Japan to Lift Entry Restrictions, International Students May Return Soon

Japan Asia COVID-19 International Studies by Erudera News Nov 02, 2021

Japan

International students and other travelers will soon be able to enter Japan as the government has decided to ease the strict COVID-19 entry restrictions as COVID-19 cases in the country have started to drop in summer.  

As the Nikkei Asia reports, changes in the policy are expected to be announced soon while the implementation will begin this month.

Entry restrictions will not ease for tourists, whereas the quarantine requirement for short-term business travelers will be reduced from ten days to three, for those who are vaccinated. Japanese nationals returning from business trips abroad will also undergo a short quarantine.

Nikkei Asia further reports that around 370,000 international travelers could not enter Japan due to strict border restrictions, 70 percent of whom are international students.

After the new rules become effective, companies, schools, and other organizations which receive internationals should report their infection control measures to a relevant government agency.

Education is among the sectors that are struggling with labor shortages, hence education institutions have called to allow the return of new international students to the country.

In addition to education, other sectors that have been struggling with labor shortages include:

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Fisheries sectors

More than 650 academics have earlier called on the Japanese government to start issuing student and researcher visas which were annulled due to the pandemic.

According to the Japan Times, the number of international students in the country dropped 10.4 percent as of May last year compared to the previous year. The reason behind the drop is the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The same newspaper has reported that the executive director of the Japan ICU Foundation, Paul Hastings, along with academics, professionals, and students have submitted a petition to the Japanese consul general in New York, Kanji Yamanouchi, pointing out that the global reputation of educational institutions in Japan has been affected due to the ban.

“While Japan has started sending its students and researchers abroad, the country does not receive students and researchers. The lack of reciprocity damages carefully cultivated partnerships between Japanese universities and schools in other countries”, the petition read.

Japanese students enrolled at universities abroad have started to travel, whereas international students wishing to study at the country’s universities could not manage to receive the necessary documentation yet.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Japan has decreased since August, which over the past week dropped to 200 and 300 new cases per day. Around 72 percent of the population in Japan are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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