Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Tokyo (July 9, 2020) 

Location: Japan
Date: July 9, 2020

State of COVID-19 Measures in Japan

The U.S. Embassy continues to monitor closely the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan. The Government of Japan has continued to relax restrictions put in place a few months ago. According to press reports, the government plans to increase the maximum number of attendees permitted at concerts and professional sporting events from 1,000 to 5,000 (depending on the size of the venue and whether some social distancing measures can be applied) beginning on Friday, July 10.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, using a four-tiered scale (green<yellow<orange<red), has classified current disease spread at the orange level (it is believed that the infection is starting to spread) and healthcare capacity at the yellow level (it is believed that preparations to build up the system are necessary).

Prefectures throughout Japan continue to report positive COVID-19 tests, particularly in the Tokyo area. Many of these cases are connected to nightlife districts, but several others have unknown origins. U.S. citizens are strongly urged to comply with all guidelines issued by national and local authorities to mitigate the further spread of the virus.

International travel restrictions previously instituted by the Government of Japan remain in place. U.S. citizens, including those with resident status in Japan, generally remain prohibited from entering the country under the current travel restrictions. The U.S. Embassy continues to engage with the Japanese Government about these restrictions. The Government of Japan published information regarding exemptions to its entry restrictions, which is available here.

U.S. citizens residing in Japan should carefully review the government’s restrictions before embarking on international travel. Individuals who believe that their travel may fall under the Government of Japan’s published exemptions should carry documentation about their purpose of travel with them and consult with immigration officers regarding reentry to Japan prior to departing the country.

U.S. citizens currently outside Japan in possession of Japanese visas should contact the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate to ensure the validity of the visa before traveling to Japan. The Government of Japan continues to cancel visas issued to citizens in countries currently subject to Japanese travel bans/restrictions, including the United States.

U.S. Mission Japan personnel continue to follow practices recommended by the U.S. and Japanese Governments to promote social distancing.

United States Forces Japan (USFJ) continues to enforce Health Protection Condition measures consistent with its pandemic control operations.

Continued Routine Passport, Citizenship, and Visa Service Limitations

The U.S. Department of State has temporarily suspended processing of routine visa services.  These services remain suspended throughout Japan at this time despite the lifting of the state of emergency.

Appointments for routine passport and citizenship services continue to be very limited. For specific information please check our website and and contact the Embassy or consulate nearest you for assistance.  Effective immediately, online payment for mail-in adult passport renewal is available in Japan. For information, please see our website.

U.S. citizens and visa applicants who are granted appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo or any U.S. consulate in Japan must wear masks upon entering the premises and are prohibited from entering these facilities if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to individual(s) known to test positive for COVID-19.

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.

The Government of Japan launched a Foreign Resident Support Center, located at: Yotsuya Tower 13/F, 1-6-1 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 106-0004.

The center is open from 9:00 to 5:00 on weekdays, and provides consultations in several languages, including English. Eight organizations participate in the center, including the Immigration Services Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Tokyo Labor Bureau.

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: