national

Japan to lift re-entry restrictions on foreign residents from Sept 1

60 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

60 Comments
Login to comment

Good news, but deporting a legal resident for having a positive test on arrival is unacceptable. Where will they go, what will they do when they get there? Surely no airline will take a passenger with a positive test.

12 ( +28 / -16 )

Is this only for foreign residents who left Japan before the Entry Ban (April 3rd), or also for foreign residents who left after the Entry Ban?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Abe said Friday

If he's on his way out, he'll approve anything. Time to hit him up for some favors people!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

For all foreign residents, as far as I can make out. Waiting for updates on the MOFA website before I start celebrating.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is not the same policy that applies to Japanese citizens reentering the country! Japanese do not have to apply for reentry documentation from a Japanese embassy or consulate (which the Japanese government has confirmed will take more than a day!) and obtain a negative COVID-19 test from a medical facility within 72 hours of departure. This is continued harassment of long-time permanent residents who call Japan home.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

@Luddite

I agree with you!

If the test indicates they are infected with the novel coronavirus, they will be forced to leave the country.

That is completely Nonsense!

No airline will accept passengers with a positive result.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Wait there are foreigners who are still willing and wanting to come back to Japan and live here even after all the humiliation Japan has put them through?! Are they wanting more lol? Desperate times, desperate people I guess..

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Even test positive unfortunately but Tax payer has the firm right to get treatment here if they hold a resistance permit and health insurance.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

@Luddite

Waiting for updates on the MOFA website

I will wait for the official announcement of my home countries embassy website.

But I have one concern:

In case I leave Japan for a business trip, and then during my business trip, the Corona Situation will get worse and Japan change its mind and put again a sudden Entry Ban.

Then I am stuck in a foreign country.

I am worried about that.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

If permitted to enter Japan, they will be required to self-isolate for two weeks to monitor their health and to refrain from using public transportation during that period, they said.

So how do you get home from Narita if you can't use public transport?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japanese who don’t have transport have been quarantining in nearby hotels, at their own expense.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Waiting for updates on the MOFA website

The MOJ website was updated yesterday with a document backdated to 21 August.

http://www.moj.go.jp/content/001327131.pdf

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Claim:

Japan will lift re-entry restrictions on foreign residents from Sept 1, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday

Reality:

Returning residents will be required to take a polymerase chain reaction test before departing for Japan and provide documentation of a negative result to authorities upon arrival

Abenomics. Abenomask. Abenosrestrictions.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

As Luddite says, Japanese already have to pay for the privilege of two weeks' stay at such a designated hotel. Residents will also have to foot this extra expense, I have heard.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The MOJ website is displaying the same information as before the announcement.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Currently I live in Australia. I was supposed to move and work in Japan, I have been issued 在留資格認定証明書 (Certificate of Eligibility).

Does anyone know if someone like me will be eligible as well?

Or, this is for permanent residents only currently?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The announcement was for current residents.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

WIll this policy of deportation stay on the books once vaccines become available? 

I ponder this question to the JT readers: If I get vaccinated next year, go on my yearly exchange trip with my high school students, test positive (yes, you can still catch the flu and probably Covid as well, even after getting vaccinated) and then get denied reentry?  If any students get infected in the US they will be able to stay in Japan, but moi?

I bring this up because I went to the US in January on my yearly sister city exchange and 6 out of the 8 Japanese students caught the flu. They had all been vaccinated against the flu but most likely caught a different strain in the US. When fhey came back sicker than dogs, they passed right through immigration, rode the trains all the way up to Tohoku and then a bus back to our town.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

If you are worried about them changing the policy again don’t travel.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Yes, that second paragraph worries me. The method of testing in one country may be different from testing at the airpot in Japan. The results could be different.

Another factor is the lack of flights I have two friends who are stuck in Australia. As far as I know, there are no flights between Australia and Japan, so how are they supposed to get back to Japan?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Maybe now airlines can restart or increase flights to and from Japan. They are few and far between at the moment, but I’m not holding my breath. No tourists, no flights.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you’re tested positive you need to leave the country ? May I suggest the journalist who reported that to make a double check. This is utter stupidity. You pay health insurance in Japan but you are denied cares knowing you are sick and that you pay your premium for said healthcare.. I don’t think this will pass anywhere.

if this is the reality then nothing has changed at all. It’s more an ok to let you go wherever you want without restrictions but you can die outside Japan if you get the COVID.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I was thinking the same, @Luddite!

How can they possibly deport a legal resident for testing positive, with the person posing a risk to the rest of the passengers on the flight (assuming the airline would even accept the person)? And what would happen at the other end? Would they even be allowed entry?

I have visions of people being stuck in transit for the foreseeable future (or until they recover and eventually test negative).

As long as travellers test negative, this is indeed good news and well overdue. But what if they test positive?

Sending them back and denying them treatment in Japan is utterly unacceptable on so many levels!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Don't you see is the same as before? Why this excitement? Nothing's new! Most of countries won't test you without symptoms unless you were in contact with someone who was infected. Well...unless one lies for the sake of to go to Japan. Ask PM if he allows people to take a test just like that without throwing JPY35,000 for test + between JPY5000-JPY8000 to give you confirmation document? It doesn't work this way in other countries and even though, who would want to fill out documents in Japanese in which the station must write address, date, name, who, what etc. Who has time for it? They want you in and out to minimise risk, not play with paperwork.

I don't want to go about that Japanese can do this and that. However in this case why don't they require from Japanese Citizens returning home the same? Treat everyone equal.

It looks like many leaders want human guinea pigs for early and untested vaccination. It's not only about Japan but see what pharmaceutical lobbies ask for.

https://euobserver.com/tickers/149245

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Currently I live in Australia. I was supposed to move and work in Japan, I have been issued 在留資格認定証明書 (Certificate of Eligibility).

Does anyone know if someone like me will be eligible as well?

Or, this is for permanent residents only currently?

Give'er a go! Let us know how is turns out. I reckon they would treat that as a visa and let you in.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Lift restrictions?! Do Japanese have to quarantine for 14 days? Do they have to keep off public transport?

If the test indicates they are infected with the novel coronavirus, they will be forced to leave the country.

What.?! And who will take us? And what if we live here and have family here?

The restrictions have if anything just got worse.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

What if you're somewhere testing isn't available?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I just looked and in the U.K. if you are asymptomatic, had not contact with an infected person, need permission to travel and want a result within 72 hours you have to go to a private clinic, all appear to be in London, and cough up anything between 150 and 200 quid.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Currently I live in Australia. I was supposed to move and work in Japan, I have been issued 在留資格認定証明書 (Certificate of Eligibility).

I suggest you confirm with your employer here in Japan to make sure there still is a job for you before making the journey.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well this is good news. Apart from the deportation bit

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You can always visit an immigration office to hear the ins and outs before you leave the country. To be honest I can't see on what grounds they can sent you back if you're a PR with health insurance. Besides the fact that no airline will allow you to board a plane if they know you're infected

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Isn’t it an option to take Japan to the International Court of Justice and demand a fine/penalty be applied? I - and as far as I know many more foreigners - would be very happy to foot part of the legal fees

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Utter nonsense. The discrimination here is extreme and this article is simply a whitewash of the despicable situation.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

If the test indicates they are infected with the novel coronavirus, they will be forced to leave the country

Inhumane! these people live in Japan, where the hell you going to send them? This is not a solution!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I got 1 thumb down because of? writing truth or add link to vaccination big pharma real news? At least this is not some YT video theory?

What if you're somewhere testing isn't available?

I just looked and in the U.K. if you are asymptomatic, had not contact with an infected person, need permission to travel and want a result within 72 hours you have to go to a private clinic, all appear to be in London, and cough up anything between 150 and 200 quid.

You lucky to go to private clinic.

In some countries there is not even such option, which means get stuck forever and let your Japanese family hang on as long as they can. I thought only in WWII they separated women, men, children...

Many countries began testing arrivals, rather then those who leave.

By the way, in Japan one cannot get tested without symptoms either, but they expect foreigners to do so. The best part is that if one can't get PCR then one should go to third country to do.

From of of Japanese Embassy website

If a PCR test for asymptomatic person is not available in the country/region of your residence, please be noted that the applicant is required to stop at a third country where it is available before leaving for Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hopefully all the foreigners do the right thing by wearing masks and washing their hands.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Returning residents will be required to take a polymerase chain reaction test within 72 hours before departing for Japan and provide the result to authorities upon arrival.

If the test indicates they are infected with the coronavirus, they will be denied entry, according to government officials.

Unless I'm missing something it seems to me like there's no way to meet this requirement.

Currently a PCR test in New York takes 3-5 days (72-120 hours) to obtain the result. The flight NY-TKY itself if direct takes about 14 hours. Also, if a traveler takes a PCR test and it comes out positive (infected) why would they board a plane for Japan knowing that he would be denied entry when he shows his positive test result?

The only way this makes any sense is they mean a Negative Test Result obtained within 72 hours of the departure flight.

Of course even then, one would not be able to purchase an airticket in advance unless cancelable and refundable.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

If the test indicates they are infected with the novel coronavirus, they will be forced to leave the country

Is this serious or is this a joke?!

So someone was stupid enough to put in this provision that you need to leave the country if you test positive after landing? How? You are going to put us on a flight (with other Japanese of course) which would risk infecting the natives (and other less humans too)?

As stated above; what if no airline will take us? Will we be put in a detention center to either recover or die?

Does Japan see foreigners as human beings? It does not seem so.

There is so much wrong with this. My wife (Japanese) saw this and cried. She cannot believe her government would do something like this.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

At Narita, on arrival:

Immigration: "Sorry Mr PR, but you tested positive for coronavirus. We must send you back home."

Mr PR: "But I live here."

Immigration: "You must go back to your home country to get treatment."

Mr PR: "But I don't have health insurance where I was born. I pay into the Japanese National Health System."

Immigration: "Oh. Then once you can finally return to Japan, you can then apply at your local city office in Japan for a rebate for health care epences paid for abroad."

Mr PR: "But they abolished that system in the past year of refunding health expences that happen abroad."

Immigration: "Too bad. Guess you should complain to Abe-san."

Mr PR: "But he just quit. Besides, I can't vote."

Immigration: "Why do you keep bothering me. Don't you realize we don't want you here."

Mr PR: "But what about that whole immigration plan of bringing in new foreign workers to help fill the gaps?"

Immigration: "That was Abe-san's idea. He was living with one foot in Showa, but now he's gone. We are now going all the way back to Edo. Shouldn't be hard. It was in the 1840s that the Fax machine was invented...."

10 ( +10 / -0 )

For people who complained they will be deported if the test result is positive, don’t you think isn’t it very selfish if you know you are positive corona but you still travel and put other passengers and crews on risk instead you pending your trip until you are negative? At least be grateful that finally they let us entry the country with negative pcr test. It’s like win win solution

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

@Maureen

At least be grateful that finally they let us entry the country with negative pcr test. It’s like win win solution

If I know I am positive before flying then of course I will not fly. However it seemed earlier this implied a person would be tested after landing and if the test is positive then one would be deported. If this is the case it is not reasonable.

Furthermore my wife and I just read the requirements to be able to leave Japan and return. It is actually easier to come as a tourist (I recommend you read the requirements).

We have to apply by e-mail in advance to leave and then follow some nearly impossible procedures (getting a test and result within 72 hours) to come back.

It is very obvious Japan is not our home (I am assuming you are a foreigner also).

At least be grateful? Seriously? No other G7 country does this. There is really no reason for us to pay taxes here as it is harder for us to re-enter than it will be for a foreign business person or tourist.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Read the article Maureen. You need a negative test to get on a plane.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Extra info. When you want to leave Japan you have to email MOFA who have to give permission to re enter before you leave the country. You have to give them information including when you are leaving, where you are going and when you are coming back. They can deny re-entry permission if they have already reached capacity for that airport/day of return. So, you could have flights booked but MOFA can refuse and your money wasted. Also, you cannot leave without a date for returning, therefore if you are leaving for a family or personal emergency that has no obvious resolution time, how do you know when you can return? I can imagine anyone wanting to go home for Christmas faces a double whammy of trying to find a flight then, having found one you can afford, having the worry of risking your money and mental health on hoping MOFA will grant you a re entry receipt at a busy time for travel.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Luddite

Adding the link to which you are referring

http://www.moj.go.jp/content/001327497.pdf

Basically we are having more onerous restrictions put on us than a tourist and we are being asked to do something which is not possible (get a PCR test and the test results within 72 hours).

I was thinking the exact same thing about Christmas. As for me I am stuck here (or imprisoned) as I have a 20 year old plus business which is doing well and is my income and source of retirement (let alone the corporate and personal taxes paid).

Japan is becoming like the Dejima era but at least in the 1800's Japan was more honest about their policies. Now they are trying to attracted "highly skilled foreigners" using a bait and switch policy and lies.

I have no issue with the Japanese people but I have a huge issue with the spoiled brats running Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@divinda

You are my hero and made me laugh so much! That's so TRUE and totally share the same!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Considering foreign residents make up a tiny proportion of people here, and that Japanese do not have to tell the authorities in advance when they are leaving and returning to the country, I feel the excuse of making sure airports having testing capacity for arrivals into Japan is a bit lame. Japanese will be the majority of arrivals and no one will know how many will be arriving on each plane, so how can they know if they have testing capacity or not.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Luddite

It is 100% obvious this has been done to try to pacify the business lobbyists (who may have resources to meet these requirements). It is amazing how difficult Japan has made this for people that are even spouses of Japanese nationals.

I said it before here (and my post was deleted) that it is now clear Japan does not want foreign residents in the country.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yeah, really easy to get a COVID-19 test.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Japanese government said Friday it will lift coronavirus-related re-entry restrictions on foreign residents from Sept 1, citing increased testing capacity at airports

Does this mean that arriving passengers will be tested regardless of whether they have a negative test result with them?

If so, and if they positive in the airport, they're deported?? That's insane. This has only become more uncertain than it was before...

Also... getting tested with 72 hours of departure, obtaining the result, then having the test result verified by a Japanese embassy or consulate is improbable.

Not worth the risk or stress at all I'd say.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

only "newly arriving sponsored foreign students" will be accepted? Is this mean MEXT students only?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jeez don't you just hate the J government with all these rules and regulations they keep imposing on us? I am not leaving Japan under any circumstances, maybe for years to come. If somebody dies, I just cannot go to the funeral.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is all just a big bold BLUFF to make it yet again seem like Japan would ease the restrictions, or that Japan would "care" of its foreign residents. It's an act to look good in the international press.

In reality this has just made things more difficult and worse. This is still discrimination - and not based only on nationality or race, but wealth. Getting those PCR tests and permission letters cost a lot of money, a money that many can't afford, on top of the flight tickets. Basically only the wealthy and healthy are allowed to come back. Despicable. Disgusting. Appalling.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Tokyo-Engr

You are going to put us on a flight (with other Japanese of course) which would risk infecting the natives (and other less humans too)?

LOL, good one.

Anyway,

maybe I'm wrong. But I think when, how and how many foreigners to let into the country is strongly related to Tokyo 2021.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Then I am stuck in a foreign country.

I am worried about that.

dont count anything out in these times, youd have to ask yourself if leaving is justified and if its for business whether that business is profitable or important enough to justify being locked out of Japan again!?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Not sure if you want to come back here to Tokyo when the virus is not contained

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why would any non-Japanese choose to come to live here when the discriminatory treatment of foreigners is still glaringly obvious.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Abe out, permanent foreign residents back in. There is a good feeling to that. Gone Is ultranationalist who made a mess of this country and back about are the Japan loving foreign residents who are working hard for the good of Japan.

The damage Abe cause in locking out foreign residence is done--hopfully not for good.

Fro the New York Times:

Japan’s Locked Borders Shake the Trust of Its Foreign Workers

By BEN DOOLEY/ © 2020 The New York Times

August 6, 2020 at 18:10 JST

This was before the lifting of the ban. Yet, havoc it has created is far from over. What Dooley wrote must still be taken into due consideration:

For many, the damage is done: The restrictions have split up families, hurt careers and caused students to miss months of school. Some of those stranded outside the country have been saddled with mountains of debt as they continue to pay taxes and rents on homes in Japan while also bearing the costs of being abroad.

The ban has also affected the 2.5 million foreigners who remain in Japan. Many have faced agonizing decisions over whether to leave to care for a dying parent, grieve the loss of a loved one or reunite with a spouse or child, knowing that doing so may make it impossible to return.

Abe is gone. We can hope that all that he was as prime minister goes with him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This Kyodo news article is factually incorrect and misleading to the non-Japanese community in Japan.

Japan resumed accepting long-term residents from Thailand and Vietnam in July

Incorrect. The MOFA website still lists Thailand and Vietnam on the banned country list. That means no re-entry unless there was a death in the family. There is no acceptance of Thai or Vietnamese residents in Japan until Tuesday.

For factual sake there were a few flights to Vietnam and Thailand for Japanese businessmen. Stop misleading the non-Japanese community with incorrectness about easing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is all smoke and mirrors. The two-faced Government of Japan is pretending to pull down the main restricton to letting legal tax-paying residents to return to their homes, families and workplaces, while setting up new conditions that are practically impossible to meet. Contrary to the lies that the Minister of Foreign Affairs put forward in his press conference on July 21, this is the only supposedly democratic nation in the G20, the EU and APEC that is taking these vindictive discriminatory policies. Obviously the Government of Japan hates the fact that there are foreign residents living here. I for one, after living here for 36 years, after contributing so much to the Japanese company where I work, am planning to pull up all my roots and move back to my country of birth. And I tell you what, I won't be the last.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Currently I live in Australia. I was supposed to move and work in Japan, I have been issued 在留資格認定証明書 (Certificate of Eligibility).

Does anyone know if someone like me will be eligible as well?

Or, this is for permanent residents only currently?

I'm in the exact same situation, I was supposed to move and work in Japan, have a CoE and had my visa issued back in March. Unfortunately, since we never had the chance to cross the border the first time, we're still not considered actual residents by Japan.

It makes sense in a way, but at the same time we are also stuck outside without being able to start our jobs, which is not exactly a joke and puts us in a very difficult position... since this is what should be considered necessary travel we should also be allowed in, in my opinion.

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