Ian Patrick, FISM News
Even though the postponed Olympic Games are still on in Japan, many of the nation’s citizens are opposed to the Games due to a recent resurgence of COVID-19 in the nation. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that the event will continue even if Japan reaches a state of emergency, but that doesn’t mean other countries won’t act.
As Japan grapples with the outbreak, the U.S. State Department issued a ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory to the nation for that reason.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Japan due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into Japan.
The website for the U.S. embassy in Japan notes that Japan itself is limiting the number of U.S. citizens through, especially those visiting just for tourism reasons.
Foreign tourists and non-resident foreign business travelers remain prohibited from entering Japan. Japanese citizens and foreign residents with a reentry permit are generally allowed to reenter Japan but must comply with strict pre- and post- travel testing requirements and quarantine upon arrival. Regardless of the international point of origin, all travelers entering Japan remain subject to a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival and are prohibited from using public transportation to include domestic flights, taxis, and rail. Travelers arriving from certain areas may be required to quarantine for a period of time in a government-designated location. Travelers arriving without proof of pre-travel COVID-19 testing, or tests completed more than 72 hours in advance of departure from the United States will be denied entry into Japan.
As with most travel today, Japan also requires a negative PCR test within 3 days of the departing date. Other information can be found on the aforementioned embassy website.
Neither the advisory nor the embassy’s information page indicate that essential travel to Japan is forbidden, meaning U.S. athletes could still make the trip to compete. Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa told a news conference, “At present, we can see no particular impact” concerning the U.S. advisory. Even Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said, “There is absolutely no change in the United States’ support for Japan‘s decision to hold the Olympics, we believe.”
Even with this optimistic view of the event from the Japanese government and IOC, opposition to the Games continues to build. Reuters reports that an online “Stop Tokyo Olympics” campaign had collected 387,000 signatures as of Tuesday.