Earlier in this month of September, the government of Japan began to consider allowing people from all over the world entry into Japan. As of today, the government has made an official announcement that they are considering not just business people, but also medium- and long-term residents of 3-months or more, which will include students. Not included, however, in this possible entry ban lift will be tourists, who, for the time being will still need to wait.
It is not clear which countries will be permitted to enter from October, if the ban is indeed lifted. In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Japan, it is likely that those from the newly-permitted countries will need to undergo self-quarantine for two weeks, and that there will be a maximum limit to 1,000 people a day set.
Such major changes by the government in Japan are often initiated by announcements of their official consideration of the change, such as was the case for the recent “Go-To Campaign”, a travel campaign that offered special discounts and deals for trips within Japan. Such announcements are a way for the government to gather public opinion before the decision is confirmed.
Although we are unsure what the decision will be, based on this announcement, students from select countries will likely be able to enter Japan from as early as October 2020. If you are one of the many students affected by this COVID-19 pandemic and waiting to enter Japan to begin mid- to long-term studies, it is good to know that this is the first step in the official reopening of Japan’s borders, and that, even if your country is not on the first round of those selected from October, we are seeing the precedent being set for a total re-opening of Japan to the world of students in the near future.