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Status From Japan

Status from Japan

Current Status (June 8)

VACCINATIONS

11.5% – Percentage receiving one dose

3.9% – Percentage Fully Vacicinated

ENTRY RESTRICTIONS

The US State Department recently updated their travel advisory rating to a level “4”, or “Do Not Travel”. The only change in entry restrictions is that people who have been to India in the last 14 days are not allowed to re-enter Japan. People who have been to Vietnam and Malaysia in the last 14 days have to quarantine for 6 days at a government facility, and then end their quarantine at home. Anyone who has been to Afghanistan has to quarantine at a government facility for 10 days and then end their quarantine at home. Otherwise, there are no new restrictions. If you are aware of the current entry restrictions, you can skip to the COVID-19 and Olympics section. You can read about my personal experience re-entering Japan during COVID at https://www.samuraitours.com/entry-into-japan-during-the-covid-pandemic/

At this time, tourists from any country are not allowed to enter Japan. There has been no indication from the Japanese government when that may change.

Only Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with long-term residence status will be allowed to enter Japan. People with “exceptional circumstances” and athletes and coaches who will be competing in the Olympics are also allowed to enter Japan. For those Japanese citizens and foreign residents that  have visited the UK or South Africa within the last 14 days, they will be required to prove a negative test withing 72 hours of departure to Japan, test negative upon arrival, quarantine for 3 days at a designated location and then quarantine at home for 11 days.

For those Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with long-term residence status who have not visited the UK and South Africa, they will have to show proof of a negative test within 72 hours of departure for Japan, test negative upon arrival in Japan and are not allowed to use public transportation for 14 days and quarantine at home for 14 days.

COVID-19

Vaccinations have begun in Japan. Medical personnel has been the first group to receive the vaccinations. Vaccinations for 65 and over have also begun. Conspiracy theories have contributed to vaccine hesitancy. 13 mass vaccination sites have opened in the larger cities all over Japan. Three vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Astro-Zenaca) have been approved for use. And Johnson and Johnson has applied for approval. The mass vaccination site in Tokyo is now open to people in the surrounding prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba prefectures. The mass vaccination site in Osaka is now open to people in Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures. There are free buses from Kyoto to Osaka and return.

Japan announced they will be sending vaccines to Taiwan and Vietnam.

The prefectures currently under a State of Emergency: Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Aichi, Fukuoka, Hokkaido, Okayama, Hiroshima and Okinawa prefectures. The State of Emergency has been extended to June 20. Okinawa has been reporting the highest rate of new cases per capita in Japan. And Hokkaido has also been reporting a large number of cases. Hokkaido, along with Hiroshima prefecture, has the highest utilization of hospital beds. Several people died last week in Sapporo waiting for hospital beds. Tokyo  and Osaka has been improving in utilization of hospital beds. Here in Kyoto, the percentage of hospital beds being used is 58%.

The Japanese government has announced vaccine passports for Japanese citizens traveling internationally, but have not made any decisions regarding accepting vaccine passports from international tourists. Many businesses are pushing for a vaccine passport. In a recent survey, 98% of the public stated they wear masks everywhere in public, including outdoors. There are no government mask mandates, but many businesses and government offices do require masks.

OLYMPICS

The torch relay started on March 25. About 10,000 torchbearers will run through 859 municipalities across all 47 prefectures, with parts of the 121-day journey encompassing famous locations such as the Great Buddha in Nara, the Hiroshima A-Bomb Dome and Mount Fuji. The relay will end on July 23 at the new Olympic Stadium in Tokyo at the opening ceremony.

The Tokyo Olympic Committee pledged to hold 18 test events — which function as dress rehearsals for each sport — in a “safe and secure” manner, to see what they can “learn as we work towards the games.” However, one of the events (fencing) had to be cancelled because many of the qualifying events around the world had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

It was announced that starting today, any Olympic athletes arriving in Japan to practice for the Olympics will not be required to quarantine. Also, no spectators will be allowed to the first few “test” events. It has been decided that athletes competing in the Olympics will have to either stay at the athletes center or at a hotel. They will not be allowed to use public transportation, and cannot dine at restaurants other than at the center or hotel. The decision on the spectator cap will be made in June. The number of visiting Olympic officials will be cut for the Olympics. The number has not been decided yet. However, it is estimated at this time the total number of support staff will be about half of the normal number.

Initially, 70% of Japanese people thought the Olympics should be canceled. However, that percentage is now 50%. The Women’s Australian Softball team arrived in Japan today. These are the first athletes to arrive. In May, about 1,600 Olympics support staff and news media entered Japan.

As of June 8