Travelling to Japan with pets

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Updated 2020-04-10 07:50

So that's it, you're going to Japan! Naturally, your pet will go with you on this new adventure, but what steps do you need to follow to make your trip go smoothly? The MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) and the IATA (International Air Transport Association) both provide valuable information on how to proceed.

How to import your pet into Japan

The MAFF offers information on "importing" pets into Japan. Be warned though; the procedure is lengthy. It’s best to start the process at least 8 months before you leave for Japan.

Your To-Do List:

  • Obtain a passport for your pet in your home country
  • Have your pet microchipped. You must also keep the certificate issued after the microchipping, as required by Japanese law
  • Immunise your pet: rabies vaccinations, in particular, are mandatory and must be done twice

Your pet must also pass a blood antibody test, which should be performed during the active period of the anti-rabies vaccination. Be sure to respect these dates: the results will be checked when you arrive in Japan. You will also have to wait 180 days after the blood test before arriving in Japan, before the expiration date of the vaccines and the test.

You will have to send a form of prior notification: a form sent by mail, fax or email, at the latest 40 days before your arrival in Japan. (The forms are available on the MAFF website.)

Your pet will need to be examined by a vet in your country of origin. You will also need to provide a medical certificate for your pet, attesting to its good health.

Japanese import inspection

Once in Japan, your animal will be inspected by Animal Quarantine Services. The costs of this inspection are paid by you. Once all the formalities have been completed, you will need to register your pet with your local municipality in Japan.

 Good to know:

Make sure your building/place of residence allows you to have a pet. There are still many buildings where pets are forbidden.

 Useful link:

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.