Maritime Bureau

How to apply for special permission for foreign pleasure boats to call at closed ports

When you make a call at a closed port in Japan by a foreign pleasure boat, you have to receive special permission by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in advance.
Legal Basis: the proviso to Article 3 of the Ships Law

(When making a call at a closed port without special permission, the captain shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 2 years or by a fine of not more than 1,000,000 yen. And the relevant ship may be confiscated then.)

A new closed-port permit system has been introduced for foreign pleasure boats that are cruising in Japan for sightseeing purposes.


What is a closed port?

“Closed port” means sea area at any territorial water area other than open ports. For your reference, please see attached the List of Open Ports.

Application Procedure

Please see the below instructions, and submit the required documents to a District Transport Bureau.

1.Required Documentations

(i) Application Form (2 Copies), (ii) The Copy of the Certificate of Nationality of your ship, (iii) The copies of all your crews’ passports → Please write in the Application Form with referring to Entry Example.

* Any additional documentation may be required other than the above-mentioned documentations if necessary.

How to fill in the Application Form.
This page provides Word files of the Application Form which may be filled out and printed. Please use the below form to fill in the documents.

Please refer to the below links regarding desired closed ports to call (plans) when the Application Form.

How to use
1. Click the jurisdiction of the District Transport Bureau where the closed port you wish to call at is located on the map below.

2. A pop-up window with a map will be shown. Please enter the name of the closed port(s) you wish to call at the Application Form.

* If you wish to call at any closed ports not listed on the map, please enter the names of those ports in the Application Form.

Application Form (Word)
Application Form example(PDF)
*Please use Internet Explorer to open files.

The application destination and the way of application

It takes time to examine the application. Please make your application at least one week (strictly to be observed) before your call. If you do not make it in time, you may not be able to receive special permission on the date of your request. You shall make an application either by bringing with you these documentations at the District Transport Bureau etc. in charge of said closed port or by sending them by post.

Frequently Asked Questions




  1. You may not be able to get special permission when you do not meet the examination criteria.
    *Examination Criteria
    Said call at a closed port shall not make any trouble in the light of the secure of stable transportation in our country and the secure of security at said closed port etc. It shall not violate any other law or regulation of Japan.
  2. Write in the Application Form in Japanese or in English.
  3. You may handwrite an application form but must write clearly. We may be unable to receive your application as an inadequate documentation which we cannot read what you write in the application.
  4. Write in order that the port of call may be clearly understood.As for island, only the name of the island may be rejected.
    e.g.: Bad:Amami-Oshima Good:Naze Port of Amami-Oshima
  5. Please understand that some proceeds may be required pursuant to other laws and regulations of Japan when you make a call at a closed port.



International Shipping Division. Maritime Bureau
TEL:03-5253-8111 ex.43352, 43956

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