According to The Nikkei Asian Review, there are more than 370,000 foreign nationals who cannot enter Japan despite having precertification for residence status as of Oct. 1 due to border controls aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.
About 70% of those who cannot come to Japan are technical intern trainees and international students. While many countries are taking steps to ease immigration restrictions and reopen their economies, Japan, in principle, remains shut to foreign entrants from all countries.
Foreign nationals must apply for a certificate of eligibility before traveling to Japan to stay in the country for more than three months. According to a government source, Immigration Service Agency has issued eligibility certificates to 578,000 people since January 2020, of which 371,000 have not yet entered Japan.
The government imposed tighter border controls in January. Entry is only allowed for returning foreign residents and others with special status, such as spouses of Japanese nationals. Returning foreign nationals are required to take PCR tests and undergo quarantine.
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