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This is a requirement for any foreign national who resides in Japan and wishes to leave Japan with an intension of re-entering Japan before his/her period of stay (or the period within which he/she is eligible to stay in cases where he/she has no fixed period of stay). Put simply, if you are a regular visa holding foreign resident in Japan and you wish to temporarily leave Japan (for a holiday, visit relatives, business trip etc.) and then return to Japan then you must apply in advance for a re-entry permit (‘single’ or ‘multiple’ types available) at your nearest regional Immigration Bureau.