Since yesterday January 14, 2021 all Japanese nationals and foreign nationals with status of residence are newly required to sign a written pledge to provide the location data to the health centers or other institutions if requested.
Those who do not submit the “Written Pledge” are requested to stay at a location designated by the Chief of the Quarantine Station (Only at the accommodations booked by the quarantine office) for 14 days.
Simultaneously as John wrote yesterday Japan has also paused it’s exception program for Business Travel from eleven other countries in the Asia Pacific region alongside their existing block of foreign arrivals who don’t have a residence permit in Japan.
The new pledge form that has to be filled out and handed over at the Japanese port of entry is now available on the website of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Here are some excerpts from the form:
I understand and accept that, if I violate the pledge, my name (name and nationality in the case of a non-Japanese) and information that contributes to the prevention of the spread of infection may be publicized by the relevant authorities. In addition to the above if I am a non-Japanese, I understand and accept that I may be subject to revocation of status of residence and deportation etc. under the provisions of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act in case of the violation. …
- I must take a Covid-19 testing conducted within 72 hours prior to departure time of the flight, and obtain a certificate certifying that the testing result is “negative” from a local medical institution, and there must be no misrepresentation in the contents. Upon entry into Japan, I must submit the certificate or its copy to the airport quarantine officer or the immigration officer.
- (b) Upon entry into Japan, I must install the “LINE” application on my smartphone (If I use Business Track or Residence Track, my smartphone or the smartphone used by receiving company/entity) and report my health condition through this application to the public health center that has jurisdiction over my home or accommodation location every day for 14 days after entering Japan.
At the time of entry into Japan, I must install a Covid-19 Contact-Confirming Application designated by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on my smartphone, and I must ensure that the application remains active for 14 days after entry into Japan.
d) Upon entry into Japan, I must begin retaining my location information through the map application function of the smartphone, and retain this information for 14 days after entry into Japan.
This whole track and trace system appears to be tied to a cellphone and supported by the LINE Messenger App. Of course a cellphone can be left behind anywhere while the owner moves around regardless.
Here is the entire form:
The Covid-19 spread and stress on the health system in Japan has escalated in recent weeks and while their official numbers published in the statistic is low the actual situation on the ground paints a different picture. There are actual riots in front of some hospitals in Japan with police protecting the building. People aren’t allowed to even enter the hospital anymore for random procedures, let alone Covid tests.
There are Covid-19 tests available in Japan but these are all private and have to be paid out of pocket unless you can convince your PCP to “prescribe” you a health insurance funded test after you had contact with an infected person. My friend just went through this, the entire process was a disaster.
Japan is currently tightening their entry controls for the country again after Covid-19 infection numbers increased in recent weeks.
The only demographic now allowed to enter Japan are Japanese citizens and foreigners with a Residence Permit. All other foreigners are no longer allowed to enter the country for the time being and the Written Pledge form is mandatory for all arrivals.