is thinking of leaving her job and moving to another part of Japan. "My visa is 'Specialist in Humanities' and will expire in October 2013. I don't have a job but a ...

| Jun 26, 2012

Local orphanages may be best bet for volunteers

L.P. would like to volunteer at a Catholic orphanage in the Tohoku region, near the March 11 disaster areas, but isn't sure how to get started. I contacted Living Dreams, a nonprofit organization based in Tokyo that supports children living in orphanages (children's homes) ...

| May 29, 2012

Safe blood requires strict, and detailed, standards

In last week's column, several people living in Japan explained that whether they were able to donate blood was primarily determined by health or safety concerns rather than Japanese language ability, which we originally discussed in our April 3 column, "Less-than-fluent foreigners may have ...