Visa exemption for Malaysian visitors to Japan

When it comes to visiting Japan, I know that a lot of people dread one thing — obtaining a visa to enter Japan. The application of the visa itself doesn’t cost a thing, but to go through the 7-step process can be more than a little time consuming.

When Shinzo Abe was elected as Prime Minister of Japan once more, he’d vowed to fix Japan’s derailing economy. Among other things, Abe’s administration had planned to boost Japan’s tourism industry (which received a shock post recent tsunami incident) and one way to do this, is to provide some leeway for tourists from South Asian countries. It’s news that many of us have been waiting for — from the 1st of July 2013, Malaysians are exempted from obtaining a visa for a short visit to Japan!

Visa application made easy for those eligible for the exemption

This exemption does not apply to everyone though. You’re exempted only if (1) you’re a holder of the “biometric passport with embedded microchip” which complies with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and (2) you’re planning to stay in Japan for less than three months.

Visa Exemption

So if you’ve got the biometric passport with embedded microchip, you don’t need to apply for a visa! When you feel like it, an impromptu trip to Japan over the weekend is now doable.

Read more about the visa requirement exemption from the press release by the Embassy of Japan in Malaysia here.

Visa application made simpler for those not eligible for the exemption

If you’re still using an ordinary passport or planning to stay in Japan longer than three months, you’ll still need to apply for a visa. However, they’ve made it a lot simpler than previously. All you need are:

  1. Original passport
  2. The visa application form (download here)
  3. A photo measuring 4.5 x 4.5 inches, with white background, taken within 6 months of application date

You can submit the the three documents to:

The Japanese Embassy
Persiaran Stonor
Off Jalan Tun Razak
50450 KL
03–2177 2600

Office hours:
8.30 a.m. – 12.00p.m
2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.

The embassy will call and request for additional details, should they require so. If your application is complete, passport will be ready for collection within two working days.

Read more about the new visa application requirement here.

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  • Avatar
    July 22, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    I nearly cried tears of joy when I found out about this news. For me who is from Kuching, would have trouble getting the visa since we would have to apply through a travel agent or either fly to the embassy in Sabah to get the visa (there is no Japan embassy in Kuching). And travel agents usually charge nearly rm200! So yes, for a Japan-lover like me, this is a blessing! :’)

    • Avatar
      July 22, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      Wow, that’s a high free for a visa. Good for you, Wawa! Make sure your passport’s got the chip 🙂

    • Avatar
      Tim Ngim
      July 31, 2013 at 11:50 PM

      Don’t be too happy. Maybe your passport is the old kind? Check and double check

  • Avatar
    August 4, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    i found this really informative. thank you! better start planning for Japan trip 🙂

    • Avatar
      January 10, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      You’re welcome!

  • Avatar
    Kristina Anthony Hasbi
    March 30, 2015 at 9:12 AM

    Hello. I find this information very useful but I am still stuck in between of having to travel to the nearest embassy or just submit the forms by postage to the nearest embassy adress? Oh yeah, I’m from Kuching. I hope you could enlighten me about my question more. Thank you 🙂

    • Avatar
      April 1, 2015 at 12:28 AM

      Hello, although you don’t have to be present when the forms are submitted (I’ve used a travel agent previously), not sure if you can just mail the forms. I think its best to contact the embassy 🙂

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