politics

South Korea, Japan trade travel restrictions in virus row

29 Comments
By KIM TONG-HYUNG

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29 Comments
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Restrictions aside, Koreans and Japanese should simply not be travelling overseas right now anyway. Health care is already stretched to the limit in every nation, not fair to other countries to spread more virus.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

Entry restriction is the right of any sovereign country. Both Japan and S. Korea should respect whatever each government changes on her rules of visa. While advocating one government while decrying the other on the same issue is just oxymoronic.

Hope the exchanges in travel restriction of the both countries will help contain the contagious virus in each territory, although I am skeptical.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

The funny thing is that while more than a 90 nations is banning Korea, the only one Korea is picking a fight with is Japan and demand they reverse the ban. Talk about being hypocrites.

22 ( +36 / -14 )

I trust the Korean government over the Japanese one... at least they're actually testing people! The Japanese government is just pretending there isn't a problem

-9 ( +17 / -26 )

Finally a trade both side can agree on lol

14 ( +14 / -0 )

I think its completely fine that the South Korea closes their borders to Japan or any other foreign nationals they fear may be a virus threat. But please.. they are doing this out of retaliation ? Really lets not bring stupid politics into this thing and concentrate on containing the outbreak. I for one wanted Japan to more aggressively close their borders weeks ago.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

there is right way doing things and there is PM's way of doing things.

even tough decisions like this ban, doing it right way would went long ways diplomatically,

but no, we don't need to let them know , just do it.

yes, we did many, " Just do it" long times ago, oh wait, those things did't go so well, .......

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I trust the Korean government over the Japanese one... at least they're actually testing people! The Japanese government is just pretending there isn't a problem

But 44 have died in South Korea; only 6 in Japan, with no sign of epidemic increase. Fatalities do matter. Only testing and reporting cannot save lives. BTW in Japan testing numbers have increased by three times since last week.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

so petty SK.

watching on the TV last night the Japanese ambassador(?) getting roasted by that SK chick with glasses...he must've been thinking omg stfu

13 ( +19 / -6 )

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha earlier on Friday summoned Japanese Ambassador Koji Tomita to protest Japan’s move and described it as "unscientific," citing progress in the country's quarantine efforts.

Actually FM Kang summoned Japanese diplomats twice, which is extraordinary or deviant from protocol.

Human mobility between the two countries have already gone down to a minimal level due mainly to NO JAPAN-failing boycott drive aside from the outbreak. Japan's new restriction and Korea's retaliation won't take further a deteriorating effect. 

Japan is just following the suit of nearly 100 other countries' travel restrictions targeting South Korea. SK officials haven't responded with any retaliatory program to these "unfriendly, unscientific" countries...except Japan. They are unfair, unreasonable and inconsistent.

15 ( +21 / -6 )

South Korea has not taken any countermeasures against more than 90 other nations that have banned or restricted visitors from the country.

There you go people, THE key takeaway from this entire article.

Grow up South Korea!

13 ( +20 / -7 )

So anyone at all flying from Korea or China to Japan gets a two week quarantine?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@noriahojanen

Japan is just following the suit of nearly 100 other countries' travel restrictions targeting South Korea. SK officials haven't responded with any retaliatory program to these "unfriendly, unscientific" countries...except Japan. They are unfair, unreasonable and inconsistent.

It is spectacular that some Japanese here even can not grasp what Abe blatantly did. No country in the world denied entry based on people's nationality(i.e., visa) for the purpose of containing COVID-19. Japan under Abe was the first ever country to do it. The decision is even closer to racism. Other countries restrict entry by flights based on their origin countries, not passengers' nationality.

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

South Korea has not taken any countermeasures against more than 90 other nations that have banned or restricted visitors from the country.

Apparently they vented their fury with an Australian ban on South Koreans travelling there with the word "regrettable".

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/coronavirus-south-korea-labels-australia-s-travel-ban-regrettable

Perhaps South Korea does not want to use every possible thing as a points-scoring exercise over Japan, but that is surely how it looks this time.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Fighto!Today  07:11 am JST

Restrictions aside, Koreans and Japanese should simply not be travelling overseas right now anyway. Health care is already stretched to the limit in every nation, not fair to other countries to spread more virus.

What about travelers from Australia?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

For real??? South Korea was the first to tell their citizens to stay away when the first cases here appeared and yet I did not hear Japan state any words in return.

This is a good move by Abe, Finally.   This has nothing to do with S. Koreans and or China, however, all to do with the safety and preventing this virus from spreading.  All countries were behind the 8th ball on this one once the news got out about this virus, and every country should have put a full-stop on Chinese visiting their countries in the short term until they had the virus under control and expanded if need be to other countries.   There is a chance this genie can never be put back in the bottle and or we live with this for many more years, potentially.  No one knows for sure what this virus is and or if this something more, and I have heard both sides of thoughts and quite frankly I do not care all I care about is this gets resolved for our children and our remaining lives for how long that may be.

Back to S.  Korea and their government,  they permitted lawfully a cult to grow in their country and so now they must deal with the consequences of that and we here in Japan do not wish to have your mistakes burden what we are already dealing with.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

South Korea continues to prove to the world what a complex and fixation it has on Japan. Any travel bans should be (and are) based on health reasons designed to minimize COVID19 exposure regardless of nationality. Ony South Korea would impose a ban as "retaliation"! China on the other hand despite being equally banned merely expressed understanding of the circumstances.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

@SJ 

No country in the world denied entry based on people's nationality(i.e., visa) for the purpose of containing COVID-19. 

You're mistaken. Japan is only duplicating an entry curb measure already taken by other countries. Visa programs have been suspended in India, Saudi Arabia.... examples are quite ample. Likewise the minimum 14-day quarantine upon entry would be applied to anyone regardless of nationality who have travelled across affected areas/countries. On news report I just saw Japanese students returning home, interviewed at the airport, relieved, saying "how lucky we're, able to back on time (before the restriction is in place)!" Undoubtedly Japanese expats are also subject to this new control.

Worse, the tit for tat retaliatory measure by nee-jerk reactive SK turns out to be another copy-cat, highly identical to Japan's including visa suspension. Taking your logic, SK must also be racist....

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Didn't many other countries apart from Korea mpose travel ban on Japan sometime ago? Did Japan retaliate?

Japan imposed travel bans on Korea / China first, I think.

Can't blame the Korean's for retaliating.

Anyway it's just a request to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel. Kind of ridiculous.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

@noriahojanen

I just cite the Australian case as some Japaneses here seem to have difficulty in reading English.

Foreign nationals who have been in mainland China, Iran and South Korea are not allowed into Australia for 14 days from the time they left those countries.

Australian citizens and permanent residents will be able to enter Australia, but need to isolate themselves for a fortnight.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-05/coronavirus-travel-ban-korea-italy-china-iran/12027348

Australia (and other countries) ban the entry of foreigners from S. Korea, regardless of their nationality (of course most of them are S. Korean), except Australian citizens and permanent resident. This Australian example is not visa control. S. Koreans and other foreigners still can enter Australia if they stayed at least 14 days in other countries after leaving S. Korea.

Abe just invalidated the visas of S. Koreans to Japan, and this is visa control.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

SJ

How come you are only picking the Australian case over many others? Besides, has the SK government responded in a tit-for-tat retaliatory manner to Australia who announced a new control on the same day as Japan did?

At issue here are terrible hypocrisy and prejudice held by incompetent Korean officials which are now coming under criticism (even local Korean mainstream media are involved). On the one hand, they are protesting and demanding an immediate policy withdrawal; on the other they are trying to impose a retaliatory measure ... look, you can't eat and keep a cake at the same time.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Moon and his administration needs to deflect blame to someone other than themselves for poor handling of the virus outbreak. It doesn't matter what Korea says about Japan. Japan should do what's best and right for its citizens as many other countries are doing the same. Only Abe and his administration knows how much resources are available to combat the infection within Japan. If the resources are getting scarce, then they should control any source of more virus spreading within the country which would mean more travel ban and quarantine for certain countries including and not limited to China, South Korea, Iran and Italy.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The irony is that China's response is more rational and understanding given the current situation.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

As a EU citizen I look with awe at the language and actions used and taken by neighboring countries of the same conservative mindset,

and who benefited both the most by international trade of historically singular dimensions.

Are we living in the same century here at the Northpacific?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Koreans are making their best efforts, building drive thru testing clinics. Mr. Abe is making his best effort to look calm.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes. In S. Korea, anybody can track down the status of COVID-19 by downloading the database from the governmental web site. We know which area we should avoid to travel and can guess how much safe from the infection when we have dinner at a restaurant. In S. Korea, COVID-19 is under control. In Japan, I don't know well, but it looks like a black box or a time bomb.

I just made the following table in Excel from the web site of Korean CDC.

The trend of the rate of confirmed to tested number of people in S. Korea.

Date    Tested    Confirmed  Confirmed(+) Tested(+)   Rate

2.28    70,940     2,022     427     12,950     3.30%

2.29    85,693     2,931     909     14,753     6.16%

 3.1    96,985     3,526     595     11,292     5.27%

3.2    109,591     4,212     686     12,606     5.44%

3.3    125,851     4,812     600     16,260     3.69%

3.4    136,707     5,328     516     10,856     4.75%

3.5    146,541     5,766     438     9,834     4.45%

3.6    164,740     6,284     518     18,199     2.85%

3.7    178,189     6,767     483     13,449     3.59%

3.8    188,518     7,134     367     10,329     3.55%

The rate has been significantly decreasing since 2.29 (Feb 29).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@noriahojanen

If case fatality rates are so important, then Japan should have included Iran and Italy on that list. Let's say it wasn't politically motivated, but not including Italy and Iran on the list makes it look pretty damn political and stoking anti-Chinese and anti-Korean sentiments to appeal to Japan's Far Right. 

Numbers don't lie. 

 

Infections and Deaths as of 3/8 (GMT +0): 

Italy: 7,375 and 366 deaths 

South Korea: 7,313 and 50 deaths 

Iran: 6,566 and 194 deaths 

France: 1,126 and 19 deaths 

Germany: 1,040 and 0 deaths 

I do have to say that Korea's tit-for-tat was expected. Still, Japan should have included other countries on that list (including suspension of visa-free travel for Italian citizens) to make it look less politically motivated to the South Korean government. I feel like the Moon regime wouldn't have reacted as such if the list included Italy and Iran. 

Objectively, most international health experts now agree that case fatality rate is probably less than 1% looking at South Korean and German numbers. It means that numbers in most other countries are vastly under-reported. You can't trust the CCP to report anything honestly, so I don't believe their numbers, but South Korea and Germany's testing abilities have been lauded (objectively) around the world. South Korea has actually tested the most people (1,100,000+ people tested in Korea and all tests are free for everyone, including foreigners). Let's all try to be objective observers of solid facts, instead of getting all riled up and overly emotional. Japan's response and testing has been criticized globally, not just by South Korea. 

Most people from the West, myself included, would be more wary of Japan since the testing has been kept to a minimum there (I HIGHLY doubt that Japan has tested 1,000,000 people). The same problem is happening in the U.S., the lack of test kits available/low testing numbers. While the U.S.'s lack is due to the Trump regime's slow preparation due to fears over reelection, Japan's is probably due to its hopes of hosting the 2020 Olympics.

It's all good, though. I feel like this COVID-19 is WAAAAY overblown. Actual case fatality rate looks to be between 0.1% and 0.7% for healthy adults and 0% fatality for children under 10. It seems about the same as, or even better than, a normal flu virus. The known flu strains kill young children, COVID-19 mainly kills sickly old people who've already lived out most of their long lives. shrug. Only the mindless sheeple are so easily duped into panicking.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If the country is poor enough to cope with the disease, it is best to ban entry.

Taking action while trying domestically is also part of the effort.

But isn't Japan a developed country?

Japan is not actively taking measures against viruses in the country itself?

If you are already infected with new infections, you should actively test, but do you limit the test?

Most people in Korea are asymptomatic or have cold symptoms.

Can you guarantee that all Japanese citizens are safe?

Is there really a great risk that foreigners who are not censored in Japan will go abroad?

Or is there a great risk that people who are not censored in Korea will go abroad?

Nobody knows how widespread it is in Japan, which still limits censorship, given the speed of the virus.

Korea means that Japan should enforce foreign policy while strengthening domestic censorship.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Although the actual number of deaths in Japan has not increased, are there any other deaths? In China, more people died of disease than just virus deaths. This is scarier.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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