Visa Crunch

Japan To Reopen International Travel For Students With Strong Quarantine Protocols

The country recently stated that beginning November 8, it will start accepting foreign nationals travelling to the country for business visits, study abroad, or technical training.

According to The Japan Times, for the first time in nearly a year, new admissions such as foreign students and technical interns would be permitted, providing they quarantine for 14 days, which will be reduced to 10 days if they are vaccinated. Students will have to go through the same procedures and documentation as business travellers in order to enter Japan.

As per the local newspaper, overseas students who acquired residence permits between January and March 2020 would be able to apply in November. Applications for technical interns will be allowed for people with residence permits issued between January 2020 and June 2020, while those with permits issued later can apply in December or later.

The Japanese government has set up a hotline at 03-35952176 for inquiries about the application process, which is open from 09:00 a.m. to 09:00 p.m., including weekends.

Students who have been barred from entering Japan have been appealing for their return with the slogan #EducationIsNotTourism. Students are taking on social media sites like Twitter, complaining about the opening of borders, many students are not anticipated to return until at least 2022.

This is a social media photo campaign in which over 200 people from 38 countries apparently participated. Octoberfest, a Twitter user, tweeted “If I can’t enter by January 2022, I’m switching to Korea.” Another user, blankksn said: “I kind of regret choosing Japan. I see my friends and colleagues flying to America and Canada to pursue their dreams. While I’m stuck waiting on Japan.”

As of October 1, over 3,70,000 foreign nationals, 70% of whom were students or technical interns were unable to go to Japan. The administration has stated that it will gradually relax entrance restrictions while assessing the pandemic situation in Japan and elsewhere.

Currently, more than 70% of Japan’s population is fully immunized. Visitors for business purposes will be needed to quarantine for three days provided they have received one of the vaccines approved by Japan: Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca.

Although students are complaining about increased paperwork required to enter Japan, however, many universities that accept international exchange students are overjoyed, according to The Japan Times.

“It is a joy for us that the entry restrictions are being eased, considering that many foreign students have been waiting to study at our campus and many existing students and teachers are looking forward to face-to-face mingling in a multicultural environment,” Hiroshi Yoneyama, Deputy Dean of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Oita Prefecture was quoted saying.

Tourists are still unable to enter Japan, but the government has started to study ways to welcome tourists by the end of this year. Toshio Nakagawa, the head of the Japan Medical Association, has reportedly recommended that the government proceed with caution in opening the border, expressing fear that variations of the virus spreading overseas may differ from what Japan has encountered.

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