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Japan may reopen international travel with ‘vaccine passports'

The government is planning to introduce Covid-19 vaccine certification system so that international travel could resume

By
Emma Steen
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It’s been a year of cancelled plans, ticket refunds and long-distance video calls, but with the introduction of Covid-19 vaccines, suddenly the trip you’ve been putting off for so long doesn’t seem too far out of reach now. In order to safely resume international travel, places like the US as well as EU countries are in the process of developing a ‘vaccine passport’ system – and Japan is following suit. 

According to Kyodo News, the government has decided to move forward with a digital certification system to provide proof of vaccination. The system will be implemented with the focus on resuming business travel and revitalising the economy. 

The ‘vaccine passport’ will likely be based on an app called CommonPass, which is developed with the involvement of the World Economic Forum. The app allows travellers to verify their Covid-19 status using a QR code before boarding a flight. The system is designed to make it easier for those who have been vaccinated to travel in and out of the country. 

Japan’s Covid-19 vaccine minister Taro Kono has previously said it is important for Japan to consider using a 'vaccine passport' if other countries are doing so. However, he also acknowledged that the system could lead to discrimination against those who are unwilling or unable to be vaccinated. As an alternative measure, the app will also be able to verify Covid-19 test results for those who have not been vaccinated to prove that they are free of coronavirus.

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