What is the best VPN for Japan to keep your internet use private?

Japan is one of the world’s most wired nations, with an astounding 92 percent of its population online. Although internet censorship and government surveillance are not widely regarded as major issues at the moment, circumstances and societal attitudes are gradually shifting. VPN services are popular in the country, both among local residents and the country’s two million monthly visitors.

A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, is a useful piece of software that bypasses geographically restricted content and protects your online privacy and anonymity by encrypting all internet traffic to and from your device. This is accomplished by routing traffic through a user-specified intermediary server.

Best VPN for Japan

Our VPN selection is based on the following criteria:

  • Service responsiveness and dependability.
  • Parameters for strong encryption.
  • There are no usage logs.
  • Easily unblocks geo-restricted content (Netflix, Hulu, etc.).
  • Japan server locations.
  • Apps for Android and iOS.
  • Above-average speeds compared to other VPNs.

NordVPN

NordVPN has a true zero-logs policy as it holds no data about user sessions, traffic, or timestamps. Authorities have tried clamping down on it in the past by sending multiple requests for information, but the policy makes it impossible to comply. Nord’s servers were also raided in one instance, but there was no incriminating data stored, hence thwarting attempts.

The company operates 5000+ servers in several countries, making it a sturdy choice for an entire range of web activities. 80+ servers are located in Japan itself. Hence, finding a suitable connection shouldn’t be an issue.

There are also servers optimized for anti-DDoS, video streaming networks, double VPN, Tor over VPN, and dedicated IP—ideal for video streaming, strong encryption, and stringent privacy. It’s also able to sidestep the Netflix VPN block with ease, as well as access content from Hulu and BBC iPlayer. It is torrent compatible.

By default, NordVPN servers encrypt internet traffic using the 256-bit AES encryption algorithm and 2,048-bit SSL keys. Protection against DNS leaks is enabled. A single subscription covers multiple devices, including those running Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

Japan VPN – methodology of testing

There are hundreds of VPNs available, and not all of them are created equal. Many are unsuitable for duties such as streaming. Others lack the necessary security features to ensure online privacy. This complicates the process of selecting a reputable VPN, and it is not uncommon for consumers to become frustrated with a service that is a waste of money.

To avoid consumer errors, we thoroughly test VPNs to ensure they meet industry standards. Our VPN reviewers accomplish this through the use of a scientific testing methodology that has been carefully developed. You can learn more by following this link, but we’ve included a summary of the key features we considered when curating this list below:

  1. Japan-based servers. Whether you are in Japan or traveling abroad, you may need to access Japanese services and platforms that are region-locked. VPNs that have Japanese servers let you prevent tracking and surveillance even when using local Japanese services.
  2. A global network of servers. Whether you want to stream Netflix US, the UK’s BBC iPlayer, or use some other international service, a VPN with a wide choice of servers will help. We recommend VPNs that have a large global server network to ensure you can always access anything that interests you.
  3. No logs policy. This ensures that the VPN never tracks or harvests any information about what you do while connected. This is critical since it ensures the VPN is not accessing your data and hence cannot be compelled to divulge your surfing patterns to government snoops.
  4. Encryption that is robust. A VPN is only as secure as the encryption it employs. Regrettably, not all VPNs adhere to the highest possible standards while implementing their VPN protocol. To safeguard your security, we suggest only VPNs for Japan that use strong encryption.
  5. VPN features that are advanced. By offering applications for all platforms that include helpful features, leading VPN services give value for money and adaptability. We propose services that provide DNS leak prevention, a kill switch, obfuscation, and more sophisticated capabilities like Smart DNS, multi-hop connections, and split tunneling.
  6. Excellent client service. It is critical to be able to contact your VPN and request assistance. That is why we recommend VPNs with live chat and email support, so you can contact them at any time of day.

Free VPN choices

It is feasible to avoid paying for a VPN and go for the free version. Such services are frequently marketed on the internet, so a little googling around on Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo will do the work.

But there’s a catch. Free VPN options come with substantial constraints on things like server locations, encryption standards, speed and stability, and bandwidth caps. You’re not paying to use them, so don’t anticipate world-class services that can access prohibited websites and streaming services.

Simultaneously, such businesses must generate revenue to cover costs such as server space, technical staff, and general overhead. They do this by aggressively following your browser history, placing cookies, and seeking to sell your information to third-party advertising.

There are also likely to be a slew of intrusive advertisements and bothersome pop-up windows. Malware is also a threat, adding to the potential list of issues. It is a nice reminder of the notion that when the product is free, you generally end up becoming the product.

Is torrenting legal in Japan?

Japan has arguably the strictest anti-torrenting legislation in the world, with penalties for offenders of an extraordinarily high 10 million yen in fines, and a two-year jail term.

Forums like Reddit and Quora advise that downloading torrents won’t get you into a legal mess, but you certainly face the danger of jail if caught uploading or seeding such files.

Indeed, 27 individuals were jailed in 2013, after being detected downloading comics, video games, anime, and music videos without the clear consent of copyright holders.

If your specific objective when accessing the web in Japan is to download torrents, we advise you to read through our suggestion for the best VPN for P2P filesharing.

What is the internet’s future in Japan?

Japan’s internet is classified as “free” by Freedom House, which notes that there are currently no restrictions on social media apps, content access, or crackdowns on popular bloggers. This is bolstered by the Japanese constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression and prohibits censorship.

However, national security concerns may prompt a reconsideration at the federal level. Japan’s legislature passed the “Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets” in 2013. The act’s enshrined provisions make it a crime to leak and publish national secrets, regardless of their motivation or substance. According to Freedom House, this may have serious consequences for journalists, whistleblowers, and civil society watchdogs.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee concurs that the statute is imprecise and wide in its definition of the precise scope of hidden topics. Individuals who violate these boundaries will face severe criminal consequences, which will encourage journalists and human rights activists to self-censor.

The legislation was enacted in response to a suggestion by Japan’s communication ministry to regulate online. The guidelines sought to rein in powerful news websites by subjecting them to the same regulations that apply to traditional newspapers and broadcast television channels. The report, titled “Final Report on a Comprehensive Legal System for Communications and Broadcasting stated that “there is a need for an active effort from the government… as it is difficult for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to individually make judgments regarding concrete harmfulness”.

The country’s crackdown on media freedoms contributes to the fearful atmosphere. Foreign Policy reported in 2016 on the Japanese government’s repression of popular voices.

Three outspoken television anchors were mysteriously removed from their jobs, with the general perception that the dismissals were orchestrated by the government, although there is no independent method of verifying this claim. The country’s largest liberal newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, was also forced to be subdued.

The UN was obligated to conduct a fact-finding mission in the nation as a result of these events, during which it interacted with journalists, educators, and government officials. After the expedition, the worldwide organization said that “Japan’s press independence is under serious threat.”

“I learned from a variety of sources that there is genuine concern that trends are veering sharply and alarmingly in the wrong direction. This is particularly acute in the context of media independence,” added UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye.

Japan’s press freedom ranking by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders fell 11 places to 72 out of 180 countries surveyed the day after the report was released.

According to Foreign Policy, Japan’s intelligence agency, the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office, spied on this particular United Nations mission by tracking the movements of a local lawyer who assisted the fact-finding team. These are concerning developments for a country that has long prided itself on being the region’s largest democracy, and they may provide a glimpse of what lies ahead.

Having said that, it is critical to note that no media personnel have been arrested as a result of this new legislation. However, anyone found guilty of disclosing state secrets faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.

Japan VPN FAQs

How to use a VPN to access Netflix Japan?

To access Netflix Japan while traveling, simply connect to one of your VPN’s Japanese servers. If you continue to have problems, we recommend switching to a different server or contacting your VPN customer support team directly for assistance.

Can I be arrested in Japan for torrenting anime?

Torrenting copyrighted content is a crime, and you could be arrested as a result. However, Japanese law enforcement is more interested in apprehending those who upload this type of content than in apprehending those who download it. Nonetheless, with penalties ranging from a ten million dollar ($91,000 USD) fine to a two-year prison sentence, we strongly advise against downloading copyrighted content without the owner’s permission.

Is using a Japanese proxy server better than a VPN from Japan?

With a VPN from Japan or a Japanese proxy server, you can browse anonymously because you’re using a different IP address that isn’t tied to your actual location. Furthermore, you can use either to unblock geo-restricted websites and services. However, only a VPN encrypts all of your internet traffic. A VPN protects you from both hackers and snoopers (such as your ISP), making it the superior alternative for preserving your privacy.

Which cities in Japan does NordVPN have servers?

NordVPN has around 80 servers in Japan among its over 5,000 servers. NordVPN verified to us that all of its Japanese servers are situated in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Connecting to one of these servers will provide you with a Tokyo IP address (Japan IP address). The NordVPN website has further information on their VPN servers in Japan. Additionally, you may see the whole list of server locations using the NordVPN applications.

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