Health Alert and Voting Reminder – October 8, 2020

Location: Japan
Date: October 8, 2020

Re-entry of U.S. citizens resident in Japan

The U.S. Embassy and consulates continue to monitor COVID-19 conditions in Japan. While the situation is generally improving, outbreaks of COVID-19 throughout the country continue, and local officials have taken COVID-19 mitigation measures depending on local conditions. U.S. citizens should exercise caution and continue to follow guidance issued by government authorities.

Japanese government travel restrictions remain in place that prevent most U.S. citizens from entering the country. Japan has recently modified its policies, however, to permit some additional categories of travelers. This includes certain business travelers, if their organizations ensure proper pandemic control measures, as well as individuals moving to Japan as residents. Travel for tourism and most other short-term purposes is still not permitted, and there is no indication that this will change in the short term.

For complete information, please consult the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of Justice. The U.S. Embassy strongly urges any U.S. citizens considering travel to Japan to review carefully the information available from the Government of Japan. Please note these regulations are subject to change with little notice. The U.S. Embassy’s ability to intervene on behalf of travelers denied entry into Japan is extremely limited and travelers denied entry at Japanese ports of entry will likely be immediately reboarded on flights back to the United States.

Any U.S. citizen traveling to Japan will be required to carry a visa. Travelers already in possession of Japanese visas should confirm the validity of their visas with the nearest Japanese embassy/consulate, as several visas issued after April 2020 have been canceled. The only exception is for U.S. citizens with the status of resident in Japan, who must obtain permission form from immigration officials to re-enter prior to departing Japan. In all cases, a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of flight departure from the U.S. will be required.

Upon entry, U.S. citizens will be required upon return to comply with all COVID-19 mitigation efforts instituted by the Government of Japan and local prefectural governments. This includes receiving a COVID-19 test at the airport upon arrival in the country, as well as a 14-day self-quarantine requirement. Travelers are not permitted to use public transportation, including trains, taxis, and domestic flights, until the 14-day self-quarantine period has ended, and will need to arrange private transportation to their quarantine location.

U.S. military members traveling under the Status of Forces Agreement should consult with their chain of command for the most current requirements pertaining to their entry.

Voting Reminder

Election day is November 3, 2020. Many states have different deadlines for voting registration and receipt of absentee ballots. State-by-state information can be found at www.fvap.gov. The U.S. Embassy can assist voters in Japan with mailing ballots back to their voting officials in the United States. Instructions are available on our website. If you plan to vote but have not yet mailed your absentee ballot, please do not delay.

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