Japan requires TB test for tourists

Tuesday, November 21, 2023



The Japanese government will require tourists from Indonesia and five other countries to take tuberculosis (TB) tests before entering Japan beginning in 2024.

The tests are for tourists planning to visit for more than three months.

Health Minister, Keizo Takemi conveyed this information last week, as Asahi Shimbun quoted.

According to the minister, there were many new TB patients in Japan who came from these six nations.

These nations are the Phillippines, Vietnam, China, Nepal, Myanmar, and Indonesia.

Takemi was responding to a question from Kozo Akino, a member of ruling coalition partner Komeito, at a meeting of the Upper House Committee on Health, Labor, and Welfare.

People in those countries will have to take TB tests at Japanese government-designated medical institutions before they travel to Japan. If they test positive, Japan will not issue visas to them.

“We are making preparations for implementation as soon as possible,” Takemi said. “We hope to start in the next fiscal year.”

According to the health ministry, there was registrations of 10,235 new TB patients in Japan in 2022. 

However, since 2021, the number of TB cases has fallen below 10 per 100,000 population. This makes Japan a “low endemic” country for TB.

World Health Organization (WHO) classifies the country as so.

Still, 11.9 percent of the new TB patients are from abroad, and the ratio continues to increase.

There have also been cases of people from countries with high TB rates developing the disease while in Japan. Drug-resistant TB has also become a problem abroad.

For these reasons, the ministry in 2018 decided to introduce these tests.

Initially, the govrnment planned to conduct the TB tests after July 1, 2020. But later it was postponed.

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