Japan to ease entry of foreign residents from September

Tokyo, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Japan plans to allow the return of foreign residents who have left the country as of September, which at the moment it only allows under exceptional circumstances, state broadcaster NHK announced Friday.

Japanese authorities currently prohibit the entry to people from 146 countries into the country due to border restrictions applied for months over the coronavirus pandemic.

This measure also affects foreign residents of Japan who have traveled to any of those countries that left Japan before or after the restrictions came into effect.

This veto has aroused criticism from various fronts due to its discriminatory nature toward foreigners living in Japan, since Japanese citizens are allowed to return after having traveled to the 146 territories on the “blacklist” with the condition of undergoing testing and quarantine upon arrival.

Foreign residents are only allowed to enter Japan if they have left the country “for humanitarian reasons” such as the death or serious illness of a close relative, and in cases that are studied one by one by authorities.

The government plans to increase the provision of tests at the country’s main international airports so that some 10,000 daily tests for the disease can be carried out, according to NHK.

It is expected to have sufficient capacity to test all foreign residents who return to Japan, who would also have to observe a 14-day quarantine in hotels specially enabled for this, the agency said.

The government led by Shinzo Abe has not yet ruled on this easing, which would affect the approximately 2.6 million foreigners with residence status in Japan.

At the end of July, Abe had announced his intention to gradually ease immigration restrictions, starting with foreign company workers and students.

This first easing, which has not yet been implemented, would affect businessmen in Europe and the United States, as well as 12 other Asian countries and territories with which the Japanese authorities have already begun to discuss lifting the migratory veto. EFE-EPA


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