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Japan's border policy keeping hundreds of thousands of foreigners in limbo

163 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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More than a year ago Sebastian Bressa finished his paperwork to become a language teacher in Tokyo and made plans to quit his job in Sydney. 

Wait. He planned to quit his job in the middle of a worldwide pandemic to travel to a country closed to non-residents like himself? Not the wisest bloke.

46 ( +66 / -20 )

Patience is a virtue, guys. The world and Japan are still in the middle of a pandemic; hospital beds are filling; and restrictions being changed all the time.

Can't these people realize Japan's resources for quarantine, testing and hospitalization are finite?

Why the desperate need to get to Japan at this perilous time? Strange. Wait 6 months and then reassess the situation.

6 ( +43 / -37 )

I can't think of anything more lame or pathetic than half-baked nationalist-types flaunting their uncharismatic "patriotism" by trying to keep students and workers out of the country as a means of trying to stop the spread of Covid while mechanically repeating "Ganbare Nippon". Japan alone has absolutely no power or strength to stand up to countries that hate Japan, so instead they go after people that like Japan. Funny how that works.

-6 ( +28 / -34 )

made plans to quit his job in Sydney. His life has been in limbo ever since.

He's still got a job so life can't be all that in limbo. If house life is in so much "limbo," wait till he loses his job when in Japan.

Bressa said. He has been unable to commit himself to any long-term plans

Welcome to COVID-19 life. It's pretty much the same when trying to move to any country at the moment, or even get another job where you are.

Should probably get better examples of people trying to enter Japan. At least the two I mentioned, sound like baby crying.

25 ( +36 / -11 )

Why do people continue to think they have a "right" to visit Japan, or any ither country for that matter. Japan is a sovereign nation and they can make their own laws for the safety and benefit of their people.

Unfortunately, there is an undercurrent of xenophobia but that is how it is.

Many in Japan do want the borders to open up. It will happen in time. Those that want to travel to Japan should have patience. And in the meantime, realize Japan is currently exoeriencing its highest rates of coronavirus ever, and enacting tighter coronavirus-related restrictions all over the country. Be safe.

5 ( +30 / -25 )

All I read in the context is " I quite my job" or " I want to study". So many put I first before others. Japan decide ( yes it is a sovereign country) to close borders. Japan is losing tourism and some expertise but that is the risk with closing borders.

That people quite their job during this period are not smart and this is not a responsibility of Japan or someone else.

I feel bad for families but for the other gross of people go to South Korea. What is stopping you to go there.

3 ( +20 / -17 )

They know Japan has the strictest laws and yet they still choose to live in limbo. Sorry no pity from me here.

5 ( +21 / -16 )

Now that COVID has really let rip in Japan, the restrictions are looking increasingly absurd.

-1 ( +18 / -19 )

Full four year paid tuition for every student that was cruelly denied entry when borders reopen. Otherwise, Japanese government made promises to these people and stabbed them in the back, so they could appease the only demographic that actually votes (elderly).

We know that they won't do that and these kids were denied a once in a lifetime opportunity while students here crammed into packed exam centers because Japan didn't want to modify it's university entrance system. Please do not pretend that such overtly contradicting policies do anything to stop the spread of Covid.

-8 ( +15 / -23 )

@Jacko

They know Japan has the strictest laws and yet they still choose to live in limbo. Sorry no pity from me here.

Not only government their school or employer they keep these people to expect that border will open from month to month, some of them already quit their job, end their apartment contracts in their home country since it will take some time to cancel everything. All of them just get disappointed by Japanese government border policy.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Japan-immigration/Japan-weighs-slightly-easing-omicron-entry-ban-for-foreign-students

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Now that COVID has really let rip in Japan, the restrictions are looking increasingly absurd.

Nope. They are looking increasingly wise.

The pandemic has never been worse. Getting worse by the day, with hospitals stretched, and beds filling up.

Why would a country wish to import even more potential sick people and cause more drain on her citizen's finite health resources?

-17 ( +18 / -35 )

“Japan has become one of the world’s most difficult countries to enter”

Not true. The government has been letting in thousands of technical trainees from other Asian countries to cope with labor shortage.

-10 ( +13 / -23 )

The pandemic has never been worse. Getting worse by the day, with hospitals stretched, and beds filling up.

Japan have almost two years to prepare this, from 2020 do they prepare and learn anything?

17 ( +27 / -10 )

*Wait. He planned to quit his job in the middle of a worldwide pandemic to travel to a country closed to non-residents like himself? *Not the wisest bloke.

100% agree!

And additional..., with all the paranoia, fearmongering, and scaremongering day in day out about how much the cases increases every day...they want Japan to stop the travel ban?

Nope!

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

This is a joke. Such a contrast with other advanced countries that have opened borders already.

1 ( +19 / -18 )

Japan won't bend the knee and give in to pressure by others. And this is one of the reasons I have chose to spend the rest of my life here.

Amen, my friend. Japan looks at Germany, the UK, the Netherlands etc., and says: “No, thanks!”.

-19 ( +16 / -35 )

About half a million foreigners - including academics, researchers and others with highly skilled jobs and 150,000 foreign students - have been affected, various statistics show.

How did it suddenly jump from what, 370,000 last week to "half-a-million" this week?

More than 370,000 people left in limbo by Japan virus entry ban ...

Jan 26, 2022 ... The 30-year-old is one of more than 370000 people left in limbo by ...

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

As long as foreign students, teachers, workers follow the same quarantine measures, there is really no reason to keep them from being here.

24 ( +31 / -7 )

Full four year paid tuition for every student that was cruelly denied entry when borders reopen.

Huh? Then you had better pay for the kids here who can't attend face-to-face classes too!

Students who were accepted to Japanese schools have options of going online.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Sorry dude. Japan owes you nothing. Just wait it out.

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

Stop being selfish guys!! Think about us living here. Our business is not reviving. We are living on minimal lifestyles. Some lost job. All because of Covid. And we are forced to be patient as well !!

I'm sick of these selfish people complaining everyday about Japan close borders policy. honestly.

9 ( +24 / -15 )

This is a joke. Such a contrast with other advanced countries that have opened borders already.

And just look at the death rates in all those nations with open borders.

This pandemic is getting worse. It is not time to open up, and wont be for at least 6 months. I suspect more than 90 percent of Japanese support closed borders.

-11 ( +13 / -24 )

As long as foreign students, teachers, workers follow the same quarantine measures, there is really no reason to keep them from being here.

Well, since a lot of them would need extra care, time go adjust, find accomodation, settle in and would struggle with culture shock, the langauge, customs and Covid norms (wearing masks 24/7 without complaining, etc) etc etc, I beg to disagree. Would cause huge issues for all concerned on the Japanese side.

And what, these students are going to come here and possibly study online from a tiny apartment? Best stay where you are.

Japan should do it their way and not give into external pressure this time.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

To all the expats and nationalists living in Japan sticking their tongue out, keep in mind if professionals/students don't trust Japan anymore, Japan will no longer be the 3rd largest economy.

-3 ( +17 / -20 )

 I suspect more than 90 percent of Japanese support closed borders.

Yes!

Including me, but I am not a Japanese.

All my overseas business trips are canceled by my company until end of march.

I can leave Japan for business trips or travel, and I can return because I am a PR, but my company said it is too risky and troublesome, even for PRs, to re-enter Japan. (Many documents, PCR tests, quarantine, can not go to company for 2 weeks...and so on).

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

To all the expats and nationalists living in Japan sticking their tongue out, keep in mind if professionals/students don't trust Japan anymore, Japan will no longer be the 3rd largest economy.

Looking at Facebook and the international outrage being expressed at Japan all over the world, I'd say this is already going on and we will deal with fallout from this travel ban when it is lifted. Maybe for years to come

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Why should Kishida care?

He is already safe and sound in Japan....

”A letter to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, signed by hundreds of academics and Japan experts and submitted last month in a petition drive, called for a relaxation of the border controls to enable educators, students and scholars to pursue their studies and work in Japan. It said many already have given up Japan studies, opting to focus elsewhere, such as South Korea.”

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Wait. He planned to quit his job in the middle of a worldwide pandemic to travel to a country closed to non-residents like himself? Not the wisest bloke.

And the Spanish girl. She quit her job because she “ wants to study Japanese for six months “ . What the...

...

No sympathy from here.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

@Tora

”Well, since a lot of them would need extra care, time go adjust, find accomodation, settle in and would struggle with culture shock, the langauge, customs and Covid norms (wearing masks 24/7 without complaining, etc) etc etc, I beg to disagree. Would cause huge issues for all concerned on the Japanese side.”

But you keep flooding my country with your countryman and car factories and you expect everything for nothing?

i bet your company is making money on foreigners or in a foreign country unless you manage a rice paddy in this globalizec economy....

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Never mind that it's blatantly xenophobic, cruelly separating families, that senior diplomats are bemoaning the damage to Japan's fading soft power or that even Keidanren want the "trainees" back in to prop up the stagnating economy, the weabos don't want foreigners in their Japan. Pffft.

https://www.pressreader.com/singapore/the-straits-times/20220203/281973201054377

14 ( +25 / -11 )

Xenophobia in Japan. Shocked I tells ya.

17 ( +27 / -10 )

The travel ban is for show only. COVID is at its height as I write this post. So, blaming the world for the spread of the virus is ridiculous.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

"I gave up my job because I thought I was going to Japan in September," said Vieta, 25, who wants to study Japanese at a private school for six months or longer. "As you can see, I'm still here."

You should always have a back up plan just in case. For him to give up his job was not the wisest thing to do.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

I imagine from a Japanese point of view, when you look around Tokyo, it’s usually non-Japanese who are not wearing masks. Add to that all of the US military that brought more Covid to Japan, and it’s not so difficult to see why there is little public support for opening the border

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

And the Spanish girl. She quit her job because she “ wants to study Japanese for six months “ . What the...

Well, there's always online lessons, but to quit her job. Not very smart on her part.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Didn't we see this topic about a week ago?! what the point JT? Japan is not only nation closing it's borders most of Europe did and some are still doing some type of restrictions or another, or is this article being driven and pushed by some BIG Businesses who will benefit from opening the borders and could care less about the well being of the nation??

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Not the wisest bloke.

well he wasn’t coming here to be a rocket scientist

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The Japanese government has never wanted "bridges" to other cultures. What it wants is cheap labour without the chance of an entire immigrant class staying long enough to become successful to threaten the power structure.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

blaming the world for the spread of the virus is ridiculous.

I think the world mostly blames China

12 ( +17 / -5 )

KEEP them borders closed till things turn around.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

EXCELLENT POST ALFIE!

I'm going to put this article up on my facebook page.

Xenophobia in Japan. Shocked I tells ya.

Its definitely increasing by leaps and bounds

3 ( +10 / -7 )

How funny, we all are "" IN - LIMBO "" since Feb. 2020.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

It's funny nobody ever talks about china the real culprit about this whole mess.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Another excellent post by Michael Machida

The travel ban is for show only.

exactly.

 COVID is at its height as I write this post. So, blaming the world for the spread of the virus is ridiculous.

get up on Facebook and you will see the ridicule Japan is facing for blaming the spread of Omicron on the US bases. The anger and vitriol I read by tons of people around the world is at the very least alarming.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Japan gave up on the world, now the world has to give up on Japan and move on

4 ( +11 / -7 )

« Makoto Shimoaraiso, a cabinet official working on Japan's COVID-19 response, said the situation is painful but he asked for patience, noting much higher infection levels overseas.»

Japanese love to be treated like spoiled delusional children. Overseas higher levels of infection are the direct consequence of much, much higher levels of testing. Also I don’t hear the Japanese praising say, Rwanda for the much lower levels of infection, and yet they test more in proportion to the population, and have no quarantine. As repeatedly proven by contact tracing and, you know, science - especially by neighboring Korea with highly comparable situation overall - foreign imported cases don’t represent more than 3% of total cases, and of that 3% two thirds are returning citizens and all of them are identified and isolated, so contributing close to zero to the spread. Japan can do whatever it wants, but please know this one is just stupid.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Wait. He planned to quit his job in the middle of a worldwide pandemic to travel to a country closed to non-residents like himself? Not the wisest bloke.

And the Spanish girl. She quit her job because she “ wants to study Japanese for six months “ . What the...

Patience is a very good thing. These people need to learn that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. Yes, it’s been two years, but it’s still not over. It’s not like they NEED to come to Japan ( now ). Someone already mentioned, these are not the best examples of people trying to enter the country.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

At least open it to working visas and students, it's got to be hurting alot of Japanese businesses... Families are seperated - sort it out !

6 ( +10 / -4 )

@Aly

This is the original of the article I linked to above. It's from the Financial Times, which is owned by Nikkei. The comments under the article are well worth reading too.

https://www.ft.com/content/74bfd3fb-6987-4618-91a8-7e2c8f876fd6?fbclid=IwAR3aZrdx5tgEPnfJztWRTx4jlnIHd7v0QvX9CAmZkTMkGL2wFo8xQf6Vu0Y

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

People, you have not understood that these are the rules of Japan and they make them for their own well-being, and they are within their SOVEREIGN RIGHT to make and modify the rules within their OWN COUNTRY.. So sorry, but this is not your country.. It is Japan and Japan belongs to the Japanese, you have no right to enter Japan on your own free will, much less if the government prevents it in the midst of a global pandemic..

Stop whine and understand that entering a foreign country IS NOT A RIGHT, IT IS A PRIVILEGE and this privilege is granted by the local government to whomever they want...

This is how the world works... Grow up !!..

It is not hate, it is not racism, it is not xenophobia, it is the SOVEREIGN RIGHT of a country to take care of ITS BORDERS..

You want to go to Japan??, wait for the pandemic to pass, and start your immigration process again, move forward and wait for your time..

Japan will open in its propper time, this is not forever.. Let's act as adult people..

I love you Japan, please never change !!..

-12 ( +8 / -20 )

I still have to pay tax in a country I am banned from entering.... even NHK have emailed me asking for money for a TV I can't even watch!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

This is the original of the article I linked to above. It's from the Financial Times, which is owned by Nikkei. The comments under the article are well worth reading too.

https://www.ft.com/content/74bfd3fb-6987-4618-91a8-7e2c8f876fd6?fbclid=IwAR3aZrdx5tgEPnfJztWRTx4jlnIHd7v0QvX9CAmZkTMkGL2wFo8xQf6Vu0Y

thanks Alfie!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

No one with a hint of a clue should be suggesting that Japan doesn't have the sovereign right to regulate its borders as it sees fit. The issue is that these restrictions have little to do with increasing Japan's safety and a lot to do with the ruling party pandering to its aging, xenophobic voter base.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

sue the Japanese GOV for obstruction and interference in daily life. all the disadvantages, discrimination and problems will be the responsibilities of JAPANESE GOV. this treatment is a clear discrimination and punished by LAW

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

COVID-19 is already rampant and endemic in Japan; the only reason absolute case numbers are lower than some other countries is due to lack of testing. There are no health justifications for keeping the borders closed - it is simply a political measure to garner support from the xenophobic Japanese population. It really boggles the mind how international posters on this website could be so simple-minded and backwards as to support locked borders.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I think they should rename the border policy as Border Policy for Foreigners.

As per the LDP Covid is coming through foreigners only.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

My situation is a little different but unless something changes soon I’m gonna be screwed.

I have permanent residency in Japan. I left Japan in Dec 2019 just before the pandemic struck. I can only keep my residency if I return to Japan within three years. However, I cannot return to Japan with the current restrictions. I’ve got the rest of this year to hope something changes or my residency is blown. I’m considering contacting Japanese immigration and see if they’ll allow me some grace although, I don’t have high expectations of being granted any leniency.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

"...The backlog is enormous, and these giant eikaiwa and language schools are still hiring even now when they can’t apply for the visa yet. It’ll be like a foreign invasion when the backlog and new hires are let in lmao..."

Are there any of those puppy-mill eikaiwas left?! The really big ones......it seemed that Nova's implosion back in 2008 or 9 snuffed out that conveyor belt.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

LindsayToday  09:11 am JST

My situation is a little different but unless something changes soon I’m gonna be screwed.

I have permanent residency in Japan. I left Japan in Dec 2019 just before the pandemic struck. I can only keep my residency if I return to Japan within three years. However, I cannot return to Japan with the current restrictions. I’ve got the rest of this year to hope something changes or my residency is blown. I’m considering contacting Japanese immigration and see if they’ll allow me some grace although, I don’t have high expectations of being granted any leniency.

send a claim and explain your situation and keep evidence for Trial .

you know the story, omicron v2 after it will be v3 , v4, v**

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is why I haven’t left Japan, and I am a foreign resident.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

As a former expat who lived in Japan, I feel the pain for foreigners who want to study or work, though I understand why the government is doing this. It was my life's dream to study, live and work in Japan that came true and even through the good and bad, I did not regret it at all. Also made lifelong friends in the process. However, I can understand the government's feeling. Japan is a rule abiding country that asks everyone to wear a mask, get vaccinated, follow proper sanitary guidelines, etc during this time. I am not sure if some of these foreigners would be willing to go with these guidelines. There is freedom, but not freedom to say I will not wear a mask or not get vaccinated. I think that is probably what they may fear the most and have it explode across their country. Just take a look at what happened to other countries (ie: US, Europe, India).

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Lindsay

However, I cannot return to Japan with the current restrictions.

I don't understand that.

You are a permanent resident.

Permanent residents can return to Japan,.

According what I know, even you left Japan before the Pandemic.

Before you left Japan in 2019, you filled out the re-entry permission right?

This re-entry permission is valid for 3 years, with pandemic or without pandemic.

To return to Japan should be no problem for you.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

These draconian rules are sensless.

Yes the country need to control it’s border and make sure that only the non infected get in but this all close to foreigners is really absurd.

Look,even with this Sakoku style rules Omicron is spreading and by the Japanese.

On a note,I think even worse than a far right Japanese revisionist that support such laws are the foreign apologists that support them.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I have permanent residency in Japan. I left Japan in Dec 2019 just before the pandemic struck. I can only keep my residency if I return to Japan within three years. However, I cannot return to Japan with the current restrictions. I’ve got the rest of this year to hope something changes or my residency is blown. I’m considering contacting Japanese immigration and see if they’ll allow me some grace although, I don’t have high expectations of being granted any leniency.

What was your original planned duration to be out of Japan when you left in 2019?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Over 100,000 positive tests in Japan in one day yesterday, most likely at least double that number of actual cases with the lack of testing. The idea that keeping out a few hundred thousand students and workers, all of whom would be tested multiple times and going through quarantine before entry, would make the slightest bit of difference to the COVID situation here is just absurd. Even the WHO are now saying that the border restrictions are now pointless. It’s just xenophobic nonsense.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

No sympathy. Stop traveling abroad, period.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

@Lindsay

My situation is a little different but unless something changes soon I’m gonna be screwed.

I have permanent residency in Japan. I left Japan in Dec 2019 just before the pandemic struck. I can only keep my residency if I return to Japan within three years. However, I cannot return to Japan with the current restrictions. I’ve got the rest of this year to hope something changes or my residency is blown. I’m considering contacting Japanese immigration and see if they’ll allow me some grace although, I don’t have high expectations of being granted any leniency.

Unsure where you currently are and:

.how travel restrictions between that country and Japan stood over the last 2 years / stand currently

.if there is a Japanese consulate or embassy in the vicinity

I can just state that a friend (with real estate in Japan and intending to come back to Japan after a few years) left Japan to work in the US end of 2020 (pandemic time), managed to come back to Japan for several weeks (out of which 2 weeks isolation / remote work in Japan) in September 2021. He also managed to sort out some papers with the Japanese administration while here (i.e. pension-administration).

It depends on "open travel windows" between current country of residence and Japan and the need to:

.be able to isolate as required (my friend had to isolate when coming to Japan and when back in the US)

.have all the required paperwork (my friend kept actually in touch about the red tape through...myself, with me being the address he re-routed his mail to by notifying Japan Post--the re-routing works for a full year only--as well as called them on the phone and e-mailed them).

Another option, as you are a PR, the local Japanese consulate / embassy in the country you are currently residing. (caveat: as I understood from some commentators(?) / articles(?) last year, that services provided were being limited or even closed for some time last year ).

One big hassle for my friend, was that some of the papers I received only indicated a 0120-phone number to call to, which only works when calling...from Japan, which I did to leverage as much as I could for him and got him a direct number to call to from abroad.

Hence, the following advices:

.get in touch with friends you trust in Japan and call in favors to both do stuff for you as well as well as maybe act as a one-year post-box for you

.get in touch with the Japanese embassy / consulate

.(would also advise to not only target immigration but all other administrations: shiyakusho, kuyakusho, taxes, pension, social security to build up a case and refer to prior discussions with these if immigration turns out to be a pain in the rear)

.leverage and prepare of the red tape as much as you can from abroad

.wait for an "open travel window"

.no whens or if, just prepare to self-isolate when coming and going back as required (you don't want impatience to ruin your efforts)

.possibly look out for groups / organizations of foreigners in the same situation which potentially can provide support of any kind

Good luck and godspeed to you and people in similar situations.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

LindsayToday  09:11 am JST

Sorry but as far as I and most here can find, PR can return anytime.

That is unless you are an anti vaxxers, from what I could find unvaccinated Japanese can return under certain conditions ( PCR tested).

But non Japanese with PR or residency as far as I can find must be vaccinated.

If you are not vaccinated then get them ASAP, if you are vaccinated then nothing is stopping you from returning now.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

For those who are hoping to study or work in Japan, my advice is, if impossible go somewhere else more welcoming and less xenophobic.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Foreigners, (of any description), do NOT have a right to DEMAND entry into a foreign country!

Japan should just tell them where to go.

Simples,

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Their border policy is only targeting foreigners. not scientific at all.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

For those who are hoping to study or work in Japan, my advice is, if impossible go somewhere else more welcoming and less xenophobic.

You think they care? Most of these people just wanna “ experience Japanese culture “. Lmao.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

About the article, quite a lot to unpack here...

More than a year ago Sebastian Bressa finished his paperwork to become a language teacher in Tokyo and made plans to quit his job in Sydney. His life has been in limbo ever since.

If he "made plans to quit", he didn't quit yet, so either wait it out or forget about the idea to come altogether. Sorry, but he is just keeping himself "in limbo". I would take it as a lesson to learn about what to expect from Japan (i.e. be a second/third or even fourth-rated citizen, again: this is the reality we foreign residents have to live with here...)

Critics say the rules are also hurting Japan's international profile and national interest.

Err, me thinks that the "cool Japan (TM)"-effect has worn out after Fukushima (2011) and Abe taking over (2012). To naysayers, this is not only just my personal opinion and the opinion of other foreign residents in Japan, but what the headlines about Japan in foreign newspapers are saying...The proverbial writing is not only on the wall, but worse, on the internet-wall for everybody with a keen interest to read.

"I gave up my job because I thought I was going to Japan in September," said Vieta, 25, who wants to study Japanese at a private school for six months or longer. "As you can see, I'm still here."

Err, sorry but what??? Leaving one's job to study 6 months in another country?? WTF?? Apologies, but this person not only needs a pandemic-time reality-check, but a general (non-pandemic time) reality-check!

Japan recently decided to let nearly 400 students enter, but many others including those on foreign government-sponsored scholarships still cannot get in.

Read this one in other places/media, but never actually what the background and breakdown of these "lucky ones" is. Why some and not others? That's J-opacity for ya.

"They become the bridges between Japan and other societies. They are future policymakers, business leaders, and teachers. 

Err..."policymakers"? Not in Japan, I'm afraid, so Japan does not care. "Teachers"? In Japan? Well, Japan does not care either. "Business leaders"...Hmm, we may have something here...

Well, I do get the point and agree with it, let's be real: we're dealing with Japan: no (pain-inducing) pressure (e.g. gaiatsu) or not direct benefits = no results.

They urged the government to "quickly adopt a science-based entry policy" to accept vaccinated business travelers, students, teachers and separated family members.

Amen. Don't hold your breath though...

Tightening border controls quickly after omicron outbreaks began overseas may have been unavoidable, Nippon University crisis management professor Mitsuru Fukuda said, but the decision to exclude only foreigners appears aimed at rallying public support. 

I feel that this is the bottomline for those waiting abroad to come here and who have a set of options to choose from: you will always be treated differently and feel this even more in case of a "crisis" like the current one.

Therefore, my advice to those who may be reading this from abroad while thinking to come here: please think VERY carefully about your next move, especially if it may be a life-changing one as the level of commitment required when immigrating to Japan is staggering (and more than often, things do not make much sense either)...So, if you feel it may be hard for you to take that much heat...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I don’t really see the problem.

You need a negative test to fly, then immediately into quarantine where you’re tested daily and cannot leave if you are positive. Then it’s enforced self isolation for a spell.

At what point can we say “This person may be foreign but they do not, in fact, have covid”?

If someone doesn’t have covid, they don’t have it. What difference does it make if they happen to be foreign? Covid doesn’t seem to have any problem doing the rounds here, regardless of the border policy .

I’m a bit disappointed at some of the commenters here. The policy is obviously based on a fear of the outsider rather than any scientific basis and the commenters here have bought into it! The only difference between you and someone this article talks about is that you already snagged a visa. Where are all my “We need to stop living in fear!” / “It’s just a flu!” / “We need to get back to normal NOW!” guys?! lol

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japanese language can be studied online.

English can be taught online.

Japan, Inc will not fall apart if someone cant enter right now to teach English or study Japanese.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

As long as foreign students, teachers, workers follow the same quarantine measures, there is really no reason to keep them from being here.

they have to quarantine in official government centers. That is 500,000 specially prepared hotel rooms, room service meals, security guards, PPE wearing staff, contact tracing and PCR tests at ¥8000 a pop. Who pays all that? Developing country students? Jobless Aussies?

i live in Japan. PR. I can’t visit my dying mum because of my home countries restrictions at this time. Returning back to my family in Japan will also be a nightmare. from what I I’ve heard, currently only vaccinated 5000 foreigners a day can return to either only Hanada or Kansai airports. Non American vaccines not accepted. After tests and contact tracing, you must self isolate in your house (public transport not allowed) with contact tracing and a call everyday by a government agency. The waiting list for the 5000 places is apparently over 120 days.

only USA military have exemptions.

So, wait it out and stay safe.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan won't bend the knee and give in to pressure by others. And this is one of the reasons I have chose to spend the rest of my life here.

How does that materially benefit you as a foreigner?

And, others? Keidanren is calling to end the ban, so is Kono. They are not Japanese either?

The excuse in the beginning was that Omicron was new and its effects were not known. And Japan could still have another shot at the fools errand of zero-Covid. But those days are over. Even with low testing, Japan has higher numbers than most countries it is trying to shut out. Tests and quarantine are mandatory for everyone. Even if one in a hundred false negatives, the effect to the country at this point is a drop in the bucket. This is not sensible, rather, it is doubling down on a wrong decision to save face at this point.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Personally, and according to the many people here I speak to, we're happy we got Japan back.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

If and when they relax the rules, it will be for business and a trickle of students at a time.

As for tourism, you won't be snapping selfies up on the deck at Kiyomizu for YEARS.

I really want to take my son back to visit his grandparents, but I'm pretty sure it's just going to be my wife taking him, my son traveling with his red passport. I won't be allowed in for years, either.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Covid has made Japan show its true colors and boy are those colors ugly. The travel ban and closed borders are based on xenophobia and fear. It's affecting those outside of Japan and those residing inside. The uncertainty of whether or not a non-Japanese PR can return after they leave means that expats are also stuck in Japan with no end in sight. People have had to miss funerals, miss saying goodbye to family and loved ones living abroad etc. because the uncertainty of being able to come back into Japan has been too great.

Covid has made Japan show that they don't give a toss about their non-Japanese residents so you know what? Those waiting to come in to work or study should go elsewhere where you'll be appreciated and not discriminated against.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I currently reside in Japan with my wife.

Originally from the UK, it took me so long and many hoops to jump through to finally be reunited with my wife.

I really think a line should be drawn in regards to families, either by marriage, fiancee or siblings.

To keep this group of people apart for now 2 years is terrible.

I do agree that education and work should continue to be patient as far as entering is concerned.

Please don't quit jobs on the hope that Japan will allow you to cross its borders, just wait for the right time to come.

But let's give support for all families separated by this pandemic.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

blue 10:27 am JST

Err, me thinks that the "cool Japan (TM)"-effect has worn out after Fukushima (2011) and Abe taking over (2012). To naysayers, this is not only just my personal opinion and the opinion of other foreign residents in Japan, but what the headlines about Japan in foreign newspapers are saying...The proverbial writing is not only on the wall, but worse, on the internet-wall for everybody with a keen interest to read.

Your obviously don’t know what you’re writing about. Visitor arrivals to Japan rose every year from 6.2 million in 2011 to 31.8 million in 2019.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

More than a year ago Sebastian Bressa finished his paperwork to become a language teacher in Tokyo and made plans to quit his job in Sydney. His life has been in limbo ever since.

No pitty. The regulations were even stricter then. You should have known better. If you submitted at the end of 2019 or beginning 2020, I might have some sympathy.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

better be real.

its too early to travel as we did before at this very moment.

health issues are health issues.

right now Japan reaching its peak of omicron and in week or two will go down from hill to better nubers.

if all of unpatient people abroad could wait year two - they can wait 6 month so so as well.

better be fine than sorry.

if Japan is "that bad" by your opinion-and you have that "bright talents"-than go and try good luck somewhere else where they are not that strict at this moment.world is big so good luck.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Come on JT, calling a 25 year old WOMAN a youngster?! Child??!

What pathetic writing; get real!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

He was likely taking a lesson from his predecessor, Yoshihide Suga, who stepped aside after only a year in office partly due to his administration's perceived weak handling of the pandemic.

There is no major election at stake this time around.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I see the author, the title, and the main advertisement under the article (Japan Human Rights Advocacy) and I know this 'meh' (not an issue). The time, money and energy spent to try to enter a country that has made it clear that it is not open could be better spent ensuring a future in a present location.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No one with a hint of a clue should be suggesting that Japan doesn't have the sovereign right to regulate its borders as it sees fit. The issue is that these restrictions have little to do with increasing Japan's safety and a lot to do with the ruling party pandering to its aging, xenophobic voter base.

Thank you for your comment. You absolutely nailed it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@BlacklabelToday  10:55 am JST

Japanese language can be studied online.

English can be taught online.

Japan, Inc will not fall apart if someone cant enter right now to teach English or study Japanese.

Can you make babies online too?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I guess some of these students have learned something that years of language study, anime/manga consumption and a BA in Japanese Studies never taught them: Japan is not particularly fond of foreigners.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

We are either in the very worst part of a 2 year never ending pandemic, or we are not.

if we are not, open the borders 2 weeks after all bars, shops and restaurants go back to fully open with no restrictions of capacity or what they can sell.

if you can’t do that, it’s still pandemic.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Take a deep breath and accept the fact that border restrictions, doing business in Japan and travel will never go back to "normal".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If Japan opens up the borders, as so many on here are demanding, a significant proportion of those entering will have the virus. This is fact - we are seeing this around the world with the nations that are open. And a percentage of them will go on to need Japanese healthcare.

The great majority of Japanese will not accept this. I know most on here are upset about this, but it is the truth.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

This is fact - we are seeing this around the world with the nations that are open.

Yet, we don't see the healthcare systems of those countries collapsing. This is an argument to open the borders.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japan's unfair border policy is one of the main the reasons I've decided to leave. It's a country I've spent years of my life in, a society I'm invested in, Japanese is the language I speak more often than every other. However, to the government and public alike, if you don't fit the very narrow definition of being 100% Japanese, you'll always be a tolerated guest at best and a dangerous intruder at worst.

Also, am I the only one who doesn't like the comparison to sakoku? The warlords who unified Japan at the time understood justly that western influence would mean colonisation and closed their borders because of that. The current situation is very different, based on nihonjinron and absolutely no reflection on human rights issues. Closing the borders makes sense as a way to buy time to prepare the healthcare system for when the variant inevitably does get into the country. But if no other measures are taken, it's obvious politicians just do it to appease a public largely taught to be xenophobic and think of itself as superior to others.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Do people desperately wanting to come to Japan have no self-respect or dignity?

It's clear that the country doesn't want them here right now. I disagree with the total border closure and the overreaction to the super mild omicron thing by the JP government but there's nothing in our power to change things here.

If I were one of those people in limbo I would just be like "Okay, Japan doesn't want me there, fine; it's their loss" and would look for a better place. Why all the begging and whining? Why only wanting to come to Japan?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@fighto « a significant proportion of those entering will have the virus. This is fact - we are seeing this around the world with the nations that are open. »

Not even close to true, aside from being wildly xenophobic: the totality of those entering will have tested negative before departure, and a ridiculously small percentage of them will test positive on arrival and be immediately isolated. If your worry is the weight of maybe what, 10? 100? people per year who out of those few who will test positive will actually need to use the Japanese health system, just ask for pre-departure insurance covering covid costs. And remember that either people are paying into the health system, and then they obviously can use it with the same conditions as Japanese, or they are not, and then they already are paying the full costs anyway.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@Asiaman7

blue 10:27 am JST

*Err, me thinks that the "cool Japan (TM)"-effect has worn out after Fukushima (2011) and Abe taking over (2012). To naysayers, this is not only just my personal opinion and the opinion of other foreign residents in Japan, but what the headlines about Japan in foreign newspapers are saying...The proverbial writing is not only on the wall, but worse, on the internet-wall for everybody with a keen interest to read.*

Your obviously don’t know what you’re writing about. Visitor arrivals to Japan rose every year from 6.2 million in 2011 to 31.8 million in 2019.

And you have obviously not read the article. It is not about tourism, it is about people with more than a few weeks' stay worth of a stake in Japan: studies, jobs, careers all life-changing decisions and not frivolous time-limited fun.

To these people, the writing is on the wall, writing which they will (or should) research before immigrating or committing to a few years of studies / research in Japan, such as: infatuation with nuclear power in the wake of the worst nuclear disaster since Tchernobyl; infatuation with the Olympics in the worst pandemic in a century; a never-ending conveyor belt of political scandals implicating the PM, his family; his ministers, top political figures; outdated family laws (divorce, parental rights, foreign parents robbed of their kids), outdated penal laws (e.g. hostage justice), work-place atmosphere and board-room dealings (e.g. cultural, gender and language glass ceilings, the Ghosn board-room-debacle), human trafficking and exploitation of foreign workers (e.g. special skilled workers-scheme), far-right posturing and chronical foot-in-the-mouth disease rampant amongst politicians; failing economics and demographics, top companies cooking the books (e.g. Toshiba), the government tweaking its own figures (e.g. governmental statistics and GDP-figures being made out of thin air), women being second-rate citizens (e.g. medical university tests being rigged, no women on "holy" Sumo ring-ground"), not even mentioning PR at the mercy of ON/OFF politics including immigration policies, etc, etc, etc. These events ALL made headlines abroad. A L L O F T H E M.

If you think these headlines have no impact on people (initially) interested in committing to Japan doing business, migrating, working here you are deluding yourself!

Some of the people listed in this article are effectively day-dreaming, let's hope for them that is is a wake-up call. But a lot of people (who incidentally are not listed in the article) were actually planning around Japan, these people ended up being sucker-punched in the face. But truth be told, better before committing too far than too late.

The onslaught of bad PR coverage of Japan abroad was staggering over the last decade. This may not impact tourism, but will impact everybody with a desire to come and build a life, people who would / could become a long-lasting asset to Japan.

You are just taking the same doomed approach as the J-gov: going for short-term benefits over long-termed ones. If you want to measure the failure of that approach, include in your own figures the crash of tourism since 2020. There is no building of a future on something as fickle as tourism, especially when your tourism industry is so much dependent on China and the relations and tensions so high. China can live without Chinese tourists going to Japan, but what about Japan?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

@El Rata

I think you make a good point there. However, for many, this isn't an easy choice. I don't know where you're from, but choices are much more limited if you don't have a passport from an English-speaking country. Also, if you've spent years studying Japanese, it's quite hard to switch your focus to a different language and culture altogether.

I think this policy shows the disconnect created by Japanese skillfully crafted soft power. A futuristic, alluringly mysterious yet liveable place on the outside, which shows its true xenophobic colours in times of crisis. It's something I, just like many others, wasn't prepared for over all that time of studying the language and admiring the culture of a country I didn't actually live in.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I feel the need to correct people on here who do very little prior research and just put up an argument for the sake of being confrontational.

For those saying "quitting your job before you have the visa, that's dumb." You have 0 context for these decisions. When you have either a job, a school, or the government telling you every 1-2 months "we expect you to be able to enter soon!! Be ready to go as soon as the visa process starts." You don't have much choice. Most people are responsible, and need to give a job a pretty decent notice before leaving for professionalism. Which is ironic, since many people here seem to think they're more capable of making decisions on the spot. I hope none of you are suggesting just waiting and walking out on a job one day. If you are, you won't do well in Japan :). The same goes with renting in most places, they require prior notice. I have multiple emails from the last year stating they expect it to open in April, June, August, October, and November. I quit my job in April under that assumption, but got lucky that when it didn't work out they took me back with the understanding I might have to leave on short notice, but I also understand many people don't have that luxury.

Also, it is easy to judge other people as "impatient" when you completely lack any empathy. I haven't seen my girlfriend for over 2 years now, she moved to a new city with a job and an apartment so we could live together. And now she is stuck there alone because of the constantly changing information we receive. Many of you judge people because you can't imagine yourself in a similar situation, so you expect you'd somehow handle it better with 0 frame of reference. I also think people with a significant amount of time, money, relationships, jobs, and a plethora of other things on the line for 2 years have a bit of a right to get frustrated and impatient.

As for the people trying to claim this somehow helps stop the spread of covid, do a little research. When they opened the borders in November, exactly 1 person brought it that was ever reported on, and that person strictly adhered to the quarantine rules, so there was 0 community transmission. Long term visa holders are much less likely to spread covid than returning nationals, for the simple reason that if I show up and break quarantine, I can lose my visa and be deported. Regardless of the choices Japan makes, trying to judge people with the flimsy arguments I see here is just pathetic.

As someone who has been waiting for almost 2 years, if it wasn't for my girlfriend I would have already moved on and just gone somewhere else. But I am also aware that I'm not in a position to judge other peoples circumstances and choices made based on the best information available to them at the time.

Just wanted to rant because I'm tired of arrogant people that somehow think their 20/20 hindsight with 0 idea about an individuals circumstances qualifies them to say anything at all. I guarantee most of you would have broken down and would also be "impatient" in the same circumstances.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

10.02 poster

FFS Factcheck - Not everyone who does nit have the vaccines is an anti vaxxer. Name calling and stereotyping for emotional and political reasons is immature and regressive.

In a way I enjoy far less foreigners here, especially as I live in a busy tourist area. Noisy gangs of Chinese everywhere, morbidly obese Americans who often have bad body odour are obviously not missed.

My next business idea though would involve patronage from foreign tourists so opening up would be handy in that respect. It’s a funny old world. For now I’ll just get on with having a good time.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

There are many tens of millions of Japanese people who would be happy to see the return of foreigners.

true. But when there was 19 million tourists, Japanese attitude changed towards me. Now I am rare, so people are so friendly again.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@falseflagsteve

Your comment is an excellent summary of the current situation.

"I don't want any Chinese 'gangs' or 'smelly Americans' here unless I can make money off of them."

10 ( +13 / -3 )

blue11:52 am JST

And you have obviously not read the article. It is not about tourism, it is about people with more than a few weeks' stay worth of a stake in Japan: studies, jobs, careers all life-changing decisions and not frivolous time-limited fun.

Well, let’s look at the number of registered foreign residents living in Japan. Their numbers rose every year from 2012 to 2019. Every year, there were more! Every year!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yotomaya

Yeah, basically as far as tourists go that is correct. Most business around here feel the same about the Chinese tourists at least. The average persons manners and behaviour is appalling and I don’t have any bias against people from there. Their behaviour and rudeness is below what is expected and needs to improve if they are to be accepted. Other foreigners don’t cause issues round here and are welcomed by most, especially white people, probably as they tend to have more spending power.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

@falseflagsteve

I appreciate your honesty. You provided a good summary of what many Japanese think about gaijin: „You are allowed to spend your money here, stay for a few weeks, praise us, but please don’t live here and have an opinion.“

13 ( +15 / -2 )

This is a typical example of stereotype. Covid showed the real image of japan and japanese. Their system, advancement, rights, and xenophobia. I think there are lot more that needs to be exposed

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Can you make babies online too?

No but I don’t support opening up the borders to tourists and students to come “make babies” as you so eloquently describe it.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

And from my point of view its totally unfair, japanese are allowed to enter every other nations while foreigners are not . And every 1st cases of delta, omicron are first detected in japanese returning back to their nation itselt. So there is no evidence to blame forigners. And as an economist within 10 years japan is dead. Korea, india, german all will surpass japan congrats.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

If Japan opens up the borders, as so many on here are demanding, a significant proportion of those entering will have the virus. This is fact - we are seeing this around the world with the nations that are open. And a percentage of them will go on to need Japanese healthcare.

What mathematical equation are you using or what evidence/studies are you referencing to determine a "significant proportion" of them would be carrying it? And what is a significant percentage? 1%? 3%? 30%? To this date I still have yet to be shown any valid studies that correlate international travel with increasing Covid infection rates. Meanwhile trains in Tokyo remain packed. Shinjuku station is packed. Yokohama station is packed. Much more so than I have ever seen at ANY airport ANYWHERE.

I also imagine, not a large amount of individuals that are college-aged would require hospitalization if infected. This is obviously what the Japanese government believes considering they have most people quarantining at home and not in a hospital. The new variant is also weaker and many have acquired immunity in some form or another. So that argument falls flat.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

If I were one of those people in limbo I would just be like "Okay, Japan doesn't want me there, fine; it's their loss" and would look for a better place. Why all the begging and whining? Why only wanting to come to Japan?

Some of them are researchers in fields that Japan is strong in….there just aren’t better places to study for some fields. What the academic world is screaming right now is that “exchange” programs are just that…exchanges. your students come here to get access to equipment and expertise that doesn’t exist back home, and we take some of your students to train in the expertise that WE excel in. This is how international scientific exchange happens.

And Japan is screwing up the system by not reciprocating and allowing foreign students in while Japanese students are being allowed to study abroad. The scary thing for Japan is that Japanese students are beginning to be refused spots in these programs. I have students who had planned to go to the EU this year, but have been told that since Japan won’t take any students, their spots are going to students from Korea. Once the programs are cancelled, it’s hard to get them moving again since the foreign universities don’t have any assurance that the same thing won’t happen next year with some other variant. Japan is too risky a proposition to bother with, and the students themselves realize that Japan really doesn’t want them here.

This policy has flushed down the toilet every single yen Japan has spent on promoting Japan as a place to study…and as it becomes more insular, Japanese academia will lose out. The real problem is not about a few contract ALTs.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Its not correct info that "only" people with permanent residency visa can leave and return to Japan.

People with 3 or 5 year visa that have a Japanese spouse can .

Required the requested paperwork and testing has been received and accepted by the Japanese embassy.

Anyway its still a pandemic in Japan and its the Japanese governments choice to make when they will lift the border restrictions.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Most of them are wrong here anyway, if they not even can understand those simple concepts of ‘gaman sure’ and abiding to general rules made for serving the public interests, like avoiding virus spreading and importing new variants or unknown new clades for example. A few family cases might be discussed, yes, but I am quite sure they are already mostly considered and those affected may of course enter quickly under those many contradicting exemptions that surround the general ruling which is under fire here, maybe more for propaganda purposes.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@falseflagsteve

Unfortunately, it's this kind of generalisations that make xenophobia rampant.

Pre-covid tourism was a nuisance around the world. Ask anyone from Venice, Prague or Barcelona. Many inhabitants of those cities, too, hated tourists while living in an economy that heavily relied on their money.

The way you describe people from other countries is, in my experience, exactly the same type of arguing that can backfire for any type of transgression on your side. I work and live mostly with Japanese people and am aware of possible consequences of any behaviour seen as non-standard, such as speaking slightly louder, being rude to someone higher in hierarchy or simply showing my "honne" in a way considered inappropriate. If you think you're considered "one of the good ones" because of your behaviour or race (as you implied), you're either very lucky, better at dealing with Japanese society or unaware of things said about you behind your back.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Covid has made ______ show its true colors and boy are those colors ugly.

Fill in the blank with the name of just about any country that shut itself down and refused entry to foreigners.

It's not just Japan.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Zia

The statements I made are correct from my observations from residing in a tourist area in Osaka. I am stating factual observations due to my experiences.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Face it (Let us) GoTo Japan movement isn't gonna cut it where it counts.

No way Go to Travel doesn't have first dibs the whole touristy thing cus Well

Looters 1st!! So go ahead paint your sign, post a youtube rant, find a japanese friend to translate…

but your gonna better off just mailing in your taxes and donations in advance,

that'll soften em up. or better yet while your at it…

since you didnt want to face the truth about what your getting into- let me spell it out for ya...

It aint Marioland, Its not some animal crossing farm park or sailor moon theme song..

No. You ask why, but it doesnt matter. It is Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Tomi

But you keep flooding my country with your countryman and car factories and you expect everything for nothing?

i bet your company is making money on foreigners or in a foreign country unless you manage a rice paddy in this globalizec economy....

Unmmm...I'm not Japanese....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan's unfair border policy is one of the main the reasons I've decided to leave.

I think this policy shows the disconnect created by Japanese skillfully crafted soft power. A futuristic, alluringly mysterious yet liveable place on the outside, which shows its true xenophobic colours in times of crisis. It's something I, just like many others, wasn't prepared for over all that time of studying the language and admiring the culture of a country I didn't actually live in.

Well said and I totally understand your disillusionment and a decision to leave, same here.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Outside the U.S. military, how many non-resident foreigners domiciled here or have arrived here before the xenophobic lockout have been made ill by the pandemic? I have yet to see any statistics. At this point I have to wonder if this is primarily a Japanese / permanent resident issue. Furthermore, many non-residents are better inoculated than many (most?) of us living in Japan.

Next to the pandemic, the worst disease Japan is suffering from is racism and xenophobia.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Japan. Japan is a geographic isolate. Which permits a means to stave off SARSCoV-2. Which is to close he orders among other stratagems which are held domestically aka vaccination, masks, closing schools, quarantine, etc. It is patently not xenophobic.

One may examine the two year long pandemic, its sources and spread. SARSCoV-2 was introduced into Japan by foreign tourists. International travel is the key component to its spread be it foreigners or natives.

It has naught to do with "being fair", whatever that may possibly mean - which is to note a meaningless trope.

That mandarins in academics grant themselves entitlement which places them above ordinary individuals is no surprise. Apparently, their education is so narrow as to prevent the realization, in order to flatten out and stave off the ongoing pandemic international travelers are not permitted to visit Japan. It is not a personal affront or racist, it is a measured response.

As for youth who consider it their right to travel to Japan - and the hyperbole that such will impair a generation of friends and compatriots, that is nonsense. What it betrays is an egocentric lack of awareness by individuals who fail to comprehend their personal wants are not in line with an ongoing attempt to limit the adverse impacts to the native population.

The statement referencing the introduction of omicron by the US military is completely bizarre. Japan is a client-state of the USA and has little power over the US military. That US military personnel were not required to be tested prior to departure is a failure of US policy and an obvious slight (to put it lightly) to the Japanese government. In fact, it illustrates 'foreigners' introducing the omicron variant into the general population.

Quoting the American Chamber of Commerce In Japan, is amusing, besides the fact it is not representative of 'the Americas', but the USA - it is a highly conservative, to the 'right' organization and highly xenophobic.

Wannabe English 'teachers' - if actually so skilled, should have no problem finding employ in their home countries, as teacher shortages are epidemic - Japan will not suffer from a lack of questionably skilled English teachers.

Point being. Japan can restrict and control its borders as part of a strategy to contain SARSCoV-2. The reasons stated in opposition are mostly spurious and often illogical. It has absolutely nothing to do with xenophobia or ancient warlords. Nor is the intent a personal affront to Sebastian Bressa or Laura Vieta.

As for science, isolating a population and other measures, in order to control a pandemic, works with an island. Just ask the natives in Tonga.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The statements I made are correct from my observations from residing in a tourist area in Osaka. I am stating factual observations due to my experiences.

Except that there was a whole TV report on the district you claimed was so "open" and "not following the SOE" last time, and it was all about the impact the closures had on the business and showed footage of the deserted streets.

So it is a strange that your past "observation" is contrary to news and what the businesses in that district say they did.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Why anyone would want to come to Japan for an education is beyond me. It is not like there are top universities here.

Many are not coming for university.

Trade schools are far more popular.

Many come to learn certain skills so they can return to their country and get a job in a Japanese company especially Japanese owned factories even places like car dealers now need specialist to work on the now computerized cars especially the hybrids and electric.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@falseflagsteve

I'm glad we agree on something. It seems you're better at navigating life here if you don't let things get to you. No sarcasm intended.

But, to be honest, I'm personally a bit tired of the "Japanese people aren't used to foreigners so we must excuse their xenophobia" argument.

Saying Japan is behind the rest of the developed world in terms of diversity implies that it's going in that direction. I'm not sure it is, but if it is the case, surely it's not helpful to not point out obviously wrong behaviour and engage in stereotypical talk about "Chinese gangs", "smelly, fat American tourists" and picturing other nationalities as "acceptable" without a hint of criticism.

We can't give every person around us a pass on behaviour that directly affects us. If we don't challenge this type of rhetoric, nobody will. The current government is the western far-right's dream, education, therefore, is clearly very nationalistic and media representation of non-Japanese is condescending to outright offensive.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Politically the border policy is very beneficial for the govt. Polls overwhelmingly show that locals want to continue the border ban. Especially so outside of Tokyo.

In the short run it may the right response to the pandemic.

But in the long run it will deter highly qualified workers (tech) from choosing Japan. These cohort will choose Germany or Switzerland and slowly create wealth there. The effect is almost imperceptible in the short run. But in the long run when there is no new companies and new jobs. Everyone will feel the pinch. While they may choose to retreat into a shell, the cost of goods will escalate & others more prosperous than Japan will have the means to purchase & influence the price of these goods.

The frog in the pan .. boils slowly...

7 ( +9 / -2 )

the medical system has been inadequately prepared for the latest huge wave of cases, leaving many sick with COVID-19 to isolate at home.

Whoever is responsible for the 'medical system' should take responsibility for being 'inadequately prepared'.

Would that be the bureaucrats at the top of the agencies, especially those with the highest paying positions, or politicians? Both?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I just read that Japan needs to quadruple its foreign workers by 2040 in order to meet its growth target. Yeah, that's gunna happen!!!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan needs foreigners because it needs cheap labour and also a sufficient number of people to appear on the TV show 'Cool Japan'. But I agree, it's up to Japan who it can or cannot let in. But they just might be crying over spilled milk in the future. I personally don't care.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I have lived here since 2011. I have never had anything "racist" happen to me. I respect this culture and in return I get respect.

Really?

Wow especially since both my Japanese/caucasian mixed children has on a regular basis since they were toddlers they are now both in mid 20s and still get it.

But I suppose you also never looked for an apartment on your own!

I could go on all day night and into the next day.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Covid has made Japan show its true colors and boy are those colors ugly.

It just reminds me another one:

Fingerprinting has made Japan show its true colors and boy are those colors ugly.

Too funny that those self-proclaimed experts on JT predicted that after Japan started fingerprinting travellers in 2007 no one would ever visit such nasty country. Fail!

Reading all those testimonials gives me the feeling that entitlement is even more contagious than covid. All those westerners just act and think like colonists trying to force their way into the country and that Japan owe them something.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Prime-minister Kishida is correct to shut down borders to find out the original source that the Omiron virus is coming from. Until we know where is the problem, we cannot open the borders. Please do not just care about capitalism and your own interests. Let us find the antidotes to the virus, then we can live and work safely.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

do you know that the Japanese constitution is written by a foreigner?

With such immature argument the Emperor could be a Pakistani citizen and the prime minister a US citizen. Hey you know what? Let's throw all Japanese people into reservations like First Nations.

tell me why a Japanese can enter in japan and not a foreigner under a so call pandemic.

We already explained you, the Constitution does allow the government to ban entry of Japanese citizens. Do you understand that every country makes a difference between citizens and foreigners?

You are a foreigner. I am a foreigner. We are not Japanese. I accept that. You and your friends won't rule the place. Deal with it or stay in White Nations. Bold typing is aggressive you know...

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

they have to quarantine in official government centers. That is 500,000 specially prepared hotel rooms, room service meals, security guards, PPE wearing staff, contact tracing and PCR tests at ¥8000 a pop. Who pays all that? Developing country students? Jobless Aussies?

When my child came back to Japan after studying abroad, they had to stay in a specially approved hotel room near Narita. Who payed? I did. Cost a little over 100,000 yen for the hotel and all the meals were extra.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I meant:

the Constitution does NOT allow the government to ban entry of Japanese citizens.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

A quieter, less crowded Japan has been a wonder. Feels just like it did in the early 90s -- minus the loose socks.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Prime-minister Kishida is correct to shut down borders to find out the original source that the Omiron virus is coming from.

There isn't some kind of pipeline constantly bringing the virus into Japan. It has been spreading around the country for the months now. But given you gives this reasoning two years into the pandemic makes it clear you don't follow this kind of logic. "Wait until we figure out what's going on" reminds me of the rhetoric by the former US president when calling for a Muslim travel ban.

You are a foreigner. I am a foreigner. We are not Japanese. I accept that. You and your friends won't rule the place. Deal with it or stay in White Nations. Bold typing is aggressive you know...

I know this wasn't directed at me, but let me share my idea on this. While I wouldn't go on to defend someone referring to this as a "so called pandemic", I also don't think anyone of use want to "rule" the country, just not being discriminated against.

You're describing things as they are, but do they have to? Not being Japanese doesn't make you more likely to have or spread the virus. Why does the government find it politically advantageous to restrict the lives of thousands of tax-paying residents at a whim? Moving back to "White Nations" means abandoning the lives we build here. Why should we have to do that because someone else is being racist? Also, what if you're a minority in your country of birth (like myself)? Where should you go to not be subject to prejudice?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Am here and chilling on Miyako Jima. Nice and quiet. Plenty of friendly locals. Life is good!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

tokyobakayaroToday  04:05 pm JST

I meant:

the Constitution does NOT allow the government to ban entry of Japanese citizens.

so we have to shut up and be scared every day because we can be banned anytime for no understandable reason???. like a Japanese citizen I am paying taxes for this circus. as a so-called democracy people will decide. I support this protest.

if needed constitution will be changed.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It makes absolutely zero sense to keep these restrictions for vaccinated workers, students and families who are willing to quarantine for 10 days and test, while Japanese nationals are leaving and re-entering the country for tourism. We've been waiting for two years, I took night classes from 1 am to 7 am for three months and now I'm considering whether to give up on all my goals. There're thousands of people who lost their scholarships, who can't graduate, or had to let a great job go because of this ban. I honestly can't phantom why there are so many comments defending this useless measure that is hurting Japan as well.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

TARA TAN KITAOKAToday 03:55 pm JST

Prime-minister Kishida is correct to shut down borders to find out the original source that the Omiron virus is coming from. Until we know where is the problem, we cannot open the borders. Please do not just care about capitalism and your own interests. Let us find the antidotes to the virus, then we can live and work safely.

if you want to participate in your own way, follow your own concept and lock yourself up and watch the propaganda TV. wake me up when your GURU will give your imaginary antidote

3 ( +6 / -3 )

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