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Japan to tighten COVID border controls for travelers from China

61 Comments
By Kantaro Komiya

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© Thomson Reuters 2023.

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61 Comments
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I arrived at Narita today from NorthAmerica and there were plenty of people arriving from China presumably untested. So what’s the point of this?

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

seems some were in fact tested. But why wait until Sunday if you are so concerned?

8 ( +18 / -10 )

This is another useless restriction that is not based on anything except fear mongering. It’s being implemented in several countries and has been widely criticized as having no scientific basis.

-41 ( +8 / -49 )

"The opaque situation of the outbreak in mainland China has made many in Japan worried," 

Perfectly reasonable explanation.

There is an under-represent of the true impact of the surge in terms of hospital admissions, ICU admissions, and particularly in terms of deaths.

16 ( +26 / -10 )

"The opaque situation of the outbreak in mainland China has made many in Japan worried," 

it's all over the mass meeja that masses of people in China have Covid.... so why "opaque"? spin... the whole spin.... and nothing but the spin. ( ̄□ ̄;)

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Blatant prejudice against the Chinese, which isn't a massive surprise considering it's Japan.

The Chinese aren't really to blame for the huge covid numbers in Japan though are they? Unless I've missed something, the huge covid numbers were already high in Japan before tourists were allowed, no?

Throughout the whole covid period, Japan seems to have looked to push the blame onto anyone but themselves. Nobody seems to have called Japan out for this.

I'll definitely be donning a mask here in Copenhagen if I come across Japanese tourists.

-45 ( +5 / -50 )

250 million Chinese with covid. Families are burning their dead in the streets because the crematoriums are overloaded and the morgues are full. The hospital corridors are full of covid patients. President Xi admitted he got it wrong with his zero covid policy.

19 ( +29 / -10 )

Japan had some of the strictest restrictions regarding just about all incoming foreign passengers, with the glaring exception of the US Military.

no surprise here.

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

They just got it wrong. Zero Covid didn't work. Not buying MRNA vaccines didn't work. The country is a risk once again for the world.

Stop all entry from Mainland China. Period.

16 ( +31 / -15 )

... And to be clear. The blame lies with the PRC dictatorship. I am not discriminating against the population in general.

10 ( +22 / -12 )

Blatant prejudice against the Chinese,

So what are the restrictions on foreigners entering China? (Not that anybody in their right mind would travel INTO that mess)

19 ( +28 / -9 )

China has become a covid cesspit. Shame on President Xi.

18 ( +28 / -10 )

It does not matter which country it is. If your country has a high level of COVID issues, Japan will test to see if you have COVID if you come from any country with a high level of the infection. This is not racial at all. It's what we educated people call: Common Sense or Intellectual Thought Process. If you think this is racially motivated, look within to understand why you feel everything is racial motivated. I am from America and if my country has a high level of COVID I expect to be tested again and again. And, I have no problem with it. I understand why this issues is very highly sensitive.

; - ))

15 ( +25 / -10 )

Anti-Chinese discrimination- disgusting!

-32 ( +4 / -36 )

“The Chinese aren't really to blame for the huge covid numbers in Japan though are they?” Well, there’s the small issue of where this all started I guess.

6 ( +19 / -13 )

KISHIDA want to tease and piss off Chinese with discrimination measure.

-27 ( +2 / -29 )

With almost ALL incoming Covid cases coming from China, it would be reckless for the govt NOT to put some restrictions in place. Why willingly endanger your healthcare system?

If you wish to be a guest in a foreign nation, comply with their rules and get a covid test. It isn't hard, we have all had them. And for all the morons crying that it is "discrimination against Chinese" - then why have China been insisting on testing incoming foreigners for at least 2 years? Hypocrites with a chip on their shoulder.

China has become a covid cesspit. Shame on President Xi.

China (including HK) is a cesspit - period.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

Its normal modus operandi here...not just covid but anything else that goes wrong in any way - if there is any way masses can be led to believe gaikoku is to blame for domestic problems, Japan will do it. ( China, Russia, NK in particular, SK on occasions ) Xenophobia helps with elections.

You really have been brainwashed if you do not realize China IS responsible for the entire, ongoing Covid disaster.

Japan is doing what the majority of developed nations are doing here in trying to prevent swarms of sick people entering their nation and taking up medical resources. To suggest what they are doing is "about winning elections" just betrays a contempt for Japan.

12 ( +20 / -8 )

Additional measures will require negative coronavirus tests taken within 72 hours of passengers boarding direct flights from China

That should be 72hrs AND 24 hrs before.

"The opaque situation of the outbreak in mainland China has made many in Japan worried,"

Fully agree! I think this is everyone’s main concern. The very fact so many are arriving here infected shows Zhi’s idiotic policy of zero covid was a completely predictable failure. Even an idiot like me could see that coming.

China has rejected foreign skepticism of its statistics as politically motivated attempts to smear its achievements in fighting the virus.

It has described such travel tests as "discriminatory".

The usual blame everyone else and take zero responsibility for having first happily unleashed it on the world at the beginning to make sure the rest of the world was in the same boat! Where was their Zero covid response back then??? Then denying it ever came from China and was from imported Salmon.

China's axing of its stringent virus curbs last month has unleashed COVID on a 1.4 billion population that has little natural immunity having been shielded from the virus since it emerged in Wuhan three years ago.

Herd immunity was always the way to go right from the beginning. I can clearly remember the media touting various scientific sources early on but this was quickly reversed in favour of forcing a vaccine on everyone lest we forget that discrimination!

My biggest concern about China is what new mutated variants have developed there that are now being unleashed on the world exactly as it was done at the start of the pandemic. Do not misunderstand me, I do not dislike the Chinese at all but rather their dictatorial government who has enslaved and indoctrinated them for their own personal use and gain. I feel this same way about another countries people who are close to my heart.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

This is another useless restriction that is not based on anything except fear mongering

So says you and the WHO, but who can trust the WHO. They have defended China at every turn, even renaming the virus to covid-19 when it was initially called the Wuhan virus.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

China’s so hopeless and at the same time so arrogant. What a messed up country!

7 ( +13 / -6 )

For those claiming "anti-Chinese" China had very similar protocols in place for those wanting to visit China during their zero-covid policy (all vaccines and boosters required, negative Covid tests, plus 7 days quarantine). Was China being "anti-everyone" back then? They were just taking precautionary measures Japan is doing now.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

I'll definitely be donning a mask here in Copenhagen if I come across Japanese tourists.

Cool, then I will be wearing 2 masks if I come across a Flying Tiger store, bar serving Carlsberg beer or a Maersk container.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I don't believe ANY test for travel China gives...first thier vaccine probably does not work...how many are flying with phony health cards? Yesterday a flight from china to korea....172 passengers,,,131 tested positive UPON arrival....71%......look out Japan...same coming your way....

6 ( +9 / -3 )

blah blah blah blah blah .

it’s not going to make any difference unless if japan refuses entry to all flying from China .

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Ban them altogether.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Cool, then I will be wearing 2 masks if I come across a Flying Tiger store, bar serving Carlsberg beer or a Maersk container.

@nomination

Ganbatte :)

Nothing wrong with our covid rates really.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Collective Karma

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Kishida regime and mainstream media of Japan are sensitive to only Covid from China, authorities started to use even PCR test.

But they are insensitive to prevent domestic Covid deaths that is worst in whole world, Japanese general citizen are still in difficult situation that they cannot but use low accurate antigen test despite 3 years past.

Kishida regime without interest to rescue the lives from infection disease increased domestic Covid total deaths in Japan 2022 to over twice of 2020~2021.

But PM Kishida seems to have delusion as if he ​succeeded ​to overcome pandemic.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Testing is not that big of a deal really, an inconvenience sure, but to be on the safe side it's just common sense, and if China doesnt like it, hell make any incoming passengers from Japan, or any other country, follow the same guidelines, no discrimination there.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I harbour no prejudice for the Chinese people, they are as much victims of this pandemic as any other nation people.

The sole responsibility for the manufacture and subsequent spread of this virus/variants, the horrific global death toll, lies with the Government of China.

When is the global community going come to its senses?

Fully recognise and hold the Government/dictatorship of China accountable?

I am sorry, however the people of China has sadly become collateral damage.

China must be isolated, until all nations are confident that the Government of China is candidly open with the origins and data surrounding this pandemic.

TAG-VE statement on the meeting of 3 January on the COVID-19 situation in China

https://www.who.int/news/item/04-01-2023-tag-ve-statement-on-the-3rd-january-meeting-on-the-covid-19-situation-in-china

Ok, if anyone here can make head or tail of this please comment

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Good.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is good. I've heard of new strains coming from China. Disgusting! Test them all. Arigatou.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@rocknroll

Agreed.

This is not a discriminatory measure. Sadly but clearly China’s current stance is as is and will likely be put.

Not a day goes by without someone from China flying out not only the country but some quarantine facility. Oh, this is not singular to those in Japan, so stop with the political attack against the Japanese towards China.

But those in Japan, ladies. Please wash your hands at the restrooms. Gross.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Anonymous

It’s a bit late to play the race card.

The fashion industry in Italy has created a large Chinese community in addition to the usual Chinese spy operations. Also, it is not the race card if the people in Japan, which is also imposing restrictions, and China identify as Asian!

China is willing to cause global instability in hopes to reset their global image and to save their own regime from a citizen uprising!

The world is not going to sympathize with a country (China) refusing to get properly vaccinated, denying its involvement in the initial outbreak of the pandemic, and supporting the Russian campaign in Ukraine!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@awa

https://www.foxnews.com/media/what-really-happened-in-wuhan-covid-19-fox-nation

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Awa no Gaijin, no government would or wants to say it out loud, or present the proof.

The whispers, the death toll, I have no doubt there is proof, indisputable, undeniable evidence.

Yet for fear of the consequences, there would be consequences, organisations, the World Health Organisation, the free world have chosen to turn the other way.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We are going to see some serious COVID numbers reported in Japan the upcoming weeks, so before these numbers make it to the media, we have to find someone to blame. Whether or not this is fair to the Chinese doesn't matter. What matters is that Japan maintains a good image to the world (and its voters).

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Cut the air links till China can get things under control and they can PROVE that they have things under control.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Doesn’t bother me how many infected are allowed in, it’s here allready. I wouldn’t have a prob being on a flight packed with’em. From what I hear if u had it recently then u have a 20% of catchin’ it and that’s only if u r elderly ect.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Just returned from Phuket, Thailand. No screening or tests needed whatsoever. Spent over 2 weeks there. No one is wearing masks down there. Doubt many have been vaccinated either. Didn't hear a single cough the entire time. Everyone appeared as healthy as can be. Thought I might get covid on the plane since I'm not vaccinated and have yet to officially catch Covid (last time I was sick was in February 2020). But no, nada. Natural immunity seems to be working.

Arrived back at Haneda late last night. What a crazy system they have. Like night and day compared to Thailand. Had to show them my negative Covid test. No problem, but then the real craziness ensued outside as 100+ people waited outside in line for a taxi. There were plenty of taxis, but only enough room for a few customers at a time to be picked up. Took ages, then was way overcharged for an 8 minute ride to the hotel. 2100 Yen! I thought, Welcome Home!

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

@Kuma

Not so sure how much you know about Tokyo’s situation during the holidays. What did you expect? I reserve all transportations beforehand. It is what it is.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

China has become a covid cesspit. Shame on President Xi.

Shame on President Xi and those in the Chinese ruling caste for perpetuating a system that allows so few people to control the lives of so many, with the rulers having so little accountability. Still many around the world seem to want to return to the days when royals and royal wannabes like Xi had absolute power and the rest of the population none.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Meanwhile India to test all incoming travelers from China and, wait for it: Japan.

Makes perfect sense. In Japan Covid is absolutely EVERYWHERE.

Now, will the Japanese government try to twist the Indian Governments' arm l to remove this "outrageous" policy not based on any science whatsoever? /S

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Kumagaijin. If you'd been vaxxed you would have breezed through. and, really? You didn't think to book a cab at this time of year and at that time of night? (at Haneda) New world buddy, we all need to be a little bit more prepared. Not a lot of sympathy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Regardless of the Corona-circus, tight controls on 'Chinese' citizens coming to Japan should be permanent until the country is back in ROC's control.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It is sometimes useful to "discriminate" a bit, for the benefit of humankind. Would you want to allow all Wuhan residents to come to your country / province / city, no matter where you were, in early 2020? Why, the Chinese themselves also discriminate strongly against Wuhan people too, even today. So it is quite unreasonable for some of those here to say that others are "discriminating" against their country of the people it sends out. All the rest of the world should be on guard -- China is now opening all its borders and ports for its people to come out. Why? Notice that the first two plane loads of Chinese who landed in Italy last week following the opening had more than 50% of their Chinese passengers testing negative, and that is after they showed their "negative" test results before boarding. Japan is far too lenient, and got 53 out of 56, which is close to 100%.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Would you want to allow all Wuhan residents to come to your country / province / city, no matter where you were, in early 2020?

If you're arguing that we should use the knowledge we had then to decide how we react now, that would be ridiculous. We should use the information we have now to determine what to do now, same as in 2020 we used the information we had in 2020.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As unpleasant as it is, there should be great caution regarding mainland China at this time. There is a full blown COVID pandemic in China and tourism outside China cannot be as in normal times. Whatever we can do for China we must do at this time because we are fighting for ourselves here in Japan as well as China and any place where COVID is rampant.

Do not believe the battle with COVID is over in Japan. The following is from today's English language Mainichi:

This year's numbers are on a different scale compared to the last. Based on data released by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, we compared the most recent week with the same period in 2021. From Dec. 23 to 29 last year, daily deaths stood at: 3, 0, 1, 0, 0, 2, and 4 -- for a weekly total of 10. Deaths over the same week this year were: 315, 339, 306, 217, 271, 415 and 420 -- for a total of 2,283.

We have persevered in Japan for what feels like ages. Yet we must continue to be vigilant regarding COVID.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

about 90% of the young Chinese do not mask from my observations from Okinawa, Niseko, and Tokyo over the holidays when in public places (indoor). About 98% of Japanese do when in public places (indoor).

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

About 98% of Japanese do when in public places (indoor).

That's not true.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

about 90% of the young Chinese do not mask from my observations from Okinawa, Niseko, and Tokyo over the holidays when in public places (indoor). About 98% of Japanese do when in public places (indoor).

Why should they? In Thailand, I saw 0% of people wearing masks. Only employees of grocery stores or hotel workers typically wore masks. In Japan, people wear masks because everyone else is. In other countries, its the opposite. I think you'll find that countries like China and Japan will be the last countries to escape the pandemic. The rest of the world has moved on.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I like how China effectively barred entry to everyone for 3 years, and now when Chinese people are barred entry into other countries all of a sudden it's 'racist' or whatever.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I like how China effectively barred entry to everyone for 3 years, and now when Chinese people are barred entry into other countries all of a sudden it's 'racist' or whatever.

This is a pattern of behavior with Japan on Covid. People are conveniently leaving out their 2.5 years of insane travel restrictions that caused harm to foreign residents living here who couldn't see their families back home and also their economy because there were no tourists.

And for all the morons crying that it is "discrimination against Chinese" - then why have China been insisting on testing incoming foreigners for at least 2 years? Hypocrites with a chip on their shoulder.

That's not how discrimination works. Discrimination is selective enactment or enforcement of policies towards people of "unfavorable" backgrounds. The fact that the Chinese government has also discriminated against foreign travellers does not negate the ethical dilemma posed by Japan's travel restrictions not just this year but also in years past.

Moreover, the UK removed most travel restrictions in late 2021, whereas Japan only ended up allowing tourists in late 2022. So under your system of logic Japan spent nearly an entire year discriminating against English people?

Japan is doing what the majority of developed nations are doing here in trying to prevent swarms of sick people entering their nation and taking up medical resources

Fighto - the people taking up medical resources in Japan are Japanese people. Among the arguments for continued travel restrictions, this is among the worst. People who started travelling to Japan from October have not been ending up in the ICU. Nor were the Olympians in 2021 when there was a stronger variant.

They just got it wrong. Zero Covid didn't work. Not buying MRNA vaccines didn't work.

Well golly gee, Japan is spending billions on MRNA boosters right now, and is averaging over 200 deaths a day. Doesn't really seem like the strain on the medical system has been reduced. Time for people to start trying non-MRNA like Shionogi and Nova?

Also, still determined to defend Haneda airport and Japanese entry procedures until your last breath?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I am from China and one of the made-in-China manufacturers. Understand the fear and worries in other countries from China's sudden lift on zero-covid policy. Here I just want to share some of my own observations here: yes, the situation was really really bad in the first few weeks when so many people got infected and there were no enough medicines available. Many people hated the policy change and wanted to go back to zero-covid. But the tide is turning, quickly. All of my families got covid and now fully recovered, same happened to a lot of people around me. My factory went back to normal operation a week ago and most of the supply chain did so. People are now going out to work and dine, including myself - not afraid of covid anymore. The whole thing is like going through an apocalyptic movie and now entering the finale where survivors can see the new grassland ahead and about to aboard the new world - anyway, it's my own feeling. I do believe the country is making a right decision and will spring back to normal after lunar new year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What's to worry Japan? You're a presumably highly-vaccinated country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I like how China effectively barred entry to everyone for 3 years,

They were doing people are favor lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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