This week, Lifelines plays catch-up with some useful tips that have come in from readers over the past few months. However, we start off with a follow-up question from reader S.S. in response to last month's column on recent changes in Japan's inheritance tax laws ( It seems S.S. spends part of the year in Japan and the rest of the time abroad. He writes:

How many months in a year does one have to be in Japan to be considered as residing or living in Japan? Are there other factors besides length of stay that determine residency status? Also, regarding the 10-year residency calculation, is it 10 consecutive years or any 10-year period?

Let's clarify the second question first. As noted in last month's column, the new laws apply to people who hold a "table 2 visa" (such as spouse visa or permanent resident) and those who have lived in Japan for more than 10 years within the past 15 years (i.e., "long-term residents").