Covid-19 coronavirus
Photo: Martin Sanchez

Japan to introduce digital health certificate for Covid-19 status and vaccination

CommonPass, an app to verify negative Covid-19 test results as well as vaccination, is currently being tested in Japan

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

Japan’s first trial of the CommonPass app is currently being conducted by All Nippon Airways (ANA), Kyodo News reports. The app, which is backed by The World Economic Forum, is designed to be used as a universal system to verify cross-border travel requirements in the age of Covid-19.

The app is expected to be ready in Japan as early as next month to verify negative test results. However, the government is also considering using it to issue Covid-19 vaccination certificates. 

While the government already provides paper vaccine certificates and negative test results, this new digital system could simplify international travel for those going in and out of Japan. With the app, travellers could pull up their vaccination certificate on the smartphones as they’re checking in at the airport or hotel. The CommonPass website says that the app will only be used to verify an individual’s Covid-19 status and will not reveal any underlying health conditions. 

The introduction of a vaccine ‘passport’ was considered to be controversial among some officials, including health minister Norihisa Tamura, who said the system could lead to discrimination against those who opted out of the vaccine. Though digital certificates for Covid-19 vaccine inoculations are ultimately deemed necessary for the recovery of the travel and tourism industry, the government will not require them for the Go To Travel campaign if it returns this summer. 

Stay on top of the coronavirus situation in Japan with our live updates. Also, see the Covid-19 vaccination timeline to check on Japan’s progress on nationwide inoculations.

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