Japan to Allow Humanitarian Exceptions to Re-entry Ban
Japan will allow some resident foreigners to re-enter the country on humanitarian grounds after facing criticism its policies made their return uncertain and left the group in a Covid-19 travel limbo.
A notice on the Justice Ministry’s website says permission to land may be granted “depending on the individual situation if there are special exceptional circumstances, particularly such as when there are circumstances that require humanitarian consideration.”
In a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Japan had banned entry from 111 countries and regions, including the U.S., Europe and India. Unlike many other advanced economies, it included permanent residents who call Japan home and spouses of Japanese nationals among those forbidden to enter.
Japan had encouraged foreign workers to come to the country to ease a labor shortage resulting from its aging and shrinking population. The number of foreign workers almost doubled to 1.5 million in 2019.
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