Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Tokyo (May 26, 2020)

Location: Japan
Date: May 26, 2020

State of Emergency in Japan

On May 25, Prime Minister Abe lifted the state of emergency for Hokkaido, Chiba, Saitama, Tokyo, and Kanagawa. The state of emergency has now been lifted for all of Japan. However, authorities in many prefectures and municipal wards continue to request restricted hours and/or closures of public venues. Local governments have also established roadmaps for reopening schools, businesses and public venues and events, as well as metrics for reinstituting stay-at-home orders should significant second-wave infections occur. The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to comply with all guidelines from national and local authorities.

International travel restrictions previously instituted by the Government of Japan remain in place and unchanged despite the national state of emergency being lifted. U.S. citizens, to include those with resident status in Japan, generally remain prohibited from entering the country under the current travel restrictions.

U.S. Mission Japan personnel continue to follow practices recommended by the U.S. and Japanese Governments for promoting social distancing and minimizing non-essential travel. U.S. Mission Japan staff have also been advised to avoid public transportation during peak hours.

United States Forces Japan (USFJ) continues to enforce its Health Protection Condition measures consistent with its Public Health Emergency, currently set to expire on June 14, 2020.

Continued Suspension of Routine Passport, Citizenship, and Visa Services

The U.S. Department of State has temporarily suspended processing of routine passport, citizenship, and visa services. These services remain suspended throughout Japan at this time despite the lifting of the state of emergency. Until further notice, we are only able to issue limited validity emergency passports and emergency visas. Because of this suspension, we are unable to issue Consular Reports of Birth Abroad for infants and children. However, we can document the child’s citizenship with an emergency passport and accept Consular Report of Birth Abroad applications for later issuance. We strongly encourage families to apply for such documentation. To request an appointment for an emergency passport, please contact the Embassy or consulate nearest you for assistance.

Reduction in International Flights

International flights are currently available in Japan, but service has been drastically reduced compared with the pre-COVID-19 period. Direct flights between the United States and Japan are currently only available from Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports. The U.S. government does not anticipate staging repatriation flights in Japan. U.S. citizens who reside abroad should avoid all international travel. As a reminder, non-Japanese citizens who leave Japan, even U.S. citizen legal residents, will not be able to return under current restrictions.

Resources in Japan

Below are sources of local COVID-19 information in English. This list is not exhaustive:

U.S. citizens should closely monitor trusted local news sources and local authorities’ communications for updates and information.

Japanese immigration officials have: extended the period of application for certain types of visa extensions and residency applications; increased the waiting time for decisions in certain cases; extended visa validity for visitors whose period of stay expired in March through July; and, have announced new measures to reduce congestion in waiting rooms. More information can be found online here.

The Japan National Tourism Organization maintains up-to-date information on screening and quarantine measures for travelers. It also operates a 24/7 visitor hotline, available in English. To call from Japan: 050-3816-2787; from overseas: +81-50-3816-2787.

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare also has a 24/7 hotline at +81-3-3595-2176 with English-speaking operators, and has a Q&A on the new measures.

The Association of Medical Doctors of Asia Medical Information Center are operating a hotline to assist foreign nationals in Japan with questions about COVID-19. It is available from 10:00 to 17:00, and can be reached at 03-6233-9266. More information can be found here.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government launched a multilingual call center on COVID-19 for foreign residents. They can be reached by phone from 10:00 to 17:00, Monday through Friday, at 0120-296-004. Callers should note that the initial recording is in Japanese, but if you hold the line you can be assisted in English.

Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel: The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.

CDC Travel Notice for Japan: On March 21, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 Warning (Avoid Nonessential Travel) for COVID-19 in Japan.

Actions to Take:

Assistance: