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Japan's COVID-19 foreign entry ban spurs demonstrations in several countries

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So sad it has come to this. Will the muppets in Kasumigaseki care?

4 ( +27 / -23 )

Careful what you wish for folks overseas!

4 ( +24 / -20 )

The majority of Japanese people don’t want foreigners here. The travel ban is disgusting.

I hope the people who are waiting to enter for school or work change their minds and choose a country that will welcome them.

46 ( +70 / -24 )

Despite Japan’s best efforts to cultivate an untarnished image amongst the world’s ‘leaders’?

-1 ( +21 / -22 )

Barry in Illinois said limiting entries to a small fraction of the exchange students was a narrow-minded move and had no scientific basis.

Yup! welcome to Japan! Or not...

Will the muppets in Kasumigaseki care?

Oh they care about saving their mugs on the international stage. other than that...nah

Careful what you wish for folks overseas!

Exactly! This may be a blessing in disguise.

The majority of Japanese people don’t want foreigners here.

True. Amazing how they never left Sakoku mentally.

The travel ban is disgusting.

Yes

I hope the people who are waiting to enter for school or work change their minds and choose a country that will welcome them.

That would be the prudent thing to do.

9 ( +33 / -24 )

So, where’re all the calls of socialism and nazis that were dished out to Australia for the tennis scandal? At least Australia is allowing entry to vaccinated people. Japan has a total ban on foreigners entering the country regardless of vaccination status. I’m not surprised in the least that people are protesting around the world. Japan needs to update this status to allow the tourist areas to make some kind of financial recovery.

16 ( +41 / -25 )

Sorry, folks, Japan has other priorities. As we've seen with the now-dead immigration debate, Japan - the govt and its people - does NOT want significant numbers of foreigners in the country, especially ones that stay beyond their 2 year visa.

This is not a progressive, liberal, Western country and does not seek to be one. I'm surprised by how many people just don't get it.

53 ( +76 / -23 )

Well, the isolationists & nationalists can focus their hate of AUKCUS elsewhere this month:

"Stop Japan's Ban," launched on Twitter Tuesday gathered in front of Japanese embassies including Mongolia, Poland, India and Malaysia. More protests this month in Germany, Austria, Spain and Argentina.” -

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

News like this will be hardly a blip on Japanese TV I will bet, if even mentioned at all. The protests have to be pretty big and loud for it to happen.

18 ( +32 / -14 )

Hah, twitter. I am not trying to pour cold water on them but if they think they can force the government to comply by demonstrating, then they have another thing coming. There is one thing our government not like, is being force by outsiders to tell them what to do. They are very stubborn. If they want to government to listen, the first thing they have to do is get the citizens here on their side. Trying to appeal to them instead and have supporters here trying to appeal to the government to be a bit more flexible.

One thing i know so far about how our politicians is that they rarely bend to outside pressure.

4 ( +22 / -18 )

Each country can set its own entry rules, whether that be Australia kicking out tennis players or Japan and its quarantine.

20 ( +46 / -26 )

Yes, it might not even make the news here! It isn’t the most international place most might think and most people don’t speak English! It kind of like the Micheal Jackson song” All I wanna say is they don’t really care about us”

7 ( +18 / -11 )

This is a huge mistake for which history will not judge Japan kindly. It's become nothing more than xenophobic mockery wrapped in an ostensible and increasingly unscientific vail of protecting public health. If Japan wants to be seen as backwards they will continue this nonsense. Otherwise, the government needs to follow the lead of nations such as the UK: allow all fully vaccinated and boosted foreign visitors who are qualified, including tourists, to resume the pre-pandemic entry policies with no quarantine requirement or other arduous restrictions.

-5 ( +27 / -32 )

The last thing that will end the travel ban is a group of angry foreigners screaming "let us in, let us in!"

If anything, that will extend it even longer. Remember, the travel ban is not really about the virus!

Please, for your own benefit, give up on coming to Japan and go somewhere else!

15 ( +34 / -19 )

Barry in Illinois said limiting entries to a small fraction of the exchange students was a narrow-minded move and had no scientific basis.

Well I just hope this won't be a basis for a more permanent ban

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

How many are they? 147 thousands people

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/backstories/1867/

0 ( +6 / -6 )

thelonius...

Remember, the travel ban is not really about the virus!

Of course it is. Europe, the US and other parts of the world had masses of cases. Japan had a few, so to keep it that way they restricted entry to "NEW" entrants. Those leaving and returning were fine.

Now that Omicron is well established in Japan, the case for keeping the restrictions is less valid so I expect it will be changed before the summer.

-4 ( +21 / -25 )

Keep these borders locked until the situation is under control Mr. Kishida, most of these demonstrators are NON TAX PAYERS and could care less about the Consequences

2 ( +31 / -29 )

Japan, as a sovereign nation, sets her own rules on who can and can't enter. While the borders being shut is regrettable, it is being done for a reason : to protect the nation as much as possible.

The truth is, no one has a right to enter a foreign nation.

5 ( +38 / -33 )

My colleagues at universities in Canada and the US are already advising incoming Asian Studies students to shift their studies away from Japan to Korea. And they are doing it. We have received notice from four prospective study abroad students that they are withdrawing their applications. The virus was an excuse to fo what 99% of Japanese wanted all along. And there will be no change....they will say that until there is no danger from variants the quarantine has to stay. It will never go away.

12 ( +29 / -17 )

Japanese come FIRST, just like any other nation Japan is doing everything possible to keep it's people safe and that includes all Japanese and Non, so if some so called exchange students of business people can't wait they should start looking for other options.

-1 ( +25 / -26 )

They should respect Japanese law and order.. Stop the protest this might be causing more omicron for gathering together.

2 ( +32 / -30 )

Jade Barry, one of the organizers, had planned to arrive in Japan in January this year to open a variety store

Should stay home and open a variety store there.

0 ( +23 / -23 )

Can we have a photo of these protests? I'd like to see if it 5 people or only 1 or 2.

-5 ( +20 / -25 )

How many are they? 147 thousands people

Most of them are "Japanese language learners", ie future Yoshinoya and 7-11 employees.

Those who are legitimate university students truly wanting to come here to study -- they should really look for other options instead of waiting around.

-3 ( +25 / -28 )

Japan made the mistake that they keep the borders open in the beginning of the pandemic and let still thousands of chinese tourists come into the country.

Additional, Japan do not trust foreigners according their behavior during the pandemic. Best example is the US army in Okinawa.

Look at youtube. Hundreds of videos with big indoor events from USA, Europe...no social distance, no masks...

And when you see how crazy high the numbers are in oversea countries, it is understandable that Japan don't want to re-open the borders.

Japan is scared, that the foreigners will bring again more corona to Japan. And to argue that you are vaccinated doesn't count, because we all know that even you are vaccinated, you can spread the virus.

Like I said, Japan made the mistake to keep the borders open in the beginning of the pandemic.

And now, Lessons learned!

*

*
-9 ( +25 / -34 )

I think the Japanese realized how much nicer Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka is without being overran by foreigners.

I totally agree with this sentiment.

-9 ( +24 / -33 )

An honest question, has New Zealand allowed international students and researchers into the country during its almost 2 year lockdown? I thought even citizens were not allowed back into the country, and that they were using a lottery like system to control the number of people returning.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

The reality is, ALL nations should have kept their borders closed throughout this once-in-a-hundred-year pandemic. The spread of the virus would have been minimized and very manageable - the deaths far lower.

The open borders policy of most nations has been a disaster.

I am sure most agree with me.

3 ( +30 / -27 )

Japan has a right to set whatever border policies it wishes. They need not explain or justify them to us of all people.

That being said, one has to also see they have little or nothing to do with the pandemic. It just a way to achieve other goals and just another example to show Japan’s true stance on and understanding of foreigners. Which again - is their absolute right to hold that position.

2 ( +21 / -19 )

Let them throw as many tantrums as they want, If they don't like the rules of this country and don't have the patience to wait, there are more than 200 other countries and territories to go to.

-14 ( +18 / -32 )

Japan is safety country and special.

-6 ( +17 / -23 )

hey should respect Japanese law and order.. Stop the protest this might be causing more omicron for gathering together.

Most of these protests are happening in Gaikoku, not to worry. The genetically unique and pure Yamato people are the ones spreading it right now.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Barry in Illinois said limiting entries to a small fraction of the exchange students was a narrow-minded move and had no scientific basis.

Of course. This ban was based on discrimination and xenophobia. Japan is using Covid as an excuse to go into isolation again and with the Omicron cases rising, I have no doubt they'll extend this ban until summer or even later. Prospective students and businesspeople should take their skills, knowledge and business elsewhere where they won't be treated so poorly and unfairly.

-5 ( +18 / -23 )

At least Australia is allowing entry to vaccinated people. Japan has a total ban on foreigners entering the country regardless of vaccination status

Anyone ever think that the entry ban for even vaccinated non-residents, as well as the failure to ever really implement the domestic vaccine passports... isn't the the J-gov's way of admitting that they don't think the vaccines work?

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

This ban is just going to hurt Japan in the long run. A lot of people outside the country who might have had an interest in coming here to contribute to this society are now thinking to themselves “Hmmm, forget Japan, I think I’ll study Korean (or some other language) instead.”

With a collapsing population, stagnant economy and in need of allies due to its geo political situation, saying goodbye to the goodwill of the rest of the world to satisfy a short term political mood is not a luxury this country can afford.

13 ( +26 / -13 )

The Japanese Government has it made! They keep everyone going to the office, provide little or no financial help, mail you two face masks, and still there's many here who think they are being protected by it.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Fat chance.

Kishida needs the popularity that comes with this ban….

8 ( +16 / -8 )

This is not a progressive, liberal, Western country and does not seek to be one.

VERY TRUE. BUT they always pretend to be one and want to be treated and viewed as if they are one.

Wasn't it was only a month ago that Kishida called on "like minded nations" to join together?

This is a huge mistake for which history will not judge Japan kindly. It's become nothing more than xenophobic mockery wrapped in an ostensible and increasingly unscientific vail of protecting public health.

exactly. they got their chance and now they showed their true colors.

If Japan wants to be seen as backwards they will continue this nonsense. 

I think the cat's out of the bag, especially with the Carlos debacle.

My colleagues at universities in Canada and the US are already advising incoming Asian Studies students to shift their studies away from Japan to Korea. And they are doing it. We have received notice from four prospective study abroad students that they are withdrawing their applications. The virus was an excuse to fo what 99% of Japanese wanted all along. And there will be no change....they will say that until there is no danger from variants the quarantine has to stay. It will never go away.

THIS! I couldn't agree more with everything in your post!

2 ( +18 / -16 )

Japan has reached 55,000 daily cases alone without opening their border. Japan now has higher cases than Australia and soon European countries too, and Japan did it all by herself.

Where do you get your info? You have a false perception of reality.

Actual Data:

Daily cases per day per million population (7-day average):

Denmark, France: 5,000+

Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Sweden: 3,000-4,000

Australia: 3,000+

Japan (yesterday only): 436

Japan (7 day average, like the rest of countries above): 335

So, for Japan to be at 3,000 cases per million daily (the Euro & Australia average), then Japan's 7-day average (not one-day max) would need to be 400,000...

...but this is actually impossible to ever hit since Japan does not even have this level of testing capability.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Failing to understand how not allowing students and workers that count in the hundreds of thousands at most in a normal year protects the nation when they would be vaccinated, tested, and quarantined like everyone else who are allowed in the country. This is no more than baseless hysteria that no serious government would consider as a so-called measure against the pandemic.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

Regardless, this move is still only temporary and will be lifted eventually and all the foreigners will be back. So if you are enjoying gaijin free Japan, enjoy it while you can because it’ll end soon anyway.

Wishful thinking. There is zero political pressure to loosen the entry requirements. Nippon Kaigi is going to ride this wave as far as they can. The tourist industry damage is already done, the defacto sakoku policy is popular, and no one here cares what people in Gaikoku think. The academic damage is immaterial because most researchers overseas have been pivoting toward Korea and Taiwan for years anyway. (Funny how PhDs don't want to make tea for their profs for years before being allowed to do any independent research.) Language study exchange only affects people who might want to stay in Japan later, so best if they stay out anyway.

They will eventually let the "Three D's" workers from the developing world back in to sort the garbage and bury nuclear waste and harvest vegetables, but only on very limited visas and under strict quarantine and supervision.

But on the tatamae side of things, once the Omicron wave breaks, the govt will say that other variants might arise, and the vaccines aren't good enough to stop them, so the quarantine must remain until there is no more danger. Although they may lift it for citizens only if someone takes it to court.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

I agree with many posters here suggesting that it is not about the virus.

Where is it possible to eat and drink until the early hours of the morning without being masked?

People can cram themselves into the smallest spaces whilst doing so.

Yet, fully vaccinated and tested foreigners are forbidden entry.

In workplaces the virus is rife but cases do not matter anymore except for government stats.

This is one Japanese drama that needs to end.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

My opinion is the foreigners are clearly demonstrating that they dont respect Japanese law and their demonstrations will only cause more problems and ultimately be counterproductive in achieving less strict measures at the international border.

Living and working in Japan or visiting Japan is a privilege and not a right.

A self-righteousness approach towards entering Japan by foreigners is the most ridiculous , humorous and entertaining article.

This is comedy !

-5 ( +22 / -27 )

This is not a progressive, liberal, Western country and does not seek to be one. I'm surprised by how many people just don't get it.

Believe me, I have to explain this to 99% of the lone overstayers detained in Osaka, Tokyo through a glass wall. Some insist on writing their veeery long letters (in english, LOL) to the Immigration chiefs, Ministry of Justice, Santa Claus using words like "humanity" "we are all one" and other nonsense in hopes of touching people's hearts. Almost a decade working with immigration related issues, I've never seen ONCE the case of a lone foreigner "winning" out of forgiveness from the J-gov.

Some even get upset when I say japanese people are not white, christians and they are only wasting their time detained here!

11 ( +19 / -8 )

My opinion is the foreigners are clearly demonstrating that they dont respect Japanese law and their demonstrations will only cause more problems and ultimately be counterproductive in achieving less strict measures at the international border.

Why should any one respect laws that are counter to logic and clearly based on pandering to a xenophobic base. In free, democratic societies, people have a right to protest whether or not they are a part of that nation.

But one thing is clear, as there are no wide spread protests within Japan against this deplorable policy, the students and workers who were waiting to come to this country should understand that they aren't wanted here, accept the loss, and look for greener pastures.

Living and working in Japan or visiting Japan is a privilege and not a right.

It isn't a right and it is certainly not a privilege. ;)

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

Now is not the time to be opening up the borders, especially with Omicron surging and we still don't know about Omicron. They say its mild, but more studies need to be done, especially on the Japanese race of person. Also, studies need to be done before the borders open up again on the impact it will have on the country and buisness. Its been two years since Japan has tightened its borders and so careful research needs to be conducted. Otherwise, its just a wreckless and hasty decision.

-15 ( +12 / -27 )

Japan the sham.

-3 ( +18 / -21 )

Now is not the time to be opening up the borders

The horses have already bolted, keeping the barn doors shut is no longer going to prevent that outcome from occurring.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

All countries close their borders, different policies, different results.

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

Good move by Japan. Why the complaints? Have respect for others wish or policy!

-1 ( +19 / -20 )

There are 1000's of people wishing to enter Japan for various reasons.

I have been and still am one of those Twitter followers.

People have been barred from seeing family, spouses etc for 2 years.

Could any critics survive not seeing your family for over 2 years, 2 years of life that can't be returned.

I totally agree tourism must wait, but a bit of compassion doesn't go amiss.

Safely reunite families with all test and quarantine protocols which Japanese nationals can do without any issues.

People travel to Europe etc then just return, what is the difference between this and letting a spouse or family member return ?.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

It’s be nice if my mother could visit and see her grandchildren before she dies. Thanks Japan for not allowing that to happen.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

"Barry in Illinois said limiting entries to a small fraction of the exchange students was a narrow-minded move and had no scientific basis."

That's pretty much how all moves by government and more are made here.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

I would like to state that I don't agree with the entry ban, specifically being used as as virus deterrent protocol. The cat is out of the bag on this one. On the other hand, if its purpose is to not burden the healthcare system with people who are non-residents/citizens, then I can understand why. If they could make exceptions for non-resident family members, I would be a little more okay with it. Mostly I want to point out two things.

First off, a lot of people on this comment board who are criticizing Japan for being xenophobic were awfully quiet/supportive when Australia and New Zealand were doing the exact same thing. Not only that, these countries were even barring entry to their own citizens! Yet, many people on this board who criticize Japan were saying how great those countries were doing. Funny how that works...I think there is a word for that...

Secondly, the same people who criticize Japan about the entry ban being not effective as a virus deterrent are the same people I see on this board constantly talking about vaccine mandates. The vaccine does not stop a person from getting and/or spreading the virus and yet, many people on this board support such draconian measures. I guess I should follow the science.

The fact is, most countries have made stumbles with this virus and Japan is amongst them. But we have not had lockdowns, there are no vaccine mandates, (no one at my workplace was pressured to take it), there are no vaccine passports within the country and the kids are in school. Compared to my home country Canada, Japan has done way better. I would much rather be here during all of this.

6 ( +17 / -11 )

News like this will be hardly a blip on Japanese TV I will bet, if even mentioned at all. The protests have to be pretty big and loud for it to happen.

Exactly,

The mainstream media is just marginally better than that in CCP country and that says alot.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

How many demonstrators?

Any picture ?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Students and professionals I really understand but honestly, people that protest because they can’t open a shop…. Get a grip people. There are problems that are bigger than your wishes. Thai has nothing to do with xenophobia it’s pretty standard procedure during a pandemic. Look at how draconian Australia was, they even left their own citizens stranded for years abroad. I honestly couldn’t care less about those whinging selfish people protesting

7 ( +21 / -14 )

And let's ask the basic question: why do people want to come to Japan? You have Otaku and Japanophiles who are brainwashed by fake culture they think is real. You have people from poor countries who see this place as a source of money. You have western men who are looking for subservient women. You have random people coming here to teach English for a couple of years because it's "different". And...that's about it really. How often do you find a foreigner who doesn't fit into one of the above categories that actively wanted to come, as opposed to being sent here as an ex-pat? 

I know lots of people outside those categories, myself included. Yeah, if you are an English teacher then this might be a cross section of the types of foreigners you meet, but it’s not an accurate description of the foreign population at large.

In some regard, things might be easier if Japan created a screening requirement for all those seeking to live, work, or study here. It would require JLPT Level 2 or higher language proficiency in addition to a basic exam about the customs and laws in place. People might argue this would be unfair and discriminatory, but the country itself openly discriminates and such a barrier of entry would be a great way to clue in the ignorant and misinformed.

If you are a blue collar worker looking to come to Japan, you already have to meet a testing requirement, including language, in order to obtain a visa.

If you are a student coming here to study Japanese it seems kind of idiotic to require that they already know Japanese.

If you are just coming to teach English for a couple of years it also seems pointless to require testing like this.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Fighto

Japan, as a sovereign nation, sets her own rules on who can and can't enter. While the borders being shut is regrettable, it is being done for a reason : to protect the nation as much as possible.

The truth is, no one has a right to enter a foreign nation.

Replace Japan with NK in your statement and see whether it will resonate well here.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

If it’s too “dangerous” for me to go out after 8pm or have an drink at a restaurant after 7pm- it’s not safe for tourists.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Protest as much as you want. It will fall on deaf ears, how long have people been protesting Japans whaling and how well did that go?

5 ( +14 / -9 )

First off, a lot of people on this comment board who are criticizing Japan for being xenophobic were awfully quiet/supportive when Australia and New Zealand were doing the exact same thing. Not only that, these countries were even barring entry to their own citizens! Yet, many people on this board who criticize Japan were saying how great those countries were doing. Funny how that works...I think there is a word for that...

Personally I never commented on Australia or New Zealand’s rules, but there is a big difference between thinking shutting borders completely is going to be useful in 2020 compared to 2022.

Shutting the borders only makes sense as a long term strategy if you think zero Covid is the goal, which might have seemed possible early on but clearly makes no sense today.

I didn’t really have too much problem with Japan closing it’s borders in response to Omicron when it seemed it was just a short term measure meant to delay its arrival and give the country time to prepare. That is clearly no longer a tenable excuse for the policy now that Omicron is here and spreading out of control regardless of whether the borders are open or shut.

So what other reasons exist for extending this policy? It’s not just government inertia that is keeping it in place, the administration is making active decisions to extend it despite it serving no purpose in controlling the spread of Omicron anymore. Japan’s government is just plain pursuing a bad policy on this issue now and deserves to be criticized for it, plain and simple.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

I support Japanese entry ban on foreigners!

Japan is a sovereign state, and make their own decisions to who let in to the country.

-3 ( +21 / -24 )

Look at youtube. Hundreds of videos with big indoor events from USA, Europe...no social distance, no masks...

Are you aware that big indoor events like concerts, sportd are also taking place here. Jet coasters are still being operated at amusement parks with zero distancing when it is crystal clear there will be screaming.

And when you see how crazy high the numbers are in oversea countries, it is understandable that Japan don't want to re-open the borders.

The numbers are crazy high but have you ever thought it is high because the testing numbers are high. It is deceitful comparing 2 things and neglecting an important variable that affects the results.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Japan changes only after some strong international ( outside of Japan) pressure, but these pathetic Twitter protests won't do it. I can see it happening only if other countries ban Japanese from entry as well. You know, reciprocity...it actually bugs me that no country has done it yet.

Anyway, maybe someone should tell those japanophils and otakus that Japanese Unis are not worth it. Especially, if they really want to study and learn something (including thinking) if we talk about Master/PhD degrees.

In my lab, we have a 2nd year Master student who still has not been allowed to enter Japan, but our uni doesn't mind charging her a full tuition for online classes. I think this clearly demonstrates the message Japan sends - as always, they don't want foreigners, just their money

5 ( +13 / -8 )

It's just an absolute joke. The border controls in place here have not prevented a single variant from reaching these shores. The absolute best they could possibly hope to achieve is to delay the arrival by 1 maybe 2 weeks at best, as we have seen with Omicron. Once it is here, the spread is determined solely by whatever restrictions and behavioral patterns are in place domestically - the border restrictions become pretty much completely irrelevant. So, the 1 maybe 2 week delay in arrival, followed by the exact same spread, the exact same number of people infected - is it worth all the trouble, creating misery for thousands of people and destroying businesses and lives? With the arrival of Omicron, other countries put border controls in place and then two or three weeks later, when Omicron had already reached them, they lifted the controls again, because they were no longer doing anything. OPEN THE BORDER NOW!

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Getting more absurd when you think about a foreign resident who has home and family in Japan, paying a lot of taxes in Japan, but is not allowed to enter the country.

I wonder if there are legal ways to get taxes back that had been paid when not allowed to enter.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

I don't have objections to suggestions though that Japan try to learn from the experiences of other countries and adopt measures that worked.

So which country has a successful border policy regarding covid control that isn't as strict as Japan's?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Is that so? 

It is. Perhaps the reason you are so frustrated with trying to explain Japan’s laws is that you clearly don’t know them. Here are the cliff notes

https://www.ssw.go.jp/en/about/howtowork/

Apparently not a very high barrier then as unfortunately the vast majority of blue collar workers I've interacted with seem to have difficulty with even basic instructions or requests. 

Oh you poor dear, it is hard to find good help these days, isn’t it?

Why is that? How many problems do these types create on a daily basis?Screaming at telecom staff because they didn't understand the contract they signed. Screaming at police for breaking laws or rules they didn't know about. Refusing to respect local customs because they don't know or care. 

Well, if Japan wants foreign English teachers, restricting the pool of applicants to those who already speak Japanese is going to reduce numbers significantly. Whether the reduction in nuisances caused by troublesome newcomers out balances that cost is an interesting question, I’ve never personally witnessed them screaming at various people in the service sector as you describe. My Japanese father in law in contrast does that all the time, as do many Japanese men his age, so I don’t think testing foreigners is going to do much to alleviate the suffering of cell phone sales staff.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Give me a hint? Where has anywhere been an entry ban here when , as a fact, omicron is now here and spreading fast? No, there wasn’t any ban and also no closed border at all. That’s the problem for two years, only quasi measures , by words and on paper, but not real ones you could complain about of course, but that just don’t exist.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Please undestand that Japan is not ready to accept foreign people as the booster shots have not been gotten by the elderly people who are likely to develope to a serious stage or death. the shot rate is the worst with just only 1.5%. This is because of Japanese government's faulty judgement on when to start the booster to the eldery. it is not because of shortage of vaccination!

the minister in charge of vaccination lacks in capability to understand the medical situations and people's concerns, she is just coming from political dynasity family . she is a really miscasted.

Unless these things are resolved, we are not ready to accommodate foreigners.

In Japan we cannot accept the society in which the eldery and people with commonability die one and another due to the infection.

so, the inconvieniences for foreign people have been coming from our government failure.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

USA and EU should ban all Japanese citizen to travel to their countries, no exceptions. If the japanese borders are closed then it should also be the other way around for i.e. Japanese business people. Japan is of course free to do what they want but you can't have your cake and eat it too. I wonder if there is a saying in japanese similar to: “No man is an island”.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Japanese people have a different relationship with time. 2 years might feel long for foreigners but to Japanese it's still foreplay.

This. Just ask your Japanese friends, family, colleagues a simple question: "When do you think the borders will reopen for foreigners?". I've asked many times, the answer is always "Hmm, maybe a few more years...".

Recently a very indicative sign was the closing of Yokoso Japan Tour, a major tour provider for foreign tourists. Not just another small company, but a major one, serving hundreds of bus tours every day, their daily Mt Fuji tours were the most popular among tourists. In their official statement they say they close the site because "international travel is not expected to resume". A major company doesn't do that unless they have strong indications that this is a long-term situation (if it was just a few more months or a year, they wouldn't have closed such a popular service).

@kanapi

Please. Stop the nonsense. Once the booster is all administered, the 2nd booster will come, then the brand new Omicron vaccine with its boosters, and it's all over again. It's amazing how in Japan no one gets that, in the West more and more people are waking up.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Japan has a total ban on foreigners entering the country regardless of vaccination status.

I applaud Japan on this for treating both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated equally. They have been pretty damn good about this the entire time. They have not discriminated based on vaccination status those people both foreign and Japanese who are living in Japan. This is far cry from what we have seen from countries who continuously cry from their rooftops that they are leaders of the free world! As far as this pandemic is concerned it turned out I ended up being in the best place possible to weather it out. For that and many other things I sincerely thank Japan and it’s people. I have never felt so free as I do here. Indeed I sadly look at the country of my own nationality with utter disbelief and shame at their handling of this pandemic.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

........ to open a variety store.

I wonder what that means, exactly.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan always loved that “ us vs them / “ Japanese vs non-Japanese “ mentality. This is just another example of how Japan still has a long way to go.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Serious abuse of human rights and xenophobic system... japanese can go to any other nations while foreigners cannot enter so i think japanese must also be banned

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

 As far as this pandemic is concerned it turned out I ended up being in the best place possible to weather it out. For that and many other things I sincerely thank Japan and it’s people. I have never felt so free as I do here.

Probably another reason many want to come here.

Comes at a cost though one of which is the restriction of entry for them ironically

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan always loved that “ us vs them / “ Japanese vs non-Japanese “ mentality.

This is a pretty universal trait, and a dark side of the bonding hormone oxytocin, levels of which are probably increasing in our brains as we participate in this thread.

Isn't the use of the third person an eminent example of "us vs them" mentality?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The real damage being done is to the local population who look at these foreigners' inability to meet local standards.

What damage is being done to them? They can't treat the minimum wage foreign workers the same way they do with the Japanese by berating, insulting, and looking down on them?

It furthers the belief that gaijin are inferior, especially those from developing countries. It furthers a belief of nationalism and that Japanese are exceptional at what they do and superior to all other groups of people.

If the Japanese people get into a superiority complex because someone who barely arrived there from a totally different culture can't match their insular, feudal society's outdated standards, it just proves the claims of xenophobia and racism all the more.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Kitchener LeslieToday 06:49 am JST

The majority of Japanese people don’t want foreigners here. The travel ban is disgusting.

I agree but let me add one small bit to it: The majority of Japanese people don't want foreigners here even if there were no virus.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Frustrated trying to explain what exactly?

Whatever it was that made you write this in your earlier comment to which I was responding.

You can't explain laws and borders to those who don't understand why either exist

I mean your whole argument seems to amount to little more than the position that sometimes foreigners who work for minimum wage in convenience stores can’t speak Japanese well, and sometimes other foreigners are rude to the staff at cell phone shops, and therefore Japan’s entire immigration system needs to be radically changed for the sole purpose of eliminating the scourge of that.

I’m not sold on the proposition that what seems to amount to no more than minor nuisances justifies slamming the door shut on immigration to all but the most polished, erudite experts on Japanese language and culture.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Serious amount of over reaction from people here, bar Jeff Lee, Rob Roy and Ian, who have clearly been here a long while and understand the system. Obviously a clear misunderstanding about borders being 'closed', which they are not. Just for tourists and new entrants.

Japan has the right to impose its own entry conditions and if this doesn't permit non tax payers to currently enter then so be it. I do feel genuinely sorry for College Students who can't gain access, but there are many other countries to choose from.

Didn't see the same fuss about the US, Australia and NZ had similar of not more stringent policies in place (NZ still does).

Yep, the hotel Quarantine and home Quarantine policies suck, but Japan is free to do what it wants. I don't see any humans right abuses in that!

6 ( +16 / -10 )

Shutting the borders only makes sense as a long term strategy if you think zero Covid is the goal

And how unbelievably stupid and naive was that and how much damage have they done to their country and those reliant on open borders. The absolute fear generated for this virus which in the end would have naturally run its course with a death rate of less than 1% depending on each countries overall population health demographic is in itself unforgivable. The death rate in Japan and no strict lock downs largely shows they got it right. It’s debatable if that was planned in or just indecisive but the death statistics are the deciding factor. One then has to ask the question if the rest of the world simply called all their deaths covid regardless. I personally strongly suspect they did to fit the narrative. Japan, it seems, chose not to.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Welcome to the travel ban and the dashed hopes of non-Japanese non-residents doing research and business in Japan. My advice is not going to be popular with a lot of people, but here it is.

The pandemic is raging here. It is not the fault of outsiders but the Japanese inability to deal with crisis management. Hospitals are 80% mom and pop affairs, which explains (in part anyway) why there have been shortages of beds and why a lot of us (the majority, I believe) have yet to get booster shots and shots for Omicron. Though we are all wearing masks without much protest (if any) the pandemic is an unbearable presence.

This is no time to come to Japan. Those of us with homes have supermarkets and workplaces to go to that have some sort of protections against the virus. You poor outsiders will have to eat in restaurants--where you are more susceptible to infection.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Really sad to see all the hate against foreigners coming to japan here. I’d venture a guess that most of you were in these kids shoes at some point and you wouldn’t have wanted someone to steal your dreams or tell you that you’d never fit in, would you? I’m not a masochist so I wouldn’t.

I’ve been living in Japan for 6+years now and yeah there are days where people treat me like crap for no reason. I speak near perfect Japanese, take care of all my daily duties ex. Setting up internet, apartment, etc. by myself IN Japanese might I add and I pay high taxes and pension. And yeah a lot of the foreigners here really suck sometimes but there’s good and bad everywhere. My future wife is Japanese, she’s great, I’ve met some of the nicest people here and also some really mean ones that cheated me out of a lot of dough. But I’m not going to hate an entire race of people for the actions of a few. That’s caveman thinking.

ive slowly seen japan get better over the years and I’ve seen Japanese people change and accept foreigners. Heck, even marry some foreigners.

all this to say people can change and I do believe the borders will open soon and we’ll be able to meet up with our families. Going around saying it will never happen is foolish. Everybody wants to brag about being open minded when it comes to other controversial topics why are you so close minded about this one?

13 ( +16 / -3 )

If the vaccine actually did what it was supposed to then all vaccinated people could travel, as promised.

this virus doesn’t make exceptions based on personal situations of why someone might need to visit Japan right now.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Japan is not America. No one comes here for equality and social justice. Those who foolishly might can scream and complain all they want but it's not going to change anything. In fact as some have rightly pointed out, such behavior is counterproductive because Japanese will see it as a justification to keep people out. Look at the social turmoil all over America and American cities these days and ask: why would Japan want that?

Funny how the majority of the commenters here are western liberals that are crying about "social justice", COVID restrictions, etc. but because they are already in Japan they are siding with Japan to ensure their little bubble is protected. Just laughable.

And no, not every foreigner is in the "categories" listed by @Foreigner in Tokyo. The point is those that contribute to society should be allowed in. The fact that the Japanese government is doing these severe restrictions not based in science, but ulterior motives should shock no one.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

With the exceptions @zichi 11:31am of those items that meet the terms & conditions of Japan’s ongoing “tax-free shopping”. The tax exemption system mainly targets “international tourists to Japan” and applies to everyone who comes to Japan as a non-resident and stays less than 6 months. Even Japanese people who living abroad and choosing to ‘visit’ Japan for less than 6 months can enjoy “tax-free” shopping.

@zichi 11:31am: “All visitors to Japan become taxpayers the moment they start spending, including maybe buying a ticket from a Japanese airline, booking a hotel.” -

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Foreignet in Tokyo

But where does it stop? Once you start making exceptions then more have to be made, and soon the entire system is consumed with dealing with the exceptions and related problems instead of basic functioning.

How convenient for you to deliberately failing to mention the exceptions created so that the olympics could be held.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@Fighto!Today  07:52 am JST

Japan, as a sovereign nation, sets her own rules on who can and can't enter. While the borders being shut is regrettable, it is being done for a reason : to protect the nation as much as possible.

The truth is, no one has a right to enter a foreign nation

Then why did they issue Certificate of Eligibility? Giving a hope and destroy. Is it fair enough? Atleast let the CoE holders let in.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Jade Barry, one of the organizers, had planned to arrive in Japan in January this year to open a variety store

Oh, another american with a strong sense of entitlement...Being lectured about Immigration Policies by US citizens, that's rich.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Several people already mentioned what is quietly happening - people are writing off Japan and shifting towards Korea. Sure, Japan can do what they want but when Japan opens their eyes and see an entire young adult generation wrote Japan off, that's going to be a reckoning in itself.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

@Blacklabel

If it’s too “dangerous” for me to go out after 8pm or have an drink at a restaurant after 7pm- it’s not safe for tourists.

what is your logic here? Going on a crowd train is safe at the morning? Will virus read the time or nationality?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I hope protesters will switch strategy, from asking to get into Japan to asking their own governments to apply reciprocity.

When Japanese new entries will be banned by 195 countries until reciprocal arrangements are made, being isolated both ways and not just incoming, we will hear what Japan consider fair. We are all someone else’s foreigners.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

nothing is safe here.

but the government thinks a crowded train to work is fine but a crowded bar isn’t. They think 8am is safe but not 8pm.

no need to add tourists and their country’s COVID variants into this mess.

if it not safe for a resident to have a beer at night how is it safe for new people to enter?!

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Monty

Additional, Japan do not trust foreigners according their behavior during the pandemic. Best example is the US army in Okinawa.

Look at youtube. Hundreds of videos with big indoor events from USA, Europe...no social distance, no masks...

I was recently on a plane to my home country, and there were a couple of Japanese onboard... Sneezing, coughing throughout, these people 'did not' wear a mask... They do it in their homeland, but they don't, when they are out..it seems.

Don't blame all other nations, for bringing in the disease. Japanese like these bring in the disease too, when they return.

And we caught the virus even with meticulous (to the level of OCD) sanitizing and distancing all the time.

Look at the number of cases in Tokyo now..with this case load, it's already widespread... And everyone is going to catch it sooner or later.

Take a walk through the Otemachi station or any other shotengai where izakayas are plenty... There are lots of Japanese who don't wear masks.. those guys are the ones who spread it to others.

Omicron, while not serious, is highly contagious. And whether the health ministry of any nation reports it or not, the numbers are high everywhere.

Point is, there's no use shutting the borders when the caseload is already high... This variant is anyways going to sweep through every household. You can't even delay the wave. Open your eyes.. it's already there. Don't blame it on every other nationality.

The ban is only the Government's statement to the people, that they are doing quite a bit to prevent the virus. It only serves to ramp up the support for the government, and does nothing else.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

In my lab, we have a 2nd year Master student who still has not been allowed to enter Japan, but our uni doesn't mind charging her a full tuition for online classes. I think this clearly demonstrates the message Japan sends - as always, they don't want foreigners, just their money

Yep, I’m currently working with a student who is leaving a Japanese program because he can’t get back in. We are working to help him transfer his studies to a university in another country. Japan loses a Japanese speaking technologist who would have been a bridge to foreign markets and joint ventures. These kinds of losses add up. And we’ve had dozens of students withdraw applications because they are going where they are wanted. Four this month.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

No, I am the one who wants to grab a beer. But I can’t because it’s “not safe”.

While I sympathize, the virus doesn’t exclude infecting people who paid for things or haven’t seen their family.

it won’t even exclude me and all I want is a simple beer after 8pm.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Reminder of how omicron came to Japan: a girl wanted to return to Japan from Hawaii. Her bf wanted to see her soon as she arrived even she was in quarantine. They wanted to go to a crowded soccer game. He wanted to go to work the next day despite feeling unwell.

and here we are. (Plus US military not testing anyone because they thought vaccinated people can’t get or spread it)

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

“I hope protesters will switch strategy, from asking to get into Japan to asking their own governments to apply reciprocity.”

@Louis.

while that is painful for many of us who probably have been traveling a lot, I would not mind any such reciprocity. National interest first! This (pain) too shall pass. This is pandemic time. Hang on.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Every morning since I left Tokyo on Mar 11, 2020, The first thing I do every morning is read every post on COVID on this site, NHK, Nikei and the three big newspapers english sites. This is the sorriest outpour of comments I’ve seen:

comparing case numbers - Quoting the Japan case numbers vs. the rest of the world is apples to oranges. Same with Okinawa vs Tokyo - Military bases get tested hard. Tokyo’s already maxed out on tests & cases. You should know this by now no foreigners - The average Japanese wants foreigners out until they are not a danger - they don’t consume the same information we do. They believe we are dangerous, so it makes sense. This is heavily weighted towards the older generation. Japan is xenophobic. Yes, in principle they are. They are enjoying the break from needing to adapt. This is also heavily weighted towards the older generation no “Right’ to enter - of course no one has the right to enter. They don’t have a right to accept jobs, attend schools, eat inside restaurants, fall in love in Japan, see thier children in Japan…. What is your point?
2 ( +6 / -4 )

Nice move by folks

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Closed borders are hurting Japan than opening them again to students, business people and tourists.

I remember when it was the open borders that were hurting Japan, Everybody complained, now it's the closed borders.............Never happy.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

This is not a progressive, liberal, Western country and does not seek to be one. I'm surprised by how many people just don't get it.

In case you haven’t looked, even those erstwhile Western liberal paragons of receptivity to ethnic transformation have started taking on board some of the wisdom of the East.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The bigger problem is that in Japanese society there's a strong expectation that the coronavirus situation will "finish" in a clear and definite way. The narrative uses words like "shuusoku", "post-corona" all the time. Even among the comments here there are a handful of Japanese (and some misinformed expats) who assure us that "now we're scared", but in the future "we'll accept foreigners again after XYZ". After what? In Western media the common sense narrative now is about covid becoming endemic, seasonal, etc. In Japan "after" is "after it all finishes (shuusoku)", aka essentially a Zero Covid mentality. On a domestic internal level Japan never followed the Zero Covid policy, but on a global and psychological level they do. There's no discussion about what we will do if covid remains, how we will view international traffic if anyone can bring covid just like they can bring the flu. Sure, Japan isn't alone in this, there are other Zero Covid mentality countries like NZ, China, but that doesn't make any of them right.

The problem with borders is closely related to this flawed expectation that one day the virus will disappear in the entire world like magic. Rather than petitioning for international exchange, there should be more efforts to enlighten the misinformed local people. Sadly, the media in Japan are beyond hopeless.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Allowing the public transport systems to continue running likely poses a greater threat of spreading infection than allowing innoculated foreign students and businesspeople to enter the country.

No expat, gov't official or media person can dare to say, they will become public enemy number one.

No public figure or expat has ever dared saying that if Japan tested like other countries the numbers might

also be high. All they tell the ignorant public is the number of positives and leaving the very important variable which is tests numbers and the ignorant public knows Japan is doing better and gaikoku is heavily infected

thus supportive of any measures that is taken by the gov't that makes the government look like it is caring of the public by keeping the heavily infected gaikokujins out.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

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