FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION FROM THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC), VISIT CORONAVIRUS.GOV
The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, such as in Japan, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live in Japan should avoid all international travel. The U.S. government does not anticipate staging repatriation flights from Japan. The CDC also recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel.
- State of emergency: On May 25, Prime Minister Abe lifted the state of emergency for Hokkaido, Chiba, Saitama, Tokyo, and Kanagawa. The state of emergency has now been lifted for all of Japan. However, authorities in many prefectures and municipal wards continue to request restricted hours and/or closures of public venues.
- The Prime Minister has reiterated his call for citizens to reduce people-to-people contact, with a focus on avoiding the “three Cs:” closed spaces, crowded spaces, and close-contact settings. He has also asked that people continue to refrain from all non-essential prefectural border crossings. (More information on the Prime Minister’s announcement is available here.)
- U.S. Mission Japan personnel continue to follow practices recommended by the U.S. and Japanese Governments for promoting social distancing and minimizing non-essential travel. U.S. Mission Japan staff have also been advised to avoid public transportation during peak hours, and to follow Government of Japan guidance to refrain from crossing prefectural borders unless absolutely necessary.
- Japanese immigration officials have: extended the period of application for certain types of visa extensions and residency applications; increased the waiting time for decisions in certain cases; extended visa validity for visitors whose period of stay expired in March through July; and, have announced new measures to reduce congestion in waiting rooms. More information can be found online here.
- On May 1, the Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires recorded a video to U.S. citizens on social distancing guidelines. Click here to watch the video.
- The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo continues to closely monitor developments related to COVID-19 in Japan and will update this webpage with additional information as it becomes available.
- We strongly encourage all U.S. citizens to comply with measures announced by local authorities, including limiting personal outings, avoiding crowded spaces, and maintaining at least six feet of distance between yourself and others.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Non-Japanese citizens who leave Japan, even U.S. citizen legal residents, will not be able to return under current conditions.
- The Government of Japan has designated COVID-19 as a “Designated Infectious Disease” and placed entry restrictions on foreign visitors, including on foreigners travelling from the United States. Please visit the Japan National Tourism Organization website for detailed information on entry restrictions currently in place.
- According to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as of May 14, 184 countries have restricted entry, 67 countries have restricted activity, for travelers from Japan due to COVID-19 infections. For detailed information, please see this online site (Japanese only).
- International flights are currently available in Japan, but service has diminished significantly since the COVID-19 outbreak. Only five percent of pre-COVID capacity between Japan and the United States (including Guam) remains in service. Direct flights between the United States and Japan are currently only available from Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports. U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements to do so immediately unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. Travelers using domestic flights to connect in Tokyo for onward travel to the United States should consult their air carriers, as the reduction in Japanese domestic aviation networks is likely to continue. The U.S. government does not anticipate staging repatriation flights in Japan. Direct flights between the U.S. and Japan are currently only available from Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports.
American Citizen Services and Visa Services:
The U.S. Department of State has suspended processing of routine passport, citizenship, and visa services. Until further notice, we are only able to issue limited validity emergency passports and emergency visas. Because of this suspension, we are unable to issue Consular Reports of Birth Abroad for infants and children. However, we can document the child’s citizenship with an emergency passport and accept Consular Report of Birth Abroad applications for later issuance. We strongly encourage families to apply for such documentation. To request an appointment for an emergency passport, please contact the Embassy or consulate nearest you for assistance.
Reduction in International Flights
International flights are currently available in Japan, but service continues to diminish. Only five percent of pre-COVID capacity between Japan and the United States (including Guam) remains in service. Direct flights between the United States and Japan are currently only available from Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports. U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make arrangements to do so via commercial air immediately unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The U.S. government does not anticipate staging repatriation flights in Japan. U.S. citizens who reside abroad should avoid all international travel. As a reminder, non-Japanese citizens who leave Japan, even U.S. citizen legal residents, will not be able to return under current restrictions.
Resources in Japan
Below are sources of local COVID-19 information in English. U.S. citizens should closely monitor trusted local news sources and local authorities’ communications for updates and information.
This list is not exhaustive:
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government
- Chiba Prefecture
- Saitama Prefecture
- Gifu Prefecture
- Mie Prefecture
- Osaka Prefecture
- Kyoto Prefecture
- Kobe City
- Nagoya City (Aichi Prefecture)
- Fukuoka Prefecture
- Okinawa Prefecture
- Hokkaido Prefecture
The Japan National Tourism Organization maintains up-to-date information on screening and quarantine measures for travelers. It also operates a 24/7 visitor hotline, available in English. To call from Japan: 050-3816-2787; from overseas: +81-50-3816-2787.
The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare also has a 24/7 hotline at +81-3-3595-2176 with English-speaking operators, and has a Q&A on the new measures.
The Association of Medical Doctors of Asia Medical Information Center are operating a hotline to assist foreign nationals in Japan with questions about COVID-19. It is available from 10:00 to 17:00, and can be reached at 03-6233-9266. More information can be found here.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government launched a multilingual call center on COVID-19 for foreign residents. They can be reached by phone from 10:00 to 17:00, Monday through Friday, at 0120-296-004. Callers should note that the initial recording is in Japanese, but if you hold the line you can be assisted in English.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has a dedicated page on COVID-19.
The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has a dedicated COVID-19 page with additional information, including information on how to seek medical care in Japan. JNTO also operates a 24-hour hotline for visitors.
If you are currently in Japan and believe that you may have symptoms of COVID-19, please call JNTO’s hotline at 050-3816-2787.