Traveling with pets

For complete information on PCSing with a pet to Misawa go to the following websites:

Pet Import Requirements

· Japan discourages the importation of dogs and cats under the age of 12 months. These pets rarely meet the vaccination and Fluorescent Antibody Viral Neutralization testing requirements. Pets under the age of 12 months can be imported but must start with a 180 day quarantine period.

· All dogs and cats must first obtain a microchip prior to receiving any vaccinations and FAVN testing. The microchip number must be included on the rabies and health certificates and on the FAVN results form.

· All dogs and cats arriving from a non-rabies free country or area must be vaccinated with an inactivated rabies vaccine at least 30 days and not more than 12 months prior to arriving and must show a history of 2 rabies vaccinations.

· All dogs and cats must have a FAVN test performed. This test measures the protective antibody level against rabies.

· All dogs and cats must have a health and rabies certificate issued by a military veterinarian. A USDA federal veterinarian ( must certify with a raised seal all certificates issued by civilian veterinarians.

· All dog and cat owners must give prior notification to the Japan Animal Quarantine Service as soon as commercial transportation is scheduled.

Required documents for entry to Japan

All of the following documents must be attached to the outside of the airline kennel (ziploc bag works best). Label the bag: "Export/Import Pet Documents."

A pet processing checklist is available at the Japan District Veterinary Command website They also have all the required forms mentioned above posted online. This site is a great source of information for all your pet concerns in Japan.

1) Travel orders [Two copies of PCS orders for each pet].

2) Rabies Vaccination Certificate (DD Form 2208; two copies and original). 

3) Health Certificate (MDJ OP Form 2209; Veterinary Health Certificate for Import/Export for Japan; 2 copies and original), the health certificate cannot be older than 10 days. If there is a layover that will cause your health certificate to expire, then a new health certificate must be obtained. Health certificates must list last 2 rabies vaccinations including manufacturer, LOT #, and expiration date of vaccine. It must also include the Pet microchip number. If a civilian veterinarian issues the health certificate, the additional requirement of obtaining a raised USDA seal from the closest USDA office on both the health certificate and the rabies certificate is mandatory. A listing of offices is available on the JDVC website given in the contacts section below. 

4) MDJ OP Form 2209 (Japan Ministry of Agriculture Advance Notification Form). If the animal travels via commercial air, the pet owner must fax an advance notification form to the commercial port of entry. A notification approval will be returned by the GOJ Animal Quarantine Service. This approval is used when checking in with the airline when departing for Japan. The owner must also show this approval to GOJ authorities upon arrival in Japan. 

5) MDJ Form 270 (Pet Quarantine and Examination Certificate; two copies) All SOFA status personnel entering Japan with a pet are required to complete a MDJ 270. Be prepared to provide the following information.
     a) Military Address
     b) Organization
     c) Name of the military installation where the animal will be presented for the final physical examination or quarantine.
     d) The MDJ 270 allows your pet to be released to you for transportation to your US Military Quarantine Facility.
     e) Based on how many of the requirements you meet determines the time your animal must remain in quarantine ranging from 14 to 180 days. Currently, there is an in-home quarantine on Misawa Air Base since there is no Japan Quarantine Facility near Misawa. However, this requirement is currently being renegotiated and may change.
     f) Please download the form and fill it out before arrival. You are required to submit the form to your U.S. Military Veterinary Treatment Facility within 72 hours of entry into Japan. 

6) 6. USFJ Form 380 EJ (Customs Free Import or Export of Cargo or Customs Declaration of Personal Property) needed only if shipping animal as cargo.

Transportation of pets

All incoming animals must enter Japan through officially designated ports in order to clear the Japanese Animal Quarantine service. The airport designated for CONUS and other countries is Narita International Airport. Japanese animal quarantine offices are closed from Saturday at noon until Monday at 8 a.m. Therefore, animals arriving after noon on Saturday must remain in the airline kennels. The cost in this action, plus the cost of transportation to the final destination, is the sole responsibility of the owner. Ideally, flights selected should arrive during normal working hours. Contact the animal quarantine office for more information at 011-0476- 32- 6664.

While traveling by air, the animal must be in a cage approved by the International Air Transportation Association and be large enough for the animal to stand up, turn around, and lie down with normal posture and body movements. Several layers of newspaper, shredded paper, or absorbent material should be placed in the bottom of the container. Do not use straw, hay, grass, sawdust, sand or soil. Pets must be individually caged. A familiar article or toy in the cage may placate the animal. Pets should be lightly fed and given water before turn-in for shipment. They should also be exercised before being brought to the terminal. Some animals with snub noses may experience respiratory difficulty in flight. Ensure containers have adequate ventilation and pets are free of respiratory problems. Travelers must also remember that U.S. flag commercial airlines and the Japan Air Lines will not accept pets when the temperature is above 85 degrees (effective from May 15 through Sep. 15). There are also restrictions for certain breeds once the temperature reaches 70 degrees. Please confirm policies with the carrier you fly with.

Booking an early morning or late evening flight could help avoid delays due to these restrictions.

Commercial Plane

Make sure you schedule you commercial flights carefully so that animal customs inspection can be preformed when you arrive. JAQS is closed between Saturday at noon and 0800 Monday. Animals arriving between these times must remain in the airline kennels until Monday. The cost of the stay and cost of transportation to the final destination is the responsibility of the owner. The cost is rather expensive, so one should select flights that arrive during normal work hours.

Pets must be caged in an approved carrier and are generally limited to 45 kg (99 lbs) with carrier. Pet fees vary by airline but can range anywhere between $40-$250 per airline which is not reimbursable. Small animals that fit safely and comfortable in a hard sided carrier that fits under the seat can be carried in the cabin if prearranged. If you fly commercial, you will also need to transfer airports in Tokyo which can take from 1 to 3 hours depending on traffic. You may be required to stay overnight in Tokyo. Most hotels do not allow pets but the Narita Radisson Hotel will. You can call them directly at 011-81-476-93-1234 or 1-800-333-3333 for worldwide reservations.

Transport between the two Tokyo airports

Travelers with small pets (in cages) can utilize the airport limousine service for transportation between airports. Prices range from 3,000 to 6,000 yen per pet.

Travelers with small pets may also travel via Japan Rail Line to Misawa. Travel arrangements can easily be made at Japan Rail counter in the basement of Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. Criteria for rail:

Size of cage (L + W + H): No more than 35"; Weight: Maximum 21 lbs with cage. Pets must always be in view of the owner. The cage must not be an obstacle in the path of any passengers. (Note: The cage must be kept at the passenger's seat, not between cars).

Travelers with large pets - there are several options as follows

o Van services from Narita to Haneda: This service is available through Yokota Air Base. Ask your sponsor to contact 374th Force Support Squadron vehicle operations at DSN 315-225-3818, 315-225-7720 or 315-225-9519 with your flight/pet information and arrange for a van to transport you and your pet from Narita to Haneda. The estimated price of $200 is based on a $25 per hour rate charge. This rate includes the driver however the time starts from Yokota (van location) ~Narita~Haneda and then back to Yokota, estimated time round trip 8 hours. Reservations should be made in advance to ensure van availability.

374 FSS Vehicle Operations

Monday - Friday 6:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

DSN 315-225-3818, 7720 or 9519

o Asuka Koutsu will offer transportation by reservation only. Reservations are accepted up to 2 weeks in advance but must be made no later than 1 day prior to pick-up. Cost is 21,300 Yen (~$215) (in Sep 06). The phone number is 03-5737-8111 (from overseas, country code for Japan is 81-3-57537-8111).

o Fixed Fare Taxi: Fixed Fare Taxi Service (FFTS) is a one-way only service from Narita to Haneda service. FFTS from Narita Airport are designated into zones in Tokyo. A taxi to Haneda Airport is in Zone C "Ota". FFTS taxi stands at Narita Airport are located at the following Terminals. Terminal 1: Station 15 and Terminal 2: Station 29, 30. The cost for transportation for fixed taxi service is approximately $190.00 or 22,000 yen (in Sep 06) and the member is responsible for highway tolls. This should cost approx. $21.00 or 2400 yen. The taxi service accepts multiple forms of payment, Visa, MasterCard or cash.

Also, van service is available for larger families. For more information regarding this service you can call +81 (0)476-34-8755 or visit

o Pet Hotel: Narita Airport has a "Pet Hotel" in the basement of Terminal 2. Travelers who must stay at a local hotel can leave their pet here overnight. Price depends on the size of the pet.

Lodging of pets

If your pet is coming with you, be sure your sponsor makes arrangements with lodging for you and your pet. Pets are not allowed in base lodging so you or your sponsor will need to make arrangements to board the pet(s) at the base kennel (226-2228), an off-base kennel (57-3423) or the Pets Are Worth Saving shelter on base (222-7002).