Covid-19: Japan isolates itself again and mainly closes to Westerners

Japanese man returns to Japan with new British virus, Tokyo closes borders to foreigners Ironically reacted a Japanese journalist based in the United States on her Twitter account.

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Working in Tokyo for years, Jake Adelstein, American journalist drives the point home: ” Japanese government points to “gaijin” (“Foreigners”, Editor’s note) “, a way of exculpating himself from his mismanagement of the coronavirus since the beginning of the year. And also to point out the difference in treatment between Japanese and foreigners in the context of the pandemic.

Borders closed from December 28 to the end of January

These five new cases affected by the new strain of the coronavirus and all of Japanese nationality, came from London. They landed in Tokyo and Osaka. This explains the very rapid decision of the Japanese government to close its borders to non-resident foreigners from Monday, December 28 until the end of January. It is interesting to note that the Japanese or Western agency dispatches speak of “travelers” coming from London without immediately specifying their nationality. We did not learn until later, at the bend of a comma, that they were Japanese.

Virus numbers rise

This apparently radical decision comes against a backdrop of an “explosion” in the number of cases in Japan with nearly 4,000 cases recorded on Saturday, December 26, while the average was between 400 and 600. Very low figures compared to Europe or the United States.

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However, the health situation is worsening in Japan because hospitals are reaching saturation point. ” They have much less emergency resuscitation service than elsewhere », Underlines the Kyodo press agency, and do not have enough staff to take care of seriously affected patients.

Japan does not close its borders to Asia

But the announcement that Japan’s borders will be closed to non-resident foreigners might suggest they were open to them until yesterday, which is not the case at all. At least for Western Europeans for whom access to Japan was only very exceptionally granted.

Some applicants have sometimes waited months before obtaining the precious entry visa for exceptional reasons. It was not until October that foreign residents could return to live and work in Japan. On the other hand, a less well-known reality, businessmen from eleven countries and territories, mainly Asian (China, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam or Taiwan), can continue to visit Japan despite the new measures taken this weekend. end.


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