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Japan is still undecided on when and how to reopen its borders

Japan's borders are still closed to 73 nations to help contain coronavirus, with no immediate plans to reopen them

Kasey Furutani
Written by
Kasey Furutani

We’ve spent more than a few arduous months struggling to contain the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in Japan, and it seems like things are starting to look up. The state of emergency has been lifted in 39 prefectures and the Tokyo government has released an initial roadmap for reopening. Unfortunately, there are no immediate plans to lift the country’s current entry ban, which was extended to 73 nations on March 31. 

The Japan Times reports that China, South Korea and Vietnam – countries that have begun carefully reopening their borders – are ‘calling on Japan to ease entry restrictions’.

On potentially lifting the entry ban, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said, ‘It’s necessary to contain the epidemic within Japan before we reopen borders [...] We’ll consider the matter by comprehensively examining a variety of information, as some countries are facing second waves of the pandemic.’

This means foreign residents of Japan who have temporarily returned to their home countries are still stranded abroad. Similarly, tourism will not resume in the immediate future as tourists are still unable to enter the country. 

In the meantime, the Japanese government has asked people to adopt a new lifestyle to avoid a second wave of domestic infections. This includes wearing masks and continuing to practise social distancing.

Stay safe and informed 

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