Latest Update on Japan Entry Rules: It Will Take Time for All Int’l Students to Enter Country

Tokyo airport

International students should have to wait their turn to enter Japan, just like everyone else, the Japanese Education Minister Shinsuke Suematsu told reporters at a press conference.

Japan has recently announced it will ease its COVID-19 restrictions for foreign nationals from next month. According to Suematsu, easing the rules will be the first step to allow international students to enter Japan; however, it will probably take some time before all of them can finally enter the country. 

The government initially said it will allow 3,500 international arrivals to enter Japan each day; but, it decided to increase the number to 5,000, which figure does not include only students but also businesspeople, Erudera.com reports.

During a media conference, the Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, said that Japan will reopen gradually, following the many calls from students and higher education institutions in the country to facilitate travel restrictions.

He added that the change came as the number of COVID-19 cases has started to drop, which means that the country should enter a new phase.

“We need to start preparing for the next phase, in stages. We are gradually walking toward the end of the sixth wave,” Kishida said at the conference.

Previously, the Japanese government said that international students will return to Japan in phases, with 87 government-funded students entering the country during the first phase of the plan, on January 30.

Japan closed its borders to most foreign nationals from November 30 last year, due to the spread of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron. Since then, borders have remained closed to most international students who have been persistently calling on authorities to let them enter.

Many Japan’s international students stuck abroad have reported that their mental health had been affected due to entry ban.

According to data collected by the “Education is not tourism,” a private company helping international students to study in Japan, 58.4 percent of 3,115 students participants in the survey felt their mental health has significantly declined, while 26.2 percent said it has “slightly declined.”

The government indicated that the isolation period after entering the country will remain seven days; however, international students and other arrivals who test negative on the third day can end quarantine.

Meanwhile, those who enter Japan from designated countries where the pandemic is getting worse will be required to isolate for three days at designated facilities.

About 150,000 international student visa holders are waiting to enter Japan, according to the Immigration Services Agency.

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