How to visit Japan from South Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020)
The novel Coronavirus has had a huge impact on all frequent travellers, who used to visit Japan quite often. At this time it’s virtually impossible to acquire any other type of short-term visa, that includes the nationals of countries from the so-called visa-exempt list.
As of November 2020, if you do not have a valid reason to visit Japan it won’t be possible to come to the country for sightseeing.
But let us assume, that you are living in South Korea and plan to come to Japan for business reasons.
Currently, the country of South Korea is designated as “Travel Warning Infectious Diseases Level 2”, however both government have signed a special agreement that would allow business people wishing to visit Japan to use the so-called “Business Track”.
Apart from South Korean, the same rules are also applicable to people residing in Singapore or Vietnam.
In this case, the mandatory 14-day quarantine period is not necessary and you can move around freely while in Japan. However, it is recommended that you avoid crowds if possible.
As per the instructions from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a special declaration paper should be filled in and submitted. The Japanese authorities use the term ’written pledge’. A Japanese resident (regardless of whether it’s a registered business or a person) confirms, that it will observe you and your movements in Japan and shall manage your stay in the country.
More information about the document can be found directly at the MOFA’s official website.
Before departing South Korea
Should you decided to use the Business Track, while you are still in South Korea, you will have to monitor and record your health-related information for a period of 14 days. That includes your body temperature, so please do pay attention to that.
Other documents you must submit include: a ’written pledge’ (personal statement wherein you confirm that the information provided is correct and that you will take all precautions necessary while in Japan), as well as your schedule in Japan.
The short-term business visa can be obtained at the local Japanese embassy in South Korea.
Furthermore, you have to take a PCR test and provide a document, confirming your test results (with negative results obviously). Make sure that the PCR test is taken within 72h prior to your departure, otherwise, it won’t be valid.
Once in Japan, you will have to take insurance that may cover potential medical expenses in Japan.
At the airport in Japan
Once you have arrived at a Japanese airport, you will have to submit a paper that clarifies your health condition (questionnaire), the said declaration, your schedule in Japan, a PCR certificate, and to install an app on your smartphone that will trace your movement in Japan.
While in Japan
When trying to get to your hotel from the airport, remember that you may not use public transportation for 14 days. You may only move between your hotel and your business designation as specified in your schedule.
You may not use this time for sightseeing.
It should be noted that it’s actually one of the merits of using the ’Business Track’ rather than the so-called ’Resident Track’, that you can actually leave your hotel within the 14-day period.
- You need to monitor your health condition for 14 days after your arrival;
- You need to keep a record of your movements in Japan.
Before departing Japan
Once you have completed your visit and wish to return to South Korea, please remember that once again you need to take a PCR test within 72h prior to the schedule departure from Japan. Otherwise, there’s a possibility that you can bring the virus from Japan to Korea.
You will also need to visit the South Korean embassy in Japan and receive a quarantine exemption certificate.
Upon arrival in South Korea
You will have to take another PCR test, at the airport in South Korea.
The South Korean authorities will ask you to provide a Health condition report form, travel record declaration paper, quarantine exemption certificate, PCR Certificate (the one you conducted in Japan).
- need to monitor your health condition during the Quarantine Exemption Period.
- may not use public transportation during the same period.
This process is furthermore applicable to any person, who has a valid residence status in Japan.
If you need any help arranging this type of visa or any other visa-related problem, please do contact us.
Here at Tomohiko Akiyama Legal Services, we are ready to solve your problems.
We are always eager to help our clients.