Pet Import Regulations in Japan



Expatriates are welcome to bring domestic animals to Japan as long as they provide the relevant documents and follow the country’s import procedures. Here are some useful tips that’ll guide every owner on how to relocate their pets to the Land of the Rising Sun. 

All pets entering the Japanese territory must bear the ISO 11784/11785 microchip which shows a 15 digit, non-encrypted code that is unique to the country. After that, the owner must inform the Animal Quarantine Service (AQS) at least 40 days before import to get an Approval of Notification that will serve as a signal that he/she is allowed to bring the pet to Japan. 

Relocating Pets

Foreign assignees who wish to import a dog or cat must have the animal vaccinated against rabies for no more than 12 months before its arrival in Japan. The pet should also undergo an FAVN or Fluorescent Antibody Viral Neutralization test which will confirm that they are free from rabies. Other documents that must be prepared are the original copies of rabies and health certificates along with the Japan Veterinary Certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian from the owner’s home country two days before the pet’s import. 

Upon arrival, the pets should not show any visible wounds and must be free from external parasites such as ticks, nematodes, tapeworms and cestodes. Pets bound to Japan are only allowed to enter in any of these airports: 

  • New Chitose Airport
  • Tokyo International Airport
  • Kansai International Airport
  • Kitakyushu Airport
  • Fukuoka Airport
  • Kagoshima Airport
  • Naha Airport 

Japan also implements a strict quarantine period for all animals entering its territory. For owners who will be able to meet all the import requirements, the quarantine can be minimised to 12 hours but depending on the situation; the pet can be held in custody by the Animal Quarantine Services for a maximum of 180 days. Also, keep in mind that pets that are under three months and are unvaccinated are not allowed to enter Japan.