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Japan Border Reopening In September With New Entry Requirements

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Japan has announced that the country will start reopening its borders in September with new entry requirements.

Japan, who has been virtually silent since closing their borders in April, has finally divulged some key information in regard to their imminent reopening.

Important updates as of October are below ↓

geisha walking in japanese street

A month ago, Japan released the information that they are currently preparing a reopening plan of their borders, but no date was given.  As of today, the government of Japan has finally released their reopening start date, which is the beginning of September.

Japan mt fuji

Starting in September, Japan plans to start accepting travelers in three stages:

First stage: Essential travelers including business travelers, experts, and trainees.

Second stage: Students and other educational-based arrivals.

Third and final stage: General tourists

Japan Street with lights
Kyoto Japan Gojo back street at night with its multitude of commerces and restaurants.

New Entry Requirement System

All arrivals will be subject to a 14-day quarantine.

However, the Japanese government has suggested that travelers who obtain a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, and agree to have another test done upon arrival, may be able to circumvent the 14-day quarantine, providing both tests are negative.

Countries That Will Be Able To Visit Japan

Japan has been very upfront that they first intend to include countries where the coronavirus has been contained or which have important ties to Japan.

Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, China and Malaysia are among the early candidates.

Myanmar and Brunei were originally included on the list of first-candidates drafted in July, but have since been removed.

Important Update: October 8, 2020:

MOFA Japan and the Republic of Korea have reached an agreement to start the Business Track and the Residence Track from October 8, which will allow the resumption of business travel between Japan and South Korea.

Important Update September 12:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan has just announced they will begin procedures for a Business Fast Track agreement between Japan and Singapore, starting on September 18. 

Most tourist attractions in Japan were closed in April and May; however since late May, a large number of them have reopened. Only a few remain closed now, except in Okinawa, where many sightseeing spots closed again in early August after the prefecture declared a state of emergency through August 15.

engakuji temple in Kamakura

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Originally Published August 14, 2020


Friday 20th of November 2020

Hey Kashlee,

Can I get your opinion on this? This information on MOFA is literally conflicting with everything. According to this page from the ministry of foreign affairs Japan 9 countries are visa exempted for entry? or am I missing something?



Kashlee Kucheran

Saturday 21st of November 2020

Hey Eric - I know sometimes MOFA can be super confusing! I believe this is just saying basically 'these are the countries that can usually come without a visa, when the visa exemption program is in effect, which it's not in effect, but if it was in effect, this is what it would look like' ENtry is still not possible :(


Thursday 17th of September 2020

I saw in your post that the second phase/ stage of people who will be allowed in are students and educational Based arrivals. Would you happen to know if this means those who already residence or if it covers new international students and teachers?

Kashlee Kucheran

Friday 18th of September 2020

Hello! Right now it includes some who already have residence to return, but we are hoping soon it will also include new. We are unsure of when this update might happen


Thursday 17th of September 2020

Hi, I work for Japanese company based in Osaka. Previously I visited Japan several times in a year. I am a Swedish citizen. As mentioned, the first stage: Essential travelers including business travelers, experts, and trainees. Can I have a Business Trip to Japan as a Swedish citizen? Will I need a special invitation?

Kashlee Kucheran

Friday 18th of September 2020

At this point I don't believe you will be permitted, but that might change soon.


Wednesday 16th of September 2020

Few things need clarifying/correcting:

NO, you will not be able to bypass the 14-day quarantine even if both pre-flight and post-flight PCR tests are negative. You will still need to have someone pick you up or use Rental car to get from the airport to your home/hotel in Tokyo/Osaka. Pre-flight PCR tests in the country you are leaving from to go to Japan will be at your cost. The test you get at the Japanese airport post-flight is free.


Monday 14th of September 2020

Do we need to pay to have the test in Japan?

Kashlee Kucheran

Monday 14th of September 2020

I would assume so, yes. But I am unsure of the price or the details