Rejected by ANA and Postponed Travel

It is a bad day. In the morning, I arrived at Pudong Airport early and waited in the line to check in for ANA flight NH960 from Shanghai to Tokyo. At the counter, the ANA staff checked the ticket and passport then informed me that they cannot let me get on board the flight because there is no Japanese visa. Although there is regulations to allow transition visitors to stay for up to 72 hours, there is still risks to get rejected at the custom. Many passengers did so (visiting Japan without a visa in advance) but not the recent month. ANA needs to ship me back to Shanghai the same day if does happen. So they refused my request to get onboard. :-( So I gave up my plan to visit Tokyo on the way to U.S. and have changed the flight to Dec 6 so I transit to United Airlines flight the same day. The rest of the trip in U.S. is not changed. I slept the whole morning when I am back home.

12 thoughts on “Rejected by ANA and Postponed Travel

  1. Sorry to hear that, Jian Shuo. I suspect you handled that with far more graciousness than I would have . . .

  2. I heard about that regulation sometime before. But when my sister who lives in US wanted to have a stop-over in Japan for sightseeing on her way to China in Oct, she was told by Japanese consulate that she needed a visa, and she got the following email for them:

    Here is the list of your visa requirements. Please note that additional

    documents may be necessary.

    1. An application form completed and signed. Chinese citizens must

    write their names in Chinese characters, as well as in Roman letters.

    The application form must be fill out completely. For example, if the

    applicant has no criminal record, please write “none” on the appropriate


    2. Valid passport with sufficient space for visa stamp.

    3. A 2-inch square photograph, taken within six months of application.

    This photo must be glued to the application form. NOTE: GLUE ONLY,

    please do not staple or tape.

    4. Green Card.

    5. A printed reservation from the airline company, or the reliable

    travel agency, showing travel to and from Japan, including dates and

    flight numbers.

    6. 3 most recent monthly bank statements (complete originals plus

    copies of all pages)

    7. A letter from the applicant’s employer, directed to this Consulate,

    noting salary, length of employment, position, and dates of vacation.

    The process here usually takes four business days. If you have further

    questions, please reply this email.

    Visa Dept.

    Consulate General of Japan

    However, compared with what was required for Chinese passport holders several years ago, this is already a big improvement: They used to require applicants to submit much more documents, even their resumes!

  3. Ah…what happened was really bad. In summer 2001, I stopped at Tokyo for a little less than 72 hours (arrived on the 1st day afternoon and left on the 4th day morning) w/ my Chinese passport on my way back to Shanghai from US. I didn’t have trouble getting the visa on arrival, although in LA at the checkin time, the JAL staff asked for approval from her supervisor. There was no problem at Narita either.

    I didn’t know that they changed the rule now. But anyway, I’m sure you would get chance to visit Tokyo in near future. It’s a place definitely worth going.

    Happy travelling…

  4. Wang Jian Shuo,

    Sorry to hear about your misfortune! I can empathize with you since, for some reason, several of my flights to/from China involving Canada have had unplanned stops in Tokyo Narita airport. So when I think of Narita airport, problems immediately come to mind.

    The first was in July 2003, when I was trying to fly from Beijing to Vancouver. Apparently the flight was cancelled (not to my knowledge!) because of SARS, so I ended up on a flying from Beijing to Narita to catch a flight from Tokyo to Canada. This involved me sitting around for hours in the terminal watching sumo wrestling replays on a big screen TV.

    The second time was when I was flying back to China in September 2003. My plane in Montreal left a few hours late, so I missed my Shanghai connection in Vancouver. So…guess who got sent to Narita airport again?? Me. From there, I managed to catch a flight to Shanghai.

    The moral of the story is…connections in Japan always mean trouble :).

    Anyways, I’m really looking forward to your trip to the US, I want to read your impressions and see your photos. I’ve been there a lot, but since I’m Canadian I guess it’s not all that different. Best of luck!

    PS: What exactly are the procedures for Chinese citizens? Both times that I ended up in Tokyo I never had to go through any sort of Customs. Is the problem that you wanted to stay in Tokyo for a day or so?

  5. Hi Jian Shuo,

    I went to China last year and stopped by in Japan for about 2 days. Tokyo never asked anything from me regarding a visa. I am very sorry to hear this, but could this be a case of racisim for you?

  6. sorry to hear about this. Japan does have strict regulations for Chinese travellers, especially with recent transit flight passengers who stopped over Japan and disappeared. thus, Japan increased their requirements for Chinese passengers. Regard to comments by Frank, no it’s not racism, if you held a US passport or Australia passport you don’t need visa in advance they will issue 90 days visa on arrival at the customs. however, with Chinese visa you need a ticket that shows you are a transit passenger who will be staying at Japan for less than 24 hours, then they will issue you a temporary visa. Without such an ticket the rule is you need a visa in advance to go to Japan, this only applies to Chinese passport holders and other passports. As to Jian Shuo, you actually misunderstood the real meaning of the 72hr stay rule in Japan. btw, this also applies to Singapore as well. Happy travelling, you could consider come to Sydney sometime. :)

  7. Just to clarify the comment I made previously, it somehow might confuse readers, as I said first it is not racism, then I said US passports don’t need visa to go Japan. What I really want to say here is that it’s all about the rules and relationships between countries. Good relationships between countries benefit it’s people, eg. US and Japan. While less favourable relationships, especially where one country has certain feelings towards the other country, eg, US and China, Japan and China, less beneficial would it be for it’s people. It’s all changing though, probably in not so far future, Chinese passport holders can free travel to Japan, and US. While I hope the opposite can also be true, so that I don’t need to get visa in advance for me to travel to China again, and especially the service by the people in the consulate general is just unbelievably BAD.

  8. Well if it’s any comfort, transitting in China can be troublesome too!

    I used China Eastern to visit China and Japan from Australia. Before the 1st part of the return leg (Osaka-Pudong) I was assured in Japan there would be no problem with the 6 hour stopover in China before boarding for home, without a multi-visit visa (I had a one stop visa which I used a week before, which is all I needed according to my travel agent) The airline staff even gave me a sticker to place on my chest to ostensibly facilitate the transit at Pudong.

    Well as it turned out, it was as if I was the first transit passenger Pudong staff had ever come across. After 10 minutes of head scratching by 2 staff at the immigration counter, I was escorted to an office (very embarrassing with a zillion people in line behind me) where after 15 minutes of discussion between 2 more staff and walkie-talkie conversations I was finally given a temporary visa stamp in my passport

  9. Mr. Wang,

    It is an international practice that no country at any time can assure their passport holders which other countries will waive the visa requirement when entering. Always obtain visa or letter of immunity when entering other countries. All border officials have right to reject foreign visitors for any reason even with valid visa.

    Entering without proper visa endorsment is entering at your own accord.


  10. This is Kyoto Hostel TOMATO cheap guesthouse.

    When you come to japan, pleae stay.

    Do not forget VISA.

    Traveller comment

    Today is my last night in TOMATO guesthouse but I really really liked it here. It is a really cool place and has the best location ever. If you turn right, you are arriving to some temples, shrines and the handcraft shop. If you turn left, you are passing lots of shops and arriving soon in city center. Everything is within walking distance. Almost kyoto guesthouse is at near JR kyoto station where is nothing for sightseeing and shoping. I will recommend this place and come back when I will be in Japan again one day. Thanks for everything!

    Thank you

  11. So bad, but you should’ve be prepared in advance.

    Saddly for Chinese citizens, being Chinese citizen is not that easy to travel around the world. It is more about politics than any other thing like racism or personal issues. This is specially for Countries with lot of Chinese that go there and never go back (USA, Canada, England, Australia, etc)

    I’m Mexican and also dont need visa for Japan, but my wife is Chinese and wow… lot of headaches, usually to go Mexico with her, I travel trhough Japan and Canada, where is cheap, short and good, while my wife had to travel through Europe: expensive, longer and very bad (tired).

    China is becomong a main player in the world, specially in this brand new global crisis, I’m sure it is just matter of few years when this situation is reverted, where being Chinese will not give troubles anymore to travel worldwide.

    By the way, I love traveling through Narita, Japan. I take the Japan Airlines, wonderful in-flight service, plus one night 5 stars hotel (Nikka Narita) is included in the ticket (economic class). From China to Mexico you have 23 hours there, so land in Narita at 5 PM, go hotel, rest, next morning take the free circle bus to visit the temple and malls, back hotel for a shower, some food and ready to take ur next flight at 4 PM to Canada (then Mexico)… just wonderful!

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