Japan to let some foreign residents back into country in August
Nikkei -- Jul 15
Japan is planning to start letting foreign residents who left the country before April 3 back in, starting in August.

Some 90,000 residents who left the country before and after that date have been restricted from flying back due to coronavirus measures, but a new regulation will enable some of these expats and students to return.

Specific requirements and the number of re-entries will be determined by Japan's COVID-19 testing capacity.

As of July 10, Japan has been denying entry to foreigners from 129 countries and regions, including China, the U.S. and South Korea. Among Japan's foreign residents, only permanent residents and spouses of Japanese nationals who left before April 3 have been allowed to return.

Foreigners with residence status in Japan are mostly made up of expatriates who work for foreign companies, international students and technical interns. Some companies are currently having to make do without a number of their highly skilled employees. Other companies, many in industries that face an acute labor shortage, had been getting by with technical interns.

Allowing these workers to reenter would help to mitigate some of Japan's economic issues.

There are several status classifications that Japan gives to foreign residents. They range from workers in highly specialized occupations to students, from medical care givers to workers with specific skills.

Relevant ministries will have a say in deciding which classifications are prioritized. Decisions will be based on industry demands and numerical targets.

In addition, it is expected that foreign residents of Japan now in countries or regions with few COVID-19 infections will be among the first to get the green light.

Japan is in talks to resume business travel with Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. Similar negotiations are about to begin with China, South Korea, Taiwan and Brunei. Residents now in these countries are also expected to be moved toward the front of the line.

新型コロナウイルスの水際対策について、政府は感染が続く欧米からであっても条件を満たした企業経営者などに限って入国を認める方向で検討していることが分かりました。  政府は現在129の国と地域から外国人の入国を原則として拒否しています。しかし、欧米諸国とはビジネス関係の往来の需要が高まっているとして、企業経営者などで政府が認めた場合に限って入国を認めていく方針です。その際の条件としてPCR検査を実施するほか、プライベートジェットの利用を求める案などが検討されています。一方、感染が落ち着きつつある中国や韓国などについて、政府は17日にも対策本部を開催して往来再開に向けた方針を打ち出すことにしています。
News sources: Nikkei, ANNnewsCH
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