DESTINATIONS customs-and-duties-3


Customs and Duties

Japan has strict regulations about bringing firearms, pornography, and narcotics into the country. Anyone caught with drugs is liable to be detained, refused reentry into Japan, and deported. Certain fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, and animals are also illegal. Nonresidents are allowed to bring in duty-free: (1) 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500 grams of tobacco; (2) three 760-milliliter bottles of alcohol; (3) 2 ounces of perfume; (4) other goods up to ¥200,000 value.

Getting through customs at a Japanese airport goes more smoothly if you are well dressed, clean-shaven, and as conventional-looking as possible. Visitors arriving off flights from other Asian countries are particularly scrutinized for narcotics. Note that visitors must have a written prescription for any prescription medicine brought into Japan and that some over-the-counter medicines from the United States are not legal in Japan.


Ministry of Finance, Customs and Tariff Bureau. 03/3581–4111;

U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


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