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Question Can I drive with a foreign country's driver's license in Japan?
Answer   You can do it under certain conditions. Driver's license issued by France, Germany and Switzerland government will be accepted if you have the authorized translation to Japanese by each country's embassy or consulate
in Japan, or official translations issued by JAF (Japan Automobile Federation).
  You have to carry your driver's license with the certificate translated to Japanese when you drive in Japan. Those licenses are valid for a year from the date of entrance into Japan. It will be valid for another year from the date of reentrance into Japan if you leave Japan once (A period of three months is required for reentrance into Japan from the date of your leaving).
  The police might ask you to show your passport to check the valid date when driving. We recommend changing a foreign driver's license to a Japanese driver's license if you stay in Japan for a long period. You can apply to switch it with the certificate translated to Japanese.

If you ask JAF (Japan Automobile Federation) to issue the official translation,  
1. Office hours: 9 am- 5:30 pm (Mon- Fri, except Public Holidays)
2. Documents required: A photocopy of a foreign driver's license
3. How to apply: Walk-In or Mail In (by genkin kakitome; registered mail for cash)
  JAF Kumamoto  8-1-1 Nagaminehigashi, Kumamoto-shi
4. Translation fee: 3,000 yen per license. Extra fee (290 yen) for return postage (delivery-recorded mail) when the application is made by mail.

* It takes a few days the Japanese translation will be issued. We notify you when it is available. The translation will not be reissued in principle. The translation may be reissued only when it is deemed necessary under unavoidable circumstances. In such cases, the application for reissue is treated in the same way as a new application, and a fee of 3,000 yen will be charged.
* The period of validity of the Japanese translation is the same as that for the driver's license from which the translation was made.
JAF: http://www.jaf.or.jp/inter/fr/f_index5.htm

Question I'm a Russian and own a Russian driver's license. How can I change it to a Japanese license?
Answer Please refer to "Driver's license" of Living Information.

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