Voices
in
Japan

have your say

Why do you think embassies in Japan are not offering vaccinations to their citizens?

54 Comments

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

54 Comments
Login to comment

Why should they? The country where a person lives and pay taxes should give them the vaccine. No resident should be forced to seek the vaccine elsewhere.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Because it is not their responsibility to do so.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

It would probably end in a diplomatic disaster. The Japanese government would be annoyed and the Japanese media and public would resent any country that was hording the vaccine just for their own citizens.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Not my job-ism. They haven't had to do this job until now, so they're not gonna start. Prevalent in any workplace, but especially so in large bureaucracies.

The country where a person lives and pay taxes should give them the vaccine.

Many expats still pay taxes to their home countries. But it appears that

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It would be understandable in the (very few) countries that are prioritising their own nationals over foreign nationals.

It might be diplomatically awkward in somewhere like Japan, which has just been really slow to vaccinate.

In Okinawa, the US could have offered to help out, vaccinating everyone in return for the hosting of the naval base, although I doubt any offer of assistance would have been acceptable to central government.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The point I wanted to make is that expats have to pay taxes, but it appears that at the end of the day, it something will be difficult, we're on our own.

As an American, I had always expected the large US gov't presence in Japan [both military and diplomatic] to support American citizens in the case of emergencies, but it's clear we're not a priority.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As an American, I had always expected the large US gov't presence in Japan [both military and diplomatic] to support American citizens in the case of emergencies, but it's clear we're not a priority.

Potassium Iodide tablets were available to American citizens for the asking at the embassy after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. In 2011. That, however, was the only consideration I’ve been given as a US citizen in my many years in Tokyo. (Don’t ask me about the foul ups by the embassy’s Federal Benefits Unit staff regarding my social security matters. No responsibility and zero transparency there.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They just don't want to embarrass the Japanese government, as the JP government have been insisting that they are the best of the best of the best in handling the pandemic and in vaccine distribution. In the end, most people will need to travel to another country to get their vaccines, if you are under 64, you have to be delusional to think Japan can get vaccines to you within 3 years. Vaccinations will pretty much halt to a stop after the Olympics.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In Okinawa, the US could have offered to help out, vaccinating everyone in return for the hosting of the naval base, although I doubt any offer of assistance would have been acceptable to central government.

Correct. The U.S. military was ready to offer the vaccine to Japanese employees that work on the bases however GOJ politely declined that offer.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They would have to get a doctor/nurse who is licensed in Japan to administer the shot, I guess.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Most likely the embassies are not prepared (nor they wish to be responsible) for a relatively large number of vaccinations.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It would really humiliate Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

luddite:

No resident should be forced to seek the vaccine elsewhere.

True, but sadly they are forced to do so. It really is disheartening to hear that every single one of my relatives (except for the very young who will get it soon) around the world in various countries have already been offered vaccinations whereas I have absolutely no idea when I can get mine.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I guess it's probably for liability reasons.

If someone gets sick after getting the vaccine he or she would have to go to a local hospital raising all kinds of issues. I wouldn't mind signing a waiver and getting the vaccine at my own risk.

The embassies, however could offer free or cheap rides back to their home country for vaccinations, most of them did it for the Fukushima NPP explosion and they could do it again for COVID, after all (for the U.S.) Japan is at "Level 4 Do Not Travel" and such a move could be justified.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well, let's see for a minute.... I pay citizen's tax here, and live and work here, so I am therefore a Japanese citizen. Doesn't mean that's my nationality. Also, I am sure that Japan allows, AT BEST, only enough vaccine held at any embassy to vaccinate staff, especially given they are STILL trying to create a domestic vaccine before mass vaccinating here, despite promises to the contrary.

pepelepew: "The embassies, however could offer free or cheap rides back to their home country for vaccinations"

Yeah, it's just that simple! wouldn't require you to be vaccinated to enter the country to begin with. Wouldn't have to wait two weeks before leaving, two weeks upon entering, then two more weeks before leaving one's home nation, and two more weeks in quarantine here after entering, and any REAL employer here would be kind enough to wait the two or three months if you're even allowed in (and given they won't let foreign spectators into the country for Olympics, they aren't going to enable "non-citizens" in to endanger their pet project, are they?).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I do not know about the other Embassies, but the British embassy does absolutely nothing for British people living here—they don't even bother to issue passports anymore.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

i suggested it to my ministry of foreign affairs and Embassy. They can easily ship the vaccins as diplomatic pouch( frozen no problem as they ship in food often enough for their parties) . As for Belgium, we have several nurses and doctors in Japan who could vaccinate all 1500 of us in a few days.

As long as that is within the Embassy no real legal problems. As for responsibility a disclaimer can be signed.

But the diplomats could not care less about their citizens.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The airbase that is only 6 miles from my apartment is vaccinating private American citizens, including children. It's just that they happen to be family members of military personnel.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Because they are embassies? Bit of a silly question.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Because they are embassies. I wouldn't want to be vaccinated in a place that doesn't have the sanitary conditions to do so. And because you are paying taxes and most likely also having a national medical insurance of the country you are currently staying in.

Maybe, just maybe I'd understand this in a third world country, but not in Japan.

But, imagine this wild scenario - embassies of EU countries start vaccinating it's citizens in Japan and their Japanese spouses. Making our officials so ashamed, that they speed up the pace.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Because it would lead to a bunch of foreigners going maskless all over Tokyo earlier than their Japanese counterparts, and cause for lots of mendokusai situations for everyone involved.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They aren't offering their citizens vaccine, because this is a public health issue, and it's the responsibility of the people of the land to take care of it for all residents.

This is for two reasons:

1) If a country takes people in, and makes them pay taxes, regardless of whether they are citizens or not, the country has an obligation to protect those people as it does its own citizens.

2) If the country chooses to abandon that obligation through the misguided belief that it's another nation's problem, the health issue is prolonged within their own borders. It is in their best interest to treat their foreign residents along with their own citizens.

Due to the obligation (sweetened by the own best interests) of the host nation to oversee the health of its foreign residents, and due foreign nations having a responsibility toward for own foreign residents, embassies don't have the responsibility to vaccinate their citizens who live overseas. On top of this, it would be irresponsible for them to tie up resources to get vaccines in the embassy, and figure out the logistics of getting it to their citizens. Right now the world needs to be focused, not some 中途半端 response. Look how well that went in America.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I wouldn't want to be vaccinated in a place that doesn't have the sanitary conditions to do so.

I've had shots in some pretty unsanitary places. It's no big deal. swab of alcohol, prick of the needle, antiseptic bandage. All sanitary, pass go, collect $200.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I've had shots in some pretty unsanitary places. It's no big deal. 

Sorry Strangerland, but I can't buy that. It's not just the sticking the needle in the arm. The vaccines have to be ordered, stored, and issued in appropriate conditions. Qualified people have to be on hand to deal with sudden problems (e.g. anaphylactic shock ). Foreign embassies are not the ideal place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In addition to the many well founded objections to this idea in previous comments it’s also worth mentioning that embassies are all in Tokyo, and only a few countries have consulates in other major cities (many of which are just a couple of people in a little office). A lot of practical concerns stem from that fact alone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Hello Kitty 321

I do not know about the other Embassies, but the British embassy does absolutely nothing for British people living here—they don't even bother to issue passports anymore.

I second that for the U.S. Embassy. Massive expensive building funded by the U.S. taxes I pay which does little or nothing for citizens here.

I would imagine there are several legal implications to this as well.

There also seems to be a rumor among some Japanese that U.S. citizens can get vaccines. I had several clients ask me this over 2 months ago. I imagine this came from the fact that enlisted men and women could get vaccinated.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan government is allowing companies/universities/etc to take vaccination supply and offer their own vaccinations (to their employees, etc.). So, embassies should request to offer their own vaccinations also, and they make the vaccinations available to their citizens.

Japanese government seems to have given up trying to have a timely and organized vaccination program. (Hence, letting other organizations do their own programs.) So, all parties should be happy if embassies organize their own vaccinations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@zichi: Totally legal if performed within the Embassy/Consulate grounds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@zichi: Please read the Headline. We are not discussing Japanese citizens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are American doctors in multiple locations in Japan that are administering vaccines at American bases. Even though I'm an American with a passport and still pay taxes in America, I don't have access to the base or the vaccines. I know there are "reasons" for this, but it is completely plausible that a function of the USA government that my tax money funds could administer a vaccine to me in a way that does not interfere with base security.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

British embassy I think you can

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@zichi: Where have I even suggested that is it the role of the Embassy to provide the vaccine to UK citizens in Japan.

In any case the British Embassy is already vaccinating staff and their families including Japanese Spouses. Fact.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

and they are using Oxford/Astra Zeneca before you ask any more questions.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

think moderna

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thanks for your input 'Bert'

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

British School friends…zichi.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

…and its not newsworthy. Think you will find its the same for most diplomatic staff in Tokyo.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Have you heard of Google zichi?

The British government is offering vaccines to diplomatic staff and their families worldwide, according to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. “We are committed to ensuring all overseas personnel for whom the government has a duty of care have access to a vaccine in line with the UK’s domestic rollout, including all staff working at the British embassy in Tokyo,” an FCDO spokesperson told the Guardian.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Whatever mate. The staff have been vaccinated here - what do you doubt? Was YOUR wife having coffee with parents from the BST this week? You are quoting various websites etc, and I'm quoting people who've had it whose spouses are UK Government employees. Why would I make that up?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And where have I said they are providing for citizens?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Many embassies, especially the British one, are useless and don't really give a damn about ordinary citizens.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichiJune 4  10:54 am JST

I think that's probably not correct. Foreign doctors can administer to other foreigners but not Japanese without a Japanese medical certificate. They would have to bring in the doctors and the vaccines.

Incorrect.

Foreign doctors on US consulate grounds here would be Japanese doctors. And US doctors on US consulate grounds are US doctors. Because they are under US jurisdiction.

So theRewsident is correct.

theResidentJune 4  10:43 am JST

@zichi: Totally legal if performed within the Embassy/Consulate grounds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites