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Over 407,000 on entry waiting list as Japan eases border controls

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Man, I hope they don't start making a quota such that even permanent residents can't get back because more than 5,000 will return. I am trying to buy tickets to the US now and it is tough, with high prices and bad connections. I called the airline help desk and waited 90 minutes before hanging up. I think the airspace issues with Russia is greatly affecting scheduling.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Open the Gates!

5 ( +15 / -10 )

“Since late November, only a fraction of nonresident foreigners wishing to enter Japan had been granted entry as exceptions.”

Not since late November: since February 2020.

Do you think 400,000 people who are eligible to live here just cumulated in a couple of months?

Aside for a window of three weeks last November, the ban has been in place for two full years, and just to let in all those who have already the right to enter Japan it will take another full year.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

@Reckless - Fares are high. Incredibly so with the quota in place. Airspace issues with Russia are not GREATLY affecting scheduling - Flights FROM the East Coast may need to take some more southerly routes that may add a little time to a journey but not enough to cause major disruption. Airlines are using smaller aircraft on routes where they cannot stuff the bellies with cargo also contributing to higher prices.

Those who wish to return to Europe will struggle with prices more so, now that the European airlines cannot overfly Siberia.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

i hope in the coming months that they will open the whole country for everyone to travel

6 ( +14 / -8 )

So, it will take over 80 days. Assuming that 5,000 will enter every day. If a student can only make it on the 80th day, it means that a whole trimester is lost.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

"I was able to smoothly return to Japan since I have completed my third round of inoculation and was exempt from quarantine," said Akira Onodera, 57, who arrived at Narita airport near Tokyo from Hanoi, Vietnam, after working there.

"But I am worried about whether the easing would cause a resurgence of the infections," he said.

As if all the others ( read as Gaijin) who go through the same procedures as he did are more likely to "bring in" the virus.

0 ( +17 / -17 )

@Nobnaga

i hope in the coming months that they will open the whole country for everyone to travel

That makes to much sense, no naturally the JGov will throw such an idea in the bin.

@Antiquesaving

"But I am worried about whether the easing would cause a resurgence of the infections," he said.

As if all the others ( read as Gaijin) who go through the same procedures as he did are more likely to "bring in" the virus.

Sadly that's still the attitude of many Japanese.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

So what’s the problem still? All are served within approximately 80 days.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

"I was able to smoothly return to Japan since I have completed my third round of inoculation and was exempt from quarantine," said Akira Onodera, 57, who arrived at Narita airport near Tokyo from Hanoi, Vietnam, after working there.

"But I am worried about whether the easing would cause a resurgence of the infections," he said.

And there you have it. "I'm alright, Jack"

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

"But I am worried about whether the easing would cause a resurgence of the infections," he said.

Fgs dude...infections are rampant in Japan , easing the borders will not make any difference...but yeah let's stay xenophobic cause TIJ.

3 ( +19 / -16 )

So what’s the problem still? All are served within approximately 80 days.

Only if zero people add to the list!

You do realise that many of those on the list are residents and Japanese nationals that for one reason or another had to leave Japan and now need to return.

More leave every day and will eventually have to return.

I know several Japanese whose companies sent them out of Japan to take care of business as well as non Japanese that sadly in most cases had to go back the deal with deaths in their families.

Unless the above stops today, then the number quoted in the article does not remain stagnant.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

My daughter just returned to Japan after a few months in the States.

She said there were only 7 passengers on her flight from L.A.

When she arrived at Narita she was bussed to the Shinagawa Prince Hotel to spend her 3-day isolation period then she was bussed back to Narita to have another PCR test and then was finally released.

On a side note,I hear the Prince Hotel group is in big financial trouble,with bankruptcy not an impossibility,so the government has started to house returnees there for their quarantine period rather than using more reasonably priced places.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Omicron is all over Japan.

All this testing and 3 day quarantine or whatever is completely unnecessary!

3 ( +16 / -13 )

Delta and Omicron are already rampant in Japan. But not BA2 (Stealth Omicron) at this point (300-400?).

Seems the J-gov is afraid of this BA2 coming in from overseas.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

We have to stop this by finding the appropriate antidotes.

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

But not BA2 (Stealth Omicron) at this point (300-400?).

Seems the J-gov is afraid of this BA2 coming in from overseas.

If there are 300~400 already detected then there are at least 10 times already here not yet detected.

Cats out of the bag the horses have left the barn too late to close the Barn door and good luck getting the cat back in the bag.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Cats out of the bag the horses have left the barn too late to close the Barn door and good luck getting the cat back in the bag.

@Antique - you've got a lot of cats and horses in there! While you're at it, lob in a few tree frogs, a some guppies and a duck billed platypus or two... ;)

Totally agree with the sentiment though - it's way too late for barns and bags, whatever you want to put inside them.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

AntiquesavingToday  06:21 pm JST

But not BA2 (Stealth Omicron) at this point (300-400?).

Seems the J-gov is afraid of this BA2 coming in from overseas.

If there are 300~400 already detected then there are at least 10 times already here not yet detected.

Maybe yes maybe no. That's simply a guess and policies aren't made on solely guesses. I presume you do know that BA2 is harder and takes longer to identify.

Cats out of the bag the horses have left the barn too late to close the Barn door and good luck getting the cat back in the bag.

Attempting to slow a spread is not the equivalent of stopping a spread. Nobody in any country is going to put the cat "back in the bag".

4 ( +9 / -5 )

On a side note,I hear the Prince Hotel group is in big financial trouble,with bankruptcy not an impossibility,so the government has started to house returnees there for their quarantine period rather than using more reasonably priced places.

@Spitfire, just to check, your daughter didn't have to pay for her quarantine hotel, did she?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

People whine too much about these border closures. It’s a privilege not a right to enter a country apart from the one that you are a citizen of! They just have to wait until the Government can open up the country safely instead of showing their desperation! How bad is their life back home that they are so desperate to run away to Japan ( and then bash Japan in the future )!

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

Thankfully I was just able to book a good connecting flight in late April to Orlando. Thanks Ghosh! The price is over 200,000 yen (almost double what I paid in the past) and not counting costs for PCR tests if still necessary then. Unfortunately, I do not think I could make a family trip at these prices.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It is the Japanese government which decide on own immigration procedures. Fair enough. But other countries should apply reciprocal procedures for Japanese citizens.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

So, it will take over 80 days. Assuming that 5,000 will enter every day. If a student can only make it on the 80th day, it means that a whole trimester is lost.

Actually, there are only an extra 1500 spaces daily. It’s going to take over 270 days to clear the backlog of nothing changes.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I believe it will be to the benefit of the Japanese govt to open the country at least to foreign students and business as long as they follow the appropriate health protocols set forth by the govt. That is understandable. Japan is trying to look after the safety of their citizens so I understand their reluctance to just open the floodgates as much as a lot of people here want to. I for one want to go to Japan and other places in the world and travel and see friends again, but I guess I will have to wait until restrictions eases further.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Absolutely disgraceful. I expect as much from communist nations like China who don’t hide their oppression and prejudice but would have expected better from Japan.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

So 407,000 waiting, some for years now....

EVEN if Japan doesnt allow Japanese to return it would take 82days to allow these people in, SO given slots are likely going to Japanese first theme some could be waiting a year or more still at this point........

"I was able to smoothly return to Japan since I have completed my third round of inoculation and was exempt from quarantine," said Akira Onodera, 57, who arrived at Narita airport near Tokyo from Hanoi, Vietnam, after working there.

"But I am worried about whether the easing would cause a resurgence of the infections," he said.

Above is a PERFECT example of the all too common ignorance here topped with a lack of common sense!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Is it possible that we have a humanitarian crisis on our hands here in Japan?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

So 407,000 waiting, some for years now....

I know I am repeating myself, but that number is unrealistic. It may be statistically true, the cumulative number of unsuccessful visa applications and CoE holders since March 2020 when the borders closed (minus a few hundred that managed to squeeze in while Japan was slightly-less-closed for 28 days in last November.)

But that doesn't mean that 407,000 are still waiting now, almost two years later, scratching at the embassies' doors. The purpose for entering Japan has passed for a significant part of those people. Business travelers usually come for a reason, for many that reason was imminent two years ago. Students have missed their entry exams, missed their semester abroad, or outright finished their studies online. A lot of students will even miss this year, entry exams were in February, the spring semester starts in less than a month.

I would be surprised if the real number is even close to half of that.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

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