Reader CW writes: "I've lived here 35 years and am a permanent resident. Recently I met an American who had just returned through Tokyo immigration and all the information about his work, residence and visa status was on his card but not on his passport. The passport had not been endorsed. Why is Japan the only country to my knowledge not endorsing visas in the passport?

"Secondly, I've been trying to get an exact copy in English of the new immigration law that was passed by the Diet and went into effect last July. I've asked three lawyers and have been to the National Diet Library twice but still can't find it. Why is this so?"

It has been almost a year since the new residency management system was introduced in July 2012. The new system applies to medium- and long-term foreign nationals in Japan with legal status of residence.