Japan further relaxes entry restrictions – Publications

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The Japanese government further eased its border measures on September 7, 2022. While the number of people infected with COVID-19 in Japan still remains high, the government is gradually changing its conservative approach.

No negative test result certificate required for holders of a valid vaccination certificate

In principle, all persons entering or re-entering Japan are required to present a COVID-19 test certificate, which is examined within 72 hours before departure and certifies the negative result. However, as of September 7, 2022, if a person has a valid vaccination certificate, that person is not required to present a negative test result certificate.

A vaccination certificate must meet the following conditions to be considered a valid vaccination certificate:

  • The vaccination certificate is issued by a government or public institution
  • The name and date of birth of the person, the name of the product/manufacturer of the vaccine, the date of vaccination and the number of doses of vaccination are described in the vaccination certificate in Japanese or English
  • The vaccination certificate certifies that the person has received one of the following eligible vaccines: COMIRNATY intramuscular injection (Pfizer), Spikevax intramuscular injection (Moderna), Vaxzevria intramuscular injection (AstraZeneca), JCOVDEN intramuscular injection (Janssen), COVAXIN (Bharat Biotech ), or intramuscular injection of Nuvaxovid (Novavax)

Zero or shorter waiting time

Japan’s border measures are determined by the country a person has been in and whether the person has a valid vaccination certificate. Under the new rules, no country is categorized as a “red” country, which required the person to stay in a facility designated by the Japanese government for a designated waiting period. See all country categories as of September 2, 2022.

Country category

Valid vaccination certificate

Certificate of negative test result

Quarantine on entry

Quarantine period after entry

Red

*No country is designated

Nope

Obligatory

Yes

3 days in the designated quarantine facility (termination is conditioned on negative test results in the designated quarantine facility on the third day)

Yes

Not required

Yes

3 days at home and negative voluntary test result

(Or 5 days at home without testing)

Yellow

*73 countries are designated

Nope

Obligatory

Yes

3 days at home and negative voluntary test result

(Or 5 days at home without testing)

Yes

Not required

Nope

No quarantine period

Blue

*128 countries are designated

Nope

Obligatory

Nope

No quarantine period

Yes

Not required

Nope

No quarantine period

Partial resumption of the issuance of multiple-entry visas

(1) New entrants who plan to stay in Japan for no more than three months (short stay) for business or work and obtain a certificate of completion of registration in the Entrant and Repatriate Tracking System (ERFS) (certificate ERFS) or (2) the spouse or children of a Japanese national who plan to visit relatives for up to 3 months (short stay) can apply for a multiple-entry short-stay visa for an effective duration of one year and up to 90 days stay at a time. These participants, spouses or children must be nationals of the 68 nations/regions that were formerly visa-exempt nations/regions prior to the current suspension. See the full list of these exempt countries/regions.

Border measures eased for tourists

The Japanese government still does not accept tourists on a personal trip (i.e. not participating in a tour organized by a travel agency), but it now accepts a package tour even if an accompanying person is not not here.

old rules

New rules

  • Foreign nationals can enter Japan from countries classified as “Blue”
  • A travel agency must be the responsible person to accept these foreign nationals
  • Foreign nationals must participate in an organized trip in the presence of a guide
  • Personal travel is not accepted
  • Foreign nationals can enter Japan from any country
  • A travel agency must be the responsible person to accept these foreign nationals
  • Foreign nationals must participate in an organized trip but not necessarily accompanied by an attendant
  • Personal travel is not accepted

Increased daily entry upper limit

Unlike other G7 countries, the Japanese government still maintains an upper limit of daily entrants, but has increased this limit from 20,000 to 50,000 daily entrants.

Launch of online visa application system

An online visa application is available for US nationals living in the US and Canadian nationals living in Canada who are applying for a single-entry visa and who will be staying in Japan for business, other exchanges, family visits or tourism for up to 90 days. and are not engaged in activities for which the participant is remunerated.

This LawFlash is based on publicly available information as of September 11, 2022.

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