The Japanese government has implemented tougher border control measures, aimed at containing the number of coronavirus infections in the country.
Visas issued to South Korean and Chinese nationals - including residents of Hong Kong and Macao - have been invalidated, effectively restricting travelers from those countries from March 9 until the end of the month.
Cities in northern Italy and Iran are also expected to be added to the watch list.
Tohoku University students or staff affected by these new border restrictions should contact their department or faculty for further instructions.
New students coming to Japan, or foreign students returning for the spring semester, should also check with the Japanese embassy in their home countries for updated travel advisories. Travelers arriving in Japan from certain countries may face a 14-day quarantine, as well as domestic travel restrictions.
Those currently in Japan should be aware that there are out-going restrictions as well. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) recently announced that 29 countries and regions are restricting entry of visitors from Japan.
For students who are having difficulty returning to their home country due to the new measures, the Immigration Services Agency of Japan has issued this statement (PDF).
For anyone with an urgent need to travel to areas which MOFA has categorized as having a level 2 or higher infectious disease risk level, please read this (PDF). Tohoku University also strongly recommends doing the following:
- Make sure you know the situation in the country you are going to. Please also be aware that you might not be able to return easily if travel restrictions are subsequently put in place or flights are cancelled.
- Enroll in health and travel insurance for infectious disease treatment and emergency evacuation.
- Make regular contact with family members and workplace colleagues and make sure they know how to get in touch with you.
- Register with the local embassy of Japan or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' travel registration service.
The situation in Japan - and around the world - is fluid and there may be further changes to immigration and border controls due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. Anyone affected is strongly encouraged to check frequently for updates.
Contact:Tohoku University Department of Workplace Safety and Health