Moving to or from Japan with your pet can be a daunting endeavor. There is a language barrier involved, export/import regulations, and probably a whole slew of shipping and scheduling details to work out.
Here we have tried to put together some basic information regarding the import and export of dogs to and from Japan.
To export a dog from Japan:
-The dog must be at least 8 weeks old
-The dog will need to be examined by a certified veterinarian in the week preceding its flight and have a health certificate issued.
-The dog will need to undergo an examination at Animal Quarantine Services at the airport on the day of departure, after which an export certificate will be issued. Examinations generally take place 3 hours before departure, and reservations for the exam should be made at least a week in advance.
The official site of Animal Quarantine Service Japan can be found here.
Many countries will require your pet to have various veterinary work done such as rabies vaccinations, combination vaccinations, micro chipping, and possibly other tests. Regulations vary by country, and can change rather suddenly, so it's best to contact the embassy or animal quarantine authority of the country you are planning to fly to well in advance of your trip.
Traveling with a dog from Japan to the United States:
Here is a link to the CDC regulations for bringing animals into the US https://www.cdc.gov/importation/bringing-an-animal-into-the-united-states/index.html
Traveling with a dog from Japan to the EU:
To bring a dog into an EU nation you will have to first microchip, and then vaccinate your dog for rabies. At least 21 days must elapse after vaccination before the animal can enter the EU. Most rabies vaccination protocols call for the animal to be at least 3 months old (91 days) for a rabies vaccination to be valid. Some EU nations also require treatment for internal parasites.
Traveling with a dog from Japan to Australia:
As of February 2014, export to Australia involves a minimum 10 days of quarantine, and numerous tests on top of the usual vaccinations and micro chipping. Details can be found here. Australian regulations require that dogs arrive as manifest cargo, meaning your dog will not be able to fly with you as checked in overweight baggage (we can help with this).
A dog may travel accompanied (in cabin, or as check in overweight baggage), or unaccompanied (freight/manifest cargo). To take a dog with you on a flight it is generally necessary to contact the airline in advance and notify them of your plans. Most airlines require a minimum of 72 hours advance notice. Airlines have limited space to fly pets, so reserve space well in advance. Another point to be aware of is that some airlines do not accept dogs. When you make the call to make a reservation for your dog, the airline will ask for the dimensions of the crate, the size/breed/age of the animal, so have this information available. Airlines have regulations regarding the type of crates allowed, so be sure you inquire about this as well. For most airlines IATA certified dog crates are the standard. Your dog will need to be able to move around easily inside the crate, and its ears cannot touch the roof of the crate when it is sitting/standing inside.
To ship a dog as freight, arrangements will need to be made with a shipping company at least 10 days in advance. They will make the arrangements with the airline and handle all the quarantine/customs/shipping for a fee. Shipping as cargo is much more expensive than having a dog fly accompanied.
Traveling to Japan with your pet:
Japan is a rabies free country. As such the import restrictions on pets are quite strict. There is a very detailed protocol to follow, and if mistakes are made at any point it is possible your pet will be refused entry. The rules and regulations for dogs and cats entering Japan can be found here https://www.maff.go.jp/aqs/english/animal/dog/index.html