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Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/7 19:15
Hi,

I'm going to Japan in the Summer and would like to understand in real terms, if I really need to have my passport all the time or if other form of ID, for example my National ID card or Driving Licence is enough? I'm an European Union citizen, if that has any effect. I don't want to carry my passport with me everywhere, especially in Tokyo.

thanks
by Imanuel (guest)  

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 08:01
You must have your passport with you at all times. EU ID Card or driving license is not a valid substitute.

In German (sorry) : https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/aussenpolitik/laender/japan-node/ja...

Why would gspecially in Tokyo g not want to bring your passport along? If you are concerned about pickpocketing, donft be. I canft guarantee that it never happenes but it sounds more likely that you will get arrested for not having your passport with you rather than getting it stolen (and nope, I donft have a source for this gut feeling)

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 08:23
Those other forms of ID do not prove you are legally in the country. Your passport does. Carry your passport.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 08:39
Thanks for the answers. It's clear that nothing else, except Passport is valid. And what about a photocopy of the passport? Would that be enough to back off any policeman that asks me for it?

I've been in lots of places in the world, including countries where they say you need to carry a form of ID with you all the time (I actually live in one of them). But if you randomly be asked by police for it, chances are the worse that happens is you go to the police station for questioning and somehow get the passport (if you are a tourist, chances are the police goes with you to the hotel). Again, the police would need to have a very good reason to harass you. If you look like a tourist and tell them you are in a hotel, most of the time, you get out of it. I even entered the UK with an expired passport, just by being honest.

by Imanuel (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 09:18
I have no idea what you are planning to do in Japan if you are having such a concerns about the police.

It is simple, carry you Passport (only valid ID) with you all the time.
If police stops you than there would be a reason for or just to check if there is no overstay happening.

by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 10:08
You canft even check into a hotel in Japan without showing your passport. Getting a JR Pass? Passport. Buying something tax-free? Passport. You get the idea.
by Gregalor rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 10:22
japan is a sovereign country with their own law.

I read it often I am from America or I am from Europe and therefor I do not need to follow the rules.

This is so ridicules and UK is soon no longer a part of Europe anymore.
And if you travel from mainland Europe to UK you need to bring an ID card.
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 15:37
Guys...i fully understand Japan has its own laws and so so. You still didn't understand my point or provided real life examples. Lots of coutries in Europe tells you to walk around with your passport, but none is so strict in its language than Japan. I just want to know if i carry a copy it might be accepted (real experience needed) or if i get to the police station, they will take me to the hotel (again, experience needed). I don't want the theory, i know it already.

I'm not afraid to be stopped, neither I'm thinking on doing some illegal stuff. My concern is about losing it in the street (rare, but happens). And also being stop by the police, due to racial profiling. Yes, it happens according to many accounts.

Thanks

by Imanuel (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 16:01
And what we are trying to tell you that, no, a copy is not acceptable. You must have your passport with you at all times. Full stop.

If the police stops you with or without reason and you canft produce your passport they have no obligation to go with you to your hotel to pick it up. But have all the right to bring you to the police station and keep you there for questioning.

If you are worried about loosing it, get some kind of body belt or something where you can strap it on. And by all means bring a copy and leave it (the copy) in the hotel if you should loose it (the passport) to facilitate the process at your embassy.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 16:05
Here you go. Not bringing your passport is subject to criminal penalties:

Any person who has violated this provision shall be subject to criminal penalties (Articles 75-2, 75-3, and 76 of the Immigration Control Act)

Source: http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/zairyuu/ryoken.html

Just one google search away.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 16:11
@ Imanuel

Not true, in Europe you need to have always an ID card with you, driving license, ID card are valid IDs you can use. You can get penalty if you cannot provide the current ID.
In Europe the law is more flexible (depends on Country) but still it is mandatory.

If you go to another country in Europe it is mandatory to have an ID card with you.

Going to another country passport is only valid ID, other ID are not recognized.

by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 16:19
neither I'm thinking on doing some illegal stuff.

Yes, you are: you are thinking of not carrying your passport, which is illegal.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 17:17
Thanks for all the answers. It's clear that i need to have my passport and so on. Not questioning that, but wanted to see if there is anyone here who was stopped by police and didn't have the passport. Just want to see real life examples.

@justmyday
Correct, the law in some EU countries is the same as in Japan (i live in one of them). But in practice, police is more relaxed in its governance. Having a copy and not looking suspicious is enough to walk away from it. As I said before, i got away several times without a valid ID with me. I don't think ALL tourists in Japan are walking with their passport all the time
by Imanuel (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 17:21
We do not have a habit here of assisting people who intend to commit illegal acts, so maybe go to Reddit or something.

Indeed many people do not carry their passports; they do it mainly from ignorance. You do not have that excuse.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 20:18
https://www.amazon.com/slp/travel-pouches-under-clothes/steg5p3z3xjcv9...
There is no good excuse for not carrying your passport on you at all times in Japan.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 22:18
How about I change tack a little bit to help you understand why the full passport is needed. You need your actual passport rather than a copy because the first page only has your ID. The police would also need to assess what status you came into the country on and how long you have been in Japan using the arrivals stamp in later pages of your passport.

Without those pages, yes they know who you are but they can't tell if you are legally meant to "still be" in Japan.
by Differentperspective (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/8 22:40
I've been stopped by the police twice while in Japan. Both times they thoroughly looked at my passport, the photo page, the immigration status pages. They took notes and handed it back to me while the other policeman asked questions. They have the right to stop anyone (foreign-looking) and ask for identification.

They have the right to detain you if you don't have proper identification. What would happen if I produced a copy of my passport instead of the real one? I don't know. I haven't tried it because I follow the rules. Stories have been posted about people being detained for hours or days until the person admits wrong-doing and thoroughly apologizes, in written form, and is allowed to leave. How true this is, I don't know. I don't know because I follow the law and carry my passport at all times, even when going across the street to a combini. If I leave the hotel property, I have my passport, no matter how little time I will be away.

The only copies of passport I have are for the luggage identification which I stuff inside while traveling, since it's not used for official purposes.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Acceptable form of ID for Japanese Police 2019/3/9 09:18
A copy of a passport is insufficient - the police will need to check the visa or permit sticker. A photocopy is doesn't meet the requirements.

Even for some commercial activities a copy is not good enough. I had a friend visit last year and they forgot their passport when going for a driving experience - the commercial operator would not risk their business allowing someone without the correct documentation (in the event of any accident, the police would check the ID and that they were validly in the country - one of the first things they would check).

For checking into hotels, a copy is sufficient.

And, while residents don't need to carry a passport, they do need to carry resident card - mine goes with me almost everywhere - a bit hard to take into an onsen.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

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