Question: Can I enter Japan?

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Currently, all foreign nationals who wish to newly enter Japan need to apply for a visa except for those with re-entry permit. Please note that due to the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the visa approval procedure may take longer than usual.

Japan has perhaps the strictest conviction-related bars to entry of any country, extending broadly to many felonies and even some misdemeanors and without regard to length of stay or purpose. Even when entry to other countries has been grante d with an administrative waiver, as to Canada, U. Protests to the Japanese Consulate in the United States have been unsuccessful. It is hard to argue with the plain Can I enter Japan?

Can I enter Japan?

of the law. The Japanese Ministry of Justice, on the Immigration Control and Refugee-Recognition Act, explains at p.

Can I enter Japan?

As part of the legal controls on the use of drugs, this item prohibits the landing of any alien who has been sentenced in violation of the laws and regulations relating to the control over narcotics and the like of the country of Japan as well as of foreign countries, with a view to preventing aliens spreading the use of drugs such as narcotics in the society of Japan.

Landing permission will be granted only if all the conditions stipulated in the Immigration Control Act, including those being checked by the immigration control officer are met. It appears that even ordinary vacation or relocation travel is barred by the Act and enforced by immigration officials. The Rolling Stones were allowed to enter Japan despite their well-documented drug issues.

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More recently, Paris Hilton was given special permission to enter the country despite her multiple convictions for drugs and other crimes.

Unfortunately the Japanese immigration lawyers I have consulted with have told me that gaining special permission to enter Japan — even for a weeklong vacation — will be next to impossible. Apparently I am not rich nor famous enough to qualify for an exception to the law. A former leader of the firm's Government Regulatory Actions Group, he has represented clients and companies across the globe in complex civil litigation.

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