Can a 18-year-old Japanese citizen travel alone from Japan to South Korea? Japanese citizens are not currently considered full adults until age 20.

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    Is there some reason you think you wouldn't be able to? – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Aug 8 '18 at 7:14
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    @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas currently you're not a legal adult in Japan until you are 20 years old, although after April 1st 2022 the age will be reduced to 18. – BritishSam Aug 8 '18 at 7:55
  • My guess is that it may depend on the means of transportation. – Peter Aug 8 '18 at 13:36
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    @rei: do you want to do this with your parents permission or against their wishes? Is that the question ? Or is this about what documentation is required? Or whether there is a general law prohibits Japanese minors travelling without their parents? – Hilmar Aug 8 '18 at 20:32
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    I guess @rei's question is: Does the Japanese minor (aged 19 or below) are allowed to travel overseas without parental consent or other kinds of legal approvals? – KH.Lee Aug 9 '18 at 4:14

Yes. JAL for example allows unaccompanied travel from age 5 upwards.

What age does my child have to be to qualify as an unaccompanied minor?

Unaccompanied minor service is mandatory for a child age 5-11 traveling without an adult. Children ages 12-17 years are not required to travel as unaccompanied minors, but the service is optional for this age group as well.

Children under 5 years of age are not allowed to travel unless accompanied by an adult



Of course you can. Age for flying alone are typically set by the airline, not the country (as long as all visa requirements are met, that is).

Typically they require some sort of extra service for kids 14 and under, but 15 and up can travel alone. Here is JALs policy https://www.jal.co.jp/jba/aa/en_US/specialAssistance/childrenTraveling.html

My kids have certainly traveled internationally on their own when starting at 15 or 16 (not from/to Japan though)

  • Countries might have their own document requirements for minors travelling alone (i. e. South Africa), but AFAIK S. Korea is not the case here. – revi Aug 8 '18 at 16:25
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    Is an 18-year-old considered a minor in South Africa of the age of majority in that person's country of citizenship is higher than 18? I would find that surprising. Also, and more pertinent to the question, can an 18-year old legally leave Japan without parental permission? Are there other requirements for a minor to leave Japan? – phoog Aug 8 '18 at 16:29

I would expect that you should have no difficulty traveling alone out of country; unless you have a criminal record that prevents you from leaving the country. Years ago, we had a 17 year old exchange student live with us for a year. While she would have left the country with parental permission, it’s my understanding that she didn’t have any troubles leaving Japan. Does the Japanese government have a website that you could refer to? Good luck!

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    If you're not sure, it's best to either find a reference, rather than asking if there's a website. That's kinda why the OP has come to our site. – Mark Mayo Aug 8 '18 at 8:02
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    Welcome to travel.stackexchange, Joss. We're generally looking for answers that have references to official sources rather than discussion and speculation. You can take a look at the tour and help center for more about how the site works. Hope you take a look and stick around. – Zach Lipton Aug 8 '18 at 8:04

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