Japan set to lift visa requirements and daily arrival cap from October

Japan is expected to lift its visa requirements for tourists and remove the daily arrival cap from October, as it prepares for year-end visitors.

Earlier this week came news that Japan could lift its remaining restrictions on tourism, with a potential implementation date from October 2022. This would involve removing the daily arrival cap, scrapping mandatory tourist visas, and allowing independent travel to resume. 

It looks like things are shaping up nicely indeed, with media reports that the daily arrival cap and visa requirement will soon be gone. 

Japan to scrap daily arrival cap and visa requirement

Coming your way October 2022?

As per a report in Nikkei (paywalled, you can also read it on Straits Times), Japan is expected to scrap its daily arrival cap and restore its visa waiver programme imminently. 

For context, Japan currently enforces a daily entry cap of 50,000 people, which was recently increased from 20,000. This isn’t a dedicated cap for tourists; it includes all types of travellers, even Japanese nationals. In any case, it’s safe to say that tourists aren’t putting much pressure on this cap, given the onerous requirements imposed on their visits. 

Another major barrier to travel is the mandatory visa requirement for tourists. Before the arrangement was suspended due to COVID-19, Japan allowed nationals from the following 68 countries and regions to visit for up to 90 days without the need for a visa. 

🇯🇵 Visa-Free Entry to Japan
Region Countries
  • Brunei (14 days)
  • Indonesia 
  • Malaysia
  • Republic of Korea
  • Singapore
  • Thailand (15 days)
  • Hong Kong
  • Macao
  • Taiwan
  • Lesotho
  • Mauritius
  • Tunisia
  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • North Macedonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
Latin American & Caribbean
  • Argentina
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Surinam
  • Uruguay
Middle East
  • Israel
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
North America
  • Canada
  • United States
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to announce the removal of the arrival cap and restoration of visa-free travel in the coming days.

What’s not been explicitly stated is whether independent travel will be permitted, but the smart money points to yes. After all, the whole purpose of requiring a visa was so that travellers’ profiles and itineraries could be vetted. This task was outsourced to an approved tour agency, who would issue the ERFS required for a visa application. 

But if visas are no longer necessary, it seems that it would be a lot harder logistically to enforce the tour package rule. Stranger things have happened, I suppose, but I’d be very surprised if independent travel did not resume at the same time as the lifting of visa requirements. 

What are travel requirements expected to look like?

Travellers from Singapore do not require on-arrival testing or quarantine

Japan has scrapped the requirement for a pre-departure COVID-19 test for all vaccinated travellers. As a reminder, Japan defines “fully vaccinated” as individuals who have received at least three jabs of the following vaccines:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Bharat Biotech
  • Janssen
  • Moderna
  • Novavax
  • Pfizer-BioNTech

Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccinations are not recognised. Travellers who have received such vaccinations are still required to produce a negative pre-departure PCR test result, taken within 72 hours of travel.

On-arrival measures depend on an individual’s travel history. Singapore is currently classified as a Blue List country, which does not require on-arrival testing or quarantine, regardless of vaccination status.

Visitors from Yellow or Red List countries may be required to take on-arrival tests or quarantine, depending on their vaccination status.

Blue List

🔵 Entry Measures for Blue List
Vaccinated On-Arrival Test Quarantine & Post Arrival Test
No N/A N/A
Yes N/A N/A

Yellow List

🟡 Entry Measures for Yellow List
Vaccinated On-Arrival Test Quarantine & Post Arrival Test
No PCR 3-day home quarantine + PCR or 5-day home quarantine with no test
Yes N/A N/A

Red List

🔴 Entry Measures for Red List
Vaccinated On-Arrival Test Quarantine & Exit Test
No PCR 3-day hotel quarantine + PCR
Yes PCR 3-day home quarantine + PCR or 5-day home quarantine with no test

If your 14-day travel history cuts across various categories, the restrictions of the strictest one will apply. You can view the categorisation of countries here.


Japan looks set to scrap its daily arrival cap and visa requirement in the next few days, which would almost certainly mean that year-end travel is back on the cards. 

The airlines have been expecting this for a while now; Scoot plans to resume daily services to Sapporo from November, and Singapore Airlines is currently due to increase Haneda flights to 2x daily from November as well.

Fingers crossed!

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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James Quek

Checking of vaccination status by the airport airline staff again?


Who else?

Jaqueline R Ono

How about Philippines ? why other Asian Countries are Visa Free! why not Philippines too? how about individual travellers that dont need package tour and guide,because we live in Japan before as a resident and have a place to stay and family friends to visit especially in Tokyo that i always do visit almost 3x a year and do 90 days stay,,


Pre-covid, PH were not visa exempted. I doubt that will change


What about children who are not vaccinated?

C sam

Just need to do PCR if kids are not fully vaxxed.


Crossing fingers that they also lift the suspension of all short stay visas issued before 2020… I still have one year left on my multiple entry visa (two years eaten by pandemic ban)




what if booster shots are pfizer and moderna but first two shots are sinovac, is pre departure test still required?

Can you read

Can you read? 3 shots of those vaccines. You’ve had 2. What do you think?