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Business lobby calls for lifting entry ban on nonresident foreigners

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Nice to see someone has common sense!

Open up and move on! Covid is now endemic and no longer NOVEL!

23 ( +37 / -14 )

It was here the day the ban came in. What a joke.

12 ( +22 / -10 )

Ban tourists but not people with valid working and student visas. This is ridiculous!

12 ( +27 / -15 )

If the government caves (which they probably won't) it'll just be for business trips. Tourists will still need not apply. Not sure where that will put those of us non-residents with Japanese family members, but it probably won't put us on a plane to Japan anytime in 2022...

People keep complaining that Japan's rules are the strictest in the G7. Meanwhile, Kishida keeps bragging that Japan's rules are the strictest in the G7.

This is gonna go on, and on, and on...

18 ( +24 / -6 )

"Why does Japan impose 10 days when the rest of the world requires only five?" he said.

Because politician think that Japan is always unique.

27 ( +36 / -9 )

sakurasuki

Today 06:59 am JST

"Why does Japan impose 10 days when the rest of the world requires only five?" he said.

Because politician think that Japan is always unique

That is why Japan and many other countries are sovereign and may decide by them self. You comment show lack of knowledge.

-35 ( +9 / -44 )

That is why Japan and many other countries are sovereign and may decide by them self.

So they can do whatever they like even it's not based on science, see what WHO have to say about this.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Coronavirus/Japan-s-tough-entry-restrictions-stand-out-as-WHO-urges-easing

21 ( +26 / -5 )

"...hampered domestic companies from making business trips"

I don't get that. People at Japanese companies (Japan residents) are free to go to most places overseas and then return to Japan. The problem is on the inbound side: non-Japanese non-residents who need to come to Japan. Keidanren and/or this article do not address this, maybe because they don't care.

What am I missing?

16 ( +22 / -6 )

Yes, but you've missed a step. Vaccinated residents who test negative should not be made to isolate and be tracked by the government after arrival.

Sort that out first before this.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

What am I missing?

The risk of a 10 day stay in a government appointed hello-hole on your return to Japan.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

The virus is rife in Japan-the number of cases far exceeds what the government is reporting.

There are people going to work with the virus right now but since their symptoms are light or non existent, then they aren’t taking time off to get tested.

Shutting everything down does very little.

Also,banning entry to Japan also has little meaning, positive or negative.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

@Fuzzy

You're right, but you're mentioning a different issue. The headline and the lead say the issue is "nonresident foreigners." Quarantine is a non-issue for this group, since they're not allowed in in the first place.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

« The anti-coronavirus entry ban has been in place since Nov. 30 »

Ahah you wish…But let’s do some real journalism: the entry ban has been in place since February 2020, including seven months of complete ban to all foreigners including permanent residents, and was lifted for half a hour mid November 2021 - also after Keidanren pressure - before coming again into effectiveness less than two weeks later, for a total of almost two full years now.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

"It was a good decision to cast a wide net in the first place. But there is no point keeping the measure in place given Omicron has already become the dominant strain" in Japan, said the head of the business lobby, also known as Keidanren

somebody finally making sense.

"We are not doing business only at home," he said, calling the current entry ban a "policy of seclusion."

What we have been saying here on JT all along.

Why does Japan impose 10 days when the rest of the world requires only five?" he said.

Good question

5 ( +14 / -9 )

No No No, keep them borders shut, there is nothing that can't be done ONLINE.

This cry about ""border restrictions have only hampered domestic companies from making business trips and having smooth negotiations with foreign partners on tie-ups, merges and acquisitions."" is just an excuse to allow tourists to return and has nothing to do contract negotiations and acquisitions.

-20 ( +8 / -28 )

Vaccinated residents who test negative should not be made to isolate and be tracked by the government after arrival.

The vaccines have no legal bearing in Japan, so they have to treat all citizens equally.

For example, the speed limit is the same for everybody, regardless of whether you have Michelin tires or not.

A specific company's product does not make you exempt from the law.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

The problem, Masakazu Tokura, is that the "policy of seclusion" is extremely popular, virus or no virus.

It's like a dream come true for most Japanese people. It is a glorious chance to return to the "good old days" of edo, when everything was pure.

It's also the only card Kishida can play that is sure to boost his approval rating, so it ain't going away anytime soon. And if you're worried about your company's share price, don't worry, the BOJ is ready to buy. Heck, it already owns 50% of the whole Japanese stock market.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

@JeffLee

I may have misunderstood your comment. You were talking about Japanese business people being free to come and go as they please. I was pointing out while that is true, the quarantine makes going on business trips impractical.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ok finally a little common sense!

the Economy is bankrupt already!

These Keystone Cops of politicians need to begin to get the economy going again and really think about revenue over everything else at this point! It’s too late really and a bit of an embarrassment!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"Why does Japan impose 10 days when the rest of the world requires only five?" 

because japan is ruled mainly by over 60-year-old stone-headed men

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Glad someone is speaking up and I hope they get louder! This looks bad on Japan. It only feeds the negative stereotypes of Japan being afraid of outsiders.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Kishida will be watching the polls. Frankly even with few travelers now the quarantine hotels seem to be full. They also need to let returnees quarantine at home as before.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Omgosh a Japanese higher-up with common sense and logic? Be still my beating heart! About damn time someone called J-gov out on their nonsense and xenophobia.

Why does Japan impose 10 days when the rest of the world requires only five?" he said.

I can answer this in one word: xenophobia. The government here still thinks the locals are incapable of getting and spreading covid even though the Omicron variant is tearing through the country. But since borders have been closed since November, who's responsible for the spread of Omicron? The people living here.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

"..The vaccines have no legal bearing in Japan, so they have to treat all citizens equally.

For example, the speed limit is the same for everybody, regardless of whether you have Michelin tires or not.

A specific company's product does not make you exempt from the law.."

Hiya Strawman, hiya pal.

Totally nothing to do with this situation. Allowing vaccinated residents who test negative on arrival to not quarantine makes total sense.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The border closure is alright, no need for more people in this already crowded country

What about the parents of children barred from returning to a country they call home for the last 25 years and have been paying taxes (and continue to)?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Totally nothing to do with this situation. Allowing vaccinated residents who test negative on arrival to not quarantine makes total sense.

Yet the Japanese government doesn't do that because legally they can't grant special treatment to people based solely on whether they used a specific company's product.

The inbound quarantine law has to apply to all people equally, that's Japanese law.

You can blame me for that if you want but it would be better to complain to the Japanese Supreme Court.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I agree to lift the border restrictions for non residents but a lot of them will still not come here for any business trips and/or vacations as when they go home they still have restrictions for getting back into their own countries.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Japan will know when the best time will be, if you really want to come to Japan, take your time, the country will open at the right time.

Do not forget..

Their country..

Their rules..

Sorry No Bonus.. Lol..

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

All restrictions make no sense with vaccines and therapeutics widely available.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Money over health. And hey, it's called "Zoom".

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

This seems like a weird push during the peak of the pandemic in Japan. If this was like a month ago when cases were at all time low I would understand, even if I would have disagreed still. Now just seems insane.

Governments should be taking notes from countries that have a better handle on this thing, not just going the route of throwing their populace to the wolves for the sake of the economy.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The response from gee-zans will be more teeth sucking and “sore ha mizukashii naaaa…”.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Honest question: Are Japanese people returning to Japan required to do the stays in the quarantine hotels like foreign residents are?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@CaptDingleheimer: Yes....to the Hotel Quarantine. They are also required to complete home Quarantine, BUT it is not legally enforceable. The threat to non Citizens is our visa or PR being revoked, for citizens it's being named and shamed on page 250 of a newspaper if broken.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Frankly I'm beyond caring.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

@CaptDingleheimer yes in theory they are, although in my two experiences none of the Japanese citizens who were in my same plane from the beginning of the trip (meaning the same quarantine applies) were then in the CSI-plastic-covered bus to the quarantine hotel. None.

Optimistic me thinks they just had different hotels (simple comfort discrimination, maybe even in my favor); the pessimistic me thinks they were considered by the quarantine officer - who can take any decision - as free to quarantine home (magical thinking discrimination).

The only two Japanese citizens that on one occasion were waiting with the rest of us foreigners before passport control, to be then sent to a quarantine hotel, suddenly disappeared in a different direction with the quarantine officer never to be seen again. One of them we actually saw outside while waiting for the bus, and he was walking alone (towards the train, if we want to say it all).

I have myself almost made it straight home once despite the clear rule (I was coming from a country that didn’t require hotel quarantine but had been to one that did, 13 days earlier when the threshold was 14 not to consider it…): it was thanks to the negotiation by my Japanese ex wife over the phone with the quarantine officer, so I am assuming that some negotiations, conducted directly by Japanese citizens on the spot, might go better than mine and finally no, not everyone spends 3-6-10 days in a two per two room with loud speakers announcing lunch is hanging on the door handle.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Everybody is forgetting that there are a limited number of quarantine beds available. That's why there is a cap of inbound passengers to Japan each day, I believe it's 3,500.

Part of the premise of the ban on non-residents is to make sure that Japanese and residents don't have a hard time booking flights to Japan because all the slots are taken up by non-residents.

As long as hotel quarantine is in place and inbound slots are limited, priority will be given to Japanese and residents.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@bronco hotel quarantine for non residents (and soon to be residents to start with, for instance) can be at the charge of the travelers and their inviting institutions. Quarantine hotels are full because of surreal 10-days stays for fully vaccinated, 3-4 times negative travelers just because they come from a country that had the omicron peak almost three months ago and is now seeing less cases than Japan. If everyone else in the world (except China and North Korea) is doing differently, it’s starting to look very much like the guy driving in the opposite direction on the highway and screaming « everybody drives like crazy! »

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Exactly!! Why impose 10 days? Japan is like a modern backward country. Like Covid is here to stay!!! Open the Borders already!!! America will always be great!. They know how to deal. It's been two years now! Let move on!!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Anyway disagreeing with this article need to wake up from their bubble. Japan needs to move with the virus. Locking down everytime there is a new strain or keeping the borders shut, can't be a proactive solution. Not when the virus has been here over two years. Are they going to ever allow tourist again?? Come on now. Myopic and Archaic is what I think the leaders of this modern country are.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Covid is only an excuse for the xenophobic Japanese political elite to keep the country isolated.Shut and insular. No foreigners are welcome as we know well. With no proper immigration policy in place, all Japan has to offer is time restricted visas for all: teachers, Family Mart, fruit pickers and cleaners. Fathers, children and dogs. What Keidanren really need is the return of cheap labour, from ¥850 an hour, the only reason why Japan still keeps its borders open, otherwise it would be back to sixteenth century. They have a point though when comparing the 10 days to 5. But there is no hiding any longer. We have all done a great job to let the world know what is going on in undemocratic Japan, Carlos first, and in the process costed the economy billions of dollars, money of all those people that will never come to visit, work or study in the future, because of what they heard. Demonstrations are breaking out in front of Japanese embassies worldwide, there is no more hiding. Omotenashi not !

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Sure Japan can do what ever they want not matter how stupid or ignorant it is, but it shouldn't be without consequence. I put most of the blame on other countries not banning Japanese in return. If this was about any other type of trade etc they would put similar restrictions in return.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Every country has the right to control their borders so if the Japanese Government doesn’t want foreigners to enter then just deal with it! The Japanese Government is prioritizing the safety of Japan and they don’t need to satisfy foreigners interest and convenience by just opening up the border without proper thinking. Look at Australia who did so well with corona virus last year and then as soon as they opened their border numbers became 50,000plus daily! Japanese Government’s decision to close the border was appropriate or else the number of infections would have been 200,000plus daily instead of the numbers now! If foreigners don’t like the Japanese Government’s decision than just go back to your own countries or don’t come to Japan!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

 they don’t need to satisfy foreigners interest

This article is about the interests and opinions of Japanese companies, who strongly oppose it. How foreigners feel about the issue is given no mention at all.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It was never a good decision. The border restrictions have not kept a single variant out of the country. The most they have achieved is delayed the arrival by 1 or 2 weeks. Once here, the spread is determined pretty much completely on the restrictions and behavioral patterns that are observed domestically. The wave itself is not changed at all, just shifted back 1 or 2 weeks. How is that worth all the disruption to peoples lives, the destroyed businesses and cost to society? I know the border closures enjoy a lot of support among the Japanese public, but it just needs to be explained to them how and why they are completely wrong about it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Not as bad as the Tokugawa Period, We all know what happen then.

They act like their is no virus here yet. Like you can only catch it from a foreigner

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The commentary on a whole is baffling. Japan is a geographical isolate. Containing entry and essentially closing the borders to all but registered aliens and citizens is a viable and laudable policy.

As an example, however small (in geographical size): Tonga, a geographical isolate, had zero cases of covid aka corona. With the introduction of foreigners, carrying SARSCoV-2, the virus will infiltrate the island.

Until a large majority, above 80%, receive the booster, banning foreigners and rigorously quarantining international travellers, Japanese and resident aliens upon arrival in Japan, the virus will flare-up again and again.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The UK government are abolishing covid tests for incoming, fully vaccinated travellers. In response, a substantial percentage of the population has just booked a holiday. There is no quarantine either. The UK has opened again.

In Japan, Kishida may see a 'policy of seclusion' as a populist vote winner, distinguishing him from Abe. It will be economically punishing and culturally isolating, but as long as the news media doesn't mention the victims, he doesn't have to worry. The bubble will remain sealed. Populism in Japan = Isolation.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Reporting on Japan travel ban is getting bigger and bigger worldwide.

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220125-nightmare-workers-students-decry-japan-virus-entry-ban

As the article indicated, people are writing off Japan and going to South Korea. This travel ban action seen as xenophobic is going to have such a damaging effect on Japan in years to come.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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