Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, second left, uses a gavel while ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Photo: AP/Andres Kudacki
national

Kishida says Japan will ease COVID border controls from Oct 11

107 Comments
By John McCrank

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday his country will ease COVID-19 border control requirements next month, a key step in fostering a recovery in Japan's tourism sector, which is eager to take advantage of the yen's slide to a 24-year low.

Japan has maintained some of the strictest border measures among major economies since the pandemic's onset, having effectively blocked entry to visitors for two years until it began a gradual reopening in June.

Kishida's announcement, made during a speech at the New York Stock Exchange, follows a pledge he made in May that Japan would bring its border controls more in line with other Group of Seven nations.

"We are a nation that has flourished through the free flow of people, goods and capital," Kishida said on Thursday.

"COVID-19, of course, interrupted all of these benefits, but from October 11, Japan will relax border control measures to be on par with the U.S., as well as resume visa-free travel and individual travel," he said.

Japan's insistence that visitors obtain visas to enter the country and then adhere to planned, package tours has been a major sticking point. Prior to the pandemic, Japan had visa waiver agreements with nearly 70 countries and regions, including the United States, the European Union, and many Asian neighbors.

Business lobbies and travel companies have urged Japan to relax its border controls more swiftly, saying they were out of step with major trading partners and could cause the nation to fall behind economically.

"We will see a significant impact on the economy," Shinichi Inoue, president of All Nippon Airways, the core unit of ANA Holdings, told reporters on Friday, adding that the yen's sharp decline against the dollar is a "huge attraction" to foreigners.

Japan's currency weakened past the psychologically important level of 145 yen to the dollar on Thursday, making foreign travel and purchases in the country the cheapest in decades.

From Oct 11, Japan will restore individual tourism and visa-waiver travel to people from certain countries as long as they are vaccinated.

At the same time, it will also scrap a daily cap on arrivals, currently set at 50,000, and may revise regulations on hotels, allowing them to refuse guests who don't abide by infection controls, such as mask wearing, during an outbreak, domestic media reported.

Japan officially let in tourists in June for the first time in two years, but only about 8,000 arrived through July, compared with more than 80,000 visitors a day before the pandemic.

© Thomson Reuters 2022.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

107 Comments
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Japan's insistence that visitors obtain visas to enter the country and then adhere to planned, package tours has been a major sticking point.

All those people who bought packaged tours must be so angry right now lol.

18 ( +26 / -8 )

"We are a nation that has flourished through the free flow of people, goods and capital," Kishida said on Thursday.

LOL

15 ( +23 / -8 )

And how is it that Kishida is playing NYSE gavel thumper sans mask?

Maybe he knows that it is just a game?

13 ( +22 / -9 )

Better news but still need to see the details. Certain countries?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I'll bet the vaccinated dose stays at 3 doses and mySOS is still required. Japan is a snail when it comes to change.

I just got back from the UK, arriving at Osaka. The procedure at the airport was a farce, teams of people waiting to usher only a few passengers to each stage to check we had used mySOS correctly and our health was good. The only consolation to this is that it took just 10 minutes from leaving the plane to reach the arrival lobby.

Japan should open up like the UK and have no restrictions. These current limitations are simply pandering to the elderly population here who tend to carry the votes.

13 ( +23 / -10 )

"We are a nation that has flourished through the free flow of people, goods and capital," Kishida said on Thursday.

Satire?

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Open borders, end all restrictions.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

"We are a nation that has flourished through the free flow of people, goods and capital," Kishida said on Thursday.

Face palm

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I'm all for international tourism, but don't say something like "Japan will relax border control measures to be on par with the U.S". Over 1 million people died in the US due to Covid. The US is the antithesis of prudent pandemic handling. The name "US" sends shivers up my spine when it comes to Covid measures with all its internal dissonance and conflicts.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Looking forward to being able to show my family members around Japan without all the restrictions that were in place.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The main thing is that they are getting rid of the visa and tour requirements. The triple-vaccinated requirement is obviously not ideal, but my guess is that will also be removed a few months to a year from now. We won't quite get back to pre-pandemic levels of travel here - mainly due to the absence of Chinese tourists, partly because of vaccination requirements, partly because quite a few will have been put off of Japan over the last few years and also a small number who won't want to come and have to wear a mask everywhere.

Speaking of masks - well, it will be nice to see the back of them, but they are not going anywhere soon here in Japan. It has gone from being a sensible precaution early in the pandemic to become a kind of cult-like nationalistic obsession at this point. I think it will be at least a year before people start removing them to any great extent and it could even go on for many more years.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

What does mean certain countries ? Why not all countries ?

Each country is evaluated as to their covid levels. If one has more cases than they are comfortable with, they will cut off travel from that country.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

demographics would indicate that they are more likely to be vaxxed in any case- as has been shown by income level/vax status worldwide. These are the people who are more likely to recognise how sensible it was to get jabbed in the first place.

Huge assumptions here. Mostly Millenials / Gen Z visit Japan. They don't have a lot of reasons to get boostered if you take a look at Covid death statistics.

And I share your opinion about it being sensible to get vaxxed... twice. Back when the vaccination was still the promised land, and we thought we could defeat Covid entirely with the vaccine. But the booster already showed the mediocricy of this vaccine, with even Israelis hesitating.

I think by now people shouldn't be delusional about the vaccine anymore. It's good for old people and maybe one of many preventive and therapeutive measures, but it's not fit to be a travel requirement.

Anyway, will do the PCR test before the flight...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@The Avenger

Yeah all 38 of them, lol

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Finally getting rid of the tour package requirement! Happy days!

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Why is he not wearing a mask? Is that only necessary when he returns to his hotel.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, second left, uses a gavel while ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Let me show them, Japanese and American, who really calls the shots in the system I have coined "New Capitalism".

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Canada to abandon proof of vaccination, random testing and Arrive Cacan app at the borders, it will be announced officially on Monday septembre 23th. I think at the end of September.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Good news.

However, Prime Minister Kishida seems to love an event/a scenario where he can be the centre of attention.

Flying to NY for this event, but then using it as a platform for his own publicity. Really a show off. It's as if he thinks he should be congratulated on this decision, when for months and months, he's made it problematic for people from other counties to enter Japan in a normal, hassle free way.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You must be triple vaccinated with a vaccine that is approved by Japan to enter.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Such toxic comments, there’s plenty of other places to visit if you don’t like the entry requirements. Problem solved .

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Kishida is living in cloud cuckoo land as per usual.

Drop the vaccination rules imbecile.

The general 3-times vaccination requirement makes zero sense.

A booster requirement in the past 3 months, that makes sense, would be far too harsh as a travel requirement.

I don't know a single country that requires 3 vaccinations.. I didn't get a third one and I don't need it, and I won't take it just to travel to Japan. There is like a 0,000003% chance that someone in my condition will get severely ill from COVID if he didn't for 3 years. I just don't get it, it's so irrational. It's a requirement just to have a requirement.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

From October 11, Japan will restore individual tourism and visa-waiver travel to people from certain countries as long as they are vaccinated.

As others have mentioned this is still a big no-go. My guess is that those not vaccinated will still have to undergo a pre-flight COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to flying to Japan. They still don't seem to get it.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Young people in Shibuya and Roppongi literally don't care.

Agreed - although I'm probably a bit old for going clubbing in Shibuya now! Aside from the border restrictions and the mask-wearing which has gone on for too long now, I think Japan wasn't generally a bad place to be over the pandemic - I've had some great times and domestic trips over the last couple of years!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Great news! In time for the ski season too.

With a global recession, no Chinese, and high airfares, the country is not going to be "overrun" and overtourism won't be an issue for some time. The important thing is to get the country open again and some money coming in for all the people that used to serve the 3 million a month tourists Japan was getting right up to February 2020. That was lots of people's incomes, and lots of investment had gone into it. No visas also make it much easier for those with friends and family in Japan to visit. Don't let fears of overtourism or antivaxxers ruin what should be a moment of celebration.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Reopening when Europeans can't pay their energy bills anymore, Chinese can't exit their country and famine about to occur worldwide in the next 3 months, and they hope for a recovery?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Excellent news.

As for the requirements, they’re no more arduous that the requirements for non resident tourists in the states.

Get vaccinated, take a test or don’t come and we really don’t care which you choose.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

No need to shout about. The restriction is still there on the 3 Japan approved doses of vaccination. Follow WHO list of approved vaccine for entry. Accept any WHO vaccines as long as the 3 doses has been taken.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Johnken6

Not sure what's with all the anti-vaxxer comments here.

Are people so frustrated that they just lash out at science and public health.

The scientific method includes "rigorous skepticism" not "trust the experts".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

From October 11, Japan will restore individual tourism and visa-waiver travel to people from certain countries as long as they are vaccinated.

What does that mean?

3,4,5 or 6 times dosed with some genetic program?

1 ( +20 / -19 )

Canada to abandon proof of vaccination, random testing and Arrive Cacan app at the borders, it will be announced officially on Monday septembre 23th.

September 23rd is Friday.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

It hasn't been a deadly period because of Covid, it's the vaccines (especially boosters) killing people. It is classified as a covid-related death though. Cannot blame the vaccines, never question the vaccines.

I am going to guess you have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, premium TikTok and saw bigfoot out and about yesterday. No proof = rubbish.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Japan will have to scrap proof of vaccination as the sheer number of arrivals won’t allow for checking.

Nope. You show your vaccination certificate when you check in with the airline before arriving in Japan. I have even showed mine at baggage drop-off counters (after doing check in at home online). The process was hardly any different or time consuming than in the pre-pandemic era.

Japan Violet

The airports will descend into chaos

I cleared Narita in about 20 minutes about a month ago when conditions were stricter. The longest wait was at the baggage carousal,

Only when Japan will not require PCR test and all…

Japan doesn't require a PCR test if you're vaccinated.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Be assured, the vaccination requirement will remain. Non-vaccinated people are more likely to need expensive hospital care. Nobody checked for travel insurance when I visited in August which surprised me.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Though, my main concern is: will foreign residents and Japanese people be allowed back into the country without vaccination proof or a negative PCR test?

It makes sense that residents of Japan should be exempted

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think that they may not check you for health insurance, as hospitals don't have any obligation to admit someone without insurance or ability to pay in Japan. If they do, then and the patient cannot pay, it becomes the responsibility of the hospital to file civil litigation to recover any money.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why so many grumble bums here! Fantastic news, let’s join the rest of the world. I’m waitin’ to snag some cheap flights home and family can visit us. Hooray!!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Yea! I'm going to Tokyo Disneyland!!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And the people talking about the collapse of the airport systems have either never been here or just don’t know the first thing about how it’s done here.

Slow? Maybe.

Collapse? Don’t make me laugh.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wrote this on Sep 16th: Just a recap for those who really don't seem to get it:

So - I stick by that. Previous countries who had visa waiver status and in 'blue' group of countries, FULL restoration of independent travel - BUT the SOS app retained with the same entry conditions. Pre Flight PCR OR Three times vaxxed.

Throw my hat in the ring and say 11th October start date,

No - I don't expect hordes of tourists, BUT the fact the airlines have already announced a very large rise in capacity from the Winter Schedules, shows the intent is there.

Frankly, anybody who really wants to visit here isn't going the find the prospect of a PCR test pre journey that daunting and demographics would indicate that they are more likely to be vaxxed in any case- as has been shown by income level/vax status worldwide. These are the people who are more likely to recognise how sensible it was to get jabbed in the first place.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Where Natural Rights of Individuals is concerned the State should have nothing to say about anything, they should be in the business of only protecting Individual Rights, but in today's World there is no country on the planet that's in that business.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"From Oct 11, Japan will restore individual tourism and visa-waiver travel to people from certain countries as long as they are vaccinated"

But will they accept Sinopharm Vaccine? or only the following vaccines as stated in this pdf https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/mesure_en.pdf ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Bob That ship about "defeating covid with the vaccine" sailed a long time ago, but people still seem to hold on to that talking point for some reason. However, it DOES lessen the severity of the symptoms or the death toll would be much higher.

That being said, and like you are saying...people have a choice now. I chose the vax (have never had covid). And you can choose the test. Anyone that can't handle one or the other, at this point, should just stay home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@tamanegi - I am assuming it means countries that normally have visa-waiver in place with Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

From October 11, Japan will restore individual tourism and visa-waiver travel to people from certain countries as long as they are vaccinated.

Oh no... not again please. 'We will abolish everything, except for this and this and that'.

There is no scientific evidence that a booster older than 3 months is making any impact on transmisson with Omicron.

Can't you just drop the measures? All of them?

What's so hard, come on man.

0 ( +17 / -17 )

@Strangerland Sorry, my mistake, from September 30 th it will be the end, arrive cacan app will be optional, and for the masks I don’t know.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Be assured, the vaccination requirement will remain. Non-vaccinated people are more likely to need expensive hospital care. Nobody checked for travel insurance when I visited in August which surprised me.

For me, they've got it the wrong way around - they should ask travelers to show proof of travel insurance, not vaccination.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Excellent news and ENTIRELY as I predicted condition wise and even the date last week and saw many down votes.

Too much negativity on this topic.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Mixed reaction here. I've been enjoying my domestic trips without the tourist hordes. Being in onsen towns where I'm the only non-Japanese feels like its 1985 again.

Yeah, I know what you mean (except for the 1985 part) but the Covid restrictions had to end at some point.

We had a good run. On the bright side, we have 2 weeks left with two long weekends including this one.

Hopefully Japan will eventually sort out overtourism - I would imagine the locals in Kyoto will have something to say about it after 2 years of solace.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Mixed reaction here. I've been enjoying my domestic trips without the tourist hordes. Being in onsen towns where I'm the only non-Japanese feels like its 1985 again.

Good for you.

As I've said before those who want to travel to Japan should have just applied for a visa and get it in days, and enjoy their stay practically by themselves, instead of whining here everyday all this time.

But I guess most prefer to come in with everyone else when the border restrictions are relaxed

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Kishida has a history of not actually doing what he announced.

However Kishida is totally proficient at not announcing what he did do .

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Incompetent Kishida government increased domestic Covid19 deaths to 2.4 times during only less than 1 year since start of his regime.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@justhonest, down load the disney wait time app first, then go on a day it’s not busy or you can expect 2 hour waits for a ride

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So does this mean that individuals can make their own arrangements (book flights and hotels separately on their own), and go where they want when they want? i.e. back to normal?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

About time ! I've had to cancel one holiday in anticipation of Japan opening up it's borders,

Now looking forward to my 2 holidays to Tokyo next year !
0 ( +1 / -1 )

Allow me: they will stop testing people, pretend the vaccines solved the problem, and move on to dumber things. Like every other government in the world. Japan isn't all that different, it's just slower.

Very insightful. Spoken like a true sage.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Too late...Japan just showing again they're behind the rest of the modern world

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@theunofficialone: I assume you are just asking a rhetorical vaccine. No - Certainly not. Sinopharm and Sputnik were both utterly useless at even keeping people out of hospital. Nice try though.

Love all the whiners on here who have been going on and on about Japan opening up. Well, now it is. If you really want to come, then pre flight PCR test or being three times vaxxed shouldn't be putting too much out of your way.

You ARE all aware that the US still requires to be non citizens/non residents to be be double vaccinated to enter as a tourist?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@theResident

@theunofficialone: I assume you are just asking a rhetorical vaccine. No - Certainly not. Sinopharm and Sputnik were both utterly useless at even keeping people out of hospital. Nice try though.

Love all the whiners on here who have been going on and on about Japan opening up. Well, now it is. If you really want to come, then pre flight PCR test or being three times vaxxed shouldn't be putting too much out of your way.

You ARE all aware that the US still requires to be non citizens/non residents to be be double vaccinated to enter as a tourist?

I had 2 shots of Sinopharm and 1 shot of Moderna. And I plan to get my 4th shot (Moderna) early next month. It was my mistake to get the Sinopharm in the first place.

As for the US, I'm not a US citizen nor have a plan to go there yet, so I am not aware hehe.

Thank you for the info btw.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

> LudditeSep. 23  11:30 am JST

You must be triple vaccinated with a vaccine that is approved by Japan to enter.

New regulations?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Too late...Japan just showing again they're behind the rest of the modern world

Whatever it was you're thinking it's not so bad really.

Other countries are so backwards they have vaccine mandates.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But I guess it's just because their govts have no choice. So many idiots in the citizenry they have to have mandates to get them to vaccinate

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The scientific method includes "rigorous skepticism" not "trust the experts".

Hahahaha

You call your skepticism rigorous?

And of course you must trust the experts on their particular expertise of scientific inquiry.

If you reject the scientific findings you have to have rigorous basis

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Visa free!

Yeah! Finally. Very nice!

How about the MySOS App?

Still necessary?

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

"We are a nation that has flourished through the free flow of people, goods and capital," Kishida said on Thursday.

LOL

The flow of foreign capital caused Japan's bubble and three decades of recession.

That comment, I really wonder if politicians still remember what exactly was the cause of that incident.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Yes we get it @oldman_13

I will visit Japan and spend my money,

Only when Japan will not require PCR test and all…

I prefer travelling with harmony ,with a smile on my face and sparkling eyes!!!

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

The airports will descend into chaos. The system they have in place at the airport to check all this vaccine or test nonsense will not hold up.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@JeffLee

Japan will have to scrap proof of vaccination as the sheer number of arrivals won’t allow for checking.

Nope. You show your vaccination certificate when you check in with the airline before arriving in Japan. I have even showed mine at baggage drop-off counters (after doing check in at home online). The process was hardly any different or time consuming than in the pre-pandemic era.

I have been back to Japan having been doubly vaccinated when most Japanese were still waiting for their first shot and the quarantine office here were not interested in that proof, only a negative PCR result.

At present, is only the thrice vaccinated that can enter without a PCR check.

You are assuming that a negative PCR test will preclude entry to Japan then?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

We are a nation that has flourished through the free flow of people, goods and capital," Kishida said on Thursday."

Lol, great joke .....there is no other advanced country that comes anywhere near the level of trade barriers, tarrifs etc for imports that Japan has.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

People working in tourism, myself included, are delighted at this news. If a tiny percentage of people won't get vaccinated or take a PCR test, so be it. We don't need them. There are many hurdles in coming to Japan, no spare cash, no time to plan before this announcement (most working folks book time off months in advance), and high airfares/lack of good flights are the biggest ones. A PCR test before departure is a tiny hurdle in comparison.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

And they saying winter is probably gonna produce an entirely new variant. Oh, Japan what are you gonna do now?

Allow me: they will stop testing people, pretend the vaccines solved the problem, and move on to dumber things. Like every other government in the world. Japan isn't all that different, it's just slower.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Vaccination requirement makes zero sense. Vaccines do not reduce spread. Some people on MSNBC used to say that but are rather quiet now.

If it is because of the potential for hospitalization then other countries may start to reciprocate toward Japanese tourists to their countries. Elderly Japanese people with chronic illness that wish for one last trip to Europe. Go-men. Nope. Can't do.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yatta Yatta!! Nihon is openingu finally!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@johnken6

> Johnken6Sep. 23  09:22 am JST

Not sure what's with all the anti-vaxxer comments here.

Are people so frustrated that they just lash out at science and public health. People, get off facebook, seriously. 

As for the visa issue, the country is well within its right to ban all foreigners forever if it so wishes. The prognostication of doom if Japan does not open up right away and forever from all the armchair critics is laughable.

> > Johnken6Sep. 23  09:28 am JST

It hasn't been a deadly period because of Covid, it's the vaccines (especially boosters) killing people. It is classified as a covid-related death though. Cannot blame the vaccines, never question the vaccines.

I am going to guess you have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, premium TikTok and saw bigfoot out and about yesterday. No proof = rubbish.

holy crap are you projecting much . You are in no way following the science or statistics on this at all . Yale , Harvard , Oxford , john Hopkins , UCLA ect ect ect pretty much would highly disagree with you . You could pretty much at this point pick your favorite university or health institute outside of Japan that says your wrong . Just asking the question what is up with all these anti vaxes show your complete ignorance of the argument these people have and why people are suspicious. Even if these individuals and universities are wrong , there is such a large body of evidence from all over the world backing them up , that it should at the very least put these things / requirements on hold for now for more research to be done . Holy crap man almost 3 years into this and you are so wrong . Stop projecting , start thinking for yourself and start watching and reading more on why the other side thinks the way they do . You might just get red pilled.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mixed reaction here. I've been enjoying my domestic trips without the tourist hordes. Being in onsen towns where I'm the only non-Japanese feels like its 1985 again.

-2 ( +19 / -21 )

Japan's currency weakened past the psychologically important level of 145 yen to the dollar on Thursday

Is this article even keeping up with the recent update? Yen has drop back to 140 after the currency intervention.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Kishida is living in cloud cuckoo land as per usual.

Drop the vaccination rules imbecile.

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

From October 11, Japan will restore individual tourism and visa-waiver travel to people from certain countries as long as they are vaccinated.

This is most crucial information well hidden in article.

As I have said before-dont expect any "hordes" or tourists here also because of this reason and face masks mandatories.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@Strangerland

I am no longer surprised at what Japan considers an appropriate response to the Corona virus.

All I know is that the current system with low numbers coming in at present could not be expanded to many times that number.

The question is can the Japanese return to normality or what is normal in most other advanced nations?

My guess is that they won’t be able to.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Some of the comments …I pay taxes so I don’t need to show my vaccination history or PCR?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Which certain countries and what if they aren't vaccinated ?

can they get the visa with a pcr test ?

Do we have to wait under October 11 to find out ?

It all sounds like a good announcement ,but i will wait until it actually happens to rejoice

Psychologically important level

What's psychologically important to Japanese people isn't the same as what you might expect and especially when referring to foreigners

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Because October 11 is a magical time?

who came up with that date?

just change things, today!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Well done, Kishi San!!..

GO JAPAN!!!..

Japan will be like before and much better !!..

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Speaking of masks - well, it will be nice to see the back of them, but they are not going anywhere soon here in Japan. It has gone from being a sensible precaution early in the pandemic to become a kind of cult-like nationalistic obsession at this point. I think it will be at least a year before people start removing them to any great extent and it could even go on for many more years.

It depends on where you go.

Young people in Shibuya and Roppongi literally don't care. I wear my mask at work, but that's it. Not on public transit, not in department stores, only if it is a requirement of my job. If someone asks me why I don't have one on, I ignore them. No one has ever tried anything crazy like taking a swing at me. All things considered, I try not to interact with Oyaajis or Obaas at all if possible. They can live in their own little fantasy world of endless masking and foreigner demonization if they so choose to, I just want to be left alone.

There is much fun to be had in Japan. It doesn't need to feel like a giant retirement home.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

If the Japanese government didn’t change its mind every second week then there would be dancing in the streets!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

right about time, well maybe half a year beyond reasonable timing, but I guess better than later.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

But there's a new omicron variant and there are so many unknowns. And won't be long before it is the dominant strain.

New vaccines might not even be effective against it (or BA.1 either, for that matter).

And they saying winter is probably gonna produce an entirely new variant.

Oh, Japan what are you gonna do now?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Now they just have to remove the masks and the triple vax requirement and it will be back to normal….

-4 ( +20 / -24 )

empty suit in action....at our pockets costs

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I must say, it will be great to mingle with foreigners again, instead of this sea of masked locals held in fear by the media and government.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Not sure what's with all the anti-vaxxer comments here.

Are people so frustrated that they just lash out at science and public health. People, get off facebook, seriously.

As for the visa issue, the country is well within its right to ban all foreigners forever if it so wishes. The prognostication of doom if Japan does not open up right away and forever from all the armchair critics is laughable.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

I would much rather just have to take a PCR test, than 3 vaccines, to save a tiny bit of money.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

visa-waiver travel to people from certain countries as long as they are vaccinated.

What does mean certain countries ? Why not all countries ? And isn’t more related to the type of vaccine, ie recognized vaccine, rather than the country.

Anyway, PCR still needed if you are not three times vaxxed. Scrap that.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

If anyone comes to visit me I’m gonna make them self quarantine for 5 days

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Finally! Tickets bought, Japan in November - here I come!

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

@JeffLee

I'm sure you have. Thankfully you had over two years to feel special, and now the rest of us get to experience the magic of japan again. Sorry if us wanting to enjoy the place inconveniences you at all.

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

I thought Dr Fauci said 2 days ago that the pandemic is over

Also in Canada yesterday it was the federal court hearing, I heard that the Arrive Cacan app will end at the borders, that is good news for tourists, but the weather here is getting crispier!!

And for Japan, well I suppose it is good news for the businesses!!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Japan will have to scrap proof of vaccination as the sheer number of arrivals won’t allow for checking.

Yeah, it's not like any other country has done that, right?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

It hasn't been a deadly period because of Covid, it's the vaccines (especially boosters) killing people. It is classified as a covid-related death though. Cannot blame the vaccines, never question the vaccines.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Hallelujah! Ready for November! :)

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

This is an actual noticeable step in the right direction. Finally foreigners will have the option to travel to Japan if they want to, without massive stipulations that restrict their movement or access to places. Hopefully they will be treated well by the locals.

Though, my main concern is: will foreign residents and Japanese people be allowed back into the country without vaccination proof or a negative PCR test? That's really what matters in my individual case. I pay taxes (a LOT) and at this point, I don't feel I owe border officials the courtesy of showing them either.

As for the visa issue, the country is well within its right to ban all foreigners forever if it so wishes. The prognostication of doom if Japan does not open up right away and forever from all the armchair critics is laughable.

This is a nonsensical comment, largely because you are framing your argument in the form of some kind of pragmatic reasoning in the face of unrelenting hysteria, when actually it is completely the opposite. It's called international agreements. Get a clue dude.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

This photo is the only time I've seen the old fella smile

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Japan will have to scrap proof of vaccination as the sheer number of arrivals won’t allow for checking.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Be assured, the vaccination requirement will remain. Non-vaccinated people are more likely to need expensive hospital care.

Most of the people likely to travel to Japan are Gen Z'ers, millennials, and zoomers. These age demographics are basically never hospitalized with Covid-19.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Economic pressures are superseded by personal safety these days. Japan is literally coming out of their most deadly time period with Covid and all they can do is pretend all is well, this is sad.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

PM Kishida's speech at the UN was impressive.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Can't wait to get over to Japan and spend up big and smash the slopes and far in the Osen while covered in arm sleeves!

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

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