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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:

| Dec 20, 2011

Replacing your alien card; blasts from the past

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 ...

| Dec 6, 2011

Buck stops with landlord of moldy apartment

Reader G.R. writes: "My apartment has a serious mold problem. The bathtub is built in such a way that there is a space between the tub and the wall and water can easily get underneath and does not drain well. "I have already dealt with ...

| Oct 25, 2011

To carry or not to carry your 'gaijin card' upon re-entry?

In our August 23 column (, we looked at whether foreign residents should carry their alien registration card on them when re-entering Japan. The official answer from the Immigration Bureau is that their officials will ask to see your ARC, or "gaijin card," in ...

| Sep 27, 2011

Can the government change my name? asks 'Madame Spouse'

French citizen DTMV is concerned about the name listed on her alien registration card, which includes her maiden name, married name, two first names, and "epouse" (listed before her married name), which means "spouse" in French. As such, she is often referred to as ...

| Sep 13, 2011

3/11: no excuse for skipping your re-entry visa

Shortly after the March 11 disasters, Hans left Japan without a re-entry permit. He came back on a tourist visa and is wondering if he can easily regain his previous visa status: "I am a German national and have been married to my Japanese wife ...

| Aug 23, 2011

Legal help for those on a limited budget

Reader GR is seeking legal assistance: "I recently moved out of a house that I rented for about five years. A few weeks later the owner sent me a message asking for ¥450,000 on top of the ¥70,000 he had for the deposit. This house ...