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Japan entry controls to stay until more known about Omicron

123 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Kishida seen here crushing the Omicron with his bare hand! Generalissimo!

-17 ( +8 / -25 )

Interestingly enough Japan has the ability to somewhat control it, or to to curb its explosive spread.

Whether thats possible and whether or not you’ll be left holding the strainer so to speak…thats another issue.

If Omicron begins to spread it cannot be stopped imo.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Japan will keep in place its recently reimposed strict border controls

Very Good!

he has asked the U.S. military to prohibit personnel from leaving Camp Hansen

Let's hope that they follow that, which I guess they do not.

-16 ( +12 / -28 )

These draconian policies of making travel to another country illegal wasn’t even present during the World Wars. If you wanted to risk the travel, if you were mad enough, you could. And so, using America as an example of how we might get these rules loosened worldwide, asap, then. Over the last couple of years in the US, I have seen much passion and fight from Americans - taking to the street in their millions against Trump, huge protests and movements in support of gender and race issues, a concerted, fierce attack on the Capitol building - all of these actions took great boldness in the face of much risk. Think what these people could do with that same passion and fearlessness, if they wanted to, against the current rules-based pandemic. They could probably end it, methinks.

-20 ( +10 / -30 )

Omicron will spread in Japan, but that is likely a good thing, as it could be the final step to herd immunity.

If South Africa is an indication, it will spike quickly and then fade. The few that go to the hospital are given cortisone, ibuprofen, and sent home.

3 ( +27 / -24 )

On Okinawa, a cluster of about 200 cases at the U.S. Marine Corps Camp Hansen has raised fears of a spread of infections on the southern Japanese island. The U.S. military has not responded to an Okinawan request to run genetic analyses to determine if they are omicron cases.

…..,

The US military is not subject to quarantine measures as civilian entrants to Japan are.

Well, now Okinawa will see a rise in Omicron cases which will find their way back to the main islands.

Once in gets into the big cities then Japan will have lost this particular battle…

-8 ( +11 / -19 )

how much more do countries around the world need to know? it has spread to over 80 countries around the world, and all the data proves that it is a mild flu or bad common cold. hospitalization rates are still relatively low and perhaps 2 deaths. give me a break.

12 ( +28 / -16 )

These draconian policies of making travel to another country illegal 

Its not draconian. Its keeping Omicron out, and the population safe.

Japan would be wise to keep the borders shut until June, until more is known about Omicron. Keeping the nation shut off is the best course, and more countries should have done the same.

The government will gain popularity over this.

-16 ( +17 / -33 )

It's just the Flu with a new name. So many people living in fear. Where did Covid go all of a sudden ?

-10 ( +18 / -28 )

When it comes to Omicron, which is more of a threat? Foreigners, or Japanese nationals in their 20s who go to soccer games after showing symptoms?

21 ( +33 / -12 )

To all other nations on earth. Please return the favor to Japanese nationals!

13 ( +31 / -18 )

The borders are not shut for residents, foreigners and Japanese can come and go.

However, there are long mandatory quarantine requirements for travelers.

Time and money are also requirements for travel now as who can quarantine possibly two weeks each way?

Not the average worker, right?

7 ( +21 / -14 )

Japan will keep in place its recently reimposed strict border controls which ban most foreign entrants, until more information is known about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus

yeah……it’s already spreading in Japan.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Omicron is the end of the pandemic. The sooner it spreads, the better. Open up.

-9 ( +15 / -24 )

> Think what these people could do with that same passion and fearlessness, if they wanted to, against the current rules-based pandemic. They could probably end it, methinks.

Not if like you protests aren’t their bag and they got thoroughly bored of this tedious virus last year.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Boosters and testing should be urgent priorities.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

Kishida should turn on the news.

People are not dying.

Besides Japanese do spread the virus just like anyone.

Let in anyone if they are willing to go to isolation for a week.

6 ( +19 / -13 )

Japan entry controls to stay until more known about Omicron.

You mean Japan doing the same as other countries are doing. Yeah.... the outrage! !

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

They love it,bring back this country to a Sakoku era.

These draconian restrictions won’t stop the variants to get inside their island nation.

Furthermore these discrimination rules will for sure be criticize again by the international community.

3 ( +17 / -14 )

Don't forget, the tightened entry control is meant to buy time in preparation for covid intrusions, not to seek zero-covid.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Over 80% vaccinated, almost zero cases since august, when will we return to normality if not now? This is getting a very bitter aftertaste

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Kishida is the man!

Thank you for standing up to help Japan in times of need!

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

All this will change after the new year.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan’s coronavirus rates are extremely low. Keep it up, Japan!

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Good! Don’t need any visitors right now until all this is done.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

These draconian restrictions won’t stop the variants to get inside their island nation.

Pretty sure it says in the article they know spread is imminent. They're slowing it down so they can learn (and hopefully prepare).

Furthermore these discrimination rules will for sure be criticize again by the international community.

Discrimination how? They're not blocking residents from coming into the country (Japanese or foreigner). They're blocking tourists, which have been banned for two years already, and new entries.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

So NO GO TO then, I guess? Right? Right...?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Japan is really behind the times, full of old dinosaurs in charge.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Bravo Japan! You lead the entire world in decline. This is par for the course.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

“These draconian policies of making travel to another country illegal wasn’t even present during the World Wars. If you wanted to risk the travel, if you were mad enough, you could. And so, using America as an example of how we might get these rules loosened worldwide, asap, then. Over the last couple of years in the US, I have seen much passion and fight from Americans - taking to the street in their millions against Trump, huge protests and movements in support of gender and race issues, a concerted, fierce attack on the Capitol building - all of these actions took great boldness in the face of much risk. Think what these people could do with that same passion and fearlessness, if they wanted to, against the current rules-based pandemic. They could probably end it, methinks.”

Draconian? Other than the problem of getting out or in if some urgent personal matter arises, what’s the point to traveling to somewhere else where risk is higher or letting someone in with all those risk and problem to control their behaviors? We are fine with current measures. Life goes on as normal here within Japan and across prefectures. Keep those ideas back there. Thanks!

0 ( +9 / -9 )

“So NO GO TO then, I guess? Right? Right...?”

Wrong, Wrong… If you just wait for the GO TO benefits then please wait . Otherwise you can just go anywhere here in Japan spending your holidays the way you like.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

“Over 80% vaccinated, almost zero cases since august, when will we return to normality if not now? This is getting a very bitter aftertaste”

Dozen of new cases everyday are not zero! This is not normal given most other countries are struggling with controlling infections. Letting things go now I think the problem will be a lot bitter than what you feel.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

“So let’s continue with strict border controls but keep the trains packed? 

@rainman1. 

I’m curious when shall we open the borders and get back to allowing visitors? By your statement it seems that will never happen as long as there’s a virus? So when this doesn’t stop the current variants what will you say next? Seems the pro-vaccinated group loves pushing the goal post back to fit the narrative they want. 

The next variant arrives or maybe it even starts here in Japan, what will be your excuse then? 

People cite South Africa because it’s a legitimate source to site. Let me ask are you one of these pro-vaccine individuals who calls any doctor or scientists a fraud, or fake, because they see things differently than than people like Dr. Fauci?

Sorry but not everything is a conspiracy. Lol 

If you do live in Japan then you know how blessed and lucky we have been because the government didn’t lockdown it’s entire population or force people to get vaccinated. It scares me to think so many foreigners who make statements on here and claim to live here would do that very thing if they were in charge! Thank goodness their not! 

Why are you pro-vaccinated individuals wanting to divide us so badly? Japan has such a difficult time with its population declining and worker shortages. 

My Japanese family and friends are not at all worried about Covid nor the variants. Some of them got vaccinated and some didn’t, but they don’t attack each other over who is or isn’t vaccinated like so many foreigners on here do.”

@Lewis Clarke. well said! Shared many of my thoughts.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

should your country close its borders?

absoulutely.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

and also the correct spelling, absolutely.

Every train, bar and restaurant I have been on or to over the last month has been completely packed.

No need to bring people from outside the country into that environment.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

“Kishida should turn on the news.

People are not dying.

Besides Japanese do spread the virus just like anyone.

Let in anyone if they are willing to go to isolation for a week.”

Kishida san, if you ever peek in this forum please don’t listen to these people. We can’t trust their behaviors.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

This is what people should be hell bent against. Getting a jail sentence for getting infected. . He not talking about return people from over seas but anyone who gets Omicrom. Yes close your border but don't, jail your citizen.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

this makes sense.just check what is going on in UK/i mean abt omicron/.

better be safe than sorry,even data shows that omicron is kind of "usui" one/spreading fast but few deaths/.

according to yesterdays news there are some tablets in process of testing now in Japan,so if this will go well-this may be normal exit out of recent situation as vaccinations with experimental vaccines/and with side effects for many/or lockdowns clearly does not work and cant solve this virus issue.

so yes I am OK with closed border for now and lets wait for tablets than.

everyone take care stay safe and build your own natural body immunity.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

What “more information” do they need? Forced quarantine for people who might be exposed? Omicron, while more contagious, is much less severe. Exactly what the world needs. Japan can hide from covid for a decade and it won’t go away. Completely cowering and xenophobic government. Welcome back to 1930’s isolationist Japan. That worked out well……

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

According to South African antiviral experts, although the transmission rate is very high, omicron has not been shown to cause serious illness. Covid-19 maternal virus was modified as omicron to maintain the virus's survival and may be able to save the lives of the infected human. There must be an end to even the Covid-19 plague. To end, the virus must be eradicated from the world. Otherwise it should be reduced in intensity to a common cold. I think omicron is such a mutant. This could be the end of the corona epidemic.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@Blacklabel

Well said!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Fair enough.

No harm in being overly cautious.

Simple, protect the medical system for fear of looking like a .,,..,,,,,,

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Several Japanese employees at the camp have tested positive for Omicron, and Okinawa Gov Denny Tamaki told reporters Tuesday that he has asked the U.S. military to prohibit personnel from leaving Camp Hansen.

"Personnel," which we know translates to military members and their families but not Japanese workers. We don't know how the Japanese employees got omicron but it's convenient to blame the U.S. military and the long string of governors there and other politicians never miss an opportunity.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

And yet every day trains are packed like sardine cans. Keep borders closed, fine. But maybe also look internally and do something about the overly crowded public transport and imposing more restrictions on crossing prefectures.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

@MocheakeT

The US military base is by far the dirtiest part in Japan.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Why not educate the population about social distancing?

And then aggressively promote social distancing.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Good move. Keep the controls for now.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The broken record brigade really loves quoting South African doctors recently.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And when is that?

I mean, there aren't any signs that Omicron is worth this, if anything most of the current data suggest the contrary, not to mention that it has been about a month since the variant was first found, and even the WHO has called for a more measured response to this variant based on preliminary data.

It seems like the "2 weeks to flatten the curve" thing all over again.

2 week become 4 weeks, then 2 months, then until there is a vaccine, then until 70% is vaccinated, then until everyone is 80% vaccinated, then until everyone is vaccinated, then until everyone is vaccinated and boosted, and then even if everyone is vaccinated and boosted we need to wait 2 weeks to know about this new variant, then 4 weeks... etc...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Luis David Yanez

When the japanese people deem it safe, and not a millisecond sooner!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Japan is an island. It is a geographic isolate. No contiguous borders. This allows Japan to shut and control its borders. SARSCoV-2 was transmitted primarily by international travel, which resulted in domestic transmission. Warding off variants is key to a successful strategy to eradicating the virus - alongside vaccination, which is primary.

Closing the borders and imposing & enforcing restrictions on travel by natives and residents is a viable stratagem.

The increase in industrial tourism is a recent phenomena and can be offset by a more sustainable domestic tourism. The primary cause of the pandemic is/was international travel, in the form of tourism. SARSCoV-2 remains a large problem throughout the West and Asia. Allowing tourists from countries infected with significant cases of SARSCoV-2 is essentially dumb and ignorant.

Here's a reality: 20% of Americans refuse to be vaccinated. At the moment only 60% of Americans are fully vaccinated. Reason enough to ban tourists from the USA. You can add various countries to that list.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

@Richard Gallagher

Again, music to my ears.

Well said!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Blacklabel

Well said!

thanks but sure got a lot of downvotes.

I guess there is this barbarian horde at the gates that just refuses to be denied their rights to visit Roppongi or to chase Pokemon at Tokyo Tower or something.

There is a time for everything. RIght in the middle of omicron, that can be transmitted even by vaccinated people, is not the time. Somehow everything is already full even with no visitors right now.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yes, the harder the better. Those infected intruders should all have been mandatory tested while still in the skies, so that already those incoming virus spreading airplanes all can be denied landing. If they are here on the ground it’s too late, they will infect not only the other passengers but also staff at immigration and passport check counters. And those bring it then home to their families, friends, schools, co-workers and so on. Then it’s spreading soon everywhere at never seen before speeds. That even stricter procedures would have avoided or delayed omicron even more. Yes, it’s only theoretical and now too late anyway, I know.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The borders are not closed. It’s just infantile of Japanese to think that they cannot spread the virus while interacting with family members and even going to work during their quarantine, but that a foreigner tested three to four times, vaccinated and boosted and spending 3-10 days in a hotel room is dangerous. Yes, most returning Japanese do ‘respect’ the quarantine, because the quarantine has no official rules and like anything else here is left vague enough to condemn the ones (usually non-Japanese) while absolving the others.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Iron Lad

When the japanese people deem it safe, and not a millisecond sooner!

Well, I'm Japanese, I deem it safe, my partner is Japanese, he deems it safe, and a lot of people who are Japanese deem it safe, but as far as I remember this was all about "science" and "risk" and the fact that Covid wasn't the flu as the reasons to why these draconian measures should be put in place.

Now it seems even when science doesn't agree, when there is not even a sniff of risk, and it seems that this variant is actually less deadly than the flu, somehow now none of those things seem to matter anymore.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

It's smart to be cautious here, there will be plenty to be learned from the countries in Europe where Omicron is running rife right now. It will give them time to push out boosters - the third shot is like tertiary education for your immune system - more knowledge on the virus, more capacity to fight it effectively. That means less hospitalisation, less stress on the medical systems.

Finally, if I ever contract a deadly form of Covid-19, I can say this to you:I will never say I should have been or wished I had been vaccinated.

I heard a story from a work colleague just the other day. His best friend, married with kids, 41 years old living in South Africa had exactly the same perspective as you - verbatim. As he was dying from COVID, he begged the medical staff to give him a vaccination, pleaded with them. Course, it was too late and he died leaving his kids fatherless and his wife heartbroken and vulnerable.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

The Japanese failed to see Covid coming and didn’t react-now they are overreacting and still treating the populace like children.

By the way, what does the Japanese health authority do with infected people?

It makes them stay at home and report their temperature a couple of times a day.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

the World Health Organization's emergencies chief Mike Ryan criticized Japan's border control measures as "hard to understand" from an epidemiological standpoint. He claimed that by thoroughly conducting coronavirus tests before and after arrival, and ensuring people entering are placed in isolation after their arrival, it should be possible to curb the virus's spread

This can summarize the “logic” of the Japanese government.

Inequal,cruel and discriminatory without logic.

For sure the prestige of Japan has already started to decline from a while.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Of the 18,000 deaths, I would like to know how many were of covid and how many were simply with covid. The difference is extraordinary.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Luis David YanezT

Yeah, I don't trust your anedoctes.

Until I see thousands of japanese banding together asking Kishida to open the borders, keep it closed!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

after just one local transmission, the entire concept of a border closure is illogical and absurd. Trying to ban something that's already within your borders and spreading. Prediction: in February Japan will hit new peaks of cases, and it won't have anything to do with foreigners.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

“One soldier from that "infected" military base was caught driving DUI yesterday, some 50 miles away. So, there's no lockdown or restrictions for those guys. Dangerous stuff!”

Probably an example of an unruly behavior. Just imagine if we open our borders for more visitors behaving like him/her/someone not wish to identify

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

“after just one local transmission, the entire concept of a border closure is illogical and absurd. Trying to ban something that's already within your borders and spreading. Prediction: in February Japan will hit new peaks of cases, and it won't have anything to do with foreigners.”

Probably not anything with foreigners.. but this is to limit the damage. It would be a lot harder if foreigners are allowed in and not cooperating with prevention protocols

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

“By the way, what does the Japanese health authority do with infected people?“

I don’t know what exactly they have been doing to them but I think they have done something right otherwise we would have seen some other numbers instead of dozens of cases everyday and 3-4 serious cases in Tokyo recently..

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Send them all to the far south and quarantine them on Okinawa.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

To be fair, I would love to see all the visitors back here in Japan as long as they cooperate it’s all the prevention practices and etiquettes. Most, if not all, gaijin looking folks I have seen here are doing as what we locals do. Watching live streams of street scenes in many cities around the world where COVID is ravaging and local governments are mandating tough measures to reign in their citizens, I really don’t have the confidence and comfort that JP will be able to control if the borders are open again fully.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

“Nationals and residents are free to travel. The largest group of foreign travellers are the Japanese.”

that’s our home. We can do whatever we want with it. National interest first.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@Iron Lad

Until I see thousands of japanese banding together asking Kishida to open the borders, keep it closed!

Are you the minister of justice or some other bureaucrat that only cares about popularity than the law or human rights, and has any relevance in the policy of this country? Somehow I really do not think so.

Japanese language schools, business who require of foreigners to survive, or just need their workers to go outside of the country have been constantly pushing for an ease to even earlier restrictions, but the government has not really cared at all (and they are over a thousand people).

I've actually talked with the human rights office of the ministry of justice, and they claimed that they are not really violating any human rights to go to another country to see my parents without the risk of losing weeks, if not months of income or even lose my job, and having to spend a lot of money in their quarantine measures because "I can talk to them online".

I've not seen my parents since 2017, with plans of them coming in 2020, but that became imposible, and since I live in Hokkaido, where the International Terminal of the Chitose Airport is dead, I cannot get by flight into this island, and getting to this island REQUIRES you to get into some sort of public transportation, which is prohibited according to the Quarantine policies they have put in place.

So, first, basically all flights to go to my parents country are canceled, and if I try to come back, if the PCR test before getting into the flight is positive I'm ****ed, I lost the flight, and it wouldn't be even wise to book another flight until I can get a negative test, if I test positive when getting into Japan, I'm basically thrown into a forced quarantine until I test negative, and even if I test negative for both, I'm basically forced to sign this paper that says that I will be in quarantine for 14 days and I won't use any public transportation, in a quarantine hellhole hotel, and they would be constantly monitoring me.

My other option is to just violate quarantine, get to Hokkaido anyway, and get my name published in public list of "Quarantine Violators", which could come and bite me in the future for something completely unrelated.

The time, money and risk that requires is pretty heavy, and, as I told the people of the ministry of justice, if people inside Japan were put under those circumstances just to get see their parents, there would be public outrage, and would never even think of implementing it in the first place, even if the "variant" was known to just be in a single prefecture, and people going to that prefecture "would risk" spreading it to other parts of the country.

This has nothing to do with actual risk, or health, or any of that, this is just the politization of the health crisis by politicians in order to score political points exploiting the fear of the population at large, even if that means sacrificing minorities on the way.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@zichi

Sorry, but the tests are faulty and vaccinated people can still infect people.

These countries (US, UK) want people to travel, not China and Japan.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Also, they should follow HK and China-rule of quarantine at airport, 21 days, regardless of negative or positive. NO LESS.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I agree. 21 days full isolation for ALL arrivals from overseas

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@zichi

Disagree, 21 days is safe because tests can be faulty.

It also discourages travel.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Agree with JT poster 'Iron Lad'...PCR testing has already proven itself to be less than 100% effective.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@zichi

Well, reduce oversea trips, move further to digital.

China can handle it, so can Japan.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

In my humble opinion, the Japanese government is acting like cowards. The virus is going to spread regardless of how long they keep the borders shut. Japanese people love being disconnected from the rest of the world. They have many fears.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Sheikhoo

Whole Asia is following this practice.

Stick to the US or Europe, or wait, maybe the US or UK.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This Omicron variant is very catchy = if you are in a room with one your odds are very high of also getting it.

-You will see these next few weeks and months of how bad this situation is.

Japan Gov is making the perfect recommendations on this and will probably be updating info many times in the future. An temporary inconvenience to many, but you just plan around it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The few that go to the hospital are given cortisone, ibuprofen, and sent home.

Except they're not few, and they stay in the hospital. Otherwise, the hospitals shouldn't be filling up if people are being sent home

No, the Omicron is not as deadly as Delta, but much more contagious. It's a matter of numbers - let's say only 1% of infected persons need to be hospitalized. If it only spreads to 1,000 persons, that's just 10 people in the hospital. But if it spreads faster to 10,000 persons, that's suddenly 100 people in the hospital. If it spreads to 100,000 persons, now that's 1,000 people occupying space in the hospital. So the faster it spreads, the number goes up faster, even when the percentage remains the same

Since hospitals are being filled up mostly by unvaccinated patients, maybe it is a good idea that unvaccinated people should sign a waiver that, since they're taking a chance on their own volition, then they should also take a chance to do their recovery at home, instead of the hospital. Should they need hospitalization, they should be taken home to do their recovery there and take their chances. It's only fair

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Border restrictions and more fear. As the mutant descendent of the Fauci flu spreads effortless around the world. Hunting down the immune compromised.

And the cognitively disabled race to booster themselves into oblivion.

As I mentioned months ago to the “data hesitant” Virolex: Right about this time the Great Barrington Realization hits. And the Pandemic of the Vaccinated reveals itself. To be followed by the Pandemic of the Vaccine injured.

Life is hard. It’s harder when you’re…… you know.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Now announced 14 days in a (local or central) government-monitored facility for those identified as close contacts of people positive to Omicron. Either Japan will all of the sudden multiply by the thousands the testing and tracking in the community (until now even kids in the same class and colleagues in the same office were not considered close contacts unless they confessed to have licked each other’s face), or it’s just gonna be another targeted lockdown on returning travelers that lets the variant spread freely in the community in the meantime.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good evening Prime-minister Kishida, very accurate decision.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Someone mentioned present entry rules as being equals for Japanese and foreigners long term residents. Unless recently amended the Japanese government, two weeks ago, was not allowing long term residents to enter from South Africa and a number of other countries in that part of the world, while allowing pure Japanese were to do so, that is what the WHO commented on. Exactly what happened at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, those measures were revised after much criticism from various international bodies. That is in line with other discriminatory measures in place in the country to make life for expats as difficult as possible. As I said before, I recently left and recommend every one to do the same. I will enter on a tourist visa to see my family and stay, there isn't much difference on rights between the two, unless you want to work in Japan, which I don't.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

For those who praise the HKG approach. 'Asia world city' is no longer that ! Expats and locals with strong democratic values are leaving what soon will simply be another Chinese ordinary city, bar the geographical and architectural appeal. 21 days in full isolation has driven people mad and deterred many from travelling, not a recommended approach unless you have in place a zero Covid strategy, like they have in China. They are doing that in HKG to be able to open the border with mainland first.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nationals and residents are free to travel. 

I'm a national, and for all intents and purposes I cannot travel. If I had unlimited money and time, then yes, I could stay an infinite amount of time in quarantine making no money at all for just going a couple of days out of the country, but in the real world it makes absolutely no sense.

The problem is not going out, that's easy (if you find a flight in the first place), but getting into the country once again is hell. If you are like me, and live in a place like Hokkaido or some other isle than cannot be accessed by land, you are forced to stay in a quarantine hotel in Tokyo for longer than your stay abroad.

Supposedly that quarantine is voluntary, which is why they make you sign that paper... but that's the thing, they MAKE you sing that paper.

A national cannot be refused entry to the country, quarantine law is not allowed to do what the japanese government is doing right now, so like they always do, they use loopholes.

The are requiring to sign this written oath that you will avoid public transportation, will allow the government to spy on you and all that good stuff, but there are no legal basis for it.

As far as I'm aware there is a single case of someone who refused to sign the oath, and because of that was deemed as someone with "close contact", which according to the government doesn't actually mean to be in close contact with someone who had covid, but for they only require for the government to believe there is the "possibility" of have been in contact with someone who had covid, and was detained.

Supposedly the detention under quarantine law is not a criminal detention, and they are required by law to make a test to prove if the person is actually infected or not, which is a live virus subject test.

The thing is, for this person, they never did it. They just detained him for about a week, and told him that the test had been delayed, and that it would be "better if he just signed the oath", which according to this person felt like just extortion, and an indirect way of saying that this was a punishment just for not having sign the oath.

Once you sign the oath, you can go, and even though they supposedly "track you" and if you violate this oath they publish your name, the reality is that many who have signed the oath were almost never contacted latter by the health centre, and as there have been news over and over again, many times the health centre just "lost track" of the people they are supposedly tracking, so this, once again, has little to do with actually "stopping the spread of the virus".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm a national, and for all intents and purposes I cannot travel. If I had unlimited money and time, then yes, I could stay an infinite amount of time in quarantine making no money at all for just going a couple of days out of the country, but in the real world it makes absolutely no sense.

And? Are you indicating this is someone's fault? How is this different from any expensive activity? Some people have the time and money, some don't. That's life mate.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

How is this different from any expensive activity?

The expense in on the risk of the restrictions, not the act itself.

There have been cases of nationals have been illegally "DEPORTED" from this country, because the government deemed the test that they brough as "not good enough".

You can get detained for an undefined amount of time if they feel like it, and there aren't really any legal recourses available to fight any of these clear violations.

While they are actually simplifying the entrance to the country for people who come in private jets.

So no, it isn't just an "expensive activity", it is a normal human activity that by the way, I used to engage in at least twice a year, which has become extremely high risk because of the government restrictions.

And as I said, the government restrictions are actually legally in the gray zone, and some times clearly illegal.

So if you don't care about the rule of law, about civil rights, about the fact that now, for example, if you are a diplomat, or come in a private yet you don't have to engage in ANY of these restrictions, making this a two tire society, then yes, we should just be happy with whatever our technocratic overlords allows us.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There have been cases of nationals have been illegally "DEPORTED" from this country, because the government deemed the test that they brough as "not good enough"

I'm certainly not taking this claim at face value. I'm guessing it's a weird interpretation of something.

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The expense in on the risk of the restrictions, not the act itself.

Too bad. You act as if the government had any say whatsoever in there being a world-wide pandemic. It costs money to deal with? Complain to your god if you have one. This one ain't the government's fault mate.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm certainly not taking this claim at face value. I'm guessing it's a weird interpretation of something.

You don't have to believe me, you can read a Q&A at the diet that was done exactly on the legality of these measures, their effect and actual numbers.

https://www.shugiin.go.jp/internet/itdb_shitsumon.nsf/html/shitsumon/a204183.htm

You act as if the government had any say whatsoever in there being a world-wide pandemic.

As far as I'm aware, these are problems of policy. The pandemic isn't the one creating the policy, politicians are.

Also, as I already said, it seems that as long as "there is a pandemic" you don't seem to care if the government does illegal and shady stuff.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm certainly not taking this claim at face value. I'm guessing it's a weird interpretation of something.

Not to mention that some of these cases were actually reported by the news:

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/a3b99c9f73c3240253672bd5826fc667c18bd8f7

https://forbesjapan.com/articles/detail/41263

https://www.yomiuri.co.jp/politics/20210530-OYT1T50003/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They were refused entry for not following the rules of traveling during a pandemic. They probably should have taken more care that they followed the rules.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

They were refused entry for not following the rules of traveling during a pandemic. They probably should have taken more care that they followed the rules.

They were Japanese nationals. The law explicitly says that Japanese nationals cannot be refused entry to the country. In the worst case scenario, what the law allows is to detain in quarantine these people.

So what rules should they follow? The rule of law, of the arbitrary rules that do not follow the law that these bureaucrats are pushing?

Why do you not care at all that the law is being violated by the government?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They were Japanese nationals. The law explicitly says that Japanese nationals cannot be refused entry to the country.

And yet...

In the worst case scenario, what the law allows is to detain in quarantine these people.

I encourage them to sue the government to address their concerns. If the courts find them to be correct, then I will accept this interpretation of the law not being able to deny nationals entry.

Why do you not care at all that the law is being violated by the government?

Has it been established that this is law? Has it ever been challenged in the courts?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

And yet...

Yep, that's the problem. Not sure if you get this, but the government and officials are not saints and they can and will violate the law. Not because they do it means that it is somehow ok or legal.

I encourage them to sue the government to address their concerns. If the courts find them to be correct, then I will accept this interpretation of the law not being able to deny nationals entry.

Meanwhile you will continue to defend these policies? That's pretty convenient. and once again, tells me a lot of your concerns. You are really not concerned about the integrity of the rule of law.

Has it been established that this is law? Has it ever been challenged in the courts?

Did you read any of the articles I gave you, or the Q&A to the diet? The law is clear about this. In the Q&A the government refused to give a concrete answer on the legal basis of this policy, and also refused to separate the numbers of nationals and foreigners that have been deported under this law.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 the numbers of nationals and foreigners that have been deported under this law.

I misspoke there, under this policy, because it isn't even a codified law.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Safety first.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Not sure if you get this, but the government and officials are not saints and they can and will violate the law.

Where has it been established that they violated the law? I understand that's some people's interpretation of these actions.

Did you read any of the articles I gave you, or the Q&A to the diet? The law is clear about this. In the Q&A the government refused to give a concrete answer on the legal basis of this policy, and also refused to separate the numbers of nationals and foreigners that have been deported under this law.

And again I ask:

Has it been established that this is law? Has it ever been challenged in the courts?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's already here Kishida, there already aren't enough hotel rooms for arrivals, the system is unnecessary and unsustainable. It's going to spread like crazy after New Year regardless, despite your tough border controls.

A lot of countries have very sensible controls, vaccinated travelers can come in with a negative test. No need for this BS extended supervised quarantine based on coming from an area with a single confirmed omicron case.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The government will run out of space soon and what will happen then?

It might well be the case that Japanese nationals will take precedence over foreign nationals.

If the Japanese government is smart then it will recognize that Omicron is not ‘a variant of concern’ and allow people to

get on with their lives.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What is Japan's policy for family of foreigners who are working here if even those who have been fully vaccinated cannot enter the country after two or three weeks of quarantine?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@zichi

Seems like the government doesn't care about family separation

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@zichi,

Thank You,

She already got the dependent visa under the special exceptional circumstances category. But new entry of foreign nationals is suspended. I am not a permanent resident yet. Finished my 4 years studies and working here in Tokyo now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Where has it been established that they violated the law?

If you read the law, it's pretty obvious. The government was given an opportunity to explain themselves on the legal basis for this policy, and they refused to answer, saying that "there wasn't enough data", basically just like you, pretending that as long as there isn't a ruling by a court against their actions, they will just pretend not to know anything and continue to push for this policy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you read the law, it's pretty obvious.

Yeeeeaah, I rarely take any layman's opinion of how the law works, much less a JT poster.

The law it turns out is actually really complicated. People even go to school for years to learn it!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yeeeeaah, I rarely take any layman's opinion of how the law works, much less a JT poster.

The law it turns out is actually really complicated. People even go to school for years to learn it!

Yeah, in your case not really.

You jump at the defense of the government when they break the rules, and pretend that "it is complex" and you are not willing to accept anything unless there is a court ruling on the matter, but do not apply the same standard to people who "break the rules" that the government created, they are automatically wrong, and there is no longer the need of having a discussion of the actual legality, or the court ruling anymore.

Double standard usually means that you already have a preconceived notion of how things are, and are willing to bend your own logic so that your preconceptions do not get challenged.

Yet, you can read the legal opinion on the matter of the legal protections on leaving and returning to Japan in the following text, if you really do care about the law:

http://law.meijo-u.ac.jp/staff/contents/64-4/640401_kondo.pdf

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You jump at the defense of the government when they break the rules, and pretend that "it is complex" and you are not willing to accept anything unless there is a court ruling on the matter

Um, why are you getting mad at me on how the law works? This is how law always works - legislators legislate, people decide that in their opinion, there has been a breach of said legislation, and the court determines whether said breach has occurred. Often laws can be in conflict or have different interpretations, its up to the courts to adjudicate these to determine where the law actually lies.

you do not apply the same standard to people who "break the rules" that the government created, they are automatically wrong

I haven't said they are automatically wrong. These people can sue the government, and if your interpretation of the law is correct, I feel they should be given redress.

But right now we have the opinion of the government, who have come up with their interpretation of what they can and should do, and your opinion that it was wrong. Opposing viewpoints with no legal judgement one way or the other. I'm sure that not having a definitive answer is frustrating to you, but that's the real world mate. Sometimes there isn't a definitive answer for a while, or ever. Life isn't a one hour (42 minutes without commercials) episode where everything always gets tied up neatly.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yet, you can read the legal opinion on the matter of the legal protections on leaving and returning to Japan in the following text

I'm not particularly interested in the opinions. Look at America - half the country is of the opinion that the guy who got lost the vote should legally be president. Anyone can have an opinion. It's what the courts determine that defines law.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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