• Directory of Taiwan

Taiwan's exclusion from Japan’s list of 106 restriction-exempt countries explained

Taiwan was previously removed from list of countries denied access to Japan in 2020

Japan Airlines plane on the runway at Songshan Airport. 

Japan Airlines plane on the runway at Songshan Airport.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan’s government announced on Wednesday (April 6) that it would remove existing travel restrictions for visitors from 106 countries.

The list includes the U.S., the U.K., France, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. Taiwan, however, is not among them.

The reason, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is that this new list only includes those countries that were previously denied entry to Japan. Taiwan was removed from the list of countries denied access to Japan on Nov. 1, 2020, per MOFA.

This latest news, though, does not mean tourists from these countries can now enter Japan.

“In reality, there will be no change to who can enter Japan,” said an official of the Japanese Justice Ministry when asked to clarify the statement. “There won’t be anyone new who will be able to enter Japan as a result of this change.”

Although foreign students, researchers, and business travelers have been granted access to the country since the start of March, tourists are still not allowed to enter. Since Japan's Foreign Ministry still has limits on the total number of visas issued at embassies around the world, there is still a hard cap on how many people can enter the country.

This development is another example of how the often conflicting wording of bureaucracies has made decoding Japan’s entry restrictions difficult, according to the Japan Times.