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
Jan 25
At least 15,058 people were on waiting lists for a hospital or a designated accommodations after testing positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month in the 11 prefectures covered by a state of emergency, a Kyodo News survey found, as public health centers have been swamped with a surge in cases cases. (Japan Times)
Jan 25
The snow this winter on Japan’s ski runs and the powder on the off-piste is probably the best it has been in a decade. (South China Morning Post)
Jan 25
If you plan to fly into Tokyo, Haneda Airport is where you want to land. Sure, rival Narita Airport sometime gets called “Tokyo International Airport,” but it’s actually all the way out in Chiba Prefecture, while Haneda is the one truly located within Tokyo. (Japan Today)
Jan 24
Weather officials are warning of more snow in the areas surrounding Tokyo, mainly in mountainous regions. But they say it is unlikely to accumulate in central Tokyo as the temperatures at high altitude did not dip as much as expected. (NHK)
Jan 21
Traveling the waterways of Tokyo, Japan. (CNN)
Jan 21
Kyushu is said to be the wellspring of Japanese civilization. Yet few tourists visit the southernmost of Japan's main islands. This documentary contrasts modern Japanese cities with traditional customs in the countryside. (DW Documentary)
Jan 21
The coronavirus is having a crushing effect on Japan's tourism industry. The number of foreign visitors in 2020 fell nearly 90 percent from the previous year. (NHK)
Jan 20
Scoop up the rich tapestry of traditional culture and natural beauty of Ojiya, a small city in Niigata Prefecture's snowy mountains that's had to scale back as it steers through a global pandemic. (NHK)
Jan 19
Train services in greater Tokyo are scheduled to end earlier at night starting from Wednesday, due to a state of emergency declared in the region over the spread of the coronavirus. (NHK)
Jan 17
Japan's health ministry plans to establish a system to effectively track foreign nationals who tested positive for coronavirus after entering the country. (NHK)
Jan 16
To celebrate the new year, we're taking to the skies to check out Tokyo with an unobstructed view! (JapanPro)
Jan 16
The Tokyo Disney Resort is one of the best Disney Resorts in the entire world which is rather ironic as... it's not Disney. (ReviewTyme)
Jan 16
Shooting in Shinjuku/新宿, Shibuya/渋谷, Asakusa/浅草, Akihabara/秋葉原, showing how the town looks like on the first weekend. (Rion Ishida)
Jan 14
The Japanese government is stepping up coronavirus countermeasures for people entering the country. (NHK)
Jan 13
The Japanese government plans to suspend the entry of all foreigners as the coronavirus continues to spread around the world. (NHK)
Jan 11
Little change was seen in the flow of commuters at major train stations in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures Friday morning as a fresh state of emergency came into effect in the metropolitan area to stop the spread of COVID-19. (Japan Times)
Jan 09
Japan will further tighten its border controls from Saturday by requiring all people arriving to submit negative results from virus tests taken within 72 hours of their departure for Japan during the period of the latest state of emergency. (Kyodo)
Jan 09
Airlines in Japan canceled 247 domestic flights on Friday due to heavy snow and strong winds in areas along the Sea of Japan and Hokkaido. (NHK)
Jan 09
Japan's public transport providers are considering limiting operations to reduce mobility under the country's new coronavirus state of emergency, which is largely voluntary with no effective punishments for those who do not comply with curfews. (Nikkei)
Jan 09
This April and May, Malta will host the tenth anniversary edition of the InClassica International Music Festival, a three-week long celebration of classical music featuring world-renowned soloists, leading international orchestras and celebrated conductors. (newsonjapan.com)