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Japan To Reopen Borders For Foreign Residents and Students In October

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Japan is planning to finally take a step in reopening its borders to all countries as it starts allowing foreign residents and students to return in October after its borders closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic back in March. 

The reopening would allow for foreign residents and students who were locked out of their homes, jobs and schools to finally return to Japan. The policy that locked out legal residents was viewed with disapproval by many in the international community. 

The new border policy will be limited to 1000 people per day in the beginning and is dependent on the epidemiological situation in Japan. 

There will be a mandatory 14 day quarantine in place for all foreign residents returning to Japan but it is unclear at this time if it will be a state-run quarantine or self-isolation. 

However, the Japanese government has suggested that travelers who obtain a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, and agree to have another test done upon arrival, may be able to circumvent the 14-day quarantine, providing both tests are negative. This has not yet been confirmed. 

Japanese woman wearing mask

Preference will be given to foreign residents/students that are returning for a stay of 3 months or longer. 

The borders will not reopen for tourism.

Earlier this month Japan had announced they would reopen their borders in three stages. First stage was for the return of business travelers, then followed by students and foreign residents and finally tourism.

Japan Announces Entry Requirements For Reopening Borders

The move appears that Japan in moving into phase two of their border reopening plan. 

Japan has also started reopening for business travel to select countries. 

On September 18th, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan announced they will begin procedures for a Business Fast Track agreement between Japan and Singapore.

Japan Street with lights

The Japanese tourism board website stated “A gradual reopening of Japan's borders is currently being prepared, starting towards countries where the coronavirus has been contained or which have important ties to Japan. Vietnam is expected to be first; Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Myanmar, Singapore and Brunei are some other early candidates. Entry will initially be limited to business travelers, experts and trainees. Students and eventually tourists will follow at later points.”

Myanmar and Brunei have been removed since the statement was made due to a rise in cases in both countries. 

Japan Prepares Reopening Border For Tourism

Although many tourist attractions and most businesses have resumed in Japan, no date on a reopening for international tourism has been given. 

To date there have been 79,438 confirmed cases of COVID-19 resulting in 1508 deaths. 

Japan has once again started to flatten its curve after a second wave peaked in August. 

Japan Daily COVID-19 Cases (Worldometers)
Japan Daily COVID-19 Cases (Worldometers)

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Pukar Shrestha

Friday 16th of April 2021

What about the student who sends their fee to the school? Still doing late.

marissa b. Bagtas

Sunday 27th of September 2020

If Japan lift the travel ban for self supporting student/privately sponsored student, do Philippines is allowed to apply fir new spplication this coming october?

Kashlee Kucheran

Sunday 27th of September 2020

We don't know at this time, sorry


Thursday 24th of September 2020

im pretty sure Japan will open in March or April 2021 for tourists as they have the cherry blossom season and also the Olympics. they have to open one way or the other...

Yohann R.

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Hello, I have a flight in November from Bangkok to Tokyo to JFK with a 3 day layover in Tokyo. I booked this ticket in JAL using Alaska mileage. Should I cancel, ask for refund, wait and see, or change the flight? Please let me know your take on this. Thank you.

Kashlee Kucheran

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

As of right now, the 3-day layover will not be permitted. I am not sure what the rules will be in November

Scott Signorelli

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

This is positive news..hope Phillipines will follow suit..waiting to go back to the Phillipines to my fiance once they're travel ban is lifted i hope soon.


Thursday 24th of September 2020

no chance for Phillippines, not even domestic travel is possible without 14 days quarantine,im stuck here in Palawan since march and i cannot travel to other cities or regions in phillippines without a lot of paperwork and testing and quarantine.. wait for a vaccine first..