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Temporary visitor visa suspention and border enforcement measures.
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Temporary visitor visa suspention and border enforcement measures.

As of March 27, 2020. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has put in place border enforcement measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As a temporary measure, all tourism visas are suspended. This includes visa on arrival, for countries under the Japanese visa waiver program.

On March 31st, Japan’s Foreign Minister says that: foreign nationals from the United States, China and South Korea, as well as most of Europe, will be banned from entering the country.

Additionally, anyone permitted to enter the country has to stay in quarantine for 14-days at a location designated by the quarantine station chief, and will not be allowed to use public transport.

Measures will take place for flights arriving on the 3rd of April, even if your ticket was booked earlier.

Here are the restricted countries for Japan’s new immigration policy:

  • Asia: Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
  • North America: Canada, United States
    Latin America & the Caribbean: Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Dominica, Ecuador, Panama
  • Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Vatican
  • Middle East: Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Turkey
  • Africa: Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco

What does this mean for tourism?

Effectively, most foreign nationals without an essential reason to travel will not be allowed to enter Japan. This includes countries like the Australia, Canada, US, UK, the EU and most of Asia. Measures are expected to stay in place until May 8th, though this may be changed.

Anyone already in Japan will be allowed to stay for the duration of their visa and depart the country.

Should you have any questions on the above, then please contact your local embassy for assistance. We are unable to help with visa related queries through JRPass.com.

The full details can be read at the MOFA website.

For visa requirements once things return to normal see: Do You Need a Visa to Go to Japan?

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