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Traveling To / From Japan During COVID-19

Traveling To / From Japan During COVID-19

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COVID-19 has had a significant impact on travel to and from Japan and is likely to have an ongoing affect on life here for some time yet. The following page is intended to provide accurate and relevant information for people planning to visit Japan from aboard, along with those already here and planning to travel between prefectures for tourism purposes. The information provided on this page is intended for travellers and foreign nationals entering Japan for tourism purposes. This page includes the following information:

1 / Latest News & Updates

2 / Entering Japan – is Japan open for travel?

3 / Will I get a visa/be allowed to enter Japan?

4 / Will I be quarantined in Japan?

5 / Japan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Passport

6 / When will I be able to travel to Japan?

7 / Japan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program inc. Vaccination Passport

8 / Plan Your Visit to Japan

9 / Timeline of Entry Requirements

The situation remains fluid and the information provided is accurate as of time of publication. We will endeavour to update the information to reflect any change as quickly as possible. For complete information regarding COVID-19 in Japan including a timeline of events, please see our ‘COVID-19 Update’ page.

Japan’s border remains closed to most international visitors however, as of February 2022, it appears likely that restrictions will soon be eased with increasing pressure on the government to allow travel for short-term business travelers and long-terms visitors with temporary residence visas, such as international students. We hope that an announcement to this effect will occur soon with travel for tourism purposes to follow later in the year. As such, it’s a good time to planning your next visit to Japan – see ‘Plan Your Visit to Japan’ below for to anything you need to know about traveling here and what’s on offer once here. We hope it won’t be too long before we’re welcoming old friends and new back to Japan.  

1 / LATEST NEWS & UPDATES


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The following recent developments may be of interest:

June 27 2022: it has been announced that Naha Airport in Okinawa and New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido – usually two of Japan’s busiest airports – will reopen to international services from the end of June. In addition, the regional airports of Sendai, Hiroshima and Takamatsu will also reopen. Another positive step in the right direction, there remains no official announcement as to when Japan’s border will fully open. For more information about Japan’s current travel requirements, see our ‘Who Can Travel to Japan & What’s Required?’ page.

June 20 2022: it has been reported that 1300 people have lodged applications to travel to Japan on tours, under the government’s current scheme to open-up the border to tourism but only for people traveling on authorised tours. The first approved tour arrived on Wednesday. Participants are required to follow strict infection prevention measures including wearing masks at all times, frequently using hand sanitiser, adhere to social distancing, etc. Failure to do so can result in a participant being asked to leave Japan. Such strict rules have been met with widespread criticism across the tourism industry and are likely to limit the number of people applying to travel to Japan.

June 13 2022: as of last Friday, Japan officially opened its border to tourism with authorised tour groups permitted to enter. There are however several requirements for doing so that effectively mean the border remains closed to most tourists, especially those who do not wish to be chaperoned on a fully-guided tour. While 98 ‘blue / low risk’ nationalities are now free to apply for a visitor visa to travel to Japan, they will only be allowed to do so by booking a guided tour through approved travel agents. Those tours are strictly controlled with guests required to wear masks at all times, regularly use hand sanitizer, social distance, minimise talking when eating and chaperoned at all times. As such, the limited number of tours now entering Japan are unlikely to appeal to a huge number of visitors but it is hopefully a step toward a full opening of the border later in the year.

May 27 2022: Japanese Prime Minister has announced that small guided package tours will be allowed to enter Japan from June 10 onward. The announcement comes days before Japan is set to increase its daily cap on arrivals from 10,000 to 20,000 on June 1 and introduces a three-tiered system of blue, yellow and red or low, mid and risk countries that dictates the entry requirements for travellers. While full details of how these group tours will be operated, it is a positive step towards a full opening of the border as Japan hosts small trial tour packages this week for travellers from Australia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

May 23 2022: as of June 1st, Japan will double its cap on daily arrivals from 10,000 to 20,000. At the same time, it will introduce a new three-tiered system, categorising countries and regions into ‘blue’, ‘yellow’ and ‘red’ groupings, equating to low, mid and high risk. Travelers arriving from a blue / low risk country will not be required to undertake a COVID-19 test or undergo quarantine upon arrival, nor do they need to demonstrate their vaccination history. Those arriving from yellow / mid risk countries will be required to undergo a test upon arrival and isolate for three days at home or at their hotel. Travelers arriving from red / high risk countries will be required to undergo a test and isolate for at least three days at a designated facility.

May 18 2022: the government has announced it will allow small tour groups to enter Japan from the end of May, in a trial period intended to test Japan’s readiness to open its border for tourism. To begin, only 50 visitors from Australia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States who have been triple-vaccinated will be allowed to join tours, coordinated by travel agencies and chaperoned by tour conductors at all times on fixed itineraries. Travel agents including JTB Corp, Nippon Travel Agency and others will be participating in the trial period.

For a complete timeline of major announcements during COVID-19, see our ‘Timeline of Entry Requirements’ below or to start planning you visit, see ‘Plan Your Visit to Japan’ below.

2 / ENTERING JAPAN – IS JAPAN OPEN FOR TRAVEL?


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For most foreign nationals, travel to Japan is currently banned – see below for information regarding affected countries passports. There is no official announcement on when the borders will open however, as of February 2022, there is increasing pressure on the government to ease restrictions of business travellers and temporary residents including international students. In 2021, Japan and multiple countries agreed on two forms of ‘travel corridors’ for ‘Residence Track’ and ‘Business Track’ visitors. While both tracks are currently suspended, it is likely that these travellers will have priority once the border opens:

1 / Long-term residents of Japan with an eligible visa i.e. foreign passport-holders who are dependents of Japanese nationals, international students, residing in Japan for work, etc. are now able to return to Japan as long as they meet and follow certain requirements – see ‘Residence Track’ information below for details.

2 / Short-term business travellers from specific countries can or will soon be able to enter Japan to undertake business-related activities, also dependent on entrants meeting and meeting certain requirements – see ‘Business Track’ information below for details.

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In 2019, 31.9 million foreign visitors entered Japan – the seventh successive year that set a new record. Building on this strong trend, the government targeted 40 million arrivals in 2020. That however was prior to the emergence and dramatic impact of COVID-19. As COVID-19 has spread around the world, Japan has announced bans for specific foreign nationals/passport on entering Japan. As a result, arrivals have dropped sharply with only 2,900 foreign passport holders arriving in Japan in April 2020 – a drop of 99.9% from the previous year.

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Japan has four major international airports: Narita (Tokyo), Haneda (Tokyo), Kansai (Osaka) and Chubu (Nagoya). Regardless of which airport you intend to fly into, the same requirements apply. Given the impact of COVID-19 on entry to Japan, the first question every traveller needs to ask is, will I be allowed to enter?

3 / WILL I GET A VISA/ALLOWED TO ENTER JAPAN?


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At this time, a ban applies to all non-citizens and non-resident international visitors. Some temporary residents including many international students are also unable to enter. We recommend referring directly to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for the up-to-date list of countries/passports affected by the current travel ban. If you are affected by the ban, you will not be allowed to enter Japan. Both the ‘Residence Track’ and ‘Business Track’ agreed by the Japanese government are currently suspended however may reopen in 2022:

1 / Residence Track: foreign passport-holders with longer stay/residence visas are able to return to Japan. This covers (but is not limited to) dependents on Japanese nationals i.e. partners, international students, people resident for work, etc.

In order to enter Japan under the ‘residence track’, the passport-holder must have an eligible visa to enter Japan, fulfil certain requirements prior to departing for Japan, and continue to meet certain requirements upon arrival. Importantly, people entering under the residence track will be required to quarantine/self-isolate at a designated location for at least 14-days after arrival. It is important to note that – somewhat confusingly – some short-term business travel between certain countries may also be process through the residence track. For further information, see our ‘Who Can Travel to Japan & What’s Required?’ page.

2 / Business Track: through negotiation with other governments, nationals of a limited number of countries can travel to Japan for short-term business trips.

In order to enter Japan under the ‘business track’, the passport-holder must have an eligible visa, fulfil certain requirements prior to departing for Japan, and continue to meet certain requirements upon arrival. Importantly, people entering under the residence track will have to submit their intended itinerary of activities in advance for approval and while not quarantined in Japan, they will effectively be restricted to their hotel and/or places of business. The important thing is that while movement will be very restricted, visitors under this track aren’t required to quarantine in Japan.

4 / WILL I BE QUARANTINED IN JAPAN?


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In response to the changing nature of the pandemic and who can entry Japan, rules around quarantine also regularly change. We will endeavuor to keep this information up-to-date. As of February 2022, Japanese citizens and foreign residents of Japan are able to enter. All persons are currently required to provide a negative COVID test 72 hours prior to traveling and to then self-isolate for a minimum of 7 days upon arrival in Japan. Depending on the travel/region you are traveling from and your travel and COVID-19 history, you may be subject to a longer quarantine period including a stay at a government facility. This requirement is constantly changing and is likely to depend on the circumstances in the country you are traveling from.

5 / JAPAN’S COVID-19 VACCINATION PASSPORT


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Consistent with many countries around the world, Japan has announced its intention to utilise some form of digital vaccination passport in an effort to re-open its international. While the exact details of how this will work and which digital platform Japan will use are not yet confirmed, the government appears committed to rolling-out a smartphone app which travellers can use to satisfy the health requirement and allowing them to travel to Japan. It is hoped that this will facilitate opening of the international border in the near future. For further information, see our ‘Japan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Passport’ page.

6 / WHEN WILL I BE ABLE TO TRAVEL TO JAPAN?


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There is no official announcement about when restrictions will be eased and travel to Japan will be possible. As of June 2022, there are signs that the government is considering opening the border to some travellers. Short-term business visitors and international students can now apply to travel to Japan. The government is also trialling approved tour groups from selected countries in, what is hoped to be, a precursor the border opening fully to tourism in the second half of 2022. There is however no definitive information about this yet. We will update this page once an announcement is made.

7 / JAPAN’S COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAM INC. VACCINATION PASSPORT


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Get the latest news and information about the roll-out of Japan’s COVID-19 vaccination program including which vaccines will be used, when and who will be vaccinated, whether you need to be vaccinated to travel here and development of a vaccination passport.

8 / PLAN YOUR VISIT TO JAPAN


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Getting ready to travel to Japan? Whether it’s your first time traveling to this amazing country or you’re a regular visitor, all successful visits start before you even leave home as you plan your trip and choose where you’ll visit while here. Our ‘Plan Your Visit’ pages have lots of great information including how to enter, exit and move around Japan, when to visit, how to stay connected while here, accommodation options, language and etiquette tips and how to stay health and get help when needed. Those pages provide the framework while our ‘Destinations’ pages help you plan just what to do while here. When planning your visit to Japan, we encourage you to consider the following:

1 / Entering Japan: as discussed above, many countries are subject to an entry ban at this time. A limited number of foreign nationals – long-term residents of Japan and short-term business travellers from certain countries – are able to travel so long as they meet and follow specified requirements. Prior to booking your visit to Japan, ensure that you will be permitted entry by checking the status on your passport on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (included above).

2 / Quarantine: use the same link to check whether you will be required to undergo quarantine upon arrival. In addition, also check the re-entry requirements to your own country to confirm whether you will be required to undergo quarantine upon your return from Japan.

3 / Movement once in Japan: it is possible that even once you enter Japan, restrictions on your movement may still apply and/or some localities may be closed. Do your research and consider where you want to visit prior to arriving. As much as possible, keep your plans flexible, allowing you to change your itinerary if required. Stay informed by using foreign language services in Japan to check the daily information.

Our ‘Traveling inside Japan during COVID-19’ page provides information and tips on planning your travel in Japan during COVID-19.

4 / Health services in Japan: Japanese enjoy one of the world’s best public health systems and medical facilities. As an international visitor, it is worth considering what you have access to and what will happen, should you need treatment while here. Our ‘Heath Care & Assistance in Japan’ page provides information regarding what to expect and what you have access to while here.

5 / Insurance: regardless of when you come to Japan, travel insurance is a must. While it is a very safe country in terms of personal safety and your possessions, no country is perfect and unfortunate things can happen. Should you require medical attention or hospitalisation during your visit, your insurance will be crucial to avoiding a potentially huge cost. Prior to traveling ensure that your travel insurance has reasonable cover for medical treatment and specifically check what is covered in relation to COVID-19.

6 / Cancellations and refunds: when booking your travel – including your air travel, accommodation, tours, etc. – check their policy regarding cancellation and refunds. Once you are free to travel to Japan, things may yet change again. When booking your future travel, check what happens should a recurrence of COVID-19 prevent you from traveling prior to booking.

9 / TIMELINE OF ENTRY REQUIREMENTS


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The following major announcements provide a snapshot of recent entry requirements to Japan during COVID-19:

June 27 2022: it has been announced that Naha Airport in Okinawa and New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido – usually two of Japan’s busiest airports – will reopen to international services from the end of June. In addition, the regional airports of Sendai, Hiroshima and Takamatsu will also reopen. Another positive step in the right direction, there remains no official announcement as to when Japan’s border will fully open.

June 20 2022: it has been reported that 1300 people have lodged applications to travel to Japan on tours, under the government’s current scheme to open-up the border to tourism but only for people traveling on authorised tours. The first approved tour arrived on Wednesday. Participants are required to follow strict infection prevention measures including wearing masks at all times, frequently using hand sanitiser, adhere to social distancing, etc. Failure to do so can result in a participant being asked to leave Japan. Such strict rules have been met with widespread criticism across the tourism industry and are likely to limit the number of people applying to travel to Japan.

June 13 2022: as of last Friday, Japan officially opened its border to tourism with authorised tour groups permitted to enter. There are however several requirements for doing so that effectively mean the border remains closed to most tourists, especially those who do not wish to be chaperoned on a fully-guided tour. While 98 ‘blue / low risk’ nationalities are now free to apply for a visitor visa to travel to Japan, they will only be allowed to do so by booking a guided tour through approved travel agents. Those tours are strictly controlled with guests required to wear masks at all times, regularly use hand sanitizer, social distance, minimise talking when eating and chaperoned at all times. As such, the limited number of tours now entering Japan are unlikely to appeal to a huge number of visitors but it is hopefully a step toward a full opening of the border later in the year.


May 27 2022: Japanese Prime Minister has announced that small guided package tours will be allowed to enter Japan from June 10 onward. The announcement comes days before Japan is set to increase its daily cap on arrivals from 10,000 to 20,000 on June 1 and introduces a three-tiered system of blue, yellow and red or low, mid and risk countries that dictates the entry requirements for travellers. While full details of how these group tours will be operated, it is a positive step towards a full opening of the border as Japan hosts small trial tour packages this week for travellers from Australia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

May 23 2022: as of June 1st, Japan will double its cap on daily arrivals from 10,000 to 20,000. At the same time, it will introduce a new three-tiered system, categorising countries and regions into ‘blue’, ‘yellow’ and ‘red’ groupings, equating to low, mid and high risk. Travelers arriving from a blue / low risk country will not be required to undertake a COVID-19 test or undergo quarantine upon arrival, nor do they need to demonstrate their vaccination history. Those arriving from yellow / mid risk countries will be required to undergo a test upon arrival and isolate for three days at home or at their hotel. Travelers arriving from red / high risk countries will be required to undergo a test and isolate for at least three days at a designated facility.

May 18 2022: the government has announced it will allow small tour groups to enter Japan from the end of May, in a trial period intended to test Japan’s readiness to open its border for tourism. To begin, only 50 visitors from Australia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States who have been triple-vaccinated will be allowed to join tours, coordinated by travel agencies and chaperoned by tour conductors at all times on fixed itineraries. Travel agents including JTB Corp, Nippon Travel Agency and others will be participating in the trial period.

May 12 2022: the government looks set to increase the cap on daily arrivals to Japan from the current level of 10,000 to 20,000 in June. The increase comes as the government is also considering a trial period of small tour groups from abroad, to test Japan’s readiness to open its border. A further increase of daily arrivals would be continuation of a positive trend that has seen it raised from 3,500 in November to 5,000 and then 7,000 in March and the current limit of 10,000 in April.

May 9 2022: the government is considering opening the border to tour groups as early as the end of May, on a ‘trial basis’ as it looks toward a complete opening to inbound tourism later in the year. The report follows-on for Prime Minister Kishida’s recent comments that the government is looking to open the border in stages, in consultation with public health experts. Under this plan, tour groups will be limited in size with their movements monitored in order to assess the feasibility of a full opening and response measures should a COVID-19 case be reported within those travellers.

May 6 2022: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has stated that Japan will ease its border controls in June. Kishida did not provide details of exactly how and when this will happen however it’s a meaningful development on the back of recent increases in daily arrivals and permission for international students and short-term business visitors to enter.


April 11 2022: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has stated that Japan does not have any plan to open the border to tourists at this time. COVID-19 infections again continue to increase in many regions of the country, including Tokyo, with another wave potentially underway. On Friday, approximately 52,000 new cases were reported around Japan – the fourteenth day in a row that the daily total was increased over the week before. Some of the largest increases have been experienced in regional areas such as Miyazaki and Oita in the south and Akita and Iwate in the north.

April 7 2022: Japan has announced that it will ‘lift the entry ban on 106 countries’ from tomorrow onward. This has led to some confusion as to who can now travel, with some mistaking the decision to mean that anyone from those 106 countries could now enter Japan for any reason. This is not correct. The lifting of the ban makes it possible for nationals of those countries to apply for and be granted a visa, and then travel to Japan however the purpose of that travel remains the crucial point. Persons applying to travel to Japan for tourism purposes will still not be granted a visa and cannot enter at this time. While this is a positive step toward a full opening of the border, there remains no official announcement as to when travel for tourism purposes will be allowed.

April 4 2022: Japan will increase the daily cap on overseas arrivals to 10,000 travellers per day as of April 10. Foreign students enrolled with a Japanese institution continue to have priority along with Japanese citizens, foreign residents of Japan and some short-term business travellers.


March 21 2022: the government is considering lifting the daily cap on overseas arrivals to 10,000. While the cap remains at 5,000, it is set to increase to 7,000 as of April 1. April marks the beginning of Japan’s business and academic year and preference is currently being given to short-term business travellers and international students enrolled in a Japanese institution. There is still no word on when the border may open to tourists.

March 6 2022: the government has announced that the daily cap on arrivals into Japan will increase from 5,000 to 7,000 on March 14. As the new academic year approaches, priority will be given to international students enrolled in study in Japan. There is still no announcement as to when the border will open to tourists.


February 28 2022: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has again stated that his government is considering easing border restrictions. As of March 1st, travel restrictions are already set to be eased for some travellers including short-term business visitors and temporary residents including international students. Japan is seeing COVID numbers begin to come out in what is hoped is the end of the sixth wave of infections. In response, daily entries will be increased from 3,500 to 5,000 and travellers from countries including Australia, the Philippines, Spain, Thailand and the United States will not have to isolate upon arrival so long as they return a negative test result; while entrants from countries including Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom will only need to quarantine for three days, as long as they test negative on the third day. There is still no announcement as to when travel for tourism purposes.

February 22 2022: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has announced that from March onward, a limited number of business travellers and foreign students will again be able to enter Japan. The daily limit on entries will also be lifted from 3,500 to 5,000. Travelers who have received three or more vaccinations and are entering from a country in which COVID is not spreading rapidly, will not be required to enter quarantine. All other travellers will be required to self-isolate for 7 days however those who test negative for COVID-19 on the third day, and meet other requirements, will be able to leave quarantine early.

February 14 2022: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has remarked that the government is considering whether to ease the current restrictions which effectively bar non-residents from entering the country. While there is no official announcement yet, the government is hinting at changes to a policy that has seen most non-residents effectively locked-out of Japan throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The consideration to ease restrictions comes amid growing criticism by business leaders and as other nations continue to open their borders. Should a decision be reached to open the border, it is likely that priority will be given to short-term business travellers and long-term visitors with temporary residency, such as international students. Travel for tourism purposes would appear to be a little time-off however this may change quickly.


December 20 2021: Japan has launched a COVID-19 vaccination app for smartphones. The app – ‘新型コロナワクチン接種証明書アプリ‘ or ‘New Corona Vaccination Certificate Application’ – that can be downloaded for free and once activated, will display the user’s vaccination history. It is intended for both domestic use and international travel.

December 19 2021: Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has announced that the existing ban on entry to Japan by foreign nationals – other than those with an existing residence visa or special permission to travel – will be extended at least until ‘early next year’ in an attempt to prevent the spread of the ‘Omicron’ variant. Japanese citizens and foreign residents of Japan are still able to enter however must under quarantine once they arrive, with the period required and where they undertake quarantine varying depending on the country they are travelling from.

December 6 2021: in response to the Omicron variant, Japan has moved to further restrict entry by suspending all visas that have not yet been activated by the traveller by entering Japan, for a period of one month. An exception to this measure apples if the visa holder is the spouse or child of a Japanese citizen, permanent resident or diplomat however government clarification of this point has not been forth-coming and it has not been confirmed how or for how long this measure will be implemented.


November 30 2021: as of today, Japan has significantly restricted entry by effectively banning foreign nationals for a period of at least one month. In response to the emerging ‘Omicron’ variant, the government has announced that only Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with ‘special permission’ are now allowed to enter Japan – regardless of where they are traveling from. Those who can still enter are required to spend 14 days in quarantine, even if fully vaccinated. The government has also reduced the maximum number of entries each from 5,000 to 3,500 persons. At this time, there has been no announcement that the Omicron variant has been detected in Japan.

November 29 2021: in response to concern over the increased virulence of the new ‘Omicron’ variant, first detected in South Africa, Japan has announced stricter entry controls for the following southern African nations: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Any person entering Japan who has spent time in one or more of those nation in the past 14 days, is now required to spend at least 10 days in a government-designated facility upon arrival. They will then be subject to COVID-19 tests on the third, sixth and tenth days, all of which must be negative to the leave the facility. Some nations have suspended flights from southern African nations. Japan has not yet taken that step however it may well change.

November 8 2021: as of today, the quarantine period for travellers entering Japan for business purposes has been reduced to 3 days. Travelers must be fully-vaccinated (with a vaccine recognised by the Japanese government) and on the condition that the firm inviting them to Japan complies with certain directives. The government has also announced that students and long-term business entrants such as technical trainees can now travel to Japan however the quarantine period for those entrants remains 14 days.

November 2 2021: Japan appears to be set to ease travel restrictions for short-term business travel and students as soon as this week, with quarantine reduced to as little as 3-days for fully-vaccinated visitors. There is no official announcement yet nor is there any reference to opening-up travel for tourism however it’s a positive step in the right direction.


September 30 2021: Japan looks set to reduce the period of quarantine, for fully-vaccinated people, from 14 to 10 days and without the need to spend time in a hotel or other facility. It is expected that this will take place some time in October however the actual date and full details are yet to be announced. It appears that this will also apply to persons entering from ‘high risk’ areas, as long as they can provide suitable evidence of their vaccination history.


April 30 2021: the government has again commented that Japan will introduce some form of ‘vaccine passport’ in the form of a smartphone app that will facilitate movement of people in and out of the country. It is believe digital passport will record evidence of having had a COVID-19 vaccination along with negative test results, potentially allowing persons who have not yet been vaccinated to travel. While nothing concrete has yet been announced, it’s a positive step toward re-opening the international border.


March 21 2021: it’s official. Japanese officials have announced that international visitors will not be permitted to enter Japan as spectators for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Scheduled to start on July 23rd 2021, the Games look set to go ahead however it will unfortunately be without any international visitors in the stadiums. All tickets already sold to international visitors will be refunded in full. There is no official word yet about entry of the teams and supporting staff.

March 21 2021: the ‘State of Emergency’ (SOE) has been lifted from the last four prefectures – Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama – meaning that no region of Japan is under a SOE at this time. There is yet to be an announcement about the resumption of travel arrangements including the residence and business streams. Once an announcement is made and that information is available, we will update this page.

March 15 2021: trials of a proposed ‘Common Pass’ have taken place at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. Five participants underwent COVID-19/PCR tests which were transmitted to a laboratory with all five participants receiving negative test results to their phones within two hours. Those results are then displayed as a ‘universal digital certificate’ which can then be used to satisfy entry requirements of a travellers’ destination country upon check-in in their country of origin.


February 3 2021: following the announcement of extension of the ‘State of Emergency’ (SOE) in ten prefectures in Japan, it has also been announced that the suspension of travel arrangements will be extended until the SOE has been lifted. At this time, the SOE is in effect until at least March 7th therefore we can expect that entry for foreign nationals – other than foreign residents of Japan – will continue until at least that date.


January 13 2021: the government has announced the temporary suspension of arrangements – including the ‘Residence Track’ and ‘Business Track’ – for nationals of 11 countries, effectively banning entry to Japan by all foreign nationals – other than those with an existing residence visa – until at least February 7th 2021. The decision is in response to the increasing spread of COVID-19 and in order to prevent the introduction of new variants to Japan. Japanese citizens and foreign residents of Japan with a valid entry visa are still able to travel however are required to undertake 2-weeks quarantine upon arrival and may be asked to provide a negative COVID-19 test result prior to departure from their country of origin.

January 7 2021: in response to the increasing spread of COVID-19 in Japan and following discussion of suspending entry for all foreign nationals, the government has announced that the 11 nationalities eligible to travel under the ‘Residence Track’ and ‘Business Track’ can continue to apply to travel to and enter Japan. Foreign residents of Japan with a current entry visa and Japanese citizens are also still able to enter. The situation continues to develop and the government’s decision may well be reversed should circumstances demand it. We will update this page if further information becomes available.