Potential Effects of Vaccine Passports on Entry into Japan

This is Yuka from IMS.

With the vaccine rollout in Japan beginning to pick up pace, more and more attention is being paid towards the topic of what this could mean for Japan’s border enforcement measures, especially in light of the mass entry of Olympic athletes into Japan.

The Japanese government has announced plans to begin the issuance of vaccine passports by the end of July. Vaccine passports are official certificates that indicate the passport-holder’s fully-vaccinated status.

According to Kyodo News, “Japan is making arrangements for its COVID-19 vaccination passports to be accepted by over 10 nations, including Italy, France and Greece”. While measures may differ by country, generally, this will allow those with vaccine passports to enter countries that accept the passport without entry restrictions. However, this may not be possible unless Japan mutually allows citizens of these countries to likewise enter Japan without restrictions. Negotiations are still proceeding, but for the time being, a government source told Kyodo News that until “the spread of the delta variant [subsides], it will be difficult to allow the mutual exemption of quarantine”.

In conclusion, although entry restrictions in Japan may persist for a while longer, once the vaccination rate increases, we may potentially see a lifting of the stricter restrictions in the near future.

We will be sure to provide an update if any such measures are implemented.