After months of being denied entry in Japan, visa-holding residents may finally be receiving a chance at re-entry. On Wednesday, July 22, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announced that, after months of being denied re-entry, the government would allow foreign residents to return to Japan, starting as early as the end of July. Only residents that left the country before the entry-ban will be able to qualify for re-entry.
While residents outside the country are happy to hear the possibility of returning to their homes, for many, the government’s actions are frustratingly late. Thousands of long-term foreign residents in Japan have been separated from their homes and loved ones for months.
The government’s ongoing rigidness mixed with the fact that Japan has been allowing some tourists in for “business-related” affairs has led to many dissatisfied residents. Exceptions to the ban such as spouses of Japanese nationals, those with permanent residence, or those on special permits are required to show proof of exiting Japan before the ban was implemented to be allowed back in.
If the plan to allow foreign residents back in passes, the government is estimating a controlled quota of 500 people per day. Returnees will be required to take a PCR test before they depart and upon arriving in Japan.