Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced July 29th that it will allow foreigners who have statuses of residence and proof of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 to re-enter Japan starting on August 5th, 2020. Another requirement for re-entry is that you have to have left Japan with a re-entry permit before the day when the country or region where you’re currently staying was designated as an area subject to denial of permission to enter Japan.
For example, if you currently hold residency status in Japan (including being a Permanent Resident (PR), spouse or child of a PR, Long-Term Resident or have a working, investor, or student visa) and you left Japan for the United States before April 3rd, when the U.S. (along with 72 other countries) was added to the entry ban list AND you can present all necessary paperwork (including a negative PCR test), you can re-enter Japan starting on August 5th.
The announcement states that:
“On 22nd July 2020, the Government of Japan announced to incrementally permit the re-entry/entry into Japan by foreign nationals who possess the status of residence and others. (Note).With a view to containing spread of infections, some new procedures will also be introduced to the foreign nationals with four categories of the status of residence, namely “Permanent Resident”，”Spouse or Child of Japanese National”, “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident” and “Long Term Resident” (including the spouse of a Japanese national or Japanese child who does not have these statuses of residence; the same applies hereinafter) who previously could re-enter into Japan as being deemed to have special exceptional circumstances without any extra requirement.
(Note) The relaxation is only applied to those who have left Japan with re-entry permit before the day when country/region where such foreign nationals are currently staying was designated as an area subject to denial of permission to entry into Japan.
Currently, for the purpose of strengthening border control, foreign nationals who stayed in countries/regions within 14 days before applying for entry into Japan come under denial of permission to entry into Japan unless there are special exceptional circumstances. Under the new decision, the holders of the status of residence who left Japan before the day when country/region where such foreign nationals are currently staying was designated as an area subject to denial of permission to entry into Japan, are allowed to re-enter Japan from 5th August 2020.
Upon the re-entry, these foreigners are requested to present the Letter of Confirmation of Submitting Required Documentation for Re-entry into Japan (hereafter referred to as “Re-entry Confirmation Letter”) obtained from the Japanese overseas establishment at the country/region where applicants reside. Presentation of a certificate of pre-entry PCR testing result conducted within 72 hours of the departure time of the flight will also be required. Regarding the process and required documents for re-entry, please see here.
Please be warned that “the Re-entry Confirmation Letter” as well as a certificate of pre-entry PCR testing result conducted within 72 hours of the departure time of the flight will also be required for Foreign nationals who possess the status of “Permanent Resident”，”Spouse or Child of Japanese National”,” Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident”, “Long Term Resident” to re-enter into Japan on or after 1st September 2020.
From a view point from prevention of epidemics, the above mentioned measure will be applicable to some countries/regions prior to 1st September 2020. Please check the renewal of this page.”
For a list of banned countries and when they were added to the entry ban list, please see this article: Japan Entry Ban List of Countries
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announcement is here.