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Moving out of Japan

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26 Dec 2014
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I have lived in Tokushima for five years, and now, primarily due to my homesickness, I have decided it’s time for a new chapter and I am going to go back to America. But after living here for five years, I’ve obviously laid down roots, and there’s a lot to take care of before leaving. Somethings are obvious and probably pretty simple, like closing my bank account at the post office (or maybe I don’t even need to close it because it doesn’t cost me anything?), and ending my Internet and phone service, and my health insurance. And I think I won’t have too much stuff to send back (lots of stuff to sell/give away/throw away, though), so I’ll probably just send packages by air rather than ship. But there are other things that I would like to know more about.

1) What are the costs involved in moving out of an apartment? In my case in particular, my wooden floor unfortunately got really damaged when I was out one time and left my balcony door open, and it was raining like crazy and blowing in, and the floor got wet, and it’s been peeling ever since. Obviously I’m going to need to pay to have that repaired, and I was wondering if anyone had any idea on what that kind of stuff tends to run people.

2) Should I apply to get my pension money back? I’ve heard about the option of taking out a “lump sum”. But I don’t know how to do that. Also the thing is, I may live in Japan again someday in the future. I honestly don’t know at this point. If there’s a chance that I may live here again, should I just leave my pension money alone? Will it just sit there forever even if I’ve left the country for a long time?

3) I Actually need to renew my visa next month. I’m going to leave this year, but I’m not sure when yet, and I haven’t told my boss yet and I’m just waiting for the right timing. So I’m still going to be working here through next month, I’m sure, so that means I need to renew the visa (my boss wants me to try for a five-year extension this time). Can I just leave Japan even with a recently renewed visa? There are no strings attached? And would that visa automatically be voided once I quit my job and leave the country, or will it still remain active?

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Anything else I need to know? Thanks in advance for any help.


Just me
20 Aug 2003
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1. Commendably honest of you regarding that damaged floor. Inform your landlord and ask him to come for an inspection.

2. Pension lump sum withdrawal is pretty straightforward. Google "japan lump sum withdrawal how long" for plenty of links.

3. Yes, you can leave with a currently renewed visa. Why should anyone stop you? You just tell immigration you aren't coming back. As for telling your boss, if you are dead set on leaving, you'd better get the announcement over, but since you need him for a visa guarantor, the timing will depend on how good a relationship you feel you have. Good luck on that. Don't know when your contract is up.
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