The Japanese government has continued strict entry restrictions for essentially all foreigners due to COVID-19. At the same time, there have been heated debates amongst government officials and Japanese business groups on whether and how to loosen the entry restrictions for business travel, which have impacted both global business and the Japanese economy since the restrictions first came into effect. While the national emergency declaration has been extended to the end of September for many regions in Japan, the country’s high vaccination rates and declining surge of delta variant infection rates have added to this debate.
On September 6, the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) issued a set of proposals calling for, among other items, exemption from the mandatory 14 day quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers and an overall decrease in length of quarantine to 10 days regardless of vaccination status (available here in Japanese). Indications are that these recommendations may be accepted. Although a small step, the Japanese government is taking measures to ease entry into Japan while closely monitoring COVID-19 infection rates and public opinion.
Currently, all entrants into Japan (regardless of nationality or vaccination status) are subject to a 14 day quarantine which, depending on an individual’s travel history for the 14 days prior to arrival into Japan, includes a mandatory government-designated quarantine for a certain number of days. The “business track” entry into Japan from certain countries remains suspended and the issuance of new visas has largely continued to be halted as well.
Please check the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for the most recent updates on which countries and US states are subject to which quarantine measures.
If you wish to receive periodic updates on this or other topics related to the pandemic, you can be added to our COVID-19 “Special Interest” mailing list by subscribing here. For any other legal questions related to this pandemic, please contact the Firm’s COVID-19 Core Response Team at FW-SIG-COVID-19-Core-Response-Team@mayerbrown.com.