Dear TUJ students:

We hope you have had a great semester and studying for finals is going well. We are sure that you are looking forward to winter break.

If you are planning on leaving Japan during winter break, we wanted to share with you some important information on the developing situation with the Omicron COVID variant as it relates to overseas travel. Japan has departed from the approach to international travel that we have seen over the past year. For a while now, Japan has allowed current residents of Japan to leave and re-enter the country. However, this is shifting seemingly on a daily basis with respect to the next 30 days. You will want to constantly monitor the situation and exercise caution in your travel decisions.

Tuesday Announcement - All Foreign Travelers from 10 Countries Banned

The government announced that foreign re-entrants from 10 countries in Africa will not be allowed to re-enter Japan. To be clear, this means that even if you have a valid student, dependent, or other visa, you will not be allowed back into Japan until these measures are lifted. You will find the list of countries here on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Wednesday Announcement - New Airline Tickets to Japan in December Suspended

On Wednesday, the government asked airlines to suspend ticket sales for flights entering Japan for the next 30 days. The article states those who already have tickets can return. If you have questions regarding your flight plans, please contact your airlines for more information. 

Last Week -- Suspension of Entry of New Students

These announcements come only days after the government suspended its recent relaxation of border restriction that would have allowed new entrants to come into Japan for the next 30 days. Japan is also further tightening the scope of special exemptions that were previously allowed as it relates to entertainers, athletes, and special situations.  

Final Thoughts

These border control measures are ever-evolving and the information and regulations change frequently. If you intend to travel internationally, it is important that you understand the current situation of the country/location you are traveling to, and that you constantly check the Japanese government websites for the latest information on border control measures. Every country has its own restrictions and requirements. You can also contact your Embassy/Consulate for more country-specific information.

If you do decide to travel internationally, we wish you a safe journey. For those outside of Japan, we continue working to expedite your entry into the country. And to all of you, please stay healthy and stay safe throughout the winter break.

Matthew Wilson