Ministry speeds up notification of passport service change

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Japanese passport pages used for visas and entry or exit stamps.

Well-traveled Japanese citizens will no longer be able to add new pages to their passports after March 27.

According to the Foreign Ministry, many countries have ended the practice of supplying additional pages from the viewpoint of preventing forgeries. Among the Group of Seven advanced nations, Japan is the lone country that still provides the service for those who are running out of space for new visas and entry or exit permits.

Under the current system, when there are no longer blank pages remaining in a passport, 40 pages can be added for a ¥2,500 fee.

After the service is abolished, a new passport with the same expiration date as the original will be issued at a charge of ¥6,000.

If there is only a short time remaining until the passport’s expiration date, it can be renewed for ¥16,000 for a 10-year period or ¥11,000 for five years.

The ministry warns that if a valid visa is contained in a passport that has run out of blank pages, the holder may need to carry both their old and new passports because the visa cannot be transferred to the new one.

The ministry is using Twitter and other methods to make sure the traveling public is aware that the service is coming to an end.