Among the questions that Japan Times readers send to the Lifelines column, a perennial topic is navigating the Japanese pension system. In this special expanded column we'll address some of the queries that have come in over the past few months.

I read that the Japanese government is thinking of reducing the requirement for pension qualification from 25 years to 10. When will the change take place?

As the reader notes, to be eligible for a pension in Japan, you need to have paid in for a minimum of 25 years. However, according to the Japan Pension Service's Tokyo office, the minimum will decrease to 10 years from April 2017. This will be no doubt be very welcome news for many foreign nationals.