C.W., who lives in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, recently received a notice about the upcoming resident law changes and was informed that an “officer” would visit him and other foreign residents in the area. He is concerned about the intent of these changes and wondering why “officers” are only visiting the foreigners in his ward.

We contacted the Suginami Ward office and were informed that the notification and pamphlet sent out explained the upcoming changes to the alien registration and immigration systems. They were concerned that not all foreign residents would understand the information so they contracted Japan Convention Services, Inc., to send people door to door to help explain, if necessary.

This company is not associated with the Immigration Bureau, and the employees are not immigration officers, according to the ward.

They also mentioned that if a resident wasn’t home when they stopped by, it wasn’t an issue. The ward just wants to ensure its non-Japanese residents understand the new rules, they said.

The Suginami Ward website also lists a notice with similar information at www2.city.suginami.tokyo.jp/news/news.asp?news=13289.

We’ve written previously about the new residence system for non-Japanese in “Bye-bye to the gaijin card, welcome to the Juki Net in ’12” (July 12, 2011), but for the most up-to-date information, please visit www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_1/en/index.html

Has anyone else been visited by someone in their ward, town or city to explain the new residence system changes?

Has anyone seen my prophecy?

Jim Johnson writes: “I retired from the (U.S.) Air Force in 1982 and just recently tried, unsuccessfully, to locate the actual name of the leadership school I attended at Yamato Air Station in the spring/summer of 1967.

“I want to try contacting a historian for that location to get my hands on, if possible, the final lesson I prepared at the school. The significance of that paper is that it’s an eerily prophetic snapshot of today’s American society. I would like to share those comments of nearly 45 years ago with some of my friends and colleagues today.”

I inquired about your paper and the leadership school you attended, and unfortunately the paper is probably long gone. The Headquarters Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) responded:

“All papers are destroyed upon graduation, unless a particular paper is used in a disciplinary release, (in) which (case) it is then destroyed after our year. Our particular PACAF PME (Professional Military Education) school opened in 1995, and they have no records of any papers from that time period. Unfortunately, I do not believe that paper would still exist as digital media was not used during that time.”

Sober advice online

In response to our Jan. 31 column, “Facing up to alcoholism in foreign land can help or hinder recovery,” a reader suggested Sober Recovery as a potential resource.

Sober Recovery is a forum page for both alcoholics and friends and family of alcoholics. The reader said the Friend/Family page has some insight into the disease and has been helpful to them in terms of coping with their own feelings and reactions to a loved one’s behavior.

You can find their website at www.soberrecovery.com/forums/.

Desperately seeking Tony

Sandra Armstrong is trying to contact her relative, Tony Brownlow.

“He was born in Victoria, Australia,” she writes. “I saw his name in The Japan Times and the last time I heard from him was 20 years ago when he was teaching in Japan somewhere.

“If you can please pass on my details I would be extremely grateful to know if this is the same gentleman I seek to contact.”

If you know anything about Tony, you can email Sandra at sarm73@gmail.com.

Death in the family

Donald G. Pfeiffer’s Japanese stepmother, Harue Yotsumoto, passed away on Feb 8:

“I would like to notify her relatives in Japan,” he writes. “She was the wife of George E. Pfeiffer and left Japan with his four children around 1952.

“We settled in Rhode Island. Her family was from Kagoshima.”

Thanks to David Thompson for his research assistance. Ashley Thompson writes survival tips and unique how-tos about living in Japan at www.survivingnjapan.com. Send questions, queries, problems and posers to lifelines@japantimes.co.jp

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.