Travel restrictions in Japan have been tough on many travelers, including international students in Japan, but things seem to be improving. According to Nikkei Asia, Japan could let foreigners visit the country for short business trips, study abroad and take technical training.
The government is expected to announce the policy changes as early as this week, with implementation scheduled to begin this month. Cases of COVID-19 are on the decline in Japan, and the country aims to gradually ease the entry ban for foreigners.
The quarantine requirement for short-term business travelers will be reduced to three days for vaccinated visitors, from 10 days now. Businesses and organizations receiving foreign nationals will be required to monitor their activities, he said. The shorter quarantine requirement will also apply to Japanese nationals returning from overseas business trips.
Japan travel restrictions: what students need to know
The Nikkei reports that as of October 1, some 370,000 foreigners were unable to enter the country due to travel restrictions imposed by Japan, while about 70% were technical trainees and foreign students.
Sectors that are struggling with labor shortages – including agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors – as well as schools that have not been able to accept students foreigners, called for allowing new arrivals. Businesses, schools or other host organizations will need to report their infection control measures to a relevant government agency.
Japan’s travel restrictions have led international students to campaign for their return to the country. This includes a social media photo campaign that reportedly saw more than 200 people from 38 countries to take part. Students would share photos of themselves holding signs showing how long they have been excluded from Japan with the hashtag #EducationIsNotTourism.
Previously, more than 650 academics and university students in Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries called on the Japanese government to resume the issuance of student and researcher visas, which has been suspended amid the pandemic.
According to The Japan Times, academics, professionals and students led by Paul Hastings, executive director of the Japan ICU Foundation, have submitted a petition to Kanji Yamanouchi, Japanese consul general in New York, warning that the ban on new visas “Has eroded the relationships and reputations of Japanese educational institutions.
“While Japan has started to send its students and researchers abroad, the country does not receive students and researchers. The lack of reciprocity is damaging the carefully cultivated partnerships “between Japanese universities and schools in other countries, according to the petition.