If you are traveling from Hawaii or Guam to Japan, visit Japan’s Animal Quarantine Service Website for more information.
Pets (dogs and cats) may be imported into Japan with a quarantine of less than 12 hours if the following conditions are met:
The importer must provide advance notification of the animal to be imported to the Animal Quarantine Service (AQS) with jurisdiction over the intended air or seaport of arrival at least 40 days prior to arrival in Japan by fax or mail.
Dogs and cats must be individually identified by an ISO compliant microchip. If the animal is not fitted with an ISO compliant (11784 and 11785) microchip, the importer must bring a microchip reader with the pet.
The pet must be microchipped on the day of or before the 1st vaccination.
Exception: Microchip implantation can occur on the day of or before the 2nd vaccination when the export health certificate, endorsed by APHIS, shows that:
Dogs and cats 91 days of age and older must be vaccinated at least twice with an approved rabies vaccine.
Dogs and cats must be evaluated for serum rabies antibody level. The animal must have been vaccinated for rabies in accordance with section 3 above.
Animals microchipped before or on the day of the 1st vaccination, the serum sample may be collected on the date of 2nd vaccination or any day until the end of the effective period of the 2nd vaccination.
The rabies titer test must be carried out at a laboratory approved by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. The results of the rabies titer test must be greater than or equal to 0.5 IU/ml. The result of rabies titer test is valid for two years from the date of sampling. The laboratory results must be originals (no USDA endorsement needed) or copies with USDA endorsement. No report is needed if the animal is a returning pet that has a valid “Export Quarantine Certificate” with lab results listed within the last two years.
Dogs and cats are required to undergo a wait of at least 180 days between the date the sample is collected for the rabies titer test and the date the animal arrives in Japan. If 180 days have not passed before the animal’s arrival in Japan, the animal will be quarantined in an AQS facility to make up the number of days remaining in the 180-day wait period. Antibody levels are measured in order to confirm whether or not the animal has developed immunity to rabies. The reason for the wait is to make sure that the animal has not contracted rabies prior to developing immunity to it as a result of immunization, 180 days corresponds to the incubation period for the disease.
Dogs and cats must be inspected by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian and confirmed free of clinical signs of infectious disease including rabies and leptospirosis (for dogs) prior to departure. The traveler needs an Exporter’s Declaration and an Export Health Certificate.
Health Certificate Options:
Military Personnel Options:
Japan recommends the following measures for bringing pets into Japan.
Immunization: Japan recommends that the following immunizations be given to dogs and cats that are 91 days old or older 30 days prior to their arrival in Japan (within the vaccine immunization effectiveness period).
Parasite treatment: Japan recommends the following parasite treatments before departure (no more than 4 days before boarding):
Visit Japan’s AQS Website for more information on taking your dog or cat to Japan
Pet birds must be quarantined (isolated) in a facility that prevents free-entry of mosquitoes for at least 21 days before travel. Examples of acceptable facilities include:
The requirements for traveling with your pet are described in the below health certificate. APHIS endorsement of the health certificate is required after it has been issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian.
Please visit the Japan AQS website for additional requirements and more information on taking birds to Japan.
For more information regarding commercial/resale pet birds, please click here.
A Health Certificate is required to take ferrets to Japan.
Please visit the Japan AQS website for additional requirements and more information on taking ferrets to Japan.
Airlines may have separate and additional requirements. Check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have, if any.
Additional information about APHIS’ role in international health certificate endorsement.