Country: Japan 
Japanese Authorities

Time to read: Approximately 2 minutes

Please read our Introduction to Travel Rules chapters first.

Japanese Authorities

Bringing an Assistance Dog into Japan

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (MAFF)

Regardless of the origin of your travel, Travel Rules information for Japan can be found on the MAFF website.
Please note: Japan has a very narrow definition of an Assistance Dog.

Temporary Assistance Dog Certification

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW)

Although not part of the quarantine process with MAFF, you are now required to also obtain a Temporary Assistance Dog Certification through MHLW for travel to Japan.

Tips for completing the Temporary Assistance Dog Certification

  • You do not obtain Certification directly from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. You must go through your local training school and complete it before going to Japan
  • For guide dog users - direct your local guide dog school to the Japan Guide Dog Association if your local school does not have a Japanese affiliation
  • Expect the application process to take weeks
  • When applying - you need to send your (country of origin) Import Permit, Japanese Approval of Import Inspection of Animals, a separate photo of you and your dog, and your local Assistance Dog ID
  • Designated Juridical Persons means the name of your affiliated Assistance Dog School in Japan or the organisation in Japan that is applying for the Certification on your behalf
  • Write year/month/day NOT day/month/year OR month/day/year
  • Your signature needs to be witnessed and dated (even though the form doesn't stipulate this)
  • Your training school at home must sign the bottom and include the role of the staff member and full name of their organisation even though this is repeated in the address section
  • Don't forget to have your Temporary Certification stamped when you go through quarantine at airport arrivals in Japan
  • You must elaborate in a separate Word document why you need an Assistance Dog in Japan e.g.:“Mainly visiting friends in Tokyo; sightseeing around Tokyo and possibly other parts of Japan. To allow me to enjoy my activities in Japan to their fullest, I require the presence of my primary mobility aid, Guide Dog Nixon, to support me in maintaining my independence, which is so very important to me, and reduce my reliance on others. Nixon will allow me the opportunity to enjoy accessing my holiday destinations with confidence and enjoyment.”

Japanese Veterinarian

  • You will need to get in touch with a Japanese veterinarian authorised to do quarantine health checks before you travel
  • In case of an emergency, we recommend where possible to use the same veterinarian as the one doing your scheduled quarantine health checks, because you must report all veterinarian visits to them.
  • I have used Daktari Animal Hospital authorised to do quarantine health checks which is central in Tokyo and the staff speak English. The contact details are below:Tokyo Medical Center: 2F., 5-14-1,
    Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Phone +813-5420-0012