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Status From Japan

Status from Japan

Current Status (July 27)

VACCINATIONS (percentages are of total population)

37.5% – Percentage receiving one dose

26% – Percentage Fully Vaccinated

OVERVIEW

  • Dr. Shigeru Omi, Japan’s “Dr. Fauci” announced that Japan will be changing the government’s policies toward mitigating COVID. The government’s top COVID adviser has said that after nearly 18 months of measures to limit people’s movement, the effectiveness of that approach is nearing an end.  The new mitigation policies will incorporate the improved vaccination rates and better use of science and technology,  but no details were given.
  • Japan has started taking requests for a vaccination passport for Japanese citizens and foreign residents to use travel internationally. At this time, only 5 countries are accepting the Japanese vaccine passport: Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Turkey and Poland.
  • Dr. Omi also announced they have started tracking the vaccination status of Japanese citizens and foreign residents entering the country. They are considering not requiring quarantining and avoidance of public transportation for those fully vaccinated. The issue is whether to accept vaccines not approved for use in Japan.
  • No changes to the entry restrictions. International tourists are not allowed entry to Japan.
  • A new State of Emergency has been created for Tokyo until August 22.
  • A “quasi” state of emergency has been created for Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka and Okinawa prefectures until August 22.
  • According to a recent survey, only 11% of the Japanese public said they would not take the vaccine
  • Japan expects to have enough vaccine to inoculate 80% with 2 shots by early October

ENTRY RESTRICTIONS

In recent weeks, Japan has applied new measures and removed others, with rules varying from country to country. For example, new anti-virus measures range from extended self-isolation periods in government-selected facilities to an entry ban targeting even resident foreign nationals.

The country’s quarantine protocol for arrivals depends on the severity of the pandemic situation at their point of departure or in the places they have recently visited.

Japan has three types of extra measures included in its standard two-week quarantine period.

  • For arrivals from countries with new coronavirus variants where the spread of COVID-19 is relatively under control: self-isolation for three days in government-designated facilities and testing for COVID-19 at the end of their stay.
  • For arrivals from countries where new, more deadly variants have been discovered: self-isolation for six days in designated facilities and two rounds of testing. Those who test negative on the sixth day are allowed to self-quarantine at home or elsewhere for the remainder of the 14-day period.
  • For arrivals from Indai and some of its neighboring countries: a total entry ban for all foreign nationals, including those with valid residence status in Japan. Japanese citizens are allowed to re-enter but are required to spend 10 days in government-designated facilities and take three COVID-19 tests.

Expenses for stays at designated facilities are covered by the government and include three meals per day.

All arrivals are required to self-isolate for 14 days after entering the country and are required to report their health condition and whereabouts.

All arrivals are prohibited from using public transportation during the 14-day quarantine period, except for special train cars on certain lines. Their travel options include the use of a rental car or specially designated taxis to get to their accommodations for the self-isolation period.

During the two-week period, people who self-isolate at home or other facilities of their choice are allowed to go out for essential purposes, such as buying groceries and other necessities, but are asked to limit their outings. Such outings are not permitted for those who are required to stay in government-designated facilities.

People who do not comply with the quarantine measures may face penalties, such as having their names or other personal information disclosed publicly. Foreign nationals who break the rules can lose their residence status.

Aside from border control measures, the revised Quarantine Act says that those who test positive and refuse to be hospitalized may face a maximum ¥1 million fine or up to a year in prison.

Those who refuse to answer or provide false information to health authorities could be slapped with a maximum fine of ¥500,000 or face jail time of up to six months.

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. 17 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.

All mass vaccination sites are now giving vaccinations to 18 to 64-year-olds. Corporations are now giving vaccinations at the workplace.

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

The government announced they think that Japan will reach herd immunity by October.

As of July 27