Visiting Japan:Japan Guide Dog Association

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Visiting Japan

Planning to visit Japan with your guide dog?

If you are planning to visit Japan with your guide dog, and if you are a graduate of a member organization of the International Guide Dog Federation, Japan Guide Dog Association is ready to provide you on your entry into Japan with a Temporary Certificate of Overseas Guide Dog Users valid only in Japan for a limited period of time, so that you will be ensured the right to travel in Japan with your guide dog.

Please contact us, through the organization from which you graduated, at least 4 weeks before your arrival. We need some time to go over the documents necessary for the confirmation that there will be no problem with issuing the temporary certificate.

As for quarantine, we are not able to take any responsibility. We would like you to go through the required procedures on your own. For information on quarantine, please refer to the Animal Quarantine Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (Japanese Quarantine System for Dogs and Cats).
Please note that if you are coming from one of the non-designated counrties with regard to rabies, you will need more than 6 months in advance to meet the requirements.

The papers you need to submit for a Temporary Certificate are as follows:

  • 1. Form 1 - Application for Temporary Certificate of Overseas Assistance Dog Users. Click here to download
  • 2. A photo of you and your guide dog together

Please note that both of these need to be made out by the guide dog organization from which the unit graduated, and that the organization should be a member of the International Guide Dog Federation. Send inquiries, if any, to Japan Guide Dog Association:

Do you know why you need a Temporary Certificate?

People living in Japan with guide dogs, hearing dogs, or mobility service dogs are ensured their access rights by the Law concerning Assistance Dogs for People with Physical Disabilities, which was put into full enforcement on October 1, 2003. Although it is quite an important law enacted after many years of efforts, it has a problem that foreign-trained dogs are not included in its definition of assistance dogs.

The law says a guide dog must be a dog which has received proper training at one of the guide dog organizations designated by the National Public Safety Commission, and that a guide dog user must always carry a certificate and put on his or her dog a tag showing it is a guide dog.

Since visitors to Japan with foreign-trained guide dogs cannot fulfill these conditions, they are not supposed to have the access rights, no matter what the purpose of their visit may be. They might be refused to use public transportation and to go into public facilities as well as private ones, such as hotels, restaurants and shops, which are open to the general public.

We, Japan Guide Dog Association, felt strongly that they also should be ensured the access right in Japan, and this is why we have decided to start providing Temporary Certificate for them.

Now it is officially supported by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Please see the link below for details:
Assistance Dogs for Persons with Physical Disabilities

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