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A standard sign indicating a speed limit of 60 km/h (37 mph) and a minimum speed limit of 50 km/h (31 mph)

Statutory speed limit in Japan defaults to 100 km/h (62 mph) for divided national highways and 60 km/h (37 mph) for any other roads, unless otherwise posted.[1] The highest speed limit in Japan is 120 km/h (75 mph) on some sections of E1A Shin-Tōmei Expressway and E4 Tōhoku Expressway.[2] Urban two-way streets are usually zoned at 40 km/h (25 mph) or less.[3]


Limits in Japan are different from most countries:

  • having no separate urban limit; urban limits are set by zoning rather than statute.
  • outside of urban areas a limit of 40 km/h (25 mph) or 50 km/h (31 mph) is common.
  • divided highways outside of urban areas a limit of 50 km/h (31 mph) or 60 km/h (37 mph) is common.
  • undivided expressways have a limit of 70 km/h (43 mph).
  • variable speed limits are in effect on most national highways.
  • emergency vehicles are not exempt but have speed limit of 80 km/h (50 mph) on most roads and 100 km/h (62 mph) on divided national highways, unless higher speed limit is posted. Police vehicles are exempt during speeding enforcement.
  • heavy trucks, trailers and three-wheelers are restricted to 80 km/h (50 mph).


Speed cameraEdit

A threshold for speed camera in Japan is set at a minimum of 40 km/h above the limit on an expressway and minimum 30 km/h above limit on other streets, where drivers will face criminal charges instead of traffic infractions. This is due to legal precedents dating back to 1969 restricting police from filming an individual unless a criminal offence is immediately being committed.[4]

Police enforcementEdit

Police enforcement varies depending on jurisdiction, officers, traffic flow and types of street, but 20 km/h above the speed limit on an expressway and 15 km/h above limit is generally tolerated on other streets.[5] Some jurisdictions, such as Tokyo Metropolitan Police, releases the list of traffic enforcement locations on their websites.[6]


  1. ^ "The Order for Enforcement of the Road Traffic Act (Japanese)". Government of Japan. Government of Japan. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  2. ^ "新東名高速道路における最高速度120キロの試行開始について" (in Japanese). 2 February 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Driving in Japan". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  4. ^ 刑集第23巻12号1625頁
  5. ^ 速度規制の目的と現状 P.12 - National Police Agency of Japan
  6. ^ 警視庁 公開交通取締り - Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department