Entry and Exit
Given ongoing developments in the COVID-19 situation, Singaporeans intending to travel to Japan should check these websites for further details and the latest information on travel restrictions, advisories and other measures imposed by the Japanese government:
Reciprocal Green Lane/Business Track for Essential Travel Between Singapore and Japan
The Reciprocal Green Lane for essential business and official travel between Singapore and Japan, launched on 18 September 2020, has been suspended since 14 January 2021 until further notice.
Residence Track Between Singapore and Japan
The Residence Track between Singapore and Japan, launched on 30 September 2020, has been suspended since 14 January 2021 until further notice. For entry requirements into Singapore, please refer to the SafeTravel website at https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/.
Safety and Security
While the crime rate for petty crimes in Japan is generally low, travellers should remain vigilant and ensure that valuables such as passports and cash are not left unattended. There have been occasional reports of foreigners being targeted for credit card fraud and extortion in Tokyo’s entertainment and nightlife districts. Travellers are advised to avoid touts. Travellers should note that the Japan Police may not provide a copy of the police report of the incident. Instead, a report number (with no content) will be issued to acknowledge that a report has been lodged at the police station. Hence, it may be useful to take note of the Police Station where the report is filed.
The legal age for consuming and purchasing alcohol and tobacco in Japan is 20 years old.
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is required for Singaporeans to drive in Japan. As it is illegal to drive without the original IDP, car rental companies will not be able to rent cars to foreigners who are unable to produce the original IDP. For application procedures, please refer to the website of the Automobile Association of Singapore (https://www.aas.com.sg/our-services/international-driving-permit-idp.html).
Possession of prohibited drugs is a crime and can lead to heavy penalties, including imprisonment and fines. Travellers should note that prohibited drugs can include prescribed drugs for personal consumption. Travellers importing prescribed drugs should check with the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/topics/import/index.html) or the Japanese Embassy on the application for an import certificate, before bringing the drugs into Japan.
The Japan National Tourism Organisation (www.jnto.go.jp/safety-tips/eng) provides safety tips and useful emergency information for travellers to Japan.
The NHK World (mobile) app provides push notifications on disaster and emergency information in English. This includes alerts on earthquake, tsunami, volcano warnings issued by JMA, as well as information from J-Alert. The NHK World app is available for free on Google Play and App Store.
General Travel Advice
Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [Updated on 14 October 2021]
Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws, customs, and COVID-19 restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.
Demonstrations do occur in major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities.
When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.
For those planning to travel, here are some tips:
- Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
- Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.
- eRegister with us on our website (www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.
- Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.
- Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
- Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.
- Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.
- In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.
Advisory: Email Scams
There have been reports of individuals receiving scam emails/messages purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas. These emails/messages typically originate from an email address/social media known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance. The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.
MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously. Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance. If you receive such emails/messages from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails/messages before responding to their request. It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc. Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails. Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately. Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.