Yesterday I went to the British Embassy to renew my passport. I’m pretty sure that trying to live in Japan without a valid passport would be asking for trouble, and I might need to go abroad on short notice, so I decided to get it done before it expired.
The countersignatory ended up being less trouble than anticipated. First, I’m not sure it was necessary, looking at the instructions online at the passport agency; the form I had said it was necessary, however, so I got one. The more important point, however, was that although the form says it needs to be a British citizen in a position of responsibility, the embassy can choose to accept local signatories, and they did. Given how quickly the response came, I suspect it’s standard policy. Fortunately, one of my English students is a professor at a local university, and I’ve been teaching him for just over two years, so he qualified. Even if it wasn’t necessary for me, it will be necessary when I apply for Mayuki’s British passport, so it’s good to know how to do it.
But applying for a passport from Japan is expensive; 26,180 yen, or over 100GBP. Not that I have much choice; going to the UK to apply there is even more expensive.
Anyway, I have to pick the new passport up in a couple of weeks, and then go to Japanese immigration to get my visas moved across. What with my taxes last week and passports now, there’s a lot of essential paperwork just at the moment. I’ll be glad when it’s all done and I can concentrate on work again.