I left Japan today on a 3 month tourist visa (I am a US citizen). I guess I was following some other people, or perhaps even I was just waved on, but I didn't speak with the exit passport controller when leaving Kansai International Airport. So, nobody scanned or stamped my passport to confirm that I was leaving. Was this a mistake, and if so, do I need to contact anybody and tell them that I am no longer in Japan? I plan on going back next year so I'd like to resolve any potential issues as soon as possible.

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    You can always contact your local japanese embassy. Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 4:31
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    @dattebane Make sure you keep proof of your date of exit eg your flight booking confirmation and your boarding card
    – Traveller
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 6:57
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    @jcaron As someone who repeatedly flies out of Japan (and back): No, immigration officials check stuff themselves, there is systematic exit immigration. And knowing Kansai airport’s layout well, I am at a loss how OP’s situation could actually happen in practice …
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 10:33
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    Did you check every single page of your passport. What (while still unlikely) I find more likely than not beeing checked: the stamp might be on a different page?
    – lalala
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 11:52
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    @jcaron Even Japanese citizen are stamped.
    – Antzi
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 1:00

3 Answers 3


I called the immigration office at KIX, and apparently, as of about a week ago, they are using automated facial recognition gates to quickly check out people staying on temporary visas, so I will not get a stamp. I had been to Japan multiple times before and got the stamp and spoke with an officer, hence my concern.

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    Thanks for the answer, but to clarify, you did have your passport scanned by the machine on exit, yes? Because your original Q implied that it was not. Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 8:43
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    Ah, I knew those booths existed but I didn’t know that foreigners are able to use them now so I discarded the idea ^^'
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 13:22
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    @jpatokal correct - I completely forgot about these gates because they are new, I was sleepy, and I specifically remembered skipping the controller guys on my way out. So I thought I literally just didn't do control.
    – dattebane
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 17:59
  • I can confirm that using the automated gates, they don't stamp when on tourist permission, a procedure that seems new. In my case, two weeks ago, after the gate, there was still a desk with a guy that checked something (my passport or my face, I don't know).
    – camel
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 10:40

Managing to leave Japan without an exit stamp or having your passport inspected at all is extremely irregular, and I'm quite astonished that you managed to do so, especially by accident. You are almost certainly registered as still being in Japan and, if you do nothing to fix this, likely to run into a lot of trouble the next time you visit.

Your best bet would likely to be to contact the Immigration bureau at the airport you left from, in your case Kansai (tel. +81-724-55-1453) and ask for their guidance on how to sort this out. Office contact details are available here: http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/info/

Per the site above individual information will not be disclosed by email, so you'll need to call, and I'd start by just stating that you noticed there's no exit stamp on your passport and.you wanted to confirm that your exit was correctly recorded. However, in your shoes I would definitely insist on a written statement that this has been all sorted out. I would also expect that they will -- with some justification -- blame you at least in part and more probably than not ask you to write a "gomen nasai" apology letter for (unwittingly) violating the law, but I would not expect other lasting consequences if your record is clean and your story otherwise checks out.

Update: The OP has clarified that they used the new automated exit gates, which indeed do not stamp your passport (and my bad for not remembering this, since I used one last month when I flew out of HND!). However, using the gates most definitely does require scanning your passport, it's just done by a machine and not a human.

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    Caveat: It’s entirely possible that the immigration bureau speaks Japan and broken English only (never actually tried contacting the bureau but the officers at exit immigration are notoriously bad at even pronouncing the regular question ‘when do you intend to return?’ in English). If OP can get hold of any local person who can translate for them, that would be a big plus imho.
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 10:36
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    I have been in Japan long enough to understand the difference between a written notice ‘English is spoken’ and people behind that notice actually being able to speak English ;)
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 10:40
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    Shouldn’t the responsibility be airport’s? How can even a passenger manage to do so without much effort? What about a bad guy? Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 12:08
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    @Jan They can speak English, but only people who also learned English in the same Japanese school can understand what they say ;)
    – alephzero
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 0:53
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    @dattebane You physically can’t ‘skip over’ them at KIX. You go down escalators and arrive in a ‘room’ the only way out of which is by going through the booths (or the automated checks which I don’t think you’re eligible to use). The booths have you walk up to the officer through a small gate, then you do a 90° turn, a few metres sideways before you get into the departure area, all in the officer’s plain, unobstructed view. I would take a photo when I’m there later today but pictures are expressively forbidden.
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 1:00

As jpatokal says, you should contact the appropriate authorities in Japan. However, something else you should do is to collect evidence of your departure. If the Japanese authorities accuse you of overstaying, you should have evidence that you didn’t.

You should keep your boarding passes and any receipts from airport purchases etc. Perhaps your passport was stamped on arrival in another country after you left Japan.

If there is a Japanese embassy or consulate near you, you could go there in person in order to demonstrate unequivocally that you are no longer in Japan. Ask them to give you some written document saying that you were not in Japan on that date.

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