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Who Can Travel to Japan & What’s Required? October 2021

Who Can Travel to Japan & What’s Required? October 2021

haneda-edit

The following page provides information for foreign-nationals looking to travel to Japan. At this time, only Japanese citizens and foreign residents of Japan with valid travel visas are permitted to enter. We update our pages regularly however the situation can change suddenly. Please ensure you always refer directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to confirm your entry rights and requirements prior to booking any travel to Japan- see below for links. On this page you will find the following information:

1 / Latest News & Updates

2 / Will I be quarantined in Japan?

3 / Entry to Japan via the ‘Residence Track’

4 / Entry to Japan via the ‘Business Track’

5 / Entry to Japan for Tourism Purposes

6 / Japan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Passport

7 / Japan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program

8 / Timeline of Entry Requirements

In an effort to open the border to international travel, the Japanese government continues to engage in negotiation with certain countries – deemed to be low risk of COVID-19 – to establish ‘travel bubbles’. Also referred to as ‘travel corridors’, ‘travel bridges’ and ‘travel free zones’, it is hoped that such agreements are the first step to opening the border more fully sometime in 2021. Travel to Japan for tourism purposes is not possible and foreign nationals of many countries remain banned from entering for any reason.

This page is one of several pages we provide to keep you up-to-date with the situation in Japan and is intended to be read in combination with our ‘Traveling to/from Japan During COVD-19’ page.

1 / LATEST NEWS & UPDATES


osaka-kansai-airport

The following recent developments may be of interest:

Sept-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. For more information about entering Japan at this time including quarantine requirements, see our ‘Traveling To/From Japan During COVID-19’ page.

Apr-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.

Mar-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 travelers’ destination country upon check-in in their country of origin. For further information, see our ‘Japan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Passport’ page.

Mar-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. For further information, see our ‘Tokyo 2020: Traveling in Japan During the Olympics & COVID-19’ page.

Mar-05 2021: while there is no official announcement yet, the head of the Tokyo Olympic committee, Hashimoto Sekio, has suggested that international visitors may not be permitted to enter Japan for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games. Hashimoto has stated, ‘If the situation is tough and it would make the [Japanese} consumers concerned, that is a situation we need to avoid from happening’ – the strongest suggestion yet that international visitors will not be permitted. A number of government officials have now implied that a final decision is pending, with an official announcement expected by around March 25.

For a complete timeline of major announcements during COVID-19, see our ‘Timeline of Entry Requirements’ below.

2 / WILL I BE QUARANTINED IN JAPAN?


At this time, only Japanese citizens and foreign residents of Japan with valid travel visas are permitted to enter. Quarantined requirements for entrants to Japan are continually be updated. For the latest information, see our ‘Traveling To/From Japan During COVID-19’ page.

3 / ENTRY TO JAPAN VIA THE RESIDENCE TRACK


airport-travel

In order to facilitate movement into Japan for persons including foreign residents and some business travelers while the international border remains closed for most people, Japan has instituted the a ‘Residence Track’ and ‘Business Track’. Please note however that both tracks are currently closed. We will update this page once they are re-opened. The following information is accurate as of the last date that the Residence Track was operating:

Who can enter under the ‘Residence Track’?

1 / ANY FOREIGN PASSPORT-HOLDER with an eligible residency visa/right to reside in Japan – can still travel but must quarantine for 2-weeks upon arrival.

2 / Short-term business travelers from approved countries : BRUNEI / CAMBODIA / CHINA (including HONG KONG and MACAU) / LAOS / MALAYSIA / MYANMAR / SINGAPORE / SOUTH KOREA / TAIWAN / THAILAND / VIETNAM – suspended for all passport-holders until March 2021 (exact date of resumption yet to be confirmed).

What’s required?

Any foreign passport-holder with a longer stay/residence visa is able to return to Japan. This includes, but is not limited to, dependents of Japanese nationals (such as partners or children of Japanese citizens). international students, people residing in Japan for work, etc. In order to enter Japan under the ‘residence track’, the passport-holder must have an eligible visa to enter Japan, fulfill certain requirements prior to departing for Japan, and continue to meet certain requirements upon arrival including:

— Entrant must apply for visa or ‘Re-entry Confirmation Letter’ at nearest Japanese embassy

— Must monitor and track their health for 14-days prior to departure to Japan

— Must obtain a certificate of pre-entry testing result

— Must undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival and complete a questionnaire

— Must install and use COVID-19 tracking app and retain location data for at least 14-days

— Must use LINE app for reporting health

— Entrant must under quarantine/self-isolation at their home or other designated location of 14-days after arrival

MOFA-requirements

It is important to note, that some business travelers will be categorised under the Residence Track including those from BRUNEI, CAMBODIA, LAOS, MALAYSIA, MYANMAR, SINGAPORE, SOUTH KOREA, TAIWAN, THAILAND and VIETNAM. To do so, letters of invitation and guarantee will need to be submitted from the inviting business/organisation in Japan. For further details, refer directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for eligibility and requirements.

4 / ENTRY TO JAPAN VIA THE ‘BUSINESS TRACK’


haneda-airport

In order to facilitate movement into Japan for persons including foreign residents and some business travelers while the international border remains closed for most people, Japan has instituted the a ‘Residence Track’ and ‘Business Track’. Please note however that both tracks are currently closed. We will update this page once they are re-opened. The following information is accurate as of the last date that the Business Track was operating:

Who can enter under the ‘Business Track’?

Short-term business visitors from approved countries: CHINA / SINGAPORE / SOUTH KOREA / VIETNAM – suspended for all passport-holders until March 2021 (exact date of resumption yet to be confirmed).

What’s required?

Through negotiation with other governments, nationals of a limited number of countries can travel to Japan for business trips of up to 72-hours. In order to enter Japan under the ‘business track’, the passport-holder must have an eligible visa, fulfill certain requirements prior to departing for Japan, and continue to meet certain requirements upon arrival including:

— Entrant must apply for visa or ‘Re-entry Confirmation Letter’ at nearest Japanese embassy, including submission of a ‘Schedule of Activities in Japan’*

— Must monitor and track their health for 14-days prior to departure to Japan

— Must obtain a certificate of pre-entry testing result

— Must undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival and complete a questionnaire

— Must install and use COVID-19 tracking app and retain location data for at least 14-days

— Must use LINE app for reporting health

— Must not use public transport while in Japan and strictly limited activities and places visited to those declared in their Schedule of Activities in Japan

— Fulfill re-entry requirements of home country

MOFA-requirements

*Importantly for persons entering Japan under the business track, the Schedule of Activities in Japan acts as a declaration of places they intend to visit while here. Movement is likely to be restricted to accommodation and places of business only and will have to be declared prior to arrival. Letters of invitation and guarantee will also need to be submitted from the inviting business/organisation in Japan. For further details, refer directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for eligibility and requirements.

5 / ENTRY TO JAPAN FOR TOURISM PURPOSES


tokyo

At this time, travel to Japan for tourism purposes remains prohibited. Negotiation of travel bubbles for business travelers is however a positive sign and step in the right direction, We will update this page as soon as any information or announcements are made regarding travel to Japan for tourism.

6 / JAPAN’S COVID-19 VACCINATION PASSPORT


covid-19-vaccination-passport

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 travelers 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.

7 / JAPAN’S COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAM


hospital-health

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, and whether you need to be vaccinated to travel here.

8 / TIMELINE OF ENTRY REQUIREMENTS


kansai-international-airport

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

Sept-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.

Apr-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.

Mar-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 travelers’ destination country upon check-in in their country of origin.

Mar-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.

Mar-05 2021: while there is no official announcement yet, the head of the Tokyo Olympic committee, Hashimoto Sekio, has suggested that international visitors may not be permitted to enter Japan for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games. Hashimoto has stated, ‘If the situation is tough and it would make the [Japanese} consumers concerned, that is a situation we need to avoid from happening’ – the strongest suggestion yet that international visitors will not be permitted. A number of government officials have now implied that a final decision is pending, with an official announcement expected by around March 25.

Feb 03 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.  

Jan 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.

Jan 07 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.

Dec 28 2020: in response to a new strain of COVID-19 first detected in the United Kingdom, the Japanese government has announced that it will ban entry by all foreign nationals until January 31st 2021. To date, the new more virulent strain has been detected in at least twenty countries, and in an effort to prevent its spread into Japan, the ban effectively applies to all foreign nationals other than business travelers from approved countries and foreign residents of Japan. To do so, travelers will need to submit further documentation and undergo a COVID-19 test at least 72-hours prior to departure. Japanese citizens and foreign residents of Japan can still travel but upon arrival will be required to self-isolate for 14-days. Persons already holding visas to travel to Japan can still do so, other than those who have entered the United Kingdom or South Africa in the past 14 days.