This year there are some changes for packages from Japan to the US. As of January 1, 2021, packages with handwritten labels are no longer allowed under the US STOP Act. The Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act is a US Federal law about counterterrorism and control of drugs. It requires customs data on postal items to be sent to US Customs in advance.
What does that mean for people in Japan who want to send packages to the United States? It means we have to use the International My Page Service to send Electronic Advance Data (EAD) and to create a label. The data sent includes the sender's name and address, the recipient's name and address, names of contents, gross weight, and number of items.
I have not tried to use this system yet, but Cynthia, who blogs at wabi-sabiquilts.blogspot.com wrote that it is a "nothing is easy" experience.
Another Japan Post change is that International Postage Rates will be going up on April 1, 2021. The last time these rates were revised was March 1996. The United States will become its own zone (Zone 4) and will see the largest increases.