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Kishida says Japan will consider easing COVID border controls

54 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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"...will consider" being the operative phrase here...

1 ( +20 / -19 )

I disagree 3RENSHO. ‘Consider’ when used here anything to with Covid has generally meant an imminent statement. They have already decided what they are going to do. Whether that means the end of quarantine for vaccinated citizens and residents or the admittance of those holding COE’s who knows? Pretty sure it will not include tourists being allowed yet. Key dates will be the airlines summer schedules and the time AFTER Golden Week for staggered changes.

0 ( +17 / -17 )

“I plan to look into easing the border controls,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters Saturday.

…….

Just lessen the quarantine times and allow people to do so at home.

1 ( +17 / -16 )

Hopefully common sense prevails, and the dinosaurs in charge finally realize the futility of border restrictions given that Covid is already endemic.

0 ( +22 / -22 )

Hmm, with only 11% of the total population being boosted and current output at Jgov vax sites in Tokyo is 5000/day, Tokyo with a population of 14 million, means that Omi will become endemic in how many days? Weeks? Years?

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

“Many of the Japanese public, however, are supportive of the tight border controls as they think troubles such as the pandemic come from outside their island nation. “

Many children under 9 year old believe the presents under the tree are brought by Santa and the magic raindeers. Doesn’t make it real.

There-is-no-significant-impact-on-the-pandemic-from-foreign-travelers-wake-up.

3 ( +27 / -24 )

Not even 'is considering', 'is looking into' - now it's 'plans to look into'. I beg, I implore these characters to go away, suck their teeth, consider and plan and look into all you need, but meanwhile stay schtum, and wake me up to announce the action you are going to take. Before I go bananas.

Not for nothing has Kishida been dubbed 'Mr Consideration'. He seems even more hamstrung by LDP factions and the Nippon Kaigi crew than Suga was. And that's saying something. Changing prime ministers feels like swapping used bathwater for dirty dishwater.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

given that Covid is already endemic

No. By every definition it is still a pandemic.

7 ( +20 / -13 )

Many of the Japanese public, however, are supportive of the tight border controls as they think troubles such as the pandemic come from outside their island nation.

It seems so ridiculous. What a way to live life.

Grow up Japan.

-11 ( +16 / -27 )

Well this guy has at least reduced the days of quarantine from 14 to 7 and let us see if he reduces that number further. I don't see a flood of people rushing here if he opens up the doors, and so, why not let in students and business people they have a long que to check and recheck that people who do return don't have COVID.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

"...will consider" being the operative phrase here...

That's not merely a phrase... its his actual nick-name!

Yeah, the opposition party has started calling Kishida "Mr. Kentou" ミスター検討 which translates a Mr. Consider

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Transport Minister Tetsuo Saito visit Tokyo's Haneda airport to inspect the workplace COVID-19 vaccination program on Saturday

Inspecting the "workplace"? Yeah, sure guys!

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

The border restrictions, at least the way they have been implemented in Japan, have been one of the most useless and maddening restrictions of the whole pandemic here. Such restrictions can only really be effective as part of a zero covid strategy as implemented in places like NZ, Aus and China - applying to Japanese nationals as well as foreigners. At this stage of the pandemic, the cost/benefit of such a strategy doesn't make any sense which is why most places are now ditching it. As implemented here, all the border restrictions are doing is maybe delaying the arrival of any new variant by 1 or 2 weeks at most - once it's here, it will just spread exactly the same because there are no restrictions domestically.

I think the time is long overdue that the border was re-opened completely. If the Japanese can't quite stomach that at the minute, then they should at least allow students and work-visa holders to come. I think foreign residents here should also be allowed to issue invitations to their close family members. That would at least provide a good stepping stone on the way to full re-opening.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Kishida did not provide a timeline or other details and said he will make a decision based on a scientific assessment of the omicron variant,

The "science" has never called for a blanket closure of borders to foreigners. The "xenophobic" Japanese public did though.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

“Based on science.”

When's the last time we heard that?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Only about 8% of Japan’s population have received their third jabs.

The booster program started 2.5 months ago.

They either don't care or are deliberately stalling.

I wonder why.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Zeram1Today  05:25 pm JST

Hmm, with only 11% of the total population being boosted and current output at Jgov vax sites in Tokyo is 5000/day, Tokyo with a population of 14 million, means that Omi will become endemic in how many days? Weeks? Years?

The booster has nothing to do with ending the pandemic. Israel already gave 4 to a lot of people and they are in the worst situation ever. CDC didn’t allow the vaccine to younger kids as it didn’t have enough effect.

Omicron will rub its course regardless of vaccines or boosters.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

“I plan to look into easing the border controls,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters Saturday.

Aka. "I'm saying to save face and not make Japan a leper among the international community".

Kishida did not provide a timeline or other details and said he will make a decision based on a scientific assessment of the omicron variant, infection levels in and outside Japan and quarantine measures in other countries.

No, he won't. Japan doesn't give a figgy fig about what other countries are doing because it believes itself to be above and superior to them all. J-gov will continue to make decisions based on discrimination and xenophobia and then cave only when criticism from its international peers become too great.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Can you “consider” to open the bars and restaurants past 8pm last order 9 pm close?

cause if you start to consider now maybe it can happen after rainy season in June? It’s not happening for Hanami that’s for nearly sure.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

It is a tough choice but these people trying to get into the country just need to wait! I don’t understand who are these “talented” people. Honesty they are not missing anything at the moment with all of the Covid restrictions we have here. We have not been able to travel out of Japan for 3 years now so if we must wait they must wait.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Asia Nikkei already said students will be allowed as early as next week and businesses travelers both short-term and long-term with 3-day quarantine before March 1 - from their internal sources.

However, a lot of damage has been done already and trust has been lost. Japan just saying they opening the border does not close the books, that trust has to be rebuilt.

In addition, the PR weabos who sided with Japan on this matter banning foreigners from their families and their studies and professional pursuits, people will remember where you stand if you talk too much when everything opens back up.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

You don’t try, you do.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

"Many of the Japanese public, however, are supportive of the tight border controls as they think troubles such as the pandemic come from outside their island nation"

Shorter sentence: Many of the Japanese public are supportive because they are xenophobic.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

I plan to look into easing the border controls

Not even going to look. Just planning. This dude feels like he's Abe by the way he speaks. He's worse than Suga.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Good idea, Kishida. Tell other nations you're "considering" it. I'm sure that will get you a pat on the back and a sigh of relief from the people demanding ACTION.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

... because I guarantee to you it wouldn't take much "considering" for other nations to simply retaliate when they've realized enough's enough, and THEN it wouldn't take Japan much time to consider doing something.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

I hope by April 2022 Japan will be fully opened

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

On Sunday evening, I come with a light fever. I decide to wait and see for a couple of days. During this period I have all the symptoms of covid and my temperature fluctuates between 37 and 38.

On Wednesday I give a call to the health center to know if I have to do the test and after listening to my symptoms I am told: “follow your own judgment”.

On the same day I hear about a family of four returning from France having to stay locked 6 days in a small hotel room near Narita with a 1 and a 3 years old kids (hell on earth!).

If you are in Japan (with currently 100,000 cases per day) you can behave carelessly with a quasi encouragement of the authorities, but if you arrive from abroad you have to stay locked 6 days!

Where is the logic?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Japan has become one of the world’s most difficult countries to enter and critics compare it to the locked country, or sakoku, policy of xenophobic warlords who ruled Japan in the 17th to 19th centuries.

pretty sure that’s intentional

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

"However, a lot of damage has been done already and trust has been lost. Japan just saying they opening the border does not close the books, that trust has to be rebuilt."

And?!

Are foreigners gonna tell Japan to get lost and take their "immense talent" elsewhere to "far better countries"?

All this whole saga shows is crying foreigners (thousands of them) desperate to come into Japan, a dump (as per JT "expertise")

Japan will do as they please and foreigners will still be wanting to come into the country, no matter what.

Similarly, resident moaners will refuse to leave to "far better countries".

Simples

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Closing the border to foreigners and allowing Japanese to come and go makes about as much sense as injecting yourself with a syringe half full of HIV tainted blood instead of a completely full syringe. It doesn't really make much difference.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Yes, it will be considered by the end of the year.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

With the Japanese economy in decades of stagnation, I’d honestly advise young foreign students to look elsewhere, anyway. Until Japan sorts out its economic malaise the quality of life here will continue to decline relative to growthier places.

It has its charms of course.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

@Peeping_Tom wrote:

Are foreigners gonna tell Japan to get lost and take their "immense talent" elsewhere to "far better countries"?

Unless you living under a rock, Japan isn't the best or the only content for talent. South Korea and mainland China been surpassed Japan as a destination for immense talent. Might want to see what Shenzhen actually looks like. Might want to see how Gangnam has evolved. I'm pretty sure you still go to electric town in Akihabara and think that place is still relevant, right?

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Well...at least this time the details were correct in saying "permanent and non-permanent residents"

What lesson could kishida have possibly learned from Suga ???

The sidestepping backwards forward dither shuffling.

Anyway...that's fantastic that Japan is considering opening up again , but could you do it when the virus cases have calmed down again.

End of March is more realistic with the rate of assertiveness that kishida demonstrates.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I wonder if this had to do with the very recent Foreign Corespondents Club of Japans talk on this very topic. Japans over simplistic approach to the borders were called out for what they were. Xenophobic, damaging and counter productive to the Japan that they want to portray to the world. If this means that the government is starting to take note of outside opinions this is a very promising result. Hope they get it right as soon as possible.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@fxgai

Anyone in Japan over a long period can see the decline all over.

It is really quite tragic…

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

With a positive test result ratio close to 50% and only a pathetic 200k tests a day, I can tell you without a doubt there is probably close to 1 million new infections in Japan daily at the moment. In fact you are far more likely as a foreigner to be infected once you arrive in Japan than your home country. There is no science it’s a politically motivated football that has no justification. Everyone is pretty much open it’s Japan and NZ and China that are the outliers here, China, yeah well who cares it’s China, NZ? A nothing tinpot island, but Japan? It’s really showing a bad side of Japan, Kishida is just another idiot politician that will soon go down the drain pipe, another side of politics trumping peoples freedoms.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good news, at least he's talking about it this way. That's a step. A month ago he was bragging that his rules were the toughest in the G7.

Reading through the comments and noticing the pattern of downvotes, I'm thoroughly convinced that at least half of the registered commenters on JT are Japanese nationals who never write a comment of their own, but signed up just for the sake of downvoting every comment made by a gaijin about their country. An amateurish version of the Russian troll farms who love to hit the Washington Post comments section and the like. I suspect many are of the skinny little pimply-faced bespectacled 'men' one sees in and around the Uyoku vans that congregate in Japanese cities when the local teachers' union is having their annual conference.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Late to the party here, but I would ask why are the media asking the public whether they agree with the policy of closing the border? Is every other decision the government makes subject to the same scrutiny and presented individually as a vote winner or loser? Even on a very similar subject, were the Japanese public asked about whether they thought the government had sufficiently communicated with the US forces about their entry into Japan? Some of them walked straight in with no testing, never mind no quarantine! Are the Japanese public satisfied with the sontoku issue and having no investigation of Abe? Or the waste over Abe masks etc. It seems to me that someone out there wants to push an agenda with this and is doing so at the expense of other issues that mean more to more people, like price rises across the board.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Kishida, must not pay attention to the news, the pandemic is growing, not subsiding. Cited by JT:

Tokyo reports 11,765 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 68,470

Nationwide, the number of reported cases was 68,470. After Tokyo, the prefectures with the most cases were Kanagawa (8,040), Osaka (6,746), Aichi (5,100), Saitama (4,936), Chiba (4,080), Fukuoka (3,456), Hokkaido (3,280), Hyogo (3,259), Kyoto (1,814), Ibaraki (1,681), Shizuoka (1,050), Nara (959), Shiga (858), Hiroshima (820), Gifu (693), Okayama (648), Mie (603), Kumamoto (594), Miyagi (592), Tochigi (570), Kagoshima (444), Ishikawa (432), Saga (426), Wakayama (421), Nagano (421), Gunma (403), Aomori (370), Toyama (362), Oita (336), Okinawa (334), Fukushima (307), Nagasaki (248), Fukui (229), Kagawa (226), Yamaguchi (217), Kochi (204), Miyazaki (196), Iwate (182), Yamanashi (133), and Tokushima (124).

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It will take a decade at least for tourists to consider visiting Japan. There are far too many other options. And I can honestly say that, as a Canadian whose first visit was during the Great Eastern Earthquake and Tsunami, and every year since then, until 2017. I've spent untold thousands of dollars over a total of 46 weeks in the country. But, it's off-limits now, and from on will remain so. My apologies to the families and friends I was fortunate to meet and care about. But it's a big world out there.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

So nothing will change then.

„I will consider“ is the Japanese way to say I won’t do it

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

"The government has also faced criticism over its failure to keep Omicron out of U.S. military bases, where Japan has no jurisdiction. American troops fly directly into the country without observing Japanese quarantine requirements and they were not tested for weeks, until Tokyo asked them to."

This is a half truth. There is a portion of the active duty force that comes in that way, but more come in commercially, and observe the quarantine as directed. I wish someone with editorial common sense would get this right. USFJ (US Forces Japan) puts out a daily COVID tracker and they can see the case loads among the US military.

And after spending January in Japan, all I can say is the measures they are taking are mostly for show. Multiple times, I saw Japanese not wearing masks correctly, no distancing, just getting on with life. Oh, and wearing masks universally, even walking alone outside, is stupid. It does nothing, prevents nothing, and is not based in science.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

So big businesses WIN and the public LOSES.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Canadian truckers' protests are reverberating, eve in Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

America made mistakes during the crisis. They push their decision on Australia and now Japan. Easing min, there will more dead. Omicron is the most contagious. This is the opposite way to go and be cautious.

°

NadAge

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

“Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Transport Minister Tetsuo Saito visit Tokyo's Haneda airport to inspect the workplace COVID-19 vaccination program on Saturday.  Photo: KYODO Pool”

Political posing at its best....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So cases are increasing and they are discussing easing restrictions. Shouldn't that conversation be had when caseloads are decreasing rather than increasing?

If the goal is to cut hospital caseloads, limiting entry make sense. It means fewer people in the country, fewer people that can get sick.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

All over Kyodo this morning , who whether you like the source are rarely wrong. Quarantine prob down to 3 days or nothing if you are vaxxed from next month and negative. Don't know about the unvaxxed and frankly don't care Oh... That's triple vaxxed btw.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Time open up an live with this flu virus. Come on Japan I want to come and visit. It’s bed a while now.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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