Pedestrians walk along a street in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district. Tokyo reported 949 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
national

Japan to suspend new entry of all nonresident foreign nationals from abroad

77 Comments

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

© KYODO

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

77 Comments
Login to comment

Normally I don't comment on the Japanese government handling of this virus but seriously these politicians are halfwits.

24 ( +37 / -13 )

There goes the Tokyo Olympics?

IOC and certain Olympic team officials must arrive in Japan by May 2021, and there is this 3 month gap between the end of entry ban and the start of the entry flood.

19 ( +27 / -8 )

Ban doesn't go far enough until all Americans, including military personnel, are denied entry.

-4 ( +28 / -32 )

I'm bewildered about the very slow rollout of the vaccine in Japan.

25 ( +36 / -11 )

Poorly written article. Yes, it mentions that “nonresident foreign nationals” will be banned, but it never clearly says that foreign residents will continue to be allowed into the country with a negative 72-hour PCR test. It also says that “Tokyo has already barred entry to foreign nationals who have recently been to Britain and South Africa” and again leaves out the very important fact that foreign nationals with resident status are exempt from the ban.

30 ( +34 / -4 )

The man was not subject to quarantine at airports because of his occupation

Health inspector #1: Shouldn't we have inspected him?

Health inspector #2: Nah, he's a pilot. He should be fine.

1: I guess your right. Next person in line please step forward.

Japan Today Headline February 1, 2021:

Coronavirus variant is now confirmed in all prefectures. Nationwide infections set new daily records.

19 ( +25 / -6 )

Somebody getting their knickers in a twist

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

All this fuss about one or two cases of the new strain. They are doing nothing about the thousands of domestically transmitted cases every day. They are doing their very best to put the blame on foreigners, again.

Moderator: Nobody is blaming foreigners. Please do not post inflammatory comments like this.

22 ( +34 / -12 )

knittyelf - you’re right, the article isn’t clear, but I think the headline is. However there is one particular paragraph which is a strange addition.

For those who do not present certifications of the negative virus test results, the government said it will urge them to stay at designated facilities for two weeks.

is this paragraph related to the one directly before or is this separate? Does this mean any resident can come in freely? This one confuses me. And only “urge”? What’s going on here?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

"...businesspeople and students from 10 countries ....will not be affected by the suspension policy...

That seems to mean the article's headline is wrong and the lead is misleading.

24 ( +24 / -0 )

the government said it will urge them to stay at designated facilities for two weeks.

The definition of a fool is somebody who keeps repeating what has failed in the past.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Darned if you do, darned if you don't.

If the Japanese government did nothing, the very same people mocking and hating on Japan now would still mock and hate on Japan.

-13 ( +12 / -25 )

10 countries including Thailand, Vietnam

In other words, the slaves, sorry, I mean "trainees" are still exempted.

17 ( +25 / -8 )

However, businesspeople and students from 10 countries including Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea as well as Taiwan, with which Japan has a special scheme to ease travel restrictions, will not be affected by the suspension policy, the government added.

Since people on a ‘special scheme’ are not liable to carry viruses?

Witha recent outbreak of something like 81 cases in Thailand (cluster) show that sooner rather than later that cases in Japan will head up.

Do the Japanese really understand viral transmission?

17 ( +21 / -4 )

the number of infections could surpass 2,000 in a single day in Tokyo, eventually necessitating another state of emergency

Ah, so the magic number now is 2000. I remember when it was still 100.

20 ( +26 / -6 )

the government said it will urge them to stay at designated facilities for two weeks.

The definition of a fool is somebody who keeps repeating what has failed in the past.

Yup, get ready for more J-gov 'urges' as the virus and new strain surges.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Some confused readers here. People who do not reside in Japan cannot enter the country.

“ The government will also require all people coming from countries and territories where the new variant, first detected in Britain, is confirmed to submit negative virus test results within 72 hours of departure and undergo tests upon arrival from Wednesday through the end of January. “

When they say “all people”, that’s exactly what it means. People who live in Japan. Japanese and non-Japanese.

But what’s troubling is this:

However, businesspeople and students from 10 countries including Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea as well as Taiwan, with which Japan has a special scheme to ease travel restrictions, will not be affected by the suspension policy, the government added.

What a mess, J government. If you wanna do it, do it right.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

However, businesspeople and students from 10 countries including Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea as well as Taiwan, with which Japan has a special scheme to ease travel restrictions, will not be affected by the suspension policy, the government added.

Always a catch with the Japanese government when it comes to money vs. lives. So sad...

17 ( +20 / -3 )

@Do the hustle

They are doing their very best to put the blame on foreigners, again.

Yesterday, on my way to work and on my way back home, I saw countless of foreigners walking around without mask.

It is our own fault.

Because of such foreigner idiots, it is no surprise, that we are getting blamed for the virus.

-9 ( +14 / -23 )

the government reported two more people have been infected with the variant, with one of them confirmed as the first domestically transmitted case.

It's reactionary and not tough enough. They have waited until it arrived, allowed it to wander through the front doors of Haneda and then decided to take action. That's not good enough. It's not proactive protection of the people. Why is taking decisive action so hard?

 the government said it will urge them to stay at designated facilities for two weeks.

Meaningless.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

It'd be better and more precise to go directly to the official site (MOFA) to follow updates.

Border enforcement measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

Unfortunately, the guideline text is too lengthy and complicated for me to grasp at a glance. I wonder if the officials would be able to set a fill-in-the blank enquiry form to gain a quick answer for specific, individual cases.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This measure by itself will not change this trend not even a bit.

The virus is well settled in Japan and spreading.

After 10 months we are still treating this virus as a foreign / “outside problem”.

It is time for the government to start treating this pandemic as everyone’s problem and to address it appropriately, while sending a strong message to the population.

Starting with emphasising that social distancing is as important as wearing masks would be a great start, as no one understands that concept in this country.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

“However, businesspeople and students from 10 countries including Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea as well as Taiwan, with which Japan has a special scheme to ease travel restrictions, will not be affected by the suspension policy, the government added.”

phew! For a second I thought the government was going to take meaningful actions, and I was like, “Wow! This isn’t the Japan we’ve seen so far!” But, then we got the “however” we’ve all come to expect, which of course renders any actions they say they’re taking meaningless. TIJ

13 ( +19 / -6 )

The new mutated strain of the virus was first found in the Uk because the UK was looking for genetic variations. It has now been found in several other European countries...that is those who also genetically tested the virus.

The pilot was making frequent trips to LHR so was suspected of catching the virus in the UK so also had his covid genetically tested. He may not be the first or only case.

The ban on foreigners is NOT for Japan residents and is only until the end of January.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Isn't this a bit too indeterministic to be called science ?

This is the actual new strain study

https://cmmid.github.io/topics/covid19/uk-novel-variant.html

And it is based solely on the covid19 hospital admission and deaths .

The truth is the virus isn't that different , the vaccines will work equally lovely.

IMO, The only reason why the virus is more transmissible now is because simply people aren't as scared also sick and tires of quarantines and lock-downs.

Japan should not distract itself blindly following what other countries are doing and keep the focus on a swift vaccine rollout also the hospitals scaling inefficiencies.

Controlling hospitals capacity by pretending to control something fundamentally uncontrollable is really not so different to doing nothing . No ! In fact , In this case, closing borders is worse than nothing because it will almost certainly result in financial loss.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

New entries worldwide will be banned but returning citizens, foreign residents can reenter. Business people from a small number of countries can enter. All people will require a virus test within 72 hours of departing and another test on arrival with 14 days quarantine. All people entering are also requested to download a tracking app.

According to the Health Minister,

"Five people, four males and one female, all under age 70, tested positive for the new strain. They are now staying at hotels provided by authorities after airport quarantine confirmed their infections following their arrival from Britain. None of them had close contact with others since returning to Japan. Four of them are asymptomatic. At least one child under the age of 10 is among the infected."

8 ( +8 / -0 )

CCP if you want to point finger in the first place and if you recall a lot of Asians in western/European countries were attacking asians and putting the blame on Asian at the beginning when this crisis started now it’s the other away around and I’m sure China would love to have every one think the virus is caused and spread by the European and so called gaijin.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The pandemic will continue well into 2021 until enough people are vaccinated to get some control over it. Travel restrictions will change has the threat changes. Travelling people need to check for the latest situation.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

The virus doesn't know if a person is a nonresident alien, or a Japanese citizen, it only knows that a warm body is a warm body. So, if the government wants to put up a ban, it should be a ban on all travel into the country.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Apparently it's not only foreign nationals. A Japanese woman who's a friend of my kids arrived yesterday from London, and was taken from Haneda to Narita by bus (!) an put up in a hotel at her own expense for 72 hrs. She'd been told nothing before boarding, or in flight, and she was on JAL. Bad timing, or badly handled? You decide.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Yesterday, on my way to work and on my way back home, I saw countless of foreigners walking around without mask.

I've noticed that it's fellow foreigners and older Japanses males who tend to be the worst offenders.

Some, obviously. Not all.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Very sensible.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I was at a Japanese Basketball game last night and it was packed....They had one seat space, but the seats are so small it was a joke.....It's all about the Money (^O^)//

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Wonder what the age breakdown is of the 81 people in hospital with severe symptoms.....

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

All airlines should require testing for all passengers travelling internationally and refusing those with positive results.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Just in time, well done !!..

Very sensible

Who you??..

All this fuss about one or two cases of the new strain. They are doing nothing about the thousands of domestically transmitted cases every day. They are doing their very best to put the blame on foreigners, again.

Tissue??

Poorly written article.

Easy Shakespeare, we know you're doing better..

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

So the new variant was brought to Japan by a Japanese national who was not tested because he is a pilot and instead of addressing the obvious leakage point they broadly hammer foreigners. Makes sense.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

The virus and its mutations are already here. This policy will only work if the government simultaneously role out a vaccine program at warp speed. furthermore, don't forget to quarantine those Japanese business men returning with lucrative deals for Suga's mates!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

of covid deaths in Japan for 2020 has just about hit the same # of influenza deaths from 2018
3 ( +8 / -5 )

#of covid deaths

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I can see why the J government still want some foreign students to still have access to Japan. There is a convenience store in my neighborhood now completely staffed with Vietnamese and Chinese part timers except for the Japanese manager.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

government simultaneously role out a vaccine program at warp speed.

The only thing this government has ever done at warp speed is make reservations for steak dinners in fancy Ginza restaurants.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

As bad as Japan is in the opinion of many it is still far better to live here than in other countries including our home countries.

Of course some people here disagree and are preparing to leave as soon as they are able =)

0 ( +9 / -9 )

This is just so disappointing. When will I see my fiancé again? These blanket bans are too over-reaching. I wish they were more specific to the country people are coming from. And what about exceptions for people who get the vaccine? Nothing about that either. So sad, so frustrated, so disappointed.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@NAM

So sorry for your situation. all of us suffer in one way or another because of the pandemic.

Your case at least still has a solution, your fiance can come see you I hope

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Sounds very messy. Anyone know whether foreign spouses of Japanese nationals are allowed to enter either on spouse or tourist visas to travel to Japan with their partners?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh man, government can't even handle the original strain. If this thing gets out of control, and knowing this government it will, I wonder how they will possibly spin it to try and desperatly hold on to the garbage fire titled The Olympics.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Ban doesn't go far enough until all Americans, including military personnel, are denied entry.

Damn straight, bro! Asia for Asians!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@i@n

I am tired of the pessimistic lethargy and the constant unwillingness to change for the better.

China, Russia, the US and the UK have all developed vaccines but Japan is way down the list.

There is no chance of any type of social distancing for most Japanese which means that the virus has plenty of chances to spread.

It makes a big difference to transmissibility when people can keep apart yet social distancing is not in force on any type of public transportation in Japan.Soap and hot water seem to be an afterthought, even now, let alone alcohol hand sanitizers which are being ignored by many.

I will be on my way out of here next Spring...

6 ( +10 / -4 )

There goes the Tokyo Olympics?

They are going to just have the Olympics online through Zoom.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

ZorotoToday  07:40 am JST

10 countries including Thailand, Vietnam

In other words, the slaves, sorry, I mean "trainees" are still exempted.

People who willfully go somewhere to work, get paid, and are free to quit are not "slaves". Perhaps you have confused the trainees with the Uighurs in reeducation camps with forced labor factories.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The question nobody seems to be asking, at least here, is whether the new strain(s) is any more dangerous to health that or those circulating through Japan to date.

Citing data from Britain, WHO officials said they had no evidence that the variant made people sicker or was more deadly than existing strains of COVID-19, although it did seem to spread more easily.

(https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/12/22/world/who-new-coronavirus-strain/)

But don't let that get in the way of a concerted fear campaign. With growing hesitance growing around the world to taking a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, something has to be done to make sure we're scared of our own shadow.

The mass media and governments, addicted to reliance on pharmaceutical advertising and lobbying "donations," have demonised eminently qualified medical professionals who have argued against lockdowns (no lockdowns was the WHO's policy until late last year) and found repeatable success with cheap preventions and treatments for patients in the early stages of the disease.

What we're seeing here is quite a clever transfer of wealth from our pockets into the bank accounts of a handful of pharmaceutical companies via taxpayer-funder mass-vaccination programs. They've helped to fuel the scare by trying to discredit opposition to their solution. Cheap drugs and a skeptical populace don't really serve their interests particularly well. I don't think they created this virus, but they've been quick and clever to make hay from it.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

They are a pilot in his 30s who returned to Japan from London on Dec. 16 and a woman in her 20s, one of his family members, with no history of visiting the country, the health ministry said.The man was not subject to quarantine at airports because of his occupation and the woman is believed to have been infected through him. Three people had close contact with the pair and one of them tested negative, while the status of the other two is unknown, according to the ministry.

For me, it sounds this pilot is from Japan. It looks to me that airlines pilot and flight attendants are posing a higher risk than most of foreigners who do require two pcr tests plus a two weeks quarantine (excluding some from the 10 countries mentioned in the article).

But I would suppose that airlines are requiring regular testings for the pilots and flight attendants, as part as their working procedure.

Yesterday, on my way to work and on my way back home, I saw countless of foreigners walking around without mask.

Indeed, this is not the problem. I see countless of Japanese people with a mask in the street, but going maskless to bars an izakayas. Where is the danger ?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Unable to find any specific info on airline crews, virus testing, quarantines, permission to land.

The mutant strain of the virus is more infectious and can spread quicker. The whole of the SE of England is on severe lockdowns.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I agree with others who have said this does not bode well the Olympics but Dentsu and the IOC will stubbornly forge ahead with games regardless of the health of Tokyo residents. Our only hope is the athletes refuse to come like they did before

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The metropolitan government has raised its alert regarding the strain on its medical system to the highest of four levels.

from the article... no one other than the government knows what these alerts levels are. Defcon3??? It changes every other day like a tard.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Concretely how is different from the previous situation ? Now Japanese who fly back to japan will also need to quarantine, for foreigner the impact is for short business trip but not sure there were that many ( and I read Japan will keep them going with Thailand / Vietnam / Taiwan etc..). The situation is not practical at all but this announcement seems Iike being as important as the rainbow bridge turning red at night.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I hope a few large countries decide to boycott the olympics due to safety issues. Wonder who will be first.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The largest group of arrivals are the Japanese citizens.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Approve. The. Vaccine. Already. What are they waiting for? Is Japanese blood that more special than other races?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Everyone please calm down, the pandemic is over and the virus is endemic now so there's nothing we can do about it. Compare Japan and Korea - Korea became a hospital/prison and Japan didn't, but they now have essentially the same numbers - odd, no?

Sad to say but lockdowns don't work, even very stringent ones. Here are twenty peer-reviewed studies on outcomes of different policies in the real world (not models, which are just guesses): https://thefatemperor.com/published-papers-and-data-on-lockdown-weak-efficacy-and-lockdown-huge-harms/

It's only about as bad as the usual flu so stop worrying and get back on with life. You can see this from the stats in Japan after all

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Atsuo Hamada, a professor at Tokyo Medical University, said Japan should take additional anti-virus steps including stronger border control, on the assumption the new variant has already entered the country to some extent.

"Once a highly transmissible variant spreads, the number of infections could surpass 2,000 in a single day in Tokyo, eventually necessitating another state of emergency" over the virus, Hamada warned.

It is extremely naive of this professor to think that the number of infections in Tokyo don't exceed 2,000

already. With the super low number of tests performed, one doesn't need to have a degree in anything to

know increasing tests to levels befitting a city the size and population of Tokyo will lead to very high positive cases. This attitude of being in complete denial that the Virus isn't prevalent here is mind boggling and will be

the undoing of those in charge. We are still awaiting Koike's fulfilling her pledge to ramp up testing to 65,000 still below the 80,000 tests conducted a day in New york.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There goes my plans for an R&R from Qatar.

Thanks china

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

WA4TKG:

Thanks china

China is not governing other countries. It's people like you who have caused all this verbal and physical abuse on Asian-looking people around the world this year.

I'm glad to see Japan has not made the cruel mistake of banning long-term residents, especially PRs. Even after European countries stopped flights to UK, they have reassured that foreign residents would still be able to return.

The foreign community in Japan will never forget how they were treated by the Japanese authorities this year, especially those who couldn't attend funerals abroad or come back (and yet still had to continue paying taxes and rent).

I'm also finally glad to see that the authorities realize Japanese are no more immune to the virus. Somehow are their blood types different? Or their intestines?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@monty

Yesterday, on my way to work and on my way back home, I saw countless of foreigners walking around without mask. 

It is our own fault.

Because of such foreigner idiots, it is no surprise, that we are getting blamed for the virus

Really? That’s strange because today on my way into Kamakura, I counted 46 people without wearing masks. They looked pretty Japanese to me.

My point: it’s useless saying it’s one or the others fault. We have to deal with this together.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Comment, he wrote:

Here too. I saw Japanese people without masks on the train. One even sat next to me. I got up in disgust and went somewhere else.

And so what if another foreigner doesn't wear a mask? How is he or she connected to me? Just because I saw those Japanese without masks on the train, should I throw a hissy fit at every other Japanese?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@pukey2

Exactly. The world over, people will always be pro this/ anti that and so forth. It all starts with ourself.

The only real blame is on the Japanese govt for lack of governance and irresponsibly starting a travel campaign during a pandemic. Oh, and planning to hold and focusing on a global sports event before even controlling their own domestic situation concerning covid. Madness!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japanese seem desperate to blame somewhere/someome else for every problem in the world. It's embarrassing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yesterday, on my way to work and on my way back home, I saw countless of foreigners walking around without mask.It is our own fault.Becauseof such foreigner idiots, it is no surprise, that we are getting blamed for the virus.

Drove past a few izakayas / bars last night...packed with young Japanese..zero social distancing, no masks....blaming the foreigners line doesn't fly.

Btw, wonder how Mori & co are going with their " Olympic fans from across the world will be allowed to enter Japan without proof of vaccination & can use public transport freely" policy in light of the developments. The new strains might be the final straw for the Olympics 2021 dream.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

he foreign community in Japan will never forget how they were treated by the Japanese authorities this year, especially those who couldn't attend funerals abroad or come back 

Oh, you mean like my Daughter, when her Grandmother died.

Yeah, “People like YOU”...I’ve heard that somewhere BEFORE..Hmmm.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Covid-19 virus is becoming more easily transmitted, but not, apparently, more deadly. Still, what it is, is plenty deadly enough.

Meanwhile, unless production of the vaccine (BTW, well done scientists!!) is ramped up to triple or more of what it currently is, we won't be able to get herd immunity until late in 2021. I suggest that governments around the globe dedicate themselves to producing the vaccines in huge numbers, for both industrialized and third world countries, so we can rapidly get back to normal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Meanwhile, unless production of the vaccine (BTW, well done scientists!!) is ramped up to triple or more of what it currently is, we won't be able to get herd immunity until late in 2021.

Yes, and assuming chinese germ warfare experts haven’t engineered a Self Mutating Function of their original Product.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Zoroto: The definition of a fool is somebody who keeps repeating what has failed in the past.

There’s also that (misattributed to Einstein) quote about the definition of insanity; repeating the same mistakes over and over and hoping for a different result.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@i@n

@NAM

So sorry for your situation. all of us suffer in one way or another because of the pandemic.

Your case at least still has a solution, your fiance can come see you I hope

Thank you, sadly his country was closed until 11/15, and now Japan closed on 12/25. I was going crazy in that time going to 3 prefectures and so many places/offices/banks/clinics to get all the documents, and then sending by DHL to him. We had all the documents ready for submission for humanitarian visa, they are in his country in his home. Now we have to wait for Japan to open again...maybe in February, who knows. I guess I will just continue the IVF stuff by myself. I just wish Japan would be more easy-going with countries that have so few cases-instead of banning everyone. There's no nuance!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There are millions of people who can’t visit their elderly parents because of COVID. They can’t see their grandchildren. Hundreds of thousands who can’t be with loved ones dying from the COVID. There are a million people who can longer see anyone because they have gone.

The pandemic isn’t under control in most countries. For some the vaccinations have started for others they won’t even be vaccinated during 2021.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How can Tokyo have Olympics ? When the vaccine deliveries are so slowwww.

Sorry Japan, looks like Tokyo Olympics is canceled.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The billions spent on getting ready for an Olympics that was largely debt financed and whose success was supposedly contingent on revenue generated by said event, will have fulfilled its purpose whether or not it ever takes place. Failure is simply not an option when you have the MoF’s smoke and mirrors facilitated dedication to banishing even the very concept. The economic fillip of expenditure on facility construction subsumes all else such that the Japanese can legitimately claim to have perfected perpetual motion and achieved the fiscal equivalent of alchemy.

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