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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:

| Jun 28, 2011

Permanent residency, legal query, a lost friend

Mike has a question about applying for his permanent resident visa: "I submitted my papers last February and passed all the requirements. My problem is that I want to visit my country for one month. Is that OK? "I plan to take one month of ...

| Jun 14, 2011

Support network backs Japanese-Filipino kids abandoned by fathers

We regularly receive emails from Japanese-Filipinos searching for their Japanese fathers. Many of these adults were abandoned as children, along with their Filipino mothers, while others were forced to leave Japan for various reasons. Though the circumstances are different for each family, many of these ...

| May 31, 2011

English magazines run gamut from poetry to prose, Kanto to Chubu

We received several additional English-magazine suggestions in response to our May 17 column, "Print is suffering, but English readers have never had it so good." EL Magazine @cbryanjones and @ShanaGraves recommend EL Magazine, an entertainment and lifestyle magazine published monthly since January 1999. Each issue provides ...

| May 24, 2011

Pension payout query: to leave it or lump it?

Marc has a question about pension refunds for foreigners: "I was a resident of Japan for about 25 years and I paid into the system for about 20 years. Six years ago my Japanese employer transferred me to Vietnam. Since then we did an ...

| May 10, 2011

Pension 'gap years' and missed payments

Responding to our April 19 column ("Japan pension answers often case-specific"), KW suggests that there are further conditions — aside from the special exemptions we mentioned — under which foreigners may be able to receive a pension without paying in for 25 years. One option ...

| May 3, 2011

Leaping the digital TV divide

Reader JC asked about the upcoming analog-to-digital TV changeover on July 24 and how to prepare for it. The available options are so varied that it can be overwhelming to sift through and try to understand exactly what you need, especially if you can't ...

| Apr 19, 2011

Japan pension answers often case-specific

JM has a question about the Japanese national pension system: "I am an American citizen and permanent resident of Japan and have been living and working in the country continuously since 1988. During most of this time, I have been employed as a "local" hire ...