Japan Drops Pre-Departure PCR-RT Test Requirement September 7, 2022


Japan’s Prime Minister announced today that incoming passengers who have been triple vaccinated would no longer need to provide negative PCR-RT test results from September 7, 2022.

The government intends to raise the daily arrivals cap of 20,000 passengers, including Japanese returning home, soon, but there was no definite date when this would occur.

There was also the question of whether the Prime Minister would announce that tourists would be allowed to enter on non-guided tours, but there was no mention of this, although it appears to be something on the making per NHK:

The Japanese government has decided to allow tourists to enter the country without joining a guided tour, if their visit has been arranged through a travel agency. The agencies that arrange tours are expected to manage their clients’ schedules. Tourists will also be asked to follow guidelines if cases of infection are confirmed.

Removing the PCR-RT test requirement within 72 hours of traveling to Japan mainly helps Japanese nationals traveling overseas. This is because they no longer need to provide negative test results if they have been vaccinated and boosted (they use the wording triple vaccinated).

Some Japanese tourists have also found it difficult to return when infected with Covid-19, which may result in positive PCR-RT results for weeks or even months.

Recent Japan Travel Articles:


Japan is taking baby steps that mainly help their nationals return home.

It seems highly likely that the daily arrivals cap will be significantly raised next month (50,000 arrivals), which is still roughly half the number of daily incoming arrivals in 2019.

The number of incoming tourists Japan has attracted on the currently organized tours is minimal (7,900 in July). I doubt that many would be interested in tour packages, even if non-guided.

I don’t quite understand Japan’s fixation with travel agencies and the likely requirement to book a tour, even when non-guided, through them to get a visa. Are people in power so handicapped in travel that they believe this is how the travel industry works nowadays?

It might be time for Western nations to remove visa-free travel from Japan. These are always based on reciprocity between developed countries.

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