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European business lobby calls on Japan to ease travel restrictions

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Japan should immediately begin letting permanent and long-term residents back in, Mroczek said, adding that they make up only about 2 percent of the population and in any case there is little reason to set different standards because everyone is just as likely to be carrying the virus.

This assumption is based upon what? There are something like over 7.5 BILLION people on the planet, and a little over 9 MILLION confirmed cases.

Do the math, the odds are that there are far more people without the virus than with it, and like it or not, Japan SO FAR, has managed, through lord only knows, how much playing with statics, keep their numbers down

One example, our little island down here hasnt had a new case since the end of April, going on close to 60 days now.

You let people in, without FORCING self quarantine that number will change, and no one will take responsibility for it!

Make them quarantine, at their own expense, AND get tested, again at their expense, before allowing ANYONE into the country! Other countries are doing the same thing, Japan should as well!

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

"I'm not here to argue with the Japanese government about the interpretation (of the law). We take what we get. But we certainly are asking that there is an equal treatment with Japanese citizens and there is a reciprocity with the EU," he said.

Japan doesn’t do equal treatment Mr Mroczek should know that...

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Japan should immediately begin letting permanent and long-term residents back in, Mroczek said,

Permanent Residents and "long-term residents" from ANYWHERE can already return to Japan, and many do so every day. This has been true for quite a while, but people continually fail to understand this. Also, the non-citizen family of PRs as well as non-citizen family of Japanese citizens can return to Japan.

The only possible restriction would be if the person traveled to/through one of the banned countries during the time that it was on entry ban list (for most countries that began in April, but many weren't until May). Someone "may" be denied entry if they did so (up to the immigration officer), but if the person had entered one of these countries before the entry ban for that specific country was imposed, then they can return to Japan without problem.

So if a PR left Japan in March and went back to France, they can currently return to Japan.

Again, many people are already doing this (and every day at the airports they are tested for the virus on arrival and many are found to be infected).

The official details are here:

https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html

but more clearly stated here:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/japan-entry-ban-list/

-22 ( +4 / -26 )

@divinda

Please get a grip. We are talking about any PR who left Japan after mid-April or who wants to leave now. Unless there was a death in the family, or similar, they cannot re-enter Japan.

My Japanese wife is a PR of my native country. Like all G7 countries, except Japan, they allow their PRs to enter the country and self-quarantine. If we fly there today to see our family only she can re-enter Japan. Sounds like discrimination to me.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

Instead of asking and doing lectures, the EU should enforce reciprocity and ban Japanese nationals from entry. That would solve the "misunderstanding" immediately.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

*Permanent Residents and "long-term residents"** who left Japan almost three months ago from ANYWHERE can already return to Japan, and many do so every day. *

(fixed it for you)

So your argument is that this situation is fine since permanent residents who left almost three months ago are allowed to return? That must be such a small amount of people that they don’t even register statistically.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

mu-da...... Great idea! A simple reciprocal arrangement, or threat of, ie a similar ban on ALL Japanese passport holders entering the EU, would solve this quite quickly.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Keep the borders closed pleased.

Nobody here wants imported Corona Cases.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

My Japanese wife is a PR of my native country.

If she is a permanent resident of your native country, but currently living in Japan, by definition she is not a resident of your native country.

That must be such a small amount of people that they don’t even register statistically.

Tell that to the hundreds of foreign people, assumingly PRs and family, who have come into Japan in the past month, dozens of whom were tested positive for the virus on arrival in Japan. Don't believe me? A quick search shows:

7 foreigners positive on arrival June 15:

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20200615/k10012471541000.html?utm_int=word_contents_list-items_387

3 foreigners positive on arrival June 18:

https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASN6L6KS8N6LULBJ01F.html

15 foreigners positive on arrival June 9:

https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASN6966FBN69ULBJ008.html

2 foreigners positive on arrival May 24:

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/f2891e4aaa9b588fcab2688567d0bc65703afedb

2 foreigners positive on arrival May 12:

https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASN5D6G8CN5DUBQU003.html

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

**Permanent Residents and "long-term residents"** who left Japan almost three months ago from ANYWHERE can already return to Japan, and VERY FEW do so every day. **

(fixed it again)

I returned to Japan 2 weeks ago after departing in mid March. I was one of the only ones who got in on this morning. There aren't "many foreigners" at the airport, Haneda is deserted. Divinda makes it sound easy and "without problem" but the reality is far different. It took 3h to get through the whole process including quarantine and it is not clear until the very end if you are allowed in or not. Certainly not for the impatient, faint hearted or mothers with young children (who were screaming). I also had a COVID-19 test before I boarded the plane - on my own cost, of course - all proper and as safe as possible.

The Japanese regulations assume that you have still a residence, home or place to stay in the country of your passport. Well, I don't. After more than 4 decades in Japan this is the only home I got. and I'm sure not the only one.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I returned to Japan 2 weeks ago after departing in mid March.

Thank you for your first hand experience which, as originally stated, only confirms that the quote/belief from the article is factually untrue:

"Japan should immediately begin letting permanent and long-term residents back in, Mroczek said"

So to satisfy all the hubub here, perhaps I should fix it:

"Japan should immediately begin letting permanent and long-term residents the option to depart with the ability to return and/or allow those who have more recently departed the ability to return with better assurance they will not be denied entry unless testing positive."

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

Tell that to the hundreds of foreign people, assumingly PRs and family, who have come into Japan in the past month, dozens of whom were tested positive for the virus on arrival in Japan. Don't believe me? A quick search shows:

None of which shows whether or not they have actually ENTERED the country! Japan is allowing transit through international terminals but NOT entry domestically!

Oh and the number is 29 NOT hundreds as you are over-exxaggeratingly claiming to be a fact here based upon links that go all the way back to MAY.

Not to mention that well over 120 countries are BANNED from entry! And pray tell, just how many people come here from Palau or Micronesia everyday!

Wake up...Japan is for all intents and purposes STILL closed! And the overwhelming majority of PR status people CAN NOT renter the country if they leave!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The expats Mr Mroczek is talking about are actually new colonists. They do not really live in the country where their companies send them. They live from holiday to holiday in Japan and they now cry for mama because they can not have their generous holidays for Easter, , summer holiday, Christmas etc...

if the concern was really about the job, they can sent, for these few months, Japanese colleagues. Or do they think they are not good enough? In that case sent them home and let them stay there permanently. Not only Japanese multinationals employ Japanese managers so let These Japanese people show their skills and go abroad for the job.

I have lived in 12 foreign countries and always took the bad with the good. I understand I am a guest and I am allowed to stay as long as I adapt to local standards. That does not mean, I need to become Japanese but I have to respect the country , it’s people and contribute more than a native Japanese to earn the right to live here. And I am very critical, disagree a lot with Japan but in the end, I want to live here and Japan let’s me.

in this case i find myself to agree with the Japanese government( I rarely do) from the moment they made humanitarian exceptions to let PR’s back in. Leisure and business can wait and adapt.

The expats mr Mroczek is talking about can leave and should not come back. They do not live in Japan, they are on a pitstop here as part of their career planning and after they return or go on their next posting will not have understood anything about Japan as they were just here in between holidays. Mr Mroczek can better occupy himself by telling me where those promised price reductions on cheese and wine went too ?

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

@monty

"keep the borders closed"

They are not closed. Japanese people come and go freely.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@ Yubaru

Japan is allowing transit through international terminals but NOT entry domestically!

So @mu-da is lying that he entered 2 weeks ago?

Oh and the number is 29 NOT hundreds as you are over-exxaggeratingly claiming to be a fact here based upon links that go all the way back to MAY.

Sadly, the exact statistics for foreign entrants is not available yet for recent months, but I specifically said "dozens" tested positive at entry and "hundreds" have entered. They do not test transit passengers. Again, ask @mu-da if he was completely alone coming in, then multiply that by every flight by every day. There are articles nearly every day announcing the numbers testing positive on entry, so try getting your news elsewhere.

Not to mention that well over 120 countries are BANNED from entry! And pray tell, just how many people come here from Palau or Micronesia everyday!

Its 111 countries with a travel entry ban, and again, a PR or family member from ANY country can enter Japan. Only if they traveled to any of those 111 countries in the past 2 weeks "may" they be denied entry, but if they went there before the ban was imposed, they can return. Again, @mu-da confirmed it above.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

I am an American citizen/tourist who deeply appreciates what I've learned of Japanese culture and sentiment, and am very much looking forward to visiting again. However, I am willing to wait as long as is necessary in order to be respectful of the citizens of Japan and their self-determination.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

@Rick Hepner

One of the best Posts I ever read here according the Virus.

Thank you very much for your patience in traveling again to Japan.

And I am sure that your next vacation here will be awesome!

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Everybody is on about permanent residents , which is understandable but

I am on my working visa, that I need to renew every 5 years, working for a Japanese corpo for the past 7 years, I know of 20 other people just like me (who work for the same company) and another dozen who work for a different company on the same basis.

Now, if we wanted to go to, let's say: Korea, for a business trip, we would not be allowed back to Japan, due to our non Japanese passports.

Now, that is not fair. We are being forced to stay in Japan, not able to go for summer holidays, and who knows, perhaps Chrismas is also out of question.

Somthing needs to be done about working visa holders too. Not just permanent residents!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I landed back in the US last week from Japan. My wife and son are still in Japan. I really hope Japan let's me back in at some point this year. Haneda was definitely dead and my flight very much empty. Physically, as of today, I still have a little jet lag but otherwise feeling totally fine. Fingers crossed things improve everywhere so lives can get back to normal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mr.Mroczek is completely correct, why we Europeans and I will also say every foreigner with a PR in Japan should have this unfair treatment?

If they keep like this I hope the EU will do the same to them.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

All the people living in Japan before the travel ban, whether for PR, work, student, spouse, should now be able to reenter the country even if it requires a period of self isolation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was in the process of moving my family from LA to Japan in the beginning of this year. My Japanese wife and kids are there now, but before the shut down I had to fly back to US and I am stuck here ever since. I read from IATA that spouse of Japanese national is able to enter... anybody know if this is a true statement? Please note, I don't have PR yet.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

7 foreigners positive on arrival June 15:

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20200615/k10012471541000.html?utm_int=word_contents_list-items_387

It's very convenient for your argument that you left out the fact that 5 Japanese citizens arriving from abroad on the same day also tested positive for covid.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Local Hero

I was in the process of moving my family from LA to Japan in the beginning of this year. My Japanese wife and kids are there now, but before the shut down I had to fly back to US and I am stuck here ever since. I read from IATA that spouse of Japanese national is able to enter... anybody know if this is a true statement? Please note, I don't have PR yet.

Nope, not able to enter, unless you flew to the US in order to attend a funeral, operation, give birth or be a witness in a court of law. I'm also a spouse visa holder to Japan, and have a flight ticket to Europe to go see my family (which I haven't seen for over a year) in August. I'm dreading what will happen - if I go, I might not be able to come back to Japan to my husband and my work. If I don't go, I'll loose the flight ticket and the money (flight company refuses to pay it back or change the date, as the ticket was bought nearly a year ago).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Are these same clowns who bow to their Chinese shark lord everyday?

&*^ off!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A country that puts such a restriction on his foreign residents, specially PR with a Japanese family who is allowed to come back, i,e, treated in a different way, shows it has no respect for its foreign community. It is in crisis we see the true spirit of people nd countries. Unfortunately, Japan did shot it. It does not deserve the Olympics.

@Yubaru

One example, our little island down here hasnt had a new case since the end of April, going on close to 60 days now.

You let people in, without FORCING self quarantine that number will change, and no one will take responsibility for it!

My city in southern Chiba has not seen any case for two and an half month, but we have been letting people in.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Vinke, thank you for the information. Best of luck to you!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My city in southern Chiba has not seen any case for two and an half month, but we have been letting people in.

You dont get nearly 20 Million people flying in and out of your city yearly!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Local Hero call immigration, as long as you didn't leave Japan after April 2 you can gain entry as exceptional circumstance as a pr holder or spouse of Japanese. Have assisted 2 ppl do this recently.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Local Hero

Please do not listen to the definitive "Nope" from @Vinke.

Your situation is precicely what I was attempting to explain (but got repeatedly denied and voted down for). @Vinke is complaining about exiting Jaan in the near future, which is a specifically different situation from yours.

If as you said, "before the shut down I had to fly back to US" (so this was prior to the US entry ban date of April 3rd) AND you also currently hold a spouce visa for Japan (meaning, a family visa and not a tourist/business visa), then yes, you should be allowed to re-enter.

Notice: that is RE-enter under an existing family based or permanent resident visa, and it is NOT trying to enter under a new visa issued abroad that has not yet been utilized.

Despite that this posting may also get voted down by the masses here, it doesn't make it untrue. But I do suggest that you consult the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate just to be sure. Yet according to the "rules", you should be allowed in if you hold a family visa and departed to the US before April 3rd.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@divinda, thanks for additional input. Sadly I don't have any PR or spouse visa as I entered Japan using visa waiver. The moving process was quite troublesome so I didn't put much emphasis on visa (admittedly I took the waiver for granted). I will call the Embassy to get additional color as it's been 5 months since I saw my family last :( Facetime helps, but it's oh so different...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Despite that this posting may also get voted down by the masses here, it doesn't make it untrue.

And it certainly doesnt make it right either!

(meaning, a family visa and not a tourist/business visa), then yes, you should be allowed to re-enter.

No such thing as a "family visa" here! Japan does not have them. So you are wrong here, and your "should" is hardly good advice, and is also wrong according to MOFA! not you!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Despite that this posting may also get voted down by the masses here, it doesn't make it untrue.

Oh and another thing, if ANYONE takes any of your advice, and they suddenly find themselves stuck, not being able to get back into the country domestically,

And if you care about thumbs up and down, you really are immature!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow @Yubaru, you gotta chill. Sorry to say the all-encompasing "family" visa to explain spouce/child/parent visa. So you want to nitpick? OK.

As far as my advice, I specifically suggested to confirm with an embassey or consulate so as not to get "stuck".

You, however, made sweeping claims and blatantly false statements... which people should just belive, right? "over 120 countries banned"... "Japan is allowing transit through international terminals but NOT entry domestically"... Sure, lets just believe you instead.

Here, check this article from NHK. Its in Japanese but Google Translate can help.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20200624/k10012482341000.html?utm_int=news-new_contents_list-items_048

It details how in the past month 131 people were confirmed with the virus on arrival from abroad at airports in Japan, and over 70% were foreigners (so about 100 people). And these are the infected people, which if you imagine is about 5% of the population (a high estimate), it would mean 2000 arrivals of foreign nationals in the past month (though its probably way more). So for me to say "dozens" of foreign infections arriving and "hundreds" of foreigners arriving in general, I was not only totally accurate, I was actually understating (definately not "over-exaggerating" as you said, which is a redundancy term BTW)

And this is just the past month. A total of about 300 cases have been found at airports in total since February, but no stat on how many are foreigners, but being that I listed articles dating from early May about infected foreign arrivals, it can be assured that there are more than 100 infected that arrived, with many more foreigners who came into the country in general.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Im a permanent resident holder in japan. i strongly think we need much more attention and some more benefits in this country like voting rights, property buying rights and japan passports. specially PR holders who got married a japanese national and have invested their future in this country. government should understand their thoughts same like japanese nationals though they born in another country and different passport and name. government doesnt know how they work hard on their born countries to make a good name about japan and how they work hard to creat a good economy in japan. they have dedicated their future to be here and die here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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