What if lottery participants are from countries the Japan Post can't send mails?

These days I often host lotteries which I enjoy - but have been at a loss with postal problems of the Japan Post.

What should I do with Postcrossers from countries which the Japan Post stop accepting mails to send out?

I know I’m not allowed to say like “You can’t participate my lottery if you’re from certain countries.” on the forum.

However, at the same time I feel uncomfortable and sorry for participants from countries I can’t send mails.

Is it wrong to say “I can’t send mails to (certain countries) temporarily”?
It’s completely different from so-called country discrimination … or do you have suggestion?

Also is it acceptable to say “Postcrossers from countries which the Japan Post can send air mails can join this lottery.”?
(I sent several mails via sea mail last autumn, but none of them has been delivered.)

Hope somebody will help me, thanks in advance!

You can’t exclude countries based on preferences, but of course you have no control over the postal services, so that is different.

If you look through the lotteries, many people (including myself, but fortunately Germany has very few limits these days) ask participants to check the Postal Monitor to make sure they can receive mail from the lottery organizer’s country.
Otherwise another winner will be picked.


I’m in Japan too. I just explain that I can’t send airmail to particular countries such as Italy, Greece, Russia, etc. if someone from one of those countries participated in the lottery, I just ignore their comment.

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I feel like it will be rude to exclude countries, especially if it is a chain lottery. It is better to do the part from your side by sending the mail, hopefully it will arrive at it’s destination sooner or later.
I personally receiving mail from Japan sent to India via surface mail regularly. It lakes around 60-80 days.



I received word a few days ago that the postcard I sent to India in October had arrived :mailbox_with_mail: :sparkles:
I also sent them to Russia and Italy in November and December, but they have not yet arrived here.

I don’t put any restrictions on it, but if it is going to be a surface mail, I try to get prior approval before sending it.
It’s fine for countries where surface mail can be sent, but I’m wondering what to do for countries where there is no way to send mail at all (by the way, I’m having trouble sending mail to Brazil) :sweat_drops:


I find totally acceptable if someone warns people that they cannot mail to certain countries.
If I enter a lottery (somehow missing the written warning) I’d accept that my entry be ignored. It’s a lottery, someone is giving something, I’d do anything to make this easier to the gifter, if this time is not for me: yay for another user!! :smiley:


I think it’s reasonable to include only countries that Japan has airmail service to. If sea mail isn’t efficient enough from your experience then that’s a good enough justification. There are plenty of lotteries so if people miss a few, there are others they can take part in.

You can say that the lottery is open for countries that Japan has airmail service to and link to the Postal Monitor.


Keep things simple.
Did you already announce who the winner is ?

  • If yes, then stick with them. And just tell them you will send the prize when postal relations resume normal.
  • If not, then choose another winner.

My personal opinion(sorry for bad English)
Find friends who are in other countries that can help you send these postcards, and ask for their help in advance.
Then tell postcrossers who join your lotteries that they may have to wait longer to get the postcards.
Send these postcards to the friends and let them help you send these postcards.
It’s reasonable though ideal I think, given the situation of Japan’s postal service.

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I don’t know if there’s a written rule made by moderator about lotteries or not. But so far I know, you host your own lottery (with your own set rules) CMIIW. Even if it’s a chain lottery too (the set rule I know, you win one then you have to open one). I haven’t heard about rule for excluding countries. It sounds rude, but it’s not something we can control. So the ultimate choice is on your side :slight_smile: , do what you need to do because you’re the host :slightly_smiling_face:

In tag game sometime someone from a country that isn’t serviced by airmail tagged me, but the rule is : I need to send the postcard to the person who tagged me regardless if there’s airmail service or not. But I always explain the risk : longer time to arrive, higher chance to get lost etc. And they understand it

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Sadly surface mail from Japan to Russia is also suspended this week.
We now have methods to send any Postal items to Russia now.

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With Japan and Russia it’s so weird. My cards reach Japanese postcrossers, but I have not received anything at all, even when mail service was supposingly working as ‘surface mail’.

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When I do some swaps with others, I always ask them to check the postal monitor to see whether they can receive postcards from Japan.

On the other hand, the postal monitor regards surface mail from Japan as unable to send. That means, for some countries, surface mail is also available, such as Italy.

However, for some countries, neither air mail and surface mail is available, such as Russia.

Maybe some users think even these counties are unable to send to, but we can still send them anyway, which may just arrive lately.
In Japan, that’s not the case. If we take the postcards to these counties, and go to the post office, the clerk will check the list carefully, and finally refuse to accept the postcard.
I think, since this is something like force majeure, we have no way but choose not to send the card.


I send a private swap to a user in Russia, and it took 5 months to arrive. Of course, there will be no official cards from Japan to Russia to be sent.

And things have changed. From this week, surface mail from Japan to Russia is also suspended. Now Japanese users have no way to send any Postal items to Russia, sadly.

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I understand that now mail to Russia is officially suspended in Japan. But I haven’t received anything from anyone from Japan (nothing since autumn 2019), and it means about 5 tags never arrived. Russia is still sending mail to Japan on other hand - recent arrived in about two weeks just couple days ago (sent 30 December 2021).

I’m just saying that it seems at least from my experience that Japan doesn’t send any mail to Russia for ages already (around 1 year I think, if I consider time I’m active on the forum and nothing arrived)

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Yes, that’s really weird.
I searched the log and find that air mail from Japan to Russia has been suspended since April 2020, for nealy 2 years.
In the meantime, air mail from Russia to Japan is going on well.


It’s so strange!! I will never understand how mail can be suspended only in one direction! (it was also for some time situation with Russia and Chile, only one direction officially worked) Maybe Russian postal clerks just accept everything and then it gets to wait somewhere in the sorting center. But also sometimes it happens that officially mail is suspended but still comes through (like I sent mail to UK during official suspension by Russian post and it arrived very fast :joy:)

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Thank you very much for those who have posted their comments :slightly_smiling_face:
I didn’t know the postal monitor system existed!

I’ll write more when I can use PC, but just want to send a quick note for appreciation :heart:

BTW, I also think it’s weird that I can receive mails from Russia but can’t send ones there … even by sea mail :sob:


For real :joy: it’s so confusing. The air traffic at least have been opened for tourism, and Indonesian tourists also can fly abroad. Mails from abroad can be received but to send mail abroad to certain countries (with open air traffic) isn’t available (official information from post office official site)

Which is more weird for me, post office worker here never rejected my cards eventhough on the official site surface mail and/or air mail service to certain countries isn’t open :joy: . Best of luck for the cards


In the beginning of pandemic when there were significantly less flights, I remember Russian post complained that they needed to hire additional cargo planes to deliver (before they were piggybacking the passenger flights)

Nowadays, which I sort of like, mail get delivered to more rare countries in the same time during swaps (if sent in approx. same time) - postal cargo plane flew there and back loaded with our cards