Do British Citizens need a visa for Japan?

No, British Citizens can enter Japan as a visitor for up for 90 days. If you are visiting Japan for any other purposes (e.g. work or studying) you will need to obtain a valid visa from the Japanese Embassy.

Do they ask about criminal records?

Yes, on the Disembarkation Card for Foreign Nationals (landing card), they ask the question:

‘Any history of being convicted of a crime (not only in Japan) Yes/No’

 

If I tick ‘yes’ on the Disembarkation Card, will I be allowed entry into Japan?  

Japan has some of the strictest entry requirements for foreign nationals. The Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act states the following:

A foreign national who falls under any of the following item shall not enter Japan.

(iv) A person who has been convicted of a violation of any law or regulation of Japan, or of

any other country, and has been sentenced to imprisonment with or without work for 1 year

or more, or to an equivalent penalty. However, this shall not apply to those convicted of a

political offense.

 

(v) A person who has been convicted of a violation of any law or regulation of Japan or of

any other country relating to the control of narcotics, marijuana, opium, stimulants or

Psychotropic substances, and has been sentenced to a penalty.

If you tick ‘yes’ on the Disembarkation Card, you will almost certainly be questioned upon arrival by an immigration officer, who will then make a decision whether to allow you entry into Japan.