It's been quite surprising to receive so many "thank yous" from readers, but more surprising has been that they come not only from Japan but from all over the the world. It seems a lot of people who have lived in Japan in the past and moved on read the column at to keep up on things over here. That's great. We are counting on you old-hands all over the world but with your heart still in Japan to let us in on your tips, ideas and experiences from your many years in Japan.

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Dennis in Higashi Kurume writes: "I have been living in Japan for a number of years and have been included in my company health insurance program -- not the Japanese National Health Insurance, though. I am thinking of returning home in the next four or five years, I would like to join a health insurance program that will cover me while I am here in Japan. And will I be able to continue once I return to the U.S. Does such a health insurance program exist?"