national

Virus travel bans separate families even as restrictions ease

45 Comments
By Sara Hussein

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


45 Comments
Login to comment

Very sickening.

But problem is how you prove your assertion about people around you dying or about to die.

Even insurance can't help you.

Good luck but can't have the cake and eat it.

(I know well those situations with my family too scattered in several cou tries)

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

This is what China has wrought on the world by allowing infected people on planes-complete panic!

When testing is not available then these situations will become more prevalent...

-18 ( +15 / -33 )

@kurisupu

Irrelevant comment.

Thank you and goodbye.

19 ( +28 / -9 )

Sadly this and many other stories like this are out there because of the virus. In cases like these, it goes beyond an inconvenience, and it would be nice for governments/authorities to deal with these in a timely manner, but again sadly, Japan has a hard time doing things "quickly"!

17 ( +20 / -3 )

This is what China has wrought on the world by allowing infected people on planes-complete panic!

And just to point fingers at someone else is childish and naive at best! I suppose you are going to "blame" China for the rest of your life as well!

I wonder who else you blame for your poor outlook on life, your parents perhaps? Bad grades in school, your teachers? Never will you point a finger at yourself for anything that makes your life difficult right?

Rather sad!

0 ( +14 / -14 )

To compare a G7 country with Mongolia is disingenuous. What other countries "elsewhere in Asia" have stricter rules than Japan besides Mongolia? What are the rules - for example - in Taiwan and South Korea? I just got back here and was let in because my departure date from Japan was before April 2. But the process is not for the risk-averse, faint-hearted and impatient. It is case by case which means that there is always the chance that you may be turned away. Waiting there at the airport, for the thumbs to go up or down, joined by mothers with screaming babies certainly clarifies perception.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

It's even more annoying when you think that it was Japanese coming back from overseas travel that brought back Corona with them in several cases bc instead of "voluntary quarantine", they had welcome-back parties with friends...!

20 ( +22 / -2 )

@Yubaru You are making sweeping conjunctures and accusations. I find THAT very childish.

Also making the country responsible, or at least calling them out for a global devastating pandemic seems right to me. China really deserves a public outcry as long as the pandemic lasts.

13 ( +22 / -9 )

I cant understand why 14 Bangladeshi and 1 Peruvian who were found to be infected when they arrived yesterday were allowed to fly to Japan.

Is there a travel ban or isnt there?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

To reflect on the content of the article: I cannot find anything which justifies the Japanese government's racist policies.

Japanese are allowed back in the country and those people bear the same risk as foreigners. The Japanese government is tone deaf to racism, as the NHK video showed us clearly too on Sunday.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

My mother just completed chemotherapy. She seems OK now, but when she was told she might pass away, I started to book a flight. Then this problem of returning here came up.

I am waiting for the ability to visit her. Every day.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

@carpslidy

I cant understand why 14 Bangladeshi and 1 Peruvian who were found to be infected when they arrived yesterday were allowed to fly to Japan.

NHK reports that they and/or their airplane was from Pakistan (perhaps the world wizards at NHK still consider Bangladesh to be East Pakistan?). It said 14 of the 15 infected foreigners were Japanese residents and apparently included two children.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20200609/k10012464541000.html?utm_int=news-new_contents_list-items_055

And the day before it was 5 infected foreigners coming in from Brazil and Peru who arrived at Haneda, and the day before it was someone at Haneda infected from the Philippeans....

So how about all the other people on the plane? How many other foreigners were there getting through the travel ban, or do only infected foreigners come to Japan???

16 ( +16 / -0 )

@Goodlucktoyou

While waiting I would call the immigration office if I'd be in your shoes. In my experience, they at least try to be helpful. The officers at immigration do not make those rules, but they bear the consequences, i.e. dealing with desperate foreigners. See also my post above.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@fogetti

China really deserves a public outcry as long as the pandemic lasts.

I 100% agree with you!

China is responsible for all the mess and difficulties the world is going through now.

Look at all these very sad situations of the people in the article. And not only this, everywhere in the world people are frustrated, pissed off, and angry, because their lives have so many difficulties and very sad situations like described in the article.

And it is the peoples right to blame the ones who are responsible for that.

And it is China.

And that has nothing to do with "pointing to finger to someone".

If you are responsible for something, and still are lying and denying about that, then you should not be surprised that people blame you.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

I have a similar situation, no one has been able to answer my question, no embassy, not even immigration, they always just repeat the same text you read on the website which doesn't help. They don't even acknowledge I have a question they can't answer and just repeat "this is the general information we have".

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I also read somewhere about "vital" foreign trainees - ie as needed to work on fishing ships - being allowed into the country but subjected to the two weeks' quarantine. Whereas I as a permanent resident wouldn't even be allowed in. My mother is 85 and while she's very healthy right now, there are no guarantees she'll stay that way and I'd like to see her this year.

Meanwhile, I hear that when they loosen restrictions, business travelers will have priority. What a surprise. Whereas a 33-years-resident, paying taxes all the time, permanent resident still doesn't. Nice message for a country trying to lure foreign residents to bolster its labour supply.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Total utter shaving cream for Japan to have this type of restriction. We have a place to go, not a hotel, to 'quarantine' if necessary. Japan needs to get out of the froggy stone ages in some areas.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

It's up to the individual immigration officer at a port of entry (e.g. airport) to approve entry, or not. Business colleague has a wife and 3 kids wanting to return to Japan, but he can't afford to have them fly, then be turned away at the airport, go back home, then come back at a later date. Not humanitarian at all.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

I think we need to denounce the Chinese Government and request of them to pay up. The Chinese people are wonderful people. The Government on the other hand...

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Also making the country responsible, or at least calling them out for a global devastating pandemic seems right to me. China really deserves a public outcry as long as the pandemic lasts.

Let me guess....a millennial right? Explains it all!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The simple rule should be, if your permanent place of residence (ie long term/permenant visa, home, pay taxes, kids in school, immediate family etc) is a given country, then you should be treated the same way as a citizen.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

But problem is how you prove your assertion about people around you dying or about to die.

Easy, get assistance from your closest embassy or consulate!

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

I'm also personally affected by travel restrictions, but hope for the best and smooth easing. It won't last long. For international mobility, we need a coordinated effort on both sides of departure and destination countries.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My grandparents are 92 and 90 so I'm worried about them suddenly falling ill. I was supposed to visit them for a couple of weeks last month, but of course that didn't happen.

My home, job and money are all in Japan. I can't get stuck in Australia.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Very sad. If I had the same situation I would try to use Facetime to virtually attend the funeral or other event.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

With all the irrelevant (to the article) China-bashing notwithstanding, does anyone know the current rules for non-Japanese citizens re-entering? I heard somewhere it is now 14-days quarantine for gaijin who live here (or maybe it was have permanent res).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Some virologists say that it is impossible to completely contain a virus indefinitely, because some viruses are able to travel and survive, at least sometimes, through the atmosphere. And this virus as we know could be transmitted by asymptomatic people. It is now known that the first recorded case was found in November, but there is evidence of a surge in respiratory infections in the Wuhan area starting in August so the virus may have been circulating for months before it was discovered or a test for it was created. China may have made some missteps but they could not have stopped the initial spread. Furthermore, western intelligence agencies knew about the virus at least from January and from that time on Japan and all other countries also had the option of closing their borders and chose to wait. So China in any case in no way holds all the blame.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I stand by my comment-lest ye all forget the facts!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I spent three months in Kobe, Japan looking for a suitable business location to invest about $35 million USD in an enterprise that would have created about 40 new jobs in Kobe. I feel like I wasted my time because after watching the Japanese government discriminate against it's long time permanent residents by banning them from entry, I've decided to invest my time, money and effort in a more reasonable country. If anyone in the Japanese government reads this, add those 40 jobs and millions in lost taxes to what COVID-19 has cost your economy. Like many others who had to return home, I had to return to help my mother who had been diagnosed with cancer. My flight back to japan was April 2. . .but we all know how what happened.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The policy is not racist, it applies to all "races" and nationalities, other than Japanese nationality. Whether it is a good, or even acceptable policy is open to question, but when it is not based on race, but on nationality, it is by definition not "racist". Ethno-nationalist? Decide for yourself.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I think who enacted such rules and regulations are total morons. Citizens, permanent residents and spouses should be treated equally. That is stupid and sad to hear about Japan... Very cruel to separate families, children, etc... And nobody is protesting in Japan, seems like all are slaves and just blindily follow their government...

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I read all the comments and agree with so many and here is my take:

Yes, China deserves the brunt of the blame no doubt they went out of their way at the start to cover up this virus. With that said, Taiwan went out its way to warn the world as a whole, however, many world countries refused to listen as they were so busy pandering to China.

As I see it many countries are guilty of doing Nothing, full-stop, not closing boarders fast enough to halt the virus and now the world economy is suffering the huge effects of doing nothing even now. Japan, doing zero to a few thousand virus tests a day that is just criminal and most people do not want to take it because they will be alienated by their neighbors and jobs if they do test positive.

New Zealand, Tonga (never got a case along with Samoa) and others who got few to none need to be congratulated.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@mu-da

i was deported once from japan. Lost my job, bonus, apartment, ex-partner and furniture.

i came back and now have permanent residency. I also have a partner, dog and 35 year mortgage.

i don’t trust immigration.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

China, China, China, that's all I can see here. Is China telling Japan to bar foreign residents from coming back? Just how many civilized countries are banning the re-entry of residents (not just PR)? As I keep saying, Hong Kong has very few active cases, but the government has gone out of their way to bring back residents from Nepal, Pakistan and India. These are South Asians, not ethnic Chinese and they don't have a HKSAR passport. Many test positive on arrival and yet HK has no problems putting them in hospital and the others in quarantine and looking after them. Why? Empathy and compassion for those stranded away from their home and families. Is Europe also turning away its residents? Are Japanese residents of Europe or HK turned away? For Japan, it's all take and no give. I really feel for those who are prevented from attending their relatives' funerals. I pray that nothing happens to my family. PR means nothing here.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Yes, let's compare Japan with Mongolia.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This article really resonates with me as my mother died in october of cancer. I guess I was very lucky it was in the BC (before corona) era and not AD (after disease)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@aly - similar - UK mum died in January, family around the world made it back to a delayed funeral and returned before end of February. A few months later, and she would have been cremated alone!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Goodlucktoyou

And still you came back... interesting, I probably wouldn't, but I don't know the circumstances.

I didn't ask you to trust the immigration. Look, I had faith that I would pass and be back in Japan and it worked. It was not pleasant and I'm not sure I'd risk it again. The problem is that the rule is so diffuse... "in principle".... But I'd still ask and try. Occasionally you'll meet the person who may help.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Ashley Shiba says what is factually correct but gets negative responses. Nuts !

this J gov cannot even implement rules governing bicycles, never mind immigration.

Abesolutely clueless

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The fact is that pointing fingers to others to deflect your own issueS whether it is for an individual or bigger structure is childish, naïve, borderline mental trouble.

A bit like this article adding that "hey for uniqueness Japan ! For racist restrictions that show foreigner population they should have never come live here in the first place, look : Korea too. Convenient.

I stand by my comment-lest ye all forget the facts!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

But she doesn't have Japanese citizenship and faces being separated from her son and husband if she travels to the United States, where her mother is battling cancer.

I don't know the full details of this woman and whether her support is life or death for the husband and son. However, I think she needs to bite the bullet and go see her mother. The husband needs to encourage her to go and adjust his schedule to be able to take care of the son.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Easy, get assistance from your closest embassy or consulate!

Not easy at all. I have first-hand knowledge of a non-Japanese resident (25 years) whose passport in their country of origin is about to expire. After a lunch with the ambassador himself, they learned that ordinarily it was an easy matter to resolved. However, at present it is impossible as no mail is leaving the country or entering it. In addition, the embassy is closed with no set date to re-open. After filling out a mountain of forms they left Japan (and their marital partner who works here) last week to renew the passport in their home country with no knowledge of when they might return to Japan or be re-united with their spouse.

Very unfortunately, the new reality is that many people worldwide are devastated and highly inconvenienced in a myriad of ways on account of the pandemic. They will continue to experience all manner of financial hardships and emotional trauma as a result, and may never be able to recoup. Others will remain largely untouched by the circumstances except for more minor inconveniences. Fair? No. Shoganai (for real--not an excuse to avoid something).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

philly1

I'm not totally clear about your comment. But from my personal experience you don't need a passport to live in Japan. My own UK one ran out and I had no travel plans so I didn't renew it. I phoned immigration about it and they said I didn't need one while in Japan provided I had my Alien Card.

I didn't have a passport for several years. If you need to urgently travel, the embassy can issue a temporary paper to cover departure and arrival.

Mail is still leaving and entering the country. Since the SOE I have received several parcels from abroad. Even two from China.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I had to look into the “can permanent residents return to Japan if you’re overseas” issue. The answer is quite complicated, and after several calls to immigrations, I think I got it.

if you have the 5 year multiple re-entry permit (it’ll be in your passport), you can come back provided it is still valid and you left Japan before Japan closed its borders (I don’t have the exact date). If you left after that date, you have to wait until they reopen the borders. No exceptions.

if you don’t have the multiple re-entry visa and use the “minashi “ or the “I’ll be back within 1 year” system, I think you’re out of luck. And currently no exceptions. This is also true for folks who are overseas now and will go over the 1 year out-of-Japan mark. You can’t go to a Japanese embassy overseas to fix this either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I’m more than happy not to travel and risk infection on a plane.

Everyone else should be too, knowing that this virus is much more debilitating than any flu, you might have had or not....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites