Travel to Japan

A record 24.04 million people visited Japan in 2016, welcomed by Japan's spirit of omotenashi . A nation where tradition and modernity share the same space, Japan offers an exciting, unique experience for everyone. From Tokyo’s urban sprawl to the peacefulness of Kyoto, from boisterous Osaka nightlife to Hiroshima's contemplative spirit, Japan’s attractions never fail to dazzle visitors. The amazing food, unique culture, and warm hospitality will keep you coming back!

To get you started, here are some useful tools for your trip: Convert US Dollars to Japanese Yen ・ Japan Weather Forecast ・ Japan train route finder (trip planner) ・ Another train route finder Download DC-based Japan Travel Agencies & JR Pass Distributors

Do I need to bring anything special?

Not usually - just a valid passport. If you are a US citizen, you do not need a visa to travel to Japan for up to 90 days with a roundtrip ticket. The purpose of your visit must be tourism, visiting relatives/acquaintances, attending a conference, etc.

Japan has made agreements to waive visa requirements for tourism with 61 countries and regions. You can find more information about this on the Embassy's visa section page . If you need to obtain a visa for your travels, please contact your nearest Consulate General of Japan or call the Visa Section of the Embassy at 202-238-6800.

Where should I visit in Japan?

What can i bring through customs, can i use a credit card, is japan a safe country, do japanese people speak english, what do i do if i need help or get lost, how can people call me while i'm in japan.

To call Japan from the U.S., dial 011 81 , followed by the area code and phone number. For Japanese cell phones, the area code is 80 or 90. Other common codes are 3 for Tokyo, 78 for Kobe, 75 for Kyoto, 6 for Osaka, and 82 for Hiroshima. If you're given a number that starts with 0, remove it and dial the rest. So, if the number is 080, just dial 80. You can also look up numbers via the Japan Phone Book.

Other options for calling abroad include VoIP services such as Skype .

How is Japan's public transportation system/How can I get a "JR Rail Pass"?

Excellent! Japan has an extremely modern subway and rail system, as well as the famous shinkansen bullet trains, and a large network of buses. Japan-Guide has an excellent guide to transportation in Japan, including information on the numerous tickets and passes available. You can also use the Japan train route finders at the top of this page.

The Japan Rail Pass is one of the most popular option if you'll be traveling long distances by train, or if you're looking for an economical solution for sightseeing. Japan-Guide has more information about the rail pass, but we also have a list of distributors in the DMV area available on our DMV Resources page . You must purchase an Exchange Order before you travel to Japan. You cannot buy a Japan Rail Pass in Japan.

For information about traveling on public transport system with a wheelchair or other disabilities, please check our special circumstances section below.

Can I use a drone/UAV in Japan for tourism?

UAVs are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism. Their website has a guide in English for those who would like to use UAVs in Japan.

For laws in specific cities and prefectures, you can try and contact local film offices, who might be able to provide you with information on filming with UAV.

What about prescription medications?

Medications are restricted by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. Certain medications require a Yakkan Shoumei import/export certificate which can take over two weeks to process. For information and/or restrictions on specific medications, please check with Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare .

For more information, please check the main Embassy's guide to bringing Medications into Japan . The Embassy of the United States in Japan also has good information on bringing medication for personal use, although we are not affiliated with them.

What if I'm in a wheelchair or have another disability?

What if i have a medical device (cpap machines, etc.), what if i have dietary restrictions.

Although Japanese food is considered some of the healthiest in the world, it can be difficult to find appropriate foods if you have dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and more. Many major restaurants now include pictorgrams on their menus to help, but smaller restaurants may not have them.

If you are gluten-free , Legal Nomads has provide a gluten-free card in Japanese on her website , and Celiac Travel has a different version on their website .

For vegans and vegetarians , HappyCow , Japan Vegan and Vege-Navi all have resources to help you find good restaurants. Additionally, Is it Vegan? Japan offers help with reading packaging.

For those with halal food restrictions, the JNTO provides a guide to Muslim friendly food stores as well as a travel guide. Additionally, Veg-Travel Tokyo is a vegetarian, halal, and kosher restaurant search. The Jewish Community of Japan also has helpful kosher guides.

If you have food allergies , be aware that any products containing eggs, milk, wheat, buckwheat, peanuts, shrimp and crab will be labeled by law. The JNTO's English Tourist's Language Handbook includes information on how to indicate what you are allergic to.

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Find cheap flights to Japan from $288

This is the cheapest one-way flight price found by a kayak user in the last 72 hours by searching for a flight from the united states to japan departing on 7/11. fares are subject to change and may not be available on all flights or dates of travel. click the price to replicate the search for this deal., search hundreds of travel sites at once for deals on flights to japan.

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Best Japan Flight Deals

Cheapest round-trip prices found by our users on KAYAK in the last 72 hours

Good to know

Faqs - booking japan flights, if i am traveling with children to japan, are there any child seat laws i should know about when renting a car in this country.

There is a national child restraint law in this country that states that any child up to four years old needs to travel in a forward-facing car seat and that kids up to six years old need to travel in a booster seat or on a booster cushion.

If I plan on flying to Tokyo, which airport should I fly to?

Most travelers flying to Tokyo will choose the Haneda Airport (HND) because it offers a location that is closer to the center of Tokyo. That said, some of the cheapest flights available from the west coast of the United States to Tokyo travel to Narita International Airport (NRT). Another one of the advantages of this airport is that it offers abundant rail service to get travelers not really into the center of Tokyo but to a number of other destinations that surround this large city.

If I want to travel to Sapporo in the north of Japan, what are some of the best choices for flights?

When flying to the New Chitose Airport (CTS) that serves Sapporo from cities on the west coast of the United States, some of the quickest options are the one-stop flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) aboard ANA Airlines.

What are some transportation options to get from Haneda Airport into downtown Tokyo?

The Tokyo Monorail travels from the airport to the downtown area in around 23 minutes, with trains departing the airport every 10 minutes or so. There is also a bus service provided by Airport Limousine that can make the trip in around 40 minutes, with buses departing roughly every hour from the airport.

Which airport should I use to visit Mt. Fuji?

Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan, lying just below the center of Honshu island and south of Tokyo. If you intend to visit the area you can fly to Tokyo Haneda Airport and get a connecting flight to Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport, about 50 mi away from the peak.

Which Tokyo airport is closer to the downtown area?

Of the two international airports serving the Tokyo metropolitan area, Tokyo Haneda Airport is the closer to the city center which is a little less than 9 mi away. Tokyo Narita Airport lies about 37 mi from the center of the city, so plan your travel itinerary carefully when booking your flight from the US to Japan.

Should I buy Japanese Yen before I leave the US?

Most international travelers tend to buy local currency once they arrive at their destination and all the major Japanese airports have currency exchange offices where you can buy yen to pay for your taxi, rental car or to use public transportation.

Do the Japanese airports have facilities for families?

Yes, they do. All the international airports serving US flights provide facilities for parents traveling with children. These services include Baby Rooms equipped with changing tables and microwaves, nursing rooms for mothers with infants and Children’s Play Areas where the young ones can tire themselves out before the long flight home.

How long is the flight to Japan?

An average nonstop flight from the United States to Japan takes 14h 14m, covering a distance of 6029 miles. The most popular route is Los Angeles - Tokyo with an average flight time of 11h 15m.

What is the cheapest flight to Japan?

The cheapest ticket to Japan from the United States found in the last 72 hours was $262 one-way, and $421 round-trip. The most popular route is Los Angeles to Tokyo Haneda and the cheapest round-trip airline ticket found on this route in the last 72 hours was $794.

Which airlines fly to Japan?

United Airlines, ANA & Japan Airlines fly the most frequently from the United States to Japan.

What are the most popular destinations in Japan?

Based on KAYAK flight searches, the most popular destination is Tokyo (93% of total searches to Japan). The next most popular destinations are Osaka (5%) and Okinawa (0.7%). Searches for flights to Fukuoka (0.2%), to Sapporo (0.2%) and to Tokushima (0.1%) are also popular.

How does KAYAK’s flight Price Forecast tool help me choose the right time to buy?

KAYAK’s flight Price Forecast tool uses historical data to determine whether the price for a given destination and date is likely to change within 7 days, so travelers know whether to wait or book now.

Top tips for finding cheap flights to Japan

  • Enter your preferred departure airport and travel dates into the search form above to unlock the latest Japan flight deals.
  • Passengers need to have a valid passport for their trip to Japan, and they need to ensure that their passport remains valid during the entire length of their stay in Japan. It is also important to keep one blank page in the passport for an entry stamp.
  • A popular departure airport in the United States for a flight to Japan is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Passengers looking for the quickest way to get from downtown Los Angeles to this airport should travel on the FlyAway bus that travels from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to the airport in about 40 minutes.
  • Two of the biggest annual events in Japan are New Year's Day and Obon, which occur in the summer months. If traveling to Japan for either of these events, it is best to book tickets as far in advance as possible to ensure availability and the lowest prices.
  • One of the largest international airlines in Japan is ANA Airlines, and most travelers might be surprised to learn that one of their major hubs in the United States is Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), where passengers will find a number of nonstop flight options to a variety of cities in Japan.
  • If you plan on traveling to the southern part of Japan, one of the most popular airport options is Nagasaki International Airport (NGS). There are a number of one-stop flight options available to this airport aboard both ANA Airlines and Japan Airlines from a variety of cities in the United States.
  • US citizens do not require a visa to visit Japan, but permanent residents should check online with the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate to see if one is required for their respective countries. Bear in mind that you will be allowed to stay for up to 90 days.
  • The Japanese capital city of Tokyo is served by two major airports: Tokyo Narita (NRT) and Tokyo Haneda (HND), which handle most of the international air traffic, but flights from the US to Japan also use Osaka Kansai Int’l (KSI) as well as Fukuoka Airport (FUK) and Okinawa Naha (OKA), so choose the one which is closest to your destination.
  • Japan has four main islands in very close proximity to each other. The northern island of Hokkaido is not serviced by international flights from the US, so you’ll have to get a connecting flight from one of the two Tokyo hubs or use another form of surface transportation in order to get there.
  • Due to their geographic location many of the flights from the US to Japan originate on the West Coast, where you can get several flights with connections from Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) or Seattle (SEA). The only nonstop flights to Japan are from the Hawaiian city of Honolulu (HNL) to Osaka via Air Asia X.
  • Osaka has excellent ferry connections to the many southern Japanese cities like Miyazaki and Okinawa, but if you wish to visit the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki then you should use Fukuoka Airport, which is midway between them and therefore is a perfect launching point.

Top 5 airlines flying to Japan

Excellent. All the ticket prices have gone up so much. With only economy as the option, I thought I better pay for a good airline and I am glad I took ANA. The only thing is the long layover at Hanaeda enroute to Singapore. Any chance to bring back the service to land at Narita instead for the transit and a shorter layover will be fantastic. I am a fan of ANA.

Good. Got me there and back safely and mostly on time. 30 min delay for maintenance once but that means more time for nap. Crew was super nice.

Incredible. Amazing legroom. Over head fans for each person. Tv screens were great. Headphones were adequate. Seats were comfortable and spacious. Loved it.

The space for the seats i like it. Its not too close like other air line. The food is ok and also the staff. I'm waiting for my flight rewards point because until now i didn't recieved it.

The staff, ground and air, at ANA was very helpful and friendly during check in, boarding and during the flight. This is the reason why I always fly ANA whenever I go to Manila. The food was not the best but the flight crew more than makes up for the shortfall.

First I will say this was really NOT an ANA flight. ANA used a UNITED jet to perform this flight. I specifically booked with ANA because I did NOT WANT TO FLY UNITED FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS. So to spend $1800.00 and then discover after booking that it was going to be handled by United was very disappointing. I will be more careful next time when I book. The interior was very cramped in economy class; the dinner meal was terrible and also had extremely small portions for an international flight - the bread roll was ice cold and stale - that salad was very wilted; I’ve never had a “snack” that was so salty that it was difficult to eat; the breakfast “waffle” was practically unrecognizable. Really horrible meals for a very expensive international flight. Bathroom floor was also pretty dirty. I’m hoping my return flight is a real ANA airplane that is cleaned and serviced by ANA personnel with ANA meals. I will never book with ANA again if they continue to use UNITED airline jets. Yuck!!!🤢

Ticket was purchased as a United Airlines flight (operated by All Nippon) like what does that even mean? Makes for a VERY confusing flight experience. For instance, what do I look for a United drop off signage and ticket counter or ANA? No explanation anywhere to be found. I also felt a little bit scammed by the obsurdely restrictive seat selection provided. Only middle seats available!! Are you kidding me!! On 6hr + 10hr flights you're forcing me into the middle seat without telling me before I purchased the ticket?? This should be illegal. And to top it off, on the Tokyo LA leg there were quite a few empty seats including window seats! I must also say, the food was a dissappointing as well for my taste, fish with rice ( mostly plain white rice) or a vegetable medly for the breakfast meal? Should be at least 4 choices and at least 1 with eggs. Outside of these issues flight was otherwise ok.

Ground and flight crew were all courteous, extremely helpful and professional. Overall, process is really organized, from boarding to disembarkation.

This is a very long flight and the first time I have flown on a Japanese airline. I was very impressed with the staff. They worked hard and offered food and drink regularly. Plane was very well cared for. The let room was good . Food was ok but better than other airlines.

It was very nice. I was a bit disappointed by the few meal services. There were probably more drink services that I missed while sleeping, but I would have liked the crew to bring more than one drink service before landing and to bring more than one drink service and coffee service after take off

I was feeling very comfortable throughout the flight. I got more leg room than I expected from a Y class seat. But the food was a little disappointing.

The food was not that good. I liked the miso, green tea, and ice cream. I wasn’t able to put my carry on bag under the seat in front of me. The flight was smooth. Please expand your choices of movies especially the new ones. I can’t choose any of those films. They’re old.

I like the braised beef., miso soup,, and green tea. Very little choices of hollywood movies. The PA announcement in English was not very clear and very soft. I could hardly hear.

More updated movies & Chinese movies. The food sometimes overcooked. Prefer to have more neat snacks in between than just choose from the menu. Please change the menu every now and then. This is my second time flying within one year and the menu didn’t change at all!

Food is lagging. Very poor choice. Like vending machine fast food.

Please change the menu more often. The beef is not tender, more choice in ice cream flavor. Dessert is not good too.

The Experience was fantastic, it's a quick flight so no entertainment or food. Just a refreshment

Great crew, Japanese domestic flight is just a drink service but crew are very attentive

Again I paid for an upgrade on my credit card didn’t get it need a refund. . American I not good at gettin in contact for refunds.

l enjoyed the variety of good and drink choices. The flight attendants were very quick and efficient to our needs.

Fine. Though no food or entertainment so the survey needs to be updated with those options.

Backpack should NOT allowed put in the flight bin , only put it under the seat. I can't find space put my carry on luggage!!! and I pay for it ! that was very bad experience

Fantastic. Smooth boarding with an infant. Never experienced it with any other carriers.

This was a flight operated by Lufthansa. See me prior comments, which were meant for this experience. The CSA, Ashley, should be reprimanded if not fired for incompetence, being rude, and very, very slow. She was whispering to other CSAs, blaming my flight change on others, unable to give me a seat assignment, telling me could not help without offering any advice (I travel 200,000 miles a year and am a consultant to the airlines, so I know how this gets done PRETTY DAMN WELL). Then, she gave me literally the worst seat on the airline (yes, there were other seats open) - the one right next to the bathroom that was so bad the other PAX next to me left to move to another seat. My seat kept getting rammed (3x) by the crew with their carts (no turbulence to speak of), other passengers grabbing the seat to get in or out of the bathroom, and listening to the bathroom flush all night.

This was a Lufthansa flight, not United. The CSA at the counter, Ashley, was not only incompetent, but quite rude. Me and two other PAX waited over 7 minutes standing in front of her and another CSA and they ignored us. We joked that we must have accidently taken invisibility pills. She could have at least said "I'll be with you in a moment, I'm currently....". I could go on about how rude she and the other CSAs were (whispering, not communicating with me, blaming the situation on others, etc.). She would not work for me. Then, she gave me literally the worst seat on the plane. the worst. My seat kept getting bumped (rammed twice by the crew with their carts and about every 5 minutes by someone using the bathroom), listening to the bathroom all night, crowded seat, etc.

My seat was broken. WiFi didn’t work. Gate crew at HOU were rude and condescending. Treated all the passengers badly. Bad experience, United.

First flight of the day… MINIMUM FUEL! 15 minute landing delay at HOU due to fog turned into a 2+ hour delay! Rather than circle, they had to divert to another city to refuel! Sat on tarmac at Austin to refuel. We ALL missed our connections! The crew, including pilots, were clueless. Crew was really a mess. At HOU, Untied employees were exceedingly rude to all. It was pitiful.

Food wasn’t very good, old business seating configuration on an old A340

An hour and a half late is UNACCEPTABLE. The negative impact to our family is unconscionable. And for the price we were forced to pay...

Standard flight experience, but there is only power at the seat to row 20 on the aircraft, on my initial check in it did not say that was the case

You get what you pay for and nothing more. Wanted a cheap flight and that’s exactly what I got, though it’s human nature to wanting to feel like you got a good deal as well. There was none of that here. I was cheap and they were too. Got to my destination safely and that’s all that really matters.

Nice service. I wish it could provide hot water on the flight.

internet didn't work. No offer of drinks or snacks.

Flight was seamless. Free wifi helped pass the time. Food was okay, just make sure you pre order or pick something up from the airport

Internet connection very poor, means you can not even order items through their own shop.

Paid for business class lay flat seat. Significantly less comfortable than other carriers. No built in entertainment or WiFi. I barely saw flight attendants at all and they wanted to charge me for a bottle of water if i wanted more than what came with the meal (that i also paid extra for). Essentially you’re just paying for a slightly more comfortable seat than the rest of the plane and nothing else

Een prijsvechter, dus dat moet je ook verwachten. Voor alles moet je betalen. We hebben vooraf een maaltijd en een amenitiesset besteld. Die kregen we netjes uitgereikt aan boord. Het is BYOD voor het amusement tijdens de vlucht en dit werkte uitstekend. Geen trage wifi, helemaal niet. Alles kost geld, zelfs een flesje water. Misschien op langere vluchten wel gratis water, thee, koffie. Maar daarentegen mag je na de security je lege drinkflessen gewoon vullen en mee aan boord nemen

Wifi could have been better. Arrived 55 mins earlier than scheduled :)

Best part are two crying babies throughout the whole 11 hour trip

Clean and comfortable cabin. Friendly on board service. No vegetarian food options and movie options were very limited. Internet was very slow

Flight was delayed for almost 3 hours. Communication of gate change was poor. Email and screen said one gate and it was a different gate from that. Gate changed first to 64 B and then to 64 C. Originally it was 68B. 64C was not communicated properly!

This was a red eye return, so I doubt there would be anyway to make it better. Other than adding beds.

Direct nonstop flight was great. Flight was delayed and the crew announced a 2h delay on the sound system. 30 min or so later I hear my name on the sound system for immediate board. Several other passangers were late too. Reason: The crew incorrectly announced a 2h delay when in reality they meant a new boarding time at 2pm.

Plenty of room in the exit row. Sat on the plane an hour before taking off.☹️ Landed late and had to wait for gate availability.

Flight was on time early arrival better entertainment good staff.everything was excellent

Delayed leaving. On arrival we were taken to the airstrip and had to get off onto an over crowed bus, not all that passengers fit. Drove around the airport for 20 + minutes. Taken off the bus told to go upstairs 3 flights then all the passengers had to walk a mile or more , those of us old there was no one to direct us to were to go. I asked several people with no answers. Once I got to baggage claim my bags were not on the right bag claim. Once again asked for help and finally someone found my bags on a different carasel. Very frustrating.

Excellent host on board. Not so friendly check-in staff. Older plane with no food or entertainment due to short flight. Friendly captain and crew.

I don’t think there was entertainment? No mention of it. It was a good flight. Only complaint was my seat cushion was not attached and kept slipping.

Squeeze like sardines. ANA has much better leg room. The food on air canada was disgusting. Worse that left over microwave dinner. Like you heated up microwave dinner then saved it overnight, then microwaved it again and added nasty garnish to try to elevate but instead made it as edible as cat food.

They canceled the flight on us very close to the flight date .

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Travel health notices, vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.

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Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.

Routine vaccines


Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

Immunization schedules

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see  Your COVID-19 Vaccination  for more information. 

COVID-19 vaccine

Hepatitis A

Consider hepatitis A vaccination for most travelers. It is recommended for travelers who will be doing higher risk activities, such as visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where a traveler might get infected through food or water. It is recommended for travelers who plan on eating street food.

Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep A

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers younger than 60 years old traveling to Japan. Unvaccinated travelers 60 years and older may get vaccinated before traveling to Japan.

Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep B

Japanese Encephalitis

Recommended for travelers who

  • Are moving to an area with Japanese encephalitis to live
  • Spend long periods of time, such as a month or more, in areas with Japanese encephalitis
  • Frequently travel to areas with Japanese encephalitis

Consider vaccination for travelers

  • Spending less than a month in areas with Japanese encephalitis but will be doing activities that increase risk of infection, such as visiting rural areas, hiking or camping, or staying in places without air conditioning, screens, or bed nets
  • Going to areas with Japanese encephalitis who are uncertain of their activities or how long they will be there

Not recommended for travelers planning short-term travel to urban areas or travel to areas with no clear Japanese encephalitis season. 

Japanese encephalitis - CDC Yellow Book

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine for US Children

Cases of measles are on the rise worldwide. Travelers are at risk of measles if they have not been fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure, or have not had measles in the past, and travel internationally to areas where measles is spreading.

All international travelers should be fully vaccinated against measles with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, including an early dose for infants 6–11 months, according to  CDC’s measles vaccination recommendations for international travel .

Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book

Japan is free of dog rabies. However, rabies may still be present in wildlife species, particularly bats. CDC recommends rabies vaccination before travel only for people working directly with wildlife. These people may include veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers working with specimens from mammalian species.

Rabies - CDC Yellow Book

Tick-borne Encephalitis

Avoid bug bites

Learn more about tick-borne encephalitis at your destination .

Tick-borne Encephalitis - CDC Yellow Book

Avoid contaminated water


How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)

  • Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
  • Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
  • Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
  • Avoid contaminated water and soil

Clinical Guidance

Airborne & droplet, avian/bird flu.

  • Being around, touching, or working with infected poultry, such as visiting poultry farms or live-animal markets
  • Avoid domestic and wild poultry
  • Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
  • Bite from an infected rodent
  • Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
  • Avoid rodents and areas where they live
  • Avoid sick people

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.

Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Japan, so your behaviors are important.

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.

  • Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
  • Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
  • Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel

You can also visit the  Department of State Country Information Pages  for additional information about food and water safety.

Prevent bug bites

Although Japan is an industrialized country, bug bites here can still spread diseases. Just as you would in the United States, try to avoid bug bites while spending time outside or in wooded areas.

What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Consider using permethrin-treated clothing and gear if spending a lot of time outside. Do not use permethrin directly on skin.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone
  • Always use insect repellent as directed.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .

For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .

Stay safe outdoors

If your travel plans in Japan include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip:

  • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
  • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
  • If you are outside for many hours in the heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
  • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

Stay safe around water

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
  • Do not dive into shallow water.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
  • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if you are driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately.  Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Know how to get medical care while traveling

Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

  • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
  • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance for things your regular insurance will not cover.
  • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medicines you take.
  • Bring copies of your prescriptions for medicine and for eye glasses and contact lenses.
  • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call Japan’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
  • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( ).

Select safe transportation

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.

Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
  • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.


Choose a safe vehicle.

  • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
  • Make sure there are seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
  • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
  • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
  • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

Think about the driver.

  • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
  • Arrange payment before departing.

Follow basic safety tips.

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
  • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
  • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
  • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
  • If you choose to drive a vehicle in Japan, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
  • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
  • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
  • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
  • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
  • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Helpful Resources

Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.

The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

Traffic flows on the left side of the road in Japan.

  • Always pay close attention to the flow of traffic, especially when crossing the street.
  • LOOK RIGHT for approaching traffic.

Maintain personal security

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Before you leave

  • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
  • Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
  • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

While at your destination(s)

  • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
  • Follow all local laws and social customs.
  • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
  • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

Healthy Travel Packing List

Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Japan for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.

Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .

Map Disclaimer - The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement are generally marked.

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Japan imposes new rules to climb Mt. Fuji to fight overtourism, littering

Snow-covered Mount Fuji is seen from an airplane window.

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Those who want to climb one of the most popular trails of Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji will now have to reserve ahead and pay a fee as the picturesque stratovolcano struggles with overtourism , littering and those who attempt rushed “bullet climbing,” putting lives at risk.

The Yamanashi prefecture said in a statement via the Foreign Press Center of Japan on Monday it introduced new rules for the climbing season, starting July 1 to Sept. 10 for those hiking the Yoshida Trail on the Yamanashi side of the nearly 12,300 feet high mountain, designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2013.

Only 4,000 climbers will be allowed to enter the trail per day; 3,000 slots will be available for online booking at a fee of 2,000 yen (about $18), and the remaining 1,000 can be booked in person on the day of the climb.

Climbers can book their slots via Mount Fuji Climbing’s official website, jointly run by the Environment Ministry and Mt. Fuji’s two home prefectures Yamanashi and Shizuoka.

Visitors take a photo in front of a convenient store at Fujikawaguchiko town, Yamanashi prefecture, Japan, with a backdrop of Mr. Fuji on April 28, 2024. The town of Fujikawaguchiko, known for a number of popular photo spots for Japan's trademark of Mt. Fuji, on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 began to set up a huge black screen on a stretch of sidewalk to block view of the mountain in a neighborhood hit by a latest case of overtourism in Japan. (Kyodo News via AP)

World & Nation

To deter tourists, a town in Japan is building a big screen blocking the view of Mt. Fuji

Known for a number of spots that offer a near-perfect shot of Japan’s iconic Mt. Fuji, the town is trying to reduce the number of visitors.

April 30, 2024

Mt. Fuji is divided into 10 stations, and there are four “5th stations” halfway up the mountain from where the four trails — the Yoshida, Fujinomiya, Subashiri, and Gotemba — start to the top.

Under the new system, climbers need to choose whether they will do a day hike or stay overnight at the several available huts across the trail. Once they input their information and the day of the climb, they are given a QR code to be scanned at the 5th station. Those who have not booked an overnight hut will be sent back down and not allowed to climb between 4 p.m. and 3 a.m., mainly to stop climbers who rush to the summit without adequate rest, raising safety concerns, authorities said.

Yamanashi Gov. Kotaro Nagasaki thanked people in a statement for their understanding and cooperation in helping preserve Mt. Fuji.

The Shizuoka prefecture, southwest of Mt. Fuji, where climbers can also access the mountain, has sought a voluntary 1,000-yen ($6.40) fee per climber since 2014 and is considering additional ways to balance tourism and environmental protection.

The number of Mt. Fuji climbers during the season in 2023 totaled 221,322, according to the Environment Ministry.

FILE - Kimono-clad "geiko" and "maiko" professional entertainers arrive for a ceremony to start this year's business in Kyoto, western Japan, on Jan. 7, 2020. Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto, long a popular destination for tourists, will be closing off some private-property alleys in its famous geisha district, as complaints grow about misbehaving visitors. (Kyodo News via AP, File)

Kyoto’s picturesque geisha district counters tourist onslaught with keep-out signs

Signs in both Japanese and English will warn tourists to keep out of certain areas in Kyoto’s geisha district, labeling them as private.

March 11, 2024

The announcement came just as a town in Shizuoka was to set up a huge black screen on a sidewalk to block a view of Mt. Fuji because of tourists overcrowding the area to take photos with the mountain as a background of a convenience store, a social media phenomenon known as “Mt. Fuji Lawson.” This has inconvenienced locals and disrupted their businesses and road traffic.

Overtourism has also become a growing issue at other popular tourist destinations such as Kyoto and Kamakura as foreign visitors have flocked to Japan in droves since the coronavirus pandemic restrictions were lifted, in part due to the weaker yen.

Last year, Japan had more than 25 million visitors, and the figures in 2024 are expected to surpass nearly 32 million, a record since 2019, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

Yamaguchi writes for the Associated Press.

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23 May 2024 - 4 min read

6 Japanese Table Manners You Need to Master Before Visiting Japan

Japan, a country known for its rich cultural heritage and meticulous attention to detail, holds its dining customs in high regard. Japanese table manners are deeply rooted in tradition and reflect the country's values of respect, harmony, and mindfulness.

Central to these etiquettes is the art of using chopsticks, an essential utensil in Japanese cuisine. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of Japanese table manners, with a focus on chopstick etiquette.

Understanding Japanese Table Manners

travel to japan usa

Japanese table manners encompass a wide array of customs and practices, all aimed at creating a harmonious dining experience. From the way dishes are presented to the manner in which one consumes food, every aspect of dining in Japan is steeped in tradition. Here are some key elements of Japanese table manners:

1. Seating Arrangement

In formal dining settings, seating arrangements are often hierarchical, with the most esteemed guest seated closest to the host or at the head of the table. The arrangement may also take into account age, status, or professional rank. Guests should wait to be seated or guided to their place by the host.

Despite the predetermined rules, hosts should also consider the comfort and preferences of their guests when arranging seating. For example, guests with specific dietary restrictions or mobility issues may be seated in positions that accommodate their needs.

Overall, seating arrangements in Japanese table manners are guided by principles of respect, hierarchy, and consideration for guests, reflecting the importance of harmony and etiquette in Japanese culture.

2. Oshibori

Before the meal begins, it is customary to clean one's hands with a hot towel called oshibori. Oshibori is a traditional Japanese custom involving the offering of a hot or cold towel to guests as a gesture of hospitality and respect. The word "oshibori" is derived from "osu," meaning "to press or wipe," and "hioru," which means "to moisten or wipe one's hands."

While oshibori has its roots in traditional Japanese customs, it is also commonly practiced in modern settings such as restaurants, hotels, and spas throughout Japan and in Japanese-influenced establishments worldwide. It's a small but meaningful gesture that adds to the overall experience of hospitality.

3. Slurping

Contrary to Western dining norms, slurping noodles, particularly ramen or soba, is considered acceptable and even a sign of enjoyment in Japanese culture. It's a way to express appreciation for the food.

4. Saying Grace

Before starting the meal, it's common for Japanese diners to say "Itadakimasu," which roughly translates to "I humbly receive." This expression shows gratitude for the food and the efforts of those who prepared it.

5. Soy Sauce

Pouring soy sauce directly onto rice or dunking rice into a soy sauce dish is generally avoided while eating. Instead, pour a small amount of soy sauce into a small dish for dipping.

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Japanese Chopstick Etiquette

travel to japan usa

Chopsticks hold significant cultural importance in Japan and are not merely utensils for eating but symbols of respect and tradition. Therefore, the Japanese have these specific rules regarding the use of chopsticks.

Known as "hashi no reigi" (箸の礼儀), Japanese chopstick etiquette is a set of customs and manners associated with the use of chopsticks. Observing chopstick etiquette demonstrates one's respect for the food, the host, and fellow diners. Here are some essential chopstick etiquettes to keep in mind:

1. Never Stick Chopsticks Vertically

One of the most crucial rules is to never stick chopsticks upright into a bowl of rice or any kind of food. This act resembles a funeral ritual where rice is offered to the deceased and is considered highly disrespectful.

2. Passing Food

When sharing dishes, use the broad end of your chopsticks or designated serving utensils to transfer food to someone else's plate. Avoid passing food directly from your chopsticks to another's chopsticks, as this resembles a funeral custom where bones are passed between family members' chopsticks at a cremation.

3. Resting Chopsticks

When not in use, rest your chopsticks on a chopstick rest or across the top of your bowl. Avoid placing them directly on the table, as this is considered unhygienic.

4. Separating Chopsticks

Do not separate chopsticks apart from each other by rubbing them together. This gesture implies that the chopsticks are of poor quality and can be seen as an insult to the host.

5. Never Spear Food

Avoid using chopsticks to spear or stab food, as this is reminiscent of funeral rites. Instead, use them to pick up food gently.

6. Do Not Point

Refrain from using chopsticks to point at people or objects, as this is considered impolite.

7. Sharing Food

When sharing dishes with others, avoid using the end of your chopsticks that you put in your mouth to pick up food from communal plates. Instead, turn your chopsticks around to use the clean end for serving.

8. Stirring or Playing

Avoid using chopsticks for purposes other than eating, such as stirring drinks or tapping utensils on the table, as it's considered disrespectful and disruptive.

9. Use of Hands

It's acceptable to use your hands to assist with difficult-to-handle foods or to pick up larger pieces that are challenging to grasp with chopsticks.

10. Finishing the Meal

At the end of the meal, place your chopsticks together neatly on the chopstick rest or side by side on the table, signaling that you have finished eating.

Flight to Japan

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Mastering chopstick etiquette may take some practice, but it's essential for anyone dining in Japan or enjoying Japanese cuisine elsewhere. Observing these chopstick etiquettes not only demonstrates respect for Japanese culture but also ensures a pleasant dining experience for everyone involved. Keep in mind these rules before you go to Japan to get accustomed with the beauty of Japanese table manners.

Already excited to fully experience Japanese table manners by yourself in Japan? Book your flight to Tokyo today to immerse yourself in the rich culture and exquisite cuisine of Japan. Experience firsthand the beauty of Japanese table manners and indulge in the finest culinary delights. Explore Traveloka for great deals on activities, flight , and hotel . Visit Traveloka for more information!

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China's premier hails 'new beginning' with US-allied South Korea, Japan

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How will Japan respond to new U.S. investment rules?

Tokyo has little time to make its views known before washington updates its policies.

In September 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order outlining what technology areas would be considered critical in the government's process for reviewing inbound investments that could pose a threat to national security.

In recent years, as countries increasingly focus on their economic security , much of the discussion on bolstering investment regulations has been centered on inbound investment.

In addition, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order last August to establish new outbound investment regulations under the so-called “small yard, high fence” concept. This means that strict regulatory measures will only be taken in sectors that could potentially threaten national security.

The U.S. Treasury Department is leading the formulation of these draft regulations while it seeks to generate public comments, mainly from the private sector. Against this backdrop, Japanese businesses — especially those that could be impacted by the proposed changes — need to make their voices heard before the new rules are finalized.

U.S. inbound investments

Since 1975, CFIUS — an interagency body chaired by the Treasury Secretary — has been reviewing inbound investments that could pose a threat to American security.

Between 2015 and 2016, a surge of Chinese investment in the U.S. and the growing importance of dual-use technologies led policymakers to rethink and update CFIUS regulations — in part to address the increasingly held view of China as a strategic competitor. Congress passed the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) in 2018, which was signed into law by then-President Donald Trump.

In early 2020, the Treasury Department implemented the final regulations designed to strengthen CFIUS, which put certain transactions — such as acquisitions of American companies — under tighter scrutiny in the areas of critical technologies, critical infrastructure and sensitive personal data, among others.

The Biden administration picked up where the Trump administration left off and in September 2022, the incumbent signed an executive order indicating the areas that the CFIUS review process would consider “critical." This included technologies such as microelectronics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and biomanufacturing, quantum computing and advanced clean energy.

Some members of Congress have also called on Biden to block Japan’s Nippon Steel from acquiring U.S. Steel under the updated CFIUS screening mechanism.

In view of U.S. presidential elections in November, the proposed takeover has become a campaign issue. Although both Trump and Biden have politicized it and come out against the deal, CFIUS’ decision on whether to approve the acquisition should be made consistently with the small yard, high fence concept, purely from a national security perspective. In other words, the issues of national security threats and domestic employment should be treated as distinct.

Outbound investment rules

Last August, Biden signed the aforementioned executive order on outbound investment, targeting China.

The order focuses on three critical technology areas: semiconductors and microelectronics, quantum information technologies and artificial intelligence. It requires transactions in these areas to be notified and prohibits those involving serious threats.

As a senior Biden official explained to journalists, “The thing we’re trying to prevent is not money going into China overall, because they have plenty of money. The thing they don’t have is the know-how.”

The official also signaled the government’s intention to prevent the outflow of advanced technologies not covered by conventional export controls — again, as part of the small yard, high fence approach.

A February 2023 report sheds some light on the background to these restrictions. It states that American venture capital firms, such as those owned by major American semiconductor companies, have provided various forms of support to China's AI industry, in addition to investment.

The report, “U.S. Outbound Investment into Chinese AI Companies” by Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology, provides an example of a company receiving American venture capital investment and subsequently being placed on the Department of Commerce’s list of companies banned from exporting, known as the Entity List.

The new regulations are expected to impose a comprehensive web of restrictions in these and other related cases.

Following Biden’s executive order, the Treasury Department published what is known as an "advance notice of proposed rulemaking" and requested public comments in response to 83 questions.

The department indicated that it intends to prohibit transactions involving specific technologies in the three critical areas and to subject others to notification requirements.

For example, under semiconductors and microelectronics, the Treasury Department is considering prohibiting transactions involving advanced integrated circuits and supercomputers under certain conditions. It is also contemplating a notification requirement for the “design, fabrication, and packaging of other integrated circuits” — a system that is also designed to help the U.S. government better understand the nature of investment practices and inform future policy.

In response, 61 submissions were made by industry associations and other interested parties mainly in the U.S. (none came from Japan). They provided specific comments about investments and technology and many also requested that the Treasury Department limit restrictions so that existing businesses would not be affected.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Semiconductor Industry Association, for example, stated that the scope of the regulations should be clarified and narrowed down and that international coordination is needed to ensure that the rules do not affect only American firms.

It is taking the Treasury Department some time to analyze all the comments and then draft its regulations — a reminder that formulating outbound investment controls is no simple task.

Meanwhile, the National Critical Capabilities Defense Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in May 2022. The scope of its restrictions was broader than Biden's executive order, however, the bill did not pass due to disagreements over its scope and methodology.

Therefore, the Treasury Department’s draft regulations may well influence future discussions in Congress — and in like-minded countries, including Japan.

Japanese regulations

In November 2019, Japan strengthened its inbound investment regulations by amending the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act.

The threshold for transactions requiring prior notification had previously been foreign investments of 10% or more, but the new rules lowered this to 1% or more. In addition, the notification system was expanded to include cases such as proposals for appointing directors and details of business transfers in certain sectors.

However, exemptions under specific conditions were also established, including when foreign investors are not involved in management and do not have access to undisclosed technical information.

Foreign companies are required to determine whether they meet the exemption criteria at the time of the business transaction and, if so, whether it would be sufficient to file a later report.

The government has thus significantly expanded the scope of regulations while establishing a wide range of exemption criteria. Its task now is to monitor compliance.

Japan aims to increase its balance of incoming foreign direct investment from ¥46.2 trillion, as recorded at the end of 2022, to ¥100 trillion by 2030. Therefore, it needs to ensure that enough specialist personnel are available to monitor whether foreign investors using the exemption system are indeed not involved in management or privy to private technical information.

On the other hand, unlike in the U.S., an open, public discussion about Japan's outbound investment regulations is not taking place. This is despite the Group of Seven leaders' statement on economic resilience and economic security made at last year’s summit in Hiroshima, which specifies that "appropriate measures designed to address risks from outbound investment could be important."

Outside of Japan, the European Commission adopted new initiatives in January to strengthen its economic security. Among them, the commission intends to “identify potential risks stemming from outbound investments in a narrow set of technologies.”

However, the EU executive also expressed caution, citing a lack of data to proceed with the initiative. For this reason, after a process of public consultation, the commission will recommend that member states undertake one year of monitoring and its assessment is scheduled for next fall.

Given the complexity and economic impact of outbound investment regulations, it is necessary for G7 countries to gather more data and hold further discussions.

It is also important for the Japanese government to first gain a better understanding of outbound investment flows by dialoguing with and collecting data from the private sector.

On this basis, in addition to discussing outbound investment regulations for Japan, it is also important for Japan to express its opinions on the proposed U.S. regulations soon to be released by the Treasury Department.

It goes without saying that once these rules have been decided, it will be too late for Japan to make its views known. The impact on Japanese companies, including Japanese-owned American firms, will be significant, and they need to start preparing now.

Satoshi Yamada is a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of Geoeconomics. Geoeconomic Briefing is a series featuring researchers at the IOG focused on Japan’s challenges in that field. It also provides analyses of the state of the world and trade risks, as well as technological and industrial structures.

In September 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order outlining what technology areas would be considered critical in the government's process for reviewing inbound investments that could pose a threat to national security. | Pete Marovich / The New York Times

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever. By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

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US Ambassador to Japan Visits Southern Islands at the Forefront of China Tension

The U.S. ambassador to Japan has stressed the importance of increased deterrence and his country’s commitment to its key ally as he visited two southwestern Japanese islands at the forefront of Tokyo's tension with Beijing


U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, left, and Yonaguni Mayor Kenichi Itokazu talk in front of a monument indicating Japan's westernmost point on Yonaguni Island in Okinawa prefecture, southern Japan Friday, May 17, 2024. Emanuel visited two southwestern Japanese islands at the forefront of tension with China's increasingly assertive actions in the regional waters. (Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to Japan stressed Friday the importance of increased deterrence and his country’s commitment to its key ally as he visited two southwestern Japanese islands at the forefront of Tokyo's tension with Beijing.

Rahm Emanuel visited Yonaguni, Japan’s westernmost island just east of Taiwan , a self-governed island also claimed by China. He later visited another Japanese island, Ishigaki, home to Japan Coast Guard patrol boats defending the disputed East China Sea islands and Japanese fishermen from armed Chinese coast guard ships that routinely enter Japanese waters.

Japan has been making a southwest shift of its defense posture, and is further accelerating its military buildup under a 2022 security strategy that focuses on counter-strike capability with long-range cruise missiles.

Emanuel was the first U.S. ambassador to visit Yonaguni. Escorted by Mayor Kenichi Itokazu, he looked toward Taiwan, only 110 kilometers (68 miles) away. He met with Japanese Self Defense Force servicemembers at a local base installed in 2016 and where a missile defense system is planned.

The ambassador said the main purpose of his visit was to show U.S. support for the local fishing community. He also met with a local fisherman who was among those affected by China’s increasingly assertive actions in the regional seas.

China fired five missiles into Japan’s exclusive economic zone in 2022 after the visit to Taiwan of then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Emanuel said the fisherman told him he could not sell his fish for about a week after the Chinese action.

“If they don’t have deterrence, that’s going to be worse,” Emanuel told The Associated Press from Ishigaki, the second island he visited Friday. “If you have a very robust deterrence, it ensures that there is peace, ensures that there is security, ensures economic prosperity. Without that, it’s more likely to be a green light to those that want to use economic coercion and confrontation as their only means of expression.”

Emanuel said Yonaguni fishers still catch fish for a living, supporting the local economy and helping reinforce Japanese territorial rights. “That's what a real win looks like — economic security,” he said on social platform X.

In Ishigaki, Japan's coast guard protects fishing boats in the disputed waters around the Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea that Tokyo calls Senkaku. Beijing also claims the islands and calls them Diaoyu, and its coast guard ships often face off with their Japanese counterparts.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi welcomed the ambassador’s trip to the islands, saying it was “meaningful” for the ambassador to improve his understanding of Tokyo's efforts in reinforcing its security in the southwestern region, where additional military units and missile defense systems are being deployed.

While local officials back the reinforcement of Japanese troops on the islands, local residents staged a small protest amid concerns they may be the first to be affected in a possible U.S.-China conflict.

Okinawa's Gov. Denny Tamaki supports the Japan-U.S. security alliance but has called for a reduction in the number of American troops housed on the island. About half of the 50,000 American troops in Japan are based in Okinawa.

Tamaki also criticized the use of Yonaguni’s commercial airport by a U.S. military aircraft used by the ambassador.

Copyright 2024 The  Associated Press . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  1. Information for U.S. Citizens Traveling to Japan

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    Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.

  3. Visa and Travel Information

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  4. For Travelers

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  7. Travel Alert

    CONTINUED RESTRICTIONS FOR TRAVEL TO JAPAN. Travelers arriving from the United States - including all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories - are now required to quarantine in a Japanese government-designated location for the first three or six days (depending on point of origin)of their 14-day quarantine. The areas in the United States from which travelers to Japan ...

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    If you decide to travel to Japan: Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Embassy Tokyo's American Citizen Services section on Facebook and Twitter. Review the Country Security Report for Japan.

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