Leaving Japan with an Animal

Find out about the restrictions that may apply when travelling with pets or when leaving Japan with an animal...

Depending on the destination, some animals may require a period of quarantine. They will almost certainly require documentation, and possibly additional vaccinations or similar medical treatment. Be aware that sudden outbreaks of diseases (such as avian flu) can affect pet travel. As a general rule, animals have to travel in approved containers and by approved routes.

Animals must be inspected at an Animal Quarantine Station before they can leave Japan. Dogs and cats are inspected for rabies, and dogs are also inspected for leptospirosis.

The animal's owner should contact the AQS at least seven days before leaving Japan. An export application form must be filled in.

  • To download the export application form for dogs: Click here
  • To download the export application form for cats: Click here

The animal has to stay in export quarantine for up to 12 hours before it can travel. After this, an Export Quarantine Certificate in English is issued.

Travelling with Pets

Dogs and cats may only enter Japan at designated seaports and airports.

Specialists in pet travel

There are many Pet Travel Agents available throughout the world that can provide complete export/import services for pets.

For information about potential service providers:

  • Check commercial airline requirements
  • Refer to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 93 percent of scheduled international air traffic and provides standards for the transportation of live animals.
    • For detailed information from the IATA on shipping cats and dogs: Click here

Pet carriers

A carrier for an animal has to comply with International Air Transportation Association (IATA) guidelines. There must be:

  • Sufficient air circulation
  • Enough space for the animal to stand, sit and lie down, and turn freely inside the carrier
  • No holes big enough for an animal's muzzle or paws to protrude
  • No means for the animal to escape