Japanese Driving License
If your license is issued in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Slovenia or Taiwan you will need to obtain an official Japanese translation of your home country driving license. This can be obtained at the Japanese Automobile Federation or official authorities like Embassies and consulates.
If you have a Japanese driving license, you will not need any additional document.
Notes regarding foreign driving licenses:
1. Please check the expiration date, make sure it is still valid.
2. Does your motorcycle license have any restrictions like engine displacement, transmission type, etc.? If so, the same restrictions will apply in Japan.
3. You must have spent 3 months in the country where your motorcycle license was issued after obtaining the license. This is a requirement by Japanese law.
License holders from Belgium, France and Monaco have two options:
Obtain a 1949 Geneva Convention based IDP, as the "Group 1" countries mentioned above.
Obtain an official Japanese translation of their driving license, as the "Group 2" countries mentioned above.
Italy, Poland and Russia signed both the:
– 1949 Geneva Convention on road traffic.
– 1968 Vienna Convention on road traffic.
Therefore authorities of these countries have rights to issue IDPs based on both conventions, but they usually issue IDPs based on the 1968 Vienna Convention. However Japan only recognizes IDPs issued based on the 1949 Convention. If you can obtain an IDP based on the 1949 Geneva Convention ("1949 Convention" is written on the front cover) then you can drive in Japan. But with an IDP based on the 1968 Vienna Convention you cannot drive in Japan.
In the USA, only two organizations are allowed to sell real, legal IDPs: the American Automobile Association,
and the American Automobile Touring Alliance, which offers IDPs through the National Automobile Club.