Is VPN Legal in Japan? Do You Need One? [Must Know]

Reading time icon 5 min. read

Readers help support VPNCentral. We may get a commission if you buy through our links. Tooltip Icon

Read our disclosure page to find out how can you help VPNCentral sustain the editorial team Read more

Do I need a VPN in Japan

If you’re currently residing in Japan or simply visiting this beautiful country, you might have wondered if you need a VPN there for your online activity.

Japan provides its residents with one of the freest internet experiences in the world, with little to no censorship and a high 77 index score by the Freedom on the Net annual report in 2023.

Many VPN users connect to Japanese servers for a freer internet experience or to circumvent geo-restrictions and enjoy watching Japanese TV.

However, this does not mean using a VPN in Japan would be pointless since this tool offers many more features in addition to getting around geo-blocks.

For one, it will protect your data on public WiFi and defeat throttling. That said, given the different regulations on VPNs around the world, you should also consider whether using VPN in Japan is legal or not.

This article will address the reasons for using a VPN in Japan while also explaining the legal conditions of using a VPN in this country.

Continue reading to find out.

Yes, using a VPN is legal in Japan. Japan has no laws directly ruling out the usage of VPNs.

However, like in many other countries, using a VPN for certain ends, such as torrenting, is strictly illegal.

In the case of Japan, you could face a fine of up to 10 million yen and up to 2 years in prison for torrenting copyrighted material in Japan.

Generally speaking, you could only get into trouble for using a VPN in Japan if the activity itself is deemed illegal.

That means you won’t get penalized solely for connecting to a VPN.

Do I need a VPN in Japan?

Japan has exceptionally high levels of internet freedom.

That being said, there are numerous other reasons why using a VPN in Japan would be a good idea. Here are some of them:

1. Overcoming geo-restrictions

In this day and age, geo-restrictions are widespread and not limited to specific regions.

The reasons for the geo-restriction of services can range from privacy and security concerns to copyright issues. This is where VPNs come into play.

You can use a VPN in Japan to access geo-restricted content, such as certain streaming platforms that are not available in Japan, such as fuboTV.

Also, some businesses restrict access to their systems from abroad due to security reasons, e.g., cyber-attacks.

You can also overcome this by using VPNs.

2. Data protection on public WiFi networks

Wherever you are, when you connect to public WiFi networks, you risk exposing your information.

A very common benefit of using a VPN, whether it be in Japan or anywhere else, is to protect your online activity via strong encryption.

Hence, we strongly recommend using a premium VPN while connected to a public network in Japan.

3. Defeating ISP throttling

If you’re using a lot of bandwidth (e.g., gaming, streaming, etc.) over your internet connection, your ISP might limit it. That’s called ISP throttling.

ISP throttling can result in annoying buffer time, lags, high latency, and an overall hellish online experience.

Internet service providers detect specific traffic and limit them. They usually do it when you’re gaming, streaming, or downloading large files.

However, if you use VPN, your ISP can’t get any information about what you’re actually doing online. Consequently, it will not be able to throttle your speed.

4. Avoid data retention

Data retention policies refer to the storing of online data by various sites and services.

While Japan is known for being user-friendly in this regard, the same cannot be true when attempting to access websites and services located outside of Japan.

This is where a VPN can again be helpful.

By changing your IP and encrypting your internet traffic, you can be sure that your online activity will not be retained by such services.

5. Prevent web tracking

In Japan or outside Japan, web trackers love to watch your online activity and sell it to various advertisers.

This is why relevant ads keep popping up while surfing the internet.

But how can you get rid of being tracked online? Well, by simply using a VPN, that changes your IP often.

The way tracking works is by observing a certain IP’s activity over time. You can change your IP using a VPN to avoid this privacy issue.

6. Protecting your online freedom and privacy

Although we mentioned Japan’s acceptable record for online freedom and privacy, there have been recent actions in this sphere that can be alarming.

First, Japan is a confirmed collaborator of the Five Eyes Surveillance Alliance, a treaty notorious for spying on citizens’ online activities.

So, if you don’t like having your data potentially be surveilled by governments, using a VPN in Japan can be a safe guarantee.

Another move by the Japanese government in recent years was the NOTICE program.

This was in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which saw the attempted hack of more than 200 million IoT devices.

These facts show that the Japanese government is becoming more conservative toward internet freedom.

Hence using a VPN in Japan would be even more justified.


While Japan is known for its freedom of the internet, the need for using a VPN in Japan is still justified for many reasons that we explained in this article.

Premium VPNs are the ultimate solution to a fast, secure, and private online experience and are legal to use in Japan.

So, if you want to defeat geo-restrictions, ISP throttling, data retention, and web tracking, and to have a secure internet experience in Japan, we recommend using premium VPNs.

More about the topics: japan

2 thoughts on “Is VPN Legal in Japan? Do You Need One? [Must Know]

  1. Can you recommend a provider that offers NFL football in Japan for bars and restaurants? Or do I have to use a VPN? Thank you very much. Kind regards, Leonard

    1. Hi Leonard,

      For personal use, go with a VPN.

      However, for business use, you’ll need to double check the laws regarding streaming copyrighted content like the NFL matches in business venues. Using a VPN by itself is not illegal, but the licenses can be a problem.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *