By Yash Yadav
Travelling out to Japan is probably not going to work for international travellers until the end of February.
Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said today that Japan intends to keep up with its border limitations, barring all the new foreign entries to prevent the spread of the Omicron variation of Covid-19.
Japan has prohibited new entries by foreign nationals globally since Nov. 30, 2021, because of the highly contagious variant in the country. In December, The Diplomat revealed that cases of Omicron have spread past significant urban communities, and have been found in Okinawa, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Aichi, Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo.
The latest research by French scientists suggests that the Omicron variation is 105% more contagious than Delta, however past investigations it is less likely to make people ill when compared with previous variants.
Travelling to Japan: Government hits the pause button again
As the omicron cases are surging all around the globe, Japan has been putting up efforts to overcome the situation which includes extending its strict border restrictions.
Kishida earlier expressed an intention to announce border closure as the cases hiked up over New Year’s holidays.
As it is nearly impossible for many international students to travel to Japan, many have turned to social media to voice their frustrations using hashtags such as #JapanTravelBan and #EducationIsNotTourism hashtags.
Twitter user Akansha said, “The Japanese students (sic) are allowed to study abroad, but we international students even after paying an enormous amount of fees are taking online class since two years! Please explain the discrimination?”
The exchange program is impacted due to border closure. An exchange programme official at the Ministry of Education was quoted saying: “We can’t say just let in exchange students under these circumstances.”
According to reports imposing border closure will have a negative impact on Japanese companies in the long run which also includes their option to attract worldwide talents. Japan’s travel ban has meant that worldwide universities including the University of California, Johns Hopkins University, McGill University and the Australian National University have also restricted sending their students to the country.