Japan to Extend Entry Ban to U.S., China, S. Korea, Most of Europe

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Japanese comedian Ken Shimura passes away due to pneumonia from COVID-19

The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported on Monday that the Japanese government plans to deny entry into the country for foreign nationals coming from the United States, China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and most of Europe. Foreign nationals who have traveled to these territories up to two weeks before arriving in Japan will be denied entry except in extenuating circumstances. The Japanese foreign ministry also aims to raise the travel alert for these regions to level 3, which advises against travel to these territories for any purpose, and advises Japanese nationals in those regions to consider and prepare for possible evacuation.

The newspaper also noted that the government is also planning to ban entry from parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. Japan already bans the entry of foreign nationals who traveled from specific areas of China, South Korea, and more than 20 European countries.

The country's National Security Council is set to meet this week to discuss the measures, which will be implemented under provisions listed under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law.

Famous Japanese entertainer and comedian Ken Shimura passed away due to pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Sunday, March 29. He was 70 years old. Shimura was hospitalized on March 17, and his agency announced that he had been infected with COVID-19 on March 25.

The Japanese government already urged travelers from the United States to self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival in Japan. The Japanese foreign ministry raised the travel alert for the entire world to level 2 last Wednesday. The Tokyo government called for Tokyo residents to stay at home starting last Wednesday, after three straight days of record numbers of new COVID-19 cases. Tokyo reported 63 new cases on Saturday and 69 new cases on Sunday, which meant that the metropolis topped its previous record number of new cases in six of the last seven days.

The first reported cases of COVID-19 were in Wuhan, China in December, and then the disease began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a world health emergency on January 30, and announced on March 11 that it is classifying the outbreak as a pandemic. As of Sunday , the WHO reported that there are 634,835 infected individuals worldwide. 29,957 individuals have died from the disease.

As of Saturday, the WHO reported that Japan has 1,693 cases of COVID-19 with 52 deaths. These numbers do not include the number of cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama. That cruise ship had 712 infected passengers with seven deaths.

Source: The Asahi Shimbun (Japanese Edition) via Hachima Kikō, The Asahi Shimbun (English Edition), NHK, Reuters, Kyodo News, The Japan Times

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