Published on : Friday, October 1, 2021
The businesses and universities in Japan are renewing calls for foreign workers and students to be allowed into the country as the government prepares to lift other coronavirus-related restrictions.
The states of emergency that have been in effect in Tokyo and other prefectures since April end on Thursday while the government prepares to shorten the mandatory quarantine period for citizens and resident foreign nationals returning to Japan.
The ban is applicable on new visa applicants entering the country, however, will remain in place.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs told that the total entry ban will stay with certain exceptions. There are any decisions on easing entry restrictions will be left to the new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, who is set to take office on Monday.
Japan first tightened its borders early last year, and though new visa issuances for foreign employees and students resumed briefly in October 2020, the window was quickly shut. Visa issuances have now been on ice since January, a policy that has had a particularly heavy impact on universities.
Matthew Wilson, dean of Temple University’s Japan campus, said four study-abroad cohorts totaling around 500 students have been cancelled due to the entry restrictions.
Students and companies have alternatives — such as Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong — that have continued issuing resident visas, with varying degrees of restrictions and hurdles.