JCI / Jibaiseki Information ( Japan Compulsory Insurance )

Bringing your motorcycle, car or van to Japan as part of your travels? Apexmoto Inc., is licensed to sell insurance, be it Jibaiseki or Ninihoken. “Hoken” being insurance in Japanese.

To use your own vehicle in Japan, the minimum insurance required is JCI/Jibaiseki. Every  Japanese registered vehicle has Jibaiseki as part of its registration. Please note though, Jibaiseki only covers limited medical cost of those injured by your vehicle. It does not cover any property damage to vehicles or infrastructure. As such Japanese do not generally consider it insurance and most drivers in Japan also have Ninihoken, which covers third party vehicles, infrastructure etc.

Jibaiseki varies in cost in relation to the vehicle size. It can be purchased by the month or by the year and for non Japanese vehicles, it cannot be cancelled, once purchased ( so there are no refunds ). That said, it is not generally expensive;

  1. Motorcycle 250cc or under  = ¥10,000/year
  2. Motorcycle 251cc or larger = ¥10,000/year
  3. Kei car or truck/van 660cc or under = ¥16,000/year
  4. Car or van or small truck = ¥17,000/year

For Apexmoto to issue Jibaiseki, we require the following;

  1. Copy of the vehicle title that shows the VIN number, Make and Model
  2. Copy of your drivers/riders license
  3. Copy of an international permit  ( must be valid ) or Japanese translation of you license, depending on country of issue.
  4. Payment of the correct fee with bank charges ( 2,500 )  and or credit card charges ( currently 4.9% ) covered by the remitter. If paid in person in cash, there are not extra fees.
  5. NOTE: Vehicles from these countries ( Germany, Switzerland, Monaco Slovenia) should consider the large costs in having their vehicles conform to Japanese registration standards.

Note: Some countries do not issue International Driving Permits. In such cases a copy of your drivers/riders license will usually suffice. Please be aware though, that Japan requres that people holding license from countries that do not issue International driving permits are required to have their license officially translated by JAF ( Japan automobile Federation )

Ninihoken Insurance

Ninihoken insurance, is optional insurance. It usually covers third party property and third party individual injury. It usually also includes some limited bodily injury cover for the insured. Ninihoken can be optioned up to effectively be comprehensive insurance, where it covers your vehicle and you and your passenger. As a general rule Apexmoto Inc recommends the following;

  1. Unlimited third party cover for property and persons
  2. Wrecker support ( limited tow service )
  3. Lawyer support ( legal support in case of disagreement )
  4. Double body injury ( pays twice the standard cover in event of serious injury

As mentioned there are many options with Ninihoken. This insurance can also be purchased by the month if a credit card is used. Many tourists participating in car and motorcycle events, in Japan, purchase this insurance so they have little to no financial liability if their vehicle is involved in an accident.

JCI / Jibaiseki Questions

The following is an explanation of Jibaiseki from the Airforce ( Yokota ) and is not updated and believed to be accurate at the time of posting. Reference to any requirements concerning military personnel have been removed. You are advised to verify yourself, as this information may not be up-to-date.

1. What is JCI?
Japanese Compulsory Insurance (JCI) is mandatory basic-level insurance for motor vehicles operated in Japan. The insurance provides for liability costs associated with causing bodily injury or death to another person. JCI coverage applies to passengers in your vehicle, pedestrians, and passengers of other vehicles.

1.1. In cases of bodily injury, JCI pays for treatment, consolation money and other costs up to a maximum of ¥1,200,000 yen for each person you injure in one accident. If you injure several people in one accident, JCI will pay up to ¥1,200,000 yen of medical expenses for each person you injure.

1.2. In cases of death, JCI will pay up to ¥30,000,000 yen for each death you cause in an accident. If in one accident you kill several people, JCI will pay up to ¥30,000,000 yen on each death. If in an accident you cause physical handicap to several people, JCI will pay up to ¥30,000,000 yen for each physical handicap you cause.

2. Why Do I Have To Buy JCI?
Article 5 of the Automobile Liability Security Law of Japan (Reference 6) requires JCI. Under this law, no automobile may be driven until its owner shows proof of the compulsory insurance. This law is very similar to many of the compulsory insurance laws in the U.S.

3. What is not covered by basic-level JCI?
JCI does not protect you in the case of property
damage caused by you or any other expense exceeding those listed in paragraph 1.

4. Who Pays for Bodily Injury or Death Damage Over and Above JCI Coverage?
You do.

4.1. If you cause injury or death damage exceeding your JCI policy coverage and your private insurance coverage, you are responsible. JCI protects you only in case you injure or cause death to other people by the use of your vehicle.

4.2. JCI does not cover liability for any property you might damage by the use of your vehicle. If in an accident caused by you there is damage to someone’s vehicle, fence, house, storefront, or other property, you are responsible, unless you have insurance to cover such claims.

4.3. To put things in perspective, 3,000,000 yen may be less than the value of a single
automobile. Bodily injury damages in excess of JCI coverage are well documented.


From  JAF –
AIT/FIA Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) is recognized when you temporarily (up to one year) import your private vehicle to Japan. Before customs clearance, the holder of CPD has to obtain an authentication of carnet at the relevant JAF offices. It is free of charge to make this application. We at JAF need following documents and information for issuing an authentication of carnet. Please send these documents by fax in advance.

1. Copies of front cover and first page of the carnet.
2. A list of persons and their address that will drive the vehicle in Japan. (If the third persons use the imported vehicle

1. A CPD holder should come to the relevant JAF office in person with his/her original CPD. In a particular case, JAF may accept an application by an agent with a letter of proxy for the holder.
2. Submit your original CPD to us and fill in 2 copies of the authentication application form by specifying your address in Japan, the date and place of re-export of the vehicle. Then sign those forms and hand in them to us.
3. We will fill in and return the forms to you if the CPD can be authenticated.
4. Submit both of the forms to customs office when you apply for clearance. They will return signed and sealed one to you. Keep it always with you when you drive your vehicle.

FAX No. of JAF Branch Offices for Carnet Authentication

Sapporo: +81-11-857-7177 Miyagi: +81-22-783-2821
Tokyo: +81-3-5440-2564 Aichi: +81-52-872-1164
Osaka: +81-72-645-1666 Hiroshima: +81-82-272-0324
Kagawa: +81-87-869-9316 Fukuoka: +81-92-841-7815

< NOTE >
1. A temporarily imported vehicle under cover of CPD must be driven by the carnet holder for private purpose. In this context it is recommended that CPD be made out in the name of individual. Otherwise the carnet might not be accepted by the customs.
2. If you wish to have anyone else other than you drive your vehicle, you have to submit relevant application document(s) to the customs office. We can provide the application document(s) on your request.
3. A CPD holder must have his/her temporarily imported vehicle covered by Japanese Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance before starting to use the vehicle in Japan.
4. Anyone who drives a temporarily imported vehicle must always keep a “Registration Certificate” with him/her, issued for the vehicle, which certificate is prescribed in the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic.
5. If a temporarily imported vehicle is registered in a country that is not a party to the aforementioned Convention, it must be inspected and registered in Japan on arrival, even if imported under cover of CPD.
6. No extension of the validity of CPD is authorized by the Customs authority, unless the holder of the CPD provides sufficient evidences that the vehicle in question is unable to be re-exported from Japan within the validity of the CPD.

Exceptions – Carnet

Motorcycles from these countries ( Germany, Switzerland, Monaco Slovenia) can use a Carnet to enter their motorcycle into Japan BUT the motorcycle CANNOT legally be driven or ridden unless the motorcycle is registered in Japan. Registering a motorcycle can take a month or more and is impossible if the rider does not have all the correct documentation. Also emissions, noise and brake tests are required. The whole process could cost over ¥400,000. In-short it is highly advised to not expect to be able to ride your motorcycle legally in Japan, if the vehicle is registered as a  German, Swiss, Monaco or Slovenian motorcycle.

Temporary Plates

Japan has a system where short term plates can be issues to be used, in relation to the registration of a vehicle. These plates are available to foreign or domestic registered vehicles. They are for a maximum 5 days ( includes shipping times ). The person or company requesting the plates, must provide JCI/Jibaiseki, the vehicle title and fill in the appropriate form. The plate rental fee is only about ¥800. However, to have a company fill in the paperwork and pick up the plate, then dispatch will incur other fees.

Apexmoto can have temporary plates issued and our fee is ¥5,800. This cover the paperwork fee, government fee and time taken to attend the facility that issues the plates. Shipping to anywhere in Japan is ¥3,000.

Fines apply to the person or company who requested the plates, if they are not returned on time. Therefore we also require a ¥30,000 which is refunded on the return of the plates.

Useful Links

JAF Information for drivers/riders in Japan.

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