Japan May Introduce 'Vaccine Passports' For International Travel


Cheng Sim •  May 02, 2021

It has been a while since we last travelled to Japan. After postponing our plans to experience the cherry blossom chase and the much-awaited Tokyo Olympics, we might be able to travel to Japan sooner than we think!

Credit: CommonPass.org on Twitter

In April 2021, Kyodo News reported that Japan may be introducing 'vaccine passports' before reopening the country to international travel. This exciting move will allow fully vaccinated travellers to board flights and enter the country by scanning a QR code via a smartphone app, which will likely be based on CommonPass, a digital health app developed with the involvement of the World Economic Forum.

Japan is one of the countries that are currently onboard with the vaccine passport initiative, including the European Union as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China. "Other countries are doing it, so Japan will have to consider it too," shared Taro Kono, the Covid 19 Vaccine Minister of Japan who was appointed by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in January 2021.

According to Kyodo News, Taro Kono had previously raised concerns that the 'vaccine passport' will discriminate against people who are unable to receive the vaccination due to allergic reactions and other medical reasons. To address this concern, the passport will also include negative results from polymerase chain reaction and antigen tests.

At the time of writing, Japan only allows citizens and foreign residents to enter the country. However, they must provide a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours before boarding the flight to Japan.

The development of vaccine passports in Japan carries a glimmer of hope that international travel may be a possibility in the foreseeable future. Till then, here are some interesting news to keep you excited about your future travels to Japan.