At a Glance:
- Japan lifts the imposed strict border controls.
- From March, 5,000 a day will be allowed to enter Japan.
- Japan struggling to get access to booster shots, as Omicron is widespread.
Recently, Japan imposed strict border controls to counter the ongoing threat of a pandemic, however, it was highly criticized by the business and educators. A request to soften the measures was forwarded as there are no such strict rules in other wealthy nations.
Since the imposition of border controls, around 150,000 foreign students have been kept out of Japan. The foreign workers have also been kept out of national borders when there is a dire labor shortage and also a damaging international reputation.
Japan borders open for foreigners
It has been confirmed that the borders will now increase the number of people allowed to enter from 3,500 to 5,000—effective from March.
“We will permit the entrance of foreigners except for tourists, measures would be eased gradually and depend on a number of conditions, including the infection rates in other nations,” stated Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Furthermore, the mandatory quarantine period will be reduced to three days in some conditions, and in some cases, there will be no need for quarantine.
Ready for New phase
The new measures are imposed after there was a decline in the number of cases. Considering the normalcy Japan needs to prepare for phase two and this will require open national borders to international businesses.
Despite the softening of measures, there are still semi-emergency measures in place for 17 regions that remain until March 6th. The U.S. Ambassador, Rahm Emanuel, is happy with the decision as this allows the foreign student to enter national borders who have been waiting for the borders to open.
Omicron scare in Japan
Japan has been sealed off for the rest of the world for over two years now. It was briefly opened in 2021 but again was abided by strict border controls due to the surge of Omicron variant overseas.
By continuing the border controls, Japan will be left behind the rest of the world making a high impact on its economic conditions. The new decision will bring relief for the foreign students and workforce, alongside the Japanese institutes and companies.