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It seems that in general it depends on the country, so I'm wondering if anyone has recent information about doing this from Japan. I'm just assuming Tokyo is the most likely place where this would work.

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    Can you please provide some more information? Where do you currently reside? What visa are you looking for? If you aren't a Japanese resident (regardless of your citizenship) you should apply in your own country according to visaforchina.org/web/guidance/StepByStep_stepAgreeGoNext.action [NOT AN OFFICIAL SOURCE] It mentions; "Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship) ... – The Wandering Coder Oct 25 '16 at 5:05
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    ... Non-Japan citizens shall provide documents that entitle them to reside for an extended period of time in Japan provide original and photocopy . Temporary visitors to Japan should apply for a Chinese visa in their own country. For the special cases, consular officer has the rights to make the final decision on whether issuing a visa or not." – The Wandering Coder Oct 25 '16 at 5:05
  • Useful? reddit.com/r/Chinavisa/comments/3t08jw/… – mts Oct 25 '16 at 9:08
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According to the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (the organization responsible for all visas in Japan):

Non-Japan citizens shall provide documents that entitle them to reside for an extended period of time in Japan provide original and photocopy.
Temporary visitors to Japan should apply for a Chinese visa in their own country. For the special cases, consular officer has the rights to make the final decision on whether issuing a visa or not.

Therefore generally speaking the answer is no, you may not apply for a Chinese visa from Japan.

Instead, I would recommend traveling to Hong Kong and getting your visa there. It's generally a lot easier and doesn't require local residency.

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    This government site states that if one lacks residency in Hong Kong, one should apply for a visa in one's "resident country", which contradicts the last bit. – Maroon Oct 28 '16 at 23:09
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Ask Chinese visa application service center.
http://www.visaforchina.org/TYO_EN/

Related announce from Embassy of China here.(In Japanese) (2016/09/30)
http://www.china-embassy.or.jp/jpn/lsfu/hzqzyw/t1402714.htm
(They don't have English page.)

中国大使館における一般旅券の査証および認証の直接申請中止についてのお知らせ
2016/09/30

中国大使館では,サービスの向上と,急増する領事業務に伴う混雑と待ち時間等の問題を解決するために,東京の各国大使館業務方法を参照し,「中国査証申請サービスセンター(東京)」に関連業務を委託することになりました.詳細は以下の通りです.

2016年10月27日から,中国大使館領事部の管轄区域(東京都,神奈川県,千葉県,埼玉県,長野県,山梨県,静岡県,群馬県,栃木県,茨城県)における一般旅券の所持者(外交領事機構で就職しその機構から外交口上書を持つ者以外)の中国査証,認証業務申請は中国査証申請サービスセンターにてお申し込み下さい.この二種類の業務の中国大使館における受付は10月26日で締め切りです.中国香港特別行政区査証(香港進入許可),マカオ特別行政区査証,外交旅券および公務旅券所持者または一般旅券を所持する外交領事機構職員が中国査証を申し込む手続きは今まで通り,直接領事部で申請して下さい.

中国査証申請センター(東京)の住所は東京都港区虎ノ門4-1-17神谷町プライムプレイス8階です.運用状況及び業務内容につきまして,詳しくは当センターのホームページ「http://www.visaforchina.org」をご確認ください.

中華人民共和国駐日本国大使館 2016年9月30日

A translation of the full announcement.

Notice of discontinuation of General Passport Visa and Certification by the Chinese Embassy
2016/09/30

In order to combat the congestion and delays associated with a rise in use of consular services, the Chinese Embassy in the interest of improving services, in line with similar moves by other country's embassies, has entrusted all related business to the 「Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (Tokyo)」. Details as follows.

From October 27, 2016, all general enquires (visa application or authentication of business application) by those with a general passport (excluding those instructed by the embassy or those on diplomatic business) who are under the jurisdiction of the Chinese Embassy Tokyo's Consular Section (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Nagano, Yamanashi, Shizuoka, Gunma, Tochigi and Ibaraki Prefectures) should be made to the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre. The deadline for application of these two types of application for processing at the embassy is 26 October 2016. Visas for the China-Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Visa (Hong Kong Entry Permit), the Macao Special Administrative Region Visa, a holder of a Diplomatic Passport / Public Service Passport or Diplomatic Staff with a General Passport should apply directly to the consular section of the Chinese Embassy as normal.

The address of the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (Tokyo) is Tokyo, Minato-ku, Toranomon 4-1-17 Kamiyacho Prime Place 8F For more information about operational status and other business content, please refer to the center's website http://www.visaforchina.org

Ambassador of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Japan
2016/09/30

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    As is normally the case when quoting links on SE sites, could you also provide what it is within the links you are referring to in case the links no longer work? – The Wandering Coder Oct 25 '16 at 5:02
  • Also @Toris, you haven't actually answered the question which if you look into your first link it answers by saying that it ISN'T possible (unless OP has residence in Japan). You may want to include that in your answer. – The Wandering Coder Oct 25 '16 at 6:55
  • @TheWanderingCoder Please paste the address. Not written in my answer but many other (non official) pages say it's possible. So, I wrote "ask". – Toris Oct 25 '16 at 7:04
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    @Toris, I just added a translation of the full text of the announcement. Feel free not to accept it if it doesn't express your message. Also, I am not referring to "Special Cases", I am referring to the line Temporary visitors to Japan should apply for a Chinese visa in their own country. – The Wandering Coder Oct 25 '16 at 7:35
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    @Toris Maybe you could include that reasoning in your answer? Then I wouldn't have any qualms about it. – The Wandering Coder Oct 25 '16 at 7:44

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