Backtracking on an earlier decision, the Justice Ministry has decided to extend a short-term visa to a 13-year-old Thai orphan who came to live with her grandmother in Tokyo after losing her parents, officials said Tuesday.

The move paves the way for the girl to obtain longer-term residency status here.

Mevisa Yoshida currently lives with her Thai grandmother, Bauchan, and the grandmother's Japanese husband in Tokyo's Arakawa Ward. She attends a local junior high school, having lived in Japan under short-stay status since February 2003.