Getting Stopped by the Popo

If you’re a foreigner in Japan, at some point you’re probably going to have a run-in with the police.   This might be because they think you look suspicious (for justified reasons or not) and want to check your residence card, pulled you over because you violated a traffic law, or maybe you lost your wallet and need to file a lost report/are lost and need to ask directions at the nearest police box (kōban).

Having just gotten pulled over for a traffic offense, and considering the police climate Stateside, I thought I’d write a short bit on what to do if and when you encounter the police in Japan.

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Making the Big Move: Let’s Talk Visas

There are many ways to move to Japan, but pretty much all of them require getting your hands on a visa.  With the exception of a few special countries, you’ll need a visa if you plan on staying longer than 90 days or 3 months in Japan.

Requirements for applying and being granted a visa depend on what kind of agreement Japan has with the country your passport is issued from.  Requirements also depend on what kind of visa you’re seeking.  The following sites are very useful reading:

During my stay I’ve had three different kinds of visas and all of them required jumping through different hoops to get my hands on. Continue reading