ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Coronavirus

Japan lobbies countries to accept its vaccine passport

Tokyo needs to drop its own quarantine requirement for incoming travelers

The European Union will launch its EU Digital COVID Certificate on July 1, allowing free travel within the bloc for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.   © AP

TOKYO -- Japan will ask other countries to ease entry requirements for holders of its COVID-19 vaccination certificate while exploring reciprocal moves for incoming travelers as part of a push to revive international travel. 

The vaccine certificates, which will include such information as the date of vaccination and its manufacturer, are slated to debut in July. The documents will be issued through municipalities, using special paper to combat counterfeiting. Plans are to eventually offer them digitally via app.

Under the diplomatic rule of reciprocity, countries are expected to mutually impose or lift entry measures. So Tokyo will need to ease its own entry requirements -- proof of negative tests within 72 hours and 14-day quarantines -- for such restriction-free travel to take off.

The thorny issue is how to treat vaccines not approved in Japan. Previous infections or the presence of antibodies could also be taken into account.

Domestically, the powerful Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, proposes such perks as restaurant discounts and eased restrictions on travel. But this idea has not been embraced, at least for now, amid government fears of discrimination against the unvaccinated.

Different countries take different approaches for entry by international travelers. The U.S., for instance, requires all incoming air passengers to show negative COVID-19 tests or proof of recovery.

France allows people arriving from "green" countries, including Japan, to enter without restrictions if vaccinated. The unvaccinated must present proof of negative test results but need not go into quarantine.

Ten or so other countries, including Greece and Poland, waive quarantines for vaccinated people traveling from Japan, according to the Japanese government.

The European Union will launch its EU Digital COVID Certificate on July 1, allowing freedom of movement within the bloc.

Israel and certain parts of the U.S. require vaccination certificates to enter places like fitness centers and event venues.

But the documents have different designs, prompting calls for uniform rules. In a communique from their mid-June summit, the Group of Seven leaders recognized the need for "a set of common standards for travel including interoperability and mutual recognition of digital applications, testing requirements, recognition of vaccination status." The International Civil Aviation Organization is playing a leading role in this effort.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends July 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more