Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in Japan
Home Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which documents does a Belgian national need to travel to Japan?
  2. How can I receive a visa for Japan?
  3. Which means of payment can I use in Japan?
  4. How can I withdraw money from ATMs in Japan?
  5. Can I drive in Japan with an international driver's license issued in Belgium?
  6. What should I do if I want to travel to Belgium/Japan with my pet?
  7. Which medications am I allowed to bring to Japan?
  8. Which procedures should I follow when moving out from Japan? 

1. Which documents does a Belgian national need to travel to Japan?

A valid Belgian passport is sufficient. However, if you have scheduled a transit through another country in Asia, please take into account that most other Asian countries require that your passport be valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival.

Travel restrictions are currently in force for travelers from Belgium. For more information, go to our Covid-19 pages →  3. Restrictions pour les voyages vers le Japon or 3. Reisbeperkingen naar Japan 

2. How can I receive a visa for Japan?

Unfortunately, the Embassy of Belgium can only answer questions relating to visas for Belgium and is therefore not competent to give advice or information regarding the application of laws and rules of immigration from another country.

We strongly recommend that you consult the responsible authorities about Japanese visa policy, i.e. the local immigration office or the Japanese Embassy where you live.

For more information:

3. Which means of payment can I use in Japan?

  • When travelling in Japan, don't always count on your credit card, but also carry a sufficient amount of ready cash (yens).
  • You can pay with the most common credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Diners Club en American Express) in big hotels and shops, but not everywhere.
  • Changing money is also possible.

For useful addresses, please check the website of the JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization): Currency

4. How can I withdraw money from ATMs in Japan?

Before your departure, verify with your bank if your (Belgian) debit card can be used outside Europe.

In some cases, you will have to ask your bank to authorize the use of your debit card in Japan. As for Japan, you need to ask your bank for temporary activation of the Maestro function on your debit card for use outside Europe before your departure.

Japan Post ATMs: The following cards can basically be used, during opening hours, in practically all Japanese post offices: Visa, Visa Electron, Plus, MasterCard, Cirrus, American Express, Diners Club International, JCB.

Convenience stores: you can withdraw money from Seven Bank ATMs (which you can find in Seven-Eleven convenience stores and in Itoyokado supermarkets) or Aeon Bank ATMs (which you can find in Ministop convenience stores and Aeon supermarkets) with most types of foreign credit cards and Maestro/Cirrus cards. 

For more information, please see the following websites:

5. Can I drive in Japan with an international driver's license issued in Belgium?

No. Japan does not recognize international driver's licenses issued on the basis of the Convention of Vienna on Road Traffic of 8 November 1968.

However, holders of a Belgian national driving license, planning to stay in Japan for a period of less than one year, are allowed to drive in Japan with their Belgian license, provided that a Japanese translation is attached to it. A translation can be obtained at the Japan Automobile Federation.

Please note that the embassy does not intervene in this procedure.

See also: Driver's license

6. What should I do if I want to travel to Belgium/Japan with my pet?

To Japan

Dogs and cats imported into Japan must undergo import quarantine inspection. If dogs and cats meet import requirements upon arrival in Japan, the quarantine period will be within 12 hours. On the other hand, dogs and cats that do not meet the requirements will be subject to quarantine at a detention facility of the Animal Quarantine Service for the necessary period (up to 180 days).

Depending on the results of the inspection, the dog or cat cannot be allowed to enter Japan.

You should notify the Japanese Animal Quarantine Service with jurisdiction over the intended air(sea)port of arrival at least 40 days prior to the arrival of your pet in Japan. You can consult the updated regulations on the website of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Don’t forget to contact the Animal Quarantine Service of your airport or seaport of departure before leaving.

To Belgium

The rules applying to pets entering European countries from third countries are harmonized within the European Union: EU rules on travelling with pets

You will find more information on the website of the relevant animal health authorities in Belgium: Travelling from third countries to Belgium

7. Which medications am I allowed to bring to Japan?

Many common medications that are allowed in Belgium might be prohibited to take into Japan, even if you have a prescription from your doctor. To avoid the risk of arrest or detention by the Japanese authorities, we advise you to carefully read and to strictly follow the instructions of the Japanese authorities before entering Japan: Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW) including the FAQs

For more information, send an e-mail to yakkan@mhlw.go.jp (in English or in Japanese), including

  • the name of the medicine,
  • drug’s ingredients,
  • dosage & quantity and
  • your e-mail address
  • other relevant information 

8. Which procedures should I follow when moving out from Japan definitively? 

The Embassy does not have a list of pre-departure measures, but if you definitively leave Japan to move to Belgium or another country, you must notify us in writing mentioning the day of departure (see "Cancelation of you registration" on the Registration page).  Your data will be automatically deleted from our database after your new registration in the population registers of a municipality in Belgium or in the consular registers of another Embassy/Consulate of Belgium has been completed.

In Japan, it is necessary to report your departure to the local tax office (if the employer has not already done so), as well as to the social security/pension service. Also, inform the municipality of your current domicile, and ask what other steps you should take.

ATTENTION: If you contribute for your pension in Japan (compulsory and included in the payment of social security), you must receive a “Pension Handbook” (your basic Pension Number) either from your employer (if deducted from your salary) or from the municipal office in case of direct payment. More information about a possible repayment of your pension contribution in Japan: Japan Pension Service - Lump Sum Withdrawal Payments