December 2, 2023

Travel Hawaii

It's Your Travel Hawaii

Big news regarding travel between Japan, U.S.

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Travel relations between Japan and the United States has a long history. However, COVID-19 put a damper on this otherwise beneficial relationship.

The U.S. Embassy announced that effective Saturday, April 29, 2023, all travelers who are arriving in Japan traveling from the U.S. will no longer need to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test certificate to enter the country.

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The Embassy indicated that Military travelers who are arriving in Japan under the Status of Forces Agreement need to consult with their chain of command. This is to ensure military personnel understand any applicable requirements prior to travel. 

The power of the U.S. Embassy to intervene on behalf of travelers is very limited. Whether you are being denied boarding at your point of embarkation or denied entry upon arrival to Japan, those travelers who are denied entry at Japanese ports of entry will likely be immediately reboarded on flights back to the U.S. 

The issue of travel regulations and restrictions being rather complex is also made more complicated since they are subject to change with little to no notice. Hence, the U.S. Embassy is strongly urging U.S. citizens who are traveling to Japan to carefully review all information available from the Government of Japan.

The U.S. Embassy also said that any travelers who do not know or are unsure of their eligibility to travel to Japan need to contact a Japanese embassy or consulate close to them for additional information. 

This advice is also extended to all travelers to Japan regardless of status since inter-state relations change often.

The U.S. Embassy did provide some useful sites to utilize as you plan your travels to Japan:

  1. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Phased Measures for Resuming Cross-Border Travel .
  2. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Application for Visa for Foreign Nationals Eligible for Phase Measures toward Resuming Cross-Border Travel.
  3. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Border Enforcement Measures to Prevent the Spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  4. For specific questions regarding Government of Japan’s travel restrictions: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japanese immigration Information Centers.

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Electronic Customs Declaration Gates (e-Gates) can be used by travelers entering Japan for customs clearance.