As of July 2017, Japan has implemented visa exemption measures for 68 countries and regions. If people from these countries or regions visit Japan for business or sightseeing, there is no need to obtain a visa. When planning a trip to Japan, please first check if your country is eligible for visa exemption. In the list below, the duration of stay for countries and regions without parentheses is up to 90 days. The duration of stay for countries indicated by (*) is up to 6 months, but if the stay exceeds 90 days, the procedure for Extension of Status of Residence is necessary.
Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand (up to 15 days), Malaysia, Brunei (up to 15 days), Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao
Argentina, Uruguay, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Suriname, Chile, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Barbados, Honduras, Mexico (*)
Australia, New Zealand
United Arab Emirates (30 days), Israel, Turkey
Tunisia, Mauritius, Lesotho
Iceland, Ireland (*), Andorra, Italy, Estonia, Austria (*), Netherlands, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, San Marino, Switzerland (*), Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Czechia, Denmark, Germany (*), Norway, Hungary, Finland, France, Bulgaria, Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein (*), Romania, Luxembourg, UK (*).
However, even in the target country / region of the visa exemption measure, there are conditions such as "Holding ePassport in compliance with ICO standard” (Thailand, Malaysia, etc.) "Holding ePassport in compliance with ICAO standard pre-registered at the Embassy / Japanese Consulate General near your residence before departure” (Indonesia, United Arab Emirates etc.). Please confirm firmly beforehand whether you fall into the category or not. For example, for Taiwan, "Holders of Taiwan passport with personal identification number," "Holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passport or British National Overseas (BNO) Passport (who have the right of residence in Hong Kong)" for Hong Kong and "Holders of Macao Special Administrative Region passport issued by Macao" are subject to visa exemption. In some countries, visa acquisition recommendation measures are taken, and if you enter the country without a visa, depending on the type of passport, etc., strict immigration control may be conducted, and there is a possibility that you may not be able to enter the country as a result.
Meanwhile, in recent years conditions have been relaxed for countries and regions that require visas, such as the introduction of Multiple Entry Visa that allow you to enter and leave multiple times with one visa acquisition and the simplification of visa acquisition procedures.
Three types of visas that the general person can obtain are "short-term stay," "Visa for employment / long-stay," and "Visa for medical stay." In the case of visiting Japan for sightseeing, commercial activities, visiting acquaintance/relatives, etc., you will acquire "Visa for short-term stay" in which you do not take action to earn compensation and stay up to 90 days.
The general method of obtaining a short-term stay visa and the process flow to enter the country are as follows.
1. Prepare the necessary documents. (Passport, visa application forms, photographs, and other documents depending on your country)
2. Apply at Japanese Embassy / Japanese Consulate General nearest your place of residence.
3. Examination by Japanese Embassy / Consulate General, etc.
4. After the examination, receive a passport
5. Visa issuance
6. Entry within 3 months of expiration date
In some cases, in process 2, it is necessary to submit a Letter of Reason for Invitation, the schedule of stay, personal reference guarantee, and other necessary documents prepared by inviting person in Japan. Since the handling differs according to the country / region, please check the website of the Japanese diplomatic mission.